Parkrun – don’t you just love it?

Banstead Woods Report for Event 560 – 10th February 2018

Report by Alison Cattermole                        Photos by  Chris Guest

Link to this weeks Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157690321835562

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“It’s the worst 40 minutes of my week” I said to my older brother who was on holiday from his home in Australia. “So, why do you do it?” he asked rather incredulously.  I was talking about parkrun. I glanced briefly at my other brother, a committed parkrunner of many years (Daventry), and in tandem we began to reel off a list of the many reasons why. The feeling of achievement; the smugness I feel every Saturday knowing I have run 5k before many people have got out of bed; the camaraderie and community spirit that pervades all parkruns; the support and encouragement from other runners to name but a few. And then there’s the fact that being in running gear is a great leveller. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your belief systems are, what job you do, how much money you earn, your religious and political affiliations…..parkrun is one big melting pot, a demonstration of diversity and equality. Don’t you just love it?

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And another thing I love about parkrun: volunteering.  Of course volunteering does have its downsides. I always feel so responsible! Tail walker is one of my favourite roles – at least once you’ve remembered your mobile and glasses, you just have to make your way around the course (praying no one falls or is taken ill), ensuring you sweep up stragglers. But time keeping, token giver outer, and bar-code scanning (these are the only roles I have so far been entrusted with) all come with risks…..will I click the watch at the right time? Will I drop all the tokens on the floor, get them muddled up or give the wrong token to the wrong runner? Will I accidentally scan the finish token before the athlete barcode? What if I press the reset button on the scanner by accident? And my no. 1 worry – did I hear the bleep of the scanner or was it the wind in the trees? Even volunteering is fraught with potential hazards!

Of course volunteering (or the roles I do) means I don’t have to run, which is quite a benefit in my book! Another is that it’s while waiting around to do my given task that I get to talk to other volunteers, have some fun and appreciate the woods we use. There are other unexpected blessings. When I run, I am always buoyed by the cheers, clapping and words of encouragement from the volunteers and supporters alike. But when I volunteer, I am always surprised and very touched by the expressions of thanks from the runners themselves. As you know we don’t have regular marshals at Banstead, but one snowy day last winter I was asked to stand at the bend before the home strait and warn runners that conditions were icy and to slow down and take care. I was amazed that no matter how exhausted the runners, nearly all, spoke or grasped their gratitude “Thanks Marshal” or raised a hand to indicate recognition. Don’t you just love it?

So, if you haven’t volunteered yet, give it a go. It is really genuinely rewarding.

If any of you reading this listen to Radio 4 you might have heard More or Less, a programme that looks at the validity and facts behind the statistics we hear/read in the news or which listeners write in about. Sounds a bit turgid explained like that, but its fascinating and worth a listen. Over the last 2 weeks they have been investigating parkrun and which are the hardest and easiest runs. You might think that a look at the average parkrun time for any course would indicate the fast/easy and slow/hard runs, but this doesn’t give the whole story. You have to look a bit deeper at the age related percentages. A course may appear easy because the average time to complete is low, but a look at the age related figures could indicate that there are a high number of young, fast runners. And then there is the topology of the course which can impact. Some parkruns are hard because they are so muddy, others because they are hilly. Seems to me that Banstead has both these! But  a new parkrun near Derwentwater in the Lake District has an elevation of over 200m, which really takes the biscuit! Of course, what goes up has to come down; even so, I feel out of breath just thinking about it.

I can’t leave this week without a mention of two things. First, you cannot have failed to know that it is 100 years since (some) women got the vote. A huge achievement and testament to the dedication and commitment of the many women who campaigned so vigorously over many years and worked so hard during the First World War proving they were just as capable as men. It is somewhat sobering that in the field of sport, it took a great deal longer for women to achieve anywhere near the same equality.  For the vast majority of the 20th century it was thought that women could not run more than 800m, pole vault or throw the hammer. I was 10 years old when Katherine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon against great opposition.

And that thought bring me to the second mention. The Winter Olympics! Albeit that women were only first allowed to ski-jump at the last Olympics, here is a sporting event that has definitely now overcome any consideration that women are not capable of doing everything men can do. Over the next couple of weeks we will see women bobsleigh, luge and skeleton (I think they are mad but admire their courage), downhill ski, half pipe and slope style snowboard, ski jump and many other exciting and jaw-dropping events. How wonderful! We have come a long way.

I always deeply moved, encouraged and motivated by all Olympic athletes, the commitment and time they put to their sport and the sacrifices they make. We will, naturally, be reminded endlessly over the next few weeks of how, as a nation with few mountains and little snow, we have still produced some outstanding Olympians. Torvill and Dean, John Curry, the 2002 women’s curling team,  Jenny Jones, Lizzie Yarnold, to name but a few. And I will cheer, cry and marvel at each and every one of the 59 Brits who have gone to Pyeong Chang (of whom nearly half are women) as they compete in their chosen sport.

But for all these phenomenal athletes it is the memory of Eddie the Eagle who inspires me the most. It is his determination and dedication that I channel into my parkruns. I will never be a fast runner, I am not even very competitive; I will always bring up the rear – just like Eddie. But I am there each week hating the 40 minutes of actual running but loving everything else that is parkrun and spurred on by thoughts of Eddie the Eagle. He had no funding, no coaching (to speak of) and no training facilities but still managed to compete in a sport that would terrify the average person. Good for you Eddie and thanks for the inspiration (and the memory).

Herewith the stats from today’s event:

This week 141 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 13 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers:

Chris PHELAN • Judith MCNICKLE • Mike BRYANT • Jo QUANTRILL • Therese PANETTA • Susan ESSLEMONT • Don ESSLEMONT • Heather FENTON • Phil FENTON • Mike MASON • Nicholas FOSTER • Steve O'SULLIVAN • Linda O'SULLIVAN • Chris GUEST • Elliott BURTON • Lorraine GARROD • Derek GARROD • Alison CATTERMOLE

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banstead Woods parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).
The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).
The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 8,989 participants have completed 86,657 parkruns covering a total distance of 433,285 km, including 14,186 new Personal Bests.

Event Reporter   Alison Cattermole

 

 

Gremlins!

Banstead Woods report for event number 559 – 3rd February 2018

Report by Mike Mason                                  Photos by Ingrid Mrazova

Photo link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157692258580514

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By the time you are reading this, most of you will probably be aware we had a bit of a technical problem with one of the barcode scanners this week.

There’s even a rumour that gremlins might have gotten into the machine!

In the words of Murry Futterman “You know, they’re still shipping them over here. They put them in your cars, they put them in your TV. They put them in stereos and those little radios you stick in your ears. They even put them in watches…   …they have tiny gremlins for our watches!”

Yep, I’m a huge fan of the 1984 comedy horror (seriously showing my age here) and now it seems they are putting them in our barcode scanner. Whoever ‘they’ might be!

Some might say gremlins had gotten into Run Director Steve O’Sullivan’s joke book years ago! I’m not one of them I hasten to add, but ‘Stand Up’ Steve’s delivery of the pre-run announcements was peppered with his usual array of tired (I mean) witty one-liners – much to the weary groans of the assembled crowd!

Perhaps that was a little harsh of me - there were lots of joyful cheers too, especially for this week’s fantabulous milestone announcements.

First up were Peter Edward Fuller and Auguste Nunes, both of whom were welcomed to the ‘50’ club to great applause. Not mentioned at the start, Garry Fowler was also celebrating his 50th parkrun and marked the occasion by making his debut at our woodland course. Congratulations all.

Next up, Banstead Woods regular Mark Oliver was warmly welcomed to the ‘200’ club - flanked by his fellow Tadworth AC team-mates who had assembled en masse to help cheer and support. Well done to Mark on a fantastic achievement, and thank you for the chocolates at the finish…they were much needed!

Finally, I suppose I really should give an extra special mention to Mammy Mason who was about to embark on her 350th parkrun.

A truly wonderful achievement for the little mogwai, and all the more remarkable given Lizzie’s complete lack of navigational skill (despite running at Banstead Woods for nine years now, Mammy Mason still manages to get lost when running around the woods on her own) and her comical inability to count laps (Lizzie once lost count in a 4 lap race and finished a lap early)! Incredibly, both these stories are true!

For those of you in the know, when caring for little mogwai there are some rules that you’ve got to follow.

First of all, keep them out of the light, they hate bright light, especially sunlight, it'll kill them!” 

Not a problem this week you would think, given the cold and grey conditions. If there was any sunlight to be seen, it was more akin to a dimly lit gas lamp rather than a shining mega watt bulb!

But those gremlins were definitely on the rampage, and we were left with a somewhat incomplete set of results (but thanks to some sterling work behind the scenes, the full and correct results were available come Tuesday evening).

In the men’s event, Banstead Woods stalwart number one Roger Bryant took full advantage of the field this week – deploying his trademark last lap burn-up to great perfection to cross the line first in 18:28. His 5th first finish in the woods!

Tuesday’s update confirmed the second and third park-runners across the line - Daniel Wolff in 18:33, and Banstead Woods stalwart number two David Freeman in 18:41.

In the ladies event, South London Harrier’s Johanna Vickers showed no signs of slowing in the muddy conditions – finishing strongly to cross the line first in 19:48.

Of the results that had not been tinkered with by those pesky gremlins, Hannah-Mai Flynn was second to cross the line in 21:48 and Jessie Scott third across in 22:25.

“Second, don't give them any water, not even to drink.” 

Alas, it was rather more difficult to avoid getting wet in the slippery, slimy mud-bath conditions. It was even more difficult to try and run fast! 

So a huge well done to all 12 park-runners who recorded new personal best times this week.

All of course are worthy of mention, but I must give a special shout out to young James Freeman who recorded his second PB of the year – 19:22 to grab 7th place. James is fast following in his father’s (somewhat speedy) footsteps, and a sub 19 clocking must surely be on the cards later this year. 

“But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much they cry, no matter how much they beg, never ever feed them after midnight!”

I’ve always thought that last rule is a bit of a paradox. I mean, surely breakfast or any meal will always come after midnight! We just didn’t spot those glaring plot holes back in the 80’s!

And judging by the sheer number of cakes, biscuits, and chocolates happily devoured as our parkrun celebrations continued in the Mint, no one took any notice of this rule.

So next Saturday morning, if your alarm clock goes on the blink or your running shoes go missing or your Garmin blows up – before you despair, turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds, because you never can tell…   …there just might be a gremlin in your house!

 

Here’s what’s left of the stats: 

This week 216 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 12 were first timers and 12 recorded new PB’s. Representatives of 26 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 19 volunteers:

Chris PHELAN • Judith MCNICKLE • Mike BRYANT • Therese PANETTA • Susan ESSLEMONT • Anne RODEN • Alan IMESON • Andy ZONFRILLO • Waller PAUL • David MORRIS • Mike MASON • Steve O'SULLIVAN • Linda O'SULLIVAN • Ian JOHNSON • Elliott BURTON • Steve HILL • Usha STEVENS • Nick BILLING • Ingrid MRAZOVA

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banstead Woods parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).

The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).

The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 8,971 participants have completed 86,516 parkruns covering a total distance of 432,580 km, including 14,166 new Personal Bests.

Event Reporter  Mike Mason

 

Scanner failure – Event 559 on 3rd February 2018

Unfortunately one of the scanners has failed to up load results this morning. If you haven’t received your result text/email by 12 noon please email bansteadoffice@parkrun.com with your parkrun ID, time and position number if you know it. We will try to get the results updated by Tuesday 7th February. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Banstead Woods parkrun Core Team

 

The Mud Strikes Back

Banstead Woods Report for Event 558 – 27th January 2018

Report by Sally Skipper                     Photos by  Emma Trevett

Link to this weeks Photos:https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157665110647988

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After a few dry days you would expect a less muddy running line but no. The mud seems to be thicker and stickier. How 28 runners managed PBs is a mystery to me.

As Nonsuch was cancelled due to a waterlogged course, the Banstead Woods’ numbers were swelled to 257. Run Director Sue called us altogether at the start and as usual asked if there were any tourists. There was a chorus of replies from the Nonsuch lot which caused a ripple of laughter through the masses. Then came the announcement of the landmark runners this Saturday. Mike Murray and Robin Evans were making their 50thparkruns. Eirwen Campbell and Katerina Arnold 100 runs with Julia Graham completing 150. Star of the day was Andy Maxton running his 400th parkrun.

The three fellows at the front this week were Alix Ramsier, Alex Gurteen and Kevin Lewis. It was a close finish between the first two ladies with Jemma Zakariyyau just in front of Julia Graham-Maw, both with PBs.

Last week David George decided to leave his running companion at home because of the adverse conditions - that is Stanley his dog who always accompanies us to the Mint. David complained because I didn’t give him a mention in my run report last week and pointed out that he was obscured in the photo of the token team. This week David escaped the Banstead Woods mud to find a parkrun which was kinder under foot. It was lucky that Usha was back to help with the mountain of tokens.

As you can see in the photo above there is an abundance of bare legs waiting to be splattered with mud. Some of us who are still in tights in a variety of patterns or just plain black have to watch for the fashionistas. On Saturday, a friend and token team member commented on the clash of colours and suggested that some of us should try harder with our choices. Neil (584) Sunderland - we will be checking out your wardrobe next week.

It looks like even more rain and wind this week so we might need the tree fellers if it becomes too much for Steve, the chainsaw, Hill.

Herewith the stats from today’s event:

This week 257 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 48 were first timers and 29 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers:

Cathy DAVIS • Mike BRYANT • Therese PANETTA • Susan ESSLEMONT • Ethan WALLER • Waller PAUL • Sally SKIPPER • Gill STALLEY • David MORRIS • Kelly Marie MASON • Nicholas FOSTER • Amy VAN WYK • Elliott BURTON • Steve HILL • Usha STEVENS • Mark LOWTHER • Tony CLARAMUNT • Emma TREVETT

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banstead Woods parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).
The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).
The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 8,959 participants have completed 86,300 parkruns covering a total distance of 431,500 km, including 14,154 new Personal Bests.

Event Reporter   Sally Skipper

 

 

Tights, cameras, action!

Banstead Woods parkrun for Event 557 - 20th January 2018

Report by Sally Skipper                             Photos by Chris Guest

Photo link:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157662856374277
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This week at Banstead Wood’s parkrun we had a guest photographer and I don’t mean parkrun regular and token sorter Chris.  Chris Guest was joined behind the lens by parkrun's Photographer Ambassador Bruce Li. I have refused to enter the obvious dragon references and keep to the task of describing the events as they unfolded on Saturday.

The conditions were challenging to say the least. We were discouraged from using the volunteer’s car park as even Torvil and Dean would have struggled to complete their Bolero on the icy ground. There were a few icy patches in the woods but the running line continued to be as boggy as it has been for the last few weeks. There is one particular patch of sticky clay that we all try to avoid but Neil (token sorter and 583 parkrunner) Sunderland was in trouble for not telling Wendy Ballard about this hazard. Although the delay did not stop her finishing before Neil.

We also had a visit from one of parkrun’s sponsors, Exodus Travels. It would have been great to find out more about their offers for sporting holidays but it wasn’t the best weather to stand around chatting. If you want to check out their holidays take a look at the Exodus Travels website.

It was one of those mornings when you wished you were away sunning yourselves in warmer climates. Some runners had the choice as whether to face the harsh conditions but the hardy volunteers turn out week after week. Then there were the welcomed supporters, it makes such a difference when people cheer you on and say how well you are doing. As I passed Linda O’Sullivan (run director this week) at the end of the first lap, I called out how horrible it was in the dreadful weather. Linda replied by saying how much she knew I really loved it. As I ran on I thought yes she’s right. It’s amazing how parkrun, especially Banstead Woods, gets under your skin and you try your best not to miss a Saturday. I saw some enthusiastic youngsters running with their dads this week. At the end of the first lap one little girl took a tumble into the mud but soon cheered up when her dad carried her off to get cleaned up. Then there was young Howard Bartram sporting his white 10 parkrun shirt. He didn’t seem too happy with the conditions but you could see the determined look on his face as he finished with his dad Phil close behind.

This Saturday we had two landmark runs. Kevin Irvine with 100 parkruns and Andy Zonfrillo completed 250 parkruns. There were an unbelievable 12 P.B.s with James Saunderson getting a new P.B. after nearly 9 years of runs at Banstead Woods.

There was a special birthday celebration for Jim Cartwright. I don’t suppose Jim will mind me giving his age away, 78 and still battling his way round the treacherous course at Banstead Woods. Thanks for the cakes Jim. They helped the coffee go down a treat at the Mint while sorting the tokens. DSC_0280

I was spoilt for choice with my photograph selection this week but I have chosen Mike (token sorter) Bryant with his trusty hound Moss moving along to find his favoured position along the course to cheer us all on as he does every week. Then the picture of the hard working token sorters in the Mint with coffee and Jim’s cakes. Those of us eating jam doughnuts were trying not to lick our fingers as Paul Waller had left us without the antiseptic hand gel. Don’t feel too guilty Paul if any of us fall foul of a dodgy token - you might be left to do solo token sorting next week.

This week 164 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 26 were first timers and 13 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:

Therese PANETTA • Andrew STALLEY • Mark THOMPSON • Waller PAUL • Sally SKIPPER • Gill STALLEY • Elizabeth MASON • Steve O'SULLIVAN • Linda O'SULLIVAN • Chris GUEST • Ian JOHNSON • Elliott BURTON • Tony SAILL • Lorraine GARROD • Derek GARROD • Encsi NADAS • David GOODMAN • Bruce LI • Nick BILLING • Alison CATTERMOLE • Mandy OLDFIELD

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banstead Woods parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).

The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).

The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 8,911 participants have completed 86,043 parkruns covering a total distance of 430,215 km, including 14,125 new Personal Bests.

Event Reporter    Sally Skipper

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