Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 5 – Bex, Roz, Paul and Lesley

Hi parkrunners, it's been a few weeks now since we were last together and while many of us miss Pomphrey, our parkun community and running/walking/staggering up Mr Hill, hopefully when this is all over we'll be able to see everyone again and catch up over coffee and cake together. Oh, and run together too ;-)

So far, we've had Pomps People Profiles from Catalina and Neil in Part 1; from Janet, Steve and Debbie in Part 2; from Ris, Sarah and Jim in Part 3 and from Martyn, Rose and Gary in Part 4. Today is a bumper Part 5, with Bex, Roz, Paul and Lesley sharing their stories with us.

Becky Cox

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

Mum and Dad dragged me to parkrun back in 2015. I didn’t like running, I was sick at the top of Pomphrey Hill and I said I would never ever run Up Pomphrey again... I’ve now ran 120 parkruns and 63 at Pomphrey Hill!

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?

Mum and I ran our 100th parkrun at Somerdale Pavilion (oops, sorry) surrounded by friends and family. We ran together; chatting and smiling as always and we crossed the finish line together. Being able to share parkrun with my family and friends, of all ages and abilities, is super special.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?

I like routine, actually I NEED routine! I ‘work’ from 9-12:30, FaceTime reading with children from school, keeping in touch via phone calls and old fashioned letter writing and then the boring email bits. Once ‘work’ is all done, I’ve been making the most of our allowed exercise fix. And I have succumbed to Disney+... High School Musical 3 is tonight’s viewing!

I’ve also made a ‘Jar of Little Dreams’ - if an ‘I wish I could...’ pops into my head, I write it down and pop it in the jar. When ‘normal’ resumes, I will appreciate the little things I couldn’t do during lockdown.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?

Mum has kept me on my toes whilst we’ve been out running and Dad has made a mini gym in the garage. I miss swimming soooo much though! Oh and we are doing the press up challenge - 20 press ups, 6 days a week.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?

I’ve got two; is that allowed?! Bath Skyline has zero tarmac, the course is through a little wooded area, up steps and through open fields and the views are stunning. And Eden Project is just wow! You are either running up up up or down down down and you finish at the biomes.

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?

We have met some truly special people through parkrun; people we now consider friends. There are too many to mention but parkrun wouldn’t be parkrun without Janet and Steve Jenkins, Hayley Franklin (not many people would stop to rub your back whilst your being sick during the Bitton 5k!) and Laura Neale.

Roz Castle

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

C25k originally brought me to Pomphrey Hill. Staple Hill Runners held a C25k course in January 2016 and they organised for us to "graduate" and complete our first 5k at Pomphrey Hill. I was never going to do another parkrun after that - that was going to be my first and last!!!

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?

I can't chose one particular moment that I am proud of because there have been so many. I have been privileged to be able to support so many friends over the years and help them achieve personal goals. I've been so proud to see people grow and develop. I'm not a great runner, but I'm pretty good at talking and sometimes a good chat can help. I do wonder sometimes though whether some people's increase in speed is due to the fact they are trying to escape my incessant chatting!!

I've also been honoured to complete graduation parkruns with so many Active in Life C25k graduates. I'm proud and humbled to have played a small part in getting those lacking in confidence through the finish funnel!!

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?

To remain positive at the moment, I'm literally just taking one day at a time. I have an amazing group of running friends that are missing each other very much. We have a FB group where we are checking in with each other on a daily basis and try and keep each other motivated.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?

I'm making sure that I make use of our daily exercise allowance!! I really enjoy being outdoors, so ensure that even on the days I'm lacking motivation I still get out. I set myself various personal challenges as I'm really missing the structure I had previously with running groups, parkrun and races.

I've also dusted off my old exercise bike, which I find quite tedious to use, but it's all hopefully beneficial!!

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?

Choosing my next favourite parkrun is difficult, but I think it has to be Treviso. It was an early morning, epic journey to get there from Venice, but it was well worth the effort. It's a trail run and everyone who knows me, knows I don't do trail! However, this was such a small, friendly event and I linked up with another runner and we encouraged each other around. We assisted a Polish guy who got his wheelchair stuck - there was a real sense of camaraderie that morning!!

Pretty close behind are Penrose, Weymouth, Barnstaple, Southampton, Torbay Velopark and Clermont parkruns!!

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?

4 years ago I'd never heard of parkrun, but now it's such an important part of my life. I can't believe how much I have gained from being part of the parkrun community in general, but specifically from being part of the Pomphrey Hill family. I can't wait until we can all get together again.

Paul Castle

Parkrun
Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

My wife started doing C25K and I started running with her on her homework runs. The graduation was at Pomphrey, and the rest is (as they say) history.

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?

Probably my first half marathon. Never dreamed of running that when we first started with our laps of Page Park.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?

I’m mostly working from home at the moment but trying to stick to a daily pattern. Get up normal time, get dressed into work clothes. Spend the day working in the “office” (back bedroom). Stop around 5 and go for a short run, then evening meal etc. At least there is some routine.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?

Still going out for a run most days, and now going to get the turbo up and running and have a go at Zwift.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?

I think Barnstable is my next favourite because if we run that then we’re either on holiday or going to be. After that it’s probably Penrose, because if we’re doing that one then we’re definitely on holiday.

Lesley Barry

100th parkrun LesleyB
Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

I joined a C25k group with Run4Life, and went on to complete my graduation 5k run at Pomphrey in July 2016 - brilliant group and so pleased I did it.

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?

There are many, but I think one of my favourite runs was actually a walk! I had cancer a couple of years ago and during chemotherapy I walked parkrun when I felt well enough or volunteered when 5k felt a bit too far. No matter how long it took me to get round the support I got from everyone when I finished was amazing - it makes me incredibly proud to be a little part of the parkrun family.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?

Lots of on-line video/text catch ups with friends, and a daily positive post from my friend Caroline.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?

Taking part in the Emerson Green Running Club alphabet challenge, every day during your run you take a selfie featuring the letter of the day. I alternate my runs with dog walks and spend a lot of energy convincing my teenagers to walk the dogs on my running days.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?

Aberbeeg - I've only been once but I'll definitely be going back!

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?

Remember to be kind to yourself... as well as others.

Thank you Bex, Roz, Paul and Lesley for sharing your stories with us all!

If you'd like to see your name in lights, then please email us at pomphreyhill@parkrun.com with answers to the following questions:
- a photo of yourself (or a link to a photo)
Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?
Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?
Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?
Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?
Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?
These will be published over the coming days and weeks on our parkrun website and our Facebook page.

Until next time; be safe, stay healthy and look after each other.
Ris