Looking back with nostalgia always seems to make the memory of events in the past a little bit better than they were and the recollection of parkrun’s past does get blurred after a while ... BUT – I’m sure it never used to rain at 9am on a Saturday morning. Whatever we’d done to upset the weather gods recently had come to a head this morning, heavy rain and one of those mornings when it never seems to get to ‘daylight’. There was surface water around the start and any thoughts of dodging puddles were soon forgotten. Often the worst part of these mornings is the waiting to get going as it was blooming cold stood there. Even at 8.55 the start was deserted but gradually runners appeared from behind trees, from cars, from the toilet blocks and umbrella’s were discarded for the the next half hour or so.
Event Director Rob Phillips, proudly sporting his Harlequins hat after Friday nights classic victory gave us a warm welcome, with particularly loud applause for the hardy volunteers. It certainly was a good weekend for the Quin(n)s but more of that later.
Then we were off, once we started running the cold didn’t seem to matter and we splashed our way towards Kingston. It reminded me a lot of the cross country days at school (yes I was one of those odd people that loved it) and once you get going I enjoy running in the rain. I think the kid part of many runners came out as we ran through puddles, slipped through mud and generally smiled our way round the 5K.
There was a small lake forming on the path just past the mile mark and Chestnut Avenue was even more difficult to stay upright this week. The deer appeared to have the right idea as we headed back up Cobblers Walk and just looked in bewilderment as close to 700 people paddled past them.
The weather certainly had an impact on the turnout with ‘just’ 697 runners – almost half the number we had 4 weeks ago. This was the lowest number of runners we have had in over 2 years (690 on 12th November 2016) which was an equally wet event and credit to everyone who dragged themselves out the warmth of the duvet to take part.
Alongside Rob was his team of dedicated volunteers and a big thank you once again to everyone helping out this morning. If you have ever thought about volunteering I’d definitely recommend giving it a go, there are many varied roles available each week and newcomers are especially welcomed. E-mail Pat McGrath at email@example.com and he can give any guidance about the roles he can.
Thank you to the volunteers - Andy ANSTEY, Joy BELL, Donald BELL, Marisa BILLETT, Phil BLUER, Susan COSTELLOE, Lorraine DILLAMORE, Ella EDWARDS, Isabella FAGG, Zoe Alison FAIZ, Jude FISHER, Janice FRANKS, Ray FRANKS, Robert FREY, Christine FRY, Glady GARTLAND, Jad HAIDAR, Finley HARRISON, Emily HARRISON, Evie HINDE, Bianca HOLLIS, Melanie HOWES, Emilie HOWES, Andrew LANSDOWN, Sarah LOKY, Sophie LONERGAN, Denise MITCHELL, Laura Helen MOSLEY, Diane MULLEN, Rob PHILLIPS, Lucy PORTER, Megan PORTER, Peter REAY, Lucas RICHARDSON, Ian RILEY, Jo ROSE, Nick ROWE, Natalie RUDLEY, Nick SAVILL, Julie SMITH, Alice STAIN, Catherine STENSON, David STEWART, Malcolm J TAYLOR, Ben THERON, Amelie THOMAS, Alex TICKELL
Since Bushy started we have now seen 1,825 people volunteer a total of 18,497 times – your help really is appreciated (especially on days like today)
Amongst the masses at the start we welcomed 12 people running their first ever parkrun and hope to see all of you back again by the fountain some Saturday morning in the near future (honestly its not always like this!). In addition, we had a further 51 parkrunners making their first pilgrimage to the place where it all began. The wet conditions were tough going so a special congratulations to the 32 runners who achieved a Bushy PB.
Of the 138 runners who achieved their PB’s today 16 of them have over 30 parkruns to their names. Special mentions to all of those today:
We had 8 member of the 500 club at our parkrun today – headed by the amazing John Hanscomb who has now finished 598 parkruns. They were joined by 96 members of 250 club, 213 in the 100 club and a further 113 50 club runners.
33 runners either hadn’t registered or committed that dreaded event of forgetting their bar-code #DFYB.
The runners included the usual tourists from all over the world including Dean Thackray who was visiting from Liverpool running Bugs, a large contingent of Reading Roadrunners who were helping Louise Atkinson to celebrate her milestone and a special mention to a group from Elmbridge RRC who were completing their Couch to 5K graduation.
This Saturday saw no new members of the 500 club with the closest being Suzan Baker on 488 runs.
We did however have 3 new members of the 250 club. Kevin Quinn (who can also be found writing this run report from time to time) reached the mark with 212 of his runs here at Bushy, his first ever parkrun was in April 2013 and has a PB of 22:24. He had a large group to help him celebrate in the traditional Bushy way … cake and fizz despite the weather nothing can stop a good party.
Also reaching 250 was David Alderson who was making his Bushy Park debut (thank you for choosing the home of parkrun for your special day). His home event is Gateshead where he has completed 219 runs. His first ever run was at Newcastle in March 2013 with a speedy all time PB of 20:58
Last but not least is Louise Atkinson. Louise has now run 86 times at Bushy after moving to the area with her partner Aaron. Her former home run was Reading and many of her colleagues from her previous club Reading roadrunners made the trip down the M4 to help her celebrate. Louise has fully immersed herself into the local running scene and helped with the formation of SHAEF Shifters where she has filled the role of Membership Secretary. Here first parkrun was in November 2011 with an all-time PB of 23:06
We had 4 runners move into the 100 club. Richard Davies who has run 92 of his events at Bushy, Steve Carpenter (96 with us), Martyn Drake with all bar one of his events here and finally Lindsay Middleton-Scarr, who was making her Bushy debut with her home run being Reigate Priory – thanks for the cake.
We had 8 runners join the 50 club Claudia Burrough, Rob Wilkins, Mojca Kristan, Sara Moore, Liz Chick and Clare Schauerman, red shirts to follow shortly. Congratulations!
Well done to all and look forward to seeing the new milestone t shirts.
A few random mentions to runners with random numbers to spread the parkrun love.
On event 763 – in position 763 we had … no-one … so a special mention to Marisa Billett who finished in position 697
The average time of all the 520,942 parkruns ever completed at Bushy is 26:55 and running that today was Neil Cornish on his 85th event.
We have now had 49,076 different runners take part in the Bushy event so in 49th place was Ben Church running 20:37 which was a PB on his 4th event – well done Ben.
Last weekend in the UK alone there were 574 5k parkrun events with 133,427 runners. So in position 574 was John Stallard running 32:57 on his first ever event – welcome John.
Today is the 1st December so in position 112 was Steven Bowles running 134 event with 22:32.
Well done to all.
For the men Andrius JAKSEVICIUS (VM35-39) of Belgrave Harriers, was first over the line in 16:06. Ross FRANKS (SM25-29) of St Mary’s Richmond AC was second in 16:31 with Justin REID (VM45-49) of SHAEF Shifters next in 17:39
For the females Lauren HALL of Aldershot, Farnham & District, was first (5th overall) over the line in 17:48 - first time in 2 appearances. Helen MAGUIRE (VW40-44) (Unattached) was second (70th overall) over the line in 21:15. Justine ALBERT (VW40-44) was third (75th overall) over the line in 21:24
We had 8 runners with age grades of over 80%
Patricia RONKSLEY 22:05 VW55-59 84.23%
Gary NEVILLE 19:16 VM60-64 83.22%
Lauren HALL 17:48 SW25-29 83.15%
Andrius JAKSEVICIUS 16:06 VM35-39 82.92%
Justin REID 17:39 VM45-49 82.91%
Micky ANDERSON 19:04 VM55-59 81.29%
Fran KENDEN 25:30 VW65-69 80.72%
Patrick MCDOUGALL 18:28 VM50-54 80.51%
The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 15:58 on 22nd October 2011 (event number 379). The male record is held by Andrew BADDELEY who recorded a time of 13:48 on 11th August 2012 (event number 422). The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 100.23% (21:30) on 24th September 2016 (event number 645).
Bushy parkrun started on 2nd October 2004. Since then 49,076 participants have completed 520,942 parkruns covering a total distance of 2,604,710 km, including 72,385 new Personal Bests.
The festive season really kicks off now and we can expect some smaller run days due to party hangovers, Christmas shopping trips and other family commitments. However the gift to us from parkrun HQ is not 1, not 2 but 3 possible extra parkruns during the Xmas period. As well as every Saturday at 9am, here at Bushy we also have extra events on both Christmas Day and New Years Day. The 25th December run really is a special event and last year we saw an amazing 1,586 particpants which is our 2nd biggest ever turn out. As well as Bushy there is also the chance to do an extra run on New Years day after completing your usual 5k here – a number of other events are scheduled at different times to allow for this once a year ‘double’ with local options including Kingston at 10am or Crane Park at 10.30am.
Lets just hope the weather gods look more favourably on us in the coming weeks.
Until next Saturday …..