Wythenshawe parkrun
Event number 255
17th September 2016

Well the weather fairies are being remarkably kind at the moment aren’t they?  Yet another glorious morning in Wytheshawe park was the scene for 280 runners to get their weekly fix of a 5km run, friendship and fresh air (with localised patches of hot air).  Despite the rainstorm of biblical proportions earlier in the week the course had dried up nicely and conditions were pretty good as evidenced by the 57 personal bests which were recorded.  More of which later.

First things first.  As you all know, or at least should know, parkrun is a run.  The only element of race in it is the one you might be having with yourself if you choose to do so.  One of the key features is that it provides the opportunity for people of all speeds and experience to enjoy a run in a welcoming and friendly environment and I hope that that ethos is never lost.

Our course generally has plenty of space but its nature with the two laps means that faster runners are going to be overtaking slower runners pretty much all the way back from far bridge.  In the spirit of parkrun can I ask that we don’t turn any of this overtaking into anything more than a courteous shimmy with maybe a positive word of encouragement?  There is no need for anyone to be rude to anyone else and there should certainly be no need to push past.  The onus is on the overtaker to go round the overtakee – it’s not going to cost you a PB but it might put a slower runner off ever coming back.  That said, there are a few points where the course is a bit narrower e.g. through the two gates, and it would be helpful for those being overtaken not to run two or three abreast through these points.  Thank you for helping to keep Wythenshawe parkrun a warm, friendly and occasionally muddy place to run 5k.

The other thing about parkrun is that it is run by volunteers.  Yes I know you can’t believe it, we look so slick and professional that surely we must be paid.  Anyway this week we had another great crop which made my life as Run Director relatively easy.  So thanks to them all starting with our regular set up crew of Margaret Tunney, Ron Carter, Andy Wright, and Kate and Isobel Holloway.  They were joined by Phil Corker who then tail ran as well with Michael Moore.  Sam Pavey did the timing and we had Joanne Hill on back up.  Norma Burgess and John Gavin handed out finish tokens while Jane Gavin and Anthony Harrison scanned your barcodes.  Young Meg Larke did a great job of writing down the numbers of the unscannable barcodes (which hopefully will have been replaced by nice new laminated ones this week).  While Victoria Cordingley (and the children on perscussion), Sam McGrath and Jack Puller were your marshals, and Mike Gaughan took the photos which will be up on the website when he’s got to grips with Flickr.  Ron and Anthony also ushered you into the car parking field if you arrived after 8:45.

We need a minimum of 10 volunteers every week for the key roles and so please keep an eye on the roster and help us to make sure it’s filled.

We welcomed 38 first timers including 24 doing their first ever parkrun plus tourists from Bolton, Warrington, Witton, Shrewsbury, York and Wimbledon and some from our other local parkruns.

Cakes were courtesy of one of your most favourite Run Directors, Jenn Lutton,  who was celebrating moving up an age category (now SW25-29).  [you might want to check that fact – Ed.]

Back to our PBs.  57 really is a lot (over 20% of the field) and so you’ll have to carry that glow of satisfaction without the public acclaim of a mention here.  However a quick scan of the results reveals the recipients of this week’s niche award of Consecutive PBs By People Who Have Run At Wythenshawe A Lot Of Times.  And they are Ben Coulson and Paul Maybury who are on a run of three.

In the totally unimportant issue of who chose to do the run fastest Tim Stephens finished ahead of Jack Livesey and Iain Owens, while Zoe Gmerek was first lady, followed by Bev Jackson (and her dog) and Her Majesty the Queen of Wythenshawe, Jackie C.

In other news Manchester District Orienteering Club (http://www.mdoc.org.uk/) are running an event in Wythenshawe park on 1st October so if you fancy it you can have a gentle warm up with us before giving orienteering a try.  If you’re not familiar with it then in simple terms it’s running with the added challenge of not getting lost.

See you on Saturday.


p.s. not much of our lost property has been claimed.