The One with the Blast From The Past
Report by Steve Stockwell
Photos by Steve, and From the Riddlesdown Archive (https://www.flickr.com/photos/riddlesdown/albums click on the link to access all of our photo albums in Flickr)
It’s been a while since we last visited Riddlesdown parkrun, but we took a break from touring so my wife could run her 50th back at our original home.
Returning to see many familiar faces reminded me that it still feels like home even after such a long time away. Secondly, the number of new faces shows that the event is still growing and attracting more people even after almost eight years.
I had originally intended to use our return as a chance to spend a weekend not writing about parkrun, but when I was asked if I fancied doing the report, I just couldn’t say no! (Well, it would’ve been rude not to! – ED) So here we go...
Only a week ago it seemed as if summer had well and truly started, but the British weather is a funny thing and the forecast showed a 68% chance of rain during the event. Fortunately the parkrun weather fairies stepped in and the conditions remained dry, albeit a little windy. The threat of rain seems to have kept some tucked up in bed and the attendance figures dropped a little to the lowest number seen since the end of April.
However, there were still 207 participants in attendance at Event number 432, so well done to everyone that made it out of bed despite the forecast. Our Run Director for the day was 173-time volunteer Helen Peters who took on the role for the 6th time. Of course, it takes more than one person to put on a parkrun event, and an additional 22 volunteers were on hand to take care of their own small pieces of the jigsaw that is Riddlesdown parkrun.
A huge thank you must go to the following people, many of whom volunteer come rain or shine, week-in, week-out to make sure the event goes ahead…
Ange Norris, Dylan Wyner, Nicki Clark, Shelagh Lennon, Barrie Williams, Steven Stockwell, Dani Stockwell, Sarah Jane Broom, Kenneth Hooks, Conor O’Shea, Helen Peters, Joy Rimell, Keith Simpson, Jessica Dann, Lesley Emery, Matilda Stockwell, Nicky Hodgetts, Sebastian Henkins, Jemima Hinder, Andrew Sharp, Robert Boswell, Matthew Mussett and Katie Innes.
If you fancy giving volunteering a go, each role is pretty straight-forward, you can dip in and out as often or as little as you like with no need to commit to anything long-term. If you’re keen to lend a hand but nervous you could always have a chat to any of the core team, including our Event Director Nicki Clark who is very experienced and will certainly put your mind at rest. In fact, she has volunteered on more occasions than anybody else, not only at Riddlesdown, but in the whole history of parkrun!
After almost eight years in operation, 686 different people have volunteered at some point in the history of the event, 227 have volunteered within the past twelve months and 138 have done so so far this year. That’s a lot of people helping to support the event, so definitely worth a pat on the back!
Riddlesdown parkrun is the registered home event for 4696 people. 6904 different people have officially taken part in the event and 1449 different people have taken part this year alone. Today we saw the 53,000th finisher (carry on reading to find out if it was you!). The combined total mileage for parkrunners at Riddlesdown is now 265,005 kilometres which is the same as the distance a satellite would travel per day in a Geostationary Orbit.
First-timers and Tourists
We welcomed 23 first-timers to our event (11.1% of the field). 12 of these were taking part in their first-ever parkrun - we hope you enjoyed the experience and we look forward to seeing you again!
The other 11 first-timers had previously taken part in parkruns at other venues - Special mention to father and daughter Peter and Ally Loose - They are fond of parkrun tourism and Riddlesdown was Peter’s 134th different venue and Ally’s 43rd. Thanks for visiting and good to see you made it around despite the late arrival... The good news is that PBs are guaranteed if you visit again!
I’m going to take advantage of being the report writer and make a super-special mention to my daughter Matilda (Lime) Stockwell who, after being part of Riddlesdown parkrun from the very beginning (she was 10.5 months old when we attended the inaugural event), finally got the opportunity to complete the course under her own steam.
She’s got the tourist bug from me and has now visited 25 different venues (including 12 different junior events) which is also known as the Quarter Cowell in the world of parkrun tourism.
Also, despite me initially thinking otherwise, it was also a new 5k personal best for her!
parkrun club representation
For any of our newer participants that are not aware, parkrun has a number of clubs, which also come with a free milestone t-shirt (you just pay for postage). There are currently six of these clubs; for participation there are the 10 (for juniors only), 50, 100, 250 and 500 clubs, plus there is the v25 club for anyone who has volunteered a minimum of 25 times.
Present in today’s results were;
9 members of the parkrun 250 club
38 members of the 100 club
38 members of the 50 club
8 members of the junior-only 10 club
37 members of the v25 club
In total 45.8% of today’s finishers were in at least one of the clubs.
Milestones achieved today
Firstly we have Rachael Phillips who joined the junior-only 10 club - The ten have been completed in a combination of seven runs with us and the remaining three over at the wonderful Roundshaw parkrun which takes place on the land of the former Croydon Airport. She also has 14 junior parkruns under her belt - all run over at Lloyd junior parkrun.
Stuart Brant - Stuart ran his first parkrun in May 2017 and is what is known as a parkrun passionista having run all of his parkruns at one single venue - ours of course!
Sean Thrower - Sean has completed forty-eight of his parkruns with us at Riddlesdown starting with his first in April 2015. The other two were at Woodhouse Moor (the updated name for the original Leeds parkrun).
Dani Stockwell - Dani took part in her first parkrun here at Riddlesdown in November 2011 having spent the first few months of Riddlesdown parkrun’s existence supporting her husband (me!) and/or volunteering.
She has run at 17 different venues covering 3 different countries and also volunteered on 116 different occasions at 7 different venues (It’s actually 117, and 8 venues as one has gone uncredited).
Congratulations to all of you - we look forward to seeing you in your milestone t-shirts very soon!
I’ve managed to find a couple of unofficial milestones this week…
Simon Masters ran his 150th Riddlesdown parkrun (208 in total)
Mark Stanford ran his 50th Riddlesdown parkrun (71 in total)
Ange Norris was the first female through the finish line at Riddlesdown for the 100th time
Finally, the 53,000th recorded finish at Riddlesdown parkrun went to Pamela Roper!
We had 32 new personal bests set today. Well done to Tom Meadowcroft, Aaron Gillett, Tim Hurt, Timothy Andrew, Oliver Thomas, Alexander Preston, Jeff Heaver, Hannah Smith, Jamie Goodwin, Adam Pearce, Mark Dawson, Jeremy Heath, Julie Eldridge, Michaela Dacosta, Jennie Cade, Alex Boniface, Gobi Otma, Csaba Csordas, Tony Connor, Celeste Ralphs, Charlotte Haeger-Gibbs, Stephen Hayman, Sam Bateman, Sarah Bidgood, Jan Whyatt, David Cruickshanks-Boyd, Nick Tagg, Charlie Howard, Nikita Stileman, Sharon Tagg, Megan Morris, and Kate Gardner.
Performances (times and age grades)
The top three finishers by position / gender were;
Dylan Wymer 16.49
Daniel Gillett 18.04
David Baker 18.16
Ange Norris 21.28
Stephanie Upton 22.02
Nicola Archer 22.12
Age grading is an interesting way to compare performances on a level playing field as it can sometimes show an outstanding performance from further down the field that would otherwise not stand out. This week the top three were all from the list above with Ange topping that chart with 85.45%.
A notable result is that of Cathy Jennings who finished in 136th position (44th female). She recorded an age graded percentage of 77.07% with a time of 30.23 in the VW70-74 age category. To put it in perspective, that is a better performance than our first-finisher.
Participants will only receive an official result if they bring their personal barcode for scanning, so please try to remember it every week. This week there were 7 ‘unknown’ people in the results, which is 3.38% of the total (percentage-wise it’s actually quite low). If you do forget your barcode, it’s absolutely fine to continue to take part, just remember your name will not appear in the results, but please give the finish token back as these are re-used every week.
Every week there is a post-event social gathering, and this currently takes place at The White Lion, Warlingham. You may already be familiar with it but if not, the oldest part of the building dates back to c.1467 and inside you’ll find various nooks and crannies to explore. Just watch your head on the beams! If you drive you can park for free in their car park, but remember to enter your registration number into the machine on the bar.
The results are processed here and it gives a great opportunity to have a more relaxed chat to your fellow parkrunners over a hot beverage and maybe some breakfast, which incidentally is quite reasonably priced and delicious.
After a couple of hours in the pub another wonderful morning of parkrun drew to a close. We certainly won’t leave it as long until we pop back over, but for now it’s back on the parkrun touring road for us. See you all soon and happy parkrunning!
The full results for event 432 can be found here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/riddlesdown/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=432