More shades of green than there were runners

 

Saturday’s Ashton Court parkrun was our 376th, and we finished with 327 finishers. It’s the 3rd time we’ve had that many take part at AC – the first occasion having been almost exactly 3 years ago, at our 223rd event, repeated the first time a few months later at AC parkrun number 244.

 

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Run Director Alice Doggrell briefs the morning's marshals and tail walkers. Thank you to all Saturday's volunteers for helping to make another Ashton Court parkrun happen (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

There were 25 people who took part without a barcode this morning, a relatively small proportion, which is pleasing as we do like to know who everyone is. Of the remaining 302, 24 were running their first ever parkrun, and 38 had run parkruns elsewhere in the world but were visiting us for the first time.

 

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Off we go! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

That leaves 240 parkrunners who had run at AC at least once before, and exactly 10% of them ran our course faster than they had ever run it before, and out of the 216 who weren’t able to record a pb, spare a thought for the two who equalled their pb.

 

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Three more of our hi-vis heroes ~ one, a junior, volunteering for the 2nd time ~ Jacob Butterly, volunteering for the 21st time, and Anna Berryman, volunteering for the 1st time. Thanks, all of you (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

It was great to welcome our course record holder Jarlath McKenna back for only the second time since he and his family moved to the Midlands in the summer of last year. And it came as no surprise to those of us who know him that he was able to finish just inside 17 minutes, the first person to do so here since late May. Jarlath also achieved the highest age grade this morning, scoring 78.19%.

 

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First finisher Jarlath McKenna keeps his feet off the ground (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Our first female finisher was running here for the first time, and you wonder how fast Hannah Taunton might run here if she got to know the course better. Hannah, who has run 150 times at her home event, Longrun Meadow parkrun in Taunton (where else?), ran the first sub-20 minute female time here since July. Someone who knows our course very well – having run it 227 times - is Marie Malloy. Marie was the morning’s second female finisher and it was disconcerting for me to be overtaken by her on her second lap of the course, just before I reached the 4k point. In my defence I had taken photos of everyone else during the run, and by then my camera was feeling much heavier than it had a little earlier!

 

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First-time first female finisher Hannah Taunton, on her way to finishing in 7th place, and becoming the 38th fastest female at Ashton Court parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Our second finisher was Adam Holland, breaking his journey from Devon to York where he was taking part in Sunday’s York Marathon. It was Adam’s first visit to Ashton Court in his 155 parkruns, and the next runner home was also running here for the first time. He was Ian Hayward, who had run 130 parkruns before Saturday. Adam’s home event is Newark parkrun, and Ian’s is Southsea parkrun.

 

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Two way traffic on the hill ~ remember that left is right and right is wrong! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

The third female to finish was Emma Pemberton, running her 3rd AC parkrun this year and finishing 3rd for the 2nd time in those 3 events. The odd one out was when Emma finished 2nd. Not only that, but in these 3 parkruns, Emma has finished 38th overall twice, and in the time of 21:41 twice. These numbers do like playing their little games don’t they!

 

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Almost blending in with the background is Emma Pemberton, now half way to a decidedly non-blending red parkrun 50 club t-shirt ~ with Peter May behind, now 5k away from completing 150 parkruns (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

We were joined by 16 first-time parkrunners last week and 2 of them, Jonathan Andrews and Andrew Jones came back straight away for a second go, and both achieved pbs. Two others also ran their second parkrun on Saturday, both at Bournemouth parkrun. Possibly some sort of parkrun package deal the rest of us didn’t hear about? It’s great to see that 4 out of the 16 couldn’t wait to run a second parkrun, I wonder how many of our 24 new folk are counting down the hours until 9.00 next Saturday?

 

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Returning for her second parkrun is Bethan Broadbent, with two first-timers ~ David Curlis and Emily Burrows ~ right behind. Next in line is Lorraine Cromwell, who almost equalled the pb she set last week, missing out by 1 second, with James Hawke giving a wave (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

When someone runs their first parkrun I don’t suppose many of them envisage running 49 more, let alone 299 more! I’d love to know what went through the minds of our newcomers when they heard us congratulate Sharon Barrett, who was about to run her 50th parkrun? Or Steve Harding, setting off on his 150th? Or David Capel, who ran at our first event in 2011, looking forward to starting his 300th parkrun?

 

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Good to see Sharon Barrett enjoying her 50th parkrun. Patti Rudling (21 parkruns) and Pete Snowman (6 parkruns) keep Sharon company (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

There’s already enough information in the pre-run briefing, so we didn’t mention that Ross Anderson was about to run an Ashton Court parkrun for the 50th time. Ross is the 332nd person to have propelled himself up and down our hill, and even more bonkers, Roger Brocklesby was running his 200th Ashton Court parkrun, the 18th to have run here so often.

 

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Running down the hill for the 200th time ~ Roger Brocklesby. Catherine Clarke and Phil Rees, who both usually run at Bath Skyline parkrun, were on their first descent (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Even one of our visitors got in on the act – David Deane (one of several Hampshire parkrunners to join us) was running his 200th parkrun. He hadn’t taken part in our event before and we’re delighted that he showed remarkably good taste in selecting Ashton Court parkrun for this particular landmark.

 

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Visiting for the first-time, and running his 200th parkrun, here's David Deane. David is this week's winner of our "What took you so long?" award (no prize, it's just for fun), having run 199 parkruns elsewhere before arriving at Ashton Court. The runner behind is unknown ~ the two of them finished this close to one another too (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

David’s home event is Queen Elizabeth parkrun. Whatever the collective noun is for a bunch of people from Hampshire, it also included Ian and Loisa Hayward from Southsea parkrun, Drew Forrest from Winchester parkrun and Stephen Chapman from Lymington Woodside parkrun. Other first time visitors included David Webster, from Newport parkrun ~ Danielle Hardy from Newcastle parkrun ~ Jonathan Coney, from Woodhouse Moor parkrun in Leeds ~ Thomas Smith from Cannon Hill parkrun in Birmingham (West Midlands, not Alabama) ~ and Duncan Watts, from Penrhyn parkrun. My apologies to the first-time visitors I’ve not listed, and hopefully we’ll see all of you again sometime soon.

 

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Two first-time visitors ~ Caroline Lansdown, from just up the road at Chipping Sodbury parkrun, followed by Danielle Hardy, from Newcastle parkrun, a bit further up the road (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Although not a first-time visitor, Hannah Susorney was probably furthest from her home event on Saturday, as she began her parkrun adventure at Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore, in Maryland USA. It’s northeast of Washington DC, and having looked at the map it looks like a beautiful place to be. I was particularly taken by a nearby village named Dickeyville.

 

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All the way from Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore, here's Hannah Susorney, with Louise Neale-Hopes close behind (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

This brings us to some international news, as while we entertained one parkrunner from the USA, 3 Ashton Court parkrunners were enjoying North American hospitality. Simon Wood ran for the 5th time at his second home of San Francisco’s Crissy Field parkrun. Some way east of Simon, Marcus Kropacsy and Natalie Mundy attempted a takeover of Mountain Goat Trail parkrun, which takes place in Tennessee, a bit south east of Nashville. Marcus, wearing his 250 parkrun t-shirt for the first time, finished first, then handed out the finish tokens before scanning them. There is of course no truth in the rumour that Marcus finished first because he kept that token for himself! Natalie was the second female to finish, in 6th place overall, and having got her breath back helped with the post-event close down. Incidentally, this seems to be a course without marshals, which makes Marcus’ achievement in finishing first even more laudable. Mind you, the next two finishers were also first-timers! And to top it all off, this was the 25th time Marcus had volunteered, so now he can claim another new parkrun t-shirt.

 

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Whatever motivational sounds Rhys Davies was listening to it worked, as Rhys achieved a pb for the first time in 8 parkruns. Commiserations to Michael Jenkins alongside though ~ running here for the 5th time Michael finished in 33:03, equalling the time he ran on his first visit here a few weeks ago. Better luck next time! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Returning to our first-time visitors, two of them, Eloise Primrose, and Claire Hurrell, both have Ashton Court as their home parkrun, which perhaps means a recent move to the area. Welcome to Ashton Court both of you, we wish you well in your new ventures.

 

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Claire Hurrell, possibly recently relocated in Bristol. Welcome! (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Last weekend, much fuss was quite rightly made about the 5,000,000th parkrun barcode having been issued. To demonstrate just how quickly parkrun is growing, we’ve already scanned one numbered higher than 5040000. I mentioned Jonathan Andrews earlier – his barcode is the closest we’ve seen to that Holy Grail of 5 million – sadly Jonathan registered 2,484 barcodes too soon!

 

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The Ashton Court parkrunner who was closest to receiving barcode number 5000000, Jonathan Andrews, is the 18,530th different person to have finished at Ashton Court. Chatting to someone we can't identify is Jonathan Bartlett, with first-timer Rachel Wilson close behind (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

The total of 24 pbs achieved this week is proportionally the fewest we’ve had at Ashton Court this year. We even managed more at 9 o’clock in the morning on New Year’s Day! Three in particular stand out, those achieved by Vladi Krajnak, John Bradwell and Ben Heald. Vladi is in a groove, running his 3rd pb in as many weeks, reducing his time from 22:22 to 21:52 to 21:48 this time. On the other hand, John hadn’t achieved a pb for 30 parkruns spread over 3 years. John’s previous pb was 28:56, last week he could hardly have got closer, with 28:57, and on Saturday he got there, finishing in 28:55! Persistence pays! Ben ran 23:19 when he first ran here, in 2014. On Saturday, six AC parkruns later Ben ran his first pb, with his time of 23:12. Congratulations to all of you who now have new targets to aim for.

 

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Clearly determined to nail that pb this time ~ John Bradshaw flys down the hill (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Finally, having followed you all up the hill trying to take your photos, when I turned back to head downhill I was on my own, with no one to call out to and no runners to photograph. I was struck by how calm and peaceful it was up on top of the course. With no-one to shout at it would be, but it was more than that. I felt I could have stayed up there all day, absorbing whatever it was that was in the air. I didn’t hurry to get to the finish and took time to reflect on the last 15 months. Some of you know that life has placed a few obstacles in my way in that time, and Ashton Court has played a major part in keeping me going. The beautiful estate and its surroundings, with the stunning colours that appear to change every day, and all the different creatures we’re privileged to share it with. Of course, our parkrun, and the community that’s grown around it, including every single person that’s taken part there. One run or two hundred of them, regardless of whether you know what I’m talking about or not, everyone’s made a difference and kept me positive. And really, I just wanted to say Thank You

 

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Some of those who finished ahead of me may have missed some of this ~ we're so fortunate to be able to run here (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Report by Rich Kenington

 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this weekís event happen. Although AC parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if youíd like to sign up as a volunteer, weíd love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via ëmanage my profileí on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Donít forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This weekís full results and course records are here.

Rich Kenington took photos for us this weekend, and you can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

This was International parkrun day!

 

The phenomenon that is parkrun celebrated its 14th birthday today, with the worldwide number of parkrunners now about to reach the five million mark. Frequent mentions in the national and international media, as well as official recognition by the GPs’ official body and informal links with Couch to 5k groups, and other initiatives such as parkruns in prisons mean that parkrun’s profile is higher than ever. Locally, new events have recently started up and more will be arriving soon. It’s quite a success story.

 

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Synchronise chronometers ~ and we’re good to go (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

At Ashton Court we’ve been going for 7½ years now, and we’ve seen over 18,000 people run the course. Another 302 did it today – which is hardly a record, but wasn’t a bad turnout given the abruptly autumnal conditions.

 

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Ashton Court parkrun don’t do caption competitions ~ but if we did . . Michalis Sanidas and Jo Brooks ~ two of yesterday’s brilliant volunteers (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

First big shout-out of the week should go to the volunteers today: they were all on duty from at least 8.30, and shivered their way through till after 10. The only complaints came from bits of equipment that didn’t take too kindly to the rain: timekeepers will need to be issued with umbrellas in future! Fortunately there was nothing too disastrous, so we were able to get the results out to you once we had dried out. Many thanks to the (remarkably cheerful) band of helpers today!

 

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Feel the pain! Issy Lambson (37 parkruns), who ran a pb here last week, backed it up with her second best time today. Jennifer Griggs (38 parkruns) struggles to smile, on her way to running 16 seconds faster than ever before, and Lili Reakes (25 parkruns, mostly at Woodley parkrun) lays down a benchmark to beat next time, on her first visit to AC (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Lots of congratulations, too, to the Landmark Lot. Ian Dunn notched up his 50th run wearing a cap that will go very nicely with his red t-shirt when it arrives; and Tom Feilding completed his 100th parkrun with (or despite) a balloon that helped his band of supporters keep him in sight round the course. Kirsty Cattell, who has run mostly at Brueton parkrun, completed her 150th event today; and Phil King reached the 200 mark (174 of them having been here at his home event).

 

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No prizes for guessing how many parkruns Tom Feilding has completed ~ with Dawei Qi supporting and a junior parkrunner photobombing! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Three of the morning's parkrunners have each run over 300 events. One was our tail walking final finisher, Dan Morgan. Dan first came along to our 7th event, as a junior, and has now completed 345 parkruns. The other 2 triple centurions were Roger and Gill Wilson, whose first parkrun was the 4th one ever, at Bushy Park, in October 2004. Since then Roger's run another 347 parkruns, Gill another 340, and both have run over 200 times at Bushy, together with a prodigious amount of parkrun tourism. At the other end of the parkrun spectrum, 16 of the 42 first-timers were running their first ever parkrun (the others having already run parkruns elsewhere) and 9 folk who ran their first event last month returned to run their second parkrun.

 

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And the winner of this week’s “what took you so long award” (no prize, it’s just for fun) is Roger Wilson ~ 347 appearances at other parkruns before coming along to Ashton Court! Caroline Seymour is chasing (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

There were plenty of PBs today – 41 in fact. Those included the 2nd and 3rd home (Jake Langham and Alexander Fordham). They may have been pleased, but first finisher Leion Grogan positively beamed with chuffedness. It was his first time to finish first in 47 runs here. Marie Malloy, first female finisher, was also happy with her highest finishing position – 11th. Special mention, too, to the runner with the highest age graded score today: Michael Coupe, who’s in the 80-84 age category. Amanda Halford posted a 4th consecutive PB (which have reduced her time by over 2 minutes) and got closer to her century (she’s on 98 runs!) and Rachel May, who’s well on her way to 50 runs, got her 3rd consecutive PB.

 

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First-time first finisher Leion Grogan finds a dry bit ~ and floats across it (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

On a personal note, I was pleased to see Jeremy Srokosz at Ashton Court for the first time; a former work colleague of mine, he was part of a relay team we made up to run the length of Hadrian’s Wall. He seemed to enjoy the rather shorter distance today as well. And Chris Amy from the Isle of Wight visited again: that’s another personal connection – we Islanders have to stick together! She’s teetering on the threshold of fame, having reached her 249th run today.

 

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Chris Amy’s smile always brightens the place up when she crosses over to the mainland ~ enjoy your 250th parkrun next week Chris! (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

We’ll probably be putting flags out soon for Andy Malloy (also on 249 now) and Sharon Barrett (on 49 runs). Don’t forget to nudge us in advance in case we don’t see these landmarks coming up. It’s always nice to have some names to shout out at the start for applause. We might even do birthdays, engagements and weddings as well.

 

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Rhys Davies, running his 14th parkrun, leads Ian Dunn to the finish of his 50th. A little further back are 2 of the 4 flying Fields, visiting us for the first time from Killerton parkrun (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

We’ll certainly welcome you all back and hope that the weather is kinder. We’re not sure what happened to the fair weather window we usually have booked for 9-10 on Saturday – maybe the message didn’t get through this week. Let’s hope for a lucky 13th next Saturday.

 

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co-Run Director this morning, and run report writer too, Niall Hoskin, wondering what he did to deserve such a morning (photo: Geoff Keogh)

 

Report by Niall Hoskin

 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this weekís event happen. Although AC parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you'd like to sign up as a volunteer, we'd love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via "manage my profile" on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don't forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week's full results and course records are here.

Like the rest of us, Geoff Keogh struggled to keep dry yesterday but didn’t let that prevent him from taking a fab set of photos. You can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

September signs off with sunshine and blue skies

 

A glorious early autumn morning brought 435 people to walk, jog or run the Ashton Court hill for parkrun number 374. With the Ryder Cup golf taking place this weekend near Paris, I was pleased to see that we were able to keep up the golfing theme as we were joined by Ben and Simon Wood, Ben Masters, and Pat Parr.

 

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The pre-parkrun briefing ~ the start of a glorious early autumn parkrun morning (photo: John O'Brien)

 

24 people completed their first ever parkrun and 43 others were at Ashton Court for the first time, having previously taken part in another parkrun.

 

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Willie Brown, whose home event is Glasgow's Victoria parkrun, visited us for the 1st time and ran his 64th parkrun. Next is Chen Shi Ping, running her 32nd parkrun, and then Lukas Rozwadowski, running his first ever parkrun. Fourth in line is Lucy Avent, running her 104th parkrun and quite rightly showing off the Great Bristol ½ Marathon t-shirt she earnt last Sunday - one of many such t-shirts on display today (photo: John O'Brien)

 

These included Annette Pendry, who became the first member of Hook Runners to visit Ashton Court; Sharon Potter, who by contrast became the 27th different member of Lliswerry Runners to visit us; Marta Taranda, who divides her parkruns between Canterbury and various Polish parkruns; Belinda de Kock and Reinette Venter, who are more often to be seen at the delightfully named Golden Harvest parkrun in Johannesburg; Teresa McGeough, from Wythenshawe parkrun; Simon and Lisa Minting, from Devon; and Michael Deering, who is approaching 100 runs at both Abingdon and Didcot.

 

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Sharon Potter's home event is Newport parkrun, and here she is visiting us for the first time. Best of luck for your 50th parkrun next time you run Sharon! (photo: John O'Brien)

 

A number of people reached parkrun milestones. Mike Warren and Matthew Grimwood completed their 100th parkruns; Janet Burke, Eloise Morton, Alison Roberts and James Holbrook completed their 50th; and two juniors, Sam Kiff and Caitlin Russell, completed their 10th.

 

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Janet Burke was one of the group who helped create Ashton Court parkrun, and was one of the volunteers at our first event. Saturday working and then living abroad have ensured that parkrun opportunities have been limited, and so to see Jan complete her 50th parkrun today was a treat for us all (photo: John O'Brien)

 

With a more local view, Sally Marsh and Geoffrey Morgan became the 5th and 6th people to have completed 250 runs at Ashton Court itself; Richard Harding completed 150 Ashton Court runs; and Paul Channing, Simone Burgess, Grainne Stables and Pete Stables all completed 100 Ashton Court runs.

 

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Sally Marsh became the 5th parkrunner to have run Ashton Court parkrun on 250 occasions, and ran her fastest time of 2018 in the process. Just behind is George Nikou, in his 14th parkrun, on the way to his 7th pb (photo: John O'Brien)

 

80 people set new personal best times. Congratulations to all of you, but special mentions to a group who beat longstanding personal bests. Daniel Morgan, who was on his 324th Ashton Court run, and beat a time that he set in August 2015; Louise Neal-Hopes, who improved by 6 seconds over the time that she set in her very first visit to Ashton Court in August 2013; Sue Riddell, who beat the time that she set 63 parkruns ago; and Liz Hill, who beat the time that she set 50 parkruns ago.

 

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Liz Hill celebrated her 125th parkrun by shaving 2 seconds from her pb ~ her first AC pb for 50 events. Close behind is Tanya Chowdhury, running her 191st parkrun (photo: John O'Brien)

 

By contrast, Amanda Halford and Benjamin Barber each set their third pb of the month; and Jack Carlyon-Bray scored his fourth consecutive best time. Meanwhile, Issy Lambson and Julia Tempest both beat 30 minutes for the first time; Liz Turner beat 28 minutes for the first time; Nicole Morrow went under 26 minutes for the first time; Thomas Bodinar and Philip Woollins both beat 22 minutes for the first time; and Julian Smith beat 20 minutes for the first time.

 

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Having run with us a couple of times late last year, Elise Goulding came back for a third time today, and ran 63 seconds faster than she had before. In the red runners is Nicole Morrow, who set a pb last week, ran another 83 seconds quicker than she did 7 days ago. Third here is Cameron Waters, running his 3rd parkrun, and his first one with us (photo: John O'Brien)

 

The first finisher was Robert Stewart for the 17th time, Simon Minting was second, and Alex Hadcock was third. The first female finisher was Rachel Mercer who was on her first visit to Ashton Court, and was first female finisher at Bolton in her previous parkrun. Chloe Broughton was second for the second week running, and one of our juniors, Charlotte Warren, was third.

 

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Robert Stewart comes flying up the hill, whilst Alex Hadcock turns the corner from tarmac to gravel. Steve Parsons is marshalling at the junction (photo: John O'Brien)

 

The highest age grade score of 82.94% was recorded by Alison Roberts, with Michael Coupe scoring 78.86% and Charlotte Warren scoring 77.54%.

 

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Two kilometres away from completing her 50th parkrun, and achieveing what was easily the morning's best age grade, is Alison Roberts. Andrew Archer is alongside, who joins 116 other parkrunners around the world in ending the day on 213 parkruns (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Let’s hope for similarly sunny weather when we meet again this coming Saturday.

 

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The long and winding road, in beautiful autumn sunshine. What will October bring? (photo: John O'Brien)

 

Report by David O'Connell

 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week’s event happen. Although AC parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you’d like to sign up as a volunteer, we’d love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via ‘manage my profile’ on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don’t forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results and course records are here.

John O'Brien planted his tripod on the hillside and recorded our 374th parkrun in all its glory! You can find his photos, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

Ashton Court parkrun log, number 373

 

If you were to pop into a well known cafe in Bedminster on a Friday, chances are that you'd find a small group of Ashton Court parkrunners sat around a table or two, drinking coffee or tea, eating a bacon sandwich or a slice of cake. And according to some of the young ladies working there, being "rowdy". Well, there's always so much to laugh about!

But last Friday this wasn't necessarily the case, because a couple of us had travelled through Ashton Court Estate that morning and had seen a tree were a tree doesn't belong - laid on the ground, across a road, and more to the point, across our parkrun course. If not a whole tree, then a substantial part of one.

We did of course come up with a contingency plan, which involved a short diversion across the grass, and when we realised we would then have courses named "A", "B" and "Tree" we became quite excited about it, and were almost disappointed later in the day when we heard that the Estate Rangers had worked treemendously hard and had cleared the road. So we were back to the "A" course. Which was probably for the best, really.

 

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Top left shows the tree at the end of last year, top right on Saturday morning. Liz's blue sky photo shows the debris on Friday morning, and below that are bits of the tree, tidied up and off the road (photos: Liz Hill and Rich Kenington)

 

And so on Saturday we gathered beneath the trees for Ashton Court parkrun number 373. Which might look a little like a Boeing airliner flying backwards, if your mind works a certain way. I've compared the results of 373 with those of our 272nd and our 171st parkruns, and found that there are 15 parkrunners who ran at all 3. Some of those 15 are extremely consistent; for example Desmond Jones ran 24:30 at two of the runs, and was only 53 seconds slower at the third. Karen Jenkins came closest to emulating that, with two runs 1 second apart, and the third 64 seconds quicker than the faster of the other 2. Jennifer Owsley's 3 times are just 30 seconds apart, the most consistent of all. Also achieving a spread of under 2 minutes for the 3 events are Neil Miller (71 seconds) and Susan Campbell (74 seconds).

 

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There's just enough room under our tree for every one to stand and listen to Liz's pre-run briefing (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Inevitably all 15 have run over 100 parkruns, 2 of them over 250. One of them, Sue Riddell, ran her 150th parkrun yesterday, rather appropriately wearing her 100 club t-shirt for the first time. Sue's new parkrun t-shirt was one of several on display, and it's good to see that parkrun are slowly overcoming the backlog of t-shirts that our friends have put so much energy into earning.

That 150th parkrun won't earn Sue a new t-shirt, of course, but Sarah Thorne can look forward to a new black number, having run her 100th event; Ross Anderson ran his 50th and can order a new red top; and Lewis Lazenby, a junior who ran his 10th parkrun, could be parkrunning in a new white t-shirt soon. Congratulations to Sue, Sarah, Ross and Lewis on your achievements - here's to many more parkruns!

 

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Congratulations to Sarah Thorne, on the right, running her 100th parkrun, and accompanied by Cas Brooks, whose home run is Eastville parkrun, who ran at AC for the first time so she could be part of Sarah's special morning (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Yesterday's run took place thanks to the efforts of 26 happy hi-vis heroes, who weren't going to let a drop of rain, a bit of a breeze and a slight coolness in the air wipe the smiles from their faces. All did a great job, as volunteers do at parkruns the world over of course. If you'd like to experience a parkrun from the inside, details of how to volunteer are at the end of this report.

 

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Some of Saturday's happy hi-vis heroes wondering what all the fuss about the weather was about (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

The 359 parkrunners who crossed the finish line included more females than males for only the second time this year. The first time, at event #353, there were 3 more females than males ~ yesterday there were 4 more. There were 47 runners aged 35-39, more than any other age group, and for the first time in a while there were no juniors aged 10 or less who had a barcode with them. Perhaps mum and/or dad had seen the weather and didn't want to come out to play?

Conditions weren't really conducive to achieveing personal bests (unless wanting to get back indoors as fast as possible counts as an incentive?) but nevertheless, 47 of you managed to run faster than you had before at Ashton Court. 67 parkrunners were visiting Ashton Court parkrun for the first time ~ 10 of them running their first ever parkrun, with many of the other 57 in town for Sunday's Great Bristol ½ Marathon. I hope the 10 newcomers come back soon, and that our visitors enjoyed both their run and their race, and don't just take our word for it that the views from the top of our course are breathtaking ~ come back on a clear day and find out for yourselves!

 

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Welcome to the family! Two of the morning's brand new parkrunners ~ James Wike and Clare Hall-Griffin (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Finally, and much to our dismay because we don't like seeing "Unknown" in our results, almost 1 in 10 of our runners ~ 35 of them ~ didn't have a barcode. We don't mind you joining in and taking part ~ we're just curious about who you are!

 

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Far from being "Unknown" is Vanessa Redmond, who volunteered at our first parkrun and recently completed her 250th parkrun. Her new parkrun club t-shirt arrived just in time for yesterday's run (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

So, who ran faster than ever before at AC yesterday? Melody van Rooyen must love September ~ 4 parkruns and 4 personal bests ~ and there's still one more September Saturday to come! So far this month Melody's times have come down from 29.33, 29.28 and 29.06 to 28.35. Janet Poole has run all 15 of her parkruns this year, at Ashton Court, and has achieved 9 pbs in that time. Her last 4, spread over 5 Saturdays, have been 37.39, 37.02, 35.55 and yesterday 35.11. Emily Tanner's been just as successful, also running 4 pbs in the last 5 weeks, moving down from 38.34, 38.19 and 37.51 to 37.09 this week.

You may remember that last week Amanda Halford reduced her pb from 35.06 to 33.28 last week, a remarkable performance. Amanda probably went home wondering how she'd ever manage another pb after knocking such a huge chunk from her time, and yet yesterday Amanda improved her best by another 14 seconds! Charlie Huggins snuck below 22 minutes for the first time, moving down from 22.04 to 21.52, and Benjamin Barber, who reduced his long standing pb set at event #274 by 20 seconds last week, finished another 12 seconds quicker this time in 25.16. Well done to everyone who achieved a pb yesterday.

 

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Jumping for joy because parkrun is so wonderful is Melody Van Rooyen, one kilometre away from her 4th consecutive pb (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

I can't say much about the day's first time parkrunners, but it was good to see several who have run their first parkrun within the last few weeks come back for a second time yesterday, and I do hope that Mohammed Abulqassim, Lucy Theobald, Linda Fear, Samuel Gay, Kasia Nowak, Lise Robert and Tom Fitzgerald all come back a 3rd time soon.

 

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Leading the way here is Mohammed Abulqassim ~ running his second parkrun, followed by Sally Derrick ~ who would finish in a time of less than 35 minutes for the first time. Next, on the left, is Carolyn Nye ~ running her 3rd parkrun, all of them this month; and alongside Carolyn is someone we don't know (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Who came to visit us from parkruns elsewhere? There were far too many of you to mention individually, and my apologies to those I leave out. There were two ladies from the Netherlands ~ where there are as many parkruns as there are hills ~ and I should have asked them for their names but failed to do so. Hope you had fun on our hill! Denis Houldey, who was our most senior visitor, usually runs at one of my favourites, Abingdon parkrun, beside the River Thames.

Two visitors were from Bromley parkrun ~ Hannah Roberts and John Gurney, and two from Killerton parkrun ~ Jonathan Hague and Peter Rowe. Tom and Vicki Sparkes' home event is Lanhydrock parkrun, Gwynneth and Paul Kempster are from Worsley Woods parkrun, while Mark and Rebecca Mon-Williams are at home at Skipton parkrun. Padraig Mac Donnchadha's home event is Oldbridge parkrun, a little way inland from Drogheda in Ireland, but the visitor whose home run is furthest away this week was Cate Gray, for whom home is Whitfords Nodes parkrun in Perth, Western Australia. Try saying Whitfords Nodes with a head full of cold!

 

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This week's "What took you so long" award (no prize, it's just for fun) goes to Caroline Norris - who ran 158 other parkruns before coming to Ashton Court. Around the world there are 374 parkrunners who have completed 159 events, and 4 of them were here at AC ~ Caroline, Tracie Davey, Nick White and Joseph Connor (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Coincidentally, 3 of our first time visitors were called Ellie. They were Ellie Fielding, from Fulham Palace parkrun; Ellie Blenkinsop, from Princes parkrun, Liverpool; and Ellie Alveyn, whose home run is actually Ashton Court, but who hadn't run with us before yesterday. We've now seen 38 different Ellies run at Ashton Court.

Longmeadow parkrun's Caroline Norris became the 75th Caroline to cross our finish line, and the only other Carolines with us yesterday were Caroline Pitura ~ who was our very first Caroline ~ and Caroline Potter, who was our second. I mentioned Gwynneth Kempster and Padraig Mac Donnchadha earlier, and they were the first Gwynneth and Padraig to join us, just as Ineke Plasman was the first Ineke we've met.

 

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Ineke Plasman ~ the first person with either of those names to darken our finish line ~ seems to be enjoying her first parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Back to our parkrun itself ~ Henry Sly showed there was merit in warming up under an umbrella by finishing first, the second time he's done so. Henry's run at AC 10 times and has never finished lower than 4th. Tim Batchelor, who was first for the first time last week, finished second for the second time this time! Tim's improvement since his first run here is imprressive ~ since our third parkrun this year, when he ran 22.07, Tim's knocked exactly 4 minutes off that time in 22 runs here. Next came Leion Grogan, who upset the narrative by finishing third for the fourth time. And it was all going so well!

 

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He who laughs last ~ oh how we chuckled as Henry Sly warmed up underneath an umbrella (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

First female finisher, for the first time, on her first visit, was Ellie Fielding, just 2 seconds ahead of our second female, Chloe Broughton ~ who was first female finisher at Thursday night's Weston Prom 5 mile race ~ and 9 seconds later came junior Rhiannon Paton, who had finished first here last week and two weeks before that.

Anne Dockery's time of 26.48 meant she scored the morning's top age grade of 83.08%. Despite finishing 14 seconds ahead of Anne, Alison Roberts' score was 81.12%. Anne is in the 70-74 age category, and Alison is in the next one down. Third best score of the day ~ 74.31% ~ belonged to first finisher Henry Sly.

 

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The first three female finishers ~ Ellie Fielding, Chloe Broughton and Rhiannon Paton ~ with Mark Wilkins on the left, Paul Wilcox ~ running at AC for the 200th time ~ on the right (photo: Rich Kenington)

 

Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to Saturday's parkrun. Have a great week, and wherever you go next Saturday, may your barcode go with you

Report by Rich Kenington

 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week’s event happen. Although AC parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you’d like to sign up as a volunteer, we’d love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via ‘manage my profile’ on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don’t forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results and course records are here.

Rich Kenington took some watery photos for us this weekend, and you can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

 

We’ve got the numbers

 

The sun shone brightly on 417 parkrunners yesterday, 27 of whom helped to make it happen for the 390 participants. 308 of those had already taken part at Ashton Court at least once, and 56 of them ran faster than they ever had before here. Which means that 252 didn't, although many came close, especially Gemma Nelson, who equalled her best time, and Paul Turner (in the Mr Slow top) who was 1 second behind his best.

Another 33 of them might have run here before, but as they didn't bring a barcode with them this time we'll never know. Which leaves 49 others, who had never run at Ashton Court parkrun until yesterday morning. 26 of them had run parkruns elsewhere, and for 23 of them it was their first ever parkrun.

We hope everyone enjoyed their parkrun start to the weekend, but in particular our visitors - do come back and see us again soon - and our new parkrunners - who we'd love to see back at a parkrun soon, even if it's not here on the hill. Incidentally, at least 8 of last week's 26 first timers returned yesterday, whilst another 2 found a parkrun elsewhere to try out instead.

 

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Gemma Nelson, who couldn't have been closer to a pb (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

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One of our first-time ever brand new parkrunners Annabel Sims seems to be enjoying herself (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

As always, there was quite a spread of ages taking part yesterday, with 8 aged 10 or under, one in the 80-84 age group, and the most populous group being the 47 who were 35-39 year olds. Michael Coupe was the lone 80+ year old, and what a remarkably consistent runner he is. Michael set his best time of 26.03 back in 2013, and regularly finishes less than a minute outside it, and his last 5 AC parkruns have been between 26.40 and 27.04.

Nevertheless, Michael didn't quite achieve the best age grade score yesterday, although only one runner was able to beat it. His score of 78.03% was surpassed only by Alison Roberts, who being in the 65-69 age band, and with a time of 26.26, scored 81.53%. 1st finisher yesterday, for the 1st time, was Tim Batchelor, who needed to run a pb to come home ahead of Mark Ducker and Paul Jefferson. Our 1st female finisher, for the 3rd time, was one of our juniors, Rhiannon Paton, just a few seconds ahead of Kelly Dicks, with Louise Wade, a clubmate of Kelly's, finishing 3rd.

And on the subject of running clubs, 5 of them were represented here for the first time yesterday, bringing the total number of clubs that have found their way into our results to 1,003. It's not easy to work out which those new clubs are, and the only one I've found that we've never seen before, belonging to a runner we've never seen before, is BADAS.SS (who seem to run at Andover parkrun mostly) - greetings Katie May Baker, and congratulations on your 3rd parkrun!

 

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Yesterday's most senior participant, with the second highest age grade of the day ~ Michael Coupe (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

There were a number of landmark runs completed yesterday. We try to anticipate these before the run, and call out the runners concerned's names during the briefing. Unfortunately someone had a major spreadsheet failure last week and so we failed to acknowledge 3 of our friends. Apologies therefore to Matt Pegler, Robin Webster and Adrian Mackie, for excluding them from the list of potential milestoners yesterday morning. Matt (one of our pioneers, who ran in our first parkrun in 2011), Robin (who has only ever run parkrun at Ashton Court) and Adrian all joined Ruth Hilton (who celebrated with a pb) and Graham Grew in completing their 50th parkruns.

Another of our pioneers is Paul Stuart, and he's run twice as far as Matt, as today Paul completed his 100th parkrun, also celebrating with a pb. Nirpal Singh Gillar completed his 150th parkrun, every one of which have been at Ashton Court. Of our runners who have never run parkrun anywhere else, only Desmond Jones (176) and Celia Johnstone (154) have run more than Nirpal. And yesterday saw the 11th Ashton Court homie qualify for a green 250 parkrun club t-shirt this year ~ well done Marcus Kropacsy! Young Harry Green, a junior, completed the set, finishing his 10th parkrun.

None of these landmark runs could have taken place without our volunteers. There were 27 of them at our #372, and one, up on the plateau at a spot we call Marshal 3, was Niall Hoskin, who has been with us since our first parkrun. Today Niall was volunteering for the 200th time - a great achievement and something that the rest of us are all very grateful for.

 

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Welcome to the 250 parkrun club Marcus Kropacsy (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

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Niall Hoskin has the rudiments of marshalling explained to him prior to his 200th volunteering stint, by co-Run Director Janet O'Connell (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Back to those 56 folk who ran faster than ever before yesterday. Far too many to mention individually unfortunately, but particularly impressive were the runs of Amanda Halford (a 98 second improvement to 33:28), Sam Kiff (81 seconds quicker with 31:22), Janet Poole (35:55 - 67 seconds faster and her 3rd consecutive pb) and Denise Leach (36:56, a 65 second improvement).

Breaking new ground were Grace Mernagh-Cole (33:48), who beat 34 minutes for the first time; Teresa Cryer (30:53), who I saw splashing her way through the puddles, going under 31 minutes for the first time; Jane Jones (29:43), beating 30 minutes for the first time with her 3rd consecutive pb); Jak Carlyon-Bray (29:34) who emulated Jane's achievement; Anna Pleasance (26.50), who beat 27 minutes for the first time; Greg Turner (22:45), with a 55 second improvement that took him under 23 minutes for the first time; and Kieran Butler (21:55) and Cedryc Noumsi Mbopda (21:21) who both beat 22 minutes for the first time.

Joseph Butler (22:41) ran his 4th consecutive pb, and Melody van Rooyen (29:06) was another who ran a third consecutive pb. Well done, all 56 of you - it's great to see perseverance and hard work bring results.

 

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In purple, Amanda Halford wears a determind look as she powers down the hill to finish 98 seconds faster than before. Sharon Barrett's keeping her company (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Yesterday's first time visitors included Kerrianne Forbes and David Cartwright from Alice Holt parkrun (in Hampshire), who were very complimentary about our event once they'd got their breath back (thank you); Peter Keightley from Edinburgh parkrun; David Brown and Christine Yates Brown from Fell Foot parkrun (at the southern end of Windermere in the Lake District); Andy Hull from Harrogate parkrun; Peter Rattue from Salisbury parkrun; Edward Wade from St Andrews parkrun; and Sujit Rathod and Gordon Berry, both from Wimbledon Common parkrun.

 

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This week's "What took you so long award" (no prize, it's just for fun) goes to Andy Hull ~ 184 other parkruns before visiting Ashton Court. To be fair to Andy though, 171 of them have been at his Harrogate parkrun home (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

Some of you may have noticed that yesterday's total of 390 finishers was exactly the same number as last week. This thing, of the number of finishers being repeated the following week, has now happened 7 times at Ashton Court. Perhaps unsurprisingly, no-one ran in all 14 events.

Denise Williams almost did though, only missing out on the first of the first pair, so she's completed 6 of these doubles. Denise finished 42nd female in events 41 and 42 (114th and 113rd overall), and 114th female in events 152 and 153 (270th and 274th).

Emma Withers ran 5 of the 7 pairs of runs, and managed to finish in the same position - 46th - in the first pair (events 8 and 9), and was 32nd female finisher in the last pair of parkruns. Even better - in the first and last of these 14 events, Emma ran exactly the same time of 27.05, on 18 June 2011 and yesterday! Daniel Morgan and Sandra Wintour-Graham also ran in 5 of the pairs, but sadly none of their numbers connect the way that Emma and Denise's have.

 

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The only person to have run 6 of our matching pairs of parkruns ~ Denise Williams (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

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433 parkruns in one image! More important though - Happy Birthday to Ness Collenette (in red), and thanks for bringing along those gingerbread men! May Wan, on the left, has run 105 parkruns, Ness has run 157, and just behind them, Clare McLachlan 171 (photo: Sarah Jones)

 

We're back next week of course, but please that Eastville and Severn Bridge parkruns are cancelled for one week. It's the day before the Bristol ½ Marathon, so we might see plenty of visitors at parkrun, in town for the big race. Have a good week, and wherever you go next Saturday, may your barcode go with you.

 

Report by Rich Kenington

 

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"When are we there?" ~ run report write Rich Kenington finds the finish funnel a little too long for his liking (photo: Sarah Jones) 

Many thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers who made this week’s event happen. Although AC parkrun has a great crowd of enthusiastic volunteers we're always looking out for more people to join the team and spread the load, and if you’d like to sign up as a volunteer, we’d love to have you. Please opt in to receive volunteer emails (via ‘manage my profile’ on any result or newsletter email) and contact AshtonCourtHelpers@parkrun.com to offer help.

Don’t forget to follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

This week’s full results and course records are here.

photo: Sarah Jones took some wonderful photos for us this weekend, and you can find them, together with our entire photo archive, by following this link (or this one if viewing on an iOS device).

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