Run Report #178 – 13th January 2018

4 - 3 - 2 -1


After last week's disappointing but necessary cancellation it was great to have our first Exeter Riverside parkrun of 2018.

For some of today's 341 finishers, this was their 4th parkrun of 2018: bagging two different ones on New Year's Day (the only day of the year that you can be credited for two parkruns!), one somewhere else last Saturday, and one with us today. For others who've also done a bit of parkrun tourism, today was their 2nd or 3rd. Whether today was number 4, 3, 2 or 1 for you, I wish you every success in achieving whatever parkrun goals you've set yourself for 2018.

Today we used our alternative two-lap course avoiding the University Playing fields which are still drying-out.  We plan to continue to use this course for the whole of January and will then liaise with the University to decide when the field is dry enough for our runners to use again.  Even though we are temporarily not using the University field, we will continue with our policy not to allow dogs at our parkrun due to the level of congestion on the course.  Apologies for the miscommunication at today’s parkrun and for the inconvenience this caused to several runners with dogs.

As today's Tail Walker, I got to see the impressive spectacle of the various contra-flows and over-laps around the course. Well done to today's marshals and all of our joggers, walkers and runners for making this work and being respectful towards other users of the shared paths.

We continue to reiterate that under 11s must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times during the parkrun.  Sadly we witnessed several young children running alone.  Responsible adults were spoken to after the parkrun as child safeguarding is one of our major priorities.

341 participants was our highest turn-out for 7 weeks which makes the logistics all-the-more challenging. While we're using the alternative course we need a couple of extra marshals each week. If you've not volunteered for a while, please take a look at our volunteer roster and put yourself down for a session or two. There are lots of different roles and it's good fun (even on a cold morning).

There were 30 unknown runners this week, people who either didn't want their time recording or forgot their unique barcode so couldn't have their time recorded. Make it your New Year's resolution to secrete multiple copies of your barcode in your car, gym bag, cycle helmet, jacket pocket, trainers, wallet, phone case and anywhere else that you can think of so that you'll never experience the horror of finishing in a personal best time or reaching a parkrun milestone but never seeing it recorded because you couldn't find your barcode.

Congratulations to Jacqueline Moore who reached her 100 parkrun milestone (and remembered her barcode!) today on her first time with us at Exeter Riverside.

Like Jacqueline, 63 people with recorded times were also completing our course for the first time, 34 of which were doing their first parkrun anywhere. I hope you enjoyed the experience and will want to come again.

Today's first male finisher and first finisher overall was Oliver Thorogood in 17:26. Georgina Westwood was the first female finisher in 21:09. Four runners achieved an age grading over 75% including: Peter Monaghan 84.77%, Karen Cook 83.19% and Corinne McWilliams. Thirty-five people achieved a personal best (PB) time; well done to you all.

To my great disappointment we didn't have anyone finish in a time of 20:18 to celebrate the new year. The closest we came was Roger Atkinson in 20:16; just 2 seconds too keen!

So after a false start, we're off. Can we beat last year's (and our all-time) attendance record of 422 people, the 15,784 finishers, or the 78,920 km we completed in 2017?  I'm feeling confident.

Happy New Year.


Event Cancellation – 6th January

Hi everyone,

Just a bit of a follow on from our earlier Facebook post about today’s cancellation.

The level of overnight frost was a bit of a surprise and although we knew that today’s parkrun was likely to be a cold one, temperatures above freezing were forecast.

Under normal circumstances, the cold alone would not have prevented us from running, but with the rain last night having frozen on the main paths, it became evident when the marshals started heading out on to the course that conditions were very treacherous, even just walking on the paths.

We looked into the option of starting the parkrun further down the path to avoid ice near the usual start, but if anything the course was even more slippy on the way down past the allotments and there were areas where there was ice completely covering the path.

In the end, despite wanting the parkrun to go ahead if at all possible, the Event and Run Director had to take the decision to cancel the event at 8.45 a.m. when it was apparent that the safety of runners would be compromised if we tried to run in those conditions.

We are really sorry that the great volunteers and runners, who came along to support our parkrun had a fruitless trip. Hopefully a coffee and chat instead of the parkrun at least made up for the missed run.


Run Report #177 – 30th December

Loopy end to the year


Massive credit to the core team and today's Run Director and volunteers for putting in place an adjusted course at short notice. The heavy rainfall associated with Storm Dylan meant that the University playing fields were very wet and muddy so the decision was made to switch to a two lap 'out-and-back' for this morning's run. The combination of fewer other users out on the paths, great marshalling, and runners following instructions meant that it went surprisingly well. A great team effort!

241 people ran, walked or jogged their way round the course; 26 running clubs were represented. Although it was warm for the time of year (13C) and not raining, there was a stiff breeze gusting up to 31mph. 13 people recorded a personal best time for the course which is well down on most weeks; probably related to the strong breeze and perhaps one too many pigs-in-blankets in the past week! Congratulations to the 13, you've ended the year in style.

Today's first male finisher and first finisher overall was Joshua Dixon in 16:22 on his first run with us. Nicky Savill was the first female finisher in 19:22. Seven people achieved an age grading over 75%: Stevie G 80.04%, Joshua 78.82%, and Sam Hopton 77.09%.

52 people completed Exeter Riverside parkrun for the first time, of which 12 were doing their first parkrun anywhere. Thank you for joining us.

4 people celebrated reaching parkrun milestones today. Daniel Ragnor and Samuel Clarke both reached their 100 milestone, and Joshua Hopton reached his 10 run milestone. Congratulations. The other one was me, reaching 50!  I've also managed to volunteer on 42 occasions in 6 roles which I'm very pleased about. I'd encourage any parkrun regular to try their hand at one of the many different volunteer roles. Some are indoors, others out on the course, and some can be combined with doing the run. It's a great way to support the event and each role lets you see parkrun from a different perspective. The available roles for the next month or so can be seen on our volunteer roster

So that's it for 2017. How did we do?

During 2017, we had 51 Exeter Riverside parkruns which were only possible because of the people taking-on 1,105 volunteer sessions. Two events were cancelled; one due to flooding and one because we couldn't access our kit, and there was one extra event held on Christmas Day.

We had 15,784 finishers who collectively ran, walked and jogged 78,920 km. That's almost twice around the equator or a fifth of the way to the moon! The quickest male finisher was Phil Wylie in 15:13 on 22 April. Katie Synge was the fastest female finisher this year in 18:18 on 13 May.

There won't be an Exeter Riverside run on New Year's Day. If you'd like to do one (or even two) on Monday, here's a list of the parkruns that will be available:  Our next run at Exeter Riverside is scheduled for Saturday 6 January.

What targets will you be setting yourself for 2018: a PB time, to reach a milestone, to come to parkrun more often, to visit different courses, to volunteer more? Whatever they are, I wish you every success. Thanks for your company, support and inspiration this year; let's make 2018 an awesome year.

Happy New Year

Adrian Harding


Run Report #175 – 23rd December

Two Sleeps 'til parkrun (and Christmas!)


227 people joined us for this week's Exeter Riverside parkrun and were rewarded with an incredibly warm and sunny morning; more like Easter than Christmas. Numbers were slightly down today, possibly due to people supporting the inaugural parkrun at Exmouth: it's great to have another event join the parkrun family in Devon. We may also have lost some regulars to Christmas shopping; stay strong, we're thinking of you!

It was great to see a liberal sprinkling of Santas, elves and reindeer among our runners this morning. Our volunteers looked particularly festive too. A big 'thank you' to today's team: I know it can be difficult this time of year when there's so much to do, a lot of pressure on people's time and you might not be feeling 100%. Several volunteers were doubling-up today to fill gaps in the roster. A special mention for Becci who had to Marshal at the bridge over the river and then run back to the start – in full Santa gear – to be ready to give out the finish tokens. She got back just a few seconds before the first finisher. There are some photos from today on our Flickr page here

A huge 'thank you' also to the many parkrun regulars and visitors who have made a donation towards us buying a defibrillator. In just a few weeks we've made huge progress towards our goal. If you'd like to help us get over the finish line you can make a donation via our website

We had 27 unknown runners this week. Remember, if you'd like to have your name and time recorded you need to bring your unique parkrun barcode with you. The same barcode can be used at any parkrun and week after week (so long as it's still legible).

The first male finisher and first finisher overall was Peter Monaghan in 17:15. Rosie Hattersley was the first female finisher in 18:40 on her first run with us. Like Rosie, 33 people were walking, running or jogging our course for the first time. For 13 people, it was their first parkrun anywhere.

6 people achieved an age grading over 75% including Peter 86.86%, Karen Cook 85.86%, and Rosie 79.29%.

33 people received an early Christmas present, a new Personal Best (PB) time for our course; congratulations. A special mention for the people who reached parkrun milestones today: Emma Harris, Graham Yarwood and Thomas Mack reached their 100 run milestone, Maxim Cardew, Dee Dowie and William Maclennan reached the 50 milestone, and Edward Belshaw who reached the 10 run milestone. Well done to you all.

I noticed that a few of today's runners are on their 48th, 49th, 98th or 99th parkruns so we may well see some more milestones reached before 2017 is out. Our next run is a special one on Christmas Day (Monday) starting at 9am. Our final regular Saturday parkrun will be at 9am on Saturday 30 December. So you've got two more occasions to bobble your Santa hat, waft those fairy wings and twinkle your tinsel down at Riverside before we say goodbye to 2017.

Merry Christmas



Run Report #174 – 16th December

All I want for Christmas is a brand new defib!


Regular run report writer Adrian Harding has taken a well-earned week off, so I’ll do my best to fill his festive jumper and shoes!

We had a lovely morning for this week’s parkrun.  It was cold, but not quite the arctic temperatures of the previous two Saturdays.  No doubt the temperature and pre-Christmas shopping and family commitments, as well as the university term finishing meant that runner numbers were down a bit, but we still had 215 runners participating plus another twenty volunteer heroes.

Despite the heavy rain of recent days, apart from the far end of the university sports field, conditions underfoot were pretty good and with the start being a bit less congested than normal, there were some good times recorded, with over 10 percent of runners getting personal best times.

You may have heard that we are trying to accumulate funds to buy a defibrillator, as we are in the minority of parkruns that don’t have access to one within the recommended five minutes of the start/finish.  We have already received a number of hugely generous donations and in the last two weeks parkrunners have donated almost £500.  If you feel able to contribute, the easiest way is to follow the link on our website below and pay with PayPal or card.  We’d prefer not to receive cash donations, although thank you to the anonymous donor who provided a donation at the scanning desk.  An equivalent donation has been made through PayPal on your behalf.

A bit like Mr Harding, I’m quite partial to the odd parkrun statistic.  Excluding the 20 barcode-less runners, whose age and gender will forever remain unknown, men outnumbered women (102 v 93) and the 50-54 age group was most well represented with 29 runners participating.

Of the twenty Exeter Riverside parkrun first timers, five were completing their very first parkrun.  To you I say ‘Well done.  We hope that you enjoyed your experience and it will be the first of many’.  The remainder were parkrun tourists, visiting us from Crystal Palace, Tonbridge, Plymvalley, Killerton, Beeston and Nonsuch parkruns, amongst others.  We hope that your visit was a pleasurable one and we will see you again in the future.

We welcomed Sarah-Jayne SARGEANT to the junior white shirted ’10 Club’ and Jack BOWYER to the red shirted ’50 Club’.  Core committee member Paul MOULAND completed his 25th volunteer stint at Exeter Riverside too.  Congratulations to you all on your achievements.

We are really excited about next Saturday’s run, which will be the last before Christmas and seeing how many runners and volunteers come along in now traditional festive attire.  For those of you able to get a pass out from family commitments for an hour, don’t forget that we are operating an extra special Christmas Day parkrun, starting at 9:00 a.m. at the usual place.  Last year’s event was a real success with over 150 runners and volunteers.  We hope to exceed 200 runners this year with your support.

We know that a number of our regulars have plans to attend the inaugural Exmouth parkrun next Saturday.   Although our runners want to support the new event, Exmouth is likely to be extremely busy for their first run which could lead to congestion and runners leaking onto the cycle path which like our own, needs to be kept clear.  High runner numbers also places strain on inexperienced volunteers on what will no doubt be both an enjoyable but stressful first day.  Our advice, in conjunction with the Exmouth parkrun event team is if you are thinking of visiting Exmouth, why not defer your trip for a few weeks until they settle in to hosting a parkrun.

We look forward to welcoming many tinsel and bauble clad Santas, Rudolphs and elves to Exeter Riverside next Saturday!

Adrian Mountford


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