Pendle parkrun #197

I always thought that this article would be largely read by regulars at Pendle parkrun, but it is clearly seen by some of the wider parkrun community. Over the weekend, the Pendle parkrun office received the following email:

"We're visiting our friends in Skipton this weekend and intended to do Skipton parkrun this morning. However, when we read last week's Pendle news about our fellow tourist runners from Stockton Striders (we come from Stockton, our home run is Tees Barrage) we decided to come to you instead. My husband, Mark, has done 227 runs on 66 different courses and I've done 156 runs on 56 different courses. Not that it's a competition, but we just couldn't resist! Thanks for your hospitality, we brought our godson who normally runs at Skipton and really enjoyed ourselves. Susan Symmonds"

The Symmonds family weren't the only first timers among a field of 69 hardy parkrunners on a cold Colne morning. There were no fewer than eight others having a look at Pendle parkrun for the first time.

Gareth Williams ran himself into third place and Tom Yates was in 13th just head of fellow first-times Fred Green and Daniel Hill, Daniel acquitting himself very well in his first-ever parkrun anywhere. A little further down the field my friend Andy Ratcliffe ran 12 miles to join in the fun, not bad for someone who only took up running a year ago, and the other first timers were Lydia Drain, Tia Bevis and Catherine Davies.

Fionnuala Swann was the pick of the PBs on the day as she finished sixth overall and first lady in a time on 21:45 and there was also new personal best times for Paul Ibbetson, Gillian White, Susan Harrison and Paul Taylor.

With an endearing amount of self-deprecation, event winner David Fort flew past my position of tailwalker as he went on to complete a sub-20 run with a comment only the lines of "Where are all the good runners?" and he even had the good grace to blush a little when I told him that he was one! It was the 12th time David had claimed the first finisher spot and he was home by almost a minute from Adam Holda who just had the edge over Gareth Williams.

Nicola Nuttall was second lady home on her 150th parkrun, and this week there is a special mention for Paul Brannon who claimed fourth spot despite carrying the extra weight of a Go-Pro on his head as he filmed the event and still managed to score the highest age grade percentile of the 69 runners.

Edward Lee


Pendle parkrun #196

When I say that I am going to indulge in a bit of parkrun tourism, most people take it for granted I am going to nip down the road to Towneley Park and have another go at Burnley parkrun.

Like many Pendle parkrunners, my parkrun life started at Burnley and I classed it as my home run until volunteering at Pendle and thoroughly enjoying the whole experience.

Many of our regular runners take in new parkruns while away on holiday and some just disappear for the weekend to try a different course - many of our regulars enjoying just such an experience in Dublin on Saturday.

But on Saturday we had some true parkrun "tourists" in our midst. Among the 11 first-timers were David and Caroline Horton from Stockton Striders. David has 190 parkruns to his name on 41 different courses. And Caroline, in 178 runs, has taken in 37 parkruns and been the first lady home in five of them.

Compare and contrast that with our very own Paul Hare and Angela O'Hara. They both have over 160 parkruns to their credit and have done them all at Pendle.

Although the top of the course remained very boggy, times picked up a bit as 92 people took on Pendle parkrun.

Paul Crabtree just managed to sneak under 20 minutes to be the first finisher for the 24th time, easily the leader among the male runners, and finished clear of Ziggy-assisted David Fort and Shaun Heys, both of whom have been first finishers on several occasions.

Ellie Wright from Blackburn Road Runners was the first lady to finish in her first-ever visit to Pendle parkrun. Sophie Smith, on her second visit, claimed a PB to finish second ahead of Kerrie-Anne Bretherton who also clocked up a PB.

Four of the other first-timers at Pendle were actually doing parkrun for the first time, so a special thankyou to Matthew McKeating, Archie Holley, Samantha Harrison and Val Stephenson for choosing Pendle for their first parkrun experience.

And the other first timers were all adding another "tick" to their parkrun list and we hope to see Becky Askey, Stephanie Hulford, Sam Webber and Jarvis Webber again.

Susie Pedder reached her 50th parkrun on Saturday, a day which also saw personal best times for John Brown, Julian Jordan, Gillian White and Paul Taylor.

Edward Lee


Festive fun at Pendle parkrun

Christmas parkrun was always going to be a bit special with loads of fancy dress, an influx of Trawden AC members and a smattering of landmark runs.

Pendle parkrunners don't usually need much of an excuse to get dressed up, and so it turned out on Saturday.

Michael Wriggers Wrigley hitched a lift off Father Christmas and Adam Howard managed to run to the event and then round it in a full reindeer outfit. There were also plenty of Santa suits, loads of Christmas jumpers and lots of other creative fancy dress ideas.

Although 200 is not marked as a landmark run by parkrun - you need to get to 250 for the next T-shirt - Neil Garnett still celebrated reaching that milestone by completing the course in a full Santa outfit.

Event director Paul Brown reached his 100th parkrun as did his wife Joanne Brown and Verity Brown. I reached 50 and between the five of us we have volunteered on more than 700 occasions to help keep parkrun running.

There were eight personal best times on Saturday with Gavin O'Connor, Daniel Brown, Wayne Ellison, Ronnie Smith, Julian Jordan, Marie Fisher, Scarlett McIlvenny and Jeanette Sutcliffe all improving on their previous best times. And for Scarlett there was a little piece of Pendle parkrun history as she became the 2,500th person to clock up a PB at Holt House and Alkincoats Park.

The arrival of a lot of Trawden AC members - Saturday's parkrun was part of their Winter Series - swelled numbers to 114, the third best turnout of the year and equal sixth in the all-time list.

But it wasn't just Trawden runners who made the difference as there were a total of 12 first timers on the day.

Thomas Corrigan showed some flying feet to lead the field home for his third first place finish, and just three seconds outside his PB. Fellow Barlick Fellrunner Andy Berry was second with Trawden's David Fort in third place and deciding to celebrate with an extra couple of laps.

Kerrie-Anne Bretherton was the first of the lady runners home, finishing ahead of Lucy Beresford and Dawn Tibbs, and the whole day was rounded off with lots of cake and pie to celebrate both Christmas and the many landmark runs.

Things might return to normal for Saturday's final run of the year and don't forget that there's a chance to do two parkruns on New Year's Day - Skipton followed by a quick dash back to Lancashire and a trot around Pendle.

Edward Lee


Pendle parkrun #192

With winter fools being gathered in and around Keighley, turkeys set to trot around the Ribble Valley, Christmas party hangovers kicking in and a snow-lined course, attendance was always going to suffer at Pendle parkrun on Saturday.

But the team of volunteers came up with another new route to keep everyone safe and 45 hardy runners set off on a new three-lap route.

The previous week there had been no new PBs, no first-timers and no landmark runs.

But on Saturday that all changed.

We had four people trying a Pendle parkrun for the first time. Daniel Fuggle and Steven Briggs were actually doing their first-ever parkruns. Didsbury runner Gareth Hine continued his parkrun tourism by visiting his 38th different event, while the cancellation of Skipton parkrun brought Dawn Whiteley to us for the first time.

We also had four people setting personal best times with Samanatha Barnes, Kevin Johnstone, Eleanor Fuggle and Susan Harrison all setting new best times.

And we also had two landmark runs with junior runner Eleanor Fuggle chalking up her 10th parkrun and Simon Wilshaw of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers claiming third place in his 100th parkrun.

Adam Holda won again to claim his 15th first place finish while in the ladies' event was won by Isabel Hartley for the first time.

This weekend's parkrun sees the Trawden AC winter series joining in so there is likely to be a much bigger field than Saturday's 45 runners, followed by lots of seasonal refreshments afterwards.

Edward Lee


Pendle parkrun #191

Pendle parkrunners are a hardy breed, regularly taking on one of the hilliest parkruns in the country.

On Saturday, the hill through Alkincoats was out of the question.

But, resourceful as ever, organisers made sure there was a safe route and that everyone who wanted to could enjoy a run.

A three lap course - some of the old course, some of the new course and none of the park - was devised and 41 hardy souls set off to make their way through snow, ice and their longest ever parkrun!

There were some notable absences on Saturday:

No PB times
No first timers
No "unknowns"
No landmark runs, although there should be a batch of 50 and 100 landmarks before Christmas.

But Ziggy the Wonderdog chalked up another first place finish. Usually Ziggy and Nicola Nuttall claim the first place in the ladies' section. But on Saturday, Ziggy was out on loan and partnered David Fort to first place in the run, the 11th time David has been first finisher while Dawn Terry claimed first place in the ladies' section for the first time.

Most parkrunners remember to shout out their thanks to the volunteers who make sure they can get out and enjoy themselves. But a special hats off to all the volunteers who plotted the new course and then braved the cold to make sure everyone knew where they were going and avoided the worst bits of the snow and ice.

Edward Lee

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