parkrun Practices, Penguins, Poetry and a knight in not very shiny armour

Conkers parkrun, Event number 416  19th January 2019

This week 597 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 72 were first timers and 63 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 37 different clubs took part.

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And they are off, just short of 600 parkrunners running, jogging and walking the course

The day started with an enthusiastic talk about being healthy, social prescribing and the importance of parkrun. Nil Sanganee from Castle Medical Group was clearly inspirational and brought along a few new people to join in the event including many of the staff from Ashby, Ibstock and Measham. Well done to you all and we hope to see you returning soon.

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Staff from parkrun practices in Ashby, Ibstock and Measham

Every week I am always amazed at the turnout and numbers seem to be on the increase. So many achievements and some this week are worthy of a mention. First timer Lee Dickinson finished in 8th place in an amazing time of 18.46. Helen Clarke who is going from strength to strength was delighted to get a new PB breaking the under 30 minutes barrier. Rhydian Douglas reached his 10th park run and also got a new PB. Marketa Dearden reached 100 park runs! Lovely to see many first timers including Kevin Lane, Natalie Poulter, Chloe Toon, Carly Toon. Also nice to see two new people from Badgers Running Club join us Anne Devenney and Vikki Smith.

Often you will see people running in various costumes and fancy dress throughout the year. Today was no exception in that Michael Adams set himself a personal challenge to run in a piece of chain armour!!

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Michael Adams running in his armour (just for the hell of it!) :-) 

Two tourists from Sheffield visited Conkers  promoting Penguins; the animal, not the fine chocolate bar that they also had secreted in their gear. Carol & Lucy gained a lot of Conkers friends. Take a look at the Conkers Facebook page for an amusing write up of their visit.

Next week will see South Derbyshire Road Runners running in yellow vests with pacing times pinned to their backs. They are there to help anyone to chase a time, maybe a PB if they want to.

To end the run report I will do my usual attempt at poetry- so here goes:

Saturday morning go to Conkers

Maybe you think everyone is bonkers

See the crowds waiting by the tunnel

At the end of parkrun there will be a funnel

Get your token and head for some food

For the rest of the day you’ll be in a good mood!!

Everyone does a 5k

We all do it but in a different way!!


Walk, jog or run

Come back again and have some fun!!

to be met by the RD

James Cobb who welcomesyou with glee

The volunteers easy to spot,

Making it safe for the adults and the tots

Run, walk, jog - we don't mind,

Just have a great time, laugh and unwind!

At the end of the run, collect your token,

Without this, your time will be unspoken,

Meet in the café for a coffee and chat,

See you next Saturday - I'll hold you to that!!


Todays event could not have gone ahead without our lovely volunteers:-

James COBB • Leon SPENCE • Nikki Aka Tigger REEVES • Avril MOONEY • Andy LINDLEY • Chris OSBORNE • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Anthony WICKWAR • Jennifer CROSS • Victoria SMITH • Rebecca DICKINSON • Pauline COOPER • Mae STENSON • Chris HANMAN • Yvonne FELTHOUSE • Victoria CARR • Charlotte CARR • Maureen DANVERS • Lorraine SHIPLEY • Tony STONE • Robin THORNE • Sandra LAWLESS • Laura FOWLER • Jon DUMMER • Rob EATON • James STEPHENSON • Mic STEPHENSON • David ASHMORE • Chris ELSEGOOD • Steve SALT • Liz HOLLAND • Sophia ASHMORE • Glenn MANDER • Matt CHAPMAN • Meg JONES • James CANNON • Jake SCATTERGOOD

See you all next week!!

Pauline Cooper







Running into the Unknown

Conkers parkrun, Run Report Event number 415 -12th January 2019

Attendance numbers continue to be high at Conkers parkrun. This week 649
came along to run, jog, walk or a mixture of all three. This could be the
New Year Resolutioners keeping the numbers high (congratulations to those
who are keeping up with their running resolutions). It could also be
because word has got round about how terrific this parkrun is. I choose to
believe it's the latter.

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Had a good run, feeling happy, celebrating the most orange shorts you can get, see a bell, the boy has gotta give it a ring. We love hearing that bell ring for all the reasons on the bo

First home this week was Liam Bradbury in a terrific time of 16:45. He was
followed by Gav McDermott of Hermitage Harriers in 17:21. Gav also had the
highest overall age graded score (WAVA) of an amazing 83.61%. Third back
was Andy Hawtin of South Derbyshire Road Runners in 18:09.

For the ladies, a canine-assisted Vicky Driscoll of Canicross Midlands was
first home and also earned herself a PB with 19:53. Second and third ladies
home were Ivanhoe Runners teammates Faith Tipper and Fiona Betts in 23:00
and 23:25 respectively.

A mention is also deserved for those hitting official and "nice round
number" milestones this week. Kristian Finbar Jack Kirkwood hit a terrific
200th parkrun. Several runners got to 150 this week - Karen Wilks, Peter
Catlow (one of our 75 first timers), Jenny Tattersall, Wendy Lewis and
Emily Atkins  Two parkrunners made it to 100 - Harrison Dring and Helen
Bennion - and one parkrunner made his official 50 milestone - Steven Green.
Great commitment everyone.

Thanks must go to our wonderful volunteers without whom there would be no
parkrun. 35 of them this week.

Leon SPENCE • Heather SWAN • Roger COBB • Chris OSBORNE • Laurence
• Sophie ALLERY • Claire HEMMING • Nicola BRIGGS • Eleanor EVANS • Maureen
DANVERS (little old me) • Tony STONE • Robin THORNE • Jo IORIO • Roxanne
Mic STEPHENSON • David ASHMORE • Sally COLLARD • Steve SALT • Christopher

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It is one long game of 'match the numbers', the result of which is everyone gets the correct finishing place the following week.

I notice that there were a higher than usual number of UNKNOWNS this week;42. It would be really interesting to know why people don't scan. Obviously there are those who forgot their barcode (sorry, no barcode, no results)  but the rest? I confess that for most of my parkrun life I haven't scanned. If you look me up you will see I have 25 parkruns to my name. The reality must be nearer to 100. For me, because I am a slow runner I didn't want everyone to know just HOW slow I was. As if anyone actually cares.  I have this year resolved to get over myself and come see these lovely people every week.

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One of the unknown parkrunners today trying to think why she didn't bring her barcode

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Kate Muir is a classic example of how to keep her barcode safe by tying it to her right  leg, should have used a longer piece of string though.

In this way, the Conkers grown ups who review the stats on attendance and such like can get a clear picture without having to remove the Unknowns every time. So, if yourreason for not scanning is as silly as mine, think about it.

Happy running all.



The A-Z of Conkers parkrun event number 414

Conkers parkrun No. 414  -  January 5, 2019

There was a huge turnout at the Conkers Discovery side on the very first Saturday of 2019 to hear Fiona Betts’ fantastic poetic run brief!

And now for the A to Z of the event…

A- Alan Dandy was the oldest male to complete the course today (80-84 years) in a time of 41:09, well done Alan, a fantastic achievement!

B- Batman Lockhart took the lead (with his dog but no sign of Robin) in a time of 16:07!

C- Club best represented today was the Ivanhoe runners; the first of these home was Richard Brian Martin, in a time of 18:38. There were a total of 40 different clubs being represented.

D- Dedication from 659 runners, including 57 first timers

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656 of the 659 parkrunners waiting to start (two arrived after the tail walkers had left. & one was taking the pic :-)   )

E- Eighty six % was the winning age grade from Chris Nicoll

F- Fiona’s excellent run director debut

G- Good idea from Laurence to make the funnel longer to ease congestion

H- Hi-viz heroes were great again today, thank you to these 33 volunteers

Judith BRAND • Chris OSBORNE • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Brian RUNAGLE • Anthony WICKWAR • Jennifer CROSS • Michael SHERRATT • Kelvin PEERS • Judith WILSON • Sam SKIDMORE • Charlotte CARR • Fiona BETTS • Kathryn BRAY • Tony STONE • Andrea ALLEN • Adrienne COLLARD • Bev HOPE • Sandy CHURCHWARD • Lisa WILLIAMS • James STEPHENSON • Mic STEPHENSON • David ASHMORE • Katie DENNIS • Richard FERNANDES • Chris ELSEGOOD • Steve SALT • Christopher ALLEN • Sam BASSETT • Sophia ASHMORE • Matt CHAPMAN • Paul MCCAFFREY • James CANNON • Jake SCATTERGOOD

I- I was hugely impressed when I looked up and at least 9 kind-hearted people were giving up their time to help sort tokens at the table because it was so busy - thank you

J- Juniors were plentiful today, the first junior was Daniel Connolly in 21:12 and the first under 10 years was Garth Mitchell in 25:00

K- Karl Wideman helped to write this report

L- Lots of cake but no knife to cut it :(

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The cake baked by Sophie, she isn't a terrible person and the cake (already sliced) will be there next parkrun for volunteers. It looks fab so if you want to try it, you've got to volunteer.

M- Mamie Massarella was the oldest female to complete the course (75-79) in a time of 52:34

N- Nicola Briggs completed her 200th run today with a PB too! Well done!!

O- Obviously you’ll be back next week (don’t forget your barcode)

P- Parking at discovery side again, in fact until mid February

Q- Quite cold today (well in fact it was very cold but I needed something beginning with Q)

R- Rebecca Brown was the first 1st timer home and also the first woman home with a time of 18:55, wow!

S- Sixtyseven PB’s were set today- excellent work everyone

T- Two hundred and fiftieth run for Jan Cobb today with a time of 35:34- congratulations

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Jan Cobb on her way to complete her 250th parkrun

U- Under 51 minutes for Jen’s walking group this morning

V- Victoria Carr also helped to write the report

W- Women made up 47% of the runners today, a 3% increase from last week, come on ladies! (Unknowns discounted)

X- Xylophones- anyone play them??

Y- you could be writing this run report next week if you fancy it

Z- Zero people didn’t enjoy Conkers parkrun today :)

(I wanted to put ‘zebras are rare in Moira’ but was talked out of it)


Charlotte x






New Year, New Record

Conkers parkrun     Event number 413       1st January 2019

What a way to start 2019: New Year, New Attendance Record.  Having only just broken the attendance record on Christmas Day with 647, Conkerers blasted that out of the park with an incredible 719.  All praise has to go to our volunteer team: realising we were going to run out of tokens, Jen Cross calmly started noting down barcodes and finish token numbers whilst the rest of the team kept everyone in an orderly queue in the funnel.  No problem is insurmountable to the Core Team.

Much of the big increase in numbers would have been due to runners "doing the double" on New Year's Day.  With other local parkruns like Rosliston starting at 1030, Conkers was ideally placed to be the first parkrun of the day.  As you would expect from a high attendance, there were a large number of first timers – 124.  That was a BIG First Timers Run Brief!

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Katie Dennis imparts her Conkers knowledge onto the waiting first timers, while the gentleman in blue admires her calf guards from behind.

I have been reading lately that parkrun is keen to attract more female runners so I thought I'd take a look at what today's gender breakdown looks like.  If we remove the 33 Unknown runners (as we don't know their gender), we had 305 ladies and 381 men which equates to 44% ladies and 56% men.  Interestingly, of the first timers, 59 were ladies and 65 were men – 48% ladies and 52% men.  I'd love to be able to say that this means that the number of ladies coming to parkrun for the first time is on the increase but yeah, that's just one week and a totally unrepresentative one at that.  However, I shall be interested to see how our gender balance goes over the year and whether we can get the female percentage higher.  Although, frankly, I reckon our balance is pretty darned healthy.

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Making their way to the start some of the 44% ladies and 56% men. Jenny Courtney and grandson storm away from poor Doug clearly leaving him in tears. While the young lady in white has a last minute panic and checking her running shirt is fresh. Meanwhile the chap in blue demonstrating his eagerness has clearly come straight from his  flying lesson.

In terms of our fastest ladies and gents, there was a tight battle at the top for the gents with Alan Ford of Barnsley Harriers coming in in 17:05, closely followed by Jamie Fletcher of Notts AC in 17:25 and James Farmer of SDRR in 17:31.  Lovely to see a lady in the overall top ten again – Ellie Stevens from Birchfield Harriers was first lady home in 17:44 and sixth overall. Ellie had the highest age graded percentage this week – 84.02%.  Tracy Hinxman from Derby AC followed Ellie in in 19:07 and third home was Christina Hawtin of SDRR in 21:28.

There can be fewer better times to hit a milestone than New Year's Day: a truly positive way to start the year.  Fabulous to see regular Brian Runagle hit his 300 today.  An incredible total.  Janet Potter and Tracy Atherton both ran their 200th runs today with Gavin Clinton hitting 150, Susan McCullock hitting 100 and then Kelly Ford, Andrew Meadows and Joanne Crichton hitting 50.

A PB is also a great way to start the year and we had 63 who did just that. This was all made possible by no less than 30 hardy souls working hard in volunteer positions with such a high number of runners.  Thank you to you all:

Laura GRAVES • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Janet HARDY • Jennifer CROSS • Judith WILSON • Claire MCARTHUR • Wendy LEWIS • Lyndsey HILL • Jane REYNOLDS • Emily ATKINS • Ian BOAM • Steve BEECH • Charlotte CARR • Duncan ROSS • Lizzy JACKSON • Maureen DANVERS (oooh that's me) • Fiona BETTS • Tony STONE • Andrea ALLEN • Tina WHITE • Pete GRAVES • Laura FOWLER • Joanne WYKES • Ruth BOAM • Mic STEPHENSON • David ASHMORE • Katie DENNIS • Sophia ASHMORE • Megan FOWLER • Maureen PATTISON

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Of course if you are going to be volunteering together it is best to go for total coordination as Wendy and Ruth have.

I hope that you all had a positive parkrun regardless of gender, milestone or PB. I notice a fair few "RED January" (Run Every Day) T shirts.  Such a very positive initiative for the new year and I hope you all have a happy time with it. 

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Three of the many parkrunners showing their committment to Red January. Good luck.

It only remains then for me to wish all Conkerers old and new a very happy 2019.




Conkers parkrun in numbers

Conkers parkrun report  -  29th December 2018

One thousand eight hundred and eighty-four, that is how many people were at Conkers parkrun either running, jogging, walking or volunteering over the three Christmas period Conkers parkruns. Within that figure there were 105 people volunteering, making sure that everyone was kept safe and encouraged on the course. Another team ensured that times were recorded and you received your finish token, before our participants have their barcodes scanned, the tokens are sorted for the next parkrun and the results are processed for the results to go out; and it often all happens seamlessly (but not always I am told).


What about the number ONE? Sixty-four were trying out Conkers parkrun for the first time, and within that twenty-one were having their very first parkrun experience, let’s hope that it is the first of many parkruns. Another who was making his Conkers debut wasArno SCHÜßLER who normally runs at his home run Nidda parkrun in Frankfurt. ONE second was all that stopped Chris Baxter from equalling his PB of 16:55 on his 150th parkrun. In 2018 we had ONE cancellation due to bad weather, and for the first time had ONE significant change of route because of a police investigation on our course.


Going up in numbers to EIGHTY, we have one regular parkrunnner in his eighties and an occasional one who is now in her nineties. Of course we have a whole gaggle of kids in their 70’s who are aspiring to match Alan’s achievement.


Going to a really big number THIRTEEN THOUSAND and TWENTY-NINE is the number of different people who have completed the Conkers parkrun course. A free parkrun as a prize to anyone who can name the thirteen thousandth.

ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND parkruns were completed on this weekends event, who was it? a free coffee and cake in the café to the first person to get both questions correct. I am leaving Roger to deal with that one.


To end, things didn’t quite go seamlessly at this weekends parkrun because of a crucial equipment failure and two young volunteers having diary confusion. However, youngsters Eleanor Bradley, Daniel Miller, Charlotte Carr and James Cannon all stepped in to help. It just goes to show that volunteering is something that anyone can get involved with and enjoy. The equipment failure was a stop watch that failed which meant that Jennifer and Seran together spent over two hours piecing things together before they could go home.

I am heading home myself right now.

Happy New Year

Feliz Ano Nuevo

Angeles Lorbada (guest report writer).


This weeks stats:

This week 559 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 64 were first timers and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 43 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 31 volunteers:

Cinzia DUNACHIE • Roger COBB • Douglas COURTNEY • Jenny COURTNEY • Rebecca ATKINS • Jennifer CROSS • Seran Catherine BRADLEY • Daniel MILLER • Ian BOAM • Eleanor Isabelle Ann BRADLEY • Gregg MAYLES • Charlotte CARR • Duncan ROSS • Lizzy JACKSON • Tony STONE • Tina WHITE • Susan MAYLES • Amy BROOKES • Simon HEMMINGS • Martin PRIME • Rob EATON • Lisa WILLIAMS • Marya HEMMINGS • Joanne WYKES • Mic STEPHENSON • David ASHMORE • Sophia ASHMORE • Matt CHAPMAN • Richard GEE • Denise HORNBLOWER • James CANNON

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Conkers parkrun, N.W.Leicestershire Results Page.

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