Event #162 – 3rd Birthday run – Superhero theme

parkrun was something that I first heard about on some random running forum online, and as Club Secretary for the Stilton Striders I decided that it was potentially a really good "guaranteed speed session" for us club runners, and a way of bridging the gap between the highly successful C25k group in town and the Striders. Within a week of hearing about it I had had a meeting with Helen Hood who is now head of parkrun operations in the UK and she met me at the Visitors Centre and took a walk around the park. A week later I was assigned to our ever-supportive ambassadors Julie and Mark Thompson. Over the next 8 months I put in hours of planning, fund raising, course designing and redesigning, core team building and negotiating opening hours with the cafe.

On January 10th 2015 I stood on a table in front of 262 people and launched Melton Mowbray parkrun for the first time. This was one of the most nerve wrecking moments of my life, and the day continued to be the greatest feeling I had experienced. All the hard work had paid off.

The first parkrun I ever actually took part in was week 3 at Melton, and on week 5 my best friend broke the course record (which he held for a whole week), and I felt great that my best friend had the course record at my event. 20 minutes later two ladies approached myself and Theresa and said that that day was the first time they had managed to run the whole course without stopping. This was the moment that I started to realise what parkrun was really all about. This event was about inclusivity, community and togetherness. It was a chance for like-minded individuals to congregate in unity on a Saturday morning and simply enjoy the event, challenge themselves, and give themselves the best start to their weekend. It wasn't the speed session that I first imagined, unless you want it to be. It was far bigger than another training session.

I was lucky enough to run by 50th parkrun at Bushy Park (where it all began) on parkrun's 12th bithday, and was able to speak to Paul Sinton-Hewitt. He told me in the cafe after the run that the run itself will happen regardless every Saturday morning - it is purely incidental. The magic of parkrun is what happens in the cafe after each run. I looked around myself and felt the room buzzing. It was a hive of activity with people laughing and smiling, discussing their running, their personal lives, planning tourism trips, making friends, and feeling comfortable to just be. The following week (and pretty much every week since then) I have felt humbled when I see precisely that but on a smaller scale in our own cafe post-run. That is where the parkrun really happens for me and so many others.

This is even more important at Melton because our cafe is run by the Melton Learning Hub - providing education opportunities to those who have struggled to cope with mainstream education - and all proceeds are reinvested back into the hub. Every cup of tea or bacon sandwich consumed post-run is helping the lives of local teenagers who may struggle to get on without that provision.

Yesterday morning we had our second highest ever turnout (251 - only beaten by that inaugural event) for our third birthday. The theme was superheroes and every single person embraced the fun atmosphere that the fancy dress aspect added. We started off by standing around diligently listening to a valid attempt at the World Record for longest run brief (if only we had arranged someone from Guinness to adjudicate). We had plenty of milestones as Steph Barlow, Debs Wilson, Sue Clarke and tourist Steve King all ran their 50th parkruns with us, and Daniel "Guinness" Gray (still not an adjudicator), Ben Pickard, regular Run Director Brian Walkling, and I all ran our 100th.

One of the most breathtaking scenes I ever see at parkrun is when you're towards the back of the pack and you approach the long bridge for the first time. All you can see is an endless train of people across the bridge and all of the way up the hill, all setting their own challenges and meeting their own goals. I still feel awed and humbled that these people turn up every week to something that I stuck together on what was then a whim.

Despite the countless amazing costumes, we still had 28 PBs. Mark Bendle, Debbie Millward, John Cousen, Jonathan Perkins and Richard Smith all started their parkrun journeys with us by completing their first run, and 30 first time tourists including the guy who created the parkrun logo that we all know and love - Danny Norman completing his 571st run at his 224th event!!!

A massive thanks to our volunteers - all 25 of them!!!! - some of whom had long planned to give up their Saturday morning so others can run, and some of whom did their run and then helped out by clearing the event equipment away, sorting the finish tokens over a cuppa, or helping with the results processing in the cafe afterwards. The event really cannot be put on each week without a constant stream of volunteers so please get in touch if you are able to help.

Also a massive thank you to Sugar Shamrocks for making our hugely popular superhero birthday cake with milestone capes.

Standing in the cafe afterwards, it was clear: there was a buzz! Thank you everyone and let's see the event last for many more years to come!

Shane

 

New Years Day – Special Run

The weather was glorious for the very first parkrun of the year - sunny, blue skies, not too cold - but very very muddy......ah well. And the extra special treat for New Year's Day was that we got to run the course backwards! Well, in reverse, not literally running it backwards...I mean DOWN that lovely hill instead of up.

Personally I've only ever run it up - once before. We're tourists from Bracknell, my sister's house bordering this beautiful park you run in.

We had 137 people turn up, who ran, jogged and walked the course. The tourists came from Hull, Bracknell, Belfast, Bath and Nottingham, plus a smattering from parkruns local to Melton. All in all, representatives of 15 different clubs took part. Welcome all of you.

24 runners were first timers, well done you for getting up on NEW YEARS DAY to come out for a timed run! You're all winners.

Despite the mud, 10 people recorded new Personal Bests. Congratulations to Nigel, Ruby, Amy, Sophie, Alana-Savannah, Veronica, Jonathan, Stuart, Rachel and Warren. Something to aspire to again next time.

Tourist Francesca Parkes and local lady Julie Braker both ran their 50th, well done you two. Look out for Deborah Wilson, who will be running her 50th next time, and Shane Sharkey who will be reaching 100 parkruns next time. Cake, balloons, champagne......? Maybe, maybe not. Rosie Ashmore will be doing her Junior 10 next time out. Definitely cake for her.

The fastest lady on the day was Sophie Kendrick with a time of 21.56, a PERSONAL BEST too! The fastest gentleman on the day was Chris Hibbitt, in a time of 19.44, just 8 seconds off his PB.

Today's event was made possible by 17 amazing volunteers who gave up their time, their lie in and their warmth to make it possible for us to enjoy our run:

Anne JACOBS • Paul JACOBS • Helen BENZIE • Emma PALMER • Mike WILLIAMS • Paul MERRISON • Sharon ESHELBY • Brian WALKLING • Daniel GRAY • Ashley JACKSON • Rachel HEGGS • Cinthia PARKES • Julie WALTON • Val DRAGE • Sue HALE • Mel PADGETT • Sarah-Louise CLARKE

Please give them a cheer when you run round next time. Feeling like you want to give something back? There are plenty of roles you can do as well as run your run, like pre-event set up, post event clear down, pacing 1 minute run 1 minute walk, or 2 minute run 1 minute walk, or pace to a set time, eg 30 mins - You decide! Then you could also run and do token sorting afterwards, run report writing, first timers briefing, and if you're very very fast you could also do barcode scanning for those that follow behind you! Take a look at the spaces available in the next few weeks http://www.parkrun.org.uk/meltonmowbray/futureroster/, then just email meltonmowbrayhelpers@parkrun.com. You'll be assured of a warm welcome. (At 25 times volunteering you get a beautiful purple running shirt, well worth the little bit of time you give back)

If you like your stats, then today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Melton Mowbray parkrun Results Page. I really missed spicing up this newsletter with some photoraphs, if you're handy with the snapper on your phone, or even a pro camera, consider taking some pictures of everyone ready for the off at the start, runners midway round, volunteers, marshals etc. You needn't stay for the whole event. Perhaps you could snap, then use them to write the next newsletter yourself :-)

It'll be Melton Mowbray parkrun's 3rd Birthday in 2 weeks - well worth some photos then! And you'll need cake and balloons. Did I mention cake and balloons yet?

The female record for your course is held by Chloe RICHARDSON who recorded a time of 18:24 on 25th April 2015 (event number 15).
The male record is held by Thomas STEVENS who recorded a time of 16:26 on 16th December 2017 (event number 156).
The Age Grade course record is held by Anna GARNIER who recorded 90.57% (21:44) on 29th April 2017 (event number 123)

Melton Mowbray parkrun started on 10th January 2015. Since then 3,275 participants have completed 20,138 parkruns covering a total distance of 100,690 km, including 4,231 new Personal Bests. Wow.

 

#158 – Xmas Day parkrun – 25.12.2017

So when I decided to join the core team a few weeks I thought Christmas Day would be the quieter day to debut as Run Director......well that didn't go to plan. 172 of you turned up, including the Archangel Gabriel, a donkey, virgin Mary and several members of the Claus family!

A big shout out and huge thank you to all the volunteers for giving up their Christmas morning to make sure we all had a safe and enjoyable run. A special thanks to Rachel and Katie for the post run refreshments.

Who enjoyed the course in reverse then? Those of you who have Strava may have noticed that it's called nurkrap ("parkrun" backwards). Just brilliant.

Today we saw 8 first timers, 13 new PB's and many tourists. The atmosphere was just incredible and as I said in my run brief there's no better way to start Christmas Day.

Well done to Rachel Holland on completing her 50th parkrun, what a day to do it on.

parkrun as normal on Saturday then another special run on New Years Day which will start at a later time of 10.30am.

Finally I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas from all of the core team.

 

Event 154 #stiltonstridertakeover 02/12/2017

This morning was a chilly one, however that didn't stop 185 of you joining us at Melton Mowbray parkrun - the 6th highest ever turnout at Melton Mowbray parkrun. A mass of blue and white were among us as local running club Stilton Striders took over 24 volunteering roles including numerous pacers among the field of runners, joggers and walkers.

Amazingly 38 new PB's were set. Too many achievements to mention everyone but some noticeable PB's that we have to give a shout out to. Mother and son duo, Eunice and Tom Hansen both smashed out PB's. Gary Rutherford smashed his PB set in May by 4 minutes 19 seconds. Special mention to Sally Gemmell, she ran her 10th parkrun today, since starting parkrun back in April of this year she has achieved PB after PB, another one today knocking a massive 12 minutes 27 seconds off her first ever run at parkrun! Well done to you all. You're all amazing.

Great to see so many tourists today. 13 runners from Birstall running club joined us. Well done to you all, we hope you enjoyed the hill (twice!).

Special mention to Stilton Strider Alan Thompson, today was his 100th parkrun and he chose to volunteer and pace 21 minutes.

Thank you to all the volunteers from Stilton Striders today. It was great to see so many of you out running the course today, 31 of you including the pacers. Such a fantastic running club to be part of. As Andy said during his pre-run brief today, Stilton Striders are an inclusive running club and warmly welcome all runners of all abilities and ages.

What a wonderful morning of running, friendships and chatter over coffee. The atmosphere in the visitor's centre cafe was just wonderful to feel and witness. Hope to see you all next Saturday.

If anyone is interested in joining the club, or just finding out more about what they do then please find loads more information

 

Xmas and NYD special runs

As ever, every event has the option of doing special runs on Christmas morning, and New Year's Day. At Melton, we have used these special runs in the past to REMOVE THAT HILL from the course! We decided that after a year of hating it, we would twice treat our runners to an opportunity to run DOWN it instead! This is achieved by running the whole lap in reverse - starting off at the Finish Line and ending at the start.

This year will be no different! We will be there 9am on Saturday 23rd December as per usual, and then again at 9am on Monday 25th December so you can earn your second helping of Brussels later in the day. There will be a chance to parkrun at Melton again on Saturday 30th December, and again on Monday 1st January! We are currently confirming the time of the NYD run as this is the only day in the calendar where people can run a DOUBLE run (run at one parkrun event and then hot-foot it over to a different local event) and have both count towards your run total. If we can co-ordinate with another local event, that gives you an opportunity to run 5 parkruns in 9 days!!!!

These will always need staffing by volunteers willing to join in the Christmas cheer, so if anyone could give up their time, that would be amazing.

The announced parkruns across the whole country for Xmas day and NYD can be found on http://www.parkrun.org.uk/christmas-compendium/

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