parkrun, 29th July 2023

Mercifully drier, and in some places even sunny weather for parkrun this week. A few people managed to spread their wings, though the majority kept it fairly ‘northern’, not straying further than the Midlands.

The exception was Lena Webster-Costella, visiting Highbury Fields while living it up down in London. The 5-lapper probably won’t be high on her list of venues to revisit: “Thoroughly do not recommend Highbury, far too many laps, and a hill on every one.”

Working our way back up, Chris Jones was messing about near boats, by the River Trent at Beeston in Nottingham. Zigzagging across the country, Alexia O’Rourke gained a ‘Y’ at the beatifically named Yarborough Leisure Centre in Lincoln (“Nice and flat, but very repetitive!”), while Luke Woodend visited the Alex-endorsed Endcliffe in Sheffield. Luke’s rundown: “A lot going on with Endcliffe. What seemed like 500 runners charging off a field into a narrow path. Mixture of trail and tarmac. Lots of ducks and a bit of history, in the form of a World War Two air crash memorial. Would recommend”.

Further west in Liverpool, Tom & Gill were visiting two old favourites: their son, and Princes parkrun, the former having kindly just moved a short walk away from the latter. They both also finished an impressive 1st in their age groups, from a field of nearly 500 runners. Bypassing the north-east for a moment, Rachel Hurdman ticked off another parkrun in the motherland, at St Andrews in Scotland.

Back this side of the border, there was a Claremont presence at no fewer than 9 venues across the north-east. Ann Smith got a cross-country preview in the shadow of Alnwick Castle, though the favourable conditions may have lulled her into a false sense of security about what to expect. Just wait until March, Ann… Clare McKitterick became our first representative at Ashington’s 2nd event, and Roberto Marzo showed he’s well on his way to recovery from his ultra-wall adventure, with a sold outing at Prudhoe. Kimberley Metson was scuppered by a last-minute cancellation at Whitley Bay, the course being obstructed by interlopers.

Claremont lifer David Manners chose Gateshead’s 500th event celebrations to complete his first parkrun of 2023, and Nikki Szlovák showed her own injury woes are easing by claiming 3rd lady at Riverside. Maria Dueñas joined her in this honour at Albert in Middlesbrough. Dave Lydall & Ken McCormick flew the flag at Jesmond Dene, but even by our usual standards it was Leazes where we really turned out in force, with thirteen of us running & walking, not to mention the usual handful of volunteers.

There was another slew of PB’s this week, with the same culprits rearing their heads. After last week’s overall PB, it was a course best for Holly Porter at Rising Sun. At Leazes, Jason Tipples shaved another couple of seconds off the PB he set at Town Moor last time out, while Aaron Mansell ran his 3rd course best in consecutive weeks! I chipped in with another at Albert. A beautiful park with a nice flat course, recommended to anyone looking for a fast time, and apparently the oldest parkrun in the region, 15 years young!

Ashington Community Woodland
25:46Clare McKitterick
22:21Chris Jones
27:05Luke Woodend
Highbury Fields
36:28Lena Webster-Costella
Prudhoe Riverside
21:01Roberto Marzo
Rising Sun
26:58Holly Porter (PB)
20:42Nikoletta Szlovák (3rd Female)
St Andrews
26:31Rachel Hurdman
The Pastures
35:25Ann Smith
Yarborough Leisure Centre
31:28Alexia O’Rourke
19:10Laurie Johnson (PB)
21:45Maria Dueñas (3rd Female)
28:33Alex Anslow
39:08David Manners
Jesmond Dene
23:57David Lydall
32:38Ken McCormick
20:02Tom Tinsley
29:30Gill Milne
18:37Mark Anderson
20:09Jason Tipples (PB)
21:49Mungai Wairia
23:21Aaron Mansell (PB)
24:47David Devennie
24:50Alex Harding
25:28Lucy Keating
25:45Brian Hegarty
27:46Sam Dunn
27:52Tara Hipwood
34:41Joyce Zhao
56:41Julie Dumpleton
56:49Elizabeth O’Mahony (Tail Walker)
Laurie Johnson -