Run Report for Fountains Abbey parkrun 282, 5th October 2019

The ruins in the mist

The ruins in the morning mist - perfect running conditions!

This week's run report is brought to you by guest report writer Richard Knowles, clocking up his 100th parkrun - thank you Richard!


On October 2nd 2004, 13 intrepid joggers ran a 5km route around Bushy Park in South West London. As they finished, their results were jotted down on a scrap of paper and then they headed off to the local café… parkrun had been born. Fifteen years on, there are now 635 parkruns across the UK with the number growing every week.

Today saw me complete my 100th parkrun. My first was on 4th February 2017. I remember it well. I arrived at 8.58, jogged down to the start - only to see everyone else disappearing into the distance! (things seem to have evolved more these days with the ‘on course’ by 8.50 rule). From that day I was bitten by the parkrun bug and have attempted to run, jog, walk or volunteer every week. 78 of my parkruns have been at Fountains Abbey and I truly believe there is no better course in the UK. I have sampled the delights of parkrun as far away as Padua (Italy) where only 15 runners turned up... a far cry from the 400+ who regularly attend at Fountains! A national newspaper recently named Fountains Abbey in the top ten most scenic parkruns and most runners/visitors would definitely agree with this (perhaps not the Scottish lady mentioned by our run director!) So what’s the attraction of our parkrun? Firstly, the setting… where else would you have the chance to run around the dramatic ruins of a Cistercian abbey, past beautiful water gardens and finish at Robin Hoods well, a mysterious monument! Secondly, the magnificent team of volunteers, always so positive and supportive no matter what the weather. Last, but not least, the visitor-centre café with its buzzing atmosphere and amazing cherry and almond scones. If you haven’t yet sampled the delights of our wonderful parkrun, come and join us!

Today we welcomed “tourists” from all corners of Yorkshire and further afield, including Chester, Durham, Grantham, Newcastle, Nottingham, Stratford, Sweden and the USA. We hope that you all enjoyed your visit to Fountains.

On the fifteenth anniversary of parkrun, it was great to welcome 16 ‘new starters’ for whom today was the start of their parkrun journey. I can’t mention you all in this short report, but well done and we hope to see you again next week!

Notable milestone runs this morning were Eve Park clocking up her 10th run, while Emma Donnellan, Fred Pidgeon, Hilary Philpott and Valerie Langham all joined the 50 club. Sarah Jones and myself joined the 100 club – congratulations Sarah on your PB, quite an achievement! Special mention, too, to David Womersley who today completed his 550th parkrun!                                                                                                                                                                          Richard Knowles

Volunteering at Fountains Abbey parkrun

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

1 vacant volunteer slot on 12 October 2019

7 vacant volunteer slots on 19 October 2019

8 vacant volunteer slots on 26 October 2019

As always please drop us a line at if you can assist with volunteering in the future, and even if the list appears full, we never turn down volunteers.

Local Runs

If you would like to hand out any race literature at Fountains Abbey parkrun we would appreciate you seeking permission from the Run Directors as there are some specific rules that govern us here at Fountains Abbey.

10 Oct Even Splits York 5k Series
12 Oct Round Ripon 35 mile Ultra
13 Oct Richmond Castle 10k
20 Oct Yorkshire Marathon
20 Oct Yorkshire 10 Mile
23 Oct Even Splits York 5k Series

3 Nov Guy Fawkes 10k
10 Nov Dalby Dash 10k
14 Nov Even Splits York 5k Series
17 Nov Tadcaster 10 miles
27 Nov Even Splits York 5k Series
30 Nov Croft Circuit 5k

Donating to Fountains Abbey parkrun

It’s now over five years since we set up Fountains Abbey parkrun and occasionally we need to replace some of our signage and kit.  Some of the kit gets provided by parkrun HQ.  Some of it doesn’t and on those occasions we do reach out to the community and ask for donations to help keep & our wonderful parkrun and improve its facilities and functioning.
  If you would like to make a donation to Fountains Abbey parkrun please simply click on the link below:
  Thank you very much for your support. 100% of the funds raised are used directly for the benefit of Fountains Abbey parkrun.

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.  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.

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 start area 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 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 try to 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.

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.  No slips and trips 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 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:

Fountains Abbey parkrun, Event number 282, 5th October 2019

This week 390 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 61 were first timers and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 37 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

Stephen CONSTABLE • Fiona ALDER • Lindsey FALLOW • Mathew CHAPLIN • Phil CHATTERTON • Dave BINKS • Chris BROWN • Karen TULLEY • Hannah CONSTABLE • Andrew PARRY • Emily PARRY • Steve OATES • Graham CHILDS • Katie OATES • Richard KNOWLES • John GARRAWAY • Susan WILLIAMSON • Alan DOCHERTY • Tracey DOCHERTY • Shirley HILL • Alison GARRAWAY • Geoffrey HARRISON

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 15:17 on 8th June 2019 (event number 265).
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 14,988 participants have completed 85,253 parkruns covering a total distance of 426,265 km, including 14,232 new Personal Bests. A total of 798 individuals have volunteered 5,548 times.