Conkers parkrun is cancelled on 4 April 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

It should be a hive of activity – but all is quiet.

Conkers parkrun non-run run report for event #01 - March 21, 2020

It’s Wednesday 18th March 2020, sitting on my lunch break at work and I see the inevitable, an announcement from parkrun… “We have taken the decision to close all parkrun events across the UK with immediate effect.” That for me like I’m sure it would have for many of you hit me hard, I knew it was the right thing to do under current circumstances but that doesn’t mean we can’t be upset, disheartened, even angry. For us parkrun is more than just a 5km run jog or walk, it is our Saturday morning routine, our constant, our community, our family, our friends, our physical and mental health. This got me thinking; we need to look after our parkrun family, but how…? I dropped Roger a message with an idea, how about we have a non-run run report every Saturday, like a normal conkers parkrun run report written for us by us. Roger loved the idea! He even said if he were closer he’d give me a hug! I of course advised him that that would not be wise #socialdistancing.

So Friday evening I sat down to write the first conkers parkrun non-run run report…. Hmmmm, writers block. How exactly does one write a run report when we’re not actually running parkrun? I went to the fridge and got myself a lovely can of cold beer (all I have in it with the panic buyers *rolls eyes*) a can of Hyde and Wilde session pale ale in case you’re wondering, bought because it has a zebra on the front… ‘tssSSS krrr POP!’ ‘SLLuurrP!’ sweet, zesty and hoppy. Purchased from Sainsburys local (other supermarkets are available).

Bored of reading yet? Nope? I’ll go on.

Hmmmm… let me take you back to Saturday 18th June 2016, why you ask? that was the Saturday I embarked on my first parkrun. *Back in time sound effects and wavy lines*

…My alarm went off at 8am, ouch! have I ever been up this early on a Saturday?! Eugh first parkrun, I can do this! Quick coffee and toilet stop, rule number 1 of running, always poop before you run! I think it’s safe to say its rule 2 and 3 too. I was picked up at around half 8 and off we went, the nerves kicked in, feeling like I wasn’t a good enough runner, I thought I’d finish last, I soon came to realise no one finishes last at parkrun. After listening to the run briefing I started to feel a bit more relaxed. I followed everyone down to the start line, looking around I could see lots of friendly smiling people chitter chattering away, I remember thinking “what a lovely atmosphere”. I waited with anticipation for the run to start… about 9:06 #sorrynotsorry…. someone shouted 3, 2, and 1 GOOO!!!!! Dogs barked frantically and everyone started moving forward, I was swept away with the crowd, off we went under the bridge and then….that hill! Who put THAT there?! I slogged up it and was greeted by the first marshal, “good morning, well done!” I ran down the path with the rest of the parkrunners, carefully dodging mud and tree roots, I listened to the marshals who told me to keep right and thanked them as I plodded past, this feels great! Oh…spoke too soon, I came across what we have come to know as cheeky hill… CHEEKY HILL?! That is one ENORMOUS cheeky hill! By the way nearly 4 years later I can tell you that THAT hill does not get any easier! Very very slowly I got to the top! My first parkrun was a slightly different route to the route we have now, turn right straight after cheeky hill past the bus stop, then onto the canal. Off I went… does anyone else think the canal water looks so inviting on a hot summers day? I don’t think anyone has ever decided to cool off in it though, maybe just leave that to the doggy parkrunners. Canal done, thank you marshal, winding, curvy path, turn right then… wait, didn’t I run down this path?! That must mean that I’m on the home stretch… the home stretch that is slightly uphill and goes on and on and on and on and… Oh! thank you marshal! “you’re nearly there! Well done!” I carried on pushing, exhausted out of puff and then just when I thought I couldn’t go on anymore I was cheered on by parkrunners who had completed their parkrun, my legs turned faster and then I saw it, the finishers funnel. I had made it! beep of the stop watch, token collected… moment needed to catch my breath then I headed off to the scanners, token and barcode scanned #dfyb (I didn’t forget it!). WOW! I’ve completed my first parkrun and it felt amazing!

Fast forward… since that day I have completed 115 parkruns, 107 of which are at my home parkrun at conkers. On the 25th December 2019 I achieved my parkrun PB of 26:33, my average time 30:43. I have volunteered a total of 6 times, which I loved and hope to do more of in the future. I have run a parkrun distance of 575km and have loved every minute! Thank you Conkers parkrun.

Now I’ve waffled on about me (hope you’re still reading) let us take a moment for all of those parkrunners who are on 49, 99, 249, 499 and all those volunteers on 24….our hearts go out to you during these difficult times…#badtimes Don’t worry our first parkrun back after all this madness ends will be bigger and better than ever before! Oooohhh fancy dress?!

Its 9am Saturday 21st march 2020… the first time in 15 years there is no parkrun anywhere in the world. But we will get through this together… what can we do? I feel it is extremely important we all still exercise, it’s vital for our physical and mental health. So 9am Saturday mornings (it can be before or after) I think we should all exercise together virtually, do something that you enjoy to make you feel good and happy, you can even do this if you’re in self-isolation. It can be anything, just get moving. Upload your activity to social media and hashtag it with #conkersparkrunactivity that way the rest of the community can find your activities and we can support each other, future non-run run report writers and use these activities to help them write their reports if they wish. Also if you’re on Strava did you know there’s a conkers parkrun group?

Here are some ideas of what you could do…

  • Run
  • Walk
  • Bike ride
  • Dance around your living room (just dance on YouTube is fun if you have children)
  • Les Mills workout (free at the moment)
  • Workout DVD
  • Kayla_itsines on Instagram has lots of great workout ideas
  • Cosmic kids yoga on YouTube

I hope I didn’t bore you too much with this non-run run report. Stay safe everyone, virtual high five!!

Sophie xx


A Truly Magnificent Union of Two Fantastic Organisations!

Run Report for Conkers parkrun - Event number 478 - 14th March 2020

When we got up this morning I was really not sure how many runners would be at Conkers this week, but it was great to see such an amazing turn out. A massive well done to those 556 people who ran, jogged and walked the  course. Also, a special well done to the fifty-seven first timers that came down today. We hope you come back and run again soon.

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The Girl Guides who did a great job in helping to keep Conkers parkrun smoothly

Congratulations to those and 69 runners who gave it their all, recording new personal bests. These included Angie Woodall, Victoria Blaney, John Bricknell, Mary Webster, Stacey Watts and of course Jamie Fletcher who placed first as well.

Following a week of rain, the course was very muddy and covered in a number of large puddles, but as always, everyone was in good spirit and it was nice to see lots of fancy dress (Cops and Robbers) as well as representatives from 38 different running clubs.

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Karen Wilks celebrated her 200th parkrun with a cops and robbers theme 

Whether you dodged the puddles (like me) or just ran straight (like my dad) everyone got around with a big smile on their face and its always lovely to hear the words of encouragement from the other runners (especially at the top of Cheeky Hill). It’s that friendly and supportive atmosphere that makes Conkers parkrun such a great event!

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Holly Ife setting up the family marshalling camp at Moira Junction.

As one of the girl guides on the course I wanted to say a massive thank you to the Midland Girl Guides, leaders and their families for helping with marshalling. It was great to see so many of you cheering the runners along and giving them extra boost when we needed it. If you were helping at the start, standing along the course or organising the funnel at the end your efforts were also very much appreciated.

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Lyndsey Hill (Run Director) and the team as always did a fantastic job.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made the event possible:

Joe KIRKWOOD • Roger COBB • Carolyn IFE • Rebekah KIRKWOOD • Laurence  KINGSCOTT • Madeleine PICKERING • Kristian Finbar Jack KIRKWOOD • Alyson KIRKWOOD • Jennifer CROSS • Claire MCARTHUR • Laura KENDALL • Wendy MAY • Lyndsey HILL • Ollie THURBON • Lucy MAY • Mia RAWLINGS • Tracy PARCHMENT • David PARCHMENT • Amber KENDALL • Katie MCARTHUR • Holly IFE • Ivy BECKITT • Fiona BETTS • Heidi WEBB • Elsie KENDALL • Will LEWIS • Jon BARK • Madeleine GROVE • Imogen GROVE • Alexander MICHELSON • Eleanor LEWIS • Kelly GROVE • Mandy EVANS • Sofia CARLIN • Eleanor WILDE • Emily BEIRNE • Millie BARK • David ASHMORE • Emily CHRISTIAN • Jennifer SAWYER • Roman CRICHTON • Dummer ISABELLA • Sophia ASHMORE • Lilly RICHARDSON • Fiona KEMP • Fraser  RICHTON • Maddie HALL • Raymond SPARE • Dianne LETTS • Aimee ATTWELL • Judith DENNIS • Annabelle DANN • Zoé KELLY • Edie LEE • Nicola BURNETT


Ivy (year 7)


She believed she could, so she did. 

Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 477 - March 7, 2020

Stand aside boys, it’s all about the ladies this week!

8th March 2020 marks the annual International Women’s Day celebrations, and, unless you are under 15, there is no parkrun fix for you on that day! So instead parkrun has teamed up with This Girl Can to acknowledge, facilitate and celebrate women and girls getting out there and active on Saturday 7th instead. Not wanting to be left out, 279 wonderful women and glorious girls walked, jogged or ran 5km at Conkers this week. 

“Why International Women’s Day?” I hear you ask, well, its all about striving for a gender equal world. Many of us are fortunate enough that gender inequality is not something we encounter on a daily basis; however, this is not the case for all. 

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The girls from Donisthorpe are the first to take a look through the new selfie frame.

On a running theme, women have been proving they have got what it takes, despite some suggesting they might not, throughout the last few decades. From Londoner Violet Piercy becoming the first woman to run an officially  recognised marathon in 1926, to Norway’s Grete Waitz becoming the first woman to run a sub-2:30 marathon in 1979, and Jasmin Paris who was not only the first woman to win the 268-mile Spine Race in 2019, she also smashed the record and expressed breast milk for her baby at aid stations. 

But of course, parkrun isn’t all about breaking records, it’s much more than that. 

Leading the ladies’ home this week was Nicola Bowen with a fantastic time of 21:19, closely followed by Megan Lewis in 21:30 and Rebecca Hobbs in 22:17. Jumping to 30:00, we saw Sarah Vine in position 301 with almost perfect reflection of number and position and shiny new PBs for Angie Woodall (30:07) and Elizabeth Hayes (30:12). Roll onto 45 minutes and our next 3 fearless females getting a mention from me are Linda Kay Dakin (45:04), Emma Hawley (45:07 and a new PB) and Lesley Read (also 45:07). 

All in all, there were 70 first timers at Conkers (I thought the crowd looked big for the first timers brief!) and an astounding 92 new personal bests!

Breaking away from my wonderful women’s theme for a moment to celebrate this week’s milestones; joining the 50 club we had Nicholas Kindon, Joan Brockhouse, and a special mention for junior Oliver Kennedy. George Eccleston is this week’s only runner hitting 100, with Katharine Lord making an unofficial (but still rather spectacular 150. Janet Potter and Richard Brian Martin prove that parkrunners certainly have staying power by smashing the 250 mark. 

If anyone deserves to ring that bell on the IWD parkrun it is Janet Potter. 

And of course, my final mention goes to those hi-viz heroes without whom none of this would happen. This week we were organised, briefed, directed, cheered, scanned and timed by a tremendous team of 38 volunteers who are listed below: 

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Did Roger say press the button by the thumb or finger?

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The thing is Mo, it doesn't matter how indignant you look, I am the one with the clipboard.

Laura GRAVES • Roger COBB • Chrissy BETTERIDGE • Madeleine PICKERING • Jan COBB • Kristian Finbar Jack KIRKWOOD • Brian RUNAGLE • Jennifer CROSS • Katie THORNLEY • Mae STENSON • Ollie THURBON • Gregg MAYLES • Maureen DANVERS • Lorraine SHIPLEY • Kevin BORLEY • Tony STONE • Alison MOSS • Adrienne COLLARD • Susan MAYLES • Elspeth DICKINSON • Daniel MORTIMER • Andrea BEATY • Lisa WILLIAMS • Ruth BOAM • Graeme MATTEN • Barbara CULVER • David ASHMORE • Elliot WOOLLEY • Roman CRICHTON • Jack WOOLLEY • Sophia ASHMORE • Richard GEE • Naomi EARL • Lorraine RICKARDS • Fraser CRICHTON • Jennifer ANDREWS • Mandy BLANEY • Victoria BLANEY

 Adrienne x


‘Leaping’ in the rain!

Saturday, now known as parkrun day, comes once a week, but a parkrun on Saturday the 29th of February comes once in a blue moon! In fact, if you missed it, the next time you can run a parkrun on Saturday the 29th of February will be in the year 2048. I will be 70 years young and hopefully I will still be able to get myself around the parkrun course, inspiration for that comes from the many, many over 65s who are signed up for parkrun. You can read some of their inspirational stories here;

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Inspirational leaping by the 5K Your Way Move against Cancer Ambassadors!

That brings us to the first ever parkrun held on the 29th of February… and, oh boy was it a wet one! I am a regular at Rosliston and we are currently dealing with a very muddy part of the course. So, off I jolly to Conkers, avoiding the mud and looking forward to keeping my trainers dry. How wrong I was. SO MANY PUDDLES. Big puddles, small puddles, deep puddles, shallow puddles and muddy puddles. To add to the fun at around 9.15am (just as I was soldiering up Cheeky Hill) the heavens opened with a shower of ice-cold raindrops that felt like I was being pierced by a thousand needles. Today’s parkrun now had a real cross country vibe to it, which made me reminisce about how much I hated cross country at school, how I would do everything and anything to avoid it and how now I am getting up early on a Saturday morning to do it… and I love it!!

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Tracy Parker finally celebrating her 50th parkrun! Well done Tracy!

A good few milestones this week; congratulations to Hayden Smedley, Steve Salt and Miles Blackburn who joined 1286 other runners worldwide in achieving their 50 milestone.

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Steve Salt celebrating his 50th with a leap for joy!

688 parkrunners across the globe unlocked their black milestone t-shirt for 100 runs this included Richard Walker, Sandra Lawless and Bob Taylor who completed theirs at Conkers this week. Richard Bebbington was in good company this week as he reached the 250 runs milestone alongside another 109 runners worldwide.

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Richard Bebbington and friends were all dressed up for his 250th parkrun!

49 of you zoomed through the puddles to achieve shiny new PBs, well done you.

Looking at the results, I noticed something quite strange and something I have never seen before, first place was an unknown. A forgotten barcode maybe?

A total of 576 of you superstars braved the weather and ran or walked the course, 50 first timers (who we hope to see back next week) and none of that would be possible without the 39 amazing volunteers; Colin HOPE • Janet POTTER • Robert DILWORTH • Laura GRAVES • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Madeleine PICKERING • Kristian Finbar Jack KIRKWOOD • Janet HARDY • Jennifer CROSS • Amy Eleanor DERBYSHIRE • Sam MCDERMOTT • Yvonne FELTHOUSE • Nicola BRIGGS • Ollie THURBON • Gregg MAYLES • Dyanne SARGEANT • Tony STONE • Jo IORIO • Steve PICKERING • Michael PETERSON • Alexander MICHELSON • David HUGHES • Susan MAYLES • Nigel PALING • Wayne PYCROFT • Sophie-Anne PICKETT • Dennis DICKINSON • Tom MILLER • Samantha PHIPPS • Ruth BOAM • Ian MATTHEWS • Jane PYCROFT • Joanne CRICHTON • Roman CRICHTON • Sarahjane JONES • Lorraine RICKARDS • Fraser CRICHTON • Mandy BLANEY • Sarah LEWIS. If you can spare some time to volunteer, I am sure the Conkers core team would hugely appreciate it. If you did not want to miss a run, there are plenty of volunteer roles that still can be done AND you can run (run report writing included).

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Dennis showing how much fun can be had while volunteering!

Well done to everyone that managed to get out this week to parkrun, runners and volunteers alike, parkrun is really changing lives and you are all a part of that.. and hopefully I will see some of you the next time the 29th of February falls on a Saturday… in 2048.  


668 parkrunners are going on a parkrun. By Sophie-Anne Pickett

Conkers parkrun, Event number 475, 22nd February 2020.

My run report is written in the style of a well-known children’s story, can you guess which one?

We’re going on a parkrun,

We’re all in this together,


It’s a beautiful day for running. (Well actually it’s a tad windy).

Whether you’re a first timer, or a parkrun tourist, dogs and buggies are welcome too.

Attend the run briefings, head to the start line and we’ll look after you.


Run, walk, run, walk, run, walk.


We’re going on a parkrun,

We’re all in this together,

We’re not tired,

It’s a beautiful day for running.

Oh look! It’s a marshal, a friendly, smiling marshal.

Hello marshal, thank-you marshal, high five marshal.


We’re going on a parkrun,

We’re all in this together,

We’re not tired,

It’s a beautiful day for running.

Uh-oh! A hill!

A steep cheeky hill!

Don’t worry let’s all walk or run over it!

Up and over, up and over, up and over.


We’re going on a parkrun,

We’re all in this together,

We’re not tired,

It’s a beautiful day for running.

Oh no! A canal!

A long watery, cold canal!

Don’t jump in it! (Unless you’re a dog).

Run or walk beside it!

Huff puff, huff puff, huff, puff.


We’re going on a parkrun,

We’re all in this together,

Okay, maybe we’re a little tired now!

Still… it’s a beautiful day for running.

Wait! What’s that?!

A sprint finish?!

A PB?!


Go through the finisher’s tunnel,

Stay in order,

Collect your token,

Ring the bell,

Scan your token and barcode (printed ones only please), don’t take it home!

Have a brew, have a natter!

We’re all going on a parkrun again!

See you next week, same time, same place.


Well done to the 67 parkrunners who attended parkrun for the very first time, we hope you loved it!

Congratulations to milestones achieved! Someone was celebrating their 50th but doesn’t wish to be named, well done to you, and well done to anyone else achieving an official or unofficial milestone today. I myself ran my 100th conkers parkrun out of 112th.

A big congratulations to the 62 parkrunners achieving personal bests today, you did very well to get around the course in your speediest times against that wind…. Or did the wind give you a push?!

To all 668 parkrunners you are amazing! Today we all woke up on parkrun Saturday and did our thing!



Thank you to Conkers & National Forest for allowing us to use their facilities every Saturday morning.

And a huge huge thank you to this week’s 38 volunteers (btw volunteering is easy to do and lots of fun!), without you our parkrun would not be possible.


Nikki Aka Tigger REEVES • Laura GRAVES • Dawn STORER • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Mark FARRAR • Madeleine PICKERING • Kristian Finbar Jack KIRKWOOD • Jennifer CROSS • Carol GILL • Jeremy MILLINGTON-PIPE • Cayden REEVES • Chris HANMAN • Nicola BRIGGS • Ian BOAM • Maureen DANVERS • Kathryn BRAY • Christine RIDLEY • Martha MILLINGTON-PIPE • Jo IORIO • Pete GRAVES • Adrienne COLLARD • Sophie-Anne PICKETT • Sandy CHURCHWARD • Barbara CULVER • David ASHMORE • Ian MATTHEWS • Mark BLACKMAN • Katie DENNIS • Roman CRICHTON • Sally COLLARD • Kim HOLMES • Sophia ASHMORE • Kenneth ASHTON • Minda ASHTON • Andy BOOTH • Penny BENNION • Fraser CRICHTON • Mandy BLANEY

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

Sophie-Anne x

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Some of those celebrating the dubiously named parkrun TuTU day. We are curious to know what sort of army would wear the tutu that Elspeth is sporting. Fiona has gone for the 'double tutu' and Dennis, that just looks wrong you are no doubt proud to say. :-) 

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Grania Towle promised her Father Brian a morning treat to celebrate his double hip replacement. What better way than to not only complete a parkrun, but to rattle up a 5 1/2 minute PB. Those new hips are super-sonic these days. Well done sir!

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