The morning of Mile End parkrun's 5th birthday started off with 'Coffee Mike' doing a 19 point turn in his coffee van in the tightest of spaces. He might still be there trying to manoeuvre his way out, if so, give him a wave!
As parkrunners gathered in the cold and wet, our pacing team mostly from local running group Goodgym gathered to collect their pacing vests. Run Director for the day Craigie-Lee called upon our human megaphone Johnny to announce the briefing for new runners was about to take place. Johnny is a super mild mannered chap so to hear his booming voice echo around Mile End park probably came as a big surprise to many folks.
The pacers then lined up in order for the traditional before-the-run photo. With nearly every minute covered between 17-35 there was potential for a lot of personal bests today. At the start Craigie-Lee announced that 63 runners completed the course on it's inaugural run on this day 5 years ago. Not keeping the runners out standing in the cold, she got the run underway quickly.
It was really lovely to see the pacers dotted around the course during the run with small groups of runners in tow looking to break their pb's. Despite the rain there was lots of smiley faces on runners and volunteers. The first runner to finish was an unknown male, the second was James Maddison of Victoria Park Harriers who finished in 16:41. The first female finisher was Polly Skeates-Beswick of Goodgym running club who finished in 20:50. Both James and Polly broke their pb's! Great running both of you.
263 runners completed the course, exactly 200 more than this time 5 years ago. 51 of whom broke their pb's. Congratulations to you all. Nearly 50 first timers visited us today, we hope you all enjoyed the run, despite the weather! If you come back next week, there will be cake! Well done to all the pacers who did a terrific job in helping runners break some personal records.
Our volunteers for the day deserve a huge cheer as without them we would have no run and for Axel for being our photographer out on the course (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/mileend/photos/) and Claire and Frances for organising the pacers.
We look forward now to next Saturday for part two of our celebrations….cake!