‘Say what you see…’

I had the pleasure of listening to a great radio broadcast during the week that involved Dave Moorcroft. There was something said, which made me take a step back and think.
David alluded to something in his interview; how the parkrun events have become a fantastic billboard to any person wishing to get active, to complete a challenge each week or just to get out and enjoy what is around them and how even Mo Farah enjoys and takes part in his local event. None of this could happen however, without the humble volunteer. Even the huge success of the London Olympics or the Manchester & Glasgow Commonwealth games could not take place without what the volunteer brings in abundance to each event.

Therefore, if even the ‘Elite’ partake in these events, if there were no volunteers to help in any events, where would each of us be on any given Saturday…?

This leads on to the magnificent work that Stephen Bartley and others offer each and every week for all who take part in the Valley parkrun, although we must all offer something back. So, if you wish to just take a break for a week or that annoying injury just won’t shift, please offer to volunteer so many others can enjoy.

On to the running, with Valley parkrun numbers ever increasing, as this is seen as more of a challenging course, Stephen found himself possibly wishing he could do with an extra body to help process the results at the end. After a few glitches in the system and a token going astray, the correct times were obtained (although I am still convinced I ran a 16:03, and now hold the course record…if only, lol). Great work Stephen and to all the crew…

Results as follows:
Finishing in 3rd place overall, Robbie Gould 20:35, 4th place saw a return to the course for Patrick McGuckin 20:38, 10th Alan Ladd 21:29,
Mark Hay 23:03, Ciaran Skillen 23:15 new PB, Robert Gould 23:17,
Alex Davidson 24:44 (25min S’pacer’), Laura Maguire 27:45 new PB, Chloe Davidson 27:53 new PB,
Paul Skillen 28:17, Gillian Bainbridge 28:48, Dave Gibson 28:49, Clare Teer 29:24 new PB,
Jennifer Butler 29:25, Louise Smylie 29:26, Robert Jackson 30:38, Fidelma McCoppin 30:54,
Anna-Marie Barrington 30:58, Ben Davidson 32:00, Jennifer McCoppin 37:25
Rosalind Stitt 37:25, Karen Marsden 37:33, Lorraine Ann Forsythe 42:11.

Martin McCready found himself on his parkrun tour along with his partner Anne at Victoria parkrun. Martin came home in 28:05 and let’s just say Anne completed the course a little better.

Two other Harriers had been caught in that freak storm on Saturday morning and found themselves up the coast road at the Carrick parkrun, with both putting in sterling performances.

Martin McCourt returned in a smashing time of 21:23 and finished in 9th place, great to see Martin return to the running after a long layoff. Martin was followed home in 12th place and the first lady home by Lisa Brown in an equally impressive time of 22:44, although it was pointed out the that Lisa had run even faster a week earlier at the Enniskillen parkrun but didn’t remember the barcode, school boy (girl) error…

The 3rd Belfast City Half Marathon took place with a new course from that of the previous two outings, a flatter and faster course to be challenged. A sound piece of advice given to many of us who meet for our marathon outings, which has always stuck with me when running events, is to ensure your race gear is laid out the evening before, take nothing to chance, I must say something that has always stood me in good stead.

Running any organised event there are two essential pieces which are a must:
1. Your race number to be displayed correctly, mainly on the front of your top.
2. If the event is timed, then a racing chip is required to ensure you obtain a place and a time.

A huge mistake if you didn’t tie your race chip to your shoe after pushing through a half marathon, surely none of our runners would forget their little white disc… Still trying to find Michael McFarlane’s time, C’est la vie… I shall just use your Garmin time Michael… ‘SCHOOL BOY ERROR’

The day, as viewed from the side-lines, indeed seemed to be a great success with a much better course and an overall family friendly atmosphere with what appeared to be more folk out supporting all the runners home. Indeed the club had no less than 18 runners taking part and countless other members around the course supporting, solely based on the ethos of the club to create a family, friendly and supporting club for all members. This allowed for many PBs, accompanied by those venturing on their first official Half Marathon.

Results as follows:
Michael McAuley 1:40:57 new PB
Susan Thompson 1:42:43 new PB
Brendan McGeown 1:45:17 new PB
Mark Kelly 1:48:52 new PB
Darren Taggart 1:51:12 new PB
Michael McFarlane 1:52:42
Sarah Dinsmore 1:54:08
Catherine Boyd 1:55:18 new PB
Noel Bloomfield 1:56:30 new PB
Deborah Ewing 1:58:01 new PB
Catherine Mullan 1:58:39
Jim Hewitt 1:58:43
Duncan Baxter 2:05:19 new PB
Jessica Wilson 2:06:15
Tina Steele 2:06:36 new PB
David Mullan 2:13:22
Kelly Nelson 2:43:05 first Half Marathon
Joanne Haddock 2:47:48 first Half Marathon

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’