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....

 

Community profile – Phil Steer

Today's Raphael parkrunner profile is of Phil Steer.

Phil is a member of the 100 Club and has completed 142 parkruns in total, 141 of those at Raphael. He has also run at Shepton Mallet parkrun.

Phil is a member of the Raphael parkrun Core Team* of volunteers and has been involved since the early days, first volunteering as a marshal in November 2015. He has since volunteered on 60 separate occasions, including helping fellow parkrunners achieve new Personal Bests by pacing for us 15 times. Phil can always be relied upon to bring cheer, good humour and a smile to proceedings on a Saturday morning. He really is one of our all-round Mr Nice Guys (and is rather modest, so will probably hate that comment!)

Thanks for all your support of Raphael parkrun, Phil!

Here is Phil’s profile. Enjoy x

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Name Phil Steer

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

15 August 2015

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

Nicola Coles! I "foolishly" responded to a tweet promoting Raphael parkrun, and a month later I'd run out of excuses!

I love parkrun because...

Where to start?! The whole ethos of parkrun is so brilliant. And Raphael parkrun is #probablythebestparkrunintheworld - lovely course, great participants, fantastic team of volunteers. I don't even like running (honestly!) - but I love parkrun. (Before the current "lock-down" parkrun was the only running I did - although I am now going for a run before working-from-home.)

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

My favourite volunteer role is one that I've actually never done - tail walker. For me, it encapsulates so much of what parkrun is all about - everyone welcome, everyone encouraged, no one "left behind" - and especially, perhaps, those who might find it more of a challenge. Of the roles that I've done , I enjoy them all - except scanning (never again, if I have anything to do with it - although I should add that most don't struggle as I do!) What I really like is to be able to encourage others as they run - be that as a marshal, timekeeper or (slow-ish) pacer.

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 love the fact that I get to see beautiful Raphael Park most Saturday mornings throughout the year, and see it changing with the seasons. The course is great - except for *that* hill and the continuing "climb" up to the tennis courts! And I like it being 2½ laps - first time round I've still got a bit of energy; second time round I know I won't have to pass the tennis courts again; and on the final ½ lap the end is in sight!

"Fun" fact about me? I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue! (As could my dad, and as can my brothers.) Good to end on a low...

*for those who are unfamiliar with this, all parkrun events have what’s known as a Core Team, which is a small group of regular volunteers, who commit time to the parkrun over and above what it takes to stage the event on a Saturday morning in the park. Most take turns at being Run Director and several of our Core Team have been involved with the event since its inception. Events could not run without their Core Teams (and ours is a group of enthusiastic, experienced and downright wonderful people! Thanks, Core Team!! x)

 

Community profile – Karen Moore

Our next profile is of parkrunner and volunteer, Karen Moore.

Karen has joined the 100 Club, earning herself a black milestone shirt, having completed a wonderful 102 parkruns in total, 99 of those at Raphael. She has also run at Brentwood and Billericay parkruns.

She's volunteered eight times for us at Raphael, including marshalling, taking photos of the event (we love photos!) and tail walking. Thank you for your support of Raphael parkrun, Karen!

Here is Karen’s profile. Enjoy x

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Name: Karen Moore

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

2nd January 2016

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

My husband started running for fitness with the Navy and I was coming to watch him so thought I would give it a try.

I love parkrun because...

We have made some lovely friends and enjoy the time with family

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

Tail walker because you get to chat to and encourage everyone whilst getting some exercise yourself.

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 parkrun was my 100th with my little boy who I push in the buggy. He had the balloons and had a great time.

#loveparkrun

 

Community Profile – Kelly Patten

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We begin the new week with another Raphael parkrunner profile and today it's the turn of Kelly Patten.

Kelly ran her first parkrun at Raphael just a couple of weeks after the event started back in 2015. She has since completed 147 parkruns in total, 120 of those at Raphael. She has run at eight other events, including Hackney Marshes and Maldon Prom parkrun.

Kelly has marshalled 23 times at Raphael and has also volunteered at the Finish Funnel, handing out the finish tokens to participants. Thanks for your support of Raphael parkrun, Kelly!

Here is Kelly’s profile. Enjoy x

Name: Kelly Patten

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

16th 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 had been taking part in parkrun over at Harrow Lodge park (1st ever parkrun 11/01/2014) and had heard that Raphaels parkrun had started which was all on path (hooray!!!! The mud at Harrow Lodge was getting too much for me ha ha ha) so we decided to give it a try. Me and Tommy running with Lee running whilst pushing Lilly in the park run buggy.

I love parkrun because...

It doesn’t matter what your running ability is, you are always encouraged and made to feel part of the running community. Everyone is really friendly and I have made some great friends!

Which is your favourite volunteer role and why?

I like marshalling by the start line so I can cheer everyone on especially as they are doing their sprint finishes!

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 to parkrun with my husband Lee, son Tommy and, when she isn’t dancing, my daughter Lilly-Rose! I have lots of fond memories a few being running around dressed up as a Rubik’s cube, running in my pjs and as a hula girl! I love running past the lake and hate the hill!!! Fun fact about me: I was lucky enough to get a 2016 London marathon place in the ballot (1st time applying, Lee has tried for the last 11 years with no success. That did not go down well ha ha ha) Never in my life did I think that I would run a marathon but I did in 6:12:43

#loveparkrun

#wewillbeback

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