Didcot parkrun #146 – Takeover Day by Didcot Runners


Didcot parkrun #146 13th January 2018


Didcot may be labelled the most average place to live in the UK, but how many other towns can boast not one but two running clubs! So it was that after the fabulous Harwell Harriers take over day in November, Didcot Runners took the chance to give a little bit back to the community and supplied all the volunteers for this week’s event.

This meant we had a new face as Run Director, with Hayleigh Gascoigne taking the chance to welcome all of the day’s athletes, including tourists from Tring, Henley-on-Thames, Maidstone, Reading, Oxford and Harcourt Hill. With over 100 parkruns under her belt Hayleigh was well versed with the intro talk “It was the volunteer briefing I was most nervous about, but as so many of them knew what to do, it was really lots of fun!” she told me later.


Didcot parkrun, event number 146 on 2018-01-13


Back on the course and there were so many great individual stories. We had milestone runs with Lydia making her 10th event alongside her younger brother George who come along for his first ever parkrun. Local youngsters Blake and Kieran ran their 30th parkruns and at the other end of the scale Anna and Michael came back for their second parkrun to support their mother Oana (who equally impressively hit a new PB). In fact, there were a total of 21 second timers, all making that huge step of returning, great work guys!


The first finisher was Oxford parkrun tourist Sebastian, whose motivation to don trainers on a Saturday morning is in memory of his mother who set up the Harcourt Hill parkrun. It was neck and neck on the line with local Harwell Harrier Stuart edged into second spot.



Didcot parkrun, event number 146 on 2018-01-13


Peggy was the first of the eight dogs to finish. Shortly following on was Alaistair, the occupant of the first of our prams to cross the line in the Nipper Sport Buggy (other brands are available) tirelessly pushed along by Matthew. Our Didcot Runners timers Geoff and Miranda witnessed plenty of excitement on the finish funnel, with the polite finishers (no, after you), the competitive finishers (dip for the line), the fall to the floor finishers (“but it was worth it for the PB” - Rebecca!) and the push your sister along finishers (shortly followed by the push your mother along too finishers!).


Didcot parkrun, event number 146 on 2018-01-13


Didcot parkrun, event number 146 on 2018-01-13

Yet again, it was another fabulous morning to be out on the Ladygrove, with so many smiles and people and sentiments of “I couldn’t do it on my own”. Likewise, we at Didcot Runners share this ethos. Many people believe that running clubs are just for the elites, but at both Didcot Runners and Harwell Harriers, we really look to encourage all abilities and host beginner’s groups with qualified run leaders to make sure the support you get is right for you.


So if you are finding the exhilaration of parkrun is just not enough, or that PB is just out of reach, why not join us and be a part of Didcot’s running community.



Didcot parkrun Takeover – Didcot Runners Running Club


Saturday 13th January  - Didcot parkrun Takeover





This weekend sees another parkrun takeover day with the turn of Didcot Runners Running Club.     The volunteer roster is bursting as the Didcot Runners will be providing all the volunteers including a guest Run Director in Hayleigh Gascoigne and extra volunteer marshals for the morning, so why not come and join them for this weekend’s parkrunday experience.



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 didcothelpers@parkrun.com to see what is involved and what dates are available.


We don't have another takeover day planned as yet and we would welcome more community groups or clubs to take part in Didcot parkrun.


Many thanks,


Didcot parkrun volunteer team



Didcot parkrun #145 – Happy New Year to All!


Didcot parkrun #145 - Happy New Year to All!


It was a chilly Epiphany at Didcot. Maybe an epiphany of other sorts for some 24 of our number who braved the frosty morning, for them it was their first time at parkrun ever. For an additional 15 it was their first, and hopefully not last, visit to Didcot. They helped swell the ranks of eager individuals, all embarking on their first Saturday parkrun of the year. So much so that [drum roll please], today was a record attendance for Didcot – 240 of you! You are all record breakers! And in doing so, we all propelled the total parkrun mileage run at Didcot to beyond the 100,000km mark. Not only that but an impressive fourteen people also set personal bests – no mean feat on frosty grass and icy tarmac.




We had dogs and buggies aplenty. The writer and his daughter were duly lapped by the speed demons battling it out to be first finisher at around the beginning of our second circuit of the field. There were four of them clumped together at that stage and it was Didcot first timer Rhys Linnell who eventually crossed the line first in a time of 18:55, closely followed by Tom Corbett and Jose Manuel Pabon, both of Ealing Eagles and visiting for the first time. First lady was Didcot runner, Rebecca Rose, in a time of 22:06 – the first time she has been first finisher in her gender – congratulations to her. For the junior, Blake Campbell, was the fastest boy and Helen Krabben, the fastest girl.


In terms of milestones, the only one we had today was Gemma Weeks who can now send off for her white junior T-shirt. We also welcomed representatives of clubs from further afield, hailing from Leicestershire, North Devon, Hampshire and Poland.  




Then there were the volunteers, without whom the parkrun would not have happened, there were 23 of them – led by Run Director Helen Brind, setting-up and inspecting the course to ensure our safety, keeping the time, marshalling, scanning barcodes and then tidying up after us all. We all smiled and waved to them as we went past. Most notable of the volunteers were the Frost family; Andrea, Meredith and Elliot who walked around at the end to ensure everyone got to the finish. We salute you all!

Let’s hope to see you all next week and beat that attendance record! Hopefully it won’t be quite so chilly.





Thank You – Didcot parkrun Volunteers at Abingdon Marathon 2017 –

Thank You - Didcot parkrun Volunteers at Abingdon Marathon 2017

On Sunday 22nd October a fab team of volunteers donned the Apricot parkrun colours and manned the Water Station in Milton Park to support at the 35th Abingdon Marathon.



Today we are delighted to say a huge THANK YOU to the Abingdon Marathon team who have kindly donated £600 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 - Organiser
Paul Hayward - Volunteer Lead
Harriet Hayward
Macky Mcmenemy
Alan Wood
Ashley Shepherd
Geoffrey Jackson
Paul Hobbs
Sarah Ruane
Liz Hickingbotham
Julian Hickingbotham
Karen Spackman
Carol Martin
Lisa Martin
Charlie Martin-Breaker
Chris Martin


The Abingdon Marathon was first held in 1982 and 2018 will mark the race’s 37th year since its inception. This will be the 36th running of the race – unfortunately the 2007 event had to be abandoned.

Didcot parkrun @Abingdon Marathon 2017

We are planning to help out again by manning the Water Station and some marshalling roles so please save the date of Sunday 21st October 2018. 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 – 2017 End of Year Review


Didcot parkrun - 2017 End of Year Review





It’s been a fantastic year for Didcot parkrun which has seen us grow from an average of 122 runners in 2016 to an impressive average of 180 runners in 2017. There have been 835 registrations at for Didcot parkrun this year taking us to a total of 2438 registered Didcot parkrunners.


Please see the demographic breakdown of our registrants by gender and age range, a certain regular parkrunner Geoff Jackson is a standout at the top of the graph:



Didcot graphAgeGenderSplit-event518



2017 has seen 1923 individual parkrunners clocking up 9404 runs, this is the equivalent of 47,020 km on Ladygrove Park!!
Since Didcot parkrun started on 21st February 2015 we have seen 3,330 participants complete 19,919 parkruns covering a total distance of 99,595 km, including 4,115 new Personal Bests.

This year saw both course records being broken, however the Age Grade Record for 2016 still stands:

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 #42


It’s not all about the runners though as in 2017 we have seen 964 individual volunteer roles being filled by 257 different volunteers.

The total of volunteers since we started in February 2015 shows that 2630 individual volunteer roles have been filled by 402 different volunteers which is only 15% of all those registered.


In January we put out the news that we were looking to raise funds for Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for use at Didcot parkrun. We were blown away by the support and generosity of the Didcot parkrun community as by the end of January we had reached our target and raised over £800 for the events own portable AED.





2017 has seen a number of Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) participants using Didcot parkrun as either their physical activity or for the volunteer element of the DofE awards so well done to all those participants and we look forward to growing this element with parkrun in 2018.
We have seen Didcot Hash House Harriers and Harwell Harriers Running Club having takeover days at Didcot parkrun, this sees the relevant group/club taking over each volunteer role on the day to deliver a successful event whilst having the chance to promote their group/club activities.
2018 starts with Didcot Runners Running Club having a takeover day on 13th January and we welcome other groups/clubs to contact us if you also fancy the opportunity to have a takeover day, if you want more information then please email us at didcothelpers@parkrun.com.
We were fortunate to be nominated for the Oxfordshire Sports Awards in the ‘Sports Development Project of the year’ category in January, this saw Didcot parkrun along with the Oxfordshire parkrun collective finishing as runners up to ‘Access Sport High Sheriff Challenge’.
We were then privileged to be invited to the Civic Hall by Didcot Town Council after being nominated by our parkrunners for the prestigious ‘John Eldridge Award for Voluntary Service’. We finished the evening as runners up for the second year in a row and the honour of being recognised for our voluntary service shows that we are well thought of in the community.
Didcot parkrun has been supported by Didcot Town Council with land permission, ground maintenance and the Mayor handing out annual awards.
Didcot Town Football Club have supported us with use of the storage locker, toilets and post run refreshment along with a great venue for our functions.

Without the support of both, we wouldn’t be able to offer the parkrun experience we have to date and we look forward to building on these relationships in 2018.




Last but not least, Didcot parkrun would not be possible without the Core Team of volunteers who give up their time to ensure Didcot parkrun is the wonderful community event that it is.

A special thank you must go out to the following people for their hard work and commitment to Didcot parkrun:

Lewis Cousins – Event Director & Volunteer Co-ordinator

Simon Hewerdine – Run Director

Lisa Herbert – Run Director

Lisa Martin – Run Director

Helen Brind – Run Director

Sue Henderson – Volunteer Co-Ordinator


Andrew Gordon – Former Run Director (2015-2017)

Mike Shepherd – Former Run Director (2015-2016)

Tom Reddy – Former Run Director (2015)

Paul Griffiths – Former Run Director (2015)




Thank you to the Didcot parkrun community for all your support, running and volunteering with us, we certainly couldn't do it without you so have a Happy New Year and here's to a fun filled year of parkrunning in 2018.

Many thanks,

Didcot parkrun Core Volunteer Team


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