Celebrating 350 parkruns the Lizzy Muggeridge way

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Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

Lately I’ve been trying to run all the Greater London parkruns (11 to go!), but this week I wanted to stay local for my 350th. 253 of those have been at Highbury Fields and there’s no place like home. I love the 5 laps because I find it the most sociable of courses. When I get lapped (or double-lapped!), or if I lap others, we can cheer each other on and get a boost. And marshals have a great vantage point to see participants multiple times (so what are you waiting for? Get some of that volunteer action!). Talking of volunteers, here are this week’s stars on their way to a snazzy new volunteer milestone T-shirt:

Paul KELLAND • Ernestas JEGOROVAS • Alex CHASE • Deborah ROBACK • Joanne HISLOP • John ROBACK • David MACNAMARA • Jennifer GLASSFORD • Eleanor YOUNG • Jerome BOUGHTON MILLS • Lucy HUGHES • Zoe ADJEY • Ruby SAMUELS • Lauren MACASKILL • Melanie ARMSTRONG • Hannah BUTLER • Steven MUNROE • Amy BUSH • Chloe CASSIDY • Laila MCCARRON • Briana WILSEY • Petros RUSSOM

It looked like there were a lot of people at the first timers’ welcome today and the stats tell me that there were 55 of you who experienced the 5 laps of the fields for the first time today, which is amazing! And around half of those did their first ever parkrun! Thank you for joining us! 47 people also ran Highbury Fields parkrun faster than they’ve ever run it before!

39 parkrunners didn’t have their barcode scanned though - remember you can access your barcode easily now from the link in any of your parkrun results emails where you can print it off or you can even get it scanned from a phone screen now.

Lastly, if you think my 350 parkruns is impressive, today also saw one of Highbury Fields parkrun’s original founders, David Mason, run his 400th parkrun - congratulations! Milestones were also reached by Jon Hatchett, Lloyd Pritchard & Eleanor Mitton (25), Ben Murdoch (50) & Bruno Manteigas (100).

Have a great weekend everyone and don't forget to sign up to volunteer at Highbury Fields parkrun some time soon.

Lizzy.

 

Highbury Fields Forever – David Barnett’s thoughts on reaching his 250 milestone

Screenshot 2022-04-02 at 20.28.50As someone who’s recently completed all 59 London parkruns, I’m often asked “which was your favourite?” My answer is usually “it depends”. For views, Hampstead Heath and Ally Pally take some beating. If you want a fast one, Dulwich or Hackney (before they rerouted it across the grass). If you want to arrive by cable car and see the location where Derek Jarman filmed the video for Ask by The Smiths, Victoria Dock is your best bet.

But pressed for a definitive answer in a recent podcast by a fellow parkrun evangelist I eventually plumped for Highbury Fields. While it’s only recently become my nearest parkrun it’s the one I’ve run by far the most times – 60 at the latest count. Why is that?

Well there’s the beautiful location – Islington’s largest greenest space flanked by picturesque Georgian terraces. There’s the fact that unlikely Jack the Ripper suspect Walter Sickert lived in one corner, while Hugh Grant said a rude word in a house in another in the opening scene of Four Weddings & A Funeral. Maybe it’s the image of a young Malcolm McLaren being talent spotted by an Arsenal juniors scout in the 1950s during a kickabout before his anarchic tendencies got him promptly booted out. Or perhaps the zen-like state of inner calm that comes from running five and a bit laps up and down a hilly but not too hilly field.

But really, it’s the people. The regular runners and volunteers are a genuinely lovely bunch and almost an extended family. So when it came to a location for my quarter of a thousandth parkrun there was only ever one contender.

Happily, following a seeming April Fool’s Day prank from Mother Nature in the form of a blizzard of snow on Friday, Saturday morning heralded a glorious spring day, the air crisp and clean, the sky cobalt blue, the trees blossoming, You get the idea. What I’m saying is, it was the perfect day to join 334 other parkrunners and run round and round and round and round and round (and a bit) around Highbury Fields.

There were a whopping 76 first timers – almost a quarter of the field – and no fewer than 44 PBs, including first-placed relative newbie Joe Walker, completing the course in 16:27 on his 33rd parkrun. The first female was one of those 76 first-timers, all the way from New Zealand, Sarah Riceman smashed the 20 minute barrier in her first UK parkrun with a time of 19:58.

Joining the 25 Club were Stephen Nguyn, Mark Colautti, Philip Looker and Jon Dance-Groom. Niall Power notched up his 50th parkrun. Sam Collins hit a century. As for my humble self, I finally qualified for the coveted green t-shirt after a two-year pandemic-induced delay and a shiny new Highbury PB to add a bit of speedy icing on the achievement cake of smugness. Barring any further unexpected global or personal disasters I’ll see you in 2027 for the blue one.

Three hearty cheers to this week’s volunteers:

Anna EDWARDS-STUART  •  Ben CLARKE-JANSSEN  •  Bruno MANTEIGAS  •  Chloe CASSIDY  •  Colleen KRENZER  •  Dana SHOCKMAN  •  Daniel JOHNS  •  David BARNETT  •  David RANK  •  Deborah ROBACK  •  Ernestas JEGOROVAS  •  Gabriella HEATH  •  Gail DAVISON  •  Jennifer GLASSFORD  •  John ROBACK  •  Laila MCCARRON  •  Lauren GRAHAM  •  Lizzy POLLOTT  •  Luke FRANKLIN  •  Olivia DESBOROUGH  •  Paul KELLAND  •  Robyn POTTER  •  Ruby SAMUELS  •  Simon PAGE  •  Steven MUNROE  •  Tristan CASSIDY

David

 

CANCELLED – 19TH FEB

We are sorry to say that the decision has been made to cancel this week's parkrun at Highbury Fields due to storm damage and the need for a thorough clean-up before the course can be safely used.

If you're planning on travelling to another local parkrun, please check their social pages as a number of events in and around London are cancelled this week as well.

We hope to see you back on Highbury Fields soon. Stay safe.

 

 

 

Tourist’s View Run Report, 18th December 2021

Highbury Fields parkrun event #463. Guest Writer Karen Cole, Havant parkrun

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When we arrived at the start line, a cheery band of volunteers were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning.

The parkrun fairies were kind to us today as well and managed to keep the rain clouds away whilst we ran, though it was still a warm one. This saw many of us quickly shedding outer layers and gloves as we went on our way.

Thank you to Lizzie for the new runner’s briefing, where new runners were warmly welcomed and introduced to the course layout at Highbury Fields. This 5 lapper course follows the perimeter around Highbury Fields, affording us 5 opportunities to see its features and thank the marshals. This type of course also provided lots of opportunities for the faster runners to receive and indeed give encouragement as they whipped past us slower mortals on their way ahead of us! At the park area for the young or indeed young at heart, there is also the opportunity to burn off some of that extra energy.

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Today, tourists from Germany, Sweden, Bristol (initially heard as Brazil, haha!), Lullingstone and Havant (Portsmouth) were using Highbury Fields as their tourist venue. There were a couple of seasoned tourists today as well, who were wearing their Cow Cowells which allowed the perfect opportunity to catch up on where we had been over the last couple of weeks and where we were heading off to in the next coming weeks.

Michael, our RD for the day, gave a big thank you to the other volunteers, who had given up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of marshals out and about around the course all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the Highbury Fields parkrun community. Head over to the Highbury Fields parkrun website for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you; you get to wear a pink hi-vis jacket, what more incentive do you want? A special well done to Michael who was RD for the first time today - good job!

The trick when working towards your milestones is #DFYB - Don’t Forget Your Barcode they all count towards those milestone tees. First timers, as mentioned above, are always warmly welcomed and are on the start of their parkrun journey and working towards their first milestones. That’s the great thing about parkrun isn’t it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk and share about. Just like Matt Brand (25), Lois Gallagher (25), Gabriela Daniels (25), Katja Lamping (50) & David Renton (100) who all completed milestone parkruns today. Well done and hope your t-shirts arrive soon. 13 finishers out of 180 forgot or didn’t have their barcodes today though, which means no barcode-no result, were you one of them? Especially pertinent though is to also remember to hand in your finish token, as each parkrun needs them all back for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!

There were a fair few people staying at the finish to cheer in their fellow runners. This easy and relaxed finish allowed the perfect opportunity to catch up on how all of our runs had gone and what we thought of the course. Then we went back to The Barn cafe on Holloway Road for the apres parkrun, with refreshing drink options and a chance to purchase hot and cold food options to go with them which helped warm us back up again. I can certainly recommend the hot chocolate too!

Thank you again Highbury Fields parkrun, for getting our weekend off to a great start. Look forward to seeing you all again.

Karen Cole (Havant parkrun).

 

 

Special Edition Run Report, 23rd October 2021

Former Event Director Martin Black, now a parkrun Ambassador and an active parkrunner when circumstances allow, very kindly wrote a Run Report for us after yesterday's event.

Saturday saw my first running return to parkrun since International Women's Day in March 2020. I made it back to Highbury Fields on its first event following Lockdown in July to carry out my favourite volunteering role of barcode scanning. But due to family care issues that have arisen in the past year, yesterday was the first opportunity to actually run at a parkrun event. And a joyous occasion it was. Taking full advantage of the new course I finally bettered my PB set in May 2013. But that wasn't the reason for my joy. No that was from catching up with so many members of the parkrun community that I had barely seen the past 20 months. Unfortunately I couldn't spend as much time chatting as I would like and certainly no post parkrun coffee. Since turning up at Highbury Fields in December 2011, it has been the community spirit that has kept me coming back to parkrun. The friends I have made here over the years have been very important to me and have been even more so the past 20 months.

The spur to organise things so I could attend was to celebrate Kathryn Donkersley's 250th parkrun. A milestone, like so many others, delayed by more than year. Kath, as well as a regular at Highbury Fields, is a stalwart at juniors at Highbury Fields and Caledonian Park. During lockdown Kath created the Cally-Camden (not) parkrun route. She started running it on her own but as rules allowed more than 2 dozen of us would run it at some point over the following 12 months.

Donkers

Also reaching milestones this week were Jeff Eaton (50), Roisin MCKEON, Mark Benjamin JACKSON, Paul GOODSTADT, Frances AMBLER, Shiobain O'CONNOR (25). Yes 25 is now a milestone and qualifies for a purple t-shirt! Log on to your profile to see your milestone progress and t-shirts that you can order (you will find a link to your profile at the bottom of your results or volunteer thank you emails).

As always a huge thank you to this week's volunteers:

Melanie ARMSTRONG, Ben BOND, Amna BUSHRA, Alex CHASE, John EVESON, Luke FRANKLIN, Michael GRAY, Lucas GRELA, Stephen HEY, Thomas HILL, Sean HODGES, Alice KANU, Colleen KRENZER, Paul MAKIN, Ella MARSHALL, Joseph OLIVE, Julian OYESIKU, Chris PEACOCK, Lizzy POLLOTT, Adrienne QUARTLY, David RANK, Deborah ROBACK, John ROBACK, Theresa WHITE, Emma WRIGHT

volsIt's wonderful to see so many new volunteers (as well as long standing ones!). I'm biased of course as I'm more likely to be seen in hi-viz than in running kit at parkrun. There is so much to gained from volunteering that I would entreat everyone to give it a go. It should be seen as a positive act and not giving up a run/walk. Of course if you are not able to volunteer at parkrun then that's fine, there is certainly no obligation to do so. I would recommend listening to Jaz Banger (Head of HR & Volunteer Management at parkrun) in the 8th October Free Weekly Timed podcast to get some more positive messages on volunteering which you can find here

I hope to see you all soon,

Martin Black

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