As Jonathan Hamill said at the start of the run today many Elvet Striders are regular parkrun attendees and on our takeover day we were all keen to give something back. A pretty damp and miserable morning was brightened up immensely by a sea of purple, both running and volunteering and a massive thank you to everyone involved. Even the rain stopped for a while just after the start!
Given the large number of Striders running I thought today would be a nice one for my first double buggy parkrun so both of my children (3 and 1) could get involved. Following solid preparation on Friday evening of a couple of glasses of wine, a military operation to get everyone out of the house and there on time and a packed bag with travel potty, snacks and nappies we were all set. By the sounds of it this is not as extreme as our Canadian visitor today who specially bought running kit yesterday to join in the fun!
parkrun with a buggy is a somewhat different experience. The start is super stressful – where do you position yourself? Too near the front and you risk getting in the way (which is the last thing you want) but too far back and you risk causing a lot of annoyance if you need to pass people – new definition of ankle biters. I was pretty tired from a race last weekend so I figured start near the back and just enjoy it. Obviously this all went to pot when the Elvet Striders photo happened and we had to work our way forwards – best laid plans.
Running with a buggy is hard work, once you get momentum going on the flat it’s not as bad as you think it should be, but on grass or uphill it’s tough. Added to that the issue of having to maintain a coherent conversation with a 3 year old the whole way round and you’ve got yourself a challenge. Today I was surprised to see the grass part of the route on the rugby fields was three times further than it is when I’m running alone and Baths Bridge was double the height – I’m not sure I remembered hearing about that in the briefing.
It’s also amazing though. The kids loved it and we didn’t require a single snack until after we had finished. William has hardly any words but faster is definitely one of them and Beth took great pleasure talking to everyone who went past. My particular favourite is that she decided a Grandma should win – sorry Daniel Jenkin I’m afraid your effort wasn’t good enough unless you’re also secretly a Grandma.
For me, well it’s lovely to feel a little bit like a superhero for a short period of time. The support on the route is amazing (and very much appreciated) and Durham has such a lovely parkrun community feel you can’t not enjoy it. What better way is there to spend a Saturday morning than being surrounded by a lot of friendly smiling faces and then having the excuse to eat cake afterwards. We even managed a pretty good time – although there isn’t a category for buggy assisted which is a shame!
We had 487 people take part in this weeks Durham parkrun. For 45 parkrunners this was their first Durham parkrun, 33 clubs were represented, and a massive 95 people achieved new PBs!
The event was made possible by 48 volunteers:
Alan SMITH • Neil YOUNG • Stephanie BARLOW • Stephen SOULSBY • Mark HERKES • Karen BYNG • Sarah ERLEBACH • Jean BRADLEY • Sarah DAVIES • Jane BAILLIE • Stephen ELLIS • Bev WALKER • Anna MASON • Mark KEARNEY • Marita LE VAUL-GRIMWOOD • Clare CLISH • Nick LATHAM • Simon GRAHAM • Aileen SCOTT • Alan SCOTT • Antony CLISH • Kit ERLEBACH • Phil RAY • Joanne ROBERTSON • Janet ELLIS • Lesley HAMILL • Debra THOMPSON • Jonathan HAMILL • Carla MASON • Fergus HAMILL • Patrick HAMILL • Freya HAMILL • Jill YOUNG • Janet TELFORD • Peter TELFORD • Diane SOULSBY • Corrine WHALING • Zoe DEWDNEY PARSONS • Mike BARLOW • Rebecca BLACKWOOD • Fiona HARRINGTON-HUGHES • Hazel BLACKWOOD • Harry HUGHES • Mick DAVIS • Florence BYNG • Pam KIRKUP • Annie LOPEZ • Alex LATHAM
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Durham parkrun Results Page.