Hardy Souls Take On the Beast on Wormwood Scrubs

Andrew Roche looks back on a bitterly cold St Patrick's Day run

St. Patrick's Day 2018. A big day in Sport for Hammersmith & Fulham. At midday in the South, by the river, Fulham would entertain QPR in a keenly contested 2-2 draw, and later still many would watch Ireland beat England in the Six nations to take the grand slam. Meanwhile in the morning in the North, the Arctic North, 45 hardy souls took part in Wormwood Scrubs park run #352; one of the most challenging ever. A bitterly cold morning with an accompanying icy-wind turned into a blizzard. It was the return of 'The Beast from the East'. Not to be confused with the 'Beast from East Acton' Thames Valley Harrier Nick Michaels, running his 282nd. Well done Nick!

Whereas last month a few renegade runners ran round the Scrubs in a blanket of snow that resembled a benign Narnia, today the wintry blizzard gradually turned the Scrubs into an austere snow-dome like a scene from a Grimm's fairy tale.

Not the day to run in your pyjamas but a couple of runners, father and son, did. At the halfway point I couldn't help notice in the young boy's body language a reluctance to finish the race as he veered off-course running straight for the car-park yelling: "No more! No more! But Dad somehow convinced him to carry on. And carry on and finish they did. Well done that lad for listening to your pyjama-clad Dad!

Well done to all the runners today. It was an endurance. Chill factor was high and at times fun factor was low. But deep down. Deep deep down you enjoyed it. Possibly. And you'll be back for more. And with the rumour of spring on the way we shan't see the likes of that weather for a while.

First in was Mark Sweeney in 21:11. Best age grade score (66.81%) was Richard Evans in 3rd place who runs for Hercules Wimbledon AC. Great to see a dozen first timers today including a good contingent from the Wimbledon & Sutton area. Do come again. It's not always like this.

Well done the junior runners, Noushka Summerfield, her 2nd appearance, Sunday Bovill-Bellieni, on her 10th run (double figures!), and 10 year-old Max Warrack, who has to be the pyjama-wearing snow warrior mentioned earlier (apologies if I've got name's wrong). Big shout to race director, Ben Le Rougetel, and also Charlie Le Rougetel, now just 1 short of 150 runs. Thanks as ever to all the volunteers not least the wonderful Marion and Fraser making possible once again the post-run delights of the TVH House of Tea & Flapjacks.

Andrew Roche


If you'd like to get involved in volunteering at the Wormwood Scrubs parkrun, please email wormwoodscrubshelpers@parkrun.com and check
 http://www.parkrun.org.uk/wormwoodscrubs/futureroster/ .

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wormwood Scrubs parkrun Results Page.


April 3, 2018