As I mentioned in my Run brief this morning, last night I was at the pub. I know it’s hard to believe for such a highly tuned athlete!! However a friend asked “So what this parkrun all about to make you turn up every week?”
For me and the reason why I got involved to set the event up some 3 .5 years ago was that’s it’s about the people. I was chatting today and 2 people said they love parkrun more for the social side than the run itself.
The first group of people are those that want to be physically active to improve their health and wellbeing. parkrun is inclusive, nobody is judging you even if you think your bum is a bit big or your beer belly has made your “six-pack” go south!! Yes, it’s impressive to see some of our athletes run around our 5k course in 17-20mins however I am inspired more by those who complete the course in 40 – 55 mins. Most would not describe themselves as runners and some may struggle to get around, but what is great is that they come back for more in an attempt to improve and get a PB. If I was sad enough to sit down and count, I could probably draw up a list of 200+ people who have started as non-runners, caught the bug, joined a club like Taunton Running Club, Taunton Running Forever, Taunton Athletics club or the Quantock Harriers and now run 10k’s, half marathons or even marathons. I am highlighting Kirsti Nelson and Ali Wassey are great examples, but really to congratulate them for their mad idea along with Duncan Gordon to run 4 half marathons in 4 weeks raising money for Charity. One down and 3 to go, good luck tomorrow
parkun is also inclusive of age. We have had a 4 year complete the course as well as an 84 year old. So the second group are the ever present people who have caught the parkrun bug like my hero Tom Moore. I won’t be rude and give away Toms age but he is in the final year of the 70-74 age group category!!. He started parkrun when Longrun started and now has run 174 parkruns, 159 of them at Longrun Meadow. Everyone has been run with a smile on his face and I think the only ones he has missed in 3.5 years are the ones where he has volunteered or been away. If he has been away he has made sure he has found a local run to take part in. Tom has also attended all the bark chippings spreading sessions.
The third group are those with a big heart who love the social side of parkrun and find it just as or even more rewarding to volunteer rather than run. They are happy to give something back to the community so you all can run. parkrun can’t operate without volunteers and thanks to the 750+ of you that actually have given up your Saturday mornings. Please don’t hesitate to volunteer by emailing Longrunmeadowhelpers@parkrun.com with your availability. A special thanks must go to stalwarts Jamie Hill and Jan Burton who are in the 100 club. However a special mention goes to our resident photographer Mike Cadman who is ever present to take those great photos many of you have said they love to see. What makes him turn up every week? I think it’s being part of the parkrun family!
A special thanks you also to the 18 volunteers who spent about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon to load, wheelbarrow and spread bark chippings on the muddy straight. Thanks also to the Taunton Deane DLO for providing them
Ok enough of the above what happened today? This week 305 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 58 recorded new Personal Bests. The event was made possible by 20 volunteers. We had visitors from Hull, London and ????, I hope you enjoyed the course. 29 were first timers and we hope you come back on a regular basis
Congratulations to the following who got PB’s today. Rhys HATHERALL, Joe ORME, Oli BURTCHAELL, Chris MERCER, Jo KEOGAN, Brian BANDYSZEWSKI, Elen FALKINGHAM, Ginnie BAKER, Edgar BILLETT, Mark BYSOUTH, Sue ENGLAND, Chris JONES, Andrew MOUNTSTEPHENS, Ursula GREEN, Steve UPHAM, Robert TURNER, Ian POTTER, Kerry NGAO, Karen LUCK-MARKS, Gill TAUNTON, Corrie SIMMONS, Carys FORD, John EDWARDS, Aaron BISGROVE, Adrian WILLOUGHBY, Jo LOWE, Megan SMITH, Gemma MORGAN, Sarah MCFADZEAN, Anna MCFADZEAN, Clare MCFADZEAN, Seth MOUNTSTEPHENS, Fenton COURT, Clare BARLOW, Emily SIMMONS, Ben ARMSTRONG, Helen ROBSON, Lauren DEVONPORT, Andy GEORGE, Lucy BYRNE, Laura ATTEWELL, Elsa MEDIN-MOPPETT, Brianna CHAPPLE-HYAM, Rosie ARMSTRONG, Helen ARMSTRONG, Milly WINGFIELD, Deb STANFIELD, Alex FERGIE, Katy ENRIQUEZ, Iris MEDIN-MOPPETT, Lucy COLLINGS, Cathy COLLINGS, Lee LAWRENCE, Ellie DRAGONETTI, Sian DRAGONETTI, Samantha NORMAN, Jeannette STREET, Gareth PARSONS
Congratulations to Miles Pearce for joining the 50 club today and thanks for the cakes
For those who are interested in who does well Hannah Taunton, was first (first overall) over the line in 17:34, Kirstie Booth, was second (6th overall) over the line in 19:03. Caroline Norris was third (25th overall) over the line in 20:54. Marcus Albano, was first (second overall) over the line in 18:15 Matthew Evans was second (third overall) over the line in 18:44 with Craig Whitemore was third (4th overall) over the line in 18:48.
See you next week