Run Report for event #95 – The Takeover!

Over 110 parkrunners braved the blustery conditions on Saturday at Middleton Woods to get their park run fix for the week.

Gathering at the start for event 95 – a takeover by the South Leeds Lakers running club – it was pretty impressive to see so many Lakers dotted all around the course and amongst the volunteers in their fabulous green, black and orange vests

At the start, Ian – the Guest Run Director did a great job in competing with the blustery conditions around him to deliver the usual briefing. Whilst there were no milestones to celebrate, there was an opportunity to welcome a few first ever parkrunners to Middleton and to identify any visiting tourists. Two ladies from Rugby emerged as the parkrunners whom had travelled furthest. After a hearty round of applause for the many volunteers in attendance – both from the Lakers and the Core Team – we were off.

Visiting from York and having never had the pleasure of visiting Middleton before I was really excited to see how the course would compare to other local events I had done. First impressions were great. I really enjoyed the gentle, descent down into the woods and taking in the beautiful scenery. Running under the cover of the trees, I couldn’t help but think that the make up of the area would potentially nullify the blustery weather and make for a really pleasant run. Thinking of this completely took my thoughts away from the fact that we would have to return up the same hill at some point. Running past the small lake and then down a great downward stretch, the hard work began with big patches of mud, a bit of bogginess and some sharp turns.

On getting to the top of this beastly section of the run, it was great to see a welcoming marshall stood waiting. She even shouted ‘You’re doing great’ as I slowly ran past them. Although I didn’t feel or look great (!!) this positive encouragement gave me a great boost and I tackled the last lap with even more gusto. Some mud, bogginess and heavy breathing later, it was great to saunter over the finish line in a good time. Crossing with a mixture of relief and contentmentit was definitely a case of a job well doneWatching the other runners coming in, it was great to see many happy and determined faces as they jogged, ran and sprinted over the finish line.

With a new found respect and knowledge Middleton’s hills of mud, I definitely hope to return again sometime to do it all again. If you want a bit of everything – some great trails, lovely woodland views and a friendly and positive volunteer team, and a great local running presence in the Lakers, Middleton will be right up your street! Just don’t forget your trail shoes like I nearly did!

Many congratulations to all the participants including the following: 

Keelan HENRY – First Male Finisher and a South Leeds Laker himself (19:41).

Andrew PARNHAM – First Female Finisher and a New PB (23:34)

Anne MIDDLETON - Best Age Grading (70.53%)with a time of 26:45. Anne should really get extra marks for sharing her name with the event too!

Andrew THRIPPLETON - Most Experienced Parkrunneramazingly completing his 277thparkrun.

Also well done in particular to the 7 Juniors whotook part today. Well done to Thomas LENTON who finished 4th overall with a cracking time of 21:44. Congratulations to Jessica BOWMAN and Finlay APPLEYARD who both achieved PBs!

For the benefit of the statistically inclined we welcomed an incredible 29 first time visitors from different parkruns, and runners from a range of different running clubsTourists came from Rugby, Wakefield, York, Baildon, Loughborough, Denby Dale, Barnsley and Danum, whilst we had local representation from Abbey Runners, Kirkstall Harriers, and St. Theresa’s. A big shout out to the many South Leeds Lakers runners who came down en masse to support the takeover – you did an amazing job!

Congratulations to the amazing 13 parkrunners who smashed their PBs today. An amazing achievement on a challenging course, in windy conditions. 

We finally welcomed 3 first ever parkrunners toMiddleton WoodsWell done Samantha REID, Graham LEE and Carol TODD for completing your maiden parkrunCongratulations and welcome to the parkrun family!

Today’s parkrun wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to ensuring the event went as smoothly as ever. Thank you to the followingawesome volunteers who offered encouragement and a warm welcome:


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Middleton Woods parkrun results page.

The female record is held by Alice LEAKE who recorded a time of 18:57 on 1st January 2020 (event number 87).
The male record is held by Jonathan WALTONwho recorded a time of 16:56 on 14th September 2019 (event number 72).
The Age Grade course record is held by Treena JOHNSON who recorded 89.42(20:48) on 19thOctober 2019 (event number 77).

Credit Dave Lingwood for the report



New Year – New Records – Run Report 01/01/2020


Firstly let me start off by wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

So onto this morning and what a morning it was. Many events across West Yorkshire saw their record attendances getting smashed and I can happily say that Middleton Woods was not an exception to this. This morning saw 282 athletes turn out to run, jog and walk, and all starting at 0830 in the morning! Our previous record was 222 so we had 60 more then we ever had. So let me thank all of you who came out.


There will be some key stats further down in this article put after the record attendance, there is only one place for me to go next; There are 11 people who need a massive shout out, that without them there is no event this morning. The team this morning saw the biggest numbers ever and took it all in stride with no issue at all (bar our tokens after 200 recently being stolen), and that meant we had to think on our feet and come up with our super high tech solution that some of you will have seen. I honestly can not put into words how grateful I am to the team this morning and even more so to the set up crew who were in the park closer to 7am than anyone would normally like. So once again a massive thank you to the team this morning!

Event 87 Stats:

Runners: 282 - Congrats to you all!

First Timers: 119 - Welcome all, hope to see you back soon!

Personal Bests: 31 - Great start to the year for you guys!

Clubs Taking Part: 70 - Absolutely staggering, please recommend a club visit soon!

Course Records: FEMALE RECORD - Alice L who recorded a time of 18:57 on 1st January 2020 (event number 87)

Volunteers: 11- Awesome individuals making sure the event happened

Stat of the Day: Has to go to Alice who on the first day of 2020 broke our female course record - CONGRATULATIONS!

P.S. Thank you to Leeds Urban Bike Park for allowing us to use the car park this morning, and for allowing us to store our equipment through 2019 and going forward, and for the excellent facilities we get to use because of you guys, and with that congratulations from the MW park run team for winning the MBR / SRAM Commercial Trail of 2019 Awards!


Safeguarding Rules

If you are the parent of a child under 11, please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with this policy. It is from the parkrun wiki site which holds lots of useful information on every subject.

As a team we say this every week in our pre run brief but this rule has been subject to some creative interpretations in the last few months and heading in to a new year seems as good as of a time as any to post out this reminder.

Due to the location of our course in the woods, it simply isn’t safe to have children under 11 on their own. Please bear in mind we very rarely have marshals on our course, and there are members of the general public, bike riders & potential of horses throughout the duration of run.

The policy as detailed below clearly states that under 11’s must be within arms reach of their responsible adult at all times. We are aware some park runs are happy for a sprint finish, and we are happy with this likewise, however our definition is that it is in the last 50 meters or so when there would only ever be a few seconds difference maximum between the child finishing and the adult then finishing.

Children at parkrun

This is a global policy and our definition of a child, across all parkrun territories, is anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday.
Every week we welcome tens of thousands of children to our events. This results in a number of safeguarding challenges across a diverse range of environments and as such it’s critical that we present a clear and concise position.
Since parkrun started in 2004 we have welcomed children to participate, as volunteers or runners, at all of our events. Across all parkrun and junior parkrun events children are permitted to register and participate from the age of four, specifics of how we support them are presented below.

The Policy

We want children to have an overwhelmingly positive experience at parkrun; participating because they want to, in a way they want to; and in a safe environment at all times. In general, at parkrun events, children aged 11 and over are free to participate as individuals in a similar way to adults. They are still children and we are committed to providing the safest possible environment for them to participate in, and we fully accept our duty of care over these individuals. It’s important to note however that the ultimate responsibility for their welfare remains with their parents or guardians.

Walking, jogging, or running

 At our 5k Saturday events, children under the age of 11 must be within arm's reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents' choice at all times.
 At junior parkrun events children can run on their own from the age of 4 until the day before their 15th birthday.
 Under the age of 11 children must be accompanied to the start, and from the finish, of the event.
 As with adults, children must always participate on foot. The only exception to this is that we do welcome wheelchair users where the course permits. In appropriate circumstances children may, if needed, be carried for short periods, however this must only be at a sensible walking pace and not running.


 Children are a wonderful part of every parkrun community and we encourage them to volunteer.
 Children under the age of 11 must be within arm's reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents' choice at all times.
 Those aged 11 or over can volunteer without their parent or guardian, but should be within close proximity of a responsible adult volunteer. This is providing all parties are comfortable with this arrangement.
 Event Directors must be aged 18 or over. Those under the age of 18 can be Run Directors, if accompanied by an adult Run Director.

Event Team Responsibility

 At no point should event teams take responsibility for pairing under-11 children with responsible adults.
 As with all volunteers, Event Teams must provide young volunteers with a high-vis vest, provide adequate training in the relevant role, and also give them clear information about what to do in the case of an emergency or if they require assistance.
 The under 11s policies are there as a support tool in order that event teams can prevent inappropriate participation by younger children. The key principles of this policy should be communicated at all first-timer and pre-run briefings, as well as repeated frequently on social media and event news pages. They are also a condition of our insurance policies, so please do not feel you need to be apologetic when explaining them.
 Event teams are at all times responsible for the safety of their participants, and where breaches of this policy are observed they should be raised with the families in question.
 All discussions with a parent or guardian should be done in a supportive manner. It can often be difficult for parents whose children are much faster than them. We should be understanding of this and provide encouragement but noting that the policy must be complied with.
 Any concerns related to safeguarding should be recorded as an incident on our online system and, in the case of repeat offenders, teams have the authority to remove results (and volunteer credits) of everybody involved.
 Anything perceived as serious should be raised with parkrun HQ immediately, where appropriate action will be taken. In extreme cases, particularly where a child is seen as at immediate risk of harm, local emergency services should be contacted.
 At no point should teams proactively seek-out breaches of this policy as from experience we know that important issues will be noticed and attempts to aggressively enforce less important ones often result in conflict.
 At no point should teams attempt to physically prevent anyone from participating at parkrun events. Our events are delivered in public areas of open space and the only sanction we are able to apply is to remove results.



Xmas ’19 and New year ’20

Following conversations with the core team we have made the following decisions on additional parkruns.

Christmas Day: No Event (Roundhay & Woodhouse Nearest Events (0900))

New Year Day: 0830 Start  (Rothwell & Temple Newsam 1030 for those who want to double up)

Finally we would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas & New Year!

Team Middleton Woods


More Middleton Milestones (#78: a rare wet one)

Back in June Phil Walker wrote about his 50th Parkrun at Middleton Woods.  As is usually the case at Middleton he recalled that “the sun was out and it felt mildly warm”. 

On Saturday 26th October I completed my 50th Parkrun and shared the experience with Martin Kaye as he completed the double: his 50th Parkrun and his 50th as a volunteer.  I would like to say it was sunny and warm, but in reality, it really wasn’t.  It was persistently raining with streams instead of paths on the slopes of Middleton Woods.  

The wonderful and resilient volunteers at the start/finish area as always did a sterling job making sure all 38 Park Runners were counted in and got their time. It was the least everyone deserved for turning out in such a poor weather.  

I did my first Parkrun in June 2018 at Middleton Woods with a mixture of nerves and some excitement. The nerves were both for the run and the actual turning up bit.  I needn’t have worried about turning up as the team at Middleton are wonderfully friendly and it always a pleasure to make the 9am start. 

The hill at Middleton Woods, which you run/walk up twice still causes nerves!

One of the joys of Parkrun is that you go at your own pace and everyone is applauded for their efforts, after all it is 5K whatever time you take and the volunteering tail walker is always the last one to finish.  

So, in 16 months I have completed 50 Park runs, 44 at Middleton. The course is a joy, with something different every week as the woods alter with the changing weather and seasons.  It is not an easy or quick course as shown by the fact that only one person has managed to break 17 minutes; big hat tip to Jonathan Walton. 

Thanks again to Parkrun as I cannot now imagine Saturday mornings without it and my only regret is not starting sooner. Also, a massive thank you to the regular team of volunteers (too many to mention) who support Middleton Woods Park Run and have seen it grow over the 78 events there have been.  The volunteers can be found just down from the Urban Bike Hub, The Ring Road, Middleton, Leeds, LS10 3TN ready to start with a friendly and helpful briefing before the fun begins.


Wyn Jones, October 2019


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