Ellenbrook Fields parkrun #102 – Run in the Sun

Report and photos by Kate Benson

A record-breaking week this week with a new female finish time. Congratulation goes to Victoria Pritchard with an impressive time to cross the line of 17:21!

The course was almost completely mud and puddle free this week with a fabulous week of full sunshine. The water had dried up to give runners a new challenge of hardened muddy ruts to navigate, fortunately no trips or falls - the runners obviously listened closely to Run Director, Richard. Richard was very thorough with his instructions this week asking runners to take care and not to fall in the pond!

Park run shades

Volunteers opted for shorts and skirts to keep cool this week but our time-keepers went one step further sporting shades to look cool too!

parkrun would not be possible without the band of jolly volunteers who make the morning run smoothly and ensure you had your time recorded and delivered to you before lunchtime.

A big thank you and round of applause goes to:
Lynne NORMAN • John NORMAN • Dan WHITEHOUSE • Tim COOKE • Alistair LAWRENCE • Philippa DAVIS • Amanda PARSBEY • Neil HUME • Sean LYNCH • Kate BENSON • Maxine GOOLD • Allison SKEGGS • Catherine REID • Kirsty SLATER • Nick TRURAN • Richard STRATTON • David G REID • Kerensa STRATTON • Yvette JOHNSTON • Christina DURBIN • Tom BENSON • Laura JOHNSTON

park run volunteers

All smiles from the volunteer barcode scanners and token sorters.

198 people ran, jogged and walked the course, including tourists from Newark and Burton on Trent. 28 participants were first timers and 51 PBs were achieved.
Well done everyone – whether it’s your 1st or 50th running or volunteering – getting up and out on a Saturday morning is a habit well worth adopting and at Ellenbrook Fields, you can be sure of a warm welcome from people of all ages and abilities. Not forgetting Yiu at Cafe2U, who is on hand to provide a caffeine fix and hydration pre and post run.



Happy 100th, Ellenbrook Fields

Ellenbrook Fields parkrun event 100                                                  7th April 2018
Report by Jim Davis
Photographs by Clair Drage


This was the 100th Ellenbrook Fields parkrun. I think that is fantastic. The course deserves its own black T-shirt. The first parkrun here took place on 21 May 2016. First man home then was Jon Williams of Ware Joggers in 17:36 and first lady was Hannah Turner in 19:13. I should start off by saying that Ellenbrook Fields is my favourite parkrun. I’ve jogged round or volunteered for over half of its running. One of the reasons that it’s my favourite is because it is flat. A second is that in the drier times of year – late spring, summer and early autumn – it is really beautiful. But the most important reason is that the folk who organise each event are always so smiling, pleasant and encouraging. They always start with Mrs Norman, who has a cheerful word for all at arrival.


Lynne Norman. Her son is Danny Norman, one of the first to achieve 500 parkrun appearances.

The volunteers at that first event were Howard Bull, Melanie Lynch, Charlotte Holloway, Laura Bailey, Martin Crisp, Maxine Goold, Sarah Haverson, Adam Huntley, Donna O'Toole, Amanda Parsbey, Luke Allbrighton, Tim Cooke, Rhian Hollyer, Charlotte Jones, Carrie Hudson, Clair Drage, Jacqueline McCallum, and Jenna Pickering. Quite a few of these names appear, week in - week out, in the volunteer listings. Jolly well done to you.

I asked Carrie Hudson who was responsible for originally setting up this parkrun. (Actually I asked who was to blame.) She said that the Event Directors were happy to take any blame, but she kindly referenced a number of people, and listed the organisations who helped to get it started: Herts Sports Partnership; Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council; Old Hatfield Ladies Running Club; Goodman UK; and Workman FM. The Event Directors are keen to highlight that the landowner and park maintenance staff have been very supportive throughout the two years, and also before the inaugural, and that they provided the funding for our oak kilometre marker posts.

Saturday’s run was also in memory of Lynne Sparks and Taff Llewellyn.

Taff Llewelyn is pictured below, with his family and buddies.


Taff ran 82 parkruns. 69 of them were here at Ellenbrook Fields. He started running about three and a half years ago. His best ever time at here was 24:19. Pretty good going that. His first run at Ellenbrook Fields in May 2016 and he took 29:31. Steady improvement saw him down to 25:56 by the end of that year. He almost always ran in a Welsh rugby cap. He was aiming to run his first marathon in London later this month. There was a massive Welsh presence in honour of Taff. At one stage I wondered whether I was still in Hertfordshire.


Above are just a few of the Welsh contingent. There were many more.

Lynne Sparks was the Welwyn Hatfield Mayor, being the official starter at the inaugural event, and continuing in support even during a year when she wasn’t the mayor. Lynne was a keen walker, and her Facebook page talks about her walking from Knebworth to Cuffley. That’s a good, long walk by and standards – about 30 miles. Clearly, as with Taff, she passed away when much too young. Her husband Ian, who has volunteered at our parkrun, had planned to be there on Saturday and was missed by many of us, but a family illness kept them away. Shown below is Lynne with husband and mayoral aide, Ian, and Run Director Clair Drage, at the 56th event.


For the 100th running of this event we were blessed with one of the nicest days that we have had for quite a while. There was no rain, not really much of a breeze, it wasn’t below zero, there was no snow or ice. The huge puddle along the home straight had gone. (To be replaced by another good sized puddle at about 3.5km.) Really, how good could it be? We were asked to arrive in super hero costumes, as part of the celebration.


Up front there was no Neil Hume this week. You’ll see below that he volunteered this week as a marshal. So we had a new winner, Thomas Kearns, in the quick time of 16:13. He run three times at Ellenbrook Fields and has been quicker each time he has run. This was his quickest run anywhere. He was also first on the age-graded scale with 79.55%. Next home was Allan Bogle in 16:49. This was good for second on the age-graded scale at 79.39%. He and Thomas were together as they set out on the big lap. This was Allan’s first run at Ellenbrook Fields. Third was an unknown. Third age graded was Richard Somerset with 76.23% for 19:21 as a VM50 - 55.


The first two men early on during the big lap. Allan on the left and Thomas on the right.

Of the ladies, the first over the finish line was Rebecca Pritchard, who set a new PB with 20:40. This would give Rebecca the highest ladies’ age graded score of 71.61%. Next was Katy Healy, also with a PB, in 21:24, which was worth 71.03%. Third across the line was Jilly Barry, a first timer, in 23:28. However, the third best ladies’ age graded score was by Jan Haydon with 25:32 and 68.21%. She was 7th lady, but due to being a year or two older than others, scored very highly. (I hope you’ll forgive me for saying this, Jan.)


Rebecca Pritchard. First overall lady & ladies age graded. She makes it look easy.

This week 213 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 32 recorded new Personal Bests. Hearty congratulations to every one of you. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by these 24 volunteers:

Lynne NORMAN, John NORMAN, John HILL, Philippa DAVIS, Carrie HUDSON, Sarah HAVERSON, Neil HUME, Clair DRAGE, Maxine GOOLD, Jim DAVIS, Allison SKEGGS, Florence HUDSON, Declan DALY, Amy ROUTLEDGE, DavidMark GABBEY, Chris MCGURK, Kirsty SLATER, Nick TRURAN, Emily REDING, Molly GILES, Paul DURBIN, Christina DURBIN, Rob HEARN and Amy HOLLAND.

This week's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Ellenbrook Fields parkrun Results Page.

Very Honourable Mentions (in no particular order):


Sarah Haverson – her 50th volunteer stint.

Andy Whitfield – his 200th parkrun.

Jasper Hudson – his 50th parkrun. (52nd actually, but 2 were junior parkruns.)

Graham Sharp, Dan Whitehouse, Maria Blyth, Denise Hill, Peter Moore, Craig Stephenson, Robert Blyth, Louise Smith, Helen Hawthorne and Clare Gibbons. – They all have more than 100 parkruns. So, in common with Ellenbrook Fields, they all get to wear a black t-shirt.

I am indebted to Clair Drage for such excellent photographs.


You all like water!

Ellenbrook Fields parkrun event 99                                             31st March 2018
Report by Maxine Goold

EF 31032018
This week 131 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 31 were first timers and 8 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different clubs took part.

Tourists and newcomers were welcomed, and we announced that celebrations will be held next week for our 100th parkrun, and a celebration of life for two very special people: Lynne Sparks and Taff Llewellyn. Family members and friends will join us next week to run and walk the course. Fancy dress is optional: either Welsh themed, Super Heros or anything bright and colourful.

We had a wonderful time entering the water feature at the start and finish of Ellenbrook Fields parkrun. So many of you squealed with excitement as you, and fellow parkrunners, splashed through our mini lake! Photos and a video are on the Facebook site!

Sadly, finish token 95 never made it home this week. So, if you are the unknown runner who finished in position 95, please can you look for the token and bring it back.

We are holding a couple of items of lost property, so please ask if you are missing anything.

The event was made possible by 19 volunteers. Thank you all, you did an excellent job and results processing was simple:

John NORMAN • Lisa DUNCAN • Denise HILL • Philippa DAVIS • Claire MEARING • Sarah HAVERSON • Amanda PARSBEY • Sue ROCKHILL • Maxine GOOLD • Allison SKEGGS • Maureen DAVIS • Chris MCGURK • Jenna ROBERTS • Louise DONALD • Molly GILES • Tracey MOSTYN • Paul DURBIN • Christina DURBIN • Tom BENSON

If there are days you cannot run or are resting for a race, volunteering is a way to get involved with parkrun. It is simple and fun and very rewarding. If you are interested in volunteering, we can schedule you in on a day that suits you. Just approach the team at parkrun or email ellenbrookfieldshelpers@parkrun.com. Training will be provided, but tasks are easy!

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Ellenbrook Fields parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 15:04 on 29th October 2016 (event number 24).
The female record is held by Rosie KEANE who recorded a time of 17:29 on 22nd July 2017 (event number 63).
The Age Grade course record is held by Stuart MILLS who recorded 87.21% (17:28) on 26th August 2017 (event number 68).

Ellenbrook Fields parkrun started on 21st May 2016. Since then 3,163 participants have completed 13,561 parkruns covering a total distance of 67,805 km, including 2,663 new Personal Bests.


Event Number 97 – the only injury was a broken leg (on the gazebo)!

I am always truly amazed and astounded by the commitment shown at parkrun. Yes, runners work hard, charging / trotting / strolling round the 5km courses. They are all very worthy heroes. And yes, today was a snowy day as the photo at about the 1km point indicates.


But this week's true heroes were the 22 volunteers we had at Ellenbrook Fields. They arrived at 8.30. They set up in the snow. They walked to their marshal posts and cheered the runners on, whilst the temperature dropped. They scanned and tokened and timed diligently. They returned to the Start / Finish with pink cheeks and runny noses but in excellent spirits. They held down the gazebo as the wind picked up and one of the gazebo's legs broke, shearing nastily*. They packed everything away, in increasingly windy conditions. As we finished off they all cheerily waved each other good bye and said they were looking forward to seeing each other next week. My heroes this week were:

  • Lynne NORMAN and John NORMAN who setup and marshaled
  • Martin CRISP who was wet bar code monitor and gazebo weight
  • Donna O'TOOLE, Lee WOOD and Sophia STAUGHTON who marshaled the cows and their gates
  • Sarah HAVERSON and Tom BENSON who scanned clean, wet and muddy barcodes
  • Mandy PARSBEY and Annette STRATTON who kept time for everybody
  • Milena NUTI and her children who marshaled the last km
  • Natasha O'BRIEN who sorted tokens with cold fingers
  • Kirsty SLATER who marshaled the slippery grass at point #6
  • Felicity WADLEY, Paige WADLEY and Alban WADLEY who cheered the runners past marshal point #3
  • Petya GAYTANSKA who tail walked with the very final walkers to ensure their safety
  • Carlos CARDOSO who withstood the rutted bit at temporary emergency marshal point #5a
  • Molly GILES who dished out tokens to the finishers
  • Helen HOPKINS and her back pack carried child who steered runners left and right over the bridge at marshal point #2
  • Amanda OSGOOD at marshal point #7 who ensured no-one ran towards Notcutts but made it home safe instead

Thank you to everyone of you for making my job as Run Director as easy and pain free as possible. These photos show what you went through and what you did today. You are stars.








This week 106 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 9 were first timers and 8 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Ellenbrook Fields parkrun Results Page.

* In my defence, when setting up at 8.00am the wind was calm enough that I could put the gazebo up on my own! The wind picked up after that. We have put it out of its misery in a humane way.


Event number 95, 24 February 2018

Words and pictures - Jim Davis
Additional pictures - Michael Tandy

It was sub zero at Ellenbrook Fields this morning; with a brisk, chilly breeze. But there was bright sunshine and hardly a cloud to be seen. For February it certainly wasn’t too bad.


I walked with Cassiem out to the cow gates, where we were to marshal. He was cow gate number 1. I was cow gate number 2. If you haven’t noticed it as you go flying by, cow gate number 2 is just in front of the 3km marker.


‘Not bad conditions,’ we said to each other, as we walked out towards the bridge and turned right onto the large loop. ‘So long as you keep out of the puddles, which must be really cold.’

For Cassiem and I, there was then a little bit of a wait before the first runner came into view. Not too surprisingly this turned out to be Neil Hume. He was travelling at a really good lick. The picture really doesn’t do justice to the extent he was really up on his toes, nor to the speed he was going at. Underfoot you’ll notice how good the conditions were at the 3km point. Neil went on to be first home in 17:15. He was also 3rd on the age graded chart today with 80.97%.


Neal was followed by Victoria Pritchard. (I think it is a better picture of her in full flight.) She was also travelling at a really good lick. She finished 43 seconds after Neil, in 17:58, and was first lady. She was also first on the age graded chart today with 82.56%.


Later I walked the last 2km back to the finish. The 3rd kilometre was really pretty tricky. The sun had melted the top quarter of an inch but further down it was still frozen. It was really slippery.


Then, having turned onto the home straight last kilometre, it was into the breeze for the whole way home.


It may not have been the easiest or quickest day after all. But 31 people set new PBs. That’s a really good number. Congratulations to all of you.

This week 171 people took part in the parkrun at Ellenbrook. You can see some of them in the excellent photos below (thanks to Michael TANDY for these and some of the others in this report) that show off parts of the course from angles not often seen. More photos can be found on our Flickr Group.


Representatives of 21 different clubs or organisations took part. The highest number from GCR. There were also 24 first timers. Some were first timers to parkrun. Welcome to Bernice OSBORNE, Chloe NEWTON, Thomas SOPPETT-MOSS, Daniel NEWTON, Nicola COGHLAN, Ethan BARNETT and Yvette JOHNSTON. I hope you do many more. Some were tourists with considerable numbers of runs elsewhere. Amongst these was Chloe WILSON. It was her 117th parkrun.

This week's parkrun was bought to you by 22 volunteers: Rachel ANDREWS, Tom BENSON, Jim DAVIS, Philippa DAVIS, Joanna EVERSHED, Molly GILES, Maxine GOOLD, Rob HEARN, Cassiem JEPPE, Laura JOHNSTON, Yvette JOHNSTON, David MONGEY, John NORMAN, Lynne NORMAN, Natasha O'BRIEN, Donna O'TOOLE, Amanda PARSBEY, Emily REDING, Allison SKEGGS, Richard STRATTON, Michael TANDY, Lee WOOD. You can see some of them in action below.

This week's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Ellenbrook Fields parkrun Results Page.

Men’s placings:
3rd home and 2nd man Mark JEX 20:25 (new PB)
3rd man Alistair LAWRENCE 20:26 (a close call)

Ladies placings:
2nd lady Alicia FOUND 20:37
3rd lady Sian LEWIS 23:42

Honourable Mentions (in no particular order).
Colin SINGLETON - 2nd age graded with 82%.
Michael LAMB – his 287th run
Andy HOLT – his 239th run. Only 11 to go for a real landmark.
Steve Livingstone – 25:31 and finally beginning to get over really long term injuries.

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