Witney parkrun Festive Challenges

After more (not)parkrun success last week - more about that on our social media pages later! - we're excited to launch the first TWO of our (not)parkrun Festive Challenges!

'tis the season to

Challenge 1: 12 Days of Christmas

How many Witney parkrunners will complete 12 (not)parkruns between today (30th November) and Sunday 13th December?

Challenge 2: 2020

There's still time to turn 2020 into something good! Can Witney parkrunners collectively complete 2,020 (not)parkruns between now and the end of Christmas Day?

We have more challenges to launch in the coming weeks so hopefully this will be a little motivation for our amazing community to keep getting out and about to walk, jog and run 5km when the weather's damp and cold, and nights are dark!

Are you in? Let's go Witney!

#loveparkrun #notparkrun


Keep (not)parkrunning!

Wow, wow, wow Witney parkrun. What can be said that hasn’t already been said about all Witney parkrunners and the amount of (not)parkruns completed last week? A phenomenon that is sweeping not only our community but elsewhere which can only be a force for good.

As someone who has never completed a normal parkrun I personally have got such a buzz walking (not)parkruns that I’m afraid that it is becoming an addiction for me. I have often read that running and walking is good for not only your physical health but also for your mental health, I have found this to be so true. In my case to get out of the house and stretch my legs is equalled only by clearing my head at the same time. To be striding out and around Witney taking in places around the town that I haven’t taken too much notice of in the last forty or so years that I have lived here! Saying hello to other walkers and runners as you pass and of course people in general as I try to be social at all levels.


Seeing other people either running or walking, with a purpose, I’m thinking to myself, hmm, I wonder if they are (not)parkrunning too? It is making me think maybe that I should get a T shirt emblazoned with the words on it “I’m (not)parkrunning, are you?”!

This week I managed to complete my 50th (not)parkrun on the same day that RD Punam and Sarah completed theirs, what a triumvirate! All this on the back of Martin hitting his 100th last Friday, I thought there should have been some sort of salute for him but I think the Red Arrows were busy that day! He has been such a force of persuasion that there are now many hashtags including him in them, my personal one is #BlameCrabby as he has a lot to answer for!


It is also lovely to see friendly rivalry and banter with other parkruns around the country, if it encourages people to get out and exercise that can only be a good thing and we so need good things

This morning I walked along Deer Park Road, by my position on “the wire” and I wondered if the people living opposite miss me with my bell and shouting encouragement on a Saturday morning, I hope they do!


I am indeed looking so much for the normal parkrun to return so I can get back on the “wire” cheering and encouraging you all, and you never know, I may even complete one, but until then I shall just carry on doing my (not)parkruns, I hope you all carry on too.

Remember hands, face, space and keep (not)parkrunning!

Stay safe everyone.

Run Report: John Honour (Twitter: @woxwhite)



I'm absolutely staggered!  Not by the pandemic. Nor by the American election.  No; what I've been overwhelmed by is the spirit on show throughout the Witney parkrun community.

I was due to be on Run Director duty this last 2 weeks but alas, the hi-vis had to stay firmly in the container.  In fact, it's dawned on me today that I haven't donned the RD vest for over a year! The last time I was "on duty" was in fact the week where the new Chipping Norton School parkrun team were taking control as their final preparation for their launch.  I can't tell if the year has gone exceptionally quickly or incredibly slowly?!

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One thing that has certainly lifted my spirits has been how Witney has embraced the (not)parkrun challenge - walking, jogging or running 5k, wherever you are, on any day of the week and logging the time it took.

Initially it took us all a while to get our heads around what the purpose of (not)parkrun could serve - how could it possibly replace the cheers, smiles, high fives, bubbles and pom poms?  Whilst it's not the same, it has let the core team know that you're all still well.  It's provided people with motivation to get more active, more often.  It's provided a way for us to come together when we've not been able to get together.  It's enabled us to make connections to other parkruns around the country too.  And most recently, it's provided an opportunity for a little friendly competition.

Which leads me nicely on to our current challenge where we are trying to record enough (not)parkruns to circumnavigate the globe - a total of 8,015 (not)parkruns!

We've been leading the UK in recording hundreds of (not)parkruns each week and last week, 281 of the Witney parkrun community have helped, yet again, to push the bar higher by recording a new record of 724 (not)parkruns.  The last few weeks of (not)parkrunning have been propelling Witney around the world and there's now a chance that we could be the first parkrun to achieve the feat.

As the chart shows, we were a bit slow to the (not)parkrun party but we've been making up for lost time!


It looks like Chelmsford are picking up the pace again and could reach the target in the next 2 weeks so finishing first will be a tough task but one that I know Witney can take on.

So I'd like to ask: are you up for the challenge?

Get out there and walk, jog and run 5k of a route of your choice and log your times against your parkrun profile.  You can log one each day of the week and the 5k can be part of a longer activity, just submit the time it took to do a 5k section.

Channel your inner Phileas (or Willy) Fogg and help Witney parkrun to be the first parkrun to get around the world!

Run Report: Dan Wymer

Photo: Trish Davies


7/7 (not)parkrun motivation!

You may have seen the photo of Alexander walking up and down the hotel room. So why did he decide to go for 7/7 (not)parkruns this week? Well, really because it was half term so I thought why not and he said “I’m in!” when I told him! Unfortunately that meant more work for me as he wouldn’t run every day, so I have done two extra walks added to my runs!

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On Tuesday, he ran with me and also got his PB (not)parkrun time so well done to him! On Wednesday he walked with his brother while I ran up and down passing them every now and then! On Friday we spent quite a bit of time in the car and he woke up too late to run with me (well, he is nearly a teenager) so he did most of it walking up and down our hotel room.

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On Saturday we did a stunning walk to Old Harry Rocks, but Alexander said there were too many hills! Our favourite day was Sunday, when we ran alongside Poole Harbour (even though it was windy and wet and I had to wake him up early). We were also reminded that it is a year ago that we visited the Eden Project parkrun during a hurricane!!

We miss being able to do parkruns, but Alexander did admit he likes the fact that he can chose what time of the day to do his (not)parkruns! He normally sleeps too long on a Saturday morning. Let’s hope it won’t be too long until we can all meet up again in Witney. For now, keep (not)parkrunning!

Run Report & Photos: Naomi Crawford


50 (not)parkruns Not Out!

Thank you to Ita for this week's (not)Run Report! And enormous congratulations to you and Claire on completing 50 (not)parkruns!

Good Morning to all you (not)parkrunners.
Witney (not)parkrun ready?
Now that is the question....

Today is no ordinary (not)parkrun day. Today is special...
Well you see I am a reluctant but joyful runner who lacks motivation at times and today I get to CELEBRATE my 50th (not)parkrun with my motivating friend Claire. Can I run 5k yes, will I?
Well in my head yes, but engaging my feet is sometimes difficult.


Our driver today is David, he is taking us in his new electric car to Witney.
It is quiet around, not that many early risers. We arrive and get ready. Our race briefing by the best dressed volunteer, is delivered by Beth.
Run fast is the instruction today....


That same nervous excitement rises as we have no difficulty at the start line. The usual shuffles to find our way to the back of the line, cannot be done today, the front row it is.

The couple we see with their dog have already had their starting moment. We will wait for ours.


A photo op then we are off. You ok? Yes she says, I hate the start, my legs take time to wake up, that leaden feeling we know will pass, just when ? I am not sure.
We head down through the avenue of trees displaying their autumn joy. Almost as if they know our secret.


David claps and cheers as we pass the club house and head to Burford road. The first sight of our volunteer to direct us the right way on our route to 5k.
The usual parkrun chatter keeps us going as we head back into the field. A few more people around, calls of ‘good morning’ help to pass the time.
Good to finish the field lap and off on our second lap. We head around the outside to be met by an unusual obstacle, a tree lying across our path, gently hurdled over, you don’t want to break anything

Ah, Mr Fulham spot is occupied by the same volunteer Beth saying ‘mind the wire’!
On we go scuffing through the autumn leaves scattered at our feet to be met by today’s ditch dancer Beth....

Through the wet grass we head round into the woods, oh no our Everest awaits. What nice chippings make for an easier footing, puffing up we have done it. Hey not as bad as Pigeon House Lane.


Well an unusual sight, a runner coming towards you through the woods....
Remind myself to look up not at my feet.
It is good to run on those chippings, the volunteers put out down just before lockdown.
Waiting for the bell as we run through the wood, then head out to the breathe in the clear cool air. As we head out of the wood, there are more people around, the runner lets us run out, thank you.
David thinks we are finishing only to hear we have one more loop

Easy does it, this feels like homeward bound. Puffing away, carrying half the mud and leaves on the carefully chosen trail shoes for today’s event. Keep going, hurdle the tree again. More people around this time, still no one knows why we chose today to come here to Witney. We turn to head into the wood, ah Bubbles and music greet us, what a joy before our second attempt at Everest. Made it, now enjoy the wooded run take time to enjoy the space and joy of a run.


We head out of the woods, excitement mounts as we see the finish in sight. When to speed up, to sprint, don’t go too early as could end up walking the rest of the way.... ok we will speed up through the last section of trees. No yellow lines funnel, but look our very own high vis hero, the finish line we run to the tape and breathe.

Number 1 finish tokens for us both! Now where’s your barcode?


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Thank you Claire, you have given me more motivation to keep going; more than I ever would have on my own. See you for our 100!

(not)Run Report: Ita Moore
All the Volunteers: Beth Soanes

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