Well after the conditions last week which tested the resolve of runners to the maximum (if it wasn't exactly The Beast From The East it was certainly The Flurry From Surrey) we were back to friendlier conditions this week where 97 people sprinted, ran, jogged, or walked round the course. Actually although, of course, the whole point of parkrun is that you can do it at your own speed, this was one of the quickest events we have held; Kathy, our tailwalker was I think envisaging a nice leisurely stroll through the woods today but found herself crossing the line in a decidedly brisk 42.47 so well done to everyone who took part.
Paul Silvester was our Run Director this morning, holding everyone in rapt attention with his briefing,...
...whilst our First Timers briefing was completed by Vicky Burr, herself a first timer in the role.
During the warm-up period some runners were like a coiled spring, raring to go...
...others, perhaps less so.
We welcomed a large number of tourists and first timers to Homewood. It was nice to see: Emma Hawkins, Johan Flo, Karen Wardle. Isak Flo, Poppy Wardle, Richard Drew, Lauren Miller, Luna Victoria Flo, Dorthea Flo, Alison Sheldon, Sam Hix, Suzanne Beal, Randi Flo, Laura Evans, Rachel Taylor, Sarah Osborne, Sam Harris, Tore Flo and Enica Chenga. Of these Johan Flo, Rachel Taylor and Sam Harris had never run a parkrun before. Thank you for choosing Homewood. We hope you enjoyed your run and hope to see you again soon. Karen and Poppy Wardle seemed to have travelled furthest to us (from Hampshire) and Poppy effortlessly carried off the Best Leggings Of The Day with this pair.
There were two notable milestones this week. Jo Rose completed her 50th run; an event which she marked with appropriate dignity and gavitas...
Well done Jo. And we also celebrated the efforts of a true stalwart of Homewood, a guy who regularly forgoes the pleasure of lying in a cosy bed of a Saturday morning, preferring instead to watch a bunch of sweaty people puff and pant around an often cold and damp field. Joe Mardell today completed his 50th volunteering session. He was rewarded with the inaugural Homewood Dustbin Award (there has to be a better name for it than that – anyone ?).
Remember, without the efforts of Joe and others like him Homewood parkrun would simply not exist. Each week we need around twenty volunteers to help put on the event so to have the likes of Joe prepared to give up their time to volunteer is invaluable. Joe, you're a star ! Thank you
Joe was, of course part of a fantastic team of volunteers this week (as ever!). They were: Paul Silvester, Kate Hicken, Dee Harper, Vicky Burr, Joshua Drake, Samantha Pannell, Jake Stadie, Phoebe Hogg, Holly Stillingfleet, Phil Moss, Simon Drake, Becks Brooks, Ian Harper, Phil Garty, Lisa McLaren, Kathy Miller, Phil Stocker, Steve Dye, Fiona Holley and, naturally, Joe Mardell. Thank you all.
With so much to celebrate, if you didn't attend this week I'm afraid you missed out on some quite phenomenal quantities of cake and even the odd glass of bubbly. That'll teach ya ! Thank you to anyone who was providing catering ! Before continuing perhaps this might be a good point to address a query I was asked last week to which I didn't have the answer at the time. (Steve Dye, that fount of all knowledge was able to put me right instantly). A runner asked me why his run, when recorded on Strava, always came up short of the 5km distance. I think he had recorded just 4.6kms He said he had friends who had also recorded discrepancies although I don't think they were always the same. The answer is very simple. Because part of our course is run under the trees the connection with the satellite is sometimes lost for a short period and thus any distance run during that time is not recorded. Please rest assured that the course has been properly measured with a measuring wheel and great care is taken during the set-up each week to ensure that the start and finish points are always in the same place. Which just goes to show, you can have all the technology you like crammed into a gizmo the size of a digital watch, linked with satellites orbiting the planet hundreds of miles above you beaming data between them but sometimes you can't beat a good old wheel on a stick !
All this is of course ultimately good news. If you are pleased with your time then you don't have to worry that it might be the result of inaccurate measuring of the route. On the other hand, if, like me, you wheeze round the woods at a more relaxed pace...well we never thought the distance was anything less than 5km anyway did we ?
Anyway, let's have a look at the results this week.
The quickest three runners back were, (and making a rather impressive debut to his parkrunning), Johan Flo (20.13), Chris Ness (21.39) and Bjorn Snelders (21.40). Emma Hawkins was the first female back (23.42) followed by Karen Wardle (24.57) and Jessica Wilkes (24.58).
The order changes though if you look at the percentage results (i.e. how the finish times compare with the world record for the runners' age group). Michael Waine came out on top by this measurement (73.11%) followed by Elias Flo (72.24%) and Duncan Haughey (70.33).
And if by now you are wondering just how many of the Flo family were running this morning the answer is at least seven I think. So there's a new challenge for you. Can you beat the Flo clan and get more than seven related runners along to the same event ?!
As mentioned above, we had 19 first timers today out of a field of 97. Obviously they all technically got a PB for the course. However, of the 78 remaining runners a massive 14 of them also got a PB. Given that the conditions were far from ideal that's really impressive, so huge congratulations to Elias Flo , Chris Ness, Michael Frean, Matt Pemdle, Helen Channell, Keith Potter, Ralph Stadie, Maia Hopkins, Lucy Hopkins, Claire Nichol, Lasisa Andronache, Lisa Williams, Hayley Davidson and Debra Torngren.
So that's it for another week. I hope you all had fun. Please don't forget Paul's announcement that we will be having another session spreading more bark on the squelchier sections of the route next week so if you can spare a half hour or so to help out that would be great. Gardening gloves or similar would be useful as would buckets, shovels and wheelbarrows if you have them. Don't worry if you don't though – a willing pair of hands is all that is essential.
Have a good week until then