#243 Saturday 7th July 2018 – We celebrated our NHS in style!


This week it was a heartfelt community event which turned Great Lines parkrun blue!!

It was great to see so many people taking part in the NHS 70th birthday celebrations event. Lots of people were dressed up in medical outfits, wearing blue or had fabulous “I love NHS posters” attached to their tops.


We were joined by NHS and Medway Community Health employees including ex employees who after working for the NHS for many years still had the love and passion for the organisation. There was certainly a “buzz” in the air!

There is always the sound of laughter and chatter before the run when people are meeting in the start/finish area catching up since the last parkrun and of course this week there had been a 2 week gap due to last week’s cancellation. However, this week the laughter was different, people genuinely were excited to see the different outfits and costumes.


The finish funnel was decorated with a giant balloon and NHS bunting. The bunting was telling the story and milestones of the NHS, it is incredible to think how far the National Health Service has come in the last 70 years. Where will it be in another 70 years?


Andrew did his usual shout out at the New Runners Brief but this week there were lots - 33 first timers in total. We hope you enjoyed the event and will all be back next week. The Run Brief was slightly longer this week but well worth the wait. Chris, this weeks Run Director was joined by others for the Run Brief. Firstly, Gary as Joint Event Director gave a huge shout to our NHS and you all give a massive Great Lines cheer to show your appreciation!

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Stuart Jeffery, Medway Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Operating Officer kindly shared some very interesting information about the NHS and its history. Stuart, is a local person and also trained at Medway Hospital and it was clear he had a passion for the services provided in Medway.


We were also excited to be joined by James Devine, Deputy Chief Executive of Medway Hospital and it was pleasure that he started the event and then ran his first ever parkrun, we are sure he will be back again soon. James too is a local and after the run was heading the hospitals community fete which was taking place just up the road.


Chris Gedge, from Medway Community Health and his team were on hand to give physio advice – many of you took advantage of the opportunity to learn about stretching and dynamic warm ups.


Ed Peters from Medway Sport also took part in the run. Medway Sport is so supportive of Great Lines parkrun but also of all of our activities in Medway and we are so lucky to have so many opportunities in Medway to keep active. Please take a moment to look on their website or Facebook page for upcoming events – the Medway Mile is in two weeks time.

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The run was started and the cheers and support by the volunteers was in full swing, clapping, cheers and laughter. It was a warm one and it was good to see so many people carrying water to rehydrate on route. The sea of colour was amazing and great to see you go round the lower field and up over the Alps. The blue sky was a beautiful backdrop for the monument - If you ever get time, it is worth a walk round the monument, it is free.

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Back to the run, the start/finish area volunteers cheered in the runners as the come down for the first lap, hearing “well done Doctor or Nurse” always caused a chuckle. There was a team of nurses pushing a patient round the course, they were having a ball. I hope they weren’t late for their shift!!


parkrun is like our NHS, a coming together of hearts and minds with a shared passion/goal who want the best for people. It is our NHS and an honour to have access to it, it is free to us all and it is down to the hard work, love and dedication of the employees and leadership that we have such excellent service not only in Medway but across the UK.


One lady was only going to run one lap but as she passed her friend shouted “I’m having so much fun and enjoying it I am going to carry on” Well done that lady. People received cheers and claps as they came into the finish straight, such motivation. There was lots of cake and freshly prepared fruit for everyone that went down well. The fruit was very popular, so thank you all for the kind donations.


We know the NHS and social care services are operating in challenging times but together we can improve the services and you can also be a part of the NHS. Over the coming weeks and months there is a recruitment drive and it is never too late to change your career.


As we said on Saturday, Great Lines parkrun is all about its community and this week’s event was an amazing collaboration with the NHS and community based services. We were all so proud to be part of this celebration so thank you to the NHS but thank you to the people who take part in the event each week and the volunteers. Together we can make Medway a healthier and happier place to live, work and enjoy.

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See you all Saturday.

Dan and Gary - Run Reporter Writers and Joint Event Directors

*** Facts and Figures #243 ***

This week 428 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 33 were first timers and 30 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.


*** Milestones ***

The 50 club members were: Amanda Link, Charlotte Fisher, Judith Murray and Padam Kunwor
The 100 club members were: Clayton Smith and Colin Lewis

PLEASE let us know when it is your special milestone days as we hate to miss them and can only check the results to see who is on 9, 49 or 99, so if you run those at another parkrun or have a gap between that and your milestone run we might miss you out and you know we love give you a cheer.

*** The 30 personal bests go to ***

Ajaib HUSSAIN * Andrew HARLOW * Andy SMITH * Angela SMITH * Ayesha KHAN * Bhavin RUGHANI * Bhijan RAI * Brooke FRIDAY * Charlie WELLS * Chris RAMPLING * Daniel VERO * Daniel WELLS * David LYRIC * Emma BISHOP * Harry O'CONNOR * Ian FLEMING * Jack O'CONNOR * Jackie BASSANT * Justin CHISNALL * Karen CRONIN * Kavi PUNNIYAKOTTI * Lee CARTER * Mark BURCH * Martin KING * Natalie BLAND * Rebecca CLARK * Richey ESTCOURT * Robert BATCHELOR * Sarah PALMER * Toby HANMORE


*** Welcome to the 33 first timers ***

(19 new to parkrun and 14 tourists)

David MCKNIGHT * Agilan XAVIER * Alexander PATERSON * Ben WILLCOX * Beverley EBELING * Carl SCHULZ * Clare COLE * Dean COOKE * Eatmore BACON * Erica JONES * Fern EBELING * Freya EBELING * Harry TAYLOR * Hugh STEPHENSON * James DEVINE * Jo MINGS * Jordan GOWER * Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS * Lauren MARSHALL * Lizzy MARRIOTT-SMITH * Macala WRIGHT * Mark SCOTT * Myles WRIGHT * Phil STEVENS * Rachael HENIGHAN * Reza GHORBANI * Richard NASH * Sam EMPLETON * Sharif HOSSAIN * Simon COPE * Stuart JEFFERY * Vicky DENNETT * Will GOACHER

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 *** Volunteers ***

Adrien DREW • Alan LE GRYS • Andrew FORD • Andrew LUNNON • Anthony WICKER • Barefootricardo D'ASH • Carol DAVIS • Carrie BROOM • Cathy RAHMANZADEH • Chris ARNOLD • Chris GOWER • Chris ROWLANDS • Dan GOWER-SMITH • David PICKNELL • David SHARPLEY • Dee YAMOAH • Diane ARNOLD • Gary SMITH • Harry YAMOAH • Helen GOWER • Holly CHANDLER - SMITH • Ingrid HARRISON • Isabel KING • John RAINS • June RODWELL • Karen LUCIEN • Karl GRIMBLE • Lisa LAMB • Lori BENNETT-HORSFALL • Michael PAYNTER • Mick SMITH • Nigel READ • Paul JOHNSTON • Phil OBRAY • Philip WALLACE • Phillip PARSONS • Rachel FORD • Richard MATTHEWS • Ross SANDY • Sharon BOYLE • Sian JONES • Simon HALL • Stephen JONES • Vanessa VANDER TUFF • Zeldine MORRIS


The male record is held by Teweldeberhan MENGES who recorded a time of 15:41 on 5th August 2017 (event number 197).

The female record is held by Chloe SHARP who recorded a time of 17:52 on 25th December 2017 (event number 217).

The Age Grade course record is held by Barry ROYDEN who recorded 85.16% (17:11) on 24th September 2016 (event number 153).

Great Lines parkrun, Medway started on 28th September 2013. Since then 6,830 participants have completed 69,538 parkruns covering a total distance of 347,690 km, including 13,346 new Personal Bests.


200 parkruns and counting!

Tracey has been a volunteer and runner from the start of Great Lines parkrun and this week shared her story after reaching her 200 parkrun milestone.

Since my first ever parkrun on 25/5/2013 at Maidstone I have now completed my 200th run on 23/6/2018 I was proud to have the pleasure of pushing my Grandson Seth around the course for my 200th and had my Mum in Law June for company also.

It has taken me five years and has seen me attend more than 13 different park runs as far afield as Inverness in Scotland to Andover in Hampshire. (I confess to forgetting my barcode so my profile has only recorded 13 events) I can honestly say that every event has been as friendly and welcoming as our very own one here at Great Lines. My family has had up to four generations in attendance at any one time, and #teamrodwell have an ever-growing running family thanks to the popularity of the Great Lines event.

I enjoy the community buzz of parkrun and the way we never miss an opportunity to celebrate with a bit of fancy dress and cake. Many regulars at parkrun will know me by my nickname, Mrs Picnic, I guess I do like to feed people, I am looking forward to cooking up some tasty treats to share on 7th July, when we get our chance to show our support for the NHS by dressing up and celebrating the 70th Birthday.

While we have called upon the support of the NHS to help runners if they have a mishap while running, I think nationally parkrun must have helped runners achieve countless health benefits getting people moving and happy and healthy. Saturday morning just would not be the same without my 5km of friendly, fun, free running. Here's to the next 50 runs and a new t-shirt !!!

Tracey Rodwell

Run Report Writer



The NHS is turning 70 on 5th July 2018.

In order to kickstart the Medway Hospital and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group celebrations we will be dedicating Saturday 7th July 2018 to our local NHS. Watch out for more information but we will be inviting everyone to dress up in anything medical (doctor, nurse, paramedic, patient) or blue.

We are honoured to be taking part in our NHS celebrations and we are sure it will be a fun packed event with the potential for CAKE!

Dan and Gary
Joint Event Directors - Great Lines parkrun, Medway.


A parkrun holiday…

Nigel has recently been on a parkrun holiday with Exodus travel one of parkrun’s partners. Many of you will know Nigel; he is a regular runner and volunteer at Great lines parkrun.

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I wasn’t actually present at Great Lines for 2 weeks , so by way of explaining my absence I should explain I was in Sicily. Not just any holiday but the first parkrun holiday organised by Exodus, one of parkrun’s sponsors. By tweaking their standard holiday to include two Saturdays we were able to run Etna (no not around the crater) and Favorita near Palermo.

There were 20 of us, including parkrun founder Paul Stinton-Hewitt CBE, with ages ranging from 35+ to 80+ and we all got on really well, hardly surprising as we are all parkrunners. Etna, the only run on the east of the island, not far from Catania where we flew in had a revised course of four ‘giros’ due to a fire bringing down trees and blocking the regular course. It was hot, around 25 degs and included running on volcanic ash rather like coal dust and took me 32:01 minutes. The run was between 825m and 840 metres above sea level and I recorded 133m elevation gain.

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After a hike to some of the lava flows on Etna, it’s still active of course, followed by wine tasting - hiking is thirsty work there was much moving from hotel to hotel as we worked our way around Sicily in a clockwise direction, visiting Syracuse for its archaeological site; on to the UNESCO Baroque town of Noto and Agrigento's Valley of the Temples, there were churches, cathedrals, villages high on steep hills where we appreciated the skill of our driver and a visit to a nature reserve where some went for a run, some a swim, a few squeezed in both.

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The second parkrun at Favorita, one of four parkruns near Palermo in the North West was three laps of a squarish fly swat shape course on dusty but sometimes very stony paths, in the foot hills of a mountain. The course was much flatter than Etna, recording just 34 m elevation and only about 50m above sea level. We had a couple of fallers with scuffed up knees, another on the way to a nearby sports centre where we had a €2 shower, maybe it was all the wine!

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There were a couple of happy smiling local twins, Barbara and Francesca who finished together. Paul put his arm around me announcing that we also were twins, obviously only our mothers could tell us apart.

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After much cajoling the male guide, Rosario turned up with shorts, one of us had registered him and he did his first parkrun in 37:33 while the female guide, Francesca who specialises in hiking holidays walked with the tail runner. She will soon be off too Afghanistan!

All the hotels were bed and breakfast only so generally we had evening meals together, Rosario leading us to suitable establishments. The final return to Catania followed a road along the north side of the island, stopping off at Cefalu, where I grabbed a quick swim.

Continuing through innumerable short tunnels whilst trying to knit a poppy and on to the final hotel in Taormina and another swim. I should have recorded the walk down to the rocky beach and the return up hundreds of steps which took half an hour. Wasn't a particularly cheap holiday and I think we all had to get extra euros before the holiday was over, but it was a brilliant. There will be a similar cycling holiday later in the year, taking in just one parkrun.

The parkrunners came from Yorkshire, East Anglia, West County, the South and London, home runs being Aldenam, Herts; Crane Park, London; Gorleston, Suffolk; Netley Abbey, Hants; Eastville Park, Bristol; York; Woodhouse Moor, Leeds; Bushy; Kingston upon Thames; Tooting; Richmond Park; Salisbury and Worcester.

I am back home and enjoyed my usual run at Great Lines parkrun, Medway.

Nigel Read - Run Reporter


Great Lines parkrun is cancelled this Saturday, 30th June 2018.

There will be NO parkrun at the Great Lines Heritage Park this Saturday, 30th June 2018

This is because of events associated with Armed Forces Day, which is taking place at Great Lines Heritage Park.

It does provide you with the opportunity to run at one of our neighbouring parkruns. So if you fancy a sprint around Shorne, a meander around Malling or just a bimble around Bedgebury, then check out the parkrun map for all the details


A reminder that your barcode is valid wherever you choose to run; you do not need to register a second time.

For anybody who may have been thinking of travelling further afield, please check the local event page before you travel for more information.

Great Lines parkrun returns on Saturday 7th July 2018.


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