parkrun has become a really important part of my life; a weekend doesn’t feel quite the same without starting it with a parkrun. The inclusivity, friendliness and friendships, as well as it being good for us is what gets me out of bed on a Saturday morning.
I’m a Nidd Valley Road Runner and I’d been involved in our first ever couch to 5K (Zip to Zoom) programme and the personal satisfaction this gave me was beyond belief and this spurred me on to do something else. During the week I work at Harrogate hospital as a specialist pharmacist in cancer services and I’d come up with the idea of setting up a running group for people living with cancer. We know that exercise has enormous benefits for people who are living with and beyond cancer, by reducing cancer fatigue and helping to preserve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. Exercise may also reduce chemotherapy side effects and improve psychological well-being, and ultimately it may reduce the risk of cancer returning and prolong survival.
My initial research led me straight to an organisation called 5K Your Way-Move Against Cancer. This initiative was founded by oncology consultant and 12 times ironman champion Lucy Gossage and Gemma Hillier-Moses, International runner and founder of the MOVE charity who was diagnosed with cancer herself at the age of 24 in 2012. This is a community-based initiative aiming to encourage those living with or beyond cancer, families, friends and those working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at a local 5K Your Way parkrun event on the last Saturday of every month. I literally couldn’t believe that I could combine my love of parkrun with my desire to support people living with cancer at the same time. I registered my interest, spoke to Ted (Harrogate Co-ED), did a few bits of admin along the way and the dream became reality at parkrun number 422.
The setting up process has led me to meet some wonderful people along the way, Jo Beagley, Emma Radcliffe, Claire Arditto, Amber Ritchie, Sam Holbrook, Tom Collyer and Kerry Archer all of whom are passionate about supporting people with cancer to be physically active. This has resulted in us becoming a team of 8 Ambassadors.
The day arrived, we’d done all the preparation we could in terms of advertising and we’d even had a shout out on Stray FM in the morning, but would anyone come? We had no idea, we just needed one person to turn up and then the ball would start rolling as the months progress. We were all wearing the distinctive 5K Your Way t-shirts/hoodies so that any participants could easily recognise us, and it didn’t take long. We were soon joined by 6 parkrun newcomers, we were delighted. We were also really pleased that Tom Williams, parkrun’s Global Chief Operating Officer, came to offer his support too.
The lovely Caroline did the usual run briefing and very kindly allowed me on the podium to say a few words about who we are and what the initiative is all about. And then we were off. I was glad that the course had firmed up a bit, I didn’t want our newcomers being put off by the mud on their first time. The beauty of Harrogate parkrun for 5K Your Way is that if people only fancy doing one lap they can, and I must admit I think this is what I expected, how wrong was I! Three of the participants ran the whole 5K, two power walked the whole 5K finishing well before the tail walker and the third walker was delighted that she’d managed to walk two laps and is planning her come back to attack the third lap next time. No one was able to join us for coffee afterwards, which was a shame, but hopefully as the months progress we’ll be filling Marconi’s!
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ted, and the team, for all they do in bringing us parkrun week after week, come rain or shine, and we’re absolutely delighted that Harrogate parkrun were so supportive and enabled us to roll out this initiative and put Harrogate 5K Your Way firmly on the map.
Thank you, Rebecca Ventress
Just a few reminders:
Post run refreshments - Join us at Caffe Marconi (2 Princes Square) each week after parkrun to catch up, process the results, have a coffee and a good old chat. The food and drinks are great and Sarah and her team are huge fans of parkrun! It's good fun and you can even get your result early!
In Case of Emergency - Please double check that your emergency contact details are complete and up to date on your parkrun profile. You'll find a link to your profile on your weekly results email and newsletters or via this How can I access my profile / account? link. It only takes a few moments, put could really help us to help you if and when you most need it.
Barcodes - Is your printed barcode looking tired or not scanning easily? There are a range of tough and durable plastic parkrun barcode ID tags and parkrun wristbands available via http://www.parkrun-barcode.org.uk/ These are the only UK authorised and professionally printed tags and feature the parkrun branding and logo, your athlete details and can also be personalised with your ICE (In Case of Emergency) telephone number and additional information including specific medical details. They come in a range of options and can be attached to a key ring, laces, and running vest zip or worn on a lanyard.
Volunteering - It is thanks to our great volunteer teams that parkruns around the world continue to happen every Saturday. Harrogate is no exception and without your kindness we would not be able to put on this wonderful free event. If you would like to help out please visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/harrogate/volunteer/for more information or talk to anyone in a yellow vest on parkrun day and then email us at email@example.com to get involved.
And now for the official bits:
Event number 422
25th January 2020
This week 456 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 56 were first timers and 47 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 31 volunteers:
Emma DAVID • Jenny MANNING • Rebecca VENTRESS • Ben GRANT • Yvonne Alys SKELTON • Rosemary THOMPSON • Ted WELTON • James BRADDON • Hannah PEAGRAM • Fiona BARKLEY • Jeremy SCOTT • Tim PALFREMAN • Caroline RAINBOW - GARDENER • Andrea MATTHEWS • Sarah KELLY • Christine JONES • Phil VENTRESS • Lynsey BARRACLOUGH • Nicola CREBBIN • Emma BRAUNTON • Ellie PEAGRAM • Ian GOULD • Rachel CAPSTICK • Suzy WOOD • Jonathan CLIPSTON • Lesley DAY • Tom DAY • Edward GREEN • Ben PEARCE • Talulla ROLPH • John HONNEYMAN
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Harrogate parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Rosie SMITH who recorded a time of 17:28 on 3rd October 2015 (event number 196).
The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 14:54 on 3rd November 2018 (event number 357).
The Age Grade course record is held by Andy GRANT who recorded 90.63% (16:01) on 1st September 2018 (event number 348).
Harrogate parkrun started on 21st January 2012. Since then 16,468 participants have completed 132,121 parkruns covering a total distance of 660,605 km, including 21,053 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,367 individuals have volunteered 9,623 times.