Run Report #183 – 3rd November 2018 by Abigail Carter

Everybody has their routines, their goals, their achievements. Some grab their water, their barcode and head out the door, others squeeze a measly (not) six miles before the 9am start. But whatever goals people are trying to achieve, parkrun has always been a friendly run for runners, whatever their ability may be, which I think is why I love it so much.

I started parkrun in November of 2015, as a way to get back to exercising (after a near fatal accident, shall we say). I quickly became addicted to the love of running, and the friendly faces that I grew to recognise whenever I went. Over time, the Market Harborough parkrun has become increasingly popular, and it’s been a pleasure to meet so many new faces that have discovered parkrun too. (What’s also great about parkrun is that there’s nothing like knowing that someone is waiting on you to show up, so you can encourage, support or compete against- that’s just part of the fun!)

This week the weather was cloudy, without a hint of wind- the perfect weather for parkrun! 362 parkrunners showed up on Saturday, all with a smile on their face, eager to run, jog or walk at parkrun. Because I wasn’t able to run, I was happy to stand by the wayside, clapping and giving them constructive information (they might say I was shouting it, but it’s only to encourage- I promise!)

This week we announced parkrunner of the month- Wiki Solly! Congratulations to her! I’m sure I’m not the only one to see her at parkrun week after week, determined and dedicated to parkrun. It’s always nice to see the next parkrunner of the month, so that person can get the gratitude they deserve for all their hard work.

As a final note, I would like to thank everybody at parkrun, the fellow runners, the volunteers, (the friends and family that are sacrificing precious sleep, but still show up anyway) for they have shown me that running isn’t just about PB’s and what distance you can achieve in a specific time. They have shown me that running is about making friendships, about achieving things you didn’t even think you’d be able to attempt, let alone achieve- because of the people supporting you, every step of the way.

Abigail Carter


Run Report #182 – 27th October 2018 by Austin Hobbs

On the day that I volunteered for the 129th time, I was very happy and proud to be part of Market Harborough parkrun community.  Yes it was a cold and not particularly appealing morning to get on my scooter at 8am but as always, I’m glad I did.


I didn’t know anything about parkrun, its origins or successes until January 2016 when, today’s RD, Jo kindly suggested that I stand on the corner in Welland Park and watch the runners go by.  I seem to find myself on that corner most Saturdays now.  I love watching the athletes of all abilities run, jog or walk with children, dogs, limps, smiles and grimaces and no matter how much pain you seem to be in, you’ll always manage a ‘Thank you Austin’ or high five (when speaking is clearly more difficult).  Those words and gestures are very special to me.


What I most admire about parkrun is that it involves anyone. Even the youngest can be pushed round our park in a buggy.  Even the oldest can stand and support.  Those with visual impairments can be guided and those with mental health issues can often benefit from the volunteering roles.


All my parkrun volunteering so far has been as a Marshal, but I can now proudly say that I’ve completed another role!  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  So give volunteering a go!  You may choose to do something other than standing and supporting those who are ‘suffering’.  I’m told I could also be a Timekeeper, a Funnel Manager or even brief the runners before the start.  But I’m happy doing what I’m doing at the moment and while I get the support from everyone who I am supporting, long may that continue.


Congratulations to all the volunteers, runners and walkers of all ages and abilities today.  39 volunteered, 351 went the distance of 5km and 88 of those did it in their fastest time.  Well done to all you scarily dressed people!


See you all again next week I hope.  And keep giving me those high fives!



Austin Hobbs


Run Report #181 – 20th October 2018 by Molly Smith

20th October marks parkrun number 181 and my 61st parkrun, not a major milestone, but enough to be considered as having the 'parkrun bug' and a step closer to that 100 t-shirt. Well done to Jess, Nick, Adrian, Barbara and Julie who celebrated their 50th milestone - welcome to the 50 club! Congratulations to Roger and Michael too who celebrated their 100th parkrun (and thank you for the cake!). But for some, event 181 is just the start of their parkrun journey.  There were 19 parkrun first timers and 12 first timers at Welland Park.  An amazing 80 parkrunners got PBs this morning too and two people scoring a PB despite over 100 runs under their belt - well done!

My parkrun journey began in July 2017 and parkrun has since dominated my weekends!  If you're a newbie to running or newbie to parkrun, I will say one thing - if anyone tells you parkrun gets easier, they are lying! It doesn't and with over 60 completed, I found this morning just as tough as my first.  However, you will get fitter and you get faster.  If parkrun number 1 takes you 30 minutes to start that third lap, stick with it and in a few months it may take you just 20 minutes. Who would think puffing your way round a park would be sociable too?  Each week you run alongside, in front or behind with the same people, you congratulate the people who get quicker when you see them at the tree turnaround point or sprint finish past you.  You encourage those around you who are struggling and together you make it across the finish line each Saturday.  It's a run, not a race but it's a race with yourself.  Your legs are going as fast as they can and your heart is pounding, but it's usually your head that tells you to stop and once you've broken down that resistance it's amazing what you can achieve.  This time last year, if someone had told me I would have completed two half marathons in 2018, I would have told them they were crazy! But parkrun, and the incredible people I've met, has given me the confidence and strength to do just that. Back in November, Andy helped me round my 15th parkrun and has since encouraged me to Join Harborough Athletic Club. When I was struggling back in January doing the Leicester double-day parkrun Leanne paced me to the finish line up that Braunstone Hill!  And most weeks, Amy and Pam join me as we try to sustain a sub-30 parkrun, though they were a bit too quick for me this week!  During the summer when I was half marathon training, it was made 10 times easier by being accompanied on my long-runs - thank you to Andy, Ntola, Leanne and Jordan who all supported!

So as 2019 is just round the corner, it's that time of the year to set our fitness goals.  I would encourage everyone to have a go at something outside their comfort zone.  Maybe go all out and complete a marathon or a half marathon if you're only half crazy! Sign up to a 10k or start the year off the right way with a parkrun double!  Or maybe give something back to your fellow parkrunners and have a go at pacing and help others achieve their goals or try a new volunteer role. There's a guaranteed feel-good factor. You have a week to think about it before parkrun day returns.  Enjoy sunny Market Harborough, me and my barcode are off parkrun touristing in Copenhagen next weekend!

Se dig om 2 uger!


Molly Smith


Run Report #180 – 13th October 2018 by Wiki Solly

Don’t worry parkrunners and volunteers, this week’s report won’t be littered with stats (I’ll leave that to the pros - Roger and Stuart).


A few weeks ago we were asked to submit an adjective that describes the first time we stood on the start line ready to start our parkrun journeys.  Mine was “liberated” and I thought it would be interesting to write A parkrun in the Life of a VI Runner.


08:15 - time to head down to the park for today’s run.

08:30 - 08:40 - meet up with our fabulous Guide Runners (Martin with me, Steve with Vanessa and Roger with Jan, one of today’s 43 First Timers).  All VI Runners and Guides wear hi-viz tops for our safety and yours.

08:55 - Safety Briefing by Kenny.  “Liberated” because without the amazing Guides I wouldn’t have started my own parkrun journey.

09:00 - 338 of us walked, jogged and ran a warm but windy parkrun. Thanks to everyone who gave support as we trundled around and giving us space when overtaking.  When one of your senses goes or is impaired, you rely on your others and for me I rely heavily on my hearing and I really appreciate it when faster runners tell me they’re coming past me on my right.  I would recommend some of our speedier runners to run the course blindfolded and led by one of the growing numbers of Guides to understand how nerve-wracking it can be, especially down by the river. Can’t guarantee you’ll stay dry though :)

Post-run:  We are one big happy parkrun family and it’s good to catch up in The Cafe (highly recommend the pancakes).


parkrun has helped me become confident in my running ability and has enabled me to try other running ventures.


See you all next week.



Wiki Solly


Run report #179 – 6th October 2018 by Lynette Lewington

Well unfortunately for once the weather forecast was correct - it really was wet and cold.  Still we don’t shrink or rust in the rain and the big puddles around Welland Park gave it a cross country vibe (my favourite type of running) so it beat staying in bed with a cup of tea and the papers :)  The 272 other people (plus volunteers although they probably had less choice) who turned up this morning obviously agreed with me.

Earlier this week I was walking through Canary Wharf at lunchtime, it was like walking into a very disorganised parkrun as people of all shapes, sizes, abilities and shades of Lycra were running at me from different directions. These people were giving up their lunch break to run just as we give up a Saturday morning for parkrun and it made me think about why we choose to do this.

Thankfully, parkruns are very well organised and managed by the fab Core Team and awesome volunteers, so at least we are all running in the same direction.  Although parkruns are viewed as *not a race*, I think they are in many ways; like all runs we do, they are a race towards meeting our personal challenges.  Someone’s  parkrun challenge could be to finish in first place, to get a PB, to get a milestone tee shirt, to improve fitness levels, to lose weight, to run round the course without stopping, to walk round the course and finish or to prove that you can get up early on a Saturday and exercise.  It may be one, many or all of the above and they are likely to change over time.  The lovely thing is, that at a parkrun you will get fantastic support from the volunteers and other runners along the way which makes the *race* less lonely.  You also get your name on the ‘board of glory’ (results page), a plethora of stats to play around with, a chance for a post run debrief with fellow runners and coffee and cake at the cafe (important to refuel after a run and you’ve earned it so it tastes better).  It makes the *race* more fun.

My main challenge today was to get a sub25 finish time, sadly I didn’t achieve it but I did get a PB.  Furthermore, I also completed my Parkrun #5, took another step towards staying fit and proved to myself that I can get up and “just do it” even when I really don’t want to.  Despite the weather, I really enjoyed myself this morning and am now feeling smug that I did it.

So the #notarace should, in my view, be #notapublicraceitspersonal

Keep parkrunning people, your race runs on.  Good luck and best wishes.


Lynette Lewington