Cambridge parkrun #493 – 12th October 2019

The grey and drizzly days are the most important days to be at parkrun, I think, because if there isn't sunshine in the sky, well you just have to make your own. So well done to the 391 people who both made it to the park and walked, ran or jogged this week, and to the 42 volunteers who made it possible, safe, and really enjoyable despite uninspiring weather. Thank you - you all brightened up my Saturday!

A big thank you, as ever, to this week's volunteers: Adam TAPLEY, Andrew BURGE, Andrew PARKER, Anette LAVER, Bev MISIK, Brent SWANN-AUGER, Carly HILLS, Catriona COLE, Chris JONES, Dylan RUNHAM, Emma GREAVES, Florence TWEEN, Gary COLE, Geoff MEADS, Guy HILLS, Jackie TOMLINSON, James STOCKER, Joanna HARRALL, Kristy GUNERATNE, Lauren GREAVES, Martin Daniel HORROD, Mary HOLMES, Mary MITCHELL, Megan PARKER, Mike DIFRANCO, Mike PITT, Natasha MICHAEL, Pamela ABBOTT, Paul BEASTALL, Paul BELZAR, Ricky MITCHELL, Robin JONES, Sabine BUCHHOLZ, Sally STEWART, Sheila CAYTON, Steve BUCHAN, Stewart AITKEN, Stuart PAYNE, Susan HORROD, Tony TOMLINSON, Vicky LARMOUR, and Wendy JOHNSON.

There were quite a few additional safety notes at this week's pre-run briefing, but it was all explained very clearly and the run itself seemed to go smoothly, though it was certainly one to be careful with underfoot. Encouragement around the course was enthusiastic - we even had a very energetic dancing marshal in one place inspiring us all to keep going as we got towards the end, and the friendly welcome at the finish funnel is always appreciated. If you want to run or walk 5k, this is a great way to keep up the motivation to do it and finish, and if you want to join the volunteers in one of the forthcoming weeks (and work towards the 25V T shirt you may have seen!), it's really easy - you just send an email ( to sign up.

There seemed to be a good crowd of new runners and walkers flocking to Geoff MEADS's first timers briefing when I looked. I count 52 on the results list, not including those without a barcode. Quite a few were on their first ever parkrun (hurray!), while some were tourists visiting from other parkruns. A warm welcome to all from near and far (lovely to see runners from Coldham's Common at one extreme and Australia at the other!). A special shout out to two members of the 250 club (Susan Bannocks and Simon Narracott), and to Andrzej Balicki who managed a 83.74% age grading on his first run here!

When there are puddles at Cambridge, we're advised to run straight through them. Changing speed and direction around puddles can catch out the people running just behind you and can cause accidents, so be bold! My friend Claire, who is wise, says you should always aim to get your feet wet as fast as possible on a puddle day, since once they're already wet you don't worry about getting them wet and it's easy to run through the puddles. If you need inspiration, turn up for a Sunday 2k junior parkrun (10am Sundays) as the children there are brilliant at puddles (just stand well back if they're running past!).

Well done to those who got a PB this time. Amongst you there was Leslie Lawrence who achieved a PB on his 50th run, Tony Lloyd on his first sub-24, Andrew Mason on his first sub-26, Ben Summers and Fergus Flemmin, who both got PB's on their 25th parkruns, Georgina Mason on her second PB in a row and Jess Bond on her third PB in a row. Well done also to those who ran the fastest they have for ages or got higher-than-normal age grading - those are really hard for me to pick up in the results but I hope you gave yourself a pat on the back.

I quite like how depending on where you are, you can often run and spectate at the same time on our course. Did you see the speedies at the front? It looks like there were some fun cluster efforts this time, with Adam Tapley only 4 secs ahead of Thomas Barnes for his 15th first finish, and Olivia Baker, Katherine Hymers and Charlotte East all finishing within a second around 19.39, along with Zak Smith on his third PB in a row. Meanwhile, watch out for those juniors! Kieran Birch earned first JM11-15 with a well-judged 1 second PB (those are the best if you want lots of PB Saturdays!). Saioa Galvin was on her first run at Cambridge but still managed to be first JW11-15. And then there were some fun times: for those who enjoy symmetry Anna Kirkham got 20:02, Laurence Cooper got 21:12 and James Bearpark bagged 23:32. Nice.

I did some counting and ignoring the unknowns:
We have 232 males and 159 females on the results.
We had 7 runners & walkers over the age of 65 and 14 who are 10 or under.
50 participants have done less than 5 parkruns (after Saturday's run) while 12 have done more than 300.
While 21 people did their very first parkrun this week, only 7 were on their second parkrun (come on, you 21 new parkrunners - you can beat that)
We only had 3 JW15-17's (kudos to Amy Cope, Lily Saxton, Minnie Govett) but we had 27 VM45-49's and 29 VM40-44's (well done Stephen Cuthbert and Andrew Chapman for being fastest of the largest categories).
After the run we drifted to barcode scanning and the cafe area (if not the playpark!). At this time of year the indoor cafe and toilets are a very useful facility for warm and dry post-run natter and tea.

Let's do it again next week! Thanks for reading,


Cambridge parkrun #491 – John Johnson

Many of our regular runners will know John and Wendy - if not personally, then certainly by sight. Both of them always cheerful and it was always a pleasure to see them. Sadly John passed away last week - here is the text of Chris's speech from Saturday morning.

"I usually love greeting you all on Saturday mornings with vigour however, this time I am not. it is with great sadness to report the passing away of regular Cambridge parkrunner John Johnson who sadly passed away last Thursday morning.

John completed precisely 100 parkruns, 80 of which were here at Milton Country Park. John completed his first parkrun on the 19th December 2015 and reached his 100 milestone on the 10th November 2018, although this was no mean feat with more fences than the Grand National. John was also a popular figure in the local community for his role as a football referee.
John demonstrated undoubted levels of courage and determination to reach the 100 milestone, none more so than his 99th and 100th parkrun which required the highest levels of fortitude. John had been long suffering from prostate cancer and despite this unforeseen mountain on the course John battled onto the finish line.

During John’s treatment when not running he was a regular face cheering on runners and volunteering to ensure that everyone had a jubilant start to the weekend. Volunteering on 30 different occasions in true John style, he would undoubtedly always ask how you were without a mention of his own difficulties which is a credit to the man himself. I am sure each and every one of you will have your own fond memories which you can look back on, recognising the true spirit of parkrun, none more so than one his 100th parkrun where an army of supporters backed John to his milestone.

On behalf of all the Cambridge parkrun family we would like to thank everyone for their support to John during this challenging journey, the Arthur Rank Hospice who helped support John’s final days and John himself for the infinite memories. Today we are wearing white for his love for Tottenham, milestone tee shirts for his desire to reach the milestone next ahead despite adversity. Our thoughts are with Wendy and son Matt."


Cambridge parkrun #484 3rd August 2019

It was another gorgeous day in Milton Country Park and we welcomed many visitors from Coldham’s Common parkrun as well as tourists who are attending the Folk Festival. I hope you all had a brilliant time. We had our fifth highest attendance today – 610 of you – it’s been a long time since I had to queue at the first bridge. Of those 610, 98 were first timers at Cambridge and, of those, 18 were first timers to parkrun. We hope you all had a great morning with us and stayed to enjoy the café.
76 of you set new PBs – well done! Milestones were achieved by Ian Keys and Jamie Ward (PB!) who reached 100 runs, Martin Davies and Andrew Kennedy ran their 50th and Megan Birch qualified for her 10 T shirt. Well done to all.

This was Cambridge parkrun number 484 and Julia Oldham finished in position 484 in her first ever parkrun. Some of the aesthetically pleasing times include John Robson at 19.:19, Aonghus Haicéid 20:02, Gordon Ross 23:45, Lina Undicino 26:27, Katherine Troeller 29:29 and Jo Horley 34:56.

We hope you got a good result, but we did have quite a few funnel duckers, people overtaking in the funnel, people crossing the line twice and so on. If you cross the finish line, the timekeepers will click the stopwatches. If you don’t want a finish token, please carry on through the funnel, in order, and let the finish tokens people know. This means that everything is in order and makes life much easier for the results processors.
Today’s parkrun would not have been possible without the support of Milton Country Park and all our volunteers. Amongst the team of 39 people who made your morning run possible were seven first time volunteers – hope you enjoyed it. Volunteering is great fun and anyone is welcome to try their hand at the roles available; we’d love to have you.

This week’s high viz heroes were: Julia DARLING, Helen HENRY, Steve BUCHAN, Graham DARLING, Beccy TAYLOR, Joseph SMITH, Lisa CLATWORTHY, Neil TWEEN, Mary HOLMES, Christina YOUELL, Frances NEW, Pamela ABBOTT, Rachel EVANS, Robert ZIEGLER, Martin Daniel HORROD, Stephen CORNELL, Jenny PAYNE, Gary COLE, Brent SWANN-AUGER, Ricky MITCHELL, Mary MITCHELL, Frederick CHEUNG, Peter CHARROT, Bob PEACOCK, Nigel NEW, Travis LEE, Stuart PAYNE, Bob STOREY, Elena CHICULITA, Daniel WORF, Paul Marius BIVOL, Laurence LAMARCQ, Susan HORROD, Graham DRANE, Valerie MORGAN, P ., Robert JONES, Susie CUMMING and Chelsea OBRIEN. Thank you all very much!

See you all next week!


Cambridge parkrun #483 27 July 2019

Soggy Saturdays are a rare thing at Cambridge parkrun but the rain was a welcome treat for some after the scorching week we had.

I was volunteering at the finish this week as number checker. Juggling my clipboard and umbrella it was my job to keep track of the number of runners recorded by the timers compared to the number of finish tokens handed out. Any discrepancies between the timers and tokens can then (hopefully) be corrected when the results are processed. It’s a fun job if you like pretending to be important with a clipboard!

I love running at Cambridge parkrun but I also really enjoy the volunteering side. Marshalling is one of my favourite roles as you get to cheer for all the parkrunners and there’s nothing quite like all the smiles and ‘thank yous’ for a boost of positivity on a Saturday morning. I also really enjoy barcode scanning. I like meeting new people but I find small talk awkward. Barcode scanning allows me to have lots of mini chats with new people without the awkwardness and gives me a big confidence boost!

I asked some if my fellow volunteers about their favourite roles and what they enjoy most about volunteering:

Jenny Payne likes that volunteering means she gets to shout at people. Marshalling is a great is for shouting encouragement at other runners but if, like Jen, you like to unleash your bossy side then funnel manager may also be the job for you. Fiona McDaid enjoys the smiling faces of the runners as they cross the finish line, although she’s not so keen on all the sweat! Time keeping is Steve Buchan’s favourite role. This is a job that some people find a bit stressful while others really enjoy getting in the zone and being focussed on the task. Either way we always try to have two timekeepers so that there is a backup in case of any problems. Fiona MacDonald likes the fact that volunteering gets her off the sofa on a Saturday morning. Fie likes to run too but prefers to save herself for longer runs. Yesterday’s Run Director Helen Henry likes how volunteering makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I second that!

There’s a wide variety of volunteering opportunities at Cambridge parkrun, whether you enjoy shouting and being bossy or you’re more of a quiet focussed type, there will be something for you - so come and be a hi-viz hero!

Here are some impressive volunteer stats from yesterday’s parkrun.

35 volunteers carried out 43 roles yesterday. Between them, yesterday's volunteers have helped at Cambridge a huge 1,815 times! We welcomed five first time volunteers. The average number of times per volunteer was 52 and the most prolific volunteer is James Stocker who has volunteered at Cambridge a whopping 319 times! Thank you Jim for all your support of Cambridge parkrun.

A big big thank you to all of yesterday’s volunteers!

Anita LEWIS, Helen HENRY, Steve BUCHAN, Mike DIFRANCO, Jim HIGGINS, James STOCKER, Michaela JOYSEY, Katie TWEEN, Mary HOLMES, Fiona MCDAID, Edward COLBY, Lorna ANDERSON, William WINTER, David PIPE, Martin Daniel HORROD, Jo MCGOWAN, Fiona MACDONALD, Stephen CORNELL, Karoly ERDOS, Jenny PAYNE, Katherine REED, Nicola HORNEGOLD, Bob PEACOCK, Kevin SHELLIE, Martin KILDUFF, Stuart PAYNE, Antony KELLY, Paul FEETENBY, Naomi SHELMERDINE, Susan HORROD, Valerie MORGAN, Alice HOMER, Tamsin PAGE, Robert JONES, Rachel CONNOR and Fiona MCDAID.

Of course there wouldn’t be volunteering if it wasn’t for all our amazing runners, joggers and walkers. While puddles started to appear during the run, conditions were generally good underfoot and runners enjoyed the cooling effect of the rain. 439 of you completed the course yesterday. A big welcome to the 54 first timers to Cambridge parkrun of whom 21 completed their first ever parkrun (welcome to the parkrun family!). Well done also to the 42 parkrunners who recorded new Personal Bests this week!

There was one milestone to celebrate this week. Congratulations to Toby Robertson who completed his 50th parkrun on his first visit to Cambridge parkrun in a time of 26:58.

Since Cambridge parkrun began in January 2010 our runners have covered 869,200km. That’s approximately 21 and a half times around the globe!

We look forward to seeing you all again next week!


Cambridge parkrun #482 – 20 July 2019

Saturday's parkrun was hot and surprisingly humid, so congratulations to the 423 runners and walkers who came along and completed our three lap course, and also to 38 volunteers who set out the course, encouraged, directed, timed, scanned barcodes etc. to make it all happen so smoothly. This week's volunteers were: Andrew BURGE, Anna TUKE, Beccy TAYLOR, Ben MOSS, Brent SWANN-AUGER, Cameron FEHR, David James COLE, Elizabeth STOREY, Emily CHANNON, Emma GREAVES, Fiona MCDAID, Gwyneth HORSCROFT, Helen HENRY, Ian FARRELL, Ian HANNAH, Jackie TOMLINSON, James VARNDELL, Janay FEHR, Jenny PAYNE, Jim HIGGINS, Jo HORLEY, Jonathan DAVIES, Kristy GUNERATNE, Laurence LAMARCQ, Lisa CLATWORTHY, Maeva VALLET, Martin KILDUFF, Mary HOLMES, Melanie REED, Mike PITT, P., Paul TAYLOR-CRUSH, Paula HUGHES, Rachel EVANS, Stuart PAYNE, Theodore FEHR, Tom WOMACK and Valerie MORGAN. Thank you very much!

The course felt pretty good underfoot this week, the 'slight squidginess' of lap 1 was very slight, but it's always important to keep an eye out for tree roots on this course, as a few do stick up a bit, especially at the first bend. I'm a regular runner and I had a lovely relaxed run this time, adapted for heat and tiredness levels, just enjoying the pace that felt right that day. I was pleased to see some walkers out as well, and kudos to the parents managing to get out for a run by pushing a buggy.

Paula HUGHES and Stuart PAYNE did the briefing for new runners, welcoming 53 first timers. We hope you enjoyed it and please come back soon! 22 runners (or at least, 22 with barcodes) were doing their first ever parkrun, including Valerie MORGAN, who both earned her 25 T-shirt for volunteering and completed her first parkrun as tail walker; Harry GREEN who did his first 5k parkrun after completing nine of the 2k junior parkruns (Sundays, 10am); and first in the JW10 category, Anastasia DINES who normally runs at Grovelands parkrun in Enfield. Talking of tourists, we also had some prolific tourists who chose to run at Cambridge this time, including Annette HOWARD, a whole troupe of BARNETT's, Jo WOOF, and Dawn Patricia VOLLMER, whose home run is Ebotse parkrun in South Africa but was joining us for her eighth Cambridge parkrun on Saturday.

Call to hi-viz! Over the summer it's always a bit tricky with some of the most regular helpers being away at different times, and we were all encouraged in Lisa CLATWORTHY's pre-run briefing to make a particular effort to sign up in July and August. With all the nice weather, it's also a really good time to bring potential volunteer friends, partners, and grannie along, and get them them involved in the fun. The future roster is here:, and if you can help, please email If you've not done a role before, don't worry as someone will show you what to do (and nothing is too hard).

On to this week's milestones - congratulations to JM10 runner Lewis Halcrow on his 10th 5k parkrun (though I should point out that he's done 46 junior parkruns as well!!), Julie HOLMES who did her 250th, and David NEWSTEAD who ran his 50th parkrun. Julie's first run was in March 2011, and she has done 213 of her runs at Cambridge and has also earned her 25 volunteer T shirt.

Our first finisher by some way was Ben JONES, who earnt himself a PB of 15:57 - his first sub-16 parkrun out of 175 runs on various courses. Very well done! Second was first timer James ROSS, and Richard MOORE came in third. For the women, Rebecca SHARPE and Charlotte EAST ran an impressive 19:38 and 19:47 respectively, with first timer Emma ETHERDIGE in third on her first go. In age grading, I like that Ben JONES and Richard MOORE managed 1 and 3 again, but this time with Mary HOLMES in second.

There were 42 PBs this week, including JM11-14 runner Stephen MEISER-STEDMAN taking yet another huge chunk off his time; Harry CANTELL, who was first finisher in the JM10 category; Kyan MAYO first JM11-14; Carol CAMBIE who took a minute and 21 seconds off her last PB (!); and I was pleased to notice that they include Sean O'CONNOR, who was going great guns when he came past me in the finishing straight for his 9th PB in 10 runs. Congratulations if you got a PB.

Fun finish times get a mention too - on a quick reading of the results, I liked 23:45 by Adam CARE, 21:12 by James TWEED, 23:23 by Patrick O'BRIEN and 24:24 by Stephen BLUNT.

Come along next week! And the week after! And the week after that! And sign up to volunteer over the summer! And bring a friend! Its always fun! OK - enough exclamation marks.

See you next time,

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