Clifton parkrun is a gem. I arrived early and was welcomed by Emma Crane who was set up super early to meet the volunteers and assign their marshal spots. It was forecast to be torrential rain all morning – thankfully it stayed dry until 10:30, perfect. Emma was telling me how she was asked by a local councillor 3 and a half years ago if she would like to help with a new event in the area called parkrun, she was happy to volunteer, but only at the first event realised this wasn’t a one off thing, but it’s every week, forever (weather permitting). Clearly like many volunteers and parkrunners, Emma is hooked.
By 8:15, most of the volunteer team had already arrived, so time for a quick photo of them.
It was clear at this small parkrun that all the volunteers knew each other very well, whilst still welcoming anyone who turned up new to the event.
I had arranged to meet up with local Beeston runner Gabriele, I know of her from the unofficial parkrun podcast ‘with me now’ which is hosted by Danny Normal and Nicola Forwood. If you like listening to parkrun chat, this weekly pod is worth a listen – each week Danny and Nicola tour to different events and interview core teams members to profile their parkruns on the pod – as well as being packed with informal chat, jokes and discussions around any parkrun news. https://withmenow.libsyn.com/
Gaby was telling me how Clifton parkrun is sometimes called off due to flooding and their volunteers during these weeks will often go and help at the larger Beeston parkrun, in turn if Clifton are struggling for volunteers, the Beeston parkrun will often try to help out.
The course had been described to the first-timers, and it was soon time for the main briefing – Matt Pickles did a great job and realised that he had got us all to the start line slightly early – we were asked to chat amongst ourselves whilst we waited for 9am – a nice touch to ensure we were not set off early.
The course is 2 and a half laps around the outside of playing fields, through a short trail section under huge Willow trees and around the edge of tennis courts and a skate park. The beauty of laps being that you pass the volunteer team a couple of times on your way around, all were super encouraging as were all the brilliant marshals.
Well done to Mikhail Smethurst, Robert Dodson and Sarah Webster who all completed their very first parkrun, 17 parkrunners achieved a PB today too, that was out of the 66 parkrunners in total.
There were several people running with dogs today, it looks like a popular course for canicross parkrunners, with the grass surface and great wide open spaces, it’s perfect for runners with dogs.
After I had completed the parkrun, the morning finished off in the best way a parkrun should, with post parkrun chat ‘parkfaff’ with the local runners and of course Gaby.
Thanks Clifton parkrun, one to recommend to others.
By Emma (Perry Hall parkrun)
This week 66 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 17 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 15 volunteers:
Helen LESTER • Kathy SHAW • Jane STUBBS • Simon ELLIOTT • Matt PICKLES • Emma HAWKEY • Delyth FILER • Emma CRANE • Tj STEVENSON • Michelle HEMSLEY • Maria WATSON • Kevin CLARKE • Chris WATSON • Andrew RULE • Lorraine PARBURY