Continuing the trend of unseasonably warm autumn mornings, our Run Director, Catherine, and three volunteers were in the park enjoying the sunshine at 8:00 a.m. as we set up and checked the course. After a late panic on Thursday, when we feared we may have to cancel due to a shortage of volunteers, and a fantastic response to last minute requests for more, set up was remarkably swift and the event ran excellently.
There’s a bit of a focus on volunteers in this week’s Run Report, starting with thanking all of this week’s volunteers for making the event possible: Mohammed AHMED, Matthew Isaac Peter ATKINSON, Kathryn AXON, Ian BRADSHAW, Ann BREWSTER, Simon CHATTEN, Dave DARWENT, Allison DAVIS, Paul DAVIS, Tim DRIVER, David HODGES, Keith Tud JACKSON, Chris JUBB, Dot KESTERTON, Zaheer MAHMOOD, Francine MARSHALL, Catherine MCKEOWN, Fran MCLEAN, Helen MISZCZAK, Ann-Marie MULVEY, Annie NAYLOR, Emma NICHOLSON, Joel PAISLEY, Nicky PAUL, Michael PEARSON, Andrew ROWLAND, Angie SMITH, Sheila SPROT, Daniel TWORT, Finley WHEATCROFT, Susan WHEATCROFT.
It’s fantastic that amongst the volunteers were six people who also ran: Ann BREWSTER – Tail Walker, Allison DAVIS – pre-event set-up and first volunteering role, Paul DAVIS – pre-event set-up and first volunteering role, Nicky PAUL – Tail walker, Millhouses first timer, member of Walking at parkrun club and the most experienced participant today with 478 Parkruns under his belt, Michael PEARSON – Barcode Scanner and earning a new PB today at 18m06s, and Susan WHEATCROFT – Barcode Scanner and Millhouses First timer, visiting from Beeston Athletics Club in Nottinghamshire.
Hopefully these six Parkrunners’ achievements are inspirational to budding volunteers who may not yet have realised how many roles can be combined with running too.
Also worth a mention is the number of volunteers today who had never volunteered before: in addition to Allison DAVIS and Paul DAVIS as noted above, Simon CHATTEN, Ian BRADSHAW, Andrew ROWLAND and Daniel TWORT volunteered for the first time today. And even if you have volunteered before, trying a role that is new to you can sometimes take courage too, so my last special mention for volunteering goes to Matthew Isaac Peter ATKINSON, Chris JUBB and Tim DRIVER who all tried roles they had never done before for the first time today.
Our Run Director had an Apprentice today:
Now for a focus on today’s participants: 293 Parkrunners joined us to run, jog, trot and walk today.
Run Director Catherine about to shout “GO!”
It was exciting as timekeeper to watch the three front-runners shoot off at the start, only to appear 5m28s later from the trees by the W&H less than 5 seconds apart. Less than 11 minutes after the start two of the three front-runners appeared by the W&H again, and as they turned the corner down the tree-lined avenue back towards the gym area they were neck-and-neck. As they passed the Skate Park area first and second places were transposed. By now they had left their 3rd counterpart almost 11 seconds behind them. However, as 16m12s ticked by on the clock Tim and I – having half expected a new course record - wondered where any of the three of them were until they all appeared again, but this time wide apart and in the original order they’d set off.
It was also exciting to see the passion and enthusiasm that our tail walkers put into encouraging the parkrunners towards the back of the field, not just as they approached the finish line, but every time they were within sight on every lap.
And it was very noticeable how many junior (some of them very junior) runners we now have and what a cracking pace they all move at! There were some incredibly tight finishes from some younger runners who overtook not only their older running companions but other runners in the finish funnel.
So here are some statistics, shout-outs and special mentions.
We had 67 Millhouses first-timers today, of whom 9 were on their first ever Parkrun and we especially welcome those 9 and hope you’ll be back many more times in the future.
There were 68 new Personal Bests today – sadly that’s too many to name you all here but well done to each and every one of you.
We welcome Richard MCELVANNY to the 100 club today: congratulations on your 100th Parkrun Richard. We welcome Mark PERKINS and Jennifer MACHAN to the 25 club today too – and Jennifer joined the club with a new PB too – congratulations to you both. We also welcome Barney KESTEVEN-MCGRATH and Rebecca RABLEN to the Junior Parkrunners’ 10 club today – Barney joining the 10 club with a new PB too: congratulations Barney and Rebecca.
We did, unfortunately, have a few runners with no barcodes again today, so if you were one of the 17 “unknown” runners with no time, we hope you’ll be back again and that next time we see you, you’ll get a time. Well done for taking part.
Lastly this week, some forthcoming attractions to look forward to:
next week’s event is a running club ‘takeover’ with Steel City Striders providing most of the volunteers.
Subject to being able to get enough volunteers, we are holding a New Year’s Day Millhouses Parkrun on Saturday Jan 1st 2022 at the usual 9:00 a.m. start time. We’d love to see you there, running in to the New Year, but we do need enough volunteers to avoid having to cancel it. If you already know that you will be available on the day, but perhaps don’t think you’ll quite feel up to running, do volunteer as soon as you like.