Christmas Day parkrun

Newbury parkrun is holding a very special festive run on Christmas Day at 9am! Runners are encouraged to come dressed as festively as possible, and Santa Claus has sent Mrs Claus herself to deliver special stockings to all juniors who run or volunteer at the event. We hear rumours of medals in these stockings!

We'll aim to start punctualy so you can get back to your festivities (there should be time to get to 10am church services, too).

What better way could there be to starting Christmas Day?

See you tomorrow morning, and a very happy Christmas to all parkrunners!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

running-Santa-cartoon

 

Results issue for event #85 (31 August 2013)

We're sorry to say that we had a number of issues with the results today and, in order to make them as accurate as we can, we would be very grateful if you could email us at agentsmith77@gmail.com with your name, time and (if you happen to know it) your finishing position and we'll try and work things out.

In the meantime, put your feet up, enjoy your Saturday and don't keep pressing refresh on the results page for some hours yet.....

Rachael (Event Director)

 

Newbury parkrun #75: 22 June 2013

10% of the population of Newbury has now run parkrun!

Well, that's not entirely true - but it is in terms of numbers!

After last week reporting that we had 3,000 runners registered at Newbury parkrun, this week we passed through another barrier: over 3,000 unique runners have now completed the Newbury parkrun (3,011 in total). that equates to 10% of population of Newbury, or the entire population of Pangbourne. How long will it take us to reach a number equating to the entire population of Newbury (31,331)? Some time, we think.

Before we go on, a number of runners have asked about the story that has been widely reported on the national news concerning cattle infected with bovine TB on Greenham Common. We have been advised that the risk to humans is negligible as the strain cannot be passed to humans. West Berkshire Council have advised that recreation can take place "as normal" at Greenham.

In today's run, we welcomed 26 first timers - meaning 9% of the entire field were running the course for the first time. One of those running the event for the first time was Tom Munt (VM50-54) of Team Kennet. Tom is one of the area's best veteran athletes, and, rather unsurprisingly, his time of 17:48 equated to the day's highest age graded score of 84.18%, and also earned him the new VM50-54 age category record. Also running Newbury parkrun today was Tom Swift (SM35-39) of Fareham Crusaders. Tom is a regular of Havant parkrun, although has impressively visited a total of 16 different parkruns over his total parkrun career of 46 runs. He has broken 20 minutes once (at Eastleigh parkrun) and we hope he'll return to Greenham to try and get under 20 on our course. Melanie Hunt (VW40-44) was aso visiting from Basingstoke parkrun. Melanie has 15 runs to her name, and her trip to Newbury was her first ever excursion out of War Memorial Park on a Saturday morning.

Before today's run got underway, the day's run director, Andy Tucker, had the rather nice task of presenting two Newbury parkrunners with their 10 and 50 club T-shirts. First up was Jacob Marwick. Jacob is a member of Team Kennet, and started running parkrun back in June last year. His first parkrun saw him run 30:17, but he's since managed to break the 30 minute barrier twice. He completed 10 runs back in December 2012, and this weekend was his first trip back to Greenham in over 6 months. We hope he'll start to join us again more regularly as his face has been missed! Congratulations, Jacob!

Jacob Marwick
Jacob Marwick: 10 Club (all photos c/o Stuart March)

Secondly, it was the turn of one of Newbury parkrun's legendary figures to collect his 50 club shirt. Andy Woodman's journey to 50 parkruns started at the very first Newbury parkrun on 11 February 2012 in a time of 27:14. He then proceeded to get seven personal bests in a row, reducing his time to 23:24 by April. He first broke into the 22 minute bracket in May, and celebrated entering the 50 club by running a new personal best this morning (22:15!). Andy's one of the most supportive parkrunners at Newbury, and is always full of words of encouragement for others. Moreover, he regularly sets up (and takes down!) the course for the run - meaning he has to arrive at parkrun when most people are still sipping their pre-race coffee. Well done Andy! It's a pleasure to see you get your well deserved shirt.

Andy Woodman
Andy Woodman: 50 Club

In today's run, Neil Jones (SM25-29) of Newbury AC put in a very impressive and well paced run to finish first in 17 minutes dead (painstakingly just one second from that magic sub-17!). Neil's time of 17:00 represented a new 34 second personal best, so hopefully he won't be too disappointed. Colin Lough (SM30-34) finish just 10 seconds behind Neil in 17:10, with Tom Munt (VM50-54) taking third in 17:48.

Neil Jones

Neil Jones, who eventually took first place, trailing Colin Lough on the way to a new 34 second personal best

Amongst the ladies, Yasmin Ryder (JW15-19) of Team Kennet looked relaxed when she crossed the line first in 20:29. Lyng Kaersager (SW30-34) sneaked under 21 minutes for the first time to clock a time of 20:53 to take second place. Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners finished third in 21:41.

Yasmin Ryder

Yasmin Ryder: Looking very relaxed on her way to finishing as first female

Elsewhere in the field today, we noticed a number of noteworthy performances. Charlie Harding ran a new personal best of 21:32, although seemed to be more pleased at beating Dad (Fraser Harding)'s personal best time of 21:35. It wasn't the only example of the child getting the better of the parent: Dave Cheney claimed to have been "coached" to a PB by his son. Teresa Robbins marked her 50 run milestone with a new 2013 best, whilst Robert Fisher impressively ran 22:21 in his first parkrun, despite "not really doing anything" since January. Finally we'd like to say a big goodbye to Robin Killingsworth: Robin can regularly be spotted running around Newbury parkrun with a heavy backpack. However, today was his last run at Greenham as he is being posted to Afghanistan for a year. He will be greatly missed, but his room apparently overlooks the field where Camp Bastion parkrun is held - so we will be closely monitoring his runs at the camp!

Menacing Skies
The skies may have looked menacing, but the sun shone on parkrunners this morning

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 Abi and Mags Scarlett, Aimee Dyson, Alan and Debra Bradshaw, Ali Pearce, Andy Woodman, Andy Tucker, Anne Harding, Clive Williams, Jemima Croggon, Julie Lockwood, Keith and Lorraine Pearce, Mark Shepherd, Mick Cornwall, Paul Hendry, Rob Saunders and photographer Stuart March (note that Stuart's excellent photographs are available to view on the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.563922203648884.1073741855.286754931365614&type=1).

This year's points competition is now well underway. Karen Grinsted is is still leading the ladies' competition with 5,651 with Aimee Dyson in second place with 5,160 points. Monique Amor remans in third place with a score of 5,151. In the men's competition, Karen's husband Mike Grinsted is leading with 5,764 points. Rob Saunders is in second place with 5,522 points and David Stratton remain in third place with 5,044 points.

After 75 events, 3,011 athletes from 160 athletics clubs have now completed 16,753 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 83,765km. 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 #73 (8 June 2013)

Newbury parkrun provides the perfect warm-up for Endure24 runners!

When we arrived at the car park at Venture West on Saturday morning, we were surprised how unusually empty it was. Usually the car park is beginning to fill by 08:30, but this morning there were only a few dog walkers parked up. However, it appears that Newbury parkrunners were merely taking advantage of a few extra minutes in bed and by 09:00, 340 eager runners were listening to the pre-run talk - one of our best ever turnouts.

Before the run got underway today, we had the rather pleasant task of presenting t-shirts to new inductees of the 10 and 50 clubs.

IMG_1543
Andy Tucker: 50 Club

Andy has been a regular at parkrun since the beginning, and there's rarely a week when he's not at Greenham in some capacity - whether running, helping, or just standing around trying to "look good" in arm, leg and body lycra (it's all about the image for triathletes). Seriously though, Newbury parkrunners should be particularly indebted to Andy as he's one of only a select three who are trained in the dark art of being a run director so helps to keep things running on the weeks I'm not around. Although sadly a victim to more-injury-than-he-deserves, Andy has an impressive personal best of 21:37 and we're sure he'll edge closer to the 20 minute barrier as time progresses. Particularly if he gets rid of those leg warmers.

IMG_1542
Brian Emms: 50 Club

Brian is also a very regular face at Newbury - and undoubtedly one of the cheeriest! He now has 58 parkruns to his name, with 38 at Newbury, 13 at Swindon, 1 at Upton Court and 1 at Llyn Llech Owain parkrun (we might have to visit the last one ourselves with a name like that). Brian has an impressive personal best at Newbury of 21:55 - enough to see him ranked as 8th in the VM60-64 category. Brian is, however, one of our most dedicated volunteers and can often be seen clutching a timing or scanning implement. Well done Brian - and here's to the next 50!

IMG_1541
Anisa Khorassani: 10 Club

Anisa has been running Newbury parkrun since September 2012. In her first event she ran a not-to-be-sniffed at 31:33, but in the space of just two months managed to reduce that to an excellent 24:10. She now consistently runs in the 25-26 minute bracket, and we're sure that new personal best is only just around the corner. Well done Anisa! 

 

IMG_1540
Sion Sollis: 10 Club

Sion is also quickly becoming one of our most welcome faces at Newbury parkrun. He first started running the parkrun just a few weeks after our first anniversary run in February 2013, and quickly reduced his debut time by over three minutes. What makes Sion particularly stand out was when he volunteered to help a few weeks ago. Sion was given the duty of "Funnel Manager" and was undoubtedly one of the most encouraging funnel marshals we've ever had! So, thank you Sion and big congratulations.

(As we mentioned in the pre-run speech, there has been a delay in delivering some sizes of t-shirts and we apologise for this. We have no doubt parkrun HQ are trying to get them through to us just as quickly as possible)

Whilst many of our regular runners were forfeiting the morning's parkrun to take part in the local Endure24 event - a 24 hour running event being held in Aldermaston. However, some regulars chose to run the parkrun as a warm-up event, and we also welcomed a number of visitors from around the UK who'd been drawn to the event both for the Endure24 event - and in the name of parkrun tourism. A number of those were from the 26.2 RRC. We welcomed seven members of the club this morning: Richard Goulder, Steven Ramek, Libby Marchant, Ricky Emery, Greg Whiteman, Matthew Pritchard and Peter Grecian. All are parkrun veterans (mostly from Kingston, Bushy and Richmond parkruns in London), with four of the seven being members of the 50 club. Others we suspect were visiting for Endure24 were David McCabe and David Piper of Sheen Shufflers, and Tom Hastings and Robert Hall of Tea Time Terrace. William Shippin, a Milton Keynes parkrun veteran, was also visiting and finished in 13th place in a time of 19:45 (we secretly think he could have gone a bit quicker - he ran a parkrun PB of 17:05 at Northampton just last week!). Two other visitors were Richard Jones and son Chris Jones from Benfleet RC. Chris just pipped Dad by four seconds with a time of 17:27, but Richard can take consolation in the fact his time of 17:32 equates to an age grading of 82.79% - today's highest age graded score. Finally, we'd like to welcome David Pink to Greenham: David is a member of the 100 club and is a regular at Reading (and more recently, Woodley) parkrun and today was his first ever run at Newbury.

Anyway, back to the run itself. We noticed a large number of runners who were running with their canine friends in the first ten finishers. One of those was Gary Crone (VM40-44) of Fire Service Sports & AA who crossed the line first in 17:15. Reading/Woodley parkrun regular Andrew Smith (SM35-39) of Reading Roadrunners took second place in an excellent 17:24 (we are touched that Andrew chose Newbury to run his 50th parkrun - and his time today was just three seconds off his all time parkrun best of 17:21). Third place went to Chris Jones (JM15-19) of Benfleet AC in 17:27.

Amongst the ladies, Claire Westerman (SW25-29) of Army AA was first across the line in 19:56 - keeping up her 100% "first lady" record at Newbury, and claiming her first sub-20 time on the course to boot. Running only her second Newbury parkrun, Susanne Enhard (VW45-49) of Compton Harriers RC finished second in a new personal best of 20:18 (sub-20 next time out, Susanne?) with Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) giving her Endure24 campaign a positive start by taking the third podium spot in 22:31.

Elsewhere across the field there are people who are equally worthy of a mention. Ryan Smith crossed the line in a time almost a minute faster than his previous best to earn a new PB of 25:41, whilst Brian Billington celebrated his 50th parkrun with a new 30 second personal best (which he blamed on the tailwind - but we think it's down to his good training!). However, with a new PB of 23:01 there is now a very obvious new milestone to be broken! Callum O'Neill obliterated his old personal best by 22 seconds to claim his first sub-18 time of 17:53, whilst Lorraine Pearce was ecstatic to nail her first previously-thought-impossible milestone of sneaking under 27 minutes, crossing the line in 26:50. Tom Murrell achieved his first ever sub-23 time (22:48), whilst Andy Sellwood and Craig Sellwood both ran nearly 30 seconds faster than their previous best. Keith Pearce and our excellent regular photographer, Stuart March, also were pleased to run new best times whilst Bob Phillips took over two minutes off his previous best time to get under 50 minutes for the first time!

Whilst the achievements of all runners are to be applauded, an even bigger round of applause should be given to the excellent team of volunteers today. With such a large volume of runners, things can get difficult to manage. However, the team managed exceptionally well today. Thank you therefore to today's brilliant team of helpers: Charlotte, Evan and Mike Phillips (who it was great to welcome back to volunteering after a number of weeks away), Christopher Hicks, Clive Williams, David Stratton, Nigel and Jackie Brown, Lorraine and Jemima Croggon, Mark Shepherd, Joe and Carolyn Burnett, Martin Jezzard, Mick Cornwall, Nicki Tucker, Richard Disney and Ross Connell.

This year's points competition is now well underway. Karen Grinsted is stealing away in the ladies' competition with 5,056 with Florence Barry in second place with 4,767 points. Aimee Dyson is in third place (and well within striking distance for second place) with a score of 4,669. In the men's competition, Karen's husband Mike Grinsted is leading with 5,200 points. Rob Saunders is in second place with 4,951 points and Dan Collis is in third placefter 73 events, 2,952 athletes from 157 athletics clubs have now completed 16,144 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 80,720km. 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 63 (30 March 2013)

The clouds parted - and the running floodgates opened!

After has what felt like endless weeks of bitterly cold and wet Newbury parkruns, this week's run did finally get blessed with "British" rather than "Arctic" weather. We knew this would make for a healthy turnout, but we were stunned (and very happy!) when we hit the 300 runner mark for only the third time in Newbury parkrun history (the first being the inaugural event and the second being the "special" Jubilee event). It was great to see so many people running today, and even better to know that 37 people were experiencing the Newbury parkrun for the first time - that's a massive 12% of the total field running today, or just shy of one in eight finishers!

The majority of first time finishers were also first timers to the whole parkrun concept, and we noted some family groups choosing to turn up en masse - a particular welcome to the Swords and the Hennellys!! As we have become used to, however, some newcomers to Newbury were already seasoned parkrunners - or "parkrun tourists", as they have become known. David Paulin, with 73 parkruns to his name, was visiting from Brueton parkrun, and Jonathan Hallam (visiting with Wendy Hallam - we think!) normally calls Concord parkrun in Sheffield home (although he's visited an impressive 16 different parkrun locations - including Amager Faelled parkrun in Denmark!). We suspect Eleanor Oakes was also part of the same group: she's another Concord parkrunner with 56 parkruns to her name at 10 different locations. Joseph Lahlou has also run at an impressive 13 different events - although it seems 13 wasn't unlucky for him as he clocked another sub-30 time to his name. Bedfont Lakes regular Katie Lawrence ran well to put down a time just 11 seconds away from her Bedfont personal best, whilst Patricia Howard, also a Bedfont regular, ran her second best ever parkrun time at Newbury today! David Parton's run was impressive: with 47 parkruns to his name (all at Reading and Woodley), today's run saw him not just run his second ever sub-19 time, but also an all time parkrun personal best! Cannon Hill regular Alan Elsmere chose Newbury to complete his 30th parkrun, Reading regular Catherine Metheringham completed her 15th run at Greenham today and Mark Johnson, who's only run 5 runs - but completed them on 4 different courses.

As I'm on holiday in France struggling up a few mountains on my bike, Andy Tucker kindly stepped in to direct today's run - which is no mean feat when there are so many runners. He did an excellent job, and was very ably assisted by his team of wonderful volunteers: Simon Kirby, Clive Williams, Jemima Croggon (our youngest ever person on timer!), Sophie Crumly, Sue Bennett, Britta Tucker, Aimee Dyson, Gemma Maynard, Lorraine Croggon, Tim Pink, Stuart March (who has, along with Ian Berry, provided some excellent photos on our Facebook page), Paul Hendry and Clive Williams. 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.

In today's run, it was a case of "lucky seven" for Colin Lough (SM30-34) who crossed the line first for the seventh time at Newbury in a time of 16:43. Guy Watts (SM35-39) of Team Kennet finished in second place in a time of 17:25, with newcomer Robert Leach (JM15-19) of Winchester & District AC taking third spot in 17:36.

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Colin Lough: First male across the line

 

Amongst the ladies, Susan Francis (VW40-44) of Reading AC took her first finish count to 100%, crossing the line ahead of the rest of the field in a parkrun personal best time of 20:13. Anne Stewart-Power (VW50-54) of Reading Roadrunners took second place in a new personal best time of 21:17, with Karen Grinsted (VW35-39) of Tadley Runners taking third in 22:15.

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Sue Francis: First female across the line

 

Sam Hart (JM14) earned the day's highest age graded score - his new personal best of 18:48 netting him a percentage of 79.08%. Interestingly, the fairness of age grading was in full effect this week for the second and third placed finishers in terms of age grading: today's second placed lady, Anne Stewart-Power, earned a score of 78.78% with her time of 21:17, whilst (presumably!) husband, Dwayne Stewart-Power, finished just marginally behind with a score of 78.46% - age grading is a great way of creating "inter-family" competition!

Sam Hart: New personal best and highest age graded score of the day

As usual though, it's not just about the podium finishers - there were some equally impressive performances throughout today's field - as evidenced by the 95 new personal bests today (that's over a third of you who've run the parkrun before!). It's been a long time coming (which makes the feeling so much better!) but Greg Filmer and Rog Davis were both pleased to run new personal bests today, with young Freddie Ludewig also managing a new best time and cousin Ollie Ludewig taking one minute and 26 seconds from his previous best time. Helen Bowsher somehow took 2.5 minutes from her best time, whilst Mike Nicholls shows rest really is the best medicine sometimes - in his first run since the start of January he managed to run an excellent 25:05! Catherine Cox was back in the 22:XXs again, Will Burnett edged ever closer to the 23:XX club - and Lynne Phillips took 90 seconds from her best time! Ian Roberts broke this year's target around eight months early (time to set a new one, Ian!), whilst Mark Head ran a new personal best - breaking the 21 minute barrier for the first time ever!


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Some great performances throughout the field today!

After 63 events, 2,588 athletes from 140 athletics clubs have now completed 13,076 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 65,380km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

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.

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Greenham Common Users and parkrunners working in harmony

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.

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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)

 

Important notice about this week’s parkrun

We are very sorry, but one of our barcode scanners failed for those runners who finished in approximately the first 100. Whilst this only affected one scanner (and we were able to get some results through phone calls and from the timer checker form), there are inevitably a number of gaps.

If you find (when the results are processed) you are one of those who has a missing position, then please email us at newburyoffice@parkrun.com and we will ensure that your result gets added. It would help if you could tell us your finishing time and position (if you can remember it - time should suffice for most though!).

Thank you all, and we can only apologise for the errors today.

 

Newbury parkrun – Event 56 (9 February 2013)

Happy birthday to us!

 

   

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sam Hart

Junior Men's Points Competition Winner: Sam Hart

Amelia Wenlock

Junior Women's Points Competition Winner: Amelia Wenlock

 

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

 

Paul Hendry

Men's Points Competition Winner: Paul Hendry

Matt Brookes

Men's Points Competition Runner-Up: Matthew Brookes

 

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

 

Abi Scarlett

Female Points Competition Winner: Abi Scarlett

Mags Scarlett

Female Points Competition Runner-Up: Mags Scarlett

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

 

Phillips family

Special Recognition for Volunteering Award: The Phillips Family

Andy Woodman

Special Recognition for Volunteering Award: Andy Woodman

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

 

Clive Williams

Volunteer of the Year: Clive Williams

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

runners 3

I believe I can fly!

 

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

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

 

Me

Thank you, Newbury parkrun!

 

After 56 events, 2,400 athletes from 131 athletics clubs have now completed 11,465 runs on the Newbury parkrun course, running a cumulative total of 57,325km. The women's course record is held by Sandra Bowers who ran 15:48 in event #43 on 24 November 2012 and the men's course record is held by Ian Reade who ran 16:05 in event #19 on 9 June 2012. The age graded record is held by Sandra Bowers who recorded a 95.78% in event #41.

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

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest Newbury parkrun chat through our Facebook page (Link) and via Twitter (Link). We're also always looking for more volunteers (and don't forget you get extra points each time you volunteer!) so please email newburyhelpers@parkrun.com if you are interested in being added to the volunteer database (and it is only right to be able to give some of the people who help each and every week a chance to run sometimes). We are also currently looking at people who would like to have a go at being a Run Director. This doesn't mean you have to organise the whole event - just be around to ensure all volunteers know what they're doing, can give a little talk before the run and just oversee the running of the event. You don't even have to process the results! Please take note of the following announcements:

  1. Points competition: Note that the points competition has changed slightly in the new Newbury parkrun year. The runner who is first across the line receives 300 points, second place 299, third place 298, etc. This means the points distribution is fairer, and we should only need to go into the one point per runner territory if we get more than 300 runners of a single sex at parkrun (this hasn't happened yet!).
  2. The start: Whilst we know it is natural human behaviour to want to start as close to the front as possible in order to get a watch time which matches the master timer. However, please do give consideration to fellow runners and start in a position in the field which best represents the speed you feel you are going to run. We had an incident this week where a runner fell at the start, and runners' (natural) keeness to get away at the start almost led to the lady being trampled on badly.
  3. Parking: We now have parking at the English Provinder Company thanks to Paul Hendry. We're extremely grateful to the EPC for allowing us use of their facility, but please ensure you follow the car park marshal's orders as we're not allowed to use all of it. Ensure you do not drop litter and treat the facility carefully.
  4. Running with dogs: We love the fact that people run with dogs! It is a joy to watch so many canine friends obviously enjoying the run as much as their owners. However, if you are going to run with your dog, please ensure you fit your dog with a harness rather than a collar. This is for their own comfort. If you'd like to learn more about running with dogs (or even want to go "up a gear" and try cani-cross racing) then the Cani-Cross UK website provides a wealth of information for you to get started. Note that from now, runners will only be allowed to run with a maximum of one dog.
  5. Registration: A number of people have asked where their t-shirts are for the 10, 50 and 100 clubs. It is vitally important that, if Newbury is your regular parkrun, you ensure you are registered to it as your "home run". If you don't and you don't specify where you would like your t-shirt to be delivered to, it will, by default, be delivered to the event where you are registered and it can take some time before we can arrange handover or for the shirts to be rerouted. You can update your details at anytime by following the link on the weekly parkrun newsletter.Any suggestions, ideas and feedback are always welcome to newburyoffice@parkrun.com.

We'd also like to remind you that , although the nesting season is now over on Greenham Common, it is extremely important that you respect the flora and fauna of the area. To find out more information about the wildlife on the common, please refer to the downloadable leaflet "Welcome to Crookham and Greenham Common" which provides an excellent summary.

See you next week!

Rachael Elliott (Event Director)

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rachael Elliott
Newbury parkrun Event Director