News - 2nd March 2018
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No sign of slowing down

JohnButcher1

John Butcher (A584768), known to his friends as “Butch”, is a member of Ware Joggers. John, who is 86 years young, is a keen runner, cyclist and mountain trekker, all of which he still actively participates in.

 

There is so much I could write about John, but let’s start with his remarkable parkrun story…

 

John started his parkrun journey at Gunpowder on 10 September 2013. At that time, Gunpowder was the closest parkrun to his home in Ware. John has since run 80 times at Gunpowder, but with Panshanger parkrun starting much closer to home, he switched his home parkrun and has run there 45 times.

 

John sadly lost his wife after a long illness on Christmas Day 2016. It was around that time that that he decided he needed a new challenge and set himself the task of obtaining 20 VM85 parkrun records at 20 different parkrun events. At that time he already held three: Gunpowder, Panshanger and Barclay, his three closest events. So, with 17 to go we started a little tourist group to support him on his quest.

 

Our first tour was to Roding Valley followed by Pymmes; five records down and 15 to go. Well, those records fell so quickly that by mid-2017 he had achieved those 20 records. John was not content and wanted to continue with the touring, next target 50 records! It was on 20 January 2018 that he that he ticked off record number 50 at Chelmsford Central parkrun. We continue to tour (and John continues to collect records) and at the time of writing has currently set 53 records, run at 53 venues, and he has run 184 parkruns in total.

 

But when does John volunteer I hear you ask? Well, you will find him at Cheshunt junior parkrun most Sunday mornings doing his bit for the wonderful parkrun community where he is much loved by all the children, parents and volunteers alike.

 

This is John’s record to-date:

 

1 Gunpowder 22/10/2016 00:31:23
2 Barclay 12/11/2016 00:35:50
3 Panshanger 10/12/2016 00:32:07
4 Roding Valley 14/01/2017 00:33:38
5 Pymmes 21/01/2017 00:33:36
6 Grovelands 04/02/2017 00:34:48
7 Walthamstow 18/02/2017 00:36:02
8 Ally Pally 25/02/2017 00:35:05
9 St Albans 04/03/2017 00:32:41
10 Finsbury 11/03/2017 00:33:10
11 Wanstead Flats 18/03/2017 00:34:22
12 Hackney Marshes 25/03/2017 00:31:37
13 Valentines 01/04/2017 00:34:51
14 Harlow 08/04/2017 00:34:30
15 Hampstead Heath 15/04/2017 00:35:58
16 Barking 22/04/2017 00:32:30
17 Stevenage 29/04/2017 00:36:54
18 Raphael 06/05/2017 00:34:16
19 Aldenham 20/05/2017 00:36:33
20 Harrow Lodge 27/05/2017 00:36:25
21 Oak Hill 03/06/2017 00:34:24
22 Highbury Fields 10/06/2017 00:35:24
23 Canons Park 17/06/2017 00:36:37
24 Gadebridge 24/06/2017 00:36:38
25 Bushy 01/07/2017 00:32:17
26 Gladstone 15/07/2017 00:35:49
27 Mile End 05/08/2017 00:33:28
28 Richmond Park 12/08/2017 00:36:46
29 Heartwood Forest 19/08/2017 00:35:48
30 Cassiobury 26/08/2017 00:33:20
31 Hatfield Forest 02/09/2017 00:34:55
32 Beckton 23/09/2017 00:33:14
33 Harrow 30/09/2017 00:33:21
34 Rickmansworth 07/10/2017 00:33:26
35 Northala Fields 14/10/2017 00:34:04
36 Ellenbrook Fields 28/10/2017 00:34:10
37 South Oxhey 04/11/2017 00:40:37
38 Wormwood Scrubs 11/11/2017 00:41:19
39 Castle Park 18/11/2017 00:33:25
40 Gunnersbury 25/11/2017 00:35:07
41 Osterley 02/12/2017 00:35:11
42 Westmill 09/12/2017 00:37:46
43 Burgess 16/12/2017 00:49:16
44 Southwark 23/12/2017 00:33:43
45 Bedfont Lakes 30/12/2017 00:40:45
46 Billericay 01/01/2018 00:36:10
47 Brentwood 01/01/2018 00:50:41
48 Crane Park 06/01/2018 00:35:00
49 Basildon 13/01/2018 00:36:15
50 Chelmsford Central 20/01/2018 00:34:23
51 Peckham Rye 27/01/2018 00:34:04
52 Luton Wardown 17/02/2018 00:35:19
53 Great Notley 24/02/2018 00:35:55

 

Our plan over the next few weeks is:

 

3 March: Fulham Palace parkrun
10 March: undecided
17 March: Old Deer Park parkrun

 

In John’s younger days he also set, and still holds, the VM80 record at both Gunpowder (28:40) and Barclay (36:11). So, 55 parkrun age category records set in total and no sign of John slowing down!

 

Ed: The first time somebody in the 85-89 age category crossed the finish line at parkrun was on 22 May 2010. Since then, 221 people in this age group have taken part, a total of 3,984 times, with an average finishing time of 48:12.

 

Click here to view John’s parkrun history.

 

Colin Naman (John’s friend and running buddy)
parkrunner A409489

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