Saturday 7th March – IWD #IWDparkrun

We are super proud to be taking part in international women’s day!

Come and take part!

#IWDparkrun #ThisGirlCan #loveparkrun #parkrun #sthelensparkrun



NYD Run Report

On the 8th day of Christmas, parkrun gave to us, … the 1st and 2nd events of the year

**The New Year Double** (For all those who are well enough, (the joy of winter bugs) not forced to work (the joy of retail and emergencies), and have two accessible events….)

Welcome to the 1st day of not only a new year, a NEW DECADE!! For us the 1st parkrun of the year, in the Gregorian calendar.

365 days, and 54 parkruns remain until the end of the year!

The 1st ‘parkrun’ (UK Time Trails) event began at Bushy park on 2nd October 2004 with 13 lucky participants and volunteers unknown

-- they held their 1st New Year event on 1st January 2005, 20 participants and unknown volunteers

-- they held their 288th event on 23rd January 2010, 554 participants and 13 volunteers

-- and today they held their 823rd (15th New Year event) event with 1285 participants, 42 volunteers.

This picturesque parkrun was approximately 270th in the uk and approximately 426th parkrun in the world

It is hosted in Victoria Park which opened in 1886 and renamed in 1887.   It is on ‘flat paths’ with a few little inclines to keep it interesting. Some of the speedier participants really need to be a little more respectful of those with disabilities (not all are obvious or visible). Barging past on the narrow side rather than the wide, makes it quite scary (and disrespectful, remember it is NOT a race!)!

It began on 5th July 2014 with 194 participants and 20 volunteers.

Celebrated its 100th event on 14th May 2016 with 358 participants and 30 volunteers

Celebrated its 200th event on 21st April 2018 with 391 participants and 20 volunteers

Its busiest event has been its 237th, last New Years Day, 1st January 2019 with 556 participants and 27 volunteers

And its cosiest event was its 80th on 26th December 2015, a different bank holiday with 72 participants and 20 probably very committed volunteers on a possible restful day and or a very cold day!

Our New Year wish had been answered as it was a dry, warm for January day. No ice , snow or heavy rain to throw our tourist New Years Double into jeopardy!

We set off at some silly hour on a New Years Day clock before even the sun had risen!

On New Years Day, participants do not need to be mad, however it helps!

The day began cloudy, however before we began there was a shower, of a different kind ….

Parkruns usually begin at 9.00am however this great team, give up some of their merrymaking of the New Year to have this event up and running for 8.30am!!

This is extra special and great as those of us who are not be so speedy due to health and or disabilities, it means we had the chance and challenge of the double with the travel and parking time in between events!!

Our first attempt of a New Year double, years ago ended when we struggled for parking at the 2nd event. By the time we found somewhere and in that case returned to the start, there was not a hi-vis in sight!   It sill haunts us and any tourist visit we do. (This year it nearly happened to a friend at their 2nd location).

John BARR took the first timers briefing clearly not the worse for wear, where we were reminded that we needed to be able to count to 3!

There was then a VERY special interruption… one of the other run directors Matthew Crehan proposed to Jade Smith (they had met at parkrun! J) we think that there was acceptance (we were at the back) as there were lots of hugs and tears of joy!

(feel free to insert a great photo, mine from the back was not that good)

The run director of the event Nigel HERBERT, bright and cheerful for the day and time, gave the introduction, announcements and guidance. With Karen HARRISON, Amanda COOGAN and Kate BAGDONAVICIUS our timekeepers, the 6th New Year event of Saint Helens began…

All the volunteers appeared dressed warmly for the occasion, bright and cheerful, one did wonder if it was really just a few hours into a New Year. Had there been rations with the merrymaking over here?

The participants and supporters were a different matter. A few had had a great night out, made it to bed, however missed the dressing part to meet the 8.30 deadline! It was a wonderful sight! In all of the New Year parkruns we have attended never have we seen such an amazing array of nightwear, multicoloured unicorns, a selection of tigers, leopards, the occasional lost snowman, and at least 2 flags, America and Great Britain, who we hope have a ‘special friendship’!

Those starting out on their own milestones were

* Sarah CARVER, set off for their 10th parkrun, juniors receive the acknowledgement and the option of their wonderful coveted white t-shirt!!

* Denise RYLEY, Sheila WELSBY, Tina RANSONNAME set off to complete their 50th parkrun.  Alison LANGTON marked the occasion with a new PB

* Diane PECK and Michelle SMITH set off to complete their 100th parkrun


* Paul SCHUMANN and Glynn BRADSHAW set off to complete their unofficial 200th parkrun milestone

Those a step closer to theirs were

* John Paul DALE and Laura HOLMES completed their 49th, so happy planning for your 50th!

* Matthew CREHAN, Christopher LEE, Stephen LANGE and Sharon MASON completed their 99th, so happy planning for your 100th!

* Natalie WOOD and Paula HEATON completed their 149th, so happy planning for any unofficial 150th celebration!

* Andrew GLEN completed their 199th, so happy planning for any unofficial 200th celebration!

* Mark FOSTER completed their 249th, so happy planning for your 250th!

* Paul FREYNE completed their 549th, so happy planning for any unofficial 550th celebration!

**Congratulations** as all completed successfully.

Around the course we had many cheery marshals to guide, encourage and help keep us safe, amongst them were Frank MCALLISTER, James FEATHERSTONE, Nigel MORLEY, David LOCKETT, Jessica BALSHAW-RILEY and Ken BRIODY. Colin BRIODY and David OWEN helped participants achieve goals by pacing to a set time.

At the end of all the participants is the Tail Walker, no one is officially ever last at a parkrun and this week the wonderful volunteer was Jacqueline HAMILTON who helped some visitors NOT take the wrong path on the final lap.

Once we had counted 1, 2, 3 the finish was insight and we were greeted by the timekeepers. Michelle MATHER, kept people in order as we collected our tokens from Karl BOWLES and Mary ABBOTT and our barcodes scanned by Nicola HOWARTH, Ben CROPPER, Jake CROPPER or Hazel FARLEY.

After the event, David LOCKETT gave up time to close down the event and others sorted the tokens into order ready for the next event.

Volunteers took the information from the timekeepers, scanners and processed them for us to prove we really had made it to an 8.30am New Years Day (double) event!!

511 of successful participants included regulars,

17% tourists *Congratulations if you now have an ‘S’ for your ‘A to Z’ or a 288 for your Winston index

4% achieved a personal best, often with the help of a hangover!

5% who kept their identity a secret or forgot their barcode (keep a back-up in the car, sock or other) and

3% very enthusiastic people who joined us for the first time (we hope you enjoyed it and to see you again).

If you would like to see a full list of results please click here

(Volunteer names at the bottom of the list)

On behalf of the 511 participants …

**Thank you** to the 30 amazing volunteers, (only 14% of participants have gained their 25th volunteer award. **Congratulations to Andrew HANKINSON, Russell BURNHAM, Julie MCGOWAN, David LOCKETT and Helen WRIGHT who have their volunteering award prior to a milestone!) who either gave up their own run and or their bank holiday, post merry making, lie in, to make so many ‘run, walks, milestones and skips’ possible.

If you would like to be part of the volunteering group, please e-mail

It can be very fun and rewarding, full training given, and the FREE use of a hi-vis jacket!!

Thank you to our hosts Saint Helens who made this early New Years (Double) event possible. We hope you all had a lovely start to your New Year (Double) and a (successful and safe journey to any 2nd event and a) safe journey home.

( - : R J M : - )



Festive parkruns

Hi all,

We ARE planning to arrange parkrun's at 9am on Christmas Day and at 8.30am on New Years Day (enabling people to do a double header at another local run with a 10am or 10.30am start).

More news to follow.



Emergency Procedures

Dear parkrunner,

On Saturday 15th June we did a First Aid Drill to test that the process on the back of the laminated cards works.

Whilst we met the target time for getting the defib to the casualty, the test threw up a few minor issues that when fixed, will make the process much smoother.

On Saturday loads of runners stopped to offer their assistance – Thank You!!

We’ve since been asked, “What should I do if a runner collapses near me?”

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer, as it depends on the circumstances and your own experience of First Aid.

However, it’s effectively the same as if it happened in your local High St…

If you think its life threatening, find a way of dialing 999.

If you don’t (e.g. Sprained Ankle), then find a way of getting a message to the Run Director as quickly as possible.

In both scenarios, it’s important to be as specific as possible about the location of the incident and the injuries sustained.

All Marshals have a laminated incident card which contains a Post Code for their location and details of the Run Directors. The First Aid kit contains, amongst other things a Defibrillator.

It is highly unlikely that you will ever need to deal with an incident at parkrun but the instructions above will help you if it ever does.

If you have any further concerns or questions, please email



(Event Director)


How parkrun runs!

Dear parkrunners,

Our little community has grown into a somewhat bigger community and we must now be one (if not the) biggest (participation) sporting event in town which is superb!!

This July will be our 5th Birthday and we’ve grown from an average of around 180 weekly runners to over 400.

As there are lots of newbies, I thought it might be worth explaining how the St Helens parkrun setup works and how we manage to put on the runs every week, rain or shine.

Your parkrun is brought to you by a Core Team of 7 volunteers. We are each on a rota as Run Directors and usually do another task in addition, either on a Saturday or midweek. All of us have day jobs and none of these are in sports provision (i.e. we are amateurs).

Supporting the Core Team, we are blessed to have a group of very regular volunteers who do Marshalling or Funnel Roles on a Saturday. These regulars are then supplemented with occasional volunteers from the runners. Perhaps those having a rest or injured.

In the background, we have had support (when needed) from the Park Rangers, Friends of Victoria Park and the Council.

We couldn’t do parkrun without all of these people and I would encourage you to volunteer whenever you can. It really is as much fun and as rewarding as running!!

To set up the parkrun we needed funding support from the Heritage National Lottery. Their donation helped us to register with parkrun HQ, buy the initial kit and get off the ground. In return, they got good footfall through the newly renovated park.

Post launch, any new funds we need for signage, special occasions etc has to come from donations. Each parkrun has their own “pot” that people can donate to. Here is ours. We recently used it to buy new tokens, as our current ones have started mis-scanning. They should be with us this week.

In the last few weeks, HQ have also launched parkrun Forever. This is a national initiative, designed to enable “the organisation” to be sustainable and achieve its higher goals. It also enables parkrun to claim Gift Aid on donations and therefore, make the donation go further.

And at St Helens parkrun, we are very fortunate to have support from local running group, The Bandstanders. Formed in the early days of the parkrun, but not connected to the parkrun organisation, there are now several social groups of runners (and walkers) who meet up. Volunteers from the Bandstand are usually there on a Saturday offering “brews in the bandstand” which is really well received by regulars and visitors alike. The brew equipment and goodies are paid for by way of small donations and the Bandstanders often donate any surplus generated to the St Helens parkrun pot. The surplus has also supported the Bold Forest Junior parkrun when they were buying a defib unit.

We are really lucky to have "Brews in the Bandstand", not many parkruns have such an offering and it's certainly not part of the commitment that we made when we set it up. In fact, HQ often tell you to keep things simple, as it reduces potential issues. Fortunately, we have some key people who don't mind a bit of complication :-)

I often get asked, how do the barcodes and results work?

(and they are possibly thinking to themselves “why are you so grumpy when someone plays around in the funnel?”)

  1. Pre-parkrun, we usually arrive at 7am, unlock the toilets, put out the signage and unpack the trolleys ready for the first volunteers to arrive at about 8.15am.
  2. The stopwatches capture your time (obvs as the kids say) and a position.
  3. 5 metres further on you are then given a Position (P) token.
  4. You then stagger, jog or stride with pride, down the funnel to the Barcode Scanners.
  5. The volunteers should scan YOUR (A) token first and then OUR P token. They give you yours back and keep ours.
  6. The Barcode Units then tie your A number to our P number.
  7. Post parkrun, we pack up the trolleys and leave at about 10.30am after locking up at the lodge.
  8. The Run Director gets home, puts the kettle on, boots up the laptop and connects to the web.
  9. We upload the results from the watches and the scanners.
  10. The parkrun results system then squidges it all together using the Position as the common denominator between the watches and the scanners.
  11. We then manually enter any results from faulty barcode scans. Hopefully only a handful.
  12. This process usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
  13. During the evening, usually with a glass of rehydration fluid in hand, we sort out and restring about 400 tokens, clear down the equipment and recharge it all.
  14. We then check email for the next couple of days to see if we get any issues reported.
  15. Midweek we meet up with the next Run Director to swap all of the kit over.


When you go past the watches twice, or refuse to take a token, or join or leave the funnel before being scanned, the process above fails because the P's the A's and the Times are all in the wrong places.

We now have 400 people with the wrong time or position and our afternoon plans just changed. Action 14, staying on top of emails, becomes a major job for the next few days.

People think I go a bit OTT about someone “just” going past the watches twice, or not wanting a token because their time was rubbish, but perhaps you can appreciate why it's frustrating?

It also explains why HQ don’t want Core Teams to do manual entries for people who forget their barcode. There is already quite a bit to do and the bigger the run, the bigger the issue.

Unfortunately, we've had a few issues in the past few weeks with results, for various reasons. I think many would be amazed by the tone of some of the emails we've received.

Please remember that volunteers don't purposely screw up the results, usually it's a runner that causes the problems. PB's are fab, but it's not likely to be a world record, so please stay calm and revel in the fact that you just got a bit healthier and met your friends for an early morning chat and a brew.

We LOVE delivering parkrun and changing lives for the better. We’d love you to join the volunteer team next time you are at a loose end, all you have to do is email

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.



Your Core Team



Christmas Day parkrun – Guest Edition

This weeks Run Report is courtesy of Paul Chapman who joined us from Conkers parkrun...

332 parkrunners lined up outside the Mansion House in Victoria park on Christmas Day 2018 and I was one of them, I hope you’d like to know my thoughts.

It was a mild morning for the time of year as all the parkrunners assembled in Victoria park. The team of volunteers had brought along hot drinks and mince pies for after the run, a very festive gesture and I’m sure it was appreciated by everyone. It was my 1st time at St Helens parkrun, I’ve got into the habit (some would say addiction!) of parkrun tourism.

After the briefing everyone lined up at the start, things set off quickly to say the least, the leading runners were flying, maybe eager to get home to open their presents! I’ve never seen so many people dressed up in Christmas attire, I lost count of how many Santa outfits where around and soon got into a nice rhythm on my run. As I lapped the park I was very impressed with how clean, tidy and well presented it was, a credit to the town and folk of St Helens. It was quite a musical event, I heard several people playing Christmas music as they made their way around the park and lots of spectators and volunteers cheering us on, the ducks in the pond were quacking and even a few cars driving past joined in the fun beeping their horns. This is the first time I have ever seen a turkey dressed as a marshall at parkrun, or maybe it was a marshall dressed as a turkey


IMPORTANT NOTICE – No St Helens parkrun on 23rd June 2018

Important Notice - no St Helens parkrun this weekend

This Saturday 23rd June St Helens will be hosting an Armed Forces Day Event in Victoria Park.

A number of very large military machinery will be on site, these will be arriving from 8am onwards which unfortunately means it is not safe for us to go ahead with parkrun on this day.

So 23rd June is your chance to be a parkrun tourist


Important Reminders

We have had issues doing the results for the last few weeks.

Some of them have been due to technical issues BUT the vast majority are down to runners not following what is a very simple process.

parkrun is meant to be fun so we try to avoid barking orders at participants wherever possible, but it’s now getting to the point where our Run Directors are spending hours unpicking issues and answering emails every week. Therefore, it’s time to issue a few reminders, PLEASE take note and mention it to your friends..

1)      Please register and get a barcode or we have dozens of unknown athletes.

2)      If you don’t bring your barcode, you can’t have a time, so please don’t ask with puppy dog eyes!

3)      If you go past the watches you MUST (No exceptions) take a token and hand it in to the scanners. This applies whether you want a time or not.

4)      Please only go past the timekeepers once, don’t run back to friends, get a 2nd time and then stop and discuss whether we need to give you a token (see point 3)

5)      If you don’t do the full course, please don’t go past the timekeepers or you will get a false PB and be affecting other peoples places.

6)      DON’T take the P tokens home!

That’s it – 6 Things that you can do to help us to get the results out efficiently!

There are then a few other issues that apply away from the funnel….

7)      Don’t park any where near the traffic island on City Rd, you are causing an obstruction and therefore breaking the law.

8)      Please don’t run in groups all of the way across the path, faster runners can’t get past and it causes frustration.

9)      Faster runners, please pass politely – NEVER shout “move!”

10)   Participating Dogs MUST be on a SHORT lead so they don’t become a trip hazard.

11)   U11’s must ALWAYS be within arms length of their responsible adult, if not, they aren’t insured.

From time to time, we administer a bit of tough love, so if anyone can’t follow these 11 simple rules, then I reserve the right to remove their time from the results and even ask them not to come back to St Helens parkrun.

The safety and enjoyment of everyone at St Helens parkrun (runners and volunteers) is paramount.

Thanks for your help


(Event Director)


The Class of 2017

So today was a funny day really with lots of reflection, it started off with marshalling at the top of the hill with the very funny Alan McCarthy, along with the endless clapping and words of encouragement we also shared lots of laughter in fact I couldn't think of anyone else to marshal with I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Straight after marshalling I had to call at the bank in St Helens, on leaving the town I was held up by lots of new graduates whom were graduating from the University Centre in St Helens and as I looked at these newly qualified students all clutching their certificates I thought of how we are all graduates of parkrun, swapping our caps and gowns for trainers and running clothes and our certificates for barcodes, and yes just like those we also have our very own pass system, we have our First Class Honours, upper seconds, lower seconds and thirds but more importantly we all graduate from the same place week in week out and should all be just as proud for our great running achievements.

As I approached the Bandstand I followed the ever reliable stalwart Bert who was limping to the Bandstand to again give up his Saturday morning so that we can all run although I'm sure he also gets as much of a thrill out of this as do you as a runner, and not just Bert but all the other marshals who week after week give up their time for your enjoyment, also the Run Directors who work tirelessly to bring parkrun to St Helens every Saturday, in fact there is a vacancy for an extra couple of Run Directors so if you think you have the qualities and skills necessary please drop an email to for full details.

As we gathered around the Bandstand before today's run we heard of 13yr old Catherine Ainley doing her 10th parkrun also we had celebrating her 50th parkrun Julie Zdrenka who with a fab time of 25:41 was just 4 seconds outside her PB a great great effort especially with it being so warm this morning, and I'm not sure I could write a report without mentioning our very own Ava Smith celebrating her own (unofficial) 50th parkrun and in true tradition she brought cake :)

And now down to the Nuts & Bolts of our run, today we saw a magnificent 300 people participate with our leading male in a steady time of 17:14 Matthew Crehan, our leading Lady who came home in a fab time of 21:48 was our very own Chester Marathon heroine Hazel Fairhurst who just seems to go from strength to strength, and our leading junior runner again is Wigan Harriers protégé Joel Pollard in a marvellous time of 21:53, and despite the unseasonably warm weather there was an 33 amazing PB's you should all take a bow.

So it just remains for me to say congratulations to the class of 2017 you did it and once again you're amazing....

This week’s fabulous volunteers were......

Adam HUGHES  •  Andrew WOLFENDEN  •  Andy HURST  •  Anita HALL  •  Christina JACKSON  •  David LOCKETT  •  Eve WINSTANLEY  •  Frank MCALLISTER  •  Gill DRILLINGCOURT  •  Hazel FARLEY  •  Herbert HOLLAND  •  Jack HIBBS  •  John BARR  •  Kate NICKLIN  •  Mark HALL  •  Mark LIPTROT  •  Mark MOFFATT  •  Nigel HERBERT  •  Richard AYLETT  •  Talia MEHAY  •  Thomas WILSON  •  Tom HIBBS  •  Vicky HEWITT  •  Vivianne CARVALHO




It could be you!

Hi all,

We are looking for an extra Run Director or 2 at St Helens parkrun. If you are interested in applying please email: Details of what’s involved are below, please make sure that you can commit to it 100% before applying. Full training will be provided, it’s extremely fulfilling and once you’ve done a couple it’s quite straightforward. You will probably be on duty every 4 or 5 weeks.

No prior experience is needed, but as ED, I have to ensure that anyone who applies can manage the role and maintain the standards already set by our great Core Team. Therefore, I reserve the right to say "sorry, but no" if I don't think that you meet the criteria.



General Responsibilities

-        Adhere to the parkrun Code of Conduct and maintain the spirit of St Helens parkrun

-        Ensure that the run goes ahead smoothly and safely above all other priorities.

-        Report any issues or concerns to the Event Director (Ant).


-        Liaise with the previous RD and arrange to collect the bags.


-        Arrive at 7.30am to unlock the lodge and set up the course.

-        Check the course for any risks and decide Go / No Go.

-        Liaise with the Volunteer Co-Ordinator to ensure that we have cover in the right places (if needed).

-        8.50am - Deliver 1st timers briefing

-        9.00am - Deliver main briefing

-        9.05am – Set the run off and continually monitor safety, volunteers and lead runners. As the run progresses, ensure that the Funnel is managed effectively and that the team are all doing the right things.

-        Post-run: Pack the Trolleys, return the kit to the lodge and lock up. Usually finished by 10.30am latest.

-        Return home and process the results including manual entries. Usually takes no more than 20 minutes.

-        Report any “incidents” to HQ and Liaise with them in the event of any issues.

Saturday Evening

-        Check emails for any runners reporting valid issues.

-        Sort out the tokens – takes about 30 mins in front of the TV

-        Recharge the kit


-        Liaise with next week’s RD to swap the bags over

Occasional Tasks

-        Read Core Team Update emails

-        Very occasionally meet the Core Team to discuss upcoming events

Because of the above, applicants should be:

-        Very Organised

-        Willing to take responsibility

-        Good communicators

-        Team Players

-        Assertive – “No barcode, No result”

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