Well done to everyone who ran on Saturday, and particularly well done if you came along for the first time. I hope you enjoyed it. I always think that January is a great time to start (or come back to) parkrun as loads of people are just getting into running / recovering / starting work on a new target at this time of year. Parkrun is friendly and it's a run, not a race, so don't feel pressured - you come along and do the run / walk that works for you. Most people find that it's much easier to stick at it for 5k if you're running with others, whether your aim to to complete the course or to keep the pace for a particular finish time. Just go easy on yourself as the great thing is that there's a Saturday in every week.
I had a great time this week. I'd been away, so it was good to be back and see people, and we had some lovely puddles and mud to welcome us. I have a sad heel so I did a little running and quite a few chunks of walking too this time. Thank you to everyone who cheered me along! Thank you also to the marshals who pointed out the particularly slippy areas as we went. With all the mud, it wasn't really a fast week this week (well done if you managed a personal best time nonetheless!), but it was a lot of fun and my post-run tea felt well deserved. If you've not been in the cafe recently, note that there's now a much bigger part open upstairs including a smaller second till up there to help with the queue.
The median time this week (position 267) was 29:20, and the times ranged from our first finisher Tom Vickery with a strong lead at 16:29 to the orange hi-viz tailwalkers (thanks Jake Harris and Deborah Collison) at 1:02:58. The first lady was Charlotte East at 20:08, with Darcie Hay second and Claire Wilshaw third, and it was close between Thomas Barnes (second overall) and Andrew Butcher (third this time). The first junior runner was Kyan Mayo in the JM15-17 category, who also came in 10th place overall, while the fastest runners on their first parkruns were Joe Salvage for the men and and Hannah Flemmington for the women, and the fastest tourist was Jeremy Brown (welcome!). Well done to all! Nice to see three different age categories represented in the age-grading 1,2,3: Well done Tom Vickery, Martin Kilduff and Stephen Howard. Special congratulations also to Rebecca Munro and Sarah Mogg on new sub-30 personal bests. We need some aesthetically pleasing times too, of course: this week they include Edward Taylor's 25:25, Hayley Jasper's 27:27 and Mike Kemp's 29:29. The busiest time I can see was 27:18 - three people finished in that second, the third of whom was David Cross on a personal best time - lucky to have such quick-fingered timekeepers!
Some runners achieved a milestone this week - parkrun gives a free T shirt for running particular numbers of runs - you may have seen them in the park. Congratulations to Ryan Church on his 10th parkrun (there's a white T shirt for juniors who have achieved this) and also to Chloe Hodgkinson and Mike Sales on their 50th parkruns (they get a red T shirt).
Parkrun is a great thing and it's all run by volunteers each week, who put signs out, marshal the course, scan barcodes, give out tokens when you finish etc. If you are able to help on one of the coming weeks (none of the tasks are too difficult and they'll explain how to do things), do email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Many thanks to this week's team, who were Pamela Abbott, Catrionna Achermann, Paul Bestall, Jacqueline Bell, Andrew Burge, Lisa Clatworthy, Catriona Cole, Debora Collison, Susie Cumming, Neill Foster, Loles Garcia Diaz, Emma Greaves, Lauren Greaves, Kristy Guneratne, Chris Harris, Jake Harris, Lois Harris, Helen Henry, Martin Daniel Horrod, Hayley Horrod, Susan Horrod, Elsoe Jenkins, Mick Johnson, Marisa Hohnson, Anita Joysey, Jen Little, Una Mannu, Richard Martin, Jo McGowan, Alison Meadows, Valerie Morgan, Jack Mossop, Emma Newman, Jenny Payne, Laura Pearson-Clark, Louise Pryor, Megan Ruddlesden, Simon Smyth, Sally Stewart, James Stocker and Brent Swann-Auge.
See you next time! Maybe persuade a friend to come too? Thanks for reading.