Catton parkrun #329 “Parks and recreation”

You know what one of the best thing about doing the first timers briefing is? When I delicately call people over in my singsong little voice and see so many people come towards. It’s been a real treat the past few weeks to see so many new faces, so welcome everyone! You were part of 464 people who attended our slightly muddy run this past weekend – 52 of you were first timers or tourists! Here you all are again. Hope to see you this week!lots

Another great thing is seeing the people you see every week. Regular volunteers, regular runners, regular faces in the park. Even if we don’t know each other’s names we know each other to wave and smile at. I love the community feeling we have at Catton. If you’re new here, please don’t feel shut out, please join us for a chat and a coffee after the run, apart from Event Director Dan, most of us are very unlikely to bite, and he won’t do anything else on a Saturday other than have a gnaw on your arm. (Mrs Dan has also made sure he’s had his shots)

It was cold and muddy on Saturday, reflecting recent conditions I guess. Following Brendan this week, we can probably expect more of the same this week, so please wear shoes and gear for the conditions. ;)

In a purely Run Report Writer Competition style of way, I was inspired by this picture from one of the parkrun podcasts this week that’s from Cheltenham parkrun – if we named our hill, what would you call it? And no, sadly “That ba***rd hill” or variations thereof are not going to win. Best name might convince me to unleash Brtt on a sign mission and I’ll buy you a coffee from Sue and SuperMatt.


Right, We had oodles of milestones this week! IN a reverse order, starting with the 50 Club – a whole year of parkrun, are: Alison Fiddy, Helen Strowger, Neville Yardy, Kieran Lingard, Gavin Thetford, Glenn Masterson, Sandra Hepburn and Victoria Smart! Lots more Red T-shirts going round the park this week I hope!

Celebrating the arbitrarily unofficial 150 runs was Gill Aldus, who has now completed 750km of parkruns (or thereabouts!) . Nice one!

And another unofficial milestone was Stacey Harper, completing 200 parkruns and bringing the legendary green T into sight. J Well done!

I always used to try and give a shot out to everyone who was coming back for their 2nd parkrun… it’s not that I wanted to stop this, but it’s having to take a break until I figure a quick way of doing this with the new results table format – Sorry! Well done everyone though. J

Lots of people have rallied round since a post on social meedja last week to help fill the roster for last week and this week – thank you for that! We can’t put parkrun on without you, so, in a shameless copy and paste from Facebook, lets say thanks to:

About to pop Shelley AMES, Kathryn ARMES, Robert BAKEWELL, Matt BARNES, Mandy BERESFORD, Loud James BISHOP, Smol Brett CORNISH, Sally CUSHING, Mark DOWNES, Isabella DUFFIN, Bill EDMONDS, PB Julie ELDEN, Scary Dan GOODWIN, Pete GRANT, Results King Andrew G GREY, Elegant Elizabeth HALFORD, Chris HARRISON, Relaxed Richard HOLLINGS, Robert HOWE, Benjamin HUMPHREY, Helen JERVIS, Jeya KANDOLA, Captain of the RCU Rachel MILLER, Nick RANDALL, Tail Walker Extraordinaire Rose REUBEN, Tail Walker even Extraordinarier Leon REUBEN, Shirley ROSE, Super Lottie SANDERSON, Lindsay STANSBURY, David STANSBURY, Stump Conquerer Robin TAYLOR, I think shes sneezing Gill THOMAS, Howard TULLY, Susan TURNER, Judith TURNER, Adam YOUNG, Peter YOUNG and Verity YOUNGS!

Finally, not to have a grump, but PLEASE don’t park on Oak Lane for parkrun. If you can get in the little car park, great – but please leave space for an Ambulance or other emergency vehicle to get through.

PLEASE don’t park on Oak Lane itself though. Dan went and put out 42 flyers on cars parked there this past week. 49!!!! One of our neighbours spoke to Dan, and while he was very polite was also expressive in the annoyance that we cause if we park on that road. It simply can’t handle the traffic we leave on it.

Please head to Church Street and use the Rec Ground carpark, the layby, or the Maids Head carpark by the Maids Head pub – the Landlord has said we are welcome to park there as long as we are gone by the time the pub opens.

Ideally – cycle, walk, jog or run here!


Not that I think it’s a clear and present risk, but parkruns can become endangered if they get enough complaints from the neighbours. And I don’t want to have another home parkrun. I like Catton. Nowhere else would let me do the first timers briefing.

Finishing on a positive note – Thanks again for filling the roster, we will see you Saturday where we have a fantastic set of DD’s for you as Run Directors (oooo-er missus) – Dan and David are large and in charge!

See you Saturday!


PS. Don’t park on Oak Lane. Shelley is about to have twins and if too many people complain in the email she might pop!


Catton parkrun 328 – “Bring back Christmas”

424 of you made it over the line this past weekend in continuing muddy conditions! We were pleased to welcome 41 new people to Catton including 19 people running their first parkrun ever. Big well dones to you. We also had people visiting from Southampton, Mile End, Hampshire, London and Blickling.

Looking ahead into the month our volunteer roster currently has more gaps in it than the London Underground. Please consider helping out and filling that breach, we simply can’t run the event without you. We (honestly) do understand that standing out in the cold isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but we’re in danger of cancelling events if we can’t get more people on the roster.

Keep yourself warm with thank yous’s, clapping, dancing on Disco Corner, spurring people on round Power Up corner… laughing at James trying to run down that muddy hill, helping confused people at Church St go right the first time… there’s lots to do as a marshal, before we even get into the roles at the lodge.

Have a look here:

Then email with the days and roles you can help with. Cheers, great mates!

This past week we were pleased to welcome Thomas Maxwell, Nick Thompson and Veena Dholiwar into the 50 club.

Roly Cook, Nicola Beevis and Eleanor Jarvis all made it into the 100 club, and Simon Snell into the unofficial 150! Well done all!

This past run, we had the lovely Theresa Cornish completing her own NYD double and being our RD for two consecutive occasions. Thanks T!

Along Power up corner you’ll often find the Reuben family volunteering. They bring their own power up signs to inspire you, Rose being, as she is, horribly sickeningly talented. This week however, we’re all in agreement that she surpassed herself with this…


If I draw a cat I have to write “CAT” underneath it so people know what it is! Thanks for all your amazing artwork Rose, and not forgetting Catton parkrun – The Board Game!

We have a creative bunch – in case you missed it, here was a poem put on our Facebook page by Gary Snelling last week. If I was to put Catton parkrun into poetry, it would be similar to this, but with a lot more four letter words regarding our hill. :)
A brilliant offering from one of our regular runners Gary Snelling!!!

Catton Parkrun.

Some of us go to Catton to run & jump.

Most of us go to see if Brett will fall off the stump.

Up he goes and does his spiel.

This makes the dogs bark and squeal!

At the start there's lots of banter.

Off we go! Some walk, some run, some canter.

Pass the fork, up to the tree.

Round the corner, should have had a pee!!

Up the gradient.

The volunteers look warm and radiant.

To the top and to the the cones.

Down the hill. I hope I don't break any bones?

Round or through the water?

Oops! I just been overtaken by someone's daughter.

To the woods we bound.

Now I have been overtaken by a man and his hound.

Disco corner is going strong.

Into the woods the faster we run.

Out the woods running free.

Pass the hut, still need a pee!

Sharp left up the middle. Up the middle. Up the middle.

Down the middle. Down the middle. I really need to piddle!

First lap. Right round the bend.

Will this run ever end?

Pass the tree on the right.

The wind is blowing me round like a kite.

Another sharp right.

Already the good runners are out of sight.

Up the middle. Up the middle. Up the middle.

Down the middle. Down the middle.

Second lap. Left and up the incline.

At top Catton looks divine.

At the cones, down the slope.

I hope to cross the water by a boat.

Round the bend and to the woods we head.

Wondering why we got out of bed?

Through the woods in full flight.

Bearded camera guy gives us all a fright!!

Out of the woods we breeze.

Now every man, woman, and their dog passes me with ease.

Through the finish and funnel we go.

Men sweat, and woman glow!

Get a token and get it scanned.

I'm amazed wearing my Lycra I haven't been banned?

To the hut for a photo. Chat, and drink.

Can't stay long I'm beginning to stink!

Later that day my time pops up for all to see.

Disappointment I'm afraid. No PB!

Next week we will come to Catton to run and jump.

Could this be the week Brett falls off the stump?


Right, that about covers it for this week – short and sweet (insert Brtt joke here again).

Next week, our super duper couple of Andy and Robin are your CO-RD’s, at least this means that Robin may be in jeans and not… you know… those leggings… *MY EYES*



PS. If you park on Oak Lane, our new punishment will be that you have to stare at Robins Leggings in this picture until you think about what you did. :(


Catton parkrun #327 – Auld Lang Syyyyyyyyynmahdear

I’m so full of biscuits, cheese and Christmas pudding I can barely move my fingers on the keyboard folks, but it’s time to start with the run reports of 2020!

Going to be short and sweet as our next parkrun is tomorrow – will be good to get back to “normality” – well as normal as we ever get!

434 of you started with us early doors (and then some of you made your way to Lingwood, Brundall, Loch Neaton and Holkham. ) to start your year off the parkrun way!

On Wednesday we had Justine Davenport achieve her 250th run. Justine and her boys have been a firm fixture of Catton parkrun since we started. As shown by Liam Davenport getting his 200th run on the same event.


We also had Martin Harvey and Derek Jarvis achieve their 100th parkrun with us – and Derek scoring his 25th volunteer stint at the same time! Well done both. Special well done to Derek, our tailwalker extraordinaire!

Richard Moore and Rob Lines both made their 50th run with us too!

Thanks to all our volunteers who made it happen –

Gill THOMAS • Nicolette NEILE • Dan GOODWIN • Lynn TATE • Ian EDWARDS • Tracey MARSH • Nick RANDALL • James BISHOP • Peter YOUNG • David PARKER • Sharon LAKEY • Adam YOUNG • Brett CORNISH • Kelly CORNISH • Kyra CORNISH • Luke CORNISH • Jack THOMPSON • Theresa CORNISH • Elizabeth HALFORD • Russell PARKINS • Julie GLASEL • Lynda HOWARD • Adam LAKEY • Helen JERVIS • Derek JARVIS • Miranda ELLIS • Katie PALLANT • Willow PALLANT • Robin TAYLOR • Andrew G GREY • Lucius JONES • Amy BYGRAVE • Mark DUNKIN and Rowan PALLANT

Speaking of volunteers, I think it’s time we gave a special thank you to SuperMatt, Sue and the other friends who turn out to help for all the teas and coffees they serve us throughout the year. Sadly, for *handwavey* parkrun reasons due to the handling of cash, we can’t give them a credit for their help, but they’re here even when on Wednesday, it was dark setting up! Here’s SuperMatt, Sue and Karen on NYD.


OK, back to it for tomorrow! See you there, 8:45 new runners, 8:55 run briefing, 9:00 go! Theresa is your RD tomorrow and will be sticking to a strict schedule. Or else! J


PS. By parking on Oak Lane, you annoy our neighbours. Please don’t!


A Catton parkrun Christmas…..

Inspired by all the recent kerfuffle about the meaning of Christmas, the Core Team set about putting on a show to show the true parkrun meaning of Christmas. Designed to be a cross between a traditional Nativity and Aladdin, on the ground floor of Catton parkrun towers the auditorium area was prepared (Dan’s litter trays cleared away / James’s ham fisted attempts at “art”, Brtt’s Shed construction efforts, etc) and we invited all the families who come to Catton parkrun to watch... what could go wrong?

Dan: Everyone’s favourite slightly rabid Event Director was determined to kick off the show and therefore pulled rank to cast himself as the Little Drummer Boy. This is who comes out at the beginning of the pantomime to spread the Christmas message of love and being together, beating his little drum and happily singing ‘tum-te-tum-tum’.

Unfortunately, being a pastiche of a certain muppet (like most of the core team to be honest…) Dan had other ideas, and, (inspired by watching far too much VH-1 “80’s RAWK DOCUMENTARIES” when the TV in his cage had become stuck on that channel after he gnawed on it once too often).... appeared determined to put his own aspect on the character.

Dan turned up on stage far too early in Lycra leopard print leggings, a giant shaggy permed Bon Jovi wig, a leather jacket, huge black eyeliner and a T-shirt that read “ED/RD”.

Also gone was the cute drummer boy snare drum, somehow replaced with a giant 80 piece VICIOUS kit suspended above the stage. Dan tore viciously into his drum solo, so angrily in fact that his sticks rapidly broke. Desperately he hunted for a replacement and grabbed the nearest thing at hand, and spent the rest of his set hitting the tubs with one of the stuffed sheep from the nativity scene at the side of the stage that had been loaned to us by Mandy Foyster. Oh dear.

Off to a bad start but I’m sure things will get better….

David: Being the composite English Gentleman Thespian, having had been trained not only at the Barbican in London but had also spent a few semesters at the New York School for the Dramatic Arts in New York. (He was one of the original Kids from FAME no less, one of those that was in the film but didn’t make it to the TV Show). David was cast as Joseph, with Shelley as the Virgin Mary by virtue of the fact she is up the duff. Like a true thespian, David spent many hours in private before the play, to ‘get into’ ‘flesh out’ and ‘mesh together’ his character.

David stood into the wings next to an increasingly grumpy and tired Shelley who thought all this shenanigans would be better served by giving the kids too much sugar and a trip to the Yarmouth arcades instead, while she went and had a lie down. David’s cue came; he stepped out on stage… and was instantly struck down by stage fright.

Mr Parker stood there, like a pole, drooling slowly out the side of his mouth, saying “Shlolpadop” once every eight seconds.

Oh dear.

 Shelley: Shelley put her head in her hands and rubbed her temples in despair at the sight our core team Elder Statesman making a mess of things and decided that Christmas spirit would be better served by going for a lie down and getting Mr Shelley to rub her feet.

Turning on her heels and heading for the stage door, she threw her head-dress into the arms of a bemused Brtt, who was only supposed to be working behind the scenes (as he was going to be too small for anything unless we were putting on Tom Thumb instead), saying “you do it!” firmly slamming the door behind her in search of chocolate and a hot bath.

Brtt: Brtt was delighted by this turn of events, having been relegated to the role of stage management amid visibility fears, and breaking from the script so much with Nativity and Panto Statto facts (BrttFact #547 – “The word pantomime is derived from the Greek word παντόμιμος (pantomimos). The meaning is imitates all.”) that what is supposed to be a two hour long Panto would in fact turn into a six hour long regalement of honestly interesting factoids….

Jamming the headgear onto his noggin (and then pushing it back because it was too big), Brtt confidently headed to the stage and began his revised first line “Joseph, did you know that there were 149 sheds built at the ti…. *agh*”.

Sadly, Brtt slipped up on the shattered remains of Dan’s drumstick from earlier and careened off the stage….

Kelly and Kyra: Newest member to the core team along with daughter Kyra had taken on the role of the pantomime / nativity horse. Neither were keen on being directly identified as having anything to do with the Omnishambles they were certain that this event would end up as, but both are civic minded and wanted to do their bit. Therefore both had taken on the part of the traditional UK panto horse.

“Clip Clop” said Kyra, wearily, as they saw Dad / Hubby fall flat on his face. “Clip Clop, Clip Clop” said Mum, sadly in resignation. And in their words, imagine the resignation… “Clip Clop” they said in unison. “Clip…. Clop”.

I’m sad now. Clip clop everyone. *Looks at Brtt lying unconscious in a crumpled heap, gently murmuring something about signs* Clip clop.

Ian: Eternal optimist, great person, parkrun ambassador and permanently slightly lost chap Ian had been cast as Aladdin. Sadly in the Bethlehem / Agrabah mashup creation we had put on, he was nowhere to be found. While Ian is normally kept busy dividing his time between the sprawling complex of Coolknee Laboratories and parkrun HQ, he should know the way to Catton parkrun towers. I mean, we all know where that is right?


“Rats, I’m late!” coughed Ian, pedalling frantically up to the loading bay of Catton parkrun towers. Unfortunately for Ian, his luck ran true as inexplicably his brakes failed to work properly, sending him careening into the loading bay wall. “Ha!” said Ian, as he picked himself up out of his bike wreckage, “Can’t get me like that!” he said as he revealed a full riding suit made of knitted Kevlar. Unfortunately the crash had dislodged some loose pallets stacked up by the side of the loading bay, which came crashing down towards Ian’s head.

“Ha!!!” said Ian, “Can’t get me like that EITHER!”, he said, removing his super bike helmet to look at the new dents the brickwork and pallets had left. “I’m just prepared for you, life! You can’t get me, not tonight!” he announced to the fates that torment him, as he stood resplendent in his Aladdin robes. “Right, to the stage!” he declared, walking away from the minor disaster area he had created behind him. Unfortunately at that point he stepped on a discarded rake that SuperMatt had left lying around as he headed towards the stage door and knocked himself spark out.

Oh dear.

Miranda: Miranda had been cast as the genie for the Aladdin portion of the show. Mainly because she had threatened to “Treat our kneecaps like a Christmas cracker” if we didn’t give her what she wanted. Fair enough. She had resisted the attempts from Brtt to spray her blue as well, insisting that she would wear any colour we wanted, “as long as it’s black”.

Being logistically awesome and her career in Black Ops serving her well, Miranda had synchronized her watch to the start of the show and then awaited in the giant lamp at the side of the stage in a hypnotic trance, in order to awaken her senses at just the right moment chronologically and spring out to deliver her line “Who awakens the Genie of the lamp?”. And therefore was unaware of the chaos that had taken place around her until this moment.

Miranda’s watch buzzed, she instantly opened her eyes from her trance, leapt out of the lamp and…

James: Loud mouthed James had been put in charge of sound effects for the production, reasoning that anyone who could shout as loud as he can has a grasp of acoustics that goes beyond the norm. Sadly James is a bit over literal and just thought that he was supposed to provide all the sound effects using his shout, so as Miranda burst through the top of the lamp, the big galoot started into his “Gooooood Morning Everybody…..!!!!” shout that shakes the birds from the sky at 8:50 every Saturday morning.

This confused Miranda who was expecting a bang, a kaboom, or at least, a gasp from the increasingly confused and disappointed audience (most of whom had drifted away already in search of something more interesting…) – and instead of delivering her line, she instead automatically began reciting her “Run Director Code” kata, and began making martial arts moves over the stage instead, reciting “All Dogs on a short lead… hai!. Faster Runners look for slower runners, hai! You can see them! They can’t see you! Hai! Don’t park on Oak Lane! Hai!”…. this meditation takes at least 30 minutes… so we’ll leave her to it. Oh dear. “

James continued his shout. Then held up his “Run briefing here” (The wrong way round as usual).sign with a hopeful look on his simple face. Oh dear.

Robin and Andy: International jetsetting couple Robin and Andy had taken on the parts of the two wise men (cutbacks) . Upon seeing the wreck our play was, they got back on the plane and left. Leaving nothing but an aura of fabulousness…. And Joop.

Theresa: Theresa had been cast as the angel of Christmas, being, as she is, a good and decent person. Descending from the rafters on a guidewire at the appointed time, she sighed, closed her eyes, and wished for peace on earth, good will to all men, rocking abs, and for people to please not park on Oak Lane. Please.

Then oddly, we noticed she wasn’t using any sort of guidewires… and those wings were far too realistic… and she was backlit... we didn't have any backlighting... could she be…. Nah….

Merry Catton Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

And don't park on Oak Lane!


Catton parkrun 321 “*Weird Ted Rogers hand thing*”

Long before most Catton runners have opened their eyes and started to consider which type of running shoes would fit the conditions of the day the magic in Oak Lane has started. In the dark and the damp the Cone Maestro is hard at work making sure that we keep the residents happy. Up until now this has been achieved by distribution of the large cones by wheelbarrow from the Lodge. A task requiring patience and brute force. Now we have used some of the money donated by generous runners to purchase smaller cones that fit into Brett’s van and like some motorway maintenance hero he can quickly dispense them along the road. What will we do when Brett is on holiday? Volunteers please!!

WhatsApp Image 2019-11-23 at 07.50.49 Speaking of holidays check with our social media feeds as to when Catton is hosting runs over Christmas and New Year. Don't miss out on the festive cheer and the exercise of course! As a contrast to Brett’s early morning trudge in the rain we have news from Robin and Andrew in Oz. They are continuing their efforts to visit as many parkruns as possible in Australia and sent the following photo from Albert Melbourne parkrun. Congratulations guys on reminding us just how damp and grey Norwich has been while you have been away. Haste ye back to atone for all that Vitamin D you are enjoying.

WhatsApp Image 2019-11-23 at 00.05.11

Enough of all this talk of holidays and sunshine the run this week in the park was not without its drama. The RD was determined to start on time but then the PA system died on us. Step forward James the ‘Mighty Mouse’ of announcements who quickly brought the assembled runners to order so that we could celebrate the milestones, Dick Cheung 50th and Kevin Chapman 100th, plus our visitors who were from Stavanger, Norway, Hunstanton, North London and Swaffham.

This week 263 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 18 were first timers and 27 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 37 volunteers:

Lucy FLEMING • Dan GOODWIN • Raymond MARSHALL • Stephen MOSELEY • Ian EDWARDS • Louise O'CONNELL • James BISHOP • Tina MOSELEY • Mandy BERESFORD • David PARKER • Andy EVANS • Helen WARD • Brett CORNISH • Richard HOLLINGS • Malcolm RANDALL • Lottie SANDERSON • Elizabeth HALFORD • Becky PIGOTT • Lynda HOWARD • Emma SAXTON • Ruth LEARY • Robert HOWE • Howard TULLY • Pete GRANT • Frankie PIGOTT • Lewis WHITMARSH • Robert ORGAN • Alison READ • Jonathan WRIGHT • Andy TIBBLE • Karen PATTERSON • Lisa ALBOROUGH • Kerrie ROSE • Rose REUBEN • Leon REUBEN • Heidi WILSON • Fleur MURRAY

If anyone had any doubts about the spirit and community that is generated by our amazing volunteers our official photographer Ian captured this moment on Saturday. I am not sure of the age range in the group but no matter young and old alike are showing their enthusiasm for the parkrun experience.

WhatsApp Image 2019-11-23 at 10.14.02 (1)

Just one final comment about volunteering there are many and varied roles that we use to make sure the event runs smoothly. For example timekeepers, scanners and finish token roles are high profile and you see all the runners but we also have some unsung heroes whose participation is just as important Our final picture today shows this week’s Tail Walker encouraging a participant to sprint over the line at the end of the 5km course. The Tail Walker ensures that no one gets lost and more importantly that no one feels excluded by the greyhounds finishing ahead of them.

WhatsApp Image 2019-11-23 at 10.50.57

Until next week ………………………………. David


⇐ Newer Posts