Last week a clipboard, this week a megaphone!!
Had the honour of being run director for the 99th Sittingbourne parkrun at Milton Creek. I’d love to say that it was like ‘shelling peas’ or ‘it ran like clockwork’ alas this was not the case!!
All started so well arriving at the creek at 7.40am only to find we had to share the park with a group of bird-watchers!! It was at this point I wondered if this was going to be a baptism of fire. Naomi, Sheila and Gavin set up the course, the volunteers drifted in and I donned the blue and white bib of power.
Typically, we had a BUMPER week with circa 180 runners rocking up for a 5k blast. This was the second observation which tested my resolve!
The volunteers drifted-in throughout the morning eagerly waiting to be given their instructions!! No nonsense this week. The marshals dutifully found there ‘spot’ on the map and made there way out to there respective posts……… At least I assume they did. For all I know they could have popped into the church hall for an early coffee!
The course is set, the marshals are in position, now time to face the masses. Olwen did a fantastic job in greeting the new runners!! Good to see that the New Year Resolutions have at least made it to the second Saturday of 2018!! Keep it going guys!
Megaphone at the ready and we are off. Thank you to the half a dozen or so who listened to my inane drivel for 3 or 4 minutes along with a special mention to Sonia Diddams, Wendy Howes and Olwen Cockell for reaching their 50th parkrun milestone.
I am pleased to report no dog-related calamities this week!! Although it’s fair to say that most of the runners will need to put their kit in a hot wash as most came home caked in mud!! The course is running hard right now. The cross-country sections are challenging and the conditions generally tough, however, this is great training for when the Spring gets here and the ground firms-up!! We will start to see some serious PB’s coming through in the Summer no doubt.
We had a couple of issues in the funnel with tokens and times, but with Tony’s unflappable exterior and level-headed focus, all was sorted through the powers of modern technology (Thank goodness for Lucy Giles).
The 99th parkrun came to a close. We had some outstanding times, we had a wonderful group of newbies along with a great group of tourists along with our hardcore of regulars.
Remember! YOUR parkrun would not be possible without volunteers. We had 180 runners buzzing around Milton Creek today, of which is was great to see so many new faces. It would be equally great to see some of those new faces on the volunteer roster to ensure we spread the love.
Thanks to everybody today who made parkrun happen and thanks to the runners who make the whole event complete. My gratitude to everybody who made my job easy today, from Karen dishing out tokens in the tunnel, Karen and Olwen on plink plink duty, Rynn and Tony on the stopwatch, Sheila as tail runner, Lucy as technical support and the all the marshals who gave their time to stand in the freezing cold for an hour.
Next week my old chum Gavin is Run Director for the 100th running of Sittingbourne parkrun! Should be a bumper turn-out. Look forward to seeing you all then.
Event number 99
13th January 2018
This week 180 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers and 27 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 13 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 17 volunteers:
Anthony Francis Patrick GILES • Lucy GILES • Roxanne ZARPAK • Yvonne CRAWFORD • Karen LONGLEY • Karen SEYMOUR • Rynn KEMP • Naomi RIDGEWELL • Sheila MALLOCH • Gavin MALLOCH • Olwen COCKELL • Dennis GARDINER • Andrew HOWES • Samantha HEWITT • Alison KEMP • Bernard DIDDAMS • Ruth MARCH
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Sittingbourne parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Liz WEEKS who recorded a time of 18:45 on 8th April 2017 (event number 58).
The male record is held by James ALLCHIN who recorded a time of 15:59 on 8th July 2017 (event number 71).
The Age Grade course record is held by Graeme SAKER who recorded 86.43% (17:56) on 11th November 2017 (event number 89).
Sittingbourne parkrun started on 27th February 2016. Since then 2,804 participants have completed 15,472 parkruns covering a total distance of 77,360 km, including 3,824 new Personal Bests.