It was a rather gloomy start to the day – the sun had gone into hibernation. However, parkrun remains a bright spot in the week, and at least we were “on” – many parkruns in Scotland had pre-cancelled for today because of extreme weather conditions. A useful reminder that you can check weekly cancellations here. And a good thing it was that we went ahead – for the fourth time in a row (i.e. every run this year so far), more than 500 of you joined in for your weekly, free, timed 5k run, jog, or walk. In 2019, 172 people who have signed up to parkrun have set Cassiobury as their home run. In the last week alone, that figure was 60!
A total of 510 athletes finished the course this week, of whom 73 were first timers and 71 recorded new Personal Bests. Full results can be found here. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part.
Very much in evidence were Metros RC, based in Harrow, in their distinctive yellow tops – 31 members took part. They arrange a parkrun tour date once a month, and we were pleased to welcome them to Cassiobury this month. The club hosts the Harrow Hill 10k which will be held on Sunday 17th February – this could be your next challenge!
Conversely, a few Watford Joggers were missing from the results as they toured to Tring parkrun this morning (with Alistair BALDERSON leading the team home in 24:08); and several regulars very kindly volunteered here today instead of running, as they were saving their legs for tomorrow’s Fred Hughes 10-mile race in St Albans. Good luck to all those who will be taking part!
While we’re on the subject of racing, today’s Run Director, Tim COOK, had great success in his race last week by finishing the 45-mile Country To Capital Ultra in 6h24m – the equivalent of almost 14 parkruns, each in just under 28 minutes! The race starts in Wendover, Bucks, and Tim was still smiling when he finished in Little Venice, London, all those hours later. Wasting no time in getting back into training, after run-directing today, he took off for a little recovery 5k jog in 24 minutes – we’re in awe!
Today's parkrun was made possible by Tim and 30 other volunteers: Robert WALLACE • Linda MCQUAID • Douglas MCQUAID • Jane WELCH • Lindsey WARNE • Sharon DAVIDSON • Ann DAVIDSON • Christine CANNING • Matthew HENDERSON • Ashley ANDERSON • Mandy LLOYD • Elen COOK • John NORRIS • John O'CONNOR • Beth COOK • Amrat THORPE • Bernie CONWAY • Robert NOBBS • Natalie LIGHTMAN • Stuart SIDDERS • Lyn MELLOR • Stephen HOBBS • Andreas SCHWARZ • Andrew POWELL • Nia COOK • Michael DUDLEY • Naomi WOOD • Lisa COOPER • Lynne MEDINI • Shay RATHOD. If you can volunteer in a future week, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and barcode number, and we will happily add you to the roster. Full briefing and support is given on the day, but if you’d like to know more then please just ask!
Two parkrunners celebrated the “50” milestone – congratulations to both. Cassiobury-registered athlete Ryan REDMOND has run 48 times here, with 2 at nearby South Oxhey; and his PB is a stunning 19:33. Today he finished in 23:27 and 82nd position. Black Park-registered athlete Kate LOACH is more of a regular at Cassiobury than at her home run, with 46 runs here and 1 each at Black Park, Wycombe Rye, Rickmansworth, and Gadebridge. Her finish time and position today were 22:05 and 48th; and she scored the highest age-graded result: 83.09%. She has volunteered in the number checker role.
The most prolific attendee was a welcome returning visitor, Chris REID, all the way from Australia (Brisbane) for his now-yearly visit to Cassiobury. Another tourist also hailed from Australia (Melbourne) … but we can’t seem to identify him from the results … so if this was you, please email in and let us know if you’d like a name-check in this report! Tourists came from far and wide – including Dan PIPONI, running just his 2nd UK run, with the other 36 having been at Crissy Field parkrun in San Francisco, USA, within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Of the 73 first timers, 25 completed their very first parkruns. Welcome to: Alana WILLIAMS • Chris EDMUNDS • Courtney APPLEFORD • Eleonore JONES • Emily PEARCE • Hannah SCOTT • Helen FORDYCE • Ieva ABROMAITE • James WARNE • Jean MCINERNEY • Jocelyn THARBY • Joe NEWMAN • John RYAN • Joshua WEISSENSTEIN • Karen PEARCE • Kevin MURGATROYD • Luke MASINI • Natalie PARSONS • Nataliya PRIESTLEY • Noor HAMIR • Rob BROWN • Samantha SCHUSTER • Sarah WATTERS-QUILTY • Sean ROBINSON • Tom BATCHELOR. We hope you enjoyed your runs and return soon!
At her 131st parkrun, Katie BALDERSON was the 131st female finisher. Erica KLEIN of Dacorum and Tring AC was the 82nd female finisher at her 82nd parkrun.
At Cassiobury’s 211th event: the 211th overall finisher was Angela KITCHING; the 211th male (or unknown) finisher was Ali KHIMJI; and the 211th female finisher was G SEYAN.
We were also pleased to welcome two VI (visually impaired) athletes – one returnee and one newcomer. If you ever find yourself overtaking or being overtaken by a VI runner and their guide, please just be aware that they would appreciate a little more space around them than you might think … and if you run with headphones or earphones then it goes without saying that you must make sure you can hear others’ instructions around you. If you know of any VI runners who aren’t currently parkrunners but might like to be, please encourage them to get in touch with the event team as there are always willing guides to run with them, and there are resources and Facebook groups that they might find useful, including parkrun for people living with sight loss, parkrun VI, and parkrun VI guides.
Of the 71 new PBs, 12 were by runners on 30 or more runs. Congrats to: Alice WARNE (28:30) • Linda GRIMES (30:31) • Zoe WILKINS (25:34) • Zoe RYAN (27:30) • James DUNSTONE (22:43) • Judy RACKHAM (29:53) • Aron CAPLAN (25:21) • Kim CLARK (26:32) • Christopher SHEARWOOD (19:58) • Harry BOWDEN (18:57) • Christine WHITE (24:30) • Vincent CHEUNG (22:57). Special mention goes to George RICE, possibly Cassiobury’s very youngest athlete, who completed just his 3rd parkrun in a new PB of 33:41.
We look forward to more PBs next week, especially as it’s Pacer Day (check the website and our Facebook page later in the week for the target times). Adding to the excitement, Natalie LIGHTMAN and Will FROST are planning to run their 100th parkruns … and we hear that fancy dress will be involved!!
See you then