Local Events

This post is a list of running-related events in the local area. If you would like to add an event, please email us at basildonoffice@parkrun.com with details (so long as it is relatively local and somehow running-related!)

October 2017

Sunday 22nd
Chelmsford 5k and Marathon

November 2017

Sunday 5th, 9:45am
Billericay Striders 10k Road Race

Sunday 10th, 10:30am
Southend 5 Mile Rudolph Run

Sunday 12th, 11:05am
Stebbing Remembrance Day 10 Mile

December 2017

Thursday 14th, 7:00pm
Basildon parkrun Christmas Social 2017

Sunday 16th, 9:00am
Basildon parkrun Christmas parkrun and cake

Saturday 25th, 9:00am (Christmas Day)
Basildon parkrun Christmas Day parkrun

Tuesday 26th, 19:30am (Boxing Day)
Crown to Crown

January 2018

Sunday 28th, 10:30am
Hadleigh Legacy 10k

February 2018

Sunday 18th, 9:30am
Test Track 10 Mile

March 2018

Sunday 18th, 9:00am
Colchester 15

Sunday 18th, 10:00am
Brentwood Half


All the other stuff we forgot…

One more day / sleep to go, and we are really looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the inaugural Basildon parkrun in Northlands Park at 9am on Saturday April 5th. Over the course of the week, we have tried to give you a sense of the story of Bas parkrun (sounds like a minor Eastenders villain), the team, especially our event director the wonderful Tracy Bliss (definitely not an Easties character) and how parkrun works.

Today's update is a very enthusiastic “we don’t want anyone to be disappointed” brain dump of the stuff we had to leave on the cutting room floor, we realised we had forgotten, or that we really, really, really don't want you to forget.  Here goes...

  •  please check the course page for the location, arrive in good time, use the car parks as directed and park sensibly.
  • there are toilets at the start, but not too many. For a 5k, there's no point in chugging the sports drink of your choice and, err, shall we say "widdling" it straight out again. Waste of carbs.
  • everyone is welcome, but please keep dogs with you and under 11s on a lead. Have I got that one right Tracy?
  • please make sure you have registered and have a printed copy of your personal barcode. In the parkrun lexicon, we say "#DFYB - don't forget your barcode".
  • travel light - Basildon parkrun takes no responsibility for any kit left blah blah blah.
  • the wonderful Tracy Bliss, our glorious leader and event director will be giving the run briefing. She has worked pretty damm hard to get us to tomorrow, so please pay attention.
  • there is likely to be a good attendance on Saturday, so please take care on the course particularly where the paths are narrow. Everyone will score a course personal best on Saturday so don't go mad on the early overtakes. Come back next week for an even better time.
  • please try to leave space on the paths for runners to pass and for other park users.
  • keep an eye out for the photographers and look out for the pictures coming up on the Basildon parkrun facebook page.  The team likes to see a good "Basildon Bounce", demonstrated here (again) by Tracy, this time in a onesie…

Can you do a Basildon Bounce and still look this good?

Can you do a Basildon Bounce and still look this good?

  • please thank your volunteers as you go round and at the finish.  They have given up their morning to give you a free 5km timed run.  Please think about volunteering soon.
  • remember the finish procedure, cross the line, stay in order, get your token, find a scanner, get your barcode scanned, token scanned and returned then you're done.
  • the park cafe is opening early, so please get yourself a coffee there afterwards and hang around for a chat.
  • please make sure that the only lasting mark we leave on the park is a few hundred thousand footprints, and some bemused but interested onlookers
  • we will get results published as soon as we can on Saturday.  You can set up a text message alert via your parkrun profile page.
  • look out for the run report here, keep up to date via facebook and follow us on twitter (@Basildonparkrun) if that is your thing.
  • if you are really into parkrun, there is a weekly parkrun UK podcast.  As a new event, we might get a big mention next week.
  • #DFYB, you do know what that means don’t you?

See you on Saturday!


Ten things to do at Basildon parkrun


  1. Turn up in the right place. Northlands Park, Felmores Road, Basildon, Essex, S13 1SD. See the course page for more details.
  2. Turn up on time. Saturdays, 9am. If you’re late, you will miss the run briefing. Do join in, though we can’t adjust your time.
  3. Please park considerately in the Northlands park car park, or in the overflow car park at The Watermill Beefeater in Burnt Mills Road (SS13 1BW). They have been wonderful and resurfaced it for us. This is just to the right as you enter the car park.
  4. Don’t hang around in the car parks, please gather in the hard standing area near the café, without blocking the footpaths.
  5. If you need the loo, there are some in the café building. The lake is full enough, and the trees don’t need the extra nutrients, no matter how well balance your fluid intake has been.
  6. Have a chat to someone before, during and after the run, though please don’t talk during the run briefing. Bouncemeister Bliss won’t like it.
  7. During the run, please keep to the left, and try to not run more than two abreast for too long. Keep an eye out for other park users and any problems.
  8. Once you have been scanned, please stick around at the finish, visit the Northlands park café for a cuppa and a bun. You’ve earned it.
  9. Tell your friends. We’d love to see them.
  10. Don’t forget your barcode.

The parkrun people without whom…

There is no such thing as a free lunch. The best things in life are free. Clearly lunch is not the best thing in the world. Why have I only just worked that out?

Perhaps the best thing in the world is a weekly, timed 5km run in a park. That is certainly what is on offer in Northlands Park, Basildon starting at 9am on Saturday 5th April 2014.

There are a whole bunch of people supporting a parkrun. At regional, national and international level, there are staff and volunteers who run the website, provide the ideas, systems and support to local parkrun events. Each event has an event director and core team, and every single run is staffed by volunteers each week. We couldn't do it without them.

Event Director for Basildon is (the wonderful) Tracy Bliss. This is (I hope) going to be her official parkrun title - all we have to do is keep calling her that. Tracy's core team are Steve Macdonald, Kalli Isborne, Ian Hawthorn, Mike Grout, Sarah Matin, Susan Mumby and Natalie Gorham. They have put in the hard yards getting the event set up, and checking out the course in all weathers.

But that is just not enough. Every week, we need around 15 volunteers to brief runners, act as marshalls, timers, scanners (to link times to runners), results processor, photographer, report writer, there is even a special opportunity to be the tail runner - guaranteed last place finisher so that no one else is! No special skills or training are required, just register by email, turn up on the day, preferably a bit early, and someone will show you the ropes.

Here's a lovely looking bunch of volunteers

Here's a lovely looking bunch of volunteers

Some volunteer roles still enable you to run but if yours doesn’t you will receive the gratitude of a whole field of runners and maybe get some parkrun points. Volunteer roles are also suitable for non-runners, or perhaps if you are injured, or resting up the day before a big event. Anyone can volunteer and everyone is welcome to.

Take a look at the volunteer roster to see how you can help out in future.

By the way, it is not an official volunteer role, but if anyone ever volunteers to bake cake, that really is popular.


Northlands Park, the home of a new parkrun

Northlands Park is the venue for the new Basildon parkrun, starting at 9am on Saturday, April 5th.  parkrun is a weekly, timed 5km run, run by volunteers, but with a full timing and online results service.

Northlands Park is easily accessible from the A13 and A127. Limited car parking is available at the park, at the Felmores Road entrance. Additional parking is available in Burnt Mills Road, adjacent to the Watermill Beefeater Restaurant and in the Watermill car park (SS13 1BW). When parking at the Watermill please use the over-flow car park first (newly tarmac’d areas) - once in the car park this area is to the right. We aask you are considerate of Premier Inn and Watermill guest parking.

The park’s 60 acres includes fishing lakes, a sports court, cafe, toilets, rose gardens, children's play area and skate park. From this coming Saturday, it will also boast a parkrun.

The parkrun course is slightly less than three laps. It starts at the northern end of the park by the cafe. Runners will head north on the path then anticlockwise around the lakes, turning south and onto a wooded trail. Lovely….

Sorry. No. You will soon reach a short, upward hill. Ok, it is not exactly Yorkshire, but it is pretty sharp for south east Essex. Event Director (the wonderful) Tracy Bliss has promised to make sure that the hill is marshalled by adults only, just in case the air turns blue. We are yet to establish whether ropes and crampons will be needed in the winter, though trail shoes might be a good idea.

It's just a gentle slope... and look how pretty it is :)

It's just a gentle slope... and look how pretty it is :)

What goes up, must come down, and there is a fantastic, gentle descent on grass, after which you turn north again back on the paths. The final challenge of Basildon parkrun is that you reach the finish before you get back to the start. No cheating, take the right turn, head back toward the cafe and onto laps two and three, and then you can head to the finish line by keeping left.

Once you’ve finished, you have the opportunity to hang out and support others cheering them onto the laps. Follow it up with a friendly social with fellow parkrunners in the park café.

Full information can be found on the website at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/basildon.

Great location, fantastic course, lovely people, let's have an excellent inaugural parkrun on Saturday April 5th at 9am. See you there!


So what is this parkrun thing?


That’s a running distance. Worth getting out of bed for, enough for some decent exercise, not so much that it eats into the day, what we watched Mo do in 2012, doesn't need any special kit, a distance that people will put their hand in their pocket and sponsor us for, or be impressed with us for having a go.

Of course, you could leave your front door, run along the road (avoiding traffic), negotiate a couple of junctions and after just over a mile and a half, turn round and come back again.  5k done, no hassle and you can put the kettle on for a cuppa, but:

  • Would a 5k run be better with some company?
  • Are you bored of running the streets?
  • Would it be nicer to be a little away from traffic?
  • Would you like some different scenery, or softer surfaces?
  • Would you like to be able to easily track progress toward a fitness goal?
  • How about if this could be organised at no cost to you?

parkrun is the answer.

parkrun (all one word, all lower case, always) is exactly what it says on the tin - a run in a park. It started in 2004 at Bushy Park in London when thirteen people set up a weekly, timed 5 kilometre run.  More people joined, and since 2007 the idea has grown to other locations in the UK. There are now 377 runs in nine different countries. On 22nd March for example, there were 65,004 runners worldwide, 44,178 at 246 events in the UK, not to mention over 4,000 volunteers globally.  parkrun is expecting their millionth registered runner this year, and with new events in more locations every week, it is something of a phenomenon.

One week from today, a new parkrun starts at Northlands Park in Basildon.  Keep coming back all week for more of the background to the event, the people and places, and for handy hints that will help you look and run like a parkrun veteran.

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