It’s about the doing it, not about the times

Basingstoke parkrun #614, 16th November 2019, Run Report by Alastair Bridgman

Firstly well done to all 601 people who decided to start their weekend with a burst of activity in the glorious winter sunshine. Whether you walked, ran, or did a bit of both, well done to all of you. It was forecast to be freezing but the sun came out and brought blue skies and warmth to this week’s event.

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This week I decided to help and encourage Ania, my 12 year old step daughter round the course. In September Ania broke her arm and has only been out of a cast for a week and a half. Her fitness has naturally decreased in this time but after much consideration in the week we thought it would be a good idea to use it as an easy run to start getting her fitness back up. The plan was to start slowly and just get to the end. With the help of one of her friends, Bethan, we ran and talked. That was until we got halfway up tennis court hill when the talking seemed to just stop! A little encouragement at the start of the 2nd lap from Bethan and we started to run a bit faster. We ran the whole way, and managed to run each mile quicker than the last. I was very proud of Ania to keep going and it will do her the world of good as she becomes more active once again. Parkrun can mean many things to different people but just getting out and being active is the one common link everyone has. You don’t always have to go for a pb, it can be about helping others back to fitness, helping someone's motivation or any other reason to make someone’s run just a little more special.

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Well done to the 26 first-timers and the 28 who were new to Basingstoke and the 57 who managed a Personal Best. And a very special welcome to the new Hook Runners who completed their ABC course and got their medals. This is one of the most important parts of parkrun, that it is totally inclusive to everyone of all abilities and is a great place to start your journey towards being more active.

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Congratulations to those who are further along the path and have made parkrun a regular part of their lives. Richard Brand, Phoebe Davis, Fiona Draper and Charley Draper completed their 50th run today. Craig Gilbert and Guy McIntyre are up to 100 runs, and there was an unofficial milestone for Barry Shepherd in his 150th. Kemuel Dean Solomon was doing his 100th different parkrun event by visiting Basingstoke, which is an impressive achievement.

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Thank you very much to Gordon Hossick, for being the Run Director today and at many other events over the past couple of years. We wish you good luck and a safe trip around the world next year and hope to see you back again on your return.

With the inevitable increase in rain this season, the ground is getting muddier and the paths are getting more slippery. We need to prioritise safety over times and think about running around the slipperiest areas, rather than through them. Please keep to the outside of all the poles and markers. Several people were running on the inside but that will not give you a full 5k of running meaning your time will not be an honest 5k time. It is worth taking a minute to think about this as you plan your route around the park and your overtaking.

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From now on, over the winter months, all our times are likely to be slightly slower than they were in the summer. With the colder air, the damper atmosphere and the slipperiness beneath us, it is inevitable that we may lose a few seconds here and there, and this will reflect the season rather than our fitness. However, the effort that we put in now will reap rewards when the ground is harder.

The event was made possible by 50 volunteers, thank you to all of you: Alison Rachel JONES • Caroline PARTNER • Avi GOVIND • Grant HODGSON • Alison JAMES • Tommy MILLAR • Dave HOPE • Matt PILLINGER • Karen TURNER • Brian WORTH • Frankie WELLINGS • Lorna GORDON • Jonathan RUDDLE • Ryan PARTNER • Gemma MOSELEY • Rich EBURNE • Ben HASTINGS • Mark NORRIS • Mark COUGHLIN • Glen JEPSON • Jane EWING • Boyd JNO-LEWIS • Emma COLLINS • Mike STANFORD • Mike HEDDERLY • Jack HEDDERLY • Gary JEPSON • Lisa HEDDERLY • Denise HOPE • George HEDDERLY • Lisa HOTTEN • Paul STREETER • Lisa FIXTER • Gordon HOSSICK • Tom HARDING • Peter RAILTON • Alastair BRIDGMAN • Mike ATHROLL • Chris TOWNLEY • Ivy EBURNE • Halszka KONIECZEK • Katie TURNER • Paloma DYER • Sarah GAMBRILL • Susan SHAPLAND • Barbara WEST • Dave OXLADE • Sue JACKSON • Deborah RIVERS • Pooja AGICHA

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