As I stood recovering at the end of this morning’s blast along the towpath, RD Jacqueline Chang wandered over and nonchalantly asked if I was writing this week’s report. I hadn’t planned on doing, but of course I was happy to oblige. It’s easy peasy and you get volunteer points (I’m one away from earning the coveted purple t-shirt) AND you can still run. Everyone’s a winner, unless of course, you’re the poor soul reading this load of old waffle.
Anyway, ever the reporter, I have loads of stories for you from this week’s run, so read on, and see if you can spot the item of fake news I have inserted, in a bid to be down with the kids………..
First things first though, let’s get the serious stuff down. Would you believe it, some people actually come to parkrun to run as fast as their muscly toned legs will take them. Me, I’m just glad to get around. So today before we started, I stood momentarily at the very front of the start line and looked ahead at the clear pathway along which 241 of us would shortly be setting. I have to confess the atmosphere at the front is very different to the chat you get at the back. These sporty beasts are pumping themselves for the run ahead, checking their watches, stealing sneaky sideways glances at their competitors, popping pills and generally focusing. At the back, we’re deciding which songs Lizzie Gwillim is going to sing to us around Ham Lands and wondering if anyone has brought cake.
There may be a direct correlation between the formers’ finish times and the latters’ – I just haven’t figured it out yet. Anyway, in order, although IT’S NOT A RACE, we had:
Ollie Garrod 16:55 Epsom and Ewell Harriers
Fraser Mullen 18:26 Meridian Striders
Thomas Rann 18:32 (first timer) Milocanan AC
Jessica Earp 19:44 (first timer )
Jemma Zakariyyau 20:32 (PB – woo hoo)
Sarah Goodfellow 23:17.
Now, what you need to know about our first man over the line, apart from the fact that he is superfast, and I mean, superfast, is that his shoe lace came undone 200 metres INTO the run. So Ollie ran 4.8km with one trainer done up and one not. He told Jacqueline afterwards that he was too scared to stop and tie it up, in case he got overtaken, so he just ran on. I suppose when you’re Ollie this would be an issue. Me, I’d be delighted for the chance to stop and breathe. But Ollie is usually first, or second, or on one shameful episode at Bushy (which I expect he won’t want me to mention) he was fourth. Tut tut. You see Ollie, that’s what happens when you’re REALLY fast. You put yourself under all this pressure. In fact Ollie has run ten times at Kingston (out of 242 runs) and each time he’s come home first. So may I suggest we ambush him next week, and steal his trainers altogether. Then we’ll see how fast he really is. In the interests of not completely having a go at Ollie, I feel I should also mention he has volunteered 26 times for parkrun too. So he’s not all about winning. He just is most of the time.
In other news, a heart felt thank you to the unknown runner who was a shining parkrunner to someone else in distress. Unknown parkrunner A was running with junior parkrunner B. Junior B lost their hat (and a bit of their temper) and unknown parkrunner C stopped to help retrieve and return said hat to its rightful owner. Who’s not to say that unknown C forfeited a PB in the process? We will never know, because all three are unknowns, although unknown A did ask Jacqueline Chang to thank unknown C on his behalf. Nice innit?
Talking of unknowns, what a calamity. The unknowns above are only unknown because Jacqueline is not half as nosey as me and didn’t ask for any names. However, there were 17 official unknowns this morning. SEVENTEEN! Really? I just don’t get it. Two unknowns came in together at position 200 and 201. Did they know each other? Or did they just happen to run together, clinging together and not really part of the parkrun family at all because they didn’t bring their barcodes. It’s a travesty if you ask me, a flipping travesty. Indeed one of the regular runners at Kingston was so cross today when he witnessed a unknown refusing a token at the end that he threw an egg at him. Dearie me, that seems a bit harsh, they’ll be putting up stocks next week. #DFYB.
Now, other things you may be interested in: We had 29 PBs, which was wonderful after most of us swam through the course last week. A special mention must go to Daniel Cowan (M20-24) who ran at Kingston last week and did actually get a PB on the longer course. How, I can’t imagine. But complete the course he did in 22:05. This week we also had ten first timers, of whom one, Jack Toogood (love love love your surname) chose Kingston as his first ever in the whole wide world. Welcome to you all and especially Jack. Come back next week. Young Harvey Hutchison (JM11-14) completed his tenth parkrun in a fabulous 20:37, yes, you read that right. And Claire Kunzel (SW 30-34) ran her 50th parkrun in a brilliant 25:45. Claire has run all over the place, including Dundee, Milton Keynes, Herne Hill, Weymouth, Hove…….I hope Kingston made her welcome.
As ever, we had some unstable runners out and about. Take Bev Gow for instance from 26.2RRC. Frankly that woman was all over the place. She turned up late, protesting she had run from Chessington to Teddington, and was then coming back to start parkrun, getting in the way of us serious athletes who were out on the course and running in the right direction. Apparently this “running here, running there, running flipping everywhere” is a dedicated Edinburgh marathon training plan. If you ask me, someone had better give that girl a map. She’ll probably end up running the route twice on the day…..I’d better bring sandwiches and a flask.
Finally, thanks to the most gorgeous volunteers, including our fabulous Duke of Edinburgh volunteers who let’s face it, probably don’t really want a bunch of sweaty, snot drooling runners falling over them at the finish as they try to scan our codes without actually touching, or our turn marshall loitering at The Ham Lands turn. Special thanks to injured Becky Stopford who still came for the parkrun chat and got bullied into walking my dog Ned with her dog Wesley (win win for me) and a special wave to my sister Michele Golden who is a Crystal Palace parkrunner. I know, I know, be kind to her, someone has to run there. Michele is injured and has been since October, so most weeks she volunteers even more than she normally does (if that is possible). Her parkrun fix keeps her going and I want us all to send her and Becky “get well soon” parkrun vibes so they will soon be lacing up their trainers and getting out there where they want to be.
Re the fake news – Jacqueline will upload this report and then put it on the Kingston parkrun FB page. So leave a comment and let me know what you think the fake news item is.
If you, like me, love parkrun, I’ll see you next week.
Here is the "official" report from HQ:
This week 241 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 10 were first timers and 29 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 12 volunteers:
Ian CALLANDER • Jacqueline CHANG • G. Louise AYLING • Josie BATE • Harry SLATER • Henry FARMER • Gary WOODARD • Nick VASEY • Lauren HAWKINS • Jacob CHANG • Mimi METCALF • Molly VEROW
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Kingston parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:19 on 24th September 2011 (event number 77).
The female record is held by Joasia ZAKRZEWSKI who recorded a time of 18:11 on 23rd June 2012 (event number 116).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 99.29% (21:03) on 16th May 2015 (event number 270).
Kingston parkrun started on 20th March 2010. Since then 6,455 participants have completed 46,079 parkruns covering a total distance of 230,395 km, including 6,445 new Personal Bests.