Saturday, 15 March 2014

Shepley First School did Huddersfield parkrun in style.

The kids did their school proud this past Saturday morning and even got a few of their teachers to agree to do one in the future.

Huddersfield parkrun was full of excitement and curiosity, more than normal too, as there were a huge number of first timers 96 in total! 30 of these first timers were part of the Shepley first school fun run that was combining it's fun run with parkrun to raise money for the school. I arranged last years Fun Run which was very successful but this year I thought we should try and do something slightly different so that the children could join in this time. I had organised it with parkrun for many reasons, it's a fun and friendly eviroment, it's open to all ages, it was only 5k compared with last years 10k which would have been far too much for children. Plus because I've been a parkrun regular for the past 9 months I knew that whoever took part they would all enjoy it no matter what. The team at Huddersfield parkrun were brilliant in being open and helpful about it and were really excited about it too. As there wasn't as many organisational jobs as last time it gave me a chance to do other things. So we came up with the idea that we could open a competition to the children at Shepley first school to design the t-shirt that we would all wear at parkrun. So after recieving all the children's designs I chose a winner from each year and then a final overall winner which would be the t-shirt for the fun run. When discussing this idea we joked that I couldn't choose my son Dexter's design, which in reply I said there is no way I will chose Dexters mainly because his design will have nothing to do with parkrun or fun runs. It was more likely to be a rocket, so when all the design came to me for judging I found Dexters and asked him to tell me about if. He said its a boy in a swimming pool.......Love my boy and love the fact I knew it would happen, better luck next time Dexter.

After a slow start with the sign ups my badgering started to pay off and we had 39 signed up and ready to go, with a few more just coming along to join and run anyway. We even had a few teachers coming along to show their support for the children. There was 15 children running aged between 4 and 10 years old, with most of them not having run anything close to the 5k distance.

So this past Saturday at 8.30am I turned up at Greenhead park with a box of t-shirts and a medal for each of the children that took part. As people turned up I gave them their t-shirts and told them wait around until Simon came out to give his first timers speech as he would answer any question they still had before the run starts. Then we all made our way to the start line where we got in our various positions in the pack depending on our running pace. Simon then gave a full run brief to all of us and introduced all of us from Shepley first school and encouraged others to encourage us and especially the children as we go round the park. As we set off we all got a cheer from our supporters on the side of the main straight and soon I settled into my normal parkrun mode and just concentrated on my pace and a target time of 22mins which I had set myself on I was running with Steve who was volunteering as the 22min pacer so all I had to do was stay with him and I would hit my target. Also running at this pace was co-event director Mark who was trying to get somewhere close to his 21.25 PB and one of my friends Ben who was running in only his 2nd parkrun. We all finished with 8 seconds of each other with Ben at 21.42, Steve at 21.43, myself at 21.46 and Mark at 21.50, well done to all of us on a good run.
Matty and Jessie ( 1st male and female finishers)

After we had finished I stayed at the finish where Rachael was doing a great job of cheering people on and taking photos of all the school fun run people. We cheered everyone across the line from my sister Jessie to Jennifer and Arthur. Nigel and his daughter Isla crossed the line together with Isla coming first in her age category for all junior girls 10 and under! 
Arthur and Isla (1st boy and girl finishers)

Then Karen Munro and her son Lachlan and Finlay Tootill with the 2 boys racing her to the line. Dean finished with Mark while his other son James finished with Dexter and SJ, but he almost didn't as he was having such a good time he was off on lap 3 before realising he had to cross the finish line and stop! Zak Harris who had done a practice run 2 weeks ago and stopped at 3k then, finished the whole 5k this time with a huge smile on his face too. There were a few sole parents running on their own trying to get the best time they possibly could and doing an awesome job too. All the way through to the last couple Philip and his 4 year old daughter Beatrice, who had completed the whole thing and still had a smile on her face.


Everyone had a great time however hard it was for them, as soon as they had caught their breath they were smiling again and talking about the run with each other describing the own experiences which is one of the great things of parkrun. It doesn't matter how many times you have taken part each run is different and your experiences are slightly different each time too. After I had handed out all the medals we all went our separate ways happy that we had all had a good time.

Once we got home and had our results through we all posted on Facebook, or twitter our times and feeling about the morning. So SJ put together a table using the official parkrun results table a Shelepy first school fun run table, plus a child only table too.

Now the focus is on collecting our sponsors and seeing how much we have raised for the school this year. Once all the sponsors are in I can then start planning next years fun run but from the reaction from everyone this year I think it will be again at parkrun, it really worked well and is great fun for the children too. I also heard that Mr Price (one of the teachers that came along to show support for the children) has promised Isla Taaffe that he will take part in parkrun next time. Plus it is now in writing Mr Price so there is no going back now......

So well done everyone who was part of the fun run this year and I hope to see you again next year.  Lots more pictures to follow!

Keep running everyone....

Here are some more photos from the day.....


  1. A lovely post about a lovely day! Thanks Matt we loved it

  2. Fantastic event, fantastic post and fantastic the one of Dexter at the end. Well done Matt. Jx