Event 168 (17th February 2018) Aldridge Running Club volunteer take-over.

By Sarah-Anne Fitzsimmons

Aldridge Running Club (ARC) have done quite a few parkrun "takeovers" in the last few years but as far as I know this was the first outside our usual home of Walsall Arboretum parkrun, and this one found us moving en mass to our new home for the weekend, Perry Hall. 

 

 

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The ARC flag would be flying high once the boys got it sorted!   IMG_4634

Just checking the stopwatch is working - I've got runners to time!

Emma (the resident ED and ARC freshman member) was our volunteer co-ordinator and challenged us to fill every role on offer. This gave the valued core volunteer team at Perry Hall a well earned weekend off and instead of a lie-in some took a chance to take part in their own event.

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The ARC high viz hero's from Saturday.

Cindy Tierney completed her 50 milestone with a silver balloon bobbing in the breeze and not even a threatening chance of a rain shower was stopping her. Having volunteered an impressive 33 times this will be her second milestone, after completing the run she handed out chocolates to mark the event.

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Cindy Tierney arrived with her 'go faster' balloon to help her fly around the course. Jo Yarnall and Emma Hawkey were very impressed.

 

 

I found the event a challenge, each lap being different means you don't seem to get a chance to drop into autopilot, surface changes underfoot and sharp u-turns mean you have pace yourself and try not to land in the moat as you come into the home stretch!

 

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The lovely moat at Perry Hall Park

Ron Reynolds captured a lot of the fun of the day in the 250+ photos that were added to the Facebook page on Saturday afternoon, worth a look too see if you've been caught with flying feet.
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Here come the tail walkers and marshals to complete the event.

 

 

There were 20 clubs represented overall and 8 people decided to start their parkrun journey at Perry Hall this weekend as first timers.  Sure we will see them again soon and some of the Perry Hall regulars at our running festival of 10k, 5k and childrens races on June 10th, further details can be found at http://www.aldridgerunningclub.co.uk/aldridge-10k.html

 

 

This week 135 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers and 20 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 19 volunteers:

Helen HIRST • Ronald REYNOLDS • Gillian Jean HASTINGS • Terence Anthony HASTINGS • Jo YARNALL • Sarah Louise HINKLEY • Barinderjit CHEEMA • Lynda ELMORE • Sarah-Anne FITZSIMMONS • Judith TOASE • Barbara JOHNSON • Dan NEWBERRY • Sarah GIBSON • Emma HAWKEY • Dave ELLIS • Rebecca GRIMSHAW • Robert FOSTER • Kevin GALER • Tracey CHADWICK

 

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

The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 18:10 on 16th May 2015 (event number 28).
The male record is held by Ben GRIFFITHS who recorded a time of 15:47 on 29th October 2016 (event number 104).
The Age Grade course record is held by Margaret KENCHINGTON who recorded 86.71% (21:27) on 28th May 2016 (event number 82).

Perry Hall parkrun started on 22nd November 2014. Since then 3,053 participants have completed 16,096 parkruns covering a total distance of 80,480 km, including 2,924 new Personal Bests.

Sarah-Anne
 

Event 167 (10th February 2018) D of E volunteer loves parkrun!

We have our second Duke of Edinburgh participant with us at the moment. Some of you may be recognising her face now as she has been with us for a couple of months. Beth chose Perry Hall parkrun for her bronze level volunteering section.

It's a pleasure to have her with us and she is certainly growing in confidence and is an important part of our team. She has carried out most of the different roles we have at Perry Hall and we are certainly hoping that once her Bronze Award is complete, that we continue to see her on Saturday mornings.

 

My name is Beth, and I am doing my Duke Of Edinburgh’s award at Perry Hall parkrun. Over the past 3 months, I have volunteered nine times and enjoyed ever minute of it. Naturally, I decided to do it through the coldest months of the year, and have suffered the consequences of not bringing gloves one too many times. Nevertheless, I have had the pleasure of working in a fantastic team with some truly lovely people, and have felt welcomed into the Perry Hall community, for which I am grateful.

After the runners briefing, the volunteers collected at the bridge to cheer them on, and the massive lead of our first finisher was quite a sight- he really knocked it out of the park.   This week, my volunteer role was as a number checker, which essentially consists of approaching exhausted runners and kindly interrogating them about their watch time. It helps us to cross reference with our results when they are later processed.

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This role, just like with many at parkrun, allowed me to meet and talk to new people who are always lovely, and for that reason, it was a fun week- even if I could hardly write due to my cold fingers!   Many thanks to all our runners and volunteers, and see you next week at Perry Hall! -Beth, DofE volunteer

This week 116 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 19 were first timers and 14 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers: Lesley PYMM • Ronald ADAMS • Phil THOMPSON • Jason HOLT • Tracey LIMBRICK • Brian BESSANT • Dee ALLEN • Lorna WITTER • Roy GREAVES • Amorelle CAMPBELL • Sarah GIBSON • Emma HAWKEY • Beth HUBURN-GREEN • Kelly STOKES • Alison COOPER • Maria OSBORN • Simon STANFORD • Sally NULTY

 

Event 163 (1st January 2018) Happy New Year All

What a wonderful 2017 Perry Hall parkrun had. We had many milestones met - 50s, 100s and 250s, plus many joining the volunteer 25 club. We had more different volunteers than ever before, and I would encourage anyone who has not yet volunteered to have a go - parkrun cannot happen with you and you are welcome to put your name forward for any roles, even if you have never tried them before.

This weeks run report has been provided by a Walsall Arboretum parkrunner - here is her perspective of the very first event of 2018.

 

By Sally-Anne Bynoe

What a great start to 2018, if somewhat unexpectedly soggy! We had a lovely turnout of 213 runners, some first timers and quite a few tourists. Plus a plethora of volunteers, some even offered their services on arrival.

Did you do the double today? It's the one time in the year when parkrunners can try and do two parkruns on the same day as start times are slightly staggered. It's great fun if you've never tried it before, so maybe something to give a go for next year...

My double today was volunteering roles as I'm currently unable to run. I signed up to write the run report and also tail walked with the lovely Angelina. If you've never volunteered before, why not make that one of the things to do this year? It's great fun and you get to see parkrun from a different side.

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Michael the marshal with tail walkers Sally-Anne and Angelina (Left to Right)

I had great fun today chatting as I walked, swapping injury and recovery stories (that's what runners do right?). Also loved giving encouragement on the way around. Not just to those who we were following but also the faster runners as they zoomed past us but still had the energy to say thanks to us for helping out. Volunteering really makes you see the bigger picture of parkrun and get a feel of what it means to different people. You also feel great afterwards and everyone is so friendly, you'll surely make new friends too.

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The Green family who had a super time marshalling, and core team volunteer Lorna cannot contain her excitement to be running on Saturday,

Special mention to Sarah who ran her 100th parkrun today but has also volunteered a massive 107 times! That is truly amazing. Congratulations Sarah and thank you! And thanks too to everyone that volunteered today. Smiling through the cold and rain, you did great!
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Thank goodness Sarah (right) has achieved her 100 runs, she can now claim her parkrun black tee shirt :-) - CONGRATULATIONS.

Here's hoping that you enjoyed your run/jog/walk this morning and that it's given you a good boost for the year ahead. Well done for starting the year on the right foot. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2018 and see you on Saturday as we don't have to wait as long for another parkrun this week!

 

 

 

Event 143 (5th August 2017) The first volunteer takeover

By Dee Allen

 

Today's parkrun event at Perry Hall was their first ever volunteer takeover, and it was Boldmere Bullets, who were out in force to build their profile in the local running community and to promote their 5K and 10K races which are taking place on Sunday 17th September in Sutton Park (www.boldmerebullets.com/bullets-run-2017)

The Bullets' orange, white and black livery was very much in evidence, with balloons and flags at the finish line, and the 'Bullets Corner' gazebo prominently serving as the base of operations for the event.
bullets groupBoldmere Bullets were out in their numbers.

All of the volunteer slots were filled, and a few Bullets members were also running. There was a mixture of Perry Hall regulars and first time visitors among the club members in attendance, and it is hoped that we see the newcomers again in the future.

I volunteered for two roles: As a Marshal and as Report Writer. I have marshalled a few times at Perry Hall but today was my first time volunteering for the role of Report Writer.

Part of what makes the parkrun community so strong, and ensures its continued success, is the welcome it extends to runners of all abilities, and the friendly atmosphere that surrounds each event. The Bullets fully embraced this approach today, and greeted the runners with not only verbal encouragement, but a noisy and colourful display of flags, whistles and cowbells.
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Very encouraging tail walkers.       cow bell and flag

Boldmere Bullets are renowned for their support.

 

The weather was most definitely on our side this morning; the sky was clear and bright, but thankfully not too hot. As I write this report however, a storm has not long passed and it looks like the clouds have settled in for the rest of the day but I can live with that.

From my marshalling station I enjoyed a good view of much of the course, and was responsible for directing the runners round one of three hairpin bends which feature on the course.

The cancellation of the nearby Cannon Hill parkrun meant that we were welcoming a larger number of visitors than usual. For comparison, there were 207 runners recorded at today's event, compared to 141 at last week's. Congratulations go out to Mark Ince from BRAT who finished in first place with an impressive time of 16:49. First female finisher was Ronni Thomas-Osborne, finishing in 21:58.
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There was a great family atmosphere at the event.

 

At this point I would like to take the opportunity to encourage anyone reading this report who has not yet volunteered to give it a go. There are many roles to volunteer for, and help is needed before, during and after the run itself, so volunteering does not always mean giving up a run. Without the work done by the volunteers, the events cannot take place, and rewards are provided in the form of smiles and words of thanks from the runners, and the awarding of volunteer credits. There is also a community-within-a-community feel to volunteering, and this can perhaps be felt most strongly on days when the weather is at its most challenging. Yes, it can sometimes feel good being stood out on a course in the freezing cold and pouring rain. This morning though, as I said earlier, the conditions were much easier to run in.

Lastly, on behalf of the Boldmere Bullets I hope that everyone who attended today's event enjoyed it. Our association with Perry Hall parkrun was not restricted to this one day: our members can be found among the runners and volunteers on most Saturday mornings and we look forward to hosting our own race in September.

For further information on the Boldmere Bullets: www.boldmerebullets.com

 

Event 128 (22nd April 2017) A special 100 was celebrated.

By Emma Hawkey
Thank you to Graham Ayre, parkrun first timer who has written a wonderful piece about his experience at Perry Hall.
Today was a very special event, we had a very special 100 milestone to celebrate.
I had a last minute trip to Wales and was very upset to miss this as it was Lorna Witter's, a Perry Hall regular who has become the heart and sole of the core volunteer team. . .

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Run Director Phil Thompson did a great job of getting Lorna onto the bench to embarrass her on her special day - didn't she look proud and happy in her volunteer parkrun top!

She turned up on New Year's Day for her first run in 2015, and since then has taken massive 12 minutes off her time, in the meantime Lorna started volunteering. Lorna is very humble about the work she puts in towards Perry Hall, but I would like this recognised publicly alongside her 100 run.
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Angelina Farruggia's husband had drawn this special piece which was placed out on the course for all to see.
She has completed 65 volunteer roles, and joined the volunteer core team and takes everything in her stride with a smile. This includes Run Directing, and the very scary role of processing results which she has become an expert in. Hours after parkrun, core volunteers are still working to complete results or also wash the high viz.
Perry Hall simply would not exist without Lorna and the rest of the core team.
Lorna has one of the biggest smiles around and I send huge huge thanks for all she does.

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By Graham Ayres

Despite being something of a runner since my mid twenties - 4 London Marathons (slow but sure) and numerous half marathons and other races over the years I have had a stop/start running life of late. Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007 and then having a bad relapse in 2016 means keeping mobile and fit have been a struggle. Constant calf problems (of which more later) have not helped but having worked with some lovely people who are all parkrunners I finally decided to take the plunge today at Perry Hall.
I arrived nervous but excited after the alarm woke me ridiculously early for a Saturday. I was much too early - about 8.25 am - but was soon included into the parkrun spirit by being shown a) the toilets and b)the start line. Checking I had my bar code safe with me - I brought 2 copies just in case - I strolled to the start to meet my friend and ex work colleague, the wonderful Lorna Witter.

After explaining what happened at the start she then went off and embarrassed me by going for a warm up jog!! I stood chatting to other runners - all welcoming and friendly - and then moved to hear about the course. I must confess that I did not fully concentrate at this point as I was starting to get cold but determined just to follow the others. I made especially sure I knew who would be the tail end runner however! Then we moved towards the start where I was surprised to get a round of applause for being a first timer (along with a few others) and could not feel more relaxed and ready to run, which I did for a stunning 2 minutes 10 seconds before my left calf went "ping"!! Having suffered with this for years I knew that I should have stopped right then but the spirit of the challenge got the better of me and I struggled on - at first running on my heels and alternating it with walks up and down slight inclines (there are not many - it is a flat course really).

As I completed the first lap I realised that I could do this all the way and that I should just grit my teeth and get on with it. The wind seemed to be against us all whichever way we were running and as I was overtaken by runners with dogs, small children, runners with push chairs (heroic!!) and even St George I started to remember why I ran in the first place. Yes, its still one of the best ways to keep fit and healthy - even at 54 - but mostly it is for the buzz, the thrill, the satisfaction of a job completed. And mostly for the people you meet. Everyone at Perry Hall today was supportive, encouraging and positive in their outlook. They all looked ridiculously healthy and I was even able to catch up with a couple of people I used to teach a long time ago. I loved every second of it!
As I write this my left calf is the size of a small tree trunk and the ibuprofen is being wolfed down like mini eggs on Easter Day!!
But I tell you what - I will be back as soon as I can.
Graham Ayres - first timer but not the last timer.
Oh, and now I have a PB to chase!!!

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