After running my 100th parkrun on the 13th January 2018, I am honoured to be writing this week's run report. If you're a regular to parkrun you may recognize me, Evelyn. I'm usually the one in purple, and most often smiling.
I started running in October 2013, with a couch to 5K program because I wanted to lose some weight. When I completed the program, I couldn’t run the whole distance in 30 minutes. In fact, it took me 47 minutes. I ran my first 5K race in December 2013 and I saw an improvement, it took me 40 minutes and I got a medal at the end! I was ecstatic and caught the running bug from then. I was living in Canada at the time and before I had left England, I had no awareness of the running community. I had read about parkrun and was happy to see there was one already up and running at Luton Wardown. I joined in as soon as I was able to. I ran my first parkrun back in October 2015 and have hardly missed any since. Saturday mornings are just not the same if I have not started the day with a run at parkrun.
My weight was not going down, running did maintain it though. But I was starting to lose my mojo for running. I was still able to come to parkrun every Saturday morning and parkrun kept me going. I decided I needed to get back into running properly, so on 1st December 2016 I embarked on a run streak. I was going to run a minimum of 1 mile every day in December! I was able to successfully complete this personal challenge. To this day, I am still running everyday and I’ve now reached 417 days! Included in those runs are several races ranging from 5 miles, several half marathons and one full marathon! I love running much more now and I don’t know what I would do without it! parkrun has been present throughout. It’s a great community and I have met a few people I can now call friends! I’ve also joined the Stopsley Striders too!
parkrun has also captured my weight loss journey with great photography from both Adam Langford and Malcom Rankin - Thanks guys! I finally looked to changing my outlook on the food I ate and joined the Keto lifestyle! It enabled me to lose over 3 stone (20kg) and having parkrun pictures really helped me to actually see the improvements.
All the running I have done since last July 2017, has been in support of Simon #teamsimon. I will be running the Manchester Marathon this April too. Simon suffered a severe stroke earlier in the year! It has left him paralyzed on his left side and he also requires a wheel chair. Myself, a group of friends and former work colleagues have been trying to raise funds to enable sufficient works to be done to change his home to help accommodate him. The funds raised will go towards purchasing a wheel chair, obtaining a mobility vehicle for his wheel chair and make alterations to his home, such as widening doorways, etc, for wheel chair access. We have now raised £20,056 of £50,000. As you can see there is a long way to go! If you are able to support our efforts please go here to read his story and donate. Much appreciated.
Ok that's enough about me! On to event 143 held on 20th January 2018. It was a grey chilly Saturday morning, at barely 2°C. With some heavy drizzle too and at some points a little sleet and, dare I say, snow.
Something that did get hampered by the weather was the jobs of the barcode scanners/number checker. Some of the readers were affected by getting wet, a few attempts had to be made before successful beeps were heard. Also, those paper based barcodes did not last the distance. Several soggy, smudged and torn barcodes were being presented and were not readable by the readers. That meant more people to see the number checker (me)! The sheet I was attempting to write on was also getting soaked and the pen stopped working after only the 4th entry. I resorted to taking pictures of the codes instead. That was definitely a more efficient approach!
Despite the weather conditions there was still a huge turnout of 318 people, including 40 first timers and 16 tourists, who ran, jogged and walked the course! The weather did not dampen our spirits. We had a visit from a secret squirrel - the parkrun Squirrel. You may have spotted a man in black with a go-pro on his head. He was speaking to a few of us, volunteers and those who had been out on the course, asking questions. The answers given just confirmed how amazing Luton Wardown parkrun is. If you haven't seen the video go here. Thanks Phil (who himself had a great run coming in, in the first 20 finishers)!
Both Rob Barnes and Tom Rankin didn't let the weather ruin their 50th Milestone runs! Rob celebrated coming in as first finisher with Tom not too far behind, as third finisher!
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Luton Wardown parkrun Results Page.
The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:
John ROWLANDS • Andrew GALE • Liz DAVIES • June ROWLANDS • Kate NEALE • Philip DAVIES • Kulwinder ASSRA • Kathy SADLER • Marie HAYWOOD • Peter BROWN • Bridget DRIMUSSIS • David BROWN • Fiona FAYKER • Geoffrey WHITE • Evelyn LUTTERODT • Anthony WIGHTMAN • Frank GICQUEL • Karen BULL • David BULL • Ivor WEBB • Sue POTTER • Kate POTTER • Rhona MCKEE • David WYNN • Julie TYSOE • Ned HOWE • James AVIS • Jennifer AVIS • Rickey AVIS • Stephen AVIS
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing this weeks run report. I hope to see you this Saturday, it's the first Chase the Pacer of the year.
Dates for your Diary
27th January - first Chase the Pacer of the year
10th February - pink parkrun for Valentine's Day and the L&D Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit
24th February - Chase the Pacer
17th March - St Patrick's Day - it's got to be a green-themed day!
31st March - Chase the Pacer