Basingstoke parkrun #541, 30th June 2018, Run Report by Matt Pillinger
Before I move onto the stats, the parish newsletter announcements;
The 541st running of Basingstoke parkrun saw 542 runners complete the 5k course. Its been a long time since we had a 'perfect parkrun' (event no. = no. of runners), event 453 on 19 November 2016 to be precise. Surely it will happen soon? but then I remember saying that a few months ago. Those familiar with the Friday 'predict the attendance' competition on facebook will know I always predict 'perfect' so I have more reason than most to hope for 542 runners next week.
Speaking of next week - its our 10th birthday and we are at Crabtree. We also will have a special (non human) visitor - want to know more, well you'll just have to turn up next Saturday.
All 542 runners today are special, but we had 1 very special tourist - 9 years and 51 weeks ago, Euan Bowman started the very first Basingstoke parkrun and he was our first Event Director. Chatting to Euan today he was quite impressed with how much Basingstoke has grown since he emigrated in 2012 and indeed the growth of parkrun around the UK. Every great oak starts with an acorn though and none of us would be running or volunteering if it wasn't for Euan's dedication and commitment to getting us up and running. It might be that Euan emigrated because Basingstoke could no longer satisfy his parkrun ambitions - for he is now country manager for parkrun Canada, which has 15 events and is growing all the time.
Which brings me nicely onto summer holidays (this is the first report I have written which has some semblance of flow to it). During the summer, lots of you will be off around the UK or overseas - check if there is a parkrun close to your holiday. parkrun is in 19 other countries as well as all over the UK.
With many of our regular volunteers off on holiday too, we could always use some additional helpers over the summer, so please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and help us put on your weekly run.
We had 19 brand new to parkrun athletes today, many of whom were completing Hook Runners ABC (Absolute Beginners Course); and 16 first time visitors - hope to see you all again next week.
Lots of milestones today as well: congratulations to juniors Sophie Taylor and Matthew Davey on their 10th runs, Neil Barton and Gareth Evans each completing their 50th, Roy Packer and Steve Parker on their 100th runs, Kerry Starkey on her 150th (breaking the 2 parkrunners at each milestone pattern) and Ruth Chenery and our super Event Director, Avi Govind on their 200th run. Bethan Mason also did her 25th volunteer stint today to earn her purple t-shirt.
Mike Robbins was first finisher today, in 17:02, followed by Andy Goddard (17:17) and Tom Harding (17:39), all 3 of them among the 96 runners who are going home with a new PB. For the women, Kate Towerton was first in 19:19, followed by the ever consistent (& fast) Alison James in 20:36 and Penny Abbott in 21:39. Alison, Mark Slaney and Tony Watkins were the top 3 in the age graded league. All 3 of them are in their 50's (I know its hard to believe), which gives hope to us who have a year or 2 to go before we reach our half century.
Last parish council notice - Every week the RD reminds all runners that under 11's must run accompanied by an adult. Perhaps we should be more precise in our statement - today a young girl did one lap with her Mum and was then left at the finish area while Mum did another lap. She was quite upset, but was well looked after by Grant Hodgson and Lisa Hedderly, for which they have my thanks. Our volunteers have enough to do without taking on childcare duties - so a reminder - look after your under 11's please!
Our attendances by event, with the course record at each point shown on the red line.
The course record is 693 from 13 May 2017.
As we are half way through the year, here are the attendance stats
Shock, horror, we are down, for the first time ever, we have lower attendance for the first 6 months than in the previous year and this is despite there being 1 more event in 2018. April 2017 is highlighted as it was, and remains, our highest ever monthly attendance. The highest ever average runners per event in a calendar month was May 2017 with 587.
Ever worry that you are a bit slow for parkrun, well here's our total number of finishers in each time bracket since we started;
Any runner up to around 40:00 will have lots of friends around them and even after that you are unlikely to be lonely. Think you'll be last - well you never will be, because we always have a tailwalker and if you do go round with our usual tailwalker, Tommy Millar, you'll have a wonderful time, for he is a great conversationalist and has a huge collection of stories.
Ever wondered which course is fastest? Well wonder no more. For the last couple of years (since 12 Mar 2016) I've been maintaining average finish time for every known (so unknown athletes excluded) runner and also which course we ran, so here goes;
Here are the time differences between each course, using the faster course as the base - so Crabtree Skylark is 2:15 slower than War Memorial Summer Course. Who reckons they can beat that next week?
If you are a faster runner and thinking '2:15, piece of cake', I'm afraid it's tougher for you, as the differences are based on the average time at each event, so here are the percentage differences
To calculate your predicted time next week, take this weeks time, convert it into seconds (Multiply the minutes by 60 then add the seconds), then divide it by 0.9284 to get your time in seconds for next week. So for Euan Bowman (20:12 today)
(20 * 60) + 12 = 1,212 / 0.9284 = 1,305 seconds. So Euan has 21:45 to get round next week.
Finally, I'd like to apologise for starting the run at 9:01 today. I have been reminded of the rules of parkrun and it won't happen again