LLNI

Falls - 20 August - 18 of 22

Heading to Falls parkrun, it was raining at home and, from the car, grey clouds hid the Belfast Hills. But the weather turned out kinder than expected.

Great to have supporters Dennis & Elaine Mercer along again.  

Falls-D

Sarah Williamson had offered to pace-set, including a few walk breaks. Thanks to David Price for finishing with me today, and congrats on a new PB today.

Falls-CRun Director Stuart Kennedy gave a warm welcome to everyone.  

Paul Clarke, who did the pre-run check at Colin Glen last week was at Falls this week.  We swapped our experiences of running after the race.  Paul said "I never thought I would be a runner."  This from a man who has run 66 parkruns...

Falls-R
On one of my laps, I shouted out to our Run Director

"Beautiful run at Falls!"

Stuart's retort

"Beautiful people at Falls." 

Sarah previously ran with me at Queen's in May.  Again, as we ran together, we swapped thoughts on leadership, leadership development and experience of corporate organisations.  Sarah is a highly effective mentor and encourager, taking time to understand both my need for some walking (I'm still cautious after injury) and my aspiration for 5k in less than 40 minutes.  We managed both.

Falls-I
Several people kindly gave anonymous donations to LLNI, logged here with 0% commission at BT mydonate.

After the run, Conal Corr spoke with us.  A medical graduate, Conal is starting out on his professional career.  Conal has also been fund raising for charities, including Leukaemia research, and it was great to meet him.

Thanks to everyone at Falls today for the welcome and support.  Ruth and I intend to be back to this beautiful location.  One of the benefits of doing this circuit of all NI parkruns has been discovering so many scenic places we have never visited.

Falls-P
Falls' photo album is here.

We're looking forward to next week's run at Derry - making a Bank Holiday weekend of it - after which we're into the Final Three!

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £11,434

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £600

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%

17

13 Aug

Colin Glen

35.93%

18

20 Aug

Falls

37.88%


Colin Glen - 13 August - 17 of 22

 

I had been anticipating Colin Glen as one of the more hilly courses on my tour of NI's parkruns.  With injury behind me, my physio recommended a conservative approach to running - "don't over-extend your stride" - both up- and down-hill.

Colin Glen will always be a memorable run - not due to its difficulty - but because I was fortunate to have two experienced runners at my side on this steepest run of my life to date.  Linda Harley Gillespie had offered to run with me, keeping time.  Linda is the first woman to have completed every local parkrun; she also has a great blog here.  I was also permitted to accompany Cracker in his traditional photo call! ...

Colin-Glen-B

Also, "parkrun Jim" offered to run alongside us. Jim Clinton was the first person in Ireland to complete 250 parkruns; our run together was his 275th.  Jim now has #500 in his sights. 

Colin-Glen-I

The initial 2km climb was not as tough as I had feared.  I was guided well.  The beauty at the top, running around the Lake twice with the Belfast Hills looming down on us, means that Ruth and I will be back to Colin Glen for a walk soon.

Colin-Glen-N

The Volunteer team was very friendly, with a warm welcome from Jim Bradley and Team to everyone including a group of "Steps To Health" graduates.  A number of people kindly donated to LLNI - with £111 transfer recorded here.

Colin-Glen-W

Today's album is here.

We drove home to join friends Linda & Derek Bell who were having a coffee morning in support of LLNI.  This was very well supported - photos & amount raised are on the blog and Facebook.

Next week, we're into the 'Final Five' ...

  • Falls
  • Derry
  • Ecos
  • Larne
       then  a contingency week, before...
  • Stormont, final run, on 24 Sep

Thanks to everyone for the support which has been, and continues to be, powerful.

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £11,424

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £600

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%

17

13 Aug

Colin Glen

35.93%


Coffee Morning

Friends Linda and Derek Bell decided some months ago to have a coffee morning in support of LLNI in their home.

Yesterday, after the Colin Glen run, Ruth and I headed home to be join the community of neighbours in our street, Beechlands Park, and family and friends.  The craic was good as we caught up with each other over coffee, tea and loads of treats which people had kindly prepared.

Thank you to everyone who came along and supported - an amazing £976 (!!!) was raised.

As the BT Belfast Bake Sale also showed - Northern Ireland people like their coffee and cake.

Coffee-Morning-C

Coffee-Morning-A

Coffee-Morning-I

Coffee-Morning-H

Coffee-Morning-K

Coffee-Morning-L


MUSA Cookstown - 6 August - 16 of 22

Beacons of Hope

A special day today at Cookstown, the 16th #TimPageFitForLife parkrun; Ruth and I encountered some very special people today.

Ailis Corey has faced treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  This included an 'allogenic' stem cell transplant.  In December 2013, I had an autologous transplant - my own stem cells - whereas allogenic is a tougher and riskier procedure, where you receive a donor's stem cells.

Happily, Ailis' sister Brenda was a match and the transplant has been a success.  So much of a success that Ailis has just returned from the British Transplant Games with a Silver in the 3k Walk and Bronze in the 10k Road Race Cycle.

Cookstown_G

Ailis, family and friends have travelled a tough road at times. Part of the battle was to campaign for funding within NI of the drug Brentuximab. More details are at Ailis' Support Fund Facebook page which includes a photo montage of Liverpool successes.

The word 'Inspiring' simply doesn't do justice to the resilience & spirit lived out by Ailis and family & friends.

An audio interview with Ailis by journalist Gillian McDade is here

Arriving at MUSA, we met Julie Kelly.  Tragically, Julie's sister Lynne died of cancer.  Julie and some running friends have established Seapark Charity Runners to support two charities - Macmillan and Brainwaves NI.    

Julie explained that, as well as running her way around all Northern Ireland parkruns, she has also just completed 10 x 10k runs.  It was good to swap notes with Julie about NI's parkruns - we were both impressed by the beauty of the Enniskillen course.  Again today, here was human resilience and an outward-looking generative response to aftermath of a horrible disease.

Cookstown_E

Julie and team's JustGiving page is here.

Run Director Irwin Spiers gave a very warm welcome today, inviting me to say a few words to the runners and volunteers.  Er, next time, I'll need to remember to click the mega-phone trigger button - but I'm learning and won't make that mistake again.

The regular physio and rehab exercises after recent injury are doing the job of keeping my running condition ok.  I'm grateful for the encouragement of colleagues John Purvis, Cathal O'Neill and Phil Lockett  - the BT posse - who ran with me today.  With Cathal timing, I got a 30 second walk-break every four minutes and still came in under 40 minutes... Good to be getting back on form.  

Cookstown_D

We're now into a #TimPageFitForLife pattern of asking parkrun Volunteers to join in a group photo before/after the race, to recognise the fact that 

"No volunteers... No parkrun!"

Cookstown_S

Thanks to the MUSA Cookstown team for the warm welcome today. 

We got in the car and headed home to Holywood, listening to Radio Ulster.  

On the same day that we met Ailis and heard about her success at the Transplant Games, serendipity struck.

We were delighted to hear Lucia Quinney Mee speaking.  The Quinney Mees are family friends and they, also, have faced a challenging road at times. Lucia, who has endured and come through three liver transplants, was also at the Transplant Games.  Lucia won seven medals!   

Lucia's interview is on BBC iPlayer until 3-Sep, here, and her 6 minute story is worth listening to.

Lucia has also recently created a blog, live-loudly-donate-proudly.org - I can recommend this excellent post.

Live-Loudly-Donate-Proudly

What a day... running performance regained, another friendly parkrun community, stories of resilience & support through adversity  and a timely reminder of the vital benefit of transplants - a spur to renew our #TimPageFitForLife effort to give people an opportunity to sign up as stem cell donors.

Thank you for support.

Today's album is here and next week I'll be at Colin Glen.

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £10,151

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £500

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 25

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%

16

6 Aug

MUSA Cookstown

39.48%


Armagh - 30 July - 15 of 22

Well, what a week that was.

An exciting week in BT work, supporting the launch of BT Sport On EE:

Mid-week, I resumed running, thanks to benefits of an ongoing physio programme

Then, on Thursday, NI's Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) Belfast Marathon runners and Office team handed over £621 to LLNI.

TimPageFitForLife-RQIA

#TimPageFitForLife exceeded double the £5000 target for LLNI donations, with £10028 raised to date for vital research, in the same week that LLNI's Joanne Badger handed me the recent NI Institute of Fundraising nomination. 

TimPageFitForLife-BWFVY

I completed the Armagh run yesterday, with great support from BT colleagues and friends.

Armagh is a particularly beautiful course - a mix of hilly parkland and woodland.

There was a sense of close local community amongst the runners - I guess the 'further out' parkruns, not close to many other runs, tend to have a more constant attendance.

Thanks to Run Director Mark Lundy for the warm welcome.

Armagh-D

It was great to have work colleagues Liz Leckey and Brenda Hilley along on their first parkrun.
I really appreciated BT colleague & runner Gavin McBride's pace-setting.  We alternated between 3 minutes running and 30 seconds walk.  Perhaps it was due to Gavin's guidance that I headed home with no muscle pain and hopeful for a straight run ahead through the remaining 7 venues.

Armagh photo album is here, thanks to Sarah Irwin for the amazing cake!

Armagh-Q

Next week, we're at Cookstown

Through August & September, as well as running and fund-raising, we'll be

  1. Working with DKMS to drive up the number of prospective stem cell donors, and,
  2. Producing video interviews about the role of fitness, medical care and research in preventing and treating blood cancers

As the final two months of our #TimPageFitForLife project start tomorrow... ideas, offers of support & publicity, donations and questions for the video interviews are all very welcome.

Best wishes,
Tim

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £10,028

Raised for Delete Blood Cancer: £500

People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62

People who have signed up with parkrun: 23

Tim's Running Progress

#

Date

Course

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%

15

30 July

Armagh

37.12%


Citypark - 9 July - 14 of 22

The Citypark course - one lap around the Craigavon lakes - is very scenic.  Today's weather was less pleasant - the heaviest rain of the 14 parkruns to date - but that brings its own refreshing quality.

Citypark-B

Thanks to friends and colleagues who came along today - Patricia McAuley, Heather Chestnutt and BT colleagues Nick Orr & Sabina O'Hagan.  

My running mentor Mark Crothers said in January, when I decided to run 22 parkruns for LLNI, that this would be a significant challenge, given the sustained conditioning training as well as the parkruns.  By #14 of the 22 Saturdays, I realise that he was right.  Last week at Carrickfergus and this week at Citypark Craigavon have been tricky due to calf muscle and now upper back twinges. 

My objective, as last week, was to get around the course with zero damage.  Sarah Irwin, daughter of old friends Ivan & Joan Thompson, came along today and, as she said,

"Any run is better than no run."

In my Antrim run report two weeks ago, I mentioned a health query.  For some cancer survivors, the occasional medical scare is unsettling but familiar territory, and I've had a few over the years.  So, it was a relief this week when the hospital rang to say recent neck lymph node biopsy was clear.  Phew.

Early today on BBC Radio, there was an item about the 1984 Olympics Women's Marathon - the first time this event was held.  One runner was Gabriela Andersen-Schiess, her final six miles a major challenge, as this video shows.  

Today's run was difficult due to the leg issues so I was trailing.  Today's parkrun volunteer 'tail runners', bringing up the rear with me, were Joe McAnearney & Niall Rankin.  Niall and I spoke about the role of determination in pushing through life's challenges.

This afternoon, getting home after an uncomfortable but beneficial sports massage, I googled more on Gabriela Andersen-Schiess.  She finished the race in 44th place despite being in great physiological distress.  In an interview years later she said

"I got to the finish line.

Looking back, with time, I can see that people kinda identify with you, because they see the struggle, and they see that, if you really set your mind to it, you can overcome a lot of obstacles.

And it teaches you a lesson too that, besides overcoming obstacles, you have to get over some bad experiences, and not dwell on it and just look forward and learn something - hopefully learn something from it."

Every Saturday I see many people get to the parkrun finish line.  Further, I didn't realise when starting this project, that I'd meet a range of people from different backgrounds with stories of challenge, struggle, celebration and resilience.  Thanks again to parkrun and hundreds of volunteers each Saturday who enable this experience of promoting well-being, community spirit and mutual support.

This week's album is here.

Looking forward next week's run #15 (!) at Derry.

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £9168

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

Age Grade

1

19 Mar

Belfast Victoria

41.2%

2

26 Mar

Belfast Waterworks

40.4%

3

16 Apr

Bangor Ward Park

35.53%

4

23 Apr

Portrush

37.12%

5

7 May

Queens

39.26%

6

14 May

Enniskillen

38.13%

7

21 May

Comber

39.50%

8

28 May

Limavady

41.97%

9

4 June

Valley

38.37%

10

11 June

Wallace

39.83%

11

18 June

Ormeau

42.55%

12

25 June

Antrim

39.80%

13

2 July

Carrickfergus

35.21%

14

9 July

Citypark Craigavon

34.48%


Gareth's Three Peaks Challenge for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI

This weekend, BT Belfast's Gareth McKittrick undertakes his personal challenge to climb the tallest mountain in each of Scotland, England and Wales - all within 24 hours!

The three nations' mountains are:

England - Scafell Pike, 978m
Scotland - Ben Nevis, 1345m
Wales - Snowdon, 1085m

Snowdon-may-2016

Gareth, who climbed Kilimanjaro last year, explains that he's taking on this weekend's challenge 'just for the craic'.

Gareth McKittrick

Gareth is kindly encouraging people to support local research charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI via the #TimPageFitForLife project - donation link to LLNI here.

There are about 140 types of blood cancer, with 34000 new cases each year in the UK. More information about the crucial research that LLNI do is here.

More information about this weekend's National Three Peaks challenge is here.

Thanks to Gareth for support, and best wishes for this weekend's climbs!


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%


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%