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 (drop by and give us a ‘like’) or you can stream our album at

(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




Birkenhead parkrun interview series 2 – Kareen Porschke

The second in our interview series (2) is from regular parkrun volunteer and runner,Kareen Porschke.


Kareen Porschke age 48. (49 on 9th October )

I started running about 4 years ago I think. It took me about 6 months before I could run a mile without stopping. Parkrun was great timing for me as I had managed to build up my running to 5k when I ran in the 1st Birkenhead parkrun on 18/07/2015. Since then I have volunteered 66 times and run 27 times.

I would encourage anyone to try out Birkenhead parkrun, it’s such a great event for all types of runners.

I personally like to enjoy running and hate any kind of pressure to run faster. I am pleased if I ever do run faster, but I never set out with that in mind. For me it is more important to run and enjoy it.

I love to volunteer and like nothing more than clapping, cheering and ringing bells to encourage everyone round or giving out tokens, scanning barcodes or manning the finishing funnel. I try to do my bit to make Birkenhead parkrun one of the friendliest parkrun in the country.

If I am ever struggling in a run I concentrate on breathing. Big breaths out if I feel like a stitch is coming on, double breaths in if I feel like I can’t breathe. I also use silent chanting if I’m just plain shattered.

I have run a few other parkruns including Penrose in Cornwall, Ludlow, Ellesmere Port and my favourite which I ran recently in Newborough in Anglesey. Disappointingly I forgot my barcode though for Newborough. I’ll just have to go back.

When I retire perhaps I’ll tour parkruns of the UK and world in a camper van. For now I plan to carry on as I do now, BIRKENHEAD parkrun is a great start to the weekend be it running or volunteering.

My post parkrun routine often includes going to the Birkenhead Park cafe for a chat with runners and volunteering friends, a cup of flat white coffee and poached eggs on toast. Delicious.

I do enter a few other running events and I am a member of Wallasey AC for whom I mostly bake cakes, child mind and dog sit. My favourite events outside parkrun have been Thunder Run, Night-Runner and also the BTR Whistle Stop Tour. I also took part in RED January this year when I ran every day of January.

I don’t have a funniest parkrun moment although I do have a good laugh each week. I have however had a couple of grumpy complaints over the years when marshalling. I know now not to ring bells where people’s houses back onto the parkrun course, and hopefully all runners are respectful of the parkrun code and I will no longer get earache from local dog walkers using the same paths.

If I could describe Birkenhead parkrun in 10 words it would not be anywhere near as witty as our resident parkrun poet and run reporter Jon Rumley, so I will just say “ Birkenhead parkrun,great place to be, come along you’ll see”



Birkenhead parkrun interview series 2 – Rebecca Morris

Hello Birkenhead Parkrun!

My name is Rebecca, I’m 43, I live in Oxton with my husband and 3 boys. I’m a Practice Nurse in a surgery in Liverpool 3 days a week.

My kids had occasionally run Cardiff Parkrun (we moved from Cardiff 2 years ago) and some friends who came to stay at Christmas went down to Birkenhead Parkrun as tourists, they’re both Parkrun enthusiasts.

Back in January my middle son was due to go on the school ski trip so we encouraged him to go to Parkrun to build up his fitness.
It was a very cold and dull day, and feeling that I should never expect my children to do anything I wasn’t prepared to do I myself said I’d join in with him. I had never- ever- done any running before, I had not even for a bus.
That first week I had no idea what to expect, I didn’t even bother registering for a bar code. I had no idea how far 5k was. My youngest son (6) also wanted to join in and so we set off together expecting to drop out after a lap! Well we didn’t drop out, we finished- utterly exhausted but elated! We ran it and walked it but we got round in 40 minutes.
The elation stayed with me all weekend and throughout the week.
I was hooked. I have been back, when I can each week since.

Son no 2 and I ran Hereford Parkrun back in May and in August while we were staying with my sister, we persuaded everyone to do Cleethorpes Parkrun. Both of them were brilliantly friendly and welcoming.

The best thing about Parkrun is the atmosphere and support. There have been weeks where I wouldn’t have got around the course without the support of the amazing volunteers and fellow park runners.
It is non judgemental and all inclusive.

I always had a fear of sport. I was always the child that was chosen last for teams in PE at school. I would hide during cross country lessons and pay gym membership but never go! I am not built to run and yet Parkrun helped me believe that I could do it.

If anyone is thinking about doing their first Parkrun then think no more, just do it. A few of my friends were doing couch to 5k, but I’m not very good at doing things methodically...just get off the couch and do the 5k. No one is judging you, no one cares how many times you stop and walk, you won’t regret being part of it, but invest in a really good sports bra!!!!

I very rarely miss a Parkrun now, the weekend doesn’t feel right without it. It’s wonderful to be in our beautiful Birkenhead park each week, witness to the changing seasons amongst a giant Parkrun family.

I have also started running in the week now too...not far, about 20/30 mins 3 times a week and I love it. I signed up for the Race for life this year as well, having spent years of being afraid to sign up - I completed the 5k run on one of the hottest days of the year. I’ve now asked for a new pair of running shoes for my birthday - who would have thought it ?! - so who knows, maybe I’ll go for it and sign up for a 10k.

Parkrun has not only changed me but changed my whole family. We all do more exercise now. My son once said that Parkrun had got him back to being the boy he once was. We are all a lot healthier now.

Our Saturday routine is the same every week....I drag the children out of bed and persuade them that yes, they do want to do it even though it’s raining/cold/too hot/ etc. Then the boys and I head down to the park. Sometimes my husband will come and cheer us on, then afterwards we head home for bacon sandwiches!!

I hate missing Parkrun and I’m grumpy all day if I do. If I get a PB I gloat all weekend!!

I still pinch myself every time I cross that finish line. When I struggle I count in my head and picture the helps that at Birkenhead it’s all down hill to the finish.

Without Parkrun exercise would still be a chore to me. Through Birkenhead Parkrun I have found that exercise is fun and enjoyable. I also believe that it’s taught me to dig deep within myself, keep going to achieve.

How would I sum up Birkenhead parkrun in 10 words...
Birkenhead Parkrun is the best way to start the weekend!

My funniest Parkrun was during the freezing weather in the Spring. Head on winds, hailstones and snow.....utter madness!! Oh, and then there was Easter weekend....the one with the giant chicken!!!

Thank you to all those who make Birkenhead Parkrun happen each week. You really are making the world a better place.



Run report #162

My phone won`t let me log into parkrun twitter

I`m not bitter

Windows updates delayed me writing this run report

So I watched the t2o cricket and saw a lot of batsmen caught.

We had 462 lovely runners with us today.another fantastic number

But did we have anyone from Hull which is on the Humber?


Hello and welcome to the run report.First a big well done and virtual high 5 to everyone who ran in the Wirral half marathon,10k and Whistle stop tour last weekend.It was fantastic to see so many parkrun faces before,during and after.We had another fantastic turnout today,thank you all very much for supporting us.We had tourists from Scotland, Manchester,Northwich,Poole and lots of other places.

Our first finisher (male) was Harley Henshaw in 15:56,followed by Chala Hassan in 16:09 and Rob Pearse in 16:34 ,all three with pb`s!!!

Our first finisher (female) was Helen Stansfield in 19:30 (17th),then Maggie Cooper in 20:03 (23rd) and first timer on our course,Maia Holbert in 20:06 (26th)

Barry McDonnell ran his 50th parkrun.

Ian Teale ran his 50th parkrun.

Carolyn Gillmore ran her 100th parkrun.

Congratulations to Barry,Ian and Carolyn!!!

A big number of pb`s this week.Mentions this week for Caroline Hill 50:42,Moll Hudson 47:17,John Champion 40:48,Stacey Carr 40:28,Pamela Chesterman 40:26,Claire Rice 40:10,Sinead Adams 38:07,Jennifer Cashin 35:10,Stephen Walker 33:11,Paul Cowdray 32:49,Lawrence Cowdray 32:45,Aine Hayes 32:24,Rachel Philpotts 31:12,Christine Wetton 30:50,Patty Thom 30:06,Duncan Carr 29:28,Noah Travers 29:02,Claire Doak 28:12,Steven Tsang 27:55,Aaren Hampson 27:21,Aiden Hampson 27:21,Kathleen Cowdray 27:20,Derek Jones 26:48,Evie Bennett 26:10,Mark Dalzell 25:59,Stuart Fick 25:31,Emma Ellerington 25:04,Keith Douglas 25:03,Mark Jebb 24:29,Phil Sloan 24:26, Sam Morris 24:01,Ewan Head 23:46,Colin Peckham 23:46,George Corley 22:57, William Hampshire 22:37,Stewart Foster 22:32,Cefn Willis 21:59,Josh John 21:14,Zara White 20:47,Samuel Brocklehurst 19:32,Louis Wardle 18:27.

Thanks to all our wonderful first timers this week,either running with us for the first time or visiting us for the first time.We hope you very much 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 Charles Hewitt,Steve Fox,Neil Cameron,Sam Woods, Daniel Brocklehurst,Bree Sutcliffe,Sam Jackson,Matthew Warbrick,Jill Horsburgh, Angela Fox,Kevin Flanagan,Nici McAllister,Kevin Lamb,James Huxley,Steve Williams, Alan Sartorius-Jones,Emma Price,Duncan McCahill,Paul Whitehead,Helen Fuller, Emma Hawkey,Dave Ellis,Jamie Stone,Sarah Shead,Emma Smith,Philippa Kidd,Claire Belmar,Kate Partridge,Chris Elliott,Kate Musgrove,Sarah Hirons,Sarah Thomson, Rachel Abramson,Jo Jury,Kathryn Jones,Jane Slack,Elizabeth Williams,Lesley Cashin, Pam Humphreys,Emily James,Liam Prescott,Jennifer Hall,Ann Burgos-Lovece,Nardeen Nemat,Susie Hartwell,Rachael Pallenberg,Elaine Christian,Zoe Lewis.

I`m thinking of introducing a section for runners who don`t get a pb or who aren`t first timers because I feel you deserve a "shout out" (as the kids say) as well.More on this next week.

Thanks very much to those of you who said they would take part in my interview series.I have my questions,I have questions from lovely people who I have asked and I am sorting through them at the moment.

I ran the new course (NEW COURSE!!!!!!!!!) on Friday and took some photos and filmed the changes from the current course and those will be going up on the twitter and facebook once I`ve sorted through them.We have no date for the change yet as we have to do lots of official,paperworky things first but as soon as we know,we`ll let you know.

Our tiptophiphoptastic volunteers were led by run director Rolf "Wolfie" Westrum, timekeepers were Ruth "PC" Byers" and Andrew "PB smashed" Hughes,barcode scanning was done by Ultan "The Ult" Mulhern,John "The Arm" Armstrong and Chloe "The Bye" Byers,Phil "Number 1 Welsh finish tokens person" Stanley dished out the finish tokens ,assisted by Sue "Strictly" Foster.Sarah "The only Green to feature on a podcast this year" Green was our tail walker.Gemma "3rd placed in her age category at the Whistle stop tour" Cloney funnel managed and processed the results.Mike "Fan of token number 375" Green,Peter "Stay in line" Humphreys and Ann "Get it done" Currie also funnel managed.Our fantastic marshals were Deborah Pink,Rebecca Lewis, Melinda Kinsman,Sue Sturgeon,Kevin Gorry,Dave Marland,Alison Engle and Matt Routledge.

Thanks very much to all of them for their work this morning and if you would like to join us in the volunteer ranks,please check out the roster on the website and email if you can help.

We are on the facebook, the instagram and the flickr "Birkenhead parkrun" and the twitter "@bheadparkrun" We`ve got 813 followers now so I`ll stop mentioning that for a while!

Don`t forget,for the younger amongst you,junior parkrun at Wirral country park in Thurstaston tomorrow morning and also over at Stanley Park in Liverpool where they will be celebrating their second birthday.

Before I go ,congratulations to regular parkrunner and fundraising legend,John Hammond who won the Fundraising award at the Echo Awards last night!

Thanks for reading (it was a three biscuit run report this week),see you at the park next Saturday!










The parkrun code explained

Hello!! Hope you`re all having a good week and only three,two or one sleeps till parkrun Saturday (depending on when you read this)

We had an incident last Saturday where a runner was barged into by another runner and so I thought this would be a good time to go through the parkrun code and go over a few things.

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

We have a 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.

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.

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.

You are excellent with this although we do understand for some of you,keeping up with your kids is a battle you`re never going to win!

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.

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!



Run report #157

We had three timers at parkrun today and as you know 3 is the magic number

But not one of them is from anywhere near the Humber.

Andrew on the left,Stuart on the right and Jon just hovering

But at least he wasn`t doing any bothering.

414 epic runners today including our usual official starter running her first "big" parkrun

Ava powered home wearing her unicorn headband,just ahead of her mum

And the first three letters of my surname are Rum*


*Yes I know this doesn`t make sense but its not the first time.


Anyway,onto the run report itself.414 runners this week which was another excellent numbers. Thanks very much for supporting us on what was another warm day.Steve Smith was our run director today and despite wanting to position the funnel managers nowhere near the funnel he did well (just kidding Steve,you were amazing as always!)

Our first runner home (male) was Harley Henshaw in a time of 16:12,only 5 seconds off his pb.Next up was Phil Langan in 16:35 and Chala Hassen with a pb of 16:52.

Our first runner home (female) was Sarah Howard in 19:39 (15th),Helen Stansfield was next in 19:57 (19th) and then Katherine Holley in a new pb of 20:32 (29th)

Harley Henshaw ran his 50th parkrun roday.Congratulations Harley!

We had an aircraft carrier of pb`s this week.Mentions go to Tina Bassett,Pamela Chesterman,Andrew Dunning,James Morris,Ava-Rae Cloney,Paul Mooney,Robin Hawcutt,Ranbir Noorpuri,Jessica Marl,Olabanjo Sulaiman,Gemma Marsden,Lynda Powell,Meg Hoshiko,Ian Beggs,Hayley Shawcross,Jonathan Young,Toby Clarke, Peter Clarke,Maria Hunter,Niall McDaid,Roy Bethel,Louise Marsden,Kate McCullough,David Dillon,Stephen Jones,Chris Falls,Luke McCullough,David Dunning,James Kimber.

Thanks to all our wonderful first timers this week, either running with us for the first time or visiting our lovely parkrun.We hope you very much 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 Tony Hyland,Paul Sant,Paul Jones,Charlie Eldred,Bryan Simpson,Anne Rosbottom,Billy Ormond,Steve Stuthridge,Paul Williamson,Ewan Head, Ben Bakewell,Mark Frost,Paul Jackson,Ritchie Head,Paul McGill,Erin Courtney,Karen Jackson,Kathleen Cowdray,Melanie Parker,Amanda Mortlock,Sarah Castro,Aaron Steen,Tamsin Scott,Emily Thompson,Laura Cross,Paul Warner,Emily Astbury,Ethan Jones,Natalie Steen,Ann Toale,Cathy Warner,Rebekah Leech,Stacey Carr,Ava-Rae Cloney,John Dyke,Nicky Hearne,Sophie Parker,Moll Hodson,

Our dogsittingbrightandbreezytastic volunteers were led by Steve "Our special one" Smith,timekeepers were Andrew "Tick" Hughes and Stuart "Tock" Rickers with Jon "158,157 who knows?" Rumley back up timer on the app thingy.Barcode scanning was done by Peter "Race Angel" Barham,Mike "Retired from scooping" Green and Liz Danson.Rolf "Ralph" Westrum was on finish tokens assisted by Peter "Stay in line" Humphreys.Tail walker was Sarah "Chief Mollie entertainer" Green.Our funnel managers were Katie Bellew,Kay "Not a medical doctor" Standing and James "Nine" Hurley.Our amazing marshals were Suzi Keating,Robert Perry,Jim Fedigan,Alan McGarrity,Mark Newns,Shelagh Hearty,Gillian Smith,Claire Rice.Stuart "Stuff" Rickers processed the results very quickly.

If you would like to join us in the volunteering ranks please email us at you very much in advance.

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

Thanks for running,thanks for reading (brainstorming for weeks on that one)

See you all at the park next Satuday!