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

 

#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.

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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.

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Bryan

412 - Bryan

 

Bob Emmerson’s 400th parkrun

BBC News - part one

BBC News - part two

BBC One show

Runners World

Chronicle and Echo

Comrades Twitter page

parkrun UK

James Thorpe video of the 411 parkrun

Bob Emmerson - paper 400th

Comrade Twitter Bob Emmerson

Younger Bob Emmerson  Bob 400th Finish

 

Did you know Bob's picture is now appearing in the Northampton museum?

Bob in museum

 

#411 – We are back finally – By Bryan Lewin

Northampton Racecourse parkrun #410 took place on 14th March 2020 … and, after 497 days - including 70 Saturdays – we returned on 24th July 2021. The results show that 348 people, ran, jogged and walked our course, of whom 33 were first timers with us (28 had never before participated in any parkrun) and 38 recorded new PBs. The event was made possible by 34 volunteers.

411_crowdphoto

But it was much more of an occasion than those bare statistics indicate. As we all know, parkrun is not a race and it’s so much more than just a run - it’s a get-together with friends, and a like-minded community, to exercise (naturally!) but also to have (nowadays) a socially-distanced chat, a laugh and a celebration or two. No more so than this week.

Unless you’ve recently been with Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson in their supersonic rockets or totally self-isolating because of the pandemic, you can’t have avoided the numerous television, radio and social media stories featuring Bob making his much-anticipated 400th parkrun. Is there any more to say about this remarkable man than what he has already said about himself?! His running achievements are staggering (world best times, 40 miles round a track in less than 5 hours etc etc), he’s a parkrun legend and he is an inspiration to young and old alike. I’ve known him a long time; I’ve taken part in marathons etc with him and I have the utmost respect and admiration for his motivation and physical fitness. Long may he continue.

Bob's 400th parkrun

Bob's 400th parkrun

William Kneeshaw (100), Peter Diamond (50) and Bethany Quinney (50 – with a PB!) were others who’ve also been waiting to celebrate their milestones. And Julie Evans did her 200th run at Northampton (out of 213 in total).

WillKneeshaw100th

Norbert Mihalik finished first (for the seventh time) and Louise Hannan was first female (for the second time). Eighteen of the 141 females taking part clocked up PBs, including four out of the first six, and Claudia Terrell (JW10) impressively but frustratingly ran 23.39, one second outside of her PB. Kimberley Boyce notched a PB with 34.19 nearly seven years after her previous best time; Robin Bunting went round in 21.00, five minutes quicker than his last parkrun in 2019, and over three minutes faster that his last PB.

On the age grade percentage thingy, Andy Green, Chris Bell and Andy Heather all recorded over 80%.

Bob always runs in green, so honourable mentions go to Stirling Green (spot on 22- minute pacemaker) and Calvin Green (24.08 whilst steering Freddie in the pushchair).

411_photo

Despite some initial traumas, Alastair and the team ensured a safe, enjoyable and successful resumption of parkrun. There were a few changes – at the start and finish – but, in between, all the usual effort and determination was displayed by everyone! It’s good to be back – but please remember that we now miss two Saturdays and our next event is on 16 August. Don’t forget your barcode (and, just a reminder to Carole James – we start at 9.00 not 9.30, so don’t be late (again))!

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Bryan

411_BryanLewin

 

#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

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