Becoming the ‘Chief Chelmsford Cheerleader’

 

Last month I was staying with my brother, his wife, and my little nephew at their home in Chelmsford. At eight months old unfortunately the gorgeous little man is just that bit too young for a junior parkrun but give me 3.5 years and hopefully he will already have his blue wristband!

Given that I was there for the whole weekend I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pay Chelmsford juniors a surprise visit and see some little legs (and some longer parental legs!) in action.

The park in the centre of the town (aptly named Central Park!) is perfect for a junior parkrun. The course is two laps, and a mix of grass and tarmac path; great for spectators and with a big play area and the obligatory café for post (or pre) event socialising.

I turned up slightly hot and sweaty after a little pre-junior parkrun jog, and introduced myself to the volunteer team. Within a few minutes I was donning a hi-vis jacket and headed for the start area in time for the Run Director, Nikki Davies, to deliver the pre-run briefing and for the Event Director, Gerry McGovern, to lead the warm-up.

Gerry had recently given a talk at Oaklands School and as a result of that around 50 pupils had come down, all in their school uniforms, to experience junior parkrun for the first time. There were a few nervous children, and parents, and I and the other volunteers did our best to put their minds at ease: explaining the course, emphasising the fact that it was a run and not a race, and reminding them that they could walk if they wanted to.

The warm-up was a fantastic way of getting everyone in the mood to run, with arms pumping and legs jumping the children started to loosen up, both physically and also emotionally. We all need to recognise that – like adults - many children will be nervous about doing something new and might need some gentle encouragement to overcome their fears. The warm-up is a great way of easing any nerves, and putting a smile on everyone’s faces.  Even some of the parents managed a few jumps to get them ready to accompany their children on the 2k run.

Photo courtesy of Gerry McGovern

No sooner had we finished our final group cheer, and they were off. I ran alongside them, marshalling, supporting and jumping around in my hi-vis jacket enthusiastically encouraging all the 138 children that took part (including 80 first-timers). I am not sure if there is a name for that particular volunteer role – perhaps ‘Chief Cheerleader’!

 

Photos courtesy of Gerry McGovern

Some of the children were scarily speedy and others took their time, walking and jogging the two laps. I was slightly concerned to hear one parent berating their child for not running ‘fast enough’, and I’d like to remind all parents reading this that whilst some children are extremely competitive and love to run fast we have a responsibility to ensure that this events are for fun, and that children do not feel any external pressure to perform.

That said, I couldn’t have been prouder standing at the finish funnel, watching the little legs cross the line, beaming with pride at what they had achieved. I can see junior parkrun changing lives before my eyes – of the children and of their families – and that’s the true beauty of these events.

I want to thank the volunteers at Chelmsford (and teams all over the country) for their unwavering passion and dedication in bringing regular physical activity to the community. We couldn’t do this without you.

As of this week, over 28,000  - yes 28,000! - little pairs of legs have run a junior parkrun. That truly is a phenomenal statistic, and I look forward to a time when I can bring my nephew down to experience an event for himself!

 

weekly newsletter 17th July 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality ask for your feedback, we explain your ‘parkrun passport’ and I make a rare request.

You’d think that bright blue skies and beautiful sunshine would inspire people to lace their trainers and hit their local parkrun, actually the summer months are a relatively quiet time for us and typically we see a slight drop in numbers. Those who follow our stats (who doesn’t?) will know that since breaking 50,000 weekly runners in April and May we’re currently ‘only’ seeing around 40-45,000 people cross one of our finishing lines each Saturday. I’m sure there are many good reasons for not parkrunning on a Saturday morning (although Le Tour aside I can’t think of one) however one negative side-effect is a corresponding drop in volunteers. The problem this causes is that due to the volunteer requirement at a local event being largely unaffected by the number of finishers i.e. most events still require two timekeepers, a tail runner, run director etc. etc. I’ve seen a number of last minute social media posts going out from our teams requesting people step forwards and volunteer for fear of not being able to deliver their (volunteer led) free, weekly, timed run. So, although as always I stand passionately by the parkrun ethos that no one should feel pressured to volunteer and no one should be criticised for not volunteering, this is a rare call from me to you to suggest that if you’ve not volunteered before now would be a good time to think about it.

There are of course many varied and valid reasons for not volunteering, there really are, and it really isn’t for everyone, but with only around 11% of our annual runners sticking their names on their local event’s volunteer list then I’m pretty sure that of the remaining 89% a good number would actually really really really enjoy life on the other side of the parkrun fence. Speaking as someone who’d run loads before parkrun, but never volunteered, it’s the timing, scanning, marshalling, token sorting etc. etc. that’s really changed my life. Really.

For those of you who would love volunteering, but just don’t know it yet, there are likely to be three reasons (myths) why you’ve not thought to stick your name down...

1 - Your local parkrun has enough volunteers

Although many of our events have plenty of volunteers, many don’t although they may well not like to ask. The best thing about volunteering is the social side, meeting new people and doing something cool for your local community. There is of course no such thing as meeting too many new people or doing too many cool things for your community. In this case, more certainly is more.

2 - Volunteering is really difficult

Pretty much every volunteer role at parkrun is simple and straightforward and the experienced volunteers are always on hand to give advice and tips to the less experienced.

3 - Volunteering is pressurised and serious

The whole point of us being a 'timed run in an area of open space, with your mates’ is designed to take the pressure off and pile the fun on. You’re not adjudicating at the finish line of the Commonwealth Games 10,000 metres as Mo Farah ends up in a photo finish for the gold medal only for a seagull to obscure the photo and all eyes to turn to you. You’re pressing a button every time someone crosses an imaginary line in a park. If you forget to press the button, as I have on more than one occasion, it really doesn’t matter… people will still be having fun in the park with their mates.

So, hopefully that’s helped make you feel a little less nervous about joining your local event’s volunteer roster. If so, and you’d like to take the plunge (come on in, it’s lovely) then all you need to do is...

1 - Click on ‘manage my profile’ on the top right of the email version of this newsletter.

2 - Under ‘Your Links’ click on ‘email options’.

3 - Choose the events you’d like to hear from on the drop-down menu.

4 - Click opt-in after each of those.

5 - Click ‘save opt-in events list’.

You will then be added to the volunteer email list for those events and whenever they need your help they’ll be in touch. Most events send something out once per week with a list of vacant volunteer roles over the following few weeks.

Finally, if that wasn’t enough to persuade you then here’s a picture of my two-year-old daughter Rosie getting stuck in to the crucial ‘putting tokens into a bucket’ at last week’s Harrogate parkrun.

Enjoy the sun,

Tom

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

congratulations and thank you


We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you and congratulations to those parkrunners who completed the Vitality British 10km London Run over the weekend!

With over 14,000 runners going from Piccadilly to St Paul’s via Trafalgar Square, the Embankment and Westminster, and passing landmarks such as Admiralty Arch, Big Ben and the Cenotaph, the Vitality British 10km London Run was no doubt a memorable experience. We hope our parkrun participants enjoyed it as much as we all did.

We’d love to know your race experience, so we can make it an even better runner experience next year. Please share with us at vitality.experience@pruhealth.co.uk.

The Vitality British 10km London Run 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. Watch the online space for the Oxford Half Marathon, coming up on October the 12th. Find out more at www.vitality.co.uk.

passport to parkrun


Once you have registered with parkrun you are registered for life and your barcode is your ‘passport to parkrun’ at any of our events anywhere in the world. You can view our complete list of countries here.

Please don’t forget to take your barcode along. We operate a strict 'No printed barcode, no result' policy at our events and it would be awful to go all the way to Australia, do a parkrun and not have it recorded.

If you are a regular parkrunner you might like to invest in some of these durable barcodes available from the authorised parkrun UK barcode supplier which wash and travel well!

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 42,469
Number of volunteers - 3,921
Number of first timers - 6,717
Number of PBs - 8,571

event news


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

Cancellations this weekend:

- Brockwell parkrun due to the Herne Hill Lambeth Country Show.

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

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

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

- Guildford parkrun due to Guilfest.

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

- Rushmoor parkrun due to the Farnborough Airshow.

- Strathclyde parkrun due to the Commonwealth Games.

- Brockwell junior 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
In the early hours of the morning on the 10th of July, Cathi, my darling wife passed away after a long and arduous 12 year battle with a brain tumour. Roundhay parkrun was her favourite but also Temple Newsam and Leeds parkruns. Cathi found a passion with parkrun alongside Tom (our son) and I. We started in early 2012 and were a weekly feature, gradually achieving better times and fitness. Cathi also entered races and finished both Leeds Half Marathon and the Great North Run. She was immensely proud of her achievements and parkrun played a major part. In later months, she insisted on coming to parkrun even when symptoms of her disease were more apparent. Whilst there were clear physical challenges, her spirit never faltered and she completed them even if she was tired and had to walk. I will continue my running journey and I know she'll be there cheering me on as well as everyone else too. Whilst I was always a bit faster than her round the courses we completed, ultimately, she beat me in the biggest race. Until we meet again at the big finish line in the sky, I and many others will miss her dearly but will always have great pride in our hearts.
Regards,
Ian and Tom Core


Hi parkrun UK
Every week I look forward to Doncaster parkrun. In January this year when I first started parkrun the Event Director awarded me the Sweatshop Monthly Prize, which is of course a pair of free trainers! I was so excited to go and choose them and it just so happened I was in desperate need of some new trainers too. This, along with all the lovely people I have met at Doncaster parkrun, makes me love waking up so early on a Saturday morning, as well as my Dad who always keeps me motivated. Thank you Friends of Sandall Park and everyone who runs or volunteers at Doncaster parkrun!
Regards,
Lucy Precious


Hi parkrun UK
Please can you stop publishing the 'feedback from the field'. I have a tendency to read this at lunchtime at work, as that's when I notice the newsletter has arrived. There is always one story that hits a nerve and brings a tear to my eye. I feel a bit of a silly soul sat in the middle of the busy office.
Regards,
Julia Moore


Hi parkrun UK
I joined Coventry parkrun in November of 2012 having recently lost four and a half stone and finished my first parkrun in 42 minutes. I remember being happy just to finish. I have just completed my 57th parkrun. It has been life changing for me as I have completed three 10k races, two half marathons and will do two more in a couple of months, plus my first marathon in April. I love to volunteer too and I've fulfilled many roles. I feel it’s important to put back in what you get out, it’s great fun and you get to see the other side of the event. I have made so many friends through parkrun and love nothing better than a catch up over a cuppa with them.
Regards,
Elaine Robinson


Hi parkrun UK
I recently read an article about fitness which contained the mantra “Aim for the sure win first, and then go to war”. Last year I couldn't even run a few metres. I set my sights on the 'sure win', the 5k parkrun. All I cared about in my first parkrun was not finishing last. I was second last to finish. Now I finish in under 30 mins, almost a 10 minute improvement. In September I will 'go to war' and run my first half marathon. I couldn't have achieved any of this without parkrun. The people are inspiring, the initiative is incredible. I was even lucky enough to be a Sweatshop Monthly Prize winner. Thank you parkrun, you helped me change my life!
Regards,
Kirsty Woodbridge


Hi parkrun UK
My hubby Ray and I completed our first parkrun (well, walk...) today at Thetford and just wanted to say how very impressed we are at the amazing organisation it is, and all for free. Thank you! Ray has cardiomyopathy and had a pacemaker fitted in March and we now need to get fitter as a heart transplant is expected somewhere down the line. Although we walked and were the final finishers in a time of 59 minutes and 30 seconds, the volunteers and other runners were so encouraging and supportive. We were chuffed to get all of the way round and feel ready for the next one! Thanks guys.
Regards,
Ali James


Hi parkrun UK
After another fabulous day in the sun at Montacute House, it occurred to us that as we're at the gateway to the West Country there must be hundreds of parkrunners who will be driving past our door over the summer. It would be lovely to see you all! The first three ladies on Saturday were parkrun tourists. If you are reading this and planning a trip down to the proper end of the (West) country over the summer, we’re just off the A303 near Yeovil and welcome all visitors!
Regards,
Martin Chaffey


Hi parkrun UK
Inverness parkrun hijacks the Queen’s Baton Relay! When I heard that the QBR was due to pass our start at about 9am on Saturday the 12th of July I thought we couldn’t miss that opportunity. The juxtaposition of the baton, representing international athletes trying to beat each other and community runners simply trying to achieve Personal Bests, had to be recorded so as, hopefully, to persuade others to join us. With a little ‘negotiation’, it was agreed that the baton carrier would jog past, shout “On your marks... Go!” and our runners would set off. They only ran for a short distance, however, enabling re-assembly for the “proper” start at 9:30am and for more photos with the baton carrier.
Regards,
Paul Crowe


Hi parkrun UK
On the 1st of July 2007 I was introduced to Bushy Park Time Trial. 249 events later on the 12th of July 2014 I completed my 250th parkrun. It also saw me run my 100th Andover parkrun. At Andover we are blessed to have such a great and dedicated team who look after us. On this special day it included putting signs out to congratulate me and what a wonderful surprise that was. We celebrated in style with cake and bubbly and a course attendance record. What more could one want, other than running round with my lovely wife and greatest supporter Kathy Lane. Thank you parkrun for everything and thank you to all at Andover parkrun and those I have run with.
Regards,
Matt Lane


Hi parkrun UK
We recently launched a new running club called Christian Runners UK. The club was set up when we realised that a number of runners came from different local church's around Pontefract and ran at Pontefract parkrun, so the club was born. Running is my life and so is my faith so it is nice to combine the two.
Regards,
Jason Westmoreland

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Jonathan Ure

Club:  Beaumont RC

Age:  41

Home parkrun:  Braunstone

Occupation:  Tutor

Number of runs:  108

Favourite volunteer role:  Timekeeper

What do you do at parkruns:  I meet up with a few hundred people each week who have at least one thing in common with me, that we all like to parkrun. Sometimes I push myself and sometimes I take it easy, like pacing someone or chatting with a friend I've made through parkrun or persuaded to come along to parkrun. If I push myself really hard I am always amazed at how soon after finishing it feels like it was a walk in the park.

How has parkrun changed your running:  It's helped me have a healthier attitude towards setbacks and helped me to be more patient with myself. I find it easier to go out on a Saturday and run even if I don't feel like it, and if my run is slower than I'd like I'm less likely to run too hard and end up with an injury.

What do you like about parkrun:  I like meeting new people and seeing familiar faces, and also seeing a lot of very familiar backs of people's heads. It's also really good to have such a reliable and straightforward record of how fast or slow I've run 5km for the past couple of years. There's a good balance between healthy competition between people and cooperative encouragement and support too.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  My first parkrun was the most memorable. I was nervous and convinced that there would be hundreds of finely tuned athletes who would disappear ahead of me and I'd be left limping along at the back. I was very relieved to find that parkrunners were a fun bunch of folk to run with and spend time with, that some are eccentric and exotic and that all are interesting and unique.

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

July

Andover parkrun 19th

Black Park parkrun 19th

Bryn Bach parkrun 19th

Burnage parkrun 19th

Clair parkrun 19th

Falkirk parkrun 19th

Kingsbury Water parkrun 19th

Roundshaw Downs parkrun 19th

Barking parkrun 26th

Brueton parkrun 26th

Grovelands parkrun 26th

Oldham parkrun 26th

August

Norwich parkrun 2nd

Peterborough parkrun 2nd

Sheffield Castle parkrun 2nd

Wycombe Rye parkrun 2nd

Wythenshawe parkrun 2nd

Citypark parkrun 9th

Cuerden Valley parkrun 9th

Durham parkrun 9th

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


 

A parkrun Gem

Hello,

I’m Gemma Brierley, the latest addition to the junior parkrun team.

claire2

I’m super excited to be part of junior parkrun after being bitten by the parkrun bug myself a couple of years ago and seeing the positive change it has made to my both my health and confidence. I feel honored to be part of an organisation that is passing that positivity down to the next generation.

Sport wasn’t something that I particularly enjoyed at school whether due to the embarrassing clothing we were forced to wear or the unforgiving nature of the instructors. The memories of frozen sports fields and gym knickers stayed with me well into my 20s until I was encouraged to give sport another go this time with the support and encouragement of my community.

It’s wonderful seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of little ones making friends and experiencing the joy of running together, which feels very much removed from my experience and I hope this positivity towards physical exercise stays with them well beyond their 20s.

In my role at parkrun I help set up the new junior event teams with their social media accounts answering any questions they may have regarding usage and technicalities. At the moment every junior parkrun event has its own Facebook page and the option, if the event team wants one, to have their own Twitter account as well.

All the junior event pages are run by volunteers from the local event team, so connecting with the Facebook and Twitter accounts is a great way of staying in touch with your local event and parkrun community.

Many news stories are shared by individual events social media pages keeping you up to date with all the latest news from your local event, whether it’s news of a VIP visit or wristband delivery you’ll always have the latest information easily to hand.

Calls for volunteers are often advertised via the social media accounts too so if you’re ever at a loose end with what to do with your Sunday mornings (as well as signing up to volunteer emails) please do have a look on their Facebook page in case there are any last minute pleas for help.

If you feel that you could help your event by volunteering to help run their social media pages please get in touch with your local event team. They will be very happy to hear from you.

Have a great week and happy posting!

Gem

 

weekly newsletter 10th July 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality double their prize, we tell the tale of the Tail Runner, Alister proposes the pooling of parkrun participation and I watch the Tour go by.

As a young lad back in the 1980s I’d find myself transfixed on the telly every summer as the World’s greatest cyclists did battle at the Tour de France. A decade or so later I even managed to spend a couple of days in the Pyrenees, with my Dad and a friend, as Armstrong and Ullrich went head to head in 40-degree heat and over ten-mile climbs. I never would have dreamed that in 2014 I’d be able to step out of my door and take a leisurely stroll down my street to find the peloton duking it out on the doorstep of my local cafe!

On Saturday I was at a fan park on the Stray and on Sunday I was roadside right by ’turn two’ of Harrogate parkrun, on both occasions the crowds were, as everyone knows, just about the biggest the bike race has ever seen. Despite the fact that after several hours of waiting the whole thing went by in a flash and the chances of witnessing much more than some blokes riding past on expensive bikes were somewhere between fat and slim, the atmosphere was simply wonderful.

What’s all this got to do with parkrun I hear you say? Well, as brilliant as the Tour is, watching it isn’t really about the cycling. Just like parkrun isn’t really about the running. What makes a day at the Tour so brilliant is the gathering of like-minded people, from all kinds of diverse backgrounds, getting together in their local community, welcoming in a few tourists and generally enjoying areas of open space. Without, dare I say, swearing at an official or winning an Oscar for impersonating Tom Daley. Seeing my local town pretty much shut down for the day, for the transport ‘du jour’ to be feet or bicycles and most importantly to see groups of friends and families having a great time in the great outdoors was a breath of fresh air in a world where we all spend far too much time rushing to be somewhere we don’t really need to be.

Here’s to doing great things in the great outdoors with great people.

Happy running,

Tom

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

congratulations and good luck!


Thank you to those who entered last week’s Vitality British 10km London Run competition. We had such an overwhelming amount of parkrunners wanting to step up to the challenge that Vitality gave out an extra 10 free places.

We are very excited to have 20 parkrunners participating in the event this Sunday. Best of luck to you all and enjoy Britain’s Iconic London Route.

Winners are encouraged to share their experience by emailing us at vitality.experience@pruhealth.co.uk or sharing their photos on our Facebook, Twitter and on their Instagram accounts using the hashtags #vitalitymoments #healthyselfie.

The Vitality British 10km London Run 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. Watch the online space for the Oxford Half Marathon coming up on the 12th of October 2014.

Find out more at www.vitality.co.uk.

best of both worlds


If you are ever torn between working towards that next milestone run or volunteering then Tail Runner could be just the thing for you as you pick up both a volunteer credit and a run credit by undertaking this task. It’s the responsibility of the Tail Runner to stay at the back of the field to make sure that all runners are accounted for before everyone packs up and goes home, to help other volunteers make sure that everyone is safe en-route, and to let the marshals know that they are the last runner and can leave their posts.

Not all parkrun venues choose to fill this role but those that do can assure anyone who says they can’t possibly do parkrun ‘because they’d finish last’ won’t finish last… It’s a cunning trick in the parkrun participation book!

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 41,416
Number of volunteers - 3,795
Number of first timers - 6,161
Number of PBs - 7,796

event news


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

Cancellations this weekend:

- Carrickfergus parkrun due to the centre being closed.

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

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

- Durham parkrun due to the Miners Gala and associated road closure.

- Havant parkrun due to the Staunton Festival taking place in the park.

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

- Huddersfield parkrun due to the Huddersfield Carnival.

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

- MUSA Cookstown parkrun due to the venue being closed.

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

- Princes parkrun due to the Liverpool Brouhaha Festival.

- Queen's parkrun due to a public holiday.

- Rushmoor parkrun due to the Farnborough Airshow.

- Strathclyde parkrun due to the Commonwealth Games.

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

- York parkrun due to Race Day.

- Huddersfield Juniors parkrun due to the Huddersfield Carnival.

- Finsbury parkrun due to a London bus event.

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 only started running last November and it was Bramhall parkrun that encouraged me to get physically and mentally fit. However on the 5th of January this year I was involved in what should have been a fatal road accident. Several life saving operations later and a few bits of titanium holding me together I was forced to relocate to convalesce at the family home in Reading. After learning to walk again and with a strict ban on running by the doctors, I turned myself into a regular volunteer at Reading parkrun. I would like to thank everyone at Reading parkrun for being so welcoming and being part of a great team and such lovely runners too. I just hope my hair grows back!
Regards,
Kerry Eastwood


Hi parkrun UK
I've been a loyal parkrunner since August of 2009 and since leaving the RAF way back in 1989 I was in a world of strange surroundings which is never easy. You end up trying to regain and rebuild your true place in life. However time passes so quickly but what I can say is the last five years have been tremendous. It's like I've never left the Forces because it's the people you meet and new acquaintances you make that make parkrun what it is today. After 147 parkruns (this coming weekend being 148) it goes without saying that being a parkrunner is as good as being a member of the Armed Forces. Thank you parkrun!
Regards,
Gary Horsfield


Hi parkrun UK
I did my first parkrun at Colwick a week ago and was very nervous, having only done two Race For Life's previously and I did find it extremely hard. I would like to say a big thankyou to the man who had already finished and was on his way back to his car as I shuffled towards the last 100 metres ready to collapse who shouted out "Well done, nearly there, keep going". It really gave me a boost and I plan to try another one tomorrow!
Regards,
Maggie Herbert


Hi parkrun UK
As Event Director at Telford parkrun I am forever feeling inspired by those who come along. One of our regular volunteers is 10 year-old Nathan Green. He comes along to parkrun with Kim (his mum and also a Run Director) each week and is the most confident young man we have ever met. This Saturday his dream came true... he became Run Director at Telford parkrun (under supervision of course)! Setting up, briefing the volunteers as they arrived, starting the run and even processing the results, he did it all! Some of our other fabulous regular young volunteers helped Nathan out too, Ryan Trotter and Jamie Farrelly. parkrun really is for everyone and it seems the future is bright at Telford parkrun. We are proud of you all lads!
Regards,
Chris Richards


Hi parkrun UK
I read your newsletter and the parkrunner's stories each week and I thought I'd share mine, or rather my son's. Adam has a learning disability and started running at parkrun last August as he wanted to run 5k when we went to Disney. He also did a 5k race recently with his dad and asked at 2k if he could run to the finish on his own. I was so surprised when he came running towards me I almost didn't get a picture. I was so proud of him and thank parkrun for giving him the confidence to leave his dad behind. I'm now waiting for him to leave me behind at parkrun, that day will come.
Regards,
Fiona Sefton


Hi parkrun UK
Last Saturday my partner and I completed our first ever parkrun! The whole experience was fantastic, well supported and well organised. Once we had been briefed on the etiquette and rules of running the course the Run Director then explained to regular runners what was about to happen. They were doing a naked run! We both looked at each other and laughed. We then found out that it wasn’t actually a run naked or even semi-naked but it is where runners write down their predicted finish time before they run! Phew, that was a relief! Anyway we found a comfortable pace and completed it in a modest 38 minutes. Thank you to everyone who cheered us on!
Regards,
Helen Sturman


Hi parkrun UK
On the 28th of June I completed the a grand tour of all of the London parkrun events, I am now Lon-Done. I decided to share this as it took a fair bit of planning, and (mainly consecutive) weeks of early starts and long journeys. I enjoyed the variety of events on offer.
Regards,
Cheryl Sacks


Hi parkrun UK
This past Saturday, what a day! Stewart parkrun’s second birthday which had cake, awards and more cake! Never have I met such a group of wonderful, supportive people! Thank you to all the volunteers and runners who make this feel like a second home to me, and I'm sure many others will echo this! However a massive massive thank you to our Run Directors, without Sharon Caddell, Sam and Ruth this would never happen.
Regards,
Mark Waters

parkrunner of the week


If you’d like to nominate someone to be the parkrunner of the week then please get them to fill out this handy online form - you can even apply yourself!

Name:  Samantha Middleton

Club:  West End Runners

Age:  38

Home parkrun:  Braunstone

Occupation:  Online retail

Number of runs:  39

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshal

What do you do at parkruns:  I jog over to the parkrun and get there about 15 minutes before it starts so that I can have a stretch and find my friends. Then I casually moan about whatever ailments will surely prevent me from being able to complete the course, never mind get a PB, as we have coined the phrase "Getting the excuses in". After the run I grab a coffee from our trusty coffee van and catch up with all of my running pals. It’s a brilliant way to start the weekend.

How has parkrun changed your running:  When I started running a year or two ago I had to sweet-talk myself out the door and entertain myself by counting paving slabs whilst listening to inconceivably loud music just to get my legs to move quickly enough. parkrun has given my runs a purpose, to go faster, and now the only thing I do is chase a shiny new PB. I have since joined a local running club and added a longer run to my training, only five to seven miles, but it seems to have made a huge difference to my times.

What do you like about parkrun:  I like the 'lets get something done today' attitude of all the runners. We’ve all got up and got ready and got out so that when we go home we'll all have achieved something great! I love seeing the serious runners at the front belt round at seemingly inhuman speeds. I love seeing the newcomers wandering about and taking it all in. I love staying to see the last few come in and cheering the kids. I love it when kids and much older people overtake me. I love getting shiny new PBs.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Earlier this year when I was still trying to get a sub-25 minute parkrun and hadn't had a PB for about 2 months I had a wager with a fellow runner that if I could get to 23:02 he would join a club. I ran a 22:44 and think that will go down as one of my most satisfying parkrun moments. Neither of us expected it! Aside from that I’m a sucker for the individual 50 and 100 Club run celebrations. I love that the running clubs and families will come and make a bit of a fuss of the runner.

parkrun corner

Alister Robson

Volunteer and run? Did you know that there are a variety of tasks at most parkruns that will let you help out and volunteer whilst also running? The first thing is the setting out of the course, the direction arrows, cones, stakes and finishing funnels. I’m pretty sure most event teams can always use an extra pair of hands.

If you’re a faster runner there are loads of roles you can help with once you’ve crossed the line and had your own barcode scanned. If there are multiple barcode scanners at your event maybe you can help out on one of those before it starts to get really busy at about the 25 minute mark at most events? Maybe you can help to manage the funnel, keeping the runners in order until they’ve received their finishing token or to help the token handout person by holding a stack of tokens until they’re ready for the next batch.

What about 30 minute pacer or tail runner, especially if you’re saving yourself for a race the next day and don’t want to go ‘all out’? If you’re interested in any of these roles just have a chat with your event team and they’ll be happy to explain what’s required as well as glad of the assistance. If you can give them a bit of notice by emailing the specific address found on each event’s webpage so that they know you are coming (and running) that’d be really helpful too.

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

July

Arrow Valley parkrun 12th

Blackhill parkrun 12th

Riverside parkrun 12th

Sheffield Hallam parkrun 12th

Andover parkrun 19th

Black Park parkrun 19th

Bryn Bach parkrun 19th

Burnage parkrun 19th

Clair parkrun 19th

Falkirk parkrun 19th

Kingsbury Water parkrun 19th

Roundshaw Downs parkrun 19th

Barking parkrun 26th

Brueton parkrun 26th

Grovelands parkrun 26th

Oldham parkrun 26th

August

Norwich parkrun 2nd

Peterborough parkrun 2nd

Sheffield Castle parkrun 2nd

Wycombe Rye parkrun 2nd

Wythenshawe parkrun 2nd

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


 

Fun First

While I was helping at Bushy juniors at the weekend, there seemed to be quite a few first timers - the excitement from the children and their parents was palpable. When they asked me what they needed to do at their first parkrun, my main point was for them to enjoy it and run with a smile.

Those who have been involved with junior parkrun for a little while probably take this for granted, but it’s important to spread the word about “fun first” whenever we can.

I have the pleasure of receiving emails from runners from all over the UK who are enriched through their participation in parkrun, and also from parents whose children are also getting enormous benefit from the experience too. Many of the children are also starting to earn their wristbands, which seem to be going down well!

I also get asked many questions about the various choices we have made in establishing junior parkrun policies.
This week a few people emailed me asking why we don't highlight performance. We realise that this may alienate some children who are very competitive, high performers but for the most part our aim is to increase participation and help a new generation of children grow up without the fear of running, to enjoy being outside, to make friends and yes, to put “fun first”!

There are three points in our Code of Conduct that I think support this:

  • Appreciate that all participants and volunteers bring something valuable and different to parkrun events.
  • Never place undue pressure on others, especially children, to perform, participate or volunteer.
  • Ensure that parkrun events are fun and enjoyable for all.



Happy parkrunning and volunteering everyone, and here’s to prioritising fun and enjoyment for all!

Thank you to Southampton, Woodley, Bushy and Brockwell juniors for the photos.

Jo

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