Event #127 1 June 2019

Torbay Velopark parkrun
Event number 127
1st June 2019

Run report by Catherine Carter (A3472142)

Until the unforeseen cancellation of last week's run I had been anticipating that today I would be celebrating my 25th occasion of volunteering at Torbay Velopark parkrun. In a moment of wanton enthusiasm I volunteered to write the run report to celebrate. Only now, of course, I am celebrating my 24th occasion of volunteering and have the slight feeling of holding a party on the day before New Year's Eve. That being said, neither number is a significant milestone by comparison with the dedication of the most committed volunteers, and rather than an actual run report my literary efforts have developed into a more general musing on parkrun and the weekly achievements, benefits and joys that it brings.

Today had been designated parkrun pledge day, a day to encourage the participation of GPs, their practice staff and patients. Before the run I had the pleasure of meeting members of the team from Compass House Medical Centre in Brixham who had signed the parkrun pledge: there may have been representatives of other practices too whom I didn't have the opportunity to meet. Well done to all of you...and, to those of you who took part for the first time, welcome to the parkrun family.

As I started to think about writing the run report I found myself reflecting on my first two years of life with parkrun: the contribution it has made to my life, the stories I have heard, the ups and downs. I was a reluctant parkrunner at the outset and took some persuading to come along for the first time. But from that first occasion I was hooked: although other commitments prevented me from attending regularly in the early days, my attendances became more frequent until now my weekends feel incomplete unless I have fitted in my free weekly timed 5k, and my trips away from home always seem to involve identifying whether it's feasible to fit in a nearby parkrun. To anyone reading this who is considering signing up, whatever your speed and experience, even if it amounts to a complete lack of both, I urge you to come along next week and give it a try. Every week there will be new parkrun experiences, new stories, new people and new achievements that will stand out in your memory.

As a volunteer I have mainly helped with pre-event set up: highlights for me have included the special feeling of helping to set out the course on Christmas morning, knowing that I was playing a tiny part in enabling an event which so many families would share together on that special day, and which might also be a welcome gathering together with parkrun friends for those who would otherwise spend Christmas Day alone.

Then there was the recent Easter Saturday when we had a record attendance at the Velopark. I marshalled that day, at the end of the rugby pitch, and enjoyed encouraging all the runners and walkers, admiring the athleticism and fitness of those at the front and the commitment and perseverance of those further back in the field. So many parkrunners expressed their thanks as they passed, and when the event director asked me afterwards how things had gone, I realised that I had actually enjoyed myself as much, if not more, than when I run myself.

Within the last few weeks, as a volunteer helping with pre-event set-up, I met a lovely couple from Birmingham, Carl and Lynn, who were visiting Brixham. Both were volunteering and Lynn was also running. On hearing that I'd caught the bus to the Velopark as my car had a flat tyre they not only gave me a lift home after parkrun but also put some air into the tyre and followed me in their car to the garage to ensure I arrived safely. Such a fantastic example of the wide-ranging and positive side-effects of parkrun and the friendships that can be made through it. So, as before,  if you are reading this and are thinking of volunteering for the first time don't be nervous or overcome by apathy...please sign up and come along. You will be made welcome, your contribution will be valued and you will make new friends.
And I've not even mentioned the satisfaction of making progress towards the various milestones and then the eager anticipation as you wait for your hard-earned t-shirt to arrive in the post.....Needless to say I'm already looking forward to next parkrunday....

This week 377 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 71 were first timers and 61 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 39 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:

Steve BUSH • Roger MATTHEWS • Lewis KEYWOOD • Simon TOMS • Rachel COLLINS • Julia TYSOE • Francis HAYES • Tom WRIGHT • Jo COISH • Ben LOTEN • Rachel SHARPLES • Kerry BELL • Ned CARSWELL • Jennifer BRADSHAW • Danielle PAGE • Debbie TREWERN • Matthew HAYWOOD • Neil HAYES • Amanda FRANCIS • Catherine CARTER • Amanda GLOVER • Marc FORWARD • Harriet CLEMENTS • Sam PAGE • Lee ALLSOPP • Sharon NELSON • Jessica BLAKER • Danny BROWN • Harry ASPINALL • Sam HEALEY

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Torbay Velopark parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by David AWDE who recorded a time of 15:36 on 29th April 2017 (event number 17).

The female record is held by Charlotte PENFOLD who recorded a time of 17:32 on 28th July 2018 (event number 82).
The Age Grade course record is held by Peter MONAGHAN who recorded 90.97% (16:37) on 19th May 2018 (event number 72).

Torbay Velopark parkrun started on 31st December 2016. Since then 6,617 participants have completed 30,685 parkruns covering a total distance of 153,425 km, including 6,736 new Personal Bests. A total of 481 individuals have volunteered 3,113 times.