Voluntouring to Bushy Park for run #743, sun, deer and police cars
Exams finished, school left, silver DofE volunteering commitments completed, and what better way to celebrate than hopping in a car early in the morning to visit the home of parkrun. This one has been in the planning for a few weeks and the beautiful weather made the 0545 wake up call a little easier. Meeting and setting off for Bushy from Queen Elizabeth Country Park’s car park, we aimed for Bushy Park.
We arrived by luck at the Diana Fountain and found the closest car park. As our car of three included two volunteers and two parkrunners we were a little more nervous of finding the correct starting area and milled around with a lot of other people equally unsure. The only park occupants who seemed completely at ease were the deer who were examining then trimming low hanging branches for leaves. For those reading and equally worried about finding the start, there’s a zone/corridor between the car park and the loos. The start happens in that area and the volunteers congregated and signed at the edge of the car park. On a positive note, we talked to visitors from Glasgow and Brighton among other places while waiting.
From the parkrunner perspective
The format for parkrunners is reassuringly similar. First Timer’s brief then a difficult to hear Run Director’s brief. Off we set around the butterfly shaped course, hugging the shade where possible and looking longingly at the ponds where the four legged parkrunners were having quick power-dips. It’s warm running and unless in training for a very hot run somewhere, PB chasing seems a little excessive, well it was until we saw the first police car crossing the park. That’s not a usual sight for us and there was some speeding up and examination of conscience! Finally we saw the funnel and crossed the line. After having an increase in our funnel activity at our previous home parkrun a year or so ago, we’d looked at how Bushy managed the funnel on YouTube. It was great to see it in action. Scanned and cooling down, we waited for the last few runners before heading off to breakfast.
From the voluntourist perspective
It was an equally familiar set up to many parkruns but it’s always nerve-wracking to arrive to volunteer and not know quite where to go. As a barcode scanner I had a slightly different coloured jacket and met my other scanners in an area separate to the other volunteers. It looked as if all the scanners were under 18 which was fun. This sometimes happens at my home run too when I volunteer to barcode scan, but then I’m usually 100% of the scanners as we normally only have one. We had a special brief after the parkrunners had started and stood under a big shady tree to wait our first customers. It was very busy for a period and there were lots of sweaty parkrunners with tags on shoes – much more than we get at our often very muddy run at home. As the numbers dropped I was asked to go and scan on the finish line for the last few parkrunners. Tail walker in, scanner handed over and time for a yummy breakfast!
Even though it was very hot, there were 37 people who ran, jogged or walked their first ever parkrun today. Well done! It will get cooler in time. They were part of an amazing 185 who were running their first ever parkrun at Bushy. Of the 1,194 who ran, 73 recorded new PBs which is awesome in this heat. Michelle DILLON should be awarded something long and cool after being the top scorer in the age grade, with an amazing 89.32% even though that wasn’t even a PB.
Four people joined the 50 club, Daniel EARP, Iain MACNAUGHTON, Mary BUXTON and Megan KLASS and one person joined the 100 club, Kevin HARVELL. Your consistency is rewarded and may your tshirt links go live quickly. Do check on your parkrun profile as my email hasn’t yet arrived but my link was live.
In the unofficial clubs, Jon BARKS (99 runs) should award himself a soft ice cream for a flake after this morning’s run, Graham MORTIMER and Maurice SHARP completed their 150th runs. There were balloons for at least one of the and four people who completed their 200th runs, Paul IRWIN, Edward BUXTON, Hannah SIMPSON and Michelle COMFORT – splendid.
The event was made possible by 46 totally amazing volunteers who organised, clapped, cheered, stood in the sun and made sure we didn’t take our finish tokens away:
Sheila FERGUSSON, Simon GREENHILL, Tracey LENTHALL, Carmen PALMER, Janice FRANKS, Ray FRANKS, Samantha HANLEY, Malcolm J TAYLOR, Lucy THATCHER, Emma WINGATE, Trevor HUGGINS, Colin LEA, Stuart AMORY, Ethan MULLEN, Daphne BOYLE, Diane MULLEN, Susan HOWARTH, Sarah Jane TODD, Margaret LE FRANC, Courtney LE FRANC, Lucy KATESMARK, Lorraine DILLAMORE, Katy FURBER, Peter David THOMPSON, Andrew RONKSLEY, Emily May STAIN, Margot COOPER, India BENJAMIN, Emilie HOWES, Libby COOPER, Wendy STOKES, Pippa WHITE, Danny GLEBOCKI, Harriet WHITE, Robby HEDGES, Nicole RIEHL, Sarah KEENAN, Annabelle SANDER, Evie HINDE, Lucas RICHARDSON, Ben THERON, Darrell NEWMAN, Benjamin ABLETT, Cassius WHITE, Jemma TOTTY and Henry RIDGLEY
Bushy parkrun always need volunteers, so if you fancy a go at any of the many and varied roles, just drop an e-mail to Pat McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll sort you out.
It was interesting to come to a very busy parkrun and have a joyful run in the sun with new friends, thank you for having us.
Pippa & Harriet White
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