Bright, blue, beautiful and beaming

 

Oh what a positively perfect parkrun morning! Bright sunshine, blue sky, beautiful surroundings and beaming parkrunners.

 

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A positively perfect parkrun morning (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

We weren't really expecting many to come to Ashton Court today, with lots of regulars weekending in London and a special event for Diabetes Week at Eastville parkrun. So it was a delight to see the crowd of joggers, walkers and runners just keep growing and growing this morning. For the first time ever, we had 454 participants. We've had 453 before, and 455 too, but never 454.

 

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Round the bend? Us? Of course! (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

32 of you were running your first ever parkrun, including half a dozen juniors. You picked a wonderful morning, and you picked a beautiful place for your debut too. I hope your experience this morning left you wanting to come back again soon. 19 of you were running your second parkrun, of whom 8 had run here (and one other at Eastville parkrun) for the first time last week and clearly couldn't wait to come back. At least one brought some friends with her for their 1st parkruns. Again, I hope your second parkrun lived up to your expectations and that we see you all again soon.

 

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First time parkrunner Katrina Entwistle on her way to finishing second female. Amongst those around her are Ian McGrory, Mike McBeth and Zolly, Daniel Ryan Morgan and Dan Lunt (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

Another 35 of this morning's participants had run a parkrun before, but not at Ashton Court. They included 2 of the first 3 finishers ~ Max Walker, who had run twice before at Eastbourne parkrun, and Matthew Rees, who usually runs at Swansea Bay parkrun. Separating the two newcomers was David Awde, who ran under 17 minutes for the 6th time on our course.

 

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Coming down ~ Max Walker ahead of David Awde ~ going up ~ the Tail Walkers (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

The most experienced of our first time visitors today was Northala Fields parkrun's Claire Morris, who unbelievably ran 248 parkruns elsewhere before coming to see us. Enjoy your 250th parkrun, Claire, and do come and see us again soon. Another Claire, Claire Fisher, was also visiting us for the first time, from her home parkrun at Pomphrey Hill.

 

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Dan Hird, 51st parkrun, just ahead of Claire Morris, who will probably run her 250th next week, followed by Patsy Goldstone, also running her 51st parkrun (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

This group also included two Amys ~ Amy Collins, from Hove Promenade parkrun, and Amy Hillier, from Yeovil Montacute parkrun. At the other end of the alphabet, Zoe Sperrin popped in from Little Stoke parkrun, possibly with Paul Sperrin from Cardiff parkrun. We also welcomed John and Angela Worlock from Chipping Sodbury parkrun, Nick Rawlings from Market Harborough parkrun, and David Bennett from Plymvalley parkrun. Finally, and with apologies to those visitors I've omitted, Tammi Preece, who has run 11 times at Cardiff parkrun and has recently moved here to Bristol, ran with us today, and we hope to see her again soon.

 

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Pleased to be here ~ David Bennett from Plymvalley parkrun, with Andrew Burton close behind (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

Around the world there are 1,251 parkrunners who have run 84 parkruns. Two of them were in our top 10 ~ David Awde and Greg Chance. 886 parkrunners have finished 94 parkruns and we saw four of them, Peter Almond, Richard Haines, and Lauren Russell, immediately followed by her dad, Greg Condon. There are 255 parkrunners who have completed 159 parkruns, and we were joined by 3 of them ~ Jennifer Owsley, Jane Duffus and Isabel Bates.

 

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It's well known at Ashton Court that you can control your flying feet with your thumb, and Jane Duffus, one of only 255 people in the galaxy to be on 159 parkruns, is really good at it. Just ahead of Jane is Wildman Daniel Thomas, with Florence asleep at the wheel, and close behind, Corinna Savage (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

Finally, from the numbers that jump out at me, Sarah Griffiths, Magda Wigram and Sarah Hext are to be congratulated for their neatness and sense of order. Finishing in 331st, 332nd and 333rd places, Sarah G was running her 26th parkrun, Magda her 25th, and Sarah H her 24th. Well done!

 

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On the right in white, is Sarah Hext, one of the three orderly finishers mentioned above. Alongside her is Leanne Tripp Edwards, followed by Rebecca Lockyer, who ran her first parkrun last Saturday. Behind Sarah is Beata Oleksyk, running her first parkrun (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

Mentioning how many parkruns we've all run brings me to this morning's landmarks. Not many, but no less significant for that. We applauded Craig Brown as he hasn't missed any of the last 130 AC parkruns, and today was his 150th parkrun over all. So no t-shirt for our streaker, but hasn't he done well! There are t-shirts available, should they want them, for Antonia Gooder, Roger Long and Ben Lee. Antonia and Roger arrived at the 50 parkrun milestone, and Ben, one of our older juniors, reached the 10 parkrun mark, unaware that it was his 10th, or that he could claim a t-shirt as a consequence. Well done the four of you ~ next stop 200, 100, 100 and 50!

 

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Flying to Fifty, here's Roger Long (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

60 of you achieved pbs this morning. The more you run here, the harder it seems to be to run faster than ever before. So David Murray Milne, achieving his first pb since November last year, in his 127th parkrun, deserves praise. Similarly Moe Soe, with his first pb in 42 parkruns, in his 107th event. This had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that his daughter Mee-Mee did much of the results processing as part of her baccalaureate ~ and a wonderful job she did too.

 

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Moe Soe was determined to run faster than before, and he did! Moe's just ahead of 3rd female finisher Nicola Oldroyd, with Antonia Gooder, running her 50th parkrun, on Nicola's heels (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

Sarah Flourentzou ran a pb, in her 51st event. Only 9 of them have been here but in those 9 runs Sarah has reduced her time by over 9 minutes! strong>Abbie Wilford ran one too, in her 34th parkrun (half of them here). Oliver Clarke (65 parkruns, 24 of them here), and Adam Walker (6, all here) also ran faster than they had before on our course. Dawn Scott, a former couch to 5k graduate, beat 38 minutes for the first time in her 8th run here. Well done all of you, you're all running well and reaping the rewards.

 

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Sarah Flourentzou didn't need any excuses ~ she ran a pb (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

We have something called age grades at parkrun which is a means of comparing performances regardless of our youth, or lack of it. There's all sorts of long division involved, possibly even a slide rule or two. We have boffins who sort it all out for us. They ruled that Shirley Clegg got the best score, of 83.94%, with her time of 24:54. Next came Anne Dockery, whose pb of 26:51 scored 81.56%, and first finisher Max Walker, with 77.25%. Shirley is our age grade record holder, and only 6 other runners have beaten the score she set today. Anne's score makes her the 22nd highest age grade scorer ever at AC, and Max becomes the 119th. That's out of 16,845 runners! Wow!

 

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Ashton Court's top age grade scorer Shirley Clegg (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

I mentioned the first 3 male finishers earlier ~ and they were joined on our virtual podium, if we had one, by Francesca Knapper, Katrina Entwistle, in her first ever parkrun, and Nicola Oldroyd. One nice little numerical coincidence is that Katrina finished in 58th place overall, and Nicola in 85th, and exactly 60 seconds apart.

 

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That's the way to do it! On the right is Miriam Blom-Smith. I'm not sure who her companions are, but what a great time they're having! (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

277 parkrunners didn't achieve a pb ~ and I know the feeling ~ but there's always next week to try again, and anyway, parkrun is about so much more than running faster than ever. Why would you want to make such a fab part of a precious weekend go so quickly? Ease back, take your time, shoot the breeze and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, the birdsong, talk to other runners and make new friends.

 

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I know! But isn't it great to see youngsters out in the sun, exercising and having fun (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

We were sorry to find 50 unknown runners in our results. I know a number of you forgot your barcodes, and of course no-one does that on purpose, and we don't like to say "no, we can't write your number down" but we have to. Thanks for being so understanding. At least two parkrunners had to go back to their cars to find their barcodes, and a third had time to pop home, find her barcode, and drive back before we processed the results. Did you know that other barcode products are available? There are key fobs, credit card size thingies, and wristbands. They're harder to forget, or easier to remember, depending on the state of your glass, I suppose. And they're all much easier to scan than some of the examples of papier-mâché we try to scan sometimes (is papier-mâché still a thing?).

 

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Follow this link to find out about better barcodes, and make sure you're never an unknown runner (image: parkrun)

 

I mentioned in the pre-run briefing that it's our birthday next week. We're going to be 7! And because we've all been so well-behaved all year our Event Directors are letting us have a party! It'll be after the run, outside the cafe. We can all bring some cake and share it with one another. A number of people will be given Ashton Court parkrun certificates, and we'll have a free raffle, for which some of the prizes are brand new!

 

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(image: Rich Kenington)

Finally, a huge big hug and thank you to our wonderful team of volunteers this morning. Even the ones who were rude to me! (I know!). As always, and no matter who it is that volunteers each week, they were great fun to be with.

Have a great week, and see you next time

 

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It's a run in the park with your mates ~ Stuart Pick and Andy Green enjoying their first ever parkrun. Same time, same place, next week? (photo: Drew McLellan)

 

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.

It was great to see Drew McLellan taking our photos today. Drew certainly made the most of the beautiful weather. You'll find them, together with all our photos, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

Jurassic parkrun

 

A misty start to the day did not deter 445 people from taking on Ashton Court parkrun, an increase from the previous week, with a number of visitors coming across from a cancelled Pomphrey Hill parkrun (apparently there was some sort of running event on…). We welcomed 74 people to our gentle incline for their first time this week, 34 of whom were participating in parkrun for the very first time. We hope to see them all again soon, but can’t guarantee that our inflatable friends will be attending next time (though they always brighten up the morning).

 

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"Oh what a glorious thing to be, a healthy grown up busy busy bee" . . and, erm, a dinosaur! Another normal Ashton Court parkrun morning . . (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Chris Jones was joining us again as his alter-ego Roary T-REX Marathon, this time with his barcode (helpfully taped to his suit), potentially startling both runners and marshals alike as he emerged from a Jurassic mist, finishing with a pleasingly neat 30:00 ahead of next weekend’s London Marathon.

 

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Disappearing up towards the Jurrasic mist (photo: John O'Brien)

 

The T-Rex was also joined on the hill by Martin Hewlett, who will be attempting to set a Guinness World Record at London of fastest marathon dressed as an insect, his insect of choice being an inflatable bee. He also crossed the finish line in a nice round 30:00. We would like to wish all of our Ashton Court parkrunners a good run if they are participating in London next week, as well as to co-Run Director Liz Hill and Marshal Greg Condon, who were volunteering the day ahead of their own marathon runs at the Great Welsh Marathon in Llanelli.

 

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Our first-timer and visitor briefing was well attended this morning (photo: John O'Brien)

 

One man taking an ‘interesting' approach to the traditional pre-marathon taper was Marcus Kropacsy who set a new PB of 18:49 with just over a week to go, and he was not the only person taking advantage of slightly milder conditions as Spring continues to do its thing. Overall there were 69 people who completed the Ashton Court faster than they have ever managed before (not including first timers). Even if it doesn’t get easier, proof that you can go faster.

 

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The Ashton Court Blue Arrows keeping good formation. Marcus Kropacsy (left) is on his way to his first AC pb for 371 days, finishing in his highest position of 7th for the third time, and was one of three participants completing their 229th parkruns this morning. Alongside Marcus is James Jewell, who was running here for the first time. James has run 75 other parkruns, most of them at Bideford (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Marie Malloy, having got a taste for being first female finisher two weeks ago, was at it again, posting a new PB in the process (and not just any PB, but a post-pregnancy PB), leading home Kelly Dicks and Clare Meraz. Despite Clare's parkrun being part of a longer run today, she reduced her PB by 9 seconds. Shows what a difference a warm up can make!

 

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Clare Meraz one kilometre away from her pb, with Darren Corneille, who normally runs at Bexley parkrun and was visiting us for the first time, just ahead (photo: John O'Brien)

 

The first 3 male finishers were Mark Drucker in 17:48, followed by Leon Rumble (another PB scorer this week) and John Cox.

 

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Floating all the way to the end of his 250th parkrun, it's Geoffrey Morgan, with Michell Byrne just ahead, and Helen Marr, visiting from Newcastle parkrun, with a big smile just behind (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Our highest age grading went to Alison Roberts, whose 25:38 was both a PB and the highest age grading overall of the day with 84.07%. The highest male age grading went to Michael Coupe with 79.81% who has run all of his 28 parkruns with us at Ashton Court.

 

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Susan Campbell, Rosie Shultz, Michaela Jones and Denise Ko have completed 222 parkruns between them ~ 183 here at AC. Gordon Colquhoun has run 75 ~ 2 of them with us (photo: John O'Brien)

 

There were a number of landmark runs completed at Ashton Court this week, with Geoff Morgan following in his son's footsteps in running his 250th parkrun and qualifying for a new green t-shirt. The runner at Ashton Court with most parkruns under their shoes, Colin Traer, was also celebrating his 200th parkrun at Ashton Court (out of a total of 324 parkruns). This doesn’t qualify for a t-shirt, nor do Andrew Archer’s 200th parkrun, Gary Jennings’ 150th, or Alice Doggrell’s double Nelson 222nd. But Hervé Skenderoff does qualify for a t-shirt by running his 100th parkrun with us (and his first ever attempt on the hill, doing it in style, visiting us from Pomphrey Hill. We only run up our hill once). David Salter, Dan Hird and Klara Sroka also joined the 50-club this week, qualifying for shiny new red t-shirts. We also have one junior 10-club new joiner in Izzy Tucker, who earns herself a bright white t-shirt.

 

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On his way to completing his 50th parkrun, with every single one of them having been here on the hill, is Dan Hird ~ just ahead of a runner we don't know (photo: John O'Brien)

 

A reminder that in two weeks we will be celebrating our 7th birthday. Bring some cake to share, find out who receives an Ashton Court certificate, and see if you can win a raffle prize!

 

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Running his 150th parkrun is Gary Jennings, and David Salter his 50th. The 3rd runner is a junior, and achieved a pb ~ well done! (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Finally, we're sorry that "our" café didn't open until 10 this morning. It was as much of a shock to us as it may have been to you. It turns out to have been the result of an administrative error by the council, and they've reassured us that the café will be open from 09.30 next Saturday as usual. We've all ticked the wrong box once or twice when filling in a form, so we've forgiven them. It's nice to be nice, and we're parkrunners, after all!

 

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The cafe may have opened late for the first time in a blue moon or two, but Jen Cooper won't want to be late when her wedding day arrives. No doubt Hayley Fox-Fitzgerald (left) and Ashlea Brewer (right) will make sure Jen gets there on time. Ashlea and Jen were two of the morning's first-timers, while Hayley has run 4 of her 5 parkruns here (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Report by Alice Doggrell (222 parkruns and counting)

 

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 took our photos today, for which we're most grateful, and you'll find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

April, showers followed by dry spells

 

Heavy rain greeted the people of Bristol waking up for Ashton Court parkrun number 350. There are no official stats for how many prospective parkrunners saw the weather and pulled the duvet back over their heads, but the people who did make their way to Ashton Court were rewarded with a break in the rain that allowed most to complete their effort in dry weather.

 

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This was the dismal prospect that greeted the morning's early birds . . (photo: Janet O'Connell)

 

There were 277 people who completed the course, and it was a first parkrun for 18 of them. We hope to see them all back again soon. At the other end of the experience scale, 19 of today’s runners have completed more than 200 runs. Of those, 6 have completed more than 250 runs, with Emma Withers having the most, at 285. Today also saw the return to Ashton Court of Lizzi Elton-Walters, who has now run 276 times in total, with 110 runs at Ashton Court. This was Lizzi’s first visit to Ashton Court since September 2016, since when she has mostly been running at Lower Hutt parkrun just outside Wellington, New Zealand. Given the state of the puddles on the gravel path, I suspect she wasn’t the only runner today with thoughts of wellingtons.

 

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It's Lizzi Elton-Walters' custom to leap in the air when she sees a photographer at parkrun - unfortunately on this occasion, she and Janet didn't quite get co-ordinated. Oblivious to the carry-on behind her is Vyki Shaw, flying towards the finish of her 46th parkrun (photo: Janet O'Connell)

 

Dan Jones reached a double landmark today, completing his 50th run at Ashton Court and his 100th overall, and celebrated with his highest finishing position (6th). Andy Thompson also completed his 100th parkrun. Hopefully we will soon see Dan and Andy wearing their hard-earned black 100 shirts. Similarly, we hope soon to see Pennie Stanley in red, after she ran her 50th parkrun, and junior runner Dan Steward wearing his white shirt, after he completed his 10th full parkrun.

 

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Completing 50 parkruns at Ashton Court, and with 50 more elsewhere, here's Dan Jones (photo: Janet O'Connell)

 

There were 11 runners visiting Ashton Court for the first time, having previously run elsewhere, and we hope to see them again soon. Amongst our visitors were Louise and Hywel Morgan, who have mainly run at Pontypridd, Tom Hill, who normally runs at nearby Pomphrey Hill, but who last ran at St Peter’s parkrun in Sydney Australia, and Roland Hogg, who normally runs in Surrey, and who was visiting Ashton Court for the first time for his 173rd parkrun. Leaving their home turf for the first time were Kelly Ruck whose 10 previous parkruns were all at the Forest of Dean parkrun, and Tom Breeze, whose previous 16 parkruns were all at Cambridge.

 

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On the left is Tom Breeze, straying from Cambridge parkrun for the first time. Alongside Tom is birthday boy Will Purcell (photo: Janet O'Connell)

 

34 runners recorded personal best times, with the benefits of persistence being shown by Anna Hall, who knocked over 30 seconds off the pb that she set on her previous run; Jennifer Griggs, who lowered her best time by 6 seconds; Gemma
Portis, who lowered hers by 37 seconds; Joanna Portis, with her fourth consecutive pb, in which she’s reduced her time by over 2 minutes; Paul Turner and Christian Williams, who have both set 7 new pb’s this year; Amanda McDowell who set a pb on her 24th visit to Ashton Court; Michael Robbins, who has set a pb on each run after his first; Michael Lawrence, who broke 25 minutes for the first time; and Emma Rossiter, who ran here 7 times in 2016, came back for the first time in 18 months, and knocked 40 seconds off the time that she set on her last visit.

 

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Anna Hall has brought her pb down from 33:09 to 30:48 via 31:20 on the her last 2 runs here, with Ian Haynes alongside (photo: Janet O'Connell)

 

Our first finisher was Ben Tickner, who has previously finished first at Brighton & Hove (in a barely imaginable 14 minutes 30 seconds), and at Preston Park, also in Brighton. Ben becomes the 235th different person to have finished first at Ashton Court. Behind him were John Cox and Edmund Willatts. First female finisher was Amy Partridge for the fourth time this year, with Claire Hammett second and Rhiannon Paton third. The highest age grade performance was Alison Roberts with Ben Tickner, Peter Wheddon and Maggie Salter also beating 75%.

 

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The morning's first female finisher, Amy Partridge (photo: Janet O'Connell)

 

And so to next week, when the Met Office is forecasting dry weather, with a temperature of 11 degrees, and a gentle southerly breeze - see you then!

 

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The author of this report, David O'Connell on the left with Sarah Jones on jazz hands (photo: Janet O'Connell)

 

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.

We're grateful to Janet O'Connell for taking our photos this weekend, and you can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

Persistence prevails despite prolific precipitation

 

302 of us took part at Ashton Court parkrun this morning. It's the second time we've seen that number cross the finish line, the first having been 140 parkruns ago, in June 2015. There are 40 of us who participated in both runs, including Karen Wall and Marta Lopez Azana, who ran their first ever parkrun that day in June 2015. Today 13 of those 40 finished within 60 seconds of their time back then, 4 being quicker, 9 slower. The closest was Richard Harding, who was just 2 seconds slower this morning than he was 1,009 days ago. Lyndsay Davis was 11 seconds quicker, and both John O'Brien and Martin Blackwell were 19 seconds slower.

 

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Here we go again, our 349th parkrun. At the front in blue is first finisher, Simon Smith ~ he'd be back a little over 18 minutes later (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

The morning's first finisher, Simon Smith, had been our second finisher on each of the last 2 Saturdays, having previously finished first here twice, in May and June 2013. Our first female finisher, Marie Malloy, has shown even greater persistance, as this was her 208th Ashton Court parkrun and the first time she has finished first. Marie's final position of 15th is also the highest she's ever finished here.

 

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Here's Marie Malloy, on her way to finishing first female for the first time (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

I've already mentioned Marta Lopez Azana and she has another claim to fame as she equalled her pb with her time today of 28:24. James Holbrook matched that achievement, equalling the pb of 25:41 he set when he last ran here. Anita Marchant receives an honourable mention, having missed her pb of 35:35 by just one second.

 

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Here's third finishing female Francesca Knapper. Great to see 2 new mums in the first three, Marie Malloy being the other (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

24 of us achieved pbs this morning, including Ross Anderson, who first ran here in June last year and ran faster on each of his next 4 visits. Since then Ross has run here 24 times without achieving a pb, until today, when his persistence paid off and he finished in 25:33, 11 seconds faster than before.

 

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The road to a pb is not always painless ~ Ross Anderson on the left keeps pushing with 1 kilometre to go (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Peter Barber has run at Ashton Court 13 times and has only not achieved a pb twice. Today he beat 26 minutes for the first time, by 4 seconds. 59 seconds behind Peter was Sarah Venney, running here for the 12th time. Sarah has only missed out on a pb on 4 occasions and today she got under 27 minutes for the first time, finishing in 26:55. One of our juniors, Charlie Wilson, got below 37 minutes for the first time this morning with his time of 36:50, and a second junior, Matthew Pandagani-Sayce, who we hadn't seen for almost 2 years, reduced his best time from 22:02 down to 20:02 whilst finishing in 9th place, 28 places higher than ever before.

 

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On the left is Sarah Venney, running to her first sub 27 minute time, and alongside her is Alison Roberts, who with a time of 26:48 achieved the morning's only age grade above 80%, scoring 80.41% (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Catherine Davies seems to like it here, having run for the 7th time since her first parkrun on New Year's Day, and achieving her 5th pb with 36:10. Rich Rolls' first parkrun was here on the eve of Christmas Eve, and his time today of 24:49 was his 5th pb in 9 runs, and his first of less than 25 minutes. The last pb to mention today belongs to Sue Williams, another persistent parkrunner, who in recent months had gone 12 runs with no pb, but broke the spell 2 runs ago with her first run under 29 minutes and consolidated that this morning, finishing in 28:30.

 

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Jane Duffus was running AC parkrun twice this morning ~ it's not known if she was chased by a centurion on her second lap. This particular centurion is Carl Keenan, clearly enjoying his 100th parkrun (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Persistance pays in other aspects of parkrun too, in that we are rewarded for long service. In 2016, three Ashton Court parkrunners reached the significant landmark of 250 parkruns ~ the first of us from Ashton Court to do so. Last year they were joined by 4 more, bringing the total to 7, and in the first quarter of this year we've already seen another 7 of our friends qualify for a green 250 parkrun t-shirt.

 

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The 3rd Ashton Court parkrunner, and first former junior, to complete 250 parkruns was Daniel Morgan. This was his 318th parkrun. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Across the globe there are 2,571 members of the 250 parkrun club, and we're proud of all 14 of ours. The 14th of them is Martin Riddiford, one of our pioneers from our first parkrun almost 7 years ago, and it was great to see (and hear) him encouraged all the way to the finish line by his entourage of family and friends. Martin was good enough to apologise for all the noise afterwards.

 

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250 parkruns young is Martin Riddiford (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Two years behind Martin are Mary Ryan and Stephen Cotterill, who today finished their 150th parkruns, and another 12 months further back are today's centurions, Lynn Chadeesingh, Carl Keenan and Vanessa McBride. The last of our landmark achievers this morning are Dulce Pedroso and Claire Collins, who both joined the 50 parkrun club, the one that none of us can imagine being a part of when we first come along to parkrun.

 

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Lynn Chadeesingh flying to the finish of her 100th parkrun (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

At the other end of the scale, we love to see first time parkrunners come back a second time. We had 24 folk here last week, parkrunning for the first time, and it's sad to report that none of them came back today. But 4 of them did go somewhere else instead, to see if the other side's grass really is greener. Of course, they'll find it isn't.

 

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On the left is Dulce Pedroso, 1 kilometre away from completing her 50th parkrun (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

All is not lost however, because of the 5 who ran their 2nd parkrun this morning, 4 had run their first parkrun at Ashton Court, all of them last year. So welcome back Oliver Cookson, Amber Knapp-Wilson, Cameron Afshar and Charlotte Macey, please don't leave it so long before your next run. The final member of the quintet is Beatrice Crampin, who also ran her only other parkrun last year (at the event in beautiful Wyre Forest), but who as a junior might have less say in where and when she runs than many of us. We hope you and Paul Crampin enjoyed your visit here.

 

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David Salter and Moe Soe matching one another stride for stride ~ 1,000 metres later they were just 1 second apart (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

In addition to Paul and Beatrice there were 32 other parkrunners visiting Ashton Court for the first time. The name Beatrice has only ever appeared once in our results, and yet today we were joined by two Beatrices, the second being Beatrice Cordingley, who usually runs at Wythenshawe parkrun.

 

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It was good to see Hugh Smith come back to see us for the first time in 2 years. Hugh has run 317 parkruns, 293 of them at Bushy parkrun, 5 of them here with us. Nigel Fletcher's close behind (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Aqasa Nu has run 188 of his 215 parkruns at Burgess parkrun, in Camberwell, and Ian Berry has run 231 of his 293 events at Bedfont Lakes parkrun, close to Heathrow Airport. Rachel Fisher deserves a mention for having volunteered almost twice as often as she's participated at Trelissick parkrun, and Joanne Caldwell, having run once at Strathclyde parkrun this year, last year and the year before, has now run once south of the border.

 

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100th parkrun! Well done, Vanessa McBride! (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Other visitors included Zena Phillips, who usually runs at Black Park parkrun ~ Lucy Allman, from St Peters parkrun in Sydney ~ Michael Gregson from Southampton parkrun ~ Claire Phillips from my home town event, the flatter than flat Hull parkrun in East Park ~ Chris Phillips, who has run parkruns all over the place, most of them at East Coast Park parkrun in Singapore, but whose home event is Druridge Bay up in Morpeth. (I've just noticed that that's a lot of Phillips!)

 

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Pleased to be at Ashton Court parkrun ~ Darren and Bobbi-Jo Swift. One of our volunteer co-ordinators, Janet O'Connell, takes avoiding action right behind! (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Snow had been forecast for Ashton Court today and although the Met Office changed their mind we had some anyway, with Queen Elizabeth parkrun's Zoe Snow joining us for the first time (sorry Zoe). Bobbie-Jo and Darren Swift popped in from Bryn Bach parkrun, Lucy Briggs from Netley Abbey parkrun, Jane Knight from Bournemouth parkrun, and Michael Reeves from Burnham and Highbridge parkrun.

 

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Not sure who's giving us a wave, but Bournemouth parkrun's Jane Knight is keeping her company (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

The list could go on and I apologise to those visitors I've omitted to mention. Thanks to you all for coming to see us, we all hope you enjoyed your first visit to our beautiful parkrun. Please don't be strangers ~ come back and see us again soon.

 

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Having a chat whilst waiting for runners, Julia Cook with one of our Duke of Edinburgh award scheme participants (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Our first ever parkrun is sometimes said to be the hardest one, and so it was great to welcome 7 first-time ever parkrunners to the family today. Samuel Lewis, Steven Upton, Laura Donovan, Stephen Jones, Jack Ackroyd, Stuart Wood and Stuart Holmes are their names ~ we hope to see you all again sometime soon.

 

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co-Run Director Linda Woodburn briefs the barcode scanning team ~ only one of whom had fulfilled that role before(photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Finally, as one of the morning's Run Directors, I want to say thank you to our team of volunteers, who made the role of RD so easy because they did all that was asked of them, and did it well. If you'd like to see parkrun from the inside ~ and it's great fun ~ there's information about how to get in touch below.

 

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The morning's final few finishers are greeted by the finish funnel team (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Happy Easter, everyone, have a good week and see you on Saturday, when we can do this all over again!

 

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Happy Birthday to one of our two brilliant Event Directors ~ Maggie Salter (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.

It was so good to see Sarah Jones back to taking our photos this weekend, because we love her photos! You can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

Spring! Or is that fake news?

 

We’ve had the first day of spring twice already, and two batches of snow just to prove they were both wrong. Very soon (by the time you read this, if you are doing) the clocks will have gone forward too. But there’s no surer sign of spring than a multi-coloured gang of 400-odd parkrunners making their way up the hill. It seemed quite warm enough for them, and there was little danger of hypothermia among the volunteers either.

 

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Some of the "multi-coloured gang of 400-odd parkrunners" on their way up, and down, the hill (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

I’m not sure what the collective noun for snails is, but there was a goodly batch of them today. It was another graduation of members of the Chew Valley Snails from their Couch to 5k training. There were smiles a-plenty and some great group photos! The Snails were some of the 52 first-timers today.

 

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Here are some of the morning's escargatoire of Snails warming up prior to parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

We also had a sizeable contingent from Southville Running Club, who had picked today’s parkrun as one of the events for their club championship.

 

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Amongst the many Southville Running Club members was Hannah Reeve, who was taking part in her first parkrun. Just ahead of her is Matt Barnes, who knocked over a minute off his previous best to finish under 25 minutes for the first time here. Rowland Monk and Lisa Marshall complete the quartet (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

It’s not often that we see formal attire at parkrun, but Roy Baker (who notched up his 101st parkrun today) appeared in a fine (and quite warm-looking!) burgundy suit. He was to be married later in the day, presumably in a different outfit, to Sarah Patch. We wish them both well and expect to see them back at Ashton Court in their new married status.

 

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"Here comes the bride" and groom! Ken Baker and Sarah Patch on their way to their wedding, with one member of Team Kiff perhaps wondering what was going on! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Michael Graham will have a similar momentous occasion to celebrate later in the year: today however, he did his 150th parkrun, as did our wizard volunteer coordinator, run director and fellow parkrunner Janet O’Connell. These two don’t get a shirt, but they got a round of applause before the start, and celebrated in a cake-themed way afterwards.

 

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Janet O'Connell, in white, surrounded by a possee of runners as she drops down to the finish of her 150th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Two other familiar faces marked a significant landmark today: Carole Kluth and Drew McLennan both entered the Hall of Fame that is the 25 Club for volunteers, having done those many stints of marshalling/timing/tailwalking/photography. Don’t forget, you can join them in the Purple Pantheon as well by volunteering!

 

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Did you notice that we had a creche at the back of the pack? Tail Walker Carole Kluth keeps them company, volunteering for the 25th time (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

None of these people shot to stardom as quickly as Paige Barrett, who only started parkrunning 16 weeks ago, but has already qualified for her 10 Club shirt.

 

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Leon Rumble has recently made Ashton Court his home parkrun, and finished first here for the first time, having previously finished first at Gedling and Forest Rec parkruns in Nottingham (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

56 of our runners posted PBs today, including first finisher Leon Rumble. Kirsty Andrews broke the 30’ barrier for the first time and Ian Haynes achieved a PB in his 199th parkrun.

 

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To the astonishment of many of her fellow first time visitors to Ashton Court, Julie Clearwater joined us from Whangarei parkrun, the most northerly parkrun in New Zealand, where the minimum temperature today was 18° (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Looking at the total runs some of our regulars have achieved, it looks as though there may be a celebration involving Martin Riddiford (249) soon; and Eric Booth might do his 100th here too. Steve Cotterill and Mary Ryan are neck-and-neck on 149. So there’s plenty to look forward to.

 

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Here's Joanne Gwilliam, followed by Clare Bryce. Both here for the first time, and both with other members of their families. Joanne, Beau, Karl and Heath Gwilliam have run 181 parkruns in total, with Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester being home for 3 of them, whilst Mike, Billy and Clare Bryce have run 167 parkruns. Their home is Gloucester North parkrun, just up the road from Kingsway (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

And we’ll be 7 soon – we’ll be marking that on April 28th. Watch this space, as well as our Facebook page, for details. Hint: we’ve already had some raffle prizes donated. The raffle will be free!

 

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Two happy Snails ~ Rachel Jordan and Rebecca Young ~ enjoying their first parkrun, and one proud mum ~ Eve Blackmore ~ who has completed 113 more than Rachel and Rebecca together (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

And there’s always something to look forward to – the next parkrun. And spring again . .

 

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"there’s always something to look forward to – the next parkrun. And spring again . . " If it is still spring! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Report by Niall

 

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 trailed along behind us all taking photos this weekend, and you can find the results, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

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