Festive Cheer

Great Cornard parkrun is delighted to be able to offer extra events on both Christmas Day and New Years Day!

If you're worried about working off a few extra mince pies or are looking for an excuse to get outside for a while, then we'll be here for you.

On Christmas Day, we will be starting at 09:00.  On New Year's Day we're going to let you have a little lie in with a 10:30 start or, if you don't want to stay in bed, why not try to fit in two parkruns on this special day, the only day of the year this is possible!

If you're away for Christmas but want to make sure you get your parkrun fix you can find out which events are offering Christmas events here:


Check out individual websites for information on local events:

  • www.parkrun.org.uk/burystedmunds/
  • www.parkrun.org.uk/colchestercastle/
  • www.parkrun.org.uk/greatnotley/
  • www.parkrun.org.uk/ipswich/




A grand day out

Every Saturday is made better by parkrun, but some of them are just amazing.  This past week was one of those when several great events collide and take it to another level.

We were delighted to be able to announce our monthly Sweatshop prize winner, a hugely worthy regular volunteer Robert Edge.

And then we were able to award our first t-shirt winner, Katrina Sparks, who achieved her Junior's 10 shirt, all of them at our event and after only 13 weeks.  I'm really proud that Great Cornard parkrun has been able to be part of her running journey.  Bring on her next 40 to her 50 shirt.

We had 44 runners on Saturday, despite an horrendous downpour that hit 30 minutes before we were due to start so perhaps we could have expected more?

This was our 14th week and we're growing, slowly but steadily.  And it just keeps getting better!


A slight change of plan

For our regular parkrunners and for those of you who are new to Great Cornard parkrun, please be aware that we will have NO event on Saturday 17th May 2014.

We are lucky enough to have use of the school playing fields at Thomas Gainsborough School who, in turn, are lucky enough to be breaking ground for a new school building this week.  This week they will be marking out the boundaries of the site and putting in the secure fencing.  Once this is in place our event will be able to continue safely away from the construction site.

When the boundaries are in place, we will undertake a new site survey and measure so we can come back as soon as possible; we are visiting this weekend and hope to be back on Saturday 24th May.  Please make sure you visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed to keep up to date with the latest news.

The school building project is due to take approximately 15 months, at which point we will be able to take advantage of the new grounds layout and start with another survey and measure.  Watch this space!


What is parkrun?

Everybody has their own idea of what parkrun is, or what it means to them.  For me it started a way of getting fitter, building on my endurance and to cut my 5 km time down to sub-30 minutes.

This is how parkrun describes itself:

"parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in."

But as I started to get involved it became so much more than that.  I could see it as a valuable and sociable place to get runners and non-runners at all levels of their training and ability together to to help encourage them to take it to the next step.

I've managed to visit four very different events plus, now, our own in Great Cornard and at all of them I've seen the racing snakes who have finished before some of us have finished tying our laces, who then stand at the finish funnel and cheer in the rest of the field, or who take off again in search of family and friends and then run in with them; a feat in itself.

I've seen dads with pushchairs, mums with small children, people with dogs (not allowed at our event but there are plenty where your four footed running buddy is very welcome); I've seen youngster and teenagers who impress me more than you can imagine; people with more than enough enthusiasm for all of us (and some) and I've seen the tail runners who have quietly enjoyed an early morning stroll behind the determined beginner.

But most of all, I've seen cheering and clapping and growing friendships; I've seen enthusiasm and excitement and I've seen regular times dropping like stones as, week in-week out, you keep coming back.

Now that we have our own event, even after only three weeks, I've seen this start to happen.  Three weeks on the trot we've seen huge numbers of PBs achieved; new people coming to join us and, I'm hoping, new friendships and acquaintances starting to build.

This, along with cake, is what parkrun is to me.  What is it to you?


And we’re off!

My parkrun journey started about a year ago with that feeling that perhaps it would be good to have one of those parkrun things nearer to home, rather than having to drive 30-45 minutes on a Saturday morning to run 5km.  I spoke to a few running friends who all agreed.

So, I contacted parkrun headquarters to say, hey guys, let's have one of those parkrun things here please.

12 months, plenty of energy, determination, training and running later, we are live!  I really didn't appreciate the work that Event Directors and the Core Team put into getting their events off the ground.  And once the launch date gets closer, the enthusiasm and excitement grows and, although it may get a little boring for friends and family, for a while life revolves around little else.

And then, our first event was happening and people turned up!

I was so proud to see the 65 runners take to the start (and finish) line, the great comments and feedback we received and for our first experience of processing results went without a hitch.

We were delighted to host a number of serious parkrun tourists who have a tremendous amount of experience and who were extremely positive about our new event.

And for our second event, we were chuffed to pieces to have 39 of our own, homegrown parkrunners take to the field.  Just two weeks in we now have 80 registered parkrunners, volunteers who didn't need to be browbeaten into it and the beginnings of our own parkrun community.

Welcome, one and all.

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