Newark parkrun #372

The grand plan for Newark parkrun #372 was to practice using the alternate course, just in case we need it over the winter months. Then, Storm Arwen entered the equation and, although we did avoid flooding on the course, the weather gave us a few things to think about on Friday evening, with a number of other local parkruns being postponed.

We made the decision to go ahead, pending a course inspection on Saturday morning, and surprisingly the day itself began with calm and bright weather as we checked things out.


Unfortunately, the rain arrived just in time to greet our hardy bunch of volunteers as they headed out to set up the course and it’s fair to say that it was also just a little chilly!


Fortunately, as 9am approached the clouds parted (there is a rumour that the sun also broke through for a couple of minutes) and although it remained very cold we were left with dry weather for the start.


Of the 100 runners taking part, we had 4 first timers braving the conditions - welcome to parkrun! They were joined by a number of tourists, 8 of whom were  also running at Newark for the first time. Thank you all for making the effort to join us, I promise that the weather isn’t always that bad and we hope to see you all again!

The first male finisher was Tom Marshall in 17:49 with Nicki Fenton leading the ladies home in 24:24. We saw an impressive 5 PBs and a 100 milestone run for Nicola Sills, who ran the whole course with a helium filled ‘100’ balloon - an impressive feat in 45 mph winds!! Well done all.


But the biggest shout out of all has to go to the fabulous team of volunteers who braved the conditions to make it all possible. You were all superb, but a particular thank you to Carol, Cate, Rose, Catharine and Simon for marshalling out on the course without the aide of the hot chocolate provided to those in the start/finish area by our Event Director Bob.


What a morning! The spirit of parkrun really shone through, with everyone enjoying themselves and  supporting each other despite the conditions. It was a pleasure to be a part of. Thank you. See you all next time (ideally when it’s just a few degrees warmer!)


Newark #370


Newark’s 370th Parkrun started smoothly with supervision from new Event Director, Bob White and new Event Support Ambassador, Brian Thompson - on only my third Parkrun as RD the pressure to perform was on!! 

Our wonderful team of volunteers quickly set up the course and we even had time for a photo!


Kirsty Watson delivered the first timers brief to 22 people running their first Parkrun. We also welcomed tourists from Reading, Doncaster, London and Peterborough - we hope you enjoyed the experience and we look forward to seeing you again at Newark.

After the brief, in which we congratulated Susannah George on her 50th Parkrun, the 163 runners set off running 3 laps of the normal course. 

The finish funnel team quickly set about constructing the new barriers. Under the direction of funnel manager Alan, they managed not to tie themselves in knots and it looked very smart ready to welcome the runners back. 


Jan Bailey finished first in 17.51, he was followed closely by Leigh Marshall who finally went under 18 mins, achieving a PB of 17:55. Both recovered quickly and joined our team of barcode scanners. 26 other runners achieved a PB - massive congratulations to you all. 

Things were going reasonably smoothly for the first 50 runners - the timekeepers and the tokens were perfectly in synch. Suddenly, the scanners noticed that the token numbers were out of sequence. Thank you to the quick thinking of the token volunteers and the scanners we quickly realised we were 100 tokens out and if we continued giving the tokens out as we were we could remedy the error in the results processing. 

Great team work everyone and thank you to those who had to line up whilst we worked out what had happened. Thank you to everyone who took part on Saturday and I want to say a special thank you to Sarah Greaves for her generous act of kindness on World Kindness day - I really did appreciate the sugar rush from the piece of fudge I enjoyed post the token blip!


Event 369

Event 369 and the willing 21 volunteers gathered on a cold but bright morning, during the volunteer briefing Brian was informed that congratulations were due to Stephen Wells who had volunteered as Tail Walker was also completing his 250th event and to celebrate had brought cake. Well-done also to Theo Falla who completed his 50th time volunteering at Junior parkrun on Sunday 7th November.


Fiona Sanger achieved the milestone of her 50th parkrun and we had a couple of 100 milestones reached for Anthony Hodgetts and Eleanor Weinberg, congratulations. This week 14 people came to try out Newark for the first time, 2 of whom were taking part in their very first parkrun. Hopefully you all loved our course and enjoyed the steps and will come and visit us again soon. 


The conditions for runners were, almost perfect and a massive 34 of you achieved PB’s, including Nicola Ruston-Lichfield who was first female with a time of 22.25, well done to all of you.


Now for the drum roll because in other news! Brian who has been part of the core team from day one and Event Director, since Fiona stepped down, is moving onto a new role in his parkrun career, as an Event Support Ambassador. Brian informs me that he will still be a part of the core team for Newark and around to support Bob White who is taking on the role of Event Director. I am sure everyone wishes Brian and Bob every success in their new roles.

Cate is in charge next week fresh from her marathon PB at Barcelona. 

Kay Rawson


Halloween Fancy Dress & Wet, Wet, Wet!!!

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Many of todays volunteers photographed early by Carol Haddow before event set-up began.

This week we celebrated Halloween on our 367th parkrun with several runners in fancy dress, but perhaps they were equalled or even outdone by our volunteers, who were captured by  photographer Carol Haddow early before they started their set-up of the event.

Despite the damp weather we had 18 enthusiastic cheerful energetic volunteers, and we especially welcomed 2 new U18 volunteers - Moira and Yasmin along with Liv, last weeks super slick RD :

Malcolm CAMMACK • Ross HADDOW • Peter DAVIS • Simon DANIEL • Judith WHISTLER • Paul DAVIDSON • Alan ROBINSON • Olivia HENDERSON • Carol HADDOW • Derek WILMOT • Leigh MARSHALL • Hazel MILLNS • Jeanette STEVENS • Graham WELSH • Jenny KING • Sarah GREAVES • Moira TAYLOR• Yasmin TASKER

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How many can you get under an umbrella?? photographed by Carol Haddow

The weather was poor, and so Hazel Millns started promptly and delivered a friendly briefing to our visitors and first timer, without the aid of the microphone which I had carefully left on the dining room table!! My wife Carol returned home and saved me by arriving back in time for me to use for the run briefing. 

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...and they are off! The start photographed by Carol Haddow

3,2,1..Goooo and they were off. 166 ran, jogged and walked the course, a good number given the weather, 17 were first timers to Newark, 18 different clubs were represented,  and 17 recorded their new Personal Bests, including our male first finisher Leigh Marshall, who recorded an impressive time of 18:01 mins. 

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Leigh Marshall racing home to finish first in a PB of 18:01 photographed by Carol Haddow

Leigh was chased home by Simon Daniel and Daniel Williams who were only a few seconds behind. First lady was Emilia Hill in 11th place in a time of 22:10, which was also a PB for her.


Simon Daniel finishing strongly in second place photographed by Carol Haddow


Daniel Williams finishing 3rd, photographed by Carol Haddow


Emilia Hill finish 11th and first lady in a PB of 22:10 on only her 3rd parkrun photographed by Carol Haddow

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The Grim Reaper (aka Brian Thompson our Event Director) photographed by Carol Haddow.

Out on the course runners had to dodge the scythe of the Grim Reaper (aka Brian Thompson our Event Director) as he ran round and were quite surprised to find the bridge protected by a dinosaur (aka Sarah Greaves).

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The Dinosaur (aka Sarah Greaves) guarding the bridge no longer fit for runners pjhotographed by fellow marshal Graham Welsh.

Our tail walker was Netty Stevens, who always loves fancy dress day, and she and her VI guide Paul Davidson excelled today, dressed as a bride of death and a skeleton.

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Netty Stevens and VI Guide Paul Davidson setting off as tail walkers in their Halloween themed fancy dress photographed by Carol Haddow

We were visited today by Gwynneth Marie Hoyle from Yorkshire  along with her family to do her 1st parkrun, and she must have wondered what she had turned up to for as she was followed by a skeleton and bride of death. Clearly they all got along, and even stopped for photos together.


Gwynneth Marie photographed with Netty and Paul and marshal Graham. Photo supplied by the family.

Lots of fun had by all, and great humour shown despite very wet showers. I sincerely thank all the volunteers including those who weren't on the roster, for mucking in, sharing the workload, turning up promptly to help with set up, and staying until everything was put away. I hope the happy faces crossing the line was adequate reward, but I really valued all your expertise and support today.


23 PB’s on Saturday 23rd!

It was Newark’s 367th parkrun on Saturday and it was certainly was a typical autumn day morning – fresh but sunny. But with a great team of 19 volunteers this week, we were ready and rearing to welcome runners – with the marshals having the course set up by 8.30am. As it was my first time being Run Director, I was determined to have everything run smoothly.


This week we welcomed tourists from, Sunderland, Sutton on sea and Kings Lynn

We also had 7, first timers, so a big welcome to: Wayne Fountain, Aidan Futter, Rob Grant, Georgina Blackhurst, Hannah Nicholls, Laura Wilson, and Clara Morris.

The run briefs like to be kept brief so that you’re not stood waiting in the cold, meaning I didn’t get to mention this week’s milestones. Well done to Malcolm on his 75th volunteer.

Not to be outdone, Brian was quite rightly proud to be wearing his Volunteer 100 T shirt!


We caught Brian's best side. (Bob told me to say that!)


Despite the colder weather this morning, we had a total number of 23 PB’s!! Congratulations to: Dan Williams, Sam Greely, Edward Macintyre, Adam Round, Noah Morris, Samuel Kirkham, Joe Campion, Ian Feeney, Samuel Farrow, Richard Baugh, Mark Evison, Hazel Harrison, Emma Swain, Stewart Henderson, Ann Gibs, Doreen Pain, Emily Harrison, Andrew Durrell, Claire Powell, Sue Parry, Laura Kille and Charlotte Ryan.


The Event

After a brilliant and creative first-time brief from Hazel and Bramble, and my run brief (surprisingly not as scary as I anticipated), all 166 runners and 1 tail walker set off that morning at 9am. All on a safe course, thanks to Brian and Keith’s event day course check.

180 parkrunners trying to ensure that Tom finally leaves Newark!

180 parkrunners trying to ensure that Tom finally leaves Newark


Out on the course, Tom only just managed to welcome the runners with silent enthusiasm at turn one (after he had just raced to get to his marshal point, because I made him listen to the run brief). Hazel and Bramble were not far ahead in the dip, and a few strides later, Bernie was defending her corner as she guided the runners safely onto the grass, away from the not so stable bridge. As they ran into the woods, Chris was just in front to encourage them up the tiring steps. Also, Nicki enjoyed her role as tail walker this morning, following at the end of the long line of runners, who completed today’s course.

However, we only had 18 minutes to set up the finish funnel before we welcomed back our first runner. Luckily, we had Alan back this week, (our professional finish funnel setter), so we managed to do it in time. With Alan and Malcom on timekeeping, Bob in the middle on funnel manager, Mary, and Catharine at the other end on finish tokens, then Liv (me) stood around looking important – we were all prepared.



At 9:18 am we cheered Jan up the hill as he sprinted to the finish line, finishing in first place. But just behind him, we had Dan with a PB of 18:03 (thanks to Jan’s help with pacing), finishing in second. It wasn’t long before junior runner George was jogging into the finish funnel with a speedy time of 19:41, earning himself third place. Our first lady home this week was tourist Janine from Mablethorpe Running Club, finishing with a great time of 21:28 in 15th place. Janine shares a claim to fame with Bob apparently; they have both completed Skegness Boating Lake parkrun, which sadly is no longer running. The next lady back was Jayne in 25th place with another great time of 22.53. Further down the field Chris did a good job of supporting and encouraging Ben who completed his run in 25.33, only just outside his pb.

After finishing their run, the runners were greeted by our lovely barcode scanners and regular volunteers; James, David, and Simon, who managed to record everyone’s results. And once they had scanned the final person, it was time to pack away and get a seat outside Rumbles, for a nice hot drink.



Thanks to Bob, Philippa, Cathy, and I, all the tokens were sorted, results processed and uploaded by 10:15am!! New PB:)) Also, thank you to Brian Stevens, this week’s photographer, who took the beautiful photos. I could only fit a few of them in the run report, but if you would like to access the rest, click the link provided here. And if there are any that you would prefer to be deleted, just let us know.

Event #367 - Google Photos

Why parkrun?

There is no other environment like parkrun, it is filled with laughter, encouragement, and unity. It is an opportunity to be yourself and have fun as a runner, but also as a volunteer. If you’re in the mood for some exercise, come down a join us for a race, light jog, or a walk in the park. But running isn’t for everyone, so instead come and be a part of the volunteer team! We welcome everyone from all walks of life and look forward to seeing you each Saturday.

That’s everything from me for this week. Ross is back in charge next Saturday with his army of volunteers lined up, so be prepared for a well-run event. Finally, a huge thank you to my right-hand man Bob, for all of his help in ensuring I successfully ran this week’s event.

Hope you all have a good week, keep smiling through the cold weather and especially keep running!


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