Saturday 10th March 2018

QRC Takeover for C25K and 3rd Birthday party

Report by Andy Smith - I braved the hills today but usually you will find me on tokens

On a cold, very very soggy Saturday morning Queensbury Running Club had a ‘takeover’ of Halifax parkrun at Shroggs Park to celebrate the graduation of their ‘Couch to 5k’ runners, a bunch of people who 12 weeks ago couldn’t run 5k until the encouragement and support of Lynn Hill and her team helped them to achieve something they wouldn’t have believed all those weeks ago when they took those first tentative steps towards running 5k.

Today’s parkrun was also a belated celebration of Halifax’s 3rd birthday that should have happened last week but had to be cancelled because of the deep, blanket of snow and cold, icy conditions that had covered Yorkshire in a scene reminiscent from Narnia.

To celebrate the 3rd birthday a fancy dress theme of superhero or pop star was suggested - interesting choices and a good mix and good fun , especially seeing Ada Ant and Cheryl Cole on timing, Darth Vader doing the run briefing and superman and batman battling it out in a sprint finish .

Today’s parkrun was especially poignant as we remembered a fellow runner, parkrunner and proud member of Queensbury Running Club who sadly passed away suddenly at the beginning of February and as a lasting tribute a trophy was introduced today the ‘Gary Morritt Memorial Trophy’ this was made to celebrate Gary and everything he loved about parkrun, friendship, fun, laughs, volunteering, Gary was a part of our  parkrun family , he always enjoyed volunteering and our tough course and proudly watched his son Matthew who was 14 at the time complete his DoE volunteering and doing the RD role.

The trophy was awarded to a lovely couple Annie and Marc, they cannot do enough to help, they love Halifax parkrun and have been involved and supportive from our first event, always early to set up, always encouraging, and help to pack away and give a cheery shout to everyone on Harrisons Hill. They always go out of their way to help and we are so pleased that we can recognise them with this award.

You may recall the very lovely gesture recently when Marc and Annie went out of their way to help our blind runner, picking Lyn and her guide dog Danny up at the hotel, Annie guiding Lyn round and dropping them back off – a very well deserved accolade for them is considered to be most deserving of receiving the award based on their runs at Halifax over the past year.

Gary’s wife Beverly and son Matthew were there today doing their part to remember Gary with Beverley tail walker with a couple of friends and Matthew blazing his way round the course to a storming time which Gary would have been so proud of and a time that cost bev £5 !.

Another trophy announced as a birthday celebration was ‘Volunteer of the Year’. Steph Hull – Event Director explained that without the commitment of volunteers then parkrun wouldn’t happen, she gave a shout out for the core team Karol, Phillip , Kezzy and Amanita and thanked everyone who had volunteered over the last year .

Steph went on to add that the team wanted to recognise volunteers who had made a massive commitment over the last year , so any to mention but 3 adults who not only had all volunteered over 30 times in the last 12 months they had also gone through a lot themselves with injury, illness. depression and loss of loved ones..

Steph announced the names of the 3 winners, 2 of which weren’t there able to make the event and will be nameless and have a surprise next week. Steph then looked round for me and announced me as a winner of one of the awards – however I didn’t hear her call out my name instead as I was at the back of the pack of runners waiting to go and not listening to anything anyone said!

The trophies will now be presented next week when all 3 adult winners will be back and I will be in my usual role of giving out the finish tokens and keeping the timers under control.

Harrison our super starter was named junior volunteer of the year for his commitment and enthusiasm whatever the weather.

So, despite the weather trying to dampen our spirits it  was impossible not to  raise a smile and feel happy inside as you were greeted by a sea of green Queensbury tops and numerous people in fancy dress. It was great to see so many people turn up for today’s very special parkrun and the sense of fun made Shroggs Park a very warm place to be

After the announcements we were off and run briefing from Darth Vader !! Glenn released his homing Doves in Gary's memory, Harrison got us under way with his 3 2 1 gooooooooo and the  the mood was one of enjoying yourself and achieving the magic  of running parkrun.  Some people were taking it easy and chatting to friends as they ran around, others were finding it tougher as Shroggs is not an easy parkrun and it was muddy and boggy on the trail section.

There was a real gritted determination on everyone's faces and for the Queensbury C25K to run it all and finish was testament to the hours they have put in to achieve the parkrun milestone.

Everybody today who ran can hold their heads high on achieving what may have been for many something they felt was impossible and for others making today a fun and uplifting event. I hope you are had a nice drink and meal today because you deserve it.

Well done to all the runners and volunteers today without which parkrun wouldn’t exist and your first runner home today was Tom Collinge of Queensbury Running Club, who as usual made it look easy but he puts the hard work in as we all do

Halifax parkrun  we are here every Saturday , and next Saturday 17th March at 9am where I will be back in my usual place in the finish funnel being quiet. We had a lot of first timers today, so it would be great to see some of you return and make next weeks event as much fun as todays.

If you could volunteer as well please, every week we need a minimum of 12 volunteers if you can help please message Halifax parkrun or email halifaxoffice@parkrun,com, volunteering is a fantastic experience and very rewarding.

See you soon and don’t forget you barcode

Andy Smith

Halifax parkrun - Volunteer of the Year 2017/2018