This week’s run report

Bedford #363– 17th November 2018

We are now well into November and my New Years' resolution still stands – to try and write a run report for every different parkrun event I visit this year! After managing to bag Gedling and Colwick on a New Year's Day double the challenge was set.

Sometimes I am organised and e-mail in a request for this roster role in advance, but not all. Like today many have been pick the venue based on lack of Run Report Writer and hope the RD of the day says yes!

Run Report writing is my way of saying thank you to the parkruns I visit. As a regular when you come huffing and puffing past a marshal and are barely able to gasp a thank you, you can offer your thanks at another time. As a tourist traveling in an ever increasing circle out from my home parkrun in Coventry that isn't possible. To this end I try to catch all the marshals at the beginning in a photo – but for Bedford parkrun volunteers are busy with cones constructing a finish funnel and marking the course – so the best I could manage was a team setting up!

The café is another great place to say thanks after the run over a cup of tea and a cake or cooked breakfast but alas for the second week running the need to be back home early meant this parkrun joy was missed.

But at least with the report I can offer my thanks and that of the other 357 runners today to our team of #HiVizHeroes :Alex MUIRHEAD • Andy COLE • Beverley CLAYTON • Beverley GOUS • Clive DAVIS • Douglas MCPHAIL • Helene BOLTON • Ian WILLIAMS • Jane MOORE • Janet DICKINSON • Kate BARNARD • Lynn CHRISTISON • Matt PYECROFT • Michael HUNTER • Pj LIGHTNING • Simon COLE • Skye BOLTON • Stuart HOLMAN that made this run possible.

It is worth any tourist or new parkrunner noting that a little reading of a parkrun's website could solve a little panic and stress before the start. Using the tourist tool and its link to Google maps had myself and the family right at the start of parkrun. I know this as the 'START' marker on the ground indicated this but no one in HiViz, No White and Blue RD tabard, No parkrunners... We weren't that early... Had Bedford parkrun been cancelled and I failed to notice and our 1hr 20min drive had all been for nothing? Thankfully a kind dog walker pointed us towards the bandstand! As my daughter informed me straight after, 'It said that on the course description!' Thanks for letting me know Beth!

At the bandstand a small group of parkrunners were gathered chatting – those milestone T-shirts are really good for letting any newcomer know that you are in the right location. Talking of milestones Dominic CARTER ran his 100th parkrun so hopefully will soon be able to wear his black club t-shirt. Finley CLEVERLEY & Vittorio PACI both ran their 50th parkrun so will soon be able to claim their Red top. 5 runners managed their 10th parkrun; however only Olivier Gaillard's result will show the white t-shirt icon as he was the only junior amongst those ranks. Sorry Louise YEXLEY, Fran WADE, Michael PARELLO & Sam HUDSON for not getting this honour but hopefully the recognition in this week's report will keep you focused until you can get an icon on the results page after your name.

The joy of parkrun keeps spreading and this week 13 runners used their barcode for the first time so welcome to:- Dorota WASEWICZ, Rodolphe MARRELEC, Jenny KEENS, Peter COOKE, Bessy CIAMPI, Grace ALLEN, Richard HILL, Ellen HILL, Timotei DICONESCU, Maria MORENO, Matt WALI, Dan ASHLEY & Catherine HOWES. We all hope you enjoyed your first parkrun and look forward to you returning at Bedford or at any other parkrun around the world on a Saturday morning with your barcode.

The Bedford course page on the website promised, '... a flat and fast course which consists of an even and hard surface loop throughout the 5k route' Well I certainly agree that the surface was certainly excellent for running fast but I definitely noticed a cheeky little slope up towards the pavilion that you got to enjoy 3 times!

The great thing about parkrun is that it can be used in so many different ways; as a way to get fitter through walking or as part of a couch to 5km program, a social run, part of a longer run – the parkrun sandwich or the icing on the long run cake, a speed test – time trial or even a race whether for the first token or just against fellow runners. Normally no matter what I say to myself at the start I head off like a chubby gazelle chased down by a horde of hungry lions – hence the need to write the report as I am in no condition to gasp a thank you after 100m!

This week I promised my wife I would pace her round just under 30 minutes, a nice comfortable pace for me, pleasing discomfort for her. As the GPS watch beeps passed we were off and running, not quite at pace at first due to the mass of runners having to find their own space and get into their pace and stride. However very soon the wide paths allowed runners to widen their gait and run.

The park was a riot of colour with the red and orange hues of the leaves and the technicoloured range of shirts worn by parkunners spread themselves over the paths. At just over halfway round I was lapped by the first runner home, on a two and a half lap course running at 30minutes it was bound to happen! I would love to offer my congratulations but this week the first finisher is... UNKNOWN! Hopefully they weren't so happy at taking that first place they decided to keep the token as a souvenir – remember you only borrow the placing tokens for a short while. Or maybe it was worse and they forgot their barcode #DFYB. As runners parkrun only ask one thing of us a printed out barcode – no barcode, no result, no exception. However Bedford & County AC's Holly HODGSKINSON (JW15-17) remembered her barcode as she came in 35th place in a time of 21:00 exactly to take the honours as first female. Lynne HARRIS (VW65-69) finished in 76th place in 23:42 but with this week's highest age grading of 86.85 %. Great running.

As I started the final lap, my pacing was on point but my wife wasn't so slowly I started to run away from her... or maybe she decided to forget about me! Crossing the line, just under the 30 mins I promised to pace, I collected my token and turned to see her on the finishing straight, well her time will show 30.XX so nearly there. One great thing is that if you don't get the time you want this week or a PB you always have another chance next week.

As with parkruns around the world Bedford needs people to help each week to make it happen, there are lots of other roles so if you fancy giving scanning a go, being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please send an e-mail - Bedfordhelpers@parkrun.com You might even fancy writing a run report. All the roles are very rewarding and it is fun being part of the team. It also helps you work towards that other icon on your results an aubergine V25 icon!

Thank you to everyone at Bedford for this week's lovely parkrun.

Happy parkrunning.

Daniel Connolly

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