Run report #233


There was something different in the park today,what it could it be?

Was it a visit from Richard Osman,Noel Fielding or Cardi B?

Could it be the presence of Kenny Dalglish or Nigel Spink?

No,it was that the volunteers were all in pink,I think.

Ultan took the volunteers to their positions and raced back to the start

For he and Mike were timekeepers which is a very important part.

Just under 700 of you journeyed around the park and had their barcodes scanned.

No cats of course,they are all banned*

*For health and safety reasons,one cat amongst all the dogs equals one word = Total carnage.


Welcome to this week`s run report! Another fantastic number of you joined us today as the wind stayed in bed and rested before it has a busy few days.I say that,on the Wirral, the wind never has a whole day off but it could have been a lot worse.It was fantastic to see our bright new volunteer bibs although the run director still being in the old one made him look a bit like John Major when they turned him gray in Spitting Image (one for the teenagers).


The results

Our first finisher (male) was Tom Gillbanks of Wallasey AC with a new pb of 16:48! Next was Rob Pearse,also of Wallasey AC,in a time of 16:54 and Luke Hampshire of Wallasey AC who ran 17:30.

Our first finisher (female) was Jayne Price of Pensby Runners with a new pb of 19:44! (20th) Then Katherine Andrews of Wallasey AC in 21:52(54th) and Hyacinthe Caldwell of BTR Road runners with a time of 22:01(61st)


Congratulations to all our first timers today,whether you were experiencing parkrun for the first time or if you were visiting us from afar. I noticed some tourists from Sowerby Bridge who I know will have appreciated the flatness of our course! We hope you enjoyed your Birkenhead parkrun experience and we look forward to see you next week or the next time you`re in the area.

Our wonderful first timers this week were Tom Clark,Jack Smith,Oliver MacDonald, Dylan Hughes,Greg Tirrell,Suzanne Weinberger,Shahid Hannan,Mia Walker,Chris Goldston,Craig Butterworth,Suzie Murray,Jack Campbell,Neil Wilcox,Nick Wilde,Mike Yassin,Joe Smith,Ashley Lee,Denise O`Hanlon,Harry Grey,Diane Devaney,Melissa Fearnley,Jade Spearing,Victoria Savage,Rebecca Boulger,Isobel Hughes,Caroline Soul, Susanna Eriksson-Lee,Sarah Olivia Linge,Colette Owen-Browne,Alison Lee,Christine Stuart,Paul Stuart,Em Gomersall,Damian Keeley,Tom Li,Verity Faircliffe,Josh Marson, Abigale Kewin,Aoife Ryan,Chris Hanley,Ching Pong Poo,Pui Hang Choi,Dermot Ryan


An amazing number of pb`s,second only to the number of goals Bromsgrove Sporting have scored this season!

Tom Gillbanks 16:48,James Fowler 19:17,Richard Kinsman 19:23,Aiden Hampson 19:25, Jayne Price 19:44,James Barr 20:37,Daniel Bojarski 20:53,Morgan Roberts 21:05,Rob Barr 21:07,Nick Smyth 21:13,Jack Turner 21:20,Liam Kearns 21:30,Otto Glover 21:54,Jack Berry 22:00,Hyacinthe Caldwell 22:01,Tino Mbanini 22:16,Felix Bowman 22:18,Gregory Williams 22:24,Giles Bresnen 22:31,Jonathan Lear 22:32,Imogen Carew 22:53,Graham Townsley 23:22,Chris Ashcroft 23:34,Phil Murray 23:35,Lucy Pennington 23:49,Bradley Jacques 23:49,Keith Lincoln 23:53,Sean McElhoney 23:53,Brett Abram 23:57,Huw Garrod 24:21,Thomas Smout 24:24,Alice O`Connell 24:27,Amy Heron 24:32,Joanne Fitzgerald 24:41,Lee Elwell 24:46,Ricardo Hoshiko 24:50,Kevin Carberry 24:55,Linda Richmond 24:58,Thomas Brown 25:00,Andrew Gibson 25:03,William Irvine 25:07,Patrick Mulvey- Fanneran 25:16,Ian Truman 25:23,Darron Callaghan 25:23,Craig Denmade 25:27,Jennifer Perry 25:28,James Townsley 25:30,Kate Smith 25:40,Lucy Smout 25:46,Alisha Twist 25:53, Sophie Hoxby 25:56,Adam Howarth 25:58,Mark Woolford 26:34,Alan Craze 26:47,Simon Thomas 26:48,Elisha Marsden 26:49,Andy Kenny 26:57,Joseph McArdle 27:28,Adam Curran 27:40,Paul Jones 27:52,Rory Stuart 28:04,Nigel Hobson 28:11,Emily O`Connell 28:12,Charlie Scudder 28:13,Lily Scudder 28:18,Johnathan Fountain 28:30,Martin Shaw 28:35,Silinganiso Mbanini 28:38,Jenna McElhoney 29:00,Emma Harrison 29:05,Ian Anderson 29:06,Jonathan Shaw 29:08,Melanie Gelling 29:10,Ann Carberry 29:20,Will Jones 29:23,Anthony Mulvey-Fanneran 29:23,Quinn McCaul 29:24,Simon O Connell 29:41, Sam Reardon 29:43,Kenneth Stocker 29:43,Craig Luukas 29:51,Emileigh Handford 29:52, Jane Kelly 29:54,Spencer Reynolds 30:01,Mark Fraser 30:04,Rachel Rogers 30:05,Ozkan Tuncer 30:10,Pete Marland 30:11,Luke Jones 30:28,Max Schenker 30:33,Jane Callaghan 30:42,Elizabeth Madden 30:55,Jillian Dawson 31:00,Lynsey Phillips 31:04,Carmel Wright 31:17,Phil Hatton 31:22,Joanne Pugh 31:24,Rebecca Hughes 31:35,Miya Plaistow 31:43, Masako Plaistow 31:54,Jeni Bluett 31:56,Jeanette McElhoney 31:59,Joanne Roberts 32:02, Alexander Reardon 32:12,Andy Chase 32:12,Jonathan Scott 32:20,Anthony Reardon 32:35, Catherine Thursby 32:43,Kelly Ogley 32:52,Nicki Bryce 33:25,Jane Sheehy 33:30, Alexandra Williams 33:40,Josie Hartharn 33:47,Ammi Lee 33:53,Bethany Reardon 34:08, Wendi Baldwin-Quirk 34:08,Ben Parker 34:41,Kathy Hogg 35:13,Lucy Williams 35:14, Wendy Alderton 35:24,Donna Hamill 35:25,Tracey Meyers 35;26,Katie Shorrock 35:26, Mark Dawson 35:30,Rita Cassidy 35:33,Rachel Patten 35:54,Lucy Mackie 36:45,Katherine Jones 36:46,Patricia Breen 37:08,Michael Ball 37:09,Sarah Brown 37:11,Ashleigh Carruthers 37:19,Tanya Dewey 38:15,Laura Whiteley 38:29,Emily Butterworth 38:53, Paul Suckley 40:02,Anoushka Awsare 40:03,Archana Awsare 40:03,Samantha Bill 40:52,Libby Hall 42:57,Claire Hamilton 43:31,Rebecca Cain 53:16,Maureen Jacques 65:04,Peter Jacques 65:06


Our milestone marvels this week!

John Evans ran his 50th parkrun

Ben Moore ran his 50th parkrun

Carla Emery ran her 50th parkrun

Phil Mason ran his 100th parkrun

Congratulations to John,Ben,Carla and Phil for your tremendous parkrunning!


Shenton`s 2020 this week!

Chris Jones 21:21,Matthew Van Miert 22:22,Thomas Smout 24:24,Tony Holmes 25:25, Callum Logan 26:26,Derek Holcroft 26:26,Kerry Ashcroft 28:28,Olivia Denman 29:29, Carol Williams 35:35,Sarah Bradford 37:37,Neeta Sherlock 41:41,Sam Linge 45:45


Our pinksmarthappyloudandbrillianttastic volunteers were led by run director Jon "Pineapple jaffa cakes?" Rumley. Our timekeepers were Ultan "Come on Ireland!" Mulhern and Mike "Jolene" Green.Barcode scanning was done by Gemma "I have a note" Cloney,Kareen "Pockets" Porschke, Ruth "PC" Byers and Lorna "OMP" Hughes. Our finish token team were Andrew "A bit muddy" Hughes,Peter "Palm out" Humphreys and Shelagh "Russell" Harty. Our tail walker was Sybil Leeman. Ultan took the volunteers to their positions and John "Warmed up" Armstrong did the first timers briefing,processed the results (with Ultan "3 jobs" Mulhern) and funnel managed. Also funnel managing were Andrew "Marvin" Everett,Stuart "The Vale" Rickers,Paul Franklin,Laura Cross, Steve "The Boss" Smith and Peter "Fartlek" Gateley. Our marshals were Mylo Williams, Richard Smith,Helen Symonds,Alan Bethel,Lisa Ost,Nell Ost,Liz Jones,Charlotte Jones, David Marland,Jamie Davies,David Lewtas,John Nolan,Christine Sutcliffe,Edward Sutcliffe,Benjamin Willis,Cameron Farroll,Isabella Cuthbert,Jenny Harries,Rennell Smith. We had three of our top pacers today,John "Alan Rough" Henderson,Brian "Adamski" Seal and Alex "Van Hooijdonk" Holland.

Thanks to all of them for today,they were excellent! If you would like to join them in the volunteering ranks (after seeing the new bibs today I bet the emails will be flying in!) please have a look at the roster and email us at if you can help.

We are on the flickr,the facebook and the instagram "Birkenhead parkrun" and the twitter "@bheadparkrun"

Thanks for reading and see you next week!








International Women`s Day 2020/Parkrun March 7th

Sunday March 8th is International Women`s Day and Parkrun has joined together with the This Girl Can campaign and our partners Sport England to encourage and improve female participation in sports.

Parkrun`s research has shown that,across the world,women are less likely than men to take part in parkrun.Despite the fact that females account for 54% of registrations they are less likely than men to take part in parkrun and to continue participating. #IWD parkrun is a fantastic opportunity to encourage more women and girls to parkrun all over the world.E5WSxsWx

On Saturday the 7th,parkrun are organising a global female focused parkrun celebration,the day before #IWD itself. Birkenhead parkrun has in the past led the way in events like this with our two all women volunteer team takeovers that we have had,organised by Gemma Cloney,one of which was to mark International Women`s Day. We are very excited to be part of this campaign.



We would like you to join in the celebrations by bringing along a female friend,colleague or family member and walking,jogging,running or volunteering with us.Parkrun has suggested a purple dress code for the day.Purple is the #IWD day colour.



Men can stil take part of course. Everyone is welcome to take part in parkrun.Always.


#IWD #ParkrunUK #Parkrun #ThisGirlCan #SportEngland #IWDparkrun



How does our parkrun work?


A couple of weeks we ago we retweeted and posted an article by Hove prom parkrun about how parkrun works and why things are done a certain way and why we can`t do this and that. Rather than retweeting that each week this is a Birkenhead version of it as some things in the Hove article didn`t apply to us (I`m sure their café is lovely but its a bit far away for us to get to really).There`s also information about what goes on before and after parkrun as well.

We`ve had a big increase in numbers recently (you may have noticed).From 375 on December 14th and 473 the week after to new records 648 and 654 either side of the new year then into the 700s the last few weeks including our new record 793! We are very aware of new parkrunners not knowing fully how everything happens and why it happens so hopefully this will help. Its not word for word from Hove`s article,as I said I could just retweet it but it`s all relevant to our park including one or two fascinating* facts you won`t have heard of.

*Don`t get too excited.


Part 1

Thought I`d do a little bit first about behind the scenes stuff. We don`t just start turning up at 8:20,stick a few poles in the ground and walk up to the start at 5 to 9. Well we do,obviously but there`s a bit more to it than that.There is an amount of planning that goes in to the morning.I`ll start from after the tail walker has crossed the line.


- First the watches or the timing app on the phones are stopped and saved. We can immediately email from our phones to the office email (or when the results processor takes all the gear home they plug in the watches to the laptop) All the poles,tape and various bags are collected up loaded into wonderful Rolf`s car.We all go our merry ways either home,running,shopping,to the café in that lower park) Subject to what the results person has to do that Saturday and the vagaries of the parkrun system,we try to get the results up on the website as soon as possible (we will always inform you if there is likely to be a big delay) and they will be posted on our social media.(If there is an issue with your result please email with your details.If you post to social media about this its possible it won`t be noticed straightaway. Same goes for responding to emails which I`ll mention more in a bit)

- The run report is usually out the same day and will include all the first timers names ,all the pb`s,milestones,the top 3 positions,some poetry of questionable quality and various other bits and bobs. Our volunteers get a special thank you post on the Sunday and there`s also a Birkenhead parkrun twitter moments on Sunday afternoon so please always tweet or post about your runs and tag us in. We are very fortunate to have lovely people like Ruth and Chloe who post great photos on our flickr page and loads of you that tweet or post your pics and we are very grateful to them and apprieciative of all the interaction with you across the social media. If no one contacted us we`d be very sad and there could be even more poetry.

- Emails will be checked over the weekend and replied to.The thing to remember here is that we are all volunteers. We try to be a slick,effective,professional outfit(I know) but we have lives outside of parkrun which sometimes mean we can`t respond immediately. Your request to go on the roster may be updated to a place on the roster a day or two after for example. It will be responded to though so please be patient. We do love volunteering though,we have 7 members of the core team over 150 times in the hi vis now and our first 200th is coming up soon. That wouldn`t happen if we didn`t enjoy it down the park each Saturday. Parkrun volunteering is terrific for increasing confidence, trying new things and meeting great people. (Email us at if you`re interested) Everyone is welcome, you can can volunteer as often as you want.

- During the week volunteer appeals go out on the social media and email. Also if there`s any news such as the recent course alteration we`ll put that out. We also discuss on our whatsapp group any issues that come up such as the finish funnel, finish tokens,puddles in the park and other really interesting matters. On Friday we post about the upcoming parkrun with who`ll be run director, who is doing the first timers briefing (the idea behind that is you know who to ask or where to go for the briefing etc.It isn't only an excuse to post a vaguely amusing photo of them ). We also do a highly accurate weather forecast and a briefer version of parkrun do`s and don't`s. Then on Saturday its the parkrun itself. Rolf`s always first to arrive,putting the signs on the gates,shutting the gates, then searching for owners of any cars in the park to shift their vehicles before we start. Jon checks with the squirrels that security issues are good and we start to put together the finish funnel ,more and more of the volunteers arrive,the marshals get a briefing then are taken around the course to their positions by the volunteer co ordinator around 8:35. Just before 8:50 (or 8:53 if your name is James......sorry James!) the first timer briefer will go up to the start and do their thing. The rest of us will go up to the start to watch the briefing or stay at the finish to guard the gear.The briefing will happen then you`re off!

Right,that`s part 1 done. Have a break and a cup of tea or other beverage.

Part 2

A few points about the parkrun rules.

The run brief - Do I need to listen to it even if I`ve been here many times before? Yes you do. The other week with the course alteration was a prime example. We can only reach so many people by the emails and the social media. A lot of people won`t know the information we`ve put out so its why as well as shout outs for the milestones,a welcome to first timers & tourists,finish funnel procedures etc,there`ll be information about the course and anything pertinent to that day`s parkrun that you need to know. We have to recap the information we give out every week but it doesn`t last long and given that parkrun is free we don`t think its too much to ask that you listen. Jon likes to put the police siren on to quieten people but he`s not allowed to that anymore in case the police actually turn up. Dogs you need to listen as well.

Please don`t forget your barcode (#dfyb) - This is the main rule,the holy grail of parkrun rules.Without your barcode you won`t get an official time. You can still take part but when you enter the finish funnel,you will need to take a finish token from the finish token team then hand it back to the barcode scanners or a funnel manager. Funnel duckers are the thing we really get upset/annoyed about as put simply it screws up the results and makes them much longer to process.Funnel duckers are people who take part in the run.enter the finish funnel (thereby getting a time) then leave the funnel without taking a finish token. When you cross the line the timekeepers click their watches or tap their phones. This click or tap records not just the time of the runner but also their position. You then need to stay in order to make sure you get your time and not the one belonging to the person in front or behind.Then you reach the tokens team and you get your finish token.Voila! Time,runner position,finish token. You go on and get your personal barcode and finish token scanned. The system goes tick,tick,tick - result sorted.You miss out the last one,chaos ensues.(Once you get past the tokens team, you can pick any scanning queue,you don`t need to stay on order then)

Say runner 123 finishes in 25:55 and runner 124 finishes in 26:13. If runner 123 ducks out then runner 124 get a different time to the one they ran. Add a few more people doing this then the results get more and more mixed up. This is why sometimes you`ll have a different time to the one on your watch.Someone ahead has ducked out and affected things.The same applies to strange people who refuse a finish token. They take part in an event but don`t want to take part in an event. If this happens we have to take a token out but with the speed of people coming through this sometimes can`t happen and that also throws the results out of alignment. We aren`t being funny when we say you need to take a token,it really is very important.

A good way to remember is this - Parkrun is free = lots of people taking part and volunteering. Funnel duckers and people refusing to take tokens = more time spent sorting things out,frustration,possible decline in volunteers and less parkruns. Possibly a bit dramatic but the point needs to be made. If no one ducked out and all followed the simple procedures that would be great . I know when its busy there are queues etc but you know,it is free.

Sometimes a runner will say their time is different to the one they have on the watch. The timing for the run starts when the run director says go. Some of you may start your watch as you cross the line but your official time starts on the "Go!" We don`t have chip timing. Parkrun has a great egg sponsor but not a chip one.Get it?

Please don`t take the tokens,they cost money to replace and you will not believe how annoying it is if you`re sorting 700 or so tokens after the even and number 557 is missing. Believe me,its like an episode of Father Ted when Father Jack wants a drink. Don`t do it,please.

If after getting your finish token you spot a mate who has already finished and have a chat with them for a few minutes ,that will make no difference to your time. What I said before about staying in order applies here. After you get your finish token you can be in any order to be scanned,number 78 after 127 ,it doesn`t matter.Sometimes a runner will have to get their barcode from a family member. The important thing is to get the finish token and get your barcode and the finish token scanned.

We can`t scan phones.For one the parkrun technology isn`t up to it and a photo of a barcode will be locked away behind a pin number or other lock on your phone. In case of an emergency we wouldn`t be able to access your details. We only accept paper,tag or wrist barcodes. Tattoo ones,not yet.The rules are clear on your parkrun profile that we cannot do this,that photos of barcodes are not permitted,if we were to do this it would mean lots more writing down of barcodes for people who haven`t followed the rules. The same applies if you have forgotten your barcode. We will not add you to the results.You might think this is mean but if you read again what the volunteers do on the day and during the week, all you have to do is turn up and take part.We don`t think it is too much to ask.

If you have a smudged (wet weather affected) barcode or a printed barcode printed by a printer which has a mind of their own and does it differently to all the other printers and won`t scan we will write it down as you have followed the rules and brought a barcode (which is another reason why we won`t do it in the other circumstances) What we do ask is that you try printing it out on another printer so it doesn`t happen each week.As I mentioned earlier we do love parkrun and volunteering but we like to do other things on a Saturday after the run has finished.

Nearly finished,if you`re still awake,congratulations! Please,if there`s anything you need to know,just ask. Either via email,on twitter or facebook,at parkrun itself. Come down the finish area and any of the hi vis clad people will be happy to answer your questions. Nothing too hard though like what`s the capital of Honduras? (You`ll google it now, bet you can`t pronounce it!)

Here`s a bitesized version of the above.

Print a barcode or buy one via the link on the parkrun website (and keep it safe,you don`t need it till you finish - Listen to the briefing - Be respectful and aware of other runners - Follow the rules and listen to the volunteers(especially in the finish funnel)- Smile - Bask in the glory of getting up early on Saturday and taking part in something amazing - Go home - wait for the results.


Right,that`s it,hope you've found this helpful and useful. There`s lots of great information on our website about the course and how to get to us as well.

Thanks for reading!


The core team.














EFf7qhHXkAE4zaVPhoto by John Henderson

As you may or may not know we having a pacing parkrun at er...parkrun on November 2nd. We have brand new blue bibs ,some with numbers on(woooooo!! I know!) and they really need lovely people to wear them and pace other runners to fantastic pb`s. We have bibs for every minute from 20 to 36 and also a 40 minute one (there are some blank ones as well)

If you can help us out by pacing on that day please contact us via the twitter or facebook letting us know what time you`d like to pace and also email in to so we can add you to the roster (Don`t worry if you forget to do the latter,we can add you on the day.) Also if you can`t commit in advance and you still want to pace if you can get to parkrun that day,just come up and tell us on the day and we can add you to the roster and get you connected with a lovely bib) We`ll introduce you to the massive crowds beforehand and let everyone know what times you`re running as well as posting on our social media.

So far we have Karl Hamel(28), Paul Bradley(40) and Kenneth Noble(30) down to pace.(If those times are wrong,let me know)






Run report #213

The squirrels were in a combative mood

Throwing their nuts around,not just at anyone from Bude.

This of course happened in the finish funnel

They were of course,disappointed by the absence of Sally Gunnell

The pink welly lady had us all worried about Len Goodman

But after the next runner crossed over the line....I think their finish number was SEVEN!

We were assured that he was ok,he`s just been visiting Devon.

Another fantastic number of you ran around the park

And a load of woofs having a bark.

Hark! Enough of this malarkey,on with the run report!


Hello and welcome to this week`s run report. A lovely day in the park,except for the finish funnel where both timekeepers had frostbitten fingers but neither of them mentioned it much,well one of them did,a lot.Anyway we had James in charge,lots of fabulous first timers,visitors,regulars and dogs and thanks all for coming!

EE-63_lXkAAvHFfJames being in charge.Photo from Ruth Pritchard.

Our first finisher (male) was Rob Pearse of Wallasey AC in a time of 16:50,then Matthew Goodwin of UTS Run club in 17:00 and Ian Wallace of Wirral AC with a new pb of 17:33

Our first finisher (female) was Ellen-Mary Kearney of Wirral AC with a new pb of 18:38(8th),then Katie Bagley in 20:00(28th) and Gabrielle Phelan of Wirral AC with a new pb of 20:17(31st)

Bundles and bundles of pb`s this week.Mentions go to Ian Wallace 17:33,William Strickley 17:46,Ellen-Mary Kearney 18:38,Phil Bacon 19:19,Lee Bower 19:39,Kevin Hall 19:45,Chris Boardman 19:51,Gabrielle Phelan 20:17,Matt Graham 20:18,Liam Budd 20:24,Rachael Theobald 20:25,Paul "Pinky" Bradley 20:33,Mark Hyland 20:33,Will Redding 20:40,Graham Cheers 20:43,Malachi Harty 20:52,Evie Smith 21:00,John Tierney 21:12,Karl Bunnell 21:14,Scarlett Liddy 21:26,Chris Gee 21:46,Steve Stuthridge 21:49,Noah Leeson 21:53,Richard Garnett 22:16,David Parkinson 22:23,Freddie Gain 22:24,Robert Davies 23:12,Mike Aspinall 23:14,Adam Leary 23:16,Ged Howard 23:33, Olanna Quinn 23:38,David McConechy 23:42,Stephanie Gain 23:44,Andrew Crowe 23:57,Catherina Quinn 23:58,Neil Crowden 24:11,Simon Boyd 24:36,Tim Plested 24:40,Kate Moore 24:42,William Quinn 24:48,Sue Smith 25:00,Richard Latten 25:09, Sean Halpin 25:13,Ed Rice 25:14,Dave Marland 25:16,Kerry Ashcroft 25:18,Paul Ezard 25:44,Dawn Williams 25:54,Terry Finlay 25:58,Alice O`Connell 26:06,Sarah Bibby 26:22,Mike Devlin 26:23,Julie Pinnington 26:51,Mally Wright 26:55,Amy Bowness 26:55,Phil Alcock 27:25,Aidan Glover 27:30,Oscar Boardman 27:34,Thomas Ehrlich 27:42,Gillian Brown 27:49,Nigel Abel 27:52,Nicky Teare 28:05,Sue Barton 28:17, Paula McGrath 28:20,May Leeson 28:45,Craig Denmade 28:49,Helen Asher 28:58,Abigail Manley 28:58,Jane Egan 29:06,Mimi Moss 29:07,Faye Dwerryhouse 29:09,Eryn Murphy 29:13,Shelly Kilshaw Yates 29:32,Alexander Keggin 29:46,Jennifer Scott 29:52, Sandie Sowerbutts 30:10,Emily-Faye Dixon 30:18,Hannah Gorman 30:20,Jennifer Moss 30:33,Sarah Lees 31:33,Simon Copestake 31:37,Anna Graham 31:54,Richard Thomas 31:54,Petra Schenker 32:34,Andrew Wright 32:38,Helen Holt 32:55,Megan Fawkes 33:22,Jordan Fawkes 33:23,Luke McGowan 33:30,Emily Barr 33:37,Jane Callaghan 33:40,Joanne France 33:40,Paula Thompson 33:41,Ian Thompson 33:43, Sarah Tait 33:47,Graeme White 33:55,Max Schenker 35:46,Hannah Paddon 36:31, Mohammed Wilkinson 37:15,Francesca Taylor 40:06,Carolyn Moore 42:04,Geraldine Keay 42:21,Sharon Doorey 44:12,Robert Wilson 45:01,Alison Johnston 45:28,Nicola Woods 46:14,Cath Turpin 48:54,Diana Woodfinden 50:06,Mary Torpey 52:37


A big warm welcome to all our first timers this week,whether you were doing parkrun for the first time or visiting us for the first time. We hope you enjoyed your Birkenhead parkrun experience and we look forward to seeing you next week or the next time you`re in the area.

Our first timers this week were Jenny Parkins,Claire Parkins,Grace Thomas,Fionnuala Potts,Sydney Caraher,Richard Hammond,Samantha Onslow,Rachel Harrod,Vicki Stiles,Claire Oldham,Sarah El-Sheikh,Tyler Liccia Byrne,Amanda Fisher,Catherine Smith,Danny Cooper,Fiona Titcombe,Keith Brunton,Andrea Pearce,Derek Fawkes, Stella Doherty,Haider Shah,Rob Machen,Andrew Gould,Greta Gilchrist,Tom Gilchrist, Edward Byrne,Danuel Walton,Charlie Thompson,Trevor Vale,Ben Wright,Naomi Fellows,Samantha Van der Struys,Julie Gould,Joseph Field,Tania Sparks,Janet Dove, Leah Coburn,Michael Perry,Amy Heron,Adam Bishop,Joshua Myers,Just Training,Sam Lodge,Andrew McKinnon,Andy Theobald,Robin Sharp,Andrew Robertson,Sarah Phelan,Stephen Gordon,Pete Lees,James Fowler,Dougie Potter

EE-qHPaXsAEREvfDebutant marshal Henry.Photo from Lorna Hughes.


Shenton`s Reality - Phil Bacon 19:19,Mark Pickard 23:23,Yvette Porter 24:24,Graham Turner 29:29,Sidney Molyneux 29:29,Kayley Moore 31:31,Ann Holmes 35:35,Jennie Stiles 38:38


Sarah Bibby ran her 50th parkrun.

Mark Scudder ran his 50th parkrun.

Congratulations to Sarah and Mark!


Our strictlycomefantastic volunteers were led by run director James "T`PAU" Hurley. Timekeeping was by Gemma "I can`t feel my fingers" Cloney and Jon "A face for podcasts" Rumley,barcode scanning was done by Steve "Ashes" Smith,Rolf "Wolfie" Westrum and John "The beard" Armstrong,finish tokens were handed out by Andrew "Kevin Costner" Hughes and Peter "The Cone" Humphreys.Shelagh Hearty was our tail walker.Mike "Jolene" Green gave the first timers briefing then funnel managed along with Stuart "The Vale,the Voice" Rickers,Ruth "PC" Byers",Chloe Byers and Kevin "Chicago" Gorry. Our toptastic marshals were Steven Leslie,Derek Jones,Charlotte Jones,Lorna Hughes,Henry,Jane Everett,Marvin,Nick Flynn,Margaret Ray.

If you would like to join them,please have a look at the roster on the website and email us at if you can help.


We are on instagram,flickr and facebook "Birkenhead parkrun" and the twitter "@bheadparkrun"


Thanks for joining us this morning and also for reading this.See you next week!






Our 4th birthday Wirral foodbank appeal

Hi all!

Its our fourth birthday parkrun on Saturday July 13th so feel free to put on fancy dress and bring lots of cake!

As we did last year and on a couple of other occasions we want you to help us collect donations for the Wirral Foodbank.Unfortunately at the moment they are very short of drivers to go out and collect donations so this is what we thought would be a good idea to do.

DON`T bring donations to parkrun.Instead in your weekly big shop or even a medium or small one over the next couple of weeks,get a few items and put them in the donations trolley at the supermarket.If you want to,take a photo and send it to any of our social media(hang on...) platforms so instead of having a photo of all the donations we`ll have several photos to put together. We`ve collected nearly 750kg so far which is fantastic generosity from you all.

You can donate at Sainsburys in Upton,Tesco in Bidston,Heswall or Bebington,Asda in Birkenhead,Arrowe park,Liscard or Bromborough.

I`ll attach the list of items most urgently needed to this but here they are anyway.


Feminine hygiene products

Tinned meat

Pasta sauce


Sponge puddings


Packet soup

Long grain rice


UHT milk


They have plenty of baked beans and tea.


Thanks again!





The All Ladies Takeovers – Feedback from the funnel

Hello!!! Good evening!!!

With our second ladies takeover of the volunteer roster another massive success,we are making attempts to address the gender imbalance in the finish funnel.At the moment whilst we have an excellent number of female marshal volunteers we feel we need to improve their numbers in the finish funnel as if core team members Gemma and Ruth (and Ruth`s daughter Chloe) are not at parkrun the potential for an all male funnel or close to that exists.Plus its a good thing to do anyway.We do have excellent (non core team) volunteers like Kareen Porschke,Ann Currie, Ruth Pritchard,Sue Foster and others who regularly do volunteer in the funnel area but my thinking is the more volunteers we have to choose from,its better for everyone.(And I digress for a moment but we have excellent male volunteers like Paul Bradley,Phil Stanley,Kevin Gorry,Andrew Hughes and others who have progressed from marshal to finish funnel) We aren`t looking to sideline men we just feel the balance could be better.No one will be turned away.Except cats,cats are barred.

We feel this will inspire others and give us an even deeper depth in volunteer numbers that most parkruns will be envious of. Don`t get me wrong,I`m not looking for a 50-50 split each week. If you email in to volunteer we won`t turn you away but I just feel its something we need to at least try and address. If any of you remember that epic BBC daytime property programme "Try before you buy" we`ll also have the option of shadowing a member of the volunteer team to see what the finish funnel jobs are like at close quarters and which ones you`d like to do. One thing that puts people off is the possibility of doing a job that scares the living daylights out of you. Trust me I`ve timekeeped 25 times now and every time its scary - that's not helping is it? Anyway I`ve talked to,well sent two of our fantastic volunteers a few questions and asked them for their thoughts on volunteering,going from being a marshal to being in the finish funnel and their experiences of the ladies volunteer takeover parkruns,

Thanks to Ruth Pritchard (RP) and Rebecca Lewis (RL) for doing this.

What inspired you to volunteer at parkrun?

RL:I first volunteered the day before my first ever race.I didn`t want to run but I still wanted to go to parkrun. All the volunteers are so lovely and encouraging so I was keen to pay back.

RP:I ran my first parkrun in September 2016 and by December I`d seen lots of calls for volunteers on social media.Because I felt nervous about running each week then felt great afterwards,I thought volunteering might be the same.Knowing I only got my Saturday morning runs because of volunteers,I decided to take the plunge.

What do you remember about the first time you volunteered?

RL:I remember being thanked so many times as people ran past me that I left the park on  complete high!

RP:I was really nervous walking into the park and approaching the other volunteers. I also remember that there was a well rehearsed system and plenty of instructions that made everything clear.I went home knowing some new people and feeling energised after cheering everyone on.I`m very glad I did it.

What are your memories of the first ladies takeover?

RL:There was so much excitement as it was the first time for an all female takeover! There was a huge buzz to the day and lots of photos taken!! I was out marshalling so missed all the action at the start! But I was proud to be involved.

RP:It felt like a milestone.It was a great idea and taking part in a new thing added excitement to meeting new people who now cheer each other on every week.The team spirit felt very strong.

What was the best part about the second ladies takeover? How did it differ to the first one?

RL:The second one seemed so much calmer! The best bit was not messing up the timekeeping!! It all went very smoothly and it had a great atmosphere!

RP:At this one I loved watching the runners from megaphone start to scanner finish - taking in the whole event from the sidelines.The new course means funnel volunteers can move around to see and cheer the runners in various places on the first lap.I was less nervous about doing a funnel job the second time because I had done it before.It meant I was more relaxed.

Tell us about your first time volunteering in the finish funnel?

RL:First time in the finish funnelI was quite excited but also nervous! Unfortunately things didn`t go to plan but everyone was so lovely that I was able to show my face the next week! I enjoyed the buzz of being in the ff and I loved watching people finish,all different times but with the same aim! I`m not quick enough to see the faster people finish so I loved watching the finishers!! (I`m nosey!)

RP:My first finish funnel job was barcode scanning and until the results came out,I was worried that there would be loads of times missing! I had good support though and needn`t have been concerned.

What would you say to anyone (male or female) who are thinking of volunteering ,either marshalling or in the finish funnel?

RL:I have never finished volunteering and gone home unhappy! Everyone is so friendly and welcoming so I would definitely encourage everyone to give it a go!

RP:Do it ! It changes your perspective of the whole event - it means you meet more people - there are laughs - you learn new stuff - it feels rewarding to be part of making parkrun happen - its good to try a number of roles,you might like a role that surprises you - take a role more than once so that you can feel more relaxed - volunteering has made me feel more connected to the park as well as parkrun,

Have you any thoughts or ideas about encouraging more female volunteering in the finish funnel?

RL:Maybe... a little training session could be introduced for new FF volunteers,like the new runners briefing? Or even an email to newbies/or one of your lovely reports detailing the different roles and what`s involved (That`s a good idea and not just because of the nice comment - Jon) such as downloading the parkrun volunteer app beforehand etc!

RP - Shadowing roles/opportunities - asking female volunteers to bring a first timer female friend into the funnel - use pictures on social media from weeks when male/female balance in the funnel is good (I think you do that anyway) - email back to women who email in to volunteer and ask/offer/invite them to swap a marshal request for a funnel role.Stuart did this in reply to my email once and I then did finish token support.I think more women and indeed men will be willing but perhaps think they have to offer to be marshals and/or have to be invited into the funnel.


Thanks very much to Rebecca and Ruth for doing this and if anyone else wants to answer these questions please get in touch with me via the twitter or facebook or email us and someone will let me know.One point that Ruth made about liking a role you wouldn`t think you would.When I was timekeeper for the first time,I never ever thought I would do it 24 more times and counting.Once you`ve done a job you feel so much more confident and you are never alone.We have 2 timekeepers,3 barcode scanners,3 or more funnel managers, the finish tokens person has an assistant. The run director has the whole team.Everyone has someone to help them.We work as a team every week.

If you would like to make the move into the finish funnel,please email us and we can arrange for you to shadow one of our volunteers and give you that insight at close quarters.Don`t be put off if the roster is full,you can still take part.The ladies takeovers have both gained national attention on social media and we want, as well to obviously keep doing them,create a legacy by inspiring more women of all ages to volunteer.

Thanks for reading.Like I say,any suggestions or ideas please get in touch.




Important information regarding safety – Please read all but especially 3 & 4.Thank you!

Hello ! Happy Sunday!

In light of something that happened at parkrun yesterday we felt as a team I should repost this article I did a while back.Points 3 and 4 are the ones I`m focusing on more than the others but all are extremely important.

1,Please pay attention to the pre-run briefing.

We have a new megaphone but unfortunately our ladder is absent without leave so we know some of you find it difficult to see the run director let alone hear them.We know some of you like to chat when you see your friends but if you could stay quiet once the run director has started the briefing and maybe bunch in a bit more before the start that would be fantastic and much appreciated.We have information we need to tell you,especially regarding safety issues for example and we need you to listen.We are working on raising the profile of the run director i.e a replacement ladder,a box or stilts but bear with us.Communication is key but as well as us improving with sound and visibility we need you lovely people to listen.The new megaphone is louder and seems to have had a good start.

2,Respect everyone`s right to participate in their own way.

Everyone must be respected at parkrun.Every runner, no matter what speed,pace,experience,needs to be shown respect by ALL other runners.There is ZERO tolerance for any pushing,shoving,barging,whatever word you want to use.If you want to overtake someone say something like "on your right" before and "thank you" after you`ve passed.We know pb`s are important for some of you but a few seconds lost to be polite isn`t the worst thing and lets be clear on this,parkrun is a "run" not a race or a time trial. In narrow areas like around the lake if runners keep to the left so others can have space to overtake that would help as well.Its all about all runners showing respect and awareness to all other runners.We know some of you like to listen to music but if you could keep that at a low enough volume you can hear marshals or other runners that would be great for everyone.The new course has been excellent and we thank you for your comments on this.

If you are barged or shoved please contact the run director and explain what happened.They`ll be able to get the details,talk to the other runner (if they can be located) and try and sort the situation out.Also please email us and tell us exactly what happened.On the few occasions this has happened the first we`ve found out about it is on facebook which although I check it a few times over the weekend,you`re more likely to get a quicker and better response if you email us and we can document clearly the whole process.

3,Under 11s always within arm`s reach of a parent or guardian.

Yesterday we had a very young child who said they were under 11,finish on their own and told us they`d been told by their mum to wait for her. This is unacceptable.I`ll quote from the parkrun wiki as that explains the situation much better than I can

"We are committed to providing the safest possible environment for children to participate in parkrun and we fully accept our duty of care over these individuals. Its important to remember that the ultimate responsibility for their welfare remains with their parents or guardians"

Children under 11 must be kept within arms reach of their parent,guardian or responsible adult of their parents choice.We do have very quick 11 year olds who finish very quickly but as long as the above rule is followed in terms of someone finishing close to them or a parent/guardian/agreed adult etc waiting for or with them as they cross the line that is not a problem.

We are not babysitters. We are very busy in the finish funnel as the runners come in and we do not have the volunteer numbers to be able to keep track of any unaccompanied children.

So what we will be doing is as follows - Again I`ll quote from the parkrun guidelines

"State in the first timers and pre run briefing,that all children under the age of 11 must be accompanied (within arms reach) throughout the event by a parent,guardian or appropriate adult.

If we think an under 11 might have been unaccompanied we will enquire in a positive and friendly manner ,and if appropriate explain our policy to the parent/guardian/adult and ask them to abide by it next time.We will explain that we have the authority to remove the under 11s result if this is repeated"

A the end of the day we have to ensure high standards of safety for all. Thank you for your help every week in assisting with this,

4,No barcode,no time,no exception.

Sorry,this is a rule we have to be strict with.You don`t need to show your barcode before the start,keep it safe and between getting the finish token and getting to the scanners,get it out and we can scan it.I`m not going to try and flog you parkrun gear but the wristbands in particular are very good and extremely durable.We have also had people wanting the barcode on their phones scanned. We don`t have the technology to do this yet (maybe one day). Also please do not ask the run director or indeed any of the core team who you may know, to add you into the results if you've forgotten your barcode. That is just not fair to those who have forgotten their barcodes and accepted the rules.

5,One dog on a short lead,per person.

Woof,woof,woof,bark,bark bark (Translation,we`ve never had a problem with dogs,they and the owners have been very well behaved,some of the dogs have directional issue but that`s why they are on a lead.)

6.Be mindful of your local environment and other park users.

We`ll be doing some more plogging soon and the other park users are used to us now and I think we co-exist pretty well.Always be polite and respectful to them,you are but please continue to do so.

7.Have fun.It`s only a walk,jog or run.

PB`s are fantastic but at the end of the day parkrun is there to be enjoyed.We want everyone to come along with a big smile on their faces and leave with a big,sweaty smile on their faces.We are doing everything we can behind the scenes to improve your parkrun but please remember we are all volunteers.If your post or email doesn`t get answered quickly its not because we can`t be bothered,we`ve just got life stuff to do first.So keep being awesome and help us to build up our parkrun to be even better than it is at the moment,please continue to show respect and show awareness to all runners

8,Thank the amazing volunteers

You lot are wonderful at this,week in week out.We have a great time on the volunteer team but a thank you at the end of the run means so much to us.


Thanks for reading,please continue to enjoy parkrun and see you Saturday!



Birkenhead parkrun interview series 2 – Mel Heale

This week's interview is with runner and Hereford United fan,Mel Heale!


Hi, my name’s Mel, and I’m a runner. I never thought I’d introduce myself that way!

Earlier this year I was signed off work for a few weeks with severe anxiety. I got myself stuck into a vicious circle of comfort-eating, feeling bad about myself, not wanting to leave the house, and turning to food for comfort once again. As my prescribed medication started to kick in and I began to feel a bit better, I realised I had to do something to get myself off the couch and out of the house - I needed to look after my body and mind rather better than I had been doing. I’d heard about the Couch to 5K programme, and decided to give it a go.

At first I kept it secret even from my own family. I wasn’t sure if I’d stick at it, and didn’t want anyone to know about it if I ‘failed’! It was hard, but it was manageable, and I loved seeing the progress I was making. I also found myself really valuing the time outside, enjoying nature, alone with my thoughts - but giving myself positive things to think about. My husband finally found out I was doing it round about Week 5, by which time I was determined to finish it (being the completer-finisher type...) but also, to my astonishment and his, I realised I was really enjoying running!

I’d heard about Parkrun before and knew a few people who did it and loved it. I wanted to complete Cto5K first though so I’d be confident that I could run all the way. (Of course, I realise now that this isn’t necessary, and walking some or all of the way is perfectly fine!) My first Parkrun was on 16th June this year, and it was just fab. I loved all the encouragement from the marshals, I loved that people of every speed and experience level was welcome, and I loved that - it being my first one - I automatically got a personal best!! I was an immediate convert.

Since then I’ve come to as many as possible, and I’m always a bit disappointed if other commitments get in the way. (Well, ok, except for the weekend I was in Venice...) If we go away over a Saturday I always check where the nearest Parkrun is, just in case, but unfortunately the only other one I’ve got to so far is Reading. (That’s a beautiful course, by the river and through a nature reserve, and very flat! It would be my favourite if it wasn’t for Birkenhead, which is obviously the best one out there...) One day I’d love to visit the Parkrun my aunt helped set up. I’d have loved to anyway, but even more so since she lives in Australia!

Parkrun is now part of my routine, and even when I’ve come home sopping wet and/or freezing, I’ve never regretted getting myself up and out of the door. Even the weeks that I’ve had to walk part of the way because my legs are tired or my asthma’s playing up, or my time is much slower than my average, I still get such a sense of achievement and accomplishment. My feelings are probably best summed up by one of my recent Tweets:

Sometimes it’s about a new personal best.

Sometimes it’s about running every step.

Sometimes it’s about just getting round to the finish.

Sometimes it’s about just getting to the start.

Each is a triumph in its own way.

If anyone’s heard about Parkrun but isn’t sure about it - exactly what it is, whether they’d like it, whether it’s for them - I’d so recommend giving it a go. The worst case scenario is that you’d just miss out on one Saturday lie-in! But maybe, like me, you’ll love it from that very first Saturday onwards. Maybe, like me, you’ll discover a whole new running community that you can belong to. Maybe, like me, you’ll find it has huge benefits for your physical and mental health. Maybe, like me, you’ll be surprised that it feels right to introduce yourself with the words, “I’m a runner!”


Mel x


Stats extra


A few stats for you today - we had our 7000th first timer this week which was fantastic.The 12th first timer to finish was Toben Ugonna and we`re now up to 7,043 runners.Our total number of runs is up to 49,502 so more than likely we`ll reach the 50,000 milestone in a couple of weeks time.With our number of pb`s being 9,747 we shouldn`t be far off the 10,000 mark there.

The main purpose of this though is the average number of runners for parkruns throughout Merseyside (and close by)

Birkenhead 292.9

Southport 292.1

Croxteth Hall 263.7

Chester 251.7

St Helens 241.7

Princes 201.7

Widnes 193.4

Ormskirk 181.2

Crosby 115.4

Knowsley 64.5

So many great parkruns in the area.

Total number of twitter followers for those parkruns.

St Helens 1472

Croxteth Hall 1405

Princes 1154

Birkenhead 879

Widnes 833

Ormskirk 803

Chester 697

Crosby 479

Southport 419

Knowsley 217

Fourth.In the champions league places,we`ll get to 1000 soonish though.We were bottom 2 years ago so we`ve come a long way.

Our October runner numbers the last 3 years,

October 2018 (4 WEEKS) - 1561 runners

October 2017 (4 WEEKS) - 1275 runners

October 2016 (5 WEEKS) - 1335 runners

Top 10 clubs represented since we started (number of parkrunners)

Wirral AC 150

Wallasey AC 120

Pensby Runners 86

Mersey Tri 60

Village Road Runners AC 54

Penny Lane Striders 42

BTR Road Runners 36

Birkenhead AC 34

Liverpool AC 33

Ellesmere Port RC 30


Top 10 club names who`ve ran with us.

Thunder Runners

White Rock Runners

Plymouth Musketeers RC

Pirate Ship of Fools

Shropshire Shufflers

Sowerby Bridge Snails RC

Kendal Kestrels

Datchet Dashers

Leven Las Vegas RC

Razzers Runners









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