Run Report for Fountains Abbey parkrun 189

Listening to the rain hammering down early on Saturday morning, I wondered how many parkrunners would be tempted to give it a miss and catch an extra hour in bed. Judging by another fantastic turnout, it seemed none of you! So not only did we have yet again a brilliant team of volunteers all around the course, 395 runners made their way around the course under leaden skies, contrasting with the natural golden backdrop from the autumn leaves. One thing that struck me (again) is how lucky we are to be able to run around such a spectacular setting. We are even more fortunate to be able to run the entire course on the paths and tracks which seem to drain pretty well after a night of heavy rain, and for many runners is so much more preferable to running through a muddy field! Credit has to go to the National Trust for all their work in path maintenance, but even I was surprised by the sound of blowers clearing the paths of leaf litter at 8 o’clock yesterday morning!

We spent last week anticipating the 50,000th runner to cross the line at Fountains Abbey. As the number of finishers increased, the excitement began to grow in the funnel area, and as the timer counted in runner 290, we could see a group of five making their way up the hill to the finish line. From this group, Jonathan Dodds crossed the line as the 293rd finisher, and thus our 50,000th runner. Numbers such as this were beyond belief when the plans for a parkrun at Fountains Abbey were being formulated; indeed the original estimates for numbers were 100 in the summer months, maybe as few as 30 in winter!

At the end of every Run Report, you will have found the ‘Official Bit’. This is a journalist report, computer generated on submission of our results, and emailed to us automatically from parkrun HQ. However, it has been decided that parkrun HQ will now abridge the report, with less emphasis on the first three finishers, WAVA gradings, etc. We will continue to give a mention the first male and female finishers and outstanding WAVA gradings, as we believe it is important to celebrate the entire spectrum of participants, much as we have a paragraph of mentions and milestones, or simply write a paragraph on somebody or something that has caught our eye. So congratulations to first finishers yesterday, Ben Holmes in 17:55 and Eva Whitaker in 19:37. Eva’s time was particularly impressive, running in the JW11-14 category with a grading of 83.01%. Hot on her heels though, mention to Caleb Aylesbury, a new PB of 19:42. Not bad for a young man in the JM10 category with a grading of 82.99%. We have some very talented young runners in North Yorkshire. Caleb was just one of 59 of you who achieved a PB yesterday, well done to all of you!

Some Milestones and Mentions

We can celebrate one junior parkrunner for achieving her 10th run this week, so huge well done to Freya Collins.

On running her 50th parkrun, congratulations to Edna Wood.

And a huge cheer for Rory Hall on recording his 100th run. It’s brilliant to see another of our younger runners achieving 100 parkruns (Rory runs in the JM10 age group) and Rory is the latest member of the Hall family to become a centurion. Very well done indeed!

It was also a real pleasure yesterday to mark Emily Houghton’s 50th parkrun as a volunteer. Familiar to many of you as she scans barcodes with her infectious enthusiasm, Emily is normally to be found in the café afterwards diligently sorting out several hundred barcodes, ready for the next event. Fountains Abbey parkrun plays a huge part in Emily’s life, and Sally would also like to pass on her thanks to you all for the support you give. Well done again Emily, and many thanks from all of us!

Volunteering at Fountains Abbey parkrun

For everyone that has already put themselves forward to help out in the coming weeks we are supremely grateful.

2 vacant volunteer slots on11 November 2017
3 vacant volunteer slots on 18 November 2017
4 vacant volunteer slots on 25 November 2017

As always please drop us a line at if you can assist with volunteering in the future.

Donating to Fountains Abbey parkrun

It’s now over three years since we set up Fountains Abbey parkrun and its time we replaced some of our signage and kit and bought a fee new bits and pieces. Some of the kit gets provided by parkrun HQ. Some of it doesn’t and on those occasions we do reach out to the community and ask for donations to help keep & our wonderful parkrun and improve its facilities and functioning.

If you would like to make a donation to Fountains Abbey parkrun please simply click on the link below:
Thank you very much for your support. 100% of the funds raised are used directly for the benefit of Fountains Abbey parkrun.

If you love Fountains Abbey parkrun, why not join the National Trust (NT)?

If you’d like to join the NT, which for a family is only around £9 per month, the link below provides more information, or you can go to the Visitor Centre at Fountains Abbey:

Important notices concerning the Fountains Abbey parkrun. 

Please do not be offended if we ask you to help us. Many thanks for your co-operation & support in looking after the beautiful environment in which we run each week.

The beautiful play area by the cafe is open from 10am on Saturdays; we politely welcome visitors down to the Abbey for the parkrun and if you’d like to stay and spend more time in the beautiful grounds please just head back through the Visitor Centre once the grounds open to the public [free to NT members].

A polite reminder to all parkrunners that the trees at the start area are not clothes pegs. Please would runners leave their kit on the ground during the run.

Fountains Abbey parkrun takes place before the NT site opens to the public, therefore parkrunners, volunteers & spectators are kindly requested to be through the Visitor Centre gate and down by the Abbey before 9am or you will be denied access. We politely ask that all visitors to Fountains Abbey parkrun help us and our special relationship with the NT by respecting the basis upon which we operate. The gate at the top by the Visitor Centre is now closed at 9am so anyone hoping to get in after this time will be disappointed. The good news is that we look forward to joining you for a coffee in the Visitor Centre café as soon as we possibly can. Thank you for your support in this important matter.

All parkrun visitors must vacate the Abbey grounds before 10am when the NT site opens.

Visitors arriving at Fountains Abbey by bicycle are asked to leave their bikes in the racks at the Visitor Centre please. Bikes are not allowed in the grounds beyond this point.

There are toilets by the Visitor Centre and these are well signposted. There are additional toilets around 50 metres behind the old start line by Fountains Hall. Please use them - no exceptions; we need your fullest support with this. Thank you.

Please stand in the correct place at the start of the run according to your ability. If you are slower than the runners behind you this will cause a bottleneck at the start of the parkrun.  Please mind your feet particularly at the start of the run. No slips and trips please

A reminder about one of the key rules that govern parkrun. For your, our and your children's protection could parents please help us by making sure that any children under 11 are accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

Why not order yourself a printed plastic barcode?

A range of tough and durable plastic parkrun barcode ID tags are available via These are the only UK authorised and professionally printed tags and feature the parkrun branding and logo, your athlete details and can also be personalised with your ICE (In Case of Emergency) telephone number and additional information including specific medical details. They come in a range of options and can be attached to a key ring, laces, and running vest zip or worn on a lanyard.

Local races

If you would like to hand out any race literature at Fountains Abbey parkrun we would appreciate you seeking permission from the Run Directors as there are some specific rules that govern us here at Fountains Abbey.


Run Bolton Abbey (10k / 10 Mile / Half Marathon) 12 November 2017 hppp://
The Chevin Chase: 26th December 2017
Jolly Holly Jog: 11am 31 December 2017:

Of course if you know of another race that we should be shouting about then please just let us know.

And now the official bit...

Fountains Abbey parkrun, Event number 189, 4 November 2017

This week 395 people ran the course, of whom 48 were first timers and 59 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:

Colin DAVIES • Peter CROWDER • Darren BURTON • Claire BURTON • Anne CHEESEMAN • Lesley WILLOUGHBY • Paul RICHARDSON • Lindsey FALLOW • Steve SILVER • John BULL • Jon HANCOCK • Anna GREENWOOD • Emily PARRY • Oliver PARRY • Emma OATES • Steve OATES • Philip HOLDEN • Sally HOUGHTON • Emily HOUGHTON • Suzy WOOD • Graham BOYD • Katie OATES • Jessica CAVEN

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

The female record is held by Sharon BARLOW who recorded a time of 17:36 on 25th July 2015 (event number 72).

The male record is held by George MILLS who recorded a time of 15:44 on 22nd October 2016 (event number 136).

The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 94.76% (25:08) on 22nd July 2017 (event number 174).

Fountains Abbey parkrun started on 1st March 2014. Since then 8,842 participants have completed 50,102 parkruns covering a total distance of 250,510 km, including 9,225 new Personal Bests.