Well. What a Friday I had.
In honesty it didn't start on Friday. For a few weeks we have had email complaints from one towpath user who felt there are too many of us and that we take up too much room on a Saturday morning. She wanted us to either reduce our numbers dramatically or re-locate. When neither of these things happened despite three email complaints she emailed Richmond Council. On receiving the email they looked into our Landowners permission and our current numbers and they found a problem. I had asked for permission for up to 200 runners each week and clearly, we have a few (ahem) more than that. By running with more than 200 a week we were invalidating our landowners permission which then made our insurance invalid. We cannot run without insurance. I sent an application for up to 400 runners but these applications take approximately 4 weeks to be decided. For these weeks we would not have valid insurance. Therefore I (with HQ) took the decision to cancel the event. Then you amazing people emailed and tweeted and made a difference. Such a difference. I had a lengthy phone call with the manager from the Parks Events team and we talked through the issues. She was adamant we had not been instructed to cancel and we hadn't, but we cannot run without insurance so we had no choice. We eventually agreed that Kingston parkrun would continue to run with the full support of Richmond Council. She also assured me that we could not be cancelled by them on the basis of our numbers. She informed me she fully supported parkrun as a concept and Kingston parkrun as a specific event. We also uncancelled a cancelled event (which is not allowed) because she specifically asked me to. Thank you to HQ for allowing this.
I know this would not have happened without the emails and the social media storm so thank you all. The pain and stress that this has caused me I believe is worth it. I feel we have secured our future through this and this makes me very happy.
So then Saturday morning came along and 247 people participated. We had far too many unknown runners but 18 new personal bests.
Thank you all for your support.
See you on the towpath
This week 247 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers and 18 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:
Jacqueline CHANG • Helen NANCE • Fiona PUGH • Jessie PRESTON • Paul SUTHERLAND • Lauren HAWKINS • Jacob CHANG • David JEARY • Jose SALINAS • Thomas CHANG • Poppy EVANS • Joseph SUTHERLAND • Chris BUTCHER
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Kingston parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Isabel CLARK who recorded a time of 17:46 on 24th March 2018 (event number 422).
The male record is held by Nick EARL who recorded a time of 14:52 on 29th September 2018 (event number 449).
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 7,801 participants have completed 57,336 parkruns covering a total distance of 286,680 km, including 8,006 new Personal Bests.