Kingsway parkrun, Gloucester: run report #240
Celebrating the first leap day parkrun
Report by Georgina McMasters (A360135)
Leaping for leapday!
With the heavens unleashing bucketloads of heavy rain as we made our way to parkrun, we were braced for a very wet run and I was teased for turning up with my sunglasses on my head. But it’s always good to be prepared, and my optimism was rewarded when the sun came out and the rain held off for the duration of the run.
The first ever leap day parkrun attracted 245 walkers, joggers and runners to Kingsway. No amount of puddles on the course was going to prevent these hardy souls from running on this special day. 2048 will be the next opportunity to take part in parkrun on a 29th February, and there was general enthusiasm amongst the crowd that we’d all be back for another leap day parkrun then.
What better way to kick off a birthday than with a parkrun, and that’s what Sarah Spinner chose to do in celebration of her 11th. When you only get one birthday every four years, it’s hardly surprising that you’re going to be excited. Sarah was so caught up in the moment that one of her celebratory balloons made a bid for freedom. We hope you had a good parkrun, Sarah, and a great day celebrating.
First timers and tourists
33 people ran for the first time at Kingsway parkrun this week, of whom nine took the plunge and did their first ever parkrun. Welcome to the family:
Andy Morford • Rosa Mills • Laura Hawkins • Alison Baillie • Lisa Healey • Clare Lowman • Kelly-Marie Hodgson • Stacey Moore • Katie Tucker
We hope you’ll all run with us again!
Special congratulations to the ladies from Tewkesbury Jolly Jeffers who completed their couch to 5km programme at parkrun today.
As well as the first timers, visitors came from South Wales, Southend-on-Sea, Lydney, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham, among others.
We love puddles!
Results and milestones
Natalie Cranfield (22:09), Jasmine Fern (22:30) and Rosie Brown (23:25) were the first women home, whilst Steve Kenyon (17:25), Max Sheppard (18:06) and Charlie Worsfold (18:23) were the first men to finish. Great running all of you!
Well done to Madeleine Spinner on your 10th run today - your first official parkrun milestone, and hopefully the first of many!
Congratulations also to Stephen Johnstone on your 200th run.
Despite the puddles, 14 parkrunners achieved a personal best time over the course. Impressive performances given the splishy, splashy conditions. Congratulations to:
Dan Nurse • Rosie Baldwin • Tom Burt • Richard Elliott • Julian Hasinski • Ian Smith • Connor Costello-Byrne • Munir J A Tholley • Ajmal T K Tholley • Grace Beard • Alfie Spinner • Susan Howes • Nicola Fear • Andrew Murfin
The sheer joy of parkrun - whatever the weather!
parkrun cannot happen without our amazing High-Viz heroes. Huge thanks to the 29 volunteers who joined Run Director, Antony Greensweig, to make event #240 possible:
Jane Morgan • Sian Morgan • Patrick Morgan • Georgina McMasters • Gary Philpott • Chris Cox • Amanda Valder • Trevor Stevens • Andy Jarrett • Emelia Johnstone • Glyn Matthews • Jon Schofield • Phil Cole • Amber Wheeler • Oscar Stenner • Nicola Oakey • Thomas Oakey • Madeleine Spinner • Richard Meadows • Kay Searle • Andrea Preedy • Joanne Knight • Andy Watts • Janet Stevens • Malachi Youngs • George Perrins • Kathryn Murfin • Jo Foster • Sebastian Foster
If you fancy being a High-Viz hero, take a look at the available roles on our website - future roster page and email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Sixty seconds with Julie Dennis
Julie and I have been friends since we met at college back in 1992. Neither of us could’ve been described as sporty back then, although we did manage the odd game of tennis when the sun was shining. One day we decided we’d go for an early(ish) morning run along the Thames in Henley. Unfortunately Julie didn’t turn up (from memory, her bed was just too cozy), so I trundled up and down the riverbank alone. It took more than 20 years before we finally managed our first run together…
Tell me about your involvement with parkrun — how did you first hear about it, and has it become a regular fixture in your life?
Well, some crazy ass friend dragged me to Essex and made me go for a parkrun in Hockley Woods. Since then, it’s become a slight obsession in my life - visiting different parkruns and collecting various challenges - I recently became a pirate! My dad thinks I’m barking!
For those who might be slightly confused at this point as to how Julie became a pirate, the clever folk Andy and Laura have created "Running Challenges", a Chrome extension / Firefox Add-on that allows you to play games with your parkrun results, including tourist challenges and tracking your volunteering at parkrun. Each completed challenge gives you a badge on your profile to show off to all your friends. I urge you to check it out, but be warned - your parkrunning experience will never be the same again!
Had you been much of a runner before?
I’d never done any physical exercise until I hit 40. At that point I did couch to 5km and I haven’t looked back.
You sometimes run with your husband and two children (aged 14 and 10). Do they share your enthusiasm?
My son and daughter generally prefer marshalling to running at the moment. My husband likes to come to parkrun occasionally, but tends to prefer running on his own.
How things change! I remember the first time I mentioned parkrun to you, I managed to get your husband, Chris, to come out with me but you weren’t so keen. Now you wouldn’t miss one when you have a free weekend.
You’ve volunteered 21 times so far. How did you get involved with volunteering at parkrun and do you have a favourite role?
I feel the volunteers at every parkrun do an amazing job, and thought it very important to give something back. After all, parkrun doesn’t happen without volunteers.
My favourite spot for marshalling is at the top of Heartbreak Hill at Barry Island parkrun, where you can really give the runners a boost. We always have music playing and give everyone a big cheer.
Iaim to volunteer once for every four parkruns I do. That seems like the right balance to me and I like round numbers so the one in four ratio appeals from that perspective too!
You've been on the tourist trail, running at 30 different parkruns now, visiting places such as Jersey and Severn Bridge, along the way. Other than your ‘locals’ (Barry Island, Cosmeston and Porthcawl in Wales, and Henley-on-Thames, just beyond Julie’s parents’ back garden), which has been your favourite so far and why?
The one that really stands out for me is Forest of Dean. They have a brilliant volunteer team, give excellent and very funny briefings, and it’s a beautiful course.
parkrun is incredibly popular, with many runs regularly attracting hundreds of runners and walkers each week. What do you think makes it so popular?
It’s free, it’s friendly, and it’s accessible to all. And after you’ve done a parkrun on a Saturday morning, you feel you’re set up for the weekend.
What would you say to someone who's considering coming along for the first time but who might feel a bit intimidated to join so many parkrunners?
Don’t be afraid. Everyone at parkrun is very welcoming and friendly. parkrun isn’t a race - it has a completely different vibe.
What's been the highlight of your parkrun life so far?
Running the first leap day parkrun with the same person who got me running my first ever parkrun, and looking forward to running the next leap day parkrun together in 2048 (fingers crossed!). Although I hope we’ll manage to fit in another one or two before then!
What did you make of your first run at Kingsway?
It was extremely wet today, and it has got me over my dread of running through puddles, as I had no choice. By the end of the last lap, I was a convert. All the marshals on the course were really smiley, cheery and encouraging, which made it great fun running here.
And finally, if you weren't at parkrun, what would you be doing on a Saturday morning?
I’m happy to report that, despite the fact that Julie and I now live at opposite sides of the country, we always make time to meet up. And when we do, there’s also always a parkrun involved.
Julie & Georgina: Thanks for having us at Kingsway parkrun!
Kingsway parkrun by numbers
Kingsway parkrun, Gloucester started on 6th June 2015. Since then 7,414 different runners, including participants from 482 athletics clubs, have completed 53,270 parkruns covering a total distance of 266,350 km. There have been 9,905 Personal Bests, and 161 different first finishers. The average number of runners per week is 222, with 7.2 runs per person, on average. 29.43 is the average run time. The total hours run is 3 years, 4 days, 16 hours, 15 minutes and 0 seconds. A total of 774 individuals have volunteered 6,626 times. The biggest attendance was 427 on 13th May 2017.
- The female record is held by Lucy Marland who recorded a time of 18:25 on 15th August 2015 (event number 11).
- The male record is held by Tom Mortimer who recorded a time of 15:26 on 1st April 2017 (event number 94).
- The Age Grade course record is held by Jane Wassell who recorded 90.95% (19:09) on 1st June 2019 (event number 204).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Results page of our website.
Pirates are always at home on the water
See you next time - #DFYB!