This week the 396 runners that braved the heavy looking sky had a real treat after the finish line with cakes and cookies baked by Ami Gardner in aid of Little Hands charity. Here is the story as sent in by her mum Kas:
Today at Milton Keynes parkrun Ami Gardner was selling cookies and cakes to raise money for the Little Lives appeal at Milton Keynes hospital. Every year the hospital neonatal unit cares for more than 350 babies that are born to early, too small or very ill - that's about one in every 10 babies born in Milton Keynes. The Little Lives appeal helps give the tiniest patients the best start in life.
Ami's fundraising efforts are part of the £1 challenge set by her school Giles Brook Primary School. Every child in year six has been given a £1 and challenged to grow that £1 in order to raise as much money as possible for the Little Lives Appeal. Ami started by washing cars and doing other jobs to raise money to buy the ingredients for the cakes and cookies she was selling today. Over the last couple of days Ami has been giving up going and playing at the park after school and instead has been coming home and spending her time baking cookies and cakes.
Thanks to the amazing generosity of Milton Keynes parkruners today Ami raised £80.05!
Thanks for that Ami/Kas and well done.
There were a fantastic 43 personal bests today which is phenomenal in that wind along the back straight today. Special pb mention to Jon BAYLISS on his 136th run, Glyn BRAZIER on his 116th run and Neil PITMAN for a pb on his 50th run!
A huge welcome to our 38 first timers today including parkrun tourists such as Simon REYNOLDS, Gary WHITE and Charlie BOYCE. Please let us know how you got on with our course and hope to see you all again next week.
We also had a number of our runners hit their T shirt milestones with the following:
Look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes. Quite a few on either 49 or 99 so we should have loads of celebrations over the coming weeks. Remember the only way to get these T shirts is to turn up regularly and bring your barcode! No barcode - no result - no exceptions.
We have the following from Chris Richards who reached his 50th parkrun today:
Saturday mornings used to be a time to vegetate for a few hours, where occasionally I might push the limits of my endurance by making a second cup of coffee.
Sedentary Saturdays are now a thing of the past!
I can’t put my finger on exactly how I came to discover parkrun. Might have stumbled across something on line, or then again, might have spotted something on the Sweatshop notice board. It doesn’t really matter, but my discovery certainly changed the course of my weekends forever.
Now, as I type I am facing the prospect of my 50th parkrun on Saturday. It would have been more had 2014 not been primarily a year of injury. Lucy is now well into her ‘parkrun’ sixties, and we both took our parkrun baby steps at the same time in June 2013. However, when unable to run, I’ve still been lakeside, in either a supporting or volunteering capacity.
Volunteering is vital to the future of parkrun. It’s also an enjoyable experience, and allows you to put something back into the event which gives you so much pleasure! As something of a technophobe, my preferred volunteering role is Marshall, as I then get to watch and encourage runners at various points around the course. I’ve also done Tail Runner, Token Support and Number Checker roles. I’d encourage everyone to give it a go, and help ensure no events have to be cancelled.
I became a parkrun tourist for the first time recently, taking in the Edinburgh parkrun which was great fun, and we’re considering a little more tourism next year, maybe even in a different country!
Why do we do it? Some people use parkrun as part of a lifestyle change, others to test themselves, others like the social aspect of meeting up with like-minded individuals, and to share a coffee afterwards. The great thing about parkrun is that it’s for everyone. It doesn’t discriminate. Olympic athletes, serious club runners, middle aged plodders (maybe I fall into this category), youngsters, pensioners, and buggy-toting mums and dads are all equal in the eyes of parkrun.
My own personal motivation for taking part is to remain fit as I get older (a task that gets more difficult year by year), and also to prove to myself that age shouldn’t be an obstacle to achieving things. On my wish list for next year, is to get back to PB fitness level, perhaps break the 21 minute barrier (and head towards 20 minutes), and get an age grade score of over 70%. If I make it, then great. If not, I know I’ll have fun trying!
A final word of thanks to all the race directors for doing such a great job, all the volunteers who make the event possible each week!
Thanks for sending that in Chris and congratulations.
Massive thanks to all our volunteers today without whom we would not have been able to stage the event:
Ali SMITH • Angela MULLIGAN • Anne STREET • Callum JONES • Claire GOODWIN • David HUDSON • David WHITELEY • Emma LEE • Gareth SNELSON • Gwen JONES • Heidi BROWN • Julie LOXLEY • Marcus MITCHINSON • Maree Blossom JESSON • Paul WOODWARD • Sam NICHOLAS • Simon BAKER • Sinead BRADBEER • Sue NICHOLAS • Wendy Angela THOMPSON
As always, here comes the usual volunteer begging piece - we are desperately short of volunteers for next week with very few marshalls or people to look after the finish tokens. Please review our volunteer roster and email in with how you can help us keep parkrun going. No volunteers - no parkrun!
On the 1st November our run director for the day will be Sarah Loftus and she is bringing with her some prizes for the best Halloween costume amongst our runners. So come dressed in your scariest outfits (tutus are NOT scary!) and join in the fun. We will also have the Leighton Fun Runners club doing a bit of a volunteer take-over led by Tam Quinn, and they have already covered most of our volunteer positions for the run that weekend. Thanks guys, always a great turn out from your club when you do this, well done. If any of the other clubs want to do this then just email in and let us know. It’s a great way of bringing people in your club together and showing everyone what your club stands for.
We have the following input from our volunteering team this week. First up is one from Gwen Jones who was one of our Marshalls today. Gwen is now on 40 runs and also celebrated her birthday the other day so Happy Birthday Gwen!
I have always tried to keep fit and had been running with friends for nearly 20 years on and off. After moving to Milton Keynes 5 years ago, I found a gym and started attending spin and a variety of exercise classes. I never got the good feeling about myself that I do when I am running but persevered because I didn’t really know many people here and wasn’t sure how I would start running again.
That’s when I heard about the parkrun. I was still a little nervous about coming along because I imagined everyone would be “proper” runners and I might be a bit too rusty and slow. The truth was something entirely different! Everyone was welcoming and encouraging and my times quickly started to fall to levels that I never imagined possible. I found that the group running was pushing me to improve and the support of other runners really made me want to get better.
At first, I was just keen to run like everyone else but I started to realise that each week, volunteers are needed to do all the things that make the run a success: As well as timing the runners, processing the results and clearing away afterwards, a run director is needed to organise the volunteer team and speak to the runners before they begin. Marshals offer direction and encouragement to runners, a timekeeper, who registers each runner's time as they finish; a barcode scanner, who scans runners' personal barcodes and finishing chips and many other vital people who make it so much fun for the rest of us.
Recognising that the success of the parkrun is mainly because of those volunteers, I decided recently to take a turn in assisting with marshalling and despite not running a couple of times because I volunteered, I got just as much from helping others to enjoy their Saturday morning’s fitness.
I was proud to be with my husband recently at Windsor Castle where he received an honour from Prince William and it was especially pleasing to witness Paul Sinton-Hewitt receive a CBE for founding parkrun.
I hope to keep fit enough to run for many years to come but will always be mindful of the need to volunteer occasionally to ensure that many people can get as much out of parkrunning as I do.
Next up is Heidi Brown who was looking after the finish tokens today and has completed 6 parkruns:
I have always enjoyed going to the gym and keeping fit, Spinning was always my favorite class to do and I would do this 3-4 times a week, then the back end of last year my husbands job changed and I could no longer go to the gym so I laced up my trainers and tried a run.
I live in Walnut Tree so my run would consist of me running to Caldecotte Lake, round 1 lake and then back home, I realised very quickly that this was something I really enjoyed, I was slow at first and stopped a few times but as the months went on I stopped less and my pace quickened. Could I actually be a runner??? So I entered my first event in March of this year, I ran the MM 10k, I absolutely loved it, the atmosphere was electric and everyone is so friendly, to my surprise I completed the 10k in 58 minutes.
I continued to train 3-4 times a week out running with a friend when we could and I started to increase my distances.
Completing the 10k led to me enter my first half marathon, I knew 13.1 miles would be hard but I loved it, so I have now run 3 half marathons this year and I am signed up for the MK half in December. I have also secured a charity place for the London Marathon 2015, running for MacIntyre, a Milton Keynes based Charity, really need to up my distances now!!
A friend of mine who is also a keen runner told me about parkrun, she attends most weeks and had told me how much fun it was, great group of runners and fantastic scenery around Willen Lake, she said that it was free to sign up and gives you a Saturday morning run out and a challenge if you want it, I signed up completely shocked that it didn't cost a penny. I did my first run on the 6th of September this year and loved it, been back every week since eager to achieve a new PB.
There is a great crowd and everyone is so friendly, and there is always a familiar face and somebody to talk to after the run.
parkrun's volunteers are crucial to its success, the Marshals are motivational and there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make sure we get our texts/email results and all the communication we receive. As its all voluntary when I signed up I was happy to be on the list for volunteering as its only right we play our part.
This weekend see's me do my first role as a volunteer, I am being trusted to hand out the finish tokens, I just hope I do good job : )
Thanks for that Heidi and well done for volunteering.
We are honoured this week to have a story from Hazel Carr who has now run an incredible 199 parkruns!!! I originally asked Hazel for a story when she was on around 50 parkruns but better late than never!!
Until recently my parkrun Saturday started by waking my son, Peter, to let him know where I was going and to ask if he wanted to come. He usually said “no”.
Although I have almost completed 200 parkruns, it has reminded me that I said no at first too. Well, I should say we yelled it - across Bushy Park when friends from Ranelagh Harriers tried to encourage us to join in their 5k time trial. About 10 years ago Lynne, Jane and I would be an hour into our long run on a Saturday morning sometimes passing the start of the time trail in Bushy Park just before 9. There was no way we were going to interrupt our long run for just a 5k! (Sorry Wally, but thanks for asking!)
Times change, Bushy Park time trial became parkrun and no longer has to try to coerce passing runners to join in! I moved to Milton Keynes and was thrilled when I found out there was going to be a parkrun at Willen. These days I am pleased to run 5k on a Saturday morning whenever I can and Peter says I don’t need to tell him where I’m going as he knows what I do on a Saturday morning. I still look forward to the day he joins me though.
Thanks for finally putting that together Hazel!!
Now for our stats:
Andy INCHLEY (VM35-39) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was first over the line in 17:57 - 9th time in 67 appearances.
Adrian LYSAK (SM30-34) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:37.
Stuart BOYER (VM35-39) of Team MK, was third over the line in 18:45.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 6981 pts.
Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 6307 pts.
Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 5944 pts.
Debra BRENT (VW50-54) (Unattached) was first (66th overall) over the line in 22:52 - first time in 20 appearances.
Lauren GOODMAN-GOULT (SW25-29) of Redway Runners, was second (71st overall) over the line in 23:15.
Sharon FINCH (VW35-39) of Polegate Plodders, was third (78th overall) over the line in 23:34.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7037 pts.
Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 5621 pts.
Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 5607 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Shirley Rose GIBSON (VW65-69) was graded 83.74% for the time 25:44 (140th overall).
Gary WHITE (VM60-64) was graded 75.92% for the time 21:19 (27th overall).
Andy INCHLEY (VM35-39) was graded 74.93% for the time 17:57 (first overall).
Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,706 different runners, including participants from 385 athletics clubs, have completed 64,551 runs covering a total distance of 322,755 km, and there have been 13,533 new Personal Bests.
The women's record is held by Emily TALLEN who ran in a time of 00:17:04 on 2011-10-29 (event number 94).
The men's record is held by Ian KIMPTON who ran in a time of 00:15:01 on 2013-07-27 (event number 182).
The Age Grade course record is held by Shirley Rose GIBSON who recorded a 89.38% run (23:23) on 20th October 2012 (event number 145).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Milton Keynes parkrun Results Page.