A few months ago, the test event for Thomas Mills parkrun took place, checking the course to ensure there were no bottlenecks and that nobody could get lost, whilst testing the core team to see if they could work together without arguments.
Then the event went live and what a success! On June 8th, to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday, we kicked off event number #1. A total of 171 parkrunners took part, from walkers, to children, dogs, first time runners, all the way through to the speedy club runners.
Since then, the local community has continued to grow, and the word is spreading!
10 more events later, we have now had 720 different people complete our 3.1 mile course a total of 1,390 times, totalling a distance of 6,950km or twice the distance of the moon’s diameter.
69 different clubs have been represented: At the top of the chart (as expected) are Fram Flyers who have completed a total of 151 runs. 2nd place goes to Stowmarket Striders, closely followed by Ipswich Jaffa in 3rd.
There’s been a total of 295 PBs, not bad considering the number of tourists in these early days. We’ve had visitors from Australia, South Africa and America to name a few!
Currently, males have completed more events at our parkrun with 660; females are at 628, c’mon ladies!! The most popular age category so far are the veteran women 45-49 yrs old, with a total of 100 events completed. The most popular senior category award goes to the women 25-29 and 30-34, who have both totalled 50 runs. Incredibly the junior male <10 category is at a total of 82, whilst nobody aged 80+ is yet to complete our parkrun. Also, our unknown runner count has just ticked over the 100 mark - #DFYB
324 people have registered to Thomas Mills parkrun with 143 of you being in the IP13 9 postcode area. IP14 6 is second on the list, with IP13 7 postcodes thethird most popular. Special shout out to the person who registered to Thomas Mills but lives in Tooting, London.
As of 17th August, the female record belongs to Daisy Glover (18:19) and the (male) course record belongs to Alex Tripp (16:56) being the only person to run sub-17 on this tricky uneven terrain course. Age graded record holder is Steve Langley (19:13) at 82.05%. Looking forward to seeing if and when these can be broken!
What some of you may not realise is that parkrun is run entirely by volunteers: there’s our specialist lawnmower man Rob out during the week to prepare the course, we need to monitor social media, keep you all informed on what is happening whilst replying to numerous messages and emails, update the roster, send out reminder emails, check and set up the course before some of you even get out of bed! Then there’s the timekeepers, barcode scanners, funnel manager, marshals, tokens, time lord, photographer, tail walker.. then we still aren’t finished needing to close down the event, lock up the school before trying to upload the results which isn’t always a straightforward procedure, write up a report and post your wonderful photos.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to bring this free event to you. Nobody is paid and it wouldn’t happen without incredible volunteers. All we ask is that for every 10 events completed, that you try to volunteer once, it’s so simple!
I hope all 56 volunteers know just how much we as a core team, appreciate the help and support you have given us. You have made things so much easier, knowing that we haven’t got to chase volunteers every week - so in the spotlight, in alphabetical order, every single one of you - thank you:
Alys THOMPSON, Amanda DUNN, Amy SMITH, Angus THOMPSON, Anne PARKINSON, Annette HUGGINS, Ben LARTER, Cameron ROWLAND, Carol CLARK, Charmian SMY, Cliff MANNING, Daisy GLOVER, Darcy GRICE, Deborah STOCKER, Elisa GARVIE, Eva MAWSON, Fliss KINDRED KIRK, Flora SEELEY, Gaye FARRAR, Graham RODGERS, Hilary MARRIOTT, Ian ELDEN, Ian KENNEDY, Ian ROBINSON, Janet GREEN, Jeremy SEELEY, Jo BEXLEY, Jo PARDEN, Jonathan SCOTT, Josh TYRRELL, Judy MOORE, Julie THOMPSON, Kate MAWSON, Luke HEATHER, Lydia KIRK, Mark SARGEANTSON, Molly MILLER, Nick CLARK, Philip DONLAN, Riitta WOOD, Robert MAWSON, Rory MARRIOTT, Rufus OWEN, Sally CLARKE, Sally SEELEY, Sally WATTS, Scott MANNING, Shirley CAPON, Steve GARVIE, Steve KIRK, Tamasin WOOD, Thomas KINDRED, Tim CHERRETT, Vivienne TAYLOR.
I’m sure over the following weeks, months and years, our parkrun here in Framlingham will continue to attract more and more people whilst changing the lives of many and creating special friendships that’ll last a lifetime. If you only do one thing this year, make sure it’s to come along to Thomas Mills High School at 8.45am on any Saturday and you will never regret it. See you soon!