After a week-long downpour and events getting cancelled left, right and centre, the weather was always going to be the talk of the town this week. Waking up and looking out my window to grey skies and muddy puddles in my driveway I knew that the Delta (home of South African parkrun) faithful would not disappoint and I wasn’t wrong.
Upon arrival just before 7am I was greeted by the Run Director as well as a host of newly developed dams. A quick course check revealed a flooded bridge at the 1 km mark and, surprisingly, only patches of mud here and there. The hills were finally working to our advantage: the drainage of the park was spectacular!
7:30am and the cars began to stream in. As a car parking marshal I was quickly reassured that we won’t get the regular attendance of over 1,000 enthusiastic parkrunners, but it was clear that a little bit of mud and imminent possibly of rain wasn’t going to scare the regulars and tourists away.
Soon a small group started to form under the trees, most looking to the skies, others taking a walk to take pictures of the rivers and dams that had formed where the overflow car park used to be. Locals talking about 90ml to 100ml of rain in a couple of hours overnight, others’ gauges had just reached capacity "and some".
At about 7:45am, with 100-odd runners at the starting point, the Run Director made the call to run the course in reverse to avoid congestion over the narrow bridges at the 1 km mark. As the rain began to fall and we started getting word of even more cancellations rolling in across the country, we were reassured that Delta doesn’t just cancel for a bit of rain!
We were called to the start at 7:55 and it's like the parkrun gods knew and the rain stopped just in time with a 3, 2, 1 and we were off!!
Starting up the hill is never easy. Patches of mud here and there – the course had taken the rain well. The athletes that did steeplechase in school clearly had the advantage as two hopped passed me crossing where the road used to be.
The scenery coming down the hill overlooking the park was a great change and I definitely think the course should be run in reverse more often. All went well till the 4 km bridge, at stages knee deep, followed by slippery mud going up the hill with wet heavy shoes wasn't easy and I am sure most came to the same conclusion as me that it was better just to walk up it.
Getting cheered in by the volunteers, most of whom had been standing in the rain all morning, excited parkrunners claiming their first ever top 50 or top 100 because today surely wasn’t a day for PBs!
It was an honour to join the Delta team and I would like to thank the volunteers and organisers as well as the sponsors for another successful, satisfying Saturday morning out with the parkrun family
16 February 2019