#363 by Wayne Chalmers

As our learned and intrepid report Bryan Lewin is currently sunning himself in the Riviera that is the North-East coast of the country, the metaphoric quill has been passed onto myself to make my debut compiling Run Report #363. I can only hope that Bryan is enjoying the local delicacies, namely the Chicken Parmesan and lemon top, whilst perusing his understudy’s work.

A loyal band of 41 volunteers ensured that this week’s event could take place and it is testament to them all on a Bank Holiday weekend that it ran so successfully. If the previous day was Good Friday, this was very good Saturday (the report gets better I assure you). As the RD quite rightly stated at the start, parkrun Northampton is always looking for willing volunteers to join the team. With Daniel in the hotseat, it was only those pesky funnel duckers that caused any issues and now that Mr Bonner has been banned from timekeeping duties, the stopwatches ensured that a huge 169 people posted personal bests this week. An amazing achievement but a little more on that to come!

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Early morning sunshine greeted the Racecourse with a very light breeze which made for perfect running conditions. The aforementioned climate ensured that 71 first timers were lured to the Racecourse for some early morning exercise which contributed towards an excellent attendance of 612, the biggest attendance since 27thJanuary 2018. Interesting fact – If the participants had run the event as a relay, they would have reached Moscow. Now that you have surely digested that masterpiece, we look forward to welcoming them back over the coming weeks and months.

In terms of performance, there were a number of notable efforts which should be commended. First past the post was Haydn Arnall in an impressive spin around the course in 15.50. Not only was this Haydn’s first Parkrun for 5 months but he dispatched his previous PB by 21 seconds. This gave him the third-fastest time of the year and put him at a very creditable 15thin the all-time list.

First female finishing was Barbara Willison (VW50-54) who finished in 20.50, impressive in itself but also achieving an age grade of 80.48%. She showed a clean pair of heels to family member Olivia (JW11-14) who finished second in 21.27. With 66 young adults 14 or under enjoying some exercise this week (with 12 under 10s also taking part), the youth were out in full force this week. Great work!

Another notable mention goes to Mark Weathersby (VM35-39) who collected a PB in 17.16. A testament to the fact that things get better with age – Mark has taken over a minute off his PB since 2013.

Elaine Danby (VW55-59) was age grading winner of the week as she achieved 87.35% closely followed by Kate Bond (VW 55-59) with 84.37%. Skip Snelson (JM15-17) took the male honours with 84.14% whilst also finishing second overall. Add into that a new PB and it was a very satisfying morning’s work for the youngster from Banbury Harriers.

To close with, we must congratulate the number of people who achieved milestones. Of course we have the all the newbies to Northampton and the 38 who participated in any type of Parkrun for the first time. We hope your experience was enjoyable and you come back soon!

Significant milestones were also achieved by Zoe White (SW 30-34) who achieved her 250thrun (she has also volunteered 25 times and run 235 of her runs at Northampton) and both Sarah Jones (VW 50-54) and Lizzie Meadows (VW 35-39) who completed their 200th. Richard Wild (VM 40-44) was able to complete his 150thwhilst we had three new members of the fabled Century Club (I just made that club up). Nick Alexander (VM 40-44), Aaron Gordon (SM 25-29) and Patrick Dunckley (JM 15-17) are now founder members of the club that doesn’t really exist but probably should.

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Bonita Letts (VW 50-54) and Kate Warren (VW 50-54) made it to 50 runs and a special mention to Matthew Downs (JM 11-14) who not only achieved his 50 but also set a new PB. As a member of New Marske AC, ironically down the road from where our first team reporter Bryan is moonlighting, it was an honour to replace our experience with his youth. Well done Matthew.

To sign off, the parkrun website is an absolute gem of information and what stands out most of all this week is that our very own Michelle Lewis is currently on 99 not out. Like standing in the middle at Lords, we look forward to seeing Michelle hopefully nurdle a single next week to reach her three figures. As I am sure many of you know, Run Director Michelle is an absolute Northampton parkrun stalwart and the life and soul of the Racecourse on a Saturday morning (sounds a little wrong). I expect a guard of honour as she joins the previously mentioned fake Century Club on her next outing!


If you have reached this far then thanks for reading, if not then you have missed out on a treat. Keep enjoying parkrun and hope to see you there soon 



#361 by Bryan Lewin

I’m starting this week’s report with a brief supplementary to last week’s – only because I felt the celebrations of the two octagenarians, in particular, deserved greater acknowledgement of their achievements. The “someone completing their 350th parkrun” was, of course, Bob Emmerson (VM85-89) and the “someone completing their 250th parkrun” was Alan Palmer (VM80-84). In addition to Anika (parkrun name) Trotman’s 100, last Saturday was also a milestone day for Peter Moor (200), Jennifer McFadden (150) plus Mary Battison, Michele Brocklebank and Nick Tam (all 50). Jens Walton and Lucy Henman both qualified for a 10 club T-shirt (awarded to junior runners, aged 17 and under, at the time of their 10th run).


And now on to Northampton parkrun #361 – on the 6th April 2019 – where 490 took part, ably assisted by the 32 volunteers (including Kathryn Hall and Kath Middleditch, who both ran in Sunday’s Manchester Marathon … and Kath’s 4 year old ‘High 5 Here’ Arthur … who didn’t).

A 200th parkrun milestone was celebrated by Stephen Johnson (VM65-69) – and, in an incredible coincidence, Stephen’s wife, Alison, finished as 200th female. This lovely couple usually run together – unless, as I jokingly say to them, they’ve had an argument! Paul McFadden and Jackie Coombs both notched up their 100 parkruns and Brighton fan Ralph Stahmann’s Saturday at least started on an upbeat note (by being able to claim his 25 volunteer T-shirt) - although Manchester City later clipped the Seagulls' wings in the FA Cup semi-final. And the guy who regularly marshals on the far corner was volunteering for the 100th time.


First finisher in a time better than 17.57, was I. Fogotmybarcode. First female was a first timer with us, in her seventy first run overall – Ellie Bates, from Chiltern Harriers AC, in 20.28.

We had 34 first-timers in total – 17 visitors having done a few parkruns previously elsewhere; these included Keith and Alison Flint (Redway Runners) and Steph Flint, Alice Barkell (Fleckney and District Running Club), David Stobbs (MK Lakeside Runners) and Simon Ingram (Marston Moretaine Runners). A goodly number from Opus Energy joined our ranks – organised, I suspect, by Gabby Deere – including debutant Sam Lapite, who chased round his former ON Chenecks team-mate, Calvin Budd, to record a highly respectable 19.57.



Impressive percentages on that ‘Age Grade’ column were registered by Andy Green (again), with 83.21%, and Sheila France (VW55-59), with 77.59%, in a PB of 24.19.

Once again, well over 10% of those taking part recorded PBs - there were 73 this week, so no chance of mentioning everyone. Amongst our younger athletes, Matthew Everett, Peter Van Eum, Finley Goldring, Jens Walton, Holly Reed, Stefan Kavanagh, Lucy Henman, Katie Enefer, Lily Bodkin, Tom Exley, Tom Halsey, Jack Spires and Lucy Dixon had deserved ‘New PB!’ against their names in the results. (Theo Haskins (JM11-14) ran a PB of 21.52 last week; he ran 21.52 this week). Our outstanding PB veteran performers included Fiona Crook, Richard Wain and Christine Gillies (all in the 70-74 age range). I’m always amazed by the number of those taking part who improve each week. For example … Dale Holmes – 7 parkruns, all PBs, 42.16 down to 34.44 and Vanessa Watson – 6 parkruns, all PBs, 38.31 down to 28.16. Since 24th November last year Mike Campbell has recorded 12 PBs in 15 parkruns reducing his time from 34.40 to 25.02 and Catherine Nichol’s three parkrun times are 31.05, 29.32 and 27.45! And if there was a more uplifting sight on Saturday than Carole James (WWC) coaxing, cajoling and coercing her mum, Catherine Hill (VW65-69), to knock two minutes off her previous PB, I didn’t see it.

Random mentions go to Katie Swan (VW35-39), who bravely recovered from Ladies’ Day at Aintree on Friday to make an appearance (Clare King – DNS), before embarking on more ‘socialising’ at a wedding later that day and at Wembley on Sunday to see her team, the 'Orns (Watford – the Hornets), win. Sarah Hayle was 361st in event #361 and three runners - James Mason, Lizzie Souter and Joe Hughes - virtually matched our ‘average run time’ of ‘00:28:42’. Ian Coote was 87th in his 87th parkrun. John Fuller (SM20-24) was 23rd male and 24th overall in his 25th parkrun. Hearty congratulations to Kate Smith (VW45-49) for yet another PB and Kate Smith (VW 65-69) for … just running at the same event as your namesake!

I did my marshalling bit (I whimped out of doing the Magic Mile – it seemed colder on that corner this week and I hadn’t thawed out!) and popped into the Good Loaf to enjoy warming refreshments with other parkrunners. A great start to the day!


Every parkrun only happens because of the time and dedication of our volunteers…. We are always looking for new volunteers.” Get in touch and give it a go!




#360 – by Mollie Smith

My first parkrun was completed in July 2017 in Market Harborough. Coming up to two years later, and Northampton parkrun event number 360 is my 87th parkrun. Northampton was my twelfth parkrun tourist spot. As a regular volunteer for both parkrun and junior parkrun, I’ve given myself the challenge of complete my 100th run and 100th volunteer role on the same day and if all goes to plan, this should work out to be 6th July.

So after an earlier wake up call, we arrive in Northampton and head to towards the hi viz hero’s. We make it to the first timers brief where we’re told the course involves one big lap and a smaller lap. According to the results, there were a total of 44 first timers at Northampton today - amazing!

A starting brief is conducted with numerous celebrations, including someone completing their 250th parkrun, someone completing their 350th parkrun and someone celebrating their 50th birthday. The countdown begins and we’re off. I begin running with my friends Leanne and Jess. Everyone seems nice, friendly and supportive. We spot the photographer and I go for the cheesy grin and jazz hands. After what seems like forever we crossed the finish line and are already looking forward to next week. Event number 360 saw 114 pbs; congratulations to everyone who ran the fantastic event today.


#359 – By Bryan Lewin

Of the 518 taking part in Northampton parkrun #359, 55 were first-timers at any parkrun. They included Ashleigh Burdett (JW10), who, when I saw her later that day, told me how much she loved it and that will be doing it again next week. Andrew Souter, who was amongst the 35 parkrunners discovering the delights of the Racecourse for the first time, obviously enjoyed the experience, since he achieved his best ever time (23.33) – as did Samuel Taylor (JM10) with 24.48. Tim Allison made us his 35th venue for his 180th parkrun, and we also had some club runners, such as Neil Atkinson (West Cheshire AC), Fiona Hall (Widnes Running Club) and Denise Taylor (Boldmere Bullets), making their debuts with us.

Celebrating milestones were Martin Williams (50th), Darran Kavanagh (100th – all in this County), Jon Dunckley (100th – dressed in an ‘interesting costume’!), Peter Dixon (250th – accompanied by a fabulous family group of all ages). And Claudia Terrell (JW10) can now claim her ‘10 club’ T-shirt. (Samantha Tearle chose to record her 100th appearance at Westmill parkrun (Ware) – but the majority of her performances have been at Northampton).

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First finisher, in 17.17, was ‘Mr Consistency’, Andy Heather, whose last six runs have resulted him being 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 2nd and 1st. Leading female, Annette Golawska, in 20.34, has been 1st in three of her four runs at Northampton (and she was 2nd on the other occasion). Andy Heather - with Andy Green and Madeleine Wain – scored over 80% on that ‘age and gender’ thingy.

Second overall, Patrick George Dunckley (JM15-17) – with 17.33, over 30 seconds better than his previous PB - was first one home of the impressive 94 athletes who found weather conditions this week much more to their liking, and who were entitled to ring the PB bell! Age is no barrier to a PB – e.g. Reece Stocks (JM10), Lily Rose (JW10), Tallulah Havard (JW10) and Richard Wain (VM70-74)(again). Nor is having the same name … see, for example - Adam, Kevin and Sarah Hayle; Holly and Emma Reed; Dale and Fraeya Holmes; James Smith (SM25-29) and James Smith (SM20-24)! Although parkrun is ‘not a race’ (allegedly), the desire to improve is amply illustrated by the likes of Jamie Walden (7 consecutive PBs), Jamie Clark (5 consecutive PBs), Anne Bodkin (6 PBs in last 7 runs), Vanessa Watson and Gary Shelswell (PBs in each of their 5 runs) … and by so many others.

A few ‘random mentions’– alphabetically, by surname, those taking part ranged from first-timer Kirstie-Marie Abbott to Dariusz Ziolkowski (who PBed for the sixth time in his 10 Northampton parkruns); Anthony Carter was 359th at Northampton parkrun #359; Kim Pusey finished in 28.41 – precisely the ‘average run time’ for our parkrun; Ross Bailey was 20th in a PB of 20.16, Shamir Kishan was 302nd in 30.22, Kathryn Hall was 303rd in 30.29; David McGuane (VM35-39), in his 21st parkrun, finished in 21.04 (only the second time that he has NOT recorded a PB in his last 16 parkruns!) … but I noted that the 29:38 by possibly-related Lai Ting McGuane (VW35-39) was a PB…); Messrs Hampton, Putman and Vincent who finished 184th, 185th and 186th are all Pauls (as were 10 others – this week’s most popular male name) and there were 10 Lauras. Finally, Adam Wright, 11th in 19.17 (White Elephant), and Katherine McFadian, 9th female in 23.47 (Costa), get a mention solely because they said nice things about me when I bumped into them!

Volunteers make parkrun happen; they do all the obvious high-profile tasks at the event (like marshalling, timing, result recording, etc) as well as all the behind-the-scenes roles too. Why not volunteer?




#358 by Bryan Lewin

Windy. If one word summed up Northampton parkrun #358 it was … windy!! Obviously we weren’t the only UK parkrun to suffer – 52 parkruns were cancelled, mainly as a result of the weather, and 402 had a lower attendance than last week. Somewhat ironically, I was back doing my marshalling bit, after a week away on the island of Fuerteventura … which popularly translates as “strong wind”!

Over this weekend, we had a few regulars participating in events at other exotic locations – such as Daventry, Stanwick, Oundle and Milton Keynes (oh and …and Cyprus) …. but the blustery weather didn’t stop 463 athletes from perambulating the Racecourse; and 47 of them even managed to achieve PBs. Storming home first was Tony Letts (his time of 18.11 was an indication of the conditions – it was the slowest by a first finisher since 9 December 2017). Our leading female was, for the third time this year, Karen Smith who breezed round in 20.13 – a Northampton PB for her.

Milestones (whether or not recognised by parkrun T-shirts) were celebrated by Dave Care (running his 50th); Anne-Marie Sandos, Nigel Dunlop and Lisa McGarrity (all doing their 100th) … and RD Alastair Rapley (completing his 150th). Anne-Marie (and her many supporters) adopted an Hawaiian theme to mark the occasion – as you may have noticed. Alan Raines ran the parkrun to celebrate a significant birthday (his sash said ‘The Big 50’ but the results say he ‘Most recently ran in VM45-49 age category’!). First timer at Northampton, Paul Williams, from Southampton, ran on his 39th birthday.

Alastair AnneMarieandNigel

In total we had 41 first timers – 30 of which were doing the first-ever parkruns, including two groups proudly wearing their colours from Northampton Old Scouts under-14s and 103 Battalion REME. By contrast, first-time visitor Sam Weaving, who finished 3rd overall, was doing his 251st.

Andy Green (81.59%), Tony Letts (81.12%) and Madeleine Wain (77.75%) were big scorers on that thingy that gives “an indication of how well the runner has done relative to their age and gender”.

This week’s Personal Bests included Chris Lamb (VM45-49) - no, not the wife carrier who was our first finisher on 23 February (there’s actually 27 persons registered under that name) …this Chris’s 24.39 was his 6th PB in his last 9 parkruns; Stuart Hansell, two runs in total – 31.45 last week, 24.36 this week; Melissa Wilde – 24.21 (her last parkrun was Christmas Day 2016 in 28.26); Malachy Collins (JM11-14), nine runs since 2015, 6 PBs – this week’s 21.23 earned him first place in his age group and 18th overall. You’re never too young or too old for a PB – as Ashley Hillier (JW10) and Richard Wain (VM 70-74) can testify… and finally, a trio who have each achieved three PBs in their four parkruns, all this year - James Smith (the SM20-24 one, not James Smith (SM25-29)), 25.17 down to 22.51; Johnny Duffy (JM11-14), 26.32 down to 23.42 and the wonderfully-monickered Del Boy, 26.15 down to 24.40.

In the ‘completely random mentions’ category - alphabetically, those taking part ranged from Aaron Lares Baptista (JM 10) to Zoe White; first-timer Christine McKeogh was 358th in Northampton parkrun #358; Isabella Morris neatly finished 444th in 44.44, Amanda Kimberley (30-34) was thrillingly 330th in 33.03 in her 30th parkrun and Logan Vanden Bos finished his first ever parkrun in 323rd position in 32.26; Ismael Ali, Lee Wade, Simon Tenant, Helen Menzies, Helen Andrews, Marie Fitzhugh, Louise Musson and Liam Browne all proved that they were budding pacemakers – as they each completed the course in an exact number of minutes!


Northampton parkrun #358 only happened because of the 36 volunteers, under the direction of RD Matt. As first-time timekeeper Neil Martin (nearly) said – “if you have not volunteered yet, give it a go, it really broadens your appreciation of the wonderful phenomenon that is parkrun!”