Saturday 30thJune saw a continuation of the hot, sunny weather. We certainly have had a “Flaming June” and it looks set fair for the first half of July also. Richmond Park is beginning to look a little brown and tired, and the ground is rock hard. This week when walking across the park I saw a strange sight: numerous what looked like bare branches poking out of the long grass. Only when I got closer did I realize that I was approaching a whole herd of deer, lying down and perfectly camouflaged by the yellow-brown grass, leaving only the antlers of the males visible.
There were no deer to trouble this week’s parkrunners. Numbers were slightly down, and 380 people walked, jogged, or ran the course: the lowest number since freezing cold March. Representatives of 36 different clubs took part. We were joined by 33 first timers, of whom 15 were completely new to parkrun. Welcome to all, and we hope to see you back very soon. And then there were the parkrun tourists: Joe Spraggins has taken part in over 40 different runs and completed his 158th run as a first timer at Richmond. Steve Grout has taken part in over 70 different parkruns, and completed his 119th parkrun with his first run at Richmond, and Asa Moberg Grout has nearly as many credits as a visitor, in a total of 102 runs. Conversely, several Richmond Park regulars were running at Crane Park this week, and many familiar faces were missing.
This week’s Run Director, Andy Caie, had three important messages for this week’s participants.
- Run Director Mike Glazebrook is taking part in his first Iron Man in Austria on 1stJuly, to mark his 60thbirthday and raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is an official parkrun partner. There is still time to sponsor him, even though he will have completed the event by the time you read this. Just go to mydonate.bt.com and search for “Glazebrook”.
- A reminder that all under-11s must run within arm’s reach of a responsible adult at all times over the 5k course, to comply with the conditions of pakrrun’s insurance. “Responsible” is not defined other than as a person over the age of 18, but it is very important that this condition is adhered to. If an adult is having difficulty keeping up with a speedy youngster, Andy’s advice was simple: cut back on the alcohol, watch what you eat, and train more.
- Volunteers. No parkrun can happen without volunteers and it should not always be left to the same willing people. Every week a plea goes out for people to fill in empty slots on the volunteer rota. If you enjoy parkrun, why not set yourself a target of volunteering on completion of a set number of runs, so that you in your turn can contribute to other people’s enjoyment? Why not target the purple 25 volunteer T-shirt? None of the roles are hard, and in the current weather conditions it’s not unpleasant to stand in the sunshine for an hour or so. Or why not volunteer as a pacer: next week is the first of the month, so a perfect opportunity.
So a big hand for this week’s volunteers who made it happen for the rest of us: Claire ALTMANN • Penny MERRETT • Neil CHESTERTON • Ali BARNES • Serge LOURIE • Andy CAIE • Gordon BARNES • David PENNELL • Thalia BOWDEN STONE • Tim LANGTON • Jeremy DAY • Clare DAY • Juliette COOPER • Innes BARNES • Richard VAN DER LEEDEN • Ella BIGNALL • Jonathan D LEWIS • Rebecca JONES • Rene VON SOLMS • Johan VON SOLMS • Stefan VON SOLMS • Rohan VON SOLMS • Patricia AINLEY • Alex BARR
This week’s start was prompt, but we kicked up large clouds of dust from the dry baked earth and it was a relief to turn left onto the tarred path along Sawyer’s Hill. There was less congestion on this first part of the course due to the lower numbers this week, which made a pleasant change. A very light breeze gave little relief from the hot sun. Leading the way home was George Bailey (SM 30-34) coming in at 17.46 (age grade 73.17%) just one second off his PB. He was followed by Thomas Ziegel (SM 18-19) of St Mary’s University College AC in 18.07 (72.77%) and Jack Congdon (SM 20-24) in 18.12 (70.88%). First woman home was Stephanie Ainley (SW 25-29) of Thames Valley Harriers in 19.39 (75.32%) followed by Claire Altmann (SW 30-34) of Thames Hare and Hounds in 21.02 (70.52%) and Amelia Button (SW25-29) in 21.44 (68.10%).
There were 35 new PBs this week, spread through most age groups, including one JM10 (Milo Barnes), two JM 11-14 (Luca Walker and Joshua Luff), one JM 15-17 (Rohan von Solms) and one JW 15-17 (Rosie Thorogood). At the other end, Mark A Ingham (VM 50-54) achieved a new PB on his 106thrun, and Neil Bignall, also VM 50-54, on his 95th. Well done to all.
Highest age grade for men was achieved by Antony Constantinou (VM50-54) on 78.66% for his time of 19.22, followed by Edward Francis (VM45-49) on 76.61% with a time of 18.57 and John Sandhu (VM50-54) on 76.49% with a time 19.17. For women, the three highest were your report writer on 83.10% for a time of 25.09, Alex Barr (VW55-59) on 77.18% for a time of 23.09, and first female finisher Stephanie Ainley on 75.32%.
10: Emily-Rose Hill (JW10)
50: Yan Joynathsing (JM11-14), James McDermott (VM35-39)
250: Sean Mungovan (VM60-64)
And finally, not an official milestone, but Clive Lester (VM70-74) completed his 450thrun, having started taking part in December 2007, two months after Richmond parkrun was launched. Since the first run in October 2007, 19,668 participants have completed 148,019 Richmond parkruns with a total distance of 740,095K and 23,248 new PBs.