Fountains Abbey parkrun 200 – Run Report

Back in the not-so-distant past, when those luminaries whose vision conceived the idea of a parkrun within Studley Royal deer park, they and our wonderful friends from the National Trust could hardly have imagined that on a wet and icily cold February morning, we would be celebrating our 200th parkrun in the stunning surrounds of Fountains Abbey and the Water Gardens.  But yesterday, that’s exactly what we did and despite the conditions, some 382 people completed another amazing run.

So I will be the first to admit the conditions were not perfect with some slippery sections on the course, maybe appropriate as the Winter Olympics get under way, and I understand that some made a decision after the short lap that ‘there’s always next week’ (a favourite expression of mine) and retreated for the comfort of the café or the car, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.  Indeed, when the conditions approach marginal, it’s reassuring that individuals feel confident to make their own decision.  But yesterday was also testing for our brilliant team of volunteers, good to see all appropriately wrapped up for the weather and all smiling and encouraging our runners.  Special mention to the marshalling team, cautioning the runners on the slippery bits and especially to Steve Marks for covering off that one tricky section of black ice.  Also a special mention to Lise Seiersen making her volunteering debut yesterday and doing a fine job at the Rustic Bridge corner.  Well done!

First home for the boys was Reece Dalton in a stunning 16:16 (with a WAVA grading of 81.05%), and again appropriate as Reece was one of the runners for the very first Fountains Abbey parkrun back in March 2014.  Leading the ladies home was Donna Riddler in 19:58, thus recording her third best ever WAVA performance at Fountains Abbey.  Great running, both of you.

Junior Runners

As yesterday was start of half-term week, we expected to see a spike in the numbers, and despite the weather it was brilliant to see so many families running the course and enjoying a morning out.  The photo posted on our Facebook page after the run seemed to encapsulate so much of the wonderful spirit of children running parkrun.

We did highlight via the Run Report a couple of weeks ago the parkrun stipulation that children under 11 years old must run with a parent, guardian or other responsible person, and this stipulation really is non-negotiable for very good safeguarding reasons. Unfortunately, yesterday we had another occurrence where one of our younger runners became separated from his group, and we seem to have difficulty getting this stipulation through to a small number of our community.  parkrun take this rule extremely seriously, and as Run Directors, we are obliged to report such occurrences as an incident.  And just be aware, this then triggers the parkrun safeguarding team into action, which is probably not what most people imagine will happen to them at the start of the run.  So please do help us to help you.

Personal Bests

I mentioned in the run brief that the conditions were probably not suitable for personal bests, but some 52 of you chose to ignore my sage advice, shame on you.  Personal bests are a special thing, and for all a reason to celebrate.  They tend to fall in successive weeks as an individual embarks on a parkrunning career, familiarity with the course and improvements in levels of fitness and technique make it a natural progression.  But then they become harder to achieve, and one of the hard lessons in life is that you can’t PB every week!  Now we don’t normally single out individuals for PBs, unless it’s a milestone run, but this week we’re going to make an exception.  So step forward and take a bow, Beth Constantine.  One of our younger runners, 45 parkuns under her belt, ran yesterday in 25:15 taking a massive 15 seconds off her previous best recorded way back last April.  Lots of hard work and determination behind this one, and I suspect the times will soon get even faster.  So while I’m on it, maybe a mention for a few of our established (more than 40 runs at Fountains) and regular runners, so again congratulations to Annabel Hall, Amelie Kilford and Reuben Harford for taking home a shiny new PB and avoiding looking like bambi on ice!

Some Milestones and Mentions

It was a real pleasure to mentions some milestone runs yesterday, so:

On running their 50th parkrun, congratulations to Morag McDowall and Peter Kilford.

And huge cheers for three runners on their 100th parkrun:

Martin Sutcliffe, who selflessly volunteered to be Tailwalker for the event.  Thank you.

Sheila McCudden, and all 100 ran at Fountains Abbey. If only we had loyalty cards…

Dewi Winkle, simply inspirational.

Volunteering at Fountains Abbey parkrun

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

3 vacant volunteer slots on17 February 2018
0 vacant volunteer slots on 24 February 2018 (adopted by Ripon Runners)
7 vacant volunteer slots on 3 March 2018

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 nearly four 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.

And now the official bit...

Fountains Abbey parkrun, Event number 200, 10 February 2018

This week 382 people ran the course, of whom 52 were first timers and 52 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:

Wendy MARKS • Steve MARKS • Elizabeth SANDELL • Lindsey FALLOW • Jon HANCOCK • Mary HEATH • Alison TURNER-PARRY • Emily PARRY • Oliver PARRY • Martin SUTCLIFFE • Emma OATES • Steve OATES • Niamh SHAW • Fiona HERNANDEZ • Will IANSON • Graham CHILDS • Graham BOYD • Katie OATES • Lise SEIERSEN • Tracey DOCHERTY

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 9,373 participants have completed 53,935 parkruns covering a total distance of 269,675 km, including 9,719 new Personal Bests.