Ashford parkrun is cancelled on 21 July 2018: Create Festival in Victoria Park

Ashford parkrun #242 Never Give Up on your Dreams: 8 years, 39days, 354 parkruns

Ashford parkrun has always been a lovely friendly tourist parkrun for me when I'm down in Kent away from Reading with quite a few good friendships made over the years and with the glorious weather we've been having made it that extra special. Armed Forces Day festivities setting up in the park was coped with admirably by Terry and his Team, after all on the day We all share Victoria Park equally with everyone and fellow courtesy and respect for all out and about...that said it was the craziest of warm up Laps for me as cars and Army vehicles came up the path and across the field towards me

After briefing, We all made our way across to the Start just a few minutes later than normal, all ready for the very hot tough 5k awaiting us. 3-2-1 Go...I sprinted off very fast as I always have done for the 1st km, the next km with the (harder than it looks) turnaround is always good for double thumbs up to fellow runners and friendly acknowledgement and encouragement as you head back in the opposite direction, 3rd km involves some much needed cooling tree coverage, up the hill, more great support, followed by lovely downhill, 4th km (always my toughest and slowest at all parkruns) was where I had to dig really deep.

Never one to be able to maintain a steady pace throughout, I tend to surge run (quite a bit), but with fantastic encouragement from fellow runners catching and occasionally passing me, glancing down at my Garmin I knew I was running faster than ever, With just 1 more final km and the heat really getting to me (and I'm sure everyone else) featuring the hill for the second and final time, I knew I would have to pull something big out of the hat and run my fastest ever final parkrun km by a long way.

With awesome encouragement towards the finish I somehow kept accelerating and as I crossed the Finish Line and into the funnel I heard the Time keeper say 19minutes...couldn't quite hear the rest...didn't need to, but I had finally somehow run my first ever sub 20 minute parkrun (19:57min) at 52 years old, some 8 years, 39 days and 354 parkruns of trying.

Cheers to all the fantastic encouraging Volunteers around the Course, they were well needed and appreciated by everyone I'm sure on one of the toughest hottest parkrun days ever. We all have our individual parkrun dreams, go for them, it's amazing what you can all achieve with the help and support of friendly parkrunners around you, never give up. Well done everyone on a tough hot day today, Cheers Ashford parkrun...will always remember this one

Dave, a fellow parkrunner A61185



Saturday 16th June 2018

The park was quiet when I arrived at 8.00 am and  the sky was a bit overcast. As the first runners and volunteers started to arrive it did not look as if there were going to be a lot of runners. The volunteers who are on duty around the start/finish always guess how many runners there will be and everyone was way out – I was closest with 249 but we actually had 273 finishers! As the finishers came back it was obvious that the humidity had made it hard for many but we still had some excellent times and PBs.

This week I thought we would celebrate the achievements of our parkrun family namely Scotty Lynch and Edward Rodger who ran the Rat Race from Carlisle to Newcastle – they were slogging it out when we started parkrun! – a distance of 69 miles or 112km in 17hours50 minutes. Fantastic achievement and they have raised £1k so far for Children with Cancer.

Will Whittington ran his 100th run on Saturday and then cycled from London to Brighton on Sunday!

We were very lucky with volunteers this week and were able to cover all the spots – this is largely due to the DOE students who do sterling work and are a huge asset to Ashford parkrun. The next weeks will be getting a bit sparse as people go on holiday so if you haven't volunteered recently – or ever!- then do sign up, it is great fun and we can't have the run unless people volunteer.

There were several new runners this week and it was good to welcome Ashford Striders. We only had 2 tourists – one from London and one from a town I didn't catch, apologies to that gentleman but you were very welcome and we hope you enjoyed the run.




Saturday 2nd June 2018

Saturday 2nd June 2018

It was a lovely sunny day on 2nd June. 243 people took part and were running, jogging and walking around Victoria Park.

A massive 20 first timers arrived and had a quick virtual tour of the run route by Jason. This included our wonderful tourists, who were from Hampstead, Folkestone, Oxford, Cambridge, and the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

It was great to see the new faces, and familiar faces as you came through the finish funnel. I however do have to ask once you have been through the Finish Funnel, that you do not come back through again for a second time. This causes a headache for the time keepers, funnel manager, and the finish token team.

On a more positive note, I would like to thank Kalysha Howard-Smith for taking some amazing pictures of our event, which are available here

I also look forward to seeing some of you at the NHS 70th Birthday Parkrun on Saturday 9th June. Please feel free to wear something blue!

Simon Howard-Smith


Saturday 19th May 2018

260 participants and some wonderful volunteers decided not to camp out on the streets of Windsor today and joined us at Victoria Park instead.  No need to turn up the night before with a sleeping bag to take part in parkrun!

Well done to David Hawkins for completing his 50th parkrun today, he also brought some relatives from Germany with him. Welcome to them and the other tourists from various parts of the UK that visited us, I hope you enjoyed your runs!

Today saw the first outing of our brand new set of finish tokens! Because so many of the old set had gone missing, and the replacements made with stickers don't scan very well, Ashford parkrun has purchased a shiny new set in the new brand colours.

I was hoping to be able to say that we still have a complete set, but I'm sorry to say that token number 198 went missing today. If you have it, please hand it in to any of the volunteers in hi-vis as soon as possible - we promise we won't get cross!  For those of you new to parkrun, we use the same set of finish tokens each week, so it's important that you return your token to a scanner or another volunteer, even if you haven't brought your own personal barcode with you that week.

Now that the grass is drier, could we ask that you try to keep off the path as much as possible before the run briefing happens. It makes it difficult for other park users to get through if we spread out over the whole width of the path. Also, after the run, if you are leaving to park via the parkrun route, be aware that other parkrunners may not have finished, so please give way to anyone who is still running or walking the course.

A word of caution to those who cycle to the park, someone had their bike stolen whilst they were at the Podplus 5K/10K event that was held at Victoria Park on Friday evening. This happened despite there being plenty of people around and the bike being locked up - apparently the culprit cut off the bike lock.  If you bring a bike, it remains your responsibility so please make sure it is properly secured with a good, strong lock.

Have a great week!

Lisa, this week's run director.


Run Report 12/05/18

It was a beautiful Saturday morning for parkrun at Victoria Park in Ashford, warm and sunny with a slight chill in the shade and no wind to speak of. My second time as RD and still nervous about the speech part but I got through it with a little direction from Terry “Don’t forget to tell people about the Defib and First Aid Kit” thanks Terry.

We had 250 parkrunners including the Tail Walker Simon, we welcomed Steve and Michelle who were celebrating there 18th wedding anniversary with us along with a handful of parkrunun Tourist and 16 first timers and of course our many regular parkrunners. The event was not without a little drama as one of our newer runners become unwell on the course, a big thanks to the many runners who come to there aid, after a bit of rest and check over at the hospital that runner has recovered and vowed to be back on the course with a little less gusto, we wish him well.

A big thank you to all the volunteers that turned out to support, we called for more Marshall’s in the week and got inundated on the day, please put your name down for the future roster whenever you can as without all the lovely volunteers there would be no parkrun in Ashford. As always a pleasure to volunteer #LoveParkRun

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