Today we had a lovely sunny and dry morning with clear skies. The Autumn colours on the trees made the course look very picturesque. Today’s highlight was our Event Director, Hannah Bye’s 250th parkrun, which was also her birthday. It has taken Hannah seven and a half years to reach this milestone. Her first parkrun was at Wimbledon Common in May 2012 and 33 of her runs have been at Mole Valley parkrun. Before this morning’s parkrun Hannah was presented with a purple 250 parkrun sash to wear on her run today. After the run she shared a large cake celebrating her achievement with friends and family in Denbies cafe. Happy Birthday and well done, Hannah! There were no other milestone runs today.
We had a few tourists today including one lady from New York where there are no parkruns at present although that may change in the future as there are over 40 parkruns in the USA now. If you are heading over to the “Big Apple” on holiday the nearest one is Delaware & Raritan parkrun near New Brunswick in New Jersey.
Our first runner home today was Steve Winder (Epsom & Ewell Harriers) in an impressive time of 18:12, followed by Blair Laird (Moray Road Runners) in 18:22 and Stuart Prentice (Dorking & Mole Valley Athletic Club) in 20:44.
Leading the ladies today was Anna Bloomfield (Epsom & Ewell Harriers) in 21:45, Lily Brown (Epsom & Ewell Harriers) in 23:43 & Caitlyn Harvey (Kingston Athletic Club & Polytechnic Harriers) in 23:47. It was Caitlyn’s first attempt at our tough course. Interestingly, all three ladies ran in the 11-14 Age Category!
At the other end of the spectrum our fastest time by a Septuagenarian today was an impressive 28:03 by Gary Anthony Lloyd of Old Wellingtonians Cross Country Club.
Well done to all of the above.
We had 247 parkrunners today. The highest Age Grading posted this morning was 79.76% achieved by first finisher, Steve Winder. An age grading of over 70% of the speed of a top runner shows an exceptional level of fitness especially on our hilly course.
The most experienced parkrunner taking part this morning was Suzan Baker who has done 535 parkruns and earnt her blue 500 parkrun t-shirt. Only 90 people out of 6 million registered runners worldwide have reached that impressive milestone.
There were 25 registered parkrunners and a few unregistered runners who were brand new to parkrun today. A warm welcome to Stuart Peel, Jasmine Peel, Justin Clarke, Sam Randall, John Empson, Clive Hook, Jessica Rogers, Grantley Rogers, Josh Randall, Hannah Rogers, Kim Garrod, Sarah Randall, Amey Anturkar, Sam Peel, Caroline Ongeri Chick, Kate Rogers, Anneli Randall, Ed Randall, Lesley Piper, Beth Rogers, James Oliver, Elena Muntean, Bethan Lucas, Louise Charman & Emma Jacques. Do come back and try our course again!
11 runners obtained Personal Bests for the course today. Well done to Blair Laird, Toby Heaver, Maisie Wates, Edward Warren, Lambert Sturges, Emily Bye, Don Morgan, Oscar George White, Chloe Pearce, Mary Nima & Roy Davies. Congratulations to all of you!
Next week, I am back at Squerryes Winery parkrun in Westerham, Kent which is another parkrun course I am now helping with on a regular basis. I will be doing my 200th parkrun there next Saturday. Squerryes Winery parkrun has only been running for 2 months. Do come and visit us if you are interested in parkrun tourism. The course is mainly flat with a minor hill. It runs round two farmers fields and a vineyard. It has been very muddy and slippery lately so either come in trail shoes or visit us when the course has dried out. Its big attraction is that there actually a section near the end where you can run through the vines for a couple of hundred metres which is something you can’t do at Denbies Vineyard. If you want to hear more about the course you can listen to an interview with the Co-Event Directors on Episode 67 of the unofficial parkrun podcast “With Me Now”.