This week we celebrated #parkrun15 - parkrun has been around a whole 15 years!
In 2004, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, was suffering from depression and unable to run - and was missing seeing his friends. So, he asked a bunch of them to meet at a park in London on a Saturday morning. 13 of them ran, and 5 volunteered to use the stopwatch, hand out finish position washers and write down names and times on a piece of paper. Afterwards they went for breakfast at a local cafe. Originally called the Bush Park Time Trials, these were the humble beginnings of parkrun.
This weekend, it was a beautiful autumn morning and Bedford parkrun was just one of more than 1990 parkrun events that took place, now across 21 different countries! Over 4 million people have now walked, run or jogged a parkrun and 519,965 people have volunteered. Today, at Bedford parkrun, we had 37 incredible volunteers. Usually this parkrun manages on less than half this number of volunteers, but thanks to the Bedford Harriers Athletic Club's Volunteer Takeover, almost all of the volunteer roles were covered by the club and they cheered and helped 395 finishers across the line.
The finish funnel was decorated with yellow and blue balloons and many parkrunners celebrated the occasion by completing the free weekly 5k timed event in an array of fancy dress. We had cow-girls, doctors, snails, pirates, Pokemon, knights, Wally, cops and robbers, fairies, dancers, ninjas, buzzy bees, and many more.
As we were celebrating #parkrun15, I looked at the results to see if anyone had achieved any significant "15" milestones:
Ronnie Tannis finished in 15th position with his time of 20:29. Isaac Cherrie and Hannah Saddington both clocked 15s against the stopwatch, with their finish times of 25:15 and 27:15 respectively, and Andrew Johnson, Jenny Keens, Oliver Gaillard, Rita Chachu, Sebastian Jordan and Tim Sprake all completed their 15th parkrun.
Thank you to the enthusiastic support and volunteer pacing from the Bedford Harriers members Adam Hills, Shaun Busby, Joanne Smythe, Chris Fadden, Tim Southam, Justin Parker, Mike Brewer, Daniel Karaiskou, Debi Fisher, Claire Rulton and Katie Fletcher - 67 people achieved personal bests today.
First and last gents to finish were Liam Busby and Michael Crouch with times of 17:30 and 1:10:00. We had twelve children under the age of 11, and 17 ladies & gents in their 70's and so many incredible achievements in between. The final and fastest ladies were Deidre McCarthy and Leah Relton with times of 1:01:23 and 20:48 respectively.
Forty people chose to visit Bedford parkrun for the first time and of those, 21 took their initial parkrun steps and completed their first parkrun ever. Well done to you all. On the opposite spectrum, Ray Evans and Bridget Peacock have now completed 398 and 351 parkruns respectively. Other noticeable milestones include 100 completed parkruns by Freddie Jordan and Huafu Wang, and 50 completed parkruns by Scott Fallen, Christine Irvine, and Catherine Brewer who also achieved a PB.
Thank you to: Andy COLE, Jane MOOR, Ethan Rulton, Helene BOLTON, Luke Sullivan RULTON, Lana DONNISON, Mike CANNING and Lauren TESTER for being our hi viz heroes alongside the Bedford Harriers volunteers - Duncan WORTHY, Tom BRASSINGTON, Tony BARNES, Karen SALLOWS, Louisa JACKSON, Beverley GOUS, Peter PACK, Phil SUPPLE, Carolanne GIBSON, Christelle CELERIER, Alison BUTCHER, Elaine MASSIE, Richard LAWSON, Balbir KHINDA, Helen WHITING, Steve CRANE, Sara GALE, Stephen GALE. parkrun just wouldn't happen without you.
You can find out more about the Bedford Harriers Athletics Club and the upcoming Bedford Harriers Half Marathon (which takes place on 1 December 2019) on their website.
If you'd like to see all the fantastic photographs from today's event, please check out the full albums here: Set 1 (start, and cafe area) and (**upload pending: Set 2 (start, and pond area)**). thank you so much to our photographers - Peter & Balbir.
The basic ethos of parkrun is that it is free for everyone, and anyone can volunteer, run, jog or walk.
If you'd like to volunteer at Bedford parkrun, please email email@example.com and if you'd like to take part, we meet every Saturday at 8:50am at the bandstand for a 9am start.
Bedford parkrun started on 11th June 2011. Since then 14,606 participants have completed 116,402 parkruns covering a total distance of 582,010 km, including 21,228 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,110 individuals have volunteered 6,833 times.
Beverley Gous - A862069