#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!).

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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 …

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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.

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

Bryan

2019_BryanL2

 

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

 

 

#359 – By Bryan Lewin

Of the 518 taking part in Northampton parkrun #359, 55 were first-timers at any parkrun. They included Ashleigh Burdett (JW10), who, when I saw her later that day, told me how much she loved it and that will be doing it again next week. Andrew Souter, who was amongst the 35 parkrunners discovering the delights of the Racecourse for the first time, obviously enjoyed the experience, since he achieved his best ever time (23.33) – as did Samuel Taylor (JM10) with 24.48. Tim Allison made us his 35th venue for his 180th parkrun, and we also had some club runners, such as Neil Atkinson (West Cheshire AC), Fiona Hall (Widnes Running Club) and Denise Taylor (Boldmere Bullets), making their debuts with us.

Celebrating milestones were Martin Williams (50th), Darran Kavanagh (100th – all in this County), Jon Dunckley (100th – dressed in an ‘interesting costume’!), Peter Dixon (250th – accompanied by a fabulous family group of all ages). And Claudia Terrell (JW10) can now claim her ‘10 club’ T-shirt. (Samantha Tearle chose to record her 100th appearance at Westmill parkrun (Ware) – but the majority of her performances have been at Northampton).

Milestones_240319 Sam100

 

First finisher, in 17.17, was ‘Mr Consistency’, Andy Heather, whose last six runs have resulted him being 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 2nd and 1st. Leading female, Annette Golawska, in 20.34, has been 1st in three of her four runs at Northampton (and she was 2nd on the other occasion). Andy Heather - with Andy Green and Madeleine Wain – scored over 80% on that ‘age and gender’ thingy.

Second overall, Patrick George Dunckley (JM15-17) – with 17.33, over 30 seconds better than his previous PB - was first one home of the impressive 94 athletes who found weather conditions this week much more to their liking, and who were entitled to ring the PB bell! Age is no barrier to a PB – e.g. Reece Stocks (JM10), Lily Rose (JW10), Tallulah Havard (JW10) and Richard Wain (VM70-74)(again). Nor is having the same name … see, for example - Adam, Kevin and Sarah Hayle; Holly and Emma Reed; Dale and Fraeya Holmes; James Smith (SM25-29) and James Smith (SM20-24)! Although parkrun is ‘not a race’ (allegedly), the desire to improve is amply illustrated by the likes of Jamie Walden (7 consecutive PBs), Jamie Clark (5 consecutive PBs), Anne Bodkin (6 PBs in last 7 runs), Vanessa Watson and Gary Shelswell (PBs in each of their 5 runs) … and by so many others.

A few ‘random mentions’– alphabetically, by surname, those taking part ranged from first-timer Kirstie-Marie Abbott to Dariusz Ziolkowski (who PBed for the sixth time in his 10 Northampton parkruns); Anthony Carter was 359th at Northampton parkrun #359; Kim Pusey finished in 28.41 – precisely the ‘average run time’ for our parkrun; Ross Bailey was 20th in a PB of 20.16, Shamir Kishan was 302nd in 30.22, Kathryn Hall was 303rd in 30.29; David McGuane (VM35-39), in his 21st parkrun, finished in 21.04 (only the second time that he has NOT recorded a PB in his last 16 parkruns!) … but I noted that the 29:38 by possibly-related Lai Ting McGuane (VW35-39) was a PB…); Messrs Hampton, Putman and Vincent who finished 184th, 185th and 186th are all Pauls (as were 10 others – this week’s most popular male name) and there were 10 Lauras. Finally, Adam Wright, 11th in 19.17 (White Elephant), and Katherine McFadian, 9th female in 23.47 (Costa), get a mention solely because they said nice things about me when I bumped into them!

Volunteers make parkrun happen; they do all the obvious high-profile tasks at the event (like marshalling, timing, result recording, etc) as well as all the behind-the-scenes roles too. Why not volunteer?

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

BryanLewin_1

 

#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!

354_Volunteers
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!

 

#349 Northampton parkrun – Bryan Lewin’s experience

My parkrun day started off when I turned into Kettering Road at the White Elephant corner just after 8.15 a.m., on a decidedly chilly morning, and I spied Craig and Michelle Lewis on a ‘warm-up’ run … little did I realise, at that moment, that I’d be actually be joining Michelle in a gentle jog nearly two hours hence (more later).

Anyhow, it’s Northampton parkrun #349 and I’m on my way to collect my volunteer’s bib to perform my role as a marshal. As usual, the finish area is a hive of activity – the set-up crew have virtually completed their tasks, volunteers are turning up from all directions and RD Hattie is checking them in - and handing out jobs (35 volunteers made it all happen this week). There’s also celebratory preparations underway - cakes, banners, balloons etc - for the special ‘significant’ birthday of our wonderful volunteer Leigh Barker (it was the 262nd occasion that Leigh has volunteered, so you’ve almost certainly been scanned by her at some point!).

The 553 who participated in the 5th January 2019 Northampton parkrun were part of more than 340,000 walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers across 1,650 events in 20 countries this weekend (a parkrun record!). And there were plenty of milestones - Mike Tebbutt (150), Chris Leggett (50) and Louise Flowers-Cohen (50) among them. A handful even managed to achieve PBs on their milestone occasions – Sharon Lantsbery (100), Martin Gibson (50), Richard Monk (50), Lisa Whelan (50) and Ann Worthy (50). In fact, a magnificent total of 53 athletes could have rung the PB bell this week! I can’t mention them all by name – but those I know reasonably well included Andy Goldsmith (four PBs in his last four parkruns); Darren Berkshire (who smashed his previous best time) and Alice Bennett (JW11-14), who was second female finisher in a fantastic time of 20.44. I’m not aware whether the three Mahers (Finn, James and Ethan) are related but the trio all registered PBs – Ethan (JM 11-14) was 6 (six!) minutes quicker on his second-ever parkrun!

We had 41 first timers at Northampton which included 33 who were taking part in their first-ever parkrun anywhere – I’m sure I speak on behalf of the organisers in saying that we hope that you enjoyed the experience and that you will be joining us again next week.

Three runners managed to register over 80% on that Age Grade percentage thingy – Elaine Danby, Chris Bell and Andy Green. Andy’s 18.05 was only four seconds slower than the best ever VM 55-59 Northampton parkrun time, which was achieved by … Andy Green.

It’s not often, I suspect, that we have someone competing who has taken part in more parkruns than our legend, Bob (no surname needed) – it was Bob’s 339th - but I noticed that Len Voralia (a mere VM 75-79) was notching up number 394! … and he clocked in with 29.24!!. At the other end of the (age) scale, Harry Ambery (JM10) deserves mention as he trotted round in an impressive 24.14!

So, I did my usual thing – which simply involves standing, clapping and shouting at people – until our illustrious ploggers/tail walkers reached me for the second time, closely followed by the aforementioned Michelle (who’d done her parkrun and was continuing in order to get a 10 miler in). I joined her in a gentle jog (for her!) round the bottom of the Racecourse and then made my way (via the finish area, to divest myself of three of the fiver layers of clothing that I was wearing) to join an intrepid, select group taking part in the Magic Mile – all of whom, I think, had just done the parkrun. Ann Worthy and Jim Conroy decided to celebrate their PBs earlier by running a further 1,760 yards and Messrs Bell and Green (the 80+ percenters) somehow contrived to finish joint first in 5.32. (I did more than twice Mr Bannister’s famous time).

From the Racecourse it was straight off to Abthorpe to support my grandson, and others, in the County Cross Country Championships … and who should I see, as soon as I arrived? A goodly number from the Northampton parkrun community - including members of the Van Eum family (who’d just volunteered) and Championships MC on the day, Terry Egan.

And that was it … until the next time … apologies for any errors, typos, omissions and, before you comment, yes I do have better things to do!!!

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