Run report – Christmas Eve

A sea of Santa hats and other festive dress graced Milton Country Park this morning for a Cambridge parkrun splash and dash – the perfect way to start your Christmas! A record number of 558 runners took part including one chap in full reindeer costume. Well played sir!

We said hello to 79 first timers and even ‘bonjour’ to a couple of parkrunners visiting from France. They were so keen to run they forgot about timezone differences and turned up at 8am!

First across the line today was Ian Williamson running only his second parkrun in a personal best time of 16:38 beating his previous PB by 1 second! Finn Johnson, a Cambridge newbie, was second setting a new parkrun PB of 17:10 followed by David Connell in 17:50. First lady was Victoria Knight running her first ever parkrun and finishing 5th with a time of 18:10. In 22nd place was second lady Georgia Baynes in a time of 19:46 and third lady was Cecilia Hime in 31st place with a time of 20:18.

Congratulations to Jenny Payne, one of our Run Directors, who was running her 50th parkrun and was joined by husband Stuart for his first. Also well done to Roger Holliday who was running his 200th.

Thanks as usual to all the fantastic volunteers. If you wanted to volunteer in 2016 or wanted to start 2017 with a philanthropic bang then do we have an opportunity for you! Next week we have TWO parkruns on consecutive days – 31st Dec at 9am and the 1st Jan at 10:30am. If you are interested in helping for either run please email

With a record attendance today and more expected for New Year’s Day we would like to remind runners that the course can get congested at times and we all need to be courteous and respectful to other runners and other park users. A young runner was pushed over today after the start by another runner who didn’t even stop to see if he was OK. This is not acceptable behaviour. We are an all-inclusive run – not a race – and etiquette must always take priority over times.

Thanks again to all the runners and volunteers for making today’s parkrun such festive fun. Happy Christmas to one and all and we’ll see you next week – minus the Santa hats! We will be joined again by John Wilderspin on New Years Eve so look forward to even more great pictures. This week's from John are on our Facebook page.


New co-event director

Cambridge parkrun continues to grow and its success means that the responsibility for the event is taking more time than I am able to commit. I am therefore delighted to announce that Fiona English is joining me as co-event director.

In the 134 events I've been responsible for, we've gone from our first run with over 400 runners to regularly exceeding 450 and having had ten events with more than 500 runners this year alone. This makes us one of the biggest running events in the county, bigger than big local events like Grunty Fen half marathon.

Fiona is a key member of the core team, having volunteered at 61 events and run 80 parkruns. Her passion for Cambridge parkrun is second to none and I hope you will all support her in her new role. We both look forward to many more free 5k runs on a Saturday morning.



Festive parkruns

I know its a long way away but your core team are already thinking about Christmas and the festive season. As it is a Saturday, there will be a parkrun on Christmas Eve at 9am as normal. We have the ability to offer an additional parkrun on Christmas Day but Milton Country Park is closed and your core team would like a day off - we will be hopefully finding other local places to parkrun that day.

New Year's Eve is again a Saturday, so we will be on that day as normal. Our hosts at the park have also agreed that we can run on New Year's Day as well, this time at 10:30.  This will depend on getting enough volunteers for the event but I am very optimistic that we will. We will also need volunteers for NYE, a perfect chance for those running the Ely 10k later that day to give a little back to our community.


Dogs at Cambridge parkrun

As an event, we are getting busier and are suffering serious congestion on the course in places, due to the narrow woodland paths we are lucky to be able to run on. A consequence of this is that the start and first lap, in particular, are very busy.

We have had a number of incidents and near misses over the past few months with dogs and leads which has led us to conclude that Cambridge parkrun is no longer able to support runners with dogs.

This decision was unanimous within the Run Director team and has been taken in conjunction with both our regional ambassador and parkrun HQ. We regret having to take this step but feel it is the only way we can continue to offer a safe event with the number of runners we are now getting. 

To allow time for the message to be widely communicated to our community, this change in policy will not come into effect until 10 September 2016. If you wish to run with a dog, both Wimpole Estate parkrun and Huntingdon parkrun are still able to accommodate you.


We’re on!

Having reviewed the course today with the rangers at Milton Country Park, I'm pleased to confirm that we are on for this weekend. Some paths are unusable so we will have to make a few changes.

1. Entry to the park is via the vehicle entrance off the car park. Please be extra careful when walking and driving around the area.
2. The area where we do the briefing is out of use so we will run in front of the cafe, effectively cutting the corner (don't worry, there are no tables there at the moment)
3. This means the course is 44m short per lap, so we've moved the start back 88m, onto the vehicle entrance track
4. We will do the briefing in roughly the normal place but on the grass, not the path. We will then move people back to the start line in groups of about 100 runners each. Please listen to, and follow, all instructions from the run director and marshals.

The path is great at the management at the park have been amazing in getting us a working solution for this week. Please remember to thank them for their support and commitment.


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