It’s not quite spring. Not quite. The trees are still largely bare, the skies are grey. But for Wimbledon Common Parkrun 535, the tracks were firming underfoot and the temperatures rising. Like the first cuckoo, it’s a sure sign the seasons are turning when runners strip off their outer layer at the end of their first lap – the small pile of running jackets, caps and gloves a reminder that the tree buds can’t be far behind.
Not everyone means to leave their gear behind – and not everyone gets it back, either. So if you’ve lost a Garmin watch or a pair of green spectacles recently, do let the run director this week know. We can’t guarantee lost property will be a regular feature of the event reports, but we can surmise both those items might be important to their owners!
A quick word on volunteers. We had a round 400 runners this week, but the full complement of helpers to make Parkrun happen runs to more than 20. (Thanks to this week’s crop: Robert Beeby, Simon Bodle, Eileen Brandley, Francesca Carter, Jaspal Dhalley, Nicola El Kadiri, Peter Charles Gay, Jayne Hurrell, Robert Johnson, Charles Lawrie, Stephen Macnamara, Jo Manley, Sandy Pfeifer, Sarah Robbins, Mark Philip William Robson, John Sabourin, Matthew Salisbury, John Sasportas, Benjamin Toomer, Philip Tosh, Graham Trainor, Stephen Willerton and Richard Young.)
So do get along to the volunteer page on the Parkrun website and get involved. http://www.parkrun.org.uk/wimbledon/volunteer/ Parkrun needs you!
Speaking of volunteering, Jas and Emma are organising a visually impaired running workshop on 15th March at 7pm at the Graveney School in Welham Road, Tooting, SW17 9BU. It’s a real inspirations to see VI runners at Wimbledon Common Parkrun, but supporting them isn’t as simple as just attaching an arm tether. But after their workshop, you’ll not only be able to partner VI Parkrunners, you’ll be qualified to help at any UK athletics event. If you're interested, make yourself known to the guys before the next Parkrun for more details.
One more public service announcement: the queues for the Windmill car park continue to be pretty severe, so considerate use of cars, car-sharing, biking and warm-up jogging to Parkrun is much recommended. But there has been an extensive outbreak of double-yellow lines on Westside Common and West Place – plus new paid parking bays on The Causeway. So drivers hoping to park up and do a 1km warm-up through the woods, beware.
Four 50 milestones this week: Graham Parkin and Louise Robinson got the call from race director Jaspal Dhalley, but happy to report Giles Fallowfield and Andy Allan also notched the half-century.
According to the database, we had 62 were first timers last weekend, and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. (Can you *not* record a PB on your first time?) Benjamin Toomer of Hercules Wimbledon AC was first over the line in 16:15. That’s his 24th fastest finisher in 27 appearances. Blair Laird crossed second in 17:21 and Richard Copp came in six seconds later.
Tara Bage of Brighton Phoenix clocked 20:05 – she’s two-for-two on fastest female. Lucy Woolhouse (second lady home in 21:12) is somewhat more seasoned, having been first to finish on 32 previous occasions. Lisa Margaret Thomas of Hercules Wimbledon AC is even more experienced, with 48 firsts under her belt, but recorded 21:40 for third finisher this week.
Matt Gallagher (Wimbledon Windmilers) retains top spot in the men’s annual point competition, clear on 2051 pts. Lucy has 2095 pts. In the female placings, so her sold time keeps her clear of Liz Ostrowski on 1946 pts.
Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 16,202 different runners, including participants from 695 athletics clubs, have completed 124,003 runs covering a total distance of 620,015 km, and there have been 20,715 new Personal Bests.
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page. http://www.parkrun.org.uk/wimbledon/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=535