This week there were 368 runners at the 250th Milton Keynes parkrun! After a quick rain shower at the start line and a quite random count down from 12 from Martin Lawrence we were away.
There were 23 first timers including some high run tourists such as Helen GOLDTHORPE on 104 runs and Tabatha SIMS on 177 runs. Welcome to you all whether a parkrun tourist or trying parkrun for the first time. Do keep coming back and let us know how you got on.
We had 75 runners record new Personal Bests including Izzy Gardner knocking a massive 22 seconds off her previous pb. Here is Izzy looking quite proud after her run:
I was lucky enough to catch Emma Wheatcroft - the first female home today - and request a few words for the report:
I am absolutely delighted to be the 1st lady back this morning as it had been a goal of mine for a while now and I wasn't sure whether it would ever happen!
I first got into running back in 2013 when I set myself the challenge of running the London Marathon. Since then I have caught the running bug which led me to join the Shenley Striders. This has been a huge help with training for various races, mainly due to the encouragement and support from the other runners within my team.
Recently, I have begun attending parkruns more frequently and I had forgotten just how enjoyable they are. They are extremely well organised, fun and there is a lot of encouragement from marshals around the course... which indeed did help me today, So thank you!
parkruns are a fantastic way to gage your fitness level. There are many participants of mixed abilities with different goals. It’s ‘race type’ feel motivates you to push yourself every week. I can’t recommend them enough.
Love it, well done Emma.
Representatives of 24 different athletics clubs took part including some I have not seen before in Kirkstall Harriers, Pembrokeshire Harriers AAC, Quantock Harriers and The Triathlon Shop - Bristol. Welcome to you all and if any of the running clubs want to send me something in about their clubs for the report then just get in touch.
If any of our parkrunners are on Strava then be aware we have set up a Strava MK parkrun club: http://www.strava.com/clubs/mk-parkrun
This page will help you to share your training with other Milton Keynes parkrunners, hopefully get some helpful tips and provide some additional camaraderie between our parkrunners. To make sure I remain impartial, other running related websites are available such as Fetch!
Thanks to all of those that donated to the Foodbank collection today. We have this from Jennifer Sangster who helped to organise today’s collection:
This week I had the pleasure to attend a volunteering session at the Foodbank in Milton Keynes. One of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. Over a number of weeks my work colleagues and I at Santander had collected donations from around the building and we wanted to take these with us and see how Foodbank organised and issued these donations.
We started the day at the Christian Centre in Oldbrook where John, one of only 3 paid staff who runs Foodbank, showed us the ropes for the 'food collection' session. The process was simple but very structured. It starting with handing out a number to each person entering the centre, guiding them to a seat with hot coffee and biscuits and just being there for them, chatting, supporting where we could! They were called up to a table where to hand in their voucher, given to them after an assessment of their situation by the council (and starting the process of supporting getting them back in their feet). We then bought them their food, enough food for 3 days for each adult or child. The basics, some cereal, tea, sugar, pasta, tinned items, soup and some biscuits. A lovely touch was for each child was a Christmas advent calendar kindly donated by both supermarkets and very generous thoughtful donations. Each person also got to choose a few items from the 'bonus table', things they may need like salt, toiletries, baby food, pasta sauces etc.
These food collection sessions are for those people who are desperate. They have no money left to buy food for themselves or their children and they can visit Foodbank up to 5 times a year. Speaking to and hearing these people's stories were shocking and heartbreaking! Any preconceptions I had were destroyed. From homeless people living in tents to single mums with their children by their sides, struggling to make ends meet and even professional business men and women, who had simply lost their jobs and suddenly found themselves in positions where they can no longer fund the basics in life! People who have to choose between heating the house or buying food for their family. Stories of mums who have designed recipes to help this 3 days worth of food last longer, not wasting anything, and then sharing these recipes with others. People who are simply embarrassed to be there. I'm going to have to stop here for a minute as I can't see through my tears!
We then visited the warehouse and learnt how the stock, fill up bags ready for these collections and really understand what a massive task this charity has. As well as the collection service I attended in the morning, there are hot food sessions in the evenings in the city centre and nightly subway sessions where volunteers hand out soup and left over Pret sandwiches donated by Pret a Manger each evening to feed people trying to simply survive daily life. I never realised how much Foodbank relies on volunteers and how many of these volunteers have been doing it for years and years.
Foodbank has really opened my eyes to how many normal people like you and I use this service and I will certainly be back to help where I can. The most amazing emergency food support network, run by the most amazing people, for some amazing people!
Great report Jen. Thanks for sending that in. Remember the Foodback collection will be at Milton Keynes parkrun again next weekend so please bring what you can.
Congratulations to those that achieved their parkrun milestones today as follows::
Milo DE GORTER and Bethan ATKINS both on 10 runs
Samantha BAKER and Robert MOON both on 50 runs
Andy WORTH and Steve WRIGHT both on 100 runs
Look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes. Remember the only way to get these T shirts is to turn up regularly, run and REMEMBER YOUR BARCODE!! No barcode, no result, no exceptions.
We have a very creative poem from Steve Wright who, as above, hit his 100th parkrun today:
Run one, 2011, 9 am, New Year’s Eve
At the start, a newbie lined up, called Steve
My mind was all anxious, I thought it was a race.
No that’s silly! You know, it’s not all about the pace.
Running in all weathers, through sun, rain or fog
Will today be a blast round or perhaps just a gentle jog?
The canal, up hills, over bridges and tough zig-zag
My lungs are all bursting, but there is no time to flag
So now, every Saturday morning I’m always to be seen
Running with my mates, who are all dressed in green
So often looking forward to hot tea and cake
Whilst battling strong winds at the back of Willen Lake
So at the end of my run as I pass that third mile
It might have really hurt but, I ran with a smile
Running all those straights, corners and bends
It’s now 100 parkruns, running with my friends
Cheers Steve and well done on hitting the big 100!
Huge thanks to our volunteers this week:
Amelia SANTERRE • Anthony SMITH • Carmel TAMBURRINO • Deborah BOTTOMLEY • Declan CONATY • Gina SHARP • Ian STEVENS • Jacqui MILLS • Jim BUTTLEMAN • Julie LOXLEY • Lucy RICHARDS • Malcolm KIDBY • Mark WILCOCK • Martin LAWRENCE • Niam HANI • Nigel David GALE • Paul CLIFFORD-JONES • Roger BLOFELD • Sara MURRAY • Sinead BRADBEER
See our volunteer page for details on getting involved in making Milton Keynes parkrun happen.
We are desperately short for volunteers over the next few weeks and will try out best not to cancel any runs but we can’t undertake the event with key roles being covered. Please email in with the position you can look after otherwise we have no choice but to cancel. This includes our Christmas Day special event. People had a great time last year but currently we only have a couple of people to help out. I am sure it will be great fun with lots of dressing up and festivities but we still need to have all the key volunteer roles covered.
This week we have a short report from one of our volunteers - Ian Stevens who was one of our excellent noisy marshalls this week:
In August this year I was thrilled to manage my 100th parkrun at our fantastic course in Milton Keynes – still my favourite. Now in my third year of running, parkrun has given me the confidence to diversify and try other distances.
I entered the Chiltern League Cross Country races this season. So far, we’ve had fixtures at Watford on 11th October and Keysoe in Bedfordshire, on 8th November. The next is at Luton on 6th December. Returning to cross country has reminded me why I enjoyed it so much at school. It has something to do with being close to natural surroundings which stimulates the senses: I’m always listening out for birds or spotting squirrels on the way round! I also enjoy being part of a team again, no more so than at Keysoe, when the heavens opened during the race. Afterwards, we all huddled in the leaking tent, soaking wet, muddy and freezing – but happy!
Recently, I’ve enjoyed other events: the Squeaky Bone Relay in Clifton Reynes; the Dirt Half in Leighton Buzzard and, on 29th November, the Wolverton 5 Mile Race.
Parkrun gave me the opportunity and encouragement to start running again in October 2011. By April 2012, my PB had dropped to 25.20. Privately, I thought someone had mixed up the tags or the watch was wrong! But last week, two and a half years later, I managed 25.03 with pacing from fellow Redway Runner, Sinead Bradbeer. I’ve worked out that if I can continue to improve by seventeen seconds every 2.5 years, I’ll have notched up a PB of 22.47 when I’m 85. Now that is something to aim for!
Thank you to everyone at parkrun: directors, administrators, marshals, helpers. You do a brilliant job!
Excellent, cheers for that Ian.
We also have some input from our run director from today - Martin Lawrence who promised not to mention Redway Runners in his report!
Write a few words on parkrun he tells me – let’s make a list of what to include, I think:
My first parkrun – being the first one in MK and decided I ought to do this new event I had only just heard about in case it happened each week and I regretted it – even being full of cold, rather glad I made it!
My parkrun highlights – sorry but it has to be turning up on Saturdays and seeing so many other runners in the club tees – just a shame they are all ahead of me (actually I am really pleased as each week the runners from the club come in right through the results for first to with the tail runner most weeks.
Favorite parkruns – not sure if it is the one where I got a PB (actually do not remember it but must have been mighty pleased with that one), but I mainly enjoy most of them, the ones I start at the back and work a little way up the pack saying hi to the runners I know and have a little chat or the ones where I run with someone either to chat or pace them.
Volunteering, most recently all my volunteer sessions have been as Run Director, yes they must get a mention turning up on run morning and wondering if everything will work and what have I forgotten to do – when it goes right I can get a good chat – when it goes wrong time to cross fingers – there was an early parkrun when I charged the timer the night before and then left it switched on overnight so on run morning switched it on and nothing! Plan B came into operation – not sure what it was but it worked.
But my favourite volunteering has to be for the last two years doing the Christmas Day Run directing – everyone is in great spirits and starts the day off so well.
Paul, managed to write it without mentioning ‘Redway Runners’ at all
Cheers Martin, I left the last sentence in for my amusement!
Another report, this time from Anthony Smith who was also one of our Marshalls today:
I usually run with the Leighton Fun Runners, but thanks to an ankle injury I'm out of action for a few weeks. It isn't so bad, though; I have been doing a lot more volunteering than usual lately, including this parkrun, and I love it, maybe even more than running itself.
Last Sunday saw a few hundred runners stampede through what must be the muddiest stream this side of Glastonbury at the Three Counties Cross Country League race at Wing, and by the look of them afterwards, they took most of the mud with them! I wished I was running it (the photo is from last year), but it was great to see the winner cross the line, and to do my very best to try to squeeze a storming sprint finish out of some totally exhausted runners. It's a similar atmosphere at the MK parkrun but with a hell of a lot less mud: everyone is up for some encouragement as they near the finish, and I do like to see a good close race to the line.
I love shouting at runners. I love the witty comebacks, the smiles on the faces through all that sweat, and the odd sideways glance of exasperation. I think there must always be more noise from the side of the course, which reminds me, I must get some cowbells for the Leighton 10K in March next year. It'll be like the Winter Olympics.
The most enthusiastic marshal I've ever seen was at Gunnersbury parkrun: a lady with a stopwatch at the top of the field at 2.5k, calling out the time as runners passed, jumping up and down and whooping with genuine extreme happiness. The cheerfulness was utterly infectious and I was grinning all the way to the line.
Next time you volunteer and I run past you, I hope you will be loudly reminding me why I'm there, and giving me that extra push to pass the next runner. Say anything except "dig in", I don't know why but that always makes my legs hurt!
Great report, cheers for that Anthony and good luck with the injury.
Thanks to Ian Richardson for the graphic of our parkrun from last weekend:
You may have noticed that our volunteer roster is now including the Christmas Day parkrun. You will also notice that the number of volunteers we have over the festive period is alarmingly low on numbers. So that we can plan for the event we really need to make sure we have people that are going to commit to volunteering on the day. I’m sure there will be loads of festive cheer with people dressing up, food etc etc.
Our final report is from Pippa Downton who caught me at the end of the run today for a quick interview:
Today I interviewed Paul Woodward! Ha Ha. He has done about 215 parkruns! That must make him very old?
Well done Paul that's a massive number of PR's.
Why do you run parkrun?
I run it to lose weight because (believe it or not) I used to be much fatter!
Have you ever been a parkrun tourist?
Yes I have been to Bedford parkrun twice.
Who is your running hero?
That guy over there - Simon Kirschner-Heavens. He won the 1st points trophy at MK parkrun and I tried for ages to catch him!
What is your favourite volunteering role?
I like being a marshal because I get to shout at people and I like shouting at people.
(I know a race Director who likes to do that. He's scary.)
What is your favourite running weather?
I like it in May (only May) when it is not too hot & not too cold.
Have you got any running goals?
Yes I wanted to get my parkrun PB under 19 minutes this year but I have been injured twice so that is now my goal for next year.
If you could be any animal around parkrun, what would you be?
I would be a Donkey because it would be really funny especially seeing a Donkey do parkrun!
Thank you for letting me interview you today Paul - even though you had to wait a while for me to finish!
Well done to everyone who also ran today & a special well done to mum who got a sub 24m pb and to dad who took 1 second off his.
Your best report ever Pippa, thanks for interviewing me today!
Finally, we have our stats:
- Graham N ROBINSON (SM30-34) of Sandhurst Joggers, was first over the line in 17:20 - first appearance.
- Ed VOUT (SM30-34) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:38 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
- Stuart SINCLAIR (VM45-49) of Sweatshop Running Community, was third over the line in 18:40.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
- Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 7753 pts.
- Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 7392 pts.
- Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 7065 pts.
- Emma WHEATCROFT (SW30-34) of Shenley Striders, was first (43rd overall) over the line in 22:14 - first time in 27 appearances.
- Jennifer SANGSTER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was second (51st overall) over the line in 22:36 - has been first to finish on 4 previous occasions.
- Zoe BROAD (JW15-17) (Unattached) was third (60th overall) over the line in 23:01.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
- Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7606 pts.
- Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 6488 pts.
- Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 6187 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
- Stuart SINCLAIR (VM45-49) was graded 77.14% for the time 18:40 (third overall).
- Judith DUTTON (VW55-59) was graded 76.91% for the time 24:11 (88th overall).
- Graham N ROBINSON (SM30-34) was graded 74.81% for the time 17:20 (first overall).
Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,909 different runners, including participants from 405 athletics clubs, have completed 67,010 runs covering a total distance of 335,050 km, and there have been 13,992 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.