For me personally, this was an amazing parkrun. And yet, it might not have happened at all. We always thank our volunteers but this week it should be more than just the usual courtesy. Had it not been for those who went out earlier than they had planned, in order to ensure both that the course was safe and that the rest of us knew that early enough to get ourselves along, none of us would have had our weekly parkrun at all and this writer would have missed a truly memorable day.
What would make a memorable parkrun for you? A milestone run such as a 50th? A tourist run away from your normal course? An opportunity to volunteer as well as run? Or maybe beating your PB by some margin? I actually couldn’t believe my luck because I did all of those on the same day - though my volunteering consists of this report and I was not one of the superheroes out in the half light early on Saturday. Family celebrations taking me to my native Coatbridge instead of my home parkrun at Montrose, I ran under 30 minutes for 5k for the very first time in my life on, of all days, my 50th parkrun. So when I express profound gratitude to those Saturday morning heroes I’m not pretending!
It was a special day for many other people too among the 185 who walked, jogged or ran the free, weekly, timed 5k at Drumpellier Country Park. Only four of those are listed as Unknown so that means an amazing 181 (98%) remembered, and chose to use, their printer paper or plastic barcode. Excellent stuff. But there’s more:
Milestones are great but most of us know the hardest achievement at parkrun is getting off your backside and out the door to do your very first one - I think it’s around a million people worldwide have registered without ever turning up to run. Among no fewer than 58 first timers at Drumpellier this week were four doing their first parkrun anywhere, ever. Congratulations to Thomas ONEIL, Craig ROSS, Deborah ROSS and Tracy COGAN. Welcome to parkrun!
parkrun PBs are course specific so are only indicated for those who have run the course and recorded a time before - not first timers or unknown runners. Of the 123 known runners who had a previous time recorded here, an amazing 54 recorded course personal bests (Including one regular volunteer who told me at the start he wasn’t going to run as he had a race on Sunday, no names no pack drill, eh, Deacon Bill?) That’s an unbelievable 44%, of all those who had been here before, who chalked up a PB. We certainly had great running conditions thanks to the early morning heroes (yes them again, not even sorry for mentioning them again.)
Missing a PB by mere seconds only because he chose to show consideration for another runner was Alan Morrison, whom I’ve never met and still haven’t despite being within a couple of minutes of him all the way round. I wish I’d known he was there: Alan is a regular contributor to the excellent running message boards provided by Health Unlocked. If you consider yourself a beginning runner do give Health Unlocked a look: there are boards for Couch to 5k, Bridge to 10k and Marathon and Race Support. It’s a very supportive environment and remarkably troll free - not unlike parkrun in fact.
Special congratulations to our two international class performers on the day: Robert SOUTAR and Stephen ALLAN both exceeded the age grade bench mark of 80%, with Robert’s PB of 18’19” giving him the day’s best age grade performance at 83.17%. A further fifteen runners attained ‘national class’ age grades of over 70%. Among these it is appropriate to mention Michael O’HAGAN and Paul FORBES, who were both less than one percentage point below the ‘international’ 80. Our male and female first finishers, Robbie KENNEDY (17’15”, 74.78%) and Evelyn STRUTHERS (21’56”, 73.86%), were also in the ‘national class’ group by age grade. Congratulations to all.
parkrun is only possible due to the efforts of voluteers. At Drumpellier this week, these were Donna ALLAN, B CANDY, Elspeth FERGUSON, Liam FIDDES, Emma Kate GALLAGHER, Julie GALLAGHER, Max GALLAGHER, Yvonne GENTLES, Arthur GRANT, Douglas HOLMES, Emma MAIN, Ian MCRAE, David MURRAY, Samantha PATERSON, David Gordon SLATER, Hannah STEVENSON, David STEVENSON, Cara SULLIVAN, Linda WALLACE and David WALLACE. If you value your local parkrun and have not volunteered before, please do give it some consideration.
On behalf of all us tourists - including a group from Wales as well as parkrunners from various pars of Scotland - thanks to Julie (RD) and all at Drumpellier for your hospitality. See you again soon.