Oaklands Park was decidedly warm this morning, with the heat accompanied by a blustery north-easterly wind that somehow seemed to make the uphill bits harder while not really helping with any of the rest. After some words from our run director Mike HOUSTON - most importantly, on the importance of keeping hydrated in this hot weather - and a clap for Simon, our source of post-parkrun coffee who is sadly leaving us in a couple of weeks (do please come along to the Park Tavern 4-6pm next Saturday to say goodbye if you can), 175 parkrunners including 27 Chichester first-timers headed for the start line to run, jog, or walk the three laps that kept us from the very welcome shade at the finish line.
The first place finisher was decided by a single second, with Olivia TOMS finishing in 19:19 and a very impressive age grading of 81.36%, just ahead of Ian GAY (19:20). Second and third female finishers were Sarah LOY (21:11) and Emma WICKENS (21:57), while second and third male finishers were Jason SNOW (19:42) and Logan COOPER (20:13). Clearly this warm weather and dry ground is being enjoyed by many, as a dozen runners recorded age gradings over 70%, while 29 runners recorded personal bests this week.
Aesthetically-pleasing time of the week goes to Sue FIELDER, who recorded 30:30 and got a personal best in the process. Gary DICKER, Simon THRAVES, and Emma WICKENS all reached their 50 parkrun milestone, while Stephen TEE and Nicola STALLARD both reached the big 100. Well done to all of you.
As always, parkrun can only happen thanks to the efforts of the volunteers, which this week included Mike HOUSTON, John BETTS, Margaret ENSTONE, Mark PONSFORD, Paul STALLARD, Tom BLAYLOCK, Stephen TEE, Alex MEDHURST, Ben RITCHIE, Chris ARMSTEAD, Charlie COOLEY, Colin ANCKORN, Peppy ANCKORN, Lucy STARES, Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER, Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER, Sandra BALCOMBE, Daniel MOLICA,Michael JOHNS, and Alison ARCHER. Please do consider volunteering if you haven't done it before, it's always good fun and a number of the roles can be combined with running (including this one!)
See you all next time, and as the current heatwave shows no signs of relenting, please take care if you're out and about running during the week!
There were triple celebrations in the park this morning. Firstly, it was dry and not too hot or muggy - perfect PB weather (more of these later!); secondly, Chichester parkrun reached the double black milestone of 200 runs and, finally, there were some centurions present and I don't mean the Roman kind although the idea of dressing up as a centurion did come to me in the middle of the night. I did think about getting up extra early to make a costume but in the end the early wake-up call was just to make frosting for Liz's cupcakes!
Lovely Lis PESKETT, our RD today, started early with the set-up crew making sure the course is clear and safe for us all (SPOILER ALERT! You can do this volunteer role and still run!). Chris ARMSTEAD then gave a cheery 'Hello' and New Runner's Brief to our 37 newbies and numerous Tourists joining us from Horsham, Haywards Heath, Poole and Wimpole (SPOILER ALERT! You can do this volunteer role and still run). Lis then took over to run though the vital 'Safety First' information, pointing out our marshals, finish funnel 'staff' and our Caped Crusader and Tail Walker, Neil DAVIES who was draped in a Sussex flag on Sussex Day! There was a big cheer for our parkrunners who were taking part in their 100th run today – Steve WHITMEE, David PHIZACKERLEY and me. Lis corralled us all around the statue for a group portrait and it was off to the start...
Our Male First Finisher Mark STEVENS was followed by KEITH WIGLEY (Newbie!!) and then Luke EMMET. The Ladies were led home by Sarah LOY, then Emma WICKENS (PB!!) and Hannah CROAD. One of the things I love about parkrun and what brought me back after my first run for another 99 (and counting) is that the faster runners are always encouraging those that aren't quite so speedy! It's so easy to just breeze past runners but a breathless 'well done' to each other makes it all a bit more friendly! As I mentioned earlier PB's today went to 42 runners – well done to all – including Nadia ANDERSON on her 150th parkrun (the ANDERSONs must have a competitive streak as Peter ANDERSON also achieved a new PB this week); Geoff SUMNER with an impressive Age Grading and Paul BRANLEY-JONES to name just three! Special Mention here goes to Ian ROBERTSON, our Chichester parkrun Event Director, on his first recovery run following last weekend's epic South Downs Way 100 (miles!!!!) – well done Ian, the 5K today hardly seems worth it, ha ha!!
My aesthetically pleasing time of the week goes to Ben TAYLOR and Simon TAYLOR – the perfect palindromic time of 30:03 was also a PB for Ben – great running!
So it's all over for another week – let's do it again real soon! Keep your eyes peeled on www.parkrun.org.uk/chichester and the Chichester parkrun Facebook page as the Thai Festival returns to Oaklands Park next weekend and we may not be able to run on safety grounds, the Core Team will update you as soon as they can!
The last 'SPOILER ALERT! You can do this volunteer role and still run' is one job that most of us tend to overlook in our post-parkrun euphoria: Post-Event Shut Down is a vital role! A few minutes helping the RD collect all the equipment and return it to the Cricket Pavilion is truly appreciated by our ever busy Core Team – so perhaps consider this one next time...
In preparation for next week when I'm off to see the Foo Fighters (sung loudly and not so in tune!): 'There go my heroes – watch them as they go'... This week's heroes were: Peter SHAW • Mark PONSFORD • David PIKE • Paul STALLARD • Helen WILKINS • Lis PESKETT • Neil DAVIES • Catherine CANNON (with Children & PomPoms) • Chris ARMSTEAD • Lauren COLLINS • Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER • Simon GARTON • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Kik LOOSLEY • Carly SOFFE (with Tommy!) • Alison ARCHER
Finally, on a completely personal level, I'd like to thank not only Jane MOODIE and Lee MOODIE for my 100th parkrun sash and balloon (after making them run with balloons on their 50th a few weeks ago I knew I'd not be able to sneak through unnoticed) but absolutely EVERYONE who takes part in Chichester parkrun – regularly or once in a blue moon – you make this event FABULOUS!!! Long live Chichester parkrun!!!
Run Report Writer (SPOILER ALERT – You can do this volunteer role and still run!)
Oaklands Park was at its beautiful best today, with blue skies, sunshine, and no trace of the mud that made the first few months of the year 'a bit challenging' at times, although it warmed up quickly as the parkrun got underway and the shade of the trees at the finishing line was clearly welcomed by many runners.
Today the parkrun family were celebrating the NHS's 70th birthday, and 198 people ran, jogged and walked the course - Facebook shows that Helen WILKINS was our honourary 199th runner for parkrun #199, with a lunchtime loop round the course. 26 were Chichester first-timers, and conditions were clearly good, with 28 participants recording new Personal Bests - maybe it was the attraction of the coffee and cakes waiting at the finishing line. There was also a group of milestones, with James LOY reaching his tenth 5km parkrun - very impressive for a very young parkrunner! - and Philip ALLEN, Ben RITCHIE (me!), and John BULLARD all reaching 50. Five more runners marked Chichester parkrun #199 by recording their 99th parkrun (very aesthetically-pleasing, thank you), so we should have lots of milestones next week
James COLLIER was our first finisher this week in a time of 19:36, setting a new personal best in the process, with Luke EMMETT also going under 20 minutes and Ian GAY just missing out with a 20:01. Aleksandra VARGIN was our first female finisher in 21:43, followed by Tamara LAKE and Emma WICKENS. The top Age Grade performance was Tamara LAKE of Liss RC with 78.01%, with Robin CHARNOCK, Nadia ANDERSON, and Michael HICKEY all recording gradings well above 73%. Great running!
It was a hard week to select an aesthetically-pleasing time, with a number of strong contenders. The winner is Paul BRANLEY-JONES, who was the only runner to manage both an aesthetically-pleasing time (41:14) and a personal best. Honourable mentions go to John BULLARD (21:12), Nikki PARRY (27:27), and Tina WEBSTER for a neat and tidy 30:00
As always, many thanks to our run director Lis PESKETT and our volunteers: Ian STEVENS, Margaret ENSTONE, Mark PONSFORD, Yvonne PALMER, Ben RITCHIE, Chris ARMSTEAD, Lauren COLLINS, Steve WHITMEE, Martin EMMETT, Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER, Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER, Michael JOHNS, Jane MOODIE, Lee MOODIE, Tony HACK, Carly SOFFE, and Alison ARCHER - the event couldn't happen without you! And thank you too for the NHS at 70 cakes, my chocolate brownie was so good (although I had to do another couple of miles once I was home to work it off again!) and to Simon for a most welcome coffee.
Next week it is Chichester parkrun #200, which is a remarkable milestone and worthy of some more celebration. We're also rapidly approaching our 30,000th finisher and 150,000km of Chichester parkrunning - at current attendances it may even be this month, although is most likely to be the first parkrun of July. And, after that, our fourth birthday in August.
Well done to all the volunteers and participants, and see you all next week!