In recent weeks, there's been a lot said about the weather, storms and cancellations in the parkrun and junior parkrun world and this time of year is always a challenge for volunteer teams as things can change so very quickly. At Billericay parkrun, this is our third winter now and it's certainly been a tricky one since conditions worsened in the park from November and have been very up and down ever since.
However, we've been pleased to get to this point having only cancelled once in that time and the Core Team are really grateful for how everyone's been so flexible and patient as we've tweaked things week to week.
Although we have no intention of sticking with a 5 lap, path only course, whilst things are so changeable, we're going to commit to the five lapper for at least two more weeks irrespective of what happens with the weather. If nothing else, it helps you know what to expect and us to know what we need to gear up for.
The 5 Lap course has five particular things for you to bear in mind ...
- Please make sure you come to the event briefing which is held by the Bowls Pavilion. Even though some of the content you may have heard before, it's important you attend to make sure you hear any specific safety or other instructions from the Run Director. It also shows respect to your fellow runners and the event volunteers.
- Keeping track of how many laps can be an issue for some. My advice, if you don't have a distance measuring watch or App, is to pick a point on the course or a relevant marshal point. Maybe the hill, the cafe, the playground etc. Pass that point 5 times and then peel off to the finish funnel the next time you reach it.
- We're normally a keep left, pass on the right course, but this becomes even more important when we're running 5 laps - so please follow that convention all of the time, as well as being super considerate to other park users.
- As you approach the finish, especially if you're in the first 1/3rd or so of the field, please plan your left turn towards the finish funnel with care so that you don't cut across, trip or compromise the run of others that have further laps still to do.
- Once you've finished, had your barcode scanned and collected any belongings, if you're leaving the park through the main entrance, please walk back via the path by the lake, rather than walking back against the flow of other runners still completing the course - it just makes life easier for everyone.
We'll be back on our 3.8 laps soon enough, but the above points enable us to make the 5 lapper a safe and a viable alternative.
This week, we managed to dodge Storm Dennis and it was great to host 275 finishers. Thanks for supporting the event. From the 275, three completed their first ever parkrun (super well done coming out on a day like Saturday to join the parkrun family) and another eight completing their first parkrun at Billericay.
When we call out for our regular first timer's briefing, we normally get 10 - 20, sometimes even 30+. As Alexa held up our giant barcode on Saturday, her audience very quickly assembled - just the one person ! Possibly our first ever 1-2-1 First Timers Briefing
Three of the 275 were celebrating great milestones; Elizabeth CONDON (50), Oscar FARLEY (50) and Judith CAMPBELL (100). It's great to see these brilliant achievements week after week. Well done everyone, even though the first Oscar knew it was his big 50 was long after the event - doh !
Other great achievements this week were 40 shiny new PBs. It's always lovely to nab a PB, so well done to everyone that set new figures for their Billericay parkrun times.
For some of you, the key to that PB will have been the brilliant group of pacers we had this month. Twelve regular parkrunners who volunteered to help others get a good parkrun outcome - how great is that? With a spread of 21 minutes to 35 minutes, that covered almost three quarters of Saturday's field, so I hope it helped if you were tracking a new target time.
Our next pacer event is on Saturday 21 March 2020 so if you'd like to volunteer to pace or have a time you'd like paced - any time at all - we'll do our very best to find someone to target that time. Just email email@example.com.
From one group of volunteers to another, and along with the 12 pacers, we had a further 29 brilliant volunteers covering off all of the other moving parts of the event. What a fantastic bunch who made my job an absolute breeze - thank you, thank you, thank you.
Please keep an eye on our Volunteer Roster and do consider having a go at one of the many roles on offer. It really is fun and rewarding and makes a big, big difference to the whole event. Check out our future roster and simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and when you'd like to get involved.
Finally, as we approach the Half and Full Marathon spring season, best wishes to all of you that are in training for these fab challenges. Equally, best wishes to those making great strides towards completing their Couch to 5k challenges. Depending on your starting point, both can be tough challenges and both are brilliant achievements - go smash it, either way
Until next time Billericay. Dave Sweet's in the RD vest next week for 5 laps of fun.
Have a great week
Please check our Volunteer Roster to see if you are able to help out at anytime, there are plenty of roles available to do and all are rewarding and great fun. If you want to volunteer, email us at email@example.com
As well as checking on this site regularly for the latest information and updates, don't forget you can also find us on Facebook.
Why not trade up your paper barcode to some of those snazzy plastic barcodes and wristbands? You can get them at the parkrun barcode website and never worry about soggy paper ones again! ICE details can also be printed on them as well.
If you would like to donate to this parkrun you can find out more HERE