Another parkrun done, only one left at Lower Hutt for 2018. It was also my last go at being run director at Lower Hutt, so if you will indulge me, here’s an alphabetical list of my time as being RD and a look at today’s run….
Barcodes – we scanned 228 barcodes today, but unfortunately still had 9 unknown runners. Register and print your barcode (and preferably laminate!) to get your result recorded. It’s a fair amount of hassle to manually add people to the results so please bring your barcode with you each week.
Cake! There was cake at the finish made to celebrate my final stint as RD but today has not been the only baked goods days. Last week we had milestone cake, and we’ve also had birthday cake and just because cake. Thanks to all of our willing bakers! Why run if not for the food?
Downloading – two of the exciting developments of this year have been the parkrun volunteer app and the google chrome running challenges extension. Please all download the app if you’re going to volunteer as a barcode scanner – it’s really great! And just for fun, see how many extra badges you have already accumulated in the google running challenges.
Everybody’s welcome! My favourite thing about parkrun is how inclusive it is; today we had humans, dogs and buggies (with tiny humans!). Our participants range in age from under 10 to over 65.
Fancy dress – this year we’ve welcomed a hen, a dinosaur, the Hulk, numerous scary Halloween costumes and of course, this weekend, 37 Tutu clad runners.
Globe Trotting – We’ve welcomed so many overseas tourists this year, and this week was no exception. As well as domestic tourists from many of the other 26 runs in NZ, we also welcomed Australian, South African and British tourists. Remember your barcode works anywhere in the world!
Happy Birthday – in May we celebrated Lower Hutt parkrun’s 6th birthday with a party, cake and quiz at the Station Gardens, organised by Alastair. It was a unique opportunity to see people in regular clothes!
International Women’s Day – In March I was proud to lead an all female volunteer team to celebrate international women’s day. Parkrun is open and inclusive to everyone, and it was great to be able to acknowledge that in our own way.
Joel Carmen – the name of our first finisher today in an eye-watering sub 16 minute run. Our first female was Ingrid Cree in 19:54. It’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part, but speaking for myself, seeing the fast runners finish is one of the joys of volunteering as I’m never at the business end of the field!
Kilometres and kilometres – All 237 runners covered 5km today (whether they did it in 16 minutes or 56 minutes). Between them they covered 1,185km which is more than the distance from Lower Hutt to Cape Reinga.
Lead bike – one of our crucial volunteer roles is often filled by parkrun volunteer extraordinaire, AJ. Today he stepped up at the last minute to help out and I’ll be forever grateful!
Milestones – one of the many joys of introducing the run each week is celebrating everyone’s efforts. This week we said well done to Marketa Langova (150 runs), Colleen Cumming (100 runs with a PB!) and Andrea Ruglys who achieved her 25th volunteering milestone.
New courses – this year many new courses sprung up in New Zealand. We’ll always be the first ever parkrun in NZ and it’s lovely how the community is growing across the country. Our newest neighbour is Greytown parkrun (just over the hill) which is a lovely course if you ever fancy a change.
Only three more sleeps until the next parkrun day. A tenuous O, I’ll admit!
Personal Bests – there were 19 new PBs in the field today – 8% of our runners achieving a new best time. Special mention to AJ Shaw for his 5thPB in 5 runs and Charlotte Lealuga who took a huge 40 seconds off her last PB to duck under half an hour for the first time
Quiet please! Just one small bugbear of mine – please respect the run director and listen for the 5 minutes of the run briefing. We welcome new runners, celebrate milestones, and share important course safety information. Please save your chat for the run!
Run Directors – a special thanks to Stu, Tony, Alistair and especially Mark for putting up with me for the last year! I’ve made some goofs (mainly technology based) but hopefully I’ve not brought the team into disrepute too much! Best of luck to Jared and Susan who will join the team from next year.
Still reading? Sorry! There are only a few letters to go….
Tea and cake – the best part of parkrun is the coffee, tea, cake, scones, or combination of the above after the run from Buzz Café. Remember you get top notch post-parkun chat as well as 10% off your purchase. You can also help sort the tokens out or watch how the results are processed.
Unknown runners are missing out on their credit! Not only that, the unknown runner in position 155 accidentally took our finish token home today. Please remember to return the tokens at the end as they are part of a set and a bit of a pain to replace. Thanks!
Volunteers – I wouldn’t be able to run direct if it wasn’t for the 11 others who selflessly give up their chance to run each week. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered this year and made sure parkrun
at Lower Hutt can go ahead every week.
Water – as summer heats up, please remember to bring your own water. We have some at the finish but there’s not always enough and we don’t want anyone to go without! It’s important to stay hydrated and take
Xmas runs! There was an extra run at Porirua on Christmas Day and there are TWO extra parkruns on New Year’s Day – join us at Lower Hutt at 08:00 and then 09:30 at Porirua.
You! It wouldn’t be parkrun without our participants so thanks to everyone for coming along week after week.
Zzz sleepy yet? That’s a lot of words! Thanks for reading and for putting up with me for the last year. I’ll still be at Lower Hutt most weeks but I’ll be focussing on my running and ramping up my tourism. Have a lovely Christmas break and we’ll see you soon!
parkrunner (and former Run Director!)