With the Commonwealth Games in full swing in Birmingham and the fantastic achievements of the Lionesses fresh in the memory, many parkrun events around the country benefited from the increased interest in getting out and exercising. Over 6500 first time attendees were recorded at parkruns in the UK last weekend and more are expected this Saturday as parkrun joins forces with the National Lottery to encourage as many people as possible to get down to their local free, weekly, timed 5K. At Heaton we are hoping to play a big part in that initiative so keep an eye on our social media for more news.
Our field of 611 finishers last Saturday included 27 of those parkrun debutants. We were particularly pleased to welcome Daniel COOKE and his colleagues from the local Whittaker Lane Medical Centre which becomes the latest GP Practice to become a partner with parkrun. The parkrun practice initiative was launched in the UK in 2018 and aims to raise awareness of parkrun amongst GPs and practice staff, encourages them to take part in parkrun and signpost patients/carers to parkrun events.
We also welcomed 43 existing parkrunners making their first visit to Heaton. They included David ALDERSON, a regular at Roundshaw Downs in Croydon, who was making his 544th parkrun appearance but still made the smart decision to listen in to Barbara's wise words at the first timers briefing.
This Week's Leading Runners
Returning over 7 years since his last Heaton appearance, Louis SZYMANSKI was first over the line in 16:55, beating his previous best by a minute and a half. Rob MAKIN was next in 18:00, with John RAHO of Holcombe Harriers close behind in 18:04. Just one place further back, Paul MARSHALL clocked 18:07 and recorded an age grading of 78.29%, the highest male figure of the day.
Freya POTTS of Bury AC was the first female finisher in a time of 19:52. There was a close tussle for the next places between two first time visitors with Victoria CREIGHTON of Davenport Runners crossing the line in 21:36, just edging out Rebecca AVANESSIAN by two seconds. On her 402nd Heaton appearance Sheila JONES once again took the age grade honours with a score of 90.93% for her time of 23:20.
67 of our finishers recorded a new Personal Best time for the Heaton course, so a big well done goes out to all of them. Here in PB Corner we celebrate the achievements of those who notch up a new PB after they've run at least 20 times at Heaton, which is usually when it starts to become a little more difficult to improve that time! So congratulations go to this round dozen who managed just that on Saturday.
- David CASEY, who lowered his best time by another 38 seconds for a third consecutive PB, a feat equalled by Phil McMAHON who took 28 seconds off
- It's two in a row for Julie KNOWLES, who smashed her previous week's effort by almost two minutes
- Also recording second consecutive PBs by more modest amounts were Graeme CAIRNS, Alfie HILTON, Billy HILTON and Andrew WILSON
- Briona MADDEN made a 39 second improvement on her December 2021 time, whilst Catherine SACHRO, Sarah REVILLES, Zoe RALPH and Sharon LOWE all lowered the PBs they set earlier this year
Another busy day saw two of our regulars reaching very big milestones and others claiming the black and red shirts for 100 and 50 runs respectively.
John CONSTERDINE has been running at Heaton parkrun since October 2009, always with a smile and especially on his 400th run. After 381 appearances with 14 PBs it's probably true to say that John has done more to promote Heaton parkrun than anybody else, through his regular media appearances. The man behind Manchester Taxi Tours has also volunteered 20 times and visited 7 other events, but we know his heart is always well and truly at Heaton parkrun. Well done John!
Also completing her 400th run was Helen KAY, with plenty of support on her big day. Helen followed her brother Jamie to Heaton parkrun in May 2010 as a self-confessed non-runner. 12 years, 344 Heaton runs and 23 PBs later, Helen is in training for yet another marathon in the autumn, so she is very much a runner now. Helen has travelled to 22 other events and also volunteered 60 times.
Brad NORTHCOTT reached the 200 mark with his running partner on his 122nd appearance at Heaton since October 2014. Those runs have included 13 PBs and he has also run at 16 other parkrun venues.
Gaynor CLARKE and Rebecca KENDRICK are both regular parkrun tourists with Worsley Woods as their home run, but they chose Heaton for their 200 milestone. Gaynor first ran at Heaton in January 2011 and this was her 20th run with us. As well as 63 runs at Worsley Woods, Gaynor has travelled to 49 other locations. Rebecca's 11th run at Heaton since March 2011 goes with her 65 Worsley appearances and visits to 75 other venues to take her to 200. She has also volunteered 40 times.
Dave CLARKE made his Heaton debut in August 2016 and has run 134 times with us, including 10 PBs, and has volunteered once. He has also run at 7 other parkruns.
First to claim the black 100 shirt this week is Victoria MOLLOY, who has run all her 100 at Heaton, starting in April 2014 with 4 PBs. Victoria has also volunteered twice.
Clare KERSWILL also topped the century mark with her 67th run at Heaton. There have been 8 PBs since her June 2017 debut, 8 volunteer stints and visits to 21 other parkrun events.
Martin BOYD has run 43 times at Heaton since his debut in August 2016 with 8 PBs along the way. Visits to Burnley and York bring him up to the mark where he qualifies for his red 50 shirt.
Carol CROSSLEY also reached the 50 mark with her 49th run at Heaton. Starting just before lockdown in January 2020, Carol has sped to the half century with just one visit to Worsley Woods.
25th run - congratulations also go to Philip McGIVERN and young Kian who both reached the 25 run mark this week.
Well done to all our milestone runners this week.
Whilst researching this week's stats I took a look at the results from our first event in June 2009 and noticed that the first ever finisher at Heaton, Steve DARBY, celebrated his 600th parkrun this week at Barry Curtis parkrun in Auckland, New Zealand. That's a lot of parkrunning for a very long time!!
We had another great turnout of 53 volunteers this week. Congratulations to Vicky HENNESSEY, who was volunteering for the 100th time and to Astor, who was making his canine volunteering debut on the finish funnel.
It's wonderful to see families running and even volunteering together at Heaton parkrun. I think our Mini Marshals probably have more fun than anybody.
OK, that's it for another week. Just another reminder that this coming Saturday is going to be special at Heaton parkrun. If you have friends and family who haven't been to parkrun before try and persuade them to come along. The weather is going to be beautiful, so arrive early and see what surprises are in store.
See you at the lake.