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!




Run Report #163 – 9th June 2018 by Katie Carnell

This week at parkrun, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS, many people dressed up and shout outs were done to the NHS staff who were taking part which, in my opinion, was a lovely touch!  The question was then asked about who has completed / is completing the NHS couch-to-5k app, a few hands were raised, including my own, which got me thinking about how the NHS has impacted my running journey.

Back in October 2017, I joined parkrun, after having a few months of ill health, I decided that I wanted to get out and do something new. I had heard about parkrun through a family member and he told me about how it, and running in general, had changed his life.  I turned up alone, clutching my freshly printed barcode, feeling very nervous!  I was not a runner in the slightest, and avoided exercise as much as I could, but this was something that I knew I needed to do for myself.  After struggling a lot during my first run (and honestly, nearly giving up at multiple points), someone recommended the couch-to-5k app to me.  I hesitantly downloaded it, feeling as though I would never actually be able to do it, and then truly surprised myself.  I started running 3 times in the week using the app and then running without it during parkrun.  Each time felt slightly easier than the last and it led to me getting 6 pb’s in 7 weeks, I felt like I was running more and more of the course each time and eventually managed to run the whole 5km without a walk break!  It was the best feeling in the world and I knew that I had only done it by using the couch-to-5k app.

Since then, I have managed to;

Get my pb down from 44:52 to 36:33,

Run every day in January,

Run my first 10km race,

Run 100km in a month,

And sign up for my first half marathon!

I know that without the couch-to-5k app getting me through, I probably would have given up on running and found something different to do, but I am so pleased that I did find it because running, and parkrun in particular, have changed my life completely.  I am a very different person to the girl who turned up alone to her first parkrun, and a big part of that is because of the couch-to-5k app (and of course my amazing parkrun family!).  I may not be the fastest runner, but I would be lost without parkrun now, and hope to continue to run and volunteer for a long time!

Katie Carnell


Run Report #162 – 2nd June 2018 by Roger Pangbourne

So I did warn you that if nobody stepped up to pen a little run report, then I would be forced to fill your brain full of parkrun stats! - So here we go:

1,850,000 – the total number of metres run by our parkrunners this parkrunday – that’s the distance to run from Market Harborough to John O’Groats and back!

12,547 – The total number of previous parkruns completed by all the known parkrunners this week – that’s an average of 36 parkruns each – great going!

370 – parkrunners this parkrunday.

162 – The Market Harborough parkrun event number this week.

81 – parkrunners who have achieved their 50 T-shirt qualification (not counting those who have also achieved their ‘100’).

78 - .47% - The top Age Grade % achieved this week by one of our youngest runners – well done Daniel!

55 – PBs – cracking stuff – well done!

45 - % - The proportion of female parkrunners (come on ladies!! – there have been a few events where you’ve outnumbered the men, let’s see more of you out there!).

32 – Volunteers that made it all happen – thank you.

31 – Club members of Harborough AC running – the top club represented (as usual) from our 27 different clubs represented.

29 – First Timers – Welcome one and all!

28 - :41 – The average (mean) time we took to run on the weekend.  28:17 is the overall average parkrun time for Market Harborough – so we’re gradually raising the average time as we attract new parkrunners to run, jog or walk with us – this is completely in line with the goals set by parkrun HQ.

27 – :49 – The average (median) time run by position number 185.

26 – The number of junior parkrunners.

25 - :xx – The average (mode) minute run – by 29 of you.

20 – The sub-20 women’s list that Chloe has now appeared on 17 times (2nd highest number).

19 – parkrunners who have achieved their Volunteer 25 T-shirt qualification.

18 – parkrunners who have achieved their 100 T-shirt qualification.

17 – Degrees Celsius – the temperature at the end of the parkrun.

16 – parkrunners who have achieved their Junior 10 T-shirt qualification.

15 – First Timers who were completely new to parkrun (what have you been doing with your Saturday mornings until now??!!) – A special welcome to each and every one of you.

14 – The age of our first finisher!

13 – Unlucky for some (sorry!)

12 – If we were playing ‘parkrun bingo’ (where you try to complete your bingo card between 0 and 60, where the seconds of each parkrun represent your bingo number), then '12' was the most difficult number to achieve with only one finisher on xx:12 seconds (31:12) – all other numbers were hit – HOUSE!!

11 – Legs 11 (different sort of bingo – sorry again!)

10 – Back to parkrun bingo – the most common number hit was xx:49 seconds – hit a total of 10 times (22:49; 24:49; 25:49; 26:49; 27:49; 29:49 (twice); 30:49; 31:49 and 34:49).

9 – New or improved entries on the fastest 500 list (qualification now 20:55).

8 – The number of 60+ age category female parkrunners.

7 – The overall position of our First Female Finisher (FFF).

6 – Weeks displayed on the volunteer roster and nobody yet down for the Run Report Writer – don’t forget, you’ll have more of me if you don’t drop us an email to volunteer for this fun role!

5 – The number of 70+ age category parkrunners.

4 – Funnel Managers – busily shouting at you to stay in order, keep moving down the funnel, take a token before collapsing and checking random finisher details to help the results processing.

3 – Barcode scanners (‘Faith’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Glory’) – all working flat out to scan and connect to the laptop for your results.

2 – The most frequently appearing number of total runs from this weekend’s parkrunners (19 of you) – welcome back and we hope to see you again and again!

1 – First Finisher – who also joined a very elite national club this weekend by being the first finisher for both the 5k parkrun and the 2k junior parkrun – well done Adam!

0 – Times for Unknown Athletes – 25 of them this weekend! – Please #DFYB!


See you all next week!