Well, the big day had arrived, and despite many pubs opening early doors for the England South Africa rugby world cup final, 281 parkrunners and 31 hardy volunteers preferred the cold wet surroundings of Raphael park at 9am over the warmth of a cosy pub with beer in hand! I was one of those 281 runners who had opted for parkrun over the rugby and although I had recorded the game, it was a decision I kept contemplating throughout the run, especially since I was one of the slower runners, which meant I was caught in the rain, which greeted us at about 9:30am!
Given the rugby final clashed with our parkrun, it was surprising to see attendance up on each of the past four weeks, and we had a strong volunteer count too. That’s pure dedication to parkrun for sure!! An extra special thanks to our volunteers today, given the circumstances and the conditions. Not only were our volunteers soaked from the heavy rain shower, but they also had to contend with the strong wind and gusts.
Well done to all our runners today. We welcomed some tourists and 12 first timers to parkrun. Harold Wood Running Club had a strong contingent today with 30 runners, as they supported seven of their club members complete their first ever parkrun.
We had 30 PBs; amazing given the windy conditions. A special congratulation to my son, Joshua Fowler, who was one of those 30 runners who achieved a PB. I was a very proud father to see Joshua smash four and a half minutes off his previous best. I think the rain coming down helped as he wanted to finish as quickly as possible so he could get to the shelter of the bandstand to dry off!
It was a milestone feast today. Freya Bundy, Liz Bundy, Alika Williams, Jack Sanderson and Hasan Hassan all reached their 50 milestone, and juniors, James Messam and Bradley Shaw completed their 10th parkrun. Becky Rideout reached her 25-volunteer milestone (she was the marshal with the ‘rugby scores on the doors’ as you ran around the tennis courts) and is now eligible to claim the purple t-shirt. Well done to you all.
An unknown athlete was first over the line.
Ryan Murphy (SM18-19) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:14.
Chris Goldsmith (M30-34) of The Salvation Army was third over the line in 18:31.
Morgan Campbell (SW25-29) of Havering Athletic Club was first (6th overall) over the line in 18:51.
Ursula Abbott (VW45-49) (Unattached) was second (32nd overall) over the line in 22:47.
Gemma Ellender (SW30-34) (Unattached) was third (43rd overall) over the line in 23:39.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Morgan Campbell (SW25-29) of Havering Athletic Club – 78.51% with a time of 18:51 (6th overall)
Peter Hobday (VM50-54) (Unattached) – 75.84% with a time of 19:56 (11th overall)
James Johnson (VM55-59) (Unattached) – 74.66% with a time of 20:35 (15th overall)