The fourth Saturday in October is Finsbury parkrun's birthday, and last Saturday we celebrated our 8th year - thanks to you all for coming to run, walk and volunteer since 2009!
We celebrated two milestones as well: Matthew Cockerill's 50th run, and Bill Sutherland's 100th. Congratulations to you both!
Bill's milestone prompted a few of us to do some research - as many of you are aware, Bill is a medalled Commonwealth athlete, receiving a Bronze medal for the 20 mile walk at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, representing Scotland. Mark Jefford found a couple of photos in the archives, shown below, as well as the following words from Bill in 1970:
“The red haired Sutherland was jubilant after the race over his Bronze. “When I came into the stadium I just couldn't believe it was all happening. The crowd were yelling for me and I knew I was going to get a medal.” He thought the crowds all along the route “fantastic” and the organisation “really wonderful”. (See more at http://www.vrwc.org.au/tim-archive/articles/Commonwealth%20Games%20Walks%20History.pdf)
(source: https://sarnia.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/bill-sutherland-7-miles-allcomers-record/ )
When I shared with Bill the lovely feedback you all provided on Facebook, he sent the following words of inspiration:
“It has been a remarkable journey since 2014 and the encouragement and support of so many at Finsbury Park has been my foundation stone. I greatly admire all those who take part and challenge themselves week after week or from time to time. Patience and consistency are so important and each and every one of you are very special. It took me around 7 years to reach my greatest achievement of my Commonwealth Bronze Medal and I was never a natural athlete at the start. I am sure there are many within the Park Run movement from the young upwards who have the ability and the gift to become top athletes in the future. Go for it and I am sure you will reach your goals. Thank you again so much and Good Luck to you all whether a runner or volunteer in your future endeavours. See you again soon. Yours in Sport and Friendship, Bill Sutherland”
Thanks Bill, we look forward to many more parkruns with you!