Cheltenham Parkrun Report – 8th Sept 2018

I’m fairly new this running lark having done my first parkrun in June of last year, but I caught the bug and this year joined a local running club, Almost Athletes. Under overcast and slightly drizzly skies my running experiences collided as Almost Athletes took over the 290th Cheltenham parkrun today covering all the volunteering roles. So an enormous thanks goes to all of today’s smiling, clapping, pacing, timing, funnel running, directing, token counting, putting up and downing volunteers who saw 461 runners, joggers and walkers successfully round the course.

Isabel ALCOCK, Joana BARRETO, Becky BENDALL, Janine BENNETT, Hannah BROWN, Deb CARTLIDGE, Rachel CHASTON, Sheila CHATTERLEY, David CHITTOCK, Karla CLEVERLEY, Michael DALY, Carole DOHERTY, Natalie GREENING, Andrea HARDY, Claire Elizabeth HAWES, Alison HUME, Rob HUME, Louise INCHLEY, Beverley KIDSON, Lisa KING, Sporty LOLA, Helen MCGUIRE, Abigail MICHALSKA, Piotr MICHALSKI, Peter MITCHENER, Sue MONAGHAN, Tom MUSTOE, Patricia PEEVER, Daniel REEVES, Jane RUSSELL, Pinky SHETTY, Natalie STOW, Lorraine TAYLOR, Rebecca WAUGH, Mary Sheena WELSH, Helena YOUDE

Anyone at Cheltenham parkrun today will have noticed that there were a number of penguins either marshalling or running the course. This was in memory of Rich Walklate, who was an Almost Athlete, key member of the Cheltenham parkrun volunteers, and penguin suit attired half marathon pacer. Anyone doing the Cheltenham Half Marathon on September 30th will see these same penguins at the 10km water station – so give them a wave!

Cheltenham Parkrun 290 - Almost Penguins

Pittville Park in Cheltenham is a beautiful setting for a morning run. The summer route is twice around lake and football field with a mix of grass and paved pathway. There’s a nice long loop on a wide stretch of grass before the first narrow section, so runners are starting to get nicely spaced out and there isn’t too much of a bottle neck. My favourite view is running along the north side of the lake and looking south to see a line of runners the other side of the lake and then another line further in the distance making their way across the football field.

The PB bell was on fire this morning with 61 PBs. There were also 45 new timers to Cheltenham, including a tourist all the way from Melbourne and 17 folks on their inaugural parkrun – welcome one and all.

And lastly a huge well done to those achieving milestones today. Nick PERRY, Andy JONES, Paul NORTHUP, Rob GREEN and Catherine CREATES all reached 50 red runs today and junior runner Olivia ROOK clocked up a white 10. And although not official milestones Jayne ADAMS and Nicola JERMAN hit 150 and Chris DRY 200.

A big thanks to everyone involved for making this and every other parkrun happen.


Run Report – 11.08.18 – Elaine Vaughan

I certainly wasn't expecting to be at Cheltenham parkrun this time last week, as my plan was to run my home parkrun Maldon Prom, and then my husband and I were going to visit our daughter who is working in Cheltenham. However her day off was changed and it meant we could only see her in the morning. Thus a hotel was booked close to Pittville Park and I was pleased to see it really was as close as it appeared on the map!
My first impressions of Pittville Park, was how pretty it was. And any parkrun that involves water is always a hit for me!  A parkrunner pointed out the start and where everyone met, and I headed over, noting the fantastic and funny signage!  It was already a hive of activity as the pre-event set up was in full flow and the marshals were being briefed. Soon it was time for the first timers briefing and it was fabulous to see the mixture of tourists and first timers.  At the start I stood next to a lady who not only knew where Maldon was and had run at the Prom!  What a small world parkrun is!  And then we were off.
We ran the 'summer course' which is two laps.  A bit of cross country and around the football field (both dry, despite the recent rain) and along paths.  Running alongside the lake and then up the 'incline of opportunity'.  A very pretty course (yes even the incline), and the two laps sped by thanks to some wonderful, enthusiastic marshalling and me trying to catch the lady in front (I failed).  A quick jot in the visitors' book once I had scanned and I was done.  What a lovely parkrun, thank you Cheltenham.
However it only happens due to the volunteers, so thank you:
Simon JARVIS • Mike JARVIS • Janine BENNETT • Isabel ALCOCK • Adrian COURTENAY • Alison HUME • Steve YARNOLD • Will DAY • Rob HUME • Graham FLETCHER • Martin THOMAS • Carrie GAMBLE • Robert FOORD • Elaine VAUGHAN • Prashanth Kumar SRIPATHI • James GORTON • Louis HAWTHORNE • Neil TRING • Sharon HADAD • Clare BONE • Matt CLEMPSON • Kate PLUMMER • Melissa JONGA • Rosie HODGES • Francis RUSSELL • Paula BREWER • Marc PLUMMER • Pete LIGHTFOOT • Susan LOW • Kieran KEATING • Cheryl CLAY • Nigel PROBERT • Nick MEADOWS • Charlette MUSTOE • Helen MCGUIRE • Gail GILBERT • Tom KABALA • Mat BENFIELD • Zoe POSNETTE • Hamish ADAMSON • Lorraine TAYLOR • Alison BIRD
And congratulations to the 503 finishers!

Run Report 28.07.18 – by Mike Bryce

Cheltenham parkrun #284 - by Mike Bryce

This Saturday saw some local tourism to Pittville Park in Cheltenham for my 100th run, the location of my very first parkrun. It seemed fitting to celebrate there plus you get to wear their centurion costume which is such a great idea and guarantees you a ton of congratulatory shouts on the way round as well as a hello from someone I worked with 20 years ago!

photo 28.07.18

Enough about me though! This was Cheltenham's 284th event and like the 283 before, a warm welcome was extended to everyone - locals, visitors and those new to parkrun. There were a number of tourists that had ventured further than my 7 miles, the furthest from Germany and South Africa.

Chris Thomas was Run Director for the day and set the 395 runners on their way.

The run was on Cheltenham's summer course (although the summer weather seemed to have lost its way briefly) which is a cracking two laps of the lake. Despite the large numbers, the wide start area and slight incline prevents too much early carnage and it soon thins out. The hi-viz heroes were out in force as always guiding and shouting encouragement throughout.

The event saw 41 first timers at Cheltenham, 21 of which took on their first ever parkrun. Well done to all of them - welcome to the parkrun family.

The "podium" was dominated by Unknown and Unknown, separated by Alex Lee of Cheltenham Harriers in second place with a far from sluggish 16:10 time! 63 personal bests were chalked up in total suggesting some favourable running conditions (certainly much cooler than recent weeks).

Aside from my 100th milestone, Alfie Cooper in the JM10 category chalked up his 10th run and in style with a PB. And an unofficial 150 milestone for Mark Johnson, a first timer at Cheltenham.

Today's volunteers that made it all possible (with a special thanks to those who were there setting up in the pouring rain):

Ailsa MCLELLAN • Alex ATACK • Andy SAWERS • Charlie HAWARD • Charlotte BLACK • Cheryl CLAY • Chris THOMAS • David DAVEY • Elliot JORDAN • Freya JOHNSON • Gail GILBERT • Gemma HARGRAVES • Harry BROOKS • Helen FIELDING • Holly KENNEDY • Jason HULANCE • Karla CLEVERLEY • Kate PLUMMER • Lucy MUSGRAVE • Malc SMITH • Mark ALLARD • Mark PALMER • Melissa JONGA • Mike BRYCE • Nicole HOPE • Peter MORRIS • Prashanth Kumar SRIPATHI • Rachel MOCKFORD • Rita CRANE • Sarah LYDDON • Stephen WADE • Tatiana LEBEDEVA • Thomas CHAMPION • William SILVA • Zoe POSNETTE


Run Report – 19 May 2018

We had problems getting to the parkrun as the directions we had were not great, so missed the new runners briefing. I had expected three flat laps, and laps are not my favourite. Anyway, we got there in time for the full briefing and it was good to have the reminder that ICEs should be included on barcodes. Personally, I use a wristband and it is useful to wear for other runs as well as parkrun so that the ICE is there. So if your barcode does not include those essential emergency details, you know what to do! Tourists were also welcomed - as well as Mike and I from Perry Hall parkrun in Birmingham, there were tourists from Southend and Peterborough, but the winner as far as distance goes was South Africa. It was also good to see a number of runners wearing long awaited milestone T-shirts that have started to be allocated. The people I spoke to had been waiting for about a year - so if you are still without yours you may need to be patient for a bit longer!

The run started and it was very easy for the large number of runners to sort themselves out on the course. I was a bit worried about congestion when I saw how many runners Cheltenham gets - but there was none to speak of. A bit of a loop and then alongside the lake - where it was also possible to stay on the grass for a while (better on the poor old knees). Around the lake and then a bit of a hairpin and it was onto the field. It was about this point that I realised that the course was changed and that I was not doing three laps - only two and not flat - hooray! Around the field and then past the marshal who was displaying the only reference to something that was going on in Windsor that day and waving the Union Flag and a Stars and Stripes. Onto the path and then the 'Incline of Opportunity'.

Round the lap again then into the finish. It was a great course - varied and interesting. Thanks must go to all the volunteers. Everyone was really friendly, welcoming and encouraging but a very special mention to the young volunteers who were absolutely great.

We went over to the Leisure Centre for coffee and got involved in the token sorting. It was good to see a different method of doing it. I don't think we really need it at Perry Hall as we only get 150 or so on a busy day, but your laminated sheets are a really good idea for when there are a large number of runners and walkers. It was good to chat to other people over coffee and tokens. Thanks very much for the run and the welcome.



Cheltenham parkrun #261 – 10-02-2018

This parkrun day will be remembered by me for a couple of reasons. 1 – I had to get up about 6am (Yuk). 2 – I visited a new parkrun in a nice new park for my 48th different event. 3 – It was cold

Ill address the last point first. As I travelled to the park I had a tshirt, jumper and coat on with gloves and a hat. As soon as it neared time to run I removed my jumper, coat hat and most importantly gloves to join the start line. Before I had reached the bollards at the far end of the course I regretted not keeping my gloves on as I couldn't feel my fingers.

In relation to point 2 – lots of laps at parkrun - I feel I'm going to lose count along the way and come in early. (I remember completing 5 laps at Highbury Fields parkrun a couple of years ago and getting completely confused however I did do the full 5 laps). I hadn't looked at the course map on the website beforehand however I could see that there was a bridge over the lake so as I was going round I thanked the marshal each time I went by. After 4 "Thank you marshal" I knew I was ok to finish next time I saw the left path at the end of the lap.

Cheltenham parkrun was my 48th different course and I can honestly say they are all different however all have the same great sense of community, summed up on this parkrunday with the brilliant costumes handed out to the centurions to complete their 100th run!

Point 1 – 6am, it's early, it's cold, it's dark and I was tempted to stay in bed.

I saw before the start a pacer in a high-viz who was pacing 28 minutes and I decided to try and stay with him. After the pre run brief I'd lost him in the crowd and for 3 laps I was running blindly - I wear a watch but don't look at time or pace. Then with about 3/4 of a lap to go I spotted him running along. I drew alongside and thanked him for volunteering as a pacer. Rounding the last couple of corners of the lap a little sprint up the hill to the finish and I was handed token 169 and I was relieved that I could go and find my gloves!!


This week's heroes in yellow, thank you to -

Michelle BALCHIN, Janine BENNETT, Martin BICK, Harry BROOKS, Billy BRYCE, Cheryl CLAY, Richard DIXON, Claire GALLAGHER, Freddie GOYMER BROWN, Luca GRAY, Mark HALLIWELL, Georgia HALLIWELL, Claire Elizabeth HAWES, Mike JARVIS, Gavin JERMAN, Melissa JONGA, Ian JORDAN, Brian MAGGS, Eoin MCQUONE, Mark MEDLAND, Peter MITCHENER, Lucy MUSGRAVE, Rachael NOLAN, Isabelle OWEN, Marc PLUMMER, Ben POWELL, Felix SMITH, Prashanth Kumar SRIPATHI, Simon WESTGATE

Celebrations this week

Congratulations to the following Cheltenham parkrunners who entered one of the parkrun clubs at the event

25 volunteer club - John WILLGOSS

10 club – Peter CANDISH

50 club – Alice CANDISH - 48 at Cheltenham parkrun, 1 at Forest of Dean and Mulbarton

Harry JOHNSON - 35 at Cheltenham, 2 at Killerton, Trelissick, Kingsway, Forest of Dean, 1 at Bushy, Parke, Ashton Court, Tewkesbury, Wycombe Rye, Evesham and Thornbury

100 club – Colin ALBERT - 94 at Cheltenham, 3 at Guildford parkrun, 2 at Trelissick and 1 at Alice Holt

Sophie JOHNSON - 83 at Cheltenham, 2 at Bushy, Trelissick, Kingsway, Tewkesbury, Killerton, Forest of Dean, 1 at Evesham, Wycombe Rye, Gloucester North, Ashton Court and Parke

Tom JOHNSON - 84 at Cheltenham, 2 at Bushy, Killerton, Ashton Court, Tewkesbury, Kingsway, Forest of Dean, 1 at Parke, Trelissick, Evesham and Thornbury

5 stats from Cheltenham parkrun this week

This was event 261 at Cheltenham. In 261st position was Stuart WILSON who completed his 2nd parkrun in a new PB of 30:38

29 volunteers made the event possible this week. In 29th position was Michael RIDLEY who completed his 29th parkrun in a new PB of 21:23

53 new PB's this week. In 53rd position was Chris FULLER who completed his 121st  parkrun in 22:59

The average run time for the event (overall) is 28:03. This week Chloe MASON matched this time in her 56th parkrun

Position number of the week = 290 – Rita CRANE who completed her 79th parkrun in 31:51


This week there was 53 personal bests recorded.

Here is a list of the parkrunners with over 50 runs who achieved a PB this week –

Chloe MASON - 28:03 - 56 parkruns

Simon PALMER - 31:09 - 67 parkruns

Phillip JUKES - 20:12 - 76 parkruns

Pauline FULLER - 28:34 - 121 parkruns

Well done to all achieving a PB this week

First timers

28 first timers took part this week, for 10 of them this was their 1st parkrun.

Well done to all the 1st times, hope you enjoyed your parkrun and you will be back next week

Official Report

This week 374 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 28 were first timers and 53 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 29 volunteers:

Mike JARVIS • Janine BENNETT • Claire Elizabeth HAWES • Gavin JERMAN • Michelle BALCHIN • Peter MITCHENER • Prashanth Kumar SRIPATHI • Freddie GOYMER BROWN • Claire GALLAGHER • Mark HALLIWELL • Lucy MUSGRAVE • Simon WESTGATE • Martin BICK • Isabelle OWEN • Melissa JONGA • Mark MEDLAND • Marc PLUMMER • Felix SMITH • Ben POWELL • Rachael NOLAN • Billy BRYCE • Brian MAGGS • Cheryl CLAY • Richard DIXON • Ian JORDAN • Georgia HALLIWELL • Luca GRAY • Eoin MCQUONE • Harry BROOKS

The male record is held by Graham RUSH who recorded a time of 14:59 on 10th September 2016 (event number 187).
The female record is held by Emily SMITH who recorded a time of 17:15 on 24th September 2016 (event number 189).
The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 95.77% (24:27) on 3rd September 2016 (event number 186).

Cheltenham parkrun started on 16th February 2013. Since then 11,759 participants have completed 91,674 parkruns covering a total distance of 458,370 km, including 16,340 new Personal Bests.

Did you know?

Cheltenham now has 11568 registered parkrunners



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