Many thanks to Karen Spackman a tourist from Didcot for writing this weeks run report.
This week 406 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 71 were first timers and 85 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 55 volunteers:
Jane TAYLOR • Brian FIELDS • Katherine DAVIS • Susan O'FLANAGAN • Kate PERRETT • Phil HADDRELL • Celia ROBERTSON • Mags ALMOND • Gerry KEENAN • Beccy CARDIFF • Asa CARDIFF • Gary HAYLOCK • Norma SMART • Simon ARTHUR • Darren GRUMMITT • Stephen ANDREWS • Sarah BIBBY • Ian MIDDLEBROOK • Debbie S HEWITT • Li WATKINS • Isabel WATKINS • Hector KNIGHT • Riley CHURCHILL • Nigel ARTHUR • Jan WESTHENRY • Norman WHITE • Mark HUMPHREYS • Catherine ABERY-WILLIAMS • Mike HERRIN • Chris ELLIS • Julian THACKER • Mike ASKEW • Daniel BIBBY • Claire MAY • Lisa CRACKNELL • Sonya HUGHES • Judy CLARKE • Harry ROLPH • Michael MCDOWELL-HOOK • Fiona PAWSEY • David ALDWINCKLE • Karen SPACKMAN • Delia CARR • Rachel ABEL • Max NEILSON-HOWES • Sheila BROWN • Alan CLARKE • Ruth KIRBY • Carwyn LEWIS • Sandra FRANCIS • Chris PERRETT • Richard FRANCIS • Alan MOORE • Kelly TUPLIN • Sacha HATEBOER
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Weymouth parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Phil WICKS who recorded a time of 14:47 on 15th April 2017 (event number 190).
The female record is held by Ruth BARNES who recorded a time of 17:09 on 21st April 2018 (event number 243).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lone KRYGER who recorded 92.71% (20:21) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 191).
Weymouth parkrun started on 31st August 2013. Since then 10,065 participants have completed 63,914 parkruns covering a total distance of 319,570 km, including 11,574 new Personal Bests.
So there are the stats for you, and despite being a bit of a maths geek, I have to say that statistics do not tell the whole story.
They do not tell you how the sun was shining at this beautiful venue.
They do not tell you how the frost was thankfully being melted by the rays of the sun.
And most importantly, they do not tell you about the people behind the statistics.
So let me introduce myself: I’m Karen Spackman, parkrun has become an integral part in my life as it has helped me in my battle with anxiety and depression. Didcot parkrun is my local event and I have been made to feel a valued member of my community, and it has become a “safe” place for me. I know that there will always be a smile and a welcome on a Saturday morning. I’m not a natural runner, but have given it a go, and have come to realise that is my preference to volunteer rather than to run/jog/walk,, but I do like to plod around my local, safe place 3 lap and a long straight parkrun with a record of 267 participants every now and then. Today was my first parkrun tourist experience, the first time I have not driven to my parkrun and the first time I have seen a parkrun on such a large scale.
Of course there were many similarities, but also, many differences. I visited the Weymouth parkrun facebook page, and thought karma had played a part in creating one of my favourite volunteer roles of run report writer. When I saw the volunteer roster consisted of 55 people, I couldn’t imagine what everybody would be doing. On arrival, things seemed to be running like a well-oiled machine…everybody seemed to know what needed to be done and got on and did it! I was most impressed by the token system, which I noticed allowed the “Finish Token” volunteers the chance to wear gloves as they distributed the tokens in 10’s. They were also sorted at the finish line and made ready for the following week, what a wonderfully efficient system. Weymouth parkrun are lucky enough to have a whole shed to store their equipment, at my home parkrun we have a cupboard!
As the first timer’s briefing was being delivered, I listened carefully (I worry about going the wrong way at my end of the field) and being told that the course takes us to a pineapple, I had visions of a great big Del Monte style golden shiny pineapple, something truly spectacular!
At the same time a briefing was being delivered to the group of pacemakers from local running clubs: Dorchester RIOT (Running Is Our Therapy), Dorset Sole Sisters, Egdon Heath Harriers, Royal Manor of Portland Athletics Club and Weymouth St Paul’s Harriers & A C. These volunteers had been skilfully co-ordinated by Darren Grummitt, and were discussing the challenge they found it to complete the course at a set pace. I understand that the each last parkrun in the month is paced at Weymouth parkrun, and wondered how many parkrunners would use the pacers to attempt their PB today.
There was also the request to join the staggered start line in your predicted completion time.
With the help of a loudspeaker, and a soapbox (or was it a milk crate?) Mags Almond (Run Director) welcomed us all and explained keeping to the left, and we applauded those achieving, milestones today. I apologise if I have omitted anybody, but from the statistics these were:
50 parkruns- Paul Burrows and Sarah Milbrook
100 parkruns- Iain Felstead and Carole Purnell
Please forgive me if I have not got this correct, but I think this is Michael, and Weymouth parkrun’s celebratory chant, I have to admit to finding the announcements a little hard to follow, due to the excitement at the start!
The "Raga" jacket is often worn by tourist runners, who then subsequently have their home parkrun name attached too.
My dog, Madge, seemed her usual self and wanted to break all the rules and was determined to run to the right, hopefully she did not interfere with any park users as I battled to keep her left. Running through Lodmoor RSPB Nature Reserve on a lead is not easy for a dog that was bred to hunt birds! We spotted many birds, but were particularly impressed by the fly over of a skein of geese as we trotted up towards the pineapple. I have to admit that the pineapple did not live up to my expectations. It was, however, a welcome sight as I knew the going would be homeward bound and downhill from the pineapple onwards! We had passed many returning parkrunners on this long stretch, all full of encouragement for the tail end of the field. I’d not seen a lead bike before, so that was a new experience for me, the pacers seemed to be passing at regular intervals, and I welcomed the encouragement of the marshals, who helped steer me on the correct course and encouraged with loud cheers and cow bells.
The finish team worked extremely smoothly together to ensure a first class experience at Weymouth parkrun. I was impressed by the junior barcode scanner who seemed to have a great knowledge of scanning and some of the hiccups that may happen, and seeing the finish token sorting running so efficiently was bliss (this comes from my recent experience of “losing” finish token #2, until I moved the serviette my lemon drizzle cake had been served on, and abracadabra, there it was!). The finish team made time for a friendly chat whilst continuing to carry out their duties efficiently, and I had a chuckle at the tailwalkers high visibility vest!
My first experience of parkrun tourism was an extremely positive experience for me, thanks to all at Weymouth parkrun. I’m not fast, but parkrun is a huge positive for me. I wondered if the pacers had helped others achieve a PB. Out of a field of 406, 85 achieved their PB this equates to over 20% or just over 1 in 5 which goes to show the positive impact of parkrun and volunteering. PBs were achieved by a range of experiences, from 2nd time parkrunners, to Rosemary Britton who achieved her PB on her 141st parkrun, and the pacers will no doubt be pleased to know that members of each of their running clubs achieved a PB. Weymouth parkrun welcomed 25 people to their first parkrun, and hopefully they will be participating in their 2nd parkrun either at Weymouth or touring elsewhere in the not too distant future. As there were 71 First Timers this means Weymouth welcomed 46 tourists, and I hope the other 45 enjoyed their first Weymouth parkrun as much as I did!
Future events sounded like they were well planned to included community events including Remembrance Day on November 10th, Children in Need on November 17th and another pacing event on the last Saturday of the month, November 24th.
Thank you to all for taking the time to read this, and for welcoming me and for allowing me to write up my ramblings. I have found volunteering an enormously rewarding experience and with all the volunteering roles there are to fill at Weymouth, I am sure there is something to suit every one of you, should you wish to give something back to your parkrun!