Colchester Castle parkrun is cancelled on 2021-05-15 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Colchester Castle parkrun Event numbers 352 & 353 25th & 28th December 2019

This week 412 people ran, jogged and walked the course on Christmas Day – a massive new Christmas Day record number for us.

As well as all the familiar faces, our numbers were boosted by lots of first timers and tourists from far and wide, giving us a truly international flavour. Australia was our furthest point away, but wherever you joined us from we hope you loved the event.

We also seemed to have a lot of landmarks reached, clearly you were working towards Christmas Day! We also reached 100,000 completed parkruns – that’s half a million kilometres covered at Colchester Castle. What a great day to achieve it.

Then, on Saturday 470 people took part of whom 56 were first timers and 87 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 48 different clubs took part.

Thanks to a bit of yuletide japery from somebody walking through Kings meadow, our turnaround point was moved, leaving the course a little short. Liam Neeson is on the case and he will find them.

We appreciate you letting us know and taking it with good grace. Most seemed really pleased to receive a Christmas bonus of a shorter distance to run and an unexpected PB, which makes for a pleasant change of having Garmins shoved under your nose I must say. Clearly the Christmas spirit was alive and well.

The two events were made possible by 60 volunteers in total, what stars you all are. We had to put in an emergency route to avoid the flooding along the river path, which required additional marshals at very short notice, and we were blessed to have so much help.

So now we head in to January and a new year and decade of parkrunning. We hope and expect to see plenty of new faces joining us, as well as a few returning to kick off their new year. We would appreciate it if those more experienced parkrunners could help us in two ways; firstly, by volunteering for some of the additional roles we will be putting on to ensure everything goes smoothly and our newcomers know what to do. Secondly, could we ask you to remain quiet during the briefings please. It may or may not contain info you haven’t heard before, but you could be talking over someone who really needs to hear and understand what is going on. So out of courtesy to all involved please fight the boredom and resist the urge to natter for a few moments.

Finally, as a personal note as Event Director I’d like to thank the Core committee of Run Director’s and Volunteer Co-ordinators who beaver away in the background and make Colchester Castle parkrun tick. It often gets overlooked that everyone involved is a volunteer and gives up theirs and their families valuable time to put this on.

So to all participants and volunteers a Happy New Year to you all. Remember New Years Day is your chance to double up and record two parkruns on the same day. The easiest combo is CCPR at 9 am and Highwoods at 10.30, but have a great time whatever you get up to.

The full results and a complete event history can be found on the Colchester Castle parkrun Results Page.

Colchester Castle parkrun started on 6th April 2013. Since then 11,597 participants have completed 100,682 parkruns covering a total distance of 503,410 km, including 17,496 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,496 individuals have volunteered 8,897 times.



Christmas Day run report

Colchester Castle parkrun
Event number 352
25th December 2019

Wow! We did not just beat our previous best attendance for a Christmas Day, but we smashed it. In fact, it is nearly double what we got only two years ago. 412 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 60 were first timers and 19 recorded new Personal Bests.

We also reached another landmark, with our 100,000th recorded participant. So that's 500,000 kilometres, or if you prefer, 310,685.596 miles that you have ran and walked on our course. No wonder you feel tired!

A big word of thanks to our volunteers for helping out so magnificently and also to the 410 of you who collected your tokens and kept the results all in order, luckily we spotted our two funnel duckers and all is well that ends well.

Also, we had an amazing of array of fancy dress on display - far too many to mention - and it really did make for a great atmosphere. With 60 first timers, tourists from far and wide (we think Melbourne is the furthest) and a fair few of you reaching landmarks it all made for quite the morning.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

John WHEATLEY • Sue WRAY • Gareth GAILEY • John SANDERS • Sybil HARRIS • Allen BALL • James ADDISON • Aine MCNULTY • Niamh MCNULTY • Jane MCNULTY • Slem MARTIN • Katie HILTON • Lyndsey BYGRAVE • Chris EXLEY • Michelle BYGRAVE • Carol CHALKLEY • Ben PLUMMER • Liam WINTERS • Jane OAKLEY • Michelle MOORCROFT • Simon COLCLOUGH • Millie YELL • Andrea GRAY • Joanne PEARCE • Darcy CASEY • Mary WARWICK

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

The female record is held by Nicola ROGERS who recorded a time of 18:22 on 30th August 2014 (event number 71).
The male record is held by Adrian MUSSETT who recorded a time of 15:41 on 22nd August 2015 (event number 123).
The Age Grade course record is held by Margaret DEASY who recorded 90.31% (18:34) on 12th April 2014 (event number 53).

Colchester Castle parkrun started on 6th April 2013. Since then 11,541 participants have completed 100,212 parkruns covering a total distance of 501,060 km, including 17,409 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,489 individuals have volunteered 8,863 times.


Colchester Castle parkrun #348

With the morning dawning below freezing, there was concern about going ahead with this morning's parkrun. However after a course inspection, we decided the conditions were acceptable though there were a few icy patches; so ample warnings were given in the briefing and no incidents occurred (thankfully!).
this meant that 285 runners were not disappointed and were able to enjoy their parkrun on a chilly sunny morning though not long after the finish, the rain arrived!
We were also pleased to welcome 23 first timers including 5 new to parkrun, and a number of tourists, from Southend, Chelmsford, Hertfordshire, Birmingham etc.
26 volunteers well wrapped up made our run possible and they were warmly applauded by all before the start.

98,947 parkruns have now been completed by everyone at Colchester Castle, so we should reach 100,000 parkruns by Christmas. Talking of which, remember we have a parkrun on Christmas Day as well as the Saturday, and on New Year's Day you are allowed to run and count two parkruns, so it will be possible to run Colchester Castle (09:00) and then Highwoods (10:30) - the first time this double has been possible.

Have a good week, and look forward to next parkrunday!


Colchester Castle parkrun #347

Our run report this week has been gifted to us by the parkrun poet. Thanks Tim!

The Poetry Dungeon – parkrun #347, 23 November 2019

I returned to Castle Park with my son Joseph, a little nervous about how he’d handle the hill. It was his 21st different event so I needn't have worried. A critical mass of 308 parkrunners assembled despite the drizzly, overcast weather. Colchester Castle seemed like the typical 'flash' parkrun with hardly anyone around at 8:45, only for an influx of athletes to digest Meera's run briefing 10 minutes later. I should have heeded her warning about the slippery nature of the paths...

Usually, my son and me couldn’t pace a corridor, but this morning we were quite sedate in the first mile, enjoying the relative comfort of the first downhill section. All seemed good in the world of Corner Cutter Gardiner and son. Approaching the turnaround with genuine hope, it was dashed as I skidded on some wet leaves and onto the damp grass, slide tackle style. The concern and encouragement of my fellow parkrunners (not my son I might add!) got me underway again, but the momentum had been lost. Streaked with dirt, I hauled my frame up the hill for the initial lung buster in the style of the Marshmallow Man.

Near the café, a lovely marshal quipped ‘oh, a poet!’ pleased that one had been released from their straitjacket! The best thing about the parkrun is passing around the Castle, before enjoying a well-earned downhill sprint. The hill on the second lap felt like the north face of the Eiger; cheered on by some of the 35 fabulous volunteers who made the parkrun possible. Soundly beaten in the sprint finish by my son, I was left to roll into the finish funnel in around 27 minutes, my stomach muscles aching like John Hurt’s in Alien. Interestingly, Sigourney Weaver’s mum, Elizabeth Inglis, was born in Colchester in 1913 before moving to Hollywood in the 1930s and starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of The Thirty-Nine Steps. Herein lies the Hitchcock link to my previous run reports for Maldon Prom (#327) and Newark (#335) which had references to the famous movie director (my favourite)!

A total of 139 runners ‘beat the poet’ this morning, the wordsmith waning after the tumble. There were over 30 pbs, 13 lucky first-timers (including the wintry Lewis Snowball) and Darren Manners joined the 50 Club. Well done to all parkrun achievers!

We now enter the artistic portion of the run report. On my last visit to Castle Park, I had some haiku poems featured in the report, with the run director suggesting the creation of a Poetry Corner. I feel a Poetry Dungeon is more appropriate given the historic location and infamy of Colchester Castle’s prison! The Dungeon should be the home for good, bad and downright ugly poetry. So here is the first effort and a game for poetic parkrunners. It’s something called a renga; a sequence of three and two line poems, each linking to the one before, and then shifting to a different subject.

The Poetry Dungeon

castle hill
now I know what
made Boudica mad

running Romans
charge as a turtle-shell

downhill sprint
runners shimmy
through the gate

marshmallow man
his cadence needs work

And so the sequence has been started by Joseph (2 and 4) and me (1 and 3), with others free to add alternate three and two line haiku poems (forget the syllables!) in future.

Tim Gardiner
aka the parkrun poet
twitter: @parkrunpoetry


Colchester Castle Parkrun 344

Decisions, decisions, Rugby or Parkrun!!! Well 254 of you still forfeited the cosy place in front of the TV to come and run. For 27 it was the first time and 32 PBs were achieved. And all before the heavens opened!!

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