RUN REPORT: Event #453, March 14, 2020


Aberdeen parkrun #453, March 14, 2020
1. View to the Left, to the Left...
188 intrepid parkrunners ventured out to take the beach by storm.  What were we all thinking?  Were we thinking this might be our last parkrun for awhile as we face down the possibility of COVID~19 changing everything?  Were we thinking the weather doesn't matter because we're such a hardy lot?  After 275 parkruns at Aberdeen Beach, I've seen pretty much everything Mother Nature can toss at us.  Though this wasn't the worst headwind we've experienced on the top promenade, it certainly did its darnest to vie for top spot.  Mother Nature, think of the first impression you thrust upon our...
4. Fab Fiona Hosted the First Timers' Briefing
Despite the weather, an impressive 19 newbies braved the elements.  Some were locals, whilst others blew in from Tain & Yorkshire.  In spite of the wind blast, we hope you all enjoyed your first foray at Aberdeen parkrun & we look forward to seeing you again.   We promise to put in a requisition to dial down the wind speeds for your next visit.
All this talk of wind leads us to..
3. The Right View
Our sister event up at Hazlehead parkrun played host to a whopping 250 parkrunners compared to Aberdeen's 188.  I suspect some of our Aberdeen parkrunners inadvertently blew up to Hazlehead in one of the wind gusts!  No matter where parkrunners indulged in their parkrun passion, it's great that so many got out to play...
5. Run Reporter out of the Saddle
As Lead Bike, I hopped in the saddle for what I expected would be a challenging battle on the top prom.  Sure enough, Mother Nature threw down the gauntlet & let the wind rip.  Luckily, I had McHusband along for back~up.  The plan?  McHusband, a much stronger cyclist than I, would take the Lead if the front runners left me in their dust.   Though it was a bit of a push for me, we were both able to stay ahead of the front runners.  Once we u~turned into that mega~tailwind on the lower prom, it was smooth sailing in the saddle for the 2nd half.  But not as smooth sailing for the front runners.  Would they recover enough from the wind tunnel test on the 1st half to take full advantage of the tailwind blasting on the 2nd half?  Would their legs respond?  From our perches high in the saddle, we saw the lead in the Men's Category flip.  Rankin Lascelles surged ahead & maintained his lead to nab top spot in our...
8.  Fiona, Donald & John
Men's Category:
1st in was Rankin Lascelles for Metro Aberdeen RRC in 19:01
2nd in was Garry Joss in 19:12
3rd in was Howard Hall in 19:49
Women's Category:
1st in was Heidi Ross in 20:58
2nd in was Jenny Stanning for Rebel PT in 21:08
3rd in was Ailsa Munro in 22:36
Congrats to all our 1,2,3 front runners!
Kudos to Rankin for nabbing his 7th First Finish at Aberdeen parkrun!  He is now rubbing shoulders with Myles Edwards & Broc Drury who also have 7 First Finishes to their credit.  Meanwhile, this is Heidi's 2nd First Finish at Aberdeen parkrun.  Avid number crunchers can check out how Rankin & Heidi stacked up in our Aberdeen parkrun First Finishers' list at:
Congratulations to these juniors who finished first in the following junior categories:
JM10:  Zacharie Kowal in 24:22
JM11-14:  Drew McDermid in 21:05
JM15-17:  Craig Dickson in 23:46
JW10:  Cassia Soni in 43:36
JW11-14:  Mia McDermid in 33:35
16,830 PBs have been earned at Aberdeen parkrun since our inception on October 8, 2011.  Given last Saturday's ridiculous headwind on the first half of the course, it's a miracle anyone could pull off a Personal Best time.  But miraculous as it may seem, a lucky 7 forged through to produce shiny PBs.
Congratulations to:
Paddy Gibbons:  20:09
Aidan Buckley:  22:29
Maxwell Donaldson:  23:57
Michael Dunn:  24:30
Alli Hutcheon:   27:59
Rachel Monteith:  29:19
Bethan James:  59:49
Check out the Personal Bests & all the rest at:
Marie King didn't let the weather blow her off course on Saturday.  She chalked up her 50th parkrun earning her entry into the 50 Club!  Marie began her parkrun journey on June 27, 2015 right here at Aberdeen parkrun.  She has accumulated 38 of her parkruns at Aberdeen, 10 at Hazlehead & 2 at Stonehaven.  Not content to just rack up the runarounds, Marie has also been collecting PBs along the way.  14 Personal Bests to be exact with her 26:45 PB at Aberdeen taking top spot.  Congratulations on achieving your 50th milestone,  Marie!  We look forward to seeing you on the runaround in your 50 T~shirt!
100 CLUB
Blazing the trail as an inspiration for us all, junior parkrunner Drew McDermid racked up his 100th parkrun on Saturday!  This enterprising JM11-14 athlete started his parkrun story on June 3, 2017 at Aberdeen parkrun.  His 100 parkruns are comprised of 85 at Aberdeen, 10 at Hazlehead, 3 at Crathes Castle, 1 at Ury Riverside & 1 at Montrose.  Drew has collected 21 PBs along the way with 8 at Aberdeen & 4 at Hazlehead.  So where are his other 9 PBs hiding?  Over at Duthie junior parkrun, of course.  Junior parkruns for 4-14 year olds are held on Sundays at 9:30 at Duthie Park.  Drew has been taking full advantage of the junior opportunities by adding 23 Duthie junior parkruns & 1 Strathmartine junior parkrun to his repertoire.  His PB at Djp's 2k is an amazing 7:24!  Returning to the 5k parkruns, his PB is 20:10 & was earned at Aberdeen parkrun.  Keep this Metro Aberdeen RRC athlete on your radar.  His star is rising!   Congratulations Drew & enjoy your 100 T~shirt!
7. Team Spirit
When I arrived at parkrun I didn't see a soul.
Where was everyone?
And then I spied with my little eye:  A huge gaggle of pink~vested, hat~crested volunteers huddled together in the bird hide.
Who knew you could fit so much Team Spirit in such a small space?  They had all taken refuge from the elements.  I didn't blame them one bit.  The winds were swirling, the clouds were spitting & there was a nip in the air.  Mother Nature was in a snit.
Thanks to all our high~vis heroes for doing battle with the weather so we parkrunners could get our fix.
"Voluncheers" to these 18 volunteers:
Cara-Jane WELSH  •  Caroline FETTES  •  Christine BELL  •  Cynthia FRY  •  David MACLENNAN  •  Derek DUNN  •  Elizabeth KERR  •  Fiona KENNEDY  •  Fiona SEWELL  •  Graham SNEDDEN  •  Jennifer FOSTER  •  Laura MCPHERSON  •  Liam FINLAYSON  •  Mark RAMSEY  •  Mitchell RENNIE  •  Paul Kevin WEBSTER  •  Suzanne MCCOMBIE  •  William SKINNER
Special thanks to recently minted Run Director David for keeping all the ducks in a row.  Not a one of those quackers blew away!  You're a star, David!
We're keen to recruit new volunteers & always welcome back our experienced volunteers.
To splash around with us in the volunteer pool, check out our future rosters:
9. The Cool Kids Chilling with RD David
Stay tuned!
The situation with COVID~19 is constantly evolving.  Our parkrun HQ is monitoring government protocols & hopes to issue more information on UK parkrun status by the end of Wednesday.  There is a dedicated link on our parkrun home page with the most current information on the implications for parkrun events.
The information is also at this link:
Please check our status on our Aberdeen parkrun Facebook page or our web page before heading out next Saturday.
If all systems are go, you'll be treated to Neil McBain styling in the fancy~schmancy Run Director's vest the 2nd time around!
Happy parkrunning, DFYB, & DF2WYH (Don't Forget 2 Wash Your Hands),
Cynthia Fry

Aberdeen parkrun #449 – 15 February 2020


1. It All Started With.. (1)

If you thought last Saturday’s parkrun was a windy affair, then you were in for a shock as Storm Dennis decided to challenge our runners strength once more.  261 parkrunners persevered through the headwind on the top promenade and heaved a sigh of relief as the same wind gave a very welcome tailwind on the way back.  An amazing 49 of you managed to record PBs today so you got your reward for enduring the first half!


A huge thank you and round of applause for this week's 22 volunteers who braved the conditions to bring us our weekly parkrun fix in our fab new volunteer vests!

3. Team Spirit In the Pink! (1)

Rosemary LEIPER • Jamie COVENTRY • Peter GRAHAM • Ian A.C. DOUGLAS • Alan BROWN • Fiona SEWELL • Aaron DOBBY • Alan MARRIOTT • Anne MILNE • Simon DIJKER • Jim MOIR • Callum SMITH • Jamie ROSS • Christine BELL • Fiona BEVERLY • Derek DUNN • Ivor DUFFUS • Daniel DUNCAN • Stephanie FLETT • Holly DAWSON • Craig WILSON • John LEMON

4. Marshal Christine in the Pink! 13. Lead Biker Jamie 5. Marshal John in the Pink! 8. Pink Hams _ Funnel Manager Alan,& Timekeepers Fiona & Alan

To see how parkrun works from the inside out, why not jump into the volunteer pool?  We're always keen to welcome new volunteers into the fold.

Check out future openings on our volunteer roster at:

We are looking for barcode scanners and marshals for next week so please get in touch if you can help out.


Amongst our wonderful volunteers this week were 9 pacers from Bridge of Don Jogscotland who battled the conditions to help our parkrunners to new PBs.  Pacing 22mins, 23mins, 25mins, 27 mins, 29mins, 30mins, 31mins, 33 mins, 35 mins and it obviously worked with 49 of our parkrunners achieving new PBs today – Congratulations to you all!

9. Out of the Blue the Pacers Bucked the Pink Trend

To check out the Personal Bests & all the rest, our latest results are at:



This week we welcomed 26 First Timers to Aberdeen parkrun.  Some were debuting on the parkrun scene whilst others were on tour from other parkruns including Edinburgh, Alness and Keswick.  We hope you all enjoyed your run around our scenic promenade despite the less than perfect weather.


Congratulations also to our first finishers as follows

Men's Category:

1st in was Ross MacDonald of Metro Aberdeen RRC in 17:25 (New PB)

2nd in was Martin Mueller in 17:38 (a reversal of last week’s 1-2)

3rd in was Michael Geoghegan in 18:20

Women's Category

1st in was Amy Hudson of Inverness Harriers AAC in 19:37 (first visit to Aberdeen parkrun)

2nd in was Hannah Mutch of Aberdeen AAC in 20:12

3rd in was Janani Mohan of Aberdeen AAC in 20:17



Congratulations to these juniors who finished first in the following junior categories:

JW11-14:  Mia McDermid in 29:55

JW15-17:  Janani Mohan in 20:17

JM10:  Thomas McKenna in 24:34 (New PB!)

JM11-14:  Christopher Cull in 20:06 (New PB!)

JM15-17:  Oscar Forbes in 21:23

Huge congratulations to Jon Allport on his 100th run.  He started his parkrun journey at Aberdeen on 18th February 2017 and his home run is Keswick (a beautiful run along an old railway line and well worth a visit) so we were delighted to see him back to celebrate his 100th run. We hope to see you again in a few years for your 250th run!!


Parkrun research tells us that women are much less likely to participate in parkrun, and we are taking steps to change that. As part of these efforts parkrun are organising a global female-focused parkrun celebration on Saturday 7 March 2020, the day before International Women’s Day.

Aberdeen parkrun are joining parkruns worldwide in a celebration of female participation on this day. We will be

  • Encouraging existing parkrunners to bring along a female friend, family member or a work colleague, especially one who has never been to parkrun before
  • Encouraging everyone to dress in purple (our chosen colour for the day)
  • Filling our volunteer roster with as many women and girls as possible

Let's turn the prom purple on 7 March to mark this special day!

See you next week for our 450th run when our esteemed ED, Graham Snedden, will be donning the RD vest!


Run report writer

All photographs in this report are courtesy of Cynthia Fry and Donald McIntosh.


Run Report – Event 445 – 18 January 2020

A cold but crisp Saturday played host to our 445th Aberdeen parkrun. With 35 new runners and many more New Years Resolutioners, there was a buzz of excitement in the air as our group of 373 took to the start line, including representation from 24 different clubs and 2 international visitors (Germany and Ireland).


Supporting our run today were 20 wonderful volunteers: Kay Leslie, Mark Ramsay, Paul Kevin Webster, Clare Russell, Izzie McDonald, Graham Snedden, James Cruickshank, David MacLennan, Jim McCurrach, Jane Gordon, Alistair Simpson, Mike Sievewright, Shallene Catto, Louise Brodie, John Barclay, Ceri Williams, Vivien Broughton, Mitchell Rennie, John Lemon and Katie Cunningham.


We’re all aware of the health benefits enjoyed by our runners, but did you know that volunteering also brings a range of health benefits? A 2017 study found volunteering to increase mental health by 8.5%, physical health by 9%, life satisfaction by 7.4% and social well-being by 11.1%. It also decreased depression by 4%, and was associated with wider life benefits including broader friendship circles, learning new skills and even career advancement.


So why do our Aberdeen volunteers get involved? Since our first parkrun in October 2011, over 920 people have given their time to support the event. Many start out as runners who want to give something back.


Volunteer Viv says ‘I started volunteering because I get so much out of my parkruns. It also makes it more social, and we all enjoy a drink together afterwards in the Brig of Don Inn.’


Most agree it’s the social element which keeps them coming back.


Our regular Run Report writer Cynthia enjoys getting to know the runners stories and what’s brought them along. Having facilitated a cycling group, she’s also aware of how difficult it can be to attract people into a volunteering role.


For Marshal John, this was his first time volunteering, having recently sustained an injury. Other volunteers like Louise get a double hit of health benefits by doing their 5k before the main event kicks off.


So what are you waiting for? With so many benefits, and a range volunteer roles to choose from, why not give volunteering at Aberdeen parkrun a go! You will be fully supported by our fabulous volunteer team, and can even look forward to your shiny-new volunteer T-shirt as a reward should you volunteer on 25 separate occasions. For more information, including how to get involved, visit


Katie Cunningham

Run Report Writer


RUN REPORT: MUMS~ON~THE~RUN Aberdeen parkrun #444, January 11, 2020

Much to my surprise, the weather gods were relatively kind to Aberdeen parkrun on Saturday.  With parkrun after parkrun posting cancellations due to weather conditions, I expected parkrunners braving the winds at Aberdeen Beach might have their work cut out for them.  But, the rain held off, and the wind, though strong, wasn't too gusty. From the edge of the saddle, it was surprisingly manageable.  I was able to Lead Bike (with my trusty McHusband as my Co~Lead Bike) without blowing about too much.  And frankly, the tremendous tail wind on the second half was simply a breeze!
In total, 307 intrepid parkrunners faced the headwind challenge on the first half & were treated to a tremendous tail wind on the lower prom.
Well done to all for forging through!
Your names are up in cyberlights at:
Thanks to Vivien Broughton for infusing the First Timers' Briefing with her usual warm welcome.  38 First Timers from near & far indulged in their first Aberdeen parkrun. We hope Mr. Balmedie & our other locals enjoyed & will join us again soon.  We also hosted to visitors travelling in from Alness, Scunthorpe, South Africa, & New Zealand!  That's quite a smorgasbord of accents!  We trust our scenic beachfront views kept all our First Timers entertained on their 5k tour.  Come back soon for a visit!
Whether you are a newly minted parkrunner, or a seasoned parkrunner, always remember to bring your barcode each time you parkrun so we can put your name up in lights in the results.  No barcode, no time, no exceptions. Slip an extra barcode in your glove box, or a pocket in your running jacket.  Always have a backup plan!
A reliable source informed me that we had a newbie of the barkrunning ilk.  We hope Jack Russell "Jock" didn't have too ruff of a time in the headwind on the top prom & enjoyed getting swept along by the tail on the second half.  Welcome to the barkrunning community, Jock!  Did you know there's a Facebook page for barkrunners?
13 enterprising parkrunners breezed their way to a PB.  Job well done considering that headwind tossed quite a challenge into the mix.
Congratulations to:
Lewis Fyfe, Dave Tawse, David Barnes, Chris Green, Joshua Fraser, Will Griffiths, Ellen Boardman, Eden Taylor, Jennifer McWilliam, Lisa Dempster, Linda Cunningham, Paul Millard, & Kerry Laing.
Congratulations to these fleet of foot who blazed the trail at the front of the pack in the:
Men's Category:
1st in was Jamie Coventry for Metro Aberdeen RRC in 17:44
2nd in was Martin Mueller in 18:13
3rd in was Lewis Fyfe for Lochaber AC in 18:35 (PB!)
Women's Category:
1st in was Janani Mohan for Aberdeen AAC in 21:04
2nd in was Jennifer Duncan in 21:11
3rd in was Aimee Tawse for JogScotland Kintore in  21:38
It's quite inspirational to see juniors buckle down to complete a 5k.  Well done to all our juniors!
Congratulations to these juniors who made their mark by finishing first in the following junior categories:
JM10:  Zacharie Kowal in 24:46
JM11-14:  Archie Dunn in 32:22 (First Timer!)
JM15-17:  Patrick Lang in 19:03
JW10:  Emily Smith in 51:58 (First Timer!)
JW11-14:  Aimee Tawse in 21:38
JW15-17:  Janani Mohan in 21:04
Congratulations to Adrian T. Miles & Stephanie Flett who both parkran their way into the 100 Club on Saturday!
Adrian began his parkrun story on May 19, 2012 at Aberdeen parkrun. His 100 are comprised of 49 at Aberdeen, 24 at Hazlehead, 10 at Tilgate, 7 at East Grinstead, 3 at Higginson, 2 at Seaford Beach, and 1 each at Clair, Inverness, Uckfield, Aylesbury, & Peacehaven.  Whilst he's been ticking off a few letters in the parkrun alphabet challenge, Adrian has racked up 18 PBs along the way.  He also counts 8 total volunteer roles to his credit.  Well done on all your accomplishments Adrian!
Stephanie also began her parkrun journey at Aberdeen parkrun.  Since debuting on March 4, 2017, she has scored 6 shiny PBs.  Stephanie tallied up 36 parkruns at Ellon, 32 at Aberdeen and rounded out her 100 with 3 at Hazlehead, 2 each at Stonehaven & Crathes Castle, and 1 each at (are you ready for this...):
Montrose, Camperdown, Mount Stuart, Lochore Meadows, Elgin, Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, St. Andrews, Falkirk, Aviemore, Edinburgh, Meadowmill, Kirkwall, Grangemoor, Portobello, Ruchill, Livingston, Perth, Plean, Bushy, Ury Riverside, Thurso, Springburn, Alness, & Bressay.
Let me put more ink in my pen.
That's quite the list!  Stephanie's parkrun tourism exploits find her just 9 shy of completing the parkrun alphabet challenge.  Juggle in 12 total volunteer roles & this parkrun aficionado shows no sign of stopping.

I suspect Stephanie might have to slow down a tad in April when another parkrunner~to~be is due in her family.
Kudos Adrian & Stephanie on entry into the 100 Club.  Enjoy your "100" T~shirts badges of honour!
The 200th parkrun doesn't trigger a milestone T~shirt, but it does trigger a parkrun round of applause.  Congratulations to Hannah Mutch who crossed the Aberdeen parkrun Finish Line for her 200th time on Saturday.  She began parkrunning with us on February 22, 2014.  All 200 of her events have been parkrun at Aberdeen.  Some may recognize Hannah's name from topping the charts with an impressive 65 First Finishes on our First Finishers' list:

She has an enviable 19:20 as her PB with a sweet 16 PBs over the course of her 200 runs.   Hannah has also dipped her fleet~of~foot toes into the volunteer pool. 15 total volunteer roles grace her parkrun resume.  We've been treated to more than Hannah's running talents, she's also been our bagpiper serenading us at the Start/Finish at a number of our New Year's Day parkruns.  We missed her piping us in this year, but have our sights set on Mutch more music in the near future.  Perhaps Hannah will pipe up for our Aberdeen parkrun birthday in October???
Kudos on your 200th Hannah!
Just 50 more before you join...
A massive congratulations to Leeann Pratt on logging her 250th parkrun on Saturday!  To add to the fanfare, it was also her 200th at Aberdeen.  Leeann began her parkrun journey on January 31, 2015 here at Aberdeen.  Her 250 are comprised of 200 at Aberdeen, 41 at Stonehaven, 4 at Hazlehead, 2 at Montrose, and 1 each at Crathes Castle, Newcastle & Ury Riverside. Along with 6 PBs gracing her stats, Leeann counts 28 total volunteer roles in her credits.  In addition, Leeann has an impressive 55 parkruns to her credit in 2019!  That's a bit of a feat in itself, but add in that Leeann has been one of our Aber~famous double buggy runners & that puts everything in perspective.  Rain or shine, wind or hail, snow or whatever silly combination Mother Nature whips up doesn't put off Leeann.  I suspect she's some sort of superhero in disguise.  We all should be so resilient.
Some may not have recognized Leeann on Saturday without her double buggy.  Her daughters have now aged out of their double buggy adventures so you'll be seeing more of Leeann cavorting about sans the

Enjoy your well deserved "250" T~shirt reward, Leeann!09165D82-5A1F-48A2-9B82-368EB18C2B0C

To say that I'm in awe of all the Mums~on~the~run would be an understatement.  As my only children are bicycles, I can't quite appreciate what juggling a fitness routine into the world of motherhood entails.   Whether our Mums are running, walking or skipping their way around the 5k parkrun courses, I take great inspiration from them.  Sometimes it's enough just to get little ol' moi around the course, let alone to entertain the thought of running with kids, pushing them in a buggy, &/or just thinking about the next thing on the agenda with kids.  How do Mums do it?  I'm convinced some sort of magic cape is involved.
On her 250th parkrun on Saturday, Leeann Pratt parkran without her 2 young daughters in tow.   I figured Leeann would jump at the chance to parkrun on her own whenever opportunity knocked. What liberation!  But, this dedicated Mum related how she had thoroughly enjoyed the company of her 2 daughters during their double buggy parkruns over the years.   Leeann mentioned how she was kept entertained by the girls' constant chatter whilst she chalked up another 5k.  What a fabulous invention this double buggy contraption has been for not just the Mums, but the Dads & other family members, too!
Meanwhile on Saturday, we had another Mum~on~the~run going...shall we say...
Stephanie, of Stephanie Flett 100th parkrun fame, added a little extra flourish to her parkrun with the addition of a baby on board.  In fact, her 100th parkrun was quite the family affair.  In addition to the baby on board, she made her way around our 5k course with fiance Callum & their 2 little ladies. Talk about balancing parkrun passion, motherhood & family life brilliantly.  To add drama to this family affair, it could even be said they went flat out on the first half.  A flat tire on the buggy left the family a tad deflated.  But have no fear!  Always have a Plan B!   Stephanie & her family continued sans wheels & sprinkled in a dash of carry on for the 3 year old.  The family's spirited gallop over the finish line was truly heartwarming.  Again, congratulations Stephanie & we look forward to meeting your newly~minted parkrunner~to~be in April!
At the helm of our 444th edition was the familiar face of Run Director Clare Russell who was donning the RD's vest for her 64th time!  That's quite the impressive number!  But check this out, Clare has also been the Volunteer Co~ordinator 91 times, Pacer & Barcode Scanner (not at the same time) to the tune of 20 times each, Russelled up the Run Reports 18 times, & clocked in to Timekeep 14 times.  But that's just a sampling of her resume of volunteer roles.  In all, she has a whopping 260 total volunteer roles to her credit over 17 distinct volunteer roles.  Since beginning her parkrun journey on January 14, 2012 at Aberdeen parkrun, Clare has racked up 11 PBs over 187 events.  Her best of the personal bests clocks in at a very enviable 19:50.
From that brief glimpse of Clare's parkrun resume, it's obvious she has invested much time (& heart & soul!) in her parkrun passion.  Clare has recently decided to step back from the Core Team at Aberdeen parkrun to free up some time for other endeavours. Clare, we thank~you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have contributed to parkrun.  We wish you well in exploring new horizons, & hope your name will still pop up on the volunteer roster from time to time.
Speaking of the volunteer roster, these 17 high~vis heroes jumped into the volunteer pool to orchestrate Saturday's edition:
Arlene ROSS  •  Bryan MILLS  •  Clare RUSSELL  •  Cynthia FRY  •  Gavin MCLENNAN  •  Izzie MCDONALD  •  James CRUICKSHANK  •  Jamie ROSS  •  Jim MCCURRACH  •  John LEMON  •  Katie CUNNINGHAM  •  Mitchell RENNIE  •  Paul Kevin WEBSTER  •  Samantha ROSS  •  Steve WILSON  •  Vivien BROUGHTON  •  William WALKER
Thank~you so much for braving the windy weather so that we 307 parkrunners could get our fix.
Aberdeen parkrun volunteers rock!
If you want to rock the high~vis volunteer vest, we're always seeking new recruits.
For your chance to take the plunge into the volunteer pool, check out our future rosters at:
Join us for our 445th edition for yet another chance to chase your PB dreams!
Happy parkrunning,
Cynthia Fry,

Aberdeen parkrun, Event number 443: 4th January 2020

A Calm Day On All Fronts

After our bumper attendance on New Year's Day, it was a calm week with only 347 people running or walking the course. Fiona Sewell, our Run Director, was of course ready for anything and had a 'double funnel' at the ready. Cynthia welcomed 27 first timers at the new runners briefing with visitors from London, Reading and Huddersfield.


Personal Bests

Of our runners today, 52 recorded new Personal Bests, including Graham McDermid on his 407th parkrun! Two other runners recorded PBs just ahead of Graham, possibly feeling concerned for their personal safety. No need gents, poor Graham took a rather spectacular tumble on a recent training run (witnessed by many) and the ensuing face plant really has left him looking like he's been doing the rounds over the festive season! Heal soon Graham - glad to see the fall hasn't had any impact on your pace.

It was also a good day for the juniors with Finlay Robinson (JM 11-14), Zachary Cowal (JM 10), Amy Huntington (JW 15-17) and Charlotte Haigh (JW 11-14) all running personal bests.

Congratulations to Charlotte in particular. As a visitor from Huddersfield, she ran an impressive PB, taking her time from 26:30 down to 25:37! Way to go - no point doing things by halves when you've travelled all that way. Charlotte has had an impressive journey in many ways, clocking up 172 junior parkruns in addition to 210 'regular' parkruns with a seriously impressive amount of tourism thrown in for good measure.


The event was made possible by 15 volunteers:

Paul Kevin WEBSTER • Clare RUSSELL • Alan BROWN • Fiona SEWELL • David MACLENNAN • Margaret TURNER • Gemma COLLINS • Simon DIJKER • Cynthia FRY • Jim MCCURRACH • Ivor DUFFUS • Gudrun PRZYGODA • Chelsea COOK • Lorissa SMART • John LEMON

Fiona mentioned during the briefing that new Run Directors would be welcome. If ever you've fancied giving it a bash please speak to any of the regular RDs for more information. Be assured that if you do decide to try the RD vest for size you'll receive full support. We're happy to team up for your 'debut' appearance or have you shadow, there's always someone else around to support with results processing, and in addition, parkrun provide technical support should there be any issues on the day.

If you'd like to try any other role, please get in touch. There are quite a few vacancies over the coming weeks and parkrun doesn't run itself. We all need to take a turn at volunteering over time.

If you'd like to see how your volunteer stats are looking, you can view them through your personal profile, or by clicking on your name on the results page and then 'View all stats for this park runner'. Remember, the Volunteer 25 t-shirt is up for grabs and we all look great in purple!


No Barcode, No Time

We had a surprising number of people today with no barcode, including our first lady. Make it your New Year's resolution to remember your barcode - leave one in your car, your wallet, or be like me and get the plastic ones that are machine washable meaning they're always in your shorts as you accidentally forget to take them out and put them through the wash repeatedly!

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


Suzanne McCombie ran her 50th parkrun today. Suzanne has run at Aberdeen 47 times.

Izzie McDonald completed her 100th parkrun. Izzie has completed 72 of her runs at Aberdeen and has volunteered an impressive 21 times in a range of roles.

Gus MacDonald completed his 100th parkrun. Gus has run at Aberdeen 92 times.

Not official milestones, but well on their way, Carolyn Snedden clocked up her 300th parkrun, while Mark Finlay recorded his 400th parkrun. Well done to you both and special thanks to Mark for baking a celebratory cake to share with us all. A man of many talents, indeed! Sadly, he's not up for commissions.

See you all next week when I'll be Run Director.

Clare Russell, Run Reporter


New Year’s Day 2020 Run Report

Aberdeen parkrun #442, January 1, 2020


All was calm, all was bright. The North Sea was pretty as a picture & the promenade was ready for action. With the scene set to usher in the New Year with a parkrun romp, the air was filled with anticipation.
But we never expected what happened next.
At the 11th hour....
Drum roll please...
A record breaking 630 parkrunners launched from the Start Line!
Talk about a...

1.  Great Beginnings2. 630  Rompers

After a record high attendance of 479 at our 2019 New Year's Day edition, there were great expectations for 2020.
When this mid~field runner crossed the line in 293rd position, I should have suspected something was up.
But frankly, even I was surprised with our 630 runners' high.

5. Queue Time

Check out the attendance figures at our New Year's Day Aberdeen parkruns:
2013: 43
2014: 126
2015: 132
2016: 185
2017: 212
2018: 321
2019: 479
2020: 630
From humble beginnings, we've mushroomed into epic proportions!
What better way to welcome so many....

6. Scan Queue

Thanks to Carolyn Snedden for hosting another one of her effervescent First Timers' Briefings! I've said it before & I'll say it again, Carolyn puts the spark in sparkle & always makes our newcomers feel so welcome. A whopping 88 First Timers joined in our New Year's Day special edition. Whilst some were of the local persuasion, we also welcomed visitors from as far afield as Thurso, Perth, Fife, Leicestershire, Lanark, London & Dorking. Some of our First Timers were debuting at their very first parkrun whilst others were more seasoned folks joining us from other parkruns. We hope you all enjoyed being part of that colourful ribbon of parkrunners that wove along the promenade. It was quite the spectacle!
For those on their maiden parkrun, we hope it will become part of your lifestyle the way it has for so many of us. And, we hope to see all our First Timers return soon for a 2nd visit. Remember to bring your barcode each time so we can include your name in the results. We love putting your name up in lights!


Adding a 5k parkrun to your New Year's Day is fun in itself, but punctuating it with a PB definitely adds an extra sheen. 72 of our 630 parkrunners did just that & parkran their way to shiny new Personal Bests! Congratulations all! The calm conditions certainly set the scene perfectly for a PB extravaganza.
Check out the 72 Personal Bests & all the rest in our latest results at:

For the number nuts, 16,383 PBs have been captured at Aberdeen parkrun since we began on October 8, 2011.
What an epic leap into 2020 for these frontrunners finishing 1,2,3 in the :

3. Frontrunner

Men's Category:
1st in was James Adamson for Metro Aberdeen RRC in 16:47 (PB!)
2nd in was Cameron Forrest for Olympic Harriers in 17:02
3rd in was Craig Beattie for Metro Aberdeen RRC in 17:11

Women's Category:
1st in was Nicola Gauld for Metro Aberdeen RRC in 17:46
2nd in was Ann Gallon for Stonehaven Running Club in 20:38
3rd in was Moira Davie for Forres Harriers in 20:47

Congratulations speed-stars!

Lovely to see so many juniors dashing with panache in our New Year's Day field.
Congratulations to these parkrunners finishing first in the following junior categories:

JM10: Alex Hendry in 22:30 (PB!)
JM11-14: Hamish McKay in 17:13 (PB!)
JM15-17: Jack Low in 22:38 (PB!)

JW10: Emily Bird in 30:58
JW11-14: Anna McNeill in 21:33
JW15-17: Erin Stone in 29:23

Speaking of our juniors, check out this...


Congratulations to Hamish McKay who parkran his way into the record books on New Year's Day! He whipped around the course in 17:13 establishing a new record in the JM11-14 Age Category. Hamish knocked a whopping 13 seconds off the previous record set by Sam Griffin. Sam currently holds the JM11-14 record at Duthie junior parkrun. Looking for another challenge Hamish?


Upon completion of 10 (5k) parkruns, a parkrunner in a junior category earns a 10 Club T-shirt.
This week we welcome Connor Raitt & Samuel Gibson to the 10 Club!

Connor began his 5k parkruns at Aberdeen on August 25, 2018. He parkran 9 at Aberdeen & 1 at Hazlehead & has gathered up 4 PBs along the way. An impressive 23:36 PB graces his stats, but his accomplishments don't stop there. Connor is also a Duthie junior parkrunner & has 22 Djps under his running belt.

Samuel began his 5k parkruns at Aberdeen on October 17, 2015. He has 8 to his credit at Aberdeen & 2 at Hazlehead. Half of his parkruns have earned him PBs! Samuel took on the challenge of doing the double on New Year's Day posting times at both Hazlehead (a PB, I might add) & at Aberdeen. At this rate, the future shines bright for Samuel's PB earning power!

Congratulations Connor & Samuel! We look forward to seeing you decked out in your "10" T-shirts!

Congratulations to Sarah Milne, Alison Milne, & Dawn Mercer who kicked off New Year's Day in fine style by joining the 50 Club.

Sarah began her parkrun story at Aberdeen on October 17, 2015. She completed 25 at Aberdeen & rounded out the balance with 12 at Hazlehead, 5 at Ellon, 2 each at Stonehaven, Valentines, & Montrose, and 1 each at Livingston & St. Andrews. Sarah earned 12 shiny PBs along the way & has also jumped into the volunteer pool a couple of times.

Alison started her parkrun journey on July 25, 2015 at Aberdeen parkrun. Her 50 parkruns are comprised of 28 at Aberdeen, 10 at Hazlehead, 4 at St. Andrews, 3 at Ellon, and 1 each at Thurrock, Livingston, Montrose, Valentines & Perth. Alison has racked up 14 PBs & has volunteered on 3 occasions.

Dawn began parkrunning on October 14, 2017 at Portobello. She has parkrun 12 at St. Andrews, 9 at Portobello, 5 at Vogrie, 3 at Camperdown, 2 each at Lochore Meadows, Edinburgh & Loch Leven and 1 each at Perth, Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Crathes Castle, Montrose, Banbury, Lochend Woods, Hay Lodge, Ellon, Kirkcaldy, Falkirk, Plean, Meadowmill, Dunfermline, & Livingston. With a list like that, I'd hazard a guess that Dawn's working her way towards completing the Alphabet Challenge! Along the way, Dawn has racked up 11 PBs & has 27 "total volunteer roles" to her credit including donning the Run Director's vest twice.

Kudos Sarah, Alison & Dawn! Your "50" T~shirts will top things off perfectly as you parkrun your way through 2020!

Rumour has it that a particular Kinross Road Runner racked up his 300th parkrun at Aberdeen on New Year's Day.
Now who could that be?
Hmmm...let me delve into the results & press "Sort by Total parkruns".
Ahhh.....there it is...Paul "parkrun tourist" Allcoat.
Gotcha, Paul!
This parkrun aficionado burst onto the scene on March 5, 2011 at Edinburgh parkrun.
Paul's 300 parkruns have had him galloping around to 71 different events in 5 different countries & collecting 33 shiny PBs along the way. Lighting up Paul's profile is his very impressive 19:45 PB!
Mr. Allcoat's volunteer stats are just as inspiring. He has Run Directed 39 times, wrangled the Pre-Event Setup 21 times, Barcode Scanned 20 times, & juggled in various other roles to tally to 108 total volunteer roles over 10 total distinct volunteer roles. With a parkrun resume like that, we just had to mention Mr. Allcoat in our Run Report. Though the 300th parkrun doesn't trigger a milestone T~shirt, it does trigger a congratulations. Congratulations Paul! And... we hope you enjoyed your New Year's romp doing your double at Ury & Aberdeen!


Opportunity knocks twice on New Year's Day.
Every January 1st there's the chance to "do the double". For the uninitiated, that's the chance to do 2 parkruns in one day.
Hazlehead parkrun Event Director Martin Fraser got busy running the numbers to produce this parkrun nugget:
"There were 306 runners at Aberdeen Beach that ran another parkrun earlier in the morning."
That's almost half our field that did the double!
Well done to all our doubly keen!!
Some of those doubly keen who took on the Hazlehead-Aberdeen combo went a step further by running between the 2 events.
Some even tossed volunteering into the double mix, as well!
I'm running out of exclamation points so I'd better stop all this double talk.

8.Giving the twirl awhirl!

One of the golden batons from the 2019 Big Community Relay put in an appearance at the 9:30AM Hazlehead parkrun on New Year's Day. The baton was then passed along to some of our parkrunners running down to the 11AM Aberdeen parkrun. Next up was Carolyn Snedden who not only gave the golden baton a twirl but treated it to the full 5k tour along our beachy~keen course. Carolyn then passed the baton to the Ellon parkrun Elves for their January 4th edition. The current plan is for Ellon to hand it on to Elgin parkrun for their January 11th edition. Though the Big Community Relay has officially concluded & the 15 batons originally sent out have had their GPS trackers turned off, the golden baton that came through on the double is still in play as an extra spot of fun. The golden baton making the rounds in the Scottish Northeast is certainly twirling into overtime!

9.  Ellon Elves going for the Gold!

Methinks I witnessed some sort of masterclass in herding cats at our New Year's Day edition. Under the brilliant direction of RD Graham Snedden, a record number of 630 parkrunners launched off the Start Line. A quick 16:47 later, the Timekeepers began to click the parkrunners across the Finish Line. As the finishers poured in, the Finish Funnel was all abuzz. Extra Barcode Scanners jumped in to help with the deluge. Pen, paper & clipboard were at the ready in case we ran out of finish tokens. It was an amazing team effort. Finally, Tail Walker Michaela clocked in at 1:00:02 marking the tail end of the 630 field.

11. Tail Walker Michaela

But it didn't end there.
The results still had to be processed!
Mosey around the corner to the Brig O'Don, where carefree parkrunners kicked back, enjoyed a cuppa & chowed down. Meanwhile, RD Graham & his trusty number~crunching volunteers sharpened their pencils & put their noses to the grindstone. From my perch, I had a bird's eye view of this Think~Tank diligently tabulating, consulting, & sorting through the results. By the time McHusband & I departed at 13:22, the Think~Tank were still crunching the numbers. Thanks so much for working overtime so that 630 of us could get our parkrun fix on the double.

13. Think~Tank in Overtime

Our New Year's Day Special Edition was brought to you with an extra sprinkling of magic team spirit from these fab volunteers:

Ailsa WEBSTER • Alison WILSON • Amy MACKIE • Bryan MILLS • Carolyn SNEDDEN • Colin BURNETT • Cynthia FRY • Derek DUNN • Dino ROUSSIAS • Fiona SEWELL • Graham SNEDDEN • Jayne ADDIE • John DUFF • John LEMON • Joseph HIBBS • Mark MCDONALD • Martin FRASER • Michaela SULLIVAN • Mike MACKAY • Neil MCBAIN • Roger APPLEBY • Steve WILSON • Tony MCGARVA

12. Some Magic Team Spirit


4. Lead Biker Chick Amy

7.  Carolyn & Helen to the Res~Queue!

We're always keen for new folks to jump into the volunteer pool. Make 2020 the year you take the plunge.
Check out the volunteer opportunities on our future rosters at:


Rumour has it someone might be celebrating his 400th parkrun!
Mark my words, there was even talk of cake! Yum!!
And great Scott, Mark Findlay is not the only one with a 400 right around the corner.
Scott McMillan who parkrun toured Aberdeen on New Year's might be celebrating his 400th somewhere on the run.
Will we have two 400's on the run at Aberdeen?
Time will tell.

For your next runner's high, join us on January 4th when fab Fiona Sewell takes the reins to direct our 443rd edition.
Happy Leap Year!

Cynthia Fry

15. Cynthia on the Double


Aberdeen parkrun: Event number 441, 28th December 2019

A Windy Welcome

We welcomed 260 runners and walkers, 'new' and 'old', with a rather blustery day on the upper promenade. In contrast, the lower prom was verging on tropical, at least for this time of year, and gloves and layers were cast aside on passing our marshal at the Beach Ballroom. A final blast of headwind welcomed us into the finish funnel.Thank you for joining us on our final parkrun of 2019!

Fiona Kennedy welcomed 33 first timers at the initial briefing, with visitors joining us from Stirling, Luton, Manchester, Sunderland, and even Perth, Australia.

Finishing the Year on a High

We had a handful of runners earning themselves a PB - what a way to see out the year! They were:

Jonathan Major, Alex Loftus, Christopher Hanton, Kay Davies, Jack Caie, Mairi Farquharson, Aswini Dhaubhadel, Frank Campbell, Alice Mcara, Jill Pope, Rachael Main, Cameron Overend, Alison Fraser and Susi McWilliam. Great effort all round folks!

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

The Stars of the Day

As always, there would be no parkrun without our high-vis heroes, the volunteers. Today we thank:

Peter GRAHAM • Clare RUSSELL • Alan BROWN • Carolyn SNEDDEN • Graham SNEDDEN • Alan MARRIOTT • Callum WALKER • Rohit SONI • Fiona KENNEDY • Irina WALKER • Louise BEATON • Samantha ROSS • Anita WILLIAMS • Ceri WILLIAMS • Mitchell RENNIE • Linzi ROBERTSON • Katie CUNNINGHAM


Wendy Arthur joined the 50 Club today! Well done Wendy.

It looks like there may be a few runners bringing in the New Year with a new club t-shirt. If you're one of them, please remember to e-mail your 'chosen' parkrun ahead of time to get your shout out in celebration.

Looking Ahead

As things stand, we currently require a Barcode Scanner for our New Year's Day parkrun. Please remember that we start at the later time of 11 am on New Year's Day! If you're an early bird, or fancy doing a double parkrun, Hazlehead are starting at the usual time of 9:30 am. Graham has spoken to the Brig O'Don team and they're opening at 11 am, happy to welcome us post-run as always.

From 4th January onwards we have a range of roles available. Please check out the roster and give us a shout if you can help:

Reflections of 2019

This year, we had a grand total of 1023 volunteers throughout the year. Thanks to each and every one of you! Heading up the volunteers, we had a total of 11 Run Directors throughout the year. These included our Core Team of: Graham Snedden (Event Director), Carolyn Snedden, Bryan Mills, Fiona Sewell, Colin Burnett and Clare Russell, all of whom also work 'behind the scenes' to ensure our event runs smoothly. Mark McDonald became a regular Run Director, and we had 'guest appearances' from Callum Smith, Tony Little, Rob Sim and Nik Robinson. Feel free to do another turn anytime!


80557665_1034072010265728_4767409609751134208_o RD-CLARE-CO. Team Purple Bryan & Mark Graham & Carolyn 8 Ready for The X Factor

On behalf of the Core Team, I'd like to thank everyone that has supported our event this year, either by joining us on the run, or by volunteering. Special thanks go to the stalwart volunteers, particularly those that help with the Pre-event Setup; you make life so much easier!

Of our first finishers in 2019, Hannah Mutch topped the table for the ladies, finishing first on an impressive 10 occasions, with Ronald Gauld leading home the mens' field on 6 occasions.

Our fastest finishers of the year were Sean Chalmers, setting an age category record for SM 20-24 at Aberdeen parkrun on 8th June, running 15:05, and Fiona Rudkin running an impressive 17:43 on 11th May.

We also saw new age category records set by Carolyn Milne, Leslie Nicol and Agnes Kershaw. Carolyn now holds the age category records across 3 categories, most recently running 19:05 on 12th October as VW 60-64. Leslie ran 28:24, a time many park runners aspire to, on 21st September, setting a new record for our VM 80-84 category and now also holds 2 category records. Agnes meanwhile completed her one and only parkrun on 6th July, setting an age category record for VW 80-84 in a time of 50:25. What an inspiring bunch!

We saw many runners join the 'clubs', some the 25 club, many 50, 100 and an increasing number popping into the 250 club. We also celebrated, and can't let the year close without mentioning again, Mr Aberdeen parkrun, Jamie Cassidy, our original Event Director, who joined the 250 club this year. Thanks again Jamie for bringing our community together.


Aim High

What are your goals looking ahead? Be it challenging for an age category record, setting a new PB, or joining one of the parkrun clubs, we look forward to sharing the journey with you. See you in the New Year!

Your Run Reporter,
Clare Russell


Aberdeen parkrun #439 21st December 2019

Aberdeen parkrun Run Report #  439   21st December 2019


‘Tis the season to be jolly and there was certainly a very festive air to the little town of Bethlehem,  sorry, Aberdeen beach parkrun this week. Not only was Santa Claus coming to town but Santa’s little elf helpers had arrived in force with several Rudolph the red nosed reindeers too, and whilst it may have been a silent night last night, there was the definite sound of jingle bells in the air this morning (several of which were attached to my own rather fetching elf outfit, that resulted in one member of my family complaining of deafness from all the noise after running beside me!).

Group pic ReindeerThankfully it was not in the bleak midwinter, but in brilliant sunshine that saw 237 come all ye faithful parkrunners take part in this week’s event. With 6 first timers and 8 tourists joining from as far afield as Reading, Sunderland, Leeds and Dumfries it was a very colourful group that spread along the prom. With the good running conditions underfoot and no reoccurrence of last week’s ice, I quite enjoyed looking at all the outfits and hats, and it was a welcome sight indeed to be cheered on by one of our fabulous marshals dressed in a very cosy reindeer onesie. There were also some beautiful breaking waves on the shoreline and I’m sure I saw three ships come sailing in too.

Ok, that’s 9 Christmas song references in the first two paragraphs, so for the sake of everyone’s sanity I’ll stop all that silliness now…..after all, it’s not as if it’s the last Christmas.

Christmas Heroes

This week’s Christmas heroes were the volunteer team who came together to make the parkrun magic  happen. Due to a couple of the volunteers being absent due to illness (Irina and Rohit we wish you speedy recoveries), especial thanks go to Carrie Magee and Colin Burnett who stepped into their roles at the last minute.  This week’s volunteers were:

Graham Snedden (RD), Carolyn Snedden, Mark Findlay, Katrine Sharp, Carrie Magee, Yvonne Teasdale, Callum Walker, Steve Wilson, Ceri Williams, Shona Clarke, Jane Gordon, Mitchell Rennie, Samuel Dobby, Colin Burnett, Jamie Ross, Vivien Broughton, Alan Brown and Ali Mathers.

There are still 2 volunteers needed to make the Christmas Day parkrun magic happen (a timer keeper and a barcode scanner) so please do consider volunteering. Why not challenge yourself to take on a volunteer role, or even a new volunteer role that you may not have done before? It is definitely great fun to do and a great way to meet some of your fellow parkrunners. Take a look at the future roster at if you fancy a go just drop an email to with the date(s) and role you are interested in.  

Celebrating 100 parkruns

Many congratulations go to Simon Dijker who completed his 100th parkrun this week. 500 kilometres is definitely worthy of a celebration!


This week saw 27 people get shiny new PB’s just in time for Christmas, 3 of which were achieved by some of the ‘under 18’ junior runners. Perhaps some of those PB’s were motivated by Alan Brown and Ali Mather helpfully pacing 24 and 30 mins respectively?

The speed star finishers this week were:


  1. Kyle Greig (Forres Harriers) in 16:14
  2. Kenny Garden (Metro Aberdeen RRC) in 16:56 – a PB.
  3. Keith Buchan (Fraserburgh RC) in 17:11 – a PB too.


  1. Debbie Moore (Metro Aberdeen RRC) in 18:46
  2. Hannah Mutch (Aberdeen AAC) in 19:50
  3. Laura Edmunds in 22:08


JM10 – Zacharie Kowal (vegan Runners) in 24:52

JM11-14 –Drew McDermid in 23:03

JM 15-17 – Jordan Cruickshank (Metro Aberdeen RRC) in 19:48

JW11-14 – Mari-Lwenn Manach in 37:31

JW15-17 – Anzelle Coertzen in 22:16- celebrating completing her first ever parkrun.

Very many Congratulations to them all.

A fun fact to finish on - today was the shortest day of the year, so from here on in, we are now heading towards those long warm sunny days again, yippee.

With the spirit of Christmas in the air, along with the sound of sleigh bells, may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Happy parkrunning.

Vivien Broughton

Run Reporter a.k.a ElfontheRun.





Aberdeen parkrun Run Report # 438 14th December 2019 Naughty or Nice? – Santa (well actually the Run Director) is watching!

It was a bit of an overcast but thankfully dry morning for the Aberdeen parkrun this week, however once again that naughty sprite ‘Jack Frost’ had been out ahead of everyone. The hardy Aberdeen beach parkrunners all overcame this minor challenge (after all everyone had overcome the possibly greater challenge of getting up and out on such a cold morning) and everyone made it around the course in one piece. I know however that at one point I found myself wondering if it was time to be treating myself to trainers with better, deeper tread on them – after all, Christmas is coming you know…..

Early Christmas spirit was definitely in the air as Run Director(RD) Mark was making a list and checking it twice at the volunteer meeting, and during the pre-run briefing he could see who was awake, and paying attention. For those who were too busy chatting and catching up with friends during  the briefing, please don’t end up on the naughty list. Even though you may have heard the briefing before, and be keen to talk to friends, please do remember to be nice and quiet for the benefit of others, particularly for the safety updates and the shout outs for those celebrating milestones,and as a courtesy to all the volunteers.

On the point of volunteers- can you be the hero who saves Christmas? Volunteers are urgently needed for next week’s parkrun and particularly for the Christmas day parkrun. Help Tiny Tim and your fellow parkrunners make it a Christmas to remember by being that hero. It is not a requirement of being a hero to wear your underpants on the outside, but in such cold weather the wearing of pants may be a good idea in general.

This week 249 people completed the course, with 8 people doing their first ever parkrun, and 14 ‘tourists’ visiting Aberdeen with the south of England well represented by runners from both Surrey and Essex. Hopefully they all enjoyed their first taste of Aberdeen beach parkrun and will come again soon.

There were several people celebrating milestone runs this week, and although they may have kept quiet about their achievement and therefore not got their round of applause at the pre-run briefing, they have each earned a well-deserved shout out:

Celebrating 50 parkruns are Scott HaltenSteve Fernie and Robert Biggart and celebrating 100 parkruns is Scott Minty. Many Congratulations to them all.

Congratulations also go to the incredible 17 people who got PB’sthis week, particularly so in the somewhat trying conditions. There were 5 fantastic volunteer pacers this week who helped provide morale support and motivation along the way, so thanks go to:

23 mins- Tony McGarva25 mins-  Callum Smith, 26 mins- Alan Brown, 27 mins- Joesph Hibbs and 30 mins- Alan Grieve


The speed star finishers this week were:


1. Ben Ward in 16:16.
2. Michael Barker in 17:33.
3. Ruairidh Campbell in 17:35.


1. Laura Sarkis in 21:02- a first timer to Aberdeen parkrun.
2. Elaine Wilson in 22:14.
3. Becky Strachan in 22:20.

In total there were 8 junior runners this week and worthy of mention are

JM10 – Owen Green – 32:18

JM11-14 – Louis Kowal- 20:28

JW10 – Sophie Beaton-  28:47 a new PB.

JW11-14 – Jessica Beaton- 23:19 a new PB too.

(no runners in either the JM or JW 15-17 categories  this week)

Very many Congratulations to them all!

This week’s Aberdeen parkrun only took place thanks to the high-vis hero volunteers who kindly gave up their time, with some even losing the feeling in their toes and fingers along the way. A very warm thank you therefore to  all the volunteers –

Mark McDonald (RD), Clare Russell, Mark Findlay, Mike Sievewright, Allan Taylor, Jamie Ross, Caron Sievewright, Ronan Clancy, Fiona Kennedy, William Skinner, Steve Abel, Alastair Blain, Shona Candlish, Craig Wilson, Mitchell Rennie, David Hunter, Vivien Broughton, Carolyn Snedden, Tony McGarva, Callum Smith, Alan Brown, Joseph Hibbs, Alan Grieve. 

Why not challenge yourself to take on a volunteer role, or even a new volunteer role that you may not have done before? It is definitely great fun to do and a great way to meet some of your fellow parkrunners. Take a look at the future roster at:

If you fancy a go just drop an email to Aberdeen@parkrun.comwith the date(s) and role you are interested in. parkrun can only happen if there are volunteers to take on all the roles, so please do consider volunteering.

With the spirit of Christmas in the air, along with the sound of one particular parkrunners rather cosy looking hand knitted Christmas tree jingle bell hat this morning, may I wish you all…

Happy parkrunning,

Vivien Broughton

Run Reporter


Aberdeen parkrun, Event number 437: 7th December 2019

Running the Numbers
This week, a total of 238 people ran, jogged and walked the course. Of these 238, it appears that 235 listened to the briefing (or have done on previous occasions) as only 3 were spotted running on the road. You know who you are - please don't do it. It's dangerous, makes you look like an idiot, and ultimately puts you at unnecessary risk. We will also remove you from the results if anyone around you 'grasses you up!'

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

The female record is held by Nicola GAULD who recorded a time of 17:04 on 25th February 2012 (event number 21).
The male record is held by Sean CHALMERS who recorded a time of 15:05 on 8th June 2019 (event number 411).
The Age Grade course record is held by Carolyn MILNE who recorded 100.26% (19:05) on 12th October 2019 (event number 429).

Aberdeen parkrun started on 8th October 2011. Since then 12,243 participants have completed 92,275 parkruns covering a total distance of 461,375 km, including 16,222 new Personal Bests. A total of 911 individuals have volunteered 6,443 times.

A Promising Start from the Walkers

In my enthusiasm to get the runners going, I completely forgot to prime the timers! Thankfully the Walkers (Callum and Irina) were on the ball and both clicked appropriately on my shout of '3, 2, 1, Go!'

From the moment the front runners came in, led by Neil McBain on in his role as Lead Bike, I had a feeling this would be a good week for the results! As Run Director, it never ceases to amaze me how effortless the front runners appear, although at times the graceful glide is betrayed by their doubling over on finishing to catch their breath, throw up, or collapse into the funnel, every last ounce of energy having been expended as they throw it all at the sprint in the last few hundred metres. Today was no exception. Calm conditions and a mild day for this time of year saw our top 2 finishers (Mark Brown and Keith Buchan) earning themselves PBs. Jim Moir, our 3rd finisher, managed to stay just ahead of Craig Peet who most definitely put his foot firmly on the gas, finishing with a very impressive sprint and a PB to boot! I think Craig may have secured that 3rd place had it not been for someone shouting at Jim, 'don't let him catch you!' When I grow up I want to have a sprint finish like these guys!!

Quiet Please!
Thank you for listening to the briefing. Unfortunately the batteries on our microphone failed us and I had to resort to shouting. The volunteers did a sterling job, shepherding everyone in and giving a reminder to simmer down and listen. If we can do this one week, surely we can do it every week. Remember, Santa's looking out to see who's being nice and who's being naughty. All being well, all you 'good' people will be duly rewarded on Christmas Day, maybe even with a PB.

Festive Runs
Our Christmas Day run will be at 9:30 am, the New Year's Day run at 11 am. We are still looking for volunteers for both of these events, so feel free to add your name to the roster or sign up non-running friends or family who might wish to join the occasion.

The Clubs
In the context of running, 'Club' means different things to different people. We had representation from 22 different running clubs this week. We also had lots of representation from our parkrun clubs.

Fourteen runners represented the 250 club, of whom 12 are members of the 25 volunteer club. Between these 14, an impressive 4065 parkruns have been clocked up!

Forty three runners from the 100 club joined us, of whom 9 are members of the volunteer club, and another forty three runners from the 50 club ran, of whom 2 are members of the volunteer club.

Overall, we had 23 runners entitled to wear the purple 25 club t-shirt, with another 7 members of this club in volunteer roles. Volunteers make our world go round so if you've not joined the 'club' yet, please give it due consideration, all the more so if purple is your colour.

A Warm Welcome
We were delighted to have 11 people run their first Aberdeen parkrun with us today, including Daniel Hall from Brockwell parkrun, fresh off the sleeper train from London. We hope you all enjoyed your run and will return again soon!

Two first time volunteers joined the team today: Steve Abel on our Funnel, and Stephen Dionne as our Bus Stop Marshal. Thanks to you both.

We welcomed Shona Candlish to the 50 Club. Shona received her round of applause having shared her achievement with us via her Dad, David Candlish, who joined us from Stirling and gained himself a PB in celebration of the occasion. David's card will be marked as in doing this he bet Shona to the finish! There may be a rematch down the line for this pair.

We'd also like to congratulate the two runners that quietly slipped under the radar to join the Clubs this morning:

Gordon McKechnie, earning his red t-shirt as a new member of the 50 Club; and

Robert Smith, earning his black t-shirt as our latest member of the 100 Club.

The Volunteers: Not all heroes wear their pants outside their trousers!
But maybe we could one week? Let us know what you think!!

The event was made possible by 17 volunteers:

Clare RUSSELL • Alan BROWN • Shirley C • Carolyn SNEDDEN • Mark FINDLAY • Callum WALKER • Rohit SONI • Fiona KENNEDY • Bryan MILLS • Neil MCBAIN • Irina WALKER • Steve ABEL • Kristin MCCURRACH • Joseph HIBBS • Mitchell RENNIE • Stephen DIONNE • John LEMON

Our volunteer roster is full next week (14th December). A little elf tells me this may have something to do with the Lossiemouth Turkey Trot (10 mile race) on Sunday 15th. There are still a few places going for this event should anyone fancy signing up:

Thereafter, we've plenty of available opportunities. Should you have an urge to don your cape, wear your pants outside your trousers, or just be a hero incognito, please give us a yell at:

Notable Mentions
Congratulations to the 42 runners that gave it their all today and earned a shiny new Personal Best. For you, Christmas has come early. A few of these PBs stood out. In no particular order they are:

Yvonne Roberston, VW 65-69, earning a PB on her 32nd parkrun and proving once again that age is no barrier to times;

Vivien Broughton, VW 45-49, with a PB on parkrun 77;

Laura Nicoll, VW 35-39, Jog Scotland Hazlehead coach and a regular parkrun volunteer, pushing the pace to PB on her 209th parkrun; and

Lawrence Wattie, VM 45-49, Metro Aberdeen, breaking the elusive 20 minute barrier for the first time on parkrun 71.

Breakfast at the Brig O'Don
As always, Aidan and the team at Brig O'Don did us proud, furnishing us with breakfast and unlimited tea and coffee for the princely sum of £5. Numbers were down on last week, but as always, the men showed that it's good to talk, outlasting the ladies by a country mile. parkrun really is about the social, and this merry band will welcome new faces any time. Please feel free to join us any week should you not already have done so. As with volunteering, everyone is made welcome!


Happy running! Hope to see you all next week.

Clare Russell
Run Reporter and Run Director

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