parkrun #131

A bright sunny parkrun morning which was nice on the way down the pier but a little too warm on the way back.  I was so excited to join the other 72 runners and walkers to run Alness parkrun for the 8th time. It might take a while to qualify for a running milestone t-shirt, but I am delighted to have ordered my 100th volunteer t-shirt.

The pier looked amazing in the sunshine, and at the bottom there was a very excited cone, I possibly spent a bit too long dancing around with her.


The runners who didn’t waste time taking photos and dancing with the cone got some great times.


Ryan McKenzie was first with a time of 18.02, Martin Robinson took second place with a pb of 18.32, I am gutted for 3rd place runner who forgot their barcode.

First timer Sarah Milne was first female with 21.24,  Vikki Thompson second female pushing a buggy!  in 23.04, and third female Helen Aslett seconds off her PB at 26.09

Thank you to all of our volunteers and if you haven’t met our cone yet, come and join us on Saturday.



parkrun #130

Sun was shining and absolutely NO WIND so the course was right for fast times and the first runner back was a visitor (Ian Williamson) from Cambridge who was up for a friends wedding nearby in a time of 15.33 and this set the trend for some pretty fast times throughout the field. Another visitor had come North from Letchworth in Hertfordshire just to meet our Cone who was doing its usual duty at the end of the pier keeping everyone encouraged and happy. The Cone just loves engaging with all and its reputation is well earned - thanks Tom for this weeks appearance.


61 runners completed the course this week including Kirsty Ross who ran her 50th parkrun, all seemed very pleased with their efforts other than one unfortunate Dad who was beaten by his daughter and also took a fall breaking his pinky on his right hand that required a trip to Raigmore A and E following the run - thanks to Helen Aslett for giving first aid at the finish to his cut knee.


Another great day out and hopefully all the runners enjoyed the day as much as the Marshals and event staff - cheers all - see you next week !!!

Check out all of the results here


parkrun #129

With the sun shining and the mist rising in the park, it was a stunning morning. Aileen was setting up getting ready to welcome 92 runners and walkers to the park of which 18 were first timers.

Gordon Lennox was enjoying the views today and still came first in 18.17

Steven Learmont was second in 18.46

Third male in 4th place was visitor to Alness, Ross Mungavin in 19.35

And our first female and junior Caitlyn Heggie stormed over the finish line in third place with a PB of 19.29!

Second female was first timer to Alness, Ella Towers with a time of 21.47

And Vikki Thompson and Fritha were 3rd female (first place for pushing a buggy) in 23.05.

It was lovely to welcome so many visitors today, we hope you loved our route as much as we do.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers especially a first time volunteer who happily donned the cone costume at the end of the pier.

Looking forward to seeing you next week


parkrun #127

Well done to our 60 walkers and runners this week, the weather was a little overcast but seemed cool and still, with no wind on the pier. (I might be wrong about this, there is always a little wind down there)

Welcome to our visitors today including Duncan Bain from Thousand Hills parkrun in South Africa.

We were so excited to celebrate Jim Ritchie’s 100th parkrun (95 of these were at Alness) and he came across the line with a fantastic time of 34.17. Jim’s 100th balloon was camera shy it took off not long after the runners, maybe it was disappointed Jim thought it would hold him back.

Another exciting milestone today was Gillian Mackay reaching her 50th parkrun (46 in Alness) in not quite a PB of 27.37 which she can’t blame on the balloon because she wouldn’t run with it either.

After all this excitement who would believe that we could have more!

15 minutes later here comes our first runner with a course record of 15.02! what an incredible run Ross, well done!

Ross Gollan 15.02

Eoghann Gollan 15.44

Blair Mackay 15.57

1st female - Alison Heggie – 22.43

1st Junior girl Eilidh Charnley with a PB of 27.50

1st Junior boy Alistair Young 20.04

Thank you to all of our amazing runners and volunteers this week, get in touch if you can help next week.


parkrun #126

It was looking like perfect running conditions this week, and when the first runner came out of the woods we could be forgiven for assuming it was Gordon looking for a course record on his wedding day, we quickly realised we were wrong.

It was Ross Gollan who flew fast us into the funnel, with Gordon hot on his heels and then brother Eoghann.  There were some incredible times today, well done everyone - not quite the course record of 15.19 but seriously impressive times!

Ross Gollan 15.23

Gordon Lennox 15.28

Eoghann Gollan 15.37

Nataie Stevenson – 19.07 1st female

Innes Laing 1st Junior boy 20.38

Anna Fraser 1st Junior girl 21.14



Thank you to all of our amazing runners and volunteers this week.


parkrun #125

And we're still back! After the fourth highgest ever attendance last week with the first post-lockdown run, it was time to go again with over 100 people running and walking, and 27 volunteers making it all happen.

Gordon and Catriona again led the way for male/female first place finishes, Catriona's time of 17.33 giving her a new PB and taking the female course record also making her 8th= fastest female parkrunner this week! Well done Cat!

The big question is will they be squeezing in a parkrun this Saturday before becoming Mr & Mrs?

We had 20 PB's this week,with an impressive 15 runners getting under 20 minutes, and 41 first timers too, thank you all for coming!

Megan Bennett appears to have come the furthest- touring all the way from Australia, she completed her 300th run at Alness this week, well done Megan! Edwin Johnson also suspiciously a regular at the same Australian parkrun got his red-shirt here with his 50th run.

Aileen Galvin completed her 211th parkrun with Alness taking her to 100 different parkruns!

There was also THIS tourist (writing the run report) who had been advised to "Go to Alness! Much better than Inverness!" and so made the short drive up to join in, although word has also now reached us that Inverness just changed it's location and course and is no longer the same run that some of you may be familiar with. My thanks to everyone I spoke to for making me feel welcome (and taking me to the Capstone cafe afterwards!),

I can't think of a parkrun anywhere in London where you run out onto a pier over the water ...
See you all again next week!


parkrun returns #124

I can't believe we are back! Thank you so much to the 149 runners and walkers and the 20 volunteers who made it possible.

Coming back from lockdown we should mention the amazing efforts of our Not parkrun runners some of whom recorded over 100 not parkrun's Thomas Mathieson recorded 157, Gordon Deas 129 and Gillian Mackay made it up to 100 by running 7 times the week before to parkrun returning! Amazing effort, well done.

Today there were 22 PB's recorded, two of those being first male and first female, Gordon Lennox with 15.51 and Catriona Fraser wth 18.12 AMAZING times, well done.  They were obviously training hard through lockdown. The first 10 runners all finished in under 20 minute, 6 of those with PB's.

1st junior was Lucas Cairns who finally got his 100th parkrun with a PB of 18.01 - well done Lucas.

Benjamin Mancey also hit the 100 milestone with his first visit to Alness

Looking forward to seeing you all next week


parkrun #122

International Women's Day parkrun

Well after 2 cancelled weeks due to the weather it was soooo good to get back to normal and have the run on again. Pretty sure we have only ever cancelled four times in well over 2 years of events and then 2 in the last 2 weeks! But today - perfect conditions – still a little bit muddy in places, particularly through the woods, but superb weather after the rain stopped just as the run started and the sun came out with almost no wind (very unusual for the pier to be perfectly still) but all participants were appreciative I’m sure. 

To celebrate International Womens Day the Run Director duties were taken on by a man (me) for the day to allow our (almost unique to Park Run) all Woman Run Director team to actually run their own course !! The exceptions was Alison (who ran Stellenbosch Park Run in South Africa as she was away on holiday). Being the first Saturday of the month it was also Pacer week and all 5 pacers were women which obviously paid off as there were 17 PB’s this week – excellent stuff. Thank you to Cat (21 minute pace), Aileen (25 minute), Alison Simpson (visitor from Livingston)(28 minute)), Adele (30 minute) and Kirsty (35 minute) all of whom ran under their pace target - brilliant !!!

Our CONE seems to be getting increasingly popular with many laughs at the half way point and some visitors even wanting pictures with the lucky Pier Marshall – we love it !!!! We also had some visitor runners up who were doing the Inverness Half Marathon the following day (including one (Maciej Dubanowski)) who kindly acted as Marshal at point 4 for us and everything seemed to go smoothly as there were plenty of happy and smiling faces at the finish. Congratulations also to Frazer (11) and Finlay (7) who ran with Janice (their grandma) to add to the things they are doing to raise some funds to buy their aunt a better wheelchair to help her with her Huntingtons condition – well done both.

Lastly, thanks to Martin Caldwell for taking some great photos of you runners and the support staff around the course. All in all, great to be back with the event on and next week - back to normal with women running things – YES !!!!!


parkrun #121

Thanks to regular visitor to Alness parkrun Heather for writing this weeks report

As storm Dennis battered the UK with high winds and torrential rain making news headlines, runners were checking the internet looking for a park run that hadn't been cancelled to get their weekly fix.

After an early morning course inspection Alness parkrun was confirmed to be on with just a warning of icy puddles. This meant extra visitors made the journey to tackle the interesting course. We had arrived from Dorset for a Highlands holiday a few days earlier and joined the throng.

Running under the shelter of the woods at the start we were unaware of the challenge we would encounter as we headed towards the pier on the exposed narrow track. The head wind was so severe it was a case of head down and push on to the turnaround point where we were greeted by a man dressed as a cone! The relief on the return leg with the wind behind felt wonderful.


By now the ice on the puddles had been broken replaced by small patches of mud. We then followed the path by the fast flowing river Averon back through the moss covered trees and across the field to the finish. To be greeted by smiling marshals who directed us to the scanning table where freshly cut fruit was available. Afterwards we were invited back to Cafe Picante for a well deserved breakfast.


Lovely run

Heather Brain


First across the line was Gordon Lennox in 16.49, second was Shaun Cumming with a PB of 17.13, third was Stewart Ferns in 18.36.

First female was Jenna Gordon with a PB of 23.20, second female was Margaret Andrews with another PB 24.24 and third female Nicola Duncan in 24.25

Juniors - First timer Reuben Lees came 1st in an amazing 20.29 with dad in hot pursuit in 20.30, second junior was Andrew Stockan in 25.01 and third and 1st girl on her first visit to Alness parkrun was Serena Lees in 26.21.

Well done all, very impressive times!



parkrun #120

There was an air of excitement at Alness parkrun today, Karen Penny (The penny rolls on walking Britain and Ireland) was taking a detour from her adventure to join us.  Her incredible adventure is taking her 6000 miles over 3 years to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK. You can follow her adventures on social media.


Karen Penny

This week we had plenty of volunteers so I grabbed the opportunity to run.

After a route check first thing I headed into the park to set up, it was a little windy, bright, dry and freezing cold! I was super excited about running and I think I might have mentioned it 1 or 100 times to anyone who would listen.


9.30 and we are off... keeping in the middle of the pack so I don't get carried we headed down to the trees, in my head I kept saying not too fast don't look at Richie or Alan, you won't enjoy it if you are trying to keep up! down the river path and under the underpass and hello wind! it pushed us down the pier where we saw the Alness cone and Martin the photographer hanging onto the pier for dear life. It was stunning down there - check out the great photos Martin took on our Facebook page.


The Alness cone

On the way back I didn't really feel the benefit of the wind my pace slowed a bit as I high fived everyone I could on the way back up with smiles and hello's for all our marshals. Running up by the river feeling not too much like I might die as I came into the park and up to the funnel I think I managed to smile at the lovely core team who were cheering me on.

I even managed a selfie frame photo at the end - still smiling


Check out this weeks results, there were still 8 PB's and 77 hardcore runners! Well done everyone.

Also a huge thank you to all of our volunteers who happily froze while waiting for us runners to finish just to get a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in Cafe Piccante.


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