Run Report #198 – 9th February 2019 by Roger Pangbourne


I didn’t used to know anyone who was blind.

Or even anyone with any kind of what you would call a ‘visual impairment’.  But I still remember my first Run Director meeting when Brian (our original Event Director) raised the topic of ‘PROVE’ (parkrun; Running or Volunteering for Everyone) and whether anyone wanted to help investigate some training as a Visually Impaired (VI) Guide.

I’ve thought about it and I don’t really know why guiding a blind or visually impaired runner interested me, but it did.  Perhaps it was fascination.  Perhaps it was admiration.  Perhaps it was because I was used to pacing and this seemed something else new to try? It certainly wasn’t any thought that it could be such a rewarding activity.

Roll forward around 15 months and this weekend I was guiding for the 10th time.  In that time I’ve guided 4 different VI parkrunners, some completely blind and others with different visual impairments.  Three of these are now regulars at MH (Wiki, Vanessa and Jan) and the other was Haseeb, the blindfold ironman triathlon world record holder (thankfully he was coming back after an injury when we ran together as Haseeb is quiiiiick!).  2 of those 10 guiding experiences have been with First Timers (Haseeb and Jan) and I’ve hopefully had a hand in 4 PBs (Wiki x 2, Vanessa and Jan) – certainly more PBs than I’ve achieved on my own of late!!

Now pacing is rewarding and the thanks that those who finish just before or just after you is wonderful – all I’ve usually done is shouted at people (maybe not at them!) all the way around the course, but VI guiding is something else…

Guiding has delivered probably my most emotional parkrun experience:  I was guiding young Jan for her first parkrun experience.  Jan is in the ‘VW 65-69’ age category and following her instructions, we were fast-walking around the course.  It was our last lap and on the return from the Turnaround Trees I asked if she fancied a little jog.  We jogged for around 50 metres above the river stretch.  We returned to a walking pace before saying ‘hi’ to Austin again and Jan said to me:  “That’s the first time I’ve run … since school.”  !!!  Wow! It makes me well-up every time I tell the story.  We also jogged down the finish straight that day on our way to a time of 56:38.

Today should have been Jan’s 10th parkrun, but she had forgotten her barcode!  After a little period of illness Jan had once again given me the instruction to only walk, but this time we probably managed 6 or 7 jogs before finishing in 55:25.  A way off Jan’s current PB of 46:21, but she was delighted to still be quicker than her first outing – even if she won’t receive the run credit for today.  (#DFYB!)

Since our first VI guiding trials with blindfolded parkrunners, we have now welcomed 8 different VI runners and have a wonderful team of VI Guides.  Some have attended official training events (there’s an excellent ‘Sight Loss Awareness and Guide Running Workshop’ run by England Athletics) or we have trained many of our own local parkrunners.  Essentially once you have donned a blindfold yourself and run a few laps around Welland Park with a VI Guide, you are very well prepared to be a VI Guide yourself.  A number of our regular RDs are also trained VI guides so can answer any queries people may have and the VI Guide team is currently led by Jo Raine.

VI Guiding now, compared to my first time at MH is a wonderful thing.  Not only for all of the stuff I’ve mentioned above, but also because you wonderful parkrunners know only to overtake us on the right-hand side and it’s great when we hear a shout out of ‘passing on the right’ or something similar when you’re overtaking (we’re often too busy nattering to hear you coming otherwise!).  Market Harborough parkrun has truly embraced VI running and we thank all of you for helping make this happen.

My VI workshop was also attended by a blind runner called Netty.  She told us that she used to be casual runner and when she lost her sight, the biggest thing she missed was running.  So finding some people with whom she could run and act as VI Guides was life-changing for her.  I’d add it can not only be so rewarding for VI runners, but also for the VI Guides.

If you’re interested in joining our team of VI Guides, we’d love to hear from you – just pop us a note on Facebook, an email or come and chat to us at parkrun one day.

I now know several blind people and others who are visually impaired.  My life is warmer and fuller as a result.


Roger Pangbourne



Run Report #193 – 5th January 2019 by Roger Pangbourne

A Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to the first Run Report of 2019.

After last week’s bumper-filled stats edition, a somewhat slimmer Run Report this weekend!  But any statistician cannot ignore when a record is set, so let’s start off with that:  On Saturday, with a chill in the air, but no signs of any rain or snow, a record attendance of 415 parkrunners completed Market Harborough parkrun.

It’s nearly a full year since the previous attendance record was set:  The first weekend of 2018 didn’t quite set a record (361), but the second weekend did at 394.  This record stayed in place throughout 2018, the second and third highest attendances being in May (381) and June (378).  So 415 is a great way to start 2019 and we look forward to many similar sized attendances through the year.  Here’s a little chart of our record attendances at MH parkrun:

Attendance records


Starting with event number 1 (111).  After dropping to the lowest ever attendance for event 2 (92), we then had 5 record attendances in a row, growing from 118 to 179.  A month later, saw the 200 mark exceeded for the first time (203 in July 2015) and then a break until January 2016 (209).  April 2016 saw the record broken twice, once at the start of the month (227) and then on the 4thSaturday of April, MH parkrun’s first birthday (a massive 295).  The first weekend of 2017 was the next record (342), nudged up in March to 375.  Then came the above mentioned 394 in January 2018, which stayed on until this past weekend.  So the big question is:  Will 415 be our attendance record for the rest of 2019 and if not, how many weeks until this is broken again?!

Records apart, we welcomed 39 First Timers to MH parkrun this weekend, 23 of whom were completely new to parkrun.  And we congratulated 48 parkrunners achieving PBs to start 2019 in fine style.

Up front, it was a close battle between Steve TURVEY and David STAFF all the way around.  Steve kept trying to drop David, but David determinedly stuck on and then kicked on past Steve in the last km, picking up his 4th ever First Finisher at MH, this one by some 10 seconds.

First junior through the finish was Ben WOODING, 7thoverall in a cracking 19:34.  First Female Finisher was Erin BILLINGTON, setting a PB at 21:04.

Congratulations again to Anne DAWKINS for her 50 parkrun milestone – please be patient with the T-shirt order Anne! :)

Otherwise congratulations to Julie LAKE who became our record breaker yesterday in position 395 and our Tail Walkers in positions 414 and 415 – along with all the team of 37 volunteers.  We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you once again.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and week ahead and here’s an idea:  Why don’t we all do it all over again next week?!

Happy parkrunning.


Roger Pangbourne


Run Report #192 – 29th December 2018 by Roger Pangbourne

Well that was 2018 folks, another year over and new one just about to begin.  So pop the kettle on, grab something nice to nibble and huddle up for a (largely statistical!) review of 2018 at Market Harborough parkrun!

But first, it is a Run Report, so let’s hear about event number 192 from Saturday:


Jo was up the RD stepladder and overall a silky-smooth event ensued.  Thank you to our wonderful 34 volunteers who made the event happen.  It was a windy at first 9 degrees and the dry skies brought out 353 people to run, jog and walk the course.

We welcomed a large number of First Timers (36) – of whom 19 were tourists and 17 were completely new to parkrun (obviously feeling the effects of too much Christmas chocolate!).  We hope to see you again and again through 2019.

Despite the headwind into the Bowls Pavilion straight, 45 of you managed new PBs – congrats to you all.  Particular congratulations to the PBs from:

  • David STAFF, who knocked 5 seconds off his PB to record a fantastic 17:50 on his 114thparkrun (110that MH), but was pipped to be the first finisher by one second by Benjamin HAINES, a tourist from Burnham and Highbridge.  That must have been an exciting finish sprint!
  • Paul GRANGER, another PB after 135 parkruns (all at MH) – great to be still hitting PBs after so many parkruns!
  • Patsy WILSON and Wiki SOLLY, both of whom recorded PBs on their 50thmilestone PBs – Well done!

Otherwise on the day, up front was a good three-way tussle with David and Benjamin mentioned above and young Adam BARBER.  From what I saw Adam did much of the hard work towing the other two around for most of the 5k until wisdom took over and David and Benjamin fought in out for First Finisher.

The top 10 all finished under 20 minutes; you have to run under 25 minutes now if you want to appear in the top 100; around 29 minutes may see you into the top 200 and depending on the turnout, around 35 minutes will see you into the top 300.  Everyone completed this weekend’s parkrun in under an hour and the kit was soon stashed away, with thanks again to the volunteers who help with this essential end of event task.

In the café, much talk about the previous fabulous Christmas Day event and the forthcoming ‘New Year’s Day Double’.  Market Harborough parkrun chooses to participate in the Christmas Day event, but not the NYD event, meaning there are plenty of tourist opportunities for those wishing to try out a couple of new parkrun courses.  But we’ll hopefully see you back in the New Year on 5thJanuary for event number 193!


Now, what about that 2018 review?...


Well due to some bad weather in the first couple of months and an August Food Fair in the park, we had 2 fewer events than in 2017.

2018 RR1


But overall you wonderful parkrunners completed 1,200 (7.7%) more parkruns this year than last.

2018 RR2


There were 201 more unique parkrunners to Market Harborough in 2018 (+7.3%)

2018 RR3


Here is a little table showing our most frequent parkrunners through 2018:

2018 RR4 Most Frequent


And a fabulous 264 more total volunteers (+16.0%)

2018 RR5


Provided by 62 more unique volunteers through the year (+17.9%)

2018 RR6


We love our volunteers and thank them for helping deliver this wonderful event every week – a special ‘heart’ to all those who have volunteered on at least 10 occasions this year:

2018 RR7 Heart


Combining parkruns completed with volunteering credits, gives us some interesting stats on who has attended the most consecutive events in 2018.

2018 RR8 Consecutive


We still had plenty of PBs, although the more events parkrunners complete, the more difficult it becomes to reach out for PBs, so we did see a drop in the overall number of PBs (-7.8%):

2018 RR9


And here’s the roll of honour for the most PBs in 2018:

2018 RR10 PB


We had a few fewer First Timers in 2018 – still plenty each week to fully occupy our First Timers Briefing volunteer, but overall down 119 (-7.3%)

2018 RR11


All of this meant we had a great average of 334 parkrunners at each event (up 36 +12.1%), supported by an average of 38 volunteers (up 6 +18.8%):

2018 RR12

2018 RR13


You may be aware that parkrun HQ have a stated aim to gradually increase the average time at parkrun each year.  This isn’t as odd as it sounds.  As many PBs continue to be recorded, we also continue to reach out to the community and welcome more and more people to participate in a safe, free, weekly timed 5k walk, jog or run.  This inclusivity is great to see nationwide and Market Harborough has continued to support this trend, this year increasing our average time by 35 seconds:

2018 RR14


That said, there have been some great time improvements this year, take a look through this little lot! (minimum of 5 completed parkruns in 2018 to qualify for this table):

2018 RR15 Time


Some of our Age Grade % records have also been beaten this year – here are the top 2018 performances, shown in amber if they set a new MH record in 2018:

2018 RR16 Age


On our website the top 1,000 Age Grade performances are shown  (   To qualify for this list, you’ll currently have to achieve an Age Grade rating of around 66%.  To give you an idea, these are the approximate times for each Age Grade category you’ll have to hit to make this list:

2018 RR17 Age target


There is also an overall ‘Fastest 500’ list ( Those quickies up front now need to beat 20:39 to appear on that list!


Finally on the stats report (are you still awake?!) we have had plenty of milestones achieved and announced each week at the RD briefings. It’s a little difficult to extract this data, but I reckon we have had:

  • 31 junior 10 milestones achieved (white T-shirt) – congratulations those below:

2018 RR18 jnr10

  • 137 50 milestones achieved (red T-shirt)
  • 43 100 milestones achieved (black T-shirt)
  • And 22 V25 volunteer milestones achieved (aubergine T-shirt) – congratulations to those below:

2018 RR19 V25


Well I think that about wraps up the statistical review of 2018.  Looking at other happenings through the year, we had:

  • Ice, a flood and a food fair leading to 3 cancellations.
  • A record turnout (394) on the second event of the year.
  • A first first finisher who was female (Chloe FINLAY in March with 18:58).
  • A new female Course Record in July (17:36).
  • A few fallers, but thankfully nothing too serious - thank you to everyone who helps out anyone who is ever in any trouble at parkrun.
  • An amazing response to our fundraising appeal – thank you again, allowing us to supplement the first aid supplies, buy radios, pacer bibs and a few other essentials that keep the wheels turning.
  • A record number of volunteers at an event in December (51).
  • We’ve had a hen do, a few parkrun romances (I won’t embarrass anyone by mentioning names), a few weddings are due in 2019 and we’ve had a few babies and returning mums.


What a year!  On behalf of the whole Core Team, it has been our pleasure to look after the wonderful thing that is Market Harborough parkrun.


Happy New Year to one and all.



Roger Pangbourne


Run Report #175 – 8th September 2018 by Roger Pangbourne


In Harborough something’s begun,

Every weekend it’s always done,

Wake up and feel fine?

Then turn up by nine,

And join in our lovely parkrun!


There was an RD name of Kenny,

Reputation for saving a penny,

Pants lined with gilt?

Right under his kilt?

No - He wasn’t wearing any!


Welcome number one seven five!

(The late parkrunners arrive),

The briefing is loud,

Booming out to the crowd,

You listening Leanne Shrive?!


Big claps for each volunteer,

Certainly not insincere,

Then 3-2-1-go!

Some fast and some slow,

But soon they all disappear.


The Marshals we are sure to thank,

By the river, along the bank,

Feel like singing the blues,

As last night, on the booze,

Now wish it was water I drank.


To the left and then to the right,

(My face feels incredibly white!)

Lap two and lap three,

No time for a wee!

The finish at last is in sight!


Side by side – I will not be beat!

As we fly down the last few feet,

I dip for the line,

“What was my time?”

A PB would be such a treat!


A PB! – or, am I fibbing?

No PB (who am I kidding?!)

Whilst it’s a pain,

I must go and train,

And end some of this good living!


Now every last woman and man,

Is happy they woke up and ran,

Doesn’t matter the pace,

They’ve smiles on their face,

As we queue for barcodes to scan.


At the café:  Coffees and teas,

And discussions of missed PBs,

What’s Roy’s latest bake?

It’s black forest cake!

Just one slice, oh go on - two please!


Then Kenny lets out a big shriek,

As results are looking quite bleak,

With frown and a pout,

He sorts them all out,

Then it’s over, until next week.


Would you like to be a good sport?

And give us some welcome support?

Just pick up a pen,

Some paper and then,

Help us write this damn Run Report! :)



Roger Pangbourne


Run Report #174 – 1st September 2018 by Roger Pangbourne

Another super sunny day; another super-dooper parkrun!  (Should I end this Run Report here?!!) :)


Well in case you weren’t there, what else happened?


Another 25 wonderful volunteers brought their magic to Welland Park to help 360 parkrunners complete parkrun number 174 – That’s our 14thhighest attendance and knowing that only one parkrun in 2017 had a higher attendance (11thMarch) gives you an idea of how Market Harborough parkrun has, year on year, continued to grow in strength.


As (despite the weather), we move into Autumn, it’s a chance to look back on our Summer, where every single attendance through the season was higher than the same week’s parkrun last year, with an overall Summer average of 335, compared to last Summer’s 299.


We had an average 9:00 a.m. temperature of 16.4 degrees C, compared to 15.7, 15.6 and 15.5 in 2017, 2016 and 2015 respectively – perhaps a small reason for the increase? - But I’m sure it’s down to the numbers of both loyal MH parkrunner supporters and First Timers / tourists who continue to be attracted to the general parkrun ethos and of course our little parkrun at Welland Park.


So what happened this week?

  • Michael was in Run Director blue after a week of celebrating his 100thparkrun and it fell to Mr Brown to present Claire’s choice of parkrunner of the month to Jordan Smith – congrats again Jordan and for your medal-inspired PB this week, knocking off another 6 seconds.  Michael soon had us on our way, so what happened next?
  • Well Bruce RAESIDE was in town for the following day’s triathlon (where he won the ‘Bridge’ event).  In the last leg of his triathlon he ran 7.5k in 23:45 – that’s 7.5k, so a pro-rata parkrun time of 15:50!  Clearly he was only warming up at parkrun with a steady 16:24 for First Finisher.
  • Matt DRIVER missed out on a PB by 2 seconds with an impressive 16:31 and he remains second on the list of all time Market Harborough First Finishers with a total of 40 (plenty more to come methinks).
  • Elsewhere in the top 10 young Adam BARBER had a super tussle with ‘not so young’ Brian CORCORAN, who returned to the parkrun he set up and despite being pipped by Adam (18:06), Brian still smashed his MH PB by 33 seconds and his ‘all parkrun’ PB by 23 seconds for an excellent 18:10.
  • Sarah WARD was the First Female Finisher in a terrific 19:34, gaining her a 25 second PB in the process.
  • Personally, I was aiming for my ‘Groundhog Day’ badge (running the same time, on the same course, in consecutive weeks!) – just missed out by 5 seconds, but at least knocked off another bingo number! :)
  • 50-up for Laura DICKINSON – Well done Laura – just missing out on a PB by 12 seconds – maybe you should run with a balloon every week?!
  • 100-up for Dean CREESE – Well done Dean – look forward to seeing you proudly wearing your new black 100 T-shirt in the near future.
  • We welcomed 15 tourists running their first Market Harborough parkrun and 23 complete First Timers to parkrun – a few of whom laid down some highly impressive first parkrun times – Joe HORSPOOL, Tim CHAMBERS and John STEPTOE, I’m looking at you – all of whom ran under 22 minutes – looking forward to what you can do when you have the hang of this parkrun thing!
  • Elsewhere a ma-hoo-sive PB for young Euan ANDERSON, knocking off 1 min 45 seconds off his PB on his 25thMH parkrun.
  • Great PBs of some 5 to 10 minutes by several parkrunners returning for ‘that difficult’ 2nd parkrun – well done Nicola LANGFORD, Heather HUGHES, Catherine HUGHES, Hanna FENWICK and Alison BOSTON – great improvements!
  • 58 PBs in all across the field – great efforts – looking forward to the slightly cooler months when PBs are often even more frequent.


The sun continued to shine on those outside the Café in the Park and as ‘Bake Off’ has started, the first offering from Roy was for sale – shortbread rolled in chocolate and hazelnuts!  I’m looking forward to this coming weekend as it’s ‘cake week’!


Until next weekend fellow parkrunners – keep running, jogging, walking and volunteering.



Roger Pangbourne


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 #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!





Run Report #158 – 5th May 2018 by Roger Pangbourne


Hundreds of people, alike in spirit,

In fair Harborough, where we lay our scene.

Some love it or hate it and some even fear it,

Where sweat and tears make bodies unclean.

Some are chatty and others more vocal,

Come by foot and wheel from far and near.

Some are tourists and others are local,

To walk, jog, run or volunteer.





 Welland Park.  A public place.

fullsizeoutput_104f  IMG_3056

[Enter MAJOR NICKY, of the Core Team, armed with aubergine V25 top] IMG_3055

MAJOR NICKY:  Where the heck is everyone?!  I’ve been up since stupid o’clock and even arranged for a sunny day (unlike last weekend!)

[MAJOR NICKY unpacks all the kit – signs, posts, cones, tape, hi-viz vests a-plenty – sorted beautifully into piles for the course set-up]

[Some time later… Enter other members of the CORE TEAM.]

CORE TEAM 1:  How are you?

MAJOR NICKY:  [kiss]

CORE TEAM 1:  [kiss]

CORE TEAM 2:  Lovely to see you.

MAJOR NICKY:  [kiss]

CORE TEAM 2:  [kiss]

[Greetings continue this way as more and more CORE TEAM arrive on stage.]

[Volunteers arrive; first one or two and then in their dozens as the glow of hi-viz yellow starts to reflect off the sunny bowls pavilion walls.]

MAJOR NICKY:  Hello, thanks for coming today, who are you?

VOLUNTEER 1:  Volunteer 1.

MAJOR NICKY:  This is what you’re doing today…

[Volunteers are scattered all over the park to assemble the course in readiness for the main event.]

[parkrunners start to arrive in an array of bright colours; some with inappropriately long and heavy clothes and some with inappropriately short and skimpy clothes!]



COLONEL BEV:  It’s awards time!

[Not wanting to stay around for annual awards and certificates at last weekend’s birthday event with the deluge of rain! – the annual award winners and those highly commended, assemble.]


COLONEL BEV:  Congratulations to Volunteer of the year, Marco and Highly Commended, Austin.   IMG_3063

COLONEL BEV:  Congratulations to Female parkrunner of the year, Pam.

COLONEL BEV:  Congratulations to Junior parkrunner of the year, Ben and Highly Commended, Jacob.   fullsizeoutput_1052

COLONEL BEV:  Congratulations to our Highly Commended parkrun story of the year, the Duke of Edinburgh volunteers.

COLONEL BEV:  Congratulations to our parkrun story of the year, the Visually Impaired Guides.   fullsizeoutput_1059




CAPTAIN MICHAEL:  [Loudly]  New Runners Briefing here please!!!!

PRIVATE AMY:  [Pleasantly]  Over here please.

[19 wide-eyed, reluctant and shy parkrun newbies nervously approach PRIVATE AMY accompanied by 9 more confident first timer tourists as PRIVATE AMY explains the course route and key procedures.]

[General chatter and discussion of injuries fills the air.]

MAJOR NICKY:  Everyone to the start please!!

[Like obedient animals entering the ark, the parkrunners turn, two by two and trundle to the start.]

[There’s general talk of cross-country runs, relays and times as those up-front start stretching in the vain hope that this will count as their warm up and guarantee them an extra position or two down the final straight.]   IMG_3079

[There’s general talk of lie-ins ruined, friendly dogs and fashion advice as everyone commits to just taking it easy and being happy to finish today in the heat.]

[All assembled in front of her, MAJOR NICKY approaches her step-ladder of silver to preach her words of praise, thanks and wisdom.]   IMG_3081

MAJOR NICKY:  Welcome to event 158; thanks to the volunteers.

ALL:  HURRAH!! [and thunderous applause.]

MAJOR NICKY:  Congratulations to those joining the 50-club:  Charlotte Double; Michael Price; Jamie McAllister and Alishia Read.

ALL:  [More thunderous applause.]

MAJOR NICKY:  Congratulations to those joining the 100-club:  Simon Hobbs and Jason Lockwood.

ALL:  [Even more thunderous applause.]

MAJOR NICKY:  Welcome to tourists…[the usual rules and reminders] … Timekeepers ready?

ALL:  Bleep!  [As phone and watch buttons are pressed and the parkrunners shuffle closer to the start line.]

MAJOR NICKY:  3-2-1-parkrun!





[381 parkrunners pour around the first corner and flow up the first straight looking for gaps between legs.  Bashes and apologies as everyone sprints, hops, skips and dances from side to side as they find their own space and pace.]

PARKRUNNER 1:  Nice to see you – what time are you aiming for today?

PARKRUNNER 2:  I’ll just be happy to finish.

[A blur of hi-viz yellow is passed.]

ALL:  Thank you marshals!

MARSHAL 1:  Well done!

MARSHAL 2:  Looking strong!

MARSHAL 3:  You’re awesome!

MARSHAL 4:  Whoop whoop!!

[Some regret the early jostling for position as they start being picked off from behind; the sight of parkrunners coming in the opposite direction creates wonder and awe at the speed that these svelte-like bodies can generate.]

[Everyone starts to focus on their own personal journey: Beating their nemesis down the final straight; recovering from injury; surviving another 5k; staying out of the sunshine as much as possible or encouraging friends and fellow parkrun family.]

[The flying feet down the finish straight continues to amaze people of their own final kick – how much faster could they run if they didn’t preserve all this energy until the end?!]

TIMEKEEPERS:  Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep…

FUNNEL MANAGERS:  Well done; keep in line please; make sure you take a token…

PARKRUNNER A:  How was it?

PARKRUNNER B:  Great run today – felt good – you?

PARKRUNNER A:  Best run for ages.


[Funnel duckers, double crossers and two-lapper finishers bring a little bead of perspiration to MAJOR NICKY’S brow as a few others don’t take their finish tokens.]

BARCODE SCANNERS:  Bleep, bleep, barcode first please then your finish token, bleep, bleep, thank you, bleep, bleep, well done, bleep, bleep

PARKRUNNER X:  Erm – I usually have my barcode with me – I know it – could you just write it down for me?

BARCODE SCANNERS:  Sorry no barcode, no time, no exceptions, please bring it along next week … thank you. Next!  Bleep, bleep …

[parkrun stories are everywhere you choose to look.  Everyone has one, but they will have to wait for another run report.]    fullsizeoutput_1066

[Meanwhile the FUNNEL MANAGERS soldier on, taking details of random finishers to assist with the results processing later.]

PB GONG:  BONG! [Repeated a total of 72 times]



Faces still puffing, filled full of wheeze,

You don’t look all right mate, sure you’re o.k.?

Breakfast and baps, coffees and teas,

Are all to be found in Roy’s café.

MAJOR NICKY let’s out a small shriek,

But mends the results with her surgical knife.

Our parkrun is over for one more long week,

Welland Park returns to its normal life.   IMG_3089


Roger Pangbourne


Run Report #146 – 27th January 2018 – Roger Pangbourne

Run Report #146 – 27th January 2018 – Diary of a co-Event Director


Following a recent core team meeting, we discussed that one of the original parts of parkrun was a run report (going back to Bushy Park days) and we observed that Market Harborough’s run reports have been ‘sporadic’ at best.  Hence, we’ve added ‘Run Report Writer’ to the volunteer roster as a core volunteer role to try and encourage different people to have a go writing the run report after each weekend’s parkrun (and it’s another volunteer role you can fulfil as well as running!).


The style, length, use of humour, statistical focus and so on is up to you (but keep it clean please!), just simply email your run report within 3 days of the event (to ‘’) and we’ll add the report to the website and publish a Facebook link to the report.


It would be lovely to hear from runners – whether you’re quick or not so speedy, on your 1st run or your 101st – or whether you’re volunteering and can provide an overview of what your morning has been like for others to read and appreciate.


So here goes my first Run Report attempt – hope you enjoy!...


parkrun – a co-Event Director’s viewpoint:

07:01 - Alarm duly bashed to snooze.

07:15 - TV weather tells me “cold”, but dry until mid-morning - should escape the rain for parkrun :)

07:20 - Haul carcass out of warm, toasty bed.

07:25 - Jump on scales

07:25 +5 seconds - jump off!!  This annoying hamstring injury and not running regularly is making me pile on the weight – hear Brian’s voice in my head that I probably shouldn’t be pacing (35 mins) today!

07:26 - Quick Facebook fix - good reminder from today’s Run Director (RD) Nic to not forget barcode - wristband barcode is first item of clothing on!!

07:40 - Which T-shirt? - cold (3°), so long sleeve Apricot wins the decision.

07:43 - Hat or no hat? - hat (have to give Kenny something to laugh at!)

07:49 - Off to parkrun (lucky to live close enough so journey to Welland Park works well as a little warm up.  On the way regret mentioning to Nic last night that the path by the stream was muddy and may need a sweep (guess which will be my first job of the morning?!)

07:55 - Arrive - continue warm up with an outer lap / course inspection - no glass; no ice; no flooding; turnaround slippery already (must mention to Nic) - else all good to go - nice calm conditions so hopeful for many PBs!

08:05 - Not an early start for anyone else yet - so another lap - this time a ‘bin audit’ - seriously!! (It’s been suggested that the local scouts, supported by Harborough District Council and Market Harborough in Bloom could come to parkrun for a couple of weekends with a message about ‘single use plastic bottles’ to try to discourage their use and see if the number of discarded plastic bottles decreases from one week to the next.  I’m fairly confident that we are all a community-minded, recycling-friendly bunch of people, so have my doubts that this is really an issue for us – hence the bin audit – but will still be keen to work with all those organisations – particularly with Global Recycling Day approaching on 18th March).

08:10 – Feeling slightly odd going from one bin to the next taking photos!!

08:15 - Anderson’s must be having a lie in (check the day to ensure it is parkrunday!)

08:16 - A slightly hungover Kenny arrives having already banked a good bit of exercise for the morning.

08:18 – hamstring feeling tight already – maybe my warm up laps were a bit quick – what’s that Brian? – shut up!!

08:20 - Collection of RDs, including Nic now in car park – wonder what the collective noun is for a group of RDs??  (suggestions on Facebook please!)

08:21 - Sweeping duties (there’s a surprise! – at least my hat escaped mockery)

08:22 - Mosey down to the river with our latest addition to the core team (spoiler alert) – please welcome Claire Parker as a new RD.  Start having a chat about RD duties and induction training with which Bev and I will be supporting Claire.

08:35 - Path looking beautiful (ish) – join the growing crowd of volunteers and runners around the bowls pavilion.  Don hi-viz ready to pace 35 with Amanda.

08:45 – Michael starts the First Timer’s Briefing – boom! – bang on time - big crowd of newcomers and visitors today.

08:50 – Make our way to the start – reach the right sort of place for 35 mins to start - look for Amanda ... who is standing right next to me!

08:55 – Nic starts RD safety briefing – Double boom!! – bang on time again – looks busy – runners stretching from the quickies all the way to before the gates behind me.  Nic nice and clear; course conditions and normal rules all covered; minimal talking among parkrunners – great stuff.

09:00 – parkrun!!

09:02:38 – reach playground corner – 7 seconds behind pace – good start.

09:04 – No marshal on pinch point (must mention to Nic).

09:07:30 – reach turnaround trees – now 19 seconds ahead of pace – oops! – may have hurt some of my 35 minute target runners!!

09:10 – High five Austin (repeated each lap!)

09:11 – see Nic and mention missing marshal – she’s already all over it.  Stay around 10 seconds ahead of pace all the way around – offer usual running style ‘tips’ as well as regular checkpoint timings – by the last lap Amanda and I are nearly on our own – maybe they’ve run away from my voice?!!

09:32 – Pass bowls pavilion for the last time – parkrunners who have finished are all on their phones, but today they are nicely paying attention to other parkrunners still going around – thank you!

09:34:10 – Reach final flag pole bang on 35 minute pace.  Turn around to start running backwards shouting abuse encouragement at more parkrunners coming up behind.

09:34:58 – Check watch with 30 metres to go and realise that I’m not as fast running backwards as I think – turn around and sprint the final 30 metres – stop watch at 35:04 (4 seconds out – that’s a lot for me!!)

09:36 – General chit chat (thanks; see you next week; PB? etc.).  Search for a dropped finish token – later find out someone handed it in.  Someone passes me a fitbit that they’ve found near the start – hand to Nic.  Check how the funnel is going – a few little mishaps, but nothing alarming.  Check the numbers – not a record on the cards, but looks like our 3rd highest turnout ever – great stuff.

09:58 – Shout and holler as tail walkers finish preceded by parkrunner on her second ever run (last week and this) – a PB by over a minute – well done Sarah!

10:10 – Bev and I have a stroll with Claire to let her know a bit more of the duties of an RD and what do expect as the induction training takes place – ensuring she knows she is fully supported by the whole of the core team.

10:30 – Café time – Mrs P is busy helping to sort the tokens – but somehow hasn’t ordered the tea, gluten free toast (and my well-deserved bacon and egg bap) – something about that being my job!  Nic and Kenny are all over the results, although scanners and timers don't seem to be connecting too well – normal IT advice – reboot!

10:58 – Servers are slow (blame all the South African runners clogging up the wires) and adding unscannable barcodes manually is taking forever – First draft of results uploaded with Nic and Kenny taking kit home where they persevere to ensure everyone’s results are added by 12:00 – thanks guys.

11:15 – Set off (now raining) for another lap to complete the ‘bin audit’ – to see how many plastic bottles have been discarded since the start of today’s parkrun – analyse photos later at home – the answer? – None! (5 cardboard takeaway coffee mugs, but no plastic bottles).  Thank you all for caring about your surroundings and our lovely Welland Park.

11:23 – Text arrives:  “Roger, your time in position 319 today at Market Harborough parkrun was 35:04. Well done, you were awesome – particularly liked your backwards running – thanks also for volunteering – everyone thinks you are wonderful”

11:30 – Farewell to Roy and the café team - time to leave for nice warm shower and write up this report later in the afternoon!

11:40 – Non-parkrun life.

18:20 – Finish run report – wonder if anyone will read this far!  Thanks if you have.  If you’ve enjoyed it; not enjoyed it; think you can do better or whatever, please drop us a note by email or on Fb and ask to volunteer one week as the Run Report Writer – it will be lovely to read the accounts of other parkrunners and volunteers.


Finally some stats:

Congrats to:

David Staff – first finisher today:  18:33

Sarah Fraser – first female finisher today:  22:07

Bernadette Owen - highest age grade performance today:  84.59%

All 372 of you who ran, jogged and walked the course of whom:

32 were first timers

57 recorded PBs

And of course, the 31 volunteers that made today’s event possible.


Roger Pangbourne

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