When the shout went out from the Club Chairman, Jonathan Hamill, for volunteers to turn the Durham parkrun purple, in support of DKMS, it was with all the customary enthusiasm Elvet Striders are known for, that folk stepped-forward to give up their Saturday morning to take over all the scanning, marshalling and run-directing.
Shaun Roberts, a popular, respected and long-standing member of Elvet Striders running club, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia earlier this year after a routine blood test and was placed on the register for a stem cell donation.
Within one year of the founding, DKMS (Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei -German Marrow Donor Program), had increased it volunteer donors 23 times, to 68,000 people. This gave even more inspiration to Peter and reinforced his motivation to expand internationally.
Since launching in the UK, in 2013, DKMS have been receiving great support, registering more than 300,000 people as potential blood stem cell donors. Some of these amazing people have gone on to donate blood stem cells, giving more than 330 second chances of life to blood cancer patients in the UK alone.
Fast forward to 24 March 2018, a lovely Spring morning at Maiden Castle.
An enthusiastic cheer went up when Shaun arrived and was warmly welcomed by all his friends.
Shaun joined the merry band of volunteer Strider marshals, time-keepers, starters, photographers and supporters as they headed off to their various check-points.
The runners started to arrive.
It was impressive to see such a big splash of Strider purple on the starting line for the pre-race briefing.
During Jonathan Hamill’s briefing, he paid tribute to Shaun (a huge parkrun cheer) and the selfless generosity of a young person in the South of England who is helping Shaun by donating his stem cells.
Dogs’ leads were then checked, children under 11 were gathered up to ‘arms-length’, timers were readied… then they were all off!
321 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 18 were first timers and 51 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.
The words of David Shipman, Club President, perhaps sum up the day best of all:
‘I have been involved with the Striders for over 30 years and today was one of the most uplifting and reassuring about the positive aspects of the club and the overall running community.
At the finish around a hundred folk streamed into the Rowing Club to swab and apply to go onto the stem cell register. Of those 80 were successful, which is brilliant. A significant number of runners also said that they had already registered. Many others took leaflets to consider registration or to pass onto friends and family.
So a massive thanks is due to all,Rowers, Striders,Parkrunners, Waldridge Warriors, Neville’s Cross Battlers,Shadforth Shufflers,Couch to 5 Kers and a few passing strangers. I hope that we will see many of you again when we do a fundraising 24 hour relay in June. Keep an eye out for details from Chairman Jonathan soon.’
80 parkrun finishers registered with DKMS and provided samples in just over an hour, at Durham Amateur Rowing Club. The parkrun takeover has inspired 80 people to sign up as stem cell donors and potentially save lives.
An incredible success for all involved. We certainly did wear Purple with Pride on Saturday!
|Position||Gender Position||parkrunner||Run Time|
Durham City Harriers
|142||113||Paul Andrew BEAL||00.26.29|
|218||150||Malcolm Robert SYGROVE||00.30.04|
|230||77||Karen Anne CHALKLEY||00.31.09|
|239||81||Victoria Esther DOWNES||00.32.11|