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 birkenheadhelpers@parkrun.com 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 birkenheadhelpers@parkrun.com 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










Birkenhead parkrun Interview series 2

This week's volunteer interview is with our folk singing,pun musing core team member Ultan 'The Ult' Mulhern,Enniskillen's finest export since Harry Chatton.

I’ve been running races of all lengths for ten years or more, but my love of parkrun began in November 2014 at Princes parkrun in Toxteth. By the time Birkenhead parkrun started the following July, I’d done Princes 9 times.
I initially ran Birkenhead a few times before trying my hand at marshalling, largely because our youngest daughter was volunteering there for her Duke of Edinburgh, and she talked me into it. Since then, my run count has trundled along gently (like my running!) to 30, although my volunteer count has moved on apace into the 80s. The century beckons next spring with any luck.

People, my advice to you is to give the volunteering a go. I’ve got to meet a great bunch of people on the core team – mad as a box of frogs, the lot of them – but all great people. You never know where volunteering is going to take you! Were it not for volunteering, I would most certainly never have met my musical other half, fellow Folk Doctor John Armstrong. Strange but true. I had always regarded running as my mid-life crisis. Honestly, I now realise that running is not a mid-life crisis – it’s a healthy and honourable pursuit. Making a record … now, that’s a mid-life crisis. And all thanks to parkrun. (Permit me some shameless self-promotion:

You can find out more about our band at https://www.facebook.com/thefolkdoctors (drop by and give us a ‘like’) or you can stream our album at https://music.amazon.co.uk/albums/B078Z1YM4L?fbclid=IwAR3-2AZWMl3Al6a4ZPTjnAwSuTqpKYRPTY8wVSHGVokxwxqJy0KI707_7E0

(Editor's note - If none of those links work - @folkdoctors on Twitter,'the folk doctors' on Facebook and Spotify,the album is 'Silent Shores' and it is excellent.)

Enough about The Folk Doctors; as I’ve already said, I’ll hopefully get that volunteer count into 3 figures next year. I’d also like to step up my running and I have that 50 milestone in my sights for next year, too. I have only run our own course once this year (oh, the shame!) but we have made a point of visiting other parkruns around Cheshire and Shropshire. So, if anyone is looking for a very different course to our own, look no further than Delamere or Erddig, both quite rugged and challenging. But do come back to ours when you’ve done that! I have quite a few parkruns on my own wish list, not least of all my hometown parkrun in Enniskillen. One day …

I have done all the jobs around the funnel on Saturday mornings. As much as I love the feeling of power you get from addressing the masses through a megaphone, my favourite role has to be the white-knuckle ride of timekeeping. You have to be quick and alert, and sometimes you lot tend to cross the line in clusters. But it all adds to the challenge, and I love that.

Parkrun is the perfect start to any weekend, whether it be running or volunteering, and I hope to be involved in it for many Saturday mornings to come.



Birkenhead parkrun interview Series 2 – Paula Hartharn-Evans

Here's the third in our parkrun interview series 2 ,this one is with runner and volunteer, Paula Hartharn-Evans.

I am Paula Hartharn-Evans. I started running about 5 years ago.

I ran my first parkrun at Birkenhead on the 25th July 2015. I enjoyed it but I didn't get it. I didn't understand why you would want to get up early to get to Birkenhead just to run 5k. Oh how my thoughts have changed!

I remember on my first parkrun Ian Chalmers trying to encourage me to not let an oldie beat him. He still tries to get me to beat him.

It took me a while to understand and start to appreciate how special parkrun is (especially Birkenhead). But once I got hooked then I was well and truly hooked. I may have encouraged one or two of you out there to come along. I have a tendency to do that - so people tell me!

I did my first tourist run at Penrhyn in October 2015. This helped to really sell the whole parkrun idea to me. The fact you can register once and then know you can turn up at any other parkrun event and be made to feel very welcome is amazing. Such a brilliant idea.

The thing i love most about parkrun is how inclusive it is. People don't always me when I tell them you can run or walk it or do it with your dog or with children. What other events cater for almost everyone?

What I love most about Birkenhead parkrun is the volunteers. What a mad bunch of lovely people they are. I have never in visiting 25 different parkruns come across such noisy and encouraging marshalls. Whenever I recommend Birkenhead to anyone this is what I mention!

What do I say to anyone who hasn't done parkrun yet? Do it do it do it. I have talked a few people into coming down over the years. I brought a group of children from school last year who had completed the c25k. They loved it and it was so lovely seeing them completing parkrun.

Parkrun is Saturday morning - end of. Wherever I am I always look for the nearest parkrun. My family are just resigned to it now.

I have completed 113 parkruns now and visited 25 different ones including some in Wales and Scotland. I have yet to do any international ones but watch this space.

My parkrun highlight was was completing my 100th parkrun the week of my 50th birthday. Did any of you realise that? I thought I did a very good job of keeping quiet about it really - apart from asking for a shout out, having a banner on and running with balloons and rounding up as many people as possible (including husband and daughter).

I have volunteered 13 times and I love it. Its a way of giving back to something that has given me so much.

My funniest parkrun story was when I did my parkrun in Scotland and I tried to use my Tesco clubcard keycard instead of my parkrun barcode! Luckily I had my barcode in the car. Imagine doing one in Scotland and having no barcode! There would have no living with me!

To me Birkenhead parkrun is the best place to be on a Saturday morning. Simple really.



Birkenhead parkrun interview series 2 – Phil Stanley

The third in our interview series (2) is with long time runner and volunteer,the one and only,Phil Stanley!


Who are you and when did you start running? Hi,I am Phil Stanley and I started running properly in 2013.

When did you first hear about parkun? I first became aware of parkrun in 2014

What was your first parkrun like? Quite hard work because I was not used to running so fast.Also there were a few slopes and I was sweating a lot at the end.I didn`t know what a good time was supposed to be but I soon came back to try and beat it.Afterwards I went out for a nice breakfast feeling that I had earned it.

Have you done any other parkruns? Are there any you would like to visit? The wonderful Birkenhead parkrun is my home run. I have also done Princes park in Liverpool, and parkruns in Neath,Worcester and Newcastle.I`m not much of a tourist but deffo want to do all the Merseyside ones as I have promised friends who organise them I would.If I do go away I`ll research to see if there is a local parkrun I can do if the wife lets me.The more scenic  the better in Wales and Scotland.Also want to do the home of parkrun in London.

What do you like most about parkrun? The volunteers,the runners and the social aspects.Spending an hour with people who have become friends.It doesn`t matter if I run particularly well.It`s like a community in a community.My biggest thrill when volunteering is seeing all the runners line up at the start.It`s quite humbling.I also like wearing the apricot colours and my milestone t shirt.

What would you say to anyone thinking of taking part in a parkrun who hasn`t yet? Don`t be afraid.Anyone can walk,jog or run 5k,we come in all shapes and sizes.They`ll be plenty of support.Remember we all cover the same distance.

What are your running plans in the future with parkrun and in general? At parkrun to keep dividing my time between volunteering and running.I plan to get my 100 milestone in 2020 and 250 in 2035 at present rate - I run for UTS so want to represent the club at races and do the odd triathlon.

How has parkrun changed you? For example do you not go out on a Friday night because you want to do parkrun?  It`s now an integral part of the weekend.I can`t say I change much in my Friday night shenanigans.I`m more likely to go to bed early on a Saturday as usually up for a long training run or an event on Sunday.

Has parkrun helped your quality of life? Yes but not just getting fitter and a bit faster but for mental health reasons.It`s so positive.I don`t think a week goes by without me talking about parkrun.Seeing both familiar and new faces is great,it`s like a giant social club.Also Birkenhead park is a great place to run.

What`s your Saturday morning ritual? If coming from home I`ll get the bus to outside the park and I am staying with the mother in law I will walk.When running I will jog a lap in the oppositie direction of the course and volunteering it`s about being focused on my job,I always find time to talk to other runners at the start line.

How does parkrun fit into your weekend plans? Do you get annoyed if you miss it? On average I`m there 2 or 3 times a month.I`m not worried if I miss it as we may have other plans.Of course I can always sneak a run in somewhere else.

When doing a parkrun or any other running challenge,what strategies do you use to keep going? Recently I`ve had a few operations so it`s about the joy of running and finishing.I have deffo slowed down but depends on the first lap how I feel if I can put the burners on.I always find the second lap hardest then push myself to finish.In any race it`s good to shout encouragement to other runners as they will give it back.It`s great seeing the sites in a race and counting down kilometre and mile markers to the finish and medal.

What has running or volunteering at parkrun added to your running experience? In the main that for events to happen we need volunteers.Also the importance of team working.Great thing from running is the achievement,mutual support and recognition.Wish I had the same in work.

Describe parkrun in 10 words - Fun,fast,friendly,inclusive,motivational,organised, apricot,milestones,cowbells and pb`s.

What`s the funniest thing that`s happened to you at parkrun or any running event? Strangely nothing stands out. Apart from being overtaken by someone dressed as a vegetable  and the fact that Stuart and Mark wear shorts all year round.

That`s it from me x



⇐ Newer Posts in Category