Virtual parkrun 02.05.2020 – Event #7

Another amazing day of Virtual parkrunning with quite a bit to write about today. We had a record attendance of 206 runners.

I posted last week about the ever-increasing number of PBs with 75 last week, well today we had 88. We knew that was happening by following the trend set over previous weeks. So this week's report will mention a few of them, but PBs are not the focus this time.

The couple of PBs that I would like to shout about are Caroline Wrath who has just ran her fastest ever 5k, having just finished the C25k program in March, James Michael who also ran his fastest ever 5k today, and 9 year old Dan Bridgeman who took over 2 minutes from his PB to run a 25:36.

This week it is mainly about tourists. The wonderful world of parkrun tourism has given us the most to discuss this week. Let us start with saying a huge "Thank You" to this morning's Run Director, and PB-chasing neighbour-stalker, Andrea Crellin.

I first met Andrea when she delivered a genuinely brilliant First Timers Brief down in Kettering on New Year's Day. After our first Virtual Event at the end of March, Andrea got in touch with us with the hope of maybe copying the format at Kettering. Having realised who it was I was talking to, I wasted very little time in asking her to guest RD for us - especially after finding out that the second week of lockdown was supposed to be her first actual RD event at Kettering. She was gutted at losing this opportunity, so she snapped up the invitation.

Upon assigning Facebook Permissions to her on Friday evening, I came to realise that McFly actually wrote their hit Comic Relief single about her! Something which she more or less confirmed in her megalomaniac run brief this morning ("Doris Johnson" was my favourite comment - thank you David Harknett!).

In all seriousness, Andrea had a fantastic reception from Melton parkrunners and is a very welcome addition to the Virtual event team. She also managed to do a very rare RD/PB combination! I can strongly recommend visiting Kettering parkrun when we are all back up and running - it's a lovely event that is only around an hour away from us!

Andrea brought with her some of her Kettering buddies to the event this week, and Natasha Martin ran an excellent 18:49 to take the female record title (only 25 seconds away from the actual Melton parkrun record which has stood for 5 years!)

Peter Shirtcliffe has been with us for 6 of the 7 Virtual events so far. He used to be a Melton parkrunner, but now lives in South Africa where they have had total lockdown for the duration of our Virtual event. Each one of Peter's submissions to us has involved 70+ laps of his own house/garden. Well, this week they had their lockdown conditions downgraded to a level 4 (South African categorisation) which allows them to leave their properties between 6am and 9am. This enabled him to go for an actual 5k run and take a whopping 4m33s from his Personal Best time with us.

Max Leah was one of our esteemed chocalate egg winners on Easter Saturday, and he told us last week that he would not be able to run any more with us as he was being deployed. Well, today he still managed to join us as a true tourist. He also ran a PB, but his Global Positioning had him down as running 5.97km - this may be due to the fact that his 5k was 8 laps of Queen Elizabeth's flight deck as it sailed!!!!

As a real-life event, and a Virtual Event, we get by on the fantastic good-will of our volunteers. One of the most important roles in any parkrun is that of tail-walker. The role of the tail-walker is essentially to finish behind the last parkrunner, and make sure everyone gets back safely. Og Ster put his name forward as this week's tail walker, but carelessly finished with 3 people behind him, while Martin Taylor-Beeby finished 12 places in front of Og and also tried to claim the tail walker's spot. Again, the plaudits for making sure we all got back ok go to Charlotte Coltman.

Next week we will have another mystery guest RD who is sure to get you Hooked.