By Megan Rowe
Saturday 8th July marked the 199th Fulham Palace parkrun
This week I found myself volunteering to be parkrun report writer as well as barcode scanner following the appeal posted on Strava by Fulham Palace parkrun! Strava advertisement?! How ingenious! I didn’t even realise this was possible and it's great that Strava has the functionality to allow these types of posts as they go direct to the right audience – runners!
I LOVE Strava – amongst my housemates and friends Strava has now replaced Facebook and Instagram. If I want to know who’s up to what I have a little scroll through my Strava thread! You can make your own groups on the app and see all sorts of stats on there; such as who’s run the furthest, who’s clocked up the most elevation and, if you really must, post topics for your friends to chat about. A virtual running club at your finger tips!
But it's not all good news. Toward the end of last year I became so competitive trying to clock up the most number of miles in a multitude of groups, I ended up enduring a stress fracture. Like many runners I learned the hard way the importance of remembering quality over quantity people!
Opening my Strava account and seeing what all the running my friends were getting up to whilst I hobbled around catching public transport to work made me so green with envy that I had to delete the app from my phone! I couldn’t run for almost 6 months, and not only had I lost the speed I had worked so hard to improve, I have also lost my running mojo.
However…..what better way to drag my running bug out of hibernation than to witness all the parkrunners on Saturday out and about, with the beautiful sun shinning through the thick leafy green trees in Bishops park.
Being barcode scanner meant my duties didn’t start until the runners crossed the finish line! This left me with plenty of time to take some cheeky snaps of the variety of runners we had this week. I am always a little filled with emotion when I spot the first few females among the leading pack. Furthermore I used the spectating opportunity to look at the different running styles of the fast runners I otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance on earth of getting anywhere near as close to had I been participating.
The running community is so diverse because ANYONE can run and, ike most running events nowadays, anyone can participate. Yet, unlike most running events, parkrun is NOT a race, giving everyone the opportunity to participate in an event and not worry about speed, position or entry fees. Oh goodness even writing this has my running mojo running wild.
Scroll through the pictures below to see some of the diversity at this week’s Fulham Palace parkrun for yourself.
Xabier Tijero held the lead the whole way through the three-lap course.
This is a tight turn for the runners. Do I spot the leading female in this crowd?
Louise Simpson is registered blind, but that doesn’t stop her ability to run. In fact this was her 210th parkrun and her second visit to Fulham having debuted with us some 3 years before in 2014. Here she is being guided by Annabel Crichton, one of our regular volunteers in the parkrun community.
Louise isn’t the only person clocking up some impressive numbers; Andrew Davies finished 12th today running his 284th parkrun.
Roger Wallace, Louise's partner, is also visually impaired and had the pleasure of being guided by Alex Vallmajor; they opted to hold a very technically advance….strip of material (yes)…to stay attached (or tethered).
Pack leaders still going strong.
Meanwhile back at the bag drop, Craig was forced to retire from the run due to a lack of sensible attire. You may all be familiar with parkrun's no-barcode no-time policy but there’s the lesser-known 'no-clothing no-run' rule that we had to remind Craig of!
Thankfully he was spared any further blushes when he was reunited with his betrothed Becky and her Hens joining us today from Wales. Best wishes Becky and Craig for your imminent nuptials.
Xaiber finishing strong in 16:33 running for the first time at Fulham, whilst white t-shirt man looks on in disbelief with a whole lap still to go!
You can see just how much Stuart Farmer pushed himself to get a very respectable 2nd place in a time of 16:58. Birthday Boy Stuart MacDougall running 17:00 dead finishing third, lending a helping hand to get him through the funnel in one piece before popping on a high-vis jacket and commencing barcode scanning duties.
First female to cross the finish line was Natalia Gomez with an incredible time of 17:46. This was her first ever parkrun – definitely one to watch out for on the parkrun scene.
Here we have the Jenkins family plus Daniela’s sleep over buddy who could only stay over on the premise that she would go to parkrun in the morning – brilliant! Considering she came and ran I think you’ve found a keeper Daniela!
It's not only the runners that are full of diversity – the volunteers come in all shapes and sizes too!
Dogs are welcome to run at parkrun providing they are kept on a lead. This little one was on a rest day though keeping guard of the Fulham Palace parkrun mascot…..or perhaps he was more protective of the post run treats he spotted!
Well done to Milestone Club achievers Richard Hinson and Lianne Shing who ran their 50th parkruns with us today.
We also welcomed Alex Rees who moved into double figures today with his 10th parkrun. Congratulations all, I have it on good authority that we have a new stock of tshirts which you'll be able to order soon.
Finally thank you to our today's 28 heroes in high vis:
Alex JEFFREYS • Alex MACKULA • Alex VALLMAJOR • Amelia REES • Annabel CRICHTON • Anne MCCARVILLE • Blair LAIRD • Catherine LAM • Christopher COOPER • Claire O'BRIEN • Dawn PAYNE • Edward CATMUR • Edward O'BRIEN • Emily SLADE • Jason CHEUNG • Jennie FARMER • Laure SELLE • Man-Yee LAM • Margie SLADE • Mark O'CALLAGHAN • Martin MILWARD • Megan ROWE • Ollie PITMAN • Richard John POWELL • Rona FAIRS • Sarah TAYLOR • Stuart MACDOUGALL • Vanessa ATTIE
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Fulham Palace parkrun Results Page.
******* COMING UP******COMING UP******COMING UP******COMING UP*******COMING UP*****
Our next paced event is on July 15, where even numbered pacers will be the order of the day. Our junior parkrunners will be leading the way.
We'll be having our inaugural Junior Takeover also on July 15 - please encourage your under 18 year olds to get involved with this exciting volunteering venture. This is also our 200th event - cakes and goodies to share are most welcome!
The Prudential Ride London event is on Sunday July 30. For our third year we'll be recruiting volunteers to help marshal a crossing point in Fulham/Parsons Green. Please email email@example.com if you'd like to join us.
Have you seen our latest collection of photos? Do you have any to add? Take a gander here... https://www.flickr.com/groups/fulhampalace-parkrun/ You can like our Facebook page via www.facebook.com/fulhampalaceparkrun AND follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/FPparkrun
For those of you on Strava, you can join the Fulham Palace parkrun group via https://www.strava.com/clubs/fulhampalaceparkrun. You can also link your Strava profile to your parkrun one by clicking on the 'manage my profile' link in your weekly parkrun results email.
Photo contributions from Megan Rowe, Martin Milward and Richard Powell.