welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter Vitality announce the winner of the parkrun Run Series competition, Intersport has brand new kit, Richard Bazeley is running the Great Wall Marathon in China for Alzheimer’s Research UK,runbritain invites you to #clickyourclocks, and 13-year-old Grace Miller tells us why running is her medicine.
You don’t know if you’ll enjoy something unless you give it a try. I know that as well as anyone.
My parents never thought I would be sporty. I have a serious lung condition called cystic fibrosis (CF) that means mucus builds up in my lungs, and it can get infected which causes damage. I do a lot of breathing exercises to help me shift the mucus, I take up to 50 pills a day, and I sometimes have to go into hospital for two weeks of IV antibiotics.
I’ve never wanted CF to rule my life and in 2013 I entered the Brighton Mini Mile, which is part of the Brighton Marathon weekend. I discovered I really enjoyed running, and to everybody’s amazement I actually won the race. You should have seen my mum’s face! More importantly, I also discovered that running is a treatment in itself because it helps to shift the mucus.
Running isn’t all about winning though. The following year I found parkrun and it is now one of my favourite things to do. I encouraged my dad to join a running club and now he does parkrun too. My little brother does the junior parkrun and my mum volunteers there, so that’s our weekends sorted.
For me, parkrun is about having fun and trying to run a PB. I run at both Mile End parkrun and Mile End juniors, although not usually on the same weekend. Over the past few months I have also been volunteering at junior parkrun as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Award, which is a lot of fun.
I’ve never wanted to be known as ‘the girl with cystic fibrosis’ so I hadn’t really told people about it, until recently when I took part in a documentary on CBBC called Take A Breath, which is available on iPlayer until 8 April. The film follows me as I prepare for a race but also as I juggle my CF.
I believe it is really important to show other people with CF that physical activity can be great for your health, and I hope that by taking part in the documentary and writing this article for the parkrun newsletter I will inspire others to lace up their trainers and give running a try. I am so happy that I did because I absolutely love running, and it’s my medicine – a perfect combination.
especially for you...
To complete the family of exclusive running shoes we also have the new men’s and women’s ASICS Gel-Glorify 2 and the Gel-Indicate 2. Whether you want unparalleled stability, unbeatable cushioning or a lightweight shoe to help you run longer and go the distance, we have the one for you so find your nearest store and try these little beauties on.
We are always looking for feedback and have the shoes out with reviewers and bloggers (search for #RunLonger on Twitter). Remember to keep the pictures coming on Twitter #loveparkrun and make sure you like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on.
See you at your next parkrun.
from Bucks to China
But on 21 May this year, I will be taking part in my hardest challenge yet. I will be running The Great Wall Marathon in China, thanks to a little bit of luck which saw me win a competition to be given my bucket list adventure with all costs covered.
What makes this particular marathon so difficult is not the 26.2 mile distance, but the 5,164 steps I will have to climb, as well as the fact the Wall is 4,000 feet above sea level in the hot Chinese climate. I usually train four times a week, but this is something different. I’m having to incorporate hills and many steps into my routine to build up my leg strength. Before the race you are offered the chance to do half a marathon instead, as they warn of people crawling up the steps in pain towards the end of the race.
But I feel prepared, and I’m determined to finish this race. I’m completing this challenge for my grandmother Irene Bazeley. She sadly passed away with dementia on 2 December last year at the age of 89. I’ve witnessed first-hand the devastating impact dementia has on a loved one, and by running this race I hope to raise £5,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
As the UK’s leading dementia research charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK firmly believes in the power of research to create a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia, which makes them the perfect charity for me to support for 2016. It's a cause close to home and close to my heart.
If you’d like to sponsor me for this challenge then please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/richardbazeley – every penny is appreciated.
2016 #clickyourclock competition
The runbritain 2016 #clickyourclock competition is now underway and will run until September.
This competition gives those who take part in runbritain licensed events and parkruns the opportunity to see their handicap score percentage improvement and to win a heart rate monitor on a weekly basis.
To enter the competition you must:
* have done at least three parkruns or licensed events in the preceding six months
* have claimed your handicap at www.runbritainrankings.com
* clickyourclock – make sure you do this before 12 noon each Wednesday to be eligible to win the prize.
For more details go to www.runbritain.com/clickyourclock
random stat of the week
247 UK 5k parkrunners ran 52 times or more through 2015. What's your longest parkrunning streak?
Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)
Number of parkrunners – 80,879
Number of volunteers – 8,299
Number of first timers – 6,694
Number of PBs – 19,131
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
Finally, after nearly five years, I ran my 50th parkrun on Saturday. parkrun has helped me through some tough times – in 2014 aged 36 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I ran whilst undergoing chemo. I finished my treatment last year and since then have broken my half marathon PB and completed my first triathlon. I am amazed my body is still able to perform despite all it has been through. Unfortunately the treatment has given me osteopenia, but I am hoping the running will correct that. Thank you – I shall wear my 50 club t-shirt with pride.
On visiting my parents in Devon with my family I took part in a bit of parkrun tourism at their local event, Longrun Meadow in Taunton. My parents accompanied me, not least because I didn't know where I was going! Now six months later my Dad has just completed his first parkrun at the age of 76. Having enjoyed the atmosphere when I attended he spent the winter months turning his usual morning walk into a walk/run and then finally parkrun. I’d like to point out he did it in a not too shabby 40:09. I cannot say how proud I am of his achievement and once again it proves that parkrun is a fully inclusive event for all ages.
There must already be many three-generation parkrun families, but it was great to have the opportunity to be photographed with my son Jasper and grandson Theo, with parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt at Wimbledon Common parkrun. In fact, within our extended family there are 22 registered parkrunners worldwide, including junior parkrunners, running regularly at Guildford, Woking, Finsbury Park, Brockwell Park, South Manchester, Mosman (Sydney) and Medina (Isle of Wight) when we're down there on holiday! My brother-in-law Anthony Aldred and I will be doing our best to keep parkrunning until our great grandchildren come along to add a fourth generation. Thank you Paul for your inspiration and good luck in the marathon.
I’d like to say a massive thank you for bringing utter joy to my life! On Saturday 12 March, I celebrated my 100th parkrun. After completing my first parkrun back in November 2013 I was completely hooked. Durham parkrun has introduced me to the most wonderful people and feeling of love and support and I will be proud to wear my 100 club t-shirt. Congratulations also to my friend Katharine Bartlett who celebrated her 50th parkrun – we had quite a little party between us! Keep up the good work parkrun.
A huge well done to my children Jessica and Emma Baines who at the age of five completed their 10th parkrun at the new Rosliston parkrun, a couple of weeks before their sixth birthdays. Their older brother Tommy achieved his 10th run last October at the age of six, so they were keen to earn theirs before their birthdays. I am extremely proud of my children, who have shown a keen interest to go running after I took it up a couple of years ago. We all thoroughly enjoy spending our Saturday mornings together out for a family run.
As part of spending six weeks in Australia I decided to take part in a few parkruns downunder – three in the Brisbane area and one just north of Sydney. They were all run on bikeways and relatively flat courses and two were along the seafront. I found the heat and humidity challenging, no wonder the runs started at 7.00am! Like Preston, my home town parkrun, thanks go to the volunteers, without which the events just wouldn't happen. I can now call myself an international parkrunner.
Robert Ian Calderbank
Birstall Running Club's highly successful Couch to 5k programme ended this month with the team graduating at a number of local parkruns. In total, more than 70 participants finished the programme, and many went to Braunstone parkrun in Leicester for their inaugural 5k run. A good time was had by all and plenty of celebratory cake was consumed afterwards. Many of the team, some who had never run before the programme, have now committed to a follow-up 5k to 10k programme and with it a lifetime of parkruns, we hope.
I can't begin to describe how brilliantly the team of 12 Eastleigh parkrunners managed the start line at the Eastleigh 10k today. That's 2,309 runners, hundreds of spectators, two unruly timing chip mats, one road closure and a very loud gun, all marshalled with style. Separately, three more Eastleigh parkrunners worked until 10 minutes before the start behind the ‘Late Number Desk’, then two of them then ran in the race! And finally, as if 90 minutes of volunteering beforehand, and then running the 10km wasn't enough, Katie Goddard stepped in at short notice to hand out prizes at the prize giving. A fantastic team – I'm proud to be one of them.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Linda Harley
Club: Jog Lisburn Running Club
Home parkrun: Wallace parkrun, Lisburn
Number of runs: 119
Favourite volunteer role: Scanning, because you get to greet the runners by name.
What do you do at parkruns: Before I set out, I'll post a Facebook status revealing where I am, with a #dfyb. I like to get there early – I usually have a wander round and say good morning to the other runners. If I'm wearing a volunteer vest this gives newcomers a chance to ask me about the course, and if I'm visiting a new venue then I like to have a natter with the locals, especially any doggies. Cracker the squirrel is my parkrun mascot, and he likes to keep an eye on the buns.
How has parkrun changed your running: I always used to hate running, I never enjoyed it at school, and even at the gym I'd groan when asked to run on the spot. But parkrun is totally addictive, and now Saturdays are not complete without one. One unexpected consequence is that I now have a topic of conversation at the ready – as an introvert I sometimes struggle with small talk, but the parkrun phenomenon is so widespread that I can be sure that I'll find someone eager to discuss PBs, age-graded percentages, and milestone t-shirts!
What do you like about parkrun: My motto is "There's more to running than going fast". I usually run with my dog, Minnie, and we have as much fun as we can. We love dressing up – most recently we were Dastardly and Muttley, but I enjoyed our ‘Day of the Dead’ Hallowe'en guise, and at Christmas I put on the sprouts – literally! I'm a serial tourist, and was the first female to run at all the parkruns in Northern Ireland. I've also run at Bushy parkrun, which was a great experience – that multiple funnel system is a real art form.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: So many to choose from! Running at Colin Glen was very special, as it completed the set of Northern Irish parkruns, and I realised in the home straight that I was going to be the first lady over the line, something I never imagined I'd be! Or chatting to someone at St Andrews, and discovering that his uncle lived in the same wee village where I grew up. Or even doing a double parkrun on New Year’s Day, in the pouring rain, and smiling because I felt part of the most wonderful tribe.