Cambridge parkrun #458 run report

Awoooo! Well done everyone! It was chilly and mid-January for this week’s parkrun, but we didn’t let that stop us - we had 37 volunteers and 468 runners. OK - not quite as many finishers this week as the last two weeks, but more than ran in any week in December. If you add the 343 at Wimpole and 319 at Coldham’s Common, that’s a very satisfying number of people starting a chilly weekend with a parkrun. Did you see the pretty sunrise and the little snow flurry to boot?

So many people were ace that this report will miss many…let’s start with a high five to every one of the volunteers. Not enough people signed up to help to fill the roster this week, so it took some masterful juggling from the volunteer co-ordinators, as well as some impressive feats of volunteering dedication on the day. Thank you especially to those who gave up their run to help, and to the marshals and finish team who exuded the warmth and enthusiasm throughout that makes Cambridge parkrun what it is. This week’s team were Alan BALDOCK, Alison DURSTON, Andrew ALCOCK, Andrew CHAPMAN, Andrew CORBETT, Anna TUKE, Beccy TAYLOR, Ben MOSS, Catherine JONES, Chris MARTIN, Emma GREAVES, Fiona MACDONALD, Fiona MCDAID, Gary COLE, Hope HUTCHISON, James STOCKER, James WARTH, Janay FEHR, Jenny PAYNE, Jill NOBLE, Joanna BALL, Joe TOWNSEND, Jools HUDSON, Kay SWEENEY, Kristy GUNERATNE, Lisa CLATWORTHY, Marky THOMAS, Michaela JOYSEY, Neil BURNS, Pamela ABBOTT, Paula HUGHES, Peter CHARROT, Stefan KAYE, Stuart PAYNE, Susan HORROD, Theodore FEHR, and Tracy HUTCHISON.

When I started parkrun, I definitely found volunteering now and again helpful as a way of getting to know more runners, and as a way of learning more about running. I didn’t initially realise how much support you get as a volunteer. It’s something I’d recommend for anyone, but in particular give it a try if you feel a bit lonely or if you could do with a happiness or confidence boost, because it really delivers on those! All the volunteer roles are straightforward and you are shown what to do the first time in any role. Do have a look at the roster ( ) and send an email letting the co-ordinator know when you’d like to help and whether you have any preferences for what role. I counted 47 people on this week’s results who have their purple T shirt for volunteering 25 times, I’m sure any of them would be happy to say more if you have questions. Remember also that it’s not just for runners! There are loads of reasons for volunteering - do you know anyone who’d like to?

On to the run! It wasn’t an easy day for a fast run (if you were planning a fast run!). Although cold, there was some sticky mud and the need to slow down and be careful on some of the corners. Nonetheless, 38 people did run their fastest time. I’ve chosen a few for special mention: Caroline DAY who started in May last year and is now 4 mins 41 secs faster than she was then - congratulations on getting your first time starting with 35! Michael HAWES who has done 12 runs since he started in October and today was his 8th PB; Sarah SILK got yet another PB on her 6th run; and Andrew BUTCHER and Nick VENNER both took quite a decent time off, I thought, for their (rather speedy) speed. Congratulations also to Jacqueline BELL, Gordon HARRADINE, Karen OSTENFELD, Sarah WILLIS and Merel PANNEBAKKER all of whom ran their 50th parkrun, while Evert BOKMA and Alexi MOULTON ran their 100th parkrun.

It’s always great to see a good bunch of people coming for the first time. Assuming many unknowns are new runners, at least 17 runners did their first ever parkrun, and, importantly, 25 came back for their second while 18 ran their third parkrun. If you’re new to this, WELCOME and stick with it - the first runs are the hardest. You shouldn’t feel pressured to run fast - just getting round the course is enough to be a big win (to be honest that point doesn’t actually change when you’ve done loads). Some of you are running PB’s already though. Well done in particular to Steph CLARK (1 min 53 secs!) and the PB every timers - Sarah ROTH, Dean SNOW and Helen BETT (no pressure…).

At the front end of the field, although it wasn’t a very fast day we still had two runners with age grading over 80% - Christine ANTHONY scored the highest with 85.42%, while Chris DARLING, today’s first finisher, scored 80.21%.If you don’t know what age grading is, there’s an explanation in the results email they send you. It looks like it may have been a bit lonely out front for Chris, though I’m sure he’ll have had a good reception when overtaking on the large loop. A good run by Adam TAPLEY for second, too, and third didn’t have a barcode. Us ladies had fun a bit further back with 1,2,3 separated by only 7 seconds in the end. Olivia BAKER was quite safely first lady from my point of view, though I’m pleased to see Ellie SWIRE and I made her run a significant course PB (only 1 sec off her actual PB!) for it - well done Olivia.

As ever, we welcomed some visitors to Cambridge…those I can see who have come furthest were Alison & John BROOKER from Hastings, Paul SEBBORN from Panshanger, Laura BLAKE from Peckham Rye, Leyton GREEN from Yeovil Montacute, Brett SHARMAN from Plymvalley, Uday TULADHAR from Luton and last, but not least Jonathan Mark PEGG….who has done more than 200 different parkruns, as well as earning his 25 volunteer T shirt! Wow! We hope you all enjoyed your visit to Cambridge and will come back again sometime!

Make sure you come next week! It’s a special one as Cambridge parkrun will be 9 years old. There’s a 90’s fancy dress theme…

"Whether you’re a Mr Motivator or just a Wannabe, join us in your best 90’s fancy dress and come and say ‘Eh Oh’ on Saturday 26 January 2019. If that sounds like a little too much effort, help us celebrate our wonderful volunteers and wear your best purple!"

It sounds like fun - see you there! Thanks for reading.