The Class of 2017

So today was a funny day really with lots of reflection, it started off with marshalling at the top of the hill with the very funny Alan McCarthy, along with the endless clapping and words of encouragement we also shared lots of laughter in fact I couldn't think of anyone else to marshal with I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Straight after marshalling I had to call at the bank in St Helens, on leaving the town I was held up by lots of new graduates whom were graduating from the University Centre in St Helens and as I looked at these newly qualified students all clutching their certificates I thought of how we are all graduates of parkrun, swapping our caps and gowns for trainers and running clothes and our certificates for barcodes, and yes just like those we also have our very own pass system, we have our First Class Honours, upper seconds, lower seconds and thirds but more importantly we all graduate from the same place week in week out and should all be just as proud for our great running achievements.

As I approached the Bandstand I followed the ever reliable stalwart Bert who was limping to the Bandstand to again give up his Saturday morning so that we can all run although I'm sure he also gets as much of a thrill out of this as do you as a runner, and not just Bert but all the other marshals who week after week give up their time for your enjoyment, also the Run Directors who work tirelessly to bring parkrun to St Helens every Saturday, in fact there is a vacancy for an extra couple of Run Directors so if you think you have the qualities and skills necessary please drop an email to for full details.

As we gathered around the Bandstand before today's run we heard of 13yr old Catherine Ainley doing her 10th parkrun also we had celebrating her 50th parkrun Julie Zdrenka who with a fab time of 25:41 was just 4 seconds outside her PB a great great effort especially with it being so warm this morning, and I'm not sure I could write a report without mentioning our very own Ava Smith celebrating her own (unofficial) 50th parkrun and in true tradition she brought cake :)

And now down to the Nuts & Bolts of our run, today we saw a magnificent 300 people participate with our leading male in a steady time of 17:14 Matthew Crehan, our leading Lady who came home in a fab time of 21:48 was our very own Chester Marathon heroine Hazel Fairhurst who just seems to go from strength to strength, and our leading junior runner again is Wigan Harriers protégé Joel Pollard in a marvellous time of 21:53, and despite the unseasonably warm weather there was an 33 amazing PB's you should all take a bow.

So it just remains for me to say congratulations to the class of 2017 you did it and once again you're amazing....

This week’s fabulous volunteers were......

Adam HUGHES  •  Andrew WOLFENDEN  •  Andy HURST  •  Anita HALL  •  Christina JACKSON  •  David LOCKETT  •  Eve WINSTANLEY  •  Frank MCALLISTER  •  Gill DRILLINGCOURT  •  Hazel FARLEY  •  Herbert HOLLAND  •  Jack HIBBS  •  John BARR  •  Kate NICKLIN  •  Mark HALL  •  Mark LIPTROT  •  Mark MOFFATT  •  Nigel HERBERT  •  Richard AYLETT  •  Talia MEHAY  •  Thomas WILSON  •  Tom HIBBS  •  Vicky HEWITT  •  Vivianne CARVALHO




It could be you!

Hi all,

We are looking for an extra Run Director or 2 at St Helens parkrun. If you are interested in applying please email: Details of what’s involved are below, please make sure that you can commit to it 100% before applying. Full training will be provided, it’s extremely fulfilling and once you’ve done a couple it’s quite straightforward. You will probably be on duty every 4 or 5 weeks.

No prior experience is needed, but as ED, I have to ensure that anyone who applies can manage the role and maintain the standards already set by our great Core Team. Therefore, I reserve the right to say "sorry, but no" if I don't think that you meet the criteria.



General Responsibilities

-        Adhere to the parkrun Code of Conduct and maintain the spirit of St Helens parkrun

-        Ensure that the run goes ahead smoothly and safely above all other priorities.

-        Report any issues or concerns to the Event Director (Ant).


-        Liaise with the previous RD and arrange to collect the bags.


-        Arrive at 7.30am to unlock the lodge and set up the course.

-        Check the course for any risks and decide Go / No Go.

-        Liaise with the Volunteer Co-Ordinator to ensure that we have cover in the right places (if needed).

-        8.50am - Deliver 1st timers briefing

-        9.00am - Deliver main briefing

-        9.05am – Set the run off and continually monitor safety, volunteers and lead runners. As the run progresses, ensure that the Funnel is managed effectively and that the team are all doing the right things.

-        Post-run: Pack the Trolleys, return the kit to the lodge and lock up. Usually finished by 10.30am latest.

-        Return home and process the results including manual entries. Usually takes no more than 20 minutes.

-        Report any “incidents” to HQ and Liaise with them in the event of any issues.

Saturday Evening

-        Check emails for any runners reporting valid issues.

-        Sort out the tokens – takes about 30 mins in front of the TV

-        Recharge the kit


-        Liaise with next week’s RD to swap the bags over

Occasional Tasks

-        Read Core Team Update emails

-        Very occasionally meet the Core Team to discuss upcoming events

Because of the above, applicants should be:

-        Very Organised

-        Willing to take responsibility

-        Good communicators

-        Team Players

-        Assertive – “No barcode, No result”


Rain never stops play! Run Report by Richard Aylett.

Wow what a difference 7 days can make, so after the autumnal weather we woke up to before last week’s parkrun, this week we woke up to a collection of Nimbus Clouds which are the scientific name for rain clouds derived from the old Latin word meaning "rain storm" yes winter nights really do fly by in my house....

So a very wet Saturday morning and as I had already decided I wasn't going to run I grabbed a raincoat and umbrella and headed to our favourite Saturday morning meeting place yes it's time to rendezvous at The Bandstand, it never fails to surprise me how many people turn up in bad weather to participate from serious fleet of foot runners to dog walkers and more importantly our volunteers who by enlarge are just going to stand in the rain for the next 45+ minutes encouraging each and every one of you which I can assure you with rain dripping off the end of your nose most certainly isn't an easy task, our Run Director this week was the unmistakable Vicky looking resplendent in her hiviz jacket forever the professional.

So after the mornings announcements and directions as this week we are running the B Route, so off everyone went to the new starting point on Franks corner and at that point I decided to find a different position to take pictures, I planted myself next to a tree by the duck pond. As the runners passed me I took as many pictures as I could all the looks of determination and smiley faces are really what make this the place to be, the quicker runners are as always very mechanical in their approach and seem to fly by effortlessly, I know I mentioned them last week but watching the Pacers run by with their group of runners and the thrill that awaits them as they maintain the pace and reach their goals is really a sight to behold, again the Pacers were all within their respective times with John Simpkin only 1 second different that takes amazing running disciplines, so if you want to be paced you're most definitely in good company I can guarantee they will not only run with you but they will encourage you every step along the way.

Well anyhow back to the business in hand and our first male over the line was Ben Sache in 16:46 just one second outside of his PB which in those conditions was a fab achievement, our First Lady over the line was our very own Pocket Rocket Hazel Fairhurst in 22:49 and our first junior over the line with a new PB of 24:48 on his 10th parkrun the fantastic Bobby Birkett, I will never tire of using such superlatives especially to our junior runners who really are the lifeblood of parkrun.

This week we saw an incredible 204 runners take part which included 28 new PB's which in those conditions are even more special if you can smash your PB in those conditions you can look forward to even better times to come. I know I say it on every run report but a massive respect to all the fab volunteers whom not only stand here supporting you week in week out but as proven do it in all weathers #thanksyourock and if you would also like to give a little something back and become one of our volunteers you would be welcomed with open arms you just need to email

This weeks superstars were.......

Adam HUGHES  •  Alan APPLETON  •  Andrew WOLFENDEN  •  Ashley HUGHES  •  Brian DAVIES  •  Carla DORAN  •  Christina JACKSON  •  Eve WINSTANLEY  •  Gabrielle TABERNER  •  Herbert HOLLAND  •  Jack HIBBS  •  Janice ASHTON  •  Joe SMITH  •  John SIMPKIN  •  Karen HARRISON  •  Mark HALL  •  Nigel HERBERT  •  Paul MEEHAN  •  Philip RAY  •  Rachel IRWIN  •  Steven TILLEY  •  Tom HIBBS  •  Tom SHARPLES  •  Vicky HEWITT  •  Zoe SIMPKIN and Richard AYLETT.


parkrun #169 Familiar Faces in Familiar Places

Well after a 4 wk lay off I eagerly headed to Vicky Park this morning , in fact my morning started well, looking on Facebook I saw that Vicky had already started the brews and then looking out of my bedroom window I noticed a mist had engulfed the horizon a sure sign that autumnal weather was on the way so I would certainly look forward to a hot cuppa at The Bandstand.

Unfortunately I couldn't run today as I had an appointment around 9.45 but thankfully that still left me some time to take in the parkun atmosphere at its finest, I got to the park at around 8.45 as per usual I passed a couple of runners en route I'm not sure about you but I can't pass a runner now without craning my neck to see if I know them or not or just to look at their technique I always remember John Barr putting something on Facebook about Choo Choo arms and strangely I always look to see how their arm movement is, I recognised one of the girls running it was Julie Barton who then went and ran a parkrun sub 30 5k which I think always shows how incredible runners are.

The eager crowd of runners gathered around the Bandstand for another Saturday morning social run it's really heartwarming to see how many youngsters turn up every week it's really good to run with friends but to run with your own children or grandchildren is a great feeling, I myself managed to persuade my daughter Amy to run at our Wednesday night social run and even though she was a front runner it was still great to share my time and hobby with her I look forward to the day I can run with a grandchild at parkrun.

Our parkrun director this morning had the great task of congratulating another three centurions in our midst Julian & Joel Pollard and Sue Morris who ran her 100th with her dog, fantastic achievement by all three of you and welcome to our ever growing band of centurions, we also welcomed a parkrun tourist who had traveled up from Cornwall I hope they had a great run and enjoyed their visit to our parkrun.

Our Run Director also mentions our volunteers and what a fantastic job they do, but what I find incredible is our pacers who are all really consistent in helping us achieve our pb's and I must say it takes some discipline to constantly run at a pace and just to show you how close they are I've put their finishing times down for you to check out

Mark Hall pace 26:00 actual 26:05

John Simpkin pace 27:00 actual 26:40

John Barr pace 28:00 actual 28:02

Alan Appleton pace 29:00 actual 28:58

Zoe Simpkin pace 30:00 actual 29:52

John Smith pace 30:00 actual 29:47

This not only takes great discipline and control but also takes great commitment that these runners give up their time to help you achieve yours, Thank You guys you ROCK, as do all our other volunteers whom without this run wouldn't take place, if you would like to volunteer I'm certain you would be welcomed with open arms.

Every time I come to parkrun I take something away with me that raises the spirits and the belief in the parkrun ethos, and this time it wasn't Craig looking rather fetching in a grey cardigan with matching socks black pencil skirt and a rather tight fitting blouse, in fact I hardly noticed him at all!! (his excuse 'The School Run'!)

But no it was watching a young lady run I've seen her run over the past 6/8 weeks and today after not seeing her for the last 3 weeks I really saw a vast improvement in her running she looked so strong going up the hill in fact that good I actually spoke to her and told her, you may have seen her she had a cream headscarf on it just goes to show what hardwork grit and determination can do, if you're reading this I'm sorry I'm not sure of your name but take a bow you epitomise what parkrun is all about.

So down to the nuts and bolts of today's run our first male over the line was Steve Anders in a great time of 17:53 I'm positive I've photographed him winning before, our First Lady over the line was the ever so consistent Amy Corfield who finished in 21:34 and our first junior Miss Emma Austin in 22:47 Great effort Emma, as for PB's there was a fantastic 71 out of a field of 312 but sometimes it's not all about PB's it's just about getting out there and enjoying the moment, the camaraderie, the air in your lungs, the brew and Biscuits but more importantly the sense that you got up dragged yourself down to the park and joined lots of athletes of all abilities and ran 5k, heroes come in all shapes and sizes so pat yourself on your back you are amazing....

So as always it just remains for me to wish you all a great weeks running wherever that may be and god willing I will run with you all next week.....

Our fab volunteers this week were........

Adam HUGHES  •  Alan APPLETON  •  Amanda COOGAN  •  Catherine LEATHER  •  Christina JACKSON  •  David LOCKETT  •  Eve WINSTANLEY  •  Gabrielle TABERNER  •  Greg CARNS  •  Herbert HOLLAND  •  Ian HAYBURN  •  Jack HIBBS  •  Jackie WOODS  •  James NUTTALL  •  Jennifer ASHTON  •  Jenny GORDON  •  Joe SMITH  •  John BARR  •  John SIMPKIN  •  John SMITH  •  Karen HARRISON  •  Mark HALL  •  Paul MEEHAN  •  Philip RAY  •  Sharon MASON  •  Tom HIBBS  •  Tom SHARPLES  •  Vicky HEWITT  •  Zoe SIMPKIN and Richard AYLETT




parkrun #163 – Great Danes, Pugs and Bra’s

Before this weeks report, I would just like to add a reminder regarding not parking adjacent or to close to the traffic island on City Road, it makes it very difficult for busses to get past and again today a bus driver felt the need to complain to one of our Marshals, could I on behalf of our Run Director ask you to please be more considerate to other road users and to the reputation of your parkrun by not parking within two car lengths of the traffic island. Thank You.

Today as I was arriving at Vicky Park I saw many of mans (and women's) best friends heading to the start line and no not on their own but with their owners, it was so amusing to see them all looking excited wagging their tails and straining at the leash ready to embark on another adventure around the park it must be a nightmare for them rushing past all those interesting smells without stopping for a sniff, but this time to soften the blow as they run up the hill there was John Barr on his guitar serenading them with such classics as "Bird Dog" "Diamond Dogs" "Hound Dog" and not forgetting "How much is that doggy in the window" yes our very own Glastonbury for dogs!

Also as I arrived at the park I saw John Smith (minus Ava) running down City Rd Hill.

He stopped to talk telling me his Physio had advised him to warm up to help with a niggling injury he has, I'm always surprised to see people run without warming up or in fact warming down after the run it's a real potential injury problem in the making I always try and stretch beforehand and afterwards or even a brisk walk to warm down will do the trick, I don't profess to be an expert on this but there are many qualified parkrunners whom I'm sure would be happy to help if you need it just ask.

I with a coffee positioned myself by the gates at the top of the hill for part of the run this morning, it's always fantastic to see runners ascending up the hill and reaching the pinnacle before wheeling away down towards the tennis courts and I know how they feel as they take a gulp of breath to soften the anger of their screaming lungs, I watched this lady wearing a Mad Runners Pink Top carrying a water bottle in her hand as she came jogging up the hill I just watched her getting closer and closer and if the determination on someone's face could be the main factor on a Saturday morning all the medals and plaudits belong to her she epitomised what believing in yourself does the look on her face was a mixture of pain and exhilaration in a strange way it made me feel quite proud of her, if you're reading this and recognise yourself "well done" you were ace, another revelation on the morning that certainly boggled the mind was hearing Zoe telling somebody this was going to be one of her slowest times today as she had just removed her bra! I must admit and that point my ears pricked up, she elaborated by saying she had put two bras on this morning and needed to remove one, it conjured up all manner of thoughts but more so for poor Nigel who was witness to the event! Just for the record Zoe came home in a fab time of 31:51 so if you see me wearing a bra next week then removing it halfway round please note this is in pursuit of a new PB and not any other reason :-)

Today saw some great Milestones at Vicky Park, firstly a fabulous 50 parkruns were celebrated by Craig Tessyman, Debbie Hurst and Jan Watts congratulations to you all for reaching 50 parkruns an amazing milestone and Debbie celebrated with a new PB knocking 35 seconds of her previous PB fantastic Debbie.

We also had junior runner Lauren Watkins completing her 10th parkrun again with a new PB knocking over a minute of her previous best time great effort Lauren we look forward to watching your progression over the coming months.

I've purposely saved this one till last, this amazing lady is normally the first one at parkrun on a Saturday morning irrespective of the weather, always a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone, but better than that she brings biscuits and coffee to the Bandstand week in week out in fact she has now been doing this 100 times, yes it's the incredible Vicky Hewitt, without whom Saturdays just wouldn't be the same, so on behalf of everyone involved at parkrun St Helens thank you Vicky we think you're AWESOME......

This week saw 329 runners take part with our leading male runner coming home in a time of 19:50 Jonathan Kirkman followed swiftly by our leading lady in her first run at St Helens Helen Stanton coming home in 20:01 super fast Helen, I hope we get to see much more of your great pace over the summer, our first junior home this week was another St Helens debutant Dylan Brownlow in 21:11. Welcome you two we hope you enjoyed your time running with us and will return soon.

This week saw 30 new PB's now I know there are normally more than that but I think some runners slowed down for the concert on the hill! With that said you are all amazing turning up week in week out and it was fantastic to see some new faces taking part we really do hope you enjoyed it enough to return next week.

"Same Time Same Place"

A special mention of thanks to all our amazing volunteers standing on every corner cheering us on and our time keepers for recording all our achievements... So god willing have a safe peaceful week and see you all next Saturday.

Alan APPLETON  •  Antony YOUNG  •  David LOCKETT  •  David NAVIS  •  Elias IRWIN  •  Frank MCALLISTER  •  Gill DRILLINGCOURT  •  Greg CARNS  •  Hazel FARLEY  •  Herbert HOLLAND  •  Jackie WOODS  •  James NUTTALL  •  John BARR  •  Julie MOOSBALLY  •  Karen HARRISON  •  Kev OUTTEN  •  Kieran O'DONOGHUE  •  Matthew BEESLEY  •  Nicola SPAFFORD  •  Nigel HERBERT  •  Rachel IRWIN  •  Richard AYLETT  •  Sandra KING-WILSON  •  Vicky HEWITT




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