Danni Gunn Run Report – Event #397

As we hurtle towards the end of January the bright, warm parkrun’s of Spring feel tantalisingly close. In the next few weeks parkrunners up and down the country will begin to shed their thermals and knitted hats and emerge from another season of winter running. For now however the bleak mornings remain but that didn’t stop 557 hardy souls from braving the cold for Arrow Valley’s 397th Parkrun.

There were 89 new personal bests and 86 first timers to the 900-acre country park in Worcestershire which was built by the Redditch Development Company in the 1970’s.

Phillip Nind, from Holme Pierrepont Running Club blazed around the course in a time of 17:03 taking the much coveted 001 token. Arrow Valley regular and BRAT club member Adam Hill was second home (18:04) followed in hot pursuit by Peter Bird from Wallasey Athletics Club (18:08). Faye Stanyard from Redditch Stars was the first female back in a speedy time of 19:47.

Grace Bird from Wallasey AC marked her 100th Parkrun with a PB (19:48) finishing as second female. Also celebrating their 100th milestones was Mark Brindley, who after some sweating over the fact he’d forgotten his barcode on his big day managed to log a quality time (23:24) and the inspirational Karen Moody (38:07).

Karen, who in her 50’s thought that she would never be able run joined a couch to 5k group several years ago and the group turned into the Lickey End Striders. Karen went on to run 10k’s, the Birmingham Half Marathon and now 100 Parkruns. Karen said that she hopes she can keep running for many more years to come.

Karen Moody celebrates 100 runsProving to Karen that it can be done relative newcomer John Holmes in the 85-89 year category stormed to a new PB (01:06:36) with a sprint finish, smashing his previous personal best by 1 minute 35. John who completed his first Parkrun with his daughter in Hull on New Year’s day 2020 has since become an Arrow Valley regular and has knocked almost 7 minutes off his time in under a month. Great work John! John Holmes smashes his PB

Kevin Parsons ran his “unofficial” 200th run at Arrow Valley. No t-shirt for this one but definitely worth a shout-out.

Also deserving of a huge shout-out are the 28 volunteers who made the run possible. My very own mum who is a regular runner at Bedworth marshalled at the bottom of the hill and couldn’t believe the amount of thank-you’s she received from runners. She thinks Arrow Valley is the friendliest Parkrun around and I reckon she’s right. So keep it up Arrow Valley parkrunners and carry on showing the hi-viz heroes the love.

John Holmes with the Hi vis heroes


Catherine Bennett Run Report Event #389 – 7th Dec 2019

The joy of parkrunning… Saturday was a special morning…. A lot of Saturday mornings feel special at Arrow Valley parkrun due to the dedication of the core team and volunteers, and the community feel of people and dogs, young and old, coming together to enjoy a beautiful space and to walk, jog, run, volunteer, spectate or join in in their own way, the brilliance that is parkrun at 9am - to kick-start the weekend. 20191207_083631

Each week there are experiences shared, goals met and stories to be told.  This week belonged to Lizzie Tovey and her support crew; Lizzie, who has been parkrunning and volunteering since last year and I don’t think she’d mind me saying is already an  enthusiast/addict like myself.


Lizzie is extraordinary, and a force to be reckoned with and here are some of her own words (from this year’s London marathon fundraising page with which she raised enough to sponsor a guide dog puppy, the beautiful Eira): ‘it’s scary having to put your faith in another person or animal in order to guide you on your way – I should know because I’m sight impaired, having limited central vision in my left eye and hardly any vision at all in my right eye.  But it’s amazing what you can achieve when you set your mind to it’. Lizzie decided that this was the day for her to try running untethered.  She has previously run with a tether connecting her to a guide runner, which is how she did the London marathon too, attached to Corin Elliott (86 parkruns , 76 of which were at Arrow Valley), who was also a big part of today, in fact I think he suggested it.  Without the tether the run is a lot scarier for Lizzie, but this doesn’t deter Lizzie Tovey, even the morning after a Christmas night out with friends as she has determination in bucket loads!

When she approached the finish today, on her 37th parkrun, in a time of 34:07 she was in a sea of red, created by her crew who surrounded her and kept her safe; the bulk of which were from Run Alcester, a club headed up by Corin, who was described as brilliant on Saturday morning, in keeping talking the whole way round and amongst others who acted as buffers in a Kipchoge style formation (if you don’t know who Kipchoge is look him up) they helped Lizzie to cross that line.  Many of the parkrun family watched that moment and the disbelief and emotion that Lizzie evidently felt choked us all, including her husband who was also part of her crew.  She will be known as Lizchoge to me now!


One incredible story out of 357 runners and 36 volunteers, who I would like to personally thank for running with me on Saturday.  I was so pleased to be able to be running following some Winter bug or other and so amazed at what Lizzie was achieving that I think I smiled the whole way round this week!  The weather was right for running (although the wind was a tad bitter), the atmosphere was something else, and even dogs running near me looked playful and happy.  Thank-you parkrun for all you give to so many – it improves both physical and mental health and changes lives – FACT!


30-11-19 Run Report – Friendship In The Frost

It was a very cold and frosty morning at Arrow Valley on the last Saturday of November. There were perhaps less people than normal as a result, and the start line had been moved away from an ice-rink, but the sense of community and friendship was still very much present during the run briefing. Several people ran 50 or 100 milestones today and thanks to the marshals for helping us safely around the course by pointing out the hazardous sections. I have attended Arrow Valley previously when an aversion to the mud of Leamington overtakes me and it is lovely to run on clean paths without the hill from hell!

B556A020-A113-4A29-8309-D3A7992029E0The two-lap circuit is beautiful, particularly in the frosty weather. I made the trip to run with my lovely friend Danielle, today. We have known each other for about 15 years, since we worked together in veterinary practice as vet nurse and vet. I am in awe of the amazing work she does. Hardly a week goes past when Dani is not collecting a cat reported on social media to check for a microchip (scanner purchased herself and all done in her own time). She is also a volunteer with Street Vet, a charity which provides health care and treatment for the animals of the homeless in Birmingham and comfort and provisions to their owners. In addition she is a single Mum to 2 girls, works part-time at a local practice and keeps her home pristine and sparkly. And NOW she has discovered running. Many years ago, I introduced Dani to parkrun, as a friend had done for me. For her, it was just the wrong time to start running, but she knew where she could go when the time came. She has recently made the leap, on her own, from non-runner to runner, meeting friends and a local running group to keep up her motivation. Her story is not unusual. parkrun has inspired many new runners or just kept them running in the difficult times, provides a place to meet up with friends not seen for a while and creates a common interest amongst new acquaintances. In our profession, mental illness and stress is high. We have the highest suicide rates of any job and not just because we have access to the means. Finding a place to feel safe and supported and to let off some steam is not just a bonus, it is a necessity.

Together we ran pretty slowly, taking care in the cold conditions, and spent the time chatting and catching up with each others’ lives. It was great. I urge you all to introduce your friends to parkrun and to use it as the fantastic community event that it is to create your own support network and self-care plan!
Please also consider volunteering. We need everyone to volunteer 2-3 times a year to keep the event going and it is another great way to meet new people and give something back. Today, I was able to run and write the run report, gaining me an extra step towards the coveted 25 volunteers t-shirt in purple.

5A68F2A2-077E-4E48-877F-A532B4E1C167In this time of political mess and uncertainty, it is good to know that you only have to walk down to your local parkrun to meet some amazing people like Danielle. She is not the only one, I guarantee. Go and find some inspiration at parkrun next week by volunteering, or just chatting to a stranger. That’s how friendships are created and the world needs more of those!


Grace Wright – Arrow Valley #357 – Run Report 27-4-19

After last weekend’s glorious Easter sunshine, 367 hardy souls braved the cold and blustery conditions thanks to Storm Hannah and ran, jogged or walked their way around Arrow Valley’s two lap lakeside course.
Despite the drab conditions, as usual at AVPR everyone was happy and excited to be getting their weekend off to a good start with fresh air, a bit of exercise, a chat with their fellow runners and a well deserved cup of tea and cake afterwards in the café.
Today there were a lot of runners completing big milestones. A special well done to the following athletes:
10 runs
• Peter GOLBY
50 runs
• Andrew BENNETT
• Paul ELVY
• Grace WRIGHT

Becky Selfie board
100 runs
• Michelle FIDLER

Michelle 100th
200 runs (!)

Hollie pacing
We ran from the alternative start today due to the presence of the fun fair. Although often thought of as a slightly slower than our usual start, nonetheless there were 43 fantastic PBs achieved today. The high number of PBs was perhaps due today being the last run of the month and therefore pacer week. Runners were spurred on by blue-vested volunteer pacers as well as being cheered on by our fantastic High-Viz heroes.
The first three gents home this week were:
1. Unknown (remember your bar code folks!)
2. Mark APPLETON in 17.19
3. Ben CRONE in 18.37.
The first three ladies were:
1. Natasha DENT in 21.06 (a great new PB for Natasha)
2. Ellie PARDY in 21.51
3. Melanie HEPKE in 22.33.

pair of runners by lake
39 parkrunners completed their first event at Arrow Valley today of which 16 people were first timers at parkrun. Thank you to those who picked Arrow Valley for your first ever parkrun – we loved welcoming you today.
This was run 357 at Arrow Valley and in position number 357 was Janet CRIPPS in a time of 46.12 – well done Janet!
This weekend marks the 39th London Marathon event with thousands of runners due to hit the streets of the capital raising money for a number of fantastic charities. One runner who has been hitting the headlines this week is 85 year old Ken Jones who has participated in every single London Marathon since its conception and who will be the oldest competitor in this year’s race. Here at Arrow Valley we are delighted to see runners of all ages amongst our number and a special shout out this week goes to the following runners in the VM70-74 and VW70-74 categories who show that age is but a number:
1. Bill GROOM in 99th position with a time of 25.46.
2. Francis MONK in 156th position with a time of 27.52.
3. Doug RICHARDS in 191st position with a time of 29.10
4. Marlane PRICE in 303rd position with a time of 35.20 (fabulous PB Marlane!)
5. Margaret CAMPION in 341st position with a time of 39.19.
Ken Jones’ top tip for other runners is to try and run with others because ‘they’ll encourage you and you’ll make a lot of friends’. With that, I think Ken has absolutely hit the nail on the head and captured the essence of what parkrun is about. Today marked my 50th parkrun milestone and I came along with my friend Hannah OWEN. Hannah dragged a very reluctant me along to my first ever parkrun in 2016 and it would be fair to say that running was not my favourite of activities. Three years on and running is now one of my favourite hobbies and I always look forward to my Saturday morning parkrun. I have met so many interesting people and made a lot of friends through parkrun and through running so a big THANK YOU to Hannah for introducing me to parkrun and THANK YOU to all the wonderful volunteers at parkrun today for encouraging me and all the other runners along the course.
A massive good luck to all those Arrow Valleyers taking part in the London Marathon tomorrow and also the Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon – we look forward to hearing about it next week!
Grace (A1994773)


David Harrison Run Report – Event #332 – 10-11-18

What a cracker!
The Arrow Valley parkrun just goes from strength to strength. A record number of 518 runners took part, including Nick Brown who was visiting from Atlanta, USA.
The conditions were perfect for running. The rain showers had cleared, replaced by beautiful sunny conditions and a nice temperature of 9 degrees centigrade. A beautiful Autumnal morning. The lake looked magnificent, reflecting all shades of yellow, orange, red and brown from the surrounding trees. Multi-coloured leaves floated down on the runners like confetti creating a picturesque setting.
I don’t know whether it was the Autumn sunshine but everyone seemed to be on top form, with lots of smiling faces and happy banter. It was AVPR at its very best.
IMG_8588Milestones The numbers were swelled by huge turnouts from two local running clubs, Redditch STARS and Kingfisher Harriers and with supporters of runners with significant milestones. In fact an Arrow Valley record attendance of 518 was recorded in the results.  Congratulations to Tim Harrison (200th run), Steven Singh Sadhra (100th run), Gary Tomkinson, Graham Tomkinson and Meg Parker (50th run) and Chloe Lynch (10th run). It was fun to see a large group of friends, dressed in red outfits and lots of balloons, celebrating Meg’s milestone. IMG_8587

Adam Peacock finished first in an impressive 16.08, which apparently was the 20th fastest park run time in the UK this Saturday. Well done Adam!

In second position was Adam Hill in 17.25 who just edged out Mark Lawlor by 2 seconds. Joanne Smith was the first lady to finish in a time of 20.06, followed in by Becki Timmings in 20.14 and Rachael Davies in 20.57. 47 PBs were achieved, not bad considering how many runners there were today. The important thing was that every single runner appeared to have a great time and everyone came back happy and pumped up for the weekend. Don’t you just love the parkrun?!

Redditch STARS parkrun Challenge Final Today was also the final of the Redditch STARS parkrun Challenge, a knock-out competition started in February and organised by Ian Widdows. Draws were made at random and a handicap system was applied using each entrants best time from 2017 as a baseline. This created a level playing field and rewarded runners who made the greatest progress and improvement. Virtually every runner improved their times and so many PBs were achieved. At the quarter-final stage, the handicap system was adjusted to take into account the latest PBs which made the competition even more exciting. The final was a battle of the Zoe’s. Using the handicap times, Zoe Newman had to run 90 seconds faster than Zoe Neale to claim the crown in the final. We were tracking the gap at various stages of the run and predicting a close finish. Zoe Newman went off like a rocket, paced by Carl Newman, opening up a lead of 37 seconds at half-way. Zoe Neale, paced by Cathy Richardson and Richie Ellison hung in there. At the last corner opposite the visitor centre, Zoe Newman had a 91 second lead and was on course to win by 1 second but Zoe Neale dug deep and sprinted to the line to triumph by just 2 seconds. The girls hugged each other at the end, had pictures taken together and sat next to each other helping to sort out the finishing tokens afterwards, still not certain of the result until the times had been processed. They knew it was close and had to wait nervously before the competition result was announced. In the end Zoe Neale was the champion but both girls were winners, not just for the incredible improvement made but also in the spirit that they had approached the competition. A real credit to their club and to the AVPR community. IMG_8585

Just for the record, Zoe Newman achieved 4 PBs in 2018, improving from 32.57 to 28.06 and knocking 47 seconds off her previous PB in the final. Zoe Neale achieved 8 PBs improving from 40.45 to 29.34 and knocking a massive 61 seconds off her previous PB in the final, breaking 30 minutes for the first time. To think that Zoe only graduated from the Couch to 5K programme at the end of 2017 shows the progress she has made. Well done to both Zoe’s.
Stuart Beasley came in third-place with a time of 23.22 from Anthony White who finished an honourable 4th place.
IMG_8586Volunteers A big thank you to the marvellous volunteers who gave the runners so much encouragement and worked hard both before and after the event to make it such a success. IMG_8589

This week’s volunteers included:
Adam KNOWLES • Andy TERRY • Colin DRISSELL • Chris ROSS • Christopher BIRD • Claire JAKEMAN • Clare GRENNAN • Corin ELLIOTT • David HARRISON • Dylan GOULD • Emma SHANNON • Glenn LACEY • Guy WALTON • Ian WIDDOWS • Jo COLLINS • Jo PECK • Katie MULHALL • Liz ADEY • Matthew VAS • Melissa WOOD • Michelle TAYLOR • Nick HAYNES • Paige WOOD • Pamela MORETON • Paul ADEY • Raymond BOYLE • Robert SARGENT • Sonia STOCKWIN • Steve ELLIOTT • Trenten ROBERTS • Willow MUGGLESTONE • Zoe NEALE • Zoe NEWMAN



Arrow Valley parkrun #327 – 06-10-2018 – Kevin Tomkinson

International parkrun day was celebrated at the lake as 322 people ran and walked 2 laps of the lake cheered along by 42 volunteers in yellow. It was my 20th visit to the Arrow Valley parkrun and I was celebrating a completely parkrun milestone of reaching 1000 parkrun miles. 3.11 (miles) x 322 (parkruns) = just over 1000 miles so I reckon somewhere between the playground and the right turn after the bollard in the path 1000 miles came up. Thank you for the shout out at the start Rachel, I did hear it but I had lost all the people I came to the park with in the morning as I was trying to find somewhere to put my jumper!!

In the end I put it in the bottom of the buggy and my niece pinned the sign she had made onto my back and we headed to the start. I ran lap 1 with my niece who then decided she wanted to take her coat off. Wondering what she was going to do with it I took it off her and planned to wrap it round my waist. Thankfully I saw Tanya from Brueton who was supporting and she took it off me. We came up to some other runners and I got past but she decided she didn't want to keep up with me anymore and I ploughed on to the hill on my own. I managed to hold it together on the hill, keeping my pace steady, I think I managed to say "thank you" to the mini marshals at the top – if not, my apologies, your support was excellent!
IMG_7762  Coming back to the café I knew a course PB was possible and I thought about sprinting from the turn which I started to do however I hadn't realised the finish had changed and it was now further away from the corner! My sprint slowed and I seemed to shuffle to the line. When the times came through I had my quickest Arrow Valley parkrun beating my 1st attempt in 2013! Hooray! IMG_7759  As many of you know parkrun was started 14 years ago by Paul Sinton-Hewitt with the 1st run taking place in Bushy Park. 13 took part that day. What has taken place since has been amazing with new events starting all the time which is reaching new communities and starting new communities in towns and cities and country parks around the country. How many of the participants on Saturday have booked a holiday in the UK (or further afield) and looked at the parkrun website to see where the nearest run is? I know I do, much to the bemusement of my parents and in the old days my wife who used to roll her eyes about my requests for a weekend away just to run for 30 minutes around a park she had never heard of! Highlight for me of these requests has to be insisting she got up on her birthday in 2013 to run at Gorleston near Great Yarmouth – if you haven't run it and are away in this direction I recommend it, stunning on a sunny day! However the accommodation we were staying in, I was so happy to get out for a few hours (it wasn't the best) So thank you to the Core Team for delivering Arrow Valley parkrun which continues to be free and available to all. Thanks also to Paul Sinton-Hewitt who came up with this simple idea which gets us out of bed every Saturday morning to see our friends running around the lake

Volunteers This week there were 42 heroes in yellow, thank you to - Kevin TOMKINSON • Jenni TOMKINSON • Dylan GOULD • Gary KING • Gavin MOORHEAD • Mike GRIFFITHS • Richard GALLOIS • Rachel DAVIES • David OLDAKER • Liz ADEY • Rachel GOULD • Ricky YOUNG • Joanne MEYRICK • Alison BOLTON • Donna KING • Ria CANTELO-BPND • Elizabeth GRIFFITHS • Ian WIDDOWS • Paula WIDDOWS • Maureen MOORHEAD • Dean CLAPHAM • Sally EVANS • Lynda GREEN • Malcolm GREEN • Jo ABBOTTS • Trudie TAYLOR • Rashida BASHIR • Helen SMITH • Mark BRINDLEY • Paula BRINDLEY • Stephen REA • Dawn ELWELL-SUTTON • Mike ELWELL-SUTTON • Scott BEVERLEY • Karin AITKEN • Simon TAYLOR • Kate CHAMBERLAIN • Dylan SMITH • Janet GOODYEAR • Willow GREEN • Amelia SMITH • Olivia SMITH IMG_7760

Celebrations this week Congratulations to the following Arrow Valley parkrunners who entered one of the parkrun clubs at the event 25 volunteer club - Richard GALLOIS - 50 club – Angela LUCAS, Carl ORDIDGE, Hugo BEATTIE, Rebecca LUCAS Angela 50th pr5 random stats from Arrow Valley parkrun this week This was event 327. In 327th position was no one! Today was the 14th parkrun anniversary. In 14th position was Wayne KETCHER who completed his 99th parkrun in 20:54 42 new PB's this week. In 42nd position was Leigh MILTON who completed his 1st parkrun in 23:37 The average run time for the event (overall) is 28:54. This was matched by 1 person this week – Sam LEWIS Position number of the week = 101 – James WHITEHOUSE who completed his 5th parkrun in 26:35 PB's This week there was 42 personal bests recorded. Here is a list of the parkrunners with over 50 runs who achieved a PB this week – Kevin TOMKINSON - 25:34 - 322 parkruns Ian P COOPER - 22:50 - 283 parkruns Jenni TOMKINSON - 28:15 - 206 parkruns Jane NOCK - 26:38 - 97 parkruns Lauren HEVEY - 26:11 - 67 parkruns Well done to all achieving a PB this week First timers 35 first timers took part this week, for 17 of them this was their 1st parkrun. Well done to all the 1st timers, hope you enjoyed your parkrun Official Report This week 322 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 35 were first timers and 42 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part. IMG_7761

The female record is held by Becky STRAW who recorded a time of 17:49 on 23rd August 2014 (event number 110), and by Kristen FINDLEY who also recorded a time of 17:49 on 25th July 2015 (event number 159).
The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:08 on 10th September 2016 (event number 219).
The Age Grade course record is held by Bronwen G CARDY who recorded 94.03% (21:14) on 12th September 2015 (event number 166).

Arrow Valley parkrun started on 14th July 2012. Since then 9,376 participants have completed 86,663 parkruns covering a total distance of 433,315 km, including 15,154 new Personal Bests.

Did you know?

Arrow Valley parkrun now has 7652 registered parkrunners

Kevin (A190125)


Run Report 29/09/2018 – Event # 326 by Terri Powell

My home event Sandwell Valley parkrun was cancelled today and having briefly met some of the runners and volunteers when they kicked off their charity 8.5 parkruns in one day with us a couple of weeks back, I thought I would repay the favour by joining Arrow Valley for a spot of parkrun tourism. I was joined by another of our regular volunteers Neil Langley and we were both wearing our bright lime green t-shirts displaying “Sandwell Valley parkrun volunteers on tour” on the back of them.
We both volunteer quite regularly, so don’t often get the chance to run and this was an ideal opportunity for us and one that we both thoroughly enjoyed.
As we walked towards the start, both Neil and I felt positively chilly in the tree cover of the car park and pathways but soon warmed up when we arrived at the bright sunlit field in readiness for the start where it was obvious that there was going to be a big turnout.
IMG_7510A quick hello to a couple of people I recognised, briefings completed and we were off on a really pleasant two lap course of the lake. A few of you certainly noticed us as you kindly said hello and had a quick chat with us on the way around which is always very welcoming and very nice of you to take the time so we thank you for that. The last Saturday in the month here also means that it is pacer’s week. A total of fourteen pacers in sky blue vests helped out and a staggering 100 PB’s were achieved. IMG_7509
Well done to the pacers and to all those with a new PB this week.
A few quick statistics for you:
38 first timers to Arrow Valley, 19 of which were first timers to parkrun
15 parkrunners completed their 2nd ever parkrun, 10 of which achieved new PB’s
15 parkrunners completed their 3rd ever parkrun, 9 of which achieved new PB’s
31 junior parkrunners, 6 of which were first timers and 3 of which have completed 100+ parkruns
50th parkrun milestones – Pauline Timmings and Rob Cooper
100th parkrun milestones - Angela Bligh and Lorraine Hyde
150th parkrun event – Joshua Wiseman
307th parkrun event – Clive Rose which was also his 170th Arrow Valley event
34 of the parkrunners today have already achieved their 25th volunteering milestone

After the event, Neil and I stopped at the café and we gave a little bit back by token sorting. We were joined by Rosanna Palmer who has become a bit of regular at Arrow Valley having started C25K earlier in the year with Lickey End Striders and Karen Hurrell from Haigh Woodland parkrun who was attending a course nearby. In all we sorted a total of 437 finishing tokens in readiness for you all to do it again next week.
The final mention is to the Hi-Viz heroes who enable this to happen so a big THANK YOU to
Heather Baldwin, Richard Banks, Scott Beverley, Christopher Bird, Alison Bolton, Bill Bradley, Joshua Bradley, Diane Mary Brian, Mark Brindley, Sula Broad, Eleanor Broad, Sharon Colfer, Rachel Davies, Paul Egan, Malcolm Green, Clare Grennan, Rory Hancock, Tim Harrison, Anita Hartley, Nick Harwood, Hollie Heffernan, Ian Hurst, Jo Knight, Neil Langley, Robert Morris, Jessica Nielsen, Rosanne Palmer, Elizabeth Paterson, Terri Rose Powell, Stephen Rea, Nick Secker, Emma Shannon, Olivia Smith, Helen Smith, Amelia Smith, Simon Taylor, Dawn Teague, Katie Thorley, Emma Tisdell, Lizzie Tovey, Mark Tovey, Christopher Weaver, Ian Widdows, Paula Widdows, Shantell Willmott, Ricky Young And Karen Hurrel.

Thank you to Mark Brindley for the photos within this Run report.



Run Report 22-9-18 Event #325 – Rebecca Spencer

My Saturday run at Arrow Valley parkrun was a defining parkrun moment for me; it was the parkrun which confirmed that, as suspected, my parkrun obsession has turned me into a ‘parkrun tourist’.

I live in London and have been parkrunning for about 2 years. In this time I have reached my 50th milestone, become a Run Director, and helped set up a local parkrun. Recently I have been trying to explore more parkruns in London (currently there are 53 parkruns in Greater London). However, this weekend I was due to come to Redditch on Saturday for a family event; troubled at the idea of missing parkrun, I decided to get the train up on Friday instead of Saturday, to stay at my cousin’s flat & use Saturday morning to visit Redditch’s local parkrun; Arrow Valley!

The friendly atmosphere of Arrow Valley was evident as soon as I entered the park. Runners and volunteers chatted to one another, before an excellent briefing by the Run Director, Clare. The course was fantastically well marshalled with enthusiastic and encouraging volunteers who made the route even more enjoyable. It was lovely to run alongside such a stunning lake; the first lap passed quickly and as soon as I was on the second lap I was on the home stretch (the beauty of a 2-lap course!).

I stopped at the cafe after for a coffee & it was great to see so many Arrow Valley parkrunners there. It was such a friendly atmosphere and a great start to my weekend.

I also felt privileged to be part of a parkrun which marked five (wow!) incredible milestones:

Dave BUTLER – 100th parkrun
Andrew COWLEY – 100th parkrun
David KINGS – 100th parkrun
Sula BROAD – 50th parkrun
John TOMLINSON – 50th parkrun
Dave Butler's 100th parkrun

Congratulations to these guys. What brilliant achievements!

I would also say a special Congratulations to the following people:


These amazing people ran their first ever parkrun on Saturday. This is arguably one of the most significant parkrun milestones. Hopefully this is the start of a happy & healthy parkrun addiction for you all...

Thank you Arrow Valley runners and volunteers for such a great parkrun, and for my baptism as a fully-fledged parkrun tourist!

Rebecca Spencer
(Run Director - Clapham Common parkrun)


Run Report – Event #319 – 11-8-18 by Emma Hawkey

We arrived at quarter past 8 for what would be my 32nd different parkrun, and 72nd parkrun overall – dare I say after the weeks of a heatwave, it was slightly chilly. Having never been to Arrow Valley before, I could immediately see its appeal – the lake looked stunning under the blue sky and with the trees mirrored in the still water.


I am a very keen runner, and very competitive with my own times, always striving to run as quickly as I possibly can at any parkrun I attend. However, there was to be a difference today. Unfortunately I have been injured for 4 weeks, so to still take part in parkrun I have no choice but to walk, something I am certainly not too keen on, but that's the beauty of parkrun – RUN, JOG OR WALK!, it really doesn't matter what your pace is, it's something for all, and 5km is still 5km, no matter how fast or slow you go.

There was an advantage of not needing to go for a warm up and not running flat out so that I am unable to speak – I was able to take the time to chat to some of the other parkrunners at Arrow Valley, and what a delight that was. I met Clive Rose who would be running his 300th parkrun, the most experienced parkrunner in the field today – his journey started in December 2011 at Cannon Hill parkrun, and he has run 167 at Arrow Valley which he now calls home. Well done Clive, in another 200 runs you will reach the next parkrun official milestone of 500.

IMG_6273At the other end of the parkrun numbers spectrum, I chatted to Yvette Donnelly whilst out on the course. I could hear the encouragement and excitement of her two friends, Emma and Barbara – shortly after we started they were saying with some glee "this is it, Yvette, you are doing it now, this is your first parkrun". Yvette had completed couch to 5km with Kingfisher Harriers recently – I hope this is the first of a lifetime love affair with parkrun that we all seem to have. My top tip was to hold back this week, and return next week to get a lovely PB – don't we all get an extra buzz from those two little letters on the results? IMG_6274
From first timers to the experienced, the other group we have are of course the tourists – at Perry Hall in Birmingham which is my home parkun, we always ask during the briefing where the tourists are from, a little game to see who has travelled the furthest – I don't think many UK parkruns could have beaten the distance that Sallie Wake had travelled – she was from Australia!! I thought I had done well getting to Devon or the north of Scotland on my travels!!
IMG_6275How could my eyes not notice the man in orange with huge orange glasses – this was Ken Byng, or more affectionately known as 'The Flash'. He happily told me how he is now 79 years young and took up running at the young age of 71 – Wow, I was amazed, my immediate response being "I hope I am like you at the age of 71 or 79, that is a true inspiration" IMG_6276

Finally, I will mention the course – 2 laps around the lake on nice wide paths. There are a couple of cheeky little slopes (they are not really hills), but I think it has the potential to be a fast course. I will be back when I am running again – the advantage of having to walk today would mean that I can pick up a nice PB. There is nothing to worry about if you don't like slopes, there were 2 of the most enthusiastic marshals at the top of the one at mile 1 / 2.5. Thank you for the encouragement – all marshals were lovely, and as I was lapped by the quicker runners, there were plenty of lovely words exchanged there too. IMG_6278So, I have walked 2 parkruns now, it still feels strange when the Run Director sets everyone off and I see all the runners go ahead – I feel like shouting "wait for me". But to anyone who wants to walk a parkrun, for whatever reason, I would recommend you do come along – you will still very much be part of the event, and still have covered the 5km to set you up nicely for the weekend. IMG_6279


Mein 50. parkrun – wo für mich alles begonnen hat (Where it all began for me) – Andy Brian

Arrow Valley parkrun #317 - 28/07/2018

Having lived in Germany for a long time - and only therefore managing to do a few parkruns each year, I thought my 50th parkrun would be a few years away yet. However, being lucky enough to have been one of the founders of the parkrun in Berlin, this year has seen me do a lot more than usual. When I realised my first milestone would arrive this summer, there was no doubt in my mind that I would wait to do my 50th where I did my first (coincidently, it was also the first ever Arrow Valley parkrun!) – hopefully the guys at Hasenheide will forgive me for it. :) Strangely, despite us having now had 30 parkruns in Berlin, to this day Arrow Valley remains my 'most run' parkrun!


Of course I was already really looking forward to the day, and to being a pacemaker for the first time ever too, but it was made all the more special by the fact that the AV team asked me on Friday evening if I would like to do the pre-run briefing – a slightly nerve-wracking start to the day given it was three times more people than I am used to giving the briefing in front of!

Congratulations to the following people, who reached milestones:
10 parkruns: Joshua Bevins, Sam Summers

50 parkuns: Maureen Moorhead, Martin Croucher, Andrew Brian

100 parkruns: Scott Walls

We had a perfect morning of much cooler weather to enjoy, which along with it being a pacer week meant a lot of PBs were achieved! Out of 394 runners this week, 82 managed to get round the course in their fastest ever time – more than 20% of the participants.

There were also 48 people who completed their first run, walk or jog at Arrow Valley, some of whom were visiting us from a variety of different places including Walsall and Winchester. A special mention to the large group from the "Breakfast club".

Next week will see the 9000th different runner complete the course at Arrow Valley!

Congratulations to the 20 people for whom it was their first ever parkrun on Saturday too – welcome to the parkrun family!

parkrun could simply not happen without our 'High-Viz heroes' – thank you so much to the following for giving up their time to allow today's event to happen:

Emily STEVENS • Diane BRIAN • Andrew BRIAN • Rhona ULYETT • Doug RICHARDS • Francis Richard MONK • Andy TERRY • James THOMPSON • Kevin PARSONS • Rachel DAVIES • Jayne WOODWARD • Liz ADEY • Colin MARSHALL • Hollie HEFFERNAN • Laura ULYETT • Linda BERESFORD • Katie THORLEY • Jo CANTELO-BOND • Raymond BOYLE • Elliot THORLEY • Pamela MORETON • Wendy GARDNER • Karl SMITH • Lee WALKER • Ian WIDDOWS • Paula WIDDOWS • Andrew WARING • Joey WRIGHT • Trudie TAYLOR • Melba JONES • Steve TAGGART • Olwen FIELD • Mindy JONES • Anne MASON • Ian WRIGHT • Zoe NEWMAN • Sharon COLFER • Mark QUIRKE • Zoe NEALE • Simon TAYLOR • Isabel WIDDOWS • Julie VALENTINE


Plenty of people are still needed for the coming weeks, so please check out the roster:


and email arrowvalleyhelpers@parkrun.com if you're able to help out!

Until next time at Arrow Valley (or better still, hope to see some of you with us soon at our parkrun in Berlin!)

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