179 runners, including 6 parkrun novices and 10 tourists, lined up with the usual complement of dogs of assorted sizes, on a murky start line, to be sent off on the course by Run Director Richard Corby. We watched them disappear and waited for their re-appearance. We didn't have to wait long as the front runner, a Lloyd Park regular, Matthew Stone of Selsdon Baptist Church runners came home in 19:13 with the very high age grade of 80.66%.
There was a scramble for the next three places. Krzysztof Klidzia was overtaken in the last couple of yards, which should have pushed him into third place, but the gentleman who overtook him had come without his barcode so could not be included in the results and Krzysztof became the official second-placed finisher in 19:46. The third finisher Steve Corfield was only a second behind. Both Krzysztof and Steve achieved age grades in the high seventies.
For the ladies, Gulcin Erten of Croydon Harriers led the field in 23:45, her second first place in her nineteen runs. She achieved a personal best time for the ninth time in those runs - a magnificent achievement. Selena Wong of Striders of Croydon finished second in 24:36 with Jodie Gray third in 24:43.
Although the weather was unkind, quite cold and drizzling, the terrain was not as awful as we had anticipated. It was a bit muddy and slippery and the tree roots were lurking to trip the runners up, but on the whole the course was reasonably firm. As a result there were a lot of personal best times. Congratulations to Gulcin Erten, Theo Flanagan, Erik Schrijnemaekers, Henry Mitchell, Gary Harrison, Jonathan Fenugaras, Carl Linkson, David Dixon, Becky Thomas, Joseph Cosgrave, Caroline McLellan, Christian Vietz, Bob Dear, Jeremy Monksfield, Tugce Erten, Jane Sparks, Ian White, Martha Gallagher, Emma Robinson, Kannan Sundararajun, Sophie Cook, Polly Albany- Ward, Joanne Barton, Megan Bradnam, Marie Holman and Morgan Bulled. And congratulations, too, to the first three finishers and Theo Flanagan, John Punt, Chris Morton and Geoff Pennells, who all recorded age grades of over 70%.
It was a milestone day for Christine Hewett who ran her hundredth parkrun today. She has run 94 of them with us at Lloyd Park and brought treats to share with everyone. In fact we were quite spoiled for treats as Krzysztof also brought cakes to celebrate his birthday.
As always parkrun was brought to you by a wonderful team of volunteers. Early morning saw the set-up team of Nadine Pryce, Nick Fiander, Robert Ewen and Graham Hansen out on the course with the arrows to guide you round. Our marshals were Sheena Hammond, Alison McArthur, Robert Kidd and Nikki Javan. Nikki was accompanied by her little daughter, Libby, resplendent in a yellow high-viz jacket about ten times too big, who cheered and clapped all the runners. We let her run through the finish line at the end! Angelina Damonsing excelled on the stopwatch, which was just as well as mine went wrong with four runners still to finish, and Yvonne Harrison handed out the numbers. Barcode scanning was done by Lorraine Saunders, helped by Martin Drake and Erik Schrijnemaekers after they had completed their runs. Danyal Nawaz took the photographs, not an easy task with the drizzle, and Robert Ewen acted as pacer for 30 minutes. Michael Procter and Louise Lauder were the tail walkers seeing everyone safely home.