A tourist's perspective...
Like lemmings, many parkrunners get the urge to go on a journey. Scientists (probably) can’t explain this drive, this urge to head back to where it all started. Bushy Park was the birthplace of parkrun 15 years and one week ago. Since those small beginnings parkrun has grown into the global phenomenon it is today, and Bushy has always been the big one in the UK. And we do mean big, setting attendance record after attendance record. It has previously broken the 2000 barrier but slightly suspect weather meant that numbers were down for their 810th event. Well I say down, it’s still the biggest with a mere 1096 athletes running, jogging or walking the 5k course.
As well as the regular attendees there were over 130 of us who were visiting Bushy for the first time. These tourists came from all corners of the UK and as far afield as South Africa and Japan. There were also 36 folk who were running their first ever parkrun event, and everyone made sure that these new additions to the family were given a warm welcome and a big round of applause at the pre-event briefing.
Although it’s a famous place, in all honesty we didn’t really know what to expect as we headed down the M1. We were pretty sure it would be busier than anything we’d experienced before but there was a lot we didn’t know.
We didn’t know the start would be incredible, with 1000+ people charging up a wide, tree lined avenue.
We also didn’t know we’d be keeping an eye out for deer wandering about on the course.
We didn’t know the route would be almost perfect either. There was the odd puddle about but wet feet are part of the fun. The whole is nothing short of brilliant, and perfect for athletes of all abilities being flat and twisty so you never got bored, and never quite knew what was coming next. Especially if “what was coming next” was a stag having a swim in a lake.
You’d think the scale of the event would not be without its problems, but the majestic, sweeping start and wide paths meant that there weren’t any holdups there. The double funnel that the team have implemented to handle the numbers also worked a treat, and there wasn’t really much delay in getting through and getting our barcodes scanned either.
The Bushy volunteers are, as you’d expect, awesome with plenty of support out on the course, and every twist and turned marshalled to make sure no one got lost. Although we were first timers here, one marshal did look slightly familiar. We checked the list of volunteers on the website after the event and, yes, that was actor (and parkrun regular) John Altman looking resplendent in his hi-viz cheering us on.
Its place in the history of parkrun aside, Bushy is a fantastic event that is as close to a “must do” as any we’ve visited. Add to that the fact there’s no better place for a post parkrun coffee and chat than the Pheasantry Café and, well, what more do you need?
Thank you Bushy, we’ll definitely see you again.
The results from Event No 810
PB and over 100 runs
|Bianca HOLLIS||21:37||VW45-49||73.48%||F||UK parkrun tourists||356|
|Louise DUFFY||24:33:00||VW50-54||68.30%||F||Border Reiver Runners||271|
|Bethany DUFFY||22:10||SW20-24||66.77%||F||Border Reiver Runners||253|
|Emma POOLE||23:02||VW45-49||71.92%||F||Runnymede Runners||225|
|David CARTWRIGHT FORBES||23:46||VM35-39||56.59%||M||Farnham Runners||110|
|Emma HARRIS||19:56||VW45-49||83.11%||Ranelagh Harriers|
|Max Dylan Zorba ZAJDLER||20:23||SM20-24||M||…||PB stays at 00:18:50|
|Сергей КИСЛЕНКО||20:41||VM50-54||M||…||First Timer!|
|Eduardo SATO||22:22||VM40-44||M||…||PB stays at 00:21:45|
|Bizzy WATSON||28:24:00||SW20-24||F||Stragglers||PB stays at 00:23:53|
|Jacquie KIRK||36:06:00||VW55-59||F||Riverside Rebels||PB stays at 00:32:21|
|Jan PRINCE||50:29:00||VW80-84||F||Stragglers||PB stays at 00:31:09|
|Samuel INGHAM||23:15||VM45-49||M||…||PB stays at 00:21:29|
|Robert FREY||26:08:00||VM60-64||M||…||PB stays at 00:22:31|
|Gareth LEWIS||29:07:00||VM50-54||M||Cornelly Striders AC||First Timer!|
|Sam WHATLEY||36:31:00||SM30-34||M||…||PB stays at 00:23:19|
|Joshua PARFITT||27:41:00||JM15-17||48.77%||M||PB stays at 00:27:33||10|
|Caiden PALMER||28:03:00||JM11-14||51.69%||M||PB stays at 00:27:59||10|
|Maggie LAWRENCE||43:02:00||JW11-14||36.52%||F||PB stays at 00:34:42||10|
Stats of the day Bushy parkrun #810
1,096 parkrunners – 1,033 identified, 63 unknown (DFYB!) (6% of the field).
• Of the 1,033 identified parkrunners, there were:
• 94 Juniors aged under 18 (9%)
• 145 Seniors aged 18-34 (19%)
• 793 Vets aged 35-89 (72%)
• 445 females (43%) and 588 males (57%)
• Umbrella quotient: 2 out of 5
• Temperature: 15˚C, mild and drizzly.
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