Event 466 – 4 September 2021

What a lovely morning in Ponte Park!

259 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests.

A big round of applause for our crew of hi-viz heroes:

John KELLY • Ian RUTSON • Karen COOK • David BUCK • Rosemary ELLIS • Colin WHITE • Marian STANLEY • Jill HAIGH • Merv DAVISON • Pam GREEN • Ken POYNER • Andy EVANS • Marie EVANS • Caroline EAMES • Adam FEATHERSTONE • Catriona PHILLIPS

If you'd like to give us a hand, please email us at pontefract@parkrun.com.

Massive congrats to Chris PRATCHETT, Mike SNELL & Jill SEDGWICK who joined the 100 club this morning. Also Tracey SHILLITO & Frank SHEARD joined the 50 club.

An honourable mention to Ponte regular Tim OWEN also who completed his 250th parkrun at Rother Valley!

See you next week by the lake?


parkrun’s back!

Now then, that was pretty special wasn't it?

What a morning!?

Firstly some thank yous, our heartfelt thanks go to John Turner the Town Crier for Pontefract who joined us for our big restart.

As always though we couldn't do it without the help of our volunteers. Thank you, you all did an amazing job. You were a dream team and made the core team's life so much easier!

With the changes to the start and finish, we were a little nervous with how it would go. The main aim was to give you all more space to spread out, before and after the run.

So a massive thank you goes to you, our parkrun community for listening carefully and giving each other space. Please let us know how you found it all. Although we make no apologies for the slight incline towards the new finish.

A huge thank you also to James Todd who took photos for us on the lake, we will share the link to these photos over the course of this week.

Our final thank you goes to parkrunner and tourist Daniel Connelly from Warwick racecourse, who has very kindly written our run report for us. Grab yourself a cuppa and a biscuit (it's a long one ) and relive what was a fabulous morning in Pontefract park. Enjoy.....

Pontefract parkrun #460 – More than a run in the park.

When parkrun pulled up the finish funnel, folded up the hi viz vests and packed away the finish tokens on 14th March 2020, I told myself that each Saturday morning I would complete a (not) parkrun event in a park local to me…  I kept up the habit for 35 weeks; at around 9am I would give myself and members of my family a short run brief before we set off to run around a measured 5km loop (I happen to have a calibrated measuring wheel!).  I even created a set of results and sent text messages.  With cafés closed we had post run coffee and breakfast in our garden.  But slowly it waned, it just wasn’t the same!  Training runs reduced in length and slowed in speed to walks.  As lovely as my route was, without others to share it with, chat before and after have that shared community it just wasn’t the same!

So standing on the start line on a warm overcast Saturday in July, I could barely contain my excitement.  I was much like a child on Christmas morning faced with a huge stocking filled with presents.  But rather than having to wait just 52 weeks, I have dreamed of this day for the last 70 weeks.  During this time we have had a few false dawns so even as the runners gathered for the briefest of moments at the start I could barely believe that this day had actually arrived!

The return of parkrun!

For many of us, we could just rock up and run just like we have done many times before but I am sure that many of those in hi viz today and core team members who maybe got to enjoy this first run out have been busy behind the scenes; liaising with parkrun HQ and the landowners, making small changes to the course and implementing new procedures to make sure that all 299 of us today could finally get back parkrunning safely.  So on behalf of everyone a huge Thank you.

Many not yet parkrunning friends – I say yet as there is still time for them to join – think that it is just a run in a park!  They don’t understand that joy of the collective running experience of like-minded runners.  That parkrun really is for all ages from juniors like Ava Flaherty, Adam Tasker & Reuben Anstee being under 11 years of running with a responsible adult to Frank Sheard and John Richard Bell in the VM80-84 category all sharing that 5km course on a Saturday Morning.  From the super speedy first finisher, Vegan Runners’, Alex HINCHCLIFFE in 17:04 to tail walker, Wakefield Triathlon Club’s, Ian RUTSON closing the run in 56:27.  Everyone can join in the fun.

Just before 9 o’clock runners appeared and started to gather by the lake.  It was almost as if parkrun hadn’t stopped; there was still the air of pre run chatter although more spaced out, maintaining social distancing for others.

Over time you make many parkrun friends, people you chat to as you run or runners of a similar pace that you try and race to the finish line each week, volunteers who turn up rain or shine to clap and cheer you on your way.  This community that collects together weekly, sharing in a common bond of parkrun was only paused during the pandemic; this restart just reignited those bonds and friendships.

The town cryer announced the first timers briefing for the 38 runners coming to Pontefract for the first time, to cover the course and what to do with those little plastic tokens at the end!  It is always lovely to have new runners join us each week and even more so after all those weeks off so huge welcome to:- Craig Powell, Faith Batchelor, Hannah Waud, Janet Ross, Jennifer Cassidy, Kim Hepworth, Luke Dove, Rebecca Mccormick, Reuben Anstee, Samantha Campbell, Sarah Rice, Simon Moakes, Stephanie Reyner, Stephen Derbyshire and Tracy Proud.  We hope that you enjoyed your first parkrun and that you will bring your barcode back to a parkrun soon.

Then it was on to the run briefing – as across the country this is now a brief streamlined affair so that there is minimal congregation before the start…  So unfortunately this does mean that there are no milestone mentions.  If it isn’t bad enough missing parkrun for 11,927 hours imagine how it must feel waiting on 99 runs like:- Greg Thorley, Torin Rickerby, Claire Barber or Iona Rickerby had been.  So a huge well done for joining the 100 club.  However one runner was stuck on 249 runs!  1 shy of joining the 250 club so a huge well done to James O'Rourke for reaching this milestone.  Wear your t-shirts with pride.  Less than two minutes later runners made their way to the start and off…

With 496 days to train, I should have been off like a racing whippet!  Instead I have spent the time carb loading – not just for me but for the entire estimated 100 000 English parkrunners that walked jog or ran around the courses today.  So almost immediately I got to enjoy the sight of a hundred of runners streaming away from the start leaving me puffing and panting from the initial incline.  An array of parkrun milestone, apricot and contra t shirts along with a plethora of brightly coloured tops from running clubs and races winding their way around the lake before heading off into the distance on the race course.

Although Pontefract Racecourse is one of the longest continuous flat racing circuits in Europe, it certainly isn’t flat!  But once past the grandstand a lovely gentle downhill rewards that initial climb from the lake.

Whilst I may have taken 496 days between parkruns a little too easy with my running it seems like a lot of runners used the time wisely or were so desperate to chat to parkrunner friends at the end that 33 of today’s field managed to run a PB Including the first 3 over the line!  So a huge well done to :- Alex Hinchcliffe, Amy Davies, Ava Flaherty, Becky Westwood, Carol Krahe, Cathy Giles,  Catriona Phillips, Chris Garnett,  Conor Harrison,  Craig Mann, Dan Maltby, Daniel Heald,  Danielle Wilson, Dean Playforth, Debbie Foster, Elliott Hartley, Greg Thorley, James Firth,  James O'rourke, Julie Wild, Kristofer Burton, Leanne Hosty, Maxine Maxwell, Millie Wroe, Niamh Barnes, Robert Saunders, Ryan Gascoigne,  Simon Edwards Barber, Stacey , Steven Evans, Stuart Wilson, Trevor Scallan, Zoë Proud.

After the circuit of the race course it was a return to the lake for a final loop before crossing that finish line and collecting a position token.  Spread around under the trees by each of the benches used by the spread-out scanners, groups of happy parkrunners stood chatting to each other.

Rather than rush off we headed over to the new Aspire at the Park leisure centre to enjoy a parkrun special sausage or bacon batch and tea or coffee (vegetarian version also available) and a brief chat with some of the volunteer team as they processed the results from the Virtual Volunteer App.  If you don’t have to rush home do stay and enjoy a chat in the café afterwards; it really extends that great parkrun community feeling.

As with parkruns around the world, Pontefract parkrun is organised and run by volunteers.  All the roles are really simple to complete even if you are completely new to the role; they can and will be explained by a volunteer on the morning.  However, If you fancy giving barcode scanning a go you couldn’t go wrong watching the quick 4 minute film my son made for junior parkrun!

This week we are grateful to:

birthday girl Jodi HAYWARD, Kenneth BINGLEY, Joanne CONROY, Merv DAVISON, Rosemary ELLIS, Andy EVANS, Marie EVANS, Adam FEATHERSTONE, Phoebe FITZGERALD, Pam GREEN, Jo GUNSON,  John KEES, Ken POYNER, Stephanie RAMSKILL, Ian RUTSON, Gregory SKELTON, Hannah SKELTON, James TODD and Colin WHITE

for wearing the hi viz and making parkrun #460 happen at Pontefract.  If you fancy giving it a go just send an email to pontefract@parkrun.com it is loads of fun.


Guest Run Report for 9th Feb 2019

So the snow had gone (yay!), only to be replaced with strong winds and rain (boo!)

Having seen the weather forecasts during the week, driving the 3 hours North to Pontefract was probably not the smartest move, but as a regular tourist, doing silly things for the love of parkrun is part and parcel of what we do. So the alarm went off at 5am and we were out of the door and on the road by 5:30am, with just a quick check of facebook, twitter and the parkrun cancellations page to double check Pontefract parkrun had not yet been cancelled.

Why Pontefract? Well firstly it is an event we had not done before, and secondly we were attempting to complete the Full Ponty challenge (that's running at each of Pontypridd, Pontypool and Pontefract). We ran at Pontypridd a few weeks ago, and are planning on going to Pontypool next Saturday.

Thankfully, on arrival we saw some of the volunteer and they assured that the event was still going ahead (phew), but would be on the "B course" which was a simple out and back. My first thought was "brilliant, it looks flat". Well that may be how it looks, but most of us know that when running, even a slight incline can feel like the steepest hill.

Ian Rutson (known to many as He Who Must Not Be Named) was Run Director for the day and got us going on time, only to be met with a stingingly cold wind blowing into the side of our faces. After a few minutes it didn't feel quite so bad, so we could all concentrate on running alongside the racecourse and getting our weekly parkrun. So many encouraging runners were met on the day, so a big congratulations to everyone who took part.

After the run, it was lovely chatting to the volunteers at the finish and we continued this in the cafe at the squash club over a bite to eat and a hot drink. I also got to see some of the magic that happens after the tail walker crosses the finish line as Ian was processing the results. A minor blip in the timings was soon ironed out and the text messages and emails were soon winging their way to the volunteers and parkrunners.

I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers for running such a great event and ensuring it went smoothly and safely:

John Richard BELL, Alan COLLIER, Steve CONROY, Alfie CONROY, Yvonne EDWARDS, Rosemary ELLIS, George GARDNER, Erinne HOY, John KEES, Mathusa LOGESWARAN, Mark PINNEY, Dave POTTS, Ian RUTSON, Kevin WALTON

Some of you may have noticed me with a GoPro on my head as I like to video all of my parkruns and put them on YouTube for other parkrunners, so please have a look and see if you can spot yourself. Some photos of the volunteers can be seen at the end of the video.


On to the stats....

This week we had 312 brave runners, joggers and walkers. 7 UNKNOWNSs (don't forget your barcode next week), 127 Females and 178 Males.

First 3 Males to finish were Craig THORPE in 18:39, James Robert CAPON in 19:11 and Christian BARTON in 19:16. First 3 Female finishers were Treena JOHNSON in 20:25, Katie Marie ROBERTS in 21:39 and Ruth SIMMONS in 22:17.

There were 41 parkrunners who were new to Pontefract of whom 14 were doing their first ever parkrun, and an amazing 32 PB's. So well done to everyone and we hope to see you back next week.

The "most runniest runner" was Matthew Robert WATERIDGE from Basingstoke on 356 parkruns, but there were 4 other members of the 250 Club, 83 members of the 100 Club, 61 members of the 50 Club and 11 members of the 10 Club present. Official milestones achieved today were Luke EARNSHAW who joined the 100 Club and Roger OWEN who joined the 50 Club. Great stuff from you both.

Other news....

We now have two excellent parkrun podcasts available each week. "Free Weekly Timed" is the official parkrun podcast with Vassos Alexander and Louise Ayling. We also have "With Me Now" with Danny Norman and Nicola Forwood which is an independent parkrun-based podcast (some of you may remember Danny and Nicola from the much loved "The parkrun Show"). I thoroughly recommend them both.

Mark Pinney (A2522444)


Festive period 2018

Great news! As per previous years we will be hosting an additional event on both Christmas day and New Years day.

This is a great opportunity to get some extra runs in over the festive period and work off some of the party season excess.

Christmas day will run at 9am as per a normal parkrun start time.

New Years day will be a little different and we will start at 8:30am.  We have taken this decision due to the fact a lot of our parkrunners like to 'do the double' on New Years Day. Starting at 8:30am will give everyone that bit more time to travel to another parkrun that has a later start. It will also give our superstar volunteers the time to go onto another parkrun if they wish to do so.

Speaking of our volunteers, we will need people to assist with these runs. If you can help out then please email pontefracthelpers@parkrun.com



Festive Period 2017

parkrun Christmas image

A little late again this year but here's our Festive Plans...

We'll be at the racecourse as normal at 9am on the 23rd - there's a 'Elf' theme so get your togs on! If you're on Facebook, you can sign up for the event here.

On the 'big day' you can work up an appetite for your turkey with a special extra parkrun at 9am. The Facebook event is here.

On the first of January 2017 you can do it all again, 9am, normal time, normal place, bring your friends, bring your family, bring your hangovers for a special New Years Day parkrun. The Facebook event is here.

If that's all not enough...

The first day of the year is very special in parkrun-world, it's the only day that you can do two parkruns. Our friends at Rothwell parkrun and Nostell Priory parkrun are pulling out all the stops to welcome parkrunners at 10:30am so there's plenty of time to 'do the double'.

All these runs count towards parkrun clubs so between 23rd December and the first of January, the dedicated amongst you can clock up five runs.

Let's not forget though that we also need a full crew of volunteers to run these event smoothly, if you can help, or you can ask your families to help out that would be great. Please drop us an email at pontefracthelpers@parkrun.com.

Season's Greetings,

The Pontefract parkrun Team

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