(not) parkrun week 30 4 – 10 January 2021

Happy New Year!

Apologies for the lack of (not) run reports over the last few weeks, I was trying to avoid the laptop while on annual leave! Over the last 3 weeks our number of (not) parkrun participants has remained stable with 27, 21, and 21 respectively. I suspect the snow and ice may be accountable for the lower numbers over Christmas and New Year, I reached the point where a run wasn't worth the risk of a broken limb!

Last week at (not)parkrun 16,210 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 35:32. 26 of these represented Portobello with an average finish time of 32:45. We don't seem to have had a rush of New Year resolution runners like we normally get on a Saturday morning as there was just one first timer, welcome to Barbara Seel! There was also only PB so congratulations to Ann Rautenbach!

The updates from parkrun HQ are also back and the latest update can be found here. It's great to see some positive news from around the world and even brand new events starting in Russia but sadly no sign of a return to parkrun yet for us here in the UK. In the meantime, be kind to yourself and keep lacing up those trainers. Personally I think lockdown feels harder than it did in the spring as the weather is colder and the days are so much shorter. I'm trying to make an effort to get out for a run or walk at lunchtime if I can but even a quick blast of hill reps in the dark last night made me feel much better than I did when I ready to put on my PJs instead of running kit after work.

Stay safe from Covid and ice!



(not) parkrun week 26 7-13 December

Week 26 so that's half a year of (not) parkruns! Last week 15,662 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:23. 26 of those represented Porty (not) parkrun. We had one first timer last week, welcome to Aisling McGuire! The personal best congratulations go to Damian Harney, Margaret Evans, and Gary Hall.

The latest update from HQ can be found here. This will be the last update until 5th January.

xmas parkrun2

This coming Saturday would have been our festive themed parkrun, one of my favourite parkruns of the year. Last year we sadly had to cancel due to ice and the course not being safe to run so hopefully we'll have better luck in 2021! My challenge to you this week is to spread some Porty parkrun festive love while out on your runs. Get your santa hats and tinsel out and see how many smiles you can make.



(not) parkrun week 25 30 November – 6 December

Last week at (not)parkrun 16,522 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:18 ⏱️ 28 Porty (not) parkrunners took part this week. There were no first timers but a host of personal bests from: Fiona MacKenzie; Stephane Maurage; Connor Ulferts Kilpatrick; Heike Ulferts; Eleanor MacKenzie; Tracy-Ann Aiton; Siobhan Sellar and me!

The most popular day for a (not) parkrun was Saturday with 13 of the runs recorded. You're a hardcore bunch going out in that weather!! It's no coincidence that a number of the PBs this week came from my Edinburgh Running Network clubmates. We've been working on a 5k time improvement training plan at our Thursday club sessions over the last couple of months under the watchful eye of fellow Porty core team member Andrew Simpson. This weekend we headed down to Cramond in small groups (following Scottish Athletics Covid guidance!) to run the Edinburgh parkrun course as a time trial to test if the training had worked......it seems it did, that's the fastest 5k i've run for a few years!

Last week parkrun launched the parkrun resolution campaign. This will start on Monday 4th January as an 8 week campaign based around a resolution that you set yourself. It seems like an ideal way to kick start a challenge in the new year if you're looking to restart or improve your running.

The latest update from parkrun HQ can be found here. Still no news of a return in the UK but maybe now the vaccines have started there's a slightly brighter glimmer of hope?

Dig your festive attire out ready for next week, I feel we need to spread some parkrun cheer!

Stay safe & keep running!



(not) parkrun week 24 23 – 29 November

Last week at (not)parkrun 18,700 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:05 ⏱️ 

Our numbers were back up this week with 39 Porty parkrunners logging a (not) parkrun time, with an average finish time of 31:53. Welcome to (not) parkrun first timers Richard Mudie and Kathryn Wesley! Congratulations to Gillian Renilson, Shona MacDonald, Douglas Forrester, Mary Hockenhull, Annette Davison, Gary Hall and Catherine Patterson on new (not) parkrun personal bests! It's probably no coincidence that it was glorious weather on Saturday and the most popular day for a (not) parkrun with 15 of the 39 runs recorded.


This week I did my (not) parkrun at Saughton Park and had a long over due catch-up with fellow Porty Run Director Richard Mudie. We've not seen each other since before lockdown so it was lovely to have a run round the park and swap news over coffee. Richard has had a wee break from running but is getting his trainers back on and psyching himself up to start training for Stirling marathon which will hopefully be going ahead in May 2021. It's safe to say he's got the Porty team behind him for motivation and hopefully it won't be long before parkrun can once again be part of everyone's training plans.

The weekly update from HQ can be found here although it was published before today's vaccine news which brings a glimmer of hope for 2021!

Stay safe and keep running!



(not) parkrun week 23 16 – 22 November

Week 23 of (not) parkrun and 19,200 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:18 ⏱️ It was a low turnout week for Porty (not) parkrunners with only 28 runners and an average finish time of 31:08. There's some calm but cold weather forecast for the rest of this week so let's embrace it and get that attendance back up!

We didn't have any first timers this week and PBs were set by Douglas Forrester, Joanna McKenzie and Wendy McFarlane, congratulations! An overwhelming majority of 9 parkrunners recorded their best time of the week on Saturday.

There have been not one but two updates from parkrun HQ this week. The first summarises updates from across the world with news of parkrun resuming in parts of Australia and Russia. There is a slight inaccuracy in this article which states that in the UK grassroots sport will return as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions......this was actually only reported as applying to England but we can keep our fingers crossed that any changes will extend north of the border!

In other news, everyone who volunteered at junior parkrun in the 12 months prior to lockdown was sent a survey asking for their thoughts on the return of junior parkrun early next year.  The findings of this have now been summarised and whilst the findings seem positive the outcome will obviously depend on restrictions nearer the time.

Dig your thermals out, you might need them by weekend and keep running!

Stay safe



(not) parkrun week 22 9 -15 November

The results are in from last week at (not)parkrun with 19,052 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:23 ⏱️.

34 (not) parkrunners represented Portobello with an average finish time of 31:00.  Caitriona Downey was our only first timer last week so welcome to her! There were 4 (not) parkrun personal bests, congratulations to Shona MacDonald, Michael Dolan, Elinor Evans and me!

Usually Saturday is the most popular day for recording a (not) parkrun but this week it's been quite evenly distributed with 6 runs each being recorded on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. I actually ran our parkrun course on Saturday and it was lovely to see so many people out running and walking. I spotted a couple of familiar faces along the way so great to see them out with their trainers on!

I've been reminiscing this week after reading the parkrun article celebrating 10 years of parkrun on the island of Ireland. I'd not long since started working with new clients in Dublin when lockdown hit and had been planning to stay over there one weekend and try out one of their many parkruns. Sadly it isn't to be just yet and whilst I'm still working with them it's been remotely since March. I've visited Northern Ireland 3 times for parkrun tourism purposes though - Ormeau, Queens and Portrush.  All have been great courses with a very warm welcome and a real Porty community vibe. This photo of the Porty crew on tour at Portrush (or Portyrush as we renamed it) is one of my favourite parkrun photos and I'll definitely be taking my barcode to the emerald isle once it's safe to travel again :)


I haven't seen a parkrun update for this week yet but keep an eye on the parkrun UK facebook group. They are also looking for your parkrun stories and there's been some recent offers on Contra kit if anyone is starting to think about Christmas shopping.

Stay safe and keep running!



(not) parkrun week 20 26 October -1 November

The results are in from week 20 at (not)parkrun with 17,147 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:40 ⏱️

36 runners took part representing Porty parkrun with a super speedy average time of 29:50.  We welcomed two first timers Charlotte Parker-Smith and Anna Kupisiewicz. There was 3 (not) parkrun PBs this week, congratulations to Douglas Forrester, Jackie Blyth and Dorothy Grooby!

Saturday was once again the most popular day of the week for recording a (not) parkrun with 10 of the 36 runs recorded. It was great to see some of you taking part in Claire's Halloween challenge to share your photos of pumpkins, fancy dress and baked treats.


Claire & Emma's parkrun themed pumpkins


Sheila & Ian went for a 2020 pumpkin theme

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Claire & Mary ran in halloween themed fancy dress

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Pumpkins by mini parkrun volunteer Grace and Heather

123253451_10158345082867779_1568084104676279811_n  Contains all natural colourings (honest!)

The latest update from parkrun HQ can be found here.  Whilst parkrun events on the Isle of Man and Guernsey returned last Saturday there is still no sign of them returning closer to home.  Do keep in touch through our digital channels though, we love to hear from you and it's always great to bump into folk (not literally cos social distancing n all that!) in person!

Stay safe and keep running!




(not) parkrun week 19 19 -25 October

week 19 of (not) parkrun already! last week at (not)parkrun 17,118 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:34 ⏱️

42 of those represented Portobello (not) parkrun with an average finish time of 32:03.....speedier than average! It's great to see the numbers are being maintained despite the darker nights and some less than favourable recent weather. We had one first timer to (not) parkrun this week so welcome to Natalie Gravett!

There were 6 new personal bests this week, congratulations to Douglas Forrester, Paul Barnaby, Michael Dolan, Iain Hockenhull, David Mill and Anna Kachkova! Saturday remains the most popular day of the week for recording a (not) parkrun with 13 of the 42 runs recorded.

This week we're going spooky for Halloween so please send us your pumpkin carvings or drawing designs, Halloween bakes and photos of you in costume (ideally running but please don't terrify your neighbours!!).  Drop us an email to portobello@parkrun.com or post on the pinned post on our facebook page.  I've made a start on my pumpkin carving and if I come out of this with all my fingers intact it will be a miracle!



The latest global update from parkrun HQ can be found here.  Last Saturday parkruns in Japan and Western Australia started again and this Saturday it's the return of Australian Capital Territory, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.  Obviously, we're still some way from the return of local parkruns so in the meantime please keep running, join running club sessions or meet up with a running buddy if you can, and stay safe!



(not) parkrun week 18 12 -18 October

The results are in from last week at (not)parkrun with 17,562 parkrunners taking part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:09 ⏱️ In total, over 70,000 unique parkrunners have now recorded over 500,000 (not) parkruns!

42 of this week's runners represented Porty parkrun with an average finish time of 33:47. We only had 1 first timer to Porty (not) parkrun this week so welcome to Andrew McGowan who joins the increasing number of (not) parkrunners who've never run a "real" parkrun.

Of the returnee (not) parkrunners, 9 recorded a personal best time week. Congratulations go to Heike Ulferts, Mike Lieberman, Connor Ulferts Kilpatrick, Jan Maxwell, Catriona Mutch, Douglas Forrester, Zoe MacDonald, Elaine Wilson, and Nicola Fielding who got in touch to tell us she finally beat the 30 minute mark on the 3rd anniversary of her first parkrun. Sadly we couldn't be there to celebrate with her but I imagine the reaction was something like this classic from our archives!


This week's update from parkrun HQ can be found here. It won't come as a surprise to hear there's no further news on a planned return for mainland UK events but in the mean time we would like you to help keep the Porty parkrun spirit alive and join in our (not) parkrun Halloween themed week next week.  Either comment on the facebook post or drop us an email to portobello@parkrun.com with your creations and outfits:

  • Do a (not) parkrun on Sat 31st wearing your best costume. 
  • Carve a parkrun themed pumpkin or colour in a parkrun design
  • Make and decorate some halloween themed cakes or biscuits (samples to Claire cakes please!)

I'm off to polish my broomstick, keep running, stay safe and make it spooky!





(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!


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