We broke our parkrun tourism streak to attend Cheltenham parkrun 500th Event on Saturday December 30th 2023. We were meant to be going to our local parkrun where I had offered to volunteer, unfortunately, like many others, it was cancelled due to flooding.
Plus I had work later that day so didn’t want to be going too far. Also I knew that my friend Zakia, a regular volunteer there, had being baking and asked us all to attend!
The Cheltenham parkrun 500th Event Briefing
Lots of pre-event reminders about safety on the Cheltenham parkrun Facebook page. This included the information to keep RIGHT as much as possible. A lot of parkruns are to keep left but I am assuming that here it is right to allow for the faster runners to split to the left hand side on the finishing lap.
Cheltenham parkrun 500th Event
There was obviously the usual briefing but then there was an incredible run-down of some stats. Some of these had already happened at Cheltenham parkrun, whilst others were bound to be made that day!
Next those of us in milestone t-shirts posed for a photo. They are doing this every 250 events. Apparently a lot more had been achieved since the last photo – not sure how they will fit us all in the next!!
Cheltenham parkrun 500th Organisation
Given that Christmas Day parkrun was a bit chaotic at Cheltenham parkrun (first time I have ever queued to finish) they tried something new. It is actually something we have said to each other lots of times that places should try, but basically they told people where roughly they should be based on where they think they would finish.
Although our speedy teen said that there were still people slower than the 22 minutes going right near the front, and him having to navigate around them. But in saying that he did get a course PB and this was probably due to this start. He finished position 79 in 22 minutes and 17 seconds.
The course was well marshalled and everyone was very patient at the pinch points. Everyone I saw was very polite, including around by the big puddle and when other park users were coming in the opposite direction. In fact although we were reminded to keep right now and then I didn’t feel it was loads.
My Experience of Cheltenham parkrun 500th Event
We were reminded it was a friendly parkrun and not for a PB. It did take us a while to get to be able to do the appropriate pace at least I didn’t queue to finish this time! Youngest son got in at 31m 24s and husband 31m 34s.
My speedy son has been saying for some time that I need to try just straight running again. Doing this did mean I managed to snap a photo of two runners from my home parkrun though!
After two of the four laps though I felt more tired than if I had jeffed and it was much slower. Therefore, I jeffed the last two laps. This meant that I did get negative splits however! A finish time of 33mins 33 seconds.
Cheltenham parkrun 500th Event Stats
The times for finishing at Cheltenham parkrun’s 500th event ranged from 17:43-1:05:02. Participant 403 was dead on 30 minutes – out of 762 of others.
Thank you to all the volunteers for giving up their time.