This is a story about a little Rooster-boy. Reece Giles ***** Stop Press ***** Headline news just in ***** PB for Run Director ***** KATE NEALE finally gets PB. Let me explain this: Kate brought parkrun to Luton so without her we wouldn’t have our weekly chase of Rob Barnes round Wardown park. Setting up our parkrun, Kate didn’t actually run this until event #8 where she ran a time of 29:44. Despite being our Run Director a whopping 45 times, and volunteering more times than I could be bothered to count up, she was always lacking something . That something was two little letters, a P and a B in that last column on her results page. Although your first parkrun is naturally your PB, you don’t actually get the PB recorded on your profile. She never thought it would take 4 years to reach the highs of event #8, but a proud Kate has now earned those 2 letters, P and B, running a fantastic 29:39 and ringing the PB bell with great gusto. Well done Kate from all at Wardown . Please don’t make us wait until 2023 for another one.
Did I mention Kate got her first Wardown PB?:
Tourists from Rushden, Yorkshire, Cambridge (and Houghton Regis) joined us at Wardown for our first March parkrun in 2019. Nobody was sure whether to wear shorts and t-shirt (after last weeks sun) or trackies & woolly hat (there was one!) but the rain held off and it was neither warm nor cold. Among the runners were Katicia Blanchard, celebrating her 21st Birthday with a pink balloon. Evelyn ran her 150th, not an official milestone but it’s a long way between those 100 and 250 milestone t-shirts! RUN Harpenden had their 5k Graduation event, with lots of ‘first timers’ – well done all and we’ll see you again soon I’m sure.
Both Anthony Wightman & Phil Jenkins ran their 50th parkruns, the majority of these at Luton Wardown. Well done guys. Groundhog Day saw Ethan Rolfe run his 100th parkrun (for the second week running), bringing in cakes to celebrate (again). Can’t wait for next week’s parkrun where we’ll be celebrating Ethan’s 100th parkrun!!!
Lots of our parkrunners turned up and noticed a section of our normal course would be problematic, given the diggers/fencing/mud/trench blocking the course behind the boathouse. The works to build the new Bandstand had finally affected parkrun (after it has affected our Junior parkrun already). Rather than face a tough-mudder style fence-climb and mud-crawl, someone sensible made us divert round the front of the boathouse. That sensible someone (the RD) also told the masses to gather closer (during the run briefing) to hear about the ‘diversion’. The masses said “speak up, we can’t hear you”. Erm, come closer for the briefing then? Fear not, I have a solution: build a bandstand to have the run briefing at. I’d assume our diversion may be in place for a few weeks, until the Bandstand nears completion (or at least until the electrical cables have been laid to the boathouse). Let’s just hope that ‘Capital & Regional’ do not delay things by opposing the bandstand project (a little LTFC ‘new stadium’ satire for you there!).
While I’m in Victor Meldrew mode: we start around 09:10 every week, we’ve all got used to this. I’m starting to see people joining us halfway round the first lap. Please make it less obvious (you joined the runners in around 2nd or 3rd position). Surely everyone can get out of bed and get there for a 09:10 start?
Back to the little Rooster boy story. Reecey Rooster (aged 7) appeared with his family at Wardown event #2, just to see what was happening. Two weeks later, he ran parkrun for the first time, getting a time of 31:48. He must’ve been hooked, as he came back most weeks. Quite a few PB’s later, a wobbly “I don’t want to run any more” period, the Rooster recorded a PB of 23:00 as he left the JM10 age category with 129 parkruns to his name. Finally, the little Rooster made it to his 11th Birthday and was able to flee the nest. No longer must he run with a semi-responsible adult, recently Dad (as Mum is no longer quick enough to keep up with him). Thanks to all those who have accompanied him over the years: Rick, Erwin (who flogged him to a PB one week), Dave Smith, and those who’ve ran with us or taken him for a chunk of the run: Linda, Evelyn, Lisa Phee, Natalie Lawrence, Ben Smith (the 401 guy).
It’s nice to see that some of those who ran on Reece’s first parkrun are still here (Paula Nicol, Phillip Davies) seeing him more grown up. I don’t think back then any of them knew how parkrun would shape their next few years.
Now the Rooster is free, my biggest worry for him was how he would pace himself; he’s always relied on someone else to pace him and push him. Would he go out hard and crash & burn? Would he be sensible and start slowly, building to a speedy last lap? The answer is, I don’t know cos I wasn’t running with him! From speaking with him, he was a little nervous to start too close to the front, but he went well, only 47 seconds away from a PB, and recording his highest placed finish (28th to date). Looking at the results, he was 2nd out of 17 runners in his new category of JM11-14. Well done little Rooster boy – looks like you didn’t need Dad with you after all.
Look out for Reecey Rooster speeding past you in the coming weeks. Not far into the future will be ‘Rooster on tour’ allowing us both to try out some parkrun tourism. But spare a thought for the lonely Dad, who no longer has a running buddy to get him through his Saturday mornings. With next week’s #ittakes2 parkrun, I may just get my little Rooster-boy back! I’m off to talk Billy out of playing Saturday morning football – then I’ll have a little JM10 running buddy again. Or I could try to talk Cath into adoption (applicants must be between 4 and 10, and willing to run 5k every week).
This week 318 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 39 were first timers and 28 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.
First across the line was Rob Barnes (for the 68th time here at Wardown – did someone mention Groundhog Day earlier), in a speedy time of 17:32. Tomasz & young Paul Halford were the other podium places, sportingly letting Rob run away from them as early as the first hill. First finishing lady was Linda Scanlan, collecting her 20th first finisher accolade at Wardown. Rob & Linda are the male/female streets ahead (by quite some distance) in the ‘Runners with most first place finishes at Luton Wardown parkrun‘. Second and third placed were Judy Willits (who has been our ‘first finishing women’ 4 times before) and Rachael Dixon (has once been first finisher).
A big Thank You to our 33 volunteers:
Amanda RANKIN • Rebecca SHOTBOLT • Heather GRAY • Reg BRETT • Julia TOFFA • Malcolm RANKIN • Sharon ROBERTS • Nick GILES • Peter BROWN • Graham CROUCH • Geoffrey WHITE • Debbie CARTER • Andrew NORMAN • Jenny SAWYER • Frank GICQUEL • Michelle REEVES • Sue BLEE • Amrik SINGH • Jamie ROLFE • Kate POTTER • Heather TOWNSEND • Julie TYSOE • Claire WORBY • James AVIS • Jennifer AVIS • Stephen AVIS • Aman SULTAN • Nayana MISTRY • Deborah BAILEY • Sanjay ROY • Raheem ALI • Zakariya MIAH • Florence TOFFA
Three of these lovely volunteers reached the 25 milestone: Tina Giles (or ‘Mum’ as I call her!), Emma Caswell & Graham Crouch. I’m chasing you guys down, this is my 24th. Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Luton Wardown parkrun Results Page.
Dates for your diary:
March 9th - our 200th parkrun #ittakes2
To mark the occasion we want to make parkrun even more social!
We'd like you to consider using the event as an opportunity to run the entire thing with a running buddy.
This could be someone you usually come with but don't run with, someone you've not seen for ages and would like a chance to catch up.
You may be planning to race on Sunday so could use Saturday to pace a friend. You may always run with a partner anyway, so this may not actually be any different for you!
You may even choose to be brave and try to find someone to run with on the day or in the weeks before (we may be able to help with this if there is the call).
We all know parkrun is having a big impact worldwide on the health and well being of hundreds of thousands of people. As well as getting out in the fresh air and moving around, friendship and community are a huge part of that.
We hope to have a photographer out on the course so if you'd like to show your support for each other and #ittakes2 we encourage you to plan to WEAR MATCHING COLOURS WITH YOUR RUNNING BUDDY. Any colour will do, the more you match the better, just make sure you are warm enough!
You are also more than welcome to run in trios, quartets or whatever other multiple you can dream up. Just make sure you are matching!
While we may agree that #ittakes2 is a bit of a tenuous link to 200, we like the idea anyway and can't wait to see what you do with it!
Please spread the word
March 30th - parkrun/Foodbank Colour Run double
Fancy 10k on a Saturday morning? You could run parkrun at 9am then the Colour Run at 10:30am (registration at 10am) The entry fee includes a t-shirt, sunglasses, a medal and a food parcel for someone for 3 days.
Have a look here for more information.
April 13th - The Dave parkrun
We have a lot of Daves/Davids at our parkrun and today they will be taking over the volunteer roles. If you would like to join in please get in touch.
April 20th - our 4th birthday parkrun
Details to follow.