Big Birthday Bash
Bushy parkrun turned 15 this Saturday with a huge outpouring of goodwill, love and general positivity.
The real star of the show was of course Elisabeth Marris who came to the start (and finish) line for the first time ever, and had the most wonderful morning meeting many friends and visitors who just wanted to say hello to her. This touching moment is our favourite photo of the day as it sums up the love and support that parkrun provides.
And really that is what parkrun is all about. It started with Paul wanting to spend more time with his friends, and in the intervening 15 years it has created many long lasting friendships and communities. The event itself is very important but it certainly isn't the only reason that people come back week after week. We said it before and we'll say it again; parkrun has changed our lives forever, and for the better! So thank you Paul and thank you to all the athletes and volunteers who have turned up over the years.
Every year the Bushy core team give award to athletes and volunteers who have been outstanding in different ways.
Our guest of honour was former Olympic GB athlete David Moorcroft OBE, who was on hand to dish out the awards. In 1982 David famously broke the world 5000m record with a time of 13:00:41 at the Bislett Games in Oslo. Rob our Event Director encouraged us all to look at our watches during the run when we got to 13 minutes to see where we were on the course, and to give us a sense of how fast he ran that day. I admit to watching David's run when I got home, and if you haven't already done so have a look, it's a truly impressive achievement. He held the British record for the 3000m from 1982 until 2016 when it was broken by Sir Mo Farah. He also won two Commonwealth Gold Medals. He is currently the Chair pf parkrun UK and a keen advocate of all things parkrun. His local run is Coventry.
And lastly the Spirit of parkrun award went to Elisabeth Marris, who Event Director Rob described as even more famous than Paul Sinton-Hewitt. When she lifted the award aloft with such obvious joy there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Pioneers and visitors
James Russell was one of the original 13 runners back in 2004. Then he finished in 8th position, whilst this week he was 192nd with a quicker time of 21:03. There was definitely more room on the start line back then!
The first ever run report written by Paul Sinton-Hewitt back in 2004. John Kipps and Karen Broadbent / Weir were also at Bushy again this week to celebrate their 250th runs.
Darren Wood has run more parkruns than anyone else. This week was run number 741. He missed the first event but ran at the second and has only missed 68 runs in 15 years. Carol Dickinson started on the second birthday in October 2006 and has a very impressive athlete number of A299.
These happy chaps are the Ugandan Crew from Burgess parkrun in Camberwell. You may recognise them from the parkrun Heroes series with Jessica Ennis-Hill. Next Saturday is Ugandan Independence Day and they were very keen for us to go along and sample the dancing and positivity they bring to their home parkrun.
As ever we couldn't manage an event of this magnitude without our trusted team of volunteers. Please say a huge thank you to the following people:
Donald BELL, Joy BELL, Jack BENNETT, Nick BLANCHARD, Ted BRAMPTON, Shirley BUCKLEY, Ann COWARD, Lucas CURTIS, Dana ELFRING, Samantha FAGG, Carolyn FOSTER, Janice FRANKS, Ray FRANKS, Christine FRY, Paige GOODWIN, Amelia GOODWIN, Suzanne GREEN, Simon GREENHILL, Kate HAYWARD, Olivia HEATLEY, Helene HILL, Tom HONE, Susan HOWARTH, Andrew HOWARTH, Melanie HOWES, Amber JACKSON, Lucy KATESMARK, Sacha KENNEDY, Ali KENNEDY, Leonie KENNEDY, Anne KIRBY, Jacquie KIRK, Simon LANE, Margaret LE FRANC, Catelin LE FRANC, Max LILLYWHITE, Anne MASON, Hayden MATTHEWS, Andrew MAYALL, Gavin MEGAW, Toby MEGAW, Steve MILLER, Linda MOORCROFT, Diane MULLEN, Victoria MUSKET, Eleanor O'NEILL, Zainab OSAMA, David PAPWORTH, Rob PHILLIPS, Lucy PORTER, Simon R, Verity RIDING, Ian RILEY, Grace ROBERTSON, Hannah ROBERTSON, Wendy SCOTT, Alicia SMITH, Eva SMITH-MARTIN, Andrew STENT, Wendy STOKES, Hannah STURROCK, Carol SWAFFER, Debbie TANTON, Sharon TEE, Peter David THOMPSON, Andrew John WINGATE, Emma WINGATE
Why not get involved and volunteer? Trust me you'll love it!
This is such an epic run report that we've only just got to the running part!
We had a field of 1838 athletes, some 1825 more than 15 years ago. It was a bit grey with a few puddles but we took it in our stride.
1. Andrius Jaksevicius 15:52
2. Aedan O'Brien 16:30
3. Jonny Brook 16:32
1. Emma Davis 18:10
2. Alice Tozer 19:13
3. Emma Headley 19:15
1. Jonny Brook 16:32
2. Fintan Kavanagh 16:40
3. Miguel Caeiro 17:31
1. Juilet Drury 19:36
2. Imogen Deakin 19:38
3. Lily O'Neill 19:53
80% age grading
The following runners achieved the coveted 80% and above age grading. Well done!
Congratulations to the following athletes on their achievements.
Karen Weir and John Kipps were in the original 13 runners on 2nd October 2004, and both celebrated their 250th run back at Bushy for the 15th birthday.
Back in 2004 Karen finished 10th with time of 24:56. This week she was in 443rd place with a time of 23:58.
John Kipps ran a time of 19:15 back in 2004 and came 3rd. This week he ran 28:22 and finished in 791st position.
Cathi Hepworth New PB
Norman John Harris
Johann Le Roux
Sophie Chew New PB
George Bloch New PB
Pleasantries in the Pheasantry
This is an illustrious table full of winners of the Volunteer of the Year award over the years. From left to right Rodney McCulloch 2014, Ray Franks 2010, Pat McGrath 2013, Jan Franks 2012, Ian Riley 2019
The award is known as the Timothy Bennet award. It is named after the cobbler who took on the Earl of Halifax in 1754 to keep a public foothpath in the park open after the enclosure act. The tarmac path which is part of our current parkrun route is called Cobbler's Walk.
We had the absolute pleasure of sharing a coffee and a chat with David and Linda Moorcroft in the Pheasantry afterwards. I asked him if it hurt to run 5km in 13 minutes and he replied that it was one of those rare occasions that you feel as if you're flying and could achieve anything. Fingers crossed we all get to experience that feeling one day!
Left to right, Duncan Scoble, Carol Dickinson, David Moorcroft, Linda Moorcroft, Catherine Scoble, Wendy Stokes. Huge thanks to David and Linda for coming down from Coventry to be our guests of honour.
Well that's it until Saturday. Hopefully this report goes someway to capturing the warm atmosphere of the morning and the huge outpouring of love for parkrun. Here's to the next 15 years!
with thanks to Carol, Linda and Stella for the extra photos.
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