Gemma Steel and John Beattie ran the fastest parkrun times in the UK this week (28th May).

Our weekly parkrun top ten is sponsored by 1001 Running Tips by our editor Robbie Britton. Order your copy today.

For various reasons, such as watching Aleksandr Sorokin break to 100k World Record at the Centurion Track 100, cycling for 3 days with Munro-bagging champion Donnie Campbell or moonlighting as a wedding photographer for mountain running friends, it’s been some rushed weeks of the parkrun top 10. This week there’s a bit more time to shed some light on the best Saturday morning 5k efforts in the UK.

Once again, it is excellent to see Gemma Steel topping the rankings, especially after last week the Charnwood AC star won the Nottingham 10k outright in 35:05. We even have a picture to go with the sterling performance right below. This weekend Steel ran 16:16 at Watermead County Park, the quickest of three women under 17 minutes across the UK.

Photo credit: Ken Kaiser

Fastest male is also no stranger to the rankings in John Beattie. Crossing the line at Chalkwell Beach parkrun in 15:04, a course record for the event that goes out and back along the seafront to Peter Pan’s Adventure Land in Southend, Essex. It’s also home to the longest pier in the world. At 2.14km it is almost long enough to host it’s own parkrun. Beattie, a Great Britain and England international at track, cross country and road running, has run sub-30 for 10k / 10,000m since 2008 so will be looking to do the same in 2022 we imagine.

Dipping for the line

There were two other female athletes who broke 17 minutes this week, with Olivia Tsim doing so for the sixth time this year, either at parkrun or on the roads for 5k. Given that 2021 was the breakthrough year that the Pontypridd Roadent broke 17 minutes for the first time in November, it seems 2022 is going to be an even stronger 12 months.

At Barking parkrun James Connor was the first finisher in 15:07 and sits second in our men’s rankings this week. The Havering AC runner was only six seconds away from his parkrun PB of 15:01, but the 14:36 5000m & 2:18 marathon man has made some leaps in 2022 already with a 65:58 at Reading Half Marathon for the win. It’s been over 10 years since Connor ran that 2:18 (although he’s gone close since), but that half marathon makes you think maybe 2022 might be a big PB year.

Katie Pye was the other female under 17 minutes at the fast, but grassy Nonsuch parkrun. The South of England AA Championships Champion takes over a minute off her parkrun best with 16:50, but it seems 2022 is already a strong year, with that win at Southerns, an eighth at National XC Champs and 15th at CAU Inter County Championships.

At Warwick Race course Callum Hanlon was first to trouble the finish line volunteers after just over 15 minutes of running around a park. 15:17 is a two second parkrun PB for Hanlon, who runs for Leamington, but he might not have celebrated that PB as much as his excellent 14:24 for 10th at Friday Night 5K Under the Lights a few weeks back.

The fastest course?

With Olivia Tsim in second and Matthew Edwards in fourth, Cardiff parkrun is once again our fastest event. If you’re in the south of Wales and want a new parkrun PB, it seems the place to go.

Men’s top 10

1) parkrun: Chalkwell Beach
John Beattie, 15:04, Newham & Essex Beagles AC
2) parkrun: Barking
James Connor, 15:07, Havering Athletic Club
3) parkrun: Warwick Racecourse
Callum Hanlon, 15:17, Leamington C and AC
4) parkrun: Cardiff
Matthew Edwards, 15:23, Barry & Vale Harriers
5) parkrun: Albert, Middlesbrough 
Gregory Jayasuriya, 15:26, Middlesbrough & Cleveland Harriers
6) parkrun: Blyth Links
David Green, 15:28, Coventry Godiva Harriers
7) parkrun: Stretford
Tom Charles, 15:30, Trafford AC
8) parkrun: Edinburgh
Kristian Watson, 15:33, Mansfield Harriers & AC
9) parkrun: Jersey
James McCrae, 15:34, Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield AC
10) parkrun: Highbury Fields
Seyfu Jamaal, 15:35, London Heathside

Women’s top 10

1) parkrun: Watermead County Park
Gemma Steel, 16:16, Charnwood AC
2) parkrun: Cardiff
Olivia Tsim, 16:45, Pontypridd Roadents AC
3) parkrun: Nonsuch
Katie Pye, 16:50 Aldershot, Farnham & District AC
4) parkrun: Poole
Vicki Ingham, 17:04, Poole Runners
5) parkrun: Bryn Bach
Lauren Cooper, 17:29, Parc Bryn Bach Running Club
9) parkrun: Durham
Alice Crane, 17:34
7) parkrun: Bromley
Elle Baker, 17:40, Tonbridge AC
8) parkrun: Burnham & Highbridge
Emma Navesey, 17:41, Lewes AC
9) parkrun: Luton Wardown
Rebecca Murray, 17:45, Bedford & County AC
10) parkrun: Torbay Velopark
Rosie Hattersley, 17:47, South West Road Runners

If you would like to run faster at parkrun we highly recommend 1001 Running Tips by Robbie Britton, found here.