parkrun sends my soul sky high!
By Amanda Critchell
Saturday 26th January was a day of celebrations. Australia Day and India’s Republic Day were celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere and closer to home, Andrew Ridgeley also celebrated his birthday, but more of that to come… At Frimley Lodge parkrun we celebrated: lots of visitors (including some from Manchester, Glasgow, Basingstoke and Bedfont Lakes to name but a few); milestone runs; our 40 volunteers; the 57 first timers, who included 31 newbie parkrunners who had come to join the fun; lots of camaraderie and some great running, walking or a mixture of both by the 553 parkrunners this week. Seeing so many gathering to go for it on a fresh but dry winters’ day put the boom boom into my heart! The course was muddier this week and slippery in places, and yet, there were an increased number of PBs, 85 in total. I, however, along with many others, just took it easy, well, this young (or not so young) gun says caution pays!
Our handsome, tall and strong first three finishers were led home by Paul Gaylor in a time of 17:34. Paul also achieved the highest age-graded score of 83.97%. Second to finish was a returning visitor, Allan Coyle, on his 8th parkrun, who achieved a PB of 17:58. Ian Coates was third, on his 317th parkrun in a time of 18:29. Koji Miyazaki achieved the second highest age grading of 83.16% for his time of 18:48 and Chris Try finished in 19:25 and came third in the age-graded scores for this week with 78.45%.
Naomi Wyatt must be thinking I just can’t lose at the moment (although it is a run and not a race) as she finished first lady for the fourth week in a row! She finished with a time of 20:54 and the second-highest age graded score for a woman of 70.81% on her 75th parkrun. Samantha Murphy was second in 21:25 and also achieved the third highest female age grading of 69.42%. She was closely followed by Ffion Harris who finished third in 21:32. However, I think there’s something you should know, which is that Jean Drummond achieved the highest age-grading by a woman of 72.68% on her 243rd parkrun for her time of 32:13.
Sometimes you know today you’re gonna have a good time and maybe that’s how Alfie Boese (JM15-17) felt this week as he finished first junior male with a new PB of 19:38 on his 255th parkrun and achieved the third highest age-grading by a junior runner of 70.88%. Alfie was also the parkrunner who had run the most parkruns at Frimley Lodge (211) and who also achieved a PB this week. Some say that bad boys stick together, well perhaps great ones do too, as Alfie was shortly after followed to the finish by Olly Webb (JM11-14) in 19:50 and Thomas Denbigh (JM15-17) in 19:55, who were the second and third junior parkrunners to finish respectively. Olly Webb also achieved the highest age-grading for a junior of 74.96% and Aaron Webb (JM10) achieved the second highest age-grading of 73.24% for his time of 21:33.
The junior women were led home by Caitriona Farrell (JW15-17), a regular amongst the top three junior finishers, in a time of 22:52 and with an age-grading of 66.91%. The second junior woman was Paige Daniel (JW11-14) who finished with a PB of 24:58 (her age grading was 62.95%). It was her seventh PB of the last twelve months and in that time, she has reduced her parkrun time by 4 minutes 27 seconds. I sense your inspiration! Milly Cronin (JW11-14) completed the top 3 junior women finishers also with a PB of 26:44 and an age-grading of 60.91%. It was her second PB in a row in her results, although it’s been nearly 6 months since her last visit to Frimley Lodge. Welcome back Milly! Perhaps some had been thinking that they hadn’t seen your face around town for a while! These first three junior women to finish also achieved the highest three age-grading scores achieved by junior women.
Congratulations to everyone who didn’t let the hard times stand in your way as you fought your way to a new PB. As already mentioned, Alfie Boese was the parkrunner with a PB who had run the most parkruns at Frimley Lodge, but in second place was Leonie Harvey, who achieved a PB of 28:20 on her 122nd parkrun and her 83rd at Frimley Lodge. Norma Dudley had run the third highest number of parkruns at Frimley Lodge (96 out of a total of 106 parkruns) with a new PB. Norma achieved a PB of 32:40, with an age-grading of 67.04%, which was her 5th PB of the last 12 months (somebody told me that she had achieved a massive age-grading score!) Norma was also one of our two oldest runners to achieve a PB and the other was Richard Hailstone, who achieved his third PB in a row, all on consecutive weeks, with a time of 36.08. As is usually the case, most PBs were achieved by those at the beginning of their parkrun journeys. Over half the PBs (43) were achieved by those who had run a total of just 2 or 3 parkruns at Frimley Lodge (including visitors). Those who had run 10 or less parkruns at Frimley Lodge accounted for 68 of the 85 PBs achieved. As I can’t name everyone with a PB in this report, although every one of you deserves a huge well done, those with more than 10 parkruns, run at Frimley Lodge, who I haven’t already mentioned were: Viebeke Clark, 25:08; Jack Hobbs, 22:39; Susan Williams, 28:09; Edward Carr, 27:04; Rhian Jones, 29:16; James Denbigh, 20:30; Harriet Page, 29:25; Edwin Griffiths, 22:09; Aloka Dias (JM15-17), 24:41; Helena Farrington, 38:12; Jon Anker, 29:30 and Matthew Knight, 32:05.
Finally, congratulations to everyone who celebrated a milestone number of parkruns this week. Edward Nelson (JM10) joined the 10+ parkruns’ club for our junior runners with a PB of 33:07. Cathy Lafrenais and Martin Chowney both finished their 50th parkrun and Thomas Denbigh joined the 100+ parkruns club. Although not official milestones, well done also to Julia Boese who celebrated her 200th parkrun and to Simon Harvey and myself as we completed our 350th parkruns. Looking back on the good old days of those 350 runs, I’m thankful to parkrun for the gift of running, it’s where I found my groove! Maybe next year we’ll see a rash of 500 parkrun celebrations as Frimley Lodge parkrun reaches its 10th birthday and those who have been there since the beginning and who really really love to stick around at parkrun every Saturday morning reach this impressive milestone!
Thank you to all of our volunteers this week, most of whom had to stand out in the cold and who made our parkrun possible this week. When I see our smiling marshals as I run around the park and Roger, with his timer in hand and the finish area team at the end of the run, I know I ain’t got no more worries! Don’t forget that in two weeks’ time, on the 9th February it will be Frimley Lodge parkrun’s 9th birthday so come along, bring cake to share if you can and come along to join in the celebrations if you don’t want to miss that high of running parkrun! On the same week, Windle Valley Runners have kindly offered their services as volunteers and pacers and are also providing a talk on the benefits of running for mental health at 8:45am before the run. Don’t forget, parkrun membership’s a smiling face (and you don’t even need that!). Just register online and don’t forget to bring your printed barcode with you!
In tribute to Andrew Ridgeley, did you spot the 20 quotations from Wham’s hit singles in this run report and did you guess which songs they were all from?