Run Report – Event No. 451, 16th February 2013

PBs galore!

For my last report back in January, there was tales of woe as snow and ice thwarted parkrunners everywhere, with conditions making it nearly impossible to get a PB. The consensus from yesterday’s parkrunners seems to be that conditions were almost ideal – light winds, higher temperatures as the ground begins to dry out after the period known as ‘Glasto homage mudfest’.

Runners setting off
883 parkrunners set off on Bushy parkrun 451

So the combination of good running conditions, together with our posse of odd pacers, ensured PBs galore – a double century of 200 PBs to be exact! 883 runners tackled the course, remarkably similar to last week’s 885. There were 53 first timers at Bushy Park this week, taking the all-time total number of runners to have completed the course to 20,019. After 451 Bushy parkruns, the total distance completed by all runners at Bushy Park now stands at 972,555 km – and with an average of 4,500km being added on a weekly basis, we can expect the million km figure around Easter time.


P.. P.. P.. pick up a Pacer

This month it was the ‘odd’ pacers, ranging from 21 mins up to 35 minutes, giving you encouragement and support on the course. They were:

21 – Jeremy Palmer, 23 – Jonathan Cox, 25 – Jed Leicester, 27 – Jack Kennedy,

29 – Katrin Kroschinski, 31 – Carol Dickinson, 33 – Neil Hankey, 35 – Matthew Jacquiss

Pacers at the ready
An octet of odd pacers!

It’s very clear looking down the results, there were lots of PBs peppered around the pacers’ times, so a great job by all! Carol, who was doing the 31 min pacer role was substituted as she didn’t feel well so duties were taken over by her daughter Emma Dickinson, as well as Sandra Worth to continue in this role, well done all round.

If you are interested in being a pacer, do give Andy Pillidge an email at

Pacer days are usually on the third Saturday in each month, with each of the odd numbered months (Jan/Mar/May/Jul/Sep/Nov) being even minute pacers (20/22/24/26/28/30/32/34), while the even numbered months (Feb/Apr/Jun/Aug/Oct/Dec) being odd minute pacers (21/23/25/27/29/31/33/35).

It’s always fun for me when doing the funnel management role when it’s pacers day as so many runners faithfully stick to their pacer like glue. This was especially the case yesterday with our 27 minute pacer, Jack Kennedy. Jack had bought with him a posse of parkrunners, all desperate to stay ahead of him to get under 27 minutes – and many of you did, so well done! Consequently the 26th minute was the busiest one, as 92 of you crossed the line! So it was a great job by Kirsty Bangham on timer to concentrate throughout, as well as the numbers team of Jan Franks, along with junior volunteer Ayan Hyderi who did a great job assisting Jan with the numbered tokens for the first time. We had another junior volunteer yesterday as George Dixon was helping me with the funnel role. In all we had 24 volunteers, thank you to you all.


Special plaudits from this week…

New PBs

There was a terrific 12 runners this week who achieved a PB with at least 50 parkruns here, with 4 runners getting a PB with at over 100 runs at Bushy under their belts. This list was led by Carole Vine with 26:18, taking 26 seconds off her previous best of 26:44 which she set… last week! She has achieved a consecutive PB on her 142nd parkrun, with 141 of those at Bushy Park, well done Carole! Adam Jones ran 18:45 to shave five seconds off his PB on his 115th Bushy appearance (102 parkruns), while Lucy Thatcher finished in 22:42 to take ten seconds off her PB on her 114th parkrun (109 at Bushy). Our quartet of parkrunning PBs with at least 100 Bushy runs completed was from junior runner Lucas Roberts, running 33:57 on his 103rd parkrun (all at Bushy), taking a huge 82 seconds off his time! Well done Lucas!

Ruth Lewis took nine seconds off her PB which dated back to May 2011, running 26:08 on her 75th parkrun (all at Bushy), and Mike Dennison ran his second consecutive PB, taking two seconds off his time from last week, running 20:44 on his 72nd parkrun (71 at Bushy). Laurence Morey also secured back-to-back PBs, running 24:14 on his 70th parkrun (68 at Bushy), taking 36 seconds off last week’s 24:50 when he broke 25 minutes for the first time, now sub 24 beckons – well done Laurence! Straggler Sue Bridger ran a new PB 28:08 on her 66th parkrun (all at Bushy), beating her previous best by ten seconds, while 26.2 RRC’s Sarah Pettefer took 11 seconds off her time, running 22:28 on her 63rd parkrun appearance (60 at Bushy).

In what seems to be a recurring theme, Simon Neil also gained back-to-back PBs, running 25:28 this week, improving his best from last Saturday by five seconds on his 58th parkrun (57 at Bushy). Kevin Biesty took 31 seconds off his time, breaking 25 minutes for the first time, running 24:52 on his 55th parkrun (all at Bushy) – I’m sure Kevin appreciated the support of Jed Leicester, who was our 25 minute pacer. Bill Woods broke 24 minutes for the first time, running 23:45 to take 29 seconds off his previous best on his 52nd Bushy parkrun.


Alex Hankey running with Missy the beagle

One away from a half century of Bushy parkruns is Alex Hankey. Alex ran his second consecutive PB yesterday with a time of 21:44 on his 52nd parkrun overall, and taking off a huge 47 seconds off his PB. For the second week running, Alex (pictured above) was running with Missy, the beagle, and clearly it seems to be working very well for him! Missy usually runs with Alex’s sister Lucy, but as she is injured at the moment, he has taken over the reins. Thanks to my fellow run report writer, Julie Papworth, who informed me that after getting his second PB in a row, Alex will be definitely going for a hat-trick of PBs next week with Missy – and he also claims that Missy prefers running with him as he runs faster! I hope you recover from your injury soon Lucy, and all the best Alex for your hat-trick attempt next week!


First timers on tour 

We had two members of the 50 club making their pilgrimage to Bushy Park for the very first time as tourists. Dave Johnson was running his 72nd parkrun, having now visited 15 different parkrun courses, with his home run at Cannon Hill in Birmingham (42 runs), but has also ventured as far as the Elliðaárdalur parkrun in Reykjavik, Iceland! I hope you enjoyed the experience Dave, do come back again! Tom Hutchinson of the Mornington Chasers also made his debut, on his 56th run having taken in 8 different parkrun courses – and dipped under 20 minutes for the very first time, running 19:55. His previous best of 20:15 was posted at his home run at Finsbury parkrun (47 runs) and Highbury Fields (3 runs).


Record breaking age-grade score

Regular readers of the Bushy run reports will be familiar with the name Jane Davies by now. Well yesterday, Jane ran 20:52 in the VW60-64 category to earn 97.12%! This beats her own previous record of 96.74 set on 6 Oct 2012. This was the first time this year that the Epsom and Ewell Harriers athlete has dipped under 21 minutes, and it was her 112th parkrun (103 at Bushy). I would venture a guess that this new benchmark will not last the rest of 2013 if Jane’s brilliant performances continue.

Jane was not alone in breaking the 80% barrier, as there was an even split of 4 ladies and 4 gents who managed it this week. Next on the list were Stragglers duo Kevin Best (18:16 - 87.77%) and Dee Smale (20:54 - 82.22%), followed by Woking AC athlete Ramona Thevenet earning 80.63% with her 21:36 time. Straggler Liz Zass ran 25:57 for 80.54%, Thames Hare & Hounds runner David Symons gained 80.38% after running 17:30, while Phillip Bearman Snr ran 18:04 (80.35%). Completing the 80 plus octet was Michael White, earning exactly 80% for his 20:35 time, and a new PB on his third parkrun.


31st member of the 250 club

We had a new member inducted into the 250 club yesterday as Stewart Rose became the 31st member of this still exclusive club. Stewart has done 244 of his 250 runs at Bushy – and 276 time parkrunner (all at Bushy) John Woods has reminded me that Stewart ‘defected’ to Bedfont Lakes on the six other occasions. Well John – I can vouch that Bedfont is a stunning course, and one I particularly enjoyed when it was a frosty, frozen wilderness.

Although Stewart has been a regular parkrunner since 2008, he was not the first one in his family to do it. Stewart’s son Alex was recommended by his school to try the 5k at the Bushy Park Time Trial in 2007 (as it was known then). At event 125 on 20 Jan 2007 – Alex, along with his sister Libby and their mum Lisa, all took part for the first time. Just over a year later, Stewart then did his first run at event 189 on 29 Mar 2008, with the aim of trying to beat his son Alex over the next few weeks! Although the rest of his family have dipped in and out of parkrun over the next few years, Stewart has been metronomic in the consistency of both his times, and appearances – infact since I’ve been coming to Bushy Park on Saturday mornings three years ago, I can’t think of a single time he hasn’t been there!

Stewart is the kind of no fuss runner that just keeps it simple, turns up week in week out, always in shorts – whatever the weather, and definitely lets his running do the talking! In terms of the time taken, he has got to 250 parkruns at the second fastest ever rate, taking just 1,785 days (or 255 weeks) between 29 Mar 2008 and 16 Feb 2013 to reach the 250 parkruns landmark. This is only five weeks longer than it took Banstead Woods parkrun regular Neil Sunderland, who managed the feat in exactly 250 weeks. Clearly what Stewart and Neil share is incredible fitness, avoiding injuries and flu as well as running in any conditions to feed that weekly parkrun fix. Of the last 263 Bushy parkruns, Stewart has run at 244 of them (93% attendance), and has previously put a consecutive streak together of 52 consecutive Bushy parkruns between events 211 (30 Aug 2008) and 262 (8 Aug 2009). He is currently on a streak of 40, dating back to event 412 on 26 May 2012, a run which has taken in snow, ice, frost, a bit of sun and a whole lot of mud.


Stewart Rose
Stewart Rose - the newest member of the 250 club

Stewart has been just as consistent with his times as he has been with his attendance rate, with a PB of 20:02 dating back to 11 Dec 2010 and he has got under 21 minutes every year since 2008, all except for 2013, so far – but he got very close yesterday with 21:03, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets under 21 minutes again next week. One final stat (for now!) which demonstrates how consistent his times have been is this – of his 244 runs at Bushy, 151 (62%) of them have been under 21 minutes, 81 (33%) have been between 21:00 and 21:59, and just 12 (5%) have been 22 minutes or more.

I remember very well the first few weeks when I started parkrunning back in February 2010, as Stewart, along with John Woods (276 runs) and Jeremy Langdon (192 runs) were the first parkrunners I got to know well as I finished around their times. I can also remember as they poked fun at my tennis shoes, football socks and whatever other heavy cotton, non-running attire I wore at the time – but it also showed me how quickly new parkrunners are welcomed in. It was also seeing the kind of week in week out commitment from guys like Stewart, John and Jeremy that I went on a 29 week consecutive run after making my debut at Bushy.

With the number of runners we get every week at Bushy, of course it’s impossible to know every single parkrunner. Therefore I guess we all have our smaller social groups of people we have got to know well who regularly finish around our times, and this can be a great motivation to improve as you’re likely to have runners you’ll know around you to compare your performances with, and to spur you on.

Well done on the achievement Stewart – if I can do the times you’re doing at your age (I won’t mention your age category!), then I would be very pleased, and there’s still every chance you can knock off those pesky three seconds to dip under 20 minutes for the first time.


Upcoming and new landmarks

Of those running yesterday, octogenarian Madge Bradsell is now just two away from joining Stewart in the 250 club, while the trio of Suzan Baker, Carol Dickinson and Stuart Lodge are all locked together on 241. Raj Patel, a former Bushy parkun regular but now parkruns at the nearby Crane Park, is, like Madge, on 248 runs.

Phillip Bearman Snr ran his 200th parkrun this week and Dave Hall completed his 150th run. We had one new member of the 100 club this week, well done Karen Taylor! There are two runners just one away from the jacket and black tee – Philip True and Brian Sullivan.

Three runners joined the 50 club this week and can look forward to collecting their red Adidas tees – Daren Harman, Martin Delve and Harriet Newby. Three more runners are on 49 not out, including one of our pacers this week Jed Leicester, as well as Eva Heap and Sally Walls.

Please remember to reply to the email you will receive after your 50th or 100th runs, stating where you want to collect your t-shirt and what size!


Runners setting off
So those were some of the headline makers and record breakers, but how did the rest of you do?


The results bit

Just after 16 minutes, a familiar running gait came into view towards the finish line as Sittingbourne Striders athlete Anthony Jackson crossed in 16:16 (79.30%) to collect token number one for the 22nd time. It was a good way for Anthony to celebrate his 100th appearance at Bushy on his 103rd parkrun, and just four seconds slower than last week. The next runner just got inside 17 minutes as Paul Lowe ran a PB of 16:53 (76.80%) on his 46th parkrun (27 at Bushy). Paul took two seconds off his PB from last week when he broke 17 minutes for the first time. The next identified runner was Richard Johnston, running 17:23 (74.21%) on his 17th parkrun (all at Bushy). He was closely followed by Thames Hare and Hounds athlete David Symons, whose time of 17:30 earned an excellent 80.38% on his 98th parkrun (45 at Bushy). David’s 98 runs span over 8 years having made his debut at event number 3 on 16 Oct 2004.


Anthony Jackson
Anthony Jackson heading towards the finish

The first junior timed across the line was Kingston AC and Polytechnic Harriers athlete Phillip Bearman Jnr, running 17:33 (78.06%) on his 134th parkrun (127 at Bushy), just 3 seconds away from his PB. The next junior Max Frost was not far behind Phillip, running 17:48 (79.68%) to equal his PB time on his 23rd parkrun (all at Bushy). The third registered junior was Jamie Millbank for St Mary’s University College AC, with his time of 18:32 earning 75.09% on his 128th parkrun (123 at Bushy), closely followed by the next junior Tom Jennings, running a new PB of 18:44 (71.16%) on his sixth parkrun (all at Bushy)

For the ladies, the juniors led the way at the first four finishers were all juniors. They were led by Christina Hall of Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow, running 19:42 (75.97%) on her third parkrun for a new PB on her third parkrun (all at Bushy). Next was Elise Forster-Brown on her 96th parkrun (94 at Bushy) with 19:49 (78.22%), just seven seconds away from her PB. Walton AC’s Lucy Withers ran 20:10 (79.17%) on her fourth parkrun (all at Bushy) for a new PB, and Jessica Wenlock crossed the line in 20:39 (75.06%) for Thames Turbo Triathlon to complete the junior quartet.

The next two ladies to cross the line were an experienced pair, as Polly Adams ran 20:47 (77.95%) on her 263rd parkrun (all at Bushy), and Jane Davies ran 20:52 to gain a record breaking 97.12% in the 60-64 category for Epsom and Ewell Harriers on her 112th parkrun (103 at Bushy).


Points Tables

For the gents, there are two very similar names sitting at the top as Phillip Bearman (Snr) has 5,177 points, with a lead of 570 points over second placed Phillip Bearman (Jnr) on 4,607. In third place is Jeremy Palmer with 4,521, while Mike Essex (4,246) and John Woods (4,149) complete the top 5.

For the ladies, Polly Adams has 4,939 points and has a 136 point lead over second placed Simone Rapa on 4,803, with Ramona Thevenet on 4,695. The top 5 are completed by Jennifer Darling (4,409) and Lucy Thatcher (4,397)


Stats of the day

There were 883 runners 823 identified, 60 unidentified (7% of field).


How many?

  • Of the 823 identified runners, there were:
  • 200 PBs (24% of field) of which 12 were runners with 50 Bushy parkruns or more
  • 53 Bushy first timers (6% of field) of which 42 were parkrun first timers (5% of field)
  • 123 Juniors (15%), 178 Seniors (22%), 522 Vets (63%) with 59 runners aged 60 or over (7%)
  • 545 males (66%) and 278 females (34%)
  • Most common male age group was 45-49 (106 runners), for females was 45-49 (47 runners)
  • 169 club runners (21% of field) from 47 different clubs and 654 unattached (79%)
  • Top 5 clubs: Stragglers (52), Thames Turbo Triathlon (12), Teddington Rugby Running Club (11), Sweatshop (11), St Mary’s Richmond AC (9)


How fast?

  • Of the 883 finishers, there were:
  • 52 runners sub 20 mins (6%), 645 between 20:00-29:59 (78%), 186 over 30 mins (21%)
  • Top 10% Overall/Male/Female time was 20:51/20:25/23:21
  • Midpoint Overall/Male/Female time was 25:52/24:25/28:50
  • Minute-by-minute number of finishers 20-29 minutes: 45, 56, 73, 68, 87, 72, 92, 53, 65, 34
  • 392 finishers between 22:00 and 26:59, average of 78 per minute
  • 92 finishers in the 26th minute


How many parkruns?

  • 41154 total parkruns completed from the identified field of 823, averaging 50 parkruns each
  • 51 parkrunners members of the junior 10 club (6% of identified field and 41% of juniors)
  • 282 parkrunners completed at least 50 parkruns (34% of identified field), of which
  • 144 members of the 50 club (17%)
  • 126 members of the 100 club (15%)
  • 12 members of the 250 club (2% of field) – John Hanscomb (354 parkruns), Richard Fletcher (336), Paul Killick (310), Ramona Thevenet (278), John Woods (276), Paul Viveash (274), David Worth (273), Derek Blackmore (273), Polly Adams (263), Ciaran Murphy (262), David Rowe (251) and Stewart Rose (250).

Missing tokens tally: 4 – tokens 156, 297, 583 and 729. If you finished on or around these positions, please check bags or pockets, you can return it next Saturday!


Post run coffee

La Fiamma were very hospitable to all the parkrunners who visited yesterday, and we anticipate using there as our post run coffee venue until The Pheasantry reopens, which is expected to be in April. La Fiamma is just outside the Lion Gate (Hampton Court) exit of Bushy Park, on the right. It has great views from the back of the restaurant into Bushy Park as well!


For any other reminders about special events which may be happening next week, you should view the Bushy parkrun Facebook page for the latest news…


Be Seeing You,

Rodney McCulloch


Don't forget you can now follow us on Twitter at
and for parkrun on facebook at
and for Bushy parkrun on facebook

Still want more? . . . then listen to ‘the parkrun show’ podcast – out every Monday

And the link for the JustGiving site for the Royal Parks Foundation is: JustGiving

Want to give feedback? Have anything to say or want anyone mentioned in future run reports? Please e-mail