18 Oct

Sunshine on Edinburgh parkrunners

Edinburgh parkrun

Almost 400 runners took part in the parkrun phenomenon in Scotland on Saturday, October 17. The launch of the Edinburgh parkrun attracted some 204 athletes, who enjoyed a mass warm up, free bananas, coffee and vouchers. Parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and Glasgow parkrun initiator Richard Leyton joined in with runners of all abilities to celebrate the latest addition to the parkrun family. The cold temperature was soon forgotten as the runners lined up in the Cramond sunshine. The absence of any coastal wind made for great running conditions as the participants set off at 9:30 am along the foreshore towards Granton. After the turn parkrunners made their way back to the start/finish with views of Cramond Island on their right hand side and the iconic Forth Bridges in the distance in front of them.

First Ever Winner

Edinburgh AC's Neil Renault (S25-29) earned the distinction of being the first ever winner of the Edinburgh parkrun. The tall Team GB athlete led from the start and finished in an incredible 14:59. Almost one minute ahead of Harmeny AC's Robert (Boab) Turner (S35-39), who ran a personal best (PB) to finish second with a time of 15:53. Border Harrier Colin Welsh (S25-29) finished one second out from his PB to earn third place in 16:47.

First Ever Woman Winner

The women's event was much more closely contested with only ten seconds between the first three finishers. Edinburgh Road Club's Rachel Ramsay (S30-34) got off of her bike to become the first ever winner, with a time of 20:48. Unattached Holly Orr (S25-29) finished just three seconds behind, earning second place in 20:51. Whilst, triathlete Varry Mccullough Young (V45-49) finished in third spot and first super vet in a time of 20:58.

On a day when many of the local club runners were participating in the Scottish East District Cross Country Championships at Stirling University, club runners and fun runners were joined by a large number of cyclists, triathletes, ice hockey players and orienteerers who all made the Edinburgh parkrun such an outstanding success

Winner Neil Renault told www.scottishrunningguide.com
"The race was excellent, really well organised. I am a friend of Clare Ward, who asked me to run as she is a volunteer for the race. They were hoping for a good turnout but not too many just in case there was a hitch but in the end it went great and lots turned up. I said I'd go along to try and get a faster time. As far as my time goes 14.59 isn't that fast and slower than my 14:45PB. I'm not making excuses but I did the race off the back of two 110/120 mile weeks plus I had less than six hours sleep the night before, as an event went on longer than expected. It was chilly today and I like it warm. Why do I live in Scotland? Good question! The event was well marshalled; it's certainly a fast course, the wide paths made it quite easy to take the corners which appear tight. The Starbucks coffee at the end was only bettered by the girls serving it. As for the results, it was easy for me as I was the first in but people back in the 100-200 had a bit of a wait to hand in their tokens. This might have been unpleasant had it not been just chilly and sunny. So I guess they might have another one or two laptops the next time.
I think the aim of the parkrun is to allow anyone of any standard to come along for a free run/race, to have company and enjoy it. Although it might not appear it during the run, I certainly did and as I say the coffee was an extra bonus."

First women super vet Varry Mccullough Young said "I cycled to Cramond, ran a free 5 km, in the sun at the beach and got a Starbucks coffee for a small donation. What a great way to start a Saturday!"

Davie Black was one of a healthy contingent from the West Lothian Triathlete Club who warmed up for the event by cycling some twenty odd miles to Cramond and of course back home again after the 5k. Davie, who finished in 97th place in 24:09 told www.scottishrunningguide.com "I really enjoyed the event, well done to the organisers. I'll be back whenever I can fit it into my training schedule."
Also making the way to Cramond on their bikes but only from the other side of Edinburgh were Tana Walker and her friend Morna Reekie. Tana finished 116th in 25:16 slightly ahead of Morna in 121st spot with a time of 25:35. Tana told www.scottishrunningguide "I managed somehow to puncture my tyre but that doesn't take anything away from such a great morning. Everybody's been so friendly and the atmosphere is great. I'll definitely be back!"

Richard Leyton's photos of the event are here.


Glasgow parkrun

The more established Glasgow parkrun attracted 193 runners to its 44th event. Last week's winner Carnegie Harrier Andrew Wright overcame an challenge from Kevin Kane to cross the Pollok Park finish line in 15:49, 23 seconds faster than his previous time. Unattached Kane finished second in 16:00, whilst Bellahouston Road Runner Scott Kennedy earned third place with 17:44.

Adopting a complete change in tactics from last week, Bellahouston Road Runner Jane Simpson allowed Garscube's Mairi Stanley to take the early lead before overtaking her in the second lap to win the women's event in 19:30. Jane took a further 24 seconds off of last week's course PB in the process! Despite Mairi improving her time from last week by two seconds to finish in 19:51, she had to settle for second place in this week's race. First time Glasgow parkrunner, Lorna Swaddle earned third place with a time of 21:12.

Chris Upson's photos of the Glasgow parkrun are here.