A few drops of rain on an initially overcast morning in Düsseldorf worried me for a moment that the seemingly endless rain in the United Kingdom had followed me across the Channel, but it was not to be and soon the sun was breaking through ready for Volksgarten parkrun #7.
Along with dedicated Run Director Rebecca ROES, I helped set-up the course with the delivery of a large number of carefully positioned colourful cones vital for making clear the 2-lap course with its little “hill,” mighty obelisk, spiky towers section and all done whilst being watched over by the curious local park bird population (and a few curious people too!). We returned to find the other volunteers gathered and a now total of 15 parkrunners.
In the early days of a new parkrun location and - in relative terms - a new parkrun country, it was nice to see two attendees brand new to parkrun - Katharina MMINELE and Hendrik EISMANN. It was also the first time here for 5 tourists including Nicole BROICH from South Africa and, via a variety of routes four from the UK, including myself, three of us having visited over 100 different parkrun locations previously including John MATTHEWS currently recording the third highest number in the world.
A warm welcome to all, and hopefully we will see you again.
Conditions were good today, and comparable with recent weeks and so it was good to see 3 personal bests (almost half of the returning parkrunners) – Marcel KRIEGER, Peter KELLY and also tailwalker Alex REISSE whose time of 32:11 would normally in the UK be in the middle of the field so to be clear for those looking to attend for the first time we should add that a tailwalker is there to be the last finisher and it is 100% ok to come and jog or run/walk as you wish, there is definitely no expectation to run quickly or finish by a particular time.
First finisher today was Hannah OLDROYD with an impressive time of 17:38 now racking up an astonishing and unrivalled 294 times in first finisher position at parkruns all across the world. As well as setting a new overall course record, Hannah was also today’s highest age grading and in fact the fastest female across the whole of Germany today. Second place was recorded as "unknown" and in third was Oliver HARTMANN in a PB (and VM50-54 age category record) equalling time of 19:16. Age category records were also set by newcomer Katharina MMINELE (SW20-24) and tourist John MATTHEWS (VM45-49).
Congratulations to all of the above but also to everyone who came along today and completed the course.
Full results can be found at http://www.parkrun.com.de/volksgarten/results/latestresults/.
The event would not however have been possible though without 6 amazing volunteers: Rebecca ROES, Jürgen ROES, Damian BAKER, Alex REISSE, Lars SCHMIDT and H. THIER.
Thank-you to you all and if you want to get involved in future then all details can be found at http://www.parkrun.com.de/volksgarten/futureroster/. There are many different roles to choose from, all of which training and advice will be provided and at this early stage are so important to support a long and prosperous future.
There were no "milestones" today, that’s 10 parkruns for a junior and then 50/100/250/500 parkruns after that for all ages. This, along with a chance to celebrate, earns a different coloured parkrun T-shirt. Volunteering 25 times will also achieve this. I imagine these will become more common in time.
Finally after the cones were collected in, a few photos were taken and farewells were said and the equipment was stored away for next week when hopefully more will come along and experience this mostly undiscovered gem of a parkrun.
Damian BAKER, a tourist from Daventry, signing off. Auf Wiedersehen!