Dream Running Locations

It's not easy to be a Run Director for an event that is cancelled. At least this year it's not a last minute decision based on icy conditions. During these strange times I still felt I should attempt to be at Pomphrey Hill playing fields and attempt to walk a lap. I donned my welly boots and headed round the course. With the rain overnight, the course which was already muddy seemed to be particularly slick causing Deb Fry to comment " I did my best ever Bambi impression today going along the top. Next week definitely trail shoes!! "

Lots of folks were running around the course starting and finishing at various points, all aiming for at least a 5k though very few thought they could achieve a PB in such conditions. As Simon Hailwood said, "It was a little soft under foot... The top stretch was fantastically slippery just to add to the experience. Fair play to those who were still running up Mr Hill"

muddy pomphrey

(not)parkrun results for this week include 34 runners completing 81 different (not)parkruns. Congratulations go to Richard Breakspear and Mike Messenger for their PBs this week. Welcome to (not)parkrun Debra Parsons - hope you enjoyed your run on Saturday. A complimentary (non)Milestone (non)t-shirt for Martyn Poole who this week completed his 50th (not)parkrun.

As I wandered around I asked those who were about to run or who had finished running the question of the day "If you could run anywhere in the world, where would it be and how far?" Some needed time to think on such an idea and for others it was a quick response:

Barcelona 10km - Steve Dunn

barcelona 10k

Anywhere flat, a seafront promenade such as Blackpool - Robin Fry

blackpool promenade


If not the Bahamas the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, with the parkruns on either side of course - Barbara Sullivan

bridge to malmo

Bristol 10k - Faye Pollinger

bristol 10k

Himalayan Desert Marathon - Becky Cox

himalayan marathon

10k, maybe as a 5k out and back on the Isle of Skye with a whiskey waiting at the end  - Charlotte Fry

isle of skye

I was going to do the Newport marathon but it would be great to do London - Michael Tout

london marathon

With any distance up for grabs though, it would have to be a marathon for me - it should also have a hill or two, so I'll pick the Inca Trail Marathon (so many to choose from though!). - Adrian Grimshaw


Run up stairs in an all-inclusive hotel in St Lucia aka to the bar and back - Colin Foster

st lucia

5k in Mauritius - Daz

mauritius 5km

Conti Thunder run with team mates or better yet, Mont Blanc - Matt Bessell

mont blanc trail

New York Marathon - Tony Worgan

new york marathon

10k at Cape Tribulation, Australia  - Jason Robinson


With a long history of running in a variety of places and distances it was a difficult choice. With the distance so far eluding him, it would have to be 100 miles along the North Downs "I miss the trees" - Rich Harris

north downs way

An ultra run in the Fjords of Norway - Deb Fry


10 miles round Palm Beach, do it in a bikini and let my belly wobble! - Anne Watkins

palm beach

I really want to do Disney run, I did have plans for it last year however, you know. Anyway I would love to do the one in Florida for 10k getting photos at each opportunity.- Martyn Poole

run disney florida

Half Marathon of the Run Disney challenge for a number of reasons a)you get to see lots of characters b) you see all 4 parks c) you can dress up because it's not as far as the marathon and d) it finishes around 8.30am so it's not too hot and then you're in the park for the day - Anne Burge

run disney

10k, A beach in Spain - Jack Foster

spanish beach

A coastal run from Penzance to St Michaels Mount - Gary Woodruff

st michaels mount

Run across Sydney Harbour bridge - Jane Robinson

sydney harbour bridge

I'd like to run/walk one Ultra (bad knee permitting), as for the where question...a barefoot run on a tropical beach, splashing through the water's edge. - Charissa Scott

tropical beach

'Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the Two Oceans Marathon Ultra, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breath-taking course in the world.' - William Lee

two oceans marathon cape town

The Mont St Michel marathon weekend with Catalina Lee and Yvonne running in the half marathon and William Lee in the marathon. We still have vouchers for our race entries, ferry crossing and accommodation so hope we will be able to do that at some point. - Catalina Lee

Mont St Michel

As for me, I would pick the promenade deck of any ship cruising around the world 5k any day we're not in port - Meryl Grimshaw

cruise ship promenade

Back from dreamland, I think we can all agree that right now we would settle for 5km, Saturday morning at Pomphrey Hill Playing Fields with friends. Until then keep dreaming but keep safe.


Until next time,

Meryl Grimshaw
Run Director







Dream Running Partners


Another busy week for (not)parkrunners who clocked up 70 (not)parkruns between them. Amongst them were first timer Sarah Wheatley and 5 happy PBers: Hayley Bennett, Carole Pugh, Debra Fry, Simon Hailwood and Mike Messenger - well done all!



Under the current lockdown rules, outside of your household or support bubble you can instead run with 1 other person. For fun, I asked via a Facebook post who you would choose to run with. No other criteria were given and these were the candidates submitted:

Gary Barlow was seen running with Hayley Franklin. I have run a parkrun in a jacket before, but I'm not sure how Gary would fair in those shoes... maybe Hayley wanted to slow him down a bit?

From William Lee: My musical running buddy when I visited Pomphrey yesterday was Johnny Cash. I've also been accompanied by Bob Dylan recently, but my favourite companions are The Rolling Stones so I think I will have to go for Keith Richards although I'm not sure he is still up to running...

From Ian Jones: Steve Ovett, a hero of mine growing up! Well Ian, I wouldn't fancy trying to keep up with him...

Well I was surprised to be nominated, not once but twice! I think it's clear where I am looking forward to running to again!

Tom Hardy with Carole Pugh - although they may have some competition ->


From Sally Bartram: My running buddy Sandra Drakett of course........and we did! If she wasn’t available I’d like Bradley Cooper to run with but would be chasing Carole W Pugh and Tom Hardy!

Kate Bush, famous for running up that hill, was accompanying Sam Mutch up our very own hill this week.


As it turns out, this was my 100th (not)parkrun and I hadn't realised! Anyway, my running partner - Mr Hill - collapsed at the end so we must have pushed pretty hard today! I could easily have joined him but didn't want to get even muddier...

Until next week, stay safe - and have fun running, whoever you run with!


What with one thing and another

What with one thing and another, 2020 has been a challenge for all of us. Hopefully 2021 will bring us a step closer to normality. Normally at this time of year, we would look back on the year and think about what the New Year might bring. We managed to get 11 events done before we went on a pause. I managed to attend 3 parkruns at Pomphrey. I did manage some local tourist visits as well as some volunteer stints. What did you manage to achieve before we went on pause?  Did you manage some away days?

From a personal point of view, I had some big running plans for 2020 and virtually all of them went up in smoke. Do I try them in 2021? I don’t know. It’s hard to motivate yourself to train for something that might not even happen. Also, I don’t know if I want to dust of my training plan as it required an awful lot of time running.  I might want to spend that time being socially distant with friends or with my family. It’s not bad to change your goals. Sometimes it’s good to stop and have a rethink rather than just go through the motions. What plans did you have for 2020? Did you manage to achieve them? Are you going to roll them over to 2021? Or do you have some new targets for 2021?

One of my goals for the year will be to clean my shoes when I get home after a muddy run. Too often I take them off and forget about them until I need them next. So when I need them, the mud has dried and has made the shoes quite stiff. My other little goal is to clean my drinks bottles when I finish my run so when I come to use them again, I don't have to give them a deep clean!!!! Do you have anything you might do differently with your running?


This week in the world of (not)parkrun, Andrew Banfield, Joe Thatcher, Carole Pugh and Adrian Grimshaw all made personal bests. Abigail Scott and David Hatts recorded their first (not)parkrun.

I went out to Pomphrey for a run on New Years Day and saw loads of friendly faces out and running. It gave me a glimpse of what we are missing. Certainly gave me a lift to see all these people. One day we will be back.


Keep running. Keep active. Stay safe. Phone a friend.



(not)parkrun RD



Ringing in the Changes

Christmas (not)parkrun

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas wherever you were and whoever you were able to be with. There have been fewer posts shared on our Facebook page than normal, which is understandable:

Tony Graham shared this photo on our Facebook page and commented "What a great start to a fresh & frosty Christmas Day! A 5k family run with your friends at our favourite parkrun venue!" Tony Graham

Sarah Brocklesby posted "Ran off 5Ks worth of Christmas pud this morning" to which Steve Burfitt replied "Yup me too before Storm Bella arrives later today." Sarah Brocklesby

This was the 28th week of (not)parkrun and this week 31 of you ran a collective total of 60 (not)parkruns with an average time of 33:12. Congratulations to Ruth GARBE on her first (not)parkrun and to Julia EDWARDS, Catalina LEE, Rosalyn CASTLE and Joe THATCHER for achieving (not)parkrun PBs. A virtual red t-shirt goes to Dave GEE for his 50th (not)parkrun. This week's virtual top prize goes to Rosalyn CASTLE who not only ran a PB at one of her 7 (not)parkruns this week but also ran her 100th (not)parkrun. Well done Roz, hope you enjoy your virtual black t-shirt!

Ringing in the Changes

As 2020 ends at midnight on New Year's Eve, so will my tenure as Event Director (ED) at Pomphrey Hill end after almost three years, first as Co-ED with Anne Burge and then as ED after Anne stepped down at the beginning of March. You'll still be seeing me at Pomphrey Hill, not least as I will be staying within the Core Team as a Run Director (RD). I am about to start the notoriously intensive second year of my MSc and need to reprioritise my time and catch up on my academic reading.

I have been supported throughout the last three years by the most incredibly dedicated Core Team: Meryl, Adrian, Steve, Anne, Danny, William, Catalina, Trudy, Ella and Martyn as well as Andrew Boynton during his tenure in the team as well as many other dedicated volunteers who support us each week including Steve Jenkins and Gary Woodruff. Together we have continued to develop an event which our Ambassador has called very professional. A high accolade indeed for an event entirely organised by volunteers!!

I'm very pleased to announce that Adrian Grimshaw and William Lee, both accomplished and highly experienced RDs will be taking over as Co-EDs from 1st January 2021, I have no doubts that Pomphrey will be in very capable hands and that you will support them as much as you've supported me.
AdrianCJ 7

Having just skimmed through our Flickr photographs there are many things which I am proud of during my time at the helm including having overseen 15 Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme candidates through their Bronze, Silver or Gold Volunteer Sections; recruited volunteers for the Bristol 10k and Bristol Half Marathons, in return Great Run make a donation to our event funds which we use to buy or replace event equipment such as radios, defibrillator pads, stakes and signs; I've organised/helped organise numerous special events and Barking Parties; I've also dressed up in many wonderful outfits and joined with many of you as you've celebrated your parkrun milestones and we've all celebrated International parkrun Day and Pomphrey's 5th and 6th birthdays.

From all of us in the Pomphrey Hill parkrun Core Team and both the outgoing and incoming EDs, we wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.

Until next time,


Season’s Greetings!

PHpr Christmas 2020Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and a  happy and healthy New Year!

Much love from Pomphrey Hill parkrun's Core Team:

Steve, Martyn, Ella, Catalina, Meryl, Trudy, William, Danny, Adrian and Ris


Pre Christmas Runners and Cute Dogs

As this year starts to come to a close and hopefully we can put 2020 behind us. I have seen some good come out of this year, there has been an increase of runners around my streets, run routes and even around Pomphrey. There are new runners still signing up to parkrun who have never ran an official run which goes to show that nothing will keep us down. When we do come back (and we will come back) we should see a lot of the numbers we had before.

The Saturday before Christmas always see's Pomphrey parkrunners with some amazing head wear, running tights or christmas style jumpers/t shirts and it's a shame we wont get to experience it this year.  I was hoping that some of you would have posted your best Christmas pictures from past runs or even dive into the archive myself and pick some of my favourites however, I did travel to Pomphrey last Saturday armed with my camera and managed to see some familiar faces.

First off, a massive shout out this Steve who I haven't seen since the last parkrun and bumping into him was probably my highlight of the day especially seeing his Santa Hat.


As for some of the others who were running Saturday (socially distant), see how many you can recognise.

50739816762_aa8f184c40_c 50739816982_2535e2f1b4_c 50739817227_358c078a46_c 50739714111_d18d6b8430_c 50739822427_9ca2fae869_c 50739717031_20615fa6a5_c 50739717631_a502de4504_c 50739718061_461b00ce72_c 50738982873_c4d9d236cc_c 50739720036_5b5b00b9d2_c 50738984473_2f255794c3_c 50739831767_2c5a8fd0e9_c 50738986998_7ce06213cd_c 50739829342_a4cb2cc90c_c 50739721956_8967852d83_c 50738985048_f601017acd_c

There where a lot of dogs around too so I felt it necessary to add a few pictures which will hopefully make you smile.

50739813587_00e691cb6b_w 50739707996_b7f42e95d8_w 50739708311_f3777ef978_w


More pictures can be found on the Pomphrey Hill Flickr page Here.

(not) parkrun results 20/12/20

We had 28 (not) parkrunners this week run 58 (not) parkruns. Special mentions go to Sam WELLS for their first recorded (not) parkrun; to James C, Anthony WORGAN, Hayley BENNETT, Derek MCSWEENEY and William LEE for (not) parkrun PBs.

The speediest Pomphrey (not) parkrunner was Dave G with a time of 22:18.
You can see all of the week's (not) parkrun results here.

Thanks to everyone for keeping things going and do continue to enjoy your (not) parkruns!


Whatever you are doing, I wish you a very safe and Happy Christmas and i'll see you all very soon.
Until next time; be safe, stay healthy and look after each other.




Well, Fancy Seeing You Here, and You, and You and You!

Although I had already enjoyed a nice and early run in the sun with my sister, I headed over to Pomphrey Hill to meet up with my (also run director) other half, William. He too had nipped out for an early morning 13 mile cross country run accompanied for part of it by fellow Staple Hill Runners and parkrun regulars Sally Bartram, Sandra Drakett and Sue Upfield. When I arrived I bumped into another couple of Up Pomphrey! stalwarts - Richard (dog walking) and Valerie (running) Helliar - it was lovely catching up with you both. There were several other familiar Pomps People faces from Emersons Green Runners in the car park so after a few smiley waves to one another I eventually made it down to the hot hatch for a nice cuppa and found another nicely distanced group of regular Saturday morning (not)parkrunners including Pomps most frequently capped volunteer photographer Gary Woodruff, so I've included some of his photos in this (not) run report - thank you Gary! After a few sips of my cup of tea who should be going past the pavilion but non other than Meryl and Adrian - another couple of PH Run Directors enjoying a few laps around the playing fields. It turns out that a number of the EGRC members had been out on an alternative virtual Westonbirt 10k run nearby. Barely was I halfway through my hot beverage than I recognised another familiar face whizzing past that was Martyn - PH Run director number  5 - well, fancy that!! It was really lovely to see so many friendly faces, it was almost like the good old days.

Vicky Robin SueMartynGary Barbara Catalina

Now for some stats and congrats
Well done all 29 of you who ran a total of 49 (not) parkruns and submitted your (not) parkruns for the week 7th-13th December. Congratulations on your pbs to Steph Freeman; Hayley Bennett; Paul Castle; Karen Cooper; Alan Cook; Sam Cossey and Valerie Helliar! Ros Castle notched up her 91st (not) parkrun - could that tally reach 100 by next time..??

You can take a look at the full table of these (not) parkrun results here

Ris, our ED, produced an annual report of our activities to present to Pomphrey Hill Community Sports Association AGM and here it is for you all to enjoy too.

Pomphrey Hill parkrun celebrated its 6th anniversary on the 7th March (Event #312), which was also International Women’s Day, with an ‘Inspiring Women’ Theme. Anne Burge officially stood down as Co-Event Director at our birthday after two years as Co-Event Director and four as a Run Director,
having completed 92 weeks of volunteering at Pomphrey, 29 of them as Run Director. On behalf of everyone at Pomphrey Hill parkrun, thank you Anne for everything!
The following week, 14th March (Event #313), was the last event we held before we closed under Covid-19 restrictions. We have yet to restart, despite parkrun UK’s intention to restart events across the country in October, this was put on hold when case numbers increased.
The Core Team have published various features on our webpage,
https://www.parkrun.org.uk/pomphreyhill/news/ and our Facebook page. First a series of ‘Pomps People Profiles’ where we got to know members of our community a little better. Then a series of weekly Selfie Challenges at a different part of our course each week and now we are sharing the results of ‘(not)parkrun’, which is an initiative by Head Office, where runners/joggers/walkers can log their 5k times on the parkrun website. This can be any 5k route at any location, though a few members of the Pomphrey Hill parkrun community choose to do it at Pomphrey Hill, following social distancing guidance.
Our average attendance over the last 12 operational months (March 19 – March 20) has been 319 participants and 30 volunteers. This is a steady increase comparable with last years’ 302 participants and 29 volunteers which reflects parkrun’s increasing popularity nationally.
In the last 12 months (November 19 to November 20) 379 new people have registered with Pomphrey Hill as their home parkrun. We now have a total of 7,093 people registered to Pomphrey Hill and 2,241 different people have completed 6,467 runs, walks or jogs around our 5k course. In total over our 6 years, 10,688 different people have completed our course 76,067 times.
In terms of volunteers; in the last year 224 different volunteers have collectively accumulated 557 volunteer credits. In total over our 6 years 1,085 different volunteers have collectively accumulated 7,272 volunteer credits.We are pleased to have welcomed Martyn Poole and Ella Burchill to the Core Team.

Ris Scott
Event Director

Thank you for that Ris, it's good to be remember need of all the wonderful stats and people involved in our lovely parkrun :)

Well that's all for now Pomps.

Until next time, keep on taking care.

Run Director



Say hello to Mr Hill

I've had an extremely busy period with work, but I've set myself a goal to go along to Pomphrey Hill every Saturday at around 9am to do my own little (not) parkrun. It's also a great way to support the Pavilion and buy myself a bacon butty and a cup of tea. I hope to see some of you there this coming weekend and in the future weekends.

It's really lovely to see who else is going to turn up and say hello to. But please don't forget Mr Hill, he's missing us all a lot and has to put up with the wet and dark days. Just remember to shout "Up Pomphrey" as you slip and slide your way up him.

(not)parkrun Results for 30/11/2020 to 06/12/2020

We had 31 participants this week who completed 64 (not)parkruns, including first timer Caroline Gamlin, nice work. Well done to Hayley Bennett, Philip Malcolm, Catalina Lee and Joe Thatcher who all bagged PBs. Full results can be seen here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/pomphreyhill/results/notparkrun/?date=2020-12-06

See you all very soon.

Steven Burge
Run Director


End of Lockdown has us in Tiers

Ok so it's a really bad pun but this week's announcement from the government will once again change how we are able to enjoy our (not)parkrun day. This was the last weekend of lockdown and the limitation of meeting up with only 1 person outside. Next weekend, officially in Tier 3,  we'll be back to meeting up with up to 6 people outside. Regardless of if you ran alone, with your family or with one other person - let's take a look at how folks enjoyed their (not)parkrun day.

On Friday we woke up to a beautiful icy morning and Hilary posted some beautiful photos of the lovely park we get to enjoy on a Saturday morning.


Hoping to enjoy the same beautiful views I took my camera to Pomphrey, to be greeted by FOG!


An improvement over the strong winds and drizzle of last week, but not the views I had hoped for. Instead I captured a few smiling faces as folks ran around the park, including Janette and her new rescue pup, Rufus!


Are high fives allowed with gloves?


Rufus - the new man in Janette's life! (Future tail walker :D )


128150620_802524970304685_4995075948796273172_n 128254536_1133029610477886_6528917958868757787_n 128280827_1335032566837484_1667787559587311903_n   128437299_3847226165340014_3351675827278565618_n   128514656_3859309477498767_5278534434448405599_n 128601919_199241578333254_2120685078758390101_n 128612339_409582323417991_4616510503750919510_n 128632136_3476299325928695_3356496144569303511_n 128651573_817738059020851_1326205983874834226_n

Sandra Drakett posted some photos of her (not)parkrun with the comment
"Lovely socially distance run at Pomphrey with these Ladies this morning! Mr Hill was muddy! Foggy views from the top, across to the country side. Great to see so many people enjoying this beautiful park! Enjoyed a well deserved brew at end from the hatch. Feeling accomplished!!"


(not)parkrun Results:
34 participants this week completed 60 (not)parkruns, including first timer Sam Cossey - welcome. Congratulations to Valerie Helliar, Hayley Bennett, Alan Cook and Joe Thatcher on their PBs. Full results can be seen here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/pomphreyhill/results/notparkrun/

We want to reassure you behind the scenes the core team are still working together, meeting via zoom to discuss all things parkrun. We are all scheduled as RD each week to bring you these run reports and on standby for the announcement for when we can return. Until then, stay safe and keep (not)parkrunning!

Meryl Grimshaw
Run Director



parkrun pause

Globally, all 5k parkrun events and junior parkrun events paused several months ago. During that time, much planning has taken place about how parkrun could return without the detail of when that would be.

Over the last few weeks, the initial small steps have been taken to get some events up and running again. Last week, there were 117 events worldwide, and this is expected to progress to over 200 events this coming weekend. This includes some new events in Japan who originally had their inaugural events scheduled for April 2020.

You can read full details of the current situation here.

Closer to home is the news that there are plans to restart some junior parkrun events early in 2021. There are some slight changes to the event format to help manage attendance, and this enable each event to restart as it feels able to do so.

Again, you can read more details of the proposal here.

For 5k events in the UK, including Pomphrey Hill, it is likely these will all resume at the same time, when the COVID-19 guidelines allow. We already have an outline plan for this, as a possible return was first proposed for October 2020. This includes a slightly modified course layout, with the start and finish positions moving.

I will leave you with the details from fellow RD Danny below, originally posted in September. Rest assured, we will elaborate on the details of the return when that is planned.

Until then, don't forget you can still log your (not)parkruns. Last week, 33 runners recorded 67 runs including first timers Philip Malcolm and Alan Cook - it's never too late to get involved!

Stay safe,



Here's the new course excerpt from Danny's pirate report:

I don't know when we can go back to eating milestone cakes. Sorry, I mean celebrating HQ milestones!! There have been some developments to share with you. A while ago, the parkrun team released a framework for how parkrun is going to look when it returns. One of the things mentioned was limiting the amount of time people are kept in close proximity at the start. So it looks like our "extensive" pre-run brief isn't coming back!!!

This isn't the only change you will notice. We are hoping to do the pre-run brief whilst people are hanging around the pavilion so people can still socially distance themselves. Then we will move to the start line in pace order, faster runners first followed by the slower runners.

How will this work with our start line as the faster runners are at the front? Well, we are moving the start and finish points. There are a number of factors that are triggering this change. So lets talk about the finish and work back from there. We are moving the finish to  the duck pond.  (I have no idea why I always refer to it as the duck pond as I don't ever remember seeing ducks in there!!!!) You need to be aware of the tight turn for the finish line and the surface conditions. Please take care taking that turn.


Having the finish here will allow us to have plenty of space to scan barcodes. Barcode scanning will be changing too. Each barcode scanner will only be allowed to scan 50 people and people will need to use the volunteer app to scan the barcodes. We are expecting some of the faster runners to also do some scanning once they finish as we would need around 6 barcode scanners at least.

Working back from the finish line, it will mean our start point moves close to the cricket nets. This will hopefully allow a quick start as the faster runners will reach the start first from the walk from the pavilion and everyone else files in behind. Once the tail walker files in at the back, 3,2,1, GO! Moving the start line to the new position does mean that late arrivals are no longer a risk as there won't be 300+ people running towards them.

⇐ Newer Posts From Author