Happy 10th Birthday parkrun!
On Saturday 2nd October 2004 at 9am – the first free timed 5 kilometre run took place in Bushy Park with 13 runners – the parkrun pioneers, and so an idea was born. Ten years on at Bushy we celebrated our anniversary of this day in wonderful style, with all 13 parkrun pioneers present amongst a record breaking gathering of 1,705 parkrunners on a truly magnificent, unforgettable and overwhelming morning. As we celebrated International parkrun Day across the world, there are now nearly 500 separate weekly 5km events, and over a million registered parkrunners – a fantastic legacy of that autumn morning run some 10 years ago, with a mere baker’s dozen toeing the line at Bushy Park.
Saturday mornings would be far poorer without parkrun in our lives; we do have a lot to thank our great leader – Paul Sinton Hewitt CBE for! parkrun is helping to build and strengthen communities, making new friends whilst encouraging us to be active and appreciate our lovely parks and open spaces across the world. Just stop for a moment and think about all the people who have come into your life since parkrun and made it better. I can’t think of another volunteer-led social movement that has helped change so many people’s lives for the better; it’s a privilege to be one of many thousands turning up each and every Saturday as part of the parkrun family. Well done on your richly deserved CBE, thank you PSH! Many of you were lucky enough to have your result scanned by by PSH on Saturday, as he was part of the scanning team on the day!
As I walked into Bushy Park on Saturday morning just after 8am, I could hear the distant bellows from the stags scattered across the Royal Park, as well as the audible buzz from parkrunners as they began appearing from every direction! Runners arrived in all colours, with many parkrun club tops and 10th anniversary t-shirts present as tourists had flocked from across the world to celebrate with us! It was a great opportunity to catch up with many parkrunners I hadn’t seen for a while, as well as talking to a couple of the parkrun pioneers where I found out more about the early days of parkrun (or as it was known then as Bushy Park Time Trial). Excitement was building for the morning ahead as we then all headed over to the start area for a few special presentations before the run at 8:40am.
The Bushy parkrun core team of volunteers – Ray Coward, Hayden Matthews, Andy Wingate, Carol Dickinson, Ann Coward, Emma Wingate and Andy Pillidge were all present to give out the awards for the morning, together with PSH CBE, Tom Williams from parkrun UK and Nick Pearson from Sweatshop.
The 13 parkrun pioneers: Andrew Lane, Chris Owens, James Russell, John Kipps, Julie Drummond, Karen Weir, Matthew Morgan, Peter Wright, Rachel Rowan, Rachel Stanhope, Simon Lawrence, Steve Rowland and Tanya Wolken
As we all gathered on Chestnut Avenue at 8:40 for the presentations, it was a lovely moment to see the 13 parkrun pioneers reunited together for the very first time in ten years! They were all wearing the 10th anniversary t-shirts for the occasion, and were presented with specially made golden athlete barcodes, and a medal by our Junior prize winners Robert Eveson and Zoe Dennison! No matter how many millions of parkrunners there will be, there will only ever be 13 pioneers – you are the envy of many parkrunners, congratulations!
John Hanscomb Trophy
This is awarded to the first male on the points table for the last year and is named after John Hanscomb – who has run more Bushy parkruns than anyone else (418 so far!), and also finished every London Marathon between 1981 and 2008!
This year’s recipient was Ed Higgins, with Chris Brimacombe second and Philip Bearman (Snr) third. Well done to you all!
Sonia O’Sullivan Salver
This is awarded to the first female on the points table for the last year and is named after Sonia O’Sullivan. Sonia held the female course record at Bushy for five years, and was the 5000m World Champion at Gothenburg in 1995 and Olympic Silver medallist at the same distance at the Sydney games in 2000, as well as being a three-time European champion on the track and a two-time World Cross Country champion!
This year’s recipient was Polly Adams, with Jennifer Darling second and Ramona Thevenet third. Congratulations!
Awards are also given for the highest junior male and female on the respective points tables, which this year was Robert Eveson and Zoe Dennison! Well done to both of you!
The awards for the 11 and under age group for the boy and girl with most runs were Rupert Reddish and Imogen King, congratulations!
Timothy Bennet Trophy
The Timothy Bennet Trophy is awarded each anniversary to the Volunteer of the Year. Timothy Bennet was a local shoemaker based in Hampton Wick – who, in 1754 successfully championed the cause for walkers in gaining a new public footpath through our favourite park, linking Hampton Wick and Hampton Hill, now known as Cobbler’s Walk. You may not have realised it, but each time you do a Bushy parkrun you cross Cobbler’s Walk twice! The award is given to the volunteer who has ‘gone the extra mile’ for Bushy parkrun. I was very honoured to be given this award, especially after the previous recipients Ray Franks, Simon Lane, Jan Franks and Pat McGrath, thank you very much!
Timers, are you ready?
With the presentations complete, it was “that time on a Saturday again” as the parkrunners were ready to set off! PSH said “Timers are you ready? On your marks, Go!” and off they went, and what an amazing sight it was to behold, all ages made up of friends and families running down Chestnut Avenue, with canine pals and buggies too! In all it took around 50 seconds for the start line to clear, as the army of over 40 volunteers – led by Ray Coward and Ann Coward, headed to their positions for the next hour!
The 538th Bushy parkrun
I headed over to the double funnel for an hour of ‘funnel fun’ (you can’t have a funnel without having fun), along with an excellent team of helpers and our two timers on the morning, Ally Manole and Simon Lane! Jan Franks and Zoe Riding were ready to give out tokens at the far end of the 70 metre long funnel, with 1500 plastic tokens ready, as well another 500 stickered ones, just incase we needed them (which we did!). As the lead bike and first finisher came into view – a stag started to approach, fortunately one of the funnel volunteers Peter Smith managed to usher him away! I was with Peter and Lou Coaker at the front of the double funnel, as we switched lanes every 20-30 seconds to keep both funnel lanes flowing as the runners arrived in their hundreds!
By 25 minutes around 700 finishers had already crossed the line, and by this point both lanes were looking very full! Jack Kennedy, who had already done lead bike then helped out on funnel and was the first to suggest we should use the outside of the funnel as a third lane, and it soon became clear we had no other option! – We used a third lane it and it worked perfectly, as over 200 runners headed down the outside of the funnel lane for the next couple of minutes – led by Jack and a funnel letter. It bought us vital extra time as the two double lanes started to clear, and then we could revert to the double funnel again! In all there were 30 funnel switches needed, a new record!
A special mention to the timers – Ally Manole and Simon Lane as an unprecedented number of runners crossed the finish line! There were eight consecutive minutes with over 100 finishers, with the busiest minute being the 27th with a huge 152 finishers! There were 1180 finishers between 20:00 and 29:59 – in that 10 minute period alone there was just 4 fewer than the old Bushy attendance record of 1184! In all an incredible 1,705 runners crossed the line, a truly awe-inspiring effort from all the volunteers on the day – give yourselves a pat on the back!
Full list of volunteers on the day:
Ally MANOLE • Andrew John WINGATE • Andy PILLIDGE • Ann COWARD • Anne WOODS • Carol Margaret DICKINSON • Carole JACKSON • Charlie CROSTHWAITE • Chris P WRIGHT • David PAPWORTH • Emma Anne WINGATE • Gary BRIDGER • Glynda MORTIMER • Graham MORTIMER • Hayden MATTHEWS • Helen BRETT • Helen GARDINER • Jack KENNEDY • Janice FRANKS • Joe DAWSON • John A STEPHENS • John P WOODS • Jonathan COX • Jonathan DICKINSON • Julie PAPWORTH • Katrin KROSCHINSKI • Lauren DAWBER • Liz ZASS • Lou COAKER • Mary HICKSON • Michelle MOSLEY • Oliver BEZZANT • Pat MCGRATH • Paul SINTON-HEWITT • Peter Gordon SMITH • Ralph BLACKBOURN • Ray COWARD • Ray FRANKS • Rodney Howard MCCULLOCH • Sarah DIXON • Sarah FINNEY • Sarah VAUGHAN • Simon LANE • Stefan KRUEGER • Steve BRETT • Sue GRAHAM-KAHN • Suzan BAKER • Zoe Alison RIDING
Of the 1,705 parkrunners – there were many tourists from far and wide, with 219 parkrunners making their Bushy debut and 130 different running clubs were represented across the world – more than double our regular weekly tally, and there were 51 250 club members toeing the line and a combined total of 104,636 parkruns among the field!
From Russia we had Svetlana Stanaford and Darrel Stanaford! Svetlana was one of the 58 runners making their parkrun debut on the day, while Darrel (of ULI Russia Runners) was running his eighth parkrun, five of which have been at Gorky Park parkrun in Moscow! Thank you for choosing to visit us on our birthday!
All the way from Newy parkrun in Australia we had several tourists, including Bushy first timers Ashlee Lucas (60th run) and Steve Lucas (53rd run) from the Wooters Runners! Thank you so much for coming so far to see us!
Across the UK we have had tourists come from many clubs, including: Airedale Dodgers, Avon Valley Runners, Bedford Harriers, Chineham Park Running Club, Cove Joggers, Dartford Road Runners, Elvet Striders, Exeter Harriers, Farnham Triathlon Club, Hart Road Runners, Hercules Wimbledon, Hyde Park Harriers, Leighton Buzzard AC, Les Croupiers RC, Lordshill Road Runners, Medway & Maidstone AC, Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Reading Roadrunners, Riverside Runners, Serpentine RC, Skegness Coasters, Sphinx AC, St Albans Striders, Stowmarket Striders RC, Tewkesbury AC, Vale of Aylesbury AC, Warwick University, Witney Road Runners, Wymondham AC and Yorkshire Wolds Runners.
Of those making their Bushy debut, 32 had completed 100 runs or more: Maria Lawrence (218 runs), Paul Slatford (208), Sophie McKay (201), Andy Wilkinson (196), Paul Smith (188), Kevin Jones (175), John Krause (165), Richard Evans (153), Natasha Hampden-Smith (147), Alan Lawrence (147), Colin Traer (146), Linda Crook (144), Tim Curry (143), Bernadette Kirrane (143), Darien O’Brien (141), Graham Clark (136), Andy Bailey (134), Kieran Beech (133), Michelle Rivett (133), Zoe Kingsmell (132), Libertine Bringas (121), Peter McGovern (121), Abigail Fudge (118), Glen Turner (117), Paul Pascoe (115), Angela Coates (115), Kevin Williams (112), Pete Williams (111), Cecily Day (110), John Jaap (107), Adam Penwarden (101) and Andrew Stockwell (100).
It was good to see Darren Wood returning for his 472nd parkrun (255th at Bushy) from his home run at Frimley Lodge (185 runs there) along with some friends from Frimley too! Here is Darren together with Bushy regular Kirsty Bangham (365 parkruns, 304 at Bushy). As the leading male and female parkrunners for most number of runs, they have a combined total of 837 runs!
From parkrun UK we had Tom Williams present, as well as the parkrun show presenters Danny Norman (391 runs), Nicola Forwood (235), Helen Williams (154) and Dennis Brandrick (31 runs) all taking part, while Hayden Matthews and Kerri French joined in to help on the funnel!
250, 100, 50 and 10 clubs
Moving on to the parkrun clubs as we had two more 250 club members feature this week on our birthday! Congratulations go to Andrew Kew Brown and Gill Wilson!
Andrew Brown made his parkrun debut at Bushy Park on event 130 on 24th February 2007, and his home run is at Richmond parkrun where he has run 199 times there. It was his 16th parkrun at Bushy, and he has also run 8 times at Brueton, on 7 occasions at Kingston, twice at Gunnersbury, Fulham Palace and Milton Keynes and once each at Wormwood Scrubs, Gladstone, Hilly Fields, Pollok Park, Old Deer Park, Plymvalley, Riddlesdown, Barrow, Crane Park, Osterley, Bedfont Lakes, Keswick, Bradford and Nonsuch. Well done Andrew!
Gill Wilson made her parkrun debut at Bushy Park on event number 4 on 23rd October 2004, and has run at Bushy on 199 occasions. Of her other 51 runs, 14 have been at Bedfont Lakes, 12 at Richmond Park, 3 at Banstead Woods, 2 each at Old Deer Park, Nonsuch, Wimbledon Common, Swindon and Kingston and she has run once each at Brighton & Hove, Gorleston Cliffs, Morden Hall (a one-off event), Black Park, Coventry, Gunnersbury, Exeter Riverside, Basingstoke, Roundshaw Downs, Bromley, Eastleigh and Wormwood Scrubs.
Having been a regular runner in the first year of parkrun (then known as Bushy Park Time Trial, or BPTT) Gill was the inaugural recipient of the Sonia O’Sullivan salver, rewarded to the first female on the points table each year. Well done Gill on joining your husband Roger in the 250 club (he reached this milestone last month)
Of those who ran on Saturday, the next parkrunners to join this ever-growing club are: Alan Charlesworth (248 runs), Malcolm Dickson (247), Mark Jennings (246) and Ian Giggs (245).
A terrific ten runners joined the 100 club this week – Andrius Jaksevicius, Andrew Stockwell (first timer at Bushy), Ian O’Brien, Kevin Wood, Ian Doyle, Tim Davies, Jed Leicester, Kim Evans, Rod Shears and Sean Broughton. What a great time to reach three figures! Soon you can replace red with black! A further two runners could collect their ‘100’ black Adidas tees soon, as on 99 not out we have: Gitty Bhatia and Parmjit Bal.
Just like the 100 club, we also have a perfect 10 new members of the 50 club this week to celebrate! This list included one of our parkrun pioneers – Steve Rowland! After exactly 10 years, welcome to the 50 club Steve!
The following runners will also receive their ‘50’ red Adidas tees very soon, so congratulations go to: Chris Sutton (first timer at Bushy), Andrew Woodhouse, Fiona England, Ed Hall, Jamie Stockwell (first timer at Bushy), Christopher Butler, Emily Murray, Simon Wheatley and Catherine Salmon!
A further 11 runners are on 49 not out: Richard Bazeley, Amber George, Catherine Hemingway, Shelley Dudley, Tomas Andrews, Matilda Harper, Elizabeth Baker, Jim Mahoney, Philippa Casey, Christian Di Simone and Louise Neal-Hopes!
Three new members of the junior 10 club this week, well done to: Joshua Freer, Rhiannon Pateman (new PB) and Ciara Macneil (first timer at Bushy). Another six juniors are one away from receiving their ‘10’ white Adidas tops – Benjamin Freer (new PB), Eleanor Keeler (new PB), Ethan Newton, Tarun Bath (new PB), Martha Prior and Louis Alexander.
Please remember to reply to the email you will receive after your 10th (juniors only), 50th, 100th, or 250th parkruns (juniors – please note that the 2km junior parkruns do not count towards t-shirts), stating where you want to collect your t-shirt and what size! For more info on the parkrun clubs and how to qualify for a t-shirt, visit the parkrun support FAQ
Of the 161 PBs set this week, just one of them was from a parkrunner with over 100 Bushy parkruns – congrats to John Ramsay! John ran 24:39 on his 112th parkrun (111 at Bushy) to earn his fifth consecutive PB here - taking 8 seconds off on this occasion, and in total he has taken off over a minute from his PB time since the start of September! Well done John!
Two of our parkrun pioneers set new course PBs on Saturday! Well done to Karen Weir who set a new PB on her 45th Bushy parkrun (129 runs overall with 66 at Richmond) and Matthew Morgan, who was running his fourth parkrun at Bushy – and his first run here since event 17 on 22nd January 2005!
Another notable course PB on the day was set by Brian Winstanley. It was Brian’s 91st lap of Bushy, but over the last year he has been a regular at nearby Crane Park (56 runs at Crane, 148 overall), so he returned for his first Bushy appearance since February 2013 and ran 23:50 to set a new PB here!
We had plenty of tourists from far and wide who returned to Bushy to set new course PBs on this special occasion! Well done to: Charles Hampden-Smith, Nick McKay, Mark Jennings, Ian Giggs, Elaine Brassington, Lisa Thomas, Martin Rutter, Peter Woodward, James Hughes, David Irwin, Pete ‘The Train’ Morris, Rosie Leyden, Joanne Hillier, Wiebke Kortum, James Ball, Andy Caie, Kay Lydall, Gemma Brierley and many, many more!
So those were some of the headline makers and record breakers, but how did the rest of you do?
The results bit
Collecting token number one and followed by another 1,704 runners over the next hour was Jamie Taylor-Caldwell of Ealing, Southall & Middlesex AC in a new PB of 15:59 (80.71%) on his 17th parkrun (13 at Bushy). It was Jamie’s first run at Bushy in three years – you picked a good week to return! Jamie has also run at Richmond Park twice, and once each at Gunnersbury Park and Cannon Hill parkrun in Birmingham. He was followed by Olly Laws of Newham & Essex Beagles AC, running 16:13 (80.88%) on his 23rd parkrun (12 at Bushy). The next registered runner was Bushy regular Paul Lowe, with a time of 16:23 (79.65%) on his 103rd parkrun (79 at Bushy) for Stragglers.
The fourth finisher and first junior finisher overall was Calvin Chapman, running an outstanding 16:28 (83.20%) in a new PB time on his seventh parkrun (all at Bushy). After Jamie a further five runners dipped under 17 minutes. James Ellis ran 16:38 (78.86%) for Clapham Chasers on his 43rd parkrun (11 at Bushy), just ahead of Taras Telkovsky, who ran 16:40 (77.40%) on his 11th parkrun (all at Bushy). Bushy regular Andrius Jaksevicius joined the 100 club, and he crossed the line in 16:42 (78.14%) on his 84th parkrun here.
St Mary Richmond AC’s Sathira Don ran 16:46 (79.52%) to improve his PB here by 11 seconds on his 85th parkrun (37 at Bushy), and the second junior finisher home Neil Wellard rounded off the sub 17 finishers, posting a new PB of 16:48 (80.36%) on his 24th parkrun (3 at Bushy) for Kingston & Polytechnic Harriers. There were a further five junior runners who broke 18 minutes, well done to: Harry Matthews (17:07), Joseph Bouakaze-Khan (17:09), Patrick Goffey (17:22), Marco Arcuri (17:29) and Alex Sutton (17:58).
Kate Brown of St Mary’s Richmond AC was the first female finisher, crossing the line in 17:37 (84.01%) on her 13th parkrun (6 at Bushy). The next lady home was parkrun pioneer Rachel Rowan, running 19:25 (81.03%) for Ranelagh Harriers on her 13th parkrun (all at Bushy), and Lisa Thomas of Hercules Wimbledon completed the sub 20 female finishers, in a time of 19:52 (83.39%) to set a new PB on her 25th parkrun here (192 runs overall, 163 of which at Wimbledon Common).
The next female finisher was the first junior home, as Thames Turbo Triathlon’s Freya Thomson ran a new PB of 20:05 to earn 79.50% for her age grading on her 15th parkrun (all at Bushy). The next junior girl to cross the line was Amber George, running 20:47 on her 49th parkrun (all at Bushy) and she was followed by Libby Brown of St Mary’s Richmond AC, who ran 21:05 (72.57%) on her 130th parkrun (17 runs at Bushy, 111 have been at Richmond). The following female juniors also dipped under 22 minutes, well done to: Eleanor Attridge (21:30), Ava White (21:30), Anna Uren (21:31), Harriet Johnson (21:33), Sacha Kennedy (21:34) and Eleanor Keeler (21:45).
Highest age grading scorers
A baker’s dozen of 13 runners achieved 80 plus age grading percentages on Saturday, with Jane Davies of Epsom & Ewell Harriers leading this list with another outstanding grading of 96.98% from her time of 21:33 in the VW65-69 category! Well done Jane!
There were 12 parkrunners on the day with an age grading in the 80s, well done to: Kate Brown (84.01%), Laurence Duffy (83.47%), Lisa Thomas (83.39%), Calvin Chapman (83.20%), Sonia Rowland (81.85%), Joseph Bouakaze-Khan (81.15%), Rachel Rowan (81.03%), Ramona Thevenet (80.95%), Olly Laws (80.88%), Jamie Taylor-Caldwell (80.71%), Bernie Mulvany (80.45%) and Neil Wellard (80.36%)
For more info on what age grading percentages mean and how they are calculated, visit the parkrun support FAQ
Stats of the day
There were 1,705 runners – 1574 identified, 131 unidentified (8% of field).
- Of the 1574 identified runners, there were:
- 161 PBs (10% of field) of which 1 were runners with 100 Bushy parkruns or more
- 219 Bushy first timers (14% of field) of which 58 were parkrun first timers (4% of field)
- 241 Juniors (15%), 266 Seniors (17%), 1067 Vets (68%) with 92 runners aged 60 or over (6%)
- 994 males (63%) and 580 females (37%)
- Most common male age group was 45-49 (177 runners – 18% of all males),
- Most common female age group was 45-49 (88 runners – 15% of all females)
- 475 club runners (30% of field) from 130 different clubs and 1099 unattached (70%)
- Top 5 clubs: Stragglers (95 runners), Ranelagh Harriers (34), St Mary’s Richmond AC (28), Thames Turbo Triathlon (28), 26.2 RRC (19)
- Of the 1705 finishers, there were:
- 109 runners sub 20 mins (6.2%), 1180 between 20:00-29:59 (69.2%), 416 over 30 mins (24.4%)
- Top 10% Overall/Male/Female time was 20:49/20:00/23:49
- Midpoint Overall/Male/Female time was 26:34/24:59/29:15
- Minute-by-minute number of finishers 20-31 minutes: 82, 90, 110, 125, 124, 146, 120, 152, 128, 103, 64, 70
- 667 finishers between 23:00 and 27:59, average of 133 per minute
- 152 finishers in the 27th minute and 146 in the 25th minute
- 8 consecutive minutes with over 100 finishers, between 22:00 and 29:59
How many parkruns?
- 104636 total parkruns completed from the identified field of 1574, averaging 64 parkruns each
- 690 parkrunners completed at least 50 parkruns (44% of identified field), of which
- 298 members of the 50 club (19%)
- 341 members of the 100 club (22%)
- 51 members of the 250 club (3% of field) – Darren Wood (472 runs), Richard Fletcher (414), Paul Killick (393), Danny Norman (392), Simon Greenhill (368), Kirsty Bangham (365), John Woods (361), Ramona Thevenet (361), Alan Collis (345), Polly Adams (340), Ciaran Murphy (333), Stewart Rose (332), Paul Viveash (328), Liz Collison (321), David Worth (320), David Tyas (318), Stewart Holmes (317), Stuart Lodge (314), Madge Bradsell (314), David Rowe (305), Bernie Mulvany (301), Dale Durrans (301), Alan Richardson (298), Mark Gratton (292), James Russell (292), Julie Garner (289), Charles Hampden-Smith (288), Malcolm Taylor (285), Richard Barman (277), Becky Thurtell (276), Dave Griffiths (273), Phillip Bearman Snr (272), Jeremy Palmer (271), Ken Pearson (269), Nicola Whitby (269), Carmen Palmer (269), Steve Cochrane (268), Jeremy Langdon (267), Roy Reeder (266), Jason Venkatasamy (262), Tim McIntyre (262), Nick McKay (261), Rory Waddell (260), Sue McIntyre (260), Roger Wilson (255), Peter Wedderburn (253), Duncan Grant (253), Helen Jones (251), Marjory Bluer (251), Andrew Kew Brown (250) and Gill Wilson (250).
Taken tokens tally: ONE. Token 1290! It’s amazing to think we only lost one token out of 1500 on Saturday! Well done to all the parkrunners, and also to Julie Papworth and Sarah Dixon who were on ‘bucket duty’ collecting all the unregistered position tokens! If you finished in positions 1501 onwards - you have a lovely souvenir of the day with a stickered token which we won't need back, congratulations!
A big thank you to Jed Leicester, Sarah Finney, Suzan Baker and Colin Brassington for the photos in this report - you can find many more on the Bushy parkrun flickr page!
We only have to wait until Saturday to do it all over again for the 539th Bushy parkrun!
See you then!
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Still want more? . . . then listen to ‘the parkrun show’ podcast – out every Tuesday, with Danny Norman and Nicola Forwood
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