Tag Archives: parkrun blog

Stokes Bay junior parkrun

junior parkrun logo

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.

junior parkrun wristbands

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.

junior parkrun RD

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:

Stokes Bay junior parkrun Test Event

Stokes Bay junior parkrun Event Number 1

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Stokes Bay junior parkrun event number 1

junior parkrun logo

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!

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Volunteering 80 times at Lee on the Solent parkrun

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Volunteering at Eastney Junior parkrun

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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.

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2016 – A Review

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.

January

Best Nails:

French manicure

My first ever attempt at a French Manicure turned out surprisingly well.

Favourite Photo:

Sunset at  Lee on the Solent

The sunset at Lee on Solent.

February

Best Nails:

Rimmel Let's Get Nude

These nails actually don’t look that good at all *blush* but it’s the best from February.

Best Photo:

Sunset at Stokes Bay

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.

March

Best Nails:

OPI Princesses Rule

I love how pink, sparkly and girly OPI’s Princesses Rule is

Best Photo:

Sea and Pebbles

The Solent. I remember taking this photo. It was such a warm day for March.

Best Blog Post:
It’s another parkrun post I’m afraid. I got some good feedback on my Becoming a parkrun Run Director post.

April

A Memory:

parkrun pacers

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.

Best Picture:

Ice Cream 99

First ice cream of the year. April was so warm!

May

Best Nails:

OPI Hello Kitty Spoken From The Heart

The Hello Kitty/OPI collaboration. This is Spoken From The Heart

Best Photo:

Weymouth Harbour

Weymouth Harbour

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.

June

Best Nails:

New Look Pure Gel Nails

New Look Pure Gel is the best home gel nail varnish I’ve found.

Best Photo:

Spinnaker Tower

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.

July

Best Nails:

Rimmel 60 seconds nail varnish

Best Photo:

parkrun 25 volunteer

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.

August

Best Nails:

Gelish gel nails

In August I learnt to do my own gel nails.

Best Photo:

Sheffield Millennium Square

In August I passed my driving test and drove myself to my home town, Sheffield!

Best Blog Post: My only blog post in August was a catch up post called Let’s Have Coffee…

September:

Best Photo:

Super Low Tide

Super low tide at Lee on Solent

Best Blog Post: I did well with blog posts in September but I think my favourite was Fantastic Mr Fox I miss these guys now it’s Winter.

October

Best Photo:

Hot Chocolate at Costa Coffee

To be honest I’m surprised I made it until October before posting a picture of a Costa Coffee!

Best Blog Post: I wrote a post all about my holiday to Wales I’d never visited Wales before.

November

Best Photo:

Dusk at Lee on the Solent

I know I know, another sunset at the beach picture. I just can’t help it!

A Memory:

Reindeer

I love Reindeer and in November I got to hand feed one!

Best Blog Post: This blog post felt like a collaboration. I decided to write about marshalling at the Gosport Half and was blown away by how many people were willing to help me.

December

Best Nails:

Gelish Nails

I did my own gel nails for the Work Christmas Party.

Best Photo:

Kilner Jar

It had to include a Christmas tree I suppose for December and I didn’t want to bore you with another sunset beach post, although I did have one!

Best Blog Post: It has to be What I got for Christmas. I love looking at what other people got!

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parkrun – Thoughts from the finish line

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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

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!

The Vomiter

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

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!

The Plodder

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!

So, which category do you fit in to?

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December Roundup

Happy New Year Everyone!

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!

Coffee

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.

Christmas Haul

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.

Gel Nails

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.

Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte

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:

Christmas Haul Part 1 – Cath Kidston

Christmas Haul Part 2 – Garsons Garden Centre

Christmas Haul Part 3 – John Lewis

Christmas Haul Part 4 – Finishing Touches

What I Got For Christmas

parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

That’s all from me but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have supported this blog since I launched it in February. Here’s to a successful 2017 for us all

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parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

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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!

christmas parkrun fancy dress

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?

parkrun pacers at lee on solent parkrun

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.

parkrun runners

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!

brass band at lee on solent parkrun

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

I Am Team GB

Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

parkrun – More than meets the eye

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September Roundup

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!

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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

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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.

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We also visited the Waitrose Farm Shop. Here is the post about our visit.

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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.

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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:

Smart ForFour

August Roundup

Learning to drive with AA Driving School

I Am Team GB

The Waitrose Farm – Leckford Estate

Fantastic Mr Fox

Disney X Cath Kidston – Winnie The Pooh

Gelish by Nail Harmony Review

Now we’re in to October which is my favourite time of year!

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I Am Team GB

As tomorrow is parkrun day I thought I’d tell you about a few Saturdays ago at Lee on Solent parkrun.

Saturday 27th August was #IAmTeamGB day. Team GB, ITV, The National Lottery and parkrun were joining forces to create the Nation’s Biggest Sports Day and we embraced this with open arms at Lee on the Solent parkrun.

I was Run Directing on 27th August and we had a lot going on. We had balloons and bunting on the start line and finish funnel, we had t-shirts to wear and stickers to give out. People were encouraged to wear red white and blue to celebrate the achievements of Team GB which they did and they also brought flags to wave. We really got in to the spirit of things. We also had pacers to help people achieve a new PB ranging from 19-34 minutes. We were also given selfie signs for people to take pictures with and upload them to social media, tagging them #IAmTeamGB

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Rob was our 19 minute pacer. Photo courtesy of @lotsparkrun on Instagram

There was a lot to fit in to the Runner’s Brief. I needed to tell people the usual rules as well as letting them know what today was all about, who the pacers were and what the signs were for as well as giving our own social media a plug so our runners knew where to find us. I tried to make it amusing to keep people listening and judging by the amount of compliments I got afterwards I think I achieved this.

The run was great and we had a whopping 364 runners in attendance. This is our 7th highest turn out since we began in July 2015. I received compliments on my briefing, people said how much they had enjoyed the run and lots of people took great selfies and group photographs with the selfie signs. It was a brilliant day all round.

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Maggie, Fiona and Dee were kept busy barcode scanning. Photo courtesy of @lotsparkrun on Instagram.

 

I also got to meet Roger who I have chatted to on Twitter and I also follow his blog IRunOffRoad It was great to meet him and finally put a face to the name. Be sure to check out his blog if you’re local or in to running.

And finally Louise posted this selfie of us all in the finish funnel. I love this picture as it includes some of my favourite parkrun family members.

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On Saturday 27th August we were all officially members of Team GB and it felt great! parkrun really is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you want to walk it or if you want to run it as fast as you can. Go and join your local parkrun and I promise you won’t regret it. Not a runner? Then why not volunteer? It’s a great way to meet people and help your community.

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