Report by Joseph Spraggins
With the cold winter weather drawing in and the temptation of a glass of mulled wine on Friday night followed by a lovely snooze in our warm beds the following morning, you'd be justified in thinking numbers might have been on the sparse side on this most recent parkrunday. However, the patrons of Fulham Palace are made of sterner stuff, as 431 of you ambled down to Bishop's Park for event # 217.
It's one thing running in the cold, but it takes an even greater resolve to volunteer in these frosty conditions, so as always, we owe a massive debt of gratitude to all those that donned a high-vis vest and allowed us to indulge in our weekly 5km fix.
Farah Khan was in charge of proceedings this Saturday, ensuring the good ship parkrun ran like clockwork as always. If you haven't volunteered yet this year, please make sure you get your name down at some point in the near future.
Thanks to all this week's volunteers:
Niall ALEXANDER, Helga BARRY, Beatriz BONILLA, Rob CRANE, Helen DEAN, Crispin FINN, Geraldine FINUCANE, Joy GIORGI, Derek GREEN, John GRIGG, Serge GROFF, Philippa HAWKINS, Alex JEFFREYS, Fergus JOHNSON, Farah KHAN, Cathryn LOWER, Bob LYNAM, Alex MACKULA, Clare MCCOLLUM, James NEAVE, Mark O'CALLAGHAN, Ellinor OLANDER, Dawn PAYNE, Tom PRYSE-DAVIES, Edward REES, Amelia REES, Joe SPRAGGINS, Jennifer WOOLGAR, John WRAY
We had a gaggle of runners reaching some rather significant landmarks:
David Welch - A massive congratulations to David, who is the newest member of the 250 club, a quite remarkable achievement. 154 of these runs have been with us here at Fulham Palace. David began his parkrun journey at Gunnersbury back in May 2012, before transferring his allegiance to Fulham in April 2014. All his runs apart from 2 have been at these two venues, with solitary runs at Brighton & Hove and Kesgrave making up his quarter century. He's also volunteered on one occasion in 2013.
Katie Lysons -Katie has taken the slightly more 'travelled' route to the 100 club, with her runs taking place at 32 different venues, from North London to New Zealand. However, with 26 runs at Fulham Palace, it's safe to say she now considers our corner of South London as 'home'. She started out (alongside yours truly) at Brockwell park in April 2014, setting a time of 24:34. Over the years she's worked hard at her running, with her current parkrun PB now down at 19:23. She has also picked up eight 1st place finishes along the way.
George Hicks - George is another Fulham stalwart, clocking 89 of his now 100 runs at the Palace. His tourism has also taken him as far afield as New Zealand, but his first run in January 2014 was at Norwich Parkrun. Two weeks later he ran with us for the first time and since then, has never looked back. Back then he ran a 24:58, but has since shaved more than 4 minutes off that time, with his current PB now standing at 20:50.
Steven Jones - We seem to have a lot of loyalists amongst our milestone men and women this week. Of Steven's 100 weekly 5kms, 92 of them have been around Bishop's Park. He's always kept it fairly local, apart from a couple of outings to Conway, in North Wales. His parkrun journey began in October 2014, and since then he has whittled his PB down to an impressive 20:54. Congratulations Steven, and welcome to the club!
Greg Harris -The milestones keep on coming! Greg is the latest member of the 50 club, with 47 of these taking place here. He started back in July 2016 and has been a regular ever since.
Will Woodcock - Will was one of our speedier runners from the weekend, finishing in an impressive 16:27. Most of his runs have come in Aberystwyth and Chester, and of his 50 runs, he's finished 1st in 31 of them, with a parkrun PB of 16:01.
The Results bit
The first runner over the finish line on Saturday was Alex Milne from Enfield & Haringey AC, breaking the imaginary tape in 15:44. Alex has ran Fulham 19 times now, and picked up the number 1 token on every occasion. He was pushed all the way by Ollie Garrod (15:57), from Epsom and Ewell Harriers. Ollie is no stranger to parkrun or the podium, and from his 232 runs in total, he's finished on the top step on 178 occasions; the second highest number of male victories in the UK. Third was Charles Houston, in 16:10, just 10 seconds off his PB.
Carla Molinaro (Clapham Chasers) was our leading lady, clocking 18:47 during her first run here at Fulham. She was followed by a rather speedy junior (11-14), Georgina Clarke, of Hercules Wimbledon AC, breaking the 19 minute barrier for the first time with an 18:57. Congratulations on a fantastic new PB, Georgina! The top 3 was rounded out by Alice Riddell-Webster (Fulham RC), in 19:46.
Our top 3 age graders have already been mentioned, with Alice Riddell-Webster recording a great score of 84.82%, closely followed by Georgina Clarke (84.26%) and Alex Milne (81.99%).
We had a number of well-travelled runners appearing on the FP results list for the first time, with Adrian Thomas choosing to do his 263rd run with us, making the trip from Marple, near Manchester. Alison Giblin (245 runs) joined us from Brueton, whilst Sharon Andrew (169) made the somewhat shorter trip from the mecca that is Bushy.
The beady eyed amongst you may have scanned the results list and seen a certain Mr Harry Judd finishing in 20:40. Apparently he used to be in some band called McFly or something..?
It was probably also impossible to spot a large number of Clapham Chasers running around in jeans on Saturday. Being one of those fools in question, I'd love to tell you the reason why, but I still haven't quite worked it out myself yet. As great an idea as this sounded beforehand, I think I'll stick to the conventional running shorts next time around.
I've kept it short and sweet; I hope everyone finishes off the year in style, and happy parkrunning.