Club 5K & London Mini Marathon Trial – Northala Fields – Sat 10 Mar 2018

The ones who didn’t miss the photo call: Sarah, Iskander, Sughra, Steve, Pat, Andy, Annick, Sarah, Jav, Leanne, Danielle, Bridie, Fiona, Louise & Gary (photo by Bruce Li)

It was a great morning out for the club at Northala Fields parkrun on Saturday, reports Fiona Kennedy, with 47 members taking part in the run and many volunteering in one form or another. For the roadrunners, it was one of two 5K events in the yearly championship schedule. (The next one is provisionally scheduled for Friday July 13th in Pitshanger Park). For the young athletes, it was the second and final chance to get a qualifying time for the London Mini Marathon.

First one home for the club was Jonathan Horan, placed third overall with a new PB of 17:16 (see results listing at the foot of this article). Sally Murnaghan was the only other senior to get a PB, but quite a few people got agonisingly close. Kevin Falvey and Beverley Packwood were just five seconds short of their Northala PB, Jav Sondh six seconds, and Andy Leung seven seconds.

Fastest ESM female was Leanne Smith, nine seconds behind Claire Morris of Ealing Eagles, who was the first female overall.

Mark Kencroft fared best of our veterans: not only the next home behind Jonathan – and sixth overall – but achieving the highest ESM age-graded score, at 80%. That was bettered only by Rashid Handulle of Hillingdon, who scored 87% and finished first overall in the run.

Sarah Harris was our first veteran female, which was especially sweet as she’s been side-lined for such a long time with injury. Many of us barely recognised her in her club vest! Our quickest supervet Patricia Thomas was just 18 seconds behind, and scored the best female age-graded result, not just for ESM but for the whole run, with 76%.

As is the case most weeks, Olov Hansen topped the table for the most parkruns under his belt, having clocked up 332. Laurence Messer was the only other ESM member of the 250 milestone club, with 281, though Phil York and Louise Prince should be joining them before the year’s out, with 224 and 220 runs respectively.

Talking of celebrations, Debbie Gorman is just seven runs away from her 100 milestone, while Maxi Steel will be joining the 10 club with his next run. parkrun Global CEO Nick Pearson took part in this week’s run, and was sporting one of the new milestone T-Shirts. (parkrun will now be handling T-Shirt supplies in-house, following the conclusion of their agreement with Tribesports).

Our least experienced parkrunner was 11 year old Alec Edgar, tackling his first ever parkrun, while Nick Vanson was our only adult running for the first time at Northala Fields. Luckily, neither of them took a wrong turn, despite the fact that – unusually – we had no Lead Bike this week.

There were a few grumbles about congestion at the start. (Welcome to parkrun, guys!) It didn’t help that those at the front assembled four metres in front of the sign marked ‘Start’. Most weeks, runners find this sign a good clue as to where to stand. The volunteers managed to move the field back a couple of metres, then just adjusted the finish line to compensate for the other two metres. This is a free event that is put on every week by volunteers. If anyone would like to volunteer for the role of Start Line Manager, please email

Stacey’s spotted herself on the new ESM business cards (photo by Bruce Li)

With so many club members present, we took the opportunity to introduce ESM to those parkrunners who might be thinking of joining a running club. Our lovely new branded tent was up in Loughborough for the Inter Counties, but we had the back-up tent, flags, business cards and FAQ sheets, and Research Dietitian Leanne offered mini health checks and advice on an active lifestyle. (And we gave out free cake, cookies and water, just to make sure at least someone would come and talk to us!) We had two new very welcome sign-ups over the weekend – Michael Charles and Kylie Goodman – so at least we can conclude we didn’t put them off.

Did we seem a little desperate?

ESM member Bruce Li is also a parkrun Photography Ambassador. Click here to see the wonderful album of photos on his Flickr account.

Special thanks to those ESM members on the volunteer team:

Run Director Gary Stringer, timekeepers John Falvey & Martin Wilson, number checker Danielle Mercey, barcode scanners Fiona Kennedy & Barbro Julin, marshals Steve Plummer & Gerard Donnelly, photographer Bruce Li, tail walker Philip York, and Martin Daoud on post-event closedown.

Not forgetting… Claire King’s dad Ken handing out finish tokens, Steve Plummer’s wife Caroline coordinating the volunteers, Leanne Smith doing the mini health checks, Bridie manning the ESM tent, and cake & cookie bakers Patricia Thomas, Lindsay Donoghue & Fiona Kennedy.

(Oscar speech complete!)

And a few more who missed the above photo call… Iskander (how did he get in both?), Wilton, Andy (again?), Simon, Adam, Martin D & Nick (photo by Bruce Li)

ESM results summary:

We’ve included Finlay Vadon’s dad Richard and Jonah Mezey’s dad Matthew. Let us know if there were any other parents we’ve missed.

3 Jonathan Horan (SM30-34) 17:16; 6 Mark Kencroft (VM50-54) 18:32; 10 Adam Goodman (SM30-34) 19:17; 16 Jav Sondh (SM30-34) 19:44; 20 Malcolm Woolsey (VM35-39) 20:02; 26 Kevin Falvey (SM30-34) 20:42; 27 Andy Price (VM40-44) 20:47; 28 Jonah Mezey (JM11-14) 20:51; 29 Maximilian Steel (JM11-14) 20:52; 31 David Goodenough (VM50-54) 21:02; 33 Matteo Lamagna (JM11-14) 21:11; 34 Bruce Li (VM40-44) 21:12; 36 Alec Edgar (JM11-14) 21:23; 37 Wilton Grey (VM60-64) 21:25; 43 Andy Leung (VM45-49) 21:37; 44 Leanne Smith (SW30-34) 21:41; 51 Martin Daoud (VM55-59) 22:14; 54 Michael Charles (VM45-49) 22:27; 58 Sarah Harris (VW40-44) 22:43; 64 Patricia Thomas (VW50-54) 23:01; 67 Simon Turrell (VM50-54) 23:15; 70 Marco Lamagna (JM11-14) 23:37; 71 Fiona Coutts (JW15-17) 23:37; 73 Hussein Zaaiter (JM11-14) 23:46; 81 Beverley Packwood (VW45-49) 24:09; 82 James Steel (VM45-49) 24:15; 84 Alison Grist (VW50-54) 24:29; 95 Nick Vanson (VM60-64) 24:56; 99 Amira Nuseibeh (JW15-17) 25:06; 104 Iskandar Mohammedi (VM40-44) 25:28; 105 Stacey McManus (VW40-44) 25:29; 107 Richard Vadon (VM50-54) 25:33; 119 Maryam Hussain (JW15-17) 25:56; 120 Kylie Goodman (SW30-34) 25:59; 124 Louise Prince (VW45-49) 26:11; 129 Catherine Gunnewicht (VW50-54) 26:19; 136 Olov Hansen (VM60-64) 26:41; 149 Philip Prince (VM60-64) 27:21; 172 Gurmeet Lally (VW55-59) 28:33; 175 Sally Murnaghan (VW50-54) 28:38; 187 Annick Hooge (VW60-64) 29:22; 195 Sughra Mohammedi (SW30-34) 29:54; 211 Matthew Mezey (VM50-54) 30:46; 224 Laurence Messer (VM65-69 31:33; 237 Dorothy Johnstone (VW70-74) 32:56; 239 Lindsay Donoghue (VW45-49) 33:01; 301 Deborah Gorman (VW50-54) 38:30; 302 Claire King (VW40-44) 38:33; 333 Philip York (VM55-59) 56:20

Full results on the Northala Fields parkrun results page

12 year old Jonah Mezey looking relaxed at the start, with 13 year old Maxi Steel looking on (photo by Bruce Li)