Havant parkrun, Oh Yes we Have #386 6/10/2018

The Coles visited us from Havant parkrun, and have kindly writen us a Run Report to share.

if you weren't aware Havant is a town in Hampshire of around 125,000 people, so slightly larger than Worcester at 100,800 folks. (ONS 2014).  Havant parkrun started 6th June 2012 and has around 220 runners most weeks and is also run at a Country park namely Staunton. There average run time is 30:11 so I think there must be some hills as ours is 28:59, anyway enough stats, here is the report of their visit.......

On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning.

However, the parkrun fairies were kind to us today and provided cooler conditions,so this was in the Orchard Cafe as it was raining, which provided the perfect opportunity to talk to others before we started. It certainly took awhile for us all to venture out for the runner’s briefing as temperatures had plummeted too. Now where did I put my gloves?

 

Perry Hall First Timer Views – 380th Worcester parkrun

Imogen Gunson visited our Worcester parkrun this week and kindly wrote us a great run report. Imogen is an experienced parkrun and after 2 years parkrunning has run 89 parkruns, her parkrun birthday is Saturday, 23 April 2016 and has run at 26 different parkrun events, and completed 43 volunteer roles, so really helping out from week to week. Thanks again and enjoy the read everyone.....

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The morning started with our first timer and tourist briefing by Carl it sounded a fairly straightforward course with the woods being clearly signposted so as not to get lost, and possibly more downhill than up - which is rare and slightly confusing for a course starting and ending in the same place. We then had the run directors welcome, with Emily highlighting a key point of encouragement for our range of participants and that parkrun welcomes all – it’s a timed run not a race (except against yourself maybe?!)

First lap started interestingly with the forewarned narrow patches so we could briefly queue in an orderly fashion before really being able to set off on the trail paths through the woods. Under cover of the trees with breaks of sunlight made for a comfortable and atmospheric running location. Working my around the course it’s certainly supported by local running groups in force with many team tops on show, all offering tips to teammates and others throughout, evidence that everyone can participate in parkrun whatever their experience stage is. Fellow runners offering support and camaraderie to each other all the way round is one of the reasons that makes parkrun great and reflects so well on events which have this!

As we pass over tree roots and woodland bridges I am reminiscent of Wolf Runs this being almost a flatter and obstacle free version, so definitely preferable on a Saturday morning that bodes to being warm. Whilst having this musing meeting a second timer was a lovely running companion for a while – to come on your first time is nerve racking, but to return is a bigger step into biting the parkrun bug, it also shows a warm event for someone to return which I can see the appeal of Worcester. I enjoy meeting new people, learning their stores and so chatting about starting with couch to 5k and then being able to run with family highlights to me the value and joy parkrun can facilitate, especially as you reach the lovely downhill pavement before turning the corner for a sprint finish across the field!

Worcester was a lovely addition to my regional tourism, and excellently organised particularly given the numbers of participants so thank you to the core team and volunteers for a wonderful morning.

In total 577 parkrunners walked, jogged or ran of whom 77 achieved new PBs so a massive well done all!

Milestones was achieved by 4 into the ’100 club’, 1 for the ’50 club’ – I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to proudly wearing their black and red shirts before long. There were also celebrations for one couple who will enjoy their pearl wedding anniversary next week, congratulations on an amazing landmark!

One of the difficult steps for many is coming to their first event so first timers are brilliant, but possibly a harder step is coming back and then having the drive to improve your time so second timers are great to meet and chat to!! Today we were joined by 24 first timers who hopefully enjoyed themselves so much they’ll return and maybe even catch the tourist bug, as I was one of 24 tourists venturing away from home seeing the regions delights.

Final note has to be a thank you to the hi-vis heroes of which we had 42 volunteers today, we really couldn’t enjoy our run without you!

 

Tourist’s Diary by Cat Lane (Gloucester City parkrun)

A posse of core volunteers from the newly fledged Gloucester City parkrun, which is on a 3 week hiatus due to the local fair, decided to go touring and settled on Worcester for today’s run.

There were 5 of us in total, 2 of them had previously run this course but the rest of us were new to it.

The drive to the course was pretty straightforward and parking was easy – good instructions on the Worcester home page. First stop, toilets. As we were fairly early arriving these were empty. Within 5 minutes though, the queues were snaking around the outside of the cafe facilities. We had made it just in time!

The sun was breaking through and the crowds started rolling in. Our record in Gloucester City is 170. Today’s event was far and away the biggest parkrun turnout I have ever witnessed and as Andy told me after the run, this was a fairly modest turnout!! Only 548 finishers.

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In a fine Tutu, Vonnie Briefing us all

The briefing included many milestones and every name was clapped warmly by the enthusiastic crowd. Then to the start line. Didn’t know where to start from as there were so many keen runners. Not a criticism but perhaps future starts could have markers for expected finish times dotted back from the start line so that runners aren’t initially jostling for positions?

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Paddock Start on the Scorched Grass

The run started and we were straight into the wood. Lovely and shaded. No trouble of getting lost on this run. As usual I thanked each and every one of the marshal’s as we passed them. Without these fantastic volunteers parkrun would not exist.

As it was my first time I did not push myself as I am guaranteed a course PB. Consequently I felt more able to enjoy a leisurely pace and speak with the locals. And a pleasant lot they were too. The woodland trail made for an extremely enjoyable run out.

Well I managed a pleasing sprint finish and met up with all my colleagues from Gloucester and we all agreed this was one super run.

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Cheering Everyone In

As I am a bit geeky I have compiled some stats from today’s run. 548 competing of which 24 were absolute first timers. What a super course to begin your parkrun journey. Long may you run. 29 other established parkrunners ran this

course for the first time including my 5 from Gloucester City. Incidentally there was a runner(s) from Australia. That is keen. 63 PB.s plus the 53 First timers mean that 116 people created a PB. Always good to have a target to challenge. There were also many milestones. No names here but you will know who you are. 1 x50 runs, 3 x100 runs, 2 x 150 runs, 1 x 200 runs, 1 x 250 runs. The highest was 349 runs – 7 years of parkrunning.

Well done to each and every runner who turned out today.

I would also like to thank all of the hi-viz heroes without whom these runs all over the world now, would not be possible. Not meaning to demean the roles of marshals who do get thanks from many of the runners, I would like to give a massive thank you to the time keepers, the barcode scanners and funnel team who do not seem to get the thanks they deserve for doing a sterling job. Well done to each and every one of you.

If any runners would like to volunteer their services please opt in via the webpage. Any training needed will be offered and I guarantee that you will enjoy it.

All in all it was a wonderful run and a wonderful day out. Definitely in my calendar for a repeat visit soon.

Cat Lane

 

 

It’s a Takeover – 24th March 2018

What? No snow? No freezing temperatures? Could this be the start of Spring at Worcester Woods parkrun? Spring or no Spring quite yet, there was definitely something in the air today, as Black Pear Joggers staged a ‘takeover’ at Worcester parkrun, or perhaps more accurately, a ‘support the volunteers’ event. That meant a record 83 volunteers helping out today, from cake makers, warm-up leaders, marshals, pacers and many other roles being supported.

But why do it? As Paul Evans, Chair of BPJ said in his briefing, it was all about the club celebrating everything that parkrun means to us. Nearly 500 members of the club have completed over 16,500 runs at Worcester Woods, plus being involved regularly in volunteering. It’s definitely the ‘home’ parkrun of many BPJ runners, and so today was a great opportunity be able to give something back.

Peter Darwen, dedicated parkrun tourist and BPJ member organised the takeover celebration, so we asked him a few questions to find out about his motivation for getting more of us enthused about volunteering.

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How did you get started with parkrun?

I ran my first parkrun was here in September 2012 when I had only just started running 5K distance. It was a shock moment! I ran it in 25:14. Shock because of the aches and pains afterwards, so much so that it put me off running it again! I didn’t run parkrun again until January 2014, when I was persuaded to try it again by fellow runners at BPJ.

I have now run 190 events at 37 different locations, with 118 of them here at Worcester…to be continued! Of all the parkruns that I have participated in, Worcester Woods remains my favourite. The combination of running through the woods, the varied terrain and the friendly atmosphere generated by the volunteers and fellow runners which makes it special.

What is your proudest/funniest parkrun moment?

Definitely the proudest is running sub 20 for the first time at Worcester Pitchcroft in July last year, because I thought it was beyond me at my age. Funniest? That could be seeing Ian Wild dressed up as an elderly lady pushing a pushchair when it was fancy dress at Halloween. I may have a photo somewhere. Another time is a pre-parkrun photo shoot in the woods for a BPJ calendar a few years ago, and the funny looks we got from dog walkers. Rumour is there may still be a few of these calendars knocking about, but maybe the less said about it the better!

Why did you organise the BPJ takeover?

I’d rather call it a celebration of Worcester Woods Celebration! I wanted to give something back as a thank you. I had seen other clubs doing the same thing at other parkruns and thought BPJ could do this too. I knew that people from the club would be happy to get involved, and that we would be able to provide pacers to help runners especially. I think people really appreciated this aspect today, as well as the cheering marshalls!

What is your favourite volunteering role?

I love being a pacer. It makes it all worthwhile when fellow runners thank you at the end because you have helped them to get a quick time or a PB.

 

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Setting the Pace the band of BPJ Pacers!!

Is there anyone you wish you could persuade to do parkrun with you?

My youngest daughter, who thinks that running is boring! But the atmosphere at Worcester Woods is so wonderful ad friendly, I am sure she would catch the bug after a few weeks!

Thanks Peter, and thanks to all the BPJ club members who got involved today, not forgetting all out regular volunteers who help us out week in, week out, and make our parkrun what it is – we really do appreciate you! Don’t forget, volunteering is a great experience, and if you feel inspired to get involved, just email worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com; the team will be delighted to hear from you.

 

Big CONGRATULATIONS today to Graham Plumpton who ran his 250th parkrun today, great running over those 5 years of parkrunning. Should have a 250 shirt for you soon to order.

 

50th parkrun today for Joe ADAMS
Junior 10 parkruns for Max HEPPENSTALL, Martha JOHNSON
& Liam WITHEY.

 

We had Tourists from far afield today Southampton, Newcastle, Tonbridge, Braunstone, Cheltenham, Shrewsbury, South Manchester, Milton Keynes. Hope you had fun in our mucky trails.

 

There were precisely 500 runners today which is aesthetically pleasing and 57 PB's. We hope you enjoyed your run and will be back for more now its warming up.

 

Here is the just for fun Wall, do give your friends and family a mention if they made it...and well done to you....

 

*** PB Wall of Pride (≥10 parkruns and PB Today) ***
Adam BOURNE (10) 23:14
Carys DEELEY (25) 35:34
Chris GOODERHAM (53) 25:25 *** Boom ***
Clara SALT (16) 32:55
Craig BOOTH (29) 27:25
Dom COWLES (11) 24:16
Edward DUFFY (60) 21:24 *** Boom ***
Evie HAWKESFORD-JOHNSON (11) 21:54
Freddie ADAMS (21) 18:40
Gareth ROBERTS (54) 25:01*** Boom ***
Gavin TREVELYAN (69) 29:48 *** Boom ***
Irene SHAW (10) 35:18
Isla CHATTERTON (13) 29:32
Lezley MORAN (11) 34:32
Nathan CHATTERTON (13) 29:33
Phil HAVERFIELD (25) 24:06
Rachel WILMOT (26) 31:00
Rich BENTLEY (92) 25:30 *** Boom ***
Richard James EVERS (78) 21:07 *** Boom ***
Ruth SCANLON (12) 26:04
Sarah LAWRENCE (19) 36:25
Thomas REED (72) 21:09 *** Boom ***
Veena ALLISON (21) 29:15

 

Figure in () = parkruns completed
*** Boom *** for 50+ parkruns and a PB today

 

Send us your photos vial links and we'll share them, and as always if you can volunteer let us know.

Have a great week and see you again soon.

 

 

There be Pirates me Hearties #351 27th January 2018

parkrun. You couldn’t describe it in one sentence if you tried. It means so many different things to different people, something that was clearly evident today at Worcester Woods. Where else would you see a group of Mental Health Ambassadors brightening up and encouraging us on a rather drab, dull day in their cheery, blue (or purple) tops whilst at the same time, just a few metres away, observe Wally’s crew of cheery pirates from the Jolly Malvern Joggers waving their cutlasses and threatening to overrun the Woods? Rumour has it there were also a few other Wallys resplendent in their stripy tops, weaving through the woods today. Well done if you spotted one.

#351 Malvern Jogger Pirates

As mentioned there was a #runandtalk event today at parkrun, hosted by the Mental Health Ambassadors from Black Pear Joggers (Alison, Glenn, James and Steve) and Pershore Plum Plodders (Sian). They were there as part of a nationwide initiative set up by England Athletics, and supported by Mind, the mental health charity. We asked Alison, Glenn and Sian to tell us a bit more.

“#runandtalk events will be happening all over the country this week, and it is a great initiative to try to break the stigma of talking about mental health and to try to raise awareness of the positive impact that running, or walking and getting outside can have on mental health. Running is great for you once you get started! We are here today to run, jog, chat and eat cake afterwards, and also to be a simple presence and to signpost people to help that might be available. This will also lead up to the Time to Talk Day on 1st February – take a look at the website if you want more details!”

#351 MHA BPJ

It was good to have you here with us at parkrun, and to see the encouragement to keep going that you were giving runners and walkers out in the Woods today, and great to be reminded that this is something we can all be involved in. Mental health problems affect one in four of us yet people are still afraid to talk about it. For people with mental health problems not being able to talk about it can be one of the worst parts of the illness. So by getting people talking about mental health we can break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.

In other news, congratulations if you celebrated a milestone today:

100th: Christopher ATTWOOD, Nick GRIFFITHS

150th: Debbie PARKER, Vivien TOLLEY

200th: Karen COOPER

250th: Ian WALWYN

Congratulations also, if you achieved a PB today in all that mud – a great achievement. As always, parkrun would not be possible without the volunteers, all 43 of them. If you think volunteering is not for you – think again! It’s a great thing to do, the runners will love you, and you can treat yourself to an extra-large slice of cake afterwards, knowing you have done something awesome. Please email worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com – the team will be delighted to hear from you.

Great news for next week - Rich has promised that it will be a dry one next week. If you don’t keep your word Rich, we’ve heard that there might be a bunch of pirates who would like a word with you…

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