CONTRA
News - 25th February 2019
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parkrun profile: Temple Newsam

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Temple Newsam parkrun takes every Saturday morning in Temple Newsam, Leeds.

 

Gillian Lambert, the Co-Event Director tells us more…

 

I was lucky enough to have been involved with Temple Newsam parkrun from the start in February 2013. I’d always run but was new to parkrun when it started just a mile away from where I live.

 

I turned up with my brother and we were pretty nervous seeing all the club runners! Everyone was so friendly though, (and definitely not all club runners at all!) and I soon became part of the ‘TN parkrun family’ and I was hooked!

 

I met so many lovely people I wouldn’t normally have crossed paths with before. Many of the regulars have become very dear friends to me.  Of course I have to mention my friend Niall Coppinger, Bushy Dublin parkrun Event Director, who I met via Twitter and our mutual love of Leeds United, it was lovely when he came along to visit us!

 

In time I became Volunteer Co-ordinator and Event Director too. I also joined one of the local running clubs! I love the event because it brings so many people together and I know that the time between 9am and 10am on a Saturday morning is such a magical boost to so many, for multiple reasons. I’ve never heard anyone say they wished they hadn’t come, it’s pretty special to be just a small part of that.

 

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There’s a really friendly atmosphere at Temple Newsam, we regularly have theme events, local running club takeovers, Saturday before Christmas is traditionally fancy dress and I always get a lump in my throat on our New Year’s Day event as lots of `old faces’ and regulars from other local parkruns come along to say hello, and volunteer!

 

We’ve celebrated weddings, births, birthdays, lots of milestones, and pulled together to help people through some pretty tough times too.

 

Temple Newsam is one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in Yorkshire, of which our regulars are very proud. We love showing off our course to parkrun tourists and always make everyone very welcome.

 

We love to have a bit of a nosey about your course too, so please come along and tell us all about it!

 

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Our event is held on the Temple Newsam Estate, once described as `the Hampton Court of the North’. Temple Newsam itself is a Tudor-Jacobean Grade I listed house with grounds landscaped by Capability Brown.

 

The course itself may not be flat but it’s very friendly! We are hugely privileged to be able to hold our event in such a beautiful location. Our main course is entirely on tarmac, gravel and trail paths and is ‘undulating’, it’s two laps and takes in some quite amazing views.

 

It’s a challenging course but it’s equally accessible to all levels of fitness, the regulars pride themselves on getting everyone around. Each week we have participants with buggies and dogs, visually impaired runners and lots of first timers!

 

We have three courses, so can usually alternate if there’s another event on in the park or the weather prevents us from running on the paths.

 

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After the event, there’s a café in the courtyard where we meet up for a cuppa and to process the results. There’s generally a good crowd and lots of friendly banter too.

 

All our parkrunners and volunteers are pretty special and most have a tale to tell. Both our Event Directors – Ronnie Bray and Gill Lambert have been quite poorly at some point during the lifetime of TN parkrun.

 

Ronnie has had cardiac problems and Gill had a nasty fall, which after a number of operations, resulted in a partial shoulder replacement. Despite that, both have managed to join the 250 Club and parkrun has, without doubt, contributed significantly to their rehabilitation and ongoing recovery.

 

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There’s been a significant impact on the local community from parkrun, particularly amongst the local running clubs – Crossgates Harriers, St Theresa’s Athletic Club and Kippax Harriers – who have all seen a healthy growth in membership.

 

All the local running clubs now run beginners courses and the majority of members are regular parkrunners. We are particularly grateful for the regular running club takeovers when the clubs fill our volunteer rosters for us.

 

Many great friendships have been made as a result of parkrun and there is very definitely a huge sense of camaraderie amongst our parkrun family.

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