Maidenhead parkrun # 196 – Christmas Day 2018

Run Report - Kate Sayers
Photos - Douglas Gordon

Maidenhead parkrun’s run number 196 was a bumper Christmas edition with 414 festive runners and walkers, breaking the previous record of 409 set at event 113 on 20th May 2017. Maidenhead was one of 28 UK parkruns to set a new attendance record this Christmas Day. Others included Bushy Park - where parkrun started - which became the first UK parkrun to exceed 2000 runners with a whopping 2011 festive runners.

Maidenhead parkrun #196

Maidenhead’s reputation for putting on a great Christmas event has obviously spread near and far, with Run Director David Dyer - complete with festive Santa beard - welcoming local tourists from Marlow, Wycombe, Black Park and Upton Court as well as visitors from Abingdon, Coventry, Frankfurt and Canada. Maidenhead welcomed 63 first timers to the course, including 18 recording their first ever parkrun.

Maidenhead parkrun #196

Christmas outfits were the order of the day with Volunteers, Runners and Dogs displaying a wide variety of Santa hats, antlers, Christmas jumpers, costumes and bells, many captured in an excellent selection of photos by Douglas Gordon.

Maidenhead parkrun #196 Maidenhead parkrun #196

There was some consternation at the start of the run when word went around that there had been no sightings of Malcolm. A lookalike was hastily sent to his corner - although not all runners were fooled by the unexpected lack of beard and addition of plaits with bells on - but many wished ‘Malcolm’ Merry Christmas anyway. Luckily ‘The Mystery Of The Missing Malcolm’ was later solved (a flat battery) and sightings of the real Malcolm were made at the finish line by the later finishers.

Maidenhead parkrun #196

Maidenhead parkrun #196

Further round the course runners were put in Joll(e)y spirits by Lynne with her music and bells and encouraged up the hill by Marika with her Christmas tree dance.

First finisher was Jessica Gibbons in a time of 17:53, on her second run -and second win- at Maidenhead. This was only the 6th time that Maidenhead has had a female first finisher. First male runner, and second place, was Adam Gambrill in 18:18, with a new PB.

Maidenhead parkrun #196

Seasonal attendees included 2 MARYs (one runner and one volunteer), one CAROL, two SHEPHARDs and a ROBIN. I had hoped for 3 members of a KING family but we did have some gifts in the form of GOLDfinch and FRANKI(NCENS)E, although unsurprisingly no Myrrh.

An impressive list of Milestone runners included Edwin Isted, Ethan Dickinson and Marcus Shakespeare (all Junior 10s), Nathan Brammer, Stewart Cruickshank, Graham Shakespeare, Matt Cecil, Trevor West, John Houston and Gill Godbold (all 50s) and Shaun Chillingworth and Lawrence Ratcliffe (both 100s). Huge congratulations to them all.

As it was 25th December, an extra shout out too, to those completing 25 Parkruns -
Sarah Dennis, Alison Swindles and Cian Shaffrey.

50 runners recorded PBs in surely the best day of the year for (PB) bell ringing.

Pacers of the week were Shaun Chillingworth (20:00, a Maidenhead PB on his 100th parkrun), Susie Davies and Bleddyn Williams (26:00), Euan Macleod and Peter Vaughan (27:00), Stephan Watson (28:00), Kevin Dolan and Steve Overbury (29:00, both PBs) and Cheryl Matthews (39:00). My favourite time of the day was Mary Holloway’s 33:33, with Katie Lowe’s 24.12 (= Christmas Eve) taking runner-up spot; I had been hoping someone would run it in 25.12!

Finally, Maidenhead parkrun now has a record for the VW75-79 age category, of 47:32, set by Ann Eardley Wilmot, who was the first ever runner at Maidenhead in that age category.

Particular thanks to the volunteers for spending part of their Christmas Day supporting the runners and getting into the Christmas spirit : Anitha Sringeri, Bleddyn Williams, David Dyer, Donna Fitzgerald, Douglas Gordon, Gillian Scolari, Jim House, Kate Sayers, Lesley Graves, Liz Hornby, Lynne Jolley, Malcolm Moody, Marika Karavan, Martin Dyer, Mary Palmer, Maggie Cumini, Niamh Fitzgerald, Philip Dyer, Sinclair Scotchmere and Sinead Fitzgerald. Many thanks too to coordinator Sarah Davies. And finally a big thank you to all the runners adding to the great atmosphere which made volunteering a pleasure.

This week 414 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 63 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 38 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

Maidenhead parkrun #196

David DYER • Gillian SCOLARI • Douglas GORDON • Jim HOUSE • Sarah DAVIES • Anitha SRINGERI • Malcolm MOODY • Donna FITZGERALD • Sinead FITZGERALD • Niamh FITZGERALD • Martin DYER • Rosalind DYER • Philip DYER • Bleddyn WILLIAMS • Lynne JOLLEY • Lesley GRAVES • Sinclair SCOTCHMERE • Meggie CUMINI • Marika KARAVAN • Liz HORNBY • Kate SAYERS • Mary PALMER

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

The male record is held by Zac RANDALL who recorded a time of 15:59 on 20th August 2016 (event number 72).
The female record is held by Jessica GIBBON who recorded a time of 17:19 on 1st September 2018 (event number 179).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sheila CAREY who recorded 92.09% (23:24) on 21st March 2015 (event number 1).

Maidenhead parkrun started on 21st March 2015. Since then 7,137 participants have completed 48,400 parkruns covering a total distance of 242,000 km, including 8,660 new Personal Bests. A total of 530 individuals have volunteered 4,109 times.


Christmas and New Year Events 2018/19

Here is the list of special events that we have for you over the festive period:

Dec 15th - Foodbank collection - in line with a number of other parkruns we will be holding a collection for our local foodbank - Foodshare Maidenhead Foodbank.

Dec 21st - Winter Solstice Freedom Run at 19:00. Normal route, bring a head/chest torch

Dec 22nd - Pre-Christmas fancy dress run

Dec 25th - extra parkrun starting at 9:00

Dec 29th - our last parkrun of 2018

Jan 1st - extra parkrun, our first of 2019, starting at the earlier time of 8:30 so that you can, if you wish, travel to Woodley, Bracknell, Prospect or Upton Court by 10:30 for your second parkrun of 2019

Looking forward to seeing you all! As always, we need our wonderful volunteers to ensure that we can run all these events safely, so do get in touch if you can help out (nobody needed for the Solstice run as this is an unmarshalled Freedom run)


Christmas Day

We intend to put on a Maidenhead parkrun on Christmas Day this year starting at the usual time of 9:00am (subject, as always, to having enough volunteers).


Christmas and New Year Events

Winter Solstice Event – 21st Dec
On Thursday 21st December at 7:00pm please join us for a Freedom run around our course on the shortest day of the year. We will then head to Stafferton Lodge for some Xmas drinks and some food.

Please note: It will be dark so head torches will be compulsory. This is a Freedom run, which means that there will be no marshalls or time keepers.

You can log your run against your parkrun profile and it will show up on your results.

It may be worthwhile booking a table if you want to eat -

Christmas Day
We will be holding an extra parkrun on Monday 25th December, starting at the usual time of 9:00am. This is in addition to our usual Saturday runs.

New Year’s Day
On 1st January, we will also be holding an additional parkrun at Maidenhead.

New Year’s Day is the only day when it is permitted to run two parkruns on the same day. Therefore we will be starting promptly at 9:00am to allow runners to travel to either Upton Court or Woodley which both start at 10:30am. Please check the local event pages for details on their course and parking.

Please also look at car sharing and most importantly - drive safely.

If you are further from home a full list of Christmas and New Year parkruns can be found here -


Maidenhead parkruns #39 & #40

I wish it could be parkrun everyday!
Run Report: David Dyer
Photos: Dave Mundy, Ed Dimmock

Like the Radio Times, here is a special double Xmas edition of the Run Report:

Christmas Day

We had no idea how many people would turn up for our first ever Christmas parkrun, but firstly we had to make sure we had enough volunteers to enable the run to go ahead safely. So a special thank you to all those who came to wear the hi-viz jackets (or something festive) today, especially the Pink-Costello family who delayed their present opening so that 5 of them could help out. Without all of them we would not have been able to hold the event.


In fact 120 runners came out today (plus a few who just did one lap). That included 10 for whom this was their very first parkrun and another 24 first time visitors to Maidenhead. 12 runners got Christmas presents of Personal Best times, while Milestone T-shirts should soon be available for Molly Sammes (10th junior run) and Rose and Chris Ellis (50th runs).

P1240148 P1240147

With it being Christmas a lot of the neighbours and distant relatives from places such as Wales, Cornwall and Northumberland popped in for a visit.

The forecast was for rain from 10:00 and this was spot on as we just managed to clear up before the heavens opened and we all had to huddle in the shed for the volunteers photo.


Male placings:
Adam BENNETT (SM25-29) (Unattached) was first over the line in 18:21 - 6th time in 28 appearances.
An unknown runner was second.
An unknown runner was third.
Female placings:
Isabelle RAYNER (SW18-19) of Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC, was first (10th overall) over the line in 21:16 - first appearance.
Lara BENNETT (SW25-29) (Unattached) was second (16th overall) over the line in 22:27 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Sandra AHRENSFELD (VW40-44) of Serpentine RC, was third (19th overall) over the line in 22:44.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Kevin STOTT (VM55-59) was graded 74.54% for the time 20:37 (6th overall).
Alice BANKS (VW55-59) was graded 73.32% for the time 25:44 (41st overall).
Alison ALLEN (VW55-59) was graded 71.54% for the time 25:18 (35th overall).
Today there were 120 runners, of whom 34 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different athletics clubs took part.

Boxing Day

The normal Saturday run saw 184 runners with 37 first timers to Maidenhead (including 14 for whom this was their first ever parkrun). Special mention to Richard Spendlove for whom this was his 50th run in his first visit to Maidenhead.


There were 34 runners who ran at Maidenhead on both Christmas and Boxing Days including Iris, Luke and Ian Wilmhurst (and Scruffy their 3-legged dog) who ran their second ever parkrun just a day after their first. Congratulations to the 10 of you who ran faster than yesterday and a special Mr. Consistency prize goes to Richard Palmer who ran exactly 21:39 on both days!


Thanks again to the volunteers who gave up their time so that we could put on a run. For those of you who have not volunteered, why not make it your new year’s resolution to join us? None of the tasks are difficult, full training will be giving and it’s great fun! Some tasks (such as writing the Run report) can be done even if you run as well.


A large selection of photos from both days can be found on the Flickr site.

Male placings:
Oliver PAULIN (SM18-19) of Coventry Godiva Harriers, was first over the line in 17:42 - first appearance.
Kevin FRANCIS (VM35-39) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:35.
Stephen FRANCIS (VM35-39) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:50.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Neil HYNES (Unattached) 3251 pts.
Adam BENNETT (Unattached) 2725 pts.
Luke-Lom HYNES (Unattached) 2317 pts.
Female placings:
Helen PREEDY (VW35-39) of Team Kennet, was first (15th overall) over the line in 21:22 - second time in 5 appearances.
Lara BENNETT (SW25-29) (Unattached) was second (26th overall) over the line in 22:56 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Amelia KENNETH (SW20-24) (Unattached) was third (37th overall) over the line in 24:00.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Kanya HYNES (Unattached) 3204 pts.
Lara BENNETT (Unattached) 2615 pts.
Pavanjeet JOHAL (Datchet Dashers) 2465 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Richard SPENDLOVE (VM65-69) was graded 77.31% for the time 22:33 (24th overall).
Pauline SIDDONS (VW65-69) was graded 76.13% for the time 28:46 (85th overall).
Oliver PAULIN (SM18-19) was graded 75.33% for the time 17:42 (first overall).
This week there were 184 runners, of whom 37 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different athletics clubs took part.
Maidenhead parkrun started on 21st March 2015, and since then 2,013 different runners, including participants from 168 athletics clubs, have completed 7,252 runs covering a total distance of 36,260 km, and there have been 1,755 new Personal Bests.
The female record is held by Laura MACGREGOR who ran in a time of 00:18:24 on 2015-05-16 (event number 9).
The male record is held by Zac RANDALL who ran in a time of 00:16:31 on 2015-08-01 (event number 18).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sheila Janet CAREY who recorded a 92.09% run (23:24) on 21st March 2015 (event number 1).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Maidenhead parkrun Results Page.

Next weekend

Remember we will not be running an event at Maidenhead on New Year’s Day.

However other parkruns are available and it is even possible to run twice. Examples are Bracknell 9:00 / Woodley 10:30 or Black Park 9:00 / Upton Court 10:30. Please check their websites for details.

Our next run will be as usual at 9:00 on Saturday 2nd January 2016.

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