217 runners and walkers and 30 volunteers were at Cams Mill to do their thing yesterday and we probably all have a story to tell about why we were there or how we got on. When I walked in at 8.45, there was Rach busily organising the car park and Kaye, Teresa and Phil warming up in the style of Spotty Dog. If you’re aged 55 or over you can’t mistake Spotty Dog’s walk, so I stopped for a quick chat. Spotty was a character in The Woodentops, which was on BBC’s Watch with Mother every Friday in the 1950s and early 60s, and the rhythmic way in which his fore legs and hind legs moved simultaneously is easier to mimic than it is to describe. If I say so myself, I can do a mean Spotty Dog impression if asked. Or you can check him out on Youtube.
I cornered a few more people to get their take on what motivates them to run or volunteer and I got the usual enthusiastic and diverse responses. Trina and Nick were celebrating their third wedding anniversary, so Trina ran with a veil and buggy and Nick with a backpack and tie. My fellow OAP Ed, who is gradually shaking off the effects of an operation, completed his run without stopping for the first time since the op and I could sense how much satisfaction it gave him. Georgina was on barcode-scanning duty and told me she likes volunteering “because such lovely people run”. Cathy who was also barcode-scanning said she just likes to volunteer as a break from running some weeks. It’s a simple philosophy that helps to sustain parkrun.
I had coffee afterwards with Nat, who’s in the Navy. Nat’s often away or at sea, but always likes to do Fareham whenever she can because she likes its community atmosphere and can catch up with people she wouldn’t normally see in the week “for a good old natter”. And it helps her own fitness regime too. She’s also Assistant Manager of the Royal Navy ladies cricket team and several members of the squad sometimes turn out at Fareham parkrun as a way of improving their fitness and for a bit of team bonding. Next March they’re all going to Barbados on a cricket tour and Fareham parkrun will be part of their “No carbs before Barbs” fitness programme to get them all beach-ready. There’s talk of them doing parkrun in full cricket gear one week, including pads, as a charity fundraiser.
At the end of the run I also caught up with Hong Kang. She and I wouldn’t otherwise know each other but in recent weeks we’ve both noticed that we run at a similar pace, so we now look out for each other and offer mutual encouragement. I love that. I usually chat with Dave and Sue too. Like me, they’re both approaching their 100th parkrun but Dave is two ahead of Sue so he’ll do a bit of volunteering in the coming weeks to allow Sue to catch up, thus allowing them to do their 100th together – another way of helping to keep the volunteer roster healthy.
As a Fareham regular whose wearable tech doesn’t stretch beyond an £8-99 Casio watch, my rule-of-thumb is whether I can reach the pylons before the leaders pass me going in the opposite direction. Normally I don’t succeed, but this week I was a good 50 metres beyond the pylons before the leader went by, so I got quite excited and started to dream of ringing the PB bell. In the end it wasn’t to be, but what has really made me happy is that all my last six runs have been sub-28, which is a step-up from anything I’ve achieved before. I put it down to the warm-up techniques I learned from Run Verity recently, especially my “fast feet” routine which I now swear by. That’s another thing I love about Parkrun, it’s an endless learning curve.
23 people did achieve a PB today, which was a great achievement in the hot conditions, and there were 24 first-timers. If we get that many first-timers every week for a year, that would be around 1,250 new parkrunners annually at Fareham alone. Just think what that’s doing for the health and fitness of the nation. Since I started doing Fareham parkrun myself nearly two years ago, I’ve knocked over five minutes off my time and I just noticed that I’ve now reached 91,987th in the national rankings behind Mo Farah. He won’t be sleeping easily in his bed now.
A couple of last requests. If you happen to have gone home with finish tokens numbers 178 or 179, please could you let someone know or pop them back, as they went missing yesterday. And if anyone fancies helping out on the social media side of Fareham parkrun, could you let Andrew Smith know (just email him at email@example.com) as the admin team would love to get a bit of help with that side of things. Like everything else about parkrun, it will be fun as well as helping to keep the show on the road.
I thought I’d finish with some more stats, which is another aspect of parkrun that can give hours of joy to anoraks like me. Of the 206 participants whose barcodes were scanned at the end of yesterday’s run, there were 111 males and 95 females and 17 juniors, 44 seniors and 145 veterans (including 12 OAPs). Every age group was represented from Under 10 to 70-74, with the largest representation being ladies in the 40-44 group. The smallest groups were 70-74 and, interestingly, 15-19, both with three runners each. What I find intriguing about that is whether the low number of 15-19s is statistically significant and, if so, why? Now that could be a fascinating research project.
Event number 122
14th July 2018
This week 217 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers and 23 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:
Julie SALT • Margaret MCGILP • Angus MCGILP • Slavena JENSEN • Kathy O'LOUGHLIN • Ian WRIGHT • Mike SHAW • Carol WRIGHT • Melissa BARHAM • Kelly CREEK • Jessica CREEK • Cathy GLENDINNING • Brendan TUTTIETT • Ann MCCARTNEY • Nicolas MCCARTNEY • Andrew TULL • Rachael HUGHES • Louise STEWART • Vickie BARBER • Alan BULLOCK • Georgina HUTBER • David MORRIS • Michael MOODY • Phil BRIEN • Philip SWAN • Trudy BISHOP • Luke THOMPSON • Matt BULL • Mary BRIER • Kay WALKER
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Fareham parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Lachlan WELLINGTON who recorded a time of 15:47 on 31st December 2016 (event number 40).
The female record is held by Jen ELKINS who recorded a time of 17:31 on 29th April 2017 (event number 58).
The Age Grade course record is held by Penny FORSE who recorded 95.49% (22:34) on 15th July 2017 (event number 69).
Fareham parkrun started on 9th April 2016. Since then 4,260 participants have completed 23,069 parkruns covering a total distance of 115,345 km, including 4,759 new Personal Bests.