Stuart Doyle from Vale Royal was first home today in a time of 16:46. Stuart impressively won the V40 category in the North Cheshire 5K Grand Prix series this year with an average time of 16:06 over 4 races. Next was Junior Jacob Roberts – it says he is an unattached runner, but I’m sure there would be plenty of local clubs who could benefit from having this young runner in their club. Jacob crossed the line in 17:20, 18 seconds faster than first timer Jason Burgess from Staffordshire Moorlands AC.
There was no denying that today was a scorcher in Saturday mornings searing heat. 124 runners (including 35 new participants) braved the heat, 20 somehow managed to PB – notably Terry Barker, who continued his comeback from injury to bag a 20.09 PB – surely he will beat 20 minutes soon! David Bales celebrated his 10th Parkrun a new PB (20.50), as did Claire Lawton (30.06).
Four of these PBs came from our impressive field of junior runners. Alex Doyle from Vale Royal ran 10 seconds faster, Eleanor Bales ran 29 seconds faster, second place Jacob Roberts was 23 seconds faster and second lady home Cara Gibbons was 11 seconds faster. Kath Lamplough from Macclesfield Harriers was the first woman home today in a great time of 20:01, I’m sure we’ll see Kath return soon to scrape that extra second away from her time. Junior Cara Gibbons (Crewe & Nantwich AC) was next home in an impressive time of 21:29 and Ann-Marie Jones of Altrincham & District AC, was third (31st overall) over the line in 22:31 running a staggering 83.79% age grade and placing first in the Age Grade Scores.
For the first time we held the race meeting at the finishing funnel instead of being huddled up like cattle at the start line. The reasons behind this were to give everybody a fair chance of hearing the pre-race talk, to create more of an atmosphere before the run and to allow everyone to line up according to their estimated finishing positions easier.
More swans and cygnets spectated this week in their new viewing spot, just outside the recently re-opened Astbury Mere Water Sports Centre, unable to clap, they quacked at runners (and windsurfers) much needed encouragement in the burning sunlight. We interviewed Sidney The Swan, “We love it here, there are is so much to see, angling, birdwatching. windsurfing, canoeing, walking, dogs, cycling and now running. Sometimes, we look around in amazement, many years ago there was a plan to turn this into an industrial estate full of factories and stuff. Thanks to The Astbury Mere Trust, we have a home here and get to watch the best sporting spectacle in the world, it’s even better than the Olympics.” When asked what he thought about the new run directors, Jill Jenkins and Suzanne Roebuck Lawrenson, Sidney said, “They certainly give Sebastian Coe and Danny Boyle a run for their money, in fact, I would they are better.”
One of our runners today was Joe ‘The Pirate’ Ellis (this is his actually name on Parkrun’s database) who has just completed his 3rd run with us. The Pirate is clearly an old salt at Parkruns with a haul of 65 runs completed across 23 locations. He has conquered lands spanning over 600 miles from the highlands of Inverness to the southern coastal town of Poole. The Pirate travels far - only to be beaten by his nemesis junior Callum Roberts once again!
997 runners have got personal best since the event’s inception. Surely the 1000th will tumble this Saturday. If you would like to take part, please sign up – the run is free. Your goal could be anything from jogging one lap, to running all three in the course record time of 15.20.
Article & Photography (on Facebook) by Rob Hasler on Facebook.