(not) parkrun week 17 5 -11 October

Week 17 of (not)parkrun with 17,511 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:04 ⏱️ That's a lower turn out than in previous weeks but parkrun has resumed in a small number of places so that might account for it.

We bucked the trend with a new record turnout of (not) parkrunners representing Portobello with 50 people registering a 5km time over the week. Welcome to first timers Stephanie Maia, Catriona Mutch, Rob MacKean, Zoe MacDonald, Jan Maxwell, Mike Lieberman and Michael Dolan! A special welcome to Stephanie who's never run a "real" parkrun, hopefully it won't be long until you can join us in the park.

The (not) parkrun PB congratulations go to Lynsay Burgess, Claire Mathieson (she didn't have me holding her up this week!), Scott Balfour, Anna Kachkova, Paul Barnaby, Luca Basso, Anne Milne, Connor Ulferts Kilpatrick, Heike Ulferts, Catherine Patterson and Robert Main!

The mid-week announcement from the First Minister meant I had to change my plans for some (not) parkrun tourism on Saturday as plan A was to travel to outside the health authority. However, plan B was swiftly hatched and myself and fellow tourism fan Gary Hall met at Saughton Park in the west of Edinburgh.  The park has had extensive renovation works carried out in recent years and made for a very pleasant morning out.  We did a figure of 8 loop round the park - round the outside of the walled garden, then up the central path and round the outside of the sports field, 3 times and a bit made for a fairly flat and fast 5km. There's lots of parking, toilets and a cafe with outside ordering and seating area so I highly recommend a trip. Get there early if you can as it got busier as the morning went on and the car park was full when I ran through again on Sunday lunchtime.


The latest update from parkrun HQ can be found here. It probably won't  come as a surprise that there's no news on parkrun restarting in the UK yet, but there is positive news from elsewhere in the world with 3700 runners taking part in 33 events last Saturday. In the mean time, stay safe, keep running, keep in touch with us through the facebook page and watch this space for some spooky goings on around Halloween!



(not) parkrun week 16 28 September – 4 October

The results are in from week sixteen at (not)parkrun with 16,316 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:07 ⏱️ We had 40 participants from Portobello, recording 51 (not) parkrun times over the week, with an average finish time of 32:50.  Welcome to first time (not) parkrunners Sinead Fielding and Lynsay Burgess!

The rain did not stop play with 12 of the 40 runners taking part in (not) parkrun on Saturday, you hard core people!  I had a (not) parkrun date on Saturday morning with fellow Run Director the lovely Claire (cakes) Mathieson. We met at the slightly random but mutually convenient Straiton retail park and did a loop round Loanhead, followed by an al fresco coffee and catch up, it almost felt like a normal parkrun morning!

The Personal Best congratulations this week go to Douglas Forrester, Jennie Simpson, Paul Barnaby, Elinor Evans, Chris Noden, Naomi Miall, Annette Davison, Scott Balfour, David Mill, and me!

The latest update from parkrun HQ can be found here. There is more good news for parkruns resuming around the world, including plans to start Guernsey and Nobles parkrun on the Isle of Man at the end of this month. Before any plans a tourist trip, there are serious restrictions on travel to both islands!

I know I always say "stay safe and keep running" but this week I have a plea on the safety front that's not covid related.....it's about visibility! The nights are drawing in and either milk tray have resumed home delivery services or the runners of Edinburgh need to ensure they can be seen by fellow pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. If you're new to winter running or maybe running outside more then please get yourself some lights and reflective gear. There's some very cheap lightweight hi-viz vests that you can throw on over any clothing and the reflective "snap band" type strips are great for round arms, ankles or bags. Don't be a ninja runner unless it's a sneaky sprint finish!!

It's World Mental Health day on Saturday 10th October and we all know that nothing boosts your mood quite like a parkrun. Hopefully there won't be anything in the Government announcements later today that prevents us from still doing our (not) parkrun so if you can, why not make a "date" with a running buddy and head out for a run and a chat. The miles go so much faster with company!

Stay safe, don't be a ninja, and keep running!



(not) parkrun week 15 21-27 September

Week 15 of (not) parkrun saw 16,706 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:09 ⏱️

38 participants registered to Portobello took part with an average finish time of 31:15. We welcomed 3 first timers to (not) parkrun: Robert Main, Tracy-Ann Aiton and Anna Kachkova.

The role call for personal best congratulations contains some familiar names again, suggesting there's some good training paying off. Well done to Elinor Evans, Douglas Forrester, Dorothy Grooby, Connor Ulferts Kilpatrick, Niami Miall, Catherine Patterson and Alex Boyack.

There is no new news in the parkrun HQ update this week. Mental as well as physical wellbeing was very much discussed in the parkrun Q&A session recently and this is acknowledged again in the update. I think it's safe to say we are all missing our parkrun for more than just the running and with the nights drawing in it's often harder to find the motivation to put on the trainers. You'll undoubtedly feel better if you do though and I'm definitely going to make more of an effort to free up time in my work diary at lunchtime to make the most of the daylight hours. Or why not make a "virtual" date with a running buddy if you're unable to meet up in person then you're more likely to go out and can swap notes on how your run went afterwards? For anyone dreading the winter months this article might be of interest, think like a Norwegian (their parkrun is currently cancelled too!).

Stay safe, keeping running and dig out the thermals, hi-viz and lights!



(not) parkrun week 14 14-20 September

The parkrun results email is still saying week 11 but it's week 14 and 17,815 parkrunners took part in (not) parkrun across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:25. 41 of those runners represented Portobello and we welcomed first time (not) parkrunners Jennie Simpson and Russell Simpson.

7 Porty runners recorded a (not) parkrun personal best, congratulations to Catherine Patterson, David Mill, Jackie Blyth, Naomi Miall, Damian Harney, Gillian Renilson and Douglas Forrester! I also noticed that Catherine, David, Jackie and Naomi have never actually run a "real" parkrun so it's fantastic to see them taking part in (not) parkrun and hopefully it won't be long until we welcome them to participate in the real thing.

On the subject of the "real thing", there was a live Q&A session last Friday with CEO Nick Pearson and COO Tom Williams where it became clear that the previous intention to restart English parkruns by the end of October would now not be feasible.  If you missed it you can catch up here. This week's update can be found here, there is at least some positive news elsewhere in the world but understandably no schedule at the moment for the return of UK events.

Which leads me nicely onto the subject of UK events.....those who know me well will know that I love nothing more than a spot of parkrun tourism.  So imagine my delight when my holiday last week took me (and the lovely parkrunning Lynne Cowden) to the Isle of Bute for the day. Bute is home to Mount Stewart parkrun, which from Edinburgh is never going to be the easiest to visit on a Saturday morning - the morning ferry only runs to parkrun o'clock in the summer months, if it's delayed you'll miss the run, using the bus from the ferry is a timing gamble, so you either need to take the car on the boat (quite expensive) or arrange a lift, or you're facing a 4 mile speed session warm up! This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a recce of the course and record a (not) parkrun time on an actual parkrun course......however, it was still closed due to Covid and we couldn't even get in the grounds. So we dried our tears and I started to formulate plan B......


.......plan B, maybe all was not lost in my quest for some (not) parkrun tourism, I'd be driving past Greenock parkrun on the way home.  The course description reads as easy to follow - out along the esplanade, turn back at the boat club to the yellow post, up to the boat club and return along the esplanade, enjoy the stunning across views across the Clyde as you run.....simple, what could possibly go wrong??

The weather is exactly what went wrong!! This is the view from Greenock parkrun on Friday morning! Now I'm by no means a fair-weather runner, I practically got trenchfoot earlier in the week, but this was not appealing and there definitely wasn't a view to appreciate! However, if you're looking for a flat fast course some time and can find a day when there isn't a gale blowing it would probably be a good one to visit.



So that's my (not)  parkrun tale of woe for the week :( Stay safe and keep running!



(not) parkrun week 13 7-13 September

Week 13 of (not) parkrun saw 18,548 parkrunners take part across 20 countries with an average finish time of 34:23.

40 Porty parkrunners took part this week and there were no first timers. We had 12 PBs, congratulations Naomi Miall, Blair Dinwoodie, Jennifer MacKenzie, Alison Elgin, Georgia Rogers, Elinor Evans, Elaine Wilson, Luca Basso, Chris Noden, Merry Ulferts Kilpatrick, Dorothy Grooby & Fiona MacKenzie.

The latest update from parkrun HQ can be found here https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2020/09/15/covid-19-coronavirus-update-15-september/ there's still no news for Scotland and my last hope of a race this year has just been cancelled. There's still some virtual races and challenges taking place though, well done to anyone who did the virtual Great North run 40 runs challenge or half marathon distance over the weekends and there's been some really long runs popping up on my strava feed in preparation for (not) the London marathon in a few weeks time. Whatever your distance there's still medals to be had to reward your efforts this year.

Take care, stay safe and keep running! Let us know what you've been up to, we miss you!



(not) parkrun week 12 31 August – 6 September 2020

Despite what the parkrun email says about it being week 11, the results table says it's definitely week 12 of (not) parkrun! This week 18,308 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:07 ⏱️

47 of these were Porty parkrunners giving us a (not) parkrun record turnout but still some way off the top of the UK (not) parkrun table :(


We had 7 first timers to (not) parkrun, welcome to Dave Tucker, Douglas Forrester, Naomi Miall, Iain Hockenhull, Alex Boyack, Matt Gorrie and Blair Dinwoodie! From the returnees there were an impressive 14 PBs, congratulations Dorothy Groobie, Luca Basso, Heike Ulferts, Merryn Ulferts Kilpatrick, Annette Davison, Fiona Squires, Joanna McKenzie, Elinor Evans, Chris Noden, Georgia Rogers, Graeme Thom, Alison Elgin, Dave Stone and Gareth Warren!

This weekend would have been the deferred Edinburgh Marathon Festival weekend which is usually one of our largest parkrun attendances of the year with a deluge of visitors here for the races. It was lovely to see some people on Porty prom with "race" numbers on taking part in the virtual events on Sunday, although it was maybe a little warm for running a marathon by late morning. "Congratulations" if you took part!

The latest COVID update from parkrun can be found here. Before anyone looks, i've researched flights to the Falkland Islands and Northern Territories of Australia and it's impossible to get there before Saturday! ;)  There is also a glimmer of hope for the UK with the announcement of the intention for parkruns in England to return by the end of October. Note that this is only England at the moment and there is no guarantee it will happen by then.  Before you rush off to book a weekend south of the border, the parkrun COVID framework does ask that you attend your local events and avoid unneccessary travel to non-local parkruns. Now I love a bit of parkrun tourism as much as anyone (ok, possibly more than most people!) but let's all be sensible about this and respect the requests to keep events as safe as possible once they return.

In the mean time, get your trainers on, run where ever and when ever you like and log some (not) parkrun times. I'll get us in that top 5 one week!!






(not) parkrun week 11 24 – 30 August 2020

The results are in from week eleven at (not)parkrun with 18,220 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:07 ⏱️.

37 Porty parkrunners took part so despite my challenge to see if we could make the top 5 in the UK attendance table we failed pretty miserably :( Still, all is not lost as 3 pulled in 3 first timers Graeme Thom, Chris Riley and Ian A Smith.....welcome!

There were 6 PBs this week and congratulations go to Mike Tucker, Chris Noden, Georgia Rogers, Gillian Renilson, Damian Harney & Elinor Evans.

Saturday was the overwhelmingly most popular day for a (not) parkrun with 18 of the 37 runs recorded. I can't help thinking this might also have had something to do with the abysmal weather earlier in the week, although I did manage a speed intervals session down at that other local parkrun course on Monday evening in stunning weather conditions with the added bonus of a fly-by from the Red Arrows (no photo of them I'm afraid).


The latest COVID update from parkrun can be found here. It is worth nothing that while some running clubs are now carrying out group training sessions again these are being held under very controlled conditions with a small number of participants and track & trace monitoring. Such sessions are regulated by Scottish Athletics who have put guidelines in place. Hopefully some of you are now enjoying a return to the gym or swimming pool too, I'm counting the days until mine reopens in 2 weeks time!

We are no doubt still some way off parkrun returning so if you're missing the buzz of group running or need a boost for your training please check out Jog Scotland or your local running club - links to their websites can be found on our web page.

Stay safe, keep running and don't forget to log those (not) parkrun 5k times!



(not) parkrun week 10 17 – 23 August 2020

The results are in from week ten at (not) parkrun with 18,181 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:10.

It was another record turnout week for Porty (not) parkrunners with an attendance of 44 runners, no doubt partly assisted by the ongoing Edinburgh Running Network challenge that awarded them a bonus point for a logging a time on Saturday, and also boosted by the return of the 4 members of the Ulferts-Kilpatrick family who resumed "mum's non parkrun" after a summer break......although there will be inquiries as to why they didn't run on their holidays ;)

This turnout of 44 gave us the 32nd highest turnout of 674 parkruns in the UK. The highest turnout was at Chelmsford Central (171 not parkrunners), followed by Witney (155) and Bushy Park (145).  Admittedly, Bushy Park is a much bigger event than Portobello and regularly tops 1000 runners, with an average attendance of 742.  Chelmsford Central has averaged 498 runners and Witney 243. Our average attendance at Portobello is 282 but in recent times has been much higher than this.....so basically what I'm saying is that I think we can do better than 44! Let's see some more Porty folk logging a 5k (not) parkrun time and see if we can move up that UK table next week.

We had 3 first timers this week, welcome to Gordon Turnbull, Caroline Rogers and Gary O'Neill.  There were an incredible 15 PBs this week and congratulations go to: Jody Lewis; Nicola Fielding; Fiona Squires; Claire Mathieson; Elinor Evans; Eric McPhail; Luca Basso; Chris Noden; Joanna McKenzie; Jenny Bush; Maddy Smith; Paul Barnaby; Stephane Maurage; and Gillian Renalson.

You can log your 5k (not) parkrun time on any day of the week and it can be run on any route or on a treadmill. If you're running further then you could take the time for the first or fastest 5k split time from your run. You can record any number of (not) parkruns throughout the week but only the fastest will show on the public results page. There's definitely no harm in logging one early in the week in case you forget to add one later (not that I'm still bitter about that PB I forgot to record!). If you're having problems accessing your parkrun account there's a password reset on the sign in page. https://www.parkrun.com/signin/

stay safe and keep running!



(not) parkrun week 9 10 – 16 August 2020

Week 9 of (not) parkrun and globally 18,121 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:33.

We had 43 Porty parkrunners take part, a record attendance level for us......although I'll admit that some of them might have been bribed because we've been doing an activity challenge with Edinburgh Running Network and I offered a bonus point if they logged a 5k run and a (not) parkrun on Saturday! Hence, we also had a lot of newcomers - 14 in total who logged their first (not) parkrun this week.

11 (not) parkrunners ran a PB this week so congratulations to Chris Noden, Stephane Maurage, Damian Harney, Elinor Evans, Margaret Evans, Paul Barnaby, Eleanor MacKenzie, Jackie Blyth, Grant Bulloch, Mike Tucker and me!

Talking of PBs did anyone watch the Diamond League athletics on Friday evening? As a massive armchair athletics fan it was so nice to see some "normal" competition back and the highlight of the evening was the 5k world record being broken by Uganda's Joshua Cheptagai in a time of 12 minutes, 35.36 seconds!! If you fancy setting yourself a challenge to compete with that, or just want to improve your parkrun PB there's some workout suggestions on here.

Make sure you're following parkrun UK on facebook for the latest news re. COVID and other activities you can get involved with. The great parkrun quiz is still taking place every Saturday morning at 9am, no need to pre-register you just login on youtube and there will be a link to a google answer sheet. Keep logging those (not) parkrun times and stay safe!



(not) parkrun week 8 3 – 9 August 2020

Week eight of (not)parkrun saw 17,713 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:15, with 29 of those representing the Portobello massive.

Welcome to (not)parkrun first timers Fiona Squires, Graham Robertson and Jim Brown. 5 Porty runners recorded a (not)parkrun PB, congratulations to Alison Elgin, Stephane Maurage, Luca Basso, Jackie Blyth and Chris Noden!

I had a bit of a lazy week as I was away visiting my folks and only managed to get in one run. It was so refreshing to have a change of scenery though and some different streets to run and walk round! One of my fellow ERNies introduced us to the "City strides" website at the start of lockdown - it pulls in your GPS data from Strava, Garmin etc and marks as complete all the streets you've run along, then there's % completion rates for cities and areas. It's become a bit addictive (don't say I didn't warn you!) but has encouraged me to run some new routes, although there's been a lot of dead end streets involved and a few funny looks from local residents too!

Last week parkrun announced they have completed a COVID-19 Framework, describing how events will operate in countries where an underlying level of community infection still remains. We are probably still a long way from parkrun resuming but at least this is a glimmer of hope that it's in the planning! We have not had chance to digest this as a core team to consider how it will affect how we operate at Porty.

It looks like we should have some decent running weather later this week so don't forget to log your 5k times. You can record it for any day of the week and may record more than once a week but only your fastest will show on the results table. Let us know where you're running and who with, it would be lovely to hear from you!

Stay safe and keep running!