This week’s run report

Bedford #363– 17th November 2018

We are now well into November and my New Years' resolution still stands – to try and write a run report for every different parkrun event I visit this year! After managing to bag Gedling and Colwick on a New Year's Day double the challenge was set.

Sometimes I am organised and e-mail in a request for this roster role in advance, but not all. Like today many have been pick the venue based on lack of Run Report Writer and hope the RD of the day says yes!

Run Report writing is my way of saying thank you to the parkruns I visit. As a regular when you come huffing and puffing past a marshal and are barely able to gasp a thank you, you can offer your thanks at another time. As a tourist traveling in an ever increasing circle out from my home parkrun in Coventry that isn't possible. To this end I try to catch all the marshals at the beginning in a photo – but for Bedford parkrun volunteers are busy with cones constructing a finish funnel and marking the course – so the best I could manage was a team setting up!

The café is another great place to say thanks after the run over a cup of tea and a cake or cooked breakfast but alas for the second week running the need to be back home early meant this parkrun joy was missed.

But at least with the report I can offer my thanks and that of the other 357 runners today to our team of #HiVizHeroes :Alex MUIRHEAD • Andy COLE • Beverley CLAYTON • Beverley GOUS • Clive DAVIS • Douglas MCPHAIL • Helene BOLTON • Ian WILLIAMS • Jane MOORE • Janet DICKINSON • Kate BARNARD • Lynn CHRISTISON • Matt PYECROFT • Michael HUNTER • Pj LIGHTNING • Simon COLE • Skye BOLTON • Stuart HOLMAN that made this run possible.

It is worth any tourist or new parkrunner noting that a little reading of a parkrun's website could solve a little panic and stress before the start. Using the tourist tool and its link to Google maps had myself and the family right at the start of parkrun. I know this as the 'START' marker on the ground indicated this but no one in HiViz, No White and Blue RD tabard, No parkrunners... We weren't that early... Had Bedford parkrun been cancelled and I failed to notice and our 1hr 20min drive had all been for nothing? Thankfully a kind dog walker pointed us towards the bandstand! As my daughter informed me straight after, 'It said that on the course description!' Thanks for letting me know Beth!

At the bandstand a small group of parkrunners were gathered chatting – those milestone T-shirts are really good for letting any newcomer know that you are in the right location. Talking of milestones Dominic CARTER ran his 100th parkrun so hopefully will soon be able to wear his black club t-shirt. Finley CLEVERLEY & Vittorio PACI both ran their 50th parkrun so will soon be able to claim their Red top. 5 runners managed their 10th parkrun; however only Olivier Gaillard's result will show the white t-shirt icon as he was the only junior amongst those ranks. Sorry Louise YEXLEY, Fran WADE, Michael PARELLO & Sam HUDSON for not getting this honour but hopefully the recognition in this week's report will keep you focused until you can get an icon on the results page after your name.

The joy of parkrun keeps spreading and this week 13 runners used their barcode for the first time so welcome to:- Dorota WASEWICZ, Rodolphe MARRELEC, Jenny KEENS, Peter COOKE, Bessy CIAMPI, Grace ALLEN, Richard HILL, Ellen HILL, Timotei DICONESCU, Maria MORENO, Matt WALI, Dan ASHLEY & Catherine HOWES. We all hope you enjoyed your first parkrun and look forward to you returning at Bedford or at any other parkrun around the world on a Saturday morning with your barcode.

The Bedford course page on the website promised, '... a flat and fast course which consists of an even and hard surface loop throughout the 5k route' Well I certainly agree that the surface was certainly excellent for running fast but I definitely noticed a cheeky little slope up towards the pavilion that you got to enjoy 3 times!

The great thing about parkrun is that it can be used in so many different ways; as a way to get fitter through walking or as part of a couch to 5km program, a social run, part of a longer run – the parkrun sandwich or the icing on the long run cake, a speed test – time trial or even a race whether for the first token or just against fellow runners. Normally no matter what I say to myself at the start I head off like a chubby gazelle chased down by a horde of hungry lions – hence the need to write the report as I am in no condition to gasp a thank you after 100m!

This week I promised my wife I would pace her round just under 30 minutes, a nice comfortable pace for me, pleasing discomfort for her. As the GPS watch beeps passed we were off and running, not quite at pace at first due to the mass of runners having to find their own space and get into their pace and stride. However very soon the wide paths allowed runners to widen their gait and run.

The park was a riot of colour with the red and orange hues of the leaves and the technicoloured range of shirts worn by parkunners spread themselves over the paths. At just over halfway round I was lapped by the first runner home, on a two and a half lap course running at 30minutes it was bound to happen! I would love to offer my congratulations but this week the first finisher is... UNKNOWN! Hopefully they weren't so happy at taking that first place they decided to keep the token as a souvenir – remember you only borrow the placing tokens for a short while. Or maybe it was worse and they forgot their barcode #DFYB. As runners parkrun only ask one thing of us a printed out barcode – no barcode, no result, no exception. However Bedford & County AC's Holly HODGSKINSON (JW15-17) remembered her barcode as she came in 35th place in a time of 21:00 exactly to take the honours as first female. Lynne HARRIS (VW65-69) finished in 76th place in 23:42 but with this week's highest age grading of 86.85 %. Great running.

As I started the final lap, my pacing was on point but my wife wasn't so slowly I started to run away from her... or maybe she decided to forget about me! Crossing the line, just under the 30 mins I promised to pace, I collected my token and turned to see her on the finishing straight, well her time will show 30.XX so nearly there. One great thing is that if you don't get the time you want this week or a PB you always have another chance next week.

As with parkruns around the world Bedford needs people to help each week to make it happen, there are lots of other roles so if you fancy giving scanning a go, being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please send an e-mail - You might even fancy writing a run report. All the roles are very rewarding and it is fun being part of the team. It also helps you work towards that other icon on your results an aubergine V25 icon!

Thank you to everyone at Bedford for this week's lovely parkrun.

Happy parkrunning.

Daniel Connolly


Christmas parkrun

We will be holding a bonus parkrun at 9am on Christmas Day.


A review from a visiting runner

[Chris Walton visited our parkrun on Saturday, and sent us this review. It's great to hear what people think about our event - if you're a local or a tourist, send your reviews to and we'll publish the best ones on our news feed].

Chris writes:

My second visit to Bedford parkrun and a nice sunny day it was but a bit on the chilly side. When I arrived I decided to volunteer as a 30 minute pacer as I did on my previous visit too, last time it was a wonderful fulfilling role that bought PB's to several people however on this occasion I was billy no mates.

Well done to John Auld who was first passed the post in 17.16 achieving a new PB in the process and followed closely by running club mate Stewart Overton in 17.23 who was a first timer at Bedford. Third home was Simon Hunter in 18.12 in a close fought battle.

For the ladies Kirstie Meeten was first home in overall 10th position in a time of 19.52. Second for the ladies in a very hard fought battle between three parkrunners was Julie Loxley in a shared time of 21.13 achieving a new PB and third home was Ruby Abbott (JW 11-14) in 21.35 also achieving a new PB.

Young Sam Deardon (JM10) was the fastest in his category finishing in 20.56, blimey I'm jealous of that time, well done Sam.

The highest wava this week goes to Julie Loxley (VW50-54) who achieved an 82.09% score. Well done what a great wava achievement.

If you have never volunteered I think it's a great thing to do and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling too. If you lap anybody give them an encouraging shout out, it does lift spirits for those that aren't as quick.

Bedford parkrun is a very nice relaxed run around the boundary of the park and I hope I have a reason to visit Bedford and get back to parkrun again soon.

Chris Walton A1162463


Foodbank collection

Dear Ian,

I am writing to say 'Thank You' to everyone at Bedford Park Run for your recent donation to Bedford Foodbank of 32.89 kg of non-perishable items.

Donations, such as yours, are a very welcome help in the on-going provision of items for those in our community who are in need. Unfortunately, the need for help from the Foodbank continues to increase year upon year and we now regularly feed around 500 people a month, giving them enough food for 3-4 days, or around 10 meals. The monthly food leaving our warehouse is generally in the region of 5-6 tonnes, so we are very grateful for all donations, whether money or food that we receive, as each one is vital for the ongoing work of the Foodbank, and is greatly appreciated.

You may be interested to know that in the last 2 months we have helped 1141 people, 382 of these were children.

Kind regards,


Bonus Christmas and New Year parkruns

Just a quick bit of news - we will be holding 'bonus' runs on December 25th and January 1st, alongside our usual Saturday runs. These will be at the usual time of 9am.


Celebrate #parkrun13 with us!

On Saturday 7 October, parkrun turns 13 and we’re inviting you to celebrate #parkrun13 with us on International parkrun Day. 13 is an extra special number for us, as that was the number of runners who got together on 2 October 2004 to run the very first parkrun.

To celebrate how the international parkrun community has grown over the past 13 years, parkrun wants to collect a photograph of a personalised apricot top from every event in the world (where available), from Aberdeen in the UK, to Żary in Poland and we need your help!


Parkrun cancelled Saturday 5th August

Bedford Park will be host to the excellent Proms events this weekend;  80s and 90s night on Friday,  Kaiser Chiefs plus support on Saturday and the Proms in the Park with fireworks on Sunday.  It promises to be a fabulous weekend and we hope that many people get to go along to enjoy the music and atmosphere of it all.

This does mean that our regular parkrun has had to be cancelled this Saturday, but we'll be back again on Saturday 12th August for our weekly run, walk or jog.

What about a bit of parkrun tourism this weekend?  We have some fantastic parkrun venues not too far away, so why not pop along to say hi and try out a new course?  Here are some suggestion:


Rushmere - a beautiful two-lap course through mixed woodlands and conifer plantation

Wimpole Estate - single lap undulating cross country through National Trust parkland

Tring  - a single lap of Tring Park entirely on grass and dirt trails

Northampton - two laps of the perimeter tarmac paths of the Racecourse

Linford Wood - a windy, single lap all on tarmac and gravel path

Milton Keynes - a single lap of Willen Lake and the surrounding area

Huntingdon - two lap course including running through the woods

Kettering - two and a half laps in an anti-clockwise direction

(please note, Luton Wardown is a great parkrun, but it too will be cancelled on the 5th!)

Check out the parkrun website (  for more details on other alternative events. Wherever you end up this weekend, happy parkrunning!


300th parkrun special run report

Wow, what an event that turned out to be!  We had a record busting 528 runners and a near record 24 volunteers, including Mayor Dave Hodgson, who started off the morning’s run and marshalled at the finishing straight. Big thanks to him for coming along to help out and to cheer on our runners yesterday.  Our 300th run coincided with April 1st, so of course it’s the perfect opportunity to turn up in fancy dress, and to celebrate all that parkrun has meant to our runners in the 300 runs since June 2011.

Many congratulations to Simon Hunter and to junior runner Niamh, who were our first finishers at our 300th run-  Niamh even chose our event to knock out a PB in the process!   A number of our runners took a more leisurely or creative approach to running, and completed the course in a variety of crazy costumes.  The first finisher in a costume went to a pretty speedy traffic cone!  We’ve got a number of pictures of our run to share with you on our Bedford parkrun Flickr pages.  If you've got some pix of the day, we'd love to see them, so use the Flickr site to showcase your photos; you can navigate to it via our webpage here. 

We asked parkrunners for stories about Bedford parkrun.  Our very own Event Director, Ian Williams, was at the first event at Bedford, finishing in 40th place, and regular parkrunner Jenny Wilson also ran on that day.  On Saturday, Jenny ran as a VI Guide for Emma McCrossan as part of her training for the London Marathon, raising funds for Guide Dogs.  Linda Payne has been with us from the very beginning, running the first event with 16 other runners from Bedford Harriers- nowadays, she runs and volunteers whenever she can.  If you have a little look at who ran alongside these parkrun pioneers, you’ll also spot current Run Directors Noel Jones and Kate Barnard- it seems once you join parkrun, you’re hooked!

We have some great stories to tell about parkrunning at Bedford Park.  Jenny Freer got in touch to say that she ran with a buggy when daughter Tilly was 2 weeks old, which must make her the youngest participant! Along  with Gary, all of them can participate as a family, although Gary is apparently a bit faster- just wait until Tilly is a bit older, Gary!  Claire Keir joined us in Feb 2016 and is near to claiming her 50th run T shirt.  She joined with her sister Lisa Wright, who was our tailrunner on Saturday (did you spot ‘Where’s Wally? Well it was Lisa!)  You’ll also know Lisa from her London Marathon preparations, running this year for Stroke Association.  Claire and Lisa now run along with their sons, Sam and Olly, who love parkrun as much as their mums do! Daniel Hawking posted that he’s on a challenge to run 3 miles every day in April, and would be starting off with our 300th parkrun.  Let’s hope that was a great start for you, Daniel J

It was April Fool’s Day on Saturday, so of course we should expect the unexpected.  A stopwatch malfunctioned right at the end of the event, resetting the times for the first 250 finishers- eek!   A brilliant team of behind-the-scenes Bedford parkrun volunteers  (Bev, Noel, Ian and Kate) deserve massive thanks for working during the afternoon and evening to get the results as near accurate as possible by putting a shout out for running watch times and manually adjusting the affected results.  By this morning, the results had been resubmitted and there were 41 new PBs to add to the celebratory haul.  We are so grateful to the team for their efforts, and to all the volunteers – without them, we simply don’t have a parkrun.  Huge thanks to everyone who supported Saturday’s runners, and a big thank you for all the volunteers over the 300 runs who have helped us grow into such a popular event.  We’d love for you to join us as a volunteer two or three times a year, so go on, get into hi-viz very soon!

Next celebration will be on June 10th when we’ll be marking our 6th anniversary in the Park- but we’ll see you next week for our weekly run, walk or jog.

Happy parkrunning.


UPDATE: Help needed with some of our finish times this week

A bumper turnout this week for our 300th run, and well done to the 528 of you who crossed the finish line today.  We'll be posting up pictures and stories of our runners who were taking part today when we get things sorted.

One of our stopwatches malfunctioned during the run so we need a bit of help to sort out times for those who were in positions 1-250.  If you have your own time recorded, please email your position number, time and name to, or post on Bedford parkrun's Facebook or Twitter pages so we can do our very best to match things up! If you're on Strava then we should be covered.

Big thanks to everyone in advance for your patience while we get things sorted as much as we can, and a huge thank you to our great team of volunteers.


UPDATE:  Overnight, amazing and dedicated volunteers from the core team have sifted through 82 emails and posts which helped to give a more accurate picture of the results for the first half of the field of runners yesterday.  A massive thank you is due to those volunteers who took the time and trouble to manually adjust the entries (not an easy task) so that this morning, there are 41 new PBs added to the results.  Wow!

To everyone who helped out yesterday- marshalling, setting up, tidying away, sorting the results... THANK YOU!  We can't do parkrun without our fabulous volunteers.



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