Perry Hall First Timer Views – 380th Worcester parkrun

Imogen Gunson visited our Worcester parkrun this week and kindly wrote us a great run report. Imogen is an experienced parkrun and after 2 years parkrunning has run 89 parkruns, her parkrun birthday is Saturday, 23 April 2016 and has run at 26 different parkrun events, and completed 43 volunteer roles, so really helping out from week to week. Thanks again and enjoy the read everyone.....

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The morning started with our first timer and tourist briefing by Carl it sounded a fairly straightforward course with the woods being clearly signposted so as not to get lost, and possibly more downhill than up - which is rare and slightly confusing for a course starting and ending in the same place. We then had the run directors welcome, with Emily highlighting a key point of encouragement for our range of participants and that parkrun welcomes all – it’s a timed run not a race (except against yourself maybe?!)

First lap started interestingly with the forewarned narrow patches so we could briefly queue in an orderly fashion before really being able to set off on the trail paths through the woods. Under cover of the trees with breaks of sunlight made for a comfortable and atmospheric running location. Working my around the course it’s certainly supported by local running groups in force with many team tops on show, all offering tips to teammates and others throughout, evidence that everyone can participate in parkrun whatever their experience stage is. Fellow runners offering support and camaraderie to each other all the way round is one of the reasons that makes parkrun great and reflects so well on events which have this!

As we pass over tree roots and woodland bridges I am reminiscent of Wolf Runs this being almost a flatter and obstacle free version, so definitely preferable on a Saturday morning that bodes to being warm. Whilst having this musing meeting a second timer was a lovely running companion for a while – to come on your first time is nerve racking, but to return is a bigger step into biting the parkrun bug, it also shows a warm event for someone to return which I can see the appeal of Worcester. I enjoy meeting new people, learning their stores and so chatting about starting with couch to 5k and then being able to run with family highlights to me the value and joy parkrun can facilitate, especially as you reach the lovely downhill pavement before turning the corner for a sprint finish across the field!

Worcester was a lovely addition to my regional tourism, and excellently organised particularly given the numbers of participants so thank you to the core team and volunteers for a wonderful morning.

In total 577 parkrunners walked, jogged or ran of whom 77 achieved new PBs so a massive well done all!

Milestones was achieved by 4 into the ’100 club’, 1 for the ’50 club’ – I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to proudly wearing their black and red shirts before long. There were also celebrations for one couple who will enjoy their pearl wedding anniversary next week, congratulations on an amazing landmark!

One of the difficult steps for many is coming to their first event so first timers are brilliant, but possibly a harder step is coming back and then having the drive to improve your time so second timers are great to meet and chat to!! Today we were joined by 24 first timers who hopefully enjoyed themselves so much they’ll return and maybe even catch the tourist bug, as I was one of 24 tourists venturing away from home seeing the regions delights.

Final note has to be a thank you to the hi-vis heroes of which we had 42 volunteers today, we really couldn’t enjoy our run without you!