Arrow Valley parkrun reaches for the Stars – Run Report David Harrison 17-3-18

Today was the day that Arrow Valley parkrun reached for the stars, not just any stars, the Redditch Stars! During the year our local running club take over all of the volunteer roles and even provide cakes and bananas, lots and lots of bananas. It was, therefore, fitting that both the fastest male and female runners were club members, Brad Allen and Jo Scott. More about their fine achievements later.
To ‘celebrate’ National Sleep Day, parkrun invited runners to run in their pyjamas! I was slightly worried that there may be some embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions but I am pleased to report that it was far too cold for that to be a problem! I think that a few regulars decided to take ‘National Sleep Day’ too literally, so numbers were down a little with 313 keen runners braving the elements for Arrow Valley’s 298th park run.
It is the first time that I have volunteered and was probably just as well that I wasn’t running considering that I was nursing one hell of a hangover following four days at the Cheltenham Festival. Volunteering really makes you appreciate all of the work put in by the heroes who do this week after week. It was nice to be able to give them a well-earned rest. I was also surprised how many volunteers are required for the different roles, 45 in total today.
Everyone did a great job but I would like to mention Linda Beresford and Mindy Jones who gave out the finish tokens and had to put up with me for the duration of the run, and also Hannah Barker who had the fantastic title of Funnel Manager. In my experience, it always pays to have a nice well tended funnel.
Nicola ‘Did I tell you I ran a marathon?’ Noel did a brilliant job with the pre-run briefing and announcements. Very funny and quite scary at the same time.
IMG_4694 stars nini

My favourite bits from her address included, “You will do not one lap, not three laps, just two, no negotiation, we don’t run a corner shop!” and “No pushing or shoving or we will have you out!” Two volunteer jobs have interesting titles; ‘Lead Bike’ and ‘Tail Walker’ which were performed with great enthusiasm by Victoria Lewis and Louise Houghton. I feel obliged to also make a special mention of Karen B. Lee (aka Lady Beoley) who had two jobs. Token sorter and chief shouter-outer of the first lap times. The latter job required Lady B to expose one hand to the freezing elements and she almost lost her fingers to frost bite. I was pleased to offer my armpit to bring said hand back to normal body temperature (other warm body parts were available but were declined!). Talking of the weather, it was absolutely freezing. Only one degree centigrade but with a chilling wind and a mixture of snow and hail blowing in across the lake. The runners were huddled up together before the start trying to find some warmth and shelter from the wind. It was a bit worrying to see a couple of brass monkeys walking around carrying welding gear. Following the ‘Beast from the East’ which led to the cancellation of the parkrun a couple of weeks ago, and the big thaw which followed, a new lake had formed across the path, which meant that the runners had to splash their way through about 10 metres of ankle deep water within the first minute of the run! A few wimps took the scenic route but got a bit bogged down in the mud. It looked a bit like the Wolf Run out there! IMG_4702 stars puddle

I was impressed with how people wore running vests or short-sleeved tops. They are a bit crazy in Redditch! I guess that they had to run faster just to keep warm and that is exactly what 21 people did, recording personal best times. This included Brad Allan who finished first in a new PB time of 18.25. It was also the first time he has finished first in a parkrun, so he was naturally delighted afterwards. IMG_4714 stars Brad

Adam Hill finished 2nd in 18.34 and Richard Gallois finished 3rd in 19.22. I could see from the warmth of the café that Brad was in the lead at half way and waved at him, in between bites of my bacon sandwich, but I don’t think he noticed. Jo Scott was the first lady to finish in 26th place overall and in a good time of 21.34. Rachel Davies was 2nd fastest in 22.04 and Helen Chapman was 3rd fastest in 23.10. Steve Taylor was the first person to finish in PJs in 16th place in a time of 20.50. Roland Rignall and his 18th month old daughter Penny were the first push-chair combo to finish in 11th place and Lui the Black Labrador was the first dog to pass the line in 91st place and a time of 26.42. This was all the more commendable considering the fact that he had to pull his owner Nicholas Diamond all of the way round and didn’t have any toilet stops either! Two impressive milestones were reached by Lesley Rowlands who has now run 100 parkruns and Charlotte Meekins who has completed 50 parkruns. Both were sporting sashes, head boppers and big balloons with the numbers on. Lesley was dressed in a rather natty white fluffy onesie supported by her daughter Mollie who had a bright yellow ‘Easter Chick’ onesie. IMG_4710 stars lesley 100
There were 28 first timers including 20 people who had never run a parkrun before, anywhere. Incredibly, John Trueman managed to finish in 33rd place in 22.04. One to watch next time for sure. I hope that they all had a great time and weren’t put off by the cold temperatures.
It was impressive to see how much effort the runners put in and in a strange way quite satisfying to see how many people looked as exhausted as I normally am when I run. I hope to join them in two weeks time.


Event Cancellation – 3rd March 2018

After completing a preliminary course assessment the weather has continued to deteriorate in the 5 hours since. The team had concerns over travel and static volunteers exposure to cold and have taken the decision to cancel.

We have left it as long as we could before confirming the decision to give the event a fair chance but hopefully early notification will prevent unnecessary travel to Arrow Valley.

Have a great week and see you next Saturday for our favourite run, walk or jog of the week. If you would like to help with delivery of the event please review the future roster to see where you could add your magic.

Kind regards, Dylan & The Core Team


Arrow Valley parkrun report #292 – 27-01-2018 – Kevin Tomkinson

Arrow Valley parkrun #292 – 27-01-2018

Some people enjoy running in the sunshine, some people enjoy running in the snow, some people enjoy running in the rain and some enjoy running through autumn leaves.

Where am I going with this? Well, this weekend Arrow Valley parkrunner Doug RICHARDS completed his 250th parkrun at Arrow Valley and I bet in those 250 Saturday mornings he has run in all of these conditions from the sunshine of June or July and the snow of December (or March).

250 parkruns, 1250 kms, 775 miles, hundreds of new friends and plenty of other adventures. For anyone who wants some running inspiration, give his book a read which includes running in the sand in the desert, talk of elephants and plenty of other stories. Keep an eye out for edition 2 coming soon (I hope!).

Well done Doug, we salute you and thank you for the cake. Welcome to the club!

My 18th run round the lake started with a surprise, seeing Paul COOPER who usually runs at Brueton parkrun appearing at the briefing. He fancied some local tourism and had never tried Arrow Valley in over 200 parkruns. I ran with Paul until the hill on the 2nd lap when he ran off and I couldn’t keep up anymore! It wasn’t my turn to run with the buggy this Saturday - that was saved for Sundays run so I had no ! This week there was 430 finishers, the 8th highest attendance at Arrow Valley supported by 42 volunteers, many of whom were helping others this week by acting as pacers. It was great to see while going round that the pacers had groups of people with them all striving to get a new PB or seasons best. Here is a link to the results - Event 292

Looking on the Facebook list of pacers, the closest to their “pacer” time was Anita HARTLEY who was pacing 32 minutes and crossed the line in 32:01.

Finally, to the marshals on the course – Thank you, I’m so glad the torrential rain which I saw forecast for Saturday did not happen!!


This week’s heroes in yellow -

Christopher BIRD • Kevin TOMKINSON • Kristabel HILTON • Colette CHURCHILL • Peggy BLUNN • Jayne WOODWARD • Darren MANSELL • Tom BRISTOWE • Liz ADEY • Ricky YOUNG • Mike HANSON • Sian PERRY • Natalie CUTLER • Peter TAYLOR • Sarah MARSHALL • Raymond BOYLE • Dave POTTER • Emma SHANNON • Debbie ALLEN • Becky NORRIS • Ruth BURTON • Lee WALKER • Rachelle HARBUN • Louise PEARCE • Paul ELVY • Kate SYKES • Anita HARTLEY • Clare GRENNAN • Dan O'MALLEY • Olwen FIELD • Elizabeth FILER • Mark JOWETT • Diane PALMER • Ian HURST • Katie STEWART • Jessica NIELSEN • John LAY • Heather BALDWIN • Tony DOWNES • Scott BEVERLEY • Michele LAIGHT • Suzie DUNSTER

If you would like to help at future events, here is the FUTURE ROSTER

Celebrations this week

Congratulations to the following Arrow Valley parkrunners who entered one of the parkrun clubs at the event

10 club – Archibold DAVIES, Kathryn YOUNG

50 club – Andrew EDGINTON – Andrew has completed 47 events at Arrow Valley, 2 at Dolgellau and 1 at Hanbury hall.

Kevin ROSS – Kevin has completed 38 events at Arrow Valley, 11 at Stratford-upon-Avon and 1 at Evesham

There were also celebrations for Hayley GWILLIAM’s 50th parkrun. Hayley has completed 36 at Arrow Valley, 5 at Hanbury Hall and Cannon Hill parkrun and 1 at Dudley, North Beach, Brueton and Gunnersbury.

Looking at the results, there was also a 50th run for Catherine BENNETT who has completed 35 at Arrow Valley, 12 at Hanbury Hall and 1 at Kingsbury Water, Brueton and Fell Foot

100 club – Nick PRICE – Nick has completed 97 events at Arrow Valley, 2 at St Andrews parkrun and 1 at Ganavan Sands.

250 club – Doug RICHARDS – Doug has completed 201 events at Arrow Valley, 14 at Telford parkrun, 10 at Eastbourne, 7 at Evesham, 5 at Brueton, 3 at Perry Hall, 2 at Stratford-upon-Avon and 1 at St Peters, Hanbury Hall, Kingsbury Water, Wolverhampton, Cannon Hill, Wyre Forest, Shrewsbury and South Bank

5 stats from Arrow Valley parkrun this week

This was event 292 at Arrow Valley. In 292nd position was Richard HARRIS who completed his 7th parkrun in 31:42

42 volunteers made the event possible this week. In 42nd position was Rob GREENWOOD who completed his 117th parkrun in a new PB of 22:04

74 new PB’s this week. In 74th position was David BRISTOLL who completed his 25th parkrun in 23:44

The average run time for the event (overall) is 28:46. No one matched this time this week

Position number of the week = 288 – Pauline MOGG who completed her 100th parkrun in 31:33


This week there was 74 personal bests recorded.

Here is a list of the parkrunners with over 50 runs who achieved a PB this week –

Nicola BROWN - 32:59 - 93 parkruns

Rob GREENWOOD - 22:04 - 117 parkruns

Val RALPH - 36:29 - 137 parkruns

Well done to all achieving a PB this week

First timers

29 first timers took part this week, for 12 of them this was their 1st parkrun. The most experienced parkrunner for whom this was their 1st time at Arrow Valley was Paul COOPER who completed his 208th parkrun at his 8th location. His home parkrun is Brueton parkrun which he has completed on 199 occasions. Paul completed his parkrun in 140th position in 26:37.

Well done to all the 1st times, hope you enjoyed your parkrun and you will be back next week

Official Report

This week 430 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers and 74 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 38 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 42 volunteers: Christopher BIRD • Kevin TOMKINSON • Kristabel HILTON • Colette CHURCHILL • Peggy BLUNN • Jayne WOODWARD • Darren MANSELL • Tom BRISTOWE • Liz ADEY • Ricky YOUNG • Mike HANSON • Sian PERRY • Natalie CUTLER • Peter TAYLOR • Sarah MARSHALL • Raymond BOYLE • Dave POTTER • Emma SHANNON • Debbie ALLEN • Becky NORRIS • Ruth BURTON • Lee WALKER • Rachelle HARBUN • Louise PEARCE • Paul ELVY • Kate SYKES • Anita HARTLEY • Clare GRENNAN • Dan O'MALLEY • Olwen FIELD • Elizabeth FILER • Mark JOWETT • Diane PALMER • Ian HURST • Katie STEWART • Jessica NIELSEN • John LAY • Heather BALDWIN • Tony DOWNES • Scott BEVERLEY • Michele LAIGHT • Suzie DUNSTER

The female record is held by Becky STRAW who recorded a time of 17:49 on 23rd August 2014 (event number 110), and by Kristen FINDLEY who also recorded a time of 17:49 on 25th July 2015 (event number 159). The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:08 on 10th September 2016 (event number 219). The Age Grade course record is held by Bronwen G CARDY who recorded 94.03% (21:14) on 12th September 2015 (event number 166).

Arrow Valley parkrun started on 14th July 2012. Since then 8,105 participants have completed 72,901 parkruns covering a total distance of 364,505 km, including 13,104 new Personal Bests.

Did you know?

Arrow Valley now has 6824 registered parkrunners




Eleanor Piper Tourist Run Report – Event 291 – 20-1-18

We were lucky enough to visit Arrow Valley parkrun on Saturday as part of our visit to the Midlands for the National Running Show. There were four of us visiting from Dorset (home events Poole, Bournemouth and Moors Valley), and no weekend away (especially with running buddies) is complete without a visit to a local parkrun!
The morning was cold and icy, and with many other local parkruns cancelled due to black ice, we were really pleased to find that the Arrow Valley core team had decided that conditions were safe to go ahead. The New Runner and RD briefings were done thoroughly to ensure that all runners were aware of the slightly slippery conditions in a couple of spots, and we were introduced to some facts about Redditch (famous for needles and fishing hooks apparently!).
Once the run got underway, we found the going safe if a little soggy in places, and were able to enjoy the pleasant route around the Country Park. The hill was just cheeky enough to raise the heart rate but nothing too scary, and the course was well marshaled with no danger of getting lost. As with all parkruns, we were cheered generously into the finish funnel and efficiently tokened, scanned, and invited for a post-run coffee.
parkrun tourism is a really special experience - finding out what makes every event unique while at the same time knowing that you are assured of a warm welcome, a good run and a familiar routine. The things I will remember about our trip to Arrow Valley (apart from the sleety weather!) were the beautiful lakeside course and the enthusiasm of the amazing marshals who clapped, cheered and smiled despite the freezing wet conditions. Thank you to you all for making us feel welcome.
This week Arrow Valley parkrun saw a total of 389 participants, of whom 11 were complete first timers running their first ever parkrun, and a further 32 were visitors with previous parkrun experience but running at this event for the first time.
Congratulations to Damien Pierce, Liz Davies and Jess Smith running their 50th this week, Neil Johnson and Jo Abbotts both joining the 100 Club, and to Tim Harrison hitting the unofficial but amazing milestone of 200 parkruns. Congratulations also to the 30 runners who managed to get a new PB this week despite the conditions, and to all those who took part.
The first finisher was Kristian Bayley, who completed the course in 17:25 (just 15 seconds off PB pace) and the first female finisher was Rachel Davies who ran a time of 22:13.
A huge thank you to all of the volunteers this week, without whom parkrun could not happen: Russell ALLUM, Heather BALDWIN, Ruth BURTON, Tony DOWNES, Suzie DUNSTER, Elizabeth FILER, Chloe GOULD, Rachel GOULD, Sapphy GRAZIER, Clare GRENNAN, Claire JAKEMAN, Michele LAIGHT, John Peter LEGGE, Colin MARSHALL, Steven MILLER, Robert MULLEN, Jessica NIELSEN, Sian PERRY, Hannah PRZYBYLAK, Kelly-Rose RIGNALL, Chris ROSS, Emma SHANNON, Sonia SHEPPARD, Andy TERRY, Jane THOMAS, Paula WIDDOWS, Ricky YOUNG


New Core Team Members

We are delighted to announce the addition of Ruth Burton & Clare Grennan to the Arrow Valley Core Team. Both are experienced parkrunners and core volunteers and well known faces at Arrow Valley. They bring an enthusiasm and dynamic from Hanbury Hall and Wythall where they both helped within the core teams. Please could everyone support them both in their volunteering and Run Director duties.

Thank you Ruth & Clare it is good to have you on board.

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