ECOS PARKRUN

16708221_1350649101645348_7498355478189252463_n

In one of best ever Parkruns this year (73.2% age-graded Age Grade explained), I did the 5K (3 miles) in 22mins 42 secs– just down on my best this year and less than a minute down on pre-hip replacement. It was down to prayer for God’s enabling, quality training, a good night’s sleep, rest day from running yesterday, light racing shoes and pushing myself as hard as I could even though I was in “no man’s land” with no runners ahead to chase or behind to keep ahead of. Thankful. Citius-Altius-Fortius…Faster-Higher-Stronger even at my age!

16711976_1350754204968171_627190990525428226_n

Another video

 

 

PARKRUN VOLUNTEERING

 

vols-indispensible

Brief description of all necessary jobs.

VOLUNTEER CO-ORDINATOR JOB: he or she gets volunteers by asking personally, waving his clipboard and shouting, sending appeals by e-mail and FB messages. When he gets one or more volunteers he enters them on live WIZARD PARKRUN site under VOLUNTEERS which then uploads them to ECOS website. After each Parkrun he confirms who did what, so they get their points and after 25 volunteering days their well-deserved purple T shirt! Along with RACE DIRECTOR he makes sure they are trained for their jobs.

RACE DIRECTOR, a key post each week is someone who delegates jobs and ensures all is set up including refreshments, makes sure all volunteers are trained and bibbed with high-viz, gives the pre-run announcements, starts the run, responds to any incidents, oversees timing and scanning and ensures all gates and doors locked at finish. He or she has a checklist to follow. They would also need to co-ordinate any life-saving or first aid response to illness or injury.

PACERS are experienced runners who undertake to run at a pace which they wear on their bib e.g. 25 or 30 minutes, to help runners toward a new P.B. or set time. They are an extra in many Parkruns.

RESULTS PROCESSOR gets your performances uploaded on the ECOS PARKRUN website asap after the run. The times from stopwatch and placings from scanner are downloaded and collated by the clever computer to generate the list. Parkrun head office then generates a report which, along with some comments is posted on ECOS FACEBOOK page by the RUN REPORT WRITER.

VOLUNTEERS, the people who enable Parkrun to happen, can be under 18 as long as an adult is supervising them! Everyone gets 100 points for their first three volunteer jobs. VISUAL IMPAIRED PERSON HELPER and TAILRUNNER GET 100 VOLUNTEER POINTS PLUS RUN POINTS. This is the last year there will be a points competition. It ends on our Anniversary March 25th 2018 unless I am mistaken.

TOKEN PERSON or chip dispenser gives a finishing token with each participant’s position on it to them just after they cross the line at end of finishing funnel. Finishers should stay in order! There can be anything from 80 to 220 finishers. Every ten or twenty numbers they check with timers they are on same number of finishers. After the run tokens need replaced on pin dispenser. Easy first volunteer job!

PHOTOGRAPHER positions him or herself for snaps of as many participants as possible, wherever they choose, with their own or a borrowed camera (there is usually a CANON SLR digital one easy to use or the PARKRUN PINK digital camera to borrow). Photos uploaded asap to FB page.

TIMEKEEPERS (TWO) have a stopwatch to record the start and time of each participant. They press a button to start (3 on right) then each time someone crosses the line they press (1 on left), when all are in, they press (3) again and give watch to result processor. Job done! Every ten runners or so they check that their numbers match the number that the token person has given out.

What do SCANNERS do? At least one scanner, and we usually have two, needs to be at base for the first finishers to scan their BARCODE then FINISH TOKEN in that order for each finisher. If no BARCODE scan nothing. If scanner fails, manually enter name and result on sheet provided. Return chips to ice box. Barcodes on phones not allowed. The second scanner can usually run before doing his/her job to help scanner one.

TAILRUNNER! Tail runner walks or jogs with the last runner going round, picks up any temporary run direction signs and locks the grey gate at the sluice/overspill. Ideal for someone injured and recovering, or racing later in the day. Time taken usually 35 to 45 minutes.

VI GUIDE escorts visually impaired or blind Parkrunners or walkers around the course to keep them safe plus or minus guide dog!

MARSHALS are sometimes needed for mentally or physically handicapped participants to guide them around or accompany someone under 11 with no guardian.

SET UP. Two people need to help put out finishing funnel cones, cones across finishing area, open gates to car parks, put out all signs and run or bike round one half of the course to check for ice, deep puddles, fallen trees etc.-a good way to warm up. We also always need helpers to set out refreshments.

 

 

 

vols-behind

 

 

 

Irish Indoor Rowing Championships (IIRC) 2017

16251950_769354589882443_4307003303604627424_o  The bucket’s for anyone who throws up!16265354_769490766535492_4942477512579740555_nReady, Attention, Row!

After a sleepless overnight train and bus journey I arrived at University of Limerick just in time for the first race the 1000m at 10.12am. As ever I had Ken Lake, ex-marine and CEO of Lakes Fitness in Malta beside me, who invariably (up till now) beats me. He did it again well and truly, pulling away to 80m in front, by the end, but I have to add he is a heavyweight (over 75Kg) rower and I am lightweight. So, a silver. Then with an outside chance at an Irish record in the 500m sprint I had to get off 0.7Kg by 3pm to make lightweight for it. I made it after three runs and a visit to the loo. In this race both I and John Martyn of Galway started off hard and in fact John led till the last 100m I believe, when Ken overhauled him.

16298623_10209509253147079_7672748565654189986_n16178609_768775709940331_3029315522517317751_o

1000m first three.                                           L to R. John, Ken and me.

The championships as ever were well run with around 1,400 competitors of ages 12-75, with a professional photographer on hand and plenty vociferous supporters (see pic).

16196085_10209509256267157_3024249015339464776_n

16174414_10209509258507213_4918810856109245473_n

IIRC website

Thousands of photos on this FB page

 https://www.facebook.com/JustLookAtTheLensPhotography/photos/

How to row indoors properly

 

Race over the Glens

This is a very tough, seriously up and down trail race along the sides of Antrim’s deepest, glacially produced, glens namely Glenariff. It is 6.5 miles. It usually takes place on January 1st annually, but this year because New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the race was moved to January 2nd. The car park was full to overflowing as 366 runners plus families and other support, arrived. It was cold, and there were many icy patches. Although it is tough, the uphill sections so steep that you must walk, I always enjoy this race. I actually enjoy letting myself go on the downhill sections taking the brakes off most of the time, catching up many competitors. I beat a fair number of much younger folk and finished fourth male over 60, in just over 53 minutes (winner was 36!) The medal was pretty, using the flyer motif with picture of the glen. See below. Mark Kelly of Ballymena Runners produced an excellent video which can be viewed below…

15873100_10209287427401574_6651821549507907600_n15781335_10209288671312671_8262613749197511981_n