What an amazing turnout we had this week, helped no doubt by the much kinder weather than our first anniversary!
When we started Southport parkrun 2 years ago I thought we might be able to reach 110 runners per week if we were lucky. I thought that would get us a big enough event to make it a success. Breaking 250 on event #18 amazed me, something I never dreamt would happen and thought might never happen again. So to now be regularly seeing 400 plus runners and an amazing spectacle of 510 runners this week is beyond my dreams for the event. So from me to everyone who has ever taken part a huge thank you!
To see so many people taking part and to hear all of the inspirational stories just amazes me. We had the BBC filming some of these stories this week for a broadcast on North West Tonight in July, and it is those stories that really do give everyone involved in putting on the event a lot of payback. The stories of people who never even thought they could take part in an organised run event, health issues improved or even reversed and the social aspect of the run. That's why we were so happy to be involved in the NHS70 celebrations too.
As of this week 29,909 finish tokens have been handed out at Southport parkrun. This means that runner #91 next week (probably just over 25 minutes) will be the 30,000th across our finish line. This will mean a staggering 150,000km ran around the paths of Hesketh Park just in parkrun alone. And we know from random visits to the park that many of you go back in the week for more training there. 4,433 different registered runners have now taken part at our event.
3 age category records were set this week even with the large turnout of runners and I think they are worthy of mention in a week when we are celebrating NHS70:
• Katherine Harris (SW20-24) 19:59
• Susan Stewart (VW70-74) 25:15
• Steve James (VM80-84) 25:51
And yet whilst we look at fast times I noticed that this week our average finish time since day 1 dropped to 29:53 (has been 29:51 recently). Yes, it's brilliant to see age category records falling, but please don't think parkrun is just for runners. The last 6 took just over the hour to get around and we hope to see them again next week and we'll all be there at the end waiting to cheer them in again. We want to see you taking part and feel free to share your stories with us when you finish!
Our 2nd anniversary saw a huge 50 first timers of which 30 were first time parkrunners and the rest first time visitors from places such as Newcastle and Australia!
Andy Dagger was the only person to enter the 50-club this week. Sorry, we were aware you were running with us but with everything going on a shout out was not given. Jean Mitchell also ventured over from Skelmersdale and joined the 100-club on her 11th run with us at Southport.
A huge thank you to Zana Ladipo and Jill Watson for providing the excellent cakes (plus an anonymous cake donation).
And lastly, as I said on the morning a huge thanks to Simon Tobin not just for his efforts as Run Director on Saturday and the preparation for the event, but for everything that he does for parkrun. He really is a huge help in the ongoing organisation of the event, a support to whoever is RD each week and a voice of reason when someone is winding me up. He's recruited many of you to our event and in doing so has hopefully avoided patients having to take a lifetime of medication and he continues to spread the word of parkrun through his activities as a Health and Wellbeing Ambassador (Volunteer) for parkrun, through helping to plan initiatives such as these celebrations and by attending health conferences to talk about how increased participation in activity can improve lifestyles.
This week 510 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 50 were first timers and 74 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 36 volunteers:
Keith LUNT • Carole WILLIAMS • Katie MAWDSLEY • Chris ATHERTON • Sarah PICKERILL • Sarah DAVIDSON • Helen HIBLE • Jayne FINCH • Janey LUNT • Robert WILLIAMS • Sharon SAUNDERS • Adrian SHANDLEY • Simon TOBIN • Matthew TOBIN • Paula TOBIN • Joseph PICKERILL • Liza SMALLMAN • Tricia TABRON • Paul HILL • Sophie HEPPLE • Eileen COCKWILL • Ed UNWIN • Lola JIMENEZ • Glenys HURST-ROBSON • Anna HEYES • Alex SMITH • Connor JAMES • Aoife LEWIS • Zana LADIPO • John HARRILD • Sophie REDFORD • Bob FAIRHURST • Freya BECKHAM • Matthew PORTER • Avyn JOHNSON
Southport parkrun started on 11th June 2016. Since then 4,432 participants have completed 29,909 parkruns covering a total distance of 149,545 km, including 6,325 new Personal Bests.