Thanks to Dennis Yarwood for compiling this special leap year event run report for us!
Worsley Woods parkrun
Event number 415
29th February 2020
For what’s the shortest month of the year, 2020’s February presented five, yes FIVE, Saturdays; a rare treat for all. The jewel in this crown would be February 29th, Leap Year Day – the first time it has fallen on a Saturday since parkrun began back in 2004.
As a serial tourist with more than 70 events and 319 parkruns completed the question of where to run a most unique parkrun, a leap year Saturday, presented itself some weeks ago. I suppose we all have our favourite events and preferred parkrun courses but my solution was to go ‘home’.
Worsley Woods is my home parkrun and I began my journey on 5th January 2013, event #45, finishing in 32.01, position 102 out of 120; and so I wanted to return and run the first Leap Day parkrun here.
Some interesting facts about the extra day;
Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year. Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.
People born on February 29 are called "leaplings" or "leapers" and celebrate their birthdays
Leap day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 during common years.
Roman general Julius Caesar implemented the first leap day in his Julian Calendar, which he introduced in 45 BCE. A leap day was added every four years. At the time, leap day was February 24, and February was the last month of the year.
However, adding a leap day every four years was too often and eventually, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar, which we still use today, has a more precise formula for calculation of leap years, also known as bissextile years.
Event #415 – 29th February 2020 - Firstly, and most important, the event was made possible by 32 volunteers:
Adam PICKUP • Paul SHIER • Chris VOGL • Fiona ROBERTS • Clair REGAN • William HEAVEY • Robert MASON • Dennis YARWOOD • Andrew GORTON • Tracy GORTON • Iain CLARKE • Kenneth JOHNSON • Jim BARRETT • Rebecca MARTIN • Colin STEPHENS • Jenny CASTLE • Anthony BURTON • Gwynneth KEMPSTER • Sarah STEVENS • Ian WALLWORK • Richard BLACKSHAW • Chris SMITH • Richard TANDY • Madeleine DALY • Lauren O'BRIEN • Robbie HARCOURT • Gwen AYERS • Martyn WILLCOCK • Julia FORTUNE • Andrew DANKS • Dagmara STUNELL • Sophie LOW
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Worsley Woods parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Jacqueline FAIRCHILD who recorded a time of 17:10 on 26th November 2016 (event number 248).
The male record is held by Karl DARCY who recorded a time of 15:35 on 7th April 2018 (event number 319).
The female record is held by Ty BROCKLEY-LANGFORD who recorded a time of 17:10 on 21st December 2019 (event number 405).
The Age Grade course record is held by Angela OLDHAM who recorded 91.24% (21:53) on 10th September 2016 (event number 237).
Worsley Woods parkrun started on 3rd March 2012. Since then 13,887 participants have completed 117,971 parkruns covering a total distance of 589,855 km, including 18,846 new Personal Bests. A total of 913 individuals have volunteered 8,499 times.
And some observations and facts on the 5th parkrun of February 2020;
This week 444 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom
• 52 achieved a new PB;
• there were 33 different running clubs represented, of which the biggest contingents were GMCR with 25 & Swinton RC with 34 (bizarrely 25 of the clubs were represented by just 1 runner!);
• first man home was James Lewis in 17:56 and first lady home was Laura Riches in 20:10;
• top age grade went to Beatrix Soper, one of our junior runners who bagged a new PB of 22:06 and an age grade score of 81.98% (Brilliant!);
• there were 224 male runners and 186 female runners recorded;
• Richard Turner was the only runner to claim a milestone achieving parkrun #50;
• 30 people chose Leap Day as their first ever parkrun;
• At the other end of the scale Mark Birchall ran his 401st parkrun followed by 4 with 300+ parkruns, namely Peter Brown (392), Lauren Marsden (336), Dennis Yarwood (320) and Rebecca Mills (315);
• On 29/02/20 James Deane, on his first visit, recorded 29:02
• Samuel Hurst recorded 25:25
• Omar Stunell recorded 26:26
• Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves recorded 28:28
• Adrian Kingsnorth recorded 23:32
• Mark Barton recorded 24:42
• David Atkins and Heather Kerns both recorded 35:53
• Alan Stockton recorded 42:24
• Jenny Castle recorded 01:01:01
For those of you who made it this far (thanks!) there’s a touch of serendipity in the fact that my first parkrun position was 102 at Worsley Woods and my 320th (and first leap parkrun) position was also 102 – but with an improved time!
See you in 2048 for the next one.