#IWDparkrun, pacer day for PB’s a plenty and a special birthday

parkrun #563 – 7th March 2020

Black Park was one of the parkruns across the world celebrating women’s participation as a part of International Women’s Day. Loads of people had turned up wearing purple in recognition of this and the request to ‘bring a woman!’ had gone out – in recognition of the parkrun research that shows more girls and women sign up but then worry about what is involved and struggle to overcome these concerns to get along to their first run. There was a brilliant vibe and as Run Director it was wonderful to see over 330 women all doing 5K their way and loving it (and thanks to the men for their support and kindness – it really does make a difference!)

It was also pacer day and Joe’s flying pacer squad were there covering every minute from 23 minute through to 40 minutes in their stylish blue pacer tabards. Their encouragement and support led to an incredible 99 PBs! Well done to everyone and thank you to the pacers.

It was also a very special day because it was the 80th birthday of regular runner Anne LEIGH, and her son Mike (25 minute pacer) and all of her friends had made sure that the day was marked in style. Do have a look at the lovely video from Logathas VELAYUTHAPILLAI posted on the Black Park parkrun Facebook page to see the celebrations, plus the inspiration that Anne brings to everyone around her.

This week 730 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 71 were first timers. Representatives of 41 different clubs took part, with all of the local clubs represented and also people from Clubs farther afield: Cleethorpes & District AC, Brighton Outdoor Fitness and Manchester YMCA Harriers Club.

The things that people are chatting about

It was a great day and people were buzzing – whether it was Anne’s birthday cake, celebrating PBss, International Women’s Day or congratulating the MITCHELL family with Stephen completing his 250th parkrun with all of his family (including his elder daughter who had left home at 6am to travel by public transport to get here to mark Dad’s special moment).

The thing about parkrun is that it is just as much about the coffee and the chat afterwards (with friends old and new) as it is about the 5K itself. A couple of things that came up in conversation were:

1) Contributing to ‘parkrun Forever’

Parkrun has now registered as a charity in order to support the work of staying weekly, timed and free forever whilst also growing across the world and getting more people in every community involved. If you wanted to directly support this work, you can make a monthly donation via ‘parkrun forever and you even get entered into a free monthly draw for parkrun prizes!

You can read more about it here: https://parkrunforever.com/about/

2) Representing your country at the 5K distance in the Vitality World Cup – for free!

This challenge is an online challenge and TeamUK is captained by Jess Ennis-Hill, so some of our parkrunners are putting in the miles in pursuit of glory!

You can read more about it and register here if you want to: https://runningworldcup.com/?ref=puouhn


Well done to our new members to the parkrun milestone clubs this week:

50 Run Club – Emily CROFT, Guy LONG, John GILPIN, Lorraine MC NULTY

250 Run Club – Stephen MITCHELL

Today’s parkrun was all made possible by 64 volunteers – a big cheer for them:

Barbara ALLEN • Mark LUCAS • David PRIDDY • Glyn WATKINS • Jenny ZAREMBA • Mary LORD • Andy TORRANCE • Steve BREAGAN • Vince ELLERBY • Paula WALKER • Jennie JUPP • Catherine STAUNTON • Joe NOLAN • Rose O'NEILL • Stephen MCALISTER • Sheila O'NEILL • Antony SMITH • Mike LEIGH • Laura HAWKINS • Zoe SMITH • Freya SMITH • Martin JOSTEN • Bob STANBROOK • Carol COOMBS • Amar BABHANIA • Karen TRUNKFIELD • Karen Anne PATTERSON • Joanna MORIARTY • Joanne HARRISON • Chloe BREAGAN • Raymond John HOYLE • Logathas VELAYUTHAPILLAI • Suzy GAULTON • Adam HORSFIELD • John MILES • Fiona JAMIESON • Nigel FARNFIELD • Josephine FARNFIELD • Audrey PARSONS • Hilary GAUNA • Mark MOORE • Nivitha LOGATHAS • Marianne HUGHES • Toby ROBINSON • Daniel MOORE • Tony CLISH • Susannah CLEARY • Sharon BUNBY • Richard GOBLE • Sarah CUTHBERT • Harvey O'HALLRON-DONALDSON • Thomas HAYWOOD • Fred CLEMENT • Martin STEWART • Sam PHILLIPS • Vicky HART • Antonia GARCIA • Elinor CASEY • Claire BLAZQUEZ • Marie KOUHI • Nathan ILES • Harry GOWER • Julia HILL • Surkhab LIDHAR

The full results can be seen on the Black Park results page: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/blackpark/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=563

And the wonderful #IWDparkrun photos with all of the birthday celebrations and pacer fun, plus your individual experience can be seen on the Flickr link:


Achievements this week:

There was some very impressive running at the front of the field, with two of the top three finishers recording PBs – including first finisher Andrew HUMPHREY (SM25-29) of Burnham Joggers in a speedy 17:40 and Bob FURNELL (SM30-34) in 18:08. Also a big shout-out to Cookham Running Club, as seven of their members all recorded PBs.

Here are the age graded results that deserved a huge cheer (age grading is a scoring vs the best time for that age and gender over 5K):

  • Kevin McDONALD (VM55-59) of Hillingdon AC with 83.5%
  • Pete JEWELL (VM55-59) of Reading Roadrunners with 81.3%
  • Margaret MARDALL (VW70-74) with 78.1%
  • Helen POOL (VW45-49) of Reading Roadrunners with 77.6%
  • Fergal DONNELLY (VM45-49) of Reading Roadrunners with 77.3%

Although the amazing Margaret Moody still holds the course record of 92.5% set back in April 2014.

And finally…

If you would like to tell a little of your personal story, please do email parkrunstories@yahoo.com and we will hopefully catch up with you at Black Park and feature your story.

The male record is held by Ben LIVESEY who recorded a time of 15:09 on 10th March 2012 (event number 140).

The female record is held by Pippa WOOLVEN who recorded a time of 16:32 on 5th January 2019 (event number 502).


International Women’s Day #IWD parkrun – Sat 7th March 2020

At Black Park, we are delighted to be one of the parkrun’s participating in the parkrun celebration of International Women’s Day, also supported by This Girl Can – which you may have seen on social media.

Of course everyone is welcome at parkrun – always!

But the figures and research show that women are less likely to take part in parkrun. Despite the fact that females make 54% of registrations, they are less likely than men to take part in parkrun and to continue participating. International Women’s Day #IWD parkrun is a fantastic opportunity to encourage more women and girls to participate.

There are many barriers that hold people back – as #ThisGirlCan has been highlighting.

So we invite you all to come along on 7th March 2020 for a parkrun celebrating female participation. Please do talk to the women and girls that you know about how great parkrun is, support them to overcome any worries that they have and come along, have fun and enjoy the friendly tea/coffee/cake at the end.

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