Wardown junior parkrun is cancelled on 16 August 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Our 15th non-parkrun event – Our 2nd birthday! 1st July 2020

Happy birthday to us!

Happy birthday to us!

Happy birthday Wardown junior parkrun!

Happy birthday to us!


Celebrating our first birthday last year was definitely very different to celebrating our second this year. There wasn't any banners, balloons, cakes, sweets and most importantly the wonderful children and adults were missing from Wardown park with party hats waiting for their pictures to be taken.



We did however have a few birthday messages and a hand drawn card from Thomas (future Run Director).


  • A very happy birthday to Wardown junior parkrun, I can't believe it has already been two years. I've really enjoyed running at junior parkrun and I'm looking forward to doing more volunteering and becoming a run director one day. Thomas Hernandez-O'Hara
  • Happy happy 2nd birthday to our lovely junior parkrun. Have missed it a lot during lockdown. We will be reunited though. I am so proud to be part of this amazing event. Claire Worby
  • Happy birthday everyone. Mark Layzell
  • Happy 2nd birthday. Catherine Marie Giles
  • The years have flown by. Can't wait to get back. Michelle Reeves.
  • Happy 2nd birthday Wardown junior parkrun. Looking forward to our parkrun restarting when the children and adults can take part once again. Dave Bull

A big happy 2nd birthday to our very special junior parkrun from yours truly. I am proud of each and every child that has participated in the 80 events we have held so far. We wouldn't have been able to hold these events without the amazing volunteers and I'd like to express my sincere gratitude for the time you have given so freely.


And last but not least a big thank you to the wonderful core team that make up our junior parkrun family. We will make our 3rd birthday the best ever!

Stay alert - look after yourselves and look out for each other ♥

Karen - Event Director


Our 14th non-parkrun event – It’s nearly our 2nd birthday!


We can't wait to see you

After restrictions have been lifted

Running, jogging, walking, hopping, skipping or jumping

Directed around our course by our wonderful volunteers

Offering encouragement and cheers as you pass each marshal

Waving enthusiastically as the finish post is in sight

Never giving up, knowing that each and every adult and child whether participating or volunteering will support you



Jumping for joy after completing your 2K

Uniting with our parkrun family

Navigating towards the next wristband

I can do this!

Offering to lead the warm-up

Radiant Run Directors

Stay safe - look after yourselves and look out for each other ♥





Our 13th non-parkrun event – Kathryn’s story

Kathryn's story

The start…

My first ever official run was the ‘Lealands Mini Marathon’ when I was at junior school. It was a cross country run… I loved it and I still have my medal!



The middle...

I’ve always run, but was never consistent.  It usually involved me going for a run after a long break, remembering how much I loved it, thinking this is great I’ll just go a little bit further…then not being able to walk properly for the rest of the week! 

More recently…

In 2015 I went for a run after being out of action for a while after having an operation.  From that day I have run a few times every week.  I quickly discovered parkrun and also got a running watch.  Being able to monitor my progress and aim for PBs saw me gradually increasing my distance.  In 2018 I ran a marathon which is something I never dreamt I would be able to do!  


Although I don’t make it to parkrun as often as I’d like, as I fit my runs around family life, I find that, no matter how long it is between visits, everyone is always so friendly and supportive.  There is always a great atmosphere and it’s definitely addictive! 

Parkrun is such a simple concept, but yet it offers so many opportunities; fitness, friendship, the chance to volunteer!  I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to help set up a junior event at Wardown.  It has been a real pleasure to be involved and meet so many wonderful people.  I love seeing the juniors enjoy running (or walking or skipping!) and am so impressed by the dedication and commitment of some of our regulars.  Our junior volunteers, who demonstrate so many skills in their roles, also never fail to amaze me!  

Having a junior event has been fantastic as my own children have been able to get involved too and it has provided us with a great way to spend time together and keep active.



We are certainly missing junior parkrun! To keep up our exercise we have been doing a lot of cycling as Emily has learnt to ride without stabilisers so there is no stopping her now!  We have also found a 2km route to run as Emily is determined to beat her PB once we start again.  She can’t wait to get back to it as she has set her sights on a marathon wristband! 


Looking forward to seeing you all when we are able to. 




Our 12th non-parkrun event – Karen’s story

Karen's story

Where it all began...

Two years ago I received a message from Kate Neale asking if I would like to volunteer with my husband at Houghton Hall juniors. We were touched to be asked and intrigued to see what junior parkrun was all about. After attending our first event as marshals we were hooked! We absolutely loved it! To see the enthusiasm on the children’s faces as they took part was a joyous thing to witness and be part of. Kate had messaged me once again to ask how we had got on and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I thanked her profusely for suggesting us as volunteers and she said she knew we would love it! I for one, couldn’t wait to email in to Houghton Hall juniors and give them dates that I could volunteer for on Sundays. This became a regular habit for myself and my husband. Further on down the line, Kate messaged me once more with news in the pipeline of the idea of a junior parkrun extremely close to home – Wardown park! With several other people, we had a meeting with an ambassador to find out all the details. I couldn’t wait to get started and very much looked forward to it all falling into place. Our 1st event was held on a beautiful sunny morning on Sunday the 1st of July.

wardown-junior-parkrun_28265070197_Junior Parkrun - Wardown event one - 01-07-2018 - 0190

Fast forward to 2020 and we are still going strong. We have a fabulous team and I am very proud to be the Event Director for our wonderful junior parkrun. Our last parkrun was on the 15th of March and I very much look forward to the day when we can safely start up again.


For the last twelve weeks, I've continued to run a 5K with my husband Dave, on a Saturday morning. With Luton Wardown parkrun setting challenges each week, we've completed each challenge on our Saturday run which we've renamed our non-parkrun events. Claire Worby's nickname for us is Team Bull - this gave me the idea to add this to our new apricot parkrun t-shirts.


We have also been running at least a mile on Sunday mornings to raise awareness for the NHS. Five weeks have been completed so far.


During the week, I have been working on a rostered basis and went back to work full-time two weeks ago. The time I'd spent at home I enjoyed watching dramas, reading books, face timing my two wonderful grandsons and keeping in touch with family and friends through phone calls and texts.

Stay alert parkrun family. Look after yourselves and look out for each other.

Karen ♥


Our 11th non-parkrun event – Lisa’s story

Lisa's story

Once upon a time there were Saturday and Sunday mornings... wait, that’s not right.  There have always been Saturday and Sunday mornings but can you remember the weekends before you became involved with parkrun? To be honest neither can I!




I remember my first parkrun, I travelled all the way up to Milton Keynes to run a 5k with a friend (and I actually missed the start too). Haha! I didn’t do another one for a good while as the journey was a bit much. But then, like a cool drink on a warm summer's day, Luton Wardown parkrun started. 1 mile to parkrun, 1 mile home.  To quote the chap from the tellybox, ‘Simples!’. 



And that was it. Not every Saturday, but quite a few of them. And when I didn’t come there was the FOMO (fear of missing out) when I saw the times being published and everyone’s profile pic being uploaded from their Saturday stint.  



It was a while before Luton and the local area had their own junior parkrun. In fact it was our sister parkrun at Houghton Hall juniors where my run directing career (if you can call it that with a handful of volunteer caps) started. Rainy Sunday mornings cheering on the young folk, walking the course and getting very wet feet. It’s mainly a grass course so most mornings will see you being a little damp underfoot.  


After a wee while, our local ambassador Tam let us know of one starting up in Luton.  Again, this was more local to me. So I joined the core team, measured up and popped my name down on the rota and here we are today.  

wardown-junior-parkrun_29262832298_Junior Parkrun - Wardown event one - 01-07-2018 - 0156


That’s the thing about parkrun. You don’t have to run every week. You don’t have to volunteer every week. You can pop in and out when and where you wish. And for that I am grateful!  


Just like you all I am missing out on seeing my parkrun friends both the Saturday and Sunday gang, but we are all still here and when the time is right, we will open up the pages of the book and continue with our next chapter.    


Until then parkrunners, stay safe!





To be continued…

Lisa Phee

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