It was a grey, dull day but there was still lots to smile about.

 

A grey and blustery morning didn’t put off 635 walkers, joggers and runners from turning out at Ashton Court this morning. It’s actually the lowest attended parkrun of the 2020s – but only by 6. And it’s the fourth highest ever attendance, so it’s not too shabby!

 

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Definitely a grey day and plenty of wind to contend with, but as you can see from Rachel's photos, that didn't deter this determined bunch of runners, joggers & walkers! (photo: Rachel Forbes)

 

111 people were doing Ashton Court for the first time, and 36 of them were doing their first ever parkruns. 90 people got PBs, but we should all be proud of ourselves for turning up! Well done to everyone.

 

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It was a particularly large crowd of first timers and visitors to Ashton Court paying full attention to Liz Hill's first timer briefing. And well done to all those folks getting a PB - sadly too many to mention here but I (Editor!) was particularly pleased when handing out finish tokens to hear the whoop of delight from Emily Tanner as she crossed the finish line! Well done all.(photo: Rachel Forbes)

 

I volunteered as a Tail Walker this morning – the first time I’d ever done that role, after a handful of marshalling stints in the past. It was the first time I’d ever walked a parkrun, too, and I can thoroughly recommend it. You get that much longer to chat to and cheer on your fellow parkrunners, and to soak up all the wonderful parkrun vibes. (Top tip: If you like the parkrun vibes you get from running, you’ll love the parkrun vibes you get from volunteering.)

 

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We are always very grateful to all our wonderful volunteers and special thanks to Tom Moriarty for tail walking as well as writing the report this week. Sadly we don't have a pic of Tom, but here is a lovely photo of the other tail walkers, David Braithwaite with one of our fabulous young Duke of Edinburgh volunteers (fortunately, we don't think you normally grow your own tail if you carry out this role as many times as David has!!) (photo: Rachel Forbes)

 

And when you walk you get more time to appreciate your surroundings, too - I’ve done nearly fifty different parkruns in the last couple of years, but Ashton Court is no doubt one of the most scenic. (My home parkrun is Eastville, but as lovely as the lake is, it doesn’t quite compare.) I run through Ashton Court quite often, and usually take it for granted that I have such a beautiful place on my inner-city doorstep. Not so today!

 

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We can see for miles and miles even on the greyest of days. (photo: Rachel Forbes)

 

Congratulations to Cathryn Butler and Katie Richards, who were both running their 50th parkruns. Edward Maule and Max Fullman ran their 10th parkruns– well done! All four of them now qualify for t-shirts. They don't get a t-shirt, but congratulations also go to Jennifer Owsley and Pete May who both ran their 200th parkruns today!

 

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Here we have Cathryn Butler clearly enjoying her 50th parkrun in the centre of the photo with Sandra Tanner to her right and apologies to the unknown runner on her left.(photo: Rachel Forbes)

 

James Nutt was our first finisher. He came past me well before I reached the top of the first hill, looking very comfortable. A minute or so behind him came Craig Pilkington and Nathan Wilkins, Tanya Chowdhury, Jo Temple and Kerry Firth were the first three female finishers. Anne Dockery topped the Age Grade rankings for the second week running.

 

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I'm afraid our male front runners were a tad too speedy for our photographer but she managed to capture Tanya Chowdhury making her way up our lovely hill. (photo: Rachel Forbes)

 

My fellow Tail Walker David Braithwaite swept us all up in 53:44. Thanks to Dave for taking me under his wing (or should that be tail?) and showing me the ropes of the role. Thanks to all the 30 lovely volunteers for keeping us safe, for keeping the tokens sorted and for making sure that we were all able to get our Saturdays off to the best possible start.

 

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Here we have a number of our fabulous volunteers still clearly having a great time waiting for the final few parkrunners and the tail walkers. Thank you (from left to right) Sally Marsh, Emma Coles, Bill Lawrence and Tony Myers (photo: Rachel Forbes)

 

Report by Tom Moriarty

 

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.

Rachel Forbes 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).

 

It started at the white line………

A new year, a new decade and 103 parkrunners new to Ashton Court this morning, 43 taking part for the very first time.
641 parkrunners, 33 volunteers and associated supporters happily congregated, chattering away, smiling, laughing and greeting each other with the affectionate New Year enthusiasm that embraces friends and strangers alike.

Run directors Paul Hodges and Elena Nikou delayed the briefing to ensure that everyone held up in the car park managed to get to the start. There were murmurings amongst the volunteers of perhaps a record number of parkrunners, however it was just the third biggest attendance at Ashton Court!

With the whistle going and everyone beginning their journey up the hill, the extra long finish tunnel was assembled in haste. There was a slight feeling of trepidation but also excitement amongst the volunteers around the finish area with the thought of the masses descending back down the hill and stampeding towards the finish line!

With everything ready there was a little time for a bit of fun and frivolity amongst the volunteers. This is what makes volunteering so worthwhile, meeting, talking and laughing with people, whilst helping to stage an event which benefits all - what better way to begin the weekend!

Timekeepers were poised and ready to click as runners crossed the finish line. One of these three were tasked with operating the photo stopwatch, an asset invaluable when it comes to producing accurate results.

There was a short period when the funnel became very congested, however runners were patient, timekeepers kept clicking, funnel managers kept people in order and finish token hander-outers could not have been any quicker. Barcode scanners completed the procedure and everyone was happy!

What was so very heart warming was to have some of the regular AC parkrunners finish their run and then step straight into a volunteer role to keep the process moving - thank you all!

Exactly 52 minutes and 19 seconds after the start, tail walker Karis Higgins crossed the line to become the last finisher at position 641.

How amazing that this weekly event run by volunteers is organised, assembled and packed away without trace in less than three hours. A parkrun? Where? Nobody would ever know!

Apart from the white line.........

In other news.........

First finisher was Arthur Dickson Bell finishing at the front for the third time in his third parkrun at AC but also achieving a pb of 17.30 knocking 5 seconds off his previous best time here!

Naomi Aylwin was the first female to finish in a time of 21.06.

Stephen Bartlett on his first visit finished third in a time of 18.26 also achieving the best age grade of the morning with 81.28%.

Anne Dockery fresh from her 50th parkrun here last week, returned to achieve the highest female age grade with 80.50%.

Congratulations to Wilfred Middleton on his first ever parkrun finishing in 32nd place in 20.50.

Just behind Wilfred in 34th place was Joseph Butler in a time of 20.54, equalling his pb of the previous week. In his last 9 runs at AC he has achieved 7 pbs!

Junior runner Lee Clementine on her first ever parkrun finished in 116th place with a time of 24.00.

Valerie Gates wins this weeks ‘what took you so long’ award (no prize, it’s just for fun!) visiting AC for the first time and completing her 324th parkrun in position 326 in a time of 28.28. Most of Valerie’s runs have been at Brighton and Hove parkrun.

With it being the first parkrun of the year I was hoping that someone would finish on 20.20, thank you Jon Higgins for delivering that wish!

Parkrun is all about inclusiveness and it is amazing how many families come along each week to take part together, whether by running or volunteering. One such family being the Stuart Hunts. Mum Fiona and daughter Ottilie both finishing with a time of 29.08, closely followed by other daughter Olivia at 29.13 and Dad Alastair at 29.14. The family are accompanied by their enthusiastic dog!

Robert Brown a regular AC runner and volunteer will be delighted to achieve a pb on his 121st parkrun in a time of 26.00.

I hope Rosie Pike and Kennedy Meredith both enjoyed their first visit to AC and first ever parkrun finishing together in 41.03 and will be back again soon.

Congratulations to Hugo Stramrood who not only was volunteering for the 25th time but as a tail walker swept everyone along efficiently and in doing so achieved a new pb of 52.18 taking off 51 seconds from his pb of last week!

Many thanks to all the RUNNERS who took part - without you the VOLUNTEERS would not have so much fun!

 

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There wasn't a photographer this week, but here is a lovely shot of the start from last week! (photo: Prem Chadeesingh)

 

Report by Louise 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.

We did not have a photographer this weekend, but you can find our entire photo archive to date, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

It’s parkrunday again…Already!! YAY!!

 

At least it was not raining for Ashton Court’s 438th parkrun this morning. It was a bit chilly but 466 runners braved the run after the Christmas festivities of eating and being merry. We saw visitors from South Africa, Jersey and North Wales.

68 runners were undertaking their first ever parkrun, we hope they weren’t put off by the hills and hopefully they will return for their second parkrun soon. Amongst the 466 runners there was a collection of dogs and buggies who were all eager to get up the hill.

Congratulations to the landmark runners; Hayley Fitzgerald (happy birthday Hayley), Dan Hooper, Alexander Matheson, Michalis Sanidas and Anne Dockery were celebrating their 50th parkrun. Rebecca Law and Victoria Hine-Haycock were celebrating their 100th parkrun, Greg Turner his 150th parkrun, Andrew Archer 250th and Ben Swift 350th parkruns. Well done to them all by achieving a fantastic amount of parkruns.

It was surprising as not long after the whistle blew, we could see the first pack of runners on the brow of the first hill. This wasn’t surprising as Conor Kissane-Wood came in first at a whopping 16:38 his own personal best and I think could be the fastest we have seen at Ashton Court with David Eagon just behind on 16:43 again another personal best. Nick Shasha was third at 18:03. Well done to the front runners.

In fact, Ashton Court this week had 51 personal bests so well done to all of you.
The first junior was Matthew Cooper who was 36th past the line. Matthew was running his 4th park run with a time of 20:57 which was his personal best.

There was some family rivalry at the finishing line as adult runners were jostling to beat their mum, dad, sister or brother. About 5 or 6 runners tried to get through the finishing line all at once. Not great news for the time keepers trying to photograph them! Whilst dads and mums eagerly spurred on their kids to run to the finishing line and allowing them to beat them was heart-warming to watch.
This morning we also saw two babies cocooned to their mother’s chests in a baby harness, too young to have their own barcode but their mothers did well to cross the finish line.
Well done to everyone who finished, hope there wasn’t too many puddles and see you all in the New Year.

 

Editor's note: Congratulations to Conor on his PB and a super fast finishing time however he does have a little way to go yet to match the current male record holder for Ashton Court which is still Jarlath Mckenna in a very fast time of 15:46.
We should however mention Caroline Lavis who runs in the VW70-75 age category and that she ran a new PB on Saturday of 25:40 and has set a new Age Grade record for Ashton Court of 91.23%. Congratulations Caroline - that is just awesome!!

 

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We didn't have a photographer this week unfortunately but thought we would add one of Sarah's lovely photos from last week with all our runners listening patiently to the briefing before the off! (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Report by Ann Hobbs

 

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.

We did not have a photographer this weekend, but you can find our entire photo archive to date, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

Happy parkrunning on the shortest day of the year….

Well, that was a short day!
Ashton Court parkrun #437 was always going to be a special one. Not just because it fell on the Winter Solstice but the last Saturday run before Christmas is a festive affair, as well as the usual crowd of runners in bright day-glo colours we are joined by elves, reindeer, snowmen, penguins and all manner of other seasonal characters. After last week’s multi-seasons-in-an-hour we may have expected more settled weather, but it wasn’t to be. Luckily the early morning showers subsided as the crowd of festive runners began to gather in the usual spot, bells jingle jangling waiting for the off.

 

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We had many festive Santas including Isie Bates, one of our fabulous band of Run Directors, seen here pushing a mini reindeer in her buggy. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

As 421 runners thundered up the hill, the merry band of elegantly dressed volunteers prepared the finish funnel and awaited the return of the stampede. They didn’t have to wait long. Nick Bowker crossed the line in 17:03, giving him an impressive pb by knocking 12 seconds off his previous finish time. David Eagon was close behind running his 15th Ashton Court parkrun in 17:23, having been first finisher at the last 6 Ashton Court events. Claire Hammett was the first lady to cross the line in 19:46 on her 18th visit to Ashton Court.

 

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We had a wonderful group of friends (known for their love of Tiffin!) who organised themselves to do a volunteer takeover this week. Thank you all. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

We had 51 first time parkrunners with us on Saturday. One of our first timers, Kazembe Kanonkela CHIBWE joined us from Zambia, well done Kazembe.
38 of us managed a Christmassy pb. Amongst those were Daniel Papura, Joseph Butler, Hayley Fitzgerald, Shawn Holland, Charlotte Cranfield, Jo Redman and Peter Byrom.

 

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Here is Kazembe heading towards the finish - we hope you really enjoyed your first parkrun Kazembe(photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Big congratulations to the Queen of Ashton Court parkrun Emma Withers who clocked up her 350th parkrun on Saturday! Emma will need to keep wearing her green milestone t shirt for another 150 parkruns, but that blue 500 milestone is in sight!

 

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Here is Emma, accompanied by her son Seth, looking very pleased to have almost completed her 350th parkrun. Well done Emma, we salute you. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

We had a gaggle of 100 milestone makers this week. Finishing 24th was Scott Campbell of Westbury Harriers. Scott has been first finisher twice at Ashton Court and has run more of his parkruns here than anywhere else.
84th across the line was Alex Moylett of Good Gym. She has run 45 of those 5ks at Ashton Court.

 

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Well done Scott, pictured here in his Ashton Court parkrun t-shirt, speeding on to the finish line. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Huge congratulations to Otto Felix Kingston, a member of Bristol and West AC and one of our junior runners. Hopefully you won’t have long to wait for your red t shirt Otto.
Our final centurion is Olga Vearncombe of Great Western runner who as the 280th festive runner to cross the line. Brilliantly well done, all of you.

 

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Looking very festive in her Christmas leggings is Olga, flanked by a couple of her GWR team-mates (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

3 ladies joined the 50 club on Saturday. Rebecca Forster of Southville Running club finished 204th on her 9th outing at Ashton Court. Sally Dodge has run at AC 15 times, having run most frequently by the sea at Seaton parkrun in Devon. And Kathryn Stewart has run 49 of her 50 runs up and down our hill, the only other outing to another seaside parkrun at Woolacombe Dunes.

 

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Sally Dodge is giving a lovely wave on her way to completing her 50th parkrun. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

The ‘What took you so long?’ award this week (no prize, it’s just for fun) goes to Elaine Kirton of Tetbury Dolphins Running Club. After 120 parkruns elsewhere she found her way to our hill. Nice one Elaine!
A huge thank you to Dave Salter who qualifies for his aubergine t shirt after volunteering 25 times. And very well done to George Nikou on his first outing as Run Director. Effortlessly professional George, we’d never have known!

 

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Here we have Run Director George Nikou briefing two of our barcode scanners, Sally Marsh & Neville Taylor. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Whilst on the subject of volunteers, a massive thank you to the 32 volunteers whose array of Christmas pyjamas, reindeer antlers, festive leggings, Christmas jumpers and cosy onesies made us feel super festive and ready for the post parkrun Christmas knees up in the Stables café afterwards.

 

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Yet another wonderful photo from today's lovely photographer, Sarah Jones, of 3 of our very festive volunteers, Niall Miller-Clark with his mum Lynn Clark on his right, and Angie Weller on his left. (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

On behalf of Ashton Court parkrun we hope you have a fabulous Christmas and look forward to seeing you to work off the mince pies, chocolate oranges and roast potatoes on 28th December.

 

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Can't remember what Event Director, Rich found so amusing here - had I brought my Xmas shopping list in place of the Run Briefing notes?! No matter... - on behalf of myself, Maggie & Rich as the Event Directors for Ashton Court parkrun, we hope you have a fabulous Christmas and a fun parkrun-filled New Year! (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

A massive thank you to our volunteers this week
Rich KENINGTON • Sally MARSH • Caroline POTTER • Steve PARSONS • Maggie SALTER • Paul HODGES • Oliver THRAVES • Sandra W-G • Sharon BARRETT • David SALTER • Janet O'CONNELL • Emily TANNER • Jane ROSCOE • Mike MCBETH • Stephen COTTERILL • Eloise MORTON • Emma COLES • William LAWRENCE • Angie WELLER • Sharon EAVES • Amanda HALFORD • Lynn CLARK • Sarah JONES • Niall MILLER-CLARK • Paige BARRETT • Rosa PELLY • Elena NIKOU • Neville TAYLOR • Catherine HORWOOD-DARBY • George NIKOU • Hannah FLETCHER • Karen FLETCHER

 

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.

Sarah 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).

 

We don’t care care what the weatherman sends . .

 
Well, what a morning that was! When did we last have a parkrun quite like that? Well since you asked, it was 70 parkruns ago, in July last year, when we all set off up the hill in bright sunshine, only for the sky to change from blue to black in the twinkling of an eye, and some heavy rain and hail stones left us drenched.

But that was July, and it was warm rain. It may not have felt it at the time, but compared to Saturday, it was warm! This time it was chilly stuff, with the rain that hurts your head and a wind to match.
 
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Here's the pre-run briefing taking place. Perhaps the clouds above should have given us a clue as to what we could expect in the hour that followed? (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
So well done to anybody who came to parkrun at Ashton Court on Saturday. Whether to volunteer, to take part or just to be there to support a friend or family member, it would have been far simpler to stay indoors, be that at home, in the car, or the café! Warmer too!

And thank you as well, for it wouldn’t have been the same without you!
 
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It took just 5 minutes for the sky to look considerably more dramatic, and from then on it just got darker! (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
266 parkrunners participated, 246 of them carrying barcodes! 10 of the latter were taking part in their very first parkrun – it can only get easier! 23 others had already run parkruns elsewhere and were visiting Ashton Court parkrun for the first time.
 
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Here are Jan Moody and Martin Gillett, the morning's two representatives of the 75-79 age group. And if they're not old enough to know better than to play out on a morning like that, what chance do the rest of us have? (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
Of the 246, 118 were female, 128 male. 23 were aged 19 or less, 42 were in their 20s, 50 in their 30s, 45 in their 40s, 59 in their 50s, 21 in their 60s and 6 in their 70s.

At what age do we become “old enough to know better”?
 
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As always our marshals were wonderful. Indefatigable. Unceasing in their encouragement and constantly cheerful (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Somehow, despite the appalling conditions, 8 finishers achieved personal bests.

Grant Clark has run here 3 times, once last month and twice this, and this time brought his time down from 31:21 to 30:02.

Helen Trudgeon first ran here on New Year’s Day, then once in August and again in October before Saturday, when she brought her best time down from 29:42 to 28:45.

One of our juniors, Rosie Walker, completed her 10th parkrun last week. Her 1st parkrun here was in June when she finished in 31:24, and her pb is now 27:05, with a 37 second improvement this week.

We hadn’t seen Jason Porrill since March, when he ran a pb of 25:04. Whatever Jason’s been doing since then certainly worked, because on Saturday he knocked 29 seconds off that time.
 
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6 of the morning's pb achievers - Lucas, Poppy, Zoe, Jason, Helen and Grant (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
Another who discovered parkrun this year is Zoe Dover, and she’s now run here 25 times. This time Zoe reduced her best by 44 seconds, bringing it down to 24:06.

Poppy Alexander is a student at UWE who first ran here in October, and on Saturday Poppy returned and finished in 23:31, 2 minutes and 4 seconds faster than before.

Another junior finished 1 second ahead of Poppy. This was Fleur Hayden’s 4th parkrun, all of them at Ashton Court, and her 4 times have been 28:07, 27:15, 23:43 and now, 13 seconds quicker, 23:30.

Lucas Allen was the 1st to finish with a pb, on his 7th visit here and with a 26 second improvement, Lucas brought his best time down to 22:44.
 
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I do believe they really were enjoying themselves! Sharon Eaves, Emily Tanner and Jane Colman just don't care what the weatherman sends! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Congratulations to all 8 of you. Whilst I’m sure your instincts for self-preservation supplied some of the motivation to run faster than before, that can’t have been the only reason. It’s great to see you improving and I look forward to seeing your results on a good day for running!

Elizabeth Spence and Beth McMillan just missed out on pbs, by 2 seconds and 7 seconds respectively, along with 2 dozen others who were within a minute of their best. If you can get that close on a day like Saturday, then a pb on a better day is yours, surely!
 
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Beth McMillan, who missed her pb by 7 seconds, and Nadia Kottegoda, who missed hers by a little more (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
It's not often we see so few pbs that we can mention everyone who achieved one. Likewise our brand new parkrunners – Ellis Chan, Claire Pearson, Alice Tomlinson, Sammy Berman, Linda Farrow, Craig White and Kay Talbot, who have all registered Ashton Court as their home parkruns, and David Hillier and Jacqueline and Gary Steinepreis, who have registered elsewhere.

Hopefully, having tasted parkrun for the first time, you’ll all make it a New Year resolution to keep coming back. Perhaps not to Ashton Court – although we’d like to think that you will – but certainly to a parkrun somewhere, every Saturday.
 
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Ellis Chan here was running his first ever parkrun. In contrast, Louise Neal-Hopes was running her 234th (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Jacqueline and Gary are over here from Perth, with their son (an unknown, and so I don’t know his name), visiting their daughter here in Bristol. It was nice to have a brief chat afterwards, and hopefully Gary’s new hip was still working today after encountering our hill for the first time!

Someone else was further from home than the Steinepreis family – all the way from Kirra parkrun in Queensland was Alice Bonham-Carter. Goodness knows what you thought of our weather, Alice, but I hoped you enjoyed your visit to Ashton Court.
 
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Alice Bonham-Carter managing not to look as if she's missing the Queensland sunshine, with Sarah Taylor shivering along behind her (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
The visitor who takes this week’s “What took you so long” award (no prize, not even at Christmas, it’s just for fun) is Peter Harris. Peter’s home event is Lydiard parkrun (formerly known as Swindon) and until this weekend Peter had run 452 parkruns elsewhere before coming to see us at Ashton Court parkrun!

I hope all our visitors enjoyed their visit to our parkrun with altitude! Do come back and see us again - the weather can’t possibly be quite as grim as that again!
 
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Very few of us were better prepared for the weather than the Steinepreis family! I don't suppose they need to wrap up quite like this very often back home in Perth! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Having said that we all deserve at least a pat on the back just for being there on Saturday, for some the morning would have an extra significance.

First of these is Hannah Eames, whose birthday it was. Hannah is another of our juniors, which is why we can’t use a photo to demonstrate that Hannah’s smile is always one of the biggest at our parkrun, especially on the way down the hill! This was Hannah’s 29th parkrun. Happy Birthday To You!
 
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Fresh from her 100th parkrun last week, Shirley Clegg was the one person to score an age grade of over 80% (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Birthdays are great until you realise that they never go backwards. Fortunately, at parkrun we have our age grade scores to help level most things out (although not the hill, obviously!).

One person just managed to exceed 80%! Congratulations to Shirley Clegg, whose score of 80.01% puts her on top of this particular tree. Pete Mountain (75.37%) and Antonia Gooder (73.98%) sit just below Shirley on the upper branches.
 
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Eliot Haines turns from the gravel to the tarmac, with James Knight hard on his heels. 3rd finisher Rory Bennett can just be seen in the red top, next to the unknown Santa, who would finish 4th (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
There are other trees to aim for the top of. Eliot Haimes must have been good this year because he finally got his wish – on his 42nd run here Eliot finished 1st for the 1st time. That’s after 2 2nds, 5 3rds, 10 4ths and 3 5ths. Persistence pays – well done!

James Knight had never finished higher than 8th in his previous 7 runs here, so I hope was delighted to be 2nd over the line this time; and coincidentally, Rory Bennett had also never beaten 8th, having run here 11 times before, and so I imagine 3rd place was a good start to the weekend.
 
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A closer look at Rory Bennett and the unknown Santa, with Dan Jones chasing, and the Tail Walkers going up! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Our 1st female finisher was Hannah Steeds, and this was her 12th 1st finish in her 15 runs here. 2nd female finisher was Tanya Chowdhury – 2nd over the line for the 21st time on her 215th run here (Tanya also has 8 1st places to call her own).

The 3rd female to cross the line was Macy Hillier. Macy’s a junior who before Saturday had run 8 parkruns, all of them at Nobles parkrun on the Isle of Man, and in each of them she’s been the 1st female finisher. She had a big smile and flying feet when she passed me, and I’d like to think that Macy and her family enjoyed their first visit here.
 
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First female Hannah Steeds, with a nice view of the slopey thing behind her (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
The morning was also particularly significant for James Skuce and Dave Wilkins, who both ran their 50th parkruns.
James first ran with us at event 157 in May 2014, and has run here 48 times, having also run once each at Eastville parkrun and at parkrun Kraków.

Our 377th parkrun, in October last year, was Dave’s first parkrun, and this was his 47th event here, with his other 3 venues having been the parkruns at Somerdale Pavilion, Barnstaple and Tamar Trails.

Dave deserves particular praise for running with a “50” balloon on Saturday, and managing to cling on to it despite the wind and the rain!
 
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Nothing, especially the weather, was going to spoil Dave Wilkins' special parkrun morning (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Our 3rd milestone run of the morning belonged to Andrew Thomas, who now has 200 parkruns on his portfolio, 43 of them here at home. Andrew’s 1st parkrun was at Harrogate, 5 years ago, and then he became a regular at Little Stoke parkrun. Since Little Stoke has no longer been an option Andrew’s led a nomadic parkrun life, with lots of visits to Eastville and Chipping Sodbury, and also to 26 other locations, including 3 trips offshore to Medina parkrun on the Isle of Wight.

Congratulations James, Dave and Andrew, on chalking up these milestone runs. Andrew is the 81st Ashton Court parkrunner to have run so many events, and although I’m not quite sure where James and Dave sit in the table of those of us who’ve run 50 parkruns, they’re somewhere in the high 600s!
 
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James Skuse couldn't keep his feet on the ground during his 50th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Next Saturday we have heaps of landmarks to look forward to; currently 1 of us has run 349 parkruns, 5 of us have run 99 parkruns and 9 have run 49 parkruns. I know at least 4 of these 15 will be with us at Ashton Court on our last parkrun before Christmas, and they’ve all promised cake!

And being the last Saturday before Christmas we’d like to invite you all to stay behind after next week’s parkrun and come to our Bring and Share Christmas Party. There’s no need to bring much, but some cake, some mince pies, some biscuits or some fruit would be very welcome. We’ll gather after the run in the courtyard outside the café, put what we’ve brought on one of the tables, and everyone helps themselves – in moderation of course!
 
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Andrew Thomas looks very relaxed, with a little over 1 kilometre left of his 200th parkrun, and perhaps a little confused by the photographer, who insisted on congratulating him on his 150th! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Thanks again to everyone who came along on Saturday and were part of a parkrun that most of us won’t forget in a long time. I’ve been taking photos at runs and races for over 15 years and that was the first time I’ve ever been unable to feel my fingers on the camera’s shutter release button.

There were moments when I wasn’t sure if I’d taken a photo or not, and certainly contemplated putting my camera away and finding somewhere to get warm. But you kept on running and smiling, the marshals nearby kept on cheering you on, and so I kept on snapping. And in the end, looking back, it was actually good fun, wasn’t it!
 
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Now here's a funny thing - the last time we had a parkrun on Saturday 14 December, Martin Blackwell was the 105th male finisher. He was this time too! (photos: Rich Kenington)
 

Report by Rich Kenington, photographer
 

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 was the fool on the hill with a camera. You'll find his photos here on our Flickr pages, or if you prefer, here amongst our Google photos.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report by Rich Kenington, Tail Walker Two (p457)
 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week's event happen. Although our parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you'd like to sign up as a volunteer, we'd love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via "manage my profile" on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don't forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results are at the top of the table here with links to all our age group records and heaps of other statty stuff.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many congratulations to our milestone marvels on these wonderful achievements!

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

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

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

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

But where?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report by Rich Kenington, Run Director
 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week's event happen. Although our parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you'd like to sign up as a volunteer, we'd love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via "manage my profile" on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don't forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results are at the top of the table here with links to all our age group records and heaps of other statty stuff.

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

 

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.

 

Crouch, Bind, Set

What’s a yellow weather warning to the apricot heroes? The weather window may not have opened but that didn’t stop 260 parkrunners eschewing at least the first half of the rugby world cup semi-final between England and the All Blacks and tackling the Ashton Court hill instead.

I’ve mentioned three colours already and there are plenty of others to celebrate. John and Joe Peake who were both at our second event in April 2011 came back to Ashton Court to run their 250th parkruns together and earn the coveted green parkrun shirt. Joe has been up and down our hill 100 times now, while dad John has done 10 more here.

Fetching in dazzling purple were a group of runners, many from This Mum Runs, helping Kat Horwood-Darby celebrate her 50th parkrun and her 40th birthday. Jo Temple and Julia Townend also reached their 50th parkrun milestone today and we hope to see all three in their bright red shirts soon.

Krishan Price and Luke Staddon are juniors who both completed their 10th parkrun today and will hopefully be sporting their white parkrun T-shirts soon. Krishan first ran up our hill just over three years ago and has managed 4 PBs in the 8 runs he has done here since then. He has also run 66 junior parkruns to his credit. On the other hand, Luke only started in June this year and has completed all of his parkruns at Ashton Court, achieving 5 PBs in that time.

Sadly there’s no coloured shirt to acknowledge 150 runs, but congratulations to Simone Burgess and Amanda Halford who both reached that mark today.

And my final mention of colour is for our high-viz heroes, the volunteers (sometimes seen in aubergine) who ensure we can put on this wonderful event each week, with their marshalling, timing, barcode scanning, token managing, result processing and looking after everything for next week. There were 19 of them standing or walking today in some of the least pleasant conditions for a parkrun that we’ve had for a long while. As they dry off, we do need more volunteers for the coming weeks when I am assured that the weather will be kinder!

The rest of us may have been fighting the wind and the rain while running the course, but that didn’t stop 10 runners claiming new PBs. Mathew Davies was the first one back with a new fastest time on his fourth visit, having gone faster each time he has run here. Richard Tear returned after a gap of nearly five years to improve his best by over 2 minutes, and Samuel Coomber improved his best by 2:15. Mair Allen beat her only previous time here by more than three minutes while Rachel Khanna managed her fifth PB in her eighth run. All very impressive given the conditions!

We also had 15 runners who used the parkrun as a warm-up for the Bristol Epic 10k an hour or so later, including our tail walker Eloise Morton. You all seemed to cope well with the longer distance and tougher hill. Two more of our volunteers, Emma Coles and Lucy Avent, also took part in the race, which would be one way of warming up again after standing in the cold and wet handing out our finish tokens, or scanning them!

We had nine runners running their very first parkrun and one of them, Arthur Dickson-Bell, was first back across the finish line. Phoebe Cranfield was the youngest, running (we think) with mum Shelley, and we would also describe Susan Bennet as a debutant - at least in parkrun terms!

There were a further 33 parkrun tourists visiting Ashton Court for the first time. The “What took you so long” award (no prize, it’s just for fun) goes to Russell Boyatt (home run Leamington parkrun) who ran at Ashton Court for the first time after 202 runs at 64 other parkrun events, and the first-time visitor furthest from home was Brendan Murphy, from Ballina parkrun beside the River Moy in County Mayo.

It’s a shame our first-timers didn’t get the wonderful views over the park and the city of Bristol that we often have, but hopefully you will make a return visit to see them. Still, there’s always next week!

Report by Paul Hodges

 2019-10-27 barcodes

follow this link to find out more about weatherproof barcodes

 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week's event happen. Although our parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you'd like to sign up as a volunteer, we'd love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via "manage my profile" on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don't forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results are at the top of the table here with links to all our age group records and heaps of other statty stuff.

Sadly no photos today, but you can find a record of almost all our previous parkruns here.

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Report by Mike McBeth

 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week’s event happen. Although AC parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you’d like to sign up as a volunteer, we’d love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via ‘manage my profile’ on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don’t forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results are at the top of the tablehere with links to all our age group records and heaps of other statty stuff.

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

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