The Joy of 13
We had coach loads making the trip to Bushy this week with significant visits from Chipping Sodbury parkrun and Ware Joggers. There was a parkrun record attempt, and of course the novelty of running the “old” course for a change, although not quite the oldest course variant.
Thirteen hundred plus is becoming the new norm. Once again Bushy hosted the highest number of parkrun participants in the UK as 1,330 runners, walkers, dogs and buggy-encapsulated children and babies completed the 680th Bushy parkrun on the 13th day of May. There are now three UK parkruns with 1,000+ participants: Bushy, Cannon Hill (Birmingham) and Southampton which had 1,074 this weekend, a new record for them.
We had a fantastic team of 50 volunteers out this week, including Ali Kennedy as our Run Director with the experienced team of Hayden Matthews and Emma Wingate on timekeeper and backup. One of the key roles on the day is to coordinate the 50 or so volunteers and Lucy Thatcher and Alex Tickell were there to ensure we had assorted marshals and funnel managers in the right place. The funnel management team did another great job. Always a bit tricky on this day to remember how and where to place all the poles given we only have this course once a year and the funnel is in a completely different place. It also had to be a little longer given numbers have increased since last year. All was fine because Ray Franks (13th on the list of volunteers) and Stewart Rose have good memories.
Michael Trott was on Lead Bike this week, and there was an expert team of scanners comprising Sophie Darke, Mike Dennison, George Ford, Luke Harvey and Yue Man.
Full list of volunteers this week:
Andrew ALLEN, Mike BANGHAM, Sam BARRETT, Bob BELL, Loula BELL, Nick BLANCHARD, Phil BLUER, Ray COWARD, Tom CURSONS, Sophie DARKE, Mike DENNISON, Lorraine DILLAMORE, Andrew FINCH, George FORD, Ray FRANKS, Sarah FRASER, Luke HARVEY, Libby HORAN, Jackie HORAN, Susan HOWARTH, Andrew HOWARTH, Emilie HOWES, Ivor HUGHES, Lucy KATESMARK, Ali KENNEDY, Courtney LE FRANC, Colin LEA, Carolyn LOVEGROVE, Yue MAN, Ethan MANN, Hayden MATTHEWS, Fiona MCANENA, Rodney Howard MCCULLOCH, Andrew MEAD, Kelly MORRIS, Pat NAIR, Oliver NOLAN-DAVIES, Alan NOLAN-DAVIES, Peter PETERSONS, Jacky SINCLAIR, Julie SMITH, Wendy STOKES, Lucy THATCHER, Alex TICKELL, Michael TROTT, Mia Lily VINCENT, Alexander WEATHERSTONE, Emma Anne WINGATE, Poppy WRIGHT, Fran WYLDE
If anyone fancies a go at volunteering, just drop an e-mail to Pat McGrath at email@example.com . It’s great fun to do.
Tourists and other First timers
We had the pleasure of two large tourist groups this week. At least 26 runners from Ware Joggers (where’s that? - in Hertfordshire) made their first visit to the cradle of parkrun, resplendent in their red and white kit. Their motto is “Run for Fun”. Simple, effective and makes a lot of sense. Good slogan for them: Be Ware Joggers? (I’ll get my coat). Their local parkrun is Panshanger which is in a very pleasant park near Hertford, slightly undulating so I am sure they enjoyed Bushy’s flat course. There were also a few from nearby Gunpowder parkrun.
Another group were visiting from the quaintly named Chipping Sodbury parkrun just north east of Bristol. There were also a few Little Stoke, Pomphrey Hill and Ashton Court apricots amongst the group. They do go in for great names in this part of the country with members of Hogweed Trotters Running Club (motto: Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast, after a certain W. Shakespeare), Frampton Cotterell Harriers, Emerson’s Green RC, Westbury Harriers, Sole Sisters, Staple Hill Runners, Thornbury RC and Tetbury Dolphins RC all represented (and possibly more).
Amongst the Chipping Sodbury contingent , there were also a number of milestones, so step forward Laura Majewski and Andy Airey doing their 100th parkrun and Jenny McCallum on her 50th. Meanwhile Deborah Williams completed her 99th run so the 100 will have to wait until next week.
Visiting from Tring parkrun were Run Director Katie Haines, and Gary and Gus Evans, all sporting parkrun t-shirts and big smiles. Katie managed to smash her best Tring time, which is an undulating course, in 23:49.
Winning the long distance tourist prize this week were the delightfully friendly Sandra Murphy and Mick Mirovic who normally run at Albert parkrun, Melbourne. Sandra was born in Liverpool and had recently returned “home” to run Knowsley parkrun. Sandra follows the Reds and Mick follows Spurs so it’s been a bit of mixed season for both. They were looking super happy after their first Bushy parkrun.
There were 60 people doing their first ever parkrun and I managed to capture a number of them, including an ecstatic Angela Mill who shouted to me as she passed that she was so happy to complete her first parkrun, and was a cancer survivor to boot - such a great achievement and she was clearly and rightly feeling very proud all round. Angela, you certainly made my day that much sweeter.
A reluctant finisher?
There were 107 personal bests this week; not as many usual, so perhaps the old course is more challenging after all. Of the Bushy regulars, junior runner David Gannon (241 runs) managed to knock 1 second off his PB in 24:48. Heather Clarence managed her second consecutive PB in her 85th parkrun and 16th at Bushy. Heather normally runs at North Beach Durban, South Africa.
The joy of 13
“The world is split into people who walk under ladders and those that walk into them.” – Anon.
The number 13 presents horrors for some, opportunities for others. Did you know that flights on Friday 13th are significantly cheaper than other days due to the drop in demand? Your next opportunity to book a cheap long weekend away is Friday 13th October, or you could wait until Friday 13th April 2018. I know some people who have already booked ahead. The origins of triskaidekaphobia are unclear, but some relate it to the Last Supper where 13 sat at the table. There are people who refuse to attend or host a meal with 13 people, and will either disinvite a guest or more likely invite a 14th – I am always available.
Other famous examples include the fact that Apollo 13 suffered its “Houston, we have a problem” moment on 13th April. The Costa Concordia struck its reef on Friday 13thJanuary 2012 and more recently the Paris terrorist attacks were on Friday 13th. I am sure there are many more such coincidences. Oddly enough the number 17 is unlucky in Italy where some planes have no row 17 and some hotels have no room 17. So maybe if flying to and from Italy, book for the 17th.
There were no runners reaching the landmark 500 parkruns this week. Next up is Simon Greenhill on 492 - not long now for the coveted blue shirt.
250 club No runners reached the magic 250. Next up is Stephen Martin on 248.
100 club We had three people celebrating 100 runs this week. All were tourists, the aforementioned Laura Majewski and Andy Airey were joined by Andrew Hughes who normally runs at Gloucester North parkrun and was making his first visit to Bushy.
50 Club Seven runners reached 50 this week. Step forward to receive your red shirts: Margaret Balfour, Julia Booker, Rachel Bunnett, William Lea, Jenny McCallum, Justin Reid and Dominic Rhodes.
10 Club Six juniors achieved 10 runs and can order their pristine white shirts: Ewan Duncan (New PB!), Joe Gale (New PB!), Alice Griffiths (New PB!), Katie McCarthy, Lily-Ella Woodings, and Louis Woodward.
More joy of 13
The first ever parkrun had 13 participants and the 13th person that day was Simon Lawrence in 29:39. Simon still runs and last did so on New Year’s Day 2017 for his 11th parkrun (2 more needed Simon). In 13th place this week was Nick Wright in 17:49 in his 306th parkrun. 13th female finisher was junior Helena White (JW11-14) in a PB time of 21:36. I notice that time is 13 in 26 which itself is twice 13. It is also possible Helena is aged 13.
Finally congratulations to the following who completed their 13th parkrun, hopefully without incident: Philippa Agyemang, Richard Hayler, Sophie Anderson, Ali Newman, Matt Cockett, David Rey, Louise Zass-Bangham Trudi Messer, Jamie McPhee and Tim Slater.
First home to the Bushy Park oak tree was Jonathan Cornish in the rather fast time of 15:38 in his 76th parkrun. Second home after Mr Unknown was Ted Mockett in 16:51 in his 117th parkrun. Third finisher was Craig Jarman in 16:57. First female was Katy Hedgethorne in 18:05 and 20th overall, followed by Polly Adams, in 19:58 and third was Rosy Gross in 20:03.
For the junior ladies, first finisher was Isabel Livesey in 20:06 followed by Helena White in a PB time of 21:36 and Imogen King in 21:44. Fantastic running all round. For the junior boys, first finisher was Ollie Hurdle in 17:26 (New PB!) and 8th overall followed by James Milton in 19:02 and Ethan Newton in 19:26.
A total of ten runners exceeded the formidable 80% age grading mark: Polly Adams, Justin Reid, Jonathan Cornish, Katy Hedgethorne, Ramona Thevenet, Liz Zass, Sam Dobson, Mark Harris, Jonathan Mainwaring and Merran Sell. Special mention to youngster Sam Dobson (JM10) who also managed a New PB! in 20:10. Well done Sam.
Stats of the day Bushy parkrun #680
There were 1330 parkrunners – 1223 identified, 107 unknown (DFYB!) (8% of the field).
Of the 1223 identified parkrunners, there were:
- 143 Juniors aged under 18 (12%) and 210 Seniors aged 18-34 (17%)
- 869 Vets (71%) of which 120 are 35-39, 332 are 40-49, 299 are 50-59, 91 are 60-69, 23 are 70+ and 5 are 80+
- 721 males (59%) and 502 females (41%)
Weather conditions Umbrella quotient: 0 out of 5
- Temperature: 15˚C, part sunny, south west wind, 11mph
Of the 1223 identified finishers, there were:
- 70 runners sub 20 mins (6%),
- 372 between 20:00-24:59 (30%)
- 405 25:00-29:59 (33%)
- 376over 30 mins (31%)
- Midpoint time: 27:05
Finally amongst the Ware Joggers, we were privileged to have John Butcher who will be 86 in August. It’s amazing what parkrun encourages these days whether doing a different parkrun every week or simply just turning up to your local one week in week out. John has set himself the goal of beating 20 different parkrun records in the VM85-89 age category. Bushy’s record in this category stands at 32:59 by Eric Shirley Snr on 24 January 2015 and John had a team of pacers out in force to give it a go. John said that this would be a tough one as his normal best time is around 33 minutes. As it happens, John came in on 33:11 so just missed the record by 13 seconds. Unlucky John. 33:11 is of course an anagram of 13:13.
If you want to see any more photos of the day please have a look at the Bushy Photo page at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/bushy/photos/ I was aiming to get a photo of every participant.