Virtual parkrun Week 9 – 16.05.2020

What a great day for running. Nice and dry without being overbearingly hot. The whole purpose behind these Virtual events is to keep the conversation going, and you guys have given us so much to talk about today.

Firstly, a huge thank you to this morning's Run Director, Darren Barratt. Darren is our event ambassador (a role he took on from around October/November last year). He has been a huge supporter of the Virtual series so it was so heart-warming to hear his run brief start with the words:

"Welcome to the Rutland... err... Melton Mowbray Virtual parkrun" (Cheers boss!)

We had 13 first timers and 55 PBs so big welcomes and congratulations to all concerned there. Most of the PBs were huge too! I don't think there were many at all that were just by a few seconds (I missed out on my buggy PB by 1 whole second!!!).

Two runners and their stories that have already been mentioned in separate Facebook posts are Max Leah who ran a PB on board the flight deck of the QE2 as it sailed, and Joe Allen who, instead of running 5k, ran a full marathon to raise money for the NHS. If anyone would like to sponsor Joe, his JustGiving page has been shared in our Facebook posts, and it will be repeated again at the end of this run report (just under the Results Link).

Mike Freeman completed his first 5k since having a hip replacement. Welcome back Mike and well done on your recovery.

Last week's PB hero Alex Bridgeman had to concede defeat as his time was beaten by Dad, Grant (who was probably still feeling spurred on by his pre-run feline encounter)

Ben Pickard had to have "a little sit down in the kitchen" after his run, while wife Laura ran back at the country park again for the first time since lockdown.

We had three Groundhog Day Virtual badge winners. On the Running Challenges extension for Chrome, parkrunners can get badges for completing certain goals/challenges - some are more easily controlled than others. One of them is the Groundhog Day badge where people need to run the exact same time at the exact same course on consecutive events. This week's unofficial admissions to the Virtual version of this club are Cathy Jones, Gwyn Jones, and Mark Tyler! Feel free to draw a circle with a digital alarm clock in it and stick it in your front windows just next to those rainbows.

We had quite a few of our PBs recorded by people who are able to make comparisons over set times. Chris Genes (who has said that these Virtual parkruns give him a reason to push the pace instead of being a one-pace runner) ran his fastes 5k in a year, while Darren Glover reportedly ran his fastest 5k in 2 years, and Simon Weston identified his as "a little bit better than last week"

Last week's lost boy Daniel Moult ran his Vp this morning in consolation for not being at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Eliza Chanin is seeing the eventual return of parkrun as being potentially more challenging, as her usual Guardians of the Galaxy playlist hit the flattest part of her run whereas it would normally be where she starts the ascent on the hill for the second time.

Ian Wells reportedly ran the same course for the last 3 events, but today's Garmin file reported it as shorter - weirdly, running a shorter course also gave him a PB. Not suspicious at all...

John Kerr has promised us all Virtual cake for his actual birthday (at a real parkrun, I would be enforcing a sing-song... Anyone know if John is on Zoom???)

Mark Weston managed to dodge golf balls being fired at him as the world gets busier again.

Flynn the dog was held back today. He wanted to run off on his own but is only 10 so under parkrun rules isn't able to. Instead he had to walk because his human has picked up an injury. Hope you recover soon, Trevor!

Paul Kerr has set a new male event record with a superb time of 18:17!!!

Zoe Flintoft posted her result with the question, "Have I succeeded as a novice tail walker?" The answer to that, is yes Zoe. Thank you for getting us all round safely today!

Finally, I am sure you will join me in sending the very best wishes to Anne Craddock. Anne has been a regular at these Virtual events as well as being an experienced Run Director at the real life event. Having realised that her result was missing on my spreadsheet, I did check quickly on Strava just to see if it was my error. Anne went out for her run today and fell ending up in Grantham A&E. She is OK but has a nasty ankle sprain. Get well soon Anne.


Joe Allen's Just giving page is available here