50 years on from the day England made history by winning the World Cup at Wembley a man who was aged 30 at that time added his own piece of parkrun folklore when he became only the fourth runner to complete 500 parkruns. John Hanscomb celebrated his 81st birthday on Wednesday, 3 August still basking in the glory of his phenomenal achievement a few days earlier at Bushy parkrun.
John Hanscomb started parkrun in 2005 but his running history goes way back to the early 1950s. In 1953 he ran 18min10sec in the Polytechnic Harriers 3-Mile Novice Road Run in Regent’s Park and he was an ever present at London Marathon, running the first 28 events from 1981 to 2008.
Of his 500 runs, 496 have been at Bushy plus two each at Brighton & Hove and Nonsuch parkruns. His name is carried on the John Hanscomb Trophy, presented annually to the winner of the men’s competition at his home event. As parkrun’s founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt said: "This trophy stands for everything John represents - commitment, passion, and a love of parkrun."
Amazingly, John still works five days a week and trains each lunchtime around Hyde Park before starting his weekend with a parkrun. In his own words: “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would reach 500 parkruns. And celebrating that milestone on the week of my 81st birthday alongside 156,000 other people running, jogging, walking and volunteering at parkruns around the globe at the same time, just goes to show what a phenomenon it has become since those early days”.
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To read more about John’s fantastic achievement click here