Hurricane Jorge - is that all you’ve got?!
I guess, like most parkrunners, I peeped through the bedroom curtains on Saturday morning apprehensive about what I might find. Well it was no surprise to find it raining again. Storm Jorge was with us. Was I going to be put off attending parkrun? As an ardent Bruce Springsteen fan I like to think ‘Born to Run’ is my mantra. ‘Born to Run, unless it’s raining’ is not quite so Rock and Roll. So without further ado I was on my way. Actually, if I wasn’t writing this report I may have well stayed in bed!
On arrival at Osterley Park I was greeted by a soggy Hutchinson family (including their dog, Isla) who had picked the short straw of car park duty. Gathering around the big house the crowd seemed sparse. Jorge was getting his way. As it turned out, 199 brave runners took to the start line - some 200 less than normal.
However, the breeze was mild and the rain light by the time 9.00am arrived. So the happy band of volunteers took to their stations and we were soon on our way. After the mad dash to the first corner it was a case of avoiding the puddles as we made our way down towards the bridle path. As luck would have it I was in the mid-field, the perfect position to look for things to write about. Past the lake and soon we were heading back towards the stately house and facing up to the newly installed water jump. This feature is fast becoming very popular with one and all. You now need a strategy to get past it. Do I go around it, over it, or through it? Well as it’s a leap year obviously I leapt over it and looked forward to confronting it again next time around.
As you head down toward the woods it’s time to grit your teeth and dig in as you hit the wind. Jorge huffed and puffed but we stood strong. Winding your way through the woods you soon approach what I think of as ‘Derek’s gate’. Derek is almost always there with a smile and cheery words of encouragement like ‘hurry up they’re catching you!’ I’m not sure if Derek is there all week or just for parkrun, but either way he is an outstanding Marshal.
Soon the runners are streaming past the house to end lap one and keen to hear their time as they are roared on by the volunteers. Now, it’s just a case of doing it all again, but a bit slower. As you go around again you are hoping that Jozsef gets a nice picture of you in action looking like my other heros Steve Ovett or Paula Radcliffe. In my experience, the further you go the worse the picture and the older and more dishevelled you look.
There is no finer sight second time around than another look at Derek, which means you have nearly finished! All that’s in front of you now is to skip round the lake, a wave to the smug swans and bound through the finish line. Then collapse in an undignified heap.
One benefit of a reduced field is it’s a darn sight quicker to get a coffee and a scrumptious slice of cake as you dwell on the glory of your morning run and compare notes with your fellow runners in the Stables café.
Despite the grim weather conditions there were some notable performances today. None more so than 1st woman home Bethan Everson who recorded the 3rd fastest time ever by a women at Osterley of 18.44, and a new SW25-29 Osterley course record to boot. An outstanding effort.
And who knew we were in the company of parkrun royalty? Kirsty Bangham was running her 623rd parkrun. That’s over 3,000 kilometres! Kirsty is 6th in the all-time UK parkrun attendance list. Only one woman has run more parkruns than she has. I’m proposing to the Osterley parkrun committee that we give her Osterley House as a reward - please Tweet #kirstyshouse if you agree! I’m also keen to have a statue of today’s first place finisher Simon Shaw – for the 28th time at Osterley - erected alongside the steps, with Kirsty’s approval obviously. Finally I would like to tip my hat to the 14 runners who recorded a PB today but it’s blown away.
So that’s it from me. Next week I’m off to take on one of the countries hardest parkruns, the sand dunes of Woolacombe Bay. See you there, Kirsty!?
- Ray Carter
As some of you are probably aware, it’s just under eight weeks until the London Marathon, and two of our RDs are running the marathon for charity this year. Jess is running for Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice and John is running for WaterAid. Several of you have asked about sponsoring John and Jess, and certainly any support would be gratefully received!
Their sponsorship pages are here:
This week 199 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 29 volunteers:
Liz MANN • Simon HARRISON • Robert HUTCHINSON • Louise HUTCHINSON • Christopher MAYBIN • Emily HUTCHINSON • Clare EVERARD • Owen SEAMAN • Austin MCHALE • Charmaine MCHALE • Alison DANIELS • Finlay MCBRIDE • Jessamy CARLSON • Ben CRYAN • Nigel BOSTOCK • Samra SAID • Jon RODGERS • Rachel MAURICE • Gabriella EVANS • Seamus MCEVOY • Jozsef MAK • Emese JUHASZ • Derek WINDEATT • Ray CARTER • Robert CAIN • Shatha KHALIL • Debra BOOKER • Ayaan BAIG • Rahul SONDHI
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Osterley parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Tom FAIRBROTHER who recorded a time of 16:21 on 11th May 2019 (event number 292).
The female record is held by Kate DREW who recorded a time of 18:24 on 25th January 2020 (event number 327).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 94.90% (23:51) on 30th November 2019 (event number 318).
Osterley parkrun started on 31st August 2013. Since then 8,796 participants have completed 52,159 parkruns covering a total distance of 260,795 km, including 8,522 new Personal Bests. A total of 596 individuals have volunteered 4,644 times.