Conkers parkrun is cancelled on 2021-02-27 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Happy 50th non-parkrun run!

Conkers non-run run report – February 20, 2021

When Roger asked me to write the non-run run report for Saturday 20th February, I quickly checked the calendar and realised that I’d have the dubious honour of writing the non-run run report for the 50th non-parkrun organised so magnificently by Dennis Dickinson. It seems like such a long time ago that we were all lining up together for parkrun 478 on Saturday 14th March 2020, an event which attracted a field of 556 parkrunners. Little did we know then that the days of mass participation events would be on hold for so long, whilst I’m sure Dennis didn’t expect that he’d be perfecting his spreadsheet skills for so many weeks rather than taking part in our regular Conkers parkruns on Saturday mornings.

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Looking forward to the car parks at Conkers being full again as we gather at the end for the run brief.

I first found about the Conkers Collective non-parkrun runs after volunteering to write non-parkrun report number 5 on Saturday 18th April 2020. It’s fair to say that I was missing my Saturday parkrun fix by this point, so the idea of being able take part in an event on a Saturday whilst parkrun was suspended was something that definitely appealed. I joined the Conkers Collective Facebook group, completed my first run the following Saturday and have been doing so ever since…..clocking up my 46th non-parkrun parkrun with an early run around the original Conkers course on Saturday morning.

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The tree on the left was our first start line, then it was moved to the end of the wall on the right, when we return it will be at the furthest point you can see.

I’ve been massively grateful for all the efforts that Dennis has put into organising the non-parkrun parkruns. He’s regularly commented that it’s just a small thing that he’s doing, but I think that what he has done has been MASSIVE! It’s definitely kept me motivated, providing me with a reason to put the running shoes on and head out on a Saturday morning, and I know from seeing various comments over the weeks and months that it’s helped huge numbers of people keep going and enjoy some sense of normality through what’s been a really challenging time. As of last week, non-parkrun parkruns have had 225 different participants with 3,881 results registered….and the number of people taking part has consistently been over 100 during 2021. This all means that Dennis has amassed nearly 4,000 rows of data, something which will have taken a huge amount of time and commitment……all whilst demonstrating an ability to work with huge amounts of data which even NHS Track & Trace spreadsheet gurus would be envious of! (Okay, cheap joke….but you get the point – his efforts have been phenomenal!)

Talking of phenomenal, a quick look at last weeks results shows that 4 people have completed every single non-parkrun parkrun so far: Dennis Dickinson (naturally!), Mark Harriott, Kevin Sanders and Dawn Storer. Assuming that they all reached the big 50 yesterday, this means that they’ll have jointly clocked up an impressive 1,000km…..which coincidentally is the same distance as running from Conkers to Land’s End and back!

Hopefully we’ll soon be able to meet for parkrun 479. When safe to do so, it will be great to line up and take on the new Conkers course…..even if Roger does seem to have sneaked in a cheekier hill on the return.   In the meantime, keep your barcode safe and here’s a few pictures of a somewhat quieter Conkers taken yesterday morning….it’s one of my favourite places to run, but it’s definitely not the same without all the Saturday morning parkrunners.   Bring on #479!

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Erm!! Are we going to run or just stand here taking my photo!!



Love is in the air xx

Conkers non-run run report - February 14, 2021

Roses are red

Violets are blue

We still keep on running

Even though there’s a new flu....


A poet I will never be!!!

Anyway love is in the air this weekend as we celebrate valentines.... for the romantics amongst you this is set to be an expensive weekend as you rush out to buy those red roses and over-priced chocolates and for the married amongst you as a reminder Valentine’s Day is the 14th February!!!!

So here is my valentines report full of some of the things worthy of our love and admiration.


I will start by reminding everyone about our precious Conker’s parkrun and although we may currently not run this as an official parkrun, it is still there waiting for us all, patiently and calmly, doing its own thing, new buds growing, new fences erected and new wildlife preparing to make its spring time debut.

May be an image of road, nature and tree


May be an image of tree, nature and lake

Most of the parkrun community continue to get up every Saturday and at some point get out there and do the expected 5km, for some it’s fast and furious and for others it’s slow and steady ... either way 5 Km is achieved, a way to show our parkrun community we still care, we still love what the great parkrun is all about!

Cake we all love cake don’t we? Once home from 5km there is tea and cake to consume , to comfort us in the absence of our usual cafe debrief, but do not worry because soon everything will all be back to normal and we will once again sit together chattering away like the old days except we will appreciate it a little more!!


We send our love and Thanks to Dennis, who weekly gives up his time to record our results, we still get to see our names on screen and for many this is all the motivation needed to be laced up and out there every Saturday. We send our love to the core parkrun team at Conker’s who keep us posted, keep us together as a family by ensuring they are still clearly visible amongst us.


Over the next few weeks, we will start to see snowdrops and daffodils poking their heads up through the ground, I love spring and it’s just around the corner, daffodils always remind me of the impending spring season. Look out for the signs of spring as you run they are guaranteed to brighten your day, love the place you run, be grateful of the beauty we have in this our local area.

May be an image of flower and nature

 Spring is starting to happen at Conkers

The last twelve months has proven to us all that it’s important to show those you love every day how much you care. If any good has come out of the last year it’s that people have appreciated one another so much more. I have seen more random acts of kindness than ever before, have you? If not create your own random act of kindness, it does not have to cost anything, it doesn’t have to be grand, it just has to come from the heart and make someone’s day a little brighter.


Whatever you chose to do this Valentines do it with love in your heart!!


I always like to leave you with a challenge and here it is:


  1. Show everyone you love them - Hands, space, face - goes without saying, stay home and protect everyone who can’t stay home
  2. Tell someone you love them and you are proud of them - this is a superpower that when passed on makes the receiver a super human for a while
  3. Look for at least one positive in every day it doesn’t matter how big or small but will help recharge your own super powers
  4. Be kind to yourself, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, it’s definitely ok not to be ok sometimes, just reach out for help, talk to someone share your worries don’t bottle them up
  5. Be kind to those around you, take time to reach out for those who may need it , let’s all support each other
  6. Do not waste time!!! Learn one new fact every day no matter how random!! In fact the more random the better!!!!


Take care, stay safe everyone until we meet again.

Teresa Swift...xxxx



parkrun adventures

Conkers parkrun non-run run report  -  February 6, 2021

 I am a huge fan of parkrun and in particular, the one held by the fantastic team at Conkers.  It seems such a long time now since I have smiled at Roger’s briefing and laughed at Laurence dancing to direct the cars in the carpark as well as the cheery support from all the other volunteers who make parkrun happen every Saturday morning.  I have enjoyed both running and volunteering at Conkers but have never before written a run report, so what better time to give it a try.


As well as parkrun, I am also a fan of the writings of J.R.R Tolkein and those of us amongst us who also enjoy the ‘Lord of the Rings’ will know well Bilbo Baggins’ advice to his nephew Frodo that it is a dangerous business going out of your door.  “You step into the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to”.


I often think of this quote when I set foot outside my own door.  When I was finally brave enough to set off on my first local parkrun, it wasn’t long before I ventured further afield and it was then that I discovered Conkers as a tourist.  Visiting Conkers could be described as a dangerous business and whilst I have not personally encountered the tigers and bears, there are signs along the course warning us that they are there; you have been warned!


Soon I was planning more parkrun adventures. It is fabulous to turn up to an unfamiliar event and be able to enjoy the same format, the friendliness of other parkrunners and the events teams as well joining in with the high fives on the out and back courses.  Before lockdown, we were able to plan so many adventures and visit so many beautiful parks around the country as tourists.


Since we can no longer visit our favourite haunts at the moment, we simply have to find adventures and brave the dangers that lurk outside our own front doors.  Rather than running the same old route, get out there, look for new paths to explore and go where your feet lead you, purposely running or walking your local area in as many different ways as you can; if you follow your feet you never know where you might be swept off to, or what you might find when you go out on that (not) parkrun or walk.


I always remind myself to take the time to look out for little things that make me smile; the squirrels chasing each other around the trees, the woodpeckers drumming and the first flowers of Spring; it can really be as magical as Frodo’s adventures if you try.  I often let my imagination wander when I am out; the tree-lined route could be the old forest road through Mirkwood and I often spot new ‘faces’ in the old trees.  During the various lockdowns, I have really learned to appreciate my local area and spotted so many things I would not have noticed before.


This morning’s adventure through our very wet local park was like a trip through Frodo’s dead marshes as we picked our way through the mud and puddles.  The heron’s haunting calls added to the eerie atmosphere.  Thankfully, the only danger we encountered was a very wet foot from a particularly deep puddle.

May be an image of tree, nature, lake and fog

 There are puddles, and then there are puddle ponds!!

So whilst we might find ourselves looking out of the window on a cold Saturday morning in February thinking of all those dangerous reasons not to set foot outside at this time of year, remember your parkrun get up and go.  Rather than thinking it might be too cold, too windy, too muddy, too slippery, take that step outside your own front door and look out for those things that make you smile.  Shout a cheery hello to your fellow runners and walkers, laugh as you slide through the mud and ice, cheer as you manage to keep upright and both shoes on your feet, squeal as you find the puddle was so much deeper (and colder) than you thought it was, smile at the birdsong and if like me, you run with your dog feel triumphant that you didn’t end up that tree as he chased the squirrel on the path.  So long as you have a smile on your face, it makes it all worthwhile.

May be an image of flower and nature

It may be cold but there are many signs that Spring is on the way to spot on your runs.

We might be forced apart from our parkrun families for a while longer until the current pandemic is under control, but Spring is almost here and we can keep training and recording those (not)parkruns.  With all that training, you just might be fast enough to outrun those tigers and bears if you come across them on your next visit to Conkers parkrun, making stepping outside your door altogether a much less dangerous business.

May be an image of 2 people, people standing and outdoors

 Back in the day when we were able to enjoy our parkrun at Conkers, complete with the Event Director posing in the background.

Julie Dean



It’s a run not a race!!

Conkers non-run run report  -  January 30 2021
Hello Conkers parkrun volunteers, runners, joggers and walkers.
The end of January is already upon us. And sadly it seems that due to the current high levels of Covid-19 infections in the UK it is unlikely our much loved parkrun will start again until we pass the first anniversary of our last event, which took place at Conkers on 14 March 2020.
After parkrun stopped, many of us have been doing our own 5km or more (not)parkruns, non parkrun runs or walks either locally or from home, particularly during lockdowns. There has also been the opportunity for those wishing to run on a Saturday for their ‘self timed’ results to be submitted and collated by the intrepid ‘Lord Dennis D of the Spreadsheets’ who has recorded our non parkruns, PBs etc and also sent out the much coveted virtual milestone pink t-shirts and medals. Thank you Dennis for your time and effort in keeping us connected and especially keeping our pecker up!
January is often the month for new starts and resolutions to either stop doing something, start new activities or continue what we’ve begun doing. And it’s a time for some of us to shed a few pounds gained during holidays or lockdowns! And an opportunity to improve our fitness. Some of us have joined ‘RED January’ meaning Running Every Day of the month. Whether you run, swim, cycle, yoga, walk or your favourite fitness activity is OK. The purpose of participation in RED is to be supportive, raise awareness and perhaps funds for RED January’s official charity partner, Sport in Mind, the mental health charity that use sport to empower and improve people’s lives. By joining in we can help by ‘Beating the blues, one day at a time.’
January is a time particularly when depression and mental health issues can become prevalent. This year with the world in the throws of a pandemic it couldn’t be a more important time to care for each other. ‘As we can’t be together in person, let’s be together in purpose’, is another of RED’s 2021 tag lines.
This month I’ve also joined thousands of others exercising by doing ‘PE with Joe’ Wicks on YouTube. I even had a shout-out!
In past reports I’ve shared the background to names or logos of run related brand companies we know e.g. ASICS, Adidas and Puma. To track our running, walking or riding we use apps with GPS, to join challenges, share photos from our activities, and follow friends. Did you know Strava or sträva is the Swedish verb for strive, aim, and endeavour? The founders of the app company said they chose the word as it epitomises their attitude and ambition, as well ‘unifying their mission to build the most engaged community of athletes in the world.’ Powerful words indeed.
Perhaps we should give them ‘kudos’ for that statement. Kudos deriving from Greek, entered the English language as slang and the word referred to ‘the prestige someone gained by accomplishing something noteworthy.’ The present meaning "praise given for achievement" came about in the 1920s.
Talking of achievement ‘congratulations’ are in order to the new, very recently on 23 January, female world record holder Scottish born Lauren Reid who set a time of 15 minutes and 45 seconds at Parramatta parkrun in Sydney, Australia. What a great achievement for Lauren. When I’m back running the Conkers parkrun circuit I’ll probably be making my way up Cheeky Hill at about her finish time!
At Conkers parkrun I’ve been kindly reminded that it may be timed but it’s not a race! And really we only need to compare our efforts with our own past achievements and not worry too much if we sometimes fall lower than our hopes and expectations. That’s OK too.
These last months while running and walking locally I’ve discovered new routes as well as finding new and familiar places. It doesn’t have to be all about time, pace, or distance covered, there’s a bigger picture. So as well as taking obligatory photos it’s also been good to just STOP wherever I find myself, to appreciate the beauty of nature and wildlife, local history and regeneration, or just listen to the world, my own breathing and contemplate that life, despite it’s ups and down, is a gift.
Whatever our beliefs life is a gift, a gift worth savouring and sharing with those we meet along it’s hopefully long and winding road. As RED January has reminded me I say to you, you are doing incREDible! Here’s to future challenges. Bring on February.
Stay safe, in mind body and spirit. Let’s please keep the spirit of parkrunning going, in order to empower and improve ourselves and each other. Keep your barcode safe. See you all soon.


Running and Me!

Conkers parkrun non-run run report  -  January 23, 

Like many households across the country we are draining the internet as we work and school from home. Cocooned to stay safe, alleviate pressure on the NHS and ultimately to save lives. As much as I like spending time with my husband and son in our home you can have too much of a ‘good thing’ and the need to exercise has never been so important.


Running is my exercise of choice, and as often as I can, when football matches have allowed, I would attend Conker’s parkrun. Yet I have not personally submitted a time for a non-park run and it made me think why....?


I started running regularly when I became a first time mum, because it gave me an easy way to grab some me time. All I needed was some decent trainers and I was off. I now realise with all the coverage of the mental health benefits of exercise, that I was hungry for endorphins. That need for ‘me time’ has never gone away and is never more important than right now as we go through the third lockdown, and second stint of home schooling.


How quickly I run and trying to get faster has never been my priority. I realised a long time a go my body has a speed limit. Getting out there either alone or with my permitted ‘one from another household’ is enough for me.

Keep running and keep safe


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