The nice kind of rain
As Emma, our Run Director, said as part of the morning announcements the rain was most welcome this week. It was the good kind of rain which doesn’t really get you wet, but does cool things down enough to improve conditions and allow you to run without sweat pouring down your face.
A had run on the Friday night – my wife had driven round a colleague’s house for some drinks and so I was running to Esher to collect her and the car. It works quite well - she gives me an hour warning and then I can combine playing taxi driver with getting a good training session in! It’s something we have done on a number of occasions, but on this one I was a wee bit late – it was so humid the air was thick like soup and despite running a good 30-45 seconds per kilometre slower than my 10k pace I found myself dripping with sweat and my mind playing tricks as to whether it is justifiable to walk.
‘I should probably stop and look at the map on my phone’
‘Um, I think I know the way to Esher’
‘Yes, but what if it is really Esher borders – i.e. Molesey!’
‘Okay – well just for a minute!’
So after a somewhat disappointing run on the Friday night, I turned up at Bushy unsure as to how I would run, but the drizzle meant things were much nicer – although still a bit steamy – and I managed a far better run which put me in a much more positive state of mind than I had been on the previous night, especially with a 10k race scheduled for the following day. However, without that bit of cooling I think I would have been struggling to get anywhere near a decent pace!
The 527th Bushy parkrun
Not feeling the effects of the humidity this week was Andrew Lawrence who scorched round the course in 16:12 to be the first man back to the big tree. He was followed home by an Unknown Runner with Andrius Jaksevicius not far back in 16:42 and Harry Matthews coming in fourth (17:28). Harry led the junior field with Jack Butler (19:40) and Felix Essex (21:28) following him home.
The ladies event saw Keiko Tanaka home first in 19:43 followed by junior runner Hanna Lidbetter (20:38) and Polly Adams (20:42). Hanna obviously was the first of the juniors with Catlin Wheeler second (22:39) and Sarah Lidbetter third (23:54).
Well done guys and to all of the 786 runners who completed the course.
The humidity meant that only three runners could break the magical 80% WAVA Age Grading barrier, so congratulations go to Bernie Mulvany, Deborah Steer and Ramona Thevenet.
That said, we did see 88 people set a new PB, 10 of whom have more than 50 parkruns on their record. Well done to Richard Baggott, David Brewin, Duncan Ball, Bianca Hollis, Ian Riley, Dean Tyler, Chris Sheldrake, Frances Overton, Susan Noone and Harjit Jhooti
And nothing stops people’s dedication to parkrun, so a bunch of people joined new parkrun clubs. Ben Liley and Clare Teasdale will soon be sporting their new 50 Club tops, while Stephen Penpraze, Sharon Andrew, Helen Gilkes and Charlie Leech will be ditching their red tops in favour of the black 100 Club t-shirts
Well done all of you!
This week was pacers week and I was stuck in the middle – the most frustrating thing on pacers day!
To slow to keep up with one, but quick enough not to want to run with the next one! But, I guess nevermind – there is always next month.
This week we had even pacers (20 mins to 34) and as always they did a great job!
So big thanks go to Ian, Rob, Jack, Zoe, Simon, David and Steve for their efforts.
However, I wanted to mention one piece of dedication. Simon Lane has paced once before and felt he hadn’t done a good enough job last time – I think he missed his target by about 5 seconds!!! Anyway, this time around he pre-booked the 30 minute slot with Andy Pillidge (who organises pacers each month) and then did a whole series of practice runs at that pace. Both earlier that week and then also in the morning – it meant that when things got serious he could be more confident and showed it with a metronomic 29:58 finish!
It was noticed as there was a nice smattering of PBs in the seconds just ahead and behind him and he received a comment from one of his pack on Facebook…
Helen Nicol - Thanks to the 30 minute pacer - your practice run was worth it!
Similarly, there was also a comment…
Susan Noone - BIG thank you to the 26min pacer.....hurry up with the texts !
Susan Noone - Got my text ...first PB in 18 months - cheers Jed!
So it is really appreciated and thank you to everyone who comments – it’s part of what makes it one of the best volunteering jobs.
Do you fancy a spot of volunteering
This week you might have noticed a few gaps in the volunteering team. We were a wee bit short and so there were a few less marshals and a few less people on the funnel etc. Whilst this isn’t a huge problem it is a shame, especially as it meant we had to rely on many of the same faces week in week out. I don’t know whether it was the anticipated storms or the summer holidays, but earlier in the week I think we had about 4 people on the roster! It meant this week that instead of having a nice jog around the park our usual Run Director and Volunteer Co-ordinator, Ray and Ann Coward, decided they would help out as the list looked a bit threadbare. People like Ray and Ann will always step in, but they shouldn’t have to!
parkrun suggests that if they want people should aim to volunteer three times a year. Now since Bushy parkrun has had an average of 892 runners per week for the last year we should (in theory) get more than 50 volunteers offering their services each week. We only need half that figure, so we shouldn’t really be scratching around for help!
So I really wanted to put a request out – if you don’t fancy volunteering, then please don’t and there is nothing wrong with choosing to run instead. But if you have ever considered it, then please drop an email to Pat at email@example.com and put your name down. It is brilliant fun and there really aren’t any jobs which are at all scary - it is a lovely way to meet other people and if things go wrong there is not much which isn’t recoverable.
On registration, all you need to do is scan people barcodes. It something doesn’t work or you can’t hear your bleep – do it again! Worst case when we come to process the results there is a red box highlighting that Runner X is in twice and we click a button to remove the duplicate.
On the finish tokens, this week the guys picked up the wrong bunch of numbers and so the person who came 500th received token 500, but the person who came in next picked up 551! Whoops! Well not really, when we process the results, you simply delete the errant results and it recalibrates! Token 551 becomes 501 and all is sorted – and a bunch of people even get a pleasant surprise.
On the timer, we have two timers and so you get to do a few goes as a practice without it being serious
As a marshal, I guess it is pretty serious if you direct people the wrong way, but I think this is unlikely and since only 44 people this week were new to Bushy parkrun I reckon someone would correct things pretty quick!
There are even a bunch of roles you can combine with running – obviously pacing, but if you fancy learning how to process the results in the café afterwards you would be welcome or obviously we are always keen to get new Run Reporters or people to keep the kit in the week.
Volunteering is fun, largely consequence free and it what allows us to keep doing such an awesome event!
And finally – play fair!
There is a parkrun rule which says ‘No barcode, no result’. Bring your barcode and you will get a result whatever, don’t and you won’t! If you bring a barcode to parkrun and it gets ruined by excess sweat or your rip it in half getting it out your pocket, then we will write down your details and manually input your results into the system. However, if you forget you barcode then we don’t. It is that simple and should be a universal across parkrun.
This week we had a runner who forgotten their barcode, but then had looked up their details on their smartphone and were very persistent in their attempts to have it written down – because their local run is willing to do it. To her credit, Sarah, who was manning the clipboard, stood firm. I know it can be frustrating – you’ve just run, maybe got a good time and now aren’t going to get any acknowledgement when it is so easy for Sarah just to write down two numbers - but we can’t do it as it is not fair.
We can’t make exceptions as otherwise it means you really don’t have to bother bringing your barcode and soon enough the list of 15 or so people we input by hand each week becomes 30 or 50 or 100 runners and then the guys doing the results are drinking more and more coffee in the Pheasantry – that then leads to a caffeine addiction, insomnia, … and it all spirals out of control!
Probably not, but it is a shame that the guy will go away from Bushy annoyed and think we put on a rubbish event, when actually Sarah was just adhering to the rules.
So please remember your barcodes and if you forget it – remember your position and for that week you can be called Unknown Runner!
Hope that makes sense
Anyway, that’s all for this week – sorry for the lack of photos, but I stood in at the last minute!
Take care and see you next week
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