weekly newsletter 26th March 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Vitality congratulate their Reading half marathoners, we invite our junior parkrunners to head for the orange trees and I reminisce.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been helping my wife Helen and a few dedicated local parkrunners find a suitable 2k course for a junior parkrun up here in Harrogate. It’s been a wonderful experience and although I certainly can’t take any credit for putting in the hard graft required to make the event happen, I am proud to be a small part of the team. It has also taken me right back to when I was in that position just under eight years ago and looking to bring what was then called a ‘Time Trial’ to Leeds. That event started out as the Hyde Park Time Trial, a year or so later became Leeds parkrun and recently changed again, this time to Woodhouse Moor parkrun.

I am extremely proud that the prospective core team for Harrogate juniors is enjoying a pretty similar experience to what they would have done all those years ago. Ultimately it’s about finding a suitable area of open space, getting permission, building a volunteer team and setting a date. Back in my day (he says sounding like one of those ‘back in my day’ type grumpy old men) we were pretty naive to some of the operational stuff around things like putting marshals in the right place etc. but by and large the experience remains unchanged after ten years of significant growth. The main difference is really that new teams now have the support of one of our amazing parkrun Ambassadors, a group of volunteers who do stuff outside of event delivery and really are the difference between being able to do what we do and not.

Obviously going from one event in West London to 350 events across the length and breadth of the UK has required an element of change, however it’s great to see first-hand that core volunteers, and of course runners, still get pretty much the pure parkrun experience.

I’d also like to thank everyone who responded so brilliantly to last week’s article by Alzheimer’s Research UK that highlighted the upcoming challenge of Chris Graham. This from the Alzheimer’s team:

“Thanks for sharing his story with the parkrun community – the response was brilliant. We certainly saw a surge in donations from parkrunners after Chris’ article featured in the newsletter – it would be lovely to say thank you to those who donated."

See you at the weekend,

Tom

P.S. You can read about Scottish junior parkruns in this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.

faces of Vitality Run Series


The Vitality Reading Half Marathon saw two of our Vitality Run Series bloggers’ training culminate in the big race day event! Both Richard and Louise share their race day strategy, what it feels like to be cheered on by the crowd and the euphoria of crossing the finishing line.

“I’ve already decided to sign up for next year’s race. Vitality Reading Half Marathon is a great route and the atmosphere was incredible. There were bands playing, cheerleaders and crowds of people at every stage to cheer the runners on,” said Vitality run series blogger Louise.

Meanwhile, Paul and Lawrence have less than a week to go before the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon. As an athlete with 40 years experience, Paul discusses the art of tapering off before a race. Lawrence explores performance enhancement techniques like visualisation and breathe work to get the most out of his race day.

Want to achieve a Half Marathon challenge?

Be part of the Vitality Run Series - a series featuring eight of the UK's most exciting running events, brought to you by Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run the whole Series.

A Vitality Run Series event may provide the motivation you need to become a fitter and healthier you in 2015.

Find out more here.

the orange trees


It’s been a while since we last mentioned our magnificent junior parkrun series for children aged between 4 and 14. Over 2,500 junior parkrunners and over 500 volunteers are now joining us every weekend for a 2k run and unlike the 5k series under 11s can run the courses unaccompanied.

We currently have 40 junior events up and running across the UK so grab your juniors and their barcodes, and head for an orange tree!

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

Number of runners - 63,184
Number of volunteers - 5,621
Number of first timers - 8,404
Number of PBs - 15,506

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 was over the moon to receive the Medina IOW parkrun Monthly Prize on the day I completed my 50th parkrun. To be part of such a wonderful initiative, meeting such great people every week, is reward enough, so to get a new pair of running shoes too was incredible. Thanks Sweatshop for sending me these speedsters!
Regards,
Simon Randall


Hi parkrun UK
I noticed there was a parkrun in Hereford and as I was going to visit relatives there I decided to do the parkrun too. How disappointed I was to find that when I arrived late on Friday I'd forgotten my running shoes. I decided to have a lie-in but awoke at 8.15am remembering that the parking for the parkrun was near a supermarket. I found ‘sports shoes’ for £10, purchased them at 8.52am, found the start at 9am, and ran my best 5k for three years. Great course and in memory of a local runner. I think I might have the record for running in the most recently purchased trainers!
Regards,
Mark Mulvenna


Hi parkrun UK
The first day of spring and it was parkrun day! My daughter Shelley had invited me to run at her home parkrun with her. As I got in the car to drive the 20 miles from my usual parkrun in Andover to Southampton, the sun was shining the birds were singing, and I arrived with a spring in my step. It was so nice to be a parkrun tourist and to be welcomed by a great bunch of people shouting “Hello, Shell's Mum" with the usual parkrun enthusiasm. I would thoroughly recommend this experience to put a spring in your step and I look forward to meeting many parkrun tourists at Andover.
Regards,
Jan North


Hi parkrun UK
When I found out that my favourite place to walk, Oakwell Hall, also had a parkrun, I was overjoyed. This enabled me to combine running with seeing the picturesque views of Oakwell Hall, two of my favourite things. From my very first run I have been made to feel welcome by the team and other runners. To my surprise I was recently awarded the Sweatshop Monthly Prize which I was very grateful for. I wouldn't have been able to achieve this if I hadn’t been made to feel welcome from the very start, and now I have a number of great new friends too. Thanks Running Bears.
Regards,
Lee Dickinson

parkrunner of the week


If you feel somebody at a parkrun should feature as our parkrunner of the week, please get them to fill out this handy online form - you can even apply yourself!

Name:  Ian Enticott

Club:  Hampton Magna Harriers

Age:  56

Home parkrun:  Burnley parkrun

Occupation:  Vicar

Number of runs:  22

Favourite volunteer role:  Finish Tokens

What do you do at parkruns:  Try to beat my personal best and catch up with other parkrunners. Help one of my parishioners to beat her personal best.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Enabled me to help other parkrunners to build on their achievements and try to beat their personal bests

What do you like about parkrun:  Keeping fit, meeting new people, the friendly atmosphere and the encouragement I get from the marshals.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I wore my collar around the course but it didn't help me beat my personal best, but I did improve on my performance from the previous week. Also I once managed to miss all the muddy parts of the course and then walking back to the car disappeared in a small bog!

reminders

the parkrun store

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 2014 alone over 50,000 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

March

Bangor parkrun 28th

Cross Flatts parkrun 28th

Ecos parkrun 28th

Llyn Llech Owain parkrun 28th

Newport parkrun 28th

Ormskirk parkrun 28th

Princes parkrun 28th

Reigate Priory parkrun 28th

Shorne Woods parkrun 28th

Harrow Lodge junior parkrun 29th

Newport junior parkrun 29th

April

Basildon parkrun 4th

Beeston parkrun 4th

Bushy junior parkrun 4th

Colchester Castle parkrun 4th

Forest Rec parkrun 4th

Huddersfield parkrun 4th

Hull parkrun 4th

Keswick parkrun 4th

Parke parkrun 4th

Poole parkrun 4th

Porthcawl parkrun 4th

Woodley junior parkrun 5th

Chippenham parkrun 11th

Dulwich parkrun 11th

Enniskillen parkrun 11th

Graves parkrun 11th

Huntingdon parkrun 11th

Maidstone parkrun 11th

Peter Pan parkrun 11th

Pymmes parkrun 11th

Strathclyde parkrun 11th

Barking and Dagenham junior parkrun 12th

Bradford parkrun 18th

Bramhall Park parkrun 18th

Conkers parkrun 18th

Preston Park parkrun 18th

Rotherham parkrun 18th

South Shields parkrun 18th

St Andrews parkrun 18th

Helix junior parkrun 19th

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.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

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


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

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

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 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.


 

Three Scottish gems…

Given that the marvellous Chris Davies recently brought us up-to-date and gave us an insight into junior parkrun in Wales, I thought it was time to highlight our Scottish events.

They currently have three junior gems: Helix, Stirling and Victoria, Glasgow and have room for many more.

I wrote to the teams and asked them what impact they felt their events were having on their communities, and here are their responses.

The first event to start was Helix juniors in Falkirk which is now 45 runs old.

They have an average of 85 runners a week and have run a distance of 7,680k. Wow!
16718708210_45ce1d167f_o

Here is the Helix story told by Event Director, Lynsey.

“Helix juniors came about after the opening of Helix Park, a new urban park created on former waste land, where health and activity is one of the reasons the park was established. I made it my mission to get Helix on the map for juniors who want to run for fun!

Our first junior parkrun took place the same weekend as the official opening for the whole park.  It was a gorgeous sunny day (it doesn't happy very often in the Helix weather bubble!) with 74 amazing smiling juniors and their parents turning up.  The core team were amazed by the turnout and it was a sign of things to come.  Our highest attendance is 135!  With an average of 85 over the last 46 weeks.

As we approach our first year anniversary we have our thinking caps on as to what theme we will chose to mark the occasion!  Over the last year we have had a few different themed events from any fancy dress, crazy socks, Christmas jumpers, red for love and a few more!  As you can tell we love to make sure the run is all fun and everyone gets involved. Some of the juniors prefer to volunteer more than run now as they too like to see the smiles from those taking part.

Helix juniors is not just a run on a Sunday morning but has quickly become its very own wee family where everyone encourages and helps each other. Thank you parkrun!
Helix1

You can just feel the love coming out of Falkirk, which is a stone’s throw from Stirling, where the next junior event was activated. Some of the volunteers at Stirling started their volunteering at Helix until they established their own event 38 weeks ago.

Stirling juniors  have an average of 49 runners a week and have run 3,716k between them. Fantastic!

Here is the Stirling story as told by Event Director, Chris Perkins…

“If you think of Scotland you probably think the prevailing weather conditions in this photo epitomise what a junior parkrun would be like early on a Sunday morning. Yes, we can get bad weather (this was actually a glorious, crisp morning to be out), but there's another story here.
Stirling 3000m
This is Reuben, one of our youngest parkrunners. And this was the very moment that a Stirling junior parkrunner completed the event's 3000th kilometre! (Event #30)

We started in June and every Sunday was glorious (well, dry at least) for about 10 or 12 weeks. Then the seasons turned and we got our fair share of rain. I used to worry that no-one would turn up in bad weather. But they did - 30 or 40 of them. As this winter progressed we had some howling storms in Scotland - horizontal rain and wind that would keep you upright if you leaned forward but still they kept coming. In fact, a few weeks ago, when we put out a notice on Saturday night about likely cancellation due to weather, and didn't confirm we were going ahead on social media until 8am on Sunday after a course inspection, we still had 19 runners (they're a hardy bunch here, that's for sure!)

I don't quite know when it was, but we reached critical mass at some point. After this winter, I don't worry about whether anyone will turn up anymore! We have a wonderful team of regular volunteers and a steady stream of new ones. Stirling junior parkrun has, in a relatively short period of time, embedded itself in the community. We have first timers every week, many of whom quickly become avid wristband hunters. We have runners and parents who have become friends since meeting at parkrun, and parkrunners who have friends that have never been before that they bring down to show them how much fun it is. parkrun has created something in Stirling that makes people want to come out and come together. Everyone contributes to the atmosphere and the encouragement that makes people come back for more.

We're already well on the way to completing 4,000k and I know that number will keep going up - whatever the weather!”
Stirling team
And last but not least is Victoria juniors in Glasgow which is 20 runs old.

Victoria juniors average 44.4 runners each week and have run a total of 1,688k so far. Stunning!

Here is the Victoria story, as told by our Glasgow Ambassador, Liz Corbett.

"Avid readers might have spotted a bit of a weather theme in all the Scottish reports and starting in October last year the bad weather seemed to predominate at Victoria with several cancellations over the winter without the opportunity to build our runner numbers beforehand. But the youngsters who did come along smiled as they ran and didn’t seem to notice the rain and the cold, even the tiny ones who were running in their princess dresses! Some hop, skip, walk and occasionally run and some even chase their mum or dad. We love that because we want them to have fun! We also have some rising running stars amongst the more dedicated runners in the older age group which is exciting to see. It also seems that quite a few grannies and granddads as well as mums and dads are getting an extra bit of exercise by running the 2k. Perhaps they have been inspired by the Commonwealth Games that took place in Glasgow in 2015?
Victoria1
Now that spring has sprung we have great expectations for the year ahead and numbers are climbing. We also think it is time to spread the word a bit more about Victoria juniors now that our volunteer team are well practised in the art of parkrun. We love that magic few minutes when it looks like no one at all is coming and all of a sudden children emerge from various nooks and crannies and start pouring into the park. The more the merrier.

We are looking forward to a great junior parkrun year!”
Victoria2

We are too Victoria, with lots of new events waiting in the side-lines for their start dates.

Billy Mitchell, Head of jogScotland, which has ardently supported the start-up of these events, had this to say:

“I am very pleased with progress at the first three junior parkruns in Scotland.  Their first Scottish winter was always going to be a test of the resilience of the children, their parents and the volunteers.  While there were a few cancellations because of icy conditions, it was pretty much business as usual, with around 180 walking, jogging or running each week being strongly supported by an army of volunteers.  The range of participants is also heartening; a large number of children are not in athletics clubs and so can be considered to be outside the formal structure of the sport.  The ‘high-fives’ and support around the routes make it a positive experience for all.

It’s also been a part of the training for more experienced youngsters, as evidenced by two Stirling parkrunners recently representing Scottish Schools at cross country.

I think the better weather will see an upsurge in numbers and I’m sure that word will spread and that we will see more events before long.  Of course we are keen to ensure that junior jogscotland training opportunities in schools and after-school clubs help prepare youngsters for their local junior parkrun.  It’s a great combination.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Happy, or bonny, Scottish junior parkrunning!

Jo

 

 

weekly newsletter 19th March 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Alzheimer’s Research UK share a moving story, there’s another invitation to become a Vitality Face, Run Group ask why you run, James Saunders thinks big and I spent a morning with some running legends.

Earlier this morning a group of us got together to have a run around the Bushy parkrun course and celebrate publication of the brilliant photo-book, ‘parkrun - A Celebration’. The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice a couple of true running legends tucked amongst our group of every-day runners?

Photo: Bushy parkrunner David Noble

I’d never noticed this before but there’s clearly an inverse relationship between physical stature and running prowess… the two vertically challenged chaps third and fourth from the right happen to be non-other than Bruce Fordyce (sporting a rather fetching knee brace) and Ron Hill. Bruce is the Country Manager for parkrun South Africa and has won the Comrades Ultra Marathon nine times. Many of you may not be familiar with Comrades; basically it’s their version of the London Marathon but over twice as far. Bruce’s PB is 5 hours and 24 minutes (set in 1986) which equates to 5:48 per mile; for 56 very hot and hilly miles. Ron on the other hand is well-known for being one of Great Britain’s finest ever marathoners. In 1970 he ran 2:09:28 for the marathon (a time that still ranks 11th on the UK’s all-time list) or to put that in context, 15:20 parkrun pace for eight-and-a-bit parkruns. Later in the day we were joined by Dave Moorcroft whose 13:00 5,000m PB has all the context it needs and double Olympian / Commonwealth medallist Liz Yelling. Quite some group. Between us (I like to use ‘us’ in these situations) ‘we’ had several world records, major championship appearances, all kinds of medals and nine consecutive victories at the World’s biggest ultra marathon.

The thing that brought us all together however was a love of running. Neither Ron nor Bruce compete at an elite level any more but actually that was never really why either of them ever ran. Getting out on a blustery morning for three ten-minute-miles and having a good-old chat in the open air is all any of us needed. And in that setting we were all absolutely equal. We were all runners.

Happy running,

Tom

P.S. You can read about junior parkrun’s superstar Run Directors in this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.

alzheimer’s at 39: Chris’ story


My friends didn’t believe me when I told them I had Alzheimer’s disease. At the age of 39, it just doesn’t make sense to people. I’m ex-army, I’ve travelled the world and I’m fighting fit – how can I have something like that? We still think of Alzheimer’s as a bit of forgetfulness as we get older. The truth is far worse.

My family has been hit hard by Alzheimer’s disease. I carry a rare genetic mutation which I inherited from my dad, and it means I’ll develop Alzheimer’s at a very young age. Dad died aged 42. He was in hospital so long I don’t really remember him. His sister, my aunt, died at 41 as she inherited the faulty gene too. Although only 400 families have what we have, the disease hits us in the same way it does when people get Alzheimer’s later in life. Our memories will leave us, we lose the ability to do day-to-day things and end up needing lots of care.

I’m one of four kids, and we all had a 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene from Dad. My two sisters avoided it, and my brother and I got it. He’s 43 now, having been diagnosed in 2006. He’s in a care home, can’t move and has to be fed through a tube. He can’t speak but can raise a smile sometimes.

Although I know what’ll happen to me in the coming years, I wanted to do something to fight back against the disease. It’s simple for me, you have to hit the enemy directly, so I’ve taken on a challenge to help support research.

Next month I’ll set off on a 16,000-mile sponsored cycle ride around North America. It’s going to take me a year to do it, but I hope giving one of my good years to this challenge will help give many more good years to people with dementia.

A cure may come too late for me, but it will help my kids. We’ve got man to the moon, so we’ll get to the answers if we put enough into it. I hope what I’m doing will help inspire parkrunners to support Alzheimer’s Research UK. Alzheimer’s disease is our biggest enemy, but research is our most powerful weapon.

To find out more about Chris, his challenge, his family’s story and about inherited Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/chris

faces of Vitality Run Series


Richard closes in on his goal to reach his personal best time, and shares some tips on how you can achieve yours as well as when you should taper your training before a big race.

Meanwhile Paul ruminates on the time, effort and commitment it takes to keep fit, and questions when a fit lifestyle becomes an obsession.

Congratulations to Claire and Simon who both completed the Vitality North London Half Marathon over the weekend and share their experiences, the highs and lows, plus how to prepare, what to expect and the lessons they learnt from their momentous achievement.

Keep an eye on what the other Faces of Vitality have been up to: Louise and Lawrence

Want to become a face?

Step up your next running challenge by becoming the Face of the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon!
Vitality are looking for a parkrunner, local to Hackney, who wants to step up to a half marathon challenge and complete the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon on the 10th of May 2015. To help you along your training journey we will provide you with:

- On-going training support including a personalised training plan and training day
- A GPS running device to track your progress
- £50 Sweatshop voucher for new trainers
- A full Vitality Run Series kit
- Free entry into the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon

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

How to enter

Tell us why you should be the Face of the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon by emailing us at Vitality.Events@pruhealth.co.uk by midday on Tuesday the 24th of March 2015. Please answer each question below (minimum 100 words for each question):

1. Why did you choose to be a ‘Face of Vitality’?
2. What is your motivation behind running?
3. What is the most rewarding goal you have achieved and why?

Make sure you include a landscape image of you participating in a sport/healthy lifestyle action, your parkrun Athlete ID and the best form of contact.

Winners will be shortlisted on Tuesday the 24th of March and will be required to undertake a short telephone interview. Our Vitality Face of Run Hackney will be announced on the 27th of March 2015! T&Cs apply.

why do you run?


Why do you run? Who do you run with? How does running fit in with your wider lifestyle? At Run Group we are asking questions like this in our current survey and we would love to hear from as many parkrunners as possible. The survey can be found here.

The purpose of the survey is to understand what motivates and influences both current runners and those who might run in the future. We want to hear about your attitudes towards fitness, why you choose to run (or not) and how you fit it all into your busy lives. Run Group's vision is to get more people running more often, so getting feedback from the growing community of parkrunners will be very helpful.

The results of this survey will help us identify the current trends in running participation and help inform our forthcoming national running market report. The report will be shared with parkrun and other Run Group partners at the end of April, and will be available on the Run Group website.

As a thank you for your time, we are offering all respondents the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win up to £200 of Amazon vouchers. The survey closes at 11pm on Monday the 23rd of March. If you would like to share your thoughts, please go to the survey.

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

Number of runners - 64,437
Number of volunteers - 5,511
Number of first timers - 8,741
Number of PBs - 17,086

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
Skipton parkrun has links with Parys parkrun in South Africa. Photos of their inaugural parkrun on the 8th of November 2014 showed many people running barefoot. Wages are low so affording a pair of trainers is impossible. Skipton parkrunners donated over 40 pairs of shoes and one of our runners, Carol Senior, took a suitcase full of shoes when she went to South Africa in February to visit her sister. A few weeks ago the shoes arrived in Johannesburg from where they were transported to Parys by South African trail runner, Lisa De Speville. So far about half of the trainers have been 're-homed' and we have photos of people in their new shoes. We have more shoes to send but need a friendly airline!
Regards,
Paul Norman


Hi parkrun UK
Wow! What an amazing time we had last week at the 100th Colchester Castle parkrun. Nearly 400 runners turned up in purple, black, yellow and red to celebrate. It was my 13th parkrun and it was amazing. parkrun boosts confidence, brings communities together and suits people of all ages, weights, shapes and sizes. Everyone whistles, claps and cheers as you come through the finish line and there's always a crowd waiting for the last person to finish. It's amazing, the more you go, the more you want to keep going!
Regards,
Debbie Brand

Photo: Neil Wray

Hi parkrun UK
I am currently recovering from having an ACL reconstruction in my left knee and I can't run (or do much really) which is rather isolating. This week, Penny Hill, a member of my club Roundhay Runners and fellow parkrunner, got up early to drive me to Roundhay parkrun where I was able to volunteer. I even took my own chair! It was great to feel part of the community and at the same time be able to celebrate another Roundhay Runner, Julie Oldfield, achieving her 100th parkrun. Thanks for helping me keep a positive outlook on my long road back to fitness.
Regards,
Ann Chivers


Hi parkrun UK
I run at Tollcross parkrun and was genuinely surprised, humbled and delighted to receive the February monthly prize, thank you so much Sweatshop! Your continued support is very much appreciated by all us parkrunners up and down the country. I must also praise the family and community spirit that has been created by the Tollcross parkrun team; David, Stuart, Ross, Katy, Chris and Emma. Saturday mornings are now a run with friends and I feel so lucky to be part of it. This is what parkrun is all about - togetherness. I'm 14 away from my 50 t-shirt, which I know that I will wear with pride. Thank you parkrun.
Regards,
Ken Eccleson


Hi parkrun UK
In September 2014 I was not a runner but in October I decided to run for charity and started exercising every day. I started my first parkrun at the beginning of November but couldn't do more than the first 100 yards. It was a really horrible feeling and I was so disappointed but I was determined to complete the run the following week and I did. In my 14 parkruns I have achieved a PB 10 times and I have just completed my first half marathon in less than two hours raising £300 for charity. Thanks to Braunstone parkrun!
Regards,
Elisa Whittlestone


Hi parkrun UK
Saturday without parkrun is like a Sunday without a roast! My home parkrun is Watergrove where I have attended almost all of the runs. I never imagined that I would get so much enjoyment from running 5k. Each week I look forward to running with new people. There is a great family feeling to parkrun; everybody supports each other and enjoys the success when a new PB is achieved, or we welcome another first timer. Thank you parkrun. Thank you for last week, thank you for this week, and thank you for next week.
Regards,
Ian Wroe


Hi parkrun UK
Gabriela is my niece, and came out to support me at Ipswich parkrun a few weeks ago. It makes it very worthwhile, knowing how inspiring parkrun is!
Regards,
Shaun Copple


Hi parkrun UK
Saturday saw Yeovil Montacute celebrating ‘Pi Day’ – with the date and time bringing up the magical time at which the date and time match up with the first 10 digits of pi, 3.141592653 – 3/14/15, meaning that when Sam Pollard crossed the line in 26:52 and as the run started at exactly 09:00:01 he finished at 3/14/15/9/26/53 – the Core Team would have bought him a pie in the Café had we known!
Regards,
Martin Chaffey

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Liz Cooper

Club:  Love Running Tuesday Nighters

Age:  45

Home parkrun:  Medina I.O.W. parkrun

Occupation:  French Tutor

Number of runs:  55

Favourite volunteer role:  Barcode Scanning

What do you do at parkruns:  I volunteered most Saturdays when my husband and two boys started parkrunning in 2011. They finally persuaded me to have a go myself at the end of 2013, firstly power-walking and gradually working up to the slow run I can now manage! I try to volunteer at least once every ten runs, and have written a couple of sections for the weekly report.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I had never run any sort of distance before parkrun and considered myself only capable of short burst activities like netball or Zumba. I still find it very hard, but have taken ten minutes off my time and am running during the week as well. I'm much fitter and have lost weight.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love that it's a healthy, wholesome activity that the whole family can do together. We have met some really decent, lovely people through parkrun, and I look forward to running, laughing and chatting with my friends every week. I also love that it gets us up and out on a Saturday morning, exercise done, then we can relax and enjoy some downtime afterwards.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I cried with pride when my husband and sons crossed the line together for the 100th time in March 2014! I was also chuffed to bits on the 7th of February this year when I reached both 50 runs and 50 volunteering stints. I was presented with a handmade headband with '50' on by our super-talented resident hatmaker!

parkrun corner

James Saunders

In the middle of March 2013, there were almost 25,000 parkrunners at a parkrun event somewhere in the world. A year later in 2014, there were 65,000 plodding around a park! Last weekend, over 100,000 parkrunners were running at one of our events. Wow! It won’t be long until parkrun is the breaking the record for being the biggest running event in the world each and every week. This is phenomenal and yet it’s amazing to meet runners who’ve never heard of parkrun. In honesty, that baffles me. Still.

However, the word is spreading. Not only are my pre-parkrun friends discovering parkrun (many of whom thought I’d been brainwashed into some strange cult when I used to spout constantly about the event we all love (they’ve now realised I hadn’t been… or maybe they’ve been brainwashed too) but also my neighbours are going to start attending parkrun too. Where will it end?

In five years time when we could well have several million registered parkrunners in many more countries across the globe, we won’t be able to walk down the road without bumping into someone wearing a parkrun ICE wristband! Post-parkrun friends are having babies and counting down the months until they can take their son or daughter to a junior parkrun. We’ll have as many junior parkruns in the country as 5k parkruns, maybe more, and the streets will be full of 4 to 14 year olds being active during the week as well as at weekends.

In 10 years time, could everyone be talking about parkrun and its impact on communities and the health of the nation and nations around the world? Will parkrun be the catalyst for change in a reversal of the statistics we read today regarding a lack of physical activity, high obesity rates and communities divided? Who knows!

James Saunders, Southampton Juniors parkrun Event Director and parkrun UK Ambassador

reminders

the parkrun store

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 2014 alone over 50,000 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

March

Canterbury parkrun 21st

Concord parkrun 21st

Eglinton parkrun 21st

Kingston parkrun 21st

Mulbarton parkrun 21st

Netley Abbey parkrun 21st

Sedgefield parkrun 21st

Bangor parkrun 28th

Cross Flatts parkrun 28th

Ecos parkrun 28th

Llyn Llech Owain parkrun 28th

Newport parkrun 28th

Ormskirk parkrun 28th

Princes parkrun 28th

Reigate Priory parkrun 28th

Shorne Woods parkrun 28th

Harrow Lodge junior parkrun 29th

Newport junior parkrun 29th

April

Basildon parkrun 4th

Beeston parkrun 4th

Bushy junior parkrun 4th

Colchester Castle parkrun 4th

Forest Rec parkrun 4th

Huddersfield parkrun 4th

Hull parkrun 4th

Keswick parkrun 4th

Parke parkrun 4th

Poole parkrun 4th

Porthcawl parkrun 4th

Woodley junior parkrun 5th

Chippenham parkrun 11th

Dulwich parkrun 11th

Enniskillen parkrun 11th

Graves parkrun 11th

Huntingdon parkrun 11th

Maidstone parkrun 11th

Peter Pan parkrun 11th

Pymmes parkrun 11th

Strathclyde parkrun 11th

Barking and Dagenham junior parkrun 12th

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.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

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


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

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

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 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.


 

Run Directors: superstars or superhumans?!

We're often asked what it takes to be a junior parkrun Run Director. Are they superhumans that have 10 hands, and a brain the size of an elephant? Are they like circus clowns and capable of juggling 10 balls at once? Are they super speedy runners that charge round the course at 100 miles an hour? Or are they normal people like you and I who simply have a superstar passion for getting kids active? To answer this question I thought I’d chat to some of our fabulous Run Directors to find out what a typical junior parkrun 'Sunday funday' looks like for them.

First up is Gerry McGovern who is the Co-Event (and Run) Director for Chelmsford junior parkrun.

“Our event starts at 9.30am, but my junior parkrun day begins around 8.15am when I ride my bike and trailer the short distance to the park and collect all the parkrun equipment from the storage container. One of the core team usually meets me there at 8:30am and then it’s all systems go with setting out the cones, signs and finish funnel. Sometimes there are some early birds who also lend a hand. Children love to put the cones out, although sometimes their straight lines leave a little to be desired!

It’s fantastic to be in the park early in the morning. I can see the park coming to life with runners and walkers and also, over time, get to appreciate the changing seasons. By 9am everything is set up and the other volunteers start arriving. I give them all precise  instructions, especially the marshals who are our eyes and ears on the course. Each marshal is given an emergency lanyard and whistle to attract my attention in the event of an incident. I train those volunteers who may be new to the role. There’s a lot to do in a short space of time and if any of the core team members are present some delegation comes into play and they brief the first timers or marshals.

9:15am is quickly upon us and up to a 100 children and parents are suddenly in the park. It’s fantastic to see them chatting to one another or running around excitedly before the event has even started. Then it’s time for the first timer’s brief, to make sure all the newcomers feel welcome and understand what’s going on. This is quickly followed by the main pre-run brief and the ‘organised chaos’ of the junior parkrun warm up, which great fun to watch and take part in.

It’s a little like herding cats to get everyone over to the start. Each week we say 3-2-1-Go, but without fail they're off before i've reached "1 and Go"!

As Run Director I have to be alert and available to respond to any problems during the run. As the event unfolds I love simply watching the various sizes, ages and abilities of children doing two and half laps around the park with smiles on their faces, being cheered along by family members and friends. Many drag their parents around to the finishing straight and then they sprint like crazy for the line!

I make sure that everything goes according to plan with the timing and barcode scanning, and I'm available to answer any questions from volunteers, participants or parents. The run is over in about 20 minutes and everything is packed back onto the trailer and suddenly silence reigns with the park empty of the couple of hundred children and adults. At this point the realisation of what we have just done hits home and I also look in wonder at the people now in the park thinking “do you realise what you have just missed!?”

The final stage is to head to the café to process the results and later in the day publish the photos of our amazing junior parkrunners, their parents and my volunteer team”.

 

Every week Chelmsford juniors regularly gets between 80-100 children running, jogging and walking and we applaud Gerry and his high-vis team for making this happen.

The same goes for Mary Burkett who is the Event Director and one of the Run Directors at Mile End juniors in North-East London.

“My parkrunday Sunday starts on Saturday as I check the equipment is reset from the week before, that the scanner is fully charged and which runners are eligible for a wristband. I‘m lucky in that I can cycle or jog to the stadium along the canal, arriving about 9.10am to join the few people already there to collect the start and finish signs, and the finish funnel kit from the locker.

As more people arrive there are plenty of willing hands to set up which means I have a few minutes to check out new faces, chat to the runners and rope in a few extra volunteers if we need them! We have a regular group of volunteers and so most people are familiar with their volunteering duties but, if not, I make sure I go over what’s needed. Once the marshals are briefed they get into position whilst I make announcements: thanking the volunteers, awarding any wristbands and taking the obligatory group photo!

Some of the children help me deliver the warm up and then there’s a mad dash to the start line, with everyone eager to get those little legs going! Mile End juniors is a two lap course and so I always high-five and clap all the runners at the 1k mark, being careful not to get knocked over by one very enthusiastic junior high fiver! I spend a bit of time chatting to the parents (especially any newcomers) finding out where they heard about the event and making sure they know about the event’s Facebook and web pages and hopefully acquiring a few more future volunteers!

It’s about 7.5 minutes before we see the first finisher and everyone gets into position as the children start to cross the line. As we’re a relatively small run I also often get to scan the finish tokens, which is a great way to find out everyone’s names. Once the final finisher has crossed the line, and the barcodes scanned, we can start to pack up the equipment and return it to the locker. I make a point of thanking everyone, once again, and process the results. Within about 15 minutes the results have been submitted along with an email to Edith, our Run Reporter, with news for her run report.

I then jog back home, buoyed by the many happy faces. Soon I also hear the ‘ping’ with the arrival of the text message thanking me for volunteering, a reassuring sign that the IT has worked and we’ve had yet another successful junior parkrun!”

Last, but by no means least, is Rory Marriot who heads up Ipswich junior parkrun (Sun)day. So, what does his ‘day in the life’ look like?

“At 7am the alarm wakes me for what has become my favourite day of the week. It’s not long before I am jumping into the car to drive over to Christchurch Park and another Ipswich junior parkrun.

Once at the park my first job is to conduct a course inspection to ensure that everything is safe for our runners. Our course is predominantly on paths and during the winter months, some areas can be quite slippery. When this happens we simply switch to our ‘winter’ course which is 98% on grass and therefore a safe alternative.

With the inspection over and more of the core team arriving it’s time to set up the finish funnel and ‘parent free zone’, put out the cones for our short cross country section and to line up all the high viz jackets and emergency cards for our wonderful team of marshals that will be ensuring our runners know where they are going.

Things really start hotting up from 8:30am with runners and volunteers starting to arrive. I make sure the volunteers are briefed and get to hand out the club wristbands, which is a fantastic way of celebrating individual achievements. With the warm up completed, a simple 3,2,1, GO and the run is underway.

I take up residency on High Five Avenue where for the next 20 minutes my left hand will be hit over a hundred times by smiling children.

By 9.30am all the runners have finished, volunteers for the following week have been identified and the clear up operation is in full swing. All that is left for me to do is process and publish the results, and by 10am it’s all over for another super junior parkrun Sunday!”

So are our junior parkrun Run Directors superstars with superhuman capacities? The answer is that whilst they are all superstars… they are also just regular people who are brimming over with enthusiasm for bringing regular physical activity to the lives of children. Of course, they are only as strong and capable as the weekly team of volunteers who support them with all the tasks that need undertaking at the event. 

So next time you head down to a junior parkrun make sure that you take time to give the Run Directors and their 'high-vis' team a big high-five for all they do on the day, and behind the scenes, to bring our junior superheroes some parkrun magic!

 

Happy parkrunning!

Chrissie

 

weekly newsletter 12th March 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Vitality congratulate their Bath Half Marathon Faces, Alzheimer’s Research UK thank the parkrun volunteers registered for research, and I journey through parkrun world via our awesome coffee table book.

Last week we proudly announced ‘parkrun - a celebration’, a coffee-table photo book celebrating the first ten years of parkrun across the World. With 120 pages of stunning images and moving stories it’s one of the most beautiful descriptions of our wonderful movement that I’ve ever come across.

Quoting from the book…

“The idea for this book came about over a pint in a Teddington pub one autumn evening in 2013. Friends and parkrunners Paul Duke and Paul Warrington were looking to collaborate on a creative project of some shape or form, and their shared love of running led them to the notion of creating a book to celebrate parkrun, which had started on their doorstep in Bushy Park nine years earlier.

“The idea developed after a chance encounter between Paul Duke and another local runner, Andy Anstey, in the funnel at Bushy parkrun; Andy suggested they pitch their idea to parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt. A meeting was duly set up in early 2014 and the idea of a coffee-table style photo book was agreed. Realising they may have bitten off more than they could chew, they soon recruited photographer Julian Ward and journalist Rob Kemp to the creative team.

“All four agreed that they wanted to create this book as volunteers - seeing it as an opportunity to combine their creative talents to celebrate and bring to life a concept for which they all shared a passion.”

Fortunately for me I did have the privilege of poking my nose in randomly throughout the creation process but even then I was blown away when the finished version was proudly handed to me last week by Paul Sinton-Hewitt.

Paul Warrington checking out the colour options

As a parkrunner yourself I’m sure that you feel a great sense of connection to your local event and your local community, ultimately that’s what parkrun’s all about… local people coming together to be active. However, we are all part of what is now a global movement that currently exists in over 550 areas of open space across 11 countries. There are 1.5 million of us and counting. By the way, in a Country Manager call recently we realised there was a difference of over 50 degrees Celsius (on the same day) between our hottest (Australian) and coldest (Polish and Russian) events.

For me this book captures a side of parkrun that even if I travelled to a different event 52 weeks of the year forever I would never truly experience. I don’t mind admitting that at times as I flicked through the pages I shed a tear of emotion (I’m like that) as I saw people of every shape, size, background, age, gender, race and ability doing what we all do on a weekend. Running with our friends.

All money raised from the sale of the book goes directly towards the operation of parkrun. And initiatives like this are vital in helping us to deliver on our promise… a parkrun in every community that wants one. So, please do check out ‘parkrun - a celebration’ on our online store, it captures a moment in our journey that most of us never knew existed.

Commonwealth Games Legacy Week

We are currently in Commonwealth Games Legacy Week and as parkrun was awarded Commonwealth Games Legacy Status, through which new parkrun events in Glasgow were able to start, many of our events will be celebrating that this weekend. Particularly across Scotland parkrun volunteers will be donning their Commonwealth Games uniforms and celebrating an amazing part of Scottish sporting history. Photos will of course be taken and we’d love you to share those on social media and through your event’s photo pages.

Have a great parkrun this weekend, wherever you are.

Tom

P.S. You can read about junior parkrun’s most frequently asked questions in their newsletter.

congratulations Hannah and Ian


We’d like to wholeheartedly congratulate Hannah and Ian as they finished the Bath Half like true champions. We’re so proud of what they have achieved and would like to thank them for sharing their story with us all!

Faces of Vitality Run Series

North London Faces
“My first ever half marathon is so close, that I no longer even feel scared. Well, not in my waking hours” Read more of Claire’s journey to the Vitality North London Half.

“I've been learning lots over the last couple of months, but the big lessons for me have been not to over-do it.” Read more of Simon’s journey to the Vitality North London Half.

The very best of luck to our Faces of the Vitality North London Half. We look forward to cheering you across the finish line on Sunday.

Keep an eye on what the other Faces of Vitality have been up to...

Want to achieve a Half Marathon challenge?

Be part of the Vitality Run Series - a series featuring eight of the UK's most exciting running events, brought to you by Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run the whole Series.

A Vitality Run Series event may provide the motivation you need to become a fitter and healthier you in 2015.

Find out more here.

thousands help fight dementia


Alzheimer’s Research UK is powering the fightback against dementia. Now, thanks to so many of you registering for ‘Join dementia research’ after the 26th of February parkrun UK newsletter, we’re gathering even more momentum.

‘Join dementia research’ is a joint venture between the National Institute for Health Research, Alzheimer’s Research UK and two other charities – Alzheimer’s Scotland and Alzheimer’s Society. In the past few weeks, ‘Join dementia research’ has grown from just over 1,500 people to more than 4,700 volunteers. This number has been helped to grow by parkrunners just like you, including parkrun UK staff Jo Sinton-Hewitt, Jaz Bangerh, Chris Jones and Helen Hood, who kindly registered after running as part of #TeamARUKparkrun at the Wimpole Estate parkrun on the 28th of February.

If you haven’t registered already and want to join the 450 other parkrunners that have shown an interest in volunteering for research through ‘Join dementia research’, it’s not too late! All you need to do is visit www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk and answer some questions about yourself and your general health. As ‘Join dementia research’ is open to everyone, it’s a great opportunity to get your family and friends involved too; increasing the number of willing volunteers is a crucial step in advancing dementia research and instilling hope in all those affected by dementia.

Now, a few weeks on from the national launch of ‘Join dementia research’ in February, we are proud to say that the generosity of people willing to register and give their time to dementia research has set us up for reaching a staggering 5,000 volunteers within the next few weeks. Among these volunteers, 75% have matched to a study, and approximately 800 people have already enrolled to take part. Thanks to people just like you this number is going to keep growing.

If volunteering for research isn’t for you but you’re still keen to support dementia research, don’t worry – there are lots of other ways to get involved. We’re looking for people willing to join cheer squads, join local fundraising groups, campaign in their local area or give us their thoughts on our work online. You can find out more here: www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/support-us/volunteer.

For more information about ‘Join dementia research’, read our blog. To sign-up, visit www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk or if you prefer, you can phone our team on 0300 111 5 111.

Dr Laura Phipps
Science Communications Manager
Alzheimer’s Research UK

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

Number of runners - 63,372
Number of volunteers - 5,671
Number of first timers - 8,118
Number of PBs - 14,417

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
Colby parkrun thrives due to the efforts of our stalwart, Cyril Walters. At 67, he still gets up at 6.30am on weekdays but on parkrun day it is a 6.20 am start! He is the first to arrive at our beautiful venue which is in National Trust land. His first job is to light the wood burner in the Bothy, adjoining the welcoming cafe. Once alight, he then checks the course. He enjoys all aspects of parkrun, particularly timekeeping. He is a passionate runner and a valued member of TROTs running club. Colby parkrun welcomes all to join us in our stunning woodlands.
Regards,
Mary Bowen Rees - Colby parkrun Event Director


Hi parkrun UK
I will shortly be reaching my half century and to mark this I have, since Midsummer Day 2014 been running a different parkrun each week with the aim of completing at least 50 different parkruns in a year, before Midsummer Day 2015. If I run all the parkrundays that I can between now and the end of my challenge I will have completed 52 different parkruns in a year. This weekend I intend to run at Workington parkrun which will be my 38th different parkrun. I plan to run my last run at my home parkrun Marple on 20th June 2015.
Regards,
Adrian Thomas


Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday my eight year old son Sam and his dad Andy, completed their 50th parkruns at Barrow parkrun. Sam has severe autism, no speech and limited comprehension but he absolutely adores running and parkrun. I'm sure he has come this far because of the wonderful support he receives at our parkrun. Our fantastic inclusive community of runners and volunteers always have time for him, whether it's giving him words of encouragement or a high five or saving him cake at the cafe afterwards! So I'd like to send a huge thank you to everyone at Barrow parkrun for helping him reach this brilliant milestone! I am one very proud mum.
Regards,
Laura Jones-Barnes


Hi parkrun UK
Thank you so much for parkrun and in particular St. Albans parkrun where I run every week now. I started six weeks ago with my friend and enjoyed it so much I have been running every week since. Last weekend I smashed a full five minutes off my PB and I am now trying to break the 30 minute barrier - with it I have lost weight and regained my fitness and passion for running. Each time I feel the legs getting weary I just remind myself of my older son Jayden who has a heart condition and went through a big heart operation two years ago. He is my inspiration to keep on running. Thank you.
Regards,
Dave Oh


Hi parkrun UK
My sister Julia and I have never taken part in the same parkrun but are both regular participants. On the 7th of March we were both first female in our respective parkruns. Roundhay parkrun for Julia and Colwick parkrun for me. Not only that but we were both second overall in the age-grading list with age gradings of 75.76% for Julia (age 47) and 75.87% for me (age 50). Julia was 26th finisher overall out of 253 runners and I was 27th finisher overall out of 254 runners! We just love that although we don't live near each other we can share a parkrunday experience through the excellent parkrun stats available.
Regards,
Christine Heaton


Hi parkrun UK
parkrun is now my Saturday morning breakfast! I do not actually like running as much as others however, for reasons unknown to me, I cannot seem to stay away since finding Lloyd parkrun last summer. I did my 31st run there last Saturday. I have always heard about the friendly atmosphere at parkruns and even though I am a volunteer, when aching, I experienced that comradeship today. On my second lap as I was getting ready to walk up the hill, a gentleman who I think was called Colin, encouraged me to look at the hill as a flat course. I sprinted up the hill, and ended the morning with a PB!
Regards,
Nadine Pryce


Hi parkrun UK
I did my first parkrun at Chelmsford in aid of a work colleague who had breast cancer aged 52. I was the wrong side of 20 stone and had done little exercise for 15 years and failed to do a time in minutes quicker than my waist size in inches. At one point I was overtaken by a man in a mobility scooter who was going shopping! With a bit of determination here I am 13 parkruns later and 1½ stone lighter I achieved a new PB of 38 minutes exactly. Thanks to my two excellent pacemakers Anna Luff and Christopher Sewell who are both seasoned parkrunners and volunteers. Now I'm trying to get my waist smaller than my time!
Regards,
Al Pearson

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Angeline Austin

Club:  Unattached

Age:  41

Home parkrun:  Greenock

Occupation:  Work Coach

Number of runs:  27

Favourite volunteer role:  Tail Runner

What do you do at parkruns:  I enjoy trying to improve my time every week, taking part, volunteering and making tablet (the sugary confection) for our themed runs.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Turned me from a non-runner to a runner! I was new to sport and not very confident so I decided to volunteer a few times prior to running. I couldn't believe how friendly and encouraging everyone was. After my first run I was hooked and my confidence grew each week managing to take off over six minutes over 22 weeks. I am now training to do my first half marathon this year and have lost 2½ stone. I feel so much healthier, happier and have made lots of new friends. I would encourage anyone to give it a try!

What do you like about parkrun:  How friendly everyone is - the support and encouragement from experienced runners passing on knowledge to newbies. The effort on people faces as they approach the finish line. The wait on a Saturday morning for your time to drop into your inbox, hopeful that it reflects the efforts that have gone into the run. The social aspect - meeting like-minded people and hearing their motivations for getting out of bed on a Saturday morning, regardless of the conditions, to do parkrun.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  For Christmas Day parkrun 2014 I was joined by my husband who is also a regular at parkrun and my two daughters (non-runners) who volunteered. We all dressed up in the Christmas theme and I volunteered as tail runner. A fantastic turnout produced two course records with finishers being rewarded with delicious homemade shortbread and mulled wine. For years I have wanted to run on Christmas Day, parkrun has made my dream came true and it was made all the more special as my family were there to share the experience.

reminders

the parkrun store

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 2014 alone over 50,000 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

March

Brandon Country Park parkrun 14th

Guildford parkrun 14th

Hackworth parkrun 14th

Newent parkrun 14th

Pennington Flash parkrun 14th

Walsall Arboretum parkrun 14th

Canterbury parkrun 21st

Concord parkrun 21st

Eglinton parkrun 21st

Kingston parkrun 21st

Mulbarton parkrun 21st

Netley Abbey parkrun 21st

Sedgefield parkrun 21st

Bangor parkrun 28th

Cross Flatts parkrun 28th

Ecos parkrun 28th

Llyn Llech Owain parkrun 28th

Newport parkrun 28th

Ormskirk parkrun 28th

Princes parkrun 28th

Reigate Priory parkrun 28th

Shorne Woods parkrun 28th

Harrow Lodge junior parkrun 29th

Newport junior parkrun 29th

April

Basildon parkrun 4th

Beeston parkrun 4th

Bushy junior parkrun 4th

Colchester Castle parkrun 4th

Forest Rec parkrun 4th

Huddersfield parkrun 4th

Hull parkrun 4th

Keswick parkrun 4th

Parke parkrun 4th

Poole parkrun 4th

Porthcawl parkrun 4th

Woodley 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.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

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


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

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

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 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.


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