Dunstable Downs parkrun #47 The one we almost had a century!

Well at least the weather wasn't bad, the wind speed was low, it was rain free, however the looming threat of Coronavirus may mean this is the last parkrun for a little while.

On a more happy note 99 red balloons (sorry, participants) ran jogged & walked the course, which was in better condition than it has been for months now. It was a little slippy & gloopy in places but the work the NT rangers had done has reduced our lake to a puddle. We are still not using Chute Wood currently & it is recovering, slowly.

This week we had 36 participants trying our course for the first time, that's almost a third.(maths is not my strong point!) Congratulations to two first timers; Tom HEMMINGWAY & Carla BROWN getting the first & second tokens respectfully. Hopefully everyone enjoyed it and we'll see them again.

We had five PB's this week so congratulations to; Jack BILLINGHAM, Oliver IRESON, Christopher IRESON, Rebecca WARD & Devendra PATEL. Stirling effort guys, hopefully you'll smash those times as the course improves.

We didn't have anyone new to parkrun this week, so I'll give a shout out to the most senior parkrunner (not by age but amount of runs) goes to John MATTHEWS with 469, almost thirteen years parkrunning.

As ever parkrun can't go ahead without the wonderful band of volunteers so a big round of applause in thanks to;

Claire THORNE, Adrian SUMMERSON, John COYLE, Lisa MITCHINSON, Claire (Harriett) HARMAN, Ted TURNER, Lynda HEMBURY, Judi FLITTON, Sheila TURNER, Shaun OCONNOR, Marcus MITCHINSON, regular, non runner Paul HEMBURY & three under 18's Isobel THORNE, Jake SUMMERSON & Natalie RENTON

EXCITING NEWS, hopefully we have encouraged three of our regular volunteers to become run directors which will reduce the stress on the current team. However we are always looking for more members to our team or volunteers to help each week, so please let us know if you can help by signing up to receive our volunteer e-mails or e-mail in to;

Happy parkrunning




Dunstable Downs parkrun #46 The One Where It Was International Women’s Day



You get all sorts at parkrun - The stretch before the start and race off at Mo Farah speed brigade, the beefy jockstrapers, The ladies (and odd chap) in bright coloured leggings and of course the often seen Middle Aged Man In Lycra (The MAMIL). Now I fall firmly in that camp after a recent birthday taking me ever closer to the big 5-0. I usually turn up, run as fast as I can, get grumpy if some youngster goes by me and once finished spend the best part of the week analysing how it had all gone, however today I decided on a different approach - I’d turn up and walk the course and actually take stock of the surroundings and take the time to thank the volunteers along the way.
In doing this today made me realise just what a treat Dunstable Downs parkrun actually is - the course is beautiful - the views across the countryside especially the church on the hill in Edlesborough, Ivinghoe Beacon and the Glider Club are a treat, it was nice to actually have some time to take it all in. Dunstable Downs is also unique for another reason as is one of very few local courses thats a single lap - I must say I prefer this sort of course instead of going round and round the same laps. Dunstable Downs is an absolute joy and one I’d highly recommend, its certainly at the top of the list of Beds parkrun for me.

Today 67 fearless runners and walkers joined in the fun - 4 Personal bests were registered with 15 first timers - Darren was first finisher in a very speedy 21:17, whilst Bryony the first lady in 24.26. There was good running from 2 youngsters in the JM 11-14 category with Henry and Josh both finishing strongly well inside the top 10! Our Top Junior Girl was Seren - well done to them all - top running!!

Finally a massive thanks to the volunteers, without them, none of us MAMIL’s, Jockstrappers, Wannabe Mo Farah’s, Spangly Leggings or Speedy Youngsters would have the opportunity to see the sights or run our own parkrun in our own time - well done to all who make it happen.


Simon - A 45+ yr old running MAMIL and parkrun fan (find me on Strava)


Dunstable Downs parkrun #45 The One Where It Was Our 1st Birthday

Or should I have called it "The One With The Cake" or "The One With The Marquee In The Way" or "The One Where We Had To Come Up With A Last Minute Plan Because The Woods Were Closed At 7:30 On Saturday Morning Because Of The Wind!"
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However it was a beautiful morning on the Downs apart from the wind and the rain! In fairness we should have cancelled but we couldn't on our birthday!

122 loonies (participants) came to run jog or walk the course, and we even had five people participating in their very first parkrun, so welcome to the fold to;
Nigel CLAYTON, Stefan BENNETT, Richard OSBORNE, Russell BENNETT & Margaret JONES, we hoped you enjoyed yourselves and this is the first of many. Unbelievably we had some PB's so congratulations to;
Paul ELLIS, Claudia SELINA, Claire THOMAS, Claire SMITH, Christine Teresa ROBERTS & Ellie SMITH.

The enforced route change took us out on to the Icknield Way, skirting round Chute Wood. I was worried that it would come up short of 5k but I checked with a few of the participants and it seemed to be just over so that was good. Despite everyone missing running etc in the woods I think we'll avoid them for now to give them time to recover

We had a couple of fallers, I saw some bloodied knees, hopefully the guys who fell are ok, no lasting injuries.

Milestones this week, we had two 50's and a would be 50, if you hadn't forgotten your barcode previously Hannah WHIFFEN! Anyway congratulations & welcome to the red tee shirt club to;

This weeks run was made possible by 16 fabulous volunteers who make DD parkrun possible so a massive thanks to;

I will end with a couple of extra thank you's;
To the people who stayed behind to help us celebrate with cake.
The National Trust team that provided such a lovely cake
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Rebecca HEMMANT-LOW for giving us a card & a bottle of wine.
And of course the faithful team which make up the core of the volunteers.




Dunstable Downs parkrun #44 The One the day before the winds got up to 71mph!


Dunstable Downs parkrun

Event number 44 - Run report, plus the view from a tourist! 8th February 2020

On a chilly, breezy, muddy and overcast spring morning, 79 people ran, jogged and walked the course. Of these, 27 were first timers to Dunstable Downs (including me!), of which 6 of these were doing their first ever parkrun. Not doing their first parkrun was Paul FREYNE with an impressive 555 parkruns in total! 12 participants recorded new Personal Bests, with representatives of 17 different clubs taking part. Well done to all involved!

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

Dunstable Downs parkrun today was my 22nd different parkrun venue. I live up in Stockport (Greater Manchester area) but was in the area visiting family this weekend, so took the opportunity to do a spot of parkrun tourism as part of a longer training run. It's amazing that although the concept of parkrun is the same wherever you go, you get so much variability between courses depending on the location. I have to say that Dunstable Downs is one of the most interesting and fun courses I've done on my travels - a proper undulating cross-country adventure with some fantastic views of the surrounding countryside, and a nice challenge too (in a good way - don't let this put you off if you're reading this trying to decide whether to come or not!).

As always, the thing that makes parkrun so great is the friendly supportive atmosphere. Please remember that parkrun is only possible because of all the amazing volunteers. If you haven't volunteered before please consider supporting your local event, especially if you're a regular participant. Thank you to the 18 people involved today:

Daniel MULLIN • Gary SIDGWICK • John COYLE • Lisa MITCHINSON • Marcus MITCHINSON • Lynda HEMBURY • Harriett (Claire) HARMAN • Paul HEMBURY • Claire THORNE • Trish OWEN • Jake SUMMERSON • Nathan MULLIN • Annabel MULLIN • Vanathy SIVAKUMAR (Who also reached her 50th parkrun milestone!)• Lucy GATFIELD • Bill CRANE • Jon DANIELS • Laura MCNULTY

Hope to see you all again soon the next time I'm down this way!

Gary Sidgwick

Davenport Runners

The female record is held by Rosie MCNABOLA who recorded a time of 19:29 on 6th July 2019 (event number 19).

The male record is held by Jamie BRYANT who recorded a time of 17:12 on 7th December 2019 (event number 39).

The Age Grade course record is held by Lynda HEMBURY who recorded 90.28% (22:07) on 31st August 2019 (event number 26).

Dunstable Downs parkrun started on 23rd February 2019. Since then 2,457 participants have completed 4,728 parkruns covering a total distance of 23,640 km, including 705 new Personal Bests. A total of 175 individuals have volunteered 688 times.


International Women’s Day 7 March 2020

Along with Sport England's "This Girl Can" campaign, parkrun will be celebrating International Women's Day on Saturday 7th March 2020.

We'd love it if you could spread the word and encourage more women to come and join us, why not bring a female friend or relative to come along for their first parkrun.

Run, jog, walk or volunteer everyone is welcome at parkrun and remember to join us for a cuppa and a chat afterwards in the National Trust cafe.

See you there!

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