The leap day parkrun – Taking the leap back to running!

Wycombe Rye leap day parkrun
[Wycombe Rye leap day parkrun – photo by Runiversity of life]
For the first time in parkrun history, a leap day had fallen on a Saturday…or what many of us call ‘parkrunday’. The next opportunity will have to wait for February 29th 2048! With that in mind, I thought, what better way to kickstart my running again with a plod at my local parkrun.

The weather had been pretty foul. Many parkruns across the country were cancelled due to the poor conditions or with safety in mind. It was touch and go at Wycombe Rye, but in the end, they gave the green light. Leap day parkrun was a go!

I have run Wycombe Rye parkrun before (my first ever parkrun). Therefore, for this write-up, I will not be focusing so much on the route. For more info on the course take a read of my previous Wycombe Rye review and recap from May 2019.

As it was my first run in several months, I decided I would take it very easy with a 5-minute run, 5-minute walk. The briefing took place, and everyone then headed to the starting point.

There didn’t seem to be any significant changes to the course/route layout from what I could see – just a fair amount of mud and puddles!

I know some parkruns had planned to mark the occasion by reversing the running route and people running it backwards. Hashtags of #nurkrap (parkrun backwards) were floating around on social media.

Wycombe Rye leap day parkrun #parkpaddle
[Wycombe Rye leap day parkrun #parkpaddle – photo by Rajith De Silva]
I didn’t see anyone who dressed up or disguised as a frog to mark the occasion! It was definitely perfect conditions to hop around in the wet.

In certain parts of the route the River Wye was flowing over the paths. For instance, at one place the water formed an ankle-deep pond. You either had to run around it or be adventurous enough to run straight through it! Perhaps, you could have called the run #parkpaddle as opposed to #parkrun.

Wycombe Rye Paddling Pool
[Wycombe Rye Paddling Pool – photo by Ron Goodearl, © BFP]
What’s interesting to know, is that many years ago (before my time), next to the river was a mini weir that filled a paddling pool. In fact, it was pretty much on the exact path we were running on.

Apparently, there was also a mini steam train which ran around the perimeter of the children’s play area. The play area remains and has since been upgraded – unfortunately the steam train no longer exists.

Pacers were present from the local running club Hazlemere Runners. I imagine, it was probably quite challenging conditions for them to keep time in the mud and puddles. Hats off to the pacers – a sterling effort!

On my way around, it was nice to hear a few words of encouragement from a couple of fellow club members, especially, as I had not seen them or run for several months. Thank you, much appreciated!

On the return loop of the course, as the river was so high, marshals had to stand in wellies marking the edge of the path. You could not see the edge at all, and if you didn’t know the course and the marshals hadn’t been there, you could have easily ended up taking a plunge. That would have been more of a #parkswim.

Eventually, I completed the run, albeit, a little soggy and splattered with mud. I forgot to take a leap but no doubt a few runners did celebrate the unique occasion by leaping over the finish line!


Adopting a gentle 5-minute run, 1-minute walk approach, I finished with a time of 45:41 in position 344.


Check out my other races and parkrun recaps and reviews.

#parkrun #leapdayparkrun #wycomberyeparkrun

@runiversitylife #runiversityoflife #runiversitylife

The leap day parkrun – February 29, 2020
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