Wedding or parkrun? No choice at all...
Thanks to the wonder that is the internet, we can discover the amazing things that happened on any given day in history. On 16 July in the year 622, for example, the Islamic calendar began. On the same day in 1377, Richard II was crowned king of England. In 1790, that auspicious date saw the District of Columbia established as the capital of the US of A. On 16 July 1935, Oklahoma City put in place the first parking meter (and presumably the first parking warden was sworn at). More ominously, on the same date in 1945, the first test of a nuclear weapon took place at Alamogordo, New Mexico. More happily, in 1951, JD Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye was published on that day (if you haven't read it, please do); and on 16 July 1969, the Apollo 11 was launched, carrying Neil Armstrong, ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins. Coming right up to date, on 16 July 2016, Wimbledon Common parkrun number 502 took place, but my lovely niece, Ruth, was married at the Great Barn in Ruislip at 11.30am – and, despite my most persuasive arguments, it was decided that I couldn’t attend both events. So, for the second time, I’m writing a report on a parkrun I neither ran in nor attended.
I’m reliably informed it was still a little muddy, but not too bad, and it’s a certainty that the weather was as warm as it turned out to be in the further reaches of north-west London. Apologies for the lack of pictures on this first draft: a little access problem with flickr...
Benjamin beats an Earl...
Down to the business. Benjamin Toomer (SM25-29) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first over the line in 16:45, his 19th time in 21 appearances. The unattached Jonny Earl (SM30-34) came in an aristocratic second in 17:23 – Jonny has been first to finish five times. And third was Peter Justin Collins (VM45-49) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, in 17:48 – my namesake has been first to finish twice.
In the men’s annual points competition, Nick McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers) has established a daunting lead on 7,737 points. Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins (Wimbledon Windmilers) slips back slightly on 7,417 points. And Charlie Snow (unattached) sits on the final podium spot on 6,824 points.
...but Prince comes out on top
As for the women, more titles: Rebecca Prince (SW30-34) of Wimbledon Windmilers, was first (18th overall) in 20:06 – her second first place in two appearances. Gina Galbraith (VW40-44) of Hercules Wimbledon AC was second (22nd overall) in 20:30 – Gina has been first to finish on 11 previous occasions. And Laura York (SW25-29) (unattached) was third (38th overall) in 21:42. Laura has been first to finish twice.
In the women’s annual points competition, Liz Ostrowski (unattached) is pulling away on 7,851 points, Nicola El Kadiri (unattached) is second on 6,717, and Natalie Fell (unattached) lies third on 6,637 points.
The best age-graders this week were: Peter Justin Collins (VM45-49) on 79.68% for the time 17:48 (third overall), Volker Vogler (VM50-54) on 77.77% for the time 18:58 (9th overall) and Benjamin Toomer (SM25-29) on 77.01% for the time 16:45 (first overall).
There appeared to be just the one landmark run this week: well done to Warwick Wagner, who has been composed enough to earn his ten-run t-shirt for youngsters. Pure Rheingold! For future reference, Colin Harris is poised on 445, Charles Lawrie on 399, Nick McKay on 346, and Annette Barrett and Nico Delaney both on 99.
Florence England scored a PB at Wimbledon Common of 24:33, her first sub-25-minute run here, in her 60th appearance – her fifth PB in her last 13 runs at Wimbledon (she spreads her favours between the common and Bushy Park, where she’s run under 24 minutes). Chris Harper has had a rush of PBs this year, four in his last eight appearances, now standing at 21:27. And young Gabriel Durand has beaten his PB four times in the past six, to now post 22:59.
Thanks again to all our wonderful volunteers. If you haven't volunteered, please do. Bring your copy of Catcher in the Rye to pass the time.
This week there were 365 runners, of whom 45 were first timers and 42 recorded new personal bests. Representatives of 20 different athletics clubs took part. Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6 January 2007, and since then 14,804 different runners, including participants from 639 athletics clubs, have completed 111,912 runs covering a total distance of 559,560 km, and there have been 19,069 new personal bests.
The female record is held by Justina Heslop, who ran in a time of 16:33 on 17 March 2012 (event number 271). The male record is held by Chris Parr, who ran in a time of 15:04 on 23 April 2011 (event number 224). The age grade course record is held by Jane Davies, who recorded 92.99% (21:24) on 29 January 2011 (event number 212).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun results page.
Peter AF Collins