Cassiobury parkrun is cancelled on 28 March 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Cassiobury parkrun #271 – 14-03-20 – Including a visit from Beryl Bikes

For the current position regarding COVID-19 and the implications for parkrun events, please see parkrun HQ's communications here (regular updates are being released, so please refresh the page), the news page of our own website here, and our Facebook page here. When we have any update we will of course let you know. Please do not email individually asking for updates - when we have more information, be assured that we will pass it on. Thank you.

This week, Cassiobury parkrun saw slightly fewer than usual, with 377 people running, jogging and walking the course, 30 of whom were first timers and 46 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 38 different clubs took part.

  • This weeks event was made possible by 28 volunteers:


Today’s full results can be found here and a few snaps can be seen here.

Well done to everyone who got out there on the course and a big thank you to the 28 wonderful volunteers for making this event possible - including Alexander, who started the run! :)

IMG_20200314_092713694 IMG_20200314_084455778

The most prolific parkrunner was first-time visitor Paul ROSTERN of Elmbridge RRC who has completed 426 runs.

Running unofficial milestones for 150 runs were Paul HARRIS, Michael SHIRT, and John EYLES.

Celebrating the official 100 milestone was Richard TANNER - 88 of his runs have been at Cassiobury, he has volunteered 3 times … and his most recent 5 runs have been in very consistent times, all 27:xx, with a spread of only 31 seconds between them!

Reaching the first official milestone of 50 runs was Steve BELL - 5 of his runs have been at Cassiobury.

The male record is held by ADAM BOWDEN who recorded a time of 14:42 on 26th December 2015 (event number 45).  The female record is held by ELLIE BAKER who recorded a time of 17:05 on 16th November 2019 (event number 253).  The age grade course record is held by CLAIRE DONALD who recorded 98.46% (18:23) on 25th July 2015 (event number 22).

Cassiobury parkrun started on 28th February 2015. Since then 12,037 participants have completed 93,707 park runs covering a total distance of 468,535km, including 16,223 new Personal Bests. A total of 995 individuals have volunteered 6,420 times.

Freya and Georgia of Beryl Bikes joined us after parkrun to demonstrate the new bike-share scheme in Watford, and later in the afternoon a ride took off from Watford Cycle Hub to recce the positions of some of the docking stations. More information about Beryl Bikes - how to sign up, how to unlock the bikes, and so on - can be found here.

Beryl bike

Thank you to Charlotte for this week's Run Report and for tail walking! (With Caroline (not pictured) and Nelly (below!))

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Cassiobury parkrun #270 – 07-03-20 – International Women’s Day

IWD selfie frame

To mark International Women’s Day, we have an interview with an inspirational young parkrunner and volunteer – it’s over to Anya:

  1. When and where was your first parkrun, and how many have you done since then? My first parkrun was on 23 of April 2016, at Cassiobury parkrun. Since then I have only managed to do 12 parkruns - although I love volunteering at parkrun even if I don’t love the running!!
  2. Is there any aspect of that first run that you particularly recall? I remember the amazing community of people and how cool it felt to run with other likeminded people!
  3. What do you think holds women back from doing their first parkrun, and what do you think could be done to help overcome this and make it easier to take part? I think what holds women back is the general stigma of all sport in general being a man’s thing, and although parkrun has an amazing, equal, inclusive atmosphere, this false belief could hold women back.
  4. Do you have a female role model at parkrun? A female role model I have at parkrun is my mum, who proves anyone can do a 5k if they put their mind to it!
  5. How do you balance your running and volunteering at parkruns, and what do you like about volunteering? What do you think is a benefit that women in particular might derive from volunteering? I personally have done a lot more volunteering than running myself, but I think doing a bit of both could really help empower women, as knowing about and helping out with ‘behind the scenes’ can really make them feel valid at parkrun, if they had ever (wrongly!) doubted their worth.
  6. What would you like to say to a runner, female or male, who is considering taking part in their first parkrun next week? All I would say is just come along, walk, run, jog - parkrun can be for anyone which is what I love about it!
  7. Can you share your top parkrunning tip? Get to the start on time! Mainly as I think it’s great to hear all about fellow parkrunners’ achievements, like milestones.
  8. Tell us something about your best/fave/funniest parkrun moment. Quite strangely, one of my best moments was handing out tokens in the pouring rain! although I was soaked, I was so amazed by the masses of people who had still come to run and how happy everyone still was, once again proving parkrun has one of the best atmospheres ever!

Thank you to Anya for her contribution. As well as those 12 runs she mentions, she has volunteered for 28 tasks at 21 runs, so is rapidly approaching the purple “25” volunteer milestone!

We'd like to welcome back Charlotte, who picked an appropriate day to return to parkrun after almost four months off because of injury … not only IWD, but her birthday too! Many happy returns, Charlotte.

And here are the IWD stats:

  • 14 out of the 23 volunteers were female (60.87%)
  • 13 of the 23 people who did their very first parkruns were female (56.52%)
  • 268 of all the 594 participants were female (45.12%)
  • The highest overall age-graded run was by a VW55-59 – 88.71% for her time of 20:58 (she was also the first lady overall – well done to Kate LOACH).
  • The youngest female participant was in the JW10 category (Emily FOX) and the oldest was in the VW75-79 category (Margaret L’ESTRANGE).
  • The female course record at Cassiobury is held by Ellie BAKER who ran 17:05 on 16th November 2019 (event number 253), and the Age Grade course record is held by Claire DONALD who recorded 98.46% for her time of 18:23 on 25th July 2015 (event number 22).

IWD Kate

In total, 60 people were first-time visitors to our venue – tourists came from Aylesbury, Edmonton, Guildford, Kidderminster, and Ipswich; with a large contingent from Garden City Runners, including first-timers and returners.

IWD tourist

Welcome to the 23 who completed their very first parkruns:


IWD first timers

90 athletes recorded new Personal Bests (PBs). Just a few of these (by women on 30+ runs) were:

  • Åsa MOBERG GROUT (23:59/175 runs), Natividad GARCIA (34:24/88), Tara GUINNESSY (33:00/76), Samantha LEWIS (31:10/74), Joanne STANBROOK (32:26/69), Szabina NAGY (30:57/64), Katie LUNARDI (25:26/44), Helen HARBROW (25:09/37), Tracey CARTER (32:25/33), and Tracey BRAVO (37:39/30).

Thank you to the 23 volunteers:


A total of 990 individuals have volunteered 6,392 times. You can see the future roster here and offer your help by emailing All the tasks are easy and fun, and further explanation can be seen here. parkrun happens only because of the input of its brilliant volunteers!

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Today’s full results can be seen here and photos by Phil can be seen here.

A couple of shout-outs for IWD:

  • BootyFit Welcome to Shelley and Aislinn and their members who turned out in force – and in purple! – to take part on IWD.
  • Watford Women’s Centre Check out their free events coming up to mark IWD, including an art exhibition (until 28th March) and auction at Watford Museum.

IWD Booty Fit

Rounding off the IWD theme, we are very excited about the new bike share scheme for Watford – Beryl Bikes – and reps will be on hand at parkrun on 14th March to show off the bikes and explain how it all works. Beryl Bikes are named after Beryl Burton, an English racing cyclist who dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, winning more than 90 domestic championships and seven world titles, and setting numerous national records. She set a women's record for the 12-hour time-trial, which exceeded the men's record for two years. The new distinctive green bikes can be seen in docking bays around Watford town and the surrounding areas. They’ll be ideal for your Saturday morning parkrun commute if you have only a few miles to travel and are finding parking to be a bit of a squeeze! Come along this week and find out how it all works, and, in the meantime, you can read more about it here.

See you then!

IWD Susan IWD Desrae IWD thumbs up 1


IWD Margaret IWD wave IWD group


Cassiobury parkrun – 29-02-20 – The cancelled one

Thank you & sorry

Thank you so much for your understanding this morning when I sadly had to make the decision to cancel. It has been one of the hardest things I've had to do as a run director, especially with so many of you wanting to complete a parkrun on the 29th February. Ultimately I felt that the finish area was just too slippery and wet for several hundred participants. in addition to several other areas of the course being flooded.

I know that some of you did manage to get elsewhere, while others chose to run around sections of the park having committed to coming out in the rain. A massive thank you to everyone who helped me spread the word this morning and to the forty-two volunteers who had come forward to help this week. Finally thank you to Mandy and the team in the Cha Cafe for helping me warm up after two hours in the wind and rain.

Glyn Jagger


Anatole RANSOM - Andreas SCHWARZ - Anya WESOLOWSKI - Christine IMBERT - David BORLASE - David DUGGAN - Fiona MEPHAM - Gareth CUTTING - Gary HILTON - Gema MISTRY - Gerwyn Ll WILLIAMS - Gill RYAN - Glyn JAGGER - Greg HILL - Hannah DAVIES - Hudson HERRING - Ioan HENRY - Jacqui FENTON-COLLINS - James MARTIN - Jane WELCH - Jeff PETERS - John HENKE - John O'CONNOR - Julian GOOD - Kassim MEGHJEE - Kevin BARRETT - Kikawatford WATFORD - Lu SIMONS/LAWRENCE - Mark NICHOLLS - Mary FARRY - Mauro FASTI - Michael HALPIN - Navpreet SINGH - Neil HERRING - Pam DRIZEN - Philippa GRIFFIN - Rachel GRIBBEN - Rustum KHEDKAR - Sean COLLUM - Simone KNAGGS - Sophia STYLIANOU - Vix MOORE

parkpond DSC_0696

parkrun community

What an amazing parkrun community we have. After the sad decision to cancel today, there was, of course, disappointment. With the appearance of two new water features on the course, along with the finish area requiring flippers, safety has to be the priority and we are grateful to have Run Directors who sometimes have to make the hard decisions.

I am so grateful to be part of our parkrun community. So many who arrived not seeing the cancellation took the time to thank the volunteers, which was very much appreciated. The volunteers who stood in the rain to break the bad news. The parkrunners who took the news so well, including a number of tourists. We hope that the man from Leicester who is attempting a parkrun in every county does return in the summer.

One regular parkrunner (who actually encouraged me to write this report) talked about the positive impact of parkrun and the fact that many who arrived at the park still went on to run or walk the course today.

Here's hoping the weather is kinder to us!

Vix Moore

Getting the word out

When we do have to make the difficult decision to cancel we try and get the word out to everyone as quickly as possible. This isn't always easy from a mobile phone in the driving rain, so it's likely to be a brief message, but here are the places we try to publish to.

Failing that as you found this morning we have fantastic volunteers willing to stand in the rain to break the bad news. You'll see from the parkrun page that today we were one of the 124 UK parkruns to be cancelled.


Cassiobury parkrun #269 – 22-02-20 – 5th anniversary celebrations

Run Report by Susan - thank you! Photos by Steve - thank you! Full results here. Future roster here.

“Happy birthday to us, Happy birthday to us, Happy birthday dear Cassiobury parkrun, Happy birthday to us”

Saturday saw 603 people, run, jog or walk Cassiobury’s 5th anniversary parkrun. 42 were first timers and 96 got PBs! That’s almost 1 in 6 celebrated our anniversary by beating their best – well done!!!

Our first ever parkrun in Cassiobury was fondly remembered by four runners and one volunteer who I spoke with on Saturday about their memories of parkrun in Cassiobury.

Liz Julie Michael Charles

Charles DYTHAM, Lizanne HILL, Michael HARPER and Julie ROLLS-HARPER all ran the inaugural Cassiobury parkrun and ran again this week.

Lizanne HILL remembered the first parkrun and the then mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, coming to cut the ribbon (here is the link to the original news report). Lizanne has run 99 of her 109 parkruns at Cassiobury and has volunteered 3 times and has achieved her 100, all-weather runner (3 times), Groundhog Day badge and NYD Double badges.

Julie ROLLS HARPER remembers the first finishers running into the finish funnel thinking how stupid they were for not completing course – little did she know at the time that they were just a tad faster than she was. Julie has run 83 of her 90 parkruns at Cassiobury, has volunteered 4 times and has achieved her all-weather runner badge. Looking forward to Julie getting her 100 t-shirt/badge very soon!

Michael HARPER still can’t get his head around the fact that we still describe our course as 2 and a half laps when it is much closer to two and three quarters… I have to say I am with Michael on this one. Michael has run 98 of his 140 parkruns at Cassiobury, has volunteered 15 times, achieved his all-weather runner (5 times) and his Christmas Day badges.

Charles DYTHAM, I left to last, Charles has played a very active part in Cassiobury parkrun and is spoken of fondly by many people. Charles has run 197 of his 273 parkruns at Cassiobury. He volunteered 25 times, achieved his Christmas Day (5 times), NYD Double (4 times), Stopwatch Bingo, Groundhog Day, all weather runner and his Gold parkrun obsessive (4 times) badges… no wonder Charles is so well known.

It is not just runners who were at our parkrun “birth” but volunteers from this week’s run too. Ann DAVIDSON (Mum to our RD this week) has run 109 of her 208 parkruns at Cassiobury, and has been running parkrun since 2013. She has volunteered in 278 roles (no that is not a typo!), run at 50 different parkruns, has her Stopwatch Bingo, Bushy Pilgrimage, Christmas Day (2 times), NYD Double (3 times), all-weather runner badges….

AED = finish tokens (tutu - 22!)

Wondering about all these badges and challenges? These are powered by an extension you can add to your Firefox or Chrome browsers - Running Challenges (or for Apple phone users there is an app for you too – Running Achievements). Lots of extra challenges to achieve rather than just your weekly strive for your own PB. Hours of parkrun fun to fill the days until the next parkrun day!

Thanks again to everyone who took part, especially to all the volunteers:

  • Alistair BALDERSON  •  Andy MCBEAN  •  Ann DAVIDSON  •  Anya WESOLOWSKI  •  Danny BRODERICK  •  David FENWICK  •  David PEARCE  •  Debbie BRITTON  •  Desrae LE ROUX  •  Gema MISTRY  •  Gerwyn Ll WILLIAMS  •  Glyn JAGGER  •  Graham DORMER  •  Helen WHITTAKER  •  Hudson HERRING  •  Ioan HENRY  •  John O'CONNOR  •  Kim CLARK  •  Linda WALKE  •  Linsey MAYNARD  •  Lynden MACK  •  Martyn MAYNARD  •  Mitul PATEL  •  Neil HERRING  •  Philip PUGH  •  Pierce BRODERICK  •  Ravi PATEL  •  Robert WALLACE  •  Sajjad TEJANI  •  Sharon DAVIDSON  •  Simon BAKER  •  Steven MEEKINS  •  Susan GASZCZAK  •  Tina LE

This week's milestones were by:

  • Ian WOLSTENCROFT (250)
  • Dani KIRWAN (200*)
  • Anatole RANSOM (150*)
  • Marian LLOYD-JONES (150*)
  • Shama MEGHJEE-CAINE (150*)
  • Jonathan HILL (100)
  • Kye EASDOWN (50)
  • Ramesh MARAMREDDY (50)
  • Peter GULLY (10**)
  • Alex GREEN (10**)
  • Ciara DUNPHY (10**)
  • Theo LAMEY (10**)
  • *200 and 150 are "unofficial" milestones!
  • **The "10" milestone is for juniors only

See you soon for more 5k fun!

Husdon H - cycle lane

The aforementioned Charles DYTHAM also had something to say about the athletes who took part in the inaugural run and have returned since: 

If it helps, there won't be many - the last time that I did a comparison, there were only about a dozen who ran both events 1 and 215 – 4th anniversary, (18 also counting volunteers):

1              Abigayle NORMAN
2              Alistair BALDERSON
3              Ann DAVIDSON
4              Bill HARDING
5              Charles DYTHAM
6              Charles HENDERSON
7              Douglas MCQUAID
8              Geoff CURWEN
9              John DAVIDSON
10           Katy WOLSTENCROFT
11           Linda HALL
12           Linda MCQUAID
13           Mohammed HANIF
14           Richard BIRD
15           Sharon DAVIDSON
16           Susan DEFOE
17           Yolande DYTHAM
18           Zoe CARR

And according to my run report for the 200th week – when 428 people ran, jogged, walked, pushed buggies or were accompanied by dogs (on short leads) around the course – there were 15 who ran on the first run

After the 5th anniversary run, Charles concluded: 

Rough + ready calculation of the 17 people (runners + volunteers) at Cassiobury’s 5th anniversary today who were also at the inaugural event on 28/02/2015:

(No attempt to cater for anyone who complicated matters by a recent change of name!)

  1. Alistair BALDERSON
  2. Andrew MCGOVERN
  4. Charles DYTHAM
  5. Charles HENDERSON
  6. Ciaran BEALTUN
  9. Linda HALL
  10. Lizanne HILL
  11. Michael HARPER
  12. Mohammed HANIF
  13. Niall ROONEY
  14. Sharon DAVIDSON
  15. Tim COOK
  16. Yolande DYTHAM
  17. Zoe CARR

Thank you, Charles!

Charles D

Andrew MCGOVERN from the above list also contacted us by email with his thoughts about our first event:


Just saw the request on the news page for people who were present at the inaugural. I was there. It's the only inaugural I've been to. I travelled up from south London where I live now, but I grew up in Watford and went to Cassiobury school and Watford Boys so felt I had to be there. Also I trained for my first marathon 20 years ago doing laps of the park. Today will be only my 3rd Cassiobury parkrun. Good luck for the next 5 years and beyond!

Andrew McGovern (A525888)

Thank you, Andrew!

Cassiobury parkrun started on 28th February 2015. Since then 11,947 participants have completed 92,736 parkruns covering a total distance of 463,680 km, including 16,087 new Personal Bests.

A total of 988 individuals have volunteered 6,369 times.

 Thumbs up 1 Russell C Pierce B Mohammed and Pip Female runners Brian C Angela E AB, DP (TW), and Phil D&T barcode scanner


Our 5th anniversary celebrations

We hope you can join us for our 5th anniversary celebrations on 22nd February. Please encourage your friends and family, club-mates or colleagues, to come too, especially if they've not been for a while, or have never been before. There is no particular kit theme this year, but costumes or fancy dress are welcomed if you fancy it, or wear your shiniest parkrun t-shirt or Contra gear … or whatever makes you happy to run in!

A few fun happenings for the day:

  • Spot prizes for position tokens ending in 05 - i.e. if you are handed token number 005, 105, 205, 305, 405, 505, 555, 605, or 705 at the finish line. Please claim your prize before you get scanned and hand in your token! If you receive a prize, we’d like to get a pic of you for the Run Report, if you don’t mind (not obligatory!).
  • Volunteers only – guess the attendance figure! When you check in, register your guess … there’s a prize for the volunteer who guesses nearest to the final token handed out on the day.
  • One-off anniversary special – barcode lamination! We have received a very generous donation of a laminator, and we invite you to bring a credit-card-sized paper barcode to leave for us to laminate. Barcode collection on 22nd and 29th February only – they will be returned on 7th March and must be retrieved by the end of March. Please print your barcode on the highest print settings, cut it to size, and drop it in the box. It is your responsibility to collect it between 7th and 28th March. Bear in mind that official parkrun barcodes – on wristbands, tags, or cards – can be purchased here, if you’re after something more durable.
  • Call-out for anyone who attended our very first run! If you were present at Cassiobury’s inaugural run on 28th February 2015 and will also be with us this Saturday, please get in touch for our Run Report Writer, Susan! (

Happy anniversary to all our parkrunners and parkvolunteers … the 11,905 athletes who have run and the 984 people who have volunteered. See you on Saturday!


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