Conkers parkrun, N.W.Leicestershire is cancelled on 20 January 2018: Treacherous conditions on course due to ice

‘Together we are Conkers parkrun’

Conkers parkrun
Event number 362
13th January 2018


This week 556 people ran, jogged and walked the slightly damp course, of whom 53 were first timers and 64 recorded new P.B.s. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

Leading the returning group was first timer James Poole who crossed the line in an eye watering 16:51, followed briskly by Kristian Edwards in 17:27 and flying in third position was Matthew Tonks in 18:12.

Not to be outdone by the boys, Nicola Bowen came home in 12th position with a fantastic shiny new PB in 19:25, followed in 22nd by first timer Lauren Poole in a superb 20:26, one of the runners of the day for me was 3rd girl across the line Imogen Wolff who came in in a phenomenal 36th position with an outstanding time of 21:31, what makes her so awesome in my eyes is that Imogen is JW11-14 and this was her first ever 5k! I had the pleasure of trying to keep up with Imogen and despite me having a two foot height advantage, the pocket rocket easily left me for dust in the last 200m!

A new feature at this event was Funnel Manager Laurence Kingscott’s latest tool in his arsenal, this being the Funnel Zig Zag, this was put in place to lengthen the funnel to prevent a backlog of finishers trying to cross the line. Please heed the wisdom that I repeated continuously (as assistant trainee funnel sub-manager) on Saturday, that being to ‘KEEP MOVING AND KEEP IN ORDER PLEEAASE!’ Wise words, I think you’ll agree!

This week’s event was only made possible by a fantastic group of 29 awesome volunteers, these are:

Colin Hope, Richard Hope, John Frederick Potter, Janet Potter, Roger Cobb, Laurence Kingscott, Alison Cooper, Jennifer Cross, Dave Allery, Lyndsey Hill, Chris Hanman, Nicola Briggs, Fiona Betts, Tony Stone, Robin Thorne, Andrea Allen, Rebecca Myatt, Adrienne Collard, Andrew Brunt, Martin Prime, Kevin Lindsay-Smith, Lisa Williams, James Stephenson, David Ashmore, Elliot Woolley, Sally Collard, Jack Woolley, Sophia Ashmore and Mandy Myatt.

If you would like to be praised and appreciated by approximately 450 people one Saturday morning, perhaps you might want to give marshalling a try, it’s easy and it takes very little effort. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator for more details.

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Whether we run, jog or walk, Conkers is the place to meet old friends and new people, have loves, laughs and tears, where everyone gets support and the injured get sympathy, a once a week chance to shout, clap, cheer or be shouted at, clapped and cheered. Friends are reunited and lasting friendships are formed, every single person an appreciated piece of the jigsaw that makes it the event it is, individually we are parkrunners, 'together we are Conkers parkrun'.

For Inge with love.

Chris Hanman x


Conkers Run Report Wrapped in a Turorial

Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 361 - January 6th 2018

Conkers parkrun relies on the amazing talents of some super volunteers for all 544 of the lovely folk who turned up to take part in the 361st event this week, to actually be able to take part. I say that knowing that I’m writing this run report, having been nowhere near Conkers on Saturday morning  - however no challenge too great for a parkrun volunteer. The suggestion  for this weeks theme comes from my parents, who I have now roped into volunteering, although have yet to convince to write the report!

So taking our parkrun name as inspiration, let me tell you a little bit about conkers - not the venue for the run, but about the fruit behind the name. As most of you will be aware, the conker is the fruit of the horse chestnut tree - those of you who ran on New Years Day would have seen the cowboy on his horse marshalling at Stephen’s Gate and I think it’s fair to say that there are plenty of chests and a whole helping of nuts every week...definitely a field of nutters looking at the weather this week!

The horse chestnut tree originates from Albania and Greece - neither of which have a parkrun community (yet) so sometimes being UK based isn’t all bad.

The first ever recorded game of conkers took place in 1848, which I think is probably when some of our more mature volunteers may have been born (sorry, Dad)

Conkers kept with your woollens will stop moths nibbling them, and keeping conkers in your house will help to keep spiders away whereas joining us at Conkers parkrun will blow the moths and cobwebs away. Fact.

Whilst everything at our Conkers is always very friendly and welcoming, actual conkers played their part in both World Wars - apparently in the production of the explosive, cordite. Let’s hope things never get that heated at our timed run.

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No Cordite type products needed by Funnel Manager Laurence Kingscott as he patrols the Finishing Funnel.

And so to the actual results themselves.

Welcome to our 36 first timers, and congratulations to the 32 of you who achieved new PBs. An amazing achievement in icy conditions - and so soon after the excesses of Christmas and the New Year too.

Notable milestones this week were reached by Angela Bebbington (150), Anthony Colin Richards (100) and the trio of Adam Wheldon, Gareth John Hill and Paul Cox, who all reached their red-shirted 50th run.

Our champions this week were Martyn Ryan for the men, and Nikki Reeves for the ladies. A shout out also to Andy Lindley, who as well as getting round in under 22 mins, then went on to run in the County Cross Country Championships later on the same day (see previous statement about nutters).

And if you haven’t tried it yet, why not give report writing a go? You don’t even need to be there (although it probably does help), but I think it’s fair to say I ‘conkered’ the report :-)

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Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes to enable Conkers parkrun to go ahead? Here Jen Cross has taken all the finish tokens home and dried them out after the rain on Saturday, put them all back in order and back onto the holders ready for next Saturday all 671 tokens; hours of work.

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Another example of the great support we get from our volunteers. After standing out in the cold and rain marshaling on Saturday. Lisa Williams took ALL of the volunteers hi viz vests and support equipment home on Saturday to dry them out so they are fit for use at our next parkrun.


Happy New parkrun Year…

Conkers parkrun report   No. 360 - January 1, 2018

Midnight strikes into 2018... we all join hands in a circle, and sing the well-known song that looks back over the year and looks forward at what’s yet to come......

“To all the runners, here today,

and all throughout the year,

we’ve seen so many run the trails,

it’s been great to have you here.


Each Saturday we meet at nine,

We all walk, jog, or run,

And afterwards we meet for cake,

Conkers park run is such fun.


parkrun is there for all to do,

Whatever age or speed,

There’s folks with prams and dogs on leads,

It’s whatever you all need.


Sometimes we run in fancy dress,

In wind and rain and shine,

Sometimes the marshals give us sweets,

Gotta say, that’s really fine.


And thanks to all our volunteers,

For everything you do,

Especially to the folks in charge,

Massive thanks to all of you.


So, twenty eighteen is now here,

What’s next just wait and see?

My resolution for this year,

Is to get a new PB”


(Did you sing it?)

What an amazing way to start New Year’s Day 2018 with a record breaking 603 participants at Conkers parkrun number 360.  There were representatives of 71 clubs and 55 clocking a new PB.  A big welcome to 99 first timers to Conkers and a special mention to Axel Manzano who completed the course first in 17:00 minutes on his debut visit to Conkers.

Congratulations to the following parkrunners on their milestones on New Years Day:

Roman Crichton 10; Alice Ferriday 10; Mandy Brassington-Harris 50; Joanne Ferriday 50; Karen Jackson   50; Alexander Michelson 50; Tim Wade 50; Zoe Allery 100; Alan Deakin 100; Roy Fenner 100; Joann Lewis 100.

As ever, thank you to our volunteers – without you parkrun would not take place.

Andrea ALLEN, David ASHMORE, Paul ASKEW, Marian ASKEW, Ian BOAM, Ruth BOAM, Luba BONILLA, Jennifer CROSS, Maureen DANVERS, Katie DENNIS, Elspeth DICKINSON, Dennis DICKINSON, Jane EVANS, Janet HARDY, Rob HIGSON, Richard D HILL, Lyndsey HILL, Colin HORSBURGH, Laurence KINGSCOTT, Polly LAKIN, Kevin LEWIS, Wendy LEWIS, Laura NUGENT, Janet POTTER, Tony STONE, Roger WESTERN, Sally WESTERN, Lisa WILLIAMS. KEW • Maureen DANVERS • Paul ASKEW • Polly LAKIN • Richard D HILL • Rob HIGSON • Roger WESTERN • Ruth BOAM • Sally WESTERN • Tony STONE • Wendy LEWIS

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Roger gave the instruction that he wanted someone marshalling at Stephen's Gate who could be assertive and present themselves as a figure of authority. Into town to control Stephen's Gate rode David Ashmore on his favourite steed. :-) 

It isn’t often that the car park clears at such speed, the promise of cake usually keeps most runners there much longer than the time it takes to complete the course. With no cake on offer and the promise of a ‘double’ a large number of runners made it to Rosliston to ‘Conker’ the second parkrun of the day.  Thank you to our friends at Rosliston, it really was a great way to start 2018.

New year is always a time for reflection and looking forward. Every Saturday morning, I always wonder what journey has led so many people to parkrun and what parkrun means to them. New year is always the time for making resolutions and setting goals for many. So, in the interests of looking forward...

My parkrun related goals 2018:

  1. Reach 50 parkruns
  2. Volunteer for different jobs
  3. Eat ‘less’ cake
  4. Ensure all goals are achievable
  5. Revise goal number 3...

What are yours?

Whatever resolutions and goals you have made, whatever journey has led you to parkrun, may 2018 be a successful year in all your endeavours with parkrun accompanying you along the way.

Happy New Year.

Andrea x



Happy ‘Romjul’

Conkers parkrun run report  - No. 359,  December 30, 2017

Those fluent in Norwegian will know straightaway that ‘romjul’ is the term Norwegian’s have for the period between Christmas and the new-year when families relax in comfort at home or stride out on a bracing walk. On Saturday morning 524 of you decided on the bracing rather than the feet up approach by tackling the 359th edition of Conker’s parkrun.  A field of 500+ is the third run in succession with this number parkrunners completing the course. That they have all gone smoothly says a great deal about the expertise of the ‘core’ team and the varied cast of volunteers who make the events happen.  A great big thank you to you all.  I particularly marvel at how quickly our time, position and a myriad of other data pings its way to your mobile.

A browse through this week’s data highlights that amongst the finishers were 65 ‘first timers’ at Conkers with visitors from as far afield as Portsmouth, Ashford, Wimbledon, Cornwall, St Albans, Oxford and, slightly nearer home, Nuneaton; included in the 65 were 18 trying out parkrun for the first time.  A really warm welcome to you all and come back soon. First home was Chris Lockhart from Active Dog Cornwall in 17:24. Didn’t quite catch the dog’s name as they sped across the line but both looked like they enjoyed the experience. There were 26 new PB’s, which is a terrific effort in muddy conditions. Top ‘aged related’ performances were from Herbie Kaur, a VW 35-39 and Jane Pidgeon, a VW50-54, who recorded 83.90% and 83.27% respectively.  Again, a tremendous effort from two Conker’s first-timers.

It was also yet another day of glittering milestone achievements with Cinzia Dunachie, Melanie Ratcliffe and Jessica Grace Hardy raising their bats or Christmas hats to the crowd after reaching their centuries. Carol Gill, Helen Peach and junior, Charlie Watkins reached their half centuries and for Charlie the day was even more magical in that he marked his 50 with a new PB.  That’s the way to do it! Think I’ve read somewhere that a new consignment of milestone tee shirts is expected in February 2018 with a new method of distribution planned.  So when they arrive wear your tee shirt with pride. You’ve really earned it.

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Cinzia and Melanie celebrating their 100th run by flying the flag. Well done girls!!

Hope you are managing to stay awake but did you know that someone, with probably far too much time on their hands, has calculated and ranked 472 Parkrun courses in terms of their perceived degree of difficulty.  This is based on a comparison of relative finishing times at the different venues. At No1 and the perceived easiest is Worcester Pitchcroft.  At 472nd, and the most difficult, is Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park in the north east of England.  Conkers is at No. 68 in the charts, Long Eaton is at No. 7, Kingsbury Water Park, No 121 and Rosliston No 351. Think whoever has too much time on their hands seems to have done a reasonable job.

Lastly and regrettably I finish this report on a down beat note.  After years of ‘Fairy Tale of New York’ being a lot of people’s favourite Christmas record we learn that the NYPD Choir never sang Galway Bay because there never has been an NYPD Choir.  Sad but never mind because Christmas is in our rear view mirror and we’re racing into a new parkrunning 2018. Happy ‘romjul’.


The real Schweining of Christmas

Conkers parkrun, Event number 358 - 25th December 2017

On a bright Christmas morning somewhere in the Heart of the National Forest, nearly 600 people gathered to make a Christmas Day parkrun part of their celebrations. Whether they ran, jogged, walked, volunteered or supported friends and loved ones get their festive 5km fix, it was the usual fun and friendly atmosphere that Conkers parkrun is known for.

A whopping 527 people completed the course and it was fantastic to see that 54 of these were new to Conkers parkrun. Well done everyone! Despite the high numbers, the finish funnel team had a great time welcoming everyone back whilst making sure things went smoothly with finish times and tokens.

No doubt – for those who’d already opened their presents – there were some running gadgets and trainers being put through their paces for the first time. Unfortunately, Joanne Wykes was not one of those sporting new trainers, and hers decided to give out part way round the course. Happily, Joanne still enjoyed the run!

It’s always nice to receive your finish time text, but especially when it heralds a new PB. Ellie Dickson earned yet another PB with a finish time of 28:03, her 14th PB since June. Well done to Ellie and the 40 other people who earned themselves a PB! Amongst them were Ivanhoe Robins juniors Patrick Dodds (23:53), Bethan Dodds (24:57) and Harry Wideman (29:55). Well done and what a great Christmas present to yourselves!

Receiving a present soon, in the form of a milestone 50 t-shirt, will be: Martin Yeomans, Sally Warren, Karen Bell, Lorna Hutton, David Walker and Emily Deakin-Jones. Emily looked very festive in her balloon ensemble!. Mark Sherriff, Emily Atkins and James Jack can look forward to receiving the milestone 100 tshirt – well done all of you!

But this year, the best gifts on Christmas morning came wrapped in luminous yellow polyester: our fabulous team of 31 hi-viz heroes who gave their time to help. Many of you took to social media throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day to thank the volunteers for the smiles, singing and encouragement you received along the way. First finisher Chris Lockhart said, “Thanks to all the volunteers, Ronin and I were very appreciative to be able to run at Conkers today.”

Assisted by Ronin, Chris finished in 16:54 followed by Cambridge tourist Edward Moffett in 17:04 and Badgers runner Chris Baxter in 17:09. And for the second Christmas Day in a row, the female course record was broken. Georgina Schwiening, also visiting from Cambridge, took the record with her finish time of 17:24. Second lady was Nicola Bowen (20:00) followed by Julie Page for West End Runners in 21:01.

Christmas Day parkruns are optional for event teams up and down the country, so we are incredibly lucky that our core team joined the 200 other parkruns putting on extra events. Thank you Roger and the Christmas Day crew:

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David Ashmore and Grandson Tristan Betts ringing the runners onto the Canal Path

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Ellie-May can't hide her shock as Emily describes the size of her breakfast when she toured to Long Eaton parkrun .

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I have no Idea!! :-) 

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A free parkrun to everyone if ten people in this photo can be named (separately is fine).

Roger COBB • Christopher John MASON • Rebekah KIRKWOOD • Ann Marie JOYCE • Peter JOYCE • Kristian Finbar Jack KIRKWOOD • Alyson KIRKWOOD • Brian RUNAGLE • Angela BEBBINGTON • Richard BEBBINGTON • Janet HARDY • Jennifer CROSS • Dave ALLERY • Lyndsey HILL • Joanne FARMER • Lucas WICKWAR • Yvonne FELTHOUSE • Nicola BRIGGS • James JACK • Samuel HILL • Gregg MAYLES • Thomas HILL • Tony STONE • Melanie RATCLIFFE • Tristan BETTS • Susan MAYLES • Laura NUGENT • Lynda SANDERS • Lisa WILLIAMS • David ASHMORE • Andy MANSHIP

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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