Ellenbrook parkrunners drenched but delighted as they celebrate Comet's day
PUBLISHED: 14:23 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:52 30 July 2019
Weather may have curtailed plans for a proposed air display but 249 runners and 25 volunteers defied the wet weather in Hatfield to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the maiden flight of the de Havilland Comet.
The aircraft transformed global air passenger travel and Hatfield Town Council had organised World Hatfield Week, consisting of a packed arts, cultural and sporting programme to celebrate its connection with the town.
And on the birthday of Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, the company founder, and John 'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham, the test pilot for the original Comet aircraft, every runner who finished the Ellenbrook Fields Parkrun were presented with a commemorative silver badge to mark the occasion.
Of those hardy souls that braved the torrential rain, 55 were running the Ellenbrook course for the very first time with 12 of those making their parkrun debut.
The event, started by Hatfield Town Mayor Linda Mendez, also featured several spot prizes donated by Taste It, Hatfield's Polish Restaurant, and solicitors Cleveland Scott York.
Joint run director for the day, Claire Drage, scooped the prize for the best fancy-dress outfit, suitably attired as an airline stewardess.
Since the inception of the run in May 2016 some 5,780 unique runners, representing over 430 clubs, have completed the course.
John O'Callaghan, director at the Herts Sports Partnership, the other run director on the day, said: "The parkrun movement in Hertfordshire is a growing one and there are now 15 parkruns across the county which provide a free, timed 5k run each Saturday morning at 9am.
"The event at Ellenbrook Fields has developed a reputation for a fast and friendly course given its location on a former airfield and due to both the welcome and expert organisation of its volunteers.
"This week was an excellent example of the outstanding work undertaken by those volunteers to ensure that others can get their weekends off to a healthy and active start.
"Despite the disappointment of the organisers having to cancel the intended air display, the rest of the event once again ran like clockwork, and we were delighted to have the Town Mayor with us."
Further details can be found at www.parkrun.org.uk/ellenbrookfields