Event no. 374, 1st December 2018

The overnight rain finished just in time for the 199 runners (and several enthusiastic dogs) to start supported by 22 wonderful volunteers (some of whom must have been setting up in the rain – so thank you for that). Conditions underfoot were a bit slippery so it's even more of an achievement that 10 people achieved PBs.

It was great to have several parkrunners join us from beyond Abingdon including one from Moscow (I particularly enjoy that the results table keeps the name in the correct alphabet) and also another graduate of couch to 5k as well as Daisy Sherwood achieving her milestone 10th on her 11th birthday and Nick Andrews and Rachel Hassey both reaching 50.

As always our volunteers were cheerful  - I find this particularly encouraging in the 4th kilometre as I am sure that the big field gets bigger between the 1st and 2nd time round!

Katharine de Villiers


Run Report 374, 1st December 2018

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Run Report 374, 1st December 2018

This week we got back to the real muddy Abingdon that we know and love.  As we ran around or through the puddles and waded across the far paddy field we forgot about the rutted nightmare of the summer parkruns.

Of course, as serious runners know, the Abingdon course is the ideal training surface.  The experts tell us that we shouldn't train on flat hard surfaces.  Uneven surfaces exercise foot and ankle muscles that we didn't know we had.  In the very dry summer deep cracks appeared in the far field, as the mud dried out.  The edges of these cracks broke down leaving a very rough surface.  Tiring of this excellent training, I looked forward to rain that would soften the mud so that thousands of tiny feet could level out the surface.  When the puddles get deeper and the mud thicker I will yearn for a dry summer.

Rain also enables us to see who the real runners are.  They have mud splashed all up their backs.  Slower runners have a lower mud line.  At the back of the field we relax, admire the scenery and finish relatively clean.

Fastest this week was Roy Schumacher and fastest lady was Sarah Dudgeon.  Best age grader was Jane Fabes with 82%.  There were nine first timers, four tourists, ten personal bests and eight unknowns in a total of 199 runners.

John Last


Event number 373

Abingdon parkrun
Event number 373
24th November 2018

Event no. 373 this week saw 355 people running, jogging, and walking the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 48 recorded new Personal Bests.

Congratulations to the Abingdon AC "Couch to 5k" group who graduated on their 5km run with us today!

We had visitors from:
Long Eaton

Thanks to our fantastic volunteers who made this week's event possible!
John HARVEY • James MOORE • Lucy HAMILTON • Nicholas HAMILTON • Mike SHEPHERD • Emily SCHMIDT • Terry FRANCIS • David REES • Charlotte BUCKINGHAM • Nina-Juliane STEINKE • Mark SHEPLEY • Julia PENNINGTON • Christian ADAM • Tim FOXALL • Kathy CLARKE • Stephen SADLER • Joanne FELLOWS • Fiona SEMPLE • Dominic SEMPLE • Simon BURBIDGE • Catherine WARREN • Skye MCSORLEY • Benoit JAUDUN

Milestones at Event # 373

Milestones attained this week were:

50 Events
Joanna Jones
Sabiene North
Rob Pabst

100 Events
Christina Sweeney
Sarah Richens
Hugh Owen

Joanna JONES 50th

Joanna Jones celebrating her 50th parkrun event

Sabiene NORTH 50th

Sabiene North celebrating her 50th parkrun event

Sarah RICHENS 100th

Sarah Richens celebrating her 100th parkrun event



Road Closures for Bun Throwing, 10th November 2018

Road Closures for Bun Throwing

There are road closures in the centre of Abingdon tomorrow (10th November 2018) to accommodate the bun throwing event in the Market Place.

Please refer to the attached link and adjust your choice of car park ( see previous post ) and intended leaving time and direction.


Looks like the closures start from midday, with Bridge Street being closed from 13:00.


Abingdon parkrun 368 – Patsy’s 50th Run

Abingdon Parkrun 368
20th October 2018

Patsy Smiles' report on her 50th parkrun

Abingdon parkrun #368

What a glorious sunny morning to celebrate both my 50th parkrun milestone and Richard and David Brooks’ 100th.

Abingdon parkrun #368

I first ran Abingdon parkrun in November 2014. I’d managed to complete the Couch to 5k course on my own earlier in the year with the aim of getting fit ’n’ healthy. I’d never run in my life and hated sport at school. There was always the fear that ‘I’d be last and that non-one would want me in their team’. I did enjoy gardening and walking. However the joke at our wedding was that Mr S fell in love with me at a walking club, because I was the one he could keep up with at the back! I was often the last one as I’d spotted a lovely view or a beautiful flower I wanted to photograph.

My first parkrun got me hooked on running for ever. I thought I might take over an hour and would be left behind and laughed at for being so slow. However my position was 208 out of a field of 227. Everyone was so encouraging and I felt on top of the world. Making friends over coffee and a bacon buttie at Java&Co has opened up a way of life to me that I couldn’t have dreamt of. parkrun became a normal part of life, as did running and exploring the countryside on my own. A new job meant I could only get to parkrun once a month at the most. Emma Moore encouraged me to join an Athletics Club for those weeks I couldn’t join parkrun.

Reaching my 50th parkrun Milestone has given me time to reflect on why I enjoy parkrun so much. Lots of people run parkrun to achieve a Personal Best time. I do love a well-earned new PB. However running a parkrun doesn’t always have to be about chasing a time. Sometimes it’s lovely to catch up with parkrun friends and to encourage someone else along the way.

I often find myself admiring nature and spotting wildflowers and berries on the route. Yes there is a bit of a bottle neck on the course where everyone has to slow down. However life doesn’t always have to be a race and parkrun is advertised as being a run not a race. Sometimes it’s lovely just to enjoy nature. This morning was no exception. The early morning mist surrounding the boats on the River Thames being burnt off by the sun was so atmospheric. There was also some beautiful hops and rosehips to see just at the point where we all slowed down. I also got cheery greetings from this week’s marshals as I’d decided to run a bit slower and was happy to chat.

On the long slog along the track towards Kingfisher Barn there were bright ‘n’ cheery pink and orange spindle berries to be seen. I’ve become known for my love of flowers and often share my photos and sketches. My motto in life is `What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare…’

Abingdon parkrun #368

After a year out with injury I have come back to parkrun this year and achieved my fastest 5k time ever. I’d love to complete the course in under 30 minutes, however that time remains elusive… . Nevertheless I can see from my first photos compared to now that I have achieved my goal of getting fitter and keeping healthy. My posture is so different! However today wasn’t a day for a PB. I wanted to celebrate and enjoy the route in Abingdon. I deliberately took time to talk to friends and chose an outfit which celebrated running the Patsy Smiles way. Dressing as a cheerful Daffodil Flower Fairy seemed appropriate attire. I waved my Flower Fairy Wand encouraging children along the way with `Go Faster Fairy Dust’. One lass took up the challenge and out-sprinted me at the finish. When I started parkrun I didn’t care for the last stretch as I thought I `was on show’. Now I always give it my best shot with a decent fast sprint finish trying to overtake the person in front. It may have been the promise of cake I’d talked about which encouraged her to keep going and out-sprint me. As a thank you for all the friendships I’ve made within the Abingdon parkrun Community and the encouragement I’ve received I brought along cupcakes decorated with edible cake topper photos and sketches I’d made of the beautiful things to be seen on the route.

In my over excitement to share my Milestone cakes I forgot to scan my Barcode! I ran across the line clutching my Barcode ready to be scanned, only to be stopped for a photograph by this week’s Run Director Mike Shepherd. Now Mike very clearly stated the ‘No Barcode, No Result Policy’ at the beginning as usual and applauded everyone for handing in their Finish Token’s last week. I got home to find my Finish Token in my pocket. Oh No! I’ll have to run my 50th parkrun one more time and bake more cakes! In actual fact I had such a lovely time I’d be happy to run my 50th parkrun again!


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