Southampton parkrun #342 – 5th January 2019

by Peter Roe

The last Christmas lights, they all came down,
Leftover turkeys were made into soup,
The mince pies and chocolate, they all made us frown,
As we climbed parkrun's second loop.


But our bodies really are amazing machines,
As our normal eating habits return,
Our passion for running still ever keen.
Our parkrun those calories burn.

It's not Christmas 'time' any more. It's not really New Year 'time', although the first few weeks still count as 'new'. No doubt it is someone's birthday 'time' somewhere, but for most of us, what 'time' is it? It's parkrun time 2019 !

They say that January seems a long month. Presumably because the festive lights no longer brighten the darkness, and the next calendar event, Valentine's Day, (when we first notice the lengthening days revealing their seasonal promise of spring) is still SIX weeks away !! But what can help, in my limited opinion, is the Saturday morning camaraderie of volunteering and running that parkrun affords us all.


Over recent years, the first few Saturdays or two of January have tended to produce a larger field of runners than usual owing to two human factors colluding in happy circumstance; the fresh New Year's resolutions and the return of our most welcome university students (35,000 at last count). Despite today's parkrun being raw and cold, just on freezing point at Southampton common, this year was no exception to this trend with 1062 brave hearts starting the New Year as they mean to go on.


Running numbers of this size present a series of challenges for the 60 equally brave volunteers making the event possible. I heard a number of comments about frozen toes and fingers, so perhaps the volunteers are the braver of the brave hearts - at least the runners generate their own warmth! Run Director, Rob KELLY made the announcements before the run with a measure of sympathetic efficiency; did he notice the shivering field of runners, or was it his own shivering toes? Either way under his and his wife Kim KELLY's direction the event went very smoothly. The marshals managed the masses, the funnels were filled, tokens were taken, barcodes were beamed into scanners, and the times were uploaded.


Today's milestones were achieved by Michael COLLETT, Elwyn EDWARDS and Elaine EVERSON, all starting the year with their 100th runs, and Flynne MURPHY, Jamie KING, and Callum TOTTEN, all gaining their 10 T-shirts in the junior category, well done to everyone of you. Talking of youngsters, we also had a new trainee Run Director being put through his paces today under Rob KELLY's tutelage. Cameron SOMMERVILLE-HEWITT is only 16 but relishing the challenge of becoming a multi-tasking Run Director. So if in coming months a man young enough to be your son is directing our event, just jump-to, and remember behind him is the full "dark side of the force" of parkrun's Darth Vader, Rob KELLY.

But seriously folks ... thank you to Cameron.

So what will we see in this running year?
Are PBs our friend or our foe?
Will it be worth all the blood sweat and tears?
As faster we all seek to go?


One thing is sure, not just 'time' built upon,
Whether frosty or sunshine or rain,
That parkrun will be ever urging us on,
To try be our best once again.

Statistics

This week 1062 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 99 were first timers and 137 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 47 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 60 volunteers:

Gareth JONESRob KELLYKim Diane KELLYTrevor Alan ELLERYBob FOWLERAlice JONESEddie BULPITTPeter LEWISMeeje BRETTDavid KEATESGillam MCCLUREElaine June WINTERCary VARDYSusie BISSELLJonathan MARSDENSue WILSONNic WOOLLARDSergio LOPEZ DE BUSTOSPeter ROEPaul TONGSKim BATTENIsabel HESSEYSarah GOODWINRobert FINCHJulie HUMPHRIESKali BANDAJane ROBERTSONZillah LEACHDebbie LLOYDKate HARTSimon FITZJOHNDiane KITSONJayanti SHAHBarbara COGMANDerek GIBBENSStephen WALTERSSue STILEMANJulian WALLERJo ROLFEWilliam VAN GRUNSVENClaire CANNONEmily BROCKENGlenn MEDCALFCameron SOMMERVILLE-HEWITTJane OLIVERAaron ROGERSDavid PETERSJulian SHEPPARDChristine HILLDave JUSONAlison FARMEREsther CLIFTDavid GRASMEDERHelen BONAERAlison CATTKerry SHAWDavid BALLPeter HILLGavin MILLARMathieu HOURSEAU

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

The female record is held by Lorna RUSSELL who recorded a time of 16:40 on 18th May 2013 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Mahamed MAHAMED who recorded a time of 14:56 on 17th September 2016 (event number 221) and by Unknown ATHLETE who also recorded a time of 14:56 on 8th September 2018 (event number 323).
The Age Grade course record is held by Austin SOANE who recorded 91.55% (18:09) on 11th August 2018 (event number 319).

Southampton parkrun started on 7th July 2012. Since then 20,719 participants have completed 201,451 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,007,255 km, including 34,659 new Personal Bests.