Friday, 15 March 2013

parkrun registrations this week...15th March 2013

There is still a little time for new registrations this week, but at the time of writing and compared to the figures in my post this time last week....

Totalling up new registrations across parkrun globally, shows that parkrun has attracted a further 5,293 registrations in a week.

This takes the total number of global parkrun registrations (according to my official source page on the parkrun website) up to 465,998 (up from 460,705). That is a growth in total registrations of over 1.1% in a week.

As far as I am aware, there are 2 new parkruns starting this weekend:
Eglinton parkrun and Mulbarton parkrun

For the fourth week running Marlay parkrun is at the top of the charts with the most new registrations this week.

8 different parkrun events have added 50 or more new registrants this week and they are:
Event   Total   This week   
Marlay parkrun949169
Malahide parkrun346597
New Farm parkrun487779
South Bank parkrun132270
Cardiff parkrun894862
Sheffield Hallam parkrun660960
Poole parkrun445958
Newy parkrun301851

No great surprises in the "largest parkrun in the world" (by total registrations) category this week, where it is still the same top 5:
Event   Total   
Bushy parkrun21779
Glasgow parkrun13018
Leeds parkrun11815
Brighton & Hove parkrun10593
Wimbledon Common parkrun10206

And at the other end of the spectrum (with the lowest number of registered parkrunrunners), but just as worthy of a mention (as these are new or future parkrun events) we have:
Event   Total   
Cross Flatts parkrun9
Woodlands parkrun10
Riverway parkrun31
Maidstone parkrun33
Mulbarton parkrun35

One new future parkrun event appear in this list for the first time: Woodlands parkrun

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Half marathon approaches

It's that time of year....half marathon season!

Had you said that to me in years gone by I would have replied "so what" or "not for me". But this time round I find myself 4 days away from my 3rd ever half marathon.

This fills me with both excitement and trepidation. Trepidation due to past experience: my first half marathon was in 2004, long before I became a regular runner. I ran the Great North Run a little too hard and finished it being carried the last few yards and taken straight to the hospital tent where I spent many hours on a drip with severe dehydration and memory loss. What a shame that I ran the GNR and have no recollection of finishing it!

My second half marathon in 2009 was purely about setting those demons to rest. I still wasn't into running at that time (I hadn't yet found parkrun which would really get me started), but I managed my (still) PB of 1 hour 33 minutes (plus change).

This time round I consider myself a runner. This time I have targets. The only problem now is that my long term calf injury has shown worrying signs of returning. Fingers crossed it doesn't!

So firstly I want a PB, secondly I have to go under an hour and a half and thirdly I'd like to set a time that I am proud of. Maybe I am setting my sights a little high aiming for an 8+ minutes PB at around 1 hour 25 mins, but a man can dream right?!

As long as the calf injury doesn't bite me in the leg, I should have a chance!

I'll let you know how I do.

Good luck to all other parkrunfans taking on a half marathon this weekend!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

parkrun stats of the week...9th March 2013

The parkrun statistics of note for this week are:

213 parkrun events run (up 2 on last week). This is yet another new record number of events on a single parkrunday - we are breaking the record most weeks at the moment!
27,920 runners, down 525 on last week.
The average number of runners per parkrun event run was: 131 (down 3.8 on last week).
12 events recorded new record attendances, as follows:
Event  Record Attendance  
Brandon Country Park57
Walsall Arboretum152

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 842 at Bushy Park.

The lowest attendance this week was 9 at both Fritton Lake parkrun and Vejen parkrun.

9 new male course records set this week:
Athlete  Time  
Brandon Country ParkSteven ROBINSON17:09
Claisebrook CoveDean MENZIES15:49
DelamereMatthew SHEEN16:27
HackworthJason Conrad ALLISON17:38
MarlayDes KENNEDY16:26
Nahoon PointLuthando HEJANA19:16
NewentSteve MILLWARD18:14
ParramattaThomas DO CANTO14:49
TelfordWayne DASHPER16:39

14 new female course records set this week:
Event  Athlete  Time  
Balyang SanctuaryNatalie MENSCH18:10
BrabrandKatrine Louise SVANE19:22
Brandon Country ParkBryony SMITH23:07
CheltenhamVictoria Jane WILKINSON20:01
DelamereJocelyn PAYNE19:24
HackworthElizabeth WOOD22:49
HarrogateCaroline Louise LAMBERT18:49
HavantAngela CARPENTER20:14
MarlayJustine O'CONNELL URELL19:04
NewentJackie ASHMAN22:19
ParramattaAnita DOIG20:55
SouthamptonCeri MITCHELL16:55
TuggeranongKerry Leanne SMITH20:51
WallaceKatherine SMITH22:21

74 runners ran times under 17 minutes this week. 10 of these runners ran under 16 minutes. And just 1 of those ran under 15 minutes!

The fastest parkrunner in the World this Week was Thomas Do Canto, running 14:49 at Parramatta parkrun. Not bad for an inaugural event - it sounds like a fast course!

The fastest 5 were as follows:
Event  Athlete  Time  
ParramattaThomas DO CANTO14:49
CardiffOwen WALPOLE15:21
NewcastleIan HUDSPITH15:39
Cannon HillPhilip HINCH15:42
NonsuchKevin QUINN15:44

The top age grade performance this week was:
Event  Athlete  Time  Age Group  Age Grade  
CheltenhamMartin Christopher FORD19:18             VM65-6990.33%        

The fastest (valid) freedom run on the "most recent 100" list at the moment is:
Runner  Date  Location  Run Time  
Alex BALL09/03/2013     Sheffield Hallam19:48

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Peeeee Beeeee!

I did it, I did it, I did it! (I am a big kid when it comes to parkrun). I only went a got myself a nice, shiny, new PB at Coventry parkrun yesterday!

Completely unexpected. Certainly not intended. At least a month ahead of schedule, but somehow I did it!

I have to be honest, I did take a fairly close look at my entire parkrun history on Friday. If you can count copying and pasting my results from the parkrun website into Excel, adding a filter and then ordering them from  fastest to slowest as "a fairly close look" that is!

As a result I realised that I had only ever done 9 sub 18 minute parkruns at Coventry. For a nearly a year now I have considered that sub 18 minutes is where I should be as a matter of course on any parkrunday that I decide to "try". Clearly, the fact I had only done it 9 time before suggests that it is not quite my default time yet. Anyay, I also noticed that after my PB of 17:28, there was a substantial gap to my second best of 17:46 and I decided that it was about time I stuck another tme in that gap. So my aim was for 17:45 or just a bit quicker.

Something else that I noticed when looking at all my results was that my most common position at parkrun is 2nd place. Before yesterday I had finished 2nd on 11 occasions. Make that 12 then now after yet another 2nd place yesterday.

Even during my run yesterday I never really considered the possibility of a new PB. I was just planning my second fastest run at Coventry parkrun. The first lap was pretty quick, but comfortable, as I sat in behind a group of 3 decent club runners. A couple of times I thought they were going to drop me, but I just ensured that I sat on the back of the group. Equally a couple of times I thought I could go a bit faster, but sensibly (and tactically?) I stayed in behind them, for my second fastest first lap (that I can remember) of 8:48.

As soon as we passed the finish line at the end of the first lap I decided that was the time to start to wind up my pace. Looking back now I think I may have gone even faster had I stayed in behind them a while longer. The 2nd lap certainly felt a bit harder. Somehow though I managed to make the second lap faster than the first and I believe it was my fastest lap ever at Coventry parkrun, completing it in 8:39 for a new parkrun PB of 17:27, beating my previous PB by a single solitary second. All the pleasure of a PB without making further improvement too hard!

When I crossed the line and glanced at my watch to see that it was very possibly a PB (depending on official timings) I even gave the air a little punch of delight. I don't think I have stopped smiling since!

Thank you parkrun, for getting me into running, for making running my sport of choice and for giving me great feelings like this. I am officially, at the age of 38 years old, faster than I have ever been before (at 5km at least!).

That is part 1 of my summer of 4 PB targets done. I do still want to improve my parkrun PB further this year, but anyway it is 1 down and 3 to go. Next weekend it's the half marathon!