What’s a yellow weather warning to the apricot heroes? The weather window may not have opened but that didn’t stop 260 parkrunners eschewing at least the first half of the rugby world cup semi-final between England and the All Blacks and tackling the Ashton Court hill instead.
I’ve mentioned three colours already and there are plenty of others to celebrate. John and Joe Peake who were both at our second event in April 2011 came back to Ashton Court to run their 250th parkruns together and earn the coveted green parkrun shirt. Joe has been up and down our hill 100 times now, while dad John has done 10 more here.
Fetching in dazzling purple were a group of runners, many from This Mum Runs, helping Kat Horwood-Darby celebrate her 50th parkrun and her 40th birthday. Jo Temple and Julia Townend also reached their 50th parkrun milestone today and we hope to see all three in their bright red shirts soon.
Krishan Price and Luke Staddon are juniors who both completed their 10th parkrun today and will hopefully be sporting their white parkrun T-shirts soon. Krishan first ran up our hill just over three years ago and has managed 4 PBs in the 8 runs he has done here since then. He has also run 66 junior parkruns to his credit. On the other hand, Luke only started in June this year and has completed all of his parkruns at Ashton Court, achieving 5 PBs in that time.
Sadly there’s no coloured shirt to acknowledge 150 runs, but congratulations to Simone Burgess and Amanda Halford who both reached that mark today.
And my final mention of colour is for our high-viz heroes, the volunteers (sometimes seen in aubergine) who ensure we can put on this wonderful event each week, with their marshalling, timing, barcode scanning, token managing, result processing and looking after everything for next week. There were 19 of them standing or walking today in some of the least pleasant conditions for a parkrun that we’ve had for a long while. As they dry off, we do need more volunteers for the coming weeks when I am assured that the weather will be kinder!
The rest of us may have been fighting the wind and the rain while running the course, but that didn’t stop 10 runners claiming new PBs. Mathew Davies was the first one back with a new fastest time on his fourth visit, having gone faster each time he has run here. Richard Tear returned after a gap of nearly five years to improve his best by over 2 minutes, and Samuel Coomber improved his best by 2:15. Mair Allen beat her only previous time here by more than three minutes while Rachel Khanna managed her fifth PB in her eighth run. All very impressive given the conditions!
We also had 15 runners who used the parkrun as a warm-up for the Bristol Epic 10k an hour or so later, including our tail walker Eloise Morton. You all seemed to cope well with the longer distance and tougher hill. Two more of our volunteers, Emma Coles and Lucy Avent, also took part in the race, which would be one way of warming up again after standing in the cold and wet handing out our finish tokens, or scanning them!
We had nine runners running their very first parkrun and one of them, Arthur Dickson-Bell, was first back across the finish line. Phoebe Cranfield was the youngest, running (we think) with mum Shelley, and we would also describe Susan Bennet as a debutant - at least in parkrun terms!
There were a further 33 parkrun tourists visiting Ashton Court for the first time. The “What took you so long” award (no prize, it’s just for fun) goes to Russell Boyatt (home run Leamington parkrun) who ran at Ashton Court for the first time after 202 runs at 64 other parkrun events, and the first-time visitor furthest from home was Brendan Murphy, from Ballina parkrun beside the River Moy in County Mayo.
It’s a shame our first-timers didn’t get the wonderful views over the park and the city of Bristol that we often have, but hopefully you will make a return visit to see them. Still, there’s always next week!
Report by Paul Hodges
follow this link to find out more about weatherproof barcodes
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.
Sadly no photos today, but you can find a record of almost all our previous parkruns here.