First day of the new term
Having ended Year Six with 495 finishers at our 301st event we then started Year Seven with 549 finishers, all made possible by 22 volunteer. The new year began with 386 parkrunners who were at Ashton Court parkrun for at least the 2nd time, 64 who had forgotten their barcode, and 99 who had never been here before.
And we're off again! Event number 302 is under way, and Year Seven has begun (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
Of those 99, 23 were at their very 1st parkrun ~ 14 females and 9 males ~ and the remaining 76 ~ 34 females and 42 males ~ had taken part in parkruns elsewhere and were visiting us for the 1st time.
Here's Year Seven's first first timer, Aidan Noble, about to finish 4th in 17:55 (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
386 parkrunners ~ 172 female and 214 male ~ could have achieved a pb that morning, and almost 30% of them did, as between them 48 females and 65 males chalked up 113 personal bests. 2 parkrunners (1 of each) equalled their pbs, and 2 others (also 1 of each) missed equalling them by 1 second.
Only 1 of the 4 is a regular at Ashton Court ~ Peter Almond ~ and when he equalled his pb of 21:44 it was almost 11 months after he’d set it. Since then Peter has finished 66 more Ashton Court parkruns and the closest he’s got to his pb is 21:57. I know the feeling of time slipping away, Peter, but keep aiming high!
Peter Almond charging down the hill to equal his personal best (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
Our wonderful volunteers
It’s only thanks to the 322 different parkrunners who volunteered a total of 1,281 times that we were able to stage our 51 parkruns in Year Seven.
They share 218 different first names, including 9 Davids, 7 Andrews, 6 Simons and 4 Emmas, 4 Janes, 4 Rachels, 4 Ruths and 4 Sarahs.
Shortly before event 302 started Run Director Niall Hoskin explains how to make something work to Francesca Knapper, Julia Cook and Rachel Pinchin (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
New friends, new parkrunners ~ the Class of Year Seven
Year Seven saw 3,308 people ~ 1,357 female, 1,952 male ~ take part in Ashton Court parkrun for the first time. 813 had never participated in a parkrun before, and although the remaining 2,495 had, this was the 1st time they’d come to see us.
375 of these newcomers returned the following week, another 187 did so after a fortnight and 94 after 3 weeks. 507 of them waited more than 11 weeks before returning and 1,905 are still making their minds up about it.
2 of the 507 came along to our 302nd event; 1 waited 139 events before returning, the 2nd waited 140. Of course, this means they returned at our 441st and 442nd events respectively, not long before our most recent parkrun. So, Kate Whitehouse and Elaine Beckett, if you should somehow find this, please don’t let this enforced break between parkruns discourage you and come back as soon as you feel like it once we’re back in our Saturday morning routine.
Kizzy Holliday was a newcomer to our 303rd event and she waited 138 weeks to return to our 441st, having been to Clevedon Salthouse Fields parkrun the week before. Since number 441 Kizzy’s been back to the salty sea air of CSF parkrun 3 more times, and hopefully will also continue parkrunning after this unwanted break.
Reasonably certain that the flyer on the right is Kate Whitehouse, who we hope to see back at parkrun when the current situation is behind us (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
Our Class of Year Seven consisted of 142 aged 10 or under, 235 aged between 11 and 19, 873 in their 20s, 925 in their 30s, 634 in their 40s, 381 in their 50s, 105 in their 60s, 12 in their 70s and 1 in their 80s. 46 of these had a significant birthday during the year and changed age group.
During the year all these new parkrunners completed 6,768 parkruns here at Ashton Court. 1 of them ~ Vyki Shaw ~ took part in 38 of Year Seven’s 51 events, Robin Webster and Marie Bailey both finished 35 of them, Ross Anderson 32 and Francesca Roe and Will Harris both 30.
Enjoying herself at event number 336 ~ the one between Christmas and New Year ~ is Marie Bailey (photo: Rich Kenington)
In total there are now 27 Year Sevensters in our unofficial 50 Ashton Court parkrun club, with 3 teetering on the brink of membership on 49. Looking at the global parkrun clubs, 12 Ashton Court juniors from Year Seven have joined the junior 10 parkrun club, and 3 of them have gone on to become members of the 50 parkrun club.
59 grown-ups have also become members of the 50 club, with Vyki Shaw having been the 1st from Year Seven, and the 424th Ashton Court parkrunner overall to qualify for a red parkrun top. The most recent to qualify for membership are Callum Moore and Katrina Darke, who both did so at our 447th event and became the 694th and 695th of us from Ashton Court parkrun to join.
The first Year Sevenster to join the parkrun 50 club ~ Vyki Shaw ~ looking very focussed at event 341 (photo: Suze Eyles)
Although there are now 4 of our Year Sevensters in the 100 parkrun club, 3 of them had already taken part in a few parkruns before their 1st run here. So the 1st, and to date sole Year Sevenster to have qualified for a black parkrun top having 1st run a parkrun here is Jenny Griggs, who achieved this goal at our 442nd parkrun and is the 314th Ashton Courter to get there!
And on the left is the first ~ and only ~ Year Sevenster to have joined the parkrun 100 club ~ Jenny Griggs ~ here Tail Walking with Gill Atwill and one of our Duke of Edinburgh Award teenagers at event 351 (photo: John O'Brien)
1 Year Sevenster, ~ Jeremy Lowe ~ has, as I’ve said, finished 88 Ashton Court parkruns. Not having run a parkrun anywhere else, Jeremy has a 100% record. Will Harris and Robin Webster, who have both run away from home just once, have a 99% AC record, (Will with 94 out of 95, Robin 89 out of 90). And Sharon Eaves, who has run 65 of her 72 parkruns at home, has an attendance record of fractionally above 90%.
Seen at event number 344 is Jeremy Lowe, keeping company with Kim Forbes (photo: Sarah Jones)
Leading the way for personal bests by Year Sevensters in Year Seven was Francesca Roe, who achieved 12 of them! 2 parkrunners, Chris Doonan and Brendan Boyce, both ran 10 pbs this year, and Michael Lawrence, Marie Bailey and Paul Turner each ran 9. 4 more individuals ran 8 pbs, 5 ran 7, 16 ran 6, 25 ran 5, 40 ran 4, 81 ran 3 and 184 ran 2 pbs. 456 other Year Sevensters ran 1 each, meaning that 817 members of the Class of Year Seven ran 1,574 personal bests.
This is Frankie Roe at event 322, who ran with us on 30 occasions during Year Seven and achieved 12 pbs along the way (photo: Rich Kenington)
There were 3 Year Sevensters who finished in the same position 4 times during their 1st year; Johnny Suttle (1st), David Eagon (4th) and Edmund Willatts (6th).
5 of their classmates filled the same finish position 3 times; Andrea Jenn (231st), Robin Webster (173rd), Tony Myers (91st) and Stuart Ellis (66th). Another 77 members of the Class of Seven finished in the same place twice.
High on the hill at event 311 and Robin Webster's 3rd parkrun. Robin would finish in 25:57, and then equal that time the following Saturday. This was the 2nd of Robin's 5 pbs in Year Seven (photo: Rich Kenington)
2 of our Year Sevensters, Jemma Harfield and Sarah Jenkins, occupied the same gender finish position 5 times; 7th and 13th respectively.
Jemma Harfield is currently on 99 parkruns and is perhaps looking forward to the re-start more than most. This is event 322, 1 of the 23 of our parkruns Jemma took part in during Year Seven, and 1 of the 5 times she finished 7th female (photo: Rich Kenington)
7 others did so 4 times; Marie Bailey (95th), Elaine Inker (155th), David Eagon (4th), Stuart Ellis (65th), Johnny Suttle (1st), Edmund Willatts (6th) and Rosie Hattersley (1st).
Anne Dockery scored the highest age grade by a Year Sevenster during Year Seven, when she finished our 352nd event in 26:51 in 1, of her final runs in the VW65-69 category and scored 81.56%.
A month later Anne, having become a member of the VW70-74 category, finished event number 356 12 seconds faster and scored 83.55%. Clouds and silver linings!
It's quicker if you smile! And as Anne Dockery never seems to stop smiling, perhaps that's why she runs so quickly! This is event 352 and Anne's on her way to a pb of 26:51. The pb only lasted 2 parkruns and Anne's now beaten that time on 10 occasions (photo: Drew McLellan)
Year Seven ~ altogether now
Year Seven’s 51 parkruns were enjoyed by 5,723 different known parkrunners, who completed 21,798 parkruns during the year. Our 5,723 consisted of 3,128 females and 2,595 males.
Of the 21,798 parkruns 8,539 were completed by females, 11,002 by males and 2,257 by finishers without barcodes.
All those different parkruns were completed in 2,083 different time values, from 16:10 and 18:38 at the front end to 139:55 ~ more about the latter later.
There were 29 different female first finishers, with Amy Partridge filling that place 6 times. Chrissie Wellington, Rosie Hattersley and Kelly Dicks each finished 1st 4 times, Nicola Brookland and Jane Faram did so 3 times, and Marie Malloy, Kate Darbyshire, Sarah Everett and Alice Doggrell did so twice. Another 19 females finished 1st once.
Well on her way to one of her 6 first finishes, at event 325, is Amy Partridge (photo: Dan Jones)
The most frequent first female finish time was 20:46, which was achieved 3 times, twice by Amy Partridge and once by Chrissie Wellington.
Chrissie Wellington loves running and she loves smiling, and she's very good at both. Here Chrissie's on her way to finish 7th overall in 19:12 (photo: Rich Kenington)
As for the males, we saw 31 different male 1st finishers, with Jarlath McKenna and David Awde leading the way by finishing first 6 times each, Johnny Suttle and Matthew Battensby 4 times, Alex Crossland 3 times, and John Cox and Leon Rumble twice each. 24 other males finished first once each.
Swiftest of all was course record holder Jarlath McKenna, with 16:10 at event 309. 8 males beat 17 minutes 14 times overall ~ Jarlath McKenna and David Awde 4 times each, Maciej Bialogonski, Thomas Niner, Alex Crossland, Max Walker, Oliver Beale and Benjamin Tickner once each, and we timed 57 male finishes of between 17:00 and 17:59.
It's a first time first finish for Thomas Niner, on his only visit to Ashton Court, at parkrun number 344 (photo: Sarah Jones)
2 females beat 19 minutes ~ Nicola Brookland 3 times and Chrissie Wellington once. Rosie Hattersley (4 times); Chrissie Wellington (2); Emma Pooley, Evita Gonzalez Szamocki, Katrine Louise Svane, Kelly Dicks and Olivia Sadler (once each) all finished in times between 19:00 and 19:59.
This was Emma Pooley's 1st ever parkrun and she finished 6th overall, in 19:10, at event 346. Her time is the 13th fastest recorded by a female at Ashton Court (photo: Geoff Keogh)
Year Seven’s fastest first-timers are all mentioned above; Thomas with 16:35 at event 344 and Max at event 352 with 16;42, and Olympic cycling medal winner Emma (19:10 at event 346) and Katrine Louise (19:16 at event 306).
Making this running lark look very easy ~ which of course, it ought to be ~ is Katrine Louise Svane, on her way to finishing first female on her first(and only) run with us. Katrine's time of 19:16 is the 19th fastest of all our female finish times (photo: Drew McLellan)
The average finish time in Year Seven was 28:48, the median was 27.53 and the time we recorded most often was 24:45, on 36 occasions!
Desmond Jones, Alex Williams and Paul Hodges each finished in 24:45 twice, and there 7 parkruns when 2 finishers recorded this particular time.
Here's one of our Run Directors Paul Hodges, on the way to one of his two 24:45 finishes, this one at event 345 (photo: Sarah Jones)
Eliot Hames, Robin Webster and Ross Anderson each finished in the same time 3 times; respectively 19:06, 25:43 and 25:48, but of those 3 only Ross scored the same age grade 3 times ~ 53.68%, with Tim Constable matching Ross’s achievement with 3 scores of 58.34%.
One of the Class of Year Seven is Ross Anderson, at event 309. Ross would go on to finish events 342, 344 and 345 all in the same time of 25:48, with a blip of 27:29 at event 343 (photo: John O'Brien)
782 females and 1,005 males ~ 1,787 parkrunners ~ achieved 3,131 pbs in Year Seven ~ 1,361 by females and 1,770 by males.
The most pbs achieved this year was 14, by Naina Burgess who during Year Seven sped up from 38:35 to 27:28.
A 13th pb in Year Seven wasn't at all unlucky for Naina Burgess ~ here leading the pack on her way to 27:40 at event 342 ~ as 2 parkruns later Naina beat that time by 14 seconds for pb number 14 (photo: Dan Jones)
Francesca Roe, as we know, ran 12 pbs, starting at 31:25 and working her way down to 25:04. Then came Graham Grew, whose 11 pbs brought his best down from 25:54 to 23:48. Chris Doonan lowered his best from 25:05 to 20:21 with 10 pbs on the way, and one of our juniors, Brendan Boyce, who took his best from 25:36 to 21:05, again with 10 pbs.
5 parkrunners ran 9 pbs, 7 achieved 8, another 7 achieved 7, 27 ran 6, 42 ran 5, 69 ran 4, 141 ran 3, 369 ran 2 and 1,138 each ran 1 personal best during Year Seven.
Enjoying the sunshine at event 352 is Graham Grew (photo: Drew McLellan)
327 parkrunners finished in the same position twice, 43 did so 3 times, 15 on 4 occasions, and Simon Cardnell finished 2nd 5 times, with Jarlath McKenna and David Awde both finishing 1st 6 times.
Marie Malloy finished 64th on 4 occasions, the same number of times that Christine Burren finished 186th.
This is event 345, the 25th of the 30 parkruns that Year Sevenster Will Harris completed this year (photo: Sarah Jones)
Moving on to gender finish position, 4 parkrunners finished in the same place 6 times. Jarlath McKenna, David Awde and Amy Partridge each finished 1st half a dozen times, and one of our juniors, Lottie Livesey, finished 5th female 6 times.
8 of us filled the same gender position 5 times, 30 did so 4 times, 91 on 3 occasions, and 390 of us did so twice.
Ashton Court parkrunner number 34 is Christine Burren, and here is Chris at event 309, about to finish 186th for the 2nd time in 3 parkruns. Chris occupied this finish position at events 302, 309, 320 and 344 (photo: John O'Brien)
Year Seven was the year when we timed our 14,000th, 15,000th and 16,000th finishers over the line, as well as our 7,000th different female, and 8,000th and 9,000th different males.
The 14,000th new finisher was a junior who had take part twice at Pomphrey Hill parkrun before coming here for this 1 event and has yet to take part in a 4th parkrun. Plenty of time for that though . For number 15,000, this was their 18th parkrun, they ran here twice more and have now completed 145 events.Number 16,000 has only taken part here that 1 time. This was their 22nd parkrun, and now they’ve finished 53 of them, with 51 having been at Burnham and Highbridge parkrun
Their 1st visit here was our 7,000th female parkrunner’s only parkrun so far. Our 8,000th male had run 44 parkruns before coming along to Ashton Court and now has a total of 52 events, with just that 1 visit to Ashton Court on his CV. The 9,000th different male across our finish line had run 4 parkruns elsewhere before visiting us for the 1st time. He’s now taken part in 63 parkruns ~ including 4 here and 55 at Eastville parkrun
During Year Seven we introduced ourselves to 58 new Jameses, 57 new Sarahs, 55 new Davids, 41 Matthews, 40 Andrews and 40 Toms, and 30 Helens, 28 Rebeccas and 25 Rachels and 25 Emmas.
There were also 29 new Joneses (15 female, 14 male), 25 Smiths (7 and 18), 22 Williamses (7 and 15), 21 Taylors (11 and 10) and 15 Davieses (7 and 8) and 15 Browns (4 and 11).
This is Sarah Taylor at event 328, on her 1st parkrun here. Sarah is the 215th Sarah (out of 318 so far), and the 98th Taylor (out of 143 Taylors so far. && Taylors have been female, 67 male). Sarah was also the 1st of the 3 Sarah Taylors who have participated here so far (photo: Rich Kenington)
Year Seven ~ a Bigger Picture
We had a “more special than most” parkrun on the 2nd of December in 2017 at our 332nd event. I mentioned earlier that we’d timed someone ~ 2 finishers in fact ~ over the line in 139:55. Here’s how we described it in the weekend’s parkrun report:
“And, of course, we had Lenny Brown with us. A friend of hers, Tom Feilding, is a regular AC parkrunner and he told us of Lenny's ambition to take part in a parkrun. Today that ambition was realised, and it was a privilege for us all to be part of it. It was Lenny who did the hard work, of course, and Lenny - you're a star!“
The pictures alone don't tell the story ~ Lenny Brown's parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
At the end of that month we saw both 1st finishers with the same 1st name, the only time that’s happened here. It was event number 336, and Alex Crossland finished first overall in 17:41, and Alex Binley crossed the line in 20th position with the time of 21:27 to finish 1st female.
Thanks to Photoshop, here are event 336's 2 first finishers, Alex Crossland and Alex Bingley (photos: Rich Kenington)
Having begun Year Seven with 549 finishers we ended with 454. In between our attendances varied from a low of 275 to a high of 593. We saw 446 finishers on 4 occasions during the year, the average attendance was 427 and the median was 432, which we achieved at event number 308.
We also had our 6th groundhog Saturday during Year Seven, when we saw the same number of finishers at 2 consecutive parkruns ~ 348 at both number 310 and 311.
Once again, we “lost” 3 Saturdays when Ashton Court was either unavailable or inaccessible. Let’s Rock Bristol was again the 1st, on June 3rd, followed by all the hot air that accompanies the Balloon Fiesta on August 12th. And then, just when we probably thought we’d got away with it for the winter, down came the snow and we were off again on March 3rd 2018.
No need to call event 347 off, it's only a blizzard! Tail Walker David Braithwaite accompanies Jo Coburn and Diane Javoric towards the finish line, with an unidentified course marshal (photo: Rich Kenington)
This year it was 3 parkruns in 3 days
With the New Year starting on a Monday we were able to have our regular Saturday parkrun on 30th December 2017, have a breather on Sunday and then go again on New Year’s Day. There was less choice this time, with only us and Pomphrey Hill parkrun taking place on the holiday. Having seen 356 finishers on Saturday, started again at 09.00 2 days later, with 446 finishers, and a little over 90 minutes later, 637 set off around Pomphrey Hill’s 3 laps.
Remarkably, only 29 of the morning’s finishers didn’t have a barcode scanned ~ 11 here and 18 at Pomphrey Hill parkrun. The remaining 1,054 finish positions were filled by 798 different parkrunners, with 256 having taken part in both the 1st 2 Monday parkruns in the neighbourhood.
Speaking of which, our Year Seven was a big year for parkrun in the area around Bristol, because on 18th November 2017 both Eastville and Thornbury parkruns went live. It could be said that Eastville parkrun was Bristol’s 1st parkrun event, given that our course is physically in North Somerset, while Thornbury parkrun became the 3rd event in South Gloucestershire. Both 1st events were crowded, with 679 finishers (more than we’d ever seen) at Eastville parkrun and another 337 at Thornbury parkrun.
The very pretty bit at Eastville parkrun, where the less fast parkrunners can look down at the slightly faster ones on their circuit of the lake. This was at Eastville parkrun's 1st event (photo: Rich Kenington)
Looking around that day, our attendance was 76 down on the previous week. Chipping Sodbury parkrun saw 43 fewer finishers, Pomphrey Hill parkrun were down by precisely 100, and Bath Skyline by 44. So that’s 263, plus the 88 brand-new parkrunners at Eastville and the 108 at Thornbury. There’s 459 of the finishers at the 2 new events. Where did the remaining 557 emerge from? We may never know!
It’s been great fun having these 2 extra neighbours, in particular the teasing about who has the worst hill. Clearly that’s not us, because we have the “best” hill, it’s in the middle of the course and half of it goes down!
Having seen our annual number of finishers increase by 4,788 in Year Five, and a further 4,358 in Year Six, with parkrunners in the area now having a greater choice of where to take their barcode on a Saturday morning, our Seventh Year was one of consolidation, and we did well to increase our finisher numbers by 583. What would Year Eight bring?
Almost the end of Year Seven, as the finish funnel volunteers wait for the final handful of event number 352's participants (photo: Drew McLellan)
Report by Rich Kenington, Ashton Court parkrunner number 1,817
Coming sometime in the next fortnight .. Year Eight
Don't forget you can 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.
We have a library of our parkrun photos in our Flickr group.