#358 by Bryan Lewin

Windy. If one word summed up Northampton parkrun #358 it was … windy!! Obviously we weren’t the only UK parkrun to suffer – 52 parkruns were cancelled, mainly as a result of the weather, and 402 had a lower attendance than last week. Somewhat ironically, I was back doing my marshalling bit, after a week away on the island of Fuerteventura … which popularly translates as “strong wind”!

Over this weekend, we had a few regulars participating in events at other exotic locations – such as Daventry, Stanwick, Oundle and Milton Keynes (oh and …and Cyprus) …. but the blustery weather didn’t stop 463 athletes from perambulating the Racecourse; and 47 of them even managed to achieve PBs. Storming home first was Tony Letts (his time of 18.11 was an indication of the conditions – it was the slowest by a first finisher since 9 December 2017). Our leading female was, for the third time this year, Karen Smith who breezed round in 20.13 – a Northampton PB for her.

Milestones (whether or not recognised by parkrun T-shirts) were celebrated by Dave Care (running his 50th); Anne-Marie Sandos, Nigel Dunlop and Lisa McGarrity (all doing their 100th) … and RD Alastair Rapley (completing his 150th). Anne-Marie (and her many supporters) adopted an Hawaiian theme to mark the occasion – as you may have noticed. Alan Raines ran the parkrun to celebrate a significant birthday (his sash said ‘The Big 50’ but the results say he ‘Most recently ran in VM45-49 age category’!). First timer at Northampton, Paul Williams, from Southampton, ran on his 39th birthday.

Alastair AnneMarieandNigel

In total we had 41 first timers – 30 of which were doing the first-ever parkruns, including two groups proudly wearing their colours from Northampton Old Scouts under-14s and 103 Battalion REME. By contrast, first-time visitor Sam Weaving, who finished 3rd overall, was doing his 251st.

Andy Green (81.59%), Tony Letts (81.12%) and Madeleine Wain (77.75%) were big scorers on that thingy that gives “an indication of how well the runner has done relative to their age and gender”.

This week’s Personal Bests included Chris Lamb (VM45-49) - no, not the wife carrier who was our first finisher on 23 February (there’s actually 27 persons registered under that name) …this Chris’s 24.39 was his 6th PB in his last 9 parkruns; Stuart Hansell, two runs in total – 31.45 last week, 24.36 this week; Melissa Wilde – 24.21 (her last parkrun was Christmas Day 2016 in 28.26); Malachy Collins (JM11-14), nine runs since 2015, 6 PBs – this week’s 21.23 earned him first place in his age group and 18th overall. You’re never too young or too old for a PB – as Ashley Hillier (JW10) and Richard Wain (VM 70-74) can testify… and finally, a trio who have each achieved three PBs in their four parkruns, all this year - James Smith (the SM20-24 one, not James Smith (SM25-29)), 25.17 down to 22.51; Johnny Duffy (JM11-14), 26.32 down to 23.42 and the wonderfully-monickered Del Boy, 26.15 down to 24.40.

In the ‘completely random mentions’ category - alphabetically, those taking part ranged from Aaron Lares Baptista (JM 10) to Zoe White; first-timer Christine McKeogh was 358th in Northampton parkrun #358; Isabella Morris neatly finished 444th in 44.44, Amanda Kimberley (30-34) was thrillingly 330th in 33.03 in her 30th parkrun and Logan Vanden Bos finished his first ever parkrun in 323rd position in 32.26; Ismael Ali, Lee Wade, Simon Tenant, Helen Menzies, Helen Andrews, Marie Fitzhugh, Louise Musson and Liam Browne all proved that they were budding pacemakers – as they each completed the course in an exact number of minutes!

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Northampton parkrun #358 only happened because of the 36 volunteers, under the direction of RD Matt. As first-time timekeeper Neil Martin (nearly) said – “if you have not volunteered yet, give it a go, it really broadens your appreciation of the wonderful phenomenon that is parkrun!”

BryanLewin3

 

 

#357 by John Kilcoyne

Let’s start with some congratulations. Official members of the J10 club this weekend are James (who celebrated with a new pb) and Joshua. Sherrill, Tracey and Andy are now ready to claim the red 50 t-shirts, and Stephanie has earned a black 100 shirt. In addition, Robin completed the unofficial milestone of 200 parkruns. Well done to all. Happy birthday also to Patrick, celebrating his 17th birthday on Sunday and to Catherine Hickford, turning 40 on Monday.

Stephanie_100   Patrick_17  Catherine_40th

Thank you to all the volunteers assisting Szabolcs as RD today.

090319  Szabolcs

Thank you also to two clubs, Northants Tri and Abington Park Joggers, who turned out in force to support and participate, many as pacers.
Helen and I joined you as tourists from Lincoln this weekend, together with visitors from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Birmingham, London and Kent. 22 participants were here for their first ever parkrun. Well done to you all at the start of your own parkrun journey.

Our own visit was for two purposes: our 20th location within the East Midlands region (currently 37 altogether, but the number keeps getting bigger) and to claim a North for our compass challenge. For anyone new to parkrun tourism, there are lots of combinations of locations to give a focus to running at different locations. Search for parkrun Running Challenges for a Chrome browser extension for many more suggestions including the alphabet challenge. As a tourist, you get to see the best of so many other towns and cities across this country and further afield- it is always the best that any community has to offer because parkrun is involved. I have loved every location I have been to with parkrun because of the variety of courses and the friendliness of everyone involved.

I must confess to a soft spot for urban parks because of the pride that get shown off. Northampton has a gem in the Racecourse- so many facilities for residents and visitors, the fabulous architecture within the park and the amazing range of buildings on all sides that parkrunners can appreciate. Add to that an (almost) flat terrain; we didn’t get pbs today, but Helen and I both ran our fastest times since New Year’s Day. Lincoln parkrun is also an urban park although smaller; we will be delighted to welcome you as visitors.
This week 542 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 41 were first timers and 80 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 37 volunteers:

Vicky ROBERTSON • Terry EGAN • Stavros CARAYANNIS • Leigh BARKER • Anne-Marie SANDOS • Rachel Helen CANHAM • Stephen HOLLOWAY • Tessa HOLLOWAY • Rosemary KENNEDY • Helen ANDREWS • Gemma YOUNG • Gerald BILLIS • Michelle LEWIS • Ralph STAHMANN • Szabolcs MATE • Bobby CHATTERJEE • Matt BUSHELL • Steve MARTIN • Sarah ASHCROFT • Ian BATES • Sue JEFFS • Sharon CONQUER • John KILCOYNE • Alan HALL • Claire THOMAS • Melissa WILDE • Ann WORTHY • Lynette HILL-PARK • Bec LAMBERT • Lee WADE • Julie FITZELL • Marie PASSMORE • Viv POOLE • Sam FREEMAN • Joanne HAYMAN • Debra WARD • Bethany CRESSEY

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 Emily WAUGH who recorded a time of 17:14 on 8th July 2017 (event number 270).
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 13,510 participants have completed 118,595 parkruns covering a total distance of 592,975 km, including 21,431 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,141 individuals have volunteered 6,828 times.

LincolnTourists

Helen and John from Lincoln parkrun

 

# 356 by Bryan Lewin

After a weekend away, up North (and before a week away … seeking some sun!), I resumed marshalling at my usual spot for Northampton parkrun #356. Last week I was spectating at the English National Cross Country Championships at Harewood House, near Leeds (where my grandson was competing), but I managed to squeeze in a parkrun myself – at nearby Temple Newsam (‘undulating’ course, no chance of a PB!).

On my arrival at the Racecourse, it was therefore a pleasant surprise to bump into Noah Bennett, who ran in the same race as my grandson in the Championships and, according to the Chron, had “used his track pedigree to finish in a superb 14th position, only seconds away from a top 10 finish” (and, it might be noted, Noah’s sister, Alice, also produced an “outstanding performance” at the Championships).

Fresh from these endeavours, Noah was second overall finisher on Saturday with a new PB (only one other person has ever bettered his time of 16.56, in JM 11-14, at Northampton). Leading the 450 runners, walkers, pushers, pullers and joggers this week was Noah’s club mate Mark Hill, who weaved his way round in 16.29, and our first female finisher was Annette Golawska (who lopped 50 seconds off her previous best time to finish in 20.18). Andy Green was third home in 17.59 (the best performance ever in VM 55-59 at our parkrun) … although not quite a PB for Andy, which is still 17.43 (the best performance ever in VM 50-54 at our parkrun!). He later led all the way in the Magic Mile to clock 5.35.

Unsurprisingly Noah and Andy both achieved over 80% on the ‘Age Cat’ thingy – as did second female finisher Kate Bond (VW 55-59) for her 21.50. Nathan Lamb (JM 11-14), who was ninth overall with 19.08, ‘scored’ 79.97%

Amongst our fabulous 450, I could only spot one milestone – Dee Munro, completing her 50th (and I know there was a significant birthday, but not the lady’s identity – sorry). There were 44 first timers (30 doing their first ever parkruns), including a ‘car full’ from Stamford Striders – Caroline Robertson, Helen Schofield, Amy Hodgson and Janine Buck. Neil Currant – 87 in total - was at his 54th different parkrun and Tanya O’Neill, a parkrun tourist from Cardiff, obviously enjoyed her first timer experience here, taking advantage of our newly acquired parkrun photoframe to post on social media (and be the profile pic on our Facebook page)! Len Voralia notched up his 402nd parkrun (Bob did his 346th).

TanyaOneill

It might have been muddy for the touring Crayons, and others we normally see, at Watermeadows (Towcester) parkrun, but the dry, brighter weather conditions encouraged 64 athletes to register new PBs at the Racecourse. As always, its not possible to credit everyone, so only a few mentions … Amanda Stohrer (11 consecutive PBs since 8th December – from 38.29 to 34.35); Rachel Ilsley (knocking nearly four minutes off, from 33.29 to 29.47); Mark Warren (just three parkruns since October 2016 – 29.09, 27.04 then 24.01!); Jamie Clark (26 parkruns since April 2018, all at Northampton, 11 PBs, started with 30.47, now down to 25.19) … and our oldest/youngest PBers of the week - Mick Bond (VM 65-69) with 29.22 and Tallulah Havard (JW10) with 26.06.

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It seems slightly unfair, to me, that you’re unlikely to be mentioned in a run report unless you’re a milestoner, PBer or whatever – so some completely random mentions. Sarah Kaced, a first timer, was position 356 in parkrun #356; Derek Finan was 312th in a time of 31.2 (well, 31.19 – a PB); Marie Fitzhugh was 433rd in 43.3 (well, 43.26); The average run time for our parkrun is 28.40 - Mike Tebbutt (28.39) and Sue Davis (28.44) were closest this week. And Tim Leah gets named and shamed for no barcode!

My stint on the corner was over; I joined tail walker Lynette and had an enjoyable chat about a couple of unexpected subjects (!) with a lovely group on our way back to the finish … then did the Magic Mile with another lovely group. Stirling Green - JM 11-14 - completing it in 6.21, following his earlier parkrun PB of 21.04.

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This week’s Northampton parkrun only took place because of the 34 hi-vis hero volunteers. Please opt-in to the volunteer email if you'd like to join them and get involved!

Thanks to this week's volunteers

Alfie STARMER  •  Benjamin CRAWLEY  •  Bobby CHATTERJEE  •  Bryan LEWIN  •  Christopher BEATON  •  Christy GILLERT  •  Daniel GILLERT  •  David FROST  •  Dennis WEINBERG  •  Elaine STARMER  •  Fiona BARRETT  •  Gerald BILLIS  •  Harrison GILKES  •  Helen SMITH  •  Ian HARPER  •  Jeff BATTISON  •  Jenny GASKILL  •  Joanne HAYMAN  •  Julia BRADNAM  •  Julie FITZELL  •  Katie CHOWN  •  Leigh BARKER  •  Lynette HILL-PARK  •  Mark DEAN  •  Matt BUSHELL  •  Michael ELVIN  •  Michelle LEWIS  •  Peter VICKERS  •  Rachel ILSLEY  •  Ralph STAHMANN  •  Seb PERRY  •  Shaun LEDINGTON  •  Tony KENNEDY  •  Tracy STREET

BryanLewin3

 

#355 by Andy Heather

After gorgeous weather last Saturday, this morning reminded me of the opening to Dickens’ Bleak Parkrun: “Fog everywhere. Fog up St Georges Avenue, where it flows among bollards and lampposts; fog down the football pitches, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of posts and nets and the pollutions of a great (and slightly dirty) town. Fog on the Racecourse. Fog creeping into the trees; fog lying out on the playgrounds, and hovering in the swings; fog drooping on the tennis courts. Fog in the eyes and throats of the parkrunners; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of the hi-viz heroes. Chance people on the park peeping over the bushes into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.” So, yeah, foggy. So foggy that I think Bryan got lost as he wasn’t marshalling his corner for the first time in what seems like ages. Hopefully he’ll find his way back soon!

We had 465 runners complete parkrun 355, while our sister run at Upton celebrated their first anniversary. Congratulations! Long may it continue. A few milestones this week. Flying into the fabulous fifties were Dave Horne (11th), Brian Morris (68th), Paul Thorneycroft (201st) and Dannii Levi (363rd). But achieving more parkruns than all these superstars put together was the stupendous Steve Cory who achieved a wonderful 28th place for his 250th run.

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We had 24 people enjoying their first ever parkrun experience: Ellis Baker was the youngest newbie at just 10, and Stephen Barlow, in the 60-64 category, have both begun their new run lives. Hope it’s the first of many! You’ll never look back. Unless you’re going the wrong way! Which can never happen thanks to the selfless efforts of our brilliant volunteers. As always, unending thanks and gratitude need to go to all our hi-viz heroes who braved the conditions with smiles on their faces. Thank you so much to Andrew BALL, Leigh BARKER, Fiona BARRETT, Christopher BEATON, Gerald BILLIS, Oliver BIRCH, Matt BUSHELL, Bobby CHATTERJEE, Oli CHERRINGTON, James CUSHING, Mark DEAN, Catriona DOYLE, Sam FREEMAN, Paul FRENCH, Jenny GASKILL, Daniel GILLERT, Kathryn HALL, Ian HARPER, Joanne HAYMAN, Robert HOLDING, Claire HOLLAND, Rosemary KENNEDY, Shaun MACKEN, Andrew MYERS, Viv POOLE, Anthea RADDAN, Claire THOMAS, Reece THOMPSON-HUNT, Paul THORNEYCROFT, Marie TIMMINS, Mark TIMMINS, and Julie WALTER.

We also had a fantastic number of first timers to our Racecourse Run. High fives go to Jonathan and Jessica Hand who completed their first Racecourse, as well runs 247 and 235 respectively. Great stuff! The foggy, cold and slightly windy conditions did not seem to slow many of our parkrunners as loads of them achieved PBs. Particular congratulations go to Benjamin Crawley who achieved his third successive PB of the year, and Louise Hannam who walloped over 30 seconds off her best time to be the first female runner home. Alexander Law ran under 24 minutes for the first time and Jaclyn Robson ran her fastest ever race after 3 years of parkruns. Chris Lamb romped home first in just over 17 minutes and Jude Kelly was the fastest junior. Richard Fowler finished first for the over 50s. Jessica Kempton was the first female junior to finish achieving a new PB in the process, and Karen Farley-Goddard, completing her very first parkrun, was the first over 50 lady to finish. What a start and what a finish!

I was once again met by my old pal and erstwhile colleague Gordon Smith at the finish line. He explained that due to an administrative error the Wacky Races style diversion signs had failed to arrive. However, he had been on to the Acme company who had promised him a tunnel that can painted onto any surface in seconds. We’ll see! He also complained that by calling him a Renaissance Man in last week’s report he was going to have to sue me for deformation of character as everyone knows him as a cantankerous curmudgeon! As for the fog, it dissipated shortly after the runners and volunteers had left the Racecourse as they had found it (or possibly a little tidier) and I hope you all enjoyed the sunshine and blue skies of a beautiful February afternoon.

 

#354 by Andy Heather

Hello! And welcome to the rather late and rushed race report of Northampton’s 354th Parkrun. I offered to do the race report this week but only realised a few hours ago that I was actually doing it. So, without further ado, let’s do this!
Is it spring? When I stepped out this morning to see how many layers I should put on I was startled by the mildness of the temperature. (I’m easily startled!) So it was the first shorts and short sleeve run of the year as I and my daughter headed down to the Racecourse to be greeted by a myriad of friendly faces.
As usual we were running late which meant I wasn’t able to find out where my run buddies Andy Green and Chris Bell had been on their running travels. Andy is in the process of setting records for men aged between 55-59 across the region. Hats off to you sir! I hope I’m doing as well as you when I hit that age bracket and try to match your times!
It was a brief pre-race briefing this morning with shout outs to the pacers who had kindly volunteered. It was Mark Rose’s and Graham Laurie’s 50th run, but, unbelievably, they were our only milestones this week. We did have 16 first timers to any parkrun – welcome to the best decision you’ve ever made; you’re body will thank you in a couple of months! – and an extraordinary number of PBs (more than I can count!)
Although it was a mild morning, there was once again a bit of a headwind as you ran down St Georges Avenue. (The wind must have blown away the apostrophe!) But, come wind or shine, the indomitable Bryan Lewin was heroically cheering on all the runners on his corner. I had the honour of taking Bryan’s post once and had just about the greatest hour of my life. Although I was freezing, the positive psychological effect of being thanked by several hundred people in such a short space of time was miraculous. Not only can I not thank our volunteers enough for all their kind efforts every week but I would also massively recommend taking a turn as a marshal if you haven’t already. It is an incredibly heart-warming experience.
We are, as always, hugely grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Helen ANDREWS, Leigh BARKER, Fiona BARRETT, Gerald BILLIS, Oliver BIRCH, Matt BUSHELL, Becky CARRIER, Bobby CHATTERJEE, Oli CHERRINGTON, Benjamin CRAWLEY, Mark DEAN, Paul ECCLES, Daniel GILLERT, Mary GRIFFIN, Lynette HILL-PARK, Rachel ILSLEY, Alison JOHNSON, Stephen JOHNSON, Bryan LEWIN, Michelle LEWIS, Szabolcs MATE, Connor MCLEAN, Henry NEWBY, Viv POOLE, Alison POSTLETHWAITE, Anthea RADDAN, Mark RADDAN, Alastair RAPLEY, Frances RIX, Elaine STARMER, Alfie STARMER, Marie TIMMINS, Lizzie TIMMINS, Mark TIMMINS, Peter VICKERS, and Neil WHITE. Thank you!

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The run (it’s not a race!) was completed by 445 fabulous participants. First was Dominic Jones in the incredible time of 15.27. This means he immediately goes on the all time fastest list in 4th place! William Gardner must feel a little aggrieved not to finish first as his time of 15.32 puts him 5th on the all time list! It must have been quite a finish, and one that I was nowhere near!
Amy Gamble, a Racecourse first timer, led the way for the women, achieving a superb 20.28. Tallulah Havard and Freddie Caspall were our fastest youngest runners. Amelie Purr and Sterling Green finished first in the 11-14 category. Trystan Barnett, who has a ludicrously fast PB for a 15-17 runner, came in 5th overall with a time just outside 18 minutes, and Christy Gillert was the first (and last!) female in the same age bracket.
At the other end of the age range, the unstoppable Bob Emmerson was officially our oldest finisher in the incredible time of 43.54. I judge how well I am doing by where I pass Bob each week, and this week he was way ahead of where I usually see him. You are a marvel!
We had five female runners in the 65 to 69 age bracket and Linda Toru was the first to cross the line in the superb time of 36.49. But well done also to Linda Kier, Catherine Hill, Anthea Raddan and Alison Johnson. Supreme efforts all round.
At the end of the race there was just time to be patted on the back by the lovely Ilir Brecani and have a nice catch up with Glenn Robertson who was completing only his third run since injury put him out of action for 8 months and turned him into an enthusiastic spectator and supporter of parkrun. Finally, we watched the marvellous Rowan Stoddart sprint the final stretch of the run, before being followed in by the fabulous Gemma Burley and wonderful Tony Hill, who had pushed Rowan in his wheelchair for most of the way!
Had I known at that point I was writing the race report I would have stayed longer to savour the atmosphere and taken more notice of who was ringing the PB bell. I struggle to take much in at the end of the run as I am always so exhausted. The marshals who hand out and collect in the finishing tokens are always so kind and look so concerned as I try to find the breath to thank them for their time and efforts. This week, as soon as I’d finished, an old friend, Gordon Smith, met me with a plastic bag filled with a jar of marmalade and a note with ‘Gordon’s Gubbins’ written on it. This turned out to be Gordon’s new blog which I highly recommend. Gordon’s a renaissance man and his blog offers ‘sport, music, travel and comedy; in mayonnaise!’ He suggested that next week I nobble the opposition by employing a scheme that he had learnt from Dick Dastardly in the Wacky Races! I’ll let you know how I get on!
Thank you to everyone involved in parkrun. It has helped me physically and mentally, and always gives me something special to look forward to, no matter how hard it is to get round the course each Saturday!