Pollok parkrun 20th Feb 2016

As the clouds opened and the crowds gathered, there was a noticeable sea of blue in Pollok Park. Thirty Bella Harriers made their way to park for the club’s winter ‘mass parkrun’ and the vests were out in force – albeit over several other layers. I was gutted not to be joining them myself but I decided to take the sensible approach and listen to the physio. I figured that the Runbetweeners would be well represented in the event by Kenny without the need for me to risk further injury! Not wanting to be completely left out, I ventured down and volunteered as photographer for the morning.

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A soggy morning for running!

While plenty of the photos were rubbish – a combination of bad weather and worse photographer – I did manage to get a few decent ones which I have uploaded here. Feel free to save and share as you wish! I also took to opportunity to have a play around with the GoPro. I realised when I got home that I had accidentally turned it off for the majority of the race and so, rather annoyingly, I only had footage of the start and finish of the event! All of my fantastic, atmospheric ‘in-race’ action shots would not make an appearance in the final video! Still, I think the final video gives an idea of the conditions that the race took part in!

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-Insert your own caption here!-

There were some fantastic performances in the event with Neil Renault crossing the line first in a fantastic time of 16:19. He was then followed by a mass of Harriers as the Bella Boys made up 8 of the remaining top 10 positions. Particularly noteworthy performances were put in by David Mackintosh, who smashed his Pollok PB with 16:49, and Cris Walsh who followed him across the line with an age graded score of 82.58%. Stuart Miller also scored a big PB by dipping under 18minutes with a 17:56 finish.

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Kenny in action!

The Bella Girls also secured some brilliant results with Erica Christie smashing out an age graded performance of 88% and Jenny Hoyle who managed to shatter her previous PB by over 3 minutes! Other Bella PBs were recorded by Linda Moffat Anne Mcfie, Karen Speirs and Russell Greig – all in horrific conditions! Bring on the warm weather racing…

Check out the video here.

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Still smiling…sort of!
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4 thoughts on “Pollok parkrun 20th Feb 2016

  1. Hi Kenny and Jack
    Another good post I am enjoying reading your inbetweeners blog! I’m going to be controversial here and say something most people will disagree with: I don’t like the park run because it has done nothing to support the sports of athletics and endurance running in Scotland to date. In fact I think it has a negative effect because it draws runners away from races and undermines them by promoting the idea of a free fun run as equivalent to a race. Several local historic races have seen their entries diminishing because people just go and do the park run to the extent they are threatened. I think they also rely on volunteers who are usually also very committed to their clubs over stretching them and possibly drawing them away from the good work they do with clubs yet they are a commercial organisation! They are in partnership with Nike! People tend to think they are a good thing because they think that they are encouraging all of these people to run – but I strongly suspect that nearly all of the people who take part in park runs would be running anyway.

    I’d like to see clubs BOYCOTT park runs not take part in them!

    Rant over!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynne – I think you’ve pre-empted our response by saying your opinion is controversial. I have genuinely never heard anyone say a bad word about park run. It was interesting to think about your comments today and I can definitely see where you are coming from.

      However here’s my reply in support of Park Run as a movement 🙂

      A small tangent on why Park Run and my views on running are so in tune:

      I fully believe the Park Run ethos to be true in that it is meant to encourage participation in running and provide a supportive and inclusive running experiences. They have become larger as an organisation and have paid staff but I think this is natural with any voluntary bodies that achieve success in relation to their size and rate of growth.

      I love checking out new Park Runs and meeting new people each week. I love the smiling, supportive and participatory nature of the event. I find it addictive although I struggle to get out of bed in time ever week.

      Park Run reduces participation in local races:

      We regularly race and I would say that Park Run has not reduced the number of races we take part in at all. Most of our races are on a Sunday. If some races are seeing a dip in numbers I’d be sad. Most races we take part in sell out and I think races need to evolve and offer a great experience and value for money. A great experience for me is a great course, friendly marshals and a supportive field. Do you have races in mind that have been impacted?

      Park Run is full of runners who’d run anyway:

      Our experience of Park Run has been overwhelmingly positive and I think it has increased massively participation in the sport we all love. In Glasgow there must be approximately 1000 runners involved each week and I think it is a great introduction to running as well as a great platform for experienced runners to have a race practice session in their training plan. I’d be very surprised if Park Run had curtailed anyone’s involvement with their club or in racing across the country but that is only my experience. From my experience I see people who would never be out running and that inspires me. I see, and am regularly passed by, young kids being introduced to the sport earlier than I ever was as I had a traditional background in team sports.

      Park Run has affected volunteering at running clubs:

      In terms of volunteers I have shamefully only volunteered twice but the buzz of being a volunteer was great for me. In terms of the role taking people away from running clubs I have limited experience in this area. I know race directors and serial volunteers devote a lot of time to the events and I am very grateful that their work provides me with a free, timed run which is a regular part of my weekly schedule. In terms of the impact on my volunteering I am ill-equipped to comment as I don’t do it enough but I am actively involved in 3 running groups in capacity as club secretary and coach in two groups. I see similar people performing both roles so perhaps it could have an affect on clubs – the solution more people should chip in and help out to share the burden.

      I’d be interested to see what others think and thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the blog.

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    2. I can fully understand your point Lynne, in fact it’s worse that that in that with no entry fee and its impact on club races, it takes away baldy needed funds from Scottish/UK Athletics, £2 for each non SA/UKA runner in races goes to the governing body. There’s two sides to parkrun, the one they show to the general public and the one they show to the business community. Runners don’t have any rights or say in the organisation. Just ask parkrun for a copy of their accounts and see the reaction you get ! Use the parkrun but don’t let the parkrun use you.

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  2. Trying hard to think of a con with parkrun. I love volunteering at it particularly and admiring all the runners in their various shapes and sizes and speeds. There is so much to learn from all, the sheer grit and determination needed to complete a 5k when you are the last over the line. I think it may encourage people to get involved in their own local clubs. A bit of incognito running at parkrun can sure help boost the confidence levels before you let it be known locally that you have joined a running club.
    I particularly enjoy a bit of parkrun tourism.
    Cons…no sorry I give up…well other than I sometimes wish it was a bit earlier but that’s it really.

    Liked by 1 person

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