Run report for October 13th – parkrun makes you feel good.

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No, I'm not just talking about running generally. Lots has been said about the feeling you get at the end of the run already. And, without question, that's great.

You feel tired yet energised. Exhilarated even. As your breath and clarity return, you realise all the pain and self-doubt while you ran – hopefully replaced by gritty determination part way round – were ultimately worth it.

You're steadily getting fitter. Able to go further. And gradually faster.

There's also the mental health benefit, let's not forget that – especially as Wednesday was World Mental Health Day, when the positive impact of exercise on our state of mind came through loud and clear.

Running brings clarity. As you pound the pavements or trails, you're concentrating on your breathing, your technique and the end goal – not all the stresses and strains that occupy our overburdened brains and increasingly busy lives.

It's for all those reasons I started running and first attended parkrun. But they're not the main reasons the latter makes me feel good.

For one thing, it's the spirit and the camaraderie.

The way that everyone's welcomed by volunteers and runners alike, regardless of running prowess. How, if you're having a tough week, there's always someone who'll forsake their own PB to talk you round or just talk – so you almost forget you're running at all and, suddenly, you're home. The way that, sometimes, that's your role for the morning.

When I see 300 to 600 people lining up on the starting line (363 today, incidentally – not bad for a blustery day), waiting for the go signal and wishing each other well, that makes me feel good too.

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Or tourists and first timers, like the huge number we welcomed today, about to experience what makes Rushcliffe such a terrific parkrun.

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Or trusted guides helping blind and partially sighted runners around the circuit. Or a volunteer signing the run director's briefing for those who can't hear it.

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And those volunteers. When an army of hi-vis heroes turns up in all weathers to ensure we can enjoy a safe, well-organised run... well, you guessed it. It makes me feel good.

I must say, with the wind this morning it also made me feel slightly concerned. I half expected to see those resolutely guarding the posts and ribbons in the starting funnel sailing skywards like multiple Mary Poppins. Fortunately, they were out of there just in time.

Volunteering myself makes me feel good too. So far, I've been a funnel manager a couple of times, a number checker (tiring job, that!) and now the report writer.

I find playing a part in this caring club is a great way to give something back. I just wish more people would do it – for themselves as much as everyone else. If everyone volunteered once every 10 runs the roles could all be filled every week.

So why not sign up to receive volunteer emails and give marshalling or another role a go?

It will make you feel good.

Darren

 

Our 6th birthday parkrun report – celebrating the volunteers

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We need about 20 volunteers each Saturday morning to give up 2 hours of their time,. A few are regulars, many are having a Saturday off their parkrunning for various reasons and want to show their support and we usually have our contingent of six Duke of Edinburgh students working towards a Bronze or Silver award. We always like to make a fuss of them and show our appreciation, because without them parkrun could not go ahead. And each year, on the first Saturday in October, at our birthday/anniversary event, we like to share even more love towards them just so that they know how much we value them. And that applies whether they have volunteered once or 52 times in the last year; on a sunny Saturday in summer, a snowy one in February or a wet and cold one in early autumn.

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This week was definitely the latter and it seemed appropriate, if uncomfortable and a tad miserable, that after the glorious summer of 2018, the weather should turn against us for our birthday. It was sunny on Friday morning, it is sunny as I write this on Sunday morning, but not on Saturday.

Enough of the weather, back to the volunteers. Picking out one person to be our ‘Volunteer of the Year’ is always difficult, and we have been known to have up to 5 in any one year to avoid having to make that difficult decision. Also, it is a bit like a knighthood, once you have one you aren’t considered for a second. Which means that Jo, Andy, Chris P, Ian, John, Richard, and Chris N were out of the running for 2018, and our decision was, for once, an easy one. (Since writing that last sentence I keep thinking about Lady Jo, Sir Andrew and Lord Peaston of Keyworth - maybe we'll call them that next Saturday?)

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Lynne Kellow first came to parkrun in April 2017 to support Karen, her parkrunning daughter. Whilst there she offered to help and was added to the roster for the following week. And here we are, only 18 months later. Lynne has volunteered at ALL 52 of our events in 2017/18 covering pretty much every one of the roles. She is an absolute hero and we are very lucky that Karen came to Rushcliffe and introduced her mum to parkrun.

Thank you Lynne. We hope your trophy will have pride of pace on your mantelpiece. (You are timekeeping next week by the way, Funnel Management the week after…..)

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What a co-incidence that the Co-op brought their #healthyswaps campaign to Rushcliffe on the same week as our birthday? That meant every participant received a gift of a box of food ingredients, some recipes and vouchers to use in the local Co-op stores. Thank you to Lily and Jamie for an excellent event. And thank you to the Co-op for being a partner of parkrun and for your magnificent support.

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We had an usual milestone. Tom Dearden completed his 50th parkrun whilst being only 3 and never having run a step on the course. This was the 50th time that mum Rachel had pushed Tom around the park. (She’s done another 50 on her own too.) Congratulations Tom, and Rachel. Also congratulations for your 100th parkruns to Caren Hoejbjerg and Jonathan Sendall – they were the shy and retiring pair carrying some very large balloons! (Sorry Caren and Jonathan, I didn’t get a picture).

We had tourists from Twickenham and Conkers, and lots of first timers. We hope you enjoyed your parkrun at Rushcliffe.

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Let us finish where we started with the volunteers. I think this picture is unique in that we managed to get every one of this weeks group onto the photograph. Usually the marshals and/or the funnel managers have set off to start their work before we take the photo, but this week they were all held back until we could get everyone on. Thank you to all of you – we really couldn’t do it without you.

 

Run report for September 29th – a glorious Saturday morning

We have a tendency to go on about how wonderful is Rushcliffe Country Park, how fortunate we are to be able to run around there each week and how good it is looking at any point of the year – including wet Saturday’s in November. But I think this week was the best. Glorious sunshine, pleasantly cool for running and walking, and comfortably warm for volunteering.

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The mist coming off the lake was ethereal as the volunteers collected around the Education Centre, before heading off to set up the course.

One to remember as the cold, wet and windy Saturday’s of winter approach.

Definitely one to remember for the 55 people achieving PB’s Notable amongst these are Rushcliffe regulars Ian Machan (3 seconds off his previous PB on his 142nd Rushcliffe parkrun), Yvonne Walters (6 second improvement on her 90th excursion around Rushcliffe) and Will Cooper, proving that every second counts with a ONE second improvement on his previous PB with us on his 85th visit.

Hopefully memorable enough for the 9 first timers to want to come back again and again, and maybe start recording the occasional PB’s. The weather isn’t that good every week, but the friendly, encouraging and supportive atmosphere is permanent at 9am on a Saturday.

Milestone parkruns were recorded by Richard Angrave with his 100th, and Jonathan Shirt celebrating his 50th.

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We had tourists from Plymvalley, near Plymouth, Ormskirk and Brighton. It was Simon Goodison’s145th parkrun, and his first outside of the Brighton area, although technically not a tourist as he has just moved up to the area and Rushcliffe will, hopefully, become his new home base. His comment on facebook suggesting he’ll soon be back.
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This week’s first finisher was Harry Taylor who appeared to glide around the course. Maybe we should all try levitating a few inches off the ground – it seemed to work for Harry.

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Thank you as ever to this week’s volunteers, a few of which are seen above. They all did a sterling job, leaving me as Run Director to just wander around looking important, receiving lots of thanks from the parkrunners, whilst doing the least amount of work.

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The roster for the next few weeks has lots of spaces, including quite a few for this forthcoming Saturday, our 6th birthday. As of Monday afternoon we are still looking for a Funnel Manager, two barcode scanners and three marshals. Please email rushcliffehelpers@parkrun.com if you can help fill these roles, or any available in future weeks.

You can always see the latest sate of the roster on our website. The link is
http://www.parkrun.org.uk/rushcliffe/futureroster/

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Our 6th birthday, just where did that time go? We were clearly having fun. And to help us celebrate, we will be joined by the Co-op’s #HealthySwaps campaign. Every participant, parkrunners and volunteers, will receive a birthday gift in the form of a free recipe box containing

- a selection of ingredients
- a recipe booklet for cooking inspiration
- Co-op #HealthySwaps campaign info-leaflet
- Money-off voucher to spend in their local Co-op

The #HealthySwaps campaign aims to encourage healthier food choices for a happier lifestyle in communities. The team will also be on hand to provide any information about Co-op.

You can find out more details via this link to the #HealthySwaps website.

https://food.coop.co.uk/parkrun/

Can you imagine the planning that has gone into tying the Co-op’s visit to our 6th birthday event? No? You are right, it is just coincidence, but one that we are very happy with and hope you will be too.

See you Saturday.

 

Run report for September 22nd – fast runs, milestones and visitors

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This week’s first finisher ran a very fast time of 16:55, but forgot his barcode! He’s promised to come back so I promised to mention him in our run report. Well done Travis Bramley (pictured above) on your first parkrun since moving up North to attend Loughborough University. Oliver Matharu was the second runner to finish on his 61st Rushcliffe parkrun, after running to the start line with literally seconds to spare. The first lady home was Alice Daniel, just missing out on a PB by 5 seconds on her 16th run here. Tony Roe completed his 150th parkrun (147 here, but his 149th – earlier this month – was in Stockholm). We had a visitor from Norfolk (Karen Phillips) and a father and son from Belton whose names I failed to write down.

Amelia Hird managed a very respectable time of 29:47 whilst pushing a pushchair with a puncture. Well done to all the above and each and every one of our 364 runners!

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parkrun stuff on the internet
If you’re reading this, then you must look at our website, and were possibly alerted to it via our Facebook site. The website is full of interesting information, as well as you own parkrun history, you can look up the fastest 500 runners at each parkrun, course maps, the volunteer roster and much, much more. The Facebook site is always updated with comments following parkrun, thanking volunteers, congratulating fellow parkrunners and generally spreading good parkrun vibes. There is loads more stuff about parkrun on the internet. The national and global parkrun sites are full of news about other parkruns and inspirational features on people involved. I’ve also recently been looking at ‘parkrun statsgeek group’ on Facebook. It has 2,800 members who produce masses of interesting stats . I have learnt for instance that 4,968,315 barcodes have been issued, but 1,921,941 of these have never been used, that 903,037 people have run a single parkrun and that someone, somewhere has run a massive 685 parkruns! There are also Facebook groups entitled ‘parkrun laughs’, parkrun tourists + much more…

Volunteering is fun

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Thanks to this week’s volunteers, who for the first time in a while needed to wrap up warm. If you haven’t volunteered before and want to have a go then please email us (rushcliffehelpers@parkrun.com). The volunteer rota always has a few gaps - http://www.parkrun.org.uk/rushcliffe/futureroster/ - the roles are easily learnt, we always have lots of experienced people present and we won’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to! My own favourite role is marshalling, you get to see all the runners at least twice (they run past some of the marshalling points 3 times), you get to shout and applaud and you see lots of smiles and grit and determination.

Chris

 

Run report for September 15th – getting back to normal

After the excitement of last weeks "Tour of Britain" passing right beside Rushcliffe park and a number of races on the Sunday, we were (by normal standards) relatively quiet the previous week with 279 runners. This week saw us returning to higher numbers with 365 of you who thought it was a good morning to run, jog or walk around our beautiful 5k course. Indeed when the volunteer team arrived to setup, the views across the lake were incredible. The slightly cooler weather may have enticed a few also!

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With the volunteering team assembled we headed off to setup the start and finish funnels. We are exceptionally lucky to have a dedicated team of people who regularly volunteer at Rushcliffe (which makes the role of RD so much easier!) but it was also great to see a few new faces and meet new people. It is a great experience to volunteer and the roles are quite varied (but all simple!) and you will have a laugh - like Jo below! I encourage anyone who hasn't volunteered before to give it a go!

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This Saturday was seemingly a day to lose barcodes, both name barcodes/tokens and finish tokens. I found a few near the start line (Remember, no barcode, no time and no exceptions, so keep them safe!) and in true parkrun style we even had a good Samaritan who having located a token outside of the park, left a voicemail message on our of our volunteers phones so we knew where it was! Token 229 was fortunately saved and will allow someone next week to have that position again! Please remember however to not take your position tokens home!

In summary we had 54 PBs, 14 people ran their very first parkrun ever (and a good course to start with!) in addition to 19 friendly tourists from Southampton, Stoke, Newark, Halifax and seemingly West Bridgford!

John Partridge ran his 50th parkrun and achieved a PB and Andrew Morrison ran has 100th parkrun and was very close to a new PB! Elaine Watsons also ran her Birthday parkrun! Well done to you all!

Richard

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