Dedicated to the 713 runners and 55 volunteers who took part in Poole Parkrun on 1 July, 2023

They gather in a crowd at nine,
Every Saturday morning
come rain or shine.
The regulars greet each other,
A community run
Like sister and brother.

Assemble on West Field, then go!
Round the cricket pitch and
Round the lake and so
Once more round the cricket ground
Back to West Field,
Exactly 5k the whole way round.

Young or old, big or small,
None need be ashamed,
There’s a welcome to all,
Weak or strong, fit or not,
Everyone joins in,
It’s a friendly trot!

Some run alone, some run in pairs,
Some with dogs on leads, or
Babies in pushchairs,
Some proclaim past participation,
Wearing numbered
T-shirts in celebration.

The thundering thump of hundreds of feet
Pound the path like
A Serengeti stampede.
Huffing, puffing, groaning, grunting,
A few cheerfully chatting,
The rest grimly concentrating.

Volunteers in pink hi-vis jackets
Shout encouragement,
Applauding, enthusiastic,
Many runners politely say
“Thank you, marshals”
As they run by.

Ahead of the pack, the properly fit
Strong and straining,,
Eyes forward, face set,
Hoping for a Personal Best.
The stragglers finish at a gentle walk
But cheered on just as much as the rest.

At the finish, everyone
Congratulates each other
At the end of the run
This is community not competition,
This run is not a race
This is the Poole Parkrun.

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