For those of us that have been attending Peterborough parkrun for some time, a stats download isn't required to tell us how much our parkrun has grown. For those of you new to this, I can tell you that we had almost TWO HUNDRED more runnings on Saturday than this weekend last year.
Last year, the first runner to finish did so in 17:48, this weekend our first finisher was Daniel Snipe in a time of 17:38. This was Daniel's first time in first position out of his 20 parkruns, well done Daniel. The first female last year finished in 21:49, this weekend the first female did so in 19:43 - great work Stephanie Cooper!
This weekend last year we saw Claire Andrews, Amanda Moore and Gary Parr attend the new runners brief, set out round the course for the very first time, and collect their very first position token to get scanned. Gary is a a wonderful part of the parkrun family, having run 47 parkruns since starting (including some tourism) and has volunteered about as many times! Not to mention that he has knocked over 10 minutes off his parkrun time within the past 12 months. Well done to you guys! Maybe you'll get a similar mention in a year after your first one this week? What do you say Vicky Allen, Nadine Couborough, Rich Talby, Graham Farrelly or any of you other 41 first timers?
Those who definitely have the bug are those who entered the 50 club this week. David Lambert, Jill Choudhury and Melanie Tindale have now all run 50 parkruns each. Mel took up her usual position within the fastest 100 runners and the top 10 females, this week in 4th. Congratulations you guys on this parkrun milestone!
A good run for junior runner Liam Ward who finished in his highest ever position of 3rd overall in a time of 18:36. Liam was 15 seconds behind Brian Corleys who was second to cross the line this week in 18:21. Eve Casbard equalled her best position of second female with a time of 21:21 (just 6 seconds outside a PB, which considering the windy conditions wasn't bad!) Olivia Ozkan was third female in a time of 22:19. Barbara Johnson topped the age grading again with her third 80+% in a row. Barbara currently runs in the VW60-64 category and can usually be seen running sub 25 mins!
Despite the cold wind, 81 of you managed a PB this week. Mike Knight achieved his second PB in a row, as did Dave Cox (by over 2 mins), a new PB for Carl Golder, Damian Reed was almost a minute faster than his previous PB too. Helen and Ashley Walden, parkrun tourists, both achieved PBs for the course this week. Peterborough parkruns regulars that celebrated new PBs included Jonathan Bales, Marie Conaty and Sally Smith! Dave Cameron who was on his third parkrun remained under 35 mins and was only 12 seconds away from his time last week. Whilst on her 55th parkrun, Steph Dales was only 8 seconds away from her PB...which was set a year ago (now would be the right time to mention that over half of Steph's parkruns were done whilst pregnant!) Next week Dave and Steph!!
Thanks AS ALWAYS to our heroes in high-vis, our wonderful team of volunteers who change weekly. Many of which are obvious, the run director (Andy Short), the barcode scanners (Mike Blackledge, Phillip Hamlyn, Pat Shepperson) and the marshals (Becky and Ellie Allam, Helen Airey, Katie Smith, Josh Yeeles, Lee Whitton, Sweatshops' Nicky Crowley and Nina, Joe and Ben Wright) that cheer you on are easily spotted - we hope! Perhaps not quite as obvious are the timekeepers (Michaela Giles and Dave Richmond), the two volunteers that hand out the finish tokens (Ian Davies and Tony King), at least one funnel manager to keep everyone in order (Andy Harding) and number checkers (Sarah Short, Mark Walls and Charlotte) who run up and down the funnel to make sure we are in sync. You may have noticed our volunteer tail runner (Diane Constable) who makes sure they are last to cross the line, they offer support and encouragement to the runners towards the back. Some roles that can slip by many regulars include the volunteer coordinator on the morning (Gary Parr) and the person giving the new runners brief (Sarah Short). The tokens are often sorted over a hot drink and some breakfast by a little team that gather on the morning (this week lead by Sally and Michelle Smith). Behind the scenes though, are those setting the course up for us (Martin Shelbourne does this EVERY week and can always do with extra hands - this week was assisted by Gordon Pearson and Kathy Saunders). Most volunteers bring back any equipment from nearby to their point and this is then packed away into storage by another volunteer (many thanks to Peter Brantom for taking on this responsibility most weeks for us). A special thanks goes to Michaela and Gary for taking home the volunteers high-vis jackets to wash for us! Once the run is complete and the equipment is packed away, there is little evidence of us having been in the park. Apart from the tapping away of the keyboard on the parkrun laptop as our result processor uploads the watches and scanners, manually enters the details of any barcodes that didn't scan, cross-checks this with the information from the number checker, crosses fingers and hopes that nobody ducked out of the funnel before collecting a token or went through the funnel twice, or a lap early, or wasn't actually a parkrunner! This week Steve Megson was once again working well into the day on Saturday to try ensure everyone received the correct result. A big thank you from all 450 of us Steve! If you are able to help out by volunteering one week please let me know by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you again on Saturday,
Laura Conway, volunteer co-ordinator