I was nervous as I approached parkrun on Saturday – not only was there the ever-daunting prospect of the five kilometre run ahead, but I was also due to write the report for that week as Wimbledon Common parkrun’s first junior reporter, and inspiration was yet to strike.
I needn’t have worried, for I learnt on arrival that there would be plenty to write about. The resurgence of a hornet’s nest, which had led to several people being stung two years ago, meant that a new route had been devised in the interest of safety. Fortunately, the rangers helped out in creating a safe route, with a warning about the possibility of crossing paths with horses, and parkrun could continue as normal.
The change in venue was definitely the cause of a great deal of excitement and activity, from trekking past the windmill to find the new start line, to having to reorganise where people were standing in order to ensure that everyone began behind the start line. Despite the numerous ways in which things still could have gone wrong, even with the possibility of stings from the hornets eliminated, the event ran smoothly. It is a testament to the parkrun community, and the volunteers who rose to the challenge they were presented with, that even when a tricky situation was at hand, there was minimal disturbance to the event.
And the change in route wasn’t all bad; perhaps many felt particularly motivated that Saturday – or maybe it was just a flatter course – but the whopping 94 personal bests achieved is definitely noteworthy.
This week, the first to finish was Andrew Mitchell of Thames Valley Harriers, a first timer at Wimbledon Common parkrun, with a time of 17:31. He was followed 19 seconds later by Knut Hegvold of Hercules Wimbledon AC, who has been the first to finish on 5 occasions previously. Sean Ryan of Belgrave Harriers, was third over the line in 17:55. With regards to the women, Megan de Silva of Ranelagh Harriers came in as the fastest woman and placed 6th overall, coming in at 18:22 - she has been the first female for all of the 3 times she has run at Wimbledon Common parkrun. Marie Synnott-Wells, also of Ranelagh Harriers, was the second woman at 22nd overall with a time of 20:15, and she has been a first finisher 6 times before. 30 seconds later, Julia Donovan of Wimbledon Windmilers came in as the 3rd woman and 33rd overall, and she has come first on an impressive 17 events!
Currently in the men’s points competition, Nick McKay is first with 9575, followed by Peter Collins with 9551, and Hugh Woolhouse with 8784. Liz Ostrowski has a strong lead for the women with 10036, Jasmine Paradinas coming in second with 8539, and Danuta Grabda close behind with 8456.
The best age graded runners for the week were Knut Hegvold at 86.17%, Marie Synnott-Wells at 84.86%, and Andrew Mitchell 82.21%.
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.
Congratulations to Tristan Gessell on completing his 10th parkrun, Adam Carey on his 50th, and Lisa Margaret Thomas on her 250th – a staggering number of runs!
Thank you to this week’s volunteers, Bob Walsh, Carmen Gessell, Catherine Wilson, Charles Lawrie, Christopher Cull, David Hall, Edward Nelson, Graham White, Isabel Nelson, Jessica Searle, Jo Manley, Kylie Corso, Libby Hipkins, Matt Earl, Megan Hipkins, Nicola Battey, Nicola El Kadiri, Nina Van Gessel, Pete Mulholland, Philip Tosh, Richard Mellor, Sandy Pfeifer, Soo Yau, Sophie Toomey, Stephen Willerton, Steven Cull and Thomas Greenwood.
Writer: Jessica Searle
Photographer: Bob Walsh