It’s spring, which means we’re nearly into marathon season, and runners are entering half marathon races as final tune up runs – or of course, are running a half marathon as their main race. There are quite a few around if you know where to look. This morning, by the time we were finishing, the Selsdon Half Marathon runners were streaming down Coombe Road. Next Sunday it will be the Croydon Half Marathon, organized by Striders of Croydon. The course is two laps on roads encircling our lovely Lloyd Park, and the medals have just been delivered and they are really great! You can still enter: http://bit.ly/CroHalf and on the day.
Arriving a little late at the park this morning (08:10, rather than 08:00), course set-up was already in progress, and Joanna Scanlan was waiting for me, to help with setting out the last section, which still needs checking and changing each week at present due to the construction of the new cycle path. The ground is drying up nicely, presently still a bit soft in places, but not really muddy – it has been quite a dry winter, and most visitors have failed to experience the true glory of the Lloyd parkrun winter mud! Sadly I missed seeing the deer further into the park – regular set-up volunteer Nick Fiander had that privilege.
Finally everything was ready, this week’s volunteers were all briefed, and the first timers were briefed, before we all headed down to the start area for a quick general briefing and the count-down: three, two, one – go! I always love watching everyone heading off, from the fastest runners to the tail walker, with excited dogs being controlled and people arriving late and (quite properly!) dashing down to the start area in order to turn around and run back along and past the pavilion.
We had a respectable field of 219 parkrunners today, including eight first-time parkrunners and 10 tourists, from close by, such as Roundshaw Downs and Riddlesdown, and further away, including Portsmouth and Coventry.
Simon Ambrosi (Striders of Croydon) was first back to the finish funnel, in 18:55, followed by Nick Marshall (Croydon Harriers) in a PB of 19:05 and David Ogden (South London Harriers) in 19:11. For the women, Amy Miller (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers) finished first ( 17th overall) in 20:53, followed by Jessica Moore (Croydon Harriers) in 21:27 and visitor Katie Carew-Robinson (City of Portsmouth AC) in 23:05.
Highest age-grade runs came from David Ogden (82.88%), Matthew Stone (79.42%), Steve Corfield (79.36%), Graham Hansen (75.62%), Amy Miller (73.26%), Nigel Davies (73.11%), Simon Ambrosi (72.69%), Matthew Saunders (72.30%) and Nick Marshall (71.79%).
For 34 people, it was PB time, so congratulations to Nigel Davies, Nick Marshall, Ifetobi Salako, Jonathan Long, Zoha Jetha, Jon Saunders, Chris Taruwona, Tim Allen, Caz Heath, Mark Whatling, John Williamson, Neil Blackley, Andrew Smith, Andrianna Hadjimichael, Richard Hooper, Jeeshu Ganguly, Joe Ingram, Jordan Leader, Steve Dixon, Libby Lawrey, Tim Stephens, Thomas Barker, Heidi Allen, Darren Doyle, Emma Moir, Michael Hazell, Eme Chan, Helen Green, Andre Markley, Abi Blood, Eric Lanquaye, Gisele Malin, Samantha Malin and Angua Bediako.
Many thanks to today’s wonderful volunteers: Stephen Allport, Jennifer Booth, Debra Bourne, John Chambers, Jayden Douglas, Paul Elliott, Nick Fiander, Agnimitra Ghosh, Jenny Hansen, Benjamin Hansen, Eleanor Hunt, Louise Lauder, Colin Lynch, Neel Maniar, Joanna Scanlan, Les Todd, Noah Tolfrey and Stephen Tyler.
I’m going to be away from Lloyd parkrun quite a few weeks over April to June, due to work and races. Please support Jenny, Richard and anyone else who takes on the Run Director role over this period, by VOLUNTEERING - if you’re not sure about it, ask me (I -will- be around next Saturday). If anyone wants to try giving the briefing to the first timers, writing the run report or doing results processing (any of which can be combined with running) please email me. We would also like to recruit some more people for Run Director and Number Checker, so please let me know if you’re willing to try those.