A just above average week – but welcome to all the newcomers

by Rupert Quested

This week 147 people finished the Roundshaw parkrun, which just above average for recent months.  Roundshaw has never been one of the biggest parkrun venues, despite the vast numbers of people who live within easy reach of us.  Maybe this is because our facilities are a little more primitive than some who  get much larger attendances than we do, for example neighbouring Lloyd Park and particularly Nonsuch Park.  However, those of us who have been running here for a number of years have been aware that  our numbers have increased over time, so I thought it might be interesting to look more closely at how they have developed.  I calculate that our average over the last 8 weeks is 138 finishers.  This is slightly down on the same period last year when the average was 146.  But that was a significant jump from the average in August/September the year before (which was 113) and from an average of 97 in the same period in 2015.  Going further back the averages were 94 in 2014, 78 in 2013, 85 in 2012 and 78 in 2011.  Apart from the slight drop this year, this growth clearly reflects the unstoppable growth of the parkrun phenomenon both nationally in the UK and world wide.

This week we had 10 finishers for whom this was their first ever parkrun, which is a much higher number than normal, so welcome to all of you.  They were Angela Royal, Laura Olley, Jenni Shaw, Cristiano Piccirillo, Sue Webber, Tony and Keryee Pang, Rebecca Golightly, Robert Varney and Mark Coppard, and we look forward to seeing you all again.  We had a few visitors from other local parkruns, but as far as I can see, no-one from outside the M25.

During the announcements at the start we were reminded that we are fast approaching our 500th running of the Roundshaw parkrun.  This week was number 495, so everyone should now be marking in their diaries that they should keep clear Saturday 28 October which, all being well, will be number 500.

This week, our first finisher was an unknown runner.  This is the third time in recent weeks that our first finisher has been unidentified and I presume that in most cases this was because they failed to bring their barcodes [Ed - often true, but this weeks was a chap who just happened across us and joined in!].  It seems a pity to put in all that effort and get nothing to show for it, so I can only repeat the usual exhortation – Don’t Forget Your Barcode!  Our first lady finisher was Rebecca Fleming, who has been running with us regularly for the last couple of months.  It was the second time she has finished as first lady.

Thanks as ever to our volunteers, who this week were Eileen LEONARD, Helen ELDERFIELD, Laura FOSTER, Lorraine TURNER, Max STILLMAN, Mick TURNER, Nick WHITE, Noel AITCHISON, Thomas SCHOFIELD, Tim GRAY, Timothy CLARKE, Tom HIGGS, Yasin IQBAL and Rupert QUESTED.

And now for the usual statistical summary of the week.

Roundshaw Downs parkrun
Event number 495
22nd September 2018

This week 147 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 17 were first timers and 19 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different clubs took part.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Roundshaw Downs parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:41 on 13th August 2011 (event number 110).
The female record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a time of 18:28 on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).
The Age Grade course record is held by Zechariah JOHNSON who recorded 94.07% (21:05) on 7th October 2017 (event number 443).

Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009. Since then 5,469 participants have completed 49,507 parkruns covering a total distance of 247,535 km, including 7,411 new Personal Bests.