Stuart Craft, Peter Wright and Simon O’Keefe all delivered personal best times at this week’s Oxford Parkrun at Cutteslowe Park.
On a day that a new course record was set by Ian Kimpton of Loncoln Wellington Athletics Club with a phenominal time of 15:38, Stuart finally got down into the roaring twenties by shaving five seconds off his previous best time coming 9th place overall in a field of 117 runners and taking first place in his age category.
Peter also took five seconds off his previous PB while in turn helping Stuart to his best time so far by acting as pacemaker to his coach. After hanging on to Peter's coat tails over four and a half kilometres, Stuart eventually swapped positions with him for the last 500 metres. There is no secret to Peter’s recent impressive improvement in form, it has been down to pure hard graft and the willingness to listen to and act on his coaches’ advice.
Simon took another ten seconds off his PB, knocking his time down to 23:11. Simon is the oldest of our regular Parkrunners, but he seems to be getting younger by the week!
Graca continues to regain her fitness which was evidenced by the achievement of a 2013 PB, just 38 seconds from her overall best time set in May last year, coming first place in her age category - without breaking into a sweat!
Alex was one minute and three seconds from his best time – around the time it takes to answer the call of nature (which is exactly what he did half way around the course) Next time go before the start young man, and we may see a new best time from you!
Elliot was just 30 seconds off his PB. He finished very strong, which indicates that he may have held a bit too much back earlier in the race. Elliot is a very promising young runner and we will be working on his pace and timing in the coming weeks to help ensure that he fulfils his potential.
Ten year old Isobel continues to work hard in training and is becoming a better, more confident runner. She finished 1:48 behind her PB today, but showed an encouraging maturity in places, not least when she stormed past four runners including three adults, in the last 200 metres of the course – something she wouldn’t have had the confidence to do until recently.
Lorraine was 52 seconds behind her PB, which is no reflection on her work rate in training. Lorraine is a recent convert to running and in a short space of time has improved dramatically, though she is still working on her pacing. Last time out she started a bit too quick and struggled to keep up her fast pace (though she did, to her credit, bag a new PB), while this week she experimented by starting off at a slower pace. This lost Lorraine valuable time, which despite a spirited sprint finish, she couldn’t make up for. But Parkrun time trials are the perfect place to work on tactics and strategy, so it probably won’t be long before Lorraine will be set to put the lessons learned at Cutteslowe into practice.
Well done also to ten year old Kacey Hardiman who completed half the course for the first time - even matching her coach, Stuart's pace for a few hundred metres on his final lap of the course. Kacey has only recently joined the club but has shown that she is willing to put in the work to improve her fitness, which is very encouraging.