Event #29 – 18th January 2020

Let me start this run report with a confession - I forgot the Flake.

Confused? My run at Herrington Country was to be my 99th, and we’ve recently started a “thing” at my home event of awarding a Flake to the 99th finisher at your 99th run. Said Flake was duly purchased, and carefully transported the 250 miles from Gloucester, only to be left languishing in my mother’s fridge on Saturday morning. So, Lesley Foster from South Shields Harriers – congratulations on your PB and I owe you a Flake!


I love coming back to my home city (Durham) as it provides an opportunity to indulge in some parkrun tourism and, having sampled other nearby events previously, it was good to see another location within a short drive. The course description sounded interesting and the reality did not disappoint in the slightest. On a cold, crisp morning with Penshaw Monument set against a clear blue sky, this really was a perfect setting and I hope all you regulars realise just how lucky you are to be able to run here. I love my home course but it’s an urban park within a modern housing development, so not quite as impressive, although we do have peacocks on the course occasionally.


I spotted the Start easily enough, and parked up right beside it, but didn’t realise that the core team were lurking down by the amphitheatre. Luckily I spotted fellow Tikiboo wearer, Cat Lingwood in her Mr Bump leggings (who just happened to be the other tailwalker) along with her husband Phil who was well wrapped up for his role as photographer. In fact, all the volunteers were well wrapped up ready to marshal, timekeep, scan barcodes and all the other roles that make a successful parkrun. If you want to keep your event running then please consider volunteering once in a while, it’s great fun and you can try loads of different roles. You can even volunteer at events other than your own, or some volunteer roles will allow you to run as well as help out.


All the facts and figures for this week’s event are available from the Results page – out of the 202 parkrunners, 56 were running at Herrington for the first time (including yours truly) and 20 of those were doing their first ever parkrun. 33 people recorded their best ever time at Herrington Country. Dave Dougan celebrated his 200th parkrun whilst Caroline Scholl earned her red milestone T shirt by clocking up her 50th.

I always like to look for some “aesthetically pleasing” times in the results, and these caught my eye
Andrew Jones 21:12
Nathan Craigs 22:11
Shaun Nordstrom 24:42
Dave Burke 30:20
Michael Rolfe 31:31
Rachael Dickinson 34:43

Thank you for your warm welcome Herrington Country – I may have ticked off the “H” on my alphabet challenge (along with cheeky stopwatch bingo and position bingo for my finish time and position) but I will definitely be back in the future. After all, I do owe Lesley a Flake……………..

parkrunner A2322207 – Kingsway parkrun, Gloucester

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Fred GUY • Chris TURNBULL • Lisa TILMOUTH • Lisa FORM • Aubrey FORM • Janice CRAIGS • Emily TILMOUTH • Andrew GRAHAM • Christine PARKER • Paul MITCHISON • Catriona LINGWOOD • Philip LINGWOOD • Tracey FAIRLESS • Rachael TURNBULL • Carol GREEN • Charles TATE • Russell DAY • Amanda PEARSON • Helen RICHARDSON • Kelly VENUS • Simon VENUS • Shula BARRY • Alan SIMPSON • Leanne SIMPSON • Lucy SIMPSON • Christine LAWSON

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

The female record is held by Aly DIXON who recorded a time of 18:49 on 25th December 2019 (event number 24).
The male record is held by George PHILLIPS who recorded a time of 16:08 on 28th December 2019 (event number 25).
The Age Grade course record is held by Paul REDDAWAY who recorded 86.81% (18:19) on 5th October 2019 (event number 12).

Herrington Country parkrun started on 20th July 2019. Since then 3,036 participants have completed 7,233 parkruns covering a total distance of 36,165 km, including 1,252 new Personal Bests. A total of 267 individuals have volunteered 971 times.



Event #28 – Sunderland Harriers Takeover!

On a blustery January morning at Herrington Country parkrun, 245 intrepid parkrunners braved the wind to take part. The volunteer roster was populated by 35 Sunderland Harriers as part of their volunteer takeover, as well as several Herrington Country parkrun stalwarts.


PB chasers were helped on their way by more than a dozen pacers. Some of Sunderland Harriers' pacers clearly need to become a bit more well-versed in parkrun's #dfyb mantra though, as not all of them appear in the results!

IMG_6596 copy

Indeed, probably the most experienced runner present, 29 minute pacer and Great North Run ever-present Eddie Maddison, almost became an inadvertent funnel ducker. This parkrun cardinal sin was thankfully avoided, but Sunderland Harriers are considering specialist parkrun training for all of their volunteers ahead of future events!

The first timers briefing was very well-attended, with 57 people making their first appearance at Herrington Country parkrun, almost a quarter of the field. Given the record attendance on New Year's Day, it's remarkable that so many more people are still experiencing the parkrun for the first time each week.


Given the reports of people almost being blown backwards by the wind on certain parts of the course, there was an equally remarkable number of 43 personal bests achieved by more seasoned Herrington County parkrun visitors by the time tail walkers Deb Smith and Debbie Rodden crossed the finish line.

A special congratulations to Elizabeth Baker, Christine Addison and Janice Craigs on reaching the 100 parkrun milestone and to Stewart Metcalf, Nathan Craigs and Gareth Wood on reaching 50 parkruns. We look forward to seeing you all in your black and red t-shirts very soon.


Having their parkrun barcode scanned for the very first time were 23 people, demonstrating that parkrun continues to grow at a rapid rate. We hope to welcome all of you back for your second parkruns very soon, hopefully next week!

When all was said and done, when all the hi-vis vests were neatly folded and put away, the volunteers felt a large sense of fulfilment. Sunderland Harriers organise and provide the volunteers for some of their own races each year, but have never volunteered en-masse at parkrun before. Many positive comments were heard about how much the day was enjoyed and how much people were looking forward to volunteering again in the future. The local running community is nothing without volunteers and hopefully everyone will agree that Herrington Country parkrun have some of the best.


This week 245 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 57 were first timers and 43 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 45 volunteers:

Dean PHILLIPS • Alan Geoffrey CHAPMAN • Alan KNEBEL • Fred GUY • Margaret THOMPSON • Kim FOX • Deb SMITH • Paul Kell PICKFORD • Tony ALLINSON • Craig GUNN • Keith TILMOUTH • Vikki COTTON • Barry MARLEE • Eddie MADDISON • Allan MCMANUS • Lisa TILMOUTH • Lisa FORM • Aubrey FORM • Albert JAMES • Debra JAMES • Darin CRAIGS • Catherine PURDY • Maria DAVIS • Richard BORROWDALE • Jenna WILKINSON • Colleen COMPSON • Vicky HASWELL • Paul MITCHISON • Paula BROWN • Linda MUDFORD • Julie SULLIVAN • Jason WAITE • Deb NEW • David NEW • Charles TATE • Debbie RODDEN • Adrian KELSALL • Ben ANDERSON • Ann REVELL • William YOUNG • Frank BLAND • Louise RICHARDSON • Paula MCINTOSH • Tony THOMPSON • Marcus LOWES

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

The female record is held by Aly DIXON who recorded a time of 18:49 on 25th December 2019 (event number 24).
The male record is held by George PHILLIPS who recorded a time of 16:08 on 28th December 2019 (event number 25).
The Age Grade course record is held by Paul REDDAWAY who recorded 86.81% (18:19) on 5th October 2019 (event number 12).

Herrington Country parkrun started on 20th July 2019. Since then 2,979 participants have completed 7,031 parkruns covering a total distance of 35,155 km, including 1,219 new Personal Bests. A total of 266 individuals have volunteered 945 times.

Many thanks to our Volunteer Richard Borrowdale for this weeks Run Report.


Herrington Country parkrun – Event #27

Herrington Country parkrun
Event number 27
4th January 2020

In Praise of PBs – Run Report Event #27

The average run time at Herrington Country parkrun is 29:39. On 4th January, Sophie Carruthers and Claire Robinson were closest to this time. Both missing it by only 7 seconds.

There is unbridled joy in the parkrun world when average run times increase, as this statistic, above all others, demonstrates that parkrun is fulfilling the ambition of being welcoming to all regardless of age, background and ability.

Here at Herrington Country parkrun we also celebrate a rising run time average. The high numbers of runners at the recent holiday events have resulted in average time to complete the run increasing by 8 seconds. First-time parkrunners (joggers and walkers) will have a big influence on this, of course. There have been 43 parkrun debutants at Herrington Country parkrun in 2020, only 11 of who have finished faster than the course average time. This is a high number for two events and hopefully will continue for future events.


This week however, I was encouraged to write a few words in praise of PBs. A (somewhat mouldy) mince pie to the first person to identify the likely culprit!

Increasing average run times are an indicator of the overall success of the event, but we are of course delighted to see individuals coming to parkrun and improving. That’s the logical (although perhaps not inevitable) next step.

Event #27 saw the achievement of 37 course PBs and included within these were 16 all-time PBs. The PB times ranged from 22:02 to 42:34. Eighteen PBs were longer than the average time at the course.


Lawrence Cummings, returning to Herrington for his 2nd run, set a PB of 24:40. In the process he set an age grade record for the VM75-79 age group and became only the 19th person to achieve an age grade % higher than 80% at Herrington (81.42%). Apparently Lawrence holds the VM75-79 age grade record at around 60 parkrun events!
Zoe Dipper finished 27th at the 27th event and set a PB in the process.
Jamie Summers announced his induction to the 100 milestone club with a new PB.
Olivia Barnett (JW10), Austin Palmer (JM10) and Henry Atkinson (JM10) were the youngest to achieve PBs.

Darin Craigs and Claire Mitchison got new PBs, but also earned a volunteer credit. Here’s a list of the volunteer roles you can combine with running: -
First Timers Briefing, Tail Walker, Pacer, Pre-event Setup, Post-event Closedown, Token sorting, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Run Report Writer, Car Park Marshal and Event Day Course Check.


The volunteer team at Herrington Country parkrun is super friendly and you won’t regret getting involved.

PBs were also achieved by Sara Fenna, Peter Wilcox, Nicholas and Archie Gordon (love to see this!), Maureen Hardwick, Helen White, Jonathon Douglas, Charlie Slater, Nicola Robinson, Sarah Gillender, Claire Stevenson, Lorna Shaw, Emma Leather, Matthew James Marsh, Marie Ball, Jane Stobbart, Jordan Jobling, Robin Linton, Steven Widdowfield, Stefan Dipper, Daniel and Hannah Sore (Love it!), Claire Milford, Stuart Hitcham (Where’s Charlie?), Laura Jackson, Gerard and Lynn Oakes (even more family running :-)), Jayne Porter and (top volunteer) Helen Richardson.

Of the 37 PBs, 19 were achieved by female participants, who made up 43% of runners overall and a whopping 58% of volunteers.

There were 25 running and athletics clubs represented at the event.

60 people ran, jogged or walked for the first time at Herrington Country parkrun and 24 of these were making their parkrun debut. Felicity McMurty celebrated her first visit by joining the 10 milestone club. Congratulations!

Almost 1 in 5 runs at Herrington result in a PB, so if you haven’t had a PB in your last four runs, this week could be the week for you. It’s a paced event with athletes from Sunderland Harriers, increasing the chances still further.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Rachel BENTLEY • Fred GUY • Chris TURNBULL • Keith TILMOUTH • Lisa FORM • Jennifer CARRUTHERS • Aubrey FORM • Darin CRAIGS • Janice CRAIGS • Michael HILDRETH • Emily TILMOUTH • Paul MITCHISON • Sheena WIDDOWFIELD • Jennifer MCDONALD • Charles TATE • Claire MITCHISON • Anais SORE • John RODDY • Toni FYFE • Shula BARRY • Susan MCQUADE • Martin MCQUADE • Alan SIMPSON • Pat TILLSON • Leanne SIMPSON • Lucy SIMPSON

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

The female record is held by Aly DIXON who recorded a time of 18:49 on 25th December 2019 (event number 24).
The male record is held by George PHILLIPS who recorded a time of 16:08 on 28th December 2019 (event number 25).
The Age Grade course record is held by Paul REDDAWAY who recorded 86.81% (18:19) on 5th October 2019 (event number 12).

Herrington Country parkrun started on 20th July 2019. Since then 2,922 participants have completed 6,786 parkruns covering a total distance of 33,930 km, including 1,176 new Personal Bests. A total of 236 individuals have volunteered 900 times.

This weeks run report was written by Volunteer, Aub Form. If you fancy volunteering to write our weekly report don't hesitate to get in touch.


Event #26 – New Years Day Record!

Well! What can you say about that? An amazing number of people decided to start 2020 with a parkrun, or (in many cases) two. The Core Team were prepared for a record turnout (previous highest 446), but 769 was way higher than anything I had imagined. That’s a 72% increase on the previous highest attendance.

Those of us who did the New Year’s Day double began to get an indication that something special was going on when we were running the first leg. There was a record attendance at Riverside where we ran, but also record attendances at Blyth Links, Darlington South Park, Stewart, Newbiggin-by- the-Sea and Prudhoe Riverside.

Our Joint-RDs, Keith and Paul, zipped around Riverside parkrun and headed off to Herrington, calling “It’ll all be set up when you get there” over their shoulders. Unfortunately, some of the equipment required for set-up was in the cars of the less fleet-footed members of the Core Team.

Herrington Country parkrun was due to start at 10:30, but as we sat in the car, at 10:25, inching between Penshaw and the park entrance with Hi-viz vests, walkie-talkies etc in the car boot, the true scale of what was going on became apparent. There’s a learning point here about making sure next NYD that we have our equipment delivery planned better and a bit of embarrassment around promising a 10:30 start and not delivering. If we had been able to start on time however, there would’ve been a large number of runners who would’ve missed the start (although we would’ve given them a time, as long as they caught the tailwalker!), including the Core Team from Riverside, who gave us invaluable support at the finish. I’m not sure how we would’ve managed without them. Apologies to those of you who were ready to go at 10:30, especially the small number who were there at our normal start time of 9:00. We hope it didn’t spoil your experience too much.

A small number of runners helped with the final delivery of equipment. I didn’t get their names, but we owe them a volunteer credit, if they want to make themselves known.

Unusually for me of late, this is actually a run report, in that I ran rather than voluncheered as I have been mainly doing recently! I am biased, but I have to say that I thought that the course stood up excellently to the high number of runners. We pushed a buggy between us, Lisa Form and I, and near misses from behind can be a common problem, but thankfully few of those. The marshals provided excellent support as we went around the course. The plaudits for them on the parkrun Facebook page are very well deserved. The funnel was a nightmare, but the timekeepers, and barcode scanners and their colleagues did a fantastic job.

After my barcode had been scanned, I had a lovely conversation with Tim Shotton. His first parkrun and he loved it. First time he’s run since school, he reckoned. What an occasion to make your parkrun debut (along with 25 others).

After the amphitheatre had emptied and we had stowed all of the equipment, we made our way to a coffee shop in Durham and had another lovely conversation with Marie Lovell and her other half, who recognised our running tops. Marie was quite deprecating about her own achievement, but she was there, she ran and she’s planning to run again and in my view that’s what it’s all about.

So what do we make of it all then? I find it hard to believe that there were very many people who experienced a parkrun (or two) on New Year’s Day morning and didn’t think they were part of something special. Yes, there’s competition, yes, there are people who run for times or for fitness, but more and more people are there for the social aspect and that’s why we love to be there.

80 running and athletics clubs were represented in the field.

There were 26 parkrun debuts at Event #26 and a further 304 first time visitors to Herrington Country parkrun.

74 PBs were achieved (although as many of you will know times for positions 501-769 are open to question. Another learning point for us).

Christian Harrison (19:55) finished 26th at the 26th Event.

Michael Tiplady, Stuart Fowler, Paul Kell Pickford, Rosalind Woods, Zoe Dipper and Jen Colden completed their 26th parkrun. Hope you can all get to 50 at the same time as Herrington Country parkrun.

The average run time at Herrington is 29:37 (this is up 6 seconds from 28th December). Adrian Fenton completed the course in precisely this time.
Lucy Barnett (JW10) completed her 10th parkrun.

Matthew Gwilym, Julie Davison and Christine Walker joined the 50 milestone club and Lorraine Jacques and Keith Linton joined the 100 club. Congratulations to you all!

45% of runners and 49% of volunteers were female.

Five runners achieved an age graded performance of 80+%, bringing the total in 26 events to 18. Ten of the 18 are female.

There were new age grade records at Herrington for: -
Jak Jarvis (JM11-14) 19:51
Abbie Anderson (SW18-19) 21:43
Steve Rankin (VM35-39) 16:25
Peter David Walker (VM65-69) 22:40
Kathryn Stevenson (VW45-49) 20:14
Wendy Chapman (VW50-54) 20:07; and
Annette Hames (VW60-64) 23:02

This week 769 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 330 were first timers and 74 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 82 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 43 volunteers:

George HARDEN • Alyson HOGARTH LAYDON • Fred GUY • Paul LAYDON • Claire LINES • Jeff JOHNSTON • Faye BELL • David LINES • Tammy COOK • Ben DOBSON • Eddy SMITH • Keith TILMOUTH • Lisa FORM • Aubrey FORM • Nathan CRAIGS • Darin CRAIGS • Janice CRAIGS • Andrew RICHARDSON • Patricia JARDINE • Keith PENMAN • Spencer TINDAL • Leanne TINDAL • Paul MITCHISON • Jamie ALLINSON • Catriona LINGWOOD • Philip LINGWOOD • Francesca FORM • Stephen DUTHIE • David TAGUE • Charles TATE • Helen RICHARDSON • Rosy MANN • Claire Louise DOUGHERTY • Henry John DOUGHERTY • Toni FYFE • Dean TWIST • Michelle TURNBULL • Lise MCNALLY • Alan SIMPSON • Jacqueline GEERINGH • Leanne SIMPSON • Lucy SIMPSON • Christine LAWSON
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Herrington Country parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Aly DIXON who recorded a time of 18:49 on 25th December 2019 (event number 24).
The male record is held by George PHILLIPS who recorded a time of 16:08 on 28th December 2019 (event number 25).
The Age Grade course record is held by Paul REDDAWAY who recorded 86.81% (18:19) on 5th October 2019 (event number 12).
Herrington Country parkrun started on 20th July 2019. Since then 2,861 participants have completed 6,576 parkruns covering a total distance of 32,880 km, including 1,139 new Personal Bests. A total of 232 individuals have volunteered 874 times.

Run report produced by Aub Form.


Memories of 2019

The last 25 Events have passed us so quickly since we started our very first Herrington Country parkrun on Saturday 20th July 2019. Our Core Team have put together a collection of their memories with some short statements that we will lock away in the parkrun vault forever!

"How we have coped with unexpected mishaps that provides most of my Herrington Country parkrun highlights. Both the biblical rain at Event #21 and the route change and access problems caused by the Soapbox Challenge clash occurred while I was RD, but the team coped excellently. Finish token problems would be my pick though. They’ve been dropped in the finish funnel, mis-sorted and on one occasion unsorted and not even in the Country Park when the run started. Each time, though we have sorted the problem and in most cases the runners wouldn’t even know it had happened."
Aub Form

"First time as Run Director watching 446 people passing, couldn't get off the rock nearly fell into the crowd, worth assisting the parkrun set up just for that moment."
Darin Craigs

"It's been an amazing experience to create an Event that allows so many different people to attend, from first timers to parkruns to past Olympians."
David Sore

"Highlight from parkrun for me has to be 'Cowfest' and the sight of a full sized cow travelling on the back of the trailer but I think we also need to mention Event no 14 when the run started at 9am but at that point we had no finish tokens. I've never seen so many people sorting tokens at one time!"
Fred Guy

"Saturday 9am on the 20th July 2019 and all the hard work, planning and preparation was about to come together for the very first Herrington Country parkrun. As Run Director for the first Event, it honestly felt like I was opening up the Olympic Games! Such a proud moment for me and all the Core Team.

Another has to be Cowfest! Quite simply the best parkrun ever!

Having completed 25 Events to read how we have changed lives, improved physical and mental health which is only the beginning of an incredible journey and only made possible by the army of Volunteers that have given up their own time and supported parkrun! #loveparkrun."
Keith Tilmouth

"The Test Run and how many people knew about the top secret run! But also how well it went!

The kids...Sam Morris, Henry Dougherty, Callan Eden, Charlie Hitchum & Daniel Sore not to forget/overlook the awesome Washington Running Club kids giving it their all and enjoying being active.

Soppy but all the new ‘friends’ I’ve made by being a part of Herrington Country parkrun. The Core Team, regular volunteers, regular runners. Truly heartwarming.

The day we had a Paralympian, an Olympian and a World Record Holder at the event.

Cowfest obviously! The Cow, The cowbells, Lottie. All those wonderful Cowl Club buffs and hats and the fantastic milestone tees. Just everything. What a fantastic privilege to host it so early on in our event.

The day we hosted the Mayor, running alongside the Lady Mayoress, Sam having his picture with them.

Our first Christmas Day run - couldn’t believe the droves of runners stuck in a jam to get into the park! and all the happiness! There was definitely some Magic Christmas dust sprinkled that morning!"
Lisa Form

"My highlight has got to be cowfest and the efforts that all concerned went to to make the day a great celebration! I will never forget seeing the cow that we managed to source for the occasion for the first time and the buzz that I got seeing the numbers of people that had travelled from all over the country to Herrington to share in the celebrations!"
Lisa Tilmouth

"My best memory of 2019 has to be Christmas Day because I did not realise how 381 people are crazy enough to run at 9am."
Marcus Lowes

"I invited a friend to join us at parkrun to help get his Great North Run time down, the first week he managed 24 minutes, the second week he got an amazing PB of 22:14!"
Paul Mitchison


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