The One Where Jack Frost Joined The First Timers
What a glorious sunny and beautiful winter’s morning greeted the volunteers who arrived at Leverhulme around 8.10am to set up for Bolton parkrun event number 294. The only issue was the car showing the -2 degrees and the visible frost on the roads and pavements making our way to the park. While this makes for some tremendous Christmas card type photos, as demonstrated by our 2 talented photographers in attendance, it can make running hazardous. Thank you both Dave Hitchen and Ali McArthur for some marvellous shots.
The safety of everyone is of paramount concern during any adverse conditions and so a team of volunteers set about checking the course before any cones were laid out or the finishing funnel set up. Even the tables for the tea and coffee remained under lock and key until the thumbs up were received from the Run Director and Event Director.
There were a couple of areas of real concern, ice covering the path leading to the out and back and the puddle that Helen Bury famously took Alyssa swimming in! Thanks to the response for more volunteers this week, we had enough marshals to assign people to these areas to ensure the safety of the runners. Please remember, these marshals are there for your safety – please follow their instructions. One runner did try to tackle the icy puddle and nearly suffered for it.
Wrapped up warm against the cold were the usual team of amazing volunteers who turned up in their droves to make the event happen as always.
Heather ALLMARK, Gareth ALLMARK, Jonathan BARKER, Neil BONNAR, Gareth DOHERTY, Paul DUKE, Leanne EVANS, Darren EVANS, Andrew FAWKES, Christine FERNON, Rachel GANDY, Abbie GREGSON, Mike GREGSON, John HALL, William Andrew HARGREAVES, Kath HENDERSON, Andrew HENDERSON, Dave HITCHEN, Julie Ann HODGKISS, Andy LAYCOCK, Richard LORD, Hannah MCARTHUR, Ali MCARTHUR, Vicky MURRAY, Alannah O'BYRNE, Siobhan PIMLOTT, Malcolm PITTOCK, Martin SMITH, Frannie THURLBECK, Shirley TULL, William L VICKERS, Kath VICKERS, Craig WITHERS
We are, as ever, on the lookout for volunteers for the coming weeks – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
This weeks volunteers included Christine Fernon, who becomes the latest Bolton addition to the 25 volunteer club – great achievement and support, both for the main event and for the juniors at Queens Park on a Sunday. Thank you for your continued support.
This week also included a number of runners hitting milestones, with Maya Porter taking on her 10th and qualifying for her White Junior 10 tee. 9 visits to Bolton and a summer one off at Wormwood Scrubs for Maya.
Ed Ashton of Burnden Road Runners hit his 50th run in near perfect style, a 5th place finish and a PB to boot, closing in on a first sub-20 minute run, just 6 seconds to shave off now! 47 visits to Bolton, 2 at Penrith and a solitary run at Heaton Park, just 15 seconds separate Ed’s best time at the 3 courses – consistency personified.
Father and son team Nigel and Matthew Smith will soon be seen sporting their Red 50 tops. Starting together on 14th November 2015, they have missed just 3 events in the past year. Just 59 seconds separate their average time, with youth leading the way, Matthew’s average time of 21 minutes 4 seconds pipping Nigel’s 22.04. Dad leads the PB count 10 to 6 though, but as with the average times, Matthew takes the quicker PB between them. 10 places separate their average finishing position, 13th for Matthew and 23rd for Nigel, with Matthew having 13 top 10 finishes included a best of 3rd at event 254 back in February. Impressive family stats, not sure if they can be bettered – contact email@example.com if you have a family parkrun story to share.
Unbelievably, 5 of this weeks top 6 finishers achieved PB’s, given the conditions a remarkable achievement. Even Lewis Aldred, a junior on his 4th run, in second place was just 2 seconds from making it a full house.
Gary Furness led home the 235 runners this week, just his second time as first finisher in 156 Bolton runs (his one cheeky visit to Worsley Woods delivered a 5th place). It was a perfect day for Gary, hitting his first PB since event 59 back in April 2012 on the old course. Hope you put the lottery numbers on this week Gary!
Lorraine Hopley of Rossendale Harriers was first lady home for the 14th time in her 20 runs at Bolton. Only 6 other runners, plus the great Unknown, have more first places than Lorraine. The time of 20.12 is the 9th quickest time for our female participants this year.
8 runners made their first visit to Bolton, including Andy Greenhalgh who calls Pennington Flash home with 99 runs but has an impressive 40 different parkrun events in his 156 runs. A huge welcome to the 5 runners making their parkrun debut with us this week, welcome on board, hope you enjoyed the run and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Burnden Road Runners welcomed their latest New Starters Group to Bolton parkrun in style, with 47 members tuning out to run and more numbers among the volunteers making it a special home feeling for the newbies.
An impressive 52 new PB’s were recorded this week, joining Gary from the top 6 were Mark Jackson in 3rd place,who’s 19.53 was his first sub 20 minute run. Mark’s first run at Bolton was back in February 2015 timed at 28.29, so a huge improvement during his 73 runs at Bolton. Stephen Bonney in 4th went sub 20 for the second time, setting a new record of 19.54. 18 of Stephen’s 24 runs at Bolton have bettered his time, improving from 25.20 on his first run back in March 2014. Ed Ashton was 5th with his 50th run and PB and in 6th place was Dave Beales on his 3rd run, each improving on the last.
Joe Hopley, another junior runner, knocked and impressive 1 minute 10 seconds off his best to come home 9th in 20.19. David Chrystal of Bolton United Harriers has 6 PB’s in 18 runs and despite finishing outside the top 10 for the first time in his last 4 runs set a new best of 20.35. Another member of the Hopley family (we assume!) kept up their impressive week, Stephen Hopley gained a consecutive run PB with a time of 21.27 meaning all 3 Rossendale Harriers finished top 20 this week.
Anthony Sutton took an impressive 30 seconds off last weeks PB and Andy Sayers managed a 4th PB in 10 runs at Bolton. Gary Larke took an impressive 39 seconds off his best to go sub 28 for the first time in his 59 trips round Leverhulme. Wayne Gaskell has 21 runs at Bolton with 11 resulting in a PB. The last 2 have seen his time drop from 31.17 to 30.24 and this week 29.07, smashing the minute barriers with ease! Tracy Cameron has 4 PB’s in her last 5 runs, this time breaking 30 minutes by 1 second – they all count!
Huge congratulations to everyone who set a new PB this week, awesome work.
Our 3 pacers, Andrew Henderson, Paul Duke and Gareth Doherty this week delivered outstanding performance with none of them more than 3 seconds of the pacing time and 4 PB’s being set around their runs- great work guys.
Finally, Happy Birthday to Stephen Bate who tackled the course in the blue birthday bib this week. Hope you had a great birthday weekend.
If you fancy rocking the birthday bib, please let us know before the run and we will make sure we give you a special mention! Sorry to Stephen for missing you in the brief this week!
As has become tradition, we will be putting on an additional event on New Years Day, this year starting at 10am, with the Junior event taking place at 9am in Queens Park. Put the date in your diary and come join us!
Have a fantastic week, take care in the icy conditions and see you back on the track next week.