Mass Migration to Marple

This week's Run Report is brought to you by Ben Smithers. If you would like to write a run report please let us know at

This weekend saw multiple parkruns cancelled across the UK as snow and ice brought chaos to many a parkrunner's Saturday morning routine. Luckily we have teams of volunteers dedicated enough to rise from their beds in sub zero temperatures so to all those wonderful people a HUGE thank you for sacrificing your potential lie-in and making sure we all stayed safe.

Marple was no different as James Kemp and the team were out at the crack of dawn
assessing the course to be sure that we were good to be bounding through the snow on
a crisp February morning. I actually visited two parkruns on Saturday as I dropped my
girlfriend at Cheadle Hulme (a parkrun she hadn’t done) and I continued on to join you
lovely lot at Marple! Just to clarify we didn’t do this because we don’t like running
together, or were sick of looking at each other after an hour in the car, but rather to add
to our list of North West parkruns completed and move one step closer to Regionnaire
For the uninitiated a regionnaire is someone who has completed all the parkruns in a
particular region. For me this was 50/63 on the North West Region (and also my 10th
Run Report :-) )

On arrival I had my doubts as to my wisdom in leaving the house that morning. My word
it was cold! I took my time getting from the car park down to the start (I am an utter
wuss when it comes to ice and/or downhills!) and having successfully arrived at the start
line was greeted by our Run Director for the day, John Bailey. As I assumed there was expected to be deluge of tourists at Marple and in that regard there was certainly no disappointment.

A total of 20 people (including myself) were travelling from elsewhere to Marple to make
they got their fix of parkrun for the first week in February with two people braving the
freezing conditions to complete their first parkrun. A MASSIVE WELL DONE TO YOU

After babbling on about my own achievements (both on Saturday morning and as I write
this report) it is important that I mention the epic achievements of some of you. In
particular we had Andrew Bridson completing his 100th parkrun and earning the iconic
black t-shirt on a day that would have kept most people at home! Strangely we had also
both been at Macclesfield the week before! Just goes to prove that no matter where you
go in the parkrun world you’re almost guaranteed to see a familiar face. Heck even if
you don’t see any familiar faces you’re still bound to see some friendly ones and Marple
certainly had these in spades!
On that note, while not an official milestone James Kemp was also at Marple completing
his 400th run. THAT'S NEARLY 8 YEARS WORTH OF PARKRUN! James we salute
you! Only another two years to the big 500!!!

Before getting going we had a first timers brief with one such friendly gentleman who informed us we would be completing two laps of the beautiful snow covered park which would involve a good combination of grass, tarmac and trail.

Having been briefed on the course it was our Run Director's turn to deliver the
full run brief and there was one key message to take away. This was NOT a day for
PBs! This was a day to get round and just enjoy being out and about. Also of course we
had to thank our wonderful volunteers before setting off (though trust me they deserved
every thank you they got on the two laps of the park!)

Starting out across the field toward one we headed along parallel with Marple's very
own parkrun tree and down a slight incline . Carrying on along the grass we started to
head around the field underneath taking in the beautiful whited out scenery before
spotting our first hi-viz hero who sent us off along a slightly trailish path toward the
centre of the field and toward another amazing marshal who turned us back onto the
field and some slightly more sure-footing on the grass. We then headed over a bridge
and out onto the second field of parkrun. I almost couldn’t believe we were only at the
1k mark so clearly I had been spending too much time admiring the beauty of Marple!


Soon we took another turn and were turning alongside the river complete with cordons to avoid anyone taking an early bath during parkrun. Of course the marshals were also there to cheer us on and get us round the hairpin which was to come! (I discovered later that this was actually something to do with lock keeping! Let it not be said that parkrun is not stimulating for both body and mind!)

A little bit further along and having gone over a slight up and down which certainly felt
runnable with the momentum we had built despite the slippery conditions and after a
little bit more trail we could see the finish line not far away! Waiting there were the
Marple parkrun funnel team still clapping and cheering everyone like the true legends they are.
Honestly to stand around while watching other people keep warm in potentially sub zero
temperatures is a truly LEGENDARY undertaking.
After a quick wave hello we set off to do it all again before heading back to these
freezing heroes to finish. I normally try and aim at 25 minutes but having taken the Run
Director's advice and to avoid a broken leg I finished with 26:19 and a definite smile on
my face. Also finishing with smiles on their faces will have been the phenomenal 16
parkrunners who managed to achieve PBs on this frozen February morning! JUST

However, every single person completing Marple this week should have been doing so
with a smile. We are so lucky to be able to run in beautiful places just like yours even
when Mother nature does her best to disrupt our usual Saturday morning routine!
Thanks again for having me guys and I will hopefully see you all again soon.

Ben Smithers


Lumps and Bumps

Big thanks, as ever to our fabulous volunteers for making Marple parkrun happen again, including Geoff Thorpe for the Run Report. Wondering about having a go? Come and have a chat one day, no pressure but we would love to see you in Yellow.

Lumps and Bumps - 5th Jan 2019

After a horde of New Year's Day Doublers had helped Marple to a record shattering 455 parkrunners, enabled by 22 volunteers, today's attendance was bound to be more modest. Even so a gratifying turnout of 222 runners and 21 priceless volunteers met up at Brabyn's Park, despite what the Met Office describe as "Anticyclonic Gloom", and what the rest of us describe as "Murky, but at least it's not raining!"

Thirty participants were lining up at Marple for the first time, including the 16 of these making their parkrun debut (especially 4 members of the Charlesworth family, so a special shout-out to them). Visitors were welcomed from Wythenshawe, Warrington, Preston, Cuerden Valley, Newcastle, Bramhall, Stretford and Bolton. Twenty three different clubs were represented in today's field.

Congratulations go to Steve McCombe and Alan Stevenson, both starting their 250th parkrun, and very special congratulations to Edith Rose on her 100th (in addition to her 41 junior parkruns) at the age of just 10!

In what may be the clearest evidence yet of Climate Change the infamous Marple Mud still hasn't made any meaningful appearance; one visitor actually expressed disappointment at missing out on this widely reported experience (and therapeutic properties)! However, we were able to provide a worthy replacement "feature".

Welcome to the Marple Molehills! Hundreds of them, spread throughout the first half of each lap, ready to trip up the carelessly placed foot or turn the unprepared ankle.

Thankfully, the title of this report refers to the underfoot conditions and not the participants. No significant mishaps were reported as a result of these (or any other) hazards, and all starters completed the course safely, registering 19 new PBs in the process.

Some rain is forecast for the next few days so the much missed mud may make its delayed reappearance by Saturday morning. Whether that will deter the moles ... ??

Hint from one who knows- the further back you are in the field, the more molehills will have been flattened by the time you get there!


Additional.....we do love our volunteers, and it's mainly through the Friends of Brabyns Park that the park stays as beautiful and clean as it does - they need help too.....If your resolutions involve turning over a new leaf, there are plenty in the park needing attention, so why not come along and join the monthly activity days, every 3rd Saturday morning, 10am till noon. Just a couple of hours a month can make a difference to the park, as well as boosting your fresh air intake and promoting the feelgood factor of doing something environmentally friendly. Family and friends welcome, under-16s require an accompanying adult.

Diary date - next activity day is Sat Jan 19.
Hope to see you there.


Welcome to 2019

First, foremost and most importantly, I want to say a massive THANK YOU to all of the people who have volunteered and helped make Marple parkrun what it is. We cannot put the event on without your support and, every week, come sun/rain/snow/mud/heat/cold – whatever the weather, you come forward and help make this happen.
Simply put, you are fantastic, THANK YOU.

If you’ve not tried this parkrun volunteering lark before and are still looking for a New Year resolution, then sign up for the emails through your profile and come and play. It’s fun.

So, 2019, the one where Matt RDd a record breaking parkrun at Marple......
Now, we knew that we’d get a few extra participants today, our previous top 4 attendances have been on NYD, but you came out in force – 455 lovely parkrunners supported by 22 volunteers – and smashed it. Almost 20% increase (always rounding up before you get all purist on me) from 382 last year and many doing a double with either Glossop or Lyme.
Personal records, goals and milestones were achieved (just making it out of bed amongst them!!) with 9 new parkrunners – first time anywhere; another 124 visiting Marple for the first time – including more than 12 from Red Rose Road Runners, Preston; 42 Marple personal best times; Tracy Gregory and Ben Bradley reaching 100 runs; Emily Bamford and Chris Yates reaching 50 runs with Emily also achieving her 25th Volunteering stint!

With a full complement of brilliant volunteers, the whole event ran smoothly and the back up stickers and printed barcodes got brought into play for the final 8 finishers. All of our volunteers are outstanding (often out standing in a field) and all of our fabulous DoE volunteers are given the opportunity to RD…..they’ve been amazing in the role - but the DoE - RD – NYD convergence is new!

Matthew Howling, you did a fantastic job, be proud.

Have a healthy, happy 2019 everyone, keep chasing those dreams.
See you next week and DFYB.
G xx


New Year’s Day – travel and Parking

New Year's Day at Marple parkrun - 10.30 start.
We have enough fabulous volunteers to go ahead (although more are always welcome).
If you can, please think about walking or cycling to the event and, if coming from another local parkrun, please take care and stay within speed limits.......!!
PARKING - please remember that there are limited spaces in Brabyns carparks but PLEASE park safely and only in proper spaces NOT on the verges and roads in the park.
There are free carparks across the road (next to the Midland), at the Station, next to the Purple Pakora and then also in roads both in Marple and in Marple Bridge.
We won't be rushing the RD briefing so please don't panic - travel safe, run/jog/walk safe.


Christmas Day results – Delayed

Please be patient - Christmas Glitch.....
So while most of the elves were out with Santa the Gremlins seem to have got into our tech - broken timer, stubborn PC and technically inept RD - we will sort the results out, but it will be sometime tomorrow. Thanks in advance for your patience.
Oh, and Merry Christmas xxG


Run report #347

Thanks to Matt Howling for this week's run report. That was also Matt doing some of the run briefing this morning in the lead up to taking on the RD role as part of his DofE - well done

Today's run was full of festive cheer as many runners dressed up to match the season. There were elves, Santa Clauses, Reindeer, and a Christmas tree with bright flashing lights. We also had a Marple Runners mascot turn up, although we suspect Dennis the Menace of some foul play towards the finish funnel.
The ground was very slippy, however the “bogs of doom” are still passable. We had 153 people brave the mud, 9 of whom were first timers (had no idea what was coming) and 4 of whom set personal bests. 14 different clubs from far and wide were represented, all thriving in the Manchester climate.

Marple is fast heading towards 6000 total participants, who have covered a whopping total of 265,490 kilometres. That’s over 6 times around the world! The volunteer count is also approaching a big 6 as it approaches 600. Todays 19 volunteers were;
Brian PLATT • Catherine TOMBS • Peter OGLEY • Maria RUSHTON • Harry DUTSON • David JOHN • Gina HITCHEN • Steve MCCOMBE • Angela MOORE • Patricia RAINSBURY • Rebecca COX • Sandy BUTCHER • Sue THORPE • Geoff THORPE • Matthew HOWLING • Richard HEMINGWAY • Shirley SKINNER • Tony PRATT • Michelle PRATT

The Long term course records remain the same with the male record held by Andi JONES who recorded a time of 15:29 on 12th July 2014 (event number 110).The female record is held by Elizabeth APSLEY who recorded a time of 18:41 on 8th April 2017 (event number 256).The Age Grade course record is held by Angela OLDHAM who recorded 93.21% (22:05) on 26th May 2018 (event number 317).

To finish off the festive cheer, chocolates were handed out at the end of the run, with many claiming they were for their “children”. Today's fancy dress led to a very festive mood in the build up to Christmas, boosting morale and times. We will have to wait and see how people feel on the Christmas day parkrun which starts at 9:30. I should expect the season cheer to have a positive correlation on both times and the turn out (providing not too many people get too merry!).

Matt Howling.

From your Christmas RD....if there are any more Festive volunteers please contact us at


Marple parkrun #346

Huge thanks to Geoff Thorpe for our run report this week, and echoing his comment, massive thanks to the Volunteers today. If you fancy being a hi-vis Festive hero then please get in touch.

First Blast of Winter - 15/12/2018

Well, the thermometer may have been reporting a bracing 1˚C at 9 am., but the wind-chill of a brisk and biting south-easterly blowing across Brabyn's Park created a "feels like" factor several degrees colder. Menacing bobble-hats were notably well represented!

Add in a forecast of near Arctic conditions due to arrive not much later in the day, and it's perhaps unsurprising that numbers were lower than average, but even so a respectable 129 parkrunners made it to the start line. Some were still wearing shorts!!

Five of the hardy souls were making their first visit to Marple, including visitors from distant Derby and not-quite-so-distant Bramhall, and a special mention must go to one (Adam) making his very first parkrun!

By the flag we milled around, jumped up and down, flapped our arms etc. in an effort to keep warm during Jeremy's (thoughtfully brief) welcome before he sent us on our way.

The wind behind us wasn't quite so chilling, and had doubtless contributed to the, as yet, non-return of the notorious Marple mud. This meant that on the initial stretch we were able to focus our concentration on avoiding the frozen molehills!

Turning back into the teeth of it was a different matter of course, but the segment to "The Bench" isn't too long and then we could turn away again.

Thankfully almost all the other upwind parts of the course had shelter from the trees, and after passing the "River Drop" (special shout-out to Marshal Jenny whose encouragements, exhortations and warnings to "Watch out for icy patches!" could clearly be heard from the other side of the meadow!) the temperature actually seemed to rise a few degrees through the woodland. I even dared to shed my third layer at the halfway point and I don't think I was the only one. That fence looked more festooned than usual to me!

In addition to our five First-Timers, eleven Marple parkrunners registered new PBs today (including both our first man and first woman home), and congratulations to all of them, but congratulations also to all who participated, especially today's squad of volunteers. You must have been much colder standing around waiting for us than we were running, and, as always, we couldn't have done it without you!




Marple will be hosting a parkrun on Tuesday 1st January 2019, starting at 10.30am.




Marple will be hosting a parkrun on December 25th 2018, starting at 9.30am.



New RD for Marple parkrun

We are very pleased to announce that we have a new Run Director joining the team at Marple parkrun.
Many of you may know John Bailey as a parkrunner, a parkrun volunteer, a Marple Runner / Membership Secretary and for his delicious work as “King of Cakes”.
Please join us in wishing John well in his new role, we are confident he’ll make a great Run Director.

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