Event #22 (two, two = tutu) – A Dinosaur on the Jurassic Coast

It was Event #22 for us on another stunningly beautiful morning and we couldn't resist the opportunity to trot out our tutus.  Our volunteers didn't disappoint!

A few of our wonderful volunteers

A few of our wonderful volunteers

Amongst our many visitors from Melrose, Scotland, London, Peterborough, Oxford, Kent, Wiltshire to name but a few, we had a group of tutu wearing visitors from Chipping Sodbury. Even the dinosaur had a tutu on!  David Pearson was amongst them and kindly put together this weeks' run report.  Thank you David - here's his report:

A few weeks ago I heard the familiar ping of an email drop into my inbox; it was from our ‘parkrun tourist organiser in Chief’, Andy Airey. He was asking if anyone was up for a trip to Durlston Country Park, the plan was to fill a seventeen seater minibus if there was enough interest. To me it was a no brainer, a trip to the seaside, a new parkrun and I didn’t have to drive the 170 mile round trip, happy days. It seems others were of the same opinion as all the seats were quickly taken and the plan was set.

This type of message from Andy is quite common and there is always some kind of tourist event bubbling under. These can range from the offer of a couple of spare seats in a car, minibus and coach trips and even forays to the continent, all adding an extra dimension to our parkrun lives. Today’s event however had a more personal significance for him; he was recapturing his South West regionnaire badge, quite an achievement, visiting all 77 events in the South west region. I say recapture, as it is probably the sixth or seventh time he has achieved this, it’s just that no sooner than he becomes a southwest regionnaire again, those pesky parkrun types will insist on creating new events!!

So to the day… At 06:10, we assembled in Chipping Sodbury, stopping only for a couple of photos before taking our seats in the minibus and setting off. Whilst the journey was only 85 miles these were all ‘A road’ miles so what would have been an hour or so on the motorway became twice that but we still arrived in good time.

We had been told in advance that as this was the 22nd running of the event there was an opportunity for dress up with ’tutus’ being the order of the day. Several of the group duly obliged, we must have looked quite a sight as we made our way to the start. Never one to miss an opportunity Andy decided to tail walk the Jurassic Coast event dressed in an inflatable dinosaur costume, little did he know it would turn out to be the hottest parkrun weekend of the year so far. I did hear someone refer to the plastic outfit as a ‘Dinosauna’!!


Andy and friends.

Both the first timers welcome and run directors brief majored on hydration (the temperature was by now creeping into the mid-twenties) and had us chanting the mantra ‘right, left, right, left’ . This referred to the turns to be taken each time we reached a cross over point on the course. Seemed straight forward enough and we were off.

I had read a few previous run reports to get a feel for the event and seen expressions like ‘wow’ and ‘breath taking’ that referred to the views and points of beauty along the way, with which I have to concur. However, I must say I think there may be double meanings here because as I reached the top of each of the five hills on the course, I thought ‘wow that was hard’ and it really did take my breath away. These were proper hills, not the gentle inclines some parkruns try to pass off as such.

Stunning views, plenty of time to admire these whilst catching your breath!!

Stunning views, plenty of time to admire these whilst catching your breath!!

As I approached the cross over point for the third time the run director’s mantra still fresh in my mind I shouted down to my son who was ahead of me ‘right’. My son, not renowned for his listening skills at the best of times, had obviously taken no notice in the brief and not heard me, he turned left. By the time I caught him and we got back on track our normal weekly run had extended by a quarter of a mile. Ah well, it was never going to be a PB course anyway!!

As the last few runners picked up their finish tokens we drifted away to the café to chat about the run and all things parkrun over brunch, very welcome and delicious. All too soon it was time to get back on the road to Chipping Sodbury. As we left the run director was wrestling with publishing the results, trying to unscramble some anomalies where runners had passed through the finish tunnel more than once. Apparently my son is not the only one who is not renowned for listening skills.


RD working on the results, Thanks 

Facts & Figures

This week 136 people ran, jogged and walked the course including 92 first timers of which 7 were taking part in their first ever event, welcome. There were 12 Personal Bests recorded and representatives of 43 different clubs took part.

Congratulations to John Ingleson and Melanie Austreng as first male and female finishers and Lynette Jane Gibbs who was completing her 100th event, take a bow.

The event would not have been possible without the energetic help of our volunteers. It really is fun and rewarding so if you fancy a go one week have a look at the volunteer page for more information. This week’s team were



#Event 21 – Blue skies, sunshine, a glistening sea

Thanks to Ingrid for this week's run report

Blue skies, sunshine, a glistening sea ... it must be Saturday morning again at Durlston Country Park parkrun! Following on from last weekend there was another impressive attendance; 158, (114 first timers!), runners, joggers, walkers and dogs all poised and ready to go.

“Three, two, one!”, and we are off down the short gravel slope and guided RIGHT on to the coastpath, twisting and winding our way along the dusty cliff path towards Tilly Whim caves. Durlston parkrun never fails to take your breath away, right from the start and in more ways than one. “Oh what a view!”, “wow this is stunning!”, can be heard and that’s before we even reach the first climb! We are soon on the first, gently elevating but long path upwards which eventually zig zags in to some welcome shade under the trees.

Running down past the starting area, passing more applause and cheers, we turn LEFT this time and get ready to embrace the steepest climb on the course. Minutes later the first loop is complete!

The marshals here are truly one of a kind. They are so supportive and friendly, offering endless words of encouragement. It really helps to hear those reminders that you are doing your best as you tackle this challenging course. They make climbing those hills bearable and always put a smile on your face with their cheerful comments of positivity as you pass by.

At the top beside the castle, we embark on the ‘out and back’ section which takes us along a wooded area with picturesque glimpses of Durlston Bay. On completion of this part of the course we are back at the castle and need to repeat the first loop once more. Its important to keep a mental check of your progression through the course, especially if it’s your first time running here as at this point you will be crossing paths with other people on the course who are at different stages of the 5k and it’s easy to lose focus and follow the person in front who might be finishing, or turning left when you when you in fact still have the last section to do and should be going right!

And so, with the final loop ahead, we turn RIGHT again towards Tilly Whim. Ah, the end is in sight, but so is a repeat of that brutal elevation! I join in every Saturday and I’m not sure if it does get any easier! However, I enjoy the challenge and the friendliness of everyone which brings me coming back for more.

After the first climb is done we head down past the start again, but for the final time now and the final LEFT turn. They saved the best bit for last. One last hill, but the brutiful one! By now it’s getting slightly gruelling to keep the pace but as we trudge forward and upwards there are the stunning views across Durlston Bay, to Peveril Point in Swanage and further in the distance Old Harry Rocks standing proud. This definitely helps take your mind off all of the heavy breathing! Luckily at the top you are greeted by even more support and uplifting disco tunes to push you on for the final stretch down to the finish. Before you know it, there is another Saturday morning 5k in the bag!

Today, apart from the regulars there were lots of parkrun family visiting from all over the UK. We also had some overseas visitors too and this morning welcomed friends from the beautiful island of Antigua and also someone from Dingle Bay parkrun in Australia. How exotic! Well done to everyone who took part, whether you jogged, ran, walked or danced your way around the course, we think each and everyone of you were awesome!

First to finish today was first timer Jonny Reep who managed an impressive 19.13 minutes timing. Congratulations Jonny, hats off to you! First female was Anna Philps. Not only is Anna one of our regular younger runners, she is also the Durlston parkrun female record holder and today she smashed her original record by 6 seconds, achieving a new course record and personal best of 22:13 minutes! Incredible effort Anna, very well done! You are a fantastic role model for all of the younger people that came along. Today seventeen under 17 year olds and juniors ran with us and they were all brilliant!

Despite the heat and the hills, 17 parkrunners recorded personal bests! A great achievement so very well done. But of course its not all about breaking records for everyone. We have a diverse range of parkrunners and it was interesting to note that 30 of you finished in over 50 minutes which goes to show it’s not all about speed. Its simply about turning up and taking part. It’s fantastic to see everyone getting out on the country park trails, doing their best at whatever way they feel most comfortable. However young or old you are, we are all improving on health, mental health and fitness. Not forgetting enjoying ourselves, making new friendships, the smiles and laughs on the way around. Parkrun is for everyone.

Last but not least, the biggest thank you goes to the 29 volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning to make parkrun at Durlston possible and so much fun for us all to enjoy. Saturday mornings are on a whole different level now that we have parkrun on our doorstep!

See you next week!



Wear your tutu for 22!

Trot out your tutus to celebrate our 22nd (two two) event!!

On Saturday 13th August, we will be marking our 22nd event by asking all those joining us, whether walking, running or volunteering, to wear a tutu (or ra-ra skirt).  We can't wait to see all your fabulous efforts!



Event #20 – 30th July 2022, Carnival parkrun

Many thanks to Tracey for this week's report:

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Our 20th parkrun also coincided with the long-awaited return of our town carnival so what better way to celebrate than to join us on this sunny morning? Join us you did! 157 of you ran, jogged and walked our iconic course and you certainly brought the carnival spirit.


Above is a photo of Lizzy who not only runs most weeks (not usually dressed like that!) but who also gets up at the crack of dawn to fulfil her volunteer role, helping to set up the event amongst other things. Well done Lizzy and all the volunteers who turn up each week with a smile and a cheer.

When I first signed up to volunteer, I never realized just how much joy this would bring. I was initially given the job of marshalling at the top of ‘that hill’ and I can honestly say it is one of the best places to be. Cheering you on and encouraging you to dig deep is so rewarding and I feel such pride to see the triumphant faces when you realize you’ve made it. I stayed marshalling at this spot for several weeks, reluctant to give it up but was persuaded to try new things which I have enjoyed in equal measure. Being a bit of a technophobe, I was a scared to try timekeeping but, with support from the core team (legends), I mastered this and then barcode scanning.

Marshalling at the finish line is a great place to be as you get to see everyone come in and witness their triumphs. I have been there when the women’s course record was smashed by the lovely Anna who was so chuffed to get a PB. Other great moments have included cheering Rosa in who, on the day before her 60th birthday, completed parkrun for the very first time in 59 minutes, we shared her joy. Special mention too to John who is in his 80s ‘and still running’ as it says on the back of his vest, he is a true inspiration. Vasi and Malie are also becoming regulars, flying the flag for the walkers of the course, who we are keen to encourage and highlight how parkrun is for everyone of every ability.


Our lovely Paula, cheering you on at the top of the hill

My other volunteering roles have included funnel manager, number checker and pre-event set up, it is difficult to choose a favourite as all are great fun. I would encourage anyone to give volunteering a go, it is good for the soul and brings such joy.

Congratulations to all who volunteered, walked, jogged ran, dressed up and spectated. May the force be with you!



This week 157 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 106 were first timers and 11 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:


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

The male record is held by Jacek CIELUSZECKI who recorded a time of 18:30 on 30th April 2022 (event number 7).
The female record is held by Anna PHILPS who recorded a time of 22:19 on 18th June 2022 (event number 14).
The Age Grade course record is held by Julian CRITCHLOW who recorded 77.56% (20:52) on 25th June 2022 (event number 15).

Durlston Country Park parkrun started on 19th March 2022. Since then 1,372 participants have completed 2,113 parkruns covering a total distance of 10,565 km, including 267 new Personal Bests. A total of 142 individuals have volunteered 544 times.


Carnival parkrun – Saturday 30th July

Swanage Carnival kicks off on Saturday, 30 July so why not join in the fun for a fancy dressed themed parkrun.

Whether you dress up as a super hero, a character from a fairy tale or adorn your national dress, we would love to see you at Durlston Country Park parkrun on the 30th.

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