Basingstoke parkrun event #517, 13th January 2018; Run Report by Paul Johnston
Keep on (park)running!
Slate grey skies did not deter an impressive 572 people from taking part in parkrun this morning. A healthy number, which is often typical of early January, boosted by those who are following a New Year’s resolution to work off those Chrimbo pounds or just to get fitter. Often, people heed the advice almost given by The Spencer Davis Group (hint … see report title!) but sometimes those resolutions can fall by the wayside as people get despondent with a perceived lack of progress and a perception that it is better to stay snuggled under the duvet rather than enjoying the great outdoors.
However, parkrun, running, jogging, walking, or however people get around the War Memorial Park, has many more benefits than just getting faster or dispensing with the effects of the Christmas pudding. So, for those of you who are finding it difficult to find the motivation to carry on with your new year’s resolution (and for those more experienced runners who are in a ‘trough’ - hey, we all have times where we are not on top of our game, even Usain Bolt!!), here are some reasons for carrying on the great work you have started;-
1. You have done the hard graft - often the most difficult part of exercise is doing it for the first time and conquering the fears. Following that, many say that the hardest part is often just opening the door and getting out
2. It is good for your physical health - this is quite an obvious thing to say, but in addition to just losing pounds, parkrun can result in other physical benefits - build stronger bones, improve your heart, lower blood pressure, sleep better, visit the doctor less
3. It is good for your mental health - outdoor recreation is slowly becoming recognised more widely as an excellent opportunity to improve mental health. You can improve memory, see the sunny side of things and run stress away.
4. It's very social - one of parkrun’s greatest qualities is its inclusivity, camaraderie and friendliness. Just a perfect pick-up on a Saturday morning after a hard week at work. You can get to know people who you might not ordinarily strike up friendships with as whilst Lycra can't hide everything, it does mean that you can't tell high court judges from bus drivers or IT consultants from landscape architects. Also, there are a whole host of more social running clubs that exist, if you don't want to run solo.
5. Save cash - Forget fancy equipment or a pricey gym membership. When it comes to running, all you need is the right footwear (tip - last year's version of that expensive pair you have seen can often be found cheaper on the internet)
6. Get primal and learn about the great outdoors - Bruce Springsteen was right as baby, we were born to run. Parkrun is also a great way to experience the joys of the open, the changing seasons and the vast range of flowers and wildlife that we share parkrun with. At this time of year, there is nothing like the sight of the first snowdrops to remind you that the warmth of spring and longer days are just around the corner.
7. Do it any time - whilst parkrun only happens on a Saturday morning, getting out for a jog, walk or a run can be done at anytime that you fancy it and can be done instantly. No waiting for a class to start, just get the trainers on and open the door (see point 1!)
8. Support others - it's great to support others by volunteering at parkrun (volunteers get a nice running shirt after 25 stints) if you can't run, or fancy a break.
So, it doesn't really matter whether you are Mo Farah, Slo Farah, Paula Radcliffe or Crawler Radcliffe, there are a whole host of reasons for carrying on with parkrun (readjust those resolutions if you need to) all of which can apply whether you finish first or last.
Onto this week's event - of the 572 people who ran, jogged and walked the course, 45 were first timers and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. Matthew Lyness (18.27) and Alison James (21.04) were the first male and female to cross the line and representatives of 43 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 35 volunteers:
Caroline PARTNER • Avi GOVIND • Tommy MILLAR • Dave HOPE • Matthew BAILEY • Matt PILLINGER • Paul JOHNSTON • Brian WORTH • Jane CROFT • Frankie WELLINGS • Phil MERRY • Candy WONG • Mark NORRIS • Heath NICHOLSON • Nicola DALE • Hayley NOAKES • Mike STANFORD • Jack HEDDERLY • Lisa HEDDERLY • Jack OLDCORN • George HEDDERLY • Izzy RUTH • Andy FEAST • Richard VAN DER LEEDEN • Daniel HASTINGS • Kerry GASCOYNE • Sam GASCOYNE • Austen MAY • Kathryn YORK • Philip YORK • Robert BULLION • Michal BURSAK • Cabhan YORK • Duncan ROUNDING • Mike ATHROL