This Saturday was my 3rd time as Run Director at Osterley and the first time I took all the parkrun kit home, was allowed access to the storage area, and set up the event from A to Z. It felt a nice transition of responsibility and I was ready for it as the RD team had invested lots of time providing excellent training and shared lots of secret parkrun tips and endless advice on how best to navigate the parkrun laptop when processing the weekly results.
I arrived at Osterley Park before everyone else at 7.35am, and took in all the goodness the park always gives me, refreshed my mind, chatted with the ducks and wished good morning to the fallen leaves.
It is always a relief when the volunteers all arrive promptly, with their contagious energy and an ability to make everything work like clockwork. The support from volunteers this week was incredible (thanks to the Cabbage Patch 10 which many were doing the following day) and we were blessed with a full roster without even having to do a recruitment campaign during the week!
The rain meant we set up camp under the Osterley House, both for shelter and to ensure our barcode scanners could do their job smoothly. We also like to think that climbing the stairs to get scanned is an effective post-run warm down for all the runners!
While carrying the speakers up the stairs, I paused for a moment and turned in excitement to Event Director Geoff Miles as I realised that I'd reached a milestone with my knee injury. Finally I was able to go up and down the steps pain-free; something I haven’t been able to do for months!
The vibe this Saturday was also very different to other weeks. As our timekeeper Clare announced ‘go’ the unthinkable was happening in Vienna: a human being was aiming to run 26.2 miles (42.2km) in less than 2 hours. That incredible human being was Eliud Kipchoge, a 34-year-old Kenyan who holds the world record and whose name is now scribed in immortality.
The 1:59 Challenge in Vienna dominated conversations between our volunteers, huddled round phones watching live commentary. By 9:15 am, history was made as Eliud Kipchoge crossed the finish line in 1:59:40. The excitement could be felt by those running our 2 lap course. Hugs were exchanged, high fives were thrown and endless statistics started to pour across parkrun social media platforms.
We were equally proud of the 241 people who ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 42 were first timers with 44 amazing runners recording personal bests. Among the new PBs was our very own run director Alison Daniels who took 20 seconds off her previous best time set back in 2015 with a new PB of 28:38. Another of our regular volunteers Amanda Cahill also had a great run. After a year out with injury, Amanda celebrated her 50th parkrun with a new PB of 32:36.
We’d like to congratulate Tom Livesey who was the first to cross the line at 19:13, also recording a new PB. During his first lap which was well under 10 minutes, he joked, ‘where are all the fast runners?’ to which one volunteer replied back ‘here, volunteering!’ Sometimes I feel humbled by such warm exchanges.
Congratulations too to our first female finisher Jayne Griffiths who also celebrated with a new PB of 23:02.
Despite the throng of runners energised with Kipchoge’s epic achievement and desperate to find out if they too had set a new PB, processing the results went smoothly with no surprises and no unwelcome pink rows.
Don’t take our word for it, watch our first timer visitor Neil Harper who put together an incredible video of his visit which enables you to get a real feel for our two lap course, the gardens and the enthusiastic marshals. He completed his run in 27:48 in a very tidy 100th position.
Thank you to all the volunteers for making this event possible. If you’d like to volunteer, our roster has many upcoming spaces for you to choose from so simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you’d like to do.
- Samra Said
This week 241 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 42 were first timers and 44 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:
Michael OSBORNE • Geoff MILES • Christopher MAYBIN • Fiona MAYBIN • Clare EVERARD • Deborah LEAVERS • Austin MCHALE • Bill BLACKLEDGE • Els VERMEULEN • Jane MARLAND • Kris VERMEULEN • Genevieve MORRISON • Jessamy CARLSON • Joanna GINGER • Samra SAID • Isaac BALE • Jozsef MAK • Rana MAINEE • Derek WINDEATT • Jacqueline PLACE • Connie PALLETT
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Osterley parkrun Results Page: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/osterley/results/latestresults/
You can find all the photos from this week’s parkrun at https://www.flickr.com/groups/osterley-parkrun/pool/
The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:44 on 23rd May 2015 (event number 89).
The female record is held by Amy SOLE who recorded a time of 18:45 on 29th July 2017 (event number 201).
The Age Grade course record is held by Claire DONALD who recorded 92.98% (19:28) on 18th July 2015 (event number 97).
Osterley parkrun started on 31st August 2013. Since then 7,656 participants have completed 45,303 parkruns covering a total distance of 226,515 km, including 7,720 new Personal Bests. A total of 538 individuals have volunteered 4,139 times.