Happy to finish last every week

Here I am (left) coming last for the fifth consecutive Pendle Parkrun

Here I am (left) coming last for the fifth consecutive Pendle Parkrun

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I am, and have been for some years now, an avid follower of various social media streams.

There are many reasons for this.

I find out lots of happy news and hear some pretty sad news.

I pick up bargains left, right and centre and I get alerted of forthcoming events which I might otherwise miss.

There are streams I follow faithfully every weekend, just to keep abreast of some of my leisure-time activities.

One of them is the Parkrun UK page on Facebook.

And I was pleasantly surprised at the end of last month to see a picture from Parkrun saying thankyou to the volunteers who make the Parkrun principle work and keep it safe.

The chap on the left of the picture is, of course, me and it is me coming last for the fifth consecutive Pendle Parkrun.

A keen runner coming last five times on the trot? Yes ... and I did it on purpose.

And that is one of the beauties of the entire Parkrun concept.

Many people are put off entering the 5km runs each Saturday morning because they are afraid of coming last.

But that can never happen, because if you run at Pendle it will either be me or another volunteer who happily “tailruns” and takes as long as it takes to get everyone safely back to base.

And if you run at Burnley you can be sure that my old friend Anthony Hudson will be last home as he has been in just about every one of the almost 200 runs he has completed.

Tailrunning is just one of the many ways in which people can volunteer at Parkruns.

Without them the 450 or so people who enjoy their runs in Burnley and Pendle each Saturday would not be able to do so.

When I am running “properly” rather than volunteering I make a point of thanking the volunteers as I go around.

All these volunteers are happy to help ... so why not give them a cheer on your way round?