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June 2016

Antrim - 25 June - 12 of 22

A scenic and happily hill-free parkrun at Antrim with family, friends and colleagues present. 

Thanks to the Bulls,

Antrim-A3
the McGlades

Antrim-A4

and BT's David Brady for their presence and support...

Antrim-A6

The parkrun community thrives due to its volunteering ethos, and Antrim's Volunteers, including Event Director Kathy Hood welcomed us all, especially the 40 or so graduates from a recent Run-Anon Aidan Couch-2-5k programme.

David Brady proved an effective co-runner on the course. I had emailed around BT's Belfast Software Engineering Centre and have been heartened by offers to run with me at future runs.  Many runners aim for their PB - personal best.  I offer a unique opportunity to experienced runners of achieving their PW - personal worst! - by running with me, and David gladly obliged.  

Aidan, pictured below, organises Couch-2-5k programmes in the area.  We have met at previous parkruns.  An effective & energetic coach, Aidan was roving to-and-fro encouraging people running their first 5k, and myself, thereby boosting psychological state & physical performance. Our world needs more of that.  

I was chuffed to receive my first piece of runners' bling - a "Run Anon" medal.

Antrim-D1

Antrim proved to be the day for runners' accessories.  Deirdre McKenney introduced herself as involved with Antrim parkrun.  Deirdre's employer Dow Chemical is merging with DuPont and, given that BT recently bought EE, we were able to swap notes on our experiences of integrating corporate organisations.  Deirdre opened up a bag and brought out ... a 2016 Olympic Torch!  So, an unexpected photo opportunity!

Antrim-E4

Antrim-E3a

Design details of this year's Olympic Torch are here ... an interesting read.

Finishing my 12th run felt significant this week.  After stem cell transplant on 24 December 2013, Friday represented the half-way mark to the five-year-free-of-cancer milestone.  On Thursday, with a couple of small lymph nodes persisting in my neck, I'd had a biopsy and the surgeon said I'd be ok to run. I'm feeling very well - stronger than ever - and such scares can happen occasionally for some cancer survivors.  So we're hoping for a renewed all-clear in a couple of weeks.

As former Sullivan School Head Teacher John Young wrote to me in September 1984 ...

"Fight hard. Keep going."

... one of my lifelong mantras.  

No PB at Antrim this week, then, due to gentle running after biopsy.

This week, especially, thank-you to Ruth, experienced co-runner David, Claire & Jamie, the McGlades, Patricia McCauley, torch-bearer Deirdre, fellow-runner Claire McDowell Williamson and Aidan for their strengthening support.  Presence and encouragement are very significant.

Looking forward to running Carrickfergus next week.

Antrim photo album is here.  Facebook's photo viewing experience is better, album here.

 

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8960

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £500

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 19

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

37:05

222/237

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

39:18

136/145

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

37:56

94/103

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

35:42

32/37

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

39:03

181/265

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

37:37

183/191

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

35:13

328/352

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

37:39

198/216

39.80%


Ormeau - 18 June - 11 of 22

With BT Riverside Tower a mile and a half away, Ormeau was, as David Mark said the "BT home match".  I really appreciated the great support this week from many colleagues at this beautiful course on a midsummer day.  Thanks, also, to Sue from RQIA who came and ran alongside me.

Ormeau_A5
Our BT posse included Gavin Raby (technology consultant), Gavin "Head Up" McBride, Raymond "Who's under 25 or 30 minutes?" Fullerton, Mark "I've just run 10 miles" Crothers and PB-seeker John Purvis.

In 52 years, I don't recall being in Ormeau Park.  It's another beautiful place - recommended for a walk or run.

Ormeau_A2

From the first of the 22 parkruns, my target has simply been less than 40 minutes. However, I mentioned to Gavin and Mark that this time - with a flat course and unprecedented support - I had the PB from Limavady 35:42 in my sights.

Run Director Gerard Walls gave everyone a warm welcome.  We chatted briefly before the run and it became clear that here was someone promoting health and well-being locally. Gerard agreed to a video interview after the run before he moved on to guiding the Couch 2 5K participants arriving at Ormeau later that morning. 

Once again, I struggled to keep my head up as the run proceeded.  I seriously need to keep working at the conditioning training, including a specific focus on strengthening my trapezius muscle.  

Thanks to the Ormeau Volunteers and the posse running with me for encouragement around the course.  I was pleased, after some exertion, to have knocked 29 seconds off my PB, now down to 35:13.

After the run, with Ruth as camerawoman, we recorded this video interview.  

As a Health Promotion Specialist, Gerard works within the community, including with people facing challenging circumstances at home, work and/or some sort of trauma.  

Gerard encourages people to look at health in a holistic way - including mental, physical, emotional and environmental angles.  "It's down to resilience" and "taking life by the horns" to live life in ways that promote happiness and well-being.

Considering the demands of life and work Gerard asks "are you taking time out?"

For people in the Ormeau area, here's information on resources.  Zooming out, there is also the wider Jog Belfast initiative including Couch 2 5K and Beyond 5K. Information at UK national level is here.

The Ormeau photo album is here.

Looking forward to Antrim next week!

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8816

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £500

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 19

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

37:05

222/237

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

39:18

136/145

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

37:56

94/103

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

35:42

32/37

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

39:03

181/265

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

37:37

183/191

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

35:13

328/352

42.55%


Wallace - 11 June - 10 of 22

Wallace Park is another great parkrun venue, photos here.  I was expecting Wallace to be on the flat but, well, I was wrong.  It was another demanding run, including a section with a bit of a gradient, to be run three times.

The event was friendly and well organised by an obviously close-knit team of Volunteers.  I'm appreciating more & more the contribution of Volunteers to parkrun events and the sense of local community.  Regular co-runner Patricia McAuley was volunteering today. 

Wallace_I
On arriving, one of the first people we met was Linda Harley Gillespie.  Linda very kindly had made a cake - a colourful welcome to Wallace, and a welcome sugar boost after the race.  Linda blogs regularly here, has run all NI parkruns, and eight more, and the list keeps growing!

Wallace_E

It was great to see BT colleague Carl Williams, Carl's wife Rachel and their family. 

Wallace_F

Clare Muir was visiting from Scotland for the weekend and offered to run with me.  Clare proved to be a great encourager.

Wallace_P
Next week is Ormeau, 11 of the 22 - half way!  Course details here.

Best wishes,

Tim.

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8769

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £500

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 11

 

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

37:05

222/237

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

39:18

136/145

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

37:56

94/103

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

35:42

32/37

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

39:03

181/265

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

37:37

183/191

39.83%


Valley - 4 June - 9 of 22

(Run report late this week due to various commitments...)

Another week; another full-on parkrun experience at a great course on a beautiful day.

Valley was, by some way, the most demanding run yet - the sustained incline on each of the two laps was not easy.

This was the graduation of over 80 "Run Newtownabbey" Couch-to-5k graduates - a nine week programme organised by Mallusk Harriers

5k Graduates

Several people said they'd had a sleepless night anticipating their first 5k - this was a Big Day.

It was a Big Day for Valley parkrun too, with 254 people running.  Having run 9 of 22 NI parkruns to date, in terms of numbers, this was second only to Bangor's 358 runners on 16th April.

The event was well organised - lots of Volunteers, clear directions for people, administration, sponsors supplying refreshments & T-shirts.

After giving the pre-race briefing, Alex Davidson invited me to start the run, counting down to zero.  I felt honoured and without a doubt, this is a personal highlight of this six month #TimPageFitForLife project. 

Valley-B5


Valley-RKSon Downey ran alongside me - his first parkrun.  

My time was up significantly, to 39:03, partly due to the incline.

Without Downey's encouragement, I might have been over my 40 minute threshold. 

 


The Couch-to-5k graduation was marked by people receiving their certificates, along with a very generous spread laid on by the Harriers.

Before leaving, I waved cheerio to Alex who was speaking to the 5k graduates and their supporters.  Alex pulled me up onto the stage to say something.  The media had earlier reported the death of Muhammad Ali.  Being a collector of quotes, one was in my hand as I stood on the stage.

Ali-Champions
At Valley I saw 80+ people run their first 5k.

Guided through their preparation, they achieved something significant and beneficial within the context of lively community and a spirit of encouragement.

These people, with basic running skills, had determined to push through physical discomfort, and any doubts about their capacity, to achieve their 5k goal.

Recalling the words of Champion Ali, the 5k Graduates' 'will was stronger than their skill'.  It was a privilege to acknowledge the Valley runners' personal achievement in front of their supporting family and friends.

 

I left Valley pondering what one word could capture the experience.

Saturday at Valley was "Dynamic"...

  • Valley parkrun and local running groups are introducing people to new experience, enabling personal achievement
  • There is collaboration with the Council & the Valley Park, e.g. signage and the Leisure Centre, e.g. promoting Couch-to-5k
  • There is engagement with, and support from, business sponsors and the local press
  • There was a strong Community spirit of volunteering and mutual encouragement

This was another parkrun Saturday event when I experienced that parkrun is about more than running.

Photos from Valley are here and here's a good list of Muhammad Ali quotes.

Thanks to everyone for the welcome, hospitality and interest in this project supporting Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI - a good local charity,

My 10th run is at Wallace on Saturday 11 June, Wallace venue details here.

Best wishes,

Tim.

 

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £8632

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £400

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 11

 

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Time

Position

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

36:22

177/209

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks 

37:05

222/237

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

42:10

386/390

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

40:22

140/155

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

38:10

162/167

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

39:18

136/145

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

37:56

94/103

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

35:42

32/37

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

39:03

181/265

38.37%