I decided yesterday that this week I would volunteer having not done it for many months. I looked at the roster and the only slot available was Report Writer and so I put my name down. It was great as it meant I could get a time as well as volunteer and I spent the entire run today wondering what I could write about! Last week at our neighbouring Swindon parkrun in Lydiard Park, Matt Holland did his 200th Run Report so I figured if Matt can write about something where week after week there are so many parallels, then surely I could do it once in a blue moon! So here it is.
Today 113 of us, including visitors from Surrey, Cardiff, Wormwood Scrubs, Salisbury, Newbury and Chippenham (but not Australia!) gathered on Marlborough Common for its 50th milestone parkrun; tomorrow 45,000 people from 100 different countries will gather in the windy city of Chicago to run its 41st Marathon. A different set of runners, running a different distance on a different continent, but all in search of a new Personal Best (and those wonderful endorphins which we all get to enjoy after every run!). I wonder if any of those Chicago runners will do it in under 1:59:40 seconds after history was made this past week!
For our half century parkrun we reverted back to our summer, anti-clockwise course. There was a nip in the air but the sun was shining and conditions were perfect enough for 17 runners to cross the finish line quicker than ever before and come away with PBs. Congratulations to you all. We also welcomed 21 people who chose Marlborough Common for the first time this week, including 6 to do their first ever parkrun. We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to welcoming you back into the parkrun portal. Also celebrating her 50th milestone run today was Amanda Giles, who, next time we see her, may be donning her new red Milestone Tee-Shirt.
We have a new regular in Marlborough, James Mahon, whose 10-year-old son dragged him to his first run a few weeks back. His son has since ditched him for the neighbouring rugby pitch but James remains a regular.
Pete Moody, today’s run director welcomed us all and unveiled the new Marlborough Common Selfie Frame purchased from all your kind donations - thank you very much! Thanks also to the pre-event set up team who were out setting up and checking the course before we all arrived today and to ALL of the volunteers who made our 50th parkrun, run without a glitch. Also a special mention to Rachael Boonham who comes back every week to do her D of E volunteering and finally thanks to Clare Kellar who made all the delicious anniversary chocolate cupcakes which went down a treat!
It was this week last year, on our 3rd event on the Common, that we were joined by the founder himself Paul Sinton-Hewitt. He ran our course in 20 minutes and 21 seconds and since then has gone on to do more than 50 parkruns, including a few in Japan - the latest country to join the parkrun family. Did you know that if you do more than 50 parkruns in a year you qualify for the Gold Level Obsessive Badge! https://running-challenges.co.uk/badges.
If you want to do more than 52 parkruns in a year you can do an extra one on Christmas Day (but not at Marlborough Common) and on New Year’s Day you could do two (if you are feeling up to it!) as times are staged. https://www.parkrun.org.uk/special-events/
…and in 7 days time we can all congregate back on the Common and do it all over again… deal or no deal!