Newbury parkrun – Event 60 (9 March 2013)

Step forward, runner 2500!

As we cross the milestone of our sixth decaparkrun, we also passed another significant point in Newbury parkrun history this weekend: our 2,500th unique runner crossed the line. To put this into context, that's the same number of people as half the total residents in Hungerford. We'd like to congratulate Kathryn Green on being the 2,500th runner across the line at Newbury. It was Kathryn's third parkrun, but her first at Newbury -  her other two runs were at the neighbouring Swindon parkrun. We do wonder if Kathryn perhaps knew that she had the potential to be Runner 2,500 and put in a bit of extra effort to achieve this feat: her time of 26:03 was over half a minute faster than her best effort at Swindon. Anyway, if Kathryn comes back and makes herself known to us, we promise to buy her a rockcake at the Coffee Exchange in recognition of her achievement. Well done Kathryn!

Kathryn wasn't the only first timer at today's run - 25 other runners took on the Newbury parkrun for the first time this week, in less than perfect damp and drizzly conditions. We always like to see new youngsters taking part in parkrun, and it was great to welcome first timer juniors Jimmy & Harry Sherlock, Samuel Cowan, Matthew Maynard and Emily Brown to Greenham today. We once again welcomed some visitors from other parkruns: David Parsons (Oxford City AC) was a notable new face. David has a parkrun best of 19:14 at Abingdon parkrun last year, and ran 21:03 in his debut at Newbury parkrun today - these times would be impressive on their own, but they also net David the VM65-69 age category record at Newbury. We also welcomed Raymond Morris: Raymond has run 13 Oldham parkruns, and six at Heaton Park. His time at Newbury today betters his best Oldham time by a whole second, so we hope he'll be back at some point soon to better it even further.

Before today's parkrun, Andy Tucker (today's run director) had the pleasant task of presenting a 10 Club t-shirt to one of our junior runners, Chloe Jones. Chloe has been running parkrun since May 2011 with her first event at the neighbouring Basingstoke parkrun. She ran the first Newbury parkrun on 11 February 2012, and has stayed true to Newbury ever since! Since starting at Newbury, she's managed to improve her time to an impressive 27:00 and we're sure she'll improve on that even further very soon with her dedication to training.

Chloe Jones

Chloe Jones: 10 Club

(I would also like to personally thank you all for your rendition of Happy Birthday before the run to welcome me into a new age category at parkrun. Once again, it was nice to have the opportunity to have a social run around parkrun this morning)

Today's event attracted 245 runners, and our first three finishers all managed to claim a sub-18 minute finish time: Michael Randall (JM15-19) was first across the line for the fifth time in 17:35. James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet finished nine seconds adrift of Michael in 17:44. Alex Hanson (JM15-19), also of Team Kennet, took third place today, equalling his personal best of 17:52. We'd also like to give a special mention to Mike Sheridan (VM60-64) of Team Kennet. Mike scored today's highest age grade of 81.72%, which also equates to a new all time parkrun personal best - something to be celebrated when you've been running parkrun as long as Mike has (Mike's first parkrun was at Basingstoke back in July 2010).

Amongst the ladies, Charlotte Harris (SW30-34) of Marshall Milton Keynes AC consolidated her 100% first finisher record at Newbury, crossing the line ahead of the other ladies today in a new course best of 19:40. In doing so, Charlotte beat her own record in the SW30-34 age category. Susie Drake (JW14) of Team Kennet finished in second place in 21:47, whilst Team Kennet teammate Emily Gray (JW14) took third place in 22:47.

Charlotte Harris

Charlotte Harris: First lady finisher today

Mike Sheridan

Mike Sheridan: Highest age graded score today and a new all time parkrun personal best

In addition to these stories, we did notice a number of other equally newsworthy performances throughout the field. Firstly, it was great to see our (almost) resident photographer Stuart March complete his first parkrun today. Stuart is a member of the Hungerford Hares running club, and it was great that he finally put the camera aside for a week and took the opportunity to run. We hope he'll be able to do more running in future (although we'll selfishly miss his excellent photographs!). Credit must go to Matthew Studart who helped Matt Brown and Jo Amor run new personal bests today: Jo reduced her time by a further 23 seconds, whilst Matt took 41 seconds from his. It seems the selfless act of helping others to a new personal best today was in full flow, in fact: Paul Scarlett also helped Paul Bennett to a 21 second personal best, whilst Jo Darby credited Colin Brassington and Andy Woodman for netting her a new 18 second personal best. Ollie Ludewig was ecstatic to run a new 45 second personal best (he's getting close to being sub-30 now), whilst Joe Bennett celebrated his tenth parkrun in style by taking a massive 1 minute and 17 seconds off his previous best. Finally, a quick mention to Greg Filmer who ran with his canine companion, Spot, this week. After dragging Greg to possibly his fastest first mile ever, its owner sadly had to accept defeat with Spot crossing the line first. Spot now leads the Filmer/Dog stakes 1-0. Can the lead be kept? Please keep telling us your stories, either by email at newburyoffice@parkrun.com, on our Facebook page (Link) or via Twitter (Link).

Finally, thank you so much to our volunteers today, and particularly to Andy Tucker who held the fort so I was able to run! Everything ran like clockwork this week with the results uploaded in record time. Massive thanks therefore to Alan Aylott, Andy Woodman, Anne Wenlock, Mike, Charlotte & Evan Phillips, Clive Williams, Dan Collis, Drew Tucker, Mike & Karen Grinsted, Liz Harkness, Mark Shepherd, Michael Futcher, Nigel Grantham, Paul Hendry, Phil Cowhig and Sonya Coltman. Clive was taken photographs today which are available to view on our Facebook page (Link). We are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

After 60 events, 2,518 athletes from 137 athletics clubs have now completed 12,244 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 61,220km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. 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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

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 Plain" 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)

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 59 (2 March 2013)

Of footwarmers, fiftieths, first timers - and fast, fast times!

 

I would like to start off by apologising for the lack of report last week. I was sadly out of the country all week and found myself rather busier than normal, with late night moule munching in Maastricht also rudely over-invading my parkrun report writing window. There will be references made to the "missing parkrun" in this report to hopefully make up for my laxness the previous week.

The weather forecasters had been teasing us all week, and we thought we might be lucky enough to be able to at least abandon the heated footwarmers this week. However, whilst the snow and sleet of the previous week was thankfully not present, temperatures were still barely above zero this week.

However, the near total lack of wind more than made up for the cold temperatures - and made for near perfect running conditions. There were a huge number of personal bests today - 113 in fact (and, not including the 17 first-timers, equates to a massive 49% of the 248-strong field who toed the line this morning). We do know, however, that the personal best frenzy was mostly the result of your excellent training of late.

Speaking of first timers, of the 17 who were running for the first time today, 11 were running their first ever parkrun. We hope you enjoyed your first parkrun experience! Of the other newcomers, we welcomed a number of tourists from other parkruns: Colin Goulding has run 45 parkruns at a massive 40 different parkrun locations (less a tourist, more a nomad!). Colin narrowly missed breaking 20 minutes this morning - something he is more than capable of, looking at his previous results - so we hope he will grace us with his presence another time to achieve this feat. We also welcomed Abingdon parkrunners Mark Lewy and Erica Woosey-Griffin who were running their 33rd and 15th parkruns respectively today. It was only the first time they'd ventured away from his home turf at Abingdon, with Mark evidently helping Erica to an excellent time. We also were pleased to see Colwick parkrun-regular, Paul Stacey, who travelled to Newbury for the first time today and promptly ran his best parkrun time this year!

Before today's run got underway, we had some important "10 club" t-shirt presentations to make. First up was Alex Ash. Alex is the first Mary Hare School pupil to collect his 10 Club T-shirt, and there was an audible round of applause from his classmates. Alex is one of our younger runners (in the JM14 category) but has an impressive personal best of 21:24, and we're sure he'll be gracing the 20:XXs before long. Congratulations, Alex!

Alex Ash
Alex Ash - 10 Club

Next up were brother and sister, Charlotte and Evan Phillips. We think Charlotte and Evan have earned their 10 t-shirts twice over - both are some of our most regular volunteers, and their help has been invaluable in the first year of Newbury parkrun. Both ran in the first ever Newbury parkrun, and have seen their times improve steadily ever since: Evan has knocked over three minutes off his first ever time at parkrun with a PB of 35:20, whilst Charlotte is painstakingly close to breaking 30 minutes with an impressive 31:42 personal best. A big well done to both of you!

Charlotte and Evan Phillips
Evan Phillips and Charlotte Phillips - 10 Club

Finally, as the report was missing last week, we'd also like to congratulate Lucy Mugford who received her 10 club shirt at Event 58. Lucy's first parkrun was at the second ever Newbury parkrun on the 18 February 2012, and she has improved her parkrun time to 29:14. Now consistently running in the 29s, we don't think it'll be too long before she's gracing the 28 minute bracket with her presence. Well done Lucy - some great, consistent running over the past year!

Lucy Mugford
Lucy Mugford - 10 Club

With the T-shirts presented, it was back to the day's run. First across the line was Colin Lough (SM30-34) in a mightily impressive 16:36. Colin has been watching his times drop steadily of late, but today represents a 21 second personal best and puts him firmly in 5th place in the all time best times list on the course. Second place went to Michael Randall (JM15-19) of Bracknell AC in 16:58 - this is Michael's first time under 17 minutes on the Newbury course, and shows he's rapidly getting back to his old form. James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet took third in 17:21.

Amongst the ladies, last year's points competition winner Abi Scarlett (JW14) of Newbury Runners took her first ever first position in a new personal best of 23:23. With an improvement of nearly a minute on her previous personal best, we think it'll be the first of many first-across-the-line experiences. Second place went to Caroline Bamford (VW50-54) in 24:18 (also a new personal best), with third going to Lorraine Kirby (VW55-59) who finished just three seconds adrift of Charlotte in 24:21 - also a new personal best!

Colin Lough
Colin Lough - first male across the line today in a new personal best of 16:36

Abi Scarlett
Abi Scarlett - First female in today's run; also running a new personal best of 23:23

 As we always say (and believe is so true!), there is far more to parkrun than the podium places - and we noted some equally impressive performances throughout today's field. Karsh Davey achieved his first ever sub-30 by a massive 56 second margin (29:04), whilst Baxter Cowhig was equally as happy with his first sub-29 (28:32). James Clutton and Lynne Phillips were both ecstatic with their new 30-second personal bests, whilst Helen Atkins didn't just manage to run all the way without stopping today (for the first time!) but reduced her personal best by 2.5 minutes in the process! Chris Little proved that taking time out to improve an injury isn't necessarily a bad thing - he managed a 1 minute and 42 second personal best, despite taking three weeks off to nurse a knee injury. We'd like to give a big pat on the back to Paul Bennett: Paul sacrificed his own run today to pace his wife, Sue, to a new personal best - which she achieved by over a minute! One of our most patient runners has to be David Pierce-Williams - he ran his first parkrun on 31 March last year, and has had to wait 27 runs until this week to get his first personal best. Now he's done it, we're sure they'll be more! Fraser Harding was obviously buoyed by son Charlie Harding's recent improvement, and this week managed to squeeze out a new personal best whilst margin of the week must (arguably) have to go to Nicki Tucker: Nicki ran her first parkrun on 2 March 2012, but hasn't been able to run since August due to an injury. This weekend saw her comeback run, and she managed to reduce her August time by almost seven minutes! Finally, this week saw our first Newbury parkrun "homegrown" female entrants into the "50 Club" - both Carol Lowe and Mags Scarlett have run 50 parkruns at Newbury, and follow hot in the footsteps of our first 50 club entrant, Connor Davies, who reached the 50 milestone two weeks ago. Mags kindly arranged for the wonderful Coffee Exchange to bake a cake to jointly celebrate her 50th run with fellow parkrunner, Colin Brassington, who was today completing his 150th run. Please keep telling us your stories, either by email at newburyoffice@parkrun.com, on our Facebook page (Link) or via Twitter (Link).

Finally, thank you so much to our volunteers today. After a number of issues with technical equipment last week, everything ran like clockwork today! Massive thanks therefore to Gemma, Abi & Sophie Livingstone, Andy Woodman, Clive Williams, Dan Collis, Paul & Debbie Futcher, Gareth Scourfield, Jane Bennet, Jo Darby, Karen Thompson, Michelle Smith, Jo Amor, Peter Dickens and Sam Hart. We also had Stuart March taking photographs today. He once again did an absolutely amazing job, and you must go and look at his masterpieces which are available to view on our Facebook page (Link). We are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

Volunteers
You too can look this happy if you volunteer! Peter Dickens and Paul Futcher (two of today's timers) and Debbie Futcher (timer checker)

After 59 events, 2,493 athletes from 137 athletics clubs have now completed 12,244 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 61,220km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. 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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

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 Plain" 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)

 

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 57 (16 February 2013)

Nearly 50% of you running personal bests? What was in the water this morning?!

 

After a run of rather chilly parkruns, today we were blessed with milder conditions and - crucially - there was barely any wind. On our normally beaufortly-challenged Greenham course, the lack of wind generally means faster times aplenty - and this was certainly the case today: there were a total of 108 personal bests today - that's 47% of the field. In fact, we've never had such a high percentage of runners running new best times in a Newbury parkrun.

Perhaps an even more impressive statistic from today were that there were 43 first timers (that's one in six of all of you running today). We hope you enjoyed your first parkrun experience, and hope you get as addicted to coming to Greenham each week as so many of us have! Most of the first timers today were completely new to parkrun, although a handful were visiting from other events: Timothy Jeffrey was visiting from Havant parkrun, and we think he'll be pleased he made the journey: he managed to knock 42 seconds off his best time from Havant. Meanwhile, our first lady today, Charlotte Harris, kept up her streak of never-being-slower-than-20-minutes, and ran her second best ever parkrun time of 19:51. Charlotte has run both Basingstoke and Milton Keynes parkruns before. 

Before today's run took place, we had four "club t-shirts" to be awarded. For those who are unaware of the t-shirt system, Adidas very kindly supply attire for the four different club "bands": runners aged 19 or under qualify for a white t-shirt when they have completed 10 runs, all runners who have completed 50 runs receive a red t-shirt, those who have completed 100 get a black t-shirt and jacket, whilst those who have run a massive 250 runs get a black and gold t-shirt. A full guide to the t-shirts can be found here.

First to be awarded their T-shirt was David Kindred who received a very well-earned 50 club shirt. David started parkrunning back in 2007 when he ran the "original" parkrun at Bushy Park in London in 24:31. Since then, David has run six different parkruns (Newbury, Basingstoke, Swindon, Bushy, Black Park and Ipswich) although Newbury is now his home. He now has a personal best time of 21:21 (run at Swindon in April 2010) although has become painstakingly close to breaking it at Newbury with an excellent time of 21:35 (we're pretty confident he will duck on 21 minutes soon!). David would undoubtedly have hit 50 parkruns a lot sooner had it not been for the fact that he volunteers to help out so much: he's one of our most regular (and reliable!) timers, and we're completely indebted to him for all his help at Newbury since we started up. Well done, David!

David Kindred

David Kindred: 50 Club

 

Michael Grinsted was also awarded his 50 club t-shirt this week. Michael started his parkrun career at Reading in October 2011 when he ran 21:07. Since then, Michael has shaved 65 seconds off his Reading time and is now just 3 seconds away from breaking 20 minutes on the Thamesside course. Michael's had more luck at Newbury breaking 20 minutes and has now managed to achieve this three times, with a best time of 19:38. He's also travelled to Basingstoke and Plym Valley to notch up his 50 parkruns. Michael's undoubtedly one of the cheeriest faces we have at Newbury and regularly clears down the course, together with wife Karen. Congratulations, Michael - and he's to the next 50!

Michael Grinstead

Michael Grinsted: 50 Club

 

We also had two very happy 10-clubbers to give t-shirts to. First up was Abi Livingstone who was visibly shocked at the arrival of her t-shirt. Abi ran her first parkrun in June 2012 in 44:51 and has seen her time improve by a really quite exceptional 11.5 minutes - she ran her personal best of 33:22 on 5 January. However, Abi's not only respected for her running achievements, but she also regularly helps out with the task of token sorting (and received her 10 t-shirt in a fluorescent volunteer tabard as testament to this) and today even baked the volunteer team some quite wonderful chocolate brownies (in fact, we'd like Abi to reach 50 just as soon as she can to find out what she'll bake to mark her next milestone!). Very well done Abi!

Abi Livingstone

Abi Livingstone: 10 Club

 

Tom Harvey also received his 10 t-shirt today. Tom's first parkrun was on 14 July 2012 when he ran 25:52. Up until yesterday, Tom had managed to improve this time by 2.5 minutes, but yesterday - as if marking the receipt of his new t-shirt in style - he ran a new personal best time of 22:41, equating to an improvement of over three minutes since he started parkrunning. He's now in the top 30 fastest times in the JM14 age category (possibly our most competitive category) and we're sure there's room for more improvement, particularly as he appears to be some way off the top of his age group yet. Well done, Tom - and here's to more improvements over time!

Tom Harvey

Tom Harvey: 10 Club

In today's run, we saw some excellent feats of running. The first five today broke 18 minutes, in fact - something we haven't seen for a while. First across the line was Mark Apsey (SM20-24) of Reading Roadrunners. Mark has three parkruns under his belt (two at Newbury and one at Reading), and his time of 17:23 equates to an all time parkrun personal best! Second to finish was James Smith (SM30-34) of Springfield Striders. James' time of 17:26 equates to a Newbury parkrun personal best (and is just four seconds off his parkrun best of 17:22 at Chelmsford Central parkrun). We also later found out that James is the son of the lady who works so tirelessly behind the counter of Coffee Exchange for us every week, so can only conclude that rock cakes are clearly the key to running fast. Adem Omar (SM30-34) of Andover AC was third today in 17:29 and manages to keep up his streak of never finishing outside the top five.

Amongst the ladies, Charlotte Harris (SW30-34) of Marshall Milton Keynes AC finished first in 19:51 (a new record for the SW30-34 age category - well done Charlotte!). Second place was earned by Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners in a new personal best of 21:27, whilst third went to Catherine Cox (VW40-44) of Newbury Runners in 22:16. Karen was accompanied to her new personal best by her t-shirt winning husband, Michael, whilst Catherine was run to her new best by regular Newbury parkrun victor, Colin Lough. Who says chivalry is dead?

We'd also like to say congratulations to Liz Harkness (VW60-64). Liz's time of 26:19 equates to today's highest age graded score of 77.01%. Well done Liz - and we look forward to you hitting 80% before long (and we're confident this will happen!).

There were equally impressive performances throughout the field today, however - and with 109 personal bests you'd expect that! Whilst we'd love to discuss every single best here (and we know just how much even a one second personal best means!), there's unfortunately not enough room. Those who were noticeably happy with their runs today were James Clutton (personal best by 26 seconds), Phil Marshall (who managed sub-21 in only his second run), Ollie Ludewig (who was only running for the second time, yet knocked a huge 3 minutes from his previous best time!), Paula Tait (48 second personal best), Anne Wenlock (new 43 second personal best) and Matt Walters (who went sub-26 for the first time since last March!). James Woodhouse, meanwhile, knocked over two minutes off his previous best time, whilst Sara Philo took a Wenlock-esque 43 seconds from her time. Dan Collis was ecstatic to break 19 minutes for the first time (18:54), Aimee Dyson (somehow!) reduced her time by a huge 1 minute and 40 seconds and Aimee Wooldridge saw her time improve by 1:18. Please keep telling us your stories, either by email at newburyoffice@parkrun.com, on our Facebook page (Link) or via Twitter (Link).

Finally, thank you so much to our volunteers today. We did have a few issues with the results today, but these were resolved very quickly which is testament to the whole team pulling together so well - brilliant! Thanks therefore to Abi and Gemma Livingstone, Andy Woodman, Anne and Charlie Harding, Jeroen, Patrick, Thomas & Carolyn Visser, Clive Williams, David Kindred, Jo Amor, Mark Shepherd, Mick Cornwall, Paul Hendry, Richard Disney and Sandra Bowers. We also had Ian Berry taking photographs today. He did a fantastic job and the photos are available to view on our Facebook page (Link). We are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com

After 57 events, 2,443 athletes from 133 athletics clubs have now completed 11,736 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 58,680km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. 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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. 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)

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 56 (9 February 2013)

Happy birthday to us!

 

   

Well, it was exactly one year ago that we held our first ever parkrun at Greenham Common. For the 317 of you that joined us on that day, you will remember that the event run in temperatures of -10, and under a thick covering of snow. It was almost as if the weather gods knew it was the first anniversary today, as runners were teased with a smattering of light snow once again this morning.

The first anniversary is a chance to reflect on what parkrun has achieved over the course of its first year (and hopefully the first year of very many to come!). We should all be extremely proud of what the parkrun has become over the course of just a single year: people have seen their fitness improve beyond what they ever thought possible, it has spurred people on to lose considerable amounts of weight and helped people recover from serious illness. However, for us, the highlight has been the number of friendships that have been borne from the parkrun. A disparate group of 300 runners at our first event has swelled to become a size of 2,500 supportive, cohesive, extremely friendly - and incredibly successful - athletes. Newbury parkrun is far more than just a 5k run with a nice rock cake waiting for you at the end - it's changed the face of a Saturday morning for so many people.

The parkrun couldn't have happened if it wasn't for the input of its two key sponsors: Team Kennet (Link) and West Berkshire District Council (Link). We were extremely grateful to have the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Adrian Edwards, attend today's parkrun to present the trophies to the award winners. Councillor Edwards made a wonderful speech at the beginning of the parkrun and did a fantastic job presenting the trophies to the award winners. And the trophies themselves (made by local business Southdown Engraving) were absolutely beautiful (we're actually sorry not to be able to keep one for our mantlepiece!).

The annual points competition has been a most competitive affair this year, and the winners and runners up of the competitions are very worthy of their prizes.

The junior points competition isn't openly published on the website, and it was wonderful to see the surprised faces of Sam Hart and Amelia Wenlock as they took their prizes for the junior men's and junior women's points competitions respectively. Sam is one of our best JM14 runners with a personal best of 19:14, and has completed 28 parkruns at Newbury over the course of the year. However, Sam's points have received a welcome boost from his volunteering responsiblities at parkrun - he has helped out on a number of occasions, and is one of our most efficient and accurate token sorters. Amelia - who also wins the award for "Surprised Face of the Day" - has also run 28 parkruns (with one being an excursion to Basingstoke) and has seen an exceptional three minute improvement over the course of the year and has an impressive personal best of 22:16.

 

Sam Hart

Junior Men's Points Competition Winner: Sam Hart

Amelia Wenlock

Junior Women's Points Competition Winner: Amelia Wenlock

 

The men's points competition has been dominated for most of the year by Paul Hendry, and he quite deservedly took the award today. Paul spent most of the first part of the year trying to break 20 minutes, and managed to finally achieve this at Newbury on 11 August, running 19:49. He's now brought his time down to 19:26, and we're pretty confident there's more to come when summer comes. Paul is one of the parkrunners who goes well beyond "just running" though - he was instrumental in helping getting the event off the ground, and helps out marshaling in the car park pretty much every week. He also put in the famous yellow kilometre markers, and helps us understand the significance the flora and fauna of Greenham Common plays in achieving good times. The runner up spot went to Matthew Brookes. Matt is another regular volunteer, and has run a total of 44 parkruns at Newbury. He's seen a 6.5 minute improvement since is first run, and is now painstakingly close to breaking 20 minutes! James Moorcroft of Team Kennet finished just outside the top two positions, but we hope he'll be back to contest first place in 2013!

 

Paul Hendry

Men's Points Competition Winner: Paul Hendry

Matt Brookes

Men's Points Competition Runner-Up: Matthew Brookes

 

In the ladies, it's been a mother and daughter duel throughout the year: Mags and Abi Scarlett are two of Newbury parkrun's most familiar faces, and the competition between the two of them has been fierce. Abi's personal best is now just over 90 seconds faster than Mags', but both have shown really quite exceptional improvement over the course of the year and, going by the finish line shots, the effort they put in to achieve these improvements is worth more than any trophy! We'd also like to put in a special mention to Carol Lowe who just narrowly missed out on being in the top two.

 

Abi Scarlett

Female Points Competition Winner: Abi Scarlett

Mags Scarlett

Female Points Competition Runner-Up: Mags Scarlett

As you know, parkrun couldn't be parkrun if it wasn't for the help we get from volunteers each week. We therefore thought it was only apt that we awarded some of those who had gone beyond the call of duty with their offers of help. Firstly, the Phillips family (consisting of Mike and Suzy and their two children, Charlotte and Evan) are some of our most regular family helpers and frequently help out as a foursome even if none of them are running. Charlotte's keeness to help out saw her taking on barcode scanning duties on one of the most awful days of the year weatherwise. Her barcode scanner failed due to the weather, but she still refused to give up with it. Secondly, Andy Woodman (who also recently won parkrunner of the month), is always one of the first to offer to help if we are short of volunteers, and offers to set the course up pretty much every week. In fact, to our shame, he's normally waiting in the car park for us to arrive to give him the cones well before we get there. There was also an award for the Croggon family who sadly couldn't make it to the parkrun yesterday: Lorraine and Jamie, together with daughters Jemima and Martha, have been a real pillar of strength to the team throughout the year. Lorraine volunteered for many of the early events and Jamie, who works out in Boston for long stints, regularly comes to the parkrun straight from the red eye trans-Atlantic flight to help out. Both Jemima and Martha are some of the most regular junior helpers, and Jemima's ability to sort the tokens at the speed she does is quite amazing to watch!

 

Phillips family

Special Recognition for Volunteering Award: The Phillips Family

Andy Woodman

Special Recognition for Volunteering Award: Andy Woodman

Finally (and he deserves a whole paragraph to himself in his honour), the title of Volunteer of the Year went to Clive Williams. Clive "discovered" parkrun after we'd been going a few weeks and, unlike most people, he started volunteering before he started to run. He helps out on the car park every week, and his innovative mind has seen him develop signs to help ease the parking. We look forward to his emails throughout the week where he gives the percentage chance of him being at parkrun that Saturday (which, by Friday night, is normally 99.9999999%) and his ability to multitask is second to none. He has now run a handful of times, but still volunteers ahead of running at every opportunity.

 

Clive Williams

Volunteer of the Year: Clive Williams

 

Well done to all our trophy winners, but in an ideal world. we'd love to have given out a lot more!

Anyway, in order for today to be an anniversary run, a run did have to take place! And with 283 runners toeing the line, it certainly wasn't a small affair. We saw 37 newcomers today (which impressed us a lot), but 74 of you - that's nearly a third of today's field - ran new personal bests. In a very tight finish, Nathan Gillis (JM15-19) of Team Kennet took the tape marginally ahead of Colin Lough (SM30-34). Both runners clocked the same time of 16:57. We don't think Colin will be too disappointed though - it's a new personal best, and see's him join the exclusive "Sub-17" club - a place which only contains 16 runners at present. Third place went to the ever-improving James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet. James has been running parkruns since 2008, but today's 17:06 is an all-time personal best for James and edges him close to breaking 17 minutes himself (we're sure it will happen soon, James!).

 

winners

It might be a day for celebration, but it was still competitive at the front (Colin Lough and Nathan Gillis)

 

Amongst the ladies, Liz Hartney (VW45-49) of Reading AC took her fifth win in eight appearances in 19:14. Georgina Bradford (JW14) of Team Kennet was second in 21:27, and Catherine Wright (VW55-59) of Corby AC was third in 21:52. Catherine deserves a few kudos points - her and her husband, Alex Wright, travelled down from Corby especially for the anniversary event. The last time they ran at Newbury was for the first ever Newbury parkrun, and it was great to have them back! Catherine's travelling efforts were rewarded with her achieving today's highest age graded score of 85.06%.

Elsewhere in the field, we couldn't help but notice some excellent performances: Charlie Harding was very pleased to beat his Dad, Fraser Harding, for the first time ever and, in doing so, ran a massive 70 second personal best of 22:05. Richard Pike knocked another 42 seconds from his time, whilst young Baxter Cowhig managed his first sub-30 run for a good few months. Claire Sandys managed her first ever sub-29 run, and Connor Davies managed a new personal best in his 49th Newbury parkrun (will he be the first person to run 50 parkruns at Newbury next week?!). With neighbouring Swindon parkrun being cancelled, it was nice to welcome some runners from Swindon to Newbury for the first time: Richard Mayneord, Neil Tiley, Tim Westcott, Jason Watts, Jonni Suckling, Mark Parsons, Adam Fuller and Jayne Nethersole. Other first timers included Mark Baker who was visiting all the way from Sheffield Hallam parkrun, whilst Maria Carlton had travelled all the way from Albert parkrun in Middlesborough. Rebecca Costambeys had popped across from Basingstoke for the day, and Anna Duley had travelled up the A34 from Andover.

 

runners 3

I believe I can fly!

 

Finally, thank you so much to our volunteers today. Firstly, a big thank you to Andy Tucker who run directed today so I was able to run the anniversary event myself (and also took a lot of the stress of the morning away!). Today's volunteers did a sterling job though and, despite the huge field, the results processing was remarkably straightforward (with no errors at all!). Thanks therefore to David Kindred, Rog Davies, Nick Weston, Ann Singal, Felicity Pointer, Sara Philo, Clive Williams, Nicki Tucker, Sam Stelfox, Amelia Wenlock, Andy Woodman, Mark Shepherd, Paul Hendry, Ian Berry and Sandra Bowers. We were also very lucky to have the top notch photography team of Pete Aylward and Stuart March today who produced some amazing photographs (best place to view is via the Facebook page). W are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

Before I close, I'd just like to thank all of you for the beautiful bunch of flowers I received today (which I'm staring at now as I write this report). I genuinely didn't expect to receive anything yesterday, and do absolutely love organising the parkrun each week. I get more out of organising the parkrun than I ever did running it, so to receive flowers for something I enjoy doing so much feels a little wrong (but I'm not complaining!).

 

Me

Thank you, Newbury parkrun!

 

After 56 events, 2,400 athletes from 131 athletics clubs have now completed 11,465 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 57,325km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. 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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. 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)

P.S. Thank you SO MUCH to all of you for an amazing first year of Newbury parkrun.

 

Newbury parkrun First Anniversary – this Saturday (9 February 2013)

 

1st_birthday

 

It barely seems like last week that the first Newbury parkrun happened on a snow-covered Greenham Common.

It is, however, a year ago this Saturday that the first Newbury parkrun happened, when 318 runners completed the 5km run in freezing conditions.

We've come on a lot since then: nearly 2,500 runners have completed the parkrun 11,182 times, covering a total distance of 55,910km. We had our biggest attendance for our special Jubilee event (384 runners), and we see an average of 203.3 (that 0.3 is very important!) runners toeing the line each week. We've seen so many things that have impressed us throughout the year: countless "I-never-thought-that-was-possible" personal bests, people seeing their weight plummet by as much as seven stone with parkrun as their incentive, others making more new friends over the course of the year than they have in a lifetime, not to mention some quite incredible running feats (and Sandra Bowers' 15:48 with her huskies was one of them).

This Saturday we're celebrating all that we have achieved in the past year, and they'll be trophies presented by the Chairman of West Berkshire District Council, Councillor Adrian Edwards. These will not only be for the points competition, but we're also giving some special prizes to those people we feel have given a bit "extra" to parkrun over the course of the year.

Afterwards, we'll descend to the Coffee Exchange for some much needed celebratory cake!

We can't wait to see as many of you as possible this Saturday at 9am. Please spread the word wide and far!

 

Rachael Elliott
Newbury parkrun Event Director

 

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 54 (26 January 2013)

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

 

Nothing quite like it for....making your lovely, new, white trainers resemble something which has been hibernating in the deepest, darkest swamp all winter.

When we were putting up the car park signs on the way up to the Common this week, we were pleased that the threatened rain hadn't materialised, and there was barely a breath of wind. The snow appeared to have largely melted and, ordinarily, it would have been a very quick day for running.

However, when we arrived near the start area, we were faced with a parkrun course completely covered by three inches of ice. The thick snow from the previous week had become compacted on the paths and, whilst Torvill and Dean would have no doubt jumped at the opportunity of completing the first ever figure-skated parkrun, it simply wasn't viable to run the parkrun over the standard course.

Ice

Three inches of ice covered the entire course - running our normal route simply wasn't safe or viable

However, at Newbury parkrun we take pride in not cancelling our runs. A quick call to Mark Shepherd and Operation Alternative Course was underway. Mark has a reputation for helping create alternative courses at the last minute: the five lap alternative course at the Basingstoke parkrun's War Memorial Park, and the now epic "round the ampitheatre" 12-lapper on the old Eastleigh parkrun course. However, whilst Mark is able to set up courses remarkably quickly, he also has another reputation: the courses are never short and they're absolutely ever easy. The Alternative Run at Greenham (or ARG, for short) was certainly no exception: five laps around the gorse bushes and muddy terrain of the "off path" sections of the common.

 

James

There was no escape from the mud in parts

However, whilst this new course may have been tough, it seems to have been one of the most enjoyable days at parkrun anyone had experienced. With a muddy, overdistance course (it was slightly over 5.5km in distance) and no chance of being able to set a personal best (although six of you still managed to defy this!), most took the opportunity to enjoy the day and experience a chance to run old-school style cross country. The most important thing about parkrun is being able to run, and we like to ensure this happens in whatever conditions God brings us. Hopefully we managed to achieve this today.

Finish

It may have been the muddiest parkrun ever - but that didn't stop the smiles!

However, in order to ensure you got a safe run in, we needed to rally some extra marshals, and we are extremely grateful to those of you who came forward at the last minute to help. We have the names of some of you, but if you did help yesterday we'd love to give you some volunteer points, so please email newburyhelpers@parkrun.com and we'll ensure they're awarded to you.

With the run underway, we still saw some impressive running. The first three men today (somehow) managed to all run under 21 minutes (obviously equating to a 17-18 minute time on the normal course). Colin Lough (SM30-34) kept up his first place streak by being first across the line for the fourth week in a row. Whilst his time of 20:11 may well be the slowest first place time we see at Newbury, it equates to an incredible running performance! Pete Mitchell (SM35-39) of Andover AC clocked 20:37 for second place (and today was his 175th parkrun!) whilst James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet took the final podium spot in 20:57.

Amongst the ladies, regular Andover visitor Kate Towerton (SW25-29) of Andover AC took the first place honours in 23:52. Basingstoke parkrun regular (and Newbury first timer) Paula Turner (SW30-34) of Chineham Park Running club took second in 26:22, and Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners was third in 26:38.

When we viewed the statistics from today's run, we were stunned to see that 27 of today's finishers were first timers to Newbury parkrun - that's 13% of the whole field! We hope you enjoyed your first "interesting" visit to Newbury parkrun and come back when we're on our proper course - you can be absolutely guaranteed to get a new personal best! Seven of the first timers were regulars from other parkruns: Dianne Cartwright (VW45-49), just two away from her 50th run, was visiting from Basingstoke parkrun, as was junior runner, Finlay Baulch. Matthew Hartgrove (SM25-29) and Katie Miller (SW20-24) were both Reading/Woodley/Banstead Woods hybrid-parkrunners, whilst Susan Besford (VW45-49) and Jonathan Taylor (JM14) were visiting from Abingdon parkrun.

We also saw some pretty incredible feats today: a number of you somehow managed to navigate the course with buggies and dogs, although we understand that regular canine-participant, Monty, got a little overexcited in the mud and managed to break away from his harness. There were also six new personal bests today, and we're pretty amazed that Jack Hayman, Kai Collins, Kathryn Matthews, Jez Mann, Fern Barthorpe and Alison Hoult managed to achieve new best times today over a course some people were running as much as 10-12 minutes slower than normal! Most of all, however, people liked the social aspect of today's course - the lapped nature of the course meant, for the first time ever, the entire field was able to mix. We would like to send our commiserations to Adrian Waters: Adrian was breaking in a brand new pair of trainers at today's parkrun (Adrian - white is *so* yesterday, so you did yourself a favour!).

Tim

Buggy running was a tough pursuit in event 54!

Finally, thank you so much to our volunteers today. We had a number of new people today and, given the reorganisation of the course, you all did such a good job (there wasn't a single error in the upload process!). A massive (MASSIVE) thank you therefore to Alex Money, Alex Knapp (who set out the original course - and then collected it all in again before the run started!), Amelia Wenlock, Clive Williams, Debbie Dawes, Duncan Adamson, Jamie, Lorraine, Jemima & Martha Croggon, Mandy Carden, Matt Brookes, Mick Futcher, Michael & Karen Grinsted, Mick Cornwall, Paul Hendry, Ross Connell, Simon Roberts, Sue Bennett and Wendy Lewis (as well as the other marshals who we don't yet have names for!). We are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

After 54 events, 2,329 athletes from 127 athletics clubs have now completed 10,924 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 54,620km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

Abi Scarlett is still leading the ladies' annual points competition with 3,851 points, against Mum, Mags Scarlett's, 3,788 points. Carol Lowe remains in third place with 3,604 points. Paul Hendry kept his lead with his score of 3,513 still over 100 ahead of Matthew Brookes' 3,368. James Moorcroft is still in third place with a score of 3,118 points. We're almost at the end of the year now we're nearing our anniversary, so it'll soon be time for our winners to celebrate!

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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

 

  1. Anniversary: It is our ANNIVERSARY EVENT on 9 February! This will be a very special day, with trophies awarded for the points competitions, as well as to some of the most dedicated volunteers. Be sure to come along on 9 February!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. 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)

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 53 (19 January 2013)

What's a bit of snow to Newbury parkrunners? The show must go on!

 

As the snow besieged Newbury on Friday and became thicker by the hour, we had a real sense of déjà vu. We knew our familiar five kilometre route would be almost unrecognisable under the snow, and Greenham's normally compacted, run-friendly gravel paths would be transformed into soft, energy-sapping arctic landscapes. Whilst this was a severe cause for concern for our inaugural event, the mood was definitely more relaxed this time. And after being concerned we may have to call off our first ever event due to snow, the success of that event proved to us one thing:

Snow will never stop Newbury parkrun going ahead!

Whilst there were mass cancellations of parkruns across the country, we knew that Newbury parkrun *works* in the snow, and the success of the first event - with snow as deep as 10cm - proved to us that we could trust Newbury parkrunners not to try and run flat out and take the opportunity to enjoy a run in the beautiful, whitened landscape.

Drew and Andy

Drew and Andy Tucker with their borrowed huskies

126 intrepid parkrunners toed the line at Newbury today - a number which impressed us, but perhaps the figure that most tickled us was the fact that seven people were running the course for the first time (and we can pretty much guarantee those seven will run personal bests next time they return to Newbury!). Four of the first timers were regular parkrunners from other parkruns: Marie Evans was running her 26th parkrun today - and her first parkrun away from her home run of Basingstoke, where she has an impressive personal best of 21:44. We like to think her 26:40 is easily beatable if she returns to the course! Liam Harrison was also visiting from Basingstoke and, rather impressively, his time at Newbury today in the snow was just 39 seconds away from his parkrun personal best of 20:51. Owen Evans has 57 parkruns to his name, and Newbury is the seventh different venue he's run. His home run is the fast course of Cardiff where he has a best of 20:40, but Newport has become a more regular haunt of late. Finally, Cameron Cumming has only run three parkruns in his time, but today represented his first excursion away from Eastleigh parkrun.

We were also rather taken aback at the number of "100 club" runners who crossed the finish line today. Many of those were visiting from other parkruns in honour of Ian Berry's 100th run. It was therefore a real pleasure to see Alan Richardson, Kelvin Gower, Ian Giggs, Mark Curtis and Martin Welsh back at Newbury today. The furthest travelled 100 clubber was Rex Toop. Rex is a Poole parkrun regular although, rather impressively, has run 22 different parkruns in his parkrun career. This was his second time at Newbury today, and it was a real pleasure to see him back.

Rex Toop

Visiting "100 clubber", Rex Toop

As alluded to above, today was a rather special parkrun for Ian Berry. Ian had, to our pleasure, chosen Newbury to run his 100th parkrun. Whilst Andover is Ian's "home" parkrun, he has run his 100 parkruns across 27 different venues. His first run was in Basingstoke nearly exactly three years ago, and he has a parkrun best of 17:27 run on the Basingstoke course. Ian is one of the most enthusiastic and encouraging parkrunners we've had the pleasure to welcome to Newbury and, testament to his good nature, arranged for the Coffee Exchange to bake a special "100 cake" for all the parkrunners who attended Newbury parkrun today. It was very well received, and a great gesture from the person who (we think) has the highest finishing celebration leap of all the parkrunners we know:

Ian Berry cake

Ian Berry carving up his "100 club" cake - baked to perfection by the Coffee Exchange

Ian Berry Leap

Ian Berry demonstrating the highest "victory" leap in parkrun history

 

And if reaching 100 in itself wasn't enough cause for celebration today, Ian managed to put the icing on the cake (not the real cake, the Coffee Exchange did that) by crossing the line first today - only the second time he's managed to achieve this feat, but how apt he should do it on his 100th run. Ian's snow-affected time of 19:03 was far from his best, but mightily impressive given the thick snow on the course. James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet finished in second place today in 19:13, whilst Mark Shepherd (VM40-44) took third place in 19:24. A special mention also to Gareth Scourfield (VM40-44) who was the only other runner today who managed to break 20 minutes.

Amongst the ladies, Abingdon regular Kirsty Reade (VW40-44) of Didcot Runners took the honours in 26:13 - her first ever parkrun first position! Well done, Kirsty. Equally happy will be second placed Abi Scarlett (JW14) you also took her highest ever finishing position of second! Marie Evans (VW45-49) of Winchester & District AC took third place in 26:40.

Elsewhere in the field, most people took the chance today to enjoy the run, rather than go flat out. There were, however, some surprising performances: there were seven personal bests today by Nick Onslow (who we suspect may have been pacing or taking it rather easy in his other two runs at Newbury), Kelvin Gower, Adrian Waters, Jason Nash, Joe Burnett, Carolyn Burnett and Chris Rands. Other feats which caught our eye today were Robin Killingsworth completing the run with an extremely heavy army backpack, and Andy and Drew Tucker looking resplendent completing the parkrun with two huskies "borrowed" from Sandra Bowers and Ian Berry. We'd also like to give a "well done" to regular parkrunner, David Kindred,  who today quietly completed his 50th parkrun. David has been a parkrunner a rather long time, running his first parkrun in Bushy Park in 2007. He has since run at five other parkruns, although Newbury is now his home where he has a personal best of 21:35 on the course. David is also one of the first people to offer his help if we ever need volunteers. We're always keen to hear your stories, so please keep sharing them with us at newburyoffice@parkrun.com or via our Facebook page (Link).

And if you thought running with tough today, please spare a thought for our volunteers who had the (very frosty) job of operating equipment and manning clipboards with freezing hands. A massive thank you, therefore, to Alan Richardson, Andy Woodman, Clive Williams, Danielle Snijder, Elaine Brassington, Gareth Scourfield, Graham Walker, Ian Berry, Lee Jones, Mark Shepherd, Michael Cass, Nicki Tucker, Paul Hendry, Simon Kirby, Stuart March and Tim Hill. We are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

After 53 events, 2,302 athletes from 126 athletics clubs have now completed 10,719 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 53,595km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

Abi Scarlett is still leading the ladies' annual points competition with 3,760 points, against Mum, Mags Scarlett's, 3,707 points. Carol Lowe remains in third place with 3,538 points. Paul Hendry kept his lead with his score of 3,427 still over 100 ahead of Matthew Brookes' 3,268. James Moorcroft is still in third place with a score of 3,020 points. We're almost at the end of the year now we're nearing our anniversary, so it'll soon be time for our winners to celebrate!

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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. 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.

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 52 (12 January 2013)

 

 

Baltic conditions are no cause for freezing ambitions!

 

We attributed last week's stellar turnout of runners to the New Year, and we definitely didn't expect to see such large numbers this week. Furthermore, we woke up to be greeted by a Baltic, easterly wind and flurries of sleet - something which is hardly conducive to running a fast 5 kilometres.

However, whilst an easterly wind is traditionally associated as being a harbinger of doom, it certainly shouldn't be viewed with such fear at Greenham: an easterly means you're pushed up the final straight which contains our only hill-which-isn't-really-a-hill, and should, theoretically, make the final couple of kilometres a little quicker than you may be used to.

We doubt that many of the 296 of you had thought in that much detail about the weather this morning, but the presence of so many runners on such a dreary morning really demonstrated just how hardy you all were - and certainly how the phrase "new year resolution runners" is not one that should be applied to Newbury parkrunners. In fact, 42 of you (14% of the field) were newcomers. We hope you all enjoyed running Newbury for the first time, and hope you'll get as hooked as most of us do (be assured that it's a) not usually that muddy in the finish area and b) the barcode scanning devices perform much better when it's not cold and wet, so you shouldn't have to queue so long next time you run).

Whilst most of today's newcomers were first time parkrunners, we also welcomed a number of runners from neighbouring parkruns. Thomas Scott-Langley was visiting from the still-underwater Abingdon parkrun. Today's parkrun was his 22nd, and he's seen an impressive improvement streak since he started parkrunning back in January last year. Mandalika Battacharya is another runner who would call Abingdon parkrun home, but today she ran her fastest ever parkrun time at Newbury (hopefully incentive enough to come out again!). Joanna Woodcock was another visitor from Abingdon, Kenneth Wilcox has done exactly the same number of parkruns at Thomas Scott-Langley, but his home parkrun is the other neighbouring flood-marooned course of Reading. Kenneth started parkrunning back in May 2011, and has seen his times drop by an incredible 13 minutes since his debut. Amy Wilcox was also visiting from Reading today. We also welcomed young newcomer George Onslow (JM14) of Basingstoke parkrun, who this week ran with his Dad (we think?), Nick Onslow. We also had two runners travelling some distance to run at Newbury today: Ross McGeogh-Williams has run his other three parkruns at the home of parkrun, Bushy Park in London whilst our second-placed lady, Sarah Costin, has only ever run at Bedford parkrun before (and always in sub-20 times). We hope all of you enjoyed the change of Newbury parkrun, and hope to see you back in better conditions.

Before today's run got underway, we had the pleasure of awarding one of the first "50 club" shirts we've had to award at Newbury parkrun. This week it was the turn of Liz Harkness (VW60-64) of Newbury AC to be in the spotlight. Liz has been parkrunning since 2009, and is regularly near the top of the age graded results at Newbury. Her best time of 26 minutes dead equates to an age graded score of 77.95%, and we're pretty confident that she'll go below 26 minutes in 2013 and reach the elusive 80% age grade (the mark of a "national standard" runner). Her first parkruns were in Basingstoke, although she has also run the Reading and Cambridge parkruns. Liz is also a regular volunteer at Newbury, and her smiling face is always a welcome to exhausted runners at the finish line. Well done Liz, and we hope your next 50 runs will be as successful as your first 50!

Liz Harkness

Liz Harkness: Newbury parkrun's newest "50 club" member

 

In today's run, Colin Lough (SM30-34) was first across the line for the third time in as many weeks - an enviable streak to have! Whilst the conditions denied him a personal best, his time of 17:51 was still over a minute ahead of his nearest competition. Colin has now been the first finisher in exactly half the parkruns he has run. In second place was James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet in 18:57, with third place going to Matt Murray (SM35-39) in 19:10. Matt finished in third place once before - at the much larger event of Bushy Park in London.

Amongst the ladies, Liz Hartney (VW45-49) of Reading Roadrunners made a welcome return to Newbury parkrun and crossed the line in 20:07. This is some way from her full fitness best, but was still enough to net her today's highest age graded score of 80.53% - a full 7% clear of her nearest competition. Second place went to visiting Sarah Costin (VW35-39) of Notts AC in 21:28, and third across the line was Georgina Bradford (JW14) of Team Kennet in 22:37.

Despite the conditions yesterday, we still noted a number of impressive performances. Carrie Collins knocked another 17 seconds from her time (she has managed a personal best in 11 out of the 17 parkruns she has run!), whilst Ali Pearce managed her third personal best in a row, breaking the 37 minute barrier for the first time! Jake Britten got his first personal best in three months (28:09), whilst Jo Alderson-Phillips knocked a massive 1 minute and 26 seconds off her previous best time - run just three weeks ago! One of the day's biggest improvers was Gemma Maynard: her time of 35:42 is nearly three minutes faster than her previous best! Olivia Iles saw her time reduce by 30 seconds (now painstakingly close to the 24:XXs, whilst Peter Slavin, returning to Newbury for the first time since June, managed a best time by nearly a minute! Andy Tucker managed a new post-injury personal best (it's coming back, Andy!) whilst it was lovely to see Jo Wiltshire return for the first time in six months - and run just eight seconds slower than that last appearance! Please keep telling us your stories via our Facebook page (Link) or by emailing newburyoffice@parkrun.com - we love to hear them!

However, amongst all the good stories, I'm afraid there are two matters to bring to your attention. Our volunteers in the finish funnel were subjected to some rather unsavoury abuse from a parkrunner today who was distressed that another runner was blocking them in the finish funnel. Whilst we appreciate that the finish can get a little frustrated, there is no need to take this out on the volunteers who are doing an amazing job (particularly yesterday when the conditions were so cold).

Also, please remember that we are sharing the common with the public. We have no more right to be there than anyone else. Therefore, please give way to other users of the paths whenever you can, and ensure you are fully aware of what is going on around you at all times. There is no rule on the common that dogs should be kept on leads and, as Greenham is such a good place to exercise dogs, it is likely you will come across dogs without leads during the run. Please be aware of this, and treat the dogs (and their owners) with the respect they deserve.

As we saw one of our biggest ever turnouts today (we almost had to break into our emergency Colin-Brassington-homemade finish tags), which made things a little busier than normal in the finish area. This, coupled with the cold weather, meant it was a busy day for our volunteers (apologies for the longer than normal queues for barcode scanning - the scanners tend to play up in cold and wet weather, and can make the process slow). Anyway, an extra special thank you today to the wonderful team of Andy Woodman, Amelia, Anne and Charlotte Wenlock, Ash Singal, Mike, Suzy, Charlotte & Evan Phillips, Claire Phelps, Clive Williams, Fiona Lees, Mike Moors, Paul Hendry and Sam Stelfox. A particular thank you to nine-year-old Charlie Hart who volunteered on the morning of the parkrun to help token sort - and did a really excellent job! We are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

After 52 events, 2,295 athletes from 126 athletics clubs have now completed 10,593 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 52,965km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

Abi Scarlett  is still leading the ladies' annual points competition with 3,661 points, against Mum, Mags Scarlett's, 3,618 points. Carol Lowe remains in third place with 3,538 points. Paul Hendry kept his lead with his score of 3,343 still over 100 ahead of Matthew Brookes' 3,192. James Moorcroft is still in third place with a score of 2,921 points. We're almost at the end of the year now we're nearing our anniversary, so it'll soon be time for our winners to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrations, next week one of our regular Newbury runners, Ian Berry, is going to complete his 100th parkrun at next Saturday's parkrun - and he has chosen Newbury to complete this feat! The "100 club" t-shirt and jacket is very much a prized possession and, whilst Ian won't receive this until next month, we are still incredibly flattered that he's chosen to run his 100th event at Newbury. Ian has arranged that the lovely people at the Coffee Exchange bake a (large!) cake for the occasion which Ian will be offering to all parkrunners who attend the Coffee Exchange post-parkrun. The café is ready for the influx of extra cake-hungry visitors, and has promised to put on extra staff this week! Congratulations in advance, Ian - and we look forward to celebrating with you.

Ian Berry

Ian Berry - who is inviting us all to join in his 100th parkrun celebration at next Saturday's event on 19 January - completing last week's parkrun in a new best-for-Newbury time

 

Although next week is a special occasion, 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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. 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.

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 51 (5 January 2013)

The New Year running craze hits Greenham Common - with stunning results!

With the "special" extra New Year's Day parkrun out of the way, today's event was always going to be the real first event of the year. With Greenham Common having been battered by some of the most atrocious weather we've ever witnessed in Newbury over the past few weeks, we felt we were more than overdue for some kinder conditions. Luckily for us, the Met Office also took pity on us and delivered us unseasonably mild-for-January weather - with very little wind. Perfect running conditions.

And you came to parkrun in your droves today - we welcomed an incredible 262 runners to Greenham this morning! With the exception of our inaugural event and the special Diamond Jubilee parkrun, today's run attracted our joint highest ever total. We've also seen over 10,000 total parkruns completed on Greenham Common! However, whilst this number is impressive, the figure which impressed us most was the fact that 52 of you were running the event for the first time - that's one in five of all those of you who ran today! We know you all had different reasons for joining in today - some of you may have made new year's resolutions to lose weight or get fitter, others joined in run together with friends and family whilst some of you were making the most of the unseasonably mild weather to enjoy a run without the soul destroying conditions of recent weeks.

We hope you all enjoyed yourselves and, judging by the smiling faces crossing the finishing line today, it seems that most of you did. We hope you'll now get the bug that so many other Berkshirians have now caught and we'll see you back week after week.

Smiling parkrunners

Whlist the majority of first timers today were first time parkrunners (and we'd love to hear what you thought of the parkrun), we also welcomed visitors from other parkruns around the country. Today's most travelled Newbury newcomers were William and Anne Gavin who were accompanied by (presumably!) Dad (Steven Gavin). The Gavins are all in Manchester-based club Sale Harriers and are regulars of the Wythenshawe parkrun. Sadly, with Reading parkrun still underwater, we once again welcomed some marooned parkrunners from the course: juniors Mike Clark, Ellie Clark and Ryan Anderton were both visiting from Reading and both managed to put down good results on their first outing at Greenham. Kim Cushing was another Reading visitor. Another parkrun which sadly remains underwater is Abingdon, and we saw a big visiting contingent from here too today: Eileen Naughton was one of the Didcot Runners who was trying Newbury for the first time today. Eileen commented how "lovely and flat" the Newbury course is, so we secretly hope she'll defect a bit more often. Gabriela Ramirez, Timmy Ramirez-Cuesta and Sue Powell also made the excursion from Abingdon. If Newbury parkrun was twinned with another parkrun, we think it would have to be Andover due to the number of runners we see at Newbury. Today, it was the turn of Dan Mason to visit from Andover. Dan managed a solid 19:38 which is only marginally slower than his Andover personal best - an excellent result in a first run. Hopefully he'll be back very soon to try and get his time below a very achievable 19:30. Others were making the trip from Basingstoke for the first time, so welcome to Claire Bailey, Luke Onslow, Nick Onslow and Matt Simons.

After an impromptu 50th birthday song for parkrun regular, Anne Wenlock (happy birthday, Anne!), the parkrun was underway. In today's run, Colin Lough (SM30-34) was first across the line in another sub-17:30 time of 17:29. It was the third time Colin has found himself crossing the finish first - and it actually gives him a mini-first finish streak: Colin was also the lead parkrunner on our New Year's Day run as well. Second-placed finisher was Gareth Scourfield (VM40-44). Gareth's time of 18:12 equates to a new personal best, and seems him edge closer to the elusive sub-18 (we're sure he'll get there very soon). Gareth may also be pleasantly surprised to hear that he earned today's highest age graded score of 76.10%. Ian Berry (VM40-44) of Winchester & District AC was third across the line today. Whilst not an all-time PB, Ian's time of 18:17 is a best on the Newbury course.

Amongst the ladies, Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners was the first the finish today (and she did it relatively easily whilst pacing a friend round!). Cheryl Fowler (VW40-44) was second today in 23:52, whilst Samantha Dredge (SW25-29) of Newbury AC took the final podium spot in 23:54.

Colin Lough

Colin Lough

Karen Grinsted

Karen Grinsted

 

With so many runners at Newbury today though, there were countless other impressive performances across the field today. In fact, 17% of you ran new personal bests today - quite astonishing given we're not even in the "fast" time of the year yet. Abi Scarlett was vocally ecstatic to run an eight second personal best, and Jo Amor showed she also hadn't been slacking on the training front over the festive period - also netting a new PB by the same margin as Abi (and getting below 25 minutes for the first time!). Robin Killingsworth ran 19:46 which not only anhiliates his previous best by over a minute, but also sees him break the 20 minute barrier for the first time.

It was lovely to welcome back Henry Hopkins: Henry has 87 parkruns to his name, and is a regular visitor to Newbury. Returning to Newbury for the first time since June, he managed to reduce his previous course best by over two minutes! Matthew Bailey is another "50 clubber" who returned to Newbury for only the second time today, but managed to knock over a minute off his previous time! Wendy Lewis has been coming to Newbury parkrun since July, and has steadily seen her times improve. However, it's been nearly three months since she last ran a new personal best, so we were pleased to see she's knocked seven seconds off this week. Julian Rowe has had to wait even longer for a new PB, but today he finally knocked 10 seconds from his previous best from June last year. Ady Tuckwell is another regular Newbury parkrunner who hadn't felt the rush of a new personal best for a while, but today he broke into the 23s for the first time ever with a 28-second personal best! Paul Courtney also saw a similar margin of improvement to take him into the 22s for the first time, whilst Richard Pike saw his first ever 25:xx on the clock. Abi Livingstone, one of our regular junior runners, was kindly paced to a new personal best today by Catherine Cox and we know she'll be happy with her new time (sub-30 before long, Abi?!). One of our other big improvers was John Knott who, showing signs that his injury is now behind him, took 82 seconds off to run 37:29.

Finally, however, massive respect must go to Ali Pearce. I remember talking to Ali back in November when she felt breaking 40 minutes would be a big ask. She soon did, however, and today she took nearly two minutes off her previous best to run a mightily impressive 37:02. We secretly think she'll be nudging the 35:XXs before long.

Please keep telling us your stories via our Facebook page (Link) or by emailing newburyoffice@parkrun.com - we love to hear them!

However, it wasn't just the runners who were worthy of praise. The volunteer team (who are made up of you, the runners) were absolutely brilliant today - especially as we had a number of people stepping up to new tasks for the first time. A big thank you, therefore, to Gemma "nanny extraordinaire Livingstone, Abi Livingstone, Andy Woodman, Ann Singal, Iain and Carrie Collins, Clive Williams, Emily Cox and Hannah Cox, Ian Berry, Jenny Carter, Liz Harkness, Mark Shepherd, Mick Cornwall, Paul Hendry, Sam Stelfox and our wonderful photographer, Stuart March (photos are available on our Facebook page). are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

There was a little extra celebration for our volunteers today. Most of you will know Sandra Bowers who runs fast (well, more than fast) with her beautiful huskies. Sandra recently entered a competition run by Science in Sport (SiS) to win a hamper full of SiS goodies. To enter the competition, Sandra had to state who she'd most like to gift the hamper to if she won it - and her answer of "the Newbury parkrun volunteers" was deemed as the winning entry. An entirely selfless (and very, very much appreciated gesture) meant Sandra donated the goodies to a very happy team of volunteers in the Coffee Exchange after the parkrun. We've already heard how well the "treats" are going down, so expect to witness some supercharged parkrunners running around Greenham over the next few weeks! Thank you so much, Sandra.

SiS

 Sandra Bowers with event director, Rachael Elliott - and a lovely box of SiS goodies!

After 51 events, 2,253 athletes from 124 athletics clubs have now completed 10,297 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 51,485km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

Abi Scarlett  has finally overtaken mum, Mags Scarlett, to lead the women's points competition with 3,569 points vs 3, 531. Carol Lowe remains only marginally behind with 3,467 points. Paul Hendry kept his lead with his score of 3,256 is now over 100 ahead of Matthew Brookes' 3,119. James Moorcroft is beginning to creep back with a score of 2,822 points.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee. Please come 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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. 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.

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 49 (29 December 2012)

 

What's a bit of wind and rain? Newbury parkrunners are all-weather runners!

For the last Newbury parkrun of 2012, we had hoped that God might deliver us the best conditions of the year. However, as we arrived at Greenham, it seemed the opposite was true: the wind was so strong that branches were breaking off the gorse bushes in front of us, and the rain was lashing us with the intensity of a top-of-the-range power shower (minus the heat). Laying down the tarpaulins to put bags on became a logistical challenge greater than any seen in the Crystal Maze, and we soon abandoned the idea of sorting the tokens in our usual way of placing them in numerical order on the boards - they'd simply have blown away.

The inclement weather made it exceptionally tough for volunteers today: the team struggled with waterlogged clipboards, invisibility-caused-by-water-covered-spectacles, disintegrated barcodes and one of our barcode scanners completely failed (which was a pity as first-time barcode scanner, Charlotte Phillips, was all set to do a brilliant job!). Ever the positive crew at Newbury parkrun, however, we like to think that God was merely using up his bad weather ahead of a brighter, warmer and sunnier 2013!

With the conditions being the worst we've ever seen at Greenham, we fully expected to get well under 100 runners today and were moreorless convinced we'd get our lowest ever turnout. This wasn't the case, however, and you once again proved us wrong! 116 of you toed the line today - including an incredible 12 first timers! Amongst the first timers was young Joe Burnett who managed to sneak well under 40 minutes in his first ever parkrun - well done Joe! As has also been the theme of recent weeks, many of our first timers were visitors from other parkruns: Frimley regular Richard Smith was running his ninth different parkrun at Newbury today, whilst it was a pleasure to welcome Caroline Stevens and Luke Day from Reading parkrun and Chris Mison from Basingstoke parkrun. It was a real joy to be introduced to parkrunners Rose Webb and Malcolm Thirlaway by Newbury regular, Andy Gove. Rose and Malcolm had travelled from the north-east to complete Newbury today, and we hope they won't be put off by the weather and come back again very soon (Rose also broke the VW65-69 age group record today which will hopefully by enticement enough to come back and reduce the time further in better conditions!).

In today's run, newcomer Mark Apsey (SM20-24) of Reading Roadrunners was first across the line in 19:04. Alex Hanson (JM15-19) of Team Kennet clearly took a chance for an easier run today and finished second in 19:37. Nigel Grantham (VM40-44) clocked his first podium finish to take third place in 19:41.

Amongst the ladies, Sue Francis (VW40-44) of Reading AC was first across the line (for the second time in just two appearances!) in 21:14. Sue also managed the day's highest age graded score of 73.55%. Ann Singal (VW45-49) took second in 22:58, whilst Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners was barely a step behind to take third in 22:59.

Most of you took the opportunity to enjoy a slower run today, but we were majorly impressed to see that six of you managed new personal bests! Robin Killingsworth managed a 17 second personal best, whilst Simon Kirby reduced his previous best time by a massive 26 seconds! Alice Hartney saw her time drop by 14 minutes from July (although we think she may have been taking it easy then!) whilst John Traill took advantage from a rare Saturday morning off orchestra conducting duties to run a three-second personal best. Gemma Maynard, running again with Dad, Martyn Maynard, managed her fourth personal best in four appearances - her new best time is now 39:09! We're always interested in hearing your stories, so please share them with us via our Facebook page (Link) or by emailing us on newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

As we mentioned, the volunteers had a particularly tough time today in the brutal conditions. Thank you therefore to Jo Darby, Simon Hart and Lee Jones (spot-on work on the timers today), Dave Billings (who did an excellent job checking the times - despite coming down with an awful virus the previous evening), Charlotte Phillips and Charlotte Wenlock (who managed faultless barcode scanning - even when one of the scanners failed), Fay Jones (who battled with a soggy clipboard to write down unscannable barcodes), Wendy and Philip Lewis (who manned the finish funnel as their first ever volunteer duty - and were enthusiastic throughout!), Mark & Bobbi Shepherd and Mike & Evan Phillips (who did a great job in the car park), the ever-wonderful Andy Woodman (who set the course up) and finally, Stuart March (who took some *stunning* photographs which are available to see on our Facebook page). We'd also like to say a special thanks to Mags Scarlett and Ady Tuckwell who sorted the tokens out in the café afterwards (after we were unable to sort them as normal on the Common due to the weather). We are always seeking volunteers, so if you would like to help out in future weeks then please let us know by emailing newburyhelpers@parkrun.com.

After 49 events, 2,180 athletes from 119 athletics clubs have now completed 9,876 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 49,380km. 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 Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

Mags Scarlett still leads the women's points competition with 3,447 points with daughter Abi Scarlett now in second place with 3,380 points (come on Abi! You have to beat mum!). Carol Lowe is also now only marginally behind with 3,311 points. Paul Hendry saw his lead eroded slightly after missing today's run: his score of 3,088 is now only just over 100 ahead of Matthew Brookes' 2,979. James Moorcroft is also now back in contention: he's now in third place with 2,725 points.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee. Please come 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 newburyhelpers@parkrun.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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. 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 on Tuesday's New Year's Day run - for a 10am start!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)