By Amorelle Campbell
I would like to start my run report with a tribute to our parkrun volunteers, who selflessly stand in the cold cheering the runners on and ensuring parkrun goes smoothly week after week.
At Perry Hall parkrun there is a core team of volunteers. Emma Hawkey our Event Director, came to Perry Hall parkrun back in July 2015 as many of us did to participate in the run. At the time we were without an Event Director and after several months Emma took on the role. It was partly her mission to involve as many of the runners to get involved with volunteering and to encourage some to become run director, thus sharing the load of the weekly briefing and results processing.
The team of volunteers all drawing attention to our very special tail runner
At Perry Hall parkrun's second anniversary I was given an award from Emma and the volunteer team for generously giving up my runs for an impromptu volunteering role when there was a shortage of volunteers. I remember Emma stating she probably wouldn't do that herself if she had intended to run that day! However in my eyes she does much more, because she is at parkrun more often than not overseeing the good work everyone is doing, foregoing her own run and being unable to add to her run total.
Amorelle proudly receiving her Event Director's Award at the second anniversary event.
We have many Run Directors and regular volunteers. Some who are runners and some who solely volunteer. There are too many to mention individually but I have to mention my best parkrun buddy Julie Morris. She is not a runner but like me Julie has been at Perry Hall parkrun since it started and volunteers most weeks; I think if it wasn't for her giving me a big hug when I arrived and a bigger cheer as I ran towards the finishing funnel gasping for breath, I would have long since given up.
Julie giving Amorelle one of her famous hugs! Keep giving them out Julie - everybody loves them.
I cannot give a tribute to volunteers without mentioning Dave the Park keeper and his merry workers, they are the backbone of Perry Hall. Although Dave is not a volunteer he goes way beyond the call of duty to assist us. I only asked him if I could borrow a couple of flasks as I intended providing hot drinks to celebrate my 100th run. An offer of a gazebo, a table and many more unexpected items were given to me. I would also like to thank my friend Charlotte for coming along and manning the drinks station for me. Well done to all volunteers because without you we may never reach our goals.
Now for the run report; I awoke in the morning to the sight of overnight snow, my heart sank as parkrun had been cancelled for two weeks previously, delaying my 100th run, I had looked forward to today being the day I achieved that milestone. I kept my eye on the phone waiting for the message that parkrun is cancelled. At 8am when no message had come through, I made my way down to the park, I saw that the finishing area was set up and it was confirmed to me the run was on.
Emma was Run Director and gave the run briefing which included an appraisal of me achieving my 100th run. Sadly she had to pass on the news that one of the parks much appreciated "Friends of Perry Hall Park Volunteers" had passed away earlier in the week. Sue lost her battle with cancer this week. She was always the first to be in the park to help with any voluntary work and described as a wonderful, kind person and one of Perry Hall’s great characters who brightened up the area.
A lovely montage of Sue and the Friends of Perry Hall.
A minute's applause in memory of her took place.
Runners lined up to start the run. I was tail runner along with Imogen Gunson, we walked around the course following the last runners/walkers. The front runners soon ran past us having done their first lap. It's not unusual for faster runners to give you a cheer and a well done as they run past you, however everyone ran past me with a well done and congratulations. This I think was due to the surprise signs Emma had made for me which I was wearing front and back. The signs said "I am Amorelle. It's my 100th" which was strategically placed above the parkrun sign.
The friendliness and the kindness did not end there, as a group of runners who had finished their run came back round the course to complete the run with me. It's great to be part of this big family.
This week there were 91 runners, of whom 9 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different athletics clubs took part.
Thank you to this week’s volunteers:
Alan Sawojka • Amorelle Campbell • Andrew Wadsworth • Bob Robertson • Dee Allen • Denise Taylor • Dominic Ashton • Emma Hawkey • Imogen Gunson • Julie Morris • Marian White • Mark Haywood • Phil Thompson • Prue Shelley • Samantha Horsfall
Ruth Hogan 32:03
Janice McCreary 30:05
Julie Farnell 39:05
Julie Farnell 39:50
Julia Baker 31:42
Kathryn Salt 24:00
Jagruti Rana 42:28
Geeta Rana 42:34
Kit Hibbert 36:28
Alan Willetts 22:42
James Potter 24:59
Carol Thompson 40:17
Delores Cameron 45:55
Sandra Dunkley 53:42
Paul Hibbert 27:37
Janine Lowe 31:33
Elysia Dunkley 53:36
Stephen Baker 23:42
John-Paul Glassford (VM35-39) of Boldmere Bullets, was first over the line in 20:18 - first time in 21 appearances.
Austin Blackburn (VM45-49) of Gloucester AAC, was second over the line in 20:48.
Andrew Radford (VM35-39) (Unattached) was third over the line in 21:00.
Jennie Lloyd (VW35-39) (Unattached) was first (15th overall) over the line in 23:07 - 10th time in 41 appearances.
Kathryn Salt (SW25-29) of Birchfield Harriers, was second (21st overall) over the line in 24:00.
Susan Nuttall (VW45-49) (Unattached) was third (28th overall) over the line in 25:03.
Best Age Grade Scores:
Dave Ellis (VM55-59) was graded 73.51% for the time 21:16 (4th overall).
William O Sullivan (VM65-69) was graded 73.06% for the time 22:57 (13th overall).
Kevin Burke (VM55-59) was graded 71.09% for the time 22:22 (8th overall).