Saturday morning was a definite #loveparkrun moment for me. From arriving at Leamington, you could sense the parkrun spirit. Kevin Baskerville and the team at Leamington parkrun had been aware for a few weeks, that the parkrun ambassadors and head office staff were coming, but had kept the secret well.
The parkrun ambassadors were attending a conference at Warwick University and had chosen the Saturday morning run to be at Leamington parkrun. Kevin, Helen and the Core Team arrived early to set up the course before 6 coaches of 250 ambassadors boarded and headed for Leamington. There were also two groups of ambassadors that ran to Leamington from Coventry, one led by Chrissie Wellington.
The ambassadors arrived at Leamington parkrun and entered into the park and could already feel the welcoming atmosphere. Amongst the 250 visitors from 9 countries, not only did we have the parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and his wife Jo, but also British Triathlete and four time Ironman Triathlon World Champion, Chrissie Wellington; as well as Bruce Fordyce, the 9 times winner of Comrades. The visiting guest speaker for the weekend was Vassos Alexander, Sports presenter, who also attends his local parkrun with his family. Last year’s guest speaker, David Moorcroft OBE, former world record holder for 5000 metres, was also present. The ambassadors also brought along the singer from Friday night, Dawson, who ran his first ever parkrun and came third finisher in 18:41. He loved his first parkrun and I am told he will attend his local parkrun event.
Kevin Baskerville, Event Director gave a very humorous Run Brief and likened the arrival of so many ambassadors, to an Ofsted inspection. He greeted all of the attendees and recognised all of the volunteers, especially Tom, who was completing his Bronze D of E volunteering that morning.
One of the Ambassadors has given Leamington an Ofsted rating of 1 (Outstanding).
There was a record attendance at Leamington this week with 764 taking part in running, jogging or walking the course, as well as 48 volunteers. This week’s high vis hero’s were :
Alison AINSWORTH • Amanda PARSONS • Asher GURAM • Ben PARSONS • Chris JONES • Clare HINTON • Colin BAILEY • Corinne MOSS • David CHANTREY • Eleanor NABNEY • Emma BISH • Eugene MCNALLY • Helen BRAITHWAITE • Ian BEASLEY • Jeremy POPE • Jill COATES • Jim BRAITHWAITE • Julia FRY • Julia WHITE • Karen WEST • Kevin BASKERVILLE • Laia CARRERAS • Lily MINTY • Liz CLARKSON • Lori BASKERVILLE • Lucy MARCOVITCH • Madeline BRAITHWAITE • Malcolm FRY • Marie TIMMINS • Marti DHESI • Miranda GALLOWAY • Morgan NABNEY • Mrs DOYLE • Portia NABNEY • Rachel GOULD • Rebecca LONERGAN • Rosie CALE • Saty KANDOLA • Simon PERKIN • Stephen TRAYNOR • Stuart VAN DER BLIAKE • Susan WOO • Susie TAWNEY • Tejay DE KRETSER • Thomas WIMPENNY • Tim FILBY • Tommy O'MEARA • Trevor ROTHWELL
The runners set off on a very hot and sunny day and were given high fives around the course by the marshals and welcomed back into the finish funnels by the Core team. Mrs Doyle in the kitchen was busy looking after everyone to make sure they were well hydrated and fed. A special thankyou to her comes from the Irish gang. Leamington parkrun has been described as “ A beautiful one lap course with very welcome shade, fabulous Marshalls and a big gold star to the volunteer who brought water to the scanning queue. Thank you for hosting us all”. Another said “ Everything a parkrun should be on a mega scale. Friendly, fun, nice course, great people, runners, walkers, families and great volunteers”. The only comment the ambassadors had was with regards to “the hill” ..."It’s not a hill, get over it”
Leamington parkrun was a fantastic morning and all of the visiting ambassadors would like to thank the runners, the volunteers and the Core team for a friendly and fantastic atmosphere and thanks for taking the ambassador invasion in your stride. Many hope to return and run Leamington on another date.
Keep providing a great parkrun and helping to provide people with access to parkrun that is free forever for everyone, so that they can be healthier & happier.
Access to the photographs taken by Bruce Li can be accessed via https://flic.kr/s/aHsmmd4fkg
The video can be accessed via https://youtu.be/JyDCU-FBW3A
See you soon
Event Support Ambassador, West Midlands.