The new cycle track through Lloyd Park has forced us to make a small adjustment to our 5K course. We decided to leave the finish funnel in its usual place and move the runners along a little way to a new starting line. Today's Run Director, Richard Corby, calculated the distance and Rob Lines reminded him to double it to account for two laps. As soon as the runners set off we removed our new starting line so the park looked the same as usual.
261 runners completed the course, including 16 first- timers and 10 tourists. Today's first finisher was a first timer who has run only 7 parkruns but at 7 different venues. He was Tom Simmons and finished in 18.34 minutes. The second finisher, William Cole of Runhead AC was a tourist from Peckham who came in 11 seconds later, while third place went to a Lloyd parkrun regular, Rob Lines of Selsdon Baptist Church Runners in 18.53. The ladies' front runner, Jenny Rowe of Striders of Croydon, finished in 22.54 and two young runners of Croydon Harriers, Gulcin Erten in 23.32 and Antara Singh in 24.17 took the second and third places.
Everyone seemed to feel the cold today and several runners told me they had found the course "stickier" than last week but, thankfully, no one could describe it as muddy.
Sticky or not, however, there was a good crop of personal best times. Congratulations to William Cole, Sean Marshall, Tom Butler, Juanito Andino, Jim Meadows, Ken Parr, Tim Allen, Nicolas Stevens, Peter Stenning, Jason Kinkead, Sanjay Agarwal, Gareth Endean, Ryan O' Reilly, Emily Stenning, Katie Hollobone, Ravi Patel, Martin Stevens, Chloe Mayall, Irene Francis, Robyn Matthews, Adrienne Dawson and Colette Folan.
In addition, threerunners recorded age grades over 75 %. Well done Rob Lines, David Ogden and Matthew Stone.
We celebrated a number of personal milestones today. Eden-Marie Derosa joined the junior 10 club and James Rolfe clocked up his 50th parkrun, while Justin Lansdowne ran his 100th. Two of today's runners reached the 200 mark: Jon Dean who has run 121 of his 200 at Lloyd Park and Nadine Pryce . Records show that Nadine has run 167 of her runs at Lloyd Park but, of course, she has been round the course many more times than that as she helps with set up almost every week. Today her son Hayden helped with set-up and Nadine then drove him to an appointment, came back and started the run well after all the other runners. What a star!
We had a magnificent turn-out of volunteers today. Runners may have noticed how young many of them were. This is because we have the help of a number of young people who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. They all seem to have learnt the ropes really quickly, and it is great to have them with us. Today's volunteer team was made up of the set- up team of Nadine and Hayden, Erik Schrijnemaekers, Paul Elliott and Agnimitra Ghosh, bar-code scanners Eleanor Hunt, Ashleigh Stevens, Lucy Cheetham and Kyra Powell and marshals Roberta Gilkinson, Matthew McGuinness, Karen Macenhill, Robert Kidd and Edwyn and Stephen Rhys-Davies. Ben Hansen took the photographs, Stephen Tyler and Alice Hunt wielded the stopwatches and Noah Tolfrey gave out the numbers. Richard Corby was Run Director and number checker and all the runners were shepherded home by our two tail walkers, Trevor Stotten and James Carter. And you will have clean cups for your drinks of water next week as Graham Hansen kindly took them home to wash.