welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter James Saunders has been volunteering, we’re recruiting for research, there’s an update on parkrun club t-shirts and we ran a mile.
Last Sunday parkrunners from across the UK including our founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt gathered on The Mall and ran a mile. The Westminster Mile to be precise where we had our very own parkrun wave. The atmosphere was absolutely electric as parkrunners young and old, small and tall, and from near and far mingled before we got under starter’s orders.
The very best thing about it was how everyone hung around afterwards to cheer fellow parkrunners across the line. As Ian Richards so beautifully put it on the parkrun UK Facebook page… “My partner was amazed at the applause she received when she crossed the finish line of the parkrun wave. She was nearer the back than the front, but felt like a champion. I told her that everyone is a champion at parkrun.”
Save the date and run a mile with us on the 29th of May 2016. We’ll be there to support you. It’s the parkrun way!
positive psychology study
I am a positive psychology student from the University of East London and I am recruiting participants for my study which is looking at how running may help men recover positively following a cancer diagnosis. The research is aimed at men who took up running after they were diagnosed and aims to find out how running may help in recovery, why men select running over other activities and what aspects of running are important for psychological well-being.
There is very little research that has looked at how running may help men following a cancer diagnosis and I am hoping to interview four men (over the age of 18 years) to find out about their experiences. Interviews would be through Skype or FaceTime and would last approximately one hour. If you are interested in taking part, know someone who might be, or would like further information, please get in touch via email: email@example.com.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.
We can’t wait to see the new parkrun club t-shirts from Tribesports being worn with pride throughout the land. Thank you for your patience. The wait is nearly over.
We emailed everyone earlier this week with an update and shared the news via our social media channels but just in case you’ve missed it here it is again.
Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)
Number of runners - 72,127
Number of volunteers - 5,782
Number of first timers - 11,007
Number of PBs - 17,623
feedback from the field
Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners
I have plenty of good reasons why I prefer running to volunteering. Busy job, long commute, three young kids. If I have a free Saturday morning, I want to be running, not watching. However, I recently had a wake-up call when I read that Hampstead Heath parkrun was cancelled due to a lack of volunteers. I realised all parkruns could go that way if we don't do our bit. So I volunteered on Saturday, and not only enjoyed it, but also saw a different side of parkrun - the incredible job our run directors do, the excitement as the first runners speed through and the sense of teamwork and camaraderie as we battled the dodgy scanners to get everyone a result. I'm reformed!
On the 23rd of May 2015 my husband Dave and I were in the midst of our 25th wedding anniversary celebrations and we decided to run Great Lines parkrun in our original wedding outfits. At first I was nervous, with tweaking I'd managed to get my dress to fit, but I was still nervous. I got to thinking about parkrun, they have always supported me, through those first scary weeks, through injury and through volunteering. I had nothing to be nervous about, my parkrun buddies ran as my bridesmaids, our family and friends ran as newbies, our run director Tony had balloons and banners at the finish line, and the day was amazing!
I run at Tilgate parkrun. In January I had an appendix operation and running was out for me for twelve weeks. I went to watch, but I recently started participating again thinking that I could never run it like I had before. The first week I walked, and completed the course in double my 'normal' time. I have now run the whole course again in around 28 minutes, which feels brilliant. David Moorcroft's recent article “Why I Run” inspired me to keep going last week and to try and match my old, pre-operation, PB. The Tilgate team and the other runners, those who know me, and those who don't, have really helped me to get back on track. Thanks parkrun.
On Saturday I was the tail-runner at Bedfont Lakes. It was my 158th parkrun but now the most memorable. In the field was a young lady, a veteran of six parkruns all completed in her wheelchair! This was the first time she ran at parkrun. My fellow tail-runners Sarah and Barry and I were all awestruck by the sheer grit and determination shown by Christina, who suffers from MS, as she ran and walked around our undulating course shunning any assistance. I cannot overstate how inspirational it was to witness this at such close quarters. If I hadn't volunteered on Saturday my life would be all the poorer for having missed the force of nature that is Christina - I hope she gets to read this. I'm so glad I volunteered.
Last Saturday we celebrated 80 years young Alan Anderson at Gunnersbury parkrun. Alan has been parkrunning since 2007, notching up 363 to date. But more than that Alan is a great coach and staunch volunteer. Alan cycles to Gunnersbury each week, collects the course signage and cycles round and sets up. After running, he cycles the course again to collect the signs then joins us for post-run coffee. This week we had numerous cakes to celebrate with him as he set the VM80-84 course record with a blistering 28:39. Numerous people over the years have benefited from his words of wisdom and inspiration. We love you Alan - parkrun personified.
parkrun community at its best... the Bognor Regis 10k took place on Sunday with over 1,500 runners and many more spectators. Post-race I fancied a drink to celebrate however I couldn’t find my wallet! Luckily, I didn't have a long time to worry as a message soon arrived from one of the parkrun run directors informing me that they had my wallet. A fellow parkrunner found my wallet containing my barcode and gave it to the run director for me. In conclusion always carry around your barcode, you never know when it may come in useful! Thanks to the parkrunner who found it and to Ben Bowers for returning it to me later that day.
With a combined age of over one hundred and sixty years and just about to start Peterborough’s 99th parkrun Mike Russell (left) and George Dawson (right) both in the 80-84 age category are regular runners at Peterborough parkrun and are an inspiration for us all. I just hope I look that good and run that well when I reach their age.
Last Saturday I completed my 50th parkrun at Bristol, not an outstanding feat, but on the 8th of January 2014 I suffered a stroke. I had about eight parkruns under my belt and was improving by the week, naturally I wondered if I would ever be able to run again afterwards. It was this thought, and the whole concept of parkrun that played a major part in my recovery. It was a slow process of walking the route initially on my own before I could participate on Saturday mornings. I would like to say a big thank you to all involved in parkrun, especially the Black Park parkrun team, my usual haunt.
I ran my 100th parkrun recently at Banstead Woods. I got involved because my sons wanted to do it. Waiting on the start line for ‘go’ that first time I realised that I had last been in that situation 35 years ago, so a bit of a break between runs. It's been a great joy to be running again and I am very thankful to the regular team at ‘The Woods’ who put on such a great show. And, by the way, I ran a PB that day too!
Last September Vick and I met at Burgess parkrun. I was a newbie to the whole thing, Vick had already done many a parkrun but it was her first time at Burgess. We met most Saturdays but also began our own early morning runs together during the week, and our friendship grew the more we ran together. I have found Vick to be such an encouraging and lovely person to run with. In February this year we completed our first half marathon together and despite losing each other on the way round, we finished only a few minutes apart.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Keane Mann
Club: Norwich Road Runners
Home parkrun: Norwich junior parkrun
Occupation: At school
Number of runs: 9
Favourite volunteer role: I haven't volunteered yet
What do you do at parkruns: I really like the warm up with all the other children before the run and I like to run with my older brother and my friends.
How has parkrun changed your running: I love to run and I have a determination to keep going. I always say "I never give up".
What do you like about parkrun: It encourages me to run and nothing stops me.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: I have now done nine parkruns and got four PBs. I am looking forward to getting my first junior parkrun participation wristband.