Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 50 – 19th October 2019

I decided yesterday that this week I would volunteer having not done it for many months. I looked at the roster and the only slot available was Report Writer and so I put my name down. It was great as it meant I could get a time as well as volunteer and I spent the entire run today wondering what I could write about! Last week at our neighbouring Swindon parkrun in Lydiard Park, Matt Holland did his 200th Run Report so I figured if Matt can write about something where week after week there are so many parallels, then surely I could do it once in a blue moon! So here it is.

Today 113 of us, including visitors from Surrey, Cardiff, Wormwood Scrubs, Salisbury, Newbury and Chippenham (but not Australia!) gathered on Marlborough Common for its 50th milestone parkrun; tomorrow 45,000 people from 100 different countries will gather in the windy city of Chicago to run its 41st Marathon. A different set of runners, running a different distance on a different continent, but all in search of a new Personal Best (and those wonderful endorphins which we all get to enjoy after every run!). I wonder if any of those Chicago runners will do it in under 1:59:40 seconds after history was made this past week!

For our half century parkrun we reverted back to our summer, anti-clockwise course. There was a nip in the air but the sun was shining and conditions were perfect enough for 17 runners to cross the finish line quicker than ever before and come away with PBs. Congratulations to you all. We also welcomed 21 people who chose Marlborough Common for the first time this week, including 6 to do their first ever parkrun. We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to welcoming you back into the parkrun portal. Also celebrating her 50th milestone run today was Amanda Giles, who, next time we see her, may be donning her new red Milestone Tee-Shirt.

We have a new regular in Marlborough, James Mahon, whose 10-year-old son dragged him to his first run a few weeks back. His son has since ditched him for the neighbouring rugby pitch but James remains a regular.

Pete Moody, today’s run director welcomed us all and unveiled the new Marlborough Common Selfie Frame purchased from all your kind donations - thank you very much! Thanks also to the pre-event set up team who were out setting up and checking the course before we all arrived today and to ALL of the volunteers who made our 50th parkrun, run without a glitch. Also a special mention to Rachael Boonham who comes back every week to do her D of E volunteering and finally thanks to Clare Kellar who made all the delicious anniversary chocolate cupcakes which went down a treat!

It was this week last year, on our 3rd event on the Common, that we were joined by the founder himself Paul Sinton-Hewitt. He ran our course in 20 minutes and 21 seconds and since then has gone on to do more than 50 parkruns, including a few in Japan - the latest country to join the parkrun family. Did you know that if you do more than 50 parkruns in a year you qualify for the Gold Level Obsessive Badge! https://running-challenges.co.uk/badges.
If you want to do more than 52 parkruns in a year you can do an extra one on Christmas Day (but not at Marlborough Common) and on New Year’s Day you could do two (if you are feeling up to it!) as times are staged. https://www.parkrun.org.uk/special-events/

…and in 7 days time we can all congregate back on the Common and do it all over again… deal or no deal!

Jane Shave

 

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 49 – 12th October 2019

If anyone made a special trip to Marlborough Common today after last week’s rhino spotting, they were disappointed. Sadly no rhino, or indeed any other form of endangered species, emerged from the car park this morning. It may have been the weather.

Or perhaps they were just being shy. Shy in the face of the 67 of you who did make the trip through the morning murk to enjoy the 49th parkrun on Marlborough Common. The set-up team - after a rather soggy walk round the common placing stakes, tape and little red flags - were very pleased to see you! As ever, it was great to welcome visitors, this week 13 of you, from as far away as Inverness. But not south eastern Africa. At least it wasn’t windy, and the rain eased a bit as the morning went on. Or do I recall over optimistically? Maybe it was RD Clare’s fab biscuits, and - of course - jelly babies that cheered away the drizzle.

Today was the second and last event - this year at least - on our temporary Mop Fair course. We’re so glad that we made the effort to re-route the course this year so we didn’t have to cancel. Thanks for that to Michael and other members of the core team who worked it out. And thanks too to Mop Fair organisers for agreeing to put their vehicles in the bottom corner of the common to give us space.

And of course, a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered today and made the event happen.

It’s our 50th next week. We’re back to the normal (reverse) course. See you on the Common at 9am.

Jeremy Foot

RD Clare and some of the set-up team, rather pleased not to be soaked to the skin.

 

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 48 – 5th October 2019

In the first of two special editions of parkrun to coincide with the annual Marlborough Mop Fair, we also celebrated the 15th anniversary of the very first parkrun.

Though, in actual fact, on the 4th October 2004 there was no “parkrun” as such. On that now historic morning, Paul Sinton-Hewitt hosted the inaugural Bushy Park Time Trial.

Initially, his vision was a free, weekly, timed event aimed at established club runners as an extra race to aid training for marathons, half marathons and 10k events.

13 runners gathered at Bushy Park in Teddington that morning. On the same weekend one year later, the number was up to 96, then 378 the year after that.

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The continued growth of the event led to new events and once the format was rebranded as ‘parkrun’ (always with a lower case p) the series of running events became a movement.

It opened up to people of all walks of life, all shapes and sizes and all abilities. The name change underpinned the change of focus from competition to inclusivity.

What started out as a single event with 13 runners has grown into a staggering 664 events in the UK alone with 2,197,983 having run at least one parkrun. The movement continues to grow at a rapid rate and shows no sign of slowing down (pun totally intended).

So I think we can all agree that on this 15th birthday event for parkrun, we can all send a massive thank you to Paul Sinton-Hewitt for creating something which now means so much to so many of us.

In a world full of ever-expanding technology and new inventions, Paul created something which really has changed the world for the better. People are healthier, happier, making new friends and have a reason to look forward to getting out of bed early on a weekend because of parkrun. It is hard to imagine life without it now!

This weekend will go down in Marlborough Common parkrun history as the first time we used a brand new course. With the wonderful Mop Fair in town, we are sharing the common for a fortnight. For this to happen, the core team devised a brand new, modified route. The new route having a brand new start and finish section, with the bulk of the 5km being made of 3 laps of the upper common (up and down the hill).

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After last weeks wet and windy affair, this morning we were blessed with the perfect running conditions. Despite the changes to the course, the event ran like clockwork as normal. Carpark marshals directed runners and walkers to a the car parking area and everybody converged at the usual spot on the field. Todays run director Jeremy gave the first timers briefing to 23 first timers at the common. 7 people chose Marlborough to run their very first parkrun ever today. A huge congratulations to you all and we hope you enjoyed it and that this is the beginning of a brilliant parkrun journey for you.

After the briefing, everyone walked over to a new starting point. There, Jeremy stood on a slight bank over the crowd for the run briefing. After a description of the modified route and the routine countdown from 3, off everybody went!  Despite the additional climb of the dreaded hill, everybody performed brilliantly. The marshals were on hand to ensure everyone followed the route correctly and everybody got to the finish line.

Todays event featured:

111 Participants
26 Volunteers
23 First timers
14 New PBs
12 Clubs represented
1 Rhino

Yes, a rhinoceros was let loose on the common today and ran the course in 37 mins! This of course was not a real rhino. Chris Stephens donned an absolutely fantastic rhino costume to raise awareness for SaveTheRhino. So a massive well done to Chris for  promoting a great cause, a brilliant effort to run in that suit and making everyone smile this morning.

image3Next weekend we will once again be sharing with the Mop Fair, so if you enjoyed the modified course you are of course more than welcome to come again. We would also love to welcome people to help volunteer with us.

If you are interested in volunteering please sign up to receive our volunteer emails. This is the easiest way for you to stay up to date on where help is needed, and really helps us to fill the roster in plenty of time before so we can be certain we are fully prepared each week. You can do this by opening a recent parkrun newsletter or results email and clicking on 'manage my profile', then 'email options', then select the events you'd like to hear from and click 'save opt-in events list'. You will then receive regular emails from those events letting you know all about their volunteering opportunities. You can also simply send an email to marlboroughcommon@parkrun.com. If you volunteer 25 times you will receive the purple V25 club milestone t-shirt.

This weeks volunteers were:

Alison LEIGHFIELD  •  Angela FRY  •  Cameron FRASER  •  Caroline HARVEY  •  Catherine MURPHY  •  Cathryn RAMSDEN  •  Charlie FRY  •  Clare KELLAR  •  Claudia ARGENT  •  Darren NEWMAN  •  Deborah CLARKE  •  Eddy BAMBER  •  Fiona HADDRELL  •  Fiona RUBY  •  Fiona WYCHERLEY  •  Isabel ABRAHALL  •  Janet WHITING  •  Jeremy FOOT  •  John BLUNDEN  •  Kate PHILP  •  Mary HEATH  •  Michael REYNOLDS  •  Pauline WOODHALL  •  Pete MOODY  •  Rachel WATSON  •  William SANDISON

Have a great weekend everyone, hope to see you all again soon!

Eddy Bamber

 

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 47 – 28th September 2019

mcparkrun first anniversary words

We’ve been celebrating Marlborough Common parkrun’s first birthday this weekend, and so it seemed fitting to hand this week’s run report over to you, our runners, walkers, volunteers, core team members, parkrun ambassadors, and everyone who has made our event what it is.

On 22 September 2018 a nervous group of volunteers faced an expectant crowd, everyone new to our Marlborough event, and many new to parkrun completely. We probably weren’t giving much thought to where we would all be a year later. The core team only wanted an incident-free event and an accurate set of results. The participants were probably wondering how the morning would shape up, and whether they might return for week two.

One year on we can see how far we have come. We’ve been asking you all to describe what Marlborough Common parkrun now means for you. We hope you enjoy the result.

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 46 – 21st September 2019

Another glorious sunny morning, another parkrun to look forward to.

For those of us in the organising team it is a delight, when the weather is fine like today, to be out early on the Common setting out the course, and enjoying the sunshine and the lovely views. We've recently made quite a lot of changes to the way we mark the course - to make it easier and quicker to set up - and today it went really well and everything was ready well before 9 am!

We were very pleased to welcome eight new parkrunners doing their very first parkrun (we do hope you enjoyed the experience and will come back again soon), and 12 others parkrunning at Marlborough Common for the first time. Those visiting us included parkrunners from London, Havant, Farnham, Chippenham, Hungerford, and our nearest parkrun neighbours Swindon.

Many congratulations all 93 of you who completed the course today, and to the 15 who recorded Personal Bests. And many thanks to the 22 volunteers who were directing and encouraging us so enthusiastically out on the course, or timekeeping or handing out tokens or scanning at the finish area.

A significant innovation today was the introduction of scanning using the parkrun "volunteer app" - and I expect about half of you experienced this change. The app uses a mobile phone's camera to scan barcodes and tokens and has many benefits over the traditional scanners - in particular it displays the numbers that have been scanned so there is positive confirmation that the scan has worked; also the app works much better in bright sunlight. Many other parkruns are now doing all their scanning using the app and that is the way we expect to go. Our thanks to core team member Mary Heath who researched and practised this new technique and made it work very successfully today!

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Marlborough Common parkrun started just a year ago, on Saturday 22nd September 2018. Next Saturday 28th September, being also the fourth Saturday in September, becomes our parkrun anniversary, and we are looking forward to celebrating our first very enjoyable year of parkrunning on Marlborough Common. Do come in fancy dress if you would like to, or with parkrun milestone or volunteer T-shirts, or parkrun Apricot - or come just as you are!

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Lastly, please note that we are still waiting for confirmation from the Town Council as to whether we will be able to have parkrun on the two Mop Fair Saturdays (5th and 12th October). We are optimistic that we will be able to operate a modified course, whilst still providing sufficient separate parking space for Mop Fair vehicles. We will announce on Facebook and on our website as soon as there is a decision, hopefully in the coming week.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible next week, 28th September, on our 1st Anniversary!

Michael Reynolds

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 45 – 14th September 2019

After a two week break, Marlborough Common parkrun returned for its first event of September. The reason for the fortnight off being Gifford's Circus had been in town, taking residency on the common.

There were no clowns on the common this weekend however. Instead 23 volunteers arrived extra early to don the high-vis and prepare another flawless parkrun. Carpark marshals directed runners and walkers to a safe place to park as the crowd began to gather. Cathryn Ramsden gave a perfect first timers briefing to 41 first timers at the common. Of these were 11 running their very first parkrun ever, and 30 tourists hailing from Swindon, Bath Skyline, Cumbria, Falmouth, Thurrock, Chippenham. We welcomed quite a few runners from our neighbours Swindon parkrun who were cancelled this morning due to Lydiard Park hosting the Prospect Hospice Run the Rainbow event (https://www.prospect-hospice.net/product/run-the-rainbow/). We had representatives from 18 different running clubs - with Pewsey Vale bringing the most runners with 6. We hope you all enjoyed your parkrun here at Marlborough.

With the first timers briefing complete, it was time for the run directors briefing. At 9am, everybody gathered at the start line where Pete Moody gave the briefing. We had two milestones to celebrate this morning. Colin Sainsbury and Paul Ireson both hit that 50 milestone today. They will both be rewarded with their very own red 50 t-shirt to wear in their future runs. Colin even brought cake to share the celebrations with everyone!

With the briefing complete, there was a quick check with timekeepers before the 3, 2, 1, go countdown and everyone was off!

Weather conditions were perfect this morning, not a cloud in the sky and the sun shining down on the common. Among today’s 128 runners, 26 loved the conditions so much they got themselves new PBs. Huge congratulations to you all.

Only 7 “unknowns” were recorded on the day, which equates to less than 6% of the field. Whilst a very small number, it is a shame that these 7 participants do not get an official time. Hopefully everyone will remember to register and bring their barcode next week. Whether they brought their barcode or not, everyone was cheered on by todays fantastic marshals. All parkruns have their supportive teams but Marlborough definitely has one of the friendliest! Great support from everyone and greatly appreciated from all runners. It was all smiles as everyone was cheered on over the finish line to the reward of that incredible cake. After the tail walkers (and dogs) crossed the line, the volunteer team packed the kit away after another successful run. Even after an extended break, the team effort makes the event run like clockwork.

There will be no long wait until the next event this time, as all of the fantastic volunteers will be back next Saturday morning to host another wonderful edition of Marlborough Common parkrun. Have a great weekend everybody!

This weeks volunteer list:

Alison LEIGHFIELD • Alister MACNAUGHT • Angela FRY • Cathryn RAMSDEN • Charlie FRY • Clare KELLAR • Darren NEWMAN • Deborah CLARKE • Deborah HARDOON • Eddy BAMBER • Fiona CHINNECK • Fiona HADDRELL • Fiona WYCHERLEY • Henry FRY • Jeremy FOOT • Karen TATAM • Mary HEATH • Michael REYNOLDS • Pete MOODY • Rachael BOONHAM • Rachel WATSON • Sue TULLOH • Wendy JACKSON

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Marlborough Common parkrun Results Page.
The Marlborough Common attendance record is 202, set on the 20th April 2019.
The female record is held by Holly RUSH with a time of 19:45 on 25th May 2019 (event number 32).
The male record is held by Simon NOTT with a time of 16:03 on 1st June 2019 (event number 33).
The Age Grade course record is held by Cath WHEELER with a grading of 83.35% (22:19) on 13th April 2019 (event number 26).
Marlborough Common parkrun started on 22nd September 2018. Since then 1,993 participants have completed 6,050 parkruns covering a total distance of 30,250 km, including 1,387 new Personal Bests. A total of 179 individuals have volunteered 1,028 times.

(Note: The Annual Marlborough Mop Fair is in town on October 5th & 12th. We are working behind the scenes to try and find the best way to proceed in regards to holding parkrun on these dates. Please keep and eye out in the news section of our website and on Facebook. As soon as we know whether parkrun will be on will let everybody know)

Eddy Bamber

 

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 44 – 24th August 2019

Our thanks to visitor Stephanie Bennett who tailwalked, sorted tokens and wrote our run report!

A sunny morning in Marlborough

The warm weather encouraged 107 runners, walkers and joggers to attend parkrun at Marlborough Common today. The location is easy to find from the details given on the Marlborough Common parkrun course page, there’s ample parking next to the Common and you even get greeted by friendly car park marshals (hi-vis heroes).

Formerly used to hold sheep fairs, Marlborough Common is now primarily used as a recreational area and also features an 18 hole golf course.

The parkrun route itself is on mostly flat grassy ground, however it can be uneven terrain in places, so trail shoes are recommended for this course. A nice gentle two lap course where you take in stunning views of the surrounding Wiltshire countryside.

A big well done to all those who took part today, including those who achieved PBs, personal goals and milestones; and a big hello to those who were tourists from all over.

We were met by an applauding team of hi-vis heroes at the end which was a lovely boost and I’m sure was really greatly appreciated also by every other parkrunner/walker/jogger.

The marshals are part of many of the wonderful volunteers who give up their time each week to make parkrun happen. A big thank you to all 23 of this week’s volunteers:

• Abbie HOLMES • Alan JOSLIN • Amanda GILES • Ben LAWRENCE • Charlie FRY • Clare KELLAR • Darren NEWMAN • David JACKSON • Elizabeth ANDERSON • Fiona CHINNECK • Fiona WYCHERLEY • Ian WYCHERLEY • Jane WATKINS • Karen TATAM • Karina HOURD • Michael REYNOLDS • Michael STONE • Pete MOODY • Phil GRIFFITHS • Richard KERTON • Stephanie BENNETT • Sue TULLOH • Wendy JACKSON •

Volunteering is a really fun and rewarding way to be part of the parkrun family, so if you haven’t already tried it, please do give it a go! There are so many different roles to choose from and you’ll be shown the ropes by the Core Team, so it really is as simple as that.

This week 107 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 34 were first timers and 14 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Marlborough Common parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Holly RUSH who recorded a time of 19:45 on 25th May 2019 (event number 32).

The male record is held by Simon NOTT who recorded a time of 16:03 on 1st June 2019 (event number 33).

The Age Grade course record is held by Cath WHEELER who recorded 83.35% (22:19) on 13th April 2019 (event number 26).

Marlborough Common parkrun started on 22nd September 2018. Since then 1,993 participants have completed 6,050 parkruns covering a total distance of 30,250 km, including 1,361 new Personal Bests. A total of 179 individuals have volunteered 1,028 times.

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It is worth noting that there will be no parkruns at Marlborough Common for the next two weeks (31st August and 7th September) because of the Circus, however you can join them again on 14th September. On 28th September they will be celebrating their 1st birthday so please do come along and join in the celebrations!

Stephanie Bennett

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 43 – 17th August 2019

It was two very reluctant Beers (Mum, Gilly and Son, Morgan) who ventured out this morning to take part in the weekly Marlborough parkrun. We are definitely not ‘runners’ but enjoy joining in each week, mainly because of the amazingly supportive atmosphere provided by other runners/walkers, along with the enthusiastic and dedicated team of volunteers. What a difference it makes to see those cheerful faces as we are bravely putting one foot in front of the other to get to the finish line! My son in particular has benefited from their huge support with shouts of, ‘Come on Morgan, you can do it!!’ cheering him on from the sidelines. It’s a challenge in itself to get a 15 year old out of his bedroom at 8am on a Saturday morning, to brave the elements and run for 5km, but it’s the support of this amazing team that has helped to get him there each week. Thank you!

The ‘reverse’ run is still in place for the summer, which is popular with me but not Morgan. This week 106 people ran, jogged and walked the course with us, of whom 25 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different clubs took part. Conditions were nearly perfect for us, as it was not too hot, not too windy and soft underfoot but not muddy! However, Morgan was a tad rusty today, having missed a few parkruns, so progress was slow. Our PBs stubbornly remain at 33.58 (Gilly) and 34.18 (Morgan) but we are on a mission to get our times down to 30 mins. This is primarily due to the fact that Mr Beer (Ian) wishes all of us to reach this target by the time he reaches his 50th birthday in September. This gives us 5 weeks in which to get our times down (ouch!). Not helped by the fact that two Marlborough parkruns are cancelled (31st August and 7th September) due to the circus coming to town (well worth a visit by the way https://www.giffordscircus.com).

Maybe time to try some parkrun tourism me thinks…

Today’s event was made possible by 27 amazing volunteers:

Alice SAINSBURY  •  Alison LEIGHFIELD  •  Amanda GILES  •  Andrew WEEKS  •  Angela FRY  •  Arthur RAMSDEN  •  Cameron FRASER  •  Cathryn RAMSDEN  •  Charlie FRY  •  Cheryl MOORE  •  Clare KELLAR  •  Colin SAINSBURY  •  Deborah CLARKE  •  Fiona CHINNECK  •  Fiona HADDRELL  •  Gemma LAWTON  •  Gillian BEER  •  Guy SAINSBURY  •  Jeremy FOOT  •  Kate PHILP  •  Kim SEWARD  •  Mary HEATH  •  Michael REYNOLDS  •  Pete MOODY  •  Rachel WATSON  •  Wendy JACKSON  •  William SANDISON

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Marlborough Common parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Holly RUSH who recorded a time of 19:45 on 25th May 2019 (event number 32).
The male record is held by Simon NOTT who recorded a time of 16:03 on 1st June 2019 (event number 33).
The Age Grade course record is held by Cath WHEELER who recorded 83.35% (22:19) on 13th April 2019 (event number 26).

Marlborough Common parkrun started on 22nd September 2018. Since then 1,959 participants have completed 5,943 parkruns covering a total distance of 29,715 km, including 1,347 new Personal Bests. A total of 173 individuals have volunteered 1,004 times.

Gilly Beer

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 42 – 10th August 2019

On a day when 70 other parkruns were cancelled for various reasons but mostly due to the weather, the Marlborough Common team gamely turned out. Conditions were overcast with the odd sunny moment and there was significantly more air movement than on recent Saturdays. 114 brave participants readied themselves for the event. Young and young at heart, novice and experienced, walker, jogger or runner, first timers (22) and regulars, all came to test themselves against the Common’s rising flat section, running the reverse or should that be CONTRA-direction.

First home was regular Doug Wilkie in a time of 18:24 and first female was Amber Eden in 23:06, also a Marlborough regular. We had one visitor on his 86th run, all of them at different courses, and another from Tring on the way to completing his parkrun name alphabet challenge twice over. Whilst most clearly found the conditions trying, eight people went home with a nice, shiny, new PB to their name. Congratulations to all of them, but I am immensely proud of Alice who knocked 12 seconds off her previous best.

“It was very hard today, with the wind really hurting up the long diagonal hill. I was hoping that the wind might be a help at points, but I never felt it pushing me along.”

Guy found it much harder than normal – “I felt like the wind was really fighting me and I struggled particularly on the uphill section and along the bottom over the humps and back to the swings.”

My children love to see the dogs at parkrun and often show their appreciation for the fluffiest. They have asked me whether dogs get their own times – would that make it Don’t Forget Your Bark-code?

On the way to parkrun, we often listen to the Free Weekly Timed podcast. In this week’s episode, the hosts were talking about the milestone t-shirts and what comes after 500. The runner with the most runs is closing in on 750 and the team were discussing whether the milestone should be 750 or 1,000. The current progression is 10 (juniors only), 50, 100, 250, 500. Whilst I cannot imagine the level of dedication that 500 takes, the free t-shirts are great way to recognise and encourage people’s sustained participation. The most desirable is clearly the purple 25 volunteering shirt though.

A massive thank you to all the volunteers who give up their time to put the event on for us. The fact that you are willing to get out of bed and stand on the Common on a day when many others would simply pull the duvet over their heads, is a wonderful display of your public spirit.

Colin Sainsbury – with help from Alice and Guy.

 

Thank you to the Sainsburys for this week's run report! And please do note that Marlborough Common parkrun is CANCELLED on 31 August and 7 September to make way for the circus. A chance to try some parkrun tourism perhaps, before coming back for our last two anticlockwise summer runs.

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 41 – 3 August 2019

Event 41 for us at Marlborough Common, and we were delighted to welcome Roderick Hoffman, parkrunning tourist from west London, and self-confessed stats geek. Roderick was last in touch with us back in September when he offered us some intriguing statistical predictions. Almost a year on, as we approach our first birthday, we can see how spookily accurate he was.

Roderick suggested that, once established, we could expect 130-140 regular runners per week. And in the event, numbers have settled at an average of 140.8. So aside from the pesky 0.8 of a runner he was spot on. We did peak at a heady 202 back in April, but on the whole we are happy with our more manageable average – enough to give us a proper sense of occasion every week, but not so many that the poor car park marshals are overwhelmed. Roderick also pointed out that we had an impressively large number of ‘new locals’ back on our very first run – 75 in total who, he suggested, would be our future core runners and volunteers. This has also proved to be true, and we are very grateful for it. So we owe a thank you to Roderick for his interest, and are glad we could help him with his Wilson Index today. For those not in the know (and I had to look this up), it’s the challenge of running a series of parkruns with consecutive event numbers, starting from 1. We are pleased to be able to supply him with an event number 41, and wish him luck with his ongoing quest.

parkrun does seem to lend itself naturally to number crunching and so, for the geek in all of us, some more stats: since that day back in September we have welcomed 1,912 runners, who have completed 5,723 parkruns, covering a total distance of 28,615km. We have been grateful for the efforts of 170 volunteers who have between them taken on an amazing 951 different roles to make sure our events happen. And we were happy to welcome 93 parkrunners today (including tourists from Australia, London, Poole, Stratford and south Wales), including 24 first timers, and 12 going home with the satisfying glow of a PB.

As we all know, however, numbers tell only a part of the story. In fact (to possibly misquote founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt) the run is arguably the least important aspect of parkrun. Statistics alone don’t tell us of the friendships formed, healthy habits instilled, and the rather less healthy coffees and chips in the Golf Club afterwards. In these small and not so small ways lifestyles have been changed by our weekly date on a Saturday morning. Going into our second year we can all look forward to more of the same – and in the meantime, for Wilson Index fans, event number 42 next week.

Clare Kellar

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