I, and two fellow Salisbury parkrunners, Anne Norman and Dave Hopkinson, like to tour other parkruns to experience the camaraderie that is common to them all. The fact that no two courses are alike makes them all interesting in their own special way.
We decided to visit Portsmouth Lakeside for our next adventure. Just for good measure, we threw in a bit of voluntourisim as a means of engaging with the local volunteers, without whom these events would never happen.
The team of car park marshals did a superb job guiding us around the large car park to a spot near to the meeting area. We were greeted on arrival by the friendly volunteers and shown where to leave our personal possessions during the run. The New Runners Brief was very good, and the map of the route was very detailed and gave an accurate overview of what to expect.
The marshals were supportive and encouraging. Even faster runners who passed me on the out and back sections had enough breath to add their own words of encouragement. As one of the regular back markers, I always find these comments spur me on.
As a tourist, I was extremely pleased to meet a local runner, Kiernan Easton, who was also a tourist, decked out in his Cow Cowl and Cow Bob.
Anne, Dave and I have consistently found the best way of maximising our parkrun experience is to volunteer, as well as run each course. Speaking with local volunteers, before and after each run, is all part of our personal parkrun journeys, learning about what inspired them to set up their local parkrun and the hurdles they had to overcome.
We really enjoyed the post run coffee and chat with local volunteers and runners, and were more than pleased to make our own small contribution to the running of another successful parkrun event.
PS – you might want to consider compulsory eye tests for your runners. One of your volunteers said she liked my running shirt because of the slogan on the back, which reads, “NO OVERTAKING”. Sadly nobody took a blind bit of notice of it!!! ☹
Run Reporter: Vasen Moodley