Everyone loves running in a storm right? On 8th December I went to parkrun and the weather wasn’t looking good. Thanks to Storm Deidre we were going to be battered by 45mph winds coming straight off the sea!
The winds is definitely one of the worst things about living on the coast. We never seemed to feel it living in a big city but living by the sea is a different kettle of fish. It can barely be windy on the back streets but as soon as you hit the sea front the wind comes out of nowhere.
Honor had messaged me to see if I fancied some company at parkrun so of course I took her up on the offer. I think I was now up to 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. It was pretty windy throughout the run. Going to the first turn around point the wind seemed to be behind us so it aided us a little. As we turned around though the wind was brutal from the side. I was freezing all down that side and couldn’t wait to hit the next turn around point so the other side could cool off and my cold side warm up!
As we turned at the 2nd turnaround point the wind was absolutely horrendous. Honor and I weren’t really able to talk because we just couldn’t hear what the other was saying. I remember I kept shouting “This is so hard” It was like running on the spot. I felt like I was going absolutely nowhere!
Somehow I managed to finish with a PB! I’m chipping away at the 39s now. My finish time was 39:37.
I insist everyone who runs with me has a selfie taken with me. For my own memories really! So obviously Honor and I had a selfie. I tweeted it and parkrun included it on their Twitter which was pretty neat.
I thought I’d give you a little update on how Stokes Bay junior parkrun is progressing. We started on June 4th where we had an epic turn out of 184 children. With the inaugural event, you always expect a bigger turn out but we’ve now settled in to around 80-100 runners a week, occasionally a little more or less.
We’ve not had any major incidents other than the odd scraped knee, but have had a few challenges. These include a sailing competition, a duathlon and a 24 hour running event all sharing the same piece of prom. Everyone has been really understanding though and told their competitors to be aware of children running on the same route as they are, or where they’re moving their boats!
I’ve been Run Director twice now. It should have been three but I had to miss one due to illness. Part of junior parkrun is collecting the milestone wristbands when a child has completed the set amount of runs.
Image courtesy of parkrun.com
When I was Run Director I had the opportunity to present the Half Marathon wristband to my friend and fellow junior parkrun RD’s daughter.
It was an absolute honour to be able to present her with her Half Marathon wristband. The blue Half Marathon wristband represents 11 junior parkruns completed. The green Marathon wristband represents 21 runs and the orange Ultra Marathon wristband represents 50 runs. Parents are also sent a link to print off a certificate for their child.
I also stepped out of my comfort zone this Sunday just gone and took on a volunteer role I have never tried before. I was tail walker. I’ve put my name down to do this before at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun but chickened out as I just wasn’t sure I could keep up with the last person. However at junior parkrun the distance is a lot shorter and usually there is a lot less running involved. The role of the Tail Walker is to stay at the back of the field and be the last person to cross the finish line. Typically as it was my first turn at doing it I actually had a lot of running to do as a child dropped out, and another was in and out of a buggy, and when she was in the buggy, her mum ran! Fast!
I’ve now volunteered at Stokes Bay junior parkrun 14 times and so far we haven’t had any rain!! *touch wood!* This takes my volunteering total for parkrun up to 116!
Want to read my other Stokes Bay junior parkrun posts? The links are below:
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!
4th March saw my 80th time volunteering at Lee on the Solent parkrun. 80 times is pretty impressive, especially when I realised there’s only been 90 parkruns at Lee on the Solent.
I wanted to be the Run Director on my 80th time and so I signed up. Now all I needed was a team! I put a call out on Facebook saying it would be my 80th time volunteering and I was to be the Run Director so wanted the best team and luckily my wonderful parkrun friends responded and I had a good team backing me.
During my 80 times volunteering at parkrun I’ve made so many friends and since I only moved here two years ago I’m so thankful for their friendship. Moving here could have been a very lonely time and actually it really hasn’t.
I’ve met so many people through parkrun, some are simply familiar faces I see through being there every week, some are people I say Hi to as I pass them on the High Street but some of them are people I spend time with outside of parkrun too now.
No finer photo location than a skate park covered in graffiti
I’m so grateful for all the people I’ve met at parkrun and I want to thank everyone who made Saturday so special for me.
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.
For some reason this post didn’t publish when it was meant to and I didn’t even notice! Bad blogger! So I know it’s late but I thought I’d put it out there since I went to the effort of writing it and collating the pictures so here’s my late review of 2016.
My first ever attempt at a French Manicure turned out surprisingly well.
The sunset at Lee on Solent.
These nails actually don’t look that good at all *blush* but it’s the best from February.
Sunset at Stokes Bay. No filter was needed for this photograph.
Best Blog Post:
February saw the launch of this blog. I’m choosing How I became a parkrun Volunteer as my best blog post. parkrun is something that means a lot to me so it’s a reflection of who I am.
I love how pink, sparkly and girly OPI’s Princesses Rule is
The Solent. I remember taking this photo. It was such a warm day for March.
At the end of April Giles, one of the founding members of parkrun and chairman of Gosport Road Runners passed away. People were asked to wear their club vests to the run. I’m not a member of a running club but parkrun is the club I belong to. I didn’t know Giles well at all, I only met him a couple of times but he was adored by many.
First ice cream of the year. April was so warm!
The Hello Kitty/OPI collaboration. This is Spoken From The Heart
Best Blog Post: I got a lot of good feedback on my post parkrun – More than meets the eye People just don’t get to see this side of parkrun and people told me this made them appreciate their parkrun teams even more.
New Look Pure Gel is the best home gel nail varnish I’ve found.
Spinnaker Tower taken from the Gosport Ferry
Best Blog Posts: In June I did my own Travel Guide for London,Scotland and Florida. I tried to include some of the none tourist sites so there were new things for people to try.
I reached my 50 milestone for volunteering at parkrun.
Best Blog Post:
This is the blog post that has the most views on my blog – It’s the information post of when the Disney X Cath Kidston collaboration was announced.
In August I learnt to do my own gel nails.
In August I passed my driving test and drove myself to my home town, Sheffield!
As you know I’m a regular volunteer at my local parkrun. One of the roles I really enjoy doing is timekeeping which means I get to see every person cross the finish line and also means I get to see how each person crosses the finish line. Let me explain, I’ve whittled them down in to categories.
The over shooter
This is usually reserved for the fast people at the front. They run the whole course at a 6 minute mile and they don’t slow down as they enter the finish funnel. This usually results in them sprinting straight past the lovely volunteers waiting to hand them their finish token who then have to shout “Token!!!! Come and get your token!!!” frantically before the next over shooter enters the funnel and chaos quickly descends.
The hunter enters the finish funnel and so begins the hunt for their barcode. They know they have it on them somewhere but where did they decide to put it at 8.30 before they left the house?! In their pocket/bra/that funny little pocket on the back of running trousers?! It has to be somewhere! Ah here it is, in my phone case…definitely don’t remember putting it in there!
This is also usually reserved for the fast people at the front. They enter the finish funnel where they stop, bend double and begin to spit furiously. Are they going to vomit, will they? won’t they? They then move quickly to the side of the funnel and vomit over the edge like a sea sick sailor. Oh dear think the volunteers who now have splattered shoes!
The Mo Farah
Is that a photographer at the finish line?! Once the Mo Farah spots this, the moves begin. They pull the Mobot, then the lightening bolt, then the double thumbs up, then the arms in the air. One of them has to be good for a new FaceBook profile picture right?!
The You Go First
That awkward moment when you get to the finish funnel at the same time as someone else and so begins the “You first, no you first, no I insist” So very British!
The celebrator takes on many forms from the “It’s my first time and I’ve just completed a parkrun” to the “I’ve just completed parkrun hungover and didn’t die” but you can always spot them, both arms in the air and a huge smile on their face.
The Last Minute Sprinter
So they’ve walked the whole course, yes you can walk a parkrun, but now they’re feeling pretty happy with themselves and decide to make the last 10 metres a full on sprint. This always gets a huge cheer, give it a go!
There’s some people who cross the finish line incredibly slowly. They plod those last 10 metres and as a timekeeper you have your finger hovered over the button and…then…you…just…wait…for…them…to…cross!
December is that month that comes and goes in a flash. Before you know it the New Year is here and Christmas is over for another year.
So what did I get up to in December?
December started with a visit home to Sheffield to spend some time with my Mum. I was there for 4 days. It was so nice to be able to spend some quality time at home and visit Meadowhall, the shopping centre there. Meadowhall is so much better than West Quay but I actually didn’t find anything to buy!! Typical!
A much needed coffee whilst shopping.
Blogwise I completed a Christmas Haul series of posts. I worked hard on these and liked how the pictures turned out.
December also had my work Christmas Party. It was at Saint Mary’s Stadium. The venue was nice but the room was hotter than hell which made it an uncomfortable evening! I did my second attempt at gel nails for it and added nail glitter. I was pleased with how they turned out.
We went and met up with some friends from Sheffield who were en route to visit family for Christmas. We’d originally planned to meet in Costa Coffee (of course) but with it being Christmas Eve they closed at 3pm to enable them to set up for their Boxing Day sale! We went to Starbucks instead which meant I got to try their Toffee Nut Latte. It was beautiful.
Christmas was spent at home and was a quiet affair just the way I like it. Since then I’ve been trying to be good and have been out for a walk or a bike ride almost every day. I am a bad blogger though and haven’t actually taken any pictures whilst I’ve been out!! FAIL!
I hope you’ve all had a good December. If you feel you’ve missed any of my posts through December, here they are below:
It’s been a while since I did a parkrun post so I thought I’d tell you about Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve started off really jolly. There were a lot of runners in fancy dress ranging from a simple Santa Hat to full on costumes of elves carrying runners like this one!
Photo courtesy of Steve Wood
When it started we knew there were more people than normal. I filmed the start and it took 40 seconds to get everyone through rather than the usual 15 seconds, but it never occurred to us just how many people there were or why there were so many. Was it because we’d planned Reindeer pacers for the event starting with Dasher at 19 minutes?
Photo courtesy of Steve Wood
According to the parkrun page our parkrun has an average of 290.4 runners each week. We usually sit around 300-350. I’m going to let you in to a little secret here. We only have enough finish tokens for 500 runners in the box we keep at the finish funnel.
Photo courtesy of Steve Wood
I’m not even sure that picture does justice of how many people there were!
I knew it was busy as when I was barcode scanning I was asked to move further away from the finish funnel. That doesn’t usually happen. I then got asked to move another 3 metres away from the finish funnel. Apparently the finish funnel was getting so crowded the time keepers were having to move forward as the funnel was full and they couldn’t click the runners coming in to finish.
We were all kept in the festive spirit though by these lovely people playing Christmas Carols!
Photo Courtesy of Steve Wood
Then we hit it, the magic 500 and we ran out of tokens! Imagine the panic that filled people. Some clever soul had the idea of writing the finishing numbers on the runners hands. They then went to manual entry and had their details taken that way. Luckily the runners at Lee on the Solent parkrun are a friendly bunch and straight away we had people offering to help take down people’s details and asking what they could do to help.
Afterwards we had a little time to reflect. Our parkrun is so successful and it’s going from strength to strength. However some lessons had to be learned and so a longer finish funnel and more finish tokens will be ready at the end of the run on New Years Eve. I can’t wait to see how it plays out, especially as I am Run Director. I have excited nerves! And hopefully I won’t have to enter the 52 people by hand that I did last week!
Never been to parkrun? Be sure to find your local and register here. New Year is a great time to start.
Want to read more parkrun posts? They’re all listed below for you
September seems to have been and gone in a flash and as a result I don’t feel like I’ve done much but never the less. Here is my September roundup!
Firstly in September I won a competition! I’ve never won anything before in my life so I was pretty amazed when I won this gorgeous palette on a giveaway over at Sophie’s Blog
One evening after work we decided to go to JoJo Gelato in Fareham. I had this scrummy Nutella and Cookie supreme crepe. It was so good, especially after a hard day at work.
We also visited the Waitrose Farm Shop. Here is the post about our visit.
In Lee-on-the-Solent there was a super low tide on 18th September. I’m still discovering new things about living by the sea and this was one of them. The photo doesn’t do it justice but the sea really was a lot further out than usual.
At the end of September we went to Wales for 4 nights. I’ve never visited Wales before so it was nice to explore somewhere new. There’s a more detailed post to follow.
In September I did 8 blog posts which I think might be a record for me! If you missed any, they’re linked below: