welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter Vitality tell you about their latest swim, bike & run, we showcase our beautiful barcodes, there’s some great feedback from the field, two wonderful parkrunners of the week, James Saunders promises three-quarters-of-a-million people that he won’t be lazy this winter and I cosy-up in front of my imaginary log fire.
This morning I actually caught myself feeling a bit bored of warm and looking forward to crisp, cold and cosy. As great as warm is it’s no cosy and in order to achieve that wonderful state we need temperatures to drop and the roaring log fires (we don’t have one by the way) to go on. According to the weather app on my phone Yorkshire is going to be a balmy 19 degrees celsius tomorrow, which for the day before November is about as balmy as we get up north. What’s seemed like an endless summer must surely pass the baton to Autumn any moment now, albeit a somewhat short-changed autumn which will no doubt be forced to hand over said baton to Winter within just a few short weeks.
Unfortunately, and here’s the annoying bit, with winter comes ice and that’s about the worst hazard that our events are likely to face. A good dump of snow can be a load of parkrun fun as it’s not that slippy and doesn’t hurt if you fall in it, when it compacts and freezes however it can make a safe course treacherous. Our local teams always put the safety of their runners, volunteers, spectators and other park users first but at the same time are advised by us to maximise the chances of a run safely going ahead. I have in the past, when on run director duty, called off an event early in the week when the weather looked set, only for the sun to come out. There’s not much worse than a perfectly pristine parkrun place with parkrunners prevented from participating. At the same time I have previously taken the decision not to cancel, when on reflection I really should have. It’s a difficult and challenging situation to be in and we will always support the decisions of our run directors on the day. They are in charge, they are responsible for the safe running of the event and their word goes.
In order to maximise the chances of a safe run going ahead we suggest that the teams leave their decision until the last possible moment and are happy for them to cancel at any time up to the scheduled start, or even during the run itself should conditions change. This does mean that there is a possibility you will find yourself this winter at a parkrun venue only for it to be cancelled at the last minute. To avoid disappointment please only travel to a parkrun if you are happy for this to happen.
Our teams will of course do their best to communicate cancellations to you using their news page and also their social media channels. However there is no guarantee that this will be done, especially if the cancellation is late. Please remember that all of our local teams are volunteers and the large majority have very busy lives outside of parkrun and we won’t therefore be asking them to do what one particular person previously suggested... which was for us to set up a telephone hotline that they could call from the comfort of their warm snuggly bed at 7:30am each Saturday morning. They actually expected the volunteer team to check the park on the Friday night and again at 7am on the Saturday morning before making said update and saving them a ‘wasted’ journey.
At the end of the day parkrun is just a free timed run with your friends and if you end up starting your day with a coffee and catch-up, sans run, then that’s not a bad way to kick off the weekend either.
Thanks in advance for your wonderful understanding, patience and parkrun passion.
P.S. You can read this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.
Vitality World Triathlon London 2015
You already run in the park, why not swim and bike in the park too? With the 2015 Vitality World Triathlon London fast approaching, this is your chance to set yourself a Triathlon goal.
Taking place on the 30th and 31st of May 2015 The Vitality World Triathlon London is one of the World's leading triathlon events and one of only two legacy events from the 2012 Olympic games still open to public participation.
Since its inception in 2009, the event has attracted the world’s best triathletes as part of the ITU World Series as well as thousands of recreational triathletes from every corner of the globe to swim, bike and run on the iconic Hyde Park course in pursuit of personal glory.
Distances range from relay through to Super Sprint (400m swim, 10k bike, 2.5k run) and up to Olympic distance (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run), meaning that individuals and teams of all fitness levels can take part.
Priority registrations open on Thursday the 30th of October. Register now:
Be a Triathlete with Vitality.
Find out more about Vitality
ensuring your performance is always recorded
Whilst we will always be happy to scan your paper barcode we have teamed up with ERS - the authorised parkrun UK barcode supplier to give you the opportunity to own your very own piece of parkrun bling. These can be personalised with your ICE (in case of emergency) details and profits help us to grow our parkrun family.
Please bring your paper barcode, durable tag or wristband to ensure that your performance is always recorded. We operate a ‘no barcode, no time, no exception’ policy.
Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)
Number of runners - 53,858
Number of volunteers - 4,802
Number of first timers - 7,860
Number of PBs - 11,312
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've been running at Newport parkrun since the summer. A few weeks ago I checked out the other events nearby and spotted there are nine parkruns in Wales. Instantly I just knew I had to run them. I started two weeks ago with the Corby parkrun and I am currently running what I have dubbed ‘The Welsh Nine’. Nine parkruns in nine weeks.I've run in Corby and Porthcawl so far and everyone has been great, its a fantastic family of runners and volunteers. I've just booked a B&B for the Aberystwyth run in two weeks following Pontypridd and then onto Pontypool. Say ‘Hi’ if you see me, I’ll be wearing a red t-shirt with ‘The Welsh Nine’ on it.
Hi parkrun UK
Today my son Danny Ansell completed his tenth parkrun at Beckton. At four years old he follows in the footsteps of his brothers Luke (7) and Jake (9). Danny was so desperate to make 10 runs his mum made him his own t-shirt to count off the runs remaining. To celebrate the occasion Celine Homsey of East End Road Runners baked a special parkrun cake. Well done Danny, your dad is looking forward to running with you again next time!
Hi parkrun UK
I'd like to extend a huge congratulations to Kelvin Gower for running his 250th parkrun on the 25th of October at Frimley Lodge parkrun. We reckon the next year will see a gold rush as we are celebrating our 250th event in three weeks time! Thanks to Colin Brassington for his amazing shots of Kelvin’s big day, and who kindly photoshopped in a zero balloon after the real one made a bid for freedom!
Hi parkrun UK
Just wanted to say thanks to parkrun! My youngest son is autistic and just coming up to his 50th run. When he started he hated getting wet and dirty, but the huge support and friendly people at Conkers parkrun have made him feel welcome. He’ll now run in any weather (especially when it’s wet and there are muddy puddles) and he is also enjoying Swadlincote junior parkrun too. parkrun has made such a difference to him and to us.
Hi parkrun UK
Gunpowder parkrun celebrated its three year anniversary last Saturday by running the course backwards for the first time followed by coffee, cake and bubbly. I want to take the liberty of speaking on behalf of all the runners, old and new, to thank all the volunteers who have given their time week in week out, and always with a smile, to help make this a special community.
Here's to another great three years and maybe even more running of the course backwards!
Hi parkrun UK
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to parkrun. I first started running eight months ago and attended my first parkrun in March this year where I walked/ran my first 5k. A couple of weeks later I managed to run the whole thing and since then I have increased my mileage and I completed my first half marathon last Sunday! Part of the route went through the park where my local parkrun is held. It reminded me of just how far I have come. Thank you to all the volunteers with their endless enthusiasm and encouragement and to parkrun for helping to make it so easy to get involved in running no matter what standard you are.
Hi parkrun UK
At 46 years of age I discovered parkrun and it was the first time I'd run outdoors since my schooldays. I've now done 34 events at 21 locations and my goal is complete all the Yorkshire parkruns before my 50th event. I nervously completed my first one back in February at Bradford in a time of 29 minutes. I've gradually improved and my best time is 21:19 at Hull. I often wonder what time I could have achieved if only I'd started earlier! The best thing about touring around is meeting new people. Every event is full of great people with a positive outlook on life. I'm also fitter now than at anytime in my life and its all down to parkrun.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Helen and Nigel Nichols
Home parkrun: Yeovil Montacute
Occupation: Volunteering at a local museum and taking school assemblies
Number of runs: None
Favourite volunteer role: Marshalling
What do you do at parkruns: Marshalling, timekeeping, setting up the course, barcode scanning. We arrive at 8am and help to set up the course which is divided into four sections. Takes about half an hour... cows and sheep allowing.
How has parkrun changed your running: We don’t run. Helen has a heart condition, but just being part of the parkrun family has made both of us feel much younger. We volunteered because our daughter and grandchildren are parkrunners and we wanted to feel part of what they were doing.
What do you like about parkrun: The friendship and feeling part of a family. Whenever we are away we volunteer to help at parkruns. We would encourage everyone to do this; our parkrun family now extends from Cornwall to Scotland.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Helen has still not passed the test of putting the flag up (there is a video to prove this). Although not involved with the cattle round-up, we have had some interesting moments with the sheep.