6 years! Where has the time gone?
Even the most hard of heart would have struggled not to feel a little bit emotional this morning as Event Director Stephen said a few words to mark the occasion. The big take-home message was not so much about the running (although that does have an important place in all of our hearts!), but about the wonderful local community that has built up over those six years. The fact that lots of us can’t go out for a run during the week without crossing paths with someone we know from parkrun. And the friends. Some of those friends from the early days have since moved away, so it was very special to see some old faces return today - in particular Caz Manning all the way from Stockholm, former Hilly Fields RD Emma Malcolm visiting from Hampshire and junior parkrun RD Natalie Aldham visiting from Wanstead.
There was much buzz on social media during the week about the photos from the very first Hilly Fields parkrun back in 2012 - here are some of those people today who were at the very first event:
So as has become traditional, the course was run in reverse today. Much debate about which is the easier - the “right” way or the “wrong” way. Perhaps some of the statisticians amongst our runners can give us some insight. Basic maths calculations on today’s results gives us a PB rating of 13% - 40 PBs out of the 300 runners today. 34 PBs out of the 273 runners last week equals a PB rating of 12%. So perhaps the reverse course is easier. Or perhaps people just tried harder for the birthday event!
Congratulations to Bill Schomberg doing his 100th run today, to James Armstrong doing his 50th run today and to juniors Madalena Fernandez & Gabriela Fernandez who qualified for their 10 t-shirt today.
And it’s always lovely to hang out in the cafe for that post-parkrun chat, taking it full circle back to the impact that Hilly Fields parkrun has had on the community and the groups of friends that have grown from a run around the park on a Saturday morning. (And incredible to think that 6478 people have benefited from a 5km timed run around Hilly Fields on a Saturday morning over the past 6 years.)
The phrase said by so many about Hilly Fields parkrun today was "life-changing". Enough said…