On March 22nd 1888, the English Football League was established. This is an important moment in history as football has really become part of British culture. The Football league has 140 leagues and 480 divisions – meaning that there is a place for everyone, regardless of ability... (you get where I’m going with this)
And of course, what is fast becoming part of a national institution for the Britain, like every weekend – come rain or shine – on March 22nd 2014 parkrun was ready with open arms to welcome runners old and new to one of Leeds’ most beautiful parks.
This week was slightly different from other weeks as the volunteering roles had been taken on by local club Chapel Allerton Runners. Not only were all roles filled – and possibly the best marshal ever cheered runners on from playground corner – but Chapel Allerton broke with the cake tradition to give all runners a lovely juicy orange at the end of their run. Super!
Now, onto the run!
In spite of the icy wind, 225 hardy runners crossed the finish line at Roundhay this week, out of which 39 were running at Roundhay for the first time – and a whopping 22 of those were parkrunning for the first time ever! Wow! Well done and welcome!
The weather must have been good for running as 43 runners recorded new pbs – 20% of the whole field of runners. There are a few notable pbs amongst those – Roddy MacSween has managed to bag 3 pbs in a row; as have Nick Wilson, Simon Dixon and Liz McCarthy. Martin Brown has also bagged his third pb in a row, this time managing to break the 25 minute barrier. Richard Gibbs has finally broken 21 minutes, knocking a massive 15 seconds off to take him to 20:45. You spend all that time waiting and then two come along at once – Becky Fishburn has recorded her second pb in a row having waited a whole year to go sub-22. Tom Bamber also had a run of note where he has knocked a minute and a half off his previous pb to bring him to 22:50. Zelda Holiday has successfully dipped under 30 minutes for the first time and the pb machine Paul Stokes also needs a mention for his amazing 8th pb in a row! Well done all!
This week the first across this line was James Smith from Leeds City AC. Having not run at Roundhay for a year, James still managed to smash out an amazing 16:38. For his first visit to Roundhay, Lee Sutcliffe from STAC managed a storming run, coming in second with a fantastic time of 17:59. Just behind, so in third, this week was Alex Llewelyn Jones in 18:10. Well done to the gents!
For the ladies this week, Nicola Gabbutt led the field, crossing the line in 21:27 and bagging a new pb in the process. Becky Fishburn from Leeds & Bradford Tri came in second with a stonking 21:46. Our third lady this week was Louise Cazan in 22:25 – interestingly another ladies’ pb. Well done all three!
Finally, Paul Crossan from Chapel Allerton offered to donate £1 to Sport Relief for each runner that managed to beat his ‘warm up jog’ of 22:30. This meant that Paul made a generous donation of £39 to sport relief following Saturday’s run so thank you Paul and well done to all runners that managed to beat that target.
Having a club takeover has been great for Roundhay parkrun as, like Roundhay Runners have also done recently, it gives the usual volunteers and team the weekend off from chasing up volunteers, managing the kit, and if they do so choose they have the option of some parkrun tourism to other local and lovely runs. This brings me onto a small plea to please change your settings on your parkrun to accept volunteer emails. This means that when Becky Fishburn – the volunteer coordinator – pens her lovely weekly emails letting Roundhay parkrunners know what is coming up in the future and how full (or not) the future roster is that you will receive that information! You can change your settings like this:
What else is going on?
Next week we expect some interesting attire as some local runners (Chapel Allerton just can’t keep away!) don some posh frocks to celebrate the wedding of parkrunner Lora Hughes. Join in by sticking on a tiara!
On May 17th Roundhay parkrun is hosting a mob run. This Club v Club friendly challenge that started at Leeds parkrun sees how many runners each club can turn out at a single parkrun – the higher the better. Also, it’s not just about the quantity as the average time will also be worked out for each club, making one the ‘fastest’ around. Found at all about it here.
It’s just 4 weeks until Roundhay parkrun celebrates its 3rd birthday. I’m not promising cake, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some.... There will be prizes for top male and female runners as well as on-the-day spot prizes E.g. a pair of socks for finishing in position #50, a water bottle for best sprint finish etc. If you would like to donate a prize at all then e-mail or please bring something along on the day.
As always, thanks go out to all volunteers and participants in Roundhay parkrun. If you can help out at all then please do get in touch! We are always looking for all sorts of volunteers and full training will be given on every task (not that any of them are difficult!) If you think you might be available, please have a little look at the future roster or at the volunteering page on the parkrun website.
Keep running folks! See you at the next one!
Bekki W – Chapel Allerton
Roundhay parkrun event 152.