By Chris COLLETT
Saturday heralded another fine morning for running, walking or strolling around a special part of this beautiful city of ours and it was heart-warming to see so many visitors, especially at this difficult time. With their usual due diligence, enthusiasm and energy the volunteers are once again to be commended for the fantastic job they do week in, week out. That said, there is a special group of volunteer stalwarts who, without fail, are to be found directing, marshalling, scanning and doing their level best to ensure that we enjoy a faultless event every week, come rain or shine. It is for them I’d like take this opportunity to raise my hat and say a collective ‘thank you’ on behalf of the rest of us for their unflinching dedication.
One of the greatest things about parkrun is how unique it is for each participant. From the moment you arrive there are dozens of stories being played out as people wait expectantly for the start. Chatter is rife and whilst it makes the Run Director’s announcements a little difficult to deliver (apologies, I’m one of the guilty talkers) it’s always a joy to see people engaging with one another. It doesn’t matter which parkrun you take part in the same scenario is played out, but it is particularly true of Salisbury. (Ok I may be a little biased…)
By my own admission I’m no digital native but I am, like a great many of us, an avid user of my phone and often sadly sometimes a slave to it. However, the lead-up to the start of parkrun does seem to afford people the opportunity to disengage from the online world, even if for only a few precious minutes, and make connections with those around them. Cast an eye around the assembled masses and you can see the excited chatter of a parkrun first timer, laughter as friends meet for their regular Saturday morning date; the ‘whippets’ going through their pre-run warm-up and the volunteers receiving their briefing. There is a symphony of upbeat, light-hearted conversation that punctuates the air as people, for perhaps the briefest of moments, are divorced from their phones and are simply enjoying the company of others. More than that though, parkrun creates the opportunity for new real-world friendships to blossom out of the shared experience of making your way around the course.
Personally, parkrun is more than just a physical activity, it’s also a hugely social event where seasoned friends meet, old friendships are rekindled and where new ones are forged. Whilst life (and for some the run) seems to sprint along at 100 miles per hour, the minutes before your run or walk begins, the run itself and perhaps in the cafe after, are treasured moments that offer a break from the heady pace of the 21st Century; long may it continue to do so.
This week 474 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 45 were first timers and 104 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 33 volunteers:
Jon GREENHALGH • Al MOUTRAY • Jef HUTCHBY • Samuel MURPHY • John SOWRAY • Lizzie GUASCH • Liza INGLETON • Vasen MOODLEY • Chris COLLETT • Ali THEOBALD • Alfie BAYLISS • Sue SHEPPARD • Joshua SHARPS • Samuel MURTAGH • Bethany KING • Jane BUTLER • Eleanor WEATHERBURN • John DUFFY • Denise VON RORETZ • Christine ROMANO • Vicki CROSSLAND • Craig WEATHERBURN • Alexander CHISHOLM • Alissa CHISHOLM • Graham ROGERS • Colin MARTIN • Helen CARLTON • Lorna WILSON • Joanna OSTLER • David GERVAIS • Alyssa BROCKWAY • Ed WILLIAMS • Jake FELLOWS
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Salisbury parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Adrian MUSSETT who recorded a time of 15:23 on 8th August 2015 (event number 10).
The female record is held by Beatrice WOOD who recorded a time of 16:56 on 26th May 2018 (event number 157).
The Age Grade course record is held by Beatrice WOOD who recorded 92.81% (16:56) on 26th May 2018 (event number 157).
Salisbury parkrun started on 6th June 2015. Since then 7,790 participants have completed 60,901 parkruns covering a total distance of 304,505 km, including 12,363 new Personal Bests.