Northampton parkrun report #416

Pride Northampton parkun #416

Red and yellow, and pink and blue, purple and orange, and green.

Half of those colours can't actually even be found in a rainbow, but that didn't stop them being on display at Northampton parkrun #416.

That's because today's event was a celebration of Pride and the LGBTQ community.

Pride events usually take place in June - a nod towards the Stonewall riots that invigorated  the movement - but like almost everything these days many have suffered a Covid-inspired delay.

Northampton parkrun's small contribution saw the course's usual army of cheerful volunteers decked out in hats, wigs, flags and all manner of funky costumes and colours (I'm looking at you on the last one, Bryan Lewin!).

Pride Northampton parkun #416

There was a festival spirit as 326 runners - including 32 first timers - sprinted, jogged and bounced their way around a bright, if muggy, Abington Park.

At least one unicorn was spotted, but thankfully personal bests were most common than this rarest of mythical creatures, with 26 being clocked up.

Pride Northampton parkun #416

Even more colour was added to the course through the shining shirts of the 32 different clubs represented, demonstrating the strength and variety of the running community in Northampton and beyond.

The field was headed by Andy Heather, who rushed round in 17:32, while the first woman round was Angharad Pryce in 22:13.

A special mention as well to Steven Allen, who completed his 100th parkrun on his 70th birthday - not a bad double celebration - and to Ralph Stahmann who celebrated his birthday as everyone should by volunteering to give out finish tokens.

Pride Northampton parkun #416

All that remains to be said from a colourful 416th Northampton parkrun is a massive thank you to our volunteers (listed below) and remember, Richard (Red) Of (Orange) York (Yellow) Gave (Green) Battle (Blue) In (Indigo) Vain (Violet).

Now you can sing a rainbow properly!

Pride Northampton parkun #416


David FROST • Gabrielle DEERE • Stavros CARAYANNIS • Leigh BARKER • Mick CONROY • Bryan LEWIN • Peter CURRINGTON • James CUSHING • Michelle LEWIS • Craig LEWIS • Chloe TALLETT • Ralph STAHMANN • Kathryn HALL • Esther POULUS • Cormac CLEARY • Esme CUSHING • Jo CODNER • Katherine MCFADIAN • Dannii LEVI • Elaine STARMER • Lynette PARK • Bec LAMBERT • Lee WADE • Julie FITZELL • Jeff BATTISON • Alfie STARMER • Cheryl COLLIN • Ben CURRINGTON • Claire HEDGES • Lorraine SMITH • Dale TEBBUTT • Helen BRIGGS

Run report by Craig Lewis


Northampton parkrun #413-#415 – by Bryan Lewin

Hola! I returned to my usual spot this week after a couple of Saturdays away (where I swapped St Georges Avenue for a coastal route near Santa Eulària des Riu, in Ibiza) and it seems that I missed some outstanding performances by parkrun participants (and, as always, volunteers!).

On 21 August Sophie Harris improved the record female time that she had set seven days earlier, by twelve seconds, to finish in 16.33 (with a third best ever age grade of 89.43%) - but even that time was not good enough to surpass Finlay Ward (JM 15-17), fresh from excelling in steeplechase events at regional and national level, who smashed his previous PB to finish first in 16.28.

Mark Hill is no stranger to being a first finisher - on 28 August he did so for the 35th time, equalling Luke Greer at the top of the table. Mark’s PB time of 16.10 is second on the VM 35-39 all-time list. Eva Stuart-Hill (JW 11-14) was first female - also with a new PB, of 20.48. Perhaps most impressively, Cecil Schumacher notched 34.31 to register the best ever time at the Racecourse … for someone in the VM 85-89 age category!

This week, David Ball crossed the finish line first in 17.33 (which, amazingly, is the exact time that David clocked in his previous two parkruns (when he wasn’t accompanying others)! Jess Lamb (JW 11-14) was first female with a Racecourse PB of 20.35, although she ran 20.21 recently at Sixfields Upton parkrun. I’m not sure if they’re related but other Lambs – Nathan (JM 11-14 - 17.45), Paul (VM 50-54 – 20.54) and Bella (JW 10 – 22.44) all ran PBs as well.

Over the last three weeks a number of milestones have been reached - and, if you weren’t already aware, there are volunteering equivalent T-shirts to claim/purchase; the (matching) range now comprises j10, 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 for everyone involved. Louise Maguire (50), Rachel Fearnley (50), Lee Wade (100), Stephen Walter (100), Liz Dabell (100) and Richard Lack (100) all qualified for merchandise. Unofficial milestones were achieved by erstwhile Run Director Daniel Gillert (150), Michael Howell (200) and Zoe White (300) - who zoomed round to celebrate, equalling her PB of 31.42, which she set in 2017, aided and abetted by fellow Wellingborough and District AC colleague, Emma Robinson.

Lots of first timers, loads of PBs and a goodly number of 80%-plus on the age grade thingy – too many to mention by name, but a few random references to the following. Bethany Conroy ran a PB on 28 August in 23.33 – and repeated that precise time on 4 September. Samson.g Kidan ran a PB on 21 August in 19.58 – and repeated that precise time on 28 August. Local MP for Daventry, Chris Heaton-Harris, made his Racecourse debut on 4 September after running his first parkrun at the two-laps-on-sand Great Yarmouth North Beach event the week before (fellow local football referee Wayne Chalmers, who ran it on 21 August, commented that “parkruns do not come more challenging than this”). The number of runners, joggers, walkers and wheelers are gradually increasing each week and so, therefore, is the need for more volunteers. I’m told that, in my absence, Bec Lambert’s vocal encouragement was warmly welcomed by all that passed her on that corner – if not by one local resident! Be like Bec – think how you could support Northampton parkrun by volunteering occasionally. Adiós!

Bryan Sept 2021


#413 Northampton parkrun report

This week 344 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 47 were first timers and 42 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

413 parkrun

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Dean SHEARS • Jenaya SMITH • Leigh BARKER • Mick CONROY • Peter DIXON • Eamon KENNEDY • Alastair RAPLEY • Michelle LEWIS • Andy LACK • Kathryn HALL • Bobby CHATTERJEE • Cormac CLEARY • Matt BUSHELL • Ian HARPER • Sara HALL • Deborah ARMSON • Dannii LEVI • Russell HILL • Bec LAMBERT • Sherrill CASON • Julie FITZELL • Mark DEAN • Ben CARTER • Emily ARMSON • Ian MACSPORRAN • Lorraine SMITH

413 Volunteers

Daniel celebrated his 150th parkrun and Richard (orange top next picture down) completed his 100th.

413 Daniel

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Northampton parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Andrew BADDELEY who recorded a time of 14:52 on 16th April 2016 (event number 207).
The female record is held by Sophie HARRIS who recorded a time of 16:33 on 21st August 2021 (event number 413).

413 Sophie

The Age Grade course record is held by Angela COPSON who recorded 105.64% (20:24) on 25th April 2015 (event number 156).

Northampton parkrun started on 5th May 2012. Since then 16,211 participants have completed 146,404 parkruns covering a total distance of 732,020 km, including 25,173 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,354 individuals have volunteered 8,817 times.


#412 by Bryan Lewin

Having re-started after a near-500 day disruption, we were then forced to endure two cancelled Saturdays because of events on the Racecourse … but little did we realise that our delayed resumption to near-normality, Northampton parkrun #412 on 14th August 2021, would be a record-breaking occasion!

412 - Start line

The first three home were all first timers with us and pride of place went to Herne Hill Harrier Sophie Harris (SW 25-29). In her second parkrun (her first was at Corby on Christmas Day 2017), Sophie became our first-ever female first finisher with a scintillating best female time of 16.45, knocking virtually half a minute off Emily Waugh’s previous record, and registering the 7th all-time best, of 88.36%, on our Age Graded League. First male home, second overall with 17.03, was Declan Brandley, who has run most frequently at the Aachener Weiher parkrun in Cologne. In any normal week, Lauren Hall’s 17.24 would have enabled her to finish where she normally does in a parkrun – first female - but her time does rank third on our all-time list.

412 parkrunners 236967975_4198301280266639_3441481030320660040_n

In total, 317 ran, jogged, walked and wheeled our course, of whom 41 were first timers with us (and 19 of those had never before participated in any parkrun). Lisa Catherine Swan visited us for the first time, having previously completed 341 parkruns, mainly in the Brighton area. We had 43 parkrunners who recorded new PBs. Phil Brigden was fourth home with 17.49; it was his seventh parkrun at the Racecourse and he’s beaten his previous time on every occasion. Just a couple of other PB mentions – Nathan Scarsbrook (JM 15-17), who lopped a chunk off his previous best time (25.06), recording 20.12, and Julie Boshell (VW 55-59), who was going round in about 38 minutes before the pandemic break, stormed home in 32.46.

Sophie Harris, Lauren Hall, Chris Bell and Phil Brigden all impressively recorded over 80% on the age graded thingy.

On the milestone front, Lindsay Reeves, recorded her much-awaited 300th at the Racecourse (and 391st overall), Allyson Swan completed her 250th (244 at Northampton) and the inspirational ultra runner Michael Williams (VM 70-74) celebrated his 200th in 23.07, encouraged by a contingent of fellow Northampton Road Runners. Lindsay, Allyson and Michael have all been stalwart supporters of Northampton parkrun since the start, in 2012. Piotr Streciwilk (100) and Cheryl Hirons (50) also had reason to celebrate and both can now claim their T-shirts.

412 - Lindsay 300th
Lindsay Reeves (sparkly leggings)
412 - Michael 200th
Michael Williams (holding drink)

Miscellaneous mention (1) to Neil Martin (VM 55-59) who ran his first-ever parkrun in 27.01 and who has a namesake. I happened to bump into Neil Martin (VM 60-64) jogging on his way to volunteer on Saturday (he stopped and walked with me!). This Neil has done 235 parkruns (206 at Northampton) and his most recent run at the Racecourse was on 14th March 2020 … in the spookily coincidental time of 27.01!! Miscellaneous mention (2) to Claire O’Connor (VW 45-49). Claire’s ‘usual’ parkrun is an out-and-back route along the Chesapeake and Ohio canal towpath in Washington DC. This weekend, local girl Claire should have been back here celebrating an event in her life far more memorable and enjoyable than parkrun, but the nuptials were sadly postponed for covid reasons. Miscellaneous mention (3) jointly to Carole James (WWC) and Alan Hackett. Carole not only managed to turn up on time (!) but then ‘coached’ first timer Alan around the course. To quote from one of Michelle Lewis’ Running Tales podcasts: “Alan has spent a significant chunk of his life running. His achievements include 24 hour runs, taking on the London to Brighton challenge and serving as chairman of Northampton Road Runners. Recent years have thrown a different set of challenges his way … ”. Well done to both Carole and Alan – especially their sprint finish!

412 - Claire oConnor
Claire O'Connor
412 - Wheelchair racers
Carole James and Alan Hackett

I’ll be having a short break from ‘that corner’ for a couple of weeks – so I’ll finish by just saying think about volunteering (as 33 proudly did this week in the new pink hi-vis tops) and DFYB.

412 - pink vests 233706547_214410530523517_6684236092039349000_n


412 - Bryan


Bruce Fordyce talks to Run Director Michelle Lewis

Bruce Fordyce

A big thank you to Bruce for sparing some time to talk about parkrun with me.


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