5 parkruns on one morning – From the man himself

.... it was on the second lap of the 4th run that I realised what a crazy idea this was - but I’ve learnt over the years that the crazy ideas are usually the best ! In April I completed the five 10km runs is a day around Europe and was looking for a follow up. I came up with the concept of running 5 park runs in a morning thinking that there would be half a dozen or so other runners in Melton who would turn up and join me. We planned to run three times in the normal forward direction and twice in the nurkrap ( reverse ) direction.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when we had an awesome turn out of around 100 runners on the start line for the first run at 6am, not only local runners but tourists from Daventry, Market Harborough, Birstall, Newark and a smattering of Equinoxers ( see you at Belvoir Castle in 3 weeks time ). With perfect running conditions - albeit getting slightly warm as the runs progressed numbers increased until we reached a new record for the course of 274 runners. A special shout out to Kathryn Gregory who as well as recording a PB also became the record breaker as her finish place was one higher than the previous record attendance !

Congratulations to all those, 22 of you, who managed to run an official PB time and also to those who clocked a PB on runs 1-4 … but its not just about the time, for others it was the first time that you had covered this distance in the morning so congratulations to all of you as well.

We celebrated a number of milestones, 50 runs for Alison Sandilands and Katarina Alexander and 100 runs for Greeba Heard and Paula Osborne. It was also the 100th Melton Mowbray run for Shane Sharkey.

I have always loved running events especially unique events or challenges, its great to get a medal & a tee-shirt but there is something a lot more simplistic with the parkrun concept and we tried to pick up on this with this event. It was an honour just to spend time with people – running, chatting and sharing cake …. running just for the fun and the glory !

… and so on to the cake, we ran the cake stall and had a fantastic selection and I do have to say a huge thank you to those who donated cakes and also then donated financially and went through the hardship of having to eat it all. My favourites were the lemon drizzle and the coffee & walnut cake ( yes , I do think that we earned two pieces ). The stall and Just Giving donations raised £380 which will go toward the work of Hope for Justice – a charity fighting to end modern day slavery.

The link to the Just Giving page is ...


To conclude I would also like to thank all at Melton Mowbray parkrun for supporting the idea, all who volunteered and all those who came along and ran – it simply would not have been the same if I had been lapping around by myself.

So only one question remains – who wants to do it all again next year ?!

(Andrew Wrath)


Event 247 a,b,c,d and e! 31.08.2019

Well that was a wonderful experience! I arrived at the park at about 5:40 and the car park was already awash with people ready to try five parkruns in one morning. By 6:00 there was around 100 and the whole occasion was friendly, exciting and challenging. Andrew rightly got a huge round of applause and his humble admission that he was only expecting about six people to turn up was most definitely proved inaccurate in the most brilliant way.

Seeing so many tourists who had never run Melton before showed that this was an idea that appealed to lots of people from far afield and certainly made me feel that this would make a fantastic event to hold annually (there would definitely be the demand for it I believe).

Runs 1-4 were as advertised – parkrun. There was the friendly comradery, no competition (except those competing with themselves – myself included) just having fun while running. I did find it a bit weird running the course with all parkrun runners but no marshals, therefore I had nobody to high five, salute or thank as I jogged round. The weather also played its part amazingly – running across the top of the course as the sun came up was a superb sight to take away from the whole experience.

Run 5 – the official parkrun - was a joy to behold. Seeing so many people (a new Melton record of 274!) standing round in the car park soaking up the Melton atmosphere was very rewarding, although it did make the mad dash for the bridge to avoid queues that bit more stressful and strenuous! The marshals were out in force and Andrew rightly got yet another well-deserved ovation.

Personally, having done all of the five, my legs finally gave way on the way up the hill for the final time. I then managed to hobble the rest of the way round being overtaken by the world and his mother!

I would like to say a hearty thank you to Andrew for thinking of this idea, raising funds for a fantastic charity and bringing so many of us together at such an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning for an excellent experience. So, thank you, Andrew!

In all, 274 people ran today. There were 59 first timers and 21 new PBs!
Same again next year? I’m game if everyone else is!

Gareth Dale

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