As in previous years we will be holding extra parkruns at Hilly Fields on Christmas and New Year's Days - 9am on Christmas Day and 10am on New Year, giving you an extra lie in or the option of a double parkrun if you would like to run a neighbouring parkrun which is going at 9.
Well done to all 249 finishers on a warm and sunny August morning.
8 people ran their very first parkrun, and an amazing 25 visited from events in all corners of the UK and beyond. This included Charlotte, Rebecca, Nick and Douglas Woodward from Chipping Sodbury, Paul and Claire Johnson from Lanhydrock parkrun in Cornwall (Claire also volunteered) Mary Senior from Victoria parkrun in Glasgow, Glen Shaw from Hamilton Lake parkrun in New Zealand and Jean Withington who ran the first of her 263 parkruns away from Gorleston Cliffs near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.
27 people ran a pb including first finisher Dame Dibaba who finished in an inpressive time of 16:35. Well done to Adam Christopher, Adam Kelly and Southwalk parkrun regular Tom Carnell on their 100th run.
Huge thanks to Adele Prince, Bonnie Whang, Charlie Guille, Claire Johnson, Clare Griffiths, Darryl Chamberlain, Glenn Hancock, Jake Hancock, Leanne Meredith, Lily Hancock, Ray Morgan, Spenser Lane, Sally Drayton, Simon Riley, Stephen Galligan and Steve Ollier who made the event posible. Please let us know if you're available to don the hi-vis jacket in the coming weeks.
We had a feeling it was going to be an exciting event, with visitors gathering by the cafe in various shades of apricot, red and black. We set up the course with a few extras, such as bunting and some motivational chalk messages ('The chalk really helps!' was heard from one runner) and made our way to the start just before 9am. So, why all the fuss? You might have seen the milestone t-shirts around our course: white 10 for juniors, red 50, black 100 and, my personal favourite, purple 25 (volunteers). We occasionally have a visitor in a green 250 t-shirt and this week were delighted to mark our very first 250th parkrun at Hilly Fields.
Regular runners and volunteers will know Siggy, who has been with us from the start, with her first parkruns being over at Bromley (where she has run 90 times!). 130 of Siggy's runs have been here with us at Hilly Fields and she has been on tour to 20 other events, amazing! During her time as a parkrun
addict fan, Siggy has also volunteered around 75 times, with some of those times being whilst injured - she is always happy and willing to encourage others, even when she is unable to run herself (she has been known to march around at the back, supporting fellow runners, who are making the step up from walk to run). As I mentioned in the briefing, what sets Siggy apart is her strength, determination and resilience; she really is a valued member of our parkrun 'family'.
The atmosphere was, of course, one of celebration, with marshals around the course, hi-fiving and encouraging our participants up The Hill. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, timing, scanning, handing out tokens, marshalling and tail-walking (and, of course, helping to set up the course and sorting through the tokens, the bits you don't see!). This week's volunteers were Sally, Adele, Brian, Steve, Maria, Gila, Anne, Aidan, Laura, Bill, Janette, Carrie, Helen, Monica, Sasha and Stephen. If you thought it looked like fun (it is), let us know and we'll let you help make the magic happen (opt in on your profile, or email email@example.com).
Oh yes, some people ran too! 273 people! An amazing 47 were first-timers (Siggy has a big fan club!) and an impressive 33 recorded a new personal best time. Well done! It was particularly exciting to watch the action up at the front this week, with one of our junior runners, representing Kent AC, taking the front position throughout. Pipped to the post in the last few meters, Isaac Maxwell (who is under 14!) made first finisher, Edmund Adigwe, work hard for his place, with our first two finishers crossing the line in 17.34 and 17.37, outstanding! Our regular women were kept on their toes by visitors from Siggy's club, Petts Wood Runners. Crossing the line first for the women was Hannah Roberts in 20.34, followed by club-mate Geraldine Schaer, with regular first woman, Jen Smith, close behind for Kent AC. We were delighted also to see visitor Neil Cole bagging himself a PB by going under 24 minutes, well done Neil.
So, with the running done, Siggy was very happy to get her barcode scanned, 'It's official!' and share prosecco and a beautiful cake with our runners. Thank you Siggy and we look forward to seeing you again soon for your 251st run
Fintan's a regular runner at Hilly Fields, coming up to his 50th parkrun. He shared his story with us.
Ten years ago, in 2007, Fintan was running his sixth London marathon. He stopped at the mile 8 drinks station and took a bottle of water from his younger daughter Seana, who was staffing the station. What was not known in April was that the mysterious illness that was occasionally troubling Seana was lupus. In July it suddenly became very acute and Seana was rushed into intensive care where, 3 weeks later, she died aged 26. The last bench on the left before the parkrun finish funnel is her memorial. With the inscription "I sit and watch the children play", it recognises her contribution to early years education in Brockley.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's defense mechanisms start to attack the body. It is usually chronic but can be acute. It affects mainly women, mainly of child-bearing age, and disproportionately women with African or Asian heritage. Despite its relative prevalence it, and the dangers of it, are little known.
Since 2007 Fintan has been running marathons as a fluorescent yellow Lupus butterfly (definitely NOT a fairy!) and will be running his 22nd marathon and 12th London marathon this year.
Over the last few days we've highlighted the marathon stories of our run directors Glenn, Adele and Stephen. Here's a list of all the Hilly Fields parkrunners that we know of also running on Sunday. We know you'll want to support them, whether virtually or on the course itself. Where we know the runner's number we've included it so that you can track them on the London Marathon app (check out the official spectator info site for details).
If you know of anyone we've missed please tell us and we'll add them to the list.
Helen Walton (7550, raising money for Evelina London Children's Hospital)
Sarah Young (26436, raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust)
Matt Wilson (raising money for Dockland Sailing Centre Trust)
Roz Hunter (49033, raising money for Shelter)
Marian Noonan (19607, raising money for Parkinson's UK)
Fintan Culwin (45569)
Jen Smith (494)
Neil Gordon-Orr (22440)
Spenser Lane (20990)
Andy Coombe (17209)
Leanne Meredith (28298)
Hannah Porter (16686)
Shaun Dixon (1483; our course record holder)
Caroline Manning (26245 - she may have moved to Stockholm but we're still claiming her for Hilly Fields!)
Jules Gevers (33004)
Jonathan Tipper (1606)
Amy Clements (823; our female course record holder)
Glenn Hancock (56407)
Adele Prince (24559)
Stephen Robson (25994, raising money for Anthony Nolan)
Some of our regulars will be cheering out on the course. If you're running, look out for
- Clare Griffiths around mile 5
- Lucy Harris (with parkrun and Goodgym people) between miles 7 and 8 - look for a group of red tops.
- Former run director Emma Malcolm at mile 17. She'll be part of the Rethink charity stand, complete with jelly babies and tambourines!
- Tinu at mile 19 as part of the Run Mummy Run support team (more tambourines!
- Sam Broderick and Martin Faulkner will be part of the Sick Children's trust team at 20.5 miles.
Some of us (Laura McCrave, Siggy Robson, Sally Drayton - plus many others I'm sure) will be attempting a bit of mobile support. Look out for Siggy and Sally at miles 6 (Greenwich), 15 & 18 (Canary Wharf) and on Birdcage walk just before the finish.
We hope all our runners have a fabulous race. Conditions are looking perfect for some amazing running. You've done the hard work - now rest up and run proud on Sunday!