The biggest gift, the lowest price

This is not my first post about Parkrun, and normally I might be a little wary about focussing on this personal interest of mine too frequently ..but for this particular post..I make no apologies.

Parkrun, for those not in the know is a weekly timed run in literally hundreds of locations across the UK and beyond where those of every ability from first timer to experienced athlete can walk or run a 5k timed event in their local park and measure their personal progress week on week. It also has a huge band of volunteers and provides a unique opportunity for particiption and social interaction. Unlike a race which has only one winner, in this event everyone achieves from it.

My local Parkrun in Huddersfield, Yorkshire also from time to time acts as a platform for other organisations to spread the word on what they do. Yesterday my own running club were providing volunteers for the event

and we were joined by a group from Organ Donation who help promote this vital service.

This wasn’t a PR person doing a recruitment campaign..we were honoured to have several people with first hand experience of how life changing organ donation is.

We had the personal story of Lydia Beckett. Lydia shared with us how a literally life changing decision made by somebody else changed her life and that of her family.

Click on the hyperlink highlighted to read her story..but don’t just read it, please commit to being an organ donor and most importantly tell your family. The UK moves to an opt out system from 2020 so this means it is even more important to make your family aware of your wishes to ensure these are fulfilled.

The greatest gift anyone can give is life…I sincerely hope that none of you reading this will end life prematurely….but one day for all of us life will end, and before this happens we can commit ‘at no cost to us’ to give the greatest gift of all when our time is over.

If you only ever share or repost one of my blogs…please make it this one. Not for its artistic style, prose or any such reason, but that this one single action could change somebody’s life. See links to social media at the bottom of the page.

Your action in encouraging others to sign up could change a life. Now how wonderful a thing is that to be able to do today!

Click here for UK info.

I appreciate that many readers are from outside the UK, so please check on the internet for how you can pledge in your country.

Thanks for reading my blog…

A tale on the trail

When I say I am a member of a running club, you may have visions of this superbly toned, lean and hyper fit athlete. I think it is fair to say I have a little way to go on that front. But what is amazing is my running club. It is totally inclusive, warmly welcoming and embraces the abilities of all. It had fairly humble beginnings and now meets on several days per week affording lots of running opportunities. Like any organisation it relies on all to play their part in different ways and tonight I volunteered to be tail runner on our trail run. One of the joys of where we are located in West Yorkshire is that within minutes of starting from our club room we can be on rural paths, beside reservoirs, running on canal towpaths and farm land tracks.

As tail runner i.e. making sure no one is left behind, one of the benefits of this task is that you get to talk with and meet with more of your fellow runners than you normally would. Tonight was no exception and in fact proved to be an education as our run leader shared a lot of local history with me that as a ‘comer in’ (as one is described in Yorkshire when not being a local) I was unaware of. My club is actually located in a largish town, but if you move into a smaller village from outside…you can be a ‘comer in’ even after 20 years residence!

Tonight was also a first for me as tail runner as safety related duties are normally associated with keeping runners and traffic apart. We came across a very young hedgehog meandering across a road with seemingly no knowledge of the green cross code or whatever should apply to hedgehogs.

A swift bit of encouragement into some undergrowth was required and hopefully an accident avoided!

Why this blog? Click to find out more.

Park Life

This song from the 1990’s might be a bit of a blurr to many other than it’s more devoted fans. Put simply it was about life in the local park i.e. people sitting on benches, watching pigeons.

No specific park but probably Colchester’s castle park as Blurr hail from that town. Although not a resident of Colchester (whose claim to fame is being Britain’s oldest recorded Roman town)

I can vouch for this park being very impressive. Being a garrison town, back in the 1970’s when the armed forces had a bit more cash to splash, it used to put on a fairly impressive Military Tattoo second only to that of Edinburgh. Nowadays that is just history but I have made a more recent visit as a Parkrun tourist.

Parkrun for those not in the know is a timed Saturday morning 5k run at numerous park locations across the UK and beyond. And completely free. Read more here….about Parkrun

Anyway I digress slightly but my point being is that town parks are a marvellous legacy from our forebears and for sure the funding of them and the events in them has ebbed and flowed over the years .

Let’s all do what we can to use them, support them and even volunteer to help them.

Why this blog? Click to find out more….

Race for Life

It’s Race for Life day today in my local park.Today will see 500 or more Woman and girls walk or run for this nationwide Cancer research fundraiser.For those reading this outside the UK, these events happen on various dates across the UK and are very inclusive. You will find runners of every ability and none. Actually it really doesn’t matter…it’s about being there and supporting the charity, and sadly for many marking their commitment for those that have been lost to cancer.We live in such divided times in the UK at the moment. We have embittered remainers and leavers, those fiercely pro-government and anti-government, and most sadly ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.Today at least for these people, that is forgotten .We need more of these days.Enjoying these posts? Please like, subscribe if you want to get notifications of new posts and share on your social media platforms using the buttons.

TGIS

Thank God it’s Saturday has never quite had the notoriety of its better known cousin TGIF. TGIF gets a restaurant chain with staff sporting wacky badges and steaks garnished with Jack Daniels bourbon. In the UK even a TV show every Friday with equally ‘outside the box’ entertainment shared a similar name.

However for a huge raft of, well , every age group, the rallying cry is ..yes! it’s Saturday, and Parkrun day. If you are not familiar, Google it, but in essence it’s a free run every Saturday in 100’s of locations across the UK and beyond, attracting 500 or more to each event. So what is the big deal – yes, a chance for a timed run with like minded people, but the bonus value of these events is the volunteering to make it happen in terms of organisation and marshaling that this requires and attracts. And actually for many participants they will dip in and out to do both. The principle being if you take in life, it’s important to give as well. But like a ‘buy one, get one free’ retail offer that also pays loyalty points, it can go one better . There is a newly formed UK voluntary group called GoodGym . Basically a group of runners who run to a venue be that a school, community group, care home, wildlife reserve etc. and then do some volunteering and then run back! And today’s location they have run to…. the venue of my local Parkrun! , They will do the run, a bit of a tidy up in the park and then home…well actually via the cafe for a bacon sarnie and a tea! Now how good is that!

Volunteering sometimes gives a bad vibe as it is perhaps interpreted as giving something up, rather than giving something back! A Mum with 5 children was recently interviewed on TV and asked how does she share her love among the children..her answer I don’t divide it, I multiply it! I rest my case.

Socks appeal or sex appeal

A rather famous politician always seems to have the misfortune to be bagged by the press before his morning run. Now let’s be positive here….running is good for mind, body and soul. I go running a few times every week, as a minimum to Parkrun on Saturday mornings. If you don’t know about Parkrun then Google it. It may just change your life. Now when I exit the front door on Saturday morning generally I am not pounced on by BBC News, Sky News, CNN, or even the milkman. However I still try to ensure that there is nothing of note about my attire. The trick is to choose the clothes with the lights on and go subtle. However I think this basic rule of cool has not reached the leafy residences of these men of power. The look adopted ironically is only seen in Bermuda..dark socks and light shorts. Not sure if the streets of London are ready for this, or maybe I need to adapt.So where are my black socks?