You may have noticed Natalie marshalling just two weeks ago whilst pregnant. Both Nathalie and husband Will are regulars at Cassiobury so it was highly unusual for them to drop out of volunteering last week. Their excuse was a good one, they had just become parents to baby Clara.
Both returned to parkrun this week, with Will barcode scanning and Natalie as a roaming marshal, mostly helping our tail walker Katherine and her baby.
So as a new twist to the run report – an occasional series of interviews with some of our regular runners and volunteers, starting with Natalie and Will, over to you....
When and where was your first parkrun, and how many have you each done since then?
Natalie - My first parkrun was 12th March 2016 at Southwark parkrun in London and I have done 134 parkruns. It's a massive part of my weekend since day one.
Will - My first parkrun was Ally Pally in London on 10th August 2013 and I have done 139 parkruns.
Is there any aspect of that first run that you particularly recall?
Will - I went off too quick! Didn't realise Ally Pally is notorious for a big hill.
Natalie - The social side! It was amazing. There was a Wetherspoons nearby that we all went to every week, getting to know the core team and making good friends.
What or who got you into parkrun?
Will - My flatmate Ian asked me to come along. I'd seen him come back the week before and he'd explained it - it sounded fun!
Natalie - I think I'd signed up a really long time ago but never actually run. I think I was trying to make new friends and it got recommended to me by someone from a boot camp I was going to - I had to choose between it and boot camp!
Have you been a tourist, and what is your favourite tourist course?
Will - I enjoyed Vogrie parkrun in Edinburgh as its all cross country.
Natalie - We've done loads of tourism, some local, some on weekends away - we always try to. I would have to say Brighton & Hove parkrun as it was the morning after Will proposed to me and I got a PB - I think I was still on cloud 9 and wanted to impress him!
Natalie, it’s my understanding that you’ve trained before and during your pregnancy. What advice would you give for women who are pregnant and want to continue their walk/job/run at parkrun?
I would say as long as you are taking it easy and being careful, absolutely carry on and enjoy it - I ran until week 34 of my pregnancy when it felt right to stop. I was repeatedly advised by healthcare professionals that it was fine, checked all the guidance and it meant I stayed active throughout and felt so much better than I think would have if I had stopped. It was amazing for my mental health and meant I could catch up with friends in a safe way when legal during lockdown. I was desperate to be still running when parkrun came back but just missed the boat when it got delayed, however was so lucky that I was able to volunteer right at the end and really enjoyed it. I'll be back as soon as I'm allowed!
Will you're frequently our first male finisher with a PB of 16:56. Do you think the tiredness that comes with the birth of baby Clara will slow you down? Do you have any plans on pushing Clara around parkrun so that she becomes the fastest female in a pushchair?
Haha I'm a bit more relaxed these days! Running is more about socialising - can't wait to push Clara round in a pushchair though but it will be pretty pedestrian! I don't want her to fall out the buggy when turning corners.
Which volunteer role do you each enjoy the most, and why?
Natalie - I would have to say guide running actually, not that I'll be able to do that much anymore! It's amazing to help someone else take part.
Will - Timekeeper - you have to really concentrate !
Do you have a parkrun goal for the future?
Natalie - I want to set an actual PB of 21:30 - I set it at not parkrun and obviously am going to be way off that for some time now!
Will - More tourism! Including Woolacoombe Dunes which is near to where I'm from. Apparently it's the hardest one.
Can you share your top running tip?
Natalie - Don't let your head get in the way, running is fun! Enjoy every step and smile - it makes it easy.
Will - Consistency! If you're going to do a long run once a week, never miss it. Unless you have a baby, that's a fair excuse.
What was your best/favourite/funniest parkrun moment?
Natalie - We dressed up as superwoman and hotdog for our 100th! That was so much fun.
Will - I was pretty obsessed with sub 17 for a while, now I can quit running a happy man.
Thank you Natalie, Will & Clara
We're not currently able to give shout outs for milestones or tourists as we need to keep the run brief under two minutes whilst operating under the COVID framework, but that won't stop us highlighting your achievements here!
Congratulations to junior Nathan White on completing his 50th parkrun today, with 43 of the 50 being at Cassiobury.
Nigel Cavill, joined us at Cassiobury for the first time in order to complete his 100th parkrun. His normal parkrun is Ellenbrook Fields.
Finally, who could miss Salim Hamir and his support crew all there to help him celebrate his 100th parkrun, 94 of which have been at Cassiobury.
Welcome to the 59 who were completing their first-ever parkrun and congratulations to all 436 finishers. Well done to a massive 65 of you who recorded new Personal Bests.
We were lucky enough to have two volunteer photographers today; Mark Nicholls and Tim Coysh. Between them they snapped 1120 photographs so you're sure to find at least one of yourself here: Cassiobury parkrun #275 14th August 2021.
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Cassiobury parkrun Results Page.
Huge thanks to the 37 volunteers who made your event possible.
Gail WINTER • Russell MATTHEWS • Linda HALL • Tim COOK • Mark NICHOLLS • Sharon DAVIDSON • Ann DAVIDSON • Christine CANNING • Charles HENDERSON • Will FROST • Mandy LLOYD • Tim COYSH • Helen WOLSTENCROFT • Katherine BEANEY • Peter FLANAGAN • Josephine HARVEY • Glyn JAGGER • Natalie FROST • Paul HARRIS • Will BROTHERSTON • Emma JEFFREY • Paul STEVENSON • Stephen HOBBS • Kelly JAGGER • David FENWICK • Chantal PEZOT • Alison HILSDEN • Simone KNAGGS • William LOUCKX • David SUTHERLAND • Martin GARDNER • Sophie ARGENT • David BORLASE • Carole SMITH • Phillip BARTON • Mary FARRY • Nick HESTER
You may have noticed that someone new stepped up to deliver your run briefing this morning and didn't they do well. Stephen Hobbs is currently training to become a run director and he's doing an amazing job. We wish him all the best and hope he agrees to join the core team at Cassiobury, results processing really isn't that scary honest!
The future roster can be seen here, and offers of volunteering (always gratefully received!) can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It saddens me deeply that I feel I must end this run report in a less cheery manner. Today an inappropriate comment was made by a parkrunner to a fellow parkrunner. Please respect your fellow participants and help us build a supportive community event. The comment made today has no place at our event nor indeed in society full stop.