Raphael parkrun Report #250
It was an historic day today for parkrun. It was the first ever parkrun to have been run on 29 February. parkrun has been run on all other days of the year, but 29 February has never fallen on a Saturday since the inception of parkrun, so for those who are looking to complete ‘calendar bingo’ (running a parkrun on all 366 dates of a year), and even those runners who didn’t know about this challenge, you have all bagged the most tricky date of them all! For those of you who missed out, you might want to pencil 29 February 2048 in your calendar (the next time this date falls on a Saturday!)
Ironically, for those of you who were at Raphael parkrun today, you will probably not be remembering it for being the first ever 29 February leap year parkrun. No, instead I expect it will be for the horrendous conditions. Heavy rain, strong winds, cold temperatures and a high water level causing the lake to encroach onto our run route are probably the more likely things to remember today’s event by. And on that note, I know we thank our amazing volunteers each week, but this week they deserve an extra loud round of applause for bracing these awful conditions to allow this event to take place. If you think the conditions were poor for us runners, it was far worse for the volunteers who were all standing around in the cold, wet and windy weather for an hour or more. Even more marshals were needed than usual today. As you will have seen 4-5 extra marshals standing at the edge of the lake looking out for the safety of our runners, since the lake had flooded part of the path, and they did a great job of preventing the run becoming an aquathon event! And I know Nicola (our RD today) did not want the job of completing an incident report for a runner taking an unexpected swim.
The poor conditions may have deterred a few runners, but here at Raphael park we are a hardy bunch, and 293 runners, joggers and walkers came for pacer week. We had pacers covering most minutes between 20 and 40 minutes, and this led to 45 PBs today. An impressive result given today’s weather. A great effort from all of the pacers to help approximately 15% of runners reach their next PB.
We had a number of milestones to celebrate today. Congratulations goes to Victoria Wood and Saad Saheecha who both completed their 50th parkruns, and Luke Summers, Jamie Austin and Martin Vroobel who all reached their 100th milestone. Also, Johann Le Roux, our 21 minute pacer reached the 25 volunteer milestone and can now claim his purple t-shirt.
Next Saturday, parkruns all over the world are joining in a celebration of female participation by hosting a special event, ahead of International Women’s Day the following day. parkrun events, including Raphael park, will be showing their support by encouraging as many women and girls as possible to participate as walker, joggers, runners and volunteers with a suggested purple dress code for the day. Join in the celebrations by bringing a female friend, colleague or family member to participate, volunteer or spectate.
Chris Goldmsith (SM30-34) of The Salvation Army was first over the line in 18:25.
James Rygate (SM25-29) (Unattached) was second (3rd overall) over the line in 19:06.
Robert Gevaux (VM45-49) (Unattached) was third (4th overall) over the line in 19:09.
Morgan Campbell (SW30-34) of Havering Athletic Club was first (2nd overall) over the line in 18:42.
Isabella Woods (SW20-24) of Havering Athletic Club was second (12th overall) over the line in 19:49 and achieved a new PB.
Bethan Davies (JW10) of Great Leighs Primary School was third (23rd overall) over the line in 21:20.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Bethan Davies (JW10) of Great Leighs Primary School – 80.00% with a time of 21:20 (23rd overall).
Tom Davies (VM55-59) of Weald Park Warriors – 79.30% with a time of 20:03 (17th overall).
Morgan Campbell (SW30-34) of Havering Athletic Club – 79.14% with a time of 18:42 (2nd overall).
Interesting Fact/Did You Know?
Out of all our pacers today, it was James Ellender who takes the pacer award (sorry James, this is only a virtual award, or rather getting your name in print in our run report!) for the most accurate pacing, finishing in the precise time of 24:00! Well done James!