Good evening park runners.
What a beautiful morning it was in Stewart park today. Sunshine, blue skies and dry paths - it actually felt like Spring to me! 302 park runners agreed with me, not doubt relieved to be running a parkrun rather than some sort of steeplechase/skating event/triathlon. It was really nice to see some faces that we have not seen for a while. Keep your fingers crossed for a continuing dry spell.
In addition to our runners, we had a good turn-out of volunteers today, some of whom were volunteering for the first time. Everyone enjoyed it, newbies and stalwarts alike. Our superstars this morning were Alan GUY • Angela WOOD. • Danielle LEONARD • David JUKES • Fred FORTH • John FEARNS • Julie LOWRIE • Kenny SALKELD • Kirsty CATTERSON • Lindsey SCOTT • Mark WARDMAN • Paul HAYDON • Roger OLDROYD • Roseanne LIGHTFOOT • Samantha TAYLOR • Sarah-Jane MONSARRATT • Thomas SCOTT • Tom RUSH • William RUDDY and also Sam Smethurst who took on the role of results processor following a slight glitch (it was best that way - I'm not to be trusted with technology and would have probably spent half the day on the phone to her if I'd brought the results home with me!) We are always on the lookout for new people to volunteer - it honestly is a great way to spend an hour or two on a Saturday morning. Please email in or post on our FB page if you would like to help. We now have some people volunteering weeks in advance. They usually apologise for contacting is so early but, in fact, it is great to know that key positions are filled well ahead of time, so look at your calendar, decide when you would like to volunteer and get in touch asap!
Today our runners included visitors from Fountains Abbey, Sewerby and Australia. We got some lovely feedback from them about the organisation and friendly feel of our parkrun, which was great! Running milestones today were junior William Monserrat (10th run), Claire Leadbitter celebrating 50 runs and Edward Roxburgh and Bref O'Rourke clocking up their 100th runs. Well done to all of you.
Can I apologise to the two ladies I was speaking to about pacer week - I'm afraid I don't know your names - for abruptly leaving the conversation. Unfortunately, one of our regular runners, John, had a mishap close to the finish and took a fall, which I went across to investigate. John got up and collected his finish token before being checked out. He had sustained some nasty bruises and grazes but nothing major, thank goodness. Thank you to all of you who stopped to help John and to the lovely staff in Henry's Cafe who provided a bag of frozen peas to apply to John's bruises! I expect he will be a bit sore for a few days and send best wishes on behalf of all of us at Stewart parkrun.
Obviously, we do not want any park runner to have any kind of accident but accept that sometimes these things will happen. Today was unfortunate and could not be avoided. However, we are keen to ensure that there are no avoidable incidents at parkrun and it is our duty as Event Directors for Sam and me to take steps to safeguard all of our runners in this respect. Today it was brought to my attention that a number of runners are not following the expectations regarding dogs. Runners are welcome to run with one dog on a short lead. Such runners must start at the back of the field and I know from the excited chorus at the beginning of each run that most of you do so. Quicker runners can then progress through the pack when it is safe to pass others. However, some runners have taken to starting further forward within the large group of runners at the start. This is potentially dangerous as people can easily trip over a dog, become entangled with the lead etc. The core team will be monitoring this closely and runners with dogs will be asked to move at the start if we consider their starting position to be unsuitable. This is in the interests of safety for all, and I thank you in advance for your understanding and support.
On the subject of dogs, I almost inadvertently caused an accident myself today when regular parkrunner, Mark Waters, and his dog passed me on his first lap this morning. Note to self - do not say "Well done" to a dog and include its name in the sentence. Mark wanted to turn left, dog wanted to come over to me and be petted. Sorry again, Mark!
For those of you running races tomorrow, including the biggie down in London, have a fantastic day and enjoy your run.
Hope to see you all again next week for another brilliant Stewart parkrun.