Reading parkrun Event #504

By Harold Duckworth with photos by Peter Cook

A grey day with all the promise and charm of an autumnal soaking. RD Ian May, keen to get proceedings underway, whipped up some early enthusiasm and called upon close friends and runners alike to embrace the occasion and was duly rewarded. The surface underfoot was ‘damp’, shall we say, and rather slippery on the grass. Persistent rain greeted the faithful but smiley & enthusiastic runners and volunteers. The conditions were reminiscent of a typical school cross country run reserved for days when the schoolmasters shouted 3-2-1 GO to their assembled victims before retiring to their lair for a hot mug of cocoa.

The runner choosing to collect a finish token before everyone else was James Barrett in an impressive time, given the difficult conditions, of 18 minutes 52 seconds.

The lure of a now compulsive Saturday morning fitness fix encouraged 220 runners and some buggies and doggies to take to the course. There were 32 first timers to Reading of whom 8 were running their inaugural parkrun; 16 personal bests were set (7% of all runners) and 21 running clubs were represented. The impressive list of running clubs included participants from well-known clubs such as Lonely Goat RC, UK Mudd Queens and Billy No-Mates.

Official milestones recorded this week include Tracey Eddington and Trudie Fell racking up 50 runs apiece plus Alice Papierowski clocking up 100 runs. Well done ladies!

A special mention goes out for the group of nine volunteers from the HP Placement Intern Group. These lads and lasses did a terrific job of keeping the event right on track performing a variety of volunteer roles. Those whom I spoke with were friendly, smiley and cheerful, and happy to help.

A note to touring runners, do please consider volunteering at a touring event. There are plenty of roles that a tourist could easily do in addition to their own run. This is a useful way to advance one’s personal volunteer ratio and helps to sustain the support structure for all events. It is also quite rewarding to be part of the team. You can sign up by emailing or just ask any of the other volunteers on a Saturday morning.

Lastly, well done to all those who took part; runners, amblers, volunteers, cheerleaders and especially the organisers.

Harold John Duckworth

Thanks to the volunteers
We are very grateful to the 20 volunteers who made this event happen:

Sandra ABONE, Elizabeth ADELY, Betsy BRIND, Andrew BUTLER, Harold DUCKWORTH, David HODGKINSON, Sam HOLDEN, Alexa HOLT, Sabrina ISKANDAR, Demi JAMES, Olivia JOHNSTON, Livvy JONES, Jack KERSHAW, Ian MAY, Stu MCNEILL, Peter COOK, Phil NASH, Rob PAGE, Duncan PRIOR, Chris SMITH, Alan TOWER


Reading parkrun Event#501

By Darren Kinder, photos by Darren Kinder


“Thank you Marshal”


Once more we had a bright sunny parkrun morning, Autumnal weather seemingly held off for another week.


Congratulations to Lorraine BAILEY who ran her 500th parkrun this week, 400 of them at Reading. An incredible achievement of dedication that started for Lorraine at Reading parkrun #2 way back in 2009 – well done! Lorraine’s parkrun tourism spans the USA, Italy and Bushy in London, the original parkrun.

Lorraine 500

Cake celebrations extended to Rhiannon BAILEY on her 200th parkrun at Reading. Amazing!

LOrraine and Rhiannon

Congratulations also go to Joshua COLES and Vincent BHEAMADU for their 50th parkruns, and to Terry DOWLING who finished his 100th parkrun with a PB. Now that’s a classy double achievement.


We had 62 PBs this week; that’s a whopping 15% of our runners today. We had 15 first time parkrunners joining the community.


Milestone runs are the goals for many of our parkrunners; here’s Tommy DE LA TORRE continuing towards his personal target of getting 50 parkruns, finishing in style.


As usual, a massive shout-out to this week’s fabulous volunteers without whom this brilliant event wouldn’t be able to function:


Federico Anthony ARNABOLDI, Andy ATKINSON, John BAILEY, C James BARR, Peter COOK, Colin COTTELL, David DIBBEN, Fergal DONNELLY, Keith ELLIS,  David HODGKINSON, Elizabeth JOHNSON, Darren KINDER, Ian MAY, Colin MCCARLIE, Brendan MORRIS, Duncan PRIOR Jeremy WALL, Jim WHITEHEAD

However, without YOU our parkrunners, there wouldn’t be a reason for parkrun so thank you for attending and helping to make this community what it is.

sugar lorraine


Reading parkrun Event #500!!!

By Emma Grenside, with photos by Peter Cook

Blue is the official colour of the parkrun 500 t-shirt. And wow - what an amazing sea of blue there was to celebrate Reading parkrun’s 500th event and 10th birthday! Runners were encouraged to wear either blue or purple t-shirts. There were beautiful blue skies to also celebrate the event!

Fergal Donnelly started off by inviting event director, Teresa Caswell, to walk to the front, and she was applauded on either side by a long line of parkrunners! Teresa then explained a little bit of history to Reading parkrun, which was set up in 2009 by Jamie Smith (who also ran in this 500th event). After about a year Jamie handed over to Lucy Perrin and Mark Saunders, who were event directors for a similar length of time. Since then Teresa Caswell has been our event director!

Teresa thanked the current core volunteer team, who do such a wonderful job. She then presented Ian Giggs with his 500th parkrun T-shirt – Ian is the first Reading parkrunner to achieve 500 parkruns. Teresa also congratulated the milestone runners:-

250 parkruns - Maureen Sweeney

100 parkruns - Michelle Hutton, Suzanne Bate, Clive Bate, John Carter, Mark Johnson, Hitesh Parekh (pictured below), Chris Poynter, Thanga Satheeskumar, Bill Watson and Richard Usher

50 parkruns- Ashley Middlewick and Peter Miskell
(Junior) 10 parkruns - Niamh Dixon , Sophie Mundy and Bethan Weekes

We also had some visitors from Kanata parkrun in Ottawa, Canada. Ken and Helen McNair (pictured below) came and introduced themselves at the end and said how much they had enjoyed the event. Sadly, they will be missing their home parkrun's 100th event but helped us celebrate our 500th instead :-) .


This week Reading parkrun had 622 finishers, which was a huge attendance record! We all celebrated at the end of the run with drink, cake and fruit – it was such a lovely atmosphere, chatting and eating with the parkrun family!





Reading parkrun Event #499

By Elizabeth Johnson with photos by Peter Cook

There was definitely a more autumnal feel in the air down by the river as 466 eager participants gathered down at Thames Valley Park for Reading parkrun #499! We had visitors from as far afield as Bath, Norwich, Bracknell and Woodley!

There were also a good few milestones being hit this weekend amongst those who were looking forward to running or walking round the lovely Reading course: Anne Lockwood and I were hitting 50 whilst George MacDonald achieved his 250th! On the unofficial milestone front Teresa Caswell made it her 300th and Adrian Blakey his 200th.

Anne Lockwood on her way to finishing her 50th parkrun and a shiny new PB!

Elizabeth on her 50th run

George completing his 250th


The course conditions were tip top and lots of new pbs were made. Benjamin Wills was the first man home and Amber Gascoigne was the first female. This week’s age grade top performer was Ben Paviour at 83.94%.

There will be a bit of a celebration next weekend as Reading parkrun will host its 500th event. Colin, this week’s run director, reminded us all that it would be great if next week we could all wear either blue, as this is the colour of the parkrun 500 t-shirt, or purple which is the colour for the volunteers.

Talking of volunteers, a huge thank you as always to this week’s batch of helpers as without them parkrun simply wouldn’t happen:
Rhiannon BAILEY, David George CLAY, Peter COOK, Colin COTTELL, Oliver DYSON, Tony EVANS, Karin GERBER, David HODGKINSON, Alexa HOLT, Henry IRVINE, Elizabeth JOHNSON, Aniket KEDIA, Christopher T KELLY, Phil NASH, Peter W NORTHEY, Stephen PARKINSON, Mikaela SHAW, Chris SMITH, Rich STARR, Maureen SWEENEY, Carol WESTLAKE, Kathryn WITTS

Last but not least, congratulations to regular parkrunners Christina and Phil who announced their engagement this week :-D


Reading parkrun Event #498

Run report by Matt Dolan

This report begins in a rugby field on a hill in West Sussex on 6th July. I was in the area for the Goodwood Festival of Speed and decided to drop by the Chichester parkrun, where I met a fellow parkrun tourist who was doing exactly the same as me. After banding together as the only non-locals, my new friend started telling me all about his local parkrun and how great it was. That man was Kevin JARRETT and his local parkrun? You guessed it. Since then Reading parkrun has been on my ‘To Do’ list and I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to get around to it, as I’m only based in Newbury.

With the sunshine this weekend, Thames Valley Park very scenic. The blue skies above the green grass next to the glistening water of the Thames set the backdrop for today’s parkrun – event #498 (two shy of the big 500 and Reading parkrun’s 10th birthday!). I spoke with today’s run director Ian MAY and a number of other volunteers, all of whom gave me a warm welcome. Then it was off to the first timer’s briefing led by Darren KINDER. He said the two words I always long to hear when a course description is being provided: “mostly flat”. After the pre-race brief we took to the start line and were off. I don’t know if it’s the setting, the flatness or the fact that I finished only four seconds off my fastest ever parkrun time, but I really like this course!

428 runners completed today’s parkrun, of which 64 were first timers. The event hosted 51 tourists (including myself) and welcomed 13 new members into the parkrun community (thank you for choosing to start your parkrun journey at Reading). 72 new Personal Bests were set today – congratulations if you were one of them!
Junior parkrunner Ben HELLIWELL achieved his white t-shirt today, having completed his 10th parkrun. Tony DRAKE, Brian FENNELLY, Ron MCKAY, Catherine ROBERTS , Alex WARNER and Huw WRIGHT all crossed the finish line on their 50th parkruns. Andrew TUCKER celebrated his century of parkruns with a new PB. Whilst not an official milestone, Oliver DYSON completed his 200th parkrun today. Lorraine BAILEY was today’s most experienced parkrunner with 497 parkruns to her name! Congratulations to you all.

Today’s show offs, only joking, I mean fastest runners were: Daniel WESTON (16:31 – a new PB), Ben PAVIOUR (17:05) and David PARTON (17:38 – also a new PB). Bringing it home for the ladies were: Alex LANE (18:39 – a first timer to Reading), Molly SKEIL (19:28 – crossing the line at the same time as her brother George, both of whom set new PBs) and Hannah MAHER (21:31). Today’s best age-grade result went to our third place finisher David PARTON (84.31%). Well done everyone. There were 76 representatives from 33 running clubs present today.

Of course, there would be no parkrun without the sterling efforts and dedication shown by the amazing volunteers. This week’s high-viz heroes were:

If you’d like to support the community that keeps your local parkrun going, please do volunteer. It’s easy to do and, more importantly, great fun. If you’re interested in volunteering please check out the volunteering web page here:

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