Records smashed to pieces

Event #94
Theyre offPoolsbrook parkrun regulars will have been astounded by the turnout on New Years Day with an incredible 473 runners, walkers and joggers taking part. This was an increase over our previous attendance record of 289 set last NYD – a 66% increase.

We had anticipated a big turnout and got the expected influx of participants who had been at Graves or Clumber parkruns at 9AM plus a lot of our regulars and all this supplemented by 25 people taking part in their first parkrun ever and 102 tourists who had never run at Poolsbrook before.

Welcome to new parkrunners Chris BREEN, Dale BEACH, Ellie COOK, Hannah BEARDER, Helena GODLEY, Jason HOBSON, Jasper SOUL, Joanne STEWART, Joel BEACH, Jonathan TAYLOUR, Josie STOPPARD, Keeley SPELLER, Liam ASHBURNER, Lilja OSKARSDOTTIR, Lorraine BURROW, Lucy HAMES, Lucy PRICE, Nicola HALL, Rebecca MAGGS, Robert EASTON, Roger BARRETT, Sarah SMITH, Seth LOWE, Shaun LOWE, Thomas WALTON – we hope to see you at Poolsbrook again soon. NRB

The core team had anticipated a big turnout, we had hoped for between 350 and 400, so the actual figure was a very pleasant (if not slightly challenging) surprise. As expected, the car parks filled quickly and we had parking marshals in place to divert people to roadside parking which seemed to work very well. We extended the finish funnel and lengthened the finish straight to help reduce any backlog of finishers collecting finish tokens. The barcode scanning queues were pretty big but no-one was complaining – the spirit was excellent.


We actually ran out of finish tokens and used a manual recording system for about the last 30 finishers and were close to the limits of our stopwatches – we did have a contingency plan ready just in case though !


There is no doubt that this event would not have gone anywhere near as smoothly if it had not been for our wonderful team of volunteers – and this week we give a big thank you to Alan BROWNE • Andy MORRIS • Carol FICKLING • Chris PATTISON • Gabbie PATTISON • Heather HILL • Jean BAKER • Jenny RHODES • Jim BREIDER • Joanna BINGLEY • Lauren DAVIES-BECKETT • Lisa CANNON • Louise LOWE • Mark HAZLEHURST • Peter Donald SMITH • Phillip DONNELLY • Sandra BREIDER • Sue DAVIES-BECKETT • Sylvia ELLIS • William STREET.
NYD volunteers

As pointed out on NYD, we are pretty short of volunteers for the next few weeks – so if you can help it would be most appreciated. You can check the forthcoming roster here. if you can help please contact us either by leaving a message on the Facebook page or by e-mailing us at – thank you.

If you would like to try out a volunteer but feel a bit unsure – contact us for more information, we’d be happy to let you know what each of the role entails – and you can be sure that you will enjoy it (ask any of our volunteers).


The café was closed on NYD unfortunately but it seems that a good percentage of the participants took advantage of the refreshments laid on by our volunteers and supporters. Thanks very much to everyone who helped out or provided food / drink – it was very much appreciated by everybody. Start line


Despite the big crowds, 47 of you managed to achieve personal bests – if this was you, congratulations. A grand total of four age graded records were beaten, well done to Ailiss Nind (VW75-79) who achieved 64.58%, Helen Eberlin (VW70-75) with 80.64%, Megan Wright (VW40-44) with 82.02%, and Innes Wright (JM10) with 77.62%.


We congratulated people on achieving milestone runs, this week this was Juniors Charlie Whysall and Lilia Shkul completing their 10th event, and Paul Broughton with his 50th

We often find lost property at the end of an event – this week someone left a green / blue gym bag behind with clothes in it. If this was you please let us know on the Poolsbrook parkrun Facebook page or by e-mailing us at . We generally hold on to lost property for a few weeks before taking anything in good condition to a charity shop.


During our first timers briefing we always make a point of asking people to give back the finish tokens at the end of the event, we also have a sign reminding people. This week two tokens went missing – numbers 211 and 341 – if you mistakenly took one of these home, please let us know as we would like to have them back. Contact us on the Facebook page or by e-mailing – thank you.


We always ask our parkrunners if they would like to share their personal parkrun story – this week we hear from Crispin Fisher – this is his story: Crispin

In July 2016 my doctor warned me that if I didn’t lose some weight quickly I was at serious risk of getting diabetes. That night I went out for a relatively short walk but within a couple of weeks I had built up to doing 10,000 steps every day. By December I had destroyed three pairs of walking shoes and I was getting a bit bored with walking so I thought it was time to do a bit more running instead . Having missed the dead-line for a couple of local runs I stumbled across Poolsbrook parkrun and took part in my first run on Christmas Eve 2016. The first run was quite hard going but I still returned for another go on Christmas Day. After taking part in a very wet and cold New Year’s day run I was hooked and I have never looked back.


By the end of January I had set myself the goal of trying to complete 50 Parkrun milestone before turning 51 on 6th December. The only parkruns I missed all year were on two Saturdays when I was on holiday in France over the summer. (For some reason the French appear to prefer cycling to running so parkruns have still not really taken off over the channel) I finally completed my 50th parkrun on 2nd December.


When I first started doing parkruns it was taking me over 27 minutes to complete the course but after 6 months or so of running every day I managed to get my time below 22 minutes.


Whilst most of my parkruns have been at Poolsbrook I have also indulged in a bit of parkrun tourism fitting in runs in Lincoln, Chester, Southport and Leicester around taking my son to University open days up and down the country.



As well as helping me lose nearly four stone in weight taking part in parkruns has helped me to get very fit and in October of this year I managed to complete my first ever half marathon in a respectable time one hour thirty-nine minutes. I don’t think I would ever have attempted a half-marathon without the confidence I had gained from running week in week out at parkrun.


At all the various parkruns I have attended I have been enthused by the friendliness of all the people taking part especially the volunteers who give up their time to ensure that the events run smoothly every week.

The inclusive nature of the parkrun ethos is extremely inspiring and helps to ensure I am up and raring to go every Saturday morning even when the weather is horrible or when my dodgy left knee is giving me jip.  


Thanks Crispin. We really do like to hear about your parkrun stories. Do you have a story about your parkrun experience that you would like to share with us ? If so, e-mail us at – it would be great to share more stories with our Poolsbrook parkrun family.



Dates for your diary

Please keep an eye on the Poolsbrook parkrun Facebook page to ensure that you are up to date with any announcements including any planned or last minute cancelations (we don’t have any planned until July 2018).

10th February – our 100th event (more details to follow later)

7th April – our 2nd anniversary

7th July – Staveley Armed Forces event in Poolsbrook Country Park – no parkrun on this day.


It’s all back to normal for the next parkrun – we look forward to seeing many of you again – it’s a great way to start the year. If you enjoy it, why not encourage a friend to come along – remember that parkrun is equally for runners, joggers and walkers as well as our wonderful volunteers.


Happy New Year – and here’s to a great 2018 – from all of the Poolsbrook parkrun core team.
Tring pre-run