Milton Keynes parkrun event number 252 13th December 2014

This week there were just 286 runners out enjoying the chilly but sunny conditions which is our lowest attendance since way back in May. If it wasn’t the cold keeping people away then I suspect it was the MK half tomorrow so good luck to all those doing it. It looks like the weather is going to be kind to us!

Just a few parkrun tourists travelled to come and see us for the first time today including Graham PETRIE on 111 runs and Stewart HOWARD on 94. Overall we had 13 first timers so welcome to all of you whether complete beginners or tourists.

41 recorded new Personal Bests which is fantastic in that weather, especially considering the ice around the lake. I had a few scary moments!

Representatives of 21 different athletics clubs took part. Welcome to all of you club runners with special mention to some from far and wide such as Brighton Tri Club, Newquay Road Runners and Petts Wood Runners.

Thanks to this week's volunteers

Ann WILLIAMS  •  Catherine MOSTYN SCOTT  •  Chris EDWARDS  •  Daniel GREEN  •  David HUDSON  •  Helen BLUCHER-ALTONA  •  Helen VAUGHAN  •  Ivan MOSTYN-SCOTT  •  Jacqui BROAD  •  Kassia GARDNER  •  Niam HANI  •  Peter HINCKS  •  Rosie TECKOE  •  Sam BATES  •  Simon GURNEY  •  Sinead BRADBEER  •  Stephen ROSE  •  Tim EVANS  •  Victoria GREEN  •  Yvette GLACKEN

See our volunteer page for details on getting involved in making Milton Keynes parkrun happen.

We are desperately short over the coming weeks so please email in with the week and role you can undertake.

For the first time in as long as I can remember there were no runners recording any milestone runs this week!

Thanks to Ian Richardson for sending in the graphic of last weekend’s run:

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Now for a piece from Helen Blucher-Altona who this week had the pleasure of meeting every single sweaty runner and supplying us all with finish tokens!

I do parkrun because it is such a great way to start the weekend. I really enjoy the camaraderie and social side of the running, seeing the same people every week and feeling part of the running community, as well as coffee and cake afterwards.  I love the 5k run! I never run as fast anywhere else as I do at parkrun, because it is short, timed and you get dragged along, and I love the feeling of the 'thrill of the chase' and trying to catch those in front including that elusive pb!  I have only been running for three and half years, but parkrun has now become a firm part of my running routine.  My 16 year old son does it too and has his 10 T-shirt.  I am working up to my 100 and my 50th was like a birthday!

I love volunteering - it really gives you a different perspective of parkrun.  The first time I did it I was amazed how fast the front runners were (I thought they were cycling from a distance by the speed they were going) and seeing how they collapsed in a heap at the end made me feel I should put a bit more effort in! Marshalling is great fun, seeing everyone go by: young, old, children, pets, pushchairs. Parkrun is so inclusive and welcoming, no matter who you are or what your speed. It's refreshing to see an event that that is so representative of all ages and walks of life, and everyone is so friendly and supportive of everyone else. For me there's a festival type atmosphere and we get that every week for free, so volunteering is a way to put something back and ensure it continues.  The roles are all very straightforward, even timekeeping wasn't so scary once I had done it - you're just counting and clicking a button after all.

My funniest parkrun experience is probably when I thought I had arrived just in the nick of time, dashed to the loo, came out and saw everyone had gone.  After my initial shock, I can say I have never overtaken so many people.

Excellent, thanks for sending that in Helen.

Don’t forget the Christmas day parkrun. At the moment we really need some more volunteers to step up and help out otherwise we won’t be able to stage the event. I heard a rumour of mince pies at the event for a certain young ladies 50th parkrun too!

Our regular roving reporter is busy with a sleep-over so her able Brother Adam has stepped in to do the reporting this week. This week he interviewed Martin Lawrence:

It's down to me (Adam) again this week as Pippa is away at a friend's birthday sleepover.  
Our interviewee was occassional race director Martin. Shown in the middle of the two ladies (fellow parkrun directors) in the photo.
Martin has ONLY run 175 parkruns. Just joking, it's brilliant. It shows that Martin is loyal to parkrun and comes whenever he can, he also is a bit of a parkrun tourist: Favourite tourist parkrun in Edinburgh   because of the nice beautiful area - it was quite an experience.
Next year Martin hopes to go the Warsaw parkrun all the way in Poland. That will be a great achievement!

His favourite part of the course is the path past the stone circles because he knows that it's the halfway point. Martin loves to come to parkrun because of the social environment and even though he's come 175 times - there's always something different about it.
Every week is something new: pacing, pushing others toward a PB and keeping the moral of parkrun on good terms whenever Martin is race director.
This is also his favourite volunteering role out of the 50 times he's volunteered.
He likes to shout out encouraging things to everyone before they run.

If he was any animal around parkrun it would be a swift (bird) because he could follow everyone's progress around parkrun and encourage them to keep going. A bird can go back & forth just like Martin's famous loopbacks.
However if I was running and a bird was flying over me I would run a lot faster because of the fear of bird poo landing on top of me!

Any weather is good to run in apart from hailstones. They just end up hurting you while you run. Also Martin's goal for this year is to run over two years at the same time - a run on New Year's Eve on to New Year's Day. His other goal is for the Redway Runners to continue to grow and remain friendly.

Martin's sporting hero is Gail Emms and is trying his hardest to get her to do parkrun sometime.   
Thanks for all you've done for parkrun and for running in the area Martin.  It's been great talking to you this morning.

Great report, cheers Adam.

Now for some stats:

Men's placings:

  • Sam NICHOLAS (JM15-17) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was first over the line in 18:45 - first time in 70 appearances.
  • Mik ONIONS (VM35-39) of Brighton Tri Club, was second over the line in 19:06.
  • Adam BOWLLER (SM30-34) of Vale of Aylesbury AC, was third over the line in 19:15 - was first to finish once before.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

  • Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 8094 pts.
  • Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 7770 pts.
  • Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 7447 pts.

Women's placings:

  • Amy INCHLEY (SW30-34) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was first (30th overall) over the line in 21:35 - third time in 42 appearances.
  • Jennifer SANGSTER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was second (39th overall) over the line in 22:17 - has been first to finish on 5 previous occasions.
  • Debra BRENT (VW50-54) (Unattached) was third (40th overall) over the line in 22:21 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

  • Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7606 pts.
  • Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 6844 pts.
  • Gillian SHEPPARD (Redway Runners) 6498 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Debra BRENT (VW50-54) was graded 75.91% for the time 22:21 (40th overall).
  • Geoff BROAD (VM45-49) was graded 74.47% for the time 19:39 (7th overall).
  • Rodney Alan BERRY (VM55-59) was graded 73.82% for the time 20:49 (15th overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,960 different runners, including participants from 409 athletics clubs, have completed 67,655 runs covering a total distance of 338,275 km, and there have been 14,087 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.

Paul Woodward

 

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 251 6th December 2014

This week there were 359 runners enjoying the rather nippy conditions who were then treated to a wonderful cake filled finish line.

Niam Hani sent this in after her bake sale this morning:

Cake sale went well this morning raising £75.80 despite the chilly weather! Thank you so much to parkrun and to the generous runners for all the donations.


Well done Niam. This is her justgiving page

https://www.justgiving.com/niam-hani/

We had 38 first timers including a few parkrun tourists such as Mike ROBERTSON and James ROBERTSON on 63 and 62 parkruns. Well done to you all including those graduating from the Redway Runners beginners group led by the gorgeous Portia:

55 recorded new Personal Bests including some very high run parkrunners such as Roy TAYLOR on 103 runs, Ian ROSS on 98 and Stewart HOWARD on 93.

Representatives of 30 different athletics clubs took part with a special mention to all those from MK Lakeside Runners that turned up ahead of their Xmas party tonight. See the interview at the end for the Lakeside Panda!

If you are looking to increase your mileage then you will be pleased to know that long runs with Sweatshop Running Community have started!

Each Sunday at 11am they will now be doing longer runs ranging from 6 miles to 12 miles. Are you training for a half marathon and need someone to run with, or do you just fancy the extra mileage?

This is open to all abilities and they will be doing different loops added together so if anyone feels they don't want to do the full mileage they don't have to. For example, 9 miles = 1x 5 mile loop, 1 x 4 mile loop!

Thanks to Ian Richardson for supplying the graphic of last weekend’s run:

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Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers this week for standing around in the freezing cold and yet still being cheerful as the rest of us ran past. We had:

Amelia SANTERRE  •  Amy FARNFIELD  •  Andrew CHILCRAFT  •  Andy COLLINS  •  Chris BAILEY  •  Craig OWEN  •  Declan CONATY  •  Gareth SNELSON  •  Geoff BROAD  •  Gillian SHEPPARD  •  Gordon REEVES  •  Helen HINDLEY  •  Izzy GARDNER  •  Jean-Paul SRIVALSAN  •  Kassia GARDNER  •  Kenton BATT  •  Kevin GARDNER  •  Lucy RICHARDS  •  Paul CLIFFORD-JONES  •  Sinead BRADBEER  •  Stephen DUNHAM  •  Zaid ALANI

See our volunteer page for details on getting involved in making Milton Keynes parkrun happen.

We had to send out quite a few begging emails and facebook posts this week which is quite sad. So far this year we have had 2035 different males and 1647 different females run at Milton Keynes and yet we still struggle to get people to volunteer. We have loads of available volunteer places available over the coming weeks so please do the right thing and email in with how you can help.

One of the fantastic volunteers we had this week has emailed in with a story about themselves and their views on mid-life crisis, parkrun and volunteering! Andy Collins - take it away:

Wow imagine the privilege I felt when Paul contacted me asking for a few words about me & why I enjoy parkrun. Well he can’t know me at all as once I get started a few words about anything is impossible, I’ll waffle on and on and… Good luck editing this so it fits nicely in your report Paul!!

I discovered running rather late in life, in my late 30’s, having enjoyed my teens and twenties a little too well! I was on the fat side of overweight, or as my asthma nurse put it a BMI of over 30, obese!! Shocking! I started just going out for walks but it wasn’t long before I found I’d been out walking for several hours at a time and thought there has to be a better/ faster way to go about this, so donned some old trainers I had laying around the house and went for a run around the block, with some modern technology strapped to my arm, in the form of a phone and sports tracking app, I discovered I could run a whole mile in about 15 minutes before I felt like I was going to die. As the weeks past I found I was actually enjoying running and able to go further and further, it wasn’t long before I was up to 5 then 10k distance, but I feared my natural laziness would soon kick in and I’d just stop going out in the cold and dark no matter how much I enjoyed running when I’m doing it.

The fear of lazyitis made me want to have a goal to force myself out, since I was already up to 10k and speed didn’t interest me too much at the time I thought marathon, no that’s mad! I can’t do that. So settled on a half marathon, only half mad, that’s more me! I entered the Silverstone half 2012, told everyone I was doing it, started collecting money for charity, I had no choice now committed. I started training, running more and more each week (I managed to run it in 1:55 and only 1 short walking break in the middle). It was about this time I discovered parkrun, registered for my very own barcode, surprised that parkrun called me an athlete, first time in my life that’s ever been said… I had intended to run parkruns for fun and to help me in my half marathon training to learn what it’s like to run in a group before the big day, although due to my aforementioned lazyitis it took nearly 2 years of been registered before actually getting up early enough on a Saturday morning to run one and when I did I can’t say it was fun, it was friendly yes, but far too fast to be fun, struggling over the line feeling a little sick in a time of 23:10 my fastest 5k ever. Well that was it something local free, friendly, there every week (apart from when flooded!) a goal I can just turn up to when I like to better myself, a new found goal of trying to go faster. In a short few months I’d got my time down to 22:42, amazing how hard those 30 seconds were to find, since then and several parkruns later I’m down to 21:06

In 2014 I turn 40, the year of mid-life crises I’m told, so what to do for mine, happily married so a young blond didn’t interest me, a bit of a mini eco-warrior (live in an Eco-house, cycle commute, etc!) so as much as I like fast cars a polluting sports car was out, extreme sports well the fear of pain ruled that out, left me with just doing what I have discovered I enjoy running a bit more. I asked twitter what my mid-life crises goal should be, a sub 21 min MK parkrun, all 4 MK half marathons or a marathon, good old social media didn’t let me down and came back with all of the above!!! Excepting the challenge has definitely pushed me from my normal half mad to totally mad. But here I am now, marathon done (Loch Ness), 3 of the MK halves done and the 4th to do Saturday 14th, but still struggling with the sub 21 min MK parkrun, PB currently 6 seconds too slow not many opportunities left I fear this part of my goal won’t be achieved. So if you do see me struggling in the final KM (or any of the 5) do give me a shout or better yet a piggy back over the line…

Seems I have wrote more about me than parkrun! To rectify that here’s a few lines just on parkrun

parkrun is an amazing event, there can’t be many events that can bring together on a weekly basis so many people from so many different walks of life, young to old, fast to slow(er), PB hunters to fun runners.

It has become a great start to my weekend. The times I make it to run leave me energised for the rest of the day, and gives me an excuse to eat chocolate.  I sign up to the give back philosophy, personally I aim to volunteer once for every 10 runs, to only have to give back so little for a weekly event like this doesn’t seem fair, it is truly amazing how week on week it carries on just on the goodwill of others. So far I’ve only done marshalling and barcode scanning, not sure I want the pressure of the other roles, so thanks to those that do. I’ve enjoyed the few times I’ve volunteered getting to see everyone from the super-fast to the tail runners, and all the thanks they all give you just for giving an hour of your time, it is nice to be appreciated and often amazes me how so many of you find the breath to say thanks whilst still giving your all. If you don’t recognise me you might remember one of my signs from today, sorry if it did make you miss your PB, but you can get your own back next time you volunteer :-)

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Ha ha did warn you at the start I’d waffle, and this is my edited version, it was going to be even longer… Well done on reading it all, if you did! And good luck editing it into a cohesive version to fit in your weekly report.

Photo of me attached, I’m bucking the trend and not sending ‘another running photo’ this is me on holiday in Denmark sailing a Viking Boat :-)

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Cheers Andy for keeping it brief :-)

We also have a photo from a very cold looking marshall Matthew Farnfield who was helping his mum Amy out at the bottom of the pagoda hill.

Huge congratulations to Brian MEAD and Adam SHARMAN on your 50th parkruns and extra special congratulations to Val RUSSELL on her 100th! Fantastic achievements. Look out for the email requesting your T shirts.

Now for a very special report from Val Russell who, as mentioned above, hit her 100th parkrun today:

December 6th, two weeks before my 69th birthday,  will be my 100th Parkrun! I've  been running since I was 40, but over the last three years or so I was having all sorts of injury problems, and was really struggling. Then just as I was getting back into running I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery in April last year it was the parkruns that kept me going. As soon as I could drive again I was marshalling, then walk/jog, then jogging (where I've stuck!).

The beauty of parkruns is that you can run when and where you want. I have done a few in Kings Lynn (a really flat course!) and last year I was lucky enough to join the St Peter's parkrun in Sydney. I've learnt to accept that PBs are a thing of the past, and just appreciate being out running with a really friendly group of people. I must admit to re-sorting the results based on age grading - makes me feel a lot better!

So thank you parkrun, and may you go from strength to strength.

Team GB' at the Sydney Parkrun in November 2013 (Val in middle).

Well done Val, very inspirational.

Now one from Andy Sharman who managed to run his 50th parkrun today and also managed a PB finishing in 21:35:

Today was my 50th parkrun! I can't believe I have run so many! I only signed up to lose some weight, I had no idea I would fall in love with parkrun.

I attended my first in April last year when I first began running. I remember the night before I couldn't sleep, I was nervous and excited.  I hadn't run with any other people before and I really didn't know what to expect.  I was worried I would be the slowest person running and I would make a fool of myself.

I turned up.... I ran... and when I crossed the finish line I felt such a sense of achievement. I loved parkrun straight away and realised as soon as I was lining up with everyone else at the start line - it doesn't matter about what size you are or how slow you run, everyone respects everybody else just for turning up and taking part.

I work quite a few weekends but if I am off then I make sure I turn up to parkrun. Out of the 50 parkruns, I have run 46 here in Milton Keynes, 1 at Durham, 1 at Kingsbury Water and 2 in Australia!

Before Christmas last year I had never run more than 5km! In January I joined the Milton Keynes Redway Runners, and started to up my miles. Joining this club is one of the best things I have ever done. I couldn't believe I could join a running club for only £5 for a years membership.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and I realised it's a social club as much as it is a running club.

I decided to challenge myself so I signed up for the London marathon to run for Willen Hospice. I ran this in April and then also ran the Gold Coast marathon in Queensland, Australia in July! My first ever half marathon was in March at the MK festival of running, since then I have run 6 half marathons with another one next weekend as well as the 2 full marathons. I have also lost over 3 and half stone in weight since my first parkrun last year.

I know I would not have ever achieved any of these things if I hadn't come down to Willen lake and run my first mk parkrun.

So for this I thank parkrun, the people that organise it each week and all the volunteers that keep it going. Thank you.

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Well done Adam for the 50th run and the pb

We also had this sent in by Andy Sealey who is very quickly catching me in the male points table and I need to speed up a bit if he is not going to overtake me!

I first discovered parkrun a little over two years ago whilst looking for a local 5k race. I quickly became hooked and was amazed at how well organised a free event for all ages and abilities could be. Since then I have only missed the run for my wedding, honeymoon and injury. I even managed to find a local parkrun event whilst on holiday in Nottingham. This does mean my poor wife is now resigned to the fact that no matter what, I can’t do anything on a Saturday until after 10am.

I have managed to convert work colleagues, neighbours and other family members into park run enthusiasts, and it is always good to see them trying to beat their PB each week. However my favourite parkrun memory came a couple of months ago when I told my nephew Quinn that he had to finish quickly otherwise we wouldn’t make it to the football. He took this more seriously than I expected and ended up knocking more than a minute and a half off his PB!

As well as running I have also enjoyed the volunteering. My first volunteering experience came on a freezing cold, snowing, dismal morning in March 2013 as a barcode scanner. It was hard seeing everyone setting off whilst I waited, but the other volunteers were a good laugh and seeing the different runner’s reactions as I scanned their barcodes made it all worthwhile. Since then I always make sure I volunteer at least 3 times a year, but in 2013 I suffered shin splints and was out injured for three months. During that time I continued volunteering every other week as I wanted to remain involved. This means I have undertaken most of the different volunteering positions which has given me a real insight into what is required to make this fantastic event happen each week, and shown me why we should all volunteer.

This Autumn I managed to achieve another PB after waiting five months. I credit this to a range of park runners who have unknowingly helped me, from John Cullen who I try and spot each week and keep up with, to Minesh Pandya whose advice on this very news page helped me update my training plan. My aim for next year is to one day get near Minesh on a last corner sprint finish!

Great report Andy, cheers for sending that in and good luck with the points table!

Finally we have our regular input from our roving reporter Downton family although a slight change today:

Today we have birthday boy Adam standing in for Pippa as she did her parkrun and rushed off to Rock school to do her piano exam.

Interviewee : Panda (Connor) and panda's little helper (Dionne)

Panda is running today because every time the mk lakeside runners have a big get together,  the panda comes out for a bit of a run alongside them. He also wants to get fitter after eating all that bamboo. He also loves to support the mk lakeside runners.

This is panda's 3rd parkrun so far and is only local to mk parkrun.
The zoo will phone soon to let us know there is an escaped animal running around mk.
His favorite part of the course is the famous zigzags, i believe he took quite a few places on his way up - he seemed to get further away as we travelled up the path. Who knew panda's were so fast?

Our panda friend has not yet volunteered to help out at parkrun but we look forward to it - panda's little helper has volunteered before so possibly panda will be either timing you or checking your barcodes in the future.

His little helper first brought him to parkrun and from then on he has looked up to her as his running hero. What a partnership!

I asked him which human he would be around parkrun if he could choose and his choice was the marvel hero Ironman. I didn't know panda's read comic books.
Overall panda prefers to run in the cold, (just like today). Otherwise he gets very hot with all of his fur, especially in the summer. Or maybe he just likes seeing the humans slip around on the ice.

Panda may run the London marathon sometime. It is one of his running goals and I believe he is capable of achieving it.

Thanks Panda, hopefully we'll see you soon.
On your 50th parkrun you could hand out bamboo sticks to everyone.

Now for some stats:

Men's placings:

  • Stephen MCALLISTER (SM25-29) of MK Lakeside Runners, was first over the line in 17:57 - first time in 14 appearances.
  • An unknown runner was second.
  • Stuart SULLIVAN (VM40-44) of Redway Runners, was third over the line in 18:17.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

  • Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 7753 pts.
  • Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 7581 pts.
  • Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 7257 pts.

Women's placings:

  • Jennifer SANGSTER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was first (20th overall) over the line in 20:58 - 5th time in 73 appearances.
  • Clare MOORE (VW50-54) of Worthing & District Harriers, was second (28th overall) over the line in 21:33.
  • Emma WHEATCROFT (SW30-34) of Shenley Striders, was third (32nd overall) over the line in 21:46 - was first to finish once before.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

  • Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7606 pts.
  • Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 6665 pts.
  • Gillian SHEPPARD (Redway Runners) 6302 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Shirley Rose GIBSON (VW65-69) was graded 85.23% for the time 25:17 (116th overall).
  • Clare MOORE (VW50-54) was graded 78.73% for the time 21:33 (28th overall).
  • Roger MOORE (VM50-54) was graded 76.35% for the time 19:48 (8th overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,947 different runners, including participants from 407 athletics clubs, have completed 67,369 runs covering a total distance of 336,845 km, and there have been 14,046 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.

Paul Woodward

 

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 250 29th November 2014

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 :-)

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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:

Hello Parkrunners!

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!

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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:

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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:

Men's placings:

  • 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.

Women's placings:

  • 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.

Paul Woodward

 

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 249 22nd November 2014

This week there were 374 runners having a quick run around the lakes before no doubt heading off to start the Xmas shopping! We have just four parkruns till Xmas so time to post off your lists to Santa requesting new trainers, jackets, hats etc. Remember what your Xmas list looked like before you started running? Oh how it changes us! Don’t forget that there will be a parkrun at MK on Xmas Day but we will need volunteers!

We were joined by 29 first timers today including some very high run tourists visiting us for the first time such as David PRICE on 103, Hannah Mary GRAY on 116, Peter JACKSON on 139 and Pat JACKSON on 127. Welcome to all of our tourists and to the complete parkrun newbies as well. Do come back for more and let us know how you got on.

81 runners recorded new Personal Bests including Theo Linford who smashed over a minute off his PB on his 10th parkrun and paced Salima Keswani to her PB too. Here is a picture of Theo from a recent run:

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Representatives of 25 different athletics clubs took part a load of first timers from the Ealing Eagles Running Club. Welcome to you all.

Our event director Gareth Snelson ran in the middle of the pack today and was very impressed by the way the runners acted around others in the park. Well done to you all and please do remember we don’t own the paths or have right of way so please give a big shout out to your other parkrunners to warn them of potential problems up ahead and move out of the way of oncoming bikes, walkers, runners, buggies, dogs etc. Do not expect them to move out of the way just because you are chasing a pb!

Next Saturday we will be collecting for the MK Food bank collection so please do bring along any tins etc and there will be a food drop off around the start or at the cafe. Look out for further info in the week. This is a really worthy cause to help others especially at this time of year.

Are any of our runners (or children, siblings, parents) studying film, or looking for a film project? MK parkrun would like to commission a short film to celebrate our 5th anniversary. If this is something you might be interested in helping out with then please get in touch with Gareth Snelson out event director for more details.

Congratulations to all those that reached their T shirt milestones today. We had the following:

Quinn ALLEN and Theo LINFORD on 10

Paul MACLOSKEY on 50

Phil ATKINS on 100

Well done to you all and look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes. Remember the only way to get these T shirts is to turn up regularly and REMEMBER YOUR BARCODE!!!!! No barcode, no result, no exceptions.

That leads us nicely into a short report from Paul Macloskey who sent this in:

I completed my 50th parkrun this week.  Since discovering parkrun in August last year, I am now totally hooked.  parkrun is now part of my weekly routine, Saturday mornings used to be spent at work, not anymore.  parkrun is fun, well organised, and free!  Post-run coffee in a nearby café with running friends is a great opportunity to catch up.  Seeing the variety of people taking part (and progressing) each week whatever the weather is inspiring.  I find running relieves my stress, gives me a feel good factor, and I have made new friends.  I have even managed to encourage my partner and friends to take up running.

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Brilliant, well done Paul on reaching your 50th run. 100 next year?

We have this graphic of last weekend’s parkrun sent in by Ian Richardson:

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This week we have a very touching story from one of our volunteers - Glyn Brazier - who was our back-up timer today:

I started running in 2009, training for a 10k to raise money for Cancer Research UK. My wife, Helen, had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the March of 2008 and, on completion of her treatment,  it was my way doing something for the cause and to show my love for her. With the 10k race complete in October 09, I wondered if I was going to run again and for what reason….

My dad often walked his dog around Willen Lake and mentioned he saw a group of runners every Saturday, calling themselves “Parkrunners”. I googled it, found the MK Parkrun website, signed up and printed a barcode. I ran my first Parkrun in April 2011 and haven’t stopped since (completing 120 to date).

Sadly, my wife’s cancer returned to her liver on February 7th this year and she passed away on March 28th peacefully with me by her side. During the last seven weeks of her life, she insisted that I, and our two beautiful daughters, carry on living my life to the full and enjoying as many things as possible. I do live a full life and that includes Parkrun on Saturday mornings and, of course, volunteering every so often. I ran the Parkrun on Saturday 29th (the day after she died) and dedicated it to my wonderful wife, Helen Brazier.

A big thanks to everybody that volunteers to ensure this weekly event exists and for giving people a reason to run.

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Thanks for sharing that with us Glyn and good luck with it all mate.

Also one from Ali Rutherford who was one of our barcode scanners today:

My first parkrun was about 18 months ago at Northampton I hadn't been running for long so I struggled round but did it in 32 minutes. Then I tried Milton Keynes the following week it took a few minutes longer but I loved it and from then on I was hooked. I have recently ran my 50th parkrun. parkrun is a great start to my weekend I feel accomplished after it and it's a good time to meet up with my Redway running friends with a well deserved coffee. I am still trying to achieve sub 30 have almost got there before even breaking 29 minutes at Northampton since then I have been battling with a pelvic injury but I'm fighting back.

Volunteering is good fun too you get to put back what others have given up for you and you appreciate how parkrun works. If no one volunteered then it would not happen simple!

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Love it, thanks for sending that in Ali.

We also had some pacers from the Redway Runners giving us all a helping hand towards a pb. The pacers were as follows with their finish times in brackets:

  • Stuart Sullivan 19mins (actual time of 18:42)
  • Richard Doherty 21mins (21:13)
  • Martin Lawrence 23mins (23:00)
  • Mick Bates 24mins (23:57)
  • Sinead Bradbeer 25mins (25:41)
  • Steve Burlace 26mins (25:59)
  • Jen Bates 27mins (26:38)
  • Matt Marsh 28mins (27:57)
  • Ryan Amos 29mins (28:56)
  • Glenn Dickinson 30mins (30:02)

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Well done to all of you and hopefully a few of our parkrunners gained a pb due to your efforts. I was gutted not to join you as the 22 minutes pacer but hope to be better for the next time we do it.

Finally, we have our regular input from our roving reporter Pippa Downton:

Today I interviewed scottish Chris. He has done 31 parkruns.

Why do you come to parkrun?
Well I used to run a lot alone but I found out about parkrun and I really like how sociable it is.

What is your favourite part of the course?
I like the hill next to the peace pagoda.

If you could be any animal around parkrun, what would you be?
I would be a jaguar because they have a lot of stamina.

Who is your running hero?
Lord Coe because he is very inspirational and he was doing lots of running at the same time I was doing lots of running a few years ago.

What is your favourite volunteering role?
I like doing the finishing funnel because its nice to see people finishing and the relief on their faces!

What are your running goals?
I really want to get my red 50 running top because it would make me feel really happy that I have achieved that!

What is your favourite running weather?
I like it like today because its not too windy and not too cold or hot.

Thank you for letting me interview you today Chris, well done to all who got a PB especially my big brother Adam and well done to the pacers!

Great report Pippa - thanks for that.

Now for some stats:

Men's placings:

  • Gary BLABER (VM40-44) of Marshall Milton Keynes AC, was first over the line in 17:38 - first time in 9 appearances.
  • Adam HAYLOCK (VM35-39) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was second over the line in 18:10.
  • Jos DYER (SM20-24) of Marshall Milton Keynes AC, was third over the line in 18:15 - was first to finish once before.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

  • Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 7590 pts.
  • Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 7207 pts.
  • Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 6865 pts.

Women's placings:

  • Jennifer SANGSTER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was first (40th overall) over the line in 21:15 - 4th time in 71 appearances.
  • Katie HAYLOCK (SW30-34) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was second (59th overall) over the line in 22:17.
  • Sharon PULESTON (VW50-54) of Bridlington Road Runners, was third (79th overall) over the line in 22:57.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

  • Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7606 pts.
  • Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 6317 pts.
  • Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 6187 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Ian LAMB (VM50-54) was graded 79.70% for the time 18:58 (11th overall).
  • Gary BLABER (VM40-44) was graded 77.98% for the time 17:38 (first overall).
  • Shaun RAYNER (VM45-49) was graded 76.53% for the time 18:49 (10th overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,886 different runners, including participants from 401 athletics clubs, have completed 66,642 runs covering a total distance of 333,210 km, and there have been 13,916 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.

Paul Woodward

 

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 248 15th November 2014

As you may have seen on our facebook page we recently reached the 2000 likes mark. What a fantastic achievement. If you haven’t already then please join us on facebook as that is one of the quickest and easiest communication methods we have especially as we come towards the snow and ice season. We have had to cancel at fairly short notice a few runs since we started back in 2010 due to flooding or ice making it dangerous or impossible to run the route. Wherever possibly we will give people as much notice as we can to enable them to get to an alternative parkrun, but as you can imagine sometimes this is Saturday morning itself. As we come into Winter the volunteer role of pre-event set-up becomes even more important. They will bike, run or walk the route prior to parkrun and inform the run director of any problems such as flooding, snow, ice etc. At that point the run director will take responsibility for making a decision about whether it is safe to continue for everyone concerned. If you are a regular parkrun tourist then you should get into the habit of confirming that parkrun is happening before you set off on your journey as some runs are more susceptible to the weather than others.

So in case you missed the post on our facebook page or wasn’t at the run this morning, we have had a few complaints recently sent in from the general public. These complaints center on various parkrunners that don’t move over and thus force non-parkrunners off the path, onto the verges or even worse - run straight into them. This will not and cannot be tolerated. If those sort of complaints get back to the Parks Trust then there is a real threat to the very existence of MK parkrun. Please give those around you a big shout with a “keep left”, “keep right” or even just a “look out” if you see someone coming the other way. Do not shout or harass in any way people pushing buggies, walking their dogs, on bikes etc etc. They have just as much right to be there as yourself. If unacceptable behaviour is witnessed then please let us know and we will deal with it.

Remember, parkrun is a free-timed event, it is not a race, and we rely on the goodwill of so many people and organisations to continue.

Congratulations to Darius KINGSLEY and Ariane BATCHELOR on reaching their 10th parkruns and  Toby SLANEY on his 50th parkrun. Look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes.

This week we have a story from our latest MK parkrun winner of the monthly Sweatshop award. Here is Niam Hani with a few words about her achievement:

A huge thank you to parkrun directors who selected me for sweatshop's award for this month. It was a great surprise and the best email to receive on a Monday after work!          

I love parkrun and it gradually became part of my Saturday routine whether I was running it or volunteering (15 times this year and another 2 to come).                              

I always enjoy the atmosphere and the vibe of the runners. I am on my 46th run now and aiming to complete 50 before the new year..    

October was my best running month as I managed 3 PB taking off 53 seconds in total (not sure how I managed that!). This award is the icing on the cake!

We have a picture below of Niam in our local Sweatshop store in Milton Keynes collecting her new trainers.

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Congratulations Niam, very well deserved and thanks as always to our local Sweatshop for continuing to provide such a generous prize.

We had just 388 runners out enjoying the crisp early morning weather around Willen Lake which is our lowest attendance since July. There was of course the Dirt Half Marathon going on just up the road which had a massive impact. Hope all our regular parkrunners got on well if you chose to do that instead.

Thanks to Chris and his team of volunteers for covering all the roles allowing the rest of us to run. Our volunteers this week were as follows:

Alice BALDWIN  •  Andrew CHILCRAFT  •  Chris EDWARDS  •  David HUDSON  •  Gwen JONES  •  Jenny FENTON  •  Julia BALDWIN  •  Lee BARNES  •  Lorraine DEVEREUX  •  Lucy GOOCH  •  Nick ANDERSON  •  Nick FAIRBROTHER  •  Philip ARMITAGE  •  Riitta Liisa WOOD  •  Robert GOOCH  •  Sally PUDDEPHATT  •  Simon STIMPSON  •  Stephen JOHNSON  •  Terry SIGGINS  •  Turan AYVAZ  •  Victoria BICKLE

See our volunteer page for details on getting involved in making Milton Keynes parkrun happen.

75 of our runners managed to gain a new pb today with special mention to Laura BRINE knocking a minute off her previous best at MK to come home as first place female.

A warm welcome to the 30 runners joining us for the first time whether you were a parkrun tourist such as Luke ARBOUINE on 169 runs, Ian PARKER on 148 or Marcos SANZ GOMEZ on 122, or whether you were taking your first steps into the wonderful world of parkrun such as Katie SAUNDERS of the Sweatshop Running Community. Either way get in touch and let us know how you got on.

We had 26 different running clubs represented this week with a special warm welcome to our first placed runner today - Simon COOMBES of Herne Hill Harriers on your first outing with us.

We had a mother and daughter team help out as marshalls today in Julia and Alice Baldwin. The following was sent in by Julie:

Why parkrun?......  Why not?!

After bemoaning my poor attempts at getting fit, and having plenty of weight to lose, I was challenged last Boxing Day by my brother (Malcolm Kidby – a parkrun regular) to take up running and I agreed, somewhat fuelled by wine and port it has to be said!  I joined the Redway Runners beginners group and have not looked back since (mainly because I usually am at the back!). I did not think I had the physique for running, and I am still not the fastest amongst my running buddies from our old beginners group, but to my surprise after a few weeks I found I could do it and, more surprisingly still,  I enjoyed it.  I “graduated” by doing my first parkrun on 15th March, and have now totted up 18 runs and improved my PB by over 7 minutes since that first time.  It now stands at 31:04 so my next challenge is to go sub 30.

I run regularly during the week,  as well as doing parkrun as often as my husband’s shifts and/or my children’s cooperation will allow.   I have definitely got fitter, faster and lost weight and I look forward to continuing to improve in all areas.  My Redway Runners buddies are very supportive and great fun to run with.  I have completed two 10K races and have now been persuaded to enter the MK Winter Half Marathon.

My children have both done a few parkruns too.  Alice (aged 12) is proud of her 10 T-shirt, and loves doing parkrun although since receiving it her enthusiasm seems to have dropped a bit!  Her PB stands at 33:59.  Daniel (aged 9) is sometimes less keen but he has now completed 7 runs, with his interesting style of run to the zig zags, walk, sprint, walk, sprint etc for the rest of the way – sometimes achieving a decent time despite himself.   Somehow, he managed a PB of 32:17 a few weeks ago, which was a few seconds better than mine at the time to my amazement and dismay - having run and walked along with him but failed to keep up when he sprinted for the line!

This week will be Alice’s first time as a volunteer, although Daniel and I have done it once before, and she has been desperate to do it and is really hoping for a Hi-Vis jacket!   We always appreciate the marshalls cheering us on and encouraging us every week and it is good to do our bit in return.   

We would miss parkrun if the volunteer pool dried up so I would encourage everyone who takes part to take their turn. We think parkrun is a lovely way to start the weekend.  We have not ventured further afield yet but we hope to take in some of the local parkruns next year.

Julia Baldwin

 

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Fantastic report and photos Julia, thanks for sending that in and I agree with your comment about volunteers. No volunteers - no parkrun!!

We also have a report from our timekeeper today Nick Anderson who sent us this in:

I started running with the SRC just over a year ago now as walking past the shop I saw they ran, looked at the route and it did not look to far until I started to do it that is! Also, I had an incentive as my wife had a bet that I could not do the 5km and I would quit (it was only 50P so a bit insulting LOL) but I proved her wrong!

I did the 5km with Sweatshop, then did a parkrun and had a PB of 36 minutes. I have done three since and my PB is now 30mins 30 secs. I have also ran 2 half marathons and have signed up for two more.

I find parkrun a good place to meet new people from all over MK and see the different clubs.  I have not had a great deal of time to do many of the parkruns but I have seen volunteers so I thought I would do it as it is run really well and it is nice to put something back.

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Nice one Nick, cheers for that.

Also had one from our tailrunner Riitta Wood:

I started doing parkruns after joining the then David Lloyd Redway Runners a few years ago.

Everybody has to fit weekly runs around their family, work etc. but parkrun is a bit special where on Saturday morning, the runners can meet up if they have not managed during the week.

Joining for coffee and running gossip after the run gives that extra bonus for the event.

Besides, I am getting used to getting a slice of cake regularly when runners celebrate their 50th or 100th  run in the café!

I think the parkrun is one of the best things that has happened over the past few years to encourage families and individuals to take up running. It’s also great to see the young ones joining in.

Every town should have one, but for the size of Milton Keynes I think we are almost ready to have 2 running venues as we are now getting more and more runners joining in.

Volunteering is a must if we want to keep the events alive and kicking.

We now have hundreds of runners in MK parkrun, if all the runners volunteered on a regular basis at least twice a year, that will surely secure the continuation of the event.

parkrun to me means a social event but sometimes if I feel like it I may be tempted to break my PB. Whenever I visit another town in the UK for a weekend, I check out the local parkrun just in case I could fit that in (I guess some may call it a bit sad!). I do it for the fun of it mainly.

I would like to thank everybody who brought parkrun to Milton Keynes. We do have the ideal running ground here with all the canal paths, parks and Redways.

Happy running!

Riitta

Great report, thanks Riitta!

Finally this week our roving reporter Pippa Downton has been up to her tricks in the scanning queue with the following interview:

Today I interviewed Andy from the Redway Runners. He has done 15 parkruns and he comes to parkrun because it gives him a reason to get out of bed (when he's not working over the weekend), he likes how social it is and he meets up with old friends.

What is your favourite part of the course?
I like the top of the zig-zags because I see the accomplishment I have made.

What is your favourite volunteering role?
I have been with parkrun since it started but I haven't volunteered yet because I cannot make it every week and when I do come I would prefer to run.

Who is your running hero?
Lord Coe because he was such a competitor & was a genuine guy who wore his heart on his sleeve. He is responsible for winning the Olympics (with support from his team) and he was in charge of the 2012 Olympics.

If you could be any animal during parkrun, what would you be?
I would be a giant tortoise because I am in the first half of the runners & it would allow me see the scenery and appreciate it more.

Thank you for letting me interview you today Andy, I hope that everyone had a good run today. My brother & I were faster than usual today with me getting a new PB! Hurray.

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Great report Andy and Pippa and well done Pippa on your pb!

The stats for this week are as follows:

Men's placings:

  • Simon COOMBES (VM40-44) of Herne Hill Harriers, was first over the line in 16:21 - first appearance.
  • Tom CARPENTER (SM25-29) of Maidstone Harriers, was second over the line in 17:49.
  • Jos DYER (SM20-24) of Marshall Milton Keynes AC, was third over the line in 18:09 - was first to finish once before.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

  • Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 7590 pts.
  • Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 7032 pts.
  • Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 6687 pts.

Women's placings:

  • Laura BRINE (SW30-34) (Unattached) was first (13th overall) over the line in 19:55 - second time in 3 appearances.
  • Rebecca TOWNSEND (SW25-29) of Leeds City AC, was second (14th overall) over the line in 19:56.
  • Emma WHEATCROFT (SW30-34) of Shenley Striders, was third (34th overall) over the line in 21:38.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

  • Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7606 pts.
  • Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 6187 pts.
  • Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 6146 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Simon COOMBES (VM40-44) was graded 84.71% for the time 16:21 (first overall).
  • Geoff BROAD (VM45-49) was graded 76.55% for the time 19:07 (8th overall).
  • Stuart SINCLAIR (VM45-49) was graded 76.39% for the time 18:51 (7th overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,857 different runners, including participants from 398 athletics clubs, have completed 66,268 runs covering a total distance of 331,340 km, and there have been 13,835 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.

Paul Woodward

 

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