Hello Bushy Park! Jessica Carmody reporting! This is my first time writing the run report, so if you note the use (overuse?) of exclamation marks appearing more frequently this time around please put it down to my excitement at becoming a volunteer and writing this all in one go! (See? I did it again.) I have to say I’m glad that Bushy’s parkrun happened on the 10th when I was feeling well and spritely, as opposed to today, when I’m sitting here writing this in bed with whole lot of Vicks Vaporub, Olbas Oil, Lemsip, Berrocca and echninacea. (Just imagine the pervading scent of eucalyptus. Yes. You’ve got it.)
Me after Saturday’s Bushy parkrun!
Yesterday was a very special day for me two other reasons. Firstly, we had the privilege of meeting Andrew Overton, who talked to the 1023 runners 39 volunteers and many supporters and spectators about parkrun’s partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK.
This October, each and every parkrunner can contribute to defeating dementia: from Saturday 10th – Saturday 31st October, everyone taking part in parkrun can support vital dementia research by taking part in Donate Your Time. This invites you to convert your finish time each weekend into a donation to power dementia research. You could do it once or on all four weeks!
It’s easy. Simply complete your run, open your result email, click the banner and donate your time, or any amount of your choosing. You can also donate your time by clicking here.
Obviously this means that the slower you run, the more you pay (if you choose to donate your actual time). [Ed's Note - you can of course donate any amount if you so wish.] Never have I wanted to be Anthony Jackson more. (See below for male first placers.) Seriously though, while I would love to beat Anthony Jackson, I’d need some kind of rocket-fuel-powered trainers to achieve that, which might not align with parkrun’s fairness or consideration values, and I am delighted to have donated my £28.31 to this fantastic cause.
Speaking of which, here are the first three male finishers:
Anthony JACKSON (SM25-29) of Sittingbourne Striders, was first over the line in 16:09 - his 49th time as first finisher in 154 appearances.
Andrius JAKSEVICIUS (SM30-34) of Belgrave Harriers, was second over the line in 16:11 - Andrius has been first to finish on 18 previous occasions.
Tom HIGGINS (SM25-29) of Thames Turbo Triathlon, was third over the line in 17:03.
Here are the female top three finishers. I want to be them too, just so you know.
Kate TOWERTON (SW30-34) of Winchester and District AC, was first (16th overall) over the line in 18:03 - second time in 2 appearances.
Isabel BRINSDEN (SW20-24) of Epsom & Ewell Harriers, was second (18th overall) over the line in 18:16 - was first to finish once before.
Sophia PARVIZI-WAYNE (SW18-19) of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, was third (21st overall) over the line in 18:29.
Here’s Andrew Overton’s story from couch to 5K to parkrun to Duathlon – and all for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Andrew Overton, campaigner for Alzheimer’s Research UK
“I started running through listening to Radio 4's Saturday Live in early January. The guest was Paul Sinton-Hewitt the founder of parkrun, [an] amazing Saturday morning get together, now a worldwide fun running extravaganza! I made the mistake of telling both of our daughters about it, thought nothing more until they rang to say that they were going to come and see Nicola and me run! So we thought that we had better head off to Bushy Park and try out the 5k course - phew!
That was almost 9 months ago. Each week I seemed to shave my time by minutes and soon after was dreaming of entering a triathlon (the ultimate endurance test) before I die - and quite possibly the cause!
When the parkrun results email page came through a few Saturday's ago I spotted something called a Duathlon - that'll do to start with thought I! 5K run, 22k cycle, 5k run...... Easy Peasy!
Through Alzheimer’s Research UK I secured a place and as this is a charity of recent interest I am delighted to be raising money for them aiming for a minimum target of £350 that they have kindly asked for.”
Andrew has raised in the region of £4500 so far – amazing work – and here he is post Bushy parkrun yesterday. Great work Andrew! You can also support Andrew with future runs on his fundraising page here:
This parkrun was also very special for me because Saturday 10th October was World Mental Health Day 2015. I myself suffer from depression and anxiety – have done for 20+years - and running helps me manage my condition, so I am especially grateful to parkrun for not only providing a free 5K every week but helping me find a reason to get out of bed (which I find very hard at times) and run with such a fantastically supportive community. Thanks to Ray for finding me 30 seconds during the announcements to say “Hi” and invite all you lovely people to come and say hello after the run and share your stories with me – thanks to those of you who did!
The main themes of stories I heard on Saturday were how running and fitness helped people’s mental health, e.g. (Anonymous) “Depression is pretty much the reason why I started running roughly when I turned 30. That and being fat. Still what I turn to when I'm anxious or feeling down.”
(Also Anonymous) “My friend came to me and told me they had depression. I’d known him for years but it was the first time he had mentioned it. People feel ashamed to talk about it.”
I campaign for mental health charities Mind and Time to Change and now have my own campaign to challenge stigma around mental illness. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit my Facebook page and read my blog Laptop on Tour – you’ll read a lot about parkrun in there as running is a massive help to my mental health!
Right, back on track to the stats and the run. It was a beautiful day for a run despite the various obstacles of potentially dangerous rowdy stags, professional photographers snapping aforementioned stags, and surprised cyclists trying to get to work while a thousand running enthusiasts sweated and staggered past (that was me, anyway).
In such good running weather it’s no surprise to me that we had 72 first timers and 143 runners who recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 62 different athletics clubs took part – great stuff.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Ian Colin JOHNSON (VM45-49) was graded 84.73% for the time 17:08 (4th overall).
Liz ZASS (VW65-69) was graded 84.56% for the time 25:54 (471st overall).
Peter MOYSEY (VM50-54) was graded 83.71% for the time 17:54 (13th overall).
Special stat: current list of exclamation marks used in this report: 13
(If that’s wrong I’m blaming it on the lurgy.)
Special mention to Justine Albert, in 108th place who got a fantastic new PB, to the lovely people I met in the funnel – nice talking with you, to Dan who came to say hi and talked to me about his anxiety and running – Dan you’re inspiring! And, *sigh* to my husband Mat who, as usual, beat me through the funnel… but is amazing and supports me with my depression every single day. Thank you. And I’m coming for you next week!
Good work to all of those above and of course to everyone who completed the run in whatever time – every run is a personal best when you get out there with your trainers on and get involved with parkrun. See you again soon – say hi next time!
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