#40. The one where life begins

This week's run report is inspired by the Chichester Festival Theatre (which we run past every single week). I went to the theatre last night, and we walked up through the crowds, enjoying the twinkling fairy lights and the anticipation of the performance. I almost forgot that just 12 hours later I'd be walking up again, this time to take part in parkrun. And in many ways, a parkrun is a bit like a performance:

First, there's the Cast: that's the parkrun runners. Unlike a cast on a stage, you never know who is going to cross the line from week to week. This week we had 88 runners, including 18 first timers (welcome to you all!) and a few tourists (I heard Twickenham and Bognor mentioned). As we gathered for our pre-run briefing, and waited to cross the line, there was that sense of anticipation, of suspense - a bit like waiting for the curtain to rise on a stage. And as we crossed the line, the mist magically lifted away and the drizzly rain stopped. While a stage show has a clear plot, parkrun might look just like we are running round the park. But hidden are all sorts of reasons why people choose to take part - it might be to meet people, for a sense of joining a community, to improve their fitness, to overcome health issues, or for a personal challenge. Many of us achieved a personal challenge today with 23 Personal Bests! What is your parkrun story?

Then, there's the Stage Crew (or as we call them, the fantastic volunteers): including this week's Run Director Lynette, and an enormous thanks to all our volunteers who are (round of applause as they take a bow): Peter ANDERSON, Dave BARTY, Daniel BYE, Catherine CANNON, Charlie COOLEY, Neil DAVIES, Beth DUFOUR, Jan HILL, Ben NEWMAN, David PIKE, Susan Jayne PIKE,  Brittany PYE, Molly RAYNER, Ian ROBERTSON, Tina WEBSTER, Lynette WOODWARD, Graham WOODWARD. You too could join this wonderful bunch - parkrun only happens because of our volunteers, so do consider giving it a go one week.

An important part of any show is the half time interval refreshments: parkrun is a one act show (sadly there isn't a break halfway round!) but we are lucky to have refreshments on offer at the end, and for that we thank Simon the Coffee man.

My Final Act is to choose an aesthetically pleasing time, which for me is Paul TATE in 22:44.

by Catherine Cannon