Who’s who Kingsway parkrunner #030 – Simon Dakin

Name: Simon Dakin
Age Cat: 50
Number of parkruns: 220 (52 at Kingsway)
Number of Volunteers: 25

I started at Little Stoke parkrun, then Chipping Sodbury. We live very near Wotton parkrun, but run at several different events depending on how we feel and the weather. We are lucky to have so many parkruns near our home, and occasionally do some tourism further afield. I love them all.


How did you get involved in parkrun?

I started going to Little Stoke parkrun in 2013. I hadn’t heard of parkrun until then, but soon became addicted and hardly ever miss a week now. In hindsight I wish I had started earlier – when I was a bit younger and a lot faster! I was soon joined at parkrun by my wife Fiona and my twin sons, Giles and Toby. Fiona and I have been runners for a long time, having competed mostly at longer distances up to Marathon. It is wonderful to see Giles and Toby enjoy running, they need very little encouragement to come along most weeks and it is great to see them appreciate the importance of exercise in life. We have another son who is a sprinter, so rarely seen at parkrun – anything more than 400 metres is a marathon for him!

What do you like about parkrun?

It is a complete escape from the demands of the rest of the week and a great opportunity to share the joy of running with like-minded people who are happy to get out of bed on a Saturday morning and go for a run to start the weekend. Having done over 200 parkruns, becoming friends with a huge number of people at different events, I have absolutely no idea what other people do for work - nobody ever seems to talk about work. I think that says a lot about running and how it helps people balance their lives. I have the utmost respect for everyone at parkrun – everyone is amazing, part of a great sporting phenomena and everyone finishes ahead of all the people still in bed!

Favourite volunteer role?

When I started running at parkruns the event director suggested aiming to volunteer about once for every 10 runs to ensure the events would remain viable and not rely on the same volunteers every week. I have stuck to this approach and really enjoyed every one of my 21 times volunteering. I have tried most of the roles and enjoyed them all. Being Time Keeper felt like a very responsible role which I certainly focused hard on! I most enjoy being a Pacemaker and hopefully helping people achieve their target times.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment?

Unfortunately my most memorable parkrun was the last one held at Little Stoke. Very sad. Enough said.

Where in the world would you like to parkrun?

Round a mountain lake or parkrun through a Scandinavian pine forest – if there is one?

Which celebrity would you like to partner on a parkrun?

I would rather run with my wife, children or many of the great people who I normally see at parkrun every week!

What is your favourite post run piece of cake?

I love coffee or cherry cake, but we have a family tradition of eating chicken nuggets for lunch after every parkrun. I am convinced they are healthy protein!

What are your favourite music tracks to run to?

I never listen to music whilst running, although sometimes blast a bit of Iron Maiden in the car on my way to running events to wake myself up and get in the mood if I am planning a hard effort.

Which charity do you support?

Fiona and I have raised money for several different causes through our running events. The most memorable one was running the London Marathon in support of the neo-natal intensive care unit at Southmead Hospital in Bristol where two of our children began their lives in the outstanding care of the wonderful staff at the hospital.

Who is Your sporting hero(s)?

I seriously have huge respect for anyone who uses sport to enrich their lives and look after their health. Anyone who strives to achieve their sporting ambition or do something they thought might never be possible is a hero.

What are your running aims?

My aim is to be able to keep running for as many years as possible. I spent many years trying to improve my personal best times. With a 10K PB of 37 minutes, a Half Marathon PB of 1 hour 20 mins and a Marathon PB of 2 hours 57 mins I know I will never get new PBs for these distances. That said, I might have a serious go at my Kingsway parkrun PB (currently 19:58) before too long. Fiona and I have started long distance trail running – much slower but far longer through beautiful terrain. This is a wonderful new experience. Last year we raced over 50 Km of the (seriously tough and hilly) Cotswold Way. This summer we are doing the Jurassic Coast ultra-trail Marathon. Fiona is trying to persuade me to attempt a 100 Km non-stop trail run. I might make this this an aim, for next year? I am already aiming to get a parkrun 1000 shirt one day. I wonder what colour they will be? SD3




Kingsway parkrun event #163


235 runners turned up to Kingsway’s 163rd event. The crowds gathered, friends chit chattered and the weather was notably cooler …all pre cursors for a great event! And a great event it was, with 35 new PBs notched up as everyone made their way around the park.

For 27 people, this was their first time at Kingsway and, of those; six had their very first parkrun run experience. We really hope you enjoyed it and will be back for number two soon!

We had one milestone this Saturday: Marie Keenan reached 50 runs, 29 of which have been at Kingsway. Well one Marie! Ollie Moore also celebrated his 8th birthday with us at Kingsway. Happy Birthday Ollie! IMG_0306

At the briefing Run Director, Antony, reminded us of the importance of making sure under 11s are within arm’s reach of the adult they started with. This is for insurance purposes and is what we all agree to when signing up and printing off our barcodes. Thankfully I don’t think many children were lost down the gaping chasms on the back straight caused by the dry weather, though Tom and I had to make some interesting manoeuvres with the buggy to avoid them!

Well done to this week’s first finisher, Lee Rankin, who crossed the line in 16:47. Lee has been first to finish in 8 out of 9 appearances. He was closely followed by Dave Tomlin in 16:49. Dave has finished first in 14 out of 20 runs at Kingsway. Alastair Campbell came in 3rd with a new PB of 17:21 beating his last PB set almost 2 years ago. Doing it for the girls, Rachel Booth crossed the line with a new PB of 22:37, followed by Amy Walker in 22:42 and Jasmine Fern in 3rd with a time of 22:51. Full results can be seen on the Kingsway parkrun website.

Interestingly the average finish time at parkrun globally has got slower every single year; from 22:16 in 2005 to 29:06 in 2017; and that makes parkrun organisers incredibly proud. It demonstrates how far reaching and inclusive parkrun has become over the years and everyone’s attendance is equally as worthy. Give yourselves a pat on the back everyone!
IMG_0305Thank you to this week’s volunteers. Without volunteers parkrun wouldn’t be possible. James BOON, Philip COLE, Ashleigh DENMAN, Pia DONADIO, Nicola EATON, Tracey FAIRLESS, Antony GREENSWEIG, Niall HINES, Sophie HOPE, Clare IRVINE, Andy JARRETT, Fiona LAWRENCE, Glyn MATTHEWS, Richard MEADOWS, Patrick MORGAN, Jane MORGAN, Steve PEAKE, Deb PEAKE, Gary PHILPOTT, James PLAYER, Andrea PREEDY, Tracey SMART, Alison THOMAS, Amanda VALDER, Alice WESTMACOTT, Maureen WRIGHT IMG_0308

This coming Saturday, local club Hucclecote Harriers are doing a volunteer takeover; trying to fill all of the volunteer roles available on the day. So expect to see a sea of orange and give them a friendly wave and nod as you make your way around the course. We may even have a few pacers for you. Also leave room for some cake as I’m sure there will be some available!

Just a few random stats about Kingsway to finish up…
We have had 5,306 different runners from 346 different clubs grace us with their presence. The average number of runs per runner is 6.5 and the average time is 29:34. The course has been completed 34,743 times which, if all stringed together, equates to 1 year, 348 days, 16 hours, 33 minutes and 25 seconds!


Kingsway parkrun event #161


On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning. However, the parkrun fairies were kind to us today and provided cooler conditions, so this was in the Sports pavilion, as it was RAINING!! What a change from the scorching sun that we have had over recent weeks, but provided the perfect opportunity to talk to others before we started. It certainly took a while for us all to venture out for the runner's briefing as temperatures had plummeted too. Now where did I put my gloves?

Thank you to Gary Oakley, our RD for the day, for the runner's briefing where new runners were warmly welcomed and introduced to the course layout. What a lovely flat course you have too, meandering three times through two different fields with tarmac or cinder path underfoot. These provided lots of opportunities for the faster runners to overtake and to receive and indeed give encouragement as they whipped past us slower mortals. Mind you although rock solid today, I can see more challenge to this course when cooler and wetter conditions prevail.

Today, tourists from Manchester, Burnley and Havant and as far away as Seattle were using Kingsway as their tourist venue.

Gary went on to say a big thank you as always to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of Marshalls out on the course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Kingsway parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?

First timers, as mentioned above, are always warmly welcomed and are on the start of their parkrun journey and working towards their first milestones. The trick is when working towards your milestones is #DFYB- Don't Forget Your Barcode! 13 of you were listed as unknown runners this morning. That's one run less to count towards those milestone tees. Milestones this morning announced for joining the 100 club were Rachel Oakley, Nicola Mooney and Kim Stevens and keeping it a family affair Byron Stevens was celebrating his 50th today too. That's the great thing about parkrun isn't it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk and share about. Especially pertinent though is to also remember to hand in your finish token, parkrun needs them for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!

There were teas and coffee available in the Pavilion for our après parkrun this morning which again allowed perfect opportunity to catch up on how all of our runs had gone and what we thought of the course.

Thank you again Kingsway parkrun for starting our weekend off on a positive note. Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Karen Cole Havant (Portsmouth) parkrun





Kingsway parkrun event #156

247 runners turned up on a balmy Saturday morning in June to make their way round Kingsway’s 156th event.  The crowds gathered, friends chit chattered, the sun shone and the air was still … all notable pre cursors for a great event!  And a great event it was, with an astounding 54 PBs, as 247 runners made their way round the park.

For 20 people, this was their first time at Kingsway and, of those, 11 of those had their very first parkrun run experience. We really hope you enjoyed it and will be back for number two soon!

We had no less than 5 milestones this Saturday, with Jasmine Fern, Lynn Weaver, Mandy Edwards and Tracey Smart reaching 50 runs each and Tony Marechal notching up 100 runs; 85% of which have been at Kingsway. Jasmine celebrated suitably with a new PB of 21:59.  Tracey has run all 50 of her runs at Kingsway, whilst Mandy and Lynn have done 49 of their 50 runs here.  Well done all and thanks for the cake ladies!

Special mention must go to Super Mummy Beth Port who pushed not one, but three kids round the 3 lap course – 3 year old Jasper and 14 week old twins. Kudos to you Beth!  It just goes to show how inclusive parkrun really is.

This event goes down in Kingsway parkrun history as the first event in which the top three finishers all came in in under 17 minutes. That’s some going!  Lee Rankin and Dave Tomlin also secured positions in the top 15 age grade league with 86.05% and 83.79% respectively, with Lee also taking the VM45-49 age category record at Kingsway. So, well done to Joshua Dixon who romped home in 16:23, closely followed by Lee in 16:29, with Dave in 3rd in 16:56.   Doing it for the girls was Tegan Hooper of Stroud & District AC in 20:24, followed by Margaret Johnson in 21:13 with an age grade score of 80.99%, and Fiona Dakin in 21:52.  Full results can be seen on the Kingsway parkrun website.

Interestingly the average finish time at parkrun globally has got slower every single year; from 22:16 in 2005 to 29:06 in 2017; and that makes parkrun organisers incredibly proud. It demonstrates how far reaching and inclusive parkrun has become over the years and everyone’s attendance is equally as worthy.  Give yourselves a pat on the back everybody!

Thank you to this week’s volunteers. Without volunteers parkrun wouldn’t be possible.


Just a few random stats about Kingsway to finish up…

We have had 5,115 different runners from 330 different clubs grace us with their presence. The average number of runs per runner is 6.5 and the average time is 29:34.  The course has been completed 33,070 times which, if all stringed together equates to 1 year, 314 days, 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds!


Kingsway parkrun report #155

A special event this week as we celebrated in style with not one but two birthdays.

Firstly our senior citizen ……..The NHS celebrated 70 years and Kingsway along with over 360 other parkruns and thousands of runners took part in a memorable run to mark the occasion.


At Kingsway we had over 20 first timers many of these from the NHS and it is hoped that the event will encourage more people to get involved in physical activity and volunteering and it is also a great way for people to come together as a community.

There are some fabulous photos on our Facebook page (thanks go to Amanda) that show how enjoyable and fun the whole morning was far better than I can put in writing.

And secondly ……Happy 3rd Birthday to  Kingsway parkrun ……..Our very own ‘Aneurin Bevan’…..Gary Philpott  and a hand-picked team brought parkrun to Kingsway 3 years ago and we have never looked back.

Many Thanks to all of you who continue to support us.


Like the NHS, parkrun relies on the help and support of its Volunteers.

This week was no exception and the following angels did a fantastic job………. Alfie Spinner  •  Amanda Mcpeake  •  Amanda Valder  •  Amy Walker  •  Andrea Marsh  •  Andrew Mcpeake  •  Andy Jarrett  •  Becky Faulkner  •  Deb Peake  •  Elizabeth Barnes  •  Erin Marsh  •  Gavin Townsend  •  Glyn Matthews  •  Jane Morgan  •  Jenny Powell  •  Joy Waddington  •  Karen Paice  •  Kat Walker  •  Kay Searle  •  Louise Schmitz  •  Marion Cole  •  Max Holford  •  Patrick Morgan  •  Richard Meadows  •  Richie Morgan  •  Sally Winterton  •  Sarah Spinner  •  Sophie Mckeraghan  •  Steve Peake  •  Susan Higgs  •  Toby Stanton  •  Tracey Fairless

Thank you All

Some other noteworthy announcements, Tessa Bishop reached 50 runs and we had tourists join us from as far afield as California and as close as Stonehouse…. a big thank you to all the tourists who joined us for this run.

Finishing with the Stats; This week 251 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 22 were first timers and 51 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.

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

Kingsway parkrun, Gloucester started on 6th June 2015. Since then 5,066 participants have completed 32,595 parkruns covering a total distance of 162,975 km, including 7,040 new Personal Bests.