The second parkrun in January should've been a pretty sedate affair (okay, the third if you include New Years Day), but as it turns out it was a pretty damn special event!
This is for numerous reasons, I shall explain.....
207 of you joined us on the hills.. Yes, 207, just think about that for a moment. Back when we started there was an average of 81 runners (for 2015) and our "statistical average" remains at 125.9 runners per week, so 207 is a pretty high number for a mid January run.
We had a massive number of 28 volunteers on the roster this week, yes, 28. For the event to go ahead safely, we need a minimum of 12 hi-vis heroes to join us. So why so many people with the yellow vests on I hear you ask?!? Read on...
When we kicked off Gedling parkrun 3 and a half years ago, there were 4 people on the "core team", 4 people who would put their name down for run director duties and be shouty to the big crowd of people.
Now we have 14 (an ever increasing number), people like you, who will run direct, co-ordinate the volunteers and sort the social media stuff out.
The event itself is the strongest it has ever been in the 3 and a half years it's been going, and it is the right time for me to step aside and let someone else have a go at being the Event Director. For some this may be a surprise, but we've been talking about this for a while now (ever since the Christmas team curry night anyway!). It is healthy for the event to have a change of ED after a few years, a bit like having a change of chairman, a different point of view and a different way of doing things will be healthy for the event long term.
About 4 years ago, Helen Hood approached me at the finish line at Colwick, and said "there's a new parkrun starting near you, do you want to help out at it??", what I didn't realise was that it meant "you're the new Event Director, good luck!". Thank you Helen for bringing me into the parkrun family. Thank you to our amazing team of volunteers who make the event happen week after week, and thank you to the runners who bring their love (and sometimes cake) to the hills each week.
So this was the day for handing over the reins to Neil Gregory, since Neil first came to Gedling on 16th Jan 2016, he's been part of the regular runners, and before long a regular volunteer, and also getting his children to don the hi-vis on occasion (ok they were doing their DofE!!). Please give him as much love and support as you've given me over the past three and a half years.
Please don't worry! I'm not leaving the country, or leaving the area, I'm still going to be here to receive those sweaty hugs!
Enough about being sentimental, what about the run I hear you ask!
In the hi-vis we had Kel and Neil timing, Tamsin and Alison on the funnel. Nikki and Jenny on the scanners, ably assisted by Lily, Carys, Harvey and Adam. Marshalling was Denise at marshal point 1, June and Anysha at point 2, George and Nickesh at point 3 (the cobra) and Will and Rob at point 4, the zig zags. Bringing up the rear as your tail walkers was Helen, Michele, Jacob and Charlie. Big thanks also to Emma for keeping the finish area in order. Pacing you around was David doing his comfortable 25 minutes, Cath doing 28 mins and Ruth doing 30 mins (despite being a bit poorly).
207 runners, of which 8 were absolutely brand new to the world of parkrun, thank you for choosing Gedling for your first! There were another 19 who'd done parkrun before but were on the hills for the first time.
Big thanks to Sarah for welcoming our first timers and tourists with her thoroughly thorough first timers brief!
Nickesh stole the megaphone from me and did a bit of a speech about how far we've come in the past 4 years and now Neil is taking up the helm. Ok it was only just 9:00 and I shed my first tear of the day....
So first across the line was Ian Hales in 18:51, second was an unknown runner and third was Stuart Crowder in 20:14.
For the ladies it was Carolyn Hay in 20:46 followed by Katie Hicken in 23:09 and then Jo Massey in 23:12.
Congratulations to Ian Clarke who joined the 250 club and was also doing his 100th run at Gedling.
Well done to Nick Tennant who ran his 50th, and to Gerran Windibank who's run his 10th parkrun at 10 different events and now qualifies for his junior 10 milestone t-shirt.
Congratulations also to Sarah who was doing her 200th volunteer day
There were a good handful of forgotten barcodes, please remember that if you want a time, you have to bring your barcode with you to be scanned. We cannot accept pictures on phones or add you in because you dropped your barcode half way round. No barcode, no time, no exceptions.
Some people are taking part in "Run Every Day January" this month, whether it be purely for personal fitness or to raise money for a worthy cause. It's hard enough running every day, so spare an extra round of applause for Stuart Crowder who is running 10k every day in January to raise funds for the Muscle Help Foundation.
Back at the Willowbrook, it was time for breakfast and results processing, thanks to our fantastic timers and scanners, it was all processed before the breakfast arrived, so we celebrated in the typical Gedling fashion.... with a pint!
And the fun didn't stop there, oh no! As I was planning on doing some work on my car in the afternoon, some others had different plans.
Our new Event Director Neil did a speech, (which made me shed a tear again) and presented me with some gifts as part of my parkrun journey. I had a #teamgedling t-shirt, a water bottle for Lucy the dog (Miss Gedling), a tankard, a framed stopwatch, a massive framed collage of photos depicting my parkrunning life, and a voucher for a brewery tour at Castle Rock for that afternoon.
I wasn't going on my own either, I was joined by Jo, Neil, Rachel, Tamsin, Richard, Emma, Jenny, Emma, Helen and Nickesh. After the tour we were allowed to pour ourselves some beer.
Just look at how much Tamsin is enjoying herself!
What a day, thank you so much. If reading the above isn't enough to make you want to join us for a bit of volunteering, I don't know what is!