Herrington Country parkrun is cancelled on 2021-04-24 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Thank you!

Hello to you all,

Where do you start when you try to reflect on this year! It's been one of the toughest in memory for everyone. We personally lost one of our much loved Volunteers, Dean Twist, in September.

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We’ve especially missed you, our volunteers, runners, joggers and walkers. We’ve missed seeing you every Saturday at 9am, a social gathering like no other! We’ve missed cheering you all across the finish line and sharing a conversation as we scan your barcode!

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We’ve all done our best to adapt in 2020 and there’s no question that Covid-19 massively impacted our daily lives and our parkrunning.

Whilst we haven't been able to hold an Event since the end of March, you've all stepped up with our #notparkrun weekly challenge. Your motivation, your energy and your commitment to #notparkrun has been fantastic to see.

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EDs (and Steven Chapman) on tour. 4-a-day keeps the Dr away

EDs (and Steven Chapman) on tour. 4-a-day keeps the Dr away

Cat (Herrington) and Kay (Riverside) take part together while representing different parkruns

Cat (Herrington) and Kay (Riverside) take part together while representing different parkruns

Whether you've shared your fancy dress photos, pics of your #notparkrun, your favourite running spots or your Strava screenshots, we thank you! Please keep sharing your photos on our Facebook page as we love to see them all.

In a year when we haven't been able to see you face to face at parkrun, you've certainly made us proud and kept us entertained with your stories and feedback.

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The start of 2021 brings us all new hope and a chance to get normal life back on track. Until then on behalf of all the Event Team, we'd just like to say a big thank you for your continued support this year, and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Best wishes,

The Event Team @ Herrington Country parkrun

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Return of parkrun

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parkrun Global Chief Executive Officer Nick Pearson announces intent to resume parkrun events in England toward the end of October.

Ever since parkrun events closed in the UK and across the world, we’ve been focused on understanding how and when we would be able to resume in a safe and appropriate way.

Throughout, we have sought to understand the evidence, to be a part of discussions with government and public health bodies, to listen to the parkrun community, and to communicate regularly, transparently and honestly.

Following detailed conversations with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Sport England, and Public Health England, I am delighted to announce that we intend to reopen parkrun and junior parkrun events in England toward the end of October this year.

Unfortunately, as things stand, and due to current restrictions across Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, we are not able to commit to the same timeline across the other Home Nations. However, we are aware of the implications of only opening in England and are continuing our work to overcome the challenges that this presents. We are also as committed as ever to opening our events outside of England as soon as possible.

***

Over the years, we’ve come to understand the significant health benefits of being physically active, together, in the great outdoors. It boosts our self-esteem and mood, increases sleep quality and energy, builds immunity, reduces the risk of developing many diseases, and promotes quality of life.

Whilst the public health benefits of parkrun events have been clear for many years, the last six months have increased inequalities around health and wellbeing, with many people more isolated and less active than ever in their life. Across many communities our events provide the most accessible and inclusive opportunities for people, of all abilities and backgrounds, to come together and be active. Disadvantaged communities have been hit the hardest and likely have the most challenging journeys ahead of them, and with every passing week, and with winter approaching, those challenges become greater.

Since we first started back in 2004, thousands of people have shared their stories of how parkrun not only changed their life, but saved their life, and we know that every week without parkrun represents a cost to the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people.

***

In early August we published our COVID-19 Framework, which details how parkrun events will be delivered where there remains an underlying level of COVID-19 in the community. This Framework represents what we feel is the safest we can make parkrun events, whilst, at the same time, respecting the principles that allow parkruns to positively impact the health and happiness of those they engage.

Since then, we have sought feedback and suggestions from the global parkrun community, across 22 countries, as well as from public health bodies and governments around the world.

Furthermore, in an effort to understand the evidence surrounding COVID-19 transmission in outdoor settings, we commissioned a rapid review of the evidence by Canterbury Christ Church University, led by Professor Mike Weed.

The review concluded that, with appropriate evidence-based mitigations in place, it is possible to deliver outdoor events and activities across a range of sectors, and of varying sizes and formats, in a way that does not significantly increase risk of COVID-19 transmission.

During this time we have also been closely following developments around the level of COVID-19 infection across the UK, and its impact on health. According to data published by the Government and the Office for National Statistics, it is clear that, at this moment in time, the number of infectious people in the UK is relatively low, and the numbers of people in hospital continue to fall. Whilst therefore it is absolutely critical we all remain cautious, and closely follow Government guidance, we can say that the chances of an infectious person being in attendance at a specific parkrun event is relatively low.

Based on the above evidence, and the mitigations presented in our COVID-19 Framework, we therefore feel that the risk of parkrun events significantly contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom is small.

***

A further important part of our consideration for the return of parkrun has been the feeling of parkrunners and their attitudes towards coming back. Since events were paused, we’ve carried out insight work to assist us in our planning and decision making. For example by making over a thousand telephone calls to event teams and volunteer ambassadors, or by surveying samples of parkrunners from around the world. Our ‘intent to return’ survey has proved incredibly useful and has shown that not only are the majority of UK parkrunners keen to return, but their confidence is growing over time. Our latest figures suggest that almost 80% of UK parkrunners would return in four weeks’ time given the opportunity.

Everything in life comes with a risk, and we know and accept that we cannot remove all risks from the parkrun environment. However, it is also important to balance the public health benefits of reopening our events, against the associated public health risks. We now believe, having spent considerable time gathering and understanding the evidence, that the benefits to reopening parkrun far outweigh the risks.

We also know that, whilst the majority of people are likely to welcome this announcement as a huge step toward parkrun returning, many people will feel anxious and nervous around the thought of public gatherings. We are here for everyone, and over the coming weeks and months will be providing all the support we can, such that people can feel confident returning to their parks and open spaces.

Today represents the start of the next phase in reopening our events, and we know there is much work ahead. Over the coming weeks we will be working closely with landowners and stakeholders across the country so that we can best address their concerns and support their own positions relating to gatherings at their venues.

We will also be working closely with our volunteer event teams as they prepare for their communities to return, and the entire parkrun staff team is committed to providing all appropriate support. From direct phone calls, to live Q&As, podcast discussions, and regular updates through all of our available communications channels, there will be frequent and continued opportunities for you all to provide feedback and ask questions.

We’ve long understood that human beings have an innate need to be with one another. To talk, to laugh, to support, to share experiences.

This is a watershed moment. parkrun will return. We will be back together again.

Nick Pearson

parkrun Global CEO

 

(not)parkrun Week 10 (17-23 August 2020) Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

Patiently waiting for parkrun to return

Patiently waiting for parkrun to return

On any day of the week that began on 17th August, someone, somewhere was knocking out 5k while representing Herrington Country parkrun. In total during the week 34 people ran, jogged, or walked a total of 61 (not)parkruns. In truth, there were probably other runs that weren’t recorded, but you know what they say, “If it’s not on Strava….”

if he had gone round twice he'd have finished 4th! Thanks to Jason Stobbs for finding this.

If he had gone round twice he'd have finished 4th! Thanks to Jason Stobbs for finding this.

Here’s the tale of Herrington Country (not)parkrun’s week and if you’re so inclined you can sing it in your head to the tune of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”

Monday

Average run time for Herrington Country this week was 33:20. Demonstrating some amazing clairvoyance Catherine Baldridge ran 33:25 on Monday to be closest to the average. Five seconds out though Catherine, so needs a bit of tweaking.

Battle of Neville's Cross. Actual photograph from 1346.

Battle of Neville's Cross. Actual photograph from 1346 18:00.

Meanwhile at the site of the Battle of Neville’s Cross Lisa Form ran the first of her three (not)parkruns for the week at 6pm. I’m not sure why they chose to fight a battle on top of a pedestrian bridge, but the view out towards Wear Valley was amazing on a bright summer evening.

Tuesday

ED Darin Craigs ran the quickest of his 5 runs (23:13) on Tuesday, becoming the Strava Local Legend of Bottoms Up! in the process. An early afternoon run in Washington for Darin on this occasion rewarded by the Fastest Finisher accolade for the week.

Core Team members Cat Lingwood (34:54) & David Sore (27:53) both ran PBs.

At 7pm in Crook, Lisa continued her tour of County Durham, this time with SiL Toni.

Just rolled out of the White Swan

Just rolled out of the White Swan

Wednesday

At 6:15am Catherine Baldridge was back out running, choosing a coastal setting and spent the entire run trying to predict how this run would affect the average time for the week!

"If the Tailwalkers both run 90 minutes this week, I should be bang on the average", mused Catherine

"If the Tailwalkers both run 90 minutes this week, I should be bang on the average", mused Catherine

Thursday

Lost on their way to Herrington Country Park, but ran anyway

Lost on their way to Herrington Country Park, but ran anyway

If it’s Thursday, it must be 1pm at Tarn How. A memorable outing for the Tilmouths, Keith and Lisa. In the process they set a new record for the furthest (not)parkrun from base at 110 miles (Keith is only claiming 97 miles, but google maps says otherwise). At the same time they performed Tailwalker duties for the week (88:02. (Catherine Baldridge: "D'oh!")), although I suspect that there were frequent stops to admire the scenery. Absolutely nothing wrong with that either!

Did you remember to turn the tap off?

Did you remember to turn the tap off?

Paul Mitchison recorded his (not)parkrun PB of 27:00, as he continues his post-lockdown recovery!

Friday

Another PB, this time on Friday at 4pm was set by Janet Morris (31:10) in the Country Park, on the actual parkrun route and only 1 second outside her parkrun course PB.

Saturday

Saturday 8:50-9:50 swans listening to the RDs Briefing, this week delivered by....

Saturday 8:50-9:50 swans listening to the RDs Briefing, this week delivered by....

PB of the week accolade goes to Andrew McIntosh, who recorded his all-time parkrun PB of 25:53 on Saturday, which remains the most popular day of the week for (not)parkrun. Old habits die hard, I guess.

Katherine Dodds (26:08) became Fastest Female Finisher for the week and also set the highest Age Grade performance for the week at 64.14%

One-man volunteer Team, Keith cheers on regulars and visitors alike

One-man volunteer Team, Keith cheers on regulars and visitors alike

Meanwhile in the Country Park Keith Tilmouth ran the parkrun course along with a few regulars, cheering on our very own Zoe Dipper and Riverside’s Colin Reay and Karen Westcott.

Early bird Adrian Kelsall (26:45) achieved a (not)parkrun PB at South Park in Darlington 45 minutes before SpT (Standard parkrun Time).

Lisa Form finished her (not)parkrun week north of the Tyne at Rising Sun Country park, with Aub Form, Andy Graham and Francesca Form who set a new PB of 31:10 (Wait! What? Two PBs on different courses completed in the same time on consecutive days! Is this the sort of niche we write to Free Weekly Timed about?).

Runners and volunteers enjoy post-(not)parkrun refueling in the Land of the Rising Sun

Runners and volunteers enjoy post-(not)parkrun refueling in the Land of the Rising Sun

Sunday

Finally, on Sunday Andrew McIntosh (of PB fame) completed his 5th (not)parkrun of the week (joint highest number of runs in the week, along with Darin Craigs), 71 miles away from Herrington Country Park.

As usual there were more Female (19) participants than Male (15), but unusually the blokes (32 (not)parkruns) were out more frequently. The tide is turning, chaps!

7 running clubs were represented in the results this week.

Long-time leader of the Total (not)parkrun table Rachael Forbister/Gibbins (37 runs/walks) has been passed by Rachael Morrell (39), but has started the fightback in week 11. Adrian Kelsall (35), Keith Tilmouth (34) and Darin Craigs (34) remain hot on their heels. It’s going to be a nail-biting race, although the finish line (unfortunately) is not yet in sight.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any first timers to report this week, which is always sad to see. We’re all missing the parkrun community, of course but in other respects (not)parkrun is (as demonstrated above) even more accessible, so please help us to encourage new or lapsed parkrunners to get involved in future weeks.

Please let us know your parkrun stories each week and if there’s anything you think we can do to help boost participation.

Still waiting!

Still waiting!

 

Next Week is “Bring A Friend to (not)parkrun” week (and so is the week after etc)

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Light at the end of the tunnel?

There are just a few points of interest from Herrington Country (not)parkrun week 07, but before we go into them, of wider interest are the positive sounds coming out of parkrun HQ about the progress being made with regard to preparations for resumption of parkrun proper. It’s not imminent, but the framework for operating while the covid-19 threat remains is to be published on Friday 7th August and for those of you who listen to the Free, Weekly, Timed podcast there will be further information in the next episode (same day). Fingers-crossed we can avoid any local lockdowns and see a clear path to Event #38 once we’ve seen the detail.

In the meantime (not)parkrun remains in place and allows us to share our running experiences and, equally importantly, attract new runners to the community.

In the 4 weeks prior to parkrun suspension an average of 9 people per week were running parkrun for the very first time. During the 7 weeks of (not)parkrun this figure has fallen to 1 per week, which is one of the negatives arising from the lockdown. It’s great to welcome new runners and it’s also great that many of them have gone on to run multiple times, but we would love to get back to pre-lockdown levels. If you know anyone who has neglected their fitness/running during lockdown, or someone who is considering giving running a try, please encourage them to think about registering for parkrun and using (not)parkrun to prepare for a meet up in the Country Park soon(ish) (little emoji of crossed fingers!).

Core Team on Tour 72 miles from Herrington

Core Team on Tour 72 miles from Herrington

In week 07 Sandra Dodds, Simon Turnbull, Debbie Brien and Lise McNally all made their (not)parkrun debuts, so a warm welcome to them. We’ll be watching out for your PBs in week 08.

Joanne Richardson (35:49) has never used her parkrun barcode, but has now completed 7 (not)parkruns. Which we think is fabulous. (Little emoji of hands clapping x 2).

Equally good to see are the many new PBs that regular runners are achieving. This week there were 7 (not)parkrun PBs. A stunning 16:54 by First Finisher Rapid Dasher led the way, but kudos also to Craig Clarke, Janet Morris, Mighty Whippet, Agile Sprinter, Wacky Racer (great to see Wacky making a return to running, following a period of injury) and Lee Carruthers (who also finished 7th during (not)parkrun week 07), who also PB’d.

Deb Smith (26:50) was the first of 24 Female Finishers who completed a total of 41 (not)parkruns between them. Once again eclipsing the Male participation (18 completing 34 runs). Total 42 (not)parkrunners and 75 (not)parkruns.

Average run time was 32:29. Hearty Dasher (32:32) was closest in week 07.

EDs (and Steven Chapman) on tour. 4-a-day keeps the Dr away

EDs (and Steven Chapman) on tour. 4-a-day keeps the Dr away

EDs Lively Swift and Speedy Swift are taking advantage of the freedom of (not)parkrun to run a half marathon once a week made up of 4 different local parkruns (and a bit of warm up to round up the distance) on the same day. In week 07 they ran Darlington South Park, Jubilee, Hackworth and Blackhill. Their tour continues into week 08 too, so look out for further reports in coming weeks.

Rapid Gazelle and Gliding Racer set a challenge for Herrington Country parkrunners to see who could complete a parkrun furthest away from the Country Park. They set the challenge with a trot around Roundhay Park in Leeds, which is 84 miles from Herrington. If you’re taking your trainers on holiday, I’m sure that is a beatable target, but I’m hoping that parkrun returns before anyone can take the crown.

...and then 84 miles!

...and then 84 miles!

On the parkrun Facebook page this week, the largest response was to a post suggesting parkrun nicknames. Nicknames have been used to hide the identity of some of the runners mentioned above. Can you identify them?

Here's a clue

Here's a clue

Finally, a puzzle.

What has become of Rachael Forbister/Gibbins?

Rachael has completed 37 (not)parkruns, including a streak of 33 consecutive days, but no sight of her since the week that ended 26th July. Hopefully it’s not an injury and surely she hasn’t retired without having a cake party! Possibly just giving the rest of us a chance to catch up. If that’s the case, might as well put her feet up for another week. Unlikely to be caught before then!

 

Celebration! We’re Gonna Have a Good Time

There's no calories in brown food after parkrun's birthday

There's no calories in brown food on parkrun's birthday

On 20th July 2019 316 people ran, jogged or walked the inaugural Herrington Country parkrun. 18th July 2020, as the closest Saturday to the anniversary, was chosen as the date to celebrate our 1st Birthday. An invitation was published to attend in small groups, or family bubbles to run a socially distanced 5k between the hours of 08:00 and 12:00. Important to say that  the current restrictions were observed, but at the same time there were plenty opportunities to renew acquaintance in the outdoors with stacks of parkrunners that we hadn’t seen in what seems like ages. There would be cake, and one thing you quickly learn about parkrun, is that cake is a big draw.

Early morning rain didn't deter the revellers

Early morning rain didn't deter the revellers

I’m not able to accurately report exactly how many parkruns were completed in the Country Park on Saturday. Some people, who I know were there, haven’t submitted a result and also I missed the first and last hour! ED Keith was there throughout, however and he provided the following report of what happened on the day: -

David Gilroy was our first official finisher running over our makeshift finish line. David from Washington only last week had fallen and blacked his eye along with cuts but not to be put off ran a freedom run for his #not parkrun.

Donn Harris arrived looking for cake! However he set off slightly after 8am and was our second official finisher in the #notparkrun birthday celebrations.

I only came for the parkrun......Honest!

I only came for the parkrun......Honest!

We were delighted to see Paula McIntosh as our first female finisher in the #notparkun birthday celebration. Paula a regular volunteer and runner was delighted to finish third and said "That'll never happen again ever!"

ED's seal of approval for 1st Female Finisher, Paula

ED's seal of approval for 1st Female Finisher, Paula

Catherine Baldridge was our second female finisher and it was a double celebration as she was running on her own 6th parkrun anniversary!

I hope you weren't ducking that funnel, Catherine

I hope you weren't ducking that funnel, Catherine

Our first Junior over the makeshift happy birthday chalk finish line was Lucy Simpson appearing from the movie Frozen! She finished 5th and so was so ecstatic she decided to colour in the whole finish line!

Lucy finishes ahead of Dad, Alan again

Lucy finishes ahead of Dad, Alan again

From the many runners that decided to do their #notparkrun at Herrington Country on our Birthday we had two parkrunners that ran the course twice! Simon Elliott who knocked 25 seconds off his PB with a new time of 22:50 and then went on to run the second time in 27:20.

Iain Wilson also ran his #notparkrun on his own before running a second time with good friend Adrian Kelsall and his dog Archie!

Simon "Machine" Elliott warms up with a new PB

Simon "Machine" Elliott warms up with a new PB

Mr & Mrs Fox were our first couple to finish across the #notparkrun finish line! Gary Fox celebrating his birthday the next day. Happy Birthday Gary!

Incredible first timers to parkrun and #notparkrun were Olivia Downes and Carrie Powell who also PB'd at 33:27.

Simply amazing to see First Timers running #notparkrun on our birthday and also the number of new PB's is fantastic!

Happy Birthday Herrington Country parkrun!

We said there would be cake and there was an absolute mountain. Hands down winner in a straw poll was Cat Lingwood’s Rocky Road – I lost count of the people who told me I should’ve had a piece, after it had all gone! Well done, Cat. There’s an order in the post. Honourable mentions to Becky Swindells, who arrived with Amelia seemingly just to bring cake and enjoy the atmosphere and to Tracy and Greg McPeake. Apologies to any cake suppliers not mentioned, but there’s a guarantee of a mention in a future parkrun report, if you do it again (or free entry to a parkrun of your choice).

The McPeake’s were there with Washington Junior RC which had moved its Saturday morning training session to Herrington Country Park. The youngsters ran a variety of distances, many completing the full 5k, running in small groups with parents and coaches. This is an excellent omen for the future of parkrun in the area once we are able to come together in more normal circumstances.

At least 14 athletes who walked, jogged or ran the 1st Herrington Country parkrun completed a (not)parkrun during the birthday week (Adrian Kelsall, Cat Lingwood, Nathan Craigs, Rachael Morrell, Samuel Morris, Ashleigh Atkinson, Francesca Form, Emily Tilmouth, Catherine Baldridge, Janice Craigs, Lee Carruthers, Dave Gilroy, Andy Graham, and Deb Smith). Also at the 1st event (volunteering) and completing a (not)parkrun this week were Darin Craigs, Claire and Henry Dougherty, Aub and Lisa Form, Keith & Lisa Tilmouth, Paula Paul, Mandy Pearson and David Sore.

Fred attempts to uncover the rocky road secret, but Cat's having none of it

Fred attempts to uncover the rocky road secret, but Cat's having none of it

There were plenty others who came along on Saturday, or ran during the week, who haven’t submitted times, so don’t feature in the results. Of these Fred Guy (volunteering) and Sarah Purkis, Marie Howard, Mark Harris, Iain Wilson, Gary Fox, Kim Fox and Roseanne and Dave Dougan (running) were all there on Day 1. You folks are the equivalent of the 6 Unknowns in the results of the 1st parkrun.

Iain ran twice & qualified for two cakes

Iain ran twice & qualified for two cakes

I know of others too, but you can’t name check everyone (Kay and Stephen Duthie, who have helped us since before our 1st event, deserve a mention though, despite representing the Other Place). We’re all part of a growing community. In total 3,416 different people have run a total of 8,966 parkruns in the past year at Herrington. In addition we have 6 brand spanking new (not)parkrunners contributing to the 381 not parkruns completed since 15th June. Like all parkruns Herrington Country was set up to generate participation and community, so these figures are great to see. As Keith would say “This is why we do it and we’ll do it together again soon”.

Mandy and Janet together, but observing 1 metre plus guidance

Mandy and Janet together, but observing 1 metre plus guidance

In the week that ended on 19th July: -

There were 8 PBs, including 2 all-time parkrun PBs by Aub Form (24:05) and Rachael Forbister/Gibbins (28:53)

There were 6 1st Timers in the results including two making parkrun debuts (Carrie Powell 33:27 and Olivia Downes 30:16). Another (not)parkrun 1st Timer, but regular Herrington Country parkrunner Simon Elliott set a new PB 22:50.

Since (not)parkrun started female participation has exceeded male participation each week. This week the gender gap was the largest it’s been with 27 ladies in the total of 50, contributing 44 of the total 80 (not)parkruns.

Not a bloke in sight

Not a bloke in sight

Fastest Finisher was Andy Graham (17:54) and he also had the highest age grade% with 74.74%

Hollie demonstrates her "Flying Feet in Wellies" technique

Hollie demonstrates her "Flying Feet in Wellies" technique

5th Finisher at the 5th (not)parkrun was Aub Form :)).

Fastest Female Finisher was Rachael Morrell (28:15). Rachael completed 5 (not)parkruns in the week, but like the rest of us, continues to lose ground on Rachael Forbister/Gibbins who is now on a 4-week streak of 7 and has completed 32 in total.

7 Running Clubs were represented this week.

Archie paces Adrian, Iain and Tracey round the parkrun course

Archie paces Adrian, Iain and Tracey round the parkrun course

The average run time this week was 34:18. With a time of 34:36 Deb Smith was closest to the average and achieved this as part of a longer 10 mile run.

We are looking forward to a bigger, better celebration as soon as we can.

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