Didcot parkrun # 180 - 22/09/2018 By Karen Spackman
226 runners, 21 volunteers, 23 Clubs, 48 PBs, 18 First Timers at Didcot parkrun, of whom 10 First Times joining their parkrun journey with their parkrun family.
What an amazing morning at Didcot parkrun, I’d not volunteered to report write, but after today, I just can’t help myself (well it is raining and our night out has been cancelled due to the weather, so I can sit and reflect on this morning).
I’d volunteered for that “really scary” job of timekeeping, I’m determined to crack this and feel comfortable with the role that I had previously thought was far too pressurised for me. As I arrived (just the usual 2 or 3 minutes late) for the volunteers briefing, I was a touch concerned to see my fellow timekeeper Neil refreshing his memory as to how the stopwatches work….eeek! What a lovely bunch of volunteers were there, our RD Helen was blessed with a full and able team. Special mention to the Frost family, providing both the tailwalking team and finish tokens (and token sorting), Naomi and Ewan Ackroyd who were barcode scanning for Dave’s 50th parkrun, and my personal favourite marshal, who mentored me on my first marshalling experience, Paul Absolom. When all you can hear is the pounding of footsteps and heavy breathing, Paul’s resonant voice encouraging absolutely everybody to do their best is, to me, the epitome of parkrun. I don’t think I’m the only person to think this!
After the first timers briefing, it looked like we had a lovely mixed field of parkrunners that headed off on their 5km challenge. Each parkrunner has their own challenge, some which are quantifiable by looking at times, PBs, completing parkrun challenges (such as A-Z) etc, but there are also the personal challenges that we don’t see. Nobody knows who hasn’t left their home in the last week apart from to come to parkrun, who wakes up in pain, yet still completes their 5km, who is running for the first time alone, or missing somebody from their life, after listening to the “free, weekly timed” podcast this week, who has recovered cancer surgery in the last 5 weeks. We don’t know our fellow parkrunners, but we are all in this thing together and we can all support each other.
After Paul and Joseph Wilson completed their runs, both in PBs, (Joseph on his 10th parkrun so we will be waiting to see you run in your new milestone t shirt) they went back a couple of hundred meters along the course and cheered on their fellow parkrunners, motivating many to make a speedy finish. Including Aaron Poulton who achieved his PB. Paul coaches’ sports teams on others days of the week and enjoys his parkrun with his son, but those extra minutes they spend encouraging others after they have completed their runs are invaluable. As a very slow parkrunner, I appreciate those that give their time to encourage the rest of the field. Paul said that he’d like to run quicker each week, as that would give him more time to cheer on the others! Once again, the epitome of parkrun.
Daniel Brenchley is over 11 and has recently started running alone while his sister Olivia marshals with his mum Laura. The Brenchleys are such a supportive parkrun family and will often be high 5ing you as you run by their marshalling positions. Daniel recorded his PB today. Brother and sister Tim and Helen Krabben both achieved PBs this morning… I hope there is a family celebration to help create the memories for this occasion!
I also love seeing the more experienced parkrunners recording their PBs, this week Tracey Talbot, Douglas Burns and Phil Gray who have all run more than 100 parkruns achieved their PB, as did Clare Shorrock who was quite obviously delighted to smash the 27 minute barrier, Mawaje Kasonde smashed his 24 minute barrier, Christine Shephard broke her 30 minute barrier, Matthew Quarterman hit 20 minutes exactly as Simeon Lewis hit 31 minutes exactly,
Personally, what really warmed my heart was seeing the mum and daughter team of Charlie and Rebecca Warrington completing the course together, and I am sure that those of us who were at the finish line will carry the memory of the goosepimply moment of the wonderful team at the tail finish together with such a high-level buzz… you were all amazing Annabel, Kim, Emily, Karin, Elliot, Meredith and Andrea. Welcome to or parkrun family Annabel and Kim you are an inspiration to us all.
What with all the enjoyment of the run, I’d totally forgotten how stressful I thought timekeeping was. I’d thoroughly enjoyed my morning, and all our times and finish token numbers tallied so all was good for processing I was anxious for no reason whatsoever!
Many thanks to all of you for making my Saturday morning before the rain so enjoyable, not forgetting the delicious cake!
Many thanks to the others volunteers who made this event happen:
Paul ABSOLOM, Naomi ACKROYD, Ewan ACKROYD, Vanessa ARMOND, Laura BRENCHLEY, Olivia BRENCHLEY, Helen BRIND, Robert BRIND, Elliot FROST, Meredith FROST, Robert FROST, Andrea FROST, Anna GUTTERIDGE, Miranda HABERMEL, Sue HENDERSON, Gordon JACKSON, Sandra MAGEE, Neil SALMONS, Anna SHANNON, Robert SHARP, Karen SPACKMAN
If you haven’t tried volunteering yet, I’d fully recommend it, try something different and give something back!