Ross Gollan and Naomi Mitchell ran the fastest parkrun times in the UK this weekend (22nd April).
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It might be the London Marathon tomorrow but there were still plenty of people out there going fast at parkrun.
The quickest female athlete was actually an accomplished marathoner too with Naomi Mitchell running 16:39. The 2:30:54 athlete, who runs for Reading AC, bounced back straight away from a win at Manchester last weekend in 2:31:27 so not far off her best. She is clearly flying at the moment!
The quickest chap was Ross Gollan, a mountain runner who has some serious leg speed too. With 14:47 at Alness parkrun it is a big parkrun best and the first time under 15 minutes for five kilometres, as Gollan’s road 5k PB is still 15:07. We can’t see that lasting too long. The Scot had a breakout year in 2022, running for GB&NI at the Amazing Thailand World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2021 (yes, we know it was in 2022) and this year follows it up with a 9th at the Lindsays Scottish National Championships.
The best of the rest?
Philippa Stone is no parkrun stranger and was another female athlete under 17 minutes this week. Up at Albert parkrun in Middlesbrough it was 16:49 for the Middlesbrough AC athlete. It’s a wee way off her parkrun best of 16:24, but 2023 has already has a second at Northern XC Champs and a 3k PB at Armagh International. It was a first 3k road race, but got to celebrate every PB!
There was one other male runner under 15 minutes and that was Jack Pickett of Wolverhampton and Bilston AC. 14:56 at Walsall Arboretum, the parkrun that is the only reason I know how to spell arboretum, was good enough for second in the rankings this week. The U23 is fresh from a 2:30:12 marathoner for second place in the Great Welsh marathon at the start of April so he’ll be delighted with the speed in the pins.
Third male and female were Jack Heathwood and Natasha Philipps respectively. Heathwood stopped the clock at 15:08 at Linwood parkrun and Philipps ran 17:18 at Forfar Loch parkrun. Using my rudimentary detective skills I can tell both of these events are up in Bonnie Scotland, with Loch giving away one of them and the club of Heathwood the other.
The fastest course?
It was nearly a record for the amount of times Arboretum has featured in an article, and it still might be, but two runners there were pipped at the line by Adam Milberry coming in at tenth spot to bring the Dulwich parkrun tally to three for this week. What is an arboretum, we hear you ask? An arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to trees.