Peterborough parkrun #274 – Werrington Joggers Takeover

The sun in shining still in September, runners have gathered at Ferry Meadows once again for this week's parkrun, this time it’s the Werrington Joggers Volunteer takeover. With 37 volunteers in tow all present with our blue and yellow vests. It would be hard to miss us! We all gathered for our morning briefing and grabbed our barcode scanners, volunteer hi-vis to match our vests of course and most importantly our smiles, ready to welcome everyone.

The stroke of 8:50AM and the runners gathered to hear the morning brief carried out by Billy, remembering the key phrase "no barcode, no result" then slowly made their way to the chalked start line, obviously highlighting 'Werrington Joggers' on the path.

The sound of the whistle went and all 523 runners and a few canine friends began their morning run, walk or sprint around Ferry Meadows. It was fantastic to see 34 new first timers at this week's parkrun, who got to experience our resident Werrington Jogger Geordie, Laura deliver their first timers brief with such enthusiasm and northern charm.

Run begins and everyone is out on the course taking in the sunny morning, listening to a track or two on their running playlist. Favourite of mine is "Eye of the Tiger" makes me feel like brilliant when running the last mile of a race.

Finish line approaching and you can see the look on people's faces thinking 'PB,PB' however it's not all about that, yes amazing achievement if you managed to beat your time from last week, but what is amazing to see is the sense of achievement when you see a whole family cross that finish line and come running up to you with their barcode smiling.

With 3 volunteers scanning including myself, I kept saying over and over in my head "face then place" which related to the order you scan the barcodes. We scanned over 500 runner's barcodes and it definitely isn't an easy task but you are given a help guide from the volunteer coordinator which you can refer too if you get stuck. Best part of the day for me is getting to hear a thank you from the runners, really makes you smile as without the volunteers there would be no parkrun.

Once the main event is over, the volunteers start the clear up and token sorting. I have to say I have volunteered at a number of parkruns and Peterborough is the definitely the most organised and you really feel supported by all volunteers.

Laura Wilson

 

Peterborough parkrun #273 – Keep on Running

On a still, cool overcast morning I arrived to the latest parkrun with my debut doing a new volunteer role deep in my thoughts. Surrounded by the 32 fellow volunteers I awaited my instructions from the volunteer coordinator with anticipation and the background knowledge that I was going to experience a new exciting challenge.

I was barcode scanning for the first time that day. I won't say which chap I was but needless to say there were no issues and I got through it in what seemed like only 5 minutes. But for all those who took part it was good to see through the tiredness and the fatigue the smiles on the faces of almost everyone. It goes to show how many people enjoy the early morning start to their weekend with a parkrun, but also it showed me no matter what they gained something deep within from participating. Whether there is personal fitness goals, encouraging their children along, running with the pooches, trying to beat your personal best or simply getting friends along to run each week we all come together and take part, and that's a wonderful thing.

For all 476 runners this week, those 33 first timers and the rest of those returning for a morning run/walk, unless you have previously experienced the wonders that happen behind the scenes before you take part, you'd often ponder how the organisation seamlessly takes place. Well having seen the hustle and bustle first hand it's truly the hard work of all those volunteers, who like a well oiled machine are prepared for the unexpected. From the funnel managers, marshals, first timer briefer, tail walker, coordinators, timekeepers, token sorters, barcode scanners and many many more they all pitch in, work together and what comes into fruition is a thoroughly good and successful parkrun.

After strolling towards the finish line to watch the runners and walkers make their way around the lake and back I was able to first hand see the impact that positivity from the marshals cheering everyone on. I also saw the cheery support from the other people around keeping those beginning their run smiling and motivated with encouragement, which is a telling difference when you feel that energy sapping. Having myself felt the warm support from those around the course when I needed it most it made me truly appreciate the impact the encouragement has and also humbled at the same time at the thought that we are very lucky to have a parkrun close by in such a beautiful surrounding.

Inspired by those shouts of encouragement were the 88 new personal bests from those participating this week. Not a bad return indeed. But can we top that next week? Of course we can, but most important of all is let's just get down there and enjoy the early morning and start the weekend the best way we can with a parkrun!

But if I can inspire others to volunteer with this report then I have to say it's well worth it in the end, because as much as you love running/walking the parkrun, its honestly well worth taking part as one of the many volunteers every once in a while, because without them we don't get a parkrun to enjoy. Don't be scared or worried to take part either the volunteer coordinator and those who have taken part before will always put your mind at ease.

Just go to the volunteer section on the Peterborough parkrun website and send an email for a position you wouldn't mind doing. And remember if I didn't mess up scanning barcodes.....anyone can do it!

Remember folks, no matter how fast or slow you are, old or young just keep on running the Peterborough parkrun.

Michael Stewart

 

‘Wrong’ position tokens Sat 18/8/18

Hello Peterborough parkrunners!

Many of you noticed that the position token you were given last Saturday did not match up with the position in the results. Apologies for not responding to individual emails but hopefully everyone sees this message instead.

Unfortunately some people still do not realise that when they step over the finish line they MUST go all the way down the funnel and take a token. If someone gets timed over the line but does not receive a token it can have a massive effect on the results (anyone that has volunteered as the results processor will understand this, as will some of those that have volunteered around the finish area).

The funnel managers try their best to look out for people ducking out of the funnel but unfortunately we have a very long and busy funnel and sometimes not many people volunteer to cover this role. The number checkers run up and down as fast as they can trying to see that we stay in sync (and if we don't, where does it go 'out'). But again, with a funnel so long and busy, we cannot always narrow it right down. The volunteers handing out the tokens move their hands as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, this means that they sometimes don't see if someone slips out by them without taking a token.

Please, please, please! If you cross the finish line, take a token! If you haven't got a barcode then just hand it to one of the volunteers that are scanning barcodes and they will just put it straight in the bucket. This will ensure that you don't mess up anyone else's result. On that note, if you are running back for a friend to help them in (which of course is encouraged), when you come back, please do not go near the finish line again. The timekeepers want to give everyone the best time they can so if they see feet anywhere near the finish line they will be ready to press that button.

Each week our results processor volunteers extra time during their Saturday to compile the results. When things go out of sync we do our absolute very best to try give accurate times but because of the issues mentioned above, and sometimes just genuine human error, it is sadly not possible. But the good news is that you can always try again for free next week!

If you'd like to understand more about the way the results work and how it's important to keep the timers and tokens in sync, email in to peterboroughhelpers@parkrun.com and give 'number checking' a go!

Thanks all for reading and for understanding,
Laura Whitton, Peterborough parkrun volunteer co-ordinator

 

Peterborough parkrun #269 – Eye Community Runners Takeover

My name is Maisie. For those of you who don't know me I am a super cute Jack Russell/Yorkie cross and mascot of Eye Community Runners who provided the volunteers for this week’s parkrun. I love being the club mascot, have made many friends and even attended my first overseas running festival at the Isle of Wight earlier this year.

I have been coming to parkrun for a few years now but it was only last year I started actually running. I have completed around 30 parkruns now and have my paws crossed that by the time I reach 50 runs there’ll be a milestone t-shirt for four-legged runners like me! I usually run with my human dad Graham (or should I say drag him round?!) and I absolutely love it. Saturday mornings are my favourite time of the week.

Please forgive the slight delay with this week’s run report but I have had a busy few days – walking my human Dad to the coffee shop, my morning run round the cathedral grounds, snoozing with my cat brothers Jack and Victor, and avoiding my cat sister Hobo (she can be really mean, giving me a swipe with her paw when I least expect it!).

So onto the run report…ECR had a fabulous turnout of 44 volunteers, led by Andy Short as Run Director and including my very good friend Gordon at the rear as tail walker. That’s a volunteer role I was born to do. If you haven’t volunteered yet then take a look at the future roster and put yourself forward. There are lots of different roles to try out and some – like writing this run report – leave you free to run too.

As for the run itself no surprise to see Phil Martin as the first male home in a time of 16.59 – his twelfth time picking up the 001 finish token at Peterborough this year. Jess Varley was the first lady home in 20.34 and a special mention must go to Eddy Paddock, first in the junior category and 7th place overall in 19:03. Congratulations to you all and indeed to all the runners who finished first in their category.

A total of 569 completed the run with 96 setting a new PB and a bumper crop of 31 first timers.

Three parkrunners achieved milestones on Saturday and can now claim their t-shirts:

50 Club - Jason Lomas (congrats on your PB) and Ruth Mitchell

25 Volunteer Club - Lee Couzens

Finally, a special shout out and wag of the tail to fellow Eye runners Peter Ridley and Michaela Parr who ran their 150th parkrun. And to Margaret Hayes who also hit 150 runs and to top it off completed her 100km Running Down Dementia 2018 challenge in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK (https://www.runningdowndementia.org/).

See you at parkrun on Saturday

 

Peterborough parkrun #265 – Double Sash Run!

When I sat in my car at 6:00am I hadn't got a clue where I was parkrunning this morning as for the last two and a half years, like the Rolling Stones I have been on permanent tour!

It is not that I am not searching for the perfect parkrun - I am sure if I asked runners at each venue I have visited they would say their parkrun is perfect! Hopefully my constant traveling isn't that I am unwelcome at my home parkun – that is if they even remember me. But collecting different parkrun events has become a hobby – after two years on the road and over 100 different venues maybe it is now an obsession!

Once I had a spreadsheet of must visit venues – postcodes and average Google maps travelling time – mainly based on their region but as I have now collected all the East Midlands and West Midlands my list has fallen away a little and my tourism is somewhat haphazard!

As I sat in my car I pulled up the amazing parkrun tourist tool website to locate my 20 nearest events not yet done – number 15 – Peterborough and as luck would have it a vacancy on the roster for a report writer...

Postcode into Google Maps, Tony Blackburn's Sound of the Sixties playing on the radio and I was off – leaving the rest of my usual touring party at home – who organises things for parkrunday morning?

I arrived early! In fact before the £1 parking for parkrun deal started. I risked it as the lure of facilities called (for other tourists reading this report – open & clean :D what more could a tourist need?) Thankful the code still worked at 10:40 when I left!

Then as with any tourism the challenge is find the start. Checking the website it said by the café. It didn't lie as there was one of the set up team sticking in the New Runners Briefing sign and parkrun flag! Soon I found the Ian DAVIES this week's RD and Nona BOWKIS the Volunteers Coordinator and managed to grab the vacant Report Writers role.

A sensible runner having all the extra time would run through a mobilisation drill, carry out a gentle warm up, add in some dynamic stretches and be primed and ready to run at 9am. The only muscles I warmed up were in my jaw as I chatted to volunteers and fellow parkrunners – Peterborough parkrun people are just so friendly.

Soon enough 8:50 came round and time to listen to Joanna SELLS' first timers briefing. As I was totally clueless about the course, as I hadn't looked at that part of the website, the breifing is very helpful. But even more helpful for:- Alex SNITCH, Anne COLES, Carey SMITH, Caroline MCSORLEY, Clare WHITE, Cordelia KEBER, Emma SWAIN, Hazel MARRANER, Jacob MEHMED, Jimmy ADAMS, Josh NEWTON, Kathryn ROWE, Lexie SADDINGTON, Louise PRICE, Lucy MARRANER, Nicola FRANCIS, Olivia WALKER, Rebecca MARTIN, Samantha SEVERN & Shannon MANNING as they used their barcodes for the first time. So a huge WELCOME to them for join the parkrun family today.

The main run briefing is important to listen out for any safety information the RD needs us to hear, a great opportunity on mass to thank the volunteers & to hear any runners who reach their milestones, official ones and unofficial. Today 7 runners reached double figures on their parkrun count, but only Robert Bates gets a white shirt icon attached onto his results page (and soon hopefully his parents can order a t-shirt) as he is a Junior runner – sorry Danielle HUNTER, Laura CATTRALL, Louise MORGAN, Reachel KENNY, Samantha OWEN & Susan MASHFORD you are no longer juniors – but well done getting to 10. Four runners hit the 50 milestone... but only one mentioned it to the RD so got to wear a bright pink sash. Don't be shy when you hit a milestone speak up (or friends speak to the RD for you ;-) ) 50 and 100 are a lot of commitment on a Saturday. So well done to Asha N PATEL, Ian SWIFT, Karl BOLDERSON, Kayleigh GARZIA & Sue DRAKE for getting to Red – later this week your link might go live to order your shirt so keep checking so you can wear it with pride. I hit an unofficial milestone my 200th run – hence the double sash effect as I ran. A huge thank you to everyone on course that congratulated me. But to be honest the congratulations are to the parkrun organisers and volunteers each week for these wonderful events it has totally changed my life from couch potato to marathon runners!

After a short walk down to the start soon the cacophony of GPS watch bleeps signalled the start of the run on this glorious summer day. After doing the first loop and passing the 1km marker I was already drenched in sweat and panting. Over the next two kilometres I decided I may need to revaluate my post parkrun café. As the leaders looped back past on the right almost effortlessly I realised that I might just need to stick to a skinny latte and hold off on the cake or full English breakfast.

The course was beautiful in the summer sun. I love a water feature and the lakes at Ferry Meadows Country Park provided a picturesque back drop for the run, slightly numbing the pain of the effort I was putting in as I huffed and puffed my way around the course.

As I was making my way around the square lollipop park of the course, first time parkrunner? - Jimmy ADAMS (SM30-34) was racing home in 17:35. As I had to walk a slight incline, Lauren ROSE (SW30-34) finished in 35th place over all in 21:11 to be first lady. As I started the long last 1km run to the finish Morag O'BRIEN (VW25:52) finished in 25:52 but with an age grading percentage of 80.80 %. Superb running!

Returning to Ham Bridge I decided to take a sneaky walking break – parkrun is for runners, joggers and walkers – up the slope. Into the bridge I suddenly felt all wobbly I was fearful that maybe I was suffering heat stroke – but then I twigged that the bridge was bouncy – so when I reach the top and started running again I did with a giggle – and a worry that I might catapult another runner off (thankfully that didn't happen!)

A few times around the course I took a walk break panting noisily in the summer sun and on each occasion a fellow runner or two slowed to check I was okay. This spirit of looking after each other on the run is what I have found at each and every parkrun I have visited – no wonder I have wanted to run each week. Thank you all.

During my walk break I pondered how anyone could run a PB in the searing heat. But 64 runners did manage it today including S CLIFFORD (VW45-49) who running her 130th parkrun (127 at Peterborough) ran a PB her 9th PB this year – great running and I imagine hard training.

My keenness to grab the report writer slot is not to gain a volunteer credit – (It is another role you can run and get a volunteer credit) – I gained my Aubergine a while back but to offer proper thanks to the band of Hi Viz heroes that make the run possible. As I run I do try and thank every marshal I pass but just as today I am often barely able to run and breathe. So a huge THANK YOU to :- Arron FRIEND • Barry LANE • Bianca HOUSTON • Billy SLAVEN • Brian CAINE • Claire SIBLEY • Craig SELLS • David PARKES • Dominic MOSZKAL • Frazer BURLINSON • Geoff HOWES • Henry MOORE • Ian COOPER • Ian DAVIES • James SELLS • Jill WOTTON • Joanna SELLS • Julie SMITH • Katy WILD • Lee JONES • Lorna YOUNG • Marc HORNER • Mark SHORE • Melanie FERMOR • Nick WELFORD • Nigel SUNMAN • Nona BOWKIS • Oliver STOCKELL • Paul STOCKELL • Pauline CAVANAGH • Peggy STARR • Penny ROWE • Petra ELLEN • Roy YOUNG • Simon PARKES • Sophie WATSON • Steve ELLEN • Toby STOCKELL • Tracy MOORE • Trudi MAPLES • Vicki REED who made this event possible. As with parkruns around the world if you fancy giving scanning a go, fancy being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please look on the roster and e-mail - peterboroughhelpers@parkrun.com Don't worry if you are unsure what to do the Run Director and Volunteer coordinator will happily show you what to do.

After the run I headed over to the café and what a treat – superb cakes and a great breakfast selection – and 10% off with your barcode. However the huffing and puffing around today was still in my mind, so I decided it was best to forgo the Full English and a cake to follow and went for a latte and toast (well best not to make too many radical changes all at once.) And sat down to a lovely chat with some more cheerful Peterborough parkrunners.

I had a superb time visiting your parkrun today. Thank you for being so friendly and welcoming. Happy parkrunning.

Daniel Connolly

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