This week we welcome a guest report writer, Barry Shackleton from Darwen Dashers.


We are at the time of the year when cancellations can happen at a
moment's notice. Traditionally, January is the worst month of the year,
with December not far behind, and when the sky was clear of clouds on
Friday night and the temperature plunged we started to see the usual
parkrun postings on Facebook of inspections on Saturday morning. But
there was nothing from this parkrun venue, and no suggestion that it was
ever going to be off as 226 runners gathered at the bandstand on a cold,
but very sunny morning to hear Run Director Jo give her address.

She gave the First Timers a mention (of which there were 44), and those
who were new to parkrun and venturing out for the first time ever (of
which there were 24), and the visitors from other parkruns, and the
dogs, and the kids, and the runner who was celebrating their birthday by
running with us. Happy birthday to you.

And then it was time to set us away; ahead of us, three and a half
almost totally flat clockwise laps around Victoria Park, taking in the
delightful fountain, made more interesting on the first lap when running
congestion meant avoiding squelching the large droppings from the ducks
(geese? whatever they are) was almost impossible, and passing also the
bandstand three times which was great for the spectators.

I was lapped on the final lap by the front three runners who were
battling it out to be first. They were within touching distance of each
other as they entered the final kilometre and I would love to have seen
the exciting finish (but of course, I was left way, way behind) so I had
to rely on the results to tell me that the first runner home was Gareth
Howell of Liverpool Harriers who was appearing at Widnes for the First
Time. He pipped Will Kozer of Widnes Running Club by just 2 seconds and
the competition inspired Will to register a time just 3 seconds outside
his own Personal Best. Colin Bishop of Helsby RC finished in 3rd place
just 4 more seconds back and even though he was behind the other two,
Colin can console himself with the highest Age Grading of the day with
his 87.42%, a full 11% more than anyone else. Colin is also 3rd in the
all-time Age Grading chart at Widnes having previously run 89.93%.

The first lady to finish was Catherine Howard (wasn't she once married
to King Henry VIII - bet she has never heard that before?!) of Knowsley
Harriers AC who ran a stunning time of 19:16 to finish in 7th position
overall. She also lapped me and went past so fast I thought I was
walking. This was Catherine's 11th run at Widnes and she is the current
Ladies course record holder following her incredible run of 17:51 which
was achieved in October last year, and she is one of only ten ladies
ever to have run under 20 minutes at Widnes.

There were an incredible 40 runners who managed to run a Personal Best
time today, so well done to them. All aboard the PB Express.

One of those with a PB to her name was 2nd Lady Bobbie Lomax of
Warrington Running Club who is closing in on her 50-run T-shirt having
run 48 times, 12 of them at Widnes. Today she ran a time of 20:41 which
chipped 4 seconds from her time set the week before Christmas.

At Widnes parkrun the average number of Personal Bests achieved per week
is 40 so we were bang on the average this week.

CATEGORY RECORDS: You would have thought that with 40 new PBs one of the
Age Category records might have fallen, but not so.

The last Age Category to change was 3 weeks ago when Jan Roscoe set a
new record in the VW70 category.

99 runners today were ladies and 142 were men, and there were 25
juniors. Don't forget that while we love the youngsters running with us,
if the junior is under the age of 11 they MUST be accompanied at all
times during the run by an adult. It doesn't have to be a parent, but it
must be an adult they know.

There were 21 runners who were shown as 'unknown'. It's terrible to have
a brilliant run, maybe get a Personal Best, and then fail to have it
recognised because you have no barcode. PLEASE …. Don't Forget Your

Need a new barcode? Or would you like your result as a text? Follow the
link to your profile from your latest results email.

And remember, please don't take home your finish tokens. They are not
souveniers …….. DON'T BE A TOKEN MAGPIE. This week, tokens #168 and
#169 have gone missing and we really would like them back. If you have
them, please return them.

51 runners today were attached to running clubs and there were 169
unattached runners who were simply doing it for themselves.

The running clubs providing the most runners were the Widnes running
club and Warrington Running Club with 9 runners each.

Since Widnes parkrun started the Warrington Running Club have been
represented by 127 different runners, which is the most from any one
club, with St Helens Striders and Widnes Running Club both seeing more
than 60 of their runners attending.

The Widnes Running Club though are a long way ahead with completed
parkruns having seen their runners finish 1,265 times - the only club to
have had more than 1,000 completions.


Those celebrating parkrun milestones with us this week were:

Clare Firth (Warrington Running Club) with 50 runs. Clare has run 19
times at Widnes having made her debut at our 2nd event in January 2015,
when she set her initial time of 29:04. Since then she has broken her
Personal Best time on 5 occasions, the last time being in January last
year with her time of 22:42.

Paula Talbot also with 50 runs. Paula has run 49 times at Widnes and her
only time away (which prevents her from being labelled an official
parkrun Agoraphobic) was a trip to Fell Foot parkrun at Newby Bridge.
She made her debut at Widnes on run #32 in August 2015 when she ran
33:57, and since then she has broken her PB on 16 occasions, the last
time being in December 2016 when she ran 24:49.

Both Clare and Paula will be receiving their Cardinal Red 50-run
T-shirts to commemorate their achievement and our congratulations go to

Those who are knocking on the celebration door include:

John Preece (Warrington Running Club) 49 runs - (Cardinal Red 50-run
T-shirt next run)

Edie McGuinness 9 runs - (Junior white 10-run T-shirt next run)

Number of Commemorative T-shirts on show today:

Junior White (10 runs) - 10 runners

Cardinal Red (50 runs) - 31 runners

Jet Black (100 runs) - 5 runners

Green (250 runs) - 1 runner

Blue (500) - 0 runners

The top 5 attendees this week were:

Barry Shackleton (Darwen Dashers) 292 runs

Chris Falls (Widnes Running Club) 206 runs

Peter Stunell 156 runs

Paul Griffiths (Formula One Circuit Crew) 141 runs

Michael Williams (Helsby RC) 116 runs

These five runners have completed 911 parkruns between them.

Keep in touch with the latest goings-on at Widnes parkrun using one of
the following media:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/widnesparkrun

Facebook: www.facebook.com/widnesparkrun

Flickr: www.flickr.com/groups/widnes-parkrun [1]

Want to give feedback? Are there any corrections needed to this report?
Please e-mail widnesoffice@parkrun.com

VOLUNTEERS - REMEMBER that parkrun can only take place weekly because of
the volunteers and marshalls who give up their time on a Saturday
morning. If you want to get involved, email widneshelpers@parkrun.com.
This week, we had 19 credited volunteers so thank you all for giving
your support and cheering on the runners, especially the marshall stood
on the bench at the first corner who was particularly supportive to us
all. If you would like to help to keep the magic flowing, please get in

And potential runners remember that to officially take part at Widnes
(or any other parkrun anywhere in the world) you need to be registered
at www.parkrun.org.uk [2] but you only need to register once and the
barcode they give you will be needed each week when you have finished

This week's UK Stats: There were 425 parkruns, 15 cancellations, and the
total UK senior parkrun population was 107,028 which is the 2nd highest
total ever

parkrun stat of the week: After this weekend, more than 2,000,000 people
around the world have now completed a parkrun.

Widnes parkrun started on the 17th January 2015 with 206 runners and 16
volunteers. The course record was set in August 20161 by Matthew
Wigelsworth in 16:03, and the female course record was set by Catherine
Howard in October 2016 at 17:51. There have been 3,230 different runners
on the course, representing 167 different running clubs, and they have
completed 18,701 runs. The average attendance is 179 every week and
there have been 4,247 Personal Bests. The attendance record was set in
January 2016 at 316 which is the only time so far that the 300 number
has been passed. Widnes parkrunners have completed over 93,500Km and
have been running for 1 year and 26 days.

LOOKING FORWARD, we should see a parkrunner complete the 20,000th
parkrun at Widnes in about 6 weeks time - it could be you!

And that's it for the report for run #104. If you fancy writing a run
report, and putting your slant on it, get in touch. We would love to
hear from you.

Barry Shackleton #lovewidnesparkrun