Spring into Autumn with Dorothy

Having left a bright and pleasantly warm springtime Melbourne on Tuesday, it’s been a big surprise to find a bright and pleasantly warm autumnal Bristol.

What a beautiful autumn morning we were treated to today. Wasn’t it glorious! Ashton Court at its very best, reminding us how fortunate we are to be able to run, walk, jog and volunteer here.
2019-10-19 AC428 01

Ashton Court, stunning in the autumn sunshine . . first timers' briefing . . main run briefing
Who ran with a spring in their step today? Of our 408 finishers, 62 had never taken part here before, another 38 didn’t bring their barcodes, so 308 could have achieved a personal best, and 52 did just that.

Perhaps not quite as springy as Eliud Kipchoge last week, but springier than many was John Bradwell, who with his first pb for exactly a year reduced his best time by 101 seconds in his 46th parkrun here, beating 28 minutes for the first time.

Karen Fletcher ran here for the 8th time today and smashed her best time by 2 minutes and 29 seconds, breaking 40 minutes, 39 minutes and 38 minutes all at once, finishing in 37.46!
2019-10-19 AC428 02

sunshine and smiles on the start line 

One of our juniors, Max Fullman, completed his 9th parkrun this morning, and knocked 66 seconds off his best time to finish in 30.50.

Matthew Lewis still belongs to Little Stoke parkrun and has run most of his 227 parkruns at Chipping Sodbury parkrun. This was Matthew’s 16th visit to Ashton Court and he finished 53 seconds more quickly than before, with his time of 25.52.

Ayesha Hussain celebrated her 19th AC parkrun by knocking 19 seconds off her previous best, finishing in 28.23.
2019-10-19 AC428 03
Someone who discovered parkrun this year is Miles Bird, who has now run 19 parkruns, all of them here. Miles has achieved 10 personal bests, including 3 in a row, which have taken him from 34.31 to 34.25 three weeks ago, to 33.29 last week and now 33.12 this.

Grace Mernagh-Cole has now run 23 parkruns, all of them here, and today ran her 7th pb with her time of 32.32.

Sarah Howell first came to parkrun in July and seems to have caught the parkrun bug! Today was Sarah’s 10th parkrun, and her 5th new best time – 31.33.

And Cheryl Coles cut it fine – parkrunning 1 second quicker than she had before to finish in 29.38!
2019-10-19 AC428 04
And another of our juniors, Samuel Nye, celebrated his 10th parkrun with a 53 second improvement, crossing the line in 21.00.

Samuel’s achievement brings us to another group of parkrunners with a spring in their step. For example, Lucy Avent, who finished 141st, and completed her 150th parkrun, and Caroline Seymour, who finished 190th to complete her 50th parkrun.

Emma Bassett finished 213th and became the 36th Ashton Court parkrunner to complete 250 parkruns. 12 of those 36 were at Ashton Court this morning.

One of our tail waggers, in fact our final finisher today, Louise Nikou, completed her 50th parkrun.

2019-10-19 AC428 05

Had it not been for some good work from Dan Jones today we might not know these finish positions. Dan was one of our finish token giver outers and was volunteering for the 25th time.

Many congratulations to these milestone marvels, and to everyone who achieved a pb (with apologies to those I’ve not been able to include in this review).

2019-10-19 AC428 06

I hope the 20 finishers who completed their first parkrun this morning went home with a spring in their step, even if they arrived at Ashton Court with a degree of apprehension. It’s especially encouraging to see that 5 of today’s newcomers are aged between 11 and 19, and 7 more between 20 and 24.

Our newcomers may like to know that today’s finishers included 21 folk taking part in their 2nd parkrun, 9 of whom had completed their 1st ever parkrun at Ashton Court just last week. I hope we’ll see some of you back at parkrun soon, if not here with us, then trying out somewhere else instead.

2 finishers who did just that are Matt Bailey and Russell Nash. Matt and Russell are our first visitors from Clevedon Salthouse Fields parkrun, which started 4 weeks ago, and they’ve run at CSF once, and came along today to find out how we hilly folk roll!

Matt and Russell are 2 of the 42 parkrunners who popped in to see us today. We were also joined by Richard Mulvany and Thomas Paul Wallace from Cardiff parkrun, by Stephen and Tanya Honey from Ellenbrook Fields parkrun in Hatfield, and by Benedict Harrison and Catherine Mair from Enfield’s Grovelands parkrun.

2019-10-19 AC428 07
Helen and Graham Barker came along from Harrogate parkrun, Steve Bush and Phil Bees (of whom more in a moment) from Plymvalley parkrun, and Ash Mukherjee and Sallie Turnbull from just up the road at Eastville parkrun.

Debbie Woodley visited us from Severn Bridge parkrun, Chloe White from Llanerchaeron parkrun (which takes place just outside Aberaeron, between Aberystwyth and Cardigan, as I’m sure you all know), Annette Hall from Haverhill parkrun, Phil Day from Southampton parkrun, and Adrian Stocks from Bromley parkrun.

2019-10-19 AC428 08
As with all the pb achievers, I can’t mention all our visitors by name (well I could, but you know . . ). I hope you all came down the hill with a spring in your step, taking in the views across Metropolis Bristol as you recovered from the initial 2.5k. Please come back and see us again when you can.

Furthest from home amongst our visitors was Daniel Searle, whose home event is Albury Wodonga parkrun. Albury-Wodonga is 2 cities combined, separated by the Murray River and the border between New South Wales (Albury) and Victoria (Wodonga).

This was Daniel’s first parkrun in the northern hemisphere, and I hope he enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the 4 parkruns (1 at Curl Curl and 3 at Merimbula) I took part in on my recent holiday. Thanks to Jane Greenford for guiding Daniel up and down our course.

2019-10-19 AC428 09

Coincidentally, I was in both New South Wales and Victoria last Saturday. Having enjoyed Merimbula parkrun (on New South Wales’ Sapphire Coast) on a beautiful spring morning, my brother, sister-in-law and I drove 350 miles across New South Wales and Victoria to their home in Mount Evelyn, in east Melbourne.

But back to Ashton Court and a few more bits and bobs. Of the 370 of you who ran with your barcode, exactly 185 were female and 185 were male. We’ve seen more females than males twice here but have never had an even split before.

Nobody finished with the date in their time, but Thomas Cooney did the year thing, with his time of 20.19. Tony Deacon’s time was 22.22, which always puts a smile on my face.

The winner of this week’s much coveted “what took you so long award” (no prize, it’s just for fun) is Plymvalley parkrun’s Phil Bees, who unaccountably ran 280 parkruns elsewhere before visiting Ashton Court!

2019-10-19 AC428 10

All of today’s participants have completed 22,617 parkruns between them, which is 113,085k, and that’s a very long way. In fact, it’s almost 3 times around the globe. The globe is 8,015 parkruns long around the equator, although as it’s an oblate spheroid it’s only 8,002 parkruns long if you run them all via the north and south poles. (moral: never believe anyone who says it’s a “small world”!

Anyway, each of the 408 finishers have completed an average of between 55 and 56 parkruns, which is a contrived way of introducing Richard Mulvany, Tony Deacon and Catherine Davies, who have each completed 55 parkruns, and Jack Dunwell and Sharon Eaves, who have now both completed 56 parkruns.

The average finish position was 204½, so that belongs to Tamar Preston in 204th and Jenny Maxwell in 205th. Immediately in front of Tamar and Jenny was Claire Gordon, who finished in 28.25, and that’s exactly the average finish time achieved at Ashton Court parkrun across our 428 events.

2019-10-19 AC428 11

Now I’m back on finish times, there’s always a few participants who just can’t wait to finish. It’s customary to list them in 3s, and here they are; Gavin Dale (with a pb), Sam Appleton (visiting for the first time) and Stefano Dalcanale (who ran exactly the same time on this his 2nd parkrun as he did on his 1st, 4 weeks ago). The first 3 females were Chloe Broughton (good to see you back at parkrun), Jo Temple and Emma Pemberton.

The age grade scores paint a different picture; Shirley Clegg (the only one to score over 80% today), Maggie Salter and Antonia Gooder leading the way for the females, and Michael Coupe, Stuart Ellis and Gavin Dale (see above) topping the table for the males. Well done all of you and thank you for giving the rest of us something to aim for and aspire to.

2019-10-19 AC428 12

Funnel management . . in case you wondered what it looked like . . the moon wanes gibbous towards its final crescent . . the view of the leading runners from the start line 

So that’s our 428th parkrun wrapped up and put to bed. A beautiful morning and a lovely crowd of just over 400 people, who spent an hour or so running, walking or volunteering with their friends in gorgeous Ashton Court.

While I was in Australia, I listened to a radio presentation of “The Wizard of Oz”. Although I enjoyed it, having watched the video of the film on countless occasions when my daughter was growing up it was impossible to shake off the images in my memory of the story's characters. I've enjoyed a wonderful holiday, but it’s true what Dorothy said: “there’s no place like home”. It’s good to be back!

Have a good week, and wherever you may be at 9 o’clock next Saturday, may your barcode be with you.

Report and photos by Rich Kenington


Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week's event happen. Although our parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you'd like to sign up as a volunteer, we'd love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via "manage my profile" on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don't forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results are at the top of the table here with links to all our age group records and heaps of other statty stuff.

We were unable to find a photographer this week. You can find our entire photo archive, by following this link.