Levett Alone; High for Lowe.
In the blazing damp of the Late Spring Bank Holiday Weekend in Worcester, local parkrunners were joined by visitors from Ware and from Tunbridge Wells - and probably other far-flung parkruns - to make up 215 people running, jogging, dog-walking, buggy-pushing and burpee-ing their way around the Pitchcroft loop course.
And did we do the Ware? Where? routine in the briefing? Of course we did. Comedy gold.
Burpee-ing? More of that later.
Indeed it was the Tunbridge Wells Harriers runner, William Levett, who was the first person home - a clear 45 seconds ahead of the next runner - with local Black Pear athlete, Jemima Lowe, crossing the line as the first female runner.
William's performance also saw him topping the WAVA listing, making it a rare event that our own Bryony Silcott doesn't top those rankings. Bryony, easy-going soul that she is, will be happy with second place on this occasion.
Meanwhile, recovering her breath after progressing through the funnel, Jemima momentarily placed her finish token on the ground - only for a caring, considerate fellow parkrunner to pick it up and hand it in as a stray.
Our event organisers were happy to make an exception to take Jemima's parkrun credentials to create a manual record of her days achievement which shows clearly on the latest results.
Abley to a Milestone; No Hazard for Jukes; Beaudro's Return
Having done our research and made our usual appeal for milestone runs at the pre-run briefing, as so often happens none was forthcoming. The bell clanged and the tumbleweed blew across the path in front of the Run Director.
Scanning through today's results, Julian Abley - seemingly most regularly a Wyre Forest parkrunner - ran his 100th event with us at Pitchcroft today, gaining a new PB in the process. A good day for Julian, who ran his previous parkrun in Treviso, Italy, a human-scale city so attractive that perhaps Worcester City Council might do worse than initiate a twinning arrangement.
And another Wyre Forest afficionado, Martin Jukes, also hit 100 parkruns.Â Martin's parkrun history shows him to have collected most of the local venues, including the much-missed Hanbury Hall. His Arrow Valley visits suggest a possible town-twinning arrangement with Redditch, should the Treviso link-up project fall through...
And we saw one of our regulars, Sarah Beaudro, back with us for her 101st parkrun, having celebrated her 100th as tail walker (we think) at Worcester Woods. Sarah had a pre-run briefing shout out and cheer at the Pitchcroft last week, and had the same again today.
Congratulations to all three, with the cautionary encouragement that it's only 150 more parkruns to your next milestone t-shirt...
Rowan: Runner of the Day
The Run Director's 'Runner of the Day' award (should there be such a thing?) goes to Rowan Bennett, a first-timer in the JW10 category. Rowan very tactfully restrained her hamstring-injured mum, Natalie, from dangerously over-cooking her recovery by ensuring they finished at the back of the field with our tail walker, Ann Grey.
Rowan smiled all the way around, and it's for that - and for looking after her mum - she's recognised this week.
Nine more parkruns, and Rowan receives her 10-runs t-shirt.
- Â And Repeat.
We share our Pitchcroft parkrun space in the middle of Worcester with anyone and everyone who wants to use it for whatever reason.
It's not every week though we're going to be sharing it with a solitary, confident and determined individual whose plan for the morning is to perambulate for a mile around the edge of our course through the medium of the burpee.
If you're not sure what a burpee is, here's a link which tells you all.
- Painful. And then some.
The person behind this challenge is Mark 'Max' Wall, a St Johns, Worcester resident, and 32 years-served British Army soldier.
Actually, the person truly behind this challenge is Ruby, an 11 year-old Christopher Whitehead's pupil.
Ruby has a medical condition - type 2 spinal muscular atrophy - which means she can only really move around using a wheelchair.
Max's plan is to raise the £4,000 which will allow Ruby to buy a different sort of wheelchair, one that will allow her to take on more difficult terrain, such as the beach and the sea, which will create so much more freedom for her.
Max completed the mile. Anyone who saw him - and there were more than 230 parkrunners, volunteers and supporters who would bear witness - will know what an effort it was. It took him longer and was more painful than he expected. Then again, he did say that if it didn't hurt, it wasn't worth doing.
And the fundraising? At the time of writing (Saturday evening), the JustGiving page shows two-thirds of the target sum achieved.
What Max is doing is in no way an official parkrun charity.
Pitchcroft parkrun respects the parkrun UK's policy that seeks to avoid dilution of the parkrun brand which is critical to the organisation's success.
However, with so many of today's Pitchcroft parkrunners voicing their encouragement to Max during the run, and asking afterwards about his progress, it would be a dereliction on our part not to highlight and provide an update on this positively-intentioned, completely selfless, if not somewhat crazy, challenge.
Dates for the Diary: 50th edition and 1st Anniversary Just Around the Corner
On the theme of sharing the Pitchcroft, this morning's pre-event briefing reminded everyone that we're having a fallow week next Saturday (2 June 2018). Commercial event arranged through Worcester City Council has precedence over us on this occasion, and its nature is such we can't realistically re-juggle our parkrun in a way which would not affect the incoming event. So please don't show up at Pitchcroft as we will not be there.
Consequently our 50th Edition Pitchcroft parkrun is put back by one week to 9 June - which happily coincides with our Pitchcroft parkrun First Anniversary, based on our launch date of 10 June 2017.
So, Saturday 9 June it is. Set the date in your diaries. Big day for Pitchcroft parkrun.