“Hello, hello, it’s good to be back, it’s good to be back”
Oasis - Hello
“I’m coming home, I’ve been away so long, do you remember me at all?”
Bullet for my Valentine – Hearts Burst into Fire
Saturday marked my return to Leakin Park for the first time since I absconded to the wilds of New Jersey at the end of July – and boy was it good to be home. Home at Leakin Park, home at parkrun, home at Bullwinkles afterwards
I’ve been keeping a close eye on the event in my absence and talk regularly to the core team on the Whatsapp group, but it’s no substitute for actually being there…especially when Leakin Park is in full autumnal (ooops fall!) mode.
Conditions were perfect for the 22 participants (of the 2 legged kind, there were also 2 x 4 legged participants as Dolly Murphy and Martina Hornik joined in the fun). The parkrunners were expertly led by Iman Newman who was making his debut as Run Director and did a fantastic job with an entertaining run brief. As usual there was a good team of volunteers behind him, so huge thanks to
Doug JONES, Will JONES, Zach JONES, Bridget MCCUSKER, Kristie METZ, Rory MURPHY, Iman NEWMAN, Jo ORSER, Ed ORSER
for helping ensure a safe event.
We always welcome new volunteers - we don't want the same faces doing the roles every week. Come and give it a go - none of the roles are difficult and volunteering is FUN!
I enjoyed seeing familiar faces - not just the core team but also Ed and Jo Orser, Amy Ryan who I met at her first event and is now back for her 7th, Alfay Manning who had a huge grin as always and of course Gus Campbell. I know Gus from his College Park days, and it was great to see him set another PB……and interestingly he’s now just a few seconds off his college park PB which is an easier course. Clearly he’s inspired by Leakin Park!
Big smile from Amy and thumbs up from Lorie!
In total nearly half the field came home in a new fastest time, so big congrats to
Caleb DIXON, Dan PARRY, Michael WILLIAMS, Christian K, David PLATT, Marco RIBEIRO, Andrew SHAFFER, Jackie WARFIELD, Rory MURPHY, Gus CAMPBELL
for their efforts this week.
We also had two first timers this week. Brendan Gonzales was doing his first ever parkrun, while Tracy Watson was doing her 15th but her first in the US as she normally runs in Brisbane on Australia’s Gold Coast. Tracy is here on a 6 mth secondment so is looking forward to exploring the US and parkrun simultaneously (when she mentioned visiting Niagara I pointed out she can double up and parkrun at Hamilton Beach on the Canadian side too – win/win!)
There was a healthy turnout at Bullwinkles again afterwards, and I was pleased to see how the parkrun community spirit is alive and well at Leakin Park. I must confess that I felt slightly guilty about leaving for NJ after just 6 events, but I really should not have worried. Doug has done a great job as ED, the core team is well committed and continues to grow with new volunteers and RDs, while we continue to get a steady trickle of newcomers and returners
All in all it warmed my heart to be back and see what a wonderful event Leakin Park has become – long may it continue (and I’ll try and be back again soon)