360 - such a pleasingly round number. As a round number it's been around for over 2,500 years, since during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar (no, I can't pronounce it either) in Babylon, mathematicians in that part of the world began to divide circles into 360 degrees. Here at Ashton Court we've had 107 parkruns with 360 finishers or more, but 17 of the participants in 360th position were unknown, and so we've had 90 people finish 360th, which is appropriate, given the relationship between circles and triangles.
Alice Doggrell plants our flag in the midst of some rather pleasing looking circles (photo: Sarah Jones)
More about Ashton Court parkrun and the number 360 later ~ first ~ here's what happened today . . or rather, what didn't happen ~ it didn't rain! Towards the end of the run we could see it raining over towards Dundry, but it didn't reach AC until shortly after we'd finished processing the results, just before 1 o'clock.
Here are our first two finishers, Simon Barrett and Chris Paulton (photo: Sarah Jones)
We saw 453 finishers today, more than those of us who stayed in the start/finish zone thought there were. I didn't think there were more than 400. The first 2 returned very quickly, Simon Barrett, from Richmond parkrun (elevation 164') and visiting us for the 5th time, ran a pb of 17:26, followed across the line 9 seconds later by Chris Poulton, who was visiting us for the first time from York parkrun. Given that York is one of the 7 flattest parkruns in the UK, with an elevation of just 9 feet, to come here, where the elevation is 327 feet, and run 17:35 was some achievement. Also visiting us for the first time was first female finisher was Rosemary Hurford, whose home run is Oxford parkrun (elevation 84'), in 20:28, followed 27 seconds later by Alex Moylett, celebrating her 50th parkrun with a pb.
First finishing female Rosemary Hurford running like she means it! (photo: Sarah Jones)
Carol O'Leary, who had run Burnham and Highbridge parkrun (elevation 36') 9 times before coming to see what the fuss about our hill was, achieved the day's highest age grade, 80.46%, in this her 6th run at AC. Carol's pb run saw her finish here faster then 25 minutes for the first time too.
Carol O'Leary chasing down an unknown runner (yes, we know it's George from Southville but he keeps forgetting his barcode) (photo: Sarah Jones)
Of our 453 finishers today, 29 were running parkrun for the first time ~ welcome to the family, I hope we'll see you all again soon. Another 40 were already parkrunners, but hadn't found their way to AC before today. The aforementioned Chris Paulton took the "What took you so long to get here?" award, having already run 251 parkruns elsewhere, closely followed by Robert Kent (from Oak Hill parkrun in East Barnett, elevation 83'), who had run 248 parkruns before his first visit to AC (enjoy your 250th next week, Robert, and thank you for your kind remarks about AC shortly after you finished).
One week shy of his 250th parkrun, Oak Hill parkrun's Robert Kent (photo: Sarah Jones)
Remarkably, three of our visitors had taken part in 116 parkruns before today: David Gilliland (from Belfast Victoria parkrun, elevation 12'), Nigel Osborne (Bath Skyline parkrun, 152') and Claire Booth (Woodhouse Moor parkrun in Leeds, 131'). We send our best wishes to Claire for her exciting impending "event". Conversely, the 5 parkrunners who completed their 116th parkruns today, Nash Msumba, Nick Jennings, Sarah Jones, Dan Schofield and Jonathan Hall, are all locals.
Sarah Jones (no relation) was one of the 5 parkrunners completing their 116th events. Tim Carr was running his 135th, and close behind, Rebecca Law her 59th (photo: Sarah Jones)
Other visitors included Wayne and Bridget Stapleton, from Bideford parkrun (elevation 17') ~ Howard Lancashire and Jo Coldicott, from Coventry parkrun (133') ~ Michael Twine and Caroline Parker, from Preston Park parkrun in Brighton (79') ~ Martha and Judith Berry, from South Manchester parkrun (34') ~ and Jonathan Parker and Dawn Funnell, from Windsor's Upton Court parkrun (30'). I've not been able to identify our visitors from South Africa and Australia. I hope all our first-time visitors enjoyed their first Ashton Court parkrun experience, and that you're able to come back and see us again soon.
Joy on the hillside - all visiting us for the first time from Sheffield Hallam parkrun were Elizabeth Ring, Sarah Ingram and Jemma Mickleburgh (photo: Sarah Jones)
Today's numbers also included 74 personal bests, which was great, and 43 people without barcodes, which wasn't so great. Of the finishers with a barcode, 230 were male, 180 female. 4 were members of the 250 club, 69 of the 100 club, 54 the 50 club and 9 the junior 10 club. 20 have volunteered 25 or more times. The most "popular" age group was 30-34, with 58 finishers. Roger Long was our most senior finisher, representing the 75-79s, and there were 34 juniors. Sadly there was only one 18-19 year old ~ so a round of applause for Lewis Long (no relation) for setting such a fine example to his peers, as well as for running a pb.
In the black 100 club t-shirt, Rob Sims would miss his pb by 1 second. Always next week, Rob! (photo: Sarah Jones)
Vanessa Lennie and Kirsten Fowler missed a pb by just 5 seconds, Sookhi Tuite by 4, Ian Tiley by only 2, and Rob Sims by just 1. Conversely, one of last week's #NHS70 volunteer team, Robert Brown, managed to run 1 second quicker than he had before. Another of last week's volunteer team, Jane Blazeby, was 23 seconds faster than her previous pb. Diana Dickerson hadn't run a pb for over 2 years until today, when she reduced her best by 21 seconds. Sara Weaver broke 31 minutes for the first time, with a 23 second improvement, and one of our juniors, Billie Stringer, was another who took 21 seconds off his best time here.
A great pb run by Diana Dickerson (photo: Sarah Jones)
Scott Maguire was quicker by 58 seconds, and Joanne Ashton celebrated her pb last week by running another one, and beat 29 minutes for the first time. Helen Colquhoun was 16 seconds better than before, Sue Williams 15 seconds, and Callum Moore 19 seconds.
Many congratulations to all these swift runners, and all those others who I've not been able to mention. Running faster than you ever did before, that's definitely something to be proud of.
6th, 4th and 5th places ~ Callum Moore, on his way to a pb ~ Howard Lancashire, visiting for the first time ~ Edmund Willatts, first finisher last time out (photo: Sarah Jones)
We can't all achieve pbs, but something else we can aspire to is membership of a parkrun t-shirt club. I've already mentioned Alex Moylett's 50th run, and not far behind was Ruth Tredgett, also running her 50th parkrun, her 28th here at home. Tracie Davey ran her 50th parkrun over 2 years ago, and this morning she completed her 150th parkrun, of which 139 have been in wonderful Ashton Court.
Enjoying a game of t-shirt snap are Tracie Davey, running her 150th parkrun and Tom Feilding, in his 89th (photo: Sarah Jones)
parkrun is often a family affair and today was no exception, as Jennifa Burgess became the second member of her family to complete 100 parkruns. Dad Derek has run 104, sister Simone has run 96, and mum Naina finished her 64th parkrun with a pb, beating 27 minutes for the first time. Another family had 3 milestones to celebrate. Yes they're Aussies, but they're our Aussies! Greg Condon and Lauren Russell began their parkrun adventure back home at Tuggeranong parkrun. They'd both run their 50th parkruns at AC, and today they both completed their 100th parkruns here which we think means they're not allowed to return to Australia, ever. Lauren's younger sister Evie ran her 10th parkrun, and middle sister Caitlin her 6th. Caitlin's a party girl and has missed a number of runs whilst helping to celebrate her friends' birthdays, but she'll catch up soon.
Ruth Tredget smiles her way to the finish of her 50th parkrun, Tom Leahy close behind (photo: Sarah Jones)
Great achievements by all of you - Congratulations! Alex, Ruth, Jennifa, Greg, Lauren and Evie will, we hope, soon have snazzy new parkrun club t-shirts to show off on their way up and down the hill.
The first ever 360th finisher at AC, Marcus Kropacsy, alongside Brian Robb in yellow (photo: Sarah Jones)
To return to number 360 ~ we've only had exactly 360 finishers here once, at our 355th event, when Sandra Jane Tanner was Tail Walker. Sandra is the only person to have finished 360th here 3 times, and remarkably, on the other two occasions, her times were almost exactly half of her Tail Walking time ~ 32:38 at event 326, 65:38 at event 355, and 32:02 at event 358. Only one person has finished 360th twice, that's Wendy Price, who displays almost metronomic consistency, with times of 31:40 at event 269 and 31:45 at event 313.
Ronald Yuen, pushing 2 cheerful looking youngsters, followed by two first-time parkrunners, Carl and Colin Sage (possibly son and father?) (photo: Sarah Jones)
Marcus Kropacsy was the first person to finish 360th, in our 200th event, followed the next Saturday by Judith Bury, who became the first female occupy that finish place here. 61 females and 29 males have finished 360th, 16 of whom have finished with a pb. 25 were first timers, of whom 5 haven't yet taken their barcode to another parkrun. But there's always next week for that.
A great shot of the start with Ashton Court mansion in the background (photo: Sarah Jones)
Only 3 parkrunners have finished 360th and beaten 30 minutes, and they all ran the same time! The first was junior Ishbel Bird, at event 300, followed 5 events later by Tim Hendy, and then the following week Miriam Doyle repeated the feat. Their time? 29:24. And that's probably enough for one day about Ashton Court parkrun and the number 360.
Jo Jordan gives us a wave, just ahead of Kate Livingston, who was about to finish 360th in our 360th event (photo: Sarah Jones)
Finally ~ thank you very much to those of you who have had nice things to say about Ashton Court parkrun in the last few days. It's always good to hear that we're managing to do the right things and do them well. For that all our volunteers deserve much praise ~ they make the role of Run Director very simple.
Have a good week, and may your barcode go with you
Having a laugh with some of the volunteer team before the runners joined us (photo: Sarah Jones)
Report by Rich Kenington
Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week’s event happen. Although AC parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you’d like to sign up as a volunteer, we’d love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via ‘manage my profile’ on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.
Don’t forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.
This week’s full results and course records are here.
We enjoyed Sarah Jones' company this morning and as always she took a great set of photos to remind us of our 360th event. You can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).