Billericay parkrun is cancelled on 8 August 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Profile #14 – Rachel

This week’s profile is from Rachel. A founder Billericay parkrun Core Team member, uber volunteer and part of the very fabric of our event :)


parkrun vital statistics
Number of parkruns: 166
Number of different events visited: 35
Number of volunteering stints: 229!

RD
When did you first become aware of parkrun and what was run #1 like?
I first became aware of Chelmsford parkrun in 2014 after Googling local exercise groups, but I hadn’t passed my driving test back then so regrettably I didn’t sign up as I had no way of getting there! A few years later, my friend Lucy (who I’ve known since I was 7) finally convinced me and dragged me along with her mum Rachel and brother Tom.

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The first run really wasn’t pretty but I remember being so ready to go back and improve my time the next week. I loved the togetherness of the community and that it is a place where everyone’s achievements are respected and celebrated.

You’ve visited quite a few different parkruns, what have been your tourism highlights and what are your ‘must visit’ targets?
I enjoy each event I go to and I’ve been to so many places I never would have seen otherwise. Aside from the group Billericay parkrun trips, the parkruns that stick in my mind are Crosby parkrun which is next to Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ installation on a beach near Liverpool and Whitley Bay parkrun, which has a beautiful course along the seafront and an even more beautiful independent gelato shop as its official cafe where you get a discount if you show your barcode!

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The one I really want to do next is Fountains Abbey parkrun in Yorkshire which is around a beautiful medieval monastery and water garden.

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What are your most memorable moments from Billericay parkrun?
There have been so many that I can’t really choose. Though it’s obviously very rewarding to see the more orchestrated things like the Bushy and Barry trips, our VI guiding event and the event birthdays coming together, I think my favourite memories are in the quieter moments - like seeing someone ringing the PB bell or achieving a milestone, conversations at our Christmas drinks, or just someone saying how much they’ve enjoyed the event and what it has meant to them.

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Rumour has it, you were the architect of the truly epic trip to Barry Island parkrun for the Gavin & Stacey parkrun in 2018. What were your highlights?
There were a lot of architects of that day, especially Lyn and Ian from Barry Island who put on the most amazing parkrun event I think I’ve ever been to. Not to mention that the most ambitious part of all was attempting to do it as a day trip with a 3:30am wake-up, which definitely wasn’t my idea!

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So I really can’t claim all the credit, but it was certainly quite surreal hearing about it on the radio and opening up the BBC News app when we were in the car home and seeing the story right there on the homepage.

There was such a special atmosphere that day, I think because everyone was there for the fun and silliness of it so it felt like one big in-joke.

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You’ve volunteered 229 times in almost every role possible. What are your favourites and why?
Of the roles on the roster, I enjoy them all but it would have to be Run Director, Timekeeper or Pacer. I like the interactions you get in those roles and the chance to see people enjoying the event and achieving their goals.

Overall though, my favourite role is probably ‘core team member’. Being part of a parkrun team is such a fantastic experience because it’s so full of variety and so much goes into the event - a great deal of it unseen. I love the freedom and creativity of making it happen with little to no money and I’ve found myself doing some very strange and unexpected things along the way, like being on the radio and inviting the Queen to our birthday party!

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I don’t really know what I expected when I signed up for this, but I have learnt so many new skills and most importantly have met some incredibly kind and talented people who have taught me so much - I feel very grateful for them all.

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What motivated you to push for a junior parkrun in Billericay and what are the key differences between the 5k and the junior format that you most enjoy?
I’d done quite a lot of parkrun volunteering before we started Billericay and almost all of it was at junior parkrun, so I’ve been around it for quite a long time.

Junior parkrun is organised in the same way as Saturday parkrun with the same website, barcodes and tokens - only it’s at 9am on a Sunday, it’s a 2k course and it’s for 4-14 year olds. The key difference is that kids of any age can run or walk without an adult if they want to, as every part of the course is within the sight of a marshal.

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There’s such a sense of joy and fun which seems to flow through junior parkrun events - and where else could I lead a warm-up with a huge T-rex next to me (deflating slightly with every sun jump!) We have a brilliant core team and so much support from the community, including many regulars from this event.

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On a more personal level, I’m passionate about keeping young people involved in sports. I was very sporty while I was at primary school but found PE really offputting when I got to secondary school - not least because of the horrible clammy kit we had to wear! - and I think I lost a lot of confidence with it then. I hope the kids at junior parkrun will have a love and fearlessness when it comes to running (and fitness generally) that will last throughout their lives.

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What do you do outside of parkrun stuff?
I am training as a solicitor at one of the large law firms in the City and will qualify in March next year after about four years of exams and training. I mainly work on large mergers and acquisitions and really enjoy working across lots of different sectors with people all round the world.

Outside of work, I enjoy playing and arranging music. My main instrument is the oboe - I was in the university symphony orchestra and have also spent a lot of time playing in chamber music groups and in pit orchestras for operas and musical theatre productions around London. My best moment was when I got to play the cor anglais solo in the New World Symphony, best known as the song from the Hovis advert!

I also play the piano and mainly focus on that now as it is more difficult for me to get to orchestra rehearsals these days.

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We understand you’re a parkrun ambassador, what does that entail?
I’ve been an ambassador for over two years now and I am actually one of two ambassadors on the Billericay core team, along with David. It’s a programme organised by parkrun Head Office where you are matched up with the core teams of other local events and you act as a friendly ear to support them as and when things come up. I know from my own experience of being an Event Director that it’s often quite helpful to have a person to go to for a second opinion or to bounce ideas off of, and that’s what I hope I am to the events I support.

Ambassadors also help to start up new parkruns. I had the chance to do this recently both with Lake Meadows junior parkrun and Northlands junior parkrun in Basildon, which I really enjoyed.
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I’ve met so many brilliant people from being an ambassador and it’s great to have the chance to be a small part of other parkrun communities outside of Billericay.

What are you most looking forward to when we get back?
I’ve been doing quite a lot more running so I’m really looking forward to having another go at the course and to gradually chipping away at achieving the green 250 shirt. Most of all though, I just want to see everyone and to be together in the park again.

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Thanks so much to Rachel.

Don't forget that our birthday quiz is open until Tuesday 30 June at 10pm - take part for your chance to win your very own Billericay parkrun bear :)

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Join the quiz here

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

dh linda and james parkrun3
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
shane and judith smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o olly dave
rachel lucy ellen

If there's someone you'd like to nominate for us to profile, drop us an email at billericay@parkrun.com

Until next time!


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

 

Billericay parkrun 3rd birthday quiz

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The quiz has now closed, so here are the answers! Congratulations to the 3 people who scored 100%!


1. What year did the very first parkrun take place in Bushy Park, London?

A. 1984
B. 1994
C. 2004


2. Which of these famous singers doesn’t share a surname with a Billericay parkrun record holder?

A. Billy Joel
B. Dolly Parton
C Kenny Rogers


3. On 23 March 2019 we achieved a record attendance of 502. What organisation were we supporting on that day?

A. RNLI
B. DKMS
C. DKNY


4. How many Daves or Davids volunteered at the last Billericay parkrun before the event was paused?

A. 4
B. 5
C. 6


5. Which of these is not a Billericay parkrun marshal position?

A. Blue Railings
B. Perry Street
C. Hollow Tree


6. Who was our 99th finisher at our 99th event ?

A. Andy Smith
B. Oliver Smith
C. Katie Smith


7. In terms of our visit to Barry Island parkrun in November 2018, which of these statements is not true?

A. The then Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, helped behind the counter at Marco’s Café serving post run teas, coffees and bacon rolls
B. BBC featured the event on their website’s main news page
C. A cast member from Gavin & Stacey conducted a hilarious first timers’ briefing


8. In total, how many separate finishes have we had at Billericay parkrun?

A. 37,845
B. 39,452
C. 38,542


9. Which parkrun are we hoping to visit as a part of our annual bit of tourism on 7 November 2020?

A. Severn Fields
B. Severn Valley
C. Severn Bridge


11. When did we buy ‘Billy’ our hand pulled trolley for £99.99 from the Billericay parkrun donations pot?

A. 30 November 2018
B. 31 January 2018
C. 28 February 2019


12. Which of these is a regular at Billericay parkrun?

A. FA Cup Winner
B. Olympic Rower
C. World Champion Gymnast


13. In Total, how many people from ‘Team Slug’, ‘Billericay Striders’ and ‘Zombies, Run!’ Running Clubs have completed our event?

A. 176
B. 196
C. 186


14. When timekeeping at Billericay parkrun, what band is used to remind our volunteers of the correct sequence of stop-watch buttons to press?

A. AC/DC
B. ABBA
C. INXS


15. Which local parkrun is our 3rd closest neighbour?

A. Brentwood
B. Wickford
C. Basildon

 

Profile #13 – Lucy, Rachel and Ellen

Thanks very much to Lucy, Rachel and Ellen for this week’s profile! Rachel is one of our most regular volunteers marshalling all around the course, Ellen is one of our fantastic Duke of Edinburgh volunteers who’s working on her Gold Award - a whole year of volunteering - and Lucy has reduced her PB by more than 25 minutes!


parkrun vital statistics
Number of parkruns: 63 by Lucy, 4 by Rachel, 3 by Ellen
Number of different events visited: 2 - Billericay and Chelmsford
Number of volunteering stints: 58 by Rachel, 44 by Ellen, 2 by Lucy

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How did you first hear about the event and come along for the first time
Rachel: I joined up a long time ago when parkrun was in Chelmsford before it came to Billericay but could not seem to drag myself over there for 9am. When I saw on Facebook that Billericay was starting I did not really have an excuse any more, especially as we pretty much roll out of bed to get there now.

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Lucy: Rachel mentioned it to me when we were first together and then a couple of friends mentioned it and how great it was, so I thought I’d give it a go. I hadn’t run for 25 years but was a long distance runner for Essex county so thought to myself, how hard can it be! I ran off from the start like I was still 16 years old in my 20 year old trainers, after barely one lap I limped the rest of the way and cleared it at 51 minutes!

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Ellen: I first heard about it when Mum and Lucy first ran it. However, every time it was mentioned my brain made the executive decision to ignore it, because I could not comprehend the thought of being awake and exercising before 10am on a Saturday.

After my mum began volunteering and the more I heard about it, the less painful being awake at that time it sounded. It was a few months later I had signed up for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh and volunteering at parkrun was the best option to choose.

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Ellen what’s been your experience of doing your Gold D of E at the event and what have been your favourite volunteer roles and experiences?
Volunteering at parkrun for my D of E has been a very enriching experience. I first marshalled with my mum and I am not going to lie, I was mortified! I’m not a shy person but I found yelling at all of the runners too embarrassing.

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As time went on I went from an awkward clap with a few quiet well dones to being able to show more enthusiasm and find the joy in marshalling.

As for my favourite roles I enjoy barcode scanning and timekeeping the most as it is lovely to see how cheerful the atmosphere is and to be able to cheer people across the finish line.

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What are your favourite memories of the event
Rachel: Christmas and New Year’s Day runs. The numbers that come are fantastic and it's lovely to see families and children with their new bikes all getting together in a real sense of community.

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Lucy: I loved my first Christmas Day run – I just could not believe I was running on Christmas Day. I really knew then that parkrun and reaching my goals had really become a big part of our lives.

Of course finally after hovering around 30 minutes for so long hitting sub 30 was a huge highlight for me, I couldn’t wait to ring that bell. Everything was spot on that day and that sometimes is just how it is… you feel great, you believe you can do it, you push on and the weather is perfect.

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Ellen: I can’t pinpoint a best experience as I really do enjoy so many of them. However I would say that I really enjoy seeing people collect their milestones as I love that even though we have hundreds of runners, every week we make the time to congratulate those individuals.

It’s lovely to watch and see the pride on people's faces as they get presented with the special milestone vest.

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Lucy, what would you say you have gained from taking part in parkrun and have you gone on to do any other fitness activities since?
I have gained so much. I have found my thing, it's great to have something we can all do together. It has given me confidence and I have certainly grown as a person. I am now that annoying friend that constantly goes on about running and times!

Once I reached sub-30 my next goal was to try 10k and of course it had to be Billericay Striders 10k. It felt amazing doing it and never imagined I would be doing such a thing and now I have a medal hanger in our spare room which I am looking forward to filling up.

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Rachel, what do you enjoy most about marshalling at the event and do you have a favourite marshal post?
I love watching everyone improve each week. I’ve learnt a few names so I can personalise my light-hearted heckling! I enjoy being able to give something back to the community. My favourite spot… that is a tricky one… I’ve probably had them all. I would probably say it's the start as I like encouraging everyone “up that hill”.

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What do you all do outside of the parkrun stuff?
Rachel: I’m a Children’s Nurse in the NHS, I was in a management role but due to the current situation I have been redeployed into a community nursing team. This has been challenging but also enjoyable seeing patients again.

Outside of that Lucy and I are Warrior Women, it’s a local exercise group that mixes HIIT and strength focused classes with a touch of non contact combat. During lockdown we have been able to carry on with online Warrior Women classes.

We’ve also been doing some DIY and home improvements... and replanning our wedding that has been rescheduled from May 1st this year to April next year… Every cloud… gives us time to plan and save for a even bigger party!!

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Lucy: I am a marketing events manager based in Colchester. I manage trade shows, seminars and technical schools across Europe Middle East and Africa. I get to travel which my job every now and then but this is annoying when it clashes with parkrun. Currently I work from home which I am really enjoying with this lovely weather.

Since lockdown I have started getting up early to get out for a run before it gets too busy out there, it has been lovely to explore new routes - we are very lucky to have all this beautiful countryside and footpaths around us.

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Ellen: Outside of parkrun (pre lockdown) I would be studying for my A-Levels, going to work, going to the gym and dragging my friends to see every film possible at the cinema. Due to Covid-19 my exams have been cancelled and the cinema is closed it has been quite a shock to the system.

Now I sleep, watch Netflix and have just started going back to work, then watch more Netflix... I am having a lovely time! Of course, I miss going to the cinema but as a substitute I make Mum and Lucy watch films with me instead. The most recent one being Interstellar and Mum did not pay attention and then complained it was confusing. She has watched Happy Feet far too many times we needed to stage an intervention!

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What’s the best thing about parkrun?
Rachel: The opportunity it provides for the community to exercise outdoors, no matter the ability and it provides everyone support to achieve their goals.

Lucy: It’s been great meeting people I wouldn’t have probably crossed paths with. I only moved to Billericay 4 years ago and it really does feel like home for me. I feel like part of the community and it is really lovely that we have something that we can all do as a family. parkrun is just so uplifting - no matter what the weather is we all put our gear on and get out there, it brings people together.

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Ellen: Overall it has to be the sense of community. No matter what has happened I am left feeling happy and it is so lovely to be around a group of people all sharing the same enthusiasm.

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What are you most looking forward to when lockdown is over – at parkrun and outside of it?
Rachel: Being able to see families and friends again and getting back to our Saturday morning routine of parkrun and Warriors followed by a cheeky Cloud9 breakast – we have really missed that!

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Ellen: Once lockdown is over I am looking forward to taking my driving test and going to the cinema. However if I am being honest I will still probably enjoy sleeping and watching Netflix all day!

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Lucy: I know that when we are all together in Lake Meadows again that some form of normality has resumed. Saturdays will feel the same again and knowing we will have that again one day is what gets me through this lockdown. Getting a PB on the first one back - now that would be like winning the lottery!

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Thanks so much to Lucy, Ellen and Rachel :) If you'd like to read more, here are the other profiles from this series so far:

dh linda and james parkrun3
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
shane and judith smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o olly dave

If there's someone you'd like to nominate for us to profile, drop us an email at billericay@parkrun.com

Until next time!


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 #12 – Dave Sweet

This week’s profile is from Dave who has now volunteered more than 100 times at Billericay parkrun, becoming a run director at the event last year :)


Number of parkruns: 26
Number of different events visited: 3
Number of volunteering stints: 118

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How did you first hear about parkrun starting in Billericay and why did you want to help?
It was when the Striders received an email from David advising he was trying to get one started and would we be interested in helping financially to get it off the ground. At the time we were looking to improve the Striders facilities with the provision of a running surface at Hannakins, so our club funds were potentially tied up, so we turned him down!!

I first volunteered on 1st July 2017 at the second event as I could not make the launch event, but I liked the idea of being involved with a new local project (especially as it was running orientated), and I saw the possibility for there to be a link with the Striders later on.

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After several months of volunteering you did your first run - what made you want to give it a try?
In July 2017 the Striders were entering teams in a 5k Relay event at the Olympic Stadium in London, and the men's captain didn't know what team to put me in as he had no recent 5k time to judge me by, so I thought I'd better see what I could do.

I clocked 20.45, and from then on I thought OK, how much can I lower this by, as I thought with effort I could possibly go sub 20 minutes. So Alexa offered to be an unofficial pacer for me and got me to 19.58 a couple of weeks later.

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What are your best memories from the event?
The Striders takeover of the event is certainly up there, as we had 65 members of the club in attendance in some capacity, including a record 16 pacers, I was RD for the event, and the weather was great!

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Also I cannot leave out my first time as RD, and to say I was nervous or worried how it would go would be an understatement.

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And finally lowering my PB to 19.49, which meant I had an Age Grade of 80%, which classified me as National Standard for my old boys age group!

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What’s your favourite volunteer role?
I used to think it was Timekeeping, as it was nice to encourage all the runners/walkers as they approached the finish funnel, but in winter when it's freezing cold and bits of you either don't want to function, or want to drop off, it's not so great.

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I enjoy the set up first thing, and either making Dave's finish curve shallow or deep depending on if I am running or whether I feel like making others run further. Either way some of the Striders give me flak. However, I now enjoy Barcode Scanning as you are constantly doing something and you get more interaction with everyone.

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How would you describe the experience of being part of a parkrun core team?
It's a really great team we have with a real mix of personalities and strengths, and we all know that if something is not going quite right, other core team members will readily help if needed.

It's also a great feeling when we do one of the anniversary events, with some large attendances and it all just goes so smoothly. It's nice post event to also see everyone happy (more often than not!) and saying thank you for organising the event, when really now the event pretty much looks after itself. It's also lovely to watch those taking part striving just that little bit more to get that PB, or dip under that magic target time they may have set themselves.

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What do you do outside of parkrun stuff?
For 40 years out of my 41 year work career it was spent in insurance mainly in London with a few years in Romford. I started back in 1977 with a company called Alexander Howden, that after numerous takeovers and mergers became Aon, and then a few other companies. I was made redundant in 2017, so decided in the words of the song..I'm coming home I've done my time (retiring).

My family are Deb, my wife, and I have a sister Gill in Westcliff, and a 21 year old Niece who has her own dog grooming business. I lost my Dad in 2012 just before the London Olympics, so he never got to see me be a Games Maker, and my Mum in 2001 the day after my first London Marathon, to Motor Neurone Disease, hence I volunteer for the charity at a lot of their (mainly running) fundraising events, which if you like other than running is probably my biggest hobby if it can be referred to as that.

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As in addition to London 2012, I was a Clyde Sider at Glasgow 2014, and a Hockey Maker at the Women's World Cup in 2018. I hope to do Birmingham in 2022.

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I have also attended numerous Steve Cram Training Camps which are held around Kielder Water in Northumberland and Rutland Water. I think I found out about the Camps through Steve's charity COCO. He came up with Cram Tags (small waterproof ID tags) for runners to wear on their shoes that had your contact details on in case you had an accident, as Steve's brother tripped up and died while out running and he had nothing on him to say who he was.

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The camps are fun and brilliant for training ideas as he has so much knowledge, coaching ideas (he coaches Laura Weightman), and experience to pass on to us club runners. He also gets some fantastic guests along for the weekends, with my highlight being Paula, and Steve and his guests are very much hands on. We also get some fantastic kit to wear and take away with us as well. Apart from the first camp in the New Forest where 5 Striders went, I have yet to get the club members to buy into these!

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What would you say to someone who's enjoying parkrun who's thinking about what they might gain from joining a running club like the Striders?
I would simply say come along and try us out for a couple of weeks with no commitment. I like to think we are an inclusive club in all aspects, as we have Striders who were beginners and came to the club from parkrun, and those who now do parkruns when they never had previously, as they lacked the confidence, so it works both ways.

We have Tuesday coached sessions for all abilities (hugely popular and will definitely help you push yourself and therefore improve), Thursday runs in various distance and pace groups (these are more social running), we also organise numerous internal competitions, take part in 2 Cross Country Leagues, and of course we stage the Billericay 10k, the largest single participation event in Billericay, which has been going for 24 years, and nearly all of the club help out at. So there should be something there for everyone whatever your ability.

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What do you think the impact of parkrun has been on grassroots running?
In one word - unbelievable. You only have to look at the stats to see the effect it has had, and how it has got so many people out if not running then exercising. A lot of people have attended parkruns maybe as walker/joggers first of all, and then once their confidence builds and they get to run further and then do the 5k without walking, they are made up and then want to find out how to go to the next level.

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What are you most looking forward to when we get back?
Seeing all the team again, Sam's appalling jokes, and seeing the smiling faces of hundreds of runners/walkers, at the relief of being able to do what they love and have been missing....parkrun!

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Thanks very much to Dave :) If you'd like to read more, here are the other profiles from this series so far:

dh linda and james parkrun3
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
shane and judith smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o olly

If there's someone you'd like to nominate for us to profile, drop us an email at billericay@parkrun.com

Until next time!


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 #11 – Olly

This week's profile comes from Olly who is 11.

Olly's whole family enjoys running and he has been at Billericay parkrun from the very start of the event. He also often runs and volunteers at junior parkrun on Sunday mornings.


parkrun vital statistics
Number of parkruns: 77
Number of junior parkruns: 31
Number of different events visited: 16
Number of volunteer stints: 48

WhatsApp Image 2020-05-25 at 19.46.06

How did you first start running and how old were you?
I don’t really remember not running, a lot of my family run so I always used to go and watch them and then one day we found out that Brentwood junior parkrun was starting and we went along to the test event and then started to go every week. That was back in 2016 so I was 7 years old.

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Olly at Brentwood juniors in 2016 and this year at Lake Meadows juniors

I then started running the full parkrun when I was 9, with my mum mostly, but sometimes with other family members and I prefer the longer distance.

I have now run at 13 different 5k parkrun events, but I've run 62 of my 77 total at Billericay.

south africa
Olly at Constantia Greenbelt parkrun in South Africa with mum Catherine, aunt Karen and brother Leo

Apart from Billericay, what's your favourite parkrun you've visited and why?
My favourite parkrun apart from Billericay is Barry Island. I really enjoyed it but just jogged around slowly with my Mum, my brother Leo and our friend Jack. I would like to go back and run it faster, now I am 11 and can run on my own. We got a hotel room the night before so it was a good weekend.

barry island leo
barry island - leo olly barry island

What's your best memory from Billericay parkrun?
My best memory from Billericay parkrun is getting my PB. I ran with my dad and we were aiming for under 23 minutes, I couldn’t believe it when I got to the end and I had got 22.08. I also really enjoyed getting my 50th run and bringing cake!

pb run 50th

What are your hobbies outside of running?
Apart from running I like going to the gym, I usually go to teen gym 2 or 3 times a week. I am really into Marvel and like building Lego.

Olly at the gym battlestar galactica
olly lego

Which Marvel character would have the fastest parkrun PB?
Quicksilver – he is extremely fast. Unfortunately though, he died in Age of Ultron!

Are there any races or distances you’d like to do when you are older?
When I am older, I would like to do a 10K. I am not sure about as far as a marathon, but one day it would be good to do the London Marathon.

WhatsApp Image 2020-05-25 at 19.56.40

What's your favourite volunteer role and why?
I have volunteered 48 times and my favourite role is timekeeping. I really like this role because you have to pay attention and be accurate, I have done it 9 times now. I also like number checker where you have to ask people their times at the end.

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How many members of your family are runners - and what’s the best thing about being part of a running family?
Loads of my family members run. When we have a family get together there is usually a parkrun involved. My mum, sometimes my dad, my brothers Leo and Jake, my grandparents, my aunties, my great uncles and great aunties and my cousins. Even my great grandpa was doing parkrun up until very recently, he is 90 now and he walks a bit and cheers us on. I like being part of a family that runs because we are all interested in staying fit.

family

Even on holiday we do parkrun, and once at Center Parcs there wasn’t a parkrun on so we measured out a route, and 14 of us ran, my great grandpa timed us and my grandma marshalled!

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What would you say to someone thinking about trying junior parkrun or a 5k parkrun?
I would say do it! You will get fitter and feel proud of yourself!

What are you most looking forward to when parkrun starts up again?
I am looking forward to seeing some of my friends there, and just being able to run it again.

It was so muddy before we went into lockdown, so I am hoping I can try and get a PB again once parkrun is back!

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Thanks very much to Olly :) If you'd like to read more, here are the other profiles from this series so far:

dh linda and james parkrun3
alexa 94351089_1559908744180199_2806183506374295552_o 1F7F57D0-EBA9-42A4-B738-A7813057F3B9
shane and judith smiths Sinead
98185706_1583710028466737_7745896999198654464_o

If there's someone you'd like to nominate for us to profile, drop us an email at billericay@parkrun.com

Until next time!


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