Run Report – Event 364, 22nd September 2018

Run Report by Marina Semple, DofE Volunteer

The crisp September morning in Rye Farm Meadow was the site of the 364th Abingdon parkrun, which this week saw 315 people run, jog or walk the course, including visitors from Ashton Court, Osterley, Basingstoke, Beckenham and Didcot, 16 first-time parkrunners and 67 new personal bests.

Having participated in a couple of parkruns myself, when it came to choosing an option for volunteering for my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, I figured that volunteering for parkrun would be an excellent way to give back to the community.

I have been a track runner for a few years now and initially started parkrun as a way to boost my endurance in order to help with my track events. However, as well as this, parkrun is a great opportunity to meet new people as the whole town comes together to do some exercise, and I have really enjoyed supporting my friends and teachers as they run their 5K.

I also think that it is so important that as many people as possible get out and about as possible, because doing sport is so good for you!

As part of my volunteering, I have been the funnel manager, timer, handed out and scanned tokens, and whilst at times it felt like a lot of pressure, I have taken away a lot from the experience. It has also made me appreciate how much organisation parkrun takes and also how much it means to people - I remember one week, a couple who had met at parkrun made all of their wedding guests run the course before they headed of to their wedding!

Overall, I would definitely recommend getting involved in parkrun, whether it be as a runner, tail-walker or finish token-support person.

This weeks's first finisher was Alex Cummings from Hermitage Harriers RC who ran a 17 minute 5k.

Congratulations to Yolanda Owen who completed her 50th park run today and to Fiona Topp who completed her 100th.

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Fiona Topp's 100th parkrun (Photo: Fran Long)

The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:

Abdul OKORO • Clive WILLCOCK • Steve NEWMAN • Duncan HEPBURN • Anne


Abingdon parkrun 363- 15/09/2018

Run Report by Mike Price

One year, and 5-ish months. 76 weeks. 72 Abingdon parkruns. The last time I hauled myself out of bed to make it down to Rye Meadow for 9am was on the 1st April 2017.

Having discovered Abingdon parkrun in late 2012, I barely missed a Saturday morning for the next three years. As a student studying for GCSEs and A levels at the time, parkrun was a great way to take my mind off quadratic equations and conjugating verbs and a chance to challenge myself every week. In my spare time, I made my own leaderboard of my fastest times and watched myself improve as I got older and could compare my times at different parkruns to see which courses were fastest. Yes- I'd been badly bitten by the parkrun bug.

Unfortunately for my parkrun career, leaving for university allowed me to find Ultimate Frisbee- maintaining my fitness and fulfilling my competitive nature whilst also keeping me just too injured/away at a tournament to really stay with parkrun in Southampton.

All of this allows me to give myself the title of an 'ex-regular' (or maybe an ir-regular?! We'll work it out....), which has several perks, including being able to say things like "it's amazing how many parkruns are around here now", "back in the day, we had less than 100 people" and "when I started, that finishing time would've put me in the top 10". If you chatted to me today, I would likely have said one of those things to you or something similar.

Today's weather conditions did not disappoint. The surprisingly hot sun was countered nicely by the ever-familiar headwind on the back straight and the sheer number of people meant there was rarely a moment when I didn't have anyone to run with (despite gradually dropping back through the pack as the run went on!) and no shortage of people to sprint with at the end!

An impressively large field of 382 ('particularly impressive given back when I started, we often had less than 100') ran, jogged and walked the course ('incidentally the same length as it was back in the day'), of whom 35 were first-timers and 74 recorded personal bests. Wait- hang on. 74?! That has to be some kind of record here surely. That is genuinely really impressive. And I mean that because I would've joked about how Event 87 back in the 'old days' (2013) actually had 74 people running that week but I won't. Instead I want to give a big shout out to quite a large proportion of the runners today who went out and beat the previous best time. Great job guys!

Shout outs also go to our 4 athletes who reached the 100 milestone today- big congratulations to Katharine de Villiers, Helen Nash, Lucie Brownsill and Katie Jeffery. Also to Alfie Appleton who completed his 50th parkrun this morning.

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IMG_9459 (Custom)

All that really leaves me to say is that it will not be another 72 Abingdon parkruns before you see my name down on a parkrun 'latest results' page. Mainly because I'm not actually going back to uni until next weekend so I'll be around anyway but also because today reminded me simply that I enjoy running with friends at 9am on Saturday mornings. Perhaps from this week I can start to shift from being an Abingdon ex-regular to a parkrun regular.

I'll see you next week.


Abingdon parkrun Event number 360 25th August 2018

Graham Wiggins provides his own thoughts inspired by this week's event

Run Report for 25/08/18

Lead your mind, and the rest will follow !

That was a great morning for a run in the Park ! Cool temperatures, clear blue sky, little bit of wind, just about perfect.

Ground conditions were a bit variable in places, one of the features ( not bugs ) with any run route is the ground, especially natural grass/mud ( unsealed surfaces).
These can change week-by-week, so make sure you adapt your running style to suit the terrain.
If the ground is flat, smooth, predictable, use a nice, fast, economical longer stride - e.g. your natural running stride
If the ground is a bit...lumpy, muddy, unpredictable, try running a shorter stride for that section - can be as much as half the stride length of your natural one - why ? The shorter stride means you are on a foot for less time, so if it slips, the other foot will be much closer to the ground than your long stride...less slip = less risk, and....faster pace through that section.

Back to this week - Anyone else spot the group doing a walking event along the towpath ?
Great to see the park is really well used, and so many people being active this morning. This activity lark doesn't just help our bodies, it helps our minds too. All this meeting people ( and dogs ), the running together, and the social side after, it's all good. As the title suggests, your mind is powerful. Lead your mind, and you will get there.

With that positivity, you can build on it for the week ahead. Pick a simple challenge for the work week, and give it a go...try something new... ( mildly, and safely ) scare yourself a bit... keep your mind working out as much as you work on your physical health.

Well done to our D-O-E people ! hope you are enjoying helping, it's a great thing to do. sure, DOE can be a bit "stretchy", learning new things, new places, meeting new people, and what a great place to do it !

Have a great week folks !



This week 323 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 39 were first timers and 57 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 25 different clubs took part.

Our event was only made possible by our lovely volunteers, who this week were:

John HARVEY • Julian MOORE • Brian EVANS • Lucy HAMILTON • Graham WIGGINS • Mike YOUNGMAN • David REES • Charlotte BUCKINGHAM • Mike LITCHFIELD • Arthur DAWKINS • Marc SHEARER • Clive WILLCOCK • Julia PENNINGTON • Chloe NEWMAN • Christina SWEENEY • Juliet HODSON • David FARDON • Christopher HODSON • Lynne JOLLEY • Mike PICKETT • Melanie PICKETT • Rachel SHEARER • Simon BURBIDGE • James SMITH • Erwin LAM • Skye MCSORLEY • Benoit JAUDUN

Amongst our visitors was a group from Boston (UK) parkrun, who were after an "A" for their alphabet challenge.

Abingdon parkrun #360

 Photo: John Harvey



Abingdon parkrun Event number 359 18th August 2018

We had parkrun "Tourists" from Preston, Wimbledon, Swindon, Hackney, Yeovil Montacute, Poole, Bakewell, Exeter, High Wycombe, and Oakhill.

Dominic Semple completed his 50th run today

This week 388 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 34 were first timers and 69 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:
Michelle DURHAM • Erica WOOSEY-GRIFFIN • Rose WEBB • Mike SHEPHERD • Hazel WIGGINTON • Greg LEAN • Katie LEAN • Abdul OKORO • Clive WILLCOCK • Lisa ASTBURY • Alberto GIANNETTO • Katharine DE VILLIERS • Christina SWEENEY • Stuart WATTON • Tonia HARRIS • Stephen SADLER • Will BENFOLD • Simon BURBIDGE • Edward GILL • Benoit JAUDUN • Angela WIGGINTON


Abingdon parkrun event no. 355, 14th July 2018

At our last event before the cancellation, we saw 405 people joining us to run, jog and walk.

Of those, 47 were first timers, and 16 of those were brand new to parkrun.

There were 44 new Personal Bests (PBs), and 40 different clubs had members taking part.

We can only produce the free, weekly, timed event with our wonderful volunteers, who this week were:

John HARVEY • Daniel HAMILTON • Lucy HAMILTON • Stephen SMITH • Erica WOOSEY-GRIFFIN • Kevin WHEELER • David KENNEDY • Timothy POWELL • Rhoda HUGHES • Martin WALKER • Karen PULFORD • Arthur DAWKINS • Clive WILLCOCK • Chloe NEWMAN • Scott BUCKLEY • Helen NASH • Stuart WATTON • Sarah GIBSON • Jonathan NASH • John OWEN

There were also some milestones to celebrate.

Myla has now taken part in 10 events


Barry Knight saddled-up and rode in to celebrate 50 runs.


and Graham Cripps completed his 100th run with us.



See you all back on Rye Farm Meadow on the 28th July when RD Mark and his team will be ready to welcome everybody.


Cancelled – 21st July Event

Regrettably, we are having to cancel Abingdon parkrun this Saturday, the 21st July.

This is due to the "Prosecco in the Park" event taking place in Rye Farm Meadow.

It had been hoped that space would be left for us in Rye Farm Meadow, but on visiting the site on Thursday evening, this appears not to be the case.

Mike Shepherd
Co-Event Director


Event no. 353, 30th June 2018

As we left the first six months of 2018 behind with event no. 353, 363 of us ran and 22 of us volunteered at Abingdon parkrun.

As well as 17 people running their first ever parkrun anywhere, we had visitors from:
Banstead Woods
Didcot (yay!)
Humber Bridge

but the prize for furthest-travelled-parkrun-tourist was from
Meadowbrook (Brisbane, Australia)

Celebrating milestone runs were:

Rachel Shearer and Stephen Haynes, who have now run 50 parkruns.

Cal MacLennan, who has completed 100 parkruns.

Congratulations to you all!

We also had a team from Dementias Platform UK who were graduating from their Couch to 5k
programme.  Unfortunately, their Run Leader who had taken them from the couch to 5k was unable to run due to injury, but was there to cheer them on!

More good weather promised for this Saturday's event, when RD Julian and volunteer team look forward to welcoming you all!

Mike Shepherd



Event cancelled 23rd June 2018

Due to the Abingdon Food & Drink Festival taking place on Rye Farm Meadow on the 23rd June, we are cancelling Abingdon parkrun for one week only.

Other nearby parkruns include Didcot, Harcourt Hill, Oxford, and Witney.

If you're planning on travelling further afield, check for possible cancellations before setting out:


NHS70 Birthday at Abingdon parkrun June 9th

This Saturday we are celebrating the 70th Birthday of our NHS at Abingdon parkrun. We invite NHS employees, current and past to indicate that they work for the NHS, by wearing uniform or NHS lanyards and we invite everyone else to come in an NHS/Health themed fancy dress. There will be boards available for you to write down what parkrun and the NHS mean to you in terms of physical, mental health and community. Please feel free to start the ball rolling and post here your stories, thoughts about what the NHS and parkrun mean to you.
See you Saturday
Lucy Co-Event Director and Nurse Practitioner #DFYB


Vacancy for Sector Marshals for Sector 1 or Sector 6 Abingdon Marathon

Abingdon Marathon 21st October 2018.

Vacancy for Sector Marshals for Sector 1 or Sector 6 Abingdon Marathon

No experience is necessary as training support will be given.

Duties include:

Contacting existing marshals using a data base.
Allocating positions, these are often the same as previous years.
On the day providing support to marshals about fifteen in a sector. You will be overseeing the marshals for about three hours, either early starting at 8am or later starting at 10:30am.

If you are interested:

Contact me via e-mail I will then arrange a time and place to meet with you to provide greater detail concerning duties and answer any questions.

Thanks for your support.

Nic Hamilton

Chief Sector Marshal Abingdon Marathon.


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