Event # 21, An Insiders view of our park run, by Simon Roberts

Simon

My usual Mallards Pike parkrun day starts nice and early and today was no exception.  I left home just before eight, with the sun up and signs of spring all around. The new born lambs by the side of the road and then two deer crossed the road as I drove through Moseley Green.  The car temperature warning then beeped saying it was four degrees to remind me that winter is not over yet. As I parked in the car park at Mallards Pike I was amazed to see that much of the set-up work had already been completed by Mark and Vic, two of our fantastic volunteers.  The parkrun flag was flying and the sun was going to shine. My small contribution was to hang up the new white board pens and carry the parkrun essentials to the start area. Having laid out the tarpaulin for coats at the finish, along with the first aid kit, de-fib and finish tokens, all was looking good for Mallards pike event number 21.  

Today was the RD debut for another regular volunteer, Joe Kennedy.  He was a natural. The crowd of runners slowly grew at the briefing area, having made the short walk from the car park.  Joe welcomed all and gave the usual briefing, emphasising all the parkrun rules about children under 11, dogs being kept on leads and no barcode, no time.  There were two milestones today, Kieran Morgan was completing run number 100 and regular photographer Robert Cummings was completing his 50th run and also celebrating his birthday.  Having welcomed visitors (looking through the results afterwards we had 23 first timers to Mallards today) and thanked the volunteers it was time to make the short walk to the start line and enjoy the run through the forest.

To the usual chorus of barks from the fast dogs at the front we heard the countdown from three to one, and we were off.  As many others have said, our run begins with a gentle slope, that gradually increases and never seems to stop until just over half way.  It is a challenging conundrum, do you push on whilst it is relatively flat at the start and your body is full of energy and fresh, or do you hold back, knowing you have to keep this effort up for just over half the run before the downhill is there to aid you?  However you approach it, the fast dogs at the front soon disappear into the distance. Conditions today were great for running, not to cold and no wind. The forest was looking wonderful in the sun as it broke through the clouds. The smiling faces of our marshals are brilliant as you run up the hill, and hearing Tony ringing his bell is such a relief as then you know it all downhill from there on.  Lucky runners at the front, who are more observant then me, were treated to a view of three boar crossing the path as we made our way downhill. The yellow glow of the “200m to go” sign is very welcome and a great incentive to make that final push up the small hill to the finish line, to the cheers of encouragement from our hi-vis heroes. The fantastic team of volunteers doing timekeeping, tokens and scanning welcoming every runner with a smile on their face.  

Having got my breath back it is always fun to speak to fellow runners at the end.  Hearing the thoughts of visitors to our parkrun and catching up with regulars. It was also great to see familiar faces from our neighbouring parkruns in Lydney and Forest of Dean.  The smiles and cheers continued until the final runners and then the tail walker crossed the line. The finish line team happily reported no problems with timing or tokens to the RD and passed over watches and scanners for the results to be processed.  The highly efficient volunteer team then got straight down to the job of tidying up the cones and signs, and in what seemed like no time at all everything was in the cars ready to be put away for another week. The café was busy with runners and the sun was shining, results were processed, and another parkrun was successfully completed.

Our parkrun could not happen so smoothly without our amazing volunteers and we are always looking for more, we’d be very happy to welcome you to join us.

This week 125 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 23 were first timers and 47 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 17 volunteers:

Nicola HALL • Linda BELLINGHAM • Sue ASHTON • Mark AINSWORTH • Deborah TALBOTT • Ali FORD • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Susan DE-CAMPS • Sophie WILLIAMS • Clare CURTIS • Joe KENNEDY • John LINDEN • Paul CUMMINGS • Fay CUMMINGS

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 1,459 participants have completed 2,478 parkruns covering a total distance of 12,390 km, including 375 new Personal Bests. A total of 136 individuals have volunteered 362 times.

 

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 # 19 by Gordon and Chris Nicholls

Tourist parkrun brought us this weekend to Mallards Pike parkrun, we have visited the Forest of Dean parkrun & Lydney parkrun several times, but this was a new parkrun for us. Both recovering from injury, that’s the beauty of Parkrun, it’s a great motivator to get out of bed on a Saturday morning, it doesn’t matter if you run, walk or jog – you are taking part.

We knew the area, but the directions were spot on, plenty of parking. We were all met at the parking pay machine by a volunteer, advising that it was only £1 to park for parkrunners up until 10:30. We didn’t like to confuse matters that we were staying for the whole day. We then saw the Run Director, who was directing runners to the start line, we wrote our home parkrun on the Tourist white board; Wyre Forest; a one lap undulating course (blatant plug)

The run briefing brought us the normal Parkrun rules; under 11s, dogs, pass on the right and don’t take your finish tokens home! The Run Director explained the course was a one lap wide fire track, with the prospect of seeing wild boar or deer. He also advised us to stay on the wide track, any deviation we would be heading towards Gloucester or Bristol! We celebrated a 100 milestone and there was an appearance by the record holder for the most parkruns. We also had the pleasure of congratulating the run director, when he was presented with his trophy for the 2019 Gloucestershire Road Racing league.  

Presentation

We soon headed out on the course which cheekily climbed for the first couple of miles, then drops down towards the finish with an even cheekier 200m uphill to the finish funnel. We spoke to a number of visitors, always great to discuss your home & tourist parkruns and get ideas for the next tourist parkrun. Cup of tea and bacon sandwich, which is mandatory post parkrun food followed.

A big thank you to all the volunteers, everyone was so friendly and helpful, a great course, one we will certainly do again
Chris Nichols
Gordon & Chris Nicholls 

This week 168 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 81 were first timers and 23 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

Gregory ALLIN • Mark AINSWORTH • Deborah TALBOTT • Ali FORD • Alan ROBERTSON • Cherry FOWLER • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Christine NICHOLLS • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Gordon NICHOLLS • Daniel CUMMINGS • Emily CUMMINGS • Robert CUMMINGS • Susan DE-CAMPS • Tony MAY • Clare CURTIS • Joe KENNEDY • John LINDEN • Paul CUMMINGS • Fay CUMMINGS

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 1,371 participants have completed 2,194 parkruns covering a total distance of 10,970 km, including 293 new Personal Bests. A total of 130 individuals have volunteered 328 times.

 

Event # 18, Curly Wurly goes to Mallards Pike – finally…. by Lynsey Miles

Having been fans of the Forest of Dean in general and having run various races and other neighbouring parkruns there before, as soon as Mallards Pike came up we knew we would have to go visit soon. 

Our first opportunity was actually the inaugural; however we didn’t really consider ourselves “local enough” to Gatecrash on the first event. We then planned to visit on the 4th Jan however I was down as RD at Curly Wurly (aka Somerdale Pavilion), although it had been cancelled the three preceding weeks (who knew flood plains flooded?) so we tentatively planned to come visit when we inevitably cancelled again but lo and behold the water literally disappeared and Curly Wurly was back on. Fast forward to the 18th and this has been planned since the 4th; nothing was stopping us this time! However….. An unmovable appointment meant we needed to be back in Bristol by 11. There was no way we were missing out again so we would just have to make it work. 

We left Bristol just after 7 to allow for picking people up and getting lost (always happens with us) and then travelled the 33 miles across the bridge and up into the Forest. The sunrise was beautiful and the frost on the ground made everything look so magical.

Lynsey 5

Parking at the lake was plentiful and easy to find – the core team were friendly and welcoming, we had a mooch around as we were there so ridiculously early…..can’t believe we didn’t get lost, although am grateful really as 5 adults in a Citroen C3 was quite a squeeze. 

Having read the course description, I was fully prepared for a single lap course – only the second one I have ever done in 4 years of parkrunning. Also having recently come back into running was planning to have a lovely plod round the route. Was surprised as how hard I was finding it – wasn’t sure if it was the cold, or the fact that we seemed to be going uphill for a lot longer than I had anticipated. The marshals were fantastic – one even pointing out the best places to take photos. Then once my legs had warmed up I started to feel great – this running was getting much easier…… at the time hadn’t realised the last mile was literally downhill but it was fantastic. Running back to the finish in the glorious sun was lovely.
Lynsey 1Lynsey 2

Unfortunately we did have to shoot off straight after but next time will stay and visit the café but literally the second we all left we were all raving about the course and location etc – we have now amassed a much bigger group for the return. It really does have everything and is now firmly at the top of my favourite parkrun list.

Thanks for having us – until next time

Lynsey, and Ian, Riss, Tina and Joan
Lynsey 4

This week 176 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 84 were first timers and 36 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers:

Louise INSALL • Linda BELLINGHAM • Mark AINSWORTH • Deborah TALBOTT • Ali FORD • Cherry FOWLER • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Joan GIBSON • Lynsey MILES • Mark BAKER • Paul BARRETT • Alex INSALL • Jim INSALL • Clare CURTIS • Joe KENNEDY • 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 1,290 participants have completed 2,026 parkruns covering a total distance of 10,130 km, including 270 new Personal Bests. A total of 123 individuals have volunteered 306 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.

 

Event # 14 – Last park run before Santa, by David Pearson

Grown men in bright tights, flashes of red and green amongst the crowd and marshals adorned in red hats and even ringing bells….it must be the last parkrun before Santa.  I should have known really, the festive weather was a giveaway, a balmy seven degrees, damp in the air and drizzle at the halfway point!! (Note to self, perhaps leave the ‘White Christmas’ bet until next year.)

21st

It was my 50th parkrun of the year today (gold obsessive secured). It has been a wonderful journey around the South West and South Wales with occasional sorties further afield and even abroad, taking me to places I would perhaps not even have thought of visiting.  However come rain or come shine there has always been something worth seeing and certainly many new friends to be made. Even today I was amazed to meet again Julie and Mark a couple we met earlier in the year at the Mura di Lucca parkrun in Italy, the parkrun world really is a small world.

21st 2

Today I was running with my son, an occasional parkrunner, so not for me the mad rush, sweat and burning chest of trying for a fast time but a more sedate jog (and occasional walk) around the course and that was no bad thing.  The less than perfect weather could not spoil the natural beauty of the place and the pace of the run gave me more time to take it all in. It also gave opportunity to better thank the marshals than my usual breathless utterances and even offered time to debate whether it really was ‘all downhill from here to the finish’.

21st 1

The mood of the parkrun was relaxed but well organised.  Good signposting to the start and a business like run brief which ticked all the boxes without meandering as some elsewhere have been known to do!!  The good contingent of runners with dogs stood well away from the brief so that enthusiastic barks did not distract from the brief. The course itself was pretty much as advertised broad and firm under foot, little chance here of cancellation due to flooding with the first half of the run making its way upward in keeping with the surrounding terrain. The welcome descent that followed was only interrupted by a short kick back up as we made for the finish funnel.  In short, a quick no nonsense one lapper set in beautiful woodland. Well worth a revisit, perhaps on a warmer dryer day.

There were 62 first timers to Mallards Pike today but a special shout out to Leo Osborne who was starting his first senior parkrun, well done Leo and may it be the first of many.

AND FINALLY….

It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) any parkrun is only there by gift of the volunteers who make it possible.  The team today, like most I have met, were friendly and enthusiastic from the run director Simon, who positioned himself at the carpark edge to greet and guide runners to the start, to each and every marshal who encouraged us around the course,  urged one final push to the finish, clicked a stopwatch or scanned a barcode. On behalf of myself and my fellow parkrunners I thank you, your time and work is appreciated.

21st 3

This week 112 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 62 were first timers and 26 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:

Jacqueline GREEN • Linda BELLINGHAM • Gerry O'BRIEN • Cherry FOWLER • Martin BLAKEBROUGH • Abigail SIMPSON • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Victoria HUGHES • Mark BAKER • David PEARSON • 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 961 participants have completed 1,398 parkruns covering a total distance of 6,990 km, including 176 new Personal Bests. A total of 100 individuals have volunteered 239 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.

 

Event #11, ’250th Milestone’ this parkrun malarkey will never catch on, by Chris Lewis.

Dawn broke on the morning of my milestone 250th parkrun with a distinct wintery chill in the air. It was the sort of morning that challenges you to test your resolve and face the elements or to simply surrender and embrace the warmth of the duvet. If running 249 Saturday morning 5K’s has taught me anything, it’s that however tempting it sometimes is to give parkrun a miss, I have never once regretted making the decision to put on my running shoes and step foot outside.

I have a running top (from a trail running race organiser) emblazoned with the phrase “Death Before Treadmill” across the back. Whilst somewhat tongue in cheek, I heartily endorse the sentiment and wonder why anyone would ever prefer the mundane, uninspiring environment of a gym over seizing the opportunity to run in the great outdoors? I’m sure on a blustery, wet, dark winter’s night they have their appeal but on a day such as we had for parkrun then Mallards Pike wins every time.

Bracing it certainly was, but Mother nature was turning on the seasonal charm offensive to the max and I knew my decision to coerce a group of running friends to make the trip with me over from Bristol had been the right one.

I ran my first parkrun at Ashton Court in Bristol on 9th July 2011, after my partner had been several times and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Two things standout in my memory from my inaugural parkrun – The Hill and me saying “It’ll never catch on”. I was at least right about the hill!

event 11

My 250th milestone saw a much kinder gradient than Ashton Court, but still the same parkrun atmosphere that has so many returning week after week (wherever you may end up participating). Often parkruns involve multiple laps of a route; two, sometimes three and even the odd four lap event, but Mallards Pike has scenery in such abundance that even a single 5K lap only scratches the surface of what there is to offer. Every twist and turn in the course reveals sights that grab your attention and serve as a welcome distraction to the long slog uphill to the halfway point. There are simply not enough superlatives to convey the sheer beauty of the landscape of the Forest Of Dean and I, for one, ran in absolute awe of the surroundings. It really is an honour to be able to run at a location such that Mallards Pike is.

chris lewis

I’m on the road back from injury and gradually gaining some semblance of previous form, so it was rewarding to have achieved my second fastest parkrun time this year and to have knocked a big chunk off my pb at mallards Pike. My fellow running pals recorded times across the field, with varying levels of satisfaction at their own performances, but with one thing in unanimous agreement – Mallard’s Pike really is one of the most stunning locations you could ever wish to run!

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For me, the enduring appeal of parkrun is the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that every single parkrun event exudes. The growth, from its humble beginnings in Bushy Park to the international event that we now have, has been organic and genuine. Companies the world over must be frantically searching for the secret ingredients to be able to replicate the parkrun success, yet it is the fact that it is devoid of corporate interference and motives that makes it the event so many have come to love and participate in so frequently. The fact that it is free to enter and run entirely by its own community means it will never be a viable business template but I love the fact that there are no barriers to entry, no target demographic or minimum requirement. And to be able to play a small part in the continued success, by every so often forfeiting a weekly run to do a turn at volunteering, is my way of giving back to something that, whilst on the face of it is free, to me is priceless.

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I’m so glad I was wrong and that it appears to have caught on!

This week 112 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 58 were first timers and 18 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 16 volunteers:

Linda BELLINGHAM • Chris LEWIS • Mark AINSWORTH • Niki MORGAN • Gary VALLANCE • Michelle PEACEY • Cherry FOWLER • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Daniel CUMMINGS • Jacob VALLANCE • Ruth JOHNSON • David JOHNSON • Sara RADFORD

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 838 participants have completed 1,154 parkruns covering a total distance of 5,770 km, including 121 new Personal Bests. A total of 86 individuals have volunteered 193 times.

 

Event #9 – ‘A Wet One’ by Julia Maddocks

Congratulations and well done to each and every one of the 15 volunteers and 79 finishers who made Mallards Pike parkrun a success this morning.

What a morning the 26th October 2019 was, this was the 9th parkrun event at Mallards Pike Lake, 2 months into this parkrun’s story and the lowest number of runners so far.  This latter statistic is very much in line with many other parkruns held today – maybe in part due to the wet and windy weather most of England and Wales were welcomed to as we emerged for the day, but also down to the fact that England were playing in the Semi-Final of the Rugby World cup, kicking off at 9am!

julia

As first time tourists to Mallards Pike, we had planned the visit a few weeks in advance, well before the weather had hit – the morning and evening before always involves making back up plans in case a parkrun is cancelled on the day, or if traffic causes hold ups.  Our final check this morning was well worth doing – we had to allow an extra 15mins travel time as the high winds had closed the Severn Bridge! I have to admit that the facebook page for Mallards Pike parkrun was refreshed many times on the journey as various parkruns were being cancelled as we drove, due to flooding or gales.  There was no such trouble at this Forestry Commission site – the car park was easily found following the satnav and directions on the Course Page, the volunteers had already been out and about setting up, braving the weather for all of us to run.

run report 26th

The setting was, as expected, stunning.  Not in a beautiful blue sky kind of a way today though! The lake was high, surrounded by trees with scatterings of autumn colour amongst the majestic evergreens.  Due to the amount of rain there were little waterfalls to be found around the site as we briefly explored during the warm up.

waterfallWet Mallards

The briefing was thankfully and necessarily brief – the course is one lap, clockwise around the lake with minimal actual turns, minimal marshals (huge thanks to those that stood cheerily in the rain!) and as explained to us takes us 2.5km away from the start into the middle of nowhere.  We were reminded that at parkrun we are all looking out for each other especially on a run like this, but also that we wouldn’t notice that the first half this route is slightly uphill! My legs beg to differ on this fact! As my watch registered 2.7km, the ground visibly started to drop away – which was a huge relief and it turned out to be a surprise as the finish line turned up around a corner much sooner than I expected.  The route around the lake really was beautiful, completely in the forest, surrounded by ferns, but on a path that for a parkrun seemed like luxury – it was wide, it didn’t vary in terrain at all and there were absolutely no puddles. The rain was hardly noticeable while running, though really was when a tree decided to offload the drops it had stored just as you passed by! The running water, possibly unique to today added to the atmosphere.

It was great to bump into people we’d met before, people we hadn’t, and even in the rain discuss races and runs local to various runners – Mallards Pike is another perfect parkrun community.

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This week 79 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 50 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 15 volunteers:

Barb MORRIS • Briar MORRIS • Lew • Mark AINSWORTH • Cherry FOWLER • Peter HEWITT • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Julia MADDOCKS • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Rose HILBORNE • Gwenno HENLEY • Robin DREWETT • Clare CURTIS

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

The female record is held by Faye JOHNSON who recorded a time of 19:51 on 14th September 2019 (event number 3).
The male record is held by Matthew REES who recorded a time of 16:56 on 21st September 2019 (event number 4).
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 711 participants have completed 941 parkruns covering a total distance of 4,705 km, including 95 new Personal Bests. A total of 73 individuals have volunteered 160 times.

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