Beautiful day for Leamington parkrun #460 18th January 2020

This was a truly beautiful day for a parkrun. It was cold and a little icy at times but the sun was shining, giving us some much needed vitamin D and a great start to the day.

 0 start

Our 460th Leamington parkrun saw 501 people (and a number of dogs) taking part and was, as always, organised perfectly by all the volunteers – thanks for all you do! The first timers briefing had a few attendees and we had visitors from Rugby, Daventry and South Africa. There were several birthday runners and those celebrating milestones. Congratulations to all especially Katharine Giblin who was running on her 50th birthday with some of her family and chatted to me on the way round.1 1st briefing 2 briefing 3 milestones

We headed up to the start of the winter route and after the 3,2,1 countdown we were off. Unfortunately most of the tracks were still muddy rather than set hard in the ice but for those of us who are slower it gives the opportunity to slow down to go around the puddles so I’m certainly not complaining. As the runners thinned out we saw a couple of horses and riders who joined us for part of the route and we cheered on lots of our parkrun community as we ran. Every week I am struck by how friendly everyone is. From the course marshals showing us where to go, cheering us on, and sometimes gently encouraging us to run when we get distracted by talking. All the participants who either cheer on those who overtake them or encourage those they overtake. Even the chicken farmer at the allotments at the top of the hill had a chat with us today and offered to sell us some of his chicken’s eggs. Hmm...perhaps the marshals are on to something, maybe I do spend more time talking than running...

5 start


The view from the top of the hill was breath-taking and we could see the lead runners ahead of us over the way. We dodged a few icy puddles whilst running through the forest although this did slow us down slightly when my kids wanted to stop and break the large chunks of muddy ice they found.


Spotting the tail walker approaching us gave us a renewed sense of purpose and off we went for a slightly muddy sprint finish. I’m not sure my run times are ever going to get faster but I have made some lovely friends through parkrun and feel like I have had lots of good muddy fun with my kids so they want to come back and do it again next week. Congratulations to Frazer KNOWLES and Corinne MOSS who were the first recorded male and female over the line this week and well done to everyone who recorded a personal best or had fun in the mud. Here are some pictures from the run:

6 chanters


Thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time to make Parkrun possible. If anyone would like to volunteer in the future have a look at the future roster page for the different roles and contact to ask questions or to offer to help.

Today's run report written by: Caroline Graham

[Additional note from today's RD: We had an incident today where a runner suffered a nasty foot injury just before the finish: several members of the core team and volunteer team responded excellently to attend to this runner, Saty Kandola was first on the scene, but I'd like to thank one particular parkrunner (who admittedly I'd selected as the youngest/fittest/strongest looking runner nearby!) who's assistance was fantastic - initially helping David Chantrey and me carry the injured runner back to the pavilion, but eventually taking over and single-handedly carrying him back.  Thank you to 'German Fernandez Ferre' - only having completed his 2nd parkrun today!  If ever you need carrying home - he's the man!  Jonathan.]

This week 501 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 56 were first timers and 47 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 33 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 42 volunteers:

Sharon LITTERICK • Susie TAWNEY • Mary CONNOLLY • Ann CRAWSHAW • Kevin BASKERVILLE • Lisa HARTILL • Timothy WADSWORTH • Marti DHESI • Alice WEBBER • Simon PERKIN • Saty KANDOLA • Jonathan GRANT • Lesley VIRR • Melanie Joan BEASLEY • Matt LEYDON • Sarah HARRIS • Brian WARREN • Zac CALE • Jamie HANNA • Luke BENNETT • Jacob OXTOBY • Lewis OXTOBY • Stephen TRAYNOR • Helen BRAITHWAITE • Bill LILLY • Jane OLIVER • Jeremy POPE • Amy HARTILL • Florencia BREA • James CRICKMORE • Mandy BARNETT • Chris DAVISON • Emily DIXON • Rachel GOLDSMITH • Rosie Jo LEONARD • Grace O'MALLEY • Joshua BRAITHWAITE • Jill COATES • Michael HARRIS • Caroline GRAHAM • Seb BARFIELD • Ayse CROSSLAND

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

The male record is held by Matthew ARMSTRONG who recorded a time of 15:22 on 6th October 2012 (event number 77).
The female record is held by Charlotte TAYLOR who recorded a time of 17:09 on 23rd February 2013 (event number 97).
The Age Grade course record is held by Monica WILLIAMSON who recorded 94.26% (19:44) on 29th September 2018 (event number 391).

Leamington parkrun started on 23rd April 2011. Since then 18,149 participants have completed 157,388 parkruns covering a total distance of 786,940 km, including 24,769 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,781 individuals have volunteered 11,594 times.


Leamington parkrun #459 How to jump puddles?

How to jump puddles?

Today was dry and clear, but any hopes this would mean an end to muddy puddles around the course were quickly dashed, with a particularly spectacular water obstacle now strategically-situated just before the little bridge before the winter finish – to make sure everyone gets two goes at crossing it.


My sense is that the puddles are getting fewer but bigger as this very wet winter progresses (perhaps they are a social lot and like to get together during the week while we’re not looking…?) Bigger will also mean they take longer to evaporate, so this could be an survival strategy in the face of our weekly attempt to mass-splash the water off the course – but whatever the cause, it’s clear they’ll be around for a while yet, so I thought I’d take the opportunity of not running today to observe how different park runners choose to tackle them: do they go round, over, under – or straight through the middle in good Bear Hunt fashion (this reference is with apologies to anyone who hasn’t had to read ‘We’re all going on a Bear Hunt’ to a small child in the last 20 years!).

Also, surely there is a correlation between the way park-runners approach puddles and their finish time? From my usual mid-field position I have convinced myself that part of the reason I’m not likely to trouble any record-keepers any time soon is that I prefer to keep my feet dry if at all possible… If this theory is correct, I was looking forward to seeing the first 50 runners plunge right through the middle of the puddle without even noticing it….?

But I was wrong: I can now exclusively reveal that this week’s first placed park runner (Jonathan Goringe, who finished in 17:15) actually ran around the puddle! The implications of this are difficult to process: it may even mean that parkrun times are driven by internal factors more to do with the fitness and commitment of the runner than external factors such as puddles, wind speeds or the angle of the sun as you descend the hill round the back of the golf course. I may have been wasting a lot of mental energy worrying about the wrong things.

So we should move on from puddles I think, although not before awarding a (virtual) prize for the best splash to the (unknown) pair below: top marks for style, nonchalance, synchronisation and moving so quickly that their feet apparently remain dry even as the muddy water leaps skywards.


There was also an exceptional milestone this week, which must be a Leamington first if not a national one: a twin 250th parkrun for the Bennett brothers, Mick and Martin, who have been Leamington regulars since 2014 (again, a virtual award for synchronisation!)  Mick and Martin's sister was one of those celebrating a birthday this week.


Other milestones:  Juniors Hannah, Amelie, Freya and Siya all ran their 10th parkrun and Caroline White ran her 50th.


It was a busy week for the event and run directors, with a total of 683 people participating this week, and a flooded river Leam again diverting too many cars around to the car park on the north bank and creating chaos. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to thank them for everything they do in making this fantastic event possible and dealing with the massive challenges of dealing with an unpredictable number of people with an unpredictable, diverse range of ages and abilities turning up week-in, week-out in unpredictable weather, and unpredictable behaviour by other park users and authorities; yet delivering a totally predictable, consistently high quality, fun and enjoyable event for absolutely everyone (without fail!!). Sounds impossible, doesn’t it……?

Here’s a picture of Kevin and Ben in action before the start.


We were also supported this week by a team of volunteers from a charity close to Ben’s heart, Band of Brothers, and Ben promised in his talk to provide links to more information: here is a paragraph and the promised links provided by Ben:

"Today abandofbrothers Leamington charity were out in force volunteering at parkrun.  The charity mentors young men at risk of the criminal justice system, helping them become healthy mature men who can fully contribute to community, equipping them to reach their potential, and freeing them from emotional baggage by leveraging the power and resources of older community men.  Does it work?  The results speak for themselves - we've seen an 82% reduction in the severity of re-offending behaviour following our mentoring programme.  It costs abandofbrothers around £4,000 to put a young man through the three month mentoring programme, if you feel able to support us you can make a donation via this link
If you wish to find out more please email us at
Thank you.
Ben Phillips
Volunteer Leader
abandofbrothers Leamington"

And finally, the full statistics for the week for those who enjoy these things!

This week 683 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 41 were first timers to park run and 57 more were visitors running at Leamington for the first time. 36 people recorded new Personal Bests (although it’s not known how many of these ran through the puddles). Representatives of 44 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 44 volunteers:


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

The male record is held by Matthew ARMSTRONG who recorded a time of 15:22 on 6th October 2012 (event number 77).
The female record is held by Charlotte TAYLOR who recorded a time of 17:09 on 23rd February 2013 (event number 97).
The Age Grade course record is held by Monica WILLIAMSON who recorded 94.26% (19:44) on 29th September 2018 (event number 391).

Leamington parkrun started on 23rd April 2011. Since then 18,093 participants have completed 156,887 parkruns covering a total distance of 784,435 km, including 24,721 new Personal Bests.

Matthew Rhodes



#458 Mrs D hits her 400th Volunteer Stint! Wow!

Kate “Mrs Doyle” Jackson A170593 was asked 8+ years ago by her son Jason, whether she’d like to make a few cups of tea for the 50/60 runners who will turn up on a Saturday morning. She makes a crackin cuppa as that 50/60 now averages 400+

Kate (yes, Mrs Doyle is not her real name & she’s lived a double life for quite a few years!) is the life & soul of Leamington parkrun. Kate has battled through cancer twice and is currently going through further treatment. She is always the first to arrive and usually the last to leave; she also, through the week, collects bits and bobs for our infamous free post parkrun cafe.
Mrs D is well known across the parkrun world and met the founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt on a couple of occasions.


What with her son, Jason, proposing to Natalie on NYD, you could say parkrun is firmly fixed as part of the Jackson family routine!
There’s nothing better than flogging your guts out on the parkrun to then be met with a smile, a chat and a belter of a cuppa.
We’re aware of transfer fees to take her to Stratford or Warwick Racecourse parkruns but putting it simply - ‘she’s not for sale!’.



From all of us at parkrun Kate, THANKS and here’s to the next 400 volunteer slots!

Here are the Stats for this week....

Leamington parkrun
Event number 458
4th January 2020

This week 494 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 48 were first timers and 32 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 41 volunteers:

Sarah BARFIELD • Tony FOSTER • Clare HINTON • Susie TAWNEY • Malcolm FRY • Kevin BASKERVILLE • Harriet ASHWORTH • Julia FRY • Mrs DOYLE • Lisa HARTILL • Alice WEBBER • David JACKSON • Jonathan GRANT • Lorraine PARSONS • Stephen EVANS • Ian BAYNES • David OXTOBY • Roz DOYLE • Bethany JACKSON • Jacob OXTOBY • Stephen TRAYNOR • Helen BRAITHWAITE • Jim BRAITHWAITE • David CHANTREY • Coralie NEWMAN • Jeremy POPE • Amy HARTILL • Martin PAXTON • Susan WOO • Wilfred EVANS • Penny RUSBRIDGE • Gurvinder JAUHAL • Joshua BRAITHWAITE • Georgie ACTON • Oliver ODLING • Jack HINTON • Samuel LEDSHAM • Charis GRAHAM • Paul HARRIS • Peter BARFIELD • Nikolay CHERKASOV

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

The male record is held by Matthew ARMSTRONG who recorded a time of 15:22 on 6th October 2012 (event number 77).
The female record is held by Charlotte TAYLOR who recorded a time of 17:09 on 23rd February 2013 (event number 97).
The Age Grade course record is held by Monica WILLIAMSON who recorded 94.26% (19:44) on 29th September 2018 (event number 391).

Leamington parkrun started on 23rd April 2011. Since then 17,996 participants have completed 156,204 parkruns covering a total distance of 781,020 km, including 24,685 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,767 individuals have volunteered 11,508 times.


Leamington parkrun #457 Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all from Leamington parkrun. We had an exciting run this morning, breaking records, making friends, wearing red, talking to local wildlife and even an engagement announcement at the end. It is hard to know where to begin so I’ll start with the pre-run build up which had a party atmosphere with music playing. It was clear from the first timers' briefing that we were going to get a big crowd and we were not disappointed. We broke the previous attendance record of 764 by recording a staggering 905 people finishing the course, of these 239 were first timers and 60 recorded new Personal Bests.parkrun not-very-briefing

As we started at the slightly later time of 10.30am many runners had already run at a different local parkrun achieving the NYD double badge (for more info look up We celebrated birthdays and some fantastic milestones.

Running their 50th parkrun:  Anthony CLAYDON, Jane CUMMINGS, Charlie MITCHELL, Micheline TWIGGER

Running their 100th parkrun:  Tim BERESFORD, Daniel ROBBINS, Polly DUDLEY-CLAYDEN, Catherine FRIGGENS, Pete THOMPSON, Rebecca JONES, Heath GWILLIAM, Beau GWILLIAM, Kevin YOUNG, Jason JACKSON, Adrian Paul SMITH

Running their 200th parkrun:  Melanie Joan BEASLEY, Bhavna MISTRY, Steven LOWE (Melanie Joan BEASLEY also volunteered for the 25th time)

Running their 250th parkrun:  Stewart UNDERHILL, Doug RATTRAY, Richard ORME

And running his Minty 300th parkrun:  Philip HOUGHTON

New Year's Day Milestones 1New Year's Day Milestones 2New Year's Day Birthdays

Many participants had chosen to wear red to beat the January blues with the RED January initiative supporting mental health through exercise or activity everyday through the month. I am sad to say that I don’t yet have a T-shirt to promote this fantastic cause but have ordered one and hope to be wearing it by the next parkrun - they can be ordered through
It was lovely to meet some friends in the gathering crowd, our parkrun running family, my children’s school friends and also to make some new friends visiting from Coventry and Cheltenham. I was very impressed by the warm welcome we were given when we first came to parkrun and it is one of the reasons we keep coming back. Before the race we remembered Richard Minty who ran 301 parkruns, 296 of these at the Leamington course who we sadly lost at this time last year.
As we set off round the course I was running with a friend and my two young daughters so we were never going to achieve a very fast time but we did have a lovely time. 
3-2-1We're off!PastedGraphic-4
One of the best things about parkrun is that children are welcome and there is no judgement on speed. Our aim is to complete the course before my husband runs it twice and catches up with us which makes for an interesting sprint at the end. As we run, walk, piggyback and skip round the course we take in the scenery, say hello to the chickens and the horses.
Chickens......and horses
I am reliably informed by the hubby that the runners at the front don’t do this, in fact I assume everything must just fly by in a blur as they zoom round which is a shame as we do have an incredibly beautiful course. Every marshall cheers us on, which is lovely as it gives the kids a burst of speed. 
Thank you Marshal!
The ground was not as wet as previous weeks so it was nice to keep dry feet and certainly easier to run without jumping the puddles. We had an exciting finish as we beat the hubby to finish line with my youngest zooming in front of two other runners to get a better place in the last second.
As we found our barcodes at the end of the race we were thrilled to see a couple announcing their engagement. Huge congratulations to Jason, one of the founders of Leamington parkrun and running his 100th, and his new finance Natalie, what a brilliant way to start the new year!

A great way to start January, good luck to all with running resolutions and Red January activity goals and we hope to see you on Saturday.

A massive shout out to the 46 volunteers that made this parkrun so successful. It was an amazing achievement with so many people taking part.

Sarah BARFIELD • Malcolm FRY • Nigel FOX • Mrs DOYLE • Lisa HARTILL • Philip HOUGHTON • Eugene MCNALLY • Caroline WHITEHEAD • Trevor ROTHWELL • Simon PERKIN • Saty KANDOLA • Martin CABLE • Ruby BHACHU • Anthony CLAYDON • Kathryn ENDERSBY • Melanie Joan BEASLEY • David OXTOBY • Roz DOYLE • Daniel ENDERSBY • Jacob OXTOBY • Lewis OXTOBY • Stephen TRAYNOR • Helen BRAITHWAITE • Claire RAWBONE • Alison CHANTREY • Joe CHANTREY • Emma CHANTREY • David CHANTREY • Jeremy POPE • Amy HARTILL • Shaun MARTIN • Susan WOO • Simon ODLING • Katharine GIBLIN • Arthur GIBLIN • Grace O'MALLEY • Toby ODLING • Jennie DANIELS • Frances OSBORNE • Jill COATES • Caroline GRAHAM • Chris REAY • Peter BARFIELD • Luke BARNES • Bear ODLING • Tony SHANNON
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Leamington parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Matthew ARMSTRONG who recorded a time of 15:22 on 6th October 2012 (event number 77).
The female record is held by Charlotte TAYLOR who recorded a time of 17:09 on 23rd February 2013 (event number 97).
The Age Grade course record is held by Monica WILLIAMSON who recorded 94.26% (19:44) on 29th September 2018 (event number 391).
Leamington parkrun started on 23rd April 2011. Since then 17,948 participants have completed 155,710 parkruns covering a total distance of 778,550 km, including 24,652 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,765 individuals have volunteered 11,466 times.

Leamington parkrun #456 “2019: It’s a Wrap”

Well there we have it another year of parkruns over, and parkrun just goes from strength to strength. Hard to believe that 13 runners and a couple of volunteers going out for a ‘time trial’ run one October Saturday morning in Bushy Park has now led to this global phenomenon.
Leamington was the 77th event to set up and now there are over 600 in the UK, and now over 1000 across the world.
2019 was an amazing year - in June we hosted a GP practice day and now we’re officially linked with 6 GP practices across the area (we even got on BBC Midlands Today for it) and one of our parkrunners led the research into the impact of linking GP surgeries and parkrun; he continue to host ‘5k Your Way’ a Cancer Support Group with a difference (they always meet on last Saturday of the month - as they did on Saturday - come along and chat); we helped launch Warwick Racecourse parkrun (we like to think of this as our 2nd child after Stratford parkrun) - a great addition to the family; we hosted all the local running clubs for a jamboree of colour and noise and will do the same in May 2020.

What we, your core team, love more than anything is hearing all of the personal, individual stories, our average time is getting slower meaning more and more people who probably wouldn’t normally run/walk are taking part. Well done to you all. In 2019 we had 26,495 runs covering 132,475kms (over 82,000 miles) but this could only have been achieved with the help of 2178 volunteers (what other local organisation can boast that many volunteer stints).

Well done all of you for the joy, warmth, and life changing moments you bring to the community- we couldn’t do it without you!
I’d personally like to thank our wonderful core team - Helen (your other Co-Event Director), Susie, Saty, Tess, Jonathan, David, Jeremy & Sarah (your Run Director’s) and not forgetting the additional wonderful help of Kate (aka Mrs Doyle), Simon and Malcolm who help out tirelessly along with many others.

The family & community that we’ve all created is simply a joy in good times and hard times. As we approach New Years Day we’re all reminded of our wonderful friend Richard Minty who we lost last New Years Day. We will pause together on NYD to remember our wonderful Mr Minty (the reason for our Minty 300 vest).
So to this week gone - another wonderful sloppy, mud-fest but the sun came out to remind us of how lovely the Comyn is with the sun. Well done to those achieving milestones 100, 200 and 250, well done to those doing No.1 and starting their journey, well done to those who volunteered for the first time.
So NYD, the only day in our calendar when you can get a double on the day (drive carefully) so many will be at Rugby, Brueton or Stratford for a 9am run to then come to Leamington for a 1030am start. IT WILL BE BUSY- so park sensibly. No run in Warwick or Coventry.
We’ll see you in 2020 - we’ll be starting junior parkrun’s in the area soon - in Coventry and in Warwick (more details to come but that’s for next year)

Thanks all

Kevin Baskerville 42BBE391-E458-4ADB-B160-A71F2406457B