Saturday 6th October 2018 was International parkrun Day, marking 14 years since the very first event took place in London’s Bushy Park. This week in Luton 277 people ran, jogged and walked the course, 41 of whom recorded new personal bests and representatives of 15 different clubs took part.
We also welcomed Michael Joseph and Catherine Flynn into the 50 parkrun club, Catherine with a new PB! Well done.
Among the participants were a number of runners dressed in purple in aid of Willow, a charity close to many at our parkrun that provides special days for seriously ill young adults at the most difficult of times.
Several of these wore some rather fetching tutus and smiled for the camera.
For those who made it over to the clubhouse there was a further opportunity to support this charity with a range of purple cakes and a chance to donate money.
Now it so happened that this Saturday was also the Saturday that I had selected to collect data from the following participants.
These willing volunteers are helping me with a project that I have named “Running with Thread”. I have received funding via The Luton Arts Fund to create 3 woven Artworks that I will weave in Wardown House and will be on display there in the new year. Alongside my weaving there will also be an opportunity for any visitors to try weaving on a large loom.
You may well be asking how or what is the connection? Well these three wonderful volunteers have agreed to share the data with me that their Garmin fitness trackers have generated from their parkrun on Saturday 6thOct. I will be translating this into cloth.
The width of each piece of work will be determined by the width of each of their stride. The length of each piece of work will be worked out according to how long it took them to complete the 5 kilometres- for every minute of time I will weave 5cm of cloth. In addition, across the whole work embedded into the cloth will be the pattern created by their heart rate. It may thus be possible to see the 4 occasions that they went up the hill!!
It has been extremely interesting exploring the different reasons why they attend parkrun and also the way that the data differs. The 1.52m stride of Rob Barnes was certainly unexpected and has presented some exciting creative challenges.
The reason I believe that I was successful in gaining the funding was due to the fact that as a town the number of adults engaged in physical activity is well below the national average. I have been massively struck by the strong sense of community, the celebration of individual PBs and the support that is given to runners, walkers and those who do whatever it takes to get around.
It is an inspiring event that I hope in some way to celebrate and raise awareness of within the different communities that use the park and beyond.
Do pop into Wardown House on a Tuesday 10-3pm or Saturday 2-4pm in October or November to see how Rob, Elizabeth or Claire’s successful run is being depicted. The final work will be exhibited there in the new year.
On another note I captured this shot of Rob having completed his run in 17minutes and sprinting to the aid of someone who needed help somewhere else on the course. It’s not all about speed but it would seem that on this occasion being fast is a blessing.
To Volunteer have a look at the Future Roster, choose your role and email us at email@example.com
To see this week's photos have a look on our Flickr site
To look at our Results page for all sorts of statistics
Dates for Your Diary
13th October - World Mental Health Day parkrun - wear your best yellow outfit to say #helloyellow and support children and young people’s mental health.
There will be a Pop-up Cafe as the Cricket Club is not available to us that day
27th October - Halloween Chase the Pacer and Cardiac Rehab charity chest waxing