Event #209 – the one with the blindfolds!

Well done to everyone that took part in parkrun today! What a glorious morning it was to run!

This was my first parkrun in 4 months as I had been in training mode for both the London and Belfast marathons. Although I have volunteered at every opportunity over the last 4 months, it was nice to run today for a change. I would 100% recommend volunteering if you have a Saturday morning where you are not running or busy, because the camaraderie between the volunteers at Luton is something very special. Without the hard work they put in behind the scenes, parkrun would not be possible and I hope I speak on behalf of everyone to say how grateful we all are for them.

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It was parkrun that initially gave me the courage to run with so many other people and that eventually gave me confidence to run longer distances and eventually complete two marathons in a week as part of my efforts to raise money for Headway, a brain injury charity. If you'd like to donate to my cause, you can do it here.

It was fantastic to see so many people from the Luton parkrun community also run at the London Marathon. A special mention must go the Team Luton for their outstanding efforts for Children with Cancer UK and to Phillipe Sleet who like me, won a place in the ballot but raised a significant amount for Guide Dogs UK.

Well done to Rob Barnes for hitting a PB as the first finisher in a time of 16:41. Well done to all the first timers that ran today as well. I hope you all enjoyed it and come back for some more!

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The coming together of so many local people (and some tourists) to run on a Saturday morning is a great boost to their physical and mental health. I always find it amazing how much of a national institution parkrun has become. Here are some statistics I’m going to throw at you to put things into perspective:

There were 351 parkrun finishers today.
This equates to 1755 kms in total between all finishers.
This converted to miles is 1091 miles.

This is approximately the distance from Wardown park to the outskirts of Budapest.

In the UK as a whole there were 156,641 parkrunners.
This equates to 783,205 km which is 486,661 miles
This would be enough miles to take you to the moon and back.

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A couple of other things to mention today:

You may have seen pairs of runners with their hands linked to each other and with one wearing a blindfold. There are a number of volunteers who have been training as a guide runner to help those with a visual impairment. Again, it is so incredible to see the community spirit in matters like this. All I would ask, is please be aware of them during your parkrun. From a safety point of view please make sure you are positioned to the right to let others pass on your left.

Please do also consider giving anything you can towards our defibrillator fundraising appeal. The current defibrillators are located at the cricket club and at Studley Road Fire station. It would take a significant amount of time to get a defibrillator to anyone that is experiencing a cardiac arrest, so having one of our own would massively decrease the chances of death! The aim is to raise £900. If every parkrunner donated £3 (the cost of a cup of coffee), we would have be able to deal with any cardiac arrest in the quickest time possible. Donating is really easy. Please click here and then click DONATE TO PARKRUN.

Stay classy Luton parkrunners

San Jay

Although there was no official photographer on Saturday, all the historical photos can be found here.

Dates for Your Diary

May 25th - Chase the Pacer.

 

Defibrillator fundraising appeal

We love Luton Wardown parkrun and the amazing community that has developed over the past 4 years. We are really fortunate that we have never had a major incident but as more and more people join the Luton Wardown parkrunning family, including the junior parkrun, the numbers will eventually start to work against us and the risk of someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest at one of our two parkruns will increase.

At the moment the 5k parkrun have the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) located at the Cricket Club and at Studley Road Fire Station, the Junior parkrun have access to the Fire Station AED. However time really is vital during a cardiac arrest and the chances of a positive outcome for the sufferer can be dramatically increased if an AED is available and deployed quickly.

AEDs are portable electronic devices that in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest use an electric shock to re-establish an effective heart rhythm. An AED close by can be the difference between life and death.

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What do we need?
The core teams for both parkruns have been looking at our options for providing the best AED access for the two events. We have concluded that the best overall solution is to buy our own AED. This would be shared between the two Wardown events and on run days would be located centrally on each course for rapid deployment, if ever needed, for a runner, volunteer or member of the public.

We need to raise £900 to buy the AED (via parkrun’s discount scheme) and an insulated storage rucksack.

We really need your help…
This is where you, our fantastic parkrunning community come in as we are launching an appeal to raise the funds to buy our own AED.

All donations, however big or small are very, very welcome.

Donating is easy!
parkrun volunteers aren’t allowed to handle cash - so cash collections and donations aren’t possible. However, the preferred means of donating on-line is still pretty straightforward:

1. Click on the image below.
2. Click again on the "Donate to parkrun" image you’ll see in the middle of the new page to open up the payment page. You can pay via PayPal or with a credit/debit card.

3. Please add “For Luton Wardown parkrun AED” in the ‘Add special instructions’ box.

If you’d prefer to make a donation by cheque, please make it payable to ‘parkrun UK Ltd’ and send it to parkrun UK Ltd, 96a Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9LB, with a short note to indicate that it’s for the Luton Wardown parkrun AED appeal.

100% of your donation will go to Luton Wardown parkrun

If you have any questions please pop us an email at: lutonwardown@parkrun.com
We're very keen to involve as much of our community as possible in this fund raising process - if anyone has any suggestions or ideas we would love to hear from you.

Thank you from the Luton Wardown and Wardown Junior parkrun teams

 

Event #208 – the one with ‘May the fourth be with you’

One of our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers, Zak sets the scene for us this week...

Saturday 4th of May. A day of sunlight and calm waves of wind.

Hundreds of runners from around Luton and surrounding areas have congregated at the park located at the heart of Luton town. Wardown.

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The 5K run stretches across the landscape of the park offering beautiful views of natural beauty... as many dress up as Jedi’s to celebrate the great Star Wars day.

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At a steady pace the crowd of dedicated sprinters one by one finish the anticipated course. Allowing them to finally cross the finish line of the community based marathon. The exhaustion you feel is like nothing you have felt ever before. You are completely drained physically, mentally and emotionally. Your legs hurt to the bone, at the same time you are gasping for air while your throat screams for moisture.

All of this is a small price to pay for the overwhelming feeling of self pride and accomplishment you are overcome with.

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And so to the stats. This week 359 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 40 were first timers with tourists from as far afield as Scotland and Cirencester, and 44 runners achieved new Personal Bests. The field was led home by Paul HALFORD in a time of 18:35 with a staggering 80% age grading. Tomasz SOLAREWICZ was second over the line in 18:49 and Edvin MAND was third at 19:03.  The leading ladies this week were Christine LATHWELL in 20:35, with Lindsey BIERTON second over the line in 24:17. Faiza HUSSAIN was third with a time of 24:40. Well done everyone!

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Milestones this week:  Thomas completed his 10th 5k parkrun, Ann Lawlor ran her 50th and Allan Kirk, Mark Scanlan, Beccy Shotbolt all completed their 100th. Congratulations to you all!

Unfortunately there were two different parking related requests this week. The first from the bowls club: please don't block their bollards. The second from our café hosts at the cricket club: please don't park in the cricket club. It is cricket season and the cricketers need the spaces.

This week's event was made possible by these awesome volunteers:
Nicola ABUBACKER, Yetunde ADEYEMI, Raheem ALI, Alan BARRY, Diane BELL, Paul BRADY, Reg BRETT, Peter BROWN, Graham CROUCH, Angeline CUMMINGS, Frank GICQUEL, Anthony GREEN, Dean HAYWOOD, Marie HAYWOOD, Thomas HERNANDEZ-O'HARA, Teresa LOUGHBROUGH, Zakariya MIAH, Ash NEALE, Tracy O'HARA, Kate POTTER, Malcolm RANKIN, Jillian RUSSELL, Kathy SADLER, David SMITH, Florence TOFFA, Geoffrey WHITE, Michelle WITHEY, Claire WORBY, Durcan WORBY

Why not get involved and volunteer?

For a full set of results and lots of other stats have a look here.
Malcolm's May the Fourth photos can be found here.
 For any historical photos you can spend a few hours browsing here.

Dates for Your Diary
May 25th
- Chase the Pacer.

Don't forget Nicola Moody's parkrun inspired exhibition is at the Wardown House Museum for the next few weeks.

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Event #207 – the one with the Stopsley Striders takeover

The weather wasn’t quite as glorious as it was last week but the windy morning certainly didn’t keep any of our runners away.
314 runners took part this morning.
26 First timers to Luton Wardown including 14 brand new parkrunners.
And a whopping 60 PBs - that is 19% of runners today.

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If you saw more runners in red than usual this is because it was the Stopsley Striders takeover, with 35 of our runners completing the parkrun and many more volunteering - in their Striders vests hidden underneath warm clothing.

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Congratulations to all our milestone runners today - there were 50 milestone runs today for -
Elisabeth Grover (who had the most well timed milestone run, 50th parkrun on her 50th birthday the day before her marathon run)
Opal Gibson
Sileshi Tesema
Ursula Hewson

4Elisabeth on her 50/50.

Heather Gray completed her 100th event today

Krisztina Crirbesz achieved her 25 volunteer milestone.

It is London marathon tomorrow where so many of us are inspired to put on a running shoes and take on a new challenge. Whether you’re a seasoned runner inspired to go that bit further or you haven’t run in a while and have been inspired to start up again, London marathon brings out the best in people and I challenge anyone to watch coverage - whether you know anyone running it or not and not shed a tear.

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Good timing then that Stopsley Striders start their beginners course on Thursday evening (2nd May), this is for all those who would like to learn how to run and do it with other people. Running is easier and good fun when running with others, everyone is welcome.

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Thank you to our 42 volunteers today as always parkrun wouldn’t be able to happen without you.

Good luck all of those running London marathon tomorrow - just remember it is only 8.4 parkruns and you don’t have to go up the hill 4 times.

Zena

For a full set of results and lots of other stats have a look here
Malcolm's wonderful #207 photos can be found here.
 For any historical photos you can spend a few hours browsing here.

Dates for Your Diary
May 25th
- Chase the Pacer.

Don't forget Nicola Moody's parkrun inspired exhibition is at the Wardown House Museum for the next few weeks.

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Event #206 – the one with our 4th birthday!

4 years!
206 Saturday mornings where people have come together to be part of the awesome thing that is parkrun in Luton.

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We have had rain, snow, sleet and sunshine
We have had fancy dress - colours, animals, Halloween, Christmas (and the ever-growing running Nativity scene!)
We have had milestones - from juniors getting to 10 runs to Dave Smith getting to 250
We have had sadness - losing Lisa, one of our original run directors to cancer at 37 years old
We have had a so much joy, laughter and happiness
We are many things to many people
We reflect a wide cross section of Luton - different shapes, sizes, ages, genders, colours, cultures, religions.

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We are Luton Wardown parkrun
A community to be very proud of.
Here's to the next 4 years.
Kate

Milestones this week:
Run Club
10 - Arsh Ahmed
50 - Mark Duggan, Mark Sage, Nikki Cox
Volunteering
25 - Aman Sultan, Krisztina Czirbesz
50 - Nikki Coz
100 - Frank Gicquel

For a full set of results and lots of other stats have a look here
Malcolm's wonderful #206 photos can be found here.
 For any historical photos you can spend a few hours browsing here

Dates for Your Diary
April 27th
 - Stopsley Striders Takeover and Chase the Pacer.
Don't forget Nicola Moody's parkrun inspired exhibition is at the Wardown House Museum for the next few weeks.

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