Wallace parkrun 2019.
In the Netherlands they have a saying, “Niet gelijk, maar wel gelijkwaardig”. We’re reliably informed that it translates as, “We’re not the same, but we’re worth the same”.
Regardless of age, gender, ability, religion, income, everybody is afforded the same respect. We’d like to think every Saturday morning at parkrun is very much like that.
Yes, we all run around Wallace Park every Saturday morning. In reality it has become something much greater than that. A community masquerading as a free, weekly, timed run, jog or walk.
There are some things in life you can’t put a value on. The conversations you had with those people in the queue to get scanned, the friendly word of encouragement to/from that total stranger, the sense of achievement when you reach a milestone or get a new PB.
A parkrun survey this year found that 90% of parkrunners felt a sense of achievement at parkrun, while 84% of volunteers said parkrun improved their happiness. All for free.
For those of you who like the numbers, this year 2561 of us completed 11,260 parkruns in Wallace Park. That’s almost a collective distance of 34,900 miles. The Equator is a mere 24,900 miles.
In 2019 we also had our highest ever attendance of 462 finishers, and we also saw the 50,000th parkrun completed at Wallace.
256 different volunteers carried out 1290 different roles to ensure the parkrun magic happened this year.
Our 46 events this year did not just happen by pure luck. A big thank you if you marshalled out in the cold and wet, if you scanned barcodes, if you poured the tea and coffee, if you handed out the finish tokens, if you paced, if you timed, if you carted the kit to or from the pavilion.
It takes a lot of effort, by a lot of people to make it all happen every single week. Your help is greatly appreciated.
There were innumerable milestones (collective and individual) this year, oodles of new PBs and other achievements. Let’s not forget all the great cakes that have graced the bandstand too.
This year we’ll leave you with the words of the parkrun founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt who recently wrote,
“parkrun is a force for good that unites us. It reminds us that, given the chance, people want to help each other, and themselves, to be better.”
We look forward to doing just that in 2020. Sure, the ducks would miss us.
A very happy New Year to you all.
• The Wallace parkrun team.