Sue joined parkrun in 2017 and soon joined the Rosliston community in July of 2017 and it wasn't long before she became one of our RDs. She has completed 62 events with 52 of these at Rosliston. Sue definitely loves the parkrun lifestyle as she has also completed 3 runs on Christmas day! Sue has completed a number of volunteer roles with 33 roles as Run Director both at Rosliston and Swadlincote Junior parkrun. However, Sue's most completed role is marshal which she has completed 49 times. You can usually see her at Disco Sue's corner (by the snails) so named because of the tunes that Sue plays from her speakers to give you that bit of motivation to get you around the rest of the course.
When did you first join parkrun?
I originally signed up for parkrun many years before actually giving it a go. My boys have always been early risers so I was always up and out before 9am so felt it was too late in the day for me to go along and do it. Plus I always thought it was going to be a “clicky” affair. So wrong!! My first was 10th June 2017, at Conkers, I didn’t enjoy the course and after telling a great friend who came to Rosliston he suggested as I was into more cross country terrain to give Rosliston course a go, he seemed to think it was a more enjoyable course and more what I would enjoy. So on 24th June 2017 I came and that was it, I never left! Tony Wardle – it was a great suggestion.
Why did you do your first parkrun?
A good friend of mine was completing her 100th parkrun and I wanted to go and support her and celebrate her achievement (I didn’t know about how important all the milestones were) so as she did her 100th I did my 1st!
And maybe more importantly, why did you do your second parkrun?
I didn’t like it, but the others from a running group I was with enjoyed it so I made a longer route and then did parkrun afterwards to add an extra bit of mileage on. The best of both worlds, still out early and getting a longer distance incorporated. It was my third when I found Rosliston I really understood what parkrun was all about.
Why did you decide to become an RD?
I don’t think I decided to become an RD, someone within the volunteering community noticed me and what the volunteering was doing for me and the participants so suggested the core team asked me. To say I was blown over was an understatement. Thanks Dina Hurdman, you gave me a purpose after the injury tried to take me down.
Apart from being RD, what is your favourite volunteer role and why?
I don’t think there is a volunteer role I particularly enjoy more than any other. I love marshalling at my favourite corner and having it named after me is incredibly humbling! Any marshal spot is entertaining as cheering and encouraging everyone around the course is empowering. I know how hard it is to take part so it’s my way to give them a boost and say that I am proud of what they are achieving. I do love timing as you get to see everyone’s faces as they approach the finish – some faces are determined and fired up, some are of sheer joy, some of frustration. The walking group leader is particularly special to me as I put so much in to making everyone feel welcomed at Ros and it being totally inclusive. I always worry about giving out tokens, I love it but my circulation is pretty poor so handling them in the cooler weather is stressful as I don’t want to drop them or give out too many at once, even if it went horribly wrong though everything is easily put back to how it should be as we are only human and these things do happen it’s the beauty of volunteering, it’s straightforward and very enriching giving something back to our community.
In your opinion, what makes Rosliston special?
It’s a combination of many things, the actual centre and forest is so good for the soul. The beauty of the course allows you to absorb so much. The people, I don’t think I have ever met such a lovely community of encouraging, welcoming and honest humans. I am proud to call Rosliston my home parkrun. It’s a fantastic, magical place.
What other parkrun courses have you enjoyed? And why?
I am not someone that has completed many different parkruns, Weymouth is where we holiday each Summer so that is as far travelled as we have been. Although if we had the opportunity to go away this Summer we were going to give the new Bridport parkrun a go going the opposite way down the Jurassic coast. Don’t get me wrong we have a caravan and go away locally over some weekends when the weather is good but even when we’ve been an hour away from Ros we’ve travelled back and completed our Saturday morning fun as our weekends wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t.
What is your favourite thing about parkrun?
It’s become a real family affair for us, we all go out on a Saturday morning as a family and enjoy time together. Adults, kids and dogs! There are so many combinations for us to take part that we don’t ever have the same Saturday morning. Some weeks I walk with my favourite black dog Cherry, some weeks Hayden will walk with us too. Some weeks Hayden and I volunteer together, some weeks we volunteer separately. Most weeks Liam will run but he gives back to volunteering once a month. Some weeks Dave will run with Fudge, some weeks he will take a wander and walk with him or volunteer with him instead. Whatever the weather, however we are feeling that particular Saturday we are ready for it and thoroughly enjoy it!
What would you say to someone who is unsure about signing up?
Come along, have a look, listen to the first timers briefing, even if you’ve not got round to registering you don’t need to worry, take a stroll, paddle in the puddles, touch a tree, watch the birds on the lake, breathe In the air as you go round you won’t regret it. You will have someone speak to you and make you feel most welcome and part of something spectacular. You don’t need to be an athlete, you may just be good as pushing a button on a gadget and just want to volunteer and be around a great group of people. It’s not cost you anything if you don’t think it’s for you but I can assure you, you will definitely be back.
What is your fondest memory of parkrun?
My very first RD will go down in the history books forever. I’ve retold this story lots but my first RD was the middle of July and very warm, Family Walters had set up and done a course check but had some important instructions for me to relay to everyone. FROGS ON THE COURSE?!?! I repeated it many times to them before announcing it in my briefing as I really, genuinely thought it was a wind up! You know the new girl who’d been sent to get a bubble for a spirit level or been told to get the left handed spanner out of the tool box! I had to let everyone know about the frogs, teeny, tiny frogs that were hopping all over the path near to where I usually stood marshalling. Take care where you put your feet, try not to stand on any of them, no squishing of frogs should be done!
As you have young family who also attend parkrun, how does parkrun play an important role?
Not only does Rosliston parkrun feature for us as a family we also all volunteer at Swadlincote junior parkrun on a Sunday morning, I am quite often rocking the RD vest there. We all volunteer at juniors but the boys take part and volunteer on alternate weeks. We originally got the boys involved in juniors as Hayden was struggling with his knees and hips after falling and having soft tissue damage in his knees. We had to build his strength and fitness back so he could be pain free in the long run it then spilled over to them joining in at Rosliston. I am proud of the boys as through parkrun they are learning that giving some time and kindness is one of the nicest things they can do and it hopefully will stand them in good stead to be wonderful grown-ups. Not only that they are with different, like-minded people, it gives us some quality time as a family where we can be together but be individuals too.
The most important question: What is your go to post-parkrun breakfast?
Well that really depends on the week, some weeks we all fancy a full English, some weeks it’s a sausage and egg sandwich, some weeks we all go home and have a post parkrun burger with bacon, smoked Bavarian cheese and lettuce! Other weeks we do toasted teacakes with butter. The reason it changes is we all like different things, the dogs sometimes need to get home and have a shower if it’s been particularly muddy or it could be that we sit and chat in or outside the café with our friends.