This week it’s all about me (and John)
A slightly self-indulgent headline perhaps, but this week was a little bit special as John Carter and I did the double double - both running our 200th parkrun. It was my 197th on Wimbledon Common and John’s 179th. John is obviously a bigger parkrun floozie than I am, having run at 21 different parkruns. However, he keeps returning to Wimbledon Common, even after falling badly in the mud earlier this year and being whisked away to St George’s in an ambulance. So it was special for both of us to reach this momentous milestone on the Common, surrounded by friends and family.
There were balloons, there were trophies, there were congratulations, there was cake, so it really did feel like it was all about me (and John). And, not swaying me in any way, a fellow parkrunner said he would pay me to write this headline. Thanks Phil - if you could bring the cash next weekend that would be great.
But it also got me thinking. There has been a lot of talk recently, with parkrun celebrating its 10th anniversary, of the huge global community parkrun has become. But while there may be thousands of us taking part every Saturday, parkrun can be a very personal thing. Whether you’re running for the first time or the 200th, aiming for a PB, volunteering, taking some all-important ‘me time’ at the end of a hectic week or simply enjoying the experience of running through the woods with a friendly bunch of mud-spattered individuals, everyone has their own personal parkrun story. Each event really is all about me, and you, and that bloke with the dog/buggy that you try to beat every week.
Let’s talk about stats
An unknown runner was first. Do you know the man in blue below? Nick Gould (SM30-34; pictured, centre) of Thames Hare & Hounds, was second over the line in 17:12. Nick has been first to finish on nine previous occasions. Matthew Dove (SM30-34; unattached; pictured, right) claimed the third place on the podium, with a time of 17:24.
Charles Hampden-Smith (Hercules Wimbledon AC) currently leads the way in the Men's annual points competition, with 10954 points. Not far behind are Joe Busa (unattached) with 10614 points and Nick McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers) with 10373 points.
It was the usual suspects in the Women's placings. Lisa Thomas (VW45-49; pictured, left - a small photo, but I think we all know what Lisa looks like by now) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first (21st overall) over the line in 19:42; Lisa’s 29th win in 166 appearances. On her 50th run, Samantha Pickford (VW35-39) of Wimbledon Windmilers triumphed in the battle for second place (22nd overall) in 19:57, followed just one second later by Ruth Wallace (SW30-34) of Thames Hare & Hounds (23rd overall) - so close they shared the same photo (below, right). Sam and Ruth are no strangers to the top spot, having been first to finish on 4 and 22 previous occasions, respectively.
In the Women's annual points competition, Lisa Thomas leads with 11052 points, followed by Lucy Woolhouse (unattached) with 10755 points and Natasha Hampden-Smith (Merton mini-marathon trial) with 9084 points.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
- Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54) was graded 84.27% for the time 20:40 (38th overall).
- Lisa Thomas (VW45-49) was graded 84.09% for the time 19:42 (21st overall).
- Peter J Collins (VM40-44) was graded 78.91% for the time 17:42 (4th overall).
This week there were 288 runners, of whom 27 were first timers and 46 recorded new Personal Bests. Of note, Steve Shaw recorded a new PB on his 118th parkrun on Wimbledon Common with a time of 21:57. This is 10 seconds off his previous best set just over a year ago. Christine McNeill earned herself a new PB and a coveted red t-shirt on her 50th run with a time of 26:23. And finishing just behind me, Nicole Nicklas took a whopping 5 minutes and 40 seconds off her previous best. This was only Nicole’s second parkrun, so who knows how fast she’ll go next week.
This week’s event produced a veritable glut of milestone runs. Young runners Yasmin Howe and Eleanor Williams (both JW11-14) and Karlis Pauzers (JM15-17) ran their tenth parkruns - look out for your 10-club t-shirts on the washing line soon. Finn Snow, Samantha Pickford and Christine McNeill celebrated their 50th runs, while Jason McIntyre ran his 100th. No t-shirts for 150 runs, but I hope Peter J Collins and Simon Bodle helped themselves to an extra-large slice of cake to celebrate their achievements. And did I mention that John Carter and I ran our 200th parkruns?
10-club t-shirts have arrived for the Searle clan (Jessica, Rebecca and Robbie) and 100-club t-shirts for Stephen Johnson, Anthony Eastaway, Matthew Ineson and Tessa Lovell are also ready to collect. You can collect your t-shirt from the washing line next Saturday or, if you would like it presented to you, give it to Charles before the event.
And finally ...
The more cultured among you will know that Saturday was also St Crispin’s Day and the 599th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. We didn’t have any Crispins running this weekend, but it seems appropriate to mark the occasion with a take on the famous St Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V, Wimbledonised by Colin ‘352 parkruns’ Harris:
From this day to the ending of the week,
But we in it shall be remembered -
We few, we happy few, we band of parkrunners;
For they that run through mud with me
Shall be my brother and sister; be they ne’er so dirty,
This day shall improve their condition;
And idlers in Wimbledon now-a-bed
Shall think themselves grateful they were not here,
And hug their duvets tight while any speaks
That parkran with us upon Saint Crispin’s Day.
Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 11,286 different runners, including participants from 485 athletics clubs, have completed 80,839 runs covering a total distance of 404,195 km, and there have been 14,933 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.