I find that one of the most special and unexpected joys of parkrun is coming back to the same place week after week and seeing it change, almost imperceptibly sometimes, from season to season.
We're coming up to what Oprah Winfrey would term a 'full circle moment' here at Billericay parkrun, having now seen the seasons shift from summer, to autumn, to winter (still very much here 8 weeks ago!), to a quick spring, to fully fledged beautiful summer again.
And what a beautiful sight it was!
The sun brought out some brilliant performances, including for us as an event as it was our second highest attendance ever. Well done Billericay!
This week we welcomed 282 runners, joggers and walkers, beating our inaugural special event (257) but not quite reaching the 332 we saw on New Year's Day.
It was great to see each and every one of you
It's so rewarding for us to see the event going from strength to strength so massive thanks to everyone who's introduced us to their friends and families.
On that note, a big welcome to our brilliant 16 first timers - hopefully we'll be seeing you all back for many many more parkruns.
Standing by the finish line, I saw so many of you giving it your all, with a completely epic 71 of you achieving PBs - that's an incredible 25% of the field overall. Waheyyy.
Included in those 71 was one of our blind runners, Richard, who with guide Mark smashed his way to a milestone sub 30 finish in 29:28. Amazing work Richard.
Helping you to the PBs - and making the run possible in the first place - were our fantastic volunteers.
Behind the scenes of our run are a great many faces who help us week after week after week, or every so often, or for the first time ever, to keep our free run running free!
Speaking as someone who got into parkrun purely as a runner, and who is now somehow on a core team, there are few more rewarding ways to spend a Saturday morning than helping other runners achieve their best performance.
Email us at email@example.com if you want to help on a future week as we need volunteers for all of our next 5 runs.
This week we also had six wonderful pacers - Stephen Foggo, Simon Lashmar (who ran the marathon today!), Adam Havis, Emma De Cruz, Stephen Page and Michaela Molyneaux.
I know lots of you were thanking them as you crossed the line, it really makes a massive motivational difference to see your PB running in front of you in human form and to try to catch it!
Don't forget you can request a time (or volunteer as a pacer yourself) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, one of my favourite parts about being a run director at Billericay is the chance to enjoy this view.
I look out for it right after I start each run and really love seeing all the colourful shirts and people of all ages, shapes and sizes running and walking in a zig zag across the park.
Today I got a similarly inspiring view when I went to see the London Marathon and stood at the 23 mile mark to watch some of our regulars and my other friends who were participating. It was my first time ever being at a marathon and it was absolutely incredible to see all the emotions on the runners' faces and to stand there shouting their names.
A HUGE well done to all our London Marathoners this year, who tackled the extreme heat to make it to the end of the equivalent of 8.44 parkruns! Alexa Joel, Ruth Havis, Peter Tullett, Jeanie Hughes, Lauren Dadds, Samantha Leftwich, Simon Lashmar and Keith Walker - you are all total legends.
Congratulations also to our marathoners from Brighton last weekend: Sam Hill, Elaine Cory, Emma De Cruz, Lucy Hill, Henry James, Nerys Aylen, Ann Gibbs, Kevin Brushett and Melisa Brushett. It was great to see all your finisher tops out on the course this week - very well deserved!
And well done to Colin White and Anthony Moore who completed the Manchester Marathon the weekend before last too
I'm sure I've missed someone but wanted to give a shoutout to all I could - it's a lot of work all through the winter to get yourself into the kind of shape to run that distance, so hats off to all of you. Many of us, including me, hope to one day join you at that start line!
Next week, Michaela is your run director. See you then!
Please check our Volunteer Roster to see if you are able to help out at anytime, there are plenty of roles available to do and all are rewarding and great fun. If you want to volunteer, email us at email@example.com
As well as checking on this site regularly for the latest information and updates, don't forget you can also find us on Facebook.
Why not trade up your paper barcode to some of those snazzy plastic barcodes and wristbands? You can get them at the parkrun barcode website and never worry about soggy paper ones again! ICE details can also be printed on them as well.