Cassiobury parkrun #157 – 13-01-18 – Be mindful of your local environment and other users

Some of you are aware that we had a spot of bother last week when an unhappy cyclist clashed with runners near the start line just before the run, and subsequently posted abusive messages on our social media (which were swiftly dealt with by one of the RDs). Whilst we can ask parkrunners - as we do each week - to be mindful and considerate of other park-users, we have no control over the actions of those other park-users, and it is sad when incidents such as this happen in an otherwise peaceful and positive setting. What we can control, however, is our responses to unpleasant occurrences, and we are pleased to say that you, our parkrunning community, rose above it in attitude and actions and did your bit to help us maintain good relations - crucially, you listened in silence to the pre-run briefing, and heeded marshals' instructions to keep the cycle lane clear. Thank you so much for helping to present a collaborative and respectful side of parkrun to anyone else who uses the park, and for showing that there really is room for everyone to enjoy it in their own way if everyone is courteous towards others.

Bearing all that in mind, here is a reminder of the parkrun code for 5k events:

5k parkrun code (JPG)

This week, 421 people walked, jogged, and ran the course. At least 2 more of whom we are aware walked 1 lap in what they called a trial run for taking part "for real" next week! We welcomed 31 people who had never visited our venue before and we're delighted to say that, of those, 21 completed their first-ever parkrun. Well done and welcome to:


Cycle lane 1

This is what the cycle lane should look like ...

Despite the dark and dreary day, and what definitely felt, to marshals standing in one spot, like a cold wind, an amazing 63 runners recorded new PBs. Those have done 10 or more runs and scored a PB this week are:

Marion LLOYD-JONES (35:01), Lynda HERRING (38:28), Catherine IMRIE (31:59), Jon BIRD (23:19), Will BROTHERSTON (19:06), Gill RYAN (30:09), Marco PACE (24:09), Zoe RYAN (28:45), Rachel HARDING (34:49), Emilia COCKERELL (28:41), Chantal PEZOT (32:33), Sandeep HARIKANTRA (27:49), Rich POWELL (20:33), Nathan PASKELL (19:21), Kevin WILSON (39:58), Janet STOCKTON (34:13), Mohammed MASKIN (26:50), Edward SWAIN (20:09), Isaac GRIBBEN (35:18), Matt WOODHAMS (25:18), Muhammad PANJU (23:40), Jo ASKHAM (38:38), and Julie HUNTINGFORD (31:27).

65 representatives of 28 clubs took part, and the first male and female to cross the line were club runners from Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers and Sheffield University Cross Country & AC respectively: Ben WINFIELD was the first male and first junior male, in a time of 16:47, only 13 seconds away from his overall parkrun PB, set at St Albans last February; and Rachel BROWN was the first female and first senior female (19th overall) in a time of 21:14, in just her 2nd run at Cassiobury and 4th in total since she first parkran in 2013. The first senior male was Chris MARRIOTT of Dacorum & Tring AC - 2nd overall, in 18:07; and the first junior female was Mya ADDISON of Harrow AC - 130th overall, in 25:54.

Two familiar names appear at the top of the age-gradings, male and female: Andy MILES (VM60-64) was graded 84.59% for his time of 19:28, in 11th place; and Lyn MELLOR (VW55-59) was graded 76.41% for her time of 24:01, in 81st place.

Cycle lane 3

... THIS is what the cycle lane should look like ... !

The 157th finishers at our 157th run were:

Overall = Paul HARRIS, 27:02
Male = Philip HEARN, 28:48
Female = Karen STORMS, 39:21

In total, 178 athletes were female and 243 were male or unknown. Sadly, 36 people did not present a scannable barcode and therefore show as "unknown" in the results. You can get a reminder of your barcode here to print, and official tags and wristbands can be purchased from ERS. No barcode, no time, no exceptions ... please do NOT ask us to add you to the results retrospectively!!

The most prolific participant was Damaris DANIELS - she has run 217 parkruns in total (though only 2 at Cassiobury), and today finished in 93rd position with an aesthetically pleasing time of 24:24.

Just one milestone run was marked today: junior athlete Liya MASKIN completed her 10th run (all of which have been at Cassiobury) and finished in a time of 29:32, in 224th position. Her PB of 29:14 was set only last week and was her second PB in a row, so we are sure that many more successful runs are still to come for Liya! In case you missed it in December, here is the latest update about milestone t-shirts. If anyone else has a milestone run approaching, be sure to let us know! Celebrating their 100th runs will be Linsey MAYNARD on 27th January and Tim COYSH on 3rd February, and we are sure they would be pleased to see as many people there to mark the occasion with them!

Cycle lane 2

... this is ALMOST what the cycle lane should look like!

Final words for now go to thanking our 23 fantastic volunteers, without whom this run could not have happened:

Stephen BLAKEY, Christine CANNING, Damien CROXTON, John DAVIDSON, Sharon DAVIDSON, Charles DYTHAM, Katerina FELLAS, Ciara FITZPATRICK, Neil HERRING, Keith HEWETT, Glyn JAGGER, Harry MANLEY, James MARTIN, Linsey MAYNARD, Fiona MEPHAM, Robert MOORE, Mark NICHOLLS, Mark Andrew NICHOLS, Amritha RAGHAVAN, Philippa STATTER, Robert WALLACE, Jane WELCH, and Jo ZHOU.

Special mentions go to Bob who routinely litter-picks on his way around the park, to Damian who excelled in his role of gathering new volunteers to add to the future roster, to Mark who managed to combine barcode scanning with photography and whose excellent photos can be seen here on Flickr, and to Keith and Harry who were volunteering for the first time.

If you would like to take a turn at being a "high-viz hero" in the future, please take a look at the empty slots on the roster, and a description of what the volunteers do, and then email us at with your name, barcode number, and the date on which you are free. Thank you for helping to make YOUR parkrun a success!

See you next week :)

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IMG_4528  IMG_4571 IMG_4603


Cassiobury parkrun #156 – 06-01-18 – First Saturday of 2018 it is. Come to Cassiobury parkrun you must.

Wow! Even before parkrun started this week we knew it was going to be a big one - in the last week alone, 84 people who have signed up to parkrun have set Cassiobury as their home run. In fact, 68 people running today were first-timers to our event and, of those, 36 were taking on their first-ever parkrun. Well done and welcome to:

Alex FOLEY, Mike GRAY, Kye EASDOWN, Craig COBB, Oliver DAVEY, Gary ELLIOTT, Tom NELSON, Glen SMITH, Joe MURPHY, Scott TURTON, Martin ROACH, Danny BRODERICK, Martin NOYES, Josh EDWARDS, Chris CLARK, Daniel LAWRENCE, Shahzad MAJID, Oliver ANDREWS, Chris HADLAND, Kevin DURHAM, Marlee SMIT, Maria CERREDA, Rachelle ANDERSON, Lisa COOLEY, Camilla HADLAND, Candy GRATTON, Ricky SHAH, Susan ALLAN, Sarah MURPHY, Michael WATSON, Andreas SCHWARZ, Leah PATEL, Maciej BIELAWA, Peter TUNSTALL, Christina FIELD, and Julie O'BRIEN.

In total, 456 people completed the course today - this was our third-highest attendance ever! 37 people recorded new Personal Bests, and 86 representatives of 31 different clubs took part, including many from Watford Grammar School, and newcomers from Ware Joggers.


For those of you who might not have read Alistair's Facebook post of Friday, we thought it was worth copying here!

First Saturday of 2018 it is.
Come to Cassiobury parkrun you must.
Start at 9am near Ricky Road we will.
Have fun you will....
Run, jog or walk you may.
Bring a friend you should. (Or an enemy - fussy we are not).
Forget your barcode you will not.
Use this link to register and get a barcode you may:
Lots of new participants we will have (I hope).
New runners' brief at 8.45 there will be.
Keep quiet during the run brief you must.
Lots of happy volunteers we have.
Move the finish funnel again because of mud we will.
Stop talking like Yoda I must.
Enjoyed the Last Jedi at Christmas I did.
Lots of love Alistair xxx


Milestones were marked at both ends of range:


Steven MATTHEWS ran his 100th parkrun, 99 of which have been at Cassiobury and 1 at St Albans, finishing today in 84th place and a time of 23:50. His first parkrun was on 28th March 2015 in a time of 28:57 and he has since reduced his PB to 22:04, which was set just 6 weeks ago, on 25th November 2017. These days he can often be seen pushing his young son around in his buggy - and barely running any slower than usual!


Two youngsters completed their 10th runs, all of which have been at Cassiobury: Benjamin WILKINSON finished in 29:36 and 259th place; and Isaac GRIBBEN finished 384th with a brill new PB of 35:47.


And it's a pleasure to welcome one of the most fabulous new members of the "25" volunteer club - even though he showed maybe a bit too much glee at beating this run report writer to the line today!! - Thomas BALDERSON has completed 25 tasks at 25 runs since he first took on the barcode scanning role on 6th June 2015, all at Cassiobury. He has most often acted as barcode scanner but also frequently helps to sort the tokens on days when dad Alistair is the run director, and he has been the unofficial "3-2-1-go person" on many occasions!


The first male to cross the line finished in 16:08 but sadly did not present a barcode and therefore shows as "unknown" in the results. A timely New Year reminder ... Don't Forget Your Barcode! (DFYB). The first female to cross the line was Bridie MacDonald in 21:24 and 36th position overall. The highest age-graded run was by Andy Miles - 84.44% for his time of 19:30.

29 superb volunteers made this run possible - thank you to:

Alistair BALDERSON, Daniel BALDERSON, Thomas BALDERSON, Christine CANNING, Helen COX, Antony CROFTS, Gareth CUTTING, Sharon DAVIDSON, Ann DAVIDSON, Rajinderjit DUHRA, Katerina FELLAS, Peter FLANAGAN, William FROST, Kathy J HEWITT, Stephen HOBBS, Rustum KHEDKAR, James MARTIN, Martyn MAYNARD, Linsey MAYNARD, Fiona MEPHAM, Mark NICHOLLS, Ian NUNN, Lena PATEL, David PEARCE, Amritha RAGHAVAN, Helena STANBURY, Helen WHITTAKER, Lynn WITHINGTON, and Jo ZHOU.


Please make it a New Year's resolution to volunteer once for every 10 to 15 runs you do - no-one can run if not enough people volunteer! Here is the future roster (all the blank spaces need to be filled each week) and the contact address is (please tell us your name, barcode number, and the date on which you can volunteer). Thank you!

One of today's marshals, Anthony Crofts, runs a boot camp and personal training, and he would be pleased to help you improve your fitness and focus on your goals in the New Year.

Today's results can be seen here and photos will follow later (check our Facebook page for where to find the pics).


Good luck to runners including Helen and Linda who will be taking on the mud, hills, and steps (...and 230 feet of climbing up and down from the river to the National Trust House and back ...!) in tomorrow's Cliveden Cross Country.

Many of you will know the fabulous Katerina FELLAS - new member of the "50" run club, and long-standing member of the "25" volunteer club - as a regular runner and volunteer at Cassiobury, and as a club member of Watford Joggers, and we hope you will be interested to read a bit about her running history in answer to our "interview" questions:

1. When and where was your first parkrun, and how many have you done since then?
My first parkrun was at St Albans when I first took up running about four years ago. This was the nearest one to me at the time! I am now spoilt for choice with Cassiobury, Aldenham, South Oxhey and Rickmansworth all within running distance of my home. It has taken me a LONG time but I have finally mamaged to complete my 50th parkrun today!
2. Is there any aspect of that first run that you particularly recall?
I remember being amazed that parkrun was a free, weekly run that required no special preparation or planning other than a 'just turn up' approach.
3. What or who got you into parkrun?
I only really got into parkrunning consistently when Cassiobury first started - it was within easy walking distance of my house and I had no excuses for not doing it much more regularly!!
4. Have you been a tourist, and what is your favourite tourist course (or which other parkrun would you like to visit, if you have not been elsewhere)?
I never thought about actively seeking to do 'parkrun tourism' (I have only ever run three courses: St Albans, South Oxhey and Cassiobury) but now that I am properly 'hooked' I think I might try out a few more courses over the next year, starting with my nearest ones at Aldenham and Ricky.
5. Which volunteer role do you enjoy the most, and why?
I have tried many of the volunteer roles and my all time favourite is barcode scanning. I like it because you get the chance to engage with each runner and encourage/congratulate them on their achievement! I like to surprise them by addressing them by name (which you can sneakly read on their barcode) - it makes them feel part of the parkrun 'family'.
I also enjoy doing the welcome/briefing for new runners, again because it gives me the opportunity to engage and meet new people. This role has the added bonus of allowing me to volunteer as well as run myself!
6. Do you have a parkrun goal for the future?
My goal for this year will be to try out as many new courses as possible - I am going to be a proactive parkrun tourist.
7. Can you share your top running tip?
I don't really have a top running tip as such - I do not think I am 'qualified' enough to offer running tips...However, one piece of advice I would give to others would be to run for the fun of it and enjoy the experience of being able to do so!
8. What was your best/fave/funniest parkrun moment?
My most satisfying, and therefore best, parkrun experience has been when I was VI guide to a blind runner at South Oxhey recently. There is a huge weight of responsibility attached to guiding another person who is completely reliant on your instructions to get around the course; South Oxhey is a tough course as it is all on fairly uneven grass, often slippery and muddy and deceptively hilly!  It was hugely rewarding to complete the course without my blind runner taking a fall - which I was dreading - and for her to achieve a PB!
Thank you, Katerina!

Cassiobury parkrun #155 – 01-01-18 – Double Dabble

No sooner was 2017 done and dusted than 323 of you sprang into action to take part in the first Cassiobury parkrun of 2018 – this was our highest attendance for 6 weeks. Well done to you all for making it on to the start line for 09:00 … so many of you were visiting for the first time and then taking the opportunity to go on to do a second parkrun later in the morning. Several familiar faces showed up at Rickmansworth at 10:30, and we believe that a few went further afield, including to Ellenbrook Fields in Hatfield and Gladstone Park in North London. Representatives of 40 different clubs took part.

2018-01-01 Runners 2

In total, 82 people were first-timers or tourists. 6 athletes joined us for their very first parkruns – welcome to Jesse Panthangani, Niamh O’Shea, Fatim Panju, Nina Sandy, June Nicholls, and Pankaj Marathe. Well done to Katherine Rapp, who appears to be the only person who ran both their 1st AND 2nd parkruns on New Year’s Day!

At our 155th event, the 155th finisher was Hitesh Patel of Metros AC, in 26:57 – a first time visitor to Cassiobury but a regular at Harrow and Canons Park parkruns. He has run 57 times and volunteered 6 times.

It was pointed out to us (thank you, Charles Dytham!) that Cassiobury parkrun has now reached the same number of events as neighbouring South Oxhey – both are now on #155 and the next run for each will be #156. South Oxhey started one month before Cassiobury, at the end of January 2015 - and, with a few extra seasonal runs, Cassiobury has slowly but surely caught up. Look out for notifications of any 3rd anniversary celebrations at both events at the end of January and February! (And Charles himself has now overtaken both events, with his 156 runs!)

2018-01-01 Runners 3

There were lots of milestone celebrations, so here’s a quick run-down of the new club members:

Yolande Dytham completed her 25th volunteer stint – she was today’s tail walker (a role she has filled on 7 occasions), so you might have passed her at some point on the course! She first volunteered on 18/04/15, at just our 8th event, and has since completed 27 tasks on 25 days and has taken on all the main roles. She has also volunteered at Rickmansworth on 3 occasions.

Linda Walke has also now volunteered for the 25th time – her milestone came on Sunday at Leavesden junior parkrun, where she is one of the run directors; and she ran twice on New Year’s Day. She first volunteered on 17/10/15 and since then has undertaken 32 tasks at her 25 runs, including several roles at Cassiobury and at other junior parkruns.

Emma Rackham ran her 99th at Cassiobury and went on to do number 100 at Rickmansworth. As Emma pointed out, it seems that whichever event submits its results first on New Year’s Day appears first in an athlete’s profile, so, because Rickmansworth beat us to pressing the “submit” button, this quirk means her email notifications labelled Rickmansworth as her 99th and Cassiobury as her 100th!

3 people ran their 50ths at Cassiobury and went on to do #51 at Rickmansworth:

Helen Macaulay has run 45 times at Cassiobury, finishing today in 30:31 and 283rd place. Her PB of 23:40 was set on 16/12/17. She has volunteered 3 times as a marshal.

David Pearce has run 47 times at Cassiobury, finishing today in 25:04 and 111th place. His PB of 23:46 was set on 28/10/17.

Michiko Negami has completed most of her 51 runs at Harrow and has volunteered there as funnel manager. Her time and position today were 29:19 and 209th. This was just her 2nd run at Cassiobury.

Also running their 50ths today were:

Carl Moorhouse – 48 of his runs have been at Cassiobury and his PB of 23:29 was set on 19/09/15. He has volunteered twice as a barcode scanner.

Sophia Stylianou - she ran her 49th at Cassiobury (in 29:11) and went on to do number 50 at Rickmansworth (in 31:04). She has volunteered 4 times at the 2 venues; and her PB of 24:48 was set on 02/05/15.

David Woolcott - finished in 22:11 and 62nd place. All 50 of his runs have been at Cassiobury and his PB of 19:35 was set on 04/06/16.

Callum Smyth - he set a new PB of 21:54 at his 50th parkrun, and just his 3rd at Cassiobury. Most of his runs have been at his home run of South Oxhey, where he has also volunteered 16 times.

The first senior male to cross the line was Tom O’Beirne of Belgrave Harriers in 17:43. The first junior female to finish was first-timer Jane Williamson of Chiltern Harriers in 19:35 (13th overall). The first junior male was Alexander Hughes, also of Chiltern Harriers, in 19:50 (17th overall). And the first senior female was Christina Pennock, also of Belgrave Harriers, in 19:56 (21st overall).

2018-01-01 Runners 4

The highest age-graded runs, male and female, were by Peter Stainer – 84.28% for his time of 18:14; and Sharon Kassemzadeh – 81.83% for her time of 24:24.

The most prolific runner present was Paul Fielding who has completed 397 parkruns and more usually can be found at Basingstoke parkrun. Paul volunteers at his local 5k and junior parkruns, and he kindly helped us to set up the finish funnel (which was once again around the corner at the side of the café). He also tops the “most events” table which shows those runners who have attended at least 20 different 5k events in the UK. He finished in a time of 29:31 in 214th place.

We were also visited by Thomas Keenan who, by probably more by coincidence than by careful plotting, finished in 19th position at both Cassiobury and Rickmansworth (in 19:54 and 19:48). He has set himself the challenge of running every parkrun within the Greater London area (as defined on the parkrun events map), and, with 10 to go, is in a race to tick them all off before any more new events start up! We look forward to seeing his progress over the next 10 weeks or so.

We extend a huge thanks to all 26 volunteers who made this extra run a reality - Paul Baker, Emma Bird, Jon Bird, Christine Canning, Bernie Conway, Sharon Davidson, Ann Davidson, Yolande Dytham, Paul Fielding, Paul Green, Josephine Harvey, Emma Jeffrey, Rustum Khedkar, James Martin, Russell Matthews, Linsey Maynard, Andy McBean, Linda McQuaid, Douglas McQuaid, Sakalain Meghjee, Emily Nicholls, Helena Stanbury, Kerry Stock, Christine White, Helen Whittaker, and Zoe Wilkins - and good wishes to Rich for a speedy recovery! Special mention goes to Emily who, to finish her first level of the Duke of Edinburgh program, gave the "first timers' briefing" to probably the largest crowd of first timers and tourists we have ever seen! Emily stayed cool and serene throughout and delivered her briefing with aplomb.

2018-01-01 KS & JH  2018-01-01 FTB

30 people set expectations high for the New Year by running new Personal Bests. If you are looking for inspiration or goals to get fitter and faster than ever this year, here are a few tips:

Come to Cassiobury parkrun on the last Saturday of each month, which has been designated "Pacer Day" by Watford Joggers. Look out in the week before for a note of the target times then listen to the run briefing so you know which pacer to follow.

Enter the "parkrun wave" of the Westminster Mile, on Sunday 27th May in London, and focus on your speedwork for only a third of a parkrun!

Take a look at Running Coaching and Personal Training, where there is a training option to suit everyone's needs, and see if personal trainer Aleksandra Rodrigues can help to motive you and improve your regime.

We look forward to many successful miles in 2018! Happy New Year :-)

2018-01-01 Runners 1

Useful links:


Cassiobury parkrun #154 – 30-12-17 – The one withOUT the muddy finish funnel

***Click here for today’s results, here for Robert’s photos, here for Paul’s photos, and here for Jo's 6-minute video***

Well! There has rarely been a dull moment over the past few weeks at our parkrun. Frost, ice, driving rain on Christmas Day, and so on … … … and today a soggy finish area! Not wanting to spoil the fun for the cross-country fans who like jumping in puddles, but keen to make sure that everyone stayed upright as they entered and exited the funnel, a hasty revision was made to reposition the finish line onto the path next to the Cha Cafe (which, luckily for us today, is closed for the holidays). All credit to RD team Claire and Vince for arriving early (before daylight!) and making the alternative arrangements.


Claire: Today's finish funnel is over THERE!

291 people successfully negotiated the course and crossed the finish line, running, walking, and jogging. We like a good milestone here at Cassiobury, and today we saw SEVEN of them! Here are brief profiles of those milestone athletes:

Linda McQuaid ran her 100th parkrun, 56 of which have been at Cassiobury. Her PB of 26:10 was set on 08/10/16. Today she finished in 29:01, in 185th place. She has volunteered on 20 occasions, often barcode scanning or tail walking, and in fact has volunteered at all 4 parkruns in the Watford area. Good luck in tomorrow’s Buntingford 10-miler, Linda!

100 - LM (2) Y

Katerina Fellas ran her 50th parkrun, 44 of which at Cassiobury. This is a particularly notable landmark because Katerina has volunteered more than she has run – 66 tasks at 60 events. We are very grateful for her cheeriness and enthusiasm on the volunteer side, including numerous occasions of briefing the first timers and tourists, setting up and closing down, and pretty much every other volunteer role on the roster! Today she finished in 31:26, in 217th place, having set her PB of 24:18 just over a year ago, on 24/12/16.

50 - KF (2)

Laura Collingridge ran her 50th run, flanked by Team Blakey in support, in a time of 32:14 and 223rd position. This was her 41st run at Cassiobury, and her PB of 30:32 was set here on 25/03/17 – her 2nd PB that month! She has volunteered at 5 runs, undertaking 8 tasks, including token-sorting, and volunteer co-ordinating for the Soul Survivor Watford take-over in October 2017, when she also funnel managed and helped to process the results.

50 - LC (1)

Finishing only 13 seconds and 8 places apart (27:06 (145th) and 27:19 (153rd)) were father and daughter team Carl Atkins and Ellen Atkins, both completing their 50th runs. Ellen is, of course, already a member of the junior “10” club. Carl has run 44 times at Cassiobury and Ellen 47. Their PBs, set 3 weeks apart (on 13/05/17 and 03/06/17), are 24:15 and 25:38 respectively. Carl ran his 49th some weeks ago and Ellen has had the chance to catch up so that they celebrated their 50ths on the same day!

50 - CA (1)

50 - EA (1)

Kevin Hayden ran his 50th parkrun, 37 of which at Cassiobury. His finish time and position today were 29:16 and 191st; and his PB of 24:59 was set at just his 5th run here, on 01/10/16. He has volunteered twice, as timekeeper and funnel manager.

50 - KH (1)

Linsey Maynard completed her 25th occasion of volunteering and earned her purple “25” t-shirt. Linsey has recently taken on Cassiobury parkrun’s Twitter account and acts as our “communications person”, so if you follow us on Twitter you are likely to have seen her posts. We are very grateful for her super support. As well as helping out today, she ran her 95th parkrun (52 of which at Cassiobury) and finished a tantalising 3 seconds over the half-hour mark, in 202nd position.

25 - LM (1)

Several other Cassiobury-registered runners completed 50th milestones elsewhere – well done to Emma Jeffrey (28:04 at Havant), Ian Anthony Flynn (22:06 at Rickmansworth), and Christine Partridge (26:56 also at Rickmansworth).

We were pleased to welcome 7 people who were completing their very first parkrun: Tom Misselbrook (27:33, 157th), Shaya Goldstein (36:51, 264th), Charlotte Dear (31:25, 215th), Jessica Jupp (28:28, 175th), Rose Misselbrook (31:19, 212th), Ian Wells (26:07, 121st), and Jeff Van Os (24:24, 87th). In total, 20 people visited our venue for the first time today.

The most prolific participant today was also the most-travelled tourist – usually of Rocks Riverside, Australia – AND he set a new PB! Welcome back to Chris Reid, veteran of 215 parkruns, 5 of which at Cassiobury, who ran 20:36 to finish in 16th place. The last time Chris visited was on our record-attendance run of 20/05/17, Event #121, when a pacer event AND the planned cancelled of Rickmansworth parkrun saw 527 people completing our course.

At our 154th event, the 154th finisher was Jonathan Hill – this was his 22nd parkrun (all of which have been at Cassiobury) and he finished in 27:23.

On her 71st parkrun (70 of which at Cassiobury), Lindsay Warne finished in 71st position, in a time of 23:42.

The first senior male to cross the line was Thomas Gillespie in 16:56, only 3 seconds short of his current PB; and the first junior male was Adam Serag in 18:58 (3rd overall). The first female to cross the line was Rebecca Nkoane in 19:07 (6th overall); and the first junior female was Grace Ingles in 20:41 (18th overall). The highest female age-graded run was by Sharon Kassemzadeh who was graded 83.14% for her time of 24:01; and the highest male age-graded run was by Andy Miles who was graded 82.61% for his time of 19:56.

1M = TG  3M = AS  1F = RN

3F = GI  Age-grades DH & SK  71st, 71st, LW

This event was brought to you by 34 fabulous volunteers, to whom we are much obliged. We rely on around 25 volunteers each week to be able to hold the run and we would be very grateful if part of your New Year’s Resolutions included a resolve to volunteer once for every 10 to 15 times you run! Please check out the roster here and email if you would like us to enter your name next to any of the empty slots. December’s volunteers have helped to make the busy Christmas runs pretty easy on us, and we would love to have some new volunteers trying their hands at it in January and beyond! All the tasks are straightforward, and please rest assured that we will give you briefing and support to make it easy for you.

Today’s course marshals and finish area crew were Kevin Barrett, Bernie Conway, Ann Davidson, John Davidson, Sharon Davidson, Claire Deritis, Paolo Deritis, Vince Deritis, Paul Green, Glyn Jagger, Kelly Jagger, Rustum Khedkar, Helen Macaulay, Linda McQuaid, Douglas McQuaid, Robert Nobbs, Neal Oulton, Amritha Raghavan, Helena Stanbury, Liz Thomson, Lindsay Turner, Katy Wolstencroft, Helen Wolstencroft, and Jo Zhou

Barcode scanners

… and the wonderful Watford Joggers pacers were Sam Allen, Paul Biswell, Katerina Fellas, David O’Sullivan, Anatole Ransom, Richard Bird, Tim Cook, Mark Nicholls, and Gail Winter, and their co-ordinator Philippa Griffin. Remember that, thanks to the Joggers, the last Saturday in each month is now Pacer Day, so look out for advance notice on our website and Facebook page of target times before the next Pacer Day on 27th January. In total, 20 new PBs were set today, despite the rather windy conditions ... a new PB could be yours next month if you pick the right pacer to follow!

Pacer DO (1)  Pacer AR (1)  Pacer MN (1)

Pacer PB (1)  Pacer PG (1)  Pacer SA (1)

That’s it for another week and another year, folks … well, almost, as our next Cassiobury parkrun is in fact in just 2 days’ time, at 09:00 on 1st January! New Year’s Day is the only day on which runners can register TWO parkruns, and we have co-ordinated with nearby Rickmansworth parkrun, who will start at 10:30. Other “doubles” are available – take a look at the Christmas Compendium here. If you are planning to run twice on NYD, please check that your chosen runs are definitely on and what times they will start. Please plan your route carefully between the two, and don’t take any risks when travelling!

What an awesome year 2017 has been for parkrunning – we can't wait to see you all again in 2018!

Sharon and the crew


Cassiobury parkrun #153 – 25-12-17 – The one with all the dressing up!

I was a bit too busy eating roast potatoes and Christmas pud this afternoon to think of anything in particular to write in this run report ... so I decided to hand over to some of the 279 lovely parkrunners who not only attended this morning but also left some rather nice heart-warming comments on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Thank you to everyone who commented!

    • What a super way to start Christmas Day. Well done to all those who took part today. Volunteers, you were amazing, thank you. Out there on a wet and chilly morning, smiling all the way. Merry Christmas to one and all.
    • What a great start to Christmas Day, thanks so much to all the volunteers.
    • Thank you all – should be a new PB.
    • Thank you all! Was a lovely atmosphere (as always!). Merry Christmas!
    • Thank you to all the parkrun helpers ... what a great way to start Christmas Day...
    • Merry Christmas to every parkrunner and volunteer that made Cassiobury fun as usual!!! Note to self ... do not forget barcode!!!
    • I had a great time! Visiting from South Devon! Merry Christmas everyone! X
    • Fab. Loved it. #touristfromLiverpool x
    • Thank you to all the fantastic volunteers for putting on a great event. A fantastic way to start Christmas.
    • We just made it in time today, after getting a bit lost! A great run! Thank you to Russell for minding my phone and to all the marshals x
    • Thank you for the Xmas Day parkrun. You all deserve medals for putting this on for us.
    • Massive thanks to everyone for this morning. Think it may be my new Xmas tradition!!
    • Nice bit of parkrun tourism this morning. Thanks to all the volunteers and to the lady who encouraged my daughter at the end.
    • There is Santa ...
    • 2017-12-25 Santa @ Cassiobury
    • What a sexy Christmas tree! [Ed: And so modest!!]2017-12-25 Xmas tree2

18 people chose today to make their parkrun debuts – welcome to Duncan HILL, Richard FOSKETT, Chris SINCLAIR, Krzysztof CEKALA, Chris MILES, Thomas STOCK, Nikki WOOLCOTT, Aliraza DAMANI, Stuart BILLINS, Virazali DAMANI, Paul SINCLAIR, Jonathan SINCLAIR, Mari HILL, Abby CADWALLADER, Derek FRANKLIN, Najama DAMANI ...  to Richard BLACK who was the 153rd finisher at our 153rd run ... and to Maurice SINCLAIR who set an amazing new age category record by running 29:39 in the VM80-84 category. We hope you all enjoyed your runs and come back and see us again soon!

A further 23 were visiting us as tourists from other parkruns ... some we know of came from as near as South Oxhey and Canons Park, as far as Liverpool and Devon ... and, even further, from France and Canada! Apparently the parkrun in Paris sees only a fraction of the number of runners that we have here at Cassiobury, so a top-twenty finish is always pretty much guaranteed!

25 people set new PBs, including (of those who have run at least half their runs at Cassiobury) Kassim MEGHJEE (27:23), Aiden SIMMONS (23:53), Julie HUNTINGFORD (32:30), Michael ROWAN (25:02), Lisa HALL (25:41), Mark ROBERTS (28:38), Naveed ANWAR (31:42), Hasnain PANJU (26:46), Julian GREER (39:35), Adam ESMAIL (42:10), regular crew member Karen ENGLAND who has volunteered twice as many times as she’s run! (40:25) and ... most pleasingly of all, Kulsum MEGHJEE (47:36), who marked her 2nd anniversary of parkrunning (having debuted on 26/12/15), has since run 87 of her 89 runs at Cassiobury, and took 37 seconds off her previous PB which was set on 05/03/16. Well done to you all!

2017-12-25 KE

2017-12-25 KM PB

The most prolific female and male runners today were Rosemarie CLANCY who has run 197 parkruns in total (2 at Cassiobury; most at Bushy, where, incidentally, nearly 1,600 runners went this morning - their second-highest ever turn-out!) and Julien LAURIER who has run 166 parkruns (8 at Cassiobury; most at St Albans).

Giving themselves the Christmas gift of a milestone run were Stephen NEWING (100 runs, today’s result 21:05), Tehseen MUSTAFA (50 runs, today’s result 29:48 – a new PB!), and Nishaat BHIMANI (50 runs, today’s result 33:55). Congratulations to all! Check out the latest update from HQ about milestone t-shirts.

2017-12-25 NB 50th

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers who braved the decidedly un-Christmassy rain and wind: Robert WALLACE, Douglas MCQUAID, Vince DERITIS, Claire DERITIS, Sharon DAVIDSON, Ann DAVIDSON, Alistair BALDERSON, Thomas BALDERSON, Paolo DERITIS, Katie BALDERSON, Daniel BALDERSON, Robert NOBBS, Russell BARNES-HEATH, Paul BAKER, Rob MOULD, Helena STANBURY, Martin KEARNS, Caroline GLENISTER, Richard LESTER, and Gisela AITKEN-DAVIES (and Samson!). Thanks to you all.

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

A few pics of the fabulous outfits can be seen below, with more in Robert Nobbs' Facebook album.

2017-12-25 Snowwoman2017-12-25 Santa hats
2017-12-25 Santa hat2017-12-25 Santa elf
2017-12-25 SA2017-12-25 runners @ start
2017-12-25 FC2017-12-25 Christmas jumpers
2017-12-25 Tardis sweater2

The male record is held by Adam BOWDEN who recorded a time of 14:42 on 26th December 2015 (event number 45). The female record is held by Hannah KITCHEN who recorded a time of 17:25 on 15th April 2017 (event number 116). The Age Grade course record is held by Claire DONALD who recorded 98.46% (18:23) on 25th July 2015 (event number 22).

Cassiobury parkrun started on 28th February 2015 and, since then, 6,572 participants have completed 42,267 parkruns covering a total distance of 211,335 km, including 8,745 new Personal Bests.

Season’s greetings, parkrunners! See you again at 09:00 on Saturday 30th December and 1st January!

Sharon & the crew

2017-12-25 Umbrella

A reminder that someone forgot to put "nice weather" on their Christmas wish-list!

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