While our very own gossip girl blogger Johnny has a week off, here’s Simon to tell you about our recent parkrun takeover in Brighouse over the Halloween weekend.

What else could be more scary than a group of zombies, witches, vampires, skeletons and pumpkins all arriving at Wellholme Park in Brighouse at 8am on a Saturday morning? 3 months ago it might have been a different kind of event, but on Saturday 29 October 2016, it was time for the first Brighouse parkrun Halloween event – run by the Northowram Pumas.

As always, Team Puma turned out in force to get involved and we’d have been lost without them. As part of our takeover and proving popular when we’ve done it before, we had pacers ranging from 20mins through to 34mins to help people round.

Spooky pacers ready to go
Spooky pacers ready to go

When reading so often about people wanting to beat a personal best (PB) but struggling to break the ‘glass ceiling’ on their own,I’ve always been a fan of running with others to get better. Well done to everyone that ran and thanks to our pacers. It was great to see so many Junior Pumas running but more importantly smashing their PBs!

We also had some amazing support around the course and on the finish line as well as creepy things hanging from trees, pumpkins marking the way on the bridge, spiders that dropped on your head (just for Matt Newton!) and an amazing array of cakes, buns, biscuits and sweets.

Here’s a run down of the runners and riders

Tim Brook was first Puma home with a new PB (19:50)

Tim - #FPH and a new PB
Tim – #FPH and a new PB

followed by Luke Cranfield (pacing 20mins) who as well as being complete with meat cleaver, was a little bit ahead of time and so was spotted hanging around for a while before crossing the finishing line at exactly 20:00.

Luke - meat clever and devil mask and still managed to pace 20mins (sort of)
Luke – meat cleaver and devil mask and still managed to pace 20mins (sort of)

Next in was Andrew Tudor (linking Luke’s pacing to his new PB of 20:52). Junior Pumas George Eastwood was first Junior Puma home at 21:36 followed by Adam Standeven (pacing 22mins) and Richard Baker (22:47). The next two were Juniors Ryan Moore (23:24 – first timer) and Jude Kenny (23:37) beating last week’s PB. Matt Newton pacing at 24mins breezed in next along with his new running friend who was delighted she’d got under 24minutes.

Adam and Jude
Adam and Jude

Paula Snee (24:04) and Rachael Helliwell (24:06) came in effortlessly next, closely followed by another PB – this time from Junior Noah Lumb (24:43). Shaun Casey (25:28) arrived next with Junior Reuben Bartkiw one second later (25:29) making his debut parkrun appearance with Dad Antony (25:48) who might have hinted he got the running bug again! Another first timer Junior Puma was Sam Bell with an impressive debut time (23:43). Neil Coupe with his orange pumpkin trousers, brown wig and mask (he says it was a mask) paced in just under his 26min time followed by Juniors Freddie Baker (26:44), Finley Canning (26:58), Jessica Cameron (27:13) and Amelie Baker (27:22) closely followed by Joe Baker (26:45) and Elizabeth Cameron (27:31).

Rick, strong contender for best Puma costume of the day
Rick, strong contender for best Puma costume of the day

Well done to Freddie, Fin (who must have got his 30min pacing calculations wrong!) and Jessica who all smashed their PBs. Next in was our very own blogger Johnny Meynell who beat the 28min pacer (himself) by 15seconds. Just pipping the 30m time was Amelia Jackson and Ian Marshall followed by Ally Canning arriving bang on time (pacing at 30m) followed by Mike Hartley and Lady (the dog complete with her very own bat wings) and another parkrun debut appearance, this time from Jeremy Bartkiw (32:27) accompanied by Mum Charlotte (32:38).

Jeremy and Charlotte crossing the finish line
Jeremy and Charlotte crossing the finish line

Cathy Heptinstall arrived at (34:59) doing some great pacing in her scary cheerleader outfit. Next Puma in was Eileen O’Brien at 36:50, followed by some more first timers in Junior Pumas Miles and Elise Williams (38:14), Lana Brook (38:25), Elise Brook (38:50) with Mum Simone (38:54). Wendy Hewitt had the most important job and made sure everyone got home safe and sound – thanks Wendy!

For full results please see: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/brighouse/results/latestresults/

Pacing to success

We also had lots of great comments after the event about our pacers: “Helen asked to thank Ally and Ian for pacing her to her first ever sub 30 parkrun” and “Having the pacers meant I slashed my PB by 25secs – thanks Pumas” – great comments to receive!

Remembered to bring your barcode?

We also couldn’t have done it without the fantastic Pumas who took the opportunity to leave their running shoes at home for one Saturday morning and help with the finish line tasks so that everyone got their results – Carine ‘skeleton’ Baker and Sarah ‘witchy’ Haigh doing the very important job of keeping everyone in line to get their finishing position token and Paul ‘vampire’ Bottomley and Jo Allen for the most important job of scanning. Our Puma support out on the course was fantastic – Gabby and Orlagh Kenny with their cow bell which could be heard in Northowram, Julie, Rob and Hollie Bowman, Melissa ‘jilted bride’ Hall and team, Alison ‘witchy’ Pearce and family as well as Nicola ‘sporty’ Pennington.

Scary Pumas cheering the runners round
Scary Pumas cheering the runners round

Cakes, cakes and more glorious cakes!

And whats the most important thing a runner wants after a run (after uploading Strava and checking their time!) – yes, cake! And our spooktacular cakes certainly didn’t disappoint – from scary brownies to pumpkin krispies, these were definitely the best bloodtinglying treats around.

Devilishly good cakes
Devilishly good cakes

Thank you to Ally Canning, Ally’s sister, Victoria Owen, Nicola Hartley, Louise Lumb, Katie Lumb, Ian (and Mrs Marshall!), Charlotte Bartkiw and family, Carine Baker and family, Julie and Hollie, Elizabeth Cameron plus anyone who else who brought sweet treats and carved some amazing pumpkins for the bridge. Although there was no competition, the Northowram Pumas logo on pumpkin from the Bartkiw residence and the Junior pum(a)pkin from family Baker were definitely high contenders for the top spot!

A huge thank you…

As always these events don’t just happen and so there are a few special thank you’s we need to make – to Jude and the team at Brighouse parkrun for letting us ‘takeover’, Nick Windsor for taking some amazing photos for us, Neil Coupe for helping out with transport and a massive thanks and well done to Ally Canning and Victoria Owen for organising the takeover, buying props and coordinating cakes!

So what are you waiting for?

If you haven’t yet been to a parkrun, why not join in the fun? Just get yourself registered for free, print your barcode off and decide which of our local free, weekly, timed events you’ll go to next – you’re bound to spot a Puma there and it wont be the last time you go!

Team Spooktacular team
Team Spooktacular team

If you don’t fancy running, or want a change of scenery one Saturday morning, your local parkrun relies on volunteers to be able to do what they do. As part of our takeover at Brighouse and the amazing number of volunteers we brought along, some of the core team were able to run the course for the first time since the event has started – so thank you from them for ensuring that parkrun continues week in, week out!