Guest Run Report – Ben Smithers

Event number 343

12th January 2019

Photos to follow [ED]

 

Before we get into this report please allow me to preface with the fact that the journey to Graves was certainly an eye opener. We all know the joys of using GPS and when we think we know the route that we are going to be taking and yet somehow the magic google lady ends up taking us up and over the Snake Pass! I genuinely was not expecting that but it certainly highlighted to me what a beautiful part of the world we were heading to over in Yorkshire!

The reason we were taking the trip all the way from Preston to this lovely parkrun was as part of the “Staying Alive challenge” which for the uninitiated is the task of completing three parkrun's beginning with a B and three beginning with a G. Who knows maybe our 38 first timers from this week might decide to venture out and try to complete this (or even some of the other challenges!) but even if not you have cracking parkrun right here at Graves park! While we’re on the subject of first timers please allow me to say a MASSIVE welcome to the parkrun family, trust me stick with it and it will change your life VERY much for the better.

 

[Picture 1 - Run Brief]

Although not a first timer to parkrun it was my first time at Graves parkrun so as is tradition we gathered round for the first timers briefing with Martin who explained the course to us. Already my partner in crime had been told that we might not quite be in the right place for a PB course but after all  parkrun isn’t about times! It’s all about getting out there and enjoying a run/jog/walk with likeminded people around the absolute gems of parks which are dotted all over the country (of which Graves is definitely one!) With the course explained and everyone knowing what to do at the finish line (TOKEN + BARCODE = FINISH TIME) we were off to the full run briefing.

Roger, our run director, had the usual safety notices to announce but first there were some milestones to celebrate. A HUGE congratulations to Judith Alabaster and Ruth Mack who were both completing their 100th parkrun on Saturday morning. Look after those 100 t-shirts ladies! It’s another 150 parkrun's until you get your next one! For the first time ever I was also made to feel somewhat of a celebrity being pulled up alongside Roger as a touring run reporter so thank you very for that! However each and every volunteer at any parkrun is a 1000% star and deserves your adulation, this week those hi-viz heros were...

Paul HIGGINBOTTOM • Roger WALTERS • Magdalena BOO • Janet CHAPMAN • Rowena YATES • Helen YOUNG • Tony BELL • Jo ECCLES • Paul CHAPMAN • Everything's Run GREEN • Tom VALENTINE • Catherine NEEDHAM • Ann-Marie MULVEY • Dan MURPHY • Gina BIGGS • Becci TAYLOR • Ashley MELLORS • Ben SMITHERS • Sue RANSOM • Sally WARD • Stuart ROOKER • Martin DOWNHAM • Sarah SANDERSON • Joseph MALLINSHAW • Leanne MALLINDER • Amanda TOWERS • Amelia SANDERSON • Amy ALLCARD • Julie ARMSTRONG

 

[Picture 2 - On the Bench]

Having performed this traditional parkrun ritual of celebrating all those who had done something to celebrate in parkrun terms, whether that be dragging yourself out of bed for your first run or coming along for your 411th (WOW Lizzie Wilkinson) it was time to get the show on the road.

The beginning of Graves could certainly deceive those who have not read a course description as after the flat first straight we were off DOWNHILL with some of our faster runners really going for it and hammering it as we turned the first corner and headed downhill. Waiting at the bottom was one of the true heroes of parkrun in full hi-viz gear with a smile and a well done at the ready to coax us all on!

As everyone knows though what goes down must come back up (I’m sure that’s how that saying goes) but the wood lined paths of Graves park are so lovely to run through that the extra pain of running up hill was negated. After more woodland running we were off around the edge of the field we were soon running through farmland and past some of the usual wildlife where some of the volunteers were even willing to pose to get their photo into the Run Report. Let us just say I’m glad that all of the subjects of this photo are more photogenic than me!

 

[Picture 3 - Marshall and Moo Cows]

Soon after we were heading through familiar terrier and could see the cafe coming not far away in the distance.But wait! The run briefing definitely mentioned a lake and prior to finishing our first lap we were off around it! Knowing that the second lap was going to be shorter was definitely a bonus though and the pace quickened as we came around the lake. Much thanks to the lady who was keeping a very similar pace to me for giving me that extra bit of a reason to push on!

Having lapped the lake we were then headed back around the field and could see Graves army of volunteers cheering us in.

After that it was a simple matter of heading off for another lap around Graves park cutting out the lap of the lake this time with plenty of cheering and thanking of volunteers as per standard procedure for so many on a Saturday morning.

At the finish line we were greeted by an army of volunteers ready to congratulate each and every runner and officially record their parkrun achievements no matter what they are! Now I must admit I only have one issue with this parkrun. I want to do it again but it’s a good hour and a half away ;-)

 

[Picture 4 - Finish Funnel]

Graves parkrun you were absolutely brilliant and next time we are in Sheffield it’s going to be a very difficult decision between coming back and trying out another of Sheffields no doubt fabulous parkrun's. Thank you very much for being such wonderful hosts and know that I now have your parkrun on my list of DEFINITELY DO AGAIN!

 

After all that fun for those who take their running a bit more seriously here’s some statistics:

This week 344 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom...

 

19 were first timers at any parkrun...

Claire BELL Daniel DE ARRIBA Elizabeth CLAY
Emma JONES Ian HAWLEY Joshua David ELLIN
Matthew GASCOIGNE Natalie PHILLIPS Neil MOTLEY
Nicola CLEMENTS Nigel DISBURY Rachael HODGSON
Rachel ALLCARD Richard FOSTER Sam DEABAITUA
Sean PARKIN Shaun TURNELL Sue JACKLIN
William EARL

 

19 were visiting Graves for the first time...

Anna TRASK Annabel SHARRATT Ben SMITHERS
Gareth WILLIAMS Gavin SANDERSON Gemma PRINCE
Gina BIGGS Heather IRESON Helen BLUNDELL
Helen DEAKIN Jonathan PITMAN Kathryn LITTLE
Kathryn SPARSHOTT Leon ENGLAND Mike HORWOOD
Rebecca JOYCE Stephen LANCASTER Tom POOLE
Wayne MORTON

 

29 recorded new Personal Bests...

Alex HYLAN Andrea OWENS Caroline WALTHEW
Chris BROWN Daniel MILLS Darren BRISTOW
Emma MORGAN Geoff COUSINS Hannah RAPAPORT
Harvey BATTY Jayne FOSTER Kathryn DEAKIN
Kim LEYLAND Kirsty BRIGGS Lee CODDINGTON
Lesley MELLOR Lilie EVANS Lizzie ALABASTER
Mark RHODES Mia POOLE Michael SEEL
Milly HEWITT Richard WELLS Robert HUTCHINGS
Sakura GASCOIGNE Sam GRAY Stephen LUMBARD
Tim KEEN Victoria BROWN

 

Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Graves parkrun Results Page.

 

Male Female
Position Name Time Position Name Time
1 Oliver HART 18:59 1 Celia NAYLOR 22:04
2 James HARTLEY 19:04 2 Jane GARDINER 22:56
3 Stuart SCOTT 19:17 3 Kate DYMOND 23:26
* New PB
**Graves first timer

 

The female record is held by Lauren DAVIES-BECKETT who recorded a time of 18:44 on 21st June 2014 (event number 115).

The male record is held by Joseph NEWMAN-BILLINGTON who recorded a time of 16:19 on 1st September 2018 (event number 323).

The Age Grade course record is held by Yvonne TWELVETREE who recorded 90.48% (23:27) on 19th August 2017 (event number 274).

 

Notices

With the colder weather being well and truly here, please keep an eye out on Facebook for any cancellation notices before heading to Graves; we will always try to let people know as early as possible of any issues, but safety of those taking part will always be our priority!

As usual, the event would not run anywhere near as well without the wonderful group of volunteers that Graves parkrun attracts. Please remember it’s easy to volunteer, just leave a message on the Graves parkrun Facebook page or e-mail the Graves team on: graveshelpers@parkrun.com or See our volunteer page for details on getting involved in making Graves parkrun happen.

Any suggestions or tips, please e-mail gravesoffice@parkrun.com

Don’t forget that there is a junior parkrun at Graves Park on a Sunday morning too.

Thanks to Ben Smithers for this weeks report, if you fancy contributing, get in touch!

Happy parkrunning!

 

 

 

New runners a plenty

A crisp, dry winter morning greeted 330 runners, joggers and walkers at Graves for parkrun #342 this morning. Jo, nobly standing in for Catherine (who was otherwise occupied with her son’s chickenpox!) greeted the crowd and took care of the usual briefing.  Runners were especially reminded not to duck the funnel as this really does mess up the results of everyone coming in afterwards, and to remember that parkrun is A RUN, NOT A RACE!

 

Volunteers were thanked and enthusiastically applauded: well done and thanks to everyone who wrapped up to scan, marshal and cheer on the runners and walkers on a chilly morning Elaine BIRD, Stephen BIRTLES, Magdalena BOO, Cath DAVIES, Jo ECCLES, Harriet EISNER, Joe 'the Pirate' ELLIS, Tony ELLIS, Stephen GILMER, Emma GOODLIFFE, Chloe HENSHAW, Ruth HOFFMAN, Jane HUGHES, Kat JONES, Charlie LAST, Kerry MARSTON-GIROUX, Ann-Marie MULVEY, Dan MURPHY, Catherine NEEDHAM, Gavin NEWHOUSE, Robert NICOL, Stuart ROOKER, Amelia SANDERSON, Neil SCHOFIELD, Megan SMITH, Kate TETLEY, Amanda TOWERS.

 

GPR 20190105 p2

 

A special well done was given to Sara Hinch, who was running her 50ththis week.

 

First timers and tourists were encouraged to make themselves known; however, it seems that most chose to keep a low profile…there were only one or two shout outs from the 25 people doing their first run at Graves today.

 

Belinda SING GEN Brett SING GEN Debbie ALEXANDER
Faye DAVIES Hannah RAPAPORT Isobel EYRES
Joel LEWIS Jonathan SMITH Kathryn RANGELEY
Kerry BROOKS Laura RANGELEY Libby KINGWELL
Mark TAYLOR Matt FOSTER Michael INGS
Nicky ASTLE Peter DAVIS Rachel BURT
Rachel BURTON Sadif RASHID Sadjida CARTER
Sam MCELROY Sarah JACKSON Stephen LUMBARD
Stuart KINGWELL    

 

One visitor from Peterborough was brave enough to make himself known; however, a peek at the results page revealed runners from Barnsley, London, Beeston and South Africa!  Welcome to Graves, everyone: we hope that you enjoyed your visit today and that you will be back with us again soon.

 

There were an amazing 24 people doing their first ever parkrun today.  It’s great to see so many giving parkrun a try and remember, it’s not just for January!

 

Alex DOUGLASS Andrew DINEEN Dan JAMESON
Daniel EVANS Emily BOOKER Geoff COUSINS
Jake DAVIDSON Jayne FOSTER Jenny WATSON
Kirsty BRIGGS Lesley MELLOR Lilie EVANS
Maisie BURN Mia POOLE Paula STREET
Rachael FIRTH Richard WELLS Sam GRAY
Sarah FOSTER Sarah KEEGAN Sarah MCGOLDRICK
Sarah SMITH Shaohua CUI William SEEDHOUSE

 

An incredible 31 runners were able to bag a PB today, in spite of the high turnout. Good work everyone!

 

Adam MITCHELL Alex SULTER Amanda TOWERS
Andrew TAYLOR Brian THORNHILL Chris ALLEN
Chris REA Christopher BROWN Claire BONNETT
Clive John WILSON Dan FIRTH Erin SHAW
Jamie KAY Jennie STEVENS Julie BIRD
Julie BIRTLES Katherine PEARSON Kelvin BROWN
Khulan STEVENS Lesley BROSNAN Mark WILLIAMS
Milly HEWITT Pauline WILSON Rob EARL
Robert DICKINSON Rowan WALTERS Sakura GASCOIGNE
Samantha DRAPER Sebastian PUGH Susan GUY
Tom VALENTINE    

 

GPR 20190105 p1

 

With the New Year well and truly with us it’s worth remembering that, as well as chasing PBs, there are some other running resolutions worth keeping in mind.  Parkrun is a true community event and entirely staffed by volunteers so making a resolution to volunteer to support your local parkrun should be on everyone’s list at this time of year.  For more experienced runners, taking a place at the back to run with a new or returning runner once in a while is a great way to ensure that parkrun is accessible to everyone and to support the running community.

 

Finishing positions

 

Male     Female    
Position Name Time Position Name Time
1 Tom VALENTINE * 19:01 1 Louise PERRINS 22:54
2 Nigel HOWARD 19:22 2 Erin SHAW * 22:56
3 Tom BOLLARD 19:30 3 Rebecca WALKER 23:04

 

* New PB

**Graves first timer

 

This week’s top age graded result this week was…

Helen EBERLIN (VW70-74) with 27:48 (82.79%)

 

Notices

 

With the colder weather being well and truly here, please keep an eye out on Facebook for any cancellation notices before heading to Graves; we will always try to let people know as early as possible of any issues, but safety of those taking part will always be our priority!

 

As usual, the event would not run anywhere near as well without the wonderful group of volunteers that Graves parkrun attracts. Please remember it’s easy to volunteer, just leave a message on the Graves parkrun Facebook page or e-mail the Graves team on: graveshelpers@parkrun.com or See our volunteer page for details on getting involved in making Graves parkrun happen.

 

Any suggestions or tips, please e-mail gravesoffice@parkrun.com

Don’t forget that there is a junior parkrun at Graves Park on a Sunday morning too.

 

Happy parkrunning!

Amanda

 

 

Marshalling in the new year!

https://flic.kr/p/2dRpUFd

 

Graves parkrun #341.

Happy New Year! And what a great event it was.

Me and my little family kicked 2019 off by helping to marshal a record breaking 396 runners around a dry and occasionally sunny Graves park. The dog and I ran to the park for Mind’s RED challenge, then took up our spot between the ponds, whilst my partner and the tiny tyrant got cow poo corner! You'll have noticed the enthusiastic dad jokes as you headed for the finish.

 

I'm assured that Run Director Gav’s briefing had everyone chomping at the bit to get going. As the gags flew thick and fast participants trying to do the new year double Parkrun were pawing the ground and stamping with enthusiasm to get to Hillsborough and Poolsbrook. There was no need to worry as Poolsbrook’s Andy Morris came to run his 100th Graves at Graves but shot off to be the Run Director for his second event of the day.

https://flic.kr/p/QaKz24

 

We had lots to celebrate this week. Apart from the record turnout, there were also many milestones. Congratulations to all the following people:

 

Local legend Roger Knightley was out on his 200th event. Emma Barker and Marie Hippey and Caz Kay were all celebrating their 100th run.

 

We welcomed 9 first timers to Graves,hopefully see you all again soon.

 

 

Adrian HOTSON Akira KANEDA Charlotte KENNEDY
Chris WILLIAMS Ewan KENNEDY Helen BATTY
Jo JARVIS Julie BIRTLES Sarah KENNEDY

 

 

https://flic.kr/p/2dVZvPP

 

And well done to the 57 tourists.

 

 

Alex GREEN Andrew THOMPSON Andy HOLLINGUM
Andy YOUNG Angela HOLLINGUM Anthony BOWYER
Bart LAWRENCE Callum WOODWARD Cameron Colin BATTY
Christopher MOSS Claire CARTLEDGE Daniel DUNN
Edward PINNOCK Emma DONSON Gemma MORRIS
Gordon FIANDER Hannah WHITEOAK Harvey BATTY
Iain NESS Jacob KENNEDY James BALKWILL
Jamie THOMPSON Jason CRABB Jenni FIANDER
Josh BOWEN Kenneth KENNEDY Kerry SAVILLE
Kirsty SUTTON Linda BILLAM Linda VAN GELDER
Lorna MIDWOOD Lucy LYNCH Malcolm BAGGALEY
Mark LAWTON Mark WITHAM Martin SUTCLIFFE
Matt DUNBAR Matthew GILES Mia KOFOED KRISTIANSEN
Michael BOWEN Michael CLEARY Michael PLANT
Nicholas BOWEN Nick OSULLIVAN Paul MIDDLEMAS
Paul SHACKLETON Paul STOKES Peter GOODFELLOW
Peter MCCOY Rachael HONEYMAN Rachel PERRY
Richard TIBBLE Robyn PAYNE Samantha ISAAC
Sarah CHAMBERLAIN Sarah HONEYMAN Wayne SUTER

 

 

https://flic.kr/p/2cQ2gkw

 

Finally, a massive shout to all the volunteers who filled the empty slots since Saturday.
Laura ALSTON, Daniel ALSTON, Michael Peter ANYON, Julie ARMSTRONG, Magdalena BOO, Steve BRAMHALL, Lucy COWELL, Martin DOWNHAM, Jo ECCLES, Alexis FOSTER, Fran GRACE, Sarah HARRIS, Paul HIGGINBOTTOM, Sue HUTCHINSON, Angela JACKSON, Duncan MCLEAN, Gavin NEWHOUSE, Carol PARSONS, Robyn PAYNE, Gillian RAY, Lindsay STANSALL, Jennie STEVENS, Tim WALTERS

https://flic.kr/p/2dRpUFy

 

Without you all the event can't run...Parkrun HQ say that if everyone volunteered 3 times per year, nationally there would never be a deficit so please come and take part in both sides of the event.

 

 

RUN STATS

 

https://flic.kr/p/2baoCQ1

 

Kate Reece got top age graded result:

Kate REECE (VW65-69) with 24:55 (82.61%)

 

 

With the following people entering the funnel first. A real achievement.

 

 

Male Female
Position Name Time Position Name Time
1 David MILLNS * 18:07 1 Lauren DAVIES-BECKETT 21:29
2 Bruno BECKETT 18:16 2 Caz KAY 21:57
3 Joseph HIBBERT 18:24 3 Sarah BURRELL 22:00
* New PB
**Graves first timer

 

 

We also saw 39 people hitting a new PB.

 

Alannah BOLTON Alfie SUDDRICK Amanda HOLTEY
Andrew FISHER Andrew R Ben STEEL
Christopher TAYLOR-COOK Claire BRACEGIRDLE Damien MATTHIAS
Daniel FORD David MILLNS Denise ADAMS-JACKSON
Erica ORAM Hannah MCCORMACK Helen ASHFIELD
Helen GREGORY James BOREMAN Jamie KAY
Jessica CARMAN Kev SAVILLE Lauren FORD
Lena MARSTON-GIROUX Lucy BOWMAN Michael PAYNE
Nathan GASCOIGNE Nicky HINE Owen FORD
Penny MERRETT Rachel SUDDRICK Rebecca CARMAN
Robert NICOL Ruth FORD Samantha DRAPER
Stephen HOWARD Steve GARNER Teresa DINEEN
Thomas CANNON Wayne CHURCH Will DOYLE

 

 

Chris and his guide dog Eric were back to complete their challenge of 6 Parkruns in 15 days for one of our local goalball teams. Good luck with the rest of your fundraising! (For anyone wanting to know about Goalball have a look at this great video on the Goalball UK website. http://www.goalballuk.com/the-sport/)

 

 

On a personal note, thank you to all of you who cheered, smiled and in one case sang to me on tuesday. It was great to see people skipping, jogging, running, walking, pushing, guiding, puffing in the new year. Everyone should be smug that they were out first thing in the morning to participate!

https://flic.kr/p/QaKyFK

 

NOTICES

Keep an eye on Facebook in case of last minute weather related cancellations and remember to dress for the conditions.

 

If you have any questions, or wish to sign up as a volunteer you can email graveshelpers@parkrun.com. You can also look at the available roles and gaps here… http://www.parkrun.org.uk/graves/futureroster/

 

Happy New Year folks,

 

Laura

https://flic.kr/p/2baoD4C

 

Ending 2018 on a Volunteer High!

 

 

DSC_3724a

 

Graves Parkrun #340

 

What a way to finish the year… A full complement of volunteers and an epic 299 participants!  Congratulations to everyone who came and a big thank you to this week’s heroes.

Laura ALSTON, Julie ARMSTRONG, Mathew ATKIN, Lucy COWELL, Martin DOWNHAM, Jo ECCLES, Harriet EISNER, Sylvia ELLIS, Tony ELLIS, Jane EVANS, Stephen GILMER, Paul HIGGINBOTTOM, Ruth HOFFMAN, Charlie LAST, Sue MATTHEWS, Liz NICHOLAS, Robert NICOL, Simon NIGHTINGALE, David SHEPPARD, Carol SPEIGHT

DSC_3725a

 

Jo kicked off run #340 with a big cheer for the volunteers, a reminder that dogs are welcome on a short lead held in their owners’ hands and that responsible adults must be looked after by their under 12s until the sprint finish. More practice is needed by us all when we join in to say “it’s a run not a race” but festive spirits and good will to all park users was evident throughout the event.

DSC_3731a

 

Martin DOWNHAMheld a first timers briefing to welcome 10 first timers

Brendan MARTIN Edward BRADBURY Eleanor ROSE
Helen GREGORY Jack SHEPHERD Khulan STEVENS
Milly HEWITT Nadine VAN EEDEN Sharon SHEPHERD
Shie JIRANEK    

 

…and 36 tourists.

Alice FARQUHARSON Amanda HOLTEY Angela BENT
Anna LAWSON Ayesha MODI Brendan MARTIN
Chris BROWN Danny BENT Edward BRADBURY
Eleanor ROSE Helen CUMMINS Helen GREGORY
Ian PARNELL Jack SHEPHERD Jacqueline PETROSKI
James Rc TAYLOR Jessica JOEL Jo GRAY
Jordan HOWARD Kenny STIRLING Khulan STEVENS
Kristy NICHOLSON Lindsay CYR Mark MCKONE
Milly HEWITT Nadine VAN EEDEN Neil PHILLIPSON
Nick EASTON Rachel MATTHEWS Sally WHEATLEY
Sharon SHEPHERD Shie JIRANEK Stephan PUGH
Susan GLOVER Tish KELLY Will COLLISON

 

This included well-travelled friends from Adelaide, Connecticut and Pittsburgh.

DSC_3732a

 

DSC_3765a

 

Our legendary ladies from the USA have truly done the Sheffield Parkrun Tour: after a quick sleep on landing, they registered and ran at Concorde then volunteered at the Graves Junior Parkrun.  Following that they did the Christmas fancy dress at Endcliffe, came and met the highland cattle at Graves Park today and in between have completed the Longshaw Trust 10km.  We may yet see them in the New Year so be sure to say hello!

DSC_3745a

 

This week we had many milestones to celebrate.  Alex SULTER for his Junior 10thrun, Alex HODGSON and Nathan BABIKER for their 50thand a special shout-out goes to Simon NIGHTINGALE and Lily THE WHIPPET for their 250thrun, and Simon’s 25thvolunteer!

DSC_3735a

 

RUN STATS

It was a blustery run today and I have to give a huge shoutout to the dynamo Dads pushing prams.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12301848@N04/46465690562/in/dateposted-public/

It still resulted in 30 PBs!  Congratulations to you all.

Andrew TAYLOR Christopher DEEKS Claire TIPPETT
Clive John WILSON Duncan BANNISTER Edith BANNISTER
Emma ROSE Fiona WILSON Jack KIDDER
Jacob WALKER Jennie WOOD Jennifer LEAR
Jeremy BRAITHWAIT Jon RAYNER Julie MEREDITH
Keith BUTCHER Kevin WALKER Lena MARSTON-GIROUX
Lesley BROSNAN Lewis COX Marion MCCABE
Mick CROOKES Nicholas SZCZEPANIAK Pauline WILSON
Richard COOK Robert BISHOP Simon SHORTER
Steve ROBINSON T ILANKO Wendy GRAY

 

Judy JOHNSON (VW65-69) of the Vegan Runners Running Club had this week’s top age graded result with 27:40 (76.69%).

 

DSC_3742a

 

FINISHING POSITIONS

Here are this week’s finishing positions.  Congratulations to all of you.

Male Female
Position Name Time Position Name Time
1 Joseph HIBBERT 18:14 1 Anna LAWSON ** 19:59
2 Thomas HALL 18:35 2 Celia NAYLOR 22:42
3 Robert BISHOP * 19:22 3 Jane GARDINER 24:35
* New PB
**Graves first timer

DSC_3757a

 

NOTICES AND NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

Many people choose participating in Parkrun as a resolution, but how about something different… could you recruit someone who wants to make new friends to become a regular volunteer?  Could you bring visiting family and friends as volunteers? Many marshals bring their own chair to sit and cheer from, or there are a variety of roles you can do as well as participating.  From timing and scanning, to sorting and cheering, there is something for everyone to do and I can speak from experience that it is theway to make friends.

As I write this, there aren’t enough volunteers to run the New Year’s day event and on the 5thof January there are only two people signed up! Get in touch by facebook or emailif you have any questions or want to have a go. http://www.parkrun.org.uk/graves/futureroster/

 

Keep checking facebook for weather updates in case of cancellations and remember to dress appropriately for the weather.

 

Junior Parkrun continues on Sundays, otherwise I’ll see you all 9am on Tuesday for the New Year’s Day Parkrun.

Laura

DSC_3736a

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbows, Fancy-dress and Guest Run Reporters

Graves #339

image2

 

This week we have a special treat for our run report, if the form of a guest reporter, thanks to tourist Daniel Connolly for the following...

 

Over the last few years of parkrun tourism I have developed and revised a few key rules.

 

Check the volunteer roster on the website

 

This I have found to be a sure fire way to see if a parkrun is on.  It has also helped me fulfil my New Year's Resolution I set at Colwich on 1st January and then expanded upon at Bedworth on 5th May – to try and write a run report for each new venue I visit this year.  As I have been on tour since the beginning of 2016 and haven't yet repeated a venue it has meant 41 reports this year.  By now I should be something of an expert at them...  or at least have a bank of statements I could use but whilst parts are similar each report has to be different, just like the parkruns I visit each week.  As each venue is the same – a free 5km timed run entirely run by volunteers – it is unique; trail / tarmac, in a park / not in a park!, city / rural.

IMG_20181222_103334053_BURST000_COVER_TOP

 

Arrive at 8:10!

 

Yes, I know parkruns start at around 9am BUT after a dreadful experience of being unable to find the start of the parkrun before it started and then having to run after the tail for 15 minutes I am keen not to repeat that again!

 

For ages my wife and daughter have commented that they could have had an extra 30minutes in bed (or longer!) My son has never made this complaint but that is because he was the one who had to play catch the tail runner as it was then!

 

Programming the postcode into Google Maps we had a dream drive up the M42, A42, M1 & A61 - I doubt many over the Christmas period will be saying those words and at ten past 8 we arrived in Cobnar Road – with no sign of a carpark!   STRESS!  After parking up and zooming in on course maps and Google Maps – we headed off to Bunting Nook Car Park (S8 8JU) and still arrived on time to capture a picture of most of today's #HiVizHeroes in our homemade picture frame.

 

Carry both trail and road shoes in the car

 

I could cover up this rule by saying that conditions can change and a dry field can become boggy – but the truth is I never read the course descriptions beforehand.  Hilly or flat, 5 laps or one – it is always a surprise to me and the family.  If I was as quick as Monday Night Club's, Bruno BECKETT (VM40-44) who stormed over the line as first finisher in a new PB of 17:53 this week – so a double well done - I would need to know where I am going but with lovely marshals on the course directing me and the pace I move, I do have lots of runners to follow!

 

So normally a quick question of a regular or a marshal helps make the choice and as a completely tarmacked course road shoes were definitely the order of the day.

 

The number of laps is always easy to find out as there is always a first timers briefing for new parkrunners and tourists alike so listening carefully to Martin DOWNHAM today I discovered the second lap was shorter than the first and a marshal and signs were positioned read for the short cut!  Whilst I have heard over 100 first timer briefings :- Scott HUKINS, Laurie NICHOLAS, Wes JACKLIN, Jessica BIRD, Daisy NICHOLAS, Grace NICHOLAS, Gregg DALE & Wendy GRAY all had their first as Graves become their first ever parkrun.  So a huge welcome to them.

 

At the main run briefing the shout went out for tourists, despite driving from Coventry we were certainly pipped at the furthest travelled as although Hong Kong was mentioned... Daisy QUIGLEY ran her first Graves parkrun all the way from Cairns in Australia!

image1

 

For the first time in a year, much to my great regret 1km into the run, I haven't worn my much prized milestone T-shirt, today Steel City Striders RC's, Rowena YATES ran her 100th parkrun so with holidays and disrupted deliveries hopefully she will soon be the proud wearer of her black 100 t-shirt very soon – currently you will just have to enjoy seeing the red 50 logo on the results being replaced by a black 100 icon.

 

After the formalities were out the way the run started with the all too familiar beep of hundreds of GPS watches being pressed at the same time.  And soon hundreds of festive parkrunners stormed off around the park. Thankfully many of them also in Christmas themed clothes as I had encouraged my family to all dress up as Elves – which seemed a great idea at 6:15am but soon after 9am I realised why cotton wasn't a great technical running fibre as I started to melt as I thudded up the first short steep slope.

 

Before the loop back uphill from the park keeper's cottage I was blowing.  I could barely manage a grunted thank you to the marshal and from each marshal after that it went downhill - mainly due to the uphills! – my grunts replaced with a signed thank you.

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My report writing started for this very reason as no matter how much I try and tell myself to take it easy and just enjoy a gentle run round I get caught up in the moment and my brain makes demands that my body just can't fulfil so I end up huffing and puffing round.  Don't get me wrong; I still enjoy it – well maybe not at the time as it hurts – I just can't breathe, run and speak – something has to give.

 

So writing the reports is my way of thanking the team of #HiVizHeroes – the volunteers that I fail to do during the run or afterwards.  So I offer a huge THANK YOU to Amy ALLCARD, Julie ARMSTRONG, Magdalena BOO, Marnie BUTCHER, Keith BUTCHER, Andrew CALLAGHAN, Cath DAVIES, Martin DOWNHAM, Jo ECCLES, Sylvia ELLIS, Stephen GILMER, Everything's Run GREEN, Paul HIGGINBOTTOM, Jon HOWSON, Sarah HOWSON, Charlie LAST, Catherine NEEDHAM, William NEEDHAM, Gavin NEWHOUSE, Liz NICHOLAS, Neal PATES, Gillian RAY & Carol SPEIGHT for making this run possible today for myself and the 270 other runners.

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Heading up the hill towards the cattle and church a beautiful rainbow filled the darkening sky.  And running round the second lake a light drizzle started.  Many might have hated the idea or the rain but dressed in a full elf outfit the cooling drizzle felt amazing; however it was short lived and I had to try and power up the slope to finish the first lap holding up my rain and sweat soaked Elf trousers!  Before taking on the shorter second lap.

 

As I was taking a short walk break up the hill by the keeper's cottage at the far end of the park, Steel City Striders RC's Lucy BROOM (VW40-44) crossed the line in 23rd place in a time of 22:36 to be the first female finisher.   Great running.

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Heading back up towards the church I decided to capture the glorious view and the rainbow, but alas by the time I had accidentally taken a couple of mid run elfies...  it was no longer in sight but the finish funnel was! So with one last push and a much needed walk break halfway up the final hill I crossed the finish line and stood at the top of the hill waiting for the other three Coventry Elves to finish!

 

As I waited a young marshal offered me the last slice of rocky road before carefully checking on the crumbs for quality purposes.  As a one-time tourist, I am not sure if Graves has a regular cake marshal but it is a role that I certainly would like to see at other parkruns I visit!

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After the whole family had completed the run the next (or for my son the important) part of our parkrun adventures happened - the café and what a treat – superb cakes and a great breakfast selection.   The huffing, puffing and struggling around the last lap today forgotten so a full English Breakfast and a flap jack was washed down with a latte or two as the volunteer team sorted tokens and processed results.

 

As with parkruns around the world Graves needs people to help each week to make it happen, so if you fancy giving scanning a go, being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please send an e-mail - graveshelpers@parkrun.com You might even fancy writing a run report or taking some pictures of the runners.  You will be shown what to do, it is lots of fun!

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My family and I had a lovely time at Graves this morning.  Thank you for being so welcoming!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy parkrunning.

 

Daniel Connolly

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