Good conditions (with some tricky icy patches) in hazy sunshine for our first event of the year saw a record attendance, milestone celebrations, pacers (with splendidly tailored vests), PBs and a visit from one of parkrun's sponsors Exodus Travel.
But first a view from one of our visitors, James White:
"I’m fortunate to have visited a number of parkrun locations in the past few years and have slowly worked my way further and further from my home location of Winchester. Following completion of Crane Park parkrun just before Christmas, Northala became my nearest event not yet done and so I decided to visit this weekend. I was joined by my daughter, Elsie, who I would be pushing around in the buggy, and my friend and club mate, James, a Poole regular. We set off early and managed to get to the park around 8:30. We headed over to the start and were warmly welcomed by Philip, the run director for the day. Philip told us about the course and we had some pictures taken by the run’s photographer before lining up at the start. We really enjoyed the run. The park is lovely and the one lap format is always a bonus. The volunteers were superb and very encouraging and we were made to feel very welcome by the other runners. After the run we took the opportunity to run up the spiral path to check out the view, which was, as promised, superb. We then went for breakfast and a cuppa and chatted to a few more of the regulars before heading on our merry way. We had a fantastic morning. We loved the course and the volunteers were superb, the cafe was lovely and we were really made to feel welcome. I hope to be back one day".
James White (Winchester)
It was a pleasure to meet both of them and Elsie. They also aim to volunteer at the runs they visit and did so at Northala - well done guys!
Jane Scott celebrated her 50th with us (all at Northala); John Falvey did it elsewhere but he did bring some splendid cookies - it's taken him a while but he has done a lot of volunteering and bailed us out on many occasions when struggling with the results; Laura Stone also celebrated her 250th at New Year. Pringla and Santosh celebrated intermediate milestones of 150 and 300. We have a lot of regulars coming up to milestones over the next few weeks and I look forward to celebrating with them.
Kim organised pacers for the second consecutive month and they sported vests made from old parkrun vests by the talented Claire King - thanks.
Of the personal bests: Satnam Singh slipped and fell on the first corner - John Norris stopped to help him but he carried on for a Northala best despite some grazed skin. Celine achieved her best at Northala after getting an all course PB at Aberdeen recently; Louise Rooney also achieved a Northala best and did some extra mileage afterwards as part of her marathon training; Ela Mistry last did a PB when I did my previous RD slot - too early for a pattern; Anniki Sommerville has now taken off around 4 minutes from her first run; Paramjit over 5 as has Joanna with consecutive PBs; and so has Liam - benefiting from regular Wednesday morning sessions at Running for Fun; Junior Veer also had a PB. Well done to everyone who finished and thanks to everyone who volunteered.
Joining a running club is not the only way to stay motivated and improve your running experience - you can join in with Running for Fun or perhaps try a challenge like 5 of our regulars did in December:
"We signed a December running challenge called "Race at Your Own Pace". You could choose your own distance e.g. 10,25,50,75 or 100 miles that you complete in the month. Sughra, Garima and I went for 75 and Nemsari and Pringla 100. At the end we sent our evidence of mileage and received our certificates, medals, and t-shirts. I found it hard because shift changes at work mean it's more difficult for me to find time for running and the December weather was challenging for us. It was Sughra's idea to keep us motivated in winter" Nilu
Sponsors Exodus Travel (in the rather familiar guise of Jane Ruhland) set up a table and gave away cookbooks and vouchers for discounts on their holidays. Jane reported that there was a good response.
We had our visitors from Poole, Winchester, Bath, Brighton and many places in and around London as well as 19 first timers - we hope you felt welcome and will come again.
More of Bruce's splendid photos can be found here.
Next week Louise (one of the Running For Fun leaders) will be in charge and there will be another Al Fresco takeover of the volunteering roles with dancing, pom-poms and enthusiastic encouragement
This week 332 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 40 were first timers and 34 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 32 volunteers:
Patricia THOMAS • John LAIRD • Santosh RAI • Stephen K TAYLOR • Pringla AWALE RAI • Gary STRINGER • Andy LEUNG • Simon TURRELL • Louise PRINCE • Rebecca Frances BYRNE • Philip PRINCE • James WHITE • Julian DESAI • Anne COOPER • Bruce LI • Lindsay DONOGHUE • James MCCAFFEREY • Daisy LUND • Callum ROONEY • Claire KING • Bernie CONWAY • Greg LAWES • Kimberly F • Gary LIQUORISH • Maria PAZ • Sarah HARRIS • Christina URBANSKI • Tony WALLER • Pavel KANJA • Martin DAOUD • Nicole LI • Monika LEWANDOWSKI
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 4,647 participants have completed 34,921 parkruns covering a total distance of 174,605 km, including 6,406 new Personal Bests.