Something interesting to think about next time you’re at parkrun or running a race. Be sure to thank those volunteers who make the event possible, as in the words of the inspiring Jo Pavey;
I wouldn’t be a runner without volunteers.
The Join in campaign is a fantastic initiative connecting volunteers with local sports clubs and groups who need help. There are lots of reasons to volunteer, with research showing it’s one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. I don’t volunteer at my local parkrun as often as I should, but it’s fun getting involved to help put on an event which so many people enjoy and benefit from. Join In invited me to the launch of their Run It campaign in Hyde Park last week, a new initiative aiming to grow community running groups across the UK. Fronted by David Moorcroft, Jo Pavey and Mara Yumauchi, running is the fastest growing participation sport in the UK.
After meeting Adele and Geraldine, we headed to the Serpentine Lido where we were greeted by David Moorcroft. We gathered around the table, where he told us more about the campaign, summing it up passionately and simply with the following words;
If you love running, help others run.
We were then ushered outside after ditching Garmins and watches for some warm ups and a pace setting exercise. Fun fact, Jo’s 10k pace feels like my sprint. That’s why she’s a Gold Medal winner and I’m a plodder.
The paced 5k run was a lot of fun. After removing our watches, we had to predict a 5k time, before being sent off to run it. I still felt sluggish from the marathon and predicted a sedate 35 minutes. I set off with Geraldine and we soon settled into a pace which felt quicker than usual. Despite the efforts of the volunteer marshals however, we somehow managed to get lost, running back into someone coming the other way, Despite our extra few hundred metres, we still came in under target, with Geraldine guessing closest to her time. Hooray!
Following coffee and pastries, we had a chat with the stars, picking their brains. My Uncle, who is running his first half marathon this year, was pleased to receive a ‘good luck!’ from David. A fantastic morning out, with an amusing end as we left to the planitive cries of Jo, “Has anyone seen my trousers?”
Thank you so much to Join in for the invite to this fantastic launch. In addition to meeting some of our athletic stars, it was lovely to finally meet Julie properly, an inspirational lady in her own right with her Too Fat To Run? campaign. I left wondering whether it’s possible to set up a beginners c25k group for mum’s wanting to get fit and make friends in our local area. The idea is brewing…