Second to none
If anyone has managed to personify Wimbledon Common parkrun when the going is squelchy, it's Alex Berry. Running at our parkrun for the first time, Alex took a dive in the mud, sprung back on his feet, and still finished in 18:50, just four seconds behind the first-placed man. At the finish his previously pristine yellow shirt, and most of his kit, was liberally covered in mud, but he was beaming from ear to ear as he emerged from the funnel. Clearly this was a man who'd enjoyed his run on the Common!
A spotless Alex Berry, above, ready for the off
Muddied but unbowed, Alex at the finish
Muddy waters: leading men; Peter keeping his gloves clean; Geraldine, 6th lady
Mud, what mud?
This week's top three speedy heroes and heroines are: James Butler (VM35-39) 18:46, Alex Berry (SM 25-29) Ful-On Tri 18:50, Adam Harwood (SM30-34) Hercules Wimbledon AC 19:06, Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54) 21:54, Amelia Ashton-Jones (VW35-39) 22:35, Isabella Busa (JW15-17) Kingston AC and Polytechnic Harriers 22:50
In the percentage game this week first lady home Lucy Woolhouse almost nudged 80 with a rating of 79.53, Dieter Schlegel achieved 77.21 and eighth-placed man Richard Evans 73.74.
Amazingly there were 15 PBs so well done all of you, especially two more-seasoned parkrunners: Alison Good, with a time of 25:48 after 48 runs and Chris Sinfield, 28:16 after 117 runs. All Chris's parkruns have been at Wimbledon Common - another man who doesn't mind the mud. Congratulations to landmark achievers Hugh Lenon on completing 100 parkruns and David Hall on reaching 150.
Brighter forecasts coming
As Charles mentioned from the bench, we've some new scribes joining our small but enthusiastic report-writing team. Hopefully, as one of my fellow scribblers sagely suggested, this should give us more time to flex our creativity. I shall endeavour to exercise my originality, as well as my legs and lungs, and write about something other than the weather. In the meantime, it wasn't half muddy again! I started parkrun, and running of any kind, in February 2008 and looking back over the first five years or so, I swear it never rained on a Saturday morning. Then it seemed to rain every time we assembled at the bench. Now the norm appears to be a good downpour on Friday so we have a dry run with plenty of mud underfoot come Saturday. Volunteering at the funnel, watching all the runners finish, I've noticed a definite correlation between how muddy and wet it is, and how many happy faces there are. Maybe the wet conditions take away the pressure of trying to achieve a good time, or perhaps we just like it that way! Anyway, the crocuses are poking their heads above the ground so there may be faster, dryer running ahead.
Facts and Figures
Men's placings: James BUTLER (VM35-39) (Unattached) was first over the line in 18:46 - first time in 3 appearances. Alex BERRY (SM25-29) of Ful-On Tri, was second over the line in 18:50. Adam HARWOOD (SM30-34) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was third over the line in 19:06 - was first to finish once before. Current standing in the Men's annual points competition: Robin HUTCHINSON (Wimbledon Windmilers) 2267 pts. Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS (Wimbledon Windmilers) 2197 pts. Andrew LENON (Unattached) 2196 pts. Women's placings: Lucy WOOLHOUSE (VW50-54) (Unattached) was first (23rd overall) over the line in 21:54 - 25th time in 193 appearances. Amelia ASHTON-JONES (VW35-39) (Unattached) was second (33rd overall) over the line in 22:35. Isabella BUSA (JW15-17) of Kingston AC and Polytechnic Harriers, was third (37th overall) over the line in 22:50. Current standing in the Women's annual points competition: Lucy WOOLHOUSE (Unattached) 2390 pts. Sarah GOODWIN (Wimbledon Windmilers) 2361 pts. Nicola EL KADIRI (Unattached) 2112 pts. The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores: Lucy WOOLHOUSE (VW50-54) was graded 79.53% for the time 21:54 (23rd overall). Dieter SCHLEGEL (VM60-64) was graded 77.21% for the time 20:46 (11th overall). Richard EVANS (VM50-54) was graded 73.74% for the time 20:30 (8th overall). This week there were 252 runners, of whom 30 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different athletics clubs took part. Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 11,882 different runners, including participants from 504 athletics clubs, have completed 86,005 runs covering a total distance of 430,025 km, and there have been 15,319 new Personal Bests. The women's record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:16:33 on 2012-03-17 (event number 271). The men's record is held by Chris PARR who ran in a time of 00:15:04 on 2011-04-23 (event number 224). The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded a 92.99% run (21:24) on 29th January 2011 (event number 212). Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.