Following a week's enforced absence, Heaton parkrun was back with another bumper turnout nudging towards the 900 mark again. In a crowd of that size it's inevitable that there would be lots of all the things that we love about parkrun - first timers, milestone runs, PBs and a great bunch of happy, smiling volunteers.
First Timers and Visitors
Of our 877 finishers there were 87 names on the result list for the first time. 40 were brand new parkrunners, having their first experience of our strangely addictive Saturday morning event. They'll be back!! The other 47 were all visiting from other events, including Avril PARKER-JONES who has been parkrunning since December 2016, mainly at her home run in Telford. Avril's 83rd run brought her to Heaton and she asked whether she could contribute a run report. We're more than happy with that, so here's Avril's view of Heaton parkrun.
" First of all I would like to congratulate all those who took on the Manchester marathon last weekend including Amy Aldridge who was run directing at my home parkrun in Telford today.
I'm up in Manchester visiting a friend and this is only my 6th tourist run and 1st city parkrun. Kirsty and I took a short tram ride from Victoria to Heaton Park and soon found the gathering group of volunteers outside the Pavilion cafe. I introduced myself to the run director who introduced me to Duncan the regular run reporter. I was also shown the rail of running bibs for every occasion from birthdays to milestones and the tourist one I got to wear. These are a lovely touch and something I had not seen before.
As the number of people gathering started to increase we were called over to the first timers briefing. It turned out there were 44 other tourists and 39 1st timers, the briefing was detailed and the course clearly explained.
We then headed over to the start and in total there were 877 runners, joggers and walkers - the biggest parkrun I had taken part in so far. There were 15 milestones, who all got their shout-out including juniors Sophie and Lucy Kyle, who had reached ten - well done both. Also a special birthday mention to photographer Paul.
Before we knew it we were off. The route was very scenic, highlights included running through the tree canopy, passing Heaton Hall, going around the boating lake and passing the donkeys!! There is a hill up to Heaton Hall, known as 'angina' hill and having a 'slope of opportunity' at the end of my home run I was ready for this, there is a lovely view of the city once you reach the top.
I am part of an online running community known as the Lonely Goat Running Club so it was lovely to see 4 other goats; Jeff Dawson, Maria Walsh, Craig Brooks and Henk Penning. Well done to Maria and Craig who got themselves a new PB in fact there were over 130 new PBs today so well done to all!
The finish funnel was the longest I'd been through but extremely well managed by the funnel managers. There were a total of 59 volunteers today and they were all very friendly and welcoming. I love volunteering as much as the running and if you haven't given it a go yet then I really recommend it and you get an awesome purple t-shirt once you have done 25. Just ahead of me in the finish funnel were Jemma and Nick Hewitt; Jemma had reached her 100 milestone whilst Nick was wearing the 200 parkrun bib, great work and well done both.
Once finished there is the opportunity to have a drink, bite to eat and socialise in the cafe, we also stayed a little longer in the park to get some photos and say hello to the animals!!
Overall a very enjoyable parkrun, which I will hopefully be coming back to in the future. Thanks again to Duncan for allowing me to be guest run reporter this week.
Thanks very much to Avril for her contribution. I'd love to hear other people's experiences of Heaton parkrun, particularly what brought you to us in the first place, what you love (or even hate) about the event and how it has changed your Saturday mornings. If you'd like to give it a go just include your thoughts on an email and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to include your contribution in the weekly news.
parkrun Clubs and Milestone Runs
There were indeed many special runs to applaud this week, with a couple of family celebrations thrown in for good measure.
- Jill KYLE reached the 100 Club and was delighted to share the limelight with daughters Sophie and Lucy who both qualified for their 10 club shirt
Jemma HEWITT was also entering the 100 Club and husband Nick HEWITT reached 200 runs at the same time
- Also claiming the black 100 shirt were Rob MILLS, Richard JACKSON, Edward CORCORAN and Greg THOMSON
There are going to be new red 50 club shirts for James MASON, Steve SWEENEY, Angela O'CONNOR, Erica PARRY and Jo FENTON
Special congratulations go to Nick BARNES and Callum KNIGHT who have finally reached the 250 mark and will be sporting their green t-shirts very soon. Callum has been coming to Heaton since 2011 and Nick made his parkrun debut at Woodhouse Moor in March 2008
Luke DAVENPORT, Jordan PERCIVAL and Justin JONES all reached the 150 milestone, while Ruth FEARN and Karen HALLETT celebrated their 200th runs
We had not one but two runners reaching the 350 mark. Dave PEART made his 35th visit from his regular home at Oldham and Anna MCENTEGGART marked over 9 years of regular attendance at Heaton with a lap of honour accompanied by husband Alan and the dogs!
Huge congratulations go to all of you on your special achievements.
It was another week for impressive Personal Best numbers, with 135 in all and 22 going to parkrunners who have completed at least 20 runs at Heaton. amongst the highlights were:
Craig BROOKS and Nicholas COLEMAN who both lowered their best times which were set in 2017
Kathryn GOLIGHTLY with the biggest reduction of 1min 7 seconds
Mary ENGLAND dipping under the 30 minute mark for the first time with a 41 second PB in her 63rd run
and Ralph GORTON who improved his November 2018 best by 17 seconds to prove that being in the VM75-79 category is no barrier to progress
Our other PB Corner heroes are: Jemma HEWITT, Gary NESBIT, Rob ENGLAND, Jayne JACKSON, Harry BALLANTYNE, Paul GARDNER, Kate METCALFE, Louise GORTON, Alex YUSUF, Catherine VANERIS, John FISHER, George PETERS, Alan LACEY, Adam STIRLING, Ricki DUNNING, Neil SWAN and Conor WILKINSON.
This Week's Leading Runners
Ben COOP of Bury AC was first over the line in 16:12, followed by Prestwich AC's Paul SAVAGE who earned the highest male age-grade of the day (81.04%) with his time of 17:14. Joshua DUTTON of Salford Harriers completed the top three in 17:19.
First time visitor Hayley SIMPSON of East Cheshire Harriers was first lady home in 20:08, with Bury AC's Katie GEELAN not far behind in 20:13 on her 67th appearance. Jen HATCH's 353rd parkrun (20 at Heaton) brought her a third place finish in 20:32. VW70-74 runner Christine ECKERSLEY of Middleton Harriers was our highest age-graded finisher with 83.63% for her time of 28:00.
We had 60 names on the roster this week and they were all busy! Congratulations go to John ATKINSON who completed his 25th volunteering stint and qualifies for the purple 25 shirt. John has been coming to Heaton since January 2016 and has completed 119 runs as well as helping out in the roles of Marshal, Funnel Manager and Pacer.
Huge thanks to all our volunteers this week and every week. If you would like to help us out please email email@example.com and we'd be delighted to add you to our list.
Heaton parkrun Quiz Night - 7pm Saturday 4th May Prestwich Cricket Club
It's just a couple of weeks until our Quiz Night so it's time to get your teams together and let us know who's coming. Entry is £10 per team with up to 6 people allowed per team. Entry forms are available at the registration gazebo on Saturday morning and all proceeds from the evening will go to the fundraising for Jim's Bench.
The Quiz, which we are putting on in collaboration with Prestwich AC, will be a fun night for all ages with prizes, a raffle and a bar. We hope to see you there!
Easter Saturday parkrun 20th April - Egg and Spoon Challenge
You don't need me to tell you it's Easter this weekend. Most of the population seems to be on the move but you only need to come to Heaton parkrun for your Easter fun.
5K egg and spoon run anybody? The park management have very kindly donated some eggs so if anybody would like to have a go at completing an egg and spoon parkrun just bring your own dessert spoon. We believe the World Record stands at about 25 minutes, so there's a challenge!!
There are bound to be some chocolate treats alongside the sweetie tin and I'm sure there will be cake....there's always cake! The weather forecast looks cracking so get the whole clan together and come and see us at the lakeside. See you there!!
PS: Apologies for the layout of the report this week. I know it looks scruffy, but I am a child of the 50s and no technical wizard. This always seems to happen when I copy and paste material in from another source. Also, we had a problem with photos this week, so again I've had to copy them in a different way. Let's hope normal service will resume next time (or somebody else takes over!!).