Saturday, October 10, 2015

Donate Your Time

This morning I headed off to Hastings to take part in their parkrun and to promote ARUK's new campaign, "Donate Your Time".

I love Hastings and the parkrun is held down on the seafront so there are lovely views of the sea and it's completely flat so potentially a PB course. I was undecided whether to actually run it though as I've got the Sussex marathon tomorrow and I knew that I'd want to race it rather than just trot around being sensible (are you chuckling at the idea of me being "sensible"?!!!). Anyway, Nick, the Race Director, suggested that I act as 'sweeper' alongside Steve which meant we started right at the back to help encourage people and check everyone was OK.

I was delighted when parkrun chose Alzheimer's Research UK as their charity partner as it's a fabulous way to get the word out that we need more funding for research and this new campaign, 'Donate Your Time', is a great idea.

What's it all about then?

It's a simple concept - go along to a parkrun near you, run 5k, get your finish time by email then click on the link provided within the email to make a donation to ARUK. The campaign runs throughout the whole of October and the aim is to raise £100,000 which would be amazing.

Here's what my email looked like:

Hastings parkrun results for event #26. Your time was 00:41:29.
Congratulations on completing your 2nd parkrun and your 1st at Hastings parkrun today. You finished in 130th place and were the 61st female out of a field of 130 parkrunners and you came 5th in your age category VW55-59. Take a look at this week's full set of results on our website. Well done on your first run. We have set this as your PB.
Click to Donate Your Time (or whatever you can) to defeat dementia with Alzheimer’s Research UK.

At first I thought, crikey, it's OK if you're a speedy runner finishing in about 17 minutes but not so good if you're a slower runner like me! Not to worry though as you can choose to donate however much you like (phew!).

So today my finish time was 00:41:29 so if I click on the link in my email it takes me to a page where I can either click a link to donate £41.29 or I can enter a different amount below. Simple.

The campaign runs throughout the whole of October and the aim is to raise £100,000 which would be amazing.

Parkrun Hastings

Now I was confused at first because it's actually run along the seafront, not in a park, but apparently many parkruns are held in places other than a park! No complaints from me though as I love Hastings and the sea was looking beautiful when I arrived this morning. I introduced myself to Nick and then had a nice chat with some fellow runners and took some photos.

Marshalls gathering at the start

That's Steve, fellow Sweeper & a super-speedy runner!

The plan was that I could do a short speech at the Start just after Nick had given the race briefing. ARUK had sent me a special tee shirt with each logo and the campaign details on especially for the occasion. Nick gave me a nice introduction and I tried to cram as much information into a couple of minutes as I could. It's difficult to keep people's attention when all they really want to do is get running so I hope I managed to get the message across!

Then we were off and it was one of those lovely days when it's neither hot nor cold and it's just a joy to be out in the fresh air just running for the sheer enjoyment of it.

The view from the back!

I thoroughly enjoyed my jog/walk/chat with Steve (who has completed Beachy Head marathon in about 4 hours and London marathon in 3:19 - wow!) and it was great to see the last lady push herself right up to the finish even though she was starting to feel a bit sickly. Great stuff.

Next stop the Sussex marathon tomorrow which will be somewhat more undulating than today!

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