Frimley Lodge parkrun forever thankful

Amanda Critchell and Alison Lenaghan are the Event Directors charged with organising the Saturday morning institution that is the Frimley Lodge parkrun.


After a busy summer CommunityAd had the pleasure of a chinwag with Amanda who was keen to give thanks to all those selfless volunteers who are vital in Frimley Lodge parkrun’s success.


How long have you been involved with the Frimley Lodge parkrun?

I started parkrun on 5th March 2011. I volunteered my first week rather than doing a parkrun. I wasn’t a very good runner (I’d never yet managed to run 5km the whole way) and was a little nervous that everyone would be too fast and I would get left behind. So, after looking at the Frimley Lodge parkrun website and seeing that you could volunteer, I decided to volunteer instead of running to find out what it was all about. I met some lovely people, who all assured me that it would be fine and to come back and run. I did and thanks to parkrun managed to do my very first continuously-run 5km (I have since gone on to do 5 marathons!). I have now completed 449 parkruns and have volunteered on 234 occasions!


How has parkrun developed during that time?

There are now lots more parkruns both in the local area and around the UK. parkrun is now also international and there are parkruns all over the world. There are also now junior parkruns on a Sunday morning covering a distance of just 2.5km. The nearest junior parkrun to Frimley Lodge is Queen’s Parade junior parkrun. There has also been an increased recognition of our volunteers. However, parkrun in essence is still the same as ever!


What a wonderful summer we’ve had, with such scorching temperatures how crucial have the volunteers been? What would you like to say to them?

This summer has been quite hot, and volunteers have needed their hats and sunscreen. Summer is also a time when more people (including our regular volunteers) go away on holiday, but our parkrunners all stepped up and volunteered so that we were never short and our parkrun ran as smoothly as ever. Over the 12 weeks of our recent summer Vol1teering campaign, encouraging everyone who was able to do so to volunteer at least once over the summer, we had 162 different people volunteer, many of whom volunteered multiple times. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers. We need them and love them and our parkrun wouldn’t be the same without them (and it couldn’t happen without them!)


If someone is blessed with a bit of free time why should they consider volunteering on a Saturday morning?

We are a very friendly group, you will meet lots of new people and there are a lot of different volunteer roles that you can choose from. Have a look at our volunteer roster here and email us at [email protected] if you would like to volunteer with us.


by Dave McKenna

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