This week 667 people ran, jogged and walked the course – a massive new course record! Was this because it was our 100th parkrun or could it have been the Dame Kelly Holmes effect? I suspect the latter! Our numbers were also swelled this week by local running club Arena 80 who were doing their third run as part of their club parkrun event.
So after last week’s amazing 2nd birthday & NHS70 event, where somehow we managed to fit in a shout out to invite Dame Kelly to our 100th parkrun, we uploaded a video of the shout out with some photos of Worthing parkrun (including the fabulous banner) on Twitter and let social media work its magic. A big thank you to all our runners, volunteers and our friends from Heads On who helped with the Twitter promotion. After much eager watching of Dame Kelly’s posts, at 10pm on Friday, I did one last check on Twitter and saw the following post: ‘This was such a great shout out I have to go & do it. So @Worthingparkrun see you all in the morning’! A quick shout out on Facebook & to the core team followed to let them know the news, then time to write a special poem for the Run Briefing and off to bed trying to quell the nerves and excitement and get some sleep!
The next morning, walking down to parkrun, a familiar noise greets me – it’s the bell of the Worthing Town Cryer, Bob Smytherman, walking down the road on his way to add to the fun of the morning ahead. Thank you Bob for joining our special event and welcoming our guest. Once all the volunteers and runners start to arrive there is an air of excitement and anticipation about our special guest. Little did I know she was sending us direct messages on Twitter for advice on parking, etc.! (Big thank you to Lee who was responding to these whilst on holiday!) & suddenly as we are getting ready for the pre-run briefing, there is a round of applause and there’s Dame Kelly running down the seafront to join us! After a quick introduction to our parkrun mascot Gulliver, it was time for the briefing followed by Dame Kelly saying a few words. It was fantastic to hear what a keen supporter she is of parkrun, even though she has no official connections with the organisation; like many of us who do parkrun, she just loves it! She wasted no time in letting us know she wasn’t going to be challenging for the course record though – she’d heard how fast our course was!
Then it’s off to the start, a quick photo opportunity & then 667 runners, joggers and walkers are off! Lots of chat, high fives and thumbs up from Dame Kelly for all the participants and volunteers and then once back at the finish, so much time for chatting and selfies! It was an amazing atmosphere, helped by the Children’s Parade who were assembling ready for their procession in the park and who also got to meet Dame Kelly.
A huge thank you to the 40 volunteers who coped with a much busier event than we had previously experienced (30% more runners than our previous course record), there was some great improvising to extend the finish funnel and it was great to see other runners, including two regulars from Brighton & Hove parkrun helping out with managing the crowds as well!
Thank you everyone for your patience and good humour in waiting to get across the finish when we were at our busiest and also for queuing so patiently for the barcode scanners! This really wasn’t the week to discover that the timers only download the first 500 runners, leaving the remaining 167 to be manually inputted (huge thanks to Julie & Chris for staying on for almost 3 hours after the end of parkrun to help process the results; I couldn’t have done it without your maths expertise!)
We were also pleased to welcome Patrick from the Worthing Podcast to our parkrun this week – the excellent podcast about Worthing parkrun can be found here:
Of the 667 people taking part this week 99 were first timers to parkrun or to Worthing and 112 recorded new Personal Bests (were you inspired by Dame Kelly?!). Special mention to two people who reached their 50 milestone this week – Clare Rixon & Debbie Roberts – well done, look forward to seeing you in your red t-shirts very soon!
Representatives of 42 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 40 volunteers:
Michele SAUNDERS • Caroline WOOD • Mark STEPHENSON • Michelle Anne HUGHES • Claire GILES • Duncan ANDERSON • Stefanie RANSLEY • Laura CARTER • Jane VAN HOOF • Debbie BIRCH • Des ADEY • Belinda ROBINSON • Kyle COLLINS • Kate LASSMAN • Archie TURNER • Nicola HAWKINS • Iain BUCHANAN • Debbie STRINGER • Julie DAY • Marilyn KEMP • Chris MCALEES • John ROBINSON • Drew HAMMERSLEY • Rupert IRELAND • Maureen JACKSON • Val SMITH • Sharon BELTON • Louise HOWARTH • Mike BELTON • Julia GLEESON • Samantha ELLIS • Samuel BALLARD • Izzy HARCOURT • Chiara BALLARD • Rachael ELLIS • Silvia BORTOLAZZI • Michael HOWARTH • Kayleigh HOLMAN • Dillon WATT • David HENDERSON
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Worthing parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Rebecca MOORE who recorded a time of 16:59 on 16th July 2016 (event number 6).
The male record is held by James WESTLAKE who recorded a time of 14:51 on 25th November 2017 (event number 72).
The Age Grade course record is held by Pauline RICH who recorded 92.87% (24:47) on 10th June 2017 (event number 51).
Worthing parkrun started on 11th June 2016. Since then 6,066 participants have completed 32,010 parkruns covering a total distance of 160,050 km, including 6,786 new Personal Bests.