Your Quarterly Update

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!

 

Fields of Fire – Event #3 Run Report

Fields of Fire – Thomas Mills #3, 22 June 2019

In the Big Country song Fields of Fire, Stuart Adamson sang ‘Before the teacher and the test / Before the journey and the rest.’ With these words in mind, I travelled to Framlingham and Thomas Mills parkrun, for their third event where 126 people ran, jogged, and walked the long and winding course around the high school grounds and local fields. In the third run, Daisy Glover (18:32) and Adam Howlett (18:06) excelled, the latter sprinting off to put himself out of sight on the first lap and set the course record. Despite the hot weather, 22 personal bests were achieved; congratulations to all. Incredibly, Isla smashed her PB by 12 minutes. This week, 50 athletes beat the poet (pos. 51, 28:24), a sorry state of affairs for the waning wordsmith.

For this new event, I’ve decided to pen a run-through of the course. Notable high school attendees (Ed Sheeran and entomologist Kate Wall) and local Baptist, Thomas Mills, inspired some of the course features described below, in addition to the rapid first finishers and Isla.

Starting near the high school buildings, you complete a circuit of the playing field, before turning north to Howlett’s Hairpin. Doubling back sharply after the first gap in the hedgerow, you are now on a grassy field edge path with plentiful rabbit holes and uneven terrain. Here your pace will slow for the next mile but you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful rural landscape of large trees, fields and in summer, plenty of butterflies such as the common blue. Chasseing through Sheeran’s Chicane on the western boundary of the run be careful to avoid twisting an ankle. At this point, cheerful music plays from a marshal’s stereo, a welcome interlude as you approach Poet’s Corner and abruptly head north past Isla’s Oaks in the crop on your right.

Along the northern edge of the route the path drops into Glover’s Gully, before the gentle ascent to the Mount Mills plateau begins. Dodging through Kate’s Gate (second gap in the hedgerow) you’re back on the speedier short grass of the playing field where you’ll pass the finish funnel to begin the punishing second lap. Be sure to have plenty in the tank for this, or you’ll suffer around the fields of fire! For those who are interested, I’ve created a few Strava segments for Thomas Mills, including the full parkrun.

And finally, as promised to Alison George of Coldham’s Common parkrun, a limerick:

There was a young lady from Fram
who ran and skipped and swam
until she fell on a run
with Mills she was done
and now she sticks to the gym.

The event was well supported by 20 fantastic volunteers. Lastly, I must thank Scott Manning, for inviting me to write this run report.

Volunteers

Riitta WOOD • Ian ELDEN • Janet GREEN • Amanda DUNN • Jo PARDEN • Scott MANNING • Ian KENNEDY • Kate MAWSON • Robert MAWSON • Eva MAWSON • Flora SEELEY • Annette HUGGINS • Lydia KIRK • Steve KIRK • Tim GARDINER • Alys THOMPSON • Anne PARKINSON • Sally SEELEY • Julie THOMPSON • Philip DONLAN

Tim Gardiner aka the parkrun poet (twitter: @timgardiner3)

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