Run Report - Kate Sayers
Photos - Douglas Gordon
Maidenhead parkrun’s run number 196 was a bumper Christmas edition with 414 festive runners and walkers, breaking the previous record of 409 set at event 113 on 20th May 2017. Maidenhead was one of 28 UK parkruns to set a new attendance record this Christmas Day. Others included Bushy Park - where parkrun started - which became the first UK parkrun to exceed 2000 runners with a whopping 2011 festive runners.
Maidenhead’s reputation for putting on a great Christmas event has obviously spread near and far, with Run Director David Dyer - complete with festive Santa beard - welcoming local tourists from Marlow, Wycombe, Black Park and Upton Court as well as visitors from Abingdon, Coventry, Frankfurt and Canada. Maidenhead welcomed 63 first timers to the course, including 18 recording their first ever parkrun.
Christmas outfits were the order of the day with Volunteers, Runners and Dogs displaying a wide variety of Santa hats, antlers, Christmas jumpers, costumes and bells, many captured in an excellent selection of photos by Douglas Gordon.
There was some consternation at the start of the run when word went around that there had been no sightings of Malcolm. A lookalike was hastily sent to his corner - although not all runners were fooled by the unexpected lack of beard and addition of plaits with bells on - but many wished ‘Malcolm’ Merry Christmas anyway. Luckily ‘The Mystery Of The Missing Malcolm’ was later solved (a flat battery) and sightings of the real Malcolm were made at the finish line by the later finishers.
Further round the course runners were put in Joll(e)y spirits by Lynne with her music and bells and encouraged up the hill by Marika with her Christmas tree dance.
First finisher was Jessica Gibbons in a time of 17:53, on her second run -and second win- at Maidenhead. This was only the 6th time that Maidenhead has had a female first finisher. First male runner, and second place, was Adam Gambrill in 18:18, with a new PB.
Seasonal attendees included 2 MARYs (one runner and one volunteer), one CAROL, two SHEPHARDs and a ROBIN. I had hoped for 3 members of a KING family but we did have some gifts in the form of GOLDfinch and FRANKI(NCENS)E, although unsurprisingly no Myrrh.
An impressive list of Milestone runners included Edwin Isted, Ethan Dickinson and Marcus Shakespeare (all Junior 10s), Nathan Brammer, Stewart Cruickshank, Graham Shakespeare, Matt Cecil, Trevor West, John Houston and Gill Godbold (all 50s) and Shaun Chillingworth and Lawrence Ratcliffe (both 100s). Huge congratulations to them all.
As it was 25th December, an extra shout out too, to those completing 25 Parkruns -
Sarah Dennis, Alison Swindles and Cian Shaffrey.
50 runners recorded PBs in surely the best day of the year for (PB) bell ringing.
Pacers of the week were Shaun Chillingworth (20:00, a Maidenhead PB on his 100th parkrun), Susie Davies and Bleddyn Williams (26:00), Euan Macleod and Peter Vaughan (27:00), Stephan Watson (28:00), Kevin Dolan and Steve Overbury (29:00, both PBs) and Cheryl Matthews (39:00). My favourite time of the day was Mary Holloway’s 33:33, with Katie Lowe’s 24.12 (= Christmas Eve) taking runner-up spot; I had been hoping someone would run it in 25.12!
Finally, Maidenhead parkrun now has a record for the VW75-79 age category, of 47:32, set by Ann Eardley Wilmot, who was the first ever runner at Maidenhead in that age category.
Particular thanks to the volunteers for spending part of their Christmas Day supporting the runners and getting into the Christmas spirit : Anitha Sringeri, Bleddyn Williams, David Dyer, Donna Fitzgerald, Douglas Gordon, Gillian Scolari, Jim House, Kate Sayers, Lesley Graves, Liz Hornby, Lynne Jolley, Malcolm Moody, Marika Karavan, Martin Dyer, Mary Palmer, Maggie Cumini, Niamh Fitzgerald, Philip Dyer, Sinclair Scotchmere and Sinead Fitzgerald. Many thanks too to coordinator Sarah Davies. And finally a big thank you to all the runners adding to the great atmosphere which made volunteering a pleasure.
This week 414 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 63 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 38 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:
David DYER • Gillian SCOLARI • Douglas GORDON • Jim HOUSE • Sarah DAVIES • Anitha SRINGERI • Malcolm MOODY • Donna FITZGERALD • Sinead FITZGERALD • Niamh FITZGERALD • Martin DYER • Rosalind DYER • Philip DYER • Bleddyn WILLIAMS • Lynne JOLLEY • Lesley GRAVES • Sinclair SCOTCHMERE • Meggie CUMINI • Marika KARAVAN • Liz HORNBY • Kate SAYERS • Mary PALMER
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Maidenhead parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Zac RANDALL who recorded a time of 15:59 on 20th August 2016 (event number 72).
The female record is held by Jessica GIBBON who recorded a time of 17:19 on 1st September 2018 (event number 179).
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 7,137 participants have completed 48,400 parkruns covering a total distance of 242,000 km, including 8,660 new Personal Bests. A total of 530 individuals have volunteered 4,109 times.