Parkrun no 432

"Don't mention the C word" I repeated myself as I cycled to Whin Park. But I didn’t need to worry – the debate was in full flow before I arrived: How far away could we position the marshals? What qualifies as “old”?
And long before then Billy, Charlie, Donnie and Iain had done an excellent job of sweeping the puddles to the side, so that the course was in better condition than it had been for weeks.
We marched up to the Start to hear Iain’s welcome particularly to our visitor from Brisbane and Iain’s version of the local rules, "in today's perilous circumstances, please run 50 m apart. And dogs and children have to be on a short leash". With these words of wisdom ringing in their ears, 152 runners completed today's parkrun.
Crossing the line first were Francisco Valdes, followed by the delightfully-named Unknown Hillbilly and Caroline Marwick, first female.
There were Personal Bests for youngsters Calum Macleod and Ruaridh Gordon and a first parkrun for 11 year old Sophie Matheson, followed by her parents Jerry and Beth.
In their enthusiasm, I guess, finishers numbers 31 and 34 walked off with their tokens. Please bring them back.
Thanks to volunteers Alan Skea, Annelise McDougall, Billy Skinner, Brian James, Bruce Wares, Carolyn Cload, Charles Jarvie, Chloe Sweeney, Craig James Stewart, Dave Carstairs, Donald Williamson, Hannah Sutherland, Hazel Cload, Imogen McDougall, Lee Ross, Lynsey Day, Margaret Andrews, Mira MacDonald, Niall Ross, Paul Crowe, Roderick Beasley, Sandy Matheson, Steve Stewart, Stuart Hendry and William John Ross.


Invenress Park Run 431-070320

164 runners were at the starting line on Saturday as we braced a new course at Whin Park. The runners ran round the park 4 times then had a much deserved break! It was good to see everyone after 4 weeks off and it felt a lot longer than it actually was!

Coming home in first place was Francisco Javier Cabrera Valdes at 18:12. Ewen Lamont was second at 18:47 and Finlay Rutter came in just one second later at 18:48.The first female -Gemma Cormack- came 5th at 19:02.

This Saturday we had 27 first timers and Andy Traill and Geth Rees completed their 100th so a massive congratulations to all of you! We also had runners from all across the UK having a warm up for the Inverness Half Marathon. We hope you all did really well and enjoyed the run! A special mention to Tamara Smith who was a first timer at the Inverness Parkrun, running as part of a new healthy lifestyle.

Another special mention goes to Cairn Medical Practice who had a number of runners doing the couch to 5K programme.

As ever parkrun requires volunteers to make it successful and on Saturday we had the following team:

Fiona Gordon, Michael Gregson, David Waudby-West, Sue Walker, Gary Reid, Alan Skea, Imogen McDougall, Phil Masterson, Billy Skinner, Hector Waudby-West, Rachel Cameron, Charles Jarvie, Alison Waudby-West, Ian Thomson, Roddie Shepherd, Ken Naismith and Annelise McDougall.

And a final shout out to the ladies who wore purple to represent International Womens Day!

Hope to see you all next week!

Rachel Cameron, Run Reporter.


Inverness parkrun 430 8th February 2020

Cycling across the Infirmary Bridge, I felt a strong gust of wind; perhaps the forerunner of Storm Ciara…But one of the features of Whin Park is the shelter, isn't it -lying only just above the river level and surrounded by trees? Well, maybe not ..
166 runners, boosted by the competitors in the Boys' Brigade Championships, lined up to hear David’s welcome followed by Billy's description of the revised course. "Four laps," (holds up 4 fingers for the benefit of the hard of hearing but resists the temptation to explain in mime the reason for the alteration) and the multitude charged off.
They charged back in fine form, with Donnie MacDonald crossing the line first in 16.35, followed by Shaun Cumming and Niall Ross, with both Shaun and Niall – and another 32 runners, including first female Esther Smith - posting Personal Bests.
At coffee afterward, it was good to hear first timer Michelle from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada explain how she started running. She’d suffered from asthma for years and had to change her inhaler prescription. In her office, late for a doctor’s appointment, she raced, yes raced, to make it. Sitting in the waiting room, she thought, "I ran!" A couch-to-5k session later, here she was, having finished her first parkrun. More to come, I hope ...
Alison directed, assisted by Alan Skea, Annelise McDougall, Billy Skinner, Charles Jarvie, Craig James Stewart, David Waudby-West, Diana Mackenzie, Donald Williamson, Douglas Lamont, Freya Waudby-West, Hector Waudby-West, Imogen McDougall, Linda Macauslan. Margaret Andrews, Oscar Sanchez, Paul Crowe, Phil Masterton, Rona Dunn and Steve Stewart.
(And having watched the Edinburgh weather at the Scotland v England rugby international, I think that we, in Inverness, got away lightly)


Inverness parkrun no. 429 – 25/1/2020

With something to celebrate this week – and not just the Bard’s birthday – a bumper turnout of 200 parkrunners made a welcome return to Bught Park on a cold and windy morning.

A week of dry weather gifted us with a dryer surface than we’ve become used to, although there were still a few clarty patches to negotiate and we all took a wee bit of the Bught home with us on the soles of our shoes. The start was a joy, going downwind and around past the swings, but the long return leg against the wind, along the road side of the park gave those of us who like to stay on the flat a feel of uphill running. We were being made to earn our haggis suppers this Burns night!

Amongst the 200 participants, we welcomed 14 first-timers and also visitors from Moray, Edinburgh and Dorset. Amongst the first-time parkrunners was baby Hannah Martin, wheeled around the course by dad Kendon.

Huge congratulations go to Diana MacKenzie, taking part in her 100th parkrun, as well as Joshua MacDonald, in his 150th.

First through the finishing funnel was Jack Trevelyan, of Highland Hill Runners, in a time of 17m 55s, and the first female finisher was Emily Andrew of Inverness Harriers AAC, in 19m 44s.

Of course, parkrun can only happen through the kindness of our wonderful volunteers. This week we are grateful to Margaret Andrews, Scott Baird, Sharon Beck, Audrey Bell, Paul Crowe, Derek Fraser, John Gellatly, Brian James, Charles Jarvie, Marcus Konoso, Annelise McDougall, Imogen McDougall, Katie Meek, Rory Robinson, Lee Ross, Niall Ross, William John Ross, Roddie Shepherd, Billy Skinner, Iain Teven, Keith Walker, Sue Walker, Bruce Wares, Donald Williamson and Margaret Woodhouse.

Thank you all!
Keith Walker


Inverness Parkrun 428 18 January 2020

132 runners gathered at Whin Park for a very cold parkrun with some ice skating on the paths and splashing compulsory around the duck pond. Thank you to all the volunteers who put up with these difficult conditions particularly the scanning and dealing with soggy barcodes. New volunteers are always welcome and you can become involved by following the link from the main Inverness Parkrun website or contact

A few people were a little late for the start, probably because of leaving a cosy bed, please note parkrun rules in Scotland are a prompt 9:30am start.

Congratulations to every single parkrunner who ventured out today in wintry conditions.

First male parkrunner past the post was Shaun Cumming of Highland Hillrunners (SM25-29) in a time of 18:21 and first female was Gillian Grant (WV40-44) who placed 25th overall. Tom McWilliam (VM45-49) was the first runner listed in the age category rankings in a time of 20:33, at 75.50% and was 7th overall. Well done to the first male junior Gordon Ross (JM15-17), who was 4th overall in a time of 20:16 and runs for Inverness Harriers AAC. Ruth McDougall (JW11-14) was the first female junior in a time of 28:13 and placed 43rd overall.

Whin Park is not known for personal bests and with the wintery conditions surprisingly enough there were 9 personal bests. A big parkrun well done. Welcome to the 7 first timers.

Gary Reid was today's parkrun Director. Thank you again to the (very damp and cold) volunteers who made this event happen.


Inverness Parkrun 427 4/1/20

Parkrunners experienced some muddy conditions at Whin Park this Saturday when 224 runners ran through the finish funnel a lot muddier than when they started! One runner was overheard asking Billy Skinner why if it was possible to drain part of the canal it hadn't been possible to drain the course!

There was quite a few twists and bends, and despite one or two runners taking a bit of a dive, everyone got round safely. Coming home first with an impressive time of 18:46 was Shaun Cumming followed by Andrew Gilmore (18:53) and Andrew Johnstone (19:06). The first female was Morag Murray at 22:54. In addition six personal bests were smashed and we had 21 first timers.

We also had 6 milestone runners- Averil Lamont with a whopping 250, Gillian Clark with a great 150 and Sharon Beck, Rachel Cameron and Jean Mackenzie doing their 50th with Dave Castairs volunteering on 50 occasions. Well done to all these milestone runners and volunteers for their achievements! Debbie Collins visiting from Melbourne in Australia commented on how she enjoyed the run and wasn't put off by the mud.

Once again parkrun wouldn't be possible without all of the volunteers who help out. The volunteers this week were Margaret Andrews, Elane Barrie, Rachel Cameron, Anna Macarthur, Don Macleod, Lee Ross, Sandy Matheson, Dave Carstairs, Marcus Konoso, Craig James Stewart, John Munro, Shona Macpherson, Sylvia Main, Phil Masterson, Alison Matheson, Ken Naismith, Steve Stewart, William John Ross, Hector Waudby-West and Keith Walker.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this week's parkrun. We hope to see you next week and hope you'll have cleaned your running gear by then!

Run Reporter
Rachel Cameron


Inverness parkrun 426 01.01.2020 bliain nua shona happy new year

This extra run report is dedicated to all of you who make parkrun happen.
A big parkrun thank you.

Every Saturday (and special days such as New Year) across the country UK parkrun volunteers turn out to support their local parkrun. In Scotland the start time is at 9.30am and everywhere else it is at 9.00am. The various tasks include setting up the course, briefing the parkrunners, time keeping, funnel management, giving out tokens, scanning, marshalling, social media, report writing, close down and token sorting. Last but not least, is the ever popular tail walker, who has the tricky job of working out who will be the final parkrunner across the line which can involve bouts of sprinting if parkrunners finish early after one or two laps. There are also numerous hidden tasks, mostly managed by the team of dedicated Run Directors, including signing up volunteers and checking out the route on the day.
Each parkrun is different and has one or two ‘special’ features! The Inverness parkrun is probably the only UK parkrun that continuously changes it route and for those of us who are regular parkrunners this seems to be virtually every week. This can cause a headache for the Run Directors and volunteers on ‘set up’ duties particularly when the changes are last minute. (I should include here a thank you to Highland Council for use of the park.) Another unique feature relates to the Bught Park course which basically follows the edges of a number of fields making our parkrun very much like a cross country. Visitors to Inverness are often caught out because they do not expect the soggy ground and lots of mud. Regulars usually end up investing in trail shoes. On a positive note there are the stunning surrounding hills and the magical River Ness.
Volunteering gives you a different perspective on parkrun. You get to talk to other like-minded parkrunners and get a sense of belonging to the parkrun volunteering family as well as the satisfaction of contributing to another successful event. There is the reward of a purple T shirt if you volunteer 25 times or more. If you would like to volunteer ask one of the Run Directors (blue tabard) or email Further details on the parkrun website.
Thank you to the 193 parkrunners who supported this New Year Day event. The first male across the finish line was Graham Bee(VM 35-39) in a time of 17.37 and runs for Inverness Harriers AAC. Anna Rose was the first female across the finish line in a time of 19.33 and runs for Inverness Harriers AAC. She was also the first junior and achieved the highest age grade of 81.67%. Welcome to our New Year visitors, especially those from Australia. Congratulations to everyone who took part – you are now set up for a fantastic 2020 and lots more parkruns. Liz


Inverness parkrun #425 – 28 December 2019

“Unseasonably mild” is how the forecasters would have put it; “Dry overhead” would have been the onlookers’ verdict; “Whin Park mud” was what the runners anticipated as they set off. And, by the time they returned, all 200 had the marks to prove it.

At the front, there was a fascinating battle between Shaun Cumming and Cameron Forrest, with Shaun holding on by 5 seconds and Simon Tracey in third position. Caroline Marwick, Sarah Attwood and Morag Murray filled the first 3 female places. At the back, Tail Walker was the remarkable Shona Macpherson, having just returned from the Pacific Crest Trail - 2650 miles across the high, snowy mountains from Canada to Mexico (see - for whom "tail walker" round the flat, muddy 5k course was, well, different.

Mention should be made of 2 more runners stepped up to the plate as volunteers; Margaret Andrews gave a confident, well thought out First Timers briefing while, after her run, Mhairi Sweeney noticed that a queue was building up at the scanning table, so she jumped in help, using the app on her phone.

Gillian Grant was the ED, assisted by Billy Skinner, Charlie Jarvie, Chloe Sweeney, Craig James Stewart, Hannah Morris, Hector Waudby-West, Joan Munro, Judith Colligan, Kate Morris, Keith Walker, Margaret Andrews, Mhairi Sweeney, Michael Gregson, Rhona Grant, Shona Macpherson, Steve Stewart, Stuart Hendry, Sue Walker and Iain Ross.

A reminder too that Inverness parkrun will be running at 10.30am on 1 January 2020. Check out our facebook page for confirmation of venue.


Inverness parkrun 424 – 21/12/19

Santa hats and antlers were on display at Whin Park for a very festive edition of Inverness parkrun!

Despite some notable absentees (presumably collateral damage from Christmas nights out), 120 runners participated in Saturday's parkrun. Visitors were welcomed from Elgin, Edinburgh, Thurso and Norwich. A quick preamble took place with Billy reminding everyone for the 100th time what the route was and then we were off.

With the muddy conditions slowing everyone down, only Dylan Paterson managed a personal best. Congratulations also go to the first runner home, Shaun Cumming in 18:46. He was followed in second by Steven Worsley in 20:04, Fraser Mackintosh finished third in 20:07 and Caroline Marwick was the first female coming in fourth in 20:35.

9 first timers completed the course and a special mention goes to Ann Smart who racked up her century of parkruns. Well done Ann!

There were also 13 special runners who successfully completed the run, the culmination of 10 weeks of a “couch to 5K“ course undertaken by Cairn Medical Pactice. During that time, doctors, staff and patients had met several times per week to walk/jog/run around the town area, gradually extending their distance. The runners are to be congratulated on their initiative and “graduates” hope now to join parkrun regularly.

As usual it goes without saying that parkrun needs the volunteers to make it happen. This week we had:
Dave Carstairs, Wendy Dustan, John Gellatly, Fiona Gordon, Martin Gordon, Michael Gregson, Brian Cameron, Charlie Jarvie, Billy Skinner, Hugh Marwick, Alison Matheson, Laura Wright, David Waudby-West, Sue Walker, Craig James Stewart, Steve Stewart, Liz Smart and Joan Munro.

Merry Christmas everyone and see you on the 28th for the last parkrun of the decade!

Brian Cameron, Run Reporter


Inverness Parkrun no 423

On my morning cycle to get my paper, the weather was mild and dry but a red sky threatened worse to come. However, the first activity I encountered on my way to Whin Park was Billy sweeping the leaves off the bridge before putting sand on it, "It gets pretty slippy" he explained. Now that's one dedicated guy, I thought. He also explained the slight diversion he'd created when setting out the route, in order to avoid a particularly chewed up section. Today's run was a Hospice takeover with the Hospice providing 10 volunteers, led by Bobby the Bee, raising awareness of their London Half Marathon team and raising funds through
Although the total numbers of runners this morning may have been affected by the North District Cross Country Championships, held in Dores in the afternoon, Inverness parkrun was boosted by the participation of Liz Gray, who has been missing for a little while.
Nicola Madej and Gillian Clark organised today's run, assisted by volunteers Billy Skinner, Chloe Robertson, Chloe Sweeney, Jamie Noble, John Gellatly, Kellie Calder, Kirstie Macdonald, Marc Wilson, Marcus Konoso, Margaret Andrews, Mhairi Sweeney, Oscar Sanchez, Phil Masterson, Rhiannon Tinsley, Rory Robinson, Shelagh Kerr, Stewart Donald and Wendy Morgan,
Nicola and Gillian will also be organising an extra parkrun on 1 January, which will start at 10.30 a.m. – a great way to kick off the New Year. Mind you, refreshments will be a little tricky because Cobbs is to be closed on 26 December, 1 January and 4 January. The Leisure Centre will also be closed on 26 December and 1 January but is due to be open on 4 January.
And, just as I got home, the rain set in…for the rest of the day.
On a more personal note, as I was preparing this Report I received a text from my daughter whose exploits, as some of you know, inspired me to start Inverness parkrun 8 years ago. Her message included a photo of her boys at the end of their first junior parkrun; is there a parkrun gene?

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