2018 was a classic year for parkrun in Scotland for a number of reasons not least that 10 new events, located from Dumfries to Shetland, were introduced in the course of the 12 months.
One 2018 arrival Lanark Moor celebrated its first birthday in style on Saturday (10 August) with a record turnout, a party atmosphere and lots of celebratory cake.
A field of 128 tested themselves against Lanark's challenging course and enjoyed a warm-up spin around the loch before the ups and downs of the woodland sections. They were inspired by the scenic and varied course and the support of an enthusiastic team of marshals.
Two youthful volunteers offered high 5s at the summit of one tough woodland incline and powered up runners for the rest of the course. Despite the big turnout no times under 20 minutes were recorded although Scott Henderson acted as the guide to collect Token No.1 on 20:18. Motherwell AC's Joanne Clark (23:45) was quickest female and veteran Cambuslang Harrier Brian Hughes (76:18%) took the age grade honours.
Tailwalker John Nelson was the last to be 'clicked' home on 51:26.
Post-race event director Derek Aitken told runABC Scotland: "Today was the culmination of a very successful, and rewarding, year. We've build up a brilliant team at Lanark Moor parkrun and, although we're a comparatively small event with an average of 60 runners, we have been able to call on 142 volunteers in the course of the last 12 months.
"There was a terrific buzz today for our 50th event but there has been a great spirit since day one."
One runner who PB'ed on Saturday was Laura McDonald (25:24). The local woman said: "I was pleased to lower my best time at Lanark but made the mistake of going off too fast with our club coach Donnie Cartwright. I didn't leave enough in the tank for the tough woodland section. But it was a great morning - brilliant crowd and beautiful course."
Saturday's field was a good mix of regulars, parkrun tourists including Frenchman Frederick Leroux and eight first-timers.
Happy birthday Lanark Moor parkrun - let's hope your second year is as good as your first!
Image courtesy Lanark Moor parkrun