Basingstoke parkruns #458 & #459 (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), Bumper Combined Run Report by Frankie Wellings
I have been thinking about a theme for this run report for a few weeks and it suddenly dawned on me what I could write about………Christmas!!
What a fantastic week end of park running we had. It is always great to see people making the effort to get out and do something healthy in between the turkey, mince pies, chocolates, sherry and other goodies we often feel obliged to consume over Christmas!
Thank you to Christmas Eve’s Run Director Avi for a poetic briefing. Just in case you didn’t catch it, here it is:
'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the park
People were gathering, for this parkrun lark
They had come from all over, on this special date
For Basingstoke parkrun, number 458
In their number were tourists, as it was Christmas Eve
From as far as west Wales, would you believe?
And also deserving, of note in this rhyme
Are the 25 runners, here for the first time
If you weren't here last week, take note - our winter course
Means Tennis Court Hill, which is often the source
of frequent annoyance, when we all reach its crown
Now makes people happy, we don't run up, but down
Yes our winter course is a different size
So we run round it three times, anti-clockwise
Now if you have a dog here, we beg and we plead
It's just one per runner, and on a short lead
For those with their children, it's almost the same
One child with one adult, is the name of the game
But before I can send you, on your merry way
We have milestone runners, among us today
First up there's two juniors, doing their tenth run
It is Albie Kenward and Abi Robinson
It's fifty for Lilly Willis, who is only nine
And also Charlotte Bailey, both achievements are fine
But one person here, is topping them all
With his 250th run, to Richard Barker, we're in thrall
And an unofficial milestone, not 50 or a ton
It's Caroline Partner 150th, very well done!
Caroline's a key part, of a team needing cheers
We wouldn't be running, without our volunteers
She's one of the regulars, with John, Mark, Ryan and Grant
Lisa, Mike, Matt and many others I can't
Mention - so thank them, when you see them today
Or even tomorrow, yes we're here Christmas Day
We will start at 9am, in just one day's time
Now my poem is over, let's go to the start line!
There were many people already getting into the spirit on Christmas Eve with an assortment of hats - a turkey, Rudolph and Christmas pudding to name just a few.
There were Christmas leggings and I saw a couple of elves too. I just hope they’d already finished making all the toys and weren’t bunking off!
Christmas Eve broke our attendance record with a massive 505 runners completing the course. Taking top spot on the podium was Jonathan Bradford in 16:53 which is just one second outside his PB. Second place went to Toby Brimecome in 17:08 which is just 4 seconds outside his PB and third place on the podium went to Barnaby Walker in 17:22. Congratulations to you all.
Charlotte Chalwin came home first for the ladies (11th overall) in 18:42 which is a new PB. Maddie Deadman was the second lady across the line in 19:11 and third place was taken by Claire Spencer in 20:36. Great work ladies, well done!
A total of 44 runners bagged themselves a shiny new PB on Christmas Eve. Well done to all of you, you’ve earned an extra mince pie!
There were lots of milestone runs on Christmas Eve. For the juniors, the following people clocked up 10 runs – Albie Kenward, Charlie Coveney and Abi Robinson. Earning themselves lovely new red t-shirts by clocking up 50 runs were Charlotte Bailey, Roger Cridge and Lilly Willis. Zanda Jansone completed her 100th run today and will soon be sporting her new black t-shirt. No t-shirt for this one but one of the core volunteers, Caroline Partner, completed her 150th run today. Finally, earning himself a green t-shirt was Richard Barker who did his 250th run. Well done to all of you.
Thank you as always to our wonderful volunteers. Without these heroes, parkrun simply couldn’t happen. We even had a singing marshal!
And now onto news of the Christmas Day parkrun……
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. As well as run report writer, it was my absolute pleasure to be your Christmas Day Run Director. Special thanks has to go to Malclom for the sloe gin and Tony & Caroline Moore for the glass of bubbles – it was a slightly squiffy Christmas Day after all of that!
Not every parkrun has a Christmas Day run so we are very fortunate at Basingstoke. We had 30 visitors including several first timers. We hope you all enjoyed your Basingstoke run and come back soon. New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day maybe? As well as breaking our attendance record on Christmas Eve, we broke our Christmas Day attendance record too with close to 400 runners. These are the figures for Christmas Day runs since Basingstoke has held Christmas Day runs:
2008 – no run
2009 – 52
2010 – 95
2011 – 132
2012 – 118
2013 – 221
2014 – 347
2015 – 343
2016 – 396
Red, black and green t-shirts were earned by the following people who achieved festive milestones: Linda Van Den Ordel (50 runs), Luke Onslow, Merv Davison and Karen Gladman (100 runs), Nick Walshe (250 runs). Not official milestones so no t-shirts but still achieving fantastic milestones were Nick Onslow (200 runs) and Darren Rolfe (300 runs). On the subject of great achievements, I must mention our ex event director Lynn Brastock. On Christmas Day, Lynn clocked up her 1,000th mile of 2016. Well done Lynn, brilliant achievement! (loved the sweaty hug afterwards!)
Congratulations to our event director Avi Govind who earned his purple t-shirt on Christmas Day. Just in case you’re not aware, you get a lovely purple t-shirt once you have volunteered on 25 separate occasions. As you know, parkrun simply couldn’t happen if it weren’t for the people who volunteer each week. If you haven’t volunteered in a while or if you have never volunteered, please, please consider giving something back and volunteering from time to time. All you need to do is send an email to email@example.com
Our Christmas Day parkrun saw many fancy dress costumes including festive pants with baubles (Tim!), inflatable Santas, Santas with bells, snowmen (well snowwoman really – Lisa!), Rudolphs and turkeys. In amongst the fancy dress was George Onslow who completed the Rubik’s Cube during his run. His little brother came and spoke to me after the run to tell me about his brother’s achievement and I asked George if he had actually completed the puzzle and his reply was “yeah, 31 times”. I don’t know about you but I was (am still am) completely astounded by this! Well done George, I think this must be a parkrun first!
Top spot on the Christmas Day podium was taken by an unknown runner but I do know he was wearing a green t-shirt! Second place was taken by Matt King with a time of 17:12 and third place was also unknown. #DFYBC! In 10th place was regular visitor to Basingstoke, Sam Larcombe, who is off travelling abroad in the next few weeks so we wish him all the best and hope he keeps his running shoes close at hand, or more appropriately, feet!
Rebecca Bullock was first home for the ladies in a time of 19:45 which is a PB at Basingstoke. In second place was Charlotte Earl in a time of 20:18, and taking the final podium spot was Hannah Bliss in 20:28. Well done to all of you.
Santa’s sack was full of presents, mainly consisting of a medal for every finisher and 32 PBs.
I’d just like to finish with a few Christmas facts – did you know:
The poinsettia originates from……..Mexico.
The concept of exchanging gifts comes from……Italy.
The country credited with starting the tradition of the Christmas tree is…….Germany.
And finally, he probably never did parkrun but I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say we lost yet another legend on Christmas Day – RIP George Michael.
I’m now handing the pen over to Matt (the Stat) for the next run report so I’d just like to wish you all a very Happy New Year with plenty of running miles.