Crystal Palace parkrun run 399

Crystal Palace parkrun Event number 399 28th July 2018

It looked like this morning was going to be a little wetter than we've been used to recently, and it was raining on my journey down from Kings Langley (near Hemel Hempstead), but by the time I had arrived at the park by 8:20am it was turning into another gloriously sunny parkrunday.

As a tourist, it's handy to try to get to the event early so that I can locate the start and find the facilities (ie toilets). Upon my arrival I found Simon LANG (Run Director) and one of the Marshals (sorry I didn't catch your name) were just finishing pre-event setup, so my offer to help was not needed. I suggested that perhaps I could write my first Run Report and here we are.

I loitered by the finish funnel until my friends arrived (one was running and two were Marshals) and before long it was time for the first timers briefing. When asked if there were any first timers, quite a few hands were nervously raised and quickly lowered. Simon then informed us all that Crystal Palace is not the easiest course around, with a reasonably tough climb for the first third, but that would be followed by the rest being flat or downhill.

I managed to grab a quick few words with some other tourists on the way to the start line. We had Anita and Henri ROUX all the way over from South Africa. They are both keen parkrunners and have run at 81 and 80 different events respectively. Whilst in the UK for a 6 week holiday, they will be visiting 6 different events with Crystal Palace being the fourth.

As we approached the start line, the faster runners were already there and lined up. A very friendly and sedate black Labrador seemed to be wandering about aimlessly and I was getting worried it would be in the way of the runners, but suddenly the owner appeared, clipped the dog to her harness and everyone was ready to go. As soon as we heard "on your marks", the otherwise sedate Labrador suddenly turned into a very keen runner.

Whilst touring around the country to different parkrun events I always film them on my head mounted GoPro, so I lined up facing towards the runners ready for the start with the intention of watching you all go and then joining at the back. Simon was not wrong, the first part of the course was tough, but throughout the run there are some lovely sights and it really is a thoroughly enjoyable event, so Kudos (Strava or otherwise) to all of the organisers and Marshals for creating Crystal Palace parkrun.

If you would like to see my video of todays run, or just want to try and spot yourself then please click the link below (photos of some of the Marshals can be see at the end)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-MgUfVH1Gk

On to the stats....

This week we had 269 runners (slightly lower than recently, most likely due to school holidays), of which 27 were UNKNOWNs, 102 Female and 140 Male.

First finisher was UNKNOWN (#DFYB), so top 3 Males were Adrian LOBB in a superb 18:45, followed by Ian FENN in 18:58 and Philip JONES in 19:03. Top 3 Females were Belinda COTTRILL in 21:39, Elinor (Lin) SKINNER in 21:53 and Yvette DORE just behind in 21:56

There were 29 parkrunners who were new to Crystal Palace, of whom 6 were doing their first ever parkrun. So well done to Rebecca DARBON, Anna BRETT, Gemma WALTON, Gary ROBSON, Benjamin EREN and Mark LOVELL and we hope you'll be back next week.

Most runniest runner was Bob BELL on 337 parkruns, but there were 6 other members of the 250 Club, 41 members of the 100 Club and 44 members of the 50 Club. Milestones today were Mike STEPHENSON who joined the 100 Club and Andrew PARKIN who joined the 50 Club, well done to you both.

As ever, a big thank you goes out to all of the Event Makers who ensured we had a well organised and safe run. They are: Tim ANDERSON, Julia ANDERSON, Andrea AXON, Chris BALMER, Piers BROMLEY, Helen CAMERON, Will H H DAVIS, Clare DAVIS, Colette DOLLIN, Barry GRAHAM, Finley JONES, Barbara KOPCZYNSKA, Simon LANG, Julie LETTS, Alison LODGE, Christina MARRONI, Amelie MAY, Sidney Ansell MCINTOSH, Lyndsey MORLEY, Mark PINNEY, Susannah SIMPSON, Tom WILSON, Andrew WITHERS

 

Other news....

I was informed that we had a celebrity amongst us today. None other than Jonathan Creek himself (Alan Davies). I couldn't find him on the results so he must be down as an UNKNOWN. Don't Forget Your Barcode Alan!!!

We now have two excellent parkrun podcasts available each week. "Free Weekly Timed" is the offical parkrun podcast with Vassos Alexander and Louise Ayling. We also have "With Me Now" with Danny Norman and Nicola Forwood which is an independant parkrun-based podcast (some of you may remember Danny and Nicola from the much loved "The parkrun Show"). I thoroughly recommend them both.

Next week marks the 400th Crystal Palace parkrun, so please feel free to bring drinks, sweets and cake to celebrate this massive milestone.

Mark Pinney (A2522444)

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 17:23 on 14th January 2012 (event number 77). The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who recorded a time of 15:26 on 1st July 2017 (event number 344). The Age Grade course record is held by Ros TABOR who recorded 90.93% (23:20) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 334).

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010. Since then 8,841 participants have completed 61,694 parkruns covering a total distance of 308,470 km, including 10,484 new Personal Bests.

 

Bank holiday run report

I am particularly excited about writing this run report as Tom has now given me login details for the Crystal Palace parkrun office account. It now means I'm responsible for posting my own reports - I can no longer blame Tom if the report is late. I'm writing this on Sunday afternoon as the results were a bit delayed and we didn't get them until this morning. In over five years of running parkrun this is the first time I haven't got my results on the day, very impressive.

It was so hot yesterday that it's quite amazing anyone got a PB. Yet 22 people did exactly that! Well done to you all, I suspect you ran faster so you could get out of the heat. With 22 of you there are too many to mention individually but I will mention Peter Mann who has run parkrun five times (all of them at Crystal Palace) and who has got a PB for the last four, with yesterday being his first sub 25. I think he may just continue getting faster. Xavi Rabanal-Hunt also got a PB on his 40th parkrun - well done Xavi.

Only 18 of our 191 runners didn't have a barcode. I'd like to think it's because I remind people every week to remember their barcode but I suspect I had nothing to do with the efficiency of our runners yesterday morning. #DFYB

Given the heat and the fact that we hadn't seen each other for ages Alison Yates and I did a bit of a run/walk combo. Natalie Bedford was running her first parkrun in five weeks and she ran past Alison and me. We managed a bit of a chat and off she went. Then we overtook her so she just got faster and overtook us as well. Then with 10 meters to go we were closing in on her. I think I was breathing like a 60 Woodbines a day girl because Natalie looked over her shoulder, saw it was us and said 'Don't you dare!' before digging deep and finishing with a fabulous sprint! Well done, Natalie!

Twenty-five of our elite athletes had never run at Crystal Palace parkrun before. For seven of them it was their first ever parkrun - welcome and we look forward to seeing you all again. Eighteen of our first timers were tourists. Hannah Taunton has run 112 parkruns, yesterday was her first at Crystal Palace. She has run 105 of her parkruns at Longmeadow parkrun which is in Taunton! I didn't get to meet her which is probably just as well as I wouldn't have been able to resist asking her if she moved to Taunton to live because it matches her name.

I am now going to try and post this.........fingers crossed I succeed! I won't be doing parkrun for the next couple of weeks: I'm doing a 10K next Saturday and going up to Newcastle the following weekend as I'm running the Great North Run!

Now for the stats - David Bostock will be particularly pleased as this is the only reason he reads the report!

Crystal Palace parkrun
Event number 301
27th August 2016

Male placings:
Jake ENGLISH (SM20-24) of Croydon Harriers, was first over the line in 17:57 - 39th time in 47 appearances.
Tom MOSELEY (VM35-39) of Beckenham RC, was second over the line in 18:44 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) of Kent AC, was third over the line in 19:05 - has been first to finish on 20 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Che COMPTON (Kent AC) 1280 pts.
Daniel HUMBLE (Unattached) 993 pts.
Tom WILSON (Dulwich Runners AC) 956 pts.

Female placings:
Hannah TAUNTON (SW25-29) of Taunton AC, was first (6th overall) over the line in 19:20 - first appearance.
Alexie SHAW (VW35-39) of Dulwich Runners AC, was second (12th overall) over the line in 20:44 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Katie NEWELL (VW40-44) of Beckenham RC, was third (55th overall) over the line in 24:11 - was first to finish once before.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Belinda COTTRILL (Dulwich Runners AC) 979 pts.
Anke BRONIUS (Beckenham RC) 933 pts.
Lydia JANSE VAN RENSBURG (Unattached) 796 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Hannah TAUNTON (SW25-29) was graded 76.55% for the time 19:20 (6th overall).
Neil JEFFRIES (VM55-59) was graded 75.00% for the time 20:40 (10th overall).
Glen MORGAN (VM50-54) was graded 73.24% for the time 20:48 (13th overall).

This week there were 191 runners, of whom 25 were first timers and 22 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different athletics clubs took part.

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,704 different runners, including participants from 343 athletics clubs, have completed 36,269 runs covering a total distance of 181,345 km, and there have been 6,728 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:17:23 on 14th January 2012 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who ran in a time of 00:15:42 on 28th December 2013 (event number 171).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sian Cwyfan HILTON who recorded a 90.39% run (20:18) on 15th June 2013 (event number 145).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

 

Crystal Palace parkrun event number 300

By Michele Golden - 20th August

I LOVE parkrun - there, I've said it! It really has transformed my life and that struck me this morning. I hadn't run anywhere for about two weeks (since fracturing a tooth on holiday) and in the week before that had only run very short distances, very slowly. Southern Spain in August is no place for long or fast runs.

For the first time in my life I had been a bit anxious about going on holiday: not for the usual reasons such as 'will the house be burgled?' But because I've got the Great North Run in my diary for three weeks time and I was worried I'd lose my running form. I blame parkrun for getting me started on this.

Anyway, today was our 300th parkrun in Crystal Palace. Tom had decided it might be fun to run the route in reverse or backwards as he tried to explain to my sons, sadly one of them believed him. I won't embarrass him by saying which one. I was so excited I crowbarred my teenage boys out of bed saying it would be a fun way to get the day started. And it was!

Susannah Simpson was Run Director today and so got us started at the finish line, which really was quite confusing. I think I prefer the reverse route, although the uphill is punishing, the downhill feels longer and I like finishing by running downhill, I hate that uphill bit at the usual finish.

As it was our 300th parkrun at Crystal Palace Mike Woodward's wife had made us a fabulous cake (I'm sure Tom will post a photo) and that may have encouraged 231 people to line up at the start line. Jules Anderson and George Williams had already run 9 miles this morning as part of their marathon training so they included parkrun in their route (to get the cake I think!) before setting off for another 10 miles. I think they're both elite athletes, Jules thinks they're maniacs, either way, well done to them both and they definitely deserved the cake!

Twenty - five people didn't have their barcodes so we'll never know if they got PBs, were first timers or just saw the cake and thought they needed to take a finish token in order to qualify for cake. We had 31 people that we know had never run parkrun at Crystal Palace before - 17 had never run parkrun before. Audra Grey-Areben not only finished her first ever parkrun in an aesthetically pleasing 40:04 she did it with a smile on her face! Welcome to you all, we don't always have cake but we do always treat every finisher as if they're Mo Farrah!

For the 14 tourists, welcome to you too. Caleb Hia was our fastest tourist coming in third with a super speedy time of 17:31. Sarah Vaughan ran with us for the first time too - she has run 219 times and usually runs at the founding site of parkrun; having clocked up an amazing 144 at Bushy alone. So welcome to all of the tourists and I hope we see you again.

We did wonder if the reverse course might be faster (not that it's exactly the Brazilian athletics track) and our 33 people who ran PBs would all argue, I'm sure, that the route made no difference to their time. Natalie Sylvester ran her fifth parkrun and achieved an aesthetically pleasing time too - 32:32, well done Natalie! And well done to Sarah Campbell who started off saying she hated the long uphill stretch, so much so she ran the route faster than she ever had before in 30:24.

As ever parkrun wouldn't take place without our volunteers so a huge thanks to them: to Julie Letts who was a tail runner and who didn't lose anyone on the route and who then helped sort the finish tokens; to Sidney McIntosh and Barry Graham who set up the course; to Bob Bell, Chris Bell, John Fenwick and Neil Jeffries who marshalled the route and shouted encouragement to us, to Susannah Simpson who was Run Director and to Ian Shorthouse who was scanning our barcodes (as was Barry) and who came over to me to scan my barcode because I was chatting so much I forgot to go to him!

What a great start to the weekend! See you next week. Now time for the stats…

Male placings:
Ben FAIRHALL (VM35-39) of Redway Runners, was first over the line in 17:05 - 5th time in 5 appearances.
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) of Kent AC, was second over the line in 17:28 - has been first to finish on 20 previous occasions.
Caleb HIA (SM20-24) of Edinburgh University Hare & Hounds, was third over the line in 17:31.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Che COMPTON (Kent AC) 1182 pts.
Daniel HUMBLE 993 pts.
Tom WILSON (Dulwich Runners AC) 956 pts.

Female placings:
Louise LOCKE (VW35-39) of Croydon Harriers, was first (22nd overall) over the line in 21:15 - 4th time in 10 appearances.
Sarah BROWNE (SW30-34) (Unattached) was second (31st overall) over the line in 21:47.
Lin SKINNER (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was third (33rd overall) over the line in 21:55 - has been first to finish on 18 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Anke BRONIUS (Beckenham RC) 933 pts.
Belinda COTTRILL (Dulwich Runners AC) 883 pts.
Laura TOUGH 794 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) was graded 79.29% for the time 17:28 (second overall).
Ben FAIRHALL (VM35-39) was graded 78.15% for the time 17:05 (first overall).
Caleb HIA (SM20-24) was graded 73.64% for the time 17:31 (third overall).

This week there were 231 runners, of whom 32 were first timers and 34 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different athletics clubs took part.
Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,679 different runners, including participants from 339 athletics clubs, have completed 36,078 runs covering a total distance of 180,390 km, and there have been 6,706 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:17:23 on 14th January 2012 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who ran in a time of 00:15:42 on 28th December 2013 (event number 171).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sian Cwyfan HILTON who recorded a 90.39% run (20:18) on 15th June 2013 (event number 145).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

By Michele Golden - 23rd July

Having done a spot of tourism last week (or defection as it was referred to today) I was quite looking forward to returning to Crystal Palace parkrun this morning. Until I realised it was about 65 degrees in the shade (possibly an exaggeration, but my sister, Josie, is a journalist and she always says I shouldn't let the facts get in the way of a good story!). Anyway, it was hot but that didn't deter 196 sturdy souls lining up at the start line. Tragically, 21 didn't have their barcode, including my son Tom, so we will never know how many were tourists, first timers or got PBs. We do know that no one broke the 5000m world record as Jake English finished first in 17:39, a relatively leisurely pace for him.

Of our 27 first timers, 17 were tourists. I was particularly excited to see Sam and Ben Whalley. I hadn't seen Sam for about seven years, ever since she had emigrated to far away Reading so it was great to catch up for a coffee afterwards. Sam assures me that Woodley parkrun is much flatter than Crystal Palace so I definitely intend to visit her, and in less than seven years. Well done to Ben for being third male finisher too!

A huge welcome to the ten people who had never done a parkrun before and chose today to do it. You truly are elite athletes, if I had intended to run my first parkrun today the heat would have put a stop to that. In fact the heat would have put a stop to it today if I hadn't planned to meet Sam! To be honest, today I was sporting a grazed knee and shoulder having taken a tumble on Wednesday evening so I was quite keen to show off my elite athlete injuries as well! Seriously though, welcome to the parkrun family and don't worry if, unlike those people who write to parkrun and say their first parkrun changed their life, you struggled. It took me four years to grudgingly admit it was an OK way to start the weekend.

Despite the heat 17 people achieved a PB, including my sister Josie but she was at Kingston. Well done to all of you. Kieran Paige did spectacularly well, coming in at 18:57 so under 19:00 for the first time. Congratulations! And congratulations to Stuart Mcwaters who took a minute and a half off last week's time to get his PB of 36:06!

Louisa Cook ran her 50th parkrun today. She has done all 50 of her parkruns at Crystal Palace and like me it's taken her a while, she started in November 2010. Louisa - that shows grit and determination, a huge congratulations on joining the 50 club.

So, that's it from me today, I'm on holiday for the next couple of weeks so do feel free to pick up a pen and write the report in my absence, or when I return!

By Michele Golden - 15th July

Normally, after parkrun, a bunch of us go to the cafe for coffee, token sorting, results uploading, chat and laughter. Today, it was a bit different; sorting out people's times was a nightmare. It seems a lot of people declined/refused their finish tokens. Now, as we know parkrun isn't a race against anyone, there is often friendly rivalry and personal attempts to improve times. Regular readers of 'view from the back' will know that a few weeks ago Jake English ran with me and when I commented that his average time would be dragged down replied 'oh, I'm not taking a token'. Importantly, Jake didn't run across the finish line and so was not recorded at all. If you run down the finishing tunnel then you MUST take a token. You don't need to have your time recorded if you don't want, just give the finish token to a marshall and don't get your barcode scanned. If you refuse to take a token it's likely (as happened today) that it will have an impact on a number of people's times...........and (at the risk of sounding like an old fashioned school teacher) that's not the spirit of parkrun.

So, just to make the point: if you go down the finish funnel ALWAYS TAKE A TOKEN. This is why. If you run down the finish tunnel you'll be counted by the two people on either side of the finish line. They 'click' each runner as they cross the line. Those clicks correspond with the number of tokens we give out so if you don't take a token then 'your' token will be given to the next runner who will then get your time, and everyone else in the chain will get the wrong time. Today, quite a few people didn't take a token so our post run coffee was a bit tense trying to work out times.

Onto lighter matters. There were 18 'unknown' runners, I have no idea if they were tourists, first timers, got PBs or found themselves dragged round the park when they had innocently gone out for a walk. If you were a parkrunner though #DFYB.

We had 37 first timers - many of those were tourists and we had a particularly large influx of triathletes with both Crystal Palace Triathletes and Windrush Tirathlon Clubs making appearances in their droves. Sixteen of the first timers had never run parkrun before: welcome, we hope we'll see you again.

And 37 people got PBs, far too many to mention by name, although I was one of them! That sub 30 is becoming tantalisingly close! I'm being a tourist next week so do feel free to take the pen, just tell one of the marshals.

 

Crystal Palace parkrun Event #289, 4th June 2016

By Michele Golden

Today Crystal Palace parkrun celebrated its (?our) sixth birthday.  So at the line up we had a selection of Superheroes: some Batwomen, Supergirls, Supermen, an assortment of Incredibles and Marilyn Monroe! We also had our biggest turnout ever with an amazing 277 people lining up for a quick/slow* two and a half laps of the park.

One of our superheroes was Susannah Simpson who was running her 200th parkrun, dressed as Batwoman.  Susannah has run 178 of those parkruns at Crystal Palace, in fact she was a founder runner being one of the 49 people who ran the very first Crystal Palace parkrun back in May 2010.  Huge congratulations to Susannah - what an achievement, only 620 people have actually run 200 parkruns!

David Bostock ran his 100th parkrun on Saturday, he's run 77 at Crystal Palace and Kate Wensley also ran her 100th (68 at Crystal Palace). Well done to both of you!

We had 41 first timers. I was particularly pleased to welcome my sister Josie Bate to our parkrun. Those of you who read my 'view from the back' may remember I mentioned Josie had her appendix out seven weeks ago; I was so proud of her tackling our undulating route.  She usually gets her parkrun fix at Kingston so swapped a lovely flat route along the river for ours, she'll be back! Of the other 40 first timers nine had never run parkrun before. Welcome! This is a fabulous way to start the weekend.  I'm not going to mention any of the first timers by name as I seem to be a bit of a jinx on them - I have yet to see anyone come back after I have effusively welcomed them to parkrun so I'm not going to do that this week!

Be warned though, we don't usually have mountains of cake and sausage rolls - you may have missed the sausage rolls as Milo tucked into them with great enthusiasm! Milo runs with Belinda Cottrill: well sometimes he runs ahead of her and sometimes Belinda drags him reluctantly around after her.  He clearly thought he deserved a treat, especially as he had got a certificate for coming first in the women's points for the year!

Sadly 14 people were running without a barcode so we will never know if they were first timers, milestone runners and/or got PBs. #DFYB

We also had an astonishing 39 PBs. My niece, Emma Bate, achieved her PB. Although when I registered her for parkrun I put her home run as Kingston she has never actually run that one so I was almost as pleased as she was with her PB! I imagine our first finisher was also pretty pleased with his PB - Marc Leyshon finished in a ridiculous 17:29. As I've said before, when you run that fast you really don't get to appreciate the beauty of the park!

It was a great celebration - 277 people plus our fabulous volunteers plus husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, children, friends, parents, people watchers (although no Jake)   All of us, from all walks of life celebrating the thing we have in common. We drag ourselves out of bed on a Saturday morning for a 5K run and think it's a great way to start the weekend.  Long may it continue!

*delete as appropriate

Now for the stats...

Male placings:
Marc LEYSHON (VM35-39) was first over the line in 17:29 - 8th time in 15 appearances.
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) of Kent AC, was second over the line in 18:28 - has been first to finish on 17 previous occasions.
Simon CULVER (SM25-29) of Beckenham RC, was third over the line in 18:32.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Andy TOUGH  100 pts.
Barry GRAHAM (Dulwich Runners AC) 100 pts.
Marc LEYSHON  100 pts.

Female placings:
Lin SKINNER (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was first (33rd overall) over the line in 22:04 - 16th time in 51 appearances.
Ottilie BRIGHT (JW11-14) of Crystal Palace Triathletes, was second (41st overall) over the line in 22:21.
Julia ANDERSON (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was third (65th overall) over the line in 23:35.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Sally MILLS  100 pts.
Chris BELL (Dulwich Runners AC) 100 pts.
Lin SKINNER (Crystal Palace Fun Runners) 100 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Claire STEWARD (VW60-64) was graded 80.53% for the time 25:10 (92nd overall).
Des CONNOLLY (VM50-54) was graded 78.11% for the time 19:02 (7th overall).
Stephen GLACKIN (VM50-54) was graded 77.63% for the time 19:18 (8th overall).

This week there were 277 runners, of whom 41 were first timers and 39 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different athletics clubs took part.

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,339 different runners, including participants from 319 athletics clubs, have completed 33,670 runs covering a total distance of 168,350 km, and there have been 6,376 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:17:23 on 2012-01-14 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who ran in a time of 00:15:42 on 2013-12-28 (event number 171).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sian Cwyfan HILTON who recorded a 90.39% run (20:18) on 15th June 2013 (event number 145).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

 

Crystal Palace parkrun event number 285

For once I turned up earlier than normal and discovered Chris, Mike, Barry and Sid taking charge of 'pre-event set up.' Chris had just jumped on his bike to set off round the top of the course to put the signs out, Sid was placing the signs around Chris' corner, whilst Barry and Mike were surveying the splendour of the post positioning, which would form the basis of the finish funnel. At some point the tape would be added and then we could run.

The weather was glorious - not a cloud in the sky and standing there in the warm sun chatting away it would have been quite easy to forget about finishing the set up...

Turns out that Sid had been to Billingsgate Market that morning, getting up at 3:00 to get there and back. Apparently the last time he did that he feel asleep in the cafe after the run. Also it was reported to me that Chris was late last week to Chris's corner and she did not get there until after the runners at the front of the field had turned past that spot...

As it started to become apparent that we did not have our usual stream of runners just turning up and saying "do you need any volunteers" (the answer is always yes), we started looking at each other and asking, 'do you want to run, I don't mind volunteering ' and the team started to form. I later found out that Becs was quite pleased to be 'allowed not to run' as she was still suffering from a small race the previous Sunday, apparently it is all preparation for a bigger 60+ mile race in June!

In a first for Crystal Palace parkrun, and I am not referring to the trolley being left at the finish line (see Michele's post from last week), we had our first false start! Becs started with 'ready... steady...' and then raised her hand shouting stop as (quite rightly) Milo was adjudged to have already crept over the start line. After the runners and Milo got back into position we had another go, and Milo sprinted out of the blocks dragging Belinda to first place until the first corner. I'm assuming that everyone knows that Milo is a Labrador that has been coming to CP parkrun since he was a very small puppy, otherwise this but might not make sense.

Unfortunately there were a couple of things spotted in the finish line, which I would like to address if that's ok. Please can everyone:

1) Not be a funnel ducker - once in the funnel and your time has been recorded, if you escape out the side, then someone else will get your position number, which is aligned to your time. This throws out every result thereafter

2) Not go through the funnel more than once - I don't think I need to explain this one

3) Not compete for positions in the funnel - again think about this is self-explanatory.

I'm not sure why we had so many unknowns, with 1st, 3rd and 4th being unclaimed. I know of at least three runners, who didn't have their barcodes scanned correctly.

The morning ended sitting outside the cafe having coffee and breakfast - scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms and toast if you really want to know - processing the results watching Becs single handedly sort out the finish tokens, much to Barry's amusement.

Anyway, time for the stats...

Male placings:
An unknown runner was first.
Peter LIGHTING (VM35-39) of Kent AC, was second over the line in 17:33 - was first to finish once before.
An unknown runner was third.

 

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Andy ROWLAND (CYPRESS CANYON RC) 3966 pts.
Che COMPTON (Kent AC) 3197 pts.
Neil JEFFRIES (Unattached) 2947 pts.

 

Female placings:
Louise LOCKE (VW35-39) of Croydon Harriers, was first (29th overall) over the line in 21:27 - third time in 7 appearances.
Lin SKINNER (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was second (30th overall) over the line in 21:30 - has been first to finish on 15 previous occasions.
Belinda COTTRILL (SW30-34) of Dulwich Runners AC, was third (41st overall) over the line in 22:40.

 

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Belinda COTTRILL (Dulwich Runners AC) 3890 pts.
Lin SKINNER (Crystal Palace Fun Runners) 3353 pts.
Laura TOUGH (Unattached) 3157 pts.

 

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Stephen GLACKIN (VM50-54) was graded 77.77% for the time 19:16 (8th overall).
Neil JEFFRIES (VM55-59) was graded 75.61% for the time 20:30 (17th overall).
Peter LIGHTING (VM35-39) was graded 75.12% for the time 17:33 (second overall).

 

This week there were 231 runners, of whom 32 were first timers and 40 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different athletics clubs took part.

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,171 different runners, including participants from 315 athletics clubs, have completed 32,653 runs covering a total distance of 163,265 km, and there have been 6,225 new Personal Bests.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

 

 

Crystal Palace parkrun – Event # 284

By Michele Golden

In previous run reports I've mentioned our trolley.  We have a very sophisticated system at Crystal Palace parkrun where the Run Director delegates the responsibility of bringing the trolley to the start line to a volunteer. The appointed 'trolley dolly' then wheels our very stylish green and yellow trolley and invites people to deposit their belongings. The trolley is then wheeled back to the finish line where the belongings are carefully looked after until the runners return from their two and a half laps of the park. This is a crucial task, one week Bob Bell had to run back to the finish line to get it as the volunteers had forgotten it. It is so important that Mike Woodward gave a briefing to the volunteers before we set off on Saturday as the photo below shows.

We had 220 at the start line on Saturday. The weather did the usual thing of being bright and sunny when I got out of bed, was cold and drizzly when I arrived at the park and the rain held off until we had all finished.  Now we all know parkrun is not a race but I didn't think it was supposed to be an endurance test. I know a lot of people will have watched those game shows where people pit themselves against impossible hurdles. Well, Yasmin Anderson clearly watches a few too many of them. The picture below shows Yasmin just after she had completed her first parkrun at Crystal Palace - she pushed that enormous pushchair with both children in it around the whole course! I was so in awe of her, as indeed were most of us. That pushchair was the size and weight of a small car and not only did she push it around she was smiling at the end - although that might have been relief!

Yasmin wasn't our only first timer - we had 16 on Saturday, fewer than usual. So a huge welcome to the parkrun family to Dean Matthews, Aimee Bunyard, Emma Jackson, Frances Dodd and Eamon Al-Hato! Of our tourists Sarah Kimpton had clocked up an astonishing 205 parkruns before coming to Crystal Palace and she had visited 66 different parkruns, she may be another one who watches those endurance shows!

We had an amazing 40 PBs - too many to mention them all but I must say well done to Alison Yates and Sarah Campbell who I usually run with and who ran like whippets out of the traps, leaving me trailing behind them! And to Eric Piebonyeh who got a PB on his 10th parkrun despite saying he doesn't like running in the morning!

We hadn't seen Jake for a few weeks but it was business as usual on Saturday as he romped home as first finisher, again! Andy Rowland was hot on his heels followed very closely by an unknown runner (one of 22 on Saturday) #DFYB

Our first female finisher was Louise Clark who was running her third parkrun. Looking at her form she appears to run a parkrun every six months so I really like her style! Sarah Kimpton was our second female finisher followed closely by Laura Tough.

Zac Rochford was our first junior finisher, over the finish line in an amazing 22:20 and that's not even a PB! George Stephenson was our second junior finisher in an aesthetically pleasing 22:22 and our third junior finisher was Melissa Drinkwater.

In our final mentioned this week, thanks to Becs Finch-Parsons for the photos on Facebook (assume Tom hasn't worked out how to load them onto this page yet!). She was volunteering as she was running her ninth marathon on Sunday! But as ever, without our volunteers we wouldn't be able to run so a huge thanks to them.

Male placings:
Jake ENGLISH (SM20-24) of Croydon Harriers, was first over the line in 18:19 - 35th time in 43 appearances.
Andy ROWLAND (VM35-39) of CYPRESS CANYON RC, was second over the line in 19:32.
An unknown runner was third.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Andy ROWLAND (CYPRESS CANYON RC) 3966 pts.
Che COMPTON (Kent AC) 3197 pts.
Neil JEFFRIES (Unattached) 2863 pts.

Female placings:
Louise CLARK (SW25-29) (Unattached) was first (27th overall) over the line in 22:02 - second time in 3 appearances.
Sarah KIMPTON (SW25-29) of Team Kimpton, was second (42nd overall) over the line in 22:42.
Laura TOUGH (VW35-39) (Unattached) was third (54th overall) over the line in 23:29 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Belinda COTTRILL (Dulwich Runners AC) 3792 pts.
Lin SKINNER (Crystal Palace Fun Runners) 3254 pts.
Laura TOUGH (Unattached) 3157 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Zac ROCHFORD (JM10) was graded 76.19% for the time 22:20 (35th overall).
Chris CLARKE (VM45-49) was graded 71.67% for the time 20:25 (10th overall).
Jake ENGLISH (SM20-24) was graded 71.16% for the time 18:19 (first overall).

This week there were 220 runners, of whom 16 were first timers and 40 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different athletics clubs took part.
Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,139 different runners, including participants from 311 athletics clubs, have completed 32,422 runs covering a total distance of 162,110 km, and there have been 6,185 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:17:23 on 2012-01-14 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who ran in a time of 00:15:42 on 2013-12-28 (event number 171).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sian Cwyfan HILTON who recorded a 90.39% run (20:18) on 15th June 2013 (event number 145).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

 

 

Crystal Palace parkrun event # 283

16th April 2016 - By Michele Golden

What a funny old week it's been for parkrun.  Little Stoke parkrun became international news after Stoke Gifford parish council took it upon themselves to change the rules as far as parkrun is concerned. The very idea of charging for parkrun is complete anathema to Paul Sinton-Hewitt who founded this amazing movement a decade ago with the idea of a time trial in Bushy Park.  The story went 'viral' and all of a sudden those of us who have known about parkrun for a while stopped being annoyed at those who referred to 'Park Run' or 'Parkrun' in print, as long as they agreed it was a good thing!

The Twittersphere was buzzing.  Giles Coren referred to us as 'Lycra clad elephants' and then quickly backed down, saying he hadn't been serious.

And finally, in what must be the news story of the week: Crystal Palace parkrun reverted to its normal route. Which much have been a huge relief to Belinda Cottrill. Last week she completed the course in 24:29 and said had we done the normal course, instead of the one with 500 extra free metres she would have got a PB. This week she got that PB in 22:20. Huge well done Belinda and Milo!!

In the 'parkrun report writing guide' it says we must always mention the weather. So, it was raining when I left the house and then, miraculously, at just before 09:00, the rain stopped and although the sun didn't shine, at least we were dry. And it didn't start raining again all day. It doesn't really say that but as all other parkrun reports (and I'm so sad I sometimes look at them for inspiration) people mention the weather.

Anyway, we had 250 at the start line and they all finished. Sadly, we will never know the name or time of 27 of them as they were logged as 'unknown'. #DFYB.  I wonder if some of these were inspired by Stoke Gifford parish council?

Thirty eight people who lined up at the beginning were first timers.  Of the 18 of you who had never run a parkrun before I do hope we'll see you again. We are the friendliest parkrun in the world (despite our ED's welcome chat and his 'jokes'!).

Our first finisher was Rowan Fuss from Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC. Rowan runs in the JM11-14 category and finished in an astonishing 18:03. His sister Kelsey (JW15-17) was first female finisher in 19:34, she also runs with BBHAC.  David Mills was our second male finisher in 18:26, David is a tourist who usually runs at Greenwich.

Lots of our regulars didn't run as they were preparing for the Brighton 10k/half marathon/marathon the following day.

As ever, we should pat ourselves on the back and thank the volunteers who made it all happen. Now for the stats...
Male placings:
Rowan FUSS (JM11-14) of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, was first over the line in 18:03 - second time in 11 appearances.
David MILLS (SM25-29) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:26.
Tom CALVERT (SM25-29) of Knaresborough Striders, was third over the line in 19:08.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Andy ROWLAND (CYPRESS CANYON RC) 3867 pts.
Che COMPTON (Kent AC) 3105 pts.
Neil JEFFRIES (Unattached) 2863 pts.

Female placings:
Kelsey FUSS (JW15-17) of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, was first (4th overall) over the line in 19:34 - 5th time in 7 appearances.
Jennifer WHYBROW (VW40-44) (Unattached) was second (16th overall) over the line in 20:30 - has been first to finish on 5 previous occasions.
Lin SKINNER (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was third (24th overall) over the line in 21:34 - has been first to finish on 15 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Belinda COTTRILL (Dulwich Runners AC) 3699 pts.
Lin SKINNER (Crystal Palace Fun Runners) 3254 pts.
Laura TOUGH (Unattached) 3059 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Rowan FUSS (JM11-14) was graded 80.33% for the time 18:03 (first overall).
John ISAACS (VM70-74) was graded 79.69% for the time 23:23 (65th overall).
Kelsey FUSS (JW15-17) was graded 77.26% for the time 19:34 (4th overall).

 

This week there were 250 runners, of whom 38 were first timers and 33 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different athletics clubs took part.

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,123 different runners, including participants from 307 athletics clubs, have completed 32,202 runs covering a total distance of 161,010 km, and there have been 6,145 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:17:23 on 2012-01-14 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who ran in a time of 00:15:42 on 2013-12-28 (event number 171).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sian Cwyfan HILTON who recorded a 90.39% run (20:18) on 15th June 2013 (event number 145).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

 

 

Crystal Palace run report 26th March

By Michele Golden

Watch out Jake - the new generation of elite runners is coming.  As I ran the course on Saturday, feeling slightly under the weather (I think Friday night's wine may have gone off ;) ) I was overtaken by two very young athletes. Five year old Daniel Tough was running his first park run at Crystal Palace with Dad, Andy and younger brother who was being pushed round in a buggy. Andy keep telling Daniel not to run too fast but his words fell on deaf ears as Daniel flew around in 28:57. Well done Daniel!

Hot on his heels was Harrison (Harry) Shaw who, quite understandably, was reluctant to give me his name. After all, his mum had probably trained him to beware of strangers in the park and there can be fewer stranger things than a red faced, panting, overweight woman asking his name whilst attempting to run up a hill! Harry was also on his first parkrun and like Daniel, flew across the finish line in 29:12. Well done, Harry!

They were not the only first timers. We had 20 people running at Crystal Palace parkrun for the first time ever.  For four of them: Harry, his Mum, Louisa (and I'm making a couple of assumptions here) Dad, Jim and sister, Ella it was their first ever time at parkrun. Welcome and we look forward to seeing you next week! Lorna Wood, Peter Axson, Matthew Michael and Daragh O'Loughlin were also fresh out of the wrapper so we look forward to seeing them again too.

Twenty people (including Daniel, mentioned above) had not run at Crystal Palace before but had, between them, amassed an amazing 625 parkruns before coming to the best parkrun.  Danny Norman was running his second at Crystal Palace but his 471st overall so definitely worth a mention.

One of our tourists was Peter Lighting who was also our first finisher in a super speedy 17:15. Peter had never run at Crystal Palace before but somehow managed to get round first. He set a brisk pace though as the next three finishers all got PBs. For the record they were Che Compton (17:21 on his 159th run), Michael Eagling (18:00 on his 18th run. He runs in the JM 15-18 category) and Andy Rowland (19:15 on his 104th run).  In fact there were 29 PBs (including me, thanks to Alison Yates whose encouragement kept me going). I wonder how many of us ran faster because we were planning on going to the very tempting food market that was setting up as we set off.

We also had our fair share of 'unknowns' 17 this week. #DFYB

It was a significant week for our ED Tom Wilson who ran his 200th parkrun this week, 171 at Crystal Palace.  Well done Tom, a fabulous achievement! Did you plan to do it in the aesthetically pleasing time of 20:00?! And this week, Milo demonstrated he has 'learnt the art of pacing' to quote Bob Bell. Last week Belinda Cottrill looked like she was dragging a reluctant Milo around the park, this week they were positively flying! So well done to both of you! And well done to all of us, however we got round and in whatever speed we lapped those lying in bed on Saturday morning.
Now for the stats:

Male placings:
Peter LIGHTING (VM35-39) of Kent AC, was first over the line in 17:15 - first appearance.
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) of Kent AC, was second over the line in 17:21 - has been first to finish on 17 previous occasions.
Michael EAGLING (JM15-17) was third over the line in 18:00.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Andy ROWLAND (CYPRESS CANYON RC) 3582 pts.
Che COMPTON (Kent AC) 3105 pts.
Tom WILSON (Dulwich Runners AC) 2713 pts.

Female placings:
Rachel BENTLEY (VW35-39) of Petts Wood Runners, was first (17th overall) over the line in 21:04 - 80th time in 173 appearances.
Lin SKINNER (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was second (23rd overall) over the line in 21:26 - has been first to finish on 15 previous occasions.
Libby MARCHANT (SW30-34) of 26.2 RRC, was third (33rd overall) over the line in 21:58.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Belinda COTTRILL (Dulwich Runners AC) 3409 pts.
Lin SKINNER (Crystal Palace Fun Runners) 3057 pts.
Laura TOUGH 2963 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) was graded 79.25% for the time 17:21 (second overall).
Claire STEWARD (VW60-64) was graded 78.50% for the time 25:49 (89th overall).
Michael EAGLING (JM15-17) was graded 77.31% for the time 18:00 (third overall).

This week there were 173 runners, of whom 20 were first timers and 29 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different athletics clubs took part.

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,037 different runners, including participants from 301 athletics clubs, have completed 31,570 runs covering a total distance of 157,850 km, and there have been 6,081 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:17:23 on 2012-01-14 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who ran in a time of 00:15:42 on 2013-12-28 (event number 171).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sian Cwyfan HILTON who recorded a 90.39% run (20:18) on 15th June 2013 (event number 145).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

 

 

Crystal Palace parkrun, event #279

By Michele Golden

Today was one of those days when things didn't start that well. First of all here were no bananas at home. I have formally complained to our food supplier (aka my husband) but it's a bit late now.  Then I under dressed. It's the middle of March and so should be getting a bit warmer but apparently the weather still doesn't adjust to fit into my clothing so I was freezing at the start of Crystal Palace parkrun this morning.

Luckily there were 185 other people to huddle up with so I wasn't too cold. I ran with birthday girl Alison Yates this morning and she said she was going to 'pootle' around. Her 'pooteling' meant we both got a PB, as did my sister Josie Bate. Josie runs at Kingston parkrun but has promised to join us at Crystal Palace for my 100th.

As ever the atmosphere was fabulous and we had what looked like a record number of volunteers: a combination of the Brentwood and Hastings half's (?halves?) meant lots of people were sparing their legs.  So we had loads of marshals and very loud cheering and some heckling from Carol Hayes who may have been sparing her legs but wasn't sparing her lungs! Thanks Carol.

Jane and Eva Haile were our tail runners today so thanks to both of them for ensuring all our runners got to the finish line safely.

Those volunteers did a great job today as 34 of us were cheered to PBs.  We had 17 unknown runners so some of them may have achieved PBs too but we'll never know. #DFYB. Of the 15 first timers eight had never run parkrun before, welcome! It's great and you'll find your Saturday mornings are much better now that you're starting with a couple of laps of our lovely park. We had eight tourists today who had never run at Crystal Palace before although Grezegorz Pikul and Phillipa Richards (Carlisle and Newy, Australia respectively) probably have reasonable excuses! After all, it's a bit of a long journey to the heights of South London.

A special congratulations must go to Stephen Massey who ran his 200th parkrun today.  He has run 46 of them at Crystal Palace. Stephen's PB is 19:24 but today he ran a leisurely 20:18. Even Jake ran a leisurely pace (for him) today being our first finisher, of course, in 18:26. Well done to both of you. And I want to mention Ian Taylor - Ian first started running parkrun in 2014 and then had a break, his PB then was 28:55. Today he got another sort of PB running nine seconds faster than when he put on his trainers again and rejoined us in January. Well done Ian and particular well done for running home after you finished!

Today we had no tokens wondering off and sadly our washing line of lost property wasn't in evidence either.  Next week we will be back as normal, given the amount of chocolate I intend consuming over the weekend I shall give it my best effort!

 

Now for the stats…

Male placings:
Jake ENGLISH (SM20-24) of Croydon Harriers, was first over the line in 18:26 - 34th time in 42 appearances.
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) of Kent AC, was second over the line in 18:48 - has been first to finish on 17 previous occasions.
Grzegorz PIKUL (SM30-34) was third over the line in 18:58.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Andy ROWLAND (CYPRESS CANYON RC) 3485 pts.
Che COMPTON (Kent AC) 3006 pts.
Tom WILSON (Dulwich Runners AC) 2617 pts.

Female placings:
Lin SKINNER (VW40-44) of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, was first (23rd overall) over the line in 21:37 - 15th time in 45 appearances.
Hollie CHANDLER (SW25-29) was second (41st overall) over the line in 23:06.
Katie NEWELL (VW40-44) of Beckenham RC, was third (55th overall) over the line in 23:54 - was first to finish once before.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Belinda COTTRILL (Dulwich Runners AC) 3312 pts.
Lin SKINNER (Crystal Palace Fun Runners) 2958 pts.
Laura TOUGH 2869 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Clare Elizabeth WYNGARD (VW55-59) was graded 73.58% for the time 24:17 (67th overall).
Che COMPTON (VM40-44) was graded 73.14% for the time 18:48 (second overall).
Bryan VAUGHAN (VM45-49) was graded 72.80% for the time 20:06 (8th overall).

This week there were 186 runners, of whom 15 were first timers and 34 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different athletics clubs took part.

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010, and since then 5,017 different runners, including participants from 301 athletics clubs, have completed 31,397 runs covering a total distance of 156,985 km, and there have been 6,052 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:17:23 on 2012-01-14 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who ran in a time of 00:15:42 on 2013-12-28 (event number 171).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sian Cwyfan HILTON who recorded a 90.39% run (20:18) on 15th June 2013 (event number 145).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Crystal Palace parkrun Results Page.

 

Crystal Palace parkrun # 20th Feb 2016

By Sam Oliver

I asked to write this week's run report to mark the mini-milestone of my 25th parkrun- a chance for me to share a glimpse of my own experiences of nine months of parkrunning as well as talking over the events of today.

Since my teens, amateur football on a Saturday afternoon (and boy, was it amateur) was my passion. I spent the best part of a decade running a team, happily giving up swathes of my time to organising weekly duels in the assorted parks of Bromley and Croydon- occasionally ones my team would win. But as I waved my mid-twenties goodbye, it increasingly became apparent that something had to give. Married life dawned, responsibilities rose, as did a proliferation of children's birthday parties as my family and circle of friends ever expanded. Suddenly, disappearing off for four hours slap bang in the middle of every Saturday, to be kicked to a pulp by gangly youths ten years my junior and then come home to sulk and creak all evening, wasn't quite as appealing. So slowly, sadly but surely I've weaned myself away from my football world , only to be looking for something to fill that void.

Then last May, two unconnected conversations with two unrelated friends within the space of two days both ended up with a recommendation that I try parkrun. A quick call to Simon 'the parkrun evangelist' Lang later, and I ended up at the 5th anniversary Crystal Palace parkrun that Saturday. I haven't looked back.

What appeals most about parkrun? Could be one of over a dozen things. It's friendly. It's non-committal. You can be home by 10.00am and ready to get on with your Saturday. It manages to both be all-inclusive with achievement for all, whilst retaining enough competitive edge for those who are looking for it. The statistics are manna for a numbers man like me. 5km is a great distance- short enough to be manageable even on a rough day, but long enough to really make you work for it. Volunteers and fellow runners are always highly supportive. I could go on.

As for Crystal Palace, the parkrun I've made home is filled with lovely people coming together to attempt a course which is a fabulous challenge. It has a helpful wide start to allow everyone to get into their stride quickly, and a layout to keep you thinking at all times- even if I find the first few minutes of the second lap a psychological nightmare every week.

Today's run saw 233 hardy souls take on the ups and downs of the park. Another splattering of youthful Harriers swelled the numbers towards the front, and for the second week in a row there were more than thirty runners home before the 21minute mark. The first male runner home is currently conspicuous by the absence of his name- all I can say is that it was someone I recognised heading 'downhill' at Chris's Corner when I was heading 'uphill' on my second lap. Jessica Keene was the first female finisher and second highest age-graded runner, although eclipsed in this regard by Amanda Taylor who ran a highly impressive 86.01% age-graded score to be the third female finisher.

By my counting there were 35 first-timers recorded in the results list, and 31 PBs recorded. Three of these deserve particular mention. Steve Kingston chopped 25seconds off his previous best in his 62nd run at Crystal Palace; Kat Curran in her 26th run here took over a minute off her best to record her first ever sub-30minue time; and your most usual run report correspondent Michelle should also be congratulated on beating her previous best in her 65th time at the venue.

A shout out as well for the young lad- looking at the results, probably Zac but possibly Harrison, who took a nasty tumble towards the end of his first lap. Helped up by dad and a helpful fellow runner as I reached the scene and passed, he had composed himself enough to be come flying past me halfway through the second lap as if nothing had happened- well done!

As for me, the last few weeks have seen me build up attempts on my PB, which I set on a drab day last October in what I've increasingly beginning to look on as some kind of out-of-body experience, since no matter how I've tried since I've not come within range of. I often find that I know by the time I reach the old motor-racing circuit for the first time whether I'm "on it" or not- today was one of those times I wasn't. Even my strategy of 'keep Bob Bell in sight', as suggested by master tactician John Moss, didn't work as both Bob and John disappeared in the distance- leaving me to concentrate on hopefully bringing down my average time (success) and amassing some collateral for the men's points table (failure- I was 100th male home thanks to those pesky Harriers up front...).

The aim is to get to 50 parkruns by the end of the year- fingers crossed. Those t-shirts look very appealing...

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