What a lovely day we had for my debut as Run Director – it was perfect Indian Summer weather for running (or for volunteering!); not too hot, not too cold, not too wet – just perfect! And whether it was the weather, or the encouragement of our perfect pacers, or a combination of both, it was clearly perfect for the 34 of you who got a new PB!
The last Saturday of each month we introduce pacers into the run, so that those of you trying to beat your previous times can run alongside/behind/in front of a pacer running at a time you would like to achieve. A huge thank you to our octet of Perfect Pacers who sported our new blue pacer bibs and paced so excellently: James Hutchison (20 mins), Alex Pickering (22 mins), Stuart Harknett (25 mins), Ellis Sharman (26 mins), Dermot Hughes (27 mins), Janine Durrant (28 mins), Steve Bywater (29 mins) and Steve Peacock (35 mins).
A total of 137 people ran on Saturday, including tourists from West London (Gunnersbury), Nottingham (Forest Rec) and Leeds (Woodhouse Moor). First male across the finish line was Liam Dickson, who bagged himself a new PB in a very impressive 17:11, and first female was Alex Gounelas from Eton Manor, who finished in 19:42. Congratulations to Liam Dickson, Stephen Thompson, Paul Cheston, Jack Stonebridge, Andrew Samuel, Ciaran McNamee, Amy Scorah, Neil Pereira, Carlo Formicola, Robin Roberts, Anas Amraoui, Jim Fone, Arthur Rippengale, David Furness, Ford Cadiogan, David Floyd, Robert Fresco, Martin Hone, Mo Allen, Caitlin Worrall, Jia Liu, Helen Wilson, John Duffell, Hannah Blanchford, Susanna Janner, Kate Lucas, Chris Stephens, Rose Holden, Julie Tolliday, Bilal Amraoui, Frieda Johnston, Jessica Cooper, Sue Cooper and Mary Weeden on your shiny new PBs!
Congratulations also to Elizabeth Davey who ran her 50th parkrun on Saturday, and to Karen Varney who ran her 100th parkrun. We look forward to seeing you in your red and black milestone t-shirts at future parkruns.
A special mention must go to two young first-timers at Walthamstow and parkrun tourists Rafi and Leo (pictured below) who are attempting to run all 53 parkruns within the Greater London area in order to raise money for a homeless charity in Barnet. Good luck with your Lon-done challenge!
I couldn’t have managed my RD debut without the team of fabulous volunteers who made the event run so smoothly. A huge THANK YOU to volunteers Roger ALBUREY, Steve BYWATER, Janine DURRANT, Gabriel ELLENBERG, Sarah FLANAGAN, Stuart HARKNETT, Gail HENNESSY, Dermot HUGHES, James HUTCHISON, Andrew JACOBS, Angela LAMBERT, Sue LOUISE, Steve PEACOCK, Alex PICKERING, Sharron ROONEY, Gail SEAL, Ellis SHARMAN, Antony SMITH and Gerard TRILL. A number of these volunteers – as well as 10 runners – were from my running club, Eton Manor, who came along to support me – thank you, Manorites!
On the subject of volunteers, we do have some gaps in the roster over the next few weeks, so please have a look at the future roster on the website to see if you can help out. For next week we need a couple of Time Lords (or Ladies!), a second Super Scanner and some Marvellous Marshals. Don’t worry if you’ve never done these roles before; there will always be someone on hand to explain and to help if you’re not sure about anything. If you can help out next week, please email email@example.com, or if you can help at a future week either email the same address or look out for the volunteer sign-up board at parkrun and put your name down next to the role you’d like to do. Mind you, we’re thinking we might have to create an extra volunteer role of parkrun-banner-wrangler! If anyone sticks around to the very end when we’re packing up, you will notice someone doing something that looks like a cross between a rugby tackle and some complex origami, that is harder than herding cats as they attempt to fold and twist our parkrun banner down to fit it back into its bag! This is obviously something that many parkruns struggle with, as there are even YouTube videos of people struggling to work out how to put it down. This week Ellis Sharman was determined not to be defeated though, and did manage it eventually with some assistance!
Finally, a date for your diary if you’re looking to do something on a weeknight to keep up your 5k momentum between parkruns: on Halloween night, there is a Trick or Treat 5k and Family Trail in Leyton Jubilee Park, organised by Walthamstow parkrun RD Richard Parr. Entry is free, and can be done online via www.theraceorganiser.com
Next week I hand over the RD baton to Ellis Sharman, who is also making his RD debut. Good luck, Ellis; I’m sorry I’m going to miss it as I’m away for the weekend but I’m sure you’ll be great!