This week's run report is brought to you by tourist Daniel Connolly!
For the first parkrun of 2018 we were joined by seven shiny new people to the parkrun family, maybe as a start of a New Year's Resolution, part of training for a bigger event in 2018 or maybe talked into it by another parkrunner as Big Ben chimed. For whatever reason you turned up today hope you had a great time and once you get that text alert of your result and start racking up those T-shirt points, meeting and chatting to others before, during and after your run it's what your Saturday mornings will be all about from now on. So a huge welcome to: Thea DAYKIN, Jodie GRAHAM, Najat KHALIFA, Frances HOFFMAN, Roger BATTEN, James CASH and Steven DAYKIN.
For two days a year, parkrun HQ gives parkruns the chance to put on additional runs to the normal Saturday fun. So depending on park availability and very importantly VOLUNTEERS willing to give up a little time with their family to help out, Christmas Day and New Year's Day see extra parkruns. Flexibility is given to vary the start time to allow these extra runs to take place. New Years Day offers another special... The one chance in the UK to register two parkruns on one day, this does depend on lots of factors – start time and travelling distance being the main ones.
This event is so special and important to parkrunners that people create websites that list all the possible doubles – that when estimated run and travel times are factored in leave you with a number of options.
Most people pick their local runs, however being one of those rather fanatical parkrun tourist the joy for me was finding two new parkruns to run to add to my tally of different events- even better if they are in the East Midlands as I would like to complete another region and for my daughter starting with a G – as she has set herself the challenge of completing the UK Alphabet of parkruns!
So it was back in November, studying the 2017 list Gedling was top of our doubles with part 2 being at Colwick. The stars aligned and start times sorted and our preferred option was on for 2018! Tourism can often be affected by travel, but on New Years Day, fairly empty major roads made the drive north a delight, but as it wasn't Saturday Tony Blackburn's Sound of the Sixties wasn't the soundtrack to accompany the snoring of my passengers on the drive! The clear roads and a perfect postcode for the parking meant an early arrival in a near-empty carpark. However, 361 other runners and marshals meant that by the start the carpark was heaving! In fact, the total of 365 runners smashed the previous record set last New Years Day of only 205, and is nearly 3 times larger than the normal weekly turn out. Well done to the hi-vis heroes as until looking at the stats I had no idea that this was so much higher than your usual figure as you managed it brilliantly.
After leaving my parkrun picture frame (after capturing the volunteer team in a group picture) at the finish for any others to use and post run bag I wandered back to the start passed a very exciting looking playground – which although I was tempted to climb on or slide down each time I passed I didn't really have the time!
After a rather busy New Runners / Tourist briefing – well there were 120 First Timers to Gedling today! – and the main runners briefing the run started almost perfectly promptly at 9am to a chorus of GPS watch beeps... It had to start on time as I imagine a few others in the assembled mass of runners also needed to travel to Colwick!
The course offered some lovely views of the surrounding area, this was due to a few decent slopes – in fact, I would even call them hills! However, what goes up must come down so there were some lovely sweeping downhills to enjoy and get your breath back which you certainly needed for the short sharp final undulation. Despite the recent rain, the surface of the parkrun was perfect for road shoes.
Having never run Gedling before, I had no time expectations so I could happily take it a little easier as I knew I had another run to do an hour later. However, 33 people did manage a PB! I wonder how many are regulars or who are irregulars and only do Gedling on NYD or as a bit of tourism? Either way, it doesn't matter as you all deserve a huge WELL DONE. I hope you all enjoyed seeing PB in your results text. On his yearly trip to Gedling (well he has run at Gedling in 2016 & 2017) Redhill Road Runners' Leigh STUBBS (VM35-39) maintained his perfect record of being first finisher each time he has run here in a time of 17:16. On her first visit to Gedling, Lizzy L (VW35-39) finished as first lady home in 16th position in a time of 20:45.
Whenever I am organised on my parkrun tourism trip I check the volunteer roster to check for a role I like to try and do - Report Writer. I do this for two reasons, one is to keep a record of my travels and the other is to offer thanks to the marshals who make these events possible. I try an offer thanks as I run but the hills made that a challenge and normally I hang around at the end or run a lap in reverse to thank the marshals who have stood out there cheering us all on and keeping us safe no matter what the weather, but today after gathering my family we had to race off. So a huge THANK YOU to :- Jan BAUDER, Abigail CAST, Georgiana CROSSLAND, Jacob CROSSLAND, Ben JOHNSON, Vin LACEY, Catherine MCKEE, Tamsin MILLNS, Harvey NEAL, Michael QUALTROUGH, Sarah REEP, Evie SMALLEY, Henry SMALLEY, Helen SMALLEY, Liz SPINKS, Ian SULLIVAN, George SULLIVAN, Lyndsey WRIGHT who made this event possible. As with parkruns around the world if you fancy giving scanning a go, fancy being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please look on the roster and e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org As with many other runners today there was no heading to the café for a chat and post run analysis of this week's parkrun but the gathering of the rest of my clan and bundling them into the car to drive the 5 miles to our next parkrun adventure.
Thanks Daniel, great report! Now, a few words from me...
Thank you so much to all our amazing volunteers who coped so well with 365 runners! A special thank you to Sarah who joined us from Burnham & Highbridge parkrun to help with the funnel. I forgot to mention to Sarah that Burnham & Highbridge is our sister, like us, they were born on the 20th June 2015! Thanks also to Ben Johnson for taking some awesome photos, you can check them out on our Flickr group.
The high numbers meant parking was a little more challenging than usual, thanks to everyone who parked responsibly. If you park on a residential street please remember to park responsibly, and under no circumstances should cars be left on Spring Lane. Our thanks must also go to GBC for providing portaloos as our usual toilets in the cafe were closed. Thanks to everyone who used them.
New Years Day parkrun is always very special for me. For a good few years, the east side of Nottingham had a fantastic community in Colwick parkrun. When Gedling started, some stayed, some moved over to the hills, new communities were formed, new friendships created, then when Bestwood Village came along it happened all over again. New Years Day felt like these three parkrun communities blended as one. Because after all, we are one big #parkrunfamily.
All the best for 2018.