#402 – In search of an N by Sue Martin

We are on a spell of parkrun tourism and this week we were at Northampton – to get an N
for our parkrun alphabet! We weren’t the only tourists there, with the unofficial prize for the
furthest travelled tourist going to the person who joined us from Amsterdam!

There were several notable milestones amongst the parkrunners this week. James STRYJEKMatthew JEFFCOATE and Matthew JEFFCOATE were running their 50th parkrun,  Roy ANDERSON on his 100th parkrun, Katherine MCFADIANKatie WHITE and Angela WHITE were running their 150th parkrun and Dave SWIFT was running his 200th parkrun . A special mention to Clive PEARCE who was running his 50th different venue on his birthday and Sharon CONQUER volunteering for the 50th time! Congratulations to you all!

402_Sharon

This week there were 677 parkrunners, which was the third highest attendance ever here,
possibly due to some people starting their new year resolutions a little late but more
probably because word is spreading about how great Northampton parkrun is!

402_course

The briefing lived up to its name and was brief, but informative, and the run started on time
which is always a positive. The course is a two lap circuit of the racecourse park, with the
second lap being shorter than the first. The course is fairly flat and racecourse park is
quite open so you can see the parkrunners on other parts of the course as you go round -
making a lovely colourful vision for the runners and to show those who have not yet
decided to join us that parkrun is here! The course was marshalled by friendly and
encouraging marshals who stood in some quite cold and windy conditions to cheer us on – thank you marshal! 35 volunteers made this week’s parkrun possibe, so a massive thank
you to all of you.

I like to find out a little bit about where I am visiting, and I was surprised to learn that
Northampton racecourse is not actually a racecourse! Although it was once - historically,
regular horse racing meetings were held here but these ceased in 1904 due to the high
number of accidents caused by the sharpness of the track. Nowadays it is an open space
park comprising of about 118 acres of parkland.

Horse racing was held here at various points in its history and the racecourse was anti-
clockwise around the park. Interestingly, parkrun has stuck with this tradition and is also
run anti-clockwise.

402_Racecourse

The hotel at the corner of the racecourse was built to accommodate keen racegoers but
was closed in 1904 when the racing here stopped. It then remained empty for 18 years
earning it the name “The White Elephant”, the name by which it is still known today.

On to a few parkrun stats - this week was run number 402. Of the 677 parkrunners 53
people were running their first ever parkrun and a further 46 did their first Northampton
parkrun. 60 people achieved a PB – congratulations to you all and to everyone who got a
result for their stopwatch bingo!

Thanks for a great parkrun – hope to see you again!

Sue Martin (Leamington)

 

 

Northampton parkrun up to 4 January 2020 #401 by Bryan Lewin

Total parkruns (by ‘regulars’ at Northampton)

Bob Emmerson 390
Lindsay Reeves 379
John Fitzhugh 326
Nicholas Rose 325
Geoffrey Lewis Jeyes 314
Studney Kirby 313
Edward John Taylor 304
Becky Dixey 303
Nigel Swan 296
Steve Cory 296
Pam Kingston 296
We also get fairly frequent visits from Len Voralia (448), Sally Hewitt (326) and Paul Hewitt (319).

Total parkruns at Northampton
Bob Emmerson 383
John Fitzhugh 325
Geoffrey Lewis Jeyes 305
Lindsay Reeves 297
Nicholas Rose 295
Edward John Taylor 285
Nigel Swan 282
Alan Palmer 280
Studney Kirby 276
Becky Dixey 265

Bryan
364_Bryan

 

 

#401 by Andy Lack

The first Saturday run of the New Year, a total of 572 athletes ran, jogged the course along with buggy runners and eager dogs pulling their owners round.

As always a large number of volunteers, set up, marshalled, and cleared up after all the runners had finished. The massive effort from these people allows us to run each week. Many of these are at the event most week, some having done upwards of a 100 volunteer weeks. Not only do they do the above, they also shout encouragement to all those on the course. Particular mention to the person who stands at about 400 meters from the finish calling out the times as we run bye.

Of the 572 runners, 19 of these have the 25 graphic meaning they have volunteered 25 times, a great example to us all, volunteering is rewarding if you have not done so, sign up you will enjoy it and will be giving back to the parkrun family.

56 runners were first timers, hope you all will be back.
68 ran a PB
27 clubs represented.

Roll on next week so we can do it all again.

Andy

401_AndyLack

 

#400 New Year’s Day parkrun – By Craig Lewis

New Year. New you? Same parkun...
Northampton parkrun celebrated its 400th installment this week - on no less than New Year's Day.

400_cake (cake by Bex's Baking)

An incredible 599 people took part in the event, and every last one of them set a personal best time. For 2020.
There were a host of genuine PBs as well (76 in all), including from three of the top four finishers.
None of them, however, could keep up with Mark HILL, who led everyone home in the first race of the 20s in a roaring 16 minutes 22 seconds.

400_parkrunners

There were plenty of milestones as well.

50 parkruns = Carl THOMPSON, Mike CAMPBELL, Charlotte NEWTON, Sally ELLIOTT

100 parkruns = Matthew LETTS and Julia BRADNAM

Birthday - Olivia ANDERTON

400_Julia 400_Olivia 400_100 400_50

And on the day of our 400th, Northampton legend Bob EMMERSON completed his 389th parkrun with 382 of them having taken place at the Racecourse.

400_BobEmmerson

To show how diverse the Northampton parkrun has become it was amazing to see volunteering Carole JAMES in Maverick (Yes she names her chairs after Top Gun characters), Simon ELLIOTT and Matthew LETT covering the Visual Impaired roles to Scarlett and Eliza and finally Claire HEDGES who is profoundly deaf sign support to the deaf and hard of hearing parkrunners.

400_WHeelchair 400_VI 400_Sign

If you're searching for a New Year's resolution, perhaps volunteering for parkrun in 2020 could be the way forward.

Huge thanks as ever to those who volunteered this week - the full list for New Year's Day is as follows:

400_volunteers

VOLUNTEER LIST

Laura A R SMITH • Alison POSTLETHWAITE • Joanne MACGREGOR • Leigh BARKER • Bryan LEWIN • Rachel Helen CANHAM • Chris LAMB • Angela SHAW • David FARROW • Seb PERRY • Lisa JACOBS • Antonio AMATO • Michelle LEWIS • Craig LEWIS • Ralph STAHMANN • Catriona DOYLE • Simon ELLIOTT • Vicky NICHOLAS • Matthew LETTS • Bryan WINN • Peter VICKERS • Lynette HILL-PARK • Oli CHERRINGTON • Carole JAMES • Jeff BATTISON • Cheryl COLLIN • Anthea RADDAN • Simon WOLFENDEN • Darren JUDD • Olivia ANDERTON • Claire HEDGES • Andrew WENSLEY • Amy JUDD • Stu VINCENT

FYI - Northampton parkrun started on 5th May 2012. Since then 15,452 participants have completed 139,427 parkruns covering a total distance of 697,135 km, including 24,242 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,326 individuals have volunteered 8,379 times.

Kind Regards
Craig
400_Craig

 

#399 2019 final run report by Bryan Lewin

As we enter a new year, a few personal (and highly selective) observations from me on Northampton parkrun over the last 12 months.

It was a year when … there were 52 events, with an average of 485 parkrunners running, jogging, walking, wheeling at each event (our overall average is 347.9 … there were two cancellations (one, in March, because of icy paths, the other because of the Northampton Town Festival)) … the highest number taking part was 640 (on Christmas Day); the lowest was 248 (on 2 November, when weather conditions were slightly inclement, to say the least) … we introduced ‘5k Your Way, Move against Cancer’ (and welcomed Breast Friends Northampton) on the last Saturday of every month, to encourage anyone undergoing cancer treatment or living beyond this disease to take part in a supportive environment.

58599069_616662442147622_6842657800527544320_n Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 15.05.58

Our parkrun on 11th May was taken over as part of Deaf Awareness Week - with Alexy Dury, from Deaf Hub, using sign language to carry out the pre-run briefing.

 

2019_Deaf

Alexy’s post-race comments included “It gave me shivers down my spine to see so many people using BSL (British Sign Language), even the fast runners managed to sign something quickly as they passed me!” … we were proud runners-up (no pun intended!) for a Northampton Heart of the Community Award (individuals and groups are shortlisted “for their hard work in their communities, making Northampton a better place to live, work and visit”)

2019_communityAward

We celebrated our 7th birthday (having started in May 2012; initial RDs Gabrielle Deere and Helen van Eum are still frequent participants) … we hosted a special themed event to celebrate Pride in Northamptonshire... we, gratefully, had take-overs from a variety of clubs and organisations … Bob, Gerald Billis and Alan Palmer represented us at a special parkrun at Bushy park in July which acknowledged Octagenarians … Kathryn Hall, Bobby Chatterjee and Julia Bradnam joined the core group … and we acquired a parkrun photo frame!

2019_Pride  x2019_Kathryn   2019_Julia  2019_Bobby

Locally, we had four new parkruns during the year – Watermeadows, Salcey Forest, Irchester Country and Brixworth Country. Nationally, there was a new parkrun female world record (Charlotte Arter ran 15:50 at Cardiff parkrun on 5 January 2019), Bushy park had the UK’s biggest ever attendance (2,545) on Christmas Day and the powers-that-be introduced a new-style parkrun results page in October (the less said, the better!).

Bob the Legend celebrated his 86th birthday and still leads the way with 381 Northampton parkruns – although we get the occasional visit from Len Voralia, who has completed 445 in total! … Leigh Barker revelled in the attention (twice) of a ‘significant’ birthday and, on 30th November, of her volunteering for the 300th occasion (the first finisher of that day’s event was, appropriately, Leigh’s son-in-law, Chris Lamb) … and, on the 19th October, Roger Sawtell did his first-ever parkrun (at the ripe-young age of 92).

2019_oldies  2019_Leigh

Unsurprisingly, Roger holds the VM 90-94 age category record (44:50), which he achieved on Christmas Day (his fifth parkrun). During the year, the following set new age category records – Hallie Barford Coulson 19:55 (JW10); Emily Williams 18:10 (JW15-17); Elisha de Mello 15:27 (SM20-24); Andy Green 17:46 (VM55-59) – on Christmas Day!; Elaine Danby 21:58 (VW60-64). The incredible Angela Copson equalled her (VW70-74) time of 22:29 – scoring 102.37 % on the age grading thingie. And the always-inspiring Carole James smashed over five minutes off her previous best to record 28:23 (WWC). Elisha de Mello’s 15:27 was the fifth fast ever at Northampton … Elaine Danby now holds the record for best times in three age categories (VW50-54), (VW55-59) and VW 60-64).

Luke Greer added four more to his total of first finishes – he’s now had 35 (from 54 runs in total), more than anyone else. Mark Hill and Andy Heather each achieved six first finishes. Emily Williams’ 18:10 was the best female time in 2019. Elaine Danby had three first place female finishes, making it 12 in total; Rosanna Andrews has most first place female finishes (19) - aided by two this year. Mention ought to be made of Lewis Panter (JM11-14) and Ella Darby (JW11-14) who both put their names on the ‘parkrunners with most first place finishes at Northampton parkrun’ scoreboard.

Too many ‘proper’ milestones to count (!) … but the ‘300 club’ (i.e. runners whose majority of parkruns were on the Racecourse) now consists of Bob (388 total runs), Lindsay Reeves (376), John Fitzhugh (325), Nicholas Rose (325), Geoffrey Alan Jeyes (312), Studney Kirby (311), Becky Dixey (301) and Edward John Taylor (301). Five of this eight took part in Northampton parkrun #1! Quite a few regulars are now entitled to wear the 250 T-shirt – apologies that reasons of space prevent me from naming you all (or, indeed, any of you!).

2019_Dunkley 2019_MLmilestone

Myself – I ran Northampton parkrun three times: on New Year’s Day (with a surprising 27:21 PB), near my birthday and when Michelle did her 100th – I also touristed at Temple Newsam, Eastbourne and Sixfields Upton. And I passed a century of Saturday mornings where I stand, clap my hands and shout at people …

Bryanscorner

On to 2020 – and what’s in store? Who knows? But I don’t think it’s any great secret to say that we are well on the way to having a Junior parkrun up and jogging (or whatever) early in the year.

2019_Juniorparkrun

To finish, the usual plea: “Northampton parkrun needs you! It is entirely organised by volunteers - email northamptonhelpers@parkrun.com to help.”

Bryan

2019_BryanL2

 

#398 Christmas Day by Sarah Dorey

Just as presents and crackers are a Christmas tradition, so is the family heading home for the festive season and the parkrun family is no exception to this.  A number of new parkruns started in the county this year and many of our regular attendees have moved to new events closer to home so it was great to see everyone come back to Northampton for our special festive extra event.  There were lots of hugs and handshakes as old faces and new parkrunners caught up and swapped Christmas cheer. 

In total, 640 parkrunners started their festive celebrations on the Racecourse, the 4th highest attendance in 398 events.  We clocked up: 73 PB's, had 53 first timers to Northampton and 25 of them were doing their very first parkrun!  

No run report is complete without the celebration of milestones.  Mark Jackson, Danny Carter, Sebastian Tomlinson and Laura Lever all completed their 50th milestone run…Congratulations!!  Aidan Green from #fitfam ran his 100th run as did Sally and Glen Furniss…Awesome!!  On their way to the 500 club milestone Ed Taylor and Becky Dixie completed their 300th run.

398_Becky_300

Great support as ever by all of our 30 volunteers, particular note to those providing music for parkrunners to ‘Rock around the Christmas tree’ down St Georges Avenue all to be treated by festive cries of Elf Brian being assisted by Father Christmas on his 131st volunteering event! (Brians' not Father Christmas)

398_volunteers

Lots of our parkrunners continued the Christmas theme with names!  We had 3 Holly's, 1 Joseph and a Bell, a flock of Lambs, 3 Nicholas's, 2 Kings and a Shepherd.  Sadly there were no donkeys and thankfully, with the number of buggy runners, no Herods.

398_angel 398_santa

Encouragement is not needed and of course parkrunners love an opportunity to dress up.  We were visited by numerous Father Christmas’s, some Christmas puddings and one angel taking a break from her duties at the top of the festive tree.

2019 has been yet another busy year for Northampton parkrun and we look forward to 2020 and all the new parkrunners we will meet, all the tourists that will visit and all of the familiar faces we will get to run, walk, jog and volunteer with each week.

Sarah Dorey
#fitfam

398_fitfam

 

#397 Christmas parkrun by Craig Lewis

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas as a host of Santas, Elves and various festive accoutrements descended on Northampton's Racecourse.
The occasion? Parkrun number 397.  So strong was the Yuletide fever, run director Anna of Arendelle, aka Michelle Lewis, would surely have had all 472 park runners building a snowman... if it wasn't for the fact it had not stopped raining all week.  As it was, those arriving at a boggy course were simply grateful the really wet stuff was not falling from the sky for a few hours.  A Christmas miracle, you might say.
397_RD
Fruit toast and hot coffee. Bacon butties and steaming tea.
Cold Christmas runners warmed by the glow of much welcomed hot food.
If pre-9am is the Night Before Christmas of the parkrun world, the time spent in the Good Loaf is akin to the day itself.  Results arrive powered by email updates with every bit as much magic as Santa travels down chimneys on Christmas Eve.  As fresh as the Good Loaf bread, this week's results revealed Higham Harriers' Nathan Jones had galloped home, reindeer like, in first place in a personal best time of exactly 17 minutes.
397_winner
He was one of 46 sprinters, runners, joggers and walkers who beat the cold to finish in well-earned PB times.  Some more festive magic. You might say.
There was a sign of good things to come at the start of the run.
Well, several signs in fact.  Many of them coming from the hands of Alexi, as parkrunners learned how to say Merry Christmas using sign language.  Several hearing assisted runners took to the course today - yet another sign of the incredible inclusivity which this weekly battle against our legs inspires.  If that doesn't make you believe, I don't know what will?
397_Alexy
The end of the parkrun.
For some, it means a sub-20 finish. For others a 40 minute PB.
There are those who sprint home; mums and dads who push young children in front and over the line; and dogs romping over the line, dragging tired owners behind them.
The tail walkers - their usual beautiful plumage sadly lacking after a washing machine led error that will never be mentioned again - keep them all in check; a fabulous full-stop to the full range of parkrun participants.  Today, though, was the day of the ploggers.
And a special one too. The Ilsley's taking on that mantle and on the occasion of much familiar achievement.  Rachel's 100th run, and half centuries for both Andrew and young Samwise.  Some show a clean pair of heels, others create a clean park.
I told you there's magic about, didn't I?
397_Ploggers
A load of bollards.
Surely not the way to talk about the noble art of volunteering?
Unless, of course, you're young Alfie and mum, Elaine. Is there a more vital role than
397_Alfie
making sure parkrunners don't come a cropper on the concrete?
Perhaps the timers could stake a claim? Catherine Hickford and Cheryl Collin dutifully clicking their way through the cold, from one all the way to 472.
397_timers
Or Leigh in her regular scanning position? Or Bryan on his corner? Or Andrew Warriner, blow-up Santa and photographer in one, capturing each moment for posterity?
Or indeed any of the selfish souls giving up their morning to make the parkrun magic start to sizzle.  And knitting it all ever, Anna of Arendelle... has she built that snowman yet?
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, don't you think?
Merry Christmas
Craig 'Elf' Lewis
397_Reporter
 

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day parkrun is GO at Northampton Racecourse

Yes we are ready to go 9:00am Christmas Day and New Years Day if we have volunteers.

Please look at the rota and advise if interested making one or both these events happen

https://www.parkrun.org.uk/northampton/futureroster/

Kind Regards

Northampton parkrun core team

 

 

#392 By Iona, age 10

After a week of very wet weather, Saturday morning was rather pleasant.
517 participants ran, jogged or walked the course. Well done everyone! 

Congratulations to Chris Wood who finished first in a time of 17:53 and to Emily Williams, a 15-17 year old, who finished second in 18:10.

26 volunteers gave their Saturday morning to help, support and cheer everyone on to make Northampton Parkrun a great success. Thank you; Olivia Anderton, Leigh Barker, Gerald Billis, Matt Bushell, Stravos Carayannis, Wayne Chalmers, Peter Dixon, Julie Fitzell, Paul Freeland, Aaron Freeland, David Frost, Andi Gill, Daniel Gillert, Robert Grace, Sally Hadfield, Kathryn Hall, Catherine Hanbury, Lynette Hill-Park, Joanna Hull, Bryan Lewin, Viv Poole, Alison Postlethwaite, Carolin Ryden, Anne-Marie Santos, Laura A R Smith and Ruksana Wade. It wouldn’t have happened without you.

70 people out of the 517 participants gained a new PB from today, fantastic. Bob Emerson who has completed 381 parkruns won the title this week for the most amount of parkruns. Bob has been doing parkruns for 7 years now, an amazing achievement. Also another mention to Emily Williams who not only came second but got the best age grading today. In today’s field there were 204 women and 313 men.

Today I ran with my mum and we both finished first in our age groups. Today I also got a Northampton PB of 23:36. We both ran wearing moustaches because it is Movember, we are picture here in the middle.

392_Iona report

 

 

#388 – Stepping forward at 92…

The year is 1927.

Sir John Reith has just become the first director-general of the newly created British Broadcasting Corporation.

Newcastle United are the champions of England, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland has been re-named and re-invented as that of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the first automatic traffic lights have been deployed in Wolverhampton.

The Wall Street Crash is still more than a year away, and Roger Sawtell was a baby.

Fast forward 92 years, 18 different Prime Ministers and 15 American Presidents, a moon landing, the largest scale war of all time and the arrival of a new Millennium... and Roger Sawtell is completing his FIRST ever parkrun in a remarkable 46 minutes and 26 seconds.

Since its debut event in May 2012, almost 15,000 people have completed 134,101 parkruns across the world.

Few, if any, can have been able to match Roger's debut age of 92.

388_Roger

Even our own parkrun veteran, the redoubtable Bob Emmerson - 377 runs in and still going strong at 86 - was awestruck; if "somewhat disappointed" to lose his oldest Northampton parkrunner title.

388_Roger_oldestparkrunner

Roger says he'll be back. We look forward to him ringing the parkrun personal best bell in the near future.

It was a good day all round for the older members of our parkrun community, as the remarkable Angela Copson came home in 67th position in a time of 22:59.

Angela is in her 70s.

Her result shouldn't, perhaps, be a surprise though. She holds the Northampton age grade course record; set back in 2015 when she completed the course in an incredible 20:24 (105.64% age grade).

Aside from high performing pensioners, there was a volunteering first for the Step Forward with Lewis running group as it staged its first parkrun takeover.

With wheelchair competitors, first time parkrunners and members driving down from London to join in the fun there was no doubting the diversity and dynamism of Michelle's group.

Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 15.44.54

As ever with parkrun, it was also a day of milestones.

Of the 479 people who ran, jogged and walked the course, 45 were first times and 70 recorded new personal bests.

In truth, that figure was 71 but our parkrun 'winner' (I know, we're all winners!) forgot his barcode and so missed out on a time. A costly reminder: Don't forget your barcode!

His 16:05 finishing time was no less impressive for that minor misdemeanour.

Congratulations are also in order for Fiona Barrett on completing her 100th parkrun, and to Louis Sefton, Jamie Clark and Marcin Bukowski on reaching the big 50.

Of course, no parkrun would ever be complete without an eager and excellent army of volunteers.

This week's honours board reads at follows:

Alison POSTLETHWAITE • Leigh BARKER • Mick CONROY • Emma SERVICE • Bryan LEWIN • Anne-Marie SANDOS • James CUSHING • Sue O'SULLIVAN • Catherine HICKFORD • Gerald BILLIS • Michelle LEWIS • Craig LEWIS • Claire GARDINER • Kathryn HALL • Rosie CLIFFORD • Julie WALTER • Esme CUSHING • Andi GILL • Daniel GILLERT • Sandra PRIOR • Lisa WARRINER • Tracy STREET • Rachel ILSLEY • Lynette HILL-PARK • Carole JAMES • Mark DEAN • Andrew ILSLEY • Samwise ILSLEY • Noel DUFFY • Olivia ANDERTON • Callum PRIOR • Sophie PEILE

388_volunteers

One final thought, for all of you out there, whatever your age... what have you never done that you'd really like to?

If you're under 92 perhaps it's time to do a Roger Sawtell and go and do it for the first time.

Happy running!

388_RunReportCraigLewis

Craig

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