BADGERS In The Midst – Event 189 Newsletter


So this week I swap camera for laptop, listening to you guys rather than snapping you. I’m not sure what is more frightening. If like me you over indulged last night with Irish friends there was no pot of gold or rainbows with the sunshine and showers that greeted us on arrival at Kingsbury this morning.   It was also a rather balmy 12 degrees, and typically like us Brits do I was soon complaining it was too hot.

As a “Blue Nose” no run report would be complete without mentioning it being a long long road and feeling tired and weary. Today I had the privilege of chatting to a group of people just at the beginning of that road having just completed their Badgers beginners course and raring to go on their first Parkrun. There were plenty of pre-run nerves but also excitement too. Fortunately for them there were a few “Wolves” absent today!


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BADGERS - Quiet and unassuming creatures


Next I accosted poor Sharon Whitehead on her landmark 50th Parkrun. Over the last few weeks Sharon has cheered me on as a marshal so it was great to see her “Don”-ning her running shoes despite injury to clock up her landmark just 18 months after beginning her journey to fitness.


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Sharon and pal Claire reaching a milestone event.


I met up pre-race with some of the regulars, a few who are running Ashby 20 tomorrow. Sharon Jackson you made the report! Good luck to you and your fellow Ashby crowd.


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Sharon on her Ashby warm-up

Also well done to those of you like me who trekked down to Silverstone last weekend swapping mud for lots and lots of asphalt. Our clan made sure we shouted “hump” as we trotted over the starting strips. So thoughts for the day for the “Trotters” like me who trundle like me every week around Kingsbury comfortably mid-table. Firstly like my socks I need an L and R on my hands, so when the poor buggy runner shouts out behind me “left” I don’t run the wrong way. Secondly well done to the runner who completed parkrun pushing a regular buggy, she must be mad as a “Hatter”!

Being the nerd I am I started Googling football club nicknames and the Badgers are actually Staylbridge Celtic, so I got one in the run report without even trying. The next shout out of the day goes to the “Villan” who I encountered at 4.5K trying to get a sub 30 Parkrun. Much as I hate to admit cheering on Villa, you nailed it, left me for dead with a comfortable sub 29. Well done to the Cannicross Midlanders who ran like “Terriers” to finish in the top couple of places again today.


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Rob and friend on the hoof.


Well the beginner Badgers certainly earned their “Spurs” today, John Hanson you’d have been proud of them. They all finished with big smiles on their faces, but was that just the promise of cake?

As usual we must thank all our Hi-Vis “Saints” who keep Parkrun going every week. Well done to the 392 “Valiants” who completed Parkrun today and 34 “Diamonds” took part in their very first Parkrun.   I’m not sure I can squeeze “Monkey Hangers” into a run report but I’ll try! “Keep right on” and see you all again same time, same place next weekend.











Spring Running; An Unreliable Account – Event 188 Newsletter

An unreliable account offered by Chris.

Somewhere in The Jungle Book (not the Disney one) or The Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling goes on about Mowgli doing his own version of parkrun in the forests of India in the spring. This morning, there were 354 of us doing exactly that. 75 of us achieving new pb's.

This brings the total of personal best's for KWP to 9,423. Wow!

What attracts that many people to a damp park on the edge of Birmingham? Well, the weather was cool but bright, the trees and bushes were all out in bud, some had very early blossom on them, there were daffs coming up and the woods were full of bird song, even with us lot clattering about around their nesting sites. Oh and I saw rabbit poo and deer hoof prints in the mud as well. The whole place seemed to be alive and bustling with the infectious optimism that spring brings to most of us.

We can consider ourselves very fortunate that we have this facility so close to most of us and the volunteers and organisers to make it so easy for us to get out and run on a Saturday morning. It was just a glorious place to be. Several people made a point of saying a very friendly ‘ allo Kirky’ as they shot past me, had a brief discussion about The Blues going down/staying up, Louise Vernon nearly stuck her camera up my nose and said ‘smile’. I’d just run a long way, dying a death, and she says smile. I managed a half -hearted grimace.

Our very own Core Team member Brian - volunteer pom-pomless cheerleader today?

Saw about 8 species of birds. While I was looking at them they were looking at me with a “What the hell are these loopy humans doing?” look on their faces. On the dark side of the force, I was easily overtaken by a child of about 6 years of age about the 3k mark. I tried to keep up, but she was too quick for me. 

Chris talking to the birds or seeking inspiration for report writing?

For a time I ran parallel to a bloke who looked about 106 and close to death, then realised it was my reflection in the lake (I told you I was unreliable). And another thing, as you turn sharp left to run round the lake, you can see some of the front runners on the other side about 1k in front of you. This is not motivating at that moment in time. There should be screens up so us at the back cannot see them.

Undaunted by this, fellow parkrunner John Dawson celebrated 150 parkruns this morning. Congratulations to you. Only another 100 to go for a new T shirt. More importantly and as he later confirmed, John is soon to be a nonagenarian. Definitely 'good for age.'

John on his 150th parkrun outing today.

Our grateful thanks to this weeks Hi-Vis Heros that made the event possible;

Amanda GOULD  •  Amy MUDD  •  Brendon ASPREY  •  Chris KIRK  •  Declan GRUNDY  •  Fay CASEY  •  Hannah BURGESS  •  Jayne GRUNDY  •  Jenny REEVE  •  Judy PARKES  •  Katharine GOULD  •  Lisa FLETCHER  •  Louise VERNON  •  Madeleine GOULD  •  Matthew GREEN  •  Nivette CHESTER  •  Paul DRAKE  •  Richard CHESTER  •  Rob VERNON  •  Tim GOULD  •  William PARKES

Looking forward to seeing some new faces as marshals next week.

What puzzles me though is that 10 minutes before starting you are really looking forward to the run, within 20 minutes you  feel that you are approaching death, another 10 minutes and you feel quite buoyant because it’s nearly all over and then 10 minutes later, you are already looking forward to next Saturday.

I know I am. So I will see you there.



The View From The Back – Event 187 Newsletter

So storm Doris has done her worst and left in anger. To be fair to her, she did a pretty good job at that “stormy” stuff. So the course is cleared and good to go – just a little bit “damp”.

“Damp” was saturated, so the choice between runners, wellies and flippers was a difficult one.

During the pre-run announcements, I got chatting to Sid, who runs in a skirt. At first I thought he was an Eddy Izzard fanatic, but it turned out he was running for the Poppy Fields Appeal – supporting a young lady through her trauma of a brain tumour.


So 329 of us line up for today’s event. A moderately chilly morn – 5-6°C, but bright sunshine, not a grumpy cloud in sight.

Because I am as athletic as Bernard Manning, (paint runs quicker than me) I’ve always been happy to start at the back and finish at the back. If people get stuck behind me, they have to divert down the A4097 to get around.

As usual the faster runners are getting ready, one arm over the tracking device on the other wrist. I don’t need that. I can judge my time by the position of the sun. Maybe it’s dragging the sundial around with me that’s slowing me down?

I’ve looked at some of the faster runners and am amazed at their athleticism and physique. It’s fair to say I’ve eaten burgers that weigh more than some of them runners – and maybe that’s why I am at the back then!

So off we go. The front runners are away chasing the lead bike, like greyhounds chasing a rabbit. In the blink of an eye, they are out of sight – with the cyclist pedalling for his dear life.

Then we get the vast majority of the crowd – off with a jolly spring, yelling “hump” for the sleeping policemen, prompting others to join in the game. I don’t yell “hump”. I did once, but the only one to shout back was the echo of my own voice.

So the tarmac winds around, up the slightest of inclines and onto the track. This give us the first chance to get our feet wet. To be fair, there was absolutely no chance of getting around today without getting your runners wet and muddy, so I go straight through. Down to the “Tee” junction to turn right (thank you marshal) and to the right of the lake we can see the front runners ripping it up. I don’t know if I am green with envy or red with embarrassment at their efforts compared to mine.

Approaching the 2km mark we have plenty of smaller puddles to splash through, past the marker and cross the road (thank you marshal), and around the small fishing lake. This is the 2 ½ km mark and is as slippery and energy sapping as I thought it would be. Get to the end and turn left (thank you marshal), cross the road (thank you marshal) and into the track, and we are homeward bound.

The approach to the 3km mark is again a mud bath, slightly uphill. This Parkrun malarkey is supposed to be cheery fun – me thinks, squelching through the quagmire. Up the hill, and a quick look at the sun tells me that the winners should be finishing around now, and I am only 60% through – still, it’s all downhill now, and at least the sun is out.

Crossing the last road (thank you marshal) and we are running past the car park, where I can actually see the front runners driving off! They will be having their cuppa before I am even done here!

To the Tee junction to turn left for the last km (thank you marshal), through a few more mud swamps and a few more puddles, back onto the homerun tarmac.

I cross the line, and I am asked my time. Don’t you recognise a heart attack waiting to happen? Breathing AND talking is taking multi-tasking beyond my limits.

So that’s my 55th Parkrun completed, now it’s a waiting game to get my time through so I can spend the rest of the weekend pondering where it all went so wrong. So I’ll try again next week, and the week after and the week after.

Well done to the 22 First Timers at KWP – we hope to see y’all again soon.

Jolly well done to the 56 PB runners today. Good job – well done.

Finally, unconditional, huge thanks and extreme appreciation goes to the team of volunteers that take a turn to make it all possible. THANK YOU.

For more information about the Poppy Field Appeal, please see




To Pb or not To Pb? – Event 186 Newsletter

Some days you just don't feel up to attaining a new pb and perhaps on other days, you may have a very good reason to get your skates on.

450 of todays participants stood in stunned silence at the Run Brief this morning as the other 1 runner present, declined the Race Directors offer for him to make his way to the start line early. What was his problem? Thick head from last night? Nothing else to do today? Come on, it wasn't as if he was getting married later!

Actually, that was exactly what he was doing. In no rush, the almost horizontal and laid back Aaron Chetwynd, appeared to stroll around the course in a far from impressive time two minutes off his course record. Ok, so maybe he just didn't feel like trying today or maybe he was conserving his energy.

Aaron off colour this week as KWP in creative photography mode

Either way, our very best wishes to Aaron and SJ, a.k.a. Sarah Jane.

May all your problems be running shoe selection related.

But what a fantastic turnout again. Just a few minutes too late, someone suggested that perhaps we should have brought stopwatch No 3 out of hibernation just in case we exceeded the magical 500 limit of our usual timepieces. Close, but no T shirt this week.

56 participants were new to KWp this morning and 91 of you did attain new pb's. Maybe you were all invited to Aaron and SJ's wedding? Well done, whatever spurred you on.

Today's winner Thomas Beasley of Birchfield Harriers, crossed the finish line in a very impressive 15:32. With the second finisher being over two and a half minutes later, this was not a closely fought event.

In fact, this time was so fast we have had to review our marshal roles and consider introducing a new position of  'Bike.'

This position may replace that you are used to of 'Lead Bike.' The general idea of this previous role was to stay ahead of the field and warn other park users of approaching runners. However, we unwittingly trialled the new role today and gallantly followed Thomas home from a safe distance, having lost the lead at roughly 1.5km.

Lisa as Not Quite Lead Bike

Our grateful thanks to today's rabbit Lisa Fletcher, for bringing a whole new way of thinking to KWp this morning with this more relaxed approach to leading the field.

What with the more leisurely pace obviously adopted by Lisa, Aaron sauntering around the course without a care in the world on the morning of his wedding, the game is on - anything could happen.

Alternatively, perhaps our well worn and very muddy bicycle could do with some tender loving care before Saturday to ensure next weeks rabbit is not left behind and normal service can be resumed.

A few milestone events from today:

Ella Burgess ran her 10th parkrun as a junior eagerly joining the queue the T shirts.
Greg Newman ran his 50th this morning smashing his previous pb by 24 seconds to really mark the occasion.
Mike Shelton ran an impressive 21:09 on his 100th outing as a parkrunner whilst carrying a very strange rucksack holding him back by circa two minutes from his pb.


Mike and friend looking fresh after 100 parkruns

Our Mistress of Unreasonable Requests Sarah Hope, returned to the park today after a weeks absence. Sarah, who occupies her mind at each parkrun considering inappropriate demands of the management team, has still failed to improve on the 'Can I run with my Shetland Pony?' despite taking an excessive additional 20 minutes over her usual run time to gather her thoughts.

Unreasonable Sarah, very unreasonable. We anticipated better.

Chaselife UK put in a sizeable appearance today as part of their training program. Good to see you at KWP again where you are always welcome.

Chaselife UK heavily disguised as parkrun 25 reward volunteers

Our very grateful thanks to today's hi-vis heroes who make these events possible;

Adrian PARKES  •  Brian ADAMS  •  Brian JONES  •  David BUCK  •  Dean SNOWDEN  •  Diane KEARNS  •  Gary BEECHEY  •  Hannah BURGESS  •  Ian GRIGG  •  John TURLAND  •  Lisa FLETCHER  •  Matthew TURLAND  •  Nivette CHESTER  •  Owen SLATER  •  Richard CHESTER  •  Teresa BUCK  •  Toni DICKENS  •  Tracey BERRY  •  William PARKES  •  Zoe YEATMAN

You are a credit to your parkrun.

Next weeks RD is Hannah Burgess who is only on her 2nd outing in this highly desirable role. Please give her a big cheer for putting herself out there. Well done Hannah.

Looking forward to seeing next weeks results.

Happy running!





‘Love is in the air’ – Event 185 Newsletter

There may have been no snow at Christmas however, there was definitely more than love in the air at today's Valentines event with a light dusting to add to the occasion.

Fantastic to see 322 participants out there this morning regardless of the cold snap, probably aspiring a new PB and with volunteer pacers marking the occasion, 65 of you attained this goal - well done to all. Huge praise for Mandy Hanson who knocked a staggering 4 minutes off her last weeks time.

Mandy H
Mandy and friend Anne heading for the finish


Not that husband John had anything to do with that. He was busy pacing runners at 32 minutes. Well, we say busy, he was seen walking backwards slowly for the last 50 metres and still arrived at the gate 15 seconds early. A tad ahead of himself we thinks?

Anyway back to Mandy's inconspicuous friend. Obviously not wishing to be seen out running at all, Anne clearly chose a more dreary item from her wardrobe to attend todays event and possibly from her perspective, managed to fade into the background. For the avoidance of any doubt, Anne isn't wearing a 2016 BADGERS Atherstone 10k T shirt. (More of that to come later).

Whilst John may not be the best time keeper in the world, he is a very observant individual. John's subsequent posts revealed he had clearly noticed that the KWP management group had at last woken up to the principal of getting runners to the start line faster by holding a briefer Run Brief, instigating a separate and more detailed Newbies & Tourists Run Brief for - yes, you guessed it - Newbies and Tourists. Glad to hear you were listening John. Luv U.

Many thanks to all our volunteers and pacers today who surpassed our expectations and made the day very special. 31 first timers attended our event at KWp today. We hope you enjoyed the experience.

Another 1st time occasion today was friend Dean Snowden, as Lead Bike. Affectionately known as 'The Rabbit on the Bike', this role was rechristened today by Dean who described himself as 'The Idiot on the Bike'. Harsh Dean, very harsh. Maybe a change of headgear to make you more credible perhaps?


Dean this morning in need of legs with CaniX in attendance


One regular runner failed to turn out today despite an earlier message stating he would. This may in itself appear insignificant however, Taz Remain Yousaf is well known for attending armed with lots of home made goodies. Many of us therefore, did without breakfast safe in the knowledge that we would be able to reward ourselves later with some deliciously sweet cake. Disappointed? I'll say!

Other and potentially more notable items from KWP this morning:

Bill and Sylvia Phillips both completed their 100th parkrun. Well done to you! This occasion has been outstanding for some considerable time with one party spending a number of weeks volunteering whilst awaiting the other to reach their 99th parkrun. We cannot possibly say who was waiting for who, but thanks for all the marshalling Sylvia.

Sylvia and Bill - 100 today


The late Liz Peel also completed her 100th parkrun today. Late because she was and not because she is no more. This may not be PC however, if you are reading this we have managed to get it past today's Run Director without being seen.

Well done to you Liz (and us)

Liz assisted in her exploit by non camera shy Bramble


Elaine Sherwin, a regular CaniX participant at KWp joined us today with new young pup Uma, finishing in a credible 15 minutes 13 seconds. Elaine's other charge Daphne was not impressed with being left in the car park resulting in Elaine having a second outing immediately after her post run visit to the Café. Impressed? don't be. Elaine took to her scooter for this one.

Elaine and Uma on the move

This was Elaine's 18th 1st female placing at KWp in 19 appearances coming in ahead of Lucy Matthews of Newcastle (Staffs) AC and local junior Hollie Bateman taking the top 3 ladies slots.

Matthew Robinson was 1st male finisher for the 1st time in 4 appearances followed by Alan Sherwin and Jack Moncaster.

KWp are near to celebrating their 50,000th runner since July 2013 which has to be worthy of note. We will be sure to let you know who attained that position.

A big shout out for our Hi-Vis heroes today. This fantastic community event could not take place without you.

Adrian PARKES  •  Anne Marie MATTHEWS  •  Brendon ASPREY  •  Brian ADAMS  •  David BUCK  •  Dean SNOWDEN  •  Declan GRUNDY  •  Gary BEECHEY  •  Gavin CLINTON  •  Hannah BURGESS  •  Ian HORTON  •  Jane HUBBLE  •  Jayne GRUNDY  •  Jennifer HOLMAN  •  John HANSON  •  John RESTALL  •  John TURLAND  •  Lisa FLETCHER  •  Louise JOHNSON  •  Mark ROBINSON  •  Michael WYANT  •  Nivette CHESTER  •  Owen SLATER  •  Richard CHESTER  •  Sam MAYNARD  •  Sharon JACKSON  •  Teresa BUCK  •  Tracey BERRY  •  Tricia BUNN  •  William PARKES

Today's Run Director was one of our very own KWP founders, Nivette Chester. A veteran founder, as Nivette remains the inspiration behind local running club BADGERS who will be hosting their fourth BA10k in Atherstone on 27 August 2017 with Nivette as Race Director. Entries opening soon we hear. Keep your ear to the ground for that one. Preferably not on a Saturday morning though - better things to do then.

Other local races include;

The well renown Tamworth Gate Gallop on Sunday 25 June 2017 held at the Anker Valley Sports Complex.

The Florette Fradley 10k on 12 March 2017

The Lichfield Half Marathon on 7 May 2017.

We look forward to seeing you at any (or all) of those events but more especially at parkrun next Saturday.

Keep running!


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