COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 02 June

From Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer, parkrun Global

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In last week’s update we confirmed that all parkrun events across the world will remain closed until at least this calendar month. In some parkrun countries that message was entirely expected, as they are still relatively early in their efforts to overcome the challenge presented to them by COVID-19. However, some other parkrun countries are experiencing significant relaxation of restrictions, and are beginning to approach something resembling normal life.

To reiterate previous updates, all decisions to reopen parkrun events in any specific part of the world will be taken by parkrun Global (the UK-based charity ultimately responsible for every parkrun event) in collaboration with dedicated parkrun staff or volunteers in each country. Importantly, we continue to review each parkrun country’s unique situation and are committed to reopening their events as soon as appropriate.

Further, whilst we are not at this stage ruling out changes to operations required at event level, our current position is that we will not open parkrun events in any country until we can do so across that entire country, safely and without compromising any public health guidelines in that country. We are also, at this stage, not looking to reopen events until we can do so in a way that is the same as or similar to how they operated before lockdown.

We understand the good intentions behind the many suggestions being presented around changes to how parkrun events could operate. We’ve seen ideas such as wave starts, no finish tokens, limited attendance, and enforced physical distancing between participants. However, the majority of these interventions are likely to add levels of complexity to our operating model that at best make it incredibly difficult for volunteers to deliver events, and in some cases make it impossible.

Importantly, much of our success over the last fifteen years has been due to our relentless focus on removing barriers to event delivery (as well as to event participation), and now more than ever we must keep that principle at the forefront of our minds.

We know that many people will read this update and wonder how parkrun will ever be able to return without significant changes to how it operates. However, in almost every parkrun country, the impact of COVID-19 is diminishing daily, public health guidelines are changing accordingly, and restrictions are being gradually relaxed.

Many governments have committed to a return of all sporting activities, including contact sports and those where physical distancing is not possible. Schools are returning, people are going back to work, and communities are re-engaging. All of these positive steps are steps closer to parkrun events being welcomed back into the communities they exist within, and each one provides a learning opportunity. As a result, we remain confident that, in time, all parkrun events will return.

Even more important to our success has been a focus on increased human interaction, and the utilisation of technology to enhance opportunities for people to be together, to socialise, and to share areas of open space. Again, now more than ever, it is vital that we retain our commitment to bringing people together not moving them apart.

Whilst all parkrun events remain closed this weekly update will contain all relevant information relating to the COVID-19 situation and parkrun. As we take decisions to reopen parkrun countries, relevant announcements will be made here first and from that point communications relating to the reopening of those countries will be communicated via country-specific communications channels.

Thank you for your continued support, patience, and understanding.

We are getting through this, together.

Tom Williams
Chief Operating Officer
parkrun Global

 
Links to previous updates:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 02 June

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 26 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 19 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 12 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 05 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 28 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 21 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 14 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 07 April
 
Previous updates were posted on one page which was revised whenever necessary as the situation worsened

Current position with regard COVID-19 and implications for parkrun events

2020-05-12 covid update

 

Ashton Court parkrun’s Class of Year Seven

 

First day of the new term

Having ended Year Six with 495 finishers at our 301st event we then started Year Seven with 549 finishers, all made possible by 22 volunteer. The new year began with 386 parkrunners who were at Ashton Court parkrun for at least the 2nd time, 64 who had forgotten their barcode, and 99 who had never been here before.
 
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And we're off again! Event number 302 is under way, and Year Seven has begun (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
 
Of those 99, 23 were at their very 1st parkrun ~ 14 females and 9 males ~ and the remaining 76 ~ 34 females and 42 males ~ had taken part in parkruns elsewhere and were visiting us for the 1st time.
 
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Here's Year Seven's first first timer, Aidan Noble, about to finish 4th in 17:55 (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
 
386 parkrunners ~ 172 female and 214 male ~ could have achieved a pb that morning, and almost 30% of them did, as between them 48 females and 65 males chalked up 113 personal bests. 2 parkrunners (1 of each) equalled their pbs, and 2 others (also 1 of each) missed equalling them by 1 second.

Only 1 of the 4 is a regular at Ashton Court ~ Peter Almond ~ and when he equalled his pb of 21:44 it was almost 11 months after he’d set it. Since then Peter has finished 66 more Ashton Court parkruns and the closest he’s got to his pb is 21:57. I know the feeling of time slipping away, Peter, but keep aiming high!
 
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Peter Almond charging down the hill to equal his personal best (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
 
Our wonderful volunteers

It’s only thanks to the 322 different parkrunners who volunteered a total of 1,281 times that we were able to stage our 51 parkruns in Year Seven.

They share 218 different first names, including 9 Davids, 7 Andrews, 6 Simons and 4 Emmas, 4 Janes, 4 Rachels, 4 Ruths and 4 Sarahs.
 
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Shortly before event 302 started Run Director Niall Hoskin explains how to make something work to Francesca Knapper, Julia Cook and Rachel Pinchin (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
 
New friends, new parkrunners ~ the Class of Year Seven

Year Seven saw 3,308 people ~ 1,357 female, 1,952 male ~ take part in Ashton Court parkrun for the first time. 813 had never participated in a parkrun before, and although the remaining 2,495 had, this was the 1st time they’d come to see us.

375 of these newcomers returned the following week, another 187 did so after a fortnight and 94 after 3 weeks. 507 of them waited more than 11 weeks before returning and 1,905 are still making their minds up about it.

2 of the 507 came along to our 302nd event; 1 waited 139 events before returning, the 2nd waited 140. Of course, this means they returned at our 441st and 442nd events respectively, not long before our most recent parkrun. So, Kate Whitehouse and Elaine Beckett, if you should somehow find this, please don’t let this enforced break between parkruns discourage you and come back as soon as you feel like it once we’re back in our Saturday morning routine.

Kizzy Holliday was a newcomer to our 303rd event and she waited 138 weeks to return to our 441st, having been to Clevedon Salthouse Fields parkrun the week before. Since number 441 Kizzy’s been back to the salty sea air of CSF parkrun 3 more times, and hopefully will also continue parkrunning after this unwanted break.
 
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Reasonably certain that the flyer on the right is Kate Whitehouse, who we hope to see back at parkrun when the current situation is behind us (photo: Nigel Fletcher)
 
Our Class of Year Seven consisted of 142 aged 10 or under, 235 aged between 11 and 19, 873 in their 20s, 925 in their 30s, 634 in their 40s, 381 in their 50s, 105 in their 60s, 12 in their 70s and 1 in their 80s. 46 of these had a significant birthday during the year and changed age group.

During the year all these new parkrunners completed 6,768 parkruns here at Ashton Court. 1 of them ~ Vyki Shaw ~ took part in 38 of Year Seven’s 51 events, Robin Webster and Marie Bailey both finished 35 of them, Ross Anderson 32 and Francesca Roe and Will Harris both 30.
 
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Enjoying herself at event number 336 ~ the one between Christmas and New Year ~ is Marie Bailey (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
In total there are now 27 Year Sevensters in our unofficial 50 Ashton Court parkrun club, with 3 teetering on the brink of membership on 49. Looking at the global parkrun clubs, 12 Ashton Court juniors from Year Seven have joined the junior 10 parkrun club, and 3 of them have gone on to become members of the 50 parkrun club.

59 grown-ups have also become members of the 50 club, with Vyki Shaw having been the 1st from Year Seven, and the 424th Ashton Court parkrunner overall to qualify for a red parkrun top. The most recent to qualify for membership are Callum Moore and Katrina Darke, who both did so at our 447th event and became the 694th and 695th of us from Ashton Court parkrun to join.
 
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The first Year Sevenster to join the parkrun 50 club ~ Vyki Shaw ~ looking very focussed at event 341 (photo: Suze Eyles)
 
Although there are now 4 of our Year Sevensters in the 100 parkrun club, 3 of them had already taken part in a few parkruns before their 1st run here. So the 1st, and to date sole Year Sevenster to have qualified for a black parkrun top having 1st run a parkrun here is Jenny Griggs, who achieved this goal at our 442nd parkrun and is the 314th Ashton Courter to get there!
 
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And on the left is the first ~ and only ~ Year Sevenster to have joined the parkrun 100 club ~ Jenny Griggs ~ here Tail Walking with Gill Atwill and one of our Duke of Edinburgh Award teenagers at event 351 (photo: John O'Brien)
 
1 Year Sevenster, ~ Jeremy Lowe ~ has, as I’ve said, finished 88 Ashton Court parkruns. Not having run a parkrun anywhere else, Jeremy has a 100% record. Will Harris and Robin Webster, who have both run away from home just once, have a 99% AC record, (Will with 94 out of 95, Robin 89 out of 90). And Sharon Eaves, who has run 65 of her 72 parkruns at home, has an attendance record of fractionally above 90%.
 
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Seen at event number 344 is Jeremy Lowe, keeping company with Kim Forbes (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
Leading the way for personal bests by Year Sevensters in Year Seven was Francesca Roe, who achieved 12 of them! 2 parkrunners, Chris Doonan and Brendan Boyce, both ran 10 pbs this year, and Michael Lawrence, Marie Bailey and Paul Turner each ran 9. 4 more individuals ran 8 pbs, 5 ran 7, 16 ran 6, 25 ran 5, 40 ran 4, 81 ran 3 and 184 ran 2 pbs. 456 other Year Sevensters ran 1 each, meaning that 817 members of the Class of Year Seven ran 1,574 personal bests.
 
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This is Frankie Roe at event 322, who ran with us on 30 occasions during Year Seven and achieved 12 pbs along the way (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
There were 3 Year Sevensters who finished in the same position 4 times during their 1st year; Johnny Suttle (1st), David Eagon (4th) and Edmund Willatts (6th).

5 of their classmates filled the same finish position 3 times; Andrea Jenn (231st), Robin Webster (173rd), Tony Myers (91st) and Stuart Ellis (66th). Another 77 members of the Class of Seven finished in the same place twice.
 
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High on the hill at event 311 and Robin Webster's 3rd parkrun. Robin would finish in 25:57, and then equal that time the following Saturday. This was the 2nd of Robin's 5 pbs in Year Seven (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
2 of our Year Sevensters, Jemma Harfield and Sarah Jenkins, occupied the same gender finish position 5 times; 7th and 13th respectively.
 
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Jemma Harfield is currently on 99 parkruns and is perhaps looking forward to the re-start more than most. This is event 322, 1 of the 23 of our parkruns Jemma took part in during Year Seven, and 1 of the 5 times she finished 7th female (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
7 others did so 4 times; Marie Bailey (95th), Elaine Inker (155th), David Eagon (4th), Stuart Ellis (65th), Johnny Suttle (1st), Edmund Willatts (6th) and Rosie Hattersley (1st).

Anne Dockery scored the highest age grade by a Year Sevenster during Year Seven, when she finished our 352nd event in 26:51 in 1, of her final runs in the VW65-69 category and scored 81.56%.

A month later Anne, having become a member of the VW70-74 category, finished event number 356 12 seconds faster and scored 83.55%. Clouds and silver linings!
 
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It's quicker if you smile! And as Anne Dockery never seems to stop smiling, perhaps that's why she runs so quickly! This is event 352 and Anne's on her way to a pb of 26:51. The pb only lasted 2 parkruns and Anne's now beaten that time on 10 occasions (photo: Drew McLellan)
 
Year Seven ~ altogether now

Year Seven’s 51 parkruns were enjoyed by 5,723 different known parkrunners, who completed 21,798 parkruns during the year. Our 5,723 consisted of 3,128 females and 2,595 males.

Of the 21,798 parkruns 8,539 were completed by females, 11,002 by males and 2,257 by finishers without barcodes.

All those different parkruns were completed in 2,083 different time values, from 16:10 and 18:38 at the front end to 139:55 ~ more about the latter later.

There were 29 different female first finishers, with Amy Partridge filling that place 6 times. Chrissie Wellington, Rosie Hattersley and Kelly Dicks each finished 1st 4 times, Nicola Brookland and Jane Faram did so 3 times, and Marie Malloy, Kate Darbyshire, Sarah Everett and Alice Doggrell did so twice. Another 19 females finished 1st once.
 
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Well on her way to one of her 6 first finishes, at event 325, is Amy Partridge (photo: Dan Jones)
 
The most frequent first female finish time was 20:46, which was achieved 3 times, twice by Amy Partridge and once by Chrissie Wellington.
 
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Chrissie Wellington loves running and she loves smiling, and she's very good at both. Here Chrissie's on her way to finish 7th overall in 19:12 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
As for the males, we saw 31 different male 1st finishers, with Jarlath McKenna and David Awde leading the way by finishing first 6 times each, Johnny Suttle and Matthew Battensby 4 times, Alex Crossland 3 times, and John Cox and Leon Rumble twice each. 24 other males finished first once each.

Swiftest of all was course record holder Jarlath McKenna, with 16:10 at event 309. 8 males beat 17 minutes 14 times overall ~ Jarlath McKenna and David Awde 4 times each, Maciej Bialogonski, Thomas Niner, Alex Crossland, Max Walker, Oliver Beale and Benjamin Tickner once each, and we timed 57 male finishes of between 17:00 and 17:59.
 
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It's a first time first finish for Thomas Niner, on his only visit to Ashton Court, at parkrun number 344 (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
2 females beat 19 minutes ~ Nicola Brookland 3 times and Chrissie Wellington once. Rosie Hattersley (4 times); Chrissie Wellington (2); Emma Pooley, Evita Gonzalez Szamocki, Katrine Louise Svane, Kelly Dicks and Olivia Sadler (once each) all finished in times between 19:00 and 19:59.
 
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This was Emma Pooley's 1st ever parkrun and she finished 6th overall, in 19:10, at event 346. Her time is the 13th fastest recorded by a female at Ashton Court (photo: Geoff Keogh)
 
Year Seven’s fastest first-timers are all mentioned above; Thomas with 16:35 at event 344 and Max at event 352 with 16;42, and Olympic cycling medal winner Emma (19:10 at event 346) and Katrine Louise (19:16 at event 306).
 
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Making this running lark look very easy ~ which of course, it ought to be ~ is Katrine Louise Svane, on her way to finishing first female on her first(and only) run with us. Katrine's time of 19:16 is the 19th fastest of all our female finish times (photo: Drew McLellan)
 
The average finish time in Year Seven was 28:48, the median was 27.53 and the time we recorded most often was 24:45, on 36 occasions!

Desmond Jones, Alex Williams and Paul Hodges each finished in 24:45 twice, and there 7 parkruns when 2 finishers recorded this particular time.
 
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Here's one of our Run Directors Paul Hodges, on the way to one of his two 24:45 finishes, this one at event 345 (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
Eliot Hames, Robin Webster and Ross Anderson each finished in the same time 3 times; respectively 19:06, 25:43 and 25:48, but of those 3 only Ross scored the same age grade 3 times ~ 53.68%, with Tim Constable matching Ross’s achievement with 3 scores of 58.34%.
 
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One of the Class of Year Seven is Ross Anderson, at event 309. Ross would go on to finish events 342, 344 and 345 all in the same time of 25:48, with a blip of 27:29 at event 343 (photo: John O'Brien)
 
782 females and 1,005 males ~ 1,787 parkrunners ~ achieved 3,131 pbs in Year Seven ~ 1,361 by females and 1,770 by males.

The most pbs achieved this year was 14, by Naina Burgess who during Year Seven sped up from 38:35 to 27:28.
 
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A 13th pb in Year Seven wasn't at all unlucky for Naina Burgess ~ here leading the pack on her way to 27:40 at event 342 ~ as 2 parkruns later Naina beat that time by 14 seconds for pb number 14 (photo: Dan Jones)
 
Francesca Roe, as we know, ran 12 pbs, starting at 31:25 and working her way down to 25:04. Then came Graham Grew, whose 11 pbs brought his best down from 25:54 to 23:48. Chris Doonan lowered his best from 25:05 to 20:21 with 10 pbs on the way, and one of our juniors, Brendan Boyce, who took his best from 25:36 to 21:05, again with 10 pbs.

5 parkrunners ran 9 pbs, 7 achieved 8, another 7 achieved 7, 27 ran 6, 42 ran 5, 69 ran 4, 141 ran 3, 369 ran 2 and 1,138 each ran 1 personal best during Year Seven.
 
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Enjoying the sunshine at event 352 is Graham Grew (photo: Drew McLellan)
 
327 parkrunners finished in the same position twice, 43 did so 3 times, 15 on 4 occasions, and Simon Cardnell finished 2nd 5 times, with Jarlath McKenna and David Awde both finishing 1st 6 times.

Marie Malloy finished 64th on 4 occasions, the same number of times that Christine Burren finished 186th.
 
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This is event 345, the 25th of the 30 parkruns that Year Sevenster Will Harris completed this year (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
Moving on to gender finish position, 4 parkrunners finished in the same place 6 times. Jarlath McKenna, David Awde and Amy Partridge each finished 1st half a dozen times, and one of our juniors, Lottie Livesey, finished 5th female 6 times.

8 of us filled the same gender position 5 times, 30 did so 4 times, 91 on 3 occasions, and 390 of us did so twice.
 
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Ashton Court parkrunner number 34 is Christine Burren, and here is Chris at event 309, about to finish 186th for the 2nd time in 3 parkruns. Chris occupied this finish position at events 302, 309, 320 and 344 (photo: John O'Brien)
 
Year Seven was the year when we timed our 14,000th, 15,000th and 16,000th finishers over the line, as well as our 7,000th different female, and 8,000th and 9,000th different males.

The 14,000th new finisher was a junior who had take part twice at Pomphrey Hill parkrun before coming here for this 1 event and has yet to take part in a 4th parkrun. Plenty of time for that though . For number 15,000, this was their 18th parkrun, they ran here twice more and have now completed 145 events.Number 16,000 has only taken part here that 1 time. This was their 22nd parkrun, and now they’ve finished 53 of them, with 51 having been at Burnham and Highbridge parkrun

Their 1st visit here was our 7,000th female parkrunner’s only parkrun so far. Our 8,000th male had run 44 parkruns before coming along to Ashton Court and now has a total of 52 events, with just that 1 visit to Ashton Court on his CV. The 9,000th different male across our finish line had run 4 parkruns elsewhere before visiting us for the 1st time. He’s now taken part in 63 parkruns ~ including 4 here and 55 at Eastville parkrun
 
During Year Seven we introduced ourselves to 58 new Jameses, 57 new Sarahs, 55 new Davids, 41 Matthews, 40 Andrews and 40 Toms, and 30 Helens, 28 Rebeccas and 25 Rachels and 25 Emmas.

There were also 29 new Joneses (15 female, 14 male), 25 Smiths (7 and 18), 22 Williamses (7 and 15), 21 Taylors (11 and 10) and 15 Davieses (7 and 8) and 15 Browns (4 and 11).
 
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This is Sarah Taylor at event 328, on her 1st parkrun here. Sarah is the 215th Sarah (out of 318 so far), and the 98th Taylor (out of 143 Taylors so far. && Taylors have been female, 67 male). Sarah was also the 1st of the 3 Sarah Taylors who have participated here so far (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Seven ~ a Bigger Picture

We had a “more special than most” parkrun on the 2nd of December in 2017 at our 332nd event. I mentioned earlier that we’d timed someone ~ 2 finishers in fact ~ over the line in 139:55. Here’s how we described it in the weekend’s parkrun report:

“And, of course, we had Lenny Brown with us. A friend of hers, Tom Feilding, is a regular AC parkrunner and he told us of Lenny's ambition to take part in a parkrun. Today that ambition was realised, and it was a privilege for us all to be part of it. It was Lenny who did the hard work, of course, and Lenny - you're a star!“
 
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The pictures alone don't tell the story ~ Lenny Brown's parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
At the end of that month we saw both 1st finishers with the same 1st name, the only time that’s happened here. It was event number 336, and Alex Crossland finished first overall in 17:41, and Alex Binley crossed the line in 20th position with the time of 21:27 to finish 1st female.
 
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Thanks to Photoshop, here are event 336's 2 first finishers, Alex Crossland and Alex Bingley (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
Having begun Year Seven with 549 finishers we ended with 454. In between our attendances varied from a low of 275 to a high of 593. We saw 446 finishers on 4 occasions during the year, the average attendance was 427 and the median was 432, which we achieved at event number 308.

We also had our 6th groundhog Saturday during Year Seven, when we saw the same number of finishers at 2 consecutive parkruns ~ 348 at both number 310 and 311.

Once again, we “lost” 3 Saturdays when Ashton Court was either unavailable or inaccessible. Let’s Rock Bristol was again the 1st, on June 3rd, followed by all the hot air that accompanies the Balloon Fiesta on August 12th. And then, just when we probably thought we’d got away with it for the winter, down came the snow and we were off again on March 3rd 2018.
 
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No need to call event 347 off, it's only a blizzard! Tail Walker David Braithwaite accompanies Jo Coburn and Diane Javoric towards the finish line, with an unidentified course marshal (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
This year it was 3 parkruns in 3 days

With the New Year starting on a Monday we were able to have our regular Saturday parkrun on 30th December 2017, have a breather on Sunday and then go again on New Year’s Day. There was less choice this time, with only us and Pomphrey Hill parkrun taking place on the holiday. Having seen 356 finishers on Saturday, started again at 09.00 2 days later, with 446 finishers, and a little over 90 minutes later, 637 set off around Pomphrey Hill’s 3 laps.

Remarkably, only 29 of the morning’s finishers didn’t have a barcode scanned ~ 11 here and 18 at Pomphrey Hill parkrun. The remaining 1,054 finish positions were filled by 798 different parkrunners, with 256 having taken part in both the 1st 2 Monday parkruns in the neighbourhood.
 
New Neighbours
 
Speaking of which, our Year Seven was a big year for parkrun in the area around Bristol, because on 18th November 2017 both Eastville and Thornbury parkruns went live. It could be said that Eastville parkrun was Bristol’s 1st parkrun event, given that our course is physically in North Somerset, while Thornbury parkrun became the 3rd event in South Gloucestershire. Both 1st events were crowded, with 679 finishers (more than we’d ever seen) at Eastville parkrun and another 337 at Thornbury parkrun.
 
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The very pretty bit at Eastville parkrun, where the less fast parkrunners can look down at the slightly faster ones on their circuit of the lake. This was at Eastville parkrun's 1st event (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Looking around that day, our attendance was 76 down on the previous week. Chipping Sodbury parkrun saw 43 fewer finishers, Pomphrey Hill parkrun were down by precisely 100, and Bath Skyline by 44. So that’s 263, plus the 88 brand-new parkrunners at Eastville and the 108 at Thornbury. There’s 459 of the finishers at the 2 new events. Where did the remaining 557 emerge from? We may never know!
 
It’s been great fun having these 2 extra neighbours, in particular the teasing about who has the worst hill. Clearly that’s not us, because we have the “best” hill, it’s in the middle of the course and half of it goes down!

Having seen our annual number of finishers increase by 4,788 in Year Five, and a further 4,358 in Year Six, with parkrunners in the area now having a greater choice of where to take their barcode on a Saturday morning, our Seventh Year was one of consolidation, and we did well to increase our finisher numbers by 583. What would Year Eight bring?
 
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Almost the end of Year Seven, as the finish funnel volunteers wait for the final handful of event number 352's participants (photo: Drew McLellan)
 

Report by Rich Kenington, Ashton Court parkrunner number 1,817
 

Coming sometime in the next fortnight .. Year Eight

 

Don't forget you can follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

We have a library of our parkrun photos in our Flickr group

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 26 May

From Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer, parkrun Global

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We can now confirm that parkrun events across the world will be suspended until the end of June.

Despite this announcement of extended closure, our view of the future is increasingly optimistic as the situation continues to change rapidly and dynamically across the world. There is now a definite and positive move towards relaxation of restrictions, and every week we get closer to the point where parkrun events will return to their communities.

As lockdown restrictions start to lift across some territories in which we operate, we’d like to thank everyone for not going to their parkrun venues, at parkrun time. Importantly, please do not organise group gatherings of any sort at your parkrun locations until such time as parkrun events have officially returned in your region.

This is critical in order to preserve the excellent relationships we have with local communities and stakeholders, as well as to ensure the safety of both parkrunners and other users of the space.

We continue to be cautious and thoughtful about parkrun’s return and we will, at all times, consider region-specific national and international government and public health guidance.

Whilst parkrun cannot recommence in any territory until the guidance allows, the restarting of parkrun will be a complex and sensitive process. It is imperative that any decision to recommence has the full and widespread support of volunteer teams, and the wider community. A major part of our energy over the next few weeks will be focused on gathering this understanding and insight, which will in turn inform our decision making.

Understanding the sentiment and feeling of our volunteers and communities is particularly key, as when the decision is made to restart parkrun, all parkrun events in that region will be required to start. Any events remaining closed would significantly and unreasonably increase pressure on those that open.

Volunteer happiness and welfare will always be at the heart of what we do and, prior to reopening any events, we will continue to collaborate with our communities in order to best understand local situations and implement appropriate processes in advance.

Thanks for your continued parkrun passion.

We are getting through this, together,

Tom Williams
Chief Operating Officer
parkrun Global

 
Links to previous updates:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 26 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 19 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 12 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 05 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 28 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 21 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 14 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 7 April
 
Previous updates were posted on one page which was revised whenever necessary as the situation worsened

Current position with regard COVID-19 and implications for parkrun events

2020-05-12 covid update

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 19 May

From Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer, parkrun Global

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I’m pleased to say we have now spoken with just under 1,000 event teams and ambassadors from all 22 parkrun countries, and that project has now formally concluded.

As always however, should event teams and volunteers wish to speak with us that opportunity remains available and I’d urge them to get in touch if that is the case. We are now taking time to review our notes from those conversations and will be reporting back in due course.

It also feels like we’re entering a new phase of consideration with regard to restarting parkrun, at least in some parts of the world. Restrictions are beginning to ease in many countries in which we operate, and every day the news shows society taking small steps toward reopening. Each update to a country’s future plans are scrutinised, and although none have yet presented clear parkrun-friendly guidelines many are moving closer to that point.

At this moment in time, it feels like we’ve been without parkrun forever and it’s understandable that many of us will feel a sense of emotional fatigue, or even hopelessness, from time to time. However, I would like to reassure you that we are moving forward, we are focused on reopening as soon as appropriate, and we do believe that that time will come. Until then, we continue to ask parkrun communities around the world not to arrange gatherings at their local venues, and thank them all for being so brilliant to date.

Finally, we recently spoke to Laura Penhaul, who was part of the first-ever all-female crew to row across the Pacific, a feat that was documented in the brilliant film Losing Sight of Shore.

You can watch our conversation with her over on the parkrun YouTube channel and, like me, I hope you can draw many parallels with what we’re all going through right now.

We may ourselves have lost sight of the shore for the moment, but we are moving forward and will see it again.

Tom Williams
Chief Operating Officer
parkrun Global

 
Links to previous updates:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 19 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 12 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 05 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 28 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 21 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 14 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 7 April
 
Previous updates were posted on one page which was revised whenever necessary as the situation worsened

Current position with regard COVID-19 and implications for parkrun events

2020-05-12 covid update

 

Ashton Court parkrun’s Class of Year Six

 

Year Six began on Saturday 23rd April 2016, 5 years to the day after our 1st parkrun. That 1st event had seen 120 finishers and we saw in our new year with 425 finishers at our 252nd parkrun.
 
2016-04-23 252 rk start

3 - 2 - 1 and away we go, Year Six is under way (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
First day of the new term

Of the 425 finishers at Year Six’s 1st event, 12 were running their first ever parkrun. 46 had already taken part in parkruns elsewhere and were visiting us at Ashton Court for the 1st time.

Only 1 of the dozen newcomers ever returned to parkrun, although of course there's plenty of time for the other 11 to do so in the future. The 1 who did come back left a gap of 140 parkruns before their return but did take part in 4 other parkruns elsewhere in the meantime and has now completed 14 parkruns overall, 4 of them here with us.

The 1st day of term saw 76 finishers finish more quickly here than they ever had before, and sadly 56 of the others forgot their barcode. Of those who remembered to bring one, 153 were females and 216 were males.
 
2016-04-23 252 rk scan

Barcode scanning at event number 252, an experience not shared by the morning’s 56 unknown finishers (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Hi-vis heroes

We couldn’t have staged any of Year Six’s 50 parkruns without the 304 different parkrunners who between them volunteered on 1,126 occasions. They included 6 Andrews, 6 Davids, 6 Martins, and 4 Rachels, 4 Ruths and 4 Sarahs. At event number 254 3 of the Ruths were volunteering together. There were also 2 Adams but no Eves, if you can believe it!
 
2016-12-17-283-rk-vols

It was event number 283 on the Saturday before the Saturday before Christmas but that didn’t stop this happy band of volunteers from augmenting their hi-vis with all manner of Christmassy bits and bobs (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
New friends, new parkrunners ~ the Class of Year Six

We welcomed 715 parkrunners to their first ever event during Year Six, alongside 2,477 whose parkrun home is elsewhere and were visiting Ashton Court for the 1st time.

Of the very first timers, 601 were female and 562 male, and of the visitors, 941 female and 1,088 male.

400 of those 715 returned to Ashton Court as soon as they could ~ the very next week! 194 others came back after a fortnight, and 101 more after 3 weeks.
 
2016-07-30 265 rk kh

Here at event number 265 is Christine Hill and her daughter Katherine in the dark pink alongside her. This was the 1st parkrun for them both. Katherine came back the following week and has since become an Ashton Court regular, having run here 63 times and 64 times elsewhere. Christine’s since become a regular at Southampton parkrun and we’ve seen her here a number of times since their 1st parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
It took 525 of our first timers over 10 weeks to come back, while 1,695 of the 3,192 are still waiting to return.

One first timer who came along to our 271st parkrun waited until number 441 to return, and has since been to numbers 442, 443, 445 and 448.

Another’s first parkrun was our number 289, their second and third were numbers 440 and 441.

And a 3rd first timer who came along to our 252nd returned for number 307 but hasn’t been seen at a parkrun since.
 
2017-04-01 299 rk jc

Another Year Sixter who’s now a familiar face on our lovely hill is John Churchill, seen here enjoying his 7th parkrun at our 299th event. John’s now run here 87 times (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
146 of our Year Sixters were aged 10 or under, while 248 of them were aged between 11 and 19, and 953 were in their 20s. 855 others were in their 30s, 566 in their 40s, and 327 in their 50s. 90 Year Sixters were in their 60s when they first came along, with 7 more in their 70s. 66 Year Sixters had a significant birthday and moved up an age grade during the year.

1 of our Year Sixters, Henry Sly, finished in the same overall position ~ 3rd ~ 4 times during the year. 5 of them finished in the same place 3 times ~ Harry Kingston, 2nd ~ Liam Tollinton, 29th ~ Theresa Goldstone, 106th ~ Paula Bradshaw, 213th ~ and Paul Skrzypczyk, 3rd. Another 84 of our newcomers finished in the same overall position twice.
 
2016-12-17 283 mw hs

On his way to one of his 3rd place finishes is Henry Sly, at event number 283 (photo: Mike Warren)
 
Jane Faram finished 1st female 6 times, while Olga Vearncombe (16th female), Henry Sly (3rd male) and Chloe Broughton (3rd female) each finished in the same gender position 4 times. 11 Year Sixters finished in the same gender position 3 times, and another 129 did so twice.
 
2017-01-07 287 rk jf

Finishing first female for the first time, at her first parkrun is Jane Faram, at event number 287 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
866 of our Year Sixters achieved a total of 1,718 personal bests in the year. 438 females ran 819 of them, and 428 males ran the other 899.

Paul Channing ran more of them than anyone else, with 11 during the year. Tim Harris, Tj Jagger and Joe Allen each ran 10, Sarah Dodge, Scott Cornell and Toby Woolf all ran 9 each, and Alex Moylett ran 8.
 
2016-06-11 258 rk pc

Paul Channing at his 2nd parkrun ~ our 258th ~ and on his way to his 1st pb. And yes, it's our "B" course (photo: Rich Kenington)
 

7 other Year Sixters each ran 7 pbs (of course!), 13 ran 6, 36 ran 5, 56 ran 4, 85 ran 3 and 195 ran 2.

George Duggan scored the highest age grade ~ 81.46% ~ of Year Six at parkrun number 254, when he came along for the first time, finished 1st and equalled the course record time of 16:11, aged 19. Incidentally, when George returned, to our 290th parkrun, he’d celebrated a birthday and was no longer a teenager. Once again George finished 1st, in exactly the same time of 16:11, but “only” scored 80.54%!
 
2016-05-07 254 job gd

This is George Duggan, on his way to equalling the course record at our 254th parkrun (photo: John O'Brien)
 
Our 3,192 Year Sixters amassed a total of 6,826 Ashton Court parkruns during the year.

But which particular Year Sixter finished most Ashton Court parkruns in this, their 1st year? Paul Channing tops this ladder, having 1st come along to event number 257 and finished 37 of a possible 45 parkruns. Steven Stone ran 29 of a possible 40, having first finished number 262, and Kyler Phillips, whose 1st parkrun was number 270, ran 25 out of 32.
 
2016-07-09 262 dj ss

Now two very familiar faces at Ashton Court parkrun, this is Steven and Sally Stone at our 262nd event ~ their 1st (photo: Dan Jones)
 
2 of the above went on to become the most prolific Ashton Court parkrunners of Year Six ~ Paul Channing, who has now finished 158 out of a possible 192 parkruns here, and Steven Stone, with 151 out of 187. Steven is joined on this particular podium by his wife Sally, who also 1st came along to event number 262 and has now completed 129 out of a possible 187 Ashton Court parkruns.

Paul, Steven and Sally are of course members of the unofficial Ashton Court 100 parkrun club. Other Year Sixters to reach this dizzy height are Lucy Avent, who’s finished here 123 times, Naina Burgess (119) and Sarah Dodge (118).
 
2017-03-25 298 job la

Lucy Avent had run 23 times at Pontypool parkrun before removing to Bristol, and now she's most definitely an Ashton Courter. Here she is at our 298th parkrun (photo: John O'Brien)
 
There are 21 members of the unofficial Ashton Court 50 parkrun club from Year Six, with Eloise Morton leading the way, having finished here on 91 occasions, followed by John Churchill (87), the newest member being Teresa Cryer with exactly 50 finishes at our parkrun.
 
2017-04-01 299 rk em

Having started at our 266th parkrun, by the time we arrived at number 299 Eloise Morton had got the parkrun habit ~ this was her 18th Ashton Court parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Next to join will almost certainly be Lilla Farkas-Kiraly, who’s currently finished here 49 times.

Looking at the real parkrun clubs, which include participation at other parkruns (apparently there are some), 8 junior Year Sixters went on to complete 10 5k parkruns.

76 Year Sixters are members of the 50 parkrun club, and 27 of them have made it into the 100 parkrun club. 8 of the latter have finished between 150 and 199 parkruns with, perhaps unsurprisingly, Paul Channon leading the rush to 250 on 184 parkruns finished.

The most recent Year Sixter to join the 100 parkrun club was Eloise Morton, who got there at our 446th event, the same morning that Lilla Farkas-Kiraly became the latest Year Sixter to join the 50 parkrun club.

 
2017-03-18 297 lv rk

Here’s Lilla Farkas-Kiraly, the newest Ashton Court member of the 50 parkrun club, seen at our 297th event (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Six ~ all together now

5,387 known parkrunners crossed our finish line during Year Six ~ 2,445 females and 2,942 males ~ and between them, together with the unknown finishers, they completed 21,215 parkruns. 8,085 were run or walked by females, 10,998 by males, and 2,132 had forgotten their barcodes.

Our volunteers recorded 1,824 different time values, from 15:46 to 63:11, and with all sorts of times in between.

The average time was 28:16, the median time 27:34, and the time we recorded most was 26:16, on 36 occasions by 34 individuals. Ben Swift recorded it twice, at events 265 and 285, as did Graham Harrison at events 263 and 269.
 
2016-12-31 285 rk bs

On the left at event number 285 is Ben Swift, on his way to his 2nd time of 26:16 of the year, accompanied by his brother Tom, who was visiting from Havant parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
There were 10 instances of 2 finishers crossing the line in 26:16 at the same parkrun, and in fact both of Ben’s finishes in this time, and both of Graham’s too, took place when another finisher bagged the same time.
 
2016-08-06 266 jb sj

Another of Year Six’s 34 to finish in 26:16 is Dan Jenkinson, here about to finish in that exact time at our 266th parkrun (photo: Jacob Butterly)
 
Craig Brown succeeded in finishing in 23:39 on 5 occasions; Geoffrey Morgan recorded 32:47 4 times, and Richard Harding also finished in the same time 4 times ~ 29:20.
 
2016-11-12 278 job cb

Craig Brown seems to be enjoying one of his 23:39 finishes ~ this one took place at our 278th parkrun (photo: John O’Brien)
 
Another 18 parkrunners finished in the same time on 3 occasions.
 
2017-02-25 294 rk dw

One of the 18 Ashton Court parkrunners to finish in the same time is Denise Williams. Denise somehow finished in 36:56 at each of event numbers 294, 295 and 297, and wasn’t around for number 296. This was a remarkably consistent few weeks for Denise, as she also finished event 291 in 36:53 and 293 in 36:51! We see her here at number 294 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
We don’t usually celebrate someone finishing in the same time twice, but as you’ll see, there was good cause to in Year Six.

During this Ashton Court parkrun year, we saw 21 different females finish 1st female and 27 males finished 1st overall. For the first time ever, we saw a female finish 1st overall, something Nicola Brookland achieved at events 258 and 261.

Having seen his course record (shared with James Thie) of 16:11 equalled at event 254 by George Duggan, Jarlath McKenna embarked on a remarkable series of Ashton Court parkruns.

At our 257th event, Jarlath reclaimed the course record, finishing in exactly 16 minutes. At event number 264 he became the 1st person to beat 16 minutes at Ashton Court when he finished in 15:58. At number 275 Jarlath reinforced that with a 15:59 finish, before smashing that by finishing in 15:46 at event number 276.
 
2016-10-29 276 rk jm

When Jarlath McKenna ran 15:46 the first time at Ashton Court he was far too quick for our photographer (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
And as if that wasn’t enough, Jarlath came back and ran 15:46 a second time, at our 301st event, the final one of Year Six. Imagine receiving your result email or text message: “Congratulations on finishing first at Ashton Court parkrun today. Your pb remains 15:46”. Unfortunately, we don’t see Jarlath very often nowadays as his work took him elsewhere. He’s still our course record holder, and the only person to have beaten 16 minutes here. In fact, Jarlath’s achieved it 4 times!
 
2017-04-15-301-sj-jm

Fortunately when Jarlath next ran as quickly, at event 301, Sarah came to the rescue (photo: Sarah Jones)
 
Since then only Maciej Bialogonski ~ a regular up the road at Pomphrey Hill parkrun ~ has come close, when he finished our 412th parkrun (in Year Nine) in 16:10, and thus became our 2nd fastest ever finisher.

On the subject of course records, Charlotte Taylor-Green reduced our fastest female time down to 18:04 at event number 294, when she finished 2nd overall.
 
2017-02-25 294 rk cgt

Here’s Charlotte Taylor-Green at the start of her female course record breaking run at our 294th event. Charlotte had to make do with finishing 2nd overall (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
And when Jarlath 1st finished in 15:46, were there lots of pbs achieved close behind him, as had been the pattern when previous course records were set? Well, no there weren’t, not this time. Simon Cardnell was the next to finish in a new best time, in 7th place.

A cluster of 4 finishers, in 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th positions, all achieved pbs, but it’s more likely that Andy Sparks, Daryl Phillips, Dan Nettelfield and Lee Winter were chasing one another, not Jarleth. Their new pbs, by the way, were 18:29, 18:30, 18:34 and 18:43 respectively.

For our females this was the fastest year so far, with 11 times recorded below 19 minutes. Nicola Brookland achieved this on 9 occasions; I mentioned Charlotte Taylor-Green's sub-19 time earlier, and Chrissie Wellington just squeezed onto the list when she finished 1st female in 18:56 at event number 293.
 
2016-06-18-259-gk-nb

This is 1 of the 9 occasions in Year Six when Nicola Brookland finished an Ashton Court parkrun in a time below 19 minutes, at event number 259 when her time was 18:38 (photo: Geoff Keogh)
 
Year Six saw 1,795 parkrunners ~ 829 females and 996 males ~ achieve 3,383 personal bests ~ 1,520 by females, 1,863 by males.

3 parkrunners achieved 11 pbs each ~ Moe Soe, Paul Channing and Tom Dunn. 3 others each ran 10 pbs ~ Tim Harris, Joe Allen and Tj Jagger; and 3 more ran 9 pbs each ~ Sarah Dodge, Scott Cornell and Toby Woolf.
 
2016-06-25 260 job ms

The look of intent on Moe Soe’s face suggests that he knew he was onto something here! And he wasn’t wrong! This was event number 260, and Moe finished in 25:31, 6 seconds faster than before. The following week Moe reduced this by a further 3 seconds and by the end of Year Six Moe’s pb stood at 23:17! (photo: John O’Brien)
 
8 pbs were achieved by 6 different parkrunners; 7 pbs by 11; 6 pbs by 23; 5 by 63; 4 by 96; 2 by 172 and 400 parkrunners ran 2 pbs each in Year Six.
 
2016-11-05 277 rk sd

Sarah Dodge’s 1st parkrun was our 260th, which she finished in 37:01. Here we see Sarah at her 10th event ~ our 277th ~ when she achieved her 6th pb and finished in 32:40. Nowadays Sarah’s pb is 28:32. Amazing what can be done with persistence and hard work! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Jarlath McKenna finished 1st 10 times; Robert Stewart did so on 7 occasions. Both Nirpal Singh Gillar and Steve Speak finished 5th 11 times each, while Kate Darbyshire finished 46th overall 4 times, and Sarah Everett finished 30th overall 4 times. Another 15 parkrunners finished in the same overall position 3 times.

Looking now at gender finish positions, Jarlath McKenna finished 1st male 11 times, and Nicola Brookland was 1st female 9 times. Sarah Everitt was 2nd female 8 times; while Robert Stewart came 1st male 7 times, Nirpal Singh Gillar 11th male 7 times; and Kate Darbyshire, Tanya Chowdhury and Alison Engledew each finished 3rd, 6th and 8th female 7 times.
 
2016-11-26 280 dj se

Sarah Everitt flying down the hill at event number 280. Wonder if she misses it now that she usually runs at Eastville parkrun? (photo: Dan Jones)
 
Ashton Court parkrun’s 11,000th new finisher crossed the finish line at event number 262; our 12,000th at number 276 and our 13,000th at number 294. Only one of them has ever returned ~ number 12,000th, 6 times.

We saw our 5,000th new female finisher at parkrun number 265, our 6,000th at number 298.

Our 6,000th new male parkrunners crossed the line at event 259, and number 7,000 at our 290th event. The latter is Tony Wilkes, who has now run here on 26 occasions.
 
2016-12-31 285 rk ov

This is Olga Vearncombe, who managed to finish 16th female 4 times during year 6, and here she is, doing just that at event number 285. Olga was both our first ever Olga and our first ever Vearncombe! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
During Year Six we welcomed 53 new Sarahs, 36 new Hannahs, 30 new Emilys, 29 new Helens and 27 new Emmas. There were also 48 new Davids, 46 new Jameses, 42 new Andrews, 40 new Toms and 39 new Chrises ~ 1 of whom was female and the other 38 weren’t.

We also introduced ourselves to 29 new Joneses ~ 15 male and 14 female; 27 new Smiths ~ 16 female and 11 male; 24 new Williamses ~ 14 male and 10 female; 20 new Davieses ~ 10 female, 10 male; and 17 new Evanses (10 male, 7 female).
 
2016-09-03 269 rk tw

Many familiar Ashton Court faces here at event 269, and in the middle ~ in the red adidas top ~ is Tom Waterson, starting his 1st Ashton Court parkrun. Tom became the 129th different bearer of that name to cross our finish line, and the 2nd Waterson (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Six ~ a Bigger Picture

This was the year when, sadly, our the eldest of our younger siblings had to shut down. After 173 parkruns and 32,413 individual parkruns completed, Little Stoke parkrun had timed its final Tail Walker. This isn’t the place to go into the whys or wherefores of the situation, but just as here at Ashton Court parkrun, a community had built up of many different folk who were proud to call Little Stoke parkrun “home”, and it was extremely sad to see that brought to a close.

Later in the year, in October 2016, we welcomed Wotton parkrun to the family. In no way a replacement for Little Stoke of course, it gave an opportunity to people in the area between Bristol and Gloucester somewhere to parkrun. That they’ve now had almost as many events as Little Stoke ~ 171 ~ yet have seen less than half the number of finishers ~ 14,764 ~ reflects both the more rural nature of Wotton itself, and parkrun’s firm belief that no matter how large or small it may be, if a community wants a parkrun, then it should have one. And amen to that!

During the year we “lost” 3 Saturdays when Ashton Court was either unavailable or inaccessible. Let’s Rock Bristol was the 1st, on June 4th, followed of course by that hardy perennial the Balloon Fiesta on August 13th. Finally, September 6th saw Bristol hosting the Tour of Britain cycle race, which made Ashton Court if not completely inaccessible, then certainly very difficult to reach because of the various road closures the race entailed.
 
2016-09-24 271 rk view

A view that could only be Ashton Court parkrun, of our 271st event on a beautiful September morning (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
3 into 2 does go (again)

Once again, we enjoyed the opportunity to take part in 3 parkruns in 2 days, and with Sunday being the 1st day of 2017, Sunday parkruns took place in the Bristol area for the 1st time.

3 of them, in fact, because this year parkrun new year revellers had a decision to make. They could come to Ashton Court parkrun, which started at 9am, or they could go to Chipping Sodbury parkrun which started at the same time. And then, at 10.30am, there was Pomphrey Hill parkrun to be enjoyed.

On Saturday December 31st, we saw 417 finishers at Ashton Court parkrun; Chipping Sodbury parkrun saw 364 and Pomphrey Hill parkrun saw 390. How many survived seeing in the New Year? Well, on January 1st we saw 197 finishers, Chipping Sodbury saw 296, and many of those 493 would have been amongst Pomphrey Hill parkrun’s 478 finishers.

197 was our smallest number of finishers since event number 178 in November 2014, when we saw 4 fewer. Conversely, 478 was the highest number of finishers Pomphrey Hill parkrun had entertained at that point, 67 more than had finished there on Christmas Eve a couple of weeks previously.
 
2017-01-01-286-gk-rs

Robbie Stewart leads us all into 2017 at event number 286. This would be 1 of the 7 occasions Robbie finished 1st during Year Six (photo: Geoff Keogh)
 
As for us, here at Ashton Court parkrun, we just kept running and walking up and down our hill. We saw 2 parkruns with between 250 and 299 finishers, 13 with between 300 and 399, 26 had between 400 and 499 and 7 had between 500 and 599.

We were taken by surprise when 624 parkrunners came along to our 300th event, the penultimate one of this particular year. That was 56 more than we’d ever timed before on the same day. Since then we’ve had another 148 parkruns and only exceeded 624 on 8 occasions. But perhaps we can “blame” our new neighbours at Eastville parkrun for that, when we look at Year Seven

 2017-04-15-301-sj-start

One of the classic views of an Ashton Court parkrun as the mass of runners and walkers listen to the pre-run briefing before dashing off to see what’s on top of the hill. This is our 301st parkrun, the final one of Year Six (pic: Sarah Jones)

 
Report by Rich Kenington, Ashton Court parkrunner number 1,817
 

Coming soon .. Year Seven

 

Don't forget you can follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

We have a library of our parkrun photos in our Flickr group

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 12 May

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It is now eight weeks since we first closed all parkrun events across the world, and we know that parkrunners everywhere, alongside their local communities, are facing their own unique challenges, and would love to enjoy parkrun again.

Please know that we are thinking of you all right now and remain fully committed that no-one will be forgotten as and when we reopen.

We also know that some of you will be wondering how parkrun can ever return, at least until there is some kind of vaccine or treatment available. Whilst we cannot predict the future or make any promises, we do feel that an opportunity to reopen, in an appropriate and safe manner, may arise earlier than that.

And whilst the precise timing of that moment is beyond our control, our commitment to the parkrun family is that we will continue developing our understanding such that we are able to make the right decisions at the right time.

As part of that work, I’m pleased to let you know that, at the time of writing, we have now spoken directly to 908 event teams and ambassadors, representing all 22 parkrun countries. Whilst the opportunity to speak to us in person is always open to our volunteers, we will close this formal consultation on Sunday 17 May, so that we can carefully review and reflect on those calls.

If you are an Event Director or Ambassador and would still like to schedule a call (or have changed your mind since previously declining) please do get in touch.

Thank you all for your continued trust, support, and patience.

We will get through this, together.

Tom Williams
Chief Operating Officer
parkrun Global

 
Links to previous updates:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 12 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 05 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 28 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 21 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 14 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 7 April
 
Previous updates were posted on one page which was revised whenever necessary as the situation worsened

Current position with regard COVID-19 and implications for parkrun events

2020-05-12 covid update

 

Ashton Court parkrun’s Class of Year Five

 

In Year Five we enjoyed 51 parkruns, all thanks to 311 different parkrunners who between them filled 1,111 volunteer roles from event number 201 to event number 251. Our 311 Year Five heroes have 213 different 1st names, with 8 Andrews, and 5 each named Emma, John, Mike and Richard. There are 4 named David, Helen or James, then another 12 names are shared by 3 people, 42 names are shared by 2 people and 151 names are unique within this list.
 
2016-02-06 vol

Despite being such an inclement February morning at our 241st parkrun, our wonderful volunteers are still smiling (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
New friends, new parkrunners ~ the Class of Year Five

Year Five brought us 744 brand new parkrunners, 260 more than Year Four ~ 386 female and 358 male ~ and we also welcomed 1,986 visitors from other parkruns for the first time ~ 885 female and 1,101 male.

Of those 744 newcomers, 370 returned the following week, 196 came back after 2 weeks, and 102 after 3 weeks. 447 waited more than 10 weeks before returning. Conversely there are 609 who are still waiting to make their 2nd visit, 46 who are waiting to make their 3rd, and 18 have yet to return a 4th time, and another 18 a 5th time.
 
2015-04-25 start

Off we go! Year Five's first parkrun is well under way (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
One of the Year Fivesters didn’t come back to Ashton Court for 223 weeks, but did complete 2 parkruns elsewhere in between, and a 2nd Year Fivester waited 202 parkruns between 1st and 2nd, and those are the only parkruns they’ve completed.

128 Year Fivesters were aged 10 or under. 212 were aged between 11 and 19, and 780 were in their 20s. 765 were in their 30s, 500 in their 40s, 269 in their 50s, 71 in their 60s and 5 were in their 70s. 29 Year Fivesters moved up an age grade during their first year with us.
 
2015-07-18 sb

One Year Fivester who came back 7 days after his 1st parkrun is Simon Brailey, seen here at our 212th parkrun, his 1st. We've seen Simon 76 times since then (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
17 of our Year Fivesters achieved at least 1 pb during their 1st year, and between them amassed a total of 1,448 pbs. 378 female Year Fivesters ran 662 pbs, and 439 males ran 786 of them.

Derek Burgess ran more pbs than anyone ~ 11 in all, and Liz Hill, Beth West, Tim Wilkinson and James Sumner achieved 8 each.
 
2015-08-01 ck
A second new parkrunner who couldn't keep away is Carole Kluth, seen here on the right. This was our 214th parkrun, and Carole's 1st. We've seen her almost 100 times since, if we include the occasions Carole's volunteered (photo:Rich Kenington)
 
The highest age grade score by someone new to Ashton Court during Year Five is 84.38%, achieved by Archie Lowe at event number 244. At the time Archie was in the JM10 category (which means that even now we can’t show a photo of him) and he finished 15th in a time of 20:10!
 
2016-03-19 db
Derek Burgess looks to be working hard to achieve one of his 11 pbs in Year Five (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
The group of 2,730 Year Fivesters completed 5,802 Ashton Court parkruns during their first year. Melanie Young led the way, taking part in 29 of the 36 parkruns that remained when she 1st came along.

When Liz Hill 1st appeared, at event number 218, 34 Year Five parkruns remained. Liz ran 28 of them. Derek Burgess also made his debut here at number 218 and he went on to run 26 of our Year Five parkruns.
 
2015-09-05 lh
Looking extremely relaxed at the end of our 218th parkrun is Liz Hill. This was Liz's 1st parkrun, and since then Liz has run here 171 more times and has become not only one of our Run Directors but also one of our core management team (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Jonathan Hall is the Year Fivester to have run here most often – he’s crossed our finish line 179 times since event number 241.

Next on this list is Liz Hill, who we’ve seen 172 times, followed by 3 members of the parkrun prolific Burgess family; Simone, 151 runs; Derek, 150 runs, and Jennifa, 143 runs. Simone and Jennifa’s mum Naina would take a little longer to get into her stride, joining us in Year Six, and having now run 119 Ashton Court parkruns.
 
2016-03-19 my
Good to see Melanie Young enjoying our 247th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Moe Soe (138), Tom Feilding (132), Lynn Clark (123), Ewan Cameron (118), Robert Brown and Amanda Halford (both 114), and Pete Davey and Alex Williams (both 107) are the other Year Fivesters to have become members of the unofficial Ashton Court parkrun 100 club, and spare a thought for Mary Ulicsak, poised to join that club on 99 AC parkruns throughout this hiatus.
 
2016-03-26 jh
Someone else having fun is Jonathan Hall, at parkrun number 248 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Mary is the leading member of the 31 Year Fivesters in the unofficial Ashton Court parkrun 50 club, the most recent recruit being James Holbrook, who reached this landmark at event number 443.
 
2016-09-04 lc

Lynn Clark, 123 Ashton Court parkruns and plenty more to come. This was our 250th parkrun and Lynn's 5th (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Of the Year Fivesters who started their parkrun adventure at Ashton Court, 16 are now members of the parkrun 100 club. Liz Hill was 1st, on a New Year’s morning when she also volunteered for the 25th time in her role as Tail Walker. Gemma Portis is the most recent member from Year Five, having qualified at our most recent parkrun in March.

There are some familiar names in the list of Year Fivesters who achieved the most pbs that 1st year: Derek Burgess beat his best time 11 times, while Liz Hill, Beth West, Tim Wilkinson and James Sumner each did so on 8 occasions. 5 others ran 7 pbs, 13 ran 6, 13 others ran 5, 80 ran 3 and 196 ran 2.
 
2016-03-19 t

Well on the way to one of his 8 pbs in Year Five is Tim Wilkinson, at our 247th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
34 different members of the Class of Year Five scored the same age grade twice, which I’m sure you’ll agree is 34 too many to list individually!

Tanya Chowdhury, Lizzi Elton-Walters and Kate Hemsley each finished in the same position 4 times; Tanya 50th, Lizzi 137th and Kate 244th.

Damian Spreckley finished 2nd 13 times; Jarlath McKenna was 1st 12 times and Matthew Battensby was 1st 10 times. Ken Ham finished 13th 7 times.
 
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Even though Lizzi Elton-Walters has been leaping around New Zealand's parkruns since November 2016, she's still much missed here. Seen here "in the lead" at our 214th parkrun, with Emily Eaton Turner close behind, both Lizzi and Emily achieved pbs, despite all this flapping around! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Taking a look at gender positions, Joe Pritchard and Kitty Taylor easily top this list, Joe having finished 4th male, and Kitty 5th female, 6 times each.

They’re ahead of a group of 7 Year Fivesters who each finished in the same gender position 3 times; Alec Austin (33rd m), Liz Hill (23rd f), Sophie Walton (3rd f), Beth West (27th f), Kieran Lilley (37th m), Jamie McKee (2nd m) and La Trice Ivy (105th f).
 
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This is one of the 6 occasions when Kitty Taylor finished 5th female in Year Five. Kitty also ran a pb in this our 247th parkrun. Sadly we don't see Kitty any more as she's made her home at Thornbury parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Five ~ Let's Add The Class Members of Years 1, 2, 3 and 4

Year Five saw 4,411 different parkrunners completed 16,857 parkruns. 1,958 females finished 6,390 of them, 2,453 males finished 8,861, and the balance of 1,606 were completed by parkrunners unknown.

Those 15,251 known knowns recorded 1,737 different times, from the fastest by a male of 16:11 (equalling the course record) and the fastest by a female, 18:32 all the way to 70:44. Each of those 1,737 different times is as special as the others, of course.
 
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We welcomed an Olympian to our parkrun during Year Five. In the pink is Liz Yelling a 2 time Olympic marathoner and Bath ½ Marathon record holder with her time of 69:27, set in 2007! Seen here at our 228th parkrun, Liz is chatting away with Helen Williams, who is married to parkrun's Chief Operating Officer Tom (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
The average finish time was 28:02, the median 27:07. We recorded 24:23 most often, 29 times in all. No single parkrunner finished in that time twice, but we did see 2 runners finish in that time at the same event on 4 occasions!

198 of us finished in the same twice during Year Five, and 14 managed to do so three times. Nirpal Singh Gillar finished in 19:33 4 times, and he was joined by Richard Haines, who finished in 26:40 on 4 occasions.
 
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Also at our 228th parkrun is Richard Haines, on his way to one of his 4 finishers in the time of 26.40 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
We’ve learned during these reviews that when someone runs a really fast parkrun, others follow suit. So it was at event number 246, when Jarlath McKenna equalled the course record. Jarlath brought his best down from 16:36 to 16:11 ~ that’s quite a chunk knocked off when running at that speed ~ and behind him in 6th place, Colin Traer finished 4 seconds behind his pb in his fastest Ashton Court time for over 4 years. 7 of the next 9 finishers ran faster than they ever had before on our course ~ and one of the remaining 2 hadn’t run here before!
 
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Less than a kilometre to go for Colin Traer at parkrun number 246, and Colin's fastest finish for over 4 years at Ashton Court (photo: Andrew Woods)
 
The female course record remained at 18:19, but this was our 2nd fastest year with Emma Wookey finishing in 18:32 at event 216, after Nicola Brookland had run 18:39 and 18:33 at events 210 and 212 respectively.

In total, 17 minutes was beaten by first finishers 9 times, 18 minutes 32 times and 19 minutes on 14 occasions (9 male and 3 female). Female first finishers also beat 20 minutes 5 times, 21 minutes 21 times (really!) 22 minutes on 19 occasions and 23 minutes on 4.
 
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On the left is Year Five's fastest female, Emma Wookey. Emma finished 6th overall in this our 216th parkrun, on her only visit to Ashton Court. Emma has run 145 other parkruns though, over 100 of them at Newport parkrun (photo: John O'Brien)
 
25 different females finished first; Kate Darbyshire leading the way with 13 first finishes, Francesca Knapper 7 and Tanya Chowdhury 5.

Conversely, only 16 different males finished first; Jarlath McKenna 13 times, Matthew Battensby 10, and Damian Spreckley and Robert Stewart 6 each.
 
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Seen here on New Year's morning is Kate Darbyshire, on her way to one of her 13 Year Five first female finishes (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Five saw 2,702 personal bests, achieved by 1,532 parkrunners. 669 females shared 1,167 pbs, and 863 males ran the remaining 1,535 new best times.

Derek Burgess was not only ran more pbs than any of his fellow Year Fivesters, his 11 new bests was more than anybody else managed as well. Simon Wood and Thomas O’Neill were next with 10 pbs each, followed by Bryan Walsh and his total of 9. Tim Johnson, Richard Haines, Liz Hill, Tim Wilkinson, James Sumner and Beth West were tied on 8 pbs each.

Behind them were 10 parkrunners with 7 pbs, 23 with 6, 28 with 5, 60 with 4, 139 with 3, 347 with 2 and 915 with 1 each.
 
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We're back at event number 247, with Bryan Walsh on his way to beating 19 minutes for the first time, by 6 seconds. One of Bryan's 9 Year Five pbs. (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
This parkrun year saw our finish line crossed for the 8,000th time (event number 204), the 9,000th time (224) and 10,000th time (244).

In addition we saw both the 4,000th different female finisher and the 5,000th male finisher at parkrun number 224.

If you’ve been following this series of reviews you may be surprised to learn that we have actually seen 2 of these parkrunners again! Number 8,000 ~ Sarah Tudhope ~ was visiting from Sheringham parkrun and has returned to Ashton Court once, while number 9,000 ~ Francesca Alsworth ~ has been back 4 times, visiting from East Brighton parkrun.
 
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Yippee! She didn't know it then, and she probably doesn't know it now, but Francesca Alsworth is Ashton Court parkrunner number 9,000! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
In Year Five we welcomed 43 new Sarahs and 43 new Davids. 37 Richards, 36 Jameses and 33 Andrews. 29 Toms 29 Emilys, 28 Pauls, 27 Matthews and Peters, 26 Simons and 25 Lauras, Johns and Chrises, which means we’ve got half the Apostles covered if nothing else!

We also met 33 Smiths (20 female, 13 male), 30 Joneses (21 female, 9 male) 25 Davieses (16 female, 9 male) as well as 25 Taylors (13 male, 12 female)
 
2015-09-05 sj

This is Sarah Jones at our 218th parkrun. Sarah is one of Year Five's 43 new Sarahs and one of our 30 new Joneses! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Five - What Else?

This was the year when Friday parkruns came to Bristol. 2 of them, of course. And more than that, the prospect of 3 parkruns in 2 days for the 1st time.

The occasion was New Year’s Day, when we all leapt into 2016 at 9 am here at Ashton Court parkrun, where 306 finished our 235th event, and then 90 minutes later at Pomphrey Hill parkrun’s 97th event, where there were 365 finishers. If only there had been 1 more!

Of the 327 who ran or volunteered at Ashton Court, 174 went on to run or volunteer at Pomphrey Hill. Jarlath McKenna finished first twice, in times that were just 9 seconds apart ~ 16:50 and 16:59. Ciaran McQuade finished 2nd at AC and 3rd at PH.
 
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Jarlath McKenna .. David Awde gave him a parkrun for his money at Pomphrey Hill, but Jarlath prevailed. It seems to be what he does! (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
Gordon Everett finished 24th at both, Ryan Jacovides 56th. Alison Engeldew was 64th at AC, 65th at PH. Pete Stables crossed the line in 207th place at both, Bob Howell was 230th at AC and 229th at PH.

Christopher Tilley finished in 21:18 at both events, Kevin Arnold did so in 24:14, while Tim Tynan finished in 26:50 at AC and was 1 second slower at PH.
 
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The man with 2 24th finish places on one day ~ Gordon Everett (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
The very next morning, for the 3rd time in 26 hours, Jarlath McKenna was first finisher. His aggregate time for the 3 5ks was 50:54 ~ 15 seconds quicker than our Tail Walker Wendy Price on New Year’s Day!

It was good to see our first ever first finisher, Conor Kissane-Wood at our January 2nd event, making his 3rd visit to Ashton Court, although given that on his 2nd visit Conor finished 2nd, and this time finished 3rd, not many of us have seen his face so we didn’t recognise him! And, incidentally, Conor reversed the trend alluded to just now, finishing 1st on both his 4th and 5th visits.

Other than Jarlath, Ryan Jacovides was the most consistent finisher, with 2 56th places on New Year’s Day, and a 54th the next.
 
2016-01-02 ckw

For those of us who are more accustomed to seeing the back of Conor Kissane-Wood's head, here's the other side (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
But in terms of being consistent timewise, there was a little competition. We’ve seen that Jarlath’s spread over the 3 runs was 15 seconds. Could anyone beat that?

Well, “no” is the quick answer. But 14 other parkrunners achieved a spread of 62 seconds or less, which seems a remarkable feat to me! Isabel Bates was closest to Jarlath, with a 20 second difference between her 3 times, followed by Daniel Morgan (25 seconds), Ken Ham (26 seconds), Gordon Everett (33 seconds) and Maggie Salter (35 seconds).

Just to round off this tale of how 3 into 2 do go, 71 parkrunners took part in the 2 Ashton Court parkruns on Friday and Saturday.
 
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Almost emulating Jarlath in terms of consistent pacing ~ Isabel Bates ~ seen here at our 224th parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
I omitted to record that in the middle of our Year Four we welcomed a new neighbour in Bath Skyline parkrun. Given the distance between the 2 of us not many from Ashton Court emigrated to Bath, and it’s always good to have new siblings close by, spreading the word about parkrun.

In June 2015, Burnham and Highbridge parkrun started their adventure, and they attracted a number of Ashton Courters ~ for example those who live in and around Cheddar or Weston-super-Mare. And of course, strange though it seems, a flat parkrun does appeal to some!

Since their introduction both Bath Skyline and Burnham and Highbridge parkruns have become favourite destinations for many of us on the occasions whens Ashton Court isn’t available.

 
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And that's the lot! Year Five's final finish line (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
 

Report by Rich Kenington, Ashton Court parkrunner number 1,817

 

Coming soon .. Year Six

 

Don't forget you can follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

We have a library of our parkrun photos in our Flickr group

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 05 May

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Thanks again to all the event teams and ambassadors who have generously given us their time over the last few weeks, and shared the challenges they are facing at local level around the world.

We have now spoken directly to over 700 of those volunteers and continue to gain valuable insight.

Based on those conversations there are three key points we would like to share in this week’s update.

Firstly, the decision to re-open any parkrun country will be made by parkrun Global (the UK-based charity) in collaboration with staff or senior volunteers in that country, and alongside relevant and local public health guidance.

All public announcements of parkrun countries reopening (or not) will be made firstly through this weekly update. Anything you see outside of this channel is not necessarily the official position of parkrun, and we will not be commenting on speculation or rumours.

Secondly, we continue to see governments release greater detail around how they plan to relax restrictions in their region. In some cases this is, understandably, leading to questions from the parkrun community with regards where parkrun may fit into those timelines.

At this moment we do not see any country we operate in presenting guidelines that would reasonably accommodate parkrun events in the near future. Should that change this will be the first place we make any comment.

Importantly, we will not consider opening parkrun countries anywhere where there is even a small chance of exceeding participant limits for public gatherings at a single event.

Also, at this time, we are not considering starting events where doing so would mean participants or volunteers are required to maintain a certain distance between each other.

Thirdly, in most countries we operate in it is likely to be several months before we consider it appropriate to reopen our events. By then, the world’s understanding of this virus will be very different, as will society’s feelings about it.

As such we do not believe it sensible to comment on the many social distancing or hygiene-based suggestions currently being proposed as ways to either get parkrun up and running as soon as possible or to mitigate any risks when we do return.

To reiterate a point from a previous update, in all instances we will be taking a cautious approach to re-opening our events. We will only be doing so where both that country’s specific public health guidelines comfortably allow, and where we can be confident that our volunteer teams will not be placed under undue pressure.

Thanks for your continued patience, understanding, and support.

We will get through this, together.

Tom Williams
Chief Operating Officer, parkrun Global

 
Links to previous updates:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 05 May

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 28 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 21 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 14 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 7 April
 
Previous updates were posted on one page which was revised whenever necessary as the situation worsened

Current position with regard COVID-19 and implications for parkrun events

 

Ashton Court parkrun’s Class of Year Four

 

Year Four’s 49 parkruns wouldn’t have taken place without the 260 different people who volunteered a total of 895 times between them.

The 260 volunteers have 175 different first names: 7 are named Andrew and 5 Mike. Then there are 4 fours: 4 different Helens, Janes, Matts and Sallys. 17 first names are shared by 3 people and 29 are shared by 2 people, which must mean that 123 first names are unique within this list!
 
2014 year 4 volunteers

Some of our fab volunteers at 3 of Year Four's events. The lower left photo is one of our "we are not ruthless" images, featuring Ruth Holland and Ruth McAllister ~ and is particularly relevant on the day we publish this as May 4th is Ruth McAllister's birthday! Happy Birthday Ruth (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
New friends ~ the year’s new parkrunners ~ the Class of Year Four

By the time we’d completed our 200th parkrun and the end of Year Four, we’d welcomed 2,228 new parkrunners to Ashton Court ~ 1,027 females and 1,201 males. 309 of them returned 7 days later, another 136 came back after a fortnight. 447 of them took over 10 weeks to some back, and 1,059 have yet to return.
 
2014-04-26 152 1 rk

And off we go ~ the start of Ashton Court parkrun number 152 ~ and Year Four is under way (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
1 member of Year Four’s intake has run 2 Ashton Court parkruns 253 events apart ~ we don’t expect to see them again for a while. Another didn’t return for 265 parkruns, although they did participate at other parkruns in between.

Two dozen of our new parkrunners moved up an age grade during their first year with us. 156 of them were aged 10 or under. 323 were aged between 11 and 19, and 1,251 were in their 20s. 1,382 were in their 30s, 929 in their 40s, 443 in their 50s, 106 in their 60s, 2 were in their 70s and for the first time, we welcomed 2 newcomers in their 80s.
 
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Here's Duncan Manning ~ Year Four's first first-time finisher (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Between them 594 Year Foursters achieved 1,127 personal bests. 9 of them ran 3 pbs each, and Rob Downs scored the best age grade any of them with 82.79% at event number 167.
 
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One of our first ever first timers aged at least 80 ~ seen here at our 199th event ~ is Richard Denby (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Our 2,228 newcomers ran up a total of 4,595 Ashton Court parkruns during Year Four. 1 of them, Michael Wintour -Graham, ran 38 of our parkruns in their 1st year, more than anyone else. Andrew Harris, Brendon Wilson and Nicholas Jennings also ran over half the year’s events.
 
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Another of the year's first timers was Michael Wintour -Graham, seen here at his 1st event, our 152nd. Michael's now run at Ashton Court parkrun on 179 occasions, and 16 times elsewhere (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Nirpal Singh Gillar has run more often at Ashton Court parkrun than any of his contemporaries, having finished 210 of our events, and, incidentally, not having run a parkrun anywhere else. Richard Harding (208) and Craig Brown (207) are hard on Nirpal’s heels, while Vanessa McBride leads this category for the females, having now finished here 167 times.
 
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This was Nirpal Singh Gillar's 2nd Ashton Court parkrun ~ our 189th ~ and as you know he's run here on a further 208 occasions (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Only 1 of our Year Four first timers has completed over 250 parkruns and so qualified for a green 250 parkrun club t-shirt ~ well done Jane Duffus! Jane now stands on 255 parkruns, with Simon Wood her nearest rival with 231 parkruns completed thus far.
 
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Seen at our 193rd parkrun ~ her 1st ~ is Vanessa McBride. Vanessa's another who quickly acquired the parkrun habit ~ she's now run here 167 times, and on 7 occasions elsewhere (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Emma Northam, Rafal Mazurek and Chris Edwards each achieved 9 personal bests during Year Four, and 32 different members of the Class of Year Four scored the same age grade twice, which is 32 too many to list individually!

8 of them finished in the same place 3 times, and Andrew Harris did so 4 times, in p44. 116 finished in the same gender position twice, and 16 did so three times, with Fleur Cockley’s achievement of finishing 6th and 9th female on 3 occasions standing out from the rest.
 
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Here's Fleur Cockley, closing in on the finish line at event number 197 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 

Names and their Numbers

Year Four’s newcomers shared 748 different first names between them and represented 1,421 different extended families.

Female names included 27 Emmas, 22 Rebeccas, 16 Rachels and 15 Sarahs, 14 Lisas, Lauras and Katies and 13 Nicolas, Annas, Kates, Helens, Claires, Victorias, Lucys, Catherines and Sophies.

We also met 41 new Jameses, 37 Davids, 29 Marks and Pauls, 28 Richards, 27 Bens, 26 Nicks and Chrises and 24 Alexes and Andrews.

Our Year Foursters’ family names included 11 male Smiths, 10 male Williamses, 8 female Joneses, female Taylors and male Lewises.

Adding both genders together we therefore welcomed 15 new Smiths, 13 new Williamses and Lewises, 12 new Joneses, 11 new Mannings, Evanses, Johnsons, Clarks, Davieses and Browns and 10 new Kings.
 
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One of Year Four's 22 new Rebeccas was Rebecca Law, also seen approaching the finish of our 197th parkrun ~ her 1st. Another new parkrunner who seems to have enjoyed the experience, Rebecca has run here 82 times, and at other parkruns a further 25 times (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Four ~ Numbers

During Year Four we saw 13,153 parkrunners cross our finish line, 1,084 of whom were unknown. The 12,069 who did have their barcode scanned recorded 1,508 different times, from 16:11 to 67:29, with plenty in between!

The time we recorded most often was 23:21, which took place 26 times. Kevin Caple finished in this time on 2 occasions in Year Four, at events 184 and 194, and of the remaining 24 parkrunners who finished in this time, 4 were female, 20 were male and 7 had first names that began with the letter M.

And since you were wondering, the median time was 26:42 (26:29 in Year Three), the average 27:27 (27:22), and during Year Four 12 different parkrunners finished in the same time 3 times.
 
2014-12-20 184 1 rk kc

There is, of course, only 1 Kevin Caple ~ and here he is on both occasions when he finished in 23:21, first at event 184, and then at number 194 (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
As our average finish time slows down each year, so the course record speeds up, and, just like last year on the day a new fastest time was set, there must have been something in the air that morning!

It took place at event number 170, when Welsh international 1500m runner James Thie visited us for his first and, to date, only Ashton Court parkrun. James has run several Welsh parkruns in under 16 minutes and has a parkrun pb of 15:10 !!
 
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Year Four's course record breaker ~ James Thie ~ breezing past Marshal 3 (photo: Paul Hodges)
 
James finished first, beating the existing course record by 17 seconds with his time of 16:11. Only 2 others have beaten this time ~ Maciej Bialogonski and Jarlath McKenna (who has beaten it 5 times and of whom there will be much to say in future years), and equalled by George Duggan.

Behind James, Damian Spreckley, Oliver Beale, Paul Jefferson and Mike McBeth finished with pbs, in 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th positions.
 
2014-09-13 170 ph mm

Now 1 of our brilliant team of Run Directors ~ Mike McBeth ~ on his way to a pb at our 170th parkrun (photo: Paul Hodges)
 
There would be no new female course record in Year Four, but for the 1st time more than 1 female beat 19 minutes; Nicola Brookland, twice, in 18:50 and 18:55, and Helen Sharpe, with 18:51.
 
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Now wonder Nicola beat 19 minutes ~ she's flying up the hill! Nicola Brookland at our 181st parkrun ~ the 1st of her 2 consecutive sub-19 minute Ashton Court parkruns (photo: Mike Warren)
 
Through the year 22 different females finished first, with Sally Johnson doing so 16 times and Jane Colman 6. 33 males finished top of the table; Damian Spreckley and Jarlath McKenna both doing so 6 times.
 
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This is Jane Colman on her way to 1 of her 6 1st female finishes ~ at parkrun number 178 (photo: Claire Brown)
 
Damian also finished 2nd overall, and 2nd male, on 9 occasions, while Richard Lowe emulated Jarlath by finishing 4th overall 6 times, and also 4th male 6 times.

Sally Marsh finished 190th overall 4 times, and 13 females filled the same finish position on 3 occasions. Like Sally, 3 of them had taken part in our 1st parkrun ~ Alison Engledew, who finished 78th 3 times; Bev Campbell, 176th; and Kathleen Sart, 298th.
 
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At our 187th parkrun is Kathleen Sart ~ on the way to the 2nd of her 3 finishes in position 298. The 3rd occasion would be the following Saturday! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
4 males filled the same gender finish position 5 times; Dan Potter (3rd), Tim Ginns (5th), Ken Ham (19th) and Robert Colman (83rd).
 
2015-04-18 200 2 rk tg

All downhill now for Tim Ginns at our 200th parkrun and about to achieve his 5th 5th place finish of Year Four (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
In our list of Year Four female finishers, Jane Colman was 2nd 11 times. Marie Malloy was 3rd female 9 times, Alice Doggrell 8th female 8 times, Tanya Chowdhury 3rd female 7 times, Lizzi Elton-Walters came 35th 6 times, and Wendy Price 63rd, also 6 times.
 
2014-09-20 171 ac wp

4 kilometres to go for Wendy Price at parkrun number 171 ~ 1 of the 6 occasions when Wendy was 63rd female finisher (photo: Alice Doggrell)
 
During Year Four 1,190 parkrunners ~ 509 females and 681 males ~ achieved 2,139 personal bests ~ 877 by females, 1,262 by males.

Our parkrunner who ran faster at Ashton Court more times than ever before in Year Four was Geoff Keogh, who did so on 12 occasions.
 
2014-11-15 179 ar gk

A great photo of Geoff Keogh from Alex Rotas ~ on his way to the 11th of his 12 Year Four personal bests (and the 13th of the 14 he achieved during 2014) (photo: Alex Rotas)
 
Taryn Taylor and Stephen Cotterill both ran 10 pbs in Year Four. Phoebe Hird, Ruth McAllister and Lynn Chadeesingh ran 9 pbs each in this period. And James Harrington, Melissa Houston and Alice Hird did so 8 times.
 
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Just getting warmed up on the short flat bit in event number 191 is Lynn Chadeesingh. Around 30 minutes later Lynn would finish the 4th of the 9 pbs she set in the 13 parkruns she participated in between numbers 185 and 200 (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
11 parkrunners ran 7 pbs; 14 ran 6; 34 ran 5; 49 ran 4; 105 ran 3; 246 ran 2 and I hope that means 722 others ran 1 pb in Year Four.

5 of our junior parkrunners who started out in Year Four completed 10 parkruns, and 3 of them have gone on to join the 50 parkrun club.

90 adult Year Foursters have also joined the 50 parkrun club. Of them, 38 have become members of the 100 parkrun club, and as mentioned already, one of them, Jane Duffus has joined the 250 parkrun club, just 4 Ashton Court parkruns ago, the 48th Ashton Court parkrunner to do so.
 
2014-11-15 179 ar jd

Here's Jane Duffus with 1 kilometre remaining of her 1st parkrun. It doesn't look like a great morning to embark on a parkrun adventure, but what an adventure it's been for Jane ~ 123 further parkruns at Ashton Court and 131 elsewhere! (photo: Alex Rotas)
 
We watched our 6,000th new Ashton Court parkrunner whizz across the finish line in our 165th event, to be followed 24 events later by number 7,000. Once more, neither of these 2 particular parkrunners have taken part in a parkrun anywhere since that first experience! But there’ll be plenty more opportunities to do so in the future.
 
2015-01-24 188 1 rk rh jh

As we can't show you either of of our 6,000th or 7,000th parkrunners, here are numbers 6,082 and 6,081 instead. Richard Harding on the left, Joanna Harding isn't! (photo: Rich Kenington)
 

Year Four In Focus

A few weeks before Year Four began, 2 more parkruns were launched in South Gloucestershire, to join Little Stoke parkrun. On February 28th, Chipping Sodbury parkrun set off with 197 finishers. The following Saturday, March 1st, Chipping Sodbury’s attendance was 72, with the reduction in numbers probably caused by their new neighbour’s first parkrun. Pomphrey Hill parkrun, in Mangotsfield, saw 169 first finishers that morning.

So, we might have expected our own numbers to fall significantly, now that parkrunners in Bristol and South Gloucestershire had 4 events to choose from.
 
2015-01-03 186 1 rk ny

We'd love to show you photos of when we saw 167 finishers at event number 165, but we can't. Or from the following week, when event 166 saw 233 finishers. But we can't do that either. So instead here are 4 "views" of our 1st parkrun of 2015 ~ our 186th ~ on January 3rd (photos: Rich Kenington)
 
Year Four’s 1st event was our 152nd, and 21 volunteers saw 311 finishers around the course and over the line. Of those 311, 39 were taking part in their first ever parkrun, 14 were visiting from parkruns elsewhere, 45 achieved personal bests and 12 are unknown. Having begun Year Four with 311 finishers, we reinforced that with 311 finishers the following week.

In both events the 54th finisher was unknown, and 117 parkrunners whose names we do know ran both events. Although nobody managed to finish in exactly the same time both times, 8 parkrunners finished the 2 events in times that were 5 seconds or less apart. 2 of those five, Charlotte Vaux and Ryan Jacovides, came closest, with Charlotte having only 2 seconds difference in her 2 times (25:05 and 25:07) and Ryan just 1 second (21:48 and 21:49).
 
2014-11-15 179 ar cv

Striding out with 1,000 metres or so to go is Charlotte Vaux, who nowadays mostly parkruns in Western Australia (photo: Alex Rotas)
 
It seems to have been much easier to achieve similar finish positions, as 34 parkrunners finished in places that were 5 or less apart from each other. Only Caitlin Allen and Charles McDowall finished in the same place both times, 284th and 212th respectively.
 
2014-04-26 152 2 rk ch

1 of the 2 parkrunners who finished in he same position in our 2 consecutive events with 311 finishers ~ Charles McDowall at our 152nd parkrun (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
Following those 2 events with 311 parkruns, numbers settled down for the rest of the calendar year, with a weekly average of 242 finishers. Compared to the same period in Year Three, this was 2 runners fewer each week, strikingly different to the average of 153 we saw the year before. So, the impact of the 2 new local parkruns seemed to be that we stopped growing for a while.

But once we entered 2015 all those health and fitness focussed New Year resolutions kicked in, and from then until the end of Year Four in April, our average number of finishers was 319, compared to 267 for the same period in the 1st quarter of 2014.

Year Four culminated in a new record number of finishers ~ 420 ~ 40 more than the previous highest number of 380 who finished our 149th parkrun. Of course, Year Four’s finale was our 200th parkrun, and our parkruns with those big round numbers always attract a large crowd. Wonder how many we’ll see in 2 parkruns’ time at number 450?
 
2015-04-18 200 1 rk

With the last few participants coming over the brow of the hill in our 200th parkrun ~ we say goodbye to Year Four (photo: Rich Kenington)
 
 

Report by Rich Kenington, Ashton Court parkrunner number 1,817

 

Coming soon .. Year Five

 

Don't forget you can follow us on these news pages, on Twitter (@ashtonctparkrun) or on Facebook (Ashton Court parkrun) for the latest news and information. You can also find us on Instagram too, where we try to post something a little different from time to time.

We have a library of our parkrun photos in our Flickr group

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 28 April

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Following on from last week’s update I’m pleased to let you know that our staff have already conducted one-to-one conversations with over 500 event teams and ambassadors around the world.

It’s been an incredibly moving experience for all of us, but also really uplifting. Thank you to everyone who’s given us some of their precious time so far.

If you’re reading this and you’re an event director or ambassador and haven’t yet scheduled a call with us then please do consider doing so. The knowledge that we’re gaining from these calls is important with regards keeping things going during the period our events are closed, and will be critical when we come to make the decisions at appropriate times to reopen our events.

Whilst we haven’t yet completed the calls and carefully reviewed the feedback, a couple of points are frequently being raised across the parkrun world …

How much notice will event teams receive prior to re-opening?

It’s clear that the entire parkrun family is keen to get going as soon as is appropriate, whenever that might be, but at the same time some events are concerned that they may not have enough time to bring their volunteers back together, check their venues, dust off their equipment etc.

Please rest assured that volunteer welfare is at the heart of everything we do and, although likely to vary from location to location, we will ensure that teams have plenty of time to prepare between any public announcement and their first event back. This will be a minimum of two full weeks, but likely longer.

Will we reopen region-by-region or wait until all 22 parkrun countries are ready to go?

There are so many unknowns at this point in time that, whilst we are scenario-planning many options, it would not be helpful to pre-empt the exact process for re-opening.

What we are absolutely committed to however, is considering what is most appropriate for each and every parkrun country itself and providing the most appropriate solution for them.

It is likely therefore that some countries will re-open before others, although, again, it’s too early to predict at this stage.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us, and please know that the entire parkrun family is with you at this time.

We will get through this, together.

Tom Williams
Chief Operating Officer, parkrun Global

 
Links to previous updates:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 28 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 21 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 14 April

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 7 April
 
Previous updates were posted on one page which was revised whenever necessary as the situation worsened

Current position with regard COVID-19 and implications for parkrun events

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