Hello fellow parkrunners,
I thought I'd take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2018! For me, looking back through the highs and lows of 2017, Derry City parkrun has remained a constant in my weekly schedule. It has been a chance to meet like-minded runners, make new friends, try to get a little fitter, and most importantly to have fun.
As a relative newcomer to Derry City parkrun (with 39 runs to my name at this event), I have been made to feel very welcome. I believe that there is no better community than the running community, and Derry City parkrun has proved this to be the case. As your new Event Director, my aim in 2018 is to continue to build on the great success that this event has been in 2017, and hope to make others feel as welcome as I have been.
I would like to take the opportunity to express thanks and gratitude on behalf of all the Derry City parkrun community to Gerard Harkin who recently retired at the end of 2017 as Derry City parkrun Event Director. His contribution to Derry City parkrun has been outstanding, doing much work behind the scenes to keep this event up and (literally!!) running. Gerard has also played a key role in building the friendly atmosphere and sense of community that makes this event so great.
And it goes without saying, special thanks to the core team of volunteers who have offered up their time throughout 2017 to keep Derry City parkrun open (they know who they are!). Without their personal contributions, this event would not happen every Saturday.
On that note, it is essential that we increase the volunteer pool in 2018 to allow more of the core volunteer group the chance to run. From my own personal experience, I have found volunteering to be thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding, and I have made good friends through doing so. I would encourage all regular parkrunners to consider volunteering on occasion (perhaps once every 6 weeks or so?) to help strengthen the volunteering team and make this amazing event sustainable for the future. Also if you have picked up an injury or other reason you can't run, then please consider volunteering as an alternative. There are a variety of roles on offer, and training will be provided. And for the parkrun t-shirt collectors amongst you, there is an exclusive t-shirt presented to those who have volunteered 25 times. It's really easy to register to volunteer, and your help and support will be really appreciated:
· Firstly you could opt in to receive volunteer emails in your parkrun profile. That way you will receive our email about organising the volunteer group.
· Check the volunteer roster on the Derry City parkrun website to see available opportunities: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/derrycity/futureroster/
· Drop an email to email@example.com stating when and what role you would like to volunteer for. That's it!
Don't forget you can also talk to the Run Director before or after a run to see if there are any volunteer opportunities available either on the day or in the coming weeks.
If I could ask one more thing from you in 2018, it would be to spread the word about Derry City parkrun to family, friends, colleagues, fellow club runners, and try to encourage someone new along in 2018. All great parkruns build numbers through word of mouth, and this is something we can all play a part in.
Could 2018 be a year for a new event record? There were no new event records in 2017 and times stand as follows:
· Female record: Catherine Whoriskey - 17:41 (Event 178: 03/12/16)
· Male record: Scott Rankin - 15:27 (Event 176: 19/11/16)
We did see our largest ever attendance with 207 runners for our 200th event at the end of May 2017.
For stats fans, all Derry City parkrun event statistics can be seen at the bottom of our website: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/derrycity/
Just to mention that the new Derry City Junior parkrun kicks off this year, starting next week on Sunday 7th Jan @9:30am. Note that this is a different course, with a different start and finish point. Also it has a different Event Director and is managed by a different core team of volunteers. Please check the junior event website for further details: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/derrycity-juniors/
Finally, may I wish you all a PB filled, injury free 2018, and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday mornings!
Happy New Year,