Blackpool parkrun, 10th February 2018

Event number 53

It wasn’t the greatest of mornings as I checked the course.  The rain coming out of the sky added to the puddles in quite a few places on the parkrun route but we were still good to go.  We weren’t sure how many runners would come given the cold and wet conditions, in the event no fewer than 120 braved the Arctic conditions including a dozen first timers.

There were a fair few parkrun tourists for the time of year.  I spoke after the race with Chris and Wendy Bullock whose home parkrun is Tilgate parkrun in Crawley.  Whilst waiting for the start (of which more below) I also spoke briefly with runners from Bushey parkrun and Dalton-in-Furness.

So yes, the start.  Unbeknown to me one or two people arrived after the briefing.  So as I waited for everyone to make their way round to the start people kept coming.  Apologies if you were waiting a little longer than would have been ideal at the start, I am sure you soon warmed up though which is more than can be said for the volunteers shivering in the wind and rain.

The first parkrunner home was Niall Heaton in 19:08, close to his PB in challenging conditions.  The first female parkrunner to complete was Nicola Unsworth in 21:53.  Perhaps the most striking feature of a run in pretty atrocious conditions was that no fewer than 21 people set personal bests, a remarkable achievement.

As ever thanks to our loyal band of volunteers, who this week comprised Susan ASHTON, Kate BAIRD, David BARKER, Stephen DUNSTAN, Catherine FLETCHER, Michael FOSTER, Nichola GRIFFITHS, Jackie HAMMOND, Kate JAMES, George KENNEDY, Daisy SEVILLE, Alexander SHAW, Colin SIMPSON, Tracy SMALLEY, Steve SWARBRICK, Louis SWARBRICK, Chris WADE and Paul WHITE.


The Birthday parkrun at Blackpool, 3rd February 2018

Blackpool parkrun
Event number 52

Happy Birthday 27336345_10215231043114569_9121560880851261293_n

A massive thank you to Jennifer Ireland for making a superb cake for our first birthday it looked and tasted amazing and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. A big thank you also goes to everyone else that brought cakes and biscuits to share with everyone to celebrate this milestone for us all at Blackpool parkrun.

This week the 27 volunteers welcomed 189 people who ran, jogged and walked the course, on our 1st birthday parkrun on Stanley Park at Blackpool.

Since we started on the 4th of February 2017 we have had 2,795 participants and you have completed 9,398 parkruns at Blackpool, covering a total distance of 46,990 km (approx. 3.75 laps of the coastline of the UK), including 2,208 new Personal Bests. We have had 238 volunteers over the last 12 months, doing 1041 different tasks with some of the volunteers doing multiple roles to make Blackpool parkrun a safe and fun event for you all.

Over 13,300 photos have been taken of the runs and can be found on our Flickr site at, I am sure that if you have joined us over the last year and look hard enough you will find yourself in there.

In addition to it being our birthday, we were joined by Linda Walker from Lancaster who won’t mind me saying that she is now 55 years young, Happy Birthday Linda. Good to see you again Linda. Participants and volunteers in the 52nd and 1st birthday Blackpool parkrun.
It was good to see Cheryl Myerscough, she was one of this week’s first time parkrunners and joined us after having quite a big operation last year. We are so happy that you chose to join us Cheryl and hope to see you again when you can come along.

Among the fantastic volunteers, this week there was 5 who had taken part as volunteers on our first run. These were Jane Wade who has helped at 32 Blackpool parkruns, Chris Wade – 40 Blackpool parkruns, Alex Shaw – 30 Blackpool parkruns and Zachary Shaw – 20 Blackpool parkruns and David Barker – 43 Blackpool parkruns. Some of our volunteers have helped at other parkrun events around the country too. These are familiar faces to most of our regular runners now with Alex usually having a camera with him, taking the lion’s share of the photos on the Flickr page.

Remember that if you are not running for any reason one week we can always do with your help as a volunteer. Warning - volunteering can be fun as Jane demonstrated quite well this week.
Participants and volunteers in the 52nd and 1st birthday Blackpool parkrun.

The event was made possible by 27 volunteers, these were George Kennedy • Judith Green • Steve Swarbrick • Louis Swarbrick • Catherine Fletcher • Lynn Shaw • Jane Wade • Chris Wade • Matisse Brignall • David Barker • Paul White • Anna Beaumont • Alexander Shaw • Stephen Dunstan • Zachary Shaw • George Lui • Andy Hume • Susan Ashton • Suzanne Leonard • Ella May Leonard • Rebecca Leonard • George Walker • Jamie Ward • Kate Baird • Debra Rodgers • Elsie-Louise Cooksey • Stephen Toner Participants and volunteers in the 52nd and 1st birthday Blackpool parkrun.
This week’s full results and a complete event history can be found on the Blackpool parkrun Results Page.


Blackpool parkrun, Event number 51

Blackpool parkrun
Event number 51
27th January 2018

Once more, the volunteers arrived early at Stanley Park with one eye on the weather for another Blackpool parkrun. All was looking good on the course and the forecast of rain seemed to be wrong. The course was ready and the volunteers were getting ready to support you as you completed the 2 laps of the course. Luckily we had a few extra volunteers arrive to help out this week as the numbers were on the low side but this fantastic group of people gave up there time and runs to make it another successful event for everyone that took place.

Joining the team to make everything go smoothly for you this week, we had a couple of new faces to the volunteer team. We welcomed Andy Webster and Paul Muller as first time marshals and appreciate their help. You may recognise Paul as one of our regular runners and has participated at Blackpool 15 times and has completed 58 parkruns at 5 different parkruns. We look forward to Andy and Paul joining us again as volunteers in the future.

(Paul Muller)

As the runners began to gather at the clock tower the weather began to take a turn and became a bit damper, however this did not deter you from coming along and taking part. Among those taking part this week there was Colin Braithwaite, congratulations to Colin for completing his 50th parkrun, 44 of which have been with us at Blackpool having been at our first parkrun on the 4th February 2017. We were also joined by Steven Gore who did his 150th parkrun with us, Steven has taken part in 81 different parkruns.

This week 177 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 28 were first timers and 47 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

Paolo Dale • George Kennedy • Paul Muller • David Young • Lindsay O'dea • Catherine Fletcher • Jane Wade • Chris Wade • David Barker • Nichola Griffiths • Paul White • Sarah Brown • Anna Beaumont • Mark Gillatt • Martha Brown • Ian Cameron • Chris Hammond • Kayla Hammond • Susan Ashton • George Walker • Jamie Ward • Andrew Webster • William Shepherd • Duncan Scott • Andrew Lynch

Remember, you do not have to run to take part at parkrun, we need at least 15 volunteers every week to make Blackpool parkrun happen.

At Blackpool parkrun, we will be celebrating our 1st Birthday on the 3rd of February 2018. We look forward to seeing the familiar faces as well as those that will be joining us for the first time. If you would like to bring along cakes and treats to share with your fellow parkrunners please do so, we will have tables available to share these with everyone.

This week’s full results and a complete event history can be found on the Blackpool parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Amelia Beaman who recorded a time of 18:39 on 8th April 2017 (event number 9).
The male record is held by Joseph Monk who recorded a time of 16:06 on 7th October 2017 (event number 34).
The Age Grade course record is held by Maureen Laney who recorded 90.83% (21:59) on 11th March 2017 (event number 5).

Blackpool parkrun started on 4th February 2017. Since then 2,773 participants have completed 9,209 parkruns covering a total distance of 46,045 km, including 2,167 new Personal Bests.


Blackpool parkrun, 20th January 2018

Event number 50

It’s Saturday morning, still dark with most sane people in bed and the sleet is hammering down. It must be parkrun day! Let’s be honest, my first reaction on Saturday morning was to doubt my own sanity as we set off for Stanley Park. Fortunately, by the time we arrived at the Sports Centre, the weather had dried up a little and there was a bit more light in the sky.

First thing was to dash round on the bike dodging the many puddles, shifting the larger lumps of tree deposited on the paths by the overnight weather and dodging the Inuit like dog walkers trudging their way round. Happy the course hadn’t been washed away it was time to let the set up crew head out with the trusty wheelie bin to put up signs, lay down dog toys erm cones and generally make the course magically appear.

Virtually as soon as I got back to the clock tower I was introduced to Cecilia Woods who was marking a milestone with us at Blackpool. Cecelia was running her 50th parkrun as a tourist in as slightly strange coincidence at the 50th Blackpool parkrun. I’m pleased to report Cecelia made it safely round the course, posting a very respectable position and time. As an extra lucky coincidence Cecelia’s home parkrun in Bolton was cancelled on Saturday.
IMG_2550One of the best bits about being Race Director (other than hopefully not doing much while pretending to be important) is getting to meet parkrunners and especially the first timers. I had the pleasure meeting two gentlemen on Saturday who were both having their first go and explaining what happens with the barcodes, how the course works and all that stuff. What was apparent though is as we do more and more parkruns we become more and more comfortable in the way it all works and forget it can be daunting to those who are new. This became apparent to me as I said about going to the left of the finish funnel on the first lap and a look of confusion began to appear. The solution was to take a little walk and introduce them to the finish funnel and explain with it in sight. That really brought home to me how as RD, volunteer or participant we all have a role to play in helping new and relatively new parkrunners make the most of their experience and to know what is going on. By nine there was a fairly large number of people shivering round the clock tower, stretching and doing other weird stuff to try and keep warm which could only mean it was run brief time. Briefing went slightly better after I turned the shouty horn thing on! First timers, milestone runners and visitors acknowledged we did the housekeeping and headed off to the start. Even taking the short cut there were lots of eager runners waiting and filling the path. Having located the tail walker, not obvious in bright orange and in an act of totally selfish self preservation before sinking in the mud, we had a nice quick start and Blackpool parkrun 50 was go! IMG_2560

The team reassembled at the clocktower and did all the odd things they do waiting for the field to reappear. (If you want to know what strange things happen you’ll just have to volunteer.) Watching carefully through the tennis courts for the leader it was obvious something different was happening, we had a lady in the lead. Certainly something we had not seen before. The field made their way through in the wonderful way they do and very soon the leaders were coming through to finish their final lap, the lady runner was sill leading the field and managed to secure first place. It was only later that we discovered our heroine of the morning was another visiting runner called Carla Davies and she had not had the smoothest of races with a couple of hiccups along the way. Difficulties aside, Carla is still the first ever female winner of Blackpool parkrun and she was only 9 seconds outside of the female course record. Carla has already signalled her desire to return and give it another go and we looking forward to seeing her again.

IMG_2920The rest of the field made their way in over the next few minutes with all the reactions you would expect. Fortunately we didn’t have any incidents and everyone arrived safely back at the start. It’s safe to say it’s always a privilege to see the emotions and triumphs of many as they finish the run. Even nicer are the little thank yous from so many, both local and visitor which help to make all the work put in by the whole Blackpool parkrun team feel all that much more special. Speaking of special people as ever there needs to be a hearty vote of thanks to all the volunteers who all froze a little bit on Saturday morning to make parkrun happen. We so often say ‘No barcode, no time’ but don’t forget the lesser used phrase ‘No volunteers, no parkrun’. IMG_3095

This week 155 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 19 were first timers and 30 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:

George KENNEDY • Robert MASSEY • Graham JONES • Catherine FLETCHER • Vikki WRIGLEY • Naomi SINGLETON • Jane WADE • Chris WADE • Matisse BRIGNALL • Owyn DINSDALE • David BARKER • Fiona LITTLE • Kyle LITTLE • Paul WHITE • Sarah BROWN • Alexander SHAW • Tracy SMALLEY • Zachary SHAW • Martha BROWN • Michael MCSHANE • Clare CLARKE • George WALKER • Harrison CARDWELL • Hugo MACE

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

The female record is held by Amelia BEAMAN who recorded a time of 18:39 on 8th April 2017 (event number 9).
The male record is held by Joseph MONK who recorded a time of 16:06 on 7th October 2017 (event number 34).
The Age Grade course record is held by Maureen LANEY who recorded 90.83% (21:59) on 11th March 2017 (event number 5).

Blackpool parkrun started on 4th February 2017. Since then 2,745 participants have completed 9,032 parkruns covering a total distance of 45,160 km, including 2,120 new Personal Bests.


Volunteer take over 13.01.18

This week we will be being taken over by one of the local running clubs.

See you all in the morning!

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