Event number 388, 16th March 2019

On an overcast and blustery Saturday morning there were a total of 308 runners, joggers and walkers turned up Rye Meadow in their usual jovial manner to take part in the 388th Abingdon parkrun. Despite the rain that we have had over the last week the course was surprisingly not too muddy, probably helped considerably by the winds that have been effecting the area over the same period.

Run Director and volunteer co-ordinator Mike Shepherd helped Benoit Jaudun give the first timers briefing to the 25 newcomers to the parkrun family. Mike then proceeded to let everyone know about the milestones being run today. Peter Dunne of Chichester running his 250th, Nick Bell and David Humphreys both running their 50th and youngsters Magnus Khochawat and Cameron Holroyd running their 10th. Well done to all of them. Mike also pointed out that there has been traffic jams in recent weeks on the road up to Kingfisher Barns and that all runners MUST obey the Marshals directions, even if it means having to stop and wait for the traffic to pass. It is important for all runners to realise that parkrun shares the road with the local residents and as such the continued success of the weekly run is dependent upon the good will of all others users of the paths and roads that we run upon. With visitors from as far away as Exeter in the West, Oldham and Pennington Flash in the North, and Chichester in the South we set off at 9:07 am from the start line towards the Lock with a gentle tail wind behind us.

Despite threatening clouds the rain held off for the whole run, its just a shame the same could not be said for the wind. Gusts of over 35 mph were felt on the return part of the lap from the little concrete bridge heading back towards Rye Meadow, with even the strongest runners feeling the force of the full on head wind. However it didn’t stop there being a total of 28 people getting PB’s, all of whom must be feeling particularly proud of themselves today.

I find it surprising that it now takes 22 volunteers to help make this weekly event happen and I’d like to express my personal thanks to all of you lovely people for helping to change the character of my weekends. Parkrun and the camaraderie of all who take part in whatever capacity has had a wonderfully positive impact upon my health and wellbeing. Long may it continue.

Stuart Watton


Peter Dunne (home event Chichester) ran his 250th with us today


Run Report – Event No. 384 The Malthouse Surgery GP Practice Takeover

Prescribing parkrun- the best medicine - Saturday 16th February 2019

parkrun is for the community, by the community and that was in evidence today as The Malthouse Surgery hosted a volunteer takeover with staff and patients, as part of a partnership between the Royal College of General Practitioners and parkrun. This has encouraged GP Practices all over the country to promote parkrun to patients and staff.

Exercise, volunteering and community spirit are all key ingredients for health and well-being and often more powerful than many medications for conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, anxiety, depression and asthma. Early feedback from the partnership is showing a vast range of health benefits from cardiac rehabilitation to weight loss and a reduction in social isolation. parkrun is transforming patients’ lives, but the challenge lies in convincing people that it is for them and not just for “serious runners”.

I think that Abingdon parkrun excels in its inclusivity as a parkrun. Many of the first timers today commented on the friendly buzz, the support and the smiles. Abingdon parkrun is a happy place to be, whatever the weather, for that “feel-good” feeling on a Saturday morning.

The weather was kind to us today with some spring like mildness in the air and the course more benign than the recent “tough mudder” conditions. There were 362 runners with 39 first timers who included staff and patients as well as the Malthouse staff couch to 5K group in their lime green T shirts, who have been training since November and graduated today with everyone completing the course, which is a fantastic achievement!

As well as first timers there were people revisiting parkrun after periods away and old and young running together.  There were a number of tourists and the tail walker, Hayley Kinch, the Malthouse Surgery physio, is one of the original Bushy park parkrunners, who has run some parkruns in the past with Mo Farah.

Patrick Bowden, Fraser O’Driscoll and Jamie Brock all completed their 10th parkruns.

The fastest time was 18.15 with 55 PBs.

I would like to thank all the volunteers and especially Mike Shepherd, who was invaluable in co-ordinating today and hopefully there are some newcomers who have caught the parkrun bug making the event a great success.

 Dr. Anne Taylor





Event cancelled – 2nd February 2019


Unfortunately, due to the forecast for freezing temperatures overnight, we've taken the decision to cancel Abingdon parkrun tomorrow, the 2nd February.

We never take these decision lightly, but the risk to volunteers and participants both in making their way to the event, as well as taking part, is too great, and we'd rather cancel now in good time.

Mike Shepherd



Run report Abingdon parkrun #381 Mud

19th January 2019

Have we reached peak mud? It rained on Friday night and in the morning before the run so the mud was exceptionally slippery making parts of the course difficult. For example, if the coefficient of friction at the mud shoe interface was less than the gradient to get over the concrete bridge then climbing the slope would be impossible. Then the only way would be to take a run at it and gradually slow as one climbed. This meant that faster runners found the bridge easier than the walking wounded at the back. They probably do anyway in all conditions.

Running faster may also make it easier to balance in slippery conditions. On a bike it's certainly easier to balance at a reasonable speed than when going slow. The gyroscopic effect of the wheels may help on a bike, while runners have to rely on some sort of inertia effect. On the other hand traction to maintain speed may be the problem for faster runners. Some Parkruns are all on grass (e.g. Prospect Park at Reading) so spikes would be possible there.

Back to the peak mud question. If it rains all week, the puddles will be deeper and the far field will become a paddy field but I don't think it will be any slipperier. Enough of mud, what we really need is a frost to firm things up or snow to make the fields and trees look pretty.

We had 400 runners at this week's parkrun. Last week we had 474, which was an all-time record for Abingdon. The smallest number at Abingdon Parkrun was 26 on 19th January 2013. This was my best ever parkrun in terms of placing (23rd). Looking back at these old Parkruns it's a bit annoying that the "Total runs" is updated so 6 of the runners in 2013 are listed at 250+, 17 at 100+, 3 at 50+ and none at less than 50. At the time most of us were on less than 50 and 250 seemed out of reach.

Large numbers of runners are good but the car park is soon full. Please be reminded that there are plenty of car parks within a 10 minute walk from parkrun or why not come on foot or by bike.

This week the fastest runner was Quinn MIELL-INGRAM (JM11-14) who was also fastest on age grading (82.44%). Second and third were Roy SCHUMACHER and Alexander PENNINGTON (both JM 15-17). It must be tough for elderly twenty year olds to be beaten by these boys. Fastest lady was Lucy RYCROFT (SW18-19).

Twenty nine people got PBs on the mud. They should really fly when conditions are better. There were 8 tourists trying Abingdon for the first time and 18 trying parkrun for the first time. Twenty seven "unknowns" either forgot their Parkrun cards or lost them in the mud or had never registered.

John Last


Event no. 378, 29th December 2018

Lots of Milestones this week

First-timers 20181229

Michelle and Simon Tickle (and Holly and Jack) joined us from the Fylde coast, and Simon completed his 100 milestone event with us, while Michelle completed her 200th.

10 Events (juniors)
George LONG

50 Events
Liz Bedford
Joanne Fellows
Chris Lyon

100 Events
Fran Long
Simon Tickle
Melanie Pickett
Mike Pickett

250 Events
Mike Shepherd

I didn't manage to get pictures of all of the Milestone participants this week, but here are a few:

Melanie & Mike Pickett

Fran Long

Mike Shepherd

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