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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Great report Andy and Pippa and well done Pippa on your pb!
The stats for this week are as follows:
- 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.
- 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.