Before we stared with Matthews report, have a look at this cheeky message he sent me this morning!!! How rude! Hahahahahahaha
No idea what he is implying here?????
WITTON PARKRUN REPORT #113 – 13th January 2018
Our 113th parkrun on the 13th January. What could possibly go wrong? Well in actual fact, surprisingly little for what was technically Witton’s second outing of 2018, but our first regular Saturday parkrun after our New Year’s Day fun and games. Witton is always cancelled for the first proper weekend of January, due to cross country commitments in the park so the middle of the month is always when parkrun starts again for us, and 96 of you joined us to start your year off with a run, jog or walk around our legendary ‘Beast’.
Conditions were set fair for Saturday’s run, with a relatively mild and sedate week’s weather allowing the course to firm up considerably from the mud-filled challenge it presented over the festive season. That said, the wind was bitingly cold, which led to several runners leaving it until the last possible second to remove their jackets.
First across the line for our first proper run of 2018 was a Witton first timer, Joshua Holgate of Blackburn Harriers, who completed only his second ever parkrun and first at Witton by smashing out a great time of 18.34. It seems parkrun may be a new year’s resolution for Josh, with his only previous run being with our neighbours at Hyndburn last week, when we were cancelled. He was nearly a minute faster this week, and has finished in 1st position on both his first two parkruns.
Left in Josh’s wake was Witton regular Justin Collighan, who finished in 2nd place in 20.15. This was Justin’s first run at Witton this year, having started 2018 off with two appearances at Lytham Hall parkrun.
Third across the line was another Witton frequenter, Blackburn Harrier Mark Almond, who finished in 20.43. This was Mark’s 25th Witton parkrun – halfway to the 50 club – and was his first appearance since November. It was his fastest time at Witton since February last year, although he has only appeared on five occasions since then, including this weekend.
First female across the line was Blackburn Harrier Hannah Cookson in 12th place in a time of exactly 23 minutes. This was Hannah’s 16th run at Witton in her 46th parkrun and was the 4th time she has been first female to finish, her first time achieving that since last February.
Second placed lady was some way behind Hannah, with Elizabeth Sullivan crossing the line in 25th place in 27.19. This was Elizabeth’s 27th parkrun at Witton out of 40 total.
Third female was a parkrun first timer – Diane Vaughton finished in 29.05 in 30th position. Welcome to the parkrun family Diane, and well done to all our speedy men and women.
Diane was one of 22 first timers at Witton on Saturday, of whom 9 were completing their first ever parkrun. This was the most in a single weekend since Event #96 in September, when 13 first time parkrunners were at Witton. We hope you enjoyed your first experiences and will come back for more in the future.
Here seems as good a place as any to mention a few stories to come out of those Witton first timers on Saturday, so here goes. First mention goes to Ian Newton, who finished in 15th place in 23.46. This was Ian’s 7th parkrun, and his third in a row at 3 different parkruns. Having run 5 of his previous 6 parkruns with our neighbours at Cuerden Valley, Ian was returning the favour paid by Witton last week when we all went over to his patch when we were cancelled, by coming over to our patch now we’re back in business. According to his post on our Facebook page after the event, he thoroughly enjoyed his visit, and it sounds like he may become a familiar face at Witton in the future.
Second shout out goes to Craig Cunliffe, who finished in 43rd position in 30.43. This was Craig’s 64th parkrun, and 61 of the previous 63 have been at St Helens parkrun, with the other two coming at Warrington parkrun. Craig was another who enjoyed his experience, so much so he’s planning to return next week!
The final mention I want to make is to the first timers who finished in 14th and 21st place, namely Simon Moore and…Simon Moore! In what I believe must be a unique occurrence for Witton parkrun, we had two first time Wittoners with exactly the same name! While we have had runners with shared names run at Witton before, to have two run in the same week and both be first time Wittoners is quite incredible. In fact, we had 4 Moores at Witton on Saturday, more than doubling our all-time number and, also rather unusually, no Moore has ever run more than once at Witton parkrun. Who will be the first? Just for the sake of housekeeping, and to confirm the same man didn’t just run through the finish funnel and get scanned twice (not that this would work anyway – parkrun have rules against these things don’t cha know!), here are the two Simon Moores stats: Simon Moore 1 finished in 14th position in 23.26. It was his first ever parkrun and he is a member of Ribble Valley Triathlon Club. Simon Moore 2 finished in 21st place in 26.13. It was his first Witton parkrun and his 8th overall, the Whitchurch Whippet club member having run 5 of his previous 7 at Bradford parkrun. This was his second parkrun of the year, following a run with our friends at Hyndburn parkrun last week, but his parkrun debut actually dates back all the way to Burnley parkrun in August 2013! Well done to both the Simon Moores, and we hope at least one of you will return – perhaps next time we could get a photo!
No new milestone t-shirts to be earned today, but there’s always some notable numbers to be hit. Those celebrating milestones were:
Lynda Vernon – 75 runs
Mark Brennan (Ossy Joggers) – 70 runs
Elouise Sylkie Pemberton (Trawden AC) – 60 runs
Jacqueline Dwyer – 40 runs
Elizabeth Sullivan – 40 runs
Cheryl Braysford – 10 runs
And those about to hit milestones are:
Jack Bennett – 69 runs
John Cookson (Blackburn Harriers) – 69 runs
John Shorrock – 49 runs
Oliver Thompson – 29 runs
Andrea Ashworth – 29 runs
Daniel Hamilton – 19 runs
Heather Shah (Blackburn GroupRun) – 9 runs
There were no less than 13 personal bests achieved on the Beast this weekend and it would be remiss of me not to mention some of them. Largest PB of the day went to Shaun Salvage, who on his second run at Witton knocked a whopping 2 minutes and 22 seconds off his time from December 30th.
Special mention goes to Autumn Barlow, who on her 6th Witton parkrun finally bested her time of her first visit, by a mere 2 minutes and 21 seconds!
There were PBs for both Stacy Feeney and Julie Graves, who are both fast becoming Witton regulars. Stacy’s was her third PB in 3 visits dating back to just before Christmas and she knocked exactly a minute off her previous PB which was set on Christmas Day itself, down now to 30.51.
Julie meanwhile is on a run of 5 straight PBs in consecutive Witton parkruns, dating back to December 23rd, her latest PB knocking another 47 seconds off her time from New Year’s Day, taking her down to 35.22.
What makes both ladies achievements all the more impressive is that they are taking part in Run Everyday January and Witton parkrun was Day 13 of running 5k everyday this month! I can confirm both ladies are feeling it, but clearly it must be doing them some good as they just keep getting faster and faster!
Smallest PB of the day went to Jack Bennett, who on his 5th visit to Witton finally bested the time he set on his first visit way back in July 2016, by knocking all of 3 seconds off his time set that day, down now to 22.53.
And one of the perks of writing the run report is the opportunity to mention your mother as many times as possible, so well done to Lynda Vernon, who surprised herself by running a new Witton PB of 39.43, besting her time from July last year of 39.54 by 11 seconds. She credits this to another parkrun first timer, Adam Macquarrie, whom she works with and joined his wife Kerry at parkrun for the first time on Saturday. Chasing after him, mum finished just 9 seconds adrift of Adam on his first run of the Beast. Well done to all those who achieved a PB on Saturday, and I’m sure the rest of us will get there soon!
One other story I get to mention, since I’m writing this thing, is my ongoing personal duel with fellow Witton veteran Anwar Khan. Between us, we have completed 228 parkruns, of which 188 have been at Witton. We’re both closing in on 100 Witton parkruns (Anwar’s on 96 and I’m on 92) but despite being relatively evenly matched, we’ve never been close enough to have any sort of competitive rivalry. Until now that is. Since New Year’s Day, Anwar and I have finished in consecutive positions in all 3 parkruns this year. On January 1st, after first running at Blackpool parkrun, Anwar held me off in a sprint to the line at Witton, finishing 1 second in front. Last Saturday, when we visited Cuerden Valley, we again found ourselves side-by-side, this time on the slog uphill to the finish and again, Anwar had just enough in his legs to finish 1 second in front. Determined not to lose 3 weeks in a row, I wasn’t convinced when he was able to stay comfortably a few seconds in front all the way round this weekend, only to get the jump on him on the run down the hill to the finish and this week he had no answer. This week I won by 6 seconds, making it 2-1 to Anwar and an advantage of 4 seconds in my favour. It can’t last much longer (surely?) but it has been fun while it’s lasted. See you next Saturday Anwar!
As always, Witton is grateful to those who give their time on a Saturday morning to ensure parkrun can happen and this week we saw a course heaving with marshals which always makes it easier to run around the Beast. This week’s hi-viz heroes were:
Ali MCARTHUR • Debbie BEVITT • Scott SUMNER • Justin COLLIGHAN • Michelle SEARBY • Bryan SEARBY • Annika HALSALL • Ian GASKELL • Suzanne FERRANDINO • Diane HARRISON-LEEMING • Julie PRICE • Matthew VERNON • Scott SMITH • Lorna PICKUP • Alan VERNON • Bernard JOHNSON • Peter NICHOLSON • Deborah ASHTON • Corinne SURKITT • Jonathan HOOLE
Thank you to you all.
Finally, to end on a lighter note, Witton regular Sean Procter found himself with our neighbours over at Ormskirk parkrun on Saturday. Not being familiar with Ormskirk’s course, I am in no position to judge, but it is safe to say Sean was left unimpressed with Ormskirk’s claim of ‘inclines’ and made this position perfectly clear, much to the consternation of some of the locals! Sean’s claim that Ormskirk was ‘flat as a pancake’ may or may not have been an exaggeration, it took a regular Ormskirker Alan Hulme to have the final word: ‘I have to agree with [Sean] on this, having been up the beast twice, it makes Ormskirk look flat as a pancake!’ Regular viewers of the Witton Facebook page will have seen Alan’s inspiring story featured via the Parkrun UK page a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read it, it is well worth checking out.
And that’s about that for Event #113! Don’t forget that Witton is cancelled once again on February 3rd due to another cross country event in the park. The main Witton team are visiting our neighbours at Burnley parkrun and you’re more than welcome ( car parking charges apply) – encouraged in fact! – to tag along. If you want information on how to get there, or help getting there then do get in touch either via our Facebook page or via email@example.com. Otherwise, I will see you next Saturday for Event #114. Hope to see you there!
Have a great week,
Matthew Vernon #loveparkrun #loveWittonparkrun