Omer Ahmed and Philippa Williams are your fastest athletes at UK parkruns this weekend (August 17th).
There was no messing around this week for Birchfield Harrier Omer Ahmed, who clocked a fantastic 14:12 to top the rankings this week. At the quick Walsall Arboretum event, parkrun regular Ahmed obliterated Phil Nicholls’ course record of 15:00 from back in 2012.
Fastest female was Philippa Williams of Elswick Harriers. The 76:40 half marathon runner ran 17:24, only seven seconds off her parkrun best, to finish first overall at the picturesque parkrun in Princes Park, Liverpool.
Normally if you run something like 14:36 then you can be quite confident you’ll be celebrating a spot at the top of the weekly parkrun rankings, if people celebrate such a thing as it’s not a race, remember? Well AFD’s Ellis Cross, a veritable rocketman when it comes to the 5000m distance, went to Pegwell Bay, finished first in under 15 minutes and didn’t even get the course record or a top spot in the rankings (the course record is held by fellow speedster Chris Olley in 14:17 from last June). Cross has run a 13:52 PB for 5000m this year already, so we’re sure he won’t mind.
With Hayley Carruthers taking the week off so she could volunteer at her local event instead, it was wide open for the female top three and Beth Hawling ran an excellent 17:32 at Mile End to take the second spot. Having recently ran a track 5000m PB of 16:57.89 and a road 5k PB of 16:48, Hawling is absolutely flying.
Even though Ahmed was nearly a minute ahead of second finisher in Walsall, they still placed third in our weekly rankings too. England marathoner James Westlake of Crawley AC ran a strong 15:10, normally enough to secure first finisher at most events, and had to settle for being the second person to hand their barcode in. Rumour has it that “Westy” is training to be a swimmer now, after leaving a promising football career to star at the marathon. With that range of talent he should try decathlon… they have loads of kit for different sports.
It seems Walsall Arboretum was the place to be today, as another fast result from the Midlands was a 17:33 for Claire Martin of Telford AC. Hannah Taunton, of Taunton AC, also tied for third place, in a virtual photo finish across the country, by also running a 17:33 at Burnham and Highbridge parkrun.
The fastest parkrun this weekend is pretty obvious. As well as Ahmed’s 14:12, Westlake’s 15:10 and Martin’s 17:33, there was also a 15:47 that snuck Dan Robinson in at 10th spot (for a second week in a row) and there would have been one more Lucie Tait-Harris had been two seconds quicker. That’s a speedy event right there. If you want a parkrun PB, maybe head to Walsall next weekend.
Men’s top 10
1) parkrun: Walsall Arboretum
Omer Ahmed, 14:12, Birchfield Harriers
2) parkrun: Pegwell Bay
Ellis Cross, 14:36, AFD AC
3) parkrun: Walsall Arboretum
James Westlake, 15:10, Crawley AC
4) parkrun: Dulwich
Andrius Jaksevicius, 15:14, Belgrave Harriers
5) parkrun: St Helens
Matthew Crehan, 15:17, St. Helens Sutton AC
6) parkrun: Worcester Pitchcroft
Dominic James, 15:22, Cheltenham & County Harriers
7) parkrun: Dulwich
Russell Bentley, 15:25, Kent AC
8) parkrun: Whitehaven
Marc Brown, 15:41, Salford Harriers and AC
9) parkrun: Fulham Palace
Howell Craske, 15:42, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers
10) parkrun: Walsall Arboretum
Daniel Robinson, 15:47, B.R.A.T Club
Women’s top 10
1) parkrun: Princes Park, Liverpool
Philippa Williams, 17:24, Elswick Harriers
2) parkrun: Mile End
Beth Hawling, 17:32, Cheltenham & County Harriers
3=) parkrun: Walsall Arboretum
Claire Martin, 17:33, Telford AC
3=) parkrun: Burnham and Highbridge
Hannah Taunton, 17:33, Taunton AC
5) parkrun: Longrun Meadow
Amber Gascoigne, 17:42, British Military Fitness
6) parkrun: Tonbridge
Ashley Gibson, 17:47, Tonbridge AC
7) parkrun: Albert Park, Middlesborough
Lucy-Erin Hunter, 17:50, Darlington Harriers & AC
8) parkrun:Lochend Woods
Lauren Reid, 17:52
9) parkrun: Upton House
Annabel Gummow, 17:53, Winchester & District AC
10) parkrun: Stratford-upon-Avon
Lucy Dowsett, 17:54, Cambridge & Coleridge AC
If you would like to run faster at parkrun, top tips to help runners of all abilities can be found here.
RELATED: 7 ways to run faster at parkrun