Fountains Abbey parkrun Event number 245 29th December 2018

Well in the words of Roy Castle (OK you’ll have to be old enough to remember him), it takes “dedication, if you wanna be a record breaker”.  Well, we had a distinctly dedicated team of excellent volunteers and fabulous friends from the National Trust yesterday, and we broke a record! In fact we smashed our attendance record by over 5%, racking up 544 finishers. To do that in December is something that we couldn’t have predicted, as our previous 2 runs of 500+ were both in the spring/summer.  Our timing watches stop recording after 500 finishers, so a quick bit of unplanned use of the smartphone app by our funnel team meant that we could continue recording the final finishers.

At 8am, the Trust’s wind speed reading was very close to the level of gusts where the site has to be declared closed to visitors, so that would have resulted in a lot of disappointed runners and walkers.  With so many large trees on site, as well as precariously-balanced medieval stonework, it’s plain to see why the Trust operates like this. Many thanks to the site team for keeping us updated in the hour leading up to the run.  I’m sorry that our ‘new & improved’ megaphone was beaten into second place by the sound of the wind today, I hope most of you heard Graham’s briefing.

The only fly in the ointment was that 64 runners were ‘unknown’ – the scanning team reported that many visitors had simply left their barcodes at home or forgotten them. Why not keep a few extras in the glovebox of the car or keep one tucked in behind your phone, inside the case?

Well done to our first male finisher, a nice lad who dropped his phone on lap 1, so I had a good chat with him after his run; sadly, he didn’t scan in, so he’s Unknown ATHLETE! For the ladies, Jessica LOWE took the honours (21:30 and 39th overall). In the age-graded results, the females ruled supreme, taking the first 5 places, led by Gill BOYNTON (79.94%). First bloke in the age-grading was David WOMERSLEY (75.76%). Congratulations to all!

Well done to Sarah STANLEY, from one of our most supportive and enthusiastic parkrun families, for her 100th parkrun today.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of parkruns open on New Year’s Day (not Fountains Abbey I’m afraid), so you can get another shot of parkrun magic (or even two) before our next run 5th January.  Happy New Year to all parkrunners and volunteers, and we’ll see you in 2019!

Graham and Phil (Run Directors)


Volunteering at Fountains Abbey parkrun


For everyone that has already put themselves forward to help out in the coming weeks, we are very grateful.


0 vacant volunteer slots on 5 January 2019

0 vacant volunteer slots on 12 January 2019

7 vacant volunteer slots on 19 January 2019

11 vacant volunteer slots on 26 January 2019

As always please drop us a line at if you can assist with volunteering in the future.

If you love Fountains Abbey parkrun, why not join the National Trust (NT)?  If you’d like to join the NT, which for a family is only around £9 per month, the link below provides more information, or you can go to the Visitor Centre at Fountains Abbey:

Important notices concerning the Fountains Abbey parkrun.

Please do not be offended if we ask you to help us; we can’t run without volunteer support. Many thanks for your co-operation & support in looking after the beautiful environment in which we run each week.

The beautiful play area by the cafe is open from 10am on Saturdays; we politely welcome visitors down to the Abbey for the parkrun and if you’d like to stay and spend more time in the beautiful grounds please just head back through the Visitor Centre once the grounds open to the public [free to NT members].

A polite reminder to all parkrunners that the trees at the start area are not clothes pegs. Please would runners leave their kit on the ground during the run; not doing so may risk the NT staff removing the item from the tree.

Fountains Abbey parkrun takes place before the NT site opens to the public, therefore parkrunners, volunteers & spectators are kindly requested to be through the Visitor Centre gate and down by the Abbey before 9am or you will be denied access. We politely ask that all visitors to Fountains Abbey parkrun help us and our special relationship with the NT by respecting the basis upon which we operate. The gate at the top by the Visitor Centre is now closed at 9am so anyone hoping to get in after this time will be disappointed. The good news is that we look forward to joining you for a coffee in the Visitor Centre café as soon as we possibly can. Thank you for your support in this important matter.

All parkrun visitors must vacate the Abbey grounds before 10am when the NT site opens.

Visitors arriving at Fountains Abbey by bicycle are asked to leave their bikes in the racks at the Visitor Centre please. Bikes are not allowed in the grounds beyond this point. We can’t allow kids’ scooters during parkrun, sorry.

There are toilets by the Visitor Centre and these are well signposted. There are additional toilets around 50 metres behind the old start line by Fountains Hall. Please use them - no exceptions; we need your fullest support with this.  Thank you.

Please stand in the correct place at the start of the run according to your ability. If you are slower than the runners behind you this will cause a bottleneck at the start of the parkrun. Please mind your feet particularly at the start of the run. Be at your most alert to avoid slips and trips please.

All dogs must be on a short, hand-held lead (no cani-cross leads) to minimise trip hazards. One dog per runner maximum. We also ask that dog runners occupy the back of the start area, to minimise the chance of the dog’s lead tripping somebody up.  An adult should be running solo, accompanying a child under-11 or in charge of a dog or a buggy but never both please.  Dog walkers who are supporting runners are asked to keep off the paths that the runners use during the run please.

A reminder about one of the key rules that govern parkrun. For your, our and your children's protection could parents please help us by making sure that any children under 11 are accompanied (i.e. at arm’s length) by a responsible adult at all times.


Why not order yourself a printed plastic barcode?

A range of tough and durable plastic parkrun barcode ID tags are available via These are the only UK authorised and professionally printed tags and feature the parkrun branding and logo, your athlete details and can also be personalised with your ICE (In Case of Emergency) telephone number and additional information including specific medical details. They come in a range of options and can be attached to a key ring, laces, and running vest zip or worn on a lanyard.


And now the official bit:

This week 544 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 113 were first timers and 40 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 54 different clubs took part.


The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:


Andy TODD • Simon CAVE • Dewi WINKLE • Douglas Andrew SCOTT • Elliot PALMER • Phil CHATTERTON • Donna MITCHELL • Nicole SUTTON • Steve SILVER • Samuel MADDISON • Tehya SUTTON • Chris BROWN • Lauren BINKS • Jon HANCOCK • Rod COOPER • Karen TULLEY • Adam STANLEY • Jenni SPAFFORD • Emma OATES • Fred COOPER • Tom OATES • Vanessa BREWIS • Sam STANLEY • Graham BOYD • Katie OATES • Paul BROCKETT • Macy BRETT • Susan WILLIAMSON


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


The female record is held by Sharon BARLOW who recorded a time of 17:36 on 25th July 2015 (event number 72).

The male record is held by Kris LECHER who recorded a time of 15:19 on 28th April 2018 (event number 210).

The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 94.76% (25:08) on 22nd July 2017 (event number 174).


Fountains Abbey parkrun started on 1st March 2014. Since then 12,250 participants have completed 70,484 parkruns covering a total distance of 352,420 km, including 12,150 new Personal Bests. A total of 697 individuals have volunteered 4,560 times.