Uckfield parkrun Event number 14, 3rd August 2019, by Deborah Dixon

A good turnout this week now that the weather has improved, with another female course record set again by a young runner, Isabel Guirdham. A useless piece of information, but there are very few parkrun courses in the U.K. that begin with the letter 'U' and I note that Isabel has taken part in the Umhlanga parkrun in South Africa on a number of occasions! This week was her fastest ever time and from a quick look, the Uckfield course looks more challenging than Umhlanga - congratulations Isabel.

Lots of news to report but this can wait until a future week as the rest of the report will focus on the amazing effort that the parkrun volunteers undertake each week to ensure Uckfield parkrun happens and everything runs smoothly. The course is one loop so this means it is longer than a course that has a number of loops. Volunteers start to check the course and put out signs from 6.30 in the morning to make sure everything is ready in time - this is earlier than most of us leave for work, school etc during the week. Each and every volunteer does a great job, here are a few examples from this week:

Eleven year old Rowan was one of those early birds this week, carrying markers to set up the Buxted Park part of the course. She next helped put out the flags to mark the start of the course (not as easy as you would imagine as the flags needed to be unfolded and erected), was then there at the funnel handing out the tokens to finishers, before finally helping to sort the tokens ready for next week!

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Nell must be the youngest parkrun volunteer ever - she is 7 weeks old and has already been to 3 parkruns. She was with her mum Tara, and brothers Leo and Finn.

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And a shoutout to Tim the Farmer who marshalled today and used his cow herding skills to ensure that any cows close to the course didn't get in the way - they were very nice cows! I thought we could sell this as an Uckfield Parkrun niche but I was told by my running events source in London that there was also a herdsman present this Saturday for some running events in, of all places, Victoria Park in east London, to make sure the cows behaved themselves.

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But even if you do not possess these attributes (extreme youth, engineering prowess and cow handling), please give a thought to volunteering on a Saturday. The length of the course means we need more marshals than many parkruns and we like to make sure there are marshals at the various places that may be muddy. If you also want to run, there are lots of opportunities for helping with the setting up and clearing away. Numbers are low over the coming few weeks due to some regulars being away on holiday so please put your name down on the volunteer roster near the barcode scanning table, or email uckfieldhelpers@parkrun.com if you would like to help. And the parkrun Volunteer club rewards anyone who volunteers on 25 different occasions with a free t-shirt.

This week 207 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 56 were first timers and 61 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:

Shirley Ann LIGHT • Sarah COOPER • Tara TWYMAN • Jan GROOM • Mary BARNES • Christine TAIT • Zoe OSBORNE • Dominic TARN • Deborah DIXON • Tosca ANSTIS • Kathryn MARTYN • Helen THOMAS • Tessa BROWN • Elisabeth DAWSON • Rowan DAWSON • Susan CRITCHLEY • James KILVINGTON • Roy GROOM • Katerina CLARKE • Leo TWYMAN • Sue BROWN • Liberty CONSTABLE • Tim FORD

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

The male record is held by Ben Christopher GIBSON who recorded a time of 17:23 on 4th May 2019 (event number 1).
The female record is held by Isabel GUIRDHAM who recorded a time of 19:29 on 3rd August 2019 (event number 14).
The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline WOOD who recorded 85.44% (21:11) on 11th May 2019 (event number 2).

Uckfield parkrun started on 4th May 2019. Since then 1,418 participants have completed 3,047 parkruns covering a total distance of 15,235 km, including 649 new Personal Bests. A total of 121 individuals have volunteered 381 times.