Finally, we’re back!

Aberystwyth parkrun: Event number 401

21st August 2021

This morning, for the first time since March 14th 2020, Aberystwyth Parkrun happened!

152 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 40 were first timers and 13 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part, and 18 volunteers got very, very, very wet indeed.

The volunteers at the start.  Not as damp as we are going to be

The volunteers at the start. Not as damp as we are going to be

Runners taking the first corner

Runners taking the first corner

The run director, Nick, welcomed everyone to Plascrug park and highlighted a few changes to the Parkrun procedures as a result of the COVID shutdown (please try to stay 2m distant, please carry your barcode, please don't throw your jumpers at the volunteers, no hi-5s or spitting...). He also pointed out the weather and explained it was probably "not a good day for a personal best", given the conditions.

The first runners going around the cone

The first runners going around the cone

It turns out that our first finisher Ollie Thorogood wasn't paying attention to that thing about "not a good day for a PB" as he crossed the line in 16:10 - his fastest Parkrun time. Well done Ollie!  Our first woman across the line was Maggie Collingborn running her 199th Parkrun in a very respectable 22:55.

Well done too to the other PBs this morning: Rhys Jeremiah, Daniel Clemson, Karen Kemish, Trystan Roberts, Dave Humphreys, Wendy James, Anthony Scarth, Joseph Jones, Richard William Kirk, Brian Garrod, Vikki Foale, and Jennie Thomas.

The pack going around the cone

The pack going around the cone

Danny surrounded by fans and supporters

Danny surrounded by fans and supporters

A very special mention has to go to Aber AC's own Danny Thorogood, who completed this morning's Parkrun in 24:33 just over 3 months into recovery from a stroke. It was great to see Danny not only well enough to join the start line of our first Parkrun after lockdown, but also well enough to run the whole way pretty fast!

Tail walkers

Tail walkers

After the tail walkers (Lionel, Nicky and Sue) crossed the line the event was packed up and people reconvened in the Rugby Club for breakfast, and also to thank our outgoing Event Director Anita Worthing. Anita was instrumental in getting Aberystwyth Parkrun set up in the first place and has been our Event Director for years; she decided to hand over the reins to Em Foot with support from Nick Thompson. Here's Anita with some flowers this morning, to say thanks for all the work she's put in (she's still a run director though so you'll see her around).

Anita, our outgoing event director, with some flowers to say "thanks".

Anita, our outgoing event director, with some flowers to say "thanks".

On the volunteer side, it is safe to say that the conditions proved challenging for a volunteer team who were somewhat out of practice and also dealing with new procedures and technology.

Part of the post-COVID routine involves volunteers using their own phones for timekeeping and scanning, and one thing that is hard to use in a torrential downpour is a smartphone (even if it is in a waterproof case). One of the scanners had a problem with the app, and the timekeepers between them managed to record everyone but no one timekeeper got it 100% right. This meant we needed to drop back to that other not-particularly-waterproof technology: pen and paper!

Results processing

Results processing

So some of the times might be a little adrift from where they should have been, and our run directors had a job on their hands and had to do some spreadsheet wrangling to turn paper records and partial timings into a bunch of results.

Results processing in the rain? Easy!

Results processing in the rain? Easy!

The run directors also have the additional job of trying to ensure the kit's dry for next week... here's hoping that Wales gives us a little sunshine between now and then so the hi-viz can dry out.

Hi-Viz Dampness

Hi-Viz Dampness

These are the 18 volunteers who tested the limits of their waterproofing:

Helen Sarah STRETCH • Anita WORTHING • Peter HINXMAN • Nick THOMPSON • Ollie THOROGOOD • Lionel CURTIS • Sue LEWIS • Phillip LOWTHER • Sarah PURDON • Emily FOOT • Alison GARROD • Lucy KEMISH • Amanda EVANS • Hannah DEE • Megan WILLIAMS • Nicky HERRIOT • Ann PRICE • Christine ZARGES

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Aberystwyth parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Lauren JESKA who recorded a time of 17:38 on 22nd September 2012 (event number 4).
The male record is held by Adam BITCHELL who recorded a time of 15:12 on 19th September 2015 (event number 161).
The Age Grade course record is held by Anita WORTHING who recorded 88.72% (21:52) on 10th December 2016 (event number 225).

Aberystwyth parkrun started on 1st September 2012. Since then 4,684 participants have completed 31,109 parkruns covering a total distance of 155,545 km, including 5,261 new Personal Bests. A total of 435 individuals have volunteered 4,314 times.

A timekeeper (and run report writer) making her way to the finish line

A timekeeper (and run report writer) making her way to the finish line