On a fresh but dry morning Cambridge hosted its 467th parkrun (wow!) at the lovely Milton County park in the clearly safe hands of run director Jenny PAYNE.
As a less conventional tourist I like to pick themes for my parkrun visits and as it was the Boat Race weekend I thought Cambridge seemed like a good idea but rather than my ‘dark blue’ leanings it was a parkrun apricot attire for me today. Arriving Friday afternoon I was very pleased to see that a new station had been built since I last looked at visiting which was very nice of you and other than a few hundred cyclists to dodge my travels were happily uneventful.
Along with a selection of the 53 first timers (20 very first parkrun and 33 tourists) I walked up to the sign for the new runners briefing. Giving the briefing was Stuart PAYNE and I knew it was going to be a good one as Stuart was preparing with a routine of stretches before he got started! Having been told about (and for me, instantly forgetting, barely able to determine right from left) the course we were treated to a demo of appropriate overtaking etiquette and advised that at current time the course was not suitable for running with dogs, completely understandable with multiple laps and some narrow winding paths.
The event would not however have been possible though without 46 wonderful volunteers: Pamela ABBOTT, Christine ADAMS, Damian BAKER, Douglas BETT, Andy BOUTLE, Andrew BURGE, Frederick CHEUNG, Catriona COLE, William CURTIS, Mike DIFRANCO, Ross DUNSMORE, Nicola EDE, Emma GREAVES, Joanna HARRALL, Antony HELLIWELL, Jim HIGGINS, Nicki HIGGINS, Susan HORROD, Gwyneth HORSCROFT, Paula HUGHES, Wendy JOHNSON, John JOHNSON, Karl JONES, Catherine JONES, Richard JONES, Brian JUDKINS, Parminder LALLY, Tom LINDFIELD, Fiona MACDONALD, Jane MANSLEY, Alison MEADOWS, Geoff MEADS, Ricky MITCHELL, Mary MITCHELL, Valerie MORGAN, Ben MOSS, Jill NOBLE, Jenny PAYNE, Stuart PAYNE, Joseph PHILIP, Louisa PHILLIPS, Diane POTTER, Brian SHAND, Sally STEWART, Eric TAPLEY and Caroline ZAKRZEWSKI.
Volunteer numbers were higher today because of the addition of 12 pacers, giving up their own runs to help others try to achieve times they might have otherwise been struggling to reach. This week pacing times ranged from 22 to 35 minutes, I wonder who was closest to their target?
Thank-you to the almost complete A to Z of you and if you are reading this and want to get involved in future weeks then all details can be found at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/cambridge/futureroster/.
481 runners, walkers and joggers took part today from one of the longest parkrun start lines I’ve seen for a while. First finisher was Joseph SMITH with an absolutely incredible time of 15:41. Equally amazing was first female, and visitor, Alice CALDER in a time of 18:30, the joint 6th fastest time in the JW15-17 age group since Cambridge parkrun began in January 2010. The highest age grade was 83.87% attributed to Richard HOLLAND in the VM60-64 category with a time of 19:07. I think there must be something special in the local water!!
Conditions today though were good for faster times and in total 107 recorded new Personal Bests including junior Rozsa NAGY knocking off 4 minutes on just her 2nd run, now down to 43:13 and I’m sure there is more to come.
Congratulations to all of the above but also to everyone who came along today and completed the course. Full results can be found at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/henleywood/results/latestresults/.
There were quite a few milestones today although I think most were being shy. Congratulations to Jennie PEACOCK on her 100th parkrun (mostly at Cambridge) and also first time tourist Jan THOMPSON visiting from London. Achieving 50 parkruns were 6 attendees – Steve KERRIDGE, Jacky THULBORN, Rhoda GREEN, Lucy SPARK, Miguel TORRES and Joshua FRAMPTON – the latter two also claiming new PBs. Final mention is for Christopher JOSEPH who reached the unofficial milestone of a whopping 300 parkruns!
Finally with a coffee from the Park Cafe I said my farewells to Cambridge parkrun and those I had a chance to chat to throughout what had been a very pleasant morning. Thank-you Cambridge parkrun and your smiling marshals (and I suppose I should say congrats on the Boat Race, athough Oxford did at least finish second!)
Damian BAKER, a tourist from Daventry, signing off.