Cheltenham parkrun Run Report 26/10/19 Event #349 Rain and Rugby

Could it have been much wetter?! Probably, but 274 runners and walkers braved the elements and finished their parkrun today.

I was touring from Arrow Valley, partly for a “C” in the Pirates Running Challenge and partly because it was one of the nearest events that I haven’t done yet.

Setting off on the M5 for my 40 minute journey did make me question whether I should have stayed local today however I made it (just about) and checked in with Mitch who was attempting to keep paperwork dry.

As I got there everything was looking very familiar and I started to question whether I’d already done this parkrun before. I’ve done almost 40 different events but was I really that forgetful? When I walked across to the start with a sense of déjà vu, I realised this was one of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League courses which I’d run last year. As I went over the bridge four times I was reminded that we didn’t use the bridge in cross country but went through the water which was looking very deep today, hope it’s a bit lower when we come back this year.

As I’d missed the First Timers Brief David very kindly explained that we would run the winter course, 4 laps of the lake and this could be slippy and muddy so to take extra care, much appreciated as he was absolutely right. Puddles were threatening to turn into lakes of their own as we got to our fourth laps. At least we weren’t going through that water crossing!

Mitch’s “Strictly” RD Briefing was brilliant, with props and feather boas, it brightened up a rainy day. I could tell he’d spent hours practicing!


A few stats about the morning;

Highest Age Grading was Robert Datnow 75.28%.

Most experienced parkrunners were Almost Athletes club-mates Simon Jarvis and Matthew Bevan both on 308.

Not far behind them is Prashanth Kumar Sripathi who is fast approaching an arbitrary 300, currently on 296.

Milestones today;

Sophie Barker and Danielle Hadad had their 100th parkrun.

Rob Green has his 100 next week.

Howard Butcher, Hannah Monro and Shaun Newton celebrated 50 today although the men kept that quiet as I didn’t see them being dressed up at the start!

Chris Hemingway, David Pickard, Nelsinho Trowbridge and Nick Mayers will celebrate their 50th next run.

There were 7 1st timers today, well done to you, hope the rain didn’t put you off coming back for week 2.

23 clubs were represented with Almost Athletes having the highest number of runners with 16 taking part.


There were some fab volunteers today, special mention to the Marshall near the bollards who has surely lost her voice after all that encouragement and shouting out the Rugby scores which I’m sure was appreciated by those that had foregone the match to faithfully parkrun, what a dilemma!

Thanks to the volunteers, please give it a go if you never have, it’s a great way to get to know people and to appreciate what happens behind the scenes:

Charlotte ZOLTONOS  • Cheryl CLAY • David BLACK  • Emma DOOLEY • Eve DATNOW •  Gail GILBERT • Hannah BOYDELL •  Hannah RICHARDS • Ivana WILSON • Janine BENNETT  • Jeanette Elizabeth GULLICK • Jessie GOMER • Kavyashree PARKALA  • Kevin NORMAN • Linda COLE • Marysia JARVIS • Mike JARVIS • Neil DOOLEY  • Paula GOMERSALL • Peter MITCHENER • Pete


New Year’s Day

Cheltenham parkrun will be happening on New Year's Day, however starting at 10.30!



Christmas Day

Cheltenham parkrun will be happening on Christmas Day.

Cheeky Monkey may make an appearance.



Cheltenham parkrun: 342 07/09/2019

A two-hour round-trip for a 5k run isn't perhaps the most efficient use of time and petrol but this morning, I was really excited about the chance to run Cheltenham parkrun. My home parkrun, Marlborough Common, was cancelled whilst the circus is in town. As a member of the core team, I volunteer most weeks so I was thrilled to take the opportunity to do some parkrun touristing. My dad grew up in Cheltenham and his side of the family still live there. This weekend was my aunt's birthday, so the timing was perfect! 
Right from the start, I was struck at how friendly Cheltenham parkrun is. It also has loos, which automatically endears a run location to my heart (and my bowels). I introduced myself to the jolly Run Director, listened to the first-timer briefing and then followed the crowd to the start. With 582 runners today, the field was over three times the size of our little event, but I was struck at the sense of community. The Run Director briefing was fast and funny (I shall be stealing many of his lines for the next time I'm let loose on the microphone). Visitors were welcomed from near and far (York and Washington DC being the furthest). The epic Rachel Fargher celebrated her 250th parkrun by being crammed into a silly hat for a photo. Fabulous stuff. And then, without further ado, we all lined up, got counted down and we were off.
I thoroughly enjoyed running the Cheltenham course. Pittville Park is pretty and I loved the mix of grass, trail and pavement. We'd been warned that the start would be crowded and it was indeed, but that stopped me dashing off too fast and dying in the final mile. The marshals were friendly and encouraging and the weather was pretty much perfection! 
The thing I most loved was the kids out running this morning. A little boy in a buggy chanted 'Go. Faster. Go. Faster' as his dad ran as hard as he could behind him. A young girl ran strongly along in a fabulous running outfit that I was a bit jealous of. A boy politely thanked every marshal as he ran past. A little girl skipped gaily along, hand in hand with her dad. One of the things I most love about parkrun is the way it encourages children to get active and to embrace running, and the magic of parkrun was in full force this morning. 
I was pretty chuffed with my (unremarkable) finish time even if I didn't get to ring the PB bell. And, having quickly changed my clothes and dried my hair under a hand-dryer so as to not scare my elegant aunt, I headed over to see my family, drink coffee and eat shortbread.
If you want some stats, there were 582 parkrunners this morning. There were 109 PBs, 62 first-timers and 39 fabulous volunteers. As a regular volunteer, I promise that volunteering can be even more joyful than running, so if you've never volunteered, I'd really recommend you give it a go. Speak to any volunteer next week for more information. 
I thoroughly enjoyed my parkrun at Cheltenham this morning. Thanks so much for having me! Please do come and visit us any time at Marlborough, we'd love to see you. 

Cheltenham parkrun – Event 330 15 June 2019

This time last year we were basking in day after day of sunshine and commenting on how so hot it was to run parkrun at 9am.  This week most of us were probably thinking wouldn’t it be just nice to do parkrun in the dry. And we did! The rainclouds held off 511 walkers, joggers and runners completed the course supported by the great team of volunteers.

It was my 4th visit to Cheltenham parkrun. We decided a few weeks ago upon Cheltenham as it is sort of half way between Bristol and Coventry. My wife’s family live in Coventry and are also parkrunners so it was the perfect place to meet up. In fact, it was my sister in law who some 7 ½ years ago got my wife into parkrunnning and in turn my wife (once Bristol opened a flat parkrun – which sadly years later was closed by the Parish Council in Little Stoke) got me parkrunning. parkrun is now automatically built into our Saturday mornings. It was lovely to see them and they even persuaded our nieces to come as well, it might have been for breakfast afterwards although we like to think it is was to see their favourite Auntie and Uncle. So thankyou Cheltenham parkun for welcoming us all we all enjoyed our run which included new PB’s for sister and brother in law.

I would like to say a big thankyou to the volunteers as without them parkrun can’t happen

Adam ASHBY  •  Alex ATACK  •  Alex MCGRATH  •  Andrew GRIFFIN  •  Bev EDWARDS  •  Cheryl CLAY  •  Chris THOMAS  •  David PICKARD  •  Domenico GERACITANO  •  Erin DAVIES  •  Francis RUSSELL  •  Gemma HARGRAVES  •  Graeme STOPP  •  James MCGRATH  •  Janine BENNETT  •  Jessie GOMER  •  Kate BESTWICK  •  Lucy ORD  •  Melissa JONGA  •  Mike JARVIS  •  Mike SPINK  •  Neville KING  •  Nigel PROBERT  •  Nik FARMER  •  Paul EDWARDS  •  Peter MITCHENER  •  Rob HUME  •  Roy BURLAND  •  Simon GOMERSALL  •  Sophie WARREN  •  Sue MONAGHAN

Please do have a look at the roster for the coming weeks and email if you can help out.

Well done and huge thanks to Chris (Run Director) for sorting out the glitch in results. As a fellow run director (Eastville Park, Bristol) I know that sinking feeling when there is a problem and some part of the data doesn’t upload. A few months ago, we had a problem which meant that the RD that day had to manually enter all 500 barcode numbers which took them all Saturday afternoon/evening to sort. I hope you were able to enjoy the rest of the day!

Congratulations and welcome to the 21 first timers – we hope you enjoyed it and will be returning next Saturday.

Well done to –

  • Everyone for just coming and being part of parkrun,
  • Sally Freeman and Rob Green for being first female and male finishers,
  • Kath Freeman on the highest age grade which was closely followed by junior Jack Johnson,
  • 57 of you who got a new PB.

Have a good week and only 6 days to go til the next 5K parkrun (I am sitting writing this report on Sunday morning looking at the rain hoping that it will ease off before 9am for junior parkrun).

Andy Griffin

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