So this was a special parkrun day as Roundhay celebrated its 8th birthday. On this day in 2011, 12 volunteers ensured that 139 athletes could enjoy 3 laps, equating to 5k, around Roundhay Park in Leeds. Today, 22 volunteers were involved in making the event happen for 358 participants. Who knows how many more will be involved by the time the event is a decade old?
This morning the weather was very different to last week when summer did arrive. Today was much more wintry, however I do think that the park seemed to escape the worst of the storms during parkrun time. Beforehand it felt quite cold and was very wet resulting in most people sheltering under the bandstand whilst we waited to start. Some of us had to brave it a bit earlier to go and listen to Dave deliver the first timer’s briefing. Over we all went to the start line then to listen to the regular and special announcements. The regular volunteers had all been, deservedly, crowned and everyone showed their appreciation for all the time and energy they put into making the event happen each week. Volunteers are also very welcome on an infrequent basis. There are lots of roles available, which aren’t too demanding or time consuming and can actually be quite enjoyable (such as bar code scanning, marshalling or writing this report to name but a few). If you have never volunteered or haven’t done in a while, please do so and don’t forget that when you have done that 25 times you are entitled to claim a purple milestone T-shirt. As volunteering is so important, there was a Volunteer of the Year award given at this event and this went to Joel Giddings. The other special award was the memorial Cathi Core one and this was given to Richard Fennell. Very well done to you both.
Other acknowledgements were offered to first timers who were made very welcome. This included a special group from Mini Mermaid’s Running Club from Newlaithes Primary. We hope that you enjoyed your first event and hope that you come back soon and support the event as it continues to grow in its first decade. Most of the completers today were fairly local with a handful of visitors from Leicester, Durham, Newcastle and myself from Pennington Flash parkrun. Touring to other parkruns is great as you get to experience lots of lovely outdoor spaces whilst having the familiarity of all things parkrun. If you haven’t tried touring yet maybe give it a try? The 358 participants were made up of 221 males and 137 females. Whilst this is not a race and everyone benefits in their own way, the podium finishes for those undefeated by the hill were as follows:
Males – Andrew Scott 18.19, Calum Clark 18.52, Ian Sheppard 19.36
Females – Myra Jones 20.37, Rachel Davidson 20.54, Sarah Mann 22.01
Everyone was treated to an array of excellent baking which, was well received. Additionally, some lucky runners were even awarded an array of spot prizes including wine and chocolate. You couldn’t ask for more on a Saturday morning!
I hope you all continue to be involved in parkrun and thank you on behalf of the visitors. You have a lovely route in a beautiful and well-maintained setting. Happy birthday and keep on running everyone.