On a cold but clear Saturday morning, 300 people ran, jogged and walked the first Sloughbottom parkrun of the year. 39 were first timers (welcome and we hope to see you again) and 54 recorded new Personal Bests (well done: great start to parkrun year). Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.
Cold but clear
Air conditions were perfect with it being crisp and dry. And while there were boggy parts on Anderson’s Meadow and some amazing puddles around the paths everyone was out there with a smile on their face and taking part. One thing which I have found from Sloughbottom parkrun is the camaraderie between ages, clubs and abilities. It feels like everyone knows each other and people supporting each other. Today’s encouragement included “nice pace”, “love how you leapt that puddle”, “woohoo ladies”, “you’ve got this”, “keep on going, slow and steady” and so much more. Did they know each other? I don’t know but they did motivate and so job well done.
The start of the run always makes me smile: a mix of people staring at their watches, fingers poised to start the times, while others chat, more relaxed but still looking forward to the run. There was a lovely mix of ages, including under 11s (staying within arms length of their grown up) and right through to the more senior members. A father telling his son not to sprint off at the start, followed a few seconds later by him smiling and shaking his head as said son had sprinted off! Two sisters discussing tactics to try to get a PB this week. Two friends there to ‘run off the Christmas excess’ (I didn’t ask excess of what…). Those on their own, headphones on getting ready to run (I always wonder what is on their playlist and if I should add some of their tunes to mine). Some in shiny new trainers and running shoes, which were less shiny by the end of the run, and others in new tops, leggings, compression socks or whatever else they may have bought or been gifted over the festive season.
There were quite a few muddy legs crossing the finish line into the funnel, there were runners holding hands, those sprint finishing, those who could not quite muster a sprint but still happily crossed the line into the funnel. Every runner, jogger and walker was encouraged over the line by the volunteers – and was also supported by the marshalls around the course. I saw flagging runners break into a smile when the marshall clapped them and offered support: this is the beauty of parkrun – not a competition but an event.
In the finishing straight
Parkrun is a run and not a race. Yes everyone gets a position, an official time, and whether a PB or not, but the point is to get out there and to enjoy! As a wee reminder, please remember your printed barcode as that is your identifier to us and gives you your week on week results. Some even wear their wristband barcodes when they go to bed on Friday night so they don’t forget to bring them on Saturday (or is that just me) while others have them in phone cases, on their shoelaces, or crumpled up in their back pocket. As the runners came in thick and fast the lovely barcode scanners (with special support) were recording results with a smile and a chat.
All parkruns need volunteers, and they are the backbone each week. Usually runners who have taken a week off to ensure that the event goes ahead, or those who are injured but still want to be there. If you haven’t volunteered before, why not give it a go
by emailing the Sloughbottom team as you get training and make more friends. There is even free tea and coffee here! Please bring your own cup to help reduce the environmental impact.
Drinks ready to go
This week’s parkrun was made possible by 24 volunteers:
Graham HARDINGHAM • Radley FENN • Tom HULL • Tessa KILLINGBECK • John WOOD • Tracey CLAYTON • Ben KENDALL • Hugh WOOLFENDEN • Michael PROTHEROE • James CLARK • Karl PEEBLES • Jamie SMITH • Amy WINTER • Chris RICHARDSON • Miranda ELLIS • Amélie FENN • Katie FENN • Krzysztof SZEWCZYK • Paul RICHARDSON • Paul ELLIS • Cathy AMBROSE • Roy DUNFORD • Rachel JACKSON • Rebecca OWEN
Sloughbottom parkrun started on 11th May 2019. Since then 2,449 participants have completed 7,235 parkruns covering a total distance of 36,175 km, including 1,485 new Personal Bests. A total of 297 individuals have volunteered 811 times.