Seaford Beach parkrun is cancelled on 24 October 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Behind the scenes with Tara Shanahan

This week, we're behind the scenes with Tara Shanahan. Tara holds both the Female course record and the age-graded record - an amazing achievement! Tara gives us an insight into her journey into becoming a runner, how parkrun fits in with her training schedule, and  she introduces us to her running and race partner - Rita, her dog!

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1. What's your parkrun stats? Number of runs, PB, number of times volunteered?

I’ve run 205 parkruns at 12 different events. My PB is 17.59 at Hove Prom in 2018. And I’ve volunteered 24 times.

2. How long have you been running and how did you get into it?

I started running in 2009 when I was 39 and my sister challenged me to enter a sprint triathlon with her. The man in the running shoe shop told be about parkrun so I went and had a couple of practice runs before the triathlon. Then in 2010 the Brighton marathon started so I entered that and was hooked.

 3. What's your favourite running experience that you've had?

Can I have three?

The South Downs Way Relay is an amazing event.  You run in a team of six from Eastbourne to Winchester, racing against other clubs in beautiful scenery. I’ve been lucky enough to run it five times and have really bonded with my team mates, making some great friendships. And we’ve won it a few times too!

Winning the Kings Head Canter in 2018, it was totally unexpected and I overtook a big rival to get the win.

And the K9 Challenge in 2019. My Staffie dog Rita is a brilliant runner and this fun Canicross event was our first race as a pair. It was thrilling, at one point we were leading but Rita stops trying once she's in the front so it was a big tussle with two others and ultimately we were a very close third.

4. 18:24 is an incredible time for a parkrun that's way beyond the grasp of many of us. Tell us a little about your approach to training and how parkrun fits into it.

Consistency is key and I normally run about 6 times a week, totalling about 40 miles. A typical training week would include a tough track session with my club Arena 80, a long run of about 10 miles and a tempo session. The other runs would be mostly at an easy pace, normally with Rita my dog. And always a parkrun!

Sometimes I’ll use parkrun as a race to see what sort of shape I’m in, sometimes I’ll use it at the end of a long run to work on running hard on tired legs, sometimes its a steady, chatty run and sometimes I’ll run it with my dog Rita.

5. How long have you been parkrunning and what do you enjoy the most about it?

I did my first one in 2009. It took me 5 years to get to 10 park runs and then the penny dropped and I realised I didn’t have to race it every time, just being part of it was the point, so since about 2015 I’ve been most weeks.

I  love the idea of a community coming together and going for a run. It’s just brilliant!

6. What's your favourite volunteer role?

I’ve volunteered at a couple of Junior parkruns, doing the warm up is fun!

7. What advice would you give to someone new to running and parkrun?

Follow a training plan like the couch to 5k to build you up slowly. I’ve heard lots of people say that they don’t want to go to parkrun until they can run 5k. But I would say use parkrun as part of your training. You can walk it or run/walk it and it’s so much easier than doing it on your own. And nobody is judging you, really they’re not!

8. What, as a runner, are you most looking forward to when the current global situation changes?

Parkrun obviously! And goals, I’m very goal orientated so I need a race to train for to keep me motivated.

9. What are your goals as a runner?

I turned 50 in March this year which was a big motivator to get some good results in my new age group. But then lockdown happened so I haven’t been able to race. So I’ll be going for some VW50 records at the earliest opportunity!

10. And finally, will we be seeing you back at Seaford Beach to improve on your record time?

I hope so. Although I suspect it will be an improvement in age grading rather than time. That’s another great thing about parking, even when you get slower you can get better!

 

Behind the scenes with Julie Taylor

This week we're going behind the scenes with Julie Taylor. Julie has been part of the core team since day one and brings her friendly air of calm confidence to any of the volunteering roles she's taken on. You'll likely recognise her beaming smile and encouragement from regularly marshalling at the Martello Tower - we know that the pinch point there on the course is in safe hands when Julie's there! Julie also regularly runs Seaford Beach parkrun - we love seeing our volunteers take part too!

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1) What are your parkrun statistics - Runs completed / PB's earned / PB Time / Number of times volunteered?

Runs completed:17

PB's earned :1

PB Time: 30:31

Number of times volunteered:min of 25

2) Tell us a bit about why you got involved in Seaford Beach parkrun and how you joined the core team

 I joined the Striders over 2 years ago and started running at Peacehaven parkrun.

Then we started to get funding to start our own parkrun in Seaford, so I guess I was involved at the start. Once it started, I was a volunteer for many more weeks than I actually ran in the event.

3) Do you have any particular routines that you follow during the week or on the morning of parkrun?

 Always love to do the course check, or run with other volunteers before the event starts.

4) What do you most enjoy about your Seaford Beach parkrun experience?

The Saturday morning buzz that comes from the Team, the runners and walkers alike - love it.

5) Your Barcode, how do you remember yours and is it paper, laminated, permanent or other?

Mine is a laminated key fob which hangs from a lanyard which I keep by my trainers.

6) Which volunteering role do you like best and why?

Love the course check and marshalling. Marshalling probably best, as it’s interacting with all the runners.

7) Do you have any particular parkrun goals or ambitions?

To get below 30 minutes

8) Do you have a favourite parkrun moment?

No standout moment, as they are all good in their own way

9) Has parkrun changed your attitude to running, fitness and general wellbeing?

Yes - it keeps me focused, organised and enthused about running and keeping fit.

10) What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Seaford Beach parkrun?

Give it a go ! The atmosphere is fantastic and the people are all so friendly, it’s like a family

11) What is your favourite part of the course and why? 

The homeward straight, because of the sense of achievement

 12) What are you most looking forward to about Seaford Beach parkrun’s return?

Seeing everyone, cheering, supporting, catching up and having fun.

 

 

Behind the scenes with Joel Eaton

This week we go behind the scenes with Joel Eaton. Joel is the co-Event Director here at Seaford Beach - if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be here! Joel is often at parkrun with his young children. The one time he ran the course without the buggy he was the first finisher home - this tells you something about Joel’s competitive nature. When he’s not at parkrun he loves nothing more than running over the Seven Sisters or doing a casual 100 mile race. We salute Joel for everything he’s done to get Seaford Beach up and running. Over to the man himself:

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1) What are your parkrun statistics - Runs completed / PB Time / Number of times volunteered?

Runs completed: 114

PB Time: 17:15

Number of times volunteered: 66

2) Tell us a bit about why you got involved in Seaford Beach parkrun and how you joined the core team

parkrun introduced me to running back in 2012 when I smoked a lot, drank a lot more, and was not particularly healthy (at all). Since then, we’ve been attached to our local parkruns wherever we’ve lived so the prospect of Seaford having one was really exciting so I jumped at getting involved when the chance came up.

This was waaaaay back in August 2017 and I rather naively thought that it would be a pretty quick setup process! The following month, I had a kick-off meeting with Lucy Anderson (our Ambassador). Not long after this Andy and then Michelle became involved and the three of us started the long process of paperwork, course measurement, and risk assessments. To help get us over the line, Hilary joined the crew (and really helped us especially in terms of funding).

A year and half since that initial meeting in the pub, we were all on the start line for the inaugural event - simple! (not simple)

3) Do you have any particular routines that you follow during the week or on the morning of parkrun?

Aside from regularly checking for and responding to volunteer emails in the week, my ‘night-before-parkrun’ routine usually begins with emailing the marshal positions for the next morning. Saturday morning starts with a brief mild panic whereby I’m convinced that I’ve emailed the wrong people the wrong marshal positions. Once this passes, it’s coffee followed by rushing out the house (always late - I blame the kids) to go and start setting up.

4) What do you most enjoy about your Seaford Beach parkrun experience?

1 - The people and 2- The atmosphere we have, whatever the weather (and we’ve had some truly bad weather!).

I love the feeling of anticipation during the build up before the event begins, as well as catching up with people at the start/finish area while the runners are out. As well as the feeling of community around the post-run coffee with the core team and volunteers. The views and the location (when the weather is good!) just add to it all.

5) Your Barcode, how do you remember yours and is it paper, laminated, permanent or other?

I still have and use a laminated paper print out that my Dad made for me for my very first parkrun in 2012!

That said, I’ve been guilty of forgetting my barcode many times. In particular when I got a big PB in Devon and finally beat my colleague/rival, and the time I accidentally used my wife’s barcode whilst thinking it was my own - she was pretty pleased with her time though.

6) Which volunteering role do you like best and why?

I find marshalling the most fun and least stressful! You get to cheer everyone on and see the whole field of participants - twice! I’m revealing a badly-kept volunteer secret here, but marshalling near the Martello Kiosk is ideal for those mornings when you forget your thermos of coffee.

My least favourite part of volunteering is having to explain our ‘no-barcode no-time’ rule! We’ve all been on the receiving end of forgetting our barcode though - it’s a parkrun rite of passage!

7) Do you have any particular parkrun goals or ambitions?

Just to see Seaford Beach parkrun continue to flourish and provide a place of community and encouragement for people in and around the town.

We’ve recently partnered with a local GP surgery so I’m excited to see how we can continue to welcome new people to parkrun and see them exceed their expectations of what’s possible.

I feel like we worked so hard to get Seaford Beach parkrun up and running, that making it a sustainable event that will be around for years to come is the ultimate goal.

8) Do you have a favourite parkrun moment?

Many of my life’s milestones over the last few years have been marked by parkrun!

My wife has ran parkruns on her due date for both of our children, we ran as a family for my Dad’s 250th parkrun, and also got lost on Christmas day in Tilgate park doing a family freedom run on the parkrun course. These are some of the memories that stick out.

Our inaugural event at Seaford Beach is particularly memorable though. The anticipation, the buzz and the excitement before the runners sped off, combined with a sense of everything finally coming together made the previous year and a half of ups and downs all worth it - that was a special moment.

9) Has parkrun changed your attitude to running, fitness and general wellbeing?

The first parkrun I did back in 2012, I huffed and puffed my way around then had to sit down for the rest of the weekend as I was so sore! This was both a bit of a fitness wake up call but it also sparked the beginning of a slow awakening around the wider holistic benefits of running.

Pre-Strava, pre-Garmin, pre-running with other people, I found a haven where I could push and challenge myself beyond what I ever thought I could do. This has helped me in so many other areas of my life that I’m forever grateful to my Dad for dragging me with him that fateful Saturday morning.

10) What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Seaford Beach parkrun?

Expect a warm and friendly welcome with lots of encouragement along the way.

It’s a run, not a race, so you will get as much support finishing last as you would coming in first (actually, probably more!). Don’t be worried about any perceived lack of ability, we cater for absolutely everyone - even if you’ve never run before.

Try and plan something nice for yourself as a reward for afterwards during the day. This could just be a long bath or a nice breakfast (or both at the same time) - but this will help give you motivation as you push yourself round!

Most importantly though - don’t forget your barcode! (I had to get this in somewhere!).

11) What is your favourite part of the course and why? 

The final 100 metres. Both from a running and a supporting perspective - I love a sprint finish.

12) What are you most looking forward to about Seaford Beach parkrun’s return?

Given the amount of training I’m witnessing during lockdown, I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of PBs get smashed when we return! More than that though, I just can’t wait to see the core team and to be part of it all again.

 

Behind the scenes with Karen Feast

In this edition of Behind the scenes at Seaford Beach, we hear from Karen Feast. Karen has been one of our most regular volunteers since we started and you'll likely recognise her encouraging smile from the turnaround point where she regularly marshalls.

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1) What are your parkrun statistics - Runs completed / PB's earned / PB Time / Number of times volunteered?

Runs completed: None in Seaford as explained below (5 previously)

PB's earned :

PB Time: 32.08

Number of times volunteered: 40

2) Tell us a bit about why you got involved in Seaford Beach parkrun and how you joined the core team

Seaford Beach is my favourite place I have walked and run it several times and my husband and I have a commemorative Fish for our 35th wedding Anniversay. 

When the parkrun was launched I thought what better way to enjoy it in a different way. I would have loved to have started by running it but during 2019 I was struggling with injury so I thought I would volunteer instead to get involved.  I haven’t looked back.

3) Do you have any particular routines that you follow during the week or on the morning of parkrun?

I love to cycle down to volunteer when I can as I feel that I can get my exercise, avoid parking and enjoy the scenery.

4) What do you most enjoy about your Seaford Beach parkrun experience?

I love seeing the people, the Sea and being part of my local community.

6) Which volunteering role do you like best and why?

I like Marshalling as I get to see all the runners and cheer them on.

 7) Do you have any particular parkrun goals or ambitions?

To keep doing it!! 

8) Do you have a favourite parkrun moment?

Clapping at the Turnaround point.

9) Has parkrun changed your attitude to running, fitness and general wellbeing?

No I have always loved being outdoors & sport but it has enhanced my experience of both and made me realise that even if you cant do what you want through injury you can still be involved and have fun.

10) What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Seaford Beach parkrun?

Take in the wonderful scenery & lovely atmosphere & enjoy!!

11) What is your favourite part of the course and why? 

Marshalling at the Turnaroud half way as everyone is relieved at that point and usually smiling. I also love the beach huts up that end and before the run starts I always take in the scenery in all weathers. No day is the same.

12) What are you most looking forward to about Seaford Beach parkrun’s return?

Getting back to being involved, meeting everyone again & feeling useful.
Everyone is so friendly and I always feel that whoever is organising the morning you are always appreciated and that is lovely. Thank you.

 

Behind the scenes with Ash Head

This week, we're going behind the scenes with regular volunteer, Ash Head.

Ash started running at age 43 when in 2003 he went from couch to London marathon in just 4 months!

It was so disastrous he tried it twice more, joining the Jog Shop Joggers to up his training

Since then he's run a few more marathons  and co-founded the Moyleman, the Lewes offroad marathon, in 2014.

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1) What are your parkrun statistics - Runs completed / PB's earned / PB Time / Number of times volunteered?

Runs completed: 116

PB's earned : 11

PB Time: 22:14

Number of times volunteered: 33

2) Tell us a bit about why you got involved in Seaford Beach parkrun and how you joined the core team

I love ParkRun. I believe it to be one of the biggest positive changes for public health since the foundation of the NHS.

I was part of the Moyleman committee who decided (at Tom Roper’s suggestion) to co-fund Seaford Beach from our excess funds
I came along for the first run and loved the atmosphere. It’s actually my ‘home’ ParkRun now (I need to change that on my stats).

3) Do you have any particular routines that you follow during the week or on the morning of parkrun?

Coffee is a must. I rarely eat before, choosing to take a full veggie breakfast after we’re done.

4) What do you most enjoy about your Seaford Beach parkrun experience?

Running or marshalling it’s the people. The core team are so friendly, as are the local runners

5) Your Barcode, how do you remember yours and is it paper, laminated, permanent or other?

I have a card in my wallet. I’ve tried the bracelets but the new one I got was odd to put on.

I’ve probably missed out on an official time as many as ten times in the past

6) Which volunteering role do you like best and why?

Finish line/ time-keeper/ checker. I love watching the runners head off and seeing them come home.

Some of our new runners leave me awestruck at their attitude and achievements

7) Do you have any particular parkrun goals or ambitions?

I’d like to get back to running. I’ve been out for almost a year thanks to a nasty knee injury (picked up playing cricket)

8) Do you have a favourite parkrun moment?

The Cape Town Friendship 5K (not strictly a ParkRun, but sort of) before the Two Oceans. Tegla Loroupe, the Kenyan Paula Radcliffe, recognised me from the Almeria Half and asked if she could run with us (the UK group) as there were no the Kenyans taking part.

9) Has parkrun changed your attitude to running, fitness and general wellbeing?

Seeing people who may not have thought of exercise as ‘for them’ take this on and do so well is inspirational.
Everyone has do this; walk it, stroll it, hope, skip and jump it. Times don’t matter, it’s about personal goals and a sense of self-worth.

10) What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Seaford Beach parkrun?

Go for it. We’d love to see you.

11) What is your favourite part of the course and why? 

The start and finish. Hope and relief are there.

12) What are you most looking forward to about Seaford Beach parkrun’s return?

Getting back to running the course! It’s been almost a year for me.

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