Run Report #232 – By Abby Davies

A view from the back …

With the Oxford half marathon tomorrow, I dropped an email over to Harborough HQ offering to be tail walker and run report writer – one where I keep my legs moving, the other I can be firmly sat down for!

My average time at parkrun usually means my starting point is slap bang in the middle between 25 and 30 minutes and it’s fair to say that it can get quite busy so to have the opportunity to watch parkrun unfold from the back felt really rewarding.

As tail walker, you generally see every runner, walker and marshal out on the course. You get to say well done to the fastest runners and offer encouragement those that are struggling, while thanking the marshals as you pass.

We were joined by who I think might be Market Harborough parkrun’s youngest participant – at just two and a half months’ old! It can’t be that bad – looking around at everything going on for the first lap, napping for the second and then waking up in the last half a mile to a cheer through the finish line.

Turns out as tail walkers we were also in the perfect position to watch the 1.59 marathon attempt by Eliud Kipchoge successfully complete his attempt and 15 minutes or so into parkrun we saw him cross the line!

And next time you’re looking to rest your legs, why not try tail walking for a refreshing view of parkrun.

 

Run Report #229 – 21st September by Joseph Kula-Przezwanski

What a glorious morning in the sunshine to be a special “posh” parkrun. Fellow RD Lisa (Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator), gets married today, she didn’t make it but we sent her off in style!! With Simon wearing his wedding outfit. And many people joining in with their “posh frocks and suits”.

I started running parkruns with my parents and we’ve tried to do as many as possible, San Francisco and Waterford in Ireland were probably the highlights, but Welland park if also good!

I’m doing my Duke of Edinburgh Silver and loved volunteering for my bronze last year.

I did a lot of roles last year but this year I’m really excited to be writing the run report and also training to be a VI guide as I think this is fantastic for the parkrun.

So, this brings me to the run today. It was the most amazing weather for mid-September. The support from marshals and other runners was brilliant – the power boosting high-fives and bell ringing on Austin’s corner were much needed. So many smiles as well as you will see from the photos.

We’ve also started to include pacers who run/walk to get everybody to start the parkrun which is great. It’s such an inclusive event and if you think of all the parkrun’s all over the world that are happening, how many people has this got running!

The nice weather brought out the crowds, the first finisher was a first timer at MH and then second and third both set new PBs.

Amazingly 60 new PBs were gained of the 351 runners/joggers/walkers who took part, with a 26 being first timers! Hope we can get everyone back again. Over 128 runners have completed more than 50 parkruns and 2 people have done 310 runs, an amazing number.

We also can’t forget the great effort by all the volunteers who mean that we can run these events every week. Please sign up if you feel that you can help out, I love volunteering.

 

Run Report #228 – 14th September by Anna Wright

I started volunteering at parkrun around seven months ago for my Duke of Edinburgh Award. A friend suggested that parkrun would be a good way to complete the volunteering section of my Duke of Edinburgh Award. But at this point I really had no idea what parkrun really was, apart from that it involved running around Welland Park!

So I got up early and rather reluctantly my first week. I was very nervous but soon the spirit and tight community within parkrun was very welcoming.

I quickly learnt that each week the volunteers would get a different job. So that everyone would have the chance to try all the jobs – and not just your favourite job! This was a good system and it meant I got to try all of the jobs within my seven months at parkrun.

Each week I felt more confident doing my roles. And gradually I managed to try all the roles – most of which were successful! It has been a great journey over these seven months and I am very grateful to everyone there who made the environment feel so welcoming. parkrun has enabled me to gain a lot of confidence in trying different jobs and responsibilities, so much so that I went from a nervous marshal on my first week to a Run Director and Run Report writer on my last. I enjoyed all the roles that I tried, however parkrun is nicer when it is not raining!

I really have enjoyed my time volunteering at parkrun, and each week I was paired up with someone lovely to complete the jobs at hand. parkrun is a brilliant event and I love that it works so that everyone can be involved, whether they are running or volunteering. Thank you to everyone at parkrun for making it such a special event each week.

Anna Wright

 

Run Report #225 – 24th August 2019 by Heather Thompson

What a glorious morning in the sunshine to be Tail Walking!

 

When I offered to write this week’s run report, I hadn’t realised that it also marked the 3-year anniversary of my very first parkrun, also at Market Harborough.  My parkrun attendance for the first 2 years had been sporadic.  My partner Paul is a keen golfer and preferred to tee off first thing on a Saturday morning, meaning I was looking after our son Mackenzie.  But in the last year, thanks to a change in his golfing plans, I’ve been able to run most weeks, resulting in several PBs and a desire to be involved in parkrun as often as I can.

 

A few months ago, Paul needed to play early and I didn’t want to miss out on parkrun, so I decided to volunteer both myself and Mackenzie to Marshal.  I didn’t know if he would be bored and just want to go and play in the park or if it would be a success.  Thankfully, he loved it!  Lots of high-fives were given and he wanted to volunteer again. S o, I made him the promise that we would volunteer once every month.

 

A friend suggested that Tail Walking is one of the best volunteer roles, mostly because it counts as a completed run as well as a volunteer credit.  But I think it’s great for other reasons too.  When I’m running, trying not to run into people on lap 1, watching for those overtaking on lap 2 and gasping for breath, hoping for a PB on lap 3, I don’t manage to look around and appreciate just how beautiful Welland Park is, especially by the water.  I don’t manage to always acknowledge the volunteers stationed at various points on the course who have given up their time and recognise that, without them, parkrun cannot happen as safely and as efficiently as it does and I didn’t realise the importance of the Tail Walking role.

 

The Tail Walker’s job description is easy to explain – this volunteer is the last person to cross the finish line and the last person throughout the event to ensure that no parkrunners are still on the course when the timing systems are shut down.  The Tail Walker also lets the Marshals know when their duty is done for the day and they can head for the café.

 

Today, Mackenzie and I completed Tail Walking volunteer number 3.  After checking in with Lisa, our RD this morning and donning our Hi-Vizs, there was just enough time for a trip to the zip wire before heading to the start line.  After the briefing, we were off.  It took a little time to establish who exactly was taking part in parkrun this morning and on occasion, Mackenzie and I had a little jog to catch up when we’d fallen behind.  Thank you to the runner who retrieved the tail which became detached at one point.  We’ll know for again to select the shorter of the two tails offered.  Thank you to those who gave us encouragement as you lapped us.  It makes such a difference and brings a smile and an incentive to volunteer again.  Thank you as well to Julie, our co-Tail Walker this morning, who kept us company and allowed us to sprint down the final straight to a new PB for Mackenzie.

Today, 358 of you ran, jogged or walked to an impressive 52 PBs on a rather hot morning. We welcomed 30 first timers and hope to see you all again.

 

So, if you’re recovering from injury or have races lined up for the Sunday or like me, want to complete parkrun with your child or simply fancy a walk to appreciate the scenery, why not volunteer to Tail Walk!

 

Heather THOMPSON

 

Run Report #224 – 17th August by Louise Dicicco

Whilst on holiday for two weeks in Italy and nowhere near a parkrun, what better way to feel part of it than by writing the run report for event #224!

We are in a remote village approximately 100km south of Rome, and although there are actually two parkruns in Rome, it would mean getting up at about 5am to drive there – I can’t justify that on holiday, especially when we have met up with lots of English friends in the village, and we don’t get to bed until at least 2am!  A few years ago I did bring by running kit, but it is so hot you’d have to get up really early to beat the heat, and that doesn’t work when you’ve had a very late night(or early morning).

Social Media is a great way to still feel part of the Market Harborough parkrun community when you’re not able to take part, and it has been great to read everyone’s stories of their forced tourism on 3rd August.  My tourism took me to Corby to complete my NENDY and also obtain a ‘C’ in my alphabet challenge, along with about 30 other Harborough parkrunners.  Although it was nice to try a different parkrun, it wasn’t quite the same as running in your local park, so I will be looking forward to returning to Welland Park on 24th August.

I also read with interest about the weather in the UK last weekend, and about various parkruns in danger of cancellation – it’s hard to believe when you’re experiencing 35°C heat.  Well done to everyone for their hard work to ensure that Market Harborough parkrun could go ahead safely.  It doesn’t look as if the flooding by the river had improved for this weekend either.

This now brings me onto this week’s parkrun.  I read on Facebook their appeal for various volunteers and saw that the Run Report Writer position was available, so I offered my services from afar. When I am at home, I find that parkrun is a huge part of my life and can’t imagine missing it; however, when you are on holiday, your routine is thrown completely out of the window and you lose track of days, so much so that I ‘forgot’ all about parkrunday.

Alas, when I checked Facebook later on today, I was soon reminded of what a wonderful community parkrun is, and I soon caught up on a few stories; from someone who wasn’t feeling the love for parkrun due to a poor night’s sleep, but soon overcame that once she ventured to Welland Park – to someone returning to Welland Park after almost a month off due to holidays/illness.

Whilst here, I’ve even spoken to a friend from Market Harborough who said she couldn’t possibly run 5k but having heard of the run/walk initiative felt positively encouraged and may even give it a go.

Well done to all 357 runners, joggers and walkers today who earned 49 PBs between them; there were 28 first timers of which 13 were starting their parkrun journey – welcome to Market Harborough parkrun; 38 volunteers made the magic happen; finally, well done to Jules C on joining the 100 club.

I can’t wait to see you all next week for event #225 and also the parkrun social on Sunday evening.

Louise Dicicco

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