There is a literal pain in our hearts to say that our Dad, Stewart Waldridge, suddenly passed away last week. Many of you will know him and our Mum, Christine. He was an avid parkrun regular and enjoyed a mid-week jog with Verwood runners.
We were terrified to write this eulogy but once we actually sat down and began gathering his parkrun statistics we found ourselves feeling extremely proud, smiling and even laughing at some of our memories of him at parkrun. From a weekly 5km fix he was inspired by fellow participants, joined Verwood runners, listened intently to advice from them and completed his one and only half marathon in November 2018. The Dark Moors Half!
Stewart (our Dad) completed 163 parkruns at 13 different locations that covered global extremities. From Rouse Hill in New South Wales Australia to Inverness in Northern Scotland. He crossed the line in style at the infamous Portrush parkrun when his sprint finish (on sand!) ended with tangled legs and a forward roll
117 of these parkruns were done at Moors Valley where he embraced fancy dress
He entered the parkrun funnel for the first time at Bournemouth parkrun on the 27th December 2014 after much persuasion from family members. This was then quickly followed by the New Years Day Double in West Yorkshire on 1st January 2015 at Pontefract and Nostell. He was instantly hooked and loved everything about it including volunteering. He recently clocked up his 50th volunteer stint (which we don't think he was even aware of) and he completed a course to become a VI guide only last year but he did not get an opportunity to fulfil this role.
Dad was passionate about parkrun's partnership with Alzheimer's Research and participated in "running down dementia" every year raising £157.79 in 2016, £127.62 in 2017 and £122.13 in 2018. He paid money in himself everytime he completed a parkrun and always "donated his time" when the appeal came round. We were always very proud of him for this.
parkrun (plus cake and coffee afterwards) was a big support when times were hard and provided a common ground which brought family members together.
We have a personal thanks to send to the Moors Valley parkrun team but particularly Jason for his messages this week
We also give thanks to the 33 volunteers that made this mornings event possible.
524 people crossed the line today, 58 of you visited Moors Valley for the first time and 14 of those completed their first ever parkrun. 125 PB's were achieved! Well done.
4 people reached official milestones today. Gemma Skinner and Tyler Robinson have earned a red 50 t-shirt (Tyler got a PB in the process). Sue Tipping and Amelia Wilson completed their 100th parkrun. Congratulations!
Please join us next week and bring a friend for our special wig run in memory of our friend Glenys.
Hayley Hawthorne and Emma Alford