Little did I know when I left home on Saturday morning that parkrun would be different…
After running to the park, we found Chris(py) ARMSTEAD all present and correct as Run Director – calmly organising his Set-Up crew of Colin HANCOCK and Geoff SUMNER and then welcoming the rest of his merry band of volunteers. Their brief done, he asked Ellie HARRISON to welcome our New Runners and Tourists (from Havant, Bracklesham, Newbury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Essex and Pulborough) and once that was completed he called everyone to gather closer to hear his cheery welcome and vital parkrun information – we were all raring to go so Chrispy sent us off to the start. But then, as we were assembling….OMG….a figure approached Chrispy to introduce herself… it was none other than DAME KELLY HOLMES, Double Olympic Champion and parkrun Ambassador! Dame Kelly was visiting Chichester parkrun with her family as her Dad was running his very first parkrun to celebrate his 70th birthday (Monday 30Sep) – you’re never too old to start they say!!!!
Chrispy asked Dame Kelly if she would like to start our run, she kindly agreed and so was offered the parkrun klaxon to get us under way….oops, it broke, so a traditional 3…2…1… and we were off! 3 laps later and 223 of us had finished our 5k – our fast finishing men were James BAKER, James ROSS and Wesley ADAMS with a new PB of 18:33; our first finishing ladies were Dame Kelly HOLMES, Claudia MILBURN and Naomi WARD with her new PB of 24:25. Overall, we had 19 PB’s recorded – well done to you all! Some runners then did more laps – some as a cool down but one as our unofficial Cheerleader – I’m not sure how many laps Dame Kelly did but she encouraged many of us to keep running and to do our best, stopping for selfies along the way and never without her wonderful smile!!! I know I’m ‘going on and on’ - I’ve met a few sports personalities over time but Dame Kelly was charming, approachable and eager to inspire without making anyone feel inadequate!
She took the time out of her family day to make our parkrun special – we thank her very much for that!! I hope her Dad enjoyed Chichester parkrun – Dame Kelly tweeted a picture of him relaxing afterwards, it’s pure magic! Find her on Twitter at @damekellyholmes
As always, we like to find an Aesthetically Pleasing Time of the Week – for once (!) I’ve not picked one of the wonderful palindromic times but I’ve plumped for Terence GODDARD’s 28:52 which is as near to this week’s half-way time as I could get!!!
Our parkrun was made possible by 17 Hi-Viz heroes - Ian STEVENS • Geoff SUMNER • Neil WORGAN • Chris ARMSTEAD • Jeremy HARRISON • Eleanor HARRISON • Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Colin HANCOCK • Lee MOODIE • Jack O'CONNOR • Johanna HARRISON • Caroline CORBRIDGE • Clare MCNAIR • Nathaniel CHARLES • Sarah LEE-JONES • Donna CHAPMAN. Why not volunteer in one of the next few weeks?? It’ll give you a seriously warm-and-fuzzy moment and a cool purple T-shirt once you’ve done a few!
Finally, a quick appeal – if you know anyone in Hong Kong – please share this plea from our beloved Mike HOUSTON – search #FindBlueTed on FB or Twitter! He’s lost in HKG… ☹
See you next week!!! We can't promise another Sports Personality but we can promise a warm welcome and a free 5K timed run!