A day of mixed feelings today. Always great to be getting people out and about, and to see all of your runs, and the amazing conversations that take place among you all as you comment on each others posts, and celebrate each others achievements. However, it is tarnished somewhat by the news that with the current trajection of the wider context, implies that our October restart date is becoming increasingly unlikely. I will commit to keeping this Virtual model going for as long as it is needed.
Another marker on today's run is that this weekend was supposed to be Equinox 24. For those who are unfamiliar with the event, Equinox 24 is an event that is held at Belvoir Castle on the third weekend of September every year since 2013. The premise is that it starts on midday on Saturday and ends at midday on Sunday. Between these times, it is down to teams, pairs or solo runners to complete as many 10k laps as they possibly can.
The link to our event? As one of the closest parkrun events to Belvoir Castle (it's either us or Belton House), every year, we get a plethora of Equinoxers treating us as a warm up event before hot-footing it over to the castle grounds to set up their tents and prepare for the main event. It brings a whole new level of buzz and celebration to the event. For future years if you get chance to have a go at Equinox 24, I cannot recommend it enough. It is all the buzz of a music festival, but with running!
Anyway... actual today... Our RD today was Gordon Pearson!!! Who guessed rightly this week? As he explained in the briefing, Gordon is a Regional Ambassador for Lincolnshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire (as our Event Ambassador Darren is based in Rutland, that means that we will also come under his jurisdiction). Imagine that - an actual link between Melton Mowbray and Bestwood Village!
Gordon has run at Melton once out of his 296 runs at 146 different events. His average longitude/latitude is over Ferry Meadows parkrun (I am personally still gutted that Peterborough changed its name to this - it was the only P in my Alphabet attempt! I already had an F!). He has run across 3 different parkrunning countries (so he has been able to pick up that elusive Z to complete his Alphabet), and has volunteered an impressive 325 times (not including today's Virtual role). All in all, Gordon is a great ambassador for parkrun.
"Gordon is a moron. Gordon is a moron. Gordon is a moron. Gordon is a moron. Gordon is a moron."
The above is an excerpt from the lyrics to the "Jilted John" song from September 1978, and nothing whatsoever to do with this morning's RD (other than it was him that brought the song to my attention after I asked if he was ok with being identified through the Gopher image).
Today 129 of you completed the minimum of 5k (128 were able to prove it - Midwife Mel submitted a 1k Strava image and her 5k time is calculated on trust - midwives are trustworthy, yes?). We had 7 PBs (looking forward to this bit), and this is the first week where we had no First Timers whatsoever.
As a slight contradiction to the above, we have one first timer that goes by the name Ludo. barkrunning with owner Emma Downing, this is the first time I have seen Ludo named in the results (he ay have run previosuly, but this is his first run report mention, and as a result, he will feature later in the run report too!). Other barkrunners this week include regulars Bertie and Ella (The Saluki) who took to a hillier course than usual and were not fans... Bertie's person, Caroline, specifically said something about a preference for running down hills but I forget her actual words... Flynn was also out with owner Trevor, stopped 4 times and had a comedy tangle with another dog on a long lead (so not in keeping with parkrun rules).
In terms of PBs, huge congratulations to last week's RD, Matt White, Flynn's aunty Laura Wade, Paul Merrison, Kathryn Stevenson, Laura Kowalik (who ran a PB despite not recommending Prosecco and Malibu the night before - if they are PB fuel then maybe we should be recommending them... But maybe not in light of social responsibility... I don't know where we stand on this one), and Ambassador Darren Barratt (must be trying to impress his boss today). The other PB belongs to yours truly. I am running a Virtual version of Equinox 24 this weekend, and actually ran my fastest ever buggy 5k as part of my third lap! First time under 25:00 with a pushchair! #smug
Commiserations to Rachel Wade who pushed hard and thought she had got a new PB only to find that she was actually 2 seconds off...
The battle for first place was back on this week with both TH's returning to action after a week off. However, they were pipped to the post by Debbie Longley who claimed the spot of first finisher purely on the basis that hers was the first result posted on the results post. However, she said she was the first finisher of Parkrun, and thus is disqualified on the basis on spelling - you'd expect better from someone who works in education (it's a small p).* Tom Hansen THinished THirst in a time of 18:01, with Joanna Davis being first female finisher in 23:04.
Tom Wilkinson attempted our reverse course (which will soon be the normal course while we are operating under the Covid framework) and has decided that it is much harder than running up 40 Oaks (parkrun hill) twice. Tara Upton agrees that the reversal is not as easy, while Benn Sandilands states quite rightly that he both loves and hates our nurkrap course! Mr and Mrs Nina also ran the reverse course and passed no comment whatsoever.
A few personal milestones to note: Lee Harley Hotchkiss ran his 23rd Virtual parkrun today to bring him in line with the number of actual parkruns he has done - to mark the occasion he ran a sub-23! Teresa Fowkes and Andrea Crellin both ran their second sub-30 times. Today would have been Sue Power's 100th parkrun so she properly celebrated with cake. Carl Taylor Beeby ran for a latte in town, and Zoe Flintoft found the brightness controls on her camera!
David Hall submitted his application for the position of tail walker this week as he actually tail walked a group of socially distanced walkers around the Gower Peninsula over 13.5 miles in well over 6hrs, and to David I would like to respond appropriately:
FAO: D Hall,
I would like to thank you for your application for the position of tail walker. On this occasion, however, you have been unsuccessful in your application. We would like to wish you well in the future and we are sure you will find a tail walker position that meets your needs.
Laura Seth also staked her claim on the coveted position but upon submission stated that she had already been beaten by Jenny Kent who held on to the very end to finish as our tail walker this week.
Right, I'm off to set my alarm for 5.30am to see if I can get my 5th 10k lap to be the desirable sunrise lap! Night all!!!
In a selfish act, and total abuse of power, I am going to create some temporary advertising space within the run report.
I bought Emma a pair of new runners (Size 6) that were personalised with the white parkrun logo. Turns out she best fits a size 7...
Anyone want a pair of brand new ASICS Womens Gel-Contend 6 - Black/Rose Gold (Size 6) with the white parkrun logo on the back (this personalisation is the reason we can't return them).
Since we started in our Virtual inception, 429 different athletes have taken part in our run and by some distance, our most consistently appearing name is Zoe (this obviously does not include names that are unique in our event - for example, I am the only Shane and have completed all of the possible runs. This stat is based on the Christian names that appear more than once). Of the 81 possible runs that our three Zoe's could have completed, they have completed 77 of them.
Over these 27 weeks, we have covered a combined distance of 20595km. Inserting a couple of selected dashes into this number to make the date 2-05-95, we can have a look back to a time when at least one of our Zoe's hadn't even been born! Sir John Major was Prime Minister; Oasis, Take That and Boyzone were the top 3 in the UK pop charts, while the American's were listening to Montell Jordan telling us exactly how he does it. The number one film in the UK Box Office was Outbreak - a film about a medical disaster where a deadly virus takes over and spreads like wildire (while being amazingly underplayed by a character named Donald?!?!?!).
This is the first week we have had no human first timers (the lowest run count today is 2), and on the 2 May 1995, the second episode of Father Ted was aired. Arguably the greatest sitcom ever made (sorry Bertie and Ella TS), this episode features a scene where Ted and Dougal play a game of Crazy Golf. Across the series, other games they play include Cluedo (with no cards in the black envelope), Frustration, unfortuantely they never got to play Scrabble or Travel Scrabble, and... Ludo!
It was also the feast day of St Zoe!
(notably, if we move the dash to change the date to 20-5-95, it would have been the feast day of St Lucifer... No comment)