After a hectic time last few years completing two big parkrun tourist challenges it was always going to be quiet 2019 in comparison, a year of reflection and a recharging of the metaphorical batteries!
For me though I will remember with great happiness the London/Luton airport runway charity run in June on the longest day of the year and it was a beautiful sight seeing the sunrise as we run on an out and back course on the runway.
Finally on this matter the inner child in me I had to do plane arms out running towards to the finish line with my friends 🙂
We had another successful year on our annual Stopsley Striders beginners course with this year I co-coached this time Gill on group 5 that culminated with a graduation parkrun in July at Luton, Wardown.
I would like to take this opportunity in thanking Gill and all the volunteer helpers that made it easy to support this years beginners and at the same bringing fun to each session!
Parkrun – year
It is always good to set yourself new challenges to keep things fresh and this year I set two long term ones:
Lucky dip touring – I set a list of 50 of the closest parkrun events to me that I have yet to run as of the 9th March. Then I choose a random raffle ticket out of a bag and that will be my next event to attend, it is a great fun not knowing when you are going from week to week 🙂
Here is my list of lucky dip events – click here
National Trust parkuns – I was so in awe of the beauty of parkrun events held on National Trust land after attending both Yeovil & Wimpole Estate I decided to run the 29 events held in the UK at the same time become a member of this very noble charity!
Here is my list of National Trust events – click here
One pleasure of mine is help celebrate with very good parkrun friends running at their milestone events with 2019 being a bumper year
500 Club – Carl Heaps running this magnificent milestone at his home parkrun at Basingstoke.
250 Club – The lovely Christine Imbert joined this club at the stunning chosen location of Wimpole Estate back in September.
100 Club – Very good parkrun friends in Alexis Weedon, Julie Tysoe and Jen Avis all celebrating this excellent milestones at my home parkrun of Luton, Wardown.
For the record Jen also doubled up on the day with 100 days of volunteering, brilliant effort Jen!
The Cowell club refers to parkrun tourists who have run at least 100 different parkrun events and Chris Cowell was the first person to achieve this brilliant total!
Ken Thomas reached this on a tough winters day at Westmill in March and Scott Clarke son’s Joseph & Samuel both reached this at Dunstable Downs back in May. Finally last up this year was Mark Brady at one of my favourite London locations of Richmond in November.
Yeovil Montacute parkrun who celebrated their 6th birthday with Pirates in Mens Pants theme with loads of wonderfully dressed pirates ready to take on their beautiful Montacute House single lap course!
Bethlem Royal Hospital is the first NHS trust hospital in the UK to allow parkrun to start an event up in their own extensive parkland and in doing so promote the benefits of running on one’s mental health.
What a wonderful idea and this trust should be applauded for their enlighten thinking!
Rory Marriott super parkrun volunteer with 589 volunteers as of writing in June, parkrun ambassador and current home event is Felixstowe parkrun where I met him.
Outstanding achievement sir and you are a true credit to us all who adore parkrun!
Evelyn Lutterodt who completed 1000 consecutive days of running back in August with runs ranging from 1 mile to full marathons, also included in these these days was a large number of parkruns throughout the year.
Wow Evelyn you are amazing in what you have achieved and did you say you are now going for 2000 days!
Last but definitely not least very good tourist friend Wai Meng who invited me to visit to her at Leavesden Juniors. Luckily on the day I decided to visit when she was celebrating 100 days of parkrun volunteering at Leavesden and the cake she brought along was delicious 🙂
I took my mum back to Friary Park, London 45+ years after she last took me there back in the 1970’s in my childhood visiting family. In many ways the park had not changed much and holds lovely memories of childhood past!
For the record I volunteered as a marshal at their Friary Park Juniors parkrun and we retired afterwards to the bowing club for a well earned cuppa and a chat about everything parkrun!
Finally sorry to every parkrun event and person that I have not mentioned on my parkrun adventures this year, but I can say without any doubt you all have been brilliant and I loved running on all of these different types of courses!
This year we said a very sad farewell to local runner Martin Cowley, one of the loveliest human beings that you would ever want to meet in your life.
For a relatively quite year I have still packed in a lot of memories that I will remember with great fondness when I look back 🙂
So what next for me is on the 5th January I will be celebrating my 100th separate day of parkrun volunteering at Wardown Juniors where I will be the run director and trust me there will be plenty of cakes and sweets to enjoy 🙂
So finally whatever your running goals are in 2020 be happy and have fun 🙂
Mark aka Silent Runner