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.



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.


The one where Brian completed another run………………

History made, where were you when the Legend, Brian Platt, became the latest member of the parkrun 500 club?
After starting running at the age of 70 Brian found parkrun at Bramhall in 2008. This sparked a desire to complete all UK parkruns – when there were 123!! Since then parkrun has grown rapidly and, with almost 550 events in the UK, completing all might take a while, so Brian has settled on runs closer to home. Today Brian Platt completed his 500th parkrun at Marple and becomes only the 24th person to join the exalted 500 club.
It’s an amazing and phenomenal achievement, but Brian’s contribution goes well beyond the running statistics (28 different parkruns, highest finish in position 12 at Oldham, fastest time 28 min and 13 seconds) to his volunteering activity.
Brian, who is also a regular contributor to the fantastic work of the Friends of Brabyns Park, has volunteered on 325 different occasions and has set out our Marple parkrun course 300 times – of 327 events over 6 years - and is a regular Tail walker.
Basically, without him we’d all be lost – quite literally.
Brian, you are a parkrun junkie, a parkrun advocate, a hero and a legend.
Here’s looking forward to your 1000th run


The one where Felix ran the show

Following a fantastic finale to his volunteering at Marple parkrun as part of his bronze DofE I'd like to thank Felix for also writing this week's run report. We're looking forward to congratulating him on completing the full award after his expedition in the summer. So well done Felix.....Thank you.

I am Felix and this week was the last week of my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh course which includes volunteering for a least an hour a week for three months.

To finish it off I got to run direct. Throughout the past thirteen weeks I have done every role on the volunteer roster. This consists of: marshalling, timekeeping, barcode scanning, funnel managing, giving out the tokens, tail walking and finally run directing.

For those of you who don’t know, run directing includes preparing the volunteer roster, prepping the team for the run, delivering the run briefing and processing the results.

I thoroughly enjoyed it all but standing in front of all of those people and delivering the briefing was very nerve-racking.

On the day the weather was pretty miserable, with cold, sleety rain, which led to a very muddy and slippery course but it looked like a lot of fun. Still, the first finisher completed the gruelling course in an impressive 20:33 out of a field of 106 determined runners.

As always I would like to thank all of the volunteers who make the event possible: thanks to Gina for helping me and thank you to James Ignotus and Brian Platt for setting out the course. Also thanks to the marshals: Sam Lavender, Marion Lester, Pandora Lougheed, Charlotte Rose and Robert Turnbull. The funnel duties were completed by Ian Bowker and Chris Carre on timekeeping, James Ignotus and Patricia Rainsburry on the scanners and Simon Rushton giving out the tokens.

I would like to thank everyone who supported me this week and everyone who congratulated me afterwards.

Just a reminder, please keep to the left of the path in the meadow because it has really become an issue. If you would like to volunteer in the future contact us at and inform us as what role you would like to do.
Felix Kemp

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