It’s easy-peasy…

"Have you made any really good volunteer goofs?” I asked Jo Sinton-Hewitt recently. “Oh yes, I stopped the timer once before everyone had finished!” she replied breezily.

I must confess that I too have made a few gaffes over the years on the volunteering front. The first time I ever volunteered I let someone leave the funnel without a position token, the first time I was Run Director not a single time was recorded due to my poor explanation of how the Opticon timer worked, and I once dropped the tokens at 8:55am.

Whooops! 8.50am...

The point I’m trying to make is... that it really doesn’t matter. We all make mistakes and it’s certainly not stopped Jo or I volunteering again and again many times since.

Super scanners

All over the country our junior parkrunners are gaining valuable life skills when carrying out parkrun volunteer roles week after week; scanning barcodes, sorting out position tokens and processing the results to name but a few, and if they can do it so can we!

Token sorting

Volunteering really is easy-peasy and we promise that we would never ask you to do anything that you feel uncomfortable doing. Take a look at our new How to volunteer page, email your local junior parkrun office, contact them via their social media channels or speak to the local team on any junior parkrunday to find out how to get involved.

junior uploader

I’d encourage anyone - big or small - to volunteer at his or her local event at least once. Be proud to wear the hi-vis jacket of a parkrun volunteer as without you it couldn’t happen!

Young volunteer

When we all work together week after week to bring another free, timed 2k parkrun for the little people to fruition we are building a ‘community’. Think of parkrun as the invitation to a great party - the community we create by consequence is the actual party.

 Happy parkrunning and volunteering. Let's party on!

 

 

 

 

weekly newsletter 14th August 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality reveal their faces, Sweatshop open up, Join In kick off, Leeds Met Uni study your apps, Alister welcomes England’s most northern parkrun and I have a special message to share with you.

I’d like to say thank you for all the amazing messages of support following last week’s note about the Club t-shirts. It took me four years to get to my 50 Club t-shirt and receiving it was one of my proudest moments, so I truly understand how disappointing these delays are for many of you. The positive response was overwhelming both in terms of offers of help and simple messages of support. Thank you.

Moving on, you’ll see from their article below that once again we are working with Join In to promote volunteering at parkrun, specifically around bringing a ‘plus one’. We believe that joining your parkrun volunteer team is as life changing (if not more) than running at parkrun. That’s certainly the case for me, so we’re keen to encourage as many parkrunners as possible to get involved. At the moment around 11% of parkrunners volunteer during the year so if you’re one of those 89% yet to give it a go perhaps Eddie Izzard’s special message might be the motivation you need. Having said that, many of you might prefer his alternative offer.

As always we understand there are many reasons why people choose to run and/or volunteer, and we will always respect those, but if Eddie’s inspired you to give it a go then please visit parkrun.org.uk/howtovolunteer and sign up.

Thanks for your parkrun passion,

Happy running,

Tom

P.S. You can read this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.

Faces of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon


A big congratulations to our two chosen Faces of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon:
- Frances Alcock (A209275) - looking to triumph another life challenge with a half marathon
- Simon Hodkin (A157157) - a long term running advocate looking to concentrating his efforts on the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon

We would like to say a huge thank you to all those parkrunners who entered to become the Face of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon. It was great to see so many parkrunners eager to step up to this challenge! Although we could only choose two winners, PruHealth with Vitality would love to see you all reach your own personal goals, so we will be offering all competition entrants a free entry into the run! We will be in touch shortly with further information.

We will be following both Frances and Simon on their journey to completing the 21.1k run through weekly blogs and video/photography updates. PruHealth with Vitality will share their stories to inspire you to step up to future half marathon challenges.

Stayed tuned for next week’s newsletter, featuring our first update from our Faces of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon, Frances and Simon!

The Vitality Oxford Half Marathon is part of the Vitality Run Series, a new running series featuring eight of the UK’s most exciting running events, brought to you by PruHealth with Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run all six remaining races in the Series. Find out more at vitality.co.uk.

Sweatshop opens in Bournemouth this weekend


Sweatshop, the nation’s favourite running retailer, opens in Bournemouth on Friday the 15th of August. We’re delighted to be opening in Bournemouth and will also open early September in Peterborough and there are more new stores planned for the autumn. So watch this space!

Come run with us across the country as well as in Bournemouth, you can see the Sweatshop Running Community pounding the streets as part of our free weekly running groups. These runs operate across all of our stores during the week so they’re a great way to get another 5k run in between parkruns.

Free of charge and with rewards for running, we cater for all abilities with groups led by qualified Run England run leaders and after five runs you’ll get a free technical running t-shirt too. Members also benefit from special training events, talks and product previews. Join us here.

Join In kick off ‘parkrun plus one’


The Join In Summer Relay - a nationwide push to put more volunteers into community sport with ITV - kicked off in style at Glasgow’s Tollcross parkrun.

The event was the first in a nationwide grassroots sport tour from Glasgow to London, organised by London 2012 legacy charity Join In to get 100,000 new volunteers taking part in community sport.

It also marked the start of our ‘plus one’ series - an initiative designed to encourage runners and volunteers to bring a friend to help out at their local parkrun. Join In Director of Sport and former 5k World Record holder David Moorcroft took up the challenge, bringing Scottish middle distance legend Liz McColgan to the Tollcross event as his ‘plus one’.

Liz was clearly impressed by the event, saying “It’s great to be part of the first leg of the Join In Summer Relay in Glasgow, right after the Commonwealth Games. Every successful sports person has volunteers who help them. It was certainly the case with me, so it’s great to give something back and there’s no better place to do that than at a parkrun.”

Watch out for news of more parkrun events in the Join In Summer Relay. Meanwhile if you’d like to help a sports club near you simply log onto www.joininuk.org and click ‘I want to help’.

do Couch to 5k running apps work?


Researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University are looking into the effectiveness of the Couch to 5k running apps. They would like to offer parkrun participants the opportunity to complete a short online survey if they have:

- in the past used a Couch to 5k app
- are currently using a Couch to 5k app
- downloaded but not yet started using a Couch to 5k app

The survey will ask you about your experiences of using the app, the reasons why you chose to use an app as a running guide and some questions about any changes you may have made to your lifestyle since downloading the app.

Why are they doing this research?

Over recent years there has been a rise of mobile phone apps to track, motivate and guide users through physical activity. There is currently very little evidence exploring how well these apps actually work in helping users increase their fitness and activity levels. Study participants would therefore be part of the first study of its kind exploring the effectiveness of one of the most popular apps on the market.

It is anticipated that results from this study can help inform public health strategies for cost effective ways to encourage mass participation in physical activity. Gaining insight into what users think to the app and why they use it is crucial information for this to happen. The online survey takes around five minutes to complete and guides you through each stage.

If you would like to take part in this survey please follow this link. You can also follow the research team on Facebook and Twitter.

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK:

Number of runners - 48,212
Number of volunteers - 4,058
Number of first timers - 8,055
Number of PBs - 9,143

event news


Please check your event's news pages for the most up to date information.

Cancellations this weekend:

- Burgess parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Cannon Hill parkrun due to Eid celebrations in the park.

- Clumber Park parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Forest Rec parkrun due to the Nottingham Carnival using the park.

- Huntingdon parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Old Deer Park parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Ormeau parkrun due to a music event being held in the park.

- Preston parkrun due to the vintage car fair.

- Redcar parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

feedback from the field


Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners


Hi parkrun UK
I would like to tell you about my best friend who is an absolute star! Lynne Durman was born after difficulties resulting in a weak side to her body. That however has never stopped her in life. We were a mean defensive duo on the hockey pitch and she has also learnt to ride after watching myself and her beautiful daughter Sophie for years from the sidelines. Unfortunately with the mobility issues that Lynne experiences means her gait is not one conclusive to a smooth running style and causes mountains of blisters and injuries. However after completing her first parkrun at Longrun Meadow in Taunton last week I would like to tell the world how very proud I am of her and happy birthday for last week Lynne!
Regards,
Sharron Kington


Hi parkrun UK
Just thought I would give a bit of feedback about one of Burgess parkrun's regular volunteers, Lloyd Clater. Lloyd had volunteered as usual at Burgess parkrun the other week and when he was on the way back through the park came across a black plastic bag that appeared to be meowing! On further investigation it turned out to contain a little black kitten, which was clearly scared and very hungry. Wondering what to do he visited one of his friends nearby who kindly offered to look after it. It has now been checked out by the vet and is settling well into its new home. Which just goes to show what a lovely, resourceful bunch parkrun volunteers are.
Regards,
Jon Tennison


Hi parkrun UK
I started running at Preston parkrun and was surprised to see so many people taking part. I had heard that there was also a parkrun at Cuerden Valley, however its reputation of undulations and being referred to locally as ‘Lancashire tough’ had initially put me off. However, I decided to brave the Valley's undulations and now have 28 parkruns in total to my name, setting 17 PB's along the way. At the forthcoming Cuerden Valley parkrun I hope to be running with three generations of my family for the first time. Special thanks to all the volunteers without whom my Saturday mornings wouldn't be the same.
Regards,
Steve Taylor


Hi parkrun UK
Ever since I started parkrun in September I have been raving to everyone about it, the wonderful people I have met and how my life has been transformed in so many ways. Imagine my surprise last week when I found out I had been awarded the Sweatshop Monthly Prize for July at Shrewsbury parkrun. I love running at and volunteering at parkrun and I still can't get over the fact that I am being given a free pair of running shoes for doing something I love. parkrun has given me so much and I am immensely grateful.
Regards,
Margaret Connarty


Hi parkrun UK
This past Saturday I turned 11 years old and to celebrate this I ran at my home event of Hackworth parkrun and managed to run a course record for the JW11-14 category. It became my 11th parkrun junior record on my 11th Birthday. I found the toughest parkrun to be Gibside and my fastest parkrun was at Newcastle with 21:13. I love running and I love parkrun.
Regards,
Chloe Fairclough

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Louise Dale-Hughes

Club:  Smiley Paces

Age:  45

Home parkrun:  Sheffield Hallam

Occupation:  Civil Servant

Number of runs:  109

Favourite volunteer role:  First Timers brief

What do you do at parkruns:  When I am not running I try to volunteer each week. Position tokens is one of my usual positions and providing the 'First Timers brief' is where I introduce myself as "The Loud One”. I also became a Run Director this year with our regular timer Derek Simpson.

How has parkrun changed your running:  It hasn't so much as changed my running but more mine and my hubby Alan's life. The people at Sheffield Hallam parkrun are an amazing, friendly bunch. The number of friends I have made over the last four years has been amazing. Saturday mornings are not the same if I can't get my 9am fix.

What do you like about parkrun:  I like that parkrun is for anyone regardless of age, size, gender, ability, with prams or without, with dogs or without (on a lead of course). I enjoy cheering on the runners, shouting their names and encouraging everyone. I probably annoy some runners but I can't help myself. It's great when someone shouts "thank you" as they run past or take the time to come and say it personally at the end. Also the support everyone gives to each other, often finishing and then going back on route to run and help someone finish.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Too many to mention... Each time one of the regulars reach a milestone whether it is 10, 50 or 100. There's usually handmade cards to sign, balloons, sashes and cakes. I was very touched last August by the generosity of the Sheffield Hallam parkrunners who donated £100 online to parkrun on my 100th run.

parkrun corner

Alister Robson

Up until this weekend if you looked on a map of parkrun events you'd have seen a big gap between Newcastle, Whitley Bay and Edinburgh. The entire county of Northumberland was completely devoid of parkrun. If you lived in the large towns of Morpeth and Alnwick you had a long drive to get to your nearest parkrun. Not that this has put off the truly devoted. Charlotte Baston, a 100 Club member, who runs for Alnwick Harriers has twice been the highest junior in Newcastle parkrun’s points table. Quite an achievement for someone travelling that far almost every week as I’m sure you’ll agree. Chauffeur and dad Phil Baston has also joined her in the 100 Club.

However, many runners were unable or unwilling to go to these lengths to get to a free, timed, 5k event which is why it gives me the greatest of pleasures to have been able to attend the launch of the first parkrun in Northumberland at the Druridge Bay Country Park. This is all thanks to the efforts of groups from Alnwick Harriers, Blyth Running Club, Alnwick Tri and Northumberland County Council.

I also had the privilege of running a training session with this group a few weeks ago and it is a stunning location. The parkrun winds its way round beautiful Ladyburn Lake twice through trails and mainly flat lakeside paths before dropping back to the visitors centre, where I can strongly recommend the bacon butties.

I’m sure that Event Director Mark Doctor and all the volunteers will give you a huge welcome, whether you’re a new regular, an occasional visitor or perhaps on holiday nearby on the gorgeous Northumberland coast.

Who knows, now that there’s a parkrun in Northumberland perhaps there might be an increase in tourism to this already popular tourist destination?

Alister Robson, Event Director of Durham parkrun and parkrun UK Ambassador

reminders

barcode reminder

barcode

Barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please collect and print your barcode here. No barcode, no result!

all questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club t-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our brand new support site

volunteering at parkrun

Every parkrun event relies on volunteers and in 2013 alone over 33,000 of you came forwards and supported your local event. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you then please contact your local event team for more details.

upcoming anniversaries

August

Old Deer Park parkrun 16th

Bournemouth parkrun 23rd

Cannon Hill parkrun 23rd

Oak Hill parkrun 23rd

Woodbank parkrun 23rd

Bromley parkrun 30th

Maldon Prom parkrun 30th

Osterley parkrun 30th

Weymouth parkrun 30th

September

Aberystwyth parkrun 6th

Bespoke parkrun 6th

Camp Bastion parkrun 6th

Inverness parkrun 6th

Skipton parkrun 6th

Southwark parkrun 6th

Southwick Country Park parkrun 6th

Yeovil Montacute parkrun 6th

children at parkrun

Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.

our sponsors

adidas investing in parkrun
all out performance

adidas has been focused on athlete's performance since the first running spikes were made in the 1920s earning the first Olympic gold medal in adidas shoes. Today, adidas is proud to be supporting parkrunners everywhere. Explore adidas running adidas.com


Sweatshop investing in parkrun
Helping people be the best they can be

For 40 years, Sweatshop the award winning running store, has been helping runners find the perfect products for their individual needs. Find your closest store at sweatshop.co.uk


PruHealth investing in parkrun
Health insurance that rewards you for living well.

We want you to live life well. Our health insurance makes it cheaper and easier for you to get healthy with discounts on things like gym memberships, sports shoes and bikes - and motivates you with rewards like free cinema tickets to savings on holidays. And importantly, if you do get ill - we'll always ensure you have access to the best possible medical care. Discover Vitality wellness

our supporters

London Marathon supporting parkrun
Inspiring runners of all levels

For information on all events organised by the London Marathon, please visit london-marathon.co.uk


aql supporting parkrun
Delivering your results earlier

For information on the company powering the mobile messaging, please visit aql.com


3 supporting parkrun
Connecting parkrunners everywhere

For information on the mobile communications company, please visit three.co.uk


 

Kids just want to have fun

I have been a proud Bristolian resident since early 2013, and couldn’t have been happier to contribute to the development of Little Stoke juniors, which is held in a suburb just north of the city.

Little Stoke is a residential neighbourhood, and with its family-focused community, local schools and a fantastic, safe park (with an equally wonderful statue!) and a superbly passionate volunteer team, it had all the ingredients for a successful junior event.

I’d been away every single weekend for the past two months, and hadn’t been able to head down to see the event for myself. This changed on Sunday 3 August when I took the opportunity of a rare weekend in Bristol to visit Little Stoke, meet the volunteer team,  all the little participants and of course don one of those highly visible vests!

Having demonstrated my ability to be Chief Cheerleader at Chelmsford juniors, I decided to fulfil this volunteer role once again but also jumped at the chance to lead the warm-up. As many people know, we created a junior parkrun warm-up template based on UKA guidelines, and thankfully the wonderfully competent Run Director, Ian, had printed off and laminated a copy of the warm-up for me to follow.

Photo: courtesy of Geoff Keogh

As the clock struck 9am myself, the 68 children and a few enthusiastic parents joined in the routine of high knees, squat jumps, ankle circles, arm swings, bottom kicks and finished off with the obligatory enthusiastic big cheer.

 

Photo: courtesy of Geoff Keogh

Warmed-up and ready for action we all headed down to the start of the 2km course which is held entirely within the safe, grassy confines of the recreation ground. It was absolutely fantastic to see so many children with smiles on their faces; from the super speedy front-runners to those that were taking a little bit more time to enjoy the scenery. Every single volunteer was a chief cheerleader that day, and – together with the parents - encouraged the juniors from start to finish.

Little Stoke juniors epitomised the essence of parkrun, which is all about having fun. Yes, some of us are competitive (I of all people know what its like to want to beat your own time and everyone elses too!), but the priority should be enjoyment and celebrating participation. Nobody, and especially children, should feel under any undue pressure to perform. ‘Pressure to perform’ is obviously difficult to define, and what feels to one person like excessive pressure is to others just active encouragement.  There have, however, been a couple of occasions while I have been at parkrun, and other sporting, events that I have witnessed parents exerting, what I would deem, excessive pressure on their children. This can take many forms – but usually consists of berating or chastising them for not wanting to take part or choosing to stop half way, for opting to walk rather than run or even because their time may not have been as fast as the week before.

Thankfully instances like these are extremely rare, and most parents are extremely supportive and encouraging. However, we all have a role to play  - though our behaviours and words - in making sure that children actually want to take part in sport, that they enjoy doing so, and that they don’t feel like they are letting anyone down if they choose not to run, jump, jog, swim or bike. In the UK the general trend is for children to give up physical activity in their late teens, often due to the bad experiences they may have had growing up. This has profound implications for the health of the next generation.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we all have to do things that we don’t like sometimes - and this too can be an important learning opportunity - but ultimately a child’s experience of sport often rests on the language that adults (especially 'role models' such as parents, coaches or volunteers) use to communicate feedback. Through positive, encouraging, supportive words we have an opportunity to instil in our children a lasting passion for physical activity and a love for being outside in nature; to ensure that they finish with a smile and not a frown and for them to learn what it feels like for others to be faster or stronger than them and to gracefully accept that.

We have a chance to make physical activity fun, and believe me (as a retired professional athlete that was super-competitive and results-obsessed) that’s still the best and most important gift of all.

Happy running everyone!

Chrissie

 

weekly newsletter 7th August 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality look for a face for their race, Chris Davies goes bonkers, we meet the parkrun people and I take stock of the Club t-shirts.

I write this week with some really important news regarding our 10, 50, 100 and 250 Club t-shirts.

Anyone who has been awarded one of these will know what an amazing feeling it is to have your achievements recognised and to be able to proudly display your white, red or black garments. My proudest moments as a parkrun volunteer have been awarding Club t-shirts to people I know have been on an amazing journey to get there and my proudest moments as an athlete have been joining the 50 and 100 Clubs myself.

Going back to the origins of these shirts the 100 Club came first, in the form of a fleece that Paul Sinton-Hewitt purchased personally and awarded to Darren Wood in early 2007. The 10, 50 and 250 Clubs came later and now we send out around 1,200 items per month to over 250 events. We are committed to continuing the t-shirts and for them to be free to everyone that achieves one, but, as we’ve grown we’ve found that it’s not the cost that’s the real challenge, it’s the logistics. Ordering the right numbers in the right sizes and sending them to the right places is remarkably challenging, especially for a small group of people who really understand delivery of free, weekly, timed runs much better than delivery of free t-shirts.

In my day-to-day role overseeing all of parkrun UK there are many many things that make me hugely proud. Every day we receive wonderful emails of support where the work of our local volunteer teams has empowered someone to make positive lifestyle changes and for those changes to become long-term sustainable habits. Unfortunately we are currently in a position, and have been for some time, where there are many people around the UK who have been waiting a significant amount of time to receive their Club t-shirts. Every time I hear of someone who may reach the next club before being awarded their first t-shirt I feel a great sense of guilt.

To all those people I offer my sincere apologies and give my assurance that you will receive your t-shirt.

We continue to work hard, alongside our amazing partners adidas, to resolve this once and for all. As such and with immediate effect we are placing all deliveries of Club t-shirts temporarily on hold so that we can work to understand, in greater detail, the balance between supply and demand and how best to ensure the former outweighs the latter. In the final newsletter of August I will update you all on the state of play and hope that at the very least we will be in a position to clear our outstanding orders.

Please rest assured that myself and the UK team are committed to achieving the long term security of the Club t-shirts.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding,

Happy running,

Tom

P.S. You can read this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.

ready for your next challenge?


Step up your next running challenge by becoming the Face of the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon!

PruHealth with Vitality are looking for two parkrunners, local to Oxford, who want to step up to a challenge and complete the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon on the 12th of October. To help you along your training journey we will provide you with:

- Ongoing training support including a personalised training plan and training day with Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave.
- A GPS running device to track your progress.
- £50 Sweatshop voucher for new trainers.
- A full Vitality Run Series kit.
- Free entry into the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon.
- A camcorder to document your training journey.

In return, the Vitality Run Series will follow you through a weekly blog and video/photography updates. We want to share your story to inspire others to step up to the challenge!

How to enter

Tell us why you should be the Face of the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon by emailing us at Vitality.Events@pruhealth.co.uk. For your best chance to win, make sure you send us a descriptive and motivating entry (maximum 250 words). Please include your parkrun Athlete ID and the best form of contact. Winners will be selected on Tuesday the 12th of August so make sure you enter now! T&Cs apply.

The Vitality Run Series is a new running series featuring eight of the UK’s most exciting running events, brought to you by PruHealth with Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run all six remaining races in the Series. Find out more at vitality.co.uk.

parkrun people


Meet the parkrun UK staff (from right to left) - Tom Williams, Chrissie Wellington, Danny Norman, Jaz Bangerh, Jo Sinton-Hewitt, Anita Afonso, Helen Hood and Chris Jones.

There are only eight of us beavering away behind the scenes, all in remote locations, to manage the entire parkrun UK organisation and to help support our 300 volunteer teams around the UK who deliver free, weekly, timed parkruns every week for in excess of 45,000 parkrunners.

Whilst we always deal with any enquiries that come into Head Office as quickly as we can you may be able to find the answers to many Frequently Asked Questions on our Support Site. By accessing ‘My Links’ via your initial registration confirmation email, a result or volunteer thanks email, or via the email version of the newsletter by clicking on ‘manage my profile’ you can also update many of your personal details yourself allowing us a bit more time to deal with the really tricky stuff!

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK:

Number of runners - 45,760
Number of volunteers - 4,069
Number of first timers - 7,844
Number of PBs - 9,173

event news


Please check your event's news pages for the most up to date information.

Cancellations this weekend:

- Ashton Court parkrun due to the Balloon Fiesta.

- Blickling parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Carlisle parkrun due to building work being done in the park.

- Gibside parkrun due to the Camping Weekend taking place on site.

- Little Stoke parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Pontypridd parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Rother Valley parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Shrewsbury parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Little Stoke junior parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Stirling junior parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.

- Woodley junior parkrun due to exceptional circumstances.

feedback from the field


Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners


Hi parkrun UK
A year ago I came very close to dying. Fortunately, doctors came up with a diagnosis in time to save my life. I have the very rare and incurable autoimmune illness Churg-Strauss Syndrome. On the 2nd of August it was my daughter's first wedding anniversary, whereas a year previous I was taken to the wedding in an ambulance from my hospital bed because I couldn't walk. Over the last year I have gradually regained use of my limbs thanks to hard work, medication and the love of my family and friends. Three months ago I started Couch to 5k, having never been a distance runner in my life. On Saturday I took part at Poole parkrun in my first ever 5k and whilst doing so I raised money for a brain damage charity.
Regards,
Frances Wilkins


Hi parkrun UK
Rob Saunders and I would like to thank our parkrun friends now that our Guinness World Record has at long last been confirmed. We can now say that we are the World's fastest two person pantomime animal over 5k! We completed Colchester Castle parkrun on the 5th of April dressed as a camel in 25 minutes and 30 seconds. Rob and I would like to thank our ‘Camel Crew’ drawn from our parkrun friends and running club friends The Commando Runners. They helped to pace, time, film and support us and thanks to John Wheatley the Event Director who smoothed last minute hitches to ensure we could still hold our attempt.
Regards,
Lorraine Collins


Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday Paula Fudge, a 1978 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, brought along her medals for all of us to see. It was great to see a younger generation of runners talk to Paula about her World Record and gold medals. Paula won her Gold at the 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games in the 3,000 metres with an unbelievable time of 9:12.95. For the 5k Paula set the Women's World Record in 1981 with a time of 15:14.51. Our women's course record presently stands at Frimley Lodge parkrun at 18:02, so you can see just how fast Paula ran. She's a real ambassador of parkrun and understands how it inspires kids into running from a young age. We are very proud that Paula calls Frimley Lodge parkrun her home.
Regards,
James Ball


Hi parkrun UK
Back on July the 19th when I last did my local parkrun at Bury St Edmunds there was a mystery man that helped me gain a PB. I'd just like to use this message as a way to say thanks. Towards the last third of the course I was aware of a voice behind me urging me on, giving me tips and encouragement to keep pushing towards home. It was like having a personal trainer behind me! As I made it to the finish line and smashed my PB I was so exhausted I never had chance to look back and say thanks on the day. I think this epitomises the parkrun spirit, where everyone is so friendly and encouraging. Keep up the good work all.
Regards,
Catherine Wager


Hi parkrun UK
“How are you my old flower?” is a greeting in Barnsley. About 10 men in their seventies run at Locke Park every week. They are the Barnsley ‘Old Flowers’. John is the fastest but Norman at 78 years old is not far behind. Young Alan, wearing his 100 Club t-shirt at 69 is too young to join! Norman and David are almost at the 100 Club t-shirt stage and are vying to get there first. The rest of us fit in somewhere between John and the last man home. If we have to be honest the performances are not much to shout about in terms World Bests, but to get 10 elderly gentlemen running round the park every week is remarkable.
Regards,
David Horsfall


Hi parkrun UK
We all love our home parkruns and mine is Andover where I have made many great friends. However, it is sometimes good to experience other parkrun locations and I have run twice at Graves parkrun in Sheffield. Both times the Run Director has been Jo Eccles and she is fantastic. She motivates the runners and volunteers with her hilarious banter yet still manages to deliver a very professional run brief. She could almost be a stand-up comedian! Graves is a wonderful, friendly and hilly parkrun which is made even better by Jo's personality. In my view Jo is what parkrun is all about. She is a legend amongst parkrunners!
Regards,
Lance Mitchell


Hi parkrun UK
May I say a well done to Katie Lawrence who came down to Somerset from Bedford for the day to join us at Yeovil Montacute parkrun on Saturday. It was Katie’s 99th parkrun and apparently she’s working her way through the alphabet. We were her ‘Y’ entry. Katie reaches her 100th parkrun and I will be very impressed if she heads to the only ‘Z’... Zary parkrun in Poland!
Regards,
Martin Chaffey


Hi parkrun UK
I had a great time at the first Chichester parkrun. I thought it would be a little unappealing running round the rugby field but the Event Director has in fact created a really interesting course. The cafe was fab with a nice balcony overlooking the course. Many thanks to all the volunteers.
Regards,
Jane Lesley Collins

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Veronica Norcross

Club:  Unattached

Age:  31

Home parkrun:  Hilly Fields

Occupation:  Media Planning/Buying

Number of runs:  27

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshalling

What do you do at parkruns:  Running, volunteering and most of all having a good catch up in the cafe afterwards with fellow runners and volunteers!

How has parkrun changed your running:  I've gone from being a complete non-runner to having run the London Marathon this year! I've really caught the bug and running is now a big part of my life thanks to Hilly Fields parkrun.

What do you like about parkrun:  Most of all, the community spirit involved. I'm convinced that Hilly Fields parkrun is the friendliest of them all and I've met some wonderful friends as a result. It's also such a fantastic and non-intimidating way to get involved in running. Nobody cares if you're at the back of the pack, the point is to turn up and support each other and most of all have fun.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I'm pretty sure I've managed to run more than one parkrun with items of clothing on inside out. 9am on a Saturday can sometimes feel pretty early!

parkrun corner

Chris Davies

A couple of Monday mornings ago I was having my typical coffee machine discussion with a couple of work colleagues. “How was your weekend?” I asked. Colleague Number One: “All right I suppose. I took the dog to the vet.” Colleague Number Two: “I painted my shed. What about you?”. Me: “I went camping in Derbyshire. I did Conkers parkrun then a 24 hour endurance race called the adidas Thunder Run, running a total of 33 miles.” Response… “Bonkers!”. Non-running people just don't seem to understand us runners.

So summing up my weekend, I guess it was Conkers and bonkers!

Chris Davies
Newport parkrun and Newport junior parkrun Event Director and parkrun UK Ambassador

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August

Citypark parkrun 9th

Cuerden Valley parkrun 9th

Durham parkrun 9th

Old Deer Park parkrun 16th

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Woodbank parkrun 23rd

Bromley parkrun 30th

Maldon Prom parkrun 30th

Osterley parkrun 30th

Weymouth parkrun 30th

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Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

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We want you to live life well. Our health insurance makes it cheaper and easier for you to get healthy with discounts on things like gym memberships, sports shoes and bikes - and motivates you with rewards like free cinema tickets to savings on holidays. And importantly, if you do get ill - we'll always ensure you have access to the best possible medical care. Discover Vitality wellness

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Behind the scenes at Huddersfield juniors…

I had the great fortune to be in Yorkshire last weekend and close enough to Huddersfield juniors to pay them a visit. This was especially exciting for me as it was the first junior event I have visited where I was not the activator. I had a lot of communication from Simon and his team in the early days but hadn't actually seen the course or met any of the team.

What I am really hoping for when I visit new events, is that most things about the event are very familiar but that they also have a little something that is recognisable as their own. I'd say, Huddersfield juniors have got it just right.

We gathered in the park from 8.30am, though some of the 28 strong volunteer team had already been out marking the course. I was most impressed with the finish line decorations!

2014-08-03 09.29.02-1

As one of the lucky volunteers this week, I was allowed into HQ and was able to wear the very fetching hi vis. This surely is the highlight for anybody's week.

You might wonder why the junior events need so many volunteers each week? Especially when the course is 2k and the run for some children can be over in 7 minutes. But the safety of your children is paramount to us. Whereas on the 5k routes, there is always an adult running with children under 11 years old, at junior events the children are able to run by themselves. We like to be able to see the children at all points on the course and for volunteers to always have another person nearby to call upon for help.

Many of our parents offer their help on the morning of the events, which is fantastic and allows the magic of parkrun to happen. We hope that many more parents will opt-in to volunteer through their parkrun accounts and our teams can start to plan their teams for the weeks ahead.

Here are a few of the loyal volunteers at Huddersfield doing a wonderful job -

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2014-08-03 08.49.07-1

You will notice that a few of these helpers are the children themselves. We have found that they love to be involved in all aspects of the parkrun given the chance and like us adults can gain as much from volunteering as running. One of the 'tail' runners above is Dexter - the first child to get their wristband at Huddersfield. How brilliant is that! Sanchia is secretly in charge but lets her Dad think he is. Our token sorters, Molly and Heather, helped this week but last week could be seen as Wonder Woman and a Princess as they ran around the course. Tim is a regular runner at the 5k and has become the expert timer for juniors. This leads me to only one conclusion:

parkrun needs us all to be a success - runners, helpers, leaders, smilers, parents and supporters. Happy parkrunning :)

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