Christmas and New Years Day

We would like to inform you there will be NO event on Christmas Day.

However on New Years Day you have the chance to complete a double by doing Bideford parkrun at 9am and then Barnstaple parkrun at 10.30am.

If you are available to marshal on the 1st January or any other date we would be very happy to hear from you.

With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Barny parkrun Team


Tourist Report for Event 299 by Ian Gregory

Unlike me, I'd somehow agreed to go away on a big family holiday, even though I'd already paid for a place for my fourth successive Great South Run... £31.00 down the drain, though every cloud has a silver lining, so they say.

I hadn't actually realised I'd 'double-booked' until less than a fortnight before and, like my wife said, the Great South Run is every year, whereas the chance of a lovely, long weekend away on the North Devon coast isn't... so onto the tourist tool it was, knowing we'd be staying in the picturesque village of Croyde; parkruns in this part of the country are nowhere near as abundant as ones in the county of Hampshire where I live.
It didn't take long to calculate that the two nearest ones, by quite a margin, were either Barnstaple or Bideford... I chose Barnstaple as it was the closer of the two, though it was still a 24-mile round trip.

I set off at just after 08:00 taking in the stunning views of both Croyde Bay and the equally impressive Saunton Sands. The early morning mist was lying low over the sand dunes and the early morning light was catching pockets of it, making it look like a scene from Lord of The Rings, or something just as spectacular. I was almost tempted to abandon the idea of running but told myself not to be so silly... it was a great opportunity for a spot of parkrun tourism, where I could bag my 168th run, my 61st different event and write another run report, which is a great way of adding yourself to the volunteer roster while still being able to run at a new event.

On the way from my car, I bumped into Stuart WHITE and his wife, Stuart being a fellow parkrunner, whose home event is Pegwell Bay in Kent. He was completing his 153rd parkrun at his 8th different event. We enjoyed a chat about parkrun and different events before we listened to the First-Timer's Briefing. The course was explained in detail and despite the parkrun website describing it as flat, there are four sharp, short ramps you have to contend with on the two-and-a-half lap course.
The course itself is lovely and today we were still running the summer course; it's moved during the winter, a conscious decision made by the core team, to save on the wear and tear of the grassland within Rock Park, where the parkrun is held. The course is predominantly on the banks of the River Taw and follows a sort of condensed Picasso-esque version of a figure of eight, run in an anti-clockwise direction.

Prior to this week's run, I'd looked at the previous week's results, just to gauge whether I may achieve my second ever first in age category, as well as work out where I may well finish overall... there were just 79 runners last week, so there could be every chance I'd finish in the top twenty, with an outside chance of my first ever top ten finish... more about that in a moment.

There were no fewer than an impressive nine first-timers to parkrun today [welcome to the family] one of which was Matt SLATER, clocking in at 20:52... crazy to think what improvements will be made when your first attempt as good as that. A big shout-out also to Iain HINDES who will be completing his 250th run at his next parkrun... presuming you may well have timed it for next week...

There were a few 'almosts' for me for this week's run... the first was that I was attending Barnstaple's 299th parkrun... what a shame, it would have been fantastic to have been part of their 300th event—hope you have a superb time next week, with an overdose of cake!
Secondly... I finished with a time of 23:14... had I been there a week earlier, I'd have finished in 10th place!
Running is clearly all about timing, in more ways than one!

In all the 61 different events I've been lucky enough to take part in, there were two excellent ideas I'd never come across before and will be poaching them for our core team when we set up a new parkrun in Hampshire over the coming months.

The first idea was they had a special 'superhero' cape for any junior parkrunners celebrating a milestone run; George THOMAS was celebrating his 10th parkrun and did it in style by setting a new PB of 19:55. What an awesome achievement! Tim LANE was also celebrating joining a milestone club, notching up his 100th parkrun today.

The second idea, one of which Run Director, Julie KEMISH-MILLS, unashamedly admitted to pinching from another event, and that was to have an A-Z of index cards, whereby regular parkrunners to Barnstaple parkrun could print off their bar code, attach it to larger card and store it in alphabetical order, should there ever be a time where they may accidentally forget to pick up their barcode one morning... what a simple, helpful and innovative idea!

Finally, I'd like to dedicate this run report to my father-in-law, John LOWE, who sadly passed away over our long weekend away. He always showed an interest in my running, so I therefore feel it fitting to give him a mention.


Christmas / New Year and 2018 Planning

Your Core Team have been very busy planning and putting together ideas for the next 12 month. More on that later though. Whilst we were busy thinking ahead we all let our 250th Event go head unnoticed until we were processing the results!

Belated Happy 250th Barnstaple parkrun

Christmas and New Year

As you are aware Christmas and New Year are the only days we can put on extra parkrun events and on New Years Day you are able to record 2 runs on the same day. With that in mind the Barnstaple Core team have made the decision NOT to hold an event on Christmas Day however we are happy to hold an extra event on New Years Day. Our event will start at 10.30am as Bideford are also holding an extra event and theirs will start at 9am. This will enable you, if you so wish to take part and have credit for runs at both events on the same day. Of course we can only put on these events with the support of our wonderful Volunteers. We do not want our Run Directors having to worry about sorting volunteers over Christmas therefore for the New Years Day event to go ahead the roster will need to be filled by 16 December or we will cancel the event. We hope you understand.

Pacer Days and Fancy Dress
These have both been requested by our parkrunners and we have put together some suggested dates for your diaries as follows:-

Pacer Days                               Fancy Dress
2 December 2017                      23 December 2017 – Christmas Theme
20 January 2018                        6 January 2018 - 5th Birthday  – Parkrun T-shirts theme
17 March 2018                           31 March 2018 – Easter Theme
12 May 2018                              21 April 2018 – St George’s Day Red & White theme
7 July 2018                                 27 October 2018 – Halloween Theme
8 September 2017
3 November 2017

If you would like to be a pacer or would like to be paced for a specific time please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate the times requested.

Volunteer Take Over Days
We are fortunate to have some regular volunteers who help us bring you this wonderful, free, timed event every week, however sometimes the Run Director feels quite lonely when the roster is looking very bare. We would like to encourage more of you to volunteer if you are able to. To help with this we will have a number of themed Volunteer weeks, last year you may recall the local Triathlon club had a takeover day (we are hoping they will do it again next year too )
Our first themed day will be on our 5th Birthday on 6th January 2018. We would like Milestone Volunteers to fill the roles. So if you have the highly coveted 25 Volunteer Shirt, 10, 50, 100 or 250 shirts then we would love to hear from you. All the roles are easy, honestly! We will show you what to do. There is nothing to be afraid of.
If you are part of a club or group and would like to “take over” parkrun we would be very happy to have you.

If you have any other suggestions or ideas that you would like the Core Team to consider then please either email us at or speak to one of the Run Directors on Saturday.

Happy parkrunning


New Year

We are pleased to announce that we will host an additional event on New Years Day subject to enough volunteers coming forward to help us bring you this event. New Years Day is the only day of the year in which you can register two results in one day.  We shall therefore hold our event at 10.30am as Bideford have kindly elected to start at 9am. Therefore you can go do Bideford and then safely drive to Barnstaple to take part here too at 10.30.



Christmas 2017

There will NOT be an event at Barnstaple on Christmas Day 2017


Event Number 216 – 11 March 2017

This week 197 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 21 were first timers and 32 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 12 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 13 volunteers.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Barnstaple parkrun Results Page.

Male placings:
An unknown runner was first.
Iain HINDES (VM45-49) of North Devon Triathletes, was second over the line in 18:40 - has been first to finish on 37 previous occasions.
James EKE (JM15-17) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:51.

Female placings:
Beth BARRINGTON (VW35-39) of Ilfracombe Running Club, was first (14th overall) over the line in 20:18 - third time in 7 appearances.
Helen WRIGHT (VW35-39) of Keighley & Craven AC, was second (16th overall) over the line in 20:38 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Samantha BAKER (SW30-34) of North Devon RR, was third (37th overall) over the line in 23:10 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Iain HINDES (VM45-49) – 77.14% for the time 18:40 (second overall).
Jenny STONE (VW70-74) – 76.43% for the time 30:07 (120th overall).
Rich PEGLER (VM40-44) – 74.03% for the time 18:52 (4th overall).

The female record is held by Ruth BARNES who recorded a time of 00:18:07 on 26th March 2016 (event number 166).
The male record is held by Phil NORMAN who recorded a time of 00:15:08 on 25th February 2017 (event number 214).
The Age Grade course record is held by Angela COPSON who recorded 98.51% (21:13) on 27th April 2013 (event number 17).

Barnstaple parkrun started on 5th January 2013. Since then 4,570 participants have completed 24,412 parkruns covering a total distance of 122,060 km, including 4,747 new Personal Bests.


Christmas and New Year

Just a quick reminder of our events over the next few weeks :-

24th December  Christmas Eve - 9am start  Festive Fancy Dress

25th December - Christmas Day - NO EVENT

31 December - New Years Eve  - 9am start

1st January  -  New Years Day - 10.30 start  (Bideford starts at 9am so you can double up.  This is the only day of the year that you can record two runs)

7th January - Barnstaple parkrun 4th Anniversary Event  9am  - followed by breakfast at Spoons (Watergate)

We hope to see you at one or all of these events.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Heathy New Year

from Sonya, Michelle, Julie & Edwina xxxx



News Year’s Day, Volunteer of the month award and volunteering news

Hello All

New Year Runs

We are very pleased to announce that Shelly has agreed to direct a run on new Year's Day, starting at the unusual time of 11a.m. This is due to the staggered starts being offered so runners can log 2 runs in one day.


As Bideford parkrun is in  between the Barnstaple and Tamar they will be starting at 9a.m as usual, and Tamar Lakes parkrun will be starting at 10.30a.m. This gives all runners the chance to run Bideford at 9 and car share to Tamar or Barnstaple parkruns to log an extra cheeky run!


This means you can log THREE runs in one weekend for a very Happy parkrun New Year from all of us.


Volunteer of the Month Award

Huge well deserved congratulations to our very own remarkable Shelly who won volunteer of the month in the Active Devon monthly volunteer celebration awards.


Here is what a few of us had to say about this amazing lady we are privileged to have as a Run Director;

Louise Harris;

"Shell is the membership officer at the mo on the club committee. She makes sure the membership is paid, and reminds people if they haven't, and comes along to every committee meeting to add her views and vast experience. In the past she has been secretary (you know what that involves. Pretty much everything!) Shell runs the club Xmas aquathlon and does registration and sorts prizes for that race, as well as for Bideford tri and Ilfracombe tri. She also does registration for barny marathon and most NDRR races like Arlington/Hartland heartbreaker etc. Shell also goes to almost all of the club swim sessions to collect the monies and liaise with the coach then banks the cash for our treasurer, every week sometime twice a week at the mo. And she has done this level of volunteering at the club for more years than I can remember. Just writing that was exhausting she is one amazing lady!"


Mark Read

"She has been the 'backbone of NDT' for many a year. She is always happy to help, responses amazing fast to any email sent to her. There is also registration & time keeping in the. huff & puff events up Codden hill. Is this lovely lady ever without a stop watch at many event like Hartland Hartbreaker. She is amazing, selfless, humble & a truly unsung heroine of the sports volunteer world"


Iain Hindes

"Never heard of her..." 


Sonya Webb

I have nominated Michelle as she has been volunteering as part of my parkrun team for nearly 4 years at Barnstaple parkrun. I cannot state enough how much she has done for this event and how she has often carried me when I have been struggling to keep on top of everything. She keeps up to date with everything parkrun, she runs when she can but more often than not she is too busy volunteering to do any running herself. She is so totally selfless and all the volunteering she does is her hobby.

She is always smiling and giggling and nothing is ever too much trouble. I do not know anyone who deserves to win this more as she has volunteered locally for many years, she is very dedicated.

She makes Barnstaple parkrun a real pleasure to attend and has supported and encouraged runners from the Tri club and North Devon Road Runners to attend and make the most of the event."

Volunteer News

As some of you may have seen we have added pacer weeks and volunteer theme weeks to our Barnstaple parkrun. Please see dates and details below. If you fit any of our theme weeks please notify us as soon as possible and we will add you to the roster to fulfill any role you please. If you fancy becoming a run director then have a chat with Sonya to see what is involved, the more the merrier!!!

10th Sept - Volunteer theme = 100+ parkruns
17th Sept - Pacer week
1st Oct - Volunteer theme = Marathon finishers
8th Oct - Pacer week
22nd Oct - Volunteer theme = Jnr 10+ parkruns
29th Oct - Pacer week
12th Nov - Volunteer theme = 1st finishers
26th Nov - Pacer week
3rd Dec - Volunteer theme = Club runners, wear your club t-shirt with pride
10th Dec - Pacer week
24th Dec - Volunteer theme = Families and....
Fancy dress run, it is Christmas Eve so the theme has to be... Christmas.

1st January - New Year's Day special run at 11a.m All volunteers greatly received

Kindest regards one and all

Sonya Webb

Event Director



Event number 185 13th August 2016

Wow what a morning! First I thought I wasn’t going to have any timekeepers, then when I had got that sorted (Thank you Naomi and Karen Duncan) I forgot the stopwatches, scanners and finish tokens. All the way to Rock Park I was trying to think if I had picked them up. I did think about stopping to check but thought that would waste time so carried on. Luckily Chris Dent, Terry Pike and Claire Pike had all arrived early and took charge for me setting up the course and organising the volunteers as they arrived whist I nipped home and picked up the tin with everything in. Got back to the park with 10 mins to spare. That is not something I have ever done before and do not plan on doing again!!
We had a lot of visitors this morning and we had been given notice of one of our visitors, Cath Gray of doing her 200th parkrun. She joined one of our regular runners, Andrew Samuel, who was doing his 100th parkrun and Sarah Kimberly of Royston Runners doing her 50th parkrun. All three of them donned our Superhero capes for their anniversary runs. (Check out the photos on the facebook page) After the run Adam Parton of Valley Striders told me it was also his 200th parkrun. I had a spare cape had he told me before!
It was a rather soggy event on Saturday. Huge thanks to everyone who took part, came to support family and friends and to our High Vis Heros (Adrian Colwill, Kim Cook, Josh Cummins, Chris Dent, Naomi & Karen Duncan, Sharon Found, Tricia Morris, Claire & Terry Pike, Karen Sandwell, Jenny Stone & Paula Swanson) who enabled this weeks event to take place. If you would like to be a High Viz Hero please do let us know. Please be assured it is NOT scary! However if you would rather shadow someone else first that’s absolutely fine.
Just before the stats for this week, don’t forget we have our “I am Team GB” event on 27th August. More details to follow but the event brief will take place at the earlier time of 8.35am followed by a fun warm up routine at 8.45 and parkrun starting at the usual time of 9am. There will be lots of activities in the park after parkrun so please do stay around, bring the children down and come join in the fun.

Kind Regards, Shelly

Male placings:
James THOMPSON (SM30-34) of kingstone Runners Barnsley, was first over the line in 17:38 - first appearance.
An unknown runner was second.
Jamie BLACKMAN (SM30-34) of Bideford AAC, was third over the line in 18:11 - was first to finish once before.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Colin FOUND (Unattached) 2463 pts.
Julian BALDREY (Unattached) 2181 pts.
Josh CUMMINS (Unattached) 2069 pts.
Female placings:
Sarah FRANCIS (VW40-44) of North Devon RR, was first (36th overall) over the line in 22:17 - second time in 6 appearances.
Samantha BAKER (SW30-34) of North Devon RR, was second (51st overall) over the line in 23:05 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.
Paula ISAAC (VW50-54) of North Devon RR, was third (60th overall) over the line in 23:56 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Mei SMITH (Unattached) 2417 pts.
Katie BAKER (Unattached) 2296 pts.
Paula ISAAC (North Devon RR) 2289 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Melvyn HEYWOOD (VM55-59) was graded 77.54% for the time 19:49 (11th overall).
Colin FOUND (VM60-64) was graded 75.19% for the time 21:42 (27th overall).
Julian BALDREY (VM45-49) was graded 74.72% for the time 19:35 (9th overall).
This week there were 177 runners, of whom 47 were first timers and 20 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 31 different athletics clubs took part.


Dates for Diary

Friday 25th December – Christmas Day – NO parkrun
Saturday 26th December – Boxing Day – Usual 9am start
Friday 1st January – New Years Day – NO parkrun
Saturday 2nd January - 3rd Anniversary parkrun usual 9am start - Cake at Tarka Tennis after to celebrate

The Barnstaple parkrun Team would like to wish you all  a very

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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