The arrival of Spring puts a bounce in your steps - and our attendance numbers!
You had a spring in your step today!
After a couple of lapsed weeks, we're keen to get things back to normal with the event reports. We've enjoyed three incredibly busy weeks at parkrun where which have seen our event attendance shoot as high as 328 runners - a pretty incredible amount, and also an attendance record (with the exception of our "special" Jubilee parkrun last year). We also passed another milestone this week: we now have 2,750 registered parkrunners at Newbury - that's just 250 away from 3,000! This huge number of runners is nearly all down to you, the runners and volunteers, spreading the word. Thank you to all of you!
The start of this morning's parkrun
Event 67 last Saturday was no exception. Despite the air having a notable chill to it compared to the almost tropical conditions of event 66, we welcomed 283 runners to Greenham: a pretty incredible number, especially given many of our regulars were away running another event. Whilst we may have been disowned* by many of our runners, we were graced with the presence of 25 newcomers (9% of the field), with the vast majority of runners being entirely new to parkrun. In fact, we only had one newcomer to Newbury this who had run more than 10 events at another parkrun: James Beeks. And whilst we might have been low in the quantity of tourist numbers this week, James certainly made up for it with quality, finishing in fifth place overall with a time of 18:38 - enough to put him in fifth place overall in the Newbury parkrun JM14 all time league table.
* We love you all really
If anyone didn't manage to make parkrun last Saturday, they might have kick themselves when they hear that there were an incredible 99 new personal bests - that's 38% of all of you who ran! Whilst easterly winds might be associated with mystery and strike fear through the hearts of some, it seems the tailwind boost it gives you on the home straight is condusive to many new personal bests!
One of those who will undoubtedly be pleased with his run will be James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet. James was first across the line in Saturday's event in a time of 17:20 - his second fastest time at Newbury and shows it'll only be a matter of time before he joins the highly exclusive sub-17 club! Alex Hanson (JM15-19) of Team Kennet finished in second place with a new personal best of 17:45. Third place went to Michael Randall (JM15-19) of Bracknell AC who finished in 18:01.
James Moorcroft - First across the line today
Sophie Crumly (SW20-24) of Newbury AC was first female across the line for the fourth time (out of only five appearances) in a time of 19:23 with Chloe Coxhead (also a SW20-24) and also of Newbury AC took second place in 20:54, with Elaine Dean (VW50-54), a Swindon parkrun regular, taking third in 21:37 - over a two minute Newbury personal best, and also her fastest parkrun time this year!
Sophie Crumly - First lady across the line today
Geoff Anderson (VM60-64) of Newbury AC earned today's highest age graded score, his time of 19:23 equating to an age grade just shy of 85% - well done Geoff!
We had an exceptional volunteer team today, and, despite the number of runners, everything went incredibly smoothly - testament to talented equipment and clipboard operation! Thank you therefore to Andy Tucker, Anne and Charlie Harding, Carrie Collins, Clive Williams, Jemima Croggon, Julie and Sion Sollis, Lara March, Mark Shepherd, Matt Studart, Nicola Harrison, Paul Hendry, Stuart March and Tim Pink.
After 67 events, 2,722 athletes from 145 athletics clubs have now completed 14,256 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 71,280km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.
After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!
Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email email@example.com if you are interested in being added to the volunteer database (and it is only right to be able to give some of the people who help each and every week a chance to run sometimes). We are also currently looking at people who would like to have a go at being a Run Director. This doesn't mean you have to organise the whole event - just be around to ensure all volunteers know what they're doing, can give a little talk before the run and just oversee the running of the event. You don't even have to process the results! Please take note of the following announcements:
- Points competition: Note that the points competition has changed slightly in the new Newbury parkrun year. The runner who is first across the line receives 300 points, second place 299, third place 298, etc. This means the points distribution is fairer, and we should only need to go into the one point per runner territory if we get more than 300 runners of a single sex at parkrun (this hasn't happened yet!).
- The start: Whilst we know it is natural human behaviour to want to start as close to the front as possible in order to get a watch time which matches the master timer. However, please do give consideration to fellow runners and start in a position in the field which best represents the speed you feel you are going to run. We had an incident this week where a runner fell at the start, and runners' (natural) keeness to get away at the start almost led to the lady being trampled on badly.
- Parking: We now have parking at the English Provinder Company thanks to Paul Hendry. We're extremely grateful to the EPC for allowing us use of their facility, but please ensure you follow the car park marshal's orders as we're not allowed to use all of it. Ensure you do not drop litter and treat the facility carefully.
- Running with dogs: We love the fact that people run with dogs! It is a joy to watch so many canine friends obviously enjoying the run as much as their owners. However, if you are going to run with your dog, please ensure you fit your dog with a harness rather than a collar. This is for their own comfort. If you'd like to learn more about running with dogs (or even want to go "up a gear" and try cani-cross racing) then the Cani-Cross UK website provides a wealth of information for you to get started. Note that from now, runners will only be allowed to run with a maximum of one dog.
- Registration: A number of people have asked where their t-shirts are for the 10, 50 and 100 clubs. It is vitally important that, if Newbury is your regular parkrun, you ensure you are registered to it as your "home run". If you don't and you don't specify where you would like your t-shirt to be delivered to, it will, by default, be delivered to the event where you are registered and it can take some time before we can arrange handover or for the shirts to be rerouted. You can update your details at anytime by following the link on the weekly parkrun newsletter.Any suggestions, ideas and feedback are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'd also like to remind you that we are now back in nesting season on Greenham Common, and it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. This means keeping your dogs on leads at all times, and particularly avoiding the area known as the "Fire Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.
See you next week!
Rachael Elliott (Event Director)