Parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and his wife Joanne returned to Scotland at the weekend to participate in the 47th Glasgow parkrun. They joined with another 381 runners who participated in the two Scottish parkrun events on the morning of Saturday, November 7.
This was Edinburgh's 4th parkrun and course record holder Neil Renault returned to the scene of his victory three weeks previous. Again there was no stopping the Commonwealth Games contender as he led from start to finish over the scenic 5k course. However whilst the English born marathon runner finished five seconds ahead of the opposition, there was to be no repeat of his record breaking effort as he finished in 15:11, twelve seconds slower than his course best. In Glasgow it was Irvine's Pat Cullinane who returned to his parkrun best, equalling his course best time of 17:13 to win the 47th Glasgow event at the fifth time of asking.
Nat Sets New Course Record
In the women's races it was Natalie Christie, now running for London's Serpentine RC, who stormed to a new PB at Edinburgh of 18:40, taking a remarkable 34 seconds off of her time and setting a new course record in her first attempt. In the west coast Garscube's Mairi Stanley also ran a PB, taking 6 seconds off of her previous time to complete the difficult course in 19:45. This was the Glasgow super veteran's third time competing in the 5k event, which has seen her improve her time with every race, winning two of them and finishing second in the other.
A total of 199 runners completed in the Edinburgh parkrun with Neil Renault being followed home by Pitreavie's John Newsom, who completed his first parkrun in a time of 15:16. Hunter Bog Trotter Ray Ward, who won two weeks ago, had to settle for third spot this week, despite taking 24 seconds off of his previous time.
Behind Natalie Christie were two other runners impressing at their first parkruns. Central's Jane Waterhouse took 16 seconds off of her PB to finish as runner up in 20:03, a quite astounding age grade of 91.19% for the 56 year old. European Veterans Cross Country Champion. Lothian's Christine Milne, who ran a 5k in 17:45 in 2006, continued her comeback by earning third place with a time of 20:52.
Some 184 runners participated in the Glasgow event with regular Glasgow parkrunner, Bellahouston RR's Marcos Sanz finishing in second spot behind Pat Cullinane. Watched by his Catalan mother, the Barcelona born athlete completed his 14th parkrun in a time of 17:39. In his seventh attempt, unattached super veteran Paul Brown made it into the top three for the first time despite his time of 18:24 being much slower than his course PB of 17:50.
Mairi Stanley was followed over the finish line by Clydesdale Harrier Fiona McCue, who completed her second parkrun in a time of 21:44 to finish as runner up. In her fifth parkrun, Giffnock's starlet Nikki Hutcheson placed in the top three for the first time. The 14 year old taking another 7 seconds off of her course PB to finish third with a time of 21:48.
Organisers and spectators had to take a second look as identical twins Emma Rogerson and Mhairi McAllister crossed the Glasgow line in quick succession. with only five seconds between them. Despite Mhairi improving her course PB by 57 seconds it was Emma who won the battle of the Bellahouston RR twins by five seconds to finish 5th woman in 22:57.
Speaking to www.scottishrunningguide.com parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who completed the Glasgow course in 21:25 some 8 seconds outside of his recent Edinburgh time, said: "It's always difficult to choose the best parkrun because each parkrun is very special. They all make you feel so welcome and while every run is different it is always familiar as the experience is always the same. Glasgow took me into their hearts by spending time with me on the Friday night, getting to know me and now I have some very special people that I can call friends. The run itself ranks amongst the most beautiful that parkrun can boast, however it is certainly a challenge. The hills seem to come just when you're not expecting them and this make Glasgow parkrun one of the most difficult of all the parkruns."