Richmond parkrun 582 – 13th October 2018

 

Our extended Indian summer seems to be continuing well into October. Usually the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, there have certainly been a few, gentle, early-morning mists in the last few days, but so far there has been no need to dig out the winter running gear from the back of the cupboard.

 

 

Sometimes the parkrun attendance numbers go down a bit in winter, which could of course be due to some people not enjoying running in the cold, but it could also be that some people feel a bit down-in-the-dumps as the dark nights and mornings draw in. Although this seasonal lack of motivation is not really classed as ‘depression’ it is on the outer fringes of the more severe condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

 

 

SAD affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across northern Europe every year, including children. However mental health problems can affect anyone, any day or time of the year, and the 10th October was International Mental Health Day. As a Forensic Mental Health Practitioner I am a believer in both medical and psychosocial interventions, separately or in combination, and there is widespread acknowledgment for the role of exercise, natural light and getting out into the fresh air as a way of beating the blues, and helping to alleviate the symptoms of even more serious forms of mental illness such as schizophrenia.

 

 

In recognition of World Mental Health Day and the power of exercise, our lovely Run Director Ally showed her support for better mental health and looking after your own emotional wellbeing, by narrating a conversation between two of English Literature’s wisest sages, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet:

 

 

"Piglet?" said Pooh.

"Yes Pooh?" said Piglet.

"Do you ever have days when everything feels... Not Very Okay At All? And sometimes you don't even know why you feel Not Very Okay At All, you just know that you do."

Piglet nodded his head sagely. "Oh yes," said Piglet. "I definitely have those days."

"Really?" said Pooh in surprise. "I would never have thought that. You always seem so happy and like you have got everything in life all sorted out."

"Ah," said Piglet. "Well here's the thing. There are two things that you need to know, Pooh. The first thing is that even those pigs, and bears, and people, who seem to have got everything in life all sorted out... they probably haven't. Actually, everyone has days when they feel Not Very Okay At All. Some people are just better at hiding it than others. And the second thing you need to know... is that it's okay to feel Not Very Okay At All. It can be quite normal, in fact. And all you need to do, on those days when you feel Not Very Okay At All, is come and find me, and tell me. Don't ever feel like you have to hide the fact you're feeling Not Very Okay At All. Always come and tell me. Because I will always be there.”

 

 

 

It was a great turnout today with 422 runners, 26 of whom were first-timers. I can’t mention you all but here’s a shout-out to a random few of you: Jack FINNEY, Helen FINNEY, Alison SHAND, Jason HODGE, Barney WILSON, Ashling SHAND, Filip PROCHAZKA, Keith WRIGHT, Ian BOWLES  and Harrison YOUNG. Welcome all of you to the best parkrun in London.

 

There were also several experienced parkrunners visiting Richmond for the first time including Graham LE GOOD who finished in a brilliant time of 23:15. Graham is a bit of a parkrun tourist but mostly runs at Oxford. He is worthy of mention this week though because although this week was his first run at Richmond, it was also his 200thparkrun in total.

 

 

For the men, Omar PARSONS, James SUMPTER and Louis HODGE were the first three over the line in 17:07, 18:05 and 18:26 respectively. Louis’ achievement is particularly impressive because he is a Junior (11-14) and this was his first parkrun!

 

 

The first three ladies over the line were Justine DAVENPORT with a new PB of 21:08 (congratulations Justine), Alice LITTLER in 22:05 and Propella WOODWARD GENTLE in 22:15.

 

 

One of our regular (brilliantly funny) report writers Ian HARRISON ran his 250thparkrun today, as did Kate TURNBULL. Graham LE GOOD and Sue CAMP ran their 200th parkruns and Reza RAM ran his 100th. Other milestone runners were Richard FEIL, Wolfgang ECKLEBEN and Julie FORSYTH who all ran their 50th parkruns.

 

 

Commiserations go to Jonathan DICK who had to pull out just after the halfway point, and then had a painful walk back up to the start against the flow of runners with a sore knee. Our lovely tail-runner (one of the most enjoyable volunteer roles) Carol AIKIN, made sure Jonathan was okay before carrying on with her responsibility of supporting the slower runners up the hill to the finish.

 

 

Another important message Ally put across during her race briefing, was that parkrun depends entirely on volunteers; that is, parkrunners who give up running just three times a year to man barcode scanners, stop-watches, manage the funnel and act as tail-runners to support slower runners and nervous first-timers. We are extraordinarily lucky to be able to take part in a weekly event which is not only timed and recorded but free, and the only way this can happen week after week without fail is if parkrunner volunteer around three times a year. However, so few people do volunteer regularly (perhaps through the assumption that someone else will always do it, or perhaps through lack of confidence or shyness) that there often seems to be a hard-core of people doing more than their fair share of volunteering most weeks.

 

 

If you are a bit shy, or lack confidence and worry you might mess things up, rest assured not only will you be fully supported to take-up whatever role you volunteer for but it is a great way to meet likeminded people. And if volunteering has just never really occurred to you, give it a go anyway. You will enjoy it and the majority of people are so grateful you will definitely feel the love! You get your name in lights too - well, perhaps not in lights, but you do get a mention on the official Richmond parkrun page and in the race report too. A big ‘thank you’ for this week’s volunteers who made it all happen!

 

 

Ally PICKARD  •  Amy ENGLEHARDT  •  Ben RUSHBY  •  Carol AIKIN  •  Clive LESTER  •  Edward FRANCIS  •  Fiona WHATLEY  •  Francesca CREASY  •  Gillian SANDY  •  Hadi KHATAMIZADEH  •  Imogen LEE  •  John GRAHAM  •  John LOWIT  •  Jonathan JACKSON  •  Joshua GLASER  •  Kyoko MURAKAMI  •  Maia RUSHBY  •  Serge LOURIE  •  Simon TAYLOR  •  Susy BEAN  •  Timothy HUGGINS  •  Victor LI

 

 

Just in case the Pooh and Piglet quote resonated with you or on behalf of someone you know, you might find the following links helpful.

 

 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/

 

 

https://www.good-thinking.uk/low/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsZephc2F3gIVzLHtCh2hsgjjEAAYASAAEgJC-_D_BwE

 

 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/coping-with-bereavement/

 

 

https://ie.reachout.com/getting-help-2/minding-your-mental-health/loneliness-and-isolation/

 

 

 

Hope you all have a great week and manage to get a few runs in as well.

 

 

Gillian Wood

 

Richmond parkrun 581 – 6th October 2018

14th Birthday parkrun and International Day

Birthday, International day and Pacer day, it didn’t matter that it was a grey day, with no International tourists to swell our ranks in Richmond Park. We are all just a small part of the total, proud and glad to be there, it is after all the best in the world.

On parkrun’s 10th Birthday, Bushy Park celebrated with their record field of 1,705 runners, including all of the original 13. Today 19 parkrunuks celebrated their record attendance. 

Internationally, parkrun has reached 20 countries with Malaysia the most recent, setting up Taman Pudu Ulu in April this year. I looked at their website, somehow expecting it to be exotically different, but no, it was unsurprisingly like Richmond Park with a single lap in a nice park. Today they ran their 24th race with 106 runners. Some of the names appear exotic, but then it was our own Andrew Wonderbrawn Brown who reminded parkrun Director Francesca Creasy of the birthday. 

At Richmond Park, 429 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 45 were first timers and 65 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 37 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers:

Christopher READ • John LOWIT • Wonderbrawn BROWN • Susannah WEILAND • Clive LESTER • Serge LOURIE • Susy BEAN • Ally PICKARD • Judith CLARKSON • Tim CURRY • Martin LANGLANDS • Stephen AIKIN • David SUMMERS • John BATEY • Peter MCCLOSKEY • James RUSHBY • Maia RUSHBY • Malek SHARIF • Christopher COOPER • Katie LEE • Gareth Vaughan JONES • Evan JONES • Osian JONES • Francesca CREASY • Margie HARRISON • James CAI • Hadi KHATAMIZADEH • Maia LEWIS • Zanny LEWIS • John GRAHAM • Anastasia PHILLIPS • Alex BARR • Andrew RAE

It was a grey day, ideal temperature for running and a very high humidity, but mercifully all took place before the day’s rain which was more than can be said for the Charity run at Sheen Gate.  Well after I was at home in the dry, there were plenty of bedraggled medals being paraded down Sheen Lane.

Martin Shore VM40-44 was the fastest male in 16.51 with an admirable 7 firsts in his 21 runs, he also led the age related field with 82.03%. The fastest woman was Isobel Rea VW40-44 in 20.03, only 14 runs short of her green milestone T shirt. Nobly leading the women’s age relation was Patricia Ainley VW65-69 with 81.01% for her 25.48. 

There were 4 parkrun milestones this week, led by Mark Berry VM50-54 whose 100th tied with his PB of 23:00 set a couple of weeks ago, 2yrs 6months after his last PB.

Joining the 50 Club (with 48 at Richmond), Mike Lammiman VM45-49's 22:38 was only 8 seconds behind his fastest of nearly 5 years ago; also on 50 (32 at Old Dear Park) was Warren Linton VM50-54 in 32:48. 

Gaining his 10 t-shirt, Oscar Buttle JM11-14's 24:01PB was a massive 1:35 faster than his previous fastest (December 2017).

An unofficial milestone 200th parkrun (66 of them at Pontefract) was achieved by very local girl Anne Stephenson VW60-64 in 32:54.

We had 5 runners in excess of 400 runs each. Franz Werndle VM65-69 only 6 short of half a thousand.

Ian Harrison, a runner who I relate to on age and sometimes performance, I can’t compete with in milestones, as he ran his 249th race today. 

Roll on our 11th birthday on 20 October!

John Graham

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Richmond parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).

Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 20,509 participants have completed 153,849 parkruns covering a total distance of 769,245 km, including 24,004 new Personal Bests.

   

 

Richmond parkrun 580 – 29th September 2018

We had perfect conditions for a run in our beautiful Richmond Park today with wonderful air, light and lovely people. All this accepted, I thought to focus on what happens at our weekly parkrun. This may be useful for those thinking of coming along and also to those that are already part of our parkrun family.

What do we do: 

Around 8.45 am we gather by Richmond Gate where we catch up with friends and meet visitors. There are many parkrun tourists now who go around the world, and today we had lots of those. Some even were wearing their significant yellow neck scarves! We met around 25 who had come from Tralee in Ireland (TpoT’s as they are known), others from as far as Australia and South Africa.

Stacey Tasker who was volunteering and completing her 200th run today gave 86 first timers to Richmond including many new to running a special briefing before the main presentation. She welcomed all our visitors and explained the course and the unique features of running in Richmond Park. We are a community sometimes kindly likened to a religious group as we do try to help each other and consider each person’s spiritual as well as physical well-being. During the run, we have plenty of banter and supportive comments from those that are running at a similar pace as well as from observers. We are mindful of deer as they can wander across our path and we tend to stop and let them go by. People say they have seen Pixies, Ghosts and even Aliens in Richmond Park, so it is worth keeping our eyes open! We have barefoot runners who are very careful at this time of the year because of Sweet Chestnut spikes, and I noticed Elio Zentilin was wearing his sandals today.

What do the Run Directors say: 

Well, Saturday it was Ally who briefed 441 of us, without a loud hailer, just one of the reasons why Richmond is probably ‘the best parkrun in the world’, as we like to chorus. We are all so respectful to each other and the other park users that we stopped talking and listened. She reminded us that we are not the only park users and we should give way to others by staying on the left. The trustees of Richmond Park believe every blade of grass is unique and we do our best to support this philosophy by staying on the paths and approved routes when crossing grassy patches. All children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult - within arms reach. We should seed ourselves at the start according to our pace so everyone can get away smoothly, helped by single dogs and buggies starting at the back. The volunteers were thanked, and the Lead Bike was recognised as Lesley Foote as was Lindsey Annable who was the tail walker carrying a mobile phone and a foil blanket in case anyone had difficulties.

What do our runners say about the course:

The Richmond course generates some debate about the best approach to its particular undulating challenges. We start at Bishops Pond and head up a slight rise over the first 300 metres to the left turn by Richmond Gate then it levels off. Running along beside the road passing Kidney Wood on the right we can settle into a pace to the 1km point. Then the drop down Sawyers Hill, past the left turn off to Holly Lodge with Saw Pit Plantation over the road on the right, we are on the fastest straight Km of the run, the 2nd Km.

Passing through the southerly edge of Two Storm Wood and with Barn Wood on our right we start the 3rd Km and have just 100 mtrs to go before the little roundabout and the turn up to Sheen Gate. We start the gentle slope towards Sheen gate and half-way along here we go past the last tree on the right in Sheen Cross Wood which marks the mid-way point of the run. Up to the top and then we take a left turn through Sheen Wood by Sheen Gate.

As we exit the wood, we are passing by the Rangers Garden on the right and just passing the 3km point. Then one faces the long grind of our 4th Km, up the slope beside Teck Plantation on our right and Two Storm Wood further off to our left. 

We run up and around the bend past Bog Gate, or Kings Ride Gate (Henry would enter through this Gate) as it is also more correctly called, up the slope across the top of the hill where we reach the 4km marker, Richmond Cemetery is on the right. We now have a nice fast stretch down the hill and around the bends to the bottom before starting up the long slope. When we reach Bishop’s Pond on the left, we are back at the start and have just the last 300 metres gentle rise to repeat up to the welcome finish at Richmond Gate. It’s one of those courses where there are lots of points of interest and charm and different way to approach it if you want a quick time. 

Don’t… miss the finish!

Keep running all the way through the cones past the two timekeepers and keep moving along in the same order through the funnel until you reach the volunteers giving out the tokens. Please take a token as it keeps you finishers in the correct order then hand it in to the scanners, even if you have forgotten your barcode. The scanners will scan your barcode first then the token. Please don’t take your token as a souvenir.

Don’t… forget to shout encouragement!

The best marshals are the most vocal marshals and the ones that everyone comments on afterwards as being fantastic! Not necessarily the loudest, but just the ones who make sure they cheer you on and shout encouragement to everyone as they pass. Even if we are too busy huffing and puffing to properly acknowledge you as we go by, we need that encouragement, and it does help! Thank you. Don’t stop cheering! The same goes for offering up some words of encouragement as you run past other people too!  It's lovely and much appreciated!

Don’t be shy … strike a pose!

We have many pictures on our Flickr account so strike a pose or wave or smile. Everyone loves a good parkrun pose! There’s a good chance you might end up on one of our social media pages, or in the weekly run report too!

Do… stay and cheer people in!

If you don’t have to rush straight off, it’s nice to spend a few minutes clapping and cheering in some of the other runners that finished after you. You may want to get home, but do think of the people slower than you that are still out there running.

Don’t… forget to volunteer!

It’s fun, it’s not hard, and it’s surprising how much pleasure and satisfaction our volunteers say they get. There would be no parkrun without volunteers, so do your bit and put something back. A good rule of thumb is the 3 – 1 rule – run three times then volunteer.  You can sign up a few weeks ahead via email. 25 volunteer stints and you can bag yourself your very own purple volunteer t-shirt. Splendid support from the following volunteers today:

Abu-Turab BHARWANA • Martin CLARK • Andrew BROWN • Richard GODDARD-JONES • Clive LESTER • Lindsey ANNABLE • Ally PICKARD • Greig CATTO • Ian HARRISON • Lesley Helen FOOTE • Angela CATTO • Christian POHL • Mark JOHNSTON • Francesca CREASY • Stacey TASKER • Maia LEWIS • Zanny LEWIS • Kate HOLMES • John GRAHAM • Esther BLURTON

What do Visitors say:

Visitors today said they love the single loop scenic course with the chance to see some fantastic wildlife against the backdrop of the London City skyline. Many want to look at what Henry V111 saw when he regularly gazed from his Mound towards London town. Just think how many parkruns that maybe be interrupted by deer crossing our paths or ghosts shaking the trees let alone the planes above? I know people come from all around the globe and they say there is a unique air in Richmond Park and they go on to see Turners View of Richmond Meadows. Mostly they say what makes it special are the way the people are and I must agree we do have some extraordinary folk. 

Some notable landmark no of run events were:

Bernie Mulvany 400

Stacey Tasker   200 

Simon Brazil      200

Ella Fryer           100

A summary of the results: 

73 fantastic people recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 41 different clubs took part.

Here are a few of the stunning successes achieved on the day:

Male: 

1st Edmund Crowther   17.37

2nd Euan Lees              17.51

3rd Thomas Ziegel        17.55

Female: 

1st Isabella Franco       18.44

2nd Clare Park              19.27 

3rd Adrienne Baddeley 20.43

Best age-related score: 

Simon Anderson   82.05

Patricia Ainley       81.01

Isabelle Franco     80.95

Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 20,464 participants have completed 153,420 parkruns covering a total distance of 767,100 km, including 23,939 new Personal Bests.

It’s been a pleasure doing this report and being with you all on Saturday. Have a great running week and see you next Saturday the 2nd October when there will be pacers. 

Ian/Charlie Harrison 

 

 

Richmond Park parkrun 579 – 22 September 2018

How will you run today? Will you run like the wind?  It’s hard to say isn’t it?  Some weeks we feel raring to go, but the stats turn out to be unimpressive.  Some weeks we feel sluggish and yet manage a PB!  We often declare our excuses and disclaimers before a run, but we really shouldn’t need to, as it’s only ourselves we are competing against.

Last weekend, the Richmond Runfest kick-started the autumn running season.  A good number of our regular parkrunners were notably absent last Saturday, taking part in the Kew Gardens 5K and 10K events (we forgive you!).  Others saved their energy for Sunday, for the Half and Full Marathon events.  Well done to everyone who took part!  In my case it was the Full Marathon, for which we did 4 miles inside Kew Gardens before bombing up the Thames towpath to Hampton Court and back again.  I can tell you, I certainly learnt the meaning of ‘dig deep’ and ‘hang on in there’ – especially after 20 miles of chasing the 4.15 pacer (Camilla LANGLANDS, a truly excellent pacer!)

We were blessed with fine weather last weekend.  Today it was notably cooler, but a perfectly comfortable temperature for our weekly parkrun in the fabulous Richmond Park (complete with deer laying in the undergrowth).  We had a gentle breeze with no particular headwind in the 4thK to complain about, allowing 70 runners to get PBs today – well done!

Andrew BROWN gave a very enthusiastic briefing for our 44 First Timers – possibly a smaller number than usual this week, but the fact that there were 18 2nd timers and 17 3rd timers gives a healthy indication that runners do commit, without getting frightened off in the first week!

Margie Marshall's photo : 22 September 2018 first timers briefing

Our volunteers were praised by Francesca CREASY, today’s Run Director, who reminded us of the parkrun rules.

Margie Marshall's photo : 22 September 2018 run director briefing

This week 409 people ran, jogged and walked the course and representatives of 37 different clubs took part.  Our oldest runner today was Pat HEWLETT (VW80-84) – well done Pat, keep it going!

Congratulations to the following runners for gaining a significant number today:

Sebastien LAFAURY (JM11-14) joined the 10 Club today.
Simon CLARKSON (VM45-49) – 50
Ali BARNES (VW45-49) – 50
Rebecca LOCKSPEISER (VW60-64) – 100
Melinda HALL (SW30-34) – 100
Rosario MEROLA (VM45-59) – 200
Bernie MULVANY (VM60-64) is due for 400 next time!
Franz WERNDLE (VM65-69), our highest scorer, is currently on 492 – looking forward to seeing that 500 T-shirt Franz!

Congratulations to the following runners for some excellent finishing times today:

Male placings (all under 18 mins!):  Edward REES (SM30-34) was first over the line in 17:36 (a new PB – well done Edward!)
Theo BOURGERY (SM20-24) was second over the line in 17:53 – a very welcome First Timer at Richmond
Thomas ZIEGEL (SM18-19) was third over the line in 17:56

Female placings (all under 20 mins!):  Fenella ROSS (SW20-24) was first (15th overall) over the line in 19:31 (a new PB – well done Fenella!)
Lorraine SMYTH (VW35-39) was second (18th overall) over the line in 19:51 (a new PB – well done Lorraine!)
Clare PARK (SW30-34) was third (20th overall) over the line in 19:53 – a very welcomeFirst Timer at Richmond.

A huge ‘thank-you’ to our 23 volunteers, without whom the event could not take place:
Abu-Turab BHARWANA • Franz WERNDLE • Steven BRIMACOMBE • Gunilla ASSMUNDSON • Wonderbrawn BROWN • Andy CAIE • Coralie DAVISON • Michael BURKERT • Emer Elizabeth WYNNE • Ela SLONINA • Sam RUSHBY • Juliette COOPER • Amy ENGLEHARDT • Joshua GLASER • Francesca CREASY • Margie HARRISON • Ronelle FRYLINCK • Kate HOLMES • Claire O BRIEN • John GRAHAM • Natalie BERMAN • Suzanne BAKER • Andrew RAE

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Richmond parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203); the female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on the same day!
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).
Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007.  Since then 20,377 participants have completed 152,979 parkruns covering a total distance of 764,895 km, including 23,866 new Personal Bests.

Margie Harrison

 

Richmond parkrun 578 – 15th September 2018

Barcode Passport

 

 

Another glorious morning greeted my entering through Kingston gate, where the sugar maples on the slope to the right, just after the mini roundabout, were starting to turn crimson as a reminder that we are approaching autumn. It was only 12deg C but in the sunshine, it still felt like late summer. In other areas, the dappled mushrooms currently protruding above the grass are the parasol mushrooms, another reminder of the changing season. The recent rains have helped.

 

 

As some of you know, I hail from a more southern climate, about 1600km S.E. of Brighton. A few days ago I had my 65thanniversary of migrating to this country. This duality, over time, has become a dilemma for me when being introduced to new people in my country of origin. There, I’m introduced as their English friend and over here, as their Italian friend. I think I can now safely claim to be half English and half Italian, though a close friend thought I am probably 80% of both. Therefore, I hope our leaders resolve the impending problems before the drawbridge starts being raised in around 200 days’ time. Let’s hope history will see it as a celebration, not a funeral.

 

 

One of the greatest sporting gatherings that was created in this country is parkrun. Amongst the many things that stand out at any parkrun, and particularly possibly at the best parkrun in the world (though the new Mura di Lucca parkrun, in their 4thweek, must be a close contender) is the diversity of people that we participate with. Just looking at the variety of names on the results page shows that we are of many different cultural origins which we all seem to embrace. No one is concerned about our ethnic origins, accent, age, religion, how much garlic we put in the food we eat, or the colour of our running shoes. If someone called Farage was to run here we wouldn’t assume him to be French nor would it matter if he was! Many other nationalities glide their feet over our course. We just delight in each other’s participation, diversities and company.

 

 

Our wonderful volunteers are a good example of a glorious mixed bunch giving their time for the common good. If you haven’t volunteered yet, then think about doing so. There are many choices, even writing the news report. Today there were 25 volunteers. The Rushby family, and others, working as a team, sorted the tokens at the end.

 

 

Talking of accents; I was passed at around 1km point by Alberto Esguevillas Lete pushing his son in a buggy and conversing in Spanish as they passed me; finishing quite a few minutes before me. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was pushing my granddaughters around in their push chairs. The usually very much on the ball Andy Caie missed the fact that Alberto was doing his 250thrun today as was Malek Sharif. Well done to both of you.

 

 

Also well done to Phil Emery who reached 100, JM11-14 Arib Sharif and visiting Oscar Danson who get their 10 T-shirts. And a future flagging for Anne Stephenson, Lyndon Williams, Ravi Kothakota and Stacy Tasker, all on 199 runs. 200 next week then?

 

 

We all delight at seeing the pleasure (or pain) when finishers of all abilities cross the finish line but not many care who is fastest or slowest other than the immediate few close to our individual time. Some run very fast – because they can and I wish I could, but then, most are not pensioners yet.

 

 

First male across the line today was Calum Mackenzie in 17:52, having shown Thomas Ziegel a clean pair of heels at the last bend after being neck and neck, Thomas following 4 seconds behind. Eric Williams followed 33 seconds later into third place.

 

 

First female today was Adrienne Baddley in 20:12, followed by Rhianon West in 22:15 and Claire Adams in 22:36.

 

 

Some of us run slower because we may have problems but usually it’s our best at that moment. We all have good days and bad days or just want to pause to take a photo of the nearby deer. There was an amazing stag showing off his antlers just as we descended Sawyer’s Hill. Obviously, if your aim is to get a PB then pausing for a photo shoot seriously messes up your chances. Today there were 96 PBs. Not many of us pausing to take photos then? PBs are transient, good photos are forever!

 

 

We obviously all enjoy being here otherwise many of us would not regularly turn up week after week. 468 of us ran, trotted, walked or took photographs this week and many of us will be back next week. Parkrun caters for all abilities. Pat Hewlett stormed in near the end, with the highest age grade in her category, well ahead of the tail walker and one of her fastest times in recent months. Good to see you picking up again Pat! Also good to see is that she keeps her barcode alongside her bus pass, as I do.

 

 

Visitors come regularly to our parkrun in remarkable numbers. Today we saw 42 first time visitors to Richmond parkrun, additionally, there were 36 first timers to parkrunning. We can see that they delight at being with us, always being made welcome as, from my experiences, we are when we visit their venues, anywhere around the world, no passport required, just our personal barcode. In these times of doom, despair, division and separation, parkrun has to be one of the most socially uniting and healthy activities on our planet.

 

 

Let’s carry on enjoying our runs whatever our ability and I’ll see you next week!

 

 

 

Elio Zentilin

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