What? No snow? No freezing temperatures? Could this be the start of Spring at Worcester Woods parkrun? Spring or no Spring quite yet, there was definitely something in the air today, as Black Pear Joggers staged a ‘takeover’ at Worcester parkrun, or perhaps more accurately, a ‘support the volunteers’ event. That meant a record 83 volunteers helping out today, from cake makers, warm-up leaders, marshals, pacers and many other roles being supported.
But why do it? As Paul Evans, Chair of BPJ said in his briefing, it was all about the club celebrating everything that parkrun means to us. Nearly 500 members of the club have completed over 16,500 runs at Worcester Woods, plus being involved regularly in volunteering. It’s definitely the ‘home’ parkrun of many BPJ runners, and so today was a great opportunity be able to give something back.
Peter Darwen, dedicated parkrun tourist and BPJ member organised the takeover celebration, so we asked him a few questions to find out about his motivation for getting more of us enthused about volunteering.
How did you get started with parkrun?
I ran my first parkrun was here in September 2012 when I had only just started running 5K distance. It was a shock moment! I ran it in 25:14. Shock because of the aches and pains afterwards, so much so that it put me off running it again! I didn’t run parkrun again until January 2014, when I was persuaded to try it again by fellow runners at BPJ.
I have now run 190 events at 37 different locations, with 118 of them here at Worcester…to be continued! Of all the parkruns that I have participated in, Worcester Woods remains my favourite. The combination of running through the woods, the varied terrain and the friendly atmosphere generated by the volunteers and fellow runners which makes it special.
What is your proudest/funniest parkrun moment?
Definitely the proudest is running sub 20 for the first time at Worcester Pitchcroft in July last year, because I thought it was beyond me at my age. Funniest? That could be seeing Ian Wild dressed up as an elderly lady pushing a pushchair when it was fancy dress at Halloween. I may have a photo somewhere. Another time is a pre-parkrun photo shoot in the woods for a BPJ calendar a few years ago, and the funny looks we got from dog walkers. Rumour is there may still be a few of these calendars knocking about, but maybe the less said about it the better!
Why did you organise the BPJ takeover?
I’d rather call it a celebration of Worcester Woods Celebration! I wanted to give something back as a thank you. I had seen other clubs doing the same thing at other parkruns and thought BPJ could do this too. I knew that people from the club would be happy to get involved, and that we would be able to provide pacers to help runners especially. I think people really appreciated this aspect today, as well as the cheering marshalls!
What is your favourite volunteering role?
I love being a pacer. It makes it all worthwhile when fellow runners thank you at the end because you have helped them to get a quick time or a PB.
Is there anyone you wish you could persuade to do parkrun with you?
My youngest daughter, who thinks that running is boring! But the atmosphere at Worcester Woods is so wonderful ad friendly, I am sure she would catch the bug after a few weeks!
Thanks Peter, and thanks to all the BPJ club members who got involved today, not forgetting all out regular volunteers who help us out week in, week out, and make our parkrun what it is – we really do appreciate you! Don’t forget, volunteering is a great experience, and if you feel inspired to get involved, just email ; the team will be delighted to hear from you.
Big CONGRATULATIONS today to Graham Plumpton who ran his 250th parkrun today, great running over those 5 years of parkrunning. Should have a 250 shirt for you soon to order.
50th parkrun today for Joe ADAMS
Junior 10 parkruns for Max HEPPENSTALL, Martha JOHNSON
& Liam WITHEY.
We had Tourists from far afield today Southampton, Newcastle, Tonbridge, Braunstone, Cheltenham, Shrewsbury, South Manchester, Milton Keynes. Hope you had fun in our mucky trails.
There were precisely 500 runners today which is aesthetically pleasing and 57 PB's. We hope you enjoyed your run and will be back for more now its warming up.
Here is the just for fun Wall, do give your friends and family a mention if they made it...and well done to you....
*** PB Wall of Pride (≥10 parkruns and PB Today) ***
Adam BOURNE (10) 23:14
Carys DEELEY (25) 35:34
Chris GOODERHAM (53) 25:25 *** Boom ***
Clara SALT (16) 32:55
Craig BOOTH (29) 27:25
Dom COWLES (11) 24:16
Edward DUFFY (60) 21:24 *** Boom ***
Evie HAWKESFORD-JOHNSON (11) 21:54
Freddie ADAMS (21) 18:40
Gareth ROBERTS (54) 25:01*** Boom ***
Gavin TREVELYAN (69) 29:48 *** Boom ***
Irene SHAW (10) 35:18
Isla CHATTERTON (13) 29:32
Lezley MORAN (11) 34:32
Nathan CHATTERTON (13) 29:33
Phil HAVERFIELD (25) 24:06
Rachel WILMOT (26) 31:00
Rich BENTLEY (92) 25:30 *** Boom ***
Richard James EVERS (78) 21:07 *** Boom ***
Ruth SCANLON (12) 26:04
Sarah LAWRENCE (19) 36:25
Thomas REED (72) 21:09 *** Boom ***
Veena ALLISON (21) 29:15
Figure in () = parkruns completed
*** Boom *** for 50+ parkruns and a PB today
Send us your photos vial links and we'll share them, and as always if you can volunteer let us know.
Have a great week and see you again soon.