“Blowin’ in the Wind”
“How many roads must a man walk down?” Bob KEOGH may have asked as one of 92 First Timers (and four Roberts) at an extremely windy Tooting Common parkrun on Saturday 10th August.
To which the answer, from one of the 41 volunteers, would surely have been along the lines of, “It’s three laps of the Tooting Triangle, anyone can take part, and you can walk, jog or run, whatever pace you want to go. Oh, and before you ask, it’s always been free.”
Music to the ears of the 624 people, several dogs, and a couple of small children in buggies, who had come from as far as Adelaide and Balham, Cardiff and Clapham, Streatham and Sydney, Tonbridge and Tooting, Wandsworth, Wimbledon and Yeovil, all to line up next to a bench on Tooting Common at 9am on Saturday morning.
Among the 92 Tooting First Timers, 44 were doing their first ever parkrun, and 27 their second. Hope to see you all back again soon. Before you know it you’ll be able to claim a 50th parkrun shirt like Francesco MARRETTA LORD, and then in no time be on the verge of your 100th like Hannah Davidson and Keith Sudbury. Don’t forget your barcodes next time Hannah and Keith!
Among the First Timers was a big turn out from Streatham-Croydon Rugby Football Club Ladies, who’re used to dealing with all weathers after a successful season where they won 10 of their 14 league games and finished 4th in their league. The club are based on Frant Road in Thornton Heath.
There was also a big group from The Running Charity, who use running to help young people, particularly those who are homeless or living in shelters, rebuild their lives. And it was Running Charity graduate Seyfu JAMAAL, who flew round the course in 15:29, the joint third fastest time ever run at Tooting, to be the first man home. Seyfu’s Age Grade of 86.11% was also the highest of the morning. He’s clearly in good form and wasn’t far off claiming another course record, to add to the 1:08:14 he set for the London Landmarks Half Marathon back in March. For anyone who wants to run that race next year The Running Charity has fundraising places available via their website.
The second and third men to finish were barcode-less, followed by another first timer at Tooting, Jethro HEALY, making his debut on the Triangle in 17:40. Then just one second separated JM15-17 Yousuf DARYABI, with 17:46, and JM15-17 Ingmar GUNN, with 17:47.
If that sounds close, then there was less than a second, and only a few centimetres, between the first two women to finish, with Clodagh O’CONNOR completing her second outing at Tooting in 21:31, the same time as Herne Hill Harrier, the amazingly consistent Helen OLDFIELD, who was completing her 62nd Tooting parkrun. Third woman, Isla CAMERON, who ran 21:49, might have enjoyed an extra lie-in before parkrun this Saturday. She usually runs Sydney’s Centennial parkrun, which starts at 7am. And fourth woman, in 21:53, was another Herne Hill Harrier, Shanon SINCLAIR, with 21:53.
It was another Australian woman, Maureen MOYLE from Adelaide Harriers, who set the best women’s age grade, with 80.53%, putting her well into the Top 100 age graded times for Tooting. Helen OLDFIELD’s 78.85% was the second highest women’s age graded time on Saturday, and Jane DELVES’ Tooting debut, saw her set the third highest women’s age grade with 72.45%.
Amongst the Juniors, Sebastian TAYLOR knocked another 19 seconds off his PB with 29:34, Jack TAYLOR took 31 seconds off his PB with 27:42, and Wren LAWSON-FOLEY was a whole 1:34 faster than last week, with 26:44. Sophie COLLINS improved her Tooting PB by almost a minute with 34:43, and Isabella BYE knocked a whole 1:06 off her previous PB set back in January with 35:03.
There were also 84 new Tooting PBs on Saturday, including a first sub 20 at Tooting for Ainsley PALMER, with 19:50, Andy SAXTON, on his 93rd parkrun, knocking 8 seconds off his previous Tooting PB, with 20:04, surely a sub-20 time if it hadn’t been so windy, and George BIRLEY, closing in on 20 minutes with 20:28 for his 30th parkrun. Samuel PIZEY went sub 25 for the first time on his 8th parkrun, with 24:53, Sean QUIGLEY got his first sub 30 at Tooting with 29:59, and Ben DE SMIT went sub 40 for the first time with 38:32. Katherine COWLING, back at Tooting for her 30th parkrun, set a new PB of 28:35, Georgina ROEBUCK knocked 39 seconds off her Tooting PB with a 27:05, Bradley BOSMAN improved his Tooting PB by 44 seconds, with 26:15, and Jane BUTLER showed the importance of marginal gains, shaving a second off her PB, set only last week, with 24:04.
Finally a big thank you to all of the 41 volunteers who made this event possible:
Stephanie BACKHOUSE, Tom BAKER, Richard BALLAM, Richard BOGLE, Steve BOSLEY, Sophie COLE, Catherine DA GRACA, Helen DAVIES, Sandhya DREW, Guy EAGLESFIELD, Simon GALLACHER, M H, Mike HAYDEN, Kieran HOUSER, Bessie JIBUNOH, Declan KEANE, Ece KURTARANER, Catherine LAW, Graham LEWIS, Carol MCCALL, Anna Kathryn MCKAY, Louisa MCLELLAN, Michael John MORFEY, Lula MUIR, Andrew MUIR, Kirsten OLSON, Simon OTTNER, Thomas PHILLIPPE, Lavinia PICKLES, Sean QUIGLEY, Emma ROGERS, Alexander SHARMA, Richard STANSFIELD, Niamh SYKES, Evie TROLOVE, Sara VALI, Michael WALLACE, Marie-Anne WONG, David WOODBRIDGE, Rob WOODWARD, Nicola WORTON