Reading parkrun run report – Event# 517

By Jennifer Conway

It was my first time at Reading parkrun, after we decided to use it as a nice way to break up the drive from St Albans to Wales. Thank you to the Reading parkrun family for having us and to the volunteers that gave their time to make this week's event possible.

We gathered at the start for a brief introduction from Run Director Ian before being set off across the open grassland. The starting pace felt quick as we hit the first kilometre before turning right onto the woodland loop for the first of two laps. Aside from a surprisingly tiring little bump near the start of the lap, it was an enjoyably flat course which only required careful navigation of some tight corners, and sections of lumpy grass. As we completed the second lap, I was pleased to see a marshal directing us back across the open grass towards the finish. I was less pleased with how far away the finish line appeared to be, so I was glad to make the final right turn into the home straight. As usual, I enjoyed it even more once I had finished!

At the top end of the field, there were personal bests for the first two male finishers - congratulations to Martin Turton in 16.41 and Dame Dibaba in 16.46. In total, there 43 runners with new personal bests today. The third place finisher was Mathew Rainbow in 17.01.

I managed to finish as first female with 21.03. Unfortunately, I lost my inter-household competition in the sprint finish - which meant coffee was on me! Second female and the top age grade result was Jan North in 22.10 with a staggering 88.80%! She has also completed an impressive 447 parkruns. Although Jan was not the runner with the highest number of parkruns to their name as Phil Nash (497 parkruns) and Christopher T Kelly (478 parkruns) were also in the field. The third place female was Naomi Gardner in 23.00.

Congratulations to Jackie Steveni on reaching her 100 parkrun milestone, with 62 of these at Reading parkrun. She was closely followed over the line by Angelique Haswell who completed her 100th parkrun in a new PB. Dawn Weir also completed her 50th run today. Well done all!