Well, that was interesting.
I started NYD at Cassiobury park, slightly surprising ED Sharon Davidson by my presence among the 323 runners and walkers. Yes, I was going to be RD the second event of the day – but thankfully Co-RD Sarah Ockendon, ably supported by regular volunteer and husband Mark, were on hand to course check and set-up at Ricky.
I made it back to the Aquadrome just in time to check-in the 20 other volunteers, and to realise that we had a bit of a clash developing with a large group of walkers. Walking in support of St Luke's Hospice, they turned out to be fantastic, and hugely supportive. Their general consensus seemed to be that you are a fine bunch of individuals, covering all age groups, taking part in something rather wonderful. I wholeheartedly agree.
Apparently they do a walk from the Aquadrome every New Year – as well as other walks through the year – check here for more information.
Anyway, back to parkrun. As we got closer to the official start time of 10:30, we gradually began to realise that there were rather a lot of you. I know many of you had to queue to get in to the car park, and I believe that TfL were running a rather slow, hungover service too. However, we managed to get everyone started pretty much on time, with only a few stragglers continuing to appear over the next 10 minutes – I think you all caught up and passed the tailwalker okay!
Not only were there rather a lot of you, but there were also a lot of supporters. We had to work hard to keep the finish straight clear – I’m grateful to Sharon D for pitching in to help marshal. The finish funnel did start to back up a couple of times – it may be time for us to consider lengthening the funnel! Regardless, if you could ensure that you keep moving quickly through the funnel, stay in order, and have your hand ready to grasp your token, it helps us get everyone through efficiently and safely.
The funnel's backing up - timekeeper Mark seems to be wondering where everyone came from!
And then we realised we were running out of tokens. We only had 450 tokens at the finish line, we were on to the last batch of 50, and still you came pouring over the finish line. Fortunately, we did have more – so Sarah & Su started manically preparing a fresh batch of 50. The rate of finishers began to slow, and we all started to realise that we might just hit 500. We anxiously kept an eye out for the tail walker. When Tail Walker Bernie crossed the line in position 501, I’m afraid I got a little bit hysterical, and even did a little dance. It was partly joy at a new attendance record, partly sheer relief that we’d made it through to the end.
Ian Birch picks up token 500, Bernie Conway gets 501!
(I realised after, when processing the results, that our stopwatches only go up to 500. I am SO GLAD that there weren’t any more of you. Though we do now have a contingency plan so we know what to do if it happens again!)
The official stats are below – but I can’t finish without saying a massive THANK YOU to everyone who made our first NYD run happen. The volunteers were even more wonderful than usual – and the people we share the park with were also tremendous in their support of us all. As parkrundays go, this one was really special.
A very happy, prosperous and peaceful new year to you all.
All the best, all the time,
This week 501 people ran, jogged and walked the course. Of the 181 first time visitors to Rickmansworth, 20 were doing parkrun for the first time ever. 52 of you recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 47 different clubs took part.
- 161 people did both Cassiobury and Rickmansworth parkruns.
- 29 did both Black Park and Rickmansworth parkruns.
The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:
Marjory BLUER • Jackie HARRIS • Pritesh PATEL • Sharon DAVIDSON • Sarah OCKENDON • Peter GUDGE • Bernie CONWAY • Rob WITHALL • Juliette NOLA • Maria WAITE • Julia BROOKS • Mark OCKENDON • Kathryn JENKINS • Felicity ADI • Philip HAY • Nicola ANSTISS • John MCGREAL • Hannah SANDFORD • Judith ALDRIDGE • Charlotte CAIRN • Raicheal MCGREAL • Lisa MARHEINEKE • Su TYSOE
- Emma RACKHAM joined the 100 Club
- Sophia STYLIANOU and John FALVEY joined the 50 Club
- Leonardo CHIAPPI joined the junior 10 Club
- Judith ALDRIDGE joined the V25 Club
- Charlotte CAIRN completed the volunteer element of her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, having volunteered on 13 separate occasions.
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Rickmansworth parkrun Results Page.
- The female record is held by Hannah KITCHEN who recorded a time of 18:02 on 11th March 2017 (event number 2).
- The male record is held by Thomas BEEDELL who recorded a time of 15:57 on 4th November 2017 (event number 35).
- The Age Grade course record is held by Sharon KASSEMZADEH who recorded 90.48% (22:04) on 30th September 2017 (event number 30).
Rickmansworth parkrun started on 4th March 2017. Since then 3,592 participants have completed 13,191 parkruns covering a total distance of 65,955 km, including 3,763 new Personal Bests.