Run Report #168 – 14th July by Roger Pangbourne

What a morning!:

  • The sun shone down on us (again!);
  • We had a new female course record;
  • Unfortunately we had a hospital casualty; and
  • A record number for the yoga!

More of all that later, but first as we reach the summer holidays, many our regular volunteers, especially our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers are taking well-earned holidays with their loved ones, so the volunteer roster provides an opportunity to show some different names in lights.

The overriding message is that there’s nothing to worry about as we will always provide full training, so here is a little run down of each of our volunteer roles to help you determine which you’d like to try out:

Run Director / Results Processor / Equipment Storage:  No need to worry about these as they are always done by someone from the Core Team of RDs.

First Timers Briefing x1: An important role to brief tourists or people completely new to parkrun about the key rules and the course route. A script is provided, but the role is usually reserved for more experienced runners / volunteers.

Funnel Manager x2 (a 3rd is often useful):  One ensures people are moving, in order through the finish to collect a finish token and beyond and the other keeps a little backup record to help in case there is a results problem by jotting down the times and runner details for approximately every 20th runner or so.

Timekeeper x2:  A focused, but straightforward role - pressing the stopwatch for every runner that crosses the finish.

Finish Tokens x2:  Handing out the finish tokens to all the finishers - ensuring they are given out in order.

Barcode Scanning x3: After runners have finished and collected their tokens, they queue for the scanners who scan the runner's personal barcode (returning this) and then their finish token and dropping the finish token into a bucket.  Any unscannables are sent to the ...

Volunteer Co-ordinator / Number Checker x1:  The Number Checker role is to jot down the details of any barcodes that will not scan. If people have forgotten their barcode or only have it on their phone, I'm afraid the rule is "No barcode; no time" (because it's so important for the smooth running of the event and also holds important emergency information) - there are usually only a handful of barcodes that don't scan.  The Volunteer Co-ordinator part of the role is to move up and down the barcode queues / chat to other finishers and ask if anyone would like to volunteer to fill gaps in the future roster.  Asking before we start is also a good opportunity to take down a few names.

Token Sorter x1:  A lovely little role for after the parkrun - usually reserved for people newer to parkrun and often for people who don't initially see themselves as runners, but want to see some of the social side of parkrun - simply sorting the tokens after the event back into the correct numeric order ready for the next event and flagging any apparent missing tokens - takes around 20-30 minutes after the event.

Marshal x 4 (we never turn away extra marshals):  Four are the minimum to meet our H&S requirements, but you'll have probably seen many more Marshal points around the course.  An important role to help the spirit of parkrun by encouraging runners, but also understanding what to do in the event of any incident – a mobile phone is required so the RD can be quickly contacted if necessary.

Sign Language Support x1: Optional if you have BSL skills to assist by signing with the RD briefing.

VI Guide:  Supports our visually impaired runners - we have several trained VI guides – email us or ask one of the RDs if you would like to become a VI guide.

Tail Walker x2 (can be more occasionally):  Walk at the rear of the parkrun to ensure that 'nobody is last'.  Informs the Marshals when they are on their last lap so the Marshals can pack up and return any items to the start (e.g. all will have hi-viz tops to return).  If the last runner / walker drops out, the Tail Walkers should be capable (where possible) to catch up the next last runner / walker.  Usually the tail walker comes in around 50-60 minutes.

Pacers x4-8:  We normally aim to have 4 times run each week, separated by around 4-minute intervals - and if there is demand, we usually try to pair up pacers, so one can run steadily and the other perhaps run a little ahead to incentivise quicker runners or drop back to encourage those to catch up who may have dropped back a little.

Run Report Writer x1: Fancy popping a few words down about: Your run; your volunteering experience; your touristing experience; a statistical drill down of the results; what parkrun has meant to you and your life or any related topic?  Long or short; personal or generic - we don't mind, just send us your Run Report within a few days of parkrun and we’ll publish it onto the website and add a Facebook link.

Now you know the roles, please email us or drop us a comment on Facebook and let us know which role and when you’d like to help out.  Thanks in advance.


Back to this weekend’s parkrun:  Congratulations to all 325 parkrunners and our 30 volunteers without whom the magic just wouldn't happen.

Huge congratulations to our new female course record holder tumbling the record from 18:26 to 17:36.  Quite a few established athletes choose not to record every one of their parkrun times as they show their form to other competitors in the track racing world, so we respect your right to not be scanned and the record holder will be shown as ‘Unknown ATHLETE (F)’ until it’s broken again!

We’ve already mentioned the casualty from this weekend – we’re pleased that the casualty is on the mend and understand the parkrunner who bumped into the casualty (who did stop at the time) has asked to be put in touch with the casualty to check on her wellbeing – thank you.  As Sergeant Phil Esterhaus used to say in Hill Street Blues:  “Let’s be careful out there”!

More congratulations to:

  • 12 completely new parkrunners – Welcome to parkrun – hope to see you again and again.
  • 19 tourist first timers – Hope you enjoyed our little run in Welland Park.
  • 46 of you who achieved PBs – How you did that in the heat, I’m not quite sure!
  • 60+ people who joined the ‘Yoga in the Park’ after parkrun – I may have to join in myself soon!  Paul will be running the Yoga for the remaining 2 Saturdays of July.
  • Everyone else I haven’t mentioned – look forward to seeing you again next weekend if possible.

Until next time.




Run Report #167 – 7th July 2018 by Louise Dicicco

This Saturday saw another takeover, this time by local Harborough Athletics Club (HAC).

As a member of HAC, I had been keeping my eye on the volunteer roster, but during the week there was an appeal for pacers.  This is something that I have found useful before, but I've never been brave enough to pace previously.  I replied to the appeal and said I would do it if I could pair up with someone with a bit of experience.  Everyone else had other ideas, and said I would be fine on my own, and to pick a pace that is my own speed plus 10%, so I put my name forward with a time of 36 minutes.

Thursday evening came, and I realised that I had been selected to pace.  The lovely Roger has created pacing cards, so as long as I had the correct one in my hand on Saturday, all should be ok.

I arrived at the park nice and early on Saturday morning, collected my hi-viz jacket, laminated number for the back, and the pacing card.  We headed off to the start line for the usual pre-run briefing, announcements, milestones etc, and then 3-2-1 parkrun!

I kept a close eye on my watch, the time at specific points according to the card, and also the pace that I had set on my watch.  Most of the way round I was 30 seconds ahead of time. I did find it quite difficult to slow down even more, but was pleased to cross the finish line in 35:46 - not bad for my first attempt.

So my message is this:  Sometimes we should do something that is outside of our comfort zone and I have to say I really enjoyed pacing and feel that I may have helped others around the course today.  When I joined HAC that was also out of my comfort zone, but I've been a member now for over 2 years, and really do find them very friendly and encouraging - that was evident today running around the park, with lots of cheering and support from fellow club members.

As always, thank you to all the volunteers, without whom parkrun simply could not happen.

There were 323 people who ran, jogged or walked today, 28 first timers at Market Harborough, 12 of these are completely new to parkrun.  27 members of HAC ran the course, not to mention those who also volunteered.

Thank you everyone.


Louise Dicicco


Run Report #166 – 30th June 2018 by the Birthday Girl Helen Crooks

So 30th June 2018 - my 60th birthday - what a run!

Back in January 2018 a friend of mine who was responsible for introducing me to park run a couple of years ago (when I was an unfit 58 year old) pointed out to me that I could plan it so that I could run my 60th parkrun on my 60th birthday.  Great idea I thought, but when my family asked me what I wanted to do for my 60th birthday- a parkrun was not the answer they expected and they certainly didn't expect me to ask them all to run as well! But run we did, some having come all the way from Bournemouth and London to join in and what a day we had!!

I got ready as normal - putting on my 50 parkrun T-Shirt but no, my daughter had other ideas - kitting us all out in matching "Helen is 60" T-Shirts - absolutely brilliant although yellow was perhaps not the best colour to choose for them - we all got covered in thunderfly bugs - apologies to anyone standing near us at the start who also got surrounded by them!

My daughter also managed to persuade some very sporting volunteers to wear party hats, and what fantastic volunteers they were - their encouragement, and birthday wishes every time we passed them was incredible, possibly the noisiest volunteers ever (in a good way!).

Thanks to Austin for all the High Fives!

Thanks also to the ladies near the rose garden who did some very professional renditions of Happy Birthday on each lap (with dancing) to a different tune each time and to all the other runners who wished me a Happy Birthday as they passed us- what a really great parkrun community we have.

So despite all the friends and family splitting up and running their own races they tell me that they also got lots of cheers on route and we all managed to get together to finish as one- apologies to the funnel marshals - I think we made it difficult for you, although we really didn’t mind what order we finished in- we were just glad to get round the full 5K!

And as I warned the family - I knew I would be in tears- a very special run!

It was never going to be a PB for me as I had two first timers running with me - who incidentally did really well, but it was certainly a Particularly Brilliant run so I will take that as my PB this week.

So what to do after a park run? - Well the cafe obviously, and thanks to the cafe team for providing 15 tasty bacon rolls and for keeping the Prosecco on ice for us - that went down very well - although I am not sure it’s the recommended fluid on such a hot day!

We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and it certainly was a run to remember.

But I guess next week its back to proper running and having moved up an age group - I am hoping to improve my time and get a higher %!!

Thanks again to everyone on the organizing team and the amazing volunteers.

Look forward to seeing you next week.

Helen Crooks and family.



Run Report #165 – 23rd June 2018 by Lyndsay Jordan

With summer finally arriving and World Cup fever sweeping the nation, 348 people arrive at Market Harborough’s Welland Park on Saturday morning to run, jog, walk, buggy push and dog-jog their way around the parkrun course.  It was my second time at Welland Park, but my first time running - having volunteered here a few weeks ago.  This week’s run was a takeover by Desborough RAPID Running Club.

Once we’d all gathered at the start, the Run Director gave us the weekly milestone and tourists announcements.  This week’s run was joined by a tourist from South Africa, Graham VOLLMER from Benoni Harriers and special mentions went to Karen RAWLINGSand Allyson CHORLTONwho reached their 50thand 100thmilestones respectively. Well done ladies!  The biggest cheer of the morning came after the announcement by the Desborough RAPID representative, whilst encouraging us all to take part in upcoming Desborough 10k, when he informed us that every entrant receives a medal AND a bottle of wine in their goody bags!  If that doesn’t tempt you to train for a 10k race nothing will!

After the excitement of the wine announcement died down and the usual three second countdown, we were off. Five minutes into the run and I was regretting my choice of clothing – it was so hot!  The multi-lap course itself is beautiful with a lovely section that takes you down by the River Welland, with Marshals at nearly every corner to encourage you (and point you in the right direction).  I misheard the race briefing as well and paced myself for one extra lap that didn’t exist, although I was so hot by this point the finish line was a welcome sight.  Market Harborough must have one of the prettiest barcode scanning areas as well - what better way to end your run than in the beautiful rose garden.  So, now for the results:

The top men were first timer Aston PERRIN from Long Eaton RC in super quick time of 16:11, Matthew DRIVER from Harborough AC followed by an unknown – remember DFYB!  The top three women were Sarah WARD from Harborough AC in a time of 19:59, Gaye DOCHERTY and Kerry MUNN from Kettering Town Harriers. There were over 30 first timers to Market Harborough, 14 of which for whom it was their first parkrun.  I hope you enjoyed it and it is the start of a fulfilling parkrun journey for you all.

parkruns can’t take place without the help of the wonderful volunteers and this week’s parkrun was brought to you by:


If you would like to get involved I can highly recommend volunteering.  It is great fun and you learn new skills, whilst giving back to your parkrun community.  With the holiday season around the corner, we are always in need of more volunteers so if you would like to help, take a look at the future roster and pop your name down. The roster can be found at

Happy parkrunning!!




Run Report #164 – 16th June 2018 by Paul Milligan

Saturday 16th June... 01:45 I manage to stagger home after putting in some hard work prepping to try and prove my theory that beer does make you run faster!  05:45... I am awake! I get up, get breakfast, brush my teeth........just kidding, I stopped in bed until 07:00 :)

Once I finally got up I start the process of looking for all my running gear.  After a good half hour of looking I am reunited with all my kit and even manage to find both shoes!  I have a small warm up run and then get to the park for about 08:45.

It’s a great atmosphere as usual and is one of my favourite things about parkrun alongside the weekly catch up with the friends.  I think I can be classed as a regular and have made so many friends here, they are all from different walks of life, during the week some don suits, some protective work gear and some just their casual clothes, but come Saturday all are there clad in lycra & showing off our achievements in a brightly coloured t-shirt,  Apricot, 50, 100 runs, 25 volunteers, Harborough Half marathon, Wolf race and many more.

As I was feeling rather tired I kept towards the back and listened intently to the RD and his briefing.  I was definitely not chatting away & I definitely didn’t clap when the rest of the crowd did without knowing what it was for because I was talking!  A few short moments later and I find that I have made my way between the 30min & the 26min pacers and am going to start mid pack. 3,2,1... parkrun!!!

Off we go, I must make sure Strava* is on as we all know that a run never truly counts unless it’s recorded there! (*other apps are available) Lap 1 & I see Catherine & Simon Poynton running their 50th & 100th parkruns donned with some great helium balloons, I stay with them for a little chat and then find a bit of energy to speed up.  26 pacers are ahead... I catch up with Richard Awdry & have a little natter about last week etc and then find a bit more energy so off I trot.  I get to the river and catch up with Lisa Campbell & yes you guessed it... stopped for a bit of a natter :)  She was running a nice pace so I kept with her for the rest of the race run.  What I didn’t realise is that Allen Bagnall was also running along with us creating a mini pack.

Laps 1&2 went rather well and I’m thinking my theory of beer = speed really does work!  Last lap & at the turn around trees... I felt every pint I drank last night hit me and slow me right down, Lisa & Allen edge past me but for some reason this gave me a boost.  I remembered my theory that beer does make you run faster and dug deep to stay with our mini pack, it was a hard last half a lap but somehow I managed to fluke it and get ahead of both of them!  (See, the theory does work :) )

Last straight and I can feel Lisa is very close, I’m not sure if she went ahead at one point, but I came home just ahead of her, but with the same finish time Allen cane in just 3 seconds after.  Smiles all round & congratulations between the three of us, for some reason Lisa was on the floor and making some very strange noises... She only went and brought home a PB!  Well done Lisa!

I went off to get my barcode scanned and also for a bit more of a natter with other park runners to see how their run went for them today.  My thanks go out to each and every one of the hi-viz heroes whom I try to thank as many times as possible whilst running, also thanks to the RD team who bring a fantastic lead to the run every week, rain or shine.  This week 378 runners donned their bright tops and lycra, 68 gained a PB, 36 people ran for the 1st time at Market Harborough, 2 people hit 50 & 100 milestones and all overseen by 36 hi-viz heroes!

See you all next week for a catch up!



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