Almost 12 months ago conversations began to create parkrun 'Runcorn' an amazing group of likeminded people got together with the support of parkrun ambassadors to help kick things off. Just to be clear for anyone new to this 'parkrun' is a little misleading, as it isn't just for runners or 'wanna be runners', it’s for all. Pram pushers, dog walkers, walkers, joggers, 4 year olds, 104 year olds... it’s getting out in the park enjoying the community atmosphere. All ages, all abilities.
In November a few of us gate crashed parkrun 'Widnes' and volunteered gaining valuable insight to the various roles, we visited several times to master the skills needed prior to our 'dummy run' to test our skills on our planned route at Phoenix Park.
Our first 'Official' run took place on a cold January morning with 202 wonderful participants and our core group of volunteers. Every week seemed to get colder; standing frozen, soaking wet most weeks. It still didn't deter us or our wonderful walkers/runners. Thankfully the weather has been much kinder recently, although still not without incident - blown over trees blocking the paths and puddles the size of lakes (okay, slight exaggeration!).
We've had so many people take part, Steve managed a run with his best man the morning of his wedding, giving our Run Director palpitations! The Lloyd family from Reading was 3.5, now possibly 4 (or very nearly!) joined in on one of their last runs before child No.2 arrived. We've had visitors from all over Europe and the US. Lots of people have chosen Phoenix for their milestone runs (10, 50, 100, 250) for which we are very grateful.
If you haven't visited before then we hope you can make it for our 25th Event on 15th July. Celebrating with 'Special Guests!' Possibly a celebrity Potato running too! (Dependent upon donations for our defibrillator fund just £250 to go - as of 29 June). We will have pacers at this event for those wanting extra motivation to achieve a time. It isn't a race though it’s getting out and involved with the community. You don't have to be interested in running to get involved you might be related to a runner or just want to spend an hour in the park with a group of friendly people. We would be delighted to have your support.
We hope to have news on Urban Cafe soon as this will allow us to all grab a social cuppa afterwards, but people still tend to hang around afterwards and have a chat, congratulating each other on their achievement and supporting others on the course. A hot topic is usually our hill start, which we lovingly call 'Hutchinson Hill' after one of our run directors, particularly with new comers as it feels relentless. But the joy of the downhill and the flat paths along the lake and canal make it worthwhile and we have lots of friendly marshals to cheer you along. It’s a varied course and although you do 2.5 laps the scenery makes it worthwhile, in our opinion! But don’t take our word for it, come down!
We look forward to seeing you at one of our events and hopefully we will be writing again just before our 50th, 100th parkrun events.