parkrun #79, the one with the parkrun poet

Yo ho ho and a bottle of squash – Colney Lane #79, 15 June 2019


Colney Lane is well-known in the parkrun pirate community. Scurvy souls travel from far and wide to plunder the hills for another C in the pirate challenge (Seven Cs and an Rrrrrr). Accompanied by my son, Joe the cabin boy, I set out in search of a seventh C with a crew of 218 parkruneers and a desire to write short haiku poems to distract me from the pain in my remaining leg.



along the stony lane…

a dog’s claws


Undeterred by the curse of black spot, we continue our voyage around the ocean of grasses in the meadow, aided in our navigation by 22 glowing volunteers in a golden age of parkrun piracy.



near the apple tree…

a planned mutiny


From the woodland along the path, a voice echoes from deep in the brambles. “Keep going, he’s a long way in front of you” the half-crazed man imparts. I can only assume Ben Gunn means Mark Watlow, who’s completing his 50th parkrun and is some four minutes ahead of us on the trail.



fierce fighting

for position


Becalmed by the first ascent of Spyglass Hill, the pirate hoard thins a little. Two boys set adrift from their father, coast on the ebb tide towards the second lap. The famous parkrun pirate, Paul ‘Blueshirt’ Freyne, is among the chasers at Colney Lane, his 399th different UK event.


dropped watch…

the first hint

of treasure


The final jog up Spyglass Hill is greeted by the outstretched and somewhat skeletal hand of a marshal, pointing towards the finish. The funnel marks the spot for us today; it comes into view on the crest of the ridge.


wooden legs…

the biscuit cache



In the end, 122 pirates beat the poet to the hoard of biscuits and squash. After stealing the last custard cream, I decide to make my escape. Joe says there’s a chance of a PB next time; but that it’s too dangerous to attempt a second run!



my son finds

his lost jumper


Long John Gardiner

aka the parkrun poet @parkrunpoetry



The event was well supported by 22 amazing volunteers. Lastly, I must thank the charming parkruneer, Captain Angelika Reichstein, for inviting me to write this run report inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.



Aidan BANFIELD  •  Angelika REICHSTEIN  •  Basil CRISP  •  Craig SKIPPER  •  David BARCLAY  •  Dawn INGER  •  Deborah MARSHALL  •  Glenda STIRLING  •  Hannah COLBY  •  Ian EDWARDS  •  John MITCHELL  •  Lizzie HUNTON  •  Lucy MORGAN  •  Mark BANFIELD  •  Mark WATLOW  •  Nicola WELDON  •  Nikki TARRANT  •  Rich HOEY  •  Samantha GRAINGER  •  Sue BANFIELD  •  Theresa COLBY  •  Tim GARDINER


The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 16:04 on 27th October 2018 (event number 46).
The female record is held by Iona LAKE who recorded a time of 17:58 on 2nd March 2019 (event number 64).
The Age Grade course record is held by Eva OSBORNE who recorded 90.63% (28:16) on 27th October 2018 (event number 46).

Colney Lane parkrun started on 9th December 2017. Since then 3,256 participants have completed 14,673 parkruns covering a total distance of 73,365 km, including 3,276 new Personal Bests. A total of 364 individuals have volunteered 1,728 times.