And they're off!
The runners were chomping at the bit, the going was good, Sue yelled ‘go’, and the good got going. While those at the rear of the field set off at a measured trot, the front runners took off at a mighty gallop. Hot favourite Steven Bayton, a promising 25-29 yearling wearing the distinctive light-green racing colours of the Sheffield University AC stable, was first past the post in a time of 16.23 in his first appearance at this classic event - coincidentally held on the same day as that other well-known race at Aintree.
There was jockeying for position throughout the field but as the leading trio sped past the nine-furlong tree approaching the finish, Steven Bayton, Neil Riley and Tom Conlon were separated by a few lengths, but behind them the dust was being well and truly kicked up. Nick McKay was holding on to fourth by a short head from Milan Misak and Peter Justin Collins. However, there was no stopping Peter as he galloped through at full speed to be ahead of Nick by three seconds at the horse trough. (OK that’s enough equestrian allusions, just to add that legendary trainer P. Mulholland fielded five Hercules’ fillies, including the first two home.)
Pre-race announcements from the bench included this month’s Sweatshop prize awarded to a popular and well-deserved winner Jayne Pooley following nearly five years of running and volunteering at Wimbledon – well done, Jayne!
In the café conversation turned to the important issues of the day: why Barney’s dinosaur has only three legs, would Mr Moonshine win the National (no) and would Hamilton beat Rosberg (yes). Then we got talking about who’s doing the London Marathon, and training injuries; the most serious turned out to be a fall down the stairs by a lady Windmiler who is now off games thanks to a haematoma in her glutes - ouch! Moral: do plenty of running, live in a bungalow.
Our parkrun stats are normally buried down among the small print but it’s worth reflecting on the wonder that is Saturday mornings on Wimbledon Common. We were the second event to be established after Bushy Park, on 6th January 2007. Since then, over 10,000 different runners, including those from 440 athletics clubs, have completed 71,521 runs, a total distance of 357,605 km, and 13,468 new PBs.
And he's off... Bon voyage, Richard Evans
You can follow Richard’s cycle around the world on his blog @ laidbackaroundtheworld.blogspot.co.uk
Runners, riders and records
This week’s top podiums: Steven Bayton (SM25-29) of Sheffield University Cross Country & AC was first over the line in 16:23 in his first appearance. A previous winner Neil Riley (SM25-29) (unattached) was second in 16:49, and Tom Conlon (VM50-54) of Herne Hill Harriers was third in 17:43. Both Neil and Tom recorded PBs. Lisa Margaret Thomas (VW45-49) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first lady (28th overall) in 19:45, Gina Galbraith (VW35-39) of Hercules Wimbledon AC was second (37th overall) in 20:10 and Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54) (unattached) was third (38th overall) in 20:13. Congratulations to Lisa on her fourth PB in six weeks.
This week’s best age grading: Tom Conlon 85.32%, Lucy Woolhouse 85.00%, Lisa Margaret Thomas 83.88%.
This week’s age category winners: George Roberts (JM10), Martha Davidson (JW10), Benjamin Sumrie (JM11-14), Scarlett Walker (JW11-14), Rory Fraser (JM15-17), Natasha Hampden-Smith (JW15-17), James Ball (SM18-19), Steven Bayton (SM20-24), Emily Eastland (SW20-24), Neil Riley (SM25-29), Stephanie Simpson (SW25-29), Andrew Clare (SM30-34), Eimear Toomey (SW30-34), Nick McKay (SM35-39), Gina Galbraith (SW35-39), Peter Justin Collins (VM40-44), Susan Hutchinson (VW40-44), Seamus Tucker (VM45-49), Lisa Margaret Thomas (VW45-49), Tom Conlon (VM50-54), Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-55), James Wallace (VM55-59), Anne Walker (VW55-59), Charles Lawrie (VM60-64), Tessa Kelly (VW60-64), Gary Anthony Lloyd (VM65-69), Francesca Carter (VW65-69) Colin Price (VM70-74)
Current standing in the annual points competition:
Charles Hampden-Smith (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 3950
Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins (Wimbledon Windmilers) 3896
Nick McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers) 3865
Lisa Margaret Thomas (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 3893
Lucy Woolhouse (unattached) 3886
Nicola El Kadiri (unattached) 3794
Wimbledon Common parkrun course records
Fastest time: Chris Parr 15:04 (event 224 on 23.4.11)
Fastest lady: Justina Heslop 16:33 (event 271 on 17.3.12)
Highest age grade: Jane Davies 92.99% with a time of 21:24 (event 212 on 29.1.11)
Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.