This week there were 434 runners enjoying the rather crisp but sunny morning. We had Stella start us off with a quick 3-2-1 and we were away. The new start certainly seems to be working and everyone is getting away a lot quicker than with the old starting position.
We had 45 first timers at the MK course of which 18 were parkrun tourists. In case any of you missed the link on our facebook page, there is now a new website enabling you to find the nearest parkruns to your location. Great for logging into when on holiday and missing your parkrun fix!
102 of our runners this morning recorded new Personal Bests including Joanne WEST knocking over a minute off her previous pb, Michelle GEORGE-BARNES (who also came in as first lady using prkrun at the end of a 10 mile run this morning!!), Claire MARRAY with her second pb in August and Caroline BEECHEY on her 166th run! Awesome work people. Well done.
Representatives of 23 different athletics clubs took part including Mik ONIONS of the Brighton Tri Club, Laura BOWLEY of the Happy Bodies Running Club and our first placed gent Mark PINDER of Nestle Rowntree AC.
This week we had just the one person celebrating hitting a T shirt milestone and that is Angela Sarah COX hitting the 50 T shirt mark. Well done Angela and look out for the email requesting your T shirt size.
Next week should be Kevin GARDNER’s turn to hit the 100 mark as he hit 99 today! Great achievement Kevin.
Remember the only way to get these T shirts is to turn up regularly, run and bring your barcode!! Still getting loads of people showing up as Unknown in the results due to missing barcodes or bringing a small piece of a soaking wet barcode and expecting it to scan. Get them laminated!
Thanks to Ian Richardson for putting the following chart together for us:
Gigantic thanks to this week's volunteers
Adam JOYCE • Callum JONES • Christina TRIBBLE • Claire MCFAULD • Daniel TOLLETT • Elizabeth TRIBE • Gina SHARP • Gwen JONES • Ian PENNICOTT • Ian STEVENS • James DWIGHT • Julie LOXLEY • Lee BARNES • Neil SOLANKI • Niam HANI • Nick FAIRBROTHER • Paul SMITH • Pippa MCKEAN • Sarah KING • Stella-Maria THOMAS • Stuart LAMOND
See our volunteer page for details on getting involved in making Milton Keynes parkrun happen.
We have huge volunteer-less holes in future weeks on our roster so please, please email in with the position you can undertake. Full training is provided for any of the roles if they seem a bit daunting at first. If in doubt, go for being a marshall on your first go as that is really simple!
Keeping with the theme of volunteers, by chance we have a short story from Nick Fairbrother about the merits of volunteering:
I started running during a mid life crisis and wanted to run the London Marathon. I achieved this in 2007 and again in 2009 and then fell out of love with running. A couple of years later I started hearing parkrun being talked about on podcasts and noticed there was an MK version. In those days there were only around 80 finishers not the 400+ we get now. However, despite the massive growth, the feel is still the same, a friendly welcoming and unique event, run by volunteers. We should all ensure we continue to make this a success by taking our turn to do our bit and volunteer just 3 times a year, there are always weeks when you can't run or are injured so why not give it a go then, you will enjoy it.
Excellent, cheers for providing that Nick.
We also have some input on the same subject from Elizabeth Tribe:
Well here goes, I like to run and I like to volunteer. This year I thought to myself, I will run and volunteer once a month, which so far I have done, plus I've done a few more runs. I would not want to see parkrun cancelled as I know lots of people like it, especially my husband and the friends we've made through parkrun, we look forward to it every week. Volunteering lets me see more of the run, I mean I see the first runners in, the ones in the middle and the ones at the end. You see all sorts of expressions when crossing the finishing line, but mainly determination, and from the smiles on the faces afterwards you can see how much parkrun means to people. Everyone should just give volunteering a go, it is the least any parkrunner should do to say they are a parkrun runner.
Great words Liz, thanks for that and thanks for volunteering so often.
Finally on the volunteer theme we have a slightly longer one from Neil Solanki:
A Park runner’s Vent on the importance of Volunteering
Let’s all be honest here, every single one of us take parkrun for granted. We rock up at the start, run the course, scan our barcodes, mingle with our fellow runners then make our way home or pop into the Coffee shop for a well-deserved shot of caffeine. It’s a free weekly event which has a great social aspect aligned with bettering ourselves whether it is trying to shed a few pounds to getting that PB that you have been craving for. However, naturally we all don’t think much about those behind the scenes, those on the other side making sure that these weekly events run in a smooth and safe fashion – The Volunteers.
These are the people; when you are struggling cheer you on to push that little harder, to run that little bit faster. Before we go for that 5K trek we are all asked to give a half-hearted round of applause for the volunteers, but then we forget about them.
I was pulled up three weeks ago and asked whether I wanted to volunteer. I was caught in an awkward position, gave my barcode number and hoped that they would forget to get back to me. That obviously did not happen as I received an email on the Friday confirming what my role would be. I had to take this on the chin and let’s face it I had already done ten parkruns so you could say it was well overdue.
Being on the other side was a different experience – a demanding one. All members working in unison to ensure that run is done in a manner that is safe but most importantly fun. It was great cheering people that you know on and helping them push that little extra to cross the line. Seeing this from the non-running side it did make me realise that the main stars of these events are the volunteers, without them this would not happen.
This parkrun there were over 430 registered runners and we struggled to get 15 volunteers which is an absolute scandal. What made this worse is that less than 10% of those registered with the MK parkrun volunteer – This is an absolute Travesty!!
Here we are taking full advantage of a free, fun event and being absolutely narrow minded and thinking of ourselves. This is a social experience and should be fun and we all should share the responsibility. If we averaged this out over the year and if we all contributed equally the maximum number of parkruns that we would have to volunteer is 3. That’s right just 3.
If you are injured and nursing yourself to fitness you should Volunteer. There is no use staying at home and feeling sorry for yourself. Get out there help out in marshalling and watch those runners run. There is no better motivation to get back onto that course when see someone else get that PB.
Sometimes the body needs a rest from the constant bombardment of training hence you should volunteer. If you are dropping by to see your other mates run then you should Volunteer. If you have run ten park runs in a row then I believe you should volunteer.
You’re not going to get fat if you miss a session. If you are that worried, go for a run afterwards or before hand.
You may see this as finger pointing here…….yes it is. Yes I am even pointing the finger at myself for my lack of consideration. The lovey dovey approach has not worked and will never work in these modern times.
I am very vocal individual and not scared in making people feel awkward and using emotional blackmail to get them to volunteer. So watch out I’m coming after you, especially those who run in the Green Jersey.
We are all in this together.
REMEMBER ONE THING.
WITHOUT THE VOLUNTEERS THERE IS NO PARKRUN!!!!!
Why I Run
A year ago I was someone who would pop out for a 40 minute ’jog’ and tire after ten minutes wanting to go home and sit in front of the box sipping on a cup of peppermint tea.
Rewind ten years. Ten years ago whilst I was at University at the age of 21 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had to undertake harsh chemotherapy treatment for the year as well as attempt to gain my degree.
Naturally you go through all those phases where you finally accept the situation, some quicker than others. One of those stages is one called ‘Bartering’. I tried to make a deal with the Lord upstairs on the day of diagnosis that if he helped me survive I will run the London Marathon for charity. After getting the all clear the following year I sort of forgot about what I promised – you could say I brushed it under the carpet.
However things had changed back in September 2013, after talking to a friend of mine who does long distance running I was inspired – I was going to run the 2014 London Marathon. This marathon would have marked my ten year anniversary. It was around nine in the evening and I was googling on ways to get into it. The only option available was via the Charity route where you had to raise a minimum of £2,000. Being eager I ridiculously contacted Macmillan Cancer Support and left them a message at around twelve in the morning begging for them to give me a place. Months later I was given confirmation that I had a place. Hand on heart I truly believed that I would not only reach the target but destroy it as I believe that I was running for a cause that touches many and if you put the effort and passion in the Universe pays you back.
Training was tough, I am not going to lie to you but this was something that I had to do and people depended on me. Failure was not an option I was going to complete this Marathon even if it killed me. Waking up in the early morning, pitch black on a cold winter’s day is not everyone’s cup of tea. I eventually slowly increased my distance running from 10K, then slowly to half marathon distance to eventually 20 mile runs all before the Marathon in April. I was averaging 28-32 miles per week during the peak of my training. All this in a space of 5 months.
I successfully ran the Marathon in 4 hrs 52 minutes, slightly disappointed as I wanted to complete it in 4hrs 20 minutes. There are no words that can describe the euphoria and emotions you feel when you cross that finishing line. Emotions are high and all that hard graft, sweat blood and tears – it was all worth it.
I was never a sporty person and had never won a medal unlike my other friends who played football and rugby. However running half marathons and getting those medals becomes a great addiction. I was making up for those accolades that I missed when I was younger. You want more and more and more. It is a good sort of greed. The only regret that I have is that I never ran sooner
I have more runs planned and hoping to go International – Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Paris Marathon. I am also hoping to eventually run Berlin, New York, Chicago and The Great Wall of China.
Running is my addiction – it’s my Vice. It’s me against me. Trying to better myself at every attempt.
When I run by myself I see it as being my time – I can relax, listen to music and plan my day ahead.
Nowadays you could say I am greedy and want more out of life. I don’t believe in the old defeatist saying of you ‘Only live once’. No! that’s is a cop out ‘You live every day and die only once’.
Everyone can run. Our bodies are made for it – There are 28 bones in the human foot so that should say something. We are born to run!!
‘Be Phenomenal or be forgotten’
That has to be the longest report anyone has ever submitted Neil but well done for putting together so quickly. Lots of good points in there so hopefully it will have an effect and we won’t have to beg for volunteers in future weeks! Good luck with your running too, very inspirational.
This week we also have some input from Mel, the Assistant Manager, at your local Sweatshop in the Xscape building who did a bit of interviewing prior to the run:
This morning at parkrun I went on down to cheer all you lovely runners on. You may have seen me at the finish line cheering!! (Crazy girl in the bright green Sweatshop Tee!). There was some AMAZING Sprint finishes. We want Sweatshop to be able to provide support for runners of all abilities. One of the great things about running is that almost everyone can do it - you don’t need athletic prowess and most runners start out with nothing more than a pair of trainers. If you have never run before but want to start, or run but have no one to do it with, we can help by giving you a place to come to, free of charge, where you will have a chance to go out with supportive and friendly staff at Sweatshop plus other runners to share this experience - with a real community feel.
This bank holiday Monday (25th August, 6pm) we will be restarting our 0-5km programme. This is all being led by volunteers and those that have previously done this programme. If you want to get faster and beat those times, come and join the friendly SRC. We are all about getting the running community together. We believe running groups should be free, fun and for everyone.
We have brilliant incentives to keep you going such as a free yellow Adidas tee after 5 runs!!! If you would like any more info pop into store or email me at MiltonKeynes@sweatshop.co.uk
Here is a few stories from our SRC family and why they run and do parkrun:
‘’I've just completed the parkrun at willen who would have thought it, this time 8 months ago I went to Sweatshop for a pair of trainers thinking I start the gym and a lovely lady said (Mel) why don’t you come to our beginners club couch to 5k in 9 weeks so I took the challenge, on week 5 I thought this isn't going to happen couldn’t breath. I had to walk lots in between BUT with the support and encouragement of everyone at SRC I actually made it! I was so chuffed I carried on and even went with SRC to the Westminster mile, I think this is when I got hooked on running. I love it I keep trying to get stronger and SRC help with this with Sunday hill training and I think it’s paying off. I can now cope with so much more and speaking to others at SRC who all are such a lovely friendly group that the parkrun is good I signed up my first run 2 weeks ago was WOW lots more people but all very friendly I loved the run and then being e mailed my times was so good I think I beat my times this week by nearly 2 min. Thanks SRC and parkrun for your commitment to all of us runners new and old, without you we couldn’t do this.’’
‘‘Today was my third parkrun and I still can't believe I've actually now running 5k three times a week. I've never been sporty or active and certainly never run before and I only took after running after reading about all the health benefits in a magazine a few months ago. I was really struggling with my weight and with diabetes in my family, I thought there was nothing to lose and it was worth a try. I stumbled across Sweatshop Running Community when I was buying some bits and pieces in the MK store and they asked if I fancied coming along. I've only just completed the "Couch to 5k" with Sweatshop MK and am really grateful to all the support. Everyone there is so friendly and encouraging and to my own amazement I now enjoy running and want to progress more and they've even got me to like hills! What I really love about parkrun is that it appeals to everyone, whether you’re competitive, a newbie like me, or just enjoying a run with your kids and that the Marshall's really encourage you on. My best bits are when you run up the zig zag path and see the view of the lake and of course the finishing line!
Shelley Hadden & Keely Judd
Favourite park of the course:
That finish line!! We also like under the canal path as it’s a bit cooler round that size!
How did you guys do today:
I was chuffed to bits to get my second PB in 2 weeks!! Loved the support you get from other runners and marshals on the way - they really help to keep you going !:)
WELL DONE GIRLS!
Great reports ladies and thanks to Mel for sorting that out for me this morning. It is always great to hear about how people got into running and the effect the local clubs and parkrun are having on people’s lives.
Finally, Mel also put together the following for those looking for a GPS watch:
One piece of kit I can’t live without is my GPS watch. It is perfect to help with those parkruns and get those times down. I found it showed me where I was slowing down and what part of my training I needed to work on. Mine is that zig zag hill!!
The perfect watch I would recommend for parkrun training is the Garmin 10, something nice and simple. It accurately tracks how far you run, how fast you run and your calories burned, helping you to keep track of your goals. It is also great for any runner, due to it’s run/walk features (interval training) as well it’s current pace alert feature which will make sure you keep to your pace in the moment or alert you if you’re going to fast or too slow (great for those chasing a parkrun P.B. or keeping up pace for fitness). You can always pop into the store and chat to one of our friendly team for more advice on which GPS unit is right for you!
Now for a few stats:
Mark PINDER (SM20-24) of Nestle Rowntree AC, was first over the line in 16:58 - first time in 6 appearances.
Ben FAIRHALL (VM35-39) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:11 - was first to finish once before.
Andy INCHLEY (VM35-39) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was third over the line in 17:25 - has been first to finish on 8 previous occasions.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Paul WOODWARD (David Lloyd Redway Runners) 5516 pts.
Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 4894 pts.
Ed VOUT (Unattached) 4681 pts.
Michelle GEORGE-BARNES (VW40-44) of David Lloyd Redway Runners, was first (58th overall) over the line in 22:05 - second time in 17 appearances.
Zoe BROAD (JW15-17) (Unattached) was second (68th overall) over the line in 22:26.
Autumn HALES (SW18-19) (Unattached) was third (77th overall) over the line in 22:48.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Lucy RICHARDS (David Lloyd Redway Runners) 5723 pts.
Julie LOXLEY (David Lloyd Redway Runners) 5584 pts.
Angela Sarah COX (David Lloyd Redway Runners) 4582 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Malcolm DOWN (VM50-54) was graded 79.63% for the time 18:59 (7th overall).
Caroline BEECHEY (VW55-59) was graded 78.25% for the time 22:50 (78th overall).
Ben FAIRHALL (VM35-39) was graded 76.72% for the time 17:11 (second overall).
Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,368 different runners, including participants from 371 athletics clubs, have completed 61,169 runs covering a total distance of 305,845 km, and there have been 12,801 new Personal Bests.
The women's record is held by Emily TALLEN who ran in a time of 00:17:04 on 2011-10-29 (event number 94).
The men's record is held by Ian KIMPTON who ran in a time of 00:15:01 on 2013-07-27 (event number 182).
The Age Grade course record is held by Shirley Rose GIBSON who recorded a 89.38% run (23:23) on 20th October 2012 (event number 145).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Milton Keynes parkrun Results Page.