I have been thinking hard about a new angle to take on the most recent episode of the Tooting Triangle parkrun, so today I’ll indulge myself in a view from the corner. Track Corner to be precise. That may mean very little to some of you reading this, but for the race officials, the three crunchy turning points on this tight little course all have their names.
As you charge away on the tarmac, past the tennis courts (keeping left, of course…you really do listen to those lovely placard-wielding marshals), buoyed up by the euphoria of actually making it to the start (again), you head towards Tooting Bec Road and execute a perfect left turn at what we call Track Corner. Why Track Corner? Well, behind the yelling loon entreating you all to keep left, is Tooting Bec Athletics Track: we’re a creative bunch, no?
You made it. You weren’t jostled (it really is a tight turn) and managed to avoid clipping someone else’s heels (and were utterly brilliant about making space for other park users…)
Now you are hurtling parallel to the main road and approach the next little tricksy turn. Another left turn and squeezing through the narrowest of gaps and cheered and cajoled by another clutch of chirpy marshals. You have just encountered Lido Corner. ‘Why? Why call it that?’ I hear you asking. Well, tucked behind the apex is Tooting Bec Lido…are you getting the hang of this?
It all gets rather hectic now as the path is very narrow and all entreaties to keep left (yes, we’re still shouting!) can seem impossible to respond to - such a thin path almost has no left or right – but sticking to the route has much to commend it: there are lots of exposed tree roots on either side and a runner had a close encounter with one recently that left her with a broken leg (she’s doing really well and had reserves of pain tolerance that defy description). As you approach the end of this path, the trafficky-roar of Bedford Hill Road comes into earshot (just above the sound of cheery marshals, obviously). You have now come to the third corner: would you like to guess what we call it?
For a triangular route, we do manage to defy the laws of geometry and squeeze in a fourth corner. It’s near the café. I can only imagine what it might be known as, but that’s where confusion potentially reigns as second and third lap runners part company, the former heading once more to gleefully encounter another three corners whilst the latter storm towards the finish area and a well-earned slump and a token reward (ahem). Luckily there are always some fab marshals on hand to bring order to the possible chaos and make sure you head off in the right direction.
Ok, that’s enough wittering from me. This is what you really came for – the stats. Here we go…
There were an AMAZING 628 runners who braved the full-on sunshine to canter round the course. Of these, 87 were having the first encounter with the triangle – 41 absolute new starters (welcome, come again!) and 46 visitors from afar (well, other parkruns – welcome too!).
There were 111 (that’s almost 20%) of the field who were unknown (no barcode). You won’t be reading this, and we have no idea who you are, but there were some tremendous times achieved and somewhere out there, Unknown Pleasures are well-deserved.
I had a suspicion that the warm conditions might put paid to many assaults on Mount PB, but 97 of you defied my expectations: what an amazing effort – congratulations to you all.
There was a healthy clutch of club runners in the mix this week (49), representing 28 different organisations. And, in spite of the lure of Junior parkrun, 25 younger runners galloped through the 5km and came out smiling. Particularly large hat-tips to Yousof Daryabi who clocked 18:48 whilst Martha Brennan, Imogen Shaw, and Robyn Eastlake all brushed the sub-30 barrier aside with ease, and all with PBs. Wow.
The first three female runners this week were Hannah Bowe, Isis McLachlan, and Helen Oldfield. They were joined (chased hard…) in the sub-22 club by Ruth Draisey, Nicola Kaye, Sarah Cakebread, and Ellen Kearns.
The first three male runners to frighten the scanners were Piers Aarnold, Nicholas Sharp, and Fred Davies. The sub-20 bunch included: Sam Batey, Daniel Wyness, Alexander Majewski, George Scott, Michael Tay, Tom Thornhill, Yousof Daryabi, Ciro Nicoletti, Thomas Willers, James Wass, Andrew Theedom, Gabriele Mora Ubertino, Paul Doyle, Mark Hudson, Hareth Bader, Adam Latham, Thomas James Gatenby, Alex Geach, Adam Williams, John Coles, Tom Grantham, Andrew Gormley, Sam Simmons, and Richard Salter.
Some other milestones to report are that Richard Salter, Tom Armstrong, Chris Pilcher, Luke Sarjant, Declan Keane, Bambi Thompson, David Collins, Louise Wiggins, Howard Coan clocked-up 25 runs today whilst Andrew Bright reached the heady-heights of 50. A casual glace thro’ the stats tells me that eight amazing people have completed 200+ runs. That is rather incredible.
Last but not least, a big, BIG, thank you to all of the volunteers who made the whole gig swing along so smoothly, all 38 of you and we always want/need more! Do come and join us. Do.
This week’s parkrun was brought to you by:
Alexander Sharma, Amanda Jones, Ammran Mamat, Archie Bull, Avone Keene, Carol Mccall, Catherine Law, Craig Barney, Dillon O'hare, Ece Kurtaraner, Edward Richardson, Fred Davies, Howard Coan, James Stocker, Jay Simmonds, Kris Chadwick, Laura De Rooy, Laura Swan, Liam O'hare, Liz A Smith, Lucy Moore, Mavis Orban, Michael Bukur, Michael John Morfey, Michael Turnham, Mike Hayden, Nicola Worton, O'hare Ciar, Richard Bogle, Rob Woodward, Simon Gallacher, Simon Hemsley, Sophie Cole, Stephanie Backhouse, Stephen Darlington, Therese Droog, Thomas Williamson, and Tom Baker.