We interrupt this parkrun

As we are all too well aware Saturday 21st March will see a complete suspension of parkruns across the planet. We all know why, and we all know that anyone turning up at 9.00 on a Saturday morning to run the course will be going against everything that parkrun has asked of us. 

So ... what to do? There is the promise of the Great Big parkrun Quiz - as previously shared - and a variety of virtual events elsewhere. We are going cautiously into this but we will be monitoring our Twitter (@AlPalparkrun), Facebook (Ally Pally parkrun) and Instagram (allypallyparkrun) feeds between 8.55 (pre-run briefing) and 10.00 or whenever the tail walker finishes. If you want to post on social media then please tag us with #allypallyparkrun and we will try to get a community feel going. We are all aware that parkrun is for many people more than just the run but is the opportunity to meet other people, and to have a chat and a laugh outside of normal life. So if you are feeling a bit bereft please do join us. Let us know if you have been for a run, jog, or walk, or if you have any keep fit tips, or just a picture of you and your coffee. 

We’ll see how it goes and try to keep our little community going over the weeks ahead. If you have any ideas in this area do let us know.

In the meantime look after yourselves and look forward to Ally Pally parkrun 415 whenever that may be.


By the rivers of Babylon- Event 411 – 8th Feb 2020

Despite Thames Water setting up a substantial encampment at the start area, the course retains it's own waterjump to keep runners on their toes. Thankfully, the temperature was mild so no skating was required this week, and 330 runners completed the course.
We welcomed visitors from various other parkruns including Fantastic Mr Fox on Tour from Maldon. We are expecting a whale and a dolphin next week.
Congratulations to everyone for your stoicism and good humour in dealing with the current environmental problems on the course.
Unfortunately, on behalf of the management we need to raise 3 issues of concern:-
1. For 2 weeks running we have received complaints that slower less experienced runners have been pushed when being lapped by faster runners. We appreciate the difficulties with the top path being constricted by mud and water. However, we need to remind all runners of the following:-
Parkrun is a run not a race
It is a community event and not a running club.
It is totally unacceptable for anyone to be pushed/barged/moved aside by another runner. Where this happens by accident, the onus is on the pusher to stop and check the pushee is OK.
Please be considerate to other runners and park users. There is more to parkrun than a PB.
2. As mentioned at the briefing, a volunteer had their bike stolen from under our noses last week. We therefore need to remind people that items left at the start are left at your own risk. If you come by bike (which is encouraged), please lock up your bike to a tree, where it will not be in the way of runners. If you leave a bag at the start, please take any valuables out and take them with you on the run. If you park your car in the vicinity, do not leave any valuables in it.
3. In spite of us mentioning this every week, our position tokens are constantly depleted by people taking them away. A set of tokens costs over £100 to replace; please stop it.

On a more positive note, we are are building up a fantastic group of regular volunteers, who are confident in doing a range of tasks. So today we are celebrating them. Thanks to Sarah and Andres on timers, Rupert, Wendy and Pippa on tokens, Shay managing the funnel, Ruth doing the Beginners briefing, Vix, Roger, Ceri, Sophie, Jenny, Susan and Stephen marshalling, Jess, Sonia and Tom scanning, Anne and Rodger token-sorting, Stephanie tail-walking and Shane helping pack the trolley. We are always delighted to welcome new volunteers.
Many thanks


Ally Pally parkrun 407

Ally Pally parkrun 407

Another Saturday, another new record attendance of 444 as we benefited from all those January resolutions on what is becoming a traditional weekend for high numbers We weren’t the only ones with over 80 parkruns and junior parkruns hitting new heights, including several of our neighbours. A warm welcome to the 33 new parkrunners who joined us. We hope you will soon be doing that “difficult” second run or walk. If you really try you could just about qualify for a red milestone T-shirt by the end of the year!

Bearing in mind that our attendances tend to rise by the odd two or three we have to give huge thanks to our volunteers who had to cope with an additional 38 parkrunners over last week’s record. An emergency double funnel was instituted at short notice and seems to have worked well. Thank you to everyone who helped by following instructions. A slight shuffling of the positions had to be dealt with during processing, but everyone got the right time. Please remember that once you have crossed the line you need to stay in the funnel and collect a finish token. Ducking out of the funnel causes a lot of headaches for the results processors as the timings and positions get out of synch. If you don’t want your time recorded either don’t cross the line, or just take a token and hand it in at the sorting table.

With these higher numbers it would be great to have a few more volunteers so that we can manage the finish area and keep marshals out on the course for whole event. If you are new to parkrun you can opt in to receive our volunteer emails via the link in your results email or via the Ally Pally parkrun website.

Joining our 33 newbies were 45 first time visitors, who were equally welcome. There were 38 PBs recorded in what were still testing conditions, although not as testing as the Metropolitan League cross country course held later in the day. If you see any photos do not fear - we do not use that particular hill! Our top path is muddy and narrow enough as it is, and Storm Brendan won’t have helped with things for this coming week. (Although as I write the sun is actually shining!)

Congratulations to the following on reaching milestones:
10 parkruns (junior): Alexandra Staebe, Johnny Reeves
50 parkruns: Diane Saxby, Matthew Hopley
100 parkruns: Kate Howe, Mark Colwill

Our first finishers were:
1 Al Pelmont 17:41
2 Chris Palfreman 19:03
3 Leo Burningham 19:17

First female finishers were:
45 Lia Tibenham-Crofts (JW15-17) 22:50 (New PB)
55 Claire Morris 23:16 (First time at AP)
84 Lottie Higgins 24:30

First juniors were:
11 Janak Subberwal (JM11-14) 20:54
24 Eli Jay (JM15-17) 21:46 (First parkrun)
38 Ben Ryan (JM11-14) 22:23

Our top age grades were:
Mike Hurford (VM60-64) 80.77%
Leo Burningham (VM50-54) 77.70%
Tal Pelmont (SM18-19) 74.55%

All the details can be found here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/allypally/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=407

If you are reading this with a view to visiting us in the near future, or if your route involves arriving via Alexandra Palace station then please be aware that East Coast Upgrade works are taking place. Crucially this means there is no service to AP over the weekends of 25-26 January and 29 February-1 March. Other weekends will have amended services, including this week. Check before travelling! At least Tottenham are away so we don’t need to worry about parking restrictions.

Fingers crossed for more sunshine and a lot less rain - and a full volunteer roster.



A New Years Double

Ally Pally parkrun 405 & 406

As is our custom we saw the New Year in with two parkruns in quick succession which not only gave a number of people the chance to do the New Years Day double but also saw our first Saturday event of the year set a new attendance record. We have also been blessed with a good turnout of volunteers at both events and would love to see this become a trend in the weeks and months ahead.

We, like many other events up and down the country, have been affected by the very wet winter and it is to everyone’s credit that a sensible approach is being taken on the narrower and more treacherous parts of the course. We have had a few falls so do take care, and once again we thank those who stop to help their fellow parkrunners and in some cases abandon their own runs to give assistance. Fortunately everyone has been able to leave under their own steam.

Event 405 - 1st January
We had 274 finishers of whom 35 did a double combining a 9.00 run at Grovelands (21) or Highbury Fields (14) with us. In addition at least one of our volunteers did a run/volunteer double. Amongst the doublers was young David Sheldon following firmly in the family tradition and clocking up his 99th & 100th runs. We were joined by 14 new parkrunners and 55 first time visitors. A very creditable 32 PBs were recorded given the date and the conditions.

The following recorded milestones:
10 parkruns (junior): Lia Tibenham-Crofts
50 parkruns: Matthew Cartledge, Sarah McPake
100 parkruns: David Sheldon

25 volunteering events: Christian Sailer

Our first finishers were:
1 Carl Fiford 17:50 (New PB)
2 Peter Gould 17:58
3 Luke Kavanagh 18:31

First female finishers were:
8 Rachel Thomas 19:18 (First time at AP)
51 Tallulah Jeffes (JW15-17) 22:56
56 Lia Tibenham-Crofts (JW15-17) 23:05

First juniors were:
13 Harry Glyn (JM11-14) 19:35 (First time at AP)
23 Samuel Lindsell (JM11-14) 20:37 (First time at AP)
51 Tallulah Jeffes (JW15-17) 22:56

Our age grade top three were:
Sue Eedle (VW60-64) 78.68%
Mike Hurford (VM60-64) 78.40%
Ed Boden (VM45-49) 77.70%

Which brings us to event 406 (4th January) and although a large number of participants was expected it is unlikely that anyone thought there would be a record turnout. Rather neatly we had 406 finishers thus beating our previous high (set last June) by two. This event was also notable for the high number of pacers covering nearly every minute between 20 & 40. Despite the congestion on the upper path they helped 43 of our finishers to a PB. Starting the new year with a first ever parkrun were 18 beginners and we had 40 more experienced participants making their first visit. As usual we hope you will join us again soon. Slightly disappointing was the 44 unknowns.

We had one milestone with John Hillan reaching 10 parkruns (junior). Congratulations also go to Andrew Thomas who set a new age category record of 17:22 in the SM18-19 category.

Our first finishers were:
1 Andrew Thomas 17:22 (First time at AP)
2 Samuel Anderson 17:51 (First time at AP)
3 Thomas Grimley 18:33

First female finishers were:
23 Eilidh Wagstaff 21:22
47 Anna Cawdron 22:31
51 Lia Tibenham-Crofts (JW15-17) 22:53 (New PB)

Our first juniors were:
9 Janak Subberwal (JM11-14) 19:51
16 Charlie Johnston (JM15-17) 20:25
39 Matthew Sheldon (JM11-14) 22:02

Our age grade top three were:
Caroline White (VW60-64) 80.89%
Leo Burningham (VM50-54) 79.14%
Mike Hurford (VM60-64) 77.15%

Congratulations to all those named above and to every single person who has run, jogged, walked, and volunteered so far this year. Here’s to the next 50 weeks!

All our respults can be found here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/allypally/results/eventhistory/



Event 404- running off the Christmas dinner

There was a slightly lower turnout of 214 runners but this was a  comfortable number for the small band of very efficient volunteers who offered their services.

The weather was pleasantly mild, but conditions still muddy.

First runner home was Spike Blake (J11-14) with a storming run. He was followed by Doug Rendle and Matt Collins.

First three ladies were Mimi Black (J15-17, in 9th place overall), Alana Mann and Lia Tibenham-Crofts (J15-17)

We celebrated a special milestone as Matthew Sheldon reached his 250th parkrun, while still in the J11-14 category. Matthew also has over 100 volunteering credits, and is one of the few people able to fold up the parkrun banner, so is a great example to us all. He also brought cake!

Two other Ally Pally stalwarts flew under the radar as they also achieved special milestones, Lee Connor on 200 and Susan Delgado on 100, and  Anja Richter achieved her 50th. Congratulations to them all.

The New Year resolutions can get off to a good start at our next event which is on New Year's Day. Please note the later start time of 10am.


Ally Pally parkrun over the festive season

We will be holding events on the following dates:

Saturday 21st December 2019 at 9.00am as usual

Wednesday 25th December 2019 – NO EVENT

Saturday 28th December 2019 at 9.00am as usual

Wednesday 1st January 2020 at 10.00am - New Year’s Day parkrun - There will be an extra parkrun on New Year’s Day so why not join us and start 2020 with your parkrun family! Please be advised that the event will start at the later time of 10.00am.

Saturday 4th January 2020 at 9.00am as usual

It would be great to have a good turnout for all the events over the festive period so please do come and join us and spread the word to all your family, friends and colleagues. Also don’t forget to bring your barcode as these events will count towards your t-shirt count.

We will need volunteers for each of these events, so please get in touch with us at allypallyhelpers@parkrun.com if you're willing to help out!

Thanks to all parkrunners and volunteers for their continued support throughout the year. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

Ally Pally parkrun team


A poem for Catherine

If you were on the start line for our Anniversary event on 7th December you will have heard the news that after eight years Catherine is stepping away from being our Event Director. We will have more about this in our run report but in the meantime here is the poem that Jan Smith wrote in Catherine’s honour. So if you weren’t there or missed out on all the words then here you go ...

Catherine Edeam
She runs like a dream
5Ks just a stroll
Though good for the soul
She’s a marathon vet
An ultra - No sweat
She’ll do it with ease
And another one please

Supple and lithe
And not one to skive
She’s here every week
Stylish and chic
Her volunteer tally
Here at Ally Pally
Three hundred and four
No one has done more

If 5k makes you queasy
She’ll make it seem easy
No one is greater
As our motivator
She’s such a friend
To those at the end
Shouting her praise
To the waifs and the strays

If you want advice
Shell be there in a trice
On your knees or your shoes
Or which stretch to choose
For your D of E
She’ll asses you for free
Do as you’re told
You’ll soon have your gold

As a pacer we’re pvoudest
That she is the loudest
Her encouraging shouting
Dispels all self doubting
Her knowledge is vast
To help you go fast
Should your confidence flicker
She’ll make you go quicker

Thanks to this pioneer
We’re aII gathered here
Without our great founder
We’d all of us flounder
For fervour and loyalty
She’s true parkrun royalty
Most inspiring of chiefs
True to parkrun beliefs

But now its all ending
Her remits extending
We know she’s a flyer
Who’s born to go higher
As she follows her quest
We wish her the best
From the depths of our heart
Though we’re sad to part

As we cross the line
Let’s crack open the wine
As we raise a toast
To the one we love most
It’s not a platitude
Our deepest gratitude
From all your team
To Catherine Edeam



Ally Pally parkrun 400

Assembling for the start of Ally Pally parkrun 400

Ally Pally parkrun 400

Rather neatly our 400th event turned to be the final event of our 8th year due to the following week’s cancellation. Look out for a few anniversary related facts and figures in due course, but in the meantime and with apologies for the delay, here is a brief look back at Ally Pally parkrun 400.

Conditions were still tricky in places on the top path, but elsewhere it was all pretty good and again we had a cool, but dry morning. No real matters of import need reporting, although there was a cheer when a cycling parkrunner was reunited with the key to his bicycle lock! Matched by the cheer for a very small parkrunner crossing the line after most others had left.

We had 301 finishers with 11 beginners and 22 first time visitors joining us. Well done to the 58 who achieved a PB. Our thanks go, as ever, to all those who donned the yellow waistcoats and made it all possible.

Congratulations to the following on reaching milestones:
50 parkruns: Jonathan Halliwell, Nike Siffre

Our first finishers were:
1 Thomas Grimley 18:15 (New PB)
2 Leo Burningham 18:20
3 Ed Boden 18:22

First female finishers were:
42 Sophie McKeeman 22:25 (New PB)
58 Raphaela Papadakis 23:29
39 Anna Cawdron 23:29 (First parkrun)

First juniors were:
11 Janak Subberwal (JM11-14) 20:24
15 Roger Wilcox (JM15-17) 20:47
17 Eric Beale (JM11-14) 20:52 (New PB)

Our top age grades were:
Helen Mayer (VW65-69) 81.76%
Leo Burningham (VM50-54) 81.73%
Ed Boden (VM45-49) 79.67%

All the details can be found here.

Join us on December 7th when we start our fifth century of events and celebrate the 8th anniversary of the founding of Ally Pally parkrun. Be sure to arrive early for the pre-event speeches and presentations, and stay on afterwards for the cake and conversation.


Ally Pally parkrun 399


Ally Pally parkrun 399

After another wet week it was not so much a case of tiptoeing through the tulips but through the mud under grey but dry skies. On the whole everyone was terribly British and formed an orderly queue at the new single file section on the upper path. This has come to replace the bridge for those of us back in the pack. No doubt up at the pointy end they don’t have such issues. A polite “sorry” was heard on the second lap as one of the leaders hurtled past with a certain amount of splashing. Despite the inevitable hold ups this all causes we somehow managed to record 43 PBs amongst our 312 finishers.

As well as thanking all our volunteers for making it all possible we must note those who stopped to assist an injured parkrunner, and those who looked after her at the finish area. Fortunately the runner was able to leave under her own steam after the event.

We had a few finish tokens returned at the start, thanks to those who brought them back. Please do remember to return them once you have been scanned

We had 6 new parkrunners and 21 first time visitors join us. Hope you enjoyed it and that we will see you again soon. It’s always nice to see mentions and pictures on social media.

Congratulations to the following on reaching milestones:
25 volunteering events: Caroline Fletcher
10 parkruns (junior): Leila England
50 parkruns: Jacqueline Megitt, Peter Newsom, Simon Crine
100 parkruns: Keith Weir, Kim Burton

Our first finishers were:
1 Thomas Grimley 18:37
2 Rebecca Bunting 19:05
3 James Powell 19:05

First female finishers were:
2 Rebecca Bunting 19:05
11 Sara Black 20:56
39 Emma Davis 23:09 (First time at AP)

First juniors were:
5 Roger Wilcox (JM15-17) 19:48 (New PB)
12 Oscar Polack (JM15-17) 21:06 (New PB)
42 Gus Kendall (JM10) 23:16

Our top age grades were:
Rebecca Bunting (VW35-39) 78.60%
Sara Black (VW45-49) 76.59%
Costume Stavrianakis (VM45-49) 72.34%

All the details can be found here:https://www.parkrun.org.uk/allypally/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=399

A reminder that we have our 8th anniversary event on December 7th when we hope to see as many of you as possible as this will be a very special event, apart from the cakes and pacers. No need to run, just be there! https://www.parkrun.org.uk/allypally/news/2019/11/18/8th-anniversary-event-7th-december-2019/

In the meantime we have event number 400 to look forward to, followed by a week off to get ready for the party!


8th Anniversary Event – 7th December 2019

Ally Pally parkrun will be celebrating it's 8th Anniversary on Saturday 7th December 2019.

It would be great to see faces from the past and present, whether to run or volunteer, joining us in the celebrations. There will be a short presentation before the run which will be a pacing event. We would appreciate if people could bring cake, biscuits, refreshments e.t.c. to share in order to celebrate.

Volunteer pacers need to know the Ally Pally course well and run evenly paced well within their comfort zone (ideally a couple of minutes outside of your current PB pace) and will need to wear a hi viz vest. If you can help as a pacer please send us an email (allypallyhelpers@parkrun.com) telling us your name, athlete ID and preferred pacing time between 20-40 minutes.

Please spread the word to your fellow parkrunners, family, friends and colleagues.

Hope to see many of you there!

Ally Pally parkrun Team

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