A Most Significant Milestone and Lots of Wind!
Well hello there and a very warm welcome to the run report for Guildford parkrun event #354, at which we, Guildford parkrun, celebrated a rather significant milestone ourselves and battled with the winds. Intrigued, well read on....
Firstly, and most importantly, I wish to give our thanks to the 42 amazing volunteers involved this Saturday who, through their generous endeavours ensured Guildford parkrun was able to host a safe, friendly, welcoming & inclusive parkrun event for our 473 runners. Not only for this week, but for the previous 344 weeks and the 99,672 runners for whom we have been able to host Guildford parkrun. It is only made possible because of these 1,047 wonderful individuals who collectively have given up 6,508 Saturday mornings of their own time for a greater good; in the past, now and long into the future. We all owe these dedicated, happy, very capable people our great gratitude.
So, all together now...THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS, YOU ARE AWESOME, YOU ARE WONDERFUL.
So clearly before any parkrun event can actually take place the course has to be set-up in the morning. No easy task with strong winds I can tell you! As the course was being marked our with cones, every time the Run Director turned around to ensure good placement of cones, in relation to each, to form a clear course route that is safe & intuitive for our runners to follow (oh yes - we take great pride and joy in our course), the cones had of course been whipped about & buffeted by the winds leaving not a one in their original position. On realising it was a pushing a big rock up a steep hill covered in ice while wearing ice skates type task and bearing in mind that it wouldn't be ideal to still be setting-up the course at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the Run Director accepted being in the lap of the gods, and smiled sagely!!
Despite papers, pens, finish token collection boxes, water bottles and pretty much anything and everything else being flung around by the wind - but hey there's a real energy there that's exciting and energising - amazingly we actually found ourselves ready. Not a moment too soon as the excited runners were now descending on us and there was a buzz in the air an almost electric buzz - but why...? Because this Saturday we were going to celebrate our 100,000th finisher at Guildford parkrun and perhaps each one wanted the kudos, the glory or simply the sheer joy of being Guildford parkrun finisher number 100,000. Who can blame them!!
Some fabulous team Fitstuffers preparing for the off...
As always at every Guildford parkrun there are individual stories of courage, endeavour and of achievement and this Saturday was no exception, so please join us in celebrating and congratulating the following folks in their very own story where they are the hero;
From our junior contingent each of the following successfully scaled the 10 milestone:
For the adults the success just keeps rolling on for the following:
All of whom obtained their 50 milestone. Brilliant effort and well done to you all, wear your t-shirts with great pride & joy
Angela RHYDDERCH looking very happy and very Irish to celebrate her 50th milestone on St. Patricks Day :-).
Oh and of course - Guildford parkrun joined the 100,000 club!!! How impressive is that.
100,000 runners each completing 5 km, why that's 500,000 kilometres and you know, it's only 384,400 kilometres to the moon!!! If each runner burns on average 500 kilocalories (or 2,092 kilojoules if you prefer) for each 5 km they've run then that's roughly the same amount of energy, over the 100,000 runs, required to heat approximately 555,555 litres of water to boiling point. That's roughly 2.2 million cups of tea!!! So not only does Guildford parkrun take you to the moon (we need a few more years to get you back mind you), we can more than supply the tea to go with such an incredible journey. :-).
Fun facts aside, all of those 100,000 runs represents a personal story of human triumph, of courage & commitment - of believing that a better quality of life is possible - and of striving for it. We salute you all and thank you for making Guildford parkrun the fabulous joy that it is for so many people.
The most fabulous of sights at 09:00 on a Saturday in Stoke Park. A tsunami of colour and human endeavour. Go guys go, you look wonderful.
And they're off!!
Each run is filled with action, suspense, human grit, fantastic timekeeping, selfless encouragement, personal determination, the highs and joys of being alive, of being human, of being part of a tremendous community, of giving it all you have. Of life.
Keith HARRISON looking humble and pretty pleased with himself
Of the fierceness of giving everything.
Of timekeeping fun & accuracy.
Alastair HESLOP on the clock
But who will gain the coveted position 328 and become Guildford parkruns 100,000th runner? The tension & excitement builds & builds....
The much sought after position 328
Who will it be....
The 100,000th Finisher & Presentation
Come in number 100,000 - yes it's Gethin JONES and our congratulations to him. On only Gethin's 2nd parkrun he became Guildford parkruns' 100,000th finisher. Much, I'm sure, to Gethins' surprise, delight & slight bewilderment we made a huge fuss of him - and rightly so because it's always good to spread happiness & joy.
Gethin JONES becomes Guildford parkruns' 100,000th finisher. See the massive finish token he earned!!
Don't be fooled by those glum faces, they where all very happy for Gethin!!
They're just pretending to be glum
A bunch of very happy people
To much fanfare Gethin JONES was awarded a 100,000th finisher sash, a 100,000 finisher medallion, a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates, lots of balloons and a giant 100,000 finish token. Awards were very generously donated by members of Fitstuff running club (thanks Bill WILD) and individual members of Guildford parkrun core team. I'm not sure if Gethin really understood why we where all so happy for him but we were all totally delighted for him and he was such a great sport. Let's hope he doesn't get too used to all this champagne & chocolate mind you as it'll do nothing for his run times!!!
All that then remained was for our little 100,000th Guildford parkrun presentation ceremony to Gethin JONES - yes we continued to make a fuss - and up-stepped the fantastic Robert PITT, one of our brilliant Co-Event Directors and Paul TATLER, who was our Run Director for the day, to present the awards.
Gethin JONES, Guildford parkruns' 100,000th finisher, being congratulated by Paul TATLER
As you can clearly see - we had much fun and made much fuss
The presentation with Robert PITT in the very warm looking blue hat :-)
At The End...
Off we all went to celebrate at the Daisy Chain Café, exchange stories of running heroics, enjoy hot coffee and perhaps hotter gossip, renew & make new friendships and wonder what colour our next pair of running shoes should be!
We thank everyone who came down and celebrated with us for this rather significant milestone - a milestone that we're pretty chuffed and pleased with. But you know what - we're just getting warmed up!!! Until then dear people, take care of yourselves & your loved ones, remember there is always another run and I wish you as much joy and love as your hearts can hold. Adios. Or until next Saturday at least