Luton Wardown parkrun is cancelled on 6 June 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Event #10 – Yellows and greens and parkrunning couples

Welcome to Week 10 of our non-parkrun run report. This week we have lots more lovely colourful 'parkrun the Rainbow' photos plus interviews with two of Luton Wardown parkrun's well-loved couples.

Rainbow - Yellow

Rainbow - Green

Here are a few of the blue, indigo and violet photos we have received so far.

Blue, Indigo, Violet

We would love lots more to add to the collection so please either post your photo to our Facebook page or email us on lutonwardown@parkrun.com by Friday evening and we can put them all together for our Saturday morning Facebook post.

Meet the parkrunner - Lionel and Pat Mann

Pat and Lionel

How did you get involved with parkrun?
I first discovered parkrun in 2015 participating in my first event during May, then persuaded Pat to join us soon after as a walker, she has never been a runner, although she did do a fun run once, saying she did not run and it was not fun, now despite periodic illnesses she has completed 150 parkrun events

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
I have been involved in sport since boyhood, football, cricket, tennis, golf, orienteering and of course running. As a result of parkruns I have been entering other 5k events after a break when I concentrated on walking/rambling. Also in 2017 joined an indoor carpet bowling club together. I have been a member of Belgrave Harriers since 1965

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
We keep returning to Luton although we have done and enjoyed a few other parkruns as tourists mainly due to cancellations and also holiday breaks, but we have always appreciated the friendly welcoming atmosphere at Wardown Park and look forward with keen anticipation to the restart of these iconic events.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
We are coping okay currently, shopping online and also helped by some friends, so have totally avoided visits to the shops. I have run each morning and then walked with Pat. I am a second claim member of Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers who are organising several virtual events to keep us interested. I also have entered some online virtual challenges in tandem with these events. Each Saturday I do a Virtual parkrun on a self designated course, an approximate calculated distance over an undulating all-terrain route mainly on public field footpaths. Also our fairly large garden is perhaps tidier than usual this year.

What are your plans for the future?
Plans for the future rely somewhat on the virus and the government, seeing the family again is paramount of course, who also enjoy parkruns. I would like to get back to parkrun and entering other 5k events also return to volunteering for English Heritage at Wrest Park. While continuing with several other interests.

Meet the parkrunner - Barbara and Tony Wightman

Barbara and Tony

How did you get involved with parkrun?
Barbara
I started my running journey accidentally. As you may have noticed I am not a natural athlete, apart from a few gym sessions and running for the bus, sport had not been a part of my life.
Following surgery for melanoma (yes, that's why I wear long sleeves in the summer) I decided to do something to raise money for Macmillan, I entered a 3k run. Oops lack of attention to detail. It was 3 miles/5k. I had completed couch to 5k, but had always run alone. Mr Google found Luton Wardown parkrun. It took me a few weeks to pluck up the courage to just do one parkrun in January 2016.
Tony
I became aware of parkrun when Barbara told me she was thinking of trying parkrun. I went along to support her. I was amazed at the number running, around 160.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
Barbara
I had absolutely no reason to be worried about participating in parkrun. It was an extremely friendly and inclusive event. I also remember saying to Kate I'd like to catch the guy with the walking stick! I'm still chasing Geoff, tenacious so & so! When Tony & I got home we agreed that we’d trying it again next week........157 parkrun's later I'm so looking forward to the next one!
Tony
After a few weeks of being a spectator I decided to Marshal, I could get to wear a hi vis vest while cheering the runners and walkers on.
I was reluctant to run myself as my sport is powerlifting, I was concerned that running may hurt my knees. However I couldn't resist and knee sleeves on I gave it a go. I was fine, and really enjoyed the running, and became hooked. From then I alternated between running and marshaling. I find that I have the same drive to get a PB at parkrun as I do for lifting.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
Cake!
Despite the numbers hitting in excess of 400 it is the same friendly fun weekly obsession. There is no shame in being slow, or doing your own thing around the course, the marshals are always vocal & encouraging.
The fancy dress events are always a treat, Dave doing ‘Burns Night’ run briefing Penny with sub titles was a winner! (Sorry that word is banned)

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
We were lucky enough to complete our move to Bedford just before lockdown. We are fortunate to have access to lots of wide open spaces, and the river, just down the road. It's rather frustrating that we haven't been able to get the house to how we want it, or get to know the neighbours.
As far as exercise goes we've been playing tennis, bowls and putting in the rather small garden, and long walks across the fields. Tony has been working out, mainly with makeshift weights. Barbara has not.

What are your plans for the future?
Decorating & furnishing our new home.
Joining a gym & getting out running more.
Running Bedford parkrun & being tourists at Wardown.

That's all for this week, stay safe and take lots of photos!
Dave, Kate and the Luton Wardown team

Things of interest
- All of our 'Meet the parkrunner' interviews can be found here
- Have another watch of Dave and Penny's wonderful "The Tailwalker's Journey" animation
- Browse through this week's photos or spend many hours looking through the whole  back catalogue.
- We can be found on Instagram if that's your thing!

 

Meet the parkrunners

We introduced our 'Meet the parkrunner' feature during lockdown, helping us all to get to know a bit more about each other whilst we can't meet up in person.

Meet the parkrunner - Maria Petts

Maria's photos

How did you get involved with parkrun? 
I did my first parkrun in Brighton on a hen weekend. I had been running for a while, but on a treadmill and was away with a couple of running friends. We then regularly did parkrun in St Albans, getting home at lunchtime after a lazy brunch. Luton Wardown opening saved us a lot of time on a Saturday!
I got involved in volunteering when I was injured, but wanted to maintain my routine. When I was approached to become a Run Director I was really happy to become part of the core team, and be able to keep giving back to our amazing parkrun family.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it? 
I did the inaugural event with some friends. As avid parkrunners already one in our hometown was brilliant. I remember it being a lovely sunny morning and the whole atmosphere being very relaxed and friendly - the atmosphere hasn’t changed.

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
I think parkrun has kept me running. I have had injuries and it would be so easy not to start again, but parkrun always calls you back. I also use parkrun as part of my long runs. It really helps me as I would be going out for parkrun anyway, and it is good to do some of your run with lots of people if you are training for a race.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
It’s friendly (and local!).

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
I am furloughed, but thanks to the easy and friendly introduction to volunteering that parkrun has given me, I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the NHS Royal Voluntary Service and to volunteer via the local council. Between this and walking and running (occasionally down to our beautiful park) I am keeping active both physically and mentally. It is great to be able to do something for the community even when parkrun isn’t there.

What are your plans for the future?
For now I am not making any long terms plans. I am finding it better to focus on the short term. For me this is getting back to a comfortable and quick (for me) 5k, sorting out my house and garden (all those jobs I keep putting off) and helping others where I can.

Meet the parkrunner - Alan Bullimore

Alan's photos

How did you get involved with parkrun? 
I started doing parkrun with my friend Adrian, and I'm guessing it was probably his idea. Our first one was a leisurely 9.30 start in Perth (Scotland) in early 2015. I have never fallen over at parkrun, but came very close in an icy car park on that day.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
My first Wardown parkrun was the inaugural event in April 2015. I don't remember too much about it to be honest. I do recall a Sunday lunchtime prior to this when the course was measured out with a wheel on a stick (I'm sure there is a technical name for this?)

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
Parkrun inspired me to do various other 5 and 10 km runs over the years - mainly locally. I always enjoy anything involving Luton Hoo. I was once amazed to see someone practising polo there.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
I think Luton is one of the best run and friendliest events, and it always delights me that visitors seem to share this opinion.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
I'm coping fine with lockdown. I haven't done enough exercise lately, but been into the park a fair bit, and lovely to spot some familiar parkrun faces around.

What are your plans for the future?
I'd like to get to 50 different parkruns when this is all over (currently on 47). Just running again at Wardown would be brilliant though, so definitely want to do that at the first opportunity.

Meet the parkrunner - Bridget Drimusiss

Meet the parkrunner - Bridget

How did you get involved with parkrun?
My eldest son suggested it to me

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
June 27th 2015 

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
5K fun runs and races, 5 mile races, 10K races and trails and cross country.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
Luton Wardown parkrun is my home run and also on my doorstep, so no excuses really. Theres always friendly banter and encouragement from team members and other runners.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
I’ve been kept busy on Lockdown as I am in Greece with my very energetic 2 year old grandson and the unexpected arrival of his baby brother.

What are your plans for the future?
To keep safe and well and keep running/walking! Looking forward to the day parkrun resumes.

Meet the parkrunner - Geoff White (aka The Fastest Walking Stick in Luton)

Meet the parkrunner - Geoff

How did you get involved with parkrun?
I have always been interested in athletics and participated from 1956 to 1991. I happened to see the results of Luton parkrun in the Luton News one day and wondered what it was all about, and decided to visit Wardown Park during October 2015 to see for myself. On the visit to the park I met Lionel Mann, who is an old running colleague of mine from the 1960’s plus, and he encouraged me to participate along with him, even though I could only walk round with the aid of a walking stick, due to having had a hip replacement.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
After registering for the event, my first parkrun was on 7th November 2015. On that day I tail walked along with Lionel and his wife Pat, and was last to finish in 120th place.

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
I have been inspired to take further exercise in the form of Aqua Fit and Chair Exercises at Lewsey Pool and Gym once a week, plus if for any reason I cannot do my power walking I go for a work out at the Gym

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
Wardown Park has a lot of memories for me from my youth. The parkrun comerarderie and atmosphere is great, and my aim is for this old dinosaur to encourage others into participating. That way I feel as if I am giving something back. If I can do it, they can.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
During the lockdown I haven’t had time to get bored. We have had some lovely Spring weather which has enabled me to get in the garden and help my partner, Gill, get it up to date, which includes a lot of maintenance jobs which have been shelved for some time. I have also spent a lot of time on Gill’s daughter’s allotment keeping the weeds down.

What are your plans for the future?
I hope to keep fit and healthy, and look forward to meeting up with all my parkrun friends again soon. In the meantime I keep taking my walking stick for a walk.

Meet the parkrunner - Lionel and Pat Mann

Pat and Lionel

How did you get involved with parkrun?
I first discovered parkrun in 2015 participating in my first event during May, then persuaded Pat to join us soon after as a walker, she has never been a runner, although she did do a fun run once, saying she did not run and it was not fun, now despite periodic illnesses she has completed 150 parkrun events

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
I have been involved in sport since boyhood, football, cricket, tennis, golf, orienteering and of course running. As a result of parkruns I have been entering other 5k events after a break when I concentrated on walking/rambling. Also in 2017 joined an indoor carpet bowling club together. I have been a member of Belgrave Harriers since 1965

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
We keep returning to Luton although we have done and enjoyed a few other parkruns as tourists mainly due to cancellations and also holiday breaks, but we have always appreciated the friendly welcoming atmosphere at Wardown Park and look forward with keen anticipation to the restart of these iconic events.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
We are coping okay currently, shopping online and also helped by some friends, so have totally avoided visits to the shops. I have run each morning and then walked with Pat. I am a second claim member of Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers who are organising several virtual events to keep us interested. I also have entered some online virtual challenges in tandem with these events. Each Saturday I do a Virtual parkrun on a self designated course, an approximate calculated distance over an undulating all-terrain route mainly on public field footpaths. Also our fairly large garden is perhaps tidier than usual this year.

What are your plans for the future?
Plans for the future rely somewhat on the virus and the government, seeing the family again is paramount of course, who also enjoy parkruns. I would like to get back to parkrun and entering other 5k events also return to volunteering for English Heritage at Wrest Park. While continuing with several other interests.

Meet the parkrunner - Barbara and Tony Wightman

Barbara and Tony

How did you get involved with parkrun?
Barbara
I started my running journey accidentally. As you may have noticed I am not a natural athlete, apart from a few gym sessions and running for the bus, sport had not been a part of my life.
Following surgery for melanoma (yes, that's why I wear long sleeves in the summer) I decided to do something to raise money for Macmillan, I entered a 3k run. Oops lack of attention to detail. It was 3 miles/5k. I had completed couch to 5k, but had always run alone. Mr Google found Luton Wardown Parkrun. It took me a few weeks to pluck up the courage to just do one parkrun in January 2016.
Tony
I became aware of parkrun when Barbara told me she was thinking of trying parkrun. I went along to support her. I was amazed at the number running, around 160.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
Barbara
I had absolutely no reason to be worried about participating in parkrun. It was an extremely friendly and inclusive event. I also remember saying to Kate I'd like to catch the guy with the walking stick! I'm still chasing Geoff, tenacious so & so! When Tony & I got home we agreed that we’d trying it again next week........157 parkrun's later I'm so looking forward to the next one!
Tony
After a few weeks of being a spectator I decided to Marshal, I could get to wear a hi vis vest while cheering the runners and walkers on.
I was reluctant to run myself as my sport is powerlifting, I was concerned that running may hurt my knees. However I couldn't resist and knee sleeves on I gave it a go. I was fine, and really enjoyed the running, and became hooked. From then I alternated between running and marshaling. I find that I have to same drive to get a PB at parkrun as I do for lifting.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
Cake!
Despite the numbers hitting in excess of 400 it is the same friendly fun weekly obsession. There is no shame in being slow, or doing your own thing around the course, the marshals are always vocal & encouraging.
The fancy dress events are always a treat, Dave doing ‘Burns Night’ run briefing Penny with sub titles was a winner! (Sorry that word is banned)

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
We were lucky enough to complete our move to Bedford just before lockdown. We are fortunate to have access lots of wide open spaces, and the river, just down the road. It's rather frustrating that we haven't been able to get the house to how we want it, or get to know the neighbours.
As far as exercise goes we've been playing tennis, bowls and putting in the rather small garden, and long walks across the fields. Tony has been working out, mainly with makeshift weights. Barbara has not.

What are your plans for the future?
Decorating & furnishing our new home.
Joining a gym & getting out running more.
Running Bedford parkrun & being tourists at Wardown.

 

Event #9 – more Rainbows and more parkrunners to meet

The 'parkrun the Rainbow' challenge has really taken off this week, it's so lovely to see so many faces and your different interpretations.
Below are the collages for RED and ORANGE

Rainbow - red

Rainbow - Orange 2

Plus a selection of the YELLOW and GREEN photos we have received so far.

 YELLOW (it didn't work as a yellow colour!)

Yellow x 4

GREEN

Green x 3

We would love lots more so please either post your photo to our Facebook page or email us on lutonwardown@parkrun.com by Friday evening and we can put them all together for our Saturday morning Facebook post.

Meet the parkrunner - Bridget Drimusiss

Meet the parkrunner - Bridget

How did you get involved with parkrun?
My eldest son suggested it to me

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
June 27th 2015 

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
5K fun runs and races, 5 mile races, 10K races and trails and cross country.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
Luton Wardown parkrun is my home run and also on my doorstep, so no excuses really. Theres always friendly banter and encouragement from team members and other runners.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
I’ve been kept busy on Lockdown as I am in Greece with my very energetic 2 year old grandson and the unexpected arrival of his baby brother.

What are your plans for the future?
To keep safe and well and keep running/walking! Looking forward to the day parkrun resumes.

Meet the parkrunner - Geoff White (aka The Fastest Walking Stick in Luton)

Meet the parkrunner - Geoff

How did you get involved with parkrun?
I have always been interested in athletics and participated from 1956 to 1991. I happened to see the results of Luton parkrun in the Luton News one day and wondered what it was all about, and decided to visit Wardown Park during October 2015 to see for myself. On the visit to the park I met Lionel Mann, who is an old running colleague of mine from the 1960’s plus, and he encouraged me to participate along with him, even though I could only walk round with the aid of a walking stick, due to having had a hip replacement.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
After registering for the event, my first parkrun was on 7th November 2015. On that day I tail walked along with Lionel and his wife Pat, and was last to finish in 120th place.

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
I have been inspired to take further exercise in the form of Aqua Fit and Chair Exercises at Lewsey Pool and Gym once a week, plus if for any reason I cannot do my power walking I go for a work out at the Gym

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
Wardown Park has a lot of memories for me from my youth. The parkrun comerarderie and atmosphere is great, and my aim is for this old dinosaur to encourage others into participating. That way I feel as if I am giving something back. If I can do it, they can.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
During the lockdown I haven’t had time to get bored. We have had some lovely Spring weather which has enabled me to get in the garden and help my partner, Gill, get it up to date, which includes a lot of maintenance jobs which have been shelved for some time. I have also spent a lot of time on Gill’s daughter’s allotment keeping the weeds down.

What are your plans for the future?
I hope to keep fit and healthy, and look forward to meeting up with all my parkrun friends again soon. In the meantime I keep taking my walking stick for a walk.

Take care  and stay safe everyone
Dave, Kate and the Luton Wardown team

 

Event #8 – non-parkrunning the Rainbow and ‘Meet the parkrunner’

This week saw the start of our 'parkrun the Rainbow' challenge. The idea is to create a rainbow of parkrunner photos over the next few weeks, starting with red and orange this week.
Here are some of the contributions so far but we would love lots more.

RED

Rainbow - Red 1

ORANGE

Rainbow - orange 1

The more the merrier/brighter so please email any contributions to lutonwardown@parkrun.com or add them to the threads on our Facebook page

This week we have also launched a regular 'Meet the parkrunner' feature, helping us all to get to know a bit more about each other whilst we can't meet up in person. We hope to feature two parkrunners a week but need your help to do so - just send in your answers to the questions and a favourite photo or two to lutonwardown@parkrun.com and we will do the rest.

Meet the parkrunner - Maria Petts

Maria's photos

How did you get involved with parkrun? 
I did my first parkrun in Brighton on a hen weekend. I had been running for a while, but on a treadmill and was away with a couple of running friends. We then regularly did parkrun in St Albans, getting home at lunchtime after a lazy brunch. Luton Wardown opening saved us a lot of time on a Saturday!
I got involved in volunteering when I was injured, but wanted to maintain my routine. When I was approached to become a Run Director I was really happy to become part of the core team, and be able to keep giving back to our amazing parkrun family.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it? 
I did the inaugural event with some friends. As avid parkrunners already one in our hometown was brilliant. I remember it being a lovely sunny morning and the whole atmosphere being very relaxed and friendly - the atmosphere hasn’t changed.

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
I think parkrun has kept me running. I have had injuries and it would be so easy not to start again, but parkrun always calls you back. I also use parkrun as part of my long runs. It really helps me as I would be going out for parkrun anyway, and it is good to do some of your run with lots of people if you are training for a race.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
It’s friendly (and local!).

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
I am furloughed, but thanks to the easy and friendly introduction to volunteering that parkrun has given me, I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the NHS Royal Voluntary Service and to volunteer via the local council. Between this and walking and running (occasionally down to our beautiful park) I am keeping active both physically and mentally. It is great to be able to do something for the community even when parkrun isn’t there.

What are your plans for the future?
For now I am not making any long terms plans. I am finding it better to focus on the short term. For me this is getting back to a comfortable and quick (for me) 5k, sorting out my house and garden (all those jobs I keep putting off) and helping others where I can.

Meet the parkrunner - Alan Bullimore

Alan's photos

How did you get involved with parkrun? 
I started doing parkrun with my friend Adrian, and I'm guessing it was probably his idea. Our first one was a leisurely 9.30 start in Perth (Scotland) in early 2015. I have never fallen over at parkrun, but came very close in an icy car park on that day.

When was your first Luton Wardown parkrun, and what do you remember about it?
My first Wardown parkrun was the inaugural event in April 2015. I don't remember too much about it to be honest. I do recall a Sunday lunchtime prior to this when the course was measured out with a wheel on a stick (I'm sure there is a technical name for this?)

What other activities have you been inspired to do as a result of parkrun?
Parkrun inspired me to do various other 5 and 10 km runs over the years - mainly locally. I always enjoy anything involving Luton Hoo. I was once amazed to see someone practising polo there.

What keeps you coming back to Luton Wardown / What stands out about Luton Wardown?
I think Luton is one of the best run and friendliest events, and it always delights me that visitors seem to share this opinion.

How are you coping during the current lockdown?
I'm coping fine with lockdown. I haven't done enough exercise lately, but been into the park a fair bit, and lovely to spot some familiar parkrun faces around.

What are your plans for the future?
I'd like to get to 50 different parkruns when this is all over (currently on 47). Just running again at Wardown would be brilliant though, so definitely want to do that at the first opportunity.

And finally, for those of you with Instagram, did you spot our famous couple on there this week?
Lionel and Pat starred in a post that has attracted over 900 likes so far :-)

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We now have our own Instagram account too.

That's it for this week. Take care, stay safe and send us stuff!

Dave, Kate and the Luton Wardown team

 

 

Event #7 – “There’s a snake in my boots” 2nd May 2020

This week has been all about Dave and Penny and their amazing animation and voice-over skills. If you haven't seen how they have been spending their lockdown, or would like to see it again (and again, and again :-)) it can be viewed in all it's glory
"The Tailwalker's Journey"

Animation collage

If anyone else fancies testing their animation skills we would love to see the results. Long and involved or short and sweet, we would love to see it.

The challenge for last week, and this week, is to write 'parkrun'. Ade and Jillian inspired the challenge with their varying interpretations

Write parkrun

My creation is still a work in progress as I either need a bigger 'canvas' to write on, the first attempts turned out to be rather pathetic squiggles, or a different idea! However some people are on a roll.

Ade has had another go, this time at 'Luton parkrun' Not sure if there is a park or field big enough to write our full title.

95655694_10158615522134626_5913098440971124736_n

Claire has made it a bit easier

95683825_10158144236907999_8473622582657024000_n-2

And Liz has gone for a different approach entirely.

96142511_151142193088979_5430252049981767680_o

We look forward to more creations, either post them on Facebook or email them to us at lutonwardown@parkrun.com
In the meantime take care of yourselves and everyone around you and stay safe.

Kate, Dave and the Luton Wardown Team

-------------------------------------------------------------

If you fancy a different sort of challenge there are a number of virtual ones being run by local charities and organisations. Most involve medals!

1. Keech Hospice Care
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2. Team Luton - Luton Lions Running Club are hosting Do a Mile for the NHS every Sunday
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3. Running Mad, a local company run by regular parkrunner Rana (who features in Liz's parkrun collage), is offering a series of virtual challenges for some seriously awesome medals.

 

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