On a weekend when Worcester was hitting the national headlines for the monumental ‘fatberg’ below the Bath Road, there were far more wholesome headlines being made at Worcester Woods parkrun, with some blockbuster milestones being celebrated, alongside a visit from the Mayor, Steve Mackay, to start the run. Lots of festive costumes and headwear on display, and lots of cake and chocolate to share.
Ed, sorry Santa, Steve the Mayor of Worcester, and Brian "boss of the funnel".
So well done if you were one of the 531 people who completed parkrun last Saturday with a run, jog or walk, and a big shout out to all the incredibly cheery volunteers who made getting round in all that squelchy mud so enjoyable.
There were lots of visitors with us on Saturday from as far off as South Africa, and we hope you enjoyed your visit. A special mention, however, to John Milner, from Shrewsbury who was joined by friends and family.
Amazingly, John has completed 50 parkruns this year, each in a different location. He said that it’s been fun, but all those early starts and long journeys have taken their toll on his body and wallet! An awesome achievement, John, well done from all of us and great to see you all (including Scott Perry, with you, completing his 20th different parkrun this year.) We asked a few leading questions, trying to get John to confirm the well-known fact that Worcester Woods is the best parkrun…with mixed results!
Favourite parkrun so far: Fountains Abbey or Eden Project
Quickest parkrun: Yorkshire
Most mud: Cheadle Hulme (“up to the knees!”)
Best Woods (getting desperate here): That would have to be Worcester!
Friendliest: Definitely Worcester!
So there you have it folks, we are the friendliest parkrun – it’s official!
Congratulations of you celebrated a milestone this weekend or Christmas Day; and lots of people did.
50: Merlin DUFF, Mervyn DAVIS, Richard LEAH and the amazing Claire GENT, Robert PRICE, Mark SEYLER, Bill BLOSS, Kay MOHANNA, Rachel BETTERIDGE
100: Ian HANNIS and Theresa HAYES, Benjamin GIRVAN
150 (unofficial but awesome): Ian Wild and Anthony JONES
250: The one and only Gerry RUDOLF
300 (unofficial but even more awesome): For the legendary Plum Plodders Carole MORRISON and Trevor CLARK
Here’s a photo of Joyce and Trevor mucking about on the way to the start....
There’s no doubting that Gerry is an integral part of the team at Worcester Woods, as he seamlessly publishes the results and organises the volunteers every week, plus a host of other, unseen, jobs. Therefore it is only fitting to recognise his amazing achievement of 250 parkruns, and to find out a bit more about him.
The one and only Gerry!!
So here are a few (mostly) parkrun-related facts about Gerry that you may or may not know!
Parkrun got Gerry into fancy dress, and there is nothing he likes more than donning his reindeer antlers and painting his nose red for Christmas parkrun.
Gerry is a Worcester Warriors and Tottenham fan.
Gerry has played golf at Wentworth with Bernard Gallagher. He has also played golf in the dark – not so successfully.
Gerry can make his own marmalade, bread, and is a skilled cake maker. If you haven’t tried it, his Lemon Drizzle cake is to die for. Quote heard on Saturday: “mum, Gerry’s cake is even better than Granny’s!”
Gerry has helped and encouraged numerous people with their running. Lisa, Von, Bobbi and Russ say that he has been their long-suffering running coach and buddy for half marathon training. Apparently, he has a good listening ears!
Gerry has volunteered 155+ times.
He started parkrunning at 62 when diagnosed with diabetes and has since lost 5 stone, and has brought the diabetes under control.
Finally, did you know that Gerry is a skilled archer? It has been reported (source requests anonymity) that before he retired from his job, he used to set up his targets on a weekend in the empty company warehouse to practice. Occasionally, arrows must have drifted, and it was not uncommon to find a rogue arrow in the racking.
Make sure you say hello to Gerry the next time you come to parkrun. You will also make him very happy by offering your services as a willing volunteer. Drop an email to ; there are lots of different roles each week for you to get involved with!
Looking forward to seeing lots of you at the very special Christmas Day parkrun, or as usual next Saturday. Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and looking forward to more parkunning with you all in 2018.