448 parkrunners turned up on Saturday, despite the forecasted icy showers, which luckily only made their appearance after our tail walkers had finished. Phew! This is why I am always amazed by the dedication and persistence of parkrunners; whatever the weather may bring, you can always rely on the parkrun community to come out to run, jog or walk that wonderful 5K!
For me, parkrun was an accidental discovery, and I joined my first parkrun in December 2018. Many years later, a few weeks ago, I finally joined the 50th parkrun club, with nearly 80% of those runs completed at Burgess. It would have been sooner if it wasn't for lockdown, but it was almost meant to be that my 50th parkrun was right before the London Marathon – my first major marathon (albeit second marathon raced)!
It got me thinking about how Burgess parkrun has helped me with my training all these years. Burgess parkruns weren't just parkruns; they were my easy runs, my tempo to threshold runs, my long runs, and my shakeout runs! Yes, this little 5K loop is that versatile!
The amount of weekly mileage needed when marathon training can put a lot of strain on the body, and so easy runs were beneficial; they allow your body to recover. My favourite runs during training were absolute the easy runs at parkrun! I got to run and enjoy the company of friends and other parkrunners, catching up and chit-chatting away. And who wouldn't enjoy that?
The tempo to threshold runs were the 'comfortably hard' to 'hard' runs. The parkrun tempo to threshold runs were always so satisfying once done. Yes, it was difficult; yes, it was painful; and yes (I will admit), I was tempted every time to turn it into one of my easy runs (guilty), but it was always worth it in the end! Running alongside other parkrunners bought out the competitive side of me and pushed me harder.
PB-ing or getting close to a new PB would really boost my running confidence! Running at a more challenging and faster pace allowed me to build efficiency. It also allowed me to increase my lactate threshold (lactate causes that burning sensation in the muscles) and develop my mental strength. After all, running a marathon is as much of a mental test as it is a physical one! It was definitely much easier doing tempo to threshold runs during a parkrun than on my own!
Long runs were easy runs, but long. The distance was always daunting, and I would dread this every week. I learnt to tackle the long runs in 'bitesize' 5K distances. Whether it be 20K, 30K, or 35K, breaking the long runs down actually made it not seem so long… After all, a marathon is just 8 and a bit parkruns, right?
I would often do my parkrun as part of that long run, and what a difference it made! 5K goes a lot more quickly when you're running with the parkrun community. Placing the 5K in the middle of the long run also gave the run a nice 'break', making it feel shorter and more manageable!
With the marathon on a Sunday, the Saturday 'before the race' parkrun was perfect for a shakeout run! This run was simply a 'get the legs moving, loosen the muscle and nothing more' run. I had a trusty parkrun friend to keep me disciplined, i.e. not let race adrenaline get to me early! The friend kept my speed super slow and the run super relaxed. The Saturday 'before the race' parkrun is also an excellent opportunity for volunteering, which I did for my first local marathon in 2019. Being able to cheer for fellow parkrunners instead of running calmed my nerves!
All 50 parkruns have contributed in their own ways to my running and training over the years. A lot of friendships and memories have also been built! Without parkrun, I think my training would have been a lot more tedious and dull! I completed the London marathon in 3 hours 40 minutes, and parkrun helped me get there. It's definitely more than just a 5K!
Tourists, First-timers, Milestones & PBs
We had an amazing 56 tourists visiting Burgess for the first time, with Woodhouse Moor visitor Bobby INGHAM finishing third and picking up an all-time PB, because, why not? A further 25 individuals ran, walked and jogged their first-ever parkrun too! So welcome to the parkrun family, and we hope you enjoyed yourselves!
We had several significant milestones to celebrate; Sarah MURRAY with her 50th parkrun and Oliver BURRIDGE with his 100th parkrun! We also had Graham SPENCER, Tom ATKINS, Amanda SEGALOTTO, and Cleo NELSON all join the new 25th parkrun club! Well done all!
Kate LEDIN volunteered for the 50th time. Every single one of her volunteering days has been at Burgess parkrun, so we're incredibly grateful for all her support. We couldn't make the magic happen without you, Kate!
An incredible 58 parkrunners managed to achieve a PB, including our first two finishers Dale SEDDON and Jonny LANE. Amongst our other fantastic PBs are the following:
- Rebecca OJUMU edged under 35 minutes for the first time, with a new record of 34:26 and her third consecutive PB this year.
- Andrew NARRACOTT set himself a Burgess PB with a time of 29:59. Great work, Andrew!
- Lydia SHACKSHAFT became a sub-25 runner for the first time at parkrun. Congratulations, Lydia!
This event would have only been possible with our 40 volunteers, so thank you, team!
See you soon,
Thi Sua TRAN