Parkrun

Ann and Mark move up

Some technical difficulties this weekend means I cannot do the blog properly and if anyone tells you Android and Windows can be compatible I can assure you they are lying. George was out in the States coming sixth in his race and Kelly was out in Leamington. Other than Liz who was out virtually, all the action and bonus points were at Brueton Park where the points were three to Mark, two to Ann and one to Angie. No points for Tomo this week. All that means that Ann moves into second and Mark into fifth.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of Ed and G, who are clearly enjoying the United States!

Hope to have the technical difficulties resolved by next week.

Smashing Spanns!

You may have heard of the smashing pumpkins but have you ever heard of the smashing Spanns! Well that is what we had last saturday, even though they were thousands of miles apart. First of all was Ann, who over at Brueton not only smashed her target by 7 seconds, but also got her age grading PB by clocking up an enormous 69.11%. In case you have forgotten, only one person has ever achieved the magical 70% and that was Bern who has done it three times. I think Ann will be adding to that soon, so well done Ann on a great run that needless to say gave her the three bonus points. She also gets to wear the crown for the week!

Running over in the States in Cornerstones Lakes in West Chicago was G, who not only came second in the race but also took 4 seconds off her personal best to come home in 20:36. Great running from G who gets two bonus points.  G is with Ed in the states where they are enjoing the joys of the mid-western states. Looks lovely.

Along with G, Tomo and Mark were also out at Brueton, coming in at 29.45 and 30.15 respectively. Well done to them two.

We had three virtuals out this week. Liz was out on her usual strong arm, putting in a very decent 33.57. Angie was running the Bromyard Downs Race on Sunday so opted for a walk, while Claire was out in France. She had a good run, despite reporting she started too fast, and 32.27 was enough to give her one point. 

All that means that G stays top, with Kelly second and Ann moves into third, pushing Angie back into fourth. 

Don’t forget the Euros start on Friday, kicking off with Scotland v Germany. Cass is running a sweep so sign up on the whatsapp group if you want to take part. You can win a bottle of cava or choccies for non-boozers. I reckon we have a family interest in Spain, France, Germany, and of course England, so if we go out early at least we have someone to cheer for…….

NameTarget8th JuneDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:40:0020:36-0:04:00232750
Kelly29:41:00172239
Ann30:49:0030:42:00-0:07:00231538
Angie29:46:0049:22:0019:36:00231437
Tomo26:32:0029:45:003:13:00211233
Mark28:42:0030:15:001:33:00201333
Cass27:21:00121830
Liz27:41:0033:57:006:16:0014317
Bee33:22:0011516
Claire30:57:0032:27:001:30:005813
Lucy54:44:0099
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:0027:44:000:17:00

Guest Blog by George!


This week in the parkrun league, most of the activity was at Brueton, where the usual five all ran. Special mention must go to Ann, who achieved her highest ever age grading of 68.37% with an excellent time of 31.02. However – this wasn’t enough to finish ahead of Angie, who (I am told) pipped Ann to the post in a sprint finish, achieving the time of 30:58.

There was also a close finish between Mark and Kelly who received the times of 29:34 and 29:49 respectively. Tomo was the fastest of the bunch, coming in at 28.23.

Down in Bournemouth it was good to see Cassie out again, who exactly equalled Tomo’s time of 28.23. Who would win a sprint finish if they were on the same course I wonder?

Your guest editor was out at Rosliston parkrun this week, which is a nice, scenic, one-lap course in a Forestry Centre in South Derbyshire, finishing in 23.03.  

(George was also out on the Sunday volunteering at junior parkrun in Warwick, following a nice run along the canals through Hatton Locks, and achieving his 50th volunteering credit overall, earning the coveted red T-shirt).

This week’s virtual runners were Lizzie and Bern. Lizzie was out in PNG, coming in at 31.45, and Bern ran in Spain with a time of 39.38.

By my calculation, Kelly gets the 3 bonus points (+8s), Ann scores 2 (+13s) and Mark scores 1 (+51s). This sees Kelly consolidating her position in second place, and narrowing the gap between herself and George, who remains top, to only 8 points.

We are nearly halfway through the year and so far my challenge to do a different parkrun every week remains on track. And if that isn’t enough excitement, I am also attempting a challenge (not necessarily this year) to complete a parkrun in every English county. There are 48 ceremonial counties in England, 47 of which have parkrun – and so far I have done parkrun in 28 of those counties. Among the remaining 19, I am now starting to think about exciting trips to Berkshire, Surrey and Essex.

Concluding this week’s blog is a picture of Evelyn shown on the header, who was out enjoying the nice weather playing with her new scooter, which was a very late Christmas present from Ed and Kelly.

NameTarget1st JuneDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:40:0023:032:23:00222547
Kelly29:41:0029:49:000:08:00172239
Angie29:46:0030:58:001:12:00221436
Ann30:49:0031:02:000:13:00221234
Tomo26:32:0028:23:001:51:00201232
Mark28:42:0029:34:000:52:00191332
Cass27:21:0028:23:001:02:00121830
Liz27:41:0031:45:004:04:0013316
Bee33:22:0039:38:006:16:0011516
Claire30:57:004711
Lucy54:44:0099
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:0027:44:000:17:00

Kelly moves into second!

5 Runners out at Brueton yesterday and it was Kelly who was really on form. She knocked an enormous 42 seconds off her target to get under 30 minutes for the first time this year. She finished in 29.41 and so took the fastest female and the three points. Well done Kelly on a great run that moves her into second in the table!

Mark and Tomo were also out at Brueton along with Ann and Angie. Mark and Tomo were close, but it was Mark who took the honours in that tussle and in doing so went one second under target and picked up one point. Good running from them. Ann and Angie also had decent runs with Ann once again getting the best age grade of the day at 66.61%.

Ann just pipped Bern to the post in the age grading as she also had a great run over in spain, running 33.22 for a 66.61 age grade (by my calculation). She was 13 seconds under target and so took the two points. Also out virtually was Lou, who once again took a brisk walk over in West Heath.

G remains top of the league and he was out yesterday at the University of Northampton were he put in another speedy run of 23 minutes for the fastest male of the day. Well done G.

NameTarget25th MayDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:40:0023:002:20:00212546
Kelly30:23:0029:41:00-0:42:00161935
Angie29:46:0030:33:000:47:00211435
Tomo26:32:0028:55:002:23:00191231
Ann30:49:0031:51:001:02:00211031
Mark28:43:0028:42:00-0:01:00181230
Cass27:21:00111829
Liz27:41:0012315
Bee33:35:0033:22:00-0:13:0010515
Claire30:57:004711
Lucy54:44:0063:00:008:16:0099
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:0027:44:000:17:00

G packs it in!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, particularly for George, who has been really packing in the running. Not only has he kept up his different-parkrun-a-week target by running at Lowestoft and then Bristol, but managed to slot one in between on a Thursday in Finland! As most of you will know many countries do an extra parkrun or two throughout the year, usually on Christmas or New Year’s day in the UK. In Finland however if is held on Ascension Thursday so G headed off to Tokoinranta to clock up yet another! Not satisfied with that he headed off down to Bristol at the weekend and after clocking up the Ashton Court parkrun finished the Bristol Half Marathon in a very respectable time of around one hour fifty. Not only that but he also volunteered on both Sundays at junior parkrun! Well done to G on some great running.

For his efforts G picked up the three points the Saturday before last by going just 55 seconds over target. He was followed by Ann, who unusually was the only runner at Brueton, and picked up two points for being 1 minute and 29 seconds over.  Angie and Tomo were out at Wallaceneuk in Kelso for the start of the next stage of their Lands End to Jon’O’ Groats walk. It was a quiet rural course and once again Tomo could not resist the full English that was on offer at the hotel and as a result was almost caught by Angie. She could not quite do enough although did manage to bag the remaining point by running 2 minutes 17 over. 

The remaining three parkrunner were virtual walkers, with Lu, Mark and Kelly all choosing to take a stroll so well done to them. 

This week was a bit of a bumper with 11 of us out and it was a virtual run by Claire, who may have dyed her hair, that bagged the three points by going just 20 seconds over. Mark was also out virtually and he dipped under 30 minutes and was less than a minute over target which gave him one bonus point. They were separated by Kelly, who was only 28 seconds over at Brueton and so got the two points. Good running from them three. Ann was once again out at Brueton and put in another good run to once again get the day’s top age grading. 

Angie and Tomo finished their weeks walking and rounded it off with a run at Jesmond Dene in Newcastle. It was a very hilly course with lots of twists and turns which on top of tired legs from walking the Pennine Way meant they were both slower than usual. (Tomo declined the cooked breakfast this time)

In addition to Mark there were three other good virtuals with Cassie once again getting the day’s fastest female at 29.07. Liz once again battled the heat of PNG to put in a very respectable run as did Bern over in Spain. Lu was also out virtually taking a brisk walk over her way. 

That’s it for this week but I’ll finish with some lovely shots of Marcos who celebrated his third birthday last week, along with Alice of course!

NameTarget18th MayDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:40:0023:51:003:11:00202545
Angie29:46:0036:14:006:28:00201434
Tomo26:32:0033:04:006:32:00181230
Cass27:21:0029:07:001:46:00111829
Kelly30:23:0030:51:000:28:00151631
Ann30:49:0032:10:001:21:00201030
Mark28:43:0029:34:000:51:00171128
Liz27:41:0035:53:008:12:0012315
Bee33:35:0037:36:004:01:009312
Claire30:57:0031:17:000:20:004711
Lucy54:44:0063:00:008:16:0088
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:0027:44:000:17:00

Happy Birthday Dillon!

First of all congratulations to Dillon who celebrates his birthday today. He is clearly becoming a keen football fan and enjoying his Captain Tsubaya strip. For those of you who don’t follow Japanese Manga, Captain Tsubaya is a young lad who dreams of winning the world cup for Japan and is sort of an equivalent of Roy of the Rovers. Here he is. 

On the subject of football, I won’t mention Birmingham City, other than to post a picture that tells those of you who don’t already know what happened to them yesterday. 

On to the parkrun and we have two weeks to report. There was a very clear winner of the three bonus points last week in Cassie, who knocked an enormous two minutes off her target to run 27.21. She was running at Brueton, as she, Isaac, Marcos and Alice were visiting for the weekend. We had coffee and cake after courtesy of Ann, but very annoyingly forgot to take photos! A great run by Cass though, that makes her the fastest female so far this year, knocking sister Liz off top spot – although Liz trails by just twenty seconds at 27.41. I’m fairly certain it won’t end there!

The two points went to G, who was running at Tamworth Castle with Evelyn in the pushchair, where he ran just 17 seconds over target to record 27.44. I have decided to set my goal for the year to beat the time that G records with Evelyn in the pushchair. Some way to go for that yet, but the year is young. 

The remaining point was taken by Mark. He and Tomo were locked in a tussle at Brueton but Mark managed to outsprint him on the hill, coming in at 29.25 to Tomo’s 29.34. Well done both. Ann and Angie were also out at Brueton, both putting in decent runs at 31.45 and 30.33 respectively. 

We had two virtual runners out, Bern and Liz, with Liz looking like she has found a slightly longer course than the strongarm and Bern out on the coast. 

Onto this week and runners were a bit thin on the ground, with three out on courses and two virtuals. On the virtuals, Liz put in another consistent run and Claire did her first run since Annecy, which at 31.50 was enough to give her one point for being only 53 seconds over target. Angie took the two points at Brueton by being 32 seconds over but was pipped at the post by G who was only 31 seconds over. G was out at Leicester this week and once again seems to have found a very nice course. 

Ann was also out at Brueton but decided to take it easy due to a cold. Tomo also had a cold but decided not to run, while Mark couldn’t make it due to Broadband problems. He didn’t get it sorted and that meant he had to watch Blues suffer the drop at my house. He pretended not to enjoy it. 

I called in on him earlier, and here is one for the album. It reminded me of an expression they used to use in the Prison Service, ‘that’s as rare as rocking horse droppings!’

Finally if you are wondering why there is no sign of Kelly, that is because Ed is away and on holiday in the Balkans. I have to say it looks lovely and not only because of the blue sky.

NameTarget27th AprilDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:40:0021:11:000:31:00182240
Angie29:46:0030:18:000:32:00181331
Tomo26:32:00161228
Cass27:21:00101828
Kelly30:23:00131427
Ann30:49:0034:59:004:10:0018826
Mark28:43:00151025
Liz27:41:0030:38:002:57:0011314
Bee33:35:008311
Claire30:57:0031:50:000:53:00347
Lucy54:44:0066
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:0027:44:000:17:00

The weekend before last was the Annecy marathon which saw Tomo and G take part and both doing really well. G was in his first marathon and despite the temperature going up to 27 degrees, was able to finish in an excellent time of 4 hours and 3 minutes. Tomo had tried to change his entry to the 10k but a rather strict set of French officials, who G aptly named the marathon police, declined his request so he started the marathon and hung on to the end to finish in under six hours. Well done both on some great running. Angie had a 10k entry and was out on the Sunday with the marathoners and finished in 66 minutes. Not too bad. 

Not enough for G to bag his first marathon, he also took part in the Milan parkrun the day before where he finished in 23 56 to be the fastest man of the day. He then took a 6 hour bus journey, attended the pasta party and met up with the rest of us in a restaurant. All in a day’s work! Well done G.

Another five of us in Annecy took part in virtuals in various different forms. Tomo, Mark and Angie opted for a walk while Bern and Claire took part in the Annecy 5k. They both had fantastic runs, with Claire taking a huge 4 minutes 38 seconds off her target to finish in 30.57 and so take the three points. Bern also took a big chunk off her time, reducing it by 1 minute 40 to finish in 33.35. That meant she picked up two points but more importantly she won her age category and was able to take her place on the podium and win a hat! Well done Bern. 

Other virtuals out were Lizzie in 31.54 and Lucy in 58.52. For those of you following Strava, Lizzie is upping her miles despite the limited course and so I expect she might be producing some fast times soon 

There were two real parkrunners last week, namely Ann and Kelly who were both out at Brueton. Ann, always consistent, finished in 31.48 and Kelly did 30.23 which was a second under target and meant that she picked up on the one remaining bonus point. Well done both.

Back to this week and beautiful weather at Brueton saw four of us out and it was Angie who took the three points by going 16 seconds under target to break the 30 minute barrier for the first time this year. Mark was also out, making a great comeback after a few weeks off, to go just 30 seconds over in 29.13 and so collect the two points. He was matched exactly by Ann, who was also 30 seconds over so she also gets the two points as well as the day’s best age grading. Kelly was the other runner out at Brueton and she also put in a decent run. 

The fastest female of the day was out on her virtual strong arm in PNG where Liz recorded 28.40. As I said earlier, watch this space for Liz! 

That leaves G, who fresh from Milan and Annecy, continues his parkrun globe trotting and this time ran the Vicarstown parkrun in Laois in Ireland. He really is discovering some lovely places and this looks like another one to add to the list. 

That’s it for this week. Tomo was not running this week as his toes are still recovering from a bashing at the marathon. I am currently watching the London marathon and when asked if he would do another one he didn’t say no. G was also talking about his ‘next’ marathon the day after Annecy, so who knows we might see them both next year. 

NameTarget20th AprilDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:40:0021:32:000:52:00161733
Tomo26:32:00151227
Kelly30:23:0031:03:000:40:00131427
Angie30:02:0029:46:00-0:16:00161127
Cass29:21:0091524
Ann30:49:0031:19:000:30:0016824
Mark28:43:0029:13:000:30:0014923
Liz27:41:0028:40:000:59:009312
Bee33:35:007310
Lucy54:44:0066
Claire30:57:00235
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

Two parkrun tourists out this week with Lizzie winning the ‘furthest parkrun from London’ award as she was out in Brisbane on Australia’s Gold Coast. She had a fantastic run, lopping a huge 1 minute 28 seconds off her target to finish in 27.41 and so pick up the three points. Great stuff from Liz who was the fastest female of the day and has clearly enjoyed the holiday with the family. Other good news is that just before they left, young Isabella, who cuts a very nice photo for this week’s header, won her first swimming competition so it seems like she is definitely taking after her mum. 

You won’t be surprised to learn that the other parkrun tourist was G, who was a bit  nearer home over at Severn Valley Country Park. He reported a hilly course that like so many in the UK at the moment was an altered course due to the rain. Nonetheless a decent run from G who once again took the week’s fastest man. He is now gearing up for the Annecy marathon next Sunday and I think you will agree he looks every bit the part. Well done G.

The famous five were out in Brueton once again where it was Kelly who picked up the two points and Ann one with Ann getting the day’s highest age grade at 65.21%. Tomo was also out and put in a decent performance at 28.16. They were followed home by an off form Angie and Mark who was recovering from a darts night……although why darts slow you down I don’t know. Maybe it was something he ate…….

All that means that Kelly overtakes Angie, Ann takes Mark and Lizzie leapfrogs her mum! 

NameTarget7th AprilDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:40:0025:01:004:21:00141731
Tomo26:32:0028:16:001:44:00141226
Cass29:21:0091524
Kelly30:24:0031:31:001:07:00111324
Angie30:02:0036:01:005:59:0014822
Ann30:49:0032:03:001:14:0014620
Mark28:43:0035:59:007:16:0012719
Liz29:09:0027:41:00-1:28:007310
Bee35:15:00617
Lucy54:44:0055
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

Two weeks to report and 23rd March saw Ann, G and Kelly take a trip to Sandford Valley where all three of them had a decent run with Kelly and G picking up two and three points respectively. 

Angie and Tomo were down in Kent at the Ashford parkrun. Unusually this saw Tomo finish behind Angie but not unusually it was due to too much hotel breakfast, which we all know has to be eaten to the maximum when it is paid for. Still he finished in a fairly respectable time nonetheless. 

Both Bern and Cass were out virtually with Cassie knocking a massive 43 seconds off her target to finish in 29:36 and so take the three points.

Cass then managed to follow that up with another target reducing run this week taking another 15 seconds off to run 29.21 and just pip G at the post to take the three points for a second week in a row. Well done Cass who also took fastest female for both weeks and so moved up to third place in the league. Sub 29 coming up!

G was out at Dover and he also had a great run, not only taking 14 seconds off his target but also running a PB and clocking up another parkrun tourism week. Unusually for one of the younger members of the league, G also took the best age grade of the day coming in at 62.58% and taking two points. The targets are a bit easier for the older age groups so he’s done exceptionally well to get that. Great stuff from G.

The remaining point this week went to Bern who was also out virtually in Spain, coming in at a very respectable 35.35 which was just 20 seconds over her target.

Bern was joined virtually by Lu in West Heath and Liz who was out once again on her strong arm course.  I hear that she is off to Brisbane next week so it will be great to see what she can do without having to turn around twenty times.

Unusually there was no-one at Brueton this week as Ann, Tomo and Angie took a trip out to Kingsbury Water. A lovely course, albeit very muddy which saw them all finish in decent times.

In other news, Ed and Kelly are enjoying the sun in Cyprus. Anne Compton has been enjoying the delights of Las Vegas. Young Isabella has taken part in her school sports and young Evelyn has been collecting wood and eating easter eggs!

NameTarget30th MarchDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:54:0020:40:00-0:14:00131730
Tomo26:32:0028:24:001:52:00131225
Cass29:36:0029:21:00-0:15:0091524
Angie30:02:0030:52:000:50:0013821
Kelly30:24:00101121
Mark28:43:0011718
Ann30:49:0033:50:003:01:0013518
Bee35:15:0035:35:000:20:00617
Liz29:09:0042:45:0013:36:0066
Lucy54:44:0086:00:0031:16:0055
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

Kelly grabs the points and fastest female!

G was at Munster Castle in the Lake District this weekend, combining a bit of parkrun tourism with a visit to his Aunt Sue. It was a three lap course with a hill, so pushing Evelyn must have been tough going. Nonetheless he managed to finish in 27.49. I would be delighted with that time on a flat course without the pushchair so well done G and E. Seems like Evelyn fired the starting gun as well!

Saturday saw three virtual courses. Lu was out walking , while Cass tackled the Bournemouth seafront once again. Mark was visiting a friend in London and opted for a virtual around the streets of Haringey. He had a decent run and came in just nine seconds over target which was enough to gain him two bonus points. Well done to Mark.

The rest of the action was at Brueton, where finally after what seems like weeks of rain, spring has finally arrived. The three bonus points went to Kelly who was one second under her target in 30.24 and was the fastest female of the day. Angie was right behind her for much of the run, but Kelly was too strong on the last kilometre and I am sure we will see a sub 30 from her in the next few weeks.

Ann and Tomo were also out at Brueton with Ann once again getting the highest age grading of the day at 66.07%, Tomo had a decent run and finished in 26.52 to give him one bonus point and fastest male of the day.

For those of you who joined in the discussion on the rise of Stirchley, I finally, with the help of google, managed to remember the British Oak. For those of you whose memory may be as bad as mine……..

NameTarget16th MarchDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:54:00111425
Tomo26:32:0026:52:000:20:00111223
Angie30:02:0030:49:000:47:0011819
Mark28:43:0028:52:000:09:0011718
Kelly30:25:0030:24:00-0:01:009918
Cass30:19:0031:17:000:58:007916
Ann30:49:0031:38:000:49:0011516
Bee35:15:00426
Liz29:09:0055
Lucy54:44:0066:00:0011:16:0044
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:0027:49:000:22:00

Tomo back to form!

Tomo has clearly recovered from his exertions in the Kochi marathon as he took the three bonus points yesterday over at Brueton. The park has dried up somewhat, which meant we went back to the usual course, which Tomo ran in 26.38 and just six seconds over target. Great run from Tomo. Angie, Kelly and Ann were also out at Brueton, with Kelly picking up the two points and Angie one. It was close between the two of them with only 8 seconds in it and Angie just edged it to take the day’s fastest female. Ann put in another decent run at 31.34 to get a 66% age grading which was the highest of the day. Well done to all three.

The other parkrun course of the day was G out at Cwmbran in South Wales. This means his different-parkrun-every-week challenge now stands at 11 parkruns! Once again he was the fastest male of the day, finishing in 21.59. I have actually visited Cwmbran but it was long before the days of parkrun. For those of you who may not know, one of the town’s claims to fame is the home of Burtons biscuits who make Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels. I haven’t seen a Wagon Wheel in years but I remember them as being one of my favourites. They were very large, being much larger than a digestive, and I always felt you got a lot for your money. They used to be in a lovely waxy paper as well that made them look even bigger, but not quite as big as a wagon’s wheel. They are still being made, although the wrappers have changed and they now make a Halal version! On to the jammy dodger and they were I believe, one of Margaret’’s favourites. I recall Lucy and I nibbling round the edge to try and make a neat isolation of the jammy heart in the middle, which we then stuck to our fingers to wear as ruby rings. Kids today just don’t know what fun is.

The rest of the parkruns were virtuals with Liz, Cass and Mark out. Liz was out in the heat on what she has now entitled the strong arm course – I think you can see why. Liz seems to be getting used to her new life, and has joined the Ladies who Lunch club!

Mark was out on the Brueton course later in the day where he just missed out on the bonus points and Cass was out at Bournemouth. Both put in decent runs so good stuff from them. 

I’m pleased to report, I have a new Garmin running watch, which not only gives me a recommended run for the day but a host of statistics as well. If any of you know what this lot means I would be willing to hear. 

In other news Ed had a work trip to Liverpool and he was able to take in some of the sights, and young Evelyn appears to be taking up cricket!

That’s it for his week. One small correction is that I said last week that there are only three parkruns in the world beginning with Z, but I was informed by G that there are now 14, including 5 in Poland. Thanks to G for that. 

NameTarget9th MarchDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George20:54:0021:59:001:05:00101424
Tomo26:32:0026:38:000:06:00101121
Angie30:02:0030:32:000:30:0010818
Cass30:19:0031:01:000:42:006915
Ann30:49:0031:34:000:45:0010515
Mark28:43:0029:19:000:36:0010515
Kelly30:25:0030:40:000:15:008614
Bee35:15:00426
Liz29:09:0039:46:0010:37:0055
Lucy54:44:0033
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

G Captures the Z!

This saturday was the first of Spring, although you wouldn’t have thought so from the weather. Nonetheless there were eight of us out, five on parkrun courses and three virtuals. It was a very close run week with two going under target and four people going within 30 seconds of theirs. 

George ran first, as he had decided to take a trip to Gdansk in Poland as part of his a-different-parkrun-every-week challenge. For those of you who don’t know, there is something called the parkrun alphabet challenge where the aim is to run a parkrun starting with every letter of the alphabet. There are only three Z’s worldwide, one of which is in Gdansk so there was a double target for G, who now has only four letters remaining. On top of this he also put in a great run, breaking 21 minutes to get close to his PB and pick up two bonus points into the bargain by going 7 seconds under target and staying top of the league. For anyone looking for a Z to do G tells us that it’s a good course in castle grounds, with the castle being the largest in the world by surface area. Sounds like it’s worth a visit and well done G on the day’s achievements. 

The other four parkrun courses were at Brueton where it was Angie who picked up the three points by going 12 seconds under target to run 30.02 and so move into third place. Kelly also had a good run, picking up the remaining point by going just 10 seconds over in 30.35. Ann and Tomo were also out with both putting in decent runs. 

That left the virtuals. Cass was out in Bournemouth and couldn’t face the mud and water of the parkrun course and chose a run along the beach instead, She had another good run and broke 31 minutes to go within 27 seconds of her target. Mark had to pick up Margaret from the airport, who had returned safely from France, and so opted to take a run around the streets of Olton. He too had a decent run and came within 13 seconds of his target. That left Lou who took a very brisk walk around her place, and got to within 19 seconds of her target. 

No sign of Bern this week as she was resting up to do a 10k on Sunday over in Spain. She put in her fastest time since her hip replacement and once again showed that longevity in running is possible with training and determination,  so well done Bern. Her race was part of a running festival in Spain that includes a marathon and half marathon and some of us aim to join her next year for her ‘big’ birthday. 

Finally on the Belcher-Byrne side of the family a little girl is getting big and what a beauty she is! She is a strong one that’s for sure – just look at those quads!!!

NameTarget2nd MarchDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George21:01:0020:54:00-0:07:0091423
Tomo26:32:0027:05:000:33:009817
Angie30:14:0030:02:00-0:12:009716
Cass30:19:0030:46:000:27:005914
Ann30:49:0031:55:001:06:009514
Mark28:43:0028:56:000:13:009514
Kelly30:25:0030:35:000:10:007411
Bee35:15:00426
Liz29:09:0044
Lucy54:44:0055:03:000:19:0033
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

Mark back on form!

It was all a bit of a washout this weekend with only G managing to run a real parkrun. The rest of us had to settle for virtuals due to black ice on soaking ground that saw Brueton and nearby parkruns cancelled. Nonetheless there were some good virtual runs with Ann, Tomo, Mark and Angie choosing to run the Brueton course later in the day when things had improved. Mark had a great run and was the only runner who went below target, taking 19 seconds off his time to finish in 28.43. Well done Mark. Ann also ran well, picking up one bonus point in 32.14 to get fastest female of the day. Great stuff from Ann. Tomo and Angie also had decent runs considering they were both only a week after the Kochi marathon which is represented quite nicely in the header. This is courtesy of Mark who has been learning the benefits of drawing by AI. Kelly went out later, choosing a stroll with Ed in the afternoon.

Also a victim of the weather, albeit at the other end of the scale, was Liz who was out again in the heat of Papua New Guinea. I looked up the weather and it says it is 33 degrees but due to the humidity feels like 43!! I think I prefer the black ice but well done Liz on battling it out once again.

That left G who continued his tourist streak over at Shrewsbury, putting in a great run that was enough to get him two bonus points and the fastest run of the day. Once again he followed it up by volunteering at Brueton junior parkrun on Sunday, where young Everlyn took part in her first one. As she is only three she is not allowed to officially complete, but nonetheless completed one lap accompained by Ann. She didn’t run in Ann’s wellies, that was for a bit of gardening later in the day.

We are back from Japan now. We had left some things with neighbours and in sorting stuff out I came across a few old photos. I think you will recognise most of them.

NameTarget24th FebDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George21:01:0021:58:000:57:0081220
Tomo26:32:0028:31:001:59:008816
Cass30:19:004913
Ann30:49:0032:14:001:25:008513
Mark29:02:0028:43:00-0:19:008513
Angie30:14:0032:34:002:20:008412
Kelly30:25:0073:00:0042:35:00639
Bee35:15:00426
Liz29:09:0037:38:008:29:0044
Lucy54:44:0022
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

Angie first place and Tomo Second!

Angie and Tomo were out at a parkrun in Miyagawa Park in Kochi Prefecture last saturday where Angie managed to pick up a first place in the women’s race and Tomo second in the overall. There were not many in it, but it was a beautiful rural course on an ocean path in perfect weather. We got up early and took the train to get there, but having paid for the breakfast in the hotel Tomo was determinted not to miss out and as usual tried everything on the buffet. Still, it doesn’t seem to have slowed him at all and he put in a very decent time of 28.22 to Angie’s 31.36. A few shots below. I particuarly liked the rural start line made of pine cones.

The Japan parkruns were not enough to pick up any points and it was G at another coastal run that took the three points. He went just 7 seconds over target at Hove near Brighton in a time of 21.08 which was the fastest time of the day. Once again he managed to double up by volunteering at a Junior parkrun the next day at a place called Preston, which is apparently near Brighton as well as up North. Well done G.

The remaining points were picked up by Ann and Kelly over at Brueton who both put in excellent runs. Ann ran 31.34 which once again gave her a plus 66% age grade as well as the two points and Kelly put in the fastest female run of the day at 31.14 to give her the one point. Good stuff from them. Mark was also out at Brueton. A bit below par this week but another run chalked up nonetheless.

It was good to see Lizzie make her first virtual parkrun out in PNG where she has found a short course that requires multiple laps. She resports very hot weather which forced a drink stop but hopefully we will see her out regularly as she gets used to her new life. Bern was also out virtally, taking it easy in the hills around Santa Christina to pick up a point for running and keep her in contention.

All that means that G now takes top stop with Tomo and Cassie pressing.

In other news Tomo and I tackled the Kochi Marathon on Sunday. It was unseasonlly warm with temperatures going up to 19 degrees during the race. Neither of us had trained much and Tomo did really well to come home in 5.36. I struggled after halfway but nonetheless managed to finish. Marathon running in Japan has a different mindset. There are various cut off points and if you don’t get there within the time limit you are not allowed to finish the race. The cut off times in this one were pretty generous and that meant there were hundreds of people running and walking at my pace which made it a lot easier to keep going.

In between sight seeing and running, Tomo has been dealing with some of the property left in his parents house which included a bit of a grainy picture of him when he graduated from University. I don’t think he has changed much.

In other news young Evelyn appears to be taking after Grandma and has taken up knitting. Lovely photo courtesy of Ed.

We are heading home tomorrow. I am hoping we get in the lounge again on the way back!

NameTarget17th FEBDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
George21:01:0021:08:000:07:0071017
Tomo26:32:0028:22:001:50:007815
Cass30:19:004913
Angie30:14:0031:36:001:22:007411
Ann30:49:0031:34:000:45:007411
Mark29:02:0033:30:004:28:00729
Kelly30:25:0031:15:000:50:00538
Bee35:15:0043:54:008:39:00426
Liz29:09:0034:14:005:05:0033
Lucy54:44:0022
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

Konnichiwa!

It’s nice to be back in Japan this week! We left Heathrow early Thursday morning and I was pleased to be told we had access to one of the airport lounges. It was only 8am, but with an array of different wines to choose from (I counted 10 in total), I asked myself ‘What would Mark Compton do if he was here?’ (Or his mother or sister for that matter. ) So I decided to get stuck in as being 8am it was, by a remarkable co-incidence, 5pm (wine o clock) in Japan. Wreckless abandon and sheer joy!

Despite the liquid start Tomo and I managed to do the parkrun on Saturday morning. We had hoped to do the Matsuyama one but it was cancelled due to a marathon event the next day. Nonetheless we did a virtual course. Tomo stuck to the actual parkrun course and considering the long journey did a very good time of 28.23 that gave him one bonus point. I took a different route and was a bit slower…..

We moved to Imabari on Sunday and attended Tomo’s Dad’s memorial service. Tomo had brought a suit from the UK and when he put it on realised it was in fact his fathers, complete with turnups and sleeves that were way too short. Despite that all went well.

Joining us in the virtual parkruns were Bee and Cass, in Spain and Bournemouth respectively. A decent run from Bern, and Cass was once again on form to run 31.16 and so take two points. Well done Cass.

Cass opted for virtual as she didn’t fancy the mud at the Bournemouth course and over at Brueton, Mark and Ann also had to tackle a rain sodden pitch. Most of us know the course and excess rain floods the lake at the bottom which means there is an awkward start that adds quite a lot to your time. Still they both got round and lets hope it dries up by next week.

That left G who this week took a trip to London with the Vegan Runners and ran over at Victoria Dock where once again he not only put in the fastest run of the day at 21.23 but also took the three points. Great stuff from G.

All that means that Tomo stays top on 14 points with Cass and G neck and neck.

Most of you will haven seen something of the argument on parkrun stats this week. Not a lot of point adding to the debate but some more general interesting stats is that the average finish time in a parkun these days is around 32 minutes. Back in 2005 however and not long after it started the average finish time was 22.17! Doesn’t seem like too many slower runners are being put off….

NameTarget3rd FebDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
Tomo26:32:0028:23:001:51:006814
Cass30:19:0031:16:000:57:004913
George21:01:0021:23:000:22:006713
Angie30:14:0035:11:004:57:006410
Ann30:49:0033:02:002:13:00628
Mark29:02:0032:13:003:11:00628
Kelly30:25:00426
Bee35:15:0038:05:002:50:00325
Liz29:09:0022
Lucy54:44:0022
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E27:27:00

G and E take the points!

Unusally there was no-one running at Brueton this week as the usual crew were out parkrun touring. G and Ann went to up Halifax to tackle a very hilly course. Despite pushing Evelyn around the hills, G managed to get under 30 minutes and knocked just under four minutes off his target, which is pretty incredible given that the little ‘un was three last week. Ann also managed to tackle the hills and put in a decent time and afterwards they took Evelyn to the Halifax Childrens Musuem. I had never heard of it but it looks wonderful and Evelyn clearly enjoyed it.

The other tourists were out at Sutton Park which is also pretty hilly, but the lovely scenery compensates for that. Tomo and Mark were close with Mark managing to finish just 7 seconds ahead. That meant he got the two points and Tomo one. Well done both. Angie was also out, and got round in a decent time considering the hills.

That left us with our two virtual runners for the week, Kelly and Lou who both opted to take a walk.

In other news I am pleased to report that Liz, Dan and the girls are now safely in their new house in Lae in Papua New Guinea where they have also been celebrating Vali’s 7th birthday. For those of you that don’t know it’s the second largest city in PNG. Its very low lying with a population of 100,000.

That’s it for this week. Myself and Tomo are off to Japan on Wednesday. I’ll update the blog if I can!!!

NameTarget3rd FebDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
Tomo26:32:0029:22:002:50:005712
Cass30:19:003710
Angie30:14:0033:42:003:28:00549
George21:01:00549
Ann30:49:0035:40:004:51:00527
Mark29:02:0029:15:000:13:00527
Kelly30:25:0055:15:0024:50:00426
Bee35:15:00224
Liz29:09:0022
Lucy54:44:0064:16:009:32:0022
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E31:23:0027:27:00-3:56:00

Another Age Grade Best for Ann!

Over at Brueton on Saturday and Ann managed to get yet another age grade PB by putting in a great run that took her 23 seconds under target and gave her a 67.82% age grade. She finished the course in 30.49 and in doing so picked up a bonus point as well. Well done Ann on a really great run.

It was Cassie who managed to take the three bonus point this week though, coming in 34 seconds below her target to edge close to that all important 30 minute barrier. Her run was enough to put her top of the table and my guess is she may be staying there for a while. Great run from Cass.

The two bonus points went to Kelly who took 30 seconds off her target and so also edges close to 30 minutes. I am sure she will do that next week! She was joined at Brueton by Tomo, Mark and Angie who all had decent runs before tucking into a big Haggis on Saturday evening in celebration of Burns Night.

Further afield Bern was out virtually in Spain, enjoying the freedom of Spain following her meditation course that sounded a bit like a closed order of nuns. Well done for finishing the course and the run.

That left G who continues his parkrun toursim streak and visited Bestwood Village parkrun which is over in Nottingham. He was a bit slower than normal but given a very hilly course that is one of the toughest around he did pretty well. He was also out volunteering as marshall at Junior Parkrun over at Malvern on Sunday. He continues to train for the Annecy Marathon as well, and followed up his parkrun volunteering with a 12 miler! There is no stopping him.

That’s it for this week. Spring is coming and the first snowdrops have appeared in my back garden. I reckon I need to go a bit of weeding…….

I’ll maybe give Evelyn a ring….

NameTarget27th JanDiff.Run PtsBonusTotal
Cass30:53:0030:19:00-0:34:003710
Tomo26:32:0027:18:000:46:004610
Angie30:29:0030:14:00-0:15:00448
Ann31:12:0030:49:00-0:23:00426
Kelly30:55:0030:25:00-0:30:00325
Bee35:15:0036:16:001:01:00224
George21:01:0024:31:003:30:00415
Mark29:02:0029:27:000:25:0044
Liz29:09:0022
Lucy54:44:0011
Claire35:35:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E31:23:00

Tomo flies but Claire gets stuck in the mud!

Thankfully the weather had warmed up a bit for some of us yesterday, although not for Claire who was out in France on a very cold day that was combined with an extremely muddy virtual course. It was her first outing this year due to a cold so she did well to battle it out and get round. Good stuff Claire. 

Also out virtually was Liz, who rather than battling the mud was fighting the pedestrians on the Streets of Bangkok. She must be getting better at dodging them as she did much better than last week. I’m pleased to report that herself, Dan and the girls have now received their visas and will be heading off for Papua New Guinea in the next few days. 

Cassie was out on at the Parkrun at Bournemouth once again and had a great run, knocking 40 seconds off her target to go under 31 minutes for the first time in a long while. That was enough to give her two bonus points and early days though it may be, that puts her third in the table. Definitely more to come from Cass this year.

George continued his tour of the UK and went to Mallards Pike, which is close to Ross on Wye and Gloucester, where once again he was under 22 minutes. It seems that his parkrun tourism is also extending to volunteering as he was out as a volunteer at Cannon Hill Junior parkrun on Sunday. He was joined by Ann and Evelyn who took a walk around the park, followed by a cuppa in the Cafe. I have to say Evelyn looks very much like the little lady in managing her own cup and saucer. 

Ann had been out at Brueton the previous day and although she had a great run she was caught in a funnel mix up at the end that added quite a lot to her time. The running show at the NEC meant that there were almost 800 running at Brueton; it seemed like they were overwhelmed at the finish. Nonetheless she had a decent run. Mark was also delayed at the finish but put in a pretty decent time given that he has been off for a while. 

Tomo and Angie were also out at Brueton and it was they who picked up the remaining bonus points. Tomo was one minute and 6 seconds below his target and ran an excellent 26:32 to give him the three points while Angie was 37 seconds under to get one point at 30:53.

Good news is that young Caitlin has been out of hospital for a few days and is making a good recovery at home. She has her appetite back and was able to tuck into a Colin the Caterpillar cake. Well done Caitlin. 

NameTarget20TH Jan.Diff.Run PtsBonusTotal
Tomo27:38:0026:32:00-1:06:00369
Angie31:06:0030:29:00-0:37:00347
Cass31:33:0030:53:00-0:40:00246
George21:01:0021:44:000:43:00314
Ann31:12:0033:08:001:56:00314
Bee35:15:00123
Mark29:02:0029:11:000:09:0033
Kelly30:55:0022
Liz29:09:0033:03:003:54:0022
Lucy54:44:0011
Claire35:35:0043:24:007:49:0011
Mag45:00:000
Dillon60:00:000
Isaac24:58:000
Anne C48:09:000
Laurent48:09:000
Neil29:03:000
Catilin45:00:00
Cara45:00:00
G&E31:23:00

Best Ever Age Grade for Ann!!

Second parkrun of the year brought beautiful weather to Brueton which was a change from the mud and rain. The usual suspects were out and there was a very close three way tussle between Kelly, Angie and Ann, who finished in that order, but with only 17 seconds to separate them. Kelly knocked 21 seconds off her total and had a great run, although not enough to take any bonus points this time. The three points went to Angie, who took a huge 4 minutes and 18 seconds off her total, and Ann took one point by taking 1 minute and 40 off hers. Ann continues to improve and not only came second in her category but also got her highest age grading ever, at 66.99%. Can she get 70% before the year is out? Definitely! Go Ann!!

Tomo was also out at Brueton, taking almost a minute off his target by finishing in 27:38. Mark took a walk due to a stiff back, but put in a very respectable sub 55 minutes in the winter sunshine. 

Further afield and it was Cassie who continued her great comeback over at Bournemouth where she picked up the two points by going 2 minutes and 41 seconds under her target to finish in 31.33. Well done Cass.

George also continues his parkrun tourism, this time out at Market Harborough where he reports a busy but pleasant course. As some of you will know he is attempting the Annecy marathon later in the year and followed up yesterday’s effort with a 17 miler. Great stuff from G.

Out virtually were both Lu and Liz, the latter being out in Bangkok, while she awaits news on her visa. Best of luck with that and let’s hope it comes through this week.

Other news is that young Caitlin has been in hospital where like her sister not so long ago she had to have her appendix moved pretty sharpish. I am pleased to report she is back home and on the mend. Best wishes to Caitlin. 

Name Target January 13th Diff. Run Pts Bonus Total
Tomo 28:32:00 27:38:00 -0:54:00 2 3 5
Angie 35:24:00 31:06:00 -4:18:00 2 3 5
Bee 35:15:00 1 2 3
George 21:01:00 22:05:00 1:04:00 2 1 3
Ann 32:52:00 31:12:00 -1:40:00 2 1 3
Cass 34:14:00 31:33:00 -2:41:00 1 2 3
Mark 29:02:00 54:34:00 25:32:00 2 2
Kelly 31:16:00 30:55:00 -0:21:00 2 2
Liz 29:09:00 43:17:00 14:08:00 1 1
Lucy 54:44:00 58:15:00 3:31:00 1 1
Claire 35:35:00 0
Mag 45:00:00 0
Dillon 60:00:00 0
Isaac 24:58:00 0
Anne C 48:09:00 0
Laurent 48:09:00 0
Neil 29:03:00 0
Catilin 45:00:00
Cara 45:00:00
G&E 31:23:00