Harrow Lodge parkrun #299, New Year’s Day 2019

Everyone a record-breaker!
New Year's Day attendances at Harrow Lodge have grown steadily from 49 in 2014 to 164 in 2018. However a new factor in the mix in 2019 was neighbouring Raphael's first New Year event, and rumours of a strong attendance there at 9am and a consequent parkrun horde heading for Harrow Lodge caused concern among the Token Team armed only with their standard ration of 250 results tokens! Fortunately the next set of 250 were found just in time.....and they were needed: in total there were 269 runners, supported by 24 volunteers. Of these 156 had impressively made their way from Raphael (just under half the attendance there) to complete their 'double'; and for some of these it was merely part of a longer journey.
So, firstly, thank you very much to Daniel Noonan and John David Rozee and their team of volunteers for coping so well with the record numbers at the opening briefings. Milestones today included Paul Newland's 50th parkrun, and quite a collection of superheroes carrying on from Brynley Gidding's 250th at Raphael earlier. There were 80 First Timers welcomed to Harrow Lodge, and 4 of those were running their very first parkruns.
New Year's Day was mild and calm this year and the pleasant conditions resulted in 23 Personal Bests despite or perhaps because of the night before; congratulations to those. Course and volunteers all seemed to be looking their best! Harrow Lodge is favoured by having one lap, rare amongst London parkruns, which I think gives a very pleasant run experience. It's also surprising no one (that I saw anyway) was tempted by a New Year's dip in the lake afterwards. Among the First Timers, Toby Johnson (JM11-14) made a strong start with a time of 21.46.
At the faster end of the event, Robin Smith (SM35-39) was once more first into the funnel with a time of 18.30, followed by Ryan Murphy (JM15-17) with a PB of 18.47 and Barry Smith (VM40-44) with 18.50. Morgan Campbell (SW25-29) made one of her regular appearances as First Female in 21.36, followed by Caroline Tuck (VW50-54) in 23.55 and India Sandever (JW15-17) in 23.59. On Age gradings Linda Smith (VW65-69) took top honours with 26.17/78.31% followed by Findlay Mclaren (JM10) with 21.24/73.75% and Caroline Tuck with her 23.55/73.73%.
All in all a very successful and enjoyable 5th New Year's parkrun for Harrow Lodge. A great start to the year. Thank you again to all the Harrow Lodge volunteers.
Guy Surtees
A visitor from Woking parkrun