Walthamstow parkrun 7th Anniversary – event number 358 – 25th January 2020

Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday dear 'Stow parkrun, happy birthday to us!

cake 4

On Saturday we celebrated 7 magnificent years since the first Walthamstow parkrun was run at the Peter May Centre. I first started volunteering at Walthamstow parkrun shortly before the first birthday and remember the first birthday celebrations well, so I was very disappointed that I could not join you all to celebrate the 7th anniversary. After my first time on barcode scanning duty, it took me about 9 months before I plucked up the courage to put on a pair of trainers and run (well walk and run!) and that was only due to the encouragement over several months by our founder and Event Director Sharron Rooney, and the other Queen of Walthamstow – Penny Wiles! Having started running, I haven’t looked back and my life has changed immeasurably – for the better – and I can’t remember what ‘normal’ people now do on a Saturday morning. I’m not just talking about the improvement in my health and fitness (and waist size!), but through parkrun I have made lifelong friends as the social side of parkrun is, to me, just as much a part of parkrun as the running bit! So thank you, Sharron, for getting Walthamstow parkrun off the ground and running (excuse the pun!) those magnificent seven years ago!

penny and sharron

Before the celebrations could take place, there was the small matter of the 358th parkrun to take place, and I shall hand over to Andrew Jacobs, Run Director on the day, for the run report:

This week an amazing 145 people ran, jogged and walked the course Walthamstow to celebrate our 7th birthday. We had 25 first timers - welcome to you all and we hope to see you back again soon. There were 22 Personal Bests which is amazing in the sticky Walthamstow mud!

A fabulous well done to Antony Smith who made it 100 Parkruns today - 85 of which have been at Walthamstow.

Antony Antony 2

As always, our runs are only made possible by the sterling efforts of our amazing volunteers! This week the crew were made up of the following heroes:

Today's full results can be found on our results page.

Wishing everyone a fabulous week and look forward to seeing you next time.



After the run it was time to celebrate our 7 years since we started on 26 January 2013. Since that first run, a whopping 4,523 participants have completed 29,175 parkruns covering a total distance of 145,875 km, which is more than 3.5 times around the world! As well as this, a total of 519 individuals have volunteered 4,210 times at Walthamstow. Amazing figures.

And whilst we’re talking stats, I don’t know if anyone else, like me, is a fan of Elliott Line’s parkrun stats which are often posted on various social media platforms and which give the stats for parkruns and parkrunners in the UK and globally each week. If you are interested, they can be found here: http://www.elliottline.com/parkrun

In Elliott’s stats for this weekend, he lists the “Dunbar parkruns” (150 -/+ 5%), and Walthamstow with 145 runners this week is listed amongst them. A Dunbar number is the suggested limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships – i.e. relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person, or put informally by the anthropologist Robin Dunbar who first came up with the idea, it is “the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar”! Dunbar proposed that this number was 150 - more than this number of people in a group starts to mean that it becomes harder to maintain a cohesion. With a number of parkruns around the UK getting larger and larger, with some having in excess of 1,000 participants, it has been suggested that around the Dunbar number of 150 people is the ‘perfect’ number of people for a parkrun – not too few, and not too many; just the right number so that you can get around and see people and chat to them after parkrun! I'd agree with this, and think that Walthamstow parkrun is the perfect size - not too big and not too small; just right!

There was the chance to chat to other parkrunners and talk to old friends, and make new ones, after parkrun at the 7th birthday party inside the Peter May centre. To celebrate, there were trophies and medals and certificates – not for running fast but for participating the most as befits the ethos of parkrun; it is a run not a race, and for everyone, of all ages. I particularly love seeing the juniors grow and turn sometimes from reluctant participants to dedicated, regular runners. I particularly like seeing the under-11s who often (like Lance Lee-Selby!) improve so much that they start to outrun their parent and can’t wait to turn 11 so that they can run on their own and not within arm’s length of their responsible adult who is struggling to catch up with them!

So firstly, well done to the following juniors:

Junior Female Category:

1st – Kate Lucas (29 runs, volunteered 2 times)

2nd – Emma Hardy (19 runs, volunteered 2 times)

3rd – Charlie Lovell (15 runs)

Emma Hardy

Junior Male Category:

Joint 1st – Jamie Lamb (41 runs, volunteered 12 times)

Joint 1st – Evan Willingham (41 runs, volunteered 1 time)

2nd – Alfie Fresco (37 runs)

3rd – Lance Lee-Selby (20 runs, volunteered 6 times)


Congratulations also to our adult trophy winners – you are all superstars!

Female Category:

1st – Penny Wiles (39 runs, volunteered 3 times)

2nd – Rachel Emmett (37 runs, volunteered 4 times)

3rd – Katie Martin (29 runs, volunteered 2 times)


Male Category:

Joint 1st – Thomas Hardy (39 runs, volunteered 2 times)

Joint 1st – Alex Pickering (39 runs, volunteered 9 times)

2nd – Darren Lamb (36 runs, volunteered 16 times)

3rd – Mo Allen (33 runs, volunteered 17 times)

DarrenAlex and TOm 2

Walthamstow parkrun would not happen each week without the help of our hi-viz heroes, to whom we give a huge cheer! We are blessed at Walthamstow with an amazing group of volunteers who make the parkrun run smoothly, however there is always room for more! All the roles are easy to do, and fun – I’ve often enjoyed volunteering more than running as you get time to chat whilst everyone else is walking/jogging/running around the field! If you have never volunteered, why not make 2020 your year to give it a go! Just email walthamstowhelpers@parkrun.com to discuss.

Huge congratulations to our amazing hi-viz heroes who came top of the volunteers’ category for number of times they have volunteered over the last year:

1st – Angela Lambert (volunteered 33 times)

Joint 2nd – Dermot Hughes (volunteered 24 times)

Joint 2nd – Steve Peacock (volunteered 24 times)

3rd – Gerry Trill (volunteered 22 times)

Angela 2 Dermot and Steve Gerry

But of course, Walthamstow is not just about participating, or volunteering – it’s about CAKE!!! After the ‘business’ of trophy giving was done, there was the chance to eat cake and other goodies, maybe drink a thimbleful of fizz and socialise with fellow parkrunners!

cake 2 cake 1 Danny dermot and ellis fizz food 2 food tom and emma Wendy people

Thank you to everyone who has made Walthamstow the wonderful parkrun it is, and here’s to the next year and the 8th anniversary celebration!

Ali Sheppard


Super Pen reaches 250 parkruns!

Walthamstow parkrun event #315 - 23rd March 2019

Today was a very special day at Walthamstow parkrun, as Penny Wiles ran her 250th pakrun. Penny has been an absolute stalwart at Walthamstow, and an inspiration to so many runners, including myself. Penny ran her first parkrun on 9th March 2013 – Walthamstow’s 7th parkrun – and she has barely missed a week ever since, turning out come rain or shine, and when she is resting her legs before a marathon (yes, she also runs marathons) she comes and volunteers at Walthamstow. For her dedication to Walthamstow parkrun, a couple of years ago she won Waltham Forest Sports Personality of the Year – a very well deserved winner. 235 of her parkruns have been at Walthamstow, so she has run 705 times around the Peter May Centre (plus a few more times when she’s done an extra lap in training), and the total distance that she has parkrun is 1,250km or 775 miles, which is just slightly further than running from London to Vienna, Austria! Thank you to everyone who stayed around after today’s run to help Penny celebrate this marvellous achievement with lots of cake, and it was particularly nice to see some of Penny’s neighbours who came along to support her.









Somehow in the midst of the 250th celebrations, we overlooked the fact that David Wilson ran his 100th parkrun today. Many congratulations, David, and we promise to make a fuss of you next week if you can make it! Also, if anyone else has a milestone coming up, please do let us know as it is getting harder and harder to keep track of milestones as we get bigger with more runners.
55538023_2113210868796787_3443870589440229376_n (2)
As well as our two superstars above, there were another 122 superstars who ran, jogged and walked the course today, including some tourists from as near as Wanstead and as far away as Manchester! We welcomed 15 first timers to Walthamstow, including a number of people who were running their very first parkrun – welcome to the parkrun family! These first timers included a number of scouts from the 1st City of London Scout Group who were running as part of a fundraising effort to raise funds to go to scout camp in Belgium. Unfortunately, due to problems with their bus, a number of them were late and missed the start, but we hope you still enjoyed the run and you will be back to run it properly in the future!
15 was clearly the magic number because as well as 15 first timers for Walthamstow’s parkrun number 315, 15 of you managed to get a personal best time. Many congratulations to Benjamin HILLS, Benedict WALKER, Robert DUDDRIDGE, Steve LOVELL, Colette SHRUBSOLE, Klaartje KOK, David RUBIO, Anna MCGILVRAY, Abigail TOMLINSON, Mark LUCAS, Kate LUCAS, Robert FRESCO, Rachel DENYER, Kathy MORRISSEY and Rob SUDDABY on your shiny new PBs!

1st across the finish line today was Roger Maidment in a fantastic time of 16.50, which is only 29 seconds slower than Walthamstow’s Age Grade course record of 16.21 which was set just over 2 years ago by…. Roger Maidment! 1st woman across the line was Anna Morgan, who crossed the line only 3 seconds slower than her PB of 23:06. Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Walthamstow parkrun Results Page.

Now for a couple of pleas: firstly, we are missing finish token number 108 – if you were the runner who finished in position 108 please, please bring your token back next week as we need to use it again in the following weeks.

Also, the Peter May centre have asked if runners can refrain from banging their shoes against the wall of the centre to get the mud off! Please bring a bag to put your muddy shoes in and clean them at home.

Finally, and last but definitely not least – in fact this should go to the top of the report as the most important people – a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers, without whom this run would not have taken place. Today’s run was brought to you by Adrian FROST • Steve BYWATER • Sharron ROONEY • Dermot HUGHES • Angela LAMBERT • Ali SHEPPARD • Richard PARR • Derek JUDGE • Roger ALBUREY • Antony SMITH. And after my plea for volunteers for the next few weeks a number of you stepped up and signed up – so thank you in advance! For next week, however, we do still need a someone to set up, a second barcode scanner, a tail walker and some cheery marshals. If you can help out, please email walthamstowhelpers@parkrun.com with your runner number and the role you would like to do. Oh, and we will also need some pacers, as it is Pacer Saturday next week.
See you then!

Ali Sheppard
Run Director


Walthamstow parkrun # 303 – 29/12/2018

Well done to the 94 finishers at this morning's 303rd Walthamstow parkrun. We had 7 runners at their first ever parkrun and 10 more parkrun tourists from other parkruns including Manchester, Saddleworth, Halifax and Reading. We hope you enjoyed the event and we hope to see you again. It was great to see Daphne Parr back with us.

Patrick Brown was first in 19:41 and Anna Morgan first lady in 24:26 on quite a muddy course. I have been looking at aged related achievements recently and thought they are worthy of a mention from time to time so well done to Margaret Deacon and Penny Wiles with with aged related percentages of about 65% today which to put their achievements in perspective is about the same at those finishing in the first half a dozen timed places. There were also 5 PBs this week for Andrew Sharp, Elaine Macgill, Anne-Marie Kennedy, Sue Cooper and Gillian Roffey. Great going.

Congratulations to Nicholas Voo and Sue Tan, both completing their 100th runs today. Please let the admin team know if you have milestones coming up as we like to celebrate them and present a certificate but we do need advance notice to make them.
Nicholas Voo after his 100th parkrun Sue Tan after her 100th parkrun
No Walthamstow parkrun New Year's Day but some of us are doing double parkruns at other venues. It would be great to have Stow runners out in force. Look at the parkrun Christmas Compendium site for runs that are taking place.

We are short of volunteers over the coming weeks and these events can only take place when people step forward to help so please let us know if you can help out. A big thanks to today's volunteers: Dermot Hughes, James Tharrat, Angela Lambert, Steve Peacock, Jon Gamble, Simon Baker, Lynne Durrant, Darren Lamb, Jamie Lamb, Holly Lamb and Greg Johnstone.

Thanks to everyone for remembering barcodes. The results processing is so much easier when it runs smoothly and having barcodes really helps with that.

That's it for this week so have a great new year everyone and see you at Walthamstow parkrun on 5th January when I will be your Run Director again (then not again until March 9th).

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