Event 195 was the fifth and final parkrun of August 2013, a record-breaking month which saw more runners take to the park than ever before, included a new female course record, 391 PBs, and one last age-category record on the final day.
Blue skies and record numbers for August
Saturday's turnout of 397 took our overall figures for August to 1917, an average of 383 per event and the highest monthly aggregate in Heaton parkrun's history. There has been quality as well as quantity as Lauren Howarth showed on 17th August when she set a superb new course record of 16:38, and this week's first finisher added his own record time for good measure.
Heaton favourite Jim SMITH and tail-runner Helen WRIGHT rounded off a record-breaking August
This week's leading runners
First over the line was Matthew SHAW (SM35-39) of Salford Harriers and AC in 16:05, a new best time for the SM35-39 age category and a performance which also brought him the highest male age-grading of the day with 81.97%. On his 41st appearance at Heaton, Martin SCHOFIELD (SM30-34) of Royton Road Runners was second over the line in 17:27, with Steve PENNINGTON (VM45-49) of Salford Harriers and AC rounding off the top finishers with third place in 17:37.
Paul WHITEMAN continues to lead the Men's annual points competition with 981 pts., just ahead of last year's champion Jonathan SACKS (Salford Harriers and AC) on 972 pts. with Robert FAIRBANKS third on 804 pts.
Amongst the ladies, Bev JENKINS (VW40-44) of Salford Harriers and AC, was first over the line in 18:09, unbeaten now in her 5 appearances at Heaton and just 4 seconds outside her PB this week, although she did pick up the top age-grading of the day with 86.04%. Chloe LOCKETT (JW14) has also completed 5 Heaton parkruns and has improved in every one. Her 26 second improvement this week brought her second place in 21:52, ahead of reigning points champion Karen FLEMING (VW40-44) who was third over the line in 22:14 in her 75th run.
Catherine BUTLER is out in front in the Women's annual points competition on 1053 pts. with Sheila JONES (Radcliffe AC) her nearest challenger on 1038 pts. Laura Jean ATTWOOD's 4th PB this week helped her retain third place with 984 pts.
First timers and visitors
42 newcomers were given the Heaton first timers' welcome this week, with 35 of them having their first peek at the parkrun world. We hope you decide we're worth a second look....at the very least! We were also delighted to welcome some more seasoned parkrunners from our neighbours at Oldham, including Mike COOGAN, Sarah WATERS and Run Director Nigel PENGELLY, who finished a very creditable 10th after weighing up our course's most fearsome challenge and declaring it a "molehill". I'm not sure the many hundreds of Heaton parkrunners who have battled up Angina Hill would agree with you, Nigel, but I guess we'll have to come over to Oldham to see exactly what you were comparing it to!!
Joining the 10 Club for junior runners this week were:
- Sam and Luke RAWCLIFFE, both 10 years of age and possibly the first twins to complete their 10 runs at Heaton
- Edward CLARKE, who has run 9 times at Heaton with 3 PBs and
- 11 year old Naomi JENNINGS who has no fewer than 6 PBs in her 10 runs
Congratulations to you all and we hope your white shirts will be with you soon.
Completing their 50th runs this week and qualifying for the red shirt are:
- Orys SENIUK, who has only taken a year to complete his 50 after first running at Heaton in August 2012. He has 12 PBs, almost 13 as he equalled his best time on Saturday!
- Linda LEYLAND, who has plenty of Bolton and Worsley Woods parkruns under her belt but chose to come to Heaton for the 15th time to complete her 50. Linda has collected 2 PBs on our course since she first ran in November 2011.
- Di HOPWOOD also made her Heaton debut in November 2011 in the last run on our old course. Since then she has run all her 50 at Heaton, collecting an impressive 13 PBs along the way.
- Amy JONES started a month later in December 2011 and has 4 PBs in her 47 runs at Heaton. Amy confused me a little in my research as, up until her 49th run, she was Amy WARD!
Well done to all of you - onwards and upwards to the 100!
Orys SENIUK reflects on his achievement
Ian STAINTHORPE and Carmel SALVIDGE both reached their 100th runs recently and it was a pleasure to present them with their well-earned jackets and shirts this week. We also handed a 10 shirt to Carmel FLINT, which just leaves a 50 shirt outstanding for Helen MARKINCIW. Come and get it soon Helen!
Carmel and Ian both delighted with their new 100 shirts
There are still some hold-ups with the delivery of certain shirt sizes from parkrun HQ, but if you reach your 10th (Juniors only), 50th or 100th run make sure you respond promptly to the email which you will receive from parkrun to give yourself the best possible chance of getting your shirt at the earliest opportunity.
We were a little short of Volunteers this week but many thanks to those of you who stepped forward when we made a request for extra numbers before the start. Compared to the number of runners we have, we don't need a lot of volunteers, but there are certain roles that have to be covered or we can't operate fully. It really helps if we know in advance that we have enough volunteers so if you would like to help please email firstname.lastname@example.org before parkrunday and we will find you a job.
The pacers were out again this week, giving a helping hand to parkrunners trying to achieve 23,25 and 27 minutes respectively. My first attempt at pacing was surprisingly successful and very satisfying as I finished in 23:01... with the number 23 on my back! I know Paul and Catherine were equally successful in reaching their times. We've already received some good feedback from satisfied 'customers' so if you are in the hunt for a PB keep your eyes open for a pacer who might help. And once you've got that PB why not repay the favour by pacing for those runners who aren't quite as quick as you? Come and let us know if you want to give it a try.
August concluded with another 72 new Personal Bests - some achieved with the help of our pacers but many without - and included a sprinkling of star performances from long-time Heaton parkrunners.
- John CONSTERDINE takes pride of place this week as he improved his PB for the second time in the month in his 132nd run at Heaton
- Not far behind is Sheila WETTON who knocked 30 seconds off her best to go under 27 minutes for the first time in her 85th run at Heaton and 98th parkrun overall
- Another lady cracking that 27 minute barrier was Sue PORTER whose second consecutive PB was her 12th overall in 25 runs at Heaton
- Tom CONNOLLY also has 2 PBs in August and a 17 second improvement this week
- Olivia GILL and Lisa CARTER both grabbed their first PBs since May, whilst Howard TURNER's 24 second improvement was his first since April
- Celebrations in the HITCHIN household this week as Edward and Pamela both got new PBs
- Adam DUDDELL made it 3 PBs in 4 August runs, but Giles BENNETT went one better with his 4th consecutive PB and a first sub 20 minute time
- Finally, there is no stopping Ramakrishna AMBATI who clocked up his 6th consecutive PB and 13th overall in his 16 runs
All smiles for the Hitchins!
Fantastic achievements by all these people and everybody else who got a new best time this week. I'm sure there'll be plenty more to celebrate in September.
Running with a star
Away from parkrun, on Monday I was privileged to run 10k with the Paralympic Gold-Medal winner Richard WHITEHEAD as part of his epic attempt to run 40 marathons in 40 days from John O'Groats to Land's End. Just a year and a day after his unforgettable 200 metre performance in the Olympic Stadium it was a real pleasure to run and chat with a truly inspirational athlete. Richard's run is raising funds for the Sarcoma and Scope charities so if you would like to support him please visit his website http://www.richardwhiteheadrunsbritain.com/ to find out more and make a donation.
That's all for this week. See you at the lions on Saturday for more great Heaton parkrunning.