Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Westerfolds Wednesdays: the week of the ill-fitting goodies

Having a Westerfolds Wednesday is going to be a little confusing on weeks when I go parkrunning in other locations, but I'm going to try to make it work. Somehow. Perhaps those weeks will be "Not Westerfolds Wednesday."

While I have a couple of other parkruns on my "hit list", I headed to Westerfolds on the weekend because I had some deliveries to make! The parkrun 10th Anniversary T-shirts had arrived from Wiggle earlier in the week, and they needed to go to their new mummies. I had a problem with my shirt: it was too big! I selected the Medium because the published chest size of the Small (96cm) wasn't compatible with my chest size (99cm, but I can get it down to 96cm if I don't breathe).

In order to reach the minimum spend for free shipping ($80) I also ordered shirts for Sophie, Wendy and Amanda. Technically I only needed another two shirts to add to mine, but three it was. Sophie and Wendy were at parkrun on the weekend, and they found their shirts small too. I have ended up with Sophie's Small one (with an Extra Small now on order for her, along with some cycling kit to hit the free shipping mark), and my Medium went to Tony, the Inverloch parkrun Event Director.

As for parkrunday? Well, this weekend was Westerfolds parkrun's 52nd event - and we had 86 parkrunners. It was also Berwick Springs parkrun's 1st birthday, but I don't think our attendance wasn't affected by that or by the Melbourne Marathon Festival. I think we have a small, but loyal, following. ;) Our attendance record of 107 was set on a day when Diamond Creek parkrun was cancelled, but we then had 103 last weekend on International parkrun Day. I'm calling the 103 our unofficial record as is wasn't "wind-assisted", where the wind in the case of the 107 was the Diamond Creek Rotary Town Fair.

The steadily-increasing population of Westerfolds parkrun since launching in October 2013. There's no monthly average for October 2013 because the inaugural run attendance distorts that statistic (especially with a sample size of one).

Saturday was a gorgeous morning for parkrun - although it was a eerie to turn up a little bit before 7.30am and find the place empty. You could almost hear the tumbleweed! I was going to head off on a recon run to see where Simon was up to in the pre-event course setup, but I heard my name being called by John, our Run Director for the day. Three flags and some discussion later (Westerfolds parkrun HQ discuss things during the week via Facebook, and John's not on Facebook), and it was almost time for the pre-run briefing!

I decided to try a "strides" workout during parkrun - 3km of easy running to warm up, and then 8 sets of 20s bursts with 40s of recovery. Unfortunately, the 3km of warm up meant that the work was done up the hill, so I needed to walk while making my way up the hill to recover through a few of the intervals. The last interval finished as I hit the bridge at about 500m to go. I heard my watch beep and I went off on another 20s burst only to find that it was now just "free-running" and thus much longer than 20 seconds! At least I had a nice strong finish - although I was definitely feeling the effects and decided to take on more of the asthma medication before it progressed to the post-run-worsening stage. I took a few snaps with my camera, but then found myself performing Run Director Department duties (collecting money for our Westerfolds parkrun birthday dinner).

Lee was today's timekeeper while Wendy handed out the place tokens.
I was also becoming increasingly annoyed by the Walk the Wall people who just kept on taking up more space for their charity event. They also had a blower vac going to "clean" the BBQ area a bit, but all that did was throw debris onto our belongings, create noise to distress some of the younger children, and increase the amount of allergens in the air. If I wasn't part of the Run Directing Department I would have had a go at Blower Vac Man, but I wasn't sure how I really should be acting in that situation. 

Adam's taken on Finish Token sorting duties in recent weeks, although sometimes he needs a little help from his dad.
Next week is our final parkrun of our first year! For those who care about the points competition: it's still a close contest amongst the men, while the women's contest was finalised a couple of weeks ago. We're not going to know until next week whether Ehuli (4124 points) or Brett (4091) will be our men's "champion", and it's undecided whether Michael (3342) or Tim (3273) will pick up third place! Riveting! The women's competition will be won by Amanda (3538), followed by Valerie (3351) and then hopefully by Nicole (2811).

"Hopefully" because I personally don't care about how I am going in the points competition. I don't go to parkrun to win medals. I don't want a medal to be wasted on me (3178 points) as I will regard it as clutter in a few weeks. I don't even want a paper certificate as it has no purpose - it's just a waste of paper and resources. I like the 50/100/250 t-shirts that parkrun have because they have a purpose (clothing), although it bothers me that contributing to the parkrun community by volunteering messes that up (unless you have your cake and eating it too by setting up the course and going for a second lap or tail-running, and then having your barcode scanned). I know that the points system accounts for that, but I don't think it should count towards your volunteer count if you also run - it gives a false sense of "giving up your run" to volunteer.

Yikes! A little off-track there, but I'll try to keep parkrun things positive in the future! Time for some Happy Thoughts! Here's a puppy!

Think Happy Thoughts! Here's one of the dogs that belongs to Sonia and Ashwin - their other dog is a poop machine.
Generally it is this lovely weekly event, it's just that there are a few things that annoy me and they happen to coincide with parkrun birthdays, where we reward/recognise those in our community - although I think the system doesn't work as well as I think that it should.

P.S. I'm serious about medals/trophies/keepsakes = clutter. I picked up more than enough medals, trophies, ribbons and certificates from little athletics, senior athletics and football. And all most of them ever were to me were dust collectors. I threw most of them out about ten years ago. I only kept my state championship medals for discus and hammer - things that I actually trained for. Further, my favourite state-level medal provides a silly story, so I've kept the whole set because I feel a bit silly getting rid of all of them but one. My age group and the younger age group competed in our respective state discus finals at the same time, and I threw the equal-third furthest out of both lots, yet I won my age group and my first/only state title. I find this highly hilarious as it also meant I had these wreaths signifying "State Champion" on my registration bib the following season).

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