by Nic Woollard
For those of us in our parkrun community with long memories from their childhood, there used to be a programme on BBC1 called Record Breakers. For a long while, it was hosted by a gentleman by the name of Roy Castle with twins Ross and Norris McWhirter. More latterly, it was presented by Cheryl Baker (she of Bucks Fizz fame) and Kriss Akabusi. It showcased a wide variety of attempts from people trying to get their achievement into the Guinness Book of Records.
Saturday's event #292 was our own Record Breaker in many different ways. Run #291 the previous weekend was tantalisingly close to an attendance record with 1067 people joining us on the Common. This week, we absolutely blew that number out of the water with 1134 parkrunners packing The Flats out for the mass start. Fortunately, the efficiency of our set up, finish tokens, funnel and token scanning volunteers meant that we were able to cope well with our ever burgeoning number. Helping with our motivation and bringing a smile to everyone's faces was the excellent music of the Tuba Libres band.
As you know, parkrun consists of a 5k run, run/walk or walk, whichever way you choose to complete it. Many of us aim to beat our bests each week, however, a quick Google has revealed a small series of quirky records, some of which are listed below.
Backwards Running: Brian Godsey from the USA ran a 5k in 2008 looking over his shoulder and in reverse in an astounding time of 19:31:89. Many of us can only dream of running this fast going forward the right way around the course!
Fancy Dress Running: In 2014, Adam Togami, also from the USA, ran a 5K race in 23:25:00 seconds. He was dressed as a penguin and to make it even more surreal, he kept juggling three tennis balls throughout the run.
Most runners at a 5k event: 86,549 people competed in an event organised by the Visakhapatnam District Olympic Association (India), in Visakhapatnam, India, on 23 June 2013. It makes you wonder if they had barcodes or were chip timed. If it was the former, I would have to take pity on the manual timers and the barcode scanners!
Most runners linked to complete a 5k race: The most runners linked to complete a 5k race is 179 and was achieved by The Charlotte Running Club (USA) in Huntersville, North Carolina, USA, on 13 December 2014. All participants were tethered together for the complete race. Can you imagine the chaos that would bring if we tried our record attempt one Saturday!
Talking of records, Alan RUSHTON ran a superb 23:50:00 at our event on Saturday. What is even more remarkable, is that Alan lowered the record in the VM75-79 age category at the same time.
Finally, Congratulations go to Laura MCKENZIE (including baby bump) on reaching the 250 Club today, Other notable milestones achieved included, Emily LLOYD, joining the 10 Club. Moving into the 50 club with their red shirts are: John COSGROVE, Mag KUSHNER, Darren MOORE and Joe SHELLEY on joining the 50 Club. Hitting the century of runs this week were Jason HAMPTON, Nicholas MYERS (in a most excellent model spitfire costume), Julian RATHKE, Simon TAPP, Harper TOWNS and Inez WALKER. Although not quite hitting the mark for her green shirt just yet, Alice YATES moved on to her 200th parkrun.
This week 1134 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 130 were first timers and 114 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 50 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 49 volunteers:
Gareth JONES • Rob KELLY • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Di MATTINGLY • John GRANT • Rachel GRANT • Susan MADDOCKS • Gerry Leonard ROBSON • Sarah Rachel DENNISON • Julia BOUSTRED • Eric STREET • Kate BUDD • Theresa CLARK • Alan GRAHAM • Patrick JANSEN • Rob CALLEN • Rachael GOLDSTRAW • David Robert GIBSON • Sue WILSON • Marion HEDLEY LEWIS • Nic WOOLLARD • Daniel GOLDSTRAW • Peter ROE • Paul TONGS • Paul Henry ARMSTRONG • Karen PIGGOTT • Andrew WARREN • Richard DIGGLE • Kali BANDA • Charlie PAGE • Heather WRIGHT • Julian RATHKE • Barbara COGMAN • Linda SEYMOUR • Perri SEYMOUR • Maggie CHALMERS • Phil BLAKE • Teresa DODKIN • Emily BROCKEN • Samantha BOWYER • Julie LODGE • David FOLAN • Pietro FRANCESCHINI • Jessica REYNOLDS • Esther CLIFT • Melodie WALTER • Glen BARHAM • Tom EPTON • Russel HASAN
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the
Southampton parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Lorna RUSSELL who recorded a time of 16:40 on 18th May 2013 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Mahamed MAHAMED who recorded a time of 14:56 on 17th September 2016 (event number 221).
The Age Grade course record is held by Zakariya MAHAMED who recorded 91.21% (15:33) on 26th September 2015 (event number 171).
Southampton parkrun started on 7th July 2012. Since then 17,228 participants have completed 158,320 parkruns covering a total distance of 791,600 km, including 28,504 new Personal Bests.