OCTOGENARIANS UNITED – Age really is just a number

1956 and 1960 Olympic steeplechaser, Eric Shirley, now aged 88, was one of fifteen runners, all aged over 80, who went to Bushy Park Parkrun to celebrate their youthfulness on Saturday 1st July.
The event was the creation of George Frogley who put the idea to Richard Pitcairn-Knowles and they decided that the inaugural 80+ get together should be at Bushy Park, the birthplace of Parkrun in 2004. Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder and father of Parkrun, was there to see the fun. And fun it was! Celebrations continued for a good while after the event. Cup-cakes and sparkling wine went down well and all agreed that they look forward to another similar event in the not too distant future.
In perfect dry warm and windless, weather the fifteen octogenarians mixed it with 1081 younger runners over the five kilometre course, and the age graded 80-84 and 85-90 scores ranked high, the best, at 82%, going to Eric Shirley who finished 7th M80 in 33:14.
First of the over eighties was Tom Everitt in 28:29, just seven seconds short of the course M80 best time and with an age graded score of 77.7%. John Butcher in 859th place overall and 6th octogenarian, set a new M85 course age best time of 32:17 with an age graded 75.3%., taking 42 seconds off Eric Shirley’s record set in January 2015. The only W80+ finisher was Bushy regular eighty-five years young Madge Bradwell in 46:13 with 66.3%.
The other 80+ results are: 2 Joe Cleverly 30:47 76.3%; 3 Ron Denney 30:53 69.8%; 4 Alan Anderson 31:00 71.5%; 5 Richard Pitcairn-Knowles 31:24 74.8%; 8 Maurice Francis 33:18 63.1%; 9 Albert Yee 36:13 67%; 10 Wally Garrod 37:12 56.4%; 11 David Jorden 43:20 51%; 12 Francis Lee 43:51 54%; 14 George Frogley 49:36 44.7%; 15 John Hanscomb 51:17 42%
Richard Pitcairn-Knowles