#170 – Milestone Week

So, I laid my clothes out last night; restrained my voddie intake and went to sleep about 9.30pm so I could be at the peak of my athletic abilities for parkrun this morning. Got up with a spring in my step, dressed in aforementioned attire, kissed the family farewell and was on my way.
Driving there, I started getting really nervous. Arrived early, so early I thought it might've been cancelled as I couldn't see anyone!! Met a lovely lady Elaine who told me we had to trek uphill to get to the meeting point/starting line. We chatted and she was absolutely brilliant at easing my nerves. She didn't leave my side when everyone was congregating and I was introduced to other people, all were so welcoming and friendly that I didn't feel uncomfortable in the slightest.
AAAnyway, had the talk and set off, I stayed at the back....some of those at the front literally few off. I went at a steady pace and managed to run 10 whole mins before walking!!! 10 mins!!!! I realised about halfway round that concentration when running is essential. Who knew that when you let your mind wander, tree roots literally rise up out of the earth and trip you up (think of Harry Potter and that weird tree thing that tries to kill them!!)? Who knew that running through a field in which 181 people have run through before you, would have mud that tries to steal your trainers and your balance AT THE SAME TIME?!! Had some serious windmill arms trying to stay upright I can tell ya.
After the first lap I wanted to go home, I'd had enough and hated it; then all those lovely people, runners and marshals who were clapping and runners encouraging me with a, 'you can do this,' and 'keep going, come on!' spurred me on and a fantastic lady, Jayne who ran with me on the last lap, kept me going.....I ran down to the finish line where I promptly burst into floods of tears (I'm such a wuss!) I was so emotional. I couldn't believe I'd done it. I couldn't believe that I actually felt like a runner- me- overweight, unfit, depressed me- had done it!
Once I had commenced breathing and reassured myself that I wasn't about to collapse, a fantastic lady bought me a cuppa tea and a cupcake........never has tea and cake tasted so good.........I really wanted to just face plant it but that would've led people to believe that I'm nuts.....Afterwards a really kind man then walked me back to my car as I wasn't sure where I was going. Came home and snarfed so much food that I'm gonna need to run again tomorrow to burn off the calories!!
A little 'something' has changed in me today. Before, I was saying that I wanted to do the Leeds 10k next July but now I actually believe that I'll be able to do it. It's funny; I've ordered the RMR cuff with 'I can, I will' engraved on it and now, I fully believe it.
Mel 1. Mud and tree roots 0.
Can't wait for next week!!!!
Love xxx
PS- To the lovely girl outside the café who asked if was 'the lady from Run Mummy Run,' I'm really sorry I didn't have chance to stop and chat but I'd love to next week if you're there. xxx

Oakwell Hall parkrun
Event number 170
2nd December 2017

This week 181 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 18 were first timers and 21 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Amanda WALKER • Lynda ROBERTSON • Julie SMITH • Ethan STOCKWELL • Keith KING • Natalie SAMPSON • Nicky EADES • Mira MILEUSNIC • Graham EADES • Lee DICKINSON • Susan ELLIS • Sue GRAY • Julia FIRTH • Jason SAVILLE • Michelle SAVILLE • Ann BOGUE • Philip BOGUE • Irén BODROG • Emma LOCKWOOD • Michael ELLIS • Ian CROMACK • Rachel HEATON • Harrison GRAY • Luke RYAN • Melissa GRAY • Sarah STOCKWELL • Julie MANUEL • Hayley RYAN

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Oakwell Hall parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 19:10 on 18th July 2015 (event number 51).
The male record is held by Joe SAGAR who recorded a time of 17:10 on 16th January 2016 (event number 75).
The Age Grade course record is held by Treena JOHNSON who recorded 87.80% (20:21) on 6th May 2017 (event number 141).

Oakwell Hall parkrun started on 19th July 2014. Since then 5,263 participants have completed 30,349 parkruns covering a total distance of 151,745 km, including 6,788 new Personal Bests


Christmas & New Year 2017/18

We've decided not to run events on Christmas Day & New Years Day, however we will be on as normal on the Saturdays.

A Christmas Compendium will be available nearer the time so you know where you can head for a festive parkrun fix!


#162 Courtesy of See Binnsy Run

When we received a message asking if we could share a blog about their run with us, we couldn't wait for a read!

So here it is thanks to 'See Binnsy Run', you can see the original article here - http://www.seebinnsyrun.com/2017/09/oakwell-hall-parkrun/

I arranged to meet a fellow parkrunner at Oakwell Hall today, unfortunately, he went to my home parkrun instead. I had also arranged to take my running buddy Ian along too.

I dragged my tired backside out of bed, after changing my mind a gazillion times about whether to go or not. I even sent Ian a text telling him I was staying in bed, quickly followed by one saying I couldn’t get back to sleep so I was still going to go. I had a minor stress when I couldn’t find my all important apricot parkrun top. I found it hiding behind the towel box cunningly camouflaged by dust and cat hair. A quick shake and sniff determined that it was suitable for wearing.

So at 8.15 we set off, neither of us really knowing where we were going. The satnav took me on a magical mystery tour of a dodgy looking housing estate which I am reliably informed is named after the Bronte sisters and their books. We came back a much easier way, I hate that woman, she’s always sending me around the houses.

We arrived nice and early, plenty of time for a toilet stop and a moan about how cold and tired I was. We even had time for a selfie and a chat with a couple of Laker friends who were marshalling. Pre run there was a newbie briefing which we all paid special attention to. The route description sounded a lot further than 5k, 2 laps ???? I was knackered just looking at the map.

There was a second briefing for all the runners and despite there being a large presence at the new runners briefing I was the only one to fess up to being a tourist.  After a minor spat about where we were going to start, Ian and I went our separate ways.

Oakwell Hall parkrun is a 2 lap course across a variety of terrains. There were dirt paths, nice and solid. A boggy uphill field, I opted for the kissing gates and path on the second lap. Cobblestone steps, not cobblestone steps. A downhill slalom. Definitely an undulating course.

It was hard, I don’t think the hills were any better or worse than Cross Flatts but the different surfaces made it challenging. The marshals were lovely, as they are at all parkruns. The ones that stuck out were the very enthusiastic man in the Leeds United scarf and the lady in pink legwarmers who told me I was awesomely fabulous. I was a little disappointed that the finish line was hidden around a corner meaning that I was deprived of my usual sprint finish, I’m sure that I would have saved a whole second if I had known.

I opted to run 10 minute intervals with 2 minute walks in between. I finished 218th out of 240, yessss!!! not last ! My time was 43.01, not bad considering the time I have been away from running and parkrun. Oakwell was my 15th location and I ran my 75th parkrun there.


#159 – Conditions: Wet

#159 - A Special (very wet) One

The yellow jersey - Le Tour, Paris. The green jacket - Golf Masters, Augusta. The red tabard - parkrun, Oakwell Hall. Which of these highly prized garments do you think I get to wear today? Yes, I think you may have guessed (no prizes). Today I get to join the exclusive 50 club. All that's missing is the award ceremony and the emotional speech. Champagne is in short supply but there are cakes and a brew available.

But "Wait!" I hear you say. "Don't get carried away". And you'd be right - for as I look down this week's results, it reveals that, out of a turnout of 206, there were 62 runners who have qualified to wear the red tee shirt including 16 who have qualified to wear the black one and one who has qualified to wear the green one. So the club is not that exclusive. Is there such a thing as an inclusive club? Or is that just a club? Some have gone on to really clock up the run numbers. Step forward tourist Dave John Williamson who, this morning, clocked up his 421st run (his 7th at Oakwell Hall) and is well on his way to a blue 500 tee shirt.  He also did our First Timer Briefing too! Incredibly that's over 8 years worth of parkruns if you manage to run just about every week. But enough of statistics and tee shirt envy. That's not what it's all about.

So, how did my modest (as it turns out) milestone come about? Well, possibly like many parkrunners, I'm a reluctant runner. I tried in the past, but lack of time, dedication and natural talent, those well known obstacles to fame, fortune and bragging rights thwarted my ambitions. Saturday mornings are something to be looked forward to but, it has to be said, my favourite bits are the final sprint home, the brew / apre run and the final stroll down the yellow brick road.

When I worra lad (cue Dvorak's Hovis advert music), formal keep fit was well down on the list of life's priorities in my part of Leeds. In the unlikely event that you'd see a guy running down the road wearing shorts and a vest, you would assume that he was (a) eccentric (b) a fugitive/ escapee (c) on his toes after being caught ' in flagrante delicto '.

As a consequence, role models for my pals and I were thin on the ground. Until we discovered the legendary Alf Tupper 'Tough of the Track'. For those less than sixty odd and not a reader of 'The Victor', (I guess that's everybody), Alf was a working class, comic book hero and talented runner. He competed in all distance events from 100 yard sprints (no metres then), 220 yards (1furlong), 440 yards (a quarter mile) through to the mile which, I recall he managed to do in less than 4 minutes. Always the classic underdog he managed to come out on top despite the underhand antics of the posh boys down at the athletics club. He managed all this on a diet almost exclusively of fish and chips, usually eaten from newspaper. In one edition, after working a late shift at the welding shop, he saved a dog from drowning in the canal, had his fish and chips, fell asleep on the train to White City and still managed to win his 440 yard heat. What a guy! Just think what he could have achieved with Lycra and a nutritionist. I read somewhere that he also inspired the likes of Ron Hill, Steve Cram and Brendon Foster (millennials may need to Google these names). What a legacy! Alas his legacy to me was a fondness for fish and chips. Heigh Ho.

Fast forward to 1982/83 when I got serious about running. Inspired by a new work colleague I began attending circuit sessions at Morley Sports Centre and invested in a professional running kit rather like the 118 man advert ie Reebok trainers, running vest and de riguer silky shorts (totally unsuitable for low leg stretches / lunges guys - just saying). This led to my competing in the Leeds Marathon, Wakefield Half Marathon and many various fun runs with all the training that involves.

So after 34 years of circuits at Morley - at a time of life when most are hanging up their trainers I found myself dusting mine off (not the Reebok ones obviously) when my daughter Laura invited me to join her at Oakwell Hall parkrun. All those years of circuits were probably not the best preparation for a 5k cross country parkrun. Ok I wasn't likely to peg out at the top of Warren Lane but running round in a sweaty sports hall cannot possibly replicate the conditions ie hills, mud, horizontal rain, swamp, of those 'enjoyed' at Oakwell Hall. That was nearly 2 years ago and I'm now a regular runner, tourist and volunteer.

Whatever happened to our comic book legend? Alf never made it to the big screen - I don't think he even made it to full colour. I imagine him creaking around some park or other on a Saturday morning running in the VM 85-89 category and wearing his signature baggy shorts, pumps and mucky white vest. I reckon that, if he turned up at Oakwell Hall as a tourist, he'd catch up to Lee Dickinson in the final furlong, (220 yards - pay attention) and carry straight on up to the Mermaid for an early lunch. But 'Hold on' I hear you say, 'you're doing it again' and you'd be right.

As a footnote, I'd like to thank runners and volunteers for their support on the way round. I put it down to the 'allure' of the red tabard. Special thanks to Megan for being a superb RD on what was one of the wettest events I can remember.

Stephen Eaglen (A1961314)


#158 – Bring Me Sunshine

With the way of the weather over the last few days it was hard to know what to wear this morning, so in I packed a hoody, rain jacket, large brolly, and thankfully my sunglasses!  It was a beautiful morning at the park.  A huge thank you to both Mandy and Norman for arriving before many of us had got out of bed to set the course up for event 158.

Sue welcome our 32 First Timers and Andy Cook for Kirklees Council gave some information for a Leadership in Running Fitness Course coming up in Huddersfield shortly (http://www.englandathletics.org/courses-and-bookings/leadership-in-running-fitness).

With regular Timekeepers John and Melissa on hand we were soon ready for the off!  It seemed to be a quick start with Max right behind regular First Finisher Lee on lap one.  In just over 19 minutes Lee was home, followed by Dave, then Max celebrated his 100th parkrun in third.

263 people completed parkrun this morning, some walking, jogging, running and even going back to cheer on others which we think is great!  The Bramley Breezers were on tour and their bright kit could be seen around the course.

We had a lot of people this morning without a barcode.  We understand it is frustrating if it's forgotten, or even lost on route....we've even had someone say 'my dog ate it on the way here!' but our volunteers are asked to support parkrun with just a few simple rules, one of which is 'no barcode, no time'.  Unfortunately on some occasions our volunteers have had to take the brunt of some unhappy runners, we'd really rather this didn't happen when people are giving up their morning so others can participate.  The details are right here in the FAQs - https://support.parkrun.com/hc/en-us/articles/200566883-Do-I-have-to-have-a-barcode-

We do have a tub where you can keep a spare barcode for parkrun day within the tea room, or alternatively you could order a wristband or tag from here - https://www.parkrun-barcode.org.uk/

After a little plea at the start next week the roster is now looking great!  We still need volunteers for future weeks in the month, so if you are interested in seeing how it all works from the other side please do get in touch!  We do have some regular volunteers, but on occasion they'd like to take part too, so maybe you are the one to give them their next PB!

Thank you to everyone who joins us each week to participate in whichever way.  Until next week.....

Natalie (A1045199)

Co-Event Director

PS - #dfyb :-)

Oakwell Hall parkrun
Event number 158
2nd September 2017

This week 263 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Keith KING • Carole CLIFFORD • Paul MURGATROYD • Wendy MURGATROYD • Natalie SAMPSON • Mira MILEUSNIC • Ian ROPER • Darren ATTWOOD • Susan ELLIS • Sue GRAY • Norman BOTHA • Michelle SAVILLE • Sandra THARBY • Ann BOGUE • Philip BOGUE • Lynn POULTER • John POULTER • Susan PHILLIPS • Michael ELLIS • Karen NORRIS • Ian CROMACK • Liam SAVILLE • Mandy BOOLE • Harrison GRAY • Melissa GRAY • Miriam RAHEM • Catriona LAWRIE • Jonathon DODDS

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Oakwell Hall parkrun Results Page.

Male placings:
Lee DICKINSON (SM30-34) of Tingley RunFIT, was first over the line in 19:17 - 34th time in 124 appearances.
David TEGGART (VM40-44) of Tingley RunFIT, was second over the line in 20:36 - has been first to finish on 11 previous occasions.
Max METCALFE (JM11-14) of Rothwell & District Harriers, was third over the line in 20:50.

Female placings:
Carly MILLER (VW35-39) of Oakwell RunFit, was first (8th overall) over the line in 22:20 - 49th time in 111 appearances.
Lydia FARLEY (SW20-24) of Bradford Airedale AC, was second (26th overall) over the line in 24:13.
Michelle ASTON (VW45-49) of Oakwell RunFit, was third (37th overall) over the line in 25:11 - was first to finish once before.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Chris NORRIS (VM60-64) – 71.21% for the time 22:31 (11th overall).
Kevin LUSK (VM55-59) – 70.37% for the time 22:13 (6th overall).
Lisa HOUSON (VW50-54) – 68.43% for the time 25:46 (46th overall).

The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 19:10 on 18th July 2015 (event number 51).
The male record is held by Joe SAGAR who recorded a time of 17:10 on 16th January 2016 (event number 75).
The Age Grade course record is held by Treena JOHNSON who recorded 87.80% (20:21) on 6th May 2017 (event number 141).

Oakwell Hall parkrun started on 19th July 2014. Since then 4,908 participants have completed 27,697 parkruns covering a total distance of 138,485 km, including 6,364 new Personal Bests.





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