In parkrun circles there is an oft repeated maxim – ‘it never rains at parkrun’. This refers to the curious phenomenon that regardless of the forecast there will be a window between 9 and 10 am on Saturday morning during which any bad weather will hold off, allowing parkrunners to complete their 5k run with the elements on their side. This phenomenon is part of what makes parkrun a little bit magical, and is attributed to the ‘parkrun weather fairies’ that allow for ideal weather conditions during the event. Now I’m not going to comment on the existence or otherwise of such supernatural beings. But what I will say is that if they do exist then they weren’t following their work instructions correctly this weekend. When I left home at 7:30 it was overcast but otherwise fine, and later in the day it brightened up nicely. But during the run a passing shower announced itself overhead, drenching runners from head to toe and making conditions underfoot rather treacherous. Hopefully those weather fairies will be resuming their normal service next week!
The Beckenham Place parkrun finish funnel – a welcome sight on a day like today!
Perhaps unsurprisingly the rain led to an attendance of only 89 at the 11th Beckenham Place parkrun, which is the lowest number of runners in the short history of this event. However the weather did not deter 34 first timers on the day, 9 of whom were completely new to parkrun too. Welcome to you all, and we hope to see you again soon. And while running conditions were less than ideal, there were some impressive performances in spite of that.
For the men, Matthew FIELD was first across the line at the sixth time of asking with a time of 18:24, Tim AYRES of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC took second place with 18:31, and Graham SUTHERLAND of Clapham Chasers RC took third in 18:39, running his second fastest ever parkrun and equalling his highest ever parkrun finishing position in the process. Crystal Palace regular Liz PEPPER led the way for the women, running her second fastest ever parkrun in a time of 23:27, Linda INGRAM of South London Harriers was second in 23:43 and Melanie BURDETT of Beckenham RC took third with 24:23. Great work, folks!
Third place finisher Graham Sutherland (left) together with his clubmate Chris Williams – who was kind enough to offer me a lift home!
And what of PBs, I hear you ask? Well while there were only 9 today, there were also a few standout performances among them. For example, Yuval GEFFEN and Wallis HANDELMANN improved the times they set last weekend by 42 seconds and 2 minutes 8 seconds to get 25:49 and 27:57 respectively. And Janine DREYER knocked 52 seconds off her previous PB in her third consecutive run here with 29:47. But the single biggest improvement of the week came from John O’TOOLE of Petts Wood Runners, who bettered the time he set on New Year’s Eve by an astounding 3 minutes and 32 seconds and has a new PB of 25:03. Bravo to you all!
Event 11 was also a special one for Karol DORNIAK, who chose to complete his 50th parkrun at Beckenham Place and did so in a time of 21:08 – his 20th fastest ever parkrun. Congratulations, Karol – and don’t forget to claim your red milestone shirt!
Run Director Julian King (left) and Run Report Writer Mark Shotton
Finally, a big thank goes to third time Run Director Julian KING, who did an excellent job in making everyone feel welcome on the day, and to his helpers Anthony LENNOX, Georgina SELWAY, Kyle DAVIES, Maria CHANDLER, Mark RUSHTON, Mark SHOTTON, Miranda KING, Molly DAVIS, Pat KERRINS, Patrick BAUGHAN, Phil DAVIS, Tim AYRES and Zoe SOPPER. As you may be aware, parkrun is organised by volunteers and we need help every week, so why not help out a few times this year? You can do so by having a look at the roster at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/beckenhamplace/futureroster/ and e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And while experience is not required, enthusiasm is essential!