Maldon Prom parkrun is cancelled on 4 April 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Non-event #002 – 28th March 2020 – watching the wildlife

This week's non running report comes courtesy of relatively new core team member, and uber tourist, John Buchanan, thanks John. Pictures sourced by me (Sue) so apologies if I've picked the wrong ones! I've tried to find something for every mention of wildlife....

"As some of you may know, I like to combine parkrun with a bit of bird-spotting- it helps distract me from the difficulty of the actual running part! As a fill-in due to the lack of a real parkrun to report on again this week I thought others might be interested in a piece about the birds that share the Prom Park with us parkrunners. So here is a write-up I have put together assembled from past experiences...

Great- not touring this week that means Maldon Prom and a lie in :)

I'm watching the clock. Must get up now. Must get up. Up now but am I now too late? Have I still time to walk/ jog to the park? How long did it take last time? I could take the car but no, can't do that again, too embarrassing- someone will notice! OK let's go but better run it. (There's a bird singing as I rush across Wantz Road. It's winter- must be a Robin) Robin

Across the zebra crossing Zebra and into the park and there it is- the green shelter rendezvous in the distance- start in sight and still got ten minutes! Plenty of time after all...

As I traverse the football pitches at a more leisurely pace there are a couple of small black and white birds wagging their long tails as they run back and forth over the grass- a pair of Pied Wagtails.
Pied Wagtails
I arrive at the meeting point and it's all "hello"s, "how are you?, "isn't it a cracking morning?" (hopefully!)

A bit of briefing (and some hand clapping) and we're off...

All concentration at the start is on negotiating the conversion of a 300 hundred strong stationary crowd of people, buggies and dogs Nellinto a stream the width of the gap out of the amphitheatre. Some hurdle the wall to get by but I see this as a too high risk strategy- too much chance of tripping. The Starlings Starlingstake a break from stealing crumbs from under the cafe tables to watch us go by.

First lap of the Marine Lake and still a need to concentrate on where I am going before the runners string out. A quick glance to the left and there are some shapes on the water- Nessie?I'll have a better look next lap. Over the bridge and through the amphitheatre and first time up the hill... And how can it be that steep? But it is... (I have been to some of the country's hilliest parkruns but I still defy anyone not to feel the slope of the Maldon cafe hill).

Past a couple of encouraging marshals, down past the pirates and the skateboard park. And then the wooded section. If its April or May then there might be a singing Chiffchaff Chiffchaff or Blackcap, Blackcapannouncing the start of Spring.

Next, the Prom. This is where the weather makes the biggest difference to your running- somehow there is always a wind from some direction or other. Looking to the muddy river side there maybe hundreds of feeding birds but it's hard to make them out. Most likely Dunlin (small ones) Dunlin or Redshanks Redshank (middle sized ones) or Black-tailed Godwits (big ones) Black tailed godwit. This winter there have been some Avocets Avocet as well- black and white- easier to spot...
In the winter, you might see some small ducks too on the mud- these are Teal. Drakes have green heads and a white line along the top of their flanks if you get a good view.Teal

As we approach the Lake there is a cloud of gulls- Black-headed Gulls. Black headed gullAnd maybe a few of Lesser Back-backs Lesser black backed gulland Herring Gulls- these are the ones that terrorise the kids at the Plume...Herring gull At the Lake itself a bit more time to see whats there... The regulars are always there- the pair of Mute Swans, Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. Mute swanMallardCoot & moorhenIf you spot black ducks with white flanks they are Tufted Ducks- a pair or two breed each year. Tufted duck The small bunches of feathers that keep diving underwater are Little Grebes.Little Grebe

And then the amphitheatre again and the hill again, ready for the last lap, which always seems longer? On one parkrun day I was much surprised to see a Muntjac deer Muntjacrunning past the galleon as we went by the play area! They are increasingly being seen around Maldon and I suspect this one wandered through the fencing during the night. Must have got a bit of a shock when all the parkrunners appeared!

Out along the Prom towards Byrthnoth again and a chance to look out at the estuary again before a 180 turn and the run back towards the fantastic view that is our town. By this time I am normally thinking only of survival and of hoping not to be overtaken again. As you head around the reeds of the Lake once more, you may hear the repeated warbling of a Reed Warbler. Reed warblerIn recent years they have been appearing around the Lake. Their physical feats put ours to shame. Between last summer and this they will have flown all the way to Southern Africa and back without any map to guide them and or Strava or Garmin achievement badges for motivation.

And finally the hill again. One last, third time and then the finishing straight and glory!

Our Prom Park is a fantastic place for birds. There can be other wildlife to see as well- the Delph Ditch is good for dragonflies and butterflies and occasional Water Voles. DragonflyButterly SealSeals have been seen from the sea wall. We are lucky as parkrunners, arriving early in the morning we see the park at its best- when it is still quiet and often catching a window of early morning sunshine before clouds close in later in the day. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can enjoy it again!

Do let me know if you have any wildlifey questions and I will do my best to answer them!"



Not Maldon Prom parkrun-21 March 2020

As I woke to the first Saturday in 15 years, and 1 year for me, without a parkrun my heart felt a little heavy. My usual Saturday morning routine was somewhat slower, kids slept longer and I definitely saw more of my pjs today. I purposely stayed home until it passed 9am, and then around 10am I made the half hour drive over to my home parkrun, Maldon Prom.

It was strangely bright and sunny being later in the morning, I approached the hut and was again saddened by the lonely shack where I’m usually greeted with Elaine’s open arms, Michelle’s cheery voice and camera poised, volunteers keen smiles, Alison's listening ears and shoulder to cry on, Andrew’s clip board, Belindas wit over the tannoy, Sue’s cheeky glance over the top of her glasses, Joanne’s low down of the course after she’s set up, Jim’s advisories of problems he has found and fixed for the morning, Bob’s jokes, Gabi with her kind heart asking me how we all are, Gordon ready to brief the newbies over by John’s Map and all perfectly co-ordinated thanks to mastermind David. The core team aren’t just a part of my Saturdays though, that’s just the days I get to see them in person. They are the ones behind the scenes all messaging and keeping contact and constantly coming up with new ideas of how to reach out to people, checking the course, passing on info from HQ, checking the weather, co-oridnating the volunteers, trying to improve the parkrun experience, replace/repair equipment, test equipment, attend meetings, the list really does go on. The core team chat group is by far the busiest chat of the week. And this week has been no different either on that front, everyone checking in on each other, discussing ideas how to keep the contact going, checking in on some of our usual or distant members and generally trying to keep the parkrun love going. Only this Saturday I didn’t get to see them stood there at the amphitheatre. So I took a moment before my run to think of them all and grab a few photos.

I decided to set off for my run around 11am. It felt funny not hovering over my watch on strava for the ready steady go…. but off i went and around the lake! Steady, taking it all in and enjoying the extra elbow space. Then off up the incline and down towards the woods. The woods was tranquil and bright and I can’t believe how much its dried out… if nothing else the break will do that part of the course some good. Off out and against a shocking head wind toward Byrhtnoth and down to last bench…. quick photo stop and around I went and to a welcome break from the head wind, not quite lucky enough for it to be behind me but sideways was a lot better than head on. I trotted past a few families out but keeping themselves to themselves. All the way down to the cafe and back round the lake before I knew it.
Lap 2 was just as calm and beautiful…. except this time two people on separate occasions felt the need to yell at me, ‘it doesn’t count you know’ as I ran on past them (I think it was my bright apricot PARKRUN top that gave away what i was up to!) and at first, I was taken back and thought they were right, but then I remembered I wasn’t there for them, or for a time, I was there to enjoy my favourite route, take time to think about my favourite people and to keep up with the weekly mileage I have set myself. I was there for fresh air… and exercise… and yes it might not ‘count’ on a database somewhere but it counted VERY MUCH SO to me, and my well being, especially with how things are in the world right now. Which really is the true meaning of parkrun… the times and the t-shirts are bonuses. It’s the running and the people that really matter. Thinking about this in more depth, I then found myself suddenly back up the incline but down to the sprint finish this time. No major sprint today,…. it didn’t quite feel the same… who would i be sprinting to? My daughter Kaytie wasn’t there with the stop watch or my son Elliott manning Andrew’s clip board….no cheer squad today…no cake… no happy buggy snack munching passengers... I was all alone… so the excitable sprint finish just didn’t feel right… but I could feel my legs speed up a little nonetheless (it is the sprint finish after all) and then...that was that. I was at the bench. It was done. All over. Stopped my strava and felt pleased to have completed my favourite route, safely, and socially isolated as advised, but with a little smile all the same.

I hope whoever is reading this has enjoyed some sort of fresh air or outdoor activity today. I hope that you are all safe and well and enjoying reminiscing over Saturdays and parkruns gone by. We are a parkrun family and I look forward to seeing lots of you at the start line again very soon.

So for now, Please all keep in touch. Comment on our Facebook posts, share your experiences, jokes and partrun best bits and let us all know what your up to at 9am on Saturdays now.
Take Care
Adele, Core Team Member xxxxxxxx

Your Core Team:-
Sue Smith - Bob Gear - Belinda Amner - Elaine Vaughan - Alison Hughes - David Stokes - Michelle la Marre - Adele Bovingdon - Gordon McAulay - Gabi Boland - Andrew McGregor - John Buchanan - Jim Skillern


COVID-19 and the effect on Maldon Prom parkrun

I'm sure there's no-one out there who isn't aware of what's going on in the world as a result of corona virus COVID-19.

In essence, at the moment, all parkrun events worldwide are cancelled for the rest of March at least.

We will post updates here and on Facebook and Twitter with regard to our own event here at Maldon Prom but the latest official update from parkrun HQ can be found here at any time.

Please do keep checking in with us here and through our social media where we'll attempt to keep you informed and smiling until normal service is resumed :-)

From all your core team, keeeeeep running!


Event #347 – 14th March 2020 – No touch and go.

With parkrun HQ keeping a close eye on guidelines for Covid19 and cancellations of events in other countries, it was touch and go whether there would be any parkrunning today but on the day 276 people ran, jogged and walked the course.

The parkrun weather fairies were, it seems, jinxed by the purchase of some new ‘equipment’ in the form of clipboards with their own raincoats. Anyone who ran with storm Jorge a few weeks back and saw the volunteers wrestling with wet papers will know why these are going to earn their keep but with everything else happening this week, I’m not sure it needed to be today.

Thanks to Belinda here for bringing these down to the park, for helping me to reset a stopwatch, for suggesting we used a box system for token return today and for encouraging the weather fairies to take a holiday with her excitement about the new clipboards.


I was joined this week by 21 other volunteers. Thank you Linda ALLEN • Elaine VAUGHAN • Joanne STEARN • Louise HAWKINS • Michael Richard HAWKINS • Emma CONWAY • Matthew SMITH • Georgina SMITH • Julie LEE-RANSON • Jeremy LEE-RANSON • Gabrielle BOLAND • Helen POTTER • James SKILLERN • Alison FLIGHT • Hannah FLIGHT • George BOOTH • Colin FLIGHT • Adele BOVINGDON • Elliott LYLE • Kaytie LYLE • Andrew MCGREGOR.

I hope that you enjoyed yourselves as much as I did and for the token sorters, I'm very sorry (again) for the damp and mixed up tokens.

with refreshments

I grabbed a few photographs as the pack went through and despite my best efforts for candid photography, a few people spotted me.

one down

spotted again


Congratulations today to Danielle Harrington, Elizabeth Prior and Laura Ellis who celebrated milestones and to one of our regular volunteers who crossed the finish line today after an 8 month absence following an accident.


Talking of the finish, I promise I will very soon but I just couldn’t go without mentioning what was, for me, the best sprint for the finish that I’ve seen this year.

sprint finish

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

That’s it from me this week. A big thanks to you all too from our Elaine, our Run Director for today.

Please get in touch if you’d like to be a volunteer next time. I’m personally looking forward to doing it all again very soon.


Your Core Team:-
Sue Smith - Bob Gear - Belinda Amner - Elaine Vaughan - Alison Hughes - David Stokes - Michelle la Marre - Adele Bovingdon - Gordon McAulay - Gabi Boland - Andrew McGregor - John Buchanan - Jim Skillern


Event #346 Celebrating Poets, Prom Queens and International Women’s Day.

This week our run report has been penned by parkrun poet and tourist, Tim Gardiner. Thank you Tim. We look forward to seeing you again very soon.

Prom Queens

The International Women’s Day (IWD) parkrun was a joyous affair. Parkrunners came dressed in purple to celebrate the occasion and run the world (look out for all 10 song titles by female singers). Some days, I just don’t know what to do with myself, but Saturday is parkrun time. On this pleasant, sunny morning, 420 athletes (194 women – 46%) listened with respect to run director Alison’s briefing, delivered as usual from atop Minas Tirith. This woman’s work came to an end, a two-week stint as RD successfully completed.

Tourists were from exotic places like Chelmsford and Manningtree but no-one had been all around the world. Milestones were celebrated including Cole Eardley (10 Club) and new 50 Club members Dave Callow, Joe McEwan and Teresa Mitchell. Mark Gillam completed his 100 th parkrun. Walking back to happiness this morning were Ella and Kate Priest on the latter’s return from injury. In all there were five priests in attendance, like a prayer we had ecumenical matters covered!

The route was lined with 25 volunteers, 13 of them women including fab volunteer co-ordinator Elaine. Thanks to all of these amazing people. It was a nice change to not have the wing beneath my wings, but a girl on fire was female first finisher Heidi Steele storming round in 19:36 (8 th position); this week’s Prom Queen. There were also superb runs from Kate Lawson (21:42) and Emily Smith (21:51), the former recording a new pb. Beatrice Long was first Junior Under 11 female finisher completing the course in 29:51, a new pb and highly impressive. Wendy Simpson ran 28:25 (age grade 72:43%) to be the fastest female finisher over 65. Sisters are doin’ it for themselves!

In keeping with the IWD theme, 31 women beat the poet (pos. 171: 27:37). I was concerned with pacing my son Joseph on his return from injury, he particularly appreciated RD Alison’s words of encouragement from Minas Tirith at the start of the difficult second lap. We were competing in the Vitality Running World Cup 2020 to help Unicef raise money for child vaccination against diseases such as Tuberculosis. Download the app and get running a 5K every week to contribute to your nation’s weekly mileage. Currently, South Africa is in first place, while the United Kingdom is third. The top countries in the qualifiers will progress to the last 16 on March 14 and so on. The Final is on April 4, a parkrun day!!! Register and contribute your parkrun efforts at

Poetry Corner #11

In the artistic portion of this week’s run report, some very fine haiku poetry from two
outstanding international poets. The short haiku poems which follow are very relevant to
Prom Park:

Marta Majorka Chocilowska (Poland)

a cry from the riverside
tears the fog
Published in Blithe Spirit #28.1, 2018

Iliyana Stoyanova (Bulgaria)

misty lake
only the arch
of a swan’s neck

Published in Living Haiku Anthology, 2017
Tim Gardiner
aka the parkrun poet
twitter: @parkrunpoetry

posted on behalf of

Your Core Team:-
Sue Smith - Bob Gear - Belinda Amner - Elaine Vaughan - Alison Hughes - David Stokes - Michelle la Marre - Adele Bovingdon - Gordon McAulay - Gabi Boland - Andrew McGregor - John Buchanan - Jim Skillern

The event this week was made possible by 25 volunteers:

Tony FAULKNER • Elaine VAUGHAN • Barry HOBART • Louise HAWKINS • Alison HUGHES • Kate RODMAN • Michael Richard HAWKINS • David STOKES • Barbara HAMMOND • Michelle LAMARRE • Gabrielle BOLAND • Teresa TREDOUX • Deborah CUTLER • Alan CUTLER • James SKILLERN • Tim GARDINER • Alison FLIGHT • Colin FLIGHT • Elaine FERRIS • D HUNT • Andrew MCGREGOR • Lauren FLIGHT • Dave FERRIS • Leila HOBART • Edan STANWELL-SMITH

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

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