Newbury parkrun Event #87: 14 September 2013

Those cold, drizzly September mornings. They're not conducive to parkrunning. Or are they?

With heavy rain and some of the coldest temperatures we've had at parkrun since spring forecast, we predicted our numbers might suffer this week. After all, opening the curtains to grey skies and that horrid meteorological condition we can only describe as "omnidrizzle" is more likely to make us dive beneath the covers for some extra sleep than leap out of bed and try to break a 5k personal best. Or is it?

Well, it seems that those of us who live in West Berkshire defy human nature - as 9am approached, we were faced with 391 enthusiastic faces who were raring to run. Anyone who tracks our weekly attendance will instantly know that this is a new attendance record. Moreover, our previous record was on our "special" Jubilee event (which attracted a number of visitors) so to have 391 turn up for a normal event on a normal September morning is quite stunning. We know we should now hit the 400 runner mark in a matter of weeks which would be amazing and testament to just how addictive running has become in the Newbury area! Our statistics also tell us that we are now just five runners away from having 3,500 runners registered at Newbury parkrun - could next week be the week we cross the 400 runner barrier and have over 3,500 runners registered?*

* Lots of runners means lots of cars. Our car parks are now getting rather full each Saturday, so please read the note at the end of this report regarding car parking.

Before we started the run today, we had some T-shirts to present. We continue to be extremely sorry about the supply problems with the T-shirts which are largely affecting the junior 10-club T-shirts. We have absolutely no control at all in the T-shirt distribution, but we know that parkrun HQ are doing their very best to try and get T-shirts out to their very worthy recipients as soon as possible.

We've had his 10 T-shirt for quite a while, but today was Diarmuid Laverty's first parkrun since June. Diarmuid is one of the many pupils from Mary Hare School who participate in parkrun, and he has been away since June due to school holidays. Diarmuid's first parkrun was run exactly a year ago when he ran 25:26 on his first outing. However, in his tenth parkrun in June, he ran a highly impressive 20:40 - that's nearly five minutes off his debut time! Well done Diarmuid, and here's to a similar improve curve over the following year.

Diarmuid Laverty
Diarmuid Laverty: 10 Club

Next, it was the turn of Guy Watts to receive his "50 club" T-shirt. A member of Team Kennet, Guy has been a regular of Newbury parkrun since it started, but actually started his parkrun career in Basingstoke in February 2009. At nearly five years to earn his 50 club T-shirt, we have a feeling his next 50 runs will come a little quicker than the previous 50! However, his speed at earning his 50 club t-shirt is certainly not mirrored in his running: Guy has been first to cross the line nine times, and has an impressive personal best of 16:44 - the eleventh fastest time run at Newbury, and second fastest in his SM35-39 age category. Well done Guy!

Guy Watts
Guy Watts: 50 Club

Sara Philo was next to be presented with her "50 club" t-shirt. Sara is a member of the Newbury Runners group, and ran her first parkrun in June 2012. Her first run was completed in 35:15 and, following her debut, she notched up seven personal bests on the trot and got her time down to 30:40. Her dedication to training has now seen her time reduce to 27:21 - there can't be many of us who can boast a near eight-minute improvement in less than a year! With Sara's enthusiasm, we don't think it's presumptious to assume that Sara will soon see her times get below the magic 25 minute barrier! Congratulations, Sara!

Sara Philo
Sara Philo: 50 Club

Team Kennet's Mike Sheridan was the next worthy recipient of his 50 club T-shirt. Mike is one of our regular faces at parkrun, and also a frequent winner of the weekly "age graded" score competition with his results frequently earning him a score >80%. Indeed, his personal best of 19:40 equates to an age graded 83.73% - highly impressive indeed (and equates to a 24 year-old running 15:24!). Mike kept it a secret until post-parkrun coffee, but it was actually his birthday yesterday - and what better present than a 50 club T-shirt?! We also hear that Mike achieved his ultimate birthday present the following day - he ran a sub-40 minute 10k at the Victory 10k in Portsmouth (39:47) . Congratulations and happy birthday, Mike!

Mike Sheridan
Mike Sheridan: 50 Club

Finally, David Wright of Newbury AC also received his 50 Club T-shirt yesterday. However, David missed the presentation due to being delayed with his family and collected his shirt after the run. David ran his first parkrun in Andover in 2011, and has a Newbury parkrun personal best of an impressive 18:57 (ran at his first ever event!). David is one of our most travelled parkrunners, and has run 12 different parkruns boasting parkruns such as Llyn Llech Owain, Newport, Southwick and Conkers to his name. The picture below is a library picture of David from September, but we couldn't allow his face not to feature!

David Wright
David Wright: 50 Club

In today's runfirst timer Alex Muir (SM20-24) of Newbury AC put in a highly impressive debut run to cross the line first in 16:50 - a time which puts him as second in the SM20-24 age group and sees him as the fourteenth fastest runner ever to complete the Newbury course. Alex Hanson (JM15-19) of Team Kennet shares the same personal best as Muir, but yesterday came in in second place in a still highly creditable time of 17:34. Sadly, the runner who finished in third place today was barcodeless so unfortunately was not credited with a time today.

Amongst the ladies, Sheena Keates (VW35-39) of Runnymede Runners claimed her third first place out of four appearance at Newbury in a time of 19:53. Bev Hall (VW45-49) of Newbury AC took second place in 22:54 with Mai Brown (JW14) of Team Kennet taking the final podium spot in 23:10. We should also mention Sheila Marshall (VW55-59) of Newbury AC whose time of 23:46 equated to today's highest age graded score of 79.38%.

However, aside from the top finishers, there were some equally noteworthy performances elsewhere in the field today. We'd like to give Michael Phillips a mention: it was Michael's first run at Newbury, although he has 58 parkruns to his name. Michael's regular parkrun is Bushy Park in London (the home of parkrun), but we note that among his parkrun credentials he has a run at the US-parkrun, Livonia parkrun, on his list of events. Sarah Nangle, a Southampton parkrun regular, was also running Newbury for the first time and ran her fastest parkrun since May on the paths of Greenham! In total, there were 75 new personal bests. Kate Grieves and Ian Colcomb were two of those who were particularly happy to run new best times, with Debbie Studart pleased to finally get under 30 minutes again. We also noted that Lisa Ludewig ran her first parkrun today (which actually surprised us - Lisa is such a regular volunteer!), as did Adam Carr - well done to both of you! We're always interested in your own stories and hearing of your personal achievements, so please keep letting us know, either via our Facebook page (Link) or by emailing newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We have to give particular thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers today. We've had a few challenges with the results recently (through no fault of anyone) but yesterday's results were uploaded extremely swiftly and, thanks to the technical expertise of parkrun HQ, also went online quicker than we can remember! Thanks therefore to Cheryl Langford, Dave, Samuel and Arthur Cheney, (the legend that is) Bob Phillips, Debbie Futcher, Sue, Paul and Ellie-Rose Bennett, Debbie Futcher, Harry Sullivan, Jo Amor, Karen Grinsted, Matt and Lauren Brown, Matt Walters, Mike Sheridan, Paul Grant, Paul Hendry, Richard Disney, Steven Nelthorpe, Mark Shepherd and Stuart Davidson. We also had Matt Walters and Karen Grinsted taking photos (which are available to view on the Facebook page: Link).

This year's points competition is now well underway. Karen Grinsted is is still leading the ladies' competition with 8,030 with Carrie Collins sneaking into second place with 7,291 points. Monique Amor remains in third place with a score of 7,024 points. In the men's competition, Karen's husband Mike Grinsted is leading with 8,290 points. Rob Saunders is in second place with 7,994 points and David Stratton remains in third place with 7,240 points.

After 87 events, 3466 athletes from 176 athletics clubs have now completed 20,610 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 103,050km. The women's course record is held by Susie Bush who ran 17:49 in event #68 on  and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email 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. ***NEW*** Car Parking: Please note that our car parks are now getting extremely full due to the (brilliant!) number of runners we're now getting. If you could review your own travelling procedures (including running/cycling to parkrun or car sharing) that would be great. Alternatively, if you arrive a little earlier for parkrun, consider parking in the car park outside Coffee Exchange and using the run from the cafe to the parkrun as a warm-up (it's almost exactly a mile - a perfect warm up distance!). If you're coming from North Newbury, you could also consider using the car park at the control tower and jogging to the start as a warm up. Just keep up the considerate parking behaviour, and we'll be sure to keep other users of the business park happy.
  2. 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!).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Although we are now out of nesting season, it is still extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. This means keeping your dogs on leads at all times, and particularly avoiding the area known as the "Fire Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary. Note that control of the common is about to be handed over to the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (from West Berks District Council) so it is imperative that we keep up our good behaviour; respecting other common users and always taking litter home.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun Event #83: 17 August 2013

Holidays fail to thwart the new runner stampede!

We're now unfortunately counting the days down until Autumn, but intend to enjoy the warmer conditions as much as we can before we start to see the first flowers on our hallowed gorse bushes: a sure sign that the nights are closing in. Numbers were down slightly this week as many of our regular runners were either away on holiday, or taking part in an en masse roadtrip to the Minley 20k race (where we've heard stories of some excellent running!).

290 runners toed the line this week - the lowest number since 22 June - but when you consider that we often struggled to break the 200 runner mark in August last year, this is testament to just how popular parkrun - and running in general - has become in Newbury over the past year. In fact, the best demonstration of this growing popularity is the fact that an incredible 44 runners this week (or 15% of the field) were new to Newbury parkrun. Whilst most were new to the parkrun concept in general, we did have some visitors, or "parkrun tourists" as they are commonly known. One of those was Alex Dicks: Alex started his parkrun career at Eastleigh in 2011 and, although his allegiance is now at Winchester parkrun, he has run 12 different parkruns during the course of his 42-run career and managed his first sub-20 parkrun at Southampton on 6 July. We also welcomed Julie Collins and Shane Powell from the rather amusingly named "Cake Club". Both Julie and Shane are regulars of the Havant parkrun and, although both have run a variety of different parkruns, Julie's time today was her second fastest ever parkrun time, and Shane managed an all time parkrun personal best! Well done to both of you. Chris Griggs has 17 parkruns to his name, and can normally be found at the Oxford parkrun at Cutteslowe Park. Finally, our (arguably) furthest travelled visitor this week was Serena Partridge of Pickering AC. Serena normally frequents the northern parkruns of Sewerby and York (with excursions to Glasgow, Tees Barrage and Northampton), but today was her most southerly ever parkrun! We hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and hope to welcome you back again very soon.

Before the run got underway today, we had three new t-shirts to present. First to collect their t-shirt was new 10-club member, Chris Carr. Chris ran his first parkrun back in May, and now run 13 parkruns (all at Newbury) to his name. He's managed to get under the magical 30-minute mark twice, and has a personal best of 29:28. Well done Chris!

Chris Carr
Chris Carr: 10 Club

Next, it was the turn of Graham Phillips to receive his 50 Club shirt. Graham ran his first Newbury parkrun back in May 2012 in 36:04, and then succeeded in reducing his time on his next five consecutive outings at parkrun. His streak ended with a time of 30:34 on 16 June 2012. Since then, he has come on in leaps and bounds and last week ran a new personal best of 25:05 - just one second shy of a massive eleven minute improvement! Does this mean we're going to see him challenging Mo Farah by the time he collects his 100 shirt?! Only time will tell. Congratulations, Graham!

Graham Phillips
Graham Phillips: 50 Club

The final T-shirt presented today went to Phil Cowhig of Team Kennet. Phil was present at the first snow-covered Newbury parkrun on 11 February 2012, and hasn't looked back. Phil impressively snow-danced to a time of 22:55 on the snow, and has since managed to get his time down to a fast 21:46. Phil regularly runs with his son Baxter, and the reason he hasn't got to 50 faster is because of the sheer number of times he's volunteered! Phil's one of the happiest faces we have at Newbury, and look forward to even more improvements as he edges towards 100 runs. Well done Philip!

Phil Cowhig
Phil Cowhig: 50 Club

(We know that many of you are still waiting for t-shirts to be delivered, and can only apologise for the delay. It breaks my heart each month when the batch is delivered and there are so many t-shirts - particularly for junior runners - which have been delayed. We know that parkrun HQ are doing their utmost to try and get shirts made and distributed as quickly as they can, and you *will* receive your shirts soon)

In today's run, Alex Hanson (JM15-19) of Team Kennet was the first across the line in 17:28. It was the third time Alex has been first to finish and, more importantly, is the first time he's managed to get below 17:30. David Fry (SM25-29) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC took second place in 17:51, with Ciaran Birch (JM15-19) of Didcot Runners finishing just a stride behind in 17:52. It's the first time Ciaran has run Newbury parkrun since January, and is a massive personal best for him - his previous best was 19:18, so his new time is an 86 second improvement!

Sheena Keates (VW35-39) of Runnymede Runners was first across the line in 19:27. Sheena has 75 parkruns to her name and, although only three have been run at Newbury, her time today equates to her fastest parkrun ever! Well done Sheena. Mai Brown (JW14) of Team Kennet was second lady across the line in a new personal best of 21:55, with Christina Pugsley (SW30-34) of Newbury AC finishing third and completing the podium ladies' personal best bingo with a new best time of 22:06.

We had two runners who exceeded the impressive 80% age graded mark today: Mike Sheridan (VM60-64) earned a score of 82.68% with his time of 19:55, whilst Sheila Marshall (VW55-59) was graded 81.73% for her new personal best time of 23:05.

We also noticed some impressive performances throughout the field today. You don't have to be a huge football fan to know about ex-England international Stuart Pearce. Stuart ran our parkrun today and, whether it was deliberate or not, chose to not get a barcode scanned for a time. Our timekeepers tell us that Stuart ran an impressive 21 minute 5k which shows that he is clearly still keeping in shape. Stuart's son, Harley, also ran an impressive 24:39 in his debut run at Greenham. We really hope they'll be back in future weeks. In fact, it seemed to be the day for Stuarts to make their parkrun debut: Stuart Wilson also enjoyed his first run at Newbury, and we hope he'll be make for many more! Rog Davis managed to break into the 21 minute bracket for the first time, whilst Karsh Davey's week of splurging out on the diet front whilst on holiday in Cornwall saw him rewarded with an eleven second personal best! Paul Grant meanwhile managed his sixth personal best in six weeks (showing that setting the course up provides the perfect warm up!). He has now got his best time down to 23:15 - nearly 4.5 minutes better than his first parkrun, just three months ago. Finally, we don't know whether to congratulate or commiserate with Matt Brookes: last week, Matt ran 20:02 - so painstakingly close to breaking 20. This week, he ran 20:01! Hopefully, by mathematical logic, he should be sub-20 on 31 August.

We have to give particular thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers today. We're rather struggling for volunteer help at the moment given it's the holidays, and the team today did a perfect job. Thanks therefore to Dave and Alanna Smith, Anne and Charlotte Wenlock, Chi Yeung, Claire Heller, Claire Sandys, Clare Groombridge, Gary Shaughnessy, Mark Shepherd, Matt Walters, Nathan Darling, Paul Grant, Paul Hendry, Philip and Wendy Lewis and Tim Hill. We also had John Barr and Clive Williams taking photos (which are available to view on the Facebook page: Link).

Timekeepers
You too can look this cool if you timekeep at Newbury parkrun. Today's team with the watches were Matt Walters, Tim Hill and Gary Shaughnessy

This year's points competition is now well underway. Karen Grinsted is is still leading the ladies' competition with 8,030 with Carrie Collins sneaking into second place with 7,291 points. Monique Amor remains in third place with a score of 7,024 points. In the men's competition, Karen's husband Mike Grinsted is leading with 8,290 points. Rob Saunders is in second place with 7,994 points and David Stratton remains in third place with 7,240 points.

After 83 events, 3,335 athletes from 171 athletics clubs have now completed 19,253 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 96,265km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email 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 Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun Event #81: 3 August 2013

Another week of warmth, another week of fast times!

Newbury parkrunners were once again blessed with beautiful conditions for the 81st Newbury parkrun. Although the wind may have been a little stronger on the home straight than would have been ideal, it certainly didn't stop 76 of today's 320 finishers recording new personal bests today - that's 28% of all of you who were running the course for the first time.

Perhaps the most encouraging statistic of the day though was the fact that we welcomed 45 first timers to Greenham today - this is the highest number of newcomers we've welcomed for months. The fastest parkrun first timer today was Zuzana Faberova. Zuzana finished as fourth female in a time of 21:55 - the fifth fastest time recorded at Greenham by a JW15-19. However, whilst most of today's newcomers had never run a parkrun anywhere before, there were some visitors today from other parkruns: Irene Liming and Linda Booth were the day's only 100 Club visitors, boasting 111 and 141 parkruns to their names respectively. Irene and Linda run the Reading parkrun normally. We also had some 50 Club visitors from Reading: Claire Seymour has run 92 parkruns (with Newbury being her ninth unique venue!), whilst James Bailey made only his fourth ever excursion away from Reading (in a total of 91 parkruns). Sheena Keates, another Reading parkrunner, finished impressively as third lady today in a time of 20:24 - her quickest parkrun since 31 December 2011. Mark Jeffrey has never ventured from the confines of War Memorial Park and the Basingstoke parkrun before today - but we are flattered that Mark chose Newbury to run his 50th parkrun! Ian Bunday started his parkrun career at Bromley, but more recently has made the cliffside parkrun at Great Yarmouth (Gorleston Cliffs) his home and today made his first trip to Newbury. It was also wonderful to welcome Ivy, Ben and Elliot Perrins - four junior parkrunners who frequent Reading parkrun and the Woodley juniors' parkrun on Sundays.

In today's run, Colin Lough (SM30-34) was first runner across the line for the sixth week in a row, finishing with a time of 17:01. Colin was pushed all the way once again by James Craggs (SM30-34) of Newbury AC who finished in 17:02 (James has now run four parkruns in 17:01, 17:02, 17:04 and 17:05 - he *will* break 17 soon!). Daniel Tuttle (SM20-24), also of Newbury AC, took the final podium spot in 17:58.

James Craggs and Colin Lough
James Craggs and Colin Lough battling it out for first place

There was also a tight race amongst the ladies today: Liz Hartney (VW45-49) of Reading AC was eventually victorious in 19:22 - her fastest Newbury parkrun since February (and also earning the highest age graded score of the day of 83.65%). Edwina McDowall (VW40-44) of Tri2O had to settle for second today, but still put in a good run to cross the line in 19:45. As mentioned above, Reading visitor Sheena Keates (VW35-39) of Runnymede Runners took third in 20:24. Also worthy of a mention is Sheila Marshall (VW55-59) of Newbury AC. Sheila's time of 23:35 equates to an age graded score of 80.00% - the only other time (apart from Liz's) which was 80% or above.

Liz Hartney
Liz Hartney: Today's first female finisher

The frontrunners weren't the only ones who put in impressive performances today. Matt Walters continued his recent run of success with yet another personal best (his second personal best in a row - and on the back of a 10k pb on Sunday), with Russell Barrett, Keith Pearce and Paul Grant vocally happy to run new pbs! There were some notable absences who made a welcome return today: Sarah Parry surprised herself by being able to run nearly all the way after having a number of weeks out to recover from an operation, whilst Colin Brassington made his first run back after a bad ankle sprain at Netley Abbey parkrun two weeks ago. Linda Graham also ran her first parkrun in eight months (it'll get easier again, Linda!). Alex Davey completed her first ever parkrun, whilst Ash Singal completed one of only a handful of parkruns he's run without his faithful hound, Monty (and managed a PB of 21:13 to boot!).

Those worth the biggest mentions today were the wonderful team of volunteers who made very smooth work of the running of today's event (and the results were very easy to process). Thanks therefore to Ady and Darren Tuckwell, Alison and Beth Dixon, Fraser and Charlie Harding, David Pierce-Williams, Debbie Dawes, Gordon Ward, Richard and Jenny Carter, John Murrell, Sandra, Josh and Sam Davies, Mike and Karen Grinsted, Lauren Brown, Liz Harkness, Mark Shepherd, Mike Futcher and Paul Hendry. We also had Clive Williams taking photos (which are available to view on the Facebook page: Link).

Liz Hartney
Fraser and Charlie Harding - doing a superb job sorting out the tokens post-run. We once again got all the position tags back, so thank you to all of you!

This year's points competition is now well underway. Karen Grinsted is is still leading the ladies' competition with 7,138 with Mags Scarlett sneaking into second place with 6,715 points. Monique Amor is in third place with a score of 6,494 points. In the men's competition, Karen's husband Mike Grinsted is leading with 7,419 points. Rob Saunders is in second place with 7,165 points and David Stratton remains in third place with 6,514 points (all so close amongst the men!).

After 81 events, 3,245 athletes from 165 athletics clubs have now completed 18,668 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 93,340km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email 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 Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun Event #77: 6 July 2013

It's true: The scent of pickled onion inspires one in three parkrunners to run a new personal best

As the sun dawned on what was te be the hottest day of the year, it soon became clear that anyone who was wasn't at Greenham this morning was missing out on some of the best running conditions we've ever had. Even the familiar smell of pickled onion on the finishing straight couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of runners keen to make the most of the sunny, windless conditions to try and make inroads into their personal bests.

Whilst conditions may have been perfect this morning, numbers fell below 300 today (a rare phenomenon these days!) which was largely due to neighbouring parkrun, Basingstoke, celebrating its fifth anniversary (and, as someone who started running Basingstoke from its day of inception, I would like to wish all at Basingstoke a very happy birthday!). However, 298 runners still toed the line at Newbury this morning - with over a sixth of the field (12%) running the event for the first time! Some notable runners who were gracing the Greenham paths for the first time were the Maroney family consisting of Lloyd, Lea, Tom and Sam. All except Lloyd are members of the highly exclusive 50 club, with Lea having 82 parkruns to her name. The Maroneys are regulars of Frimley Lodge  parkrun, and it was a pleasure to see them all today on their second ever excursion (their only other being Reading parkrun). We also welcomed Adam Crofts from Cardiff parkrun. Newbury representing Adam's first excursion outside the Welsh boundary, and we hope he enjoyed the experience! Finally, it's always an experience for a child to run their first ever parkrun, and today we had three new runners in the JW14 category who have set down markers for future runs: Emma and Caitlyn Davies and Aston Tabraham. Welcome to all four of you, and we hope that you'll grow up with parkrun continuing to be a regular part of your Saturday morning activities!

We traditionally start the run report by talking about the first place finishers in the run. However, today we'd like to draw more attention to the age graded performances of some our athletes. At today's event, we had no fewer than four runners exceed the 80% mark with their runs. Firstly, Paul Thomas (VM50-54) of Didcot Runners ran a new personal best of 17:52 which equates to an age grading of 83.86%. Secondly, Mike Sheridan (VM60-64) of Team Kennet posted an age graded score of 83.73%. We do, however, know he's not too bothered about the percentage - his time of 19:40 is a 29 second personal best, and also the first time he achieved a sub-20 time; something he's been looking for for the past three years of parkrunning! Wayne Lillis (VM45-49) of Newbury AC achieved a score of 81.23% for his 17:35 run, whilst Newbury AC VW55-59 runner Sheila Marshall's new personal best of 23:30 gives her a score of 80.28%.

Paul Thomas
Paul Thomas: Today's highest age graded finisher with a score of 83.86%

Colin Lough (SM30-34) once again led the charge to the finish today, crossing the line first in a time of 17:13. Rather heartwarmingly, Colin undoubtedly sacrificed "yet another" sixteen minute run to pick up his beautiful daughter Chloe and run through the finish carrying her.  Wayne Lillis (VM45-49) of Newbury AC took second place in 17:35, with Paul Thomas (VM50-54) of Didcot Runners finishing third in 17:52.

Colin Lough
Colin Lough: First across the line in today's run - and still had time to pick up daughter Chloe in the closing few metres!

Amongst the ladies, Louise McFadzen (JW15-19) took first place in a new 48 second personal best of 21:46. Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners finished second in 22:08 with Kathryn Green (SW25-29) taking the final podium spot in a new 15 second personal best of 23:23.

Louise McFadzen
Louise McFadzen: Today's first female finisher, battling with Henry Hopkins on the way to the line (both were rewarded with personal bests!)

Elsewhere across the field, there were some other notable performances: in fact, there were an incredible 73 new personal bests today (28% of the field). One of those was Henry Hopkins (VM55-59) of Winchester & District AC. Henry has 104 parkruns to his name, and rotates around most of the local parkruns. Today he ran his all time parkrun personal best at Newbury (without I watch, I might add!) in 21:44. Wife Yvonne also managed a new Newbury parkrun personal best by 34 seconds. Meanwhile, Mags Scarlett managed a 22 second personal best (breaking 25 minutes for the first time - something she never dreamed possible!), whilst Joe Burnett also achieved the sub-25 dream - but by knocking an incredibly 1 minute and 23 seconds from his previous time. Nige Poppelwell ran his first ever sub-19 run (18:57), with Dave Smith and Paul Hendry both running new personal bests this week and becoming painfully close to breaking into the 18s themselves. Big congratulations to also to Kian Hockaday, Connor Ludewig and Emily Cox all entered into the 10 club today (and we hope their t-shirts won't be too delayed!).

Those worth the biggest mentions today were the wonderful team of volunteers, with particular thanks to Andy Tucker for stepping in to direct today's run at the last minute when it was touch and go if I'd be able to attend. Thanks therefore go to Ann Singal, Clive Williams, Jackie Brown, Julie Sollis, Kate Grieves, Lee Gollop, Lisa Ludewig, Matt Brown, Nicki Tucker, Paul Hendry and Sandra Davies. We also had Jo Amor taking photos (whichs are available to view on the Facebook page: Link).

This year's points competition is now well underway. Karen Grinsted is is still leading the ladies' competition with 6,249 with Monique Amor sneaking into second place with 5,689 points. Aimee Dyson has slipped to third place with a score of 5,679 (so close!). In the men's competition, Karen's husband Mike Grinsted is leading with 6,297 points. Rob Saunders is in second place with 6,071 points and David Stratton remain in third place with 5,535 points.

After 77 events, 3,095 athletes from 160 athletics clubs have now completed 17,395 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 86,975km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email 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 Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun #74 (15 June 2013)

3,000 registered runners at Newbury parkrun! That's must be more than there are cows on the common, surely?

"Unseasonable gales and autumnal conditions" was the last thing we heard before switching off the television on the night before parkrun. We were worried that we'd arrive at Greenham to a scene of torrential rain and winds akin to those famous storms of 1987. Thankfully, it seemed the weather forecasters were, just as in 1987, exaggerating things slightly - and this time the exaggeration was for the worse. Greenham was bathed in warm sunshine and a stiff - but manageable* - wind on the home straight.

* I am licensed to say this as I wasn't running into it.

We also reached a major milestone today: we went through the 3,000 registered runner milestone (we had exactly 3,015 runners registered on Saturday morning!). Next week, providing we get at least 15 newcomers, we will also have had 3,000 unique runners who have completed the parkrun!

We once again had a turnout well in excess of 300 runners today. In fact, 331 runners crossed the line today - including 33 newcomers to Newbury parkrun (that's a massive 10% of the field!). One of those visiting was Alice Dimmer. Alice, from Forest of Dean AC, has run 76 parkruns in total (unsurprisingly mostly at Forest of Dean parkrun). She has an impressive personal best of 21:41, and today ran an impressive 22:30 at Newbury - the fifth fastest time ever in the VW50-54 category. We also welcomed two canicross runners: Nicole and Melanie Sheehan. Both are regulars of the Alice Holt parkrun. Melanie ran 20:42 today, and Nicole, in the JW15-19 category, ran a massive 42 second parkrun personal best to clock 21:07.

Before preceedings got underway, we had the pleasure of presenting two more T-shirts this week. First, Anne Wenlock was presented with her 50 club t-shirt. Anne has been one of the most regular faces during the lifespan of Newbury parkrun: her first event was the second Newbury parkrun on 18 February 2012 when she ran 30:37. She managed to better her time the following week, and has now seen a streak of improvement and reduced her time by over four minutes to 26:20. Anne's enthusiasm for parkrun is infectious, and she's regularly seen helping out on the (few) occasions she doesn't run. We're pretty confident she'll be one of our first Newbury recipients of the elusive 100 club shirt and jacket.

Anne Wenlock
Anne Wenlock: 50 Club

Secondly, it was the turn of Mohammad Rahman to be presented with his 10 club t-shirt. Mohammad is one of the Mary Hare School pupils who regularly attends Newbury parkrun. His first parkrun was back in June 2012 when he ran a very credible 24:36. Over less than a year, however, he's managed to reduce his time to a very impressive 22:28, earning him an age graded score of over 60%. Congratulations, Mohammad!

Mohammad Rahman
Mohammad Rahman: 10 Club

In today's run, Lee Gollop  (SM35-39) crossed the line first in 18:05. It was the second time Lee has taken first spot - and also resulted in a new personal best. A double celebration for Lee! Jason Cooke (VM40-44) of White Horse Harriers finished in second place in 18:17, with Trevor Price (VM40-44) of Swindon Harriers taking third place in a new personal best of 18:25.

Amongst the ladies, it was Edwina McDowall (VW40-44) of Tri20 who took the tape in an impressive 19:08. Edwina keeps her 100% first place record, and her time is the seventh fastest ever run by a female at Newbury and earns her the VW40-44 age category record. Her age category score of 81.01% was also the highest of the day. Melanie Sheehan (VW40-44) of Canix took second place in 20:42, with Nicole Sheehan (JW15-19), also of Canix, taking the final podium spot in 21:07.

Lee Gollop
Lee Gollop: First male across the line

Edwina McDowall

Edwina McDowall: First female across the line

There were a number of equally newsworthy stories throughout today's field. The Livingstones are very frequent faces at Newbury parkrun (the girls are often the "cute faces" behind the token sorting machine). However, after many months of helping out, Sophie Livingstone ran her first ever parkrun today - and looked extremely happy to complete it, whilst Abigail Livingstone took on pacing duties today and ran her friend to a new four second personal best! Sam Cheney clocked his *sixth* personal best in a row - and even more impressively knocked a massive two minutes from his previous time to cross the line in 27:40. Carrie Collins also surprised herself to run a new 34 second personal best and is now perilously close to getting the "right" side of 25 minutes, whilst Samuel Wright saw a 20:xx on his watch for the first time ever at Newbury with a new 40 second personal best of 20:43. It was a good day for the Mugfords as well: Brian knocked five seconds off his time, but Helen surpassed Brian's achievements by taking over a minute off her time! A quick mention also to Emily Cox today who managed to run almost every step at this week's parkrun after a few weeks out, and also to Debbie Dawes who ran a new season's best.

Today couldn't have happened if it wasn't for the stirling efforts of the volunteers - and they were so good today, we managed to upload the results in next to no time at all. Thanks therefore go to Andy McKendrick, Anne and Charlie Harding, Clive Williams, David Stratton, Debbie Studart, Jemima Croggon, Jo Darby, Julie Lockwood, Lorraine Murrell, Mark Shepherd, Phil Hale, Phil Marshal, Phil Cowhig (particular thanks as Phil got the brunt of my Panic Rachael mode) and Steven Nelthorpe.

This year's points competition is now well underway. Karen Grinsted is is still leading the ladies' competition with 5,353 with Florence Barry in second place with 5,046 points. Monique Amor is now in third place with a score of 4,873. In the men's competition, Karen's husband Mike Grinsted is leading with 5,479 points. Rob Saunders is in second place with 5,222 points and David Stratton is in third place with 4,799 points.

After 74 events, 2,985 athletes from 159 athletics clubs have now completed 16,475 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 82,375km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email 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 Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun – Event #68 (4 May 2013)

May Day Magic!

British May Day bank holiday weekends have, over the past few years, been distinctly "British". And with the day starting with drizzle, we thought we might me in for similar conditions this year. However, the weather started to brighten and then wind started to drop, and we ended up with perfect running conditions - ahead of a beautiful weekend!

It seems that the running population of Newbury wasn't deterred by the menacing cumulonimbi clouds. And those that did turn up were rewarded with fast running conditions: we saw a total of 87 new personal bests today - a massive 31% of you! We also saw an incredibly fast run by a female runner today (more later).

Before we delve into the report, we'd like to say a big "welcome" to our 39 first timers at Newbury today, particularly to those who were new to the whole parkrun concept. We realise that things got a little chaotic after the finish today as both barcode scanners were malfunctioning and you had to queue a little longer than normal - we hope you weren't put off and really hope to see you back soon! Amongst the newcomers, however, we did have some rather prolific "parkrun tourists". Simon Dimmer, a regular of western parkruns (with Forest of Dean his regular haunt) chose Newbury to run his 101st parkrun where he enjoyed 14th place with 19:49. Jean McWilliam, normally found at Basingstoke parkrun, ran her 40th parkrun at Newbury today. Stephen and Daisy Badcock were both visiting from Abingdon parkrun where Stephen managed to (painfully) equal his Abingdon PB - come back soon, Stephen, and I'm sure you'll better that time! We also welcomed Braunstone and Inverness regular, Peter Hague. Peter ran an impressive time of 22:15 in his 25th parkrun. Anna Wise was visiting from Bushy parkrun and managed to ran her fastest parkrun time this year at Newbury, whilst Basingstoke regular, Tony Heeley, achieved the same feat by running his fastest parkrun since November 2012 (well done to both of you!). We'd also like to make a particular mention to the James family. Visiting from Gunpowder parkrun in Essex, Adam ran with son Ryan (who achieved an all time parkrun personal best) whilst daughter Elle did a wonderful job volunteering and sorting out the finish tokens.

In today's run, we're actually going to talk about the ladies' race first. Susie Bush (SW30-34) was today's ladies winner in a very fast 17:49 - enough for third place overall. Susie is an extremely talented athlete with a 5k best of 16:17, a 10k best of 33:53 and half marathon on 74:03 and regularly graces the elite ranks with her presence. Susie has 19 parkruns to her name, and normally runs either Bushy Park or Richmond Park parkruns. Second place was earned by Chloe Coxhead (SW20-24) of Newbury AC in 21 minutes dead and Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners was third in 21:33.

Amongst the men, Colin Lough (SM30-34) crossed the line first in 16:51 with James Craggs (SM30-34) of Newbury AC finishing second in 17:01 (and narrowly missing out on joining the exclusive sub-17 club on his first outing on the course - well done James!). Third placed male was Oliver Overend (JM14) in 17:51.

Despite Susie's blistering run today, it still wasn't enough to earn the highest age graded score of the day. This once again went to Geoff Anderson (VM60-64) whose time of 19:26 earned an age graded score of 84.73%.

Podiums and percentages aside, however, we did notice some other equally impressive runs today. After not managing a personal best since October last year (debatedly down to his volunteering duties), Andy Woodman ran a new nine second personal best with a time of 22:19. John Murrell, meanwhile, hadn't PB'd since March 2012 and today finally managed to knock six seconds off! Abi Scarlett reduced her time even further (over two minutes since January!) to 22:16, whilst Phil Cowhig celebrated his 40th parkrun with his first ever 21:xx run (21:46). Ollie Ludewig celebrated his arrival into the "10 club" with a new best of 28:14, whilst brother Freddie also netted a new best of 29:44. It was also a day for celebration in the Patrikios household - Sophie, Nestor and Lauren all ran new personal bests in today's run! Big congratulations to Rebekah Tucker, Maureen Sweeney, Kayleigh Fordham and Sarah Bosley all broke 30 minutes for the first time! Well done to all of you.

We'd also like to remind you that we are now back in nesting season on Greenham Common, and it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. This means keeping your dogs on leads at all times, and particularly avoiding the area known as the "Fire Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 67 (27 April 2013)

The arrival of Spring puts a bounce in your steps - and our attendance numbers!

475035_540407372667034_632349953_o

You had a spring in your step today!

After a couple of lapsed weeks, we're keen to get things back to normal with the event reports. We've enjoyed three incredibly busy weeks at parkrun where which have seen our event attendance shoot as high as 328 runners - a pretty incredible amount, and also an attendance record (with the exception of our "special" Jubilee parkrun last year). We also passed another milestone this week: we now have 2,750 registered parkrunners at Newbury - that's just 250 away from 3,000! This huge number of runners is nearly all down to you, the runners and volunteers, spreading the word. Thank you to all of you!

913664_540407556000349_617828904_o
The start of this morning's parkrun

Event 67 last Saturday was no exception. Despite the air having a notable chill to it compared to the almost tropical conditions of event 66, we welcomed 283 runners to Greenham: a pretty incredible number, especially given many of our regulars were away running another event. Whilst we may have been disowned* by many of our runners, we were graced with the presence of 25 newcomers (9% of the field), with the vast majority of runners being entirely new to parkrun. In fact, we only had one newcomer to Newbury this who had run more than 10 events at another parkrun: James Beeks. And whilst we might have been low in the quantity of tourist numbers this week, James certainly made up for it with quality, finishing in fifth place overall with a time of 18:38 - enough to put him in fifth place overall in the Newbury parkrun JM14 all time league table.

* We love you all really

If anyone didn't manage to make parkrun last Saturday, they might have kick themselves when they hear that there were an incredible 99 new personal bests - that's 38% of all of you who ran! Whilst easterly winds might be associated with mystery and strike fear through the hearts of some, it seems the tailwind boost it gives you on the home straight is condusive to many new personal bests!

One of those who will undoubtedly be pleased with his run will be James Moorcroft (SM20-24) of Team Kennet. James was first across the line in Saturday's event in a time of 17:20 - his second fastest time at Newbury and shows it'll only be a matter of time before he joins the highly exclusive sub-17 club! Alex Hanson (JM15-19) of Team Kennet finished in second place with a new personal best of 17:45. Third place went to Michael Randall (JM15-19) of Bracknell AC who finished in 18:01.

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James Moorcroft - First across the line today

Sophie Crumly (SW20-24) of Newbury AC was first female across the line for the fourth time (out of only five appearances) in a time of 19:23 with Chloe Coxhead (also a SW20-24) and also of Newbury AC took second place in 20:54, with Elaine Dean (VW50-54), a Swindon parkrun regular, taking third in 21:37 - over a two minute Newbury personal best, and also her fastest parkrun time this year!

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Sophie Crumly - First lady across the line today

Geoff Anderson (VM60-64) of Newbury AC earned today's highest age graded score, his time of 19:23 equating to an age grade just shy of 85% - well done Geoff!

We had an exceptional volunteer team today, and, despite the number of runners, everything went incredibly smoothly - testament to talented equipment and clipboard operation!  Thank you therefore to Andy Tucker, Anne and Charlie Harding, Carrie Collins, Clive Williams, Jemima Croggon, Julie and Sion Sollis, Lara March, Mark Shepherd, Matt Studart, Nicola Harrison, Paul Hendry, Stuart March and Tim Pink.

After 67 events, 2,722 athletes from 145 athletics clubs have now completed 14,256 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 71,280km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email 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 Plane" which is to the west of the start area (and clearly marked with signs). To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

 

April 10 and 50 Club T-Shirt Awardees

I'd like to apologise for the lack of event reports for events 65 and 66. Unfortunately, life became rather unexpectedly busy although there will definitely be a report for this week appearing here very soon. It's been a pretty significant period for Newbury parkrun in the past two weeks - we're now getting over 300 runners most weeks, and we've also had more t-shirts than ever to give out to new 10 and 50 club members! Below are pictures of all those who have joined the 10 and 50 club this month. Particular congratulations to Connor Davies who was the first Newbury parkrunner to run 50 parkruns on the Newbury course:

10 club 50 club
Joe Burnett (10 Club) Florence Barry (50 Club)
     
10 club 50 club
Graham Walker (50 Club) Peter Godfrey (50 Club)
     
50 club 50 club
 Abi Scarlett (50 Club)  Mags Scarlett (50 Club)
     
50 club  10 club
 Connor Davis (50 Club)  Rebekah Tucker (10 Club)
     
     
10 club 50 club
Joshua Davies (10 Club) Matt Brookes (50 Club)
     
50 club 50 club
Karen Grinsted (50 Club) Carol Lowe (50 Club)
     
50 club 50 club
Monique Amor (50 Club) Mick Cornwall (50 Club)
     
10 club 50 club
Matthew Smith (10 Club)  Rog Davis (50 Club)
     
10 club 10 club
Roya Zadeh-Koochak (10 Club) Gemma Maynard (10 Club)
 

Newbury parkrun – Event 64 (6 April 2013)

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now....

Well, it's taken us just over a year to reach event 64, and we still feel as fresh as ever! There's certainly no sign that we're slowing down, and we once again welcomed an exceptional turnout of 280 runners. An even more encouraging figure was the fact that 41 runners (15% of the field) were running the course for the first time. It's great to see so many new faces at parkrun, and we hope you'll be back in future weeks and see your performances improve.

Whilst the majority of newcomers were parkrun first timers, we once again welcomed a healthy body of "parkrun tourists". John Kennedy, a Braunstone regular, ran his 66th parkrun at Newbury this morning, running 21:52 - just 32 seconds from his Braunstone PB. Not bad when you're running a course for the first time! It was great to see father and son team (and we're making a father/son assumption here!) of Ian and Sam Todd - regulars of Norwich parkrun. Son Sam got the better of Dad, finishing in 19:33 against Ian's 20:24. Ian can, however, take some solace from getting an age grade 4% greater than Sam's! Dan Evans, a regular of Black Park parkrun, made the trip west along the M4 this morning to run his 49th parkrun - his first parkrun since September 2012 (and it's great to see him back running parkruns!). Fiona Holloway has run most of her parkruns at Reading, although the majority of recent runs have been at Poole. It was great to welcome her at Newbury today for her 26th parkrun.

Anyway, bad metaphorical links to Beatles songs aside, we did see an exceptional feat of running at Newbury this morning. Gareth "Gaz" Watkins (VM40-44) of the Royal Engineers RC returned to Greenham for only the second time - and ran a blistering 15:44 to take the new course record. His run was made even more impressive by the fact he looked like he could easily have covered another 5k at the same speed after crossing the line. And, if that doesn't make you green enough with envy, Gaz is a thoroughly nice chap and a joy to have on the course. It would be great to see what damage Gaz could do to his own course record if he finished looking like he'd tried! Rather unsurprisingly,

Gareth obviously crossed the line first today, but James Moorcroft (SM20-24) put in a solid run to finish in second place in 17:37. Nick Silcox (VM45-49) claimed the final podium spot - also earning a personal best of 18:01 to boot. He's now painstakingly close to breaking 18 minutes, and we're sure that'll come very soon.

Amongst the ladies, Claire Spencer (VW35-39) of Canix took the honours in 21:16. Whilst Claire has only run two runs at Newbury, she's run a total of 23 parkruns - mostly at neighbouring Basingstoke. Second-placed Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) celebrating reaching 50 parkruns in style - her time of 21:24 nets her a new three-second personal best! Third place went to first timer Lindsay Pettitt (VW35-39) in an excellent time of 22:05.

Whilst we were astounded by the speed of Gaz Watkins' run this morning, he wasn't the only one to put in an impressive performance. In fact, there were almost 100 new personal bests at today's parkrun - that's 41% of you. I'm not sure if we've ever seen such a huge amount in one parkrun! Anyway, it would be great if we could mention you all, but sadly we can't (but sort the results list by the "Note" column and you'll see just how many personal bests there are). However, these are some of the stories we've been hearing about: Peter Jenkins and Duncan Adamson both managed to nudge into the 18:xx bracket for the first time on the course, whilst Phil Marshall knocked 38 seconds off and Nigel Popplewell 31 seconds to cross the line with a "19" on their watches for the first time. Debbie Futcher has been trying since last July to get a new personal best - and this week finally managed it! Steff Futcher came in just eight seconds later, but we don't think she'll mind finishing behind Debbie - her time equates to a new personal best by a massive 1 minute and 22 seconds! Will Burnett and Stuart March used a team effort to get a new personal best - Will reduced his time by 19 seconds, and Stuart by 1 minute and 35 seconds! It was also a big day for last year's female points competition winner, Abi Scarlett. Abi, still only in the JW14 category, put down an excellent time of 22:48 - a new personal best by 35 seconds! In fact, it was a Scarlett celebration all round on Saturday: Mags Scarlett also ran a new 18 second personal best of 25:30, and Aaron Scarlett reduced his time by a further 20 seconds to 20:18. It was also a successful family day out for the Ludewigs: Ollie Ludewig managed another sub-30 parkrun, Freddie Ludewig nudged under 30 minutes (29:57) for the first time ever and Connor Ludewig took over a minute from his previous personal best! John Knott ran a massive new 76 second personal best to smash the 35 minute barrier thanks to pacing by his better half, Sue Burnay (who herself ran a new season's best). James Clutton also partook in the pacing game, helping Anne Skelton run a new personal best - and indeed the first personal best she's achieved since starting parkrun back in December! It's one of the first weeks where I've genuinely been sorry not to be able to mention more runners - but well done to everyone who ran so well today.

However, no-one would have been able to have run well if it wasn't for the sterling efforts of today's volunteer team. We had another exceptionally smooth morning, which is testament to the extremely competent team behind the timers, scanners, finish tags and clipboards. A massive thank you, therefore, to Alastair Kidwell, Amanda Keable, Andy Woodman, Brian Billington, Carolyn Burnett, Chris and Claire Sandys, Gemma and Sophie Livingstone, Harry Sherlock, Jemima Croggon, Karen Thompson, Lynne Phillips, Mark Shepherd, Nicola Harrison, Paul Hendry and Simon Kirby. Also a particular thank you to today's photographer, Clive Williams. Clive was all set to borrow my camera to take photographs, but when it failed he stepped in with the only took at our disposal - his iPhone! The photos came out exceptionally well, and are available to view on our Facebook page (Link).

After 64 events, 2,629 athletes from 141 athletics clubs have now completed 13,356 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 66,780km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Gareth Watkins who ran 15:44 in event #64 on 6 April 2013. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

After the event, we go to the wonderful Coffee Exchange on Greenham Business Park for wonderful home made food, tea and coffee after each parkrun. Please try and make it part of your regular Saturday morning parkrun routine and join us to chat about running, life, or even share stories about the old US Airforce base! Coffee Exchange have opened especially for Newbury parkrunners, so it is important we continue to support it. If you haven't heard about them, the cafe makes absolutely legendary rock cakes (which are normally still warm when we arrive as they're now having to bake extra ones on Saturday morning!). They have to be eaten to be believed!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email 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 61 (16 March 2013)

Muddy mayhem!

After 60 events, you'd think we'd be quite well practised in the organisation aspect of Newbury parkrun. Making sure the volunteer roster is sorted by Thursday night, putting all the equipment on charge on Friday night and arriving at Greenham early on Saturday morning to put the signs out all seem second nature these days. However, it turns out 60 events makes an event team far from being experts. On arriving at Greenham, today's run director Andy Tucker informed us he'd forgotten the finish funnel. Whilst a mild inconvenience, we were sure we could improvise - particularly given the plethora of recently cut back gorse shrubbery which would make excellent makeshift finish posts.

However, when Andy reached into the car to collect the rucksack containing the timers, barcode scanners, clipboards and finish tokens - he was met with an empty boot. It turned out that Mark Shepherd - despite his promises to pick up the bag on the way out - had refrained from picking up said bag prior to leaving for the common. It was 08:40 at this point - and only 20 minutes to go before the start. We had no option but for me to go back home (and home is the other side of Newbury) and collect said bag. Without breaking speed limits this was a tough task - the Orange parkrun Storage Box On Wheels (AKA a Fiat Qubo) isn't known for its speedy cornering, although we definitely think we'd have given Kimi Raikkonen a run for his money through the chicanes of Boundary Road and the pit stop at the Fir Tree Lane traffic lights.

Arriving back at the parkrun just five minutes after nine o'clock, we gave the brilliant timers (Matthew Brookes, Peter Dickens and Matt Walters) the quickest instructions ever on how to use the timers, and we were off.

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The muddy, makeshift finish funnel

 

Conditions were atrocious today, and definitely some of the wettest we've ever experienced in Newbury parkrun history. We hope the 18 first timers today weren't put off by the rain lashing the course, and will come back to enjoy much better conditions - and hopefully a brand new personal best!

With Reading Half Marathon the following day, a significant proportion of Newbury parkrunners elected to forfeit today's run in the hope of running a good time the following day (and we hope the rest was worth it - please let us know how you got on at Reading on our Facebook page (Link) or by emailing newburyoffice@parkrun.com!) and a just-as-significant proportion had taken one look out of the window and preferred to stay in bed. We were, therefore, pretty impressed with our turnout of 143 runners today. Amongst the 143, we welcomed some visitors from other parkruns: Elaine and Andy Dean were visiting from Swindon. Elaine has an impressive personal best of 19:42 at Swindon and Andy a best of 22:00 on the same Swindon course. Newbury is the fourth different parkrun both of them have run, and we hope they'll be back in better conditions to better their times. Kirsty Darby was also visiting from Swindon. Amy Lillis (JW14) is a bit of a parkrun veteran, despite her junior years. She has now completed 38 parkruns, with 36 at the neighbouring Basingstoke course. Despite today's weather, Amy ran her third quickest ever parkrun! Kate Adams was also visiting from Basingstoke, after running all her other seven parkruns on the Basingstoke course.

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Karen Grinsted - still smiling at the finish despite the mud

 

In today's run, 13 certainly wasn't unlucky for Oliver Overend (JM14) of Team Kennet. Oliver was first across the line for the second time in a slow-for-him (but good-for-conditions) time of 18:28. Neil Martin (VM40-44) of Overton Harriers & AC took second place in 18:49 (with his sprint finish leading to a tumble in the mud at the end - we hope you aren't aching too much today, Neil) and Stephen Elsemere (SM30-34) of Newbury AC finished in third in 19:24.

Amongst the ladies, it was great to see local runner Sophie Crumly (SW20-24) of Newbury AC cross the line first in 20:28 - her third win in just four runs at Greenham. Second place went to fellow clubmate Chloe Coxhead (SW20-24) in 22:17, with our Swindon visitor, Elaine Dean (VW50-54) taking third place in 23:41.

Our highest age graded score today was once again by Mike Sheridan (VM60-64) of Team Kennet. His time of 20:57 - whilst someway outside the new personal best he ran last week - still give him the day's best score of 78.60%.

Despite the weather today, there were still some excellent performances: 15 of you still managed to run personal bests, and some by quite a margin: Helen Bowsher knocked 51 seconds from her previous best time, and Michele Purcell took 48 seconds from hers. Carolyn Burnett ran her first sub-30 finish time (29:39) whilst Jason Nash managed his fifth personal best in five runs, taking a further 57 seconds off his time to finish in 28:46. Martin Smith got his fourth personal best in a row, running sub-28 for the first time (27:37), whilst Danielle Newton got her third personal best in three runs, reducing her time by an incredible 2 minutes and 9 seconds. William Levett also achieved a similar feat to Danielle with a third personal best in three runs, also impressively knocking nearly two minutes from his previous time. Gary Lillis was running only his second run at Newbury being a regular Basingstoke parkrunner and it seems that bringing his daughter to Newbury for the first time spurred him on to an all time parkrun personal best of 26:43! 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 who managed masterfully given the rather "rushed" circumstances at the start and the extremely cold and wet conditions. Particularly to Andy Tucker who precided over things (despite forgetting the funnel) whilst I stood around slowly getting hypothermic with a camera! Despite the issues at the start, the results were exceptionally quick to process today - testament to a brilliant job. The top team today were made up of Anne Wenlock, Arthur and Samuel Cheney, Catherine, Emily & Hannah Cox, Debbie Futcher, Jez Mann, Mark Shepherd, Matt Walters, Matthew Brookes, Monique Amor, Paul Hendry, Peter Dickens and Stuart Davidson. I was taking 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.

892704_524142257626879_1295930605_o
Today's wonderful (and incredibly cute) finish token sorting team:
Emily & Hannah Cox and Sam & Arthur Cheney

After 61 events, 2,536 athletes from 137 athletics clubs have now completed 12,632 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 63,160km. 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)

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