Event 301

Warrington Parkrun 301 – 14 September 2019

From Countdown to Only Connect via Parkrun

Last Monday at 8pm, I turned the TV on to BBC2 to get my weekly fix of Victoria Coren Mitchell, sorry that should read as my weekly hour of intellectual stimulation from Only Connect and University Challenge. What did I find? Our own regular park runner, Stephen Read, as captain of one of the two teams on Only Connect.
In 2017, Stephen became Countdown champion winning 8 consecutive matches and then the knockout competition as well. Today, Stephen ran his 144th parkrun (140 at Warrington), he came 230th in a time of 27mins 28secs. On Monday, his team, the Lexplorers, all of them Countdown champions, had a convincing win in their first match and look to be a seriously formidable team. Good luck to Steven and his team in the next round, which Stephen has told me is due to be broadcast towards the end of November.
This weekend should have been EHM weekend which would normally bring many visitors to Warrington parkrun as a warm-up for the events on Sunday. Sadly, the events for this weekend have been cancelled presumably because of safety concerns although no proper explanation has yet been forthcoming from the organisers. It is hoped that the event can be rearranged later in the year although it doesn’t look particularly promising.
It would appear that most of my thunder has been stolen by Jamie Barry from Stretford parkrun, who has already written and had posted a tourist report of Warrington parkrun leaving me with very little to say. I have included my detailed results section as normal at the end.
I have to say that his report is excellent and well worth a read. It is always good to have a view from outside and to have confirmation that Warrington Parkrun is the success that we know it to be. Jamie, thank you for all your kind words about everyone involved with Warrington Parkrun and especially for mentioning my sub 30 this week. Jamie was running his 261st parkrun (first time at Warrington) with most having been run at Stretford (108) and South Manchester (101). The remaining runs have been as a tourist at 43 different venues, and for many he has contributed a tourist report. His tourist venues include Bushy (where it all began), Belfast, Hasenheide (Germany), Montsouris (France) and Amager Faelled (Denmark).

Results – Warrington Parkrun 301
1st Chris Stanford​16.11 (37th first place finish) – (Warrington Triathlon Club) – (PB) – (New VM40-44 category record) – (best age grade % - 84.35%)
2nd Dan Morgan​​16.31 (PB)
3rd Dylan Squires​17.46 (PB)
1st Louise Blizzard​20.27 (23rd overall) – (114th first place finish) – (Warrington AC)
2nd Anna Begbie​​20.58 (36th overall) – (Warrington RC)
3rd Justine Moore​21.42 (51st overall) – (Knowsley Harriers AC)
There were 512 runners of whom 261 were male, 235 female and 16 unknowns. There were 52 first timers of whom 29 were running their first ever parkrun. The best performance by a runner new to Warrington was by Colin Hill (Didsbury Runners) in 20.19 in 20th place. The best performance by a runner in his first ever parkrun was by Spencer Astbury (JM10) in 21.46 in 52nd place.
147 of you achieved new personal bests, including the first 6 finishers, confirming that the revised route would appear to be faster, well done to all of you. Worthy of note are Tom Battarbee 17.47 (second week running), Jason Sage 19.13, Ryan Leigh 19.24, Kieran Thomerson 20.13, Alastair Brown 20.23, Joseph Muscat 20.45 (first under 21 mins), Mark Bell 21.15 (second week running and his 250th), Karl Sharkey 21.22, Faye Lawton 21.54 (first under 22 mins), James Hurrell 22.10 (first under 23 mins), Simon Oldfield 22.31 (third week running), Steve Coxon 22.57 (first under 23 mins), Dennis Yarwood 23.10, Alistair Raffel 23.17 (second week running), Tamarin Heywood 24.18, Martin Raffel 26.55 (third week running and first under 27mins), and Lyn Westwood 30.06 (first under 31 mins). 15 youngsters (5 boys and 10 girls) ran in the JM/JW10 age group, the youngest age groups and Terry Coles (VM75-79) was our most senior athlete.
The 50 parkrun milestone was achieved by Dawn Reed (41 at Warrington), Stuart Lawton (49 at Warrington) and Luke Worrall (49 at Warrington) to qualify for their red t-shirts. Karen Hunter ran her 100th parkrun (93 at Warrington) to qualify for her black t-shirt and Orla Betts (JW10) ran her 10th parkrun to qualify for white t-shirt.Keane Newey (JM15-17) and William McGeehan (JM11-14) reached 10 parkruns to qualify for their white t-shirts. David Faulkner ran his 150th parkrun.
However, the most notable achievement this week is by Mark Bell who completed his 250th parkrun to qualify for his green t-shirt. Not only that but, as I have already mentioned, he also achieved a new personal best of 21.15. Congratulations and well done Mark.
No perfect times again this week, but aesthetic times were achieved by Simon Towerzey 19.19, Andrew Worrall 24.24, Jill Cooper and Martin Rutter both 26.26, Martin Catterall and Qasim Mahmood both 27.27, Liam Wilkinson 29.29 and Hannah Smart 48.48. An on point time was achieved by Kathleen Hamilton 45.00 and palindromic times by Paul Brosnahan 24.42, Tania Wild 25.52, Amanda Mercer 30.03 and Dennis Clark 35.53.
Our visitors this week came from Ormskirk, Chorley, Wepre (Connahs Quay), Wakefield, Bradford, Darlington, Newport, Edinburgh and Jersey.
Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington Parkrun Results Page.


A Tourists View of Warrington parkrun by Jamie Barry

Warrington’s just down the road from me but, believe it or not, I’ve never run at Warrington parkrun. Having worked in Centre Park for 9 years in the early part of this century, I have run in Warrington before, usually a lunchtime run down to Victoria Park or out to Stockton Heath. So I have fond memories of Warrington as a place and as a town.

On Monday, when my friend Adrian asked where we should run at this weekend, we had a list of three parkruns and Warrington was at the top. Being men of a certain age, our parkrun criteria includes the availability of parking and toilets, and is it under an hour to get to? Luckily, Warrington ticked all the boxes for us and we had a very easy journey from Stretford and arrived to find a near-empty car park. We also invited our mate Phil along but he stayed in bed and missed all the fun.

All parkruns work in the same ways so technically, they are all the same. But add in the beauty of the individual park and the people that make that specific parkrun - both runners and, most importantly, volunteers - you get something different from each parkrun you visit. The vast expanse of Victoria Park is impressive as is the variety the Warrington parkrun course also offers. I just never realised it was so big and that start line!

Having spoken to Huw earlier in the week to ask if I could write a run report, he mentioned the tweaks that were being made this week. I had checked the course page on the website and was wondering what these could be. Had he mentioned the ‘Braveheart’ start - where you line up on a big long start line like William Wallace and the massed Scottish armies - I would maybe have been too excited to parkrun this morning because they are the best starts. Although I didn’t see any blue and white face paint this morning, resisting the urge to shout “freedom” was very difficult for me as I love a “Braveheart” start. I did manage to keep it in and as I ran up to the first turn, it was amazing to look both forwards and backwards to see the whole field of parkrunners in the sunshine.

The course is varied with a lot of tarmac paths, the trail through woods and a bit of grass too but most of you know that already. After the two little loops, the bigger loops are interesting especially through the woods and by the Mersey with a couple of long straights to try to go for it. The course ticked all the boxes because the up’s weren’t massive and the flat bits were just what they said on the tin. The best bit? That little bridge and as I ran under it twice, my mind drifted off to Central Park in New York City with its little bridges. This was my favourite part of the course - although the “Braveheart” and through the woods ran it close.

This morning 511 parkrunners ran, walked, jogged around your terrific Warrington parkrun. There were 14 unknowns today who might have forgotten to bring their barcodes or aren’t registered. Either way, they are missing out on that run credit and time! A big well done to the first finishers today, Chris and Louise, and a big well done to 147 people who got a PB today. There were 29 first-timers and 23 people, like me, visiting Warrington parkrun for the first time. And congratulations to Terry who was the first finisher in the 75-79 age category.

There was a massive 250 today with Mark Bell reaching this milestone - we think we saw Mark’s awesome red, DIY 250 t-shirt - and Karen Hunter completed parkrun #100. Dawn Reed, Stuart Lawton, and Luke Worrall all completed their 50 milestones today too with David Faulkner hitting the 150. Well done to every one of you milestoners.

What’s great about parkrun is the people, the welcomes you get - especially as a blow-in and tourists like me - and the common interest we all share as parkrunners too. Despite being on the road, I saw Lynda and Callum, who are Sale Harriers who run at my home parkrun in Stretford. I even saw Andy, a Lymm Runners, who’s dad Joe is a regular volunteer and favourite of mine at Stretford too! It was also wonderful to see the blue and yellow of Warrington RC and the black vest of the Spectrum Striders which are all very familiar from their visits to Stretford . I also saw a very nice man, a Strider, called Dennis who knew me by name from when he ran at Stretford. I really felt welcomed today, not just by the core team but also by the runners and volunteers I spoke to but you expect that in Warrington because it is a friendly place anyway.

Thank you for an amazing Warrington parkrun morning and an amazing welcome from Huw and today’s RD, Cal. You always know when it’s going to be a good parkrun morning when’s the sun’s out and the RD is with some very cute dogs. I also got to meet your regular run report writer, Richard who was generous with tips and very kind too. It has to be mentioned that Richard ran sub-30 for the first time for a while and had the sort of smile that says, “that was a good Warrington parkrun morning”.

The biggest thanks of the day should go to the amazing volunteers who make Warrington parkrun happen. From the encouragement directed towards me and everyone parkrunning today to the Barcode Scanners who kept it all going on the funnel with Cal and Huw keeping is all moving in the right order. Thank you to the Marshals, the Tail Walkers, the Timekeeper and everyone else giving their time today.

It’s another amazing parkrun morning made by some amazing people. I love every parkrun I visit because each one is unique and I always end up with each parkrun being forever in my heart. For the “Braveheart”, the amazing ED/RD/Volunteer combination, the welcome and the people, Warrington you are forever in my heart. Thank you, Warrington. I do miss Brian Bevan not being on the that roundabout but at least I could find him at the Stadium.

So that’s my Warrington parkrun story to add to my existing Warrington history. It’s sitting at the top of the list with the time I went to a party at Warrington Wolves’ stadium and ended up sprinting up and down the pitch in the dark for a bet and then being chased off by security. No that’s another story…


300th Event!!

Warrington Parkrun 300 – 7 September 2019

300 Up, And A Revised Course

This week, Warrington held its 300th parkrun. A big milestone and a tribute to everyone who has volunteered over the last five and a half years, without whom the runs could never have taken place, so a big thank you to everyone. It is a special tribute to the three people who, as far as I am aware, have acted as run director for virtually all of them, Tony Carroll, Huw Jones and Cal Bardi. I only joined the Warrington Parkrun community in September 2015 so have only limited knowledge of the early days. The first run took place on 25th January 2014 and if you look at those results, 419 people took part and 15 volunteers are listed including Tony and Huw. This week, 556 runners and walkers took part and in between we have reached a high of 623 (run 269 on 26 January 2019, our fifth birthday) and a low of 83 (run 50 on 27 December 2014). Of the runners who took part in the first run, 19 also took part this week, so take a bow, Andrew Pemberton, Mark Bell, Bryan Forth, Louise Blizzard, Michael McCarthy, Roger Pidcock, Fiona Eaton, Gregory Diakun, Martin Catterall, Lucy Wood, David Barnes, Stephen Bowdon, Sandra Lewis, Alfie Crockett, Amy Brennan, Terry Hewitson, Andrea Lorant, Lewis Hewitson and Kate Hayes. If I have missed anyone out, then my apologies. Also, Carolyn Arber and James Hurrell, who volunteered this week, ran in the first run and Sarah Matthews, who ran this week, volunteered at the first run.
Out of our 300 parkruns, Andrew Pemberton leads the way with 251, followed by Mark Bell 229, Matthew Lawless 213 and Bryan Forth 201. 22 runners have completed 150, 90 of us have completed 100 and 352 have completed 50 runs. This is out of a total of 13,019 people who have taken part in at least 1 of our parkruns.
It is wholly appropriate that Louise Blizzard and Alfie Crockett should be our individual winners today as over the 5 years they have been our most consistent and successful female and male runners. Louise was winning for the 113th time and Alfie for the 22nd time. Others worthy of mention are Chris Stanford with 36 first place finishes and for the ladies Naomi Wilson and Faye Lawton with regular high place finishes and some first places between them. Altogether 199 different runners have finished in first place. The average number of runners per week is 324 with an average run time of 29mins 22secs. Age is no barrier either, 437 boys and 339 girls have run in the 10 and under category with the youngest being only 4. Our oldest runners have been three octogenarians (2 men and 1 lady) who have competed in the 80-84 category. The course records remain at 14mins 59 secs for the men and 17mins 54secs for the ladies.
Today, of course, we also tried out a slightly revised route, to reduce congestion just after the start. In that respect, I think the new route worked well and, judging from the reactions to the Warrington Parkrun facebook post, was generally well received as regards the run flow in Victoria Park and most people also felt that it was a slightly faster run. With 138 personal bests achieved this week, it would appear to be the case. I understand that we are going to repeat it again next week.
Where opinions differed was with the start, being spread across the field instead of bunched up on the path. Many of you didn’t like it but my own view was that it was an improvement as I was neither hampered by other runners or felt that I impeded others and you could run reasonably freely on the grass or the path all the way to the Black Bear Path. There has always been a general dislike of the section of the run around the playing fields and it must be this hatred of running on grass that affected people’s views.
Finally, we must extend our congratulations to Helen Speed, who, at 39 weeks pregnant, didn’t want to miss out on the celebration event and walked the course, albeit slowly with the tail walker. Helen is due into hospital on Thursday and I am sure that everyone in the Warrington Parkrun community will join me in wishing her and Dave well for the baby’s birth. Helen, hope to see you back soon.

Results – Warrington Parkrun 300
1st Alfie Crockett​16.27 (22nd first place finish) – (Victoria Park RC)
2nd Jonathan Smith​17.27 (Lymm Runners)
3rd Jack Pilkington​17.39 (Lymm Runners)
1st Louise Blizzard​19.56 (17th overall) – (113th first place finish) – (Warrington AC)
2nd Naomi Wilson​21.18 (41st overall) – (PB)
3rd Bobbie Lomax​21.38 (51st overall) – (Warrington RRC)
There were 556 runners of whom 281 were male, 246 female and 29 unknowns. There were 36 first timers of whom 24 were running their first ever parkrun. The best performance by a runner new to Warrington was by David Bamford in 20.37 in 26th place. The best performance by a runner in his first ever parkrun was by Christopher Haimes in 21.33 in 47th place. The best age grade % was achieved by Cliff Puttock in 9th place in 19.04 with 79.90%. 138 of you achieved new personal bests, well done to all of you, including Tom Battarbee 17.57, Matt Deeran 20.45 (first time under 21 mins), Mark Bell 21.39, Simon Oldfield 22.40 (second week running), Matthew Dodd 23.05, Sharon Howarth 23.13, Alistair Raffel 23.27, Paul Lynskey 24.53, Katie Guess 26.21, Martin Raffel 27.10 (second week running), Louise Waiting 28.18, Dawn Lawless 31.00 and Ian Hughes 37.54 (first time under 38 mins). 15 youngsters (8 boys and 7 girls) ran in the JM/JW10 age group, the youngest age groups and Roger Pidcock (VM75-79) was our most senior athlete.
The 50 parkrun milestone was achieved by Denise Grehan (28 at Warrington) to qualify for her red t-shirt and Keane Newey (JM15-17) and William McGeehan (JM11-14) reached 10 parkruns to qualify for their white t-shirts. Matt Deeran ran his 150th parkrun.
No perfect times again this week, but aesthetic times were achieved by Alistair Hawgood 21.21, Laura Dean 23.23, Julian McKenzie 28.28, David Lewis and Delyth Stow both 29.29, Louise Sinnott and Charles Ruddy both 30.30, Fran Heald and Bryan Forth both 31.31, Rachel McKeown 32.32 and David Foster 35.35. On point times were achieved by David Townsend 25.00 and Valerie Ritchie-Littler 45.00 and palindromic times by Tamarin Heywood 24.42, Nina Hartford 34.43 and Jennifer Ellis 35.53.
Our visitors this week came from Chorley, Huntingdon, Wrexham, Havant, Bristol, St Albans, Liverpool, Manchester, Leamington and a lively contingent from Dublin.
Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington Parkrun Results Page.



Warrington Parkrun 299 – 31 August 2019

Andrew Pemberton – 250 and Counting

Six weeks ago, Andrew Pemberton completed his 250th parkrun in Florida whilst on holiday. This week, proudly wearing his green 250 t-shirt for the first time, he completed his 250th parkrun at Warrington, the first person to achieve this. It gives him an attendance record of 83.6% having missed just 49 runs since we started back in January 2014. Congratulations and well done to you Andrew.
Congratulations must also go to Bryan Forth who matched his name and became the fourth person to clock up 200 parkruns at Warrington.
Spectrum Striders provided the pacers this week, my personal thanks to Carolyn Arber sporting the 32 minute vest, who dragged me through the fourth kilometre to enable me to finish in a respectable 31.44. Well done to Alastair Raffel who finished spot on his 26 minute pacer target. Thank you to all their members for their efforts in providing pacers for all times from 20 to 40 minutes and one or two others as well.
Next week will be Warrington’s 300th parkrun and we are expecting a large (and colourful) turnout, perhaps record numbers as well as lots of cakes and biscuits and other goodies. We are also trialling a slightly different route hopefully to avoid the congestion just after the start with runners going both ways down the narrow path leading to “three-way corner”. It looks as if the revised route could be slightly faster so it will be interesting to see how many personal bests are achieved.
Being a bit nerdy and into facts and figures and numbers, I hope to be in a position to provide lots of details of the 300 Warrington runs, so don’t be surprised if you are mentioned in connection to some weird and wonderful fact about which you were completely oblivious. I promise not to embarrass anyone.

Results – Warrington Parkrun 299
1st Alfie Crockett​16.37 (21st first place finish) – (Victoria Park RC)
2nd Dylan Squires​17.57
3rd Tom Battarbee​18.05
1st Suzy Wild​​21.23 (34th overall) – (1st first place finish) – (CSSC Sports & Leisure) – (PB)
2nd Harriet Bell​​21.31 (37th overall) – (PB)
3rd Naomi Wilson​22.05 (55th overall)
There were 518 runners of whom 280 were male, 214 female and 24 unknowns. There were 48 first timers of whom 21 were running their first ever parkrun. The best performance by a runner new to Warrington was by Carl Everall in 19.04 in 7th place. The best performance by a runner in his first ever parkrun was by Daniel Bossward in 21.38 in 42nd place. The best age grade % was achieved by Mary Tavener in 97th place in 23.36 with 77.75%. 84 of you achieved new personal bests, well done to all of you, including Simon Oldfield 22.53 (first time under 23 mins), Clare Hollowood 26.18 (second week running) and Martin Raffel 27.31 23 youngsters (17 boys and 6 girls) ran in the JM/JW10 age group, the youngest age groups and 2 men in VM70-74 were our most senior athletes, one of which was myself and I think I can lay claim to being the oldest runner taking part this week..
The 50 parkrun milestone was achieved by Dylan Squires (31 at Warrington), David Hales (48 at Warrington), Rob Smith (49 at Warrington) and Shuk Wah Yee (45 at Warrington) to qualify for their red t-shirts. Ava Chandler (JW11-14) reached 10 parkruns to qualify for her white t-shirts. Jamie Bradbury and Qasim Mahmood ran their 150th parkruns.
No perfect times this week, but aesthetic times were achieved by Mat Rushbrook 18.18, Hannah Caulfield 25.25,neil Howard 26.26, Sally Callaghan 31.31, Mark Hunter 41.41 and Christine Machin 50.50. On point times were achieved by Alex Hartland and Stephen Porter both 25.00 and Clare McGoldrick 30.00 and palindromic times by Simon Liptrot 20.02, Deborah Pearson 30.03 and Tracey Ann 35.53.
Our visitors this week came from Congleton, Sheffield, Chorley, Liverpool, Bradford and Blandford (Dorset).
Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington Parkrun Results Page.


Bugs Galore!

Warrington Parkrun 298 – 24 August 2019

Infested by Bugs, Again

After a week away in the depths of darkest Sussex, I was delighted to be back at Warrington Parkrun for the bank holiday weekend particularly as I was joined by my daughter and granddaughter from Maidstone. Neither of them had done parkrun for a while so none of us were expecting a fast time, all we wanted was for conditions to be favourable. In this our wish was duly granted as the weather was warm and dry and the dampness underfoot had all but disappeared. We were also joined by my son who marshalled at “bench corner” so we had the opportunity to run past him twice.
The run was definitely bug infested, at least 36 members of Liverpool Running Bugs joined us for the run and this helped the total numbers to reach 480, a good turnout for a bank holiday especially as many regular runners were away (on holiday!). So, a warm welcome to all the bugs, you are welcome back anytime. We were also again well supported by our local running club, 92 runners in total, with Lymm Runners and Victoria Park Running Club leading the way.
Huw was run director this week and, in his pre-run briefing, went through the usual formalities of thanking the volunteers, welcoming the first timers and visitors and congratulating the milestone achievers. He then referred to Warrington Parkrun 300 in 2 weeks’ time (7th September), inviting you all to celebrate in fancy dress and bring cakes and other goodies. He also told us that on the same day we would be trialling a slightly revised route to avoid the congestion at “three-way corner” when runners are using a narrow path in both directions. Full details of the changes have been published on Warrington Parkrun’s Facebook page. I hope you will all have a look to familiarise yourselves with the revised route to avoid too many problems, although possibly to trial a route revision on the day of a celebration event when a bigger turnout can be expected is perhaps tempting fate.
Aug 31 – Spectrum Striders pacer event – NEXT WEEK.
Sep 7th – Warrington Parkrun 300, let’s celebrate this milestone achievement. We would like to see lots of fancy dress and of course lots of cakes and biscuits. We will be making further announcements about this in the pre-run briefings.

Results – Warrington Parkrun 298
1st Lewis Greaves​17.55 (1st first place finish) – (Serpentine RC) – (PB)
2nd Tom Battarbee​18.04
3rd Colin Walsh​​18.59 (Penny Lane Striders) – (best performance by a newcomer to Warrington Parkrun)
1st Louise Blizzard​20.07 (15th overall) – (112th first place finish) – (Warrington AC)
2nd Lucie Davies​​21.35 (39th overall) – (PB)
3rd Jennifer Brady​21.45 (46th overall) – (Liverpool Running Bugs) – (first timer)
There were 480 runners of whom 232 were male, 224 female and 24 unknowns. There were 78 first timers of whom 30 were running their first ever parkrun. The best performance by a runner in his first ever parkrun was by Tom Swann in 21.03 in 26th place. The best age grade % was achieved by Cliff Puttock in 6th place in 19.05 with 79.83%. 85 of you achieved new personal bests, well done to all of you, including Karl Sharkey 21.38, Clare Hollowood 26.42 (first time under 27 mins) and Dawn Lawless 31.09. 15 youngsters (6 boys and 9 girls) ran in the JM/JW10 age group, the youngest age groups and 4 men in VM70-74 were our most senior athletes.
The 50 parkrun milestone was achieved by Andrew Lee of Liverpool Running Bugs (2 at Warrington) and Charles Ruddy (all at Warrington) to qualify for their red t-shirts. Harriet Metcalfe (JW15-17) and Carys Berry (JW11-14) both reached 10 parkruns to qualify for their white t-shirts. Paul Clayton ran his 200th parkrun.
No perfect times this week, but aesthetic times were achieved by Andrew Pritchard 23.23, Matthew Critchley 24.24, Neil Howard 26.26, Stephen Read and Suzanne Hall both 27.27, Carolyn Arber and Emma Shaw both 28.28, Louise McConnachie 39.39, Gail Merritt 40.40, Carole Vernon 43.43 and Heather Rankin 50.50. On point times were achieved by Simon Kyle, Zara Thompson and Pamela Moore all 30.00 and Freya Elliott 40.00 and palindromic times by Paul Shannon 20.02, Ellie Barker and Rosie Martland both 23.32 and Bryony James 40.04.
Our visitors this week came from Woking, Wallasey, Wakefield, Mile End (London), St Austell, Sittingbourne, Barry Island, Preston, Ludlow, Krakow, Eastleigh, Bristol, Birkenhead and Maidstone.

Today’s full results and a complete race history can be found on the Warrington Parkrun Results Page.

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