New portable PA system!

Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful parkrun community, we are now the proud owners of a portable PA system!! As we raised more money than we originally hoped for, we have been able to buy a much better model (a Behringer Europort MPA100BT) and we are sure that everyone will now be able to hear the run briefing loud and clear.

We would again like to thank each and every person/group that donated money to this fundraiser.  It is safe to say that every member of the Raphael parkrun team were overcome by the amazing generosity shown.

Now its over to Saturday's fabulous Run Director, MC Matt, for the inaugural amplified briefing...  See you then!



Raphael parkrun report #160

It was a lovely morning for a run, with the sun out in the park - well, initially anyway! Today, we had 298 people complete the course, including 30 first timers, with many tourists and 19 runners completely new to parkrun. Welcome to you all and hope everyone enjoyed yourselves. Sixty-four of you most certainly did, having achieved PBs this week. A few of our regulars with 50+ runs under their belts were part of this week’s PB list. As we know, PBs are often hard to come by after a while! Well done to Christopher King for breaking 19 minutes for the first time, and Danny Holeyman for shaving 2 seconds off his previous best.

As always, a huge thank you goes to all our volunteers. Sharon (our Run Director this week) and her team did an amazing job, ensuring we all stayed safe and avoided the fishermen, who are back after the close season. We could do with some more volunteers over the coming weeks, so please put your name down on the list in the bandstand or e-mail in

I am calling out the milestones from the past two weeks since I was unable to write a run report last week.

Milestones from this week:
• Joseph Grange (JM10) reached the junior 10 milestone this week, having completed 3 runs at Raphael Park, and others are Barking, Harrow Lodge, Hackney Marshes, Brentwood and Valentines. He also has completed 55 junior parkruns. He has 16 PBs in total, 4 at senior level (including one today) and has volunteered 5 times too.

• Stephen Cohen (VM55-59) completed his 50th parkrun, having run all of them at Raphael Park. He has 8 PBs and has improved his time by almost 4 minutes since his first parkrun.

• John Honyben (VM55-59) completed his 100th parkrun and 46th at Raphael Park, 45 at Harrow Lodge and 9 at Wanstead Flats. He has 13 PBs and has volunteered on one occasion too.

Milestones from 9 June
• Matthew Bowles (JM15-17) completed his 10th parkrun, all run at Raphael Park. He has 3 PBs, including equaling his PB of 17:40 on his milestone run.

• Linda Smith (VW60-64) completed her 50th parkrun and 6th at Raphael Park. She has also run at Harrow Lodge, Barking, and further afield at parkruns in Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia. She has 18 PBs and has volunteered on 5 occasions.

• Claire Perry joined the purple t-shirt club this week, having completed her 25th volunteer stint. Claire has undertaken most tasks at parkrun and we very much appreciate her efforts!

• Just a reminder that on 30 June, Harold Wood Running Club are taking over Raphael parkrun once again, and this time they are putting on a pacer event too. So, please add the date to your diary, and let the pacers help you to your next PB! Also, if you want to be a pacer, just e-mail in to see which time slots still need filling (it is not restricted to only Harold Wood Running Club members).

• Also, to reiterate the point mentioned at the run briefing each of the past few weeks - under 11s must run with an adult. This is for safety reasons and spot checks are being conducted.

Today’s Results

Male placings:
John Whitehead (SM25-29) of Havering Athletics Club was first over the line in 17:19 and achieved a PB!
Matthew Bowles (JM15-17) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:27 and achieved a PB!
John Barker (VM50-54) of Havering Athletics Club was third over the line in 17:49.

Female placings:
Sydney Foley (JW11-14) of Havering Athletic Club was first (20th overall) over the line in 19:58.
Madeline Barker (JW11-14) of Havering Athletics Club was second (31st overall) over the line in 21:12.
Rebecca Gray (SW25-29) of Hyde Park Harriers was third (36th overall) over the line in 21:40.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Findlay Mclaren (JM10) of Dagenham 88 Runners – 87.43% with a time of 18:42 (9th overall).
John Barker (VM50-54) of Havering Athletics Club – 84.10% with a time of 17:49 (3rd overall).
Joseph Grange (JM10) of Dagenham 88 Runners – 84.03% with a time of 18:47 (13th overall).

Fun Fact
Did you Know?

I know parkrun is a run event rather than a race, but I can’t help but notice that the quality of the field at Raphael Park has got better recently. Part of this is through more regular running and the number of PBs we see each week. This week, for example, we had 20 runners post times of sub 20 minutes! In addition, many of us seniors are being put to shame by the juniors! Six of the first 20 runners were juniors. Well done to Matthew Bowles, Luke Chester, Bobby Dailly, Findlay Mclaren, Joseph Grange and Sydney Foley for such amazing runs. In fact, 4 of you are already mentioned in the results section above.

Also, if you read down to this section on my run report from 4 June, you will remember me mention Findley Mclaren. He is only 10, and that day he ran a time of 20:22. Well, since then he has posted two PBs, one last week of 19:43 and another one this week of an astonishing 18:42! And the latest PB is a Raphael Park JM10 age category record. Great running Findley.

It is absolutely fantastic to see the juniors doing so well at parkrun but as mentioned above it is essential that all under 11s run with a nominated adult within arms reach at all times in the run. Yes juniors - you may have to slow down for your adult! This non negotiable rule is in place to protect the junior runners as well as other runners and volunteers and is also an insurance requirement. It's also important to remember that parkrun is just that, a run, and those who take part should be doing so primarily for enjoyment. It goes without saying that we love (and want) to see everyone's smiling faces each week!


Donations please for a portable PA system!


Donations please for a portable PA system!

Raphael parkrun is now regularly attracting around 300 runners each Saturday morning. It’s brilliant that so many of you join us each week, however it does mean it’s getting very difficult for everyone to hear the Run Briefing!

The Core Team have looked into various solutions and we have decided we’d like to purchase a portable PA system. The one we are thinking of purchasing (pictured below) costs £93.



We have no source of income (as parkrun is FREE!) so in order to purchase this we need donations from parkrunners please! Any amount, however small (even £1), would be very much appreciated.

To donate, please click the link below:

Then click on the picture in the middle of the page that says “Donate to parkrun”.


If you use the link above then 100% of your donation will go to Raphael parkrun.

Many thanks and happy parkrunning!

The Raphael parkrun Team


“Chase the pacer” week – 30 June 2018 – Harold Wood Running Club takeover


"Chase the pacer" week is back! Harold Wood Running Club have kindly offered to do a "takeover" of Raphael parkrun on 30 June 2018. They will filling many of the volunteer roles and will also be providing 8 pacers!

There are still plenty of pacer times available though, so if you would like to give pacing a go then please email and let us know what pace you would like to do.

We have lovely new pacer bibs!

Pacers of ALL speeds are required (between, say, 18 minutes and 40 minutes) so you do not need to be a fast runner. You just need to do your best to complete the run in the agreed time (at a fairly even pace, if possible). We recommend you take on a time that you're fairly comfortable running i.e. at least a couple of minutes slower than your usual 5km time.

Being a pacer counts towards both your running milestone t-shirt and your volunteering milestone t-shirt. And it is a great way to help other parkrunners achieve a personal best. Why not give it a go? :)

The list below will be updated as volunteer pacers come forward.


18 min -
19 min -
20 min - James COKER (HWRC)
21 min - Tony PANTON (HWRC)
22 min - Christopher KING (HWRC)
23 min - Mark FOWLER
24 min -
25 min - Tony RAWSON (HWRC)
26 min - Craig BROWN (HWRC)
27 min - Tony BROOKS (HWRC)
28 min - Gurjit Singh BANSAL (HWRC)
29 min - Paul JONES
30 min - Ruth QUINCE (HWRC)
31 min -
32 min -
33 min -
34 min -
35 min -
36 min - Denise LINAY
37 min -
38 min -
39 min -
40 min -



Raphael parkrun Report #158

Each week seems to be getting better and better as the records keep on coming. This week, Grant Twist (SM25-29) had an amazing run (he was the runner who lapped most of us, running past us like an express train!) Not only did he finish first and achieve a PB, but he also broke the course record, knocking 4 seconds off the previous best, clocking a time of 15:27. Congratulations Grant!
As runners started arriving for today’s run, at first it appeared as if the park had been invaded by dinosaurs, but it wasn’t long before it became clear that Harold Wood Running Club were celebrating a couple of milestones (details on that shortly) and this was their fancy dress theme. We see fancy dress themes fairly often from Harold Wood, but I really have to say, they surpassed themselves today in their efforts, particularly those runners in the inflatable dinosaur outfits. They can’t be easy to run in, but my son loved them and couldn’t stop pointing them out and waving to them on the way round.   So thanks for making his day!
Last week’s event nearly didn’t go ahead due to flooding of the lake, and similarly, this week’s run was in jeopardy due to the lack of volunteers until a few more kind people volunteered and saved the event from being cancelled. As Sarah mentioned at the run briefing, the event is only possible each week if we have a minimum number of volunteers. We need to give all the volunteers a big hand (not just this week but each week) since they are giving up their Saturday morning to ensure we can all run. As we know, most of the volunteers are runners too, but it is important that they have the opportunity to run too, so if anyone can give up a week or two to volunteer in the future, then please, please do. Plus, there is a lovely purple milestone t-shirt that you will have seen Sarah model very elegantly at the run briefing, if you volunteer on 25 separate occasions. If this isn’t selling it enough, volunteering is also a great opportunity to get to know some other people in the Raphael parkrun community that you may not have chatted with yet. And we are a great bunch. With the summer holidays fast approaching, this is a period where we are often short of volunteers, so please e-mail in, send a Facebook note, or jot your name on the volunteer board in the bandstand, and start volunteering!
Thankfully today’s event did go ahead and we saw 295 participants run, jog or walk the course, with an amazing 21 first timers. There were 46 PBs today, understandably lower than last week’s pacer event, but impressive, nevertheless.
A few milestones to shout out today. Craig and Jools were part of group from Harold Wood Running club celebrating their milestones in Flintstones and dinosaur fancy dress:

  • Craig Brown (SM30-34) ran his 50th parkrun and 38th at Raphael park. He has run at 7 other parkruns, achieved 11 PBs and volunteered 27 times to date.


  • Jools Witchalls (VM35-39)completed his 50thparkrun and 41st at Raphael park. He has also run at Harrow Lodge and Hadleigh. He has 11 PBs and has volunteered twice.


  • Simon Wan (VM40-44) completed his 100th parkrun and 53rd at Raphael park, another 40 at Harrow Lodge and others at Valentines and Canons Park. He has 19 PBs and has improved his time by approximately 4½ minutes still starting out.

  • Although not an official milestone, Awtar Bolina reached an outstanding achievement today, volunteering 100 times. Awtar is a local resident and can be seen at his usual marshalling post (at the main entrance to the park) almost every Saturday, come rain or shine. He always welcomes runners coming into the park encouraging them to ‘. . . go for a PB. You can do it!’ What is even more impressive is he continued to marshal whilst recovering from a broken foot. And despite all his volunteering Awtar has yet to run the course. Awtar, we are sincerely grateful for all the support you have given Raphael parkrun over the years and it is great to see your smiling face encouraging us to achieve our goals. Thank you from all at Raphael parkrun.

Today’s Results 
Male placings:
Grant Twist
(SM25-29) of Chelmsford AC was first over the line in 15:27 achieving a PB and a NEW COURSE RECORD!
Chris Wayman (SM30-34) (Unattached) was second over the line in 16:55
Stephen Philcox (VM50-54) of Ilford AC was third over the line in 17:39.
Female placings:
Morgan Campbell
(SW25-29) of Havering Athletic Club was first (13th overall) over the line in 19:41
Diane Mary Fairchild (VW45-49) of Thrift Green Trotters was second (48th overall) over the line in 23:14
Simone Hilliard (VW35-39) (Unattached) was third (52nd overall) over the line in 23:27
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Stephen Philcox (VM50-54) of Ilford AC – 84.89% with a time of 17:39 (3rd overall)
Grant Twist (SM25-29) of Chelmsford AC – 83.50% with a time of 15:27 (1st overall)
Findlay Mclaren (JM10) (Unattached) – 80.28% with a time of 20:22 (20th overall)
Fun Fact
Did you Know?
I know Findlay Mclaren is mentioned in the results section above, but I think his result is worthy of a special mention. He is only 10, and already running quicker than most of us can dream of. He ran the course in 20:22 today, and I’m sure he will continue to get quicker. He is not attached to any club yet (but I’m sure the talent scouts are keeping a close watch). Great work Findlay, and hope to see you back next week to break the 20 minute barrier!

⇐ Newer Posts