Well, where do we start with this week's run?
First of all, as Simon talked about in the Pre Run Briefing we had a little celebration for one of our well known runners, Kelly, who completed her 50th parkrun this week. Simon and I went on our VI Guiding course in November '16 and within weeks Simon had spoken to Kelly and suggested she could come along and experience a guided run. She agreed and by pure coincidence on the same day Donna also joined us for her first run. That cold December morning she completed in 43:31, returning the next week for a 39:06 then 38:08 the week later... The PBs continued every week until early March saw 28:01. She hasn't stopped there though, the PBs have been coming again and last week Kelly managed a 25:06.
It's not just her PBs. Kelly also inspired James and Karen to come along and run with us and is one of a handful of Outreach Ambassadors (Visual Impairment) representing the whole of the UK's runs as well as sharing her story on the parkrun blog to help inspire more people to take part. Well done to Kelly, who before parkrun had never ran a step.
Kelly wasn't the only runner earning a club t-shirt. Lewis Morgan and Faith Howard also ran their 10th parkruns with us and earned their junior 10-club t-shirts, but I didn't know about these before the run.
Lots of new runners...
The huge attendance was helped by the 46 people who recorded their first Southport parkrun today including 33 who took part in their first ever parkrun. There were 52 48 'unknown' runners too (12.3% 11.3%) which is about double the national average. Many of these unknowns were also doing their first parkrun. Do sign up at parkrun if you are one of them and I really do recommend the wristbands for everyone as you can carry ICE details on any run (https://parkrun-barcode.com).
Sorry, but if you are showing as "Unknown" because you weren't scanned then I can't add you after the run, but you can start to accumulate runs next week.
You have probably also noticed that we broke the course attendance record too today. It was previously 386 (on 15/4/17 and 7/10/17) but today we saw 424 finishing with almost half of you (198) between 27:00 and 33:59 - that's one person every 2.1 seconds. Princes parkrun and Birkenhead parkrun also broke 400 for the first time today - a lot of people in the area getting fitter for the new year? And this was on a day when a lot of club runners were off to Burnley for a Cross Country fixture!
Speaking of the Cross Country, well done to Southport parkrun regulars Oliver Logan who won the >15 girls race and Sammy Pickerill who was third in the >11 boys race. Loads more of our regulars took part, especially in the senior (adult) categories, but I'm bound to miss people if I try to list them all. The Cross Country races are free events to club members for anyone interested in running some different courses in a team event. Great fun (says me who stayed at home nursing a cold).
Timekeeping almost wasn't there...
Also a huge well done and thank you to Simon and Aoife who handled the timekeeping issue today when the watch Adrian was using froze on about the 6th finisher. This meant that timekeeping was all down to Aoife and she carried it out perfectly. If she'd missed or added a click we'd have had a tricky job of results, but she was a star. The pressure was a bit too much for her (only her 2nd time timekeeping) so she did hand over to Katie towards the end. Interesting to note that this is the 2nd time that as RD Simon has had a stopwatch fail and had to depend on a DofE volunteer to do the job perfectly.
We did have a few Funnel Duckers to sort out. Please, if you cross the finish line, even if by mistake, please take a token and drop it straight into the bucket. If you have crossed the line the timekeepers (or timekeeper) has clicked for you and we need to match this up with the token numbers. There were 3 of these today, which is why results were out at 11:00 instead of before 10:30 (the extra time being spent by Simon and myself trying to piece together the jigsaw).
We also had a very interesting 2 sets of duplicate finish tokens. It looks like a father and son finished together and then had the same token scanned, which may have been a manual error by the scanner given there was an unknown runner before them). However, token 80 had 2 people recorded against it. What was very strange was that token 80 didn't make it back last week so we think someone has taken it away and used it this week, possibly taking away another token? If you are one of the 2 people affected please email so I can sort it out. You were scanned so I can add you back in!
Speaking of which we lost a record 5 tokens this week. If you have accidentally taken home a token could you drop it back into the bucket next week or even get it passed back before then? We need to reuse the tokens next week and if we lose loads we have to buy a new set, which isn't cheap.
Dogs going splash
I did also hear a story today about a dog ending up in the lake. I think it was a runner's dog and not a general park user and it was on the lead, but a good opportunity to say please remember that parkrun rules state that dogs must be on a short lead (1.2m or 4 feet long) and Hesketh Park's rules also state that dogs must be on leads around the lake. I wouldn't allow a dog to go near the water anyway - no idea what could be caught from that water (that's another story...).
Right, thanks to Simon and the team for today's run and over to Anna for next Saturday's event. Will it be another record breaker or is cold weather going to make it a quieter one?
This week 424 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 46 were first timers and 72 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 12 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:
Keith LUNT • Katie MAWDSLEY • Sarah LUNT • Jayne FINCH • Doug MCNAIR • Robert WILLIAMS • Robert SMALLWOOD • Adrian SHANDLEY • Mari DYSON • Simon TOBIN • Matthew TOBIN • Paula TOBIN • Emma COOPER • Luke PRENDERGAST • Margaret WALMSLEY • Patricia TABRON • Ed UNWIN • Marc TAYLOR • Owen BARNES • Louise JAMES • Alex SMITH • Aoife LEWIS • Rachel INTONAZZO • Katriona BEVERIDGE • John HARRILD • Malcolm TEALE • Bob FAIRHURST
Southport parkrun started on 11th June 2016. Since then 3,805 participants have completed 22,803 parkruns covering a total distance of 114,015 km, including 5,027 new Personal Bests.