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

Volunteers:

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

 

#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

Bryan

412 - Bryan

 

Bruce Fordyce talks to Run Director Michelle Lewis

Bruce Fordyce

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PngkpqLNuPk&t=9s

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

Michelle

 

Northampton parkrun 2020 so far by Bryan Lewin

With nothing much better to do, in fact, nothing much to do! … (being an over-70 with a dodgy ticker and, therefore, in self-isolation) … I’ve spent a little time perusing the Northampton parkrun events that have taken place this year, so far.

But first and foremost, with the announcement that all parkruns are cancelled “until at least the end of March”, following government advice and public health guidelines, it is especially disappointing that we can’t go ahead this week. It would have been Bob’s 400th parkrun and also it would have been a special (yellow-themed) occasion to support Rowan's fundraising (those involved are trying to raise £4,000 to purchase his new wheelchair). Not only that, but (if she ran) it would have been Lindsay Reeves’ 300th Northampton parkrun (and her 389th in total) – Lindsay has been part of Northampton parkrun from the very beginning.

There were, potentially 12 parkruns during the period but Storm Dennis, “one of the most intense extratropical cyclones ever recorded”, cancelled us on 15th February (I think that means ‘very wet very windy’ because the official reason we were off was “Dennis had too many baked beans - huge threat”). This date would have had an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme – and it is now re-scheduled for 30th May.

During this period, regulars Nigel Swan, Pam Kingston and Steve Cory all notched up 300 parkruns in total. Steve also passed the ‘250 at Northampton’ mark – as did Peter Dixon, Charles Corbett and Andrew Jess. Mark Bonner claimed his 250 T-shirt and lots of parkrunners qualified for 50 and 100 T-shirts; sorry, but far too many to mention you all (or any of you!). And our esteemed Event Director, Alastair Rapley reached the magnificent achievement of volunteering on 100 occasions (according to the official stats … but I suspect that the actual figure is much more).

This is intended to be a collective review, featuring a few of the more noteworthy aspects, rather than a series of individual run reports, but we started the year/decade (yes, I know the argument that it wasn’t actually the beginning of the decade) with Northampton parkrun ♯400 on Wednesday 1st January. Despite the previous night’s celebrations (or not), 600 took part and an impressive 9 out of the first 20 welcomed in the New Year with PBs (there were 75 in total). Mark Hill was first finisher (for the 33rd time) – and with his number 1 spot again on 14th March, he’s now only one behind Luke Greer. Rebecca White was first female, in 19.09 – the third best ever time for our VW 40-44 category.

On 4th January Andy Green finished in 4th place in a time of 17.31 - which was not only a PB for him but it also smashed the previous best time (of 18.06) for VM55-59 parkrunners at Northampton. Andy also holds the Northampton VM 50-54 record (of 17.43) which he achieved six years ago – so he’s obviously improving with age! On 22nd February we had a first timer at Northampton, John Butcher, from Ware Joggers, who ran his 291st parkrun in 37.29, which earned him a place in the list of ‘Age Category Records for Northampton parkrun’ – deservedly so, because John is in the VM85-89 category! And, on 7th March, a determined young lady athlete, named Carole James, chipped a couple of seconds off her previous PB to set a new WWC record of 28.21.

The rare occurrence of 29th February falling on a Saturday (it won’t happen again until 2048) heralded the much anticipated (?!) Northampton parkrun in reverse - and it was certainly very popular. We had a new record attendance of 727 – the fifth largest in the UK that day; only Bushy Park (1029), Milton Keynes (921), Heaton Park (788) and Cannon Hill (781) had more. Noah Bennett (JM15-17) led the way to finish in an impressive 16.35 PB … and everyone managed to find their way round without mishap.

Northampton parkrun ♯409 on 7th March celebrated International Women’s Day by encouraging runners etc to bring along a female friend or relative – and it seemed to work. Our normal split is to have 40-50 more males than females taking part but, on this occasion, we had 281 females and 282 males - and 46 ‘other’ (a reference to ‘no barcode’, not gender). Maggie McQuaid, a first timer with us (but doing her 199th parkrun) was first female in 19.56; Elaine Danby (VW 60-64) registered 85.93% on that age grade thingummy … and there were lots of female milestones and PBs. (Some of the males also did quite well).

Our final parkrun for a while, on 14th March, was presided over by new RD, Julia Bradnam. It saw Mark Hill as first finisher (on his 100th parkrun) and Jessica Lamb (JW10) as first female in a brilliant PB of 21.12, the third best ever time at Northampton for this age category.

Finally, my view (from that corner) is that everyone who takes part in parkrun tries and gives of their best, whether they finish first or 500th. But I suspect that it’s always good to see your efforts rewarded in the form of improved times. About a year ago, Stirling Green (JM15-17) was finishing in around 21 minutes – since then, he’s achieved 10 PBs and, most recently, knocked 30 seconds off - so he’s now down to 17.45. No less impressively, Lynette Sampson (VW55-59) only started parkrunning this year but she has improved her time each run and she’s gone from 53.55 to 46.23. Well done to this pair, the hundreds like them and everyone else who makes Northampton parkrun such a superb event each week.

I gather Vera Lynn (103 years young on 20th March) has said we should evoke the wartime spirit, so, as she (nearly) sang:We'll meet again I do know where I don't know when But I know we'll meet again some sunny day Keep smiling through Just like you always do ‘Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.

BryanLewin3

 

 

International Women’s Day – 7th March 2020

We are celebrating International Womens Day by encouraging you to bring along a female friend or relative on March 7th.

Whether volunteering, running, walking, or jogging, we would love to see more women and girls joining us and celebrating International Womens Day.

Many females sign up for parkrun but then take a long time to go and do their first event. This is a great opportunity to welcome those who may find those first steps a bit daunting.

So, to all the women and girls out there, young, old, any shape, any size, any background, any fitness level, we welcome you to join the parkrun family on 7th March.

IWD

 

For more information https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2020/02/05/help-us-celebrate-female-participation-for-iwdparkrun/

 

The Northampton Crayons

Who can remember what they were doing in the summer of 2018?

For a group of parkrunners from Northampton, that summer started off with some harmless parkrun tourism, which included a special event at Rushmere with a little bit of dressing up. And then things, well, escalated. More tourism trips were proposed along with the suggestion that we did it in costume. Various ideas were put forward including one that as we were from Northampton that we should be dressed up in footwear (!) Then came the fateful day when someone ("Miss Pink") said that they had a crayon outfit...and it took off from there. We all claimed a colour and the rest is history! Or rather the start of something special...

NorthamptonCrayons

The crayons' first outing was in October 2018 in Bedford. Since then we've added a splash of colour to parkruns at Market Harborough, Buckingham, Bicester, Watermeadows, Daventry, Stratford upon Avon, Colwick, St Neots, Millenium, Kettering, Warwick and Brixworth - even doing a colourful pilgrimage to Bushy. It's also a tradition to enjoy the local culinary culture after a parkrun (Miss Gold's hot chocolates are becoming legendary) and so far Colwick holds the prize for the most substantial breakfast!

NC_Bedford 66303337_486166275261106_5755180915928072192_o

Our outfits are a bit like an "away" strip so we are never crayons at Northampton parkrun, but we did manage a sneaky crayon 5k around the racecourse in October 2019 for the Decathlon run series on a very wet Sunday.

NC_Racecourse

The Northampton Crayons are a mixed bunch, with different backgrounds and running abilities. The one thing we all have in common - and what brought us together - is parkrun. Who knew that such a fantastic, free event could have such colourful consequences.

NC_Millienium

The crayons try to get out for some tourism once a month - there has to be at least a pack of 4 of us for it to be a crayon event. Who knows...we may be bringing some crayon colour to a parkrun near you soon.

NC_CNS

Blue - Rachel Canham and Carole James, Red - Sam Tearle and James Thorpe, Gold - Kevin Evans, Purple - Michelle Lewis, Pink - Lindsay Reeves and Rachel Ilsley, White - Carol Tarbox, Orange - Catherine Hickford and Green - Joanna MacGregor and Sarah Jones.

 

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

 

Northampton parkrun at BBC Northampton Radio

This morning Michelle Lewis, one of the core team members, appeared on the local radio BBC station to discuss parkrun and why you should join the parkrun family.

1:54 in - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07xcrv5

NorthamptonBBCRadio2020

 

#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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