Calling all junior parkrunners!

Calling all junior parkrunners!


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?


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.


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


Simply email your puzzles, stories or montages to us at 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!


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!


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.



Event #89 – a Special Day ❤️

We have a special Run Report this week, written by Witney regular Liam Walsh. Thanks to Liam for taking the time to write these lovely words. All our love and thoughts are with the Walsh family ❤️

Thankfully our weather fairy sprinkled some magic and allowed us to go ahead this weekend, for Witney parkrun #89 was a special and a sunny one for me.

Last week our Witney parkrun team posted a request for volunteers to help at a Celebration Service for my son Patrick on Friday.

We know that parkrun prides itself on community, inclusiveness and wellbeing, and the way that you have embodied those values to support at such a tough time is humbling and heartwarming.


parkrun is so much more than the effort of a 5k or the volunteering itself: it’s about the friendships and spirit and connections that develop from it. And I’m so so grateful for that. That so many people have said that the service was beautiful is such a credit to our parkrun helper heroes, working alongside other community friends from Witney Music Festival and Libfest.

It simply couldn’t have happened without you.

So special thanks in no particular order to the following Witney parkrunners (and to everyone else with a hug or message or smile), who kindly gave their time on Friday:

John Honour
Peter Rose
Gill Sherwood
Punam Owens
Tamsyn Wymer
Dan Wymer
Kate Prinsep
Fraser Howard
Sally Howard
Ruth Trout
Matt Keeble
Eric Marshall
Marli Buckridge
James Field
Rupert Macfarlane

Roll on to Saturday and after our stop-start winter it was lovely to see so many familiar hivis heroes catching up and preparing for action - 30 heroes this week. Soon Run Director Bertie was in full flow with his familiar ‘not on my watch’ refrain sending us cheerily and safely on our way.


After the usual first lap dance through the mud and puddles, we had our much awaited woodland surprise to look forward to. And, as if the sight of snowdrops and the promise of daffodils wasn’t enough to raise spirits and hint of spring, there before us was a glorious woodchip carpet. Thank you so much indeed to the tremendous Witney Woodland Volunteers - there’s our fabulous community in action again - not only does it look fantastic, it made struggling through the woods that much more bearable! I almost looked forward to the final lap and visiting again!

For me it was also special to see friends, some old, many new in a familiar comforting place amongst the 214 finishing faces, with Ruth ensuring no-one finishes last at parkrun. There were 47 first timers, and somehow, pretty miraculously 13 personal bests. If getting our parkrun up and running 2 years ago was a 1,000 piece jigsaw, it was special to be able to introduce one of those pieces - all the way from Brisbane. Special to welcome visitors from Bury St Edmunds and Sheffield and special to share our story with others from Leeds and Woking and Newport and Ashbourne.


Fingers crossed that the weather fairy is back on duty this week, and that between us all, we’ll find new reasons to feel special at parkrun next week.


Run Report: Liam Walsh

Photos: Derek Hall, Trish Davies


Event 81 Run Report by Emily Calcutt: Dry, sunny and the return of the bubbles…

Witney parkrun
Event number 81
19th October 2019

Hello everyone, Emily here!

I've been doing parkrun for about a year now and try to never miss it, it's such a friendly event and a fun course! I managed to even get my son and his dad involved too!

I was glad to see a lot of Oxford shirts, and I'm sure all of us will agree, the weather couldn't have been more different yesterday from the Oxford Half last Sunday, beautiful sunshine and not too cold once we started. It was so wet last weekend, I'm still not dry!


I was also happy to see the bubbles back! (Editor's comment: Thank you to Hi-Viz hero Jacqueline for the bubbles :)). My son and I live for the bubbles going into the wood.


On the subject of the wood, I'm glad that we, as a group, are being more supportive while going through the wood, definitely needed while it's so slippery.


Witney is such a friendly parkrun, and hopefully everyone agrees, I personally am so glad that we have this mini community to be a part of.


This week 237 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 35 were first timers and 16 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 36 volunteers:

Bridget GOULD • Fraser HOWARD • Ian FOWLER • Dan WYMER • Michael PATTISON • Jackie WILLIAMS • Dean MILLER • Tamsyn WYMER • Emma WALKER • Chris BRAY • Katrina ALDEN • Adam LAWRENCE • James FIELD • Tracy LAWRENCE • Poppy LAWRENCE • Emily CALCUTT • Simon LLOYD • Punam OWENS • Steven MATHIESON • Jacqueline HATHAWAY • Chris GARDENER • Mark JESSEY • Skye MCKINNON • Stephen ROBERTS • Benedict RAISTRICK • Julia LAWLEY • John HONOUR • Ally JONES • Benjamin DAVIES • Allan JENKINS • Phil STANLEY • Dave JOHNYS • Harry EDNEY • Callum MCKEOWN • Jill FESTA • Tom FESTA


This weeks milestones:

10 Club: Ben ALEXANDER, Chloe WILD &Isla ARNOLD


100 Club: Joseph FREER, Lottie FREER, Mark FREER (Editor's comment - what a wonderful family affair :))


Run Report: Emily Calcutt

Photography: Dave Johnys

Editor's final comments:

Some will know when Witney parkrun was in the making, the core team was kindly hosted by Oxford parkrun for our training. We were delighted to pay that knowledge forward to our guests from Chipping Norton today. The team from Chipping Norton will be back at Witney on November 2nd to "takeover" our event. We wish them the very best on their parkrun journey.

Lastly, thank you to RD Punam taking care of the event for the last 2 weeks. Next week will see the return of RD Dan. Until then...



Event #77 run report – by Rebecca Deasy, aged 9.

As soon as I woke up I felt the joy of opening my eyes to a very sunny, no-school day.  I suddenly remembered, yay, it’s parkrun!  When we arrived, I saw loads of bikes parked up in front of the Windrush Bike Project by the clubhouse.  The Mayor of Witney and a man from the Bike Project reminded us that Sunday  22ndSeptember is Car-Free day in Witney.

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Off we went to the start and then 3, 2, 1 let’s go!  I started at the back and watched the crush of people squeeze through the trees, slower than ketchup out of a bottle. However, by the time I got to the U-bend, the speedy runners were already out onto the bike path.  And by the time I got to turn back into the field, they had just begun to lap me.  My mum says this is like the road runner cartoon (except I’d rather eat cake than road runners!).


I managed to get around the field, along the bike path and heading towards the “Come on Fulham” sign before I got lapped again by the speediest runner. If I tried to run that fast, my legs would be more bendable than streaky bacon after a few metres!


One of my favourite parts of the course is popping the bubbles before entering the woods and climbing the hill.  Out of the woods and onto the next lap, I was so thirsty I could drink the Atlantic Ocean. Passing the clubhouse watching other runners finishing is always hard, because I have another lap to go and my legs are starting to get tired.  It is always much quieter now, especially through the woods, as most of the fast runners have already finished. I could feel the sweat sliding down my face, like baked beans slithering around a plate. As I came out of the woods on my final lap, I left my mum and her friends to chat as if it was a coffee morning and sprinted off towards the finish funnel.


After I had collected my token and had it scanned, I flopped on the ground like a sweaty sausage, fresh out the oven. My face resembled a tomato and I felt like an egg fried in the sun.

Now, time to go home and have breakfast.  Full English anyone?

This week 316 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 40 were first timers and 66 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 41 volunteers:

Danny BRIGGS • Helen GRAY • Ian FOWLER • Dan WYMER • Tamsyn WYMER • Emma WALKER • James FIELD • Sam UPTON • Punam OWENS • Martin CRABB • Gill SHERWOOD • Lily SHERWOOD • Martha SHERWOOD • Amy THOMAS • Jacqueline HATHAWAY • Jane COLBECK-MCKINNON • Skye MCKINNON • Ann WILSON • Veronica BARRY • Benedict RAISTRICK • Ken WYMER • Niamh SUTTON • Julia LAWLEY • John HONOUR • Leena HYATT • Ally JONES • Rose STEVENSON • Hannah STEVENSON • Hugo JINKS • Allan JENKINS • Anna FLORY • Amy CROCKFORD • Harriet CROCKFORD • Scarlett CROCKFORD • Rebecca DEASY • Isabel COOMBES • Dylan LANGSTAFF • Harry EDNEY • Dylan BRIGGS • Peter SUDDABY • Callum MCKEOWN.

Congratulations to Annie FREER, Beth SOANES, Calum GRANTHAM, John BRAITHWAITE, Lorelei LOXTON and Toby RIPLEY who completed their 10th parkrun today and to Andy CAMM and Linda FIELD on their 50thparkrun.

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Photos: Benedict Raistrick; John Honour


Rain, what rain? Run Report event #72

Rain, what rain? Well this week saw a lot of the wet stuff which resulted in the return of a slightly more slippery course than in recent weeks. Thankfully, the sun was indeed shining as RD Fraser delivered the run brief for event 72. There was a cooling drizzle in between laps 2 and 3 before the breeze shifted the clouds out of the way for a sunny finish :)


Another parkrun morning filled with celebrations and personal achievements captured below by Lisa Rolefson who has kindly written this weeks run report:

I don't love running. I am not an athlete, but I do love parkrun! The more parkrun events I attend, either running or as a volunteer. I am reminded of just what we are capable of if we just believe in ourselves and give it a go.
Across the world people come together to support their communities, improve their physical and mental health, challenge themselves, to encourage and be encouraged, make new friends, and join together in one goal…making it to the finish!! No matter how we get there or in what time, we have all completed the same distance.


29 people gave their time and boundless energy to enable us to run the 72nd parkrun at Witney this week. The ladies at the "ditch", Ally and Rachel were in especially fine voices, and the bubbles were swirling in the breeze down on Jacqueline’s corner before the woods.

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I can assure you that not all parkruns are lucky enough to get the number of volunteers that we do every week – thank you to them all:

Fraser HOWARD • Ian FOWLER • Allison MAYBREY • Michael LEWIS • Suzanne REEVE • George SOANES • John ABRAMS • Punam OWENS • Gill SHERWOOD • Lily SHERWOOD • Lisa ROLEFSON • Jo GILES • Jacqueline HATHAWAY • Chris GARDENER • Kate PRINSEP • Mark JESSEY • Stephen ROBERTS • Niamh SUTTON • Julia LAWLEY • Peter ROSE • Camilla MITCHELL • Owen EDWARDS • Rachel HENDERSON • Cereta DREWETT • Jane ROBERTS • Dylan LANGSTAFF • Harry EDNEY • Peter SUDDABY • Damian-Lee PARIS


With the sun shining down, 263 of us ran, jogged, walked, and in my case, plodded, around a bit of a challenging course, due to the recent rain.

We again celebrated milestones this week, such a huge part of our event each week:  Alexander,  junior 10 and Leanne and Mark doing their 50th  with Rob hitting his 100th.


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We had 50 first timers and 29 of you managed personal bests. We were lucky enough to welcome representatives from 28 different clubs.

We also had a visitor from Chipping Norton to gain valuable tips on setting up and running their own parkrun. They hope to be up and running soon, and I would like to wish them every success.

Here are the statistics:
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Witney parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Cas JACKSON who recorded a time of 19:19 on 13th April 2019 (event number 54).
The male record is held by Ross BRADEN who recorded a time of 16:57 on 18th May 2019 (event number 59).
The Age Grade course record is held by Morag MCINTYRE who recorded 84.04% (22:46) on 22nd June 2019 (event number 64).
Witney parkrun started on 10th March 2018. Since then 4,256 participants have completed 17,553 parkruns covering a total distance of 87,765 km, including 4,019 new Personal Bests. A total of 414 individuals have volunteered 2,255 times.


See you all again next week!

Run Report: Lisa Rolefson
Photography: Cereta Drewett


Event #70 – 3rd August 2019

Being Run Director carries a certain level of responsibility but it also comes with the fantastic benefit of getting to see and hear the stories of our parkrunners.

It was a pleasure to see Guy don the red vest to celebrate his 50th parkrun - only the second person to have started parkrunning at Witney and complete all 50 at our West Witney course. It's lovely to see a number of our regulars who are new to parkrun since Witney launched reaching such a major milestone.  We also had a visitor, Jeff, who had chosen to complete his 100th parkrun with us.

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Our first finisher, Ian, came to speak to me after his run to pass on his compliments on the course and our fabulous hi-vis heroes before getting back on his bike to cycle back to Cirencester.

Another runner from Leeds who was visiting Carterton came to say what a great, friendly atmosphere we create around our course and I also had a lady wanting to pass on her appreciation to our 40 minute pacer for being so supportive and encouraging to the people around her.


A big thank you to all our pacers who have the tough job, on such a challenging course, to help people to new PBs. This week they helped 78 people to new PBs!  We'll be looking for more pacers for our next pacer event in a few weeks time so if you fancy giving it a go whether that's pacing 20 minutes or 40+, then get in touch to volunteer at a time you can comfortably run.

I'm immensely proud to see what a fantastic community we have at Witney parkrun and how you have all embraced the parkrun spirit.

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We will be looking to put that spirit to good use next Saturday (10th August) from 07:30 to trim back some of the undergrowth that has been creeping on to the course so if you can come a long to help please get in touch.


We're also going to be holding another collection for the local food bank on 31st August as their stocks are running low so watch out for the social media posts with more details.

I'll see you again next week and hopefully I'll feel a little more comfortable using the new mic and PA system for the run briefing!

RD Dan

Run Report - Dan Wymer
Photos - Trish Davies

Event #31 – 3rd November 2018

This weeks run report, thank you to RD Dan:

It's unbelievable!

I can't believe we've not even been parkrunning in Witney for 8 months yet.

I can't believe the numbers of people who are turning up each week.

I can't believe the sense of community you have all helped to create.

And I can't believe how emotional it still makes me feel to see hundreds of (mostly) smiling faces heading off round our course.

Being Run Director is a responsibility -making sure everything is set and safe to allow everyone to enjoy their Saturday morning - but it's also a great honour, as you get to speak to people and hear their stories, achievements and feedback.

A few highlights for me from this week:

A little girl whose proud mum told me she'd run the whole thing for the first time - it was only her 6th parkrun.

Kevin celebrating his birthday by handing out sweets to all the volunteers.

A lady who came to tell me afterwards that she's visited 15 different parkruns and Witney was by far the most organised.

The number of people who fedback to say how great our volunteers are with their cheering, cow bells, pom poms and Jacqueline's new addition: her "Cheer If You Love parkrun" sign.


A lovely couple who walk/ran their first ever parkrun and had such a nice time they're already thinking about volunteering.

A family who came along to just do part of the course to allow their little girls to be involved - definitely a couple of parkrunners in the making.

I'm looking forward to running the course a couple of times before my next stint as RD in December.

Thank you to all of you for making Witney parkrun a fantastic community asset and making it so much fun to be a part of.

I'll leave you in Fraser's capable hands next week.


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