The phenomenon that is parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt on 2nd October 2004 at Bushy Park in London, first introduced to Ferry Meadows on 3rd August 2013.
Our event has gone from strength to strength and despite being on a flood plain and susceptible to the vagaries of the weather our core team have rarely cancelled an event unless deemed unsafe for runners and volunteers. We, like the majority of parkruns have suffered at the hands of the British weather but the team have always tried to provide an event.
Both our runners and volunteers all need the weekly ‘fix’ and hate to be deprived. Was there ever anything else to do at 9.00am on a Saturday morning? Like me, many cannot remember that far back!! I personally started on the our very first run and am now in my 3rd different age grouping showing just how long the event has been going. Many others have grown and stayed with the event but each week we get someone new along to sample, hopefully enjoy and become a regular.
Recently we have had a name change to better depict where the run is. We are no longer Peterborough parkrun but proud to say we are Ferry Meadows parkrun who enjoy our partnership with Nene Park Trust. We are fortunate to have use of storage facilities, well maintained toilets and a café close to the start and finish of our run. Many tourists have said how lucky we are to have both the scenery and facilities plus discount at the café!!
Let’s hope the new decade will see our event continue to thrive and many more happy faces as people meet their individual targets.
Today we took part in Event 339 which is the last event of both 2019 and the decade.
Since that very first day we have seen a total of 16,282 different runners and 211 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 achieved his target of many quality marathons this year.
For the ladies we have Philippa Taylor who has been first lady at Peterborough on 25 occasions. She also holds 2 age best records one of which is our longest standing one dating back to Event 9 on 28/09/2013.
There is now an ever growing list of persons who have achieved the feat of two age records; Edgar Sumskis, Emma Caplan, George Dawson, Grace Mullins, Joey Croft, John Herbert, Philippa Taylor and Terry Fone. One of these, Terry Fone, is very close to achieving his 250th parkrun which he intends to do at Ferry Meadows on 1st January 2020, I hope many of you will be able to salute our legendary veteran.
The average number of runner over our entire history is 451 with our peak attendance standing at 762.
During these years we have had runners from 892 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.
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.
Today we were able to use the normal course after a few weeks of weather imposed alterations.
Following the big turnout on Xmas Day we again had over 600 today with 607 taking part, of which 376 were male and 231 female.
Enabling the event to run smoothly were our 30 conscientious volunteers, ably lead by first time Run Director Joanna Sells.
We had 63 with a shiny new PB including 7 in the first 20. In fact the first 2 across the line both got one.
First was Anthony Johnson of Kent AC with 15.51 and an age grade of 81.60%, second was Dylan Tomaselli of Huntingdonshire AC with 16.46 and age grade of 83%. Third was Thomas Musson from Helpston Harriers with 17.07 and an age grading of 77.02%.
The ladies were led home in 19th place overall by Maggie Skinner from PANVAC in 19.10 with and age grading of 79.30%. She was followed home in 27th place overall by Ella Robinson with 19.53 and age grading of 76.95%. Third lady in 77th place overall was Olivia Walker with 22.15 and an age grading of 71.76%.
Three people achieved over 80% age grade today. There were the first two across the line. However the highest was Annette Newton of BRJ Run and Tri finished in a time of 24.40, as a VW65-69 this achieved 86.01%.
There were quite a few celebrating milestones today with 3 getting to 50 parkruns; Michael Franks of Werrington Joggers, Darren Kelly of Virgin Trains East Coast and Will Major from Herne Hill Harriers.
An even bigger group of 5 celebrated getting to 100 parkruns; Brandon Howard, Lynn Guest, Siobhan Bailey, Jenny Bryant of Bushfield Joggers and Christopher King from Eye Community Runners. I was lucky to get 2 cakes from Louis King as his dad proudly shared his celebration of achievement.
There was also recognition of 200 achieved by Jeff Beever of Bushfield Joggers.
There were 11 members of the 250 club at Ferry Meadows today with 6 of them now over 300!!
At the other end of the scale we had 63 First timers at Ferry Meadows of which 24 were completing their first ever parkrun. We hope all of you enjoyed the experience and will come back again soon.
Despite everyone knowing that you need a barcode to get a time we still had 38 ‘unknown runners’ Remember #DFYB.
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 take a particular role simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more, visit the volunteer page. Let’s see if we can fill up some of those spaces nice and early.