Saturday was the first parkrun of 2014 and I thought I would write a short review of the story so far.
The 28th September 2013 was the inaugural Doncaster parkrun. I think Doncaster owes Dominic Patterson a massive ‘thank you’ for making it happen. 165 runners turned up for the first run proving he was right. It must be my age but I keep thinking of the Kevin Costners film “field of dreams” build it and they will come, perhaps in Dominics dream it was “start it and they will run” .
And they have, in 2013 there were 14 runs, done by 487 runners, who covered 6450km, that’s 4,008 miles. The course record, a fast 17.02, was set in week one by Dean Watson and has proved hard to catch since with only Christopher Ward getting close with 17.09. The ladies aren’t tardy either with Hannah Oldroyd only being 3 minutes behind. The ladies record though has changed hands a few times over the weeks. The record I find most motivating though is the age graded record, well done Sheelagh Jones, it great to see all ages enjoying the runs. I’m sure though as the weather warms up we will see the records being broken. The course has now also been run by one toddler in a buggy and a dog or two.
The numbers have settled with a fairly consistent 80-90 each week, a great turnout, matched by a great turnout of volunteers, every week a few of us have said if your short we will Marshall and miss the run but its never been needed, Mark or Ian arrive early and are helped by two teenage Duke of Edinburgh students George and Greg (teenagers up well before 8 on a Saturday!) to set out the course and by the time they have finished there’s usually another hand full of volunteers arrived.
I popped along to Barnsleys Parkrun on Christmas Day and bumped into another couple of Doncaster runners, over 80 runners turned out for a frosty, hilly run to start off their Christmas. Who knows perhaps if we’re good all year we might get our own next year.
The friends of Sandal Park have also been great, we have a nice store room and access to a loo, and you can get a great cuppa for less than a £ in the cafe.
2014 got off to a great start, the first run of the year (the 15th) saw 74 runners with a massive 24 first time Doncaster runners with 19 of them new to park running. And to say it was wet and slippery on the field section there were still 4 PB’s set. Today’s highlights for me were doing the last lap with first timers Alex and Nathan Adametz-Gibson who have just introduced their two year old to park running in his super buggy and Sarah Brown who had all her family running today thanks to her 11 year old encouraging them all to run.
This has to be what Park running is about. Hope to see all the first timers again soon.