Virtual parkrun #12 – 06.06.2020

Another week has come and gone and we are still no nearer to knowing when we will be back at parkrun for real. Fortunately, we have our Virtual existence that new people are finding each week (hello to our 6 first timers - including Pia Burkal who had a "nice run in the sunshine" as she ran around Copenhagen!!!), and I am constantly receiving messages and emails from other events around the country and world asking about the intricacies of how to set up their own virtual event. Today's messages came from North Wales and the Republic of Ireland (watch this space on those ones), and we have the honour of welcoming Henley Wood parkrun, Oswestry to our virtual model!

Henley Wood officially counts for anyone wanting to complete the compass club badge on Running Challenges due to its name containing the village name too - OsWESTry.

Another First Timer to quickly mention was parkrun debutant Jackie Shah. Jackie has never run a parkrun in Virtual or Actual form. She is from Marple and I only have two facts about Marple.

  1. Their running club's strips resemble Dennis the Menace jumpers
  2. The Global Operations Manager for parkrun UK, James Kemp, is from Marple, and when he visited Melton (Equinox weekend 2 years ago) he described it as "the perfect event" (smug!!! (me, not him))

Our Run Director today is on the core team at Bestwood Village parkrun, and his very professional image (nice that someone made an effort for us) made him look like a trustworthy sort. And the pride with which he spoke of his own event actually seemed to sell it to us all fairly well. We would be forgiven for finding him so convincing that we would no longer be put off by the nickname of Beastwood! This guy who shall remain nameless in the interest of balance, did such a good job of making Bestwood sound idylic that he could easily secure a job on the North Korean tourist board (paraphrased quote from another of today's runners).

I do really want to say a big thank you to today's RD but it has become a running joke that he has been mentioned too many times in our run reports, and so he shall simply be referred to as the brother of Mr Nina (who today thought his brother being RD would mean he would get away with only running 4.96km)! Seriously though, when this is all done with and we are parkrunning for real once more, do visit Bestwood. It is a tough run but beautiful!

The unpredictable weather had an expected impact upon our field of runners today and a modest, but still impressive 170 of you ran, jogged and walked around courses of your own design and choosing. Even with the lower numbers we still managed an impressive 39 PBs (23% of the field).

With so many achieving new best times including Mike Brighty for the 8th week on the trot, and Andrea Crellin who is still eyeing up that World Record attempt, I think it is also important to give a shout out to the nearly-ones. David Brook and Joanna Davis both painfully equalled their PBs from previous weeks!! (Best not mention Tracey Unwin who was 1 whole second away from her PB!) David Harknett got a PB of a different kind by actually submitting his result before the 8pm deadline, and Ian Wells also managed to remember to post his results at all!

It is with sadness that we have to announce the impending departure of Lee Harley-Hotchkiss. Last week he got under 22 minutes as a great PB. Just 7 days later he has got his time under 21 minutes - and so he is now announcing his retirement (shall we tell him that there are other numbers?)

Finally on the subject of records, is it all just a little bit of history repeated? In February 2015, on our 5th event, Jason Barton broke the course record that was shared between two runners. He held on to this course record for just a single week. Last week, JB and Paul Kerr ran PBs to share our virtual event record. 7 days later and it's gone again! Huge congrats to Toby Heaver for running a great all-time parkrun PB of 18.05!

A couple of shoutouts to our very own barkrunners , Bertie the Spaniel (in the results under the pseudonym "Caroline Webb") and Flynn the dog who was not impressed at being dragged out for a run by "dad" Trevor Wade, but was finally persuaded at the offer of a treat (if any of you have not seen the treat in the results pics, it kind of looks like a cross between a Christmas candy cane and a child's femur!!!)

In the Friday reminder on Facebook, I was talking about the highly tenuous importance of the number 12 in the world of parkrun. I do have a correction to make. I stated that Paul Sinton Hewitt was joined by 12 friends to run the very first Bushy Park Time Trial back in Octiber 2004. 13 people did run the course, and PSH was there, but in fact, he was injured! He did the RD role so there were 13 of his friends there (could I save my factoid by saying that one of them he didn't really like that much???)

I also stated that of the 12 members of the Melton Mowbray parkrun core team, 4 of them had 12 letters in their name. There were a few guesses as to who they would be so here they are...

Shane Sharkey, Liz Parkinson, Mike Williams and Anne Craddock

The latter of which had her first run today since her nasty fall and sprain a few weeks back. A huge welcome back to Anne who was supervised around her run by her mum Alison. We still have a pandemic afoot so social distancing is important and their selfies clearly show them being over 2m apart. In fact, so do their times!!! Alison mentioned in her Strava run title that she was keeping an eye on Anne - how she managed to keep an eye on her from 4 minutes in front is impressive (another eye-test fun fact at the end of the report)

Another big welcome back to Louise Bridgeman who is finally allowed out after 14 days of Covid related isolation.

Jenny and Clive Kent did some proper tourism today! They drove TWO MILES from their door to start their run! In the meantime, Graham Foster didn't even set foot out the front door due to the hail storm, and so he ran his full 5k on the dreadmill!

I usually have a piece about the failings of prospective tail walkers (people who have claimed to be tail walkers but appear mid-table on the results). This week, not one person claimed to be our tail walker with their submissions so we must say a thank you to a very modest Jayne Bavin for getting us all round well and safe. Regular tail walker, Charlotte Coltman remembered to submit her result when she read the post at 8pm saying that the deadline was up! I suppose this would count as a tail walker fail (she still didn't finish behind Jayne though).

While on the subject of volunteer fails, Mark Preston claims he did an epic failure in trying to pace 30 minutes! He was 24 seconds ahead of time. If I were wanting to pace a certain time and the person I was following got me round 24 seconds under it, I would be delighted. It is clear that Mark has the highest pacing standards of anyone I know!!!


Fun Fact - Last week I made some jokes about a certain eye test. Any opthalmologists among you will be despairing that today is the 6th June 2020! While we use 20/20 vision (to denote what we should be able to see from 20 feet away), the American system utilises 6/6 (what you should see from 6 yards away). Today is 6/6/2020!!!!

Also, over the past 12 weeks, we have had 374 runners completing 2017 Virtual parkruns - a combined distance of 10,085 km. Using this, we could celebrate the significance of today's date by traveling to the Pro-Vision Center (364 Maine Mall, South Portland, Maine, USA), have our eyes tested, run the Acadia National Park half marathon (scheduled for tomorrow - cancelled) and then come home again!


Virtual parkrun #5 – 18.04.2020

Well today's run really separated out the fair weather runners! From 193 last week, our numbers fell a little to 167 today!

Despite this, we still had an impressive 63 personal bests, and 24 First Timers.

We have a number of volunteers to thank for today's Virtual event. First of all, this morning's wonderfully committed Run Director, Sharon Mee (who else could it be with that teaser photo of leggings??). She was so committed this morning that she posted the teaser pic, ran to where she was going to start her run, realised she had no 4g there to post the FB Live video briefing and ran all the way home to brief you all before heading back to start her run (again)!

One of the things that Melton is known for, is having some of the greatest marshals in the game. What better sight could there be than having your run take you through the country park, and seeing Melton's most experienced marshal standing on a corner that you're taking??!! This is what happened today when Nina Snowling marshaled Ashley Milne's run while she was out running her very own PB!

We would also like to thank Paul Davidson for being a VI Guide to Netty Stevens; and Andrea Crellin's unnamed neighbour who apparently ran miles in front of her, but still managed to pace her to a 2 minute PB! #didheevenknowhewasbeingfollowed

Kelly Chapman, Rach Cousen AND Sarah Lawrence ALL claimed to be our Tail Walkers for today, yet they all failed monumentally by not being our final finishers! Thank you to Charlotte Coltman for making sure we all got back safely.

Finally, it is not a usual thing to have a Warm-Up Leader at the 5k events - they are usually reserved for the 2k junior parkruns every Sunday, but in the Virtual world of parkrun's we can make an exception. Kristy Nicholls was suitably warmed up by "watching Dirty Pretty Liars and sitting on my bum eating cake!"

Sharon did mention the idea of there being a Strava Art competition. This will start with today's runs and will continue for as long as we are having to hold a Virtual Event. Please keep checking our Facebook page for details over the coming days.

Until next week, everyone, Stay Safe!




Melton Mowbray Virtual parkrun – Event #2 – 28.03.2020

Another fantastic day of running with some amazing performances and plenty of new faces. Last week a wonderful 84 people submitted their results for our inaugural event. Today, the total rose by 40 to 124 with the addition of 61 First Timers.

Of those 63 returning athletes, a whopping 39 recorded new Personal Bests!!! A superb 62% of returners got a PB! Well done to all!

We also had some amazing race, sprint finishes! You know those wonderful moments where two people are fighting for the finish line!? The only difference today is that those involved had absolutely no idea that they were involved in such a tight finish!

First of all, we had Mark Ashmore and Emily Hollis, Martin Taylor-Beeby and John Kerr, Zoe Nicholls pipped dad Andy by a whole second for the second week running, Nicola Taylor and Andrew Wrath, Rebecca Forrester and Matt White, Matt Taylor and Heidi Gough, Srah Lawrence and Og Ster, Jacqui Riley and Stevie Taylor, Robert Mee and Dan O'Gorman, Jenson Drage and Tracey Unwin, Henry Apps and Ashley Jackson, Andrew Bignell and Lindsay and William Apps, Greeba Heard and Ian Craddock, and Emma/Neil Hope crossed the line side by side with James/Rachel Jesson.

Conrad Gray, Ffion Jones, Rich Gray and Laurence Worn had only 2 seconds between them; as did Elizabeth Meynell, Alana Drage, Ian Drage and Emma Sharkey!

A very special shout-out to Peter Shirtcliffe who joined us as a tourist from South Africa. As they are on total lockdown there (not even allowed out for the one-a-day that we are), he decided to run 56 laps around the 90m perimeter of his own house!

Massive congrats to you all for still getting out there and maintaining social distancing guidelines. The parkrun community is one of the greatest there is so it is important we can keep it going throughout this.

Huge thanks to our volunteers today - Our Run Director, Liz Dino parkrunson (she won't thank me for that); and Ayesha Bickle for marshalling her dad's garden run.

Full Results can be found here

Until next week, stay safe everyone!



Melton Mowbray Virtual parkrun – Event #1 21/03/2020

Coronavirus or COVID19 has swept the globe resulting in local businesses closing, people working from home, and mass participation events (including parkrun) unable to go ahead.

However, finding the balance between maintaining social distance guidelines, and our need for that Saturday morning fix, we tabled the idea of doing a Melton Mowbray virtual parkrun.

The premise is that we all go out on Saturday and run our usual 5k - the only difference being that we do not run it all together, at the exact same start time, or even on the same course! We would simply keep the conversation going by sharing our runs and I promised that I would attempt to collate the results onto one spreadsheet this evening. I was not expecting a whopping 80 submissions on our first run!!!

This task has not been as easy as results processing usually is as there was no centrally used timing device that spoke immediately to the results processing system (Microsoft Excel), there was no barcode scanning meaning that individuals didn't need to be individually types into place, nor did everyone run 5k!!!!

Where people ran approximately 5k, I have taken the time straight from their uploaded Strava/Garmin screenshots. However, for those who ran 6k+ I have calculated their 5k time using their average pace over the entire run. This should hopefully make the results comparable if not perfect.

It does appear that this situation could be here for a little longer than we would like it to be, so in the meantime, I will be trying to track performances using this method. Please be mindful that this does not count as an accredited parkrun - you do not get run or volunteer credits - it is just for fun.

Saying that, I would like to shout out to this week's volunteers - Lisa BRIGHTY for marshalling husband, Mike's run, and Viv MAYFIELD who even saved her Strava file as "Tail Walking Melton parkrun" despite not even finishing last!

Results can be found here! Until next week guys...



Event #277 – MRC C25k Graduation

Congratulations to all the MRC C25Kers who have completed their first parkrun today and those who have come back and reinvigorated their running. Be warned it is addictive.

parkrun is not a race, it's a collective group of runners, of all abilities whether you complete the 5K distance in 17 minutes or an hour it's about your own achievements and goals and of course the fantastic camaraderie and friendship that grows from this shared activity.

We hope that you have enjoyed the ten week program and your journey to running 5K and that you will continue to run each week with either MRC on Monday at 6:30 PM or parkrun on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM or maybe even both.received_667235270697757

Today we had a turnout of 198 runners, with 25 of those getting a new PB. 22 people ran Melton Mowbray parkrun for the first time and 12 of those were first time parkrunners.

First home was Alex Pulis with a PB of 17.51, first female was Zoe Nicholls in 22.21, and best age % was Julie Braker with 77.73%.

Amanda English came to Melton to complete her 50th run, along with regular Eunice Hansen. Paul Biggerdyke completed his 100th run today and his wife Debbie completed her first.

Many of the runners running parkrun here today have, over the last 6 years, completed the MRC C25K programme, some now run 10k’s regularly as well as Half and Full Marathons, Ultras and 24 hours races. Wherever your running takes you the running community of MRC, parkrun and Stilton Striders are all here to offer you help and support. Once again congratulations to all the C25K graduates and we look forward to seeing you next week. Remember to call into the café for a tea or coffee and catch up afterwards.
Many thanks today to the volunteers who without them parkrun could not happen if you would like to help in the future please contact

Today’s parkrun volunteers were Paula BAXTER, John COUSEN, Tommy DICKSON, Nikola DOLPHIN-ROWLAND, Dan GIBLETT, Jonty GIBLETT, Eve HARKNETT, Gill LEACH, Debbie LONGLEY, Oliver LOWE, Clare MEASURES, Rob MEE, Hannah NUTTER, Mark PRESTON, Nick PRYKE, Alison SANDILANDS, Nina SNOWLING, Susan TYLER, Vanessa WALKER, Mike WILLIAMS, Natalie WOOD, Andrew WRATH
Additional MRC volunteers were Simon BERG, Rachel COUSEN, Danielle HOLMES, Richard HOLMES, Sharon MEE, Ashley MILNE, Gary MILNE.received_193369261955854

A special thank you to Micheal COOKE from Melton Sports for presenting certificates to those who completed the C25K course.


Event number 258 – 16.11.19

Yet another week where we all get our feet wet however much we may try to avoid all the puddles. Enormous thanks go out to the fantastic volunteers that make our run possible, especially in these difficult conditions.

There were at least fifteen intrepid volunteers out there in the cold and damp today making this still one of the friendliest parkruns around. They were supporting 157 parkrunners making their way around our wonderful course for event number #258. It was great to see two people, Clara Dziemianko and Zachary Stevens, joining parkrun for the first time, and a further 14  people gaining a first experience of our famous hill(s). Also, twelve people set a new PB – congratulations to all.

We also congratualte and celebrate a number of milestones: 50 runs for Sam Parsons and Garry Leeson; 100 runs for Tracey Unwin; and 150 for Rebecca Forrester and Ashley Jackson. I hope I haven’t missed anybody.

One milestone was very special to some of us.  Ffion Jones reached her 100th parkrun milestone at Melton on Saturday, but it has been some journey! Ffion took part in her first parkrun in June 2013 and was usually out at an event most weeks afterwards. She took part in the first Melton parkrun in January 2015. She would sometimes run with family members but Ffion was faster than all of us, capable of sub 20-minute times, so occasionally went out towards the front. Ffion was someone who was therefore extremely fit; but in summer 2016 suffered devastating illness with Lyme Disease. For a period of more than two years she was utterly debilitated by this disease. It was sometimes difficult to walk, let alone run. Throughout her difficult treatment Ffion all the time had the inspirational target of wanting to be able to return for a parkrun. There were many hopes and false starts. Last November it was a fantastic triumph of determination to make her come back at Melton parkrun and even managed to run up the hill!

Ffion introduced a whole family group of us to parkrun back in 2013, stretching from veterans, to her partner Laurence, and through to infants. We now have more than 750 parkruns between us. It's a real celebration for us all that she has reached this milestone that she has been so looking forward to, and have a chance to proudly wear the black tee shirt. Not everything is perfect still: Lyme Disease doesn’t go away and tiredness sometimes means she cannot run every week So it's a very gradual progression back to, hopefully, something like lasting fitness, where parkrun plays such a key role. Not only for Ffion, I'm sure, but many like her.

See for further details.

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Event #254 – 19.10.2019 #thankyoumarshals

I have always been passionate about promoting sport for children. What I love about junior parkrun is that it enables me to do just this alongside seeing families spend quality time together on a Sunday morning all centred around sport. I love the atmosphere and I love the friends that I have made through volunteering. We all have the same goal - we're there for the kids and the event and we all love it
- Kristy Nicholls, Melton Mowbray juniors
- 95 volunteer credits

It started as a strong desire to ensure we got MMpr off the ground to create that special community locally. It continued as the perfect way to start the weekend - family, community, exercise in the outdoors and the odd bacon sandwich afterwards...

- Rich Gray, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 48 volunteer credits

It's just the right way to start a Saturday - forming part of a team who allow others to turn up and do their event 1 or their event 100. The Melton Mowbray parkrun community is a fabulous group of people and getting to support that is just fantastic. But let's be honest.... It really just gives me an outlet for the tiny megaphone that I have in place of my lungs!
- Liz Parkinson, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 41 volunteer credits

Volunteering at parkrun has meant that I have made so many amazing friends, who support each other through good times and unfortunately sad times too, whilst enabling the local community to have a fantastic event week on week. parkrun has also supported an amazing gentleman with learning disabilities who I have the privilege of working with and I will be eternally grateful to the parkrun community for not judging him and welcoming him to their event. Melton Mowbray parkrun will probably never truly understand the positive impact this made on this gentleman’s life. In essence this is why I love parkrun, it really is an all-inclusive event which embraces everyone regardless of ability. Keep on parkrunning (and volunteering to make this event happen each Saturday). Thank you to all of the new friends that I have made and those that I am yet to meet’
- Catherine Ball, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 75 volunteer credits

Volunteering at parkrun is as beneficial to me as it is to those taking part. I notice a vast improvement to my own mental health just by having more of a reason to get me out of bed, into the open air, and get to encourage/support others. I leave with a feeling of satisfaction and that I’ve done something good today.
- Emma Herd, Rutland Water parkrun RD
- 100 volunteer credits

When I volunteer at parkrun, I feel like part of a family, I love that the contribution that I make is helping to nurture and encourage our members both mentally and physically as others have done for me.
- Sharon Mee, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 38 volunteer credits

parkrun is a place where I see people get together from all walks of life to achieve the same purpose run/walk/volunteer our fantastic course. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone is so welcoming and encouraging, it is like one big family. You have new faces and familiar faces and everyone is treated equally and with the same level of encouragement. It’s the best place to be on a Saturday morning and I wouldn’t swap it for anything else.
- Anne Craddock, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 17 volunteer credits

It's good to contribute to the running of this free event. I see all the field, not just those I run round with. Without volunteers parkrun wouldn't happen, so good to do my bit. I can still be part of parkrun when injured/resting before a race. A good time with a good crowd of volunteers
- Nick Pryke, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 45 volunteer credits

I actually enjoy volunteering at parkrun more than I enjoy running it. When volunteering you really get to understand (and appreciate) what parkrun is - a community. It’s rewarding to know that you are enabling others to run whilst you volunteer, safe in the knowledge that the tables will flip the following week so you can lace up and head to the start!
- Mark Ashmore, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 39 volunteer credits

Volunteering at parkrun means a lot to me, because I share a passion for running and the outdoors. There is huge sense of satisfaction from volunteering at parkrun. parkrun helps me with great health and wellbeing benefits. I have learnt new skills in the different volunteering roles since and whilst successfully completing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in 2018
- Sarah Louise Clarke, Duke of Edinburgh Candidate
- 51 volunteer credits at Melton Mowbray parkrun

I came to Jnr parkrun because I believe kids should be active, running has meant so much to me in the last few years and I wanted to support the next generation. But it gave me so much whole family got involved and it was a rare thing that we did the four of us, volunteering and running, it was lovely to be part of something as a family. We all became part of a community and met so many great people. It has felt such a positive way to start a Sunday morning.
- Lindsay Apps, Melton Mowbray juniors
- 49 volunteer credits

parkrun for me started out as a way of supporting my Couch to 5k program, seeing how my running was progressing, striving for the next PB and the elusive sub 30 min 5k! It soon became so much more - a friendly, welcoming community, a place to natter over coffee with other runners, to learn about local running events, make new friends and spend time just being me, not wife or busy working mum. I love volunteering - cheering everyone on and seeing everyone finish after going up the hill twice, talking to visitors about how much they enjoyed our course, encouraging those just starting out on their running journeys, seeing all the amazing young runners achieve times I can only dream of! The parkrun community has supported and given me so much over the last 3 years and I am proud to be a part of it
- Rachel Holland, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 34 volunteer credits

When I first heard Shane talking about this event called parkrun I never knew what an impact it would have on my life.

The first two events I ran and then I started volunteering, mostly in the finish area with the core team and then I began marshalling.

Over the past nearly 5 years parkrun has been the one constant thing in my life. At first helping me physically but more so now with my mental health. At times I have struggled to make it, but I always know that it is there, and that when I am able to come back it’s like I’ve never been away.
I honestly hand on my heart don’t know where I would be without parkrun: it is my safe haven and I need it in my life.

Volunteering gives me so much joy, laughter, hugs, and being part of a fantastic community but the best thing of all is the amazing friends I have made.
It has given me my parkrun family and I will be forever grateful for that xxx
- Nina Snowling, Melton Mowbray and Melton Mowbray juniors
- 166 volunteer credits

Volunteering at parkrun gives me immense satisfaction as i am there to support everyone that is running and by doing it with the other volunteers it is making sure the event happens every week which is only good for the community and everyone that wants to give it a go to try and improve their lives.
- Nicola Drage, Melton Mowbray and Melton Mowbray juniors
– 90 volunteer credit

I have never had a good relationship with fitness and looking after myself until a couple of years back and only tried parkrun after getting severely disappointed at how I was letting my body go. Although I was racked with anxiety (what if I make a fool of myself? How out of place am I going to look? Will people be judging me for my pace, running form or literally anything else?) I knew that my dog Sherlock would love it and so he came along with me as my emotional support. I’ve never been able to run so it was more of a shuffle but the support and encouragement from total strangers, not to mention the utter shock on a former teachers face when he saw me!, was incredible and although I’ve not been able to run as much as I would’ve liked I was determined to be part of the atmosphere and so turned to marshalling! The atmosphere is still absolutely fantastic and both Sherlock and I love to cheer everyone on! Having lost my father earlier this summer my anxieties were even more pronounced and I was severely worried I wouldn’t be able to make it back to the event at all but the support from fellow marshals and organisers, and in particular Nina and Shane, has been amazing and has given me the desire to return.....well as soon as my sprained ankle is properly fixed!
- Hannah Nutter, Melton Mowbray parkrun
– 5 volunteer credits

I enjoy inspiring the struggling and sharing the enjoyment of the parkrun family.
- Jim Morris, Melton Mowbray and Newark parkruns
- 35 volunteer credits

Parkrun is the highlight of my week, I love the buzz in the air beforehand, the tea and chat afterwards and everything in between. Volunteering gives a different perspective, making other people happy is a good feeling. Sorry I can't be there this morning, have my run leader training course, hugs and thumbs up all round to our fantastic team of marshals, tail walkers, scanners, token sorters and timers and, of course, run directors too! Xx
- Jenny Kent, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 44 volunteer credits

Volunteering gives us the opportunity to experience parkrun from "the other side", which gives a whole different perspective of the event, leaving you with a sense of achievement that you have enabled others to enjoy their morning's running and a better understanding, as a runner, of what it takes to make the event happen each and every week.
- Peter and Paula Speechley – uber tourists extraordinaire
- 90 volunteer credits between them

Without volunteering at parkrun my love for running would never have returned.
- Emma Sharkey, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 47 volunteer credits

I am a person who feels always on the outside looking in, wanting to join but with an overwhelming fear of rejection and not worthy. Volunteering at parkrun is like being part of one big happy family. We are all equal and welcome each other with open arms. I have stood up in front of 200 people...proving to myself that I am capable of more than I give myself credit for. I see the reward for volunteering as being a part of each and everyone’s journey, sharing with them their successes and helping them to have positivity in their day.
- Helen Benzie, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 158 volunteer credits

Melton Mowbray parkrun has been amazing helping me make new friends, improve my physical and mental fitness and feeling part of the community. Volunteering at parkrun is my chance to say thank you by supporting and encouraging my new ‘family’. I find it truly inspiring to see people of all ages and abilities turning up in all weathers. It is wonderful to be part of the team and encouraging and supporting everyone achieve something whether it be their first parkrun, a new PB, a milestone run, returning after injury or visiting a new parkrun. I am proud to be part of that team so thank you volunteers for making it possible and thank you parkrunners because if it wasn’t for you I would never have had the chance to do this rewarding role.
- Mike Williams, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 43 volunteer credits

Being able to give back to a running community that has given me so much is a real pleasure, volunteering at parkrun is my way of saying thank you everyone I'm a stronger, fitter and happier person because of you (parkrun).
- Jon Wilson, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 14 volunteer credits

It's the wonderful fulfilment of giving back to the park run community. Parkrun runs because of volunteers so naturally I enjoy this aspect too. I love the run but love to see others enjoying their time at parkrun.
I love volunteering and getting to cheer others on and having the chance later on to have a cuppa in the cafe and a proper chat with so many people that often if I'm running I don't get the chance to really see. It's the sense of togetherness- it's great.

When I'm marshalling I have a bit if game with myself and just to see how many people I actually know, I always say well done and name the person as they run past me!! I know so many!
The running community as a whole have done so much for me and my family supporting us since Ray has passed away.Ray loved parkrun and I couldn't imagine how we would have coped without all the love we feel at parkrun and the amazing people involved there.

I love our purple events and the other fun things we do such as the Christmas day run and other themed ones.
- Vanessa Walker, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 40 volunteer credits

Volunteering at parkrun is the opportunity to give a small amount of my time, but have a big impact on my local community. It is a positive part of my day that helps maintain the very existence of this weekly event.
- Calum Walker, Ally Pally parkrun
- 7 volunteer credits

Volunteering gives me that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that I've been part of making someone's day that little bit brighter. Mark says 'volunteering stops him having a lie in'
- Julie and Mark Thompson, East Midlands parkrun Ambassadors
- 568 volunteer credits between them

Volunteering at parkrun means always having a reason to get up dress from head to foot in orange and be out early in the morning AND be appreciated for shouting loudly and enthusiastically instead of being disowned by my now grown up children for being embarassing! It enables me to communicate my passion for sports and the outdoors and contribute to others in my local community and the wider parkrun community.

After a long career in education coaching and organising sports for pupils of all ages, volunteering at junior parkrun gives me the opportunity to encourage the next generation of parkrunners to have a go and take part to the best of their ability!

Volunteering at parkrun has enabled me to meet and talk to more local people and visitors over a cup of tea then I ever did in the whole 10 years I lived in Melton Mowbray before I came to parkrun. It improves my physical and mental health and enables me to connect with like-minded people.
- Sue Hale, Melton Mowbray parkrun
- 17 volunteer credits

Volunteering for me is getting involved with people, I enjoy the RD side of it for the responsibility it brings and seeing the rewards as people of all abilities cross the finish line

- Brian Walkiling, Melton Mowbray parkrun

- 60 volunteer credits


Event number 251 – 28.09.2019

After reaching 100 parkruns in July this year at my local parkrun in Market Harborough, I’ve started to tourist more and tick off my NENDY runs. After going to Rugby and Daventry in August, next up was Melton Mowbray. With over 2 years of parkruns under my belt but not actually visiting the one closest to where I grew up, it was time to tick Melton Mowbray off the list

It was an early wake up call to make sure we arrived with plenty of time. The first timers briefing revealed a steep hill, which we were looking forward to! The course was lovely and scenic with encouraging marshals. The hill certainly tests your fitness levels!

It was a pleasure to join in the parkrun fun for event number #251. There were an amazing 26 first timers; 9 people started their parkrun journey and 17 tourist-ing. 11 people set a new PB - congratulations!

We stopped off for a drink in the cafe afterwards. No pork pies though but luckily a friend had some in her car!

I would highly recommend this course to anyone and maybe I’ll be back soon. However, my next NENDY is now further afield in Bedworth

(Molly Smith)1569769345763_image1


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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