Numbers. They really do figure so decisively in parkrun . . . 203 finishers for our 305th event, 4 degrees when we climb into the car for the trip to Pennington Flash, 17 degrees as we leave under a clear blue sky after another magnificent meeting of running friends and welcome visitors, 17.17 for our first runner home, 21.54 for our first female finisher, 11 first timers, 67 and 250 for one of our most popular Flashers, 1 hour less rest ahead of us all as the clocks Spring forward – and simply millions of midges!
After the rain and shivering temperatures of one week earlier, we were greeted by a sunny blue sky, no wind and ideal running conditions. Anthony Taylor revelled in it, coming home a full 60 seconds ahead of Willowfield Harriers’ Tony Pfaff, whose 18.17 was a PB. Teenager Callan Rowland was a superb third home, clocking 19.02 on his 45th run.
Our first female home was Laura Babynec, who clocked 21.54, just ahead of Leigh Harrier Donna Ince (22.06) with Amy Barnes clocking 24.08, her first run at The Flash but her sixth overall.
Our runners obviously enjoyed the great conditions as 32 of them hit PBs led by second-placed Tony but including Abi Savage (Belfast Running Club), who hit 26.40 on her 99th run. Also on 99 was Victoria Holme, while three runners are fast approaching their half-century - Andrew Skinner, Dave Courtney and Michael Thomas, all now on 48 – and Andrew Jonathon Beaumont is now just two short of his double-hundred.
There were 24 Flash first timers, 11 of whom were on their very first parkrun so we are happy to welcome Lewis, Rob, Maddy & Jon, Andy & Katie, Stephen, Christopher, Leyla, Naomi and Janette to our running community. We also had 12 unknowns - remember, no barcode, no time!
It was a special day for Paula Thompson, who clocked 30.15 on her 50th run – but it was an ultra-special day for James McGlynn. He celebrated his 67th birthday the previous day, and then celebrated his 250th parkrun with champagne and cake. For the record James hit 23.08 while wife Frances clocked 34.08 – and they both had plenty of support from family and friends.
The parkrun is as always grateful to our amazing volunteers . . . Jonathan Dobson, Helen Barber, Mike Bent, Michelle Brown-Crowther, Yvonne Buckley, Alan Cooper, Meg Daintith, Gary Firth, John Gallimore, Terry Gardiner, Kathryn Grace, Olivia McDaid, Paul Roberts, Laney Williams and David Hodgkinson.
Run director Jonathan Dobson called it a perfect day. We can forget the millions of meddling midges!
It goes with the territory.