The feedback we received was fantastic so we decided to do it again, much to the joy of our resident 'statto' (they didn't mind, in fact they love doing it really!), this time covering all of September. It's very interesting to see how the events are developing and improving, not only in terms of quantity but also in quality. Again, we welcome any feedback and hope you enjoy the information that we've dug up.
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So the weekend of 22 September aka. Great North Run weekend certainly seemed to have its impact on our free events and whether it was a last run out before the big half or a newly motivated runner wanting a piece of the action 1752 runners took to our parks on that September morning.
Will October see Newcastle tip into a 300 average? We’ll see what the weather brings to ‘The Moor’! But its certainly more than a handful of runners ahead of the fast flat Albert parkrun in Middlesbrough for September.
A North East women is worth 1 ½ men
In terms of the gender split over September we saw an overall average of 35% women Vs 65% men at our parkruns, with our smallest parkruns of Riverside and Tees Barrage seeing the most ‘equal’ gender split (41% women vs 59% men), perhaps it’s the smaller sized field which attracts our women out? We’d still ove to see a few more of those runs getting towards the 50:50 marker though – any ideas how to get our ladies out on a Saturday morning?
Is it all about male/ female splits though? Absolutely not! People of all shapes sizes and importantly ages hit our parkruns each week and we’re fascinated to see that over 100 junior boys 15 and under are favouring athletics as their sport of choice – nice change from all the football?
We’re still seeing heaps of runners every week making their parkrun debut – in fact just short of 1500 runners were ‘newcomers’ across our North East parkruns in September! But which runs are attracting them …
Riverside, also welcomed over a ¼ of runners each week to the relatively new course.
Old timers still improving
We prefer to think of parkruns as a great way to challenge yourself and see those times drop as you become basically more tuned to the challenge, as well as of course seeing those groups of mates increase to as newcomers join. There were just short of 2000 PBs posted across our region in September, so where are we seeing the most 'improvers' ...
Gateshead continues to see strong numbers of PBs too – so perhaps the hill training is paying off and/or runners at Gateshead are able to learn week to week about how best to tackle the demanding and more complex of our routes with its mix of inclines and laps.
Overall though an average of 26% and max of 33% of our parkruns achieving PBs come each Saturday in September is a great result – proving we’re not just running those routes for fun but indeed laying down the gauntlet and going for it!
The roll of honour …
As we've said, parkrun is very much about just taking part and getting involved in this runnign thing, but as we'd like to give a bit of recognition to the lads and lasses on the top spots as it were who are lighting up our records. So the best wins of September were …
Scott ELLIS SM
Won 3 times, PB 3 times
Won 3 times, PB once
Won 3 times
And another notch of the hat to Graeme Taylor who broke his own PB to set the Gateshead course record at a respectable 16:13 – worth at least 15seconds on a flat course for sure!
And here’s your longer roll of honour for all across the board of categories of runners who've achieved some outstanding results this month and setting us some aspirational targets perhaps. Big recognition goes to ...