What an amazing 2019 it was for Preston parkrun. So many records, so many achievements, so many memories.
January could not have started better for Preston. The attendance record was bettered 2 times, with the new record becoming 495. That is incredible especially when you think that we need both Miller Park and Avenham Park just to fit a one mile loop. With all those parkrunners, it can become quite a congestive course.
But that was not to stop Eleanor Whyman-Davis who smashed the female course record in a time of 16.55.
Nor did it stop our fantastic volunteers from turning up. With our weekly heroes, Preston has turned into a hugely attractive parkrun for both locals and tourists.
February however started on a completely different note to January. The first run of the month had to be cancelled, due to icy conditions. With these icy conditions and February being the shortest month, there were only 3 parkruns this month. But it was not all doom and gloom. In fact for me, it was the month I ran my 50th parkrun, as did Susan Hughes, Kirsty Broadley, Matthew Smith, Anna Gaughan, Jason Parker and Rosemary Doran on the same day.
In contrast to February, March held 5 parkruns. The early part of March saw attendances reduce but by the end of March, we were back up to nearly 500. This was with the help of Darwin Dashers who completed their couch to 5k. It was also my first time as a volunteer which I will always recommend to people. All tasks are easy to do and really rewarding.
April became another month in which records were to be rewritten. This month gave us the record amount of volunteers when it reached 40 for the first time. A big thank you must go to all the volunteers who have helped make Preston such a great occasion. Volunteering could not be easier, simply get in touch with the event directly by sending an email to email@example.com.
Plus when you volunteer for the 25th time, you get the 25 t-shirt which is always worn with a great sense of achievement and pride.
May continued with breaking records. This time Preston smashed its way through the 500 mark when 503 runners came and ran around our 2 beautiful parks. May was also the month to celebrate, as Preston marked its 7th year birthday, and celebrate we did.
June continued with the birthday theme for me, as I celebrated my own with a jog/ walk up our torturous hill 3 times. Celebrating your birthday around Preston parkrun is a great way to start your new year. We have a few birthday vests and it's lovely to hear so many birthday messages as you run around our 5km route.
July was a barren spell for Preston as we could only hold 2 events because of events being held in the parks. But this did not mean it was a quiet month. This was the month of the falling branch/ tree.
Fortunately no-one was hurt and a big thank you goes to the volunteers who were on hand to make sure the park remained safe.
The prompt action from our team meant that for most of our runners, they could go about their run oblivious to the carnage that had gone on ahead of them.
August numbers became more manageable as people were going on their summer holidays but crowds were still above 300. This was a month where once again the Preston community were out in force.
But were also joined by the Lions Running Club's couch to 5k graduates.
A big thank you goes to Steve Taylor who has provided us with so many wonderful photos.
September arrived and so did the rain. Lots of it.
For myself, I became a part of the 25 volunteer club. Whilst Ben Smithers volunteered for his 100th time. A truly inspiring amount. I know I have already thanked our volunteers but a big thank you must go to our core team at Preston who make our parkrun happen.
October saw Eliud Kipchoge break the 2 hour mark for a marathon and Andy Benson equal the male course record at Preston. Parkrun celebrated its 15th birthday and we had our annual Halloween run.
November came and went without much incident although in the final week, the run was nearly cancelled due to awful conditions. But after the course was checked for safety, it went ahead. November was also the month in which we hosted Red Rose runners completing their couch to 5k.
December was just a joy to be around the Preston parkrun community. There were so many of you that got into the festive spirit and an amazing 460 people came out to run on our special Christmas Day run. It was a double celebration for Helen McCann as she became our latest member of the volunteer 25 club. Thank you to Helen and all of you so much for brightening us up with your fancy dress.
Finally we ran our last parkrun of the year. 441 runners joined us to say goodbye to 2019. There were 58 people running at Preston for the first time, one of whom was Sally Pearson who joined the 50 club.
Charlie Walder, Shuayb Ingar and Hugo Demetriou joined the junior 10 club. A massive well done to all 3 of you.
But our biggest milestone achiever this week was Louise Walsh. Louise completed her 100th parkrun. Although Louise has run most of her parkruns at Cuerdon Valley, she has become a regular at Preston. Well done Louise and let's see you back again in milestone corner in another 50 weeks.
It was birthday celebrations this week for Ismail Nalla and Sally Anne Calland. Happy birthday to both of you.
My photo of the week is one of our parks. Miller park. We thank you and Avenham park for all your beauty.
So we say goodbye to you but thank each and everyone.
Our not so youngsters.
Our male runners.
Our dog runners.
Our buggy riders.
Our supportive spectators.
And finally, our volunteers, who this week were Davina Bowling, Andy Boyne, Stuart Brown, Robert Brown, Alison Carrington, John Carruthers, Bob Clare, George Coxon, David Crawshaw, Warren Crook, Judith Deakin, Lisa Dickinson, Chris Flowers, Andrew Hall, Kate Harrison, Kate James, Nathan James, Gary James, Ashraf Kazee, Bilal Kazee, Paula Leslie, Catherine Lock, Jim McLean, Adela Nuttall, Jo Roberts, Caroline Sidery, Howard Sidery, Mark Slattery, Sean Sweeney, Steve Taylor and Andrew Tranter.
Last but not least, from myself and the Preston parkrun team, we are looking forward to seeing you all come back next year, in celebrating your success and being a huge part of our wonderful Preston parkrun community. See you all next year.