Mark’s 250th parkrun, a Christmas special – Jim Davis
December 21st 2019 - #190
I know that we saw the first person to achieve 750 parkruns this week. However, 250 remains a massive achievement. Today saw my friend and clubmate, Mark Faughnan, complete his 250th parkrun. There were quite a few of us here, representing Verlea AC, to cheer Mark on. Mark ran his first parkrun back in early November 2014. He has hardly missed a Saturday morning ever since.
Conditions at Ellenbrook Fields today were wet underfoot. No, no, no. Not a little bit wet. Really, really wet. There was a huge puddle about 80 metres from the start. See above. The section from the bridge back to the start/ finish was a bog and more than a little slippery. It was wet, but it was also quite warm. About 10C, which is pretty warm for this time of the year.
Mark always comments on the volunteers, when we meet up for training on Tuesdays. It is his intention to qualify for a 25 volunteer T-Shirt as quickly as he can in 2020. Today the Volunteers were – Tom BENSON, Robert CARTWRIGHT, Joel DANIEL, Philippa DAVIS, Jim DAVIS, Neil FORBER, Maxine GOOLD, Sarah HAVERSON, Carrie HUDSON, Dave KENDAL, Alex LI, John NORMAN, Lynne NORMAN, Anna PARKER, Joanna PARKER, Mandy PARSBEY, Claudia SELINA (Claudia came from Dunstable Downs, as it was cancelled, to volunteer at our course. Thanks Claudia.), Allison SKEGGS, Dave VALENTINE and Lee WOOD.
This was the 190th parkrun at Ellenbrook Fields. It is my favourite and home course, and it is the one on which Mark has run more often than anywhere else. As you can easily work out, he had to run his first 60 or so parkruns somewhere else. I commented above about it being wet and slippery for what is a small section of the course. I think it is worth reflecting, though, on how much the surface has been improved, underfoot, over these 190 runnings.
There were 11 PBs. Incredibly well done to everyone who achieved one.
First lady home was Christina DURBIN, in a brilliant 20:09 for 6th overall for 75.93%. Second lady was Grace BROWN, with 23:53 in 33rd overall. She was followed by Melissa O'HARE, with 23:57 in 35th overall. That’s a pretty tight finish.
First man home was Thomas HALLING in a terrific 16:52. I think that’s an amazing time in those conditions. Thomas has taken part twice at Ellenbrook Fields and been first home both times. He scored 76.78% on age graded table for third. Second across the line was Neil HUME with 18:05. Neil scored 78.43% and was 2nd age graded. Neil, as you can probably deduce, is a little older that Thomas. Alexander HUGHES was 3rd overall with 18:23 and scored 73.44%.
The most significant of the more senior runners was Katy THOMPSON with 25:35 in the VW65-69 age group. This gave her the overall best age graded rating of the day with 81.69%. Yvonne JONES , in the VW55-59 age group rated 72.61% on the age graded table for third best ladies’ score.
Let me also congratulate Cecily JUDGE, Sienna-Rose SWINBURNE and Eleanor LIU. These were our youngest ladies. Also please let me congratulate Jasper HARTH, Ashton BALDING and Isaac BIRD. If you are tough enough for Saturday’s underfoot conditions, very little will be a problem for you in future.
This week 220 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 20 were first timers to Ellenbrook Fields. Please let me welcome all first timers to Ellenbrook Fields. We hope that you’ll come again. It is a really very beautiful course when the sun shines, and we have some amazing cows and lots of history.
This week's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Ellenbrook Fields parkrun Results Page.
Very Honourable Mentions (in no particular order):
Alex W DOWN – his 50th parkrun.
Ryan HEARNE – the only absolute first timer on Saturday.
Aidan TANNER – the highest placed first timer to Ellenbrook Fields in 4th.
Carrie HUDSON – the Run Director, so she takes all the responsibility and should get all the praise.
We had 3 ladies in full, wobbly Father Christmas costumes. They looked amazing.
The next parkrun at Ellenbrook Fields is on 28 December, so let me wish everyone a Happy Christmas and we hope to see you on New Years Day at 10:30 for our extra event - volunteers always welcome!