300th parkrun special run report

Wow, what an event that turned out to be!  We had a record busting 528 runners and a near record 24 volunteers, including Mayor Dave Hodgson, who started off the morning’s run and marshalled at the finishing straight. Big thanks to him for coming along to help out and to cheer on our runners yesterday.  Our 300th run coincided with April 1st, so of course it’s the perfect opportunity to turn up in fancy dress, and to celebrate all that parkrun has meant to our runners in the 300 runs since June 2011.

Many congratulations to Simon Hunter and to junior runner Niamh, who were our first finishers at our 300th run-  Niamh even chose our event to knock out a PB in the process!   A number of our runners took a more leisurely or creative approach to running, and completed the course in a variety of crazy costumes.  The first finisher in a costume went to a pretty speedy traffic cone!  We’ve got a number of pictures of our run to share with you on our Bedford parkrun Flickr pages.  If you've got some pix of the day, we'd love to see them, so use the Flickr site to showcase your photos; you can navigate to it via our webpage here. 

We asked parkrunners for stories about Bedford parkrun.  Our very own Event Director, Ian Williams, was at the first event at Bedford, finishing in 40th place, and regular parkrunner Jenny Wilson also ran on that day.  On Saturday, Jenny ran as a VI Guide for Emma McCrossan as part of her training for the London Marathon, raising funds for Guide Dogs.  Linda Payne has been with us from the very beginning, running the first event with 16 other runners from Bedford Harriers- nowadays, she runs and volunteers whenever she can.  If you have a little look at who ran alongside these parkrun pioneers, you’ll also spot current Run Directors Noel Jones and Kate Barnard- it seems once you join parkrun, you’re hooked!

We have some great stories to tell about parkrunning at Bedford Park.  Jenny Freer got in touch to say that she ran with a buggy when daughter Tilly was 2 weeks old, which must make her the youngest participant! Along  with Gary, all of them can participate as a family, although Gary is apparently a bit faster- just wait until Tilly is a bit older, Gary!  Claire Keir joined us in Feb 2016 and is near to claiming her 50th run T shirt.  She joined with her sister Lisa Wright, who was our tailrunner on Saturday (did you spot ‘Where’s Wally? Well it was Lisa!)  You’ll also know Lisa from her London Marathon preparations, running this year for Stroke Association.  Claire and Lisa now run along with their sons, Sam and Olly, who love parkrun as much as their mums do! Daniel Hawking posted that he’s on a challenge to run 3 miles every day in April, and would be starting off with our 300th parkrun.  Let’s hope that was a great start for you, Daniel J

It was April Fool’s Day on Saturday, so of course we should expect the unexpected.  A stopwatch malfunctioned right at the end of the event, resetting the times for the first 250 finishers- eek!   A brilliant team of behind-the-scenes Bedford parkrun volunteers  (Bev, Noel, Ian and Kate) deserve massive thanks for working during the afternoon and evening to get the results as near accurate as possible by putting a shout out for running watch times and manually adjusting the affected results.  By this morning, the results had been resubmitted and there were 41 new PBs to add to the celebratory haul.  We are so grateful to the team for their efforts, and to all the volunteers – without them, we simply don’t have a parkrun.  Huge thanks to everyone who supported Saturday’s runners, and a big thank you for all the volunteers over the 300 runs who have helped us grow into such a popular event.  We’d love for you to join us as a volunteer two or three times a year, so go on, get into hi-viz very soon!

Next celebration will be on June 10th when we’ll be marking our 6th anniversary in the Park- but we’ll see you next week for our weekly run, walk or jog.

Happy parkrunning.

 

UPDATE: Help needed with some of our finish times this week

A bumper turnout this week for our 300th run, and well done to the 528 of you who crossed the finish line today.  We'll be posting up pictures and stories of our runners who were taking part today when we get things sorted.

One of our stopwatches malfunctioned during the run so we need a bit of help to sort out times for those who were in positions 1-250.  If you have your own time recorded, please email your position number, time and name to bedfordoffice@parkrun.com, or post on Bedford parkrun's Facebook or Twitter pages so we can do our very best to match things up! If you're on Strava then we should be covered.

Big thanks to everyone in advance for your patience while we get things sorted as much as we can, and a huge thank you to our great team of volunteers.

 

UPDATE:  Overnight, amazing and dedicated volunteers from the core team have sifted through 82 emails and posts which helped to give a more accurate picture of the results for the first half of the field of runners yesterday.  A massive thank you is due to those volunteers who took the time and trouble to manually adjust the entries (not an easy task) so that this morning, there are 41 new PBs added to the results.  Wow!

To everyone who helped out yesterday- marshalling, setting up, tidying away, sorting the results... THANK YOU!  We can't do parkrun without our fabulous volunteers.

 

 

 

Bedford parkrun 300th run celebration on April 1st!

Amazing!  The first Bedford parkrun was on 11th June 2011, when 104 runners completed the course around the lovely Bedford Park.  Since then we've grown quite a bit and as we approach our 300th parkrun, we regularly have over 400 runners, walkers, joggers, buggy pushers and canine pals join us at 9am every Saturday morning.

This Saturday, we're celebrating our April Fool's 300th run with a fancy dress run- anything daft to raise a smile!  Join us at the bandstand at 8.50 for our special welcome briefing and to thank our volunteers who have made every one of those parkruns happen.  Mayor Dave Hodgson will be joining us as a volunteer- a big welcome and thanks to him and Bedford Council for supporting our great event in the park over the years.

Get in touch via Facebook or Twitter if you were at the very first Bedford parkrun, and we'd love to hear what parkrun means to you.  Check us out at https://www.facebook.com/bedfordparkrun/ and https://twitter.com/bedfordparkrun.

We'll be having a great time on Saturday, so come along to run, walk or jog with us.  Happy parkrunning and happy #bedfordparkrun300!

 

 

It’s all happening at Bedford parkrun!

Lots going on in the next few weeks, so here's a roundup of news and events for the next few weeks.  Keep a lookout on Facebook and Twitter for reminders and details of our events!

Saturday 18th March:  Well done everyone- a chock full volunteer roster!  Please give a very special welcome to Mark Layzell from Luton parkrun, who is volunteering with us as part of his 'Capital Adventures' challenge.  That's 47 Greater London parkruns in one year for one great local charity Keech Hospice Care!  Mark's joining us for Week 37, making his 38th run at Bushey Park also his 50th parkrun.  Good luck and congratulations to Mark on his great challenge.

As part of the #parkrunfamily, we'd also like to wish our neighbour parkrun at Luton a very happy 100th parkrun.  Enjoy your celebrations, folks!

Saturday 25th March:  It's the last Saturday of the month, Pacers' Saturday, where we like to invite lots of pacers to help out other parkrunners in achieving their goals.  Can you help with providing a steady run and encouragement at a time from 20mins up to 40mins?  Get in touch via our volunteer page http://www.parkrun.org.uk/bedford/futureroster/  or email bedfordhelpers@parkrun.com.   Remember that we run, walk or jog, so all paces are very much appreciated.  If you'd like to run, walk or jog wearing your Red Nose, then we'll enjoy seeing that!

Saturday 1st April:  Yes, we really are being April Fools this year, with a BIG celebration of our 300th parkrun at Bedford!  Well done everyone for supporting our fantastic run in Bedford Park- many of you have been running with us from the very first run on 11th June 2011, when 104 runners took to the paths. Get in touch via Facebook or Twitter if you were at our very first run; we'd love to hear from you!  More news on how we're celebrating will be posted...get ready for some fancy dress and some assistance from Dave the Mayor :-)

We're going to be joined by some Couch to 5k graduates from Transition Coaching in Biggleswade, who are celebrating with their first 'run' after their excellent training.  Give them a big cheer and a warm welcome to our parkrun- we hope they enjoy it as much as we do!

With the London Marathon coming up, some of our parkrunners are using the support of Bedford parkrun to get their training runs in.  Here are the stories of regular runners Jenny Wilson and Lisa Wright, who are both running for their charities:

Jenny Wilson ran the London Marathon last year to raise a load of money for Guide Dogs, a charity very close to her heart.  This year she's running again, this time guiding her good friend and guide dog user Emma McCrossan, who is training up to run a marathon for the very first time.  It's an amazing achievement for both of them, and they're using our April 1st parkrun to kick off their 'Laps of Encouragement' to help them build up to 22 miles (or 18 laps of Bedford Park).  We'd love it if some runners could do a lap or two (or more!) after parkrun has finished, to offer encouragement and to help Emma get a feel for running with people and obstacles round her.  Come along and cheer from the Pavilion if you're not running.  We wish Emma and Jenny lots of luck with their training- read more about this marvellous challenge  here.

Regular parkrunner Lisa Wright has been blogging her progress towards her marathon goal this year, raising an astonishing amount already for Stroke Association.   Lisa has a remarkable story to tell, being a survivor of a stroke herself in 2009.  So far she's already raised nearly £4,000, twice her target for her challenge, so we're thrilled that Lisa's running challenge is going to do so much good.  Read more about Lisa's story here.

Let us know if you're running the London Marathon this year- we're delighted to give you a mention and to offer our parkrun encouragement.  Enjoy parkrunning in the coming weeks, everyone!

 

 

 

 

Thanks from Bedford Foodbank

Dear Ian,

I am writing to thank you, and everyone at Bedford Park Run, for your recent donation to Bedford Foodbank of 76.32kg of non-perishable items.

All donations are crucial to the on-going provision of food for those in our community who are in such great need, especially at this time of year. The need for help from the Foodbank continues to increase year upon year and we now regularly feed around 500 people a month, giving them enough food for 3-4 days, or around 10 meals. Every month the amount leaving our warehouse is generally in the region of 5-6 tonnes, so we are very grateful for all donations we receive as each one is vital for the ongoing work of the Foodbank, and is greatly appreciated.

Last 3 months we have helped 1117 people, of which 378 were children.

So we thank you, once again, for your support.

Kind regards,
Chris

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