By Glenn Sullivan
SATURDAY morning is parkrun morning. I get up nice and early and, this week, check the rainfall radar. It is raining all around but missing the local area so we may stay dry.
I get out to parkrun at 7:30. Kate and Brooke are setting up and the volunteers are just starting to arrive. I stretch and go for a warm up. Heather and Allen are already coming back as I get started. On the way back I run past Jason then Shirley and then Neil, all running their warm up.
Back at the shelter and the numbers have built, but not as big as usual. The threat of rain has kept a lot of people away this week.
Run Director Kate climbs up onto the stump for her briefing as the crowd continues to grow. This week Neil Green is running his 50th and gets presented with the special “50” cape to wear on the course. Steve Forrest is then presented with his 50 shirt for running his 50th run last week.
This week we have five runners on the Inverloch course for the first time and all new to parkrun. Kate welcomes Suan Adorni, Carol Divey, Chris Jensen as well as John and Jj Bowring.
And of course there are the volunteers. This week we had Brooke Jones and Steve Forrest on timing, Megan Hawking on barcodes, Libby Haynes handing out finish tokens, Rebecca King taking photos and Linda Hams as the tail runner.
After briefing, we all wander up to the start line. There is a lot of chatter and I learn that Michelle Harris has set herself to break her PB of 20:19. On the spot I decide that helping out might be a nice way to spend this parkrun.
So the hooter goes and the group takes off. Luke Ransom and young Beau set the early pace and the runners soon spread out. Shane Buxton pretty quickly runs to the front though and puts on a bit of a break. Jason and I are running with Michelle with a few other runners in tow. We run a nice quick kilometre out to the first turn and are well under our goal.
On the way back we get to see all the other runners. The beauty of the Inverloch course is that there are three turns so you get to see most other runners three times. It is a great social run. Not far back is Trent and then Luke O’Connor, who is on his way to a new PB. Scott is taking it easy today and Dan Poynton is flying along the course with a pram. This will be a new PB for Dan at the end.
Fiona is running nicely in her 48th run and regular visitor, Matt Briggs, is running towards a new PB. We greet Mal and Travis then Steve and Mike. Neil runs past with the “50” cape on and then the King boys Aiden and Tommy. In amongst that Jeff Robertson was heading towards a 40 second PB in his seventh parkrun.
Neil and Rob run past and then Shirley, back at Inverloch after a few weeks of touring. Michael, Luke and Leah are all taking it easy and enjoying a nice Inverloch morning. The rain has held off. It was great to see Jenny back for her first parkrun in a couple of months.
With her usual running partners away, Heather picked up young Matthew Car and helped him to a seven minute PB in his third Inverloch parkrun. Anne, Graham and Wendy were all following closely behind.
Greg and Jacqui were both getting around the course nice and briskly with Elli and Robyn a little further back. Bill was walking quite quickly, just a little ahead of Allen and Ken. Caitlyn and Felicity were sharing pram duties, with Archie in the pram, and Jack was enjoying a nice walk with our tail runner Linda.
Into the second half of our run and we had picked up Luke. It was hard work for Michelle but she was getting it done. The support of the group was the crucial factor here. Trent ran up to join us as Luke got another break on us.
With the end in sight Luke Ransom and Trent Hamilton were both pushing towards that magical twenty minutes and Michelle was right on track. Trent put in a sprint to the line and equalled his PB of 20:07. Luke got over in 20:10, the fifth time he has run that time or better in the past two months, and yet the magical twenty eludes him still.
Michelle pushed hard for the line and got across in 20:15, a four second PB!
At the front Shane had run a nice cruisy 19:12 and Jason had pushed to cross the line in 19:55. Trent came in in third place. For the women Janine Wynen just pipped Fiona Richardson for second place and a six second PB.
Other PB runners were Judith Jubb, a four second PB, Tom Ingamells, with a 4 minute PB and Riley Harris, knocking 19 seconds off his previous run at Inverloch.
Congratulations to Luke, Matt, Matthew, Dan, Michelle, Janine, Geoff, Judith, Riley and Tom for their PBs in the 172nd Inverloch parkrun.
At 8:58am the final walkers crossed the line and then the volunteers and us stragglers helped to pack up. Then it is off to Paul the Pieman’s Bakery to sit down and chat some more while Kate loaded the results and the photos to the internet for all to see.
So what is parkrun all about and why do we get up every Saturday morning to do it. I can’t speak for everyone but, for me, it is all about catching up with my extended parkrun family. A chat, a run, more chatting and then a treat at the bakery while we chat some more.
And on that note there will be more opportunity to catch up with the parkrun family at our Christmas barbeque at the stump on December 17.
See you all next Saturday at the stump and you don’t have to be a runner to enjoy parkrun; joggers, walkers, pushers and dog walkers are also most welcome just go to the website and download a barcode. Easy.