RUN REPORT "From the Edge of the Saddle"
Aberdeen parkrun #371, September 15, 2018
Early Saturday morning I hopped on my bike & headed down to Aberdeen Beach. I was signed up as "Lead Bike" on the volunteer roster & wanted to pre-ride the course before reporting for duty. As I rode along the top promenade, an amazing serenity greeted me. Aberdeen Beach was putting on quite the show. The North Sea was flat calm. The air was still. The temperature was just right.
I could feel it in the air....a glorious PB kind of day was about to unfold for the Aberdeen parkrunners.
But more about that later...
AT THE FIRST
The Lead Bike role tasks the rider to lead out the front runners along the 5k route & forewarn other promenade users that a herd of parkrunners are on their way. As usual, I positioned myself a good distance ahead of the Start Line so as not to be "swarmed" by the herd once they launched. It is amazing how quickly they ramp up their speed from zero to full-tilt. For future Lead Bikers, my best starting advice is to put a bit of space between you & the Start Line. Once everyone is up & "running" you'll get a sense of their speed & can position yourself a safe distance ahead. Let the front runners have you in their sight, but balance it off with giving yourself enough time to alert other prom users that the runners are coming. It comes in handy to have a bell on your bike to give warning. Never underestimate the power of having a ding~a~ling on the bike. When approaching other prom users I usually shout out "Lots of Runners Coming". For a touch of parkrun PR, toss in a smile & a wave, for good measure. Since parkrun doesn't have exclusive use of the prom, the Lead Bike volunteer can act as an ambassador easing the way for the herd of runners in tow.
Soon after the outset, 2 runners were at the forefront. Each time I glanced over my shoulder, this dynamic duo were in striking distance of each other. I sped up just before the halfway mark so I could bank some time to stop for a quick "Hello" to the Marshal. At this point, I usually pause long enough for the front runner to be just metres away before I launch myself down the ramp onto the lower prom. It was at the half way point that I realized a gap had opened between the 2 front runners. The race was on. Not that parkrun is a race, but let's admit it, many are running for time & clearly for the front runners it was all about the tick~tock. The next 2k zipped by & I found myself at the end of the lower prom letting Marshal Kirsty know that the runners were on their way. I waited at the top of "the chute" for the front runner to come around the corner & then it was time for the last...
500 metres to go.
Would the 2 front runners come back together to duke it out?
Time would tell...
On the run down to the finish I got closer to the front runner to shout encouragement. I'm always tentative about cheering at this point. The last thing a front runner might want to hear is someone rolling along effortlessly on 2 wheels shouting words of encouragement. But, I threw caution to the wind & cheered him on. I just couldn't help myself! It was all so exciting! It all ended with a solo dash over the line with the 2nd place finisher Andrew Love just a few seconds back at 16:57.
But who was our mystery 1st Finisher?
NO BARCODE, NO TIME, NO EXCEPTIONS
Didn't the 1st Finisher have a barcode? Or did he forget to bring it? Or perhaps he just didn't want his time recorded... Shucks. Inquiring minds want to know who this speed star was! It's always nice to record a name to a time no matter what the placement. Maybe next time, Mr. Mystery Man?
Finishing an impressive 8th in the field of 292 parkrunners, our first female finisher was Hannah Cameron crossing the line in 18:48 with a PB as an added bonus! Double congrats!!
It's fabulous to see so many juniors taking on the challenge of the 5k distance.
Congratulations to these juniors finishing first in the following categories:
JW10: Mia McDermid 31:25
JW11-14: Lauren Bibby: 23:32
JW15-17: Janani Mohan: 20:37
JM10: Saghun Bhandari: 31:16
JM11-14: Alasdair Nunn: 20:03
JM15-17: Hamish Brown: 18:18 (tying his previous PB!)
Not all the firsts unfold at the first. "Firsts" are scattered throughout the field through the various categories. A special shout out to Ann Gallon who in a time of 19:48 established a new Aberdeen parkrun record in the VW40-45 category. This was also a PB for Ann! In addition, she topped the day's field with her Age Grade % with a magical 80.22%! Banner day all around! Wonder if we can convince Ann to share her secrets of success...
29 First Timers picked the perfect day to visit Aberdeen parkrun. With the weather offering up great parkrunning conditions, we hope you enjoyed! We welcomed parkrunners indulging in a spot of parkrun tourism, whilst some were embarking upon their very first parkrun ever. No matter what the story, we hope you all had fun & we hope to see you back soon.
With pretty much perfect run conditions on offer, the scene was set for all those chasing a PB. 61 of our 292 parkrunners dashed across the finish line with a PB. Kudos to each & every one of you.
You'll find "Team PB" & everyone else's results at:
At the cafe apres parkrun....I took great pleasure in chatting with Shona & Kristi. Both were anxiously awaiting their parkrun results to come through on their phones to confirm their PBs. Their anticipation was contagious & I found myself getting giddy with excitement as I joined in the wait.
If RD Graham felt extra sets of eyes frequently glancing over at him whilst he was processing the results, it wasn't just his imagination.
Tap, tap, tap...
When the notifications came through on their phones, Shona & Kristi were absolutely tickled pink. They were over the moon with excitement! In fact, I'm surprised victory dances didn't break out.
Even if your trusty Garmin says you've gotten a PB, it's not until your parkrun result announces the PB that it feels truly real!
I suspect these 2 gals might still be floating around on Cloud 9. Enjoy!
And in other celebrations...
Congratulations to junior Lauren Bibby for achieving her 10th parkrun! 9 of her parkruns were run at Aberdeen & 1 at nearby Ellon for a spot of local parkrun tourism.
THE BIG FIVE~0
Congrats to John Connelly, Janice Mitchell & Susan Darcy on completing your 50th parkruns.
Remember to claim your milestone T-shirts!
In other number fun ~ Saturday's parkrunner with the most parkruns under his belt was Mark Findlay with a grand total of 326. Mark is also a frequent volunteer at Aberdeen parkrun & is currently doing a stint in the Pre-Event Setup role. Merci, beaucoup for adding to your parkrun exploits by jumping into the volunteer pool! Speaking of which...
The merry band of volunteers donning high~vis vests to host this week's edition of Aberdeen parkrun were:
Adam SCRAGG • Alicea BAIN • Bryan MILLS • Carolyn SNEDDEN • Cynthia FRY • David HUNTER • Dorothy FOY • Emily MCKENZIE • Emma SUTHERLAND • Ese SCOTT • Graeme HAY • Graham SNEDDEN • Kirsty Charlotte FORBES • Laura MCPHERSON • Mark FINDLAY • Mark MCDONALD • Paul Kevin WEBSTER • Rohit SONI • Yvonne MILLMAN
Thank-you to Run Director Extraordinaire Graham Snedden & this fab team for volunteering. We're always keen to add new volunteers into the mix so don't be shy, give it a try! Check out our future volunteer rosters at:
Though our First Finisher was "Unknown", our 2nd Finisher Andrew Love dashed across the line in a time of 16:57. By 55:11 the tail end of the field were shepherded in by Tail Walker Laura.
Aberdeen parkrun #371 was now done & dusted.
Let's check out:
THE BIG PICTURE
As of September 15, 2018, here's the scoop:
Number of events: 371
Number of first finishers: 250
Average number of runners per week: 194.8
Average run time: 27:03
Female Record Holder: Nicola Gauld - 17:04- Event 21 (25/02/12)
Male Record Holder: Myles Edwards - 15:08 - Event 190 (02/05/15)
Age Grade Record Holder: Carolyn Milne - 96:37% - 19:18 - Event 294 (08/04/17)
Number of runners: 9872
Number of clubs: 535
Average number of runs per runner: 7.3
Total hours run: 3 Years, 262 Days, 9 Hours, 25 Minutes, 14 Seconds
Number of runs: 72,260
Number of PBs: 13,257
Biggest attendance: 406
Total distance run: 361,300 km
FROM THE EDGE OF THE SADDLE
To see how Aberdeen parkrun unfolds from the front of the field, give the Lead Bike role a whirl. If you're hesitant about staying ahead of the front runner, check out the course record (currently 15:08) and pre-ride the course to see what kind of pace you'd have to do to keep within that time. This will give you a gauge as to if you're fast enough to take on the Lead Bike role. It's a fascinating vantage point from which to experience the event. As a 16 time Lead Bike veteran, I highly recommend!