Only 2 parkrun days until Christmas . .

 
After a week of bitterly cold weather, a soggy Friday and the threat of a wet windy Sunday, this week’s Run Directors (RDs) Janet O’Connell and Liz Hill managed a near Christmas miracle of arranging a dry and warm (well for December!) Saturday morning. Traditionally December sees some of our lowest attendances of the year. Despite the appeal of Christmas shopping, resting up before Weston AC’s Christmas Cracker race on Sunday, the cross-country race in Blaise Castle in the afternoon or maybe even a few sore heads post-Christmas parties, this week 393 people ran, jogged and walked the course. 53 athletes recorded new Personal Bests. It seems unlikely our attendance will fall back to the levels we saw during the rugby world cup, but less said about that the better.
 
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with the pre-run briefing completed, this crowd of parkrunners will be headed this way in just a moment or two (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
We welcomed 50 first timers to Ashton Court this week. Unusually two of this week's first time Ashton Court runners were running a milestone parkrun. Emyr Morgan started parkrunning at Eastleigh parkrun and is now a regular at Cardiff, this week he ran our slightly hillier course for the first time and his 250th parkrun, earning himself a green 250 T-shirt. David James is a regular at Tonbridge parkrun, running at Ashton Court this week earnt himself his first milestone T-shirt for his 50th parkrun. On the other end of the scale 12 runners completed their very first parkrun, we hope this is the first of many and we see you all again soon. Amongst the other first timers to Ashton Court included a candidate for the North Somerset seat in this week's election. For political neutrality reasons I'll say no more, although I'm guessing despite her supporters’ subtlety some of the more eagle eyed runners could guess what party she is standing for.
 
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3 of the first 4 early leaders got off to a flying start. But who's that running in the wrong direction? It's Duncan Colquhoun, who wasn't quite the last starter of the morning, and who managed to overtake at least 310 parkrunners on his way to finishing in 79th position! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Soon to be also running in a red T-shirt our second runner completing his 50th parkrun was Luke Stanley. Luke joined us at Ashton Court for his first parkrun in January 2018. Two of our junior parkrunners completed their 10th parkruns this week for a white, juniors-only 10 Tee. Whilst Rosie Walker only started parkrunning this year, completing 10 parkruns in under 6 month including her PB last week, Joseph Bussell took a slightly more leisurely route to his 10th parkrun. Joseph started parkrunning in 2016, also ran his PB on his 9th parkrun but back in April and held out the suspense of his 10th till this week.
 
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50th parkrun today! Big parkrun moment for Luke Stanley (he's the one with a hat on) (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
This week we had a bumper crop of people running their 250th parkrun, in addition to Emyr, Tim Neal-Hopes and Phil King also both earnt their 250 T-shirt. Phil King has been a regular face at Ashton Court since his first parkrun back in April 2013 and has run here 209 times. Tim Neal-Hopes on the other hand started parkrunning in Cambridge in 2012, joined us once for the first time in 2013 before more regular visits since 2016. In the meanwhile Tim ran at over 100 different parkrun events on his route to 250 parkruns.
 
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Despite having the number "250" on his chest, Phil King now has 250 behind him, as his next parkrun will be his 251st! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Running their 100th parkrun this week at Ashton Court was Ian Hamblin and Shirley Clegg. Like Tim Neal-Hopes, Ian also started his parkrun journey away from Ashton Court, at the gone but not forgotten Little Stoke parkrun. Ian has run at many of the local parkrun, his 100th parkrun marked his 15th run at Ashton Court. Shirley Clegg ran her first parkrun here, in 2013, she has completed 78 ups and downs of the Ashton Court hill, and is the Ashton Court record holder for the VW65-69 age category. Many congratulations to all of this week's milestone runners. However long it's taken, however fast you've run, whatever locations around the world you've run, it's a great achievement and I hope you have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy the journey parkrun takes you on.
 
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the leader of this particular pack (in her apricot top) is Shirely Clegg, just under 5k away from completing her 100th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Shirley Clegg's second mention this week goes for her topping the Age grade table, gaining a WAVA of 84.34%. The VW65-69 age category is clearly a competitive age group here with the second place this week going to Alison Roberts in the same category with a WAVA of 82.38%, rounding up the top three was Michael Coupe with a WAVA of 82.14%. Rounding up this week's top 5 WAVA scores was this week's first finisher James Rodgers, whilst finishing as first female for the second time was Helen Faubel.
 
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It was lovely to see Helen Faubel and Sorrel Langley-Hobbs return to Ashton Court after a long absence. They and their families are regulars at Burnham and Highbridge parkrun these days. Here's Helen, delighted (we think) to have finished first! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
We often see people carrying balloons depicting a particular parkrun milestone that they wish to celebrate, including this week; Joe Pritchard's 50th run at Ashton Court. Rarely people wish to celebrate their 21st parkrun, instead Beth McMillan floated up the hill with her two and one balloons to celebrate her 21st Birthday, many happy returns Beth!
 
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Here's our birthday girl Beth McMillan, with 2 friends to her left who ran without barcodes (I know!) and who for evermore will be known as "Beth's friends" (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Also in the news this week the military invaded our regular start/finish area. When the volunteer crew turned up in the morning they were slightly surprised to find a number of cadets already entrenched in the park. Thankfully due to some excellent negotiating, a peaceful solution was found to sharing the space and both of our events were able to live happily side by side. There were some rumours of the Queen's shilling being offered to a few parkrunners after their run, we can only offer wishes of good luck to anyone who took up the offer.
 
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Stand off at the AC corral . . 8.15 on parkrun morning (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
On the 21st December we will be having our annual festive celebration, so dust off those Christmas jumpers, Santa hats or other festive wear of your choice for the run. After the run please join in the Christmas jollity in the courtyard for the bring and share picnic of cakes, mince pies, biscuits and anything else people are happy to bring and share. There are sometimes even healthy options available.
 
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There's no need to wait until the 21st to wear that special Christmas kit as Emma Coles demonstrates (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Finally thanks to all of this week's 26 volunteers: Carole BUTLER, Christopher ELLIOTT, Colin TRAER, Dan JONES, David BRAITHWAITE, David TAYLOR, Edward PARSONS, Evie HARRIS-COOK, Fi LANG, Gill ATWILL, Hugo STRAMROOD, Janet O'CONNELL, Jason EAMES, John O'BRIEN, Liz HILL, Moe SOE, Nick BURNS, Oliver THRAVES, Rich KENINGTON, Ruth DAVIES, Steve PARSONS, Tariq KURD, William LAWRENCE and Andrew SHEPPERD, Liz SHEPPERD and Michael SHEPPERD who sorted the position tokens after the run...
 
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More Christmas decs . . (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
While the Shepherds sorted
The tokens by coffee
All seated in the cafe
The RDs of the day came down
And glory shone around
And glory shone around

"Fear not," they said,
For mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all parkrunkind,
To you and all parkrunkind."

"To you in Bristol
Town this day
Is an easy fix to troublesome results shall be found
The Savior which is WebFMS*
And this shall be the sign
And this shall be the sign."

"The heavenly phototimer
You there shall find solutions
To human view displayed
And missed timer clicks
and sweaty barcodes
easy fixes will be laid
easy fixes will be laid."

Thus spoke the RDs,
And forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of parkrunners praising PBs, who thus
Addressed their joyful song
Addressed their joyful song

"All glory be to
parkrun on high
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth
From heaven to men
Begin and never cease
Begin and never cease!"

*WebFMS is the web based app the RDs use to process the timer and scanner data files prior to your results being sent to you by email or text, but you don’t really need to know this!
 
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Hi-vis looks great at any time of year - thanks everyone! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 

Report by Colin Traer, poet laureate
 

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.

Rich Kenington took some photos of the start of our parkrun, and they're on our Flickr pages. You'll find them, together with all our other photos, by following this link. They're also in Google Photos if you prefer to look at them there.

 

C Course, and what’s the letter C for?

 
With K and S in the alphabet, do we need C? They both make the sounds C do after all. I suppose words like hurh would be a bit triky to pronouns if there were no c. So let’s move on to what C was for today.

With a Christmas Market outside the Mansion, we’d’ve been in the way had we used our usual assembly point, so we moved south towards Long Ashton, and used our C course for just the 3rd time since records began!
 
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We did our best to let everyone know we were moving, in social media during the previous week and on the morning of the run (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
When the dust had settled after parkrun it was clear that C was for Celebrations. What a lot there were! Giles Drewett and Philip Dallimore had both run their 50th parkruns. Pat Parr, David Withers, John Churchill, Peri Taylor and Angela Seddon had all completed their 100th parkruns.

Paul Stuart had run his 150th parkrun; Nirpal Singh Gillar and Steve Hawkins both finished their 200th parkruns and Chris Day topped the lot, having completed his 250th parkrun!
 
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Steve Hawkins can't keep a straight face on his 200th parkrun! Just to Steve's right is Kate Hoffen, who would finish 1 second behind the pb she set last week! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
1,400 parkruns between 11 parkrunners! Nirpal’s 200 events are notable for all having been at Ashton Court. Nirpal is only the 2nd parkrunner to have completed 200 parkruns without having run at any other parkrun.

Meanwhile, Andrew Holliday became the 403rd one of us to have completed 50 Ashton Court parkruns, to go with the 16 he’s run elsewhere.
 
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A big thumbs up from Tail Walker One Angela Seddon, at the start of her 100th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
I made note of Peri Taylor's 100th parkrun just now. Peri had been dithering on 99 for a few weeks, and the reason why became clear today, when Peri and her family completed the grand total of 500 parkruns between them! This isn't a stat I was aware of, and it's not something I'm going to start counting up but all you families out there please feel free to let me know when between you you've accumulated a particularly humungous total of parkruns! The scores on the Taylor's doors are David 219, Taryn 171, Peri 100, Jaz 9 and Sienna 1. I sense a reluctance to join in towards the end of that list! 393 of these 500 have taken place here at home.

So a family that parkruns together gets fit and healthy together! Great fun and one of the many wonderful things that parkrun brings us. I know of another Ashton Court family who are closing in on 600 parkruns together, and there must be others who are gradually building up some fine totals. Over to you!

C is also for Congratulations and many of them go to all of these milestone marvels for their wonderful parkrun achievements!
 
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We don't often see this on a Saturday morning at 10 past 9. Our usual parkrun start and finish area completely deserted (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
C is for Congestion. Lots of the nasal variety around at the moment of course, and today with an unusual downhill finish, the finish funnel became congested at times. The three busiest minutes at the finish were the 25th, 26th and 27th, when 112 of you finished the run – 51 of you in the 26th minute. That’s almost a ¼ of all the finishers in 3 minutes. Well done to the volunteer team for coping, and to all of you for being so patient when the queues were building up.

There was also Congestion in and out of the car park today. Which was the fault of the Christmas Market, not parkrun.
 
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No congestion by the time Tail Walker Two finished (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
C is for lots of other things. Consistency is one. Consecutive another. Desmond Jones is one of our most consistent regulars. Today was Des’ 237th parkrun, and they’ve all been here on the hill. What’s more, the last time Des missed a parkrun was our 296th. Since then he’s run 138 consecutive Ashton Court parkruns.
 
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The man in the middle (in yellow) is Desmond Jones, currently the owner of our longest streak! In the red t-shirt is George Taylor, about to chalk a second off his pb for the 2nd consecutive Saturday (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
C is also for Common. Amongst our visitors today were Libby Lees-Powell (p308), Jessica Clements (p316) and Charlotte Smyth (p323). Their home runs are Wimbledon Common, Clapham Common and Tooting Common.

Millie Davies (p222) and Hannah Briggs (p223) visited from Cardiff parkrun, while Tom Baggott (p73) and Hannah Downing (p87) popped in from Coventry parkrun. Hannah is the recipient of this week’s What Took You So Long award, which is of course much coveted, although there's no prize as it's just for fun. Hannah had run 181 parkruns elsewhere before coming to Ashton Court.
 
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"What Took You So Long" award winner Hannah Downing (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
It was nice to have a chat with Kathryn Osborne (p325) from Heartlands parkrun, who with her husband was visiting Longleat’s Festival of Light later in the day. Also up from Cornwall were Maria Lamont and Richard Chillcott, from Parke parkrun.

And it was lovely to meet David Evans and Tracy Derry as well, who are from the Watford area. Sadly, for this narrative, their home event isn’t Cassiobury parkrun, but another, a little over 6k away – Aldenham parkrun.

I hope all our first-time visitors enjoyed their jaunt up and down the hill, and please come back to see us again soon!
 
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Joanna Cheesbrough was one of 4 visitors from Huddersfield parkrun. I hope your visit wasn't completely spoiled by the afternoon's football? (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Happily, C is also for Coincidence. “Happily”, because there's usually one or two in our parkrun results.

Today's stand out coincidence belongs to Rebecca Colquhoun, who completed her 327th parkrun in 327th position. Francesca Blest was our 9th female finisher her 9th parkrun and Rachel Verity was 12th female finisher in her 12th parkrun, with a pb too.

Gary Jennings (p63) finished his 174th parkrun. Next finisher, David Murray Milne completed his 176th parkrun, and right behind David was Mike McBeth, who also finished his 174th event. Which was almost a coincidence!
 
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Ploughing through the puddles is Rebecca Colquhoun, on her way to 327th place (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Close. Another of our C words. Dave Ingram (p72) couldn’t have got closer to a pb, because he equalled his best time. Dave’s now run 2 consecutive AC parkruns in 23:23. Kate Hoffen (p91), Beatrice Moffat (p129) and Bernadette Deere (p197) all missed a new pb by 2 seconds - Kate has run 23:59 and 24:00 on consecutive Saturdays - and Michael Shepperd (p436), missed out by 3 seconds. Michael’s pb of 40:33 was set in April and hopefully he’s now recovered from the injury that’s plagued him through the summer and autumn.
 
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Always good to see This Mum Runs members at parkrun because they're always smiling! Joanne Hardwick and Jo Garbutt are the two Mums enjoying themselves here (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Compliments must go to the 54 parkrunners who ran our course faster than ever before today. Last week George Taylor (p58) ran a pb, beating his previous best by 1 seconds. Today he repeated this feat, coming down from 22:29 to 22:28. Could take a while for George to get sub 22 at this rate!

The last time Eloise Morton (p305) achieved a pb was in May 2017. Since then Eloise has run here over 60 times, and missed a new pb by 15 seconds 3 weeks ago and by just 1 second last week. It takes courage to keep trying, running as hard as you can each Saturday morning and never quite getting there, and the reward of this pb is much deserved.

Joseph Butler (p40) now has 4 pbs from his last 4 runs, having brought his time down from 22:16, to 21:53, to 21:37 and now to 21:34. Sally Read (p291) beat her old best by 50 seconds, down to 30:26 with sub-30 in her sights, and Pete Spain (p174), who has run here 5 times achieved his 4th pb.

It’s great watching our juniors improve, and today Rosie Walker (p215), Ruby Thorn (p274), Eleanor Ransom (p415) and Arthur Allen (p428) (again! What does he have for breakfast?) all beat their previous bests.
 
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Right behind smiley 2nd placed female (although 3rd at this point) Jo Temple is Joseph Butler, chasing down another pb (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
17 people came along and ran their first ever parkrun today, and I hope they’ll all cherish the memory of it while cultivating a love of parkrun. Unusually, 5 of the 17 are males, and the remaining 12 aren’t. Ben Hill (p133) was one, and although he hasn’t taken part there yet his home run is Torrens parkrun, in North Adelaide. He and Mike Hill (p238) were furthest from home today, as far as we can tell.

Cornucopia is a good C word, as is Celerity. I can’t do much with the first one but Celerity works well. Today’s most celeritous finishers were Dave Leahy, who finished 1st for the 1st time, having finished 2nd on his only previous visit. That was the week Adam Hands finished 5th here, on his first visit, and today Adam returned for his 2nd event here and finished 2nd. Marcus Mumford has now run here 6 times. His first visit was our 34th parkrun, when he finished 1st. As you know today’s was our 434th parkrun, and Marcus was our 3rd finisher, the 2nd time he’s been handed that finish token.
 
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Here's Dave Leahy, who according to Run Director Alice Doggrell juggles when he's not running, with Adam Hands in blue and Marcus Mumford in purple (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
It’s over 3 years since Amelia Atkinson (p21) visited us last, and today was her 3rd AC parkrun. In both of her 1st 2 visits Amelia finished 2nd female, and finished 1st today. Jo Temple (p41) was our 2nd female today, the 10th time she’s finished in that position, and finishing 3rd for the 2nd time was Katie Egan (p45).

Finally, the top 2 age grade scorers. The top male was Michael Coupe (p221), with his age group being VM80-84 and his time of 27:55 giving him a score of 79.34%, and top female, with a time of 23:48 and her age group of VW55-59 giving a score of 75.07%, was Angela Parfitt (p83).
 
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This is the morning's top female age grade scorer Angela Parfitt (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
And I think that brings this report on our 434th parkrun almost to a conclusion. I ought to mention that it was cold, and perhaps a little cloudy, but that’s what often happens when you wish for a dry morning in November! Always be careful what you wish for!

I should just praise the cool heads of Alice Doggrell and Amanda Halford, our 2 Run Directors, and their cohort of volunteers, who coped so well with the different start and finish, given that 2 of the rostered team were unable to be with us and that it was Amanda’s 1st turn at Run Directing. Not that you’d have known! Alice and Amanda were commendably cool, calm and collected when the time came to process the results, with a little collaboration from the morning’s First Time Briefer Liz Hill. Thank you all!
 
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You need to look closely at this one - the second runner from the left in a yellow top is Lewis Addison, and he was the first person to finish today who'd never run here before. This makes Lewis the 23,000th parkrunner to ever darken our finish line! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 

Report by Rich Kenington, Tail Walker Two (p457)
 

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.

Rich Kenington took a few photos with his phone on the way round the course. You'll find them, together with all our other photos, by following this link.

They're also available on our Google Photos pages, which we're slowly adding more photo albums to each week.

 

Come rain, come shine, there’s always a smile . .

 
A wet parkrun at Ashton Court used to be the exception rather than the rule but in recent months it’s become the norm. Climate change or has our luck changed? I don’t know.

But come rain, come shine, our parkrun’s always full of sunny smiles. The smiles of people happy to be in beautiful Ashton Court, pleased to catch up with friends, pleased to have completed their first parkrun, pleased to have finished, pleased to have run faster than last time, pleased to have finished ahead of someone in particular, pleased to have got it over and done with, pleased to have completed a landmark run, and in the case of those in hi-vis, pleased to have helped make another parkrun happen.

I hope David Tonkin went home smiling. He finished 1st for the 3rd time this morning. 67 seconds behind David came Martin Hunt, taking part here for the 1st time. Ours is the 5th different parkrun where Martin has finished 2nd. And just 3 seconds behind Martin came Stefano Dalcanale, finishing 3rd, in his 3rd parkrun, for the 2nd time.

41 seconds and 6 places behind Stefano came Hannah Steeds, running here for the 14th time and the 1st female finisher for the 11th time. Hannah finished 1 second behind her pb. Our 2nd female finisher, Tanya Chowdhury, equalled her pb! Having run here 214 times, this was Tanya’s 20th 2nd female finish. And 11 places further back was Emma Pemberton, finishing 3rd female for the 6th time in her 25 runs here.

 
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All set to go - half a Leo Ikin to the left (sorry Leo!), Tom Dunn in the singlet. First male David Tonkin is centre stage in the cap, with first female Hannah Steeds in grey just over David's left shoulder, and the morning's first buggy on the right, piloted by Phil Craske (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
1st in the age grade scores was Shirley Clegg, with a score of 82.67%, a score only ever beaten here by 18 other parkrunners. Maggie Salter was 2nd highest scorer – her score of 77.16% being the 18th occasion Maggie’s scored 75% or more, and 1st finisher David Tonkin scored the 3rd highest with 76.26%, his 2nd highest age graded score here.

10 people took part in their very first parkrun – 2 of them aged under 11, 1 over 60, the other 7 somewhere in between. 9 of them were male, and they were spread across the finishers from 4th place to 403rd. That last one was Barnaby Holmes, close behind his daughter Ffion, who looked very pleased with herself when she crossed the finish line. And quite right too!

I hope that all 10 of you enjoyed your first parkrun and that it’s not long before we see you back again for another go!

 
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We were flattered to see 47 parkrunners come and visit us for the 1st time today. Our highly sought after “what took you so long award” (no prize it’s just for fun) is shared by a husband and wife once again – Roy and Hazel Starling. Roy had run 345 other parkruns before coming to Ashton Court, Hazel 293. Roy and Hazel’s home event is Roundhay parkrun in Leeds. Roundhay is one of our twin parkruns, having staged their first event on the same morning in 2011 as we did. Leamington parkrun is the other, to save you looking it up.

Amongst our other guests were Paula Robinson and Neil Edwards from Aylesbury parkrun, and Cathy and David Woodall from Bushy Park parkrun. Cathy has a 4 digit parkrun number – we don’t see very many of them here!

We also welcomed Sarah Cavanagh and James Saget from Killerton parkrun; Declan Conway and Jerome and Jordan Lin from Norwich parkrun, and Ania Wronski and Clare Davies popped in from Reading parkrun. Darren Holland and Jo Connolly’s home is Trelissick parkrun, and furthest from home were Sam Watson, from St Andrews parkrun, and Johnny Phatbuoy from Antrim parkrun.

I was told that we had a visitor from Australia who I’ve not been able to identify in the results.

Thanks to all of you, and those I’ve not mentioned, for coming to see us. I hope you enjoyed our parkrun, and I’m sorry the views weren’t as spectacular as they usually are. But please don’t take my word for that – come back and see us again to find out!

 
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33 parkrunners ran faster than they ever had before here today. 2 of them, George Taylor and Jason Carter, just scraped under their previous best by 1 second! Rees Cooper managed to double that margin.

Carl Keenan celebrated his 150th parkrun with a 29 second improvement, and his girlfriend Laura Hodge joined in by beating her best by 10 seconds.

You may remember that Steve Parsons was out on the course volunteering for the 200th time today, and his grandson Brennan Elphick celebrated with a 78 second pb, while another under 11, Arthur Allen, beat his best by a whopping 3 minutes 24 seconds!

Ruby Thorn ran her 3rd pb in 4 runs, Lee Masters his 7th in 8 runs (and has brought his time down from 35:02 to 30:52 in the process). Robert Stewart ran his 4th pb in 5 runs and Tamar Preston ran her 3rd consecutive pb.

Well done to these 10 and the other 23 on running faster than ever before!

I mentioned a couple of landmarks just now and there are more to celebrate: a junior parkrunner, Maddy Johnson, finished her 10th event; a second junior, Kieran Butler, ran his 50th parkrun (and apologies for omitting you from the list of names called out before the run); Vikki Thomas completed her 100th parkrun, and one of our 2 brilliant volunteer coordinators, Janet O’Connell, completed her 200th parkrun. And Steven Swan completed his 50th Ashton Court parkrun as well.

Many congratulations to our milestone marvels on these wonderful achievements!

One of the smiley things about parkrun is the support we receive from one another, and it was heartening to see 14 members of Steve Parsons’ club Great Western Runners take part today, with several others volunteering or just there. There were also 10 members of Blaise Runners at Ashton Court to help celebrate Vikki Thomas’ and Carl Keenan’s landmark runs.

There were lots of other clubs and organisations represented as well, of course – again, far too many to mention. Although I do wonder if the 5 members of Lonely Goat Running Club need an introduction?

 
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Resplendent in Raspberry - Blaise Runners: Andrew Thomas, Carl Keenan, Vikki Thomas, Laura Hodge, Gemma Kennedy, Frank Clark, Mark Hayes, Fran Upshon and Peter Coombs, with Lucy Staple and Aude Bouillet in the front (not sure who to credit for the photo - but thanks to Mark Hayes for sharing it)
 
We’re often asked after the results have been published why someone’s finish position doesn’t match the number on the finish token they had scanned. Although there can be other explanations, usually, it’s this. We have 2 means of accounting for people as they finish parkrun. The first is we time them crossing the line, the second is we hand them a finish token. We hope at the end of the run that our number of times equals the number of tokens issued.

Yesterday it wasn’t. We had 411 times, but our final tail walker was handed token 409. This suggested that 2 parkrunners crossed the finish line but escaped from the finish funnel before being handed a token, so somewhere we had to add 2 unknowns to the results.

But where?

 
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This is why we manually record the times of some finishers – about 1 each minute if we can, and why we use a timing device that takes photos. Having uploaded the result data, we compare the recorded times with the samples and when we find a discrepancy, work backwards through the finish line photos until for example, we find a male where a female ought to be, or vice versa.

We had to do that twice yesterday. It probably added about 15 minutes to the result processing. Not every run director enjoys this aspect of the role of course, but some of us do. I certainly enjoy the challenge of forensically going through all the information we have to get the results exactly right, and yesterday we made CSI look like Inspector Gadget!

 
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Whether we enjoy delving so deep into the data or not, we'd all prefer not to do it and that everyone who crosses the finish line took a finish token, as then the result processing would work like a dream! So please, if you have a bad run one morning or you forget your barcode, always take a finish token.

If you don’t want the run recorded, you can put the token in the bucket provided and then you won’t disrupt the results processing.

You may have noticed some new faces amongst our Run Directors recently. We invited them to join the group a few months ago and since then they’ve been shadowing the established members of the team, building up an understanding of the role, especially in terms of briefing the volunteers before parkrun. And they’re all great!

We’ve had 16 year old Elena and 12 year old Poppy run direct recently, so we know the future of Ashton Court parkrun is in safe hands. Yesterday, 2 more of our apprentices joined me as Run Directors, and if anything, it’ll be me that’s fired before they are! Alice and Louise both did really well, as have the others before them, and that’s why I end this report with a photo of the morning’s 3 RDs!

 
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Two roses, one thorn - Louise Nikou, Rich Kenington and Alice Irwin - Run Directors de jour (photo: Elena Nikou)
 
Have a great week, and wherever you may be at 9 o’clock next Saturday, may your barcode be with you!
 

Report by Rich Kenington, Run Director
 

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.

No photos today but you can find all our photos by following this link.

 

Four – Three – Two – One – GO!

 
“There is harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen as if it could not be, as if it had not been.” Percy Bysshe Shelley.
 
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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower“ Albert Camus
(photo: Rich Kenington)

 
The trees are changing colour, while the large oak where we gather for the morning’s briefing has lost virtually all its leaves. The sun shone pleasantly if weakly, and there was barely a breath of wind.
 
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Our beloved Turkey Oak is already preparing for Springtime, as our parkrunners prepare for the morning's excursion up and down the hill (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
So what better to do than enjoy Ashton Court parkrun number 432! Certainly 443 of you thought that, with 31 people helping with marshalling, timekeeping, token scanning and sorting and all the other volunteer roles that are needed for each event.
 
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The colour of the Mansion's walls ("like the inside of a Crunchie bar" someone once said) blends in well with the seasonal shades, in contrast to the many colours worn by our crocodile of parkrunners (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
We’ve had the words from Shelley, but for poetry in motion we could do no worse than look towards our first finisher, Arthur Dickson-Bell, who ran quickly at his first ever parkrun at Ashton Court last week, and even quicker at his second parkrun this week. And first woman across the line, Claire Hammett, also recorded a new PB, beating nineteen minutes here for the first time and becoming the 9th fastest female we've seen at Ashton Court. Arthur and Claire are both in their early twenties, so have youth on their side. But parkrun also has the age grade statistic that rates your performance against the world record pace for your age. And our top performer this week was Stuart Ellis, whose time of 22:22 gave him the age grade performance of 79.81% on his 100th parkrun to boot. And he’s got around fifty extra years on Arthur and Clair! Second only to Stuart in age grade was our oldest runner, Michael Coupe, with an impressive 79.42% age grading.
 
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In yellow is Ben Swift, at home here at Ashton Court and running his 343rd parkrun. On the right is Richard Sumner, playing away for only the second time from his home at Weymouth parkrun in this his 42nd parkrun; and in the middle of the trio is Peter Rooney, taking part in his 1st parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
At the other end of the age scale we had 4 juniors under 11 recorded in the results, with one of them, Paddy Parmiter recording a new PB. The under 11’s have to run with a responsible adult for safekeeping, and Simon Parmiter would have been there with Paddy providing suitable words of encouragement I’m sure! Mind you, Paddy might say he could have run faster if Simon had kept up with him better. Arthur Allen was the last of the juniors to finish, but that’s a good thing because he was one of our tail walkers, making sure everyone got round safely. Thank you Arthur!
 
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We haven't counted how often Eve Blackmore has pushed a buggy up and down our course, but this was her 100th parkrun at Ashton Court, and her 133rd in all (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
We had 17 parkrunners doing their very first parkrun. Christopher Hill was one of these, running up and down our hill in 25:43, while Daniel Squibb avoided being a damp Squibb by choosing one of the nicest Saturdays in November to complete his first parkrun ever. Another 48 runners tackled the Ashton Court course for the first time, having completed at least one parkrun somewhere else, and the fastest of these was David Leahy, who was our second finisher in 17:58. David’s only other parkrun was at Newark three months ago. Another first timer and finishing not far behind David to be fifth across the line, was Adam Hands whose first parkrun at Ashton Court comes after a hiatus of over five years. His three previous parkruns had all been at Newcastle.
 
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I didn't get their best side until during the run, but this was too good an opportunity to miss! Zoe and Darren Lambert were visiting us for the first time from Newbury parkrun, and both were running their 78th parkrun. They were kind enough to thank us for a "great run" in Facebook later in the day. Thank you too! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
First timer Roman Lagnado also caught my eye, as he describes himself as a runner with the Sexy Walrus club. While today was a nice change, we’ve certainly had the weather for walruses recently. The Sexy Walruses hold a mad-sounding annual handicapped triathlon in Oxfordshire, although Roman normally parkruns in the London area. He is the seventh Sexy Walrus to complete an Ashton Court parkrun. The “What took you so long award” (no prize it’s only for fun) goes to Rory Morrow who had done 214 parkruns elsewhere before coming to Ashton Court. Rory has done most of his previous parkruns at Craigavon in Northern Ireland which is somewhat flatter than Ashton Court, although the lakes in the middle of the course are much larger, and possibly deeper, than the potholes at the top of our course.
 
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Here's Rory Morrow, about to complete his 215th parkrun, and his 1st here, alongside Sophie Patten, taking part in her 2nd parkrun and on her way to a pb (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Overall, we had 50 runners record new best times right from our first finisher all the way through to Karen Fletcher, who has now recorded four PBs in her nine runs at Ashton Court. Rob Beaver and Hayley Beaver both recorded PBs on their second parkruns. Well you wouldn’t expect the Beavers to have any trouble getting through the puddles on our course would you!
 
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Giving us a wave is Karen Fletcher, on her way to finishing 27 seconds quicker than before, with Angela Holland close behind (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
The classic poets celebrated their heroes in iambic pentameter, while we like to celebrate ours over five kilometres. And whichever way we describe performances, everyone who takes part is a hero, runner and volunteer. But we do like to call out the runners who have reached milestones, especially if they bring cake, so a big well done to Clare McLachan who completed her 200th parkrun, Kate Darbyshire and Jennifa Burgess who completed their 150th’s, and Stuart Ellis who I mentioned earlier completing his 100th event.
 

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Lovely to see Clare McLachlan enjoying her 200th parkrun (195 of them here) so much (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
And the best thing is we can do it all again next week.
 
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As the course marshals return to our assembly area the start and finish volunteers pack our equipment away, ready for our 433rd parkrun next Saturday (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Report by Paul Hodges, Run Director
 

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.

Rich Kenington took photos for us today, and they're on our Flickr pages. You'll find them, together with all our other photos, by following this link.

We've recently begun to add photos to our Google Photos page. It'll be a while before we catch up, but with a separate album for each event it's easier to find our back numbers! This link will take you to them.

 

“We’re merely one tree . . .”

 
“We’re merely one tree with various types, shapes and sizes of leaves that all wave differently in the breeze”
 
Rasheed Ogunlaru

 
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Our course marshals set off up the hill to their various positions . . (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
There is nothing better than visiting Ashton Court on a crisp autumn morning in November when the sun is glistening on the turning leaves, displaying their rich vivid colours as they fall from branch to ground carpeting the frosty grass in a bright quilt, before without warning they dance around in the breeze.
 
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The first-timers briefing went well . . (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
Run 431, wasn’t quite blessed with this image, the early dry morning turning somewhat wet, windy and extremely wintery. However a carnival of bright, colours, like autumn leaves gathered under the tree in anticipation of the ascent up the hill.
 
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And away they go! First finisher James Pyke is on the left of the front row (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
Run Directors, Rich and Tony, swept everyone to the start and with a sudden spirited gust they were away, a flurrying burst of bright energy striding along purposefully in one direction and all with the same goal.
 
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Disappearing into the Autumn gloom (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
Like a tornado James Pyke was the first of 376 runners to finish in a time of 17.35, recording a new pb and knocking a remarkable 1.04 from his previous best time.
 
Thomas William Stone having completed 220 parkruns elsewhere before finding Ashton Court blew in with a time of 18.40 finishing in third position.
 
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Here's Thomas William Stone, whose home event is Leamington parkrun, flying towards winning our "What took you so long award" (no prize, it's just for fun) (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
First female to breeze over the line was Tanya Chowdhury with a new pb in 20.49 taking 30 seconds off her previous best which was recorded on 13/09/2014.
 
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Marcus Kropacsy, close to completing his 300th parkrun, just ahead of Tanya Chowdhury, today's first female finisher. Nirpal Singh Gillar follows (photos: Sarah Jones)
 
Another to record a pb on her 231st run was Gill Atwill taking off 12 seconds since her last pb on 28/09/2013. Gill ran at the first parkrun here back in April 2011.
 
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Specs off, shoe lace undone - nothing was slowing Gill Atwill down this morning! (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
I know Liz Shepperd will be delighted with her new pb on her 29th run, her time down by 1.20, Liz and husband Michael having become regulars here since January.

There were a total of 37 pbs today, congratulations to all of you.

 
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This was Liz Shepperd's 12th personal best this year, and her time of 44:17 took her below 45 minutes for the first time (photo: Sarah Jones)
 

There were 26 first timers here from other parkruns and 20 first timers new to parkrun. I know everyone at Ashton Court hoped you enjoyed your visit and unlike leaves that fall in autumn, you will not fall away but return very soon.

 
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Congratulations to Hayley and Rob Beaver on completing their first parkrun - hope we see you again soon (photo: Sarah Jones)
 

As always a special mention to the 27 volunteers who made parkrun happen, their sunny smiles and cheery disposition definitely not indicative of the inclement weather. High fives aplenty, clapping, cheering and encouraging every participant.

 
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4th in line is Richard Harding, about to complete his 200th parkrun (photo: Sarah Jones)
 

It is a breath of fresh air to be a tail walker, and along with Gina Jennings I witnessed the delightful determination of everyone as they made their unique way, in their own special time, along the branches and roots of Ashton Court parkrun.

 
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Tail walkers Louise Nikou and Gina Jennings approach the final bend - at this time of year a stunning sight if you have the strength left to appreciate it! (photo: Sarah Jones)
 

Just like leaves, all types, shapes and sizes, waving differently in the breeze.......

 

Report by Louise Nikou, Tail Walker
 

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.

Sarah Jones took some wonderful photos of today's wet parkrun, and they're on our Flickr pages. You'll find them, together with all our other photos, by following this link.

 

It’s Raining Rs . .

 
R is for running, rugby, red letter days, and rain. It also introduces the relish of a first visit to Ashton Court parkrun, with the privilege of writing the run report as a guest. In this region, the rugby will speak for itself, but the Ashton Court running, the red letter days, and that rain, all deserve a mention.
 
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The puddles on the road don't really do justice to the volume of rain that fell before our parkrun, which is just as well, given that we'd anticipated running, not swimming (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
The running was scenic and strongly autumnal. The Ashton Court Estate is beautiful, and lends itself to a rewarding run with challenge and safety in equal measure. Conversations out on the course were as friendly and supportive as those that had peppered the initial welcome, the first timers’ briefing, and the run briefing.
 
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Although Ashton Court estate looks lovely whatever the weather, these autumn shades are always special (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Red letter days were in abundance and shared between early finishers, first timers at Ashton Court, and those who had a PB, or reached a milestone today. The male and female first finishers were Andrew Barrington and Emily Strathdee; in second place in each category were Jake Stephens and Tanya Chowdhury; in third place were Jonny Reep and Jo Temple. Shirley Clegg achieved the morning's highest age grade with her score of 79.86%.
 
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The first 3 male finishers - Andrew Barrington, Jake Stephens and Jonny Reep. Andrew and Jake were both running here for the first time, and although this was Jonny's 5th visit, it was his first since 2017 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Reaching milestones were Cora Lambourne, a junior who ran her 10th 5k parkrun; Sue House, who was visiting us from Pomphrey Hill parkrun, completed her 50th parkrun; Ness Collenette finished her 200th event and Daniel Morgan reached the dizzy heights of 400 parkruns completed! Congratulations to all four!
 
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Vicky Pyne leads the way, with Ness Collenette in the red 50 parkrun club top, and Sarah Duppa-Whyte just behind Vicky. Ness is in the final kilometre of her 200th parkrun - all but two of which have been here at Ashton Court (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Those who achieved personal bests were: Claire Phillips, Alex Kelly, Stanton Wilcox, Patrick Stonehewer, Andy Tripp, Astrid Blee, Elizabeth Anne Spence, George Nikou, Katie McRoberts, Pete Spain, Cora Lambourne, Craig Blackmore, Sue House, Jackie Urwin, Lee Masters, Tania Tatum, Sapphire Evans, and Deborah Blackmore.
 
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It's almost as if she knew: Sapphire Evans, not far from the finish line and on her way to her first pb since June, reducing her best time by 34 seconds and beating 41 minutes for the first time with her time of 40:40. Not far behind is Deborah Blackmore, who usually runs at Andover parkrun and was visiting us for the second time today. (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Enjoying a different kind of red letter day were those taking part in their first ever parkrun - welcome to: Chris Hutchens, William Hoffman, Zoe Davidson, Sarah Moody, Georgina Innes-Myers, Stephen Crichton, Sarah Marrow, Anna Marrow.
 
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Anna and Sarah Marrow seemed to enjoy their first ever parkruns and we hope we see them again soon (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
And the following parkrunners enjoyed yet another kind of red letter day, visiting Ashton Court parkrun for the first time:
Andrew Barrington, Jake Stephens, Emily Strathdee, Ben Brooke-Taylor, Georgia Palmer, Carl Orme, Sophie Harvey-Rich, Laura Hutchens, Stuart Morrison, Peter Cleaves, Russell Cox, Lily Brooke-Taylor, Archie Makepeace, Alan Makepeace, Caroline Scraggs, Nicki Ashworth, Sally Palmer, Jennifer Griggs, James Phillips, Evelyn Phillips, Mark Pritchard, Mark Palmer, Debbie Ringham, Stefan Chilcott, Katie Pownall, Sarah Holloway, Ruth Pritchard, Alice Cullingworth, Pat Kimpton, Simon Kimpton, Tara Phillips, and Ian Flint.
 
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This week's "What took you so long award" (no prize, it's just for fun) is shared by Pat and Simon Kimpton (the first Kimptons ever to darken our finish line). Pat had run 450 parkruns elsewhere before joining us for the first time, and Simon 485! Thanks for popping in, it was good to see you again! (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
As well as appearing in more than one of the red letter lists above, Cora Lambourne has a birthday coming up – what a time she’s having!

Having mentioned the running and the red letter days, it is now time to consider today’s rain. The forecast was severe, and some other local parkruns were cancelled due to flooding. Today’s Ashton Court volunteers, however, maintained a sunnyside-up mood throughout this morning’s event. Not only was the weather slightly better than expected, but these hi-vis heroes know that the hilly profile of their course is the perfect antidote to lowland flooding!
 
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Here's sunnyside-up Drew McLellan, one of our happy hi-vis heroes this morning (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
It was lovely to visit today, and a pleasure to write this week’s run report.
 
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Proudly wearing her 25 volunteer club parkrun t-shirt is our guest report writer Ruth Pritchard - thank you Ruth for your thoughtful and kind words today - and thank you everyone else for playing nicely! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 

Report by Ruth Pritchard visiting from Birkenhead parkrun
 

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.

Rich Kenington took a some photos of today's parkrun, and they're on our Flickr pages together with a few more taken by Ruth Pritchard. You'll find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link.

 

Christmas and New Year parkruns

Please note that there will NOT be a Christmas Day or a New Year's Day parkrun at Ashton Court this winter. We've never held a parkrun on Christmas Day, and having staged one on each of the last 4 New Year's mornings we've decided to have a year off (not the whole year, obviously, just this one day!).

Once we know exactly what parkruns our neighbours are offering on these 2 days we'll let you know. You can keep up to date with the seasonal parkrun offerings by looking at this page.

The Ashton Court parkrun team

 

Crouch, Bind, Set

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

 2019-10-27 barcodes

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.

 

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.
 
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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!
 
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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.
 
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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!
 
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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.
 

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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).

 
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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

History was made on Saturday morning at a ‘run, not-a-race’

 

This run report writer almost didn’t make it to parkrun this morning. At 7:15 our time and 8:15 on the specially resurfaced Hauptallee in Prater park in Vienna (the location of the Riesenrad: the giant Ferris wheel that features in Orson Wells’ The Third Man), Eliud Kipchoge, (four-time London marathon winner, Olympic champion and marathon world record holder [2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin marathon] set out to achieve the impossible. A marathon in under two hours. Just think of it. A marathon in two hours means running 2 minutes 50 seconds per km, (that’s 4 minutes 34 seconds per mile or 21.1 km per hour or 13.1 miles per hour). If you could do that, then you could finish Ashton Court parkrun in 14 minutes 13 seconds. And no one ever has. Our record at Ashton Court is 15 minutes 46 seconds. In fact Only FIVE of the 51,363,611 parkruns ever completed have been faster than Eliud's pace.

To be fair to all of us who run at Ashton Court parkrun regularly, Kipchoge’s marathon had only 2.4 metres of incline over the entire route and 90% of it was a straight line! Also, we don’t get assistance from a bright green grid projected on to the ground in front of us as we run by laser from a pacing car. We don’t get 41 pace setters running alongside us in groups of seven to keep us going and protect us from the wind. We don’t have Nike ZoomX Vaporfly shoes (mostly because apparently they cost £240!!) and of course other running shoes and shoe manufacturers are available!

By 8:15, when I should have been leaving to get to Ashton Court with Zoly, I was still in bed watching the run in Vienna unfold. It was beautiful. Mesmerising. There was grey mist at the start that made the whole thing seem even more otherworldly. Eliud wore a white vest and arm warmers with black shorts and white trainers. The seven pace-setters wore black and had pink shoes. It was like a ballet on the road. They all ran like ripple on water – perfectly synchronised, perfectly paced and perfectly executed one of the most extraordinary feats of running that I had ever seen. The mid-run changeovers in pace setters were almost all seamlessly choregraphed. If all went to plan and Eliud ran sub-two, then he’d finish at about 9:15 – when I’d usually be at our parkrun turning point. I realised that the only way I was going to make it to parkrun was if I took my phone along to listen to the live commentary.

When I arrived at Ashton Court I thought of the people who’ve come to running through parkrun. Also what an incredible leveller running is – age or ability or income are not a barrier to taking part. On a day like today we get to join in with something that one of the greatest athletes in the world is doing. It felt like we are all coming together to support and show solidarity with Eliud.

 

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Runners of all ages, no doubt inspired by the great Eliud Kipchoge. What a great day to be taking part in parkrun. (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

So it was wonderful that 410 runners and 26 high-viz volunteer heroes resisted the temptation to stay home and watch the action in Vienna (although I later found out that while we were making our way up and down our little hill some of our volunteer timekeepers and scanners and watching Eliud’s efforts on their phone too). Janet delivered a wonderful run director’s briefing today and we were off promptly. I kept an earphone in and I could hear the tension in the voices of the commentators as Eliud ran the run of his life. Just before I reached the turn he did it. Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon distance in 59 minutes and 40 seconds. Shortly after finishing, he was embraced by his wife — who was watching him race in person for the very first time.

 

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Run director, Janet O'Connell delivering the main briefing prior to sending everyone off on their way. (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

It felt incredible to be running at the same time as Eliud – as ever there was a real sense of friendship and mutual support as we made our way up our little hill. We had our own wonderful achievements to celebrate at Ashton Court too. Stephen Shakespeare, who used to run at Little Stoke parkrun, completed his 250th parkrun with us this morning. Stu Rutherford and Martin Blackwell both ran their 200th, and Kenneth Jones did his 100th. Many congratulations to you all for achieving your milestone parkruns.

 

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Martin Blackwell looking rightly pleased to be running his 200th parkrun! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

There were 79 first timers at Ashton Court this morning. Perhaps inspired by Eliud’s efforts! Twenty-five our first timers were new to parkrun and we had first-time visitors from Twickenham, West Sussex, Bedfordshire, Middleton (nr. Manchester) and South Africa. ‘The ‘what took you so long?’ award this week (no prizes, it’s just for fun), goes to Chris Moore from Forest of Dean AC who’s run 388 parkruns before coming to Ashton Court for the first time. In fact, there were three first-timers from Forest of Dean AC; Helen Lipscombe has completed 179 parkruns and Andy Morgan has done 177 parkruns before coming to Ashton Court. Was there a Forest of Dean AC outing? Our first finisher this morning was also a first timer. Lee West finished in a time of 18:27, which was also a parkrun personal best time for him – well done Lee – we hope you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you and all our other firs timers back at Ashton Court soon.

 

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And here is Helen Lipscomb clearly enjoying her first visit to Ashton Court. (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Our first female finisher was a local - Hannah Steeds finished in 20:23. Second places go to David Langston in 18:41 and Jo Temple in 20:21. Third were Nick Tuftnell (yet another first timer) in 18:42 and Tanya CHOWDHURY in 21:32 (both Nick and Tanya are from Bristol and West AC.

 

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Our 3rd female finisher on Saturday was Tanya Chowdhury - always smiling, and so she should as she was only 13 seconds off her PB today. (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Six of our junior runners achieved a new personal best time this week: Brennan Elphick (JM10) 32:15, Dexter Pyne (JM10) 36:28, Thomas Eames (JM11-14) 21:48, Frazer W (JM11-14) 30:39, Max Pearce (JM11-14) 27:12 and Paige Barrett (37:39). In total 47 runners (just over 11% of the total runners this week) achieved new personal best times this week – well run all of you.
The best age grades this morning were Shirley Clegg 82.10% and Peter Wood (another first timer!) 81.19%.

 

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One of our many youngsters running on Saturday - looking like they were really enjoying their run whether or not they achieved a PB! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

So there you go. Eliud Kipchoge became the first person in history to run a marathon in under two hours on Saturday morning. Eliud goes into the record books for his efforts. However, Eliud’s time does not count as a new marathon world record because he was taking part in a run, not a race. And while Eliud was completing his run, not a race, hundreds of us at Ashton Court – locals and visitors - and thousands of other parkrunners all over the world were completing our run, not a race too. What a beautiful day.

 

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And off they go - no doubt inspired by Kipchoge's amazing run! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Many thanks to our volunteers this week – especially our run directors, and the briefers, marshals, timekeepers, number checkers, funnel managers, token issuers, tail waggers, token sorters, picture takers and equipment storers who proudly served Ashton Court parkrun running not racing this week.

 

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One of our tail walkers, Alex Moylett, making sure she read the notes to be clear what was expected of her (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Report by Mike McBeth

 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week’s event happen. Although AC 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 tablehere with links to all our age group records and heaps of other statty stuff.

Geoff Keogh took our photos this weekend, and you can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

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