So, Blackpool parkrun number 39 …
The one where I boldly went forth and became the Run Director! It all seemed such a good idea earlier in the week when the combined forces of holidays and work gave the opportunity to volunteer for the first time in a while. Knowing there are a limited number of people that are willing to fill the job I thought it wouldn’t hurt if there was another so I volunteered and the rest as they say is history.
Saturday the 11th dawned without copious amounts of water falling from the sky and there was even the sight of a bright round thing to be glimpsed too. The day was looking positive as I dragged the family to Stanley Park much earlier than they are accustomed and almost instantly managed a bit of delegation as they pulled the bin from the Sports Centre after being handed over by the bleary eyed staff. For me it was challenge number one of cycling round the park without a major incident involving a dog walker to check the course. Managed that one!
I arrived back to find more volunteers already arriving and setting off to sign the course and set up all the other little bits while I checked in and made any explanations needed for our wonderful volunteers as they arrived. That was followed by a bit of wandering round, greeting, answering questions and assisting runners as they started to arrive and gather for my main moment, the run brief. Now, we all know that the run brief is where the RD gets to stand at the front, do the welcomes, shout outs and relay the important messages. In my case I was privileged to also lead all the runners and volunteers assembled in a minutes silence to mark Armistice Day. It was a pleasure to share the moment with you all and to witness the spontaneous round of applause at the end. Not so sure about the crowd interaction that followed though. I asked “Has anyone come far?”. I’m still convinced the reply was Portsmouth even though people keep telling me it was Barrow! However, the main thing is, wherever our runners come from, they’re all welcome. Then came the walk to the start and getting ready to start my very first parkrun. My, weren’t some of you keen! I’ve not really seen the start from that angle before, it looks a bit different through the camera viewfinder but Saturday was an education. With all the concentration of a top racing driver the front row lined up, leaning forward a little with intense concentration. Not towards the first bend and who would get there first, but to the electronic gadgets on their wrists. Some even became vocal, suggesting we set off before the rear of the field were assembled, but I held firm and with a “Three, two, one, go!” accompanied by a cacophony of beeps from the wrist mounted technology, the run was underway.
Oddly that’s the point where being RD gets a bit boring as I just stood around watching others do what they’re so good at. I got to clap and cheer runners and generally kept out of the way. In reality it’s a good thing I didn’t have anything much to do as generally that means things are going to plan but it is a slightly odd sensation. What was good though was the opportunity to take in the finish funnel and the emotions of pride, frustration and achievement as you all crossed the line and began to analyse your run.
It was a pleasure to direct your run, to ensure that things ran smoothly and were in place for you to take part. To see your reactions, the support given to others, the smooth operation of the volunteers confident in their roles and the overall family atmosphere that is Blackpool parkrun.
Just so you’re aware, the next parkrun I can make I’m fully intending to be at the top of that hill with the camera!
In closing there are some statistics below about Blackpool parkrun number 39 but there’s one thing not there that I should have mentioned as a Dad and Run Director. Blackpool parkrun 39 was our son, Zachary’s 10th parkrun and he is now a member of the parkrun 10 club.
This week 165 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers and 43 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:
George KENNEDY • David BARON • Janet WILKINSON • Judith GREEN • Graham JONES • Daisy SEVILLE • Catherine FLETCHER • Lynn SHAW • Chris WADE • Julie CHAPMAN • David BARKER • Jenny SHEPHERD • Michael O'BRIEN • Paul WHITE • Alexander SHAW • Stephen DUNSTAN • Lesley SMITH • Melanie JONES • Russell JONES • Danielle GLOVER • Sarah NOBLET • Jamie WARD
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on theBlackpool parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Amelia BEAMAN who recorded a time of 18:39 on 8th April 2017 (event number 9).
The male record is held by Joseph MONK who recorded a time of 16:06 on 7th October 2017 (event number 34).
The Age Grade course record is held by Maureen LANEY who recorded 90.83% (21:59) on 11th March 2017 (event number 5).
Blackpool parkrun started on 4th February 2017. Since then 2,454 participants have completed 7,413 parkruns covering a total distance of 37,065 km, including 1,855 new Personal Bests.