This weeks report is kindly written for us by Sara Harbord.
The day dawned, and the one every dedicated parkrunner had been eagerly awaiting since the whole event first began back in 2004! it was to be a first for all of us, young and old, seasoned parkrunner and 1st Timer – it was of course the inaugural Leap Day parkrun.
In years to come (probably 28 of them, to be precise), people will be lining up, saying to one another “So, where were you last time around?” And 245 of us (if we can still remember this far back!) will proudly be reminiscing over that windy wet morning we crazily adorned ourselves with silly hats and headed off to that little known gem of a parkrun that is Castle Howard. For most of us all we wanted to beat was Storm Jorge, the uninvited Spanish name that was threatening to spoil the event (like it’s predecessors had on the last two Saturdays). However, on this occasion, and at this location at least, it was the parkrunner community that was triumphant, even the tailwalkers finishing well ahead of Jorge without too much trouble today.
And what else was there to celebrate on this momentous occasion, besides Christmas puddings, St Patrick’s Day, pirates and jesters? Well of course there was the large tourist contingent from Parkrunners on Tour (POT) who seemed to come from all over the UK and I’m sure, accounted for quite a large proportion of the 84 First Timers here today. Then there were the 13 First Timers who braved the mud, puddles and that long uphill on the return leg to record their very first parkrun. Well done to them - and do come back next week!
We then had some special milestones to applaud – Richard Barnes running his 250th parkrun, and Maria Craven & Linda-Claire Smith both joining the Cowell Club by jointly choosing to run here as their 100th different venue. The cake that was produced in honour of these achievements both looked and tasted amazing, as did the Haribo’s!
As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, 51 of us also managed to rise to the challenge of the Leap Day to record new PB’s which, given the conditions, was no mean feat indeed! And of course, all credit must go to Aiden Mayles, a First Timer himself, on being the first male to cross the finish line, and also to Laura Schofield for being the first female finisher. Other notable finishers I just have to mention include Michael Hetherton, in the VM 70-74 age category, who achieved the Best Age-graded result of the day (74.85%) and Steve Riley who came the closest to achieving a memorable Leap Day double of a 29-minute finish in what was also his 29th parkrun!
So, that accounts for the hats and the Haribo’s, but what about the Happy Birthday, I hear you cry?
Well, it was a another first for me today as I finally got to meet someone who was actually born on the 29th of February. Yes, Castle Howard parkrun’s own John Ryan was not only celebrating his 13th Birthday today, but proving just how youthful he still is ran his first event after major surgery. The Quality Street and special Leap Day badges were very much appreciated by many. Thanks John, and well done!
Finally, this event would never have happened if it hadn’t been for all those amazing volunteers, who stood out in the cold and wet (some even in their shorts), high-fiving, encouraging and generally being awesome all around the course this morning. I always love coming to Castle Howard parkrun and the energy the volunteers put into making it such an awesome experience is second to none. Hopefully it was as epic an experience for them as it was for us, and one which none of us that were here will forget over the coming 28 years. Personally, I can’t wait for 29th February 2048 to come around! See you then!!
Now for the facts:
This week 245 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 97 were first timers and 51 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 36 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:
Sara HARBORD • Luke HARBORD • Matthew Robert BARNES • Angela BARNES • Dawn JACQUES • Matt JOHNSON • Julie DOBSON • Peter WINTER • Michael HILL • Mandy NEWLOVE • Azara STORM CHITTOCK • Julie RYAN • John RYAN • Roger COWDY • David SIMPSON • Adam WATSON • Sandra POPLIN ROBSON • Liz WATSON • David LAKE • Pip JOHNSON • David SKINNER • David LAMBARD • Veronica HUNT
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Castle Howard parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Rob BYERS who recorded a time of 16:50 on 14th September 2019 (event number 1).
The female record is held by Rowena LEARY who recorded a time of 20:18 on 7th December 2019 (event number 13).
The Age Grade course record is held by Patricia BIELBY who recorded 85.15% (24:55) on 19th October 2019 (event number 6).
Castle Howard parkrun started on 14th September 2019. Since then 2,256 participants have completed 4,236 parkruns covering a total distance of 21,180 km, including 723 new Personal Bests. A total of 130 individuals have volunteered 408 times.