Shepton Mallet Run Report #144

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Shepton Mallet parkrun #144 – a Tourist’s view

This was my third visit to Shepton Mallet parkrun. The first time the circus was in town and I ran alongside an actual trapeze artist. The second time was New Year’s Day; it seemed like a good idea at the time, doing two parkruns in one day, but the other was Street and it all got a bit muddy. And this week I ran with family and friends and it was my best visit yet.

I like Shepton Mallet parkrun. Collett Park is really nice and, while I don’t have a problem with parkruns wherever they can find space (along the commons, seafront, across major motorway bridges etc.), its lovely to run in an actual park. A pretty Edwardian park with undulating paths and trees and a pond. This was my 74th parkrun. I’ve visited forty-nine different events, mostly in the south west, and Shepton Mallet is one of the few I’ve done more than once or twice. Why? Because its where I registered my dad, Ron Wood, when I set him up on parkrun, so this is his home run (this weekend was Dad’s birthday and running with him was the cheapest present I could think of!). While I am by no means the most travelled parkrunner around, I’ve seen enough to know that Shepton Mallet has more than its fair share of quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Let’s start with the obvious one first. Lots of parkruns have an out’n’back stretch, marked at one end by a post/cone/person that we have to run around to before heading back, but how many of them name the marker? I don’t mean the ones with a person, they’re all called Marshall anyway, but the cone itself. Shepton Mallet has Joan the Cone and with her regular chaperones she is part of the core team of volunteers.

We all know that the volunteers make the parkrun. But in Shepton Mallet there’s one who makes the run weird. Where else can you get that sudden onset of anatidaephobia (the fear that somehow, somewhere, a duck is watching you – look it up, it’s a thing!) than down by the pond in Collett Park? Not once, but on all three laps! You hear it but there is no duck to be seen…

And then there’s Shepton Mallet parkrun’s very own challenge. Many of us know the thrill of checking our results against such challenges as Stopwatch Bingo or Groundhog Day, or searching for a new parkrun by starting letter or event number, because it gets us closer to a virtual badge on a website (incidentally the S of Shepton Mallet counted towards my new game, getting parkruns to spell out ‘C O R O N A V I R U S’ before they get stopped for public health, but I still need a V and an I, as well as another O and an R). But Shepton Mallet’s thrill-seeking runners have the Cappuccino Challenge, for which the only reward is kudos from those in the know or (quite probably) third-degree burns to the hands and face.

As a tourist these things add to the appeal of this parkrun and so it was fun to be in Shepton Mallet with not just my Dad but some fellow travellers from Bristol, both of whom earn honourable mentions later on. But first let’s talk about the run. It was good.

You want more? Oh, alright. There were 195 finishers today, 13 of whom were anonymous – don’t forget those barcodes! There were six first time first timers, Mark Bailey, Owen Roberts, James Wylie, Nicholas Smith, Fran Gillard and Gemma Hand…welcome to the park, you picked a great one to start with. Caroline Hobbs was our Run Director today and was so efficient that we stood waiting at the start for a few moments so that we could set off at 09:00. The weather was kind, the ground was relatively dry, and the marshals were all in fine form and very encouraging. There were 39 PB’s recorded, Matt Daffurn beat his last week’s previous best time by 9 seconds and Jenni Connett took a whole second off her record, set in 2018. My friend Mel Gilbert got a course PB but also gets a mention for being most runniest runner, notching up her 342nd parkrun.

As this is my run report the only other PB I’ll mention is mine. The plan had been to run with my dad, but I set off fast and left him behind. So for the first time I beat my dad and it’s left me with a bittersweet feeling of celebrating an all-time PB, knocking 40 seconds off my best ever time from way back in 2012, while also regretting that Dad, who has run since getting his house tie for cross country at school, has finally been overtaken by his fat son.

There was only one entrant for the Cappuccino Challenge this week, Richard Aquilina, my friend from the late lamented Little Stoke parkrun in Bristol. The eternal tourist, he’s run Shepton Mallet before and fancied trying something different. On the first lap he ordered his drink at the Collett Park Café, on lap two he picked it up and then he discovered why most people make it a cappuccino…it’s all about the foam! Richard ordered an Americano which was hot liquid all the way up to the top! But despite a few minor facial scalds he finished in 27:03. Not his course PB but still a lot faster than me on my best day ever!

Did you think this was going to a run report that didn’t mention the volunteers? No chance. As we all know parkrun doesn’t happen with the high-viz heroes and this week’s team were Caroline Hobbs, Ollie Adams, Gwyneth Barber, Sandra Blakemore, Dan Blewitt, Oscar Blewitt, Lucy Brown, Mandie Bygrave, Joan the Cone, Sarah Daffurn, Sharon Dorling, John English, Ben Gait, Vicki Gait, Edric Hobbs, Deanne Hood, Simon Howell, Martin Kay, Gill “Duck Lady Gill’ King, Marilyn Lainton, Sue Nash, Janet Reilly, Tanya Robinson, Michael Rusca and Karen Woolford. They offered great support all the way round, as did another parkrun regular not wearing fluorescent yellow…Dan, who was cheering everyone on in his police uniform.

I will be looking forward to my next visit to Shepton Mallet, an event that really is everything a parkrun should be. Thank you for having me.

Martyn Wood (A323542)


Shepton Mallet Run report 143#

This week’s parkrun was only possible thanks to all of the Hi-Viz heroes that gave a few hours of their weekend to help out. Thank you all because without you the event could not take place. This week’s volunteers were : - Nichola EDWARDS, Deanne HOOD, Oscar BLEWITT, Sue NASH, Gertie BLEWITT, Lisa METHLEY, Rachel CHIVERS, Dan BLEWITT, Simon GAIT, Jane HARRIS, Michelle BROOKS, Caroline HOBBS, Edric HOBBS, Sandra BLAKEMORE, Marilyn LAINTON, Jean GIBBS, Tracey MOON, Phil BISSETT, Hayley FIELD, Carole HAMILTON, Andrew HAMILTON, Georgina MADDOCK, Richard MADDOCK, Maria MADDOCK.

Extra special thanks go to Richard Maddock - this week was his 100th time volunteering. Fantastic!

There were 215 runners this week including visitors from Frome and as far afield as Salisbury, Sheffield and Swindon enjoying this lovely course and back to running the correct way around after last week’s leap year run. There will be lots of lovely photos uploaded soon so keep an eye out.

There were 21 first timers with us and 7 doing their very first parkrun – a very warm welcome and it is hoped that you enjoyed it and will come again.

50 people achieved a new PB so there was lots of ringing of the PB bell which is on the side of the purple equipment bin.

There were 3 runners who notched up 50 parkruns this week, they were John Johnson, Joanne Stephens and Sarah Daffurn, who also achieved a new PB and we hope to see those red T-shirts very soon.

Highest male age grade was Charles Goulding with 75.27% and a new PB and the highest female age grade was Helen Clark of Bitton road Runners with 73.18% and also a new PB.

There were several ladies running in purple to celebrate International Women’s Day, celebrating women's achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality. Well done each and every one.

Finally at Shepton Mallet, we pride ourselves on being a friendly bunch of runners and marshals; parkrun is committed to inclusivity and a culture that is warm, welcoming and fun. Please be friendly, supportive and encouraging to all, thank you.


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Shepton Mallet parkrun report #140


This week’s event was brought to you by the number 22, that’s how many fantastic volunteers donned the high viz jackets and enabled parkrun to happen. Thank you to each and every one of you, but a special mention for Marilyn and Sandra who are our regular Joan the Cone marshals. This week marked their 80th volunteer milestone. Personally, their greeting and encouragement is always very welcome after the long trek up the cycle path. Congratulations both and THANK YOU MARSHAL!!
230 parkrunners completed our course this week, 27 of you were first timers; we hope you enjoyed yourselves and hope to see you again soon. 47 people achieved personal best times which is amazing. We often forget to mention our PB bell in the briefing (as I did this week). It is on the side of the purple equipment bin, please feel free to give it a ring when you have achieved that new best time (or think you have). Amongst the finishers was Sarah Brown, completing her 50th parkrun. Congratulations, red t-shirt incoming!!
As I am typing there is another weather warning issued for Saturday with Storm Dennis forecast to bring high winds. With the number of trees on our course we will need to monitor the situation closely so please keep your eye on our Facebook page for any notifications.
Don’t forget the council are running a free defibrillator (use) course on March 6th at 10.00.
Finally at Shepton Mallet, we pride ourselves on being a friendly bunch of runners and marshals; parkrun is committed to inclusivity and a culture that is warm, welcoming and fun. Please be friendly, supportive and encouraging to all, thank you.

Hat of the week – Blue and white bobble hat.
Song of the week – 80 by Green Day


Shepton Mallet parkrun Report #139

There was definitely a 'good to be back' feeling at Shepton Mallet parkrun on Saturday and in my privileged position as Run Director (RD), I could see a large crowd of people eager to continue their battle against the 5k (3.1 mile) course. There was a nod of appreciation to those members of the core team and volunteers who coped with the events surrounding the previous cancellations so professionally, then the 239 participants, including visitors from Salisbury, Dorset and Wales, lined up.
In his eagerness to get things going (and with a watch and phone that seem to be linked with a wayward satellite), the RD started the run two minutes early! That didn't seem to upset the runners as 35 Pbs were recorded and there were plenty of smiles and appreciative comments at the finish. Congratulations to Michelle Underwood who completed her 100th run and to all of you participant and volunteers alike who, after our recent events, continue to make Shepton one of the best parkruns I know. (other good parkruns are widely available).
As mentioned in the briefing, the council are running a free defibrillator (use) course on March 6th at 10.00)

Hat of the day – Trapper (musky) hat.
Song of the week – Saturday in the park by Chicago


Shepton Mallet News 25th Jan 2020

Dear All

What a terribly sad start to today. We always start setting up for parkrun at 7.30 so that we have time to do it all leisurely and talk to people walking their dogs etc. Today wasn’t a nice day as you will probably have heard that we found an elderly lady lying in the pond. As a Team we did all we could for her regarding resuscitation and we had the defib at hand too. We called the Emergency services who arrived very promptly and who cared for her for a very long time. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for her.
The parkrun Team would like to thank the following people who helped us with this situation and stationed themselves to stop people entering the park and informing parkrunners that the event was cancelled.
Michelle Underwood, Samantha Baker, Sue Nash and Kitty Brooklyn for standing at the gates for us, Tracey Harris of Collett Park Café for keeping us all warm with hot drinks. Max Bygrave, David Kitcher for also keeping parkrunners away and sending them elsewhere. Nichola Edwards will be too humble but did a fantastic job attempting to resuscitate and Edric Hobbs for administering the defibrillator. We are all trained in First Aid, but not often it has to be put into practice and an upsetting experience as you can imagine, especially as we couldn’t help this lady.

Over 20 members of the emergency services made up of Police, Paramedics and Fire Brigade were there to assist and were very supportive to the parkrun team.

Our sincere heartfelt sympathy goes to her family at this dreadful time.

Caroline Hobbs


Shepton Mallet parkrun #138

The mornings are not yet showing much sign of getting lighter as Edric, Nicki and Robin started to set the course up at 7.30.The weather was kind to us and stayed dry .Claire Blewitt achieved her 100th parkrun and Tanya Robinson did her 50th ,all at Shepton Mallet well done to both runners .It is great to see many new runners join us in January and make a commitment to an early start on a Saturday morning.One of my highlights was seeing Liz Moyse ,encouraged by Steven get another PB,4 in 8 runs now I believe .Dan Blewitt continues to improve as he learns to manage his back injury and did 22.11 his best time in over 18 months after a long stint as a marshal.Sue Paul just missed her PB ,will she break the 31 minute barrier for her 100th run next week (no pressure Sue!)
At the head of the field the familiar face of young Aaron Hood led the runners home closely followed by Alex Meadows without a buggy for a change but blinding us all with loud pink trainers
Just a heads up that on February 29th we will run the course in reverse so up the hill passed the stone shelter first. As it's leap day we would like fancy dress .Anything to do with leaping or jumping .The opportunity to run on leap Saturday will next happen in 2048 so make the most of it!

Hat of the week ride For Charlie Big Bobble Hat

Song of the week Pretty in Pink by The Psychedelic Furs


Shepton Mallet parkrun report #137

There was certainly a feeling of De ja Vu (again) this morning as there have been 6 parkrun events in a fortnight. Granted these were not all at Shepton as we didn’t have a Christmas day event, so the Team and parkrunners enjoyed a Tourist parkrun but there is no such thing as too much of a good thing.
There was a great vibe in the park as usual. There were several people giving it a go that were completely new to parkrun. Their lives I am sure will never be the same again. Great also to seem some faces back that have had a gap and returned to the fold.
We welcomed Tourists from Hull, Amersham, Southwick, Plymouth and that London.
Neil Eaton celebrated his 50th run with us today and Tracey Seymour or Racey Tracey had a birthday which she obviously failed to keep quiet.
There was a great turnout of volunteers as usual and without these fabulous people the event could not happen. It’s always great to see new people giving parkrun volunteering a go and once they have done so once they often come back for more as they have such a good time. Many volunteers consider a ratio of completing 10 runs to every volunteer which is very much appreciated. In case you have just landed here from Mars and don’t know that after 25 volunteer stints then parkrun award you with a natty purple T shirt and after 25 volunteers at Shepton Mallet, you are permitted to sign our beautiful purple PB bin. There can’t be more things in life worth aspiring to surely?
Look forward to seeing you all on the 11th

Song of the week - For Tracey of course it had to be Racey – Some girls
Hat of the Week – Ride for Charlie - Charity Bobble hat


Shepton Mallet parkrun #136

Whilst much of the country were snuggled in their beds sleeping off the night before, 255 people started the year walking, jogging or running around the beautifully scenic Collet Park. It wasn’t a crisp January morning but the parkrun weather fairies managed to hold the drizzly rain off for the duration meaning we had great conditions to complete the course.

As usual for a New Year’s Day event we welcomed a number of tourists, many from across the South West and others from as far as Norwich ad Harrogate. We saw 78 first timers join us including 2 people who completed their first ever parkrun today – welcome to the parkrun family Rob Furlong and Michael Lintern, your Saturday mornings will never be the same again! Congratulations to the 25 people who completed the course in a personal best time and also to Karen Woolfood clocking her 50th parkrun this morning. Our most accomplished parkrunner this week was Phil North who made this morning’s event parkrun number 400 – that’s 1240 parkrun miles, well done Phil! Congratulations are also due to Bethan Everson who at the second attempt
took our ladies event record down to 18.22 from 18.39 a record which had stood for 2 1/2 years an outstanding achievement on a busy day

A special mention also the three ladies I saw taking on the ‘cappuccino challenge’ – having read about it in a December run report, it was great to see it in action!

Today’s event was made possible by a fabulous group of volunteers – thank you all. If you want to volunteer at a future event please email

As a first time visitor to the event myself, I have to say Shepton Mallet parkrun really does offer everything you need – easy parking, a beautiful course, a friendly supportive team of volunteers and fab coffee at the finish. Thank you for a great start to the new decade and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Amy Badman
15:19 (3 hours ago)
to me


Shepton Mallet parkrun#133

On a cold day with some hailstones 163 runners and walkers braved the elements instead of going Christmas shopping .We had many milestones today.Matthew Dark came home from London for his 50th ,Susan Williams did her 50th .Tim Walters did his 100th and Toby Fry did his 100th .Today was his sons 2nd birthday so we sang happy birthday to small Fry! Toby brought mince pies to celebrate and even remembered to bring Vegan ones for Caroline and I. Toby set a new record for the cappuccino challenge of 24.48 .A game invented by RD Max Bygrave where you order and pay for coffee on lap one ,collect it on lap 2 and drink it, finishing with an empty cup on lap 3 .Max did demand a stewards enquiry as there are rumours that Toby used his own cup! Anyway enough about Toby!

First finisher David Eagon stormed round in 16.40 to set a new pb as he edges nearer the course record of 16.07 but said he doesn't know where 11 seconds a lap could come from!.There were several other pbs including Rich Reynolds who was at the parkrun party last night and a returning to form Sue Paul.Regardless of a PB or not you were all out there and not still in bed on a cold Winter morning

Don't forget that next week is Christmas fancy dress to dig out those jumpers and Santa hats!

Hat of the week ,Flanders Big Bobble

Song of the week Crying In The Rain Whitesnake

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