Peterborough parkrun #319

Our History
On August 3rd 2013 we started event 1 of year 1 of Peterborough parkrun. Today we took part in Event 319 which is the last Event of our 6th year. During this period we have evolved from our 210 participants and 12 volunteers on Event 1 to 584 participants and 34 volunteers on Event 319. Since that very first day we have seen a total of 15318 different runners and 199 different first finishers. However we have two exceptional athletes who have led home their fellow participants. Way out front is Phil Martin with 47 times, which we hope he will add to when he has fully recovered from recent surgery. For the ladies we have Philippa Taylor who has been first lady at Peterborough on 24 occasions. Not only is this the same as number of times she has run here but she also holds 2 age best records one of which is our longest standing one dating back to Event 9 on 28/09/2013.

The average number of runners is up to 446 with our peak attendance standing at 762 which we achieved on the date our ‘founding father’ of Peterborough parkrun Gordon Pearson alongside our most prolific Tourist Nigel Cronin achieved their 250 in front of friends and family many of whom were from our biggest local club Eye Community Runners.

During these years we have had 837 different clubs take part in our event.

From the course record set on our first event of 16.39 by Simon Fell we have seen this lowered to our current best set by Edgar Sumskis on 13/04/2019 with 15.08 (interesting to note that 6 years on Simon was able to still be 2nd in today’s event….what consistency of performance!!!!) Similarly we have seen the ladies record of 19.30 set on day 1 by Ruth Jones lowered to 17.31 by Sophie Cowper on 10/03/18.

Our very first age graded record was set by Mike Holt with 80.77%. The current record was set with the incredible time of 18.00 mins by Austin Soane on 21/07/2018 when he set this time for the VM60-64 group and so achieved 92.31%. We have only had 3 other athletes ever achieve greater than 90% and they are Anna Garnier, Philippa Taylor and most recently John Herbert.

Today’s Team
The Run Director today is Roy YOUNG who is synonymous with successful parkrun event being the most diligent of both volunteer and volunteer organiser. The setup team arrived shortly before 8 at the equipment store with prolific volunteer Martin SHELBOURNE aboard his trusty bike ready for putting signs out along with Roy and Lee JONES. The funnel along with cones and flags being managed by husband and wife team Peter RIDLEY and Sue RIDLEY along with fellow Eye Runner Sarah-Jane GILL. By 8.20 all is done and its then down to the Volunteer Co-ordinator to log in the volunteers and assign tasks and responsibilities. Today that duty fell to Gary PARR. He and fellow Event Director Roy keep an eye to ensure any issues/problems are dealt with as soon as they arise. The clock moved on and friends greeted friends as the crowd of expectant participants grew. Roy kept an eye on time and with just under 10 minutes to go broadcast that first timers need to attend their briefing today given by Gary PARR.

The 2 time keepers Billy SLAVEN and James BURTON ensure their watches are primed ready for action.
The marshals move off to their various points round the course. Today’s team were:- Babs BURTON, Nicola MARTIN, Jane VASSALLO, Nicola CUTHBERT, Paul WATLING, Andrew CLEMENTS and Daniel NUNZIATA.
As soon as the event got underway all participants followed the lead cycle today ridden by Martin THORPE.
The biggest team was required at the finish where Vera BORDACS and Simon NORTHCOTT handed out finish tokens, after the participants have emerged from the funnel managed by Barbara JOHNSON, Trish CRIGHTON and Carl GOLDER where positions were checked by the number checkers Frazer BURLINSON and Dean CHAPMAN.
With token in hand the finisher can select which scanner as today we had thesemanned by Sara PEARCE, Michaela PARR, Martin GICHUHI, Rebecca WITTON and Logan GICHUHI.
Ensuring safety at the back of the field we had 2 tail walkers Rebecca WALKER and James COULTER.
Once the event is over the ‘funnel team’ dismantle the funnel and bring back to run headquarters, the marshals bring back the signs and the tokens are brought back for sorting in readiness before next week. This week’s sorters were Joe HALL and Anna FLETCHER.
The Close Down team consisting of Roy, Peter RIDLEY and Martin SHELBOURNE are the key regulars who ensure all put together and stored away ready for next week.

Today’s Event
Shortly before 9 Roy steps up and gives out important news regarding the event. The importance of listening and not walking away to the start of the event was shown last week after the participants all had to be aware of a hazard on the course!!!

It was good to hear about the milestones achieved this week with 3 people completing their 50th . Well done to Sarah Rosella, Paul Stockell and Adrian Randall.

All were told about next week and the fact that it’s our 6th Anniversary with a theme of Disney this year.

Talk over all moved to the start and assumed position in readiness. Then the parkrun began. Today we had 584 participants. The breakdown was 335 males and 249 females. Despite everyone knowing that you need a barcode to get a time we still had 41‘unknown runners’ remember #DFYB.

Today we had 64 First Timers 29 of whom had their parkrun debut today. We hope all of you enjoyed the experience and will come back again soon. We also had some seasoned parkrunners touring today with Andrew Chalmers running his 342nd today. In addition the Ellwood family visited us from Medway with Simon now on 234 and Mandy on 220. Our first timers clearly demonstrated the inclusivity and diversity of parkrun with the variation from our first over the line today with 15.52 to our speedy walkers doing just over 55 minutes. Demonstrating parkrun is for all.

Today we had 85 shiny new PBs. These were liberally scattered throughout the entire field with the first being Kai Chilvers of Nene Valley Harriers who as a JM11-14 achieved 18.05 in 6th place overall to Gerald Price who as a VM65-69 achieved 56.11 in position 578. All of us our envious of the achievement of a PB so well done to all who achieved this today.

On the age grading side it was a first timer who topped today’s list with 83.61% so well done Matthew Bowser. We also had two others over 80% with Morag O’Brien as a VW65-69 running the exceptional time of 25.47 to achieve 82.29%. We also had Simon Fell from PAC with 80.14%.

In today’s event we had the first timer Matthew Bowser ease round the course in an impressive 15.52, also setting a new VM35-39 course record. He was unchallenged and ended up 1mi 25secs in front of the second place runner. This was no mean feat as this happened to be Simon Fell who has been first over the line on 9 different occasions including our very first parkrun. He finished 16 seconds ahead of the 3rd place athlete Scott Meadows who has also been first on one occasion.

The ladies were led home by Ella Robinson of Nene Valley Harriers in 20.02 in 16th place overall. This was the 12th time she has led the ladies home at this event. As with Matthew she had a substantial lead over the second lady, Amelia Fleming of Riverside Runners who was 1min 35 secs behind her in 48th place overall with 21.37. There was then another 1min 28secs to the 3rd lady, Louise Richardson of Werrington Joggers who was 69th overall with 23.05.

It’s always important to stress that this is a free event that relies on volunteers each week and we need to increase the pool so that it’s not dependent on just a few. If you would like to help then please email, or if you’re not sure what positions are available then you can check the roster on for up to 6 weeks in advance.
Let’s see if we can fill up some of those spaces nice and early.