We had a feeling it was going to be an exciting event, with visitors gathering by the cafe in various shades of apricot, red and black. We set up the course with a few extras, such as bunting and some motivational chalk messages ('The chalk really helps!' was heard from one runner) and made our way to the start just before 9am. So, why all the fuss? You might have seen the milestone t-shirts around our course: white 10 for juniors, red 50, black 100 and, my personal favourite, purple 25 (volunteers). We occasionally have a visitor in a green 250 t-shirt and this week were delighted to mark our very first 250th parkrun at Hilly Fields.
Regular runners and volunteers will know Siggy, who has been with us from the start, with her first parkruns being over at Bromley (where she has run 90 times!). 130 of Siggy's runs have been here with us at Hilly Fields and she has been on tour to 20 other events, amazing! During her time as a parkrun
addict fan, Siggy has also volunteered around 75 times, with some of those times being whilst injured - she is always happy and willing to encourage others, even when she is unable to run herself (she has been known to march around at the back, supporting fellow runners, who are making the step up from walk to run). As I mentioned in the briefing, what sets Siggy apart is her strength, determination and resilience; she really is a valued member of our parkrun 'family'.
The atmosphere was, of course, one of celebration, with marshals around the course, hi-fiving and encouraging our participants up The Hill. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, timing, scanning, handing out tokens, marshalling and tail-walking (and, of course, helping to set up the course and sorting through the tokens, the bits you don't see!). This week's volunteers were Sally, Adele, Brian, Steve, Maria, Gila, Anne, Aidan, Laura, Bill, Janette, Carrie, Helen, Monica, Sasha and Stephen. If you thought it looked like fun (it is), let us know and we'll let you help make the magic happen (opt in on your profile, or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Oh yes, some people ran too! 273 people! An amazing 47 were first-timers (Siggy has a big fan club!) and an impressive 33 recorded a new personal best time. Well done! It was particularly exciting to watch the action up at the front this week, with one of our junior runners, representing Kent AC, taking the front position throughout. Pipped to the post in the last few meters, Isaac Maxwell (who is under 14!) made first finisher, Edmund Adigwe, work hard for his place, with our first two finishers crossing the line in 17.34 and 17.37, outstanding! Our regular women were kept on their toes by visitors from Siggy's club, Petts Wood Runners. Crossing the line first for the women was Hannah Roberts in 20.34, followed by club-mate Geraldine Schaer, with regular first woman, Jen Smith, close behind for Kent AC. We were delighted also to see visitor Neil Cole bagging himself a PB by going under 24 minutes, well done Neil.
So, with the running done, Siggy was very happy to get her barcode scanned, 'It's official!' and share prosecco and a beautiful cake with our runners. Thank you Siggy and we look forward to seeing you again soon for your 251st run