Community profile – Carla Khouri

It's time for another parkrunner profile and today it's the turn of Carla Khouri.

Carla has run 62 parkruns in total, 36 of these have been at Raphael. She has also enjoyed running at a host of other events (17 in total), including Castle Park, Stonehouse and Sandall Park and Pymmes parkruns (Off to look some of them up...no idea where they are!)

Carla has volunteered four times for us, barcode scanning and as a marshal. Thank you for your support of Raphael parkrun, Carla!

Here is Carla's profile. Enjoy x

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Name:
Carla Khouri

When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

Sometime in 2018 I think? (It was 13/01/18)

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

I had been to Harrow Lodge a couple of times as it fitted in with my son playing football over there on a Saturday morning. I stopped going as he changed football clubs and I just fitted my runs around drop off and collections. I started to go to Raphael's following a fellow Vegan Runner’s recommendation and I really enjoyed the experience.

Although life can get in the way, I try and get to Parkrun as many Saturdays as possible. This is often not at Raphael as I’m up and down the country still supporting my son at Football.

I love parkrun because...

It’s inclusive. It doesn’t matter what age, gender, colour, physique or fitness level, everyone gets a warm welcome. I tell anyone that will listen to go along.

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

I haven’t volunteered as much as I’d like because I often can’t commit to being in one place from week to week. Of the volunteering I have done though I like scanning as you get to see everyone at the end and congratulate them on what they’ve managed to achieve before most people have got out of their beds on a Saturday morning. When parkrun is back to some kind of normality I vow to volunteer more and try a variety of roles.

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

I usually come along with my husband Dudley and on rare occasions my sons. The favourite part of the course is alongside the lake. It’s just so beautiful (and as flat as a pancake).

Favourite memory. Well not so much a favourite memory but a favourite photo. My husband snuck up behind me coming into the finish funnel which led to a sprint finish. He beat me for the first time ever and was VERY happy. The volunteer photographer captured that moment perfectly.

Other facts about me. I’m a teacher in a local school. Aside from running, I love climbing mountains and qualified as a mountain leader last year (My day job is a Secondary science teacher). I’m also getting in some practice on the bike as I’ve signed up to my first half Ironman later this year.

I was known as traffic lights at school as I have two different coloured eyes.

Before I bore you with my whole life story, I’ll sign off with I can’t wait to see you all at the bandstand soon.

 

Community profile – James Plumer

First parkrun (first proper run outside!) - 2017... Went on to complete the London Marathon!

Today's parkrunner profile is yet another wonderful example of the huge impact joining parkrun can have on people's lives.

James Plumer has completed 108 parkruns, 106 of these at Raphael, the other two at Ally Pally and Warmer and Deal Seafront parkruns.

James has volunteered 6 times for us, timekeeping, barcode scanning and handing out finish tokens, Thank you for your support of Rapahel parkrun, James!

Another Raphael sibling partnership, James's sister, Sarah, also volunteers and runs at here and we have already been treated to her profile.

So here is James's profile. Enjoy x

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Name: James Plumer

When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

4 February 2017

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

My sister had done parkruns previously and asked me to come along with her. I’d only ever really run on treadmills in the gym and was a little nervous about actually running on paths

I love parkrun because...

It keeps me focused when other temptations threaten to take me away from my fitness and running. The thought of losing streaks or not reaching milestones makes sure I stay in on Friday nights and/or get myself out of bed Saturday morning

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

I like timekeeping as I like seeing all the people finishing their runs. From the super quick top ten all the way to the tail walkers everyone gets to cross the finish line and complete their personal achievement. It’s nice to be there to witness it for every single parkrunner.

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

Since my first parkrun in 2017, which was my first ever proper run outside, I’ve gone on to complete 10k’s, a half marathon and the London Marathon. In 2019 I clocked up 1,003 running miles out on the roads and in the parks. I know I’d never done any of that had it not been for that first parkrun so I’m massively grateful for all parkrun has given me.

 

Community profile – Tommy

Today we have the profile of one of Raphael's junior runners.

Tommy has run a fantastic total of 208 parkruns, with 189 of these being at Raphael. He has also run at 9 other 5k events, including Maldon Prom, Billericay and Hackney Marshes.

In addition to this, Tommy has run 99 junior parkruns, at 7 different courses, including Brentwood, Harrow Lodge, Dartford and Stanley Park. Amazing stuff, what an achievement!

Tommy has also volunteered for us 9 times – thank you for your support of Raphael parkrun, Tommy!

So here is Tommy's profile. Enjoy x

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When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

My first ever parkrun was on 27/09/14 at Harrow Lodge but my first Raphael parkrun was on 16/05/15.

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

My Mum and Dad had done some and it looked fun so I wanted to have a go and see if I could run 5km.

I love parkrun because...

It’s fun and I’ve made good friends and I like trying to push myself to get a PB.

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

I like to stand on the hill with Les! I like to cheer and encourage everyone on.

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

I run mostly with my family. My favourite part of the course is running past the lake because I like being cooled down by the fountain when it’s windy.

My favourite memories include being scared by Steve Easley jumping out from behind a tree on a Halloween run, getting my PB just before I went on holiday to Florida of 21:28, and I’ll always remember running past Awtar by the gates where he would always cheer me on and sometimes give me sweets. I will miss him very much!

Interesting facts about me are that I love my supercars and know many facts about them and I’m a big Liverpool FC fan and recently met the legend that is Phil Thompson.

 

Community profile – Suzanne Nott

During this unprecedented time, we have been blessed with lots of content on our social media to keep us all occupied while we are away. Well, it's time to meet the very special Core Team member (and co-Event Director) responsible!

For today's profile, it is the turn of parkrunner, Suzanne Nott. Since its inception, parkrun has had a massive impact on so many lives and Suzanne is certainly no exception. From her first run in July 2018, Suzanne has pretty much been ever present at Raphael's both as a participant and a volunteer. She is closing in on that red t-shirt, having completed 38 runs. Along with Raphael she has also run at Billericay, Jersey and Brentwood and has also completed the pilgrimage to Bushy!

Along with participating, Suzanne has completed a massive 122 volunteer tasks at 87 events including volunteering at Brentwood Junior parkrun. Suzanne's enthusiasm is infectious. This can be seen in the way she is so welcoming and motivating when giving the First Timer's briefing, to the way she heaps praise on those finishing when she's issuing finish tokens.

Suzanne is definitely parkrun through and through and she can often be seen proudly running in her parkrun t-shirts. She is an integral part of the core team and in February stepped up to become co-Event Director. Suzanne has really kept us going while we are away from parkrun - from the immense effort of compiling the community profiles to coming up with quizzes and other parkrun related activities to keep us all occupied. We thank Suzanne for everything she does at parkrun and behind the scenes. Special thanks too for being guardian of the kit while we are on our current break, having the speaker box and kit bag is like having an extra member of the family!

Here is Suzanne’s profile…

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When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

21st July 2018

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

My sister, Louisa, (and now my Co-Event Director at Raphael) was Run Director and in desperate need of marshals, so I agreed to help out. She had been taking part in parkrun for a few years, but it had never occurred to me that it would be something I would enjoy being involved in. That week, I ended up jog/walking the course, as a complete non-runner, encouraged by Louisa, because other volunteers had come forward to marshal. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it round in 41:46. Louisa then told me about the NHS Couch to 5k plan and I have gone from someone who used to say “I can’t run” (and using my type 1 diabetes as an excuse to get out of sport at school) to recently completing my first half marathon and achieving a parkrun PB of 25:43. So parkrun has really impacted on my life! I am happier, fitter and best of all, I met my wonderful boyfriend, Eric, at Raphael, so I can’t thank my sister enough for encouraging me to come along that very first time!

I love parkrun because...

of the people. The community spirit at Raphael is just fantastic. There’s always laughter and friendship and a sense of belonging to something very special. I look forward to each and every event and it’s the best way to start the weekend.

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

My favourite weeks are probably when I do the First Timers’ briefing and then giving out the tokens at the Funnel, congratulating everyone, but particularly those first timers, as they finish.

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

Despite starting my parkrun journey in July 2018, I have only managed to complete 38 parkruns myself. I get so much out of volunteering that my running usually comes second.
My favourite part of the course is probably the tennis courts loop. It is great to look ahead and to the side of you and see so many other participants. It always makes me feel proud that between us we have managed to achieve something so positive together on those Saturday mornings! Cancelling the event due to ice on my very first Run Director week in February 2019 wasn’t much of a highlight. However the support from everyone when I was in the midst of making that difficult decision was incredible and much appreciated!

 

Community profile – Peter Hobday

Time for another Raphael parkrunner profile and today it's the turn of Peter Hobday.

Peter has run a wonderful total of 205 parkruns, 178 of these have been at Raphael. He has enjoyed a bit of parkrun tourism, running at 10 other events, including Weymouth, Whitstable and Jubilee parkruns.

Peter has volunteered on 19 occasions, including pacing at our Chase the Pacer events, barcode scanning and marshalling for us. Thanks for all your support of Raphael parkrun, Peter!

Here is Peter's profile. Enjoy x

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When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

At the very first one in May 2015

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

There was a competition at work. We were encouraged to run at least 10 parkruns in a 3 month period, with prizes awarded for the best improvement, most PBs or doing 10 different parkruns. It coincided with trying to recover my fitness after a bad bout of sciatica and I thought it would be a good way to measure my progress. It started in mid April so my first two were at Harrow Lodge Park in Hornchurch, then I transferred allegiance to Raphael and haven't looked back.

I love parkrun because...

Everyone encourages you to do your best, whatever your standard. I have come to know a few others who are about my pace and we spur each other on week by week, with good-natured but real rivalry. I have made some good friendships as a result, and it has spurred me to enter formal races last year for the first time since University.

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

I quite enjoy being a marshal out on the course somewhere cheering everyone on. It also means my dog can join me (he is too lazy and also now too old to run 5k)

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

I have often run with my daughter Catherine until she became too busy in the past year or so; I would usually finish in time to run the last small lap with her. We have also often run at the nearest parkrun when on holiday, including the one at Green Point in Cape Town.

My favourite part of the course is turning the corner at the top of the hill on the last lap - one final push and the pain ends!

My favourite parkrun memory has to be the time I finished first - it was the day before the Brentwood Half Marathon and nearly all the quicker regulars had entered that and so didn't run at Raphael. I led from the front and kept expecting someone to catch me but nobody did. Ironically the Half was cancelled due to snow!

 

Community Profile – Laura Park

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Tail walking is a really popular volunteer role and the slots usually get filled several weeks in advance. Originally called the ‘tail runner’, the role was renamed 'tail walker' in 2017 and the idea is that none of our participants are last to finish, that’s the job of the tail walkers. They make sure that everyone is accounted for and let the marshals know when they can stand down from their marshal spots. They remind participants of things like keeping left on narrow parts of the course and importantly, they provide encouragement and support to those running past them and those walking alongside them.

It’s a great way to get both a run credit and a volunteer credit in one go and as today’s featured parkrunner, Laura Park, tells us, it’s a great volunteer role if you enjoy a nice chat!

Laura has completed 75 parkruns, 74 of those at Raphael and the other one at Valentines.

Laura has volunteered 5 times, once as a marshal and four times tail walking for us. Thank you for your support of Raphael parkrun, Laura!

Laura’s profile was written before we heard the sad news about our wonderful marshal, Awtar, who gets a special mention…

Here is Laura’s profile. Enjoy x

Name: Laura Park

When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

I have no idea! (Laura completed her first Raphael parkrun on 23.5.15, which was our the fourth event)

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

My Mum and Sister tried to get me to go along to parkrun for ages before I actually plucked up the courage to join them. I always thought I could never run 5k! Eventually I completed the NHS couch to 5k plan and went along to parkrun

I love parkrun because...

It gets me out of bed on a Saturday morning, keeps me fit and means that I have earned my peanut butter on toast made by my Dad. Also gives me extra time to chat to my Mum on our walk to and from parkrun. The atmosphere of Raphael’s parkrun is very friendly and welcoming so that keeps me motivated on route.

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

Tail walker as I can rope someone in to doing it with me and chat along the way!

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

My mum is always at parkrun so we go together. Sometimes my sister Louise comes as well :) We even managed to convince my niece Hannah to come along once!

My favourite part of the course is by the lake as it’s nice to see the nature and of course when I pass Lesley and Awtar, who always cheer everyone on with a smile :)

 

Community profile – Mike and Carol Yore

We all know that it isn't possible to run the event without enough marshals. Mike and Carol Yore volunteer to marshal for us regularly, standing there in all weathers and many a Run Director has been known to say "Thank goodness for Mike and Carol" when their email offering to help drops into the Raphael inbox!

Both members of the 25 Volunteer Club and we are so grateful for their amazing support of the event.

Mike has volunteered 59 times, marshalling a wonderful 57 times for us.

Carol has volunteered 48 times, a wonderful 46 times as a marshal.

They have both completed two parkruns, as our tail walkers.

Thanks for everything Mike and Carol!

Here is their profile. Enoy x

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When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

We joined as marshals about October 2018

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

We came along because our son Peter when he lived at home ran in the parkrun and said they were always looking for marshals

I love parkrun because...

We love parkrun because it’s a healthy activity that all in the community can enjoy

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

We like to marshal or tail walk as you meet lots of nice people and it’s nice to help out. We like to marshal on the hill and give old Les a hand from time to time

 

 

Community profile – Jude

Today, one of our junior parkrunners, Jude, tells us why he loves parkrun.

Jude has completed a fantastic 85 parkruns, 81 of those have been at Raphael. He has also run at Lincoln, Hockley Woods, Valentines and Beeston parkruns.

Jude has marshalled for us 4 times. Thank you for your support of Raphael parkrun, Jude!

Here is Jude’s profile. Enjoy x

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When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

8th April 2017

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

I came along with my Dad - he forced me! (but I'm glad he did)

I love parkrun because...

It makes me feel fit and healthy

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

Marshalling, because I can clap the other runners

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

I come along with my Dad and sometimes Justin Barrett and we usually see Amy and Ian there. My big brother Xavier came once and couldn't even run the first lap!

 

Community Profile – Lee Patten

Our next profile is of parkrunner and volunteer, Lee Patten.

Lee has run a total of 179 parkruns, 154 of those at Raphael. He has also run at 9 other events, including Maldon Prom and Hackney Marshes parkruns.

Lee has volunteered for us on 22 separate occasions, including pacing for us 6 times as part of our popular Chase the Pacer events. And once he's finished his own 5k, he stands on the course somewhere, encouraging and supporting other parkrunners as they finish theirs.

Thank you for all your support of Raphael pakrun, Lee!

Here's Lee's profile. Enjoy x

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Name: Lee Patten

When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

23/05/15

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?
For the weeks previously we had been running Harrow Lodge but Raphael sounded perfect as it meant I could run with the buggy with my toddler daughter Lilly and with Tommy who was only 6 years old then.
I love parkrun because...

I’ve always loved running myself even since I was a kid and it keeps me fit for football which I still play. The kids run it with me too and it’s a great way to start the weekend and burn the energy built up over the working week. It’s great to catch up too with the many friends I’ve made over time as well. People who I’d met years ago and not seen for ages suddenly appearing at parkrun!

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

Volunteering with Les on the hill as not only does it give us a chance to catch up with the weeks events in the SAL it gives me many opportunities to cheer on the runners as everyone is guaranteed to pass 3 times.

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

My favourite park run memory was the last time I beat Adam Coals (pre his Ilford A/C days!)...seriously parkrun is a great way to bring the community together, all the fancy dress runs have seen some great outfits over the years.

My daughter ran her first 5k on her 4th birthday and my son who has just turned 11 has run over 200 times which is more than me.

The best thing about Raphael is no matter how many tourist park runs I do none of them beat the home one.

#loveparkrun

#wewillbeback

 

Community profile – Carole Styles

Today's Rapahel parkrunner profile is of Carole Styles.

Carole has been a participant at Raphael since the event began and has run 63 parkruns in total, all at our course. She tells us in her profile that she was really keen to get back to parkrun before the lockdown, having suffered some unfortunate setbacks. We wish her all the best and look forward to seeing her, and the rest of the Raphael community back at the park, when we restart!

Carole has volunteered on 38 occasions, undertaking a range of roles including marshalling, tail walking and barcode scanning. Thank you for your support of Raphael parkrun, Carole!

Here is Carole’s profile. Enjoy x

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Name: Carole Styles

When did you take part in your first parkrun event at Raphael?

My first parkrun was Raphael’s first event - 2nd May 2015

What made you come along that very first time? How did you hear about parkrun? Did someone encourage you to come along?

I knew about parkrun as my Dad has always been involved with Havering AC and occasionally had been to Harrow Lodge but I don't do mud..... So when Raphael started Dad said I had to go and I live on the doorstep so it was ideal. Plus it’s all on the path

I love parkrun because...

I'm not competitive, I like taking part and joining in and it's about finishing on your own terms. I've met so many people through parkrun which has been lovely.

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

I enjoy being a marshal as it's fun to cheer and encourage others and be bossy and shout "keep left". Also enjoy timekeeper and giving out tokens.

Anything else? Such as who you come along with, favourite Raphael parkrun memory, favourite part of the course, milestone memories, fun facts about you...

Favourite memories have to be: Halloween parkrun about 3 years ago when I was on the hill marshalling with Mick Brown. We weren't very encouraging as we were just too amused with all the outfits as so many people dressed up and spent the whole time laughing. Tommy Patten celebrated a milestone and I was a marshal on the playground gate. It was freezing but he had chosen a pjs theme so I had a ridiculous onesie on and was grumbling to myself about why was I not still in bed. But in hindsight I was standing there nice and toasty and when Tommy and Kelly appeared they got a big cheer and I wagged my tail

Favourite part of the course: when I'm running, has to be the last lap of the tennis courts as I feel I'm getting somewhere. I've sung "When will I see you again" quite a few times to whoever is marshalling there.

I must be high on the list for injuries and accidents. I haven't run as much as I should over the past few years or could due to a few set backs....... work step challenge and developing plantar fasciitis, the epic slip at a petrol station and being carted to A&E due to the head injury and bleeding plus fractured arm, the mysterious case of DVT in both legs and more recently a kidney operation a few months ago. I was ready to come back and restart, I'm way off my PB time and won't ever get back to that speed but not fussed it's the taking part that counts

I'm very much a fair weather jogger and did I mention I don't do mud....