Basingstoke junior parkrun #176, 9th May 2021, Run Report by Peter Chiverton.
It was great to be back in Stratton Park again as Basingstoke junior parkrun made the most of the dry weather (following Saturday morning's rain). Spring is my favourite season of the year and just being outside with not only the 181 young parkrunners enjoying being in the park today, but also with the members of their families encouraging them by running with them or applauding their progress around the course is something I hope never to take for granted again.
I thought I would use an alphabet theme for today's run report - perhaps as you read it you can think of other junior parkrun things the letters could stand for?
So "Let's start at the very beginning; a very good place to start; when you read you begin with ABC..." (Rogers and Hammerstein - The Sound of Music).
A is for Age Limits - at junior parkrun currently you need to be aged 4-10, but hopefully the 11-14 year olds will be able to join us again soon.
B is for Barcodes, don't forget these very important items, print free from the parkrun website and laminate them if you can, or buy a wristband or credit card or key tag versions at https://parkrun-barcode.com/GetBarcode.
C is for Coffee and Cake - I keep forgetting to bring a flask of drink and a muffin to munch. Looking forward to the day we can meet together in a Cafe - one day soon
D is for Drive - the way a lot of parkrunners arrive at parkrun (or, more accurately, by being Driven as under 11s aren't yet allowed to drive cars!) Don't forget you can increase your parkrun morning's exercise by travelling to parkrun by bike or on foot if possible.
E is for Endorphins, the feelgood hormones released after vigorous activity. It can be addictive but is not harmful, it elevates mood and combats depression. Yet another reason to do parkrun.
F is for Females - wonderful to see all those 93 girls out there running jogging and walking. Well done to you all. And F is also for Fun - the most important target for us all at junior parkrun where you can meet up with your Friends.
G is for Green - Stratton Park in the spring now has all the new growth on the trees and bushes to appreciate as you run past. Also for GPS on stopwatches and phones - you might hear the bleeps as runners press start at 9am.
H is for Hi-Vis - plenty of that worn by parkrunners and volunteers alike. (See also V). H is also for Hills - we have some short ones in our park but thankfully not too steep!
I is for Invisible Corner. This is the corner at the top of the hill where you turn right to come down to the finish - named Invisible as it's not possible for the Run Director to see what's happening there from the start/ finish location. I was marshalling there today and it was great to be able to encourage the parkrunners on their trips around the park. I so appreciated the thanks I received from quite a number of them too, even if they were puffing and panting their way around. The speed that a lot of them managed on their second laps from the top of that path was impressive as they knew the finish was near. (See also Z).
J is for "Just a bit later to arrive than I wanted to be" :(. Make sure you get here on time to listen to the important run briefing, and Join in with the inimitable junior parkrun warm up. You also get time then for a (socially distanced) chat with other people attending.
K is for Knees. I hope no-one is feeling too much pain with theirs after their run, or with those Knee raises in the warm up.
L is for Laughter - from parkrunners, spectators and volunteers as they enjoyed their time in the park.
M is for Males - well done to all of our our 82 boys today for your walk, jog or run today.
N is for New runners - a massive welcome to all 11 of you for whom today was the first junior parkrun you completed. Please come back soon and do another junior parkrun with us.
O is for Out-of-towners, or visitors as they are sometimes known. Welcome if you were visiting our parkrun today especially if it was for the first time and we hope you will be able to join us again soon.
P is for Personal Bests. For some people these are a target to continually aim for, but for others they may come along when you least expect them. The most important thing at junior parkrun is to enjoy the event whether you feel you are fast or slow, you are out there completing the event. Well done to the 57 who managed a new PB today. And if you didn't, you might manage it next week.
And P is also for junior parkrun Photographs - look out for pictures which may appear on Facebook or Flickr via the junior parkrun website. If you fancy having a go as the photographer volunteer some time you'd be most welcome.
Q is for Quids. None of these required to complete a parkrun, it is totally free.
R is for Roster of volunteers - if you are free to help you can find the roster for future weeks at https://www.parkrun.org.uk/basingstoke-juniors/futureroster/. (See also V for Volunteers).
S is for Special (milestone) Runs. Well done to the 3 of you who completed their 11th (half marathon), and the 1 each who completed their 21st (Marathon) and 50th (Ultra) junior parkruns today. You will be able to receive one of the coloured wristbands next time you attend to recognise this. You can find out how many parkruns all of our parkrunners who ran today have done on today's results page.
S is also for Stratton Park our junior parkrun park. Thank you Basingstoke and Deane Council for allowing us to use this every Sunday morning.
T is for Timing, this is what it is all about, a run not a race, each parkrunner against the clock and the timekeepers timing every one of us to the finish.
And T is for Tail Walker, making sure that no-one is left behind.
U is for Unknown Runner. We had six of those in our results today. This might be because you didn't have a barcode; please DFYB (Don't Forget Your Barcode).
V is for Volunteers. No parkrun happens without these dedicated people. The joy of volunteering is getting a different view of junior parkrun so do give it a go. Email email@example.com or comment on our Facebook page letting us know the date(s) you can help and what you would like to do. Today's volunteers placed signs out, prepared the start/ finish area and the finish funnel area, answered parkrunners' questions, directed the event, led the warm up, marshalled, timed, scanned, handed our position tokens, checked the results, took and published photos, processed the results and cleared it all up afterwards, all arranged by the volunteer co-ordinator.
W is for the Wonderful Weather this morning. (Maybe I am overstating this a bit but I always think that parkrun is improved if it at least stays dry. The only few drops of rain held off until everyone had finished).
X is for eXhaustion for when you've given it everything to get to the finish.
Y is for Youngsters, which is what all of our junior parkrunners are. How wonderful that there were so many young runners and families enjoying junior parkrun together.
Z is for Zoom. Did you Zoooooom around the park today especially on the downhill stretch toward the finish? Much better for you than having to spend time on the Zoom that appears on computer and phone screens that we have all got used to in the last year.