Sandwell Valley parkrun is cancelled on 2021-09-25 – Festival in the park, whole site will be closed.

Wind, rain, blood and the Black Country

From Jeff Prestridge visiting from Mile End parkrun

RUNNING is rarely straightforward. Yes, it’s the simplest of sports – one foot in front of the other and away you go – but it’s never without its complications. Never short of its drama, twists and turns, hills and bumps and grazes. Sunday 15 February was one of those ‘complicated’ days.

Having dealt with the onset of Storm Ciara while slogging our legs through the cloying mud of the Wanstead Flats parkrun in East London (February 8), Valentine’s Day Plus One saw me and Leonie (Kate to my mother! Que?) be a little more adventurous.  We wandered away from our London (me) and Berkshire (Kate) hinterlands for a Saturday and travelled up to the Black Country in the West Midlands.  To be precise, to Sandwell Valley Country Park in West Bromwich, to participate in the Sandwell Valley parkrun, a run my sister Joy had done previously done and thoroughly enjoyed.

With Storm Ciara having long blown itself out in the middle of the North Sea, we assumed all would be fine, but we hadn’t realised that Storm Dennis would be as intimidating, if not more so. Walking to the park was an achievement in its own right as the rain drove into us and the wind howled around our ears and knees.

Only just arriving in time for the start (and half expecting it to be cancelled like many other parkrun events), Leonie took the sensible decision to watch the proceedings from the half-comfort of her half-waterproof coat. I joined the merry fray, slightly annoyed with myself for only packing my Nike Free (quasi barefoot) running shoes that aren’t particularly good in mud. It was a choice of running shoe I was soon to regret.

The course was a challenging little number with heart rates sent into three figures right from the off as a steep bridge over the M5 motorway was negotiated (drivers kindly tooted their horns in appreciation of the madding crowd). It was then all off-road, passing the ruins of Sandwell Priory, a former Benedictine monastery, and then around Swan Pool – not once but twice. How the wind threatened to blow us all off course.  How the mud splattered our legs and the rather sharp inclines sapped tired legs. A super parkrun.

My parkrun adventure was given a little bit of extra spice (speaking of spices, they serve up some splendid curries in Akash Balti on West Bromwich High Street as we found out later that night) as a result of falling on the first lap as I headed towards Swan Pool – popular, I am told, with wild swimmers although Storm Dennis seemed to have put them off this particular morning. It was a fall that cut me to ribbons as I slid to a halt on a mix of stones and mud. Runners nearby kindly asked how I was as I got up. Like all hardened runners, I said ‘fine’ and continued putting one foot in front of the other.

It was only at the end that I realised my knee, hip and elbow were bleeding (I knew my hand was cut). Only in the shower afterwards, did I realise that my back looked as if it had received 50 lashings.

To say that the Sandwell Valley parkrun volunteers were magnificent is an understatement. They couldn’t have been more helpful, cleaning my wounds and asking after me as I recouped in the café afterwards with a bacon sandwich and a mug of piping hot coffee. To race director Victoria Thomas (like me, a passionate supporter of WBA FC), I say THANK YOU.

To all 176 runners who braved Storm Dennis to do the Sandwell Valley parkrun on Saturday 15 February, I say well done. To the volunteers who stood around in the driving rain and biting wind while we did our thing, a mighty thank you. And well done to Leonie who stayed to watch me finish the run despite resembling a drowned rat.

The start of a weekend when it never stopped raining and when I never ever felt warm (other than when snuggled under a Premier Inn duvet). Black Country? Wet Country, more like.

But come rain or shine, Sandwell Valley parkrun rocks. Like local boy Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) used to before his all too early death at age 35 (we walked past a commemorative blue plaque dedicated to him as we did one for Madeleine Carroll of The 39 Steps fame.) As Lynott’s Thin Lizzy  colleague Ricky Warwick wrote of him:

I could never walk in your footsteps
I could never last the pace
I can only stand in awe beside you
And never take your place

Whether you’re walking or running at a fair lick of pace, happy parkruns.


International Women’s Day #IWD parkrun – Sat 7th March 2020

Save the date - Saturday 7th March 2020

We are delighted to be one of the parkrun’s participating in the parkrun celebration of International Women’s Day, also supported by This Girl Can – which you may have seen on social media.

Figures and research show that women are less likely to take part in parkrun. Despite the fact that females make 54% of registrations, they are less likely than men to take part in parkrun and to continue participating. International Women’s Day #IWD parkrun is a fantastic opportunity to encourage more women and girls to participate.There are many barriers that hold people back as #ThisGirlCan has been highlighting. 

Please encourage all women and girls that you know to come along so they can have fun, enjoy the friendly atmosphere and see how awesome parkrun is.

As always, men and boys are all still more than welcome to join us too.


Event number 59 on the 9th of February, 2019

Today was a lovely mild but windy day and there were 127 participants!

Such a welcoming course with lots of things to see – I spotted golfers, cows, sheep, Canadian geese and other birds battling against the wind!

In the amazing number of participants, we welcomed 28 new runners (including two of our friends from Cannon Hill).

Included in that were some tourists from Cannon Hill (us!), Basingstoke parkrun, Worcester, Arrow Valley and more!

Also today must have been a good day for PB's as we had 23.J

Today we would like to say a big thank you to all of the 25 volunteers and they are:

Chris JONES  •  Colin HORTON  •  Craig POOLE  •  Dennis HOCKNEY  •  Eleanor BRATBY  •  Gulshanara BEGUM  •  Hans DUGGAL  •  Joanne GREENAWAY  •  John TOTNEY  •  Lauren HEVEY  •  Martin ANDERS  •  Neil LANGLEY  •  Norman SPARKES  •  Owen ZAMBRA  •  Peter FORTH  •  Ruth DARBY  •  Sarah COOPER  •  Scott KING  •  Shaun POOLE  •  Shuaib ABDURRAHMAN  •  Suki TAGGER  •  Susan MILLWARD  •  Terri Rose POWELL  •  Victoria THOMAS  •  Warren D'ROZARIO


5 stats from Sandwell Valley parkrun this week are:

In 59th position this week was:  Gary BEARDSWORTH

In 9th position this week was: Mick MCCARTHY

In 25th position this week was: Graham MOSS

In 23th position this week was: David TOBIN

In 28th position this week was: Emma SHANNON



Today, first male was Joel TAYLOR with the time of 21:26- Well done, a new PB for you!

First woman today was 
Amy Louise SHEPPARD-TWEEDIE with the time of 23:33minutes- Also well done to you because you were only three seconds off your Sandwell PB!

Well done to both of you!


Today we would like to praise:

50th: John ADAMS

300th: Simon RICHARDS

See you all again another time! J


By: Lauren HEVEY (A Cannon Hill runner and a Cannon Hill Junior runner!)




Sandwell Valley parkrun – Event 30 – Run Report

Today my Mom and I were a tourist from Cannon Hill Parkrun and we got lost on the way and a kind gentleman wearing a red 50 t-shirt told us where to go! Thank you for all of your help and kindness!

It was a very sunny day and a nice run to look round the 'Swan Pool' , see the fishermen and other park users
At Sandwell Valley parkrun, there were 144 participants , we had 21 volunteers, 47 first timers and 34 PBs.
5 stats from Sandwell Valley parkrun this week are:
In 30th position this week was: Kam SARAI
In 23rd position this week was: Benjamin STANAWAY
In 21st position this week was: Paul SHORT- Well done Paul as you were a First Timer today!
In 47th position this week was: Kieran MULLINS
In 34rd position this week was: Josh COLLINS- First Timer congrats

Random stats today are:
In 7th position this week was: Paul ALLEN
In 12th position this week was: Steve GWILLIAM
In 51th position this week was: Michael John WHITEHOUSE
In 65th position this week was: Lauren HEVEY-Me!
In 73rd position this week was: Joanne HEVEY-Mom
In 88th position this week was: Andrew WALKER
In 94th position this week was: Louise BERRY
In 101st position this week was: Palm SIDHU
In 114th position this week was: Roman Morgan
In 123rdposition this week was: Harpreet SARAI
In 136th position this week was: India MORGAN
In 142nd position this week was: Sharon HAYMAN

Today first male was James Edward BOOKER with the time of 18:35.
First woman was Simone JONES with the time of 23:09 minutes- you knocked 31 seconds off you PB at Sandwell!
Well done to both of you!

Today, we would like to praise:
10th (under the age of 18): Stephen HOGAN, George KING
75th: David WARING

Again thank you for the warm welcome and the killer hill at the end! Hope to visit you again soon

By: Lauren HEVEY (A Cannon Hill/junior runner! Aged11)

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