Billericay parkrun is cancelled on 2021-02-27 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Happy New Year from Billericay parkrun!

When we saw local parkrunner Samantha's cover of 'She Used To Be Mine' from Waitress we were reminded of some of the great memories from our event. Can't wait to be back when the time is right. Check out the video below.

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Profile #40 – Paul Hunt

Thanks to Paul for concluding our set of 40 profiles meeting some familiar faces from our event! Hope you have enjoyed them!

parkrun vital statistics
Number of runs: 132
Number of different events visited: 4 - Billericay, Chelmsford, Basildon and Mile End
Number of volunteering stints: 14

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When and where did your parkrun journey begin and what were your first impressions?
I had heard about parkrun and checked out the local one at the time - Chelmsford. I signed up and then took ages before getting around to doing my first parkrun – on the 22 Aug 2015 in a time of 35:50. The reason it took me so long to go to an event was the concerns that many a first timer has: would I be at the back, what would happen if I had to walk, do I need to be able to run to take part? But a holiday away with my cousin Amanda and her husband and fellow parkrunner Danny Piggott and their lovely son Oscar convinced me to give it a go, as we did a few runs along the beaches of Guernsey and they convinced me that the parkrun community are a friendly lot!

They were right and of course, you are never last! (Not that that really matters as it is a run not a race.) I was impressed by the organisation of Chelmsford - There were 415 people there and it was so welcoming. The First Timers briefing was nice and clear and I soon found a pace I was happy with.

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How did you hear about Billericay parkrun and how was it different to what you were used to and how was it the same?
I had been going to Chelmsford on a regular basis and then heard through the grapevine that parkrun was coming to Billericay. It might have even been announced at Chelmsford. As Billericay parkrun is within walking distance for me, I decided to make it my parkrun home!

To begin with it was smaller than I was used to, but that was a nice change as Chelmsford had got really busy. Doing several laps was also a new experience and learning how to overtake and keep to the left! And of course there was the killer hill that you had to do three times!! Chelmsford only had one killer hill so that was new. As the event was smaller and local I also knew more people so it gave the impression of being more friendly.

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What are your favourite memories from the event?
It’s really hard to pinpoint favourite memories, but a few do stick out. Running in the snow for the first time was just great and I think that was the moment I realised that I had the parkrun bug.

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Completing my 100 was great and I think it was close to Billericay’s 100 as well if not at the same time. That was great and wearing the 100 bib was a proud moment.

Helping out and volunteering is always magical, and I once decided to jog on the spot during the whole parkrun as it was bitterly cold – I managed about 4 km at that time.

I think the highlight has to be when I saw the photographer out and about and was running with my daughter Bethan. Those who know me will know that I do love a photo, so decided to do the Mo Bot. Bethan’s reaction was priceless!! Sadly I can’t find the photo!

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Here it is!

When you've volunteered at parkrun, what have you noticed that others might not realise?
No matter what level of fitness or age, the faces of the runners really do light up when they hear you clap them on, offer levels of encouragement or give them a high five!

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What memories do you have from the other parkruns you've visited?
Mile End is lovely, and takes me back to my University days – which seems like yesterday but was in fact over 23 years ago! I had a geography teachers meeting on a Saturday in London so decided to get in a parkrun beforehand. The trains were delayed so I ended up starting after everyone else and had to catch everyone up. Another friendly parkrun, and even a spot to grab a shower and a cup of tea afterwards.

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What do you do outside of parkrun stuff?
I am a geography teacher at a local secondary school and do love my subject. We visited Swanage Bay one year and took a boat trip to see Old Harry, a stack of rock caused by coastal erosion – I’m pointing it out in the photo below. Apparently asking one of my girls to take the photo was “such an embarrassment!” I really can’t think why?

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I decided to give my two daughters a little geography talk about the coastal erosion, they were very embarrassed but the people around us were fascinated and started asking me questions.

I love learning so much that I completed my doctorate in Education in January of this year at Canterbury Christ Church - 6 years after starting it. When Eleanor my daughter was asked what I had done my dissertation of 68,000 words on, she replied that “it’s about images in a geography textbook”. Thanks darling!

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I have far too many hobbies to mention here, but I do love getting the paints out and doing some watercolour or oil landscapes. I love watching Bob Ross on TV and then trying to recreate a scene. Here’s a little Christmas scene to get us in the Christmas mood.

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As a school coordinator for the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, you've seen lots of young people complete their volunteering challenge with parkrun. Why do you think parkrun lends itself so well to involving local young people in our events?
I have been involved with DofE for years and since 2012 have coordinating our school DofE unit. I think the young people that take part in the DofE find the volunteering section really difficult to complete, particularly if they want to help on a regular basis but also learn new skills along the way. That is way parkrun is so good. Students can help out once a week, and build up confidence learning new skills and put something back into the community. It really helps to build a sense of community in our young people and I know from experience that many will continue to volunteer after their DofE time has been completed.

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How have you been keeping active since March and have you completed any/many (not)parkruns?
Sadly I have found it really difficult to keep running this year. I love parkrun, the sense of community and the fact that it is on at the same time, and I find this motivates me to get out the house and run. With parkruns not happening running has not been as regular. I have done a few 5kms and am now trying to get ready for the 10Km Cancer Research Winter run on the 7th Feb – so if you see me out that day running give me a wave!

What are you most looking forward to when we come back?
Just running with others and sharing the smiles, pain of going up that hill and the beep of the scanners and you get that time.

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As we approach the end of our series of Billericay parkrun profiles, what have you learnt about our local parkrun community?

Having read the profiles I think the themes that come through loud and clear is the joy that everyone has in being part of a community event. It really does give people a reason to get out of bed and go for a run, jog or walk around the beautiful Lake Meadows. Putting my geography hat on, parkrun profiles have proved that the Park and the parkrun holds a real meaning to all those involved and makes our park a special place for so many different reasons. The Billericay parkrun community is diverse and everyone as a story to share. Perhaps we should have some parkrun memories posted around the course in the future…

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Huge thanks to Paul and everyone who has contributed to our profile series since March!

If you'd like to read more profiles, here are the others from this series:

dh linda and james The Halls
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o olly dave
rachel lucy ellen Rachel The Salakos
keith small sam lizzie_Small dadds_tn
stephenquyen_small small oscar paul sillence small
chandras_small bickerstaffssmall sonny small
oscar danny hazel pete amie small christine small]
ruth small parnabys small jan small
martin janice small paul and nicky small john small
123514664_1733142746856797_2879662136795752865_o maren ian small brownings
anthony kate west gill and mark

The Billericay core team are:

David Hayday : Rachel Varnam : Samuel Hill : Dave Sweet : Maggie Topliss : Alexa Joel

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 billericay@parkrun.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.

Have you got a question? Try the FAQs section on our website. If you are still stumped send a lovely email to billericay@parkrun.com and we will do our best to help.

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.

“barcode”

If you would like to donate to this parkrun you can find out more HERE

 

Profile #39 – Gill & Mark Scott

parkrun statistics
Number of runs: 45 by Mark, 52 by Gill
Number of different events visited: 10
Number of volunteering stints: 38 by Mark, 2 by Gill

Mark and gill

When and where did you both find parkrun and what were your first impressions?

Mark - I discovered parkrun just by chance when someone mentioned there was a weekly organised and timed free running event available for everyone. I was just getting into running on a more regular basis and immediately looked on the main website to see what parkruns were available. At that time, Billericay was not up and running, so I regularly travelled either to Maldon or Great Notley. My first impression was "wow", what a great idea and how friendly everyone was. That was around 2014.

Gill - I heard about parkrun through Mark and what a fantastic event it was. I was a bit nervous at first about coming along as I was not a runner, but as soon as attended, I knew this was an event for everyone.

How did you hear about Billericay parkrun?

Mark - I just happened to hear about Billericay parkrun locally soon after it started and the first time I came along, I think there were less than 200 people taking part. That number quickly increased each week.

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Mark running in his 2nd outing at Billericay in September 2017

Gill - Quite often on a Saturday Mark would come back from parkrun and tell me what a great opportunity it was to keep fit and a real community feel it and I should come and see. Eventually, I went along as well and never looked back. At first I started by walking the course and then gradually, a walk run and after a while I was able to run the whole course without stopping and my fitness has really improved.

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What are your favourite memories from the event?

Mark - My favourite memories have been to see so many first time runners come along to Billericay and then to see them return each week and gradually progress and improve their times. I also love to see whole families taking part and encouraging each other at the finish line.

Gill - It has to be the Christmas Day run. Everyone is extra excited and many runners are in Christmas fancy dress and Santa hats. It's a fantastic start to Christmas Day and a great excuse to even indulge a bit more later on! Hopefully we can look forward to that next year.
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Parkrun88

When you've volunteered at parkrun, almost all of your stints have been VI Guiding or Pacing. Please tell us what you like about these roles and how you approach the respective challenges?

Mark - I am a licenced guide runner with England Athletics and having been a runner for so long, I decided to enrol and take the course so I could act as a guide runner for visually impaired runners and offer some free time. I enjoy running so much that I would be devastated if I could not run and never forget how easy it is for fully sighted runners to just put on the trainers and go for a run.Sadly that's not possible for everyone. When I guide at a parkrun and hear afterwards from my assisted runners how this event makes them feel included and good about themselves and how much they had achieved personally, it can be so rewarding.

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As I am an ultra-runner by choice, I do a lot of weekly mileage generally so always happy to share the parkrun experience with others. I actually think parkrun is the perfect event for visually impaired runners as it creates a "run event" experience with lots of other participants, but does not come with the pressure you sometimes feel with a lot of road races and is more suited to all abilities.

More recently I have started to volunteer as a pacer knowing how this really benefits everyone chasing a particular time. It’s a great way to try and run at a specific pace and to get a feel for it and it does not matter if you can only maintain it for a short while as it all helps. It's also a food opportunity to test yourself. I do remember one week getting my pace time completely wrong and ended up having to sprint the last half lap, so I apologise if you were following me that week!

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Gill - I have volunteered a few times looking after some of the guide dogs and as a marshal. It's always great to get more involved and so easy to forget our the team at Billericay parkrun are giving up their free time every single week and we tend to think parkrun all starts at 9am, but the course needs setting up and taking down which can make for a long morning for the volunteers.

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What memories do you have from the other parkruns you've visited? The hardest? Most scenic? Most memorable?

Mark - I have run Notley Park a few times and it's a very scenic route and initially deceiving as quite flat and fast to start with. It's a two lap course and on the second lap you are suddenly confronted with a very big hill that you have to run up which can be a real challenge at such a late stage in the run. I think we both really enjoyed running the Clacton-on-Sea course. Its right on the seafront and somehow makes the run itself seem very different.

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Mark at Great Notley

Gill - Whilst Billericay is my favourite parkrun, I do also like the Maldon course and its route along the river in part. It's also quite flat so good to work on those PBs'.

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Gill at Maldon

What do you both do outside of parkrun stuff? 

Mark - I am a property lawyer working in the City, although more from home now, so for me I have found running is a great release from the stress of work. Although I only starting running to increase my general fitness, I was so taken by it, that I soon starting running greater distances and I now specialise in multi day ultra-marathons travelling to some fairly remote places around the world. I have run across the Sahara desert in the quite famous Marathon De Sable, a six day self-sufficient race and have also completed multi day races in Bhutan, Peru and the jungles of Vietnam. The training takes up a lot of my free time, but otherwise my other hobby is cooking all types of food.

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Gill - I work for a local firm of solicitors in the High Street so have a bit more free time. I do a lot of walking locally and some running with friends and enjoy my weekly yoga class. Our daughter is due to have her first child on Christmas day, so we might soon have another hobby to enjoy!

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How have you both been keeping active since March?

Mark and Gill - We have both had more free time since March as working from home has saved on Mark's commuting time into London. As a result we have been out running more together and enjoyed having the time to find new places to run and explore. It's been great to see so many other local residents running and enjoying our local neighbourhood.

What are you most looking forward to when we come back?

Mark and Gill - When parkrun does return, we are both looking forward to catching up with all the familiar faces and friends we have made through the parkrun community and enjoying that post run coffee in the local cafe. There is such a great community feel about parkrun and it will be nice to hear what others have been up to and we are quite sure that once we can return, there will be so many more local residents and parkrun visitors wanting to become involved.

As we approach the end of our series of Billericay parkrun profiles, what have you learnt about our local parkrun community?

Mark and Gill - We hope we can soon focus on returning to our weekly parkrun in 2021 as things improve in the UK and we are quite sure there will be lots of celebrations, stories to tell and plenty of cake when we can all meet again at 9am on Saturdays!

Capture

The Billericay parkrun community makes everyone so welcome. To think just a few years ago we did not have parkrun and now there is such a big and warm parkrun team and community! Everyone looks out for each other and there is always so much encouragement. It really shows how this event can bring a community together who otherwise may have remained strangers. We particularly like the fact that you can come along with your friends or family or just on your own and feel just as included, whatever your age or ability.

Huge thanks to Mark and Gill. More fantastic members of our Billericay parkrun community.

If you'd like to read more profiles, here are the others from this series so far:

dh linda and james The Halls
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o olly dave
rachel lucy ellen Rachel The Salakos
keith small sam lizzie_Small dadds_tn
stephenquyen_small small oscar paul sillence small
chandras_small bickerstaffssmall sonny small
oscar danny hazel pete amie small christine small]
ruth small parnabys small jan small
martin janice small paul and nicky small john small
123514664_1733142746856797_2879662136795752865_o maren ian small brownings
anthony kate west

The Billericay core team are:

David Hayday : Rachel Varnam : Samuel Hill : Dave Sweet : Maggie Topliss : Alexa Joel

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 billericay@parkrun.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.

Have you got a question? Try the FAQs section on our website. If you are still stumped send a lovely email to billericay@parkrun.com and we will do our best to help.

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.

“barcode”

If you would like to donate to this parkrun you can find out more HERE

 

Profile #38 – Kate West

parkrun statistics
Number of runs: 67
Number of different events visited: 5
Number of volunteering stints: 10

Parkrun 2

How did you find out about Billericay parkrun and come along for the first time?

I first found Chelmsford parkrun a few years ago when my eldest daughter Isabel wanted to get a bit fitter and raise some money for charity. She got sponsored to work her way up to a 5k run using Couch to 5k and we did Chelmsford parkrun as her 5k run. I did really enjoy that and we went back a few times, but I do love a weekend lie in so it wasn't all that regular! Once I heard there was a parkrun in Lake Meadows though I had no excuse as I live about ten mins walk away.

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What are your favourite memories from the event?

So many! parkrun in the snow - so different to run in the snow and I was in the top 50 or so runners (because not many people were daft enough to come out!) - only time that is going to happen!

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Also my 50th run which was very special because it was on the run day dedicated to our lovely running friend Kevin. My PB run was great - how I ever managed under 27 minutes is beyond me (I think it was mostly because David Dadds is such a brilliant pacer!).

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I also really enjoyed sharing the parkrun experience with my youngest daughter Jenny who did her volunteering for the Bronze DoE at Billericay although we've still not managed to get her to actually run!

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What have you missed most since we have been suspended?

The community and camaraderie - it's such a feel good way to start your weekend. I've also missed the physical challenge and discipline of getting up and getting out there and the endorphins that follow!

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What do you enjoy about volunteering at parkrun?

I generally marshal when I volunteer as I enjoy the interaction with the runners as they go past. I especially love the children running with their parents where you can see the child powering away and the parent thinking how am I ever going to keep up for 5k!. All the different reactions you get when marshalling are fantastic from the slightly embarrassed smile to the full on chat. I also like being part of the parkrun family and feeling that I'm doing my little bit to enable parkrun to carry on.

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What other parkruns have you visited and were they different from Billericay?

As I've said Chelmsford, but also a couple 'oop north' (where I'm originally from). All I can say is that the northern definition of a hill is very different and it makes the park cafe hill seem like a slight incline! I don't think I've ever been to another parkrun as friendly as ours but I may be slightly biased!

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Barnsley parkrun

What do you do outside of parkrun stuff?

I have lots of different hats! I'm lucky enough to be a mum of two girls who are 19 and 16 now (when did that happen?!?) and my lovely husband and I have been together since school. The bulk of my family are still oop north which has been super hard with COVID as my mum has Alzheimers and we've only been able to see them once since March when we would normally go up every 6-8 weeks. I have two jobs - a part time office admin role and I'm also a fitness instructor (but I haven't actually been running classes since COVID started). I love immersive theatre where you can dress up and experience the show rather than just sit and watch it (don't ask I can bore you with it for hours!) and I'm partial to a nice piece of cake!!!

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As a fitness instructor, do you have any home workouts / tips for people to keep fit over the winter?

There is a vast amount of free fitness content on YouTube so there is definitely something out there for everyone! I have a Facebook page for my classes (Get in Shape with Kate) and during COVID I've put a few of my own workout videos on there as well as signposting loads of other workouts and useful info. Personally I found my fitness slipped during the first lockdown as I wasn't teaching my classes and I got out of the running habit as of course Striders and parkrun couldn't happen (I much prefer running in company).

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My saviour has been finding a home workout buddy in my 19 year old daughter Isabel - we did Joe Wicks in the summer and have since found another fitness programme on YouTube to keep improving our fitness. We have even worked out together online (using a website called Scener where you can watch videos and talk at the same time) since she has gone back to Uni in Leeds. I'd recommend a workout buddy - it makes it fun and keeps you accountable - and with the magic of the internet it can be a fantastic way of staying in touch with friends and family and getting fit too! It's also really important for fitness and also just for general wellbeing to try and get out in the fresh air every day - I've been doing Couch to 5k again since September and I've really enjoyed getting out at lunchtimes when I'm working from home.

How did you find being part of the Billericay Striders beginners group and then joining the club?

Keith's beginners group was a great way to get to know people at Striders and lots of fun too. I'd been wanting to join Striders for ages but was too nervous to go on my own so being part of the group was a fantastic way to start. I always feel that the expectation when I do anything exercise related is that as I'm a fitness instructor I'm super fit and will find it easy but that really isn't the case!! Running is a very different type of fitness from the classes I teach so the beginners group was a really good way to build up my running stamina.

The support of Striders and their free training sessions have helped to get me to the finish in a few races - most memorably my second half marathon at Colchester Zoo which me and my lovely running buddy Rich ran (or swum?) in the pouring rain! I love being a part of Striders and am working my way back to running fitness now with Couch to 5k with the hope that I will be fit enough to start back once the COVID restrictions hopefully start to lift for good in spring.

Parkrun 3

What are you most looking forward to when we come back?

Seeing my parkrun friends again and just getting back to some kind of normal after the weirdest year ever!

Parkrun 1
Thanks very much to Kate! If you'd like to read more profiles, here are the others from this series so far:

dh linda and james The Halls
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o olly dave
rachel lucy ellen Rachel The Salakos
keith small sam lizzie_Small dadds_tn
stephenquyen_small small oscar paul sillence small
chandras_small bickerstaffssmall sonny small
oscar danny hazel pete amie small christine small]
ruth small parnabys small jan small
martin janice small paul and nicky small john small
123514664_1733142746856797_2879662136795752865_o maren ian small brownings
anthony

The Billericay core team are:

David Hayday : Rachel Varnam : Samuel Hill : Dave Sweet : Maggie Topliss : Alexa Joel

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 billericay@parkrun.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.

Have you got a question? Try the FAQs section on our website. If you are still stumped send a lovely email to billericay@parkrun.com and we will do our best to help.

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.

“barcode”

If you would like to donate to this parkrun you can find out more HERE

 

Profile #37 – Anthony Moore

parkrun statistics
Number of runs: 148
Number of different events visited: 30
Number of volunteering stints: 12

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How did you get started with running and join the Billericay Striders?
​I didn’t start running until later in life (42) and it was on New Year's Day 2013. I’d decided I wanted to lose some Christmas excess. I hadn’t ran since I had been at school. I think I managed about 20 minutes. I kept at it though, slowly building up my endurance and it wasn’t long before I was hooked and it was only in April that year I ran my first race, yes a half marathon, the East London Half for the Tessa Sanderson Foundation.

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I was thrilled to just complete it in 1.53 and to meet Tessa herself. I carried on running by myself into 2014 and ran my 1st marathon, Loch Ness that year. I was happy with my 3.48 finish and in May 2015 I got a place at the London Marathon and to me, disappointingly ran 3.48 again, it was then I decided I needed some help. The next day I looked up my two nearest running clubs, Thrift Green Trotters (now Brentwood Running Club) and Billericay Striders. I emailed them both but only Billericay replied. I went along to a few sessions, enjoyed them and thought they’d improve me (which they have, last year I got a London marathon GFA time) and became a member.

It’s a very friendly club, with all standard of runners, good coaches and good social too. I’m also a member of the Vegan Runners UK running club.

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How did you hear about parkrun and start coming to Billericay parkrun?
I heard about parkrun from someone at the club and my first one was Basildon in 2015. I wasn’t gripped though and it was probably a couple of years later when my shorter distance improved I got really hooked.

I started running them every week and a couple of years ago I ran about 43 out of the 55 you can do in a year. I knew about Billericay starting a while before it did because people from the Striders were involved. I ran the first one and have since ran there 38 times, the most out of the 148 I’ve done.

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You've volunteered lots of times at the event as a sighted guide for visually impaired athletes. How did you become interested in being a VI Guide and what do you enjoy about that role?
I started guide running 4 years ago when a friend of mine who is blind told me his regular guide runner was unable to run with him for a while. He was training for a half marathon so I didn’t hesitate to say I’d step in.

We went for a run in the streets tethered together and I was nervous, their life in your hands. I’ve since learnt that guiding around a park is far easier than on the streets where there are far more hazards.

After guiding my friend a couple of times, I decided it was in both our interests to sign up for the England Athletics Sight Loss Awareness and Guide Running Workshop. It was only a few hours but helped me learn a lot more. We tried out different glasses that let us see what it was like to have different types of sight loss, not everyone is totally blind, some could be misty or tunnel vision.

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The main questions I ask now if I’m guiding someone new are, what is your sight like, have you any other medical conditions I need to know about, which side of me do you want to run on (don’t assume for them) and how fast do you want to go.

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Billericay parkrun a while ago had a lot of sight loss and visually impaired runners attending and one young man I guided who was a very good runner before losing his sight, ran exceptionally quick, about 23 minutes, real bravery and faith to go that quick. I talk the whole way round, I describe wherever we are on the run, the pace, time and always checking they’re ok, along with everything in front of them. The thing I enjoy most about guiding is giving back something to help someone else enjoy running.

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What have been your favourite memories from Billericay parkrun?
I enjoyed the last New Year's Day when a few of us ran Billericay then ran to Chelmsford parkrun to do the double.

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I also enjoy the yearly parkrun tourism trip Billericay do, I couldn’t make Barry Island but I did go to Bushy and this November I think was meant to be the Severn Bridge parkrun which I would have attended. (Editor: Hopefully next year!)

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I liked guiding there and how Billericay was at the forefront for introducing more sight loss and visually impaired runners to parkrun, I hope this will return. I just enjoy going there because I know I will see plenty of people I know there from the Striders and it is a chance to catch up.

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What are the most memorable races you've done?
Last year I did the Berlin Marathon and went with a sports company called 2.09 events, this is owned by Mike Gratton, former London marathon winner in 1983 who won it in a time of 2.09. He came on the trip and it was a pleasure to spend an evening in his company after the marathon just chatting about running and his career.

The Melbourne half marathon was good because the finish was inside the 100,000 capacity MGM cricket ground. I also enjoyed running for the Striders in a relay competition that finished on the track inside the London Stadium.

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I’ve grown to enjoy cross country through representing my club and last year running the South of England Cross Country Championships at the Parliament Hill, the iconic home of it was a great experience, hilly and very muddy.

The Grizzly down in Devon was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done, 20 miles of hills, sand, cliffs but I loved it and can’t wait to do it again, the Striders take a good 20 runners down there every year and it’s a good week-end away. I did the British 10k dressed as a tiger with Michaela Strachan and lots of others. I love doing Santa runs every year too.

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Lastly the 24 hour Spitfire Scramble relay race in Hornchurch, I’ve ran this the last 3 years, the last two I organised Strider teams. This year we would have had 3 teams of 8 and it’s a fun week-end of camping and mixing with lots of other teams along with a superb relay race. Perhaps Billericay parkrun could organise a team or two when things are back to normal?

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You've visited a lot of different parkruns. Which ones stand out?
I love visiting new parkruns and have been to 30 so far. I often go to new parkruns with a few friends from the club and we make a social of it, have a coffee and cake after, if you do Colchester parkrun, right next door you can do a 3 mile run that is a nice piece of Elephant Strava, we did that too.

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I’ve been to the biggest Bushy twice but also the smallest in London, Pymmes, at one time it was getting under 40 runners. I’ve also visited the 3 of the fastest courses in the country, Dulwich, Hackney & Victoria Dock, I can tell you Dulwich is super quick. If you’re after a tough one then Lullingstone in Kent was 7th hardest. The only one outside England I’ve been to is Malahide in Dublin, a beautiful setting in Castle grounds.

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What do you do outside of parkrun?
I worked in insurance for 18 years and I left to pursue my passion for horticulture. I work on a beautiful 27 acre private estate with hundreds of plant species and wildlife.

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My other big passions are conservation and animal welfare and being a vegan sits alongside all of these.

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I’ve been a West Ham fan all my life and had a season ticket for 29 years, my first live game was in 1981 against Brighton and a certain Paul Allen was playing, the same Paul Allen who is now a member of the Striders and a regular at Billericay parkrun!

I love visiting new countries and have been lucky to have visited some fantastic places but my favourite is Italy and in particular Tuscany where my mum’s side of the family are from and I got married there in Lucca.

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What are you most looking forward to when parkrun comes back?
I’m looking forward to running two more parkrun to get to 150 and then pushing on and getting to the magical 250 along with visiting lots more parkruns and getting Saturday’s back to park life.

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Thanks very much to Anthony! If you'd like to read more profiles, here are the others from this series so far:

dh linda and james The Halls
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o olly dave
rachel lucy ellen Rachel The Salakos
keith small sam lizzie_Small dadds_tn
stephenquyen_small small oscar paul sillence small
chandras_small bickerstaffssmall sonny small
oscar danny hazel pete amie small christine small]
ruth small parnabys small jan small
martin janice small paul and nicky small john small
123514664_1733142746856797_2879662136795752865_o maren ian small brownings

The Billericay core team are:

David Hayday : Rachel Varnam : Samuel Hill : Dave Sweet : Maggie Topliss : Alexa Joel

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 billericay@parkrun.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.

Have you got a question? Try the FAQs section on our website. If you are still stumped send a lovely email to billericay@parkrun.com and we will do our best to help.

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.

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If you would like to donate to this parkrun you can find out more HERE

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