After All is Tread and Done

Conkers Non parkrun run report 3

I’ve got a secret…if you promise not to tell anyone…I’ll tell you…

I’ve become a parkrun tourist!

So what?  This is a big deal for those of you who know me. I’m a proud Conkers parkrun purist, having completed all my 236 parkruns on our out and back loop.  There’s no place like it and I’m very lucky that it’s right on my doorstep – why go anywhere else?  As well as the beautiful scenery up the Ennstone trail, the challenge of that Cheeky Hill, the canal stretch (where I like to look at the ducks), and then the last mile back down the tree-lined Ennstone trail for the last push counting the bridges along the way, then there’s my friends.


Pre-social distancing, Saturday 8.30am is what my friends and I and used to call patio’clock! Ceri and I met on Lyndsey’s patio (standing right near each other – imagine that!) ready to set off for the run brief.  We‘d collect Helen on the way (squeezing together on the narrow pavement – imagine that!). Jenny (depending on her shifts) might catch up on the way (tapping us on the shoulder as she reaches us – imagine that!). Cath might meet us in the car park and join us in huddle (remember those?!).  We would all gather in the car park chatting and catching up on our week’s news before listening to the run brief.  Walking to the start line, mid-yawn I always questioned why I was there?!  The countdown done, we were off….or not…those of you with me at about the 30 minute sign will remember well the shuffling start – how I long for that now!   Laura (she loves a lie in and rocks up late) would catch me on the first mile-ish with a ‘Hello’ before stripping off to a vest – no matter what the weather!  I digress, forgive my nostalgia….it is linked….honest! These wonderful ladies Lyndsey, Ceri, Jenny, Helen, Cath and Laura were the reason getting out of bed early on a Saturday was doable.  Now that’s changed. A lot has changed.


But I have discovered something new – I can run on my own and partially enjoy it.  This is thanks to two things.  The first is Dennis Dickinson’s non-parkrun league table – he has motivated me to get up and run.  The second is Rome.  (Stay with me, it does make sense in the end!)  This weekend I was meant to be celebrating my 40th birthday (hard to believe, I know!) in Rome with my husband, eating vegan pizza and quaffing prosecco. Obviously that was cancelled and with some of the refund, I bought a treadmill!  Given that Boris recommends one daily bout of outdoor exercise, I wanted to keep that time for a daily family walk – not spend it on my run.  The treadmill seemed the logical way round it – I get to run and walk with my family while following the rules that will save lives and help the NHS.  Back to my secret…


After reading Steve Edwards’ mid-week account of his treadmill usage visualising our course (if you’ve not read it do!) and seeing Pete Hurdman’s virtual run round Rosliston’s parkrun course (on their parkrun page) I decided it was time to do some tourism from my new conservatory treadmill!  So, this morning I did something I thought I’d never do – I ran the Rosliston parkrun course with Pete’s YouTube video playing in front of me!   No Lyndsey, Ceri, Laura, Helen, Jenny or Cath just me.  I ran on speed setting 9 (I still have no idea what that means) waved at and thanked all the marshals, said good morning to the dog walkers and even high fived two little girls on route.   The course was very different to Conkers – full of twists and turns, even some hairpin bends. It seemed a very flat course (I think that was more the treadmill setting) but Pete’s puffs gave me an idea of the hillier parts!


But, don’t fear! I’m a virtual tourist only. I am determined to get to my 250 as a Conkers purist still and when we beat this virus (by staying in) I will be excited to re-start patio’clock and  I will ecstatic be in the shuffle at the start line!


Will I tourist again? Yes! There’s a plethora of options on Pete’s youtube page and plenty others posted by parkrunners everywhere!  I’d love some recommendations for next week, I might even do it in fancy dress as a homage to past times…don’t ask me to do it backwards though!


Stay in, stay home and save lives.

Image may contain: 13 people, including Claire McArthur Cox and Lyndsey Hill, outdoor

What running used to look like! Friends, fancy dress and lots of fun!

Image may contain: 2 people, including Claire McArthur Cox, indoor

What running looks like now! A bit different but I’m still smiling!

Claire x








My socially-distanced parkrun!

Mid-week(ish) non run run report - Early April 2020

Like you, if you’re reading this, I’m really missing my Saturday morning fix of endorphins with all you lovely people at Conkers. Ok, it’s the right thing to do to put it on hold, but that doesn’t stop us wanting to work up a sweat, aim for a better PB, and generally enjoy the company of (about 667 other) like-minded people!

So, this Saturday morning, I thought I can certainly do the first two of those items although the third is a no-no. Now, I’m fortunate to have - in a shed in our garden - a treadmill that I am using to keep the running legs going. I’m on there most mornings (at around 6am!), doing 5k three times a week and maintenance jogs on the other days. I have a TV in there which I usually have on, helps to pass the time while drowning in the sea of Coronavirus news. But today, I left it off and decided to visualise the Conkers parkrun as I did my 5k. By 9am I was in my kit, stretched and warmed up, and ready to go. I missed Roger’s briefing and I missed your company at the start line. I usually start just behind the 30-minute marker (I run in the VM 65-69 category).

Image may contain: indoor

Steve's set up in the shed. Treadmill, drink at the ready, towel to wipe down, trainers in place, TV on the wall and a fan to cool the err... upper leg area. :-) 

At 09:00, I pressed the Start button. Kept the speed low at first (4-6 kph), to emulate the initial trickle until the field thins out enough to run. By the time I had gone under the bridge, I took it up to 8kph and cranked up the incline to acknowledge to gentle climb. Then the left-hander (no smiling marshals for me to greet and thank today) and onto the long outward straight. This is technically a downhill (as we’re cruelly reminded by the long slow incline on our way back!) so zeroed the incline and took the speed up to 10kph. Feeling great.

I usually have some Ibiza dance tracks pumping into my ears but not today. Pass the YHA on the right, then over Bath Lane and then Shortheath Road. Past the junction where the loop joins up then coast downhill, building up energy for Cheeky Hill. Which I’ve just got to. Max incline here (10% on my machine, which is not as steep as Cheeky Hill) and take the speed down to 6kph to reflect that I shorten my steps as we grind upwards. Temptation to walk – don’t! – but keep going. At the top, made it to the right-hander, take the incline down and the speed back up to 8kph as I’m usually a bit knackered here, until we get to the canal.

This is my favourite stretch, with the canal on the right, speed back up to 10kph and time to lose myself in some thoughts. Reflect on the past week, think ahead to the rest of the day, plan the week ahead. One advantage of running like this – no puddles to avoid! In no time, get to the left-hander, again missing the smiling marshals where I generally do a high-five. Through the trees and soon at the right-hander back on the main return straight.

This is where it gets to a bit of a grind. It’s a long gentle ascent, and the legs are beginning to protest. Ramp up the incline, 4% should do it. At Conkers, this is where we give and take encouragement to one another – no such luxury for me today! Past the 4k mark (on my display) so this is the final stretch. Press on to the top, that eagerly-awaited right-hander. Still a gentle ascent, so hold the incline there but up the speed back to 10kph.

Under the rail bridge and the final dash to the funnel. Incline at zero, speed up to 11kph. Blimey, this feels fast! 4.8k…, 4.9k…, keep going…, 5k - done!

No need to wait for the text or e-mail this week, my display tells me that I did 32:16. Ok, not the best (my PB is 28:52, set last September) but still satisfactory. It’s amazing how my times at parkrun are always better than on the treadmill, that’s due to the pack spirit. Which is why we love parkrun!

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I have. Please stay safe, keep that distance and keep washing those hands!

Steve Edwards


How to do Conkers parkrun and stay isolated

Conkers No parkrun run report #2 28/03/2020

I hated PE at school. Really detested it. My interest was firmly in the creative subjects of music and art. It just so ‘happened’ that my trombone lesson always used to take place during PE... funny that.

When I did attend PE, it was usually to take part in the six-week block of dance (creative!) or to umpire. My reports told me I was “good at officiating and had a good knowledge of how to lead a game”. (I think that was the polite way of saying useless at PE but good at being bossy) I also remember walking at the back of the cross country once upon a time thinking do people actually enjoy this??!


After I left school, fast-forward a couple of years. Okay, maybe a few and then a few more on top (you lot know my age category so I can’t hide it, although I go up a category this year which will help my age grading score). I still sometimes cannot believe what a huge part of my life parkrun has become.


So we find ourselves in the situation where we have to take a break from parkrun. I don’t think the song “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” applies here. I say that for two reasons. Firstly, because it hasn’t gone, it’s just on holiday for a while. Secondly, though I didn’t need it to be stopped to realise ‘what I’ve got’ because I already knew what I had, and it’s something special.


Picture the scene, for whatever reason you have to miss a week. At around 11.30am, I’m still checking the results even if I wasn’t there! Still looking at Garmin and Strava apps to see the statistics. That’s what parkrun does. It’s addictive! Whenever I’m booking a holiday, the first thing I do is look where the nearest parkrun is to where we are staying.


Chris, my son, has been excited for a while because today is his 12th birthday and was ready to bring cake and celebrate his parkrun birthday. (2025 I will have this pleasure). Another example of the ‘obsession’.


So, this will be the second no run parkrun. I generally can be anywhere from 33-42 minutes, so I’m delighted for two weeks now I’ve (following the appropriate guidelines) achieved the following...

No photo description available.

I’ve been thinking all week about how to still bring the magic of Conkers to you. So, I came up with the following thought.


With places closed and schools only open to a small number, I thought I would provide you with a little something to keep the little ones entertained, whilst keeping the magic that is Conkers parkrun and our parkrun family firmly in our minds. You need a dice, some counters and somewhere to print it..


Until we return, look after yourselves.

Andrea x


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.

Image may contain: 11 people, people standing, tree, outdoor and nature

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.

Image may contain: 9 people, people standing, stripes, grass, outdoor and nature

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!

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, tree and outdoor

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.

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing, child, shoes and outdoor

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. 

Image may contain: 4 people, including Claire McArthur Cox and Lyndsey Hill, people standing, shoes and text

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: 

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, outdoor and nature

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

Image may contain: 2 people, including Sarah Hale, people standing, tree, outdoor and nature

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;

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing, outdoor and text

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!!

Image may contain: 16 people, people standing, shoes and outdoor

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.

Image may contain: 1 person, shoes, outdoor and water

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.

Image may contain: 11 people, including Victoria Smith, people standing, child and outdoor

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).

Image may contain: Dennis Dickinson, outdoor and water

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

Image may contain: 5 people, including Dennis Dickinson, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

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. :-) 

Image may contain: 4 people, child, tree, outdoor and nature

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!


Just a Mini 5k with banana bunches all around!

Conkers parkrun Event number #473 - February 8, 2020

Saturday was quite a parkrun to remember. We were greeted by lots of freebies from Mini and they were greatly appreciated by all - thank you for your support. With a turnout of 697 people, there were 45 first timers and a staggering 109 superstars recorded a new personal best. Well done to everyone who attended, you all did so well!

Congratulations to those who achieved their milestones at the weekend. There were some shiny balloons running with their owners which thankfully were not victims of wandering off into the sky or being pierced by the above branches.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, child and outdoor

Two of our fabulous juniors proudly reaching fifty parkruns. Look forward to you wearing those red fifty shirts.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and outdoor

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, sky, outdoor and nature

Reaching the coveted 250 club is Dean Niland

I haven’t been to Conkers for a little while due to ill health and a not so fun operation but this week I had two additions with me. My two friends came along to their first parkrun and had no idea what to expect. I imagine they felt like it would be a daunting experience because they don’t run outdoors or know the course. The crowds of people can be a little overwhelming because you instantly think ‘oh no I’ll be last or I’m not quick enough’ - this is not how you should be feeling, please don’t think this. You make sure you take your time at your own pace.

My two newbies absolutely loved the whole experience. They were really taken aback by parkrunners congratulating them and providing encouragement to carry on. At first the pair were walking with their head down and after a short period of time they realised they were doing something good and began to thank those wishing them well. I want to say thank you to those who encouraged them because you really helped them feel comfortable.

Lauren tweeted about her experience: ‘This morning I completed my first 5km parkrun! Everybody was so friendly and encouraging and as challenging as it was at times, I really enjoyed it.

For those considering coming along to parkrun just remember you’re there for yourself and no one else. There’s no better feeling than crossing the finish line after completing 5km. We’re a community and all support one another wherever possible.

I’m proud to be a parkrunner and we’d love to have you walk, jog and run alongside us sometime. If you feel you’d like to walk the course then you’ll be pleased to know there is always a walking leader with a small group.

Let’s not forget to thank Mini for their fantastic freebies which will be worn frequently by those lucky enough to bag themselves a motivational t-shirt. We could not have participated in Saturday’s parkrun without our fantastic 39 volunteers:

Roger COBB • Dawn STORER • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Madeleine PICKERING • Jay WILLIAMS • Anthony WICKWAR • Steven WALTERS • Jennifer CROSS • Sam MCDERMOTT • Dean NILAND • Nicola BRIGGS • Ollie THURBON • Gregg MAYLES • Tracy PARCHMENT • David PARCHMENT • Tony STONE • Michael PETERSON • Alexander MICHELSON • Tristan BETTS • Neil POWDRILL • Adrienne COLLARD • David HUGHES • Susan MAYLES • Elspeth DICKINSON • Kevin LINDSAY-SMITH • Daniel MORTIMER • Barbara CULVER • Joanne CRICHTON • Roman CRICHTON • Sally COLLARD • Christopher ALLEN • Abigail DENNIS • Andy BOOTH • Naomi EARL • Robert SMITH • Samantha SMITH • Chris MACDONALD • Fraser CRICHTON • Isobel ARMSTRONG

 Sam x


How on Earth did That Happen?

Conkers parkrun Event 472  -  February 1, 2020

We woke up this morning to a brave new world. Having had the liberating experience of leaving the EU at 11:00 pm on Friday evening, life will never be the same again – or will it? After all it is Saturday and Saturday is parkrun day.

Has that changed? Thankfully no. At 9.00 am prompt(ish) Fiona, our RD for the day, shouted out the magic words 3 – 2 – 1 – GO!  and 768 of us set off to enjoy our weekly running, jogging or walking fix.

But Hey, it is not quite as straight forward as 768 people getting to that start line and running – how did the start line get there. Is it a magical line that suddenly appears? Then there is the finish funnel, does that just pop up and do the marshals happen to wander along and think “Ooh there maybe some runners coming, I’ll stand here and cheer!?

No. Today’s parkrun really started while we were all sitting in the café, chatting and drinking coffee, last week. While we were doing that tokens were being sorted and put in order ready for handing out this week, any missing ones being noted so that they could be replaced. Marshals bags were being checked to make sure that they still contained all the safety requisites in case of an emergency, if the hi viz are wet or muddy, the equipment fairy takes them home and hangs them out to dry or washes them and the rest of the kit is carefully stowed ready for when, at about 7.45 to 8.00 the following Saturday the RD and helpers arrive to start and set up for this week.

On Monday our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Jen Cross, starts her weekly plea to fill all the roles that are essential to enable the event to run smoothly and safely on the following Saturday, this entails filling all the different functions and often requires further pleas going out during the week to fill the roster properly.

 How it all begins. Kit is brought up from the store, to the peace and solitude of early morning at Conkers Waterside.

 For today, our RD was Fiona Betts, well known amongst the Conkers fraternity for her running exploits and her poetic briefings. Fiona arrives around 8.00 am and starts to bring the loads of kit round from our storage shed. The table is set up and marshals’ bags laid out on it ready to be distributed, Conkers welcome signs are put up, direction signs for scanning and briefing, placed.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

 All ready for the Hi Viz Heroes to arrive.


Cones and tape for the funnel are taken to the start area ready for the funnel to be constructed once the start is clear. The points for each time sign are measured out and sprayed on the path so that the sign holders know where to stand and the all-important PB bell is put in situ.

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

 Start Line marked, Time Lines paced out and marked and the naked funnel ready to be constructed as soon as the start is clear of participants

 8:30 and marshals start to arrive, the car park attendants begin their duties and the marshalling points are handed out so that the hi viz heroes can set off on their trek to Cheeky Bottom or Canal Turn or wherever. New Marshals are briefed by the RD on their individual duties and given all the requisite info to enable them to enjoy themselves whilst helping the participants circulate safely.

Runners are starting to arrive now and the crowds start to build, some just wandering along from the car park, others doing a quick jog round Sarah’s Wood to warm up, whilst the real hardy core runners start to arrive having done a good few miles beforehand.

At about 8:50 Fiona announces the briefing for New Runners and visitors, ably given to 80+ new attendees and visitors this week by Adrienne Collard.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

 Pacers prepare, Marshals are briefed, on their way, Tokens are checked, and Fiona Mounts the Rostrum for a poetic briefing


All marshals are now well on their way to their posts and Fiona mounts the rostrum, welcomes those new to Conkers and to parkrun and begins the run brief, highlighting all the safety and other essential information delivered in her own inimitable style.

Briefing over, milestone attainers congratulated volunteers applauded; it is off to the start.

RD Fiona gives the countdown and we are on our way. Once the start line area is cleared, which takes about two minutes, the Funnel Crew have about 13 – 14 minutes to prepare the funnel, ready for the first runners to return.

Timekeepers are in place, Funnel Manager walking his pitch, number checker ready with clipboard and pen should any discrepancies occur and token hander outerers poised with the stacks of tokens in eager anticipation of the first runner returning within around 15 to 16 of the start.

As the runners return, they are moved along the funnel by the Funnel Manager to avoid any hold ups and to ensure they stay in order and get the correct token for their position / time, before they move to the side and cheer on later arrivals or move on to scanning in the car park.

The scanners work hard to ensure that your token and barcode scan and that is not always simple with the state of some barcodes that are presented!

Once scanned and token returned it is off to the Café for coffee and chat. If you are unfortunate enough for your token not to scan, then there are people ready to note down your token number and barcode to ensure you are added back into the results and get your credits.

Token sorters now return the tokens to numeric order and put them back on the clips ready for next week, reporting any that have gone astray to the RD.

Timekeepers return the watches to the RD ready for them to be downloaded into the PC to formulate the results. Funnel crew strip the tapes down and load the cones and reels of tape onto the sack truck to return them to the shed. Sorting completed, tables are folded down and put away and tokens returned to the RD for storage. Scanners ae returned to the RD and Results processor to download the information onto the PC. Then while, we enjoy coffee, the results team sort through the data and rectify any anomalies caused by tokens that wouldn’t scan before they can press the button and whizz the results out to everyone.

Marshals return their kit to the start table and it is checked, stored away and the whole process of preparing for next week begins again.

The RD now has to complete the official run report covering all the statistics and any incidents or problems that have occurred.

So there you go, what is a simple run for you or me to arrive on the start line at a minute to nine on Saturday morning, every week’s run has a dedicated seven days of effort behind it. So let’s make sure that we all appreciate the efforts that the Core team and their helpers put into parkrun to make it possible for us and, if possible, help out by volunteering..

So now on to today. We had 768 runners and enjoyed the added benefit of 18 pacers ably provided by South Derbyshire Road Runners, who did their utmost to guide people round in times ranging from 19 to 35 minutes. Highest achievers were Mark Harriott pacing 19 mins achieved 18:59; Ross Ballinger pacing 25:30 achieved 25:31 and Becky Lanaghan pacing 30:00 achieved 30.01 – brilliant efforts all!

First to break the timekeepers beam was Chris Batman Lockhart in 16:33, with Tim Carter following on in 17:59. First Lady was Louise Insley in 20:43 followed by Christina Hawtin in 21:34.

80 first timers completed this weeks event. We hope you all enjoyed the experience and that we will see you again next week.

93 runners achieved personal bests – Great effort all and 52 Clubs were represented at the event.

Jim Burton celebrated his 50th run and is now officially in the red! Well done!

The event was made possible by 55 Hi viz heroes who are listed below, a big THANK YOU to them. To prove their worth and necessity some marshals were called upon to assist a runner who collapsed on Canal side. I am pleased to report that he recovered fully and even completed the run – now there is dedication.

A few stats are listed below.
Laura HARPER • Mark HARRIOTT • Madeleine PICKERING • Gary PRICE • Shirley TOPLISS • Anthony WICKWAR • Angela BEBBINGTON • Richard BEBBINGTON • Janet HARDY • Andrew ORME • Steven WALTERS • Jennifer CROSS • Kevin CLARKE • Chris UPTON • Gayle WRIGHT • Ross BALLINGER • Emma SHARP • Romain CHAMBARD • Sam MCDERMOTT • Pauline COOPER • Lucy ALLSOP • Chris HANMAN • Colin SHARP • Mary SHARP • Ollie THURBON • Gregg MAYLES • Dyanne SARGEANT • Fiona BETTS • Kevin BORLEY • Tony STONE • Robin THORNE • Becky LENAGHAN • Katie LYNN • Alexander MICHELSON • Ellie DICKSON • Adrienne COLLARD • David HUGHES • Susan MAYLES • Mark NUGENT • Dennis DICKINSON • John PEGG • Graeme MATTEN • Barbara CULVER • Ian MATTHEWS • Katie DENNIS • Elaine RASMUSSEN • Joanne CRICHTON • Christopher ALLEN • Sam BASSETT • Abigail DENNIS • Sarahjane JONES • Naomi EARL • Teresa SWIFT • Fraser CRICHTON • Sarah LEWIS

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

The male record is held by Tom DOE who recorded a time of 15:03 on 27th October 2012 (event number 80).
The female record is held by Lauren HALL who recorded a time of 17:16 on 25th December 2018 (event number 411).
The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 93.92% (24:56) on 12th November 2016 (event number 298).

Conkers parkrun started on 16th April 2011. Since then 16,639 participants have completed 161,755 parkruns covering a total distance of 808,775 km, including 24,998 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,347 individuals have volunteered 11,346 times.



Gategate but Conkers to the rescue.

Conkers parkrun 25th January 2020 - No. 471

This week we had another outstanding number of parkrunners attend Conkers despite the chill in the air. I thought I would save the total for you by giving it a good build up. Congratulations to all, drum roll please… 791 fantastic runners, joggers, walkers and doggies who took park. No matter what the weather, we will always see you there because we rarely take no for an answer from the heavens above. 

We did have an issue that needed to be overcome before the run. Someone had locked a gate shut on the course. No matter, a tiny delay to the start and Conkers maintenance to the rescue and all was good for another fabulous Conkers parkrun,

As there were 93 of you who were first timers, how did parkrun make you feel? Just take a few moments to think about the atmosphere, your body afterwards, your achievement and how it will now become your new Saturday morning treat. Swap pancakes for a parkrun – it might be hard at first but in time you’ll love it.

Now you have thought about your parkrun I can tell you 93 people smashed their PBs. If you were one of them bravo! There are two great feelings at a parkrun - knowing you’ve completed the course and receiving your results confirming you have beaten your PB. From this you continue to set yourself targets and see vast improvements in your results over time.

It would be great if you can continue to join us at Conkers because out of my local parkrun courses it is my favourite (just pretend Cheeky Hill doesn’t exist). In previous runs I have struggled due to health reasons, and people have jogged past to check I was ok. Yes, it’s a way of improving fitness levels but it is also a community and I am thankful to be a part of it.

For parkrun to continue we need you to volunteer. Every week you will find a roster posted online and on Facebook so if you can’t run due to a minor injury why not put yourself down for one of the many roles at Conkers?

Lastly it is time to say a huge thank you to our amazing 37 volunteers who help make Conkers run smoothly:

Adrien COYNE • James COBB • Roger COBB • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Madeleine PICKERING • Steven WALTERS • Jennifer CROSS • Michael SHERRATT • Kelvin PEERS • Sam MCDERMOTT • Ollie THURBON • Dyanne SARGEANT • Amanda ARNOLD • Kathryn BRAY • Tony STONE • Katie LYNN • Alexander MICHELSON • Jennifer COTTERILL • Neil POWDRILL • Dennis DICKINSON • Joanne WYKES • Ruth BOAM • Jane KENNEDY • Katie DENNIS • Joanne CRICHTON • Samuel ALLEN • Christopher ALLEN • Colin ALLEN • Abigail DENNIS • Sarahjane JONES • Naomi EARL • Margaret BAXENDALE • Samantha SMITH • Lorraine RICKARDS • Fraser CRICHTON • Abigail WRIGHT • Sarah LEWIS

 Samantha x

⇐ Newer Posts in Category