A Muddy and Floody Saturday on Wormwood Scrubs

Week of rain means conditions for runners reach Grade 9 on the Mud Index

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Parkrun 255 - April 16

What a difference a week makes. Despite heavy rains before the start of the run last week, the ground was generally solid and firm. This week can best be described as the complete opposite. A week of rain deposited by a weather front from the arctic made conditions challenging at best. A direct quote from Nick Michael— " Those are the biggest puddles I’ve ever seen" - and given that Nick has done 182 parkruns (with a whopping 170 of those at the Scrubs), that is saying a lot!

In fact, your humble correspondent arrived at the course with two wet feet already, having forged across the new lake which appeared where the bicycle path normally is. According to the cyclocross mud index today’s conditions would have come in around Grade 9 (Soup. 80–90% water, heavily laden with sand, particulate and goo, but without the lumps characteristic of Slop, see The Mud Index). Special note should be taken that there is one particular puddle on the back straight that really requires a depth marker.

Not wanting us to keep us hanging around the start line for long, Louise BROWNE set the pack off quickly, leaving the less prepared of us scrambling with our timing devices (good thing parkrun takes care of timing for us). Despite the soggy conditions a total of 58 runners made it around the course today, with two personal bests being set. There were a fantastic 13 individuals lacing up their trainers for their first ever parkrun, and four tourists. We hope to see you all back again soon!

Alas, this week’s male winner is a mystery but put in an excellent time of something quicker than 20:39, so let’s just say that James SPENDER will have to take the accolade (don’t forget your barcodes everyone). Andrea BROUGHTON was today’s fastest women, with a time of 24:44. Things are tight at the top of both the male and female points tables, with only 178 points separating James SPENDER and Manuel CORRIENTE, and a mere 43 points separating Marion BRYDSON and Kirstie TEW.

A special mention goes to Edward BURDETT-COUTTS this week who represented the bare-foot running tribe well by leaving trainers behind (not accidentally, which has happened on many occasions with Scrubs mud). Feet have excellent grip in the mud according to Edward, so if you’re not wanting to splash out on a new pair of mud shoes, here’s an option to try. If you’re training for a tough-mudder, bog-snorkeling event, or just want to get a mud bath without those outrageous spa prices, head on over to Wormwood Scrubs!

From beyond the Scrubs, best of luck to Rob FERGUSON and James MALCOLM who will be running the Brighton Marathon tomorrow. Make sure to enjoy the chips at the finish and hopefully the seagulls will leave you alone. We also have a number of runners in the London Marathon in just over a weeks’ time – among them Kirstie Tew, Andrea Broughton, Paul Woodgate and Katie Taggart as well as other TVH runners. If would like to join the support crew have a chat with Nick next Saturday – but the plan is generally to see them at Cutty Sark around 11am (6 miles) cross the Thames under the tunnel to see them at Mudchute at 16 miles and then on the train to Embankment at 23.

See you all next week!

Lan-Lan Smith

Parkrun 254 - April 9

It was a gorgeous sunny morning at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday and, after a mini downpour around 0830, the rain held off for the duration. This week there were 42 runners, of whom 5 were first timers (personal hello to Graeme Boxall, who normally runs with Bromley) and 4 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 8 different athletics clubs took part.

Many thanks to our volunteers as always who make parkrun possible each Saturday for our runners. If you take part regularly please do consider volunteering one week – perhaps if you have a race on the Sunday or you’re feeling a little under the weather – it makes a huge difference and is very easy to do.

You can view the roster here – from the end of the month into May the roster is looking pretty bare so please email if you can help with the future roster.

First over the line this week was Matthieu PREVOT (VM35-39) of Clapham Chasers RC, 19:40 – his 10th time in 38 appearances. He was followed by James MALCOLM (VM35-39) of Thames Valley Harriers, in 19:55 and another of our Jameses - Mr SPENDER (VM40-44), who is also sitting pretty at the top of the men’s points table with 3495 pts. We still have two months to go, and it’s very close with Manuel CORRIENTE in second place with 3336 pts and Nick MICHAEL in third with 3234 pts.

Beatrice CORDINGLEY (SW20-24) of Sale Harriers Manchester, was first female finisher (11th overall) over the line in 24:16 – her second time in 2 appearances. Kirstie TEW (SW30-34) of Thames Valley Harriers, was second (17th overall) over the line in 26:33 - she has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions. Kate O'DONOGHUE (VW45-49) of Thames Valley Harriers, was third (20th overall) over the line in 27:14 – she has been first to finish on 12 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition looks like this – very, very close between TVH members Marion and Kirstie:

  • Marion BRYDSON (Thames Valley Harriers) 3042 pts.
  • Kirstie TEW (Thames Valley Harriers) 2995 pts.
  • Andrea CALDERWOOD (Unattached) 2717 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Matthieu PREVOT (VM35-39) was graded 68.39% for the time 19:40 (first overall).
  • Charles CRAVEN (VM50-54) was graded 67.84% for the time 22:17 (6th overall).
  • James SPENDER (VM40-44) was graded 67.68% for the time 20:19 (third overall).

We have a number of runners in the London Marathon in two weeks – among them Kirstie Tew, Andrea Broughton, Paul Woodgate and Katie Taggart as well as other TVH runners. If would like to join the support crew have a chat with Nick this Saturday – but the plan is generally to see them at Cutty Sark around 11am (6 miles) cross the Thames under the tunnel to see them at Mudchute at 16 miles and then on the train to Embankment at 23.

Also, Anita Alfonso – our founding ED – will be at Wormwood Scrubs on 7 May with husband Alex who will be celebrating his 100th parkrun and their two children. She would love to meet as many of you as possible and invites you to join them in the Clubhouse to celebrate Alex’s centenary.

Many thanks for reading

Charlie.

 

 

April 18, 2016