In Memory of Morgan.

 
 

Morgan Quinn
28th September 1961 - 10th February 2020

 

 

Morgan at Riddlesdown

 
I can remember the time and place I met Morgan. It was approximately 9.35am on 4th July 2009, on the finish line at Banstead Woods parkrun, when he handed me a round metal disc with a number on it, and said “Well done.” That was my first ever parkrun, and Morgan was the finish tokens volunteer. After that, Morgan was a regular part of my Saturday mornings, as he was part of BWp’s core-team, and we were regularly volunteering together.

Almost exactly two years after that first meeting, Riddlesdown parkrun began – in July 2011 – Morgan & Kaye were two thirds of the founding core-team. Of the three of us, Morgan was definitely the quietest, but he was often the voice of reason, and looking back, without his rocklike stability, Riddlesdown might not have gotten through the first six months.

Morgan volunteered on 143 occasions at Riddlesdown, and the vast majority of those occasions fell within the first three years, which is a huge achievement. His volunteer total of 222 occasions is also impressive.
Morgan didn’t like doing pre-run announcements – but he did them, on 14 occasions. His starring role, however, was that of Timekeeper - a task feared by many - which he fulfilled 110 times.
He also ran – 15 parkruns in total, 7 of those at Riddlesdown, and whilst he always looked as if he was enjoying himself, he also swore blind that he was never running again every time!

At Riddlesdown parkrun’s third anniversary, we presented collages of photographs to all those who had run or volunteered 100 times at Riddlesdown – Morgan was one of only 4 people to receive the latter. He was also presented with the ‘Skylark Award for Courage and Dedication above and beyond the Call of Duty’ in recognition of the fact that he had done 20+ of that year’s volunteering stints on crutches, following a fall and a broken leg whilst on holiday.

Morgan was a really special man – I’ve spent a lot of time in the last 10 days looking at photos and thinking about those early days at Riddlesdown. He was generous with his time and his compassion. Always willing to help out others – he regularly ended up with numerous children in his care whilst their parents were running, and there are photos of him looking a little like the Pied Piper.
He had a quietly wicked sense of humour – which would often result in me spluttering uncontrollably at inappropriate moments whilst he smiled angelically nearby – and he was amazingly loyal.

The last time we saw Morgan at Riddlesdown was on 13th April 2019, at Kaye’s 500th parkrun. His health wasn’t great, but he asked for a marshalling role, which he fulfilled, and he was overwhelmingly grateful for the fuss we’d made for Kaye that day. If I’d known then then what I know now I’d have made a huge fuss of him too.

Morgan didn’t grab attention, but he made life happier for those around him, and we are all better for having known him.

He will be missed.

 

Nicki Clark
Event Director
Riddlesdown parkrun

 

Morgan Quinn

 
 

Morgan Quinn

 

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It is with great personal sadness that I share this
 
 
Morgan Quinn, co-founder of Riddlesdown parkrun, died peacefully last night after a long illness.
Rest in peace, Morgan, you will be much missed.
 
 
I’m sure that I speak for all the team at Riddlesdown in saying that our hearts and out thoughts are with Kaye, and the rest of Morgan’s family.
 
 
 

Nicki Clark
Event Director, RIddlesdown parkrun

 

Christmas & New Years Day parkruns at Riddlesdown

 

 

Special Festive Events - Christmas Day and New Year's Day at Riddlesdown parkrun

 

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We are delighted to announce that there will be 2 extra parkruns over the festive season at Riddlesdown parkrun - one on Christmas Day, one on New Year's Day
 

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Both Events will be at 9am, and will be VERY prompt indeed (especially the NYD Event)
 

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As most of you will know, NYD is the only day of the year that you can run 2 parkruns in one day and have both results count - Squerryes Winery parkrun are running their NYD event at 10.30, and our very own Andrew Sharp is RD for the occasion - a number of us will be heading over there for the second run of the morning, and there will doubtless be other local options
 

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Both of these events are subject to us having sufficient volunteers, and we hope to see some highly festive costumes.
 

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Lots of Festive Love.
 

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Nicki Clark
Event Director
 

In Memory of Julie McDonald

 

In Memory of Julie McDonald

 

Julie ran her first parkrun at Riddlesdown during our first summer, in August 2011, and she ran regularly for 2 years, until a diagnosis of and treatment for breast cancer made running impossible. Nothing if not determined, Julie returned to us in June of 2017, and once again parkran regularly, clocking up a total of 104 runs at Riddlesdown – 124 in total. Julie was justifiably proud of her black 100 tee, and I can remember her determination out on the course – a run-walker after she returned in 2017, but always striving to run more than she walked, and being absolutely delighted when she ran the entire path from Barrie’s bend to the finishing field.
 

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Julie ran her last parkrun on 27th April 2019 – I was behind her on the path through the woods on that Saturday, and although I didn’t catch her, I noticed that she seemed to be weaving about a bit, and at the end she said that she wasn’t feeling too well. Doctor’s appointments followed, and although she wasn’t feeling up to running, Julie volunteered, marshalling at the picnic bench when she told me that she had a scan booked, and the word ‘cancer’ entered the conversation.
Julie always saw parkrun as more than just a form of exercise, and she volunteered on 45 occasions, most notably as a tailwalker with her tiny (but fierce) little dog, Perry, and her good friend Jill Edwards. Julie volunteered for the 5 weeks after her diagnosis, but was then just too ill for a while. However, in September I had a text message asking if she could volunteer as a barcode scanning, so that she wouldn’t have to walk too far but could still come and help. And she did – sat down, but smiling, and enjoying herself.
The final text message I received from Julie was absolutely typical of her – she told me how much she had enjoyed her parkrun time, both as a runner and a volunteer, and asked us to take care of Jill, because she was worried about her friend.
Julie died on 7th November.
 

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She was a remarkable woman, a generous and caring human being, and an genuinely lovely lady.
Event 455 was dedicated to her memory.

Nicki Clark
Event Director

 

Festive Events at Riddlesdown parkrun – Christmas and New Year’s Day

 

 

The Festive Season at Riddlesdown parkrun!

 
It's Official!
We have permission from the landowners - Thank you Croydon Council
We have permission from Warlingham School - Thank you Mr Bradwell

Extra Festive parkruns are ON, 9am Christmas Day, 9am New Year's Day ...
 

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Christmas Day start line - 2015

 
There is one condition, however - volunteers!

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Christmas Day Ken - 2016

 
We need volunteers... 7 non running volunteers for each event, to ensure that it is safe, and that no one is put under undue stress to get things safely organised. In addition we will need set-up and take down volunteers, but they can run as well, and a tail walker, obviously!
 

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The Christmas Day Volunteer Team - 2014

 
I'm happy to be one of the 7 for each event, and in addition to Run Director, we will need a timekeeper, a finish token giveouter, a barcode scanner, an marshal for Barrie's Bend (and it would be nice if Barrie could run, don't you think?) a back up timer and a number checker.
 

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Christmas Day 2011 - Our littlest volunteer at our first Christmas Event

 
It would be nice to have some photos, a run report, an extra scanner, marshalls on all the corners as well, but as a starting point, 6 people who are willing to volunteer for the extra events are needed.
 

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Christmas Day - 2013 - A bit damp!

 
Soooooo - Fancy a run on Christmas morning, to balance out the indulgences to come? Or some fresh air to clear the hangover? If you'd like to volunteer (tis the season of goodwill, after all!) please let us know - either by emailing the event inbox on riddlesdownhelpers@parkrun.com or signing up on Saturday at the registration table where you scan your barcode.
 

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Christmas 2012 - The wet one!

 

See you all on the Downs,
Nicki and Team Ridds
 

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Christmas 2013

 

 

Fancy No-Dress Event – naked parkun at Event 314!!

 

 

 

***News... 500th Event Milestone, Naked parkrun, Defibrillator fundraiser ... News***

 

Dearest Riddlesdownites,
 
I’d like begin by thanking everyone who has volunteered so far for April – volunteers keep the Event alive, and ensure its continuation.

On a lighter note – several people have picked up on the fact that my 500th volunteering occasion is rapidly approaching, and have asked what we are planning to do to celebrate this… now parkrun don’t officially celebrate volunteering milestones after 25 (yet!) so we’ve decided to create our own occasion.

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We will be celebrating at Event 314, which is not this week, but the week after, because that is the event that most of the core team will be at - It will actually be my 501st volunteer, but I don’t believe in tempting fate so that’s ok by me!

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The celebration will involve cakes (please make and bring cakes – I will!) as always, which will mainly be consumed at The Horseshoe on Warlingham Green, whilst we process results and everyone is invited to come along and join us. It has become something of a tradition to celebrate major milestones with some kind of fancy dress themed run. Now, I hate fancy dress, and as this is my milestone, we’ve decided that a Fancy No-Dress Event is appropriate. Yes, that’s right – a naked parkrun.
 

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Anyone who has earned a purple ’25 volunteers’ t-shirt can wear that, and other purple clothing. Children (and here we’re going for anyone who has to run with an adult or guardian, so the 11 and unders) may wear clothes. Volunteers may wear their Hi-vis vests, and any other hi-vis fig leaves they happen to have!

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As for the rest of you – naked parkrun! (running shoes are allowed)

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If you wish to wear clothes, then we ask that a forfeit is made – in the form of a donation to our DEFIBRILATOR FUND.

Following the death of a parkrunner last week at an event in the midlands, we have decided that it really is time we had our own defibrillator. parkrun have negotiated a discount, but even with this, we need at least £600 for the most basic model – and at the moment Riddlesdown’s donation fund has £38 in it! We are not allowed to handle cash or cheques, so to make a donation you will need to access the following link: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/riddlesdown/aboutus/ and click on the DONATE to parkrun button. The 15% which usually goes to new event start-up will be given back to us when we have sufficient monies (less 15%) to order our defibrillator.

So – there you have it – not tomorrow, but the week after, Event 314, Naked parkrun!
See you (all of you!) there!

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Nicki Clark
Event Director, Riddlesdown parkrun

 

 

A few words about volunteering -

 

 

To volunteer, or not volunteer, that is the question.

This is an appeal to all of our runners, and although it is a fairly long post, I'd be grateful if you could spare the time to read it.

In addition to the serious stuff below - volunteering is fun. It is easier than running! The event is free, partly because of the volunteers each week. Putting something back into your event helps to keep it going. If you volunteer 25 times, you get a purple t-shirt. If you’re racing later in the day, you can get a volunteer in first. If you're injured, you can support others to achieve their goals. And it is possible to run and volunteer, particularly if you plan ahead and book up the slot early, or if you are finishing in the top 40% of the field.
If you haven't volunteered before, or haven't volunteered recently, please could you have a look at the roster and think seriously about whether you could.

It is becoming increasingly hard to fill the roster each month, with the same hard core group doubling up and running themselves ragged to keep the same standard of event delivery going.
Thus far there have always been photos and always been a report, but these things are not essential and particularly in the case of photos, will just stop happening - it isn't fair to expect the person on timer to also take photos, and the Run Director is no longer allowed to do any job other than Run Direct - which means supervise the event, and be ready to deal with any emergency or situation which occurs.
The half way timer role will also disappear if we can't cover all the marshal slots.

We can put the event on with 5 non-running volunteers each week - RD, Timer, Finish Tokens, Barcode scanner and a marshal on Barrie's Bend.

BUT:

If we do this, it will be a very different event to that which we are used to.

There will be no back up if the timer goes wrong, either through technical or human error, and this would have resulted in the entire field being given a time of 59:59 on at least one occasion this year already. The extra stress and pressure this would put on the volunteer operating the timer would make that role even harder to fill.

Only one person on each of finish tokens and barcode scanning means that queues will build up.
With finish tokens, this means that the funnel may overflow, and people won't get the correct place or time, and human nature being what it is, runners will get impatient, and the volunteer giving out the tokens will be under more pressure, and thus is more likely to drop the tokens, etc. Again, this makes the role more stressful, and more difficult to fill.
Barcode scanning will just take longer, and runners will get cold, but again, this is likely to result in increasingly harassed and pressured volunteers, with more mistakes, and less willingness to repeat the job.

No photos, no halfway timer, and only one marshal.
These things will not make the event un-runnable, but they will make it less pleasant for the runners, with less support, and no photographic record of the day.

 

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In terms of Health and Safety, we have NEVER had to cancel an event This, in part, has been because when conditions have been less than perfect, we have had sufficient marshals to ensure that all the potentially dangerous parts of the course are negotiated safely. As the roster currently stands, if it is icy, we won't be able to do this, and I am not going to put an event on if the course is not safe.
I am aware that we have, historically, been very lucky with volunteers, and it is sad that with the largest numbers of runners we've ever had, our volunteer numbers are at an all-time low, with the roster often being filled late on a Friday night as a result of frantic text messages begging for support from some of our stalwarts.
So, if you're still reading, (and I'm aware that I'm preaching to the converted to some extent) please see if you can help. The event needs you.

Our email address is riddlesdownhelpers@parkrun.com

Thank you, as always.

Riddlesdown parkrun team

 

Event 303 – On or Off? UPDATE…

 

 

EVENT 303 IS (possibly) ON.

After a course inspection this evening, and a drive down Tithe Pit Shaw Lane on the way home, there is at least a fighting chance that we will be open for business as (almost) normal tomorrow.

BUT:

The carpark will not be open.
Warlingham School have requested that the gates remain shut, as the carpark will not have been gritted and the should a runner slip and sue, they may well be liable. If we do go ahead, runners will need to use on-road parking, and we would ask that if possible car sharing/cycling and walking/jogging to the event are all utilised to the full, so as to reduce the pressure on local roads. Please do not park in the lay-by unless you are part of the pre-event set up team, and please try to avoid upsetting the residents!

THERE WILL BE NO TOILET ACCESS.

This isn't negotiable.
 
If there is further snowfall, and Tithe Pit Shaw Lane becomes unsafe (ie, if I cant drive up it!) or if the police close the road, then we will cancel, as this will mean there is no ambulance access in the event of an emergency.
 
The Course
The course is wet and a bit disgusting. The pictures below show the water feature by the tree, and the path either side.
 

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The grass areas are snow/slush and a bit wet.
 

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The paths are grim - slush, water, mud and the odd chunk of ice. IF THIS ALL FREEZES TONIGHT, it may make the course unsafe.
 

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If we decide after an early morning course assessment that it is not reasonable to go ahead, we will make the decision to cancel then.

Whatever decision we make will appear on our facebook page by 8am (Course inspection at 7.30)

Link: https://www.facebook.com/riddlesdownparkrun

If we do go ahead, it will not be a course for the faint-hearted. If you don't fancy getting wet, cold and possibly muddy, then please don't come!
It won't be nice for children, for small dogs, or for those who have a tendency to fall over anyway! The Irrepressibles will love it, although they should be at the Surrey League race!
Appropriate footwear will be essential - spikes, trail-shoes, even football boots, but road shoes aren't going to cut it.
Warm clothing is probably a good idea - for volunteers it will be essential.

Please remember there will always be another parkrun day, and if you're not sure that you want to run at Ridds tomorrow, don't risk it. There are other events nearby:Whilst Nonsuch has already cancelled, Banstead Woods is more sheltered, Roundshaw and Lloyd are not at the top of a hill - please check their event news pages and social media as before setting off, as they are likely to be making morning inspections as well.

Above all, stay safe - and enjoy the snow!
Check FB tomorrow morning, we'll update by 8am.
Thanks,
Nicki.
ED, Ridds.

 

Christmas and New Year’s Day at Riddlesdown parkrun

 
 

Extra, extra.... extra festive runs....

 
Good Evening Riddlesdownites,
 

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Some good news for those of you hoping for extra runs and fun at Christmas - we have permission from the lovely Andrew Williams of Croydon Council to have 2 extra events, one on Christmas Day, and one on New Year's Day. Both events will be 9am as usual, and they will only go ahead if we have sufficient volunteers to ensure all is safe for everyone.
 

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If you are available to volunteer for either of the extra events - or in fact for any of the events in December, please sign up on Saturday, or email us on riddlesdownhelpers@parkrun.com
 

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The usual Saturday events will be as usual - and the one on New Year's Eve will be our 300th... any suggestions as to how we should celebrate will be most welcome.

See you tomorrow!

 

Car park restrictions – Saturday 16th July 2016

As those of you who are connected to Warlingham School are doubtless aware, Paul Derrett, the member of the premises team who lived on-site, very sadly passed away this morning.

Aside from the personal loss, Paul was a great friend to Riddlesdown parkrun, going way beyond the remit of his job to make things possible for us in all weathers, as the school car park use was one of the conditions laid down by Croydon Council when we applied for permission to use the Downs for our Event.

After some discussion, the school have agreed that we can open the car park tomorrow morning and thus Riddlesdown parkrun can go ahead, but they have asked that we restrict parking to the front car parks only, leaving the side gate and back car parks shut and empty, thus giving his family privacy and peace over the weekend.

Obviously we will comply with this request.

This will mean that there will be less parking space than usual, so if you can get to the event either by sharing cars, on foot or on a bike, please do.

Our condolences to Paul's family, and to all those who knew and will miss him.

Nicki Clark
Event Director
Riddlesdown parkrun

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