He is Stepping Down But He Is Not Peter-ing Out
Meet the man behind the lens – Peter Brunnen will sadly be standing down as our lead photographer. Peter has been kind enough to contribute to this weeks report, his words, his thoughts...
My love affair with Wimbledon Parkrun started on my birthday 18th October 2008, almost 22 months after it all started with attendances in the 10’s and not the 400 or so we have now. Although I found it impossible to run having had a replacement knee that went badly wrong, I was so impressed with what was happening that I thought my photographic skills, honed since the age of 7, could play a useful part. In the early days most of the photography was done by just Yuzo and me. We had to upload photos onto the parkrun server. Oh how things have changed. Parkrun got bigger and bigger and we fast ran out of server space and photography was hived off to flicker in 2011. Since then we have developed a brilliant team of photographers who between us all have covered every single weekly and special runs. Every event since the inception of Wimbledon parkrun has been photographed and one of my projects with all my ‘new found’ spare time will be to archive this onto something that would be accessible to all. We are talking about ½ million photos!
I have seen many changes and many magic moments. Cold wintery days with our fingers almost frozen and stuck to the shutter button and hot sunny days where we all sweltered and for once the photographer coming off best as we could shelter in the cool of the trees with our long range lenses.
There have been many milestones and so many firsts that it is almost impossible to pick out the best from the past 7 years. So to keep this within ‘living memory’ I have a few to share.
In September 2012 Sophie Hoskin our very own Olympic Gold medallist came to show off her medal.
Of course many wanted to have their photo taken with Sophie and ‘The Medal’ and that of course included me and my Dog Carlos who many of you may remember.
The photo of the 3 of us is one of my most favourite memories of the event and of my little boy, although some may not think he was so little. I like the way he is looking up at Sophie with such pride and wearing her medal…is this the only dog that got to wearing an Olympic Gold Medal? Perhaps this is another first for Wimbledon parkrun? On the subject of dogs, it is great to see that many now bring their Best Pals along to share in this unique event that is parkrun.
Other notable events for me were our first unofficial Christmas Day run in 2013
where we had just 5 runners and I acted as starter, timekeeper finisher and photographer. Although not a registered run they all logged their runs as a ‘Freedom Run’, we had a great time.
I have seen many great achievements in the number of runs some of you have done. Many 50’s, 100’s then we started getting 200’s, 300. Ian Higgins made his mark with his 300th run on 26th October 2013 and was the focus on our ‘Front Page’
and finally earlier this year Colin Harris broke the 400 barrier with his 401st
This took place 12th September
There was also our mega volunteer Pete Mulholland (he that you see at the end of your run making sure you all get the right tokens) who was given the honour of an BEM (British Empire Medal) in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. An award so well deserved for services to the sport of running.
I cannot go without mentioning my astonishment and joy at being a recipient of one of the first Hall of Fame awards to be presented at Wimbledon parkrun in January this year. I was truly humbled and exceedingly, if not embarrassingly caught out, that I was the one taking photographs and did not realise that Charles was actually talking about me whilst I was doing my job! It sits with pride on my sideboard.
Aside from all the fun, there are our many volunteers without whom these events simply would not happen. Our volunteer co-ordinators have one of the most difficult tasks and I pay homage to Charles Hampden-Smith for displaying much dedication. Charles Lawrie our Event Director and Ian Higgins (previous ED) have been a tower of strength and encouragement. I pay tribute to our photography team who have done a brilliant job and kept me busy almost every week with on average some 600 photos to upload. I single out Clive Scammell, Guy Gibbons, Bob Walsh, Steve Willerton, Louise Robinson and Tony Harpur who have got me out of a ‘no volunteer’ situation many a time at short notice. The rest of the team are no less important and I apologise for not naming them as it would make this article way way too long and boring. But a big “Thank You”, to all of them.
Everyone at parkrun has been very kind especially when I lost Carlos to cancer last year and Adam Fenton wrote a most wonderful tribute -News Event # 375(http://www.parkrun.org.uk/wimbledon/news/2014/03) - to a dog that was simply so loved by all at parkrun. The personal condolences I received were humbling and it is indicative of the attitude of parkrunner’s that we are all ’Family’. These touching personal moments have meant a great deal to me, something I will always remember with great affection. I thank you all for many kind comments and thanks on the photos we have taken and those of you who have had copies made, I hope you treasure them as much as I treasure these wonderful momentous last 7 years of being a part of a team that is unsurpassed by any organisation I know of.
Don’t think I’ve completely gone…….I will be watching!
More Matches in Dispatches ♥♥♥
The delightful Jayne Pooley has recently become engaged to the splendid Richard Hurrell, this is extraordinarily good news, congratulations to you both.
This dynamic duo are keen wildlife photographers, so it was a very logical progression for them to volunteer to capture the antics of parkrunners in their natural habitat, which they have both done on several occasions. Jayne or “David Attenborough” as she is affectionately known, has also been kind enough to document her thoughts and observations in these weekly reports about our particular species – the Runner: An amusing creature who is able to adapt to a variety of climates and terrains although tragically, is often vulnerable to predators (report writers) due largely to an inability to blend into the environment when frequently clad in dayglow lycra and other strange garb.
Their stats: Jayne completed her 1st parkrun on 20th June 2009, has run 233 times and has a PB of 24.45. Rich completed his 1st parkrun on 10th April 2010, has run 127 times and has a PB of 24.38. So, 7 seconds the difference you two and a lifetime of blissful marriage in which to discuss it, happy days!
Ian Higgins took to the bench on Saturday to make the announcements and if I am honest I think he has done this sort of thing before, he seems very at ease in this lofty position. He informed us that the Sweatshop monthly prize winner was Andrew Fickling (pictured below) who has volunteered no fewer than 3 times in the last month. Andrew has run 204 parkruns and is no slouch with a PB of 20.16, nice one!
We also heard how John Krause (pictured below) was to run his 200th parkrun and thus become the latest athlete to lift the Collins Cup. John is a very popular chap and an all round speedster. He recently completed his 100th marathon when he finished London back in April this year in an impressive time of 3.08. His parkrun PB is 19.27 and he recently cycled the Prudential 100 mile Ride London in 5.21.01. If I was him I might even get inked to commemorate my achievements!
Conditions were not great so few noticeable PBs apart from Hugh Lenon, who hadn’t recorded one for nearly two years but succeeded in getting two in the last two weeks, taking his best time down to 22.45 on his 119th run – storming work Hugh.
Oh, and please remember that parkrun is NOT a race, it is a time trial as the picture below clearly indicates. This is Dave Ford of Wimbledon Windmilers and an unknown athlete.
Male placings: Gregg Clark was first over the line in 17:29 - second time in 14 appearances, Tom Conlon was second in 17:48 and Adam Harwood was third in 18:08.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition: PAFITY Collins leads the way on 9638 points, in second place is Andrew Lenon with 9353 points and in third position is James Hawker on 9111 points.
Female placings: Denise Barnett finished first with a time of 20:25 - 9th time in 61 appearances, in second place was Michelle Oldhan in 20:28 and in third place was Laura Baldwin in 20:55.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition: Danuta Grabda leads the way on 8875 points, in second place on 8854 points is Liz Ostrowski and in third position is Sophie McKay with 8410 points.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores: Tom Conlon (VM50-54) was graded 85.58% for the time 17:48 (second overall). Andrew Lenon (VM55-59) was graded 80.03% for the time 19:42 (19th overall). Alison Purnell (VW50-54) was graded 77.87% for the time 22:22 (72nd overall).
This week there were 353 runners, of whom 34 were first timers and 65 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different athletics clubs took part.
Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 13,207 different runners, including participants from 566 athletics clubs, have completed 97,166 runs covering a total distance of 485,830 km, and there have been 17,309 new Personal Bests.
The female record is held by Justina Heslop who ran in a time of 00:16:33 on 2012-03-17 (event number 271). The male 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.