It was another wonderful Saturday morning, not least for us at Northala Fields. As a spectator there is something incredibly uplifting at seeing an almost never ending procession of people streaming down the slope at the 1K mark cheered on by our enthusiastic band of volunteers and well wishers.
Apart from our usual loyal regulars, we were blessed with tourists from as far apart as Birmingham, Alabama USA & the Isle of Mann, as well as from more local destinations. As ever, it was competitive enough at the sharp end with Jonny Horan coming in as first man home for the fourth time in the last five outings. Lynn Hyde (VW 40-44), first timer, was first woman home in a speedy time of 22:07.
It was great to see the number of personal bests increasing again with almost 20% of the field putting in their best ever performance.
The milestone bench looked a touch light this week with only John Laird receiving the acclamation for his century of parkruns.
We did have another runner who completed his 100th run, and I just knew he would be too modest to come up to be feted. Martin O'Gorman (VM 60-64) is also now officially a member of the 100 club. I remember talking to him only two years ago, with him saying that if he couldn't break 25 minutes he would give up. Well he didn't give up and now regularly runs the course in just over 21 minutes. It just shows what can be achieved with patience and determination.
We had a resounding cheer for the NHS 70th birthday, although our celebrations were perhaps a bit more low key than at other parkruns. Phil Davies turned up with his arm in a sling but I'm not sure too many people realised it was his NHS patient costume. It didn't prevent him recording a PB in 26:34, mind.
Also on site was the team from Dr Bike advising people on the benefits of cycling, and offering free bike maintenance.
Sharon Matthews made her debut as photographer, and took lots of great shots, before, during and after the run. Click here to go to the Northala Fields Flickr pool, and see if she captured your Saturday morning.
Next week the driving forces behind our parkrun, Fiona and Santosh will be jointly in charge as we celebrate our fourth anniversary. Remember, as Claire King said in last week's report... this year's theme for the anniversary run is flags. Please find a T-shirt, hat, badge, balloon or whatever that illustrates a flag that you have a connection with.
If you belong to a club, bring their flag and let's create a grand parade of flags at the finish.
We are still looking for a few more volunteers to help make it run super smooth. This week several volunteers took on new roles and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It will really add to your enjoyment of this unique event, so click here to have a look at the roster page.
This week 359 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 66 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:
Martin WILSON • Nick WALKER • Nick VANSON • Simon TURRELL • Curtis ALLMAN • Michael HARPER • Bishnu DEWAN • Seema ROKA MAGAR • Caroline PLUMMER • Juliet AIBANGBEE MELLOR • Eamonn FLYNN • Gary LIQUORISH • Gurmeet LALLY • Catherine GUNNEWICHT • Clara MARR • Sailesh MISTRY • Philip VAUGHAN • Ela MISTRY • June CLARKE • Mick GRIEVE • Chloe MATTHEWS • Sharon MATTHEWS • Martin DAOUD • Lavinia ANDRONACHE
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Northala Fields parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Mohamed MOHAMED who recorded a time of 14:43 on 29th August 2015 (event number 63).
The female record is held by Stacey Lee Naomi WARD who recorded a time of 17:14 on 2nd April 2016 (event number 95).
The Age Grade course record is held by Fiona KENNEDY who recorded 91.78% (20:16) on 31st October 2015 (event number 72).
Northala Fields parkrun started on 21st June 2014. Since then 5,397 participants have completed 41,608 parkruns covering a total distance of 208,040 km, including 7,443 new Personal Bests.