No doubting the big news from last Saturday was the first year anniversary of the Tewkesbury Parkrun where a large number of Tewkesbury RC members joined in the colourful proceedings at the Vineyards on a sunny Saturday morning.
The theme for the day was "Crazy Hats" and there were certainly a few on display including a sombrero, an Aussie cork hat, a sea captains cap, an army helmet, a top hat, cowboy hats, various glittery ensembles, tiaras and many more... There were also a large group of Hen and Stag parties taking part - all decked out in hot pink numbers and tutu's!
Before the race Jean Mansfield, resplendant in a birthday cake hat, was presented with some flowers for her services to the popular Tewkesbury event.
GB paralympic athlete Mel Nicholls then got the race underway and the 80 colourful competitors set off for the first of 4 laps around the lush green Vineyards in front of Tewkesbury Abbey.
Heading up the Tewkesbury contingent Nigel Tillott looked in the pink to finish a very impressive 4th place and even recorded a PB for the course in 20:32. He also faced an early challenge from Simon Osbourne who blazed the first lap.
Next in was Fran Osborne who finished second female and also recorded a PB in 22:49. Behind her a battle was developing between Parkrun stalwart Ben Reid and debutant Roy Northcott. Perhaps it was fitting that Reid wore Naval attire because he eventually won the war and pipped Northcott to the line finishing in 24:37 and 24:41 respectively.
Behind the boys first timer Liz Spiers finished in 24:45 and then Mungo Park, taking part in only his third Tewkesbury parkrun, completed the 4 laps in 25:19. Claire Cook is proving to be an excellent runner and Clare Marchant never runs half-heartedly and timed another reasonable race.
Smiling as always Suzanne Tharme dashed round in 26:07 whilst Parkrun favourite Terry Ballard recorded 27:03. Another colourful competitor in the form of Sheena Moseley finished in 28:35 closely followed by her running buddy Samantha Robinson. Samantha ran round with another Parkrun debutant in the form of Michael Younger and he clearly helped as she recorded a PB in 29:36, with Mike finishing a second later.
Finally, wearing a 3 lb WW2 army helmet, I struggled with the extra weight and gallantly finished in 33:48. Not even nicking Jon Mansfield's bike helped me...
Onto Pittville Park then for the Cheltenham Parkrun and Pete Davies was our only representative there finishing in 31:38. Finally at Gloucester Kingsway Barry O'Driscoll completed the fast 3 lap circuit in 25:29 whilst wily veteran Mike Ward running in his home Parkrun rounded up the Tewkesbury contingent in 32:21.
Every week I will be handing out two awards, Parkrunner of the Week and Performance of the Week. But don't get too excited - there's no gong for these it's just for fun!
First up, Parkrunner of the Week goes to Nigel Tillott for finishing 4th at Tewkesbury, recording a PB and bravely wearing pink. Well done Nige and good luck with the Gloucester 10k on Sunday.
Performance of the Week goes to Samantha Robinson, again recording a PB at Tewkesbury. Sam has been shooting up the charts at Tewkesbury RC and is definately one to look out for!
Cheers everyone, good luck wherever you're racing on Saturday and I'll see you all at the Vineyards.