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

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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).

 

There’s a place in the park for all…

 

This week parkrun celebrated it’s 15th birthday, having grown from just 13 participants and 3 volunteers at Bushy parkrun on the 2nd of October 2004 to over 6 million registered parkrunners across 21 different countries this year. With maybe not quite the same expansion as Facebook (which was founded in February 2004, and now has an estimated 2.7 billion users), I think that anyone can appreciate the profound success of parkrun, which for example, in the UK, has partnered with the Royal College of General Practitioners with the aim of promoting a healthy physical and mental lifestyle which anyone can enjoy. Incentives like milestone clubs, trying to beat PBs or even ‘parkrun tourism’ keep people coming back for more each week. For many, even an excuse to be free and laugh with friends is enough of a reason to return.

 

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What a perfect sentiment for the 15th anniversary of parkrun. We simply couldn't put it better! (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

My favourite parkrun quote is ‘a 60 minute 5k is just as far as a 15 minute 5k’, which essentially sums up parkrun’s objective in one statement- to make sport accessible to everyone and reach people who wouldn’t normally be physically active. Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of parkrun, recently said that every year the average finish time at parkrun has slowed, proving that parkrun is influencing groups in society who’d never run before.

 

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And, no matter whether you run, jog or walk, you will never be last because we will always have a tail walker making sure you are accompanied up and back down our lovely hill. Thanks this week to our tailwalkers, Vanessa Redmond and Kathryn Gibb for ensuring everyone made it there and back in as long as it need to take! (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

Today we welcomed 84 first-timers to our hill, with 31 completing their debut parkrun and 53 visiting from other parkruns.

 

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Here we have Colin Traer carrying out the first timer briefing to many of the visitors and those about to take part in their first ever parkrun. (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

Callum Moore was the first male to experience the feeling of post-run euphoria (and he ran a PB)! He was shortly followed by the first female, Claire Hammett, with her dog. Inspired by parkrun’s 15th anniversary, our 15th female today was Alison Osborne in a time of 23:50. Our 15th male finisher was an unknown runner.

 

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Callum Moore on his way to a well-earned PB (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

Nothing beats the excitement and pride of running a new personal best, especially at a challenging course like Ashton Court, so well done to all 66 of you. Removing unknown runners, this equates to just over 15% of participants celebrating record times.

 

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Here we have one of the 66 PBs recorded on Saturday - Antonia Gooder on her way to an 18 second PB (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

4 parkrunners joined milestone clubs this week. Arthur Allen joined the 10 club, Katriel Costello and Karen Macey joined the 50 club and Prem Chadeesingh joined the 100 club. Not a milestone club, but still a milestone, Martin Herring ran his 200th parkrun, or 1000th kilometre at a parkrun. Huge congratulations to all of you. Also, 15 covered their 15th kilometre at a parkrun today, and 4 completed their 15th parkrun.

 

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Prem Chadeesingh (on the left) looking very happy to be taking part in his 100th parkrun - finally that coveted black t-shirt will be his! (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

7 parkrunners finished in a time ending in 15 seconds today. These were Carole Kluth in 50:15, Rebecca Quinn in 44:15, Denise Leach in 36:15, Fiona Hardie in 32:15, Cillian Rasburn in 28:15, Andy Brellisford in 27:15 and Ben Enright in 25:15. No-one attained a time starting in the number 15 today, but then again this has only ever been done 4 times here in over 8 years!

 

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A smiling Carole Kluth who managed to finish with a very appropriate time ending in 15 seconds to mark the 15 years of parkrun's existence. (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

Poppy Maule, of our run directors, celebrated her 25th volunteering stint today. She, along with 24 others, helped to ensure that Ashton Court event #426 took place today. In a recent survey, 84% of parkrunners who have also volunteered reported improvements in their happiness, compared to 79% of all parkrunners. Even if you don’t want to run, by volunteering you can reap the benefits of parkrun, as well as help others to improve their happiness. Win-win.

 

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Two of newest Run Directors, Poppy Maule celebrating her 25th time volunteering with us, and Alice Irwin, on the right who were getting some more Run Directing shadowing experience on Saturday before they become fully-fledged members of our great team of Run Directors. We couldn't have parkrun each week without all of our many wonderful volunteers. (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

A helping hand is always appreciated, so if you’d like to see yourself and others parkrunning for another 15 years, why not email ashton-courthelpers@parkrun.com and get involved!

 

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Run Director Mike McBeth and Alice Irwin briefing the time keeping team, Dave Salter, Sarah Pugh & Anne Dockery and clearly demonstrating that we really do have a great time volunteering. Please do think about signing up to help out soon - it really is great fun and the best way to really appreciate the true joy of parkun. (photos: Sarah Jones & Geoff Keogh)

 

Report by Elena Nikou

 

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.

Sarah Jones & 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).

 

Here comes the rain again…

 

When I stirred in the middle of the night to hear the rain lashing down against the roof, I hoped that the weather would be kinder by 9am. Throughout the early morning, heavy rain showers continued and I wondered how many souls would brave the weather and venture out on our hill this morning. A total of 304 runners and walkers completed the course, ably encouraged and supported by the volunteer crew for Ashton Court’s 425th event.

 

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And... boy did it rain!! (photo: Dan Jones)

 

Dan Jones did a fantastic job of capturing the never-dampened spirit of our parkrunners, equipped with a high-tec waterproofing bag for his camera. He managed to elicit smiles and waves from soggy runners throughout the event.

 

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Jumping for joy... or was it a lift for Dad from this very strong young lady? What a happy pair of parkrunners. A great photo from Dan showing that nothing can dampen our spirits - the joy of taking part in parkrun still comes shining through! (photo: Dan Jones)

 

The joint RDs Alice Doggrell and Mike McBeth briefed the marshals between showers and set them off to their various locations. The marshals were all full of smiles all morning and had obviously prepared for the weather and all looking well wrapped up.

 

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Run Director Mike McBeth briefing some of the volunteers who are clearly prepared for whatever the weather decides to throw at them! (photo: Dan Jones)

 

The first timer brief was busy with 33 first timers and plenty of visitors from Newcastle, Brighton, Bushy Park, Didcot, Ross on Wye and many other locations. We hope you all enjoyed your first visit to Ashton Court and hope to see you back again soon. The brief was going well in lovely sunshine until a sudden cloudburst necessitated a speedy conclusion as the first timers ran for shelter.

 

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Your report writer Rachel Forbes doing a grand job, giving the first timer briefing to a large crowd of visitors just before a heavy downpour brought matters to a speedy conclusion. (photo: Dan Jones)

 

Alice Doggrell didn’t hang around with her morning brief, it was concise and she ensured that the start was on time. Most people had taken shelter under the big tree for the briefing and then had to make a speedy dash for the start.

 

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This tree is a favourite of the many beautiful trees at Ashton Court; fondly known as our "tree of Information", it is the place where bags & jackets are left during our parkrun, but it also affords some shelter in adverse conditions due to its wide canopy! (photo: Dan Jones)

 

We experienced rain, wind and sunshine this morning, but it was warm and the wind was behind us coming back down the hill. Those of us struggling up the hill who took a moment to look up were treated by the sight of a stunning rainbow on the plateau. Sadly, the pot of gold was not waiting at the turnaround point (I did check), but it was nonetheless a lovely sight.

 

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There really was some sunshine in between the heavy downpours - a welcome, if brief, respite from the heavy rain! (photo: Dan Jones)

 

Maggie Salter was on loan to the new Clevedon Parkrun, but still elicited rousing applause from the home crowd in appreciation of her 100th volunteer stint this morning.
Milestone congratulations go to Richard Fennell who sneaked in to join the start in the nick of time to complete his 150th Parkrun, Richard has completed all of his 150 on the Ashton Court hill.

 

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Richy Fennell and one of his lovely boys still smiling and celebrating his 150th parkrun at Ashton Court. (photo: Dan Jones)

 

Congratulations also go to Karis Higgins who has an impressive Parkrun tourism record, but chose to run her 50th Parkrun with us today at Ashton Court. Enjoy your red shirt Karis.

There were a stunning 23 PBs today, despite the ever-changing weather and the rather large puddles up on the plateau. Notably 5 of these were from boys and girls in the under 10 age group, what a show of resilience from these young parkrunners. Well done Patrick, Oliver, Ewan, Arthur and Lyla.

 

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We love the t-shirts of this mum & her son - on his way to a PB perhaps? Running alongside them is Steven Stone and all are still smiling despite being rather damp. (photo: Dan Jones)

 

Huge congratulations to the happy couple who were running prior to their wedding; we hope you dried out in time for your celebrations.

 

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Another of our merry band of volunteers, Emma Coles with Carole Kluth clearly enjoying their parkrun experience in spite of the weather. (photo: Dan Jones)

 

Our thanks must go to the 28 high vis heroes who stood out in the drenching rain this morning, ensuring that everyone felt welcome and that the event ran as efficiently as always.
Steve PARSONS • Maggie SALTER • Craig WALKER • Alice DOGGRELL • Neil MILLER • Angela SEDDON • Eric BOOTH • Matthew CROCKER • Janet O'CONNELL • Christine ROSE • Isabel BATES • Andrea GOUDE • Rachel FORBES • Poppy MAULE • Mike MCBETH • Sarah JONES • Dan JONES • Lynn CHADEESINGH • Mary ULICSAK • Emma COLES • William LAWRENCE • Theodore BRADWELL • Amanda HALFORD • Nick TANNER • Sian ANDREWS • Kathryn GIBB • George NIKOU • Hugo STRAMROOD

 

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Two of our Hi-Vis Heroes - Angela Seddon (Tail Walking) & Bill Lawrence (Marshalling) still smiling despite getting drenched... (photo: Dan Jones)

 

Report by Rachel Forbes

 

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.

Dan Jones 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).

 

Indian Summer…

 

A huge crowd of 630 runners enjoyed the unseasonably great weather in Ashton Court this week.

 

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Here's just a small cross section of the 630 folks taking part in this Saturday's parkrun - our 3rd highest attendance to date! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

The sun was already shining as Run Directors David and Linda briefed the volunteers before the marshals scattered up the hill to anticipate the colourful wave of athletes making their way to the top, and back down again.

 

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The look of concentration, as one of the Run Directors, David Taylor briefs two of our barcode scanner volunteers, Cecilia Browne & either Jane Guidon or Kirsty McGhee (Ed:apologies to both as I wasn't there on Sat to verify!) (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

We were anticipating an increase in numbers this week as Eastville Park has been turned into a corner of Japan for the weekend. The Tokyo World festival put pay to Eastville parkrun, so many of our friends from East Bristol headed westwards for their Saturday morning slice of exercise. Coupled with a new influx of students to Bristol’s universities (many attending with parents and siblings) and some other wise folk realising parkrun is the place to be at 9am on a Saturday morning, Liz Hill had a huge number of Ashton Court newbies at her new runners briefing.

 

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Liz Hill holding court at the first timer briefing, and we're pleased to see she has them hanging on to her every word (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Undeterred by a technical fault (the parkrun megaphone refused to play ball) Linda delivered the main briefing, using her huge lung capacity to great effect as she projected to the assembled extra large crowd.

 

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Run Director Linda Woodburn using her teaching skills to best effect; we're sure the pupils at her school give her their fullest attention when she calls them to order (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

We welcomed visitors from Dublin, Manchester, Medina (Isle of Wight) to name but a few. I’m sure you’ll endorse that the horror stories about our hill are entirely fabricated!

 

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These folks are clearly very happy to be at Ashton Court parkrun and are making great use of our selfie frame! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Huge congratulations to Katherine Hill who managed to squeeze in parkrun as part of her bridal preparations on her big day. Katherine was joined by Christine and Rosemary Hill, all suitably attired for the big day. We loved your ‘wedding day’ helium balloon Katherine!

 

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If you look really closely you can just see Katherine & her balloon at the left of this photo behind the very happy lady in blue! Apologies that we don't have a better picture for you Katherine (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

We were also joined by Somerset’s favourite gastropod molluscs – the Chew Valley Snails. Well done to those snails graduating their Couch to 5k, you picked a smashing day for it.

 

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Chew Valley Snails leader, Caroline Harvey (in the white cap) encouraging Kim Webb and Deb Tilzey; the latter was taking part in her first parkrun so many congratulations to her. The first of many we hope! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Several of our regular parkrunners celebrated milestone runs. Junior, Annabel Staddon completed her 10th parkrun on Saturday, Erin Edwards and Krzysztof Wanat both completed their 50th parkruns in 445th place and in 234th place respectively. Claire Meraz and Heather Sowry ran their 100th runs finishing in 90th and 139th places respectively. Rebecca Colquhoun has now run a whopping 300 parkruns and came in with a time of 28:59– a definite reason for celebration Rebecca!

 

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Not wearing her Vegan vest, but celebrating her 100th parkrun with her Vegan buddies is Clare Meraz, looking very happy indeed to have reached such a fabulous milestone. (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

We’re quite short of volunteers for the coming weeks, so if you’d like to give it a go please email our volunteer co-ordinator on ashton-courthelpers@parkrun.com.
A massive thank you to all our runners and volunteers this week, another fabulous run in the September sunshine. See you all next week!

 

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And just look at how happy Dave Bassett is to be one of our merry band of volunteers and about to set of to his marshal position out on the course. This could be you very soon so why not give it a go! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Report by Amanda Halford

 

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).

 

Crackerjack!

 
We all know that parkrun’s got talent, from our fastest finisher to our final tail wagger and all the wonderful volunteers that help make it such an event. I think it’s the camaraderie that makes it stand out, whether it’s meeting new or familiar faces, seeing mothers, fathers and children running together and the ebb and tide of their family fortunes, or starting your wedding day like Tom Urry with a run before becoming a Mr and Mrs.

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Here's Tom Urry, on his way to his wedding . . and of course, setting a pb in the process . . wouldn't do to be late after all! (photo: Dan Jones)

 
We had a lot of new faces, with 27 runners completing their very first parkrun at Ashton Court today. A special mention to the Chew Valley Snails with two of their members completing their Couch to 5k course and at least six of them achieving new PBs. We also welcome Matthew Claydon and Mariella Williams to co-incidence corner as they were both running their first parkrun and both finished 31st in their genders and joining them there are Jacob Murphy and Ruby Schofield who both managed to finish 101st in their genders on their very first parkrun. Sofie Kent was the fastest of our first-time visitors, finishing as third lady in 21:24. Sofie’s only previous parkrun was at Frimley Lodge over a year ago. Meanwhile, second place finisher Euan Lees (from Richmond Park parkrun) picks up this week’s “what took you so long?” award (no prize, it’s just for fun), completing his first Ashton Court parkrun having run 140 parkruns elsewhere.

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Lisa Vowles wears a smile that says "I've cracked this" as she completes her Couch to 5k course, with Dawn Scott providing encouragement. Fellow Chew Valley Snail Lizzy Lyons is just ahead, running faster than she did last time, and hidden behind Lizzy is Chloe Dunkley, visiting us for the 2nd time and also finishing more quickly than last time (photo: Dan Jones)

 
We had two juniors completing their tenth parkrun at Ashton Court today. Oliver Quinn has completed ten 5k runs here since the beginning of June, achieving new PBs in six of them. Similarly, Leo Barton has run up our hill ten times since February, achieving two PBs on the way. The roman numeral for ten is of course “X”, so we reckon both Oliver and Leo now have that X-factor and will hopefully soon get the T-shirt to prove it! Other stars in our eyes completing landmark runs were Andrea Jenn, Nas Iqbal and Tim Lloyd who ran their 50th parkrun at today’s event; Sarah Taylor, Laurence Caird, and our first finisher Alexander Whittaker who completed their 100th parkruns; Laura Hodge who completed her 150th and a big, big mention to the man who brought parkrun to Ashton Court, Geoff Keogh, who was back to running again today and so finally chose to register his 250th parkrun.

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It's been a while coming but it was well worth the wait! Geoff Keogh completed his 250th parkrun with his best time since January last year (photo: Dan Jones)

 
Opportunity knocks each week as another chance comes to go after that PB, and we had 91 parkrunners go faster than they had ever previously done on our course. Laurence Caird and Nas Iqbal both celebrated their milestone achievements by running a PB. Nigel Robbins who ran a PB last week for the first time in 206 runs made it two in two weeks, finishing in 23:23 and knocking a huge 20 seconds from his time last week. Hazel Popel made it five PBs in six weeks, taking her best down by a blistering 39 seconds and running under 27 minutes for the first time. Fiona Stuart-Hunt achieved her sixth PB since starting at Ashton Court last summer, running under 26 minutes for the first time with a 28 second PB. Issy Lambson beat 28 minutes for the first time in her 48 runs at Ashton Court, and Joanna Portis got her first PB in over a year and is only 6 seconds away from also getting under 28 minutes. They are just a few of the record breakers who have come on down our hill many times in the past, but our congratulations go to everyone who ran whether you achieved a PB or not.

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Giving us a wave is Joanna Portis, about to achieve a great pb, and in the blue t-shirt is Tim Lloyd, running his 50th parkrun (photo: Dan Jones)

 
Not just one apprentice but a full four new volunteer run directors helped us work out the results from all the scanning and time recording done by our volunteers at the finishing end of the run. Thanks to Amanda Halford, Elena and Louise Nikou and Alice Irwin who will hopefully all be stepping up to a megaphone at Ashton Court in the near future, and to all the volunteers who help make Ashton Court parkrun a safe and enjoyable event. We still have some volunteer spaces to fill for next week, as well as plenty in the following weeks, so why not try trading places, from runner to volunteer, and offer a date and join our celebrity big brothers (and sisters) .

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Run Director and report writer Paul Hodges ensures that both the Self Raising Start Line and the Finish Line of Flour are clearly visible (photo: Dan Jones)
 
Report by Paul Hodges

 
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 results are at the top of this table together with links to our age groups records and other statty stuff.

Dan Jones took some fab photos of us all enjoying our parkrun. You'll find them here, in Google Photos, and and in Flickr, where there are heaps of photos of most of our parkruns.

 

It takes 2 babe!

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.