It doesn't take a genius to register that today was the first Saturday in the month. Regulars at Crystal Palace parkrun will know that on the first Saturday of the month Crystal Palace Fun Runners (CPFR) provide pacers at parkrun. Mike Woodward describes CPFR as a 'drinking club with a running problem.' This morning was a demonstration of that, as most of the CPFRs had had half a lager shandy last night and so were feeling rather the worse for wear. I commented that maybe we need to reconsider the timing of our monthly club social but as Susannah Simpson pointed out: having our social the night before the pacing works well as those of us who are pacing get to run a bit slower than usual. I could go into the physics of that but trust me, it's very very boring.
As ever we were blessed with lovely weather as 223 of us lined up at the start line. For the 32 people who had never run at our beautiful mountainous park I need to tell you we ALWAYS have great weather. I have personally entered into a pact with the parkrun weather fairy on Twitter: I always thank him/her and s/he always gets us great weather. So, as I was driving to the park this morning (I know, I should run, long story about why that doesn't work for our family) it was raining and as we drove into the car park the rain stopped and the sun shone. Nature as it should be: the dust was settled and the air was clear.
Astonishingly, despite parkrun going for about 10 years there were 17 people who had never run parkrun before! Welcome to all of you, especially James Gray and Anna Quantrill who had the (dubious) pleasure of running with me for part of the route. I was pacing (badly) 33 minutes and they were clearly running faster than that so I encouraged them to keep their pace up and they both finished sub 32. Well done to both of you. I'd like to say I'm looking forward to seeing you next week but I won't be there (more later).
A special welcome also to Richard Jay who did his first parkrun today and is a new member of CPFR. (You may notice lots of references to CPFR members - join us and I will be nepotistic towards you too!)
The remainder of our first timers (15 in total) had run parkrun before, just not in Crystal Palace. For many of those I understand why they've not run with us before (for instance next weekend I shall be a tourist in a country where they don't have a lot of parkruns, more later) but Trevor Dennis.....really? 251 parkruns today and your local is Brockwell Pk, a mere two miles away. Anyway, you're welcome, she says, through gritted teeth!
I would like to think that due to the CPFR pacers we had a lot of PBs today. We did have a few (35). Some are worthy of mention such as Amy Innes. I was pacing 33 mins and to be fair, I'm not very good at pacing. After I'd crossed the finish line Amy crossed it and the said to me that she had been trying to catch me. I pointed out that I'd been a bit faster that I should have been, at which point Amy said she might have got a PB. And she did! So well done, Amy and although it's not about me, it's nice to see your last PB was on my birthday! I won't mention all the people who achieved PBs although it would be remiss of me to ignore my son, Alex, who achieved yet another PB. As Belinda Cottrill commented, maybe we should just comment when he doesn't get a PB. Hope Skinner was an amazing runner. It was her second parkrun and she did it sub-30. Well done Hope - you really are your mother's daughter!
Lin Skinner's PB is a ridiculous 20:37 so she must have been a bit disappointed with a, quite frankly, shabby 21:09! Luckily the next generation of Skinner Family runners are making a bit of an effort........says the woman who was delighted to manage sub 33 today! Other PBs included Madeleline Armstrong who, on her eighth appearance at CP, went sub 22 minutes for the first time and Abi Tyler who managed her first sub 30!
Lin Skinner was, unsurprisingly our first female finisher followed closely by Belinda Cottrill (and Milo) on Belinda's 200th parkrun. Belinda's mum (Chrissie, of Chrissie's corner fame) apologised afterwards for not doing a banner or balloons to celebrate Belinda's achievement. As Belinda pointed out, she runs every week with a very fast Labrador, the last thing she needed was any extra luggage.
Our first male finisher was an 'unknown' runner (one of 22 unknown runners). Except, we do know who it was: our very own Jake English, who, as he finished, tapped me on the arm with a 'well done, Michele'. He was finishing his parkrun, I was finishing my first lap. That is actually not very supportive Jake and the least you could have done was let me get to a position where you couldn't lap me. Anyway, you get no credit for being first finisher as you didn't have your barcode. #DFYB
Our second finisher was Che Compton followed by Sean Fitzpatrick, who got a PB in his fastest time since October 2016.
We had three runners achieving their first big milestone. Well done to Steven Gauge, Russell White and Kat Curran on achieving your 50th parkrun!
Onto a slightly more serious note: at parkrun we're all elite athletes. Some run fast, some slow, some walk a bit, some walk the whole route. Regardless of how we get to the finish the beauty is we do it. Some people when they're running manage to expel large globules of 'stuff' from their nose and/or throat. So, just a gentle reminder to you all, please spit away from the other runners rather than towards them. It can really put you off your stride when a large glob of snot/sputum/unidentifiable gel lands on your leg..........and it's not yours!
Next week Alex and I are doing parkrun in Durham, North Carolina. It's the nearest one to where we're staying and will take us nearly two hours to drive there! But such is our dedication to parkrun we're happily going to do it! Which means the parkrun pen is up for grabs (for the next two weeks). If you want a go at report writing then message us on Facebook or email the CP parkrun office.
Finally, a huge thanks to our volunteers, without them we wouldn't be running. We were a bit short this week which meant some people couldn't run so do put your name down for volunteering, it's almost as much fun as running!
Crystal Palace parkrun
Event number 349
5th August 2017
This week 223 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 35 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:
Susannah SIMPSON • Michael WOODWARD • Bob BELL • Carol HAYES • Tom WILSON • Monica FISK • George WILLIAMS • Barry GRAHAM • Michele GOLDEN • David Heath BOSTOCK • Alex SINGHGOLDEN • Sidney Ansell MCINTOSH • Amy CURTIS • Stephen HEWITT • Rae AMOSU • Chris BALMER • Chris BELL • Stephanie EVANS • Piers BROMLEY • Julie LETTS • Russell WHITE • Philippa RYAN • Lyndsey MORLEY • Fred HAYES
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.
An unknown runner was first.
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) of Kent AC, was second over the line in 17:32 - has been first to finish on 28 previous occasions.
Sean FITZPATRICK (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers, was third over the line in 17:34 - was first to finish once before.
Lin SKINNER (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was first (21st overall) over the line in 21:09 - 34th time in 93 appearances.
Belinda COTTRILL (SW30-34) of Dulwich Runners AC, was second (28th overall) over the line in 21:33 - has been first to finish on 8 previous occasions.
Madeleine ARMSTRONG (VW35-39) (Unattached) was third (33rd overall) over the line in 21:56.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) – 79.66% for the time 17:32 (second overall).
Bernie HUTCHINSON (VM60-64) – 76.64% for the time 21:07 (20th overall).
Neil JEFFRIES (VM55-59) – 75.52% for the time 20:42 (17th overall).
The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 17:23 on 14th January 2012 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who recorded a time of 15:26 on 1st July 2017 (event number 344).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ros TABOR who recorded 90.93% (23:20) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 334).
Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010. Since then 7,159 participants have completed 47,310 parkruns covering a total distance of 236,550 km, including 8,460 new Personal Bests.