Event 163 (1st January 2018) Happy New Year All

What a wonderful 2017 Perry Hall parkrun had. We had many milestones met - 50s, 100s and 250s, plus many joining the volunteer 25 club. We had more different volunteers than ever before, and I would encourage anyone who has not yet volunteered to have a go - parkrun cannot happen with you and you are welcome to put your name forward for any roles, even if you have never tried them before.

This weeks run report has been provided by a Walsall Arboretum parkrunner - here is her perspective of the very first event of 2018.


By Sally-Anne Bynoe

What a great start to 2018, if somewhat unexpectedly soggy! We had a lovely turnout of 213 runners, some first timers and quite a few tourists. Plus a plethora of volunteers, some even offered their services on arrival.

Did you do the double today? It's the one time in the year when parkrunners can try and do two parkruns on the same day as start times are slightly staggered. It's great fun if you've never tried it before, so maybe something to give a go for next year...

My double today was volunteering roles as I'm currently unable to run. I signed up to write the run report and also tail walked with the lovely Angelina. If you've never volunteered before, why not make that one of the things to do this year? It's great fun and you get to see parkrun from a different side.

tail runner

Michael the marshal with tail walkers Sally-Anne and Angelina (Left to Right)

I had great fun today chatting as I walked, swapping injury and recovery stories (that's what runners do right?). Also loved giving encouragement on the way around. Not just to those who we were following but also the faster runners as they zoomed past us but still had the energy to say thanks to us for helping out. Volunteering really makes you see the bigger picture of parkrun and get a feel of what it means to different people. You also feel great afterwards and everyone is so friendly, you'll surely make new friends too.

2018-01-03_03-42-03lorna dancing

The Green family who had a super time marshalling, and core team volunteer Lorna cannot contain her excitement to be running on Saturday,

Special mention to Sarah who ran her 100th parkrun today but has also volunteered a massive 107 times! That is truly amazing. Congratulations Sarah and thank you! And thanks too to everyone that volunteered today. Smiling through the cold and rain, you did great!
sarah and ange

Thank goodness Sarah (right) has achieved her 100 runs, she can now claim her parkrun black tee shirt :-) - CONGRATULATIONS.

Here's hoping that you enjoyed your run/jog/walk this morning and that it's given you a good boost for the year ahead. Well done for starting the year on the right foot. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2018 and see you on Saturday as we don't have to wait as long for another parkrun this week!




Event 143 (5th August 2017) The first volunteer takeover

By Dee Allen


Today's parkrun event at Perry Hall was their first ever volunteer takeover, and it was Boldmere Bullets, who were out in force to build their profile in the local running community and to promote their 5K and 10K races which are taking place on Sunday 17th September in Sutton Park (www.boldmerebullets.com/bullets-run-2017)

The Bullets' orange, white and black livery was very much in evidence, with balloons and flags at the finish line, and the 'Bullets Corner' gazebo prominently serving as the base of operations for the event.
bullets groupBoldmere Bullets were out in their numbers.

All of the volunteer slots were filled, and a few Bullets members were also running. There was a mixture of Perry Hall regulars and first time visitors among the club members in attendance, and it is hoped that we see the newcomers again in the future.

I volunteered for two roles: As a Marshal and as Report Writer. I have marshalled a few times at Perry Hall but today was my first time volunteering for the role of Report Writer.

Part of what makes the parkrun community so strong, and ensures its continued success, is the welcome it extends to runners of all abilities, and the friendly atmosphere that surrounds each event. The Bullets fully embraced this approach today, and greeted the runners with not only verbal encouragement, but a noisy and colourful display of flags, whistles and cowbells.

Very encouraging tail walkers.       cow bell and flag

Boldmere Bullets are renowned for their support.


The weather was most definitely on our side this morning; the sky was clear and bright, but thankfully not too hot. As I write this report however, a storm has not long passed and it looks like the clouds have settled in for the rest of the day but I can live with that.

From my marshalling station I enjoyed a good view of much of the course, and was responsible for directing the runners round one of three hairpin bends which feature on the course.

The cancellation of the nearby Cannon Hill parkrun meant that we were welcoming a larger number of visitors than usual. For comparison, there were 207 runners recorded at today's event, compared to 141 at last week's. Congratulations go out to Mark Ince from BRAT who finished in first place with an impressive time of 16:49. First female finisher was Ronni Thomas-Osborne, finishing in 21:58.
tara running

There was a great family atmosphere at the event.


At this point I would like to take the opportunity to encourage anyone reading this report who has not yet volunteered to give it a go. There are many roles to volunteer for, and help is needed before, during and after the run itself, so volunteering does not always mean giving up a run. Without the work done by the volunteers, the events cannot take place, and rewards are provided in the form of smiles and words of thanks from the runners, and the awarding of volunteer credits. There is also a community-within-a-community feel to volunteering, and this can perhaps be felt most strongly on days when the weather is at its most challenging. Yes, it can sometimes feel good being stood out on a course in the freezing cold and pouring rain. This morning though, as I said earlier, the conditions were much easier to run in.

Lastly, on behalf of the Boldmere Bullets I hope that everyone who attended today's event enjoyed it. Our association with Perry Hall parkrun was not restricted to this one day: our members can be found among the runners and volunteers on most Saturday mornings and we look forward to hosting our own race in September.

For further information on the Boldmere Bullets: www.boldmerebullets.com


Event 128 (22nd April 2017) A special 100 was celebrated.

By Emma Hawkey
Thank you to Graham Ayre, parkrun first timer who has written a wonderful piece about his experience at Perry Hall.
Today was a very special event, we had a very special 100 milestone to celebrate.
I had a last minute trip to Wales and was very upset to miss this as it was Lorna Witter's, a Perry Hall regular who has become the heart and sole of the core volunteer team. . .

Run Director Phil Thompson did a great job of getting Lorna onto the bench to embarrass her on her special day - didn't she look proud and happy in her volunteer parkrun top!

She turned up on New Year's Day for her first run in 2015, and since then has taken massive 12 minutes off her time, in the meantime Lorna started volunteering. Lorna is very humble about the work she puts in towards Perry Hall, but I would like this recognised publicly alongside her 100 run.
Angelina Farruggia's husband had drawn this special piece which was placed out on the course for all to see.
She has completed 65 volunteer roles, and joined the volunteer core team and takes everything in her stride with a smile. This includes Run Directing, and the very scary role of processing results which she has become an expert in. Hours after parkrun, core volunteers are still working to complete results or also wash the high viz.
Perry Hall simply would not exist without Lorna and the rest of the core team.
Lorna has one of the biggest smiles around and I send huge huge thanks for all she does.


By Graham Ayres

Despite being something of a runner since my mid twenties - 4 London Marathons (slow but sure) and numerous half marathons and other races over the years I have had a stop/start running life of late. Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007 and then having a bad relapse in 2016 means keeping mobile and fit have been a struggle. Constant calf problems (of which more later) have not helped but having worked with some lovely people who are all parkrunners I finally decided to take the plunge today at Perry Hall.
I arrived nervous but excited after the alarm woke me ridiculously early for a Saturday. I was much too early - about 8.25 am - but was soon included into the parkrun spirit by being shown a) the toilets and b)the start line. Checking I had my bar code safe with me - I brought 2 copies just in case - I strolled to the start to meet my friend and ex work colleague, the wonderful Lorna Witter.

After explaining what happened at the start she then went off and embarrassed me by going for a warm up jog!! I stood chatting to other runners - all welcoming and friendly - and then moved to hear about the course. I must confess that I did not fully concentrate at this point as I was starting to get cold but determined just to follow the others. I made especially sure I knew who would be the tail end runner however! Then we moved towards the start where I was surprised to get a round of applause for being a first timer (along with a few others) and could not feel more relaxed and ready to run, which I did for a stunning 2 minutes 10 seconds before my left calf went "ping"!! Having suffered with this for years I knew that I should have stopped right then but the spirit of the challenge got the better of me and I struggled on - at first running on my heels and alternating it with walks up and down slight inclines (there are not many - it is a flat course really).

As I completed the first lap I realised that I could do this all the way and that I should just grit my teeth and get on with it. The wind seemed to be against us all whichever way we were running and as I was overtaken by runners with dogs, small children, runners with push chairs (heroic!!) and even St George I started to remember why I ran in the first place. Yes, its still one of the best ways to keep fit and healthy - even at 54 - but mostly it is for the buzz, the thrill, the satisfaction of a job completed. And mostly for the people you meet. Everyone at Perry Hall today was supportive, encouraging and positive in their outlook. They all looked ridiculously healthy and I was even able to catch up with a couple of people I used to teach a long time ago. I loved every second of it!
As I write this my left calf is the size of a small tree trunk and the ibuprofen is being wolfed down like mini eggs on Easter Day!!
But I tell you what - I will be back as soon as I can.
Graham Ayres - first timer but not the last timer.
Oh, and now I have a PB to chase!!!


Event 127 (15th April 2017) An ‘Eggstra’ special Easter Saturday parkrun at Perry Hall.

By Andrew Wadsworth

Arriving at Perry Hall on Easter Saturday, sunshine and blue skies greeted
me, although it has to be said it was a little cool in the breeze, I
started as normal with the finish area setup, and greeting some visitors.
So what made it special?, well as the title suggests chocolate eggs at the
end, and additionally the park setting up an Easter Egg hunt for children
later in the day. But, whilst chocolate is enjoyable what made it 'eggstra'
special for me were the wonderful runners and volunteers.

One of the roles carried out prior to the parkrun is a new runners
briefing,this week I was privileged to introduce parkrun and our course
at Perry Hall. I called new runners across to the end of the finish funnel
and they kept coming and coming, 32 in all! I have never seen so many new
runners and visitors from all around the UK, once again a big Perry Hall
welcome and the team hope you really enjoyed your stay with us and we will
see you again soon. 

Thank you also to all the runners for your kind words
and happy faces at the end of the run. Big thanks also to the runner who
passed a barcode and a car key to one of the marshalls at the end, we
reunited them with their relieved owner.

Huge thanks also to the wonderful team of volunteers who made the event
happen, it is often said that without volunteers the event could not
happen but it is so true. Many thanks also to the people who spoke to me
both before and after the event about wanting to help out one week, please
just send an email into perryhallhelpers@parkrun.com and we will include
you. All the roles are straightforward, if it is your first time the Run
Director for the day will give you a full explanation.

A personal note to finish, those of you who know me will be aware that I
am a keen runner, so why do I volunteer? Firstly I get to meet and
encourage the great community of runners at Perry Hall, (they give me
great feedback) and perhaps more importantly to play my small part in
ensuring this super event that we all treasure continues to take place
Saturday by Saturday. Its a great feeling once the run is over knowing
that I played my small part in supporting others in their particular
reasons for undertaking the event.
If you have not tried volunteering, please give it a go, I'm sure you
won't regret it.

This week 139 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 16 volunteers.

Male placings:
Robert Fairbanks (VM35-39) of Royton Road Runners, was first over the line in 18:22 - first appearance.
Derek Laverty (VM40-44) (Unattached) was second over the line in 19:18 - was first to finish once before.
Steve Pitt (VM45-49) of Royal Sutton Coldfield AC, was third over the line in 19:26.

Female placings:
Caitlin McMorrow (JW15-17) of Birchfield Harriers, was first (20th overall) over the line in 22:44 - 5th time in 19 appearances.
Kathryn Salt (SW25-29) of Birchfield Harriers, was second (29th overall) over the line in 23:38.
Ellie Richardson (SW20-24) (Unattached) was third (37th overall) over the line in 24:14.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Philip Allen (VM60-64) – 75.02% for the time 21:57 (13th overall).
Steve Pitt (VM45-49) – 73.50% for the time 19:26 (third overall).
Robert Fairbanks (VM35-39) – 73.23% for the time 18:22 (first overall).


Event 118 (11th February 2017) A tribute to parkrun volunteers.

By Amorelle Campbell


I would like to start my run report with a tribute to our parkrun volunteers, who selflessly stand in the cold cheering the runners on and ensuring parkrun goes smoothly week after week.

At Perry Hall parkrun there is a core team of volunteers. Emma Hawkey our Event Director, came to Perry Hall parkrun back in July 2015 as many of us did to participate in the run. At the time we were without an Event Director and after several months Emma took on the role. It was partly her mission to involve as many of the runners to get involved with volunteering and to encourage some to become run director, thus sharing the load of the weekly briefing and results processing.

The team of volunteers all drawing attention to our very special tail runner

At Perry Hall parkrun's second anniversary I was given an award from Emma and the volunteer team for generously giving up my runs for an impromptu volunteering role when there was a shortage of volunteers. I remember Emma stating she probably wouldn't do that herself if she had intended to run that day! However in my eyes she does much more, because she is at parkrun more often than not overseeing the good work everyone is doing, foregoing her own run and being unable to add to her run total.
Amorelle 2

Amorelle proudly receiving her Event Director's Award at the second anniversary event.

We have many Run Directors and regular volunteers. Some who are runners and some who solely volunteer. There are too many to mention individually but I have to mention my best parkrun buddy Julie Morris. She is not a runner but like me Julie has been at Perry Hall parkrun since it started and volunteers most weeks; I think if it wasn't for her giving me a big hug when I arrived and a bigger cheer as I ran towards the finishing funnel gasping for breath, I would have long since given up.

Julie giving Amorelle one of her famous hugs! Keep giving them out Julie - everybody loves them.

I cannot give a tribute to volunteers without mentioning Dave the Park keeper and his merry workers, they are the backbone of Perry Hall. Although Dave is not a volunteer he goes way beyond the call of duty to assist us. I only asked him if I could borrow a couple of flasks as I intended providing hot drinks to celebrate my 100th run. An offer of a gazebo, a table and many more unexpected items were given to me. I would also like to thank my friend Charlotte for coming along and manning the drinks station for me. Well done to all volunteers because without you we may never reach our goals.

Now for the run report;  I awoke in the morning to the sight of overnight snow, my heart sank as parkrun had been cancelled for two weeks previously, delaying my 100th run, I had looked forward to today being the day I achieved that milestone. I kept my eye on the phone waiting for the message that parkrun is cancelled. At 8am when no message had come through, I made my way down to the park, I saw that the finishing area was set up and it was confirmed to me the run was on.

Emma was Run Director and gave the run briefing which included an appraisal of me achieving my 100th run. Sadly she had to pass on the news that one of the parks much appreciated "Friends of Perry Hall Park Volunteers" had passed away earlier in the week. Sue lost her battle with cancer this week. She was always the first to be in the park to help with any voluntary work and described as a wonderful, kind person and one of Perry Hall’s great characters who brightened up the area.

A lovely montage of Sue and the Friends of Perry Hall.

A minute's applause in memory of her took place.

Runners lined up to start the run. I was tail runner along with Imogen Gunson, we walked around the course following the last runners/walkers. The front runners soon ran past us having done their first lap. It's not unusual for faster runners to give you a cheer and a well done as they run past you, however everyone ran past me with a well done and congratulations. This I think was due to the surprise signs Emma had made for me which I was wearing front and back. The signs said "I am Amorelle. It's my 100th" which was strategically placed above the parkrun sign.

The friendliness and the kindness did not end there, as a group of runners who had finished their run came back round the course to complete the run with me.  It's great to be part of this big family.


This week there were 91 runners, of whom 9 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different athletics clubs took part.


Thank you to this week’s volunteers:

Alan Sawojka  •  Amorelle Campbell  •  Andrew Wadsworth  •  Bob Robertson  •  Dee Allen  •  Denise Taylor  •  Dominic Ashton  •  Emma Hawkey  •  Imogen Gunson  •  Julie Morris  •  Marian White  •  Mark Haywood  •  Phil Thompson  •  Prue Shelley  •  Samantha Horsfall


PB corner:

Ruth Hogan   32:03

Janice McCreary   30:05

Julie Farnell   39:05

Julie Farnell   39:50

Julia Baker   31:42

Kathryn Salt   24:00

Jagruti Rana   42:28

Geeta Rana 42:34

Kit Hibbert   36:28

Alan Willetts   22:42

James Potter   24:59

Carol Thompson   40:17

Delores Cameron   45:55

Sandra Dunkley   53:42

Paul Hibbert   27:37

Janine Lowe   31:33

Elysia Dunkley   53:36

Stephen Baker   23:42


Male placings:

John-Paul Glassford (VM35-39) of Boldmere Bullets, was first over the line in 20:18 - first time in 21 appearances.
Austin Blackburn (VM45-49) of Gloucester AAC, was second over the line in 20:48.
Andrew Radford (VM35-39) (Unattached) was third over the line in 21:00.


Female placings:

Jennie Lloyd (VW35-39) (Unattached) was first (15th overall) over the line in 23:07 - 10th time in 41 appearances.
Kathryn Salt (SW25-29) of Birchfield Harriers, was second (21st overall) over the line in 24:00.
Susan Nuttall (VW45-49) (Unattached) was third (28th overall) over the line in 25:03.


Best Age Grade Scores:

Dave Ellis (VM55-59) was graded 73.51% for the time 21:16 (4th overall).
William O Sullivan (VM65-69) was graded 73.06% for the time 22:57 (13th overall).
Kevin Burke (VM55-59) was graded 71.09% for the time 22:22 (8th overall).

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