Fareham parkrun – event number 232
Saturday 4th December 2021
“You must be mad Sir!” By Adam Shaul
“You must be mad Sir!” This was the light-hearted response I had from one of my students when he found out that I had completed the milestone of 250 parkruns. I explained that it took place every ‘parkrunday’ (previously known as Saturday) and participants set off at 9 am attempting to walk/jog or run 5km. He didn’t respond but gave me a look that suggested I was crazy.
“So, you’re telling me Sir that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, people do this all over the country at the same time every week for enjoyment?” Obviously, I went on to explain that the most incredulous part is that some people regularly volunteer too! Standing out in all weathers to support and encourage the participants, ensuring parkrun takes place. It was at this point he walked away, shaking his head as he went off to his first lesson of the day.
I must admit conversations like this have happened several times over the past eight years but how do you explain to someone how unique and special parkrun is to you? In particular, Fareham parkrun.
Is it the course? Different terrains, paths undulating through the woods, alongside the golf course and curving around the creek with glorious puddles in winter – yes it is!
Is it the venue? Meeting outside the Cams Mill pub for the pre-run briefings and then returning afterwards for the obligatory coffee and catch-up chat with fellow parkrunners. Occasionally, with cakes from milestone heroes! Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have the Cams Mill available as a post-event facility with its ever-welcoming staff. It’s definitely this too!
Is it the people? Friendly faces (even if you don’t know everyone’s name) with warm greetings; words of encouragement and support offered; applauding everyone’s efforts at the finish tunnel; thanking all the volunteers and marshals around the course; congratulating fellow participants on their exertions as they’re completing the course or being inspired by all the different age groups taking part. It’s certainly this!
All of these things give me that warm fuzzy feeling after parkrun and keep me looking forward to the next parkrunday when I can experience it all again! So, a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to you all at Fareham parkrun who contribute to this fantastic event and make it so important to our lives. As we say to many of the students who ask, parkrun isn’t just about keeping physically healthy and fit, more importantly parkrun is hugely beneficial to our mental and emotional health, vital in this modern world we find ourselves in!
“Today, the weather is again grey, cold and wet with 196 puddles throughout the course” stated Nick, the Run Director (also one of our former students I’m proud to say!) We parkrunners braced ourselves for the obligatory damp and muddy feet at the end. How 16 of you managed PB’s in these conditions I’ll never know but congratulations to those of you that did! Special mention to Nicholas Deacon participating in the JM10 age group setting a PB of 23 minutes and 30 seconds – super running young man!
David Morris took some fantastic photos of event number 232 by one of the massive puddles and the ‘buzzy pylon’ as I call it! These record the event for posterity beautifully – thank you David!
Milestone heroes this week were Simon Haswell and Andy Bramley – completing their 50th parkruns – well done chaps!
First home was Thomas Wallace in a rapid 18 minutes and 14 seconds and first female home was Melissa Gray in 23 minutes and 32 seconds.
There were 13 first timers to Fareham, we hope you enjoyed it and return sometime soon! I know I will be again!!