High turnout as director departs Highbury Fields parkrun

17:31 25 June 2014

Jonathan Patel (left), the departing Highbury Fields parkurn event director, and race organiser John Conroy

Jonathan Patel (left), the departing Highbury Fields parkurn event director, and race organiser John Conroy


Runners at Highbury Fields waved goodbye to event director Jonathan Patel on Saturday at his final parkrun before moving to Italy.

Patel, who started running at Highbury Fields in July 2012 and became a key member of the event’s organising team the following year, received a selection of running-related gifts from friends and colleagues.

In all, 128 runners gathered at the start line for Patel’s swansong, with 22 first-timers including Christopher Hatton Primary School teacher David Benham, who recently coached first-year students in their 5k debuts.

Rob Smyth (17:32) was the first runner to cross the line – his fifth win in 13 appearance – while ninth-placed Anna Clarke-Janssen (19:08) was the fastest woman.

In all, 18 runners recorded personal best times, among them veteran Stephen Hey, who was making his 75th parkrun appearance.

Saturday’s event was organised with the help of volunteers Ben Clarke-Janssen, John Conroy, Peter Holmes, Jonathan Litchfield, Andrew McGeary, Danny Olive, Jessica Vinluan and Rob Walker.

Anyone who would like to help out at future events can get in touch with the organisers at

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