Thanks to the great report writing team we have here on the Isle of Wight, this is the first report I have needed to do since July (having done 141 previously!). It’s not that I don’t like writing them (I actually LOVE writing them!) but it is just so hard to get it done and posted during a busy day at work. I am apologising in advance in case I have to cut anything short or omit anything due to lack of time today – we’ll see how it goes. If YOU would like to write the occasional report and be part of our team please let me know. There is no commitment to do a certain number of reports every year or anything like that, you will simply be sent the roster every 3 months and if you want to take a date during that time you can. You can write what you want and however much (or little) you want... the world is your lobster!
So what’s going on today? Well, we had a very rambunctious contingent from Wales with us on this beautiful, sunny, Autumnal morning. Whilst red squirrels scampered in the arboretum our Welsh parkrunners were scampering about the fields of Medina, and even doing rolly-polys over the finish line! There was a lot of fun and laughter, and I think this really shows what parkrun is all about. Fast or slow, young or old, running or jogging – as long as you do it with a smile, a thank-you to the volunteers and a supportive word for the parkrunners around you, that’s all that matters! Welcome (croeso!), well done and thank you, Welshonians!
As far as I could see we also had visitors from Dorset, London, Worcestershire, Tunbridge Wells, Nottingham, Basingstoke, Lincolnshire, Essex and East Sussex plus our “regular” parkrun tourist Kye Porritt from Australia! Kye was doing her 10th Medina parkrun. Sorry I didn’t see you for a chat, Kye x
Young James Fletcher had a great start to his weekend as he not only finished first today but got a fabulous PB of just over 19 minutes too! I was very excited to see my club-mate David Blake cruising over the line close behind, and whilst it wasn’t quite a PB for Dave it was the lowest finishing position he has ever achieved at parkrun, so I reckon he’ll be pretty chuffed by that! Teen Ciaran Gibson also just missed out on a PB to finish 3rd. Clare Martin was holding the flag for the ladies, finishing 11th overall on her first ever go on an IOW course. Once again it was one of my club-mates who roared into 2nd place for the ladies (a magnificent 13th overall), as Rosie Sexton achieved her PB in style. Fellow IOWRR Jodie Wilmott, who has bounced back amazingly well after debilitating knee surgery, was the 3rd lady home and only 10 seconds off her own PB.
Lovely Megan Eggeling, our astounding 70-something runner-extraordinaire, was back on the course today and achieving the highest age-graded score of 87.07% (I should think so too!). Megan also finished in 28:21, which a lot of us younger runners can only dream of. What a legend! I did notice that there was one other person in the V75-79 category out there today, and would therefore like to say a big well done to Ann Aspden. What amazing role models these ladies are.
There were 3 people making their parkrun debut today, so a very warm welcome to Samantha Bass, Rachel Richards and Kellie White. We all hope you enjoyed it and will make parkrun your regular start to the weekend. At the other end of the scale, one regular was doing his 200th parkrun, so congrats to the awesome Craig Wilson (who also completed a brutal “Ironman” event just a few weeks ago!). Meanwhile Katie MacKenzie was achieving her parkrun century this morning, whilst Tony Edmunds-Lamb and Emma Hyland earned their first ever parkrun t-shirts with 50 parkruns apiece.
A few juniors are on the cusp of 10 parkruns, but if you have youngsters who find 5km too much don’t forget there is always Junior parkrun on a Sunday morning (same time and location as parkrun). This is a 2km course just for juniors (14 and under). Parents are allowed to run with their kids, but you just mustn’t cross the finish line at the end. Don’t forget your barcode! #DFYB
I noticed that some of our regulars were missing today, and assume that they must be preparing for the Ventnor Fell Races instead. GOOD LUCK to any of you tackling one or more of these epic “undulating” races over the weekend… what a challenge! It is also the West Wight Triathlon tomorrow, so all the best to any parkrunners doing that, and today I believe there is a “Powder Run” over in Porchfield to raise funds for Age UK. The weather is gorgeous for this “Family Fun Day”, and I do hope some of you are able to go and support the event. For those of us at work all day, we think of you with envy!
Next week John has prepared a new course for our delectation. We will be meeting in the usual field but the route will be different, and the start will be near the gap between the two school fields. Please arrive by 8:45am so that you don’t miss all the announcements and pre-run route run-through.
I will finish, as I so often do, with a parkrun song, this time dedicated to our wonderful Run Directors (today Neil “Coops” Cooper took the reins and did his usual cracking job) and all the tireless volunteers (including Tony Murphy (below) who did the time-keeping today for the first time).
For this song I would like to credit a certain Mr Bjorn Ulvaeus and Mr Benny Andersson for the music (not sure it will catch on but they did their best) and I will ask you to sing it – out loud of course – to the tune of a little song called “Dancing Queen” (I know you’ll like this one, Cath Love!):
Friday night and the course is planned,
Run Director has checked the land,
Everything is measured,
Everything is done,
We’re in the mood for a run.
Anybody could be that guy,
All it takes is a selfless eye,
You can be just like him,
All you have to do,
Is be a lovely dude.
And if you’re in the moo-oood;
Come be a vo-lun-teer,
Full of cheer,
At our parkrun here,
It will all be clear (ooh yeah)
YOU can scan,
YOU can he-elp
Marshal or give tokens out
Spread good cheer
At your parkrun here!
JoJo R. xx