With just one month to go before Peterborough's parkrun's 5th anniversary, Run Director Roy Young set us off on event number 264. Having seen Roy happily volunteering in one capacity or another on pretty much every parkrun I've attended at Peterborough, I checked out his stats to find that whilst this may have been his first time as Run Director, he has volunteered in 219 roles since 2015. In the same time he has run 117 times which is proof, if it were needed, that there are roles where you can both run and volunteer, especially if you are fast as that adds funnel manager and barcode scanning to the possible roles, as you can help out with these after your 20 minish run before the majority of runners start to cross the finish line.
Obviously there are always a host of volunteers every week (Roy's wife Lorna is another regular volunteer). When I struggled round my first parkrun back in 2013, it was suggested that people should try and volunteer at least 3 times a year. If all this week's runners did that, Laura & Co would pretty much have the rota covered for the next year. If you have thought about volunteering but are unsure for whatever reason, the core team are super friendly and you can shadow a role before taking it on. Why not check the roster and give it a go.
So, while it may have been Roy's first time as Run Director, it was also the first parkrun for 43 runners who made up part of the 536 of us who ran, jogged and walked our way around the pretty Ferry Meadows in what was ideal weather for sunbathing!
Among those 43 First Timers were 10 ladies from my club, Sawtry Walk To Run, who had just finished their 12 week None To Run programme. All did amazingly well with two of the ladies finishing in sub 30 and the lovely Liz, who like the others, only took up running in April came home with our very own club tail walker Sue, in a time of 50.26 giving her an age grading in the VW65 -69 category of 41.44%. Impressive stuff.
Heading the 536 strong pack this week were two 'unknown' runners who, when they flew past me on their way to the finish before I'd even got near to the 2k marker, were wearing Helpston Harrier vests. These guys as a group are super fast as their stats from the recent Green Wheel Relay will testify. The first named runner home was Oliver Mason of Peterborough AC with a PB of 18.09. Well done Oliver. First lady home this week was Jordan Foster of Nene Valley Harriers who was fifth overall with a time of 18.26, just 20 seconds outside her PB which was set in cooler temperatures back in March. Jordan also topped the age grading table this week with an impressive age grade of 80.29%.
In summary, we had 536 runners, 43 first timers and, despite the heat, 39 PBs. 33 different clubs and groups were represented and a total of 36 volunteers kept it all safely ticking over. Congrats to all of us!