Didcot parkrun Event Number 181 – 29th September 2018


Didcot parkrun Event Number 181 - 29th September 2018

By Matthew Seadon


I am writing this report as one of my challenges under the Boys' Brigade programme, well actually 2! Boys' Brigade is a programme for boys (and girls), similar in format to things such as cubs. One of my challenges was to take part in a fun run, and another was to write a report. I have run a few parkruns in the past, so I thought this was ideal.


Firstly, the statistics:

Event number 181 - 29th September 2018


This week 198 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 21 were first timers and 47 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:


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

The male record is held by Jonathan CORNISH who recorded a time of 15:58 on 15th April 2017 (event number 106).

The female record is held by Izzy FRY who recorded a time of 17:40 on 7th October 2017 (event number 131).

The Age Grade course record is held by Tracey LASAN who recorded 88.29% (21:04) on 7th May 2016 (event number 58).


Didcot parkrun started on 21st February 2015. Since then 4,283 participants have completed 27,996 parkruns covering a total distance of 139,980 km, including 5,416 new Personal Bests.


Now, as for my experience, well, I woke up on a bright morning, sun shining through, took a step outside and realised the sun was not yet taking full effect as it was quite cold. Nothing like a run to warm you up though. We trotted down to the start, and spoke to a few people to understand what it meant to them. For some, park run is an opportunity week in week out to try and achieve that personal best, run a few seconds faster than they had done before. For others, it is part of a regime to get fitter and healthier. For others, myself included, it is something fun to do from time to time. The distance is achievable for many with a little training so it really is something for all.  I spoke to one couple, who took part in their first park run when they were 72 and 76; they have now completed well over 170 runs each, so there must be something addictive about it!


It was my first run in quite a while and I admit to finding it difficult towards the end. It was encouraging to have so many people offer kind words urging me to keep going. This is a big part of the parkrun – everyone is encouraged to achieve what they can achieve, it's not about coming first, it’s about having fun. The words of encouragement worked as I put in a really strong, and long, sprint finish much the annoyance of my dad who couldn't keep up.


In summary, parkrun is something that you can do every week, or come back to from time to time. You'll always be encouraged and in my experience it will be a good use of half an hour or so on a Saturday morning. Just like Boys' Brigade, all are welcome and I would highly recommend both!


Didcot parkrun # 180 – 22/09/2018


Didcot parkrun # 180 - 22/09/2018 By Karen Spackman


226 runners, 21 volunteers, 23 Clubs, 48 PBs, 18 First Timers at Didcot parkrun, of whom 10 First Times joining their parkrun journey with their parkrun family.


What an amazing morning at Didcot parkrun, I’d not volunteered to report write, but after today, I just can’t help myself (well it is raining and our night out has been cancelled due to the weather, so I can sit and reflect on this morning).


I’d volunteered for that “really scary” job of timekeeping, I’m determined to crack this and feel comfortable with the role that I had previously thought was far too pressurised for me. As I arrived (just the usual 2 or 3 minutes late) for the volunteers briefing, I was a touch concerned to see my fellow timekeeper Neil refreshing his memory as to how the stopwatches work….eeek! What a lovely bunch of volunteers were there, our RD Helen was blessed with a full and able team. Special mention to the Frost family, providing both the tailwalking team and finish tokens (and token sorting), Naomi and Ewan Ackroyd who were barcode scanning for Dave’s 50th parkrun, and my personal favourite marshal, who mentored me on my first marshalling experience, Paul Absolom. When all you can hear is the pounding of footsteps and heavy breathing, Paul’s resonant voice encouraging absolutely everybody to do their best is, to me, the epitome of parkrun. I don’t think I’m the only person to think this!

After the first timers briefing, it looked like we had a lovely mixed field of parkrunners that headed off on their 5km challenge. Each parkrunner has their own challenge, some which are quantifiable by looking at times, PBs, completing parkrun challenges (such as A-Z) etc, but there are also the personal challenges that we don’t see. Nobody knows who hasn’t left their home in the last week apart from to come to parkrun, who wakes up in pain, yet still completes their 5km, who is running for the first time alone, or missing somebody from their life, after listening to the “free, weekly timed” podcast this week, who has recovered cancer surgery in the last 5 weeks. We don’t know our fellow parkrunners, but we are all in this thing together and we can all support each other.

After Paul and Joseph Wilson completed their runs, both in PBs, (Joseph on his 10th parkrun so we will be waiting to see you run in your new milestone t shirt) they went back a couple of hundred meters along the course and cheered on their fellow parkrunners, motivating many to make a speedy finish. Including Aaron Poulton who achieved his PB. Paul coaches’ sports teams on others days of the week and enjoys his parkrun with his son, but those extra minutes they spend encouraging others after they have completed their runs are invaluable. As a very slow parkrunner, I appreciate those that give their time to encourage the rest of the field. Paul said that he’d like to run quicker each week, as that would give him more time to cheer on the others! Once again, the epitome of parkrun.

Daniel Brenchley is over 11 and has recently started running alone while his sister Olivia marshals with his mum Laura. The Brenchleys are such a supportive parkrun family and will often be high 5ing you as you run by their marshalling positions. Daniel recorded his PB today. Brother and sister Tim and Helen Krabben both achieved PBs this morning… I hope there is a family celebration to help create the memories for this occasion!

I also love seeing the more experienced parkrunners recording their PBs, this week Tracey Talbot, Douglas Burns and Phil Gray who have all run more than 100 parkruns achieved their PB, as did Clare Shorrock who was quite obviously delighted to smash the 27 minute barrier, Mawaje Kasonde smashed his 24 minute barrier, Christine Shephard broke her 30 minute barrier, Matthew Quarterman hit 20 minutes exactly as Simeon Lewis hit 31 minutes exactly,

Personally, what really warmed my heart was seeing the mum and daughter team of Charlie and Rebecca Warrington completing the course together, and I am sure that those of us who were at the finish line will carry the memory of the goosepimply moment of the wonderful team at the tail finish together with such a high-level buzz… you were all amazing Annabel, Kim, Emily, Karin, Elliot, Meredith and Andrea. Welcome to or parkrun family Annabel and Kim you are an inspiration to us all.

What with all the enjoyment of the run, I’d totally forgotten how stressful I thought timekeeping was. I’d thoroughly enjoyed my morning, and all our times and finish token numbers tallied so all was good for processing I was anxious for no reason whatsoever!

Many thanks to all of you for making my Saturday morning before the rain so enjoyable, not forgetting the delicious cake!

Many thanks to the others volunteers who made this event happen:


If you haven’t tried volunteering yet, I’d fully recommend it, try something different and give something back!








Didcot parkrun #173 – 4th August 2018


Didcot parkrun #173 - 4th August 2018
By Carol Martin


parkrun is a like a big family of special friends and we make more friends the more we participate. Didcot parkrun is even more special, as so many of the regulars know each other.






Saturday 4th August...was a bit of at home family planning! Lisa has been a Run Director for nearly 3 years set the date of her last RD, I worked out if I ran every week I could achieve my 100th run at parkrun, and Charlie my 5 year old grandson could achieve his 25th volunteer role. While Lisa was RD, Charlie and I tail walked so it was win win all round.




It’s fabulous watching everyone arrive, from the marshals setting up the field with the RD, then getting to their marshaling points, to the runners and walkers arriving. People of all ages and abilities, children with Dad while Mum runs, or vice or versa, people with dogs, on their leads ready for the off.

This week we had 2 Bertie's, one on marshal point 6 (meet and greet), and one running with his human, both extremely lovely dogs. Fellow runners calling out a greeting as the run past other runners, lots saying thanking to the marshals. I love parkrun for the camaraderie that it brings, and the fun it is to take part.


This Weekends Stats 
This week 220 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 30 were first timers and 33 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 22 fantastic volunteers:


Roni MCGOWAN • Carol MARTIN • Mark James D'SA • Andrew SHEARD • Lewis COUSINS • Peter FOSTEKEW • Antony HICKMAN • Alan WOOD • Karl THOMPSON • Gavin WARRINGTON • Evelyn FOSTEKEW • Lisa MARTIN • Karl ROWAN • Hannah RHODES • Stuart MILSTED • Charlie MARTIN • Karen SPACKMAN • Laura BRENCHLEY • Ewan ACKROYD • Daniel BRENCHLEY • Olivia BRENCHLEY • Naomi ACKROYD
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Didcot parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Jonathan CORNISH who recorded a time of 15:58 on 15th April 2017 (event number 106).
The female record is held by Izzy FRY who recorded a time of 17:40 on 7th October 2017 (event number 131).
The Age Grade course record is held by Tracey LASAN who recorded 88.29% (21:04) on 7th May 2016 (event number 58).
Didcot parkrun started on 21st February 2015. Since then 4,094 participants have completed 26,231 parkruns covering a total distance of 131,155 km, including 5,065 new Personal Bests.


Didcot parkrun #170 – Post parkrun Refreshments



*** Post parkrun Refreshments - Saturday 14th July, Didcot parkrun #170 ***


Coffee Shop Closed


Unfortunately the Football Club will be closed for post-parkrun refreshments tomorrow so why not join us for some refreshments at the finish area after the run instead.

Some of the Didcot parkrun Core Team and volunteers plan to hang around after the run so why not take advantage of the good weather and join us too.

Normal service will resume next weekend.

Many thanks,

Didcot parkrun




Get to know your Core Team – RD Scot Wheeler


Scot Wheeler - A1606501
Run Director

146 runs completed (74 at Didcot parkrun)
18 PB’s
31 Volunteered



1) How did you hear about Didcot parkrun?

I had not long started running at Abingdon parkrun before hearing the rumours of one being set up at Didcot.

2) What did you do on a Saturday morning at 9am before Didcot parkrun?

A mixture of running at Abingdon parkrun and enjoying a lie-in. When Didcot started on our doorstep, there was no excuse but to be there every week.

3) Your Barcode - is it paper, laminated, permanent or other?

I received one of the new flatbands as a birthday present replacing the old worn out one; I wear it 24-7 after forgetting it one week.

4) Do you have any parkrun goals?

Loads. If you haven’t done so already, check out the ‘Running Challenges’ Chrome extension. My next one is reaching 50 different parkrun events, currently I’m on 45.

5) Do you have a favourite parkrun moment?

The first time I marshalled at a junior parkrun, witnessing so many enthusiastic juniors taking part in the warm-up and asking for high-fives was fantastic.

6) Has parkrun changed your attitude to running, fitness and general wellbeing?

The social aspect of parkrun has been the catalyst which got me running regularly.

7) What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Didcot parkrun?

Make sure you stay for the great cake in the football club afterwards. And don’t do a fourth lap..

8) Which do you prefer……Laps on the field or the long path to the finish?

Laps on the field. The opportunity for runners of different speeds to wave to a friend and mix is what makes Didcot special.

9) What’s your favorite volunteer role?

It has to be timekeeping, you get to see the start and end of everyone's run.

10) What is your favorite parkrun to date?

I did Eden Project parkrun earlier this year; despite a few big hills, it’s a beautiful place to run with a great cafe and chance to explore the biomes afterwards.

11) Describe what parkrun is to you in three words?

Run with friends

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