This report is very personal to me as I was lucky to be there right at the beginning when this parkrun event was just an idea!
For me when my dad and best friend sadly passed away in February 2018 I needed something positive in my life to concentrate on and to my shear joy a Facebook post appeared asking for interested parties to create a core team for a new junior parkrun to be held at Wardown Park, Luton!
So on the 8th April 2018 after a Houghton Hall Juniors parkrun event, we had our first meeting as a core team and the rest was history!
I have acquired a new level of respect for parkrun events starting up and the hard work that goes into the process from idea to inaugural event. We were lucky at Wardown as the funding was already in place that was a great start!
So with expert guidance from Tam our parkrun ambassador and Rick our event director we took to the task of creating Wardown Juniors!
Prerequisites for any core team that needs to completed before your event is ready to start are:
- Every core team member has to volunteer in all the key roles of a parkrun event including timekeeping, barcode scanning etc
- Walk round and set up of new course
- Core team take over day at a local event that in our case was our sister event at Houghton Hall Juniors
- Test event to make sure everything is working OK
Once all of these stages were completed the date of 1st July 2018 was set as our inaugural event.
What a beautiful hot Sunday morning it was too with 79 junior runners and 27 volunteers, expertly managed by our run director the lovely Lisa, it was a very happy day that will last long in the memory!
Have to smile I have a unique gift that on a majority of my run directing days it rains, which has not been lost our the local community. Even on the hottest summer of 2018 on record it rained on my first stint as RD. So now everyone looks at the roster to see when I am next on and they bring a brolly just in case 🙂
The course is just over 2 clockwise laps that start at Wardown Lake boathouse. The course is run entirely on tarmac footpaths and is relatively flat in elevation! Overall this is a fast course for a Junior to get a personal best on!
There is free parking available inside the park with a 40 spaces next to Wardown museum, Sat Nav LU2 7HA. There are public toilet facilities near the children’s play area that are generally open before 9am!
For the Post run coffee the Wardown Museum cafe is open from 10am if you are still in the park and please do have a look around the museum itself as it is great fun as well as being educational 🙂
I would like to thank all the members of the core team past and present for allowing me to be part of this top team! To the event directors Rick & Karen keep up the excellent work and all the best to our new RD’s in Claire, Debbie and Michelle, you are all going to do a brilliant job!
So if you are looking for a parkrun that is set in a beautiful green flag park, has a top friendly community, then Wardown juniors is a must attend event to visit 🙂
Finally for me I am looking forward to the 5th January 2020 where at Wardown juniors I will run directing and celebrating my 100th separate days of parkrun volunteering and there will be cake 🙂
Mark aka Silent Runner