This week’s run report has been written by Andrew Fovargue, a man so desperate to get his 25th volunteering credit, and more importantly a free purple t-shirt, he decided to report on a parkrun he wasn’t actually at!
So, today was March’s 129th parkrun, and by way of spooky coincidence 129 runners turned up to run / walk / jog / stagger their way round a dry and slightly balmy West End Park this morning. Three people ran their very first parkrun today, so special newbie congratulations go to Nicole, Tina, and Margaret. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and look forward to seeing you again next week. We welcomed tourists from a wide variety of locations today, including Basingstoke, London, Lincoln, and Warrington. Today’s most experienced parkrunner, Heather Houghton, visited from Norwich and ran her 354th parkrun this morning. That’s an incredible feat, to think I could commit to run parkrun every Saturday for the next five years and I’d still be a long way from catching up! Runners celebrating milestones today included Kevin and Elaine Bissell, who both ran their 50th, and Roma O’Neil, who ran her 100th. That’s 1000km of parkrunning you’ve done between you. Go you! It doesn’t look like the most eventful parkrun ever, which is arguably a good thing. I had spies dotted around the course with strict instructions to relay back any news of anything out of the ordinary happening, I had two items in my inbox, Felicity Allen finished despite having a fight with a hair bobble”. Well done Felicity, I hope the hair bobble didn’t win. Core team member Stephen Cowell also took time out each lap to enjoy his ‘Costa’ (other coffees are available), obviously too hot before starting!!
Delving into the results, 17 runners achieved personal bests today, including Melanie Cook of Run Mummy Run, who’s still getting faster after running over 40 parkruns. I’ll draw inspiration from that and try to imagine the unlikely scenario where I find myself getting another pb of my own someday. Well done to all who made it out and covered the distance irrespective of your time and placing, you’ve got 5km on me this weekend. Feel proud! As I’m getting a t-shirt out of this I feel I ought to rattle on about volunteering a bit and talk about the various roles that need to be filled each week. If you’ve never volunteered before, but are not too sure what’s involved, here’s an idea of what to expect:
Marshalling - You meet at the bandstand at 8:40, and within 5 minutes or so someone will have handed you a high-vis vest and told you where they’d like you to stand. It’s then just a question of encouraging participants if you’re feeling social, and just being there to use common sense to address any problems should they occur. They very seldom do.
Timekeeping - This is an easier job than you might imagine, you just press the button on the right of the stopwatch when the run starts, then the button on the left every time someone crosses the line. Someone else is doing the same job, and the funnel manager regularly checks the number of clicks marries with the number of tokens handed out. Mistakes can happen, I’ve made a fair few myself, but the results processors can normally work out where they occurred, and iron everything out. There’s no pressure, honest! You also get to shout “well done” to every finisher and are in prime position to witness and cheer on all the heroic sprint finishes.
Barcode Scanning - Another easy job, the only thing you have to remember is to scan the runner’s barcode first, then their position token. Occasionally a barcode is blurred, and won’t scan, so you just scribble down the details on a piece of paper and let the results processor worry about it.
Finish Tokens, token sorting, tail walking, and pacing roles don’t really need a description, they’re all self-explanatory, but they’re all roles which need to be filled week-in / week-out, that allow parkrun to take place.
Oh, Run Report Writer, that’s the easiest job of all, they’ll accept any old rubbish! See? Thanks again to all volunteers and participants that allowed March to have its 129th parkrun. I'll see you all next week... If I'm there!
This week 129 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 8 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 11 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:
Gaelle BRYANT • Paul BRYANT • Amy RUDD • Samantha WOOL • Mark OAKERBEE • Georgina JACKMAN • Raymond FEW • Grace WOOL • Andrew WOOL • James MOTTRAM • Gary DAVIS • Tracey DICKERSON • Nicola FUNNELL • Philip COLE • Joanne ANDERSON • Gemma SOMMERSBY • Jackie NOSWORTHY • Carole DAVIS • Andrew FOVARGUE • Victor JEEVES • Mary BETTLES • Emma COLE • Roger MONEY • Mary-Ann SHORT • Daniel HENRIE • David STOCK
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the March parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Lisa MARRIOTT who recorded a time of 19:08 on 21st May 2016 (event number 18).
The male record is held by Glen WATTS who recorded a time of 16:12 on 1st October 2016 (event number 36).
The Age Grade course record is held by Catherine WRIGHT who recorded 87.35% (22:32) on 6th May 2017 (event number 67).
March parkrun started on 23rd January 2016. Since then 2,625 participants have completed 19,277 parkruns covering a total distance of 96,385 km, including 4,248 new Personal Bests.