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




Course Announcement

Exciting times at Cheltenham parkrun as we look to make the first significant changes to our event after more than four years of wonderful success.

When we first brought parkrun to Cheltenham we had limited expectations, in fact we all remember discussions quoting 150 runners as a really exceptional turnout! The people of Cheltenham (and the many wonderful tourists we have hosted over the years) have really taken to our event and we now see incredible numbers every Saturday morning. The passion for parkrun in this town is something to be proud of and we want to see that remain and even grow in years to come.

Unavoidably though, success brings challenges. You may remember the old days of anticlockwise runs which became impossible as 400 runners approaching a small bridge all at the same time would have been carnage! We have tried over the years to make the event as safe and enjoyable as possible for the high numbers of participants by making small adjustments to the course and the run rules. As it looks like participant numbers are only ever going to rise though we have to think about some larger changes to protect runners, protect the park and protect the volunteer team that make parkrun happen.

With that in mind your Core Volunteer Team have been working hard behind the scenes, covering every inch of Pittville Park, testing and retesting alternatives…and we’re really pleased to say we have found one! As of Saturday 22nd July we will be following a new route around Pittville Park which starts in a similar location, avoids some of the current obstacles and is only 2 laps so limiting the amount of overtaking necessary. We will be using the same parts of the park with some additions and moving some corners too. Nothing too radical but definitely a new and exciting challenge. We will reveal full details in the week prior to the new course being launched.

We appreciate that many people are fans of the current course and with any change of route there is an impact on times, but with 400+ runners every week change is inevitable. As a team with experience of over 100 other parkrun venues around the world we believe our new route will still be one of the best and after many hours of toil we’d really appreciate your help in making the transition as smooth as possible.

In the meantime we hope to see many of you on 15th July as we say goodbye to the old course and, as always, feel free to bring cake!

Yours excitedly, the Core Volunteer Team.


Cheltenham parkrun # 220 – 29/04/2017

Milestone Motivations!

My last run report was about the “Tales of Tailrunning” and on the day of my 250th parkrun I wanted to talk about parkrun “Milestone Motivations”.

What motivates us to get up on a Saturday morning every week! For a lot of runners, it might be the fact they want to get fit, meet new people, beat a PB, volunteer their time or just be surrounded by lots of likeminded people. For those of us that have been around parkrun for a number of years it is a wonderful mixture of all of those things.

One thing is missing from that list…. Milestone T-shirts.

These are a wonderful way of keeping us all focussed and getting us up and out on a cold, rainy morning in December when we could stay in bed. I did a Christmas Day run one year with the worst torrential rain I had ever run in just because I was approaching my 100th run, and wanted to keep my stats up. I was the last runner in (45 of us braved it!) and I honestly thought nobody would be there when I got to the end because I was about 5 minutes behind the next runner – low and behold I was greeted by all the other runners who had stayed behind to make sure we all got in safe (even though the finish funnel was nearly washed away).

I think It is wonderful to look out over the start line each week and see the vibrant colours of so many people hitting 10, 50 or 100 runs and wearing their t-shirts with pride. The core team really make a fuss of these achievements and everyone is recognised equally. I loved wearing my 250th cape, hat and glasses and receiving all the positive comments from people as they dashed past, run alongside or shouted congratulations from behind me!

250 is just another number, It’s my personal belief that to truly understand the parkrun phenomenon the most important t-shirt of all to aim for everyone is the 25 Volunteer t-shirt, I wear this with more pride than any of my other milestones, because this is the one that really makes a difference. That milestone is one that serves my community, friends and means we get a parkrun every week. I have probably worn my 50 shirt 2-3 times, my 100 t-shirt maybe 10 times but my Volunteer one must be over 50 times by now. I will certainly wear my 250th t-shirt with pride, I am not a fast runner, but a plodder! It doesn’t necessarily get easier the more you do, but it is still a fairly small group of people worldwide who have hit this 250-milestone target (a little over a thousand) which is a nice feeling.

One thing I want everyone to think about is - What if there were no more t-shirts? I would hope that It wouldn’t make any difference. I might have to wait another 6-7 years to get my 500 but even if it didn’t exisit by the time I got there it wouldn’t change a thing. I would still go out and run parkrun!

When I look back at all my parkruns up and down the country over the last 6 years I want to add my sincere thanks to every single volunteer I have had the pleasure of meeting. You all make a huge difference and the only reason I will get to enjoy a milestone is because you gave your time for others. Thanks parkrunners!




Run Report 210 – 4th Anniversary

It was a special parkrun day on 18th Feb, as we celebrated 4th birthday at Cheltenham parkrun.

Great to see parkrunners dressed in fancy outfits to celebrate the birthday. Superman, Connect 4, 4 candles, 4 clove leaves are few of them. For 27 parkrunners, all these celebrations are new as it was their first ever parkrun.

4 Candles

4 Candles

We missed the presence of our Event director – Malc Smith as he was not feeling well. Rich Walklate was RD, while James Clay delivered a fantastic run briefing to mark our 4th birthday. James also did the first timer’s briefing to introduce first timers to parkrun. Andrew Jack & Catherine Daly joined century club by wearing Cheltenham parkrun’straditional centurion cape & helmet.


The following parkrunners joined 50 club
• Martin Foster
• Neil Penny
Chris Thomas was awarded runner of the month for January.

RotM - Jan Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas holding Runner of the Month award

As it was anniversary, few awards were given out, one of them was yearly points table winner Andrzej Konior (Male) & Alicia Hall (Female). Also following volunteers were chosen as volunteers of the year who helped Cheltenham parkrun throughout the year across different role.

Female Points winner
Alicia Hall & Andrzej Konior – Yearly points table winner

Our Volunteers of the year!

• Cheryl Clay
• Danny Carroll
• DavidChittock
• Emma Dooley
• Mike Jarvis
• Neil Dooley
• Paula Brewer

There were 18 tourists who tried Cheltenham parkrun for the first time, they were from different parkruns the closest being Worcester & the furthest being from France.

In the last 4 years, Cheltenham parkrun managed to organise 209 parkruns, with 68201 runs, runners from 597 clubs were included. In these years 4774 volunteering roles, served by 776 volunteers. There were 9835 registrations for Cheltenham parkrun.

Feb 18th parkrun stats - snapshot
Snapshot of 210th parkrun

Happy parkrunning, see you on Saturday.
Kind Regards,


Cheltenham parkrun run report for January 2017

January being the first month of the year, it’s obvious to expect lots of enthusiastic runners/joggers/walkers, especially as part of their New Year resolution. And this enthusiasm was proved when new record for biggest attendance was registered on 1st event of the year on 7th of Jan with 531 runners (30 runners more than the previous record). Also average runners per week for January was 475 compared to 387 runners for 2016. 21st January event was cancelled due to icy condition, giving an opportunity for our parkrunners for bit of parkrun tourism & hence we had 3 events in January instead of 4.

parkrunners for 3 weeks in January:
Cheltenham parkrun Jan 2017 run stats

There were 202 registrations in the month of January, who had chosen Cheltenham as their home parkrun. Among these, 70 runners turned up & did their first ever parkrun. 27 parkrunners visited our parkrun as part of their tourism. 139 runners ran all 3 events, while 163 new PBs registered. 4 runners improved consistently & registered PBs in all 3 events, impressively Oliver Molony registered 3 PBs with an improvement of 1 Min 20 Sec! Most consistent runner is Andrzej Konior with finishing time 19:27 ± 00:03 Sec. In January, 7 Juniors joined 10 club, 9 joined 50 club and 4 enjoined joining century club.

Volunteers are the real heroes behind parkrun events. In these 3 weeks, 95 roles were covered by 65 volunteers. If you ever wondered whether you could volunteer at parkrun, then answer is YES. parkrun needs many volunteers covering different roles like marshals, timekeepers, scanners, token givers etc, but each role is critical in its own way. But remember, roles are simple & straight forward, Run Director will give training to all the volunteers on the day ensuring each volunteer is comfortable in their role. If you are unsure which role would be suitable to you, then just send an email to & in the mail, feel free to mention if you have any preferences on the roles, volunteer coordinator will sort it out for you.

In these 3 events, there were 1424 runs, covering the distance of 7120km (4414.4 miles) in 28 Days 15 hr 13 Min 19 Sec. Average duration is 28 Min 57 Sec. Runners from 45 different running clubs were taken part, maximum being 127 runners from Almost Athletes.

There were 1317 participants (that’s excluding 107 unknowns), 581 were females (44.12%):
Cheltenham parkrun Jan 2017 parkrunners - Female & Male

Age Distribution of Female participants:
Cheltenham parkrun Jan 2017 Age group stats Female

Age Distribution of Male participants:
Cheltenham parkrun Jan 2017 Age group stats Male

Looking forward for exciting weeks ahead with new runners joining us along with familiar friendly running buddies including 4th anniversary celebration in February.

Happy parkrunning, see you on Saturday

Kind Regards,


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