Another Saturday morning, another parkrun. The sky was blue, the puddles were enormous, the mud was aplenty and the volunteers as cheerful as ever.
574 people rocked up to do 5k in whatever way they wanted to tackle it. There were a handful of tourists, (from Newport, Wimbledon, Chichester, Lincoln, Southampton to name a few), but essentially most of this fabulous parkrun community were locals or near neighbours.
I was one of those tourists, from Southwick Country Park parkrun in Wiltshire. This was my 103rd parkrun (first outing for my 100 t-shirt) and my 3rd run at Rushmoor. The last time I was here was back in August. It was warmer and drier and just for the record it was a course pb.
But the sun was shining this morning too and what a welcome we had, with Alex delivering the briefing over the p.a., with an enthusiasm and energy that held the complete attention of the enormous crowd. He really has to come out top when it comes to run briefings. It’s not an easy job keeping a pre run mob of parkrunners listening and engaged, especially such a large mob! So well done Alex. After introducing the tourists, we got to congratulate young Darcy, today’s run director, who completed her bronze Duke of Edinburgh volunteering skill today and received a certificate to mark the occasion. Fantastic work Darcy. Phoebe was also called up to receive applause for her 10th parkrun and there were three parkrunners celebrating their 50ths, Paula, Gavin and Maciej. Another awesome milestone was achieved this morning by Dhankumar who ran his 200th. In no time it was 3,2,1, and we were on the way.
This morning I ran with my awesome sister, Lindzi and her enormous and gentle Rottie Shepherd cross, Bear, who was happily giving in to our walk/jog pace (or perhaps not, he would rather have run with the first finishers but he was gracious as well as being attached to a short lead!). Lindzi and I are both getting back to running after having major operations a few months ago. She now has one of my kidneys and it was good to get both back doing a parkrun together again! As this is Lindzi’s home parkrun we met up with several of her friends and it was fabulous to meet with Sarah who was one of this morning’s first timers, having only started running 5 weeks ago. Thank you to all those lovely friends who stayed to cheer us in at the end.
As it happens we hadn’t even completed the first lap before the faster runners were overtaking us.
So I was happy to be able to congratulate the first finisher, Michael Garrard who arrived back in a pb of 17.32, closely followed by Alexander Matthews in 17.42 and Marcus Irving in 17.56. I know it isn’t a race but that must have been a good sprint.
Georgia Ball, our tourist from Lincoln was first lady home in 19.36 with Ruth Briggs in second in 20.56 and Rhea Horlock in a new pb of 22.15 in third place.
Back to our second lap. Bear behaved beautifully, getting the hang of this parkdogging thing, until he let himself down badly, needing a poo bag just as we approached the ‘sprint’ finish. I guess anyone who parkruns with a dog has a good story to tell so this one won’t eclipse any of them and it certainly caused some hilarity amongst those who had already had their barcodes scanned and were on their way home.
So now the thank you’s. Firstly to all those 31 volunteers who made this mornings parkrun welcoming and fun. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you to Steve who took all the photos. Thank you to all those who completed 5k, in one way or another, for chatting along route, for sharing your stories, to Julie for the hug as we were going along the canal tow path, for those who paced with us and made a fuss of Bear and for those who waited to cheer in the latter finishers (for the record, not a course pb, but definitely a post op pb with my sister and an awful lot of fun).
Well done to Sarah who said she loved her first parkrun and felt quite emotional when she finished it. I hope all the other first timers enjoyed it as much today and will be back again next week.
I will be back at my home run next week, but I look forward to returning to Rushmoor again, I mean I have a post op pb to chase. Have a good week.
This week 574 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 48 were first timers and 85 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 39 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 31 volunteers:
Chris BALE • Bertie MATTHEWS • Gregory ALLIN • Steve TYLER • Beverley JENNINGS • Alexis SHIRTLIFF • Linda HUNN • Alexander John RADFORD • Linda RADFORD • Rachel TOMKINS • William FORDHAM • Troy CHAMBERS • Joshua TOMKINS • Katherine RUOCCO • Kathryn RADFORD • Andy WARD • Judith STRADLING • John SOUTHGATE • Mark RANOLA • Michael LEWIN • Richard WILLIAMS • David WRIGHT • Julie PLUMRIDGE • Ellis PLUMRIDGE-BAKER • Alison BREMNER • Alan PERRETT • Rebecca Anne BACHMANN • Sabrina BACHMANN-ROSS • Lucy BLENKINSOP • James DOWDELL • Darcey PARKIN-SMITH
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Rushmoor parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Chris PARR who recorded a time of 15:22 on 14th October 2017 (event number 169).
The female record is held by Louise SMALL who recorded a time of 17:20 on 25th December 2018 (event number 226).
The Age Grade course record is held by Austin SOANE who recorded 91.24% (17:53) on 11th June 2016 (event number 104).
Rushmoor parkrun started on 3rd May 2014. Since then 11,876 participants have completed 90,725 parkruns covering a total distance of 453,625 km, including 14,968 new Personal Bests. A total of 862 individuals have volunteered 6,548 times.