The air was freezing, parts of the course were slippy and covered in frost as a lone run director parked the car and started to unload the equipment. Our pre event set up regular Conor arrived with an update on the condition of some of the shaded areas - they were passable, parkrun was a go. Then the runners started to gather........
The crowds swelled, Operation Transformation participants arrived and there was a large crowd surrounding our new runners briefer - the delights of St. Annes parkrun being passed on to a new generation of parkrunners. the delights of the hill but only at the end of a lap, that downhill section along Watermill Road. All those joys ahead of them.
After the run directors briefing, where Paul Duffy was applauded on his Irish parkrunner of the month award, all headed to the start. There was a short delay while the time keeper was found and they were off. John Sharry started his 50th parkrun along with what seemed like thousands of runners and walkers. Jamie Plummer and Lucy Barrett took the roles as Operation Transformation ambassadors, encouraging and supporting as they made their way around the course, which was populated by 6 marshals to remind everyone about frost, park users but most importantly pointing the way. We had a number of people who achieved their goal of doing the first lap, 2.5km done and congratulations to you all for making this step.
Lap 2 complete and the participants made their way through the extended funnel, past the 2 time keepers and 5 funnel managers, through to the loving care of our token team and then into the arms of the barcode scanners. Clockwork has nothing on our team. John Sharry has now completed 50 runs and his milestone t-shirt awaits. Meanwhile Sarah Kelly became the latest member of our 98 club.
When the dust finally settled we had a new St. Annes parkrun record, suitably marked by a 5 yard sprint to be the person who broke the previous record. 492 people crossed the finish line and history was made. The day was captured by Meryl who posted her superb photos in the afternoon with the tagging and comments commencing.
28 volunteers kept everything running so smoothly that you would think we were on ice. As always we would like to thank them all for the support. For anyone who is looking to get involved please get in touch. The good news is that the rosters are filling up fast and long may it continue.
The details of the day are below. See you all again on Saturday wgere we may break the 500 mark. Keep running all.
Male placings: Aidan JONES (SM25-29) of Piranha TC, was first over the line in 17:14 - 8th time in 25 appearances. Colin GRIFFIN (SM30-34) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:34 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions. Conall MURPHY (SM30-34) of Raheny Shamrock AC, was third over the line in 17:43.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition: Brendan JOHNSON (Unattached) 1289 pts. Dean KEOGH (Raheny Shamrock AC) 1274 pts. Keith FLEMING (Raheny Shamrock AC) 1152 pts.
Female placings: Adrienne ATKINS (VW50-54) of Raheny Shamrock AC, was first (32nd overall) over the line in 20:43 - first time in 73 appearances. Elaine MCNULTY (VW40-44) of Raheny Shamrock AC, was second (45th overall) over the line in 21:30. Crona BRADY (SW30-34) of Sportsworld, was third (59th overall) over the line in 21:54 - was first to finish once before.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition: Caitriona COSTELLO (Raheny Shamrock AC) 1491 pts. Adrienne ATKINS (Raheny Shamrock AC) 1188 pts. Jean DUNNE (Unattached) 1163 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores: Adrienne ATKINS (VW50-54) was graded 81.90% for the time 20:43 (32nd overall). Aidan JONES (SM25-29) was graded 74.85% for the time 17:14 (first overall). Colin GRIFFIN (SM30-34) was graded 74.67% for the time 17:34 (second overall).
This week there were 492 runners, of whom 97 were first timers and 51 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different athletics clubs took part.
St Anne's parkrun started on 28th September 2013, and since then 7,087 different runners, including participants from 251 athletics clubs, have completed 41,538 runs covering a total distance of 207,690 km, and there have been 8,133 new Personal Bests.
The female record is held by Aoife TALTY who ran in a time of 00:16:51 on 28th September 2013 (event number 1). The male record is held by Mark KIRWAN who ran in a time of 00:15:03 on 26th July 2014 (event number 41). The Age Grade course record is held by Mick TRAYNOR who recorded a 91.78% run (15:49) on 28th September 2013 (event number 1).
The full results and a complete event history can be found on the St Anne's parkrun Results Page.