welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter it’s three weeks to go until the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon, we update you on t-shirt production and I offer our parkrunning marathon runners some sage advice.
Of the 40,000 or so people running the London Marathon this coming weekend I imagine a good number are parkrunners, likely to be reading this, and possibly in a state of maranoia (a wonderful term describing last-minute panicking, for no legitimate reason, specifically during the taper for a marathon).
The spring marathon season gets more exciting every year as not only do participation rates increase with thousands of new people getting involved in our wonderful sport, but, particularly at London, the elite fields just get hotter and hotter. On Sunday there will be seven ladies on the marathon start-line who've previously covered 8.44 parkruns in a row, with no rest, in less than two hours and 21 minutes; that's 16:42 per parkrun. On the men's side there are eight athletes who have broken two hours and five minutes for the same distance; that's 14:49 per parkrun.
What joins us all together however is that we have the same pre-race concerns. I have friends who've run under 2:15 through to friends who've yet to break 5:15 and almost all seem to benefit from the same advice, so I hope this helps:
1 - You've done what you've done, no more no less; understand where you are right now and set your targets appropriately. Somewhere between walking all the way and 4:42 miling there's a pacing sweet-spot that's perfect for you whether you're shooting for a PB or just looking to enjoy the day.
2 - I don't know your real reasons for running a marathon, but I do know that when the going gets tough you'd do well to remind yourself what they are. Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend a few days with the great Yuki Kawauchi, who showed me that times, medals and victories are just three of the many wonderful reasons to run 42,195 metres and, in fact, not the most important.
3 - No matter who you are or what your motivation, it's just a run. A great time doesn't make you a better person and a not great time (it's all relative anyway) doesn't make you a bad person. Whatever your result, perspective is everything.
So, if you're running London, or any other spring marathon, then whoever you are and whatever your goal I hope that you have a fantastic day and embrace the wonderful experience that is running 26 miles and 385 yards.
I'd also like to wish all the #teamARUKparkrun marathoners a giant good luck from all at parkrun UK.
P.S. In this week’s junior parkrun newsletter we invite you to hang out with your parkrun family.
face of Vitality Run Hackney
With just three weeks to go, Danielle shares her running knowledge gathered from the Laureus training day…
“Needless to say, it was tough, but as Tom [Running & Endurance Sports Coach] explained to us, mixing up your training with blocks of running will help to improve your fitness as well as your speed. Variety is the key as well as adding in core and cross-training (swimming, pilates, running-focused exercises) will aid you with your goals”
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.
club tees update
The club t-shirts are still on track to arrive by the end of June and will include some of the brand new volunteer club tees. In the meantime Tribesports have put together a detailed blog of the production process to whet your appetite.
There will be more updates as we get closer to receiving them and to switching on the system that will enable you to order your milestone t-shirt. You can read more about our clubs here.
Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)
Number of runners - 72,057
Number of volunteers - 5,738
Number of first timers - 10,246
Number of PBs - 17,792
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
Three years ago I wasn't a runner but wanted to be one so I attended the trial parkrun at Mile End parkrun. I was 60 and had done a few jogs but nothing serious. Last weekend with cake and balloons I celebrated my 100th parkrun with some of the greatest people you could ever hope to meet. I have volunteered, taken part in the social stuff and loved every minute. The support and friendship I have received is beyond measure. I have been a tail runner with people who now have PBs I could never hope for. Thanks to Carole, Craigie-Lee and everyone at Mile End. You guys rock and long may you run!
Thanks to everyone at Bradford parkrun. I have run there for two years with my daughter in the buggy. For personal reasons I was not able to leave my daughter to get any exercise after she was born. parkrun has given me the opportunity to get out and do something. I started for the fitness but have discovered something far more important and inspiring! My daughter asks constantly asks if it's running day and two years and one and a half stone lighter we have improved our time from 45 to 33 minutes. Thanks to the community and individuals at Bradford who have helped us.
I started parkrunning regularly at Pontypridd parkrun in January 2014 and as I couldn’t run the 5k distance I ran/walked. Each week I would turn up to do my small lap and three circuits and the support and encouragement I got from the volunteers was, and still is amazing. Pontypridd Roadents AC help at this event and gave me loads of advice, and I hit 50 parkruns in January. I secured a ballot place in the London Marathon and on the 26th of April will do my first marathon. I am neither the shape nor size of a runner but parkrun definitely started something, a running addiction and to top it all I got a new PB last weekend. This girl can!
I first attended Pennington Flash parkrun in 2013. I've participated in over 75 events, running and volunteering. I first attended as a ‘stranger’ but now realise I am so much more. I’m part of a family. Following whispers in my ear and a nudge or three I find myself welcoming newcomers, visitors and regulars. If you asked me two years ago to be actively involved I would have ran a mile never mind three. Volunteering enables one to inspire whilst being inspired at the selflessness of others.
As parkrun grows, the road traffic generated by parkrun grows. Perhaps consider biking it you don't already? For the next six months, the need for a warm car straight after parkrun diminishes. Come in shorts with a pocket big and safe enough for: your barcode (obviously), your bike-lock key and a fiver for the coffee shop. The ride home is a great warm down, and you're not adding to the road-traffic that makes it more difficult to use our streets as somewhere to get out and keep fit.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Joy Furmidge
Club: Ryde Harriers
Home parkrun: Medina I.O.W
Number of runs: 156
Favourite volunteer role: Tail Runner
What do you do at parkruns: My husband, grandson and myself set off every Saturday morning to pick our friend up and we all go off for our 5k run. We meet up with my son, daughter-in-law and younger grandson plus the many friends we have met at parkrun. After the run I help to pack-up and am repeatedly amazed that five minutes after the last runner has crossed the line and the finish flag has been taken down, and the bollards, keyboards, tokens and tables have been packed into the back of the van that no-one would ever guess that 250 people had just been running there!
How has parkrun changed your running: I have run for over 30 years which culminated in my running the London Marathon in 2008. Since then I’d just ticked over with small runs and had reached the stage that I could have given up running. In September 2011, I discovered parkrun and gained a new lease of life and now over three years later I am totally addicted to doing my 5k run at 9am on Saturday mornings where I meet up with new runners and encourage them to share in the comradeship of parkrun each week.
What do you like about parkrun: I love the fact that three generations of my family run together and then we all exchange our own experiences of that day’s run. We have lots of regular runners that come along to run from different Island running clubs and now through parkrun we have created an ‘All Island’ running group who meet up four times a year for a run followed by a social evening. I have also started a ‘knit and natter’ group in the café after parkrun each week, where we have coffee and I teach the ladies how to crochet.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Our run was diverted across the field one morning a couple of summers ago as the hospital emergency helicopter needed to land in the middle of our field. There were lots of PB's achieved that week as the route was cut short because of this. My daughter-in-law is the latest member of our family who recently reached the magical ‘100’ runs and that now brings the total of our family parkruns to a grand total of 744 so far! Another year and we will reach 1000!