Ross-on-Wye parkrun is cancelled on 11 April 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Event #17- The one that had an inaugural run at Broome Farm – by Tom Edmonds

15/02/2020- Ross-on-Wye inaugural parkswim, 0 attendees
22/02/2020- Ross-on-Wye inaugural parkcanoe, 0 attendees
29/02/2020- Ross-on-Wye inaugural parkdive, 0 attendees

It seems that none of you are keen on these alternative events, so today saw the return of:  Ross-on-Wye parkrun event #17 - 07/03/2020


It's been a wet old month with Ciara, Dennis and Jorge taking their toll on the Wye Valley but we've finally made a comeback, with the new alternative course at Broome Farm- parkmountaineering!


69 of you turned out for the alternative, hard-fought course complete with mud (lots), alpacas (some), delightful downhills (many), squashed apples (plenty) and gruelling uphills (a couple) but everyone gritted their teeth and made some sterling efforts, anybody hoping for a PB should probably wait until the usual course has dried out a bit.

IMG_1454Amongst the field were representatives of 12 different running clubs and 19 Ross-on-Wye first timers. Despite the slightly hillier than usual conditions, we saw almost everyone cross the finish line either jogging or running and 100% with smiles on faces!

For anybody who didn't attend the event and wants and insight into how I found the course:Alpacas behind us at the start line and lambs to our right (we like exotic supporters.)


On your marks, get set, go...


Orchard 1; net uphill but not soul destroying, muddy but fairly firm underfoot. Next, a nice bit of downhill track leading to Orchard 2: lots of downhill! Squashy apples underfoot, some mud but mostly firm. Was running at a similar pace as a young lady- we agreed we had started too fast and that neither of us were wearing appropriate footwear as we were both in road shoes.


The track zig zags down around the perimeter of orchard 2 and into little orchard 3, descending to a little stream where the wettest ground was, but other than being a little bit slippery, it wasn't terrible! Orchard 4; gradual uphill as we follow the perimeter of the orchard around back towards the alpacas. A left hand turn and a sharp, slippery uphill through the last orchard, across a grassy meadow and then following the farm track back to the start line ready for lap 2. Rinse and repeat but into the finish funnel by the alpacas! Only my 5th different parkrun location, but I can definitely say the toughest I've done (but I'm a wimp.)


Stunning scenery throughout the orchards, will be absolutely beautiful in the summer, and shaded from the sun too! Mixture of smells included sweet cidery apples, rotten vinegary apples and poo. Was anybody else lucky enough to fall over in the mud at the top of the last hill or was that just me?I have recommended to the core team that we would like sledges for the downhills and a chairlift for the uphill in the future...

IMG_1458IMG_1459For anybody who's interested, here's the satellite map of my route from strava:

IMG_1463It was nice to see many of you sporting purple in recognition of international women's day, a very special day for us to recognise the amazing achievement of all the women in our lives and across the world (shout out to the mums who get another day later on this month, March is the one for you!) And of course, a massive shout out to Cat, our RD this morning!


A MASSIVE thank you to Mike Johnson of Broome Farm who approached the core team to offer his orchards to us for our Saturday morning antics, after having spent time looking at alternative locations this really was a godsend!
As always thanks to the hi-vis heroes who make the event possible, with a special shout out to St Mary's School who supplied 16 marshals for the event, seen sporting fabulous "this girl can" t-shirts. Many thanks to all for a great effort on this Saturday morning, shout out to the core team who were at Broome Farm making sure it was ready for us from 6am!

IMG_1461The 31 volunteers who made this event possible were:

Catherine FINLAY • Martin Edward HEATH • Tom EDMONDS • David HAWORTH • Adele ROYLE • Lynn LATHAM • Nigel LANE • Cat LANE • Helen LANE • Mary WALTON • Marjorie MACKRELL • Steve BEDFORD • Simon LENNANE • Martha FINLAY • Daisy WOODMAN • Oliver BILLINGTON • John WAINE • Ness WAINE • Toby ROYLE • Lara COLLINS • Rowan AVERY • Charlotte COLBERT • Gracie PRICE • Sophia TOOTELL • Catriona ROBERTSON • Sasha EDMUNDS • Morgan JOLLY • Charlotte KINGSTON • Rebecca HONEY • Cameron HILL • Sarah MILLINER •IMG_1460There were a number of tourists with us this morning from far flung reaches such as Severn Bridge, Hereford, Pontypool and Belton House, hopefully you enjoyed the maiden voyage of our B course.

Some big recognition to Andy Ormiston who was celebrating his 100th parkrun today- congratulations, our only milestone this week!

Keep an eye on the facebook page for updates on where future runs will be, as Cat said during the run brief; the core team will always try and be in Ross at the sports centre on the standard course, but will hopefully have to cancel less often with the option of course B!

We look forward to seeing you all walking, running and jogging at a parkrun again soon!



Footnote from the EDs 

We had some brilliant feedback this week

-Killer course

-Less fun than than childbirth

-Last hill should have had a sign at the top saying summit!!!

But seriously, a great time was had by all. One of our favourite sayings certainly applies to this course, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you"



Event #16 – The one with the Birthday, Many happy returns Simon!

Sometimes I find myself speaking to my non running friends about parkrun and I can see them counting the dust particles in the air. Most of the time, I am quite lucky,  people seem intrigued and question,  if parkrun is how I have described,  how have they have never heard of it?

Dr Simon Lennane works at Alton Street Surgery in Ross-on-Wye. On 11th October 2018 he popped a post on social media asking if there would be any interest in setting up a parkrun. Simon's passion and enthusiasm was paramount to our start up, which is incredible because at that moment in time, he had never taken part in a parkrun event.

People are drawn to parkrun for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps they want to improve their fitness, have 5 minutes away from a noisy household, do something as a family or maybe they use it as training for an upcoming race? All of these are perfectly valid reasons to take part. We like to think that at Ross parkrun we are building a community to be proud of and that we are bringing both tourists and local people together.

The Royal College of General Practitioners and parkrun joined forces in what is more commonly known as the parkrun practice initiative. In Layman's terms this means that GPs and practice staff can now prescribe parkrun by referring patients to take part. Both Doctor Surgeries in Ross were linked to our parkrun before we had even hosted our first event which made us the first parkrun to do so.


Simon chose a low key affair to host his 50th birthday, and invited the parkrun community to celebrate with him on his first run. He said to me days before the event he had enough cakes to cater for 140 runners....exactly 140 parkrunners attended this week!!  A very kind gesture from Simon, thank you, and we hope you have a fantastic birthday weekend.  A huge thank you goes to Sue from Ross Sports Club who baked the cakes this week, and to Poppy's Bakery for the vegan cakes. Three words, spoiled for choice! So, I rather reservedly sampled just the 2, to my dads 4.

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We didn't have any milestone announcements this week but we did have another 2 Birthdays, Edwina and Lynn!! Happy Birthday.

After almost a week of no rain and strong winds, the fields had been improving daily. The back fields are almost passable so hopefully it will not be too long before we revert back to our old course. We have even been looking to see how we can improve it and may be tweaking it slightly to reduce the number of laps.... watch this space.

The runners looked a lot more stable on their feet this week with just a few instances of mud sliding around the tyre turn. 16 people achieved personal bests in the improved conditions. Our dog friendly course saw a number of happy wagging tails finish the distance, earning themselves sofa time and a belly rub!

Gethin Edwards, Mike Mansfield and Steve Rooke were our podium finishers today- well done all. Catherine Powell, Ruth Johnstone and Izzie Claxton took 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the ladies- effortless running!

We had 58 first timers to our event, of whom 23 were brand new registrations to parkrun. We love it when we see new faces, especially when at the end they tell us they have enjoyed themselves and will be back. That's what it is all about. We had tourists stretching from Huntingdon, Forest of Dean, Pomphrey Hill, Ledbury all the way to Sydney Australia! Well done and thank you for all for consideration when entering the Sports Club. It was wonderful seeing all the tables full and conversations in full flow.

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As always a huge thank you extends to our volunteers:

Catherine FINLAY • Adele ROYLE • Lynn LATHAM • Nigel LANE • Cat LANE • Helen LANE • Jo WHITE • Elizabeth DUBERLEY • Florence COPPING • Marjorie MACKRELL • Steve BEDFORD • Toby ALLEN • Sharon HARTNOLL • Sam CLEMENT • Daisy WOODMAN • William LENNANE • Henry LENNANE • Darren MCLEAN • Toby ROYLE


We hope storm Ciara is kind to our course so we can keep the momentum going and host event 17 without any hiccups!  Please take extra care if you are running this weekend.



The One where the Tearaways finally ran! By Andy Norman, TearAways of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

How many times have we tried and failed to get to visit Ross on Wye parkrun? 2019 we tried, we had to re-arrange New Year’s Day Double plans and again no success in January. I have actually lost count but I have had some lovely communication with the core team and today was the day to meet them as the course had dried out sufficiently to host a run. Our frustration though is nothing compared with that of the fantastic core volunteer team at Ross who have suffered such a wet winter but still are so fantastically enthusiastic. I promised to write the Run Report when I eventually got there so here goes!

Our group of runners are called the TearAways, an inappropriate name for a social fun running group with members from South Worcestershire and North Gloucestershire. We were at Ross today as one of our runners, the lovely Jen Sigournay, chose the venue to celebrate her 50th parkrun.

It was a lovely morning as we congregated in the old tennis courts area for the first timers instructions followed immediately by the main briefing, given by the lovely Cat. Runners were welcomed from Chipping Sodbury, Eastville, Lydney and Arrow Valley as well as the TearAways. We were warned about the water hazard across the cricket pitch and that the normal route required amendment but we did not care because it was on! There was a shout out for Jen and even for my birthday as well as a deserved warm applause for the volunteers. A TearAway, Linda Wheeler had volunteered to be tail walker, and loved to show off her tail!

I introduced myself to Cat, confirmed I would do the Run Report and we were off! The ground was wet and muddy in places so was going to be a tougher run than last week at Yeovil on a hard surface. I jogged alongside Jen and a few other TearAways and settled into my normal rhythm, chatting to other runners, thanking the marshals (hugging the ladies) and even having a sing or two. Anyone know who sang ‘One more night’ from the 70s, which for some reason was in my head!
Anyway, we completed the half lap and then started the first full one, entering the cricket field with a fab view of the town of Ross-on-Wye above us.

84478825_10156457051630738_1433809406532780032_n Jen was finding the soft going tough after recently twisting her ankle, especially across the cricket field but soldiered on helped by supportive comments from other runners and marshals. She is in her late 30s and was however getting a little concerned that others from their comments, thought the 50 balloon related to her birthday! We were then on the last lap, running round the playing fields and before long the home straight with the TearAways waiting to give Jen a well deserved guard of honour.

98 runners completed the parkrun, with special shout outs for Rob Nicholls, from Spirit of Monmouth RC first home by a distance in 19:08, with TearAways, Ed Rollinson second and Mark Davey giving our running group two top ten finishes for the first time ever. First female, in 9th overall was the young runner Izzie Claxton. 12 runners recorded PBs, well done all. Best age grading % was Rob with 68.21% and then Steve Bedford with 66.98%. 30 of the runners were from the touring TearAways.
Volunteers, you were brilliant and thanks for being there from 7am to get this event on for all us runners. We will return to have a go at the original course when the good old English weather allows!



Week 14, the one where at last it was less muddy … well, slightly

The rain wasn’t too horrific last week, allowing us to hold a second consecutive parkrun after our long absence, yay!


We welcomed 116 humans plus canines, who ran, jogged, walked or, indeed, slipped, their way round the course. Of these, 34 were first timers and 12 got PBs, well done all of you. There were 23 different run clubs represented, including Basingstoke, Cross Flats (Yorkshire), Eastville and Gloucester. First home, in an exciting sprint finish, was Tim Rose from Usk, in 20:02, with Rob Nicholls from Monmouth a whisker behind, in 20:03! First lady home was Izzie Claxton in 25:02.


As usual, we are extremely grateful to our many volunteers who turn up week after week, no matter how wet or cold, to cheer on runners, set up and check the course at the crack of dawn (it’s pretty dark at 7.15!), and man the finish line.


You are all truly amazing! As Run Director, it can be a bit worrying when you realise that you are pretty short on volunteers, especially when there is still mud and water to guide everyone round, but they all came up trumps, covering more than one job, as needed. Huge thanks to our visitors, the Cassells, who were visiting and, as is their tradition, sorted the tokens afterwards.


Maybe you have been considering volunteering? Please give it a try. It is very satisfying and great fun... all participants appreciate some encouragement... a smile or a cheer as they pass the marshals, whether they are at the front or the back, can keep them going. Some volunteer roles enable you to get a run credit as well, eg set up and tail walker. You will get training and support... There are even opportunities mid week, if you are free, we often meet up to maintain the course and many hands certainly make light work. Without volunteers, our lovely parkrun could not happen. Why not sign up now for next week? Or perhaps a family member or friend could accompany you and volunteer while you are taking part?


It’s so good to be back and we just hope that the course might continue to dry out over the coming weeks. Who knows, maybe we can revert to our original route pretty soon?



Event No 13 – The one with the sticky mud! by Catharine Bennett

After a beautiful day for parkrun #12, way back on 7th December, we suffered yet more rain and flooding which put us off for another 3 weeks. We therefore felt it was even more important to provide our loyal runners with their first Ross-on-Wye parkrun of 2020. A couple of us spent some time on Friday morning doing a course run recce…. This mostly consisted of slopping around in the mud, taking pictures and videos of mud and laughing at each other!

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Luckily, the weather was kind in the last 24 hours and we benefited from a keen wind that dried things up well and got rid of the general pond smell around the course. We also had some awesome course pixies, who have been working hard again with the wood chip.

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We were so pleased to welcome 114 runners to partake in the sticky, muddy course today. Perfect practice if anyone has a Mud or trail event on their 2020 events calendar!
Today I actually ran for the first time ever. This was my first parkrun ever. Anyone who knows me knows that I have been strangely stubborn about this. Initially, I helped to approach people for funding to get us going at Ross-on-Wye and, the more I did, the more I wanted Ross-on-Wye to be my first ever parkrun. I live here, I have always wanted to be able to walk to the venue and I’ve volunteered every time until today. I loved actually running the whole course, without the usual stopping to take photos, mess about with the crocodile or discuss the best routes. I was also able to run with one of our private individuals who donated, which made the run extra special. Trail shoes were a must and I was encouraged by all of the volunteers, some of whom I have met through marshaling myself.

I particularly liked the encouragement from Leo, Lottie and Lucia Lockwood, who manned Pooh Corner! I definitely wasn’t up there with the leaders, but it was a really special thing to be able to run the route as my first parkrun, after all the times that I have cheered others on, put out wood chip (always in the rain!) or simply stood and surveyed the floods.


We had plenty of visitors today from all over, including Ivy from Nottinghamshire and her Mum. Ivy was taking part in her 5th parkrun and high fived every marshal as she went round. This is an impressive parkrun history for Ivy, who is only 4 years old! We welcomed runners who represented 20 different running clubs. First man back was Rob Nicholls in 20:18 and our first lady back was Kathy Griffin in 21.55. Mike Evans also chose to run his 100th different event with us today which gains him Cowell Club status (one of the unofficial challenges set by a parkrun enthusiast) Well done everyone.
We had 50 first timers (including me!) and 6 PBs (including me!). Well done to you all, especially those who chose us as their first!

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Thank you so much to all of our 22 volunteers, who bowled us over with their enthusiasm and hard work to get us going again. This makes such an enormous difference and we are so grateful and relieved that you were so keen to fill this week’s rota:
Catherine Finlay; Tony Privitera; David Haworth; Adele Royal; Lynn Latham; Nigel Lane; Cat Lane; Helen Lane; Jo White; James Fletcher; Helen Robbie; Marjorie Mackrell; Steve Bedford; Jacqueline Talbot; Simon Lennane; Catharine Bennett; Leo Lockwood; Lottie Lockwood; Lucia Lockwood; Gillian Fair; Sam Clement; John Waine.
Thank you once again to Walford Timber, who keep supplying us with woodchip. It made such a difference to the running conditions for us today and thank you to the pixies who keep turning up and spreading it out.

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IMG_0185 (1)We must apologise to our barefoot runner today however.... I don't think the wood chip was as pleasant on his soles as the rest of our runners with structured shoes. How inconsiderate of us all....we hope you didn't have any splinters.dc9b4846-ec56-4d51-9f02-74de1948418b

Fingers crossed that the January weather continues to behave itself and give us some dry conditions to get our faithful fans back on board. And all of you doing trail or mud events, your training started here today at Ross-on-Wye parkrun!

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