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BA Athletics Club News Digest parkrun Special 24th December 2012

For those still mystified by parkrun - see for more information.

ACTION: ALL - Alan Anderson 250th Saturday 29th December (probably)

Parkrun started as a time-trial involving just 13 runners in Bushy Park in 2004. The increase in participation since has largely been through park visitors seeing what was happening and word-of-mouth.

The first I heard about parkrun was by word-of-mouth from Alan Anderson who had observed one of the Bushy Park runs. This was back in 2007 or 2008. I ignored him. “So what”, I thought, “people running around Bushy every Saturday; people do training runs all over the place.” I didn’t see that there was anything special about what he was describing.

But clearly I was wrong. Over recent years the number of parkrunners and the number of parkruns has roughly doubled each year and have now reached over 250,000 parkrunners and almost 200 parkruns. See for the growth chart.

And Alan was right, Alan was close to the leading edge of the new running phenomena. He hadn’t been involved in the very early days in Bushy. His first recorded parkrun is from the memorable date of 070707 at the 149th running of Bushy and he came 197th of 359 runners (and the records show he had a time of 24:21). But what Alan has done is keep going – showing the stamina of the long distance runner. In the 285 weeks from his first run to last Saturday Alan has clocked up a total of 248 parkruns. And we know that when he doesn’t run…and often also when he does…he if there performing marshalling duties. Also as of last Saturday the parkrun stats show that just 22 parkrunners had clocked up 250 or more parkruns. There is then one runner on 249 and Alan and two others on 248. Alan is therefore on the verge of joining the elite golden shirted 250 parkrun Club and forever will be known as one of the first 25 to achieve that.

Steve Newell and I, and others, have been counting down the runs to when Alan will do his 250th and as well as trying to predict when it will be have also been trying to predict where. Christmas special parkruns are the fly in the ointment. But this is what we think Alan’s plans are. We believe that he will pay a return visit to Bushy on Christmas Day for his 249th run – Bushy is the parkrun where he has done over 200 runs. Then on Saturday 29th December we believe that he will do his 250th run at Gunnersbury – where he has become a regular this year.

It would be really good if as many club members as possible changed their plans in order to be at the run when Alan does his 250th and are there to cheer him through the finish line (or catch up with him afterwards since he is still doing 27:30 times). So please check this list after Christmas Day - and if the count of Alan’s runs has gone up to 249 then please try to be at Gunnersbury for 09:00 on Saturday 29th December . Unfortunately I can’t be there since I’m still in Australia so hopefully one of you can also have a camera to capture the day. Now if Alan doesn’t do the Christmas Day parkrun then his 250th could either be the New Year’s Day parkrun at Gunnersbury or a parkrun on Saturday 5th January – probably Gunnersbury. If all else fails we will find out from him when he will get his golden shirt presented and organise a second hurrah for that occasion.

Anyway – please do what you can to cheer Alan to this great achievement. He proved me wrong so I’m hoping that we can prove him right.

Roderick Hoffman

Other parkrun news

On Christmas Day club members are welcome to run at Bushy Park parkrun. The run has been confirmed though not the start time - 09:00 should be assumed.

The next organised club parkrun has been pencilled in for Woodley on February 2nd. But as mentioned above there will be one or more opportunities to join Alan Anderson on his 250 parkrun achievements before then.

Last Saturday due to the rain and/or Christmas shopping only a few of us ran parkruns. I ran at “V” for Valentines to increase the number of initial letters the club has run at to 19 and the number of club parkruns to 48. I have Balyang Sanctuary (near Melbourne) on Sat 29th and “D” for Dulwich on Jan 1st planned so that will increase us to 20 and 50 respectively…but perhaps someone else will do a new parkrun on the 29th as well? 

Steve Newell's club parkrun stats page on BARunner has been updated:

81   Alan ANDERSON   00:27:49   Gunnersbury
90   Steve NEWELL   00:29:30   Gunnersbury
Tail   Piers Keenleyside   00:39:31   Gunnersbury
25   Ian CUNNINGHAM   00:23:37   Nonsuch
27   Roderick HOFFMAN   00:27:24   Valentines
11   Christopher T KELLY   00:20:06   Woodley

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