So many stories……..

We all know that Horsham parkrun has produced loads of great stories of friendship, achievement and so much more over its five and a half years and on a week where our fabulous “Award Winning” film was shown at The Capitol again, this Saturday just gone, we celebrated all that was great and good about our beloved parkrun!

The biggest one of course for me as Run Director on the day was my Son Christian and my Step Daughter Danielle doing their 50th and 100th respectively on the same day! I had dreamed so many times as I racked up my 50th then my 100th as well as my Volunteer 25 that one day I might see Christian reach a parkrun running milestone but with him never being big on running I thought that would never come. But it did and with Danielle walking her way to her 100th it was one hell of a day finished off with so many of you waiting (and waiting!) by the finish line with poppers galore!

But that was far from the end of it……. We also had Simon Collins doing his 50th. Simon has quietly got on with his running but I will never forget that it was him who bought our former parkrunner of the month Barnaby Smith down to parkrun and walked round encouraging him every week in his early days! That sort of comradery and selflessness is truly a beautiful quality and you have really earnt that 50 shirt! Especially as he looked like he was beasted round by his brother Jonathan on Saturday!

We also had Gary Burchett who seems to have waited forever just to get to 50! Gary has had some awful luck with injuries in the last couple of years and has had to work very hard to get back to his running, but in the meantime rather than just stay away from parkrun feeling glum he has got on down to volunteer over 50 times and was then cruelly denied his run 2 weeks ago when we had to cancel. So it was a delight to see him finally complete it with a posse of mates in tow!

And of course then we had Mikey Saunders, what can you say! Doing his 100th (finally!) he is the most encouraging and friendly chap I know! Always welcoming to new runners, one of our part time Run Directors, a blind runner guide and a volunteer of over 100 times! He even waited till I was Run Director to do it as he did my 250th! He was also denied his day on the cancellation!

Of course, as I said on Saturday, ALL our milestones are special, so a huge well done also to Steve Entecott, Jackie Mather, Ian Mitchell and Samantha Edwards who all completed their 50th runs!

So what of the rest of the day may you ask? Well it was a bit of a damp dark start as we set up but it soon brightened up to a very pleasant morning. 398 of you walked and ran round and we hope you had a lovely morning. The big course news for the regulars among you was that the rather prickly bush just past the portaloos on the hill, had gone (now posthumously known as Paul’s bush! See last weeks run report!).

Also, the first thing I had the pleasure of awarding, was parkrunner of the month for January to Joe Minogue. Another fantastic story of perseverance and achievement! Joe started parkrunning in October 2019 and in his 13 parkruns so far has bought his time down from 53 to 39 minutes! Much more to come and I am sure that his brother Luke’s post last week touched a lot of us. It was also fantastic to see the whole Minogue family down to see this special moment and have a run too. As I said in my run briefing, if any of you have a lovely story, however big or small, please, please let us know and maybe that special person could end up being a future parkrunner of the month!

As to the run itself, occasional Horsham parkrunner, Barnaby Cheadle-Hunt, was first past the post in 18.53 followed by an unknown (#dfyb) and then Tim Taylor in 19.15 and for the ladies it was Martha Wightman in a new PB of 21.51 followed by Louise Ragless (21.55) and Zoe Welchmann (22.36).

A lovely morning was capped off by some great cake and coffee!

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Horsham parkrun rocked, as usual!

Till the next time……

Phil and Team.