Raphael parkrun report #244

Raphael Parkrun Report #244

Once again, it was a fantastic turnout of both participants and volunteers. No records today, but we welcomed 498 runners, joggers and walkers to our amazing parkrun event, which is our 2nd highest attendance ever and volunteer numbers, (after an appeal in the week) reached 42, also our 2nd highest if we exclude pacer events.

Obviously, many of you have embraced your New Year’s resolutions, with many participants completing their second, third or fourth parkruns today. It is great to see you returning for more each week. In fact, of the 74 PBs (yes, 74, really . . . I had to double check to see the digits hadn’t been inverted!) 30 of these came from relatively new parkrunners i.e. runners with less than five runs to their names.

Equally impressive was seeing runners returning for their next ‘fix’ in spite of today being the first Saturday with “real” wintry conditions. Temperatures dropped this weekend and today was the first time this winter that I experienced some icy patches, which I very nearly found to my own peril, on that first hairpin corner by the lake! I was very thankful to see that some salt had been put down to minimise the slipperiness and I didn’t make the same mistake on the 2nd and 3rd laps! Despite the cold conditions, it was dry and there was no wind chill. As such, it was actually a pretty good day for a run (as the PB count proves), provided you had warmed up beforehand.

As always, a big shout out to our volunteers. If you can help out in future weeks, please contact one of the core team (usual methods: Facebook, e-mail, in person on Saturday at the event). With the increased attendance, we do need additional volunteers, so any help is much appreciated. And on the subject of volunteering, just a reminder it is pacer week next week (for those of you who don’t know, we run a pacer event on the last Saturday of each month). We do have a good number of pacers signed up already, but there is always space for more! If interested, contact the team to see what time slots are available.

Today, we had a number of milestones.
Congratulations to Tony Brooks and Tina Johnson on completing their 100 milestone, Michaela Hyde and Kerry Curtis on their 50 milestone and Euan Burt on his 10 junior milestone. Also, not official milestones, but worthy of a mention is Brynley Giddings and Thomas Godec, who ran their 300th and 200th parkruns respectively today. And I can’t forget our very own Les Adler, who volunteered for the 100th time today in his usual place, at the top of ‘Les hill’.

Today’s Results

Male placings:
Douglas Archibald Cameron (SM25-29) of London City Athletics Club was first over the line in 17:41.
Martin George Chester (VM45-49) of Havering Athletic Club was second over the line in 18:25.
George Seymour (SM25-29) of Dartford Road Runners was third over the line in 18:30.

Female placings:
Morgan Campbell (SW30-34) of Havering Athletic Club was first (4th overall) over the line in 18:32.
Isabella Woods (SW20-24) of Havering Athletic Club was second (30th overall) over the line in 20:38.
Mia Bowring (JW11-14) of Chelmsford AC was third (33rd overall) over the line in 20:52 and achieved a PB.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Stephen Philcox (VM50-54) of Ilford AC – 80.11% with a time of 19:01 (8th overall)
Morgan Campbell (SW30-34) of Havering Athletic Club – 79.86% with a time of 18:32 (4th overall)
James Johnson (VM55-59) (Unattached) - 78.87% with a time of 19:29 (11th overall) and achieved a PB.

Interesting Fact/Did You Know?
Four million people have run at least one parkrun. Brynley Giddings, who has now completed an impressive 300 parkruns is part of a select group of ~3,500 parkrunners who have completed 300 or more parkruns.


The parkrun code and how you can help us!

It’s great to see so many people now joining us at Raphael parkrun. As you can see, we have grown considerably since our first event in May 2015 which had 109 participants. Last week we exceeded 500 and this week wasn’t far behind with 498!

parkrun trend line to 180120

Increasing numbers do mean that we face a few more challenges and our lovely volunteers often spend much more of their Saturday processing results and dealing with issues arising from the run.

So, how can you help us to ensure parkrun runs smoothly? Firstly take a look at the parkrun code: https://support.parkrun.com/hc/en-us/articles/205630612-The-parkrun-code-for-5k-events.

UK 5k parkrun Code (With Dogs) JPG

We try not to impose too many rules on our participants as that’s not what parkrun is about, but we would ask that you do give this a read and follow the code. With the higher numbers of participants, we need more volunteers each week to ensure the run can go ahead safely. It would be great if everyone could volunteer a few times a year to ensure we don’t have to send out appeals each week.

To help the finish funnel volunteers, if you cross the finish line and are allocated a time then you must stay in the order you finish while moving through the funnel and take a token to keep times/runners in sync. If you don’t want your time then simply bring your finish token to the bandstand or give it to a volunteer. When it’s busy we don’t always see people slip out of the funnel who have been timed but don’t take a token which severely distorts our results.

With our increased numbers, one area where we have seen a significant increase is people asking us to add them into the results after the event. Part of the parkrun code is the ‘no barcode, no time, no exception’ policy which does mean that if you are unable to, or do not, provide your own barcode at the scanning table after the event, then unfortunately you will not appear in the results. To assist with queries after the event, we keep a record for which finish tokens the associated runner could not provide a physical barcode. Currently parkrun only allows teams to accept printed barcodes. Essentially this means paper barcodes, plastic barcodes or official wristbands. While we understand that this may be frustrating, we know that you will understand that as an event now as popular as we are, we do need to strictly enforce the parkrun policies for the benefit of everyone. Please do not be offended if you ask to be added and the answer is no.

More information on both of these policies can be found on the following links:

Thank you for your help and we look forward to seeing you at Raphael parkrun soon. Remember to follow the code and especially… don’t forget your barcode! If you’d like to volunteer we’d love to hear from you, please email raphael@parkrun.com.



Raphael parkrun Report #243

Raphael Parkrun Report #243

Although we are currently only 11 days into the new year, today’s event was already the third Raphael parkrun of 2020. The popularity and awareness of parkrun continues to grow. Today’s record attendance . . . in fact all three of this year’s events, are evidence of this as they represent the top three attendances of all time at Raphael park! Today we saw 514 runners, joggers and walkers complete the course, our highest ever attendance and the first time we have topped 500!

On top of record attendance, we had an amazing 42 volunteers for today’s event, which is a record for a non pacer event. This is a good time to say a big thank you to our strong band of volunteers. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to hold the event, so please try to give our marshals and other volunteers a thank you (or hi-five if you are unable to get any words out as you run past them!) I have marshalled before and I definitely appreciate this (I’m sure others would too), and even a smile or grunt means a lot. If you are able to volunteer in the future, please put your name forward. It is an easy and truly valuable way to give back to parkrun.

Whilst on the subject of volunteers, a special thank you needs to go to David O’Brien (our Event Director). He has gone above and beyond parkrun volunteering duties to get the results out to all our participants today. As some of you may know from social media posts, there were complications with the results following some runners not taking finish tokens. As a reminder, please, please, please, even if you don’t want to record a time against your name, please take a finish token, and then hand it in at the bandstand, even if you don’t scan or have a parkrun barcode. If you don’t take a finish token, this creates serious challenges with the results process as the finish tokens and the timings get out of synch, and with 500+ parkrunners this is a huge effort to sort out. David, I hope you had a strong coffee or two at the time, and have since had a chance to have a beer. You definitely deserve it, along with a big round of applause next Saturday after spending much of your Saturday sorting this out.

Congratulations to 58 runners who achieved a PB. Also, congratulations to those of you who reached a milestone today. Jeff Webster, James Chalk, Louise Hawker and Cliff Patey all achieved their 50 milestones and Nathan Farraud reached the junior 10 milestone. In addition, Peter Hobday, a Raphael regular, reached the unofficial 200 milestone.

Today’s Results
Male placings:
Daniel Elwood (SM30-34) of Havering ’90 Joggers was first over the line in 17:36 and achieved a PB.
Mark Fanning (SM30-34) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:48 and achieved a PB.
Simon Knightbridge (VM45-49) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:39 and achieved a PB.
Female placings:
Ursula Abbott (VW45-49) (Unattached) was first (49th overall) over the line in 22:20.
Charlotte Olson (SW20-24) of Brentwood Running Club was second (63rd overall) over the line in 22:52.
Deborah Knightbridge (VW40-44) (Unattached) was third (88th overall) over the line in 24:04.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
James Johnson (VM55-59) (Unattached) – 78.40% with a time of 19:36 (10th overall)
Peter Salmon (VM50-54) of Dagenham 88 Runners – 77363% with a time of 19:09 (7th overall)
Simon Knightbridge (VM45-49) (Uanttached) - 76.59% with a time of 18:39 (3rd overall)

Interesting Fact/Did You Know?
We have had a total of 1,426 parkrunners complete our three events this year. To give an indication of how our parkrun has grown, it took three months (or 13 events) for us to reach this total, when this event was first set-up with the inaugural event taking place back on 2 May 2015!


Chase the Pacer – 25 January 2020

Raphael parkrun's 'Chase the pacer' weeks normally happen on the final Saturday of each month. If you would like to give pacing a go then please email raphael@parkrun.com and let us know which pace you would like to do.

Pacers of ALL speeds are required (between, say, 18 minutes and 40 minutes) so you do not need to be a fast runner. You just need to do your best to complete the run in the agreed time (at a fairly even pace, if possible). We recommend you take on a time that you're fairly comfortable running i.e. at least a couple of minutes slower than your usual 5km time.

Being a pacer counts towards both your running milestone t-shirt and your volunteering milestone t-shirt. And it is a great way to help other parkrunners achieve a personal best. Why not give it a go? :)

The list below will be updated as volunteer pacers come forward.

18 min -
19 min -
20 min - James JOHNSON
21 min - Robin McNELIS
22 min - Mark FOWLER
23 min - 
24 min - 
25 min - Brynley GIDDINGS
26 min - Ian BILLINGHAM
27 min - Louise MARSHALL
28 min - Tony RAWSON
29 min - Richard ROCKLIFFE
30 min - Louise HAWKER
31 min - Colin WILKINS
32 min - Tracy GIDDINGS
33 min - Craig BROWN
34 min - Alan WOODROOF
35 min - Sarah FOREMAN
36 min - Denise LINAY
37 min - Liz HASKEW
38 min - Richard HASKEW
39 min -
40 min -


parkrun during the festive period 2019/20


Over the festive period, Raphael parkrun will operate as normal every Saturday. We are also holding an extra event on New Year's Day (if we can get enough volunteers to fill the roster). Raphael parkrun is not holding an extra event on Christmas Day, however other local parkruns are.


  • Saturday 21 December 2019
    Raphael parkrun will be held as normal (9am). Christmas fancy dress is encouraged!
  • Wednesday 25 December 2019 (Christmas Day)
    Barking parkrun will hold an extra event at 9am.
  • Saturday 28 December 2019
    Raphael parkrun will be held as normal (9am). It's "chase the pacer" week!
  • Wednesday 1 January 2020 (New Year's Day)
    New Year's Day offers an annual opportunity to take part in two parkruns on the same day!

    Raphael parkrun will hold an extra event at 9am.
    Harrow Lodge parkrun will hold an extra event at 10:30am.

    If you attend both events then please make sure you travel safely between them.

  • Saturday 4 January 2020
    Raphael parkrun will be held as normal (9am).


In total, it is possible to do 6 parkruns in 15 days over the festive period! All extra events count towards your milestone t-shirts (running and/or volunteering).

If you'd like to go further afield, or you are away over the festive period, you can check out the full list of extra events on the Christmas Compendium.

If you are planning on doing two parkruns on New Year's Day then the parkrun New Years Day 2020 double finder is a great tool.

As always, parkruns are subject to cancellation if it’s deemed unsafe. Therefore, if it is icy then please check the events news page on the parkrun website and also their social media for updates.

All the event teams would love to hear from you if you'd like to volunteer. Check out the volunteer page on their website for their email address.

If you know someone who is going to be on their own this festive season then please invite them to run, jog, walk, volunteer or watch at a parkrun!


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