Like many others, I spent most of a snowy Friday afternoon and evening frantically searching social media for updates of parkruns that might possibly still go ahead. All of my local ones were cancelled, (understandably - most of them here in Bristol are on tarmac and contain hills), although I was determined to not give up hope that one somewhere, anywhere, might go ahead. I’m not adverse to a bit of parkrun tourism, in fact I quite enjoy it, so I was over the moon when Gloucester North confirmed they’d be going ahead.
What I hadn’t banked on though was not actually being able to get off driveway this morning for the side road being turned into an ice rink overnight! I also hadn’t banked on my husband’s car (parked at the front of the house avoiding said ice rink) not having much petrol - and so it turns out playing chicken with the fuel tank all the way to Gloucester was rather nerve wracking! But phew, I got there at 8.50am - with a small amount of petrol left and just in time to hear the run briefing from the lovely Run Director Jenny.
What struck me upon arrival was just how grateful we all were for the team putting on the event. It was clear from the get go what a great team of volunteers made this morning possible, so a huge thanks go to the 28 high viz heroes who gave up their time on such a freezing cold Saturday morning! Your cheering and keeping us safe was much appreciated. Whilst there were many volunteers this morning however, the team really struggled for pre-event set up - so if anyone fancies giving up a small amount of time before the run in future weeks to help make the event possible, I know they’d really appreciate it. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved and generally feel awesome for doing your bit.
It may have been icy under foot, but it was sunny overhead. It was a record breaking attendance for Gloucester North today, with 218 runners, joggers and walkers taking on the delightfully flat course. Over double the average number of weekly participants! There were 57 first timers to the course, including visitors from Manchester, Northampton, Bristol and Cheltenham. And of these 57, it was the first parkrun ever for 7 people - welcome to the first parkrun of the rest of your life. We hope you enjoyed it as much as the rest of us do!
Whilst the aim of this morning was just to get round safely, 29 of you impressively got a PB! Well done. With three pacers out on the field this morning (22mins, 25mins and 30mins) hopefully this spurred a few people on to keep moving. A special mention also goes to Sarah Cole who joined the 50 club this morning, congratulations - the snow didn’t stop you from getting your milestone run thankfully!
What resonates with me every Saturday morning is that parkrun is many things to many people. And Gloucester North you were no exception. Thank you for putting on such a fab event. I for one will definitely be back!