When shall we three meet again...in thunder, lightning, or in rain?
The start at 08:45 – was anyone actually going to turn up today??
Well maybe no thunder or lightning, but plenty of excuses to stay at home this blustery morning and plenty of the wet stuff. The forecast had a squall arriving in Bushy Park at 9am – and yes, it duly arrived just as England were kicking off against South Africa. So everyone who made the decision to watch England were probably feeling very pleased with themselves, but let’s draw a veil over what happened next! (unless you happen to hail from South Africa, in which case congratulations!)
But back to our amazing day in Bushy. I think everyone agreed that the conditions for volunteering, running or walking were some of the worst in recent memory. At times the rain was very heavy and the wind was just ridiculous. PBs were going to be as rare as hen’s teeth, weren’t they?
Not surprisingly numbers were well down this week – to just 804. Numbers not seen since the Beast from East collided with Storm Emma on 3 March 2018 when only 739 braved the snowy conditions.
But spirits were high this morning and we had the usual band of happy tourists swollen by a coachload of very enthusiastic parkrunners from Billericay parkrun which was closed for the day due to the construction of an epic fireworks display in their park. They were delighted to have their First Timer’s Briefing presented by our very own Essex Girl, Stella HAMMOND, who wisely chose the shelter of the Lime trees to deliver her peroration.
The Billericay massive arrive en masse…
The FTB revealed at least two people running parkrun for the very first time – what a day to choose! In fact we had an amazing 17 people doing their first parkrun. As well as visitors from Finland (“what’s all this fuss about the weather?”) there were people from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Newcastle, Leicestershire, Wiltshire and Russia.
Here are some of our wonderful visitors ….
A group of guys from the Garda who had run the Dublin Marathon last week and were revelling in the Irish conditions – “Just like home!”
Ksenia was visiting from Moscow’s parkrun Butovo – enjoying the delights of the Pheasantry with Fiona and Michael.
The photo frame is always a hit
Making his solo Run Director debut this week was Tim Bowden. What a week to take the reins with lots of challenges presented by the conditions, but Tim did a great job supported as ever by a fantastic team of volunteers. Also hats off to the brilliant marshals and funnel managers, exposed as they were to the British weather. The scanning devices struggled in the rain - but they all worked! And frankly token sorting was postponed to allow them to dry out – thanks Jan and Ray!
Tim Bowden on his RD debut with fellow debutante DoE volunteer Meera
Sue nearly gets blown away
Signage is all important
A first-time volunteer said something surprising to me last week – they were nervous about doing it and had hesitated about putting their name forward for fear of doing it wrong. But having done it they were so pleased and felt so rewarded. If you have any doubts about volunteering, all all I can say is – just do it, and you won’t regret it. All the roles are very straightforward and for things like scanning there is always someone to show you the ropes. There is a hugely supportive bunch of people and contrary to the impression, we do need people to step forward. It’s also scientifically proved to be good for you as the research conducted for parkrun found that those people who volunteer at parkrun reported an 84% improvement to their happiness. This compared to 79% for all parkrunners. What are you waiting for?
If you fancy it, just drop an e-mail to Pat McGrath at email@example.com and he’ll put you on the list for that week.
Tourists and other First timers
We had an amazing 183 visitors doing Bushy for the first time with 17 of those doing their first ever parkrun – certainly it will be one they remember. We also had a host of milestones including one 250, four 100s and seven 50s.
Well done to Jake WELLS who was the only junior to complete their 10th run to claim the pristine white shirt. High fives to you.
Seven runners reached the milestone of 50 this week. Well done to:
Four runners joined the 100 club this week - well done to Mark OSTEN, Cecilia DE CHAVEZ, Rebecca McALEES and Charlie LLOYD. The much revered black t-shirts are on their way!
Rebecca celebrated her 100th run in style, braving the conditions.
Just one runner reached the magical 250 milestone this week – congratulations to Anthony WHELAN. Anthony started his parkrun journey on 12 January 2013 and has run 118 times at Bushy, with 43 at Greenwich parkrun and 29 at Kingston.
No 500 clubbers this week. But on the verge of greatness is volunteer supremo Pat McGrath on 496…..
The results bit
An amazing 41 runners achieved a PB today, which was no mean feat given the strength of the wind. Well done to:
Just nine people achieved 80% age grading - awesome work by:
|Justn REID||VM50-54 84.85%||17:23|
|Pamela WHITTER||VW55-59 83.30%||22:39|
|Alexa JOEL||VW35-39 82.72%||18:08|
|Sonny MAUND||JM11-14 82.54%||17:11|
|Andrius JAKSEVICIUS||VM35-39 82.01%||16:24|
|Mike DENNISON||VM60-64 80.45%||20:07|
|Martin JONES||VM65-69 80.42%||20:51|
|Philip PEARSON||VM50-54 80.39%||18:57|
|Polly ADAMS||VW50-54 80.33%||21:57|
Stats of the day Bushy parkrun #813
804 parkrunners – 755 identified, 49 unknown (DFYB!) (6% of the field).
• Of the 755 identified parkrunners, there were:
• 71 Juniors aged under 18 (9%)
• 114 Seniors aged 18-34 (19%)
• 570 Vets aged 35-89 (72%)
• 341 females (45%) and 414 males (55%)
NB men were slightly lower % than normal….
And finally, just to mention that the young woman who fell near the cricket pitches is fine. Thank you to those who helped her on the day – the parkrun community again showing its great support and human spirit. If anyone does have a problem during the run, every marshal has the Mobile No for the Run Director and the defibrillator, which is kept at the finish, can be despatched in minutes if necessary.
Many thanks to Wendy Stokes and Duncan Scoble for a number of the photos.
See you next week!
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