Sorry for how late this post is. I have had some trouble with my webhosting! Anyway, without hesitation, here it is!
June has flown by and it’s already July. 6 months of the year have gone.
June started with the first Stokes Bay junior parkrun. It feels like we’ve been waiting for this day for a long time and it finally arrived. The morning was a complete success and we had a massive turn out of 184 children. I did a post about it here. It’s really awesome to know we’re doing something to shape the future generation.
June also saw me visit a local eatery for the first time called The Tenth Hole. They sell the most amazing cakes. They have a main menu too but they’re renowned for their cakes. I had the Mars Bar cheesecake which was divine. I’ve visited since and had the banoffee pie which was delicious. It tasted so fresh.
In June I only managed to run one parkrun due to other commitments on a Saturday morning. I got a PB which was pleasing. My 5k PB is now at 53:27.
On 18th June I went and spectated at the Gosport Golden Mile. This is a local race but has an amazing turnout. I blogged about it here.
At the end of June we had some friends down from Sheffield. It was fun being tourists in our own town. We ate out, went to the New Forest, took them to see Old Portsmouth, Southsea and to the beach here at Lee-on-the-Solent. They really enjoyed it.
June has been a fun month. I’ve blogged 4 times in June and the links are below if you want to check them out.
Sunday June 4th was the inaugural Stokes Bay junior parkrun. After a successful test event two weeks previous we were excited to see what the morning would bring. All 6 RD’s had posted about it on Facebook so we knew we’d get a good turnout. What we didn’t expect was a HUGE turnout!
Myself, Paul (the ED) and Maggie got their early to make sure we had anything and had everything in place ready for the arrival of the marshals. A lot of our marshals have come over to us from what is now known as our sister parkrun Lee-on-the-Solent. I’m amazed so many people are willing to give up their time on a Saturday, but to know so many people are willing to give up their on a Saturday and Sunday just shows the power of parkrun.
As we were setting up the Breakfast Club from Absolute Running ran by. A lot of these runners attend Lee parkrun too so we hollered and whooped as they went by. People started arriving from around 8.15, both runners and marshals. Paul jumped in to action and gave the marshals their equipment, lanyards and hi-vis vests. I was timekeeping, one of my favourite roles, so I trained the other timekeeper on how the stopwatch works.
Then it was a case of waiting. As we waited more people arrived, and then even more. There were plenty of children but also plenty of adults. Some adults were dressed to run with their children, others wrapped up against the bracing wind. There weren’t just parents either, there were grandparents, aunts and uncles. The prom was soon full and Paul had to ask people to gather on the grassy area to keep the prom clear!
The brief and warm up (all junior events have to have a warm up) were due to start at 8.50am. 8.50 arrived but people were still arriving in their droves. There were people arriving as far as the eye could see. Then Jade (one of our RD’s) received a call saying the car park was full! Bearing in mind the car park is a pretty big one! The briefing was given as late as we possibly could, along with the warm up. Then the last thing that needed saying was “Ready, Steady, Go!” and they were off.
We all stood a bit gobsmacked as the crowd passed us. There were lots of runners. We quickly made our way down from the start line to the finish line where we cheered all the runners on. The first runner finished the course in a rather speedy 8:05, 1 second faster than the test event! This is now set as our course record. Soon enough all the runners had returned home and we had a moment to stop and take it all in. 184 runners had completed the course. 184! Wow! We’ve created a monster.
As we chatted to people afterwards we had nothing but praise and positive comments, this then continued through the day on the Facebook and Twitter accounts. We were absolutely buzzing. I still am a little if I’m honest! The huge turnout just goes to show how much this little town needed a junior parkrun and I’m pleased we were able to bring it. We’re helping the future generation start life of a fit and healthy path. Long may it continue!
On Saturday afternoon we had the test event for the Stokes Bay junior parkrun we have been setting up. You have to have a test event before you’re allowed to start to make sure all your equipment works, the route is suitable and everything falls in to place.
We got there at 4pm ready for a 5pm start. There was one big difference from parkrun in the morning, to the test event in the afternoon. The weather! The wind had gotten up and was really strong making it a very chilly set up. I was on timekeeping for the test event and I will do the same for the inaugural. parkrun ask you to do that so that everyone is practised in their role. I talked through how the timekeeping watch works to Louise, the other timekeeper and also a fellow RD at our new parkrun. She has done some volunteering roles before but never timekeeping.
Soon we had some little runners arriving. They say to invite a small group of runners as it is, after all, just to test the course. We had 27 arrive. They had so much energy and the cold and windy weather didn’t seem to bother them at all. They were all running around, chasing and rolling down the grassy banks before we started and still managed some pretty impressive times!
As 4.55pm arrived Paul, our ED, and first time RD, did his run brief. Then it was on to the warm up. This is one difference between the 5k Saturday parkrun and the Sunday junior parkrun. The juniors have to have a warm up provided. They all joined in which was very cute and then moved to the start line.
The start line of our parkrun is a little way from the finish line, as I knew some of these runners were going to be fast I was worried about getting back to the finish funnel to begin clicking them in but thankfully we made it in time. The children did great and ran with big smiles, a lot of speed and some were chatting and laughing with friends, only getting serious when the finish funnel was in sight! It’s so refreshing how they care very little about time and pace. They just want to run and see their friends.
The first runner (male) passed the line in 8:06. The junior parkrun is 2km rather than 5km. The first female crossed the line in 9.22. What I noticed that surprised me was how many children, once finished, went back to run the rest with their friends. I know a lot of adults do this but it was so nice to see the children being to supportive and encouraging their friends/siblings.
The event went swimmingly. Nothing at all went wrong and it was a complete success. The children really enjoyed it and this shows from some of the feedback we’ve had since. I also chatted to a lady afterwards who had stopped to watch all the children run and asked if her granddaughter could join in next time.
Afterwards we headed off to have some training provided by our ambassador. This was quite quick and we all already volunteer often and a couple of us are already RD’s at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. We were taken through uploading results, what errors may occur, safeguarding, the parkrun does and don’ts and what to do in case of an emergency or tragedy. It was quite interesting and the hour or so it took soon flew by.
I think we’re all good to go now for the 4th June and I for one, can not wait!
So I have some news, I’m involved in setting up a Junior parkrun! This is such an exciting time. Last time when I went to volunteer at Waterlooville Junior parkrun which is detailed in this post it was still in the “can we do this” stages. However, we now have funding from the council and it very much has been given the green light!
At the end of February we went over to Eastney Junior parkrun in Portsmouth where I volunteered as a barcode scanner for them. We introduced ourselves to their event director Denyse who was very friendly and helpful. She showed us some of the kit they use, including a rather nifty trolley to carry it all in.
My good friend Maggie, and her husband Paul are going to be the Event Directors of our new Junior parkrun and we’ve set about creating an amazing team. Two of our RD’s to be joined us at Eastney so they could see what the events were like too.
I present the new Junior parkrun team
The event was really good, and well organised. It was bigger than Waterlooville with 68 runners. The fastest boy finished in a rather impressive 08:19 and the fastest girl finished in 08:42. We were all amazed at how speedy the children were. The location was brilliant too. It was held in Bransbury Park in Portsmouth. There are some good facilities in the park and I imagine in the summer the children and parents spend some time in there after parkrun too.
If you want to check out Eastney Junior parkrun then they run every Sunday morning at 10am at Bransbury Park. There is a car park at the opposite end of the park (it’s not too long a walk from the start) or there is on street parking closer by.
As you all know by now I love volunteering at parkrun. This week was a parkrun double for me. I volunteered at my usual Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun then on Sunday I headed over to Waterlooville Junior parkrun.
Waterlooville is only half an hour away from where I live so it wasn’t too far to travel. The parkrun is held in Jubilee Park (Milton Road entrance) in Waterlooville so if you’re in the area with a 4-14 year old on a Sunday then why not give them a visit?
The course was a 2 lap course with a small loop then in to the finish funnel. I went along with two friends and their son who initially weren’t going to volunteer but were going to watch and their son was going to run. When we arrived at 8.30 to register as a volunteer there was only Adam, the run director there. He was setting up the course but stopped to have a chat with us. He was really friendly and told us a few snippets of information about the course. They were low on volunteers this week so my friends were quickly roped in to help. One as a marshal and one as Tail Walker (although actually it was a tail run in the end). I was barcode scanning and a bit nervous as I was the only scanner. I’m used to scanning in over 400 runners with three scanners. Luckily it turned out on a very cold February morning only 39 children were to take part.
The junior parkrun is 2km instead of the 5km of a Saturday parkrun. Watching the children was brilliant, especially the two children that led the way. They were fast and pushed hard. It was nice to hear from one of the Mum’s that the first female across the line is part of an athletics club showing she takes her running pretty seriously.
The first male crossed the line in 08:17 and the first female was close behind with 08:25. The final runner crossed the line with a PB of 19:08. She told me friend she turned 4 in September and had taken part in 4 or 5 parkruns. She was just as inspiring as the first runners over the line. 4 years old and a parkrun advocate, brilliant!
As the junior parkrun is 2km, volunteering there really doesn’t take up too much of your time and is really rewarding as you know you’re helping the future generation reach a healthier lifestyle. Why not look up your nearest junior parkrun on the parkrun website and offer some of your time?