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

 

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 247 8th November 2014

Well done to all of our 455 runners this morning for observing an impeccable minutes silence. Very well respected. Once that was complete, Stephen Scott got us running with a swift 5,4,3,2,1 and we were away up towards the canal.

We had 73 runners gain a pb which wasn’t easy in that breeze along the back straight.

A big hello to the parkrun tourists visiting us for the first time such as Alex LUPTON who travelled from his usual run at Killerton parkrun to undertake his 50th run with us. We’re honoured, hope you had a great time Alex and well done on the pb too!

We actually had 49 runners join us for the first time, most of them running parkrun completely for the first time. Welcome to you all and let us know how you got on.

26 different running clubs were represented including the wonderful sounding Eye Community Runners and New Eltham Joggers.

We had a number of runners achieve their T shirt milestones today. Congratulations to

Rhiannon ATKINS for reaching 10 runs and Alex LUPTON, Helen HINDLEY, Ian PENNICOTT, Karen HOWELL and Helen VAUGHAN for all reaching 50 runs. Look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes.

Huge thanks to all the volunteers that helped out today to allow the MK parkrun to be undertaken:

Richard BONELLA, Kathryn Amanda CRAWLEY, Peter CRAWLEY, Carol DOWNS, Martin DOWNTON, Pippa DOWNTON, Adam DOWNTON, Sam DOWNTON, Kassia GARDNER, Rachel GILBERT, Diane GILBERT, Yvette GLACKEN, Abi GOOCH, Elliot HIND, Julie HUDSON, Callum JONES, Gwen JONES, Malcolm KIDBY, Julie LOXLEY, Tim MACKLEY, Stephen SCOTT, Sally SHARPLES, Gillian SHEPPARD, Fiona SIEQUIEN, Hannah ST LEGER-HARRIS

Remember that without volunteers parkrun cannot continue, We have loads of spaces for future weeks that need to be filled so please email in with the position you can undertake.

Once again I ran out of fingers to count all the runners registered in the results as “Unknowns”. The parkrun rules are quite clear - No barcode = no result = no exceptions.

All the volunteers have other things to do on Saturday and it is not fair to expect them to give up hours of their weekend to manually key in the barcode numbers of people who forgot their barcodes. You wouldn’t forget your race number or timing chip if you were going to a race, and you certainly wouldn’t expect a result if you did forget it.

The Redway Runners had a beginners group graduating at parkrun from their recent course. All had buddies running with them from the club. We have a photo below of the Redway Runners just before the run today which included all the Beginners. Congratulations to all of you for doing your first parkrun and a special mention to all those from the club that helped them out by running as a buddy.

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I was lucky enough to catch up with the first lady today on her way home - Linsey Ryall (Birghall) and requested she sent me a short report:

Last weekend I ran a personal worst at the Bradford parkrun whilst visiting family so it was good to be back on home turf! The wind blowing across the lake in the last km made it hard work but I'm pleased with my result for my 14th MK parkrun.

I'm an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic so think it's really important to raise awareness. Next Friday is World Diabetes Day

http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/about

The theme of the day is 'healthy living'.

I am happy to talk to any other runners about managing the condition.

The charity JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) are really good for info and do lots of work to raise awareness and fund research

http://www.jdrf.org.uk/about-us

Here's a photo from the St Albans park run not so long ago.

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Thanks for sending that in Linsey and lovely to meet you this morning.

This week we have a short report from Amy Farnfield who was one of our marshalls a couple of weeks back:

Running parkrun is a great chance to run against the clock surrounded by people who equally enjoy running. I'm not a member of a running club so the chance to socialise with other runners at parkrun and feel part of something is a great thing. I never felt judged when I first ran with parkrun as people of all abilities take part and everyone is encouraged by the great volunteers. I have volunteered and was given a Marshall role which was a great experience; meeting others parkrunners and giving something back, everyone should give it a go.

Excellent, thanks for that Amy.

We also have some input from this week’s volunteers such as Kathy Crawley who was one of our marshalls this week:

I have done parkrun on and off now for a year or so, but a lot more seriously lately. I have been running for about 6-7 years but have never improved. Regardless of distance, my pace remained constant. My husband used to do triathlons so I asked him if he could start training me to get under 30mins for a 5km. We starting training together about 3 months ago and I've managed to get under 30 mins now for my last 3 parkruns, I'm sssssooooo pleased !!..with my PB now 29.15 (Saturday just gone)!!..

We now train every Wednesday evening and I also use parkrun as part of my training. I think it's important for everyone to Marshall. I always feel like parkrun it’s a little family. You start to see regular faces at the start and finish line and I know it helps me around the course when I hear the marshall's supporting you. This event is free to everyone, so by doing your bit once or twice a year is not too much to ask. Plus, I love cheering people on, I get a buzz out of it, so happy to come along and Marshall !!.. Thanks to everyone who puts these events together !!

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Great report, cheers Kathy!

We also have this from Malcolm Kirby who was one of our barcode scanners today:

Hi, I have been asked to pen a few words about my parkrun experiences this week, so that prompted me to think of why I run it, volunteer for it, encourage others to go for it and even check the results each week, whether I have run it or not.

I started running just under 5 years ago at a time where if I didn’t then medical issues (fatboy!) would start mounting up and after a couple of weeks with Marshall Milton Keynes AC beginner group (Thanks Julie Dalzell) I decided to try this new Saturday thing called parkrun and event No 6 was my first ever 'competitive-ish' race at 32.47, more importantly though without stopping or any organ failures!

Eight weeks, and four parkruns later I broke the 30 min mark and thanks to MMKAC and parkrun and the community spirit that they engender I have just kept on going.  - I now have a PB of 23.19, lost about four stone, am a UKA Leader and completed London in 2013, so I guess it has helped turn me into 'a runner' first and foremost.  I have also managed to get my sister Jooles Baldwin hooked, and my niece Alice and nephew Daniel are parkrunning from time to time too.

I also started to volunteer in 2010 as I thought that three times a year really isnt much to ask and if you time it right for Saturday XCs (like I have this week), or when injured(!) you don’t miss out on your run either.  I was amazed at how few people actually do volunteer compared to running and think you should give yourselves a disapproving look in the mirror if that applies to you....

Best job for me is timekeeper as you are kept busy, have that little added pressure of responsibility and more importantly can spend time congratulating finishers or mocking your friends efforts, especially as they are normally too knackered to take offence.  It is always friendly though and none of the tasks are onerous and volunteering should be everyone’s new years resolution.

Returning to the possibly sad thing of checking results even when not competing, it just adds to my motivation to keep a beady eye on times of runners I like to compare myself too. After all there aren’t too many parkrunners that can boast of beating Mo Farah in an athletics race, but I can!  (OK he was never going to complete the marathon in 2013 but I am still counting it as I did, no matter how slowly)

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Excellent report Malcolm, thanks for sending that in and love the photo.

We have the following graphic from Ian Richardson covering last weekend’s run.

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and then one covering this weekend:

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Thanks as always Ian, really great work.

We have a short report from Helen Vaughan who hit her 50th parkrun this weekend:

I had heard of parkrun whilst with my old club in Tring but hadn’t actually taken part in one until I moved to MK in 2011.  Within a week of moving here I joined Redway Runners and it was there that I was encouraged to come along and do parkrun. I loved it from the first time.  I was already beginning to create new friendships in the club and parkrun opened up a whole new world of friendships.  I love the sense of fun and camaraderie whilst running along in such a large group and the encouragement from Marshalls and club members near and at the finish line.  It’s not quite a race and yet there’s a definite element of competition that lends that extra something to my running legs each Saturday.  I don’t come every Saturday, life and family commitments sometimes clash and hence it’s taken me 3 years to reach my 50th parkrun.  I’ve done 46 out of the 50 runs here in MK and I’m chuffed to bits to have come this far. I only started running about 7 years ago and so I’m still ticking off a lot of ‘firsts’ in my running journey.  I’ve seen a big improvement over those years and in particular the time trials that parkrun provides gives me that extra focus to put in a bit more effort.  I’ve been first lady in my age category a number of times and though I’m no athlete it’s given me a huge buzz and a sense of achievement in ‘my world’.  I’ve never been a particularly sporty person though I’m no couch potato either, preferring lots of outdoor hobbies.  I discovered running when I took part in the Race 4 Life a number of years ago and I absolutely loved it and never looked back, having now completed umpteen races and the ultimate (for me) two full marathons and this year I did two triathlons.  Of all the sporting disciplines it has to be running for me, every time.

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Brilliant report Helen, thanks for sending that in.

Finally, our fantastic roving reporter Pippa Downton has developed a fresh tactic for this week by interviewing all her family members, who all volunteered today as marshalls:

Today I volunteered at parkrun with mum, dad and big brother Adam.  
Here is one sentence from each of them about their experience -

Mum - "I love running parkrun and when I volunteer it reminds me of what it is all about.  It's easy to get stuck into beating your own personal goal but watching, supporting and helping makes you realise the much bigger picture.  I love the way parkrun invites and welcomes the talented elite runners, young and old, fat and thin, dogs and pushchairs. I like to see the fast ones at the front and the brave ones at the back.  Thanks to all of you who waved and said thanks this morning - I like to celebrate all runners and I had a big smile on my face the whole time."   - that's LOADS more than one sentence by the way mum.

Adam - "I enjoyed marshaling because I was at the bottom of the pagoda hill and everyone was happy to get on to the flat path so everyone was smiling.  It amazed me what you miss when you run compared to what you see when you marshall!"

Dad - " I liked marshaling today because people were passing me at the bottom of the zig-zags and it was really good to cheer them on so they could get up the hill! Also, its really good to see the different ages, sizes and ability of all the different runners. "

I really liked marshaling today because I was at the top of the zig-zags and it was nice to see people smile as they got to the top of the hill! I also got a lot of good comments about my bobble hat I was wearing today - if you were running you might have seen me! Well done all runners today.

Here is a photo of the volunteer team today - what a great group they are, especially the dogs and the babies!

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Awesome report and well done to all the Downton family for volunteering today. Really appreciated.

Now for some stats:

Men's placings:

  • Ben FAIRHALL (VM35-39) of Redway Runners, was first over the line in 17:00 - second time in 6 appearances.
  • Adam WILMSHURST (JM15-17) of St Albans AC, was second over the line in 18:06.
  • Tom KIMBER (VM35-39) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:08 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

  • Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 7434 pts.
  • Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 6847 pts.
  • Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 6500 pts.

Women's placings:

  • Linsey RYALL (SW30-34) of Redway Runners, was first (26th overall) over the line in 20:50 - 7th time in 10 appearances.
  • Sinead BRADBEER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was second (45th overall) over the line in 21:55.
  • Alana SLATER (VW35-39) of Marshall Milton Keynes AC, was third (46th overall) over the line in 21:55.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

  • Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7414 pts.
  • Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 6187 pts.
  • Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 5973 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Lesley NESBITT (VW60-64) was graded 81.94% for the time 24:44 (129th overall).
  • Ben FAIRHALL (VM35-39) was graded 77.55% for the time 17:00 (first overall).
  • Adam WILMSHURST (JM15-17) was graded 76.89% for the time 18:06 (second overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,826 different runners, including participants from 394 athletics clubs, have completed 65,880 runs covering a total distance of 329,400 km, and there have been 13,759 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 theMilton Keynes parkrun Results Page.

Paul Woodward

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 246 1st November 2014

This week there were 422 runners, of whom 32 were first timers and 59 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different athletics clubs took part.

Massive thanks to all our volunteers this week, many of whom were from Leighton Fun Runners:

Claire AMOS, Sean ASTLEY, David AYERS, Christine AYERS, Emma BRACE, Terri CAVE, Stuart CULVERHOUSE, Clive DANIELS, Jason FAWKES, Michelle GEORGE-BARNES, Yvette GLACKEN, Andrew HULLY, Salima KESWANI, Sarah LOFTUS, Alison MARCH, Jim MARRAY, Maxine MARSHALL, Mark MCLOUGHLIN, Tam QUINN, Anthony SMITH, Carmel TAMBURRINO, Ricky TARBUCK

We have this from Laura Winton who actually organised the LFR takeover this morning:

parkrun report from Leighton Fun Runners.

Everyone at Leighton Fun Runners (LFR) was really pleased to be able to join you again today to volunteer at Milton Keynes parkrun. As a club we attend parkrun together on the first Saturday of the month all year round. It’s great to have it so close by and our club runners, from those who have just finished their Couch to 5km to our most experienced runners, always enjoy the chance to join you. For those training for a marathon it also offers the opportunity to run parkrun and then run back to Leighton Buzzard along the canal to get the all important long run ticked off the list at the weekend!

It is always clear what a central role the volunteers play in the running of the event and we felt it would be good to have a club ‘takeover’ where we can all volunteer together in order to encourage our members to give back to the event and volunteer themselves. By coming as a club to volunteer we can get new members to give volunteering a go knowing that there will be familiar faces from the club there to show them the ropes. And, of course, we can then all go for a tea afterwards and catch up with everyone from the myriad of different running clubs that attend every week.

If you are over Leighton Buzzard way and looking for a running club then we are a friendly welcoming running group that caters for all abilities from new starters to Ultra runners. Find out more on our website: www.leightonfunrunners.org.uk.

Thanks again for having us!

Cheers for sending that in Laura and thanks to you and the LFR team for volunteering today.

We are quite desperate for future weeks with loads of empty spots on our volunteer roster. Please email in with the role you can undertake, all we ask is that everyone volunteers three times a year. If you check the male and female points tables on our website you can see how many times you have volunteered compared to how many times you have run. If the ratio doesn’t look quite right then get emailing in!

Just the one runner reached a T shirt milestone today and that was Oliver TOMLINSON who reached his 100th run. Congratulations Oliver and look out for the email requesting you T shirt size. Remember the only way to get these T shirts is to turn up regularly and don’t forget you barcode!! We had loads of runners registered as Unknown this morning. Please try and get your barcode laminated as well to make it a bit less soggy!

The parkrun rules regarding not having your barcode with you are quite clear. No barcode = no result = no exceptions.

Thanks to Mel and her team from our local Sweatshop for turning up today. Get yourselves down there for a massive 20% off everything today only!! A saving not to be missed.

We had Sarah Wetton send this in about her first parkrun last Saturday:

I was very nervous when I arrived for my first parkrun. I had no idea where to go but the runners were so friendly and approachable .  The route was a real challenge and one that I look forward to doing again. I managed to complete the run without stopping and my target was a time of 35-40mins.  Needless to say I was delighted with my official run time of 32.54mins. Running in a group is obviously motivating!!

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Thanks for sending it in Sarah and keep at it!

We had David Stride send in another couple of photos after his 100th run last weekend and they are too good not to use in the report:
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We have a couple of photos that should have accompanied the article last week from Angela Cox. Not one to waste a good photo then here they are.

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Thanks for sending them in Angela.

We have this from Ian Richardson covering last weekend’s parkrun:

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Great work, cheers Ian.

Finally, we have our stats:

Men's placings:

  • Niall ROBINSON (SM25-29) of Brighton & Hove City AC, was first over the line in 17:30 - 4th time in 8 appearances.
  • Chris NORMAN (SM30-34) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was second over the line in 18:06.
  • Adam HAYLOCK (VM35-39) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was third over the line in 18:25.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

  • Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 7284 pts.
  • Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 6666 pts.
  • Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 6324 pts.

Women's placings:

  • Debra BRENT (VW50-54) (Unattached) was first (52nd overall) over the line in 22:10 - second time in 22 appearances.
  • Jennifer SANGSTER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was second (62nd overall) over the line in 22:29 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.
  • Jenny CHAMBERS (VW60-64) of Smiley Paces, was third (63rd overall) over the line in 22:30.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

  • Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7223 pts.
  • Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 6000 pts.
  • Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 5805 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Jenny CHAMBERS (VW60-64) was graded 86.22% for the time 22:30 (63rd overall).
  • Debra BRENT (VW50-54) was graded 76.54% for the time 22:10 (52nd overall).
  • Stuart SINCLAIR (VM45-49) was graded 75.39% for the time 19:06 (9th overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,776 different runners, including participants from 393 athletics clubs, have completed 65,425 runs covering a total distance of 327,125 km, and there have been 13,683 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 245 25th October 2014

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!

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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:

Rebecca ABBOTT 10

Sam DOWNTON 50

Scott BROWNLOW 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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.
David.

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

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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:

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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:

Men's placings:

  • 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.

Women's placings:

  • 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.

Paul Woodward

 

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 244 18th October 2014

This week the 396 runners that braved the heavy looking sky had a real treat after the finish line with cakes and cookies baked by Ami Gardner in aid of Little Hands charity. Here is her story:

Today at Milton Keynes parkrun I was was selling cookies and cakes to raise money for the Little Lives appeal at Milton Keynes hospital. Every year the hospital neonatal unit cares for more than 350 babies that are born to early, too small or very ill - that's about one in every 10 babies born in Milton Keynes. The Little Lives appeal helps give the tiniest patients the best start in life.

It's part of the £1 challenge set by her school Giles Brook Primary School. Everyone in year six has been given a £1 by our head teacher Miss Britnell and challenged to use the money to raise as much money as possible for the Little Lives Appeal. I started by washing cars and doing other jobs to raise money to buy the ingredients for the cakes and cookies I was selling today. Mum told me what to do but I did all the weighing, mixing and baking myself. I've even been giving up going and playing at the park after school and going straight home after school so I can bake the cookies and cakes.

Thanks to everyone who bought a cookie and cake! Thanks to the amazing generosity of Milton Keynes parkruners today I raised £80.05!

Link to the appeal:http://www.mkhospital.nhs.uk/index.php/mkhcharity/appeals-projects/119-little-lives-appeal

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Thanks for that Ami and well done.

There were a fantastic 43 personal bests today which is phenomenal in that wind along the back straight today. Special pb mention to Jon BAYLISS on his 136th run, Glyn BRAZIER on his 116th run and Neil PITMAN for a pb on his 50th run!

A huge welcome to our 38 first timers today including parkrun tourists such as Simon REYNOLDS, Gary WHITE and Charlie BOYCE. Please let us know how you got on with our course and hope to see you all again next week.

We had 26 different running clubs represented today with some far and wide such as Birmingham Running Athletics and Triathlon Club, Polegate Plodders, Poole Runners and Team World Vision.

We also had a number of our runners hit their T shirt milestones with the following:

Iona NORWOOD, Florence CULL and Daniel PARSONS hitting 10 runs

Chris RICHARDS, Jon WALKER, Neil PITMAN and Nick TOMKINS with 50

Look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes. Quite a few on either 49 or 99 so we should have loads of celebrations over the coming weeks. Remember the only way to get these T shirts is to turn up regularly and bring your barcode! No barcode - no result - no exceptions.

We have the following from Chris Richards who reached his 50th parkrun today:

Saturday mornings used to be a time to vegetate for a few hours, where occasionally I might push the limits of my endurance by making a second cup of coffee.     

Sedentary Saturdays are now a thing of the past!

I can’t put my finger on exactly how I came to discover parkrun. Might have stumbled across something on line, or then again, might have spotted something on the Sweatshop notice board. It doesn’t really matter, but my discovery certainly changed the course of my weekends forever.  

Now, as I type I am facing the prospect of my 50th parkrun on Saturday. It would have been more had 2014 not been primarily a year of injury. Lucy is now well into her ‘parkrun’ sixties, and we both took our parkrun baby steps at the same time in June 2013. However, when unable to run, I’ve still been lakeside, in either a supporting or volunteering capacity.

Volunteering is vital to the future of parkrun. It’s also an enjoyable experience, and allows you to put something back into the event which gives you so much pleasure! As something of a technophobe, my preferred volunteering role is Marshall, as I then get to watch and encourage runners at various points around the course. I’ve also done Tail Runner, Token Support and Number Checker roles. I’d encourage everyone to give it a go, and help ensure no events have to be cancelled.

I became a parkrun tourist for the first time recently, taking in the Edinburgh parkrun which was great fun, and we’re considering a little more tourism next year, maybe even in a different country!

Why do we do it? Some people use parkrun as part of a lifestyle change, others to test themselves, others like the social aspect of meeting up with like-minded individuals, and to share a coffee afterwards. The great thing about parkrun is that it’s for everyone. It doesn’t discriminate. Olympic athletes, serious club runners, middle aged plodders (maybe I fall into this category), youngsters, pensioners, and buggy-toting mums and dads are all equal in the eyes of parkrun.

My own personal motivation for taking part is to remain fit as I get older (a task that gets more difficult year by year), and also to prove to myself that age shouldn’t be an obstacle to achieving things. On my wish list for next year, is to get back to PB fitness level, perhaps break the 21 minute barrier (and head towards 20 minutes), and get an age grade score of over 70%. If I make it, then great. If not, I know I’ll have fun trying!

A final word of thanks to all the race directors for doing such a great job, all the volunteers who make the event possible each week!

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Thanks for sending that in Chris and congratulations.

Massive thanks to all our volunteers today without whom we would not have been able to stage the event:

Ali SMITH  •  Angela MULLIGAN  •  Anne STREET  •  Callum JONES  •  Claire GOODWIN  •  David HUDSON  •  David WHITELEY  •  Emma LEE  •  Gareth SNELSON  •  Gwen JONES  •  Heidi BROWN  •  Julie LOXLEY  •  Marcus MITCHINSON  •  Maree Blossom JESSON  •  Paul WOODWARD  •  Sam NICHOLAS  •  Simon BAKER  •  Sinead BRADBEER  •  Sue NICHOLAS  •  Wendy Angela THOMPSON

As always, here comes the usual volunteer begging piece - we are desperately short of volunteers for next week with very few marshalls or people to look after the finish tokens. Please review our volunteer roster and email in with how you can help us keep parkrun going. No volunteers - no parkrun!

On the 1st November our run director for the day will be Sarah Loftus and she is bringing with her some prizes for the best Halloween costume amongst our runners. So come dressed in your scariest outfits (tutus are NOT scary!) and join in the fun. We will also have the Leighton Fun Runners club doing a bit of a volunteer take-over led by Tam Quinn, and they have already covered most of our volunteer positions for the run that weekend. Thanks guys, always a great turn out from your club when you do this, well done. If any of the other clubs want to do this then just email in and let us know. It’s a great way of bringing people in your club together and showing everyone what your club stands for.

We have the following input from our volunteering team this week. First up is one from Gwen Jones who was one of our Marshalls today. Gwen is now on 40 runs and also celebrated her birthday the other day so Happy Birthday Gwen!

I have always tried to keep fit and had been running with friends for nearly 20 years on and off. After moving to Milton Keynes 5 years ago, I found a gym and started attending spin and a variety of exercise classes. I never got the good feeling about myself that I do when I am running but persevered because I didn’t really know many people here and wasn’t sure how I would start running again.

That’s when I heard about the parkrun. I was still a little nervous about coming along because I imagined everyone would be “proper” runners and I might be a bit too rusty and slow. The truth was something entirely different! Everyone was welcoming and encouraging and my times quickly started to fall to levels that I never imagined possible. I found that the group running was pushing me to improve and the support of other runners really made me want to get better.

At first, I was just keen to run like everyone else but I started to realise that each week, volunteers are needed to do all the things that make the run a success: As well as timing the runners, processing the results and clearing away afterwards, a run director is needed to organise the volunteer team and speak to the runners before they begin. Marshals offer direction and encouragement to runners, a timekeeper, who registers each runner's time as they finish; a barcode scanner, who scans runners' personal barcodes and finishing chips and many other vital people who make it so much fun for the rest of us.

Recognising that the success of the parkrun is mainly because of those volunteers, I decided recently to take a turn in assisting with marshalling and despite not running a couple of times because I volunteered, I got just as much from helping others to enjoy their Saturday morning’s fitness.  

I was proud to be with my husband recently at Windsor Castle where he received an honour from Prince William and it was especially pleasing to witness Paul Sinton-Hewitt receive a CBE for founding parkrun.

I hope to keep fit enough to run for many years to come but will always be mindful of the need to volunteer occasionally to ensure that many people can get as much out of parkrunning as I do.

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Next up is Heidi Brown who was looking after the finish tokens today and has completed 6 parkruns:

I have always enjoyed going to the gym and keeping fit, Spinning was always my favorite class to do and I would do this 3-4 times a week, then the back end of last year my husbands job changed and I could no longer go to the gym so I laced up my trainers and tried a run.

I live in Walnut Tree so my run would consist of me running to Caldecotte Lake, round 1 lake and then back home, I realised very quickly that this was something I really enjoyed, I was slow at first and stopped a few times but as the months went on I stopped less and my pace quickened. Could I actually be a runner??? So I entered my first event in March of this year, I ran the MM 10k, I absolutely loved it, the atmosphere was electric and everyone is so friendly, to my surprise I completed the 10k in 58 minutes.

I continued to train 3-4 times a week out running with a friend when we could and I started to increase my distances.

Completing the 10k led to me enter my first half marathon, I knew 13.1 miles would be hard but I loved it, so I have now run 3 half marathons this year and I am signed up for the MK half in December. I have also secured a charity place for the London Marathon 2015, running for MacIntyre, a Milton Keynes based Charity, really need to up my distances now!!

A friend of mine who is also a keen runner told me about parkrun, she attends most weeks and had told me how much fun it was, great group of runners and fantastic scenery around Willen Lake, she said that it was free to sign up and gives you a Saturday morning run out and a challenge if you want it, I signed up completely shocked that it didn't cost a penny. I did my first run on the 6th of September this year and loved it, been back every week since eager to achieve a new PB.

There is a great crowd and everyone is so friendly, and there is always a familiar face and somebody to talk to after the run.

parkrun's volunteers are crucial to its success, the Marshals are motivational and there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make sure we get our texts/email results and all the communication we receive. As its all voluntary when I signed up I was happy to be on the list for volunteering as its only right we play our part.

This weekend see's me do my first role as a volunteer, I am being trusted to hand out the finish tokens, I just hope I do good job : )

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Thanks for that Heidi and well done for volunteering.

We are honoured this week to have a story from Hazel Carr who has now run an incredible 199 parkruns!!! I originally asked Hazel for a story when she was on around 50 parkruns but better late than never!! :-)

Until recently my parkrun Saturday started by waking my son, Peter, to let him know where I was going and to ask if he wanted to come. He usually said “no”.

Although I have almost completed 200 parkruns, it has reminded me that I said no at first too. Well, I should say we yelled it - across Bushy Park when friends from Ranelagh Harriers tried to encourage us to join in their 5k time trial. About 10 years ago Lynne, Jane and I would be an hour into our long run on a Saturday morning sometimes passing the start of the time trail in Bushy Park just before 9. There was no way we were going to interrupt our long run for just a 5k! (Sorry Wally, but thanks for asking!)

Times change, Bushy Park time trial became parkrun and no longer has to try to coerce passing runners to join in!  I moved to Milton Keynes and was thrilled when I found out there was going to be a parkrun at Willen. These days I am pleased to run 5k on a Saturday morning whenever I can and Peter says I don’t need to tell him where I’m going as he knows what I do on a Saturday morning.  I still look forward to the day he joins me though.

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Thanks for finally putting that together Hazel!!

 

Now for our stats:

 

Men's placings:

Andy INCHLEY (VM35-39) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was first over the line in 17:57 - 9th time in 67 appearances.

Adrian LYSAK (SM30-34) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:37.

Stuart BOYER (VM35-39) of Team MK, was third over the line in 18:45.

 

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 6981 pts.

Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 6307 pts.

Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 5944 pts.

 

Women's placings:

Debra BRENT (VW50-54) (Unattached) was first (66th overall) over the line in 22:52 - first time in 20 appearances.

Lauren GOODMAN-GOULT (SW25-29) of Redway Runners, was second (71st overall) over the line in 23:15.

Sharon FINCH (VW35-39) of Polegate Plodders, was third (78th overall) over the line in 23:34.

 

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 7037 pts.

Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 5621 pts.

Angela Sarah COX (Redway Runners) 5607 pts.

 

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

Shirley Rose GIBSON (VW65-69) was graded 83.74% for the time 25:44 (140th overall).

Gary WHITE (VM60-64) was graded 75.92% for the time 21:19 (27th overall).

Andy INCHLEY (VM35-39) was graded 74.93% for the time 17:57 (first overall).

 

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,706 different runners, including participants from 385 athletics clubs, have completed 64,551 runs covering a total distance of 322,755 km, and there have been 13,533 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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