Runners beat weather at seafront parkrun

By Connor Steel

LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT parkrun organisers are celebrating their recent successes as they recorded over three hundred 5K finishers for the fourth weekend in successive either side of the New Year, despite the horrendous weather conditions of wind and persistent rain as runners beat the conditions that saw other sporting activities cancelled completely.

After a slow start to December, the final event before Christmas saw 310 runners complete the five kilometre course with this number only increasing over the festive period. Christmas Day saw a total of 419 runners, whilst New Year’s Day saw a total of 434 finishers on the course as people exercised before enjoying their planned festive activities.

But it will be last weekend’s figure that impresses organisers particularly given the stormy weathers seen on Saturday morning. On a flat surface there was 318 finishers for event 277, which did include twenty-five first time runners and fourteen breaking their personal bests on the track as they were cheered forward by thirty-one race volunteers.

The first person to reach the seafront finish point was Gosport Road Runners’ Luke Willis, who ran a course personal best time of 17 minutes and thirty one seconds. Stubbington Green Runners club-mates Tim Rolfe (17:55) and Brandon Chaplin (19:08) finished the top three runners, whilst fellow Stubbington team member Amie Morgan was the first female back in a time of 22:36.

And organisers will be hoping that they can continue this streak on Saturday morning, with a highly positive forecast compared to last weekend. According to early indications from the Met Office, the weather will be dry with average strength south-easterly breeze although it will be colder with temperatures hovering around freezing.

PICTURED BY CHRIS MOORHOUSE: Runners set off in rainy Lee-on-the-Solent last weekend as it continues it’s huge popularity either side of the festive period.