HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY GREAT LINES PARKRUN
In keeping with tradition at Great Lines parkrun, the Joint Event Directors shared their thoughts on this week’s event and the past year. Let’s start by saying “Happy Birthday to Great Lines parkrun!!” and it was great to see so many of you in your school uniform you were all looking splendid. We were pleased to welcome to Great Lines parkrun the Mayor of Medway Councillor Steve Iles and the Mayoress, Councillor Josie Iles and the Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Ms Tracey Croup MP. For the Mayoress, being asked to start the run was familiar territory as she sounded the horn at the first ever Great Lines parkrun when she was Mayor.
We had cakes and goodies to eat, we all run to have the treats don’t we? But we were lucky enough to have fruit donated by our local Tesco so we could balance the cakes with the fruit. Thank you for all the donations! We hope you all enjoyed you finishers “pick n Mix” bag We would like to thank Heidi O’Neill for the fantastic Birthday Cake, it looked incredible and tasted fabulous too.
We would just like to thank our outstanding team of volunteers who have not only helped put the Birthday Event on this weekend but have helped make this such a great event for the last 5 years. We say it so often; we could not offer the free weekly event without all the volunteers. If you haven’t volunteered before, please do give it a go. Also, if you have friend or family member that isn’t a runner but would like to volunteer we would love to hear from them too.
parkrun day is a Saturday but for many volunteers it’s parkrun day every day. We have a number of volunteers who keep the show on the road Sunday – Friday, the communication people, social media pages and volunteer coordinators. There are also the volunteers who get here nice and early and set the course up for us, so we are ready at 9am for this event.
As Event Directors we cannot thank you all enough, for making this event the fun filled weekly event it has become, without you all we wouldn’t have Great Lines parkrun.
In keeping with tradition we had a number of awards to give out….
“People’s Choice” awards (voted for by Great Lines parkrunners): went to Richard Pemberton, for his outstanding contribution to the Medway running community and getting people active with his regular Couch 2 5K courses, where participants graduate at Great Lines parkrun. Paul Johnston, not only for volunteering most weeks but also for being a master of disguise – he has more fancy-dress costumes than Mr Benn! He brings fun and enthusiasm each week and truly epitomises what parkrun is about.
The award for “Outstanding Achievement” went to someone who has been the first finisher on an amazing 23 occasions over the last calendar year, a massive well done to Philip Wakelin.
We gave two awards for “Most improved” this year and they go to Laura Smith and Heather Parkinson who over the course of the last 12 months have improved their parkrun Personal Best’s by an amazing 14 and 15 times respectively. Well done ladies!
We gave awards to two people who have really embodied the “Spirit of parkrun”, so much so that they have attended nearly every single run we have had here at Great Lines since our last birthday. Congratulations Doreen East who has notched up an impressive 47 parkruns this year and Simon Hall, with an equally impressive 46 runs as well as sorting out our finish tokens most weeks.
We had one special award the “Event Directors Award” – there are so many people we wanted to give this to but after many discussions we did come to an agreement, many hours later!! Over the last year this person has helped setup and take down the course most weeks as well as volunteering in nearly every role imaginable. However, it is for his commitment to pacing anywhere between 25 and 40 minutes that we have awarded him this prize, in one week alone he helped an amazing 7 runners dip under 40 minutes for the first time. So our winner was Chris Arnold.
We recognise that so many of you attend Great Lines, or indeed other parkruns, week in and week out, and have individually achieved so much. For that, we congratulate you all and long may you continue to enjoy your parkrun journey.
The past year has been amazing and whilst we were thinking of all things we wanted to say and reflect back on it was evident that actually every week there is a fabulous event that takes place in Great Lines Heritage Park and without the runners and volunteers that would not be possible so thank you all.
We believe that Great Lines parkrun is more than a run and should be part of its community and we hope you agree that is the case. Over the past 12 months there have been so many happy memories created but the one thing that each week continues to amaze us is the team’s ability to bring the park alive from 8am when we are setting up until we kit has been returned.
We have been very lucky with our donations again this year from our runners - parkrun is completely free and apart form core equipment we have to fundraise for additional items.
As part of the birthday celebrations we asked you to bring donations for the local Foodbank and local animal charities. We have been lucky enough to receive lots of items that will be delivered to the following charities:
- Medway Foodbank
- Animals lost and found
- Medway Hedgehog Rescue
- RSPCA Leybourne
A huge thank you to you all for the donations. It just shows that Great Lines parkrun is more than a run, it’s for the whole community coming together. When asked what parkrun means to us, it is hard to sum up. It’s more than a Saturday morning run around a park as it brings Medway’s local and wider community together including friends and family, young and old.
We live in a world where too often people do not know their neighbour or in some cases don’t even speak to someone from one week to the next but how that all changes on a Saturday morning from 8.45am. We all have the pleasure of hearing the laughter and chatter as people arrive saying “hello” or catching up on their week’s events and not forgetting the round of applause and cheers during the run brief welcoming new people or celebrating a milestone or two.
We often hear that parkrun is a catalyst in people achieving their own personal fitness and running goals, whilst forming new friendships along the way, and this makes us proud to be playing in just a small part of this.
The event has been lucky enough to support many of Medway’s young people with their Duke of Edinburgh awards, well done to everyone. It was a great pleasure to see each of them achieve their goals and build there confidence but also, continue taking part in the event after their award was completed.
We were so pleased to see that Great Lines parkrun worked with Medway Hospital and Medway CCG to celebrate our NHS turning 70 years old this year. As always you didn’t disappoint with your dressing up and the outfits were amazing. It goes to show what our NHS means to you all. We have continued to build on the relationships and are currently working with Medway CCG and GP’s to promote parkrun, more information to follow in the coming months.
Our final thanks must go to, in no particular order:
- Medway Council for their continued support and allowing us to use this magnificent park free of charge each week
- Medway Sport
- Medway Park for allowing us to store our equipment there each week.
- The local running clubs who have all helped grow this event.
- Richey Estcourt – our parkrun ambassador
- parkrun HQ for all of their support and guidance throughout the year
- And finally, The Falcon café for making us all so welcome and their first rate bacon sandwiches.
There were lots of pictures taken at the event, they can be viewed here:
We look forward to the year ahead and together we can make Medway a happier and healthier place to live, work and enjoy life!
Dan and Gary
Joint Event Directors
*** FACTS & FIGURES #255***
This week 447 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 19 were first timers and 85 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.
*** Milestones ***
The 50 club members were: Tony Fairclough and Sagar Gurnung
The 100 club members were: Kathleen Smith
100 volunteering milestone were: Mick Smith
PLEASE let us know when it is your special milestone days as we hate to miss them and can only check the results to see who is on 9, 49 or 99, so if you run those at another parkrun or have a gap between that and your milestone run we might miss you out and you know we love give you a cheer.
*** The 86 personal bests go to ***
Adam CURRAN * Akriti GURUNG * Alex RESTELL * Amit PUN * Andrew HARLOW * Andrew WALKER * Andrew WESTBY * Andy SMITH * Anne WALKER * Antonia MOORE * Ayesha KHAN * Ayshen ROUSE * Barbara GUNNS * Ben DONNELLY * Bethany WILLIAMS * Bina DHESY * Buffy-Lucy JENNINGS * Caroline GRIFFITHS * Carys DAVIES * Catherine RODWELL * Chris ROWLANDS * Connor STICKINGS * Craig MARTIN * Darren PAINTER * David GUNNS * David VILLARS * Deborah PAINTER * Duncan BISHOP * Eva HODGES * Fay FAUTLEY * Gary STACEY * Georgia VINCE * Graham CLARK * Hayden MARTIN * Heather COLAM * Hilary SHEPPARD * Ian HOOKWAY * Jane PARKER * Jason BEANEY * Jeff REGAN * Josh STARR * Jude GORDON * Kabita LIMBU * Kelly OWEN *Kerry CANNON * Khobindra GURUNG * Kristian SIGSTON * Kyle YATES * Laura SMITH * Laurence ANDREWS * Lee SHELTON * Leo KELLY-GEE * Mark ROCHE * Mark WILLIAMS * Matt WESTHEAD * Matthew REEVES * Max LEE * Megan DUFFY * Michael MCGINTY * Michael MOLLOY * Mick HILTON * Monty MARSH * Naeem RAJA * Nicola HILLS * Nik OSIPOV * Omar EL SOUDANI * Owen HOLLANDS * Paul HOLLANDS * Phillip WAKELIN * Rachel BENCH * Richard KERSWILL * Robert PADFIELD * Ryan BERNARD * Sally WHEELER * Samantha BINFIELD * Sarah BENJAMIN * Shinu JOHN * Stefan ROWE * Stephen MALCOLM * Steve CUMMINGS * Steve WESTHEAD * Steven COOK * Stewart MELVIN * Tracey GRIGGS * Wendy SAUNDERS
*** Welcome to the 19 first timers ***
(7 new to parkrun and 12 tourists)
Joanna CAIN * Annabell HAGGARD * Caitlin LAMB * Claire JEFFREY * Dave OLDFIELD * Graciela ALEMAN * Izzi WOODROW * Janga THAPA * John ROGERS * Jonathan T-S * Justine ACHESON * Mark JEFFREY * Michael LAMB * Miranda SKINNER * Paul LUCY * Paul TIDEY * Richard G * Sharleen LUPKE * Tom HUMPHREY
*** Volunteers ***
Alan LE GRYS • Andrew LUNNON • Angela DOWSETT • Anthony JORDAN • Barefootricardo D'ASH • Carol DAVIS • Carrie BROOM • Cathy RAHMANZADEH • Chris ARNOLD • Dan GOWER-SMITH • David GRUNFELD • David SHARPLEY • Dee YAMOAH • Diane ARNOLD • Diane DOWSING • Doreen EAST • Edwina TOWNSEND • Gary SMITH • George TOWNSEND • Iain BOOTH • Ian SMITH • Ingrid HARRISON • Isabel KING • Jane CARTER • Janice FISHER • June RODWELL • Karl GRIMBLE • Lee MCAFFEE • Lori BENNETT-HORSFALL • Marie DEBONT-BOOTH • Michelle FAGENCE • Mick SMITH • Nigel READ • Paul JOHNSTON • Paula HORTON • Phil OBRAY • Philip WALLACE • Richard MATTHEWS • Robin T K TAYLOR • Rosie MALLION-WOODS • Rosie REGAN • Ross SANDY • Sara RAVASCO • Sharon BOYLE • Sharon RICHARDS • Sheila STONE • Sian JONES • Simon HALL • Sue LEA • Sue MORETON • Tracy RODWELL
The male record is held by Teweldeberhan MENGES who recorded a time of 15:41 on 5th August 2017 (event number 197).
The female record is held by Chloe SHARP who recorded a time of 17:52 on 25th December 2017 (event number 217).
The Age Grade course record is held by Barry ROYDEN who recorded 85.16% (17:11) on 24th September 2016 (event number 153).
Great Lines parkrun, Medway started on 28th September 2013. Since then 7,127 participants have completed 74,285 parkruns covering a total distance of 371,425 km, including 14,006 new Personal Bests.