Abbie Donnelly and James Knockton ran the fastest parkrun times in the UK this weekend (1st July).
Our weekly parkrun top ten is sponsored by 1001 Running Tips by our editor Robbie Britton. Want to run faster at parkrun in 2023 or your next marathon then order your copy today.(PBs not guaranteed, but very likely).
After Andy Butchart brought the fire last week, the women decided to go big today. It’s not often we see three times under 17 minutes, especially all of them under 16:38, but some times you just have to run fast.
You would imagine all those watching the front two at Dulwich would have been expecting it to be a battle for the top spot this week but Abbie Donnelly didn’t get the memo and ran an excellent 16:26 at Keswick parkrun in the Lake District. The route, an out and back, is flat but on an old railway path (all tarmac these days) and the time was good enough to take the course record of Scout Adkin (who is racing in Portugal this weekend).
James Knockton, running at Poole parkrun on the south coast, was the quickest chap with a 14:49. It is a parkrun PB for the Trafford AC U20 athlete, but he has a quick 5k road PB of 14:20 from last year and has already broken 30 minutes for a 10k PB in 2023 at… you guessed it, Trafford 10k. Home comforts and a quality field for that one.
The Dulwich showdown
The rest of the female podium this week was filled at one event in what we can only imagine was an almighty burn-up between Rose Harvey and Louise Small. Clapham Chasers versus Aldershot, Farnham and District with two runners who have both run marathon PBs in the last 12 months. Harvey has a 2:27 from London marathon last October and Small ran 2:31 at Rotterdam earlier this year.
Second fastest male was another under 15 minutes. Matthew Nelson clocked 14:56 at Hull parkrun in the north-east and we are guessing it’s the athlete who runs for Western Tempo (formerly for City of Hull AC) as he broke 15 minutes for parkrun last year with a 14:55 in August at the same event. This year Nelson has ran well at the 12-stage relays and grabbed a second place at the Ferriby 10 with 51:52.
Behind Nelson was two runners tied on 15:12. Alastair Hay ran the time at Perth parkrun and Joshua Hobbs in Bromley. Both parks are well known to me strangely, as Perth is regularly a location for 50k and 100k races and Bromley’s Norman Park was where I placed 13th in the county for tennis ball throwing at primary school. If only one of these athletes had been a second quicker you would have escaped that pointless bit of information.
The quickest course?
It looks like the marathoner battle of south-east London at Dulwich Park took the biscuit this week. Now I have to get back out on the trails as my wife Natalie is 19 hours into a 90km race in the Gressoney Valley, Italy. I ran some of the course today and it is one of the roughest, yet beautiful trails I have been on. I would not race it myself. Horrible.