Event number 341
14th October 2017
Friday evening, we are again short of a news report, I put out a request on facebook and Jo Parry replied, "saying she could write the news this week" fantastic, is always good to get a report.
I wasn't expecting this super report. Thank you Jo Parry.
Enjoy your read below
'The minute you cross that finishing line, it will change you life forever' it read, yet another one of those trite memes that drift meaninglessly in and out of your consciousness as you scroll through Facebook. We've all seen these quotes, and I'm willing to bet most of us think about the words contained within them for about 2 seconds. In May this year that very meme popped up in my social media timeline, and for once, it actually had an impact. I thought, "I wonder if that's actually true?" and so set about finding out by running my first race.
I entered the Poole Festival of Running 10k race after doing about 3 weeks 'training', and finished in 1 hour and 6 minutes, and, to my delight and surprise, discovered that that exact sentiment was very true indeed. That night I found the Poole parkrun website and signed up.
My name is Jo and I sit down for a living. All day, for hours on end I sit at my iMac and draw to earn my living. Bar the odd jog around the block the only exercise I got was walking down the stairs each morning to sit at the desk. I have no exceptional back story or interesting anecdote, I'm just the proverbial also ran who decided that a sedentary lifestyle was no longer an option, and I realised that Poole parkrun was the answer to fixing that.
Today was my 12th parkrun, Poole's run #341. Today, like all my other saturday mornings now, involved this new, and still slightly surreal ritual of setting the alarm for 7am, slurping hot coffee and switching on the TV whilst shaking my head at the thought of making myself run over 3 miles, just for the sheer hell of it. It's one of those love/hate situations, where you cant quite decide if you enjoy or endure the whole process, a bit like eating jelly sour sweets. That peculiar sensation of the confusing attack on the senses when the sourness makes your jaw lock and face wince, yet you go back for another, and another, and before you know it, the bag is empty. parkrun, for me anyway, is a bit like that, except, unlike eating a bag of sours, the feeling you get after you've finished is altogether more satisfying.
So why Poole parkrun? Well for one, I live only five minutes away from the park, and I know this place so well. I can leave home at 8.40am and still have time for a quick warm up by the 'big tree' before the run starts. Part of the enjoyment of the whole event is that 20 minutes or so watching all the other runners going through their rituals, the ultimate exercise in people watching.
Everyone with a different story, a unique reason for being there, every single person having a hundred and one excuses for not turning up but having the courage, discipline or desire to be there anyway. That, for me, is the most impressive thing of all, 700 plus runners who could easily have talked themselves out of coming down to the park, but didn't. There's just something about the vibe of Poole parkrun, the friendliness, the inclusiveness, the simplicity maybe, that makes running two laps around a lake and a cricket pitch the thing we chose to do over all else at 9am on a saturday morning.
My run today was as unremarkable as all the others (save for the very first one when I tripped over a Spaniel, nearly fell in the lake, pulled a calf muscle and forgot to press start on my Garmin...) Having had two good races last saturday (10k in 57 mins and 5k in 29 mins) at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, and two hill runs in the week, I thought I may well be on for a good time. About 30 seconds into the race this morning I figured that that probably wasn't on the cards! I muttered something under my breath, lets just say it was along the lines of 'bollards', but decided to just keep plodding and try and not let it bother me.
Some days your legs want to play ball, and some days, well, they just go on strike. Apologies to the friendly runner who tried to strike up a conversation on lap two by the railway line, I wanted to engage in the conversation about parkrun apricot tops but I was already down to the reserve tanks, and they were emptying alarmingly fast. Patently you were much quicker than me today so it wasn't long before I saw you disappear into the distance! I managed to get round in just over 28 minutes which in the end wasn't too bad, no PB but there were a few points in the run when I thought a sub 30 was out of the question. My quest for a 25 minute run by 25 park runs is still a FAINT possibility! The conditions were great today, not too warm or too cool, no wind, no indignant swans blocking the way and as ever, the trot around the lake made all the more enjoyable (or is that bearable?!) by the presence of the ever cheerful and encouraging marshals. Without our wonderful park run volunteers none of this would ever be possible, we all owe them so much. Much like the runners having excuses not to turn up on a saturday, the same applies for the heroes in high-vis, I personally would like to thank each and every one for giving up their time so people like me can come and run for half an hour in a safe and organised enviroment, and be lucky enough to have them push us on as we shuffle by. THANK YOU.
So, run finished, recovery time in the funnel and then back to the front of the pavilion to make my way across the pitch and back home for a big mug of tea on the back doorstep. I swear that pitch, or the 'doughnut' as I like to call it, gets bigger every week. In many ways that's the hardest part of the route for me. After navigating that pesky hairpin bend to take you down onto the track, I have this fantasy that I'll be able to sprint around the whole circumference for a glorious finish, every inch looking like a pro. Never quite seems to work out that way though, funny that! Watching the other runners tackling those last few metres, desperate to get to the end is always quite moving I think. 5K is 5K, whether you can tear round in under 20 minutes or if it takes you 50, it's still a LONG way, and it hurts.
When I tell people what I do for a living, quite often the response is "Oh, I wished I could draw!" My reply is always the same, if you can hold a pencil in your hand, you can. No one draws any better than anyone else, we just draw 'differently'. It's the same with running. It's all too easy to measure ourselves against the abilities of the other runners, scratching our heads at the implausibility of finishing a park run in 16 minutes, baffled by the consummate ease the buggy pushers fly by us at a rate of knots, being blown out of the water by a small child as they shoot by, apparently oblivious to the concept of being out of breath. But, to do that, to hold ourselves up to scrutiny in that way is to miss the entire point of parkrun. parkrun is for everybody, fast, slow, and everyone in between. Much like everyone can be an artist if you can hold a pencil, we are all runners too. If we can put one foot in front of the other and move forward, we ARE runners, and thanks to parkrun, we can cross that finishing line every week, and change our lives a little bit more for the better, step by tired step.
Once again many thanks to the marshals, photographers and volunteers for giving up their time every saturday, I'd love to see you all wearing big name badges so we can thank you personally as we go past or through scanning. I wonder if that can be arranged?! See you next week! JO X
This weeks stats
This week 739 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 62 were first timers and 93 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 60 volunteers:
Mike CURE • Mel CARROLL • Ian PAYNE • Lucy PAYNE • Kevin DWYER • Sarah DURLEY-WHITE • Stuart BICKEL • Ashley WEEDON • Colin SIMPSON • John RICHARDS • Andy ROBSON • David HEATH • Ben PRINT • Simon CRAWSHAY • Ray NEWELL • Gay O'CONNOR • Liz ROBSON • Robert STONE • Gillian D COOK • Diane STOREY • Dawn Teresa ASH • Graham STOAKES • Sue CRIBB • Simon O'CONNOR • Trisha MILLS • Graham FILMER • Ryan STOREY • Mike CLEMSON • Steve BULLER • John HALLETT • Chris LAY • Jan BRIAN • James STOREY • David RITCHIE • Marilyn HALLETT • Morag DAY • Jessica GADBURY • Richard DUNNING • Louise BURRIDGE • Stephanie GADBURY • John LOMAX • Catharine KENYON • Matthew JOHNSON • Karila FAULKNER • David LITTLE • Martin MILLER • Caroline THOMAS • Grace BANYARD • Jenni AYRES • John ROWLAND • Sarah SCANNELL • Deborah ELISA • Becky FIELD • Christian KENWRIGHT • Sylvia THOMAS • Lorna GOOD • Marcus WARD • Jo PARRY • Olivia HALDERTHAY • Carl BRITCHFORD
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Poole parkrun Results Page.
Karl WELCH (SM30-34) of Bournemouth AC, was first over the line in 16:44 - 18th time in 41 appearances.
Joe PRICHARD (SM25-29) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:05.
Ben KEIGHTLEY (SM30-34) (Unattached) was third over the line in 17:11.
Joanna HANNA (SW25-29) of Poole AC, was first (12th overall) over the line in 18:04 - 7th time in 29 appearances.
Rosie DAVIES (SW25-29) of Birmingham Running Athletics and Triathlon Club, was second (43rd overall) over the line in 20:13.
Ruth TAYLOR (VW40-44) (Unattached) was third (64th overall) over the line in 21:06 - was first to finish once before.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Sanjai SHARMA (VM55-59) – 87.49% for the time 17:43 (7th overall).
John Stanley BASSINDER (VM50-54) – 84.93% for the time 17:22 (4th overall).
David CARTWRIGHT (VM65-69) – 83.40% for the time 20:41 (52nd overall).