International Women’s Day – New Ladies’ Record Time
Well the weather relented, Lake Victoria dried up and we returned to our newer course for this week’s event. However, despite being dryer (and warmer) we still had lots of mud to contend with particularly in Victoria Park and on the playing fields.
Cal was our run director this week and the usual formalities, thanking our volunteers, welcoming first timers and tourists, congratulating the milestone achievers and the health and safety briefing, were speedily carried out and we were underway without undue delay.
To celebrate International Women’s Day (on Sunday), Warrington Parkrun promoted this week’s event in conjunction with “This Girl Can” in the hope of encouraging as many women as possible to take part. In this respect we were extremely successful as, to my knowledge, this was only the second occasion when female participation has been higher than the men, 284 females, 251 males (discounting the 44 unknowns which are also likely to include more women than men).
Not only that, but for only the third time in the history of Warrington Parkrun a female was the overall first finisher. Previously, only Louise Blizzard and Louisa Thompson have achieved this feat, but all congratulations this week go to Lauren Heyes of Leigh Harriers & AC who was today’s overall first finisher. That, in itself, is a great achievement, but Lauren also completed the course in a new female record time of 16mins 43 secs beating the previous record by an astounding 73 seconds. A truly wonderful performance for International Women’s Day. This was compounded by excellent performances from Abigail Howarth, her sister, who finished 4th overall in 17 mins 53secs (also inside the previous ladies’ record – by 1 second) and Jenny Evans of Sale Harriers who finished 8th overall in 19 mins 23secs in her 100th parkrun. I believe this to be the first time that three ladies have finished in the top 10 overall finishers. In addition, both Lauren and Abigail were running at Warrington for the first time.
We welcomed 80 first timers to Warrington this week, one of whom was announced at the pre run briefing as being from Canada, and 57 of them were running their first ever parkrun. 42 of the first timers were female demonstrating the success of encouraging women for this particular event. It was helped by parkrun graduation for the latest Couch to 5K programme organised by two local clubs, Victoria Park RC and Warrington Road Runners, with the vast majority of their graduates also being female.
We also welcomed a group of runners from Hive 22 Running Club, based in Manchester, which was formed following the Manchester Arena bombing. They tour different parkruns around Manchester every week raising money to support people affected by the tragedy. This week, it was a delight to be able to welcome them to Warrington.
Results – Warrington Parkrun 328
1st Tom Battarbee17.39 (2nd first place finish)
2nd Alfie Crockett17.39
3rd Stephen Broadhurst18.14
1st Lauren Heyes16.41 (1st overall) – (New female record & new SW25-29 record) – (Leigh Harriers & AC) – (best age grade % - 88.71%) – (first timer)
2nd Abigail Howarth17.53 (4th overall) – (Leigh Harriers & AC) – (first timer)
3rd Jenny Evans19.23 (8th overall) – (Sale Harriers)
There were 579 runners of whom 251 were male, 284 female and 44 unknowns. There were 80 first timers of whom 57 were running their first ever parkrun. The best performance by a runner in her first ever parkrun was by Charlotte Stenhouse in 24.25 in 83rd place.
82 of you recorded new personal bests, including Claire Jones 25.08 (first time under 26 mins & third PB in a row), David Stokes 25.33 and Stacy Coe 35.44 (first time under 36 mins). 9 youngsters (3 boys and 6 girls) ran in the JM/JW10 age group, the youngest age groups and Tony Bradshaw with his first run in the VM75-79 age category, happy 75th Tony, was our most senior athlete. The most prolific athlete this week was Vincent Alcock (Spectrum Striders RC) with 415 runs.
The 50 milestone was reached by Andy Smith (47 at Warrington), Bertie Houghton (23 at Warrington) and Kelly Henders (5 at Warrington) to qualify for their red t-shirts. The 100 milestone was achieved by Jenny Evans (23 at Warrington) to qualify for her black t-shirt.
A perfect time from Gabriel Kennedy 22.22 and aesthetic times from Phil Hayden 23.23, Adam Johnson 24.24, Kelly Henders and Charlotte Booth both 26.26, Carolyn Edwards 28.28,Sophie Mathews 29.29, Louisa Harpham-Sou 30.30, Julie Finch and Marie Lewis both 32.32, Mike Roylance 40.40 and Bryony James 41.41. An on-point time from Sue Walters 30.00 and palindromic times from Andy Land 21.12, Eric Bell 24.42, Rebecca Fairclough 31.13, Simon Stockman and Catherine Wakefield both 32.23 and Lorna Higham 35.53.
Our visitors this week came from Birkenhead, Keswick, Telford, Hornchurch and Canada.
Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington Parkrun Results Page.