Mallards Pike parkrun 1.2.20 (Event 20) – A tourist perspective by Anne Payne

Having been invited to a midweek wedding nearby, we decided to stay on for a few days and enjoy some peace and quiet. I had three parkruns to choose from and chose Mallards Pike as it had started most recently and seemed a nice relatively mud free course.
The course starts fairly flat until a gradual incline which carries on until about 2.7km. I was working hard at this point but there were occasional breathers round corners. The reward is then a nice downhill - admittedly a bit up again at the end but wonderful faster parkrunners cheered us in which helped no end with the sprint finish!
This course has the most beautiful views, especially if you have your coffee outside like we did. The cafe has a parkrun bacon or veggie sandwich deal but the cakes looked pretty good too!
 cakes
The volunteers were well organised here, I was most impressed by the token sorting board which was half full by the time I saw it! This location has regular running routes permanently marked. Having enjoyed it here we then went on to walk nearby, and get muddy ironically... but would highly recommend this as a tourist destination if you fancy a parkrun/walking break

token board lake run routes

 

This week 159 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 65 were first timers and 36 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 25 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 17 volunteers:

Linda BELLINGHAM • Helene SPENCER • Mark AINSWORTH • Deborah TALBOTT • Ali FORD • Cherry FOWLER • Andrew KAYE • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Heath GWILLIAM • Mark BAKER • Susan DE-CAMPS • Robert POTTER • Lily POTTER • Anne PAYNE • Maisie POTTER • Chris SPENCER • John LINDEN

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

The male record is held by Matthew REES who recorded a time of 16:56 on 21st September 2019 (event number 4).
The female record is held by Victoria BAKER who recorded a time of 18:37 on 1st February 2020 (event number 20).
The Age Grade course record is held by Rachael WHEELER who recorded 85.67% (22:20) on 12th October 2019 (event number 7).

Mallards Pike parkrun started on 31st August 2019. Since then 1,436 participants have completed 2,353 parkruns covering a total distance of 11,765 km, including 329 new Personal Bests. A total of 134 individuals have volunteered 345 times.

 

Event 16 – 4th January 2020- The first of the New Year – By Louise Woodvine

As the avid parkrun tourists of our group were discussing where to parkrun on the coming Saturday, Mallards Pike was put into the mix. As we always do, we look at the course, how many people attend and previous results. These results were different though - someone had actually completed the course in 12:34 - we couldn’t actually believe it and thought it must be an error but then it suddenly dawned on us that this must have been completed by a canicross team and on further googling our suspicions were proven to be correct! We still don’t know how someone’s legs can move that quickly though!

Saturday morning soon appeared and it was an extra early start as we were travelling down from Shrewsbury, Shropshire. I got picked up at 6:15am and off we tootled, kept awake by Daves toffees and John the driver’ sudden avoidance of the numerous pot holes in the roads at the moment.

After a few wrong turns we arrived at Mallards Pike at just after 8:30am and we were given a warm welcome by Clare the RD. We also spoke to Cherry the volunteer co-ordinator and she mentioned in previous weeks that wild boar and deer had been found on the course.

unnamed

The amount of dogs that were at the start area also indicated that this is going to be a well known parkrun for canicross enthusiasts.

The start area and actually the whole of the course is a wide forestry path on a pretty compacted path - there was the odd area of mud but road trainers are fine. The first 2.5km of the course goes up and up and up and I actually didn’t think it was ever going to end. Cherry did mention the hill but I think we were all expecting a sharp hill not a gradual incline. But what goes up, must eventually come down and the next 2.5km was all downhill with the occasional plateau. Before I knew it there was a 200m to go sign (a very welcome addition to parkruns) and the finish was on a little kick of a hill and around a corner to the right.

Another parkrun completed and in a really lovely setting. The addition of Mallards Pike to the Forest of Dean area is a really welcome addition and the local community should be really pleased that they have a diverse range on their doorsteps - from muddy courses to a wide pathed forestry commission setting.

 We went back to the cafe and got talking to some other park runners - 2 Nordic walkers who are originally from Greece were saying that this is their 12th course that they have completed.  parkrun is really for everyone.

As is becoming customary now, Dave and Karen completed the token sorting fueled by the excellent tea and coffee at the cafe. unnamed (1)

Thanks to all at Mallards Pike for a great parkrun.

 

This week 130 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 73 were first timers and 11 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:

Marc THOMAS • Paul DODD • Linda BELLINGHAM • Cherry FOWLER • Martin BLAKEBROUGH • Louise Estelle WOODVINE • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • David WEBB • Simon ROBERTS • Karen WEBB • John MILNER • Mark BAKER • Ruth JONES • Paul JONES • Daniel CUMMINGS • Emily CUMMINGS • Robert CUMMINGS • Rob N Beatrice BEVES • Clare CURTIS • Joe KENNEDY

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

The male record is held by Matthew REES who recorded a time of 16:56 on 21st September 2019 (event number 4).
The female record is held by Victoria BAKER who recorded a time of 18:52 on 21st December 2019 (event number 14).
The Age Grade course record is held by Rachael WHEELER who recorded 85.67% (22:20) on 12th October 2019 (event number 7).

Mallards Pike parkrun started on 31st August 2019. Since then 1,135 participants have completed 1,709 parkruns covering a total distance of 8,545 km, including 212 new Personal Bests. A total of 113 individuals have volunteered 271 times.

 

The end of the year it all began at Mallards Pike

  • Mallards Pike
    Event number 15
    28th December 2019
    By Andy Norman, Tearaways of Tewkesbury
    What better place to visit and enjoy the great outdoors after Christmas than a
    parkrun in a beauty spot in the Forest of Dean? I lead a running club called the
    TearAways from the North Gloucestershire/South Worcestershire area, well a
    better description may be a social group that run a bit. As you will see from our
    times, we do not take it too seriously! Most of our members have completed
    my Couch – 5km programmes and the TearAways keeps them all running at
    parkruns. We have such fun at home (Worcester) and being parkrun tourists
    including full weekend tours. We had visited Mallards Pike once before with 22
    completing the run which they all thought was beautiful and had greatly
    enjoyed. I volunteered on that occasion so was looking forward to my first run
    here, being my NENDY (nearest event not done yet) number 3.
    It was a bit grey and misty as we drove through the Forest, arriving at Mallards
    Pike where there is great parking and toilet facilities close at hand. After
    gathering the TearAways clan, we walked to the start where the fab Run
    Director, Cherry Fowler, “womanfully” battled with the megaphone and
    enthusiastic dogs to lead us all through the run briefing. All volunteers were
    given a warm round of applause as were milestone runners Martin Blakebrough
    (250), Robin Drewett and Ali Ford (100). In total, 181 runners took up the
    Mallards Pike challenge. Can I also mention that from the TearAways, Georgia
    Norman was completing her bronze and Richard Ashworth his gold obsessive
    with Judith King and Mark Davey breaking a club record of 53 parkruns in a
    calendar year.
    We were off! The course is all on wide forestry tracks and there is a gradual
    uphill for the first half of the run. Thankfully my negative thoughts of eating
    too much turkey for the first 1k vanished but then were only replaced by
    thoughts of too many mince pies and Christmas cake for the next 2 k! Full of
    cold, I was finding this run quite tough. If only I knew that the first runners had
    come across a ‘sounder’ of 10 Wild Boar (impressed? I googled it!), I may have
    made more effort to get to the front! What a fantastic sight for those who saw
    the animals which have been re-introduced to the Forest over the past few years.
    The beautiful route continued through the trees and thankfully after about 3k
    there was some downhill allowing me to stretch my legs as I eventually wentpast a few fellow runners. This brought to mind a famous commentating classic
  • from the well-known athletics commentator, David Coleman, about running:
    ‘Coe now opens his legs and you can see the class shining through!’
    So after an uphill before the final finish I was over the finishing line in a slightly
    disappointing 29 minutes. This was put somewhat in perspective when hearing
    the winner Ben Robinson of the Bristol & West Club had chosen his quickest
    dog to accompany him to post a time of 12:34, dog assisted but which is 3
    seconds quicker than the 5km world record! Great effort!
    Twenty five new Personal Bests today with 101 athletes running at the Pike for
    the first time. The first female home was Hannah McVittie in 20:33 and first
    male not dog assisted was Peter Woodward in 17:45. Best % age grading,
    excluding Ben, was Shirley Robinson with 80% in the VW60-64 bracket. Many
    clubs were well represented including the TearAways with 14 runners, who are
    now the third biggest club at Mallards but the largest club remain Forest of
    Dean AC who had 16 runners.
    Coffee and bacon butties from the café and an impromptu picnic next to the
    gorgeous lake rounded off a great morning in the Forest. Thanks to everyone at
    Mallards for an excellent experience. My 94th
    location was a memorable one
    and up in the top 20% of parkruns visited but I was left with one question,
    which one was the Pike?
    The TearAways, like the Terminator, ‘Will Be back!’ Maybe in the Summer to
    take on Go Ape or the Segways?
    Photo 1 Judith King and Mark Davey of the Tearaways completing 53 runs for 2019. 28.2.2
    Photo 2 Picnic locaton at Mallards Pike. 28.12.2
    Photo 3 The TearAways on completng the challenge. 2812.3

    This week 181 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 101 were first timers and 25 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

    The event was made possible by 11 volunteers:

    Denise EVANS • Ali FORD • Cherry FOWLER • Isabelle CHAPMAN • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Andy NORMAN • Claire CHAPMAN • Robert CUMMINGS • John LINDEN

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

    The male record is held by Matthew REES who recorded a time of 16:56 on 21st September 2019 (event number 4).
    The female record is held by Victoria BAKER who recorded a time of 18:52 on 21st December 2019 (event number 14).
    The Age Grade course record is held by Rachael WHEELER who recorded 85.67% (22:20) on 12th October 2019 (event number 7).

    Mallards Pike parkrun started on 31st August 2019. Since then 1,062 participants have completed 1,579 parkruns covering a total distance of 7,895 km, including 201 new Personal Bests. A total of 105 individuals have volunteered 250 times.

 

The Tale of two lakes – by Cherry Fowler and Julia Loveridge

On 16 November 2019, Mallards Pike parkrun was cancelled.  I knew this in advance, so I headed to Cologne, Germany to run Aachener Weiher parkrun with six of my parkrun tourist friends.  This was my first international parkrun and 54th different parkrun location.  I am embarrassed to say, that none of our group spoke any German.  This was not a problem as when we arrived at the parkrun, we were greeted by a very friendly group of volunteers, some of whom were Brits who currently live in Germany.

Before the start, we had a chat with a number of other tourists travelling from England, Wales and South Africa. In total, there were 43 runners, a large proportion were tourists.

Image (1) Cologne 2

Aachener Weiher parkrun is a two lap, winding, undulating route over the hills of the Hiroshima Nagasaki Park and around a lake. It is a pretty parkrun and very friendly. I would highly recommend it.

After the parkrun, I got chatting to the volunteers and introduced myself. It turned out, that one of the volunteers Julia Loveridge was from Gloucester and was planning a visit to the UK.  I told her about our parkrun and she said she would have to come and visit us.

So this week Julia Loveridge came to visit Mallards Pike parkrun and this is what she had to say about it

“parkrunners both canine and human were raring to go on this sunny December morning at Mallards Pike. Greeting us on the course were the wonderful marshals as well as some wild boar who didn’t exactly stick to the path!

Anyone who wasn’t sure where the start was, simply needed to follow the enthusiastic barking of the cani-cross participants. It soon became clear why the run director was using a microphone to announce the start.

The undulating course started with a deceptively challenging long climb up through the trees before winding back down towards the lake again. Woe betide anyone who forgot the sharp incline to the finish line!

All in all the course is a fantastic mix of physically challenging and easy underfoot with wonderful scenery and supportive marshals to help you through the twists and turns of this rural run! “

Thank you for visiting Julia and agreeing to write our report.

Below is a photo of one of the enthusiastic dogs who was so keen to announce where the start was. Many thanks to our brilliant photographer Bob Cummings.

Shadow

 

This week 69 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 31 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 19 volunteers:

Claire O'BRIEN • Sue ASHTON • Mark AINSWORTH • Alan ROBERTSON • Cherry FOWLER • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Mark BAKER • Daniel CUMMINGS • Emily CUMMINGS • Robert CUMMINGS • Rob N Beatrice BEVES • Julia LOVERIDGE • Albert WILDEN • James WILDEN • Logan KIBBLE • Clare CURTIS • Joe KENNEDY

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

The male record is held by Matthew REES who recorded a time of 16:56 on 21st September 2019 (event number 4).
The female record is held by Sarah KINGSTON who recorded a time of 19:44 on 23rd November 2019 (event number 10).
The Age Grade course record is held by Rachael WHEELER who recorded 85.67% (22:20) on 12th October 2019 (event number 7).

Mallards Pike parkrun started on 31st August 2019. Since then 869 participants have completed 1,223 parkruns covering a total distance of 6,115 km, including 133 new Personal Bests. A total of 92 individuals have volunteered 212 times.

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