Progress is being made, with a temporary roof apparently being constructed, presumably to protect workers who will be renovating the Hall over the next couple of years.
One of the ‘volunteer duties’ of the parkrun is the writing of a run report. It’s not essential, and Andy usually knocks one off, but as I was leaving the café this week, Jenn asked if I would oblige. So for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with ‘parkrun’, here’s a typical report. The photo at the bottom, of my attempt to chase down the legendary Jackie Cordingley, was taken from the finishing line by Roger Whitehead.
Wythenshawe parkrun report
The skeleton of the hall's temporary new roof glinted in a stray sunbeam behind a bright yellow crane as this week's 217 fitness fanatics, mud lovers and insomniacs assembled under Run Director Jenn's watchful eye.
For several participants, this was the first stretch of their legs since last Sunday's London Marathon, in which a number of stunning performances from Wythenshawe parkrunners deserve a mention.
Caroline Baba (4.57), Darren Cooper (3.42) and Simon Skentelbery (3.23) all excelled themselves.
Jason Cundick (4.04) bettered the time he posted in the Manchester Marathon a couple of weeks earlier by over ten minutes. Sub 4 hours next time, Jason?
Mark 'went off too fast' Hunter (3.13) came a magnificent 74th out of 1071 runners in his age group, and stalwart Run Director Andy Holloway just missed out on a sub 3-hour run, fading in the last mile and returning a time of 3.01, coming a more than creditable 131st out of 2346 runners in his age category. Well done Andy, you obviously gave it everything.
This year's Wythenshawe star performer, albeit by a very narrow margin, was Madeleine Hill, who managed a remarkable time of 3.23, coming 127th out of 2490 in her age group. Well done Madeleine.
Dan Martell also deserves a mention: a) for his 2:59:58 Manchester Marathon, but also for cycling between Altrincham FC and Braintree FC in snow and hail and taking in Huntingdon parkrun (18.53 - 3rd position) on the way down whilst the rest of us were slogging through Wythenshawe's 'muddy passage'. Dan was raising money for Prostate Cancer and Altrincham FC.
Back in Wythenshawe, Jenn's amplified vocal chords boomed across the park, imploring everyone to be courteous to other park users, and under 11s to take care of their accompanying adults. Dog owners were, as usual, requested to keep their charges on short leads. (I've noticed a comment about dogs perceived to be getting in the way of runners. It's a potentially difficult issue with over 200 people dashing round the course, but there should be room for everyone and his dog.)
The sun nearly shone as we splashed joyfully around the two lap course. All too soon it was over, shortly before another dousing from the heavens, but not before I'd chatted to Andy W about the Mary Towneley Loop - a 47 mile bike ride which we decided to substitute in a few weeks time for the camaraderie of Wythenshawe parkrun. (See me in the café on Saturday if you want to join us.)
Parkrun HQ provides a plethora of statistics, worshipped by all our Run Directors, so here they are, with a few of my observations.
This week's star of sequence and symmetry, in "pleasing time" corner, is Jo Racle, in position 66 with a time of 25.52. Well done Jo, that must have taken some planning!
Daniel RACLE (JM15-17) of Altrincham and District AC, was first over the line in 18:31 - 13th time in 42 appearances.
Steve GARDNER (SM25-29) (Unattached) was second over the line in 19:36.
Harry SINCLAIR (JM11-14) of Altrincham and District AC, was third over the line in 19:40 - he was first to finish once before.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Matteo MERCADINI (Unattached) 2791 pts.
Jonathan BUTCHER (Unattached) 2390 pts.
Jeffrey Mark CRITCHLEY (Unattached) 2300 pts.
Bev JACKSON (VW50-54) of Altrincham and District AC, was first (21st overall) over the line in 22:36 - 9th time in 26 appearances.
Jackie CORDINGLEY (VW55-59) of Sale Harriers Manchester, was second (36th overall) over the line in 23:33 despite feigning injury - she has been first to finish on 36 previous occasions.
Beverley GOODWIN (VW55-59) (Unattached) was third (44th overall) over the line in 23:55.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Beth EVENS (Unattached) 2756 pts.
Emma WALKER (Unattached) 2364 pts.
Abi RADFORD (Unattached) 2128 pts.
Now, the statistics that some of the more 'seasoned' (or perhaps I mean 'elderly') runners go to first - the best Age Grade scores, this week dominated by the 55-59 category and the Cordingley family:
Mark J HUNTER (VM55-59) was graded 78.39% for the time 20:17 (10th overall).
Jackie CORDINGLEY (VW55-59), despite being injured, was graded 77.92% for the time 23:33 (36th overall).
Frank CORDINGLEY (VM55-59), not injured, but unable to match his wife's performance, was graded a mere 76.39% for the time 20:07 (8th overall).
This week there were 217 runners, of whom 22 were first timers and 38 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different athletics clubs took part.
That's fewer first timers than in the past couple of weeks, but don't be put off - that's the most mud you'll see until November...
The 19 different athletics clubs are mainly local, but I did spot 'tourists' from London (Steve Gardner), Glasgow (Andrew Cruickshank), Winchester (Iain Cottingham) and notably the Event Director from Little Stoke (Becky Bushnell plus James) fresh from a trying couple of weeks with Stoke Gifford parish council. Greetings all, and we hope you enjoyed your visit.
Talking of enjoying the parkrun experience and camaraderie, runners could do worse than join the already substantial numbers who drift into the nearby Courtyard Café for post run refreshments and a chat. All in all, it does get the weekend off to a most pleasurable start.
Back to the stats from HQ - they reveal that Wythenshawe parkrun started on 6th August 2011, and since then 5,318 different runners, including participants from 316 athletics clubs, have completed 34,656 runs covering a total distance of 173,280 km, and there have been 6,410 new Personal Bests.
The female record is held by Alison LAVENDER who ran in a time of 00:17:39 on 2014-11-01 (event number 160).
The male record is held by Mark INCE who ran in a time of 00:16:21 on 2013-08-31 (event number 103).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ann-Marie JONES who recorded a 91.80% run (21:08) on 23rd August 2014 (event number 150). [I remember that - she whizzed past many of us at high speed.]
There are lots more numbers and sort facilities on the website - it's a haven for statistics geeks.
The run couldn't have taken place without Jenn's band of wonderful volunteers who set out the course, timed the runners, sorted out results, checked nobody got lost, hauled fallen comrades out of the muddy passage, cleared up afterwards, etc etc. This week's batch of worthies who made the event happen were: Rory ARGYLE, Nick BURKE, Ron CARTER, Ralph GILCHRIST, Kate HOLLOWAY, Isobel HOLLOWAY, Andy HOLLOWAY, Alan LAMB, Alyson LAMB, Fiona LAMB, Martin LINDSAY, Jennifer LUTTON, Caroline MCGARVEY, Sam MCGRATH, Colm MULHERN, David SINNOTT, Susan STEINDORFF, Margaret TUNNEY, Jan WILLIAMS, Andrew WRIGHT
If everyone volunteered THREE TIMES A YEAR, we would have more than enough. It's fun to do as well.
See you on Saturday and DFYB