Didcot parkrun Run Report #257, 2nd October 2021

Didcot parkrun Run Report #257, 2nd October 2021 by Colin Taylor

My parkrun tourism this week brought me to south Oxfordshire and the town of Didcot. It is about 40 miles south of my home run of Banbury.

Known to me predominantly for 2 things - The Power Station Cooling Towers and Thomas the Tank Engine! (We came to visit him at the Railway Centre about 25 years ago when our kids were fans!) The last of the iconic cooling towers were demolished in 2019 so are no longer part of the landscape.

The weather was bright leaving Banbury but had turned to a distinctly overcast and rain threatening appearance by the time we had the first timers briefing by Charlotte - who was also RD. After a safety briefing and a few words of wisdom from Charlotte we were off!

The course was in lovely condition and after 3 laps around the field - mostly on grass but with a tarmac section at the top loop- there was a long final section of approx 1500 metres that took us to the finish line. The marshals all around the course were enthusiastic and encouraging ! Thanks as always to them and the core volunteer team!

Luckily the rain kept off for most of the run - a few spots fell as I closed in to finish but most folks completed their run in the dry.

Parking was free for 2 hours - we used the Orchard Centre Car Park as the normal Football Club car park was out of action this week.

If you are walking around the park in the next few days keep an eye open for these lovely painted stones that my wife hid as we were running!

painted stone


This week 229 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 36 were first timers and 27 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

Congratulations to Lewis Camps and Preben Krabben who achieved their 10th and 100th parkrun milestones respectively.

The event was made possible by 29 volunteers:

Helen BRIND • Carolyn MACHIN • David RAYNER • Roger THETFORD • Saffy WALTON • Katharine HILL • Hayleigh GASCOIGNE • Scot WHEELER • Stewart WATSON • Miranda HABERMEL • Gavin WARRINGTON • Sharon RASMUSSEN • Mark BARLOW • Sabiene NORTH • Charlotte WARRINGTON • Stuart TURNER • Sandra MAGEE • Michael HIBBERD • Karen SPACKMAN • Fo KRABBEN • Emma NORTH • Roger PEARCE • Colin TAYLOR • Cher KILROY • Evelyn KILROY • James KILROY • Carol MILES • Wendy BOWYER • Cora HEATH

Colin Taylor


No parking at Didcot Football Club this Saturday 2nd October 2021

There will be no parking available at Didcot Football Club this Saturday 2nd October 2021. This is due to Oak Tree Health Centre operating a pop up vaccination centre in the car park.

We really want to avoid cancelling our weekly parkrun fix, especially after being away for so long, therefore we’re encouraging all our parkrunners, if they can, to travel via alternative means this week. Why not try walking, cycling, getting the bus or the train? There are bike racks available at the Willowbrook Leisure Centre.

If driving is your only option, please use the Orchard Centre Car Park (next to Sainsbury’s garage) which is a similar distance from our new start. Please note, while parking is free for the first 2 hours, you will need to pay beyond that and there are restrictions on how soon you can return.

To keep our neighbours happy, please avoid parking on the roads around the Ladygrove estate, particularly near the finish area as this is a safety concern for our parkrunners crossing the road after their run.



Core Team Changes at Didcot Parkrun

After more than 2 years, our amazing Co-Event Director Helen has decided to step down from ED duties at Didcot parkrun. We are sure you will join us in thanking Helen for all her fantastic work and time she has given our parkrun community, especially behind the scenes ensuring we were able to restart following the Covid break. Lucky for us, Helen is still continuing as one of our Run Directors so we will still get to see her wield the megaphone at the start line every few weeks.

One of our other fabulous RDs, Scot Wheeler, will join Sue Henderson as Co-Event Director. As always, you can contact Scot and Sue via didcot@parkrun.com.

didcot team Jun21

September also saw Charlotte Warrington take on sole Run Director responsibilities for the first time. She had a long wait, originally agreeing to join the team before the Covid break back in late 2019. I'm sure you'll agree, she did a fantastic job and is an amazing addition to the team.

Charlie 1st RD


Didcot parkrun #254 – 11th September 2021

Didcot parkrun Report #254, 11th September 2021 by Stephanie Smith

Well! Who knew? Didcot is apparently the ‘most normal’ place to live in England. We just had to visit to check this out (and of course take the opportunity to take part in Didcot parkrun). Many people in the parkrun community were delighted to see the return in July of some sort of ‘normality’ to Saturday mornings. Personally, I have felt rather apprehensive about a return to parkrun tourism but a little jaunt along the Great Western Line from Reading seemed manageable and relatively safe.
Arriving by train at this town which is noted for its railway heritage seemed pleasingly apt. It took us about 10 minutes to walk to the start and meet the RD. After a friendly greeting from him and the rest of the team we made our way to the finish to leave our stuff and a slow trot back to the start meant we were nicely warmed up.
The parkrun weather fairies did their thing and the sun came out just as 266 of us set off. What a lovely varied course-grass, paths and trees with three laps, then back onto the Ladygrove loop to the finish line. We were encouraged by some very vocal marshals. Thanks to all the amazing volunteers today and big up to the toilet marshal for top banter!
Could the town’s links to the Formula 1 and the automotive industries bring a landspeed record to Didcot parkrun? A quick look at past results proved that this course was a speedy one. Huge congratulations to Sonka Reimers for running a new female course record today! Kudos to everyone who took part today including the 10, 50 and 100 milestone parkrunners.
Hopefully see you all again soon!
Stephanie Smith

This week 266 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 22 were first timers and 41 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:

Helen BRIND • Sue HENDERSON • Tracey TALBOT • Miranda HABERMEL • Daniel BLOUNT • Jo VINCENT • Gordon JACKSON • Martha VINCENT • Nicola FREEMAN • Stephen MARKS • Gillian LONSDALE • Charlotte WARRINGTON • Colin JOHNSTONE • Tatiana BOUCARD • Josephine BOUCARD • Karen SPACKMAN • Stephanie SMITH • Sharon BUDDLE • Jacob BLOUNT • Tammi WILLIAMS • John PORTER • Jacob MARKS • Sally POVOLOTSKY • Greg WHITEMAN


Didcot parkrun #246 – 1st February 2020

Didcot parkrun Report #246, 1st February 2020 by Sarah Ruane

A sunny morning greeted 336 parkrunners in Didcot this morning, although the variable weather recently meant the muddy conditions continued. Nothing daunted, RD Stuart and the set-up team were determined to keep Didcot running and put a few course adaptations in place to direct us away from particularly badly affected areas, keeping us all safe and maintaining the grass as much as possible. The marshals did a great job in directing everyone round the first corner and through the cones that set out our chosen path.
Ladygrove Park saw tourists from South Africa, Dorset, Kingsbury Water Park, Reading, Woodley, Sheffield, Slough, Southwark and Southwick Country Park – a parkrun I look forward to completing soon on my 2nd attempt, having previously been at the start only to have it cancelled - with 24 parkrunners visiting Didcot parkrun for the first time. In all, representatives of 32 different clubs took part today.


In addition, 13 more people joined the parkrun community today, completing their first ever parkrun at Didcot. I hope you go on to enjoy your various exploits as much as I have mine. You see, that was me 4 years ago; I was so nervous I had volunteered before I took part so I knew what to expect. I still remember the feeling of achievement from completing 5k without stopping, finishing 100th in a field of 101. The Didcot parkrun family welcomed me and settled my nerves about not being a “proper runner”. Today was my 99th parkrun on my 4th parkrun birthday and my 37th volunteer. I never thought that running 5k would have led to making so many friends and having so many running adventures.
There were plenty of milestone t-shirts to be seen today, helping some fantastic runners complete their milestones today. Congratulations to Miranda Habermel and Alison Higginson on completing their 100th parkrun and Nicolas Roux, Lucie Cotmore-Brown and Linda Jackson on their 50th.


Pacers day at Didcot today saw 30 new PBs, including a special one for Lucie on her 50th parkrun. Kieran Beech, Carol Martin, Neil Salmons, Matt Bezzant, Sharon Rasmussen, Jonathan Boucard and Clare Ashworth all put in sterling efforts to come in with 10 seconds of their target, with Jonathan and Carol hitting it spot on.


Two of our tokens seem to have gone on their own tourism this weekend with 123 and 171 both absent from the post-event role call in Didcot Town Football Club. If anyone finds them, can you help them make their way back!
Photos courtesy of Karen Spackman.
Many thanks to the 30 volunteers that made it all possible. Anyone can volunteer and there are lots of roles.

Helen BRIND • Kieran BEECH • David RAYNER • James CLAYTON • Carol MARTIN • Michael SUGGATE • Geoff ROBERSON • Neil SALMONS • Daniel FISHER • Helen SEYMOUR • Matt BEZZANT • Sharon RASMUSSEN • Claire SHORROCK • Nichola POULTON • Sarah RUANE • Jonathan BOUCARD • Charlotte WARRINGTON • Stuart TURNER • Anna SHANNON • Peter DYMENT • Mark KINGSTON • Karen SPACKMAN • Clare ASHWORTH • Bernard OCONNOR • Tammi WILLIAMS • Aileen SPANKIE • Malcolm PEEL • Carol MILES • Stephanie WHITBY • Jake KINGSTON

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

Happy parkrunning
Sarah Ruane (A1698623)

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