Local Parkrun at QE Country Park
Queen Elizabeth parkrun in the eyes of the Tail Runner
"Parkrun are free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in. Held every Saturday at 9am these events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings encouraging people of every ability and age to take part. One of our local parkruns is held at Queen Elizabeth Country Park and it was here I ran as the Tail Runner.
On arrival at Queen Elizabeth Country Park I waited with the other Marshals for the runners to arrive. The course had been checked and double-checked and apart from 3 fallen trees from the storms the night before and lots of slippy mud the course was given the all clear. The atmosphere at the start line was of excitement and encouragement to the new runners and regular runners alike.
My job as Tail Runner began. I ran at the back and watched the runners’ speed off ahead. Nobody sees the Tail Runner except those runners who have just started running or are recovering from injury and it’s for them I am running for today.
To start with I was running with a lady who was so happy to have someone to run with as she didn’t know the course or had run off road before. By the time we had reached the boundary path after the first downhill she was in full stride and I gained 2 more running companions. Every time we passed a marshal there was clapping and cheering which was fantastic.
The second loop of the course, and the second time running up Gravel Hill is always a testing time for the runners but for those at the back they will always know they have the Tail Runner there keeping them going.
As I ran along the boundary path for the final time with my running companions we discussed a Sprint Finish (those of you who know me know that I believe that we should always TRY to sprint finish!). We came around the final corner ran up the final slope and once we reached the QE marker with the Green Foot on, off they ran in full sprint cheered on by the marshals and runners at the finish line.
My role as Tail Runner today had ended and I hope I had achieved what I had set out to do: to chat, motivate and catch you if you fell but most of all I was the last one to finish (and not you) We always forget what its like to be at the back, how we felt when we first started to run and what its like to arrive at the finish line when all the other runners have finished.
BUT that was me today “The Tail Runner” :) "
Tiffany Eneas – MSE Fitness – www.msefitness.net
For more information and to find your local parkrun visit www.parkrun.org.uk