Fountains Abbey parkrun Report #208

Quote for the Day: "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." Martin Luther King Junior

On a day when we had a record turnout (517) in the promised land of Fountains Abbey. I want to express grateful thanks to the wonderful National Trust for all their help on a hectic day and to a simply fantastic team of volunteers. We say it often, but it bears repeating - we are so lucky to be able to run each week in this heavenly place.

Those sort of numbers running bring an added level of pressure - particularly in the funnel and the scanning area - where the flexible volunteer team on tokens and stopwatches and scanners switched roles at short notice, kept their cool and the show on the road. Quietly in the background we had Rod Cooper and Bill Wade testing out radios that we hope will replace the phones currently used by the marshals. A particular thank you to the unflappable Graham Boyd - who assisted by Neil Dring helped out an injured runner, to Run Director Kathy Gargan who cunningly managed the smoke and mirrors that is the results processing, and to unsung heroes Alison Turner-Parry and Emily Parry who carried out the unenviable task of stringing a record number of tokens back on the wires.

Apologies to the folk in places 501 to 517 - I'm afraid our stopwatches gave up work at the 500 mark - if you know your time please email it in to For the three of you in places 515, 516 and 517 - bask in the glory that you are unique in Fountains Abbey parkrun history to date! Many congratulations to the 75 people who achieved the dream of a PB ("a PB at last, a PB at last, thank God Almighty, a PB at last"), and to the impressive 95 first timers - many of them couch to 5k graduates from Nidd Valley Road Runners - we hope it's a good stepping stone on your running journeys.

And well done to Donna Riddler - first home for the girls in 19:44, to Tom Calvert - first home for the boys in 17:44, and to Jane Holmes who achieved the highest age-grading of 88.95%.

As you will have heard in the briefing on Saturday – we have many volunteer opportunities available on Saturday 21st April. 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 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 call 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 and 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; not doing so may risk the NT staff removing the item from the tree.
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.
All dogs must be on a short, hand-held lead to minimise trip hazards. One dog per runner maximum. Dog walkers who are supporting runners are asked to keep off the paths that the runners use during the run 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 (see notes above).

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.

Now for the official part.....this week 517 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 95 were first timers and 76 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 44 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:

Bill WADE • Richard HALL • Neil DRING • Marie PILLAR • Dave BINKS • Anna GREENWOOD • Jacqui HAVERCROFT • Christine COOPER • Rod COOPER • Alison TURNER-PARRY • Emily PARRY • Emma OATES • Steve OATES • Christine FIELDHOUSE • Tessa RICH • Graham BOYD • Katie OATES • Kathy GARGAN • Chantal IRELAND • Claire BAXTER • Susan WILLIAMSON

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 9,812 participants have completed 56,949 parkruns covering a total distance of 284,745 km, including 10,163 new Personal Bests.