Bolton parkrun Event #126 – 17/08/2013 – Run Report

The One where we said goodbye to an old (plastic) friend


With my last appearance at parkrun coming several weeks ago, I was thrown back in at the deep end this week as my esteemed Run Director colleagues were all otherwise engaged and the rudder of the ship was thrust into my hand. With such a splendid group of volunteers, and accommodating bunch of runners around me, though, thankfully it all came back pretty quickly. My ability to mix swimming and boat-steering metaphors remains as strong as ever, though.


Landmark runners

We had a number of T-shirts to give out this week, in recognition of our regular runners who have reached significant landmark runs. The first of which was Dan Taylor, who picked up his Junior ‘10’ Tee; Fran Johnson was on the receiving end of a ‘50’ Tee and Bolton parkrun vets Ken Warner and Rob Short finally got their hands on sought-after ‘100’ Tees. Well done to you all – keep coming back for more!

If you are currently awaiting your T-shirt, please be assured that as soon as we receive the delivery from parkrun HQ, we hand out all Tees during the next run brief (please remember you must reply to the email sent out by HQ after your landmark run, advising of the size  of T-shirt you require!). There has been a bit of a delay with some sizes recently, so we appreciate your patience – it will arrive soon.


Water and refreshments and general donations

It was with great sadness that we this week had to bid farewell to our long-serving water container due to age and degradation. After more than 18 months, 120-odd runs and countless gallons of H2O, it reached its final resting place, the great container in the sky – AKA the top of the ‘plastics’ pile at Bury tip. Never fear, we will have a replacement sorted for this weekend’s run; however, it is probably a good time to remind you, gentle runners, of our refreshment situation at parkrun. We are pleased  to offer all drinks (and occasional cakes) completely free of charge to you at every week; this arrangement is possible thanks to a combination of monetary donations from kind-hearted and astoundingly generous supporters and legwork by the RD team in boiling kettles and filling containers pre-event every week.

While our priority is, and always will be, to lay on a safe, friendly, free parkrun event for you every week, we do like to provide you with the added perk of a well-earned drink at the end. This weekend, we were unfortunately unable to lay on the water due to the container issue, so just in case of these situations re-occurring, please remember to also bring a drink of your own, and stay hydrated!

We do work hard to ensure that our event can still function with a bare minimum of equipment and paraphernalia (the minimalist Great Snow Run of 2013 is a prime example!) but we do occasionally need new bits and bobs (like water containers, Megaphone batteries and tea bags), so if you would like to make a donation to help us thrive, you’d automatically and unquestioningly be inducted into the exclusive ‘Bolton parkrun favourite people’ Hall of Fame (no pressure).


Results email…and general results

Chances are you will have received anywhere between two and six duplicate results emails from HQ this week, due to a results system gremlin. One of those things, really. Hopefully it didn’t cause you too much inconvenience – it serves to illustrate and remind us of the sheer number of results the HQ guys are processing every weekend and how slick the process usually is.

In terms of our own results, there is often one or two small issues, which can arise from any one of about 40 different scenarios during the run (people crossing the line twice, not getting barcodes scanned, getting barcodes scanned twice, refusing to take a token, to name but a few). We appreciate your feedback when there is an issue with your results, and always look into them at our earliest opportunity, so thank you for your patience!

This week, the first man to finish our 5km of Saturday morning joy was journeyman parkrunner Leon Foster of Leeds City AC, who was first over the line in 17:50. Leon has run 47 parkruns and incredibly has only run the same event on one occasion. He has been first finisher more often than not, too. Awesome! Regular Bolton parkrunner and child-carrier Shaun O'Dwyer (Bolton United Harriers & AC), was second over the line in 18:17 while 100-run-man (and points competition leader) Rob Short of Burnden Road Runners, was third over the line in 19:02.


Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

Rob Short (Burnden Road Runners) - 3925 pts.
Tristan Kent - 3762 pts.
Ken Warner - 2979 pts.

For the girls, Lindsey Brindle (Horwich RMI Harriers), was first over the line (20th overall) in 21:42; Gayle Gerrard was second over the line (56th overall) in 25:15. Helen Critchley was third (58th overall) over the line in 25:17.


Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

Olivia Kearney (Bolton United Harriers & AC) - 3607 pts.
Judith Bonnar - 3293 pts.
Eileen Royle (Radcliffe AC) - 3172 pts.


This week at Bolton parkrun there were:

  • 210 runners
  • 25 first timers
  • 34 recorded new Personal Bests
  • Representatives of 14 different athletics clubs took part


Special mentions

  • A big Happy Birthday mention to Jim Rhodes, who celebrated the occasion with a time of 31.52s. What an honour for us to share the day with Jim! We hope you had a great day and will be back for another go this week.
  • Well done to one of Bolton’s best parkrunning families – Team Holden. After negotiating the nerve-racking A-Level results day rollercoaster on Thursday, sisters Kate and Emma both successfully claimed places at their chosen University. Fresh from marshalling the emotional obstacle course dad Phil ate his weight in pasties at Emma’s 18th party on Friday night, then packed both daughters off to V-Festival before dawn before running his 100th parkrun on Saturday. What. A. Week. A huge congratulations from us all.
  • Congratulations to Martin O’Rourke for completing his 50th run (48at Bolton!) – great effort, Martin!
  • It was great to receive some post-event feedback from first-timer Alan Firth, who was buzzing after his maiden parkrun and (notwithstanding the inevitable aches that Alan said he was expecting this week) promised to join us again this weekend. Thanks for the great comments, Alan.
  • Thanks, as always, to our fantastic band of volunteers for turning out once more and doing their integral bit in laying on this event for us all to enjoy. If you get chance, and have enough breath spare, remember to say a quick thank you as you pass them this weekend? (Or a thumbs-up will suffice, if not!)


Providing we don’t experience any unforeseen crises this week, you’ll be blessed (or cursed) with the presence of all four members of the Event Director team on Saturday. That is an embarrassment of officiating riches.

Hit us up if you want to get involved on the usual channels – details below!

See you on Saturday



Bolton parkrun Event Director/Ruddermaster




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