parkrun #452 – 20th January 2018
Stories from the park
My husband and I often say that it never rains on parkrun – because even when the forecast is rain, it is amazing how often that 45-60 mins on Saturday mornings is actually rain-free. I’m afraid that was not quite true today. There was definitely some wet stuff coming down – although it was not too heavy. Having spent a couple of minutes in front of the wardrobe trying to decide on clothing choice, it was interesting to note the wide range of clothing choices: right from the shorts and vest but with gloves, through to long-sleeves and long trousers, or a mix of these. I was also amused to overhear two gentlemen running side-by-side up by the ‘North-End puddle’ (at c.600m) say: “urgh, I am getting muddy”. The good news is that Black Park mud is very light and small particle size, so brushes off very easily!
The forecast probably put some people off, so we had a smaller-than-recent number of finishers at 534. However there were 48 first-timers and 41 different clubs represented. An impressive 53 people recorded Personal Bests.
This week I chatted to mother and daughter team: Allison and Verity. Verity has been having a bit of a break since her 100th parkrun last summer, but today had braved the cold to meet up with (and I think a little bit of racing against) friends Emily and Mollie, and their Mum, Frances.
Allison first found out about parkun in 2012, after seeing a poster on the noticeboard in Black Park during a family walk. She has now done 182 parkruns and Verity 109 as well as a couple of Junior parkruns. Allison recalled how when Verity was a baby, they would spectate whilst other members of the family ran. Then they built up to taking part: doing the first 1K and cutting back, or to 3K and then stopping at the café, with Verity in the pushchair and then with Verity on her bike. One day they realised that if they could make it to the café and walk back to the finish area, then they could do the whole 5K. From there Verity progressed to running too and ran the whole way for the first time when she was 6 ¾ years old. And speeding up every year. Quite a progression!
Allison was sporting some lovely leggings today – and it transpired that she had worn these, and her parkrun T-shirt in one of the school assemblies that she had led in her role as Deputy Head. They are her ‘pants of perspective’ – worn in honour of Anna McNuff who came into the school to inspire and enable children to get outside and explore. Allison shared her experiences of parkrun – and how all of them would be welcome at parkrun. It was all such an inspiration that the school had a specific day where every child wore leggings, as their ‘pants of perspective’!
This conversation all led me to read up a little more on Anna McNuff – named by the Guardian as ‘one of the most inspiring female adventurers of our time’ and by Conde Nast in the top 50 ‘most influential travellers in the world’. She has done a TEDx talk (barefoot and in leggings, of course) and has a book called ‘The Pants of Perspective’. Whilst she did not consider herself a runner, she ran the 3,000km Te Araroa trail in the wilds of New Zealand – camping rough or with shelter from the local Kiwis – the first time anyone has done this unsupported. Naturally, it was not all a smooth run…..
So today’s lovely parkrun has given me ‘pants of perspective’ – inspiration, friendship and fun that goes way beyond the 5,000m of the lovely woodland that we travel through together.
And it also made me want to reference the lovely piece in this week’s parkrun newsletter from Bushy Park – including Elisabeth’s perspective from her ‘corner’ of the different groups within the 1,300 people who stream past and how they behave, what it means to share in something at the same time as other members of her family are doing the same in different parts of the country, and how it has meant that she always gets greeted on the street now whenever she is in out in Teddington. Could it be because of the internet, she asks?!
This was all made possible by 21 volunteers – a big cheer for them:
David PRIDDY • Fred ASHFORD • Andy TORRANCE • Sue BREE • Ian SMALES • Zoe SMITH • Freya SMITH • Bob STANBROOK • Carol COOMBS • David COOMBS • Cherry KEY • Minnie CROSS • Raymond John HOYLE • Audrey PARSONS • James HORSFIELD • George MARDALL • Alexandra MARTIN • Lotte VISSER • Martin STEWART • Madeline KATTA-WORAE • Jaskaran Singh SALL
Thank you to George for the photos – these are already on the Flickr group, which can be accessed via the photo link on the Black Park parkrun page or via this link:
Achievements this week
It is worth noting that our first male finisher this week was Harry Turner in the junior 15-17 year-old age group with a new personal best of 17:03 and an age grading of 79.12%. In fact 4 of the top 6 finishers all ran PBs – with 6th position going to Ben Jackson in the junior 11-14 year old age group with an age grading of 76.38%.
We also congratulate new members of the parkrun milestone clubs:
10 Club – Callum SMITH, Lucas HOMER
50 Club - Craig GRAHAM, Kevin HOLLIGAN, Lara SOUTHWORTH, Luke STRICKLAND
100 Club - Simon MARKS
I also felt the need to pick out a few Aesthetically Pleasing Finishing Times:
Zena Phillips of Datchet Dashers with 22:22
David Gaffney of Hillingdon AC with 24:24
Phil Pocock with 24:42
Manzoor Mohammed with 25:25
Karen Trunkfield with 28:28
Keiran Ottley (first timer) with 29:29
Alex Glonek of Farnham Common Joggers and Wheelers with 31:31 (with an aesthetically pleasing 101 runs!)
Gary Strickland with 32:32 (a new PB on his 10th run)
Richard Wolfe (first timer) with 40:40
As always, we will have pacers for the first Saturday of the month – 4th February.
Finally, our group of run reporters always wants to bring to life some of the different experiences of different individuals and groups within Black Park parkrun. If you would like to tell a little of your personal story, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will hopefully catch up with you at Black Park and feature your story.
Black Park parkrun started on 18th July 2009. Since then 15,613 participants have completed 163,169 parkruns covering a total distance of 815,845 km, including 26,377 new Personal Bests.