Hell Of a Hill Marathon Report


The One Where One Hill Marathon Wasn’t Enough…


Last week saw the return of a race in Bolton town that is most certainly 50 shades of cra’.


The Hell of A Hill Marathon is on its own arguably one of the hardest races in the UK. “Let’s create a series where you can run it five days in a row” someone once said – probably in a pub in the midst of other conversations like “wouldn’t it be great if humans could fly” and “honestly, I could have played for England…”


Events like this tend to attract a certain type of human being to them. One such human being was Dave Carroll, a man with 269 parkruns under his belt. After many months of training, he finally took on the five day challenge.


Given the time of year, it’s probably no surprise to learn he ran in the sun, in the snow, and in an absolute downpour on the Saturday (12th November) – around the same time 191 brave souls turned up and got soaked at parkrun.


A trail event always packs a variety of terrains, but the conditions on the 12th also resulted in a new obstacle: rivers where there shouldn’t be any.


That didn’t seem to dampen his spirits, or that of the volunteer marshals out on the course. “The marshals (including Bolton Parkrunners) were fantastic with their encouragement and stamina (staying out for hour after hour in all conditions) was fantastic” wrote Dave.


Of course a bit of rain wasn’t going to get in the way, and despite a “knackered leg” on the third day of the series, Dave completed five out of five runs, posting times of 5.52, 6.08, 6.23, 6.11 and 7.26.


That was 32hrs 2 mins to complete 131 miles and 18,626 feet of elevation. He burned through a casual 15,327 calories in that time, and finished 28 out of the 33 runners who tackled the “5 in 5” challenge.


Dave at the finish line of his final marathon


Other Bolton parkrunners on the scene included Dave Beevers who ran each day, numerous Boltonians running one or two separate marathons, and Julie Riddle, Dawn Evans, Paul Sedgwick and Louise Wall who manned the feed stations on various days.


At time of writing, Dave’s also raised £817 for Bury Hospice. Last weekend he made a return to parkrun as a volunteer, with plans to return to somewhat more ‘normal’ running very soon.


Awesome, awesome work all round Mr Carroll!


Visit the Bolton Hill Runner website to learn more about the Hell of A Hill challenge in 2017, as well as their other events like single and half marathons.


Upcoming local event: 5K and 10K race around the Wayoh and Entwistle Reservoirs

5K and 10K Race in Edgworth


On Sunday the 8th of June there will be a 5K and a 10K race around the Wayoh and Entwistle Reservoirs in picturesque Edgworth.


The races will be followed by a day of family fun until 5pm at The Barlow in Edgworth, including kids races, rock climbing wall, bouncy castle, water walking balls, rowing/biking challenges and more! We're reliably informed there will also be lots of food, drink & fun for the remainder of the day too.


The charities surrounding this big event are Mistletoe for Cancer UK and The Barlow.


Interested in taking part? Runners can enter via a direct link on their website (www.enrichedevents.co.uk) or through www.runbritain.com (just search Edgworth 8th June). There's also a Facebook page if you want to find out more!


Edgworth Race Poster


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


Twitter: www.twitter.com/boltonparkrun

Facebook: www.facebook.com/boltonparkrun

Want to give feedback? Have anything to say or want anyone mentioned in future run reports? Please e-mail boltonoffice@parkrun.com

Need a new barcode? Head over to parkrun's barcode request page or follow the link to your profile from your latest results email!


Bolton parkrun Event #120 – 06/07/2013 and Bolton parkrun Event #121 – 13/07/2013 – Event Report


The One with two reports in One...


Owing mainly to Ali’s busy, jetsetting lifestyle and the subsequent lack of time to sit and address you all via the medium of run reportage, you get a bumper edition of the Bolton parkrun Event Report this week, covering the goings-on at both event 120 (July 6th) and event 121 (July 13th). Although, I must warn you at the outset that, due to my own Saturday-working commitments (utter professional that I am) I wasn’t at last week’s event, therefore there probably will be some element of ‘Chinese Whispers’ (I am allowed to still use that phrase in this PC day and age, aren’t I?!) about everything I write on the subject of event #120.

I must also warn you that, despite this technically being parkrun report2, there will not be an exponential growth in the content, wit, humour or accuracy of detail.

So to start at the beginning; as you know, at parkrun we pride ourselves on the safety and wellbeing of our runners – a cone here, a marshal there, lots of forewarning and a close familiarity with our beloved Risk Assessment forms. To this end, we always lay out bright yellow cones to alert you all to the knee-high stumps halfway down the path behind the football pitches, roughly a 700m into the run. Generally-speaking, we don’t have any problems, such is our planning and preparation. What we have never factored into this assessment, however, is the four-legged runners. This oversight was brought sharply into focus when Andrew Hill’s poor little pooch went head first into one of the stumps. Apparently he was no worse for it, but full credit to the furry trooper for completing the 5k nevertheless! (as a post-script, myself and Row spent a good hour trying to come up with dog breed-based puns for the incident – our best were ‘SchnOWzer’, ‘D’oh-berman’, ‘Chih-ow-ow’ and ‘Bashett Hound’…give us your best efforts!)

In other important news from event #120, we welcomed Fran Johnson to the 50 club – Fran has given the men in her life something of a headstart, as husband Paul (106) and sons Peter (101) and Anthony (80) all managed to build comfortable parkrun totals, but she is now hot on their heels – well done Fran! Johnson family friend Ian Riggs was the latest member of our parkrun family to reach 100 runs, having run 96 of them with us at Leverhulme Park. Good parkrunning, Ian!

In the results part of the report from event 120, Martyn Bell (Horwich RMI Harriers) was first finisher, with a rapid 16.39s, ahead of Paul Freary (Belgrave Harriers) in 17.15s and Tony Cullen (Bury AC) in 17.29s.

In terms of lady finishers, Louise Mort was first to finish in 23.01s with Linda Leyland behind her in 23.43s and Olivia Kearney (Bolton United Harriers and AC) in 24.10s.

And that concludes the event 120 section of this report…continue reading for event 121:


The Second One


Welcome to another parkrun report – it doesn’t seem five minutes since I wrote the last one…

Event number 121 was my first one back at Leverhulme in a little while, after trips in the intervening period to Durham (hot stuff) – my ‘original’ event, at which I cut my parkrun teeth as founding Event Director before moving to the north west - and Congleton (even hotter stuff), my ‘local’ event, which I managed to sneak in before working last Saturday. As is always the way when you’ve been away for a while, it was nice to be back at my ‘home’ event, though, and enjoy the unique spirit of the Boltonian parkrunner.

And it wasn’t just me showing my face at parkrun this weekend, as we had a big old field of 204 runners, the seventh consecutive event at which we have surpassed the 200-runner mark. Among the field this week was Scandinavian duo Dennins Ejler Kjeldgaard Nielsen and Sören Overgaard Larsen (my Danish is rusty, I hope I have got both your names right guys!) who arrived on Friday night, visiting friends in Bolton. I didn’t catch the names of the Bolton regulars who brought Dennins and Sören along, but we hope they’ll both join in with a run once they get back to Copenhagen!


With a number of local events happening at the weekend, we found we were inundated with volunteer offers – a situation we love to be in! As you know, parkrun wouldn’t happen without the generosity of time, spirit and effort of our volunteer marshals, scanners, token-givers, funnel managers and general supporters of parkrun. So a big heartfelt thank you to Alan Worthington, Tony Foster, Dave Hitchen, Dylan Taylor, Elizabeth Mole, Finlay Coyne,  Gareth Monger,  Gary Furness, Graeme McDonald, Janet Taylor, John Hall, Judith Bonnar, Julie Bower, Kath Henderson, Malcolm Pittock Marisa Frot, Mel Walker, Paul Duke, Peter Whiteside, Philip Pickering, Richard Clegg, Sarah Jenkinson, Shirley Tull and Ste Yates. Phew!


Such was the size of the assembled marshals at the top of Cinder Hill (you know, the downhill part of the two-lap loop) that the cacophony they made was matched for sheer ‘loudness’ only by Rowan’s luminous-orange footwear. A bit bright, weren’t they?



You may have spotted our roving photographer this weekend, Richard Clegg. Richard was dotting around the course getting some snaps, all of which appear on his website. We’ll be making them available on our Flickr page, too. On the subject of photography – please let us know if you would prefer not to feature in the shots from the event and we can remove your pics from the album/s.




We presented our latest raft of 100 and 50 T shirts at the weekend, recognising the efforts of those runners who have reached the landmark figures in recent weeks. On the receiving end were Clair Marland and Lorraine Halwood, who both took home red ‘50’ Tees, and the aforementioned Ian Riggs, who picked up his 100 Tee and jacket.

There is currently something of a delay with certain sizes of T-shirt at HQ, so if you are waiting to receive yours, we appreciate your patience; as soon as they arrive with us, we’ll hand them over to you in the next pre-Run Brief.



The first three finishers this week were Thomas Harrison, in 18.55s, Catherine O’Dwyer (Bolton United Harriers and AC) in 19.11s and Paul Thompson in 19.55s.

Currently the annual points competition standings look like this:


1. Tristan Kent - 2094 pts.
2. Robert Short (Burnden Road Runners) - 1985 pts.
3. Ian Riggs - 1677 pts.


1. Olivia Kearney (Bolton United Harriers & AC) - 1947 pts.
2. Judith Bonnar - 1898 pts.
3. Helen Harper - 1575 pts.


This week at Bolton parkrun there were:

  • 204 runners
  • 18 were first timers
  • 43 recorded new Personal Bests
  • Representatives of 15 different athletics clubs took part.


Just before we go, I wanted to say a big well done to all those folk who completed the Radcliffe Three-Day Challenge, all those who ran the Race for Life and the many parkrun faces who either participated or marshalled at the NHS Fun Tri. Reports suggest all three were great events and demonstrate the strength and popularity of running (and cycling and swimming) in the local area at the moment.


As ever, please do continue to keep in touch with us, (Facebook, Twitter or email boltonoffice@parkrun.com) give us your feedback or comments and let us know if you fancy having a go at volunteering – we have many roles available every week, so we’d be delighted to have you along to help. The added bonus, for those of you who weren’t already aware, is that for each of the first three events that you volunteer at each year, you’ll be gifted a huge 100 parkrun points – that is the equivalent points reward of finishing first! So it’s definitely worth the effort – and, of course, helps to ensure the continuing success of your local parkrun.


That’s definitely it for this, your bumper parkrun2 report, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Take care in the heat this week, whether you’re out running, cycling, walking or just basking in the sun – cover up and stay hydrated!

See you all soon



Bolton parkrun Event Director/Chinese Whisperer

Twitter: www.twitter.com/boltonparkrun
Facebook: www.facebook.com/boltonparkrun

Want to give feedback? Have anything to say or want anyone mentioned in future race reports? Please e-mail boltonoffice@parkrun.com

Need a new barcode? head over to parkrun's barcode request page!

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