Peterborough parkrun #265 – Double Sash Run!

When I sat in my car at 6:00am I hadn't got a clue where I was parkrunning this morning as for the last two and a half years, like the Rolling Stones I have been on permanent tour!

It is not that I am not searching for the perfect parkrun - I am sure if I asked runners at each venue I have visited they would say their parkrun is perfect! Hopefully my constant traveling isn't that I am unwelcome at my home parkun – that is if they even remember me. But collecting different parkrun events has become a hobby – after two years on the road and over 100 different venues maybe it is now an obsession!

Once I had a spreadsheet of must visit venues – postcodes and average Google maps travelling time – mainly based on their region but as I have now collected all the East Midlands and West Midlands my list has fallen away a little and my tourism is somewhat haphazard!

As I sat in my car I pulled up the amazing parkrun tourist tool website to locate my 20 nearest events not yet done – number 15 – Peterborough and as luck would have it a vacancy on the roster for a report writer...

Postcode into Google Maps, Tony Blackburn's Sound of the Sixties playing on the radio and I was off – leaving the rest of my usual touring party at home – who organises things for parkrunday morning?

I arrived early! In fact before the £1 parking for parkrun deal started. I risked it as the lure of facilities called (for other tourists reading this report – open & clean :D what more could a tourist need?) Thankful the code still worked at 10:40 when I left!

Then as with any tourism the challenge is find the start. Checking the website it said by the café. It didn't lie as there was one of the set up team sticking in the New Runners Briefing sign and parkrun flag! Soon I found the Ian DAVIES this week's RD and Nona BOWKIS the Volunteers Coordinator and managed to grab the vacant Report Writers role.

A sensible runner having all the extra time would run through a mobilisation drill, carry out a gentle warm up, add in some dynamic stretches and be primed and ready to run at 9am. The only muscles I warmed up were in my jaw as I chatted to volunteers and fellow parkrunners – Peterborough parkrun people are just so friendly.

Soon enough 8:50 came round and time to listen to Joanna SELLS' first timers briefing. As I was totally clueless about the course, as I hadn't looked at that part of the website, the breifing is very helpful. But even more helpful for:- Alex SNITCH, Anne COLES, Carey SMITH, Caroline MCSORLEY, Clare WHITE, Cordelia KEBER, Emma SWAIN, Hazel MARRANER, Jacob MEHMED, Jimmy ADAMS, Josh NEWTON, Kathryn ROWE, Lexie SADDINGTON, Louise PRICE, Lucy MARRANER, Nicola FRANCIS, Olivia WALKER, Rebecca MARTIN, Samantha SEVERN & Shannon MANNING as they used their barcodes for the first time. So a huge WELCOME to them for join the parkrun family today.

The main run briefing is important to listen out for any safety information the RD needs us to hear, a great opportunity on mass to thank the volunteers & to hear any runners who reach their milestones, official ones and unofficial. Today 7 runners reached double figures on their parkrun count, but only Robert Bates gets a white shirt icon attached onto his results page (and soon hopefully his parents can order a t-shirt) as he is a Junior runner – sorry Danielle HUNTER, Laura CATTRALL, Louise MORGAN, Reachel KENNY, Samantha OWEN & Susan MASHFORD you are no longer juniors – but well done getting to 10. Four runners hit the 50 milestone... but only one mentioned it to the RD so got to wear a bright pink sash. Don't be shy when you hit a milestone speak up (or friends speak to the RD for you ;-) ) 50 and 100 are a lot of commitment on a Saturday. So well done to Asha N PATEL, Ian SWIFT, Karl BOLDERSON, Kayleigh GARZIA & Sue DRAKE for getting to Red – later this week your link might go live to order your shirt so keep checking so you can wear it with pride. I hit an unofficial milestone my 200th run – hence the double sash effect as I ran. A huge thank you to everyone on course that congratulated me. But to be honest the congratulations are to the parkrun organisers and volunteers each week for these wonderful events it has totally changed my life from couch potato to marathon runners!

After a short walk down to the start soon the cacophony of GPS watch bleeps signalled the start of the run on this glorious summer day. After doing the first loop and passing the 1km marker I was already drenched in sweat and panting. Over the next two kilometres I decided I may need to revaluate my post parkrun café. As the leaders looped back past on the right almost effortlessly I realised that I might just need to stick to a skinny latte and hold off on the cake or full English breakfast.

The course was beautiful in the summer sun. I love a water feature and the lakes at Ferry Meadows Country Park provided a picturesque back drop for the run, slightly numbing the pain of the effort I was putting in as I huffed and puffed my way around the course.

As I was making my way around the square lollipop park of the course, first time parkrunner? - Jimmy ADAMS (SM30-34) was racing home in 17:35. As I had to walk a slight incline, Lauren ROSE (SW30-34) finished in 35th place over all in 21:11 to be first lady. As I started the long last 1km run to the finish Morag O'BRIEN (VW25:52) finished in 25:52 but with an age grading percentage of 80.80 %. Superb running!

Returning to Ham Bridge I decided to take a sneaky walking break – parkrun is for runners, joggers and walkers – up the slope. Into the bridge I suddenly felt all wobbly I was fearful that maybe I was suffering heat stroke – but then I twigged that the bridge was bouncy – so when I reach the top and started running again I did with a giggle – and a worry that I might catapult another runner off (thankfully that didn't happen!)

A few times around the course I took a walk break panting noisily in the summer sun and on each occasion a fellow runner or two slowed to check I was okay. This spirit of looking after each other on the run is what I have found at each and every parkrun I have visited – no wonder I have wanted to run each week. Thank you all.

During my walk break I pondered how anyone could run a PB in the searing heat. But 64 runners did manage it today including S CLIFFORD (VW45-49) who running her 130th parkrun (127 at Peterborough) ran a PB her 9th PB this year – great running and I imagine hard training.

My keenness to grab the report writer slot is not to gain a volunteer credit – (It is another role you can run and get a volunteer credit) – I gained my Aubergine a while back but to offer proper thanks to the band of Hi Viz heroes that make the run possible. As I run I do try and thank every marshal I pass but just as today I am often barely able to run and breathe. So a huge THANK YOU to :- Arron FRIEND • Barry LANE • Bianca HOUSTON • Billy SLAVEN • Brian CAINE • Claire SIBLEY • Craig SELLS • David PARKES • Dominic MOSZKAL • Frazer BURLINSON • Geoff HOWES • Henry MOORE • Ian COOPER • Ian DAVIES • James SELLS • Jill WOTTON • Joanna SELLS • Julie SMITH • Katy WILD • Lee JONES • Lorna YOUNG • Marc HORNER • Mark SHORE • Melanie FERMOR • Nick WELFORD • Nigel SUNMAN • Nona BOWKIS • Oliver STOCKELL • Paul STOCKELL • Pauline CAVANAGH • Peggy STARR • Penny ROWE • Petra ELLEN • Roy YOUNG • Simon PARKES • Sophie WATSON • Steve ELLEN • Toby STOCKELL • Tracy MOORE • Trudi MAPLES • Vicki REED who made this event possible. As with parkruns around the world if you fancy giving scanning a go, fancy being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please look on the roster and e-mail - Don't worry if you are unsure what to do the Run Director and Volunteer coordinator will happily show you what to do.

After the run I headed over to the café and what a treat – superb cakes and a great breakfast selection – and 10% off with your barcode. However the huffing and puffing around today was still in my mind, so I decided it was best to forgo the Full English and a cake to follow and went for a latte and toast (well best not to make too many radical changes all at once.) And sat down to a lovely chat with some more cheerful Peterborough parkrunners.

I had a superb time visiting your parkrun today. Thank you for being so friendly and welcoming. Happy parkrunning.

Daniel Connolly


Peterborough parkrun #264

With just one month to go before Peterborough's parkrun's 5th anniversary, Run Director Roy Young set us off on event number 264. Having seen Roy happily volunteering in one capacity or another on pretty much every parkrun I've attended at Peterborough, I checked out his stats to find that whilst this may have been his first time as Run Director, he has volunteered in 219 roles since 2015. In the same time he has run 117 times which is proof, if it were needed, that there are roles where you can both run and volunteer, especially if you are fast as that adds funnel manager and barcode scanning to the possible roles, as you can help out with these after your 20 minish run before the majority of runners start to cross the finish line.

Obviously there are always a host of volunteers every week (Roy's wife Lorna is another regular volunteer). When I struggled round my first parkrun back in 2013, it was suggested that people should try and volunteer at least 3 times a year. If all this week's runners did that, Laura & Co would pretty much have the rota covered for the next year. If you have thought about volunteering but are unsure for whatever reason, the core team are super friendly and you can shadow a role before taking it on. Why not check the roster and give it a go.

So, while it may have been Roy's first time as Run Director, it was also the first parkrun for 43 runners who made up part of the 536 of us who ran, jogged and walked our way around the pretty Ferry Meadows in what was ideal weather for sunbathing!

Among those 43 First Timers were 10 ladies from my club, Sawtry Walk To Run, who had just finished their 12 week None To Run programme. All did amazingly well with two of the ladies finishing in sub 30 and the lovely Liz, who like the others, only took up running in April came home with our very own club tail walker Sue, in a time of 50.26 giving her an age grading in the VW65 -69 category of 41.44%. Impressive stuff.

Heading the 536 strong pack this week were two 'unknown' runners who, when they flew past me on their way to the finish before I'd even got near to the 2k marker, were wearing Helpston Harrier vests. These guys as a group are super fast as their stats from the recent Green Wheel Relay will testify. The first named runner home was Oliver Mason of Peterborough AC with a PB of 18.09. Well done Oliver. First lady home this week was Jordan Foster of Nene Valley Harriers who was fifth overall with a time of 18.26, just 20 seconds outside her PB which was set in cooler temperatures back in March. Jordan also topped the age grading table this week with an impressive age grade of 80.29%.

In summary, we had 536 runners, 43 first timers and, despite the heat, 39 PBs. 33 different clubs and groups were represented and a total of 36 volunteers kept it all safely ticking over. Congrats to all of us!



Happy Birthday Ferry Meadows

In addition to Ferry Meadows 40th birthday, a few milestones to recognise from parkrun #263 ....

10 Club


50 Club



Nichola GIBSON

100 Club

Alison BURTON - New PB!

Richard BURTON


Congratulations everyone and well done, hopefully we'll see you in your new parkrun club shirts soon.


(Better late than never) Run Report #256 (26/5/18)

A huge thanks to everyone that came forward to volunteer this week!

After a post on our Facebook volunteer group and a post on the main Facebook page, as well as an email appeal, by Friday morning we still did not have enough volunteers.

It was decided that the run must go on! But the volunteers that were due to help around the finish area would have to be redeployed around the course as marshal to ensure a safe run...meaning no time keepers and no finish positions.

However, a last minute plea on Friday morning meant that we had a full contingent of high-vis heroes to allow the event go on as usual!

It's never too early to put yourself forward to volunteer. It means a have a less stressful week trying to get enough helpers together by Friday afternoon when I send the email out to everyone with all the instructions and the code for the free parking.

This week the event was under the eyes and ears of Run Director, Steve Megson. Arriving early we had Roy and Lorna Young, Peter Brantom, Lee Jones (who earned his purple volunteer t-shirt for now having volunteered on 25 separate occasions, thank you Lee), Brian Caine and Sarah-Jane Gill to set up the course. This role means that many of the helpers will then run too and some will volunteer in an additional role.

The first timers were greeted by Gary Parr who explained how our parkrun works...everyone please quietly listen to the main run brief, start in an appropriate and safe place, run on the path following the runner in front/directional arrows/marshals instructions, children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult, one dog per runner and must be kept on a short lead. The important rule…no barcode, no time, no exception.

As well as the safety announcements and thanks during the run brief, Steve also asked if there were any milestone runs this week…

621 runners then set off for their 5k run/walk/jog. Cheered on by some regular marshals…Roy Young, Pauline Kennedy, Niamh McDonald, Brett Baines, Frazer Burlinson, Andrew Hawkins, Sue Pawson and Richard Taylor, and some who were marshalling for the first time…Sarah Baines, Daniel Benning, Alison Rye, Gill Searl and Susan Stevens.

Thankfully, due to enough people coming forward to help, it meant that we were able to give everyone a time this week. Michaela Parr and Mia Purnell were your timekeepers on Saturday and I’m sure the fact that they have volunteered in this role almost 30 times between them (plus other roles) tells you how much they enjoy it – and that it’s not as scary as it sounds.

Handing out the finish tokens this week were regular volunteers Ben McCann and Lee Jones. Ensuring that everyone stays in order down the funnel is extremely important to everyone receiving the correct results which is why we try to have plenty of funnel managers. The funnel managers encourage everyone to keep moving down the funnel when they have crossed the finish line, stay in order, and not duck out of the funnel before receiving a token. This week Laura Whale, Lizzy Threadgold and Sam Jacklin manned the funnel from the start, soon to be joined by Shaun Walton after finishing in an uncredited second place (as he forgot his barcode), Martin Gichuhi in third place and one of our core volunteer team members, Billy Slaven (who has volunteered around 80 times and was completing his 32nd run).

We also had Dominic Moszkal running first then volunteering…quite literally running first. Dominic was first time finish with a new PB on Saturday and then went straight over to join his other half, Sophie Watson barcode scanning. Marc Horner also ran and then immediately grabbed a high-vis and a scanner and helped too. Regular volunteer, James Sells was writing down the unscanables barcodes this week. If a barcode won’t scan then James takes down the details and these have to be manually entered into the results. As you can imagine, this can take quite some time, especially if there are a lot to do one morning. This can usually be avoided by ordering the parkrun cards/wristbands/trainer tags.

Some of you may have been pounced on by one of the number checkers as you walked down the funnel. Nona Bowkis, Gina Crane, Sam Webster and myself were running up and down the funnel trying to see if we were staying in sync between the timers and the tokens. We pick runners at random, note down the watch position and time as you cross the line, then see what token position you get. We of course have to find out your name but hopefully we leave you enough time to get your breath back as you walk down the funnel before we do this! It’s a really fun and active volunteer role and a personal favourite of mine!

Ensuring that the last parkrunner is supported throughout, was Kayleigh Draper who was the tail walker. Kayleigh also collected some of the signs as she made her way back which helped Peter Brantom out who was responsible for the post-event close down.

Better late than never…congratulations to Elaine Nash on completing her 50th parkrun and to Jacqui Smith for completing her 100th parkrun!

Laura Whitton, Peterborough parkrun volunteer co-ordinator


Peterborough parkrun #261 – At last its 250

1. Pre-Event

a. Although approaching 69 I awoke today like a kid at Xmas and duly arrived at parkrun a little after 7.00am with my usual flask of coffee to have before the run. Something about the long days and the beauty of Ferry Meadows always enthral me at the tranquil times before many people arrive. Shortly before 8 the warden opens up the equipment store and with the help of the other members of the setup team we get out and transport all the equipment off to the area just outside the café. Under the guidance of Roy Young the team move off to perform their various tasks. Mine is normally to help transport equipment up to the finish area for lay out of the funnel, cones and yellow flags. Twenty minutes later and we are all back and reporting into the volunteer co-ordinator who is now busy assigning tasks to the other volunteers. In fact to the other parkrunners this is just another Peterborough parkrun.

b. Put on the ‘doctored’ 50 shirt with numbering sourced by Paul for us both to wear and applied by my wife Anne to reduce air pollution that otherwise occurs if such a job left to me. Meet and greet fellow parkrunners smiling and talking of our achievement. Start to get worried as Paul Stevenette not there by nearly 08.45am.

c. Anxiety lifted as Paul, in matching red, but more upmarket Adidas version, arrives and introduces me to his band of family and friends and, of course, the 3 numerical helium balloons. Paul takes charge and we move over to the parkrun flag where photographs of us together sharing the event before start are taken.

d. Paul seeks out his ‘pacemaker’ Phil Neacy, who will attempt to make the day even more special by achieving a PB. I seek out Martin Shelbourne, who despite injury says he would like to share the event and run round with me like we did in 2013 before his problems started

2. The Run itself

a. Paul runs well for a large part of the run only to ‘run out of steam’ late on and miss out by a few seconds. My journey with Martin ends at 3k when an attempt to slightly accelerate by slowing participants leads to a severe calf pull and he has to walk. I get steadily worse but continue on to finish which was my only target today.

3. Post-Run

a. Get scanned. Pass pleasantries as usual with fellow finishers and the volunteer team. Accept and enjoy the acknowledgement of the others on today’s achievement. Move over to Paul and his entourage to discuss today and have photos taken of us together after the run. Paul and group go off home and reiterate that can come round as soon as volunteering duties completed to share ‘Brunch’ with them all. With Roy we both have a coffee supplied by Lorna his wife while we complete another Close Down which am proud to say was, for me the, 150th recorded occasion. However this is one job where one person tends to get credit but many hands work together to ensure done quicker as they are great volunteers happy to get a record of helping on the day with just one task but in reality multi-tasking to ensure event goes smoothly. My friend Roy can be no better example. Today our coffee club was reduced by the missing Martin rushing home to deal with his injury and Peter and Sue off on Grandparent duties. After duties complete I bid my farewell and cycle off to Paul’s house.

4. Brunch Celebration

a. I duly arrive and am made instantly welcome as an ‘honoured’ guest and enjoy my food and drink. More photos are taken and discussions about today and various other people from the Parkrun fraternity. A key mention was made of the man who got us all started at Peterborough, Gordon Pearson who elsewhere achieved a tremendous achievement of joining a ‘100’ club…………….those who have visited 100 different parkruns………..Wow. Celebratory cakes are brought out and more photographs of us together. I then have to take my leave as have visitors soon to arrive back home but am pleased to say I shared my achievement and that made it so much more special. Thanks to Paul and family.

5. What it means

a. Today was an historic moment for Peterborough parkrun when the first participant based at Peterborough achieved the 250 parkrun tally and qualified for the green tee-shirt. This honour went to Paul Stevenette but the second to achieve it, Peter Brantom, was only 4 minutes behind as both achieved their target on the same day. These milestones are personal to those achieving them but whereas a 50 equates to a year and a 100 to 2 years this represents the best part of 5 years to achieve and so shows a certain amount of relentless dedication. What it also means is that to achieve in the shortest possible time requires not to give up a run and so goes against the principal of volunteering support. That being said both of the people celebrating today are proud holders of the purple vest for volunteering as both have performed support functions that still enable them to run……………mainly set up and close down.

b. I had hoped to sneak under the radar and celebrate with a few close friends but Paul Stevenette made me realise that it is an achievement that others may well appreciate. You may have seen his friends and family on the course today and we both found their support welcome as too was that from others we don’t personally know. Many thanks from us both. As usual thank you Roy for putting us down in chalk on the start line to help make today even more special.

6. Pauls Journey

a. Our journeys could not have been more different as Paul was someone who really started running with Peterborough parkrun on 26th October 2013 starting with a recording of 27.39 and an age grading of 52.50%. I think he enjoyed the experience for apart from 4 occasions when unable to run because of family holidays he has run at a parkrun every week since. During this time he has recorded 19 PBs with the last being the 22.19 he recorded at the 22nd October 2016 parkrun. That gave him his current best Age Grading in his VM50-54 age group of 66.12%. He has also travelled as a tourist to 19 other parkruns some of which he has multi visited. 175 of his runs have been at Peterborough where he has gained his purple tee shirt for helping on setup but also as a pacer and tail walker.

7. Peter’s Journey

a. My journey has been that of someone who has just been in love with running since a toddler. This love saw me enjoy running at school and college but then stop until reactivated by the first Great Eastern ½ marathon in the early eighties. I then joined PAC so could train to get better and have remained one of their club members ever since. Was nearly 64 when fellow club member Kay Gibson told me about parkrun at Ferry meadows? I duly went and did the first one and told my wife that it seemed a good one and could do occasionally. In the first 20 I missed 8 so was not yet completely hooked. Being 13 stone and not training much I was more than happy to run 25.09 in an age grading of 65.47% on my first run. In the early days I developed a rivalry with a well-known ‘retired ‘ pole vaulter and decathlete who used to compete for NVH …………..that being our celebrated volunteer Martin Shelbourne. Our competitiveness resulted in bringing my weight down, my time down and a number of PBs for both before his long term injury stopped him being competitive. I ‘soldiered’ on alone and was able to reach my final PB on 5th April 2014 with my 22.46 and Age Grading of 72.99%. From that point on have been beset by injury problems and changed my emphasis from being competitive to completion of a run. Of my tally 212 have been done at Peterborough with the other 38 at only 10 other venues some of which have multi visited. Like Paul I have really enjoyed pacing, tail walking and setup but my main volunteering role has always been close down.
The Normal Event

With the closure of Rutland today expectation was that maybe 700 might descend on our run but that was not the case and it was slightly lower at 557. We had 41 first timers today with 24 doing their first ever parkrun. Hope you enjoyed the experience and will come back again soon. A massive 109 happy people got a brand new PB

There were lots of other important milestones today with the ‘official’ 50 achieved by Tony Daniels of PACTRAC and the ‘official’ 100 achieved by Dawn Friend from Yaxley Runners & Joggers, Neil Wade, Rob Van Duyn from Werrington Joggers, and Shane Goldsmith from Bushfield Joggers plus the ‘unofficial’ 150 achieved by Petro Bartozyk from Yaxley Runners & Joggers

On the age graded sort 25 athletes got over 70% and one was over 80%. The top 3 were Morag O’Brien with 82.01%, Phil Martin with 77.92% and Chris Bevan with 77.01%.

In the run itself I was saddened to see that ninth over the line we had an Unknown runner. Throughout the 557 participants were a total of 33 who will have no record of the days run and reminds all #DFYB.

First over the line today was Chris Bevan in 16.45 from Phil Martin (PAC) in second and Brian Corleys from Bushfield Joggers in third. The ladies were led home by Steph Parker in 19.54 in 17th place overall followed in second by Laura Whitton from Vegan Runners in 41st position and Matilda Manning in 55th position with her new PB of 22.06.

A recent initiative on the results page is the publication of those who have received the purple 25 volunteering milestone tee-shirt. It was interesting to see that of the 557 participants’ today 29 have achieved this. A breakdown of this shows 3 also have a 250 vest 19 also have a 100, 6 also have a 50 vest and 1 has only this vest so far. Unfortunately this statistic does not show the full story as we are not aware how many of the volunteers manning tasks that don’t allow a run as well have also achieved this superb level of event support.

If you too would like to help then please email, or check out the. If you’re not sure what positions are available then you can check the roster on for up to 6 weeks in advance. Let’s see if we can fill up some of those spaces nice and early.


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