Helen Haney, this weeks run director opened proceedings with a course briefing at the bandstand on the approach to 9am.
Runners, joggers and walkers of all ages and ablities join in at parkrun, 148 participants this week. The sprinters at the front got off to a good start as timekeeper Clare Greenwood set the timer going. The course is a 5km challenging route, 3 times past the cenotaph and twice past the head of the lake, the sprinters 'in the zone' perhaps didn't notice the lovely surroundings so much, but the park is lovely if you remember to look and comes at no extra cost. On the way round there's always encouragement and praise from the marshals and spectators and it's lovely to see so many people taking part, youngsters with their parents, older parkrunners (one parkrunner recently celebrated her 77th birthday) and friends who just like to have a natter along the way. Pet owners with happy dogs and many lads and ladies on a new fitness regime. Whatever the reason, it's just good to see them.
After next to no time at all those sprinters have already made good ground, Ryan Everett was over the finish line and had his breath back before most of us were about half way round but with a time of 17:39 it's no wonder. Ryan is often 1st finisher and today was his 70th parkrun to date. 2nd to finish this week-Matt Berry. Matt's usual parkrun in South Manchester and today made his 5th appearance at Barrow with a time of 18:21 and that earned him 2nd place.
Paul Brennan and Kirsten Farquhar joined us this week, adding Barrow to their very impressive list of tourist parkruns. We hope Barrow was a memorable one for them. Paul finished in a very impressive time of 20:45 in 4th position and Kirsten completed the course in a brilliant time of 21:29, her 200th parkrun so far and was 1st lady to complete todays event. Paul and Kirsten, well done!
There are so many brilliant achievements this week, and so many deserve a mention, tourists who joined us, first time parkrunners and so many new faces recently.18 taker parters recorded new personal best times (PB's) and many came close but perhaps the best achievement we all made was just taking part, getting there and doing it. We made the effort!
Last week regular runner and volunteer Fiona Bannister ran her 250th parkrun at Blackpool's Stanley park, this week however she was back at Barrow wearing her promptly delivered milestone tshirt supplied free by Tribesports and brought cake to share out at the cafe after the event. Congratulations Fiona.
15 unknown runners completed the course, they either forgot to bring along their barcodes or haven't registered yet. It's easy to register and you can find details here - http://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/.
The team of 25 volunteers made the event happen, and are very much appreciated. Thank you very much.
Come along next week, give it a try. We won't bite.