Event number 204 – 17th March 2018

Well done to everyone that braved the cold today, with the windchill, it was about -2C (!) and a special thank you to the volunteers today - without you, the event wouldn't happen and it was a FREEZING day to be standing around.  We are in need of volunteers over the next few Saturdays - and we do require the requisite number of volunteers to be able to deliver each event, so if you have taken part in quite a few parkruns....you know what to do!  Have a look at the volunteers roster, let us know what role you would like to do, and send us an email.  Marshaling, tailwalking, finish tokens or bar code scanning are all good roles to do if you haven't volunteered before and we can show / explain what to do - and you get to see parkrun from a different perspective too!

This week 77 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 6 were first timers and 3 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 12 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 11 volunteers:

Sally SHOOLBRAID • Mary WYLIE • Kieran DORE • Andrew WATSON • Graham NEAL • Kevin BASTOW • Ken DYER • Richard DRYSDALE • Jenny SPENCER • John CORNISH • Thomas MACTAGGART

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Parke parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by James BAKER who recorded a time of 16:50 on 1st August 2015 (event number 70).
The female record is held by Vikki THOMPSON who recorded a time of 20:08 on 29th October 2016 (event number 135).
The Age Grade course record is held by Xavier BLY who recorded 84.68% (22:05) on 24th October 2015 (event number 82).

Parke parkrun started on 5th April 2014. Since then 5,077 participants have completed 25,019 parkruns covering a total distance of 125,095 km, including 4,550 new Personal Bests.



20 January 2018 – Different, but the same…

Report by Adrian Mountford - Exeter Riverside parkrun

We had to drop our son off in Teignmouth just after 8 on Saturday morning for a Ten Tors training walk, so getting back to Exeter in time for our home parkrun might have been a bit of a push.

We’ve run at Parke a few times before, including the very first parkrun, but we hadn’t visited since back in 2015, so apricot shirts at the ready, we made the journey to Parke for a spot of parkrun tourism.

Our home parkrun at Exeter Riverside course is pretty flat, mostly on tarmac, with a jaunt round the University sports field.   In dry conditions, it is good for a PB although it can get a bit congested at times with regular attendances now in excess of 300 runners.

Parke, although it is only eleven miles away could not be more different.  A steep rise up the hill not long after the start and then another rise at about 3.5km, and that long relentless climb up to the finish just when you want it all to be over and your legs are full of lactic acid.  And then there is the mud….Thankfully I picked up my Gore-Tex trail shoes from out of the garage for Saturday!

Given the muddy conditions 145 hardy runners was quite a turnout.  There is something quite different about parkrunning in mud, with the ‘hard core’ runners, who are happy to get splashed and risk a slip here and there in their pursuit of a ‘good’ time.  Evidently from the state of some parkrunners heading through the finish funnel, not everyone managed to stay upright the whole way round

Parke, particularly at this time of year, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.  The elevation changes probably put some runners off as well as the mud, which will probably be an integral part of the course until April or May when the weather improves.  If you want a PB course then Exeter Riverside or Torbay might be a better option.

But that for me is one of the unique aspects of parkrun.  Every parkrun is different.  We are blessed in the south-west with unique parkruns, on all different types of terrain and in great locations.  Some single lap routes, some multi-laps.  Some flat, some hilly.  All parkruns are unique, but all are essentially the same.

Wherever I go, I meet really passionate people who give up their time to volunteer and support their local parkruns and people with different stories of how they became parkrunners.  parkrun has a great sense of community and we all share stories of our experiences and whether your parkrun is big or small, they all offer essentially the same challenge and experience.   The age range at Parke covered young children up to people in their 70s all there to enjoy a free 5km timed run on a Saturday morning, possibly followed by a drink in the café.

Ben JOLLY joined the white shirted junior ’10 club’, and whilst there is no milestone shirt available for his achievement, Geoff WOODS became a double centurion.  Just another year or so until the green 250 shirt can be ordered. One of this week’s 30 first timers became the 5,000th different parkrunner to participate at Parke, which is quite a milestone.

Many thanks to Angela and all her team of volunteers who made the event such a success and kept us going in the right direction despite someone trying to sabotage the direction arrows prior to the run.  I really enjoyed my morning at Parke.  I’ll certainly make sure that I return soon.

This week 145 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 30 were first timers and 8 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 12 volunteers:

Robert WELLS, Sally & Colin SHOOLBRAID, Angela EVANS, Kieran DORE, Graham NEAL, Tracy & Bob SMALL, Jenny SPENCER, Anne-Marie BAKER, Ken DYER and John CORNISH

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Parke parkrun Results Page.

Parke parkrun started on 5th April 2014. Since then 5,001 participants have completed 24,327 parkruns covering a total distance of 121,635 km, including 4,463 new Personal Bests.


Defibrillator Fund

Today we are launching a campaign to raise funds to buy a defibrillator for Parke parkrun.

One of the many wonderful things about parkrun is that it is free to all and we would not normally ask for donations but having our own defibrillator could make a huge difference.

We're getting advice on different options and it looks like a portable defibrillator will cost something in the region of £800-£900.

If you can donate anything towards the defribrillator fund, it would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the donations page  - simply scroll down and click on the 'Donate to parkrun' image.

Thank you for reading.








**21 October 2017 PARKE CANCELLATION**

Given the high winds forecast for Saturday morning, we've taken the decision to cancel this week's parkrun.

With all the trees on our course it was just too high a risk for runners and volunteeers. Especially as we've had trees topple recently.

A few parkruns in the area have also cancelled - you can see the latest list here: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/cancellations/

Sorry to disappoint but hopefully see you next week. 


The one that wasn’t quite a parkrun – 12/08/2017

Well it was 176th time unlucky today because for the first morning in our history we weren't able to hold a parkrun proper. We've always been proud of the fact that we've never had to cancel an event, no matter what the Dartmoor weather has thrown at us or how close to the wire we've got filling volunteer slots. But we can be just as proud at what we managed to pull off today.

At about 8am an early morning jogger told us that a tree was down towards the end of the first loop, taking some fencing with it. We were facing a Grand National-esque obstacle that needed a combination of long jump, hurdling and ninja skills to avoid the sharp sticky-out branches and bits of barbed wire. We decided it was just too hazardous to use this bit of the course but do we cancel the whole thing or try and put on an alternative run?

Thanks to the quick thinking of Keiran, Andy, Sally, Colin and with Angela directing communications with parkrun HQ from home, we had a plan for an alternative route.  If you ever need a can-do attitude before 9 in the morning, this is the crew you want.

The route would miss out the first loop and make up the distance by extending the run along the lovely flat railway track and back, heading up into the woods and from there finishing as normal. The only thing was, because we couldn't guarantee that the distance of this alternative route would be 5km, we couldn't run it as an official parkrun. People could run but their runs wouldn't be recorded.

Breaking the news to everyone arriving resulted in some obvious disappointment especially to the first time would-be parkrunners, the parkrun tourists (some having travelled many hours to join us) and those on a milestone run. But the overriding response was 'we're here, let's run' and for those that know the course there was a fair bit of relief at not having to haul themselves up the fiendish hill.

Many people offered to give up their run to help out and this meant that together with our scheduled volunteers we had our new route fully marshalled and tail-walked. Thank you Jenny, Clive, Sharon, Ian, Sally, Colin and 'High 5 Ken', our man at the Lustleigh outpost.

No official times but Kieran and Graham were on the stopwatches shouting out unofficial ones as about 150 or so runners came home.

Estimates on distance put the route at about 4.8km but many regulars were knocking significant chunks off their normal times - all that hill training on our normal course clearly paying off.

So apologies to all the runners and volunteers for not getting a formal record of today's event but hopefully you'll remember this one for the spirit of parkrun instead. And on that note, August 12th is the birthday of Paul Sinton-Hewitt, founder of parkrun. Happy Birthday Paul!

If you would like to help out in future events, volunteers for any role, any time are always needed and you'll get full support, a high-viz jacket and hundreds of thank-yous on the day. Just drop a note to parkehelpers@parkrun.com

Even more dramatic photo of the tree



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