When I realised last week that the first first-time finisher today would be the 22,222nd different person to cross Ashton Court parkrun's finish line, and knowing that this would be our 422nd event, I thought the number 2 would probably be prominent in this report.
And as it’s my last report for a while – I’ve an aeroplane to catch in 11 days’ time – I thought I’d humour my numerophiliac friends and include as many numbers as possible (because I don’t, usually, as you know).
But first, here’s what happened today, at our 422nd parkrun, just 3,060 days after our 1st.
With the sun just breaking through the early morning cloud, around 500 parkrunners gather at our assembly point (photo: Rich Kenington)
Of course, the question that’s on all our lips is “who is Ashton Court parkrun finisher number 22,222?”. Step forward our 1st time 1st female finisher Carys Hughes. 1st time in the sense of this being Carys’ 1st visit to Ashton Court. Carys’ home is Cardiff parkrun, and her time of 19:18 is the 19th fastest achieved by a female at our parkrun. Congratulations, Carys, for all of that!
Our 2nd female finisher, Julia Pflaum, also joined in with the power of 2, running her 2nd parkrun of the year (and finishing 2nd female in both of them) in 20:22 and achieving her 2nd Ashton Court pb.
Finisher number 22,222, Cerys Hughes, and today's 2nd female, Julia Pflaum. Julia is the 1,137th person to have crossed our finish line, having 1st run here in 2012, and also the only person named Pflaum to have taken part here (photos: Rich Kenington)
Which brings us neatly to the 79 personal bests that were achieved this morning. All pbs are to be celebrated, of course they are, but there’s one today which in terms of persistence at least, stands out from the others. Our total of personal best times did their best to join in with the numerological fun but couldn’t quite keep up . . the 79 pbs recorded today brought the current total of them to 22,156.
79 of you didn't let our hill prevent you from achieving a personal best (photo: Rich Kenington)
The last time Nigel Robbins ran a pb here was at our 151st event. Since then, Nigel’s run here another 206 times (he’s run 260 AC parkruns so far) and today he beat that old pb by ONE second! Those 205 parkruns in between pbs include 26 times between 24:00 and 24:59, and 75 between 25:00 and 25:59 – remarkably consistent running. That old pb was 23:44, the new is of course 23:43. Many congratulations Nigel – proof positive that persistence pays!
What a great run by Nigel Robbins (photo: Rich Kenington)
Who else stands out from the pb crowd? Jenny Godden achieved her 9th pb in her 14th AC parkrun, all run this year. Jenny’s first parkrun time was 52:17, swiftly reduced the following week to 41:52, and now her pb stands at 32:34.
Liz Turner’s run here 27 times, starting 7 years ago, having a break mid-decade and returning a year ago. Today Liz achieved her 9th pb and beat 27 minutes for the first time, with 26:42.
Liz Turner looks happy to be at parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
Hazel Popel keeps giving us runs to write about. Today was her 105th AC parkrun, her 18th this year, and her 4th pb in her last 5 runs, during which Hazel’s brought her time down from 28:54 to 27:21.
Sarah Whitford found us in February and has now run 15 parkruns, all here. Today Sarah ran her 10th pb. Having started with 41:37, then 39:21, Sarah’s last 4 times have been 35:28, 35:02, 34:23 and now 33:34.
Just like Sarah and Liz, Barbara Brailey has only ever run parkruns at Ashton Court (and Hazel’s only strayed from home once!). Barbara’s parkrun adventure began in April 2016, with a time of 40:51, and she’s now run 35 parkruns, 16 of them this year. Starting 2019 with a pb of 37:51, Barbara’s beaten that 11 times this year and her pb is now 36:13.
Dressed all in black is Neville Taylor (photo: Rich Kenington)
Another parkrunner who likes to stay at home is Neville Taylor. His 35 parkruns have been spread over last year and this, and last year Neville ran 3 pbs, and he equalled that for 2019 today, bringing his best down from 28:49 to 28:16.
Paul Turner the younger (we’ve currently got 2 of them) also found Ashton Court parkrun last year. Paul started with 31:45 and swiftly reduced that to 23:36. That was a year ago and since then Paul has run plenty of times in the 23-25 minute range, including, in April, a pb of 23:14. Today Paul made the next breakthrough by finishing in 22:27. Don’t be fooled by that “Mr Slow” running vest!
Paul Turner looks more like Mr Sleepy here! (photo: Rich Kenington)
I’d love to write about everyone who achieved pbs today, but clearly can’t. Just a few more though: Angela Parfitt achieved the highest age grade today with her score of 78.08%, and ran 3 seconds faster here than she had before, finishing in 22.53.
Adrian Esch found an even narrower margin, shaving 2 seconds off his best with his time of 21:28, and James Skuce also took his time down by 2 seconds, to 19:43.
Here's Angela Parfitt, on her way to a pb and the best age grade of the morning (photo: Rich Kenington)
Nicholas Mimmack preferred a greater safety margin than Angela and Adrian, and beat his best by 4 seconds, with his 21:08. Keith Lazenby saw Nicholas’ 4 seconds and doubled it, knocking 8 seconds from his best with 26:14.
And Hayley Fitzgerald looks to have put a frustrating injury-hit spring and summer behind her with a 10 second improvement down to 23:45 (and who doesn’t like that particular sequence of numbers!).
Brilliant achievements by everyone. Whatever it is you’re doing, keep it up!
I wonder if at this point, with a little over a kilometre to go, Bryan Walsh thought he might run a pb? (photo: Rich Kenington)
A few folk to sympathise with; Joselyn Hall and Matt Winter both finished 2 seconds behind their pb; Neil Lancaster and Anna Jones missed by 3 seconds, and 1st finisher Bryan Walsh, Peter Kennaugh-Gallacher and Shibabrat Naik missed by 6 seconds. Keep working hard and enjoying your running, you'll all get there.
We've called out Teresa Cryer's name a few times now, since she completed her 49th parkrun, so it was great to see her in her 50th today, guided by Jane Greenford (wearing one of our new parkrun Guide bibs) (photo: Rich Kenington)
I don’t think Joseph Butler and Lorraine Cromwell will mind me saying that they’re a couple. Having both run their 1st parkrun at our 352nd event, today they both ran their 50th, and both achieved pbs, both improving by 23 seconds (how did you do that?). Lorraine's time came down from 30:46 to 30:23, Joe's from 22:16 to 21:53. Joe also joined in the fun by being our 42nd finisher.
Derek and Naina Burgess are also a couple – today Derek ran his 150th parkrun anywhere, and Naina ran her 100th at Ashton Court (the 168th of us to reach that milestone), and just to help things along, Naina finished 244th today.
Other landmarks were reached today by Teresa Cryer, who ran her 50th parkrun, and by 2 visitors; Jennifer Jewell, from Hampstead Heath parkrun, who popped in to see us for the 5th time, ran her 50th parkrun, and ran a pb of 26:22 (thank you!); and Poole parkrunner Alex Bayne, who strayed from home for the very 1st time and also ran his 50th parkrun.
Joseph Butler and Lorraine Cromwell - both running their 50th parkruns and both about to beat their pb by 23 seconds! (photos: Rich Kenington)
More from the Power of Random Numerical Coincidence. Our 22nd finisher was Paul Stuart, immediately ahead of the morning’s 2nd Paul, Paul Wilcox, who completed his 242nd parkrun. Robert Godwin completed his 2nd parkrun in 222nd place, in 27:22, achieving a pb by 44 seconds.
12 finishers completed their 22nd parkruns; Kieran Headon (the 2nd over the line with a barcode), Dan Monk, Peter Stockall, Jeremy Allen, Jack Walker, Sarah McAllister, Jan Hilton, Punyawee Dulyayangkul, Morgan Allen, Hannah Eames, Ffion Allen and Taika Kennedy. Kieran, Sarah and Jan celebrated by running faster than they had before at Ashton Court, while Hannah and Ffion chatted and giggled their way around the course!
Punyawee was also one of the 3 who were taking part at Ashton Court for the 22nd time, along with Louise Vesely-Shore and Sapphire Evans.
Still more 2s. 4 of today’s finishers, Wendy Price, Emma Bassett, Vanessa Redmond and Joe Peake, 1st ran at Ashton Court at our 2nd parkrun (since then they’ve amassed 1,067 parkruns between them 717 here at AC). Craig Walker made his debut here at event 22, and Mary Ulicsak’s 1st parkrun here was our 222nd.
Derek and Naina Burgess - both runners of multiple parkruns (photos: Rich Kenington)
It’s fitting in the circumstances to note that 42 parkrunners took part in both event 222 and 422, but apart from commending Dan Jones on his consistency (finished 15th in 20:01 at 222, 16th in 19:57 at 422) I’m not going to dig any deeper into 222 now, for there’s still plenty of gold to be found in 422!
44 of our participants today are younger than 18, and 22 are aged 60 or a little bit more (as is the photographer, but never mind him!).
It’s wonderful to see that of the 23 folk taking part in their very first parkrun, 5 are younger than 11, and another is between 11 and 14. And that’s at the end of the first week back at school after the long break.
It was good to have a chat with Adam Ward as he waited to take part in his 1st parkrun. Adam finished in 412th place, which kind of fits the theme we're following today (photo: Rich Kenington)
I’m not sure if any of our visitors were here in part because of the University of Bristol’s open day? If you were here for that reason, I hope you liked what you saw both here (the main attraction obviously) and at the university. Good luck over the next 12 months and it’d be great to see you back in October next year.
Many of our visitors arrived in 2s. For example, Georgia and Richard Barker, from Bedford parkrun; Emily Eades and Rachel Andrews from Burnham and Highbridge parkrun; Lee and Liz Jones from Peterborough parkrun; Matthew Carney and Sinead Savage, from South Manchester parkrun; and Steve Run Like The Wind Brock and Marie Sutton from Tilgate parkrun. Steve wins this week’s much sought after “what took you so long?” award (no prize, it’s just for fun), having run 169 parkruns elsewhere before finding Ashton Court!
Here are Bedford parkrun's Georgia and Richard Barker, enjoying their first visit to our lovely parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
The first-time visitor who was furthest from home today is Meshini Naidoo, from Voortrekker Monument parkrun in Pretoria, South Africa. I see that Voortrekker Monument parkrun was off today because of a mountain bike competition. Coming over to Ashton Court as an alternative seems a bit extreme but I’m delighted that you did! I hope you enjoyed it, and that you have a great time wherever you are next time, when you run your 50th parkrun.
Our only visitor from overseas today, Meshini Naidoo (photo: Rich Kenington)
Thank you to all of you who were running away from home today for choosing to visit Ashton Court parkrun. We’re all very proud of it, love showing it off, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and please come back and see us again soon!
And now back to our 22,222th different finisher with a barcode, at our 422nd parkrun. All the 2s, in fact.
The 2nd runner to ever cross our finish line was Robin Phillips, and the 2nd female, Heather Leppard. The 22nd male was Matthew Sinton-Hewitt, the 22nd female, Francesca Molly Sene. They all took part in our 1st parkrun.
The 222nd male was Steve Franks, the 222nd female Sandra Lee, and the 2,222th male was Shereef Mirreh, the 2,222th female Stacey Charlton.
We’ve only had 1 parkrunner named Twose run with us – Elizabeth Twose, who came along 4 times, to events 101, 132, 136 and 142, and finished in positions 184, 163, 202 and 135.
Joe Peake, Wendy Price, Emma Bassett and Vanessa Redmond, who all took part in our 2nd event, 420 parkruns ago (photos: Rich Kenington)
There have been 222 finishers twice, at events 114 and 227. At the latter parkrun Daniel Morgan managed to finish in a time of 22:22. Dan’s one of 98 different parkrunners to have finished here in 22:22, the difference between him and the others is that he’s done so 6 times! Mind you, as he's run at Ashton Court 366 different times (67 more times than anyone else) perhaps that's not so surprising!
We’ve had 2 runners finish in 22:22 in the same event on 11 occasions, although never the same pair, and Sam Leigh finished in 22:22 twice in the same month, at events 237 and 239.
There are 27 parkrunners with an Ashton Court best time of 22:22, and 2 with a best of 42:20.
Daniel Morgan was quicker than 22:22 this time, but he did finish in 44th position, which is kind of on theme (photo: Rich Kenington)
Although we’ve had 422 or more finishers on 112 occasions, the first being at our 200th event, we’ve only seen 422 finishers once, at event number 315, when nobody finished in 42:20.
Unknowns have filled position 422 most of all - on 12 occasions. Next is Martin Riddiford, who’s achieved it 4 times, and Vanessa McBride, 3 times. Even I’ve managed it once, which goes to show how simple it is! Position 422 has been filled by 2 different parkrunners named Hannah Jones.
If it were a race, which it isn’t of course, the current winner of our 422s would be Mike Riches, who finished in 30:31! That was on the morning when we saw our biggest number of finishers to date, when from 1st finisher to 500th took just 16 minutes and 16 seconds! Imagine that! That’s an average of 1 finisher every 2 seconds for just over a quarter of an hour! With a further 178 finishers still to come.
Today though, after our 422nd event, our final mention must be of our 422nd finisher, Lucy Staple, and Cerys Hughes, who finished in position 8 when taking part at Ashton Court parkrun for the 1st time and became our 22,222nd ever finisher!
422 at 422, it's Lucy Staples! (photo: Rich Kenington)
Have a great week, and wherever you find yourself next Saturday morning, may your barcode be with you!
Photographs and report 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 will be found at the top of this table and you'll find links to our age group best times and all sorts of other stuff on the same page.
Rich Kenington took photos of us enjoying our parkrun today. You'll find his photos here in Google Photos, as well as in Flickr where they're part of our entire photo archive, by clicking here.