Northala Fields parkrun – Event number 209 – 9th June 2018


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.

Hayden (JM11-14) runs regularly with dad Steve, and was one of those to clock a PB this week

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.

We fully expect a Nepal flag or two next week...

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.

Cheers, Martin

It doesn't happen without a team of hi vis heroes every week

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.

 

Northala Fields parkrun – Event number 208 – 2nd June 2018

Run. Verb: move at speed faster than a walk, never having both feet on the ground at the same time.

Now we are not all the dictionary definition of a runner, but 376 of you got up Saturday morning, made it to Northala Fields and ran 5k! Each and every one of you deserves to be congratulated - in fact I can safely say that I did in fact do this, as I handed out the finish tokens!

On which note, it got a little hairy in places as clusters of finishers were coming through together, so please do try to form/maintain an orderly queue while desperately *catching your breath/collapsing/begging for mercy/foaming at the mouth (*delete as appropriate!) and clear the funnel as efficiently as possible for others coming through.

It is quite insightful taking on parkrun volunteer roles and makes you appreciate how much co-ordinated effort goes into making it look seamless. Don’t ever be afraid to step up as a volunteer, rest assured you will be welcomed with open arms! I’d recommend cutting your teeth as a marshal first, if you can clap, smile and say nice things to runners, this could be your calling.

Plaudits this week go to Farayi Hobwana on his 50th run, and of course to all of the graduates of the ESM Couch-to-5k group! Many of the group had never run before, or at least not since school days, and in just eight weeks have now conquered the mighty 5k! Fiona Kennedy and Rachel Hearson must take full credit for investing their time and knowledge into this group and week-on-week being a consistent support to all. (Many others have been involved too, give .yourselves a pat on the back, you know who you are). Just look at these happy and relieved faces, not a hint of sweat!

The graduates (photo by Celine Dandeh-Njie)

It feels a very long time since I graduated the very same course in May 2015. I’m sure those around me will agree it’s like my presence has been there forever!!  I recall a conversation at the time with Debbie, fellow graduate: “We’ll continue with the track sessions and maybe do parkrun once a month, just to see any progression in our running” – Here I am three years on, with 125 parkruns, two highly sought-after running milestone shirts and a volunteer shirt. If you do the maths, you can see we were quickly sucked into the Saturday morning cult that is parkrun!

Couch-to-5k celebration cake (photo by Celine Dandeh-Njie)

You could say that the coffee/cake combo is one of the attractions of parkrun, and you’d be right! Almost weekly there is someone celebrating something: milestones, birthdays, new shoes, it’s Saturday…you get the idea!

Several graduands were unable to make Saturday's run and will instead be passing out (fingers crossed not literally!) next week, so do give them a welcome and a cheer – good luck to all and I hope many of you will continue to enjoy your running and celebrate new PBs!

There were PBs aplenty at Northala this week, with a whopping seven of them in the top 30 finishers! Well done to you all, I admire your tenacity to keep chasing improved times but I really must mention the PB of Jonathan Horan, first finisher in 16:42! A sterling effort sir.

Among the PBs and first timers were a handful of tourists - including some all the way from Sydney - we hope you had a good run and enjoyed being at Northala Fields even if the sun didn’t shine through until we left.

Next week parkrun marks the 70th birthday of our invaluable NHS. Martin is in charge and he loves to dress up (wink) so why not help him celebrate! Sadly I will be away next week, so I’m leaving it to you guys to keep the dressing up alive and well. Lucky Bognor Regis will have the pleasure of my nurse uniform! (Sorry, not sorry Martin!)

On a serious note though, bring a friend to parkrun next week, introduce them to weekly exercise, improve their lives and ultimately save NHS funds for accidents and emergencies, not the side effects of a sedentary lifestyle. You know it makes sense.

Speaking of themed runs, we have our fourth anniversary on June 16th and this year's theme is flags. Please find a T-Shirt, hat, badge, balloon or whatever that illustrates a flag you have a connection with. And if you belong to a club, bring their flag and let's create a grand parade of flags towards the finish.

Have a good week all, Claire K

Claire wearing her flag on her feet (photo by Bruce)

This week 376 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 38 were first timers and 52 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Nick WALKER • Barbro JULIN • Santosh RAI • Fiona KENNEDY • John FALVEY • Louise BROWN • Christopher THORNE • Simon TURRELL • Dorothy JOHNSTONE • Michael HARPER • Catherine LAMBERT • Catherine MULRENAN • Dermot SMYTH • Nilu DEWAN • Mark KENCROFT • Nemsari PUN MAGAR • Ilona KRIAUZAITE • Claire KING • Juliet AIBANGBEE MELLOR • Nicola SLAVID • Helen MARK • Eamonn FLYNN • Gary LIQUORISH • Gurmeet LALLY • Ken SILLERY • Martin DAOUD • Deborah FLYNN • 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 5,365 participants have completed 41,249 parkruns covering a total distance of 206,245 km, including 7,377 new Personal Bests.

 

Northala Fields parkrun – Event number 207 – 26th May 2018

It's not called a Spring Bank Holiday for nothing

It seemed as if Summer had taken the bank holiday weekend off at Northala Fields this morning, as a hazy light drizzle turned a little heavier to greet runners as they arrived. Fortunately it just about stopped for the start of today’s run - which featured pacers organised by Kimberly, who coincidentally also has her birthday today. Many thanks for giving up the morning of your special day, and to all the runners taking up pacing roles.

Exactly which birthday was that, Kim?

Tourists today included runners from Crane Park, Sheffield and Manchester amongst others. However, the bench of celebration remained empty as no one seemed to be marking any milestones, or at least none they were sharing with us. (Thank goodness Kimberly had a birthday...)

We always thank our volunteers, but today we would like to extend our extra gratitude to Byron, who jumped to help out on scanner duty after completing his run. However, a very special mention must go to Northala Fields parkrun's photographic legend Bruce Li, whose poop-scooping skills around the start area were appreciated by each and every runner and volunteer, even though they didn’t realise it.

On a more pleasant note, click here  for Bruce's wonderful record of this week's event.

The start funnel was in use again today, so hopefully runners found this useful and safer. We had a field of 322, including 28 first timers and 59 PBs.

Arranging ourselves in an orderly fashion

Lastly a big thank you to all the runners for handing in their finish tokens. Every token returned safely and you don’t know what that means to us organisers!

Unfortunately, two people forgot to pick up their own clothing before they left. If either of these tops is yours, please claim them from the cafe.

Next week you’ll be in the experienced hands of RDs Fiona Kennedy and John Falvey. Email northalafieldshelpers@parkrun.com if you can help make the magic happen. Till then… Keep well, keep running Gary

This week 322 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 28 were first timers and 59 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 34 volunteers:

Martin WILSON • John LAIRD • Nick WALKER • Barbro JULIN • Santosh RAI • Fiona KENNEDY • John FALVEY • Gary STRINGER • Nick VANSON • Simon TURRELL • Byron BROWN • Jane RUHLAND • Catherine MULRENAN • Emma DEVEREUX • Bruce LI • Lindsay DONOGHUE • Simon DADOMO • Nilu DEWAN • Sara HOWE • Mark KENCROFT • Nemsari PUN MAGAR • Rafal MACHNIK • Mitesh PATEL • Richard PYE • James KERRANE • Greg LAWES • Kimberly F • Gary LIQUORISH • Gerard DONNELLY • Clara MARR • Christina URBANSKI • Martin DAOUD • Bernie MCDONALD • Nicole LI

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 5,327 participants have completed 40,873 parkruns covering a total distance of 204,365 km, including 7,325 new Personal Bests.

 

Northala Fields parkrun – Event number 206 – 19th May 2018

Everybody who is anybody was at THE major social event of the weekend on Saturday - Northala Fields parkrun no 206, that is! And what a beautiful morning we had for it, brilliant blue skies and blazing sunshine. As Marius and Lorraine from the cafe were busy we even had a couple of celebrities pop in to serve coffees for a while...

Northala cafe

Harry & Meghan take a break from their schedule to help out at the cafe - it's not as if they had much else planned for the day!

You may have noticed we’ve been attracting more and more people lately, and the start line has been getting rather congested. This week we decided to trial a new way of managing the start, with a funnel to encourage everyone to stay on the path rather than spread along the width of the pavement and beyond onto the grass. Not only did this reduce the bottleneck effect at the start of the run, but it also made the timekeepers and me feel much safer without hoards of runners charging straight at us once the whistle was blown!

The new start arrangements, with runners lined up on the path in approximate order of speed

You may also have noticed that we had cards up giving expected finish times from 20’ right back to 40 minutes. Hopefully this was helpful to everyone when selecting where to start, but please bear in mind it’s a work in progress, so if you have any feedback on the new system, we’d love to hear it! Most of the feedback I received on the day suggested it’s an improvement, even if it does add a few seconds to people’s times it makes for a safer start, and the safety of our runners is our number one priority.

One of our regulars is visually-impaired runner Janice Newman (VW70-74), who achieved this week's highest age-grading of 81.64%. Janice is one of those who will feel safer with a little less jostling at the start of the run.

Janice with her guide Phil (photo by Kiki Foster)

For this week’s milestones we belatedly welcomed Annick Hooge to the 25 Volunteer club (Annick was out marshalling on the course on the day of her 25th stint, and so couldn’t step up on the bench then). We also had three people achieve their 50th run: Netra Thapa has done all 50 with us, Yaton Tang usually runs out of Wycombe Rye but chose to celebrate the 50 with us, and Samantha Horne who has done most runs with us, along with a number at Black Park.

We had another bumper turnout today, with 384 people doing the course, including the ever-present family, the Unknowns. This time, 24 of them turned up, but sadly weren’t able to record times… It’s a while since I’ve whinged about people forgetting their barcodes, so here goes: please, please, please remember your barcode. It’s one of the few rules of parkrun, no barcode, no result. [Extra plea from Event Director Fiona: please, please, please also scan your OWN barcode, not that of another family member!! We sometimes have an awful lot of emails to deal with after the run and it's not how we like to spend our weekends...]

One of the things I love to see each week is our ‘Buggy Brigade’ of mums doing the course with their little ones. Just think, in around 4 years time those little ones can have bar codes of their own and do the course under their own steam! [Editor’s note: Dads are welcome to come and push their children round in buggies too].

We also welcomed FIFTY FIVE first timers! That includes 21 doing their first ever parkrun. That number was bolstered by Ealing Southall & Middlesex’s Couch-to-5K group doing their long run of the week. They all did brilliantly, but special mention should go to one of them, Caroline Plummer, who despite never having run a parkrun before Saturday’s event has volunteered for a whopping 97 tasks over 82 runs - a massive ‘thank you!’ goes to Caroline!

Caroline (right) gets congratulations - and a big thank you - from Celine

At the other end of the spectrum we had seven runners with us who have achieved their green shirts (250 runs), including four who have done over 300 runs each. Of the 10 runners with the greatest number of runs on Saturday, 7 of them have also achieved their purple volunteering shirt, with the eighth well on his way. Thank you to them, as well, parkrun simply wouldn’t happen without its hi viz heroes.

You may have noticed we had a film crew with us today, and wondered what it was all in aid of. Well, they were filming on behalf of Oxford University Press English Language teaching, for an educational unit focussing on people and their passions - and what could people be more passionate about than parkrun! They largely just filmed for background, but spoke to a few people on camera - thanks to everyone who was happy to let them film - I’m sure we get used for this sort of thing not just because of our proximity to easy transport links in and out of London, but due to our friendly and welcoming nature!

And of course we had our own photography maestro in attendance; click here  to enjoy Bruce's own Royal Wedding Weekend album.

It's Gary's turn to manage the troops next weekend, and Martin usually helps him with the emails during the week, so please get in touch if you can help, as the roster's looking a bit light at the time of writing: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/northalafields/futureroster/

Louise

This week 384 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 55 were first timers and 63 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Philip YORK • Barbro JULIN • Katy HUGHES • Gary STRINGER • Nick VANSON • Louise PRINCE • Bruce LI • Lindsay DONOGHUE • Rosemary LENO • Beverley PACKWOOD • Ilona KRIAUZAITE • John NORRIS • Richard VAN DER LEEDEN • Louise ROONEY • Chloe ROONEY • Sophie PESTICCIO • Eamonn FLYNN • Bernie CONWAY • Gillian SHEARWOOD • Lynette MILLER • Clara MARR • Dc MORRISON • Philip VAUGHAN • Ela MISTRY • Annick HOOGE • Martin DAOUD

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 5,299 participants have completed 40,551 parkruns covering a total distance of 202,755 km, including 7,266 new Personal Bests.

 

 

Northala Fields parkrun – Event number 205 – 12th May 2018

Run Director Santosh addresses a record field

We were blessed with perfect weather conditions at Northala on Saturday, with clear skies, pleasant temperatures and the softest breeze meaning that anyone who had a lie-in instead missed out... Not many did though, as the record attendance was broken again and many friends old and new converged on the increasingly cosy start line. (A few enthusiastic slower runners reported being slightly trampled at the start, so perhaps we should begin to arrange ourselves more cautiously!)

Jonathan flying through the finish

First home was local star Jonathan Horan, incredibly breaking the PB he set only last week. Hat trick next week? He wasn't the only one either, with a fantastic 87 happy runners rewarded for their efforts with a shiny new PB. (This number may even be higher; I went slightly cross-eyed trying to count them all...)

To name just a few, Taaj Ojha is also on a double PB roll, Michelle Hickmott ran the fastest of her 92 runs - how fast will she be by her 100th? - and  Mike Duff was hoping for his second sub-20 but actually smashed his PB with a confident 19:20. Jav Sondh evidently feels a weight has been lifted now he's finally paid his club subs as he flew home in record time too... Well done to everyone!

Alex is first female for the sixth time at Northala

First lady home was Alex Vellasco Longton, followed by Claire Oxlade and Jo Jacob (also celebrating a PB!) A special mention too for Christina Urbanski too, boldly trying the Yorkie challenge as very few other ladies have so far, and  finishing her lead-bike-plus-run-double debut in 43:17 (apparently a female course record). Who's up for this next week?

Christina completes her 5K having first volunteered as Lead Bike

We welcomed almost 40 first-timers, if this was you we hope you'll return to try for the magic PB... Our visitors from Wycombe are especially welcome to return, since they promised to do so bearing cake... It's probably a good thing for our run results that for once the RD's bench was not groaning with  cake temptation. But a few regulars seem poised on 98 and 49 parkruns, so there's always next week!

[Editor's note: Apparently there's a Royal Wedding next Saturday too... Sheralyn's posted that she'd like us to wear tiaras and bow ties. In the interests of impartiality, however, Run Director Louise has proposed an alternative theme of "Royalists & Republicans". Ignoring the whole thing is of course always an option too].

See you there...

Claire M

This week 394 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 38 were first timers and 87 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

David GOODENOUGH • Nick WALKER • Santosh RAI • Louise BROWN • Claire MORRIS • Christopher THORNE • Simon TURRELL • Byron BROWN • Michael HARPER • Anne COOPER • Hangma RAI • Bishnu DEWAN • Angela BRIGGS • Seema ROKA MAGAR • Howard SPARKS • Caroline PLUMMER • Jane ALLISON • Gary LIQUORISH • Gurmeet LALLY • Christina URBANSKI • Tony WALLER • Garima RAI • Martin DAOUD • Kerry PEARSON • Nicole LI

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 5,244 participants have completed 40,167 parkruns covering a total distance of 200,835 km, including 7,203 new Personal Bests.

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