Tail Walker’s Mission Impossible

Our regular Tail Walker, Martin Crabb, has become hooked on (not)parkrun, and of course, who can blame him?! With Witney parkrun currently SECOND (that's right... SECOND!) in the UK leaderboard of most participants this week, we set him a challenge which he's responded to in style.

Please read his words below then watch his brilliant motivational video on our social media pages before logging your own (not)parkrun this weekend!

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I received this message from Witney parkrun:

"Good morning Mr C,
Your mission - should you choose to accept it - involves encouraging 100 Witney parkrun family members to record a (not)parkrun 5K run, jog or walk on their parkrun profile by 11:59pm on Sunday 23rd August 2020..."

As everyone knows, I'm parkrun crazy and can never reject a challenge!

Firstly, I thought what a great opportunity to find out who is fit and well after lockdown and to re-establish communication with all my Saturday morning friends.

I would like to thank everyone who responded last week resulting in a new Witney (not)parkrun record of 55. I thought if everyone who did it last week encouraged another parkrunner to join in, I will achieve my mission! 67293806_421743425102074_1695967492951769088_o

It's never going to be that easy, so I'm now begging all those who have had the pleasure in lapping me to join is, as my parkrun therapist has advised this will help me survive until I'm back powering through the woods with everyone shouting: "No Running Crabby!"

I promise if I achieve my mission I will stop going on about Witney parkrun until we have a restart date.

Love to everyone and hope to see you soon xx

#loveparkrun

 

Calling all junior parkrunners!

Calling all junior parkrunners!

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The volunteers at Witney Land Army are pulling together packs of puzzles, games, articles and stories for some of the town's more vulnerable residents who live on their own. We wondered whether any of our junior parkrunners might like to contribute something to our wider community?

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It might be a wordsearch or a quiz. A logic puzzle or a crossword. Fiction or non-fiction writing. It's entirely up to you! It would be great if it could have a Witney parkrun or exercise theme but this isn't a necessity if you have other ideas.

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If you prefer, you could also/alternatively create a photo montage featuring interesting items or views you see while you are out exercising.

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Simply email your puzzles, stories or montages to us at witney@parkrun.com by 7pm on MONDAY 25TH MAY and we'll collate them for the Witney Land Army team who will arrange to print and distribute them. If you submit puzzles, please remember to send the answers too!

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Of course, you can ask your designated adults to email these to us if you prefer, and they don't even have to be within arm's length when they do... just remind them to include your name!

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Please let us know if you have any questions. Otherwise, please spread the word and we look forward to hearing from you very soon. Stay safe and look after yourselves and others.

#loveparkrun 

 

Not a run report “Teaser” Edition

Hey there, how are you all doing? Lovely to see many of you (safely) out and about  this week hitting your "not a parkrun"  5K's or taking up other activities such as cycling in our beautiful countryside.

A big well done to everyone who joined the Great Big parkrun Quiz. A PB or not, great fun! And for those of you who guessed the RD in the photo, it was indeed RD Bertie!

This week we have a special edition "Teaser" not a run report for you ahead of a little bank holiday surprise! Kindly written by RD Ally. Can you guess what she is talking about:

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After some initial chit-chat and warming up in preparation, we made our way to the familiar starting point up at West Witney. Eager faces listened to the run-briefing, ready to hi-five the hi-viz heroes and pay attention to the hazard areas around the course. Then 3-2-1, we were off!

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Imagining the volume of happy faces through the trees, we each swiftly made our way through the out & back. Not surprisingly Tegs made a quick getaway on the small lap, while the rest of us were relying on the hi-viz heroes to boost our efforts. Hilarious cries of ‘No way - He can’t lap me already!’ were shouted by Bethany, but thankfully she held him off and Ally was giving it everything she had to be hot on his tail.  Once we’d made it past the clubhouse on the small lap, we seemed to have found our rhythm and a consistent pace was maintained for the first of the larger laps.  A boost from the hi-viz heroes, saw Rhys edge ahead of Ally, while Bethany spent a fair amount of time finding those hazards!

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Once through the woods we were heading for the final lap and the gap was closing.  Tegs had found a surge of energy as the volunteers with their pom-poms and cowbells cheered him on, and the rest of us needed to dig deep to get round that final loop. The kids were closing that gap as they came down Deer Park Rd, but Ally was determined to dig deep! This was the only time she’d ever been in this position and Tegs was in her sights. From nowhere, Rhys came sprinting past to take the lead, and Tegs appeared to have run out of energy as he was pretty much stationary for the next couple of minutes.

A sprint finish ensued between Rhys & Ally, with the 10 yr old being the first through the finish funnel in a time of 23.30, Ally 2nd in 25.00, Tegs just behind in 26.30, and we all cheered Bethany in at 28.00

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Needless to say Tegs was not happy with that result and would rather have run the actual course for real!! Roll on Witney parkrun's return!

Watch this space for more clues coming this week. In the meantime, #staysafe, #stayhome #loveparkrun

 

“Not” a run report special compilation 18th April 2020

A big thank you to everyone who has submitted content for this weeks "not " a run report compilation. We love seeing what you have all been up to.

Mandy Lucas:

"The Lucas Lockdown parkrun is now in its Fourth week! I've been tailwalker every week and Kayleigh Lucas has been placed first each week! Might even make myself a tail for next week!"

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Ruth Trout:

"Just did 5k round Burwell/Deer Park. Part of one of our Tuesdays night routes. I hadn’t intended going that far but allowed some peer pressure from my neighbour to spur me on for the final half K!"

Dan Wymer (RD):

"I should've been RD at Witney this week so instead I virtually parkrunned in Central Park, NYC. Two laps of the Onassis Reservoir, pan flat and beautiful views!"

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Nikki Shaw:

"Morning - we did a beautiful 5k around Alvescot and Black Bourton this morning - we can’t wait to be back at parkrun soon! xx"

Trish Davies ( volunteer parkrun photographer)

"Well I have taken on a new challenge... couch25K and am making hearts to say thank you to my staff as I work in the NHS. Stay safe everyone x"

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Karen Rebecca:

"Morning, Matt and I enjoyed an early morning 5k along the meadow and river with Alfie the dog.. We managed around 34 minutes which is a steady improvement"

Punam Owens (Co-ED)

"my husband Lewis  and I were due to tail walk this week as part of our 28th wedding anniversary celebrations. So we walked the dogs instead!"

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Graham Carter:

"I’ve been doing the parkrun quite a bit on my own. Nice and quiet."

Claire Soanes:

"Gorgeous bluebell woods near us are replacing Deer Park woods"

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Cereta Drewett ( volunteer parkrun photographer)

"I am scanning all the family photos over nearly 80 years in order to make a book AND since lockdown I have taken up running again and completed my 162nd mile"

Michael Lewis:

"I’m having to shield so no running for me. I’ve bought a turbo trainer for my bike, so I’ve done several rides in my garden.
On the craft side, I’ve made a bug hotel"

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Deborah Jackson:

"Did the online quiz and posted a miserable score of 5/15. Must do better!"

Andrew James Grundy Lyons:

"Took the opportunity to discover an empty central London on the run today."

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And last but not least, many of our parkrunners have been volunteering for the Witney Land Army to help those in our community most in need - well done to you:

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We know its going to be a long walk, jog or run until we can be back, so its been fabulous to see what you have been up to. We'd love to do it all again next week, so please do send in your snippets and fun facts!

In the meantime, take care everyone!

#staysafe, #stayhome #loveparkrun

 

 

Non Run Report April 4th, 2020. #gardenrun by Amy Thomas

Hello Witney parkrun family. How are you all doing?
It is Sunday and although we don't have a run report for you, we thought we would share this #nonrunreport from one our regulars Amy Thomas.

We think you will enjoy it:

"April 4th 2020 Witney Gardenrun #1

The weather was perfect for the first ever Witney Gardenrun.
The course inspection took place (didn't take long) and the grass section looked in particularly good condition, all 4 metres of it.
The washing line and footballs, dog poo and other garden debris were removed and cones put in place to mark the way (yes we have cones!)

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We worked out that the lap was about 25 metres so 5k would be 200 laps.
It soon became apparent that my garmin wasn't a happy bunny, it didnt like the little loops or running so close to the house, my pace was registering at about 25min/miles ....not sure I can even walk that slow!

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We decided to just keep going for 30 mins (mainly because I lost count of laps after 7)
When we reached 30 mins we decided to carry on because we heard our neighbour cheering from her bedroom window and didn't want to let her down.
The sun came out and we switched direction

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I decided to stop at 1 hour which coincidentally recorded exactly 2.5 miles on my garmin (if you know me you'll know how happy neat stats make me, even if they are obviously inaccurate )
Thank you to all the supporters (my neighbour and my son, who rolled his eyes at me and went back to bed) and now I'm dreaming of my Ue coffee that I usually have after a parkrun, what would be a suitable post Gardenrun drink I wonder?........No, too early.

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Anyone else doing a Gardenrun? I believe you can take part at any time of the week/day.
Enjoy #Gardenrun"

Thank you Amy!

If anyone else is inspired by Amy's #GardenRun, we would love to have some more submissions of your parkrun alternatives for a Sunday "non run report publication".

Please go ahead and send them in to us via social media or to witney@parkrun.com

Enjoy the rest of your sunshine Sunday and stay safe. As always if your parkrun family can help in anyway, please let us know and /or reach out to Witney Land Army

Take care!

#loveparkrun 

 

Important Announcement – Forthcoming Cancellations

Though today has seen a much sunnier day than we have had in a while, our parkrun course is so very saturated and it's simply not drying out.

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Our Core Team has therefore regretfully decided that we will CANCEL the forthcoming TWO events on Saturday 29th February and Saturday 7th March to give the course maximum chance of recovery, with an aim to relaunch for our 2nd Birthday on Saturday 14th March. Of course, this will also be subject to the normal pre-event safety checks and we will keep you posted with progress nearer the time.

We are of also hugely disappointed to cancel our plans for Leap Day on 29th February and International Women's Day on 7th March.

We hope this early cancellation will give our wonderful, supportive, understanding Witney parkrun community of runners, joggers, walkers, volunteers and supporters the opportunity to make alternative plans for your next couple of Saturday mornings.

This winter has seen an unprecedented amount of rain with more cancellations throughout Oxfordshire than we have ever known in our collective many years of parkrunning! We should also remember that last winter, we only lost one single Saturday to snow and none to waterlogging. That said, we are working with several stakeholders to see what course improvements are possible for the future. While this is unlikely to help us right now, it will hopefully help reduce the impact of any future wet winters.

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We thank you for your continued patience and we look forward to seeing you for cake and a Witney and West Oxfordshire Food Bank collection on Saturday 14th March. Please keep fingers and toes crossed - plus sun dances underway - until then! We miss you so much and look forward to seeing you soon.

#loveparkrun 

 

EVENT CANCELLED – 4th January 2020.

***EVENT CANCELLED, January 4th***

Hello everyone, an early course inspection this morning has resulted in an event CANCELLATION for tomorrow.
The overnight rain has compromised our starting point and the majority of the field is waterlogged.
We are all very disappointed but safety is always our first priority.

In case you wish to tourist tomorrow, please check this link for cancellations before you travel:

https://www.parkrun.org.uk/cancellations/

We hope drier weather over the next few days will help the course recover in time for the 11th.

A big thank you again to everyone who stepped forward to volunteer. We appreciate you greatly!

#loveparkrun

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NYD Special 2020 – Event 87. A new decade…and still lots of mud

Well now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?  And if there were a few bleary eyes and even a smudge or two of the night before’s make-up, no one was looking.

As one cheery runner called across the carpark, what a way to start the decade.  And there was no shortage of people ready to get the decade off on the right foot, or the left foot if that’s your thing: 192 parkrunners and 25 volunteers were assembled to start 2020 in style, a happy mass of people catching up with friends, or enjoying a few moments to themselves.  It was a chilly morning, and perhaps there was a thought here and there that this had seemed a better idea a few days ago, but as Punam stepped up to start proceedings those doubts ebbed away.  It was a new day, a new decade and parkrun time.

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parkrunners celebrated their 10th (George Boswell, Louis Poole) and 50th (Jonathon Smith, Martin Bate) milestones, and an amazing 47 first timers were enthusiastically acknowledged. (Editors note: not everyone wished to be photographed)

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Welcome to Witney parkrun, you will have seen the best and worst of the course at this new year’s special.  At this time of year generally muddy, often slippery, sometimes wet – but always the sense of achievement at the finish line, the buzz of achievement, the inspiration of those super speedy finishers, and the support of the people; the runners, walkers and volunteers on the way round.    It’s a resolution worth keeping, and come the summer, when the mud-bath is a distant memory, and the sun is shining, you won’t remember Saturday mornings any other way.

Actually, while we’re on the subject of resolutions and putting in a regular appearance, there’s one member of the team who has been a bit fickle of late.  Yes the parkrun Weather Fairy, we’re looking at you.  Your efforts in November and December have been frankly woeful, but the soft skies of January 1st were a welcome sight (might that even have been a glimpse of sunshine at one point?), so if you could add yourself to those making Witney parkrun their new year’s resolution that would be great.

No concerns over the rest of the team though – as always thank you to the volunteers who got out of bed and made event 87 possible.  Special mention to Liam Walsh who joined the volunteers 25 Club by giving the first timers’ briefing (no mean feat that with 47 people).

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The encouragement on the way round, the congratulations at the finish line and at the barcode scanning makes a world of difference.

The mud did swallow a shoe here and there, and it was undoubtedly slippy and sticky for much of the course, but in the spirit of gentle happiness that was pervading the atmosphere it was drier underfoot than it has been for some time.  Three parkrunners defied the conditions to produce PBs, very well done to them; and indeed well done to everyone who chose to embrace the first morning of the roaring twenties on a chilly field in West Witney.  Happy new year, happy new decade, and very many happy parkruns. #loveparkrun

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Author: Rachel Pollard

Photos: Deborah Jackson

 

End of Year run report Event #86: you will get muddy and you will get wet!

Following the awful rainfall which led to virtually all the Oxfordshire parkruns being cancelled last week, the Witney course inspection team were able to add a few tweaks to avoid the most water logged areas and gave us a thumbs up for event #86 to go ahead.

The social media announcement that the event was on created a huge response of likes, loves and smiley emoji’s!

With a shout out for volunteers, our wonderful community again stepped up to fill all open slots in a matter of just a couple of hours.

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It’s been said before, our volunteers are a true gift. Whether they give up their own walk, jog, run to allow others to participate, or join us for their own personal reasons, we  cannot do it without them. Thank you to you all whether you work behind the scenes or show up every week to allow us to experience the “power of parkrun”

If you have not yet read “The 2019 parkrun year in review”, it well worth a read: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2019/12/27/the-2019-parkrun-year-in-review/

Here are some highlights:

“Over the course of 2019 more people than ever before discovered the magic of their local parkrun”

 “An incredible 84% of volunteers said parkrun improved their happiness”

 “This year the average finish time at parkrun was 32:31, compared to 32:28 last year. Slower finish times reflect success in our ambition to be inclusive and truly welcoming to all, no matter your ability, age or background. You are all welcome and it is a privilege to have you with us”

Witney parkrun has had its share of “magic moments” throughout the year. The friendships which have formed have been incredible. The achievements, be it that PB, a first parkrun, or just getting to the start and overcoming your anxiety or hidden illness, or the parkrun community supporting you as you grieve for a loved one, or as a tonic to help you recover from injury and indeed finding a way to continue, buoyed by the community spirit, the shouts of well done and the cheers of you can do it or simply a hello and how are you doing?

This week Witney parkrun was no different. Kicked off by RD Bertie, be careful he said, you will get wet, you will get muddy, you must be careful. We don’t want any incidents…not on my watch!  The crowd acknowledged the message with a cheer :)

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Our hi-viz heroes were in particularly good spirts this week, still in the festive spirit and many participants in festive attire too!

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This week 179 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 42 were first timers. We welcomed tourists from Bicester, Maidstone and Crawley to name a few.

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A huge congratulations to Anna Flory and Jonathan Smith for joining the 50 club. (Editors note: we didn't capture a photo of Jonathan!)

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The event was made possible by 32 volunteers:

Paul THOMAS • Ian FOWLER • Dan WYMER • Fiona SHAW • Allison MAYBREY • Tamsyn WYMER • Kim MARSHALL • James FIELD • Suzanne REEVE • Linda FIELD • Matthew LOCK • Punam OWENS • Jason JAMES • Martin CRABB • Jacob LILL • Chris GARDENER • Kate PRINSEP • Kevin COLLINS • Julia LAWLEY • John HONOUR • Sara WILD • Ruth TROUT • Owen EDWARDS • Ally JONES • Julian SOANES • Lynn WALLEN • Allan JENKINS • James O'BRIEN • Beth SOANES • Cereta DREWETT • Chloe WILD • Callum MCKEOWN

Reflecting on the success of Witney parkrun as 2019 comes to a close, there are a few thoughts which come to mind:

There is much to be thankful for:

The incredible core team who work tirelessly behind the scenes with landowners, ensuring our course is safe, managing social media/emails, risk assessments, and a lot of paperwork, all in their spare time and yet we still see many of them most Saturday's as well.

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The inclusive and diverse culture the event fosters. All are truly welcome and it is an absolute privilege to have so many on this journey of mental and physical wellness be it as a walker, jogger, runner or volunteer.

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Our volunteers, often called one of the friendliest, with their pom poms, cowbells, huge smiles and encouragement. It is a very rare occurrence to have open slots on the roster. The commitment and support of everyone who volunteers whether its once in a while or every week is truly appreciated.

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Last but not least, councils, councillors and landowners who work with the team to enable the event to be sustainable. They have supported the growth of the event, for example the county council grant award Witney parkrun received for the storage container aka “the Green Goddess”, the Mayor’s award for the PA system and the team is also thankful to the Bartlett Trust who have also supported the event and allowed the team to purchase the milestone bibs which many run in each week celebrating their achievements.

Since Witney parkrun started on 10th March 2018, and incredible 4,801 participants have completed 21,010 parkruns covering a total distance of 105,050 km, including 4,485 new Personal Bests. A total of 478 individuals have volunteered 2,766 times. Well done and thank you.

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So, with the last event of 2019 over, the first thought? Will it ever stop raining!

A New Year’s Day special will kick off the new decade, weather and course conditions permitting. 2020 will also see the event celebrate its 100th and of course its 2nd birthday in March. A note to our cake bakers...the return of the “Great Witney Bake-off” would be awesome!  There will also be De-Fib training coming up in February in partnership with First for Safety and Wood Green School and it is hoped some more parkrun “takeovers” supporting local community causes.

There will also be many, many more magic moments and my hope in writing this is that the event continues to inspire others. Whatever your reason to parkrun, you will never look back. Personally, I have never experienced such a phenomenal concept where there are no barriers: physical, generational, background, capability or other and never in my wildest dreams did I think Witney parkrun would positively impact so many near and far.

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Wherever you choose to parkrun, in Witney or around the world, you will be welcomed, you will be encouraged, supported and inspired.

Thank you to you for making it a great 2019!

Wishing you a very Happy New year!

#loveparkrun

Punam (Co-Event Director)

Photography credits: Cereta Drewett; Trish Davies

 

 

EVENT CANCELLED – 16th November 2019

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Witney parkrun is CANCELLED  due to waterlogged sections of the course.

There are a number of local cancellations including Abingdon, Bicester and Banbury so please check this link and social media pages of other parkruns you might like to visit before you travel:

https://www.parkrun.org.uk/cancellations/

We hope you enjoy whatever you choose to do, be it a tourist at parkrun or a lie in and we hope to see you next Saturday 23rd.

#loveparkrun

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