Run report for 14 September 2019: Home Comforts

The last time I had completed Rushcliffe parkrun was in June 2018. Since then I’ve been on a mission to complete as many different parkruns as possible, a total which now stands at 73. I have covered a fair few miles on this quest, and been to places as far flung as London (for Victoria Dock), Bristol (for Eastville), Wales (for Penrhyn) and, er, Clifton. While touring I am often asked which parkrun I have enjoyed the most and I struggle a bit to answer, not because I can’t remember each event, but because each and every one has something about it. However, if I were to nail my colours to the mast and name two (because naming just one is really too hard), then I would say Rushcliffe and Sherwood Pines.


Rushcliffe has been my home course since I started parkrunning back in April 2014, and today I ran it for the 133rd time. I was also the one wearing the blue ‘hi viz’ pacing top and trying to run round in 25 minutes, which I just about managed.


It was so good to be back home, surrounded by people I know, running such a beautiful course. The weather conditions were just about perfect with glorious sunshine, very little wind, and an ever so slight chill at the start. I was joined by 418 other parkrunners, of which 56 were first timers. 22 of those 56 were completing their very first parkrun and we really hope they will return – can’t promise the weather will always be like this, mind! I didn’t catch where all the tourists were from, but there was definitely one group from Yorkshire, and they were very complimentary about our park on social media afterwards.


The conditions must have contributed to the amazing haul of 74 PBs, 6 of which were achieved from the first 7 finishers. Milestone runners included Ruaridh completing his 10th run as a junior, Helen Chamberlain and Jackie Pilbin completing their 50ths, and while 150 is not an official milestone, it still feels like one and so I’ll give a shout out to to Robert Lees and Philippa Logan for reaching that number. Well done to all.

There are some brilliant photos from today’s parkrun – thank you Chris! Please see to view them all.


No run report is complete without thanking the volunteers, whose combined efforts made this event happen: Glyn BARRETT, Philip BREWIN, Sam BROADLEY, Lindy CLARKE, Alasdair COLSTON, Christopher DANCER, Alfie DIXON, Ian HOWE, Alan HOWE, Daniel JACKSON, Wayne JACKSON, Emma JACKSON, Sam JAMIESON, Lynne KELLOW, Jonathan LAMLEY, James LAVERTY, Charlie LITCHFIELD, Imogen LITCHFIELD, Mike MACDONALD, Chris NEALE, Nik NETTLESHIP, Kirsty PARNABY, Tom PEARCE, Sam RISING, Nicola RUSTON-LITCHFIELD, Elaine SELLER, Roshan SINGH, Brooke THOMAS, Aimee THOMAS, Jo THOMAS, Marc THOMAS, Tilly WOOD and James WOOD





I’ll be back at Rushcliffe on 7 December for a ‘special’ parkrun. Until then: happy parkrunning!




Run report for August 31st – decisions, decisions, decisions!!

Wasn’t it a fantastic, sunny yet blustery day; always the best for weather-related anecdotes... just after the parkrun!

I don’t know about you but I start my parkrun late on the Friday night whilst everyone’s in bed and then get on with the ‘laying-out-of-the-items’.

It’s easier if you have a list as per photo! Then the choices of t-shirts and the matching shorts (and occasionally the socks). Do I wear my home shirt of parkrun peach or show off the latest technical shirt from an event or my ‘100 black’ (making my ‘50 red’ looking lonely in the draw)? Last thing to add is my barcode. About an hour later time for a light sleep. In the morning I find another barcode hiding at the bottom of the pile too (and there’s always one in my wallet… oh and in the car!)

I love being part of our weekly timed 5k event as it’s a run (not a race). Sure, a parkrunner will record the fastest time but he/she is not the true winner There are 300-500 winners at Rushcliffe in their own personal achievement. Because parkrunning is all about inclusion. Where some people have found barriers in joining clubs or events (for all sorts of reasons) they have found our 3-miler* walk, jog or run a perfect sanctuary. (*for Lindy… I don’t do ‘km’)

Centre of parkrun is our wonderful volunteers. It’s truly a fabulous part of the parkrun experience, feeling good about doing something positive and helping others to have a good time too.

When injured or when I’m running on a Sunday event, I’ve made myself part of the high-vis team, some of whom don’t do much running but just love the camaraderie of the day, rain or shine, summer and winter. Arriving at 8.15 everyone is tasked with a simple element of the preparation and always helped with what to do. Some runners notably parkrun tourists** get there before the volunteers and love to chat about their running episodes and what to expect today.

**our tourists that made themselves known were from McKay Queensland Australia, Barcelona, Druridge Bay Northumberland, Andover, Stratford and London

The start comes around really quickly and from the first of those runners to those coming up a little later, it’s a mass of colour, smiles and a big positive vibe. It is the most rewarding hour of like-minded participants giving thumbs-up, high-fives or the classic and well received ‘Thanks marshal!’

Without Geoff and Lisa, stalwarts from 2012 and other devotees Ian, Chris, Richard, Jo, Marc, Lynne and Andrew our event wouldn’t run like clockwork.

In saying that, today, Rachel Angell completed 300 parkruns and in her 9th year of volunteering to boot!

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Those joining the Centurions (100 parkruns) Jackie Key, Naomi Wayte, Henny Scott, Chris Peaston and Alastair Colson. Before you ask – yes, they’ve all volunteered at some point too!

The 50-milestone was celebrated by Cat Pickup, Chris Davison, Jackie Ross, Colin Wootton and junior Billy Jowett too.

Add a 50th birthday celebration for Marijke Van Eerd and cakes supplied in aid of Macmillan cancer support and that makes a great post event coffee in the Education Centre

A big congratulations to all of you.

Mike Macdonald

p.s. Can’t wait for the update on the hairy earrings story.


Run report for August 24th – Love parkrun……..hate running!

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On your marks……..get set………….go………..and that’s my first eyelid open on Saturday morning.

This Saturday (24th August) marked my 50th parkrun, not bad for a dedicated run-hater and early morning avoider. It’s taken just over 3 years due to hockey seasons and injury preventing me attending for large parts of those years. Oh, and not forgetting the acquisition of a little pupster, Freddie, who took priority on Saturday morning for a long time.

I’ve come a long way from being dragged there for the first time with a hangover and barely shuffling my way round to now actively seeking out parkruns when we go away at weekends, and encouraging all our family and friends to join us at Rushcliffe on the morning of our recent wedding to start the days celebrations. My running times have barely changed after the first few weeks of getting a PB – those days are well and truly gone.

My all-time favourite running companion is Freddie (black lab) – he is my reason if we run a fast time (he wants to get back for breakfast) or a slow time (quick stop off in the woods). But he is always smiling up at me and never tells me I can go faster if I tried. In fact parkrun and Freddie have led me to a new sport that I have been dabbling with a little, Canicross. It’s the only time I actually run with a smile too.

On the hot days without Freddie the only thing that entices me out of bed and round the course is the Rushcliffe parkrunners and those that have become friends – some of them even managed to gate crash our wedding! You can’t beat a bit of banter over a cuppa, a biscuit and some token sorting (it’s the only time I get anywhere near tokens under 200).

This particular Saturday morning was a scorcher – no weather to be running especially if you are one of those most blessed people in the world…..ginger. But none the less there were 388 of us there with 19 sitting in the naughty corner with no barcodes. 46 Rushcliffe first timers with 28 of those first, first timers (new to parkrun), 46 PB’s and 30 volunteer heroes.

My own personal stats – 50, 36, 10, 10, 1. (parkrun total, Rushcliffe parkruns, number of different parkruns, highest female placing and number of times forgotten barcode and was devastated).

I shall be signing off for while after next week’s parkrun (Jackie’s 100th, so more cake!) as we go on holiday and then its straight back in the hockey season for me………..see you at Christmas!

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I shall leave you with a little ditty sung to the tune of “I’m into something good” by Herman’s Hermits; sing it next time you are struggling at parkrun.

Woke up this morning feeling fine
Got Rushcliffe parkrun on my mind
Last night I had only one beer, whoa yeah,
Something tells me I’m into something good

I’m the kinda girl who asks myself why
Then at the end I’m on a high
I ran as fast as I hoped I would
Something tells me I’m into something good.

We only walked for a minute or two
But then we ran the whole way through
I ran faster than I thought I could
Something tells me I’m into something good.

If nothing else it will stop my other running mantra voice in my head which goes along the lines of – I hate running, can I stop yet, why am I doing this, you can stop if you want…………REPEAT AD INFINITUM.



Run report for August 17th – congratulations on your determination!

parkrunning is a sport that everyone can do. All you need is trainers, or a good pair of shoes for those walking, and determination. One thing people say is that the hardest part is walking out of the door, but all 436 of today’s parkrunners did and many of them left smashing it with a new PB.

As there was torrential rain on Friday, we were very fortunate to have, in my opinion, the perfect parkrun weather: not too cold that you are freezing, but not too hot that you are pouring with sweat by the end.

Well done to every single parkrunner as well as Sunil Sharma and Angela Brown with their 50th parkruns and congratulations to James Price with his 100th parkrun.

To our 25 first timers, welcome to parkrun.

In this week’s pre-run brief, everyone had a mini sign language lesson in how to say thank you. As John (one of the volunteers) is deaf, it was amazing to see everybody using their newly found skill to appreciate his efforts.

At the end of his run, I was able to interview Oliver Matharu (our first finisher for this week, pictured above) and ask him for his top parkrun tip. Oliver said, “Start off steady and then slowly get a bit quicker and then finish nice and strong.”

Thank you to today’s volunteers it wouldn’t be possible without you. Remember have fun and KEEP PARKRUNNING!



Run report for August 10th – a fabulous parkrun!

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What a fabulous parkrun – well I thought so anyway. Certainly much better than we had hoped as we watched the weather forecast on the days leading up to the weekend.

55mph gale force winds at 9am? Actually it was more of a strong breeze and helped 31 of our 348 parkrunners to a new PB. Congratulations and well done.

The timekeepers, using the new technology of the parkrun app, kept perfectly in sync. (Thank you to Darren for capturing my best side on the picture above). The funnel managers maintained order until finish tokens were collected – in the right order – and the barcode and finish tokens were all scanned in the correct sequence. The marshals and tail walkers kept you safe and on the right track, and token sorting was completed in double quick time. It all made for rapid results processing and Richard had them published by 10.30am. A cracking job by all the volunteers – thank you.

I’d like to come back to something we mentioned a few weeks ago. Have you noticed our new ‘quiet please’ signs that are used to encourage our parkrunners to listen to the pre-run brief? It has become a challenge in recent months to get the gathered group of 400ish people, all keen to get on their way around the course, to listen attentively to the pre-run brief. We know much of it is, necessarily, repeated every week because, whilst you may have heard it 200 times before we always have first timers (40 this week, of which 20 completed their first ever parkrun – welcome to one and all).

It is only through listening to the pre-run brief that you get to know about milestones (congratulations to Allan Lord on his 50th and Jonathan Masters on his ‘unofficial 200th’). Then there are the tourists, often from far and wide and this week from Sheffield, Coventry and Haywards Heath. And it is the pre-run brief when, thankfully occasionally, we can deliver more difficult messages (like the parking offender from a few months back).

It lasts just a couple of minutes, and if only out of respect for the fellow parkrunners, we ask for quiet so that all can hear it. Now, we realise that those reading this run report will most likely be our fabulous regulars - the Rushcliffe parkrun ‘massive’ (yes, I have just had to use Google to check that was the right word) – and we would like to enlist your help at 9am on a Saturday. Firstly by listening attentively to the pre-run brief, but also to use your powers of persuasion with a short sharp ‘sssshhhhhh’ when required, encouraging those around you to listen too. I hope that is OK?

Not a lot more to say about this week. I’ll finish where I started. What a fabulous parkrun!!!! So good, we look forward to doing it again next week.