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…
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!