Great to be back at Bushy
It was indeed great to be back at Bushy for event number 842. Having moved away during lockdown, Bushy is no longer my local event and for the first time in years we can’t see the course from our living room window, we now have to go nearly three miles to visit our nearest these days!
Having popped my name down to do the First Timers Briefing – I do like the sound of my own voice – Andy Howarth who looks after the run report rota collared me to pick up my run report pen after many years to compose a few words, while he and many others headed up north to take part in the Great North Run.
Absence certainly does make the heart grow funder and it was genuinely lovely to be back at Bushy and amongst friends at parkrun. And of course, being Bushy, it’s great to be among so many people running, walking and jogging around our beautiful park… in total 1016 took part on Saturday ably supported by 55 wonderful volunteers, so before we go any further, please give a big round of applause to our wonderful volunteers!
Volunteering is great fun and really rewarding. Marshalling out on the course with a thousand people saying thank you to you by 10am is a great way to start the day, as are all the other roles you can do. If you would like to help, please get in touch with the wonderful Pat on email@example.com
The sun was of course always going to shine on this particular Saturday as Ray Coward was on the Run Director microphone and of course legend has it that it never rains at 9am on Saturday when Ray is in charge. This week Ray was wonderfully supported by Wendy Scott as sign language support.
Following that brilliant round of applause for our volunteers, please give an even louder hand if possible, for the 109 first timers who joined us at Bushy today including the 33 of you who ran your very first parkrun! We hope you enjoyed it and will be back for more very soon. While you’re on your feet clapping, please give one final big hand to the 100 of you who achieved a Personal Best on Saturday, well done…
Nobody joined the 500 club this week but it’s amazing to look in the results and see that there were no fewer than 15 members of that illustrious club running on Saturday.
Two people joined the 250 club, huge congratulations to Ian Phillips and Justine Albert. Apologies in advance to Ian for the lack of further recognition in this report but for the sake of my home life I felt it was wiser to concentrate more on Justine’s achievement. More of that later.
Congratulations to the six people who joined the 100 club this week and all going well will be sporting a new black t-shirt very soon. Well done Tom Newman, Richard Nicholson, Gemma Sanders, David Rowsell, Ian Childs and Julia Hill.
Joining the fifty club and earning a red t-shirt were David Marshall, Giles Murphy and Katherine Bell and finally, joining the juniors 10 club were Ava McAndie and Tilly Parsons
As previewed earlier on, a little bit more information about one of the new members of the 250 club. Justine’s first ever parkrun was on New Years Day 2013, just a few months after meeting a new bloke who convinced her that going for not just one parkrun, but two of them on NYD was a sensible thing to do. It was only a few years later when looking back, did she realise that her barcode at the second run at Kingston that day hadn’t registered, so today could well have been her 251st. She quickly caught the bug and as well as 149 runs at Bushy has also registered 101 runs in five other countries as well as running at a total of 54 events along the way. She’s completed the Pirate Challenge, Stopwatch Bingo and is just a q, y and a z away from the alphabet challenge.
Apart from all the running, the PBs and the tourism challenges, the best thing about parkrun for Justine – and by association therefore, me – is all the friends that parkrun has helped us to make along the years and so many of them were there on Saturday to help Justine celebrate in the time honoured Bushy style, with a glass of fizz and a slice of cake! Huge thanks to Zoe for making the cake, and for Rachel who celebrated her birthday with a trip to Southsea which meant we had two cakes to share on Saturday! Happy Birthday Rach!
I think that’s more than enough about Justine, so time to take a look at what else happened on Saturday
Amazing age graders
Well done to the six people who achieved an age grading over 80% at the weekend, something I have aspired to for years but unless I gain any super powers sometime soon I don’t think I’ll ever be achieving!
Well done to the below for being the top five finishers in the ladies, men’s and junior sections…
Top Five Men
Top Five Junior Boys U11
Top Five Junior Boys 11-14
Top Five Junior Boys 15-17
Top Five Junior Girls U11
Top Five Junior Girls 11-14
Top Five Junior Girls 15-17
Another branch off the big tree…
Just like buses, another branch fell off the finish line big tree last week, luckily the fencing round the tree is firmly in place so no one can get hurt but fingers crossed not too many branches continue to fall off as otherwise in a few years time we won’t know where to put the finish line.
We all know that the Bushy parkrun community is amazing but sometimes you hear a story which confirms what you already knew. I didn’t get to meet her in person but I did hear that Pam hurt her ankle on the way round and was overwhelmed by people who asked if she was okay, or needed help at all. She walked the rest of the course but it’s wonderful to hear the Bushy community spirit is alive and well…
A slightly self-indulgent note to finish on. I had nearly five years as Event Director at Bushy parkrun and I absolutely loved (nearly) every minute of it. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Even if I hadn’t moved over 100 miles away I think it was time to step down, as new people come in with new ideas and frankly better ways of doing things and that’s what keeps an event like Bushy forever improving… They’re already doing a brilliant job, but please do support Andy and Alex and the rest of the core team as more people start to return to parkrun over the weeks and months ahead. I can't wait to visit again soon and meet up with all the brilliant, amazing people who make Bushy parkrun the wonderful event it is.