weekly newsletter 27th November 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter VitalityHealth search for new faces, Andy Shennan reviews the running in pregnancy survey, we invite you to join us on The Mall and I size up our potential partners.

Earlier this week parkrun group announced a new partnership with Strava, one of the world’s most amazing online running (and cycling) communities. As a big fan of Strava and an even bigger fan of parkrun the news that two of my favourite things would be working together was really rather exciting. At parkrun we pride ourselves in using technology to empower real people to do real things in real areas of open space and the fit between our two organisations is therefore pretty obvious. So, in light of that announcement and in advance of future announcements I thought I’d spend this week presenting something of the thought process that goes into bringing organisations into the parkrun family.

In my role as Managing Director of parkrun UK I meet with potential partner organisations on a pretty much daily basis. Being one of the largest series of timed runs in the world, and with such an engaged community, we are of course hot property for anyone who would benefit from telling people (particularly runners) about what they do. As we continue to grow so in turn does the organisational infrastructure required to support tens of thousands of UK parkrunners (runners & volunteers) every single week and as such it’s vital that we engage with the right partners on the right terms. But what constitutes the right partnerships?

We each have our own first parkrun experience from which to benchmark where we are now and for me that was the 4th of August 2007 at Bushy Park. Back then there were just three parkrun events in existence and the model was clear… ‘start between those two trees, run round the park, finish between those two trees’, the running equivalent of ‘jumpers for goalposts’. I therefore benchmark whether or not I’m doing a good job of guiding our wonderful movement in the UK by ensuring that anyone who wants that ‘original’ experience can still embrace the ‘turn up, run for free, go home, get your result’ process.

Having said that, when you bring so many wonderful people (yes, that’s you) together every single week year after year then amazing things can and do happen and as such there should be opportunities for those who want to engage a little more. There are therefore just four simple questions I ask myself when considering a new partnership, which result in me turning down 95% of the approaches we receive and starting a conversation with the remaining 5%...

1 - Is there likely to be a negative impact with regards my aforementioned parkrun benchmark?
If the answer to that is yes then I’m afraid we’ve fallen at the first hurdle and it’s game over.

2 - Would a successful partnership with this organisation result in good things happening?
We strive for every partnership to be successful and with a clear definition of what that success might look like. We can then decide whether or not that is a good thing. By ‘good’ I mean something that benefits or enhances the lives of our parkrun events and their local communities.

3 - How can we make it happen?
If we’ve managed to tick those two boxes then it’s all systems go and we will do everything in our power to get things going. Occasionally we do get stuck here though where both parties want to do something and a successful outcome would clearly be a good thing, but for whatever reason it just can’t be done.

4 - Can it somehow contribute to achieving our mission of ‘a parkrun everywhere someone wants one’?
Although not a deal breaker, where possible our partnerships will contribute towards making parkrun happen. This could be with financial investment, value in kind, or some other indirect benefit.

I’m really happy that our relationship with Strava satisfies all those criteria and as we move forwards and our family develops do rest assured that the spirit of parkrun remains strong.

Happy running,

Tom

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

ready for your next challenge?


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

After following Simon and Frances’ inspiring journey to completing the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon, VitalityHealth are looking for two parkrunners to follow in their footsteps in Brighton on the 22nd of February 2015.

To give you a helping hand along your training journey, we will provide you with:
- Ongoing training support including a personalised training plan and training day with Decathlon Olympic gold medallist, Daley Thompson
- 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 Brighton Half Marathon.

In return, VitalityHealth will follow you through a weekly blog and photography updates provided by you on a weekly basis. You may even get some coverage in your local newspaper! 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 Brighton Half Marathon by emailing us at vitality.events@vitality.co.uk by midday on Wednesday the 3rd of December. For your best chance to win, make sure you send us a descriptive and motivating entry (maximum 250 words). Please also include your parkrun Athlete ID and the best form of contact, including a valid telephone number.

Entrants will be shortlisted on Wednesday the 3rd of December and then contacted for a 10 minute phone interview. Winners will be announced on the 9th of December. Terms and conditions apply.

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

an open letter


Thank you to all who replied to the brief questionnaire for the SPORT study into running in pregnancy. We have had an unbelievable response and interest, nearly 1,000 already, typical of parkrunners. Thanks to this, just a few more responses will allow more detailed analysis to answer important questions in subgroups of women who ran for different periods. We also need more women who didn’t run in pregnancy to act as ‘controls’ but have a 5k time to share – please spread the word – even if not (yet!) registered with parkrun. The survey is taking about five minutes to complete on average. So if you haven’t yet, please do help! It will remain active till end of January 2015. With your help we will be able to offer definitive advice to women in the future. Click here to find the survey.

Many thanks,
Professor Andy Shennan

date for your diary


The Westminster Mile takes place on Sunday the 24th of May 2015 and once again we have our very own parkrun wave.

You can enter here using the unique parkrun wave link. Join us on The Mall!

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 50,688
Number of volunteers - 4,847
Number of first timers - 6,264
Number of PBs - 8,345

feedback from the field


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


Hi parkrun UK
In light of the recent articles on young runners, I want to thank all the Bushy parkrun volunteers who not only wait for my four year old daughter, but cheer her in every week. Last Saturday she completed her 10th parkrun to much fanfare. She has been participating in Bushy parkrun for over five years now (while I was pregnant, then in the running buggy and now she runs it!), so it is a real achievement for her, and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped her. A special thanks to the ‘marshal with the green hand’ who high-fives her every week!
Regards,
Jenny Melbourne


Hi parkrun UK
I wanted to tell you about my son Scott who ran his 100th run last Saturday. I started selling the refreshments at Mile End from their second week and after a couple of weeks I asked my son to come and help me. The following week he said he'd rather run than help me. I was amazed as running was not really his thing. He's now joined by my wife Jocelyn who has completed 45 runs to date. I'm so proud of them both.
Regards,
Mike Summers


Hi parkrun UK
I loved sport. I lost my sight suddenly in 2005. In 2012 I became friends with Michelle who reintroduced me to sport and what I had been missing since the day my sight went. She took me swimming, and on various Saturdays took me to St Albans so I could listen as she did 
St Albans parkrun. I really enjoyed being there and hearing the runners pass by. I loved the atmosphere. I miss a lot of things about my old sighted life. British Triathlon put me in touch with a guide and on the 15th of November Roz guided me as we ran our first parkrun at St Albans together. I loved it. Everyone there was so kind and encouraging. We will definitely be doing another as soon as we can. I just wanted to say a massive thank-you to everyone involved in parkrun. It really isn't easy for some people to take part in sports for many reasons but at parkrun it really does feel like everyone is welcome. Thank you for an amazing, enjoyable and extremely well organized event. Thanks again to everyone.
Regards,
Alison Mead


Hi parkrun UK
Last week my three young daughters took part in their first junior parkrun at Gravesend. It was also the first week I managed Shorne parkrun without stopping, so an auspicious weekend for our family! As we’ve come to expect everyone was very friendly at the junior parkrun and it was lovely to see all ages running, including the two young children who were bringing up the rear. They didn't give up but continued to the end to be greeted by lots of applause.
Regards,
Kay Kapsalis


Hi parkrun UK
On a recent visit to Adelaide to visit my daughter and her family, I thought I would follow my 100th UK parkrun with my first overseas run. Initial research suggested a one hour journey across Adelaide however on a visit to the beautiful, picturesque, town of Victor Harbor I spotted a familiar poster, and only 20 minutes away. I turned up at 8am on Saturday by the bay and our Run Director from Brueton parkrun had let them know I planned to join them. I felt completely at home, received a wonderful welcome, met great fellow runners and enjoyed a typical parkrun family atmosphere. The spectacular view caused a slower than normal time, but it was worth it.
Regards,
Keith Jordan


Hi parkrun UK
My mum died quite suddenly a couple of weeks ago. Two days later I went to Leeds parkrun and the sheer life-affirming nature of the event really helped me through, as did talking to Daisy, Anne and Roy that day whose warmth was such a comfort. Not only that but when the funeral arrangements were looking like coming apart last week, because we weren't happy with the minister we'd initially appointed, I managed to get in touch with Rev. Joanna Seabourne who I'd met a few weeks earlier over coffee after the Leeds parkrun. She saved the day for us. parkrun really is a great community and it's helped me so much.
Regards,
Jonathan Turner


Hi parkrun UK
Almost reaching the 50 run milestone, having started back in October 2013, I am so grateful to parkrun and all at Clumber Park who week in and week out volunteer to put on such an excellent event. The National Trust grounds are amazing and I have enjoyed running in the changing seasons. Not having run or been very active in 30 years, at the age of 57 I started with a modest time which I have improved by 16 minutes and I’ve also completed four 10k runs. The added bonus is that I have lost four stone in weight and feel great. I am sure that without the regular parkrun event I would never have achieved this.
Regards,
Mark Horsfield


Hi parkrun UK
I went to New Zealand in October to see my grandson who is eight months old. I went to Cornwall parkrun in Auckland and pushed him around in a borrowed buggy. My daughter took photos of me running with my grandson Xavier who enjoyed it... smiling and gurgling en-route. My daughter went online and bought a second-hand buggy the following week and printed out a barcode. She joined me on my last run in New Zealand and we have another member in the parkrun family.
Regards,
Geoffrey Jackson

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Gareth Jenkins

Club:  Cwm Ogwr Running Club (Chairman)

Age:  30

Home parkrun:  Porthcawl

Occupation:  Accountant

Number of runs:  63

Favourite volunteer role:  Pacing. It's been introduced recently at my home parkrun and it's great when people come up afterwards and say that you helped them achieve a PB or target time.

What do you do at parkruns:  Normally arrive just in time for quick chat with club mates and other runners that I've met through parkrun before going down to the start for the briefing. I say 'normally arrive just in time' as there have been a couple of occasions they've held the start as I'm running towards them a minute or two late. It happened on my 50th run as well!

How has parkrun changed your running:  It provides a good speed session every week when it's not always possible to fit it in during the week. I also started a 'run to parkrun' as part of my marathon training earlier in the year which involved running anything from 10 to 17 miles then doing parkrun. I've had a few funny looks when some of the regulars seen me struggling much further back than usual. I've also enjoyed visiting other parkruns and have visited 15 different parkruns in the past 18 months or so.

What do you like about parkrun:  Meeting up with club mates and others on a weekly basis to run together. It allows people of all abilities to participate and we've had everyone from international runners to walkers to pram pushers at my home parkrun. My running club also used parkrun as the target for a Couch to 5k club we set up which has seen several people run 5k for the first time and then go on to join the running club proper. We've also had a large increase in club members recently due to runners we've met at parkrun.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  We did a trial parkrun at Porthcawl and my running club members who ran that day had our photo taken with Olympic Triathlete Helen Jenkins, who is a personal hero of mine, plus her husband, former Olympic Triathlete Mark Jenkins. On the far right is Steve Brace, regular run director at Porthcawl and former Olympic marathon runner. As my club had only been going a few months at this point, I think the photo captures the parkrun tagline of 'from beginners to Olympians' perfectly - I believe Helen is still the course record holder at Cardiff with one of the fastest female parkrun times ever.

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 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

November

Perth parkrun 29th

December

Ally Pally parkrun 6th

Pollok parkrun 6th

Brockwell parkrun 13th

Congleton parkrun 20th

Darlington South Park parkrun 20th

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


 

Weekly Wonders

In my October newsletter ‘From small acorns…’ I wrote about how in 2013, following a review of the junior parkrun series, any new junior event coming to fruition would be held weekly rather than monthly.

Step forward two intrepid Event Directors – James Saunders and Graham Pawley – our junior parkrun ‘guinea pigs’ who took up the mantle to facilitate the first weekly events before another 28 of them followed.

Southampton juniors and Roundhay juniors both celebrated their first anniversaries last weekend so I asked James and Graham for a few words for this week’s newsletter -

On Sunday, we celebrated Southampton junior parkrun's first anniversary and although it was raining heavily and gusty and the course was riddled with puddles and mud, 76 juniors and their parents came along to celebrate our first year and the remarkable achievements of our runners (who between them have run over 9000km) with us. It just goes to show that our junior parkrunners won't be deterred by rain, puddles and mud. In fact, there were even more smiles than usual.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 09.15.12

Being a parkrun celebration, there was plenty of cake, biscuits and hot chocolates to be consumed after our juniors had crossed the finish line. Many thanks to all our volunteers, juniors and their families for making the event so special. Here's to another great year! 

Words by James Saunders, Southampton juniors Event Director

Southampton hot chocs to celebrate

What an amazing morning we had celebrating one whole year since Roundhay juniors started - and what a year it’s been.

The weather was kind to us and those in (fabulous) cardboard box costumes would have been particularly glad of that. We had over a hundred kids running today and loads had dressed up in their fanciest finery - some were even spurred on to PBs by their superhero garb! Junior parkrun may not be a race, but there’s no disguising the looks of delight on the faces of kids who realise they’ve run faster than ever before.

IMG_2929

So many familiar faces at Roundhay today: We’ve only been going a year but there are so many regulars, both volunteers and runners, and Sunday mornings are one of the high points of our week. It’s taken a while but we’ve got a really strong volunteer team now and (I think) the job of volunteer co-ordinator is getting slightly easier – and as more people have a go and find out what fun volunteering is the volunteer pool grows ever bigger.
We’ve come a long way in a year. We’ve made new friends and helped a lot of kids (my own included) find a love of running they never thought they’d have. Here’s to many more years of Roundhay juniors! 

Words by Graham Pawley, Roundhay juniors Event Director

IMG_3278

I’d like to take this opportunity, on behalf of parkrun UK and all those little parkrunners out there, to sincerely thank them and their magnificent teams for helping to make these two 'weekly wonders' happen week after week whatever the weather. You can really sense their enthusiasm and it’s quite charming to note that they both signed off by looking forward to the next year in junior parkrun world!

Happy warming up, parkrunning and volunteering
Helen
P1070559

 

weekly newsletter 20th November 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter there’s a generous offer from Sweatshop, VitalityHealth encourage us to wrap up warm, Chris Davies introduces a new Welsh parkrun, we showcase the ‘trees on our tees’ and I want future generations to love running.

This time last year I wrote about the launch of the Roundhay and Southampton junior parkrun events, our fifth and sixth junior events marking the re-launch of our junior series as a free, weekly, timed 2k run for four to 14 year olds. We now have 34 junior events across the UK and are currently working with another 20 prospective teams. I also mentioned that we had 60,000 children registered with us in that age group around the world, today we have 135,000. Note also that in the last 12 months many of those previous 60,000 will have turned 15 and therefore not be counted. I really do feel proud that as we’ve grown over the years we’ve enabled so many young people to get involved and hopefully go on to develop a deep enjoyment for getting out and enjoying areas of open space. With my own negative experiences of running during those formative years I feel particularly passionate about ensuring future generations see our sport in a much more positive light. It would be great of course if we ended up producing the odd Olympian (aren’t all Olympians odd?) but ultimately it’s about the other 99.9% of the population. In an age of computer simulated virtual activity leading to very real problems, if through parkrun we can empower a generation to love running in the outdoors for no other reason than a love of running in the outdoors then we’ll have done our job.

Talking of loving running in the outdoors, I’d like to remind you that there are just two days of the year where you can run a parkrun event not on a Saturday… Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Not all of our teams put events on on these days, for a multitude of valid reasons, but those that do will at some point between now and then be listed on the parkrun UK Christmas Compendium. The 25th of December is absolutely my favourite parkrunday of the year and once again in an ever more commercial world where real-life human interaction is being replaced by all sorts of digital stuff it’s wonderful to see friends and families old and new coming together to do something real, for free, for the fun of it.

Thanks as always for your parkrun passion,

Tom

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

20% off at Sweatshop


To help celebrate our support for parkrun and everyone who takes part each week we are offering 20% off in store at Sweatshop on Saturday the 22nd of November.

Our teams will be on hand to help you find the perfect pair of running shoes and the brightest, warmest clothes to keep you running through the cold winter months. Just show your parkrun barcode at the till point to register for this amazing offer.

Click here to find your nearest store.

health and wellbeing with Vitality


Our Vitality Blog takes an imaginative approach to help improve your health and general wellbeing.
Check out our most recent running article below:

How to dress for cold weather exercise

Don't let the cold weather keep you indoors! The cool crisp air makes for a good excuse to wrap up warm and get outside whenever you can for a brisk walk, run or any other form of exercise. Not only will you burn calories and increase your circulation, but you'll also give your mood, energy levels and metabolism a much-needed boost. However, it's important to dress appropriately when training outdoors in winter, both for comfort and safety's sake. Read our guide to dressing for cold weather exercise on the Vitality Blog.

Do you want to achieve a running goal in 2015?

Be part of the Vitality Run Series - a running 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 all five remaining races in the Series. Find an event near you.

trees on your tees


On the parkrun UK Facebook page recently we asked parkrunners to show us their 'trees on their tees' and many wonderful snaps ensued!

If you would like to own one of these limited edition T-shirts please jog along to our online store and place an order. Profits will be ploughed back into parkrun to support our growth.

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 53,888
Number of volunteers - 4,955
Number of first timers - 6,803
Number of PBs - 10,171

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
Cleethorpes parkrun course has an 800m off-road section which, over the past couple of weeks, due to the wet weather, has become unpleasant to run on and was putting people off. Local councillor Keith Brookes arranged for the council to provide chippings for a path which arrived on Wednesday. However, the team had to lay the chippings themselves. An appeal went out on the parkrun’s website and social media, and eight volunteers stepped forward. The eight volunteers - Steve Green, Lesley Parry, Rob Atkinson, Matt Frejizyn, John and Janet Potter, Anne Marie Fowler and Dave Smith laid the new path in a morning. This work also opens up another part of the park to all park users, as the improved surface makes it more accessible to everyone.
Regards,
Darren Rowe


Hi parkrun UK
In November 2013 at the age of six my daughter begin to take an interest in her daddy's running and run club: Lincoln and District Runners. Watching them at races and at the new parkrun that had been set up in our community. Within a few weeks Madeleine had ran her first event. Madeleine is a big encouragement to others and has also got her sister and I involved in running too. Madeleine at the age of seven, has now achieved 44 park runs and six PB’s. During our first anniversary celebrations at Lincoln parkrun on Saturday the 15th of November Madeleine was awarded the accolade of ‘parkrunner of the year’!
Regards,
Emma Banks


Hi parkrun UK
Yesterday I was shocked and delighted (in equal measures) to discover I had been named the Sweatshop Prize Winner of the month by the lovely team at Eastleigh parkrun. My first parkrun was in November 2010 although I subsequently had a period of almost two years of not running due to health problems. Since returning, I have received fantastic encouragement and friendship from the brilliant Eastleigh parkrunners. I still can't believe I have won but it just proves that parkrun is all inclusive and one doesn't have to be the fastest or fittest to be a 'winner'. Thank you so much to Eastleigh and Sweatshop! The photo is taken at my 50th run in May 2014 with some of my fabulous parkrun friends.
Regards,
Katie Goddard


Hi parkrun UK
We've just moved from Leicestershire to North Devon and I transferred from Rushcliffe parkrun to the new Tamar Lakes parkrun. We were made to feel really welcome and my husband did his first parkrun walk/jog. Due to an injury I volunteered as a barcode scanner but look forward to running and improving my PB at this stunning location. Many thanks to parkrun and the Tamar Lakes team.
Regards,
Andrée and Steve Carte


Hi parkrun UK
A year ago I suggested to my Mum, Nuala James, that she join me at parkrun and she is now approaching her 50th run. She has seen so many benefits from parkrun and nothing holds her back from getting round the course every week. I am really proud when I see her cross the finish line. Well done Mum and thank you parkrun!
Regards,
Rachael Turner


Hi parkrun UK
Our local paper, the Hull Daily Mail, published a piece by freelance journalist Ronni Thomas-Osbourne. After spending two years living in Paris Ronni gave ‘Ten Reasons Why Hull Is Better Than Paris’.
One of her reasons was, of course, parkrun!
Regards,
Paul Tremere


Hi parkrun UK
Heard last week at the Peterborough parkrun: A gentleman was running with his other half, trying no doubt to encourage her. He was saying “Push. Push!” I had to smile at the response, “Just leave me alone, I'm not in labour now”!
Regards,
Simon Lovell

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Adam Young

Club:  jOG Norwich (just a small group of us from my church)

Age:  Five

Home parkrun:  Catton parkrun

Occupation:  I'm in year one at school and a part-time mess maker

Number of runs:  32

Favourite volunteer role:  I love to marshal and have done it three times now.

What do you do at parkruns:  At Catton we have loads of young runners. It's great. I love running in the park with it's big trees and the cake at the lodge is great as well.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I have got so much quicker. I run with my dad or my mum nearly every week and have recently finished in under 29 minutes. When I started I had to stop for bits and walk but now I run the whole lot and am working on my sprinting at the end. I love being cheered on. Loads of people know my name and cheer me.

What do you like about parkrun:  Everyone wants everyone else to do well. One day I would love to be first finisher but top 100 is a good aim at the moment. I love it when people cheer me on, it gives me a little boost.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  My Daddy and I ran the parkrun dressed as Jedi for Catton parkrun’s first year anniversary recently. I should have worn my summer robes as it was quite heavy, but I managed to not hit anyone with my lightsaber!

parkrun corner

Chris Davies

There aren’t many places in mainland Britain which are more than two hours from their nearest parkrun. Up until last weekend, the parkrun event map has been missing a dot in North-West Wales. The good news is that this has now been put right. Welcome to Penrhyn parkrun!

Typical of the parkrun family spirit, the new event team were well prepared thanks to a trip down to mid-Wales and the friendly welcome and help of the Aberystwyth parkrun team. Penrhyn parkrun is another example of the successful partnership between parkrun and the National Trust. Set in the grounds of the stunning 19th Century Penrhyn Castle, overlooking the Menai Straits and on the edge of Snowdonia National Park there’s a lot to look at as you run around the course. But the wow factor comes right at the end: The finish is through the main castle gates with an opportunity to glance up at the clock as you finish.
It’s certain that Penrhyn parkrun will be a hit in the Principality but this event is also likely to be the parkrun travellers’ destination of choice.

Chris Davies
Newport parkrun and Newport junior 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 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

November

Pontypool parkrun 22nd

Upton Court parkrun 22nd

Roundhay junior parkrun 23rd

Southampton junior parkrun 23rd

Perth parkrun 29th

December

Ally Pally parkrun 6th

Pollok parkrun 6th

Brockwell parkrun 13th

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 joy of marshaling.

Once again I have been on tour but this time I revisited an event that began back in May this year. 'The one with the hill' - Brockwell juniors.

22 runs later, on a cold, damp and foggy morning I was very happy to find a junior parkrun which has steadily grown with a lovely, friendly and relaxed atmosphere enabled by a team of friends keeping things simple.
IMG_8733

I first met Caroline, the ED, at a meeting with the local authority, when they were offering some funding but needed a volunteer to become the Event Director. Caroline had turned up, not to take on this role, but out of interest just to see if she might be able to help. To her credit, with everyone around the table looking in her direction, she took on the mantle and has brought together a team of like-minded friends to share the load and to provide their community with this event.  Thank you Caroline :)
IMG_2274

This week I was the marshal on the far corner of the course, just at the bottom of the hill. The image of the runners snaking down the path from the top of the hill and bursting past me was quite something. This course is the only southern event with a hill so far and you have to do it twice! I am sure it is tougher than its Yorkshire rivals…

IMG_3225

The thing that not everybody realises about being a marshal is that they have the best of both worlds. Well, I certainly felt I did on Sunday morning. I was able to be part of the growing phenomena of junior parkrun, see all the smiles and effort on our runners faces, cheer them on, shout encouragement, grin from ear to ear and yet I was getting thanked for it! Wonderful!

I could see on the faces of the other park users that they were impressed with seeing our juniors undertaking such activity in the park, especially on a morning when you might not otherwise be outside.

IMG_3208

It's a win, win situation as far as I can see. I got asked by some members of the public what was happening so I could wax lyrical about junior parkrun too and all before breakfast...

Jo

 

weekly newsletter 13th November 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter VitalityHealth strike a pose, Elaine Omand recalls the start of her parkrun journey, we invite our juniors to run 2k and I introduce our new supporter.

On Saturday I was fortunate enough to find myself on the start line of Newcastle parkrun. Helen (my wife) is from South Shields so we enjoy getting back to the North East whenever we can and as I’ve said before I do think the famous Geordie hospitality is brilliantly suited to the parkrun spirit. I try of course to visit as many different events as possible and with eighteen 5k locations across the North East I’m pleased to have visited 13 of them, be it spectating, volunteering, running or during the design of the courses themselves. With five left (Blackhill, Druridge Bay, Hackworth, Hartlepool and Stewart) I’m keen to be more of a tourist, but this week I had a special reason to be on Newcastle Town Moor as I was welcoming in a new parkrun UK supporter.

Muckle LLP is a commercial law firm with their head office less than a mile from the start line of Newcastle parkrun and a huge passion for running, they even have their own running club, Muckle Runners, who number around 50 and were out in force at the weekend. Last summer I delivered a talk as part of their workplace health project and got to spend quality time with them discussing some of the many of the challenges we face as the World’s largest series (probably) of timed runs. For the last few months we’ve been talking to Muckle about how they could help us overcome some of those challenges and I’m pleased to take this opportunity to welcome them into the parkrun UK family. Over the coming months and years we will be making significant changes to areas such as child safeguarding, first aid and medical policies, commercial relationships, volunteer support & development, governance and staffing structure. I could go on. If we are to be successful it’s crucial that on one hand we stay true to the friendly, low-key, community-led principles that we’ve always had (and always will have) whilst at the same time we secure our foundations with world class legal support.

Foreground from left, myself and Chris Jones from parkrun HQ then Russell Deane and Ian Kirtley from Newcastle parkrun. Background, The Muckle Runners in white and an almost record attendance of 581 parkrunners.

So there you have it. A wonderful parkrunday morning was had by all… I should also thank the amazing X and Z Companies of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (based in Newcastle and Cramlington) who provided all the volunteer roles for this Remembrance Weekend parkrun, not to mention the very welcome tea and coffee that they dished out after the finish line.

Happy running,

Tom

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

health and wellbeing with Vitality


Our Vitality Blog takes an imaginative approach to help improve your health and general wellbeing. Check out our most recent running article below:

Yoga poses for runners:
Now that it's colder, we might want to do some indoor activities to keep our fitness levels up. While some might say that running and yoga may not seem like a natural match; running is all about getting the heart pounding and adrenaline flowing, while yoga focuses on slowing things down and helping the body and mind unwind. However, the two activities actually complement each other nicely, providing a good balance to your workout. Find out on the Vitality Blog why runners especially can benefit from practicing yoga, and which poses are likely to prove most useful.

Do you want to achieve a running goal in 2015?
Be part of the Vitality Run Series - a 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 five remaining races in the Series. Find an event near you.

junior parkrun world


We love to see parkrunners of all ages taking part in our 5k series but did you know that we also organise fantastic junior parkruns specifically for four to 14 year olds? Please visit our support site for more information about junior parkrun.

The very first junior parkrun in Bushy Park - April 2010

Currently taking place at 32 locations across the UK, we are also fielding lots of enquiries from people wanting to start up new junior events. Just like your little people... our junior parkruns are growing too!

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 53,565
Number of volunteers - 4,785
Number of first timers - 7,117
Number of PBs - 8,871

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 joined Guildford parkrun back in September 2013 when I was new to the town. I broke my foot in January and found the support of everyone at parkrun fantastic. I tried to volunteer as much as possible and returned to running at the end of June - very slowly! With the encouragement of my parkrun friends I've gradually got faster and I managed to get a PB on the 1st of November, ten minutes faster than my first run back in June and five minutes faster than before I broke my foot! So I really wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at Guildford parkrun (especially for awarding me the Sweatshop prize one month) and my running club.
Regards,
Debbie Stockwell


Hi parkrun UK
This Saturday, Siobhan Carleton-Green will make her 100th appearance at Gladstone parkrun. Sadly, it will be her last as she is moving to the sunny south of Spain next week. Siobhan has been with us since day one, and Saturday will be her 73rd run, in addition to the 27 times she has volunteered in a non-running role. On behalf of everyone at Gladstone parkrun, I would like to thank Siobhan for her tireless contribution, which she has always made with a smile on her face. She has epitomised all the qualities of a parkrun volunteer - an incredibly popular unsung hero who will be greatly missed. If, or perhaps when, Spain joins the parkrun family, I can recommend a wonderful Event Director.
Regards,
Glen Turner


Hi parkrun UK
Five years ago parkrun quietly arrived in Finsbury Park and our lives. A big family of friends has since grown, chasing PBs, competing in running events together across Britain and abroad, pub quizzing, wearing performance-enhancing headbands, and generally hanging out. Babies have been born, friends have moved away, and the friendships haven’t fizzled. Last weekend Jenny Cornish and Russ Ellis returned from afar with their respective entourages to where it all began to complete their 100th parkruns. There was much cake, much merriment and we look forward to congratulating them again on their 250ths! Kudos to all the parkrun volunteers who make it happen and who’ve brought about so much happiness.
Regards,
David Derham, Headbandit of the Headband Harriers


Hi parkrun UK
Many congratulations to Tom Harper (VM75-79) from Albert parkrun in Middlesbrough who today ran his 100th run. Tom has done 97 runs at Albert parkrun, and two at Stewart parkrun. What made his 100th run so special was that he did it at the other Albert parkrun, in Melbourne Australia! Here's a photo of Tom and his wife, Gill with me.
Regards,
Scott Watkins, Albert Melbourne parkrun co-ED


Hi parkrun UK
In July last year I developed late onset asthma at 64 and this was complicated by recurrent chest infections and two cracked ribs. I had to stop running and was only able to start again in July this year. I am a retired GP and convinced that having stopped running, my immune system was affected resulting in these recurrent chest infections and delaying my diagnosis of asthma until February this year. Since I started running the Crystal Palace parkruns again my times have improved week by week and I hope to improve still further. I caught the running bug in 1981 after reading Jim Fixx's legendary book and I have not looked back since.
Regards,
Nick Cambridge


Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday I received my 100 Club t-shirt at Walsall Arboretum parkrun. It has taken me just over three years to reach my hundred but have loved every one, after starting out as a runner who hated 5k's (too fast, too painful!). My times for longer distances have all improved thanks to doing parkrun regularly and I have even finished in the top three ladies this year in some local races! So thank you parkrun and to the generous sponsors, I have got so much out of the last three years and the 50 & 100 club t-shirts and trainers (back in January when I was awarded Sweatshop runner of the month) are a bonus for doing something I love.
Regards,
Amy Louise Tweedie


Hi parkrun UK
I am so proud of my fabulous partner Carolyn Lyta Wood. A few years ago she was five and a half stone heavier than she is now. She took up running after losing weight and gym sessions. In September 2012 she did her first ever parkrun at Newcastle. Now she is hoping to complete her 50th parkrun on December 6th. I am so proud of her and she deserves a huge congratulations.
Regards,
Vicki Milburn

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Chris Perkins

Club:  Stirling Triathlon Club

Age:  44

Home parkrun:  Stirling junior parkrun

Occupation:  Account Director for a recruitment marketing and advertising agency

Number of runs:  5

Favourite volunteer role:  Barcode scanning

What do you do at parkruns:  I’m the Event Director at Stirling junior parkrun so do my share of Run Directing and filling other volunteer roles. I like leading the warm-up at a junior event because you can sense the enthusiasm from all the juniors to get running. As a relatively new event we still have a lot of people getting to know what parkrun is all about and I enjoy chatting to them about what an amazing thing parkrun is and, yes, we really will be here every week and it is always free!

How has parkrun changed your running:  I've done more volunteering than running, but I've used the runs as a time trial to gauge my training for triathlons or to run with my kids. I always used to train on my own but have discovered how much I enjoy the social element of parkrun. I also always ran on the road so have really enjoyed getting off road and running in some beautiful settings thanks to parkrun.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love what parkrun stands for. It is so much more than ‘just a run in a park’. The inclusiveness, the habits it builds for fun, physical activity, the focus on participation and challenging yourself to improve whilst making it all free for anyone to enjoy is amazing. All parkruns - 5k and junior 2k are amazing at bringing a community together around a regular running event but what I like most about the junior events is the idea that what it does really could alter the course of someone's life. That's great to be part of.

parkrun corner

Elaine Omand

This weekend I went back to the venue of my first ever parkrun – Pollok parkrun in Glasgow – for the first time since my inaugural run. How things have changed since that first experience! At the time, my friend took me along because he knew I was into running. There were no parkruns close to me at the time, so I had no idea what to expect.

Turning up and finding 330 runners at a ‘free fun run’, I was shocked, and the fact that we just registered online, and turned up was brilliant. No faffing around with numbers. The variety of runners was something you would never see at a race either. We lined up beside children with their parents, older adults, people pushing buggies. I think I was most excited by the atmosphere; everyone was there to have fun and enjoy themselves. Everyone was friendly and encouraging. I remember sharing a few words with runners as we went round, and thinking what a nice, happy bunch of people they were. I finished the run, got my barcode scanned, and headed home, feeling jealous that I couldn’t take part in this more often.

Almost exactly three years on, and I did parkrun as a warm-up for a race, because I couldn’t miss my weekly fix. 300 runners lined up this weekend, but I knew some of them already, and as we chatted and caught up, the route came back to mind, and it felt like no time since I was last there. Going to my race after, I met up with parkrunners who I have met over the years. parkrun has become such an important part of my life now; I don’t know how I managed before it!

Elaine Omand, Camperdown 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 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

November

Alice Holt parkrun 15th

Lincoln parkrun 15th

Pontypool parkrun 22nd

Upton Court parkrun 22nd

Roundhay junior parkrun 23rd

Southampton junior parkrun 23rd

Perth parkrun 29th

December

Ally Pally parkrun 6th

Pollok parkrun 6th

children at parkrun

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

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

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

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

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.

our sponsors

adidas investing in parkrun
all out performance

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


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

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


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

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

our supporters

London Marathon supporting parkrun
Inspiring runners of all levels

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


aql supporting parkrun
Delivering your results earlier

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


3 supporting parkrun
Connecting parkrunners everywhere

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


⇐ Newer Posts