The mid week message






Steady pacers, and supporting our local running club events


A couple of months ago Rosalyn Moore mentioned the ‘Burn Valley Half’ to me, a race I’d not heard of but immediately thought was right up my street, and so it was on sunday that I headed to Masham to take part. Aside from the fact that its a cracking run and I’d highly recommend it, I was able to reflect how many of the participants from the array of running clubs present were regular parkrunners and this is fantastic. Our congratulations to all who took part - and particularly to Lee Dalton, Mike Appleton and Chris Miller who took the first three places. 


Which brings me to the main point - a number of our local running clubs and communities have asked if we can give an extra mention to their forthcoming flagship events. So in order of date, if you fancy trying something a little different one weekend, and need something definite in the diary to train towards, get your name down for one or more of the following:


Harrogate 10k - 22nd July,


Jane Tomlinson York 10k - 5 Aug;, 


Hyde Park Summer Mile - 15 Aug, 


Wetherby 10k - 9 September,


Guy Fawkes 10 - 4 November, 



Finally, this week we are going to make a brief appeal for pacers willing to offer help right across the running spectrum. I couldn’t help but notice an audible gasp last saturday when we announced a 21 minute pacer, so please if anyone can help out any week pacing at 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 minute type of times this would be very very much appreciated by a significant number of our parkrunners.


Thats it for now. Have a great week. See you saturday. 


Happy Running.



The mid week message



The fabulous mid week message: 16th May 2012


A game of two halves this week.


Firstly I am delighted to say that the first batch of Junior 10 parkrun T shirts are winding their way up the M1 northbound as I write. Great news and not only are we really looking forward to being able to hand them out to the worthy recipients for their hard earned efforts, but we cant wait to see them being worn at Harrogate parkrun. Feels like we are reaching a really good milestone.


Secondly it’s back to a familiar theme concerning wear and tear of the grass and with the Race for Life coming up on sunday, the extended wet weather, and no sign of a really good warm spell on the cards, Harrogate Borough Council have asked us if we could help by alternating our course. This hasn’t come as a massive surprise and if there hadn’t been large ponds all across the Stray in recent weeks and the crocus stems lingering on, we would have alternated more frequently than we have been able. So this weekend [when its currently forecast to be wet again] we will measure the course inside the line of the trees. An alternative suggestion for parkrun to go into the middle section of the Stray between Oatlands Drive and Stray Rein is also supported by the Council and we will look at using this as necessary. It was the original preferred course for parkrun as it happens but remains very wet at present and the junior football season is still happening but it’s a really good alternative. I should stress that Harrogate BC remain fantastically supportive of parkrun and we appreciate their guidance concerning the use of the Stray. And just fyi the crocuses are scheduled to be cut around 11th June.


So thats it. Another great week already half way through. Happy Running. See you saturday.




The big bank holiday weekend message



The big bank holiday weekend shout out: 3rd May 2012


It’s been a busy week so I thought I’d share a few bits and pieces with everyone as there’s a lot going on.


Platoon Sgt Spencer “Taff” Davies

You’ll have seen on the Harrogate parkrun facebook site there’s a link from Hannah Bryce about Taff’s 24 hour multiple marathon challenge around the Stray on 22nd & 23rd June. I met with Hannah and Taff last week to see how, as parkrunners, we might be able to get involved and support this amazing man doing this incredible fundraising event. Given Taff will still be heading around the Stray during our parkrun - he will be some 19 hours into the challenge by then - I thought it’s the very least we can do.

I see our role in 3 possible areas but all suggestions are welcome:

  • turning out in the darkest hours of the night and running a few laps with Taff to keep him company when efforts like this are at their hardest. I will certainly be doing this myself and anyone is welcome to join me.
  • supporting him massively during the parkrun itself
  • if you feel that way inclined, putting a few pounds in a bucket for his amazing causes: Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, Diabetes UK and of course Help for Heroes.

I hope you will join me in giving Taff the great support he deserves.


Harrogate Harriers ‘adopt a parkrun’

Harrogate Harriers have confirmed 23rd June as the next ‘adopt a parkrun’. What a coincidence - its the same day as Taff’s Challenge. Harriers - we expect a monster turnout. Thank you - more on this later.


Pacers, pacers, pacers

We have yet another fabulous group of Volunteer pacers this weekend ranging from 21 through to 30 minutes. Its going to be a bumper bank holiday weekend so get your running shoes on and get PB hunting.


Other events on the Stray

Just a brief mention of two other fantastic 5k events on the Stray in coming weeks. 

  • Race for Life will be taking place on Sunday 20th May at 10am, of course a massive fundraiser for Cancer Research UK. There is still time to get your name down for this...
  • The St Aidans Stray 5k will be taking place on Saturday 16th June at 11am as a major fundraiser for the local school. If anyone is interested in doing this after / instead of parkrun I have been told that refreshments will be available from around 9.45am on the day, straight after our run. 

Good luck to everyone taking part.

So that’s it - see you down at parkrun this weekend. An amazing full roster of volunteers - thank you to everyone once again for your fantastic help.


Have a brilliant weekend.




The mid week message

The fabulous mid week message: 26th April 2012 many pacers this week????


I've spent various hours this week corresponding with a number of our parkrunners involved in the Virgin London Marathon last weekend. Some great tales and times, and some not so great - our thoughts in particular with Wendy who picked up a grim sounding injury during the run that forced an early and unavoidable retirement. Hopefully back on your feet soon Wendy.


So whilst its strictly the sort of weather that'll have ducks on the Stray at the weekend, our thoughts now turn very much to this weeks 'adopt a parkrun' which will see the whole event marshalled and directed by our brilliant friends Nidd Valley Road Runners.

There's a few key pieces that make 'adopt a parkrun' so important:

1. Nidd Valley Road Runners will be providing somewhere between 6-8 pacers who will be pacing at all speeds across the range. An absolutely fantastic opportunity to push for the PB you've been hunting down.

2. If you've been thinking about getting involved with more of a running group - which frankly many of us are - then Nidd Valley Road Runners will be handing out information about what its like to be a member of their Club.

3. It provides a broader platform for the future success of parkrun in Harrogate which is excellent.

...and of course it gives all the regular volunteers a week off to concentrate on their running.

So if it were me, I'd be tapping up all my friends and bringing them down to parkrun this weekend. Anyone who's been talking about coming down but hasn't quite made it, or has been once or twice but has fallen out of the routine. THIS is the weekend for you - no excuses, loads of pacers, we'll have a terrific saturday - whatever the weather throws at us.


Have a brilliant week.







The mid week message




The fabulous mid week message: 19th April 2012, including news of Taff's amazing 24 hour Challenge


Firstly a big big thank you to Andrew, Carolyn, Wendy and Steve and all the volunteers who helped make last weeks Harrogate parkrun such a massive success. Tremendous job in trying conditions.


This week I have a short list of polite reminders for everyone as we have received a number of very concerned e-mails from passionate Harrogate parkrunners on various subjects, plus a few other bits and pieces...


OK here goes:

1. A few people have commented about the parking last week on Oatlands Drive. The official guidance from Harrogate Council on this matter is that it is ok to park in the cycle lane [I am aware of the howls of protest from cyclists at this juncture] but do not put your wheels on the curb / on the grass please as it causes wear and tear to the grass. We are aware that it is mainly footballers that park down near the Slingsby Walk area but anything you can do to keep parking issues to a minimum...such as cycling / walking to parkrun.... would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

2. Children aged 10 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. That’s the official stipulation from parkrun HQ. I have been made aware of some children running without supervision and we cannot allow this as there are too many possible issues that can arise. We welcome children - brilliant, but please get your trainers on yourself and go around with them. Isn’t that what its about?

3. Token 93 went missing at the weekend...aaaaghh. The first one to not get handed back in. If its in your pocket please let us know...we think we know who has it but we may well be wrong so please check your pockets....see previous point 2.

4. Adopt a parkrun is coming to Harrogate on 28th April. Nidd Valley Road Runners will be taking on all volunteer roles on 28th April and promoting the running club on the day. Great to have them with us and we thank Nidd Valley for their fantastic support.

5. You may have seen the article in the local press concerning Spencer [Taff] Davis and his amazing 24 hour Charity Run around the Stray on friday 22 - saturday 23 June. See Taff will be joining us on our parkrun [whether he likes it or not as his route comes through the parkrun course] and this is an absolutely fantastic event that should be supported. Taff is raising money for a number of great charities - I’ll be meeting up with Taff the next few days to see how we can help him over the 24 hour period of his endurance challenge. More on this in later dispatches....

So thats its for now.


Have a brilliant week. Rainy and cold this saturday. Fabulous spring running weather and perfect for the VLM on sunday...good luck to all Harrogate parkrunners heading to London..I know of Wendy, Jo, Helen and Mike but I also know I will have missed some of you. Good luck all, and dont forget to say hello to parkrun’s Tom Williams and Martin Yelling broadcasting live from the expo stage....





RUN #9: 17/3/12 – ST PATRICKS DAY

 We are in countdown to the Harrogate 'St Patricks Day' parkrun #9 and it's going to be another belter. I am not one for racial stereotyping but having looked in the fancy dress shops it doesn't paint a great picture of how we see our wonderful Irish friends but if you'd like to put on a bit of green, wear your topper hat with its obligatory ginger beard, perhaps a saucy leprechaun costume, or your carefully placed shamrock Mankini then THIS is the weekend for you...

Or you can just come ready to run and have fun.

The parkrun course will be slightly modified this week whilst the crocuses remain in flower but we are almost at the tail end of this now. Two scanners in the funnel once again.

Weather wise - probably a cold one, possibly a tad damp, possibly bright sunshine but whatever it is - Its going to be PERFECT RUNNING WEATHER - see you saturday and bring a friend.



Harrogate parkrun #6: Can you help us break the 150 mark?!

 Ok. It's been a good running week. A little warmer, a little windy at times, but Spring is definitely on its way. As we know the crocuses are up....and this brings me on to a different story!!!


We are really looking forward to seeing everyone at Harrogate parkrun #6 this saturday. After last weeks record number of 143 runners, this week it would be absolutely brilliant to break 150 for the first time so if you are thinking of coming down then please do, and bring a friend, enjoy the sunshine [that's what the weather forecast says] and go for your PB.


I met with the Council on the Stray this morning and we have agreed to implement minor modifications to the course whilst the crocuses are up and some sections of the ground remain wet which is not a problem at all. I am thrilled with the positive feedback and support our parkrun has once again been given by Harrogate BC. Great news.


So that's it - another week nearly over. See you Saturday parkrunners...




RUN #4: 11/2/12 – SEE YOU THERE!


Having inspected the Harrogate parkrun course this morning I have concluded that in spite of the challenging weather and freezing conditions, we can run on the grass tomorrow on a slightly modified course. So we are ok to run. 
Runners and volunteers will need to take personal care of obvious winter hazards and take appropriate measures. There is still snow on the ground, it is frozen in places, and the soil is hard. Nothing more than your average runner would expect on a winters day but you will need to be especially cautious of your footing. 
See you in the morning....


 Once again its forecast to be a cold one this Saturday, maybe a smattering of snow and ice on the ground.

We urge all runners to check online about running in cold weather, dress appropriately, warm up correctly and have spare clothes to put on after the run. In the event that the tarmac paths are icy / snowy, we will run on the grass parallel with the footpaths providing us with a near 100% parkland course.

Its going to be a cracker.

See you saturday.




   The organisers of the world-wide parkrun are bringing their free, weekly, timed 5K run to Harrogate. A pilot event held on Harrogate's 200 acre Stray on 7 January 2012 saw 115 runners of all ages and abilities taking part. 


Following the success of the pilot, the first official Harrogate parkrun will take place at 9am on 21 January 2012.  It will run every Saturday morning at the same time on The Stray.

The first parkrun was held in 2004 in Bushy Park, London where just 13 people ran a 5K lap timed by founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt.

Now there are 113 events that run every single Saturday, where in excess of 16,000 registered runners take part across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Iceland, Poland, South Africa and there's even a parkrun at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Councillor Caroline Bayliss, Harrogate Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Cultural Services, has supported the setting up of the Harrogate parkrun.  "Having the chance to take part in a regular, organised run and build up fitness at no cost has to be a good thing.  We want to see more people getting out there and enjoying our wonderful Stray.  We are so lucky to have this amount of public open space in the centre of our town and there is room for all manner of activities."

Adam Prentis, Event Director of the Harrogate parkrun added: "Three years ago at the age of 45 and a non-runner, a friend suggested we do the New York Marathon.  The parkrun in Leeds quickly became an enjoyable, weekly training event and it helped us build a platform from which we took part in a number of races including the Jane Tomlinson, the Great North Run and eventually New York.  Since then I have run in races all over the world but parkrun has always been at the heart of what I do; led and staffed by volunteers it's just a brilliantly simple but wonderful concept with a fantastic sense of community.

"To bring parkrun to Harrogate is a genuine privilege and it's going to be amazing. The pilot event was a massive success and whilst we had some people travel from as far away as Bedford, Suffolk and Nottingham, so many local people simply walked to the event which is a feature of many of the parkruns.  Anyone interested in joining us for a run or acting as a volunteer to take times, help us set up or marshal, should drop us an email or just come along on any Saturday morning."

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