Saturday, 14 January 2012
100 Parkruns for Coventry and Debs first!
It was so good to see the cricketers and the super hero today shame I couldn't dress up as I had to drop Debs home and then go straight to work!
Debs has done a lot of big running events and was pleasantly shocked to see how well the parkrun was managed and supported. She was surprised to see so many runners with different abilities and well they all interacted and supporting each other. I think she really felt the atmosphere we all feel. Not surprisingly she is coming back next week and looking to beat her time!
It was really good to run with Debs and a honour to introduce her to the Parkrun!
Thank You Coventry!!
Alarm set for 8am as usual on a Saturday, the sky seemed a lot lighter than it had done over the past few weeks. Makes you feel much better when the mornings get lighter. By 8.40 I was dressed and prepared for the 100th Parkrun at Coventry, my 60th run.
On reaching the start line my first sight was of the lads in their cricket whites bearing the slogan 100 not out! This was followed by the appearance of a superhero. Felt ashamed that I had not even put on my tradition tutu for this memorable event. Note to self must do better for the 2nd birthday event in February. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Anyway onto to the run itself, weather was fantastic chilly to start but you soon warmed up once running. Started the race well running alongside a fellow Massey club runner, unfortunately dropped off during the 3rd km, have always struggled on the hill beside the tennis courts. Found the energy to do a final sprint passing at least 2 runners before crossing the finish line.
Sadly no Parkrun for me next week as going away with the cubs, scouts and explorers, did look up the closest Parkrun to the youth hostel but too far away.
A couple of days ago some bright spark (my brother Andy) had the idea to mark the 100th event by running in fancy dress. Thinking "100?", Andy (obviously!) came up with cricketers and of course batsmen (scoring a century) so a few us discussed turning up as cricketers. Turning up in whites would not be enough though, oh no, we had to wear full cricket whites, cap, batting gloves, "100 NOT OUT" signs and, of course, a bat! Foolishly five of us agreed!
Completing the run:
Hopefully we brought a few smiles to peoples faces. It was certainly a great deal of fun, but the next time someone suggests I do a parkrun carrying a lump of wood, I may have to think twice before saying yes.
Friday, 13 January 2012
Way back at parkrun's humble beginnings in 2004, when just 13 runners took part in the first event in Bushy Park, who could possibly have foreseen the incredible growth ahead and the way that parkrun has captured the imagination of runners and non-runners alike across the country (and more recently around the world)?
Only this week parkrun has been awarded the Best 5k Event in The Running Bug's 2011 Awards. This and other awards shows the amazing impact that parkrun is having on the running scene in this country.
And now my attention must turn to the impressive statistics that have caught a few people's eyes this week. Last weekend saw a parkrun event with 1000 finishers for the first time ever, fittingly at Bushy park where it all began. However, the stats that follow are the reason for this blog post and signify why this will be a landmark weekend for parkrun.
The current stats for parkrun are as follows:
- Number of Runs: 993,639
- Total Distance Run: 4,968,195 km
- Total Run Time: 49Yrs, 203Days, 7Hrs, 38Mins, 0Secs
My maths skills may not be a slick as they used to be, but this means we only need 6361 finishers this weekend to reach the magical figure of 1,000,000 finished parkruns (and yes I did use a calculator, but only to be sure of the figure I had already written - honestly!). It doesn't take a genius to realise that this will also mean a total of 5,000,000 kilometers run (5 x 1 I can manage by myself).
As a complete coincidence, it just so happens that we will also pass the 50 years of total running time this weekend. That is unless far fewer of us turn up and/or we all run at world record pace. Perhaps we have 10,000 parkrunners up for doing a sub-18 minute parkrun this weekend? No, I thought not, maybe next weekend for that one!
This means it is pretty much inevitable that both these landmarks figures will be reached this weekend.
These are incredibly impressive figures and I hope that parkrun shout these from the rooftops as they are symbolic of just how well parkrun has taken off in the last couple of years. It can't be much more than a year ago, I think, that Crispy announced that we had reached the half a million run mark.
With the doubling of event numbers and runners year on year, I suspect that these figures will also continue to double at a similar pace in the future.
Ok, so what, they are just numbers I hear you cry. But unless I'm mistaken I think many parkrunners are into their numbers: personal PBs, 50/100/250 events run, event anniversaries etc, etc.
Just think for a minute though, in 5 years time these figures will almost certainly seem pretty insignificant in comparison as I'm sure we will pass into tens of millions of runs and hundreds of millions of kilometers (wow, don't those figures sound impressive!).
Happy parkrunning this weekend everyone, we should all be very proud of ourselves and these landmarks!
PS. For the real stats fans out there, this all means that we have a collective average parkrun time of just under 26:14. I think we should all try very hard and work as a team to bring this down over the coming months!
Thursday, 12 January 2012
Home parkrun: Oxford
Date of first parkrun: Haven't done one yet - just signed up.
Total Number of parkruns: 0
Number of other parkrun locations run: 0
Number of times volunteered: 0
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Though this isn't actually an officially recognised parkrun club, I am still very pleased with myself. It's taken roughly 16 months I think.
According to some stats supplied by freedom parkrun king, the fantastic Mr Ken Fox (267+), this makes me the third centurion of freedom parkruns. Following a long way behind Ken himself and a bit closer behind my brother Andy (about 125).
If you don't know already, a freedom parkrun is a 5km run on a parkrun course at some time other than 9 am on a Saturday morning. Simple. I can recommend them highly.
It was a lovely day to do a freedom parkrun today. The temperature must have been over 10C and it was certainly warm enough for shorts and a short sleeve top. More like spring than winter. I took a look at photos from exactly a year ago today and we were building snowmen in the back garden!
So will we (Andy, myself or anyone else) ever catch up with Ken in the freedom parkrun table? Not that a table exists (apart from the one I imagine to be in a frame on Ken's wall). I can't see anyone catching Ken for sometime. I'm not sure I have it in me. It will certainly take a concerted effort.
Anyone out there fancy trying to catch Ken or break into the freedom parkrun 100 club this year?
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Date of first parkrun: 24/07/2010
Total Number of parkruns: 60
What I can never understand is why people run through the week and train and pay to enter races. "WHY?"
The parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5km, friendly, challenging and well organised by fantastic local volunteers. "What more can you want?"
I think Coventry is the best parkrun but then I'm bias.
Because of the family atmosphere mainly due to the Douglas family to me they are the parkrun.
I see every one at the parkrun as part of me family because its the only time I'm really happy from 8.30 till 10.30 Saturday morning! You have probably gathered I'm a bit of a moody and selfish!
I aint really got many mates but at the parkrun for a couple of hours a week I have few!
I don't tend to go for times at the parkrun because I wont it to last while so I tend to start at the back and have a bit of fun!
I some times worry what some people think of me and Baloo me mate. We tend to get a bit carried away with the banter. "I hope people don't find us to annoying!"
Got to be honest i find Baloo really annoying all this high five rubbish! "Whats that all about?"
You don't see me making a fool of myself like that.
I love watching the fast guys going round in the sub 20mins I may do it one day just to show you guys that I can run!
But even more I love watching the slower runners and non runners having ago!
I like to start at the last and get in with the slower runners to try and help and encourage them to improve and reach their goals!
All the best
Home parkrun: Brueton, Solihull
Date of first parkrun: 21/05/2011
Total Number of parkruns: 31
Number of other parkrun locations run: 6 – Cannon Hill, Coventry, Killerton,Bushy, Nonsuch, Riddlesdown
Number of times volunteered: 3 (must do better)
My parkrun history: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/athleteresultshistory?athleteNumber=147284
Home parkrun: Oldham
Date of first parkrun: 12 February 2011
Total Number of parkruns: 40 (as of 7 January 2012)
Number of other parkrun locations run: None - yet!
Number of times volunteered: 25
My parkrun history: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/oldham/results/athletehistory?AthleteNumber=83952
They say that life begins at 40...well, if it does then I had more than my fair share of practice for the main event! At the time, I was a 'weekend alcholic binge drinker' and a 50 a day smoker. At the age of 43, I had 3 strokes - only minor but losing the use of one side of your body for even less than a week is a bit of a wake-up call! The weekend drinking became the monthly binge and then the occasional binge but the smoking was a bit more of a challenge. At the ripe old age of 9 (yes - nine) I had my first cigarette and it was disgusting! But I got caught in the act and my dad decided to teach me a lesson by having me smoke 20 Capstan Full Strength one after the other! Apparently, after throwing up a couple of times, kids learn their lesson and stay clear of the evil weed...or they become hopelessly addicted to nicotine! Even after nature's warning, I continued to smoke. It wasn't until I changed jobs that I finally managed to kick the habit. But as everyone knows, every silver lining has a cloud...and my cloud arrived in style - an additional 4 stones in weight in less than a year. My wardrobe was now looking like a Primark rack with waist sizes 28 through 38 and I decided that enough was enough!
In 2007, several people from work decided it would be great to run for Sport Relief. I immediately signed up for the 3 miles version. The reasoning behind this was that if I signed up for one mile, I would probably not bother with training and just turn up on the day. To do 3 miles was more of a challenge! It turned out that everyone else 'forgot' to register in time or thought that somebody else had registered us as a team! I was on my own! I have to say that guilt is a brilliant fund-raising tactic and helped to take the total above the £1000 mark. The run was switched at the last minute from the roads to a local sports track and I actually ran 5k because it was easier to calculate! This gave me my first ever 5k time of 28' 22" and got me thinking about taking up running.
After much Googleing and a fair amount of procrastination, I signed up to Oldham parkrun on 22 July 2010...but around that time I was going through a depression phase of Bi-polar disorder and didn't go. Towards the end of the year, we were offered a corporate gym membership provided we could get enough people to sign up and I decided that this might be a good step towards shedding some of the excess baggage I was still toting. I tried spinning but that just gave be a sore bum! I tried lots of different equipment in the gym but nothing seemed to be geared to losing weight and the treadmills were often occupied by 'fit' people pounding out a few miles. Instead, I discovered Zumba! I can highly recommend Zumba classes for getting a bit of motivation into your workouts. But something was still missing...
On 12 February 2011, wearing a pair of clapped-out trainers, a matching set of 'holiday' shorts and t-shirt and some 'sports' socks I presented myself at Oldham parkrun...
To be continued...
Monday, 9 January 2012
parkrun is far from being about winning, but someone has to come first and if any of us thought we had a realistic chance to come first, most of us would probably give it a good go.
Andy and I tried our hands at a quick Audio blog to discuss Andy's chance to be first at Coventry parkrun this weekend. Click here to listen to the Audio blog.
It may not be that slick, but it was our first effort at an Audio blog, we are amateurs and amazingly we did this in one take! You will probably be able to tell! Don't worry, if this Audio blog doesn't go down well, we won't do it again.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Home parkrun: Coventry
Date of first parkrun: 04/09/2010
Total Number of parkruns: 29
Number of other parkrun locations run: 3 - Leamington, Poole and Sewerby (Bridlington)
Number of times volunteered: 7 or 8, I think!
My parkrun history: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/coventry/results/athletehistory?AthleteNumber=85190
Total parkruns to date: 105
Different parkruns to date: 18
Number of times volunteered to date: 3 or 4 (not enough!)