As 2019 draws to a close we thought it would be an appropriate time to reflect on the last year and some of the key highlights that have been part of the Carlisle parkrun journey in 2019.
This year has seen many firsts for Carlisle parkrun. From our first unofficial 300 club runner (Lindsay Graham) and our first 300 volunteer club member (Allan Campbell) to our first dinosaur running round Chances Park!
Just before 2019 began, Kev Mulvey stepped down as Co-Event Director after nearly six years in the role. Kev was instrumental is establishing Carlisle parkrun as the sustainable, inclusive, community event that it is, alongside Andrew Graham, and for that we will be forever grateful. Thank you, Kev!
This year we developed a total of 6 parkrun practice partnerships including Carlisle Healthcare, Dalston Surgery, Eden Medical Centre, Brampton, Caldbeck Surgery and Spencer St Surgery. parkrun practices are GP practices that sign up to promote parkrun to their staff and patients. We set up our parkrun buddy scheme and that saw Paula Harmon, our first buddy, meet a brand new parkrunner from a parkrun practice and help them to feel comfortable to take part in parkrun. Thank you, Paula!
We have also supported many young people to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver Awards!
We started the year with parkrun on New Years Day and many of our regulars then made the journey to our friends at Keswick parkrun to take on a parkrun double. Thank you to all the team at Keswick parkrun for managing the unexpectedly huge turnout!!!
January also saw Carlisle parkrun celebrate our sixth birthday. We were on the 5 lap course and it was a very wet event so not much fun celebrating! However we were given an amazing birthday present from parkrun HQ... our very own self frame unwrapped by Ollie Ramshaw, one of our regulars!
In February, Matt Charlton, a member of our core volunteer team, joined Lindsay Graham as the new Co-Event Director. Although Matt was in disagreement, it was clear that he was the brains while Lindsay was the beauty in our partnership!
We also had the amazing experience of Rosie Holliday taking part in parkrun throughout her pregnancy with her final parkrun at 41 weeks pregnant! Rosie was a great advocate for exercise through pregnancy and we were really proud when she was featured in parkrun UK’s newsletter, it also didn't take her long to be back in the park accompanied by baby Alf! Well done Rosie.
In June we took part in our second NHS parkrun where we celebrated our national institution that is the NHS. We had loads of NHS staff, volunteers and patients taking part and we were able to build our relationships with current and future parkrun practices.
Following an appearance in parkrun UK's newsletter, in July our very own regular parkrunner, Dave Campbell, was invited to the National parkrun Ambassador Conference to talk about the impact that regular exercise at parkrun has had on his diabetes. We were very proud to be put on the parkrun map in this way! Thank you Dave.
In September, we had our first ever dinosaur take part in Carlisle parkrun (Co-Event Director Matt on the morning of his stag do!). What a sight it was to see him waddling round in a very impressive time of 27.54!
In November, Emma organised our second ever barkrun. It was a firm favourite amongst our canine friends and luckily their owners stuck to the parkrun rules of one dog in a short lead per participant. Thank you Emma for all the effort you put into the little goody bags for the dogs.
We also had a parkrun practice ‘Takeover’ where Dalston Medical Group and Carlisle Health Centre provided all the volunteers to help promote Self Care Week.
In December we had our annual collection for Carlisle Food Bank. Thank you to everyone who donated and to Sarah Hamilton for co-ordinating.
We also saw our Christmas Day parkrun attendance record smashed by over 120 to set a new record of 376 participants! Only 5 away from our overall course record! We were also greeted by our first tourist 500 club runners on the same day! Amazing!
We are really looking forward to the year ahead and we wouldn’t be Carlisle parkrun without the amazing volunteers who gift their time week in week out to make sure our event runs smoothly every Saturday and the days in between. A huge thank you to each and everyone of you who has volunteered this year, with a special mention to all of our core team of run directors and volunteer coordinators, we really appreciate all of your support! If you'd like to get involved in 2020, then have a read here - https://www.parkrun.org.uk/carlisle/volunteer/
As you can tell it's been a very busy year, if we've forgotten anything we should have mentioned then please let us know!
Thank you and happy parkrunning in 2020!
Matt and Lindsay