Event N.o 141 – A slightly Soggy Saturday which continued to flood!

After the cancellation due to the Beast from the East we were hoping for some half decent weather so we could get back to normal but a peek out of the curtains early on Saturday revealed grey skies and plenty of rain. As this week’s band of volunteers arrived at West Park we thought we were in for soaking but luckily the rain soon subsided and we were left with a pleasantly mild morning and just a few puddles around the course.

There were 54 people running at Long Eaton for the first time of which there were 30 new parkrunners. The majority of the new runners were from Ilkeston Joggers Couch to 5k group. Their weeks of training culminated in their graduation laps of West Park. Here are the group (post run)…..well done to all of you and we hope to see you back soon!

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In total there were 377 runners this week. There were a few puddles around the course but there were still 29 runners who either splashed through or hopped over them to record a new pb, which was an excellent effort. Simon Maddox (ringing the PB Bell below) was one of those who got a new PB although Simon did benefit from having his own personal pacemaker in Paul Lewis!

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As ever we owe a massive vote of thanks to our volunteers, who marshaled, tail walked, timed, scanned, funnel managed, and gave out finish tokens to you all. This week’s band of heroes were: Alix Blockley, Andrew Kells, David Harley, Dawn Plummer, Denise Cox, James Pinchin, Ken Smedley, Matt Peel, Neil Whitmore, Rob Cattanach, Sarah Huskinson, Sharon Street, Simon Hall, Steph Hart, Steven Ramage, Tim Hodges and Andrew Marshall

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Sorry not all of you got on the picture…..you’d gone putting the signs out….

Many of you will have had you spirits lifted by Tim Hodges our ‘music marshal’ round by the recycling entrance…apparently ‘Amarillo’ was the tune that got the most reaction this week. Tim is open to requests so comments on the facebook page please!!

This week’s first finishers were: Stuart Spencer in 15:33 followed by Daniel Rothwell in 15:39 with an unknown runner coming in third. The first lady home was Joanne Spencer in 20:28, followed by Catherine Charlton in 21:43 and Ann Hillier in 22:06.

We hope to see you next week following another cancellation due to park flooding 17th March but don’t forget to keep an eye on the facebook page on Friday and first thing Saturday but we’ll let you know as soon as possible if we need to cancel.

Hopefully normal Saturday service will resume and finally Spring weather may appear! Not the white stuff and minus temperatures! Keep safe and warm all!


Event N.o 140 – Chilly fingers and toes

Saturday was a beautiful, crisp winter morning and perfect running conditions for 335 of you to cross our finish line.



We certainly had a hardcore team of volunteers this week, who were well able to laugh in the face of the frosty conditions. Extra brownie points go to the volunteers who were in the gloveless roles of finish tokens, timekeeping and barcode scanning. I hope your hands are defrosted by now! Michelle certainly came well prepared for the weather - a few of us were very envious of that dry robe!



Here is this week’s roll of honour… Andrew KELLS  •  Caleb DEAKIN  •  Charlie SARELL  •  Deborah FAULKNER  •  Denise COX  •  Hermione WILSON-GALLAHER  •  Hugo WILSON-GALLAHER  •  Jasper BISHOP  •  Michelle SHAW  •  Neil WHITMORE  •  Paul BISHOP  •  Paul DEAN  •  Rob CATTANACH  •  Sara WILSON-GALLAHER  •  Steph HART  •  Steven RAMAGE  •  Stuart FAULKNER  •  Sue COX  •  Sue WOOLLETT





We had three junior runners completing their 10th 5k parkrun this week. Congratulations to Grace, Adam and Drew. We are also very grateful to Charlie Sarrell who volunteered for the 25th time this week. He is now entitled to one of the lovely purple T shirts. Thank you Charlie for your support of our parkrun.


Another event we were celebrating this week was Bethanie Dennis’ 20th birthday and Zoe Cowlishaw who brought her Mum & Dad for a run too!. Surely there’s no better way to start your birthday celebrations than a parkrun?
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Our first finisher this week was Matthew Bickerstaff in a time of dead on 16 minutes- we hope he enjoyed his first visit to Long Eaton parkrun. Our first female finisher was Lexy Durrant crossing the line with a new PB of 21 mins 29 secs. Well done to both of them!



There was a small incident this week involving some cars that had been parked in front of the recycling area. This prevented the council workers from accessing the bins. Please make sure you only park in designated parking spots, or try the streets nearby for other available spaces.

So this weekend I’ll be handing over to Andrew who will no doubt be ploughing a path through the snow drifts to ensure our parkun can go ahead…. On a serious note - do check the website and social media before you leave home in case we have to cancel due to bad weather.


Event No 139 – Volunteers going the extra mile

We’re really fortunate to have a team of committed run directors at Long Eaton parkrun who take it in turns to be in charge for the weekly event. Because there are several of us (seven at the last count), it can be quite a long time in between our stints in the blue and white high viz.

Because of other commitments, my appearances at Long Eaton parkrun in between my turns as run director are sporadic. I’m also event director for our junior event on a Sunday and can be found there most weeks in some role or another.

((In case you weren’t aware, every Sunday morning at 9am we have a timed 2k for children of 14 and under. Parents can run with their children if they choose to (but the adults won’t get a time) and we have approximately 100 juniors running every week. It works in the same way as the 5k with each child having an individual barcode and we meet around about where the 5k start line is.))

Every time my turn as run director for the 5k rolls around I feel a bit of nervous excitement. I wonder if anything will have changed and whether our lovely event, which started in June 2015, still has that friendly, welcoming and hugely positive atmosphere that it began with.

Needless to say, I always get in the car at the end of the morning feeling elated. This week was no exception. It was a busy morning with 435 runners crossing the finish line, but the growing numbers don’t diminish the friendly community feel of our run.


We had 18 volunteers on our team this week, who went above and beyond to make our run safe and welcoming. Here are some examples of their efforts:

We had two DofE volunteers learning new skills- one who regularly puts time in to help out in various roles and one brand new volunteer who got stuck into scanning.

We had a marshal who danced/skied for the runners, which judging by the messages on Facebook provided much entertainment!

We had a last minute offer of marshalling help from a runner in the middle of her long run which meant we could have two marshals on the bridge.

We had a volunteer who went the extra mile and cleared up three lots of dog mess without complaint, so that no one had to go home with an unpleasant souvenir on the bottom of their shoes.

We had a funnel manager who went across the park to put out some of the signs before the run to save the marshals a job.

We had a couple of volunteers that stayed behind to have a go at processing the results and to help sort out the finish tokens.

This is not to mention the rest of the team who were brilliantly proficient and several of whom have volunteered more than 30 times!

This weeks team were:  Andrew KELLS  •  Caitlin WOOLLEY  •  Dave MAYFIELD  •  David LINDSEY  •  Dawn WOOLLEY  •  Deborah FAULKNER  •  Ian BOWMAN  •  Jenny MAYFIELD  •  Ken SMEDLEY  •  Martin HIND  •  Michelle SHAW  •  Neil WHITMORE  •  Pascale HOLDEN  •  Paul LEWIS  •  Rob CATTANACH  •  Steph HART  •  Steven RAMAGE  •  Stuart FAULKNER  •  Tim HODGES  &  Valerie LINDSEY


I'd like to give a shout out to regular volunteer, Dee who was unwell and couldn't help out this week. Get well soon Dee- you were missed!

New volunteers are always very welcome- just let us know when you want to join the team.

Our first finisher this week was Bruce Raeside in a time of 16 mins 22 secs and our first female finisher was Katherine Packwood in a time of 20 mins 32 secs. Inspirational running from them both!

We had a few milestones to celebrate this week. Congratulations to junior runners Ella & Hazel for completing 10 5k parkruns. Also congratulations to Brian Hatwell, Phil Deakin & Andy Parry for running their 50th parkrun. Last but not least, a big parkrun shout out to Paul Lewis and Peter Gamble for their 100th parkrun. Here’s a picture of Phil and Paul looking suitably proud of their efforts.


This week we were joined by tourist from the far flung reaches of Leicester and 65 people who were running at Long Eaton for the first time. 27 of these were brand new to parkrun. We hope you enjoyed your visit and that we see you again soon.

Just to note we do have the Leisure centre carpark we can use but there is also off street parking nearby for parking around West park - Parkside avenue, Lime Grove/ Princess street near tennis centre or Thoresby Road (side of Rugby field entrance).
Why not warm up to us, car share or cycle too.
Even the local Leisure centre carpark can not cope with 400 cars for our event and for other park / centre users.
However we park, we ask you to please park respectfully for local residents, in designated spaces and checking parking restrictions.

I'll be back again next week and I'm very much looking forward to seeing you all again!
Deborah, Run Director



Event No 138 – Record number close to 500!

It was a cold, frosty and dull Saturday morning. As Run director I had thought that given the conditions, we might get about 300 or so hardy souls to join us for the two lap experience of West Park.

Even at 8.50am I did not think there were that many runners. So after a prompt briefing with no milestone runners to celebrate we set the runner away on time. At this point it suddenly looked like the crowd of runners had swelled, and it took well over 30 seconds for all runners to pass through the start.

I say to the volunteers each week, that it is the volunteers that set the tone for Long Eaton parkrun, and we always try to be welcoming, enthusiastic and encouraging despite the cold conditions, so as ever, my thanks goes to them all, especially those out on the course who don't hear the cheer of thanks from the runners.

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I am particularly fussy about the funnel of love experience, where we group the volunteers together to cheer you on just before half way. We do feel quite guilty if the first runner (this week it was Michael Trott in 16.32) has finished before some runners have reached the cheering spot, but if you did experience the funnel on Saturday, I am sure you would agree that we had the most encouraging bell ringing and cheering from Megan and Emma.

As the runners crossed the line at a steady rate, it did become apparent just how many runners we had had on the course, with the queues for the scanners building, runners continued to cross the line, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 450 - at this point I was getting slightly concerned due to only having a maximum of 500 tokens and we may have had to resort to the back-up manual method, however we peaked at a brilliant 492 runners - which is a new course attendance record for us.

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We had heard that Beeston had made the correct decision to cancel due to ice which may well have boosted our numbers with the Beeston tourists. They will, along with all runners who have experienced our parkrun which based on some analysis last week is statistically the 7th fastest parkrun in the country! Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, outdoor and nature

I happen to think this new attendance record could be one to last a while, and as run director for the day, I can look back and say I was proud that it was on my shift! Well done all!

See you next week, when Deborah takes up the megaphone duties.

Ian, RD.


Event #137 – The pacer perspective

It's Friday night, I have other plans for Saturday morning than parkrun at Long Eaton. But, its Pacer week you say! One of my preferred times is still free!

You have brand new luminous green pacer vests that actually fit......I can't resist - I'm in!
Thanks for the vests Rob and Kirsty.

This will be my 109th parkrun, over 100 of them at Long Eaton.... the 13th time in a pacer vest - but I'm not superstitious, nothing will go wrong!
(Mike pictured below on the right.)
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Pre run;
I deviate from my normal warm up and head down to the gathering of hi-viz. The "proper" volunteers - this pacing malarkey still sees me get a good run out. I love getting the vest and then getting back to the warm up - promoting the team of pacers and hopefully gathering some interest from people who might sense they can latch on and have a new target for their Saturday morning.
What I don't love - is standing on the bank and being introduced. The fear of falling up or down the bank is half the problem, being a bit in the limelight is the other issue - but its soon over and we can mingle in, almost unnoticed but for the bright green vests with a number we have committed to in the world’s largest font!

The pacing brings some nervous energy with it and I always hope to do the vest proud;   * Get round! Despite having always completed a parkrun, I do worry I'll need to hand over the vest mid-run to someone more capable.
* Hit the target time! Ideally I want it dead on or 1 or 2 seconds under. Never over. Never!
* Even splits! I want to run a consistent time from start to finish. No fast starts or fast finishes. Consistency all the way.
* Get some of you PBs! I've been fortunate to get the P1 token (just the once) and a few PBs for myself along the way, but nothing is more satisfying than helping someone else hit a PB.

The run;
The start is the most difficult. Even just picking where to start. Too far forward and I could distance myself from the people behind who could pace off me, too far back and risk getting boxed in and starting to slow. It's ok to weave through on your own - but I'm now conscious a group following won't be able to take the same line.

What's great is when someone comes over - knowing I'm their pacer early on makes things much easier. So do introduce yourself, let us know you target and we'll do what we can to help you (no piggybacks though apparently that's taking it too far).

Off we go... not too fast, everyone sets off fast, hold back, check the watch, little slow - but better than too fast, try and pick the line that people can follow, check the watch, thank the marshal, check the watch. Through 1km, 2 secs over - close enough. A small group tucked in with me - perfect start, as we cross the bridge for the first of 4 times.

Maintain the pace, sit on the front, let the group draft, the wind is light as the sleet starts to fall.
We come through to the funnel of marshal's - it’s always welcomed and we pass halfway. Another couple of seconds over, I'm happy with that – a slight negative split run isn't a bad fall back to perfect splits.

One of the runners who hoped to stay with me had dropped back - I will encourage her on. But I have a small group with me so the pace stays as it was. Through 3km check the watch, the times a bit better. Passed the super happy marshal at Parkside exit despite the weather.
Volunteers are awesome!
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As we cross the bridge for the 3rd time the lead runners already coming through - I can't help but try and calculate his finish time...he's flying. I wasn't wrong. 15:18 for James Teagle as the first finisher, Harry Lupton and Aston Perrin both smashing the 16 barrier with equal times of 15:42 for 2nd and 3rd spot. Amazing!

Through 4km, check the watch - the times coming in, this should be almost perfect. A number still with me, some start to push on as we catch others - hoping they tuck in and have a finish left in them. We cross the bridge for the final time, take the last turn - check the watch as we hit the home straight!

Tick, Tick Tick... the clock continues to count up. It's the final stretch to the finish but the pace remains consistent, there's no surge to the line, no grasping for that extra second. Runners come passed me, I encourage them on.... I urge those behind to pass me - what is this madness? This is pacing...... and I love it!

OH NO! I'm going to miss the target time. I'm going to be over. I pick the pace up a little - I'm now torn between consistent running and hitting the time. A runner flies past me with about 20 metres to go, Check the watch - I'm gutted for him if he was relying on me.
I cross the line.... 10 seconds over. Pacer run #13 has jinxed me!
I'm disappointed, the pace was ok but I seem to have ran long. As I browse the results later I see 6 runners between me and my target time.

I mill around after, joking with the Race Director.... why did I suggest I'd do the run report this week bounces around my head. But it’s all in good spirits.

I catch up with some other runners and delighted that Florine Hiersemenzel smashed her target time and finished first female with a time of 18:47 - I think you need to pace me Florine, not the other way around! Linsey Ryall was second female in 20:05 - ahead of the 20 minute pacer. Sorry Linsey! Megan Rosier took the third spot with a 20:24.

Despite the poor time keeping a few people have asked if I can pace them at other times - absolutely. I'll try and even hit the time for you. I’d urge anyone to give pacing a try - it completely changes the dynamic of your parkrun and is so rewarding.

A massive thanks to all the volunteers & pacers this week, great running conditions - not so great for standing around in I imagine!
See you next week

Mike (The not quite 20 minute pacer)

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