Run report for May 18th – the yings and yangs of parkrun

Oh, the yings and yangs of parkrun! The highs and lows, the ups and downs and the sweet and sour, and how quickly you can move from one to the other – about 12 hours in this instance!

There I was marshaling on the first corner, near the children’s park, at last week’s event (yes, this is this week’s run report, bear with me, I will be back on message in a minute) when a young man who wanted to tell us about his impending milestone approached me – his 50th parkrun. Nothing unusual about that until he mentioned all 50 had been completed ON ONE LUNG!! Not one to miss out on a good story for a run report, he had piqued my attention and I was all ears.

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Ben Webb is this remarkable parkrunner, pictured above flying around yesterday’s event, his 50th. I asked him to let me have a few words to explain his story, and in his own words this is what he told me.

"Yesterday I ran my 50th parkrun at Rushcliffe - with only one lung! From only being able to walk a few steps after major surgery to remove most of my right lung, walking turned to cycling, and then to running.

After a family holiday to Thailand in 2016, I was admitted to Nottingham City Hospital with a serious lung infection. Despite doctors’ best efforts, they could not find the cause of the illness and told me I would need surgery to remove the affected area of my lung to prevent the infection from spreading.

I run parkrun most weeks. It has been the foundation of my long-term physiological and psychological recovery after what was very traumatic surgery. Thank you so much to the Rushcliffe volunteers and runners for all their support over the last few years!”

Thank you Ben for sharing your story. What he didn’t tell me, but I have subsequently discovered, is that he usually runs in just over 20 minutes – on one lung.

Back to the yings and yangs of last week. After the positive, and, in all honesty, heart warming, message from Ben, I was just coming out of the pub, after a very enjoyable evening, when my phone pinged. It was a twitter message from the Great Central Railway, also based on the park. Thanks to the inconsiderate, and illegal parking of someone believed to be a parkrunner (I say ‘believed to be’ because it was 8.55am, he was in running kit and set off towards our start line), a large low-loader lorry had been unable to access their site, causing a delay and costing money that this charitably funded organisation can ill afford. We share the park on a Saturday with lots of people and it is really important to us that we support each other – and we were extremely upset to find that an apparent member of our group had such a detrimental impact on the railway group. I will not say more about that here, because I think the chances of the perpetrator being a run report reader are pretty slim, however I would like to pick up on one of the points raised on the associated facebook post – using the park’s car park.

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It appears than many people assume that the car park is full, because they see people parking on Mere Way (usually considerately and legally), when in fact there are always empty spaces. The photo above was taken at 9.05am this Saturday. I counted over 50 empty spaces. It is only £1 (or £30 for those regular visitor that want an annual pass) and every pound goes towards the operating costs of the park. Please use the car park – it really is in all of our interests on so many levels. The annual pass has to be applied for on line – this is the link (https://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/for-you/roads-parking-travel/season-ticket-parking-permits/) - don’t be put off by the Broxtowe link, it really is for Rushcliffe park.
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And finally back to this week. I am always happy to have an excuse to feature a photograph of some of our favourite parkrunners and here we have Lindy, Diane and Karen, perfectly co-ordinated as always, as they prepare to set off on the unofficial milestone 150th parkrun. Congratulations to each of them, and Emma Percival too, also completing her 150th this week. Remember, we can only mention milestones in the pre-run brief if you let us know about them in advance, preferably via an email to Rushcliffe@parkrun.com.

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Thanks as always to the magnificent team of volunteers brilliantly led by Jane. You may have seen on the facebook post that we had an issue with some of our finish tokens. Thankfully most of those affected have emailed in and the results have been updated.

That’s it. This week is going to be a good one. See you all next Saturday.