Burnham on Crouch parkrun – Volunteering

Last weekend I returned to Burnham parkrun, this time I was a volunteer – my first experience of scanning.  It was a cold start to the day but Burnham is a nice place to be first thing in the morning and after running it a few weeks earlier I knew I wanted to come back here again at some point as a runner.

With around 100 runners it was a good turnout and there were plenty of cute dogs to say hello to, before I knew it they were off and as it is a two lap course it gave us a chance to cheer the runners on as they past on their first lap.  The ground was firmer than when I had previously run it due to a frost, great for the runners not so great for the volunteers who were unable to feel their toes.

I enjoyed getting the chance to speak to the runners when they came over to me for scanning, it was a nice manageable number of people so it all went smoothly which was a relief!  Whilst being in Burnham I took the opportunity to do a run there myself, thinking it would be great to do a different route and not wanting to miss out on a run all together.  Tina and Phill were kind enough to wait after their parkrun and give me some company along the seawall.

After spending quite some time deciding which way along the seawall to travel and a discussion with a lady who’s husband had previously fallen in some sticky mud and broken his leg when turning right, the decision was made to go left!  I had in mind that I wanted just a nice easy paced 5miles so 2.5 out, turn round and then 2.5 back.  As we set off the wind was cold, very cold but I did enjoy looking out across the water and watching the boats – some needing more TLC than others.  We started off steady, pace was good and then we hit the Saltmarsh checkpoint and the flash backs began – it’s really not the same without the support and cheers though I have to admit!  When the seawall turned uneven and the wind became stronger we dipped down to the grass just off the seawall which gave us some shelter.  We even managed a little jump over a water container thingy (technical term) – that could have gone so horribly wrong but thankfully I cleared it! (Hurdles next?! 😂)

Then I felt the pace increasing, Phill became more encouraging and we were no longer doing an easy run. It was manageable but by no means easy, I was relieved to be able to stop at the turnaround point and get my breath back and then once again start our way back at an easy pace.  As you can imagine this did not stay this way – turns out Phill doesn’t do easy.  I really enjoyed it, was nice to get out and run somewhere new and it reminded me how much I like to see different places and scenery when I am out on a run.

I also got a renewed love for parkrun, I am buzzing to get my Essex tourism underway and with thanks to Michelle I not only have an Essex Parkrun tracker but I also have myself a Parkrun scorecard – I am fully aware this makes me even more of a geek than originally thought.

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