Event #18 – 13th Jan 2018

Looking at yesterday's parkrunners disappear into the distance, I was a little jealous of you all as I love my Saturday run with you lovely people! However, I was happy to take on the role of run director, and be supported by 36 fabulous volunteers happy to give up their time on a cold and damp January morning to stage the event.

It was great to see all 297 of you passing the "start" sign to go on and run, jog, or walk around the 5km course. Within this number were 42 first timers, which is an incredible number, I suspect helped by new year resolutions! I hope you all enjoyed joining the parkrun family and continue throughout 2018.

Being around the finish area to watch you all successfully complete the course was a privilege, within these finishers were 69 personal bests! Given the muddy and slippery conditions this was quite an achievement.

I'd like to congratulate Nicholas Yeadon for achieving both his 100 run and 25 volunteering milestones this week.

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

This week the 297 people ran, jogged and walked the course were representatives of 17 different clubs.

 

As stated above, the event was made possible by 36 volunteers, they were:

Joanne MILLS • Oliver LAST • Victoria MADDOX • Kevin WATSON • Melanie WATSON • Hollie MATHISON • Simon ELLICE • Graham MULLY • James YEADON • Nicholas YEADON • Patrick CHAPPEL • Rosemary NUGENT • Rachel ALEXANDER • Alastair CAMERON • Benjamin CAMERON • Rebecca HALL • Vicki HEIDKE • David BRAYSHAW • Veneta ALDOUS • Katy BELLERBY • Felix BELLERBY • Florence BELLERBY • Piadade JARVIS • Em WARRINGTON • Heather MAXWELL • Sophie BARC • Olwenn GILLESPIE • John THORP • Scott NUGENT • Charlotte MULLY • Hannah MULLY • Isabelle MURRAY • Simon DEWHURST • Lauren BOJKO-BEET • Nikki CHAPMAN • Jennie HONOUR

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 15:37 on 7th October 2017 (event number 2).

The female record is held by Megan EVANS who recorded a time of 18:18 on 4th November 2017 (event number 6).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jenny BRAYSHAW who recorded 85.60% (24:25) on 6th January 2018 (event number 17).

Castle Park parkrun started on 30th September 2017. Since then 1,431 participants have completed 4,587 parkruns covering a total distance of 22,935 km, including 883 new Personal Bests.

 

Hope you all have a great parkrunning year!

Kind Regards

Kevin

 

Event #17 – 6th January 2018

Our first Saturday parkrun for 2018 and boy was it a chilly one!

This was my very first week at standing on a park bench and shouting. I was very grateful to you all for listening; there’s always quite a lot of important info to share with our parkrunners before we head off.

Despite the icy conditions 296 people turned up to run, jog or walk the course and there was a brilliant team of 33 volunteers that made it happen.

About the volunteers:  now, I’ve only volunteered occasionally in the past  (very rarely!) and whilst putting the roster together last week I realised just how amazing and supportive our volunteers actually are and I’d thoroughly encourage anyone to give it a go. Your reward? A super glowy feeling first thing on a Saturday morning and there’s even roles you can do and still run. We'd love for you to get involved, just pop an email to castleparkoffice@parkrun.com or check out what roles are available in the coming weeks here: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/castlepark/futureroster/

Even If you’ve never run 5km or haven't been to parkrun before and want to know how much fun it actually is; volunteering is the best way to join in. (On a good week there’s even cake)

Saturday's event was made possible by these 33 lovely people:

Mark BURKETT • Megan EVANS • Chris HOLT • Peter BEATTY • Mark LAWRENCE • Philippa WATSON • Sheila KITCHEN • Hollie MATHISON • Anne HALL • Grace CADZOW • Elizabeth BELLINGER • Holly HUDSON • Callum HUDSON • Simon ELLICE • Nicholas YEADON • Alastair CAMERON • Benjamin CAMERON • Abbi BLAKEY • Kevin GILLESPIE • David BRAYSHAW • Piadade JARVIS • Victoria CORBISHLEY • Talitha CORBISHLEY-SHERFIELD • Scott NUGENT • Andrew ARNOLD • Clare ARNOLD • Isabelle MURRAY • Andrew TURVEY • Fraser ARNOLD • Simon DEWHURST • James MARK • Dave HALL • Ian HUDSON

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

Huge Congratulations to the following people for their milestones this week:

Parkrun 10’s:

Henry Wright

Nick Jacques

Eunjung Haythornthwaite

Luca Cusick

Rowena Armstrong

Sophie Benson

Tracy Luckuck

Parkrun 50’s: 

Marc Payne

We also had 47 first timers join us, and 46 Personal Bests, with representatives from 18 different running clubs taking part too.

Here’s hoping next week’s run is a little warmer! Over to Kevin now for next week.

Alastair

 

Event #16 – 1st January 2018

Firstly, let me start off by wishing you all a Happy New Year! As the clocks chimed midnight, it could only mean one thing... Bonus parkrun-day had arrived and for some people this also meant not only an additional parkrun-day in the calendar but also the opportunity to run two of them in the same day! (Some might class this as a treat...)

As those who joined Georgia on Saturday will be aware, the heavy rainfall and lack of sun to dry the ground, has started to turn the park a little bit boggy in places. The Core Team were in discussions over the weekend as to what we can do to help this, with even the prospect of cancelling NYD discussed. Fortunately, after a course walk on New Years Eve - a slight change to our routing was decided, and we proceeded with the event. From what I gather around the finish line today, there was a lot of positivity about this version of the course and it is handy for us to know considering that more rain is forecast. As always, please make sure you check our social media channels to be up to date as to if the event was happening.

On the 1st January, we welcomed 133 runners to Castle Park parkrun for our NYD special! About 15 minutes before the start, I was concerned if anyone would turn up at all as we had no more than 20 runners waiting to go - thankfully everyone appeared at the last minute! Of which 30 people were running Castle Park for the first time and all 133 recorded their best time of 2018 (So a massive well done to you)

The celebrations continued with 7 people obtaining a PB - So Well Done to; Mark Spiller, Alun Nash, Chris Lawson, Katherine Watson (who now also holds the SW18-19 course record for Castle Park), Alex Wallace, John Early and Josie Adams. If that wasn't enough we also saw Ian Penson join the 100 Club - Ian started his parkrun journey at Hatfield Forest back in November 2015 and since then has run at 22 different parkrun locations - 67 of which were at Hatfield Forest and 13 here at Castle Park. Alex Wallace also joined the 10 run club today, flying around the course in 30:13 - which was a PB for him!

For course, the event wouldn't have been able to go ahead if it wasn't for the band of merry 26 volunteers! So a round of applause for the following;

Alastair CAMERON  •  Amy ADAMS  •  Bekah CRANCH  •  Callum HUDSON  •  Chris BROLLY  •  Chris CHEW  •  Chris HOLT  •  Denise ALLSOPP  •  Eleanor RODGERS  •  Hollie MATHISON  •  Holly HUDSON  •  Jason HASTY  •  Jo WILLIAMS  •  Joanne COLEBOURNE  •  Joanne MILLS  •  Kate PITTS  •  Katy BELLERBY  •  Lori MORRISON  •  Luke SHEPHERD  •  Margaret CONNELL  •  Mark LAWRENCE  •  Mark SHOTTON  •  Nicholas YEADON  •  Oliver LAST  •  Simon ELLICE  •  Thomas WILTON

And so, this is it, my final run report as retire from professional Run Directing. Thank you very much to all the runners and volunteers over the last 2.5 years for your help during the events, both here and at Hatfield Forest. I am not going anywhere so I will see you next weekend! Speaking of which, I now hand the baton over to Alastair who is taking charge as your RD for event #17 for the first time. Currently the roster is looking slightly empty - so if you are available to help out, please email us at - castleparkhelpers@parkrun.com

Happy park-running!

Mark

 

Event #15 – 30th December 2017

It was only after we’d closed down and I headed home that I realised I’d been RD at the last parkrun of 2017. If I’d have realised beforehand I might have thought to mention it in the briefing, but oh well, better late than never.

So to summarise the year I have done a compilation of my parkrun year in a format you may recognise….

On the first day of running, my parkrun gave to me, a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the second day of running, my parkrun gave to me, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the third day of running, my parkrun gave to me, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the fourth day of running, my parkrun gave to me, four cows a wandering , three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the fifth day of running, my parkrun gave to me, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

Ok, the numbers go a bit awry now!!

On the sixth day of running, my parkrun gave to me, 257.4 runners per week, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the seventh day of running, my parkrun gave to me, an average run time of 28:27, 257.4 runners per week, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the eighth day of running, my parkrun gave to me, 760 pbs, an average run time of 28:27, 257.4 runners per week, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the ninth day of running, my parkrun gave to me, 1312 runners, 760 pbs, an average run time of 28:27, 257.4 runners per week, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the tenth day of running, my parkrun gave to me, 3861 runs, 1312 runners, 760 pbs, an average run time of 28:27, 257.4 runners per week, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the eleventh day of running, my parkrun gave to me, an amazing collection of people, who have grown into any amazing community, 3861 runs, 1312 runners, 760 pbs, an average run time of 28:27, 257.4 runners per week, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

On the twelth day of running, my parkrun gave to me, the most amazing husband anyone could every wish for, and the best ED an event could ask for, an amazing collection of people, who have grown into any amazing community, 3861 runs, 1312 runners, 760 pbs, an average run time of 28:27, 257.4 runners per week, five new RD’s, four cows a wandering, three fancy dresses, two amazing venues and a wedding in a pretty marquee

So to end 2017, I want to personally and on behalf of the event, thank Chris. Only I know the hours of dedication and commitment that he gave to Hatfield Forest and now gives to Castle Park. I watched while he stressed and worked to ensure a seamless and positive transition from the Forest to our new home, and to ensure there actually was an event we could all enjoy. It’s been a big year for both of us both personally and parkrun-ly. Here’s to 2018 being equally as successful, if a little less eventful!!

Don't forget your New Year's Resolution .... I will volunteer once every two months :-)

Now to the nitty gritty……

This week 243 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 44 were first timers and 9 recorded new Personal Bests.

The event was made possible by 32 volunteers:

Megan EVANS • Sarah MACKAY • Chris HOLT • Vicky SIMPSON • Oliver LAST • Victoria MADDOX • Chris CHEW • Corinna CRANCH • Kevin WATSON • Melanie WATSON • Bekah CRANCH • Matthew IRONSIDE • Hollie MATHISON • David ASHWORTH • Harvey MACKAY • Woody HUDSON • Georgia HOLT • Ellen BROOKS • Russell KING • Denise ALLSOPP • Rosemary NUGENT • Francesca PALMER • Danielle SIMS • Sydney MACKAY • Veneta ALDOUS • Katy BELLERBY • Felix BELLERBY • Florence BELLERBY • Piadade JARVIS • Bob HORNE • Scott NUGENT • Andrew TURVEY

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

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 15:37 on 7th October 2017 (event number 2).
The female record is held by Megan EVANS who recorded a time of 18:18 on 4th November 2017 (event number 6).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded 82.82% (15:37) on 7th October 2017 (event number 2).

Happy New Year Everyone
Georgia

 

Event #14 – Christmas Day parkrun 2017

Saturday Monday provided an opportunity to do something parkrun related that I had never experienced from the perspective of a Run Director. In 2013 I was starting to parkrun more frequently, I didn't know the Christmas Day parkrun. 2014 heralded a conversion, I was now definitely a parkrunner & when Great Notley started up, I soon became a volunteer for the first time. In 2014 Great Notley decided against holding a Christmas Day event, something Event Director Len regretted afterwards, I found myself enjoying the experience at Chelmsford, an hour of light in a time of darkness for me.

By Christmas 2015 we had our own parkrun community, Hatfield Forest. Unfortunately though, the opportunity to hold a Christmas Day event never materialised as the National Trust closes for one day a year, we couldn't hold an event with the forest being closed. So for 2015 & 2016 we encouraged our runners to spread their wings, to experience a Christmas Day parkrun elsewhere. In both 2015 & 2016 my Christmas Day parkrun brought me to Great Notley, with 2016 also seeing the entire family out for a run. Even as I wondered how sensible I really was for offering to piggyback Callum up the Hill of Doom, I knew this was a special day, grateful for the experience.

2017 brought a change in circumstance & an opportunity to do something different. I approached East Herts & Bishop's Stortford councils about the possibility of holding additional festive events & received a resounding yes! I had just enough volunteers to safely hold an event, no idea if anyone would actually show up, but it didn't matter, we would have our own Christmas Day parkrun.

Christmas Day parkrun

The name parkrun is misleading at times, it focuses on the activity rather than everything else that surrounds the event. Every Saturday we create a pop up community, one where everyone might happen to walk, jog or run a 5k, but in truth the physical activity is largely irrelevant. We could all do that in our own time after all. Even the milestones, they are a nice feature of parkrun, but we don't really turn up week in, week out to tick a box. Whether you walk, jog, run or volunteer, what brings people back to parkrun is the community. Everyone takes part on a level playing field (unless you go to Tring, that's more of an unlevel, hill based parkrun), everyone has achieved the same at the end of their run, walk or jog.

When planning for our first Christmas event, conversation in the Holt household had been what would constitute a successful Christmas Day parkrun. At first I surmised on 100 participants, then realising I was potentially missing the point entirely. A successful Christmas Day event would be one that provided an hour of joy for those who attended and participated. parkrun is escapism, a chance to step away from the real world for an hour or so. Whether you were just escaping the turkey in the oven for an hour, thinking of family at this time of year, taking some respite from the deluge of wrapping paper, or just wanting to see your extended parkrun family, we wanted to be there for you on Christmas Day morning.

What constituted a success? 154 runners was an exceptional number, beyond anything we had expected. But more importantly, the smiles, the thank yous, the enjoyment, the high fives, the well dones as people crossed the finish line, the fancy dress, the snowlady appearing on the course to guide and encourage runners. That made it all worthwhile.

The Run

41 people were new to Castle Park parkrun on Saturday, including three who were enjoying their first ever parkrun! What a day to pick for your first, welcome to parkrun! 11 people decided that Christmas was the perfect day to record a personal best! A number of experienced parkrun tourists also joined us, making trips from south London, Yorkshire, Ilford & St Albans. Former Hatfield Forest course record holder Malcolm Muir led the field home. Two of our participants, James Bosher & Joe Spraggins arrived having already run 23.1 miles on Christmas morning, the parkrun completing their marathon for the day!

The full results for the day can be found here

The Volunteers

Our Christmas Day event was a lean affair. We had just enough people to fill our mandatory marshal points & our most important funnel roles. Some pre run appealing to anyone not running on the day also meant we had a few more people to assist with time keeping & barcode scanning. Our faster runners also assisted with bolstering the finish area once they'd completed their two laps.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped in some form on Christmas Day; Elisabeth HOUSE • Megan EVANS • Sarah MACKAY • Chris HOLT • Oliver LAST • Sue LAST • Scott CADZOW • Christopher CONNELL • Georgia HOLT • Holly HUDSON • Callum HUDSON • Claire CADZOW • Reg CLAYTON • Denise ALLSOPP • Stefan MILKOWSKI • Em WARRINGTON • Sally HOUSE • Amanda BROWN • Graham SMITH • Debbie FERGUSON • Rebecca SMITH • Sophie SMITH • Patrick ROBBIE • Simon JUDKINS

Saturday 30th

We return to normal parkrun service on Saturday 30th. Georgia will be your Run Director. She is currently looking for two funnel area roles to be filled & for one more marshal, perhaps even a photographer. A couple more helpers for setup & close down would also be very handy (these roles can be combined with running).

New Year's Day parkrun

The start of 2018 also brings another special parkrun day. New Year's Day is unique on the parkrun calendar, you can record two different runs. With that in mind, we will be starting at the early time of 0830. Once you've finished, you can then head to Barclay, Chelmsford, Harrow Lodge, Brentwood, Ellenbrook or Stevenage for a 1030 start time & that second parkrun. You could also volunteer at one & run at the other, or volunteer at both. The world is your oyster (within a safe driving distance).

If you are doing the double, please share your photos & experiences with us, we'd love to know where you head to.

Mark is your Run Director on New Year's Day. He'll have just run a NYE marathon & will apparently be a little bit fragile in the morning. It will also be Mark's final morning as a Run Director. Having been part of the core team since 2015, commitments outside of parkrun now mean his time is at a premium, so he's stepping away from the core team. Mark doesn't have a Christmas list, but as he's been a good boy for 2 years, for New Year's Day he'd really like 4 more marshals, two more finish area roles filled, a photographer & maybe some more assistance with setup & close down.

Thank You for 2017

And so, as this is my last stint as RD this year, time to say some thank yous.

Thank you to our core team, old & new for embracing all of the change this year. Not many parkrun events go through the amount of upheaval that we saw this year, I'm immensely proud of the hard work that was put into our move.

Thank you to both the National Trust as our former landlords & Bishop's Stortford Town Council, East Herts District Council & Hertfordshire County Council, our new landlords. The NT gave us time to plan, our new councils gave us the opportunity to move the event & worked with us to ensure that we could move from one week at the forest, to the next in the heart of Bishop's Stortford. To achieve this took a lot of work & a lot of understanding.

Thank you to parkrun UK. The team at HQ were in uncharted territory with our move. Little Stoke was still fresh in many minds. Between us all, we found a way forward & collaborated to make sure everything ticked for the move. They placed a lot of trust in our instincts locally & provided support throughout the process.

Thank you to our parkrun community. Whether you were a stalwart from the forest, or someone that found us after our move to Castle Park, thank you for being part of something that makes Saturday mornings special. You could suggest that our parkrun community is just a cut & paste exercise, with the surroundings changed. From an event perspective we can already see a change, an evolution in our community. In the summer, I stated that the venue doesn't make a parkrun, the people do. 14 events in to Castle Park & I stand by that remark, the encouragement as everyone enters the field for the final 400 metres, the atmosphere around the finish area, the shouting of bollards, that's what makes a parkrun.

And finally, a thank you to my wife, Georgia. We've had quite the year, getting married (including wedding day parkrun), a band of squatting yogaists at our wedding, a house move (again), redundancy, new jobs, changes to jobs, all manner of other commitments. On top of that we then had an unplanned new parkrun project. Yet throughout all of this, she's been there, living & experiencing every bit of the move. The kids also have to put up with the early starts, the plethora of parkrun equipment around the house, but it is Georgia who gets the joy of being a sounding board when I'm thinking all things parkrun. Thankfully she gets it, she understands why moving a marshal point, correcting a sign, or updating a course map for the 10th time matters to me.

2017 has been a truly unique year for our parkrun. Thank you for everyone who has joined us for the ride.

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

Chris

Event Director

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