Our New Home

We have a new location to hold our event in. We expect to start in the next few weeks. We are requesting that we have a quiet launch, and would particularly ask that only locals and regulars to Heartwood Forest attend the first couple of events. Local residents have already been notified about the new parkrun.

The new location doesn’t have a car park, or any large parking facilities nearby. Naturally, local residents are concerned about the impact the parkrun will have on the area. In order to ensure the long-term success of the new parkrun, and to not alienate local residents, it would be preferable if the new parkrun grew slowly with a quiet first few events.

Please respect our wishes and only attend the first couple of events if you were a regular attendee at Heartwood Forest or are local to the park. There will be plenty of opportunities to visit once we’ve bedded in.

 

Event number 47 – 6th October 2018

The 6th October 2018 saw our last ever event. There were an incredible 466 people who ran, jogged, and walked the course. This was a record attendance and over double the number of people who attended the previous week. Prior to September, our average attendance had been 120 people. There were 174 first timers to Heartwood Forest with 13 who were completing their first parkrun.

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Photo by Kate Tettmar

Sadly, our short-lived, but lovely event had to come to an end. It became increasingly obvious that there wasn’t a future for parkrun at Heartwood Forest. We tried to overcome some of the barriers presented to us by offering compromises, however, this wasn’t to be. We would like to thank the Woodland Trust, however, for the 47 events we were able to hold.

The good news is that we have found somewhere to relocate to! The support from the local community has been incredible and was instrumental in our relocation. We have worked hard with Sandridge Parish Council, who along with the Sandridge community, didn’t want to see the loss of their parkrun. Keep a look out for announcements on this website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Photo by Barnaby Norman

We are very grateful to the Wheathampstead Warriors who aside from supporting us for the last year and a bit, provided most of the volunteers for our last event. They also made some of the treats that you may have sampled after the event.

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Photo by Barnaby Norman

A HUGE thank you to our 35 volunteers:

Andrew VAN HEININGEN • Wai Meng AU-YEONG • Howard BULL • Richard UNDERWOOD • Kate TETTMAR • Fergus DALTON • Mathilde MURPHY • Tony BARR • Annie YOUNG • Laura HICKS • Ann HULATT • Alex JOHNSTON • Tracey ASHWELL • David RUSSELL • Natasha O'BRIEN • Alex VARRAN • Sarah BALMER • Barnaby NORMAN • Tim HARRISON • James HULATT • Amy KENTON • Zoe COOMBER • Sherri SIMPKINS • Rhona MCKEE • Elise LINES • Rachel FOWLER • Mark WOODCOCK • Thomas GRANT • Laura MCLEOD • Paula OXLEY • Elizabeth TABOR • Angela HICKS • Jessica RUSSELL • Lisa COOPER • Emily KOOIMAN

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Photo by Kate Tettmar

There were a number of milestones achieved, including Chris Barr and Martyn Maynard who celebrated their 150th event, and Celia Roberts and Fraser McCallum who celebrated their 50th event. The most seasoned parkrunner was Dave Llewellyn who completed his 375th event.

The full results for all events and a complete event history can be found on the Heartwood Forest parkrun Results Page which will be available for the foreseeable future.

The female record is held by Victoria PRITCHARD who recorded a time of 17:43 on 30th September 2017 (event number 9).
The male record is held by Thomas KEARNS who recorded a time of 16:23 on 21st April 2018 (event number 26).
The Age Grade course record is held by Catherine WRIGHT who recorded 88.28% (22:37) on 19th August 2017 (event number 4).

Heartwood Forest parkrun started on 29th July 2017 and ended on the 6th October 2018. In that time there were 47 events with 2,405 participants completing 6,375 parkruns covering a total distance of 31,875 km, including 1,330 new Personal Bests.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us over the last 47 events, including everyone who has volunteered, run, jogged, walked, clapped, cheered, and encouraged. I have put together this short video to celebrate all that was good about Heartwood Forest parkrun. We WILL be back …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLeHYfsgpAE

Kate

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Photo by Barnaby Norman

 

Event number 46 – 22nd September 2018 (2/2)

Heartwood Forest parkrun 22nd Sept
Photo by Kate Tettmar

This morning really did feel like the start of the autumn parkrun season, sunny and bright but a real nip of cold in the air. Standing listening to the new runners briefing I did ponder if I had worn enough clothes as despite my well covered frame I was starting to get goose bumps despite being surrounded by a huge horde of tourists – 99 first time tourists!

My feeling is that many like me made the journey as they knew that this was the penultimate opportunity to run here. But hidden amongst all the tourists:- Todd HOULAHAN, Scott DENCH, J TABOR & Andrew O'DONNELL took their first steps on their parkrun journey running using their parkrun barcode for the first time. So a huge welcome to them.

It wasn't long after walking up the hill to the start that the cry of go was echoed by the beep of GPS watches and 232 runners started to make their way round the beautiful course. If it wasn't enough to enjoy the scenery a multitude of wooden carvings added visual interest on route not that Harpenden Arrows Running Club's Steve BOWRAN (VM45-49) would have had much time to notice them as he hurtled around the course to be first finisher in a new personal best of 17:51. Bearbrook Running Club's Laura GUSH (SW30-34) crossed the line in 30th place in a time of 21:33 to be first lady home. Great running both of you.

Heartwood Forest parkrun 22nd Sept - Sinead Howland
Photo by Sinead Howland

As I panted through the carved archway I realised that I definitely wasn't cold anymore! But it was definitely a day to be running rather than standing outside for an hour not moving a huge amount. Yet thankfully that is what all the #HiVizHeroes willing did today so that we could all get to enjoy our parkrun.

Many of those in the tabards today on route and at the finish were ladies from Athena St Albans. On behalf of all those who ran today many thanks to:- Tracey ASHWELL, Jo ASKHAM, Wai Meng AU-YEONG, Denise CASIERO, Carly EAVES, Emma FLIN, Julie FULLER, Christina HARRISON, Laura HICKS, Angela HICKS, Alison HILLS, Sinead HOWLAND, Emily JOHNSON, Alex JOHNSTON, Ruth KENT, Helen KILLNER, Sandra LYNCH, Caroline MARVEN, Hannah MCEWEN, Tracey MOSTYN, Kate MUNRO, Amelia NEILL, Julianne NIGHTINGALE, Maria PETTS, Libby SHERIDAN, Kate TETTMAR, Richard UNDERWOOD, Alex VARRAN, Paula WERRETT, Johanna WOODCOCK who made this week's parkrun possible.

Heartwood Forest 22nd Sept - Sinead Howland

Photo by Sinead Howland

Passing the turn for the finish I knew I had another lap to go – the first part all slowly and steadily uphill! The perfect path helped me maintain my running for as long as possible but my lack of running due to injury meant that passing the run briefing point I gave in to a walk! My legs just didn't have it in me to run uphill anymore.

Or so I thought.

At the 'Keep right sign' as the returning runners pass an encouraging comment from one of the marshals forced me to restart my running again and continue it all the way to the turn at the top.

Passing into the young planted trees I kept my eyes peeled for unicorns that the marshal mentioned on the first lap – however they were nowhere in sight!

But there was the joy of the long downhill through path amongst the trees out the wooden arch and down on the path towards the finish.

Heartwood Forest 22nd Sept - Sinead Howland
Photo by Sinead Howland

Crossing the line I pressed my watch and gave a tired smiled – this was my fastest time since my recovery from injury. It was then that I realised I had left my well-travelled homemade parkrun picture frame in my car! After failing at Wimpole Estate I wasn't failing here... So I ran to my car and back.

Mission complete – a picture of many of this week's parkrun volunteers in my frame! A few of whom even ran in carrying signs.

Having spent just a few hours at Heartwood Forest this morning I can see that over your 46 events you have already built up a great friendly parkrun community. I wish you all the best finding a new venue for your event so the signs, scanners and barcodes can be used again and you can build upon the friendships you have made on the Saturday mornings running and volunteering and having a coffee after and give many others the chance to start their parkrun journey.

In the meantime celebrate rather than commiserate on the 6th October all the good things that Heartwood Forest parkrun has done and enjoy a bit of tourism until you can find another venue to call your homerun.

Happy parkrunning

Daniel Connolly
A58845

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Photo by Daniel Connolly

 

Event number 46 – 22nd September 2018 (1/2)

Heartwood Forest 22nd September - Sinead Howland
Photo by Sinead Howland

The clouds hung above but no rain fell on the record number of runners, joggers and walkers who gathered at the ‘badgers’ log for this week’s 46th Heartwood Forest parkrun. Perfect, comfortable running conditions.

The first runners in were a Father and son duo, Steve and Will Bowran. They didn’t need to stay within ‘arms reach’, but their times of one second apart paints a lovely picture. Laura Gush from Bear Brook runners was the first lady into the funnel. Like 102 others, it was her first time to enjoy parkrun at Heartwood. Four people, Scott Dench, J Tabor, Andrew O Donnell and Todd Houlahan chose Heartwood to complete their first ever parkrun. Hopefully it will be the first of many for them.

Heartwood Forest parkrun 22nd Sept - Sinead Howland
Photo by Kate Tettmar

Many tourists and locals alike were taking the opportunity to experience the lovely surroundings as this week’s parkrun was the penultimate at Heartwood Forest. My sister, travelling from Horsham, was one of the tourists who was also keen to ‘achieve’ running in this special place. This was also the opportunity for her to run with my 9 year old daughter who was one of the 52 people to achieve a Personal Best. This PB was certainly helped along by chasing her aunty around the course, keeping an eye out for the lovely painted stones placed around the route and the support from the equally lovely marshals provided by Athena Ladies, a local ladies running group.

The Athena lady at the half way point was certainly keeping the younger ones motivated. It turns out that ‘looking for unicorns’ can make you run faster! It was, as always, a happy community event yet this time tinged with a little sadness as the sun is soon to set on this parkrun venue. The best things in life are free and that is certainly true for parkrun and also Woodland Trust. We may not be able to hold parkrun here any longer (the last run being 6th October), but we can come to walk, play and explore here whenever we like and indeed run if we wish.

heartwood boards
Photo by Julianne Nightingale

When I was asked to write the run report for this week’s ‘Athena take over’, I was delighted. Heartwood Forest is a special place for many and no less for myself and my family. My late father, who passed away earlier this year, my husband, sister, my children and I have all been a part of the ten year volunteer planting process that saw the fields turn to the start of a huge forest. We have as a family together planted well over a 1000 of the 600,000 trees beginning their life here.

My Father’s life-long contribution to Woodland Trust has been recognised by one of the large ‘story boards’ that we see to our right as we come out of the young saplings to the welcome downhill stretch of the parkrun course. (If you have not had the chance to read them yet, please do. Heartwood forest, like parkrun, has been planted and made possible by the community and a dedicated team of volunteers). Although we won’t be running through these trees as they mature and tower above us on a Saturday at 9am, they will be here forever for us to enjoy. I’m grateful for the 46 parkruns held here where two of the best free things in life have worked in partnership to create a happy community event. Memories, like the trees, have been planted and firmly rooted here.

Heartwood Forest 22nd Sept - Sinead Howland
Photo by Sinead Howland

The official bit….

This week 232 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 103 were first timers and 52 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 47 different clubs took part. The event was made possible by 31 volunteers:

Daniel CONNOLLY • Sandra LYNCH • Wai Meng AU-YEONG • Richard UNDERWOOD • Kate TETTMAR • Julianne NIGHTINGALE • Maria PETTS • Christina HARRISON • Laura HICKS • Carly EAVES • Kate MUNRO • Ruth KENT • Amelia NEILL • Alex JOHNSTON • Tracey ASHWELL • Alex VARRAN • Jo ASKHAM • Hannah MCEWEN • Julie FULLER • Libby SHERIDAN • Helen KILLNER • Emma FLIN • Johanna WOODCOCK • Tracey MOSTYN • Paula WERRETT • Caroline MARVEN • Sinead HOWLAND • Denise CASIERO • Emily JOHNSON • Alison HILLS • Angela HICKS

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

The female record is held by Victoria PRITCHARD who recorded a time of 17:43 on 30th September 2017 (event number 9).
The male record is held by Thomas KEARNS who recorded a time of 16:23 on 21st April 2018 (event number 26).
The Age Grade course record is held by Catherine WRIGHT who recorded 88.28% (22:37) on 19th August 2017 (event number 4).

Heartwood Forest parkrun started on 29th July 2017. Since then 2,231 participants have completed 5,909 parkruns covering a total distance of 29,545 km, including 1,231 new Personal Bests.

Julianne

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Photo by Richard Underwood

 

Event number 45 – 15th September 2018

Heartwood Forest parkrun 15 Sept 2018 - Ruth Kent
A record number of people waiting for the start
Photo by Ruth Kent

This week saw a record attendance at Heartwood Forest, with 218 people enjoying the stunning views and blue skies (yet again proving the sun does always shine at Heartwood). There were 101 first timers, including 13 completing their first ever parkrun. Representatives of 45 different clubs took part.

We enjoyed getting to know the many tourists who paid us a visit. The high numbers were not restricted to people, with what was described as a ‘dog off’ in the front group of runners, as the battle was on to put the fastest paw forward. There was also a rare dinosaur sighting among the woodland creatures…

Heartwood Forest parkrun 15 Sept 2018 - Ruth Kent
The first-timers' briefing
Photo by Ruth Kent

A number of milestones were achieved this week. Congratulations to Rupert Walke on his 50th parkun and Kate Burn on her 200th. Patricia Cue, of Sutton Runners, completed her 499th parkrun this week. Where will her 500th take her? There were thirteen members of the 250 parkrun club present, who between them have covered a massive 23,015 kilometres.

Heartwood Forest parkrun 15 Sept 2018 - Ruth Kent
Kate running her 200th parkrun
Photo by Ruth Kent

Two age category records were broken with Amelia Brimley running a time of 28:16 in the JW10, and Brenda Clayton setting a new VM70-74 record with a time of 30:06. Congratulations to the 48 participants who achieved a new Personal Best today.

Thank you to the nineteen volunteers who made the event possible:

Marcia QUINN • Andrew MCKILLOP • Howard BULL • Kate TETTMAR • Fergus DALTON • Ammon PIEPGRASS • Edric WILLIAMS • Helen WILLIAMS • Hannah OXLEY • Ruth KENT • Tracey ASHWELL • Alex VARRAN • David REID • Karl Damian WILDING • Suzi WEGENEK • Laura MCLEOD • Paula OXLEY • Thomas ROBERTS • Phil KENDALL

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

Heartwood Forest parkrun 15 Sept 2018 - Oxfam St Albans
The run is under way
Photo by Oxfam St Albans

The female record is held by Victoria PRITCHARD who recorded a time of 17:43 on 30th September 2017 (event number 9).
The male record is held by Thomas KEARNS who recorded a time of 16:23 on 21st April 2018 (event number 26).
The Age Grade course record is held by Catherine WRIGHT who recorded 88.28% (22:37) on 19th August 2017 (event number 4).

Heartwood Forest parkrun started on 29th July 2017. Since then 2,128 participants have completed 5,677 parkruns covering a total distance of 28,385 km, including 1,179 new Personal Bests.

There are only two more opportunities to participate in Heartwood Forest parkrun. Our final parkrun will be on the 6th October, and another event at Heartwood on the 29th September means there will be no parkrun that day. Thank you to everyone who has participated, volunteered and visited Heartwood Forest over the past 45 events, who knew this is how I would enjoy spending most Saturday mornings...

Laura

Heartwood Forest parkrun 15 Sept 2018 - Ruth Kent
The tail (diplodocus tail)
Photo by Ruth Kent

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