As the weather relented after a tough 6 weeks, over 1,600 runners took part in 12 parkrun events across the north of England on Saturday. Biggest turnout was at Leeds where the Hyde Park event was back to full swing with 265 runners. Alex Bellew (Bedford & County AC) and Jocelyn Payne (University of Leeds C/C Club) were first man and woman home in 16:53 and 21:03 respectively. Numbers in this event were swelled by a big turnout from Hyde Park Harriers (encouragingly their contingent included many 30 minute plus runners).
On the other side of the Pennines, Bramhall parkrun also had a bumper turnout with veteran Wilmslow RC man Jim Pendrill (17:24) leading home 241 runners including first lady Katy Thornhill (22:11) who just edged out Jim's club mate Sally Johnston (22:16).
Fun event of the day had to be at Newcastle where a first birthday was celebrated with a record turnout of 199. Gosforth Harrier Drew Graham (15:57) was first male and Elswick Harrier Alison Dargie was first woman (19:14) but undoubted heroine of the day was Niyc Pidgeon, praised for her hard work in establishing the Newcastle event by parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who ran in the event with wife Joanne. See videos of the post-run awards on the Newcastle parkrun Facebook page.
Fastest parkrunner of the day was Matt Jones at Middlesbrough. The Middlesbrough & Cleveland Harrier ran the 5k in 16:40, 5 minutes plus ahead of first lady Louise Trainor (22:19) from Quakers RC.
Heaton (164) and South Manchester (152) both had three figure turn-outs and both were won by first timers, Michael Ashurst (17:35) at Heaton and Tipton Harrier Harvey Maguire (17:45).
Although we've highlighted some of the best times on another great day for parkrun, the special thing about this event is that everyone's a winner, and that the real stars are the dozens of volunteers who make each of the 12 events possible.