Young guns – by Glenn Wilson

The start to the new year has obviously encouraged a lot of people to involved themselves with parkrun. Across Kent, we saw a record number of finishers, and at Canterbury, 176 of you ran Coogan's Hills which is our fourth highest turnout. Seeing such a large number of parkrunners at the start line is often unnerving for the most experienced run directors. However, for Louise Flynn, at 16 our second youngest run director, it was a particularly scary prospect. But she was amazing. Health and Safety messages delivered with a coolness belying her experience, timekeepers kept alert for the start and runners suitably enthused, she set you all on your way.

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We like to encourage youngsters to be involved and this weekend was particularly special in that respect. For not only did we have such a young run director, we also had a six year old barcode scanner and ten year old and twelve year old finish token sorters, without their help, parkrun would not be the joyful event that it has become. Thank you to everyone who volunteered at the weekend and thank you to Louise for a brilliantly run directed event.

Interestingly, over the past four years, we have cancelled parkrun twice on this particular weekend (second weekends of 2015 and 2017) due to dangerous weather conditions (i.e. ice!). It looks like we have escaped the bad weather so far, which makes the amazing turnout even more special.

Many of you regularly go for post event refreshments at the Pavilion Cafe. Over the festive period, we worked with the managers of the cafe to produce a questionnaire to establish how we can improve the experience. We had a terrific response to the questionnaire for whiich Bex and I are truly grateful. As a result of the feedback, a few changes have been made.

First, you are now able to purchase bottomless coffees and teas. The incentive behind this change is to cut waiting times by reducing the extra time taken to brew Americanos and pour teas using the coffee machine's hot water dispenser. Just purchase your 'cup' from the bar and fill up as often as you like from the coffee flasks or hot water urn. Of course, Americanos are still available and so to are the likes of lattes and cappuccinos as well as speciality teas. The second change we have made is added new healthier items to the menu, including fruit and cereal including porridge. We have also added some other breakfast favourites including croissants and pain au chocolats. If you have never been for a post run drink or a bite to eat, please do join us. parkrun is as much about the socialising as well as the obvious health benefits.

If you have any suggestions for improving your experience at the cafe, please let us know.

Well, I will leave with a quick appeal - our roster is looking very empty at the moment for the next parkrun (19 Jan). So if you would like to help out, then please do contact us; details on how to be involved are available clicking on the 'volunteer' tab above.

Have a great week - see you all Saturday!

GW

This week 176 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 27 were first timers and 31 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:

John WILKINS • Julie COX • Kevin SHANNON • Katherine NORRIS • Glenn WILSON • Louise FLYNN • Kathryn DRUCE • Georgina HAMILTON-HOPKINS • Benjamin SLOWE • Michelle HOPKINS • Matthew SLOWE • Lucas KAD • Alan PROSSER • Violet FOSTER • Cliodhna CARROLL • Elise FOSTER • Hannah WIFFEN • Paul HAMILTON • Hazel BASFORD • David HINCH

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

The male record is held by Phil HURST who recorded a time of 15:12 on 15th March 2014 (event number 1).
The female record is held by Alexandra MILLARD who recorded a time of 19:03 on 6th August 2016 (event number 125).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen EBERLIN who recorded 85.86% (25:06) on 1st November 2014 (event number 33).

Canterbury parkrun started on 15th March 2014. Since then 4,246 participants have completed 25,365 parkruns covering a total distance of 126,825 km, including 4,083 new Personal Bests. A total of 416 individuals have volunteered 4,277 times.

 

Words from the Bridge – by John Wilkins

As John Wilkins celebrates his 100th stint of marshalling at the bridge (at the bottom of Coogan's Hills). Here are a few words from our esteemed marshal...

Encourage, that is what I think when I get to the bridge,
There is no troll there and unless the air is thin and cold,
I don't hear the start.That's when all of you take a breath and begin,
You all have one thing, your breath which I imagine, moving through the saturday morning air.

it doesn't matter whose footfall I hear first, in my head there is no best or worst.
it isn't a competition or a race, but a run. Once you are running you have begun.
Then I see you and in a glance both of us remember the last time.
You definitely made it, getting up the hill, everything turned out fine.

There might have been a slip on the 'slope' but why worry about the time.
It was another day in a life or was it a life in a day, as it turns out to be in mine.
Thank you for getting there, for passing me at least twice,  hopefully four.
it was great to see you make it and appreciate what that effort cost, to run even more

So I will sum it all up with how I felt a hundred times, adding a letter to where I started, the reward has lasted.
Encouraged I am and I hope you are
To continue as I hope I can, on the bridge
supporting those who ran...

 

New Year, New Record – by Glenn Wilson

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Well, what an incredible day at Canterbury parkrun on Tuesday (no, that is not a mistake, we really did do parkrun on a Tuesday!) First of all, we set a new attendance record - 278 of you completed Coogan's Hills on New Year's Day! But even more amazing was the dedication of the many parkrunners who completed a double parkrun in one morning. Whitstable and Deal & Walmer started their parkruns at 9am and 8.30am respectively giving everyone ample opportunity to complete two parkruns in succession by running Canterbury at 10.30am. A show of hands at the start of our event also highlighted a large number of you who cycled from Deal or Whitstable and a crazy few (looked to be about 30) who ran from Whitstable to Canterbury (I also know an even crazier group who ran both ways!!).

We averaged around 130 finishers each week during 2018. However, New Year's Day is traditionally our busiest day of the year. The higher numbers create a few challenges for us, but none more worrying than hoping we have enough finish tokens! When we set up nearly 5 years ago, we were given 308 by the parkrun planners. So as we sailed past 250 on Tuesday morning, this run director started to sweat a bit! I had put in place a contingency, but was still nervous about going over 308. I would not be surprised if next year's event surpasses that number! It was certainly an amazing site seeing so many of you setting off across the rugby pitches!

Another challenge with so many numbers is ensuring everyone completes the course safely. The Crab & Winkle can be busy, especially on such a bright sunny morning as New Year's morning was. I half-heartedly mentioned during the briefing that we sometimes see a horse and cart trotting along the course path. However, I was informed by the marshals that the horse and cart actually passed them moments before everyone set off!! Phew!!

The first person to receive token 0001 in 2019 was first timer McGilloway, followed closely by Steve Hobbs who I understand was also second finisher at Whitstable about 90 minutes earlier. Steve actually started his year running a marathon distance running from his home to Whitstable as well as running to Canterbury and back again! So it is even more impressive that Steve was only 18 seconds of his PB! Well done Steve - a great way to start the year.

On the subject of PBs, 26 of you recorded best times, which is a great way to start 2019. I also notice that 86 of you walked, jogged or ran Coogan's Hills for the first time, of whom five of you chose this event to complete your first ever parkrun. I hope you enjoyed our beautiful (albeit slightly undulating) course and hope to see many of you back again throughout the rest of the year.

Another challenge we face on New Year's Day is the closure of the Pavilion Cafe. However, each year we rise to the challenge by offering free teas, coffees and squash in the old cricket pavilion. Many participants bring cakes and biscuits to share as well, some of which were offered by the Vegan Runners who set up a table outside the pavilion. Thank you everyone who donated treats for everyone. And a big thank you to Georgina Hamilton-Hopkins who volunteered to serve the drinks to the thirsty parkrunners.

Georgina and Laura Hamilton-Hopkins serving drinks
Serving drinks

I am also indebted to the great team of volunteers who gave up their New Year's morning to help ensure that this event ran as smoothly as it did. I know that many of you took on roles that you have not done before including Barry Hopkins, Matthew Slowe, Kevin Shannon and James McCrea who made sure everyone parked safely and in good time for the start of the event. Matthew also came to the rescue to help reduce the barcode scanning queues by using his iPhone to do the scanning. We trialled this a few weeks ago and so we were very confident that this would be as successful as it was.

Queues forming for barcode scanning
Spot the three scanners

I am looking forward to 2019 parkrun at Canterbury. I am sure there will be plenty more to celebrate over the coming months as milestone t-shirts are earned, PBs are broken, a first 5k completed, a first hi-viz role accomplished or another volunteer role mastered. Whatever this year brings, I wish you all a very healthy and successful 2019.

GW

This week 278 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 86 were first timers and 26 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

John WILKINS • Julie COX • Kevin SHANNON • Jane ELDER • Barry HOPKINS • Glenn WILSON • Rachel MCCREA • Sarah DENSON • Gill LAMPARD • Michelle HOPKINS • Matthew SLOWE • Lucas KAD • Alan PROSSER • Ricki SLOWE • Elizabeth ROMANOWICZ • Vanessa SPINK • Clare LARTER • Justine LARTER • Mark GALE • Sue SLATER • Iain SPINK • Hazel BASFORD

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

The male record is held by Phil HURST who recorded a time of 15:12 on 15th March 2014 (event number 1).
The female record is held by Alexandra MILLARD who recorded a time of 19:03 on 6th August 2016 (event number 125).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen EBERLIN who recorded 85.86% (25:06) on 1st November 2014 (event number 33).

Canterbury parkrun started on 15th March 2014. Since then 4,203 participants have completed 25,044 parkruns covering a total distance of 125,220 km, including 4,031 new Personal Bests. A total of 413 individuals have volunteered 4,232 times.

 

A winter wonder – by James McCrea

We might have been stuck in no-mans land between Christmas and New Year celebrations, but a remarkable 141 of you managed to realise it was Saturday and haul yourselves out of bed to run at our 250th Canterbury parkrun. Well done to all of you who joined us this morning and a huge shout of thanks to the 15 volunteers that made today’s event possible.

I mentioned a couple of milestones this morning, and alongside it being our 250th event we had Liz Romanowicz celebrating her 50th and Paul Thompson hitting 150 parkruns – well done to both of you. A warm welcome also to the 14 who joined us at Canterbury for the first time (I spotted some experienced tourists for sure), and congratulations also to the 11 who bagged personal bests.

On the subject of stats, the last 250 runs contribute to some interesting reading!
• Number of runners: 4,103
• Number of runs: 24,625
• Number of first finishers: 196
• Number of clubs: 371
• Number of PBs: 3,994
• Average number of runners per week: 98.9
• Average number of runs per runner: 6.0
• Biggest Attendance: 250
• Average run time: 00:29:40
• Total hours run: 1Years 142Days 10Hrs 44Min 2Secs
• Total distance run: 123,125km

A couple of reminders, our next event is on new year's day and this will be the annual opportunity to run twice in one day. Don’t forget though, that we start at 1030 following the 0900 events which run earlier in the day – most notably (or locally at any rate) at Whitstable.

I also asked for volunteers to support our runs, and thanks to those of you who are filling out our future roster. If you can help then please get in touch https://www.parkrun.org.uk/canterbury/futureroster/

 


If you have any stories you would like to share about your experience at Canterbury parkrun, please let us know by emailing us at canterburyoffice@parkrun.com. For the latest information on Canterbury parkrun, follow us on Twitter @cantersparkrun or find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/canterburyparkrun)


Canterbury parkrun
Event number 250
29th December 2018

This week 141 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 11 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 15 volunteers:

Keith GILBERT • John WILKINS • Julie COX • Jane ELDER • Sammy-Jo FOSTER • Caroline WETHERILL • James MCCREA • Rachel MCCREA • Harrison FOSTER • Michelle HOPKINS • Alan PROSSER • Clare GALE • Mark GALE • Britta OSTHAUS • Hazel BASFORD

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

The male record is held by Phil HURST who recorded a time of 15:12 on 15th March 2014 (event number 1).
The female record is held by Alexandra MILLARD who recorded a time of 19:03 on 6th August 2016 (event number 125).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen EBERLIN who recorded 85.86% (25:06) on 1st November 2014 (event number 33).

Canterbury parkrun started on 15th March 2014. Since then 4,117 participants have completed 24,766 parkruns covering a total distance of 123,830 km, including 4,005 new Personal Bests. A total of 410 individuals have volunteered 4,210 times.


 

Festive fun – by Sammy-Jo Foster

On Saturday 22nd December Canterbury parkrun welcomed 131 participants to their annual festive edition of the weekly, timed, free 5k. As this was the festive edition of the run fancy dress was actively encouraged and as a result we saw a number of santas, reindeers and more than a few elves taking on Coogan's hills. Talking of elves we were really lucky to be joined by an extra special elf in the form of our very own Event Director Glenn Wilson who not only completed the course on lead bike but he then went on to run the course immediately afterwards, finishing only a few minutes after our tail walker Louisa. Thank you Glenn, not only for leading the way on Saturday but for everything you do all year to keep Canterbury parkrun running smoothly.

We were also joined by Canterbury parkrun regular Neil Kad, who was celebrating his birthday on Saturday. As it was his birthday he brought along mulled wine and festive treats for our runners. Thank you Neil. As you may know the pavilion cafe where we would usually have our post parkrun tea, coffee and treats is not open over the festive period. This means that we have to create a makeshift cafe in the old pavilion. This to me really displays the spirit of parkrun; to watch friends gather round and wish each other well over a tea or coffee, served from urns in a paper cup. Thank you to everyone who helped out on Saturday morning to ensure that all of our parkrunners were catered for.

As mentioned in the pre run brief we will be back with a normal parkrun on Saturday 29th December at 9am. But if you simply cannot wait that long please do head over to our friends at Whitstable parkrun for a Christmas day version of the run.

On New Year's Day there is a once a year chance to register two parkruns in one day. To enable you to do this Whitstable parkrun will start at 9am and Canterbury parkrun will start at the later time of 10:30am. And if you are foolish enough you can cycle or run the 6 miles between the 2 courses.

I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. See you all on the 29th!

If you're a stato, you'll love this stuff...

This week 131 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 10 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 13 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:

John WILKINS • Sammy-Jo FOSTER • Katherine NORRIS • Glenn WILSON • Louisa COX • Harrison FOSTER • Gill LAMPARD • Michelle HOPKINS • Matthew SLOWE • Lucas KAD • Alan PROSSER • Rebecca DAWKINS • Hazel BASFORD • Filip FEJFAR

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

The male record is held by Phil HURST who recorded a time of 15:12 on 15th March 2014 (event number 1).
The female record is held by Alexandra MILLARD who recorded a time of 19:03 on 6th August 2016 (event number 125).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen EBERLIN who recorded 85.86% (25:06) on 1st November 2014 (event number 33).

Canterbury parkrun started on 15th March 2014. Since then 4,103 participants have completed 24,625 parkruns covering a total distance of 123,125 km, including 3,994 new Personal Bests. A total of 410 individuals have volunteered 4,195 times.

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