A new route to protect old roots*
*I’d love to say I came up with that title myself but am completely plagiarising one of our regular celebrity runners at Bushy parkrun, so despite not actually saying yes to my request on Twitter Rufus Hound, thanks for this week’s run report title.
So how was this week’s run then everyone, did anyone notice anything different? My first duty of the day was to wander over to the ‘old’ start to make sure everyone knew where to go – and what a difference a week makes, this was 8.55 on Saturday morning at the old Bushy start line, notice anything missing?
Most people seemed to know where they were going so looks like a good job was done with announcements, social media postings and word of mouth – or maybe people just noticed the 1000+ runners in multi coloured clothing all heading in a different direction and sensibly decided to follow the crowd. There was one lovely moment where a woman arrived at quite high speed just before 9am on a bike, chained it to a fence around a tree and then headed towards the ‘start’ where I was standing and did a complete 360 degree spin with a ‘where is everyone hiding?’ look on her face..
So unfortunately I missed all the excitement at the start but I’m reliably informed by those who were there that it looked a little something like this:
Andy covered the reasons for the new course last week so with all the preparations done, all the twists and turns measured expertly and new course maps printed and distributed to the marshalls, the 568th running of Bushy Park parkrun was ready to go. There was much talk beforehand of would the course be quicker, would people like it and would anyone get lost (thankfully not) but the big question I had was ‘Why is it being referred to as the butterfly course’? I know Bushy Park reasonably well so know about the cricket pitch, the Millennium Woods and the playground but was there a Butterfly house or something that I wasn’t aware of we now went past or something like that? Apparently I just need to turn my head to one side a bit when looking at the map…
So anyway, the first running of the new butterfly route, how did it go? From all the feedback I heard it seemed to go brilliantly. People seemed to like the fact that you got to see quite a bit more of the park and what look like steep turns on the map aren’t as bad as they looked. And you still get to finish by the big tree which I think is great. One of the recurring themes after the run when talking to other volunteers was how amazing it looked to be a marshall out on the course. As I’m sure you all noticed, we had more people than usual out on the course pointing you in the right direction and telling you which way to go at the various junctions and from nearly every marshalling point they said you got this great view of a massive group of runners from such a long way away. So without further ado, many thanks to all of those below who gave up the chance to be amongst the first to run the new course and instead gave up their time to point you in the right direction, put up poles and sort all those pesky tokens back into some kind of order at the end.
Andrew John WINGATE • Andrew RONKSLEY • Andy PILLIDGE • Ann COWARD • Carol Margaret DICKINSON • Charles WORTH • David PAPWORTH • David WORTH • Diane MULLEN • Emma Anne WINGATE • Graham MORTIMER • Hayden MATTHEWS • Janice FRANKS • Jed LEICESTER • Jennifer MELBOURNE • John A STEPHENS • Jonathan EVANS • Jonathan HUGHES • Joy BELL • Kate MATTHEWS • Kirin TAYLOR • Lou COAKER • Loula BELL • Lucy THATCHER • Mike BANGHAM • Mike SILK • Oliver BEZZANT • Owen DELANEY • Paul KEDDIE • Paul WOOD • Phoenix LOVE • Ray COWARD • Ray FRANKS • Richard BARMAN • Sandra WORTH • Simon LANE • Susan HOWARTH • Teddy SMITH • Will FORD • Zoe Alison RIDING
The new route also gives you a great chance to see people at more than point along the run so if you do fancy volunteering sometime and give everyone or someone special a cheer out on the course it would be much appreciated. Just go to here and find out more.
Volunteers get to do all kinds of things on a Saturday morning, although some things are definitely best left to the core team!
We had an amazing 1249 people complete Saturday’s run, the second biggest Bushy attendance ever. It would have been a round 1250 but unfortunately Nick Rowe’s hamstring went ping after a couple of km and he took the difficult decision to walk back – hope it heals in time for next Sunday Nick and probably a good point to wish anyone running the London Marathon (other marathons are available) next week.
An amazing 82 people ran Bushy for the first time today, so will have no idea what all the fuss was about the new course and an amazing 100% of them all ran their best time at Bushy too. Great work one and all.. As well as that a simply brilliant 169 of you ran a new PB today, hope you celebrated suitably afterwards. So to answer one of the burning questions ‘Is the new course quicker than the old one?’ According to reliable parkrun statistician Rodney McCulloch, it’s probably a bit too early to tell but last week on the old route we had 14% of the field score PBs and this week it was 13%. For a slightly less statistically relevant result you could just look at Rodney’s result as he ran the exactly the same time this week as he did last week on the old course, so maybe it’s not going to give me the 30sec boost I was hoping for! Twitter seemed to suggest it was quicker though:
Other notable statistician Andy had thoughts on the matter too…
Of the 1,249 finishers yesterday, 531 ran the previous week and so you could assume they were at similar levels of fitness.
So of those 531 runners - 335 were quicker by an average of 90 seconds, 188 slower by 102 seconds and 8 ran the same time (including Rodney). If you combine these three groups it means the average runner was 20 seconds quicker on the Butterfly course.
Obviously, this might have been due to the strong wind last week, the new course being quicker or possibly something to do with the full moon - we just don't know! Certainly there are a load of people who ran a lot quicker or slower (45 runners changed time by more than 5 mins) and so most of the difference is made up of people who were not racing in one of the two weeks.
Anyway, I think we can conclusively put a random number on the page and claim the new course is about 20 seconds quicker - that might tempt Andy Baddeley or Mo Farah to come out of to play!
The first three people back to the tree in the wrong direction certainly seemed to enjoy the course as two of the first three managed to score Personal Bests and they all scored over 80% on the WAVA ratings. The top three in full were Taras TELKOVSKY who finished in 15.42 for a new PB, Andrew Lawrence was close behind in 15.50 and in third was our regular vegan runner Andrius JAKSEVICIUS in a new PB of 16.03.
And I couldn’t resist adding this one, this is a shot of the first finisher Taras taking from the lead bike.
For the ladies, first back was Fiona DE MAUNY who also scored a new PB with a time of 18.35, followed by Julie REYNOLDS with 19.17 and Tracey HARDCASTLE with a n, n, n, nineteen 29 (sorry, poor joke and probably showing my age there!)
First junior back was Harry MATTHEWS in a time of 17.03, followed by Benjamin WILLIAMSON with 18.55 and then Joshua PONCIA with 19.07. For the junior ladies the top three were, Ava WHITE in a time of 21.07, Isobel Maria STOCKLEY in a time of 21.44 (whose barcode I had the honour of scanning!) with Imogen KING scoring a new PB of 21.37
An amazing 10 people scored a fantastic WAVA rating of 80% or above, so well done to:
Marking the occasion of the new route by joining one of the prestigious parkrun clubs this week were:
Laurie MONTIER, Graham GOFFEY and Stuart John DWYER joined the 100 club this week and will soon be swapping red for black
Five people joined the 50 club this week so many congratulations to Deborah LINK, Debbie HIGGINS, Deborah HILL, Ellis MADLE and Laura MADLE
And finally Ava WHITE, Thomas BRENNER TRAN and Anna NORRIS all joined the Junior 10 club today so once TribeSports make them, you’ll all be getting your t-shirts sometime in June – hopefully!
Now my cunning plan of doing some proper ‘journalism’ and asking people after the run for their thoughts on the new route were slightly scuppered by a) forgetting how busy it is scanning and having no real time to talk and b) leaving my notebook in my car while having a coffee in the Pheasantry! However, I did manage to get a few short quotes while scanning and the ones that stuck in my mind are:
‘Great finish by the pond’
‘Bit busy at start’
A few more in depth answers were that it’s probably more spectator friendly as you can see people at the crossover point, the start is a bit bumpy and very narrow after a few hundred yards which could be tricky for non-regulars and running that way down Chestnut Avenue just felt wrong! I’m sure the wonderful core team will make a few little tweaks here and there as the weeks go by but I must admit I am already enjoying the new addition to the parkrun kit that is needed because of the move away from the bank by the old start:
And finally, as you know I do like to try and give a shout out to people who may not otherwise get a mention in the run report. Previously I’ve used the Fibonacci sequence, square numbers and other mathematical sequences to pick numbers.. if anyone can guess the method this week, post the answer on Facebook and you might win a prize (although to be fair, you probably won’t.)
60 – Jamie BENSON crossed the line in 60th place today and is I am sure a proud member of the 10 club and has done 13 parkruns in total, all of them at Bushy Park. His time today gave him an age grading of 75.40% which is frankly very impressive…
90 - Max Dylan Zorba ZAJDLER is also a junior and by some bizarre coincidence has done the sort of opposite of Jamie by completing 31 parkruns, again all at the home of parkrun. Max has dipped under 20 minutes once here and was only a few seconds outside that today.. he also has by far and away the best name I have seen for a long time, I have definite name envy! (Although if I’d been born a girl I was going to be called Esmerelda, - true story - so I’m not complaining too much)
148 – Crossing the line in 148th place was Jonathan COX who has run a total of 234 parkruns since 208 – and so in about 4 months will be picking up a bit of parkrun gold bling to add to the other t-shirts in his collection. Actually, will the 250 t-shirt still be black with gold bits? Does anyone know? Unlike Jamie and Max, Jonathan has headed further afield, running both Richmond AND Birmingham parkruns..
482 – A big hello to Sarah HOSEASON who has been running at Bushy since the 10th November 2012 when I wonder if she was inspired to attend because it was my brother’s 47th birthday that day? Or maybe it was just because she’d heard how great parkrun was and just wanted to get involved. Just nine runs to go for Sarah to join the 50 club.
537- Eddie ROBERTSON crossed the line in 537th place, to claim a new PB on his 19th run, the 7th PB in his runs at Bushy, a pretty impressive record if you ask me. Eddie has run a few other parkruns including one at Nonsuch park near Epsom, the name of which caused me to very nearly miss a cross country race a few years ago as I genuinely believed my clubmates were playing a trick on me telling me I had to go to ‘Non Such’ park. Clearly in my head no such park existed…
686 - Glen WASHINGTON came in 686th place on the occasion of his 119th run. Glen is a member of Teddington Rugby club who also ply their trade within Bushy Park and seem to take kids from as young as about three years old if their training sessions I’ve seen as I run past on a Sunday morning are anything to go by! It’s very cute, although by the time they get a bit older it looks a lot more scary!
785 – Charlotte Young was another recipient of a shiny PB on Saturday morning on the occasion of her fifth run. Charlotte is a member of Thames Turbo Triathlon, one of the big triathlon clubs in the area so while the rest of us were probably struggling to get out of bed she was probably in the pool knocking out 100 laps and then while many of us were pondering what post run cake to have she was no doubt jumping on a road bike for a cheeky little 60 mile bike ride. They’re mad these triathletes, awesome, but mad..
1012 – It’s a junior fest in the random name shout out section today as Isabella CLARKE crossed the line in 1012th today on her 25th run around Bushy Park. Isabella’s first run was on 8th March 2014 so was no doubt inspired as many of us no doubt are by the birthday of Cyd Charisse from Singin in the Rain fame who was born on that day in 1921. A great dancer and actress, she was rumoured to have been a runner in her early days and apparently had a 5km PB of 31.32 which was exactly the same time as Isabella ran today..
1156 – Our final random runner today I’m pleased to say is a first timer! So it’s a very big hello and welcome to the rest of your life (on Saturday mornings at least) Allison Mead. I hope you enjoyed your first run Allison and we look forward to welcoming you back again this weekend. Just 49 runs to go for your first t-shirt!
That’s it from me for this week. I’m looking forward to running the new route next weekend, look forward to seeing you all there.
Many thanks to Zoe, Jed, Andy and Carol for the photos.
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