This week 359 people ran, jogged and walked at Roundhay. We had 50 first timers and 13 of these were new to parkrun. 48 participants recorded new Personal Bests and 25 different clubs were represented. We had visitors from Manchester, Warrington, Milton Keynes, London and Newcastle (the one near Sydney!!)
The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:
with the crazy Wheatley ladies being stationed at the top of the #hillofdoom to encourage us all to keep going.
This week I have the pleasure of writing a guest run report as me (Jan) and my husband (Pete) both managed to hit our 100th parkrun today.
My first ever parkrun was Roundhay #1 on 23rd April 2011 so it has taken me just over 8 years to get this far whereas Pete made his debut at Oakwell Hall #82 on 5th March 2016 so it has taken him just over 3 years to make the same journey. 70 of his parkruns have been at Roundhay and his time here has gone from 30:46 to 20:50, 67 of my parkruns have been at Roundhay and I started at around 41 minutes, improved to a best of 37:46 and am now doing around 46 minutes. Between us we have done 354 volunteering roles (at Roundhay, Roundhay Juniors, Potternewton and others)
But for me the most interesting thing those stats show is that parkrun means different things to different people and we all experience it in our own way, there is no "right" way to "do parkrun".
Some of us turn up and can't help but run flat out, some of us turn up and trundle round, some of us turn up and do what we can, some of us like the social aspect and enjoy a natter, some of us like the space away from the kids/husband/dog/housemates, some of us prefer to volunteer, some of us participate so we can go out for breakfast when it's over. But the most important thing is that we all turn up and do what we do.
I've made my way round 5k putting the world to rights, I've been a mama-mermaid, I've pretended to be a plane running down the big hill with small people (and sometimes without), I've dog sat, I've baby sat, I've had days when I've bailed at the top of the hill the first time I get there, I've had days (not very many admittedly) when I get to the end and feel like I can just carry on, I've cursed that winter course, I've marvelled at the race-walkers, but no matter what I always feel like I'm part of the Roundhay parkrun community.
For me the most important thing about parkrun is the community and the people. Over the last 8 years I've met lots of great people at Roundhay (and other places of course but this report is about Roundhay) and I've made some good friends. I know that no matter what kind of day I'm having there is always a friendly face, someone to have a chat with, someone who can empathise with whatever kind of week I've had, someone to offer a hug, someone to remind me that it will all get better, someone to have a laugh with, someone to be silly with, someone to remind me not to take things too seriously (it is only a run after all and if it all goes wrong there will be another one next week) and hopefully I can play my part in offering those things to other people too.
So, the upshot of all this is that I love parkrun, particularly Roundhay parkrun. I'm not fast, I'm never going to set any records but it doesn't matter. I know that I can keep rockin' up to the bandstand on a Saturday morning, doing something that makes me happy with a great bunch of people. I just hope I get through the next 100 a bit quicker than it took to do the first 100.