Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun #244 – 18/01/2020

Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun #244 – 18/01/2020
It always intrigues me what makes us parkrunners take the plunge for the first time, and what makes some of us return again and again whilst others drift away. I can’t remember what made my daughter first give parkrun a go around 18 months ago, but I thought we were on to something when she did 3 weeks back-to-back. Then she stopped.
I’d occasionally ask over the following months if she’d like to join us again, but was always met with a polite “no thanks Dad!”. Roll forward to two weeks ago, when a friend out-of-the-blue asked her if she’d like to do parkrun last weekend. “Sure” was the instant reply. Lesson learnt about getting the right person to ask! After that comeback, she asked if we could follow up with Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun this weekend where we are occasional visitors.
We rocked up this morning to absolutely glorious conditions – sun, very cold, no wind – to what must be one of the larger turnouts Lee-on-the-Solent has seen. We were always somewhere near the middle of the 707 runners and somehow the relatively tight course worked despite the numbers.
So much credit has to go the well organised and numerous volunteers who absolutely nailed every role, including three hardy souls who turned up an hour early with brooms to sweep the path clear of shingle! We were also lucky to have Dianne Lawrence signing for the RD’s intro, making one of society’s most inclusive activities now even more so.
Hats off to everyone who ran or walked today, with PBs throughout the field. Honours for the quickest times were Richard Bateman (17:10), Rob Greenwood (17:23), Andy Simpson (17:43); and Katy Bradley (21:31), Amy Smalley (21:46), Matilda Charles (22:35). And particular congratulations to this week’s milestone achievers – Sue Rourke (100), Emily Murphy (100), Stuart Crisp (100) and Tony Ryan (50).
As for my daughter, she ran the whole way for the first time, picked up a 3m 20s PB, and was a staggering 20 minutes quicker than her chatty run/walk with her friend last week! Fingers crossed she’ll be back for more, as I hope will the 19 folk who completed their first ever parkrun today. The success story we’re all part of just keeps growing!
Mike Bridgeman