Whangarei parkrun #280

Whangarei parkrun
Event number 280

14 May 2022

The Whangarei Rally..All getting airborne! And A New Age Grade Record for Colin!!

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It all kicked off on Friday evening on Pohe Island amidst much excitement..but not many seemed to have been told about the early morning event in the Whangarei Rally this morning which also started at Te Matau a Pohe Bridge. After investigation, the stewards inquiry concluded that the maintenance work done was satisfactory and therefore it was safe to return to the normal route , thus avoiding all those horrible undulations that caused so much vexation to some last week.(No names mentioned MMM)

Before the starting grid could come into operation a new Run Director needed to be introduced. Kim Cairns was making her debut today, although not as a volunteer-in fact she earned her milestone shirt for having volunteered on 25 parkrun occasions today, so congratulations on that achievement, as well as becoming our latest RD Kim.

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Of course she is no stranger. Her flamboyant outfits on any opportune occasion are well known, as befits a lady with strong theatrical and musical connections-indeed she has worked as a volunteer at Forum North for some 25 years! Kim has been with us since 2016 with 66 runs here, and 72 in total. She has also run at Palmerston North, Gisborne, East End and Wanaka-where she enjoyed the beautiful scenery until the hill at the end of the run! Good luck in the new role Kim.

Helping Kim with everything around the starting grid, marshalling, equipment, finishing area aspects, results, photography etc were a well drilled team of high-viz heroes we also call volunteers. We thank you: Chris Bates; Ange Brearley; Joshua Callan; Simon Charles; Ron Crowhurst; Maria Easterbrook; Bevan Hand; Helen Jagger; Jim Kettlewell; Charlie Land; Nik Nisbeki Land; Michelle Lewry; Darren Nisbet; Max Smith and finally of course our two superb photographers Jan Sherley and (welcome back!) Ricardo Zucchetto. Run Reporter is Andy Mears, handing over next week to the older and wiser Martin Harrap.

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With a flurry of late pitstops, and a very clear briefing from the debutante RD 114 starters were on the grid ready to go. Conditions were excellent, visibility was good, although we did have assistance for Steve Bradley ( a visually impaired runner) with his guide dog, provided by Ron Crowhurst. There was no need for a safety car, and even Uncle Colin , so effective last week did not have to get on his bike again!

Environmentalists will be delighted to know that noise levels were kept to a minimum..Well, there may have been some huffing and puffing here and there but..least said about that the better I feel. Moving swiftly on.. Fuel consumption?

Again this seemed very efficient! All models came  readily fuelled and took advantage of the opportunity to take on board extras immediately after they completed their 5k circuit at Christies Pitstop. Varied amounts of supplies were involved.. all were very conscious of tidiness and recycling.

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No crashes or accidents were reported on the circuit

Among the teams represented, we welcomed back Team Zucchetto: Dianne running, Ricardo snapping with his camera. Among the missing were Team Smith-Greenwood.Helen and Paul were continuing their NZ tour exploits, today they were in Otaki completing their 30th of 37 NZ parkruns! That was great timing too, because it meaant they were there for Event director Mark O'Sullivan's 400'th (yes!, 400th!) parkrun. Congrats all round seem in order..! Team Earl were also missed today

First Timers

Welcome to Meltern Lang ; Al Aldabbagh; Ben Watkins;Matthew Watkins; Malcolm Wade who all took the brave step of running their very first parkrun and collecting their first finish token here at Whangarei ..now what happens? Hopefully we, or one of our sister parkruns see you again because you enjoyed your morning! It can be habit forming..

Welcome also to Blair Tupp who was running his 136th parkrun, but his first here. Normally he runs at Hamilton Lake, we are the 4th NZ venue he has visited.Hope it was worth the journey North Blair.


Ange Brearley and Maria Easterbrook completed their 50th parkruns this week.

Ange first ran with us in 2020 and has 19 parkruns at Whangarei, having previously run in Queensland , Australia.Sorry about the picture Ange-only one on the day I could find!!

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Maria just recently earned her 25th volunteer  shirt and is thrilled to earn her red milestone for 50 parkruns, especially having done so with a PB today!

Congratulations ladies, now for that black shirt!!

Personal Bests

13 speedsters achieved new PBs today.Maria has already been mentioned, and the Brearley name too-but not Shane! He ran a best today while Ange was tail walking..

Already also mentioned Steve Bradley, but happily going to mention him again as this was his first outing for a few weeks, but he now has 3 successive personal bests. Great work!

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Good to see Cindy Scholtz achieving a new best too, although it's only 5 weeks since the last one!

Denika Clooney led the ladies home in only her second run here, and did so with a best time, well run!

Jen Mills also on her second run here improved her time., congrats Jen.

Congratulations also to Alex Lang; James Macken; Kayden Kim; Marcel Versfield; Mark Callan; Rhys Angelo Jones; and Sean Parker who all improved their previous bests.

 The Models Made For Speed

The Rally makes no distinction, it's open to all. We always stress that it's not a race, but inevitably there is always interest in who got home first. To satisfy curiosity then, the details are as follows:

The Ladies Models:

1. Denika Clooney: Running as a junior, in just her second parkrun but first lady home!

2. Debbie Monaghan: Welcome back! First run here for a year, and second lady home!

3. Shannon-Leigh Walker: Running just her 5th time at Whangarei, another podium!

Very impressive performances from all three ladies.

The Male Models:

may22 02 21. Allan Staite: 3 runs here, 2nd then two first places- 18 seconds ahead!

2. Ben Winder: Back after a 44 week gap, straight into second place..

3. Ben Watkins: Another impressive junior-first time out, third home!!

Not to be outdone, the men produced some impressive performances too!

Age Graded Performance:

may22 02 101. Colin Thorne                      95.45%    (85.73%)

2. Judith Bradshaw                 84.88%

3. Clasina Van Der Veeken      84.53%    (76.52%)

The two 90plus runners refuse to yield! Colin set a new age grade record for Whangarei!! Both improved on last week too! Let's not forget to congratulate the ever consistent Judith too..

'Re-Conditioned' Models

Out there in our rally whether participating or volunteering, there were a number of parkrunners who are at various stages of comebacks  from lets call it 'repairs and maintenance' of some sort. Apologies if you get missed out, but ones I know of who I'd like to give a shout to include : Teresa Dunn; Maureen Kettlewell; Jim Kettlewell; and Emma Watson. Also a mention for Jennie Wellwood who was around today and has volunteered for next week and is also in the process of recovery. Best wishes to all those mentioned ! Jennie is pictured with daughter Dianne.

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The End Of The Rally

Co-Driver Martin Harrap resumes control of the wheel for the next three weeks, although he has kept his hand in-he wrote the Run Report for Millwater parkrun yesterday-blind! Well done M for volunteering and helping out a fellow parkrun in need. Their message yesterday showed it was clearly much appreciated.You can find him in the photo below..somewhere.. I leave you in his good hands-no curved balls from me!

#Love parkrun

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