12 is the magic number!
1212 parkrunners on the 12th anniversary of parkrun, it’s almost as if we planned it! 12 was definitely the magic number at Bushy Park on Saturday morning, as we gathered to celebrate our 12th birthday on the fifth International parkrun day, as we had our fifth 500 club member, anniversary presentations and tourists flocked from as far as Australia!
12 years ago on October 2nd 2004 a movement began, with just thirteen pioneers and a handful of volunteers on an Autumn morning for a 5k run in Bushy Park – just like the one we enjoyed on Saturday, albeit with a few more people now!
The thirteen parkrun pioneers on October 2nd 2004 in Bushy Park
Yes, the numbers have increased - but that same simple concept of a kicking off the weekend with a free 5k run with friends and family, young and old, together in a park, it remains exactly the same now as it was in 2004: it is changing and enriching people’s lives in so many immeasurable ways beyond just being active, and it will continue to do so in the future. The only difference now is that more and more people are able to enjoy that parkrun experience around the world and what it means – an absolute lasting legacy from that day in 2004 that continues to astound and grow, and we have Paul Sinton Hewitt CBE and those early pioneers to thank for that.
The image above shows in numbers where parkrun is today - who knows what the future will bring and how many different countries we can enjoy a parkrun in and visit places we’d never have seen otherwise.
A glorious start to the weekend in Bushy Park
Walking into Bushy Park on Saturday around 8:15am it looked like a typical autumn morning with warm sunshine burning the low mist away as the stags bellowed out across the royal park, it was an amazing sight - one of the many reasons I enjoy coming to the park every Saturday morning – no two are ever the same!
A majestic stag bellowing across Bushy Park as the mist melted away
As the anniversary presentations began at 8:45am a dark cloud appeared from the west, a sign of what was to come! More on the presentations to come below, read on!
Come 9am with a few thick spots of rain falling as Run Director Ray Coward concluded his run briefing, 1,212 parkrunners set off on Lime Avenue for the 646th Bushy parkrun - of which 110 were Bushy first timers, and 50 were making their parkrun debut, welcome along!
The rain continued to build as we set off, but I think once you get really wet you don’t worry too much then about running through the puddles! It was one of the wettest parkruns I can remember, although I am reliably informed by those at a recent Christmas Day parkrun that it was much wetter then! For the 50 of you doing your first parkrun, rain at Bushy Park at 9am on a Saturday is rarer than snow at Christmas!
The funnel team as the first few runners arrived and the heavens opened!
The volunteers on Saturday were exceptional with their enthusiasm in spite of the rain, it really was much appreciated! Léonie Kennedy had prepared well for the weather as she clicked you all across the line on what was another busy morning, with 108 finishers in the 22nd minute alone! The experienced pair of Jan Franks and Carol Dickinson were giving out the tokens, Ray Franks was co-ordinating the double funnel, with Nick Blanchard at the end of the funnel – a good sight to see as the shelter of the scanners under the big oak tree at the finish beckoned! Emma Wingate conducted the first timers’ briefing whilst Ann Coward and Alex Tickell co-ordinated all the volunteers, a special mention for the marshals out on the course standing in the rain for nearly an hour!
Léonie Kennedy was well prepared for the rain as the timekeeper!
In all a team of 53 volunteers were ready to marshal, time and register your run, as well as setup, looking after the kit for a week and writing the run report. If you have ever considered volunteering, don’t be shy, give it a try! If you are available to help, or would like to find out more, then do get in touch with Pat McGrath at email@example.com and he’d pleased to hear from you!
Queues building for the scanners - 67 unscannable barcodes in the rain (mostly paper ones!)
Full list of volunteers on the day:
Adam COLLMAN • Adam HYLAN • Alex PITT • Alex TICKELL • Ali KENNEDY • Andrew FINCH • Ann COWARD • Anna MACLEAN • Carol Margaret DICKINSON • Carole VINE • Carolyn FOSTER • Courtney LE FRANC • David PAPWORTH • Diane MULLEN • Eddie ROBERTSON • Ellie WALLWORK • Emilie HOWES • Emma Anne WINGATE • Ethan MULLEN • Fiona MCANENA • Florence LEICESTER • Hayden MATTHEWS • Heather WALLINGTON • Helen BRETT • James SELL • Jamie CHAPMAN • Janice FRANKS • Joanne GREEN • John ROOT • Julie MELOTTE • Kevin QUINN • Leonie KENNEDY • Lilian MACE • Lionel JORDAN • Liz ZASS • Lizzy LEICESTER • Margaret LE FRANC • Marje SLADDEN • Megan LUPO • Mig BURGESS • Nick BLANCHARD • Phoebe TARVER • Ray COWARD • Ray FRANKS • Rebecca THOMAS • Rodney Howard MCCULLOCH • Sarah FRASER • Steve BRETT • Susan GRAHAM • Suzanne GREEN • Tom FAIRBROTHER • Tom LEICESTER • Yue MAN
Without any further ado, let’s move on to this week’s headline makers and record breakers!
As it was the 12th anniversary, we began as always with the presentations, as awards were given out based on the points tables over the last 12 months, as well as for volunteering during the last year. Our parkrun founder (it says so on his t-shirt!) Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE (PSH) was on hand to give out the awards, thank you PSH!
PSH CBE with Event Directors Hayden Matthews and Ray Coward
Sonia O’Sullivan Salver
This is awarded to the first female on the points table over the last year, and is named after Sonia O’Sullivan. Sonia held the ladies’ course record at Bushy for five years, was the 5000m World Champion in 1995, an Olympic silver medallist over the same distance in the 2000 games at Sydney, and a two-time World Cross-Country Champion!
This year’s recipient was Sacha Kennedy - definitely our youngest ever person to receive this award, well done Sacha on an outstanding year! Polly Adams was second and Ramona Thevenet third. Congratulations!
John Hanscomb Trophy
This is awarded to the first male on the points table over the last year and is named after John Hanscomb. John has completed 501 Bushy parkruns - more than anyone else, was the fourth person to join the 500 club and most impressively completed the first 28 London Marathons between 1981 and 2008!
This year’s recipient was Mark Gratton once again, with Jeremy Langdon second and Rob Jones third. Well done guys!
Moving on to the junior prizes – Imogen King received the girls’ award, and for the boys it was Dominic Rhodes, although Dominic wasn’t present so his brother Andrew Rhodes accepted the award on his behalf. Well done to Imogen and Dominic!
Imogen King receiving the junior girls award
Andrew Rhodes accepting junior boys award on behalf of Dominic Rhodes
Under 11 prizes
Awards are also given to the U11 boy and girl who have completed the most runs since the last anniversary. This year’s award winners were Isabel Melbourne or the girls, and for the boys it was Matthew Ronaldson and James Ronaldson. It was a great moment watching them receive their prizes, well done Isabel, Matthew and James!
Isabel Melbourne collecting the Under 11 girls award
Matthew and James Ronaldson collecting the Under 11 boys award
Timothy Bennett Trophy
The Timothy Bennett Trophy is awarded each anniversary to the Volunteer of the Year. Timothy Bennett was a local shoemaker based in Hampton Wick – who, in 1754, successfully championed the cause for walkers to gain a new public footpath through our favourite park, linking Hampton Wick and Hampton Hill. On our new parkrun course we use Cobbler’s Walk twice, so we have Mr Bennett to thank for using this path!
This year’s award was given to Nick Blanchard! Nick is a familiar face at the end of the double funnel, collecting the funnel letters and encouraging us through the funnel, all done with great humour every week. Congratulations Nick on the well-deserved award!
Nick Blanchard collecting the Timothy Bennett Trophy
Golden Thumb Award
This award is given to a timer at Bushy parkrun who has achieved 5 clicks in one second, and as Léonie Kennedy clicked five finishers in a single second at last year’s anniversary, she was given the prize this time. Well done Léonie!
Léonie Kennedy collecting the Golden Thumb award!
Another award was given to Una of a box of chocolates – she regularly sorts out the position tokens into their sets of hundreds in the separate orange coloured trays, which I’m sure most of you have seen at Bushy! Well done Una.
A big thanks to Keith Riding who filmed the presentations, the start of the run and the world-famous double funnel, which you can see in the video here!
500, 250, 100, 50 and 10 clubs
There were numerous parkrun club celebrations going on for our 12th birthday, I think some advanced calendar planning was going on!
Paul Killick - the fifth member of the 500 club!
Paul Killick became the fifth member of the 500 club, joining Darren Wood, Richard Fletcher, Neil Sunderland and John Hanscomb! Paul made his debut just over a decade ago at event 88 on 2th May 2006, running 26:49 – on that day there were 127 runners taking part and Bushy was the only event, there’s been quite a change over the last ten years! Of his 500 parkruns, 487 of them have been here at Bushy, 4 at Medina IOW, 2 at Bedfont Lakes and Frimley Lodge, and 1 each at Woking, Crane Park, Old Deer Park, Albert Park and Barrow. Many congratulations Paul, it was good to see you collect your new 500 top from PSH, well deserved!
Paul Killick collecting his '500' top from PSH
We had a joint celebration for the 250 club this time, congratulations to Jenny Melbourne and Andrew Melbourne! Jenny made her parkrun debut at event 251 on 23rd May 2009, and two weeks later Andrew joined in as well! Since then their family has grown and it has been great to see them all enjoying the parkrun experience together over the last few years, and as mentioned earlier their daughter Isabel earned the under 11 prize for most runs at Bushy in the last year! Well done on timing the milestone to coincide with the 12th anniversary, and thanks for the excellent ‘250’ cakes!
The Melbourne family!
Superb '250' cakes - note the logo on the zero!
The 250 club continues to grow every week, and of those who ran on Saturday, Fiona Macneil is one run away on 249, and Rob Jones, Austin Molnar and Rob Turner are all on 247.
There were three new members of the 100 club this time – Karen Moreland, Kathryn Hone and Simon Wheatley, congratulations! You can look forward to ordering the black 100 Tribesports top very soon! Matthew Carmody, Charlotte Bezzant and Keith Blackbourn are all on 99 not out and could reach three figures on Saturday.
Eight of you celebrated joining the 50 club and will be wearing the coveted red Tribesports 50 top with pride in the near future. Congratulations to: Harry Tuckman – who posted a new PB, Shane Sharkey – who was making his debut here for the Stilton Striders, Cleide Burgess, Fi Webster, Graham Lovelace, John Gardiner, Pam Jarman and Sue Black!
Harry Tuckman - a new member of the 50 club!
Pam Jarman celebrates joining the 50 club with her family.
Another five of you are one run away from a half-century: Maria McMahon, Sarah Hoseason, Jonathan Ellis, Becky Wadey and Zoe Millington-Jones.
We had one new member of the junior 10 club (for under 18s only) congratulations to: Archie Nowell and James Kotze!
For more info on the parkrun clubs and accompanying free t-shirts, and how to order them, do visit the parkrun support FAQ
We had tourists from far and wide on Saturday, across the UK and from as far away as Australia! Paul Kitching (32 runs) joined us from Mount Barker parkrun, near Adelaide in Australia! Paul will be visiting a few more parkruns during his stay in the UK, thanks for coming Paul and choosing to come to Bushy on International parkrun day!
Paul Kitching came to Bushy from Australia for International parkrun day
From Coventry parkrun we welcomed Wendy Foxall (247 runs) and Christopher Foxall (94 runs) for the first time – they regularly run at Coventry but have done plenty of tourism around the UK. Thanks for coming and we hope you’ll return on another occasion! Andy Richardson was another first timer here with 142 runs under his belt – he has completed parkruns in 4 different countries as he has previously visited Uditore parkrun in Italy, Amager Strandpark in Denmark and Marlay parkrun in Ireland!
The Stilton Striders brought along a group to come to Bushy for the anniversary run: Vanessa Walker (56 runs), Shane Sharkey (50 runs), Ben Pickard (43 runs), Laura Pickard (38 runs), Luke Eggleston (35 runs), Ray Walker (29 runs) and Wendy Piesley (6 runs). They all joined us from their home parkrun at Melton Mowbray, along with Liz Parkinson (67 runs). Thanks to all of you for coming!
Wolverhampton parkrun regulars Andrew Fletcher (66 runs) and Alison Fletcher (62 runs) also chose to make their Bushy debut on our anniversary, and from Essex we welcomed Jane Mann (74 runs), Suzanne Easley (72 runs), Stephen Easley (70 runs) for their first runs here.
Thanks to all of those who chose to visit Bushy for the first time, and returning tourists too!
167 of you managed to set a PB on Saturday in spite of the rain and ever increasing puddles, well done to you all! And five of you set your fastest time at Bushy having completed at least a century of runs here! The most experienced Bushy parkrunner to set a new PB was Austin Molnar, running 20:58 for his first sub 21 minute time on his 247th parkrun (all at Bushy).
Amelia Goodwin set a new PB of 25:55 on her 202nd run here (204 runs overall), taking 24 seconds off her previous best, and Adam Wells achieved his third PB from his last six runs here, with 19:21 to shave 11 seconds off his PB on his 191st run at Bushy (193 runs overall). Joseph Howarth posted 22:04 for his third consecutive PB on his 127th run here (154 runs overall), as he has taken over a minute off his PB just in the last month, and Jonathan Nail ran 27:02 to take 14 seconds off his PB on his 119th parkrun (all at Bushy).
parkrunner of the week!
In this feature, I pick a ‘parkrunner of the week’, where a parkrunner will get their name in lights if they receive the same position token number as the event number for any particular week! As it was event number 646, the parkrunner who finished with token 646 was… Jakob Holder! To add to the number 12 theme, it was Jakob’s 12th parkrun, and he posted a new PB of 26:53, well done!
Now That’s What I Call A Stat Attack! Vol. 646
With it being International parkrun day, this Stat Attack looks at how parkrun has grown globally over time!
Your parkrun barcode is your ticket to do a free, weekly timed 5k run in over 800 locations across the globe, in 14 different countries – just have a look at the global map above to see! A significant landmark was reached very recently, as for the first time the number of international 5k parkrun events (425) outnumbers the UK tally (418), showing how global parkrun has become in a relatively short space of time. Who knows what that map could look like in another 5 or 10 years, or where we might go with our barcode?
The table below shows when each of the 14 countries hosted their first event, and in the last few weeks we welcomed Canada and Sweden into the international parkrun family, welcome along, I look forward to visiting in the future! Together with the junior parkruns, that’s nearly a thousand free runs happening every single week, there’s no doubt parkrun is the biggest running event in the world with around 150,000 runners supported by 10,000 volunteers every weekend.
This year’s international parkrun day began in New Zealand at 8am Saturday local time (8pm Friday UK time), whilst most of us in the UK were probably still having dinner on Friday night. After New Zealand, it’s Australia’s turn followed by Singapore (12:30am Saturday UK time), whilst European parkrunners are sleeping.
A few hours later as the sun rises over Europe, there’s over 500 parkruns happening in the space of just three hours across Russia, Poland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, France, Ireland and the UK, not forgetting South Africa, whilst across the pond those parkrunners in Canada and the US are still asleep!
Some 20 hours after the first parkruns kicked off in New Zealand, International parkrun day concludes in the US and Canada, at Crissy Field in San Francisco and Okanagan in British Columbia at 9am Saturday local time (4pm Saturday UK time!)
Now for the results and a bit more stats bit!
The results bit
Neil Wellard was the first finisher, posting a new PB of 15:42 (84.93%) on his ninth run here (30 parkruns overall), taking 17 seconds off his previous best for Kingston AC & Polytechnic Harriers. Four of the next eight finishers did not register their time – don’t forget your barcode! The next registered finisher was Halifax Harrier Max Wharton, running 15:48 (82.49%), as he made his Bushy debut on his second run. The next two finishers could well be brothers, as Blake Moore (16:07 - 82.73%) and Adam Moore (16:08 - 82.64%) finished one second apart; both of them ran their fastest parkrun times and run for Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC. Completing the registered sub 17 finishers was Euan Campbell, running 16:27 (81.05%) on his first ever parkrun, welcome along!
First finisher Neil Wellard
The first six junior (under 18) finishers home all posted new PBs, which I’m fairly sure has never happened before! Cameron Gibson of Guildford & Godalming AC ran 17:27 (77.36%) on his seventh parkrun here (66 runs overall), Andrew Smailes of Brighton & Hove City AC ran 17:34 (79.22%) on his sixth run at Bushy (8 runs overall), and Aaron Bruce posted 17:56 (75.28%) on his 13th parkrun (all at Bushy) for Kingston AC and Polytechnic Harriers. Jack Butler of Walton AC took 32 seconds off his PB, running 18:52 (72.61%) on his 16th parkrun (all at Bushy), Lucas Allinson Rodrigues took 29 seconds off his PB, as he ran 19:00 (80.53%) on his sixth parkrun (all at Bushy), and Thomas Ziegel ran 19:09 (70.50%) for a new PB on his 42nd parkrun (fifth run here), for St. Mary’s University College. Completing the sub 20 minute junior finishers was Joseph O’Clery, running 19:14 (72.36%) on his 27th parkrun (14 runs here).
Invicta AC’s Lilly Coward was the first registered female finisher, running 18:30 (80.00%) on her second parkrun, next was Tracey Hardcastle, posting 19:22 (80.03%) on her 48th parkrun (46 at Bushy), and she was closely followed by Molly Riglin of Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC, as she ran 19:27 (76.09%) on her 11th parkrun (six runs here). Completing the sub 20 female finishers was parkrun pioneer Rachel Rowan, who was once of the original thirteen parkrunners on 2nd October 2004, and Rachel ran 19:31 (82.15%) on her 15th parkrun (all at Bushy) for Ranelagh Harriers.
The recipient of the Sonia O’Sullivan salver – Sacha Kennedy, was the first junior (under 18) girl home, running 20:24 (77.04%) on her 92nd parkrun (80 at Bushy) for Oxford City AC. Next was Imogen Deakin, running a new PB of 20:50 (76.64%) on her 29th parkrun (19 at Bushy), and Kathryn Bartle ran 21:09 (73.29%) on her 38th parkrun (37 at Bushy) for Kingston AC and Polytechnic Harriers. Phoebe Saville ran 21:32 (71.98%) on her 26th parkrun (all at Bushy), and the Junior Points prize winner Imogen King ran 21:42 (73.58%) on her 136th parkrun (126 runs here).
Highest age grading scorers
Despite the challenging conditions in the rain, 14 of you achieved an age grading percentage in the 80s - congratulations! Neil Wellard (SM18-19) ran a new PB of 15:42 for 84.93%, Polly Adams (VW50-54) ran 20:18 to earn 83.58%, Blake Moore (SM18-19) was running his first parkrun here and scored 82.73% from his time of 16:07, closely followed by Adam Moore (SM18-19) with 82.64% as he set a new PB.
Max Wharton ran (SM20-24) ran 15:48 to score 82.49%, parkrun pioneer Rachel Rowan (VW45-49) earned 81.16% as she ran 19:31, VW75-79 record holder Sue Lambert secured another high age grading, posting 81.60% this time as she ran 29:43, and Bea Downey (VW50-54) gained 81.57%, running 21:04.
Well done to the following runners who also posted over 80% for their age grading: Euan Campbell (81.05%), Merran Sell (81.04%), Lucas Allinson Rodrigues (80.53%), Laurence Duffy (80.45%), Tracey Hardcastle (80.03%) and Lily Coward (80.00%)
For more information on what age grading percentages mean and how they are calculated, visit the parkrun support FAQ
Stats of the day
There were 1212 parkrunners – 1129 identified, 83 unknown (6.85% of field).
- Of the 1129 identified parkrunners, there were:
- 167 PBs (14.8% of field) of which 5 have completed 100 Bushy parkruns or more
- 110 Bushy first timers (9.7% of field) of which 50 were parkrun first timers (4.4% of field)
- 147 Juniors aged under 18 (13.0%) and 174 Seniors aged 18-34 (15.4%)
- 808 Vets (71.6%) of which 101 are 35-39, 342 are 40-49, 277 are 50-59, 88 are 60+
- 674 males (59.7%) and 455 females (40.3%)
- Most common male age group was 50-54 (102 runners)
- Most common female age group was 45-49 (78 runners)
- 272 club runners (24.1% of field) from 86 different clubs and 857 unattached (75.9%)
- Top 10 clubs: Stragglers (72 runners), Ranelagh Harriers (16), 26.2 RRC (14), Sweatshop Running Community (13), St. Mary’s Richmond AC (12), Comet Triathlon Club (11), Thames Turbo Triathlon (9), Stilton Striders RC (7), Kingston AC and Polytechnic Harriers (6) and Trafalgar Schools (6)
- Of the 1212 finishers, there were:
- 77 sub 20 mins, 405 20:00-24:59, 434 25:00-29:59 and 296 over 30 mins
- Top 10% time: 20:44, Midpoint time: 26:25
- Number of finishers per minute: 20-30 mins: 62, 61, 108, 70, 104, 75, 99, 93, 88, 79, 53
- 456 finishers between 22:00 and 26:59, average of 91 per minute
- 108 finishers in the 22nd minute and 104 finishers in the 24th minute.
How many parkruns?
- 92933 total parkruns completed from the identified field of 1129, averaging 82.31 parkruns each
- 566 parkrunners completed at least 50 parkruns (50.1% of identified field), of which
- 214 members of the 50 club (19.0%)
- 281 members of the 100 club (24.9%)
- 70 members of the 250 club (6.2% of field)
- 1 member of the 500 club (0.1% of field) – Paul Killick (500 runs).
That’s all for now, until next time!
The core volunteer team (minus Rob) - Andy, Carol, Dave, Ray, Ann, Emma and Hayden
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