The Beaches parkrun Event #106 4 March 2017

The Beaches parkrun Event #106 4 March 2017

We had a huge event at The Beaches parkrun this week! With 121 participants we had our third highest turnout ever, and we were also the fourth biggest parkrun in the Region of Runners! (Newy had 403, Maitland 315 and Lake Mac 254.)

121 runners

We had a low tide of approximately 0.55m - the lowest level we will have this year (but don't despair if you missed it, as it will be matched on 17 June - which certainly attracted a few people to our event this week. The relentless drizzle didn't dampen anyone's spirits and our participants this week recorded a record number of PBs.

Andrew Neil and Nicola Stainton, two of our regulars, completed their 100th parkruns with us this week. Andrew and Nicola changed their home run to The Beaches after they completed their 50th parkrun (at Newy), and became RDs at The Beaches. They have each run at The Beaches 21 times, and have run 27 different parkrun courses including 6 in the UK. Andrew's overall parkrun PB is 26:45 and Nicola's is 29:17 (both at Stockton). Andrew has completed 37 volunteer tasks at 26 runs, and Nicola has completed 73 volunteer tasks at 58 runs.

nicola andrew


We were also joined this week by a group from Mt Penang parkrun who gave us the heads up that one of their number, Anna Schutz, would be completing her 100th parkrun! Anna was a first timer at The Beaches. She has done 20 different courses and her overall PB is 23:04 (at Mt Penang). Anna has volunteered 16 times. Congratulations Anna, and apologies for embarrassing you!


We also had a couple of people sneakily fly under the radar this week. Nerida Lithgow, a Beaches regular, ran her 50th parkrun. Nerida has done 44 of her 50 parkruns with us. She has done 7 courses, and her overall PB is 30:23 (at Stockton). She has very generously volunteered 20 times.


Garry Wells, founder of five30runners, ran his 150th parkrun with us this week. While this isn't an official milestone that will get you a t-shirt, it is still to be commended! Garry has done 18 different courses and his overall PB is 23:58 (at Stockton - are you detecting a theme here?). He has volunteered 54 times (on the record) and was heavily involved in establishing Blackbutt parkrun - so you have him to thank (or curse!) next time you tackle those hills! Garry also recorded a 14 second PB this week.


Fully half of the field this week recorded new Personal Bests - 61 out of 121 parkrunners. While we would love to give everyone a shout out - as we do in quieter weeks - we sadly can't dedicate that much time to the run report. So we'll focus on a few PBs that we thought were particularly noteworthy.

Second finisher Craig Simpson took 2:09 off his time to finish in 19:22 and secure himself 12th place in our fastest 500 list. Only 23 runners have ever recorded a sub-20 run at The Beaches so Craig joins a very elite group.


Bryn Francis scored a top 10 finish and a 3:07 PB with a finishing time of 22:00. Since his first run at The Beaches on 10/10/15 he has taken a huge 11:30 off his time and 6 of his 9 runs have been PBs.


Junior runner Ethan Anderson, who has done all 21 of his parkruns at The Beaches, recorded a 2:23 PB, finishing in 22:57. Since his first parkrun on 30/01/16 he has taken 9:06 off his time. Ethan's brother Oliver (20 parkruns) recorded a 37 second PB and has taken a whopping 14:41 off his time since he first ran with us on 19/03/16.



Junior runner Jake Cotter, who has run at The Beaches 4 times, recorded his third consecutive PB. He's taken 10:58 off his first time and 1:03 off his last PB.


Rebecca Raschke (107 parkruns) has only completed The Beaches once before, over two years ago. On that occasion she walked; she claimed that she wasn't able to run on sand. This week she took an incredible 27:07 off that time, finishing in 28:22 and bagging herself a spot in the Fastest 500.


Fresh from a PB at Blackbutt last week, Sarahann Collins took a huge 7:40 off her previous Beaches PB, finishing in 28:50. Sarahann's superpower is never looking like she's actually running on her parkrun photos. Here she is doing The Robot.


Johanna Anderson proved that persistence (and facing the high tides) pays off, recording her first PB in over a year. She took 1:33 off her time to record a solid sub-30 time of 29:07.


On her third outing at The Beaches, Lyndal Oliver continued her PB streak, recording a 6:10 PB from her last run. Her finishing time of 30:28 was a huge 13:14 faster than her first run last September.


Sarah Sparke finished in 31:32, recording a 12:25 PB. It's worth noting that her only other run at The Beaches was on 30/04/16, which was a low tide run, so this is genuine improvement and not just a contrast in conditions.


Jane Allanson recorded her second PB in a row, taking 1:20 off her time to finish in 33:30. This is 5:10 faster than her debut, at our first event.

lady jane

Helen Drysdale (left, below) has been running really well in 2017: from her 8 parkruns so far this year she has clocked 5 PBs and 1 new course. This week at The Beaches she finished in 36:34, a 5:08 PB.

helen kylie

Katie Randall recorded a 21 second PB, which normally wouldn't be noteworthy but we just really wanted to include this photo of her to embarrass her.


Simon Chawner continues his PB streak, recording an 8:26 PB on his last run in February, which was in turn a 7:57 PB on his debut last July.


Mark Thompson made the journey out from Maitland worth his while with a 10:54 PB, finishing in 38:35.


Chasing him up the beach, Virginia Hickson, also from Maitland, recorded an 11:38 PB, finishing in 39:02.


On his 10th run at The Beaches, junior runner Oscar Pohlman let rip and finished in 40:52, 9:45 faster than his last PB and an outstanding 30:51 faster than his debut on Boxing Day 2015.


Maureen Grealy bagged herself yet another PB this week - she has completed The Beaches 8 times and has 4 PBs. This week she got a 1:08 PB and completed the course ten minutes faster than her debut in October last year.


Tail runner Michelle Louis brought the event to a close in a speedy 53:34, taking almost two minutes off her previous time at The Beaches. Now we just need to convince her to try running the course!

mish tail


Male placings:
Bradley GIBBINS (SM25-29) (Unattached) was first over the line in 19:10 - 19th time in 22 appearances.
Craig SIMPSON (VM50-54) (Unattached) was second over the line in 19:22 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Scott Robert ALDER (VM50-54) of Newcastle Flyers, was third over the line in 20:19 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Janette COX (VW50-54) (Unattached) was first (23rd overall) over the line in 25:15 - first appearance.
Michelle LILL (SW30-34) of Derek Zoolander Centre for Kids Who Can't Run Good, was second (24th overall) over the line in 25:17.
Bridget TIDEY (SW30-34) (Unattached) was third (33rd overall) over the line in 26:45 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Craig SIMPSON (VM50-54) was graded 78.66% for the time 19:22 (second overall).
Stephen FILMER (VM55-59) was graded 76.85% for the time 20:31 (6th overall).
Chris HAYES (VM55-59) was graded 76.17% for the time 20:21 (4th overall).

This week there were 121 runners, of whom 10 were first timers and 61 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different athletics clubs took part.

The Beaches parkrun started on 29th November 2014, and since then 1,332 different runners, including participants from 82 athletics clubs, have completed 4,036 runs covering a total distance of 20,180 km, and there have been 655 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Celia SULLOHERN who ran in a time of 00:19:18 on 27th December 2014 (event number 5).
The male record is held by Vlad SHATROV who ran in a time of 00:17:59 on 30th April 2016 (event number 62).
The Age Grade course record is held by Andy PALMER who recorded a 84.23% run (22:12) on 29th November 2014 (event number 1).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the The Beaches parkrun Results Page.


A huge thank you to this week's (soggy and blurry) volunteers, most of whom signed up months in advance:

Verity Rebecca CURREY, Tracy EDWARDS, Ella GOELDNER, Lisa GOELDNER, Ruby GOELDNER, Belinda GREALY, Suzanne HEMPSALL, Aimee HOLT, Nicole LEWIS, Michelle LOUIS, Nicola STAINTON, Shelley WILSON



tracy mish

vollies and paul




And Finally

This week's run will be a very high tide, at 1.83m at 8.27am. The weather forecast is mostly clear with temperatures between 18C and 20C. There will be light southwesterly winds of around 15km/h, and humidity around 80%. It will be a quiet week with many of the Region of Runners heading south to the Six Foot Track Ultramarathon and north to the Port Macquarie Running Festival so if you're around in Newcastle and you're not afraid of a tough run, head to The Beaches and you might get yourself a podium finish!

One last thing, a public service announcement: beware of wearing white shorts at The Beaches parkrun, especially when it's raining.

wet shorts