3,2,1, Go…….

Conkers parkrun non-run run report - September 19, 2020

3, 2, 1, Go……. This well-loved phrase has completely disappeared from our Saturday morning vocabulary during Lockdown and although I know, we are all missing these words and the parkrun that they herald the start of, we’ve been noticing that lot of new words have found their way into our language to replace them.

Staying with parkrun, thanks to our amazing core team and many willing volunteers our nonparkrun run brief, nonparkrun run report, nonparkrun run results and Tuesdays always calming nonparkrun volunteers briefing have now become much loved parts of our weekly calendar.

We have also noticed the term ‘parkrun’ slipping into our language more. Being forced to take staycations during the summer we walked the National Forest Way, a 75-mile long-distance footpath running from Beacon Hill and Bradgate Park in Charnwood Forest in the southeast through marvellous Moira in the middle to end in the Forest of Needwood at the Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas in the west. It took us 5½ days and each day as we donned our boots we worked out how many parkruns we had to complete that day. We found using parkrun as a unit of measure broke the miles ahead down into predictable and manageable chunks.

Another new unit of measure was recently introduced to us by our illustrious Co-Event Director Roger when he revealed the proposed new post Covid route. I’m sure we were not alone in feeling relieved that such care is being taken to bring Conkers in line with the new framework by lengthening and spacing out the start and that  RCS’s (Rogers casual steps!!) were used to ensure safe social distancing.

Ah social distancing one of the many new phrases that have become oh so familiar in our daily vocabulary. Many of these words and phrases are completely new to our language, “contact tracing” (the action or process of identifying individuals who have been in the proximity of a person diagnosed with an infectious disease) and “covidiot” (someone ignoring public health advice).

While other words have taken on new meanings. “bubbles” used to be blown by children or seen surging through fizzy drinks and champagne, now they are “social groups of family members, friends or school children” and “zooming” used to be moving very fast but now it is more commonly used to describe “the act of communicating with, a person or group of people, over the internet, typically by video-chatting”.

Other established terms such as “self-isolating”, “pandemic”, “quarantine”, “lockdown” and “key workers” have hugely increased in use too.

The use of the word Corona itself has caused many issues in our family as our daughter Rebekah’s middle name is, yes Corona. She was not named, 20 years ago, after the beer or an as yet unknown world -wide pandemic but after the golden ring encircling the sun during a solar eclipse. It’s a name she has always liked and she uses it in her email address and as her designing name at university. Both these have been question recently and when she had to go to A & E suffering with mild concussion, the hospital staff were keen to have her full name on her wristband until they heard what her middle name was and then surprisingly they decided to omit it.

Looking to the future, we are sure there will be new terms, names and acronyms either used by parkrunners in general or specific to Conkers.  To start this process off we would like to suggest RIH (Roger’s invisible hill) that he failed to mention in his description of the new route. Anyone else got any ideas?

So we’ve all had to adapt to a new normal and as we have shown the language we use has also adapted and evolved too just as it has done throughout history due to new circumstances, invasions and fashions. So instead of the phrase “3, 2, 1, Go!” we can all currently “stay safe” and call out the latest mantra “Hands, face, space” until we can all meet again as a parkrun (collective noun) at Conkers parkrun (noun) to parkrun (verb) a whole parkrun (unit of measurement).

The Kirkwood family. x


A bit of history and fingers crossed for a restart

Conkers parkrun non-run run report  -  September 12, 2020    


Here we are on the 12th September 2020, unfortunately, I have nothing to report this week as the cruel Covid-19 virus has stopped parkruns for the past 26 weeks. It is hoped, however, that subject to the great British Public behaving themselves and obeying social distancing and other lockdown rules we may have the virus sufficiently under control to resume running our beloved Conkers Saturday event towards the end of October.


Of course, it will not be quite the same, as the Team have had to rejig the route to create more room at the start, this has necessitated a fairly big change whereby we now turn right at Canal Turn and return to the bottom of Cheeky hill via a path previously unused by us.


As I had nothing else to report at this moment, I thought I would look back at the happenings on some of the runs around this date over the previous 9 years.

Back in 2011, Conkers held its 22nd run. Sixty-three runners, joggers and walkers graced the finishers list, and they were shepherded round by a stalwart group of seven volunteers; yes, I did say seven!


First man home on this occasion was Cory Ian Parker in a time of 17:26 and First Lady was Louise Insley in 20:05.


Roll forward a year to event 74 and we find that the field has pretty well doubled to 122 with twelve volunteers in attendance. First home was Jamie Fletcher in 16:49 and first lady was Laura Johnson in 20:52.


2013 brought event 128 and yet another large increase in numbers to 193 and 20 volunteers with John Tilley taking the honours in 18:05 and Rebecca Hobbs being first Lady in 20:57.


Jump forward 6 years to 2019 and event 450. Numbers had soared to an impressive 641 with 35 volunteers, Callum Abberley being first through the funnel in 15:56 and Paige Stevenson first lady in 20:43.


Finally, our “last” proper parkrun before Covid stepped in was event 478 with a slightly lower participation of 556 but with a massive 55 volunteers in attendance to witness Jamie Fletcher break the beam in 17:13 with Christina Hawtin being the leading Lady in 21:19.


As you will see from the above figures, the attendance has grown immensely over the 9 years and the fact that we have such successful event with an amazing atmosphere is down to the sterling efforts of the Core Teams over the years and the amazing selfless attitude of our volunteers who ensure our safety every week whatever the weather.


To get the event back up and running is going to mean a lot of organisation with new challenges to overcome in order to ensure continued safety, meet the requirements of the recently published parkrun framework and minimising the risk of further spread of Covid. The logistical challenges they face are immense with trying to segregate participants successfully at the start and safe guarding the volunteers,


In the mean time Keep Running, keep obeying the social distancing rules and keep your fingers crossed that all goes well for the coming weeks.




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


Love volunteering, love parkrun

Conkers parkrun Event number 474     -   15/02/2020

Roses are red 

Violets are blue 

I love volunteering 

I hope you do too

It was Valentine’s Day on Friday. It’s fair to say we all love parkrun; we love running around Conkers. However, much as I love running, I actually love volunteering more than running. Last week I got my purple shirt (so today is number 26) and in December I got my 50 shirt (I am now on 53), so you can see I do quite a lot of volunteering as well as my running. These are the roles I have done so far and why I enjoy it:
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Barcode scanning (I have done this the most at 11 times), marshalling with Mum or Dad, number checker, sign holder with Mum or Dad, run report writer (I have done this one six times), tail walker with Mum and finally, token sorting.  For barcode scanning, I enjoy this because you can see what position everyone you know achieves. I have also shown other people how to scan too when they have not done it before. You have to scan barcodes so they can get a time on the results – don’t forget your barcode!  For token sorting you have to place the tokens on the table in the correct position so at the end when you put them onto the metal holders, they’re all in order ready for the next week. I love knowing that my help means parkrun can take place.

For number checker you have to follow somebody from when they pass the timekeepers up when they get the token.  You ask the timekeepers what number they have, then run up to the people who hand the tokens out and ask them what their number is so you can keep in sync with timekeepers and token people.  This is important so if there are any errors, the results processor can figure out where it went wrong and try to put it right.
I do like to marshal with either Mum or Dad, so you have to stand somewhere on the trail and cheer people on – it’s really impressive to watch hundreds of people taking part.  For the run reports, you have to do what I am doing right now – talk about parkrun! For sign holding, you have to hold the time sign at the start, so people know where to stand.  Some of the roles you can still run too.

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Volunteering is important because without volunteers parkrun would not take place.  There are a few roles I haven’t done yet, but I’ve said to Jen she can use me pretty much any week if there are gaps and if it’s a role I am old enough for.  If not, I will run. But I really don’t mind volunteering every week if I am needed.
I would like to say a massive thanks to:

Colin HOPE • Roger COBB • Janet HARDY • Jennifer CROSS • Jeremy MILLINGTON-PIPE • Sam MCDERMOTT • Darryl JOHNSON • Gregg MAYLES • Dyanne SARGEANT • Tony STONE • Alison MOSS • Phil VIBERT • Martha MILLINGTON-PIPE • Jo IORIO • Andrea ALLEN • Alexander MICHELSON • Adrienne COLLARD • Susan MAYLES • Nigel PALING • Sophie BOYES • Andrew BRUNT • Michael GREENE • Lisa WILLIAMS • Sadie OWEN • Lara PEACH • Barbara CULVER • Paul PARSONS • Karen BARKER • Richard FERNANDES • Joanne CRICHTON • Roman CRICHTON • Sally COLLARD • Christopher ALLEN • Kim HOLMES • Abigail DENNIS • Paul AVERILLO • Michael ADAMS • Naomi EARL • Kath PEBERDAY • Fraser CRICHTON for volunteering at parkrun today.

This week was a very wet one and I am sure it will be a bit muddy next week after seeing pictures of Conkers start line that my mum showed me earlier.  (The brick wall was missing!) 586 people ran, jogged and walked the course, 36 were first timers and 49 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 42 different clubs took part.

We also have some milestones to say well done to:

Alex Brockhouse                             10

Anthony Donnelly                            50

Teresa Swift                                    50

Manda Shakespeare-Ensor            50

Ann Hill                                           50

Georgina Johnson                          50

Grace Kennedy                              50

Philip Hadland                              100

Richard Nash                               250

Richard Womersley                     250

Fun fact: A total of 1,356 individuals have volunteered 11,426 times at Conkers.  Would you like to be the 1357th person next week?  Please let Jen know if you do.

Well done to Roger for being our run director he was brill. I shall see you next time for a nice swim if the weather carries on.

Chris Allen aged 11



Conkers parkrun Event 455

So, 502 lovely people turned out for the 455th Conkers parkrun.  Chilly and overcast didn't seem to deter anyone. I was running my 252nd parkrun. It doesn't seem to get any easier though, particularly when I get to Cheeky Hill!!

As always there were quite a few fantastic achievements worthy of a mention.
52 runners achieved a pb (personal best) just in case you are new to this running malarchy! They included Richard Charlton in a time of 20.27 and Lucy Cartwright in 25.31.
First runner back was Chris Baxter with an amazing time of 16.43. Sally Jeyes achieved the highest age category score for the 70/74 age group. Her score was 82.83% and her time was 26.53. Well done and what an inspiration!!
The junior with the highest age category score was Guy Mitchell, in the JM10 category, with 63.42% and a time of 28.04. In the JW10 category, Megan Fowler achieved 64.32%.. In JM11-14, Isaac Wright was 68.24% and Luke Talbot 71.21%.
Milestones also worth a mention are Katie Dennis for her 100th run and 50th Volunteer and fab time of 22.00. James Squires was a first timer at Conkers but was celebrating his 50th run and a fab time of 20.16. Steven Walters got to his 100th run and despite pulling up injured he finished in a time of 36.58. Get well soon Steven!
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Katie celebrating her milestone with one of her fabulous cakes!
Many congratulations to everyone who ran, walked, pushed a pram, held on to a dog. Amazing work by every one of you.
I will end the report with a little bit of a poem.
Everyone waiting under the trees
Lots of coloured t-shirts and knobbly knees
Get set ready go
Doesn't matter if you are fast or slow
Follow the paths and the Marshall's happy faces
Along the canal path you see some lovely places
Keep on going back to where it all started
Feel proud you have it done and probably shattered
See you next week all and don't forget your barcode. Note barcodes on a phone will not scan so please bring a printed version of one with you. Next week it is the monthly visit of the 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer AND a special Halloween twist event! See you there!
Pauline Cooper

Great atmosphere and PB’s galore at Conkers

Conkers parkrun No. 449 Run Report  -   September 7, 2019

On Saturday 7th September we all woke up to perfect running weather. It was cool, dry, with a bright blue sky. My favourite kind of weather for exertion, I presume the other 604 parkrunners agreed since they all decided to rock up to Conkers for their Saturday morning pick me up

Also joining us were 27 brand new parkrunners, I imagine some were surprised by the slick organisation of such a large number of people. This was managed by 52 volunteers including 18 from local running club SDRR acting as pacers. Everyone got on with their allocated job and a lot of extra cheering and encouraging as the runners made their way around the course.

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The fantastic funnel team from Saturday, well done everyone

A huge 110 people worked hard enough to earn themselves a personal best, whether this was because they took advantage of the many pacers in their yellow and blue club shirts, or they’ve spent weeks working up to an excruciating but thrilling best ever time, it all counts as a victory.

Will Burton just squeezed in a sub 20 with a new best of 19.59

Guy Mitchell crossed the line with his first sub 30 smashing his old PB by finishing at 29.43

Peter Brockhouse got his first sub 40 coming in at a PB of 39.55

Melly Smith claimed her first sub 50 with her 49.25 finish time

Over the space of 41 parkruns Maureen Pattison achieved a PB by knocking an astonishing total of 16.55 off her first ever parkrun back in May last year

Mark Harriott after waiting 4 1/2 years for a PB has managed two in two weeks.

In fact just turning up and getting round is a victory for many of us whether it’s injuries, weight gain, pregnancy, hangovers, getting older, a confidence crisis or any of the other multitude of reasons that we might use as an excuse not to run. Turning up to parkrun can be a brave thing for far more people than you might realise

Milestones were reached by the following:

Rupert May, Jane Reynolds, Josie Beale and Sophie Walker all reached their 50th parkrun.

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Sophie Walker after 7 years managed her 50th parkrun. The reasons why it took so long? Two are in the photo with her and her just short of 150 volunteer occasions, 

Keep turning up, keep trying your best, and keep smiling. We can all do that, especially when it’s running weather

Simon Randle and Mark Blackman reached their 100th parkrun. Well done both.

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Mark decked out in balloons reaches his 100th parkrun in just 2 1/2 years; great consistency.


99 Great PB’s, Floating In The Summer Sky

Conkers parkrun run report No. 448  -  August 31st, 2019

The 448th Conkers parkrun saw the third highest attendance as runners, a Barlestone St Giles Running Club takeover and the monthly Conkers 5k Your Way event.

Image may contain: one or more people, plant, flower, outdoor and nature 710 Conkers parkrunners packed into the start area.

Amongst the 710 runners taking advantage of the fine morning weather were 72 First Timers and 41 people taking part in their first ever parkrun. We hope you enjoyed the event and look forward to seeing you many more times. Amongst the First Timers was Nick Samuels who was our First Finisher in a time of 15:42 and was just ahead of Callum Abberley who ran a PB in 16:01. The first lady home was Christina Hawtin who just dipped under 20 minutes with a time of 19:56. Maybe a combination of good course conditions and a Summer’s worth of training (or energy building) seem to paying off as there were a 99 PBs. Your report writer has, of course, poured over the results to see how close we were to 100 PBs. I’m certainly not going to point fingers anywhere … but one of our speedier runners equalled his PB.

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Mark Harriott celebrates his first PB for almost 4 1/2 years by giving the bell a good ring. Well done Mark, one of the most consistent parkrunners.

This run also saw the third monthly Conkers 5K Your Way – Move Against Cancer event. This is a community-based initiative to encourage those living with and beyond cancer, families, friends and those working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at a local 5k Your Way parkrun event on the last Saturday of every month. The events take place at 43 parkruns around the country and Ainslea, Mark and James are the Ambassadors at Conkers parkrun. You’ll find them standing by the Conkers sign at 8:45am and will be happy to join you running or walking around the course. We see ourselves as a support group with a difference.

5K your way ambassadors Mark, Ainslea and James

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Lewis leads his 5K your way group back.

Many thanks to the Barlestone St Giles Running Club for taking over the volunteer roles and thanks to all 49 volunteers. Also, congratulations to the members of the club who were graduating from their Couch to 5k programme.

No, no... you guys are awesome, we really appreciate you volunteering.

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Welcome to Cheeky Hill indeed. His smile seems to suggest that he is not going up it.

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Laura & Co visiting from Brighton

We look forward to seeing you all again next Saturday morning for event 449.




It was hot, very hot, but Conkers is great whatever the weather.

Conkers parkrun Event number 447  -  24th August 2019

Oh what a beautiful morning it was. The summer returned in beautiful style for the Nation’s Biggest Sports Day. I cannot express how marvellous it felt to walk out of the house in a vest top early in the morning and NOT FEEL COLD. Yeah, I know a lot of the runners weren’t that grateful for the heat but we still had PBs and we still had milestones and we still had incredible performances.

No photo description available.

70 out of the 629 people had PBs. That’s over 10%. We had 67 people who turned up at Conkers for the first time, including 22 giving parkrun a go for the very first time. I was talking to a girl from Pembroke on the way to the start who was amazed at the turnout we get. I do hope she and our other tourists loved it as much as we home parkrunners do.

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Claire, immediately after pulling Lyndsey's head through her baseball cap, issues a challenge about who is going to be first back to the finish. Meanwhile, Katharine says "you may get back before me, but you can't leap into the funnel with my style". It was all 'kicking off' at the Conkers start.

Anyway, those incredible performances….At the top end, we had Richard Francis of Alcester RC (one of them there tourists) come home first. Given that this was his first time at Conkers I reckon he loves us. Close behind (and they were battling all the way down the home straight) was John Cotton who came in in 17:53 and earned a new PB. He must love us too. And in third was Rob Eaton, a regular from South Derbyshire Road Runners. He already loved us before he started.

Our top ladies this week were Emma Pick from Peel who was also celebrating her 50th parkrun. What a nice way to celebrate it. Two other regulars were second and third ladies home – Andrea Beaty and Faith Tipper (from Ivanhoe Runners) respectively.   Super times from all three ladies – 20:45, 21:43 and 22:30. Cor.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sky and outdoor Emma Pick celebrating her 50th parkrun and being first lady back under the shade of the finish.

On to the aforementioned milestones. Regulars Mark Harriott and Becca Hobbs both celebrated their 300th parkrun. An amazing achievement. Mark, in fact, has run every single one at Conkers. None of this dirty tourism lark for him.

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 Mark and Becca both reaching 300 parkruns on the same day.

The highest age graded performance this week (aka the WAVA) was Paul Johnson from Birstall RC who came in 4th. The person with the most parkruns running this week was Dawn Storer from Barrow Runners who has an awesome 351 under her belt.

Next…our volunteers. For once they could revel in the sunshine (other than those in the finish funnel under the trees!) probably happy to be standing around rather than running in the heat. A huge thank you to all 37 of them….well, 36. I’m one of the 37 by writing this report so I don’t need to thank myself.

Volunteer Gang:

Judith BRAND • Robert DILWORTH • Laura GRAVES • Roger COBB • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Jan COBB • Mark BOAST • Angela BEBBINGTON • Jennifer CROSS • Karen MISSEN • Pauline COOPER • Tracey GLOVER • Samuel HILL • Ollie THURBON • Keith BARON • Lizzy JACKSON • Maureen DANVERS • Thomas HILL • Fiona BETTS • Kathryn BRAY • Kevin BORLEY • Tony STONE • Graham BROOKS • Melanie RATCLIFFE • Pete GRAVES • Mark NUGENT • Rachel MILLER • Stew DICKSON • Dennis DICKINSON • Joanne WYKES • Barbara CULVER • Carly DEWDNEY • Paul PARSONS • Kenneth ASHTON • Andrew BOOTH • Naomi EARL • Claire Graham


The final word must be Congratulations. For any of you that doubt that Conkers is a great community, I’m happy to dispel this by congratulating Jason and Jen who met at Conkers and who have recently gotten engaged. Awwww.

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Jason and Jen turned up late and missed the run brief. A word in your ear Jason "The groom can never be late at a wedding". Congratulations to Jason and Jen, x

Have a great running week and see y’all next Saturday same time, same place and (as far as I’m concerned) hopefully the same weather.





Sunshine, smiles and a friendly event – must be Conkers parkrun

Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 446 - August 17, 2019

How hard can it be to write a report I asked myself… for my first run report I was told to write anything I wanted, and make it personal, so here goes.

I want to dedicate this report to my son Regan who has been my biggest supporter, you see I am new to this running malarkey, and he has pushed me and encouraged me and believed in me when I didn’t think I could do it myself. Regan turned 21 this week and the number 21 has been a focal point of my writing but first…

What Conkers parkrun means to me, and to many others I have spoken to over the last few weeks is that it’s a support network of like-minded people, that meet in beautiful surroundings to complete 5km. It doesn’t matter if you walk, skip,  run or jump your way round, it is still 5km. Six hundred and thirty-eight did it their way this week, 86 were first timers at Conkers including 35 trying out a parkrun for the very first time ( I hope we see them again!). Sixty-four recorded new Personal Bests (Well-done you all of you). Representatives of 52 different clubs took part – just shows how far people reach out to be part of the great Conkers run. Well done to each and every one of you that completed the 5km you lapped every one that was sitting on their sofa (my favourite Conkers placard)

Those attending Conkers parkrun will be met with a warm welcome, regulars there will automatically make you feel at home and feel part of a family. There is no hierarchy, there are no judgments, just a feeling of anticipation to start and however long it takes, an exhilaration on completing the course in one piece. Don’t underestimate the power you have whilst going about your 5km, talk to people while you wait to start, you may be the first person they have spoken to in a while, smile and give a wave to the man with the lurcher who waits at the top of the first hill to see you off every week.

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Plenty of chatting going on here just before the start. Have a word with someone next to you, you may make someone's day.

Give a thank you or even a thumbs up or a smile to all those marshals donating their time so the run can be carried out safely, and also give support to others when they need it. I can’t thank my support network enough (Emily, Becki, Katie, Kev, Helen, Karen and Ellie (SDDR) you are amazing!!).  This morning Conkers welcomed its newest recruit, baby D who is just a few weeks old wearing his own hi viz accompanied by his wonderful parents, I hope he becomes a regular because he is simply gorgeous!

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Linda all postered up for her 50th parkrun - well done Linda.

Kev in the sandwich celebrating his 100th parkrun, surrounded by Ian and Mindy on their 50th.

Dawn has reached an amazing 350 parkruns


So here goes my 21 themed  report:

The 21st runner was Dave Allery in 20:31 mins

21st woman across the finish is Lucy Regan 25:13 mins (if you haven’t tuned out already you will remember this report was dedicated to my Regan)

16 runners finished within the minutes 21 and 22

21st letter of the alphabet is a U for undulating - Conkers park run can be described as undulating I think, especially that cheeky little hill!!!

21 interesting body facts

  1. The tongue has a unique print just like your fingertips - stick it out at all those who say you will never do it!!
  2. The jaw muscle is the strongest in the human body - exercise it well talk to someone new next week you never know the impact it might have!!
  3. The human nose can detect about 1 trillion smells - smell the great outdoors on your way around the course next time
  4. The largest bone in the human body is the femur - you took two of yours for a run yesterday well done, same again next Saturday
  5. Moving at speeds greater than a bullet train, a brain impulse travels approx. 400km/h - a bit like the first runner through the funnel on Saturday
  6. For an adult human, taking just one-step uses up to 200 muscles - well done all of you for exercising all those your muscles!!!
  7. Blood travels the distance of over 10,000 miles throughout our body, over the course of just one day! After reading this fact I made a note to self to stop complaining about the measly 5km I did
  8. The total length of all the nerves in our body is over 50 miles; some of you hardened runners run this weekly I’m sure!!
  9. We take approximately 20,000 breaths every day - I think I did this before I even got to cheeky hill!!!!!
  10. Our eyes can detect millions of colours but our brain can’t remember them - beautiful colours can be seen all around the course so take note next time you run the course because it really is so beautiful out there
  11. The human ear grows at a rate of ¼ mm per year and this lasts throughout our lives - use your ears wisely to lend to someone who just might need a listening ear
  12. Our heart beats 35 million times each year! – I am sure mine did this going up cheeky hill!
  13. We lose 2 pounds of skin annually, that means a million skin cells every single day! - I blame my leggings rubbing as I go about my 5km!!
  14. There are approximately a hundred skin sensors within an area of just one square centimetre of the skin so never underestimate the power of a hug!!!
  15. Men have fewer taste buds than women – Explains my love of cake!!!!
  16. 35 tons of food are consumed by an average person throughout their lifetime - I consume this I’m sure after a run!!!!
  17. You blink for about five years of your life – When your eyes are open next week find something of beauty on your run, this morning for me it was the beautiful lush trees that looked so green from the recent watering.
  18. There are about a 100,000 chemical functions that take place in our brain EVERY SECOND! - Mine is chemically imbalanced as you might tell from this report!
  19. When we sneeze, we let it out at 150km/h! Definitely a PB for sneezing – must ring the bell!!!
  20. A smile uses 17 facial muscles so why not give a big smile as you go round.
  21. The largest muscle in your body is the one you are sitting on to read this so make sure you are off it next Saturday at 9am, Conkers park run will be right there waiting for you with open arms.

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We love to here that bell ringing at the end of a Conkers parkrun. There is a whole list of occasions when it should be rung, including a 'catch all' on the last line.

The event was made possible by 38 volunteers that we should all be so grateful for, because without these it could not go ahead, it’s so easy to volunteer so please give it a go. Thanks to each of those listed below you are Saturday Superstars!!

Steve EDGAR • Mark HARRIOTT • John Frederick POTTER • Janet POTTER • Cinzia DUNACHIE • Roger COBB • Chris OSBORNE • Douglas COURTNEY • Jenny COURTNEY • Janet HARDY • Andrew ORME • Scott BROWNLOW • Romain CHAMBARD • Yvonne FELTHOUSE • Nicola BRIGGS • Keith BARON • Tracy EDGAR • Thomas HILL • Kathryn BRAY • Tony STONE • Robin THORNE • Jo IORIO • Paolo IORIO • Ludovica IORIO • Elsa IORIO • Iris STURDY • Dennis DICKINSON • Lisa WILLIAMS • Samantha PHIPPS • Harry PHIPPS • Joanne WYKES • Barbara CULVER • Katie DENNIS • Chris ELSEGOOD • Andrew BOOTH • Naomi EARL •  Nick FRENCH

So that’s me over and out, they wont let me loose doing this again! (oh yes we will : - )  )

Teresa x


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.


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