Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 34 – 8 June 2019

Whaaaat… we seriously want people to run in this??? Such was my first thought at 7 in the a.m. when peaceful sleep was rudely curtailed by an alarm clock. Newbury racecourse looked wind beaten and rainy – stormy, even – while making tea and I wondered who would be mad enough to brave these conditions. Such thoughts were endorsed via Instant Messages from our wonderful core team. You Marlborough Common parkrunners, though, are made of much sterner stuff; the weather will not beat you and the show always goes on (MOP, fun-fairs, and circuses permitting, obvs).

Further thoughts followed while marking out the top section of the course: would any of the stakes survive the windy conditions? Would the domes that mark the precise apex of the turns (for those that follow them!) stay in place unless impaled into the common or stood on by our long suffering marshals?

As 9am drew inexorably closer, we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of 98 budding parkrunners to make the 25 volunteers’ efforts fully worthwhile. Once our Jackie had expertly briefed the 24 parkrunners new to Marlborough, 8 of whom were doing their first parkrun, RD Jeremy set us all on our way with aplomb.

Today saw visitors join us from Cornwall, Nonsuch (near Cheam/Tony Hancock), Oxford, and our parkrun HQ ambassador paying us a visit and giving us a guiding hand from Chippenham.

Despite the weather, which was happily dry for the best part of the run, 16 of you achieved a PB for the Marlborough Common course. While maybe not a PB for parkruns run elsewhere, this is still an achievement on our course and in such conditions; congratulations to all of you. While handing out the plaudits, well done to Mila Trusson on her 10th parkrun, a parkrun junior T Shirt email will be on its way to you shortly. Similar congratulations to Ian Banks from Calne on your 10th but no T Shirt as you’re a little over the junior age.

This week we decided to forgo marshalling at “steps” between the swings and the tree left turn. This was fine from a safety perspective but I did notice the odd bit of corner cutting while running with you. Please remember that the red flags and domes signify that you pass them on your left and the greens on your right – one for the nautical minded. And where there are stakes with arrows in the middle of the course, remember to keep to their left.

Lastly we were notified of 2 potholes on the Southern part of the course. Please be careful while running, Marlborough Common can be very bumpy and uneven, and watch out for those wascally wabbits who burrow into our course of a Friday evening. We would hate to have to call the emergency services: our safety record is no accident. Should the unthinkable happen, though, please ensure your ICE (In Case of Emergency) details are up to date on your wristbands and the parkrun website.

See you all next week where we positively guarantee much sunnier weather (somewhere in the world!).

Have a good week
Pete

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 33 – 1 June 2019

No wind or rain this week, only glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze for the 140 people who enjoyed parkrun this week. Congratulations to Simon Nott who set a new course record of 16.03.

There was a disproportionately high number of doctors, nurses and general practice staff taking part this week. A year ago the Royal College of GPs launched the parkrun practice initiative which encouraged GP practices across the UK to develop close links with their local parkrun to become parkrun practices. Involvement aims to improve the health and wellbeing of practice staff, patients and carers and to contribute to the development of a local community and environment that is centred around wellness generation.

The run this week celebrated the first anniversary of this successful initiative. In the weeks before the parkrun on Saturday 1st June, GPs pledged to take part in the event and bring practice staff, friends and family. A target of a 1000 GPs and practice staff was set, but this was far surpassed.

The Old School Surgery in Great Bedwyn registered as a parkrun practice in September 2018 to coincide with the launch of Marlborough Common parkrun. Many of our practice staff, their families and patients run, jog or walk regularly. Our health and wellbeing have improved measurably. Pounds have been lost, blood pressures have plummeted, pre-diabetes has resolved, diabetes become better controlled, asthma symptoms improved and happiness abounds! In exchange the volunteers have learnt how to use the defibrillator and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

It is wonderful to see so many people of all ages, shapes and sizes getting fitter, healthier and happier by coming to the parkrun.

Thank you to all the volunteers for making this possible.

Dr Angela Paddon

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 32 – 25 May 2019

This parkrun event was an unexpected bonus - we had scheduled a cancellation because of a planned funfair on the Common.   But the funfair was cancelled at short notice, and we were on again - but it would only have been possible because so many of you offered at short notice to volunteer - and we were able to go ahead.  So many thanks to you all!

The day dawned a little misty, and our small setup team were out early setting out the course.   It's always rather pleasant being out on the Common early on Saturday morning, expectation in the air - how will our parkrun be today?      Oh-oh - what's this?   Two large pigeon lorries parked on the track to our parking area.    Oh well, no problem - we'll ask them to park on one side so we can get by.   Not so simple - the drivers were in a statutory rest period, and could not drive, not even a few metres - otherwise the vehicle movements would have been reported by their tachographs.   So we quickly planned to route parkrunners' cars round the lorries, and such is the spirit of parkrun, that in no time at all two volunteers had appeared to help direct the cars - many thanks to you both.

After that it was all very normal - the sun soon came out (which remarkably does seem almost normal at the moment), parkrunners started to gather, there was the first timer briefing and then we were down to the start where we were pleased to welcome nine doing their very first parkrun,  as well as visitors from Swindon, Chippenham, Andover, Bradford on Avon, Southampton and Felixstowe.  And then we were off, a slightly smaller field than in recent weeks - perhaps for a variety of reasons - but what matters is that 120 parkrunners and 22 volunteers enjoyed being part of this morning's event, whether running, jogging or walking, or giving encouragement as marshals, or doing other roles at the finish.

Congratulations to the 24 of you who achieved PBs today, and to Holly Rush of Avon Valley Runners who set a new female course record of 19:45, just over a minute faster than the previous record.

We'll be back next week and will look forward to seeing you then.

Michael Reynolds

A scene from our anti-clockwise event on 4th May; we are planning more
of these in the summer.
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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 31 – 18 May 2019

Summer Saturday mornings on the common. Freshly cut grass. Wild flowers. High viz vests. Smiles. Jelly babies. Dogs on short leads, children at arms length. Adrenaline and endorphins.

All you need to be a part of this atmosphere is to get out of bed, put on some trainers and print off a bar code.

It was another great start to the weekend for the 174 runners and the 26 volunteers who make the magic happen at Marlborough Common's 31st parkrun.

This morning was windless and a pleasant 9 degrees, helpfully taking the edge off the energy sapping freshly cut grass. Each week there are new conditions to navigate on the common, and this week 49 runners navigated them perfectly to achieve new pb's!

With 31 parkruns under our belt, the team of volunteers have stacked up a bit of experience now in setting up the course and ensuring the event runs smoothly. And as a result, having volunteered more than 25 times, several volunteers this week recieved parkrun's official purple t shirt! You can get your hands on one of these beauties too if you fancy a bit of marshalling, car park directing, timing - or even writing the run report every so often!

Debs Hardoon

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 30 – 11 May 2019

Marlborough Common parkrun’s 30th event was a lovely morning, high on smiles and low on drama, which is exactly how your Run Director wants it!

143 people walked, jogged or ran their way around the route, now back in the usual direction after last week’s backwards shenanigans! 39 people were running here for the first time and 27 people somehow eked out personal bests! 11 people did their first EVER parkrun, so it was particularly lovely to welcome them.

This morning's excitement was due to visiting parkrunners from London, who got up at 4.30am to be here with us. They’re doing a challenge to run parkruns celebrating their 30th parkrun and today, they chose us! One of them, Rosemary, is the joint female world record holder for unique parkruns, with today being her 336th unique parkrun out of 445 in total! It was lovely to have her big smile with us today! Other visitors came from around the south of England.

It was good to see regulars and visitors alike tucking into good food in the Golf Club cafe - please do feel free to join us after parkrun every week. May I just (very politely) remind all runners to leave their shoes at the bottom of the stairs.

We will be back for parkrun next Saturday. A few of our regular volunteers are away next weekend, so if you’ve ever thought you might like to volunteer, your help would be particularly welcome next week! Email marlboroughcommon@parkrun.com if you can help.

See you all then.

Don’t forget we are cancelled for the 25th as the fun-fair is in town! That’s no fun!

James was busy again with his camera and his pictures from today can be found here.

Cat Ramsden

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 29 – 4 May 2019

Firstly a huge well done to Clare Kellar, Jeremy Foot and Kate Philp who did a great job organising our first anti clockwise run which was a great success and nobody went wrong!

Congratulations to the 34 runners who managed a new PB will have to come back again next week and do the same again when we revert back to the normal course, however we can't guarantee the additional excitement and distraction of Pigeon racing next week!

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers. Thanks to you all, we really can't do it without you.

Michael REYNOLDS • Cathryn RAMSDEN • Mary HEATH • Wendy JACKSON • Deborah HARDOON • John BLUNDEN • Nicola JOHNSON • Clare KELLAR • Alison LEIGHFIELD • Pete MOODY • Fiona CHINNECK • T CHRISTENSEN • Jeremy FOOT • James KELLAR • Catherine MURPHY • Fiona WYCHERLEY • William SANDISON • Cameron FRASER • Angela FRY • Rachel WATSON • Fiona HADDRELL • Kate PHILP • Charlie FRY • Henry FRY • Holly FRY • Max GRAINGER • Rachael BOONHAM • Bradley DICKIN

If you can and would like to volunteer, please just email us at marlboroughcommonhelpers@parkrun.com. We do have volunteering roles that also allow you to run as well like - set up and car parking.

We also had the pleasure of 50 first timers some of whom were tourists coming from Swindon,London, Leeds and others came from a little further away, this time not from Australia where we regularly have visitors from, but the beautiful city of San Francisco.

On the 25th May there is a Fun Fair on the common, so sadly we have had to cancel. Be a tourist on that day and visit Andover, Newbury, Swindon, Chippenham or Melksham, but please come back!

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

James' brilliant photos from today can be found here.

Have a great Bank Holiday and look forward to seeing you again next week.

Will Sandison

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 28 – 27 April 2019

It was rather a blustery day on the common this morning for our 28th event as First Timer Storm Hannah visited us from Ireland – thanks for coming Hannah! The strongest gust recorded today in Marlborough was 42MPH at 09:09, just after we had started, well timed Hannah. Did anyone else notice that no matter in which direction one ran, 42MPH of it was seemingly head on all the way around?

16 of you managed to somehow harness such groans of roaring wind and rain to achieve PBs, a Herculean effort on a day like today, congratulations. We also welcomed 20 first timers which is always lovely to see. In addition to the breezy Irish lady, we had visitors from Darlington and Harrogate.

Some notable milestones today were our own exuberant and animated Charlie Fry reaching 25 volunteer occasions (the much coveted purple T-Shirt will be on its way very soon, Charlie), plus Kevin Robinson and our own Will Sandison both notching up their 10th parkrun.

Thank you to all 105 people that braved Hannah to run, jog, or walk today. It is interesting to note that we have collectively chalked up a total of 20,555km since we started back in September, more than enough to reach any point in the world from Marlborough Common.

Please note that next week’s event is our first anti-clockwise course, just to keep us all on our toes (marshals and course setup volunteers mainly!). Please pay specific attention to the Run Director’s briefing next week for more details; it should be a lot of fun.

Have a great week

Pete Moody

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 27 – 20 April 2019

We could not have asked for more - a glorious sunny morning with just a gentle breeze, our scenic course all carefully marked out with the new arrow signs,  a record 202 parkrunnners (14 higher than our previous record),  11 doing their very first parkrun,  another 46 visiting Marlborough Common parkrun for the first time (including someone from Australia – indeed it seems to be almost every Saturday that there’s someone from Australia!), 25 enthusiastic volunteers including eight marshals to encourage us on our way, and a happy buzz at the finish as parkrunners swapped their experiences (including the 47 PBs!).   And a special mention for Jeremy Foot who very capably took on the role of Run Director for the first time today.

So many thanks to all our volunteers and to all our parkrunners who made it such an enjoyable event!

In two weeks’ time, on 4th May, we’re going to do something different - we’re going to run the course in an anti-clockwise direction.   We thought this would be fun to do as a one-off, but we are open to the possibility of doing it on a regular basis if parkrunners enjoy it - please let us know.    We are still thinking about the implications for marking and marshalling, but it should not be too complicated.  The Finish will be in a different place to avoid the need to cross the path of runners coming in the opposite direction - on completing two laps you will turn right almost immediately after the swing (you will be on the inside at this point, with runners in the opposite direction on your left), and head up to a new Finish in the direction of the parkrun banner.  Hopefully all will be clear on the day!

Special thanks today to our car park marshals who do a great job every week ensuring that the parking runs smoothly, and also, most importantly, that we optimise our use of the space - we really want to avoid a situation this coming summer where we have to declare the car park full and ask latecomers to park elsewhere.

We look forward to seeing many of you again next week!

Michael Reynolds

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 26 – 13 April 2019

It’s just after 9 am and a trail of runners snake across the common, silhouetted against a bright blue sky. It’s nippy but sunny. Thankfully the stronger winds of the last few weeks have gone. It felt like great conditions for a good run.

This week we welcomed 155 parkrunners, including 8 doing their first event. Congratulations to the 48 runners who achieved a personal best today and we had one person who completed their 300th event (fantastic!). 19 finishers were classed as ‘unknown’ – please remember your barcode so that we can help you to record your achievements.

As always, a huge thank you to the 26 volunteers who supported the run today with a special mention to Jeremy who volunteered for the 25th time. If you ever fancy helping out, do get in touch.

As a marshal out on the course, the winding train of runners is always an inspiring sight to see. Our primary role is to keep everyone safe, on track (no detours onto the golf course) and encouraged. You don’t often get the opportunity to greet and support such a large and positive group of people at one time! With the exception of one instance a few weeks ago where I enthusiastically wished a chap a happy 50th birthday (yes, you guessed it, it was in fact his parkrun half century …) I hope any words of encouragement do the trick.

I can think of few better examples of events that combine the opportunity to meet personal challenges whilst being part of a broader community.

Cameron Fraser

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 25 – 6 April 2019

'This is the happiest, friendliest parkrun I've ever been to'.

These were the words that a visitor shared with the Run Director, Pete, today. They struck me not only because they might be the greatest compliment Marlborough Common parkrun has yet been paid, but also because they reflect my own feelings on today's event.

At face value, this morning's parkrun was fairly uneventful. The weather was a little depressing for early April and, maybe as a result, numbers were lower than in recent weeks. There was no course record, there were no incidents (thank goodness) and it seemed like it would be an unremarkable Saturday morning.

But as I glanced up from my timekeeper duties, I just felt a buzz around the common. I noticed that we are starting to form a real community every Saturday morning.

parkrunners were lingering in the cold to chat and cheer friends across the line. We saw familiar faces who have been missing for a few weeks. We had lovely new volunteers who were enthusiastic for runners and energising for the organising team. When we suddenly realised we didn't have a tail walker, one of our regular walkers and his gorgeous dog immediately offered to put on the orange vest and take on that role.

We used our new PA system, purchased using money that our parkrunners recently donated. The PA system was greeted by cheers, which really moved me because it shows that Marlborough Common parkrunners value the event so much they are willing to give a bit of money and are thrilled to see it spent wisely to improve everyone's experience.

Great Bedwyn Medical Practice out in force; their doctors, nurses and staff were all walking, jogging or running the 5k to model healthy living to their patients. We had visitors from near and far (Australia). We had babies, children, teenagers and adults of all stages of life participating in different ways.

The golf club cafe at the end was full of defrosting parkrunners eating bacon rolls or chips with smiles on their faces and ice-packs on their knees.

The whole thing was really special.

As someone fairly new to Marlborough, this forming of community is really important. We will never be the biggest event (and trust me, the organising team do NOT worry about numbers). But what IS important is that people feel welcome and that they notice the friendliness of volunteers and fellow parkrunners. So, on the basis of the visitor's comment, I would say that this morning's parkrun was an epic success.

Thank you for being part of it.

Cat Ramsden

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