It was a typical Easter day. A cool breeze, sunny spells with showers forecast. And roadworks, right by the park gate.
That didn’t put off a record 333 runners enjoying their run. That’s approx. 80 more than our previous highest total, and 23 more than the number of finish tokens that we have! So apologies if we were a bit slower than normal in dealing with you as you came across the line, but I don’t think that anyone minded too much as cake was waiting by the scanners and Easter Chocolates for our Juniors and in some cases our not-so-Juniors.
The increase in numbers was partly down to Belton House parkrun not running and it was good to see our friends from Grantham. We don’t want any of our regulars to defect, but if you haven’t visited Belton yet, its well worth it. A flat 2 – lap course with deer and a good coffee shop.
As well as having to deal with many more runners (that’s a nice problem to have) we had the further complication of the main car park being closed due to the ongoing road works. We may be back to normal parking next week, will let you know on Facebook.
Sophie from Newark's Notfast family was in charge of bell – ringing and went on to complete her 19th parkrun. Between the two of us we managed to confuse all 333 runners by standing on a bench at the back of the group, not just because its safer, but our usual tree-stump has disappeared! So expect to see Run Directors there again in the next few weeks.
We congratulated James Singer on his 100th run and then they were off – quite a sight with over 300 runners speeding to the first right hander at the end of the home straight.
First Timers, and Tourists
82 First timers and Tourists. Phew, that explains the big increase in numbers. Hope our first timers enjoyed their run, all were well prepared with their barcodes and we look forward to seeing you again next week and the week after that and by then you’ll be hooked.
Visitors that I spoke to included Andy Cameron all the way from Greenock, Gary Robinson from East Hull who had heard about our infamous steps, and Jon and Anna Hobbs from Leeds – Jon was first back in a nippy time of 16.58, with Anna not far behind in 24.15 to finish 10th female.
Jean Bates and Heather Charles from Milton Keynes enjoyed our course and a massive turnout of 19 runners from Sleaford Striders helped to swell our numbers. Their team included Mark Page who was celebrating his 50th run – well done Mark.
However, the record for the largest visiting team on Saturday goes to Holme Pierpoint Running Club with 23 runners, with two finishing in the top ten; David Greenwood 5th and Eddy George 7th. At this point I have to mention that Newark AC had 3 in the top 10; Craig Renton 3rd, Becky Gallop 9th and Lee Braithwaite 10th. Not that it’s a competition!!
Many thanks to all of our volunteers. If it wasn’t for you we would have had to stay home eating our Easter Eggs. At this stage, we still have vacancies for 3 marshals and a timekeeper next week, please get in touch if you would like to help.
Netty Stevens and guide Dona Hall made an attractive pair dressed as Easter bunnies for their tail – running duties and other rabbits were spotted throughout the run.
Dave Tilley and Jon Rawson were back in their usual slots pacing 25 and 30, both finishing as planned slightly ahead of their times, surrounded by packs of runners.
The finish - funnel team of 4 did an excellent job, keeping calm under the pressure of dealing with so many people (there was a full funnel at one point!)
Bar coders managed to deal with the queue politely and efficiently and I’m pleased to say I had some appreciative comments from tourers about our friendly, encouraging marshals around the course.
You may have seen Stuart Hawkes and his two young daughters enjoying marshalling recently which is great to see. All three are really helpful and it will be nice to see them all gain their ‘Purple 25’ T shirts soon.
Whilst not volunteering, Jon and Brian were on IT support in Rumbles cafe and after a couple of minor glitches the results were complete and coffee consumed by 11 o’clock. We are never short of helpers to sort the finishing tokens, thanks to everyone that has in the past, and to Gill and Ben Flye for sorting over 300 on Saturday. And amazingly, all tokens were there. So thanks runners and volunteers, the system works
Volunteering - a D of E point of view from Josh and Matty
‘Hi lads, so what is it that enjoy about volunteering at parkun?’
Josh – ‘What I enjoy is the fact you gain a completely different perspective on park run itself, due to getting there earlier, seeing all the work done before the runners turn up’.
‘Also. seeing how different people run and how they approach parkrun. At Newark I have seen people with dogs, lots of happy faces as well as people being appreciative towards me and Matty when we marshal together. something that we really appreciate and makes the experience worthwhile.’
‘I enjoy marshalling the most due to all the kind comments and positive feedback we gain. parkrun is a great gathering of young and old, walkers and runners, dogs and people and a super start to a Saturday morning!’
‘Ok thanks Josh, that’s good to hear, how about you Matty?’
Matty ‘I enjoy the volunteering because it's fun giving people encouragement. Also I enjoy it because it's helping other people and they appreciate that’.
Thanks Matty. And is there anything that you don’t enjoy?
Both –‘Getting up early on a non – school day!!!’
‘Ah ok, thanks lads’.
Striders Special (edited for a family audience) – thanks Jan
A windy and chilly day welcomed a massive turnout today, Newark parkrun is obviously THE place to be on a Saturday morning... so I was a little disappointed when I was the only member of the snowboard team there, valid excuse from Michael Parker, but lame excuses from Jason(work!) and Dan who actually didn't have an excuse!
Some great running today, particularly from the guys... Philippa, Stacey, Dave, Andy, Nick who ran in truly demanding conditions in the Brighton Marathon last Sunday, although I didn't find the conditions too difficult... for my BBQ. Dave Tilley again gave me a lesson in pacing, perfect 25 minute pacing job perfectly executed and good to see Simon Drury back in action. Great turnout, great running everyone and great cakes at the end!
Dates for your diary;
6 May – Bring your Bling or Show us your T Shirt!
A lot of you have earned medals and T shirts for various events from 10k’s to Marathons. Some have been awarded in the last few weeks, others may be from 30 years ago! But whatever your reason, dig out your favourite and wear it on 6 May. More details to follow
3 June – our 4th Anniversary. More details to follow. May contain cake.
1 July – A repeat of last year’s successful CPR / AED training. A free session lasting 30 mins to be held after parkrun. If you had needed to assist someone at a run, at home, or at work who had suffered a heart attack, these skills could vastly improve your chances of saving their life.
Numbers limited to 25, please e-mail us if you would like to attend.
Another fantastic run from Joe Monk saw him set a new record at Newark for the Junior Male 10 category with a time of 20.28 to finish 14th overall. Congratulations Joe!
Well done Christine Heaton from Holme Pierpoint Running Club who achieved the highest age – grade score of the day with 83.21% from a time of 20.39 in the female 50 – 54 group.
John HOBBS (VM35-39) of Valley Striders AC, was first over the line in 16:58 - first appearance.
Jan BAILEY (VM40-44) of Newark Striders Running Club, was second over the line in 18:14 - has been first to finish on 9 previous occasions.
Craig RENTON (SM30-34) of Newark AC, was third over the line in 18:23 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Rebecca GALLOP (SW30-34) of Newark AC, was first (9th overall) over the line in 19:35 - 7th time in 9 appearances.
Christine HEATON (VW50-54) of Holme Pierrepont RC, was second (17th overall) over the line in 20:39.
Louise READ (SW30-34) of Holme Pierrepont RC, was third (18th overall) over the line in 20:40.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Christine HEATON (VW50-54) – 83.21% for the time 20:39 (17th overall).
Friedel PLANT (VW70-74) – 80.21% for the time 28:13 (166th overall).
Janice DAVIDSON (VW60-64) – 80.03% for the time 24:57 (92nd overall).
The female record is held by Naomi COLLIER who recorded a time of 00:18:30 on 31st December 2016 (event number 185).
The male record is held by Alastair WATSON who recorded a time of 00:15:51 on 12th July 2014 (event number 59).
The Age Grade course record is held by Paul BUTCHER who recorded 86.53% (17:19) on 21st January 2017 (event number 188).
Newark parkrun started on 1st June 2013. Since then 4,467 participants have completed 32,180 parkruns covering a total distance of 160,900 km, including 6,990 new Personal Bests.
Have a good week, see you next Saturday when Fiona will be Run Director.