Lovely morning, no rain, no wind, bit of sunshine, blossom on the trees. The park looked good, an ideal morning for a PB and 48 out of 396 runners obliged. This is my first report for over a year. The days when I did 30 reports in a year are long gone, and now not necessary. By my reckoning nine of the excellent core team have penned a report this year already. In a moment of madness however I decided that I fancied writing a report, got in the queue and came up with marathon weekend! Now this is significant because I like to find as many runners as possible who were visiting from other parkruns, and give them a mention. On marathon weekend the city is full of parkrunners from all over the place. I like a challenge and so far I have found 24, but I think there could have been many more. They are not all that obvious from the results, particularly if they have no club against their name, but I have my methods.
So here are the ones that I have found so far: Andy McGregor (Dulwich), Austin Soane and Brenda Cotterell (Frimley), Matthew and Amanda Knight (Braunstone, Leicester), Gary Window (Wimbledon), Colin Stark (Holkham, Norfolk), Chris Merrylees and Emily Hannant (Sherringham), Dan Slayford (Southend), Steve Paull and Penny Hudson (Harrow), Lydia Felton (Norwich), Kevin Martin (Maidstone), Jon Rodgers (Osterley), Kevin Denny (Shorne Woods, Gravesend), Robert Sandford and Lucia Roberts (Great Notley, Essex),Michael Conway (Southsea), Liane Slaughter (Barking), Tim Hooker (Guildford), Linda Wright (Reading), Charlotte New (Southampton) and Rebecca Dunnell (Finsbury) who I have left to last so that I can mention that this was her 100th parkrun. Congratulations. Hope you all enjoyed your visit to Hove Park and that we will see you again.
Among those visitors Austin Soane was probably the star of the day with an excellent 60-64 time of 18.26 as the fifth to finish. His time was the third fastest ever in the age group at our event, but of more significance was his age grade of 90.14%. In ten years of parkrunning at Hove Park, only 8 runners, over all age groups, out of a total of seventeen and a half thousand have achieved a 90% grading. Last week Emil Pruden, whose 111 runs have been split roughly between Preston and Hove Parks, recorded his first Hove Park top placing. This week he did it again with a new PB of 16.55. Next was Benn Pomfret with 17.54, followed by an unknown runner. Andy McGregor was therefore the next named runner with 18.23. Among the women Katie McGregor took the honours with 19.59, just outside her PB. Second to finish, Nicole Airey, did get a PB by almost a minute recording 20.13 ahead of Freya Lemans 20.30. Following Austin Soanes age grade was Jonathan Burrell 82.25% and Alexander Sava 80.70%. Just missing 80% was Sue Brumwell with 79.70%.
Completing the statistics, there were 396 runners, 48 PBs, 60 first timers and 47 volunteers ensuring as usual a smooth operation. In addition to visitor Rebecca Dunnell’s 100th run, Nick Dry reached 400 and Paul Edge ran his 50th. Among the 48 PBs were Dan Caplin, 23.59 to 23.04, Catherine Crawford, four in a row to go from 27.24 to 26.29 and Nikola Jane White 31.20 to 30.35. You have to go back to June 2014 for Rick Crockett’s last PB at 25.20. Nearly 4 years and 50 parkruns later he finally came up with 24.23 on Saturday.
In the list of visitors on Saturday, I included Charlotte New from Southampton. Charlotte is deaf, and one of three Sign Language Interpreters at her parkrun. On Saturday she needed information and fortunately we have our own such official in David Simmons, who was able to help her. If any of our runners know of anyone who may be put off from parkrun by hearing problems, please let them know that we have help available.