Thank You – Didcot parkrun Volunteers at Abingdon Marathon 2018


Thank You - Didcot parkrun Volunteers at Abingdon Marathon 2018


On Sunday 21st October 2018 a fab team of volunteers donned the Apricot parkrun colours and manned the Water Station in Milton Park to support at the 36th Abingdon Marathon.





Today we are delighted to say a huge THANK YOU to the Abingdon Marathon team who have kindly donated £540 to Didcot parkrun for out efforts and support of the run.

Although we don’t support and volunteer at the event for the money, this donation means Didcot parkrun can continue delivering the free and weekly events that are loved by our parkrun community.







We love giving back to the community and supporting local running clubs with their events and thanks to the lovely team of volunteers on the day…………you are all superstars.


  • Lewis Cousins
  • Nichola Poulton
  • Kate Dobson
  • Geoff Jackson
  • Sue Henderson
  • Fo Krabben
  • Prebben Krabben
  • Helen Krabben
  • Tim Krabben
  • Selina Styles
  • Natalie Turner
  • Mike Hibberd
  • Adrian Francis
  • Kie Francis
  • Ben Chaffey
  • Karen Spackman
  • Nicola Freeman





The Abingdon Marathon was first held in 1982 and 2019 will mark the race’s 38th year since its inception. This will be the 37th running of the race – unfortunately the 2007 event had to be abandoned.


We are planning to help out again by manning the Water Station and some marshaling roles so please save the date of Sunday 20th October 2019.

It does clash with the Great South Run again this year but if you fancy joining us for a fun morning supporting runners from all over the world then we would love to have you with us.


Many thanks,

Didcot parkrun Volunteer Team


Didcot parkrun #200 – 9th Febrauary 2019


Didcot parkrun #200 - 9th Febrauary 2019

Congratulations to the 256 people who ran, jogged and walked the course at Didcot parkrun, Event number 200, today. There were 34 first timers (16 of whom ran their first parkrun today - we do hope you enjoyed yourself, and will come back to Didcot parkrun again) and 23 recorded new Personal Bests.

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:
Hayley THORNE • Helen BRIND • Sally CULLEN • Sue HENDERSON • Geoff ROBERSON • Lewis COUSINS • David REEVES • Matt BEZZANT • Gordon JACKSON • Christopher MOFFATT • Trudi ASHMALL • Sandra MAGEE • Karen SPACKMAN • Sharon BUDDLE • Elsa MCMILLAN • Callum MCMILLAN • John CHINNOCK • Iain CULLEN • Pete WEBSTER • Malcolm PEEL • Angela SERVICE

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on


I thought it would be appropriate to use the theme of celebration for Didcot’s 200th parkrun. This got me thinking. There are official milestones that are celebrated, measurable targets to celebrate, but there are also so many personal celebrations each week, that are not necessarily quantifiable.


Firstly thinking about the official milestones: well obviously the 200th parkrun at Didcot is something that we can all take part in and celebrate, despite the sunshine and blue skies, the bitterly cold wind did not stop us from doing so!


Congratulations to the following for achieving their official milestones:
James Weekes completed his 10th parkrun
Sam Hinton completed his/her 50th parkrun
Rachel Bartholemew and Gillian Lonsdale both completed their 100th parkrun
We look forward to seeing you in your Milestone T shirts soon!


Next week will see Didcot parkrun’s 4th birthday so yet another reason to celebrate!


Our Run Director Gordon welcomed 34 First Timers to Didcot parkrun, of whom 16 were talking part in their first parkrun, so an enormous welcome to all of you aged (from under 10 to 55-59) and we hope to see you again when the windchill is not quite so high!



Another 18 Tourists visited Didcot parkrun for the first time including Hayley Swain (Burnham Joggers) and Helen and Niel Georges ( Christchurch Runners) who have now crossed D off their alphabeteer challenge!
8 parkrunners achieved an age grading of over 70%, a range from under 10 years old to the 60-64 age bracket, 3 girls/ladies and 5 boys/men.
Between them Geoff Jackson and John Last, who are both eighty something years old, have run a total of 541 parkruns. On the club front the local clubs had the highest number of runners, Didcot Runners had 19 and Harwell Harriers had 15 runners this weekend.
Not only did our first finisher Chris Billows record a PB, but he also broke the 18 minute barrier for the first time! Sharon Rasmussen broke her previous PB which had stood since March 2016, David Baghurst broke the 27 minute barrier achieving his PB on his 105th parkrun, Tilly Cox and Nate Sizer both ran under 30 minutes for the first time. John Porter and Mike Kidd both completed their hat tricks of parkruns PBs and have recorded faster times every week since joining Harwell Harriers Start to Run and Return to Running Group at the start of January.


This was my second parkrun birthday, and my biggest challenge to date. I too have joined the above group as a “Start to Run”. Part of this week’s homework was 2k effort 1 k recover 2k effort, perfectly suited to parkrun. Unless of course you have mental block about running laps of the park, which is something I suffer from, I also am not a fan of the 3rd lap when it starts to feel a little lonely on the field. Trying to work out a plan of how to do this, I came up with the idea of putting out a request for a buddy for the first 2km. Asking for help, is something that I have struggled to do in the past, but within minutes Charlie Warrington had offered to pace me.
Once we were out of the wind tunnel at the start, off we went, luckily Charlie started her Garmin; I pressed the wrong button! I hadn’t walked by the time I got to Brind Corner, a first, and kept at my steady pace for the first km, receiving lots of encouragement from those lapping me on the way. With encouragement and somebody to listen to, rather than listening to the voices in my head telling me I couldn’t do it, I did it, and broke into a walk for the 3rd km. By this stage there were not many people around me, but those that were all offered encouragement, along with the marshals, who must have been freezing.
It was wonderful to see some new faces among the volunteers this week, they all did a fantastic job at keeping me going.
So with 2k to go, off I trotted again. I find this part of the course easier (and had not walked from this point on my last parkrun) so I knew I could do it and that I was on the home run! With half a km to go, 2 more friendly faces appeared and Gavin Warrington and Carolyn Machin both came to see me to the finish line. They joined in encouraging those around me, we no longer felt the cold wind, but a warm glow instead, and the finish was in sight!
A heart-felt thank you to Charlie for being so kind giving me her parkrun time this week, I feel very privileged to have joined such a generous community. Now I know we can do it. Next week my homework is to do the same, but at a faster pace, and for me to prove that I can do it; I was going to say by myself…but you are never by yourself at parkrun!


This week will bring more celebrations, large and small:
• Didcot parkrun’s 4th birthday/anniversary
• Possibly our 6000th PB (5983 so far)
• Milestones
• First Timers (both to parkrun and to Didcot)
• The High Vis Heroes who volunteer
• Returning parkrunners
• Meeting old friends
• Meeting new people
• Giving and receiving encouragement (shout outs, high fives or smiles)
• Being part of your community
• Getting out and getting active on a Saturday morning
• Cake


I have been looking at the record number of runners at Didcot parkrun, and here is a table of the record breaking runs:
Run date Run Number Number of Runners No of runs the previous record stood for
21/02/15      1               238
06/01/18      145           240                           144
01/02/18      151           244                           6
07/04/18      157           257                           6
14/04/18      158           265                           1
23/06/18      167           267                           9
05/01/19      196           280                           29
12/01/19      197           329                           1
26/01/19      199           332                           2


The attendance at the inaugural parkrun stood for very nearly 3 years, this record was broken 5 times in the first 6 months of 2018, and another 3 times alone in January 2019. Didcot parkrun is welcoming more and more of our local community to its family.



As you are warming up, or trying to keep warm at the start, why not have a look around you and have a guess at how many parkrunners will complete their free, weekly timed run each week, it’s a great conversation starter !


**** EVENT CANCELLED – Saturday 2nd Februrary 2019 ****


**** EVENT CANCELLED - Saturday 2nd February ****


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but we have reluctantly made the decision to cancel tomorrows Didcot parkrun.

Members of the Core Team met earlier to check the route following the inspection we feel we have no option but to cancel due to the risk caused by the course conditions and weather.

It isn't just the course to think of but we need to consider those travelling to the area, the car parking and also our fab volunteer team would be stood in freezing temperatures for over an hour.

Thank you to everyone who offered to volunteer this week and we look forward to seeing you all at Didcot parkrun next weekend.

Please can you share this post and also spread the word to anyone that isn’t on social media.

Many thanks,

Didcot parkrun



Saturday 25th January – Didcot parkrun Takeover – Slimming World Didcot


Saturday 25th January - Didcot parkrun Takeover


This weekend sees a parkrun takeover day with the local Slimming Worlds of Didcot.

The volunteer roster is bursting as the Slimming World groups will be providing all the volunteers including a guest Run Director in Slimming World Consultant Clint White for the morning, so why not come and join them for this weekend’s parkrunday experience.


Slim 1




Slim 2



There are several Slimming World groups in Didcot each run by a friendly consultant. With a group every day of the week, except Sundays you're guaranteed to find one at a time that suits you.

With Slimming World's unique Free Foods you really can lose weight without every going hungry and with support from your fellow members each week in group, you'll be sure to have all the motivation and inspiration you need on your journey.

Please feel free to talk to one of the Slimming World members before or after parkrun and they will be able to give you all the information you need on Slimming World and all they do in Didcot.


Slim 3


If you are part of a club or group and fancy being part of a parkrun takeover in the near future then why not email us at to see what is involved and what dates are available.
We would welcome more community groups or clubs to take part in Didcot parkrun so please do get in touch with us.
Many thanks,
Didcot parkrun volunteer team


Didcot parkrun #198 – 19th January 2019


Didcot parkrun #198 - 19th January 2019
By Karen Spackman

It was a cold, wet, grey morning at Didcot, having set a new record of 329 parkrunners last week, the pre-run estimates for the number of runners were well down on the previous record of 269. How wrong we were, another enormous turnout of 272 completed the 3 laps and the yellow brick road that make Didcot parkrun’s 5km course.


Didcot Ladygrove


Scot, our Run Director (wearing the white and blue high vis) had briefed his band of 23 volunteers, who certainly were high vis heroes out in that dreary weather this week. 2 families provided 6 of the volunteers, the Barbers did a brilliant job of marshalling at Brind Corner (marshal point 3) and at marshall point 5, they were sharing high 5’s and sharing their positivity and energy by doing starjumps too. Not only were the Frost family fantastic tailwalkers, but they also came back to the clubhouse, where drinks, cake and pie were on offer, and did a superb job of token sorting. Unfortunately, this week, there were some tokens missing.

Please, please, please remember to take a token at the end of the finishing tunnel, and return it to a barcode scanner even if you do not have a barcode with you. Replacing tokens takes valuable time and incurs a cost. The other volunteers did a fantastic job too, and as always, an enormous thank you goes out to each of them.

Scot welcomed Tourists and First Timers to Didcot, 20 new parkrunners completed their first 5km parkrun at Didcot, a further 8 Tourists visited Didcot for the first time while a further 26 achieved their Personal Best time. The 50 parkrun milestone was achieved by Diane Wood and Stewart Watson, and Guy Yeats clocked up his 100th parkrun. I studied the results table, which I had resorted on the number of runs, no one completed their 29th nor their 47th parkrun, but apart from that at least one person completed their 1st to their 50th run on Saturday, which shows that parkrunners are like boomerangs and keep coming back! We look forward to welcoming First Timers back for their 2nd run, 3rd run, 4th run …..whatever number run, you are always welcome at Didcot!


We Love Volunteers

After nearly 2 years of having the odd attempt at walk/jogging and lots of volunteering, I have been inspired and encouraged to start Harwell Harriers Start to Run and Return to Run course and have just completed my second week. It would be nice to think that I could learn to run by watching so many others, but it appears that this is one of those things that you actually have to do for yourself to learn!

Luckily, I’m already in the habit of getting out of bed and heading down to Loop Meadow to volunteer, so at least I’ve cracked that bit, which I have been told is the hardest part, but to be honest I’m not so sure. Some of the new faces appearing at Didcot are coming from this group, and it has been heart-warming to have heard many say that they have been stunned at the level of support and encouragement they receive, so please keep this up. We all have to start somewhere!
This week I had looked at the training plan and decided to complete my 17 minute jog/walk during parkrun. Having taken advice, and bearing in mind my mental block on running the 3rd lap, I decided to walk for the first 3 km and then jog from approximately marshal point 5 at the bridge.
While walking I met up with 2 First Timers and it was interesting to chat with them. We discussed how lovely it was to be in such a friendly environment, and how we hear very little positivity in some places of work.

One of the ladies is a Driving Test Examiner and has said that she needs to be able to get out of the car and walk back to the Test Centre on occasion! Another lady will be at Didcot next week for The Slimming World takeover, she was so positive and checked everybody around her was ok, she definitely will fit into parkrun a treat and will share her attitude.

Another First Timer was so pleased that she had managed the 5km without walking, and said she wished she hadn’t taken so long to start coming to parkrun and that she was feeling awesome and totally buzzing for next week.
I am pleased to say that I managed to keep going from the bridge to the finish, and completed that section in 16 minutes and 54 seconds, being a tad geeky about numbers, I kept going for the final 6 seconds to complete my target! I know that other parkrunners may complete the whole parkrun in around 17 minutes, but for me I achieved my target for the week.

Please bear with those of us with our virtual L plates, I’m sure there will be lots of run/walking at parkrun over the next few weeks to complete our training homework, and hopefully our PBs will be improving. We will be “graduating” by completing a parkrun in March. By then those of us that have been training at parkrun will no doubt have caught the parkrun bug!
There is one downside to participating in parkrun, and that is there are a limited number of volunteer roles I can do. I’m hoping to write a run report on my graduation, and I may even write some others if I pass any personal milestones along the way, but I don’t want to bore you all with my ramblings too often! I realised this week that I have got to know lots of faces and even a few names lots of whom recognise me, and say hello at the start, and give words of encouragement as they lap me! As always I would highly recommend volunteering, here is the link to find out more or you can also ask any of the volunteers, well maybe not the timekeepers at the end of the run, as they will be busy focusing on their task!
Looking forward to next Saturday at 9 am for Didcot’s 199th parkrun with The Slimming World Takeover, the week after will obviously be Didcot’s 200th parkrun, and it will be Didcot’s 4th birthday on 21st February so I’m guessing 23rd February will be the day we celebrate that anniversary!
Also, for something a little bit different there is a Didcot parkrun Quiz Night on Friday 1st February at Didcot Town Football Club, at 7pm. Teams of 4 or 5, can me formed in advance or on the night. It will be a fun sociable evening. Scot did mention this in his pre-run briefing, but I know it can be hard to hear everything clearly while all the pre-run adrenaline is rushing through our veins!!!


Quiz Night 1


Event number 198
19th January 2019
This week 272 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 28 were first timers to Dicot with 19 taking in their first ever parkrun.
26 parkrunners recorded new Personal Bests and we saw representatives of 23 different clubs taking part.
Congratulations to the following runners who reached parkrun milestones today:
50 parkruns
Diane Wood
Stewart Watson
100 parkruns
Guy Yeates
We look forward to seeing you in your fab parkrun milestones t-shirts in the coming weeks.
The event was made possible by 23 volunteers who were led by Run Director Scot Wheeler:
Martin CAPSTICK • Mark FOXWELL • Rosie DAVIES • Lewis COUSINS • Hayleigh GASCOIGNE • Scot WHEELER • Miranda HABERMEL • Stuart TURNER • Andrea FROST • Anna GUTTERIDGE • Karen SPACKMAN • Elliot FROST • Meredith FROST • Amanda SANDIFORD • Elsa MCMILLAN • Callum MCMILLAN • James BARBER • Charlotte COOKSON • Sabine BARBER • Maya BARBER • Richard COOPER • Aileen SPANKIE • Alex COOKSON
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Didcot parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Jonathan CORNISH who recorded a time of 15:58 on 15th April 2017 (event number 106).
The female record is held by Izzy FRY who recorded a time of 17:40 on 7th October 2017 (event number 131).
The Age Grade course record is held by Tracey LASAN who recorded 88.29% (21:04) on 7th May 2016 (event number 58).
Didcot parkrun started on 21st February 2015. Since then 4,708 participants have completed 31,890 parkruns covering a total distance of 159,450 km, including 5,919 new Personal Bests.
A total of 508 individuals have volunteered 3,754 times.

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