Ellenbrook Fields parkrun event 100 7th April 2018
Report by Jim Davis
Photographs by Clair Drage
This was the 100th Ellenbrook Fields parkrun. I think that is fantastic. The course deserves its own black T-shirt. The first parkrun here took place on 21 May 2016. First man home then was Jon Williams of Ware Joggers in 17:36 and first lady was Hannah Turner in 19:13. I should start off by saying that Ellenbrook Fields is my favourite parkrun. I’ve jogged round or volunteered for over half of its running. One of the reasons that it’s my favourite is because it is flat. A second is that in the drier times of year – late spring, summer and early autumn – it is really beautiful. But the most important reason is that the folk who organise each event are always so smiling, pleasant and encouraging. They always start with Mrs Norman, who has a cheerful word for all at arrival.
Lynne Norman. Her son is Danny Norman, one of the first to achieve 500 parkrun appearances.
The volunteers at that first event were Howard Bull, Melanie Lynch, Charlotte Holloway, Laura Bailey, Martin Crisp, Maxine Goold, Sarah Haverson, Adam Huntley, Donna O'Toole, Amanda Parsbey, Luke Allbrighton, Tim Cooke, Rhian Hollyer, Charlotte Jones, Carrie Hudson, Clair Drage, Jacqueline McCallum, and Jenna Pickering. Quite a few of these names appear, week in - week out, in the volunteer listings. Jolly well done to you.
I asked Carrie Hudson who was responsible for originally setting up this parkrun. (Actually I asked who was to blame.) She said that the Event Directors were happy to take any blame, but she kindly referenced a number of people, and listed the organisations who helped to get it started: Herts Sports Partnership; Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council; Old Hatfield Ladies Running Club; Goodman UK; and Workman FM. The Event Directors are keen to highlight that the landowner and park maintenance staff have been very supportive throughout the two years, and also before the inaugural, and that they provided the funding for our oak kilometre marker posts.
Saturday’s run was also in memory of Lynne Sparks and Taff Llewellyn.
Taff Llewelyn is pictured below, with his family and buddies.
Taff ran 82 parkruns. 69 of them were here at Ellenbrook Fields. He started running about three and a half years ago. His best ever time at here was 24:19. Pretty good going that. His first run at Ellenbrook Fields in May 2016 and he took 29:31. Steady improvement saw him down to 25:56 by the end of that year. He almost always ran in a Welsh rugby cap. He was aiming to run his first marathon in London later this month. There was a massive Welsh presence in honour of Taff. At one stage I wondered whether I was still in Hertfordshire.
Above are just a few of the Welsh contingent. There were many more.
Lynne Sparks was the Welwyn Hatfield Mayor, being the official starter at the inaugural event, and continuing in support even during a year when she wasn’t the mayor. Lynne was a keen walker, and her Facebook page talks about her walking from Knebworth to Cuffley. That’s a good, long walk by and standards – about 30 miles. Clearly, as with Taff, she passed away when much too young. Her husband Ian, who has volunteered at our parkrun, had planned to be there on Saturday and was missed by many of us, but a family illness kept them away. Shown below is Lynne with husband and mayoral aide, Ian, and Run Director Clair Drage, at the 56th event.
For the 100th running of this event we were blessed with one of the nicest days that we have had for quite a while. There was no rain, not really much of a breeze, it wasn’t below zero, there was no snow or ice. The huge puddle along the home straight had gone. (To be replaced by another good sized puddle at about 3.5km.) Really, how good could it be? We were asked to arrive in super hero costumes, as part of the celebration.
Up front there was no Neil Hume this week. You’ll see below that he volunteered this week as a marshal. So we had a new winner, Thomas Kearns, in the quick time of 16:13. He run three times at Ellenbrook Fields and has been quicker each time he has run. This was his quickest run anywhere. He was also first on the age-graded scale with 79.55%. Next home was Allan Bogle in 16:49. This was good for second on the age-graded scale at 79.39%. He and Thomas were together as they set out on the big lap. This was Allan’s first run at Ellenbrook Fields. Third was an unknown. Third age graded was Richard Somerset with 76.23% for 19:21 as a VM50 - 55.
The first two men early on during the big lap. Allan on the left and Thomas on the right.
Of the ladies, the first over the finish line was Rebecca Pritchard, who set a new PB with 20:40. This would give Rebecca the highest ladies’ age graded score of 71.61%. Next was Katy Healy, also with a PB, in 21:24, which was worth 71.03%. Third across the line was Jilly Barry, a first timer, in 23:28. However, the third best ladies’ age graded score was by Jan Haydon with 25:32 and 68.21%. She was 7th lady, but due to being a year or two older than others, scored very highly. (I hope you’ll forgive me for saying this, Jan.)
Rebecca Pritchard. First overall lady & ladies age graded. She makes it look easy.
This week 213 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 32 recorded new Personal Bests. Hearty congratulations to every one of you. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by these 24 volunteers:
Lynne NORMAN, John NORMAN, John HILL, Philippa DAVIS, Carrie HUDSON, Sarah HAVERSON, Neil HUME, Clair DRAGE, Maxine GOOLD, Jim DAVIS, Allison SKEGGS, Florence HUDSON, Declan DALY, Amy ROUTLEDGE, DavidMark GABBEY, Chris MCGURK, Kirsty SLATER, Nick TRURAN, Emily REDING, Molly GILES, Paul DURBIN, Christina DURBIN, Rob HEARN and Amy HOLLAND.
This week's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Ellenbrook Fields parkrun Results Page.
Very Honourable Mentions (in no particular order):
Sarah Haverson – her 50th volunteer stint.
Andy Whitfield – his 200th parkrun.
Jasper Hudson – his 50th parkrun. (52nd actually, but 2 were junior parkruns.)
Graham Sharp, Dan Whitehouse, Maria Blyth, Denise Hill, Peter Moore, Craig Stephenson, Robert Blyth, Louise Smith, Helen Hawthorne and Clare Gibbons. – They all have more than 100 parkruns. So, in common with Ellenbrook Fields, they all get to wear a black t-shirt.
I am indebted to Clair Drage for such excellent photographs.