Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 11 – Steven, Jack and Emily

I was in charge at the very last parkrun event before the pandemic took over and that seems a long time ago now. I was actually taking a look through the photos from it and it's hard to imagine how we can ever get back to it the way it was, but I'm keeping positive and I hope its not to long away.

There have been a few virtual challenges going on and running clubs have been doing their own versions as well. I think it would be great if we can do a Pomphrey Hill parkrun virtual challenge. So if you have any ideas or suggestions please contact the team via email before lunchtime on Monday the 8th of June, so we can discuss at our next core team meeting.

 

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Steven Burge

Q1 - What originally brought you to parkrun?

It was free... how cool is that. I was aiming to become my running clubs club champion in the year 2013 and you could gain a point for each mile you ran. 3 miles every weekend for free was a good score for my total. My first parkrun was at the Little Stoke inaugeral event, such a long time ago.

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?

11/11/17 was an amazing day... our wedding day and what better way to kick it off than a few laps around Pomphrey Hill parkrun, roles reversed. I wore the dress and Anne wore the suit, so many friends came along it was so lovely.

The milestone clubs are great, and I love having something to aim for... so reaching 250 parkruns was amazing. I also love being an RD at Pomphrey Hill and my first stint was on Xmas Eve in 2016, it was a very busy event to say the least.

Q3 - What are you doing to remain positive?

I am very lucky to have not been massively effected by recent times, and I am quite a positive person when it comes to life. I am concentrating and praying for a few racing trips we have booked up later on in the year still taking place. Anne and I have also kept in contact with friends and family as much as possible, and knowing they are all well makes us feel better

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

At the start of the pandemic we grabbed a cross trainer, or what could  also be known as a "clothes drier", off of my in laws. We've been doing that quite a bit, but with recent restrictions of one daily exercise allowance being eased, we have tried to get outside more. Anne and I are currently on a running every day streak of 70 days in a row.

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

That's a tough question as I've done a few. I would have to say Bushy parkrun, where it all started. I've done it twice, both times were different courses and its such an amazing location. I highly recommend it.

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

I'm missing everyone involved at Pomphrey Hill parkrun, and hope to see you all very soon.

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Emily Pitcher

Q1 - What originally brought you to parkrun?

When I first moved to Bristol my now husband suggested that we went to Pomphrey Hill parkrun. Although I ran at the time, I had never heard of parkrun before.

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?

For our 50th parkrun I managed to convince my parents to Marshall at Pomphrey Hill parkrun wearing Minnie Mouse ears. They didn't know what to expect and if I'm honest were not keen on the idea but they absolutely loved it and they are now doing a couch to 5k course so they can run their first parkrun.

Q3 - What are you doing to remain positive?

I'm looking forward to races that have been postponed and taking part in brilliant motivational challenges arranged by my running club.

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

Walking my dog Jasper who usually attends parkrun with me and training for the London marathon.

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

Tamar Lakes parkrun is fantastic, not only do you get to run in Devon and Cornwall in one parkrun but it's also a perfect 5km loop.

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

Jasper is missing everyone so much, he cant wait to give you all kisses when we get back to normal.

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Jack Pitcher

Q1 - What originally brought you to parkrun?

Some guys from work went so I joined them for one back in 2016 and I loved it.

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?

Got to love Stephen Jenkins at the top of the tarmac hill every week giving encouragement to every runner that goes past!

Q3 - What are you doing to remain positive?

I'm leading a group of people to do virtual running challenges and also have put on an event for the amazing Emersons Green running club, EGRC have also been brilliant in putting on fun challenges to do during lockdown.

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

As above I guess! Haha! But also plan to start marathon training again just in case there is an Autumn marathon

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

My next favourite one was Roma Pineto cos we went there on Emily's 30th, they were on event 5 and it was great to see a new event taking shape, plus the views of the Vatican weren't that bad I suppose.

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

Well done everyone for keeping positive through this tough time, it won't be long now until we can all pull on our Apricot and tackle that hill again, can't wait to see you all out there!!

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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. Wherever you are, we hope you and your family are well and staying safe.

Steven Burge

Run Director @ Pomphrey Hill parkrun

 

Pomphrey Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 10 – Danny, Vic & Thelma and Meryl

Who would have thought we would be without parkrun for 10 weeks? parkrun, especially at Pomphrey Hill, has been part of our lives for 6 years and I'm sure the last 10 weeks have felt like 6 years to some of you.  Please keep an eye out on your local parkrunners, family and friends - many of us will feel a sense of emotional fatigue, or even hopelessness from time to time. Please be assured you are not alone, reach out to someone if you need help, a talk or a socially distanced walk or run.

It's great to see posts to our facebook page that folks are still out running, particularly enjoying Mr Hill. We'd like to thank you for continuing to avoid the parkrun area on a Saturday morning at 9am and organising gatherings.  When it is safe to return, the whole team will be delighted to see you  - especially those who want to volunteer with us! Until then, we have some more profiles of runners for you to enjoy. This week we have Run Director, Danny, former volunteer of the year Vic and his gorgeous wife Thelma, and yours truly, Run Director Meryl.

Daniel Smith

Q1 - What originally brought you to parkrun?
I was working in a job that meant I spent most of the week travelling the country and staying in hotels. Ordering Lasagne with a side of fries was beginning to take it’s toll on my waistline and I realised I need to get some exercise to get back into shape before I became a heart attack statistic. So I started running. 1 mile was a struggle at first and I slowly built things up. A friend kept posting about parkrun on facebook so I went to the website and found Pomphrey Hill was walking distance from my house. One of the best decisions I have ever made in my life!

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?
Doesn’t matter how fit you are or how many times you have climbed it, Mr Hill is a challenge on each and every lap. As a runner, I find it reassuring that despite whatever discomfort you are in, there is a friendly face at the top of the hill giving you encouragement. So my favourite volunteer story would have to be the time I marshalled Top of Pomphrey with my son and being as “encouraging” as I could. I was later informed that people could hear me from near the duck pond!!!!

Q3 - What you are doing to remain positive?
Some days are better than others. Like most runners, I had a target that I was training towards and my whole year was geared towards one race in October. Even if restrictions were lifted tomorrow, I can’t see me being ready in time. So, without that race to focus on, I feel a little directionless. When I feel a little down, I remind myself of the positives. I have my friends. I have my family. One day, I will have parkrun again. In the meantime, I write a quiz for my running club and we stream it on a Thursday night when our main club night would occur. The research for the questions can be quite distracting.

Q4 - What you are doing to remain active and fit?
I try to get out every day for either a run, walk or a bike ride with my son. I am using the daily rewards from Pokemon Go as something to aim each time I go outside. As the game rewards activity, it is a useful way to motivate my activity!!!!

Q5 - Apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
I have done a few tourists trips elsewhere and I don’t think I have found anything as good as Pomphrey Hill! I think part of my love for my home run is knowing so many people there and I’m never going to get that somewhere else. The tourist parkruns I have really enjoyed have been part of an enjoyable weekend. Like a camping trip to Swansea with family and friends or being mistaken for professional athletes whilst looking for somewhere to have a post-parkrun breakfast. If I have to pick my favourite tourist parkrun that wasn’t part of a great weekend, I think I would have to go for Cirencester parkrun. Nice trail route but an amazing post-parkrun dinning experience!!!!!!!!

Q6 - Is there anything else you would like to share?
I still haven’t written that screenplay. I still haven’t learnt to play the guitar. I still haven’t learnt Chinese. All things I want to get round to doing at some point. But it’s okay. I’ll get round to doing them at some point. Things are tough enough as there without putting more pressure on myself to get X, Y and Z done.

 

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Friends helping my get to 100 miles in a month. With help from each other, we can get through this.

Danny

 

Thelma & Vic

 

Q1 - What originally brought you to parkrun?
Vic inspired me to come to parkrun because everyone was so friendly and any ability can run, jog or walk.
Vic heard about parkrun via local media.

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?
I really enjoyed the position of timekeeper with Alyssa because the information was mirrored exactly on the watches.
I also enjoy the position of number checker as it keeps me on my toes!
Vic enjoyed his award of Volunteer of the Year.

Q3 - What you are doing to remain positive?
I'm doing yoga and Pilates on line.
Vic is running a 10k course every other day and passes parkrun Pomphrey Hill, his one is on the road!

Q4 - What you are doing to remain active and fit?
We're both doing different types of exercise to keep fit.

Q5 - Apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
Next favourite parkrun is Builth Wells because you run along by the river. After it has finished nearly everyone goes to The Strand cafe for breakfast.

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Meryl

Q1 - What originally brought you to parkrun?
Back in the summer of 2013, Adrian would run and my daughter Alyssa was a gymnast. The routine would be that I would drop Adrian to Little Stoke park, take her to gym, return to the park to collect him and then come home (collecting Alyssa from gym later on in the morning). After a few months of playing chauffeur, gym was on summer shutdown and we decided to join Adrian on this run malarky, walking my first ever parkrun. As a mum of 3 children, the youngest then aged 4, I hadn't run since secondary school and I was most definitely unfit. I downloaded the couch to 5k app and haven't looked back since.

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?
There are so many inspirational moments, memorable times but here are a few:

I was speed walking/jogging slowly round Clevedon Salthouse Fields parkrun in February this year and a runner recognised me from Pomphrey Hill - don't ask me why! She had finished but asked to walk with me a while. She had brought her niece to marshal at Pomphrey one week and they were sort of enjoying it, evidently I had thanked her and said "thanks mini-marshal" on each lap. Her niece appreciated the thanks and saw that I was having fun on my run and asked her aunt if next time, could they please run parkrun? The fact this lady took the time to tell me, that I had inspired her niece to run brought tears to my eyes.

Another fun memory - one week I was running with the lovely Thelma, this was before Mr Hill got some much needed tlc it was quite muddy. Each time we got to the steepest part of the hill we would link arms to stop eachother from falling over, haul each other up the hill while our shoes tried to stick in the mud. It was hysterical fun, we laughed so hard, despite the effort and muck involved.

My 100th run I asked folks that wanted to join me to "wear a hat" as a simple symbol that they were celebrating with me. A group of friends went the extra mile and donned brunette wigs and lipstick and ran with me as honorary "Meryl"s, even the babies and bearded men. Alyssa was running with us and when she called out "Mum?" at least 5 voices answered "yes?". I've never felt so loved and appreciated.

Q3 - What you are doing to remain positive?
I've always looked for the silver lining in any situation and tried to have a can do attitude. Staying positive is my natural state, I've been hear to say "my blood type is like my attitude, B positive". I'm not stuck at home, I'm safe at home. Having 3 wonderful children at home really helps, we've enjoyed family card games including cribbage, old maid and 'oh hell'. Aside from the cards, I'm really enjoying introducing Megan to the "Buffy the vampire slayer" back catalog and re-reading some favourite books.

Q4 - What you are doing to remain active and fit?
I've always enjoyed Zumba mid week and have been very fortunate that my instructor has started live Zumba via Zoom as well as recorded sessions for us to use the other days of the week. As I have been working at a school through lockdown, the only other exercise has been the occasional walk for fresh air.

Q5 - Apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
I have been fortunate in my parkrun career to be a runner, volunteer, Run Director, Event Director, Event Ambassador, South West Regional Ambassador and Serious Incident Line volunteer (I'm currently RD at Pomphrey and SIL volunteer only). As such I have enjoyed parkruns with a number of wonderful people, from the folks at HQ, the founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE (and his lovely wife), received a high five from Dave Moorcroft OBE, not to mention the original team at Little Stoke where my parkrun life first started. My favourite parkrun though, for now, is Weedon Island Preserve. We had landed in Florida the afternoon before, woken up at 4am local time (parkrun time back home) and driven the 90 minutes to this remote nature preserve for a 7am start. There were tiny crabs all over the boardwalks, newts and birds, the humidity was unbelievable and don't even get me started on the mosquitos! After a number of years without a holiday, a rough couple of months for the family as my brother had recently had a brain tumour removed, we really had to pinch ourselves to even get on the flight. To be in the Florida sunshine that Saturday morning was just wonderful.

Q6 - Is there anything else you would like to share?
Wherever you are reading this, please know that I miss you terribly and can't wait for a cwtch and catch up, as soon as parkrun returns!

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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 you are doing to remain positive?
Q4 - what you are 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. Wherever you are, we hope you and your family are well and staying safe.

Meryl Grimshaw
Run Director

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Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 9 – Julia, Richard and Jules

Good afternoon all you lovely people, it seems like parkrun was a strange dream long, long ago. Most of us are now getting used to the new norm and I know that most of you are itching to get back to the best parkrun the world has to offer.  Until this day comes I have some more runners profiles for you. I hope you have been reading them all as I plan to do some spot questions when we are all back so better get studying up. This week I have three more runners for you Julia, Richard and Jules.

Julia Edwards

Julia Edwards

Q1 - What originally brought you parkrun?

Friends had mentioned these things called ‘parkruns’ so thought I’d check them out. My first was back in April 2015 in Northampton whilst visiting my parents, I loved it and followed this up one week later at Pomphrey – oh my goodness, I was not prepared for that hill!!!! The clue is most certainly in the name lol.

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?

Severn Bridge parkrun back in February (an out and back route across the old bridge itself). Storm Dennis was in full swing and the bridge was closed to traffic due to high winds but the run was on! Off I set being pushed along by a nice tail wind…..and then the half way point arrived and I turned back into the oncoming wind – oh boy, I’ve never been in such strong winds let alone run in it, it felt like my cheeks were about to get blown off.

Q3 – What you are doing to remain positive?

Been doing a bit of dabbling in the kitchen.

Q4 – What you are doing to remain active and fit?

I joined Emersons Green Running Club in February and although we can't train together we’ve been doing lots of fun challenges like spotting letters of the alphabet while on our solo runs….letters Q and X took a bit of searching!

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

Clevedon - a lovely scenic route along the sea front……..and it’s flat

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

Having recently retired from netball (my life for 30 years) I was looking for that next ‘something’. Parkruns were that ‘something’ and I’m looking forward to running and volunteering again.

Richard Nuell

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Q1 - What originally brought you parkrun?

Having taken part in running events and races since 1987, I was intrigued to give parkrun a try; my first was in July 2011 at Ashton Court and I quickly became hooked! I've now done 206 parkruns at 43 locations, mainly at Pomphrey, Clevedon, Ashton Court and Eastville. Included are 41 at Little Stoke before it ceased.

Q2 - Which running or volunteer story are you most proud of?

I co-led a number of beginners running courses for Bristol City Council and felt quite proud when some of those new to running or returning to it completed their 5k "graduation" at parkrun.

Q3 – What you are doing to remain positive?

I try to remain positive by thinking and hoping that group runs, events and parkruns will return one day.

Q4 – What you are doing to remain active and fit?

Afraid I'm setting a bad example in respect of remaining fit and active. Daily family walks are OK but it's not the same as running! My occasional runs are based on the popular "street name challenge" in which you find roads beginning with the initial letters of a selected keyword such as "PARKRUN", "BARCODE", etc, and running to each, preferably in order. I did "VE-DAY" on 8 May by running to Victoria Road, Etloe Road, Devonshire Road", Alfred Road and York St.

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

My next favourite parkrun was whilst on holiday last year: Bakewell. The route was entirely along the once busy main railway line from London to Manchester, now a superb local railway path for walking, running and cycling. All parkruns are lovely but this captured my idea of perfection and the breakfasts are legendary to those who have been there.

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

I was once part of a "choreographed artwork" near Arthur's Seat at the Edinburgh Festival (and the following year at Salford Quays) called "The Speed of Light". Very emotional and very proud.

I am also one of the small group of Clevedon swimmers appearing in the BBC1 "ident" which appeared before BBC1 programmes until recently. The general reaction from friends has been "oh, no; not him again"!

Jules Dunn

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

Meryl kept trying to persuade me to give it a go - took a while but I eventually convinced Vic Burchill to join me one week. We didn't die of exhaustion or embarrassment so came back the following week.

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

Probably proudest watching my kids run parkrun and achieving really good times - before they became lazy teenagers who now won't get out of bed.

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

I'm keeping in touch with family - we do bingo and a quiz a week, both themed so our fancy dress stockpile is coming in handy. I'm also drinking a LOT of cider!

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

I'm running more than usual just to get out of the house and have been doing some of the Joe Wicks classes (mainly because I like to watch Joe Wicks ).

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

I've only ever done Pomphrey Hill - 196 so far. Vic and I plan to do all our 250 parkruns at Pomphrey then we might try somewhere else.

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

I hope I get to a hairdressers before I have to go back to work!

Thanks Julies, Rich and Jules for sharing your stories with us all!

So what have we learnt today?
Meryl forces people to sign up to parkrun, Jules fancies a bit of Joe Wick and running the Severn Bridge parkrun can possibly blow your cheeks off!

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 you are doing to remain positive?
Q4 - what you are 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.

I hope you are all well, I miss every single one of you, I hope anyone having a birthday can at least enjoy themselves and until next time; be safe, stay healthy and look after each other.
Martyn

 

Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 8 – Anna, Lucy and Gill

Afternoon everyone, another week and another not-run report aka People Profiles. This is edition 8 which means that it’s now been 2 months since we last met by the Pavilion, ran our course together and then drank coffee, ate cake or bacon butties and cheered everyone else through.

In those two months our world has changed but we are adapting. People who have never run before have taken up running and registrations for parkrun are continuing, ready for the time when we all meet again by the Pavilion, supported by volunteers in hi-vis.

So, until then, we’ll continue to learn some more about members of our community; this week it’s the turn of Anna, Lucy and Gill.

Anna Ford
Pomphrey Hill parkrun Anna Ford

Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

I ran my first parkrun at Ashton Court in 2014 – as a friend was visiting me in Bristol and she really wanted to give it a go. I did enjoy that first parkrun experience; however, it was over 2 years until November 2016 that I returned to parkrun. I had run a lot as a youngster but had become really inactive in my early twenties – something I had decided I really wanted to change. My friend who encouraged me to go to Ashton Court those 2 years prior, had really caught the parkrun bug, and had continued to go every week. So, I decided to give my, now local, Pomphrey Hill parkrun a go. This time it really stuck – I loved the friendly, inclusive atmosphere, and that it really does not matter how quickly (or slowly) you get around. I think I went every week for at least a year – only missing it if I was on holiday!

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

I think I am generally proud of that fact that since November 2016, running has become such an important part of my life. I am not originally from Bristol, and it is through running, parkrun, and joining a running club, that I have established myself, made friends, and made Bristol a home.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?

As so much of the country has been doing – Zoom has become a really important way of staying connected with loved ones. Lots of Zoom quizzing and zoom exercise classes. Also, as I am in a really fortunate situation, and have been able to remain working from home – I have enjoyed sending little “care packages” to my friends who are working on the front line, or who have been furloughed.

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

Running! Before lockdown, I would rarely run by myself, running has always been a very social activity for me, so I was really concerned about how I would cope without that aspect of my favourite thing to do. However, have chosen a “training plan” to carry out, and I am running most days and have found an appreciation for lone running. That said, I cannot wait to be reunited with running friends, and go post-parkrun breakfasts, and social Sunday long runs.

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

I have been fortunate to visit a lot of different parkruns (51) over the last few years, and I love taking the opportunity to try the nearest parkrun if I am away for the weekend. However, I think it would have to be my “second home” parkrun – Bideford in North Devon. It’s the parkrun closest to my parents, and where I grew up – and as it’s nice and flat (sorry Mr Hill!), it’s where my parkrun PB is.

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

Hoping everyone is keeping safe and well – and can’t wait to be back at parkrun and enjoying post-parkrun breakfasts with friends sometime soon.

Lucy Bryant

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

Wanting to get faster and a good excuse not to have a drink on a Friday evening. An early goal for the weekend.

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

Completing Eastville parkrun in 20 mins and 15 seconds, a PB!

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?

I’m trying to beat and train to better the above PB. Virtually running, sprint training and working on speed work. I tried last weekend and only managed 20:33 so have a way to go. #lockdowngoals

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

As a triathlete I am lucky to have an indoor smart turbo trainer so I’m cycling online in the virtual world 3-4 times a week, running 1-2 times and weight training at home 1-2 times a week.

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

This is a tough one. Eastville is my closer one but Chipping Sodbury is flat. So great for trying for a PB!

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

Keep up with your fitness. It’s important more than ever at the moment not just for our physical but mental health. Having goals and things to aim for is equally important. DB Max have a free 5K Saturday rainbow run if you need extra inspiration....

Gill Whitehead

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

My daughter Pamela Goold. I was doing C25k and she suggested we go along to parkrun. It was Halloween 2015 and loads of people were in fancy dress which I wasn't expecting!

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

I really enjoyed marshalling on New Year's Day, I think it was 2018. We had record numbers including a group of men from Ashton Court celebrating a milestone dressed as "laydees", it was freezing cold and pouring with rain but I loved it!

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?

Keeping in touch with friends and family on social media and volunteering with Red Cross

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

Running and walking on alternate days. I've done some virtual medals, parkrun challenges and challenges with my running club Bitton Road Runners.

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

Got to be Somerdale Pavilion, the Curly Wurly parkrun which is actually now my home parkrun as it's my nearest but I still love coming to Pomphrey Hill when I can!

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

parkrun has been a huge part of my running journey and I'm really looking forward to it starting again but only when it's safe.

Thank you Anna, Lucy and Gill 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

 

Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 7 – Vic, Ella and Jo

Hi Ella here!
This was meant to be my first official RD at Pomphrey as I turned 18 (and became an official adult!) just over a week ago now. So instead of seeing my face early on a Saturday morning you can read this post and get to know me and some others halfway through a Monday afternoon.

It’s week 7 of getting to know you and we surely do know lots of you by now! Here are 3 more profiles, Vic, Jo and Ella (myself!).

Vic Harvey

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Q1: What originally bought you to parkrun?
My so called friend Julia Dunn made me do it.

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?
My proudest moment is encouraging my two children to volunteer at parkrun for their DofE awards and listening to them moaning about having to get up early on a Saturday morning always gives me a special feeling.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?
Eating crisps, they’re a daily source of pleasure.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?
Trying to get out for a run or a walk every day, I have been enjoying the Emersons Green Running Club alphabet challenge.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
I am unqualified to answer this as I’ve never visited another parkrun. (Editorial comment: in parkrun jargon a Passionista is a term used by the parkrun community to describe parkrunners who are so loyal to their home run that they have never run anywhere else. Vic is so loyal to Pomphrey Hill that she has run all of her 196 runs with us!)

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?
Walkers prawn cocktail crisps are my favourite.

Jo Harvey

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Q1: What originally bought you to parkrun?
Vic suggested I should give it a go

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?
I’m not proud of any moment in particular. Being overtaken by someone in an inflatable T-Rex costume was my worst parkrun moment! That was really very annoying.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?
Drinking gin.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?
Running, walking and some cycling.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
I’ve only done Pomphrey and Chipping Sodbury, so although I hate the hill it does make it an interesting course.

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?
Ophir gin and ginger beer are a very good match.

Ella Burchill

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Q1: What originally bought you to parkrun?
Originally my mum made me come to parkrun, we both have very good memories of me moaning the whole way round. Nowadays I come because I have met so many amazing people and always enjoy my time at Pomphrey – even in the rain!

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?
Becoming an RD is probably my proudest moment, although I do love just a normal Saturday morning volunteer cheering on runners and having a good chat with the other volunteers (whilst doing my volunteering role obviously!)

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?
I have been doing lots of baking, mainly of cake. I am also becoming a quiz master I think, doing all these virtual quizzes may be of benefit one day!

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?
I try and get out for a walk every day, having recently bought myself a camera I have been enjoying the wildlife that the surrounding areas offer and taking really bad photos of it.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
When I was younger I used to really enjoy the Little Stoke junior parkrun, and used to do some of my fastest running there. Much like my mum I have never been to another parkrun…maybe there are some adventures to be had now I’m 18!

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?
I look forward to seeing everyone when we get the green light to start back!

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?

Best wishes, Ella.

 

Pomphrey Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 6 – Richard, Tiernan and Adrian

Pomphrey Profiles Part 6 can only mean it has already been 6 weeks since we last enjoyed a parkrun together. Although it doesn't get any easier, the weeks are passing - and each week brings us one step closer to the next parkrun. I hope you are all managing this new reality and keeping well.

We have 3 new profiles this week - many thanks to Richard and Tiernan for telling their stories, to add to my own. Enjoy!

Richard Breakspear

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?
A conversation in a pub in 2014 alerted me to parkrun, seemed a useful way to be a bit more committed to a fitness goal. Gradually went from there, running some weeks to running most weeks and gradually improving my time. This was great motivation to train a bit more and watch my diet more carefully.

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?
Could just say completing the Green Man run around Bristol this March, having trained through a particularly wet winter. That’s something I wouldn’t have even considered a few years back when 5K was a struggle. But more widely, community. Love being part of the team effort, volunteering at parkrun (reached the purple 25 milestone T-shirt at Pomphrey back in February). Just generally proud to be a very small part of the huge cumulative effort that goes into putting on regular running events.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?
Focusing on the small things: observing nature, all the changes as spring has been unfolding during these past few weeks. Enjoying all of the things I can control/do. Staying in touch with others in my running club (Goodgym), video chats have been great.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?
Keeping up with the running once a day. Shorter distances, but making sure I get out and run each day. I’ve picked a route with varied terrain, running on grass, hills and some tarmac so play around with working on speed/hills etc, or just enjoy being out. I’ve got into the habit of going out at 6am, to avoid the busier parts of the day. There’s been some spectacular sunrises through the morning mist these past few weeks.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
There’s been a few! Erm.... Ludlow was nice: wooded course, very hilly and very muddy. Very welcoming. I timed it so as to go to the Christmas Fayre/Market at Ludlow castle afterwards.

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?
This lockdown won’t be forever, until then stay safe.

 

Tiernan Grimshaw

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?
I was originally brought to parkrun by my Dad because he was doing the 5k.

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?
Once, I explained to an adult how to do barcode scanning since I had done it so many times before and he needed help.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?
I am talking to my friends more on Whatsapp video calls during the day and most days, I am doing P.E with Joe Monday to Friday with my Dad (who is writing this run report).

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?
As above, I am enjoying P.E with Joe Wicks. As well as the morning workout, I go on small walks/runs with my Dad, while he also does his alphabet challenge.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
I really used to enjoy doing Little Stoke parkrun as it was one of the first ones I did and its one of the more flat ones. (Sorry Mr Hill!)

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?
I really enjoy parkrun, especially Pomphrey Hill, because it is so fun to just run around and meet new people. If you haven't already, I would suggest to try it out as soon as you can. (Although we may not know when that will be). I will highly suggest parkrun to anyone but do stay safe!

 

Adrian Grimshaw

adrian
Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?
Chance! I was attending a training event at Ashton Court in readiness for Bristol Half Marathon 2012 - my first half. They recommended meeting an hour earlier to run parkrun first. However, it wasn't until Little Stoke parkrun started later that year that I began running more than once every few weeks - back in the day that I considered the 35 minute drive to Ashton Court a long way to go for "just" a parkrun.

Q2 - which running or volunteer story are you most proud of and would like to share?
There are certainly some crazy stories that come to mind: 26 laps of Pomphrey one Saturday (something else that's Ira's fault), running the Green Man Ultra, driving across 4 US states to get to a parkrun, or fancy dress runs. When it comes to running events though, everything is relative and not always expected - and I think that's why we all like to celebrate being proud of our own, and each other's achievements. In my case, while growing up it would have been most unexpected for me to run anywhere, let alone 5K or further. Fast forward to 2016 and, following my Mum's successful breast cancer surgery, I ran the Bristol 10K in support of BUST - alongside the surgeon who had treated Mum. It wasn't the furthest I had run, and wasn't even my first Bristol 10K, but it was amazing to be able to give something back to a charity that support so many.

Q3 - what are you doing to remain positive?
Life is certainly very different at the moment, but there seems to be plenty going on. Virtual run challenges, Zoom quizzes, Zoom bingo, Zoom poker (there's a common factor here!) are all keeping many connections going.

Q4 - what are you doing to remain active and fit?
Mainly running and walking, not quite as much as normal but still most days. The only new addition to the routine is "PE with Joe", a 30 minute high-intensity workout as part of our home school setup. It is on at 9am (as all the best events are!), 5 days a week - everyone in the household has had a go but, as you've read above, Tiernan, has stuck to it the best, and I do it most days as a break from work.

Q5 - apart from Pomphrey Hill which is your next favourite parkrun and why?
I would never use the word "favourite", but I have been lucky to run at 88 different parkruns with many fantastic memories. 3 have been in the USA, 2 with family where we all ran - and at Clermont, even in the humidity at 7:30am, Tiernan managed a 5K PB. I'll never forget the look of surprise on his own face! Pomphrey Hill will always be special, as Meryl and I have been on the core team since the start and met so many amazing people over those 6 years. A close second will always be Little Stoke; the family all discovered parkrun there, and all got something different out of it. We also found a new family there and while Little Stokers may now be spread far and wide, that spirit will always live on at all parkruns near Bristol. (edit - I honestly wrote this before Tiernan sent me his answers!)

Q6 - is there anything else you would like to share?
Although there has been much disruption to our home life, we are in a fortunate position with secure jobs, generally good health and each other for company. I'm sure there are some daily struggles out there - the good news is you don't have to look to hard to find positive stories of support in the community. Please get in touch if you need anything, no matter how big or small it may seem.

 

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?

Keep safe everyone!

Best wishes, Adrian.

 

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

 

Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 4 – Martyn, Rose and Gary

Hello Pomphrey Hill, how are you all doing?

So far we had the Pomps People Profiles from Catalina, Neil, Janet, Steve, Debbie, Ris, Sarah and Jim.  It's now time for the next three: mine, Rose and Gary.

Martyn Poole

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 Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

Nearly 3 years ago I signed up to Tough Mudder, as it was 20km + I decided I needed to get back into running.  In truth I had not been running since 2006 when I damaged my knee running the Bristol Half Marathon and from that point on detested running and everything it stood for.
I had heard about parkrun a fair few years ago when the closest one to where I lived was held at Little Stoke park. However, back then I really wasn’t interested in partaking although I always appreciate the concept.  My first run was at Pomphrey Hill on the 17th June 2017 where I came in at 107th with a time of 25:58. I never really fell in love with parkrun until much later.  This time would prove to be a pretty decent time for Pomphrey and I would run a lot worse especially for my 50th run which was 27 minutes, although I did have a twisted ankle and dressed in a full Halloween costume during horrible conditions.
After a few runs I had a message from my partner who at the time was running on a Monday night with the running club that Steve Burge ran, he was looking for volunteers so I decided to put my name down and help out.  I arrived early that morning at Pomphrey and asked if there was anything else, I could do to help. Steve let me set up the starting area and then I took my position at the top of Pomphrey Hill.  I was then told afterwards what a great job I did and had some positive feedback from runners which obviously made me feel good about myself and this made me want to help more often.

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

Bringing music to Pomphrey has to be my highlight, ever since the first time I brought some tunes I have seen others doing the same thing which is fantastic and I am glad to start a trend. The first time there was music people looked confused as they made their way around first lap where I was stationed at the bottom of the hill with Sue Upfield for company.
Before the day I had given a lot of thought about what my playlist would consist of and I wanted songs with references to hills. These songs ended up including “moving on up” and “running up that hill” The smiles it brought as well as some great singing and dancing made it all worthwhile.

If I can be bold and use two things my other would be taking Photos at Pomphrey, I always wanted to get into Photography and I have a lot I owe to Gary Woodruff who lent me his camera one day so I could take pictures one Saturday morning. He than uploaded them that evening and it wasn’t until I got my own camera that I appreciated the amount of time and effort after a parkrun it takes for the photographer to go through hundreds of pictures. The camera I borrowed off Gary is now mine as once he upgraded, he sold me his for a reasonable price and showed me a few things too, I am very grateful to him for that. He always told me that it was a wonderful feeling when you would see someone on social media using a photo that you took and now, I understand this statement.

Q3 – what you are doing to remain positive?

Working from home and spending 99% of my days here alone can become boring pretty quickly and I am very aware of my own mental health at this time. At the moment I am trying to remain active painting and upgrading my office so I can work more comfortably, doing some gardening and breaking out the PS4 to play the new Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil 3 Remakes.

While I can cope with being home alone normally its very different when you know you can’t go out whenever you want. I miss my friends and family so I am using facetime to speak to my parents and partner daily, making sure I speak to my grandparents and other family members when I can.

On Friday nights me and some colleagues from work host a 5-way conversation and dress up via the houseparty app. On Saturday nights I would join my partner, her sister, sister’s boyfriend and parents join a facetime conversation where each week we would have one of us create questions and tasks for us all to do. Great fun.

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

I always run during the week anyway which included my weekly Saturday parkrun so I have increased this to running 3 times during the week running between 5k up to 14k in keeping with my once a day outside. I wanted to fill in the days I was not running with some walks however, the nice weather has brought out too many people so I have now chosen not to do this.

As I can no longer visit the gym, I have also been using YouTube to find some intense HIIT classes which I now cycle between 3 different ones a week including one from Joe Wicks. I also have doubled the time I do Yoga at home to 2 times a week, if anyone is interested, I can recommend Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, her classes are easy to follow and she has a lot of different videos.

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

This has to be Plymvalley parkrun, we went for a walk the day before and said how picturesque this national trust walk was and at the time I didn’t realise I would be back the very next day to run it as a parkrun. While it does have some jumps and trip hazards, you also get to run next to a stream and across a railway bridge. The location is lovely and surrounded by trees.

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

I don’t live with my partner so we are not allowed to see each other and I miss her dearly. We have remained in contact via facetime every night but as she works hard for the NHS doing long hours and I can’t give her hugs when needed. I wanted to say that I am incredibly proud of her. I would just like to say a massive THANK YOU to every NHS worker and keyworker out there helping us through this difficult time!

Rose

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

My mum!

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

I loved running as Wonderwoman to celebrate Lesley's 100th run.

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

I'm still running a 'not parkrun' 2k and 5k with my mum every week.

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

Joe Wicks, 'not parkruns' and online ballet and gymnastics.

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

Eastville because the people were kind to me on my 10th parkrun when Pomphrey was cancelled.

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

Just that it's so good and I miss it.

Gary Woodruff

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

I was a keen runner from childhood but took a break in my mid-20’s following a severe bout of glandular fever. Before I’d recovered enough to resume, I injured both my knees in freak accidents. Fast-forward to my early 40’s, and I befriended a lady who it turned out was a bit of a parkrun queen. I’d never heard of parkrun before and despite her encouragement to try it, I initially dismissed the idea for fear of aggravating my injuries. I briefly mentioned it in the office and discovered that my manager was also a parkrun fanatic. He was a Little Stoke refugee and from that point on relentlessly pressured me into joining him at Pomphrey! Eventually I agreed to go “just once” to get him off my back!

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

The easy answer would be the moment I was awarded Volunteer of the Year. That would be too simple and besides, Martyn wanted me to write something longer to pad out this week’s feature! A great number of athletes have overcome physical and mental health challenges with the aid of parkrun. When they achieved their milestones, it was often a day of great importance and significance in their lives and I’ve had the honour of being there to capture many such occasions. If I hadn’t been there, those moments may have been lost or only recorded in a few blurry cell phone photos (like the day I ran dressed as a Nun)! When I see my photos on their social media profiles, I feel proud to have created something that meant a lot to someone else.

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

I’m fortunate in that remaining positive isn’t something I’ve struggled with. My work is rewarding and busier than ever. The internet provides endless resources for learning and self-improvement too. Not gonna lie…some video games were involved too! Many virtual zombies have lost their lives! If indeed a zombie has a life to lose?

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

I really enjoy going for walks and that was my main form of exercise prior to discovering parkrun. I’ve made the most of working from home as the hour spent in traffic is now bonus time for walking. I live on the border between the suburbs and the countryside so it’s only a quarter of a mile up the road and I’m walking along quiet lanes and appreciating some great views from atop the hills. A nice quiet walk can be great for mindfulness so that very much plays into the previous question about staying positive. For once I’m free of injuries so have been able to enjoy my running too…albeit very carefully!

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

that’s a tie between Page Park and Stratford-upon-Avon.

 

Page Park really is a wonderful facility and a great asset to the local community. There are a lovely bunch of volunteers, parents and athletes too. Plus, I love my post parkrun Mocha in the Beantree Café above all else! I really enjoy their marshal-in-motion role as it’s a unique opportunity for an adult to run the Junior parkrun course during the event. Not to mention it’s always very satisfying helping and encouraging the parkrunners of the future.

 

Stratford-upon-Avon was recommended to me by the same lady who first encouraged me to take up parkrun. She wasn’t wrong in thinking that it would be right up my street. They have a picturesque section along the river that runs past the Holy Trinity Church and Royal Shakespeare Company. During the summer months they have a spectacular big wheel too. It’s a photographer’s dream so whilst I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been, only two of those occasions involved running! It’s very flat and quicker than Chipping Sodbury, so if you are one of the types who seek out PB courses, it’s worth the drive! I’m always hoping to get shots of a famous actor/actress who might attend the parkrun whilst staying in the town for a production. No luck so far! They also have a huge carpark and I love the humour and culture of the core team. In that respect they are very similar to Pomphrey.

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

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the Run Directors as they do all the heavy lifting but receive little recognition. The regular volunteers are thanked at the start of each event by the RD and athletes. As a regular photographer I’m always surprised by the amount of recognition I receive and how many athletes know my name. Yet I am sure many athletes (including myself before I started volunteering) couldn’t name the RD’s. Confession time…before I knew their real names, I’d given each one a Spice Girls-esque nickname! I wonder if anyone can guess who Posh, Scary, Baby and The Funny One were?! Anyhow, before I elaborate and get in trouble, I just thought I’d give the unsung heroes some recognition and appreciation for all the work they put in.

 

Thanks Rose and Gary 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 you are doing to remain positive?
Q4 - what you are 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.
Martyn

 

Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 3 – Ris, Sarah and Jim

Hi Pomps Peeps, how are you all doing?  

So far we had the Pomps People Profiles from Catalina, Neil, Janet, Steve and Debbie.  It's now time for the next three: mine, Sarah's and Jim's.

Ris Scott

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

I’d known about parkrun for a while but had other Saturday morning commitments. After retiring from playing rugby, I took up triathlons and parkrun, as a timed 5k, seemed a good way of running a fast 5k and monitoring my progress.

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

After initially viewing parkrun as a place to run fast, I quickly realised after doing my first volunteer (Finish Tokens) that it is far more than that, it’s a community. When I say to new parkrunners “welcome to the family” it’s because that’s how I see parkrun and Pomphrey in particular: a large family of people who encourage, support and help each other through the good times and the bad. The support that parkrunners are giving each other at the moment is testimony to that.

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home which is giving me a sense of ‘normal’ routine. I’ve spent the last 18 months weekly commuting so we’re both readjusting to me being in the house seven days a week. I do have a fortnights holiday coming up, so I’ll need to establish a daily routine doing gardening, creating Lego sculptures (aka playing) and some quality time with my wife too.

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

I have my road bike connected to a turbo trainer and I’m a huge fan of the virtual cycling platform Zwift (other virtual platforms are available). I’m finding an hour or so in the morning pre-work, in lieu of my normal cycle commute, is keeping me centred and fit enough. I took 14 minutes off my Alpe du Zwift PB yesterday evening so I might even be getting fitter.

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

I really enjoyed Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire; the grounds, ponds and ruins are utterly beautiful. If you’re not a National Trust member is pretty pricey to get in but if you parkrun you can see the grounds for free!

Sarah Brocklesby

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

Originally, I started parkrun by accident! I was doing Zumba on Tuesdays and Thursdays and wanted something to do in between the two sessions. I had heard about parkrun and because I walked and did Zumba, thought "how hard can it be?" I soon found out as I was 61 and had never run before.

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

I persevered! Running (slowly) is now a big part of my life. My nieces and nephews love that their crazy aunt runs. So, it was fantastic last year when my nephew and his family ran at Pomphrey Hill with me making 3 generations of Brocklesbys. I was, of course, beaten by them all - even Sam aged 4! I was so thrilled that I made the younger members a medal for their 1st parkrun with Great Aunt Sarah.

Q3 & 4- what you are doing to remain positive, active and fit?

I am also a member of a Couch-2-5K group that has kept running every week since we graduated at Pomphrey in 2017. We are staying positive by all running individually at our usual 9:30am Wednesday morning then having a 10:30am live group video coffee and chat. That way we can still motivate each other to run and support each other.

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

My next favourite parkrun has to be Chipping Sodbury, as I've never done any others - and it's flat!

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

My next parkrun will be my 50th and definitely at Pomphrey Hill.

P.S. May I just also say thank you to the lovely speedy runners who give me a cheery "well done" or "keep going" as they pass me. Their acknowledgement of my effort is always appreciated.

Jim Mallabone
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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

My wife was struggling with mental health. I took up running to give myself time to think and to give me 30-60 minutes outside whilst not acting as a primary carer.

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

I’m proud of volunteering and have volunteered on 4 occasions compared with my 13 or 14 runs.

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

I’ve recently lost my motivation to run a little bit, my son and I are going to start together whilst he is off school. I’m also trying to write some music and find my creative side whilst staying at home.

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

Very little at the moment but I’ll start running again this week and also I have an indoor bike linked to Zwift and a Concept 2 rowing machine. I just need to find some space in the garage.

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

Southsea is very flat and the turn around was outside my house on the seafront. Great for PBs. However, Gulworthy in Devon is great. 4.5 km of flat and gradual downhill but a final 500m of steep incline. You can push on the flat and downhill and as the final hill is just before the finish you can go hard knowing you can stop very soon. It’s Pomphrey hill on steroids!

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

Mental health has affected my life and all my children’s lives through living with a father and mother who struggle from time to time. Running is so hard for me to get motivated for but when I do manage to get out, the feeling I get afterwards is amazing. I wish I could get my two youngest children to experience that. I’m sure I will in time.

Thanks Sarah and Jim 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 you are doing to remain positive?
Q4 - what you are 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

 

Pomps People Profiles: Getting to Know You, Part 2 – Janet, Steve and Debbie

Last week Catalina published the first two in our new series of portraits of you, our wonderful community at Pomphrey Hill parkrun. So without further ado, may I present Janet's, Steve's and Debbie's profiles:

Janet Jenkins

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Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

I did my very first parkrun at Bushy Park in March 2013 with my daughter and her work colleagues. It was their Event #452 and I was 734 out of a field of 869. I couldn't believe how well organised this free event was. I didn't run another until April 2014 and that was my first Pomphrey Hill parkrun. It was Pomphrey's Event #7 and I was 50th out of a field of just 64. I can't remember how I found Pomphrey but what a great discovery it was. Saturdays haven't been the same since!

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

I was really proud and surprised to have been chosen as parkrunner of the year for 2020. There are so many worthy people out there and I am really honoured to have been given this award. I have found that the weeks I volunteer have been as much fun and as satisfying as the weeks I run. It also means I don't have to struggle up 'that' hill!

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

There is always something to be positive about. In these challenging times, a short walk or run can make everything seem a little easier. Hopefully it won't be too long before we are all back together and enjoying Mr Hill again.

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

Following Government advice Steve and myself are taking a daily brisk walk. We are lucky to live close to countryside where we can escape and enjoy the peace. The exercise bike has come into it's own and I've even tried some skipping!

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

I have run Tooting Common parkrun a number of times. It's 3 laps like Pomphrey but the big difference is it's flat!

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

I love parkrun. It's a challenge to run and rewarding to volunteer. I have met some amazing and inspiring people. It is so inclusive and supportive. Steve and I can both join in and both enjoy in our own way and even occasionally we can persuade our son and daughter to join us. I also get the chance to catch up with my running buddy Jenny. (If we stopped talking we could probably run a bit quicker!).

Thanks Pomphrey, Saturdays won't be the same without you but hopefully parkrun will be back in the not too distant future.

Steve Jenkins

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Q - what originally brought you to parkrun?

My wife brought me to parkrun. I had to give up running on the advice of a surgeon, because of osteoarthritis in my left knee. I found it frustrating watching people run when I no longer could. Janet suggested that I might enjoy parkrun because it was a different sort of event. So I came along one day in 2015 and as always, she was right!  Soon after I started volunteering and now I find it the perfect start to the weekend.

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

My favourite parkrun memory is doing my 100th volunteer role the same day as Janet did her 100th parkrun. It took place on May 4th 2019 (Star Wars Day). Lots of friends gave up their usual plans and joined us plus Jackie and Chris as Tail Walkers. Special thanks to our son, Matt, who despite being a good runner, rarely makes it out of bed in time for a Saturday parkrun. (More likely he feels embarrassed by his parents in fancy dress! or the fact his older sister, Helen, is a better runner).

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

Remaining positive whilst we live in these uncertain times is not too much of a problem.  We should reflect on how lucky we are to be healthy and happy and if people become more tolerant and less selfish, we may come out the other side with a better society.  Let's hope so.

Oh! and drink beer.

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

We are lucky to live near open countryside, so a daily bucolic walk with the correct protocol is not a problem.  A daily workout on the exercise bike helps.

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

I really like Burnham and Highbridge parkrun. Lovely flat course with great views and a nice cafe. Definitely not the Curly Wurly at Somerdale though. I got dizzy just watching!  (Sorry Lynsey, but you're still my favourite RD!). No other parkrun however comes near Pomphrey!

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

I can honestly say that I have not met anyone at parkrun I dislike.  On the contrary I have met lots of great people, many of whom have become good friends.  I have also had the privilege to volunteer alongside truly inspirational young people doing their DoE awards. We also have Jackie and Chris!

Parkrun is inclusive, non-judgemental and inspiring. I would recommend it to anyone.

Debbie Wright

Debbie Wright
Letchworth parkrun with big bro Barry in memory of our mum.

Q1 - what originally brought you to parkrun?

parkrun helped my mental health during marriage break up. Running cleared my head and parkrun gave me a challenge to aim for.

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

Volunteering for Bristol Half Marathon in 2019 in lashing rain, I had about 6 layers on including 2 coats and a rain cover. I marshalled with my pal Bev, who I met through Sportsound C25k and I loved the cheering and support that we encouraged within the crowd.

Q3 - what you are doing to remain positive?

Keeping calm and carrying on, helping take things to friends and neighbours.

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

I'm running, walking and playing Wii games.

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

Letchworth, Herts was my home town, well until my mum died 5 weeks ago.

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

I love parkrun, tell all my friends about it and I wouldn't have kept running these past 5 weeks without you and your support. Hopefully, after 6 years of doing them (I started at Little Stoke) I'll finally crack my 50th!!!!!!

Thank you to Janet, Steve and Debbie!

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 you are doing to remain positive?
Q4 - what you are 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.

The next edition of Pomps People Profiles will be published this weekend.

Until then, stay safe and well!

Ris

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