Cranleigh parkrun #253

One of the main principles of parkrun is community, and that has always been the case at Cranleigh, especially as we are one of the smaller parkruns with regard to numbers.

The enthusiasm of the core team, volunteers regular home runners and visiting tourists always generate a positive experience, whatever the weather.

Whilst many of us will never get near the front of the field we all have our own motivation to keep us plugging away, whether that be chasing new personal best, clocking up another parkrun towards the next milestone t-shirt, competing with those runners that are always around you in the rear, middle or front of the pack or just getting some exercise in the fresh air.

Since the beginning of the year it has been interesting to see how first timers get involved in parkrun. For some fitness or running goal mean they want a regular measurement of how they are doing each week. Others start as 'doubters' perhaps volunteering or learning of parkrun via the media and eventually take the plunge when they realise there is no pressure to run all the course.

Mostly though it is a friend or family member has encouraged them to come along.

Can you remember your first parkrun?

I certainly can going back some five years ago at Oaklands park in Chichester and wondering as time approached 8.30 where everybody was.

Unless you are perhaps a seasoned runner no doubt it was a little daunting; where do I go, what do I do this with this bar code, I will finish last and embarrassed, what if I get lost.

We probably know someone who could benefit from parkrun so think about offering to come along and stay with them around the course for their first time.

In the following weeks they will probably be in front of you!

It was inspiring on last week's parkrun to see our regular Mark Tabor accompanying his wife and son on their first ever Cranleigh parkrun and this really highlights what parkrun is all about.

We love to see young, new and old faces and I am yet to meet anyone who says they have regretted it.

It is a thought to ponder that the miracle is not that I finished a parkrun but the miracle is that I had the courage to start.

I am often asked what I think about as I run. Usually the people that ask this have never run long distance. I always hesitate on the question.

What exactly do I think about when I am running? I do not have a clue.

Well moving on to this Saturday’s parkrun. ..

Former Eagles band member Glenn Frey hit song "the heat is on" or shall we have "hot stuff" by Donna Summer was appropriate for today’s run.

Hot, hot and hot it was indeed and high pressure was focused over Knowle park with plenty of sun tan lotion being applied.

Our Run Director for today’s event was Andy Harris who gave us an encouraging briefing before we all gathered at the start to begin another parkrun.

We had 113 participants that took on the challenge to walk, jog and run the course and congratulations to all.

Likewise, to all our wonderful marshals for their encouragement in being in the heat and ensuring the event was a success.

The high temperature did not deter many people achieving personal bests and the field was lit alight by Oliver Gosden in just under 18 minutes to be first across the finishing line in and likewise to Nici Cahusac being the first lady home in 20 mins 30 secs.

There were also some impressive times achieved by our younger parkrunners – notably Aimee Voogd and Jess Jones who took a minute or more of their previous (already impressive) best.

Slightly towards the other end of the age spectrum Susan Bailey – on one of her frequent rips up from Horsham- was one of the few grown ups to get a PB.

We had many tourists today from as far north as Newcastle to Worthing in the south and hope you all enjoyed your visit to Cranleigh.

There were no official milestones to mention but the future looks bright with a number of our regulars approaching 50 and 100 parkruns in the coming weeks.

It gives me great pleasure to mention that Chris Mason completed his 150th parkrun.

Chris is a familiar face here at Cranleigh and likewise with wife Kate regularly assist in setting up each week-end throughout the year.

The Cranleigh parkrun event statistics can be found on the results page.

Thank you to all the volunteers for giving up their time and rest assured it really is appreciated. The hi-vis ladies and gents were Andy Harris, Kate and Chris Mason, Harry Charlton, Oliver Barlow, Zoe Jacobs, Stephen Deasley, Jon Robinson, Mike Saunders, Jonathon Patrick, Harry Jupp, Mark Tabor, Kenny and Ellis McKenzie, Mark Cranwell, Steve Browning and to Helen Bryce for her dedication in looking after the rota for the last four weeks

The volunteers make parkrun happen so if you have not helped before or for a while then please look at the rota for the next few weeks and drop a mail to cranleighhelpers@parkrun.com. This would be most welcome or alternatively use Facebook.