Ciara Mageean and Dewi Griffiths ran the fastest parkrun times in the UK this weekend (23rd December).
Our weekly parkrun top ten is now sponsored by Vertebrate Publishing (my publisher) and here’s a link to buy my book on their website. They actually have a bunch of great books to choose from, especially the mountaineering ones, so don’t feel like you have to buy 1001 Running Tips.
If you thought last week was fast, hold onto your hats because this was a Saturday morning for the ages. Irish International middle distance star Ciara Mageean stole the show, and it took 15:01 to secure 10th place for the men.
The Irish record holder for 800m, 1500m and the mile has had a stellar 2023 with those three marks being set in this calendar year and now her first parkrun is the quickest ever run by a female athlete world wide with 15:13 at Belfast Victoria parkrun, which is fast becoming known as the place to set a parkrun PB. Maybe in 2024 we’ll see Mageean have a crack at the 5000m and 5k records of Sonia O’Sullivan too.
Once again Dewi Griffiths was on fire at parkrun this weekend with an excellent 14:10 at Swansea Bay parkrun. The GB marathoner is clearly in good form and we’ll hoping to see him back in contention for an Olympic Marathon spot in 2024. Competition is going to be spicy though with a few British men under 2:10 now.
The best of the best of the rest
This might be one of our most competitive top 10s ever, for both males and females this week and the rest of the women’s top five is under 17 minutes, and two more at 17 flat and 17:01. At Albert parkrun, Middlesbrough, it was Philippa Stone who ran 16:33 to grab second. It must mean cross country season is going to be exciting, as that is where Stone excels and a similar performance this time last year was followed by a second at the Northern XC Champs…
Eighteen seconds behind Griffiths was James Ross at Pegwell Bay with 14:28. It looks like the Highgate Harrier had a good tear-up with Chris Thomas, who was also under 15 minutes in fifth. Ross will be celebrating a new parkrun PB by a good chunk and that’s after a win at the Alan Green Memorial 10 miler. Christmas has come early you might say. Maybe not though, as we’re sure those times and the win weren’t gifts!
Pegwell Bay was a frenzy of action today, with Darcie Hey adding the second podium appearance with 16:41 to be first female finisher at the event and third in our list. It’s an excellent parkrun PB and a huge chunk under Hey’s recent 5k PB of 17:17 last weekend at RunThrough Olympic Park 5K as well. Few more weeks at that rate and Mageean’s new mark will be in trouble.
The race of the day was at Poole parkrun (I know it’s not a race, but these chaps were clearly racing it) with Jack Kavanagh completing the men’s podium with a 14:35, just three and ten seconds ahead of Mark Ruby and William Rabjohns. It’s a parkrun PB to add to the list of PBs Kavanagh has run this year and it brings it a little closer to the 5k best of 14:21 ran at the Home Countries International 5K in the summer.
The fastest course?
Well, it was a busy one for a few events this week with many featuring more than once, including Bushy and Victoria Park, Glasgow, but Poole parkrun appeared six times in the rankings, with eight seconds separating three females and ten seconds between the three chaps, it must have been fun to watch.
Great to see 2022 1500m World Champion Jake Wightman in action at Bushy parkrun, his first event on Power of 10 since 8th January 2023. Wonderful!