parkrunners turnout for record-breaking charity run / walk – by Glenn Wilson

On Saturday 22 October, parkrunners from all over Kent took to the streets of Canterbury to walk and run the Pilgrims Hospice sixth Light up the City charity event. Participants could choose from a novel night time 3km stroll or a 5km run around the city walls and past some of Canterbury’s most iconic historic landmarks! And, what's more, they had the opportunity to wear their most colourful clothes and brightest lights to raise money for the Pilgrims Hospice.

While mingling with the crowds of walkers and runners I was struck by the large number of parkrunners participating on the night, not only from Canterbury, but also from Pegwell Bay, Margate, Whitstable, Ashford, Folkestone, Sittingbourne and Maidstone. I even saw one or two who I know regularly run at Lullingstone. There's no doubt in my mind that the success of parkrun is a contributor to the success of this event which broke records galore - over 700 walkers and more than 300 runners took part - that's over 1000 people raising a lot of money for a great local charity. Congratulations to Deborah Kellond and all the team for a successful evening.

It was also an opportunity for me to raise awareness of parkrun, to promote the family oriented event we have at Canterbury and to give those who walked the 3km an incentive to run the 5k next year. As regular attendees of Canterbury parkrun know, we welcome people of ALL ages and ALL abilities: whether you are 4 or 104 years old, whether you run it in 20 minutes or walk it in 1 hour 20 minutes, parkrun is for you. What's more, you will never be last to finish.

This coming weekend is our family day, where we encourage our regulars to register members of their family, drag them out of bed on a Saturday morning and come and give it a go and see what an amazing community parkrun is. Of course, always bring your printed barcode and for this week only, don't forget your silly hat! If Canterbury is too far, there are plenty of local events in your area. Of course, you may want to come along and help out. We always welcome volunteers.

See you (and your family) soon!



Milestones (because kilometrestones sounds strange) – by James McCrea

What a day!

Canterbury parkrun has now run on 135 occasions, and over that time we've had our share of milestones and achievements. This week was extra special on a couple of fronts however.

Firstly, Glenn Wilson ran his 100th Canterbury parkrun. Back in 2014 Glenn was part of the inaugural run and has been an ever-present part of the Canterbury parkrun family since. When Pat Coogan stepped down as event director Glenn willing took up the role, with his guidance and assisted by an army of fantastic volunteers the event continues to grow from strength to strength. Glenn completed his 100th parkrun (across all parkrun locations) a few weeks ago, but this week was his 100th Canterbury run. As far as I can tell nobody else has run anything close, and it'll probably be 2017 before Glenn has company in the exulted "100 Canterbury parkruns" club.
Congratulations on this fantastic achievement Glenn, and thanks from all of us for everything you've done over the years.
Canterbury parkrun #135Glenn celebrating after his 100th Canterbury parkrun
Secondly, are some huge milestones that we've all contributed to. I love these stats and you too can be unreasonably distracted by them if you check the bottom of any Canterbury parkrun page (including this one!) We tipped over the 2000 different runners at Canterbury run this week, and have now seen 2032 (known) people take on Coogan's hills. In an unrelated but fantastic co-incidence we also passed the 10000 runs completed at Canterbury parkrun milestone, having been at 9942 after event #134 it would be the runner in position 58 who was the lucky 10000th, and it was Laurence Hamilton-Hopkins who was the lucky finisher! As a group we've now spent over 200 days running to cover 50000 km! Give yourselves a pat on the back, it's hard to picture that effort, we've gone well beyond a lap of the world already. Number of runners: 2,032 Number of runs: 10,079 Total hours run: 201Days 5Hrs 45Min 20Secs Total distance run: 50,395km Canterbury parkrun #135
Laurence completing the 10000th Canterbury parkrun


Finally, we enjoyed a great evening on Saturday for the Canterbury parkrun social, with 30+ runners attending (and no lycra in sight!) we certainly took over the Millers Arm's, apologies to the couple at the nearby table enjoying their romantic dinner for two. Thanks to Sammy-Jo Foster who made it happen and got us all together for an excellent parkrun social. We'd love to hear if you enjoyed the evening, and keep your eyes peeled for more events...

Canterbury parkrun #135
Thanks Sammy-Jo and Glenn for cakes to celebrate our achivements!

Just a quick reminder about a couple of events coming up soon.

  • The Piilgrims Hospice Light Up the City event on the evening of the 22nd (ie, next week!)
  • Our 2nd family day on the 29th (ie, the week after!) which has a theme of silly hats and is a great opportunity to introduce your friends and family to parkrun. Everybody is welcome.

Until next week, happy running. James


Canterbury parkrun
Event number 135
15th October 2016

Male placings:
Thomas Joseph PURNELL (SM25-29) of Canterbury Harriers, was first over the line in 18:36 - 18th time in 25 appearances.
Martin KELK (VM50-54) of Invicta East Kent AC, was second over the line in 18:45.
Max DOWSING (SM25-29) (Unattached) was third over the line in 19:37.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Steve ANSELL (Unattached) 2890 pts.
Thomas LAMPARD (Unattached) 2247 pts.
Patrick SOLE (Unattached) 1851 pts.

Female placings:
Sarah GOURLAY (VW40-44) (Unattached) was first (27th overall) over the line in 23:16 - third time in 33 appearances.
Sarah KENNARD (SW25-29) of Canterbury Harriers, was second (35th overall) over the line in 24:31.
Marta TARANDA (SW20-24) (Unattached) was third (37th overall) over the line in 24:36.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Kathleen HOLLANDS (Unattached) 2435 pts.
Fiona WILKES (Jelly Legs Running Club) 2000 pts.
Michelle HOPKINS (Unattached) 1843 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Martin KELK (VM50-54) was graded 78.67% for the time 18:45 (second overall).
Wendy SMITH (VW55-59) was graded 74.55% for the time 24:57 (39th overall).
Torren PEAKMAN (VM55-59) was graded 73.82% for the time 20:49 (7th overall).

This week there were 137 runners, of whom 22 were first timers and 26 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 13 different athletics clubs took part.

Canterbury parkrun started on 15th March 2014, and since then 2,032 different runners, including participants from 195 athletics clubs, have completed 10,079 runs covering a total distance of 50,395 km, and there have been 1,924 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Alexandra MILLARD who ran in a time of 00:19:03 on 6th August 2016 (event number 125).
The male record is held by Phil HURST who ran in a time of 00:15:12 on 15th March 2014 (event number 1).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen Mary EBERLIN who recorded a 85.86% run (25:06) on 1st November 2014 (event number 33).

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Canterbury parkrun Results Page.

If you have any stories you would like to share about your experience at Canterbury parkrun, please let us know by emailing us at

For the latest information on Canterbury parkrun, follow us on Twitter @cantersparkrun or find us on Facebook (




Pushing yourselves

We were joined this week by a small army of volunteers from Chaucer College (which shares the same campus as our hosts, the University of Kent) who lined the finish straight to cheer our runners home.


It must have helped... 25 runners bested themselves to set themselves new, improved targets for next time. Of these 25 PBs, 4 were by some of our youngest runners who, between them, shaved a whopping 4 minutes 11 seconds of their previous best times. Well done guys!


We also welcomed 26 new people to Canterbury parkrun. It's always great to meet new people who feel inclined to tackle our hills. One of our first-timers was Stephanie who, spurred on by our Tail Runner, Alex Davis, soldiered through the course and gave us a really good final push for the finish line. Well done Stephanie! 


On the subject of our wonderful Tail Runner, Alex has now clocked up an impressive volunteer total of 75. Thank you Alex for all the time you put in to making Canterbury parkrun such fun.

Alex Davies

Some of our regular Canterbury parkrun family gave themselves a bit more of a workout on Sunday by running the Stelling Minnis 10k, a rural and, by all accounts, gorgeous route through the East Kent Countryside. Well done to all of them (some of them, Neil and Peter, were so quick they'd legged it before this was taken):

Canterbury parkrun people after Stelling Minnis 10k

If you're feeling that way inclined, there is another race coming up in a few weeks - the Aylesham & East Kent 10 mile road race out towards Dover.
Male placings:
Thomas Joseph PURNELL (SM25-29) of Canterbury Harriers, was first over the line in 18:52 - 7th time in 10 appearances.
Jake HUSSEY (VM45-49) of Canterbury Harriers, was second over the line in 19:44 - has been first to finish on 8 previous occasions.
Seiya ISHIBASHI (SM18-19) (Unattached) was third over the line in 20:12.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Steve ANSELL (Unattached) 857 pts.
Thomas LAMPARD (Unattached) 840 pts.
Patrick SOLE (Unattached) 735 pts.

Female placings:
Alice MOUNT (JW11-14) of Invicta East Kent AC, was first (16th overall) over the line in 22:03 - 19th time in 26 appearances.
Chiaki SAKANOUE (SW18-19) (Unattached) was second (37th overall) over the line in 24:36.
Lucy HILL (SW20-24) (Unattached) was third (46th overall) over the line in 26:05.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Caroline WETHERILL (Unattached) 860 pts.
Gill LAMPARD (Unattached) 833 pts.
Kathleen HOLLANDS (Unattached) 826 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Michael COOPER (VM55-59) was graded 75.20% for the time 20:58 (8th overall).
Jake HUSSEY (VM45-49) was graded 74.16% for the time 19:44 (second overall).
Paul WILLIAMS (VM55-59) was graded 71.34% for the time 22:06 (17th overall).

This week there were 119 runners, of whom 26 were first timers and 25 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 11 different athletics clubs took part.

Canterbury parkrun started on 15th March 2014, and since then 1,688 different runners, including participants from 167 athletics clubs, have completed 7,680 runs covering a total distance of 38,400 km, and there have been 1,473 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Alexandra MILLARD who ran in a time of 00:19:51 on 2015-05-30 (event number 62).
The male record is held by Phil HURST who ran in a time of 00:15:12 on 2014-03-15 (event number 1).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen Mary EBERLIN who recorded a 85.86% run (25:06) on 1st November 2014 (event number 33).


54 down 347 to go

For Canterbury parkrun #83 on 24th October we were joined by Ben Smith and his team from the 401 challenge ( I am quite pleased to run 5km each week, and impressed with myself if I get out for a second run sometime in the week.
Ben is running 401 marathons on 401 consecutive days and the day before Saturday's parkrun he completed his 53rd so is awaiting official confirmation of his new world record!
After his parkrun with us Ben continued on to complete his marathon and rack up another 26.2 miles.

Photo 24-10-2015, 09 02 28

Here's a paragraph from Ben, but for lots more info check out his website at

On the 1st September 2015 I will begin one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.

I will be undertaking a ‘World Record’ attempt which will see me run 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days around 309 different locations of the UK mainland. The challenge will aim to raise both awareness of the issues of bullying in our society along with £250,000 for two amazing charities dedicated to tackling bullying. The two charities are called ‘Stonewall’ and ‘Kidscape’. Both these charities work tirelessly to support award winning initiatives which really get to the heart of bullying in our UK schools and society in all its forms.

Thanks for joining us Ben, and best wishes for the rest of your marathons! Ben's pictured here with some of the younger members of our parkrun family.

Photo 24-10-2015, 09 43 44

If you too want to be a record breaker, then join us for Canterbury parkrun on the 31st October. Our current highest ever attendance is 113 runners at our inaugural run, and the hope is that we'll beat that. With your help, I'm sure we can.


A record breaking visitor

Ben Smith is running the 401 challenge.
401 Marathons in 401 days.

On September 1st 2015 I will be embarking on a challenge of a lifetime which will see me run 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days around 309 different locations of the UK. The aim is to raise £250,000 for two fantastic charities, ‘Stonewall’ and ‘Kidscape’. Both these charities work tirelessly to combat bullying in our schools and society.

For more info check the website at:

He is running in Canterbury on Saturday morning starting at 1000 from St Edmunds School and completing 4 laps of a six mile or so circuit around Canterbury. This record breaking run will follow his completion of his 53rd consecutive marathon distance in Whitstable on Friday. What an incredible achievement!

Ben will visit us at Canterbury Parkrun on Saturday Morning in time for our 0900 start, unfortunately (even if his legs were willing!) I don't think his schedule allows him to sneak in a bonus parkrun and still get back to start his run at 10.

Anyone who wishes can join the 401 challenge team after Parkrun, runners are welcome to run as much or as little as they like, Ben runs at approx a 12min/mile pace but will not leave slower runners behind.

As well as the main website the 401 Facebook page is a good place to check for further detail.



Wingham 10k and 5k – local event

On Sunday 13 September, Sporting UK holds its 28th annual Wingham 10k race. As a local event, it is an ideal opportunity for Canterbury parkrunners to have a go at running under race conditions. There is a 5k race as well as the 10k race and, like parkrun, is for all abilities. It is a scenic route starting off in Wingham and, although is described as 'undulating', it is a quick course. For more information and entry, please check out their website at



Kent Coastal Half Marathon and Marathon

The Fosters Law Kent Coastal Marathon and Half Marathon takes place in a couple of weeks time, on Sunday 6th September. For those of you who are interested in this event, please read the below supplied by Jon Holl from Pegwell Bay parkrun:

Why choose our event?

1. Women's Running Magazine rated the half marathon as one of their best 100 races in their July 'Ultimate Race Guide' (screenshot attached).

2. We have a great bespoke medal in the shape of the County of Kent and a really nice technical T shirt awaiting our finishers. The race holds a BARR GOLD certificate for race organisation and runner safety.

3. You may have read in national running press that this year we have teamed up with the University of Kent Sport Psychology Department to give runners an extra boost, which would ordinarily only be available to elite athletes. This is a first in the UK. The Fosters Law Kent Coastal Marathon and Half Marathon is introducing psychological support for runners before, during, and after the marathon. As part of this, we have organised a webinar on the 19th of August to help runners with your mental preparation. Dr Carla Meijen, a registered HCPC sport psychologist at the University of Kent and organiser of the Kent Psyching Team will give an overview of typical mental struggles runners may face, whether it is a more experienced runner who feels pressure about improving their PB, or a first time runner who is nervous about what to expect. She will also provide some advice on how you can overcome some of these challenges. Throughout the webinar you can send us your questions, and we will answer a few of the mostly asked questions. Just 200 places are available on the FREE webinar. We hope to have 10 qualified sports psychologists out on the course on the day, giving professional advice on breaking through those negative thoughts which inhibit performance.

4. The race is VERY reasonably priced at £23 which includes a bespoke medal, technical T shirt and goody bag. Entry can be via a word application or through

5. At least one pound from each entry will donated to the charity East Kent Rapeline.

If runners would like a birds eye view of the race route, please take a look at the video produced for Thanet District Council. This covers much of the route:

This is a race arrange 'BY RUNNERS - FOR RUNNERS' Its not a big money maker for a private business. We want runners to have a great experience and see our beautiful coastline at its best.

If there is anything else you would like to know, please drop me a line or give me a call.

Race website:


Aylesham 5k/10k – Local Event

As you may have heard during the parkrun pre-run briefing on Saturday 25 July, Road Athletics hosts their annual Aylesham 5k and 10k road race which takes place on Sunday 9 August 2015 in Aylesham, Kent.

Both races are suitable for all abilities from beginners to elite and takes runners through the beautiful East Kent countryside.

If you would like to learn more about the event and register, please visit the race page located at

Older Posts in Category ⇒
⇐ Newer Posts in Category