A thought from Ashton Court – My parkrun Report

 

Four hundred and fifty walkers, joggers and runners took part in Ashton Court’s 363rd parkrun on Saturday. We welcomed local parkrunners, as well as runners whose home courses are as far afield as Hagley parkrun in Christchurch, New Zealand (Robyn Calvert) and Karkarook parkrun in Melbourne, Australia (Mary Harper). There were many other parkrun “tourists” this week, including representatives from Falls parkrun in Belfast, Castlehaven parkrun in County Cork and Sewerby parkrun in East Yorkshire – we hope you come and visit us again soon!

 

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Just a few of Saturday's brilliant team of volunteers, including 3 who had never volunteered before. Thank you! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Having come back from a lovely trip to Copenhagen on Friday evening, there was a part of me that wanted to switch off my alarm and snooze into the early afternoon hours. However, I’m glad I had a modicum of willpower as the energy and atmosphere that surrounds Ashton Court parkrun (as well as the promise of bacon and eggs to follow) made the early start worthwhile. It felt like a warm welcome back, and a good way to ward off the holiday blues. Harder to rouse from repose, however, was my initially reluctant other half, Chris, whose first parkrun this was (one of 23 first timers this week). He agreed to come with me to offer insight for my run report, and praised it all highly, saying he “loved every minute…well except for the first two and a half kilometres”. He’ll be back to tackle the incline soon, I’m sure!

 

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Helen Phillips and Sarah Slocombe, two of the morning's first time ever parkrunners. Pushing the sleeping child is Richard Edwards (possibly for the first time?) and behind Richard is Marie Bailey, running her 49th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

The flurry of different coloured sports gear, denoting different running clubs, events, and of course the highly coveted milestone t shirts – runners and volunteers alike - make for a great display, this week brilliantly captured by Rich Kenington and Geoff Keogh.

 

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It's not every day we see a centipede at Ashton Court, but Kelly Dicks and John Cox made sure we saw this one! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

As always, some navigated the notoriously steep course on two legs and some on four, although the latter – who I like to call the barkrunners - often err away from the course to the inviting oasis-like pond in the hotter months for a refreshing dip before re-joining the crowd post-swim. This week, however, was the first week we’ve been joined by a one-hundred-legged creature, the running centipede! Formed of proud family and friends dressed in green, the centipede was headed up by Kelly Dicks and John Cox, who were both celebrating their 100th parkrun! Alongside these two milestone marvels, we had Dexter Dickinson and Olly Hawkins joining the junior 10 Club and Vanessa Redmond and Gerard Watson joining the 250 Club, so celebrations all round!

 

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250 parkruns each and smiling more than ever! Vanessa Redmond and Gerard Watson have some sort of purpley lilacy thing going on (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

One four legged creature I wouldn’t want to forget is Ashton Court’s very own “Wild at Heart Gromit” who, alongside over sixty other sculptures around the city, forms part of the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail. Sitting outside the Ashton Court Mansion's front door, "Wild at Heart", together with "Deerest Gromit" at the foot of the hill on the Bower Ashton campus, welcomes all with his majestic, yet aloof stance and will be looking forward to seeing many familiar faces at next Saturday’s 364th event for even more miles and milestones!

 

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One of the classic views of Ashton Court, with the barcode scanners ready and waiting for their first customers, and "Wild at Heart Gromit" looking on (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Report by Tori Billson

 

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This week's first time parkrun report writer Tori Billson gives us a wave, as does Robyn Calvert, our visitor from Hagley parkrun in Christchurch, New Zealand, (photo: 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.

Rich Kenington and Geoff Keogh were our mobile photographers this weekend, and you can find their photos, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

It’s parkrunfest!

 

Summertime is festival time. Following last week’s Dogfest, this week saw Bikefest at Ashton Court, meaning that parkrun number 362 was run over the B course. This allowed two goes at the steepest part of the hill, with no increase in the entry fee. On this B course run, a special mention goes to Benedict Bradwell, the only participant with the initials BB.

 

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Joe Ellis takes our "what took you so long" award, having run 290 parkruns elsewhere before finally popping in to see us! Close behind, on the left, in her first parkrun, is Rosalind Hobbs, and alongside is Emma Withers, running her 294th parkrun. 3 parkrunners, 586 parkruns! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

As usual, this parkrun was only made possible by the 26 volunteers. Cecilia Browne and Mike Graham were each volunteering for the 25th time, earning the coveted purple (officially, aubergine) shirts.

 

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Volunteering for the 25th time, and recording everyone else's time, is Cecilia Browne. Co-Run Director (and our volunteer coordinator for the next 6 weeks) Janet O'Connell is just behind Cecilia, noting down some sample times to help with result processing later on (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

A total of 51 people ran at Ashton Court for the first time, having previously run elsewhere and, as usual, we welcomed visitors from a number of other parkruns. Amongst these were Judith McKenna, from Harrogate; the Gibbs family, who normally run at Frimley Lodge parkrun in Surrey; and Joe and Charlotte Ellis, and Andes Geiger, from Sheffield, who have run a total of 818 times between them. Deborah Ellis, who usually runs at Beckenham Place parkrun, was running for the 197th time. Furthest travelled may be Leon and Louise Bezuidenhout, who usually run at the Big Bay parkrun in Cape Town South Africa.

 

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A long way to travel for a 5k, but we think Ashton Court's worth the effort, and we hope Louise and Leon Bezuidenhout agree (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

There was also a special visit from Devon, with Alison and David Engledew, who both ran in Ashton Court parkrun number 1, returning. Alison was running her 300th parkrun, with 250 of them at Ashton Court. David and Alison were part of a 13 strong contingent from Erme Valley Harriers.

 

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Good to have Alison Engledew's smile back on the hillside. Just behind is Alison Leonard, whose home event is Osterley parkrun but has run most of her parkruns here at AC this year. Chasing both Alisons are an unknown Scottish runner, Liz Hill and Craig Brown (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

As well as Alison’s 300th run, we also celebrated Ness Collenette’s 150th, and Sue Williams' 50th parkrun, which actually took place at Lanhydrock parkrun last week, but it's nice to celebrate our friends' achievements when we can.

 

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Still wearing her 50 club t-shirt is Ness Collenette, in this her 150th parkrun. Alongside Ness is Robert Fitzpatrick, running his first parkrun (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

28 people were running their first parkrun, and 7 of them were graduating from the Chew Valley Snails' Couch to 5k programme.

 

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Here are Sarah Isom and Ann Gillard, two of the Chew Valley Snails running their first parkrun after completing a Couch to 5k programme (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

30 returning runners recorded personal best times, with Mike Holding breaking 20 minutes for the first time, Andrew Tarrant beating the personal best that he set in 2013, and, by way of contrast, Lewis Lazenby recording his fourth personal best of the month. Catherine Davies ran her first parkrun on New Year’s Day and has now improved her best time 9 times in her 14 subsequent runs, going under 35 minutes for the first time.

 

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Mike Holding won't have seen our B course before as he ran his first parkrun in November last year. He probably quite likes it, having run under 20 minutes for the first time in a parkrun (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

The first finisher was Mark Ducker, achieving that feat for the fourth time, with Eliot Haimes second and Robert Yates third. First female finisher was Emma Lake, one of the visiting Erme Valley Harriers, with Ellen Raymond second, running two minutes faster than on her first visit here last week, and Deb Yates third, in her first parkrun.

 

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We're always thrilled to see someone return for their 2nd parkrun, and there were 12 who did so this week. Ellen Raymond did a little more than that, finishing 2nd, 2 minutes quicker than on her first visit. Just behind Ellen is Charlotte Ellis, visiting us for the first time and finishing 4th with the pleasing time of 22:22 (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Of course, those of us of a certain age pay more attention to the age grades, and the highest scorers here were Anne Dockery, who beat the 80% mark, Michael Coupe, and Carol O’Leary.

 

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Our second 25 time volunteer of the morning, Michael Graham, scanning Emma Cordeaux's barcode (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

The only remaining question is: on the B-course, what does the “B” stand for? You may need to say this out loud, David ~ it stands for "B course we love parkrun" ~ ed

 

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Up from Devon - between them this group have completed over 1,700 parkruns, and the one with the most, is Alison Engledew, in the green, who contributes 300 to the total (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

A quick reminder of our next Ashton Court social evening, or Never Mind the Barcodes, as we like to call it. As you may know, we've been meeting once a month in the evening, for a chat, a meal or a drink (although any of the three are optional), for almost 2 years. Sometimes it's on a Thursday evening, sometimes a Friday, and lately we've been trying out different pubs. On Thursday we're making our second visit to the Lamplighters, a famous old pub which is the other side of Portway from Shirehampton, beside the River Avon. We'll be there from around 6.30 onwards, and the postcode is BS11 9XA. It's very close to Shirehampton railway station. There's an event set up for it in Facebook.

Do come and join us if you can, it's nice to have an opportunity to speak to one another for a little longer than we manage at parkrun, and as you might have guessed, you won't need your barcode.

 

Report by David O'Connell

 

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.

Geoff Keogh took advantage of the B course to give his photos of us an unusual background, and you can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

the sunshine of your smiles

 

What a beautiful morning ~ again. Once more we were fortunate to have a gorgeous bright and sunny parkrun morning. Possibly a little too warm for comfortable running, but it was great if, like me, you were taking photos. Having said that, the number of pbs achieved increased ever so slightly from the previous week ~ by half a per cent ~ although that could have been a consequence of people wanting to get out of the sunshine as quickly as they could?

 

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(photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Our numbers tell us that 414 of you came along and took part today, with 25 volunteers making sure everyone was safe, recording times, scanning barcodes and all the other tasks that need to be fulfilled. Of those 414, 71 ran faster than they ever had done before here at Ashton Court. Another 22 were running their first ever parkrun, whilst 38 established parkrunners were visiting Ashton Court parkrun for the first time. We'll find out later who receives our prestigious "what took you so long" award a little later.

 

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What a wonderful start to the weekend (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Two-timing ~ there were 18 parkrunners running their second ever parkrun today. Emma Mullen and Samuel Hague were running here for the first time, having coincidentally (or perhaps not) both run their first event at York's Heslington parkrun last month. Daniel Withecombe, Jessica Davey and Roy Pemberton had all run a parkrun for the first time here last week, and Denise Leach and Helen Walters had run their first events here 2 weeks ago. The best "welcome back" of the day, in fact probably ever, here at Ashton Court, was to Jennifer Stevenson, whose first event was our 13th, way back in 2011. Well done for running a pb, Jennifer, and please don't leave it until our 709th event before coming back to see us again!

 

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Great to see Jennifer Stevenson back with us (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Maybe it's a buggy thing? Our two first finishers today have spent much time in recent months pushing buggies up and down the hill. In fact Tim Ginns has spent much of the past 2 years doing so. Today, without that buggy, Tim finished 1st here for the 3rd time, and for the first time since January 2015. His time of 18:11 was just 4 seconds behind his pb, and as he ran past me on his way down the hill he panted "I'm getting too old for this". There's a few of us around who know that feeling, Tim.

Marie Malloy had run 207 parkruns here before finishing first for the first time, yet today was the 8th time she's been our first female. All 8 have happened since Marie gave birth to Matthew and began pushing him up and down the hill. Marie's now run here 217 times, and is, incidentally, just the second runner named Marie to finish first here.

Perhaps Tim's and Marie's examples might give some inspiration to the 6 or 7 buggy pushers, and the 3 mums carrying really small babies, we saw this morning.

 

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"I'm getting too old for this" ~ yes, we can all see that, Tim (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Getting faster ~ congratulations to those 71 who achieved personal bests. parkrun number 13 wasn't unlucky for Jo Coburn, who reduced her pb by 17 seconds, and is inching (or should that be millimetring?) towards getting round in less than 60 minutes.

We were joined by 12 of the ironically named Chew Valley Snails today and they enjoyed the sunshine. To name but four of them, Sarah Hext beat 32 minutes for the first time, Pip Boye did the same to 28 minutes, Anne Kirby and Claire Durrant were first time parkrunners.

 

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Here's Sarah Dodge enjoying that pb feeling (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Sarah Dodge had a great run, 53 seconds faster than before and below 29 minutes for the first time. Lisa Campbell usually runs at Market Harborough parkrun and, visiting us for the 9th time ran her 7th pb here, finishing 106 seconds quicker than last time.

Towards the front of the field, Tony Myers was 27 seconds faster with his time of 22:10 and Derek Burgess improved by 1 second with his first pb for 40 parkruns.

 

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You almost knew Tony Myers was going to run a pb from the expression on his face (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

We enjoy sharing our beautiful setting with our parkrun visitors. I do hope you all enjoyed your first Ashton Court experience and that we see you again soon. It was particularly good for me, as an East Yorkshireman, to say a very swift "hello" to the Eastwood family from Pocklington as they dashed towards the first-timers' briefing. Paul Eastwood has now run 145 parkruns, Eleanor 127, Dan 131 and Abbie 117 (that's 520 between them). Wonder what they do the rest of the week? Before today we'd only ever had one visitor from Pocklington Runners ~ now we've had 5. The Eastwoods' home events are Heslington and York parkruns.

From a little further north came Dave Waddington, from Northallerton parkrun. Sandra and Mark Stockford visited from Yeovil Montacute parkrun, Paul and Ann Williams from Tamar Trails parkrun, and James and Alice Addison from Colchester Castle parkrun. Our "what took you so long" award this week goes to Simon Evans, from Southwick Country Park parkrun, who ran 168 other parkruns before finding his way to Ashton Court.

 

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East meets north ~ the East Riding's Eleanor Eastwood alongside Dave Waddington, representing the North Riding. Hard on their heels is Nicholas Watts, about to achieve his 5th pb in the 8 AC parkruns he's taken part in since April (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Today at AC, 11 parkrunners ran their 11th parkrun. Of that happy band, Kenneth Cox and Frank James have run all 11 here, whilst Alex Rees, Rachel Conway, Leanne Tripp Edwards and Eithne Hackett have all strayed only once (to Pomphrey Hill, MUSA Cookstown, Eastville and Bath Skyline parkruns respectively).

Our 361st finisher at our 361st event was Roy Pemberton, and as 361 is a semi-prime number, divisible only by 19, our 19th finisher was Joey Hunter. Both Roy and Joey were running their second AC parkrun and both ran faster than last time.

 

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Joey Hunter, running his 2nd parkrun, followed by Michael Hordon, about to convert his pb from 20:53 to 20:35 (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

33 of our finishers today were juniors. Sadly there were no 18-19 year olds, and the most "popular" age band was the 30-34 category ~ 48 finishers are that young! And our most experienced parkrunner, if not necessarily in terms of parkruns completed, was Michael Coupe, representing the 80-84 category.

 

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Hats off to Michael Coupe, our most senior runner of the day, accompanied here by one runner with no barcode, and in blue, Eric Bryant, who would finish over a minute faster than he had before at AC (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

We celebrated some landmark runs today. The first achieved was Tom White's second attempt at completing 150 parkruns (he forgot his barcode last time). He was assisted by Brodie, skillfully navigating from his buggy. Next came David Plester, to finish his 50th parkrun. David's run more often at Colby parkrun and it was nice to have him come home for his milestone.

Our third milestone was achieved by one of our juniors, Benjamin Lewis, who completed his 7th parkrun here and his 10th overall. And our final landmark achiever, perhaps appropriately, was the one who's taken longest to get there. Pat Parr began her parkrun adventure at Bushy Park in 2010, when Ashton Court parkrun was just a small seed of an idea in a few folks' minds. Pat completed her 50th parkrun this morning, her 19th here on the hill.

Congratulations to all four of you.

 

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Wearing a big smile and a big clue as to which of her parkruns this may be ~ congratulations to Pat Parr. 40 parkruns behind is Sharon Eaves ~ good to see her running again after a few injury-induced walks (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Come and say "hello" ~ some of you may know that we've been meeting once a month in the evening, for a chat, a meal or a drink (although any of the three are optional), for almost 2 years now. Sometimes it's on a Thursday evening, sometimes Friday, and lately we've been trying out different pubs. On Thursday July 5th we're making our second visit to the Lamplighters, a famous old pub which is the other side of Portway from Shirehampton, beside the River Avon. We'll be there from around 6.30 onwards, and the postcode is BS11 9XA. It's very close to Shirehampton railway station. There's an event set up for it in Facebook.

Do come and join us if you can, it's nice to have an opportunity to speak to one another for a little longer than we manage at parkrun, and you won't need your barcode.

 

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Simon Evans ~ winner of the "what took you so long to get here" award, after running 168 other parkruns before dropping in to see us! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

parkrun is for everyone, that's one of the founding principles. But we expect everyone to conform to social norms, and to dress and behave appropriately. One of the guidelines that photographers at parkrun have to follow reads: "appropriate clothing​: Only use images of people in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use, e.g. no pictures of people in swimwear."

We believe that the same guideline extends to those taking part in parkrun, and that it's inappropriate to do so without a shirt, a vest or some sort of top on. So we were dismayed when we realised that a small group of male participants had started the run wearing very little, and certainly no tops. If any of that group should read this, please dress more appropriately next time. If this makes those of us on the core team at Ashton Court parkrun seem old and out of touch, well, maybe some of us are, but we're not going to apologise for it. We would, however like to apologise to anyone else who was with us today who was disappointed, upset or offended by the group's behaviour.

 

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It was a lovely surprise to see David and Yvette Thair come back to see us, having moved away in May last year (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Next Saturday we share Ashton Court estate with 2 other events, and we will be running our "B" course for the first time in 2 years. Not only that, but car park spaces are likely to be scarce, as 2 of the 3 car parks we use are unavailable to us.

Bikefest is taking place on the hillside, and inparticular up on the plateau. We understand that their visitors will be using the Church Lodge car park at the Long Ashton end of the estate. An activity called FootGolf is being launched in the Golf Course car park on the same morning, so it looks as if only the Mansion car park will be open to us. Please offer friends a lift to parkrun, or cycle, walk, jog, or catch the bus.

 

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(photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Have a great week, and see you next time. May your barcode go with you.

 

Report by Rich Kenington

 
 

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(photo: 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.

That Rich Kenington took a walk on the hillside with his camera, and you can find his photos, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

Nebuchadnezzar, and 360 circles

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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).

 

Thank you, NHS

 

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Today was #NHS70 day at many UK parkruns. This was one of the images we used to promote our event at Ashton Court. Click here to find the original photo (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I started writing this run report after I volunteered earlier in the week. How on earth was I going to write a report when my non work outpourings are confined to Twitter as some of you may well know. The NHS has been in existence for nearly 70 years and I manage a Bristol GP practice, so I am pleased to be run reporter for the 359th event where 483 of you turned up to run, jog or walk. We had 30 high viz heroes who volunteered and made the event a success. There were 75 first timers today many of whom work in the local NHS, 69 people managed a PB so well done to you.

 

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Just a few of the morning's wonderful team of volunteers - thank you all (photo: John O'Brien)

 

When I arrived at the start my fellow volunteers were involved in last minute preparations. We quickly moved into the briefing for first time runners and those new to our Hill. We then all gathered in one large group under the Tree to hear co-Run Director Linda Woodburn tell us all about the run, the course, nesting birds and keeping to left. We were reminded about the NHS's founding figure Nye Bevan to whom we all owe a great debt. Francesca Knapper, who was one the lynchpins of today's parkrun, talked to us about the NHS and why we were all here.

 

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Diane Fuller is one of the huge number of us with good reason to be grateful to the NHS ~ and yes, we even found ourselves on the television news in the evening (photo: John O'Brien)

 

We moved off to the start and away we went. I ran slightly slower than usual if that's possible, just to spot faces and to focus on the event, rather than getting up that hill as quick as I can. I saw Nurses, Doctors, Pharmacists, managers from the local clinical commissioning group, and a Dentist taking photographs of us. All around me were lots of people having fun with friends or friends to be.

 

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Emma Withers and Alice Walker had a great morning, always smiling, handing out the finish tokens, and weren't in the least put out when they found the comedy "token not in numerical order", but just carried on smiling (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

On top of the plateau it was quite warm and we soon encountered runners in the zone focusing on their way down the hill. The run down the hill was a pleasure and my pack of 27-28 minute runners finished, some attempting sprint finishes akin to Mirits Yifter at the 1980 Moscow Olympics (aka Yifter the Shifter). The barcode scanners did their job and the finish area was full of happy people basking in the gentle sunshine discussing the run and all feeling good about life.

 

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On the left is Dave Wintle, celebrating his recent birthday by taking our course record for the VM65-69 category, running 7 seconds quicker than John Thompson did at event #275. Close behind is Ellis Mizen, visiting us for the first time since he ran here several times in spring last year (photo: John O'Brien)

 

There were two landmark runs yesterday, Paul Wilcox who ran his 200th run and Richard Haines who achieved his 100th run, congratulations to both of them. Paul Dodd was visiting us for the first time, and ran his 50th parkrun in the process.

 

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Maggie Hurley enjoyed the sunshine, and was close to her pb. Behind Maggie, Richard Haines was a little further from his pb but when you're running your 100th parkrun, it's good to relax and enjoy the moment (photo: John O'Brien)

 

First home was Alex Hadcock from the unusually named 'Sexy Walrus' club which was a new one on me. NHS runners are sprinkled throughout the finish list, some of whom are regulars and some new to parkrun. Hopefully all of the 75 new runners will be back to enjoy the park run experience. Special mention to Jim Gump who ended his unique challenge with us at Ashton Court yesterday.

 

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Joanne Ashton (congratulations on your 50th run last week btw) and Rebecca Law give their work clothes some exercise, and Andrew Holliday makes the most of a photo opportunity once again (photo: John O'Brien)

 

We were all at parkrun yesterday to celebrate the NHS which looks after us all from the cradle to the grave and is free at the point of delivery. We had runners and volunteers from Hospitals, Community Services, GP practices and many other parts of the local NHS economy. Many of us hope that we are reasonably fit and healthy, the NHS is there to care for us when we need it. The NHS could do a bit more to fully embrace parkrun and other similar community events. The NHS does have a tendency to over medicalise things, and can learn from parkrun, which involves anyone registering just once, then, armed with their unique barcode, turning up and running, jogging or walking 5k. You are quickly welcomed into a special community in which you make new friends and have a sociable time exercising, which brings great health benefits.

 

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One of our first time visitors was Debbie Hobdell, who works for the NHS and was here with her husband Andy, celebrating her birthday! Debbie and Andy usually run at Hoblingwell parkrun in Kent. Many Happy Returns! (photo: John O'Brien)

 

The NHS has been here 70 years and parkrun which was started in 2004 has 56 years before it reaches its 70th birthday. Until next week . .

 

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Don't distract the photographer! John O'Brien took a great set of photos for us, just as he always does (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

If you missed the ITV Westcountry news report, you'll find a 2 dimensional version of it by clicking here

 

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A great photo of the morning's crocodile, winding it's way up that second short sharp steep bit. Our run report writer Ewan Cameron could well be in that crowd, but no prizes for finding him! (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Report by Ewan Cameron, GP Practice Manager and parkrunner

 

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.

John O'Brien and Geoff Keogh both took photos for us this weekend, John somewhere half way up (or down) the hill, and Geoff on his way up and down it. You can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

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