On the chill but fine morning of Sunday December 18th, Skelmersdale Junior parkrun was launched, and the 91 young people who came to launch it will always now be able to say "I was there". Well done to all of you, and well done to all the parents, grandparents, other family members, as well as school staff (more of them below) who made sure you got to the start line on time.
Just by way of comparison, when the largest junior parkrun in the country launched in 2010 at Bushy Park in London, there were 9 runners. At their 43rd event, they had 432 runners. Check out the number here At the same rate of growth, from our starting point, we should have 4,500 runners a week by October. Well, yes, my statistical methods might be a bit dodgy, but it's still a great start.
Results for the run can be found here. You will see that the list is dominated by runners from Woodland Primary School, and special thanks are due to the staff team there, not just for developing a real 'running culture', in which parkrun plays just a part, and making sure so many from the school lined up for the start, but also for their generosity in helping to get children from other schools registered. All the efforts of staff at Woodland, and other schools across Skem, are appreciated, and its that enthusiasm which led to the good turnout. Let's continue that in 2017.
It was great to see how much fun everyone had, and it's been great to get really positive feedback over the last few days, with lots of people telling us how much they're looking forward to Sunday January 8th, and then weekly, for ever........ Photos of the event can be found here and if others would like to do contribute their photos, they can do so by signing up online for a flickr account, and posting them to our page
That's nearly it for this first run report. In future, there'll be lots to celebrate, as runners really improve their times through practice, and as milestones are reached and the special bracelets are handed out to those who have completed a half-marathon, a full marathon, and an ultra-marathon. There'll be plenty to report, but who does the reporting is an open question. We're open to offers from budding journalists, or from schools who want to make the reporting process (perhaps including some statistics) a special project.
More of all that anon, but we close this report on a note of deep controversy.
On Sunday, we claimed to be the only parkrun in the world that goes underneath a roundabout. However, in recent days this claim to fame has been challenged by runners from Greenpoint (adult) parkrun in Cape Town, which isn't famous for roundabouts at all, but who say they also have a course under a roundabout.
Naturally, this is a very serious matter, and we have set up a special Skelmersdale junior parkrun Roundabout Adjudication Committee (SjrRAC) to look into the matter. See what you think from their course here but it looks to the committee at this stage as though we will be contesting the Greenpoint claim, on the basis that the course only goes at a low level round the edge of the roundabout but not fully underneath.
Ultimately, we may have to send the committee over to South Africa for three weeks (expenses paid, of course) to make a definitive ruling. This will be a daunting task, but nothing is more important than the reputation of Skelmersdale junior parkrun, and its roundabout.
See you on the 8th! If you know of anybody who would like to come and volunteer, please point them in the direction of our future roster and ask them to drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
From 'The Team', (incorporating the SjrRAC)