This week was the second week back after parkrun re-started in England, and it was as if we’d never been away! We were in the capable hands of Run Director Gillian Andrews this week, who showed us her ‘jazz hands’ before show-time as she delivered the run brief with aplomb!
We were worried that people might have forgotten us over the last year or that people might have gotten out of the parkrun habit, or be anxious about coming back, but we needn’t have worried – today we had a very respectable field of 119 runners/joggers and walkers. Out of those 119 participants, over a quarter of the field (31 people) were visiting Walthamstow parkrun for the first time. And out of those 31 first-timers, just over 40% were completing their very first parkrun ever. So a huge, warm, Walthamstow welcome goes to the following – with thanks for choosing Walthamstow for your first ever parkrun:
Samuel Skipper, Anthony Hall, Lauren Misquita, Rowan Barrington, Mika Sembongi, Kenneth Johnston-Cowley, Sacha Than, Philip Au, Sarah France, Andrew Pyner, Jessica Fryer, Michael Johnston-Cowley, and Kathleen Gibbons.
The other first timers at Walthamstow, who also get a big welcome, were:
Oli Monks, Darren Fryer, Julia Bunney, Simon Nash, Will Vile, Hannah Jones, Olivia Vile, Joshua Rees, Sarah Flanagan, Sabina Nizamuddin, Hanna Vile, James Glossop, Bryony Irvine, Benjamin Green, George Pidgeon, Stephen Cole, Steve Button, and Michael Burt.
Our fastest male and female finishers today were all first timers to Walthamstow! Congratulations to Samuel Skipper and Joshua Rees, who finished in positions 1 and 2 today, and also to Sarah Flanagan of local running club Eton Manor AC who was our fastest female runner.
14 of you also got PBs – have the Olympics been inspiring you?! Did you know that Alex Yee, who won a Gold medal in the mixed relay triathlon and silver in the men’s triathlon for Team GB, is a parkrunner? He holds the course record at Dulwich parkrun which he ran in an incredible 13:57 minutes on 29 December 2018! Also you may have been inspired by the breakout TV star of the games, Lutalo Muhammad, who won bronze at the 2012 Olympics and silver at the 2016 Olympics in Taekwondo, and who hails originally from Walthamstow!
Whoever is inspiring you, congratulations go to:
Jack Stonebridge, Mahmoud Sanni-Oba, Kieran Yeates, John Parkinson, Stuart Grey, Christopher Reid, Chris Floyd, Ian West, David Floyd, Louise Taylor, Sian Williams, Tom Myers, Kate Myers and Jean Norton
… for your shiny new PBs. And the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that both John Parkinson and Louise Taylor got a new PB last week too, so that’s two weeks in a row. Can you make it three weeks with a PB next week? There’s a challenge for you!
It was lovely to see Christopher Reid running so strongly today and getting a new PB. Christopher is a keen athlete who hopes to represent Team GB in the next Paralympic games in 400m and 800m running events. Christopher has a learning disability and has had mental health difficulties in the past and he blogs about his experiences to raise awareness and advocate for others who may need support. Chris has raised over £7,000 in the past for various charities, and is undertaking a fundraising walk in August to raise money for DanceSyndrome in memory of his late father, Howard Reid: Christopher Reid is fundraising for DanceSyndrome (justgiving.com)
We had 20 fabulous volunteers this week, making sure it all ran like clockwork. Volunteers are the backbone of parkrun and it simply wouldn’t happen without them, so a huge thank you to:
Gerard TRILL • Steve BYWATER • Sharron ROONEY • Stephen THOMPSON • Mary BURKETT • Leoni MITCHELL • Dermot HUGHES • Gillian ANDREWS • Steve PEACOCK • Ali SHEPPARD • Jon GAMBLE • Karen VARNEY • Sue LOUISE • Janine DURRANT • Lynne DURRANT • Darren LAMB • Derek JUDGE • Holly LAMB • Karen SIBLEY • David CHRISTMAS
We had another first timer at his very first parkrun amongst the volunteers this week – David Christmas who was on barcode scanning duties this week - welcome, David!
On the subject of barcode scanning, now we are using the Virtual Volunteer app instead of the old-fashioned scanners, there is no need to get so close to the barcode scanners, as the app is very sensitive, so it is more Covid-safe. There’s no need to rush straightaway to get your token scanned either; your time is taken when you cross the finish line not when you get scanned, so it’s perfectly fine to get your breath back and recover, retrieve your barcode and then present yourself to the scanners when you’re ready. Choose a barcode scanner without queues, and it would really help them if you could get your barcodes and finish tokens ready and hand them out so that they can be scanned from a distance, like in the photo below (photo courtesy of Emma Shaw, Perry Hall parkrun):
And if your printed barcode is getting a bit crumpled and torn, why not treat yourself – or treat a friend – to one of parkrun’s snazzy barcode wristbands, cards or tags? The key fobs come in a set of 3 so you can keep one in your car, on your shoelaces, in your phone cover – lots of places to make sure that you never forget your barcode! Order them here: parkrun Barcode (parkrun-barcode.com)
As ever, we need volunteers - lots of them - over the next few weeks! There are lots of roles than can be done, including some where you can run and volunteer in the same week! For example, do you fancy writing the run report next week?! Take a look at the future roster to see if you can help out at all over the next few weeks, and if you click on the role on the left of the roster, it will take you to a description of the role. future roster | Walthamstow parkrun
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Walthamstow parkrun Results Page: results | Walthamstow parkrun
See you next week, and #DFYB! (Don't Forget Your Barcode!)
The female record is held by Linda HUYCK who recorded a time of 19:11 on 12th April 2014 (event number 62).
The male record is held by Euan BROWN who recorded a time of 16:09 on 9th June 2018 (event number 274).
The Age Grade course record is held by Paul REDDAWAY who recorded 86.57% (18:22) on 22nd June 2019 (event number 328).
Walthamstow parkrun started on 26th January 2013. Since then 4,666 participants have completed 29,932 parkruns covering a total distance of 149,660 km, including 5,095 new Personal Bests. A total of 529 individuals have volunteered 4,334 times.