I popped my name on the roster …… Event #295

So, I popped my name on the roster to write the run report this week mainly because my parking permit’s expired and I knew I wouldn’t get to a cashpoint before the weekend. Little did I know that I’d get the laptop out this afternoon only to be hit with writer’s block! Writing’s always felt personal to me, and I usually spend some time thinking of a suitable a premise in my head before I write a report. We have had so many creative reports recently... so please forgive me if this one feels less than inspired, and overly peppered with exclamation marks.

Today’s event was sponsored by sunshine, and cool temperatures – it felt like it would be a good day for PB’s, and boy you didn’t disappoint! A whopping 126 parkrunners achieved their personal best times at KWP today, that’s more than 20% of everyone who came today... stunning! Just over 14% of today’s field was made up of First Timers! Massive congratulations to each and every one of you – the first one is always the hardest; just arriving this morning ready to join in makes you all superstars in my eyes.

As always, our “little” parkrun wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated team of volunteers – made up of our beloved CORE team, our equally beloved regular volunteers and of course everyone who’s doing their bit to ensure we can keep coming back each week. ROLECALL! Please put your hands together for Brian ADAMS, Richard BENHAM, Richard CHESTER, Mark CROWE, Laura EDWARDS, Ian GOURLAY, Matthew GREEN, Jules GREGORY, Simon HILL, Fiona HILL, Pauline HOWES, Olivia JENNINGS, Brian JONES, Eve LEAR, Lesley PALMER, Penny RANDELL, Alex SANDHAM, Kirsty SMITH, Dean SNOWDEN, Lil SOUTER, Sam STARKEY, Matthew STEPHENS, Andy STRETTON, Ashley TAYLOR, Susan THOULD & Sharon WHITEHEAD. I’m sure that, like me, you recognise most of these names from countless previous events. Volunteering at parkrun for the first time was a massive step for me, but has really made me feel like a part of the community; I would urge each and every one of you to give it a go.

Now back to the event... today’s first parkrunner home was Chris BAXTER – bringing it home in a mere 2 seconds over his PB at 16:29. A mere 5 positions later in an impressive 18:00 and with a stunning WAVA grading of 87.31% was Junior Olivia JENNINGS in first position for the ladies.

Let’s talk milestones! There were 26 parkrunners on the course today who are part of the V25 club – the best one in my opinion. Emelia CHILD joined the other 22 Junior runners who have now completed parkrun at least 10 times. 108 of us have completed at least 50 parkruns now; with 4 joining the club today. Well done & congratulations to Hannah BOLGER, Kevin LANGTREE, Peter RATHBONE, and Jackie RUTHERFORD. Hannah & Peter marked the occasion with New PB’s - well done! There were 80 parkrunners out there in the 100 club – including new recruit Bill HOWES – great commitment there to parkrun. No-one joined the 3 out there today in the 250 club.

Talking of parkrun clubs puts me in the mind of running clubs... and what a turnout there was today – a whopping 41 different clubs were represented today with their members making up nearly 25% of the field. The Badgers, perhaps unsurprisingly as prolific and local as they are, were the most represented. The Peel Road Runners were the second most represented club, with This Girl Runs – Tamworth coming in third. I also happen to know that there were a small contingent of Runderbirds out there today – a supportive Facebook group with a fabulous name. Well done all!

This report wouldn’t be complete without a small mention going to those mad-hatters who ran multiple laps of the course this morning. Starting out at 8:15, a group of regular parkrunners made it round the course between 2 and 5 times each this morning – all in support of Tamworth Wellbeing Cancer and Support Centre in Stonydelph.

What else is left to say? ...probably quite a lot, but I’m hungry and need to cook dinner so that’s your lot for this week. See you next Saturday to do it all again!