Raphael parkrun report #146

Last week saw the frustrating but very necessary cancellation of Raphael parkrun due to the snow and ice.  Fortunately this week conditions were much more favourable and parkrun was very much back on track, or should I say path! The park certainly looked a lot different from a week ago and thankfully the only evidence of the snow was the very soggy grass areas that the thaw left behind. Remember we can help keep Raphael Park at its beautiful best by trying not to walk on grass areas around the bandstand and start/finish area while conditions underfoot remain so wet. For those of you who didn’t get to see the conditions that led to the cancellation, check out the Raphael parkrun Facebook page for a video taken by Jacqui and Sharon when they went to do a recce.

The milder weather and better conditions saw 243 people run, jog or walk the course of which eleven ran their very first parkrun. We hope it will be the first of many to come. Of course, parkrun would not happen without the efforts of our wonderful volunteers – this week 21 hi-viz heroes deserve a big thank you, with a special mention to Adam COALS who joined the purple t-shirt club having now volunteered on 25 separate occasions. Well done Adam! Remember we always welcome volunteers and would love to hear from you if you would like to get involved – contact us on Facebook or email in to raphaelhelpers@parkrun.com

We were joined today by Nikki from parkrun sponsor Exodus Travels. It was good to have a look through their brochure and see all of the fabulous worldwide destinations where they offer adventure holidays. With all the cold weather recently it was nice to see some sunshine, if only in a photo!

So, to the run itself. 34 Personal Bests were recorded today – well done if one was yours! Havering Athletic Club were well represented in the top finishers this week. The first three male finishers were:

David JORDAN (SM30-34) with a time of 16:17 (80.14%) London City Runners
Matthew BLAND (VM50-54) with a time of 17:10 (86.60%) Havering Athletic Club
Dan SMITH (VM35-39) with a time of 17:37 (75.78%) Havering '90 Joggers

The first three female finishers were:

Emma PRIDEAUX (VW40-44) with a time of 18:23 (85.58%) Billericay Striders RC
Matilda CANTY (JW11-14) with a time of 20:20 (81.80%) Havering Athletic Club
Madeline BARKER (JW11-14) with a time of 20:48 (78.29%) Havering Athletic Club

Congratulations to the two newest members of the 50 club. Both Paul RAMONE GONZALES CHAVEZ and Robert GUINEY completed their 50th parkrun today – well done on your achievements!

We are very privileged to be able to use Raphael Park each week for our run but just a gentle reminder that we do share the park with other park users and we do not have priority over them!   The social aspect is one of the great things about parkrun, but please bear in mind that if you do run with others then it would be great if we could ensure that there is plenty of room on the path for other park users (even if this means going in single file for a few seconds while passing those coming the other way). This is especially important where the paths are narrow. Hopefully we will then be shown the same consideration in return and we will have many more incident free parkruns to come!

Looking forward to next week then… How many of us miss a Saturday morning lay in? Well, next week you can have an extra few minutes in bed, don’t bother changing into your running gear and come to parkrun in your pyjamas! Yes that’s right – in association with sleep partner Millbrook Beds, in celebration of National Sleep in day they are running a competition to win one of 5 King size limited edition parkrun Perfect 2000 mattresses. To enter, simply post a pic of yourself, friends or family in your PJs at your parkrun on www.facebook.com/millbrook.beds using #parkruninpjs Remember to tag your parkrun event, and then Millbrook Beds will choose the best five photos to win! T&Cs at http://parkrun.me/pn10r

Last week parkrun was not the only victim of the weather. The litter pick in the park also had to be postponed but has been re-arranged for next week (17th). This is a great way for us to show our appreciation for the park and we would love to see as many parkrunners as possible join the Park Manager at 11am at the main entrance. Litter pickers and hi-vis jackets will be provided and of course you may (or may not) wish to change out of your pyjamas first!!

Hope you have a good week and see you next Saturday.




Following a visit to Raphael Park by Jacqui, our Run Director this afternoon, we are sorry to announce that this week’s parkrun (3rd March) has been CANCELLED. The paths are in very bad condition and are extremely slippery. Unfortunately the weather is not expected to get any better in time for the paths to improve.

We hope to be back up and running as normal on 10th March.


Raphael parkrun Report #145

It was a deceptively cold one today. I know the forecast was for the temperature to be sub zero, but when I looked out the window before leaving this morning and saw no frost, I thought this can’t be too bad! I was wrong, and wished I had put another layer or two on! Well done to all our runners who braved the cold, and even more so to all our 27 volunteers who did an amazing job today (as always). Given the cold conditions, it was impressive to see so many PBs; 40 in total.

Today we saw 223 people run, jog or walk the course, and with our neighbouring parkrun, Harrow Lodge having re-started last weekend, after over a month of cancellations, our tourist numbers declined. Despite this, our attendance over the past two weeks has been consistent and up approximately 13% from this time last year. We also welcomed 14 first timers, and we hope this will be the first of many parkruns for you.

As David (our Run Director) mentioned at the run briefing, we are shorter than usual for volunteers over the coming weeks, so if you are injured, resting for another event, or just want to help out, please let the team know.


There were four milestones to celebrate this week, with the following runners joining the red t-shirt brigade:

  • Jamie AUSTIN completed his 50th parkrun and 40th at Raphael park today. He has 10 PBs so far, including running one today (smashing 86 seconds off his previous best!) and has volunteered 7 times.
  • Luke SUMMERS completed his 50th parkrun and 39th at Raphael park. He has 6 PBs to his name and has volunteered on 5 occasions.
  • Chris MORGAN ran his 50th parkrun today and 45th at Raphael park, completing his other 5 runs at Harrow Lodge. He has achieved 6 PBs to date.
  • Craig PARRETT completed his 50th parkrun and 27th at Raphael park. He has achieved an impressive 18 PBs, and achieved his 50 milestone quickly, given he only started his parkrun career in January 2017!

On the subject on milestones, you are probably aware of the delays with runners being able to claim their milestone t-shirts. The latest news on this front was communicated on Thursday (see link below). In short, parkrun expect their first batch of new milestone t-shirts to arrive next week, and a new system to claim t-shirts is expected to be in place around mid-March. So, please keep an eye out for further updates.


Today’s Results

Female placings:
(SW30-34) of Havering Athletic Club was first over the line in 17:15.
Morgan CAMPBELL (SW25-29) (Unattached) was second (8th overall) over the line in 19:38
Deborah COYLE (VW40-44) of Havering Tri was third (23rd overall) over the line in 21:19.

Male placings:
(SM25-29) (Unattached) was first (2nd overall) over the line in 17:25.
Adam BARTLETT (SM25-29) of Harold Wood Running Club was second (3rd overall) over the line in 18:34.
Dan MEREDITH (VM40-44) of Havering ’90 Joggers was third (4th overall) over the line in 18:43.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Faye Alexis FULLERTON (SW30-34) of Havering Athletic Club – 86.18% with a time of 17:15 (1st overall)
Morgan CAMPBELL (SW25-29) (Unattached) – 75.38% with a time of 19:38 (8th overall)
Dan MEREDITH (VM40-44) of Havering ’90 Joggers – 75.16% with a time of 18:43 (4th overall).

Fun Fact
Did you Know?
Well, this week not so much a fun fact, rather just a fact. As many of you know, my wife (Joyce TAN) and I are regular Raphael parkrunners. You may have also seen Joyce mentioned in Brynley and Rory’s run reports a few weeks ago (thanks both) that even though being heavily pregnant Joyce continued to run/jog/walk the 5k and completed her last parkrun despite being overdue. We are pleased to announce that Danielle Weien Fowler arrived on 8 February. Both Joyce and Danielle are doing well and we hope to all be back at Raphaels as a family in the near future. Many thanks to everyone for the support, best wishes and congratulations you have given us over the past few weeks and months.



Raphael parkrun report #144

A fine, crisp, chilly morning greeted the 221 parkrunners who joined us at Raphaels this week. We welcomed 23 runners/joggers/walkers who completed the course for the first time whether being their first ever parkrun or touring – we had visitors from as far as York and Poole!

There were 46 Personal Bests registered today including Ben DAVIS who took a whopping 10 seconds off the male course record, completing the course in 15:31 – fantastic running Ben!

Many thanks to one of our regulars, Tony RAWSON, who guided one of our VIP’s (visually impaired parkrunners), Severine RENARD, round the course today. Severine completed her 50th parkrun today and we were very pleased she chose to share this milestone with us! The other milestone being celebrated today was Jonathan PARSONS who ran his 100th parkrun. Well done to both of you on your achievements!

The top three age graded performances this week were:

Sydney FOLEY (JW11-14) who completed the course in 18:49 (84.85%)
Morgan CAMPBELL (SW25-29) who completed the course in 19:34 (75.64%)
Jane PLUMB (VW50-54) who completed the course in 25:25 (69.38%)

Ben DAVIS (SM18-19) who completed the course in 15:31 (85.93%)
Frank MCGOWAN (VM55-59) who completed the course in 20:02 (78.04%)
Ethan BRIEN (JM10) who completed the course in 21:12 (77.12%)

Thanks also to the 23 volunteers who braved the cold to ensure the event ran smoothly. We are short of volunteers over the coming weeks and would love to hear from you if you can help - please email in to raphaelhelpers@parkrun.com.

Did you know…. Since Raphael parkrun started on 2nd May 2015, 3,551 participants have completed 24,122 parkruns covering a total distance of 120,610 km, including 5,073 new Personal Bests.



Raphael parkrun report #143

A seriously cold start to Saturday with a temperature of -1! The lake may have been frozen over and the paths icy, but that did not deter a whopping 321 of you from getting out of bed to join us.

A SUPER impressive 65 of you achieved a PB this morning which is incredible considering how hard it is to run in such conditions – well done all of you!

A very big welcome to all the 31 first timers – whether a tourist to Raphael or new to parkrun altogether, it was great to see you at Raphael and hope to see you back soon.

The top three age graded performances were:

Emma PRIDEAUX (VW40-44) completing the course in 18:33 (84.82%)
Morgan CAMPBELL (SW25-29) completing the course in 19:41 (75.19%)
Tracy BAILEY (VW50-54) completing the course in 24:01 (71.55%)

Ethan BRIEN (JM10) completing the course in 20:43 (78.92%)
Robin MCNELIS (VM40-44) completing the course in 18:17 (76.94%)
Matthew BOWLES (JM15-17) completing the course in 17:55 (76.47%)

A momentous morning for milestones...

Ashani VAGHELA (junior) ran her 10th parkrun
David BLOGG and Robin MCNELIS both celebrated their 50th

congrats all and welcome to the milestone t-shirt club.

Also, Frank Schubert celebrated the huge achievement of his 250th parkrun! Frank is a tourist from Harrow Lodge (which remained closed for a 6th week) but was delighted to be joined by many runners from Harrow Lodge, Havering 90 Joggers, HWRC and of course the Raphael crew who have all become great friends over the last 5 years.  On Frank's behalf, a huge thanks to all of you who have supported him on his parkrun journey, proving we really are all one big happy family! (special thanks to Tracy for the cupcake).

Well done dad! I am very proud of you, you inspire me every week!

Harrow Lodge is due to be back open on Saturday 17th – As a tourist myself from Harrow Lodge I'd like to say thanks for having us over the last 6 weeks. It is great to see how successful Raphael parkrun has become, it's wonderful to know that there are so many people from Havering joining in with parkrun every week. I am sure we will see many of you very soon.

Keep on running!

Jodie Schubert

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