Happy St David’s Day!
To commemorate this parkrunday, a little verse for all you David’s out there and any Welsh parkrunners too. I remembered to wear my daffodil even though I am neither of the these! The daffodil, a generic Welsh symbol which is in season during March or the leek (Saint David’s personal symbol) are usually worn on the lapel this day to celebrate the occasion. Oh and I thought this was somewhat nicer than a poem about leeks, if such a verse exists!
In the words of William Wordsworth:
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.
David, meaning ‘beloved’ and has 21 variant forms including Davi, Daven and Daffy! So not wishing this day to pass with them ducking out of a parkrun mention!
Let’s hear it for the boys: David Barton, David Baker, Dave Hall, David Langridge, David Eldridge, David Poole, David Waters, David Kimball, David Matthews, David Klein, David Kenway, David Brewin, David Symmons, David Worth, David Rimmer, Dave Griffiths, David Watson, David Myers, David Noble, David Tyas, my husband and volunteer David Papworth, absentees David Rowe (who was out cycling) and David Hudson (who was apparently hungover!) That’s a lot of Daffy love at Bushy!
Yes we did it, we survived the floods and the wettest weather since records began in 1910. Now it’s time to peek ahead and look forward to the month of March, which to me means gradual lighter nights and hopefully a touch of Spring in our step. Mmmm the month of that feel good factor. When I awoke this parkrunday the sun was out, the sky was blue but this was short lived as I cycled on my way as the murky weather set in and the mist descended on Bushy Park.
I was feeling somewhat mischievous on this occasion as I set about my volunteer duty, handing out the finish tokens with the marvelous Michael Trott.
Much to my own amusement, I got to march down the empty funnel ahead of the crowds before the madness and the mayhem of the event which made me laugh out loud as I clenched token number 1 in my hands! My husband remarked that I am easily pleased! I certainly was as minutes later I had the privilege of handing over the said token to its rightful owner. Whilst we waited though for the multitude of athletes to descend on us, I glanced around this wondrous sight that is set out in a small part of this vast park and just think how magical it all is. It’s like we are all part of a fairytale in this enchanted woodland. In the beginning, we scurry around like little elves and goblins, not to be noticed by the outside world and as if by magic everything comes together. Everyone has their role to play, the funnel team and scanners have to be briefed,
marshals are put in their place, the Timer takes his position,
the token team discuss their tactics, it’s a great collaboration all around. As this epic story unfolds, in the middle of this runaway success the mass of 878 parkrunners make their presence known as this exciting adventure continues. Suddenly, with a whoosh of a wand, eventually everyone disappears, everything is packed away, the park is peaceful and all evidence of us being there is gone.
There’s always a happy ending too over beverages at The Pheasantry as we share our own stories with others who like to listen. Thankfully this Bushy blockbuster is a never ending story as it happens all over again, same time and place. Let’s see where this week’s chapter takes us?
So how did you all do at event number 507?
The muddy conditions underfoot from Friday’s downpour made the course more challenging and there was also an obstacle in the shape of a digger in the path of the final straight. The results processing and volunteer co-ordinating was back in the capable hands of Ray and Ann Coward who returned from their ski trip thankfully intact.
First registered males across the finish line:
Paul Lowe finishes first in 16.19 on his 87th run followed shortly by junior athlete Kieran Gilfedder in 16.41. Third male was familiar figure Andrius Jakesevicius just some 4 seconds later.
First females across the finish line:
First lady Katherine Philp, who usually runs at Guildford, came back to Bushy to challenge her previous time set two weeks ago and led the women home in 18.59 wiping 45 seconds off her original time. Bushy regular Polly Adams followed in 20.41 and hot on her heels just 5 seconds later was Jo Bourne who matched her PB which she set in June 2010. Clearly the “dry” January and February and determination have paid off.
Junior Males were:
Wycombe runner Kieran Gilfedder returned to Bushy in 16.41 and was second registered male home. He was closely followed Cassian Hyde after a few months absence in 17.12 with regular Harry Matthews in 17.28. These youngsters are closing in on the adult males as these brisk boys claimed finish tokens 3,7 & 8 respectively.
Junior Females were
Darcy Bourne led the girls home in 22.18 followed by Kathryn Bartle in 23.06. Just 19 seconds afterwards was Maddie Boyles who has an impressive 106 park runs to her name.
The Stats Bit
There was a slight dip in tokens handed out this week as just 878 participants tackled the mud.
Who were they?
• 304 of the identified field were female and 516 were male
• 58 declined to register their result or simply had forgotten their barcode
• why not order one online, impress your fellow parkrunners and never forget it!
• 48 runners were First Timers at Bushy Park – 36 of these were totally new to parkrun
• There were an awesome 123 runners who clocked up New PBs!
• 50 registered runners dealt with the March mud to cross the finish in less than 20 minutes!
• Just two runners had an age grading above 80% - Bernie Mulvany 81.23% & Will Cockerell 81.09%
Alas, there was not one new member of the 250 club this week…but two! They joined the other 23 that were present at the park today. How much gold bling did you spot on your lap? Philip Bearman was the first one out of the duo to cross the line in 18.48, he told me he was taking it easy today! He has been recovering from injury and yet still continued to take part at Bushy each week as he has his sights firmly fixed on the points table and retaining his title which he claimed last year. Celebrations are on hold though for another week as his son, also Philip (and a fast runner!) couldn’t be at Bushy to share his dad’s delight as he was definitely taking the mad March saying literally as he was taking part in ‘The Nuts Challenge’ one of the UK’s top mud runs and obstacle course races. I think that Dad could be tempted to follow in his son’s footsteps as Philip seemed pretty enthused by this. Just don’t wear your shiny new 250 top when you are doing it!
Wally Garrod crossed the finish some 20 minutes later but in great spirits, taking it in his stride and with a smile on his face. So he should have as Wally has recently had heart surgery and had to take a break from Bushy for a while but he’s back and can now rightfully claim his gold bling top. With all these matching 250 tops we could be asking ‘Where’s Wally?’
Carmen and Jeremy Palmer and Dave James Griffiths are no doubt counting down the weeks, just three to go!
Hitting their century with pride no doubt were: Susan Howarth, Bill Woods, Brian Grew, Steven Vey and Matthew Morey alongside his dad Laurence. The father and son duo hasn’t strayed far from Bushy as they have sampled Richmond and Old Deer, oh and Roodepoort which is where they spent Summer 2013, in South Africa. Well now Matthew, on Saturday mornings, it will be the only time it is acceptable to dress the same as your dad!
Stuart Henderson, Daren Harman and Christopher Dean will soon be trading in their red 50 tops as they loiter on 99 runs.
This delightful duo are now able to collect their red half a century top: Lilian Mace & Anna Harrison. Alex Fergusson (not Sir!) will soon be adding to his team of red tops as he sits on the bench until one more lap of the park.
A trio of triumphant juniors are joining the perfect 10 team: Ciara Aldous, Phoebe Fennel and Samuel Shaw. Ellis Madle and Mary Schofield have one more lap to go.
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400 runs and still raring to go!
John Hanscomb, today completed his 400th parkrun!
John began his parkrun passion in January 2005 at Bushy and has visited Brighton and Nonsuch on 4 occasions during his parkrun career. He is one of the original team who started up the London Marathon and has finished it 27 times. At the first London event in 1981 he ran alongside fellow Ranelagh Harrier and marathon founder Chris Brasher, who was the pacemaker when Roger Bannister ran the first sub four minute mile. John actually finished ahead of his team mate with his long steady training regime compared to Chris’s mix of speed and distance and he crossed the line in 2hours 54 minutes and 29 seconds! Even though his marathon running days are now in the distance, his passion for parkrun continues as he makes a regular appearance in the field each week, despite doctor’s orders to take it easy!
The future of parkrun
It just goes to show that parkrun is for everyone, from the young to the old as today I met parkrunners of the future, 6 week old twins Harry and Lexi. Proud parents, Michael and Fiona Reekie are Bushy regulars and introduced the babes to the world of parkrun when they were just 10 days old when they had a walk around the course. When they get a little older and stronger, the twins that is, the mum and dad will be taking turns to get out the new BOB (it’s a running buggy) and cannot wait to get the wheels turning. Adorable is all I can say! Feeling broody!
It’s a family affair
Families certainly are most welcome at this free weekly event and I met up with three today who were celebrating in true Bushy style with bubbles and bacon baps! I thought that I could smell alcohol so off I went to investigate and I was right. Having a good time is what it’s all about at parkrun, the running is optional! The Harrisons composed of Anna who ran her 50th today, husband Peter (the caterer) and children 10 year old Tom and 7 year old Kate. They were joined by The Reddish family and the Ryans who are all regulars at Bushy too. Anna began her adventure at Bushy some 2 years ago. She was introduced to the event by established parkrunner Diane Reddish, whom she has become firm friends with since the family returned from living in Alaska where Peter’s job in the oil industry took them to live for four years. It’s always a good place to meet people at the school gates and as their sons’ friendship developed so has theirs. Thankfully, like their companionship, their passion for exercise has grown too and Anna has planned a swimathon with the family and she is also doing the Bupa 10k and the Turks Head 10k. Looks like this soon to be ‘lady in red’ has a lot to thank her colleague for as she seems to have got the bug!
Going for silver
George Dixon was on bucket duty this week and from my position at the end of the funnel I could hear him yelling at people not to take their tokens home and to put them in the bucket if they didn’t have their barcode. Sadly, two slipped through the net, must have been when he blinked!
George is a frequent volunteer as he is now doing his silver Duke of Edinburgh award. The scheme is to give young people the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfill their potential and have a brighter future. Whilst we were waiting for the runners to come home he was telling me and my partner in crime, Michael that he has to play tennis for the fitness part, does go-karting for the skill (and the thrill) and has to do 6 months of volunteering for which, lucky for us, he has chosen Bushy parkrun. That way also, he can get a lift to the park with his mum, she can run and he gets breakfast in the café afterwards. How hard can this D of E be?! I informed George that during my teenage years I managed to do my Bronze and I remember swimming in my pyjamas as part of the challenge. A bemused Michael Trott queried ‘didn’t you get up in time?!’ Anyway, George is doing a sterling job in his role of volunteering, as I am sure he is too with tennis and karting. Next week he will be absent from duties as he is off to Poland for a History trip and will be spending his weekend at Concentration Camps followed by a trip to the Waterpark. Maybe he could try his volunteering skills out at Gdansk parkrun! Have a great trip George!
Last but not at all least! Congratulations to our very own Run Director Ray Coward and the lovely teenager Emma Dickinson who both took part in the Reading Half Marathon this weekend. Looks like Emma has caught the running bug well and truly as she completed her first ever half in 1.54. She obviously takes after her father Jonathan! Experienced Ray completed ‘not his first half’ in a respectable 2.27. Those medals are certainly worth showing off!
What’s on next week?
It’s t-shirt time! Suzan and Carol will be there to greet you under the gazebo with your gear. Maybe a cupcake or brownie too. Also, the team from St Mary’s will be there too with their tables and towels offering free massages to anyone who needs one or just wants one. As part of their training they have to do 50 hours sports massage each so they plan to be with us for the next few weeks so make the most of it. A free run and massage, life cannot get any better than that!
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