Here we march, upon the grassy carpet of this plain

Or

With a little help from my friends

Event 232

After the success of our annual FA Cup “wear your team’s shirt”, we very nearly followed another themed event but couldn't decide between:

Derby Day – dressing in your favourite racing silks (or as your favourite racehorse?)

And

Sgt Pepper’s Day – celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic Beatles album by dressing as your favourite member of the Fab Four.

In the end we settled for a free, timed run and you came in good numbers yet again. Our average number of runners has crept up to 75 thanks to three months of 100+ attendances. This is in line with the increase in parkrun attendance throughout the country but also a reflection of the wonderful community we’ve built up. Thank you for spreading the word about us and please continue to do so. We think we have room for a few more runners and one week, consider joining the volunteers at the start as the field runs off up the slope/hill/mountain. It’s an impressive sight seeing you all wend your way into the distance. It's makes us proud.

Despite the long grass, the course was empirically a bit quicker this week. In fact it was 4 or 5 five seconds quicker. How do I know? First finisher Andrew Gunn ran 4 seconds faster than last week. First female finisher Claire Pusey ran 5 seconds quicker than last week.

I'm pretty sure that these pb merchants would agree:

Semo BERRY 30:53 VW35-39 New PB! 8
Andrew GREEN 24:29 VM60-64 New PB! 16
Ritu TANDON 46:04 VW45-49 New PB! 2
Avneet KAUR 43:11 JW10 New PB! 4
Beverley LEWIS-WEEDON 41:37 VW55-59 New PB! 2
Sahib SINGH 37:49 JM10 New PB! 4
Dhananjay PAPDE 32:39 VM45-49 New PB! 3
Petra HALE 32:33 VW45-49 New PB! 4
Anne DOMZIG 28:24 VW35-39 New PB! 17
Natalie BAMBER 28:19 SW30-34 New PB! 6
Shivanand PATIL 27:54 VM50-54 New PB! 44
John FOLLOWELL 25:55 VM45-49 New PB! 121
Camilla MOORE 22:24 VW40-44 New PB! 2

Just imagine how much quicker you'll be when the Council cuts the grass.

Award Time

There are joint winners of the Most Aesthetically Pleasing Time of the Week:

Stuart Armstrong ran an impressive 21:21 and James March got four of a kind by running 22:22. I'm sure Simon Dinsdale will feel a little hard done by, having run 22:55 but the standard of aesthetically pleasing times was high this week.

 Our parkrun friends in the wider world

Our 139 runners was matched by Lymington Woodside parkrun in the New Forest. Like us, it's a parkrun based around a rugby club although the course looks a little bit twisty than our own. They're only on their 46th event and I'm sure they got a lot more holiday makers in the summer than we do. Coincidentally there were a couple of Upton Courters running there this weekend; Simon Legge of Burnham Joggers and Katy Hughes of Datchet Dashers. You might want to ask them about it when they're next in town.

Volunteering is fun!

Please continue to come forward to share in the wonderful experience that is volunteering. We had an excellent response to the request for pacers and Michael, Jim and I will have a chat about when we will try out our first pacer event. We could still do with a few more offers (and a little bit of time to practice). We're especially keen to hear from anyone who would like to offer to run at 30 minutes or over.

 The clubhouse is open for business!

Remember – the clubhouse remains open during the Lions tour! Don’t be surprised if the bar is open as well some weeks. Please continue to support Joanne by sticking around for tea/coffee. Having the rugby club’s facilities is a huge part of the success of our little community. If we don’t make use of it then we could lose it!

 They came from near and they came from afar

We had visitors from a wide range of locations. Paul Pascoe and Angela Coates from Durham both ran their 249th parkrun with us and we hope they enjoy their 250th next weekend when back home. They weren't just in Slough to run in our wonderful park. We were merely part of a double header of sporting activity as both were heading off to Blenheim Palace to take part in a triathlon.

Also from the North East was Ken Thomas. If you check out his results page you'll find a huge number of parkruns in and around the Middlesbrough area.

None of them, however, came from as far as Harith from Muscat Road Runners in Oman. I wonder how long it will be before parkrun expands into the Middle East.

Slightly closer to home were Lucy Guilfoyle and Charlotte Webb from my own Windle Valley Runners. I'm glad to see that they took advantage of Frimley's cancellation to take in our grassy fields.

In total, 139 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.

There were 10 other volunteers helping with the smooth running of the event:

Bryony TRAFFORD-SMITH • Mark OLNEY • Bronwen PULLIN • Ali MUSE • Tim ALLISON • Kim REES • Jen SIMPSON • Isabelle ALLISON • Thomas QUINN • James GREAVES

Male placings:
Andrew GUNN (VM35-39) of Datchet Dashers, was first over the line in 17:39 - 23rd time in 62 appearances.
Sean PAYNTER (SM25-29) of Datchet Dashers, was second over the line in 18:22 - has been first to finish on 7 previous occasions.
Will CASSON (VM35-39) of Datchet Dashers, was third over the line in 19:14 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Claire PUSEY (VW45-49) of Burnham Joggers, was first (10th overall) over the line in 20:09 - 16th time in 17 appearances.
Camilla MOORE (VW40-44) (Unattached) was second (23rd overall) over the line in 22:24.
Lily ROLFE (JW11-14) of Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC, was third (25th overall) over the line in 22:38 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.

SOME IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Position Tokens.  Please make sure that you always hand in your finish token after the run, even if you don’t want a time, or indeed have forgotten your personal barcode.

Children under 11.  Children under the age of 11 MUST be accompanied by an adult the WHOLE way around the course.

Social Media.  Please interact with Upton Court parkrun on social media.  If you use Facebook and Twitter, please ‘Like’ us on Facebook (Upton Court parkrun) and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter (@uptoncrtparkrun).

Parking.  It’s good that many of you walk, run and cycle to the event.  There is very limited car parking space at Slough Rugby Club sometimes some double parking.  Please can you instead park at the main Upton Court Park car park on Upton Court Road – Satnav SL3 7LU.  There are loads of spaces there and it is only a short walk/jog from the start line.

Dogs.  Dogs (maximum 1 dog per runner) are welcome, but should be kept under firm control, on a short lead or a harness with a short lead, and extreme care taken to avoid tripping other runners.

Barcodes.  Only printed barcodes, either on paper or on the plastic tokens/silicone wristbands will be accepted for scanning.  Digital barcodes (eg on a smartphone) will not be recorded.

See you all soon.

Andrew