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 the story as sent in by her mum Kas:

Today at Milton Keynes parkrun Ami Gardner 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.

Ami's fundraising efforts are part of the £1 challenge set by her school Giles Brook Primary School. Every child in year six has been given a £1 and challenged to grow that £1 in order to raise as much money as possible for the Little Lives Appeal. Ami started by washing cars and doing other jobs to raise money to buy the ingredients for the cakes and cookies she was selling today. Over the last couple of days Ami has been giving up going and playing at the park after school and instead has been coming home and spending her time baking cookies and cakes.

Thanks to the amazing generosity of Milton Keynes parkruners today Ami 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/Kas 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

 

 

Christmas Day parkrun

Yes, it's that time of the year already, your cards are all written, the kids have sent their emails to Santa, and are now eagerly tracking his progress around the globe, you have cracked open last years port.

All you need to do now is remember where you left your blimmin barcode...

Yes, that's right. Courtesy of the Marvelous Martin Lawrence we will be holding a special event Milton Keynes parkrun on Christmas Morning at 9am.

Don't forget your Santa hats and sleigh bells!

 

Ho ho ho

 

Milton Keynes parkrun event number 24 11th October 2014

This week there were 437 runners, of whom 52 were first timers and 97 recorded new Personal Bests. A warm welcome to our first timers, hope you all enjoyed sunny Milton Keynes today!

We were lucky enough to have some parkrun tourists visit us today including Stephen KNOTT on his 171st run, Paul KNOTT on his 43rd, Lorraine GARROD on her 69th and Derek GARROD on his 56th. Well done to you all and hope you enjoyed our course. Let us know how you got on.

Representatives of 22 different athletics clubs took part including some great sounding running clubs such as L'Eliana Running, Sandhurst Joggers and Charnwood AC.

We have a report from our first placed male today - Elliot Hind:

After waiting 35 parkruns to get my first first finish I've now got my second only two parkruns later! The attached photo is from this morning of my fiancé Sarah and I; she finished 28th woman today even after struggling with illness.

I was helped this morning that the first Chiltern League Cross Country race of the season was this afternoon in Watford which meant a lot of my usual competition weren't there!

I ran St Albans parkrun last week which was great fun where I ran my PB of 17.21 finishing 2nd.

parkrun is a fantastic community; I really can't wait to get my 50 t-shirt in 13 parkruns time! Thank you so much every who volunteered today

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Cheers for sending that in so quickly Elliot and well done on 1st place.

Huge congratulations to the following for reaching their parkrun T shirt milestones:

Joey GARNER and Angela MULLIGAN both reached 50

Alasdair MACIVER, Carol DOWNS and Wendy Angela THOMPSON all reached 100 runs!

That is fantastic, look out for the email requesting your T shirt sizes.

I managed to get a few words from Alasdair after his 100th run today:

I got a real buzz from reaching 100 parkruns. What a great weekly event it is! And so much support and enthusiasm from fellow Redway Runners!

We also have a piece from Carol Downs after her 100th as follows:

500km! Who would have thought when I signed up for my first parkrun in January 2012? I'd been casually running with friends for about 7 years by then, training for the Race for Life every year then untraining afterwards. On that first run I met Sophie and Seve (his golf name). When we finished, it turned out that they were there with Jenny, a friend I knew from school. Within a matter of weeks Jenny had got us all signed up for Redway Runners and so it began, I was a proper runner. We have run in all weather conditions, sometimes in fancy dress, always with many many great friends. Running has also got me reacquainted with friends from years ago and the Redway Runners are the most sociable bunch of people I know. Running highlights have included The Great North Run (huge thanks to my family for waiting in the rain at South Shields), Mo Run, Winslow, the MK half and of course still The Race for Life. As a primary school teacher, with the help of my enthusiastic colleagues, I'm proud to say we've managed to get all 270 children in our school running - for the past three years we've all trained for the Great Glastonbury School run and everyone, from the age of 4 up, runs 2km. Huge thanks to all the running friends who've helped us. However, the constant in my life is that at 9 o'clock on a Saturday morning I'm at Willen ready for a run, a coffee and a chat with friends - obviously cake is a bonus! I was lucky enough to win the parkrunner of the month this year, which was awesome and had some fantastic help getting my pb down. I've paced other friends to their pb and have loved doing most of the volunteering roles - try it, you'll love it!
500km, as my friend Carol said, I could have run to Scotland. Thanks to everyone for making it such a fantastic morning.

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Great report Carol and well done on the 100 runs.

To complete the trio of 100 milestone runners today, we have this from Wendy Thompson:

Today is a milestone for me. I have completed my 100th parkrun, all of them at Milton Keynes, it's official!

I just took a look back at parkrun #1 and the other 99 recorded runs on the website. 26th March 2011 was the date of my first parkrun. A few of my Rock Choir friends had talked ourselves into it. It's free. We get timed. We can get fitter together and have fun. We can meet up for coffee and a natter afterwards!

Looking back at my recorded times they tell a story. A flurry of PBs as our training became more and more serious. Post-run coffee and chats resulted in endorphin-fuelled targets. Let's do a 10k... C'mon the Benidorm Half Marathon is achievable, it's only twice as far as a 10k... Let's run the first ever MK Marathon in April 2012. Of course we can do it!

The times also record the occasions when I ran with friends who were just starting on their running journeys, or when I was recovering from injury. And of course they record my PB of 30:18 in September 2011. A sub-30 is still a goal that I can achieve, I'm sure. But then, that's the beauty of parkrun. We're all running our own race whether that's to achieve a time, have fun with friends and family, overcome injury, train for a marathon, or to use as a distraction during difficult times.

To me, there's nothing better than kick-starting the weekend with 4 or 5 hundred other people who support each other every step of the way. Of course, this includes the organisers and marshals as well as the runners. I love marshalling and plan to get myself on the rota again now I've achieved membership of the 100 club. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who hasn't marshalled yet to have a go. It's great to see parkrun from a different perspective and it makes you appreciate what happens just so that we can run each week.

Over the past few weeks I've been reflecting on what Milton Keynes parkrun means to me. It's the buzz of 500+ voices on the start line, swapping stories, catching up, giving advice; it's the sight of 500+ brightly clothed people aged between 7 and 70 running towards the canal, babies in prams, dogs on leads; it's the heady smell of Deep Heat washing powder and sweat; it's the taste of salt on your lip; it's the touch of high 5s from children as they watch the runners go by and hugs from friends when you've made PB. Whether it's chilly winter, fresh spring, hot summer or crisp autumn parkrun has been there for me pretty much every Saturday for the past three and a half years.

Thank you parkrun - only 150 runs to go before I can join the next exclusive club!

Fantastic achievement Wendy. We have a photo of Wendy from today joining her two friends in the 100 club!

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Thanks to Ian Richardson for producing today’s run as a graphic:

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Huge thanks to the volunteers this week:

Jim BUTTLEMAN, Lucy COLE, Declan CONATY, Sam DEAR, Chris EDWARDS, Jan FERGUSON, Simon GURNEY, Peter HINCKS, Kyla HINCKS, Callum JONES, Salima KESWANI, Judith KNIGHT, Claire MARRAY, Ian PENNICOTT, Gareth SNELSON, Simon STIMPSON, Paul THOMAS, Nick TOMKINS, Sarah VIZOR, David WHITELEY, Pete WHITMORE

Why not get involved and volunteer?

We are desperately short of marshalls over the coming weeks so if you can help please email in with the week you can volunteer and role you would prefer.

This week we have a story from one of our volunteers - Lucy Cole - who was one of the fantastic marshalls today. Lucy is now on 20 parkruns:

I remember my first parkrun, I was nearly ill when I finished but the sense of achievement and the encouragement I got from the volunteers made me keep going back for more. I've dipped in and out of parkrun since, due to having a young family, but this year whilst planning my wedding I've really got the running bug (never did I think I would say them words). I joined DLRR running club and set a personal goal to attend more parkruns and I have even managed to be a tourist at a few, only those beginning with "B" though (Buckingham, Birmingham & Bournemouth) ha ha ha. I have completed a couple of 10k's and with a lot of help and encouragement from "my green friends", DLRR, I completed my first half marathon at the Bournemouth Running Festival last weekend. I am really pleased with my time and actually, quite enjoyed it, I mean, who wouldn't running with those views!! I did vow that I would retire from running after the half marathon but I am now left wanting more............ Friends close to me, would say, "I'm a changed person"

If it wasn't for parkrun I'm sure I would of given up a long time ago. The encouragement you get from the volunteers is immense. I have only managed the marshalling role so far, as this is easy to do with the children but I hope as they get older I will be able to help out more.

Thank you to all at parkrun, for giving up your spare time to help people like me, enjoy running.

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Great story, thanks for that Lucy and good luck with the running.

Next up we have a report from Simon Stimpson who was also one of our marshalls today. Simon has now completed 12 parkruns:

I always enjoyed a bit of cycling but wanted to do something else that involved exercise and meeting new people. I like being out in the fresh air and as a consequence am not a great fan of gyms so after some thought I decided, at the ripe old age of 48, to take up running…….something I could never have contemplated a few years ago when I tipped the scales at a shade over 20 stone! At a more healthy 14 stone (although I have a bit to lose again now) I joined the Beginners’ Group at MK Lakeside Runners in January 2013. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and have made some great new friends and have one or two good natured healthy rivalries going on too!!

After an Achilles injury I finally completed my 5K graduation run in the summer and progressed to the Improvers’ Group and soon after that completed my first park run in what I thought was a respectable 28.33. I got a bit quicker each run and on my 5th parkrun with a sub 25 in sight just ran out of steam and finished in 25.11 which remains my PB.

I drive trains for a living so my shifts and the Saturday morning club runs mean I don’t do quite as many parkruns as I would like but when I do run I am always thankful to the people who give up their time to volunteer, in all weathers, to ensure your event goes ahead. I aim to volunteer myself, in one capacity or another, at least 2 or 3 times a year as I think it’s really important to give something back to these fantastic occasions.

My running progressed to my first 10K race at last year’s MoRun in MK and after training in the new year completed my first half marathon at the MK Festival of Running in March this year. Unfortunately I picked up another injury that kept me out for best part of 5 months so I was able to volunteer on a couple of extra occasions when I probably would’ve run……yes that was me scanning barcodes wearing a trainer on one foot and a slipper on the other!!

I guess we’re fortunate in MK as we have such a large turnout week after week and maybe getting volunteers for our event may be easier but it doesn’t alter the fact that no matter how big or small your parkrun event is you will always need volunteers for it to go ahead!

On my return to running from August through various breaks or visits to family I have been able to do a little bit of parkrun tourism and the message from each run director is the same. You cannot place such a reliance on the same people who volunteer week in, week out and they are all trying to encourage more people to get involved. One race director stated that one of their events nearly had to be cancelled in the summer because the same family (and there was quite a lot of them there on the day I was) were on holiday and hardly anybody else had volunteered. The event only went ahead when a few abandoned their plans to run to assist.

The events I went to are much smaller than MK’s and it really got me thinking how important it is to volunteer, especially as there will be less people in theory available to do it. Also imagine how you’d feel if you lived outside of MK and your local parkrun closed due to lack of support!

I find volunteering very rewarding, it’s nice to give the runners encouragement where you can and even nicer when you get their thanks and appreciation for being there so if you’ve not done it before really give some thought to giving volunteering a go (maybe 1-3 times a year) you’ll be giving something back and help to keep parkrun going for another 10 years and another 10 after that!!

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Great report. Thanks for that Simon - hope you stay injury free!

Next up is one from Ian Pennicott who was one of our barcode scanners today. Ian is now up to 46 parkruns!

I wrote a similar article back in March for Paul and have since then, as a direct result of parkrun, almost completed 50 runs, I only need 4 more for a Tee Shirt.
Volunteered several times including this weekend.
Visited other parkrun locations to see their courses
Participated in 3 half marathons, numerous 10km runs, an Endure 24 hour race, a Tour of Milton Keynes Race and by far the most fun - Rock Solid at Silverstone. Had you said I would have done all this last year I think everyone I know would have laughed.
I have to keep this up for the next year. (No Pressure there then).

I still can’t believe this time last year I had only just started running (parkrun). And tentatively started out this year with a running club.
Both experiences have been enjoyable, keeping me relatively fit and more importantly meeting numerous new faces I can call friends.

parkrun is so popular now that it made it onto TV and the BBC’s Breakfast Show last Saturday October 4th. Mike Bushell did a special report with its founder Paul Sinton Hewitt, to celebrate its 10th Birthday, (10 years OMG) discussing different reasons why people turn out on a Saturday morning. While attempting to run 5km.

The Saturday morning run has a wonderful atmosphere, cheery faces and on the whole is a brilliant way to start the weekend. Finishing with friends and a Coffee. I have even got my daughter running and she is really impressed with the setup.

All said and done I really enjoy the Saturday runs (I am sure I am not the only one) and it is fantastic to see so many people turn up week in week out, from older members to especially the junior members who are there time after time, a wide and varied selection of people, awesome guys.

Well done everyone who is involved in one way or another!

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Thanks for the report and a fantastic picture of you enjoying the Rock Solid race!

We also have a report from Sinead Bradbeer who volunteered in August but missed my facebook message as it had to gone to the “other” facebook inbox.

To parkrun or not to parkrun? That was how I was feeling last night and first thing this morning. It was hard to get up and out on a cold and wet morning especially as 5k isn’t my favourite distance, but the thought that so many other people would be out there at parkun made me feel a bit guilty at not running.

I had a lovely little warm-up with a fellow Redway Runner (I just joined a few weeks back) and then a not so lovely getting cold again waiting for parkrun to start. As always it was a struggle over the first part of the run- being small it can be hard to find a way past so many runners! I’m not brave enough to start up at the very front and also don’t like to go too fast at the beginning. Usually by the zig-zags I’m getting to where I like to be and I do use them to notch up the speed a bit. Lots of people seem to dread the zig-zags but I think it’s one of my favourite bits of the MK parkrun.

After that I wanted to try to catch up with David, who I warmed up with. The Redway Runners who know me know that I have a (bad) habit of chasing people down! Mission accomplished (although I can’t remember how far round) and it was time to push the pace a bit more. To be honest I haven’t got much else to say about today’s parkrun as I do try to focus completely on my running. The last stretch is always both horrid and enjoyable-horrid because I try to push myself and start to feel tired and sick, but enjoyable because it’s nearly over!

Today I didn’t quite get a PB but I wasn’t really trying to get one. However, I am very competitive with myself and was pleased to finish 3rd lady this time- usually I come in about 6th. I’ve done 6 parkruns now, all at MK, and I really enjoy the experience of running with other people. Before I did parkrun I’d always run on my own which is nice for a bit of quiet time but you can get a bit lazy. As well as doing wonders for my running, I really appreciate the support and encouragement I’ve had from other runners and I love starting the weekend this way!

I’ve also volunteered twice (I think, or maybe 3 times) which is just as enjoyable as running. Because I have my children with me we like to be at the final marshalling post cheering everyone on for the last sprint. Your hands get a bit sore with all the clapping but I think it’s really nice to get that bit of support when lots of runners are feeling really tired.

Favourite parkrun experience so far: the 10th birthday/ International Parkrun day last week. Why? I got to run wearing a tutu- something I think I should do more often!

Great input, cheers for that Sinead and love the photo! As for running in a tutu, I can thoroughly recommend it!

We also had this sent in from Ivor Howard:

Thought you might be interested in our Howard family photo from last week's MK parkrun. It’s the first time we've all done the event with 50 parkrun T-shirts on! We actually got the shirts a while ago, but haven't got it together until now.

We are (left to right) Melanie, Helen, Ivor, Ben and Katie. We have PB's between 19 and 27 mins, and Helen is the nearest to her 100 park runs, just 3 to go!

parkrun has been a fantastic event for our family over the last 3 years, such a lovely, supportive atmosphere. We never regret coming, even when the weather's bad. This year we've become parkrun tourists for the first time, doing the Poole, Taunton and Brighton (Hove) parkruns on our travels.

It got us thinking whether there are other parkrun families out there with more than 5 members doing >50 parkruns?

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What a great photo. Thanks for sending that in Ivor. Fairly sure at least two, if not three, of you have overtaken me in the last K in recent weeks! Great work.

So, to answer Ivor’s question - do we have any other families out there all with 50+ T shirts?

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

Today I interviewed Gareth- the guy who brought parkrun to MK! Thanks a lot Gareth!
He has no idea how many times he has done parkrun but thinks it is around 80.

Why do you come to parkrun?
Well, I brought it to MK so I have to run it don't I?

What is your favourite part of the course?
I love the zig zags because I like running up hills! You also get a really nice view of the lake when you’re at the top of the hill.

Have you ever been a parkrun tourist?
Yes. Lots and lots of times - Swindon, Gorchester and I think my favourite parkrun is Sheringham.

Who is your running hero?
Ron Hill. He actually ran parkrun here in MK! I ran with him it was amazing.

What is your favourite running weather?
I like it when it is hot, with a clear sky and sunshine.

If you could be any animal around parkrun, what would you be?
I would be a gazelle because they are really springy and I could get a really good time!

What is your favourite volunteering role?
I like being race director and I think I have volunteered more times than I have ran!

Have you got any running goals?
I want to run a 18:30 min time by the end of this year for parkrun.

Thank you for letting me interview you today Gareth.

I give a big congrats to the people I saw with - 'my 100th parkrun' and 'my 50th parkrun' Well done to all this morning. Remember you’re are all amazing!

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Great report this week Pippa, well done. As for the stats for Gareth, he has now run 83 times and yet volunteered 102 times! Great efforts!

Now for some stats:

Men's placings:
Elliot HIND (SM25-29) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was first over the line in 17:27 - second time in 10 appearances.
Stuart SINCLAIR (VM45-49) of Sweatshop Running Community, was second over the line in 19:00.
John LOXLEY (VM45-49) of Redway Runners, was third over the line in 19:20.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 6781 pts.
Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 6131 pts.
Jim BUTTLEMAN (Leighton Fun Runners) 5759 pts.

Women's placings:
Jennifer SANGSTER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was first (22nd overall) over the line in 21:07 - third time in 68 appearances.
Michelle GEORGE-BARNES (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was second (44th overall) over the line in 22:07 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Sinead BRADBEER (VW40-44) of Redway Runners, was third (56th overall) over the line in 22:43.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 6850 pts.
Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 5621 pts.
Julie LOXLEY (Redway Runners) 5584 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Paul TEW (VM50-54) was graded 76.44% for the time 19:27 (5th overall).
Stuart SINCLAIR (VM45-49) was graded 75.79% for the time 19:00 (second overall).
John LOXLEY (VM45-49) was graded 75.69% for the time 19:20 (third overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,668 different runners, including participants from 384 athletics clubs, have completed 64,155 runs covering a total distance of 320,775 km, and there have been 13,490 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 242 4th October 2014

This week there were 470 runners out enjoying the slightly windy conditions. I thought it was going to be a really wet one but thankfully we stayed dry. Great to see so many people dressed up in all sorts of random gear for the International parkrun Day 2014 celebrations. It is now 10 years since parkrun first started in the UK. Well done to everyone that has been involved since then in making it what it is today. Special mention to Gareth and all the run directors that give up so much of their time to keep it all going.

A few photos from this mornings’ shenanigans:

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We had 45 runners join us at Milton Keynes for the first time including 19 parkrun tourists such as Peter BOYLE on his 124th run, Raymond BROWN on his 93rd and Sheila HUMPHRIES on her 81st. Welcome to you all and hope you enjoyed our course. Please let us know how you got on.

76 runners recorded new Personal Bests which is a fantastic achievement in that wind along the back of the lake.

Representatives of 28 different athletics clubs took part including what would appear to be a new club, the Redway Runners! It is in fact the new name for what used to be called the David Lloyd Redway Runners (DLRR). Glad to hear of the name change as I could never pronounce the full name properly anyway!

Thanks to Ian RIchardson for producing the graphic of this week’s run:

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Thanks to this week's volunteers

Amy INCHLEY  •  Andy INCHLEY  •  Carol DOWNS  •  David HUDSON  •  Glenn OLDFIELD  •  Helen BLUCHER-ALTONA  •  Helen WIGGINS  •  Jenny FENTON  •  Mark SHARP  •  Matthew BROOKS  •  Rachel MARTIN  •  Robert Paul TRIBE  •  Roger DEAR  •  Stella-Maria THOMAS  •  Stephane CARPENTER  •  Stephen DUNHAM  •  Tim GIFFEN  •  Victoria HODGES  •  Yvette GLACKEN

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

Huge congratulations to the following for reaching their T shirt milestones:

This week we have some input from some of our volunteers. First up is Helen Wiggins who was one of our barcode scanners today. Helen is on 22 runs since starting parkrun back in March and has now volunteered three times:

My first experience of running outside was uncomfortable, tough, unsociable and I went straight back to the comfort of my gym. However my hairdresser convinced me to join the step up group of Redway Runners. So January this year I plucked up the courage and turned up and could barely run for a minute but the encouragement and support I had from all the lovely strangers that I now call friends encouraged me back week after week.

It wasn't long before people started talking to me about parkrun, and one of my new friends Ali ran with me on my first parkrun in March helping me round in a respectable 41:01.

The atmosphere of parkrun is amazing, it's so welcoming to all runners of all abilities, with everyone being so supportive from the runners to the volunteers.

I've now completed 22 parkruns, helped one person achieve a new PB (who I met through running and is a distant relative) as well as getting my own PB down to 33:04. This weekend is my third weekend volunteering at parkrun, it's just as much fun as running it, love seeing all the runners coming across the finish line always satisfied with the success of the morning run.

So many people have helped me with my running, from advice to support, from leading or tail running the club runs to running and volunteering in parkrun. Without all of these wonderful people I would not be a regular runner, aiming for a sub 30 parkrun, taking on my first 10K in November and possibly taking part in the Great North Run next year.

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Awesome report, thanks for that Helen and love the thumbs up picture! Good with the running!

Next up is a report from Andy Inchley who was our number checker today. Andy has now completed 72 parkruns in total, coming in as first male at MK a total of 8 times. Just to provide a balanced view though, I did beat him once, back in August last year. I think he must have stopped for a lay down or something! Amy Inchley was also volunteering today as one of our marshalls. Amy is on 45 parkruns and has also finished as first lady at both Milton Keynes and Queen Elizabeth parkruns.

I have been running for 30 years now, having joined Leighton Buzzard AC with my older brother Tim at the age of 8. Dad soon joined too, as did little brother Tom when he was old enough. Over the years our levels of running have fluctuated greatly and meant that we’ve all beaten each other many times in different races. We’ve all “recruited” wives that run when they can too and the next generation of Inchley’s have recently started parkrunning with Tim’s sons Joe and Olly working towards their “10” T-shirts.

Amy was conscripted into the Inchley running army when we first got together 7 years ago, and nearly had “must run all cross-country fixtures” in our wedding vows. Her first event was a 10 mile race(!) where she just pipped a few V70’s, but her progress has been such that she was selected to run for the county in March this year which was a really proud day for me, particularly as it was just nine months after Erin was born.

On the competition side of things I love the team events more than anything, with the relay events and the cross-country league being my highlights each year with the club. This is particularly because there are more people to share a pint with afterwards, and this is very nearly compulsory at LBAC!

We do have a bit of a historical brotherly competition too with Tim holding all the family bests up 10K (from when he was 18 and pretty good), I have them from 10 to 20 miles and Tom has the fastest marathon as it stands. Dad more than does his bit for the sport too, as treasurer for both the English Cross Country Association and the Chiltern Cross Country League, while still managing the odd 24 minute parkrun at 69.

My times are all pretty consistent across the distances if you look at age grading, with the exception of my marathon PB that lags behind the others, however, both Amy and I are giving it another go in Chester tomorrow so we’ll have to see.

I have been race director of the Leighton 10 for the last five years, so please put Sunday 20th September in your diaries as that is highly likely to be next year’s date for what is an exceptionally friendly and challenging local race – not that I am at all biased!

I work in Aylesbury for the district council in Community development and so designed the courses and got the funding together for both the Aylesbury and Buckingham parkruns. This was a challenge when we really don’t have any large parks over there! I can’t take any credit with the real work that has gone on since as that goes to Glen Turner and all the regular volunteers, but do like to think that I kickstarted them both.

parkrun has been phenomenal. Firstly it used to get me out of bed on a Saturday morning so that I could get my run out of the way before breakfast, which was unheard of. These days, both Amy and I have second PB’s to try and beat as I push Erin round too, but with nine Inchleys on the parkrun register there is usually one of us present to hold the family end up!

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Great report and photo Andy, cheers for sending that in. For those that don’t know Andy, he is the one in the photo with the unusual choice of running shorts and Amy is far left (with Amy on her vest!)

One more which is from Rachel Martin. Rachel was one of our fabulous marshalls today and she is now on her 9th parkrun:

Running and I have had a turbulent relationship for years, anyone who has seen my parkrun results will know that. I think this year though I finally 'got it'!

I was ill at the end of last year and spent a few months not knowing what was wrong, it turned out it wasn't a heart attack but some weird chest/back condition that can feel the same. Every runner you speak to has a similar story to tell about injury, illness or sometimes just not 'feeling it'.

Since joining Redway Runners I have discovered that a 13 minute mile is as good as a 5 minute mile, as they say you are quicker than the person on the couch.

parkrun offers all of us the opportunity to measure our progress, good or bad. It encourages us to try a bit harder or rewards us when we get a good time. Most of all it gives the chance to get out there with a bunch of like minded people and have fun, for FREE!

I volunteered for the first time today, I may not have been positioned quite correctly but what I did bring was a huge smile, green tutu and stripey leggings just to try and bring a smile to the runners faces. I would encourage anyone to volunteer don't be put off by the fact that all these people are coming towards you and may or may not speak to say thanks. What you will know is that they do appreciate it and you do a great job. Please add your name to the list.  parkrun can't go ahead without volunteers, us runners need you!

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Great report and love the photo Rachel!

We also have a slightly delayed volunteer report from Lucinda Parish who looked after the finish tokens a couple of weeks ago:

The parkrun has become my social event of the weekend - it used to be 9pm in a pub on a Saturday night, now it’s 9am at Willen Lake on a Saturday morning! It feels so great to be with 400+ like-minded runners, and there’s always a sense of fun at the start and I love the “how did you do?” conversations when queuing at the end to hand the tokens over.

I have been a member of the parkrun community only since March this year, but thought it was about time I volunteered. The parkrun requests that parkrunners volunteer three times a year, which I think is fair enough to be honest! Did you know that the volunteer email request only goes to about 5% of the registered parkrunners? So please opt in to the email because remember folks, if there’s no volunteers, the parkrun won’t take place – and then what would we all do (I’d be back to that pub at 9pm on a Saturday night!) It was so easy – I got the email saying ‘can you volunteer?’ I replied and said ‘yes’ and then looked at the link on the website to see what role I was doing.

I was given token support – so basically at the finish line. It was great to be able to say ‘well done’ to everyone at the end of the run – so many great achievements from 17 minute runners (yes they exist) to PBs to first-timers. I’ve always been the one to yell ‘thank you’ to all the marshals and volunteers as I run along, so it was really nice to be on the receiving end of it.  And I felt good knowing that I had volunteered so I didn’t have to have that little feeling of guilt at the start line when they very politely request through the megaphone that you do give something back and volunteer once in a while.

And if that hasn’t convinced you, I am convinced it is no coincidence that I got a PB the week after I volunteered!

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Great report and photo Lucinda, thanks for that.

Finally, our roving reporter Pippa Downton was up to her interviewing tricks dressed as a Daffodil - here is her report:

Today I interviewed Justin. He has done about 25 parkruns and his favourite part of the course is the zig - zags because he finds it easier to run up hills!

Why do you come to parkrun? I come because I used to run outside of parkrun but then someone told me about it and now I bring the whole family! It's a great way to socialise with people that you don't normally meet with.

Have you ever been a parkrun tourist? Um... no but I did pack my running shoes when I went to Preston. I had good intentions but never did get to do a run.

Who is your running hero? My running hero is Terry Fox because he tried to run across Canada with one leg, suffering from cancer. He didn't make it but the Terry Fox trust has since raised over 600 million dollars for cancer charities. He also has a Canadian mountain named after him!

If you could be any animal around parkrun, what would you be? I would be a sea gull because they're really quick at flying.

What is your favourite volunteering role? I need to confess, I haven't yet volunteered...but I will do! (Gasp!)

Have you got any running goals? Yes, I want to beat my sons PB of 22:30!

Thank you for letting me interview you today Justin. I hope that you soon beat your sons PB! Well done to everyone in fancy dress today for the 10th anniversary of parkrun!

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Great report Pippa - thanks for sending that in:

Now for some stats:

Men's placings:

  • Jordan CLAY (JM15-17) of Leighton Buzzard AC, was first over the line in 17:03 - first time in 20 appearances.
  • Graham JONES (SM25-29) of Marshall Milton Keynes AC, was second over the line in 17:25.
  • Jean-Pierre MITCHELL (VM35-39) of Higham Harriers AC, was third over the line in 17:35.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

  • Paul WOODWARD (Redway Runners) 6597 pts.
  • Andy SEALEY (Unattached) 5943 pts.
  • Ed VOUT (Unattached) 5656 pts.

Women's placings:

  • Karen LENNOX (VW35-39) of Redway Runners, was first (15th overall) over the line in 20:22 - 7th time in 9 appearances.
  • Victoria Marie BERRY (SW30-34) of Redway Runners, was second (47th overall) over the line in 22:13.
  • Donna FIELDING (VW40-44) (Unattached) was third (63rd overall) over the line in 22:55.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

  • Lucy RICHARDS (Redway Runners) 6851 pts.
  • Julie LOXLEY (Redway Runners) 5584 pts.
  • Caroline BEECHEY (Redway Runners) 5431 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  • Jordan CLAY (JM15-17) was graded 79.18% for the time 17:03 (first overall).
  • Mervyn PHILLIPS (VM55-59) was graded 76.91% for the time 20:30 (22nd overall).
  • Sam NICHOLAS (JM15-17) was graded 76.61% for the time 18:10 (5th overall).

Milton Keynes parkrun started on 16th January 2010, and since then 7,615 different runners, including participants from 384 athletics clubs, have completed 63,718 runs covering a total distance of 318,590 km, and there have been 13,391 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

 

 

International parkrun day 2014

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This weekend at Milton Keynes parkrun we are joining in the worldwide fun and celebrating International parkrun day 2014. It is also the 10th anniversary of parkrun starting in the UK.

We are encouraging everyone, both volunteers and runners, to come dressed up in fancy dress, bring balloons, bring cake to share etc, but most of all to just have fun and join in!

See you all there!

Paul Woodward

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