Bolton NHS Health Trainers Takeover

On Saturday 5th August Bolton’s NHS Health Trainers completed a 'takeover' at Bolton parkrun and gained much more than they could ever have expected. Health Trainer and regular parkrunner Zoe Chadwick explains…

After almost a week of torrential rain, it was a huge relief to wake up to a dry and bright Saturday morning- the perfect conditions for the Health Trainer parkrun takeover. We were arrived bright and early and were given a warm welcome by the regular volunteer team who set us to work covering roles such as timekeeping, barcode scanning and marshalling.

Shoulder to shoulder, 17 Health Trainers stood alongside patients, NHS colleagues, friends and family nervously anticipating the 9 o’clock start.

Health Trainers

Our job as Health Trainers is to engage the people of Bolton to lead active lifestyles so we were extremely impressed to see the sheer amount of people who turn up every week to participate in Bolton parkrun. Marvin took to the microphone to introduce the team, promote the work that Health Trainers do and set off the 340 runners, joggers and walkers. It was the first time Marvin had ever spoken in front of so many people and he found the experience totally exhilarating.  

Marvin's Briefing

We’d hardly had chance to get Dave Spikey out of the bag and set up our information stand before the first finisher was whizzing across the finish line.


Health Trainers - Dave Spikey

In the build up to our takeover, our team of Health Trainers across Bolton had been encouraging patients to come along and give parkrun a go, safe in the knowledge that we would be there to support them every step of the way of their first 5K run, jog or walk.


Health Trainer Takeover - Patient & Health Trainer

Some managed to jog the whole 5K for the first time ever, some jog-walked and some simply walked but all were determined to complete the full route. I think I can speak for most when I say, despite the difference in their goals, everyone felt a huge sense of achievement.
Eamon Giblin from Farnworth was one of those who came along to parkrun for the first time after being encouraged by his Health Trainer Rebecca, he said “I very much enjoyed my first experience of parkrun, everyone was very warm and welcoming and I will definitely be coming back next week!”    

Eamon - Health Trainer Takeover

For us as a service, parkrun gave us a great opportunity to showcase one of the most important aspects of our job- The ‘NHS Health Check’. Having our display board conveniently located next to the post-run tea and coffee allowed us to chat with lots of participants and get our health messages across. So in case you slipped the net…. If you’re aged between 40 and 74 without any existing disease, contact your GP for a FREE NHS health check to help prevent heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Our time volunteering has opened our eyes to just how much work goes into keeping the parkrun cogs turning every week. Even more surprising though, is how many Health Trainers have been gripped by that parkrun magic and themselves intend to be on the start line at 9am in the weeks to come. The Health Trainers have officially become The Health Trainees!
We'd like to say a big thank you to all the parkrun family for making us feel welcome, we hope to see you at Bolton parkrun again very soon.


BOLTON PARKRUN REPORT #309 – 18th March 2017

It had been raining almost constantly for 36 hours before Saturday morning but the parkrun Gods looked favourably upon us at 9am so we got a dry start and run. There were some scary photos on Facebook about an hour before the run started showing the state of the park close to the river and those who saw them knew that there was no point trying to tip toe around the huge lakes. The mindset had to be to plough right through them and ignore the wet feet.
Across the UK, there was just 1 cancellation this week so the weather, although bad, didn’t stop the 99,275 parkrunners who ran today. And part of that huge total, on the track lining up for the start at Bolton this week, were 274 runners.

The first runner home was Robert Short of Burnden Roadrunners who is one of a number of our regulars getting close to joining the 250-club. He finished in 19:19, which was almost a minute in front of second placed Marcus Chester (also of Burnden Roadrunners), and Robert’s time was the only one under 20 minutes on the day.

The first lady to finish was Liz Proctor of Bolton United Harriers who finished just outside the top 10 positions in 11th overall with a time of 21:16 which was 2 minutes in front of 2nd Lady Rachel Hancock. Rachel was running her 84th parkrun, all of which have been at Bolton, and her time today of 23:14 is her new Personal Best, taking 10 seconds from her time which has stood since April 2016.

Michael Kenyon who finished in 8th position recorded the best Age Grading of the day with 74.35%, followed by first Lady Liz Proctor with 73.98%.

There were an incredible 20 runners who managed to run a Personal Best time even with the watery conditions at the bottom of the park so well done to them. All aboard the PB Express. At Bolton parkrun the average number of Personal Bests achieved per week is 37 so we were well below average, making the achievements of the 20 even more commendable.

CATEGORY RECORDS: There were no Category records broken this week.

105 runners were ladies and 169 were men, and there were 23 juniors. Don’t forget that while we love the youngsters running with us, if the junior is under the age of 11 they MUST be accompanied at all times during the run by an adult, which doesn’t have to be a parent, but should be someone they know.

There were 31 First Timers who joined the parkrun party at Bolton of which 22 were running a parkrun for the very first time and joining the ever growing parkrun family. These numbers were helped by the 13 Darwen Dashers Graduates who this week completed their 10-week training by running their parkrun. At Bolton we average 23 First Timers every week, so just above average.

On Saturday there were 14 runners who were shown as ‘unknown’. It’s terrible to have a brilliant run, maybe get a Personal Best, and then fail to have it recognised because you have no barcode. PLEASE …. Don’t Forget Your Barcode. Need a new barcode? Or would you like your result as a text? Follow the link to your profile from your latest results email. And remember please don’t take home your finish tokens. They are not souveniers …….. DON’T BE A TOKEN MAGPIE. Also, just a reminder that one of the Unknown runners produced their barcode as a photograph on a mobile telephone which is not one of the many official ways of having your time recorded.

108 runners today were attached to running clubs and there were 152 unattached runners.
The running clubs providing the most runners were the Darwen Dashers with 40, Burnden Roadrunners with 34 and Bolton United Harriers with 9.
The Darwen Dashers are once again proudly sitting at the top of the table of the running club providing the most runners. Their graduates today means that 233 runners have appeared from the Darwen club, one more than Burnden Roadrunners on 232, and Bolton United Harriers are in 3rd position with 191.
The Burnden Roadrunners are a long way ahead with completed parkruns having seen their runners finish 9,028 times. Next is Bolton United with 3,006 completions and the Darwen Dashers have had 1,683.
Tom Lucas of Bolton United Harriers who finished in 17th position in 21:44 is the 3,000th runner from the club to finish a parkrun at Bolton. This is Tom’s 42nd parkrun, of which 41 have been run at Bolton with one visit to Worsley Woods. His personal Best at Bolton is 18:25 which was set in April 2016 when he recorded over 70% Age Grading for the only time. He has finished in first position on 3 occasions, and in the top 3 places 12 times.

Those celebrating milestones with us this week were:
Kenneth Warner 275 runs
James Orchard (Burnden Roadrunners) 175 runs
Chris Mann 150 runs
Debra Hennessey (Burnden Roadrunners) 125 runs
Ben Knight (Burnden Roadrunners) 100 runs. Ben has run 92 times at Bolton with 8 visits to Heaton Park to make up his 100. He ran his first run with us in June 2011 and has broken his Personal Best on 10 occasions, the last time being in September 2014 with a time of 21:36. His highest finish position was 15th place in September 2014.
Sharon Cocker (Darwen Dashers) 75 runs

And those who are knocking on the celebration door include:
Barry Shackleton (Darwen Dashers) 299 runs
Karen Kitchen 199 runs
Frances Johnson 199 runs
Marcus Chester (Burnden Roadrunners) 149 runs
Harry Harper (Chorley Harriers) 99 runs
Kath Rothwell 49 runs
Sarah Watton (Burnden Roadrunners) 49 runs
These runners are just 5k short of their personal milestones.

Number of Commemorative T-shirts on show today:
Junior White (10 runs) – 5 runners
Cardinal Red (50 runs) – 48 runners
Jet Black (100 runs) – 50 runners
Green (250 runs) – 5 runners
Blue (500) – 0 runners

There are just 5 Bolton-based 250-runners and all five of them were there today for the first time ever.
The top 5 attendees this week were:
Barry Shackleton (Darwen Dashers) 299 runs
Dave Carroll (Bury AC) 279 runs
Kenneth Warner 275 runs
Ian Riggs 257 runs
Paul Johnson 255 runs
These five runners have completed 1,365 parkruns between them.
Karen Shackleton is just four runs away from becoming the 6th Bolton-based runner to reach 250 parkruns and she will be the first of our females to own the Green 250-run T-shirt. Judith Bonnar is only 7 weeks after her.

Keep in touch with the latest goings-on at Bolton parkrun using one of the following media:
There are some brilliant photos on Facebook and Flickr so if you are on one of them, feel free to copy it for your collection.

Want to give feedback? Have anything to say or want anyone mentioned in future run reports? Are there any corrections needed to this report? Please e-mail

IS IT YOUR BIRTHDAY? We have an “It’s my Birthday” bib which you can wear on the way around the course so that the marshalls and other runners can shout nice things as you run past. And you’re certain to get your photo taken and a mention in the report. So, if it’s your birthday, make it known to the Race Director before the run starts.

VOLUNTEERS – REMEMBER that parkrun can only take place weekly because of the volunteers and marshals who give up their time on a Saturday morning. If you want to get involved, email This week, we had 29 credited volunteers so thank you all, especially given the conditions.
And potential runners remember that to officially take part at Bolton (or any other parkrun anywhere) you need to be registered at but you only need to register once and the barcode they give you will be needed each week when you have finished the run. DON’T FORGET YOUR BARCODE.

This week’s UK Stats: There were 445 parkruns, 1 cancellation, and the total UK senior parkrun population was 99,275.

A few more stats from parkrun central which may interest you:
49,625 women and girls have completed their first parkrun in 2017
Midstream parkrun (South Africa) had their inaugural run when 1265 runners turned up
Millom parkrun has 6 runners at their parkrun this week (the lowest in the UK)

Bolton parkrun started on the 5th February 2011 with 60 runners and 8 volunteers. The course record was set in October 2011 by Michael Aspinall in 16:06, and the female course record was set by Elizabeth Greenwood in March 2012 at 18:22. There have been 7,135 different runners on the course, representing 326 different running clubs, and they have completed over 64,500 runs. The average attendance is 209 every week and there have been 11,576 Personal Bests. Our attendance record is 384 for the Darwen Dashers Takeover Day in March 2016. Bolton parkrunners have completed 323,470Km and have been running for 3 years and 199 days.

And that’s it for the report for run #309. If you fancy writing a run report, and putting your slant on it, get in touch. We would love to hear from you.
I will hopefully see you again next week when (all being well) I will be the first Bolton-based runner to reach 300 parkruns. The chase is on.

Barry Shackleton #loveboltonparkrun


Bolton parkrun #297 – 17 December 2016 – Run Report

Doubles all round – it is Christmas after all!

Picture the scene back in September 2010 and something called parkrun had just celebrated it’s 6th birthday atBushy Park. A young man intent on improving health and wellbeing around the Bolton community made an enquiry into starting a parkrun event here in Bolton.

Having been approved, the wheels were set in motion and Bolton event number 1 took place in Leverhulme Park with 60 runners and 8 volunteers turning up on 5th February 2011. 2 names stand out on the short list of volunteers on that day as the founding team, Rowan Ardill and Ali McArthur.

Fast forward to event 297 this week and so very fitting that these 2 same people should celebrate together on the event of their 200th volunteering stint at Bolton. In this time Rowan has also taken part in 99 runs and Ali 60.

Since the start 6,813 runners have taken part completing 61,180 runs, which have been supported by an average 19 volunteers per event. I am sure each and every runner, volunteer, spectator, child in buggy and dog would like to show their appreciation for Rowan and Ali, who do like to try and avoid the limelight. Their efforts and impact on all participants is exemplary and an achievement that should be celebrated in style.

Cards were available to sign at the end of Saturdays run to give a chance for all to pass on their thanks and give Rowan and Ali a fantastic memento of their achievement. Thanks to all that took the time to leave a comment.

As we are all well aware, any event cannot go ahead without the support of a team of volunteers and this week was no different with 22 other volunteers joining our duo.


Can you lend a hand at any of the forthcoming events? Not sure what the roles are and how you can help? Have a look at the support page for a quick overview of each role:

Email: to get your name on the roster.

This weeks runners

This week 241 runners immersed themselves in the fog that had descended over Bolton and around the course at Leverhulme. Other than the fog, the condition were ideal for a run in the park, dry, cool, but not cold and no breeze. Conditions like this regularly deliver a plethora of personal bests and so it proved, with a staggering 46 runners improving their own times – well done every one of you.

We also welcomed 3 brand new runners to the parkrun family and a further 8 who were taking part at Bolton for the first time. Thanks for coming along, we hope you enjoyed the course and support and look forward to welcoming you all back again.

Martin Oldfield of Drawen Dashers was the first through the finishing funnel in his first visit to Bolton since January 2015, followed by junior runner Robert Seddon of Horwich RMI who had been a little longer since his last visit in December 2014! Ed Ashton of Burnden Road Runners rocked up in 3rd with his 3rd PB is his last 4 visits, smashing 20 minutes for the first time and then some at 19.40 .

Paula Pilling of Burnden Road Runners is no stranger to being first lady and so it proved again this week, followed by Erica Booth of Howich RMI on her first run at Bolton. Katherine Baines representing British Military Fitness was third lady home on her 151st parkrun, 123 have been with us at Bolton.

Daniel Hillman joined the 50 club this week, with 49 runs at Bolton stretching back to event 33 in September 2011 and a sneak trip to Worsley thrown in too. The only other milestone run this week saw another double century, with Olivia Kearney of Bolton United Harriers marking her 200th run as the 4th lady and just 2 seconds off a PB. Olivia started on Bolton’s first birthday, event 50 on 4th February 2012 and has been a familiar face most weeks. No wonder she is so quick and consistent, she has taken to flying round the course!

PB Corner

Following Ed in PB corner is David Chrystal, who’s 3rd PB in the last 4 runs and 8th in his 21 visits to Bolton saw him hit 20 minutes dead. Junior runner Matthew Smith came home in 10th place in a new best of 20.11, 2 minutes 16 quicker that his first of 53 runs since starting in November 16, 13 months that have seen Matthew miss just 3 events. Ged Turners 24th run saw him break 23 minutes for the first time, 22.59 shaved a full second off his last run – every second counts! Louise Oldfield wiped over a minute off a 2 year old PB and Mark Kenny improved by 8 seconds in 111th place. Simon Wrigley has shown steady improvement since fist coming to Bolton in February 2015 and broke 29 minutes for the first time in 28.42. Sheila Garewal is knocking on the door of 30 minutes, her 30.05 is almost 4 minutes improvement on her first run in May 2015. Kate Holden marked her 100th run at Bolton (116 in total) with a new best – a first since March 2014 and a massive 8 minutes better than her first runs dating back to May 2011 at event 17.

Massive congratulations to everyone who smashed a new PB this week – awesome work.

Christmas Schedule

Just a reminder of the events happening over Christmas – Christmas Eve we will be running as normal at 9am. New Years Eve will also be a normal run at 9am. We have an additional run on New Years Day at 10am to give you a little more recovery time, or a chance to take in the Junior event at Queens Park at 9am. We could do with a few more volunteers over the festive period – if you can help out, please email

See you in your very best Christmas fancy dress outfits on Christmas Eve – the standard was set last year, can anyone challenge Father Richard Lord and his flock?

Have a very Merry Christmas.



Bolton parkrun Event #294 – 28 November 2016

The One Where Jack Frost Joined The First Timers

What a glorious sunny and beautiful winter’s morning greeted the volunteers who arrived at Leverhulme around 8.10am to set up for Bolton parkrun event number 294. The only issue was the car showing the -2 degrees and the visible frost on the roads and pavements making our way to the park. While this makes for some tremendous Christmas card type photos, as demonstrated by our 2 talented photographers in attendance, it can make running hazardous. Thank you both Dave Hitchen and Ali McArthur for some marvellous shots.

The safety of everyone is of paramount concern during any adverse conditions and so a team of volunteers set about checking the course before any cones were laid out or the finishing funnel set up. Even the tables for the tea and coffee remained under lock and key until the thumbs up were received from the Run Director and Event Director.

There were a couple of areas of real concern, ice covering the path leading to the out and back and the puddle that Helen Bury famously took Alyssa swimming in! Thanks to the response for more volunteers this week, we had enough marshals to assign people to these areas to ensure the safety of the runners. Please remember, these marshals are there for your safety – please follow their instructions. One runner did try to tackle the icy puddle and nearly suffered for it.

Wrapped up warm against the cold were the usual team of amazing volunteers who turned up in their droves to make the event happen as always.

Heather ALLMARK, Gareth ALLMARK, Jonathan BARKER, Neil BONNAR, Gareth DOHERTY, Paul DUKE, Leanne EVANS, Darren EVANS, Andrew FAWKES, Christine FERNON, Rachel GANDY, Abbie GREGSON, Mike GREGSON, John HALL, William Andrew HARGREAVES, Kath HENDERSON, Andrew HENDERSON, Dave HITCHEN, Julie Ann HODGKISS, Andy LAYCOCK, Richard LORD, Hannah MCARTHUR, Ali MCARTHUR, Vicky MURRAY, Alannah O'BYRNE, Siobhan PIMLOTT, Malcolm PITTOCK, Martin SMITH, Frannie THURLBECK, Shirley TULL, William L VICKERS, Kath VICKERS, Craig WITHERS

We are, as ever, on the lookout for volunteers for the coming weeks – please contact if you can help.

This weeks volunteers included Christine Fernon, who becomes the latest Bolton addition to the 25 volunteer club – great achievement and support, both for the main event and for the juniors at Queens Park on a Sunday. Thank you for your continued support.

This week also included a number of runners hitting milestones, with Maya Porter taking on her 10th and qualifying for her White Junior 10 tee. 9 visits to Bolton and a summer one off at Wormwood Scrubs for Maya.

Ed Ashton of Burnden Road Runners hit his 50th run in near perfect style, a 5th place finish and a PB to boot, closing in on a first sub-20 minute run, just 6 seconds to shave off now! 47 visits to Bolton, 2 at Penrith and a solitary run at Heaton Park, just 15 seconds separate Ed’s best time at the 3 courses – consistency personified.

Father and son team Nigel and Matthew Smith will soon be seen sporting their Red 50 tops. Starting together on 14th November 2015, they have missed just 3 events in the past year. Just 59 seconds separate their average time, with youth leading the way, Matthew’s average time of 21 minutes 4 seconds pipping Nigel’s 22.04. Dad leads the PB count 10 to 6 though, but as with the average times, Matthew takes the quicker PB between them. 10 places separate their average finishing position, 13th for Matthew and 23rd for Nigel, with Matthew having 13 top 10 finishes included a best of 3rd at event 254 back in February. Impressive family stats, not sure if they can be bettered – contact if you have a family parkrun story to share.

Unbelievably, 5 of this weeks top 6 finishers achieved PB’s, given the conditions a remarkable achievement. Even Lewis Aldred, a junior on his 4th run, in second place was just 2 seconds from making it a full house.

Gary Furness led home the 235 runners this week, just his second time as first finisher in 156 Bolton runs (his one cheeky visit to Worsley Woods delivered a 5th place). It was a perfect day for Gary, hitting his first PB since event 59 back in April 2012 on the old course. Hope you put the lottery numbers on this week Gary!

Lorraine Hopley of Rossendale Harriers was first lady home for the 14th time in her 20 runs at Bolton. Only 6 other runners, plus the great Unknown, have more first places than Lorraine. The time of 20.12 is the 9th quickest time for our female participants this year.

8 runners made their first visit to Bolton, including Andy Greenhalgh who calls Pennington Flash home with 99 runs but has an impressive 40 different parkrun events in his 156 runs. A huge welcome to the 5 runners making their parkrun debut with us this week, welcome on board, hope you enjoyed the run and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Burnden Road Runners welcomed their latest New Starters Group to Bolton parkrun in style, with 47 members tuning out to run and more numbers among the volunteers making it a special home feeling for the newbies.

An impressive 52 new PB’s were recorded this week, joining Gary from the top 6 were Mark Jackson in 3rd place,who’s 19.53 was his first sub 20 minute run. Mark’s first run at Bolton was back in February 2015 timed at 28.29, so a huge improvement during his 73 runs at Bolton. Stephen Bonney in 4th went sub 20 for the second time, setting a new record of 19.54. 18 of Stephen’s 24 runs at Bolton have bettered his time, improving from 25.20 on his first run back in March 2014. Ed Ashton was 5th with his 50th run and PB and in 6th place was Dave Beales on his 3rd run, each improving on the last.

Joe Hopley, another junior runner, knocked and impressive 1 minute 10 seconds off his best to come home 9th in 20.19. David Chrystal of Bolton United Harriers has 6 PB’s in 18 runs and despite finishing outside the top 10 for the first time in his last 4 runs set a new best of 20.35. Another member of the Hopley family (we assume!) kept up their impressive week, Stephen Hopley gained a consecutive run PB with a time of 21.27 meaning all 3 Rossendale Harriers finished top 20 this week.

Anthony Sutton took an impressive 30 seconds off last weeks PB and Andy Sayers managed a 4th PB in 10 runs at Bolton. Gary Larke took an impressive 39 seconds off his best to go sub 28 for the first time in his 59 trips round Leverhulme. Wayne Gaskell has 21 runs at Bolton with 11 resulting in a PB. The last 2 have seen his time drop from 31.17 to 30.24 and this week 29.07, smashing the minute barriers with ease! Tracy Cameron has 4 PB’s in her last 5 runs, this time breaking 30 minutes by 1 second – they all count!

Huge congratulations to everyone who set a new PB this week, awesome work.

Our 3 pacers, Andrew Henderson, Paul Duke and Gareth Doherty this week delivered outstanding performance with none of them more than 3 seconds of the pacing time and 4 PB’s being set around their runs- great work guys.

Finally, Happy Birthday to Stephen Bate who tackled the course in the blue birthday bib this week. Hope you had a great birthday weekend.

If you fancy rocking the birthday bib, please let us know before the run and we will make sure we give you a special mention! Sorry to Stephen for missing you in the brief this week!

As has become tradition, we will be putting on an additional event on New Years Day, this year starting at 10am, with the Junior event taking place at 9am in Queens Park. Put the date in your diary and come join us!

Have a fantastic week, take care in the icy conditions and see you back on the track next week.



Bolton parkrun – Event #292 – 12 November 2016

The One With The 60,000th Finisher

One thing is for certain, the last 2 parkrun events have reminded us that we are approaching the middle of November! From last week’s chilly event to this weeks milder but very wet and muddy event the weather has certainly changed to suit the season and bring out the long sleeves, running jackets, hats, brollies and trail shoes. The weather will also have been is a large part the reason the numbers dipped below 200 for the first time since 12th December 2015, 11 months almost to the day. 191 runners braved the conditions to negotiate the paths and tracks of Leverhulme Park.

Event 292 Volunteers

Given the conditions, there is only one place to start this weeks report and that is the tremendous gratitude to the hardy bunch that turned up and donned the legendary hi-viz to make this event happen.

Steven BATE, Ann BUTLER, Mark BUTLER, Ethan CLEGG, Richard CLEGG, Mick ENTWISTLE, Leanne EVANS, Marisa FROT, Louise GEOGHEGAN, Mike GREGSON, Abbie GREGSON, John HALL, Helen HARPER, Dave HITCHEN, Andy LAYCOCK, Berny MARSDEN, Michelle PATTERSON, Andrew PATTERSON (plus Hollie & Harry), Siobhan PIMLOTT, Robert SHORT, Jess SAMMON, Elizabeth THOMPSON, Shirley TULL, Cecilia WOODS we salute each and every one of you. You are the lifeblood of Bolton parkrun, without you the event would not happen.

A quick mention for one of our younger volunteers, Abbie Gregson, who has helped out on 25 separate occasions, setting up the course, marshalling, delivering the first timers briefing and recently picking up the volunteer co-ordinator role. Look forward to seeing the purple t-shirt soon Abbie, thanks for your support. 151 volunteers joined the 25 club this week, how far away are you?

First Past The Post

Shay Walker was first past the post with a time of 18.33 this week. This is the 15th time in 28 runs that Shay has achieved the accolade of first past the post, only bettered by Paul Freary (24) and our old friend Unknown Athlete (23). 85 runners have had the honour of leading the field home in average time of 17.56.

Maureen Laney hit the Leverhulme trail for the first time and took the credit of first female in a time of 22.52. Bolton is the fourth different event that Maureen has been the leading lady in her tour consisting 17 parkruns to date. 79 different ladies have headed the women runners, with 35, like Maureen having done so just once. At the other end of the scale, 8 ladies have been first home 10 or more times.

First Timers Corner

Welcome and full credit to the 13 first timers at Bolton this week – what a week to decide to make your debut! It can only get easier from here, especially the 6 of you who took on their very first parkrun. Christopher Phillipson, who has 44 runs at Worsley Woods to his name led home the first timers in 22.42, a great first attempt, we look forward to seeing you again on your travels.

Just behind in 23.00 was a parkrun debutant, Phil Slingsby, sandwiching Maureen. Hope you all enjoyed the parkrun experience and look forward to welcoming you back to Bolton.

Only 3 of the 13 made it to the first timers briefing – if you are visiting any other event, please make sure you seek out the briefing as it gives important information for each event, including a quick outline of the course and hopefully prevents you taking a wrong turn, as we had a leading runner do this week (sorry!!).

8,153 people took to their first parkrun this week and 6,004 took on their second event.

PB Hall Of Fame

Unbelievably 22 runners managed a personal best at Bolton in those conditions on Saturday. Dan Gilbert finishing in 4th place has 4 PB’s in his 6 runs deserves a special mention as he moves to within 5 seconds on the 20 minute barrier.

2 Junior runners went sub 32 for the first time, Michael Ainsworth, with his 3rd PB in his 17 runs. Crossing the line 2 seconds later was Lucy Rowlands with her 5th in 15 runs.

Just behind was Anna Frew, taking 1 minute 34 off her previous best on her 9th visit.


Louise Wall can this week claim to be the only runner making themselves eligible for a sparkling new running top, a nice black one adorned with a nice bright 100 on the back. 98 of Louise’s runs have been with us here at Bolton, with 2 sneaky visits off to Worsley Woods.

Louise Wall - 100 Runs

Louise was one of 235 runners to join the parkrun 100 club this week.

How To Tackle Mud & Water

No words needed, just this photo of Helen Bury taking on the biggest puddle of the course - amazing!
Helen hits the water
Facts Figures And Stats

What was special about Codyleigh Carrington’s finish in 85th place this week? Her 9th run? Her first Top 100 placing? Or the fact that she is the 60,000 runner to have crossed the finish line at Bolton parkrun, some achievement as we approach run number 300.

With 6,761 different runners having taken part, this means an average of 9 runs per individual runner. This week’s average number of events per runner was a fantastic 59, so some well versed parkrunners.

This week also saw Bolton break the 300,000km covered by the runners, meaning we are ¾ of the way around the Earth.

292 events to date have averaged 206 runners and 18.5 volunteers.

Across the UK there were 424 parkun events taking place with 68,593 runners completing the respective courses.

……………And Finally, A Quick Peek Behind The Scenes

Ever wondered how the results are processed or what happens post event?

Once the course cones, finish line, barrier covers etc. are all packed away and any excess tea, coffee and water are disposed and the tables packed away for another week, the Run Director then opens up the parkrun laptop to download the times from the stopwatches, the finishing positions from the barcode scanners and begin the task of uploading the results. Any discrepancies are checked and runners who’s barcodes have not scanned, so results are manually recoded are added, along with ensuring all volunteers are logged and given their due credit.

Some weeks this goes really smoothly and the stars and moon align giving a faultless result process, other weeks it needs some work to ensure results are correct before hitting the submit button. Our very own Ali McArthur sits on the national parkrun support line to aid when the gremlins are mischievous. This week the task sat with 2 of the new Run Directors, Ann Butler and Louise Geoghegan, who are seen here sailing through this weeks processing to complete another successful event at Bolton.
Ann & Lou Process results
Finishing the results is a great place to end this weeks report, thanks to you all for the part you play in making Bolton parkrun the supportive community event it is, keep up the good work and see you all at the start line next week.



Bolton parkrun | Event number 253 | Saturday 13th February 2016

The One where we 'did a Radcliffe' 

Radcliffe AC took on the unenviable task of taking the reins for our first ever 'club take-over' this week. We are hoping this will be the first in a series of 'take-over' events this year where our fantastic local running clubs (of which we are blessed with loads in Bolton and surrounding areas) provide the majority of the volunteers, turn out in club colours and promote what they do to the parkrun community.

In true takeover fashion, Radcliffe have even kindly penned some words for the run report - a welcome relief from the usual dross we come up with each week I'm sure, so here it is, written from the perspective of Eileen (who handed out the finish tokens) and Les (who was promoting Radcliffe AC's races by handing out flyers at the finish):

The Radcliffe AC Bolton parkrun takeover was enthusiastically received by members who showed up in their droves. The morning was sunny and bright but oooooh so cold. My job was handing out the tokens and although I’ve volunteered in the past I’ve always shied away from the token task. I was out of my comfort zone! Help was at hand as the lady who has “token job experience” quickly put me on the right path to ensure that all finishers received their correct token. The biggest problem was working with numb fingers and I quickly realised that I had to check that the numbers were running numerically. The odd runner would insist that they didn’t need to receive a token as they didn’t have their barcode. I made sure that they did receive a token to account for the time they had received at the finish. Eileen

Handing out flyers was greeted with enthusiasm by fun runners and “professionals " alike , all finishers loved the sweets, biscuits and hot drinks , we did run out of cups very quickly though. A good mornings work by all. Les

Thank you Bolton parkrun for giving Radcliffe AC the opportunity to participate in this unique experience.

This week there were 275 runners, and 33 were first timers to Bolton parkrun.

PB Hall of Fame: 34 runners recorded new Personal Bests this week, they were: Anthony Warham, Nicola Halsall, Debra Hennessey, Shelly Haslam, Nick Axford, Lee Cooper, Shane Gilligan, Ben Sutton, Teresa Riley, Richard Lucas, Jonathan Lilliott, Alan Morris, Victoria Lee, Nicola Dickinson, Karen Doherty, Paul Taylor, Peter Billington, Vicki Hamer, Zoe King, Peter Hunter, Wendy Grimshaw, Paula Pilling, Hannah Seed, Graham King, Archie Grimshaw, Matthew Smith, Leroy Coleman, Lee Petch, Paul Bellingham, Ian Warrington, Kevin Dempsey, Craig Smith, Mark Jackson and Naveed Raza Iqbal Deeba... phew what a lot of PB's!

The return of old friends...
We were delighted to welcome the Grimshaw family back to Bolton parkrun this week who were regulars at Leverhulme Park until they emigrated to Denmark and adopted Esbjerg parkrun as their new home event. It was a fantastic return for young Archie as he not only completed his fiftieth parkrun but also got a PB to boot! Top work Archie and come back and visit us again soon.

Milestone runners:
A huge well done to our other runners who achieved their mightily impressive 50th runs this week:

  • Sarah Leaver
  • Nick Haworth
  • Sue Taylor

...and well done to young Isabel Johnston on her 10th run!

General reminders:

Our continued presence in Leverhulme Park is reliant on us getting along with our fellow park users. You have (hopefully) noticed that this reminder is included in our pre-run brief every week too. We therefore ask that everyone participating in parkrun (runners and volunteers) always acts with best intentions and represents our event in the best possible way through their conduct while using the park.

We are also keen to remind everyone to respect their fellow parkrunners and ask that everyone looks out for one another whilst out on the course. We pride ourselves on our community spirit and our friendly atmosphere at Bolton parkrun and we are keen to ensure this remains at the core of our event.

That's it for this week, see you on Saturday for some more parkrun fun.


Bolton parkrun Event #251 – 30th January 2016 – Run Report

The Pre-Birthday Run


Saturday paid host to run #251 and importantly the last event of our year as next week is the 5th birthday run.


The pre-event set-up team were ready and able at the gate at 7:50 and had a lovely meeting of the alternative event team until Ali arrived with the keys at 8:10. Ten to / ten past no-one really knows the actual set-up start time it seems, although it's definitely one or the other!


The pre-event set-up team are a seriously slick operation. The gates need opening around the course, cones around the track, bollard covers behind the football pitches, stakes and cones on the corners, inspection for any dangers (ice, fallen trees and the like) and the all important finish funnel and refreshment table. The contribution, week in and week out, whatever the weather, of these guys cannot be underestimated and it makes the event run smoothly and safely every week!


We welcomed 250 runners including 15 parkrun 1st timers to Leverhulme this week. 22 clubs were represented and an awesome 29 PBs were achieved - well done to each and every one of you.


This week's top 3 men and ladies over the line were:

Michael Hallas crossed the line 1st in 18:46 on his first parkrun appearance.

Hot on his heels was Paul Thompson who crossed 2nd  in 18:53

Tom Lucas crossed 3rd in 19:19

and the ladies:

Liz McClellan was 1st lady across the line in 21:18 - her 10th time as 1st lady home.

Isabella Merritt was 2nd lady over the line in 23:10

Sarah Louise Watton was 3rd lady over the line in 23:24


We had 3 milestone runs this week.

Matthew Smith and Giles Townsend both ran their 10th full parkrun - all their runs have been at Bolton - well done to you both.

Ani Das ran his 50th run - wearing an awesome T-shirt

Event 251-6

He also bought some cookies and cake which was greatly appreciated by all of us - especially me as you can see!

Event 251-5

So a few important announcements to close the report today:


Number 1: Please can all our runners who are under 11 remember that you need to stay within arms length of your responsible adult for the whole time you are running.


Number 2: For all our runners under 14 who would much prefer to run without the hassle of having to stay with a grown-up Queen's Park junior parkrun, Bolton is coming very soon! This will be a 9am Sunday 2 Km event (so you can do both!). Anyone aged 4 - 14 can run and grown-ups (as you have to stay!) are welcome to either run (although you don't get to cross the line) or volunteer. We hope to have our 1st event on March 20th 2016 so watch this space! Anyone interested in volunteering can let us know via and we'll keep you posted.


Number 3: There are a series of parkrun "takeovers" in store this year. A local club will be taking on the running of the event and showcasing all the things that are great about their club. The first to take-us-over are the yellow vested team from Radcliffe AC on 13th February and we are looking forward to a week off!


And Finally: Next week (6th Feb 2016) it's our 5th birthday party run. There will be some extra-special treats in store and it should be a really special run. If anyone feels like bringing party food or baking a birthday cake for the finish all donations would be gratefully received and we are really looking forward to seeing you there.


So until next week, as they'd say on Strictly Come parkrun........Keep Running!   Event 251-1


Bolton parkrun Event #221 – 13/06/2015 – Run Report

The One that is a little bit late and has no pictures. Whatsoever.

One of the (many, many) benefits and value-adds brought by my esteemed parkrun Event Director colleague, Alistair, is the ability to rattle out a parkrun report, and accompanying pictures, within a matter of hours of you all finishing the event and receiving your results.
He even has time to take, download, edit and publish a full set of photos in glorious technicolour, too.
I honestly don’t know how he does it. Theories so far include:
• He has a time machine
• He has a clone
• He has no life
• He absolutely loves parkrun and thinks about it 24/7
• He is just generally better at time management than me
Either way, please accept my apologies for the fact that this scurrilous bit of demi-journalism (weirdly, I am sure I have actually used that exact phrase before in relation to my post-run reporting) is a) 10 days late, b) plainly full of holes, inaccuracies and errors and c) devoid of anything pictorial or even remotely nice to look at.
Phew, glad I got all my excuses out of the way and explained myself early doors. In truth, a combination of work pressures and preparing for the Tour of Tameside three-day marathon preoccupied my waking hours. So…that’s all I’ve got. On with the scurrilousness…
Event 221 was, in common parkrun Event Director Parlance, ‘textbook’. Not that there is such a thing as an Event Director textbook. Maybe another job for Ali when he next fires up the time machine.
We welcomed an enthusiastic and excited group of would-be volunteers along for the weekend to help us in getting 287 of you lot over the finish line – said newbies joining us for the day from the soon-to-be-established Witton parkrun to learn the ropes. Thanks to Michelle Searby and the guys from Darwen Running Group for helping us out; it is always nice to share some of accumulated knowledge with other prospective event teams, and true to the parkrun ethos, we are looking forward to welcoming another local run to the ever-growing list!
A very quick round up of some important pieces of housekeeping – if you remember nothing else about our event, please get these four bits of wisdom etched onto the underside of your eyelids:
• No printed barcode - no time, no exceptions
• Always complete two laps of the loop
• Dogs on leads
• Kids under 11 accompanied at all times
We owe a big thanks to our May Sweatshop Prize winner, little Archie Grimshaw, for the kind donation of a pile of cakes and biscuits - roughly equal in height to himself - to celebrate his sixth birthday, on Tuesday (amid the alleged* corruption scandal at Fifa, we should clarify that Archie was awarded the prize before the delivery of cakes was made). Happy belated birthday, Archie! (if only I had my time machine…)
Thanks to a number of local races over the weekend, many would-be parkrunners opted to instead don a high-viz top and help out with an array of jobs around the course, from clapping and cheering the runners, to scanning barcodes and helping out at the finish line.

In terms of the total numbers, we dipped below 300 runners for the first time in a few weeks. Tony Valentine was – as he so often has been before – the first man home in 17.16, with Martyn Bell (18:49) and Paul Freary (19:00) behind him. Junior runner Isabella Merritt was the first lady home in 22:19 – the second best age-graded score of the day - while Katy Thompson (24:43) and current points leader Olivia Kearney (24:45) followed her as the next girls to reach the refreshments table.

Get that warm, fuzzy feeling
We are now firmly in the middle of the racing calendar and know that many of you who would typically run with us on a Saturday morning are in fact saving your legs for races later on the weekend – which we love! If this is you, we’d still love to have you along to help out on the volunteering side, there is always a job to be done, a cone to be put out and applause to be given. So why not drop us an email to volunteer your services.

All being well I will have finished this report and snuck it in before Ali puts the finishing touches to his from the weekend just gone. Just to show me up like a kipper, to coin a phrase and mix a simile.

Thanks for your time and attention, once I get that time machine sorted, I will pop back to the event and take some snaps to accompany this whole thing…
See you on Saturday.

Bolton parkrun Event Director / Wannabe Time Lord





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Bolton parkrun Event #205 – 21/02/2015 – Run Report


The One Where Wellies Should Have Been Worn


So here it is, my first run report. For the most part I've been debating how I should go about writing it. Do I add my own spin? Follow the usual format? Or compose a load of nonsense in the knowledge that my fellow run directors (probably Ali - my greatest inspiration in life) will generally rewrite it.


Whilst I'm on the subject of run directors I'd like to take this opportunity to say what a fantastic job Rowan, Ali, Dave and Andy are doing to keep our beloved Bolton parkrun going strong. From the outside I don’t think I truly appreciated how committed these chaps are not just on the Saturday morning but throughout the week.


For those of you who don't know me, my name's Rob, and I'm the newest addition to the Bolton parkrun run director team - the better looking one. Here I am loving life on the silly stool delivering the main run brief for the first time:


Event 204-5



Anyway before I get too emotional let’s move on to the good stuff, yep you guessed it the weather.



Weather Watch


What’s a report without a little mention of our lovely British weather? Saturday reminded us all that winter isn’t in any hurry to make way for spring. As if by pure luck the pre-event team managed to get the gazebo erected before what can only be described as slush fell from the sky. As the weather calmed parkrunners slowly braved the cold and ventured out from shelter ready for the run brief. As all you runners will know the route was littered with puddles and mud, NICE!



Stats and Facts


This week at Bolton parkrun there were:


  • 253 runners
  • 22 first timers
  • 23 personal bests
  • 19 different clubs were represented


Out of those 253 finishers we had Mark Swannell (Bolton Harriers), Thomas Fletcher and Gary Furness make up the top three blokes. The first three home for the ladies were Nicola Cartridge (Bolton Harriers), Bethan Faulkner and Sophie Sasimowicz (Bury AC).


The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:

  1. Mel Walker – 77.56% (Time 23.19)
  2. Mark Swannell – 73.80% (18.48)
  3. Isabella Merritt – 73.23% (23.58)


Look at those Age Grade scores! It truly is a reminder that Bolton parkrun caters for all ages from Male Vet 70-74 Mel Walker to Junior 10 and under Isabella Merritt.



PB Hall of Fame


20+ Bolton Parkruns and a new PB. A huge well done to Lee Entwistle dipping under 23 for the first time with 22.51.  In his first Bolton parkrun since December Lee must have been up to some serious training. I believe he will be giving tips on his next appearance.





This week our volunteer team included: Andrew 'where’s the cake?' Patterson, Ann Butler, Anne Ferguson, Brian and Megan Horrocks, Brian and Shirley Tull, Catherine Grindrod, Christine Holden, Christine Pendlebury, Dave Hitchen, Debra Hennessey, Gerard Tucker, Hannah Doran, Lauren Mann, Lawrence McDonald, Malcolm Pittock, Marie Holland, Michael Wilkinson, Phil 'still can’t feel his fingers' Holden, Phil Glassbrook, Scott Newlove and Tristan Kent.


Phew! That’s a lot of volunteers, 24 to be precise. What a pleasure it was to have you all involved in making event #205 run so smoothly.


If you'd like to get involved or think you look good in hi-viz, you can drop an email any time to to ask for further info, or let us know an event in the near future you want to help out at!



As of writing this it’s Wednesday afternoon! I've only just made it to over one page on Word and yet that’s probably the most I’ve done since school. Event #206 is just around the corner and I hope to see you all there.


Enjoy the rest of your week. As for me I'll be giving my brain a rest.



Rob S / New editor in chief







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


Need a new barcode? Follow the link to your profile from your latest results email or click on THIS link!




13/12/2014 – Event Cancellation




Regrettably we had to cancel today's event due to ice.


We're sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused, but your safety is paramount.


The Bolton parkrun Team