It’s always a pleasure to be back at Abingdon Parkrun for a visit.

For those who aren’t aware I started my parkrun journey in September 2011 in Abingdon, after a conversation with my then flatmate Caroline suggesting I would enjoy it. Little did either us realise then what an integral part of our lives our parkrun fix would be (I’ve now done over 350 runs, Caroline over 250) and how many people we would introduce parkrun to or meet at parkrun.

Arriving at Abingdon at 8.45 am, it was clear that it was going to be a wet one but thankfully not the current Japanese weather. It was warm, took some effort to take off the rain jacket and then finding a place that it would not get too wet during the run. I enjoyed catching up with Abingdon regulars who I had not seen for a while.

Lucy gave the briefing and then we were off, with everyone having their own reason for being there. For the run, Caroline, Ollie in the buggy and I ran together. We managed to have a good chat (Ollie was noticing the boats on the river), whilst hitting or avoiding the puddles and generally forgetting about the rain. The only time we split was in the finish areas so I could have a run out with other Helen’s if only there was a parkrun club for that.

The volunteers were fantastic especially standing out in those conditions for us all. Cheering and clapping. Thank you to all the volunteers.

In terms of the run, there were 311 runners, with Josh being the first person back. 12 first-timers (much respect is given the conditions) and a special mention go to Liz on the special 350th run and also to the person running their 100th at Abingdon parkrun.

Shall we do it all again, same time, same place, next week?



Run report – Event no. 409, 17/08/19

 A,B,C easy as 1,2,3

by Laura Taylor

My alarm clock went off slightly earlier on this Saturday morning as I was off to do some parkrun tourism at Abingdon. My home parkrun is Prospect in Reading so not too far a journey for me to make. As always I am impressed by the volunteers at any parkrun I attend and Abingdon was no different. The run director was lovely, welcoming and did a great briefing- concise but very informative. The rest of the volunteers were spot on, chatty and offered lots of encouragement. I am part of my core team and a RD myself at my home parkrun and would encourage everyone to volunteer at their local parkrun, it really is the best way to spend your Saturday morning and without the hi-viz heroes, it would not happen. Thank you again Abingdon volunteers.

Abingdon as a parkrun is a must visit in my opinion. Plenty of parking, easy to drive to and the parking is free for the first 2 hours - result! The course is lovely. The parkrun starts by the river Thames, with a very wide start for those who are looking to speed off ahead. Then you head onto a lovely trail type path, onto an open field then down a country road then onto lap 2. I wore my trail shoes for my run which seemed to work well for me. I will certainly be back again to Abingdon!

As I am a parkrun tourist looking to complete the parkun Alphabet challenge, I thought I would write the run report based on the A-Z of parkrun. How many of your parkrun A,B,C's do you know?

A= is for Abingdon parkrun - starts by the beautiful Thames path.

B= is for Bravo, to all a WELL DONE! The conditions were ideal today- nice warm sun and a bit of wind to cool you down whilst doing parkrun!

C= is for Clubs represented, 28 in total- the most interesting names that caught my attention were Cake Club and Lonely Goat RC – cool club names!

D= is for Don't Forget Your Barcode, 19 of you got no time, whoops!

E= is for Energy – Alarm clocks had been set nice and early for our 344 participants this morning!

F= is for First-Timers to parkrun- 15 taking part

G= is for GREAT Volunteers, parkrun wouldn’t happen without you!

Alice BADCOCK  •  Alistair BUCKLEY  •  Andrew DICKINSON  •  Angela GREEN  •  Anne BROOKS  •  Anne BUCKLEY  •  Caroline Elizabeth HUTCHINGS  •  Eric DE LA HARPE  •  Katie JEFFERY  •  Laura TAYLOR  •  Lorna BLACKMORE  •  Louise DAWKINS  •  Lucy HAMILTON  •  Odette DAWKINS  •  Rachel KENNEIL  •  Robert SMITH  •  Ruth JOHNSON  •  Stuart WATTON  •  Timothy POWELL  •  Tom LONG  •  Tonia HARRIS  •  Tony LONG  •  Zebedee MARSH

H= Hills- none to be found here! Elevation gain is very small at this parkrun :-)

I= is for Imminent- let us know if you have a big milestone coming up so we can give you a shout out in the briefing!

J= is for juniors- lots of children taking part - lovely to see!

K= is for all the Keen participants who turned up – 344 of you!

L= Lady- First finisher was Emma Baghurst in a time of 20:40, well done!

M= Male- first finisher was Alex Cumming in a speedy time of 16:55, well done!

N= is for New to parkrun- welcome to all those people who were doing their first ever parkrun today, Congratulations!

O= Oxford- a close parkrun nearby and a good day out too!

P= is for Personal Bests, 35 PBs congratulations to you all.

Q= for a Quantity of run- We have first timer Jan North at Abingdon today who has completed her 411th parkrun- wow!

R= River, keep it on your left hand-side- don't go over it or in it!

S= is for sunny and stunning! This is a must visit parkrun- beautiful setting by the river Thames and a mixture of a trail run too, just stunning.

T= is for Tourists – hope you enjoyed your parkrun tourist adventure we had tourists from Spain, Winchester and Leicester to name a few!

U= is for Understanding why we do parkrun day formerly known as Saturday

V= is for ..without Volunteering, it won't happen, please give it a try!

W= is for Wet and Windy…..need I say more!

X= is for eXcuse me, remember it's a run not a race

Y= is for Yippee! For that Friday night feeling as you know parkrun is happening the next morning ☺
Z= is for 2 people with Zeds in their name! Yes I counted! ☺ - Congrats Zac and Zoe you feature in our run report :-)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone,

Laura Taylor


Saturday 20th July

We are not cancelling this Saturday even though Prosecco in the Park is sharing Rye Meadow. However we would appreciate some extra volunteers to help us share the space safely. If you can help please get in touch #DFYB Lucy


Shirt news at Abingdon parkrun #402

Shirt News at Abingdon parkrun #402
This week, 29th June, about half the runners had qualified for parkrun T shirts. Specifically the percentages were green 5%, black 22%, red 15%, white 5% and 53% who had done less than 50 runs. The number of runs that people have done is related to how long the parkrun has been going and at Bushy, the first parkrun, 13% of the runners have done more than 250 parkruns and 1% more than 500. Of course we don’t see all these coloured parkrun shirts every week (maybe it’s too hot in the summer) but it would look pretty on some special anniversary or occasion if we saw the whole colourful array.
Everyone loves statistics so here are some more. We had 475 runners, which is the third largest number ever at Abingdon. The average time was 30 minutes and the standard deviation was 7.5 minutes, which means that 95% of us took between 15 and 45 minutes. There were 24 people doing their first parkrun and 35 on their first time at Abingdon.
The first finisher was Alex Wall-Clarke who I believe was getting married on the same day. Congratulations on both achievements. First lady was Tara Kafke. Best age grader was Jane Fabes on 85%.
Remarkably 26 people managed new PBs in spite of it being the hottest parkrun of 2019. A big entry is also a bar to good times as the course tends to block at about 0.8k, where the path narrows only allowing single file running. The answer would be to sprint for the first kilometre to either get ahead of the blockage or to expect a rest in the blockage.
John Last


Abingdon parkrun #400 8th June 2019

Run report by Tim Scott

Sorry I’m a little late with this run report. I have been busy moving my mother, 86 with Alzheimer’s, from her apartment in The Old Gaol to our home in Sunningwell. My sister has been over helping with the move and came to hand out the Jelly Babies and Wine Gums at the end of this parkrun. Try as I might I cannot persuade her to complete a parkrun despite the reassurance that she would not be last!

I woke up on Saturday morning to the sound of fairly torrential rain and lay in bed wondering what I would need to wear to stay warm and dry for quite a long time. Hat and gloves! Some fellow runners choose different shoes to cope with the mud but I haven’t achieved those standards yet; one pair does a consistent steady (slow) pace for me.

The rain was so heavy I had a moment of wondering whether to go or not. But I was on a mission. Today I was running my 250th parkrun, a significant achievement for an old boy of 58. I started running when I was 43 years old following a long stay in hospital caused by Acute Pancreatitis. I was in the JR for 8 months in 2002/3. I was nil by mouth for about 5 months and lost around 5 stone which was a bonus. A cardiac arrest meant I lost my short term memory and that hasn’t been so good. Running has certainly been the way to help manage my mental health, keep some weight off and to help manage my new friend Diabetes.

Before I ever heard of parkrun I had run 4 London Marathons. The first three were over 5 hours and the 4th was 4:38:07 in 2011. I may try again in 2021 when I’m 60. At the time I was living close to the leisure centre and did all lf my training on a treadmill except for the Silverstone ½ marathon leading up to the London Marathon. The trainers in the leisure centre thought I was a bit nuts running for hours on a treadmill. Usually a steady 10Km per hour and sometimes I would trudge along for a few hours. I liked the reassurance of the lights and numbers reminding me that I was alive which were similar to my visits to Intensive Care in some quite dark times.

James Wigmore was a trainer in the leisure centre and had witnessed my crazy trudging on the treadmill and was the first person to mention Abingdon parkrun to me. “You should try running outside” he said as if it was a normal thing to do. I thought “it may be normal to you but running outside with other people is not normal to me!” But it played on my mind and on 14 January 2012 I arrived at my first parkrun in a field of 76 runners; I was 54th in a time of 29:31 which seemed quite respectable to me. Like many of us I had a flurry of pb’s and I have a pb still to beat from September 2012 of 24:29. I’ve slowed down but still enjoy every parkrun event where the support, encouragement and friendship is an important part of my week.

Abingdon parkrun’s first run was on 07/05/2011 with 56 runners and 12 volunteers. A great achievement by Lucy Hamilton and the parkrun team to get the event off the ground with so much unseen organization. Here we are just over 8 years later and the 400th Abingdon parkrun takes place without a hitch but with 319 runners and 23 volunteers. Only 319 runners because we had all heard the rain or seen weather forecasts. But it was the 400th run and the weather wasn’t going to stop us! In fact the rain stopped and we gathered at the start with the usual sense of anticipation and tactical planning. Start at the front; start at the back; start close to the back and try and hold my own.

I often think we should be a bit quieter at the start as the run briefing is given. Mike Shepherd was in charge today with the usual warnings not to run in the river. Mike always impresses me; he seems to know everyone’s name and something about them. The milestone announcements were missed and I had been looking forward to that announcement and expected it to take one minute off my time. You see, we runners have so many excuses; no milestone announcement, too windy, too cold, too hot, too busy, too muddy.

A boat moored by the start told me what I needed to do; it was called “Gentle Saunter” and that is what I have been doing since last October due to some knackered old toes. Running a bit slower and having more of a chat with a few more people; making new friends! My sense of achievement at the moment is not being lapped and I wasn’t lapped this week. Michael Deering who came first in an impressive 18:14 must have nearly been finishing as I started my second lap. Not far behind Michael would have been Amy Rose O’Hanlon the first female to finish in an impressive 22:39.

When I eventually finished I carried on handing out the Wine Gums and Jelly Babies that seemed a popular choice especially to a group of hikers who were walking across the field. Then I went to Java & Co to help sort the finish tokens. This was the first time I had volunteered for this role and the first time I have been to Java & Co post-run; I should do both more often!

Next week at the 401st Abingdon parkrun I will volunteer for the 25th time and I am quite proud of this synchonicity in my world that can be a bit of a muddle. That I think is what parkrun offers, every week, wherever you are. Running or volunteering, you have a chance to be amongst friends, competing only with yourself, supporting everyone.

A few folk on Strava will know that I write a quote every (nearly) day. Yesterday the quote was:
“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” Fred Lebow

Thanks to the parkrun families of Abingdon and Worcester where I was welcomed into the community.

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