If you have read my most recent FB post, I apologise for repeating myself, but what a morning! After the heavy snow and subsequent bogs/ice midweek we were back into a "Can we?/Can't we?" debate about going ahead today. The intrepid Sam Smethurst did a course inspection yesterday afternoon and concluded that, with some adjustments (i.e. running off the paths in places, adjustments to the finish etc) we were good to go. She did a great job of briefing our set up team, who did an equally great job of setting up the course at silly o'clock this morning and from that point of view we were all set. However, knowing there would be course amendments, I wanted to ensure we had as many people out on the course as possible so put out an SOS. I was overwhelmed by the response - so many people came forward and were fantastic today (as commented by lots of the runners). Your team of superstars were:
Alan GUY • Alex STEADWARD • Ben FRANKLAND • Carolyn GALE • Graham Laurence CURRIE • Ian WATSON • Jacquie Ann KELLY • James DIGNAM • Joanne GAFFNEY • John FEARNS • Kenny SALKELD • Kerri MULDOWNEY • Mandy WALKER • Marc SAAIMAN • Mark George ROGERS • Michael MCCANN • Pauline ALLEN • Philip HOWARD • Roger OLDROYD • Ruth MCMASTER LEES • Sarah-Jane MONSARRATT • Sean O'MALLEY • Steven DODDS • Teresa MURPHY • Wilf POLLARD (and Sam!)
We have an incredible core team of volunteers who do brilliant job every single week covering all of the necessary roles. The list might be longer than you think: posting news on social media, sending out volunteer appeals, answering email queries, liaising with Stewart Park staff when necessary, pulling together the week's volunteer roster, charging the scanning equipment every Friday evening, turning out at 8:00am each Saturday to set up, briefing newcomers, making general announcements, timekeeping, issuing finish tokens, barcode scanning, marshalling, putting the tokens back into order for the next week, uploading and processing results, putting away all the equipment and writing the run report. Once a month we also need to organise pacers. We also have a number of regulars who volunteer several times a year. If you would like to join that band, please put your name forward. It really is rewarding and extremely friendly.
Back to the runners. 181 of you completed the course, pretty much all of you with smiles on your faces! We had nothing but positive feedback, which is much appreciated. Those of you who chose not to run or to drop out did so after considering your own situation and most of you stepped into a support role or even chose to marshal - great community spirit!
We had two 50th milestones today - Nicola Sheridan and Denise Roberts both reached their half century. We look forward to seeing the T-shirts, ladies! An unofficial milestone shout out was given to Jacob Smethurst who can his 25th parkrun today at the age of 5 years and not-quite 5 months! (It must be in his genes). Alan Guy did his 400th volunteer stint today, which is quite an achievement! I also noticed from the results table that Chris Jefferies completed 100 runs today and Peter Gale ran his 200th. We know that not everyone wants a shout out at the start but if you do have a milestone and you want it to be mentioned please let us know in advance as HQ don't notify us of milestone runs and we have no way of keeping track ourselves.
Amongst our visitors today we had Sara, Event Director at Redcar. It was lovely to meet her and she was very complimentary about our event in terms of organisation and friendliness - always good to hear!
Some of you have asked about last week's event. Jon mentioned in his run report that there was a team with us from Love Middlesbrough magazine. They are running a feature on parkrun, what it means to people, the benefits of running in general and in belonging to a parkrun community etc. We will be featured in that. As soon as we know a publication date we will pass on that information. Lots of photographs were taken last week and I have asked if we can have access to at least some of them - we all like a good running photo! I don't know yet if this will be possible but will keep you posted.
Finally, we are missing our lovely Fred Forth who has been poorly for a couple of weeks. Get well soon Fred - we hope to see you before much longer xx
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone.