parkrun – you really blew me away

They forecast strong winds and they weren’t wrong, but a mild hurricane didn’t stop 26 heroic volunteers and 263 hardy parkrunners at Spiceball Park this morning.

Tracy had a large audience at her First Timers Briefing at 8.45; an amazing 28 tourists, including visitors from nearby Cropredy Festival, and 6 people using their bar code for the very first time. So a huge welcome to the parkrun family Peter Grieveson, Hal Wallis, Iris Fung, Fabiola Pereira, Zoe Bardey and Helen Burns.

Run Director Graeme sent us off shortly after 9.00 and the faster runners were soon Gone with the Wind as they raced across the field and up the slight incline to begin the first mini-lap. I stayed towards the back where I could enjoy the sight of the brightly coloured parkrunners snaking their way around the curved pathway and disappearing behind a hedge. This part of the park is quite open so I really felt the wind blowing through my hair and realised I should have shaved my legs.

Next was the long stretch beside the water before passing through a small wooded area where I thought I heard the crack of a branch breaking in the gale, but it turned out to be two frisky pigeons.
On the second lap we double-looped over two bridges, which is my favourite part of the course because of the opportunity to high-five parkrunners coming the opposite way. Occasionally I misjudge the appeal of my over-zealous greeting and I’m then left hanging by startled strangers.

The summer course feels a little quicker than the winter course to me – maybe it’s the absence of mud, or the novelty of the different terrain, or maybe it’s all the extra high-fiving, but for whatever reason my best times have been on the summer course. This morning, despite the sudden wall of wind resistance in the field, I finished as usual with a sprint across the grass and a big grin on my face.
Today, Charlotte Drummond, Lucy Riley and John Quinn joined the 50 club. Congratulations on hitting this milestone – hopefully you like the colour red!

An unknown runner came home in 17:49 to take the first finisher token. Charlotte Drummond of Banbury Harriers AC not only celebrated her 50 milestone but was also the first lady over the line in 7th position and a time of 20:44. Highest age grading this week of 75.81% went to Clare Curnow of Cherwell Runners and Joggers. Also congratulations to the 16 who set a new PB this week. Great parkrunning everyone – you made it look such a breeze!

And now for the stats…

This week 263 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 35 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Helen BURTON • Warren HARRISON • Graeme HACKLAND • Hannah CLIFFORD • Paddy HAYNES • Steven HEARN • Sandra HERYET • Sera RELTON • Georgina COYNE • Karen SHAKESPEARE • Rachel PALMER-HEARN • Helen KUHN • Rose ASHTON • Tracy LAWRENCE • Stuart HADEN • Jack EATON • Natalie MILES • Colin LESTER • Nick MACEY • Warren SMITH • Sara CARTER • Abigail SMITH • Solveig ALSAKER • Georgina WILKINSON • Jo TRINDER • Melissa MORLEY
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).
Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,615 participants have completed 48,522 parkruns covering a total distance of 242,610 km, including 8,567 new Personal Bests. A total of 685 individuals have volunteered 5,167 times.