This Saturday saw another takeover, this time by local Harborough Athletics Club (HAC).
As a member of HAC, I had been keeping my eye on the volunteer roster, but during the week there was an appeal for pacers. This is something that I have found useful before, but I've never been brave enough to pace previously. I replied to the appeal and said I would do it if I could pair up with someone with a bit of experience. Everyone else had other ideas, and said I would be fine on my own, and to pick a pace that is my own speed plus 10%, so I put my name forward with a time of 36 minutes.
Thursday evening came, and I realised that I had been selected to pace. The lovely Roger has created pacing cards, so as long as I had the correct one in my hand on Saturday, all should be ok.
I arrived at the park nice and early on Saturday morning, collected my hi-viz jacket, laminated number for the back, and the pacing card. We headed off to the start line for the usual pre-run briefing, announcements, milestones etc, and then 3-2-1 parkrun!
I kept a close eye on my watch, the time at specific points according to the card, and also the pace that I had set on my watch. Most of the way round I was 30 seconds ahead of time. I did find it quite difficult to slow down even more, but was pleased to cross the finish line in 35:46 - not bad for my first attempt.
So my message is this: Sometimes we should do something that is outside of our comfort zone and I have to say I really enjoyed pacing and feel that I may have helped others around the course today. When I joined HAC that was also out of my comfort zone, but I've been a member now for over 2 years, and really do find them very friendly and encouraging - that was evident today running around the park, with lots of cheering and support from fellow club members.
As always, thank you to all the volunteers, without whom parkrun simply could not happen.
There were 323 people who ran, jogged or walked today, 28 first timers at Market Harborough, 12 of these are completely new to parkrun. 27 members of HAC ran the course, not to mention those who also volunteered.
Thank you everyone.