welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter Vitality congratulate their Reading half marathoners, we invite our junior parkrunners to head for the orange trees and I reminisce.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been helping my wife Helen and a few dedicated local parkrunners find a suitable 2k course for a junior parkrun up here in Harrogate. It’s been a wonderful experience and although I certainly can’t take any credit for putting in the hard graft required to make the event happen, I am proud to be a small part of the team. It has also taken me right back to when I was in that position just under eight years ago and looking to bring what was then called a ‘Time Trial’ to Leeds. That event started out as the Hyde Park Time Trial, a year or so later became Leeds parkrun and recently changed again, this time to Woodhouse Moor parkrun.
I am extremely proud that the prospective core team for Harrogate juniors is enjoying a pretty similar experience to what they would have done all those years ago. Ultimately it’s about finding a suitable area of open space, getting permission, building a volunteer team and setting a date. Back in my day (he says sounding like one of those ‘back in my day’ type grumpy old men) we were pretty naive to some of the operational stuff around things like putting marshals in the right place etc. but by and large the experience remains unchanged after ten years of significant growth. The main difference is really that new teams now have the support of one of our amazing parkrun Ambassadors, a group of volunteers who do stuff outside of event delivery and really are the difference between being able to do what we do and not.
Obviously going from one event in West London to 350 events across the length and breadth of the UK has required an element of change, however it’s great to see first-hand that core volunteers, and of course runners, still get pretty much the pure parkrun experience.
I’d also like to thank everyone who responded so brilliantly to last week’s article by Alzheimer’s Research UK that highlighted the upcoming challenge of Chris Graham. This from the Alzheimer’s team:
“Thanks for sharing his story with the parkrun community – the response was brilliant. We certainly saw a surge in donations from parkrunners after Chris’ article featured in the newsletter – it would be lovely to say thank you to those who donated."
See you at the weekend,
P.S. You can read about Scottish junior parkruns in this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.
faces of Vitality Run Series
The Vitality Reading Half Marathon saw two of our Vitality Run Series bloggers’ training culminate in the big race day event! Both Richard and Louise share their race day strategy, what it feels like to be cheered on by the crowd and the euphoria of crossing the finishing line.
“I’ve already decided to sign up for next year’s race. Vitality Reading Half Marathon is a great route and the atmosphere was incredible. There were bands playing, cheerleaders and crowds of people at every stage to cheer the runners on,” said Vitality run series blogger Louise.
Meanwhile, Paul and Lawrence have less than a week to go before the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon. As an athlete with 40 years experience, Paul discusses the art of tapering off before a race. Lawrence explores performance enhancement techniques like visualisation and breathe work to get the most out of his race day.
Want to achieve a Half Marathon challenge?
Be part of the Vitality Run Series - a series featuring eight of the UK's most exciting running events, brought to you by Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run the whole Series.
A Vitality Run Series event may provide the motivation you need to become a fitter and healthier you in 2015.
Find out more here.
the orange trees
It’s been a while since we last mentioned our magnificent junior parkrun series for children aged between 4 and 14. Over 2,500 junior parkrunners and over 500 volunteers are now joining us every weekend for a 2k run and unlike the 5k series under 11s can run the courses unaccompanied.
We currently have 40 junior events up and running across the UK so grab your juniors and their barcodes, and head for an orange tree!
Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)
Number of runners - 63,184
Number of volunteers - 5,621
Number of first timers - 8,404
Number of PBs - 15,506
feedback from the field
Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners
Hi parkrun UK
I was over the moon to receive the Medina IOW parkrun Monthly Prize on the day I completed my 50th parkrun. To be part of such a wonderful initiative, meeting such great people every week, is reward enough, so to get a new pair of running shoes too was incredible. Thanks Sweatshop for sending me these speedsters!
Hi parkrun UK
I noticed there was a parkrun in Hereford and as I was going to visit relatives there I decided to do the parkrun too. How disappointed I was to find that when I arrived late on Friday I'd forgotten my running shoes. I decided to have a lie-in but awoke at 8.15am remembering that the parking for the parkrun was near a supermarket. I found ‘sports shoes’ for £10, purchased them at 8.52am, found the start at 9am, and ran my best 5k for three years. Great course and in memory of a local runner. I think I might have the record for running in the most recently purchased trainers!
Hi parkrun UK
The first day of spring and it was parkrun day! My daughter Shelley had invited me to run at her home parkrun with her. As I got in the car to drive the 20 miles from my usual parkrun in Andover to Southampton, the sun was shining the birds were singing, and I arrived with a spring in my step. It was so nice to be a parkrun tourist and to be welcomed by a great bunch of people shouting “Hello, Shell's Mum" with the usual parkrun enthusiasm. I would thoroughly recommend this experience to put a spring in your step and I look forward to meeting many parkrun tourists at Andover.
Hi parkrun UK
When I found out that my favourite place to walk, Oakwell Hall, also had a parkrun, I was overjoyed. This enabled me to combine running with seeing the picturesque views of Oakwell Hall, two of my favourite things. From my very first run I have been made to feel welcome by the team and other runners. To my surprise I was recently awarded the Sweatshop Monthly Prize which I was very grateful for. I wouldn't have been able to achieve this if I hadn’t been made to feel welcome from the very start, and now I have a number of great new friends too. Thanks Running Bears.
parkrunner of the week
If you feel somebody at a parkrun should feature as our parkrunner of the week, please get them to fill out this handy online form - you can even apply yourself!
Name: Ian Enticott
Club: Hampton Magna Harriers
Home parkrun: Burnley parkrun
Number of runs: 22
Favourite volunteer role: Finish Tokens
What do you do at parkruns: Try to beat my personal best and catch up with other parkrunners. Help one of my parishioners to beat her personal best.
How has parkrun changed your running: Enabled me to help other parkrunners to build on their achievements and try to beat their personal bests
What do you like about parkrun: Keeping fit, meeting new people, the friendly atmosphere and the encouragement I get from the marshals.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: I wore my collar around the course but it didn't help me beat my personal best, but I did improve on my performance from the previous week. Also I once managed to miss all the muddy parts of the course and then walking back to the car disappeared in a small bog!