Conkers parkrun – major tourist destination.

Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 437 -  June 15th 2019

Well - summer solstice is on Friday... meaning that summer is imminent with our longest day (hopefully full of sunshine!!!)  Although not quite summer weather, the weather was comfortable for running and the weather fairies made sure the pesky rain that’s been drenching the area stayed away!!!, today there wasn’t many of you staying away as 641 had managed to stay dry and made your way to Conkers!!  A special well done to 100 first timers that have decided to join us - we love seeing all you new faces coming and jogging or walking our trails - hope to see you again in the next few weeks. These included 27 brand new to parkrun and 73 tourists from as far away as New Zealand, Norwich, Exmouth and several from Kingsbury Water who unfortunately had to cancel.

We had representatives from 38 different clubs today, so if you feel like joining in with a bit more running there is bound to be a club local to wherever you are from - this parkrun is central to many different clubs, so would be many choices for those of you that would like to join in more. 

 

Our speedy guys today were representatives of 3 local clubs - Liam Bradbury (South Derbyshire Road Runners) with a new PB, Karl Wideman (Ivanhoe) also with a new PB and Rob Mace (Peel Road Runners) who joined us for his first time - where have you been??  Our storming ladies today were Sally Higgs, Ingrid Stevenson and Lucy McDermott, all three ladies got shiny new PB’s - they are on fire!! They weren’t the only ones, another 92 runners also celebrated with new PB’s (hope you rang the bell!)  A local group led by Michelle Darlaston - Michy’s Marvels joined us today from nearby Tamworth - hope you all enjoyed it!

 

Not many big milestones reach today, but a few smaller ones.... Starting with our juniors, they get the pleasure of a 10-parkrun milestone and T-shirt - today Taylor Olsen and Josh Deacon reached theirs!!! Next comes 50, and we had two reaching this milestone - Richard Boyce and James Bullock.  Hitting 100 parkruns were Mark White and Katie Fox - well done to you all!

A huge Mexican wave of thanks goes to our 35 volunteers who make this event possible - if you haven't volunteered, please have a go! There’s nothing difficult, just enthusiasm and arriving early are the only requirements!!

 

Hope to see everyone next week, hopefully in some sunshine and slightly less rain than we’ve had last week!!! We have asked Roger to please limit his singing to the hours of 10pm - 4am and only during the winter, so we can but hope!!

Nikki

 

Phew what a soaker!

Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 346   -  Hune 8, 2019

Saturday morning and a lie in bed? .... No chance, where’s my barcode, let’s go!

Exuberant Marshals guiding the way to the car park spaces, hands waving frantically towards the spot. People gathering, looks of dread on new runners faces as they receive their running brief, listening intently as they hear about the start, disused railway track, out and back, mind out for those tree roots, the finish funnel, tokens and scanning barcodes.

Experienced runners warming up, talk of times, PB’s or just managing to get round. Old friends saying hello, how was your week? Did you run here? Staying for coffee afterwards?

Silence for the Run Director ......... “Welcome to Conkers parkrun number ... #436”, milestone mentions 50, 100 and 250 perhaps. Dogs and under 11’s on a short leash! Cue the giggles. Off to the start to find a place, marshals holding boards with timings to help, do not go too far forward, do not stand too far back! This spot is just right. Recognising friendly faces, new ones and tourists with their cow cowls proudly round their necks. Where are you from? Oh, that is a long way. How many have you done? Late arrivers scrambling along the bank. A few last checks, laces tied tight, watch set... ready. Cosy here, quite a jam. Marshals gather, dogs bark and whine in anticipation.... Laurence looks towards the tunnel, all clear then 3, 2, 1... GO!!!

Off we trot, stop and start, traffic jam, under the tunnel, and then blimey this hill seems steep, “thank you Marshal”. Ah that’s better, a nice flat bit, people chatting as they run, how do they do that? “Stay on the right”, Stephen’s Gate and a lovely downhill, “morning Cheeky Monkey and thank you marshal”. Yes, I am awesome! Ouch... Cheeky Hill! So glad that is over. Canal turn and another marshal to thank, the furthest and coldest point from the start. I really am overtaking everyone on the sofa.

Homeward bound now, back past Stephen’s gate, stay on the right, encouragement from walkers, runners and marshals... how much longer to go? Nearly there apparently. Oh gosh, overtaken by a buggy! Can I catch that person in front? That lovely run down to the finish, “well done” from early finishers and marshals, then across the line, stop the watch and let the sense of achievement wash over, still the well done’s keep raining down. Keep moving in the funnel, stay in order and finish token, where did I come? Definitely deserve a ring of that bell! Friendly faces, gathering breath, how did they do? “Really chuffed”, “I got a PB”, “never stopped running”, “there's always next week”.

And that’s it, run, jog or walk it doesn't matter, the achievement is the doing.

Walk down and past the finish to cheer more people, how do they sprint so fast and where did that come from? Wide eyes, grimaces and broad grins charging to the line.

Off to scanning... now where is my barcode? Here it is. Barcode first, then the finish token  “Thank you” one last time...... maybe it’s my turn to volunteer next week.

Drink in the cafe, relaxed; catch up with fellow runners and parkrun friends. Run Director in the corner, with laptop, processing the results.

With parkrun done, it is time for home, a shower, and a sense of achievement that will last all day. Now where’s the parkrun results email?

What makes a parkrun? .......The answer’s simple, it is the people! The walkers, joggers, runners and the volunteers with their friendly encouragement. From first timers to milestone makers they all create this special event not just at Conkers, but all over the world.

349 brave souls made it through the unseasonal June weather to complete the 436th running of parkrun at Conkers. Whilst this was significantly down on recent numbers, for those who did attend their spirits were not dampened by the rain. On the contrary, the puddles on the course seemed to bring out the child in quite a few people, who are probably old enough to know better, as they jumped in every puddle they could find along the way.

On days like today it is worth giving a special mention to the marshals who were out in the weather for longer than all the runners, but this did not stop them providing brilliant support throughout. Without our fantastic volunteers, listed here, we wouldn’t be able to run this special event.

Nikki Aka Tigger REEVES • Avril MOONEY • Laura GRAVES • Chris OSBORNE • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Ann Marie JOYCE • Peter JOYCE • Karl WIDEMAN • Andrew ORME • Jennifer CROSS • Romain CHAMBARD • Lyndsey HILL • Samuel HILL • Kevin BORLEY • Tony STONE • Robin THORNE • Will LEWIS • Iris STURDY • Alice MCDERMOTT • Michael DOUGLAS • Sally DOUGLAS • Simon RUTLEDGE • Samantha PHIPPS • Harry PHIPPS • Jessica MORCOM • James STEPHENSON • Mic STEPHENSON • Barbara CULVER • Katie DENNIS • Elliot WOOLLEY • Alice LEGATE • Joanne CRICHTON • Maddie HALL • Naomi EARL • Melanie BLYTHE • Samantha SMITH

Thanks so much guys, you are our Hi-Viz heroes!

No course records today, not surprising really given the conditions, but still some great efforts with 41 PB’s. Interestingly the first two places were occupied by individuals who did not have a barcode, so unfortunately we can’t name them... they know who they are, so well done. The first named male runner was Rob Eaton with a time of 18.36 and our first named female runner home was Christina Hawtin in 21.20, both very impressive performances.

Another athletic performance worth a special mention is that of Sally Jeyes, who achieved the top age grading score of 83.71%. This is amazing and so inspirational.

There were some significant milestones today Simon Rutledge 50, Joanna Lucas 100 and Kevin Clarke managed to reach 250. Kevin celebrated this by dressing up like Austin Powers and was supported by South Derbyshire runners who looked like they had escaped from a Mary Quant boutique. Well done to all.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and sunglasses Kev was so excited at the prospect of his 250th parkrun that he and Helen went out the night before in the same clothes that they were going to run in this weekend.

ps. Kev is the one on the right.

So on to next week, let’s hope our shoes are dry by then and the weather is a little kinder.

Chris

 

Doctor doctor, I need to parkrun

Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 435  -  June 1st 2019

At parkrun this week, you will have seen a few familiar faces from your local GP practice. Amongst the third highest attendance of 679 people here at Conkers; doctors, nurses and surgery staff from local practices took part in the 5k course. Why you ask? Well parkrun and GP practices have taken on the challenge of inviting over 1000 GP’s and NHS staff to take part in #GPparkrunpledge.

 

parkrun practice partners:

Heartwood Medical Practice, Castle Medical Group, Newhall Surgery, Measham Medical Unit, Ibstock and Barleston Medical Practices, Whitwick Medical Practice, Wetmore Road Surgery & Gresleydale Healthcare Centre.

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor A group flying the flag for Gresley Dale Healthcare Centre

Not only did those that save lives join us but also we had tourists not just from across the UK but a traveller all the way from New Zealand. We hope Conkers was a great experience for you all!

 

Despite the high levels of humidity on Saturday morning, we had a staggering 89 new personal bests. Congratulations to those who smashed their previous times and a huge well done to 57 newbies to parkrun. Gavin McDermott was the first male to earn the top spot followed by Hannah Holmes who was our first female to complete the trail.

 

What made me consider running 5k every week?

I had always known about our local parkrun but I was too scared to participate because I am not a runner, I’m asthmatic and have Joint Hypermobility. Funnily enough, I was sat in Heartwood Medical Practice watching the waiting room’s television and a parkrun advert appeared. The following week I registered for Conkers parkrun. I have continued to take part when I can and now I am able to run without using my inhaler every so often.

It may sound sudden as I have only been attending Conkers parkrun since March but I am so much fitter, my head is a lot clearer (I feel like a different person) and it is a fantastic place to relieve stress. There are many benefits to exercise but for me these three are my top choices:

  1. The atmosphere and support encourages you to continue the course even if you want to give up.
  2. My health conditions are getting easier to manage.
  3. Working in an office means I do not get enough vitamin D.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, crowd, sky, outdoor and nature

Maria Picken letting those new to parkrun about what to expect on the course and 

Why not join us on Saturday even if it is your first parkrun? If you have an illness that prevents you from exercising please do not give up, walk the course, build up your stamina – it is the best thing I have done this year. I believe you will never look back and if you’re aching on Sunday, that’s fine because you know you have done well! Here is a little poem to inspire you to register:

 

Do not fear,

We are here,

After your first mile,

You’ll be beaming a smile,

Next time you do a parkrun,

You’ll be running under that sun.

 

Let’s say a huge thanks to all 37 of our volunteers whom we could not do this without:

Chris OSBORNE • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Jan COBB • Jennifer CROSS • Claire MCARTHUR • Sam MCDERMOTT • Lyndsey HILL • Grania TOWLE • Samuel HILL • Gregg MAYLES • Pete WILEMAN • Tony STONE • Matt DAWSON • Will LEWIS • Maria PICKEN • Alice MCDERMOTT • Adrienne COLLARD • Susan MAYLES • Simon RUTLEDGE • Elspeth DICKINSON • Dennis DICKINSON • Lisa WILLIAMS • Samantha PHIPPS • Harry PHIPPS • Barbara CULVER • Kim HARRIS • Sally COLLARD • Sarah BOWEN • Marie CHAPMAN • Matt CHAPMAN • Sam CHAPMAN • Kenneth ASHTON • Minda ASHTON • Maureen PATTISON • Phil KINNER • Samantha SMITH • Dale TRIGG

 

Conkers parkrun welcomes 5K your way.

Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 434  -  25th May 2019

On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning. The parkrun fairies were kind to us today and gave us cooler conditions but with clear, blue skies, which was a welcome sight after the grey skies of late, providing the perfect opportunity to talk to others before we started.

The new runner’s briefing warmly welcomed and introduced all runners to the course layout. What a lovely course you have too, meandering around part of The National Forest. This type of flat course gives perfect opportunity for some fast times and certainly some PB opportunities arose I am sure. The new runners briefing also had the additional supportive chat about how parkrun operates afterwards.

There were a couple of tourists at Conkers today which allowed the perfect opportunity to catch up on where we had been recently and where we were soon off to. Today, tourists from Havant parkrun, surrounding running clubs and a visitor from Beijing were using Conkers parkrun as their tourist venue.

Roger, our RD for the day, gave a big thank you to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of Marshalls out on the extremely well marked out course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don’t forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Conkers parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?

Welcomed for their first event at Conkers were the fabulous 5K your way initiative for those who have been touched by Cancer. This will happen at Conkers parkrun on the last Saturday of each month.

First timers, as mentioned above, are always warmly welcomed and are on the start of their parkrun journey and working towards their first milestones. This Saturday there were a massive fifty-one peopleontheir first ever parkrun.The trick is when working towards your milestones is #DFYB- Don’t Forget Your Barcode! ???? of you were listed as unknown runners this morning. That’s one run less to count towards those coveted milestone tees. We're you celebrating a special milestone this week? Just like the girls from the Stenson family, with Mae on her 100th parkrun and her daughter Lily on her 10th. Gregg Mayles was also achieving his 250th parkrun today. Also celebrating a milestone were Nicola Trewin, Gary Lyness and David Pimperton who were celebrating their 100th parkrun. Charlotte and Robert Read reached their 50th parkrun together so huge congratulations all round. That’s the great thing about parkrun isn’t it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk about. Especially pertinent though to also remember to hand in your finish token, parkrun needs them for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!

There were quite a few people going back to the cafe for the apres parkrun, with refreshing hot and cold drink options, which allowed perfect opportunity to catch up on how all of our runs had gone and what we thought of the course.

Thank you again Conkers parkrun for starting our weekend off on a positive note. Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Karen Cole Havant (Portsmouth) parkrun 
 

Weather cloudy, atmosphere sunny!

Conkers Run Report No. 433 18th May 2019

Nikki Reeves has fabulously brought together her sunshine-y thoughts and experiences from today's super event - one which 604 people enjoyed with her. Thanks Nikki!!

"It's not quite May weather, but it's warm when you are moving! And today 604 of you were moving (walking, jogging, running) your way around the Conkers route. A special   well done to 64 first timers that decided to join us today- we consistently get new runners coming along and this is what's keeping our number of finishers so high. This is so great seeing all these people getting out each Saturday morning, and you never know where it might lead!!! We had representatives from 32 different clubs, so if you feel like joining in with a bit more running there is bound to be a club local to wherever you are from - the world is your oyster - but beware, you get enticed into all sorts of things you'd never consider!!! I am doing this report, having completed a triathlon today - never thought I'd do that when I started my first parkrun!!

Anyhow, our speedy guys today were David Pettit, Rob Eaton and Ian Rollo, with David and Ian both getting a new PB! Our storming ladies today were Sally Higgs, Abby Halcarz and Rebecca Hobbs, with Sally also joining the new PB club!! She wasn't the only one, another 90 runners also celebrated with new PBs (hope you rang the bell!) with an amazing effort by Dennis Ballinger on collecting his 6th consecutive PB - 7 runs now and each getting faster.... Keep it going!!

Plenty of milestones to celebrate .....starting with our juniors - they get the pleasure of a 10 parkrun milestone T-shirt - today Harry Sanganee and Angel M S T Nield reached theirs!!! Next comes 50, and we had 4 reaching this, one of them - Brett Clements -  was a first timer to Conkers - hope we see you again soon! Our other 50th parkrunners were junior Harry Sneath, and super ladies Frin Baron and Aletta Weir. Well done to you all and look forward to seeing you all again soon! Hitting 100 (parkruns, not years) was Michael Douglas (no, not THE Michael Douglas - bet HE hasn't got to 100 parkruns like 'our' Michael!). One of the 'unofficial' milestones is 150 and Ian Statham hit that today- nice work, Ian!

A huge Mexican wave of thanks goes to our 35 volunteers who make this event possible - if you haven't volunteered, please have a go if you can - it is excellent fun!

Image may contain: 9 people, including Laurence Kingscott and Mic Stephenson, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Some of the lovely volunteers this week. Look at those smiley faces! 

You get all the training needed -  Yes, some roles are a bit more involved than others, but any knowledge needed is happily provided. We love a Marshal who can cheer us round, and if you need to bring along an extra (little) cheerleader - feel free  - we have had lots of super child assistant - volunteers who give great high fives!!

Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor, nature and water

A view that you'll see next weekend if you pop along and join us!

Hope to see you all next week for a bank holiday weekend parkrun - AND the inaugural Conkers 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer; a community support group with a difference. (Find out more by following this link https://www.facebook.com/Conkers-5K-Your-Way-Move-Against-Cancer-2186404625004470/) Or, if you're sneaking off for the weekend, or week, why not check out if there is a parkrun nearby and do some tourism?!"

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