Name: Douglas Gordon
Number of parkruns: 174
Favourite parkrun (other than Wycombe Rye, obviously!) and why:
I have run at 15 other parkruns other than Wycombe Rye, including Bushy. If I had to pick a second favourite to Wycombe, it would probably be Weymouth – we do this with a group of friends over a weekend of camping in the summer, so inevitably it gets tied in with warm weather, ice cream and BBQs.
Why did you start parkrunning:
The wife (fiancée back then) made me! Honestly, I swore that I would never be a runner, but she wanted to give it a try, so joined her for her first parkrun – my competitive spirit and the friendly community then took over and I’ve not looked back since. Another of a long list of great things for which she is responsible.
Number of volunteers: 156 including 88 at Wycombe Rye
Favourite volunteering role, and why:
It’s probably a close-run (excuse the pun) thing between Run Director (54 times) and Photographer (44 times). As an RD, you get to enjoy fully immersing yourself in parkrun and our wonderful community for a full week. As Photographer, you have the ability to preserve some very happy memories for runners, friends and families as well as catch some awesome finish line expressions – “flying feet” photos are usually especially prized.
Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
Funnily enough, it was at a parkrun that we didn’t even go to! On the morning of our wedding, the RDs made a Good Luck sign for us which was photographed at the start of parkrun – the sign made its way to the wedding and even into the official wedding photos. Just goes to show, parkrun is much more than just a run.
What does Wycombe Rye parkrun mean to you:
It’s just a phenomenal community. We have met and made so many good friends there, including a good number who came to our wedding. It’s a point of consistency in what can be, as we are all experiencing now, a very unpredictable world.
What do you miss about parkrun:
Other than cake and breakfast in the Lido (they do a great scrambled eggs), it is that regular chance to meet up with friends that without parkrun we simply wouldn’t see as regularly.
What running are you doing now:
It’s a little bit sporadic now, but generally 15-25km a week, including on the treadmill as well as routes close to home as well as along the Jubilee River and the countryside surrounding Wycombe.
What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
Don’t wear cotton! It absorbs water & sweat making it become heavy, cold and chafes – synthetics and merino wool are the way to go; you always want to run comfy.
What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
WOLF Run – WOLF stands for Woods, Obstacles, Lakes & Fields. A great 10k excuse to get thoroughly muddy and enjoy a truly epic water slide (normally several times over - the climb back up the hill is worth it).
What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
There are several runs that I have missed out on this year (COVID) and last year (injury) that I so want to get back to running: including WOLF Runs and Endure24; but, in terms of ambition, I want to do another half marathon and go sub 2hrs; I missed by 1 min 48 seconds on my first and only half so far.
What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
I love my Garmin 945 – I love a good bit of data to figure out how things are going, plus the navigation feature helps me not to get lost when I am leading a run (my sense of direction is infamous). At a WOLF Run however, the essential piece of kit is good strong duct tape – a couple of turns of that round your shoe, over the laces and you don’t have to worry about fishing for shoes in the mud (well, at least your own).
What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
Enjoying Endure24 with a team of 7 good friends (A full team of 8). A great mixture of 5-mile trail laps combined with camping, eating and socialising. I especially enjoyed the night laps, running through the quiet trails with only a headtorch to light the way. We completed 150 miles in 24hrs and ran in together on the last lap.