An RD’s Return!

It’s been quite a while since I undertook the role of Run Director, but it never ceases to amaze me the commitment, effort and tenacity all of you put in, irrespective how quickly you run or walk.

This week, on a beautiful summer morning, Horsham Parkrun welcomed 588 runners.  42 were first timers and Parkrun tourists came from near and far: Reigate, Newhaven, Ross-on-Wye, Copenhagen and Michigan. A very warm welcome to you all; we hope you had a great run and enjoyed the Horsham experience, as much as we enjoyed having you. We hope to see you again.

We also saw some notable milestones: Tracy Martin and Junior runner Leon Crayford reached their 50th Parkrun and Leon also achieved a PB. Dereck Warwick ran his 300th Parkrun and Gavin Philps, after several months, completed Parkrun without walking. You’ve definitely set the bar high now Gavin! Well done to all of you on your achievements.

A couple of personal items were found after Saturday’s run; a ‘bikehut’ key, and a barcode belonging to John Cooper. Please let us know if they belong to you and they can be collected at Parkrun on Saturday.

As always, Parkrun would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers who give their time to avoid running (just kidding). A huge thank you to this week’s volunteers:

Kath BARNES, Neil BARNES, Coralie BEAMISH, Diane Margaret BERRY, John BERRY, Ali BOULTON, Sharon BURCHETT, Sue CHAPMAN, James DUNNINGHAM, Samantha EDWARDS, Geoff FISHER, Jane FOOTER, Lesley GREGORY, Coral KENNEDY, Sok Wah LEE, Christian LIBERMAN, Luka MCHARDY, Claire MILLER, James MUNDEN, Annie NEARY, Simon PERKINS, Debby SCULL, Michael SILVESTRI, Kathryn SLATER, Nicola SMITH, Adam TWEED, Mark WEBB, Adam WICKS, Mark WILMOT and Yan YIP.

If you would like to know more about volunteering or the various volunteer roles, please ask.

Finally, as this week’s Run Director, I would like to thank you all for making my job painless and fun and to Phil Liberman and Coralie Beamish for taking me through the results. Parkrun wouldn’t be the same without such wonderful volunteers, runners, supporters and the fantastic community spirit that epitomises Horsham Parkrun. Well done to you all!

Mike and Team

 

Horsham parkrun rocks!

…..a phrase coined by our very own Horsham parkrun pioneer, Andy Mitchelson, who I was honoured and privileged to congratulate on his 250th parkrun today. Andy is only the 5th Horsham parkrunner to reach this amazing milestone and in true Andy style, he invited his friends to run I their favourite band t-shirt, so Horsham was very much rocking out today. Congratulations Andy and looking forward to seeing you reach your 500th!

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Other milestones celebrated today were Matthew Hogben, one of our juniors, who celebrated his 10th parkrun and then Alex Martin and Simon Hillier, who both celebrated their 50th parkruns. Congratulations to you all!

We had a lot to celebrate today, as there was also the Runner of the month (ROM) for June. The core team agreed unanimously that this should be Gary Wallis, as he had volunteered 3 times in June as well as running twice. But more than that, he has a constantly positive attitude and really ‘gets’ parkrun, becoming quite an asset to Horsham parkrun. Unfortunately Gary wasn’t in attendance, so we hope to present this to him next week, but in the meantime, congratulations Gary!

Due to the fair being in town, we had to move the start, for the second time this year. This also meant that I had to ‘funnel’ you for the start for safety reasons, being that over 500 of you have to make a sharp left hand turn onto a narrow path, 100meters after you start. I’d like to thank you all for your patience and understanding with this. Hopefully, we’ll be back to our usual start next week, but here is a photo of what over 500 runners look like running up our first hill and then round the outcrop…..a view that I will never tire of!!

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We welcomed 24 of your to your first ever parkrun this week. We really hope you enjoyed yourselves and will be back again next week. We also welcomed 31 tourists from Banstead Woods, Cranleigh, North & South Yorkshire, and Durham, but the furthest tourist came all the way from New Zealand. Andrew & Alexandra Nash both grew up originally in West Sussex, before moving to Surrey and then Devon, before emigrating to New Zealand, where their local parkrun, Tauranga Bay of Plenty has just celebrated their 1st Anniversary. It was lovely to meet you and hope you had a great parkrun morning.

It was yet another very hot and humid morning, which makes the fact that 43 of you achieved PB’s an amazing feat! Well done to you all.

Lastly, the 549 of you who ran a beautiful timed 5k today, for free, would not have been able to do so without the wonderful 38 volunteers, whom you are, I’m sure, very grateful to. We are very fortunate here at Horsham to have a core of around 30 regular volunteers, but we do feel strongly that this shouldn’t fall to the same few each week. We’d like to suggest to those of you have not volunteered yet, that you consider challenging yourself to give volunteering a go before the end of the year. Believe me, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. It is the most rewarding way to spend a Saturday morning.

Claire and Team.

 

Hot Legs!

As I arrived at the lock up at 7.40am to meet the set-up volunteers, beads of sweat were already running down my face from the short cycle ride to the park. The thermometer was nudging 20 degrees C at that early hour and predictions were for 30 degrees C by 4pm. It was going to be a hot one! We split into pairs with two going off around the park with the trolley to set out the course and check for hazards while Martyn and Andy set up the finish area. I love this time of the day as the park is quiet with only a few dog walkers and the Military Fitness crew for company. As we returned to the finish area, we were joined by ED Phil and Core Team member Claire who had set themselves a tough challenge of completing the 5k course as a three-legged pair. I don’t think they had banked on the weather being quite so challenging! All in aid of Cancer Research and with anyone guessing closest to their finish time winning a pop-up tent! The cake looked fabulous and the decision to stay away from chocolate proved to be a wise one!

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It was so nice to see everyone paying attention to the run brief and I started by thanking our volunteers and offering a suggestion that if every one of the 500+ runners volunteered just twice a year at Horsham then we wouldn’t struggle to fill our roster each week. So why not give it a go. Who knows, you might get to like it! Park surgery very kindly offered to supply extra water to those who needed it and we gave a big shout out to our 34 first timers and tourists from Reigate, Brixton and Australia! Milestones this week included: J10 for Harry Ageros and Aathavan Nithianantharajah. 50 for Stuart Carruthers, David Lees and Stuart Littler. 100 for Colin Jones and Steve Wilson. So the stats - 500 of you walked, jogged and ran around our very hot course today. We had 34 unknown park runners (DFYB!), a highest age grading of 91.52%, our three oldest park runners were in the 80-84 year bracket and 26 of you achieved new PB’s! Awesome!! Keep up the good work everyone and we look forward to seeing you volunteering really soon. Paul and the team

 

Becoming Percy Thrower!

Pardon me for the 70’s gardening BBC reference, for those who are old enough I was doing my own large scale gardening on set up last Saturday. The course has become a bit over grown with hanging branches as the trees begin to grow again with the hot and wet weather we are having!

First casualty was me as I walked up the ramp from our store as an overhanging branch whipped me across the chin and drew blood! I think when Claire saw me later she thought one of the set up crew of Andy Strang, Andy Mitch or Martyn Newton had given me a bit of a slap! Lol!

Anyway the park was looking resplendent and we welcomed our second highest attendance ever of 642 which ranked us just outside the top 10 attended parkruns this week out of over 600 events. Who would have thought our lovely lovely parkrun could have grown so much…….

We had milestones a plenty with Maisie Keeling and Zane Bowbrick doing their 10th runs. Philipp Weiss, Will Mitchell, Matt Batchelor and Tracy Harris doing their 50th and Duncan Austin and Hamish Muirden doing their 100th. A big milestone coming up in 2 weeks is our own “Horsham parkrun rocks” Andy Mitchelson who will become Horsham parkruns 5th recipient of the coveted 250 t shirt! On the 6th July his theme will be wear a Band t shirt so dig out your favourites!

On the day we had 73 first timers (didn’t see you all at the briefing!) and 73 PB’s fantastic!

Our role of honour was First finisher Richard Lee Wright (17.03) followed by an Unknown (DFYB!) with Dan Celani 3rd (18.03) and for the ladies Tara Oxley was first home (21.22) followed by Zoe Welchman (21.35) and Sarah Roberts 3rd (21.57).

It was also fantastic to see our supporters from Park Surgery running with us again and to see their fabulous t shirts! Our thanks to parkrunner Stewart Mackman for helping to make this happen.

Stewart

For those who do not know parkrun practices is an initiative for parkruns to team up with local surgeries so they refer patients to parkrun as we all know how great exercise and community is for our health and well being!

So another week is done and I pass the RD baton to Mr Paul Aylett for next week’s instalment and with the weather looking to go through the roof, stay hydrated! Also do not forget to bring your loose change next week as Claire and I will be “running” parkrun three legged as part of our year of challenges to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It’ll be fun she said………!

Till next week then, better get practising!

Phil and Team

 

 

THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME

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It’s hard to believe that just one week ago I was completing my first South African parkrun as a tourist and the experience was overwhelming! Small, intimate, picturesque but still an incredible sense of community for the 30 finishers. But I have to say that there’s no better place to be than home with Horsham Park looking gloriously green today in more ways than one!

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For our 250th parkrun, there was only one colour on everybody’s mind – GREEN! Whether you aspire to be wearing green one day or you already own the illusive 250th milestone t-shirt, it was great to see so many runners, joggers and walkers turn out in celebration of our 250th event.

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As I set out the course earlier today with the lovely VC Claire, I was heartened to hear such lovely comments from a chap exercising his dog on his bike (the gentleman on the bike, not the dog!). He stopped and said that he was a local GP and wanted to thank us for doing more for health and wellbeing of Horsham residents in the past few years than he had been able to do in his entire career. Praise indeed for the momentum with which parkrun has gripped the nation, if not the world! But the praise lies at your feet, not ours. The hundreds who turn up each week, come rain or shine, to complete your free, weekly timed run, jog or walk. You took the hardest step – the first step!

So what about the stats? Well, 35 hi-viz heroes made it happen (whoop, whoop – don’t forget to volunteer!), 627 of you completed the course today, the third highest attendance ever at Horsham! 54 first timers including tourists from East Grinstead, Worthing, Herne Hill, Reigate, Beckingham, Edinburgh and Malta! There were 81 PB’s and no less than 11 who belong to that illusive 250 club! The granddaddy of them all being Horsham’s own Geoff Fisher at a whopping 375 parkruns!

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So keep plugging away folks and soon you will be a member of team green!

Paul and the team

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