Come and join us on New year's day at the usual time (09:30) for the first parkrun of the year!
Oh yeah of little faith!
On Thursday evening I was rummaging in the cupboard for my welly boots, wetsuit, sou’wester and snorkel.
The forecast showed a ludicrous amount of rain for Saturday morning. Gillian Ross (on Finish Token duty this week) emailed me to say it would all be fine, but I wasn’t quite convinced!
Thankfully my weather app' was embasasingly wide of the mark and Gillian was absolutely right…something that came as no surprise to the rest of the team of 17 wonderful volunteers who made, coincidentally, the 17th Crathes Castle parkrun happen.
A Deeside gem
I’ve never been quite so delighted about the announcement of a new parkrun. Crathes Castle went straight to the top of my “must do” earlier in the year. Originally from Aberdeen I have many wonderful memories of school trips and other visits to this beautiful wee spot. Unfortunately we live 520 miles away now and so it’s taken a few weeks to sort.
We were not disappointed! What a brilliant course, with excellent facilities and a top volunteer and core team…..plus the weather was great too!!
98 people enjoyed the morning, of whom 5 (Scott, Roger, Rachel, Jonathon, Angela) were taking on their first ever event and 28 others were visiting for the first time, from as far afield as Denmark.
Two had special cause to celebrate. First of all it was great to see Neil MACRITCHIE celebrate his 100th parkrun at Crathes Castle - the majority of his 99 others being at Aberdeen, Hazlehead and Falkirk.
Juliet BROWN reached her 10th parkrun (and has also competed an impressive 33 junior parkruns) - and generously presented a box of Jelly Babies to the 10th finisher (who happened to be first time visitor Paul ALLCOAT).
Folklore and history
Crathes Castle has a rich and vibrant past. In its grounds (WIllen Field to be specific) you can find the world’s oldest lunar calendar. It’s an amazing 10,000 years old and helped the early hunter-gatherers measure the passage of time. Thankfully our timekeepers (Madison and Elle) had something a bit more instant to hand (otherwise everyone’s parkrun time would have been a very inexact “waxing crescent 30%”).
Their stopwatches let us know that our first female finishers were Abigail MASON (for the 2nd time at Crathes), Fiona WILKINSON and Jessica MASON (visiting for the first time).
The male first finishers were Tom CALLAN (another first timer), Mark MOSGROVE and Andy LESLIE.
That picture changes a bit if you take age category into account. Our fastest three were Alan SMITH 84:31%, Tom CALLAN 71:80% and Tim MARTIN 70:57%.
It’s not a race though and everyone who ran, walked or jogged Crathes craggy paths did it faster than those still at home in their beds! So, good work by everyone.
Returning to more recent history I remember - vividly - stories of the Green Lady that apparates spookily in and around the castle. The only green lady I saw today was Caroline MCDERMOTT. She was today’s most experienced parkunner having long since passed the green T-shirt milestone of 250 to reach an impressive 287.
From a personal standpoint I was strangely pleased to see that DOUGLAS was the most common surname - appearing six times (and no, not all from my immediate family!).
(And for those that follow the informal parkrun tourism challenges, I’m now one more away run from earning my Half Cowell and bagged one more letter C for my pirates badge!).
My home run is Tring in the Chilterns, north of London (once parkruns hilliest event - so Crathes Hills were fine!). If you are ever down our way, make a point of saying hello and we’d be very pleased to return your hospitality.
When RD there I have a weekly prize for the most “aesthetically pleasing finishing time”. The saying “close but no cigar” applies today though! If Alan SMITH had crossed the line one second quicker he’d have carried the prize with a symmetrical 21:12!! Or if Frances HUTCHSON had been just 5 seconds slower an impressive sequence of 34:56 could have been hers. Ditto for John MASON who only had to dally for 4 seconds to bag a time of 23:45. Oh well - maybe next week.
Thank you for a great parkrun this morning. Crathes Castle is definitely up there with the very top of the most enjoyable parkruns. Thank you to everyone who made in happen and I wish the parkrun community around this excellent event all the best for the future.
Bright sunshine welcomed 115 participants to Crathes Castle this week for the 16th event. There were 45 first timers, with 25 participants celebrating new PBs. The first finishers this week were Alison Matthews, Jamie Ross and junior Alice Steven.
Core committee member Laura celebrated her birthday and was joined on her run by family and a birthday balloon!
It was a special parkrun day countrywide - GP pledge day. To celebrate the first anniversary of the Royal College of General Practitioners collaboration with parkrun, GPs and practice staff were invited to come and take part. At Crathes today some volunteered while others completed the course or cheered on their colleagues. It was great to have them all join us with such enthusiasm.
We were also joined today by representatives from local cancer support charity CLAN, with Clancy the mascot a big hit with all the children. Clancy and his guide braved the heat to complete part of the course and advertise CLAN's fundraising walk to be staged at Crathes in September.
So another great parkrun day, can't wait for next week!
The glorious sunshine enticed 203 parkrunners along to our 4th Crathes Castle parkrun and 99 of these were first timers. Despite the tough course 58 of you set personal bests. The Male first finisher this week was Metro Aberdeen RCC’s Paul Knight with an 18:08, not too far from the current course record of 17:45 held by Oleg Chepelin. The ladies were on excellent form this week with a new female course record set by Moira Davie at 19:49.
Very well done to everyone who participated and apologies for the significant delay in getting the run report out.
“Second time around with PB’s abound…”
Seconds are underrated in my opinion. Second helpings, second chances and the Second Park Run at Crathes Castle today didn't disappoint either. For a course that really sorts the men from the boys the turnout although evidently less than last week's inaugural was decent enough, 137 to be exact with an incredible 30 new PBs crossing the finish. I was left wondering…what did they have for breakfast?? Here are the stats:-
The male record is held by Oleg CHEPELIN who recorded a time of 17:45 on 16th February 2019 (event number 2). The female record is held by Alison MATTHEWS who recorded a time of 21:12 on 16th February 2019 (event number 2). The Age Grade course record is held by Jane KERRIDGE who recorded 87.42% (23:11) on 16th February 2019 (event number 2).
Crathes Castle parkrun started on 9th February 2019. Since then 318 participants have completed 375 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,875 km, including 30 new Personal Bests. A total of 20 individuals have volunteered 33 times.
A full list of the results can be found here: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/crathescastle/results/latestresults/
Conditions for running today...? Well, I can only describe them as perfect, a fair temperature of 8 ºC for the time of year with a detectable light breeze.
Many thanks to this week's band of 18, happy, enthusiastic volunteers, it was great to see some new faces getting stuck into the roles too...All steered by Janie Spencer who made her debut as Race Director and took to the role with ease and confidence. The turnout included representatives of 20 different running clubs, 92 first timers, locals and visitors from Edinburgh who all seemed to enjoy the run but maybe not so much the hill finish...... It will get easier the more you do it I'm sure!! And did I mention there were 30 NEW PBs.