Although the playwright Alan Bennett wittily described History as "Just one thing after the other" it is often illuminating to view things through the "rear view mirror" as a way of getting a fresh perspective about the future. Looking back over the 5 years since parkrun started at Chichester we have now clocked up 262 events and our course has been completed over 42,000 times !
Our first course started by the old cricket pavilion towards the top end of Oaklands Park and was notable for a very wet section close to the Archery field in the winter months with three challenging climbs directly up the path alongside Broyle Road. We then migrated to Graylingwell Park whilst that path was being re-surfaced before moving to our present Start/Finish close to the Chichester Festival Theatre.
If on Day 1 our Event Director Mike Houston had announced that we would need 547 folk to perform 4497 volunteering roles over the subsequent 5 years I suspect that many of us would have wondered whether this could really be achieved. What we now know is that our volunteers soon became the foundation upon which Chichester parkrun has been built, with special credit to the core team who do so much behind the scenes. When we started I think few of us appreciated the effect that volunteering would have upon parkrun - volunteering enables one to become a contributor towards parkrun which is a far more positive and rewarding relationship than simply that of a "customer" or even a "consumer". I think it is fair to say that everyone who has volunteered has found that becoming a "contributor" has been a positive for them (and obviously for parkrun).
That we can now look back at what has been achieved gives an interesting perspective on how we tend to look at challenges ahead. For many of us the prospect of managing to even complete a 5k run seemed highly improbable and yet every week we now see former "non-runners" not only clocking up parkrun milestones, but taking part in 10ks, Half-Marathons and even full Marathons and Ultra distance events. I wonder what we will see in another 5 years ? The "Story so far" suggests that with a "can do" attitude there may be a lot more to come.
Anyway, less of "All our Yesterdays" and what about today ? Oaklands Park was a picture and provided perfect conditions for our 234 runners and walkers, albeit slightly nippy for the 17 volunteers. Lynette opened proceedings with her briefing and we welcomed 42 first timers. We hope to see you all again soon. There were 34 Personal Bests and no less than 21 people exceeded the very respectable 70% Age Grade. The following get an honourable mention for exceeding 75%......
Keith TOOP 78.55%
Duncan STEPHENSON-GILL 75.70%
After exhaustive in-depth analysis of today's results I feel that Robert de Lacy showed great vision to cross the line in 20:20 to take this week's Aesthetically Pleasing Time award.
As always, parkrun cannot take place without volunteers and today we must thank the following for their contribution to a great event....
Peppy ANCKORN, Tom BLAYLOCK, Jeremy HARRISON, Greg JAMES, Jane MOODIE, Lee MOODIE, Ben RITCHIE, Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER, Ian STEVENS, Geoff SUMNER, Theo WEST, Richard WEST, Joely WHARTON, Wendy WHELAN, Emma WICKENS, Lynette WOODWARD, Rebecca WORGAN