#281 The one with the 4-lap reminder

They say that 10th January is the day that most people break (or give up completely on) their New Year’s Resolutions.  I say ‘Phooey’ to that….the numbers of parkrunners attending Chichester’s best free weekly timed 5k run is still well over 200 with lots of new faces and lots of volunteers too!  Let’s keep it up readers – they also say that it take 66 days to make a habit….that leads us into March so we hope to still see you at #289 on 7th March where the lovely Lis PESKETT will welcome you all!  (Who are the ‘they’ that I speak of??  Answers on a postcard please!!!)

Today’s welcome was from RD Jeremy HARRISON who was aided by his gorgeous set up crew of Peter and Nadia ANDERSON – I’m putting my Recruitment hat on here:  The set-up crew is a vital role to each week’s parkrun – it’s also a role that you can do and still run so you don’t lose out on either front – warm and fuzzies from Volunteering and slightly smug face from getting some Saturday morning exercise before going home for breakfast in bed, isn’t that right Nads?!!  Once Jeremy had briefed his volunteers, it was over David POLLOCK to give the New Runner’s Brief, another Volunteer role that doesn’t stop you running!  That done Jeremy  welcomed all to the park and explained our Winter course to our newbies and Tourists and the important Safety information.  He then sent us off to the Start where we eagerly awaited the off…  That first run up the ‘Hill’ is always a bit of a shock to the system – it’s still a bit sticky and slippery but on the whole it’s an improving surface to run on – I’d still say it’s probably soft, but good to soft in places.

At the first corner we came across Lis PESKETT marshalling us round and onto the path – Lis was brilliant in reminding us that the Winter course should be run on the RIGHT and that it was FOUR laps….how many???  FOUR!!!!  It’s really important that we keep right – head on crashes would be uncomfortable for all and would inevitably lead to the RD having to make an incident report which is something they always try to avoid if possible as it might delay the results…joking aside, please try to give each other the space needed to run – the first lap is always a bit cosy.  If you’re needing to overtake runners, please take to the grass to pass!!  The next marshal encountered was Lauren COLLINS, then Guy PHELPS, Emma WICKENS all giving us the much-needed encouragement around the Allotment and the back to see Lis again for another 4 lap reminder!!  Up the long slope, it’s not a hill – that’s all in the mind, and then the relief of the downhill run past Tina WEBSTER and Philippa FRANCIS for the start of another of our FOUR laps.

As we know, parkrun is not a race but a free weekly timed 5k run – kudos go the our first three chaps past the Finish line:  Mikey NEVILLE, Jon GRAVE (with a new nicely palindromic PB of 20:02 – well done Jon!!) and Joe SOLTI; even more kudos to our first lady, Rosie HILES who actually came in front of Joe in finishing order.  There are also major kudos for Rosie as she then volunteered by Barcode Scanning - the speedy runners amongst you might want to consider one of the finish line volunteer posts in future, like Rosie!  Our 2 following ladies were Fay CRIPPS and then Cerys DICKINSON.  We had 15 new PBs – impressive with the going being so challenging!  We also had 5 of the stars of the future – our Under 11 runners – please remember you must keep your responsible adult with you at all times and please advise the RD if your names are different – it’s all so we can keep our T’s crossed and I’s dotted for parkrunHQ.

As always there’s a special mention for our Hi-Viz heroes – this week Jeremy was joined by Jill RENSON • Lis PESKETT • Nadia ANDERSON • John WAITES • Peter ANDERSON • Jeremy HARRISON • Eleanor HARRISON • Tina WEBSTER • Lauren COLLINS • Emma WICKENS • Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • David POLLOCK • Tony SPOONER • Philippa FRANCIS • Sarah CUTLER • Johanna HARRISON • Benedict GODDARD • Rosie HILES • Guy PHELPS

One of the final tasks of my parkrun week is to choose the Aesthetically Pleasing Time of the Week!  I do love this bit (yes, I’m that sad!!!) – as most will know the palindromes fascinate me so it’s tough to move past Jon Grave’s 20:02 or Kate HABASHI’s 35:53 but I shall…  Jenna OTTLEY – your 30:00 is my APTOTW – it’s also my goal for parkrun 2020! Oh boy – I’m not sure I should have put that in print but hey ho, it’s there for all to see!

The last thing to do is to wave a fond farewell to Margaret ENSTONE who is leaving the Chichester parkrun family to move north!!!  Margaret’s first parkrun was also Chichester parkrun’s first event in August 2014 and she’s been a smiley face here ever since – she’s always been super supportive of new runners and we will miss her!  We’ll just have to do some parkrun Touristing to somewhere called Darlington….I’m told it’s north of Watford but my UK geography is useless.  WISHING YOU MASSES OF LUCK FOR THE MOVE, MARGARET – keep in touch please!!!!

See you all next Saturday…