Event 254 (19 October 2019) Passing the baton


217 Runners 28 Clubs Represented

The sun was shining at Perry Hall Park this week, however there was a bit of a chilly wind blowing. Even so, there was a buzz in the air - the baton was here.

For parkrun's 15th birthday, sponsor Leeds Building Society sent out fifteen GPS-tracked golden batons to see how far they could go. They all departed from Woodhouse Moor parkrun in Leeds and Event Director, Emma, had collected one whilst on tour at Cleethorpes the previous week. The burning question, was where would it be going next week. Emma had made a decision, but hadn't told anyone.

There were six brand-new parkrunners to the family this Saturday - welcome to:

Runner Time Runner Time
David GIBBONS 24:17 Rohima KHATUN 49:02
Tousif SHARIF 33:01 Norma BLADEN 53:24
Jamaze HUSSAIN 33:03 Leanne BAYLISS 53:24

We also had 29 tourists make their first visit to Perry Hall, one of the visitors was Thomas Beasley, who took five seconds off the male course record that had stood for almost three years. Our first lady was also a tourist, Terri Rose Powell, who is co-ED at our neighbours - Sandwell Valley parkrun. Congratulations both!

New tourists to Perry Hall:

Runner Time Runs Runner Time Runs
Thomas BEASLEY 15:42 35 Paul RESTALL 27:34 159
Dave FAWKNER 20:03 141 Justin GRIFFITHS 27:50 12
Graham ENGLEY 20:23 116 Cherrelle WYNTER 27:52 10
James PROBERT 20:48 3 Richard HARRIS 27:56 2
Jonathan LAMLEY 21:14 224 Craig CUTLER 28:13 261
Fred AIRD 22:14 113 Ruth APPLETON 30:24 28
Mark JENNINGS 22:22 46 Donna HESBROOK-EDWARDS 32:01 118
Matt ALLEN 22:31 40 Ava SHERWIN 32:05 82
Darren HESBROOK-EDWARDS 22:57 84 Claire SPROSTON 32:22 146
Louis THOMPSON 25:23 2 Lee HILL 34:45 230
Glenn BARKER 26:01 80 Richard COOK 34:58 16
Jonathan DAWSON 26:31 29 Natalie CUTLER 35:47 189
Matthew PENIKET 27:02 3 Lynda SHEARGOLD 46:04 33
Ian DODDS 27:23 104 Jamie MAY 50:33 6
Emma ADAMS 27:28 3
Our new male record holder!

Our new male record holder!

Our fifth birthday is rapidly approaching - we will be celebrating this on 23 November 2019, however Norman Hickson helped us reach another milestone today. He was our 5,000th finisher!

... and that baton? It was passed to Jonathan Dawson who had joined us from Rushcliffe pakrun in Nottingham and we understand it will be taken to the undulating Bestwood Village parkrun next week.

Passing the baton

Passing the baton


Christina LAWRENCE

The rota is looking a little bare for the next few weeks - if you can help us out, please get in touch.


Your volunteer team this weekend


Most Events - Men

Runner Club parkruns completed
Chris TUCKER Shabbarunners 271
Craig CUTLER Lickey End Striders 261
Jason HOLT CSSC Sports & Leisure 240


Most Events - Ladies

Runner Club parkruns completed
Lesley PYMM Bournville Harriers 394
Judy INCE 268
Lee HILL Massey Ferguson RC 230

Congratulations to everyone who set a PB this weekend:

Runner Time Runner Time
Thomas HODGSON 17:09 Gurdip PANESAR 31:27
John HAYES 18:50 Nona WYLD 32:17
Jim COTTOM 20:37 Bhavina PATEL 34:27
Awil DIRIR 21:58 Krishma PATEL 34:41
Elliott LINE 22:10 Reshma KHANOM 35:07
Terri Rose POWELL 22:58 Moira HUGHES 36:48
Kathryn MAPLE 24:29 Safa OSMAN 36:53
Cheryl ANDERSON 25:59 Sabrina MCINTOSH 37:21
Gerda DIEDERIKS 26:06 Nisar PARKAR 38:39
Shalinder MARWAHA 26:16 Emma KNIGHT 42:42
Louise WATT 26:49 Anne FELLOWS 43:25
Andrew CHILTON 28:01 Christine Deloris HARRIS 46:23
Elizabeth RAYATT 28:02 Rohama SATTAR 46:46
Patrick CONNELLY 28:19 Lorrel COLEMAN 46:47
Joe ECCLES 28:31 Catherine FLETCHER 48:16
Priya KAUR 29:19 Colin WOODALL 50:32
Cheryl GIBBONS 29:57 Gloria HAZLEWOOD 52:23
Levi BLACKWOOD 30:45 Maureen WOODALL 52:24


5,008 different runners 5,023 PBs recorded
30,771 runs completed 153,855 km of distance covered
1,026 individual volunteers 3,998 volunteer roles completed



Fastest Lady: Hannah OLDROYD 18:10 on 16 May 2015
New Fastest Man: Thomas BEASLEY 15:42 on 19 October 2019
Age Grade: Margaret KENCHINGTON 86.71% (21:27) on 28 May 2016
Attendance: 562 on 01 January 2019

If you are a regular tourist - make sure the event you're travelling to is taking place. A full list of cancellations is here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/cancellations/ Please remember that 5k parkruns in England and Wales start at 9:00am. In Scotland and Northern Ireland they start at 9:30am. For international parkruns, please check the local event page for confirmation of their start time.

Contact Us:

e-mail Facebook
perryhall@parkrun.com facebook.com/perryhallparkrun/


If you can't wait until Saturday for your next parkrun fix, there are a couple of podcasts that might interest you

  • With Me Now

Hosted by Danny Norman and Nicola Forewood (who formerly fronted the parkrun show) - https://withmenow.libsyn.com/

  • Free Weekly Timed

Hosted by Vassos Alexander (from the Chris Evans Breakfast Show) and Helen Williams - http://www.freeweeklytimed.com/


Event 61 and 62 – What a difference a year makes!

By Angelina Farruggia

Angelina Farruggia has run 30 parkruns, achieved 10 personal bests and has performed 20 volunteer tasks for Perry Hall over the last 12 months - most recently being Run Director on the 2nd January. Her first run was on the 1st January 2015, here is her run report:

New Year’s Day and the start of a new parkrun year with an additional run being held at Perry Hall Park. The morning started off at a chilly 3 degrees, slowly brightening up to a 'sweltering' 4 degrees by 10.00 a.m. Tommy Hill delivered the run brief and we welcomed 49 1st timers to Perry Hall, some of whom had doubled up on their days run, having already completed 5k earlier on at Brueton Park. How amazing to be able to run at 2 events on one day!
At 10.30 121 of us gathered ourselves at the start point and braced ourselves for Perry Hall's first run of the year. It was to be a messy affair, especially on the grassed area which oozed thick, slimy mud with almost every step taken. The marshals and other volunteers were as wonderful as ever, clapping as we went by and enthusiastically spurring us on. Thank you for giving up your time, standing in the cold and offering so much support, it’s really appreciated.
I reminisced as I ran around the course, it was exactly a year ago to the day that I did my first parkrun. A friend and park runner, Roy Greaves had told me about the newly started event. I had little idea how far 5k was nor how difficult I would find it. I’d always disliked running but I thought a one off run on New Year’s Day would be a great way to blow away some cobwebs. That first run was very challenging to say the least and I had to walk for large parts of it, I eventually crossed the finish line and was greeted by volunteers and other runners clapping and offering their support. The welcoming parkrun community and the ‘runner’s high’ I experienced for the rest of that day, had me well and truly hooked right from the start!

Angelina (left) enjoying parkrun alongside Tonia Clark

Attending parkrun each week has helped to improve my stamina and has kept me focused on running. I soon noticed that I was spending less time walking and more time running. Over the course of last year I was able to take part in three 10k runs as well as the Birmingham Half Marathon in October, this is something that I never imagined I’d be able to do. It’s a far cry from where I was in 2012, having being diagnosed with a high grade Lymphoma, I’d been told that I had a 30% chance of recovery. Fortunately I responded well to the treatment and am now in remission. Back then, on some days even walking was tiring. So one of my motivators now is that I’m here and can run, when so many others sadly can’t. I nervously tried volunteering one Saturday when we were short of help and was feeling a little miffed that I wouldn't be able to run that week. But what a great experience that turned out to be. Seeing runners cross the finish line and being able to relate to the effort that takes is a great feeling and very rewarding. In fact I'd say I now enjoy volunteering just as much as running. I’ve found the runners and volunteers at Perry Hall to be really welcoming and encouraging. No matter what level you’re at, each other’s milestones and achievements are celebrated. So thank you Perry Hall parkrun...you got me running...you kept me running and you’ve introduced me to lovely people who I might otherwise have never met.

The reaction after achieving a PB

Thank you to Angelina for this run report, an insight into the joys of both running and volunteering. Without enough volunteers each week, our event would not be able to go ahead. Thank you to all who volunteered at any point during 2015 and to the team of volunteers from the 2nd January: Amorelle Campbell, Angelina Farruggia, Emma Hawkey, Hannah Greaves, Jonathan Webber, Roger Tempest, Roy Greaves, Sarah R Greaves, Tommy Hill and Vivienne Belt.

On 2nd January, event number 62 there were 41 runners, of whom 6 were first timers and Daryl Hill recorded a new PB - well done, this was some achievement with the sticky mud holding us all back!

Male placings:

Reis Brooke (JM15-17) of Birchfield Harriers, was first over the line in 17:57 - 4th time in 5 appearances.

Lawrence Gruijters (SM25-29) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:29.

Barry Lloyd (VM35-39) (Unattached) was third over the line in 19:29 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.

Female placings:

Kerry Hemmings (SW30-34) (Unattached) was first (20th overall) over the line in 28:25 - second time in 9 appearances.

Alison Soper (VW40-44) (Unattached) was second (21st overall) over the line in 28:55.

Louise Brookes (VW40-44) (Unattached) was third (23rd overall) over the line in 29:27.

Hopefully the whole country will have a little less rain over the following week to allow our parkrun courses to dry out a little - even though we had great fun splashing through the puddles!.



Event 58 – Just running in the rain!

By Louise Blackburn

"I am dreaming of a dry parkrun" were the lyrics running through my head on Saturday morning at Perry Hall. It has been really wet for the last two weeks and I am not a huge fan of running in the rain. I did not allow myself to consider not getting out of bed and putting my trainers on though. Once I was in the car on the way down I did think……"mmmmm I could have just stayed in bed" but by then it was too late. My friend and I sat in the car park as the heavens opened and considered how barmy we were. The answer was very! The thoughts of warm quilts and coffee by the fire and Christmas trees danced in our heads but we reluctantly made our way out of the car and to the start point.

This is the when the magic of parkrun kicks in. There were smiling volunteers and a feeling of community spirit spread forth. Despite the rain and the biting cold 45 runners lined up for a prompt start at 9am. It rained for about 15 minutes as we dodged puddles and slopped through muddy parts. The volunteers were amazingly buoyant and cheered us all on. The rain did stop briefly but by that point everyone was so wet it really did not matter either way.

There were members from four running clubs taking part so thank you for your support. There were also 8 first timers - we hope you enjoyed it. Barry Farmer crossed the line first with a time of 19.30. Well done Barry! This brings his number of first finishes at Perry Hall to 3. Following close behind was Nathan Casey who achieved a PB of 19.37. Now a PB is great but in those conditions it is epic!!!

First female finisher was Joan Clarke with a time of 24.01 also bringing her first finishes at Perry Hall tally to 3. Well done Joan. There was one other PB for Zach Henrich so well done Zach!

A special mention also to the volunteers at Perry Hall. They really are amazing. There really is very little shelter on the course and it is heart-warming that people are prepared to stand on a Saturday morning in the biting cold and the whipping rain and be so supportive. It really was horrible conditions on Saturday and you were all great.


Event 56 – Happy Birthday!

By Emma Hawkey

This was a very special parkrun, our first birthday celebration. We had appealed for people to turn up early, if they could, to help us set up the gazebos, balloons, bunting and food. By 7:30am there was an army of volunteers present – in true parkrun style the community were together, all helping out in preparation for a fantastic morning.

We were delighted that the Lord Mayor Cllr Ray Hassell was present and helped to give out the certificates, this made it an extra special occasion. Thanks to Karen Trench for organising this.

A volunteer's welcome

Before the pre-run briefing, we had some prizes and mentions to make. For those that couldn't be there, here was the speech:

Firstly, a thank you to Tommy Hill our local parkrun ambassador who could not be with us - he has worked hard since the summer to train up a new core team of volunteers and we couldn’t have wished for a better man to have helped us.

Next, we have a special thank you for Dave our park keeper; nothing is too much trouble for Dave and the team and they do all they can to ensure the paths and grass we run on are safe under foot. Dave even arrives to work earlier than his paid time each Saturday so that he can open up the shed where our equipment is stored. The park keepers and friends of Perry Hall keep the park lovely, and the core team of volunteers and runners are proud to call Perry Hall our home run.

Each parkrun event is only possible thanks to a team of volunteers who turn up to help; what a wonderful community this is. It never ceases to amaze what a fantastic group of people we have each week – sunshine or rain, they are always here to put on the event, it takes a special person to give up their own time on a Saturday morning.

We thank all of our volunteers, whether they have volunteered once or 20 times, it all means just as much, however without one lady Perry Hall parkrun could have folded after our previous Event Director stepped down.

One thing which is quite remarkable is that she has volunteered on 50 occasions, but has no interest to run. She turns up and helps for the benefit of her local community and the benefit of all the runners too. A couple of months ago, she had never run directed before, but she took a call once from Tommy Hill on a Wednesday evening to ask could she run direct that Saturday, otherwise we would have to cancel “yeah, I’ll give it a go” she replied, despite being a little apprehensive cos it’s not easy standing on the bench, no way did she want an event to be cancelled, that’s typical of her can do attitude, and up until us having use of the huts for our equipment, the park run shed was her car parked outside her house – muddy kit and all, she didn’t mind it all being stored in her car all week. So, Julie Morris, just a little gift for you and a certificate to say you are our volunteer of the year.

Under the gazebo

As good as the volunteers look each week in the high viz tops, we would look pretty silly standing around with nothing to do, which is where the runners and walkers come in. Firstly, we have the male and female winners for the parkrun points competition; points are accumulated every time you run, and for up to 3 volunteer roles.

Female Top Three
1st: Amorelle Campbell (50 runs)
2nd: Isabel Goshawk (41 runs)
3rd: Sarah Greaves (39 runs)

Male Top Three
1st: Andrew Wadsworth (50 runs)
2nd: Jason Holt (47 runs)
3rd: Gerard Goshawk (41 runs)

Amorelle hasn't missed a parkrun at Perry Hall in the last nine months, which is quite an achievement! Andrew is usually in the park for 8 o'clock and often sets up the cones on the course as part of his warm up. Congratulations to them both.

Since we are simply just a timed run not a race, there are no prizes for being the fastest or the first over the line. We would like to recognise the person with the highest age grading, which is based upon the world record time for your gender and age to produce a % score. The higher the score the better the performance. The person with the highest age grading has run 12 Perry Hall parkruns, and set a record of 85.18 % in July with a time of 19:41. Congratulations to Geoff Farmer.

Enjoying the party

Once the prizes and certificates had been given out, it was time to set off the runners. It was a bitterly cold morning; but this didn’t put people off, we had 75 runners to complement our team of 19 volunteers. Thank you to Vivienne Belt, Amorelle Campbell, Dalton Campbell, Dennis Carter, Ian Clarke, Helen Cragg, Geoff Farmer, Angelina Farruggia, Hannah Greaves, Emma Hawkey, Amy Johnson, Julie Morris, Lesley Pymm, Caroline Taylor, Roger Tempest, Cindy Tierney, Karen Trench, David Duncan Williams and Lorna Witter.

We had 13 first timers to Perry Hall: Carl Acton, Zach Henrich, Alun Griffiths, Dylan Emery, Aidan Jay, Sean David Barlow, Isaac Deans, Jacob Dewans, Lisa Jay, Anne Marie Matthews, Linda Savage, Daryl Hill and Catherine Mosey. We hope you enjoyed your first experience of Perry Hall parkrun, and it would be great to see you again.

Well done to the 6 runners who all achieved a PB, Conall Green, Alasdair Langstaff, Karl Faulkner, Jordan Fisher Brindle, Vivienne Ifeme and Lucy Hoekstra. On what was a cold and windy day, this was some achievement.

We are getting very close to Christmas now. Over the festive period, we will have a run on Boxing Day which will start at the usual time of 9am, the next will be New Year’s Day – this will start at the later time of 10:30am, then as the 2nd January is a Saturday, we will be hosting another run as normal at 9am.

If you are able to volunteer on any of these dates, please email us at perryhalloffice@parkrun.com and we can put you into the rota. We also look forward to welcoming lots of parkrunners over this festive period.


Event 55 – 50 Today!

By Amorelle Campbell

AmorelleIt was another cold, blustery day, but this Saturday there was no rain thankfully. I arrived at the park for the 55th Perry Hall parkrun and my 50th landmark run, a little later than intended, as I wanted to help with the setting up knowing that a couple of the main organisers were away.

I could see Julie on her own in the distance, battling against the wind trying to stabilise the finishing posts and tape, however, with the two of us working together we triumphed. Meanwhile, Andrew was setting up the course with the cones.

We stood and wondered whether anyone would turn up as by 8.40am, only Julie and I were there; I thought I would come 1st for the first time, albeit in a slow time! After a while, runners and volunteers came trickling through – and in the end there were 55 runners.

The usual welcome was done by Julie who was Run Director for the day, and then we started promptly and off the runners went. I had taken on the role of tail runner this week, and a person new to parkrun wanted to walk the course for her first time. I was grateful for that as I had just had my hair permed and did not want to sweat too much and ruin my hair do.

During a normal run, I am usually lapped by 2 or 3 front runners, but due to walking we were lapped by many more runners who greeted us with, “well done”, “keep going”, and “you can do it”. It was very inspiring and cheering to see so many runners take the time out to encourage us on their way around the course.

I felt a special sense of pride towards the volunteers, and wanted to hug each and every one of them knowing they had to stand and endure the elements for up to an hour. Thank you to all the runners and volunteers for helping to make my 50th run so special.


Event 54 – Abigail visits parkrun

By Lorna Witter

parkrun start

It was Perry Hall's 54th parkrun and 64 runners stood at the start on a bitterly cold morning feeling the tail end of storm Abigail. Nonetheless it was dry which meant the grass part of the course wouldn't be too soft.

LornaBefore the start, one of our frequent runners decided to go for an early bath in the moat – fortunately it was a dog who was there with its owner, Gemma Sutton. Neither was harmed prior to the run and both completed their run successfully in a time of 28.16. Well done to you both.

It never ceases to amaze me a runner's ability, motivation or reason as to why they run, but there is always a great turn out. Perry Hall welcomed 3 first time runners to a parkrun event and we had some tourists too. It's always great to give them a warm welcome and we hope to see you again.

As with all runners, I find from time to time I may have a dip in form for whatever reason, but that alone is motivation in itself to come back to a parkrun event - to try and continue to improve and to enjoy the whole aspect of parkrun.

For me it is new fitness hobby, new friends and pushing myself to improve weekly. So whatever your reason, all this would not be possible without the wonderful volunteers, whom without there would be no joy or satisfaction of participating in parkrun event even on the coldest or gloomiest of mornings, so to you volunteers a big thank you.


Event 53 – A breath-taking run!

Last week had been my first time as Run Director. This went quite smoothly, and it was good to have the support of Julie Morris there who has done the role a few times previously. After the event, I took home the parkrun equipment, to process the results and bring back this week.

Unbeknown to the volunteers and runners however, I had a panic to get the scanners and stopwatches to the event this week. I left home as usual in good time, and got almost to Perry Hall, before remembering the equipment was tidily put away in a cupboard at home – out of sight, out of mind!!

A quick turn back was required and a phone call to a friend to help and pick me up from home so I didn’t need to catch the bus back again. A text to Tommy Hill and Julie Morris to tell them I would be a little late this morning, little did they know about my race against time!!! Thankfully I got to Perry Hall for 8:40 and all was fine.

The weather was very wet and windy this morning, but I was looking forward to my run. By 8:55 a good number of runners were gathered ready for the run briefing by Tommy. This week there were 58 runners, of whom 10 were first timers to Perry Hall, and for 2 it was their first ever parkrun. We hope you enjoyed the run, the course isn’t usually quite this wet and windy!

By 9 o'clock, the rain had stopped, but suddenly the wind got up to what felt like gale force. Running around the course was so challenging, it certainly felt like my breath was being taken away by the wind, by far the hardest conditions I have ever run in. The paths had some very deep puddles; I went from avoiding the first few, to then splashing through a very large one, and realising that it was just one of those runs where wet feet could not be avoided.

It’s always nice to be cheered on by the volunteers on the bridge at the half way point, and thank you to Ronald Adams for being there with the stopwatch to shout out our half way times. There was a surprise as I approached the bridge for the second time to turn in towards the finish area: the Lord Mayor Coun Ray Hassall was there to cheer on the runners – he was passing through on his way to another engagement and stopped by to give his support. Thank you, this was a bonus and gave me a boost over the last part to the finish – one of my slowest times today, but I was just happy to complete the course.

Lord MayorLord Mayor

It was not surprising to see only 2 runners made a PB today, well done to Jordan Fisher Brindle and Shannon Murphy.

An extra special mention to our volunteers for turning out today in the dreadful weather – Ronald Adams, Vivienne Belt, Geoff Farmer, Matthew Harding, Tommy Hill, Julie Morris, Bob Robertson, Peter Szymanski and Karen Trench, without our wonderful volunteers the events could not happen.

We are hoping to host an event on Boxing Day, and will definitely be holding one on New Year’s Day. The New Year’s Day one will start slightly later at 10am, if you are able to volunteer for either of these, please email us at perryhalloffice@parkrun.com and we can put you into the rota.

On 28th November, we will be having our first birthday celebration. Our initial idea is to have some nibbles straight after the event, there will be cake, sweets, sausage rolls etc available for all – it would be great if you are able to bring some food to contribute, but please turn up to run or volunteer on our special day regardless.

I hope you've enjoyed reading the last 3 run reports which I have written – if you would like to write one, please let us know on the morning, and you are more than welcome to do so. It would be interesting to hear a perspective of the event from different people – either those volunteering or runners.

Have a good week, and hope to see you again soon.


Event #51 – Jelly baby celebrations!

The weather forecast had stated rain for 10am this morning, but it arrived earlier, making for a pretty soggy time for our runners and volunteers this week. This didn’t dampen the mood though, and despite the grey skies, we had 69 runners.

Vivienne Belt arrived early in her customised top with helium balloon attached to proudly show that this was to be her 100th parkrun. Cannon Hill was Vivienne’s regular parkrun, but she was very pleased when Perry Hall started as she lives very local to this run. Not only is Vivienne a regular runner, but she also likes to be part of the volunteer team and is a regular tail runner for us.

She brought along some jelly babies to celebrate, which went down well both pre- and post-run. Thank you for those Viv, we hope you enjoyed your special run – now to start the countdown for 250!

During the pre-run briefing, the wind got up and our start line sign ended up in the moat! Thank you to this week’s barcode scanner Ruth Lockley who rescued it for us.

We had 8 first time tourists to Perry Hall: Aaron Warmington, Lewis Murray, Adam Bashir, Stephanie Bird, Mandi Hodges, Haroon Bashir, Hannah Hunter and Phil Miles, and for Jordan Fisher Brindle it was his first ever parkrun. We hope you all enjoyed the experience and will be back again soon.

Well done to the 10 runners who all achieved a PB this week: Ryan Shields, Colin Wilkes, Aaron Mitchell, Vicki Shields, Kerry Hemmings, Jeevan Thakore, Alys Eley, Sara Eaglesfield, Krishen Thakore and Jayesh Thakore.

We had a great team of 12 volunteers this week, which allowed for us to have 5 marshals out around the course, feedback was very positive; the runners really appreciated all the volunteers and enjoyed being cheered on by the marshals too. Thank you Andrew Wadsworth, Dalton Campbell, Denise Rogers, Emma Hawkey, Gerard Goshawk, Lorna Witter, Phil Thompson, Roger Tempest, Ruth Lockley, Thomas Rogers, Tommy Hill and Vivienne Belt.

If you would like to volunteer, email perryhallhelpers@parkrun.com, or you can message us via the Facebook page. Alternatively, if you turn up on the day and decide to volunteer instead of running, let the run director know and they will assign you a role.


Event 47 – A new course record!

By Emma Hawkey

Perry Hall parkrun briefing

Arriving early with several of the volunteers, it certainly felt like an autumn morning with a chill in the air. As 9 o’ clock approached the sky was totally free from cloud and the sun had suddenly made it into what almost felt like a summer morning.

64 runners gathered to hear the Run Director, Julie Reynolds, give the pre run briefing and set them off on their two laps of Perry Hall Park.

Little did we know that today, at event number 47 something special was to happen… we had a new course record set. Well done to Tom Dodd (JM15-17) of Birchfield Harriers who crossed the line in 16:28. This broke his own previous course record which he set at event 15 by 18 seconds. Congratulations also go to our other 12 personal bests this week.

It was brilliant to see 7 parkrun first timers today; well done Harry Sachs, Edward Wright, Matthew Thornhill, Shannon Murphy, Leanne Logan, Melissa Spence, and Esther Overton. We hope you enjoyed your runs and will be seeing you back again soon, there certainly seemed to be lots of smiles at the finish and positive words from your first ever parkrun experiences. It was also lovely to have 3 first time Perry Hall tourists: Sophie Smith, Robert Bowen and Lee Fletcher.

A huge thanks goes to all of this week’s volunteers: Angelina Farruggia, Beverley Susan Ward, Cindy Tierney, Emma Hawkey, Julie Reynolds, Phil Thompson and Vivienne Belt. Let’s not forget that parkrun is run by volunteers and without them the events simple couldn’t run.

VolunteerIn recent weeks I have experienced the volunteering side. Having originally thought that I was only interested in running, I gave volunteering a go when I had a race on the Sunday - my legs can’t take a parkrun on the Saturday too! I have had a go at barcode scanning, timekeeping and position tokens. It’s a great way to see parkrun from the other side, and get to know the volunteers; runners are always very appreciative, so although not running, there is still a sense of satisfaction.

At Perry Hall, we can never have too many volunteers, so if you ever want to have a go, contact us on perryhallhelpers@parkrun.com, message us through Facebook or speak to the Run Director on the day. All of the roles are very easy to learn and training is given on the morning before you start. There are many roles to choose from. This week Julie Reynolds thought she had another volunteer!!

Hope to see you all again soon - and do have a look at our Facebook page for more photos from our recent runs.


Event #38 – parkrun comes home!

The view from an Exeter parkrunner
Written by Adrian Mountford

I know that Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE is credited as being the founder of parkrun just over 10 years ago, but just as in golf where the Dutch claim that they played a version of the game centuries before it was played on the links of St Andrews, I can provide a different version of parkrun history that may shock you!

Back in the winter of 1982, as an 11 year old boy I turned up at Handsworth Grammar School’s playing fields ready for our weekly football session. The weather hadn’t been great that week and when we got to the fields, we were told that the pitches were waterlogged. Our sports teacher, whose name escapes me, informed the 120 boys that to get our weekly physical education we would be undertaking a parkrun, or as he somewhat naively termed it ‘cross-country run’.

The significance of this, you may wonder? Well, the parkrun that I undertook that day, and sporadically for the next seven years of my life, involved running around the perimeter of Perry Hall Park. I can therefore confirm that the founder of parkrun was my old PE teacher and that the genesis of parkrun occurred twenty years earlier than we first thought!

Similar to playing cricket at Lord’s, football at Wembley or tennis at Wimbledon, whilst many parkrun tourists head to Bushy Park, evidently in error, to trample the hallowed turf where it all began, perhaps now there will be an influx of runners wishing to retrace my steps at Perry Hall, the true home of parkrun!

OK, maybe not all the above is completely accurate, but the bit about cross country around Perry Hall Park is, and we probably ran about 5,000 metres. I’ve been away from Birmingham for over 20 years but still come back to see family regularly, and have previously participated in local parkruns at Brueton & Walsall Arboretum ‘on tour’ when away from my regular home runs initially at Killerton and then, celebrating its first anniversary next week, Exeter Riverside in Devon, where I have recently become Event Director.

When I noticed that a new run had begun at Perry Hall, only about 15 minutes jog from my parent’s house, I knew that I would have to come along when I got the chance and retrace my footsteps from where I experienced my first proper running experience over thirty years ago.

Whereas the parkrun travels clockwise around the park, school cross country was anti-clockwise around the park perimeter. The direction of yesterday’s wind meant that there was a significant proportion of the run where it was straight into your face and made the run quite tough – I don’t recall wind like that in the ‘80s, so must be a new phenomenon. There is also a bit of undulation that sapped strength late into the run which I didn’t remember from my teenage runs

Perry Hall parkrun, still in its first year, is small but perfectly formed. The volunteers did a really great job and the pre run briefing helped set new runners at ease. Judy Ince ran in a bespoke T-shirt detailing all her 99 runs to date and all her PBs. Congratulations to you on completing your 100th run this weekend, and welcome to the ‘100 Club’.

I’m not sure when I’ll next be in Birmingham at 9:00 am on a Saturday morning, but promise that I will return sometime in the next year, hopefully in less windy conditions, with the aim of beating my inaugural run time.
The run brought back great memories from my childhood and next time I’ll bring my family along with me to share the experience.

See you all again soon!

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