By Stephanie Hellings
Photos by Michael Ryan
The 99th parkrun at Tooting Common was a fairly muddy affair. It was the first regular event of the year and my first parkrun in several months. My attendance was part of a New Year’s resolution to get back into regular running and it would appear a few other people had the same idea.
For me, the best way to make sure that I keep up with regular exercise is to set myself some challenges to aim for. I’m not a natural runner, and although I generally enjoy it I’ve always struggled to make any improvements on time or distance. Having some events to aim for always encourages me to keep at it. Two years ago it was a summer of Cancer Research Race for Life 5k races ending with a Race for Life 40k Hike in the Peak District, and last year I stepped it up a bit by taking part in my first triathlon. Although I had that initial ‘What are you doing?!?’ moment as I walked into the Thames at Victoria Docks, I actually really enjoyed it. And the great thing about trying something new is that you always get a PB! In fact, I think I’ve got the tri bug because I followed it up with another one later in the year in the beautiful surroundings of Hever Castle, and although I found it tough pushing myself in a slightly longer distance (and up some fairly hideous hills) I still really enjoyed it. So this year my focus will be on preparing for a few more triathlons, my first being in June. Regularly turning up for parkrun is definitely going to play a big role in this so let’s see if I can keep up my New Year’s resolution and make it to every week. And let's see how many others do too.
Now on to stats. This week we had 123 people running their first ever parkrun, 188 first timers at Tooting Common and a total field of 812 people. Well done to Luke PIKETT (SM30-34, Clapham Chasers RC), Jeff CUNNINGHAM (VM35-39, Herne Hill Harriers) and Nick BESTER (SM25-29, Boksburg AC) who were the first 3 males over the line in 16:59, 17:16 and 17:23 respectively. And Alexandra MCCLELLAND (SW25-29, Warwick University AC), Lois HOLLMAN (SW20-24) and Claire COOPLAND (SW30-34, Clapham Chasers RC) were the first 3 females to finish in 21:21, 21:48 and 21:50.
Shout outs to Helen SLATER, who ran her 50th parkrun with us today, and junior runners Tobey TURL and Georgina WAIGHT, who both completed their tenth parkrun and are eligible for the white junior milestone shirt. And a very Happy Birthday to William TURVILL, whose gift to himself was finishing in 26:33 - 3 seconds off his course PB!
There were a total of 39 PBs recorded today, with the best improvement of the week going to Ava HUDSON who got round the course in an amazing 3 mins 23 seconds quicker than her last PB in June of last year. Her new PB is exactly 38 mins. Jonathan PACE also achieved his first PB since July last year, improving by 54 seconds to 23:47. Richard WILLERS and Shaun O'GARA both went sub 23 in their second Tooting parkrun of the year, improving on their Monday runs to 22:49 and 22:57 respectively. And Bruce MOXHAM recorded his fourth successive Tooting Common parkrun PB, improving this time by 2 seconds to 26:47.
Finally, a big thank you to the 30 volunteers who made the event possible: Tom BAKER, Craig BARNEY, Cecilia BOGLE, Ross BROWN, Malcolm CAMMACK, Jehan-Zeb CHESTER, Robert DUNBAR, Ian ELLWOOD, Oliver GREEN, George GUEST, Stephanie HELLINGS, Thomas JEFFERSON, Ben JONES, Cal JONES, Harriet KENNEDY, Stan LAMBERT, Simon James LEWIS, Yvette LEWIS, Paula LUESHING, Catriona MACARTHUR, Carol MCCALL, Evie NOSWORTHY, Nandor ORBAN, Michael RYAN, Mark SHOTTON, Dylan SIMPSON, Nellie PERRIN, Rosie WARD, Ken WILLIS and Rob WOODWARD.
Without volunteers the event can’t take place and the great thing is that there are several roles that allow you to still take part in the run (including writing this report). Have a look at the volunteer pages to see descriptions of the roles available and where there are gaps over the next few weeks. You can always email email@example.com if you have any questions. And if you’ve ever wondered how long it takes to sort 800 odd finishing tokens back into order, it’s about an hour and 15 minutes!
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.