newsletter 11th July 2012

Welcome to this week's newsletter

In this week’s newsletter we get muddy with the buggies in a Forest, we say hello to Sofia Pellew and we profile a Canicross runner.

At some point in our parkrun lives most of us will probably take things a little too seriously and forget that really it’s all about going for a run with your mates. Times, courses, other runners, other runner’s dogs, t-shirts, prizes and even cakes can all be given a little too much significance. Fortunately every now and then something happens that reminds us what this wonderful addition to our lives is all about.

As UK Country Manager I can get carried away with the best of them and have been known to spend a little too much time worrying about the aforementioned issues as if they’re the be all and end all of parkrun’s future. Fortunately last Saturday Dave Lucas and his wonderful parkrun family down at the Forest of Dean reset my parkrun passion with a great lesson in what it’s all about.

Helen, Rosie and I were enjoying a couple of days away with our good friends Martin, Liz, and Ruby Yelling. Doing what any self-respecting parkrunner would do on parkrunday Eve, formerly known as Friday (Too seriously? Me?), we checked out which was our nearest event. Saturday morning and armed with a full set of barcodes we turned up at the Forest of Dean parkrun start area just before 9am to be greeted enthusiastically by the team. Having studied the route in advance we weren’t surprised when Dave Lucas (ED) cheerfully stated “I wouldn’t worry about the course map, that won’t help you”! Shortly afterward it was announced that that day Mark Matthews would be the first Forest of Dean parkrunner to reach the magnificent milestone of 100 runs and in order to celebrate he would be running the course backwards, not in reverse, backwards. The scene was set.

Despite the promise of non stop ankle deep mud, Liz and I were determined to push our respective daughters around in their Baby Joggers and starting at the back proceeded to have the most fun I think either of us have had on a run in a long while. Gradually slipping and sliding our way through the field we were kept on course every step of the way thanks to the navigation skills of local runner Martin Heath who, running five minutes slower than his PB, did an amazing impression of a World Rally Championship co-driver as corners and hazards approached thick and fast. Up ahead Helen and Martin were equally enthusiastic as they navigated their way around the forest guided by the hoots, hollers and cheers of the other runners. Both of them were after a good hard workout, which was more than achieved thanks to a fartlek/orienteering/cross country style combo.

Martin, Liz and Ruby, Dave Lucas, Rosie, Helen and Tom

(From L-R) Martin, Liz and Ruby Yelling, Dave Lucas, Rosie, Helen and Tom Williams.

Falling across the line covered in 26 minutes worth of thick gloopy mud we found a mass of happy smiling runners all of whom had their own story to tell about their morning’s 5k adventure. Tea, coffee and cake were enjoyed by all and Mark was saluted over the finish line after 39 minutes to the tune of a whole load of balloons being burst in quick succession.

Everyone there had run 5k (probably) in the company of old friends, current friends and new friends.

Welcome to the family,
Tom (email me)

Lighter makes you faster

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Lucozade Winners Heading to the Aviva London Grand Prix

Joy Bell from Bushy parkrun and Brent Atkins from Highbury Fields parkrun are the lucky winners of tickets to the Aviva London Grand Prix this weekend courtesy of Lucozade Sport. As the official nutrition partner to UKA, Lucozade will be fuelling all the athletes, including Lucozade Ambassador and parkrunner Mo Farah and triple jumper Phillips Idowu to go Faster. Stronger. For Longer for the last time on British soil before they join the Aviva GB & NI Team this summer. You can watch the action live on BBC2 on Friday from 6pm and on BBC1 on Saturday from 2pm.

Event News

parkrun cancellations and course changes
- Albert parkrun is NOT starting at the later time of 11am on the 14th July due to The Mela now as the Mela has been relocated to Centre Square. It starts at 9am as per usual.
- Basingstoke parkrun will be at their alternative course in Crabtree Plantation on the 14th and 28th July.
- Guildford parkrun is cancelled on the 14th July due to Guilfest.
- York parkrun is cancelled on the 14th July due to Horse Racing at the Racecourse.
- Medina parkrun is cancelled on the 14th July.
- Princes parkrun is moving next door to Sefton Park on the 14th July as the Brouhaha Festival is taking place and starts at the slightly later time of 9:15am.
- Marple parkrun is cancelled on the 14th July due to a Dog Show in the park.
- Swindon parkrun is cancelled on the 14th July due to the Big Arts Day taking place in the park.
- Havant parkrun is cancelled on the 14th July because The Hampshire Water Festival takes place in Staunton Country Park.

Feedback from the field

Hello parkrun,
It with great pleasure that I make a belated announcement of the arrival of Sofia Pellew!
As many of you know, Anita Afonso, parkrun’s second employee and Event Director at Wormwood Scrubs parkrun, took maternity leave earlier this year to have her first child with Alex Pellew. Anita, along with the local event directors, has been responsible for setting up many of the UK parkruns since 2009.
Sofia Pellew, who is two months old now, can often be found at Wormwood Scrubs on a Saturday morning. Wormwood Scrubs recently celebrated their first anniversary and you can see their video of this event here.
Daddy Alex is still trying desperately to finish first at a parkrun. He came very close recently when he chalked up a second place. To his credit he set a PB in June of 18:55, a massive achievement.
I would like to wish Alex, Anita and Sofia all the best and look forward to welcoming Anita back to work when she is ready.
Paul Sinton-Hewitt (PSH).



Hi parkrun,
Last week at the Milton Keynes parkrun (30th June) our local club ‘David Lloyd Redway Runners’ decided the club should attend in green(ish) Fancy Dress. This was chosen as a few of the club members are running the Milton Keynes Half Marathon in morph suits and as Green Lanterns. Here’s a pic of a bunch of us!
Kindest Regards,
Martin Lawrence



Dear parkrun,
Mick ‘n’ Phil here, I think it’s great what you’ve done and are doing - parkruns are a brilliant idea! I've taken my Phillip to Coventry parkrun a couple of times as well as racing the 5 miler there many times. My Phillip suffers from Cerebral Palsy and Sodium Valproate Syndrome so I push him in his wheelchair and Coventry is perfect for buggies and fully laden wheelchairs.
Wishing you well always,
Mick Curry
Hello parkrun,
I liked your newsletter last week and the encouragement of parkrunners to try out different runs. I'm a recent convert to the parkrunning way and usually take part in the Dulwich parkrun. It was cancelled on Sat 26 May, which just happened to be my 50th birthday and as it was how I wanted to start the day I went over to Brockwell parkrun instead. With a field strengthened by all those from Crystal Palace (which was also cancelled that day) it added to the great atmosphere with a huge turnout.
So I heartily agree with you! Go try out different runs nearby (although we are a lucky to have lots to choose from in South London) as it's fun to try a different course.
All the best,
Rachel Hedley
Hi parkrun,
I took part in my first parkrun on the 30th June in Huddersfield. I was not confident in my ability to complete the run, having last participated in ‘proper’ running over 30 years ago at school. My apprehension soon disappeared as I toddled along at the back of the field and my spirits were lifted. This atmosphere was created in part by the organisers and also by the other runners. On the route I had underestimated how important the ‘well done’ and ‘keep going’ encouragement from the marshals would be to my morale - they certainly did keep me going!
So, I just wanted to pass on a big thank you to the volunteers and organisers who make parkrun a reality in so many locations around the UK. Cheers guys!
Oh, and I’ll be at my second parkrun soon, work permitting!
Nigel Watson
Hi parkrun,
I would like to thank Carole, Craigie-Lee and all at Mile End parkrun for making me feel so welcome on my first trip as a parkrun tourist and doing such a great job when nobody turned up to unlock all of their course equipment (plan B worked a treat). As my home Bexley parkrun was cancelled I decided to go visit our sister parkrun across the Thames who also started this year on 4th February. When I say sister, all their Event and Run Directors are Ladies, whilst all ours at Bexley are Men. Maybe one for Crispy's stats? I was apprehensive as to what I was going to find having been born in the East End of London and remembering it as such a built up area. I can however highly recommend a visit with the two lap course run on nice paths, part following the Grand Union Canal and with great views of Canary Wharf. The drawback is that you have to get to the top of their hill to see it (twice).
Thanks to all at Mile End again.
Mel Gordon
Hi parkrun,
I just want to say thank you very much for my fantastic new running shoes! Thank you Sweatshop and thank you parkrun for choosing me! The people who organise parkrun and turn up each week to make it happen are brilliant and I'm very grateful to them for their encouragement. When I started parkrun nearly 2 years ago I bought a cheap pair of running shoes from the local supermarket never thinking I'd enjoy running or stick at it, never mind being able to complete 5km without stopping!
Teresa Lumsdon

Image 1


Hi parkrun,
At the last count, thirteen members of our extended family have completed Newport parkrun with most of us running regularly. Our ages range from 5 to 60 and we really look forward to our Saturday morning run and post-run get-together. This past Saturday was particularly exciting as my grand-daughter, Amber, 7, was running her tenth parkrun. Unfortunately, disaster struck just after the 1km marker when she fell and grazed her elbow and knee. Wet, muddy and a little tearful, Amber picked herself up and carried on running, finishing in a very respectable 44m 55s. We're all very proud of her and her sister, Imogen, 5, who has completed five runs to date. Our thanks to Chris and his inspirational team for bringing parkrun to Newport.
Thank you very much,
Tracy Burton



Dear parkrun,
We've now run 5 parkruns at Wimbledon Common and we absolutely love it! It's such a great idea. We're very competitive and so far I have got the better of Dan, but we have both achieved PBs every week. We wonder when that will stop! Thanks to all the volunteers for making it happen. We look forward to getting our 250 t-shirts.
Hannah Bye and Dan
Evening parkrun,
This Friday night before parkrun I chose to avoid an evening drinking so I could get up and do Poole parkrun, whatever the weather.
I picked up my two friends on the way, travelled over and searched out the pavilion. Everyone there is genuinely lovely, we did not feel intimidated at all. We go to the start and we get a cheer as it is our first run. How lovely, certainly worth getting up for.
We all set off at our own pace and I enjoy the sights of the faster guys in lycra lapping me. I finally finish to the sound of my friends clapping me through. Can I say I enjoyed it? Well yes I did, it was ace. I love the fact it is free, I enjoy the fresh air and get to lose some weight and tone up.
Thanks go to my husband for looking after the children as I ran.
I’ll see you next week.
Rachel Robins.
Hi parkrun,
I am a Pontefract parkrunner and recently ran the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10k due to winning a pair of entries through the Lucozade competition. I would like to say a big thank you to Lucozade and parkrun for a very enjoyable morning. It was a really good event and it was a really good morning for it. I completed the event in 44:22 which I was very happy with. I took along Neil Lawson who is a member of my running club, Selby Striders, and usually runs York parkrun. He completed the event in 46:49.
Thanks again to Lucozade and parkrun
Simon Harvey
Dear parkrun,
I would just like to drop a line to say a big thank you for the Sweatshop parkrunner of the Month Prize, which I was awarded in May by Eastleigh parkrun. I was completely surprised to have been chosen to receive the award as there are so many great people involved at Eastleigh. I could think of lots of others that deserved the prize. Having got involved in parkrun last year through my local running club, I was hit by how friendly and encouraging the event was and soon became a regular volunteer. I am also now part of the Run DIrector team and responsible for the volunteer rota each week, so it is fair to say that parkrun has become part of my life!
Thanks to the Event Director James Saunders, the Run Director team and all the fabulous parkrunners for making Eastleigh such a great event.
Louise Drayton
Hi parkrun,
Ivor Michaels (VM75-79) is Hull parkrun’s oldest parkrunner. On Friday evening Ivor ran in the local Walkington 10K. Within sight of the finish, the slippery underfoot conditions took their toll and Ivor suffered a nasty fall. The outcome was a lengthy visit to A&E until the early hours of Saturday morning. He had several stitches in an ugly wound and not much sleep. Undeterred, Ivor arrived in East Park at 8 o’clock ready to volunteer, putting out and collecting the course direction arrows. Thanks Ivor!
Paul Tremere
Drop me an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

parkrunner of the week

parkrunner of the week
Name:   Sandra Bowers
Club:   Winchester & District Athletic Club
Age:   37
Home parkrun:   Andover parkrun
Occupation:   Quality Manager
Number of runs:   80.
Number of times volunteered:   4.
What do you do at parkruns:   I run parkruns with my huskies to help improve my speed for ultra distance running races (I have represented Scotland and Great Britain in ultra distance events). I started running parkrun with one of the huskies to help build his confidence and to incorporate speed work into my training. My partner Ian J Berry often takes photographs at parkruns and I like to try and provide him with as much "entertainment" as possible! I am also hoping for a podium position in the European Canicross Championships in October 2012 - canicross is a sport where you run with your dog attached to you and train him to assist and help you go faster!
How has parkrun changed your running:   It has made me a better runner and helped the dogs and I become more confident running with other people. I was previously a very claustrophobic runner and struggled to run in crowds of people for fear of injuring my ankle (I have had numerous operations as a result of a very serious childhood injury).
What do you like about parkrun:   The family atmosphere and laid back nature of the event and the fact that everyone is welcome. I love that adults and children alike want to meet the dogs, and also run with them, having a fabulous time and getting fit at the same time! I have made many new friends through parkruns. I also love the social aspect of going for coffee and cake afterwards.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:   The day I ran with all five of our huskies attached to me. The huskies are all aged from 6 months to 13 years, it was a very challenging run but a brilliant experience as the eldest dog is now in very poor health and it was his last parkrun with me.


Barcode reminder

Barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. No barcode, No result!

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered here.

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Upcoming anniversaries

Sheffield Hallam parkrun   14th
Falkirk parkrun   21st
Andover parkrun   21st
Roundshaw Downs parkrun   21st
Black Park parkrun   21st
Brueton parkrun   28th
Grovelands parkrun, Enfield   28th
Oldham parkrun   28th

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.

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