Sheffield Hallam parkrun is cancelled on 11 April 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

#2 Virtual Sheffield Hallam notaparkrun notarunreport 4 April 2020


My appeal for people to share their notaparkrun adventures didn't quite produce the tsunami of stories and selfies I'd dreamt of, but undeterred let's remember it's quality not quantity that counts, and I'm never short of material to include to be fair, so thanks to those of you who contributed.  If you'd like this notarunreport to continue then please do share your adventures next week, otherwise maybe keep a copy of this notarunreport safe in an archive somewhere as it may become a collector's item.  One of only two notaparkrun notarunreports ever produced, it will never again be written and posted in this age of Covid-19.  Is that how you want your future to be?*


*no need to spell it out for me dear reader, keep it as a rhetorical question, I'll work it out for myself on the basis of evidence sourced!  :)


But in case you are in need of some reading matter to fill the long hours of confinement that lie ahead, below find the long play version of the notaparkrun notarunreport for today.  We celebrate an awesome junior parkrunner, marvel at puddles past and explore parkrun substitute activities near and far. Some shout outs for notaparkrun tourists and regulars alike.  Find out who got a Strava crown in their own back yard!  I know, exciting prospect isn't it?

Enjoy or not as your patience allows.  Reading is not compulsory.  It never was.  There may be some late additions, or there may not, we shall have to wait and see...  I'm going to hit 'publish' now though, just to get the proverbial parkrun notaparkrun ball rolling.  Thanks for sticking with us.  Missing you.  You have no idea just how much!

Official parkrun updates:

Just so you know, parkrun HQ will be providing weekly updates on their Covid 19 update page and intend to do this weekly - in addition to announcements on their country Facebook pages too.  They are saying they will do this every Tuesday, you can read the full blah de blah following the link above, but this extract contains the key points:

Our communications and health & wellbeing teams are working hard to lift spirits and provide support to those impacted by this enforced period of social isolation. The Great Big parkrun Quiz has engaged thousands of people around the world and The School of parkrun is our attempt to provide a little parkrun-flavoured content for those of us home-schooling our children. Over the coming weeks and months we will further develop our communications to better support parkrunners around the world, and please know that we are committed to being there throughout.

Also, check out our local Graves parkrunner and Sheffield GP Ollie Hart's message to fellow parkrunners about 'making a difference' in challenging times.  He also did a Q&A on Friday 2nd April on instagram, but I'm not sufficiently cool and down with the technology to be able to link to that here, I'm sure you will find it if the mood takes you.  Cheers Ollie, thanks for being part of the team that set up Graves parkrun.  It's epic!  Well, it has highland coos, that's hard to top!  Not taking part, that would be silly, but they do spectate and cheer parkrunners as they pass.  Sort of, in a nonchalant, chewing the cud sort of way admittedly, but they are very much present all the same.


Lest we forget:

Sigh, can you remember our Sheffield Hallam parkrun?  Fortunately, you don't have to, because here are some recently dug up memories from around this time last year!  I know, genius.

We have our parkrun memories to fall back on!  Let's not get too sentimental about the good old parkrun days.  It was just 2 years ago 31st March 2018 that parkrun was actually a parkswim.  Some embraced this more than others, it was definitely memorable out there.  Thanks to Rachel Suddrick for sharing the photo of Alfie who did extra loops - possibly even the next day - to make the most of it.  Honestly, the Duracell Bunny has nothing on him.  And to Anurag Agarwal, gamely splashing onwards, because parkrunners will find a way!  As for Finlay Cooper?  Well, he never has really got the hang of keeping his body warm and dry has he?  We need to source some parkrun apricot waders for him as well as some Damart thermals in time for the relaunch.  Still, he has other qualities and we wouldn't have him any other way!

Alfie in the wet

 anurag memory Finlay supervising not good at self preservation Alex holding back the tide  who has a hole in wellies 

That's not King Canute, it's  Alex Harding, trying to hold back the tide.  You have to admire his optimistic impulses if not be over awed by his objective assessment of what's realistic!  In the last picture he had just discovered he had a hole in his wellies apparently ... but you have to credit him with having the foresight to at least wear them, that gift of anticipatory wisdom had eluded our Finlay after all!  Alex would appear to have been further up the evolutionary food chain than he on this occasion at least.... Ah well, we will never again moan about puddles in Endcliffe park.  Bring back our parkrun and no-one will ever complain about anything at all ever again!  Almost definitely...  Well, we can dream.

Anyway, some people positively like puddles.  Alfie for one, not sure his mum Rachel is quite showing the same levels of enthusiasm in this particular shot, but she's still splashing on through!  Go Rache!

Alfie and Rachel

It's high time we profiled some more awesome Sheffield Hallam parkrunners, and where better to pick up than with Alfie Suddrick, junior parkrunner, making a splash in the picture(s) above!

Alfie SUDDRICK - has completed an amazing 154 parkruns in total.  106 of his 148 parkruns have been with us at Sheffield Hallam parkrun and he's done 6 junior parkruns as well.  He is awesome!  Puddle proof and super speedy.  Famed for wearing shorts year round, if you've ever run with us in Endcliffe park chances are you've seen him - probably as a blur speeding past with his mum puffing to keep up behind him.  That arm's length rule is punishing if you have to stick with Athlete Alfie!  I feel for his poor mum Rachel trying match his speeds!  This year on 15th Feb 2020 at Sheffield Hallam parkrun he romped round in 24:54 and got an age rating of 63.39%, but his absolute fastest time was 22:31, with an age grading of 72.61% on 13/7/2019.   Wowsers!  Looks like he had Will Siggs trying to keep up with him for that pace.  Mum was erm, let's go with 'more sedate' in her completion time that day!

As well as being able to teach Finlay a thing or two about keeping warm - well,  Alfie seemingly radiates heat, hence the shorts even in snow - he's a great parkrun enthusiast.  We are really lucky to have him join us in our park. He's volunteered and done some touristing too, so definitely a parkrunning all rounder!  Oh and his parkrun birthday is Saturday, May 9, 2015, not so far away at all.  Hopefully a parkrun themed cake will be produced in time for that!

Alfie might be a parkrun junior, but he is nevertheless a parkrun aficionado and a great ambassador for parkrun to boot.  In his own words he has this to say about parkrun:

'I love parkrun, it’s good to go out and get exercise. Anyone can do it. I have met lots of lovely people at parkrun and two of the first people were Bernie and Alex. I love running. One of my memorable parkruns was the one with the big puddle- I loved that. The other was my 100. I ran with Kate (Scott) and Alex (Harding) was RD and he gave me my 100 balloon. I love running with both of them.'

He was going to remind us to 'not run on the rd” but I suppose strictly speaking that's not so much of a problem anymore - though massive kudos to Alfie for showing he also listens to the run briefing each week.  Well done Alfie, you are a superstar!

100 parkrun

You don't have to take my word for it though, Alex Harding penned this tribute (well sent it via Facebook messenger at a suitably socially isolating distance which amounts to the same thing)

'he is one of the kindest young men at SHP. I know there was one time when it was chucking it down with rain where he waited until my mum (Bernie) had finished before going home.  Also I could only dream to run how easy he could run. He just makes it seem effortless. I know I’ve definitely got a running buddy whenever I’m down in Sheffield' :)

Isn't that nice?

Rachel Suddrick can often been seen running in the wake of her son Alfie, I think she's hoping by going out running with him all the time, or despatching him ahead of her with even faster runners keeping him in arm's reach, she will eventually wear him out, but actually, he's just getting ever fitter!  Rachel deserves her own shout out too.  Particularly right now as she is one of the front line health workers in these troubled times.  Rachel has completed 102 parkruns in total of which 76 runs have been at Sheffield Hallam.  She's clocked up 13 volunteer stints in 6 different roles so quite the all rounder.  She shares her parkrun birthday with Alfie, so that must mean two lots of cake then?  Together they've completed New Year's Day Doubles and run on Christmas day too.  That's the way to do it!  Proper parkrun positivity right there!


She told me:

'parkrun is just amazing. I was so nervous doing my first- Alfie did it with me (although he has run many more times than me) We ran, jumped, hopped, skipped and people were so encouraging. I have met some amazing people and feel lucky to be part of such a great running family. Such a shame work gets in the way sometimes..'

Well, we all think you are amazing too Rachel, thanks for sharing your parkrun story.  Isn't it extraordinary how so many of us rock up apprehensive and nervous our first time, and then never look back.  Yay you, and yay all of us your fellow parkrunning family too!  Stay safe.


Do you like rain?  Would you like a lockdown volunteering project?

Well you just got lucky then dear reader, because, if like Alfie you like rain and puddles but in addition are looking for a project whilst self-isolating, you could do worse than volunteer with this rainfall project they are seeking volunteers to digitise handwritten data on rainfall right back to the 1910's by inputting into boxes the scanned entries on rain gauges.  It's a lot more interesting and exciting than it sounds.  Your opportunity to make history.  I'm sure there must be some excel spreadsheet fans out there amongst you, this one is for you and your kind.  You no longer will have to hide the joy you feel in putting numbers into boxes, your enthusiasm will be properly harnessed for the greater good.  Won't that be wonderful?  You'll be able to quite literally tell if the rain gauge is half full!



This week notparkrunning at all were:

Rachel Savage, who is taking her notparkrunning very seriously indeed.  Repeating her home notaparkrun route, she not only achieved a new pb - well done for that, but also a STRAVA CROWN!  Now that opens up giddying possibilities for many of us.  You can set up your own strava segment on your drive or gunnel or wherever, or even your back garden, and pretty much guarantee you can hold the crown for that for decades if you choose wisely. Well done, great initiative there.  Thanks for sharing.  I'm wondering if you'll keep your pb going for a hat trick next week?  Keep us posted.  Bravo.

 RS pb RS stravacrown

Jenny Gallacher

Not joining us again for the second week running was Jenny, who I'm pleased to say took on board the feedback from last week and was wearing the correct t-shirt this time round.  Well done Jenny, your willingness to amend your approach in the interests of keeping up morale in challenging times was both noted and appreciated.  She reported:

'Got my running attire right this weekend & went off out into the countryside, straight from my front door of course with no unnecessary journeys involved! Managed to avoid gates by staying mainly on the country roads. Quieter than last week although I did see a police car keeping an eye on everyone!'

Jenny Gallagher

**STOP PRESS** late additions...

Catherine Bowman, took notparkrunning to the steps in the woods today.  Well done, nice t-shirt choice there too, I do appreciate a good milestone tee.  Thanks so much for staying away.  Delighted you did so.  Implementing social distancing sufficiently rigorously I can't be sure if that's another Bowman household member just ahead or not.  I'm guessing yes, so a family affair to boycott Sheffield Hallam parkrun this week.  Jolly well done!

bowman steps

Welcoming notparkrunning tourists:

Once again we were blessed with tourists choosing not to parkrun with us.  We couldn't be more thrilled you stayed away.

Julie Anne Armstrong - delighted you didn't join us!  Some habits never change though, and when touristing at different parkruns it's important to turn up early in case you need extra time to find the loos or parking or whatever.  As well as catching the first timers' briefing. I invariably turn up paranoically early if I'm touristing.  Well I thought I was pretty extreme.  Still, some will always take this to new limits, so a special shout out to Julie Anne Armstrong who didn't arrive to parkrun with us a whole week early.  Missing Graves parkrun, she took to the hills wearing her purple tee.  Great work Julie, thanks for staying away!  Nice social distancing too, not a soul in sight.

JAA hills Julie Anne Armstrong

Phil Baggaley - also gets a parkrun tourist notaparkrun shout out for not joining us today. He did his notaparkrun on Friday apparently, to avoid the crowds, but is missing us because he says he 'love your parkrun!'.  Phil has excellent taste and judgement, and we look forward to welcoming him for actually coming again one day as opposed to thanking him for staying well away. Stay safe tourist friend, and well done for taking your notaparkrunning so seriously.  It's the right thing to do!  :)  Here he is, joining us with his daughter for the International Women's Day parkrun on 7th March this year.


taking notaparkrun to new heights was John Griffin

John Griffin follows in the footsteps of a growing list of people managing great feats during isolation, such as marathons on balconies. He scaled 41,000 steps to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest.  That's impressive, and as he most definitely wasn't parkrunning anywhere, I'll take that as a tourist offering. Well done John!  Read all about 'man climbing Everest on his staircase here, and feel free to emulate for next week's notaparkrun if the mood should seize you or if cabin fever sets in and madness takes over.  I'm not that interested in your motivation, I just need material for my notarunreport or it will never see the light of day again.


Recreating a parkrun at home:

easy by comparison don't you agree?

creat parkrun at home

parkrun HQ have spoiled us with these suggestions of how to recreate a parkrun of your own at home so you can notparkrun with enthusiasm, and if you share your adventures with us all next week, you might even make the next notaparkrun notarunreport.  Now wouldn't that be grand!

Dive in to explore the full glory of their 'six ways to recreate parkrun' suggestions here.  I'll be seriously impressed if any of you can top this, but then again, you are a talented lot...


What's parkrun?  Look on in wonder and laugh along too:

Or you could just enjoy hearing about the parkrun experience all over again by enjoying this chortle inducing account explaining 'what even is this parkrun thing?' for the uninitiated. It's done the rounds before, but can't have too much of a good parkrun thing now can you?  Don't be fooled by the subtitles, you totally need the sound on for the full experience of this!  You need to click on the text link by the way, it won't work if you click on the picture for some reason.  I think I've identified a training need in my wordpress usage...

what even is this parkrun thing

International Women's Day parkrun - the film!

You've done the parkrun now watch the film!  Henry Clark was out and about at our International Women's Day themed parkrun back on 7th March.  He's now edited his video, which was part of his coursework for his journalism course at the University of Sheffield.  You can find out more and view the video by following this link.  Well done Henry, and well done Monday Mobsters, immortalised on film as is only right and proper!  Here is Henry with Sandi Carman, who facilitated the filming.


Doesn't that seem like a lifetime ago though?  As Hannah Whiteoak commented, it is indeed 'So weird to see people with their arms around each other! Looking forward to getting back to this. Miss you all'.  I think we are all missing it, surely it isn't just the third notaparkrunday.  Oh well, perhaps we'll appreciate it even more when we are back!

Fancy trying this?

See what I did there?  Nope, well you will in a bit!  Alness and Invergordon area Fancy Dress Runners are experimenting with an idea to head off down local roads for their runs in fancy dress to add a bit of enrichment to the lives of people stuck at home with only a window to gaze through for entertainment.  Check out their Alness and Invergordon Fancy Dress Runners Facebook page and like it to follow their adventures.  I think it's grand.  Right up there with the Australian initiative to have folk dress up to put their bins out to banish isolation blues.  Genius.

alness alness and invergordon fancy dress bin fancy

A decade of junior parkrunning:

Hopefully you are familiar with and sold on the joys of junior parkrun.  Celebrating 10 years of junior parkrun you can read all about how it came to be on the parkrun blog.  junior parkrun is the most fun it is possible to have on a Sunday morning FACT.  To be present at a junior parkrun is to experience an oasis of hilarity and hope.  A concentrated inoculation of joy to keep you going through the week ahead.  It will be back.  Yay to Paul Graham for having the vision to make it so!  Paul Graham is pretty awesome to be fair, Paul Graham will be doing the Sunday morning junior parkrun virtual warm up this week too. Tune in people, or catch up retrospectively, whatever works for you!

Paul Graham warm up

Duck shot:

I'm stretching things with this choice of picture this week, but I think you'll forgive me.  I've tried to find who to credit for the photo, but I can't find the original source, but we can perhaps enjoy this for now until someone issues me with a cease and desist notice.  Thank you whoever captured this baby duck-billed platypus you have won the internet for the day.  Also, FYI, did you know a baby duck-billed platypus is called a puggle?  I know!  You're welcome.  Actually, I looked it up and some killjoy has commented 'actually that isn't technically correct' but it seems the term has circulated sufficiently it's become recognised parlance which is good enough for me.  I really hope this is an actual puggle, and not a soft toy or internet hoax, in which case I shall be reverting to ducks only in future, but for now, may it bring you joy!

duck billed platypus puggle

Looks like it might have been having a bash at the Joe Wicks work out.  I joined him for the first time on yesterday for the Fancy Dress Friday one.  Ohmygaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawd, I had no idea I was so unfit.  Terrifying.  Could hardly move today.  Still, maybe that's for the best, seeing as we are all supposed to be staying safe indoors for the duration eh?


Let me know if you want these notarunreports to continue by liking the report using the button below so I get a bit of feedback. Hope you are all staying safe, and keep on sharing the parkrun love. It seems like an age since we were all gathered together, but that time will come around again and won't it be grand!  Tears will flow and laughter too!  Remember, you aren't stuck at home, you are safe at home. Big difference.  :)

Until the, Stay safe,  stay at home and now wash your hands please.  See you the other side!

Lucy Marris, parkrunner A448776



International Women’s Day Sheffield Hallam video report

Good afternoon, we hope you are all well and staying safe. Although there has been no parkruns it’s been great to see what you’ve been getting up to keep active (If you want to see others have been keeping active, check out Lucy’s amazing notarun report which will be published soon).

We also want to say a massive thank you to all the Key Workers who are part of our parkrun community. Keep up the fantastic work you are doing, we all here at Sheffield Hallam parkrun appreciate it.

As you may remember on the 7th March we held our International Women’s Day parkrun. We had an amazing run up to the event with daily posts of fantastic women, then during the run we had a sea of purple with multiple camerawomen/cameramen out on the course as well. It was a spectacular event which we can all be proud of.

You can read the full run report for the IWD Sheffield Hallam parkrun event here.

Not only were there 4 or 5 different people out taking photos we also had Henry Clark, who is a journalism student from the University of Sheffield down filming.  Here is Henry with Run Director Sandi Carman, who helped facilitate the shoot.


The final clip he produced was used for his course. He’s been extremely kind to allow us to share it with all of you too, so thank you. We hope you enjoy it.

You can view the clip by following this link

Thank you Henry!

DSCF1640 DSCF1672

Personally, and although probably very biased, I think the final clip is absolutely fantastic.
There is a number of key messages that we can all take from it:

  • parkrun is for everyone, no matter how old for you are.
  • Come down and volunteer first if you’re unsure, then have a go (we have numerous people at Sheffield Hallam who have done just this).
  • Walk, jog or run, no matter what your ability, no matter how fast or slow. You will never be last and you will always be supported.

More than ever from all of us at Sheffield Hallam parkrun, Stay Safe, Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives. And hopefully we will see you all again sometime soon.

Alex Harding wrote the above, posted by Lucy Marris, who added photos she took on the day.


Inaugural virtual Sheffield Hallam notaparkrun notarunreport 28 March 2020


Do you remember what it was like in the olden days?  The giddy delight of being able to get up on a Saturday morning and head off to join a parkrun. That now seems but a dim and distant memory.  parkrunday, the day formerly known as Saturday, has reverted to being notaparkrunday.  It was only two weeks ago that we got to do one, does that not seem incredible to you?

Today, there was no parkrun, there are no parkruns.  Well done Sheffield Hallam parkrunners for heading the advice to stay away from each other, stay away from the park, go home, stay home.  However, extra well done to those who got creative in coming up with appropriately socially distanced or solo alternative at-home activities to keep the parkrun spirit alive, and keep the Sheffield Hallam parkrun community connected.  Some shared their adventures on our Facebook post and you can admire and enjoy their adventures here.  We are all missing our parkruns, but it's for the greater good.

Remember people:

stay home



I wonder how many of you, dear readers, can remember the days of long ago and far, far away.  Time's past when on a Saturday morning you didn't even have to think about it, you just got up and headed to Endcliffe Park with your barcode and joined your parkrun family for more than just a run in a park.  It seems like a lifetime ago, but was actually only a fortnight.  Two weeks!  Blimey, it certainly feels like the olden days and but a distant memory to me.

Worry not though dear reader, we can still keep our parkrun connectivity if we try.  Whilst we must not gather at the usual parkrun time and place (really, please, please don't do that, it's not the right thing to do), we can re-enact parkrun adventures in our own unique ways, always appropriately socially distanced, and possibly even from within the comfort of our own homes.  Others have done this, using ingenuity and creativity to host their own inaugural events in their own back gardens, complete with selfie frames - top these dear reader if you can, though getting an actual tail walker in frame as well is a tough challenge I know!

Thanks to UK parkrun tourists Kirsty Wonders, Natalie Vidler of the Muxton Inaugural Isolation parkrun (their matching leggings would also make them a contender for our parkrun fashionistas slot), Rachel Toft and Paul Barrett for being early innovators in the manufacture of self-made selfie frame prototypes.  Loving your work.  They may not quite achieve going viral - but who would want to do that right now anyway to be fair - instead it's much better than instead they do get to be immortalised in our inaugural Sheffield Hallam not-a-parkrun not a run report, and what greater joy in life is it possible to imagine.   You could be too, if you let me know your adventures on future notparkrundays for the duration.  Just saying.  Take responsibility for taking up opportunities as they present themselves.  You know you want to.  This could be the start of your new career as a social media influencer, whatever that is...

 Kirsty Wonders Muxton isolation run rachel selfie parkrun Barrett1 parkrun Barrett


Our virtual inaugural!

Ok, so I admit, we kept this virtual inaugural a bit quiet, not wishing to be inundated until we'd worked out how to not run it most effectively.  However, the plan is to stay connected whilst parkruns are on pause by sharing our not-a-parkrun Saturday morning activities.  If you are up for this, share your adventures on the weekly Facebook post asking what you did on parkrunday, and we can still get our weekly parkrun-related fix in new creative ways.  Unless nobody responds of course, and my pitiful pleading post ends up being the Facebook equivalent of screaming into a void, in which case this will be a one and only offering.  If you like the idea then please like this report, it will give me hope :)

We are actually late to the party on this Tring parkrun have taken it all very seriously, including volunteering roles and giant barcodes, but we don't have to be intimidated by that, we can be inspired and raise our game accordingly.  Here's their offering from their own virtually brilliant parkrun number two:

tring parkrun

Thanks Tring parkrun for sharing the idea and Martin Bishop for the heads up too!

Getting Creative.  Check out our amazing not parkrunners not parkrunning:

So I put a call out to see what you'd all been up to.  It seems that our International Women's Day parkrun was a particular hit as it was almost 100% females who didn't parkrun this week.  Excellent notparkrunning from all of you. Read on to learn about freedom notparkruns; garden notparkruns and other notparkrun related Saturday morning features from across the field.

Arguably, this was the most inclusive notaparkrun ever, as you could participate in the manner of your choosing, in the place of your choosing and the style of your choosing and not even a barcode required - though best not get complacent on that score, and for authenticity, wearing a barcode is good notaparkrun practice.  Don't break the habit!  #dfyb

Thank you Hawker household for the lovely photo.  I'm sure it will inspire many to get in touch!

not a parkrun

So, drum roll....

Today's notaparkrunners were:

1) Fran Grace: Monday Mobster/ Vegan Runner/ Freedom parkrunner and all-round awesome

fran freedom

Fran has opted to carry on doing the parkrun route (but not at 9.00 a.m. on a Saturday) and logging them as freedom runs.  This is basically a way you can still record the date and time of any runs on any given parkrun course, just for your personal records.  It's easy to do.  Basically, log in to your profile by clicking on the highlighted 'manage my profile' button  (you should be able to find the link for this from a results or volunteering thank you email).  Once in your profile, scroll down to go to 'freedom' click on it, and you'll get to a new page where you can simply add the details from a drop down list. Date, time and select which parkrun course you did.  Simples.

resultsfreedom freedom run

Good thinking Fran - and she's stuck with it too, and her performance is astonishingly consistent as she's been first finisher every week!  But don't take my word for it, here is her verbatim report:

'I have just completed my third freedom parkrun and guess what – I came first! And last, but that’s not quite so unusual. But get this – I also volunteered as tail walker! I did a great job of motivating myself (you’re doing great, keep going, just one more lap, nearly there, think of how amazing you’ll feel when you’ve done it…). I didn’t have any problems with the crowds and nobody lapped me!

Having never done a freedom parkrun before this week I can definitely recommend it. As someone who likes structure and goals, this is the perfect way to keep me motivated in this barren time of no parkruns. The social side leaves something to be desired, though I had a nice chat with the ducks on my first one. My second one was brightened by meeting a running friend and having a chat with her (at a safe distance of course). Today’s freedom parkrun was mostly about getting my head down and getting it done as it was very cold but I now have a warm glow knowing that I have done my quota of exercise today.

I’m going to make freedom parkrun part of my weekly exercise routine, but not at 9am on a Saturday morning. That’s something to look forward to in the future!
Fran Grace'

Cheer Fran, that's brilliant!  I don't know how many people make use of Freedom Runs, I'd always thought they were a bit pointless... until now, when suddenly they seem a great way to keep on track during this parkrun famine.  I bumped into a fellow parkrunner from Sheffield Hallam on Saturday morning in the queue at Sainsburys.  We did the weird keep a distance dance that you do when you excitedly see people you know but can't come within 2 metres of them.  She was saying she too is sticking with doing the route, run/walking it for now, but determined to be running the whole thing by the time parkrun is back.  She will be too, that was steel determination in her eyes if I wasn't very much mistaken.  If you are reading this, post a picture on the Facebook page and I'll add it in, you can inspire everyone else, and you can be accountable to us if that helps too.  Logging freedom runs would work for that too.

2) Jane Naylor:

Who I'm sure was happy on the inside, and thrilled to discover Crookes is actually hillier than Endcliffe Park, so that's good to know if you are out and about. She went for the traditional 5k route but on new territory.  Thanks for sharing Jane and it's so uplifting to see what fun you had.  I'm sure anyone who sees your facebook feed and who isn't already a parkrunner will be nagging you to find out how to register in time to take part once this time passes and we are free to parkrun all over again.  Thanks for being a fab ambassador for our notparkrunning initiative.  Was that an attempt at strava art by the way.  I can't work out if it's a profile of Tintin or a really scary and slightly disturbing clown.  Mind you, clowns are inherently disturbing aren't they, so that would be fine.  Good work though, well done.  Very creative and innovative multi tasking going on there.  Be proud.

glamour of diy not a parkrun tintin


3) Rachel Suddrick and Running Buddy Alfie

this twosome took a detour.  Now normally, junior parkrunners have to be in arm's reach of a responsible adult, which is tricky what with the 2 metre distancing rule.  However, don't worry, this parkrunning duo are from the same household, so it was fine for them to go out and about together, remembering the most important rule about both parkrun and coincidentally notaparkrun too, which is to HAVE FUN.  So much fun they had, interrupting their run to stop and admire the flowers.  Check out Alfie's photographic talents too - not long before we'll be signing him up as a volunteer photographer if he'd just keep still for long enough to lineup some shots.

Extra Kudos to Rachel for sporting a vintage Sheffield Half Marathon running top - that should have been happening this weekend.  Oh well, taking the half-full approach, when all these rescheduled events get pushed to Autumn, participants will get to run a whole hat trick of half and full marathons on consecutive events.  Maybe it's just as well we are all being forced to rest up a bit now! Good work Rachel and Alfie, keep it up!

jnr photographer Rachel and alfie

4) The Brilliant Bowmans

Ella (and dad Jim) did their notaparkrun in their garden on Saturday- 250 lengths of the grass! Lucy and Catherine Bowman did a local 5k instead. I'm told they are missing our parkrun and friends.  I think we all are, but huge respect to them all for such a fabulous effort.  I hope you had a suitable post notaparkrun brunch to help you recover afterwards.  Great counting too!

garden parkrun

5) Rachel Savage

Also taking the stay at home message to heart, was Rachel Savage, who also did a fine notaparkrun in her garden.  Phew, that's impressive.  I wonder if you'll try it again next notaparkrunday and see if you can get a new pb?  Respect.

garden reps

Such home based lapping is massively impressive, and you should be inspired.  But if these stories (inexplicably) aren't inspiring enough, then how about this chap from Sidcup, James Page, who ran a whole marathon in his back garden?

garden run James Page

Ups the ante doesn't it.  If he can knock out 26.2 miles, you should be able to conjure up a 5k within the boundaries of your home.  Or at least invest effort in giving it a go!  Also, if you are doing 873 laps, then there's a reasonable chance the official appropriately socially distanced photographer might get a decent shot of you running at some point, or if you are on your own that's 873 opportunities to try out the self-timing feature on your camera or phone.  I know, food for thought.

Oh, and if you think a full marathon is a bit much, then those of you who were all geared up to do the Sheffield Half can maybe take on that distance instead, like Sam Hustler who just achieved that on a 3m balcony.  I clearly need to get more creative about exercising at home!  I hope his balcony is still structurally sound after all that gallumphing about and that his neighbours below are not overly reactive to noise!  They may not have been before, but I bet they are now...  Exercise responsibly whilst notparkrun notparkrunners!  Still awesome though!

Sam Hustler RW

I expect to see a lot more appropriately documents home-based notaparkruns offered up for inclusion in next week's notaparkrun not a run report from the Sheffield Hallam parkrun community.  The challenge has been made!

6) Sarah Hawker... 

There's always going to be some Mischief Makers in these situation.  Taking to the roads in daring defiance of the usual #nrorr (never run on Rustlings Road) directive, was this twosome (thanks for the pic at the top too) with Sarah Hawker celebrating finally able to run on Rustlings Road!  Well, to be fair, in this strange new world of social distancing and empty streets that's not such a bad idea as it sounds!  I'm so glad we didn't have runners taking selfies of themselves doing this on actual Sheffield Hallam parkruns though, that would most definitely have pushed co-event directors Louise and Finlay over the edge!  I have a feeling this shot might give them palpitations anyway. However, raising our heart beat now and again is probably a good idea in times of potentially sedentary social isolation so I'm prepared to risk it by sharing.  Thanks Sarah, made me laugh anyway, which may make it self-serving indulgence on my part to include it, but well worth being found guilty of that impulse for the joy of imagining the look on their faces when they realise what has been revealed to them as they scroll down to this post.  So Thank you!

no dont run on rustlings road!

Well, we have to take what simple pleasures where and when we can say I!  Also, lovely social distancing being modelled there.  Well done!

7) Emmer Toogood-Wortham

I'm going to take a wild guess and say I don't think that's the name she parkruns under, but fair dos, Emmer did her notaparkrun around Heeley on Saturday notaparkrunday morning, but said 'would have rather been in the park but oh well! Xx'  You still did it though, and therefore deserve to have your efforts recorded for posterity here. Well done you, and keep the faith! Can't see your barcode about your person though.  Next week, have that in shot, it will add authenticity to your notaparkrun parkrun reconstruction.


8) Jenny Gallacher

Jenny told us her run 'was all about avoiding the crowds as all of a sudden everyone seems keen to get out for a walk!! Found some lovely quiet country lanes to run on. Missing parkrun but a Saturday morning lie-in is quite pleasant!!' 

Thank you for martyring yourself by heading out later than usual to avoid the usual parkrun time slot.  It's so important we don't all end up congregating at the same time.  Looks like your run route wasn't too shabby, and you manage to keep appropriately distanced too.  Well done!  Thanks for sharing. Bit of feedback for you for next time, would like to see you in a parkrun tee, I mean you look great (obvs), but let's keep the parkrun dream alive!

Jenny avoiding the crowds

9) Russell KareBear Stroish

Not yet confined to home Russell tells us 'I was greedy. Did 6 parks in one run. Keep safe and see you all soon for Endcliffe parkrun'.  Wowsers, that's banking some mileage for when the lockdown really does keep us all closer to home.  Am I correct in thinking this is another Strava art offering.

Russell karebear

It looks like a little girl in a skirt doing hopscotch, looking down at her feet contemplating where to jump next.  Very creative Russell well done.  Any chance of a strava art care bear next time?  Or any other iconic toy of your choosing if you think the Care Bear is a bit clichéd?

Thanks in anticipation.

Welcoming tourists:

Our home Sheffield Hallam notaparkrunners were all pretty awesome, but that's not all.  Not joining us were some parkrun tourists came from near and far!

1) Carol Speight

A tourist from near.  Not joining us from Graves parkrun was Carol Speight, AKA Smiley Selfie Queen in case you are trying to place her.  Also, a Tiger.  You remember the Smiley Paces Smiletastic running challenge yes?  Four teams, each comprised of a different endangered species, well she was a Tiger.  Who knows who won, but in smiletastic there are winners, whereas at parkrun everyone's a winner although there is no actual winner, just a first finisher, just to be clear.  Although, Carol is a winner in my eyes for keeping up the notaparkrun parkrun spirit and for being a top tiger too.  You're grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

She did a 5k, a Tiger themed work out at home AND did so with tiger ears and a parkrun milestone tee.  That's the way to do it.  Loving your work(out)!

carols 5k tiger parkrun tiger workout

Also, fab to see you notaparkrunner tourist from afar...

2) Gill Justice

And as a tourist not joining us from far, I give you the ever lovely Gill Justice.  Her home run is Victoria Dock parkrun - affectionately known as Vicky D.  She commented

'Sheffield Hallam is my second home - most runs here after Vicky D - also not running at Hallam this week along with all the regulars not running'  Thanks so much for not being with us today Gill, absolutely correct on all counts.  Very happy not to have you here.  Though stay safe near the Excel arena - that's scary stuff...  She did the Thames Barrier (South) notaparkrun inaugural, and was not only highest in her age category, but first finisher overall AND got a volunteer credit as tailwalker.  Phew, she must have needed a lie down after that.  Think she might be wearing a With Me Now buff...

not a parkrun vicky d parkrun tourist

parkrun statsgeeks corner:

Not gonna lie, the stats options are a bit thin on the ground this week, but mercifully parkrun HQ have again spoiled us with some lovely random stats.

There are more parkruns starting with the letter B than any other letter of the alphabet - 215 in total.

Followed by

  • C - 193
  • S - 186
  • W - 153
  • M - 152

The least common? Z

Of course Z. I was supposed to be in Poland at Zamek W Malborku parkrun this weekend nabbing that. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things… still gutted though ☹ However, this time will pass, and imagine how fabulous it will be when all the parkrun joy rises phoenix like through the flames of this destructive Covid 19 to relaunch with even greater vigour, colour and joy than before! It’s going to be great!

Also, Elliott Line has kept the faith and still produced his weekly stats!  As a tribute to his work ethic I shall reproduce his report in full.  It's still interesting!  Well, I think it is, people are still registering for parkrun, I find that heartening.  This time will pass, those registrations are an act of hope!

There were 332 new registrations in the past seven days,

The events with the highest number of registrations in the past seven days were: Banksia Hill (Australia) 7, Devils Peak (Australia) 6, Woodlands (South Africa) 4, Ashton Court (UK) 3, Futakotamagawa (Japan) 3, Kuzminki (Russia) 3, Ruimsig (South Africa) 3, Odakaryokuchi (Japan) 3, Novosibirsk naberezhnaya (Russia) 3, Clapham Common (UK) 3, Wollaton Hall (UK) 3.

Normally he lists all the cancellations and the reasons why - I think in the circumstances, it might be a bit unfair to accuse him of slacking for omitting those details this week!  Thanks Elliott :)



Just so you know - parkrun related online distractions:

Although it's really, really sad that we are missing our parkrun fix, the good news is that there are some creative alternatives out there to keep us going during these dark days:

1) Like the parkrun UK Facebook page

It's the best way to keep up with developments, so if you just do one thing, do that.  Link to the parkrun UK Facebook page here.

parkrun uk

2) Free, Weekly, Timed:

This is the 'official' parkrun podcast.  It's probably the best place for extended explanations of the current situation.  You can like and follow the Free Weekly Timed Facebook page to keep up to date with when the podcasts come out.  Follow this link to access the latest podcast and previous episodes.  It is worth a listen, but I find the informal style of With Me Now' more appealing.

A free, weekly, timed podcast - it's a parkrun thing! is hosted by Breakfast radio’s Vassos Alexander & parkrun volunteer & 250-clubber Helen Williams.  With help from uber-tourist Louise Ayling & Producer Patrick



3) Try a junior parkrun warm-up routine from the comfort of your own home.

awesome warm up

Here's Helen Hood, putting you through your moves.  Epic.  She's head of event delivery apparently, which sounds very busy and important.  But that's not the aspect of most interest.  What's of most interest is her ability, and that of her Yorkshire appropriately socially distanced sidekick - to maintain coordination as the exercises get ever more complex.  Respect!

What's more they are going to share a BRAND NEW warm-up routine EVERY Sunday - Free & fun for all the family - do it in your garden or living room.  It will be published at 9:00am on the YouTube channel


4) School of parkrun - this is a new initiative starting tomorrow - by which I mean Monday 30th March 2020 just to be clear.  Worth checking in for perhaps.

school of parkrun

Each morning parkrun HQ will set you a new challenge for the day on their YouTube channel, and you can then send them your work on social media using the hashtag #schoolofparkrun and they’ll share some of our favourites each day!

5) parkrun has gamely been experimenting with The Big parkrun Quiz.  Erm

great bit parkrun quiz

Now, I'm not going to lie, I've watched it twice, and I really, really wanted to love it, but it didn't really float my boat.  However, maybe your boat benefits from different buoyancy aids to mine.  Also, I do pathologically hate pub quizzes so perhaps it was a stretch too far to think I'd suddenly come to love them just because it was parkrun themed.  The idea is sound, but not for me.  But even so, to stay connected, you could give it a go, set up a watch party, don't rule it out.  The first one was on a Saturday morning, but this week (last week) they did it on Friday night.  Well, it's not as if we were going out anywhere was it?  Subscribe to the youtube channel to check it out, and then just as it goes live you download a quiz sheet.

To join the great big parkrun quiz live, you need to subscribe to the parkrun YouTube channel and you'll keep up to speed with when it's on - I think they are going for Saturday morning again at 9.00 a.m. GMT again this week, as that's when parkrun uk would be happening but perhaps they'll alternate so parkrunners worldwide can take part.  Put on your favourite parkrun kit, grab a coffee - or alternative beverage of choice & join the fun!  You'll be able to watch it later if you missed out on the live version.

The questions were fun, it was just a bit slow moving for me.  Maybe you need to be at the intersection of this Venn diagram for it to set your heart on fire:

loves parkrun loves quizzes

But don't be put off by my experience, there were many enthusiasts

Miranda Habermel commented on their link 'was brilliant and a great substitute for a parkrun without any commuting' and she may reflect your response more than mine.

I do think though it should be pretty much compulsory to like and follow the parkrun UK Facebook page, as that will keep you connected to the parkrun community more widely, and in the current climate we need that community cohesion more than ever!

6) With Me Now - podcasts, live Facebook not parkrun parkfaff on a Saturday morning from 11 and last week parkrun pictionary! What's not to like?

I love this site, Danny Norman and Nicola - oh, just realised, I don't know her surname, anyway together as With Me Now deliver unofficial weekly podcasts from parkruns all over.  This is not official to parkrun, but I love it.  Their about us describes them as 'About parkrun passion by passionate parkrunners' and they are.   A very chatty style and creative too. If you follow the With Me Now Facebook page as I do, you could for example have spent 25 minutes every lunchtime last week playing parkrun pictionary and admiring Dolly the cat in the background of shot as Danny and Bev went Facebook Live.  Highly recommended, Danny is currently doing a Facebook Live at around 11.00 a.m. on a Saturday so you can join him and virtual others - Elliott Line statsgeek extraordinaire for one - for post parkrun parkfaff and recreate the post parkrun coffee and chat experience.  I thought it was great, but just give it a go!  Here's the link from yesterday to give you the idea, but you really need to watch it in real time to be fair.  He does something live most days and is well informed about parkrun policy and gossip and seems to know everyone really.  If you comment on his feeds, he might give you a shout out too, so it's more interactive.

I can't find a decent photo of him so this screen shot will have to do, the cat is called Dolly. There's another cat called Arthur, but only ever seen disappearing out of shot.  Honestly, for me, this is the closest you'll come to replicating the parkrun experience in lockdown, so do consider giving it a whirl.

with me now


7) Experience Woolacombe parkrun - allegedly one of the toughest in the UK, through the wonders of go-pro technology.  Thanks Pete Hurdman - check out the Dune of Doom.

8) Make your own notaparkrun selfie frame in preparation for posting your pics of you not parkrunning next notaparkrunday.

So there you go, hopefully some parkrun related entertainment to tide you over.  All of these are much better options than sticking magnets up your nose in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, however well intentioned.  No really, they are.  I don't care if you are an astrophysicist.  It's most definitely contraindicated.

astophysicist guardian 30 3 2020

Remember, virtual Sheffield Hallam not-a-parkrun continues next week - subject to notparkrunning peeps letting me know their stories and adventures.

Running in the age of Covid-19

These are the latest rules on running in the age of Covid 19 by the way.

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
  • you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

Resist the temptation to go too far afield, embrace HIITS training, stay home to keep everyone safe and please respect the directive of Derbyshire police and Edale Mountain Rescue Team - the mountain rescue team post is well worth a read. Yes it is hard, but it isn't a national holiday, it's an international emergency.  The message was contradictory a week ago, but it isn't any more.  Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives.  The Peak District will still be there at the end of this, but some people won't be.  Let's keep that number as low as possible by doing all we can to break the chain and stop the spread.  This is not how I thought it would be at the end of days to be fair, worrying about toilet paper and being thought rude for backing away from people in the street, but a lot better than eating each other in a zombie apocalypse, so let's count our blessings.  And that clapping for carers thing last Thursday, that was properly good wasn't it.  Something in my eye...

It was always about the coffee...

Oh what's that?  What have I been doing parkrun wise?  Erm, well, watching parkrun pictionary, feeling sad at missing my parkrun friends and carbing up in anticipation of parkrun relaunch.  Thank goodness for elasticated waists.  I am stroking my 250 tee a lot, and looking at it wistfully, longing for the days when we can head out and run again without being in breach of a lock down...

So bye for now, keep in virtual touch, physical distance but social connectivity and parkrun positivity remember.  This Sheffield Hallam notaparkrun not a run report could be a regular feature or might be a one off.  You decide!  Be happy however your notaparkrun activities unfold.  It's sad being without our regular parkrun buddies, but it was always about the coffee remember - as in the collective post parkrun shared coffee and catch up experience, and they shall never take that away from us!  We might need to do it differently and virtually for a bit, but those connection will endure!


Incidentally, that coffee cup was one at an early parkrun ambassadors conference, so official parkrun kit.  Isn't that wonderful.  I wish it was official merchandise too, I'd 'add to cart'.  That's the thing about parkrun, it's so much more than a run in a park.  That's why it can continue even when there is not a run in a park at all.  Yay!  Here's to parkfaffing to keep the dream alive!

Stay safe,  stay at home and now wash your hands please.  See you the other side!

Lucy Marris, parkrunner A448776




Keeping it positive, celebrating even more Sheffield Hallam parkrun heroes!

Thanks to Alex Harding for this positive post!

Good evening, there’s definitely a strange feeling around at the moment. And it was definitely strange not doing parkrun on Saturday. There is plenty of talking going on behind the scenes about the new Endcliffe parkrun, whenever it may start.

With that we are going to start this week off with an appreciation post. During IWD week, we showcased some amazing women. We also have another group of people who deserve just as much appreciation as the 3 amazing women.

2 of them are our regular run directors Ben and John. Both who have been run directors for a while and again numerous volunteers between them. Without these two again parkrun just wouldn’t be the same and we can’t thank them enough.

Here's John:

John Rafferty

Ben has also been heavily involved in the creation of the new Endcliffe parkrun course, coming up with many different potential courses but also being the ever important measurer, walking the course with the measuring wheel, hopefully measuring it to the millimetre.  Here he is - with flying feet, courtesy of George Carman.

Ben Heller

There is also one extra special person to mention. That is our very own Finlay. Now Finlay is definitely the youngest of the core volunteers, however, he has stepped up massively taking up the role of Co-Event Director. Being young hasn’t stopped Finlay from taking on part of the biggest roles at the event. Finlay not only is a lovely person but just like many people gave up his Saturdays just to volunteer. He’s volunteered over 150 times and only ran just twice. Finlay brings a lot of energy to parkrun (oh and also a bit of whinging too, but only when it’s cold, I think we need to invest in some thermals for him ;) ).

Finlay freezing

Again without these three great people we can’t thank enough for everything they do for parkrun. Just like you we all are finding it extremely difficult at the moment but cannot wait until we are back, whenever it may be.

Keep your eyes peeled throughout the week for some Sheffield Hallam/Endcliffe parkrun fun. For now though, keep safe, stay at home and fingers crossed we will back back sooner rather than later.

The original Facebook post is here, if you want to read the lovely comments added to the tribute - it will warm your heart cockles I promise!

Lucy Marris, parkrunner A448776


and finally… Sheffield Hallam parkrun, gone but not forgotten

Sheffield Hallam parkrun
The ghost of parkruns past


events cancelled

Oh no!  Gutted.  parkruns worldwide are cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is really sad, but it will be alright in the end, and if it's not alright, then it's not the end.  In the grand scheme of things, parkrun is less important than the collective health and wellbeing of everyone globally.  What we choose to do as individuals will make a difference.  To that end, the message from parkrun HQ is really clear, parkrun Global COO Tom Williams put it like this:

"It is incredibly important that we do not go to our parkrun courses this Saturday.

  1. Because it's not the right thing to do for people's health.
  2. Because it will look like the parkrun family doesn't care about everyone's health."

Sad but true.

On the plus side, there are some alternative parkrun activities and options on offer, find out more in the longplay version of this newsletter below.  Also on the plus side, the community we have developed through Sheffield Hallam parkrun can help us through the challenges ahead.  Your parkrun family will be there for you as we hope you will be for it.

However, we can't ignore the fact this means we have had our last ever Sheffield Hallam parkrun.  Gone.  After ten years near enough.  Poof!  When we come back, it will be as the new Endcliffe parkrun.  We don't know now exactly when that might be, but we will keep you posted on Facebook and by email if you are registered to receive them.  Subscribe to us on a results email by opting in to the volunteer list if you haven't already done so.  Please keep checking in with us, that way we can keep our parkrun community alive and come back stronger and more sustainable than ever.  Probably not more photogenic though, because that would be impossible, we have broken all records and exceeded all expectations on that front already.  But, phoenix like, Endcliffe parkrun will rise, and it will be awesome.  You can be part of it, keep the faith!  We'll be back!

The much needed work to improve the paths in Endcliffe park prior to the launch of Endcliffe parkrun has been postponed for the foreseeable future, but we will need hardcore volunteers to help lay hardcore at some point, so please do keep in touch, and when the time comes, please step forward to help.  Personally I'm thinking it might be quite therapeutic, to literally rebuild our parkrun ready for the global relaunch that will come in time.  We will be back.  Phoenix like remember, it will be glorious!

In the absence of actual parkrun, you can enjoy a virtual parkrun experience by subscribing to the parkrun YouTube channel.  Rather ingeniously, they have launched a great big parkrun quiz, that will happen live on the parkrun YouTube channel every Saturday morning at 9.00 a.m.  Hurrah!  Let's all put on our favourite parkrun kit, grab a coffee - or alternative beverage of choice - and join the fun!  Apart but together.  Pretty sure you'll be able to watch it later if you miss out on the live version.

So try to stay positive, in the words of parkrun found Paul Sinton-Hewitt 'we will get through this together'.

our founder

The End.

Only not the end.  You didn't honestly think I'd leave it at that did you?


First off, we need to express gratitude to those early visionaries who got the Sheffield Hallam parkrun show on the road.  Some parkrunners have taken the 'on the Rustlings road' aspect more literally than we would have liked, but we need worry on that score no more!

Thanks to:

Everyone who has contributed to the success of Sheffield Hallam parkrun over the decade of its running.  We had hoped to do a proper thank you and hand over at the last parkrun which would have been on the 21st March.  Alas, that was not to be.   No worries, we can just do some of that with an extra epic launch for Endcliffe parkrun.  Even so, it seems fitting to write something to acknowledge the end of days for Sheffield Hallam parkrun and to put on record our gratitude to the many, many people who were behind the setting up of our parkrun as well as putting in innumerable hours of work to build it up and keep it going.  Perhaps for some parkrun seems to appear as if by magic every Saturday, but it's all done by volunteers.  A lot of time and energy is required to keep the parkrun show on the road, especially for a parkrun as large and complex as Sheffield Hallam.  Volunteers are just that, volunteers, they do it willingly, but it can be lonely and thankless at times, and it can take over a bit with all the bases that need to be covered.  It took a leap of faith to invest so much energy, time and hard work, blood, sweat and tears even to get the parkrun party started here at Endcliffe park.  parkrun is however a force for good in the world, and time invested in parkrun is time well spent.  Even so, we should be especially grateful to the early pioneers who saw the potential of parkrun and got it up and running. Yay, them.

MP end sheffield hallam

So many people to thank, the team of run directors, the debut parkrunners, everyone who's played their part in creating a positive and vibrant community in Endcliffe park.  Amongst the many, there are a few worthy of special mention.  Dear reader, a loud virtual cheer of special thanks to Ryan Amos and his boss at the time Frazer Johnson, who together gave life to Sheffield Hallam parkrun in the beginning.  It's easy, looking at the success of parkrun today, to forget that there was a time when no-one really had heard of parkrun or could get their head around why anyone would bother turning up to run round a park on a Saturday morning when by rights they could still be in bed.  It took tenacity and vision to commit to setting up the event and launching it to become the success it is today.

Here they are together for the first birthday celebrations in 2010.  Don't they make a fine couple!  Thanks Ryan thanks Frazer - you might still see them around and about in Endcliffe park, give them a high-five virtual elbow bump of thanks and recognition when you do.  Little did you know that from little beginnings 23,971 parkrunners would rock up in Endcliffe park to take part in the Sheffield Hallam parkrun over the next almost 10 years.  Between them they would complete 215,282 parkruns.  There would be 335 different first finishers, and 1,050 clubs represented.  I mean those figures would blow the average mind, even the exceptional one, and that's just here at Sheffield Hallam. The reach of parkrun globally is extraordinary.  Well done Ryan and Frazer, you gave a great gift to our community with your parkrun vision, and I for one thank you.  I can not imagine Saturday mornings without parkrun, which is a shame, as I suppose we are all about to find out just how grim that will be...

Ryan and Frazer 1st birthday

on to cheerier things.  Let's have a little look at some...

...Sheffield Hallam parkrun history:

In the absence of results from today, let's reflect on some facts and figures from Sheffield Hallam parkrun history.  Did you know that:

  • The first ever Sheffield Hallam parkrun was on 10th July 2010.  There were 36 parkrunners and 4 volunteers, with just one of those participants 'unknown'.  The average age of parkrunners was 37.   First female finisher was Dawn Broom, a member of the Penistone Footpath Runners AC -  at her first of only two Sheffield Hallam parkruns, but she's still parkrunning today (only not today because they are all cancelled obvs) and has 387 parkruns under her belt.   First male finisher was John Broom, at his only parkrun outing at Hallam.  He's also currently a member of the Penistone Footpath Runners AC and has since got 441 parkruns to his name.   There were 21 men taking part (assuming the unknown runner was male) and 14 women. The final finisher was 34.39, so pretty speedy. The four volunteers were the awesome foursome  Ryan AMOS, Alex BAILEY, Roger GIBBON and Frazer JOHNSON.  Thank you marshals!
  • The highest ever attendance at Sheffield Hallam parkrun was 884 on  4th May 2019 for event 436.  37 volunteers kept order.  437 men took part (including all the unknowns) and 334 women.  The final finisher, the tailwalker, came home to cheers and high fives in 53.11.  Slower participants show how the event has grown and how much more inclusive it has come.  Everyone is welcome.
  • The highest number of volunteers ever at Sheffield Hallam parkrun was 69 on the eleventh of January this year, 2020.  They kept 796 parkrunners in order.  The volunteer numbers were boosted by the Smiley Paces Running Club who did a takeover for the event.
  • The first event that exceeded the 100 mark was parkrun #13  on the 2nd October 2010.  124 parkrunners participated with just 4 volunteers supporting the run
  • The first event that exceeded the 200 mark was event #50  on 9th July 2011 - the first birthday for the event.  9 volunteers kept order.
  • To give some sense of how the event has grown, the lowest attendance this year, 2020 was 614 on 29th February at event # 475.

I'm afraid I can't find a record of the number of individual volunteers, but if I do I'll add it in. Suffice to say it wouldn't have happened without them, thanks to them all, old and new and still to come!

Here are some pictures from the first birthday celebrations, awww, look at the dinky start line up, and check the photos for some still familiar faces, those Monday Mobsters were practically founding members it seems, or at the very least early adopters of barcodes.  As I'm always saying, wise bunch that lot, wise indeed:

 1st birthday 2011 1st birthday start 1st volunteers 24 july 2010 vol Andrew Moncrieff first birthday mob

The portrait is of Andrew Moncrieff.  I was really pleased to stumble across this picture of him.  He was the first person I ever spoke to at parkrun.  I turned up quietly terrified, as is often the inaugural way, and he just seemed approachable.  I'd never run 5k in my life and was seriously wondering 'what was I thinking' as I lurked at the periphery.  I hesitatingly approached him to find out what to do.  He was incredibly welcoming and friendly, he just said, 'don't worry, just keep making progress to the next tree, or bench or whatever landmark, and walk if you need to'.  And he was so right, spot on advice.  He went on to explain he'd had heart surgery, and would more than likely be sweeping behind me.  He really gave me confidence that it was worth a shot just the once anyway... Never underestimate fellow parkrunners, the impact you can have when you welcome newcomers to the parkrun fold.  Thank you Andrew, I'd never have made it back for parkrun number two without your encouragement at my debut!  You, along with parkrun changed my life.  Andrew was actually named as parkrunner of the week in a parkrun newsletter for 2012.  It's worth having a look at what he says, he thanks 'resident photographer George Carman' incidentally -  also a stalwart and part of the furniture from early on it seems, thank you George - and Andrew also says, aptly:

'There are many people that make the Sheffield Hallam parkrun special. If I tried to name them all I would definitely forget someone! There are a number of people that encourage me every week as they lap me. You would be surprised to know how difficult it is to recognise them from the back view only!  However I am sure everybody would agree that Ryan Amos and Frazer Johnson have been instrumental in creating the supportive and encouraging environment that has seen our parkrun grow from less than 100 participants when I started in September 2010 to 341 on the 25th February 2012'.

Well said my friend. Plus ça change.

Thank you everyone who has shared in the adventure that was Sheffield Hallam parkrun, all of us are part of that story.  I hope over the next few weeks many of you will share a favourite story from your times at Sheffield Hallam parkrun, let's keep the memory alive for as long as we can.  It will sustain us whilst we have Endcliffe parkrun pending, which, let's be honest, could be a while...


parkrun Cancellations and parkrun messages:

I can't really write a newsletter without addressing directly the elephant in the room, which is NO PARKRUNS ANYWHERE FOR AGES.  We will all have our own thoughts about this, I for one am absolutely devastated but also support the decision.  I feel the best thing I can do is pull together the various announcements so at least dear reader you are up to date with the various messages, and then it's just going to be a collective 'watch this space' as we batten down the proverbial hatches and blink into an unknown future.

The bottom line is, that what with the weather and now coronavirus/ covid 19 (which sounds a lot less scary if you say it to the tune of Come On Eileen by the way) parkruns worldwide are now all cancelled.  I can't add much to that, it's not unexpected, it is the right thing to do, but that doesn't make it any less devastating.  I can no longer remember what I did on a Saturday morning, and I am sure I'm not alone in feeling my parkrun 'fix' is often what sustains me for the rest of the week.  It isn't just the physical exercise, it's the coming together, the feeling of community, the social interactions.  It's good for physical, emotional and mental health.  For those of us who are otherwise isolated it can be the most important, indeed only interaction of the week.  Of course it will be missed. However, what I hope we will find is the connections we have made, the shared adventures we have enjoyed and the wider community we have engaged with will help us all through the challenges ahead.  For many our parkrun family is our support network, parkruns may have vanished for now, but the connections and friendships we've made remain.  There are more good people in the world than not, parkrun brings out the best in people for the most part, it has been a force for good.  Scary as the pandemic is, it would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay scarier facing it without our parkrun buddies watching our backs.  So stay safe everyone, clean hands, warm and open hearts.  And remember, although they call it social distancing, it's actually physical distancing, social contacts and connections are more important than ever, just conduct them 6 foot apart.

So for those of you who haven't found them already, here are some of the key links where parkrun announce the cancellations,  explain their position, acknowledge the devastation the cancellation of parkrun will bring but urge parkrunners to respect the decision and putting it in context offer some positivity too:

  1. The first notice of cancellation was here I cried. 'Following government advice and public health guidelines, we are suspending events in Eswatini, Namibia, Russia, South Africa, and the UK from this weekend until at least the end of March.With this announcement parkrun is now closed in every territory around the world until further notice.'
  2. parkrun positivity from Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who made a message just for you, to help us stay upbeat, and to reassure us that we are going to get through it.  I'll tell you a secret, I have a bit of a crush on PSH, he really is amazing, it's no wonder I got horribly tongue tied the first time I met him.
  3. Free, Weekly, Timed podcast has a special edition, in which parkrrun Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams explains the decision & process of suspending all parkrun events across the globe, There's also a message from parkrun Founder Paul Sinton Hewitt:
  4. Nick Pearson, parkrun CEO WITH A PUPPY - on the impact of cancellations with a Facebook and why it is so important NOT TO MEET UP FOR INFORMAL PARKRUNS and taking individual responsibility for reducing the spread of the pandemic.  Worth a watch 'making personal decisions that are best for our community, not just us'.  The puppy is Appollo.

Oh, for your amusement, here is legend Paul Sinton-Hewitt, meeting parkrun super-legend Elisabeth, of Elisabeth's corner, who happens to be my mum, on the occasion of being awarded the 'Spirit of parkrun' award.  Her not him by the way.  So that's me, mingling with the stars. If you squint, you might just make me out being super cool and nonchalant in the back of the shot...  I prefer not to make a big deal of my glory by association, just quietly understated there I think, hobnobbing with celebrities.

 mum and paul LD35

 Aaargh 'so what happens now?'  Well, it's going to be a different world for sure, but worry not dear reader, I have some ideas.  Firstly though, let's enjoy whilst we can

Statsgeek corner:

parkrun UK have helpfully done some number crunching and inform us that:

Amongst the parkrun family there are:

12 Taps
39 Washs
2 Lathers
318 Hands

I don't think they looked for Covids, but I don't actually know.

Now, please wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds - which is coincidentally my only remaining bingo number to get.  One of each of the 'seconds' from 0-60 in my parkrun finish times. So near and yet so far.  If you haven't already checked out the Running Challenges gizmo, you should, it will keep you entertained with parkrun related activities until we are free to run together again.

I love the random stats!  Don't worry, I'm sure they will keep them coming during our dark period...

Planning our comeback:

Although it's hard to see (m)any positives, we can plan our return.  This scheming could even be an enrichment activity for some who are socially isolating.  See what else you can come up with.  As a starter, personally, I'd like to see a guest appearance of our pop-up Sheffield Hallam parkrun sign for one last time so people can do their souvenir pictures without resorting to photoshop. I'm wondering if we can do a symbolic running from the old sign to the new one or something.  Others might have better ideas, but what I'd really, really like us to do, is a version of this awesome shot which I stumbled across on the With Me Now, Facebook page, it was taken by Alison Farmer and I think we can agree won the internet for that day.  Could we have a lilliputian army surrounding our sign somehow?  That would be awesome!  Is he really small, or just far away? (one for Father Ted fans).  I'm sure we can do something if we put our collective minds to it...

New giant sign

 If you are craving a parkrun fix, then here are some practical things to keep you in the parkrun loop:

 ALTERNATIVES to parkrun:

Clearly, there is no absolute equivalent to parkrun, I guess it would be like pretending dried chicory constitutes actual coffee (honestly, that was a thing) or powdered eggs equate to actual eggs but even so there are some substitutes that we can make the best of in these dark and challenging times.  Here are a few suggestions, some more plausible and practical than others.  Feel free either to give these ideas a go (at your own risk, obvs) or point and laugh at the ludicrousness of the very idea, whatever gives you most pleasure.  In these days you have to snatch what moments of joy you can:

Join The Great Big parkrun Quiz:

I've already mentioned this, but worth doing so again.  Why not join the great big parkrun quiz, that will happen live on the parkrun YouTube channel every Saturday morning at 9.00 a.m.  Hurrah!  Let's all put on our favourite parkrun kit, grab a coffee - or alternative beverage of choice & join the fun!  Pretty sure you'll be able to watch it later if you missed out on the live version.

great bit parkrun quiz

Snuggle under the duvet and catch up on parkrun podcasts:

There are two go-to options for parkrun podcasts in my view, but perhaps you know of others.

Number one - Free, Weekly, Timed:

This is the 'official' parkrun podcast.  It's probably the best place for extended explanations of the current situation.  For example, they've just done a broadcast that includes Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams explaining the decision & process of suspending all parkrun events across the globe and a message from parkrun Founder Paul Sinton Hewitt.  You can like and follow the Free Weekly Timed Facebook page to keep up to date with when the podcasts come out.  Follow this link to access the latest podcast and previous episodes.  The pausing parkrun podcast is here.

A free, weekly, timed podcast - it's a parkrun thing! is hosted by Breakfast radio’s Vassos Alexander & parkrun volunteer & 250-clubber Helen Williams.  With help from uber-tourist Louise Ayling & Producer Patrick

Actually, now I come to think of it didn't Vassos Alexander rock up at the VitalityMove Event at Chatsworth one time.  Jess Ennis was there, and complimented me on my giraffe, so they must be an alright team too.

There you go, that's hours of your life kept busy without even having to leave the sofa!  I've not got into the habit of listening to this one, but I will from now on!



Number two - With Me Now:

Honestly, I listen to this one more.  It's independent of parkrun, but put together by Danny Norman who is incredibly passionate about parkrun and very open in sharing his experiences, and good at getting others to share theirs too. Whether that's milestone runs, running challenges, mental health, junior parkrun.  Anything and everything.  You can find all the With Me Now podcasts here - and I for one will be working through his back catalogue over the next few weeks.  There are some 'running jokes' (no pun intended - well maybe a bit) re arbitraries and Dolly or Bev, but stick with it.  It comes from the heart.  There is also a With Me Now Facebook page worth a follow, and live broadcasts from time to time to keep you in the loop.

Also, I met Danny at Bushy parkrun, and he was lovely to my mum and we had a laugh trying to get the perfect shot, and I'm shallow, so that was good enough for me!

with me now Danny Norman and mum (2) selfies DSCF6265 DSCF6413

Experience virtual parkruns via YouTube

Various parkrunners have used gopro or other such wizardry to video their parkruns. Some have even uploaded these on YouTube channels so you could use this down time to experience them virtually.  If you are really keen, you could set yourself up on a treadmill (or washing up liquid in the bath has a similar effect apparently) and run along with them.  Maybe not the speeded up ones though, that could end badly.

Check out and subscribe to Markrun's YouTube Channel, he records all his parkruns on gopro and there are loads, great way to check out parkrun touristing options for the future, unless you don't like spoilers, in which case obviously avoid.  Alternatively, you could check out the YouTube Channel parkrun courses in 5 minutes - a fair few here, but disappointingly none recently uploaded.  Still, good to have options eh?

Check out parkrun bloggers:

parkrun is such an important part of many lives that it's not surprising that a multitude of parkrunners blog about it regularly.  Barkrunners too as it happens.  There is always the official parkrun blog, if you prefer barkrunners then I have a soft spot for and if you are really desperate, you could check out my parkrun related blog posts here on Running Scared, but I'm not concise so at your own risk.  And if you really, really like reading blogs, there's a whole list of 'good parkrun blogs' on this link, but I've not read most of them so you'll have to do your own quality control.  Meantime though, here's Crumble.  Showing the parkrun joy!



Like and follow relevant parkrun Facebook pages:

surely you've done this already right?  In case not, I suggest starting with parkrun uk and parkrun (global) that will keep you in the information loop and part of the parkrun community. Can I take it as a given you are on our Sheffield Hallam parkrun Facebook page?  It will migrate to become Endcliffe parkrun, but I'm assuming everything will just transfer across by technical fairy dust magical processes, so you can be in at the start that way.  Please engage with us on Facebook if you can by sharing your pictures and stories.  We have the makings of a plan to try and keep things live there as long as we can, but we can't do it on our own. Also, we - the Sheffield Hallam parkrun core team - will start to become paranoid and lonely if we feel we are shouting into a void, so humour us, check in from time to time to let you know you are out there somewhere.  Go wild, and like this post even, we need positive reinforcement to keep on keeping on like everyone else.

Dig out your favourite parkrun photos:

Never has a parkrun been so blessed with photographers as Sheffield Hallam. Why not dig out your fave shots from Hallam or elsewhere, best fancy dress, best memory, first milestone whatever, and share them with us. If we have enough, you never know, they might end up collated into another special newsletter edition.  Perhaps you have a parkrunning hero that is currently unsung.  This could be your moment to sing their praises.  You could be the catalyst that gives them their overdue 15 minutes of fame.  It would be a good thing to do.

Run your weekly 5k in the comfort of your own home:

This quarantined man, ran an entire marathon on his balcony that's Elisha Nochomovitz, spent 6 hours and 48 minutes running the full distance on Tuesday, covering an estimated 6,000 laps of the 7m space.  If he can do a marathon on a balcony, you can do a parkrun in your living quarters.  I'm not saying it's a good idea, I'm saying it's a hypothetical possibility.  Here he is.


Strava Art:

Yes, Strava art is an actual thing, and you can do it in relatively small spaces with a bit of care, back garden if you are lucky enough to have one or local park as long as we are still allowed to go out.  parkrun themed would be great a few 'I heart parkrun' messages would be a welcome start, but whatever works for you.  Share them with us on Facebook too.  We will admire. Keep it clean though people.  Here are some tips.



Aversion therapy?

If none of the above ideas are sufficiently distracting, may I suggest aversion therapy, i.e. watch things that - albeit misleadingly - suggest running outside is a terrible idea.  Dear reader, I give you The Barkley Marathons, the race that eats its young you may have to purchase to watch the whole film, but even the trailer will make your eyes water, and you can possibly get it on netflix anyway.  Also, that could be another distraction project for you, trying to track it down.  You will cry with disbelief watching this I promise.

race that eats its young


Prepping for parkrun fashion of the future:

Fantasy or actual shopping of parkrun related gear.  Now is the time to print off and freshly laminate some spare barcodes, maybe even splash out and get some plastic barcodes or wristbands.  Alternatively check out the parkrun apricot or contra ranges.  parkrun needs your support now more than ever, and I need material for my parkrun fashion section in run reports yet to be written, now is the time to prepare.

Contra products help keep parkrun free for everybody for ever, and from the photos it looks like Paul Sinton-Hewitt personally quality checks every item...


Share your own ideas of parkrun deprivation therapy, I'm sure there must be more.


  • Early entry from Steven Yeoman, who apparently burnt 1000 calories playing on his child's trampoline this morning.  That sounds excellent.  Good work Mr Yeoman, I thought absolutely all the fun things in life had been cancelled, but it's not true, some people out there have access to trampolines, and all is well with the world.  Thanks for sharing.

Bye for now:

And that's that.  We are entering sad times, but not the end of times.  We will be back.  Don't give in to rising panic, this time will pass, and in the meantime, I bring you comfort.

'But how?' you may ask.

Dear reader, I have a duck shot.  Look on this duck and let calm wash over you.  And he's extra big this week, because we need high potency calmness inducing photos in these strange days.

Sue 18 March

This picture was taken by Sue Lindenberg in Bushy park.  Good isn't it?

You're welcome.

I really hope there aren't any duck phobics out there, wouldn't want to alienate anyone from parkrun.  Maybe I should start putting trigger warnings on the bulletins.  It's a thought...

So stay safe until we meet again for the exciting new era of Endcliffe parkrun. It's going to be epic!  Hang on in there, this time will pass. Meantime, its parkrun quiz eve dear reader!  You can still lay out your parkrun kit on a Friday night, that's something at least.

Thanks for being there and sticking with me, that's the kind of tenacity and solidarity that will see us all through the challenges that lie ahead.  Good work dear reader, good work.  So in the meantime remember, clean hands, open hearts, physical distance but social connectivity, and above all else, parkrun positivity!   We've got this!


Remember, we'll be back!

Lucy Marris, parkrunner A448776




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