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:
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
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.
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.
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.
For most people parkrun is an hour out of their Saturday, maybe a couple of hours if you go for a post run coffee or team it with a longer training run. When you’re a Run Director its a little more than that. This isn’t a martyr post, but more a behind-the-scenes look at how your weekly 5k becomes possible.
After the results have been processed what happens next? Well here’s what happened to make parkrun number 49 possible at Lee on Solent.
First of all the bibs were checked over to make sure they were ok and then they were sent for a spin in the washing machine and put in to the airing cupboard to dry.
Midweek it was time to begin charging! I charged up the laptop used to process the results. I made sure there were no updates needed and that everything to access the parkrun servers was in full working order. It was! I charged two of the three barcode scanners and cleared last weeks scans from them. As these take a couple of hours to charge and there is only one cable I charged the remaining one Friday evening. I also got new copies of the paperwork ready for the funnel manager and the manual entry. I also added a new piece of paper in to the new runners brief folder to write down tourists on (of which there was just one, from Birkenhead!) and then ensured everyone had a pen to use!
On Friday night I also reset the stopwatches and cleared off last weeks markers in them. Friday night I also double checked the tokens that had been sorted in to numerical order by our token sorters the week before. They were all there bar one which was replaced with a spare before the ran began. Everything was then packed back in to the box ready to go for the morning – bibs, scanners, stop watches, tokens and cones. It was then checked and double checked!
Finally it was time to print off the list of volunteers. I didn’t compile the list, that was taken care of by our wonderful volunteer co-ordinator. I then checked which of the volunteers had done their role before and who would require training in the morning. Only a couple needed training this week as we have a healthy quota of volunteers who thankfully come back time after time. I then added details of what each marshal needed at their post and then triple checked the box!
parkrun number 49 at Lee on Solent saw 309 runners and walkers complete the 5km course along the beautiful seafront thankfully without a hitch. As run director I did the run briefing and sent the runners on their way. As they passed us again I cheered people on, reminded runners to keep right now and asked one person to shorten their dog lead, which they did. As the runners began to return it was now turn to help with the finish funnel. The funnel manager did a stella job ensuring the timekeepers and finish tokens were all in sync, that people kept in order and kept moving through they funnel. As the tail runner returned in a time of 45:57 it was time to pack everything up and off to the café to upload the results, add in the manual entries and whizz it all off to the parkrun servers before handing everything over to next weeks run director.
So there you have it, after starting your weekend off right with a parkrun, that’s what happens from a run directors perspective. Ever thought about becoming a volunteer at parkrun? Then check out the parkrun website here to find your local course or read about how I became a parkrun volunteer here. If you’ve already volunteered and are thinking about becoming a run director then read about how I did it here and finally if you want a little peek at parkrun or Lee on Solent then this video sums it up perfectly.
On 11th July I began volunteering at Lee on the Solent parkrun.On 20th February 2016 I had volunteered 30 times! I began volunteering as a way of getting to know people in my new local community and now I couldn’t be without it. I marked the occasion by writing the run report and thought I’d include it here too.
Exactly a year ago I moved 250 miles to Lee on Solent, where I didn’t know anyone bar my husband. A few months passed by and I now only know work colleagues, but heard a whisper about a new parkrun starting right on my doorstep in Lee. So, in July, I found myself marshalling in an attempt to do something in my new community. Now at parkrun #35, I have given my time on 30 separate occasions. You might remember me cheering you on at the playground, my favourite marshalling spot? Somewhere where simply cheering people on turned in to friendly waves of hello, as we all turned up week after week. I’ve since moved on to take on other roles within parkrun and tend to be based around the finish funnel, where I have gotten to know runners, organisers and fellow volunteers. What a lovely, welcoming and friendly bunch you all are, especially Fiona who baked a cake to celebrate my 30th time volunteering and her 25th. Thank you, I was touched by your kindness.
So moving on to this morning’s run, everyone talks about the weather at Lee, the wind comes as standard, but thankfully this morning it wasn’t accompanied by rain. Lee is probably one of the only parkruns where there are very few runners at 8.50 and by 8.55 approximately 250 get out of their cars at once and descend on the start line. As Pippa, our Run Director, sent the runners on their way to Browndown, I watched the hi-vis crowd snake their way along the path. I was one of the barcode scanners this week and, as people start to filter through the finish, I ask them how it was? Popular answers are “That’s some wind!” “I’m knackered now”, and “I’m so hungover!”
There were an epic 50 PB’s today!! Well done to all of you, despite the wind, fatigue and hangovers you accomplished something major today! And to the 31 people who ran parkrun for the very first time at our beloved Lee, I hope you learn to love it as much as I have over the past 30 weeks!
Parkrun is great and best of all it’s free and they’re all over the country. If you fancy having a go at walking, jogging or running 5km in your local area check out the parkrun website and see where your local one is. You’ll not regret it.