Saturday, 30 March 2013

Playing away... the more you do it, the more you want to do it again!

It started with a suggestion made on Facebook.  I'd been listening to the parkrun show and the host, Danny, waxed lyrical about a small parkrun in North London.  I'd noticed Pymmes parkrun as I'd perused the parkrun site and always thought it would be interesting to run - with around 10 - 15 runners every week it would be very different to Basingstoke.

So, in a moment of rashness, I asked some Basingstoke regulars if they fancied a road trip.  They did.  At just gone 7am this morning, having driven over to Basingstoke, I did point out that it was their job to stop me when I came up with daft ideas that involved getting up early at the weekend! 

On arrival at Pymmes Park we got out of the car and looked around, unsure as to where the actual start was.  Luckily one of the volunteers parked just behind us and pointed us in the right direction - about 20' from where we had parked.  Despite a brisk wind the weather was much more pleasant than the last two parkrundays!  There was blue sky and a bit of sunshine too.  

Lining up at the start, all 14 of us, was very strange.  I stood next to the guys I'd travelled up with.  Big mistake, HUGE!   They are all much faster than me, I think I managed to keep up with the 'slowest' of the three until the first corner, when I said 'I'm too bloody old for this' (I was trying to keep up with a 17 year old!) and fell back.  I have to say that, had someone told me about the pond with the geese I may have reconsidered going to Pymmes Park.  I am not a huge fan of birds, especially geese!  By the second corner I was convinced I was last.  With such a small field, despite the fact that it was three laps, it felt a bit lonely out there!  I did eventually lap a few people, but I wasn't entirely sure if they were parkrunning until I saw them go through the finish funnel.  About a quarter of the way through the second lap I overlook the bloke in the photo above.  It was good to be able to hear someone else behind me - I just hoped that I could stay ahead.  While he spurred me on  a bit in the final lap his younger legs were too much for me - about 300 metres before the finish he pulled ahead and I couldn't catch him.  Maybe if he'd left it a bit later if I'd have stood a chance.

As it was I finished 8th, as second lady.  Our little touring group ended up being first, third and fourth (first lady) to finish, so I rather let the side down!  We had great fun though, and cooked breakfasts were enjoyed at Mario's CafĂ© (I think it was) after the race, where we chatted with Pymmes Park regulars and volunteers.  I have to say that Pymmes parkrun was the most welcoming parkrun I have visited - if you get a chance to go along do take it.  Great fun, fast, flat course and friendly people.

This blog post, along other general wittering about running, teaching, life and food, is also posted on:

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

parkrun stats of the week...23rd March 2013

The parkrun statistics of note for this week are:

196 parkrun events run (down 19 on last week, due to the weather in the UK)
16,094 runners, down 8,588 on last week. This is the lowest since the 26th January.

The average number of runners per parkrun event run was: 82.1 (down 32.7 on last week). This is the lowest average attendance for quite some time.

Just 3 events (the lowest I have ever seen) recorded new record attendances this week, as follows:
Event  Record Attendance  
Claisebrook Cove156
Llyn Llech Owain64
North Beach90

The longest standing parkrun attendance record is:
Amager Faelled  146 28/08/2010

And in the UK it's:

The highest attendance this week was 463 at Bushy Park, far lower than their usual turnout these days.

The lowest attendance this week was just 6 at Newent parkrun and Concord parkrun.

5 new male course records set this week:
Athlete  Time  
Claisebrook CoveDean MENZIES15:25
DeltaIshmael MOLELE16:43
Llyn Llech OwainJohn COLLIER17:40
MulbartonSam MACGIBBON18:47
ThetfordMartin GEAR18:06

5 new female course records set this week:
Event  Athlete  Time  
DeltaMekdas BEYENE17:20
Llyn Llech OwainCaryl DAVIES22:34
Sunrise-on-SeaStephanie ACKERMANN24:00
RoodepoortAnn BONIWELL20:06
HavantJessica CHEN19:02

31 runners ran times under 17 minutes this week. 4 of these runners ran under 16 minutes.
The fastest parkrunner in the World this Week was Dean Menzies, running 15:25 at Claisebrook Cove parkrun.

The fastest 5 were as follows:
Event  Athlete  Time  
Claisebrook CoveDean MENZIES15:25
Brighton & HoveC J SMITH15:39
BraunstoneUnknown ATHLETE15:59
EdinburghAndrew DOUGLAS15:59
CardiffPete WOODWARD16:05

132 new category records were set across all parkrun events this weekend.

The top age grade performance this week was:
Event  Athlete  Time  Age Group  Age Grade  
CambridgeMary HOLMES27:30             VW75-7989.76%      

The fastest freedom run on the "most recent 100" list at the moment is:
Runner  Date  Location  Run Time  
Paul GRANGE25/03/2013Barking16:35