Run Report by Sarah Simms
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago the grassy and sometimes muddy sports pitch area of Braywick Park was flat and Maidenhead parkrun started and finished in the same place, with the start and finish being run along a nice firm path. (OK, so maybe it wasn’t that long ago, but it feels like forever.) Then, one day, a huge pile of earth appeared around about where parkrun used to start/finish and Table Mountain was born. A new plan was needed and the start line and first few hundred metres of the course were moved to the left. That move included rerouting along a much narrower path, which became very muddy in the winter months. The popularity of Maidenhead parkrun increased and congestion started to become a real problem. So, the Maidenhead Run Directors ate a lot of pizza and came up with a plan: after passing Table Mountain for runners to have the choice of either taking the usual course staying on the left or veering towards the right of the hedge and going out via the same path that is used to come back to the finish. By splitting the field, it was hoped that congestion would ease.
It was a tentative start with the front runners eyeing each other up, wondering which way would be quicker and when to commit. Video evidence shows the first through the split were from the original path on the left, but many of those who chose right were happy with their choice. The general consensus was that it was probably a bit longer, but as it was firmer underfoot that made it easier to run. Those who chose left felt it was less congested than usual; not bad considering there were 450 runners out today!
Now if Table Mountain feels like it has been a feature of Maidenhead parkrun forever, that pales into insignificance when compared with Malcolm’s Corner. Malcolm Moody has marshalled that particular corner on a staggering 250 occasions (out of the 258 parkrun events at Maidenhead) – a huge congratulations and thank you on behalf of everyone who has ever run at Maidenhead parkrun.
To mark the occasion, Malcolm was presented with a very special ‘Malcolm’s Corner’ cake and a slightly soggy card, thanks to the sudden downpours which appeared as a lot of runners were finishing.
Maidenhead parkrun just wouldn’t happen without our volunteers, and it doesn’t matter if it’s you’re first time or your 250th, you’re still massively important in making it happen. If you’ve never volunteered before, give it a try, you might just like it enough to come back and do it again!
There was cake-a-plenty today, with a number of other runners celebrating milestones. Congratulations to Beatrice Melbourne (junior 10), Sinead Fitzgerald, a junior who also hit a huge PB today (50), Paul Rice (50), Run Director and buggy runner Rosalyn Cooke (100), Paul Sharp (100) and Martin Cowie (100).
First across the line today was Tom Easten, who is starting to become a regular in the top spot, finishing in 18:14. First female finisher was Shona McCallin in a new PB of 21:23. Shona was one of 61 runners who recorded a PB today – congratulations to all of you.
There were 22 runners who came down to Braywick Park for their first ever parkrun. In addition, 38 tourists travelled from far and wide (and not so far) to Maidenhead for the first time. Welcome to all our new parkrunners and visitors, we hope you enjoyed it and come back soon.
This week 450 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 60 were first timers and 61 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 36 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:
Pete WALKER • Andy BROADBENT • David DYER • Adam TURNBULL • Yvette BUCKINGHAM • Oliver KEENE • Ben JONES • Jet WALKER • Maddie MCTAGGART • Nick SILLE • Hilary GAUNA • John DAVIDSON • Malcolm MOODY • Simon GRAVES • Lynne JOLLEY • Joanne WHITFIELD • Lesley GRAVES • Jen MORTIMER • Nick BAGGOTT • Trevor HARVEY • Peter TURNBULL • Sarah SIMMS • Max OLDING • Amy LOVELL • Jane PETROU • Peter PETROU • Maddie HINCH
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Maidenhead parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Jessica GIBBON who recorded a time of 17:19 on 1st September 2018 (event number 179).
The male record is held by Robert CORNEY who recorded a time of 15:57 on 27th April 2019 (event number 214).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sheila CAREY who recorded 92.09% (23:24) on 21st March 2015 (event number 1).
Maidenhead parkrun started on 21st March 2015. Since then 9,810 participants have completed 70,631 parkruns covering a total distance of 353,155 km, including 11,561 new Personal Bests. A total of 731 individuals have volunteered 5,803 times.