This weeks run report comes comes courtesy of Terry, one of our VI parkrunners.
Being registered blind, I am often told that I’m missing out on seeing the beauty of the park and am asked by other runners how I manage at parkrun? In particular, how I seem to know my way around the Colwick course?
To answer these, here’s how it went on Saturday, for event 399.
I was collected at home as usual and driven to Colwick by a volunteer; on this occasion it was SuperKev. On arrival, Kevin passed me over to Caitlin Sorrell, my guide runner for the day. Like everyone else, Caitlin and I waited eagerly at the start as James and Iain gave a briefing to the 19 first timers.
Run Director Abigail greeted the 243 runners and welcomed tourists from Chelmsford and France. As well as congratulating Julie Matthews on her milestone 50th parkrun, we welcomed Roy and Jackie’s visit and applauded the 25 volunteers who had donned hi-viz for the day.
We were soon on our way, accompanied by greetings from fellow parkrunners as they passed us. Talking to me as we ran, Caitlin controlled our pace and prevented me from running into others and relayed information about the course and conditions. This meant giving me notice of oncoming turns, speed bumps, changes of surface and counting me down (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) to meet these and avoid any falls. Her non-stop description of our surroundings i.e. the stillness of the lakes, the colour of the sky, other runners – even breeds of dogs, allowed me to build a vision of the event we were part of. Hearing we were passing particular features, such as Roy’s split, Shoesucker straight, Children’s playground etc, along with positions of benches/bins/picnic tables, meant I knew where we were and could decide if I wanted to speed up or slow down. To anyone interested, we had 9 changes of surface and passed 35 benches, 17 bins, 11 speed bumps and 2 picnic benches. We went through 2 gates, 1 barrier, passed 5 parkrun distance markers (1 was missing) 1 wind turbine and 4 new wooden sculptures. We passed areas of new blooms, trees in blossom, very few puddles, hardly any mud, plenty of geese and a lone heron flying overhead.
Most importantly, we had the encouragement of other runners, spectators and marshals; all of whom we thanked.
In no time at all, we ran through the 3 cones at either side which greeted the finish, passed the timekeepers and received our tokens and had barcodes scanned.
Another parkrun completed - where I probably “saw “ and enjoyed more of the park than most. With the quality of my guide runners and support of the most friendly parkun imaginable, getting to and around Colwick is always easy and enjoyable. Plus, there’s the café afterwards. Here’s looking forward to next week.
Many thanks to Caitlin and to the following volunteers who made it all possible.
Laura and Tracey were our timekeepers, with Philip and Thomas barcode scanning and Joanna on the clipboard.
SuperKev managed the funnel and Jacques gave out finish tokens.
You were cheered and clapped round the course by your marshals Will, Lynsey, Neil, Scarlett, Maureen, Roy, and Jackie.
Your tail walkers were Hilary, Libby, Louise, and Angie.
syatb next week to do it all again!