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.



parkrun #118 Burns Celebration

This week 94 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests.

This week we had a Burns theme going on and if I was very creative I could write a poem for this run report, the problem being I can't, instead a quote from Rabbie Burns on how welcoming the Highlands are...

When death's dark stream I ferry o'er,
A time that surely shall come;
In Heaven itself, I'll ask no more,
Than just a Highland welcome.

First place went to Eoin Coull in 17.47, second Stewart Ferns in 19.23, and third was Andy Young in 20.10.

First female and first junior girl was Emily Bell with a PB of 21.58, second female and second junior girl was Caitlyn Heggie with another PB of 22.31.

First junior boy was Andrew Baird in 20.27 second junior boy was George Ross in 22.23, third was Lachlan Thomas 23.01

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers: Helena BRYCE • Al BRYCE • Ros JEMMETT • Judy GILMOUR • Aileen STUART • Susan HASLAM • Louise MUSZYNSKI • Stewart MILNE • Ellen MILNE • Emma KILBURN • Duncan MACDONALD • Marina MCCAUGHEY • Anna JEMMETT • Mhairi MACLEOD • Kirsty ROSS • Keith MACPHERSON • Katrina MOIR • Lindsay MACRAE

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


parkrun #117 Golden Baton

Golden baton day thank you to Dawn Thirkell for delivering it safely to us today and she was rewarded with a PB!

We celebrated by dressing up there were some great costumes and wigs, but the prize (if we had one) goes to Linda Renwick for the amazing dinosaur costume. If you haven’t seen it head over to our facebook page and check out photo album 117 you won’t miss her.

The baton had a great time on the course, I think almost all of our 86 runners got their hands on it!


Gordon Lennox first in 16.47 Ruairdh Oliver Jones second in 18.47 and Alistair Mcinnes third in 19.26.

Anne MacRae was first female with a PB of 22.49, Becky Coulter 2nd female in 25.24 and Claire Ferguson 4rd female in 25.29

Kai Greig was first junior in 25.07 Callum Crawford 2nd junior in 26.21 and Henry Hobbs 3rd in 26.22 Daisy Hendry was first junior girl with a PB of 26.31

The weather wasn’t very kind to us and I think we need to give a special mention to Juliet Obieh who joined us for her first parkrun and enjoyed it despite the rain.