11 June 2016 – special event for visually impaired runners
It was a lovely morning at Rutland Water, as we welcomed 131 participants, to parkrun. With the Para-Olympic Games only three months away, it was a privilege to have our first visually impaired runner, Mark Ellis, who had travelled from Sleaford with his guide, Paul Davidson. Speedy Mark completed our parkrun in 24 minutes, attached to Paul!
Mark Ellis visited us to trial the new equipment designed by Mark Beeby and his team at Loughborough University. This ‘line device’ enables visually impaired runners to have more independence and is being trialled for children with sight problems. Mark gave positive feedback on this technology stating:
The guide line that was set up has very great potential! Very good for introducing visually impaired children to the sport. Also, I think this can be extended to 100 metres certainly, and eventually it could be deployed fully round a running track. Can I say, I am more than happy to help with any future testing of this innovation, and help promote the sport to potential beginner runners.
We appreciate Mark Beeby and his team for bringing the equipment and we look forward to welcoming them again on 9 July during our Run Mummy Run takeover and on 20 August during our Juniors takeover. Thank you to all the adults and children for getting involved and having a go at the line device, after your parkrun. Do encourage anyone with disabilities to come along and walk or run our event. We welcome people from all backgrounds and abilities. Our friendly marshals are always willing to help.
Also, thank you to all our amazing volunteers without whom our parkrun event would not be possible, especially to our young marshal Leah Keegan, and Lizzie Hodgkinson, who volunteered to token sort after running in the event. Did you know recent research has found that volunteering can help beat the blues? Place your volunteer request on our Facebook pages and check the future roster on our parkrun webpage - it is a brill, social way to meet new people - you can now get your free and awesome ’25 volunteers’ T-shirt too!
Well done to every parkrunner, including those of you in your 10th (Oscar Cronin, Ben Hodgkinson), 50th (Joel Thompson, Sean McAuliffe, Claire Bracken, Rebecca Witton, Felicity Crotty, Karen Lay, Tony Cronin, Denise Watson, Marie Conaty) and 100th (Fergus Barratt) parkrun T-shirts! Our tourist parkrunners came from Sleaford, Aberystwyth, Leicester, Werrington, Eye and Bourne.
Congratulations to those of you for whom it was your first time at a parkrun event and at Rutland Water. We look forward to seeing everyone at our picturesque parkrun again soon!
Manjinder (Event Director)