not(parkrun) – Made In France

Until last week when visiting my parents 20 miles south of Paris, I hadn’t run a full 5k since the last Banbury Parkrun…  In their village, however, they have what’s called a “health-track” which goes through fields and woods and I worked out a 5k loop which I ran 4 mornings last week.

It is a shame that my old Garmin no longer synchs with the app; hence I can’t give you the evidence, I am afraid. Here is my run report instead.

It felt very bizarre to get dressed and ready to run in a house from which I normally only depart to walk to the village boulangerie. 8:45am - ready to go! Turn right outside the house and take first left. Go down the little country street, stone bridge over the river. Leave the street for a country lane, through woods over a wooden bridge, into an open field where the Town Hall have installed a few bits of outdoor gym equipment, like beside the canal at Banbury. I met a few fairly elderly women exercising and walking around the field and a few dog owners – the latter definitely felt that they had priority on the territory!

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The second part of the run is shady, going over two wooden bridges - a 5K just isn’t the same without a wooden bridge! Not as wobbly as the one we know, but there were not 400 people with me either. Ducks and geese acted as marshals along the river. Leaving the woods for a long stretch along the trainline to get to a set of nice houses and back, over the railway line and back home. Stretching was performed in my parent’s back-garden watched over by their beautiful geraniums.

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Even though they attended Banbury Parkrun once and they know that we run regularly, my parents were actually impressed; I don’t think they took me seriously when I said I would run during the week and certainly not 4 days in a row.

For the occasions, I was wearing the local Ligue Contre le Cancer t-shirt sponsored by my Mum. I was also with the same music track as in Banbury, so you were all on my mind throughout my run.

I ran in Banbury, London, Singapore, New York and now…Saint Cheron!

 

Now for the stats: First 5k at 6:33min/km, second at 6:27, third at 6:19; still not the under 30 minute bar I’d like to get back to but I will blame the heat and the good wine!

 

(not)parkrun #2 Banbury

Saturday 27th June 2020.

  • It should have been banbury parkrun #291
  • I was supposed to be Run Director
  • It was Global Pride Day

Earlier this year the Core Team sat down and we discussed (amongst other things), various themed events for the parkrun year ahead.  Those of you who know me well will be aware that;

  1. I love any excuse to wear fancy dress
  2. I fully embrace the LGBTQ community and what Pride month stands for
  3. It was my birthday weekend

I absolutely jumped at the chance to be RD on Global Pride Day just a couple of days before my birthday, it's right up my street!  Bright colours, rainbows, hearts, stars, glitter, happy people, caring people, fancy dress, OTT makeup, smiles. laughter and all you wonderful parkrunners - what's not to love?

After my  last stint as RD on the 7th March (International Women's Day), I was excited to think that the next time I'd be at the helm it was going to be an all singing, all dancing morning of absolute fabulousness. parkrun #291 would be more bright, beautiful and colourful than it usually is!

Except it wasn't.

The world had come to a stop and parkruns in the UK haven't taken place since the 14th March 2020.  Sad, but necessary times.  My disappointment at not being able to be RD for banbury parkrun's 1st ever Pride event was real. *sad face emoji*.

And so it was instead on Saturday, that  I went for an early 5K walk, (I was a little hungover following an evening of early birthday celebrations so a run was never going to happen), around the lovely countryside I live in with my dog and my son.  The weather wasn't great, definitely much cooler than of late and the threat of rain wasn't far away.  But despite that, we still had a lovely mooch and talked about what makes us thankful during this unprecedented time - namely our health, being able to get out and enjoy the  fresh air and surroundings, and of course having friends and family who care about us.  Being disappointed about missing our Pride event started to ease a little,  - after all I still had my *lockdown* birthday to look forward to as my 9 year old reminded me!

I hope those of you who are participating in (not)parkrun are enjoying it and that it manages to give you a bit of much needed normality. Talking of which, who knows when life as we know it will be *normal* again, but until it is, please #staysafe #bekind and #stayfabulous!

And remember that after the storm, we need to look for rainbows, bright, beautiful, colourful rainbows!

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Lots of love

Jo
Run Director

 

 

 

 

(not)parkrun #1 – Banbury

Today we ran our first (not)parkrun, my husband Stuart, (Banbury parkrun Event Director) and myself.

We both wore our new apricot t-shirts to make it feel a little like a parkrun.

Cheri

We ran a route that included road and trails.  It was a lovely sunny day, with a little breeze.  Whilst running the trails we decided to run a route we were familiar with, apart from one section that we always wondered where it went.

Cheri 1

We went on a little detour but felt accomplished now knowing where the tree lined lane went.  Whilst out we encountered several people who were very polite with ‘good afternoons’ and with social distancing, all moving into single file on one side of the paths/trails, so that we could pass.  It was surreal running for (not)parkrun and under the social distancing conditions.  Never the less number 1 (not)parkrun done and results submitted.

Stay safe

Cheri

 

Banbury parkrun profile: Sera Relton

Name:
Sera Relton

Number of parkruns:
114 in total, (98 at Banbury)

Favourite parkrun (other than Banbury, obviously!) and why:
Hmm – torn between 2. Forest of Dean – the course is lovely; the event team are dead friendly and Bryn Bach – fast flat course, incredibly pretty route (2 laps of a reservoir) and great toast and coffee at the café on the finish line.

Why did you start parkrunning:
I completed the Autumn Wolfrun with my husband (Jules) in September 2014 to raise money for MacMillan. I loved it, but it absolutely ruined me – walked like John Wayne for a week!! We decided to get fit and run it in the following year and started running round Spiceball. One weekend we happened to bump into the team setting up for that morning’s parkrun, chatted to them about it and vowed to join up and be there the next weekend, ran our first one on 8 th November 2014 and haven’t looked back since.

Number of volunteers:
132 – which is slightly skewed!! I am enormously proud to be the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Banbury parkrun, it’s great to have a connection with our fantastic running community. This role gives me a credit every week, even if I run.

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Favourite volunteering role, and why:
Timekeeper – I love watching the mass start, cheering on from the gap by the canal and then shouting support as the runners give it everything they have for a sprint finish.

Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
Is it a cop out to say too many to mention?  Fancy dress is always a winner for me. Celebrating a milestone is always lots of fun.

What does Banbury parkrun mean to you:
Amazing sense of community, tons of friendly advice and support, laughing more than I thought possible, making some incredible friends, yummy cakes, great event team, breakfast afterwards, keeping my diabetes at bay, believing in myself, keeping my mental health in check, fresh air, feeling of wellness, dogs!!!

What do you miss about parkrun:
The people who run it, the team who put it on, all the dogs I get to stroke every Saturday, my friends I’ve made there, breakfast in Morrisons/Waitrose.

What running are you doing now:
Mixture – we’re lucky to have a treadmill so I’ve been running on that. We ran a parkrun in our back garden, lots of fun but over 100 laps – definitely felt dizzy afterwards. We’ve got lots of fab off-road routes on our doorstep. We’ve been exploring them, they’re quite challenging but so, so pretty.

What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
Enjoy it – doesn’t matter how far or how fast, you’re lapping everyone on the sofa/in bed.

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
My parents live in Norfolk. We’ve found a 4-mile route from their house that goes past a children’s play area. The play area has a small zip-wire which we have to go on every time – simple things keep me amused.

What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
Margate parkrun, I spent my childhood not far from it. It’s along the coast road, I have fond memories of running around there as a child.

What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
Trainers – vital that you get your gait done and a pair that suits your running style and the surface you’re running on.

What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
Impossible to choose. I’ve taken part in a good number of endurance/relay events since starting parkrun. These have been with teams of good, good friends I’ve made thanks to parkrun. The running, whether it’s the scenic yet brutal (b**tard hill!!) Endure 24 (8km loops ran in relay over 24 hours) or the super fun Cider Frolic (4km loops ran in relay over 12 hours). I’ve had the best time. Lots of laughter, drinking, eating, just the best memories made with some of life’s best people.

 

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Banbury parkrun profile: Cheri Haden

Name:
Cheri Haden

Number of parkruns:
86 in total, (80 at Banbury)

Favourite parkrun (other than Banbury, obviously!) and why:
Alness in Scotland because you run out on a pier into the Cromarty Firth, it's very unique.

Why did you start parkrunning:
To lose weight and get fit.

Number of volunteers: 
94

Favourite volunteering role, and why:
Timekeeper,  it’s a great role and I get to encourage everyone in on their last few yards

Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
Running in my veil and Stuart in his top hat for our anniversary is my favourite! And trying to take my base layer off from under my t-shirt on a hot day, (Kate Sutton will know what i’m on about)


What does Banbury parkrun mean to you:
Banbury parkrun is my routine, my fitness, my family, my friends, it’s my norm.

What do you miss about parkrun:
I miss the people, the togetherness, the encouragement and the community spirit.

What running are you doing now:
I am trying to get out as much as possible, both road and trail running, short and long distance, whatever I can do.

What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
Don’t believe you can’t run anyone, can do it if they put their mind to it!

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
London Marathon would have to be my all time favourite run.  Locally I like to switch it up a bit

What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
Would have to be London Marathon again, it’s just iconic, nothing like it!

What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
My trainers!! I have learnt the importance of the right running shoes!!

What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
Seeing my family and friends en route around the London Marathon route, their faces and encouragement spurred me on!

 

Banbury parkrun profile: Warren Harrison

Name:
Warren Harrison

20200101_100729

Number of parkruns
53 in total, (28 at Banbury)

Favourite parkrun (other than Banbury, obviously!) and why:
Weymouth, it's one of my favourite holiday destinations and it's a lovely park plus you run through some secluded paths.

Why did you start parkrunning:
Pure curiosity.

Number of volunteers: 
13

Favourite volunteering role, and why:
The first timer briefing because I can connect with newcomers and have a joke or two, usually at my expense!

!Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
Dressing up at Christmas/New Year as Captain America!

What does Banbury parkrun mean to you:
Running with friends from running club and beyond.

What do you miss about parkrun:
Socialising.

What running are you doing now:
Road running, 30-60 mins.

What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
Don't burn the candle at both ends!

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
The Hooky Christmas Canter.

What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
There's a new one I wanted to do called the Southwater 7 mile, a trail race that is at my native Telford/Shropshire where I was born. 

What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
Running Shoes, everyone is different and looking after your feet, ankles knees etc is essential. 

What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
I'm going to do one of each if I may!

Favourite: 400m race at Alexander stadium, Birmingham, outdoor p.b of 57.5 secs, beat two former coaches, it showed them what good work they put into me and I was doing well at the new club.
Funniest: At Tamworth ac the Chairman was describing who won the Chairman's award at presentation night, I genuinely thought it was my best friend until halfway through the speech and I thought IT'S ME!
 

Banbury parkrun, the (bored) game has arrived!

Hey and hi to our wonderful #parkrunfamily

Alas, we are still without our weekly run reports for obvious reasons, but we have something of a treat for you right here thanks to Banbury parkrun regular Wendy Ockenden.

Thanks so much for this Wendy, it's absolutely genius!

We give to you, Banbury parkrun; the board game!  Go print a copy off and be sure to let us know how you get on!

Enjoy!

#staysafe #loveparkrun

Game

 

 

Banbury parkrun profile: Gyles Horner

 

Name:
Gyles Horner

Number of parkruns
171 in total, (169 at Banbury)

Favourite parkrun (other than Banbury, obviously!) and why:
The only others I’ve done are Witney and Stratford-upon-Avon.  Stratford was great because I  did the double with Banbury on New Year’s Day.

Why did you start parkrunning:
I was already doing quite a lot of running through my triathlon training - I was really happy when Banbury parkrun was announced.

Number of volunteers: 
16

Favourite volunteering role, and why:
Marshall - it’s great standing on the course and cheering on the runners.

Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
Fancy dress days are always fun - except for when you get passed by someone dressed as a Mummy!

What does Banbury parkrun mean to you:
It’s a community. The best thing is meeting up with all the regular runners and the friendships that have formed over the years, and also seeing the efforts that people of all abilities put into completing the parkrun every week.

What do you miss about parkrun:
Meeting up with parkrun friends and the motivation to run a fast 5k every week.

What running are you doing now:
I’m running most days - 5 or 6 miles.  Luckily the weather has been nice and sunny and if I get out early I can avoid most people.

What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
"It never gets easier, you just get faster."

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
The Hornton 6 organised by Cherwell Runners & Joggers.  A great local race over a beautiful but challenging course - I love that everyone brings their own food for a BBQ afterwards.

What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
I’ve done a couple of marathons but would like to do more - I was planning to do Abingdon again this summer...

What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
My Asics Gel DS Trainer 24’s.  It’s so important to get a pair of running shoes that fit correctly to avoid injury.

What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
My favourite memory was from finishing the marathon at the end of the Lanzarote Ironman.The combination of exhaustion and elation was incredible, and made even more special by my children running across the line with me.

 

Keeping the spirit of parkrun alive…

It was quite the occasion in Banbury this week which saw the inaugural Banbury Junior Garden parkrun take place. The ‘just over’ 100 lap 2km course was carefully marked out with purple chalks. It was amazing for the first event to have a full roster of volunteers; these ranged from a bear bigger than one of the course participants, to unicorns and pugs dressed as rabbits.

1

With space limited the course was run with just over 100 laps. A leakage from the paddling pool caused the bigger of the two participants to lose footing on a few occasions but it was nothing compared to the normal mud-fest at Banbury parkrun. The first part of the event seemed to drag but after a quick water break and a more refreshed little runner, the second part went much quicker.

2

It was neck and neck for most of the event but young Amelia saved her sprint finish legs for the home straight and pipped mum to the post.

3

One of the stand out features of Banbury Junior Garden parkrun is the post event refreshments. As you can see from the photo below, runners and marshals enjoyed a ‘Ritz’ high tea experience for the efforts of the inaugural event going off without any hitches…

4

As a family we are missing parkrun and doing this event today reminded us of why we love volunteering and running with all the wonderful people each Saturday at Banbury parkrun. Amelia has missed cheering you all on each week and we are really looking forward to when we can all come together again to run, jog and walk at Spiceball Park.

#stayhome #staysafe

The Russells

And now for the stats:

This week 2 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 2 were first timers. Representatives of 1 club took part.

The event was made possible by 6 volunteers:

Big Bear (marshal) • Pinky Pie (marshal) • Pugsy Bunny (marshal) • Uni the Unicorn (marshal) • Thom RUSSELL (photographer) • Amy RUSSELL (time keeper, race director, run report writer)

The female record is held by Amelia RUSSELL who recorded a time of 43.49 on 19th April 2020 (event number 1).

Banbury Junior parkrun started on Sunday 19th April 2020. The course may or may not go ahead next week depending on whether ALL participants are more willing to follow the strict guidelines of not cutting sections of the course.

 

Banbury parkrun profile: Sam Young

Hello #parkrunfamily

Along with missing our 9:00am fix on a Saturday, we at Banbury parkrun HQ are missing your fantastic run reports, so, your Core Team thought it might be nice for us all to get to know some of our parkrunners a little better at this time.

To get things underway, here is our 1st parkrun profile, from someone you will recognise and know well: Sam Young.

If you fancy being one of our profiled parkrunners then send us an email to banbury@parkrun.com and we will be in touch!

Stay safe everyone! We miss you all!

#loveparkrun

 

running

Name:
Sam Young

Number of parkruns:
161 (129 at Banbury parkrun)

Favourite parkrun (other than Banbury, obviously!) and why:
I really like Daventry parkrun – it’s pretty and flat! Although I also very much enjoyed Haga parkrun near Stockholm in Sweden!

Why did you start parkrunning:
I heard about parkrun from a friend and decided to give it a go when I lived in Birmingham back in 2013.

Number of volunteers:
44 separate occasions (covering 52 roles – I even completed 5 roles on one day – Run report writer, setup, marshal, photographer and pack up).

Favourite volunteering role, and why:
I love to combine my hobbies of running and photography, so it has to be the photographer role.

Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
This is a hard one as I have so many wonderful memories from parkrun. But I think running my 100th parkrun has to come top as my Wife and Son (Helen & Theo) came to support me with a banner and balloons – they must have done a good job as I achieved my all time pb of 20:47!!

What does Banbury parkrun mean to you:
I started running at Banbury as I liked the atmosphere of parkrun and it kept me fit, but it has become so much more for me now. Firstly, my son has joined me most weeks since he was about 9 months old and it give me a wonderful opportunity to spend time with him during parkrun and then after at the café. But then also parkrun, is now less about the running and more about all the friendships I have made. I love meeting everyone on Saturday morning before the start, catching a quick hello as I run or having a bit more of a gossip after in the café when the results are being processed.

What do you miss about parkrun:
Everything – the friendship, the community, the routine, the course – even the mud!!

What running are you doing now:
I feel so very lucky to live in the countryside and be able to run from my front door straight into the countryside, so it is easy to keep to social distancing advice. The “lock-down” has, however, re-invigorated my running mojo, as I have forced myself to get out and enjoy the once per day exercise opportunity. I have been mainly running longer distances, but aim to complete my now annual challenge I set myself in May (#5KMay), where I plan to run at least 5 km everyday of May. This year I hope to run every one under 25 minutes – why don’t you join me and post your updates on twitter with the hashtag #5KMay? (time limit is optional.)

What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
Smile – even if you are completely out of breath and everything is hurting, if you smile it fools your body into thinking you can push on!

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
I am a creature of habit – I have a 5km out and back road route that I have completed over 150 times!

What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
My Dad lives in America and is a Event Director at Roosevelt Island parkrun – I was supposed to be visiting him over Easter but everything has of course been cancelled. I’d love to run his parkrun with him at some point!

What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
Until recently, it was Theo’s running buggy, but a flat tire and a friend from school has forced him to become more of a run/walker now, and in turn my parkrunning experience has changed to be a lot slower, I have no doubt that in just a few years this will change drastically again and I shall be chasing Theo rather than the other way around!

What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
Last year, I was lucky enough to be asked to attend the Cider Frolic – A relay event where (in our case) teams of 3 or 4 run laps of a Dorset farm – as many as possible (or you want) in 12 hours. We went with a whole bunch of Banbury parkrunners and Hook Norton Harriers and had so much fun in the glorious sunshine.

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