The Wonders of parkrun
They are many to relate, first of all the two volunteers from a couple of weeks ago who salvaged my phone from where I dropped it from my lead bike. Instead of it being trampled by 472 expensive pairs of running shoes they saved it, took a selfie and returned it to me 20 minutes later, stopwatch still running.
The weather was a wonder today, Summer again after an Autumnal week. We had the sun on our backs as Run Director David Pennell told us of the 65 first timers with entrants from the wonderful locations of Hawaii, Chile, Cape Town and Middlesbrough. Simon Clarkson must have had an interesting time at his First timers briefing.
David then moved onto milestones. Gaining 50 were Freddie Skarbek(SM25-29) a top 10 regular and Jill Sudbury(VW55-59) with a celebratory PB of 31.15. Stephen Brimacombe(SM50-54) ran his 250th with a fairly even split between Bushy Park and latterly Richmond. Not an official milestone but Timothy Huggins (VM45-49) ran his 300th.
The wonder blue T shirt milestone of 500 was achieved by Andrew Wonderbrawn Brown, one of those runners that are synonymous with all that is wonderful about Richmond parkrun. Enthusiastic, welcoming with constant offers of help and witty banter. He can be relied upon not to be understated, it was a pleasure to talk to him today. He values most of all the wonderful people he has met on a Saturday morning. I shall spare his and their blushes by not mentioning those still with us, but he did speak fondly of some who sadly are not.
Stephen Instone, that wonderful committed runner and classical scholar who won the inaugural Richmond points trophy in 2008 (when points were awarded and tallied annually). He would have been Richmond’s first 500 runner but for his untimely death in 2009, drowning while on holiday in Switzerland. Reverend Trevor Patterson from Belfast, Vicar of Holy Trinity Richmond who suffered a Heart attack while running in October 2017. Fred Croft who combined a modesty for his own running with an excellence in both reporting and encouraging runners of all abilities, he passed away in 2018.
Back to Andrew’s 500. He told me he had breathed a sigh of relief when achieving his 250th, that he would not have to push for a further T shirt. He is now wondering what colour the 1000 will be. He ran today with his sister-in-law Lesley and her family, including Quinn Collie running her 2nd in 57.35 and 4 year old Cleo Collie running her first in 57.44.
Cakes were baked by his niece Penny and Sally Woodward Gentle; I think everyone of the 472 runners benefitted from them.
Andrew took his normal stance of ensuring that we all got off to a clean start, even though that meant running through the puddles. Despite this delaying his start, he still managed an enviable 27.35. Running today was a joy, bright sunshine without heat or strong winds, 44 PB’s were achieved.
Ignoring the unknown, Euan Lees(VM45-49) was fastest in 17.30 toppingthe age related measure with 81.05%. Only 5 seconds later Dave Gattenby(VM30-34In a ) came 2nd with a PB. 3rd was Liam O’Mahoney(VM30-34) a Richmond Park first timer on 17.57.
Fastest woman was Ruth Coverdale(VW25-29) who clocked up a PB of 21.23. 2nd was Propella Woodward Gentle(SW25-29) on her 240th parkrun in 22.41. Zena Phillips(VW35-39) came 3rd with 22.52. Zena has run 76 different locations in her 221 parkruns, a veritable parkrun tourist.
It was a great day to be a parkrunner, but then every Saturday is.
Till the next one.
This week 437 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 65 were first timers and 44 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 35 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:
Martin CLARK, John LOWIT, Joachim TROSTMANN, Ally PICKARD, Simon CLARKSON, Kate TURNBULL, David PENNELL, Jim JAMES, Jill SUDBURY, Malek SHARIF, Christine PANDOLE, Jain REID, Gareth Vaughan JONES, Evan JONES, Osian JONES, Seren JONES, Nell M V JONES, David PETERSON, Melinda HALL, Lyzanne WARNER, John GRAHAM, Alex BARR, Donna WILLIS, Ian LYALL
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Richmond parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The male record is held by Adam CLARKE who recorded a time of 14:31 on 6th April 2019 (event number 608).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).
Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 23,391 participants have completed 174,479 parkruns covering a total distance of 872,395 km, including 26,449 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,064 individuals have volunteered 10,224 times.