With hogmany a distant memory, on a cold, crispy but dry Winter's morning 251 people ran, jogged, skipped and walked the course to keep everyone right on track for a healthy and happy January. Today the smiles started early as Clare CARRUTHERS briefed us all at the summit of Mervyn's Mount – a first for Clare as Mervyn was away getting a PB elsewhere. It was also a first for 31 of you to our parkrun shores. Welcome to all of you and well done to Clare who took the mic and welcomed our visitors who hailed from Belfast, Enniskillen, London, Cookstown, Armagh and Derry – or if we missed you let us know now!
Clare also thanked all our volunteers who this week were Stuart VAUX • Mervyn THOMPSON • Clare CARRUTHERS • Davy BLAIR • David DOEY • Samantha LINTON • Nicholas WEBBER • Faye MCLERNON • Andrew WILMOT • Reid JACK • Anne JACK • Clive BRADBERRY • Angela CROCKER • Lauren LAVERTY • Alan TAGGART • Shirley MCPHILLIMY.
Sam's suggestion about new year's resolutions must have worked as we had lots of you lovely folks contacting us to offer your services. It makes our job much easier and stress free when we know a few days in advance that we definitely have enough volunteers for our event to go ahead. So thank you very much.
There were celebrations a plenty with Andy MACKEY and Ian ELLIOT who have both now completed 50 runs on our beautiful beach and Graham COLVIN who has reached treble figures all on our sand. An excellent achievement and commitment. Get those t-shirts ordered!
With flat, hard sand conditions were good meaning personal bests for 33 of you. Isn't that a good start to the new year!
Our first finishers were Ryan SMITH and Karen MCLAUGHLIN. Good to see you back with that determination on your face Karen, though we will miss your shouts of encouragement which could be heard throughout Portrush while you volunteered.
It is great to see so many join us – if you have thought about coming along too but feel a bit worried about it, please send us a message or have a chat to anyone you know who already parkruns. It is very inclusive for all ages and all abilities. Have a look at the results page – under age grading you will see the different ages we have each week and the range of times of finishers. It can be intimidating to think of so many people charging up the beach but we are a friendly bunch and you can run/ walk and stay for a chat or complete your 5k and scarper as soon as you get scanned. Or, you could of course, complete your 5k, dip in the sea, chat, eat cake and then scarper.
My little folk summed it up perfectly when they said they wanted to help write the run report....
“Today I did my first parkrun and I never stopped. It was really fun.” Lennie. Age 7. Finishing time 38.49 in position 229.
“I throughly enjoyed parkrun today with the hard sand and the just right weather. I am happy today because I got a PB and next parkrun I will have done my tenth parkrun and get a t-shirt.” Alec. Age 10. Finishing time 27.49 in position 129.
“I did my first 'marathon'. I ran to the flag. I carried a pole. We all finished with a '9' in our position. Then I had jelly babies.” Cora. Age 5. Finishing time 58.54 in position 249.
The only thing left to mention is Peter DONNELLY'S new gloves which did look quite warm and cosy if a little cumbersome.
Hope to see you all out in force again next week.