VI Guide Runners at Arrow Valley

At Arrow Valley we pride ourselves upon being proactive in the visually impaired running community.
We have a number of enthusiastic VI guides that are waiting to assist anyone that requires it.
If you would like a guide to assist you at Arrow Valley parkrun please contact us in advance of the event by email:

We will find a guide to assist you in your running, jogging or walking endeavours.
Lizzie parkrun


My 1st parkrun – Move over Mo Farah!

Almost 10 weeks ago I started on my couch to 5k journey and today, Saturday 28 April, I ran my first 5k parkrun. I can't believe I actually did it! It's not been a simple journey as it took me almost a year and a half to find a guide runner - but I'm so glad I didn't give up.
I've not posted anything on my blog before about my new running adventures, after all it is a baking blog. BUT I'm so chuffed and feeling really proud of myself. I'm also hugely grateful to my wonderful (and very patient) guide runner and his wife for helping me.
I decided to try running as I mostly work from home and had begun to feel quite low and isolated. I knew I was on a slippery slope to depression after suffering a major set-back with my sight and I knew I needed to make a change. So, I decided to try a sport that would help me meet new people and get me out in the fresh air - running seemed like the perfect solution. I thought it would be easy to find a guide runner locally, but it wasn't. But I'm not one to give up and after almost a year and a half I was finally put in touch with a guide runner through a local sight loss charity Worcestershire Sight Concern.
10 weeks does not seem such a long time to get to this point - but we've worked so hard. Indeed, if you'd have asked me 10 weeks ago I'd have said I'd never be able to run a mile, let alone 3.1 miles (which is 5k). Being visually impaired you can't just pop on your trainers and have a jog, everything has to be planned and as much as I hate it I also have to rely upon the help and goodwill of others.
My guide (Corin), who is a seasoned runner and a complete inspiration, and I met for our first 'run' on the 18th February. I was so nervous and worried, I thought I might fall and not be able to do it. Funnily enough Corin was equally nervous. But neither of us needed to have worried! We hit it off instantly!
We decided on a couch to 5K plan as a starting point. On that first run I thought – ‘Oh My Goodness I can’t do this!’ I couldn’t run more than 45 seconds without looking and feeling like a tomato!
We persevered, we followed the programme and I quickly got bitten by the running bug. I started running on a treadmill once a week too and very soon I was running for 5 minutes at a time and on week 8 I ran for 5K without stopping!
Although I can only run with a guide, it's amazing the difference running has made to my mental health and my sense of independence. Today, Saturday 28 April, we took part in our local parkrun for the first time and I was totally blown away by the support and friendliness of everyone. Friends who I used to work with also came to cheer me on - which was amazing. I've been introduced to a whole new circle of friends and the whole experience has given me a new drive to not let anything stand in the way of achieving my goals.
Lizzie parkrun

It's early days for my running adventures - but we are not going to stop now that we've reached the 5k target. Our aim now is to inspire others with a visual impairment to feel brave enough to run with a guide. We also want to encourage experienced runners to volunteer to become a guide runner.
With the aim of raising awareness and hopefully raising some money in mind, I applied for place at next year’s London Marathon and am delighted to have been given a place to run for The Guide Dogs for the Blind. Corin is going to run with me. We are absolutely determined to do it!
I'll be posting more about our running adventures - I hope you don't mind!

Lizzie (A4405505)


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.


***Christmas Day parkrun 10:00***

It's that time of year when the event team need to consider their intention for additional runs over the Christmas period.
This year Arrow Valley & it's wonderful runners will be providing a Christmas Day run at 10:00.... that is provided we have enough volunteers to fill the rosters.
New Year's Day the team are taking a break but the parkrun compendium will list other fabulous running opportunities and perhaps possibilities for the famous "double".


Mike Hudson Reflects On His 250th parkrun

I’ve never been a fast, or what you would call, natural runner. In fact, apart from a few brief forays in earlier times, I didn’t even start running regularly until I was just about into my mid-fifties. I think it was training for a 10K event in Redditch that triggered it. In those days there was no Couch to 5K or local parkrun to encourage me but somehow the bug took hold.
A few years later I ran my first parkrun in Coventry, well before AVPR started. About the same time I joined my first running club UKnetrunner, there was no Kingfisher Harriers back then (I’m a member of both these days).
After lots of 10Ks and few HMs over the years that followed (I‘m 66 now), I eventually found myself running my long anticipated 250th parkrun this week and a really enjoyable day that was - thanks everybody. Not to mention the exclusive green tee-shirt to come.
Mike Hudson 250 run
If you are just starting out or further settling into your parkrun journey, at whatever age or ability, I hope reading this encourages you to stick with it and leads you to all the running pleasures I have encountered so far i.e.
• The vast number of friendly people you meet and come to know in the Redditch running community, and beyond. And the many inclusive running groups around the town.
• The pure simplicity of waking on Saturday morning and heading to AVPR and then being back home, feeling good, having breakfast, before most people have got round to doing anything much.
At parkrun nobody cares who is fast or slow and you can talk to as many people as you like (or to nobody, if you so choose). You can rush off at the end to do the shopping or hang around to chat, have a coffee or do another lap. Every which way is always welcomed.
• The equally pleasant experience of going to an alternative local parkrun, or even better, being far away from Redditch for the weekend and finding a parkrun nonetheless. All you need is a postcode (and your barcode). Get there in reasonable time and follow the locals to the start line, a new course will reveal itself. I’ve done 31 different parkrun courses and enjoyed them all.
Mike Hudson 250 cake
I think we should all be very grateful to the people who worked hard to bring parkrun to Redditch in the first place and to the core team members and volunteers who have supported it ever since. Similarly, away from parkrun, I personally would want to thank the group leaders of the various town running groups, particularly those I have intermittently attended; for their time, encouragement and humour (you know who you are guys ).
So what now? Well I’m looking forward to my first foreign parkrun next weekend in Copenhagen (I don’t count Wales) and the HM the following day but I’m equally looking forward to trying the new parkruns at Worcester Pitchcroft and Wythall, as well as cultivating a new determination to get some more marshalling in this autumn. See you all then.


#Teamparkrun Red, White & Blue Event

On Saturday 19 August 2017, following the World Athletics Championships in London, the UK's National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic athletes are teaming up with parkrun to encourage the nation to get active with #teamparkrun

5k parkrun events offer a free and easy way to take your first steps into becoming more active. Walk, jog, run or volunteer - everybody is welcome!

To thank you for all your support for sport at all levels over the years, and being right behind them every step of the way, the UK's top National Lottery funded athletes will be right behind you on #teamparkrun, acting as tail walkers at parkruns across the country.

No one finishes last at a parkrun.


Vitality #MySummerGoal Information

Our friends at Vitality are launching their new summer campaign #MySummerGoal aiming to help parkrunners set themselves health and lifestyle goals.

It should be a lot of fun, and we'd love for as many parkrunners to get involved as possible. To do this, we would be really grateful for your help in supporting this campaign.

Arrow Valley have received a small 'Pledge Board' whiteboard in the post. It will be taken to parkrun each week, starting on Saturday 8 July and we would love you to use it and make a fitness or volunteering pledge.

What do parkrunners need to do?
1.Set their health or fitness summer goal and write it on the Pledge Board
2.Take a picture with the Pledge Board
3.Post these images on social media tagging @Vitality_UK and #MySummerGoal
4.Go online to and register their pledge

The goal could be anything from volunteering a certain amount of times, shaving a few seconds off a PB, inviting a friend along to parkrun, or simply getting out and being more active.

Whatever the goal is, Vitality are encouraging parkrunners to reach it and will be showing their appreciation by offering hundreds of fantastic fitness prizes.


Change of Event Director

You may have noticed that Hayley our Event Director has taken less of an active role at Arrow Valley lately. After years of working hard to develop the Bromsgrove & Redditch running community and in particular our local parkrun's, Hayley has decided to focus her parkrun attention upon Hanbury Hall. An exciting project with huge potential and we wish Hayley and the Core team every success.

Dylan Gould will become the Arrow Valley Event Director commencing this Saturday 19th November. Dylan will be supported by the established Core team of Rachel, Raymond & Richard and new additions to this group will be announced shortly. The nominated Run Director will assume responsibility for an event on a Saturday with the Event Director being responsible for stakeholder & team management and administration. There will be no noticeable change to the free weekly 5K run you are used to and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

If anybody would like to get in touch with Dylan regarding the Arrow Valley event please email into


New Years Day parkrun

The core team have decided that we need to recharge our batteries for New Years Day (rumours of expected hangovers are speculation at this stage).

However, all is not lost... tradition has it that the Arrow Valley community enjoys the double tourism opportunity on NYD. There are a number of local options but the general feeling is to try Stratford (09:00) and then Leamington (10:30).


Christmas Day 2016

We are pleased to announce confirmation of a Christmas Day parkrun. The start time is 10:00 am so please arrive before 09:45 for the pre-run briefing.

Santa hats, tinsel, reindeer's, elf's and other festive characters are warmly welcomed and we hope you can join us for mince pies & chocs afterwards.

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered throughout the year and in particular for Christmas Day to make the magic happen.

⇐ Newer Posts in Category