I really enjoy running at Cranleigh Parkrun (except the second hill, which I’m still learning to enjoy).
A few months ago, during a stint at tailwalking, I was talking to some fellow Parkrunners about ‘Parkrun Tourism’. They were telling me about some lovely local (slightly less hilly) runs that they have tried, and how much they enjoyed ‘touring’. This got me thinking that I really must try out a spot of tourism myself. The problem is that Friday evening rolls around, and there’s really only one place I can imagine Parkrunning the following day – and that’s here at Cranleigh.
As I looked up some statistics for this report last night, I noticed that perhaps I’m not the only one. It seems the great majority of our runners here at Cranleigh enjoy running here too. I could name many who have only toured once or twice, but I think a special mention should go to Mark Tabor who has run all 196 of his runs here at Cranleigh (and I believe isn’t planning on going on tour until after his big 250).
I think what has Parkrunners coming back to Cranleigh is the people. No matter who are you are, where you come from or the time you record, you always feel welcomed. As much as I’d always like to consistently run sub-30 (again I blame the second hill), running about the 30-35 minute mark is my happy place. The support from other runners at this sort of time is, I think, some of the best. It’s amazing how a couple of thumbs up and ‘well dones’ from friendly faces (including but not limited to Helen, Paula, Kate, Louise, Martin, Andy, Martyn and Scarlett) as you come along the football pitches into the second lap keeps you going just that little bit longer.
Closer to the front of the field, I’ve also seen a lot of handshaking and friendly competition, with runners congratulating each other on great pacing, and just generally great running. Tailwalking too is a great privilege when you get more of an opportunity to chat to those who might be attempting something new for the first time, or overcoming injury.
Cranleigh Parkrun would also not be the event it is without the wonderful volunteers who make this event possible. Particular thanks this week goes to David, Peter, Chris, Martyn, John, Ray, Rob, Ian, Jason, Harriet, Zoe, Polly, Ella, Harry, Jyoti, Chris, Kate, Hannah and Caroline. We have some very dedicated volunteers here at Cranleigh, for whom we are very fortunate.
So, this takes me to the conclusion of this report, where lastly but by absolutely no means least, I’d like to wish a huge congratulations, and an even bigger thank you to our very own Martyn Greaves.
Martyn not only completed his 250th Parkrun today, but also his 268th volunteer stint. How lucky we are to have such a loyal runner and volunteer here at Cranleigh, who always has a smile, laugh or word of encouragement for us all each Saturday morning. The support for Martyn today, including Helen and the Helms’ delicious cakes and Caroline’s lovely limerick showed that Martyn is very much a key part of what makes Cranleigh so great.
So, if this was your first ever Parkrun here at Cranleigh, or whether it was your 250th, I hope you enjoyed it as much as me.