This week there were 452 runners out enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. There was a bit of a photography competition going on before the run with Sweatshop Running Community on one side of the path taking photos for the SRC Beginners group and on the other side of the path was the Redway Runners. They were celebrating their last parkrun as David Lloyd Redway Runners before the club officially changes their name to simply Redway Runners as of the 1st November. It was highly amusing watching people getting a photo in one group then quickly crossing the path to be in the other photo too!
36 runners were first timers including Rachel GAINES and Jon WELLS from the SRC beginners group. Welcome to you all whether first timers at parkrun or parkrun tourists from other runs. Let us know how you got on at MK.
87 recorded new Personal Bests including both our first placed males Neil GUNSTONE and Paul BARNES. Special mention to Ed NORRIS for getting a pb on your 50th run, oh and pipping me on the line too! Glad I could help with the pb!
Representatives of 24 different athletics clubs took part including some new ones such as Aycliffe Running Club, Blackhill Bounders, York Postal Harriers and Women Running at E14. If any of you want to send us a piece about your club then email it in.
We had some major T shirt milestones met this morning from our runners as follows:
Sam DOWNTON 50
Ed NORRIS 50
Helen HOWARD 100
Roy TAYLOR 100
Mervyn PHILLIPS 100
David STRIDE 100
And although not a T shirt milestone we also had Hazel COCKERILL hit 200!
Congratulations to you all and look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes.
A huge thanks to the volunteers as always without whom we would have had to cancel the run this morning:
Christine BRIDGER, Jim BUTTLEMAN, Stewart CAMPBELL, Angela Sarah COX, Amy FARNFIELD, Diane GILBERT, Claire GOODWIN, Martin JANES, Maree Blossom JESSON, Donna LAW, Owain LINFORD, Michael LOVETT, Julie LOXLEY, Julie MARTIN, David ROSE, Fiona SIEQUIEN, Stuart SINCLAIR, Jean-Paul SRIVALSAN, Harriet Elizabeth STYMAN, Stella-Maria THOMAS, Simon WHELAN, Ann WILLIAMS
Loads of spaces available over the coming weeks so just email in with the position you can fill.
We have a story from Roy Taylor who has now managed to rack up 100 runs:
I first took part in parkrun in 2011 when I started looking round for other people to run with. I had been running for many years almost always on my own to keep fit. parkrun in Milton Keynes was one of the first events I found and had the bonus of being free and every week. I was impressed with the friendly atmosphere and welcoming you got from everyone involved. Instantly I was hooked and since then I have run it as often as I could. Even so it feels like it has taken an age to reach this milestone of 100 runs with work and ‘normal’ life getting in the way.
parkrun has inspired me to join a local running club and take part in other organised runs, including several half marathons. I have even ventured out to other parkruns seeking out the nearest parkrun when I’m away from Milton Keynes. I have managed to recruit new members to this club and am regularly joined by my sister and occasionally my nephew, both of whom joined me for my hundredth run this Saturday. Afterwards we joined the hordes of other runners in the cafe and discuss how well (or not) we done that week as well as catching up.
I enjoy parkrun for its social side and the challenge of beating my PB. I can see myself keeping on running in this very social and rewarding event. I thoroughly recommend that anyone who runs joins their local event, meets other runners and push themselves to beat their own PB. I will be back next week and every other Saturday I can to run, and I must volunteer more!
Well done Roy - next T shirt is 250!
This week we have a story from one of my running heroines - none other than Jennifer Sangster. Jen has now completed 80 parkruns all at either MK or Cardiff. This is her story:
I ran my first parkrun in March 2010 at the 8th Milton Keynes event and from the start I loved it! I was in training for the 2010 London Marathon the following month, and this was what I needed to focus me on running with other runners. What an atmosphere! And so family friendly too.
I had only started running the previous summer, having never run on a regular basis before, but supporting my husband Andy’s first marathon in London in 2009, I was absolutely blown away by the atmosphere. So, I set myself the challenge of joining Andy in 2010 to run both the London marathon and Edinburgh marathon within a month of each other to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
And this was when I became hooked! I completed both marathon’s in 3 hours 53 minutes and couldn’t get enough of the natural adrenaline rush that taking part in a running event for charity gave me. However, within a few weeks of completing the Edinburgh marathon, I fell pregnant with my second son and so had to put those amazing feelings on hold for a while.
About 3 months after Luke was born, my husband bought me a running buggy, and I decided to join a running club so I could start training again during the day while I was on maternity leave. A friend mentioned David Lloyd Redway Runners so I emailed Martin and popped along one morning for run around Campbell Park. I will never forget those first few runs…trying to push the buggy up the hills of MK (including Beacon Hill…the grass side). No wonder I grew so strong. The following month I started back at parkrun on a regular basis, put a race training plan in place for the following year and have never looked back.
To date I have run numerous half marathons (with a PB of 1:33), 8 marathon’s (with a PB of 3:27) and 4 Ultra marathons. On 28th September this year, I completed my biggest challenge to date when I ran the Monster Ultra in Ely and came second lady. I ran 50 miles that day and am still on a high! Next up is the Snowdonia Marathon on Saturday 25th October…one of the hardest but most picturesque marathons in the UK and then next year I will attempt my first 100km race – Race to the Stones.
But first I need to beat my Milton Keynes parkrun PB from September 2012…20.47 ….you are going to fall soon!!!
Running has become my life, my relaxation, my therapy even and I can’t thank my amazing husband enough for introducing me to this wonderful experience. Joining both the Redway Runners and parkrun are THE best decision I have ever made! The friendships I have built there, joining the club each week for training sessions and doing parkrun on a Saturday morning are the absolute highlights of my week and have made me the runner I am today.
Thank you so much to all the people who give up their time to volunteer at parkrun; it really is an incredibly special community that means so much to so many people.
Awesome report Jen and thanks for the photo. (Jen is on the right hand side at the recent Monster Ultra in Ely)
We have some input this week from Darren O’Leary who won the Sweatshop monthly prize back in August:
Back in 2006 aged late 30's I said yes to joining in the lunchtime office run. The first mile was a rude awakening. 20 years in an office had killed what little athletic ability I once had. I also tried the office five-a-side. The match report read "...has obviously played a bit but is as fit as Homer Simpson". I vowed to get fitter but it was always hit and miss and lacked any routine. I'm sure many readers would agree that fitness by yourself is almost doomed to failure.
A positive change for me came in the shape of parkrun. I can't remember how I discovered it's existence but I'm really glad I did. My parkrun experience has transformed my approach to exercise not only physically but mentally too. I have gone from showing up every month or so to excitedly looking forward to Saturday morning, usually from Thursday. As my enthusiasm grew so did the participation of those around me. My daughter joined in ( over 50 runs now) and I have the challenge and joy of trying to stay ahead whilst knowing that will soon end. I have friends that I had only know through golf become active parkrunners.
The common thread for me, my daughter and my friends is the welcoming atmosphere of parkrun. All ages and abilities take part and everyone is supported and nobody feels out of place. Whether it is your first time or you’re wearing the 100 tee-shirt the only thing that matters is that you are there. That is a remarkable achievement in one place. To replicate that all over the country with a team of volunteers. Wow! Thanks to you all.
Great report - cheers Darren.
We have report from loads of our volunteers too. First up is David Rose who was one of our barcode scanners today:
I took up regular running just over a year ago and haven't looked back! It's a sport you can do at your own pace and there's always a run where you can meet like-minded people and share the highs and lows of getting, or just missing out on, your PB. I've only been able to do regular parkruns since September but enjoy the buzz of being part of a big event and having a cup of coffee afterwards with friends afterwards. This is my first time volunteering and I put my name forward as I realise that the event cannot happen without people giving something back. There must be about 400+ runners every week. If we all volunteer 2 or 3 times a year then MK parkruns will continue to be a great experience for everyone.
Nice one, cheers David.
We had Ann Williams email in with this story.Ann was one of our tail runners today:
I started running in January 2013 and quickly discovered parkrun. It's brilliant, all inclusive and free. Anyone really can do it. Everyone is so jolly early on saturday mornings and the volunteers ensure we all have a good run. This week I've chosen to volunteer as tail runner. My favourite role so far is marshalling as I love encouraging the runners along however fast or slow.
I decided to volunteer this week as I am running in the Great South Run on sunday and wanted to save my energy for that. I run for my fitness and enjoyment. On Sunday I shall be running for ICU Steps (www.icusteps.org) a charity set up by ex-patients, their relatives and staff from our local hospital. The charity supports patients and their families through critical illness, a life changing experience. It also provides educational material for doctors and nurses, and information booklets for patients and their families whilst in hospital. This small charity has had a huge impact on the follow up care patients receive once they leave hospital. If anyone would like to support my run and charity please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AnnWilliams6.
Thanks Ann and good luck with it tomorrow.
Next up is Diane Gilbert who was one of our Marshalls:
I joined Redway Runners a year ago, graduating from beginner's with my first parkrun in January. I've run parkrun a total of 13 times and although I'm pleased to have PBd 3 times, my highlights have been helping to organise 'green', paced and family parkruns as well as buddying. Biggest highlight of all though was running with my 4 year old daughter, Rachel, on the family parkrun in August- she loved the atmosphere and support, though I'm sure jelly babies were a great incentive!
Biggest personal running achievement to date has to be at Northampton 10k last month - PB and second lady as well as Redway Runners first team! Unfortunately I got injured around this time hence lots of volunteering and helping out with the club for now - and parkrun volunteer for the first time today (my name is also down twice more for this month!) Time to give something back.
Brilliant, cheers Angela and thanks for volunteering whilst injured. What better way to keep involved whilst you can’t run.
Next is Angela Cox who was also one of our marshalls:
My name is Angela Cox and I volunteered at parkrun today. I started running regularly last year after my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer in April. I found running therapeutic and helped me cope with the situation. I started Parkrun to help enable me to get fit to run Race For Life. I really enjoyed it and decided to continue. On August 23rd this year I completed my 50th parkrun, all at Milton Keynes,5 weeks before I was 50!! It’s fantastic if you get a PB, but just having run 5K every Saturday gives you a real sense of achievement and a social at the same time. I try to do parkrun every week and often get joined by my 3 daughters who now also enjoy running !!! (Jessica has a place in next years London Marathon)
Volunteering enables you to give something back to this wonderful "free event", helps you to encourage others and meet the people that make parkrun unique and special.
Great work - cheers Angela.
We also have input from Julie Loxley who provided finish token support today:
My first experience of running parkrun was back in September 2012. To date I have run 69 parkruns at Milton Keynes and 2 others. After having 2 operations this summer I am now working hard at my recovery so I can get back to running, which I miss tremendously. Although I am unable to run at the moment I get great pleasure from volunteering. I have gained a lot of friends through this and love to cheer them on each week. Its great fun and there is always the added bonus of coffee and cake to look forward to. If you haven’t volunteered yet just do it and you will find out how enjoyable it is and the more friends you make will make the experience much more fun.
Thanks Julie for keeping involved with parkrun whilst injured. Hope to see you running again soon!
Our final volunteer report is from Hannah Linford and her husband Owain who was marshalling at the far end of Willen lake today:
I did my first parkrun in August 2013 when I graduated from a Redway Runners beginners course and genuinely thought it would be my only one.
A year and a bit later I am still coming back to this wonderful friendly event to run and have cake at the end with all my running buddies from the club.
parkrun has now become a family event each weekend as I run with my 7 year old son Theo (who is getting way speedier than me!) and can often be seen pushing a buggy containing my 2 year old son Rowan who has learned the art of 'encouragement' from the legend Shouty Paul... 'Run Faster' being his favourite!
Today my husband volunteered for the first time too. He had a great time cheering everyone on and, as he spectates from time to time anyway, he enjoyed helping out to support such a great event! He hadn't realised that you could volunteer if you weren't a runner but now he knows he will do it more often so Theo and I can keep running towards our milestone T-Shirts - yey!! Thanks Milton Keynes parkrun team!!
Cheers Hannah and Owain.
We have our regular report from our roving reporter Pippa Downton who I had great pleasure in shouting at today on the final stretch as she was taking it far too easily!
Today I interviewed David (two cakes) Stride (a most excellent name for a runner and I am sure I have already interviewed another Stride (Vanessa) in the past). Here's what David had to say about reaching his 100th parkrun today.
At long last my 100th parkrun has arrived and decided to do it a little different.
Instead of buying/making cakes i made a donation to Harrys Rainbow Charitable Trust.
I invited Oddete Mould, the co founder of the charity, to join me for her first PR.
Harrys Rainbow was set up after Oddete and Lee Mould tragically lost their twin son at the age of five leaving their daughter without any support.This is a local charity which now supports bereaved children and adults and is the only charity in MK to do this.Its also Redway Runners current charity of the year.
Its a charity close to my heart after me and my twin sister lost our mother at the age of 6, we also had no support and my sister has never got over the loss.
For more info and to make a donation check out the website atwww.harrysrainbow.co.uk
Well it was a perfect morning for the run, the sun was shining and not too cold. Well done Oddete on completing your first parkrun in under 31 mins. Both Vanessa and I enjoyed running with you.
Now for some questions:-
Why do you do parkrun?
I do parkrun because its good for my training for other runs.
What is your best running weather?
I like it cold and sunny like today.
What is your favourite part of the course?
I like the back of the lake because you can see the finish.
Have you ever been a parkrun tourist?
Yes. I have been to Bushy park, Buckingham, Richmond park and Cheltenham.
If you could be any animal around parkrun, what would you be?
I would be a dog but I don’t know what breed.
Who is your running hero?
Vanessa (my wife) because she was the person who got me into running.
Whats your favourite volunteering role?
I like being photographer because you can go anywhere on the course and if its raining you can go under the trees!
Thank you for letting me interview you David. Well done on reaching your 100th, to all runners today and my mum (Sam) who reached her 50th Parkrun and bought cakes. As it was David's 100th he was allowed two. I am on half term hols next week so see you all in two. Pip X
Great work David and Pippa. Thanks for sending that in and well done Sam on reaching 50 (runs!).
Finally, you may remember a few weeks ago we had a young Elestren Bradbeer doing a survey at parkrun for a school project. She was stationed with her mum at the final corner counting various categories of runner broken down into the following:
- David Lloyd Redway Runners (I presume based on the Green T shirts rather than asking them!)
- Runners with a Buggy
- Runners with a Dog
- Wearing the parkrun Junior T shirt
- Wearing the 50 T shirt
- Wearing the 100 T shirt
Well after some pretty serious analysis and computation, we have the results as follows:
Excellent work Elestren, hope you enjoyed it and we look forward to your next project.
Now I am no statistician but I would suggest 80% of all statistics quoted to prove a point are made up on the spot, unlike this next lot of facts and figures:
- Neil GUNSTONE (VM35-39) of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, was first over the line in 18:12 - first time in 3 appearances.
- Paul BARNES (VM35-39) of Redway Runners, was second over the line in 18:42.
- An unknown runner was third.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
- Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 7152 pts.
- Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 6488 pts.
- Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 6144 pts.
- Sarah LAMBERT (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was first (51st overall) over the line in 21:56 - third time in 35 appearances.
- Sinead BRADBEER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was second (59th overall) over the line in 22:15.
- Debra BRENT (VW50-54) (Unattached) was third (64th overall) over the line in 22:24 - was first to finish once before.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
- Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7224 pts.
- Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 6001 pts.
- Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 5805 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
- Mervyn PHILLIPS (VM55-59) was graded 77.04% for the time 20:28 (26th overall).
- Mark KLEANTHOUS (VM50-54) was graded 75.96% for the time 19:54 (12th overall).
- Debra BRENT (VW50-54) was graded 75.74% for the time 22:24 (64th overall).
Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,742 different runners, including participants from 391 athletics clubs, have completed 65,003 runs covering a total distance of 325,015 km, and there have been 13,620 new Personal Bests.
The women's record is held by Emily TALLEN who ran in a time of 00:17:04 on 2011-10-29 (event number 94).
The men's record is held by Ian KIMPTON who ran in a time of 00:15:01 on 2013-07-27 (event number 182).
The Age Grade course record is held by Shirley Rose GIBSON who recorded a 89.38% run (23:23) on 20th October 2012 (event number 145).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Milton Keynes parkrun Results Page.