A view from the back!

A View from the Back

This week I volunteered as tail walker, a role in which you get to see virtually the entire field run past you along Black Bear Park, with the added bonus of getting both a run credit and a volunteering credit. The weather forecast had been awful but, although we all got wet, fortunately it wasn’t as bad as had been expected. Sadly, on the day, we “lost” 2 runners as they somehow managed to go the wrong way. One of them did manage to complete the course 6 minutes after the tail runner (me!) and my thanks go to Rick Butterfield who rescued the other lost runner from permanent oblivion. They were both first timers, our apologies to you both, please don’t take it personally and come back and join us again.
Huw was run director today and as always invited the runners to thank the volunteers and then for all of us to welcome the first timers and tourists. The tourists came from all parts of the north west including Birkenhead and Ormskirk and from further afield, Wycombe and Southampton. However, they were all outdone by the gentleman returning to us again from Tokyo where it is hoped that the first Japanese parkrun will be up and running soon.
We were again well supported by the local running clubs with 15 runners from Victoria Park Running Club being the highest but closely followed by Lymm Runners (14) and Warrington Running Club (13). A big thank you to all the local clubs for their continued support for Warrington Parkrun.

Results – Warrington Parkrun 252
1st Martin Thomerson 19.09 (1st first place finish)
2nd Paul Deeran 19.33
3rd Luke Welburn 19.33
1st Jenny Evans 19.53 (4th overall) - (first run at Warrington)
2nd Louise Blizzard 20.08 (7th overall)
3rd Jenny Randall 23.05 (38th overall)
There were only 283 runners (because of the weather!) of whom 153 were male, 117 female and 13 unknowns. There were 28 first timers of whom 23 were running their first ever parkrun. 37 of you achieved new personal bests, a great effort, well done everybody, considering the conditions. A special mention for Jackie Copeland of Victoria Park Running Club who in her first ever parkrun achieved the best age grade %, 82.47%, well done. 6 youngsters (1 boy and 5 girls) ran in the 10 and under age group, whilst 5 men in the 70-74 age group were our most senior runners.
Milestones today were achieved by Naomi Wilson and Phil Belton – 100 parkruns with 50 for Jonathan Hindley. Milestones were also achieved last week by Stephen Read, Matt Deeran and Andrew Pemberton – 100 parkruns and by Sophia Spencer, Aidan Cronin and Pauline Redfearn – 50 parkruns and by juniors, Charlotte Woods and Joe Collins – 10 parkruns. Pleasing times were achieved this week by Iain H – 22.22, Simon Humphreys-Jones – 23.23, Brasco Bear – 25.25, Andy Turnbull – 37.37 and Jaskaran Umamakeswaran – 59.59.
Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington parkrun Results Page.


Warrington 250!

Happy 250 Day – Lots of CAKE

Despite all the noise, hype and publicity, we sadly just failed to achieve a new attendance record for Warrington’s parkrun, falling tantalisingly 12 short of the record of 539 set in January this year. However, at 527 we exceeded 500 for only the second ever time. On the day, there was plenty of noise, colour, balloons, banter and CAKE!!!
It is wholly appropriate on this milestone occasion to express our immense thanks to Tony Carroll, Huw Jones and Cal Bardi who have spearheaded the work that has to be done to continually run this event every Saturday, as well as, of course, the many runners and non-runners who volunteer each week.
The formalities took a little longer than usual, although I heard none of it from my marshalling position near to three-way corner. No doubt the volunteers were thanked, the first timers welcomed and encouraged and the tourists cheered. Our numbers were helped by several Widnes runners, their parkrun was cancelled this week, and others from various parts of the UK, and also Warren Brown from Springs near Johannesburg in South Africa.
Looking forward, we will be celebrating our 5th birthday on Saturday 26 January 2019 and should reach 500 parkruns somewhere around May 2023.

Results – Warrington Parkrun 250
1st Paul Bagan 17.19 (3rd first place finish)
2nd Lee Hughes 17.25 (best age group % - 80.19%)
3rd Colin Thompson 17.26
1st Daisy Pickles 19.59 (19th overall) - (first run at Warrington)
2nd Louise Blizzard 20.09 (22nd overall)
3rd Bobbie Lomax 20.38 (29th overall)
There were 527 runners of whom 277 were male, 237 female and 13 unknowns. There were 53 first timers of whom 23 were parkrun virgins. A colossal 142 of you achieved new personal bests, well done everybody. 19 youngsters (8 boys and 11 girls) ran in the 10 and under age group, whilst Sylvia Hodgkinson in the 75-79 age group achieved a number of firsts, it was her first ever parkrun, she was Warrington’s first ever runner in the VW 75-79 category thereby setting the age group record and she was today’s most senior athlete.
Milestones today were achieved by Ken Connor – 100 parkruns with 50 for Rebecca Quinn, Christine Beeton, Tim Marshall, Andrew Stokes and Jonathan Hock. Jason Sage completed his 150th parkrun. Milestones were also recently achieved by Ken Hughes, Jackie Roach, Catherine Walshe and Cliff Puttock – 100 parkruns and by Debbie Rex, John Nuttall, Michael Appleby and Mark Checkley – 50 parkruns.

Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington parkrun Results Page.


Event 247

What Sort of Parkrunner are You?

Last week a parkrun blog suggested that parkrunners can be categorised. They had 8 suggested categories – stats guru, tourist, PB streaker, milestone monster, parkdog, hi-viz a-lister, buggy runner and social butterfly, I’m sure there could be many more. You can read this blog by going to the link on Warrington Parkrun’s Facebook page, then let us know which category you belong to. We will run a straw poll on which category has the most. I think I am a stats guru with a bit of milestone monster thrown in!!!
Also on the Facebook page, you can find Tony and Gill’s photographs of this week’s run as well as a link to an interesting article from the Independent about parkrun’s role in upholding traditional sporting activity compared to top level sport which is now totally driven by money and big business.
This week saw 423 of us set off in the rain, a sure sign that perhaps summer is well and truly over, although we can’t complain because we have had a great run. The volunteers were applauded as always and first timers and tourists all welcomed. Tourists from Widnes, Ramsbottom and Nottingham but no visitors from exotic overseas locations this week.
Don’t forget run number 250 on 29th September, a day to be celebrated in every possible way
Results – Warrington Parkrun 246
1st Chris Stanford 16.47 (also best age group % - 80.73%) – (33rd first place finish)
2nd David Twigg 17.02 (first run at Warrington)
3rd Dylan Squires 17.52
1st Louise Blizzard 19.58 (16th overall) - (94th first place finish)
2nd Laura Dean 22.35 (54th overall)
3rd Libby Marchant 22.46 (57th overall) – (first run at Warrington)
There were 423 runners of whom 222 were male, 187 female and 14 unknowns. There were 43 first timers of whom 19 were completing their first ever parkrun. 73 of you achieved new personal bests, well done to all of you and 9 youngsters (4 boys and 5 girls) ran in the 10 and under age group. One of the boys was Lewis Corbett who earned his junior 10 tee shirt and in an aesthetically pleasing time of 26.26. We also welcomed back Roger Pidcock in the 75-79 age group after a few weeks absence as our most senior runner.
Milestones today include Dave Beesley – 100 parkruns (89 at Warrington) - great cake – picture on Facebook but no bake off contender, Scott McCue and Geoff Hand – 50 parkruns and Bob Nickson -150 parkruns. Well done all of you. Other pleasing times were achieved by Robin Squires 24.24, Ross Wilson 27.27, John Franks 28.28, Martin Raffel 29.29, Jade Carter 34.34, Giles Lewis 37.37 and Claire Stanley 40.40.
Next weekend is EHM weekend. So good luck to everyone taking part in any of the events.

Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington parkrun Results Page.


Event 246

Start of Autumn?

Is it autumn or is it still summer? According to the Met Office, autumn starts on 1st September but traditionally the autumn equinox is not until 21st September. The weather today suggested that it was still summer as race director Huw welcomed 417 runners in perfect parkrun conditions (see the number of PBs), warm with only a gentle breeze.
We thanked all our volunteers and Huw indicated that we could be short of volunteer numbers during September so anyone who can volunteer would be most welcome. We welcomed all the first timers and then engaged in a little tourism one-upmanship. Firstly, there was Judith Barnes from Birkenhead, aced by Chris Kearney and Olive Kearney (JW10 age group) from Southend, trumped by Emily Mackenzie from Portsmouth but then overtrumped by someone from Auckland, New Zealand. Unfortunately, I cannot identify this person from the results but if anyone does know who it is please let me know so I can give them proper recognition next week.
As Huw also mentioned, we reach parkrun number 250 on Saturday 29 September, something to celebrate with perhaps a bumper turnout of runners but certainly some special celebrations. So watch this space and listen out at future parkrun welcome briefings.
Over 10,000 different runners (10,244 to be exact) have participated in Warrington parkrun to date, so it is not surprising that many of us are achieving the parkrun milestones and it is certainly likely that we will have a lot of celebrations in the next few weeks (particularly those achieving 100 parkruns).
Thanks to Gill Black for this week’s photographs now adorning facebook and probably other social media sites of which I am oblivious. She did capture Andy Smith running with his birthday balloon, happy birthday Andy. Also to the gentleman giving a fireman’s lift to another runner, was this all the way round or just for the benefit of the cameras!!! Finally every good wish to Gemma Littlefair who was still marshalling at 39 weeks pregnant, a sterling effort. Hope everything goes ok for your September baby.

Results – Warrington Parkrun 246
1st Chris Stanford 16.45 (also best age group % - 80.30%) – (32nd first place finish)
2nd Jonathan Smith 17.02
3rd Lee Hughes 18.07
1st Louise Blizzard 19.52 (12th overall) - (93rd first place finish)
2nd Amy Nuttall 20.36 (23rd overall)
3rd Bobbie Lomax 20.49 (28th overall)
There were 417 runners of whom 217 were male, 190 female and 10 unknowns. There were 59 first timers of which 38 were parkrun virgins. Many of these were graduating from Victoria Park Running Club’s latest Couch to 5K (CT5K) course, so congratulations to them and well done to all the club members who were involved in managing the 10 week course. A whopping 83 of you achieved new personal bests and 10 youngsters (7 boys and 3 girls) ran in the 10 and under age group and 3 men in the 70-74 age group.

Milestones today include Victoria Cameron – 100 parkruns (99 at Warrington) and Alastair Dermit and Steven Jamison – 50 parkruns. Aesthetically pleasing times were achieved by David Mayes 21.21, Carl Harding 26.26 and Shuk Wah Lee, Simon Hackett and Laura Mottram all 27.27. We also welcomed parkrun tourist, Colin Goulding, a first timer at Warrington but completing his 260th run but we were his 242nd different venue!

Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington parkrun Results Page.


Richard Kirkin’s 100th parkrun!

Hi, I’m Richard Kirkin and on Saturday I reached 100, no not years but parkruns completed. I first became aware of parkrun in August 2015 when my wife and I came to Victoria Park to support our son James (Jim to everyone else), who was doing a fancy-dress charity run dressed as Superted. As someone who had run successfully at various times during my lifetime, I said to myself that I can do this, such that in September at the age of 68, I was a first timer and thereafter I was hooked. Of my 100 runs in just under 3 years, 91 have been at Warrington, 7 at Maidstone and Malling near where my daughter and grandchildren live, 1 at Delamere earlier this year when Warrington was cancelled because of the concert in the park and 1 earlier run at Knysna whilst on holiday in South Africa. My main impression of parkrun is that anyone can do it, no matter how old or how fast or slow they are and that you will be welcomed at parkrun anywhere in the world.

Notably, also on Saturday, Cal Bardi was completing her 200th parkrun as a volunteer, a tremendous effort and something every runner should be most grateful of. Well done Cal. In fact, over the three years, I have also felt that it was a duty to be a volunteer from time to time to give back support, especially to race directors Cal, Huw Jones and Tony Carroll and the many other regular volunteers (but non-runners) without whom parkrun could not take place. In fact, I would implore all of you who run regularly to volunteer say twice a year. Even if you are injured and can’t run, you can still be part of the event by volunteering. My favourite volunteering role is as tail walker with the opportunity to support and encourage the slowest on the day, someone who quite likely is a first timer and a bit unsure of what parkrun is all about.

It is my intention to try and produce a news item on a reasonably regularly basis but to do this I need information and you can all help by providing me with suitable material, funny or otherwise. Please contact me on r.kirkin@ntlworld.com

This week, we had a rather wet parkrun, certainly the conditions were the worst I had experienced since April. However, before looking at the results for this week, I would like to applaud Andrew Pemberton, who last week completed his 200th Warrington Parkrun (out of 204 in total), in what was Warrington Parkrun 244. That gives him an 82% attendance record and he is of course the first person to achieve this. Well done Andrew.

Results – Warrington Parkrun 245
1st  Mat Rushbrook  17.49  (also best age group % - 77.74%) – (5th first place finish)
2nd Ben Webb  17.51
3rd Lee Hughes  18.28
1st Louise Blizzard 20.18 (9th overall) -  (92nd first place finish)
2nd Alice Nicholson 23.01 (45th overall)
3rd Charlotte Brennan 23.04 (46th overall)
There were 280 runners, a reduced number because of the weather, bank holiday and Warrington at Wembley. There were 31 first timers of which 14 were doing their first ever parkrun. We also welcomed Sally Hibbert who was a tourist all the way from Sydney, Australia. 47 of you achieved new personal bests and from one extreme to the other, 7 youngsters (all boys) ran in the 10 and under category and 4 of us (all men including myself) ran in the 70-74 category. Sadly, there were also 19 unknowns who did not have their barcodes with them, a gentle reminder to all not to forget it but if you do, run by all means but please do not cross the finish line.

Milestones achieved today include Michael McCarthy – 350 parkruns and Richard Kirkin – 100 parkruns. An aesthetically pleasing time of 27.27 was achieved by Victoria Cameron (in her 99th parkrun – 100 next week?).

Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington parkrun Results Page.

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