This has been one of the best and emotional running years of my life with so much happening in 2018!
I had to start off the new year with for the first time I run a parkrun double header of events that began at Linford Woods and finished running Milton Keynes with my pal Martin. These are two great single lap courses that I would throughly recommend with the challenge of trying to run up all the way up the wonderful zip-zag path to the back of the peace pagoda at the Milton Keynes event 🙂
Sadly in February my dad passed away that was so devastating for me and mum, but my running club Stopsley Striders help supported me through this tough time and parkrun buddies Martin Ball, Kevin Brown and Robert Kidd came out to run with me at Homewood in my dads name, I was deeply honoured you came guys!
Must admit it was great to think positive thoughts for at least a couple of hours and while I was there we even pitched in to help with course repairs!!!
For my 100th parkrun milestone I had to be at home parkrun of Luton, Wardown to celebrate with my local running community! Special mention my tourist friends who attended and added to this special day was Ken Thomas from Darlington who also lost his dad and we both ran in their honours on the day!
Finally beautiful touch was my work colleagues gave me a present of a Luton Town FC replica shirt with the words LAYZELL 100 printed on the back to run in at Luton, beautiful gesture that brought a tear to my eyes!!!!
Also it was great to be involved with our Stopsley Striders 2018 beginners graduation at Luton, Wardown again with my co-coach for our group Karen Bull!
It was also a pleasure to run in two local events in the club organised Stopsley 5-10 mile race and the Love Luton 10km that finishes by the town hall, always a pleasure to support my home town 🙂
I always wanted to give something more back to parkrun so when I read the Facebook appeal to set up a core team for a new Junior parkrun event at Wardown, Luton I jumped at the chance!
Very interesting being part of a team and seeing how a parkrun event evolves from setting out a course, event takeover day at Houghton Hall juniors to finally going live in July!
Also great to see our juniors doing so well and being part of such a lovely core team of friends that are close to my heart! I am a bit worried though as every event I am as run director it pours down with rain, starting to believe I am jinxed 🙂
I decided early on to celebrate my 99th different parkrun event by honouring fellow tourist friend Mark Sherwood who sadly passed away and give something positive back to a parkrun community!
So what I did was simply organise an ice cream van to be at Letchworth parkrun and offered free ice cream to all the finishers and volunteers who supported that weeks event. It was great the weather even played ball being warm and sunny in early September, plus seeing so many happy faces made my day!
So a year after finally deciding to run the additional 43 events on the 8th September I run my 100th different event at Houghton Hall, Houghton Regis and in doing so joined the hallowed tourist Cowell club, named after Chris Cowell who was the first person to reach this milestone!
I would like to thank everyone who turned up on the day, Houghton Hall parkrun community and everyone who was part of my adventures leading up to joining the Cowell club, much appreciated!
After losing my parkrun regionnaire status of Greater London in March of this year with 4 new events being added, my next challenge in November was to run the remaining events of Clapham Common, Foots Cray Meadows and Catford in that I still had to complete to be Lon-done again!
Must admit it was great to be back in the capital that meant so much to me, which started off as a charity challenge in 2016-17. Look forward to running back in our capital in 2019 when I am sure there will be new events starting 👍🏻
Home for Christmas
Finally in December it was very simple volunteer at my home events and meet up with good friends, so it was my great pleasure to visit both Houghton Hall and Luton, Wardown Senior and Junior events, what I lovely time I had too 🙂
So 2018 has been a brilliant year of parkrun milestones achieved in the best of company a man could ever want with stunning locations to run on and with great stories behind every event!
I would like to personally thank every parkrun community that I have visited in 2018, you have been great hosts to the point I thought I was running at home, love you guys!!!!
Very special mention to my lovely mum who is up every Saturday that I am touring to make sure I have got everything and worries until I get home, love you mum 🙂
So what next in 2019 very simple I will just enjoy my running with no schedule set and who know’s one day I could be at your parkrun, but until then happy park running everyone 🙂
Mark aka Silent Runner