This morning dawned
bright and cheerful decidedly drizzly, but by the time we reached Lloyd Park at 8 am the light rain had stopped and it looked set to become a nice day. The recent rain has not yet made the course muddy, but has softened the ground just a little bit.
The first non-volunteering runner to arrive at Lloyd Park today was a parkrun tourist, Kem Solomon, whose home parkrun is Gladstone parkrun in north-west London. He has done 77 runs there, but has now decided to run all the different parkruns within the M25 (there are 51 at present). Having enjoyed today’s run he has said he’ll be back, as he finished in 20.01 and wants to get under 20 minutes.
We were also visited by a trio of runners from the original parkrun location, Bushy parkrun, a couple of runners from Horsham, and two or three Riddlesdown parkrunners. Several runners were from Genius Joggers, an online running support group, with one of their members running Lloyd regularly, while the others were enjoying it for the first time; they variously commented that it was “lovely!”, “great!” “different not being on a path” and “tough”.
As today’s Run Director, I had the pleasure of announcing our “parkrnner of the month” for August, Christine Imbert. This prize is given for persistence, commitment and improvement. Christine started running with us in July 2014 and has run 40 of her 42 parkruns here. In that time she has improved her time by more than seven minutes and increased her age grading percentage by more than 12%. She has also shown her commitment to parkrun by volunteering, particularly putting out the course markers before the run (and after the run she completes a British Military Fitness session at 10am!) She has also been providing a laminating service for paper barcodes, and is still offering that – there’s a red envelope where you can put a barcode or sheet of barcodes and every few weeks Christine collects these and brings them back laminated.
Our first finisher, Jack-Louis Bourne (no relation to your Event Director) was also visiting. He was particularly happy to finish first today because it was his birthday! Originally a Banstead Woods parkrunner from back in 2008, more recently he’s been running Plymvalley parkrun. His finish time was 17:54. Next home was Lee Flanagan (Striders of Croydon) in 18:51, followed by Craig Purle in 19:10.
For the women, Tina Shortland, running her first ever parkrun, was first back in 22:32, with Sandra Harris next in 26:41, and Selena Wong (Striders of Croydon) third in 27:52.
We had 160 finishers today, plus at least two runners who took the one-lap option. Of these, an amazing 25 were first-timers (great to see you all). Jack-Louis Bourne, David Morley, Sam Pond, Joe Butler, Mark Brookbank, Tim Fahey, Jason Hughes, Ben Mack, Sheena Hammond, Caroline Corfield, Michelle Klein, Kat Petersen, Sheila Eade, Ricky Thompson, Andre Thomas, Samantha Springer, Karen Florence, Ndidi Ihezue (possibly helped by her finishing-straight race with Claire Browse) and Emma Jane Booth.
Today’s top age-graded runs came from Kemuel Solomon (76.10%), Tina Shortland (73.52%), Lee Flanagan (72.94%), Robert Lines (72.24%), Jack-Louis Bourne (72.07%), Jon Dean (71.60%) and Matthew Stone (70.26%).
With just over a month to go in our annual Point competition, for the women, Sandra Harris leads with 4,515 points from Susannah Oliver with 4,068 and Emma Gilgrass with 3,406. For the men, John Punt leads with 4026 points from Jon Dean with 3,257 and Matthew Stone with 3063.
For those of you wondering what this points competition is… Each week, the first man and first woman to finish each get 100 points, the next finisher gets 99 points and so on, with everyone getting at least one point. Additionally, the first three times each Lloyd parkrun year (starting the fourth week in October) that you volunteer, you get 100 points (but you don’t get any points for running that day). This competition particularly rewards people who run with us pretty much every week, all year round – and volunteer at least three times!
Speaking of volunteers, my task as Number Checker was made very easy by two excellent volunteers on the timers, Jenny Booth and James Moore, with Leanne Moore handing out the finish tokens and Jessica Moore and Tracey Stone scanning in barcodes. The Moores were all saving their legs for a local relay race in the afternoon. Your Marshals were Linda Ingram, Tony Flowers, Natalie Seymour, Margaret Hann and Anna Corby (Anna was also running in the relays), while Kevin Hann took the photos (and Anna took some as well), and Ron West paced 30 minutes. Thank you also to my husband Aidan for making sure the water and cups didn’t run out, Lez Gonsalves for offering water to people waiting in line for registration, Jenny Booth and Sheila Eade for processing the results, and everyone who helped to clear everything away after the run.
See you same time, same place next week!