This week two hundred and fifty six people ran, jogged and walked the Panshanger Park run course of whom twenty were first timers to park run or first timers, tourists to Panshanger including myself up from Dorset. Six of these twenty were first timers to park run altogether. I hope it is just the very start of joining the park run family for you all. Twenty-two people achieved a new personal best this weekend- fantastic achievement from you all. There were Representatives of 24 different clubs taken part this weekend. The event only made possible by the twenty-eight incredible volunteers including trainee witch and race director Sue, with a number of other volunteers and runners alike joining Sue for a Halloween fancy dressed themed park run.
I never require any extra motivation to attend park run, but up visiting from Dorset with three friends to be able to run my first park run with my brother on his usual park run course was extremely special. Despite not having done park run for that long myself I am already addicted I do even already wonder what life and Saturday morning in particular would be like without park run. I’ve clearly abandoned my long-held “I don’t get up early at when not at work mantra, in favour of waking up early, usually to support and get involved with pre event set up at Upton House park run in Poole, thank you to all who set the course up today rarely now allowing us on a Saturday morning an extra hour in bed!
I’m someone who doesn’t do early mornings unless forced to prior to park run but there is something special about visiting far-flung park runs with friends, with Panshanger now joining Oxford and Birmingham park runs being our third park run route to have completed outside of Dorset, with plans to visit many more. We often look to tie park run into watching AFC Bournemouth play their away games allowing us to visit park run prior to the game, the football today wasn’t very special but returning home with a pleasant park run experience brings some joy into what otherwise would have been a very dull day.
Today was an enjoyable course thoroughly despite the far from perfect running conditions over cast, windy, fairly muddy Saturday morning. I think when you start the park run journey your attitude on weather some what changes as the overall feeling of being part of the park run community isn’t dampened despite the weather.
As mentioned my brother is a weekly regular at Panshanger Park run now living in the Hertfordshire area and it was lovely to be able to do our first park run together, he had talked about the course and it only seemed right to start to understanding his buzz for such a park run.
Today’s park run had one person running a incredible milestone Peter Morrison joining the 250 club what a incredible achievement and I am sure Peter will enjoy rightly wearing his new t-shirt with pride. Peter must be a inspiration to keep doing park runs and I am sure after this number he will echo the fact that park running is addictive. I am sure Peter will rightly look great in his new milestone t-shirt and well done on such an inspiring achievement.
The course today was an enjoyable one loop of the beautiful Panshanger Park mainly trail run, forest paths, grass and a number of puddles, as a big fan of trail running over road it was the perfect course for us. The start of the course was rather busy and this can make it a challenge to get your pace up originally but the scenery more than makes us for this. The team at Panshanger Park are certainly a friendly bunch and we enjoyed some good conversations following about various different Park run courses throughout the country and the course at Panshanger Park. It is certainly up there with one of the most beautiful of courses and one we would be keen to return to.
Just a couple of weeks back it was the 15th anniversary of the first ever park run at Bushy Park, at the very first event there were 13 runners and 5 volunteers. Now over 300,000 partake in a weekly park run around the world. Back 15 years ago it was all about runners, but these days today we were joined by runners, joggers and walkers all getting involved. The inclusive nature of the park run of today has righty increased its popularity. Giving us a reminder that park run is for all last weekend in Northampton they had a guy doing his very first park run creating a new park run record running the course for the first time at the age of 92 reminding us that park run really is for everyone. It was great to see today at Panshanger park people young, old, male, female, with and without dogs, with and without buggies, running, jogging and walking this beautiful course, reminding us of the inclusivity of park run. All started off by a very helpful first time briefing for all of us visitors and those new to park run entirely (well done those people!).
Panshanger was delightful – from the warm welcome, the beautiful course, the fantastic volunteers and the lovely setting, to the community spirit, the friendship and lovely park run.
Today has been so much more than another day park running an interesting, beautiful and challenging course; I particularly found the muddy end a great challenge. It was though but more than this a great warmth from runners and volunteers alike from a new visitor. Thank-you!!
Claire Carlin a tourist from Dorset, from Upton House Park run in Poole and a member of Dorchester RIOT running club.
Finally, a brief thank you to all our willing volunteers, (listed with the results) to Claire for her report above and see you next week when Rab will be your RD.
Happy Halloween, your friendly witch