So cold. So very cold. There was little consolation from the fact that we’re almost certainly going to see chillier Parkruns on the Common before the winter is out. But we might not see many as pretty. Clear blue skies, a million-watt sun and a teasing layer of mist combined to bring cheer to cold cheeks.
As did the quality of the course (“in great nick”). Relatively free of wet and with even the tricky tree-roots on the wooded back section visible above the leaf litter – for which, in part, we must be grateful to the pre-race volunteers – it’s no surprise to see 40 personal bests in field of 370.
Just one newcomer 'fessed up at the start – the stats tell us 45 first-times attended, so encourage fresh faces to be brave next week. And we had our usual smattering of visitors, from afar afield as Bradford and New Zealand.
Neither, at time of writing, could be confirmed as having arrived from those departures-points by car. But plenty of Parkrunners still drive up to the Windmill, as many from both Parkun itself and other Common users will have noticed. The traffic is getting pretty heavy of a Saturday morning, so a couple of pleas:
- If you can, please don’t drive to the Windmill. There are places to park elsewhere around the Common, and jogging to the start is a perfect way to warm-up for your 5k. (Plus, you get to skip the traffic jam!)
- If you don’t have a choice (and plenty of people don’t), we’ve had a plea that drivers make every effort to park a little closer together than has been the case recently. Obviously there needs to be room to get out, but treat the car-park as you might one in the supermarket – nice and tight.
And remember, the people marshalling the cars are Parkrun volunteers, so the more organised we can be, the easier time they’ll have of it. A freezing day like last Saturday is always a time to spare a thought for those volunteering without an energetic run to stave off the shivers – so thank you again, volunteers!
A quick reminder that the Santa charity Parkrun will be happening on Saturday 17th. As usual, we’ll be running on Saturday 24th, but then also on Christmas Day (get the turkey in first thing and pop up to invigorate yourself for the day of gluttony ahead). And there will also be a New Year’s Day run.
Simon Woodington was the weekend’s ton-up man, clocking 21:42 in his hundredth run. On her 150th Elizabeth Willatts delivered a 56.5% age grading - well done her. And we had another iteration of what seems to be a regular occurrence now: the 200th Cup passing straight from one runner to another. In this case, Charlie Snow was the holder for a few seconds before Peter Collins took it on.
Onto the results
Lucy Woolhouse clocked 21:20 to cross the line first among the women – her 29th time as fastest female. Common first-timer Aimee Hargreaves of Stoke AC was second, just six seconds behind her. Third fastest woman was Diana Keeling in 22:06. That didn’t affect the annual women’s points competition, where Liz Ostrowski is still well clear of the field on 12257 pts.
Matt Gallagher clocked 17:21 to be first over the line for the 8th time in 95 appearances. Fellow Windmiler Nick McKay finished in 18:03 and Johan Olivier came home third just four second later. Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins finished with a time of 21:17 and narrowly holds onto his lead in the men’s annual points competition – his 11975 pts is only just edging out Nick’s 11811 pts – a total that will have benefited from that strong second place this week.
Only Lucy managed an age-grading above 80% – her 83.75% is outstanding, with Richard Evans scoring an impressive 78.47% and first-home Matt getting 76.95%.
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.