Though we're not able to be together in the park right now, that doesn't mean we can't still hear from some of the amazing people that make up our community.
This week our profile is from the Halls, one of the brilliant parkrun families from our event. Thanks very much to Pete, Vicky, Miri and Josh
parkrun vital statistics
Combined number of runs: 335
Number of different parkrun events visited: 10
Combined number of volunteer stints: 31
How did you first hear about Billericay parkrun and start taking part as a family?
Pete: Gosh, it took a while for us to remember how we started running at Billericay. We think it went something like this...
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I had already started running with a friend at Chelmsford parkrun and then one by one the rest of the family joined in. However, I then had an eco-conscience attack! Why was I driving to Chelmsford every week to run 5km and then driving home again? The thought started to grate on me.
Billericay parkrun hadn’t quite begun then, so I ran around my local country park instead! It wasn’t long before word got to me that Billericay parkrun would be starting soon, hurrah! So, on Saturday 8th July 2017, I cycled over to Billericay from Hutton and joined in with parkrun #3.
The rest of the family were a bit slow to come across from Chelmsford to Lake Meadows due to it being a multi lap course (hands up if you’ve ever forgotten which lap you’re on) and having gargantuan hills! However, the friendly welcome and the smaller number of runners at Billericay eventually won them over.
What are your favourite memories from Billericay parkrun?
Pete: I have so many happy memories to choose from! Was my favourite getting a PB, making a snowman, being a VI guide, eating cake, helping pack up, running in a bear costume, meeting new people, pacing someone to a new PB, being a marshal, Sam’s jokes…? Nope, although I loved them all! My absolute favourite was completing a run with the lovely Lizzie, Sam L’s guide dog. That was a very special and privileged moment for me. One that I’ll never forget.
Vicky: My favourite memory is running my 50th parkrun with my friend. She had timed it so we could both run our 50s together and we dressed up too.
Miri: I enjoy greeting the regular marshals, such as James and Sophie, as I’m running round. I also love running amidst all the wildlife and particularly enjoy watching the water birds and spotting the peacock! I especially like the fact that there is a family of Grebes at Lake Meadows, they are wonderful birds and very handsome. My favourite memory of a specific run is when Sonny (a lovely friendly dog and a regular at Billericay) came running over to greet me one morning for a hug!
Josh: My favourite memory was running with Alexa pacing 20 minutes. Unbeknown to me, another runner had asked Alexa if she could run a sub 20 pace. I just managed to keep going and got my first sub 20 minute time of 19:42, thanks Alexa!
Pete, on a scale from roast turkey to hotter than the surface of the sun, just how warm was it to run 5k dressed as a bear in the middle of June?
I was more steam cooked than roasted, it was a bit sweaty in there! Especially as I wore a balaclava to try and reduce the amount of sweat being absorbed by the head of the costume. Worse than the sweat, my restricted view while running was a big challenge, I apologise to anyone I stepped on or barged into the lake by mistake!
What are your PBs and how much have each of you improved since your first run?
Pete: We’ve all definitely become faster over the years, albeit at an ever decreasing rate! Josh is by far the most determined runner, and although he has had continuous knee problems due to his growth spurts he’s kept on with his daily stretching and strengthening exercises an it’s paying dividends!
Our stats comparing our first parkrun in Chelmsford to our current PBs are:
- Pete: First parkrun 23:49, current PB is 20:37 (thanks to Alexa for pacing 21 minutes and encouraging me to go for it on the home straight)
- Vicky: First parkrun 34:50, current PB is 29:27
- Miri: First parkrun 31:50, current PB 24:40
- Josh: First parkrun 29:51, current PB 19:14
What do you do outside of parkrun stuff?
Pete: I’ve been working as a Site Manager at a local primary school for the last three years, this is a career change for me, I used to be a media technician at a London university for 14 years. However, I yearned to work locally and in the end made the jump and am happy to say that it’s all worked out fine. Vicky works full-time at home looking after two kids, our home and me! I can seriously say that she puts in way more hours than I do at work.
Miri and Josh are both at secondary school doing A-levels and GCSEs respectively.
We are a Christian family and are part of our local church in Hutton. Josh regularly plays the drums in the worship group and I’m part of the team that operates the sound system.
Josh is very sporty, as you might have guessed from his PB, and is keen to get into competitive triathlon. This was meant to be his first year competing in the British Triathlon East Junior Race Series, however that’ll have to wait until next year.
Miri loves to read, be creative, dance, swim in open water and study Chinese Mandarin, but maybe not all at the same time!
When I have time I like to do DIY - I’m not fast mind you, my last project was the new bath and shower, which from start to finish took about 3 years!!! Good thing we have a second bathroom...!
Vicky loves to read, does a bit of gardening, has recently finished a course on crocheting (we have a spectacular cushion cover and she made her mum a tea cosy) and is a fabulous cook.
You’ve visited quite a few different events. Which ones have you particularly enjoyed?
Pete: The Kingdom parkrun in Penshurst Kent is particularly beautiful, it’s a 3-lapper on a private track on the side of a vary large hill with beautiful views of the Kent countryside (did I mention the hill?!?). It’s only a 15 minute jog from my in-laws home, so Josh and I can roll out of bed and into parkrun and we’ve already done the warm up.
Others that comes to mind are Newport parkrun, set in the grounds of a National Trust stately home in South Wales and Upton House parkrun near my brother’s family in Poole with its lovely woodland and coastal views (I won’t mention the hills there either).
What’s the best thing about parkrun?
Pete: For me, it’s that parkrun is a family thing. I go, my wife and kids go, my friends go, the in-laws go, my mum even has a go when she’s visiting too (still working on my Dad though!)
What are you most looking forward to when we get back?
Pete: I’d love to nail a new PB, I’ve been doing my daily exercise with Josh so hopefully I’ll come back faster than ever!
Vicky: Seeing friendly faces and doing parkrun together.
Miri: I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again, racking up the runs and getting our stats emails too.
Josh: I had a very good run at the Brentwood Fun Run, before the lock down, and came third. So I’m also hoping to improve on my PB when I get back.
Thank you to the Halls for all their support of the event. If you'd like to read more, here are the other profiles from this series so far:
If there's someone you'd like to nominate for us to profile, drop us an email at email@example.com
Until next time!
The Billericay core team are:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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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