On the second sunny Saturday in July, Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun had a summer feel to it. Not only was the weather hot, there were also several run/walkers in grass skirts and flowery tops which gave a Hawaiian feel to the event. Due to traffic congestion in the local area caused by emergency roadworks, combined with the fact there were lots of visitors coming to help celebrate some milestone runs, Charlie (RD) deliberately delayed the start to 09:05. This gave people an opportunity to continue chatting, do some warm ups etc, but it wasn’t a long enough delay to help some of the Denmead Striders recover from their ‘self induced headaches’ after the previous evenings social event!!! However, well done to them for turning up and somehow getting around the course!
Milestone celebratory shout outs must go to the following people who completed their 50th parkrun - Congratulations to
Dave Oliver, Matthew McLean, Danny Tracy, Vicki Tracy, and to Samantha Black who completed her 100th parkrun. Cakes were being given out to celebrate these achievements and I must say, they were delicious.
I could personally sum up Saturdays parkrun as an ‘it didn’t go as planned’ event. Whilst 397 people completed the course, at least 399 started it, My youngest daughter Abigail (10) had been looking forward to doing her 4th parkrun with me. I was secretly hoping we could beat her PB of 54 minutes. She excitedly ran from the car to the start line, then ran from the start to the first T-Junction, then that’s kind of where she wanted to stay (we often marshal at this point). Abi has Down Syndrome and does find the distance a challenge. Previous times have involved me running, walking, skipping, hopping and piggybacking her around the course. After a stop/start/run/walk/carry her upside down to make her giggle/run/walk/carry her etc, to the underpass and back to the T-Junction, it was quite clear that she had changed her mind and just didn’t want to go any further. Normally I would persevere and do anything and everything to get her across the finish line, but something inside me made me realise both her and my limitations and that’s when we stopped. But ....... that’s not where our involvement in parkrun ended that day. After watching her sister come back from the lake to the T-Junction, she decided to run back to the start and ‘help’ do the barcode scanning. With our second ever highest number of participants, it was very busy getting everyone through scanning. To those of you who were scanned by Abi, thank you for your patience. Initially I had felt despondent about not being able to run with her, and thank you to those of you who offered to have her so I could have continued, but actually knowing our physical limitations yesterday meant that she was able to do something that she enjoyed a little more and the smile on her face was one that I wouldn’t have seen if we’d continued running.
So, in short, it’s ok to start and not finish, it’s ok to never start but just to volunteer. Whatever you do, make sure it’s the right thing for you, do whatever puts that smile on your face and keep enjoying the parkrun experience.