Christmas at Weymouth parkrun

It's official, we will be hosting a Christmas Day parkrun at 9am at Lodmoor Country Park. Huge thanks to some amazing parkrunners who are volunteering to make this possible.
See you all there in your Santa hats


Weymouth parkrun #274 – 1st December 2018 – RIOT takeover

The theme of this morning’s parkrun, the first day of December, seemed to be water… bucket-loads from the sky, large, muddy puddles on the course and lots of soggy runners and volunteers to be seen. However, it didn’t seem to deter the 300 runners and numerous volunteers today, who had dragged themselves from a warm bed whilst the rain lashed down outside, to take part in or help run this amazing weekly event.

Local running club Dorchester RIOT had volunteered to fill this week’s roster and they were out in force by 8.30am, their blazing orange running tops lighting up a grey morning.

There were also 2 Couch to 5k groups graduating from 2 of our local running clubs; Royal Manor of Portland Running Club

and Dorchester RIOT.

An amazing effort from everyone running their first parkrun in less than ideal conditions. Well done!

I recently filled out a Health and Wellbeing Survey sent to me from parkrun which made me really consider what it is that I love about this event…for me, it’s the sense of community and inclusiveness…it’s open to everyone, no matter your age, fitness, ability or background… it’s for the community by the community. All this was illustrated today running alongside Dorchester RIOT Couch to 5k graduates, with my ever-faithful 4-legged running partner Jess.

The support and positivity in the air was almost tangible; fellow runners, volunteers and spectators all smiling and cheering us on as we went by. We hardly noticed the rain, mud and wind and just felt the warmth and friendliness of others.

Thank you parkrun and everyone that make this great event happen.

Many thanks to Sue Thompson for writing this report


Weymouth parkrun would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who was able to donate to both The Bus Shelter Project and Food Bank. Both groups have asked us to pass on their thanks for your very kind donations. The Bus Shelter have an open day next Saturday (8th), and anyone to welcome to go along.


Stats section
This week 300 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 45 were first timers and 19 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 37 volunteers:

Ali VIRGO • Matthew AMES • Karen CROAD • Katherine DAVIS • Lyn BRYMER • Geoff WILTSHIRE • Sue THOMPSON • Steve STONE • Darren GRUMMITT • Rachel JONES • Liz ELLIOTT • Simon RULE • Paula FRY • Amy MASON • Mike HERRIN • Gunnleyg ARCHER • Jo STANDEN MCDOUGAL • Joanne BROOKES • Tony MCDOUGAL • Emily WILTSHIRE • Gary BENDELL • David FOXWELL • Mark ALLWOOD • Karen HALL • Stephen HALL • Libby FOXWELL • Debbie WILTSHIRE • Paul POMEROY • Rosie POMEROY • Mark STOCKMAN • Carwyn LEWIS • Mark WHITE • Dave PARRY • Laura WHITE • Sue BOWMAN • Rebecca PEARCE • Thomas JONES

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Weymouth parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Phil WICKS who recorded a time of 14:47 on 15th April 2017 (event number 190).
The female record is held by Ruth BARNES who recorded a time of 17:09 on 21st April 2018 (event number 243).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lone KRYGER who recorded 92.71% (20:21) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 191).

Weymouth parkrun started on 31st August 2013. Since then 10,232 participants have completed 65,439 parkruns covering a total distance of 327,195 km, including 11,736 new Personal Bests. A total of 895 individuals have volunteered 7,617 times.


Weymouth parkrun #270 – 3rd October 2018 (from a tourists perspective)

Ben from Running in Series, has written a great news report on his view of Weymouth parkrun in the eyes of a tourist when he ran with us on the 3rd October for our 270th event. Below is a copy of the original post. Many thanks to Ben for allowing us to reproduce his article below (inc pictures). We do hope that both you and Lolly (plus buggy) will be back to run with us again soon :-)

Weymouth parkrun has been running since August 2013, just marginally longer than our home run of Longrun Meadow. As with most in the South West region, it’s been on our radar to do for a while. The course description describes part of the course as being on the grass, and with the buggy(ies) that has put us off in the wet, wintry months.

Lolly and I travelled to the run separately; I had been working in the area on Friday and stayed in a local B&B the night before, while she was coming over from Taunton with the children. As a result, at 8:29 we had a conversation on WhatsApp:

Lolly: Awake yet?
Me: Yup.
Me: Where are you?
Lolly: [Picture of car in car park]
Me: Where’s that?
Me: I tried to park in the College Car Park that the website recommends, but it seems to be closed?
Lolly: Oh
Lolly: I parked in the country park car park

An encouraging start. I set up both buggies, and walked through the college car park to the start area for the parkrun. In the Country Park car park. Oh.

So for some clarity on the parking: you can park in the Country Park car park, which is in fact where the run started and finished for us: but you have to pay: 50p for one hour, working up to £6 for all day. The College car park was eventually opened, and is free for the duration of the run. There were also toilets in the car park, although only one of them was open, causing a long queue, even early on.


After a fair bit of faffing (it turned out that I hadn’t changed into running shoes, so I had to go back to the car) we lined up for the start. As usual, I managed to miss the first timers briefing, but Lolly gave me a synopsis: keep left for the out-and-back section, turnaround at the stone pineapple. (Which, for the record, I never noticed.) Apparently, it was a very good first timers briefing: they had a big, obvious, sign showing where it was, and it covered everything that a first timer might possibly need to know.

As noted, the start/finish area was unusually located in a car park. In general parkrun tries to avoid areas with traffic: the course map doesn’t show the car park being used, so I can only assume that this is a variation due to wetter weather, possibly. Starting at the back of the pack with the buggies, we couldn’t hear the pre-run briefing, but there were various bursts of applause – presumably for landmark runs and thanking the volunteers.

I started gently – so gently that the tail walkers went past me! This just meant that I had no one either side of me, and I could easily dart across to the side to ease my way through some of the crowds while we were still in the wide car park area. Thankfully, even when we entered Lodmoor Country Park, the path stayed wide initially – easily allowing four people to run abreast. There were a few bollards to avoid, and although there were grass verges at the sides for sections, they tended to be slightly sloped, and not ideal for the buggy to put a wheel onto. I eased my way along through the field as well as I could, targeting the buggy that I could see ahead. Me, competitive? No…

Into the Country Park

We started off with a clockwise lap of the park, around both a pitch and putt golf course and a field with a miniature railway in. Another third of the lap, and this time we split off to head up the out-and-back section. By this stage, I’d managed to find a bit more free space, and had got in front of the other buggy (there were four in total). The terrain up this section varied quite considerably: initially it was quite nice, if a little narrow in places: roughly three people wide. This opened out onto a rough clearing that had some – well – craters in it, which had to be navigated quite carefully with the buggy. The path after this was tarmac and very nice to run on.

I noticed as we approached the turnaround point that the other buggy was getting quite close behind me – thankfully things cleared up a little in front of me at this point, and tipping the buggy back onto its rear wheels, I navigated the tight turns, to the call of “quick buggy coming through” from the marshal. Heading back, I more or less gave up on passing people as the path got congested with the mid-pack going in both directions. We weaved past a few runners, but for the most part, I was content to sit and hold position.

Until, that is, I noticed the other buggy closing in behind me again. Sigh – can’t I just have a nice jog to the finish? (I mean, obviously I could have just let him pass me and not worried about it. Apparently.) After passing the tail walker coming the other way, I was able to move out and pass people with a bit more freedom, before we finally reached the park once more. I had expected that we would turn right and head straight back, but it seemed that we were still too short for that to work, and so we turned left for another longer loop of the park. I pressed on, though without going crazy, working myself into some clear space for the finish. (I tend to prefer more space when I’m finishing with the buggy – it stops any silly accidents.)

*train*Past the miniature railway station

The finish funnel was pretty congested, so as soon as I’d picked up our finish token, I ducked out of the funnel and went back to watch Lolly finishing, before scanning when it got a bit quieter.

Overall, I enjoyed the course – it is nicely varied. I would say that it is pretty much completely flat, though there may be a very slight climb up to the turnaround point. But Strava reckons it was 22 feet, so, maybe not. Looking at the volunteer roster, it looks quite a labour intensive run; eight marshals, a lead bike, two funnel managers, two on finish tokens. There was certainly never any trouble finding where to go on the course!

Afterwards, it looked like a lot of the parkrunners were going back to the Lodmoor pub, a Brewers Fayre attached to the Premier Inn right by the start/finish. (There’s also another Premier Inn by the turnaround point, so both are pretty convenient for the run.) We opted to drive into town to visit Wetherspoons for a cheaper breakfast, before returning to the Country Park car park to visit Weymouth Sea Life Centre.

Weymouth parkrun comments:
(1) Unfortunately, whilst the College don't mind us using their carpark, they have taken to securing it overnight to prevent authorised overnight sleeping occurring. This often means the carpark is only opened a few minutes before parkrun starts, so you either have to risk a late arrival or arrive a bit earlier and park on the local roads. Or support the Council and pay for the Lodmoor carpark (traffic wardens do come around so it certainly isn't work risking it).

(2) We are currently operating our winter course (edition a), which means we finish on the edge of the main carpark, rather than just inside in the park. The summer course finishes inside the park and offers some welcome shade from the trees (in the winter this is more like drips of rain from the leaves!). We may have have to introduce another revised winter course (edition b) to try and reduce the use of the path through the trees as this can become quite muddy and upsets other parkusers.


Weymouth parkrun #270 – 3rd October 2018

Weymouth parkrun stats
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Weymouth parkrun Results Page. 367 people came out to run, walk or jog the course today including 49 first timers (20 brand new parkrunners and 29 parkrun tourists) and 46 runners setting PBs. Representatives of 34 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible thanks to 39 volunteers.

The male record is held by Phil WICKS who recorded a time of 14:47 on 15th April 2017 (event number 190). The female record is held by Ruth BARNES who recorded a time of 17:09 on 21st April 2018 (event number 243). The Age Grade course record is held by Lone KRYGER who recorded 92.71% (20:21) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 191).

Weymouth parkrun started on 31st August 2013. Since then 10,114 participants have completed 64,282 parkruns covering a total distance of 321,410 km, including 11,621 new Personal Bests.

Run report by Sarah Bibby
I’m more used to volunteering at Weymouth parkrun than actually running it. I love being a part of the team that makes it possible for everyone to go out there and run, cheering them all round the course as they do their best and helping it all to run smoothly. In recent months I’ve tried out lots of different roles including timekeeping, the one I’d been dreading in case it went wrong, and I have found I actually quite enjoy them all so far! I’d definitely encourage anyone who is able to volunteer to have a look at the roster and give it a go as it really is a lot of fun.

Today was different though as I actually ran! It was my 6th time completing the course, and though it was a little cold and the headwind back from the pineapple made it more of a challenge I really enjoyed the run. I was thrilled to be one of the runners who set a new PB this morning taking 13 seconds off my previous fastest time with my son Riley and friends (who had already finished and came back out to see how I was doing) accompanying me to the finish.

I’m very grateful for the community spirit at parkrun. I hope the marshals on course who gave me a much appreciated “well done” as I came past realise the difference that support makes especially when your legs are tired, it just spurs you on that little bit more. The same can be said to the runners coming back past me who gave me a smile or a comment of encouragement, though how you can speak while running that fast is beyond me but it was very much appreciated so thank you all! Weymouth has a reputation for being a friendly parkrun whether you’re a regular runner or trying out a spot of parkrun tourism and I personally think it’s very well deserved.

I did almost have an unfortunate mishap near the Rugby Club today though as a group came running towards me three abreast. I had to stop moving or end up in the stinging nettles, not ideal really! So just a polite reminder to everyone to keep left and watch out for runners coming the other way as those paths are quite narrow and it makes it easier for two-way traffic to pass safely.

At the pre-run welcome and briefing this morning some of the incredible and inspiring achievements by our runners in October were mentioned. We had runners taking quite significant chunks off their PBs of over 1 minute (Fleur Parker, Matt Harris, Joseph Ray, Maria Masters, Jack Creighton, Robert Moore and Julia Watson), over 2 minutes (Kelly Tuplin, William Smith and Rebecca Hayes) and over 3 minutes (Nicola Blair). Incredible running and a huge well done to you all!

We also had runners hitting their milestones of completing 50 runs (Paul Burrows and Sarah Middlebrook) and 100 runs (Carole Purnell) during October, and three people were running their 50th today (Tom Rigby, Mark Whitchelo and Kathleen Bagwell). It shows incredible commitment and is a real achievement, can’t wait to see you all in your milestone t-shirts in weeks to come!

There are a few things are happening over the coming weeks so please note these in your diaries. Next week, 10th November, please wear a red t-shirt and/or a poppy for Remembrance Day if you have one. And on 17th November we’ll be doing our bit for Children in Need with a cake stall – don’t forget to bring some money for a treat after your run!

And lastly, just in case you missed it, we are having a Christmas Day parkrun! The volunteer roster for that one is filling up, there is a post on the Facebook group about it or you can email in an offer of help. It should be a good morning, and I’m looking forward to jingling my reindeer antlers at everyone who comes past me while I’m timekeeping!

Photos from this mornings event kindly taken by Ken Hewitt Photography.


Event #269 – 27th October 2018

Many thanks to Karen Spackman a tourist from Didcot for writing this weeks run report.

This week 406 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 71 were first timers and 85 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 55 volunteers:

Jane TAYLOR • Brian FIELDS • Katherine DAVIS • Susan O'FLANAGAN • Kate PERRETT • Phil HADDRELL • Celia ROBERTSON • Mags ALMOND • Gerry KEENAN • Beccy CARDIFF • Asa CARDIFF • Gary HAYLOCK • Norma SMART • Simon ARTHUR • Darren GRUMMITT • Stephen ANDREWS • Sarah BIBBY • Ian MIDDLEBROOK • Debbie S HEWITT • Li WATKINS • Isabel WATKINS • Hector KNIGHT • Riley CHURCHILL • Nigel ARTHUR • Jan WESTHENRY • Norman WHITE • Mark HUMPHREYS • Catherine ABERY-WILLIAMS • Mike HERRIN • Chris ELLIS • Julian THACKER • Mike ASKEW • Daniel BIBBY • Claire MAY • Lisa CRACKNELL • Sonya HUGHES • Judy CLARKE • Harry ROLPH • Michael MCDOWELL-HOOK • Fiona PAWSEY • David ALDWINCKLE • Karen SPACKMAN • Delia CARR • Rachel ABEL • Max NEILSON-HOWES • Sheila BROWN • Alan CLARKE • Ruth KIRBY • Carwyn LEWIS • Sandra FRANCIS • Chris PERRETT • Richard FRANCIS • Alan MOORE • Kelly TUPLIN • Sacha HATEBOER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Weymouth parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Phil WICKS who recorded a time of 14:47 on 15th April 2017 (event number 190).
The female record is held by Ruth BARNES who recorded a time of 17:09 on 21st April 2018 (event number 243).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lone KRYGER who recorded 92.71% (20:21) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 191).

Weymouth parkrun started on 31st August 2013. Since then 10,065 participants have completed 63,914 parkruns covering a total distance of 319,570 km, including 11,574 new Personal Bests.

So there are the stats for you, and despite being a bit of a maths geek, I have to say that statistics do not tell the whole story.

They do not tell you how the sun was shining at this beautiful venue.

They do not tell you how the frost was thankfully being melted by the rays of the sun.

Tokens ready & sorted


And most importantly, they do not tell you about the people behind the statistics.

So let me introduce myself: I’m Karen Spackman, parkrun has become an integral part in my life as it has helped me in my battle with anxiety and depression. Didcot parkrun is my local event and I have been made to feel a valued member of my community, and it has become a “safe” place for me. I know that there will always be a smile and a welcome on a Saturday morning. I’m not a natural runner, but have given it a go, and have come to realise that is my preference to volunteer rather than to run/jog/walk,, but I do like to plod around my local, safe place 3 lap and a long straight parkrun with a record of 267 participants every now and then. Today was my first parkrun tourist experience, the first time I have not driven to my parkrun and the first time I have seen a parkrun on such a large scale.

Volunteers gather outside the shed

Of course there were many similarities, but also, many differences. I visited the Weymouth parkrun facebook page, and thought karma had played a part in creating one of my favourite volunteer roles of run report writer. When I saw the volunteer roster consisted of 55 people, I couldn’t imagine what everybody would be doing. On arrival, things seemed to be running like a well-oiled machine…everybody seemed to know what needed to be done and got on and did it! I was most impressed by the token system, which I noticed allowed the “Finish Token” volunteers the chance to wear gloves as they distributed the tokens in 10’s. They were also sorted at the finish line and made ready for the following week, what a wonderfully efficient system.  Weymouth parkrun are lucky enough to have a whole shed to store their equipment, at my home parkrun we have a cupboard!

Runners gather for the 1st timers brief

As the first timer’s briefing was being delivered, I listened carefully (I worry about going the wrong way at my end of the field) and being told that the course takes us to a pineapple, I had visions of a great big Del Monte style golden shiny pineapple, something truly spectacular!

At the same time a briefing was being delivered to the group of pacemakers from local running clubs: Dorchester RIOT (Running Is Our Therapy), Dorset Sole Sisters, Egdon Heath Harriers, Royal Manor of Portland Athletics Club and Weymouth St Paul’s Harriers & A C. These volunteers had been skilfully co-ordinated by Darren Grummitt, and were discussing the challenge they found it to complete the course at a set pace.  I understand that the each last parkrun in the month is paced at Weymouth parkrun, and wondered how many parkrunners would use the pacers to attempt their PB today.

There was also the request to join the staggered start line in your predicted completion time.


Mags with the pre-run brief

With the help of a loudspeaker, and a soapbox (or was it a milk crate?) Mags Almond (Run Director) welcomed us all and explained keeping to the left, and we applauded those achieving, milestones today. I apologise if I have omitted anybody, but from the statistics these were:

50 parkruns- Paul Burrows and Sarah Milbrook

100 parkruns- Iain Felstead and Carole Purnell

Please forgive me if I have not got this correct, but I think this is Michael, and Weymouth parkrun’s celebratory chant, I have to admit to finding the announcements a little hard to follow, due to the excitement at the start!

The "Raga" jacket is often worn by tourist runners, who then subsequently have their home parkrun name attached too.

My dog, Madge, seemed her usual self and wanted to break all the rules and was determined to run to the right, hopefully she did not interfere with any park users as I battled to keep her left. Running through Lodmoor RSPB Nature Reserve on a lead is not easy for a dog that was bred to hunt birds! We spotted many birds, but were particularly impressed by the fly over of a skein of geese as we trotted up towards the pineapple.  I have to admit that the pineapple did not live up to my expectations. It was, however, a welcome sight as I knew the going would be homeward bound and downhill from the pineapple onwards! We had passed many returning parkrunners on this long stretch, all full of encouragement for the tail end of the field. I’d not seen a lead bike before, so that was a new experience for me, the pacers seemed to be passing at regular intervals, and I welcomed the encouragement of the marshals, who helped steer me on the correct course and encouraged with loud cheers and cow bells.

The finish team worked extremely smoothly together to ensure a first class experience at Weymouth parkrun. I was impressed by the junior barcode scanner who seemed to have a great knowledge of scanning and some of the hiccups that may happen, and seeing the finish token sorting running so efficiently was bliss (this comes from my recent experience of “losing” finish token #2, until I moved the serviette my lemon drizzle cake had been served on, and abracadabra, there it was!).  The finish team made time for a friendly chat whilst continuing to carry out their duties efficiently, and I had a chuckle at the tailwalkers high visibility vest!

Tail runner!


My first experience of parkrun tourism was an extremely positive experience for me, thanks to all at Weymouth parkrun. I’m not fast, but parkrun is a huge positive for me.  I wondered if the pacers had helped others achieve a PB. Out of a field of 406, 85 achieved their PB this equates to over 20% or just over 1 in 5 which goes to show the positive impact of parkrun and volunteering. PBs were achieved by a range of experiences, from 2nd time parkrunners, to Rosemary Britton who achieved her PB on her 141st parkrun, and the pacers will no doubt be pleased to know that members of each of their running clubs achieved a PB.  Weymouth parkrun welcomed 25 people to their first parkrun, and hopefully they will be participating in their 2nd parkrun either at Weymouth or touring elsewhere in the not too distant future.  As there were 71 First Timers this means Weymouth welcomed 46 tourists, and I hope the other 45 enjoyed their first Weymouth parkrun as much as I did!

Future events sounded like they were well planned to included community events including Remembrance Day on November 10th,  Children in Need on November 17th and another pacing event on the last Saturday of the month, November 24th.

Thank you to all for taking the time to read this, and for welcoming me and for allowing me to write up my ramblings. I have found volunteering an enormously rewarding experience and with all the volunteering roles there are to fill at Weymouth, I am sure there is something to suit every one of you, should you wish to give something back to your parkrun!


Karen Spackman


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