On the 7th May 2011 Ray Scovell fulfilled his dream of bringing parkrun to the Isle of Wight – 37 finishers took part and here we are over 10 years later still running. On that first run Mark Hill took part and Mark still comes along and runs and volunteers, and he ran his 131st parkrun today. He has also taken on the Co-event Director job at Medina junior parkrun and turns out there most weeks keeping everything running smoothly.
On the 17th September 2011 event number 20, an 8 year old lad started running with his family and on the 24th September 2011, event 21, I ran my first parkrun with my husband Dave and my friend Chris. On that first parkrun day for me way back then I met that young 8 year old lad - Alex - and I started to run along with him happily chatting, and we chummed up and began running together every week. Over the years that young boy has grown and is now an 18 year old young man who is 6 ft 2 ins tall! After about 4 years of running and chatting together, his mum said to me that in the New Year he would be running on his own. Oh no, that was not the case – I tried on several occasions to get Alex to run on his own and leave me to run on my own, but he was not having any of it – so here we are 10 years and one day later we still run together. If Alex had a late night or was away and wasn’t actually at parkrun with me I would have shouts of ‘where is your mate?’, ‘where is your sidekick?’ or ‘where’s Alex?’. People expect to see us running together and he is the best running buddy you could wish for. People often say how nice it is that my grandson runs with me every week. Both of my grandsons run parkrun regularly, but no not with me!! Alex has taken his A level exams and reached his 18th birthday and has gone to Manchester University and today was my second parkrun without him alongside me. Alex assures me he will take his barcode to Uni with him and as Manchester parkrun is quite close by to his campus we’ll see if he makes it sometimes. He hasn’t left me to completely run on my own though and will be back on his uni vacations and will come and run with me. Miss you Alex and wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life.
Dave in the meantime has gone on to run 319 parkruns, volunteer 154 times at 5k and 98 times at juniors. Chris is nursing an injury and has notched up 363 runs, she has volunteered on 80 occasions at 5k and 102 times at Medina junior parkrun.
So today without Alex by my side there were another 177 people out and about and running event number 462 to get their Saturday morning parkrun fix, with Stuart Backhouse being the first to cross the line in a time of 20.14 and the first lady to finish was Claire Grace in 18th spot.
Some milestones were reached today with Jenny Mitchell and Natalie Rose running their 100th parkruns and Kevin Fry (our first time briefing volunteer) running his 400th parkrun and volunteering for the 431st time. Kev has also volunteered on 14 occasions at junior parkrun – brilliant all round Kev – thank you.
Another two milestones recorded today were 200 runs for Dee Blackman and Yvonne Sexton. Dee celebrated her 200th by also volunteering to tail-walk, making that the 182nd time she has volunteered. Yvonne was only going to run 50 times and then stop, and here she is still going! Yvonne has volunteered 101 times at our 5k run and 27 times at junior parkrun, where she can also regularly be seen running with her 4 year old grand daughter, Ethel, who also marshalled with grandad Pete for us today. Without these people volunteering in some way or another we would not be able to keep our parkrun events going whether 5k or juniors. If you can help out in some way then please email in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add you to the roster. There were 40 volunteers out and about on the course marshalling and sending us all in the right direction and making sure there were no problems, some were setting up the course, packing away, scanning, timing, processing our results, giving out our finish tokens covering all the jobs that need doing in order for our run to take place. Big thanks to you all.
There was a minor mishap today with the finish tokens, but as always everyone pulled together to sort this out, no-one was any the wiser and everything kept running smoothly.
Two weeks ago Basingstoke parkrun didn’t have enough volunteers to marshal the course and time keepers were pulled off their spots to marshal around the course to keep runners safe, so no time keepers meant that every runner who turned up to run was given a time of 59.59 and 424 runners took part – let’s hope we don’t have to do that at Medina IOW parkrun...
Last week Mick Lyons took a tumble down the big hill and we are pleased to report back that he had no breakages and he is recovering ok.
Three new runners came along and joined us for the first time today, welcome to Charlie, Mary and Commeletia – I wonder how long it will be before they are hooked like all of those mentioned above, and the rest of us who come along week in week out!!
The festival took place last weekend on our home turf at Medina, and there was only a brief shower on the Sunday, so here is hoping the thousands of people trampling over our course haven’t done too much damage and we will be able to return to Medina in the not too distant future. Until then we will be at our ‘holiday course’ at Appley, Park PO33 1ND, and we look forward to seeing you all there next week, still with limited parking.
Have a good week and stay safe and well.