Several weeks have passed again and now time for a quick catch up.
Having spent two weeks in Tenerife enjoying all the glutinous benefits of an all-inclusive holiday, I’m now 3 week’s into a half marathon training programme. While on holiday I succeeded in putting on several pounds even though I visited the gym every day, did a spinning class and a body pump class.
The training is going well and I’m following the programme from the book ‘Run Less, Run Faster’. The programme consists of 3 runs per week; a track repeat or interval session, a tempo session and a long run. Cross training adds a couple more sessions to the week. The longest run is 15 miles. So far, I’ve been doing my runs on a treadmill to date. I love running outside but for the moment, the weather and the need to stick to a particular pace during a session makes the treadmill a little more appealing. As my fitness levels improve, I’ll run the sessions outside again.
Several weeks ago, I joined Lordshill Road Runners. I joined Eastleigh Running Club about a year ago as a means of recognising their contribution to Eastleigh parkrun and wanted to do the same for LRR now that I was involved with parkrun outside Eastleigh. Geographically, the Common is my closest training area (closer than Fleming Park). Both of these clubs have really embraced parkrun at both Eastleigh and Netley Abbey and that’s really been to the benefit of parkrun and the clubs.
We’re very lucky to have great support from several local running clubs including Eastleigh Running Club who have been very supportive of the Eastleigh parkrun (we also have 3 great RDs from ERC; Deb, Louise and Berni), Winchester & District Athletics Club and Stubbington Green RAC amongst others. LRR members now make up a majority of the Run Directing team at Southampton parkrun.
That brings me onto Southampton parkrun. In mid May, I had a meeting with Southampton City Council about the possibility of starting up a parkrun within the city. Following the meeting, many emails, site visits and further discussions with park management teams etc, the inaugural event tool place on Southampton Common yesterday morning (7th July). True to form, LRR provided almost 20 volunteers!! Tamsyn did an amazing job as Run Director. We were privileged to have The Worshipful The Mayor of Southampton Councillor Derek Burke in attendance. Councillor Burke also started the run.
We were also very pleased that parkrun’s UK Communications Manager and host of ‘the parkrun show’, Danny Norman, was able to run the inaugural event. Although I’ve had several e-conversations with Danny regarding different parkrun-related topics (and not always seen eye-to-eye), it was good to meet him face-to-face.
As well as our special guests, 254 runners participated in the event. That’s a great turnout for an inaugural event although some way off the record set by Newbury of 317 runners! It was great to see a few very familiar faces as well as some old parkrun friends including Colin and Elaine Brassington, Matt Lane, Ian Berry and Sandra Bowers.
Overall, the event went very well and I’m very proud to have set up another parkrun. That’s 2 in the space of 4 months. Havant parkrun (which I helped conceive) is also up and running with Dave Williams at the helm.
I love bringing new parkruns to life. It’s hard work with the meetings, liaising with different parties, designing the course with the invaluable help of Gareth and Dave, writing risk assessments and building the community around the event. I’m tempted to start work on a new parkrun in Winchester but plan to hold off for several months to give Eastleigh, Netley Abbey and Southampton chance to grow.
In the meantime, there’s plenty to do. Following Neil deciding to step down from Run Directing, I’ll take on the role at Netley Abbey. It’s a real shame that Neil has stepped down as he was an invaluable member of the team and was a very popular RD at all of our venues. The good news is that losing Neil as an RD doesn’t mean we’ll lose him completely as he’ll continue to run (aiming to PB again soon) and volunteer when he can. Phew!
We also have the ‘Hampshire Welcomes The Olympic Torch’ event at Royal Victoria Country Park next weekend at which we’ll hold several mini-parkruns.
Will blog again soon!!