Keswick parkrun #198

Keswick parkrun
Event number 198
24th March 2018

Many thanks to this week's team of volunteers. We all appreciate what you do. It was good to see Sue and Don Esslemont, regular visitors to Keswick parkrun, despite their home parkrun being Banstead Woods in South London. Thanks for timekeeping for us this week Don.

Welcome to all our other parkrun tourists - I hope you all enjoyed your visit to our parkrun. The numbers seem to be creeping up, and we should soon see the locals being outnumbered once again.

Well done to Heleen Franken Gill, who ran her 150th parkrun with us today. I know it's not one of the official landmarks, but it's such a long way to 250, we need to celebrate now and then, eh?

Most stylish finish of the week came from Sam Campion, who sprinted ahead of Carla Gengnagel, before performing a high speed pirouette, and a bow, to allow her to finish ahead of him. He didn't learn that one from me!

I am away from Keswick parkrun for a while now, so I can enjoy a bit of holiday, then it's London Marathon time again. I'm handing over to the Saxbys for a couple of weeks, then Nic Wiseman is taking over for one week. Nick's been doing fantastic work at our next door neighbours, Keswick Junior parkrun, so it's only a small change to setting the old folk off for a 5km run. Don't let him short change you, though, it's still a 5km event, not 2km, like the junior event. I'll be keeping an eye on the email, and rallying volunteers as usual, so let me know if you're available to help at any of these next events, and I'll get ahead with the roster.

You may have seen Heather Askew around this morning. Heather is co-ordinating the fund raising to help reinstate the Keswick to Threlkeld link - I can't wait to see the end of the big green fence, and have a beautiful 10k run back. I'd love to see a permanent parkrun course, with 1km markers, and also think it would be a great venue for an evening 10k race. You heard it here first: the Keswick Railway 10k...

Details below, but if you'd like to run the route, take a selfie (that's where young people hold their phone out and photograph themselves, I'm told), donate something, and nominate someone else to do the same.

Keswick to Threlkeld Railway footpath update:
A whopping £5.4 million is needed to restore this much loved route which was devastated in the 2015 floods. Highways England have given £2.5 million. The community needs to raise £300k in order to release other funds to enable us to reach the full amount. I've completed the #K2TChallenge to raise funds and I’d like to nominate Keswick parkrunners to do the same:
1. Complete 5km anyway you like. Walk, run, cycle, push the buggy, walk the dogs or swim!
2. Take a selfie or a quick video
3. Use #K2TChallenge
4. Nominate 5 friends to take up the challenge
5. Donate by texting "KTOT18 £5" to 70070 or donate online at
Thanks go to Keswick Park Run people who suggested the idea - if you are in Keswick, why not join in along the first part of the railway path?! We need to raise £300,000 by June towards the overall cost. If you've ever enjoyed this lovely route between Keswick and Threlkeld please help!
Please share this one as much as you can.

Details of this week's run here:

This week 152 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 37 were first timers and 25 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 10 volunteers:


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

The female record is held by Sarah Ann MCCORMACK who recorded a time of 17:38 on 14th February 2015 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Sam STEVENS who recorded a time of 15:29 on 27th August 2016 (event number 117).
The Age Grade course record is held by Janet KENYON who recorded 89.24% (20:17) on 25th July 2015 (event number 69).

Keswick parkrun started on 5th April 2014. Since then 8,085 participants have completed 25,520 parkruns covering a total distance of 127,600 km, including 4,168 new Personal Bests.

See you all on the other side of Easter, and that jog around London on the 22nd April!



March 3rd: Event Cancellation

Yet another run down the railway line to keep an eye on the conditions, but unfortunately, a different outcome today. Yesterday, the route was covered from start to finish in relatively dry snow, and felt pretty runnable. The bridges and boardwalk were covered in snow, and only one patch of bare ice was exposed. It felt like we could probably get away with it, despite reservations I had about encouraging people to travel by car in these conditions. Given that we were likely to be the only parkrun for some radius, this was a consideration.

I have just returned from the route, and some snow has been blown from the course, thinning it all out a bit. The existing snow has also been packed down even more. These two factors have the effect of making the whole route more slippery generally, and exposing more ice than I am happy with. The route is absolutely runnable with spikes of some sort, probably mostly ok with grippy trail shoes, but questionnable with anything else, and I have to legislate for all, including youngsters and beginners.

With all that in mind, I have cancelled tomorrow's event. Those of you who know me, will know how much I hate doing that, but I am generally aware of when it's the right thing to do.

I will let Café West know that we are cancelled tomorrow, but if any of you wish to support that fine institution by eating snacks, and drinking endless mugs of coffee, that would be very much in the spirit of parkrun...

See you all soon


News regarding Keswick parkrun 3rd March 2018

At the moment, I am planning to go ahead with parkrun. I ran the course yesterday and the entire route is covered with a hard pack of snow, but there is very little actual ice. I am monitoring the situation closely.

The route is runnable with care. Yak Trax or micro spikes would be ideal, but trail shoes with studs would probably be good enough for most. Road shoes would require extreme care, and a suitable adjustment to speed. When the snow has gone, our route is, after all, a trail run.

You'll need to be dressed warmly enough so that if you need to walk, you don't become cold and immobile. If you're volunteering, please dress accordingly, then dress some more!

Please be really careful travelling to the event - the police have advised against driving, so ideally you should be arriving on foot. Please see the appropriate websites for guidance regarding this. Cumbria County Council and the Police are posting regular updates.

I am going to run the route again, and will take another look in the morning, so a cancellation is possible right up to the last minute. Don't travel far, just for the sake of a parkrun. In addition to the cold and snow, strong wind bringing a tree down would result in a last minute cancellation.

I hope all this doesn't sound too, scary, but remember, if in doubt, we're there every week. Watch this space, and spread the word please.


Run Report: A Tourist’s Report from Karen Shackleton

As I was up the hill at neighbours Whinlatter this week helping Sonia find her feet up there in the clouds (and snow!) I haven't been able to put a run report together. Fortunately, visiting park runner Karen Shackleton has stepped in to offer a tourist's view of our run. Thank you Karen...

The weather Gods haven’t been very kind this winter, seemingly reserving their worst for Friday night and Saturday morning. My home parkrun at Bolton has suffered as badly as any other having been cancelled four times since early December including this Saturday. I was spending the weekend with non-running friends at CenterParcs and had decided to fit in a sneaky park run at Penrith whilst they were still in bed only to find it was also cancelled due to ice. A quick search on the parkrun events page revealed that Keswick parkrun was the next nearest.
As it turned out, it was well worth the journey and I had a great time with a good turnout of runners. Last weekend the worldwide attendance at parkruns had almost reached ¼ of a million with about half of them in the UK, but this weekend, with over 100 events cancellations it was hardly surprising that numbers would be down. And yet, there were over 90,000 parkruns completed on Saturday, including 123 at Keswick.
In first place was Alasdair Russell who was a first timer at Keswick. This was his first run at Keswick and he now has11 parkruns under his belt with all the previous ones being at Fell Foot.
The first lady finisher and in 8th place overall was Dawn Metcalfe who was also a first timer at Keswick and has completed 21 parkruns. Dawn usually runs at Gibside parkrun and was only 13 seconds outside her all time best parkrun time.
The only runner to achieve an Age Grading over 80% was Lyn Thompson who was in 12th place overall and 3rd Lady. Lyn runs with Keswick AC and it was her 9th parkrun, all of which have been at Keswick
Other statistics of note:
20 Keswick First Timers
7 First Timers ever
12 Unknown runners
25 Personal Bests
53 men and 67 women
Louise Dunn 75 runs
Shirts on show
Junior White (10 runs) – 9
Cardinal Red (50) – 22
Jet Black (100) – 5
Green (250) – 1
Blue (500) – 0
Top 5 Appearances
Karen Shackleton 292
Nic Wiseman 236
Clive Darbon 206
David Peacock182
Heleen Franken-Gill 144
These 5 have done 1,060 parkruns between them.

Keswick parkrun started on 5th April 2014, with 113 runners The attendance record is 304 which was set on New Years Day 3 weeks ago – the only time the attendance has passed 300. The course record is 15:29 (which was set in August 2016) and the female course record is 17:38 (which was set in February 2015). There have been 7,860 different runners who have run the course. All these runners have represented 965 running clubs, and there have been 24,449 finishers, with them running 3,990 Personal Best times. (The 4,000th person to run a PB at Keswick will almost certainly happen this coming Saturday.) Only 28 women have managed to break 20 minutes on the course, and 17 men have broken 17 minutes (including first placed Alasdair Russell today) who has become the all-time 11th fastest runner ever seen at Keswick.

DON’T BE A TOKEN MAGPIE, remember to give your token back to the barcode scanner. These tokens cost money to replace so please bring or send them back if you have taken one home by accident.

VOLUNTEERS – REMEMBER that parkrun can only take place weekly because of the volunteers and marshalls who give up their time on a Saturday morning. If you want to get involved, email This week there were 10 volunteers so thank you all. Your time is gratefully appreciated by everyone and we love your support.
Potential runners remember that to officially take part at Keswick (or any other parkrun anywhere) you need to be registered at but you only need to register once and the barcode they give you will be needed each week when you have finished the run. DON’T FORGET YOUR BARCODE.
Karen Shackleton


The New Year’s Day Run. 304 of us…


Happy New Year all. I'll start with a big thank you to the volunteers who made parkrun possible over the Christmas and New Year period. Volunteers gave up their time to keep parkrun operational on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, as well as the usual Saturdays. I think you'll all understand why Mike and Maureen might be worth singling out. Their love of parkrun was expressed in the form of cakes and bunting, which helped contribute to the wonderful atmosphere. Thanks again you two!.

Although results processing was challenging on a couple of occasions (!) the whole thing was a huge success. It was enormously rewarding to start the year with a huge turn-out of 304 runners on New Year's Day. I was there to intercept our 300th park runner, Clare Archbold, who looks as delighted as I was with the whole experience.


Congratulations to anyone who made the Carlisle parkrun, to complete the "double", and I hope our extended family from Carlisle, and other neighbouring parkruns, enjoyed their visit to Keswick. Thank you too, for all the messages of thanks and support from this week's visitors.

Well done to those celebrating milestone parkruns: Jos Higgins, Anna Campion, Sue Walsh and our run director Vanessa Metcalfe all celebrated their 100th run with us. I am sure that some careful planning went in to making these runs happen on New Year's Day itself, and in Anna's case, well done for running her 99th run at Carlisle earlier that morning.


Well done to Richard Lee for completing his 50th run with us.

Here are the statistics for the run:

Keswick parkrun
Event number 187
1st January 2018

This week 304 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 91 were first timers and 37 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 58 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 10 volunteers:

Gill MASON • Peggy CAMPION • Paul TITLEY • Rhys FOSTER • Yvonne BOOTH • Peter TOES • Rosie MASON • Kate ASHTON • Duncan BOOTH • Alexandra BOARDMAN

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

The female record is held by Sarah Ann MCCORMACK who recorded a time of 17:38 on 14th February 2015 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Sam STEVENS who recorded a time of 15:29 on 27th August 2016 (event number 117).
The Age Grade course record is held by Janet KENYON who recorded 89.24% (20:17) on 25th July 2015 (event number 69).

Keswick parkrun started on 5th April 2014. Since then 7,788 participants have completed 23,993 parkruns covering a total distance of 119,965 km, including 3,918 new Personal Bests.

In other news, the total distance covered at parkruns around the world, since its inception, now covers the average distance between the earth and the sun. Happy days. Where next?

Happy 2018 all, and hope to see you all on Saturday.

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