2016 – A Year in Review for Bedfont Lakes parkrun

Hello 2017!

The start of a new year is typically a time of reflection and planning. For parkrun, 2016 was a fantastic year with over 3 million registered parkrunners now onboard, 1.1 million individuals taking part in a parkrun, prestigious award wins, a new partnership with Women in Sport and parkruns popping up all over the world - thanks, in part, to some Bedfontos (more on that later...).

Over to our wonderful parkrun Founder, Paul:

"I still find it hard to believe that a concept as simple as a free run with friends and family has captured the imagination of more than 1,000 communities across 14 countries. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many generous folk, not least everyone who has worn the high-vis this year and marked out courses, timed, scanned, processed results and everything in between."

Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE
parkrun Founder

Wise and inspirational words indeed! You can read Paul's full review and look ahead to the next 12 months on the parkrun website.

So down in our little parkrunning corner of the world last year, we continued to set and smash PBs, join milestone clubs, be awesome at volunteering and run through all sorts of weather (ice, rain, frost, sunshine, fog, wind, plus any combination of those conditions). It's also evident that just like in previous years, we still love a celebration... and we still love CAKE!

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So what was new for us in 2016? In a nutshell, we said an emotional farewell and bon voyage to Co-Event Director Rory Murphy, we congratulated Ian and Caroline Cockram in their increased Ambassador capacities, we smashed our attendance records for runners AND volunteers (then smashed them again!), we bought some new parkrun equipment, the smaller car park was extended (woo hoo) and we had the pleasure of a refreshment van next to the finish line during the summer!

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So let's reflect on a few key highlights for Bedfont Lakes in 2016...

Milestone and special runs
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We saw some amazing milestone runs last year, for juniors and seniors alike, with many of you joining the 10 (juniors), 50 and 100 club and even the 250 club - well done to Wayne Sarten, David Lloyd, Graham Shaw, Guilaine Sheward, Fiona MacNeil, Caroline Cockram, Bob Bannister and Alan Lees who ran their 250th runs in 2016. It's really quite an accomplishment to get that green T-shirt, requiring at least five years (or more) of solid parkrunning!

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Some other memorable achievements included:

  • Debbie Hazell and David Humphries who both joined the 50 club in January and ran all 50 of them at Bedfont
  • Junior Mia Mukasa who ran her 10th parkrun on the same day her mum Sarah Butcher ran her 50th (with Mia's grandad John Butcher on lead bike who has now volunteered 200 times)

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  • Junior siblings Lewys and Carys Poole who took their 2015 achievement of 50 parkruns to over 100 in October 2016 - and they're not stopping any time soon!

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  • A special day for the Russell family when Grant took first place overall, Ethan was first junior home and Julia, also a junior, celebrated her 100th parkrun

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  • Matt Bough who is regularly spotted buggy-pushing his children Emi and Oli very speedily, has run over 135 'buggy runs' out of his 150 total

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  • In February, two of our first four finishers were under 14 juniors who also went under 20 minutes - well done to Kieran Desmond and Rachael Pharaoh
  • In March on our 350th parkrun we ran the course in reverse - Carol Paton was the only runner present on both Bedfont's first and 350th run!
  • At our record turnout in September we also saw the highest number of PBs... a grand total of 71!

Well done to everyone who walked, jogged or ran at Bedfont Lakes in 2016 - you've been part of a fantastic year :)

Balloons, cakes & fancy dress
We have a great community spirit at Bedfont and this is down to the friendly, fun and generous people (you!) who make it what it is. We love a celebration, and had fantastic numbers of runners and volunteers for our 7th birthday in May, then welcoming home Team GB in the summer, followed by International parkrunday on its 12th anniversary.

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Bedfont Lakes parkrun turns 7

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We also love an excuse to dress up, so Halloween and Christmas were particularly colourful and impressive... plus Paul Davis' 50th run in August brought out some fantastic  costumes!

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Bah humbug

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Paul's low-key 50th!

Record turnouts
In August we had our biggest turnout with 208 runners, but this was soon surpassed in September with a record 314 runners and 37 volunteers, when it was sadly time to say goodbye to our co-Event Director Rory Murphy who emigrated to the States. It was an emotional parkrun to say the least - even he was lost for words (not for long though!!). Ambassadors, tourists and well wishers came from near and far to show the parkrun love for Rory! He is doing excellent work with the parkrun team in Washington DC helping support the existing events, plus actively working on setting up a Baltimore parkrun. He's been back to visit Bedfont more than once though, so hasn't forgotten us! CC6A4644

Contributing to our impressive turnouts every week were first timers, visitors and tourists from both the northern and southern hemispheres.

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Black Park tourists

Heartwarming feedback on the course and community has included the following:

"Those flying the flag for Bedfont Lakes had also given lots of good travel advice, talked of a warm welcome and how friendly the event was; one had even offered to make sure there would be cakes. As we headed to the car we paused to take in the views. This is the sort of place where you expect to turn a corner and find a buddhist monk, sitting crossed legged, contemplating life."
Kevan, parkrun tourist, April

"By Friday night when I got home, I was wound tight and exhausted. Then Saturday morning dawned. parkrunday."
Rory Murphy, Bedfont ex-pat, May (before he left us!)

"What I didn’t expect was to find such a beautiful oasis that is Bedfont Lakes. A gorgeous location for a parkrun for sure, attended by some wonderful people."
Graham, Poole parkrun RD, visiting in October

"A friendly buzz soon developed as more and more people arrived...this really was one of the most welcoming and friendly parkruns that I’ve been to."
Andrew, parkrun tourist, April 2016

"So grateful to the amazing friends we have at Bedfont Lakes parkrun for making it happen. A v emotional morning with lots of cake, chat and fabulous people. #loveparkrun"
Emma Poole, on the day her two young 'bonkers' children (her words!) ran their 100th parkruns

That's what parkrun is all about - supporting and building a running community, something we're great at and should all be proud of :)

Superhero volunteers
As we all know, no volunteers = no parkrun! At Bedfont we do have an amazing core team who pull together every week to make it all happen, overseen by Run Directors Maria Jovani, Ian Cockram, Caroline Cockram, Jin Jhooti, Carl Moran, Rima Chai, Jules Harman, Carol Paton, John Paton, Gary Clements, Dave Duggan, Iain Law and Zoe Ostley. Dave also co-ordinates the volunteer roster every week, taking over from Ian Charlton who 'retired' in March after seven years' volunteering.

We even had a new younger generation of Run Directors! Carys, Mia and Eloise all stepped up to the big role to brief runners and help organise the event from start to finish. So if you're thinking of donning the silver and blue jacket in 2017, let us know (full training is provided and you won't be expected to do it every week).

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RD Carys

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Mia in charge!

Of course, there is a whole team of volunteers who put themselves forward to help the RDs every week who all deserve a MASSIVE mention! In 2016 we saw many familiar faces, as well as new ones, and in 2017 it would be great to see even more new faces! :) If you're injured or having a rest day you could still enjoy the parkrun atmosphere and give volunteering a go. Even being pregnant didn't stop Kelly Davis from marshalling and tail running last year! How to get involved? Just register for the (no obligation) volunteer email invites on your parkrun profile or email bedfonthelpers@parkrun.com.

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Shepperton Running Group did a volunteer 'take over' in December, providing the majority of the hi-vis crew for that day and adding a touch (a lot) of purple to the park. IMG_5323

In volunteer news, Ian Cockram, our current ED became Lead Ambassador for Greater London, a role shared with Andrew Lawrence from Gunnersbury parkrun. Caroline Cockram was appointed as an Event Ambassador, supporting events across the same area. Ian also won 'Outstanding Service to Sport' in the Runnymede Sports Awards in November - a fantastic and well-deserved accolade which made the parkrun blog.

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Cake
Cake, so much cake! Enough for an entire gallery - see below! We also got a brand new cake sign, to spur us on for the final 400m. Thanks go to David Duggan for sorting that one.

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Mia's 10th parkrun

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Guilaine's 250th

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International parkrun Day

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Graham Shaw's 250th

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Cake shelter

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T-shirt cake

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Phil's 50th on New Year's Eve

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Claire's parkrun cake!

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Masterpiece for Caroline's 250th!

Helping to grow parkrun
As mentioned, parkrun has been launching new events all over the world thanks to volunteers who liaise with all necessary parties, design the course, test it etc. which can be a rather long process! This year in the vicinity Hanworth and Laleham junior parkruns were born and both have been successfully attended, directed and marshalled by many Bedfont regulars including Emma Poole, Event Director at Laleham, who worked hard with Rory Murphy to launch this weekly local junior event. Homewood parkrun also launched in the autumn under the expert guidance of Bedfont Ambassadors, and has been well supported by Bedfont runners!

Couch to 5K
Throughout 2016 Shepperton Running Club and Runnymede Runners brought their 'Couch to 5K' graduates to Bedfont Lakes for their inaugural 5k runs. We've seen many of them become regular park runners, volunteers and PB smashers! In fact, our highest representation from athletics/running clubs is from Runnymede Runners, SRG and British Airways AC, and we love to see them at parkrun.

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Runnymede Runners C25K

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Shepperton's C25K

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As parkrun is an Approved Activity Provider for the DofE Award, we had 11 participants join us throughout the year, some running and some in a volunteer capacity. They were of great help to the core team, with Eloise even taking on the role of Event Director! Many thanks go to volunteer Zoe Ostley (appointed volunteer DofE assessor) for her work over the past year mentoring the young people that join us. We hope to take on more participants in 2017, and well done to those who have completed their Award.

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Zoe with Eloise

Donations
In the past year Bedfont Lakes parkrun has been fortunate enough to receive some generous donations, allowing the core team to buy several new items to improve the parkrun/volunteer experience! These include posts to create a better finish funnel, a big trolley (for set up and close down - transporting the all-important signage around the course) and a laptop (to process results and ensure everyone gets the right finish time!). If you want to read more, find out about the donations and how they have been used.

A picture says a thousand words...
We are lucky to have so many budding volunteer photographers and now have no less than 14,534 photos on our flickr page!! Our snaps have been retweeted, liked and shared by parkrun UK on Twitter and Facebook and make the run reports so much more interesting :) 'Photographer' is an official volunteer role, so if you're interested, let us know!

Party time
In addition to all the socialising we do every Saturday at the park and the cafe, the Christmas party at Caffe Gondola in Staines was a great success, thanks to organisers John Paton and Bob Bannister, with plenty of carb loading and cake. John created a parkrun quiz... so in case you missed it, here are 3 sample questions to test your knowledge (answers at the bottom of the page and quiz master's decision is final!)

1. Two regulars at Bedfont Lakes also participated in the first ever run at BL. Who are they? (clue: one male, one female)

2. What was the lowest attendance at Bedfont Lakes parkrun?

3. What was parkrun originally called?

Good luck!

At the end of the year, it all started with a parkrun...
Bedfontos participated in many races in the UK and abroad in 2016 including the London Marathon, Great North Run, Great South Run, Wedding Day 7K, Barcelona Marathon, Boston Marathon, Kosice Peace Marathon/Half Marathon and Ride London... not just participating as athletes but marshalling and volunteering too. Great work Team Bedfontos, especially those who completed a new distance or event! Remember, if you've got a Sunday race planned then Saturday is the perfect opportunity to volunteer at parkrun.

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London Marathoners with parkrun Founder Paul

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Wedding Day 7K

Finally, looking back over the year's APTOTW (Aesthetically Pleasing Time of the Week), the grand prix goes to Paul Davis back in February who ran his 25th event at Bedfont, pacing 25 minutes and finishing in 25:25.

So goodbye 2016. It's been a blast, it's been emotional... bring on 2017, us Bedfontos are ready! See you on 7 Jan for our first parkrun of the year :)

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 QUIZ ANSWERS!

1. Carol Paton and Wayne Sarten
2. 20 (Dec 2009)
3. Bushy Park Time Trial

 

 

 

Run Report for Bedfont Lakes parkrun Event #384

Overheard on the lake today...

Swan: Nice weather for ducks
Duck: Certainly is
Swan: Oh look those runners are out again
Duck: Quackers!

Indeed, it was pretty miserable this morning. The sky was the same threatening colour as the ground and the rain came down in buckets. Even if it might seem slightly quackers to go and get intentionally wet, cold and muddy, 122 runners made it to the start line (and the finish line!) including some first timers, proving just how much we #loveparkrun even in the Great British autumn...plus we had two milestones to celebrate!

Our wonderful team of volunteers arrived early and set up the course/tech while most of us sat in cars until the last minute or huddled under umbrellas.

Sitting in my car at Bedfont Lakes, trying to leave it as long as possible before braving @bedfontparkrun in the rain (@runningjenbaker, 08:40, Twitter)

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Huge thanks to RD Carl Moran and his hardy crew who cheered us all on despite the cold and incessant rain - we couldn't have done it without you!

Anthony PALMER • Chris EVANS • Claire CROOK • David DUGGAN • Eloise LENNON • Emma MORETON • Emma POOLE • Ian COCKRAM • John Frederick BUTCHER • John PATON • Julie BAYLISS • Karen HART • Kevin CROOK • Lillie BROCKWELL • Maddie GREEN • Marcin DYSZKOWSKI • Mia MUKASA • Nicholas MURPHY • Richard KING • Sandra CLEMENTS • Trish MCCABE • Wayne SARTEN

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RD Carl and ED Ian

 

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We welcomed 11 visitors and five first timers to Bedfont Lakes so hope you embraced our puddley course and didn't mind a mud splash or two! Grant Russell was first home and dry (or not so dry) in 19:14 and Merilyn Davis was first lady back in 23:46. First junior was Ethan Russell in 22:55. It was a big day for the Russells as junior Julia Russell (JW10) was celebrating her 100th parkrun and brought some fabulous cakes along for everyone.

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No soggy bottoms here!

Jane Stewart celebrated her 50th and also showered us with biscuits, cake and sweets. Well done both on great milestones - I think we all felt worthy of cake by the end of our runs today!

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Amazingly, eight runners achieved PBs this morning, so congrats go to Aidan O'Brien, Sean Marcus, Nick Carter, Cath Marcus (taking over 6 mins off), Mark Francom, Richard Little, Sofia Hampton and Sabina Dyszkowska. Brilliant results!

Our Twitter page was buzzing with post-run tweets including those from some visitors whose spirits certainly weren't dampened by the mud fest:

Had a great run here @Bedfontparkrun, really friendly and a good course with a 'few' puddles! - @Woodleyparkrun on tour

That moment when you turn the corner and know you're in the right place for @parkrunUK. Thank you @bedfontparkrun - that was wet & fabulous

A very wet @bedfontparkrun but the kids are still smiling #loveparkrun

parkrun always lifts the spirits doesn't it? Come rain or shine #loveparkrun

One of our visitors Jenny Baker also tweeted 'four lovely things' about Bedfont Lakes after her first run here, which are too nice not to mention:

1. The mum and daughter who shared their umbrella with me before the start
2. Beautiful trails, lakes and park to run around
3. Running through puddles and surrendering to getting absolutely soaked
4. The hot shower when you get home feels so amazing!

So with two milestone runs, a full volunteer roster, cake, PBs and some super happy post-run tweets, perhaps it wasn't quackers to come out for a wonderful parkrun in the rain after all!

Well done everyone :) Full results can be found here, and photos on our Flickr page.

Emma

PS. Look out for some 250 and 300 milestone runs coming up soon... which means more puddle prizes (CAKE!)

Rainy BL

 

Run report for Event #362 Saturday 11th June

It definitely feels like June… the bunting is out for HRH’s 90th birthday, local fairs are springing up all over the place, and down at Bedfont Lakes the ground is dry, the legs are out, and so are the swans! Run Director Iain Law did a great job as swan whisperer this week, as well as making sure all volunteers and runners were in the right place at the right time :-)

Thank you to the whole volunteer team:

Barry TILLER  •  Charlie SLADE  •  Claire CROOK  •  Danijela SPASOJEVIC  •  David DUGGAN  •  Gurleen JHOOTI  •  Hardeep Singh KULLAR  •  Harjit JHOOTI  •  Iain LAW  •  Ian Clive BERRY  •  Jane STEWART  •  Jennifer Mary HODSON  •  John LENNON  •  Karen HART  •  Richard KING  •  Ryan PATRICK  •  Sandra CLEMENTS  •  Tanya DECASTRO  •  Tara SPASOJEVIC

Having been away for two Saturdays whilst half-term holidaying in France I was itching to get back to Bedfont. I even dreamt about it... yes, really! Despite trying to factor in a French parkrun, it wasn’t going to happen unfortunately (bad planning on my part - must book the ferries accordingly next time! I did go for a run in my BL parkrun T-shirt though.) It's been nice to see Bedfontos managing to fit in some parkrun tourism around the UK and rest of world whilst on their travels. There are more and more parkruns starting up worldwide, and the latest international event to launch is Hagaparken, Stockholm, SWEDEN! Is it on your travel itinerary soon?! Just don't forget your barcode...

Some of the regular Bedfontos were away this week doing some "en masse tourism", taking the 3.4 mile journey over to Crane parkrun to help celebrate their 4th anniversary. Great effort, and hope to have you back next week :-)

The run brief at Bedfont was short and sweet, as no-one was celebrating a milestone run this week, so actually it wasn't that sweet as there was no cake :( (I hear there was a lot of cake consumed over at Crane…). So here's a little bit of general parkrun news. You can get 20% of all your running gear at Intersport in June just by showing your parkrun barcode in store. After June, parkrunners will be able to claim 10% off their running gear as an ongoing community offer - cool! You can find your closest store here.

The vital statistics

There were 27 first timers to Bedfont Lakes (12 new to parkrun), who were expertly briefed on the run route by volunteer Tanya De Castro. Jane Stewart, along with Tanya, took care of the 173-strong pack by stepping up as tail runners this week. The weather fairy was kind by holding back the rain/thunder but it was rather on the muggy side, with little breeze. This didn’t stop 22 runners achieving a magical PB however!

A special well done to…

William Rolt and Amy Randall, junior PBers this week
Lukasz Zawadzki, Andy Beer and Teresa Davis all getting their 3rd PB in a row
Tomasz Pobrotyn, with a PB on his 26th Bedfont Lakes parkrun
Lee Diamond, with a PB on his 20th Bedfont Lakes parkrun
Robert Young, taking 70 seconds off his previous PB
Russell Francis, getting his 4th PB in a row and taking 2 mins and 1 second off his previous best time
Sian Thomas, taking first place for the ladies with an amazing 18:54 finish time and achieving the highest age grade score overall

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It was a PB for 6 year old William Rolt who ran with mum Karen

 

Well done to everyone who achieved a PB today, and all those who carried on despite wanting to stop and have a long cool drink!!

Sing-song time
Out of respect for her majesty's milestone birthday, I have penned a National Anthem for us (to the tune of God Save the Queen, obvs).

See you next week!
Emma

God save us Bedfontos
Long live us Bedfontos
Long may we run!
May we have fun off-road
Don't forget your barcode
To run with smiles and grace

God grant PBs!

May we sprint round the lake
And always enjoy cake
Long may we run!
If you can volunteer
You'll always get a cheer
So sing with heart and voice...
We love parkrun!

PS. "No barcode, no time" applies to everyone, even the Queen, and even if it's your 90th birthday. Just sayin' :-)

 

Run report for Event #353 Saturday 9th April

April bestowed us with showers on Saturday - luckily they stopped by 9am so it was a 'dry run', except of course for the puddles and mud. Did everyone else return home with Bedfont silt clinging to their ankles and socks?!

These challenging conditions didn't stop 159 runners turning up to splash and dash, including 10 first timers, 10 visitors and 24 PBs - wow! Hope newbies and tourists visit again soon... the puddles do eventually evaporate, honest :)

Saturday was also a special occasion for junior Eloise Lennon running her 10th run (getting exceedingly close to beating her PB), and Emma Martin celebrating her birthday. Thank you for the lovely cakes!!

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Junior runner Eloise completed her 10th parkrun today (dad John ran his 203rd)

Thank you also to this week's fabulous volunteers, led by Caroline (who has declared a 'wear your onesie' day soon at BL - a sure way to keep warm and cosy!):

Barry TILLER • Caroline COCKRAM • Charlie HOBBS • Claire CROOK • Daniel MORL • David DUGGAN • Emma MORETON • Graham SHAW • Ian Clive BERRY • John Frederick BUTCHER • Judith HAARER • Mia MUKASA • Neil HOBBS • Nikki CRAWFORD • Richard KING • Ryan PATRICK • Sandra CLEMENTS • Sarah BUTCHER • Zoe OSTLEY

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Family hi-viz: John, Sarah and Mia - three generations of volunteers

 

Notable performances this week were from:

  • Gary Boulden, taking first place overall, beating his PB to go sub-19 minutes
  • Alison Colenso, taking 1 min 34 off her pre-Christmas PB
  • Nina Brierley, achieving her fourth PB in a row
  • Lesley Chamberlin, having beaten her previous PB (set in 2013) last week, she beat it again this week!
  • James Cacia, after a spate of recent PBs going sub-27 minutes
  • Sam Buley, on her second run, taking over 7 minutes off her debut parkrun time!
  • Kevin Crook, Tanya De Castro and Paul Robson, all achieving PBs having started their parkrun journey recently through Shepperton Running Group's C25K programme.

The first three placings were very close this week. As mentioned, Gary Boulden was home first in 18:40, followed by Brian Kirsopp 17 seconds later. Peter Bell followed within 3 seconds to finish in 19 minutes exactly.

For the women, Natalie Haarer finished first in 21:11, followed by Krysia Smith 12 seconds later and Rebecca Hall 12 seconds after that, finishing in 21:35. Great running!

We're well into April now, but in case you missed the amusing April Fool's Day Facebook posts from various parkruns on 1 April, here's a quick round up. Some were quite brilliant!

  • Tring parkrun announced an enhanced experience for runners via premium paid-for packages, which included an "express scanning lane", cake at the finish line, tented cloakroom, use of the tarmac path and a 10 second time deduction (platinum package only!) Read more on their Facebook page > (it's worth it!)
  • Kesgrave parkrun and Bognor Regis parkrun both played a prank informing all previous runners that "the course is slightly short and no-one has actually run a full 5km, so parkrun UK have ruled that all runs at this parkrun will now be considered null and void."
    It got worse: any current PBs and accumulated runs contributing to the milestone achievement T-shirts (including volunteering) would "cease to exist" and runners should contact Wiggle to return their milestone T-shirts!! Read more on their Facebook page >
  • Riddlesdown parkrun, Barry Island parkrun and Swansea parkrun all announced mandatory urine testing for anyone getting a PB at the next run due to 'impossibly high' rates of PBs! Barry Island parkrun took it a bit further and asked runners to bring their own empty sample pot marked with their barcode in case they were chosen at random! Read more on their Facebook page >
  • Pomphrey Hill parkrun advised of a 'course modification' of six shorter laps but each lap incorporating Pomphrey Hill (imagine Mo Hill six times...)
  • Queen Elizabeth parkrun announced they were trialling new scanners and looking for volunteers to have an RFID chip implanted into them. Quote: "The devices are tiny - only slightly larger than a grain of rice. They are typically implanted into the fleshy part of the webbing between the thumb and the index finger. They can also be implanted in the back of the neck like a domestic pet. Provided it is done correctly it will be a virtually pain free process. There may be a little bit of blood but everything should heal up nicely within a couple of days." They even included an x-ray image depicting where the chip would be planted - hilarious! Read more on their event webpage >
  • Ormskirk parkrun announced a 'premium offer' for those who wish to pay their way to a milestone T-shirt: "Whilst we are still finalising figures for the 100 and 250 run milestone t-shirts, we have agreed on a costs of £10 per run towards the 50 shirt. This means, for example, that a runner currently on 40 runs will be able to move immediately to eligibility for the 50 run t-shirt for a payment of £100." I bet some people would actually take this up...!
  • Banbury parkrun were 'offering' a 75% discount on GPS watch to runners who presented their barcode. The brand? "Polar Foil" (it's an anagram...)
  • My favourite is from Alice Holt parkrun. The post started off quite believable, but then sounded more and more suspicious and the hilarious pictures gave it away...
    "You probably saw in the local press this week about the Forestry Commission’s plans to re-introduce wolves back into Alice Holt Forest. It’s part of their national environmental plan to naturally re-balance predators and prey in our rural areas."
    Sounds believable albeit scary...
    "In order to prepare forest users for the re-introduction of the wolves, new signs will be on display and a number of the rangers will roaming the woods wearing wolf masks. This is to ensure that when the real thing arrives shortly the regular forest users are familiar with the site of wolves in the undergrowth. They've asked our marshals to do the same."
    Really...?! hmmm
    "The rangers are of course a lot bigger than the real wolves, since the Forestry Commission will be re-populating Alice Holt with the species Lupus Lirpo Afols – which is the smallest of the European wolf family..."
    Lirpo Afols...ah, April Fools...!
    "We will keep you up to date with the plans to re-introduce the real wolves, but please rest assured that the rangers in masks don’t bite ha ha!!"
    Love it!!  See the post and pics here >

(Apologies to those not on Facebook who are unable to read more of these posts.)

And why did BL not concoct a similar farce on 1 April, I hear you ask? Well, we know you savvy lot would not fall for it. You were not even fazed by inflatable crocs in the lake. I guess we could have altered the 'cake in 400m' sign to 'no cake this week' but that would just be cruel, and we wouldn't want runners collapsing in disappointment :)

Finally, and this is no April Fool, you may have heard that just over 17,000 milestone T-shirts are due to arrive in the UK very soon and it's anticipated that they should be available to order a week later, from 27 April. This is fantastic news for many who have achieved their 10, 50, 100, 250 or volunteer milestones, and a great logistical feat by Tribesports and Wiggle, parkrun partners, over the last nine months. After writing this report I have earned one more volunteer point, taking me up to the magic 25, so I eagerly await an aubergine t-shirt (along with my black one!). Happy days!

See you all soon
Emma

 

Run report for Event #350 Saturday 19th March

High pressure over Northern Europe was the dominant weather feature during this last week bringing predominantly dry and settled conditions, meaning that the course at Bedfont Lakes had finally dried out a little. We had fine running conditions as we celebrated the 350th running of Bedfont Lakes parkrun by running the course in reverse.

 

Not surprisingly this anniversary attracted a large turn out of 174 runners (representing 19 different athletics clubs), our equal seventh highest attendance. We also had 20 volunteers, lots of fast times, a tourist from France (please spread the word - we need some more good holiday destinations with parkruns!), and the debut of some more athletes of the Runnymede Runners Couch to 5K course who were unable to make it last week.

 

On May 9th 2009, 2506 days ago, the very first Bedfont Lakes parkrun was held. Unsettled conditions gave way on parkrun day to bring dryer settled conditions for the next week. In sports, Jenson Button gained pole position in Barcelona, and Rangers won an uneventful old-firm derby 1 - 0 at Ibrox. Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz were at Number 1 with 'Number 1'. The inaugural running of Bedfont Lakes parkrun was clearly the most important news event of the day.  Roy FEEDER of Stragglers was the first runner home that day in a new course record of 17:59! There was only six seconds between the first and third runners home so I reckon that was a good finish. Paul SINTON-HEWITT finished in a time of 23:00 exactly, and Carol PATON, of Runnymede Runners, also ran. As far as I can tell Carol is the only runner who ran the first run and also the 350th. Carol has now run 279 park runs and is closing in on her 200th run at Bedfont Lakes. Fantastic! It would be great to hear your memories of running in that historic event Carol!

Today, the first runner home in the 350th run was Matthew PHARAOH of Walton AC who came within three seconds of his PB. This was the third time Matthew has been our first runner home. Natalie HAARER was again the first female to finish, for the 26th time in 64 Bedfont appearances. As predicted by last week's visionary Run Reporter, Natalie smashed her PB. Natalie also wins APTOTW for her time of 20:20!

Without wanting to any pressure on, a sub-20 finish surely beckons sooner or later! Well done both!

There was a huge total of 37 PBs today which is fantastic considering most runners heeded the Run Director's advice to take it easy on narrow part round the fishing lake which this week was right at the start. Too many to mention them all but the PBs included James MATCHAM, Tom BLACKMAN, Sarah BEVAN, Joanne LEGGE, Iain BUTLER, Alicia WISE, Owen GRIFFEN and Zola (Budd) PURDIE who all recently graduated from the Runnymede Runners Couch to 5K (C25K) course and came back to set new PBs. There were 11 runners running at Bedfont Lakes for the first time, including five runners running their very first parkrun. Lais GOMES and Jane SMITH from the C25K were unable to graduate last week and ran their first parkrun at Bedfont today. Well done to all and we hope you all come back soon and don't get confused when we run the right way!

John LENNON of British Airways AC celebrated his 200th parkrun, 184 of them at Bedfont Lakes. Well done John!

One of the best things about the 350 parkruns so far at Bedfont Lakes is that they have all been totally free, and they always will be. Our wonderful volunteers down the years have been key to this. Our heroes in hi-viz this week were:

Barry TILLER  •  Bianca HOLLIS  •  Chris EVANS  •  Claire CROOK  •  David DUGGAN  •  Debbie HAZELL  •  Graham SHAW  •  Iain LAW  •  Jane STEWART  •  Jennifer TAYLOR  •  John Frederick BUTCHER  •  Julia FARMAN  •  Maria JOVANI  •  Muna AL-KERWI  •  Nikki CRAWFORD  •  Paul SILVESTER  •  Richard KING  •  Ryan PATRICK  •  Sandra CLEMENTS

This week the volunteers were ably led by Run Directors Maria JOVANI and Julia FARMAN and a big thank you goes out to them as well. Julia also gets a 'Voluntold' credit as Maria pushed her forward to give the (very good) run briefing. Well done both!

Thanks also to Jane STEWART for being good company as Tail Runner. Jane was saving some energy for the Hampton Court Half Marathon tomorrow. Good luck to her and also to all those putting in big training runs this weekend for London. If you would like to volunteer one week, perhaps because you have a big run on Sunday, just go to the volunteer tab on the web page.

And finally... just as I was worrying about how to make the run report vaguely interesting and amusing, Emma MORETON saves the day by sending me her brilliant blog on what it means to be a Bedfonto!

https://bloggerjog.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/you-know-youre-a-bedfonto-when/

 

That's all folks! Have a good week. # DFYB

 

Paul

 

P.S. – Event Director Corner - Support our park update !

 

The Bedfont Lakes park Rangers are looking for our support – and as they have always been extraordinarily helpful to us we would love for as many of our runners to give some help back

 

1)    Easter raffle – the Rangers are raising money for the park upkeep by raffling off a tonne (not literally but close enough) of chocolate. Tickets are 5 for £1 and can be bought from the Rangers office. The draw will be made at 4.00pm on Easter Monday 28th March  - so you can still buy some this parkrunday!

 

2)    Twilight walk – There is a 2 mile “twilight walk” at 7pm on Saturday April 2nd  - it was aimed for children initially but adults are also welcome (and dogs!). It’s £2 each or if your children want to raise some sponsorship money (e.g. from school) it’s free if you raise £10

 

3)    Update on incident last Sunday - as some of you were aware the park was shut for a few hours last Sunday as the authorities investigated some white powder piles that were thought to be linked to ill dogs. Thankfully the powder was revealed to be flour, used by a running group to mark a route, so a false alarm  - however as always we would ask runners to report anything suspicious to the rangers

 

Run report for Event #349 Saturday 12th March

It was a real celebration of running today at Bedfont Lakes parkrun with a whopping 161 runners (representing 17 different athletics clubs), 21 volunteers, lots of fast times, a tourist from Spain, and the debut of the athletes of the Runnymede Runners Couch to 5K course who turned up with cakes, cow bells and loads of enthusiasm!

Team Couch started on 17th January on a snowy Sunday in Windsor Great Park and have really stuck at it, even on wet winter's nights in Egham. There was a good mix of ages, some new runners and some returning runners, and they all finished with good times today. Well done to them all and to their wonderfully supportive coaches Arun GOMEZ and Dave BIRD, and all the helpers (who know who they are!). We hope they will all become regulars.

The C25K is a great plan which really brings runners along in little milestones and feeds perfectly into parkrun. If anyone is interested in joining the next Couch to 5km group with Runnymede Runners please look for Runnymede Runners C25K on Facebook where details will be posted.

C25K Group

Happy graduates

 

The first runner home this week was Jason HARRIS of Woking AC who broke the 18 minute barrier and was flying down the back straight on the second lap.  I make that the 22nd time Jason has been our first runner home. Junior Natalie HAARER was again the first female to finish, for the 25th time in 63 appearances. Natalie came within two seconds of her PB and seems set to smash through it when the course dries out. Remarkable achievements! Well done both!

In total there were 24 PBs, and 35 runners running at Bedfont Lakes for the first time, including 20 runners running their very first parkrun. It was the best attended New Runners Briefing for some time! Well done to all and we hope to see you back soon.

Next week will be the 350th running of Bedfont Lakes parkrun. To celebrate we will be running the course backwards (not literally as that would be dangerous, but in reverse!). Get there early as there is sure to be another bumper attendance.

Most importantly, well done if you volunteered today. parkrun would not happen if it wasn't for you and it certainly wouldn't be as well organised. Our wonderful volunteers this week were:

Alison HINES  •  Barry TILLER  •  Charles TIPPLESTON  •  Claire CROOK  •  Colin REVIE  •  David DUGGAN  •  Eloise LENNON  •  Gary CLEMENTS  •  Ian Clive BERRY  •  Jennifer Mary HODSON  •  John LENNON  •  Julie HAZELL  •  Karen HART  •  Nikki CRAWFORD  •  Olamide OLABODE  •  Paul SILVESTER  •  Ryan PATRICK  •  Sandra CLEMENTS  •  Titilope OLABODE  •  Trish MCCABE  •  Zoe OSTLEY

This week the volunteers were ably led by Run Director Zoe OSTLEY and a big thank you goes out to her as well. Speaking of Run Directors, two of ours will be running in the Barcelona Marathon tomorrow! Good luck to Maria JOVANI and David DUGGAN. Try not stop for too many cervezas!

 

Thanks for dragging me round Cheryl PILLEY. You set a new PB today and we'll

be faster next week especially as you'll know which way to go at the last turn!

 

That's all folks! See you all next week - same time, same place. # DFYB

Paul

 

P.S. - Some ED additions :)

1) There was reports of a child chasing one of the swans with a stick. We don't know whose child it was but we'd like to remind everyone of our responsibility to the park and the parks inhabitants - human and animal. We're there with their permission, so please don't jeopardize that!

2) The Rangers have asked us to publicise their "Sponsored Twilight Walk" on Saturday 2nd April at 7pm. This is to raise funds to support the work the Rangers do with the Animal Antics Rescue Centre. There'll be forms available if you want to sign up next weekend, and the more people that can support our amazing Rangers the better!

 

Run Report for Event # 345 Saturday 13th February 2016

Roses are red,

marshals are yellow,

being highly visible,

is more important than rhyming!

 

There was another good turn out again at Bedfont Lakes park run with exactly 100 runners and 17 volunteers despite it being Valentine's weekend and now six weeks since New Year's resolutions were made (keep it up folks; a resolution is for life not just for January!). It was also cold and a little drizzly this morning but not one of the squelchfests that we saw in January!

DSC00085

Carys briefing the troops

 

Despite the mud on the back straight, we managed ten PBs today. First past the post was Matthew KRELLE of Bristol and West AC in a time of 18:10. It was the fastest time we have had so far this year and Matthew made the Lead Bike earn his money! The first female runner home was Sabrina HALES, of Shepperton Running Group, in a time of 23:10. Fantastic effort by all!

 

Eleven runners ran at Bedfont Lakes for the first time today, including nine runners  who were running their very first parkrun. James CACIA appears to have encouraged other members of his family to run with him and was rewarded with a PB. Another of the first-timers was Karen JOHNSON who received a great reception when she gave it the beans as she saw the finish line. Well done and welcome to you all. I hope you enjoyed running with us and will join us again soon!

 

For those that are new to Bedfont Lakes parkrun we have a regular date at Orchard's cafe on the A30 for post-run coffee; and if coffee isn't your cup of tea they also do good bacon butties!

No milestone runs today so no Bedfont Cakes this week despite having a tourist from Pontefract! We do have a few closing in on landmark runs though, and we also had Toni CALLEN and Nigel POOLE, running together, who have clocked up well over 600 parkruns between them (mostly at Bedfont). A remarkable achievement!

 

It was probably a better day for running than it was for marshalling so well done if you volunteered today. When the duvet is pinning you to the bed it's easy to roll over and resolve to run next week, but if you are committed to volunteering you can't press that snooze button too many times! We managed to keep our 100+ attendee run going despite the cold weather and the other attractions. Without doubt this success is due to parkrun being very well organised, smoothly run, and  very friendly and supportive.

Bedfont Feb 13th 2016 Carys RD
Our marvellous volunteers with RD Carys

The wonderful volunteers who braved the elements this week were:

Barry TILLER  •  Carys POOLE  •  Charlie HOBBS  •  Darren CLARKE  •  Graham SHAW  •  Ian CHARLTON  •  John MAXEN  •  Julie BAYLISS  •  Neil HOBBS  •  Nicholas BROWN  •  Nikki CRAWFORD  •  Paul SILVESTER  •  Richard KING  •  Rory MURPHY  •  Sandra CLEMENTS  •  Sarah BUTCHER  •  Sarah TAYLOR

 

If you would like to volunteer one week, just go to the volunteer tab on the web page and click on 'getting involved'. I can confirm that Run Report Writer is a warmer job than Marshal so why not give it a go!

Cheers

Paul

 

Run Report for Event #343 Saturday 30th January

Mountains and Lakes.

 

The portents were not great as I pulled into the car park yesterday morning; there was a huge lake-puddle which had to be negotiated, warning of much mud on the course. There were also mountains of gravel, wood chippings and bark perhaps indicating that many of the worst potholes may be about to be filled in but when there is so much water it just finds the lowest point and challenging running conditions are inevitable.  If you managed to get anywhere close to your PB today you did very well. I look upon it as resistance training and expect a flurry of PBs when better weather comes!

 

However, it was another good turn out again with 112 runners and 21 volunteers and despite the conditions, we also managed five PBs. They deserve a personal mention so well done to Jason MERRIMAN, Chris MILES, Stuart YOUNG, Gini LARA and Kayleigh FRANKLIN. The first runner home was Peter MANNION of Windle Valley Runners in a time of 19:41. Peter is also closing in on the 250 Club as this was his 225th park run. The first female runner home was again, Natalie HAARER, a junior, in a time of 21:42. Fantastic effort by all!

 

Eleven runners ran at Bedfont Lakes for the first time today, including eight runners,  who were running their very first parkrun. Well done and welcome to you all and we hope you will join us again soon. One of the first-timers was Uma MYLARAIAH who is following the excellent Couch to 5K course run by Runnymede Runners. Uma has clearly hit the ground running as her cohort isn't due to run their graduation 5K until March. Your intrepid run reporter caught up with her via Facebook (from his couch!). She was evidently still enjoying her runner's high and said it was 'fantastic' and she 'really enjoyed it'. Looks like she will be a regular.

 

A couple of tokens went missing today, so if you have taken token number 12 or 100 by mistake please get in touch.

 

By the way, for those that like their post-run coffee, apparently we now meet at Orchard's cafe on the A30. For all I know they may have been going there for weeks. I blame whoever has been writing the run report these past few weeks for not mentioning it!

 

Finally, but most importantly, well done if you volunteered today. No volunteers = no parkrun! It is no accident that Bedfont Lakes parkrun is growing in terms of numbers and attracted 100 plus every week in 2015 and in 2016 so far. Thanks to you it is very well organised, runs smoothly every week, and is super-friendly.

 

The volunteers this week were: Martin ABBEY, Louisa Mairi BELL, Ian Clive BERRY, Ian CHARLTON, Sandra CLEMENTS, Peter COLLINS, Kevin DARGUE, Ross DAVIES, Kathryn ELLIDGE, Suki GILLILAND, Karen HART, Jennifer Mary HODSON, Phil HOLLOWELL, Neoma LIGHT, Jon LIGHT, John PATON, Carol PATON, Sue RIX, Graham SHAW, Paul SILVESTER, Barry TILLER.

 

We had a few volunteers, including Louisa and Phil, who helped out today because they are saving their legs for the London Winter 10K which starts at Trafalgar Square tomorrow morning. Good luck to them! If you would like to volunteer one week, perhaps because you have a big race on Sunday, just go to the volunteer tab on the web page.

 

The volunteers were ably led by Run Director John PATON this week and a big thank you goes out to him as well.

 

Personal thanks go to Peter COLLINS for being good company as co tail-runner. I hope you make a quick recovery from your 'Policeman's Foot' (I'm not going to attempt the medical spelling!) but in the meantime thanks for plodding round with me at the back!

 

That's all folks! See you next week - same time, same place. Bring your PB running shoes!

 

#DFYB

Paul

 

Event #342 – Saturday 23rd January 2016

With the weather becoming warmer and ice melting, we'll to be back running again tomorrow :)

The volunteer roster is already looking good, but we do need a 2 marshals to complete the team.

Can you help? If you can, please email: bedfonthelpers@parkrun.com

Thanks :)

 

 

Run Report for Event # 341 Saturday 9th January 2016

No doubt boosted by a number of New Year Resolutioners, there was another really good turn out at Bedfont Lakes parkrun despite the wet and muddy conditions. The number of runners was 134 with 18 volunteers and there seemed to be a good turn out from the canine park runners judging by the volume of barking at the start!

 

There had been a great deal of rain in west London during the week and on Friday night, and rumour had it that the run was in doubt. A few of us developed contingency plans to ensure that we got our park run fix this Saturday; continuing to Crane Park was the favoured option as the parkrun web site states it is the nearest run (3.4 miles) and is considered to be a dryer course.

 

In the end no back up plans needed to be implemented and conditions were even said to be better than last week. Bedfont seemed to have developed some extra lakes which covered the whole path in places but most runners took the sensible and direct route and ploughed straight through the large puddles rather than risk stepping onto the slippery grass alongside the paths. It's not like you can stay dry on a day like today so you might as well take the shortest and safest path!

 

The first runner home was Bradley HALES, running in his first park run, who looked very strong in the soggy conditions on the long straight by the railway on the second lap. The first female runner home was Sian THOMAS of Chiltern Harriers AC who was also striding out on that straight. Well done to both.

 

In total there were 17 runners running for the first time at Bedfont Lakes, and eight of those were running parkrun for the very first time. Welcome to you all and we hope you will join us again soon.

 

Nine runners set new Personal Bests today; always a good achievement, but particularly so in the soggy conditions. Well done!

 

No milestone runs to report this week so no Bedfont Cakes at the finish, but Ross TAYLOR and David HUMPHRIES are closing in on the 50 Club and we also had two 250 club members running, Jin JHOOTI and Neville TAYLOR, who deserve a special mention. Ross, running at Bedfont for the first time, also wins the prize (if there was one) for the most aesthetically pleasing time, 24:07.

 

Lastly, but most importantly, a special mention for our terrific volunteers who braved the elements, and without whom parkrun could not take place:

Alan KELLY  •  Barry TILLER • Charles TIPPLESTON • David DUGGAN • Emma MORETON • Gary CLEMENTS • Graham SHAW • Ian CHARLTON • Ian Clive BERRY • John Frederick BUTCHER • Jon LIGHT • Julie BAYLISS • Kathryn ELLIDGE • Kevin DARGUE • Michael Andrew HODSON • Nikki CRAWFORD • Paul SILVESTER and Sandra CLEMENTS.

The volunteers were led by Run Director David DUGGAN this week and a big thank you goes out to him and all those in the hi-vis. Thanks also to Julie BAYLISS for being good company as a tail runner with me.

 

#DFYB

Paul

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