Everybody seemed to have a spring in their step at this week's 475th edition of the Heaton Park parkrun. Paul's pictures certainly feature lots of flying feet, maybe inspired by the autumn sunshine which accompanied our 778 runners and walkers around the course. Whatever the reason, there were certainly plenty of people with good cause to celebrate this week.
First Timers and Visitors
Amongst our 71 first timers there 38 parkrun debutants, including another batch of Couch25K graduates from the Whitefield Run Together group. There were smiles all round as they conquered the 5K course and celebrated with cake!
Our visitors included a very happy bunch from County Antrim, appropriately dressed in emerald green and obviously intent on having the best time possible in our beautiful park. Pamela KANE and her friends definitely succeeded!
We had 55 Volunteers of all ages looking after our parkrunners. Sunday's popular Manchester Half Marathon meant that a good number were having a pre-race rest, but we're delighted they decided to come and help us out. If you'd like to join the volunteer crew send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know when you're available.
Next time out our volunteer numbers will be swollen by the members of Prestwich Athletic Club who will be donning all our pacing bibs. It'll be a great opportunity to achieve that time you've been aiming for and if you've been thinking about joining a running club just have a chat with one of the pacers.
This Week's Leading Runners
Definitely with a spring in his step was Ian CARRUTHERS who led the field home in 17:57 in his 125th run at Heaton. That was the 10th time Ian has been first over the line. Next to finish was an unknown runner, with Chris McCARTHY in third place. His time of 18:32, on his 217th appearance at Heaton, earned him the highest male age-grade of the day with 77.70%.
Sarah THOMAS of Bury AC was the first female finisher in 19:59, with Abigail WARBURTON next in 20:20. Our third female in 21:04 was Justine ALBERT, making her Heaton debut on a visit from Bushy Park. Warming up for this week's international debut, Sheila JONES grabbed her customary top age-grading with 86.86% for her time of 23:20.
parkrun Clubs and Milestone Runs
Another busy week for celebration runs and these people had good reason to have a spring in their step.
50 Club - Lynn MORAN is our only new member of the 50 Club this week, claiming the red 50 shirt with her 47th run at Heaton. There have been 8 PBs since her first run in June 2018 and Lynn has also visited Chadderton Hall and Sale Water parkruns.
- Naomi JACKSON is first to claim the black 100 shirt with her 85th appearance at Heaton since October 2015. Naomi also has 8 PBs and her travels to 11 other venues include a trip to Nidda parkrun in Germany
- Simon ROBERTS also reached his ton with his 69th run at Heaton since his June 2016 debut. His parkrun record also shows 8 PBs at Heaton and 11 volunteer appearances plus a string of visits to 14 other locations
150th run - we had three parkrunners making it to the 150 mark, including a returning regular.
- Louise THOMSON made her Heaton debut in June 2015 and ran regularly with us, picking up 22 PBs and volunteering 9 times before returning to her native Cumbria. Louise has now run 40 times at Carlisle and visited 27 other venues, but made the return to Heaton for her 77th run in our park and 150th in total
- Joe LOUGHMAN made his Heaton debut in November 2013 and the VM 65-69 runner has clocked up 134 appearances with 15 PBs. His other 16 runs have all been at Chadderton Hall
- At the other end of the age scale JM10 runner Hayden Cody WHITEHEAD reached the 150 mark with his 103rd run at Heaton. The first was in March 2015 and Hayden has 8 PBs to his name, as well as volunteering on 30 occasions. He has also run 30 times at Worsley Woods as well as visiting 9 other venues
- Josh DUNCAN made his Heaton debut in April 2014 and has completed 177 appearances with 7 PBs. Visits to Sewerby, Chadderton Hall, Oldham and Stamford Park have taken him to the 200 mark
- Charlotte CANTILLON (or CROWLEY as her maiden name shows in our results) returned for her 8th visit to Heaton to don the 200 bib. A regular at Bramhall, where she made her parkrun debut in 2013, Charlotte has also visited 25 other parkrun sites. Her Heaton trips have yielded 5 PBs, including a 30 second improvement this week
400th run - yet another big milestone run for one of our Heaton stalwarts. Mel SMITH has been a fixture with us since November 2009 and has completed 357 appearances. Although he only has 3 recorded PBs, the age-gradings for the VM65-69 runner have been remarkably consistent over the past 10 years, with one of his highest recorded just last month. Mel has also travelled to 12 other events, including trips to both Jersey and Guernsey.
Another 113 new Personal Best times were recorded this week, taking our all-time haul past the 35,000 mark. I can claim to have contributed 19 of those... but none since 2014! Not so much of a spring in my step nowadays, but making more of an impression are these 14 who improved their best times this week and have run at least 20 times at Heaton.
- Eric LOWE celebrated his first anniversary of parkrunning by clocking up his 22nd PB by 21 seconds and going under 28 minutes for the first time - and next time out will be his 50th run!
- John KERR claimed his 10th PB of the year as he took 9 seconds off his previous best from May
- Also improving their times from May were Joanne KAY, Aziz YUSUF, Alexander EASTON and Katie PARKER, who made a 10 second improvement on her 319th appearance at Heaton
- Siobahn COWARD went under 30 minutes for the first time as she took 20 seconds off her March PB, which was also when Matthew GARSIDE and John JACOB set their previous best times
- Colin BAMBER beat his September time by 6 seconds, whilst Ben KNIGHT took 15 seconds off his February 2018 effort and David ELCOCK lowered his March 2015 best by 24 seconds
- Jayne WALMSLEY made it 2 in a row, but Jo WAINWRIGHT trumped that with a 41 second improvement for her 4th consecutive PB
Great stuff from everyone who managed to record a new PB this week. You'll certainly have a spring in your step next time out!
Maybe the answer to all these springy steps lies in the history of our meeting place in the park. Keen historian and parkrunner Colette HEAVEY tells us more:
"The 12 acre boating lake was built partly on the site of the original Heaton Park Horse Races (1827-1838), established by the 2nd Earl of Wilton. The construction of the lake took place between 1908 and 1912, dug out by previously unemployed men using only shovels and hand-pulled trucks The lake was completed in September 1912. On its opening day on 17th March 1913 one of the Councillors boat capsized to the great amusement of the crowds! Later that month it was agreed to allow male bathing in the lake up to 9am in the morning. It was proposed to fix dressing boxes by the edge of the water and a charge of one penny per bather for the use of boxes.
From the 1920’s permission was given for Sunday ice skating to take place, whenever the lake was fit for purpose. In 1925 the British Pathe News filmed an item at the lake entitled, "Champion amateur and professionals show admiring and envious spectators some fancy skating at Heaton Park. Manchester"
The Lakeside cafe was originally a boat house. In the second world war, the RAF Air Crew Despatch Centre at Heaton Park (1941-1945) converted it to be used as a NAAFI building - a place that provided catering, retail & leisure facilities, delivering a much needed taste of home to service personnel. A cafe was later built further along the lakeside near the tram lines where the parkrun announcements are made. This was demolished some years ago, but its footprint is still visible there."
So you can see that we're all following in the footsteps of race horses and fancy skaters, which explains why some occasionally look like thoroughbreds whilst others fall on their backsides!
That's all for now. See you soon at the lake.