weekly newsletter 18th September 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality’s Faces get close to Sir Steve, we tell you what else is nearby and I cannot wait for the future.

Well, after what seemed like an eternity waiting for Aston (mine and Helen’s new son, not the supercar), followed by two wonderful weeks of paternity leave, I’m finally back in the parkrun UK office and raring to go. The next few months will be really important in the journey of our wonderful movement and as we approach, enjoy and then move on from our tenth anniversary you’ll be seeing quite a few major changes/improvements/announcements. It’s all exciting stuff and personally I’m really fired up by what lies ahead.

On Tuesday Jeremy Casling (one of our friends from ERS) made the long drive from Bedford to Harrogate to show me a few prototypes of new ways for you to carry your barcode. Jeremy and the ERS team already do a brilliant job producing the plastic cards and tags but we’ve always wanted more and without giving anything away I’m confident you’ll be excited when we launch the new stuff later this year. We’ve worked with ERS for a long time as they provide (and service) our event team’s 1000+ barcode scanners which form a critical part of our results processing system and for a while now they’ve also been our only official supplier of personalised barcodes. Key to our ethos is of course that parkrun will always be free and as part of that we will always offer a zero-cost option for you to print out your own barcode. However, many people (ERS have sold 25,000 personal barcodes so far) would like to have something a little more durable and also contribute to our financial security (10% of all personal barcode sales comes back to parkrun).

We will only ever engage with commercial partners where we are confident they feel as passionately as we do that the primary objective is doing great things with great people (parkrunners) and only once we’re sure of that will we give them our official seal of approval. Exciting times lie ahead and I’m proud that ERS are very much part of that.

Stay tuned,

Tom

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

four weeks to go


The countdown is now on for our ‘Face of Vitality Oxford Half Marathoners’ with just four weeks to go until their big run.

At the weekend both Simon and Frances took part in a training day with Sir Steve Redgrave at the famous Iffley Road athletics track in Oxford, where Roger Bannister’s sub-four minute mile record was set in 1954.

“It was a great day, made even more special by the presence of Sir Steve Redgrave. We got the chance to ask him questions - I asked him if he ever had bad training days - yes he did, all the time, but he always remembered the wonderful rare occasions when everything went just right.” - Simon

“Steve was relaxed and inspiring to meet, he passed around his gold medal from Atlanta which we managed to slip over our heads. I have been inspired over the weekend because talent is one thing, but for sure attitude and hard work are far more important.” - Frances

Frances and Simon’s journey continues to the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon. Read their blog here.

Do you want to achieve a half marathon goal?

Unfortunately entries have now closed for the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon however there are still six remaining races in the Vitality Run Series. Find out more at vitality.co.uk.

nearby events


By visiting the home page of your local parkrun website you might be lucky enough to see a new feature titled ‘Other parkruns nearby’ which details parkruns within 20 miles of yours and up to a maximum of 10 other local events.

Another parkrun nearby might just be a warm up jog away from home... in need of more volunteers... have a smaller field... a really nice cafe... be flatter or more hilly… or you might just fancy being a parkrun tourist one day without having to travel too far.

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 53,226
Number of volunteers - 4,500
Number of first timers - 7,318
Number of PBs - 13,309

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
Back in June I visited Parke parkrun with my family and I noticed that they hadn't had a run report since their inaugural run so I offered to write one for them. I was delighted when, the following week, they wrote their own report. Two weeks ago my family and I were again on holiday and this time we ran at Keswick parkrun. They also didn't have any run reports so I again offered to write one. This week I am thrilled to see that they too have now written their own report. To all you budding parkrun tourists, if you visit an event, why not offer to write them a report? I'm sure they'd love to hear your perspective.
Regards,
Martyn Thomas


Hi parkrun UK
One of our most respected volunteers and parkrunners Olive Brearey passed away last week after a fight with cancer. Huddersfield parkrunners applauded a minute in honour for her and the runners lined the route near where she volunteered every week. People were inspired and encouraged by Olive, everyone loved her as she had a heart of gold and we hope to honour her with a plaque at ‘Olive’s Corner’, as it’s been called. Simon Brass and the other Huddersfield parkrun volunteers did her proud with a few words but she will be missed so much by everyone, young and old. Olive was what parkrun is all about.
Regards,
Dawn Byram


Hi parkrun UK
In February I obtained a Great North Run place and having never completed an organised running event since I left school in 1971 I decided that I'd better do some training. After a few gentle jogs a friend suggested that I go along to parkrun to experience running with other people so in May I first went along to my local Tees Barrage parkrun. Everyone there was friendly and encouraging and I slowly improved my times. Last Sunday I completed my first ever half marathon in two hours and twenty one minutes, an achievement I daren’t dream about in February. Thanks to all the parkrunners and volunteers at Tees Barrage parkrun, I'm now a regular runner and looking forward to my 50 Club t-shirt.
Regards,
John Hirst


Hi parkrun UK
We had the second running of the Cheltenham Half Marathon on the 7th of September and it was incredible to hear how the parkrunning community came out to support their own! I was wearing my running club vest with no obvious links to parkrun and yet supporters lining the route were cheering "Go on parkrunner!" or similar. I thought it was just because I'd been Run Director at Cheltenham parkrun that people recognised me but I've since heard loads of people got support from parkrunners, being cheered by people they didn't know but who they recognised from Saturday mornings in the park. The parkrun community continues to amaze me and just keeps getting better! Thanks for the support fellow parkrunners.
Regards,
James Clay


Hi parkrun UK
Recently we started a new life in Cramond, Edinburgh. We knew nobody. We heard about parkrun, walked to the start line, ran, headed home. On the way, we bumped into some guys who invited us for a post-parkrun coffee. These guys were our neighbours and they have become great friends. Without parkrun we might not have met. These friends, their partners, their children and friends have made our life in Edinburgh wonderful. We regularly take it in turns to cook breakfast for each other after parkrun. Thank you parkrun. We love you. You have transformed our lives.
Regards,
Daniel and Zor Behrand


Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday the 30th of August I completed my 73rd parkrun as a parkrun tourist at Peter Pan parkrun in Hull which was also their 73rd event! It was without doubt my most exhausting parkrun. I and a fellow Hanley parkrunner took up a charity challenge to canoe and walk from the source of the River Trent high in the hills above North Staffordshire all the way to where it washes out into the Humber Estuary near Hull, some 200 odd miles over seven days and then ran Peter Pan parkrun the following day. I would just like to give thanks and appreciation to all at Peter Pan parkrun. Your kindness and generosity will stay with me for ever. Thank you.
Regards,
Phil Thomas


Hi parkrun UK
Today I incorporated parkrun into my 11 mile training session. During the run I heard a dad talking to his young son who was encouraging him the whole way. The boy picked up a conker and his dad said “It could be your lucky one”. I turned to them and said I could do with one of those too (having lost several weeks injured). On the next lap he caught me up and handed me a conker saying it was my lucky one. I thanked him and said I am going to take it to the Bristol Half Marathon next Sunday. He proceeded to run in front, finish ahead of me and I was proud that he did so well. I congratulated him afterwards. Thank you Sebastian.
Regards,
Lynn Booth


Hi parkrun UK
I have been fortunate enough to combine my twin passions of running and travel so have completed races in many parts of the world from the Sahara to Siberia. In my mid-60's, I was still enjoying my running but times were slowing and stamina was on the wane. I then discovered parkrun at Arrow Valley. In the last two and a bit years I have made dozens of new friends, learnt new training techniques, my times over a variety of distances are improving and my annual mileage is higher than it has been for 15 years. This past weekend I completed my 100th parkrun with a big PB and feel completely revitalised by running with people with such a positive attitude to life and their health.
Regards,
Doug Richards


Hi parkrun UK
I just wanted to say a massive thank you for everything you do! Today I completed my first marathon, something that would have seemed inconceivable a few years ago. It was purely coincidence that it fell two years to the day since I did my first parkrun, but it is thanks to this great organisation and to all the volunteers that I am running at all. Whilst receiving my first marathon medal is something quite special, it is my 50 Club t-shirt and soon to be 100 Club t-shirt that will really mean something. Thanks again.
Regards,
Harry Bryant


Hi parkrun UK
We would like to share with parkrun some news of a special occasion taking place this parkrunday at Poole parkrun. For the last two years Saturday has not been Saturday, it's been parkrunday, so when we decided to get married there was only one thing for it. We shall run the first lap of the two lap Poole parkrun course, get married and then run the second lap to complete the course and well-earned tea and cake. Many parkrunners will be donning their best clobber and joining us for this parkrun wedding. We will run, get married and eat cake!
Regards,
Eve Carter


Hi parkrun UK
In November of 2013 my wife suggested whilst we were in London that it might be nice to do a parkrun. I agreed that would be lovely for her and within minutes I received an email that said “Welcome to parkrun”. She had signed me up! We ran Fulham Palace parkrun with my goal being to run 5k without stopping, which I achieved... just! I now run at Aberystwyth parkrun during the winter months as I work weekends all summer and looking forward to getting back to it each Saturday morning. Thanks parkrun for getting me out of bed and into my running trainers.
Regards,
Wil Stockford


Hi parkrun UK
We have had members of the family running at Workington parkrun since it began. Saturday was a first for us with three generations of the Jewell family running - Tony (Grandfather), Richard (Son) and Mylo (Grandson, age 6). To top off a great morning Mylo achieved his 3rd PB in three weeks. We look forward to running many more great events!
Regards,
Richard Jewell

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Brian Longman

Club:  Tri Sport Epping

Age:  52

Home parkrun:  Hackney Marshes

Occupation:  Design Draughtsman

Number of runs:  143

Favourite volunteer role:  Photographer

What do you do at parkruns:  I am lucky to usually finish in the top 10% of runners so that gives me time to grab my camera and photograph the other runners as they finish. I have taken thousands of parkrun photos and can usually get them cropped and uploaded by Saturday afternoon.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I have been competing in running and triathlon events for 25 years and parkrun has given me a regular weekly workout, it has been a great addition to my training plan.

What do you like about parkrun:  I am definitely a 'parkrun Tourist' and enjoy visiting all the different parkruns around the country with my wife Natalie who also runs. We are always made to feel welcome by the volunteer organisers, marshals and other runners each week at every parkrun we attend and that's what I like about it.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Achieving 100 parkruns was monumental and receiving my t-shirt a few weeks later at my home parkrun was my most memorable moment so far. Reaching that milestone represents dedication and achievement.

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.

cancellations

For cancellations please check your event’s news page for the most up to date information.

upcoming anniversaries

September

Corby parkrun 20th

Nonsuch parkrun 20th

Orpington parkrun 20th

Antrim parkrun 27th

Barrow parkrun 27th

Braunstone parkrun 27th

Burgess parkrun 27th

Doncaster parkrun 27th

Great Lines parkrun 27th

Hanley parkrun 27th

Mansfield parkrun 27th

Plymvalley parkrun 27th

Shrewsbury parkrun 27th

October

Bushy Park parkrun 4th

Catton parkrun 4th

Leeds parkrun 4th

Longrun Meadow parkrun 4th

Rushcliffe parkrun 4th

Southsea parkrun 4th

Savill Garden junior parkrun 5th

Aberdeen parkrun 11th

Armagh parkrun 11th

Pontypridd parkrun 11th

Southend parkrun 11th

Sunderland parkrun 11th

Victoria parkrun 11th

Woodley parkrun 11th

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


 

Scotland welcomes juniors

I have just been on holiday to Scotland which gave me a fantastic opportunity to meet and spend time with some of our 'junior parkrun people’ north of the border.

The exuberant and super friendly Chris Perkins, Event Director of Stirling junior parkrun offered to join me on the Saturday at Pollok parkrun in Glasgow. We met by the scanning queue after a fabulous 5k run and spent an hour in the café, together with our families, chatting all things parkrun, sorting out position tokens and left each other that morning as new parkrun friends.

On parkrunday Sunday I headed over to Helix junior parkrun to meet the team there and to volunteer whilst my own junior got his little legs moving.

P1060806

Run Director Lynsey got everyone ready to go with a magnificent warm up and then junior parkrun was underway...

P1060816

The finish line volunteers stood watching the runners from a distance, and a dad appeared by my side. “We’re new today and I didn’t realise that parents could run…” he said. I explained to him that whilst he was welcome to join in it wasn’t a requirement as there were lots of marshals dotted around the course to keep an eye on them and send them the right way. “Which one is yours, can you see her?” I asked. To which he replied "She’s the one in the Snow White outfit and trainers.”

P1060830

How fabulous! I do hope that our mini Snow White comes back and runs with us again sometime soon.

I’ve written before about how I hope that people hang around to enjoy their surroundings and after we’d had a coffee and a chat with the team, we wandered over to see the magnificent Kelpies which are just a five minute walk away from the start line and another great reason to visit Helix Park.

 

image

On the way back to the car an hour later the sight of this junior rollerblader really did polish off an already perfect parkrunday. Look closely at that t-shirt!

P1060829

You’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome at a junior event in Scotland. I speak from personal experience.

Happy parkrunning and volunteering

 

weekly newsletter 11th September 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter adidas win awards, PruHealth with Vitality’s Faces keep going, Sweatshop open a new store, Chris Davies prepares for a PB, we make it easier for you to opt-in and I get trumped for content.

On Monday evening we held our first ever ‘friends of parkrun’ dinner at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by the wonderfully hospitable triathlete and committed marathoner Brandon Lewis MP... and up until five minutes ago that was to provide the content for this week’s ramblings. Unfortunately for me Chrissie Wellington beat me to it and having just read this week’s junior newsletter I’d thoroughly recommend popping over there if you haven’t done so already.

That does of course leave me rather short on material, especially as being on my second week of paternity leave I’m about as out of the loop as I get. Having said that… a quick look at the bottom of our website shows that UK parkrunners have completed 4,985,264 runs to date, which means that at some point this Saturday morning we’ll see our five millionth run performance… or 25 million kilometres total distance covered! Wow!

Now, if you’ve already run a parkrun then give yourself a huge high five for being part of an amazing journey. If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet plucked up the courage then perhaps now’s the moment to print out your barcode and head down to your local event? Wouldn’t it be cool to say you helped make that happen!

Happy running,

Tom

Boost wins Runner’s World Awards


News hot off the press! Runner’s World has recently named adidas’ adios Boost 2 with the Editor’s Choice Award and the Supernova Sequence with the Best Update Award.

Runner’s World explained, “it’s sometimes difficult to pick the winner of our top gong, but not on this occasion - the adios Boost 2 romped home. The impressive Boost midsole foam gives exceptional energy return and a real feeling that you’re bouncing along like Tigger. It’s stripped back and feels like a proper racing shoe, although the cushioning is more than good enough for longer runs - and our lab rated it among the most flexible shoes on test. Bottom Line - cushioning, speed and support in one impressive package.”

The compliments kept coming from Runner’s World as they summed up adidas’ Supernova Sequence, stating “the Sequence series is favoured by over pronating runners who want support without sacrificing responsiveness. With this shoe adidas has improved that trait. It has dropped weight, lowered the heel drop from 10mm to 8mm, introduced its impressive Boost midsole foam and switched the pronation support from a medial post to a semi-rigid plastic wrap. This curves around the outside of the shoe and under the arch - giving support to those who need it. Bottom Line - a supportive shoe for runners of all sizes.”

Good news as they’ve also been named the Official racing and support training shoes for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015.

Don’t miss your chance to run in anything less than the best. Find your #boost at adidas.co.uk/boost today.

The adidas running team.
facebook.com/adidasUK
@adidasUK#boost

five weeks to go


Our ‘Face of Vitality Oxford Half Marathoners’ are now three weeks deep into their training. They are gaining great running momentum and are determined to push themselves further.

“I know I can currently do eight miles without too much trouble. Even if I do just one mile extra per week, I’m there. But I really do need to get some long, slow runs in again, so I get used to running that distance, it becomes ‘the norm’ and I can concentrate on getting my pace faster.” - Simon

“I have found the running hard this week but adding in the variety has really helped me remain positive - ‘Let optimism Rule!’ Another good quote for this week is “Exercise has been known to cause health and happiness” - Frances

Frances and Simon’s journey continues to the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon. Read their blog here.

Do you want to achieve a half marathon goal?

There’s still time to enter the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon! Make sure you don’t miss out and register today.

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 Peterborough this weekend


We’re delighted to be adding to our nationwide network with a new store in Peterborough which opens on Friday the 12th of September.

Come run with us across the country as well as in Peterborough where 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.

opt-in


Did you spot the tweak to the volunteer thanks and result emails at the weekend inviting you to ‘opt-in’ if you hadn’t already? Evidently 2,000+ parkrunners did and as a result have already opted in to receive volunteer news and appeals from the event they attended on parkrunday.

You can opt-in to receive volunteer emails from multiple events via the ‘manage my profile’ button which can be accessed via your results email or the email version of the newsletter. Why limit yourself to volunteering at one parkrun!

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 51,837
Number of volunteers - 4,550
Number of first timers - 7,181
Number of PBs - 10,903

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
On Saturday a very proud core team will be hosting Yeovil Montacute parkrun’s first birthday. A very big thank you to all the runners who stuck with us when our course was waterlogged for eight weeks at the start of the year and who keep coming back week after week to make such a cracking event! We are very lucky that the National Trust let us play in the fabulous Montacute House grounds each week which looks amazing from all angles.
Regards,
Martin Chaffey


Hi parkrun UK
Thank you to all the volunteers and runners who helped when my 12-year-old daughter Amy was taken ill at Fountains Abbey parkrun on the 30th of August. Amy pulled out after one lap complaining of chest pains and breathing difficulties, she was then assisted at the finish area. Adam the Run Director ran back down the course to tell me what had happened, from there with the help of various people we were able to get Amy away from the site and on the way to hospital. After an X-ray she was diagnosed with a collapsed lung and spent three days in hospital. I'm happy to report that she has made a full recovery.
Regards,
Allan Hansen


Hi parkrun UK
At Wimbledon Common parkrun on the 30th of August, as a parkrun tourist from Bushy Park, I was finishing my run when I was viciously attacked by a swarm of hornets. Stupidly I was running without my EpiPen as I have had an allergic reaction in the past. This is a lesson to all who may get complacent about this as I had done! The swift actions of the man who bravely helped me on the path as well as the volunteers meant I received the treatment I needed in the ambulance and at hospital. My heartfelt thanks to those who came to my aid and best wishes to others who were stung.
Regards,
Sarah Colclough


Hi parkrun UK
I've missed Cross Flatts parkrun for the past three weeks due to my holiday in Majorca but managed to keep up my fitness by running each day. One beautiful morning I was running along the seafront in Port Soller when I ran past a fellow parkrunner wearing a 50 Club t-shirt. “Go parkrunner” I shouted as she passed me in the opposite direction. It was great to see a member of our wonderful community whilst abroad.
Regards,
Neil McCallum


Hi parkrun UK
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Comber parkrun for making myself and my two sons, aged 13 and eight, feel so welcome last weekend. We were visiting family and decided to drop by for a run in the sun when away from our local parkrun at Wythenshawe. Several people came over to greet us, talk to us and then cheer us on. Afterwards there were photos and tea. It is a lovely set up and we will definitely be back when we are next over.
Regards,
Alistair Tanner


Hi parkrun UK
At Newcastle parkrun we celebrated Eric Appleby completing 200 parkruns at the age of 82. Eric was an outstanding veteran runner in his day, competing for England on seven occasions and achieving many British records in his age group. Eric joined Newcastle parkrun at the age of 78 in 2010 and has a PB of 26:18. At the finish line Eric was accompanied by his niece from Australia with a vanguard of runners from his club Heaton Harriers. Eric says that running makes him feel alive. With cakes and cards we all celebrated Eric's great achievement and look forward to him achieving his next target of 250 parkruns. We are proud that Eric is part of our parkrun family.
Regards,
Maggie Davison


Hi parkrun UK
I wanted to thank parkrun for enabling unexpected things to happen. My daughter is now looking forward to her 50 Club t-shirt that she achieved just before her eighth birthday. The Ally Pally parkrun people make a huge difference and have quietly encouraged her to keep going. Originally I never dreamed that she could do 5k, let alone 50 of them!
Regards,
Rosie Sheldon


Hi parkrun UK
I’ve just been camping with friends in the New Forest and I was delighted to discover parkrun was on the doorstep. Having left my family at the campsite I headed off to run to parkrun. It was further than anticipated and I was cutting it fine. I saw a car stop and assumed they would ask for directions. Wrong, I was asked if I was a parkrunner and wanted a lift! I took my chances as he didn't look dangerous and had a nice chat with Mike who turned out to be a volunteer. Brockenhurst parkrun is much smaller in attendance than my usual parkrun at Milton Keynes but has the same nice friendly feel. Running back I was joined by a fellow parkrun tourist. That is just what I love about parkrun, inclusive and welcoming to all.
Regards,
Abi Gooch


Hi parkrun UK
In 2012 I ran my first parkrun at Pontefract. My ambitions included not to embarrass myself in front of a bunch of finely tuned, honed to perfection Olympic-standard Adonises. Now I’ve pushed on so I'll receive the coveted black 100 t-shirt in October. Recently my 10-year-old son asked if he could join me. As an asthma sufferer Charlie finds 5k a huge test. My assurances that he wouldn’t be last, would be allowed to walk and that someone would wait at the finish worked. I was 12 minutes slower than my usual time but a little humility can be good. Thanks to all the volunteers and runners at Ponte Carlo!
Regards,
Andrew Burgess-Tupling


Hi parkrun UK
A few years ago I was encouraged to go along to the new parkrun that was starting at Pennington Flash. I was very dubious as I am a very slow runner. I have a heart condition which requires a pacemaker but I needn't have worried as they welcomed me and encouraged me around. I have made so many wonderful friends and been given so much confidence from doing parkrun that I have entered 10k races, a trail run and just completed the Great North Run and my parkrun family have been there to support me every step of the way. My husband and son now run parkrun regularly after seeing how much I enjoyed it. Thank you parkrun family.
Regards,
Alison Medlicott

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Charlotte Corrigan

Club:  Hyndburn Athletics Club

Age:  10

Home parkrun:  Burnley

Occupation:  School pupil

Number of runs:  11

Favourite volunteer role:  Haven’t volunteered just yet but definitely will do soon!

What do you do at parkruns:  I always try my best to improve my PB but I also like chatting to people. I have encouraged my mum to take part and she's very glad that I did because she's started to lose weight and get fit.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I have joined a running club and got my Uncle Robin to come with me! I also came 1st at my school’s games 600 metres.

What do you like about parkrun:  The sense of community spirit and the lovely volunteers.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  When I was running around with my Uncle Robin and I swallowed three flies.

parkrun corner

Chris Davies

There comes a time in every parkrunner’s ascendency called the ‘plateau’. However I think I have discovered the secret formula for a parkrun PB.

1. Choosing where and when to run is important. I was down in Poole following a week of life getting in the way of running so I needed a blast around Poole parkrun.

2. Pre-run preparation is key. On Friday night I limited myself to one small beer and was cooked a meal that contained beans (not sure if this was influential). After a great night’s sleep I enjoyed a small breakfast, a ‘No.2’ and got to the venue early enough to have a decent warm up (not falling out of the car onto the start line as per usual). I even had time for a peck on the cheek from my good lady as I lined up amongst the field.

3. You need good kit. It was the first outing for my adidas Boost. They felt like supersonic carpet slippers. I know this sounds like a plug for one of our sponsors but it’s true.

4. You need some luck. I managed to hang on to a pacemaker called Steve (other pacemakers are also available) on a warm day without a breath of wind. So thanks Sarah Ngugi, Rex Toop, Steve Mills and all the Poole parkrun volunteers. After 30 years of running my latest PB feels as good as my first one!

Chris Davies
Newport parkrun and Newport junior parkrun Event Director 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.

cancellations

For cancellations please check your event’s news page for the most up to date information.

upcoming anniversaries

September

Hilly Fields parkrun 13th

Ipswich parkrun 13th

Kings Lynn parkrun 13th

Portrush parkrun 13th

Reading parkrun 13th

Corby parkrun 20th

Nonsuch parkrun 20th

Orpington parkrun 20th

Antrim parkrun 27th

Barrow parkrun 27th

Braunstone parkrun 27th

Burgess parkrun 27th

Doncaster parkrun 27th

Great Lines parkrun 27th

Hanley parkrun 27th

Mansfield parkrun 27th

Plymvalley parkrun 27th

Shrewsbury parkrun 27th

October

Bushy Park parkrun 4th

Catton parkrun 4th

Leeds parkrun 4th

Longrun Meadow parkrun 4th

Rushcliffe parkrun 4th

Southsea parkrun 4th

Savill Garden junior parkrun 5th

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


 

The parkrun family

My role with parkrun is quite varied. In fact I think I am becoming one of the UK’s best … ball jugglers. I seem to have a number of these little round objects in the air at any one time and am generally jumping around trying not to drop them.

One of these balls was setting up junior parkrun, the other was having the (unenviable but important task) of drafting the parkrun Child Safeguarding Policy and another recent task was to organise a “friends of parkrun” dinner at one of the world’s most iconic buildings, the Houses of Parliament.

The event took place on Monday, and was kindly hosted by Brandon Lewis MP, the Minister of State for Housing and Planning. It was held in the Thames Pavilion; a room with the most glorious view over…yes, you guessed, it - the River Thames. The dinner brought together a diverse array of people from a range of organisations; such as Youth Sport Trust, National Trust, Street Games, the Spirit of 2012, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Join In, Cancer Research UK and England Athletics to our long-time supporter and double Olympian, Liz Yelling; Chair of the Muslim Women Sports Foundation, Rimla Akhtar; Tauny Southwood, member of the parkrun research board and professor of paediatrics, as well as representatives from the Department for Heath and for Culture, Media and Sport.

Embedded image permalink

 

Tom Williams, Paul Sinton Hewitt and yours truly with Chris Jones, CEO England Athletics

On the specific subject of junior participation, we heard about Youth Sport Trust’s amazing work to improve physical activity provision in schools and of Tauny’s ideas around the impacts of physical activity on childhood health and well-being. We chatted about youth volunteering with Join In and about engaging disadvantaged groups and communities with Street Games. More generally the evening gave us all the opportunity to celebrate the past 10 years of parkrun success, to share ideas, to learn from each other, to discuss plans for the future, and most importantly build and strengthen partnerships and friendships.

And it is this subject that I wanted to touch on for this week’s Newsletter. Running can be quite an individual sport. It’s often you alone pounding the pavements or trails, with only your panting breath for company. parkrun has changed all that, and junior parkrun is following in those footsteps.

parkrun and junior parkrun are bringing adults and children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities together. It doesn’t matter if they have run for 50 years or only 5 minutes. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know what on earth a taper, a bonk, or a fartlek session is. It doesn’t matter if they are an Olympian or an Octogenarian. The beauty of parkrun is in the building of friendships and the sense of community. The events provide an opportunity to learn from other people, to find support and encouragement, and to provide that support and encouragement to others.

In a sense, parkrun operates an informal 'pay it forward' model, where people selflessly pay their passion forward to others, many of whom they may never have met before. And parkrun Ambassadors and event teams pay their experience forward, by mentoring and helping new events get off the ground.

Over the past week, parkrun HQ seems to have been inundated (in a very good way) with emails from people saying just how much parkrun has meant to them. Yes, they mention the health and fitness aspect – but often more important is the sense of belonging, the cocoon of support, solidarity and the sense of joint purpose.

This is what we hope junior parkrun is also offering the younger generation. Yes, we want to see kids running around hop, skipping and jumping on their own – but we also want them to develop lasting friendships and to feel like part of a really supportive parkrun “tribe”. I have watched kids stop to wait for their friends to catch up, cheering for others, high fiving at the finish line, and running around playing football or tag after the cones have been put away. I have seen groups of parents chatting on the sidelines, a team of volunteers sharing a joke, or whole families running together when they may never have done so before. Those are the less tangible benefits of parkrun. The ones that you don’t read in your results email, but which will stay with you long after the memory of a certain time or finish position has faded.

Photos of Stirling juniors by Jan Scollon

Monday night’s dinner enabled parkrun HQ to strengthen those relationships and friendships on a national scale. It provided the opportunity to meet with organisations and people that share a similar passion for driving participation for all, those that are committed to bringing the joy of sport to everyone’s lives and being prepared to work together to make that happen. It has helped to create a national community that cares about driving participation in physical activity, and taking shared steps to try to achieve that.

As we near parkrun’s 10th Anniversary, and as junior parkrun grows like a Bolt (as the above picture shows!) of wild-fire, let us celebrate the number of events, and the number of runs people have done, and even times and PBs that have been achieved but let’s also celebrate the creation of lasting friendships and communities: let’s celebrate the building of the biggest and best parkrun “family” anyone could wish for.

 

weekly newsletter 4th September 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality’s Faces meet, Elaine Omand praises our teams, we ask if you like us and I pop in as a new pappy.

I’ll keep things super brief this week as technically I’m on paternity leave!

Helen and I welcomed Rosie’s brother, Aston (my grandfather’s name) Tiger Williams, into the World on Sunday morning at 3am and two more proud parents you could not find. The messages of love and support we’ve received from around the parkrun world have been humbling to say the least and honestly we could not be happier that our children will grow up in a community where running is not only accepted but more importantly it’s loved. Over the years we (the sport of running) have done a really good job of forgetting the real reasons to run and whereas participants in pretty much every other sport take part for the pleasure of taking part, running has somehow become a means to an end. Unfortunately that approach can only serve to damage the purity of running and all that it truly brings to us when we look a little deeper. As usual I’ve found someone else more eloquent than I to sum things up and a fellow parkrunner recently wrote...

"It's given me self-respect where there was once desperation; it's given me my family where once there was spirit-crushing desolation; it's given me faith in the human race when each club session, each race, each parkrun shows the very best of the human spirit: the desire to achieve and to realise your potential. Above all, it's given me life."

For all those reasons (and many more) Helen and I are extremely excited to be taking Aston to his first parkrun this Saturday.

Happy running,

Tom

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

six weeks to go


The second week of training is completed for our ‘Face of Vitality Oxford Half Marathoners’, Frances and Simon. They met each other at the Wycombe Rye parkrun in High Wycombe last weekend.

“At Saturday’s parkrun Frances and I met for the first time. It was a new location for both of us, Wycombe Rye in High Wycombe. It was a lovely route, especially with the clear chalk stream running alongside some of it. Only a set of steps at the turn point prevented me from gaining a PB, I was about 10 seconds outside it, so another good run.” – Simon

“I think that often the key to fitness generally is to try and incorporate it into your daily life. For example, I managed to put in a little extra run this week as my car needed to go to the garage so I dropped it off and ran home for 2.7 miles.” – Frances

Frances and Simon’s journey continues to the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon. Read their blog here.

Do you want to achieve a half marathon goal?

There’s still time to enter the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon! Make sure you don’t miss out and register today.

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.

do you ‘like' us?


Do you want to follow us? If you just can’t get enough parkrun-related facts and photographs why not take a look at our official Facebook and Twitter accounts for parkrun UK and junior parkrun here and here to find out more…

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 52,607
Number of volunteers - 4,387
Number of first timers - 7,511
Number of PBs - 9,617

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 recently ran at Darlington parkrun with my brother Graham. I am a relative veteran of parkrun as I’m close to earning my 100 Club t-shirt having run regularly at Guildford but it was my brother’s first time. As he suffers from cerebral palsy I pushed him around the three lap course in his wheelchair and it was a great experience for me, my brother, our family, his carers and the rest of the very supportive Darlington parkrun community. Graham laughed, shouted and rang his wrist bells throughout the run, clearly enjoying the experience and we made it round in 33 minutes. We were aiming to be under 30 minutes but a dodgy front wheel was our excuse for missing the target!
Regards,
Andy Flanagan


Hi parkrun UK
Firstly may I say a big thank you as I recently received my 50 Club t-shirt and am exceedingly delighted with it! Aiming for the 50 Club kept me going when I was really struggling with my running as, although completely unaware of it, I had anaemia. Despite times when I felt like giving up running as I got slower and slower the 50 Club goal remained a focus. I have a double thank you to send parkrun as by recording a weekly 5k time it was obvious something was wrong which prompted me to go to the doctors. Now I’ve got the bonus of seeing my times recovering! So a huge thank you to Reading, Basingstoke, Newbury, Woodley, Oxford and Coventry parkruns. I’m looking forward to the next 50.
Regards,
Clare Coyle


Hi parkrun UK
In January of 2011 I nervously ventured to my first Cannon Hill parkrun after yet another injury lay-off. Little did I know that a week later I would have my barcode scanned by the man who would three years, 100 plus volunteering stints and 50 plus parkruns later, ask me to marry him. On Friday the 8th of August this year Rob Foster and I tied the knot. We even named our tables after the various parkruns we have run together. Several of our Cannon Hill parkrun friends came to celebrate with us and the morning after, whilst nursing sore heads, around 20 friends and family, including some first-time parkrunners, made the trip out to Worcester parkrun to finish off the event in style! Thank you parkrun for making this happen!
Regards,
Hilary Foster


Hi parkrun UK
Three years ago I turned up at Bromley parkrun feeling nervous about running a 5k with a load of strangers. Thanks to the sparkly parkrun magic I ran my 100th parkrun on Saturday surrounded by my parkrun family, a bunch of amazing people who I could never imagine being without. Bromley parkrun has had a massive impact on my life in those three years and I can see it as being part of my life forever. Thank you parkrun. You rock.
Regards,
Jo Gambell


Hi parkrun UK
I ran my first ever parkrun just over a year ago and have now run 12. Not a relatively great achievement and on paper seems to be just one a month. However, last month my boyfriend and I ran a different parkrun on all five Saturdays in August. Combining trips away with visiting family and friends plus generally getting out and about we ran at Yeovil Montacute, Barnstaple, Chippenham, Falkirk and Longrun Meadow parkruns. We quite enjoyed the experience of running somewhere new and the challenges each brought. Two things always remain the same however: atmosphere and marshalling. At all the events these were first class and we felt amazingly welcome at all. Such great events and such fun people around. Great work.
Regards,
Anne Kelly


Hi parkrun UK
I would just like to say a big thank you to the kind lady who helped me achieve my PB on Saturday at Cannon Hill parkrun. I am eight years old so was running with my mum, who is 39, and my brother who is six. After the first corner my brother started to slow down because of his stitch and was holding me up until a kind lady offered to run with him at his speed. I then got to run fast with my mum and got a new PB! It was doubly ace as I got my parkrun 10 Club t-shirt too. Thank you to the nice lady who helped make this happen. We chatted to her at the end and she was celebrating her 50th run today too.
Regards,
Poppy Close


Hi parkrun UK
Dave Lucas has been Forest Of Dean parkrun’s Event Director ever since the run’s inception four years ago and is an amazing motivator who has worked tirelessly to make it happen. In all that time Dave had never actually run the course himself, this being due to his either being too involved with arranging the run, coaching commitments or of late with ill health. It was all the more poignant that it was also his birthday so congratulations to Dave on his first parkrun.
Regards,
Jacqui Wynds


Hi parkrun UK
My son is presently completing his silver Duke of Edinburgh Award (Physical Section) at Chelmsford parkrun. Twelve weeks ago he had never run outside of school and was in the bottom set for PE. Due to the encouragement from a wonderful event team at Chelmsford parkrun Joseph has not only completed 10 parkruns but he also got another PB on Saturday! Without parkrun he would never have thought of running, let alone doing it on a regular basis and for fun! To all those who are and have been parkrun event organisers and volunteers may I say thank you, thank you, thank you. You make an amazing difference to people's lives.
Regards,
Apryl Hammett


Hi parkrun UK
My name is Megan and I am nine years old. I’m currently in training for a junior race in September and the fact I am a Type 1 diabetic means balancing my blood sugars whilst exercising can be a challenge. My dad has to run at the side of me with what he calls his 'Man Bag' which has all my emergency treatment in should my sugar levels drop too low. I have really enjoyed parkrun so far and have had loads of encouragement from other runners and marshals around the course. I am also looking forward to beating my personal best soon.
Regards,
Megan Williams


Hi parkrun UK
Thanks so much for initiating and coordinating parkrun. I love running at parkrun, helping out by volunteering and the friendliness at the events is so much that I've set myself a target of running at least one in each of the eighteen ancient kingdoms of Britain. However there are currently no runs in two of these regions - Gwynedd which covered what is now North Wales and Anglesey East to the River Dee, and Dalriada which covered what is now the West Coast of Scotland including Oban and the islands North of the Clyde, but not quite as far as Fort William. My other ambition is to complete 100 parkruns and 100 volunteer counts together next April.
Regards,
Tom Stagles


Hi parkrun UK
What a fantastic morning at Newport junior parkrun on Sunday, with a particular thank you to all the Constabularies present who integrated well and joined in with the spirit of the event. Hayley Edwards and the children awarded the Inspector 7 out of 10 for his participation in helping her lead the warm up. Policing at its best and thank you NATO for the reason they were there. The photograph supplied was by one of the officers on duty. The Greater Manchester Police and Gloucestershire Constabulary were patrolling the grounds of Tredegar House in preparation for the NATO summit taking place on Thursday and Friday last week. The children loved having their own officers and it made for a very memorable parkrun experience.
Regards,
Nicola Murray

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Callum Edwards-Wilson

Club:  Unattached

Age:  8

Home parkrun:  Eastleigh

Occupation:  School pupil

Number of runs:  16

Favourite volunteer role:  Barcode scanning

What do you do at parkruns:  Run as fast as I can! I look forward to volunteering when barcode scanning.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I’m becoming faster and learning to pace myself more effectively.

What do you like about parkrun:  The route and how all of the adults are friendly and supportive but most of all I love running!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Recently getting my 4th PB in a row over four weeks!

parkrun corner

Elaine Omand

As parkrun UK Ambassadors it can be a part of our role to meet prospective parkrun volunteer teams providing support and guidance in starting up a new event. We all love our role and happily put in a lot of free time to bring parkrun joy to new groups of people. However, this week I would like to take some time to celebrate the event teams themselves. Through my role as an Ambassador I have met a few teams and been so proud of the amount of effort that people put in to make these events happen.

Many people think when they first approach parkrun UK that startup will be a fairly quick process but there is a lot of work required in the early stages before anything can happen. This can range from talking to councils and landowners, to measuring routes and applying for funding. This all takes time and perseverance and can require a lot of positivity from the team!

Once the event starts it’s not always plain sailing either. Your core volunteer team work hard throughout the week, as well as on parkrunday, to keep everything ticking over smoothly for you. The simplicity of parkrun can be easily be taken for granted but it is the constantly amazing efforts of team members that allows your parkrun to 'just work'. I'm sure all the core volunteer teams will agree that time put into making parkrun happen is well spent and our involvement is one of the most rewarding things we have done. I am so happy to be involved with so many hard working and inspirational people every week and I thank every core team member for making it happen.

Elaine Omand, Camperdown parkrun Event Director 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.

cancellations

For cancellations please check your event’s news page for the most up to date information.

upcoming anniversaries

September

Aberystwyth parkrun 6th

Inverness parkrun 6th

Skipton parkrun 6th

Southwark parkrun 6th

Southwick Country Park parkrun 6th

Yeovil Montacute parkrun 6th

Hilly Fields parkrun 13th

Ipswich parkrun 13th

Kings Lynn parkrun 13th

Portrush parkrun 13th

Reading parkrun 13th

Corby parkrun 20th

Nonsuch parkrun 20th

Orpington parkrun 20th

Antrim parkrun 27th

Barrow parkrun 27th

Braunstone parkrun 27th

Burgess parkrun 27th

Doncaster parkrun 27th

Great Lines parkrun 27th

Hanley parkrun 27th

Mansfield parkrun 27th

Plymvalley parkrun 27th

Shrewsbury parkrun 27th

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


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