View from a volunteer

Basingstoke parkrun event #471, 11th March 2017, Run Report by Cerys Byrne

I've written run reports from the viewpoint of a runner before, but never as a volunteer. In the middle of last week, deciding that running a parkrun the day before a 22 mile training run wasn't a good idea, I emailed basingstokehelpers@parkrun.com asking them to add me to the roster and was allocated the role of number checker.  Arriving at memorial park at 8.40 I collected my high-viz jacket and was briefed as to what my role entailed.  As the 528 runners made their way to the start I watched the multicoloured mass moving towards the birdcage.

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Moments later the signal was given and the runners were off, it was wonderful to watch the stream of bodies growing until it filled the path from the bandstand to the top of tennis court hill.

When the timekeepers returned from the start we had a quick chat so we all knew what we were doing and then there was nothing to do but watch the runners making their way around the park, until the first finishers came over the line.

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This week's first three male finishers were as follows:

James DONALD (SM30-34) of Team Bath AC, was first over the line in 17:42,  in his first appearance at Basingstoke.
Andy GODDARD (VM35-39) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was second over the line in 18:04, Andy has been first to finish on 4 previous occasions.
Richard GOWEN (VM45-49) of Hook Runners, was third over the line in 18:11, Richard has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

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The female placings were:

Helen WALLINGTON (VW45-49) of Totton Running club, was first (9th overall) over the line in 18:45 in her first appearance at Basingstoke.
Hannah BLISS (SW20-24) of Overton Harriers & AC, was second (27th overall) over the line in 20:10, Helen has been first to finish on 5 previous occasions.
Linda VAN DER WEL (VW40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was third (47th overall) over the line in 21:19, Linda has been first to finish on 11 previous occasions.

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After the first few finishers the runners were coming in thick and fast and I was running up and down the finish funnel checking numbers to ensure that the timings stayed in sync.  Apologies to all the out of breath runners I asked to tell me their name and finish number.

Out of the 528 runners 31 were first timers and 16 first time visitors from other parkruns,   75 runners recorded new Personal Bests and there were representatives of 28 different clubs.

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The three highest age grades were recorded by:

Helen WALLINGTON (VW45-49) – 87.29% for the time 18:45 (9th overall).
Tim ELLIS (VM55-59) – 84.58% for the time 18:29 (7th overall).
Janet HARDCASTLE (VW60-64) – 79.84% for the time 24:18 (117th overall)

There were four milestone runs this week, Harry Lewis joined the junior 10 club, Graham Cook and Vanessa Wright joined the 50 club and Fiona Robertson joined the 100 club.  Congratulations to you all and we'll see you in your club T-shirts soon.

This week's parkrun was brought to you by 36 volunteers, without whom it could not have taken place.  Volunteering is great fun and will give you a different perspective on the event.  If you're interested in volunteering, take a look at the roster for the next few weeks http://www.parkrun.org.uk/basingstoke/futureroster/ pick a date and a role and email basingstokehelpers@parkrun.com to put yourself forward.

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