Run Directors Meeting 11/09/17

Summary of RD's meeting 11/9/17

Our latest RD meeting took place and it was suggested that some of you may be interested in what was discussed and decisions that were made. So here you are in no particular order...

1)      Welcome to Team Pangbourne and thanks to everyone else for attending.

2)     "Pacing Pairs" trial will be extended. It was thought that pairs appear to be hitting times more consistently and that it's a good way to support runners that may not be as experienced.

3)      VI Guide Runner - Roger will do some exploratory work to see whether it is something that can be done at MH, what opportunities exist for training etc

4)      Christmas day run will be on but no run at New Year (as usual)

5)      A "Naked Run" (no watches) will be done for the nearest Saturday to when the clocks change in October.

6)      A new recording system will be used to help address issues surrounding under 11's running alone. One of the Funnel Managers will record the finish position of any children running alone that they suspect are under 11. If it is confirmed afterwards that they are under 11, the time will be removed from the results. This includes children doing a sprint finish between the playground and finish line.

7)      Sign support at briefing - Lisa Campbell has kindly offered her support. We will begin by trialling it at the First Timers and Main briefings. We will encourage other signers to come forward and investigate avenues to promote the service.

8)      Milestones celebrations - It was agreed that the milestones that are officially recognised by parkrun t-shirts will remain the focus. We reserve the right to celebrate anything else that we like too!

9)      Roster - Finish Token Support role will be replaced by a second Finish Token. This is to acknowledge the way that token distribution now operates. Token Sorter will be reinstated on the roster. One person can receive credit for this role. To encourage new faces to have a go, no one can do the role more than once in a 6 week period. First Timers Briefing role is now opened up to anyone, there will be a script provided.

10)  Basic CPR refresher training to be investigated.

11)  Handheld radios trial has proved to be a success. They are issued to RD, FM and marshals at Turnaround and Playground.


From 0-100 in 2 years!

Run Report #124 26/08/2017

From 0-100 in 2 years!

I took part in my first parkrun at Market Harborough on 9th May 2015, which was their run number 3. In February this year, I realised that I would be completing my 100th run later this year.

I then set myself the arduous task of completing my 100th run on my birthday, 26th August. Looking at my diary, this deadline would only allow me to miss two runs, which would be when I was on holiday in August. Having already committed to do a 10k run in June, I soon realised that I would have to be a tail walker on this day otherwise I wouldn’t achieve my goal.

The other motivation for me completing my 100th run on my Birthday, was that I was in the lead for the number of runs completed at Market Harborough – my closest competitors in April were between 4 and 6 runs behind my total runs. This would be the only time that I would be ‘first’ at a parkrun!

Having decided to ‘dress up’ for the occasion, I donned my pink tutu, and ‘100th parkrun’ sash and joined the other 345 runners at the start line, for the pre-run briefing and important announcements (housekeeping, tourists, and milestones – thanks to Brian for drawing even more attention to me by getting me stand on the step ladder in front of everyone!)

So, on 26th August I ran my 100th Market Harborough parkrun, on their run number 124 – becoming the first person to complete their 100th parkrun exclusively at Market Harborough.

The atmosphere was brilliant and I loved every moment of it. The whole morning was made even more special as my parents and husband came to watch and I ran with my brother-in-law who tried to pace me to a PB, but unfortunately we didn’t quite succeed. The amount of congratulations and birthday wishes I received on the course was overwhelming and I would like to thank everyone for their support.

The other notable milestone this week was Paul Atkinson, who completed his 50th run.

First across the finish line was Luke Montgomery (Corby AC) in 16:20; there were 70 runners with new PBs, and 33 First Timers. The total number of runners this week was 346.

During the last two years, I have also tried out various volunteer roles too, and will certainly do more volunteering now that I have reached my 100. Over the last two years I have met so many people as a result of parkrun, and have found the courage to join a running club. I simply love the atmosphere and community spirit that parkrun is all about. parkrun is now part of my weekend routine. My plan now is to get back to regular volunteering, and I would recommend everyone gives this a go as it is really helpful to see parkrun from the other side. I may also try a bit of touristing in the future.

Louise Dicicco


Run Report #121 – 5th August 2017 – Daniel Connelly

#121 – 5th August 2017 – What beautiful gardens!

I have come to really embrace parkrun tourism over the last year; so much so that whilst my wife was planning what the family need to pack for 10 days away I checked out what new parkrun venues I could do within reach of our destination.

After ruling out a few based on a 5am start time – I was happy with that but the rest of the family weren't quite as keen with the idea of a 4:30 alarm call, I looked to venues nearest to home in the East Midlands region. Having completed all the West Midlands region, the East Midlands is my next target.  So as Leicester Victoria had the Caribbean Festival and therefore a cancelled event – my next closest was Market Harborough.

After checking an event is on, normally I sling trail and road shoes in the car and head out ensuring I #dfyb and get surprised by whatever course I find.  And there is so much variety out there of courses on offer.  But today to try and avoid a mass of wet muddy trail shoes in the car I read up on the course page.  Seeing the map and reading the description of the route left me rather baffled as to what to expect.  I did pick up on three laps, slight incline and a grass section!
As I drove over with the family in tow and ready to run I did pondered the route.
Three laps – running at my current best (always hope for improvement) means that I might not get lapped really helps to push me on for the first two laps and then to hang on in there for the last lap.  But really after running two marathons this week (and a cheeky half) I should just have an enjoyable recovery run – parkrun can fit into a runner's schedule so easily; no matter what the aim it can be worked in.
Incline... what sort of incline? Having run at so many different parkruns what one calls an incline another would describe as a mountainous hill!
Grass section so what is the rest of the surface?  Compacted stone trail with pot holes?

The postcode on the website was superb and thanks to Google Maps we arrived nice and early to the free carpark and easily found the area for new runners briefing (loved the signs, made it so easy to find).  Even though we parked right by the start area we completely missed it as we arrived before it had been set up; in fact we had so much time we managed to do a family warm-up before the run.

After the briefing we were directed to the start – which by now had been staked out, taped up and marked with expected finish times to allow runners to position themselves.  This is fantastic for new runners and tourists as it means you can slot yourself into the correct part of the crowd so you don't accidentally get hampered or hamper other runners.

Today we got a treat as a new RD took the reins for the first time: Team PANGBOURNE – had it not been mentioned that this was your first week IC I am sure no new runner to Market Harborough would have known.  Well done to the two of you for stepping into the Blue and White tabard and I hope all your tokens are ever present and your funnel duckers few!

You can judge a parkrun a lot by the RDs briefing; not just from the safety talk which every run does but by what is emphasised or the extra things added in.  Hearing the milestones of shirts for runners and volunteers as well as your parkrunner of the month award really show what a friendly community Market Harborough parkrun is.  I was rather disappointed that we wouldn't get to go to your parkrun social...  More than just post parkrun coffee and cake I feel!

What changed Market Harborough parkrun for me from a recovery run to a speed session was the introduction to the runners of the volunteer pacers! 26... 26 minutes!  How could you!  All thoughts of an easy run in the park went out the window – I was sticking to Simon.

With the off I was soon to discover that much of my ponderings were totally wrong!  Keeping the pacer bib close I ran, soon my heart rate raced up and my weary legs started to burn.  Passing the river (I remembered that from the course description) the lead runners hurtled the other way and I realised that the slight incline really was slight!  This course was really flat, 20ft total elevation from my Garmin 920XT.  Shooting round the tree I realised I had skimmed (okay probably stomped) over the grass section 10m at the most – and the rest of the course was tarmac or a hard compressed path – no excuses for me not to go fast.  So feeling strong I decided to open my legs up and passing the pacer, at the end of the first lap.

The burning sensation in my lungs and legs started with a vengeance as I pushed myself around the second lap.  With the tennis courts behind me the first finisher glided past me...  LAPPED!  Unwilling to play leap frog with the pacer I kept on going for the third and final lap and crossing the line and collecting a token from a volunteer celebrating her birthday – Many happy returns.

And staggered on down the cone funnel and into a rose garden.  Looking back at the course description I see the rose garden being used as a course marker but no mention of how pretty it looked.  In all the other 67 parkrun venues I have visited I don't think I have every had my barcode scanned in such a pretty setting.

As I walked back down the course to run in with my daughter (She is over 11 years old so I can let her she can run on her own! – I know I don't look old enough to have a daughter that age...) I realised that in my rush I had missed how glorious all the flower beds were.  Welland Park may be small but it is very well maintained and really well used by Market Harborough parkrun for a superb route.

One great thing about being a tourist and offering to write the run report of my travels as it give me the chance to offer thanks to the volunteers who are filling vital roles so my family and I along with so many other runners could enjoy a lovely run.  A big thank you to:- Adrian KILLWORTH  •  Allie WHELAN  •  Austin HOBBS  •  Caitlin SULLIVAN  •  Christine KERSHAW  •  Christopher MORRIS  •  Claire PARKER  •  Graham KERSHAW  •  Harriet STEVENS  •  Hazel BUSWELL  •  Imogen JAMES  •  Jane PANGBOURNE  •  Jaz TARRANT  •  Kenny ANDERSON  •  Marcia BLAGG  •  Martin HAZLEWOOD  •  Matthew PRIESTLEY  •  Michael DONINGTON  •  Michael EDWARDS  •  Oonagh LEWIS  •  Patricia MORRIS  •  Paul ATKINSON  •  Roger PANGBOURNE  •  Simon GIBBON  •  Steve CHAPMAN  •  Tom WARD  As with parkruns around the country if you fancy giving scanning a go, fancy being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please look on the roster and e-mail -

As always a full set of today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Market Harborough parkrun results page, but a few stats highlights from today's run:-

63 runners managed a PB on today's run including first finisher Andrew QUIGLEY (Fetch Everyone RC VM40-44) in 16:55.

Chloe FINLAY (SW20-24) was home in 19th position overall was first female finisher in 20:11

16 people completed their first parkrun today at Market Harborough, welcome to the parkrun family and we hope that you will choose to parkrun again soon.

Bernadette OWEN (Fleckney and Kibworth Running Club, VW60-64) finished in 53 position 4th lady home but with this week's highest age grading of 85.78%

Thank you all for being so welcoming to me and my family.  Happy parkrunning.

Daniel Connolly 


12 weeks to a Christmas PB

Here is the training plan that we promised. First of all we wanted to thank all of you for your commitment to the sessions, for having a great attitude and being so supportive to fellow runners during them.

A few bits of must read information. This plan is mainly designed for people that are relatively new to the sport and is a generic plan. It should continue the work that we have already done by introducing some variety and structure to training. It is personalised to some extent using something called the vdot formula to calculate training paces.

It covers 5 sessions a week. If you run twice a week at the moment, then continue to do so. Suddenly starting to run 5 times a week will most likely lead to injury. There is an old rule of thumb called the 10% rule. It's probably never been proved so considered to be a bit of a runners myth but the general principle is valid. Don't increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%.

That said, if you are enjoying running and are coping well with the plan, feel free to introduce more runs per week but do it gradually. If you run twice a week, then do the first two sessions in the plan. One of them is likely to be a parkrun. If so, build parkrun into one of those sessions. e.g. if you are doing the long/slow run, complete parkrun and then continue for an extra few miles and then come back for scanning etc. You could also make parkrun one of your steady runs. Volunteering to be a pacer will help you to focus on sticking to your target pace.

We want to try to get you to make gradual progress over the 12 week period. Running hard too often will put too much load on your body. That is why we are suggesting only running parkrun hard at the end of each 4 week block. Hopefully you will see gains in these sessions. If not, the gains will come over a longer period. We're all different and we all adapt differently.

Some of the sessions are run at slower/steadier paces. To give your body the right mixture of intensities and distances, it is important that you stick to the prescribed paces. Smashing out a hard run because you feel strong, when you should be doing a steady or easy run is counterproductive. Save your hard efforts for the hard sessions. It'll help prevent getting over tired and injured.

Every 4 weeks, you should re-enter you current parkrun time into the calculator to get your training paces for the month. It is not designed to be used with aspirational times. Put in what you know is your current performance, not what you'd like it to be. However, if you ran a hard parkrun and know for whatever reason that you didn't perform well, use whatever time reflects your fitness level at the time.

During the sessions, we've tried to emphasis just how important the warm up is. A minimum of 10 minutes of light jogging, leading into faster paced running with some dynamic exercises/running drills is required. It'll make you more injury resistant and if you are consistent with the drills, a better technical runner.

Some drills to use include: High knees/heel to bum/bounding/skipping fast/skipping high/straight leg running/marching/reverse skipping/carioca/fast arms/fast feet etc

Use the internet to find your own and read a few articles about why they are beneficial. Don't neglect your general fitness either. Yoga, pilates and more vigorous classes such as circuit training etc will all contribute to making you a happier, healthier runner. Find something that you enjoy and attend regularly.

The sessions will continue in the New Year. Let us know how you are getting on with the plan. We'll be looking for your times anyway!

Remember that there are a number of excellent local running and triathlon clubs that can also support your running. Go along and try a few sessions, they all cater for runners of all abilities.


Copy and paste this link into a new window. It probably won't work very well on phones!


Run Report #38

Thank you to Paul Atkinson for Run Report #38:


As my volunteer duties today were confined to pre- and après-run duties, I decided that it was high time to actually run parkrun for the 1st time (excluding my stint as tailrunner). And running the event also seemed an appropriate way to celebrate my 25th time as a volunteer.

So with all pre-run duties complete I took my place on the start line with the rest of the runners, and listened to Kenny the duty Run Director’s speech, before the “3, 2, 1, go” and suddenly we were off.

I found there was an urge to go fast and keep up with the pack that was soon pulling ahead of me, but I kept to my plan to ‘run my own pace’ and settled down into a comfortable rhythm.

The first lap passed by seemingly quickly, and I was happy with my progress as the pathway moved slowly but steadily away beneath my feet. Halfway around the second lap I was lapped by the lead runners but this was not unexpected! What was unexpected was that during the run I actually managed to overtake a few people, rather than being overtaken myself!

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the whole run was passing friends and colleagues going the other way and sharing a few words of greeting or encouragement, a smile, a wave or a high-five. Added to this was the encouragement provided by the marshals, which was even more appreciated if they called my name. I now realise the importance of this track-side support, having given it myself to others many times before, and was now receiving it back – and it does spur you on.

Within the last half mile I spied pacer Andy ahead of me and tried a gentle acceleration in an attempt to catch him, which I did rounding the final corner and entering the home straight. Then suddenly the finish line flashed by and I had completed my first parkrun as a runner. Token collected and barcode scanned it was time to retire to the cafe for a rest. I had enjoyed it.

Although I finished towards the back of the field, which was expected, my time was slightly better than I had expected; and my goals had been achieved, ie: to not finish last, and to experience the event I help to organise from ‘the other side of the fence’.

I would encourage all volunteers to run parkrun at least once, and all runners to volunteer occasionally, as experiencing both sides of the operation gives a better understanding of the whole event. Remember parkrun is about taking part – fast or slow, young or old, with dog or child, it doesn’t matter. It’s a community event, it’s a run not a race so there’s no pressure, and perhaps most fundamentally – it’s fun!

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