Melissa Courtney and Tomer Tarragano ran the fastest parkrun times in the UK this week (17th December).
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A quick reminder to start this week. Each parkrun event is run by volunteers and it’s important we all do our part, so if you value your local parkrun as a great workout, a social start to the weekend or just want to run against others to push yourself remember you can volunteer some weeks too.
In what could possibly be the fastest parkrun weekend of all time, Melissa Courtney-Bryant is the best of the bunch with a new world parkrun best of 15:31 at Poole parkrun. We even had a male runner break 15 minutes and not even make the cut this week (but as it’s Christmas we’ll still give Charlie Davis a nod for his 14:59 in Dulwich Park.
Courtney-Bryant, who ran the 1500m at the World, Commonwealth and European Championships this summer, is a Welsh and British International who excels over middle distance and 5000m on the track and road. After two strong performances over the country at Milton Keynes and Sefton Park this autumn, the training is clearly going well this winter.
In southeast London it was at the super quick Dulwich park we saw our fastest male this weekend in Tomer Tarragano. His time of 14:30 saw off strong competition both in the same event and across the UK to top this week. The U23 has PBs at 1500, 3000 and 5000m on the track, with 3:48, 8:07 and 14:16, so a parkrun PB was due.
The fastest top tens of all time
Leeds City athlete Graham Rush clocked a time normally good enough for the top spot with a 14:34 at Storey’s Field parkrun, sandwiched between the two Dulwich performances. Rush, who has sub 14 minutes 5k and sub 30 min 10k PBs played a key part in Leed’s road relay performances this autumn and won the Milton Keynes Half in 67:43 just two weeks ago.
Innes Fitzgerald, only an U17 athlete, took another two seconds off her parkrun best of 16:17 with a first finish at Exmouth parkrun today in 16:15. 2022 has also seen 1500 and 3000m PBs of 4:19 and 8:59 for the youngster after parkrun was the main focus of her running in 2021, showing it can be a great builder of experience and fitness for young stars.
The other male athlete racing round at Dulwich was Finn McNally of Brighton Phoenix, who ran an excellent 14:36 (and still wasn’t the last athlete under 14:40 this week, just pipping the World 1500m champ Jake Wightman at the line). One month ago McNally traveled to Carrickart, Ireland, for the National Cross Country Championships and finished seventh in a class field.
The third fastest female this week was Elle Twentyman at the picturesque (and speedy) parkrun in the Eden Project in the southwest of England. 16:17 was only a couple of seconds off Fitzgerald and a whopping 43 seconds off Annabel Gummow’s course record. The Taunton AC athlete already has a PB at every distance on Power of 10 this year, barring parkrun, so now the set is complete just in the knick of time.
Christmas Day speedsters?
So who got out to run parkrun, but had to be back really quickly to open their presents with the family? It’s a little harder to tell which times are from Saturday and Sunday on weekends like this, so we’re not doing a full top 10 for today. But here are some highlights!
Ben Brown and Niamh Bridson-Hubbard are a biggest new entries in the charts, coming in at fourth and second respectively. Brown ran 14:38 at Southampton parkrun to bump Jake Wightman down to fifth for weekend and Bridson-Hubbard clocked 16:10 at Bromley parkrun to go faster than everyone but our new record holder Melissa Courtney-Bryant.
The fastest course?
It is the Christmas season after all so it feels fair to give this week’s award to all of the fast (and slow) parkruns in the UK that make us stronger athletes (or give us quicker PBs). A big shoutout to all of the volunteers this weekend too, especially those pulling double shifts. You’re all good eggs.