Saturday, December 09, 2023

Penrith Run Report #432

Frenchfields, Penrith, Cumbria, UK. Saturday 09-December-2023.

A group of us take it in turns to volunteer as report writer at Penrith parkrun. This week it was my turn and below is my report.

You’ll never be last at parkrun.

There is a parkrun motto “It’s a run not a race “. While some participants are keen to go as fast as possible, it is not a competition. You are not going to beat Harry Lancaster or Jonathan Cox (16:24 and 17:18 respectively on latest outings). There are no medals or trophies to be won. The only person you are competing against is yourself. There are many ways to judge how well you’re doing and to provide that extra motivation.

Just being there: It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning and you’re waiting for the off. That’s so much better than all the other couch potatoes still in bed. You can feel pleased with yourself for crawling out from under the duvet and getting out there.

Under starter’s orders

This week 151 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 17 were first timers (1 first ever parkrun and 16 visitors) and 10 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part. A fair turnout considering the cold and wet conditions.

Thanks, as usual, to all the volunteers for making parkrun possible.

Age category: There will always be people younger than you and faster than you. It is much more useful to look at the age category and see how you’re doing against your peers.

Age graded score: My personal favourite. This gives you a percentage score against a worldwide sample of people your age. A bit like a golf handicap, it enables you to compare people of different ages. You can sort the results by age grading and discover that you may have been behind by faster athletes but because they are younger you, in fact, have a higher score than them.

PB (Personal Best): Many people join parkrun to get fit. Your very first parkrun at any event is set as a PB. Thereafter, every time you improve you get a new PB. When you start at parkrun you’ll find your fitness gets better and better and you will keep setting new PBs. Very encouraging.

Milestones: Where you can say “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt”. At various milestones, you are eligible to treat yourself to a T-shirt: 25, 50, 100, 250 and even, occasionally seen, 500. Other arbitrary milestones at multiples of 50 are also celebrated. When you reach a milestone, let the Run Director know. They will give you a shout out and you’ll get a round applause for sticking with it.

Congratulations this week to: Ruth Evans (100 volunteering), Charlie Beaumont (250), Gillian Silson (200 plus 101 volunteering).

Ruth Evans, Gillian Silson, Helen Campion (First timer)

Charlie Beaumont (250 parkruns)

Now Charlie can get the well-deserved green t-shirt and start working towards the next.

Kath Owen sporting the prestigious 500 T-shirt.

You’ll never be last at parkrun: The role of the Tail Walker is to be last! Primarily they are there to make sure that no one gets left behind. They also act as a companion for the people at the back. That can be for many reasons: coming back from injury, recovering from illness or operation, getting back out having given birth, just starting your journey to fitness. It doesn’t matter whatever your pace is there’s always somebody literally behind you.

Another motto is “It’s about the finish line, not the finish time”. A 50 minute parkrun is just as far as a 20 minute parkrun. So come along and give it a go.

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