By John Duckworth, photos by Peter Cook
There once was a mid March day
When people would gather and say
St Patrick's Day's fun
Let's wear green and parkrun
And they'd proceed to run 5k
On St Paddy's day 200 runners made the trip to Dinton Pastures County Park for the 425th Reading parkrun. This includes 27 first timers, though perhaps we should say 28 if you include a visit by the 'mini beast from the east'. The mini-beast showered the park with a lovely blanket of snow but that didn't stop 16 runners recording a personal best!
A few regulars may have been missing today, perhaps owing to the cold and snow but may have also been preparing for the Reading Half Marathon that was meant to be taking place the following day. It unfortunately fell victim to the mini-beast and was cancelled as a result.
We did have some tourists join us today in spite of the weather, from Southwark, Woodley, Weston-Super-Mare and Chippenham Junior parkrun ED and family.
In spite of the snow, 16 runners recorded a personal best and congratulations go out to Sara Griffiths and Suzanne Bate who both hit their 50 milestone! Sandra Robinson reached triple digits with her 100th parkrun today, congratulations Sandra!
There were several fancy dress themes this week, including some who ran in green in the spirit of St Patricks Day. We also spotted a leprechaun or 2 and some who opted to run in pyjamas for the chance to win a Millbrook Beds mattress. Even Dexter the Dachshund got in on the act with a cheeky red one piece.
Speaking of fancy dress, Tom O'Beirne and his stags joined us for a run, but not before addressing the runners and promising us all giant marshmallows to help him celebrate his upcoming wedding. Loved the plaits and the pink tutu Tom, your stags did you proud.
One of the joys of parkrun is that everyone has a running story and we all have personal acheivements we are rightly proud of - whether it's a parkrun PB, a milestone run or our first ever parkrun. The Reep family visited us from Weston-Super-Mare and Sarah told me that she was happy to have run parkrun for the first time without walking. Well done Sarah and we hope you continue to enjoy your parkrun journey.
Always remember: no volunteers, no parkrun. If you haven't yet emailed in to help out please consider doing so – we can always use another pair of hands and it really is enjoyable for an hour or so.
This week's first finishers were Neil Hart with a time of 17:42 and Gemma Buley with a time of 20:55. Debbie Taylor hit the highest age grading at 77.93%
Keith Ellis wins the award for recording the most aesthetically pleasing time of the day with 22:22
This week 200 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 27 were first timers and 16 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 25 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:
Peter COOK • Mick PENSON • Ray MCGROARTY • Teresa CASWELL • Paul CASWELL • Trisha ARNOLD • Kristian WILKINS • Pete JEWELL • Andy ATKINSON • Liz ATKINSON • Jamie BUTLER • Robert HELE • Clare COYLE • Sahan JINADASA • Jeremy WALL • Jonathan COYLE • Simon RIVIERE • Laura MCBRIDE • Krish TRICHUR • Nicola REYNOLDS • John DUCKWORTH • Amelie PREVOST-SNELL • Jennifer HOLMES
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Reading parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Naomi TASCHIMOWITZ who recorded a time of 17:22 on 23rd May 2015 (event number 280).
The male record is held by Jonathan Stuart DAVIES who recorded a time of 14:45 on 6th June 2015 (event number 282).
The Age Grade course record is held by Paula FUDGE who recorded 91.95% (20:43) on 30th April 2011 (event number 82).
Reading parkrun started on 12th September 2009. Since then 13,034 participants have completed 101,026 parkruns covering a total distance of 505,130 km, including 17,255 new Personal Bests.