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.


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).


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 :)


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


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.


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


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.



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.


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.


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.


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!


Punam (Co-Event Director)

Photography credits: Cereta Drewett; Trish Davies



Run Report: Event #85. Great to be back, dry weather and milestones galore…

Well, thankfully the weather fairies were much kinder to us this week, blessing us with crisp, cold days allowing the course to dry out enough for us all to get our parkrun fix in Witney again, albeit with a few slight route tweaks.

(Editor’s note: Thank you to John Hickman and Witney Town Council for spending time out on the course this week to help with said tweaks.)

As part of the core team setting up Chipping Norton School parkrun, I have been spending most of my Saturdays in the last few months getting volunteering experience rather than actually running and suddenly realised that my quest to run my 50th parkrun in 2019 was -ahem- running away from me.  Well, in that case, I thought, I’ll go for my 25th volunteer milestone instead!

So, this morning was volunteer stint number 22, barcode scanning using the very user-friendly new app.

First Timers Briefing was delivered by Dan to possibly the smallest group ever – two people!  Followed few minutes later by a second briefing as a few more people arrived.


Run Director Fraser then gave his briefing and we welcomed tourists from Newcastle and Bristol.  Congratulations to Stephen Bright and Sarah Fry who were celebrating their 50th milestone and two of our young parkrunners who achieved their 10thmilestone today. Also, congratulations to Ruth who did her 25th volunteer stint today.

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Martin Crabb then paid touching tribute to Andrew Simpson, one of the founder members and dedicated committee member of Witney Roadrunners who sadly passed away this summer.  This run was dedicated to Andrew and his family.

Then event number 85 got under way.  We applauded runners streaming past us after completing the first short lap and marvelled at the array of Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and Milestone t-shirts.  After just under 20 minutes of chat with the lovely Martin, Phil and Julia (AKA the Barcode Queen!) our first finisher arrived at the finish line and scanning could commence!

Over the past few months I have discovered that not only can you get the endorphins flowing by running but also by volunteering.  Having now tried my hand at all the volunteer roles at parkrun (Run Report writing being the last box to tick) I can honestly say that there is not one role which is “difficult” and it would be hard to pick a favourite role.

Volunteering at parkrun has given me so much more confidence, particularly when speaking to larger groups of people, something which I have always actively tried to avoid in the past. I’ll never forget the nerves I felt before delivering my very first First Timers Briefing , but I can now do this with only a slight quiver of trepidation, which will hopefully stand me in good stead when I take on the Run Director role for the first in time in Chipping Norton!

There is a wonderful community feel here at Witney parkrun and I have met so many lovely people in the past few weeks – I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has welcomed me and the rest of the Chipping Norton team and we very much look forward to welcoming any of you who would like to pop over and visit us for a bit of local “tourism” in the near future!

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This week 146 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 17 were first timers and 7 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:

Fraser HOWARD • Ian FOWLER • Dan WYMER • Sarah WHATMAN • Sarah LACKMAN • Philip HALL • Chris COLBECK • Tamsyn WYMER • Tracy LAWRENCE • John ABRAMS • Punam OWENS • Martin CRABB • Jacob LILL • Trish DAVIES • Jacqueline HATHAWAY • Chris GARDENER • Kate PRINSEP • Guy DAVIES • Julia LAWLEY • Ruth TROUT • Christopher WALTON • Ally JONES • Benjamin DAVIES • Allan JENKINS • James O'BRIEN • Neil O'BRIEN • Cereta DREWETT • Jill SUDDABY • Peter SUDDABY • Callum MCKEOWN


Author: Tracy Lawrence

Photography: Trish Davies


Sunny, chilly, dry with a hint of mud…Event #84 run report

After the muted determination of last week, excitement was in the air for event 84. The parkrun weather fairy had even been out overnight and sprinkled fairy dust across the football pitches, leaving them glinting beautifully in the early morning sunshine.


Whether it was the blue sky, itchy feet, the thought of post-run treats from UE or the return of normality as the England rugby team finished a valiant second, 294 park runners including an amazing 56 first timers and tourists were buzzing as we gathered for the brief. Runners welcomed and milestones celebrated, we were on our way to the start, shivering and chatting.


A blast from the horn and we were off. Despite an overnight lull in the rain puddle levels were high and mud levels moderate, still swallowing the occasional shoe.

Out and back and once round the field as the footballers arrived, adding to the buzz of Saturday morning, and onto the longer loops. On rounding the corner, the bare trees on Deer Park Road were looking striking silhouetted against the sky, as was the red and gold carpet of leaves over which we were running, providing some respite from the mud below.


Over the ditch and past the bubbles, into the woods and the real mud, with the sun glinting through the branches; up the hills and down the slopes, with obliging trees for balance as necessary, and back into the open space of the field with the finish in sight.

Except... there’s still 2k to go before the actual finish. 2k can feel an awfully long way at this moment. We all have a low point, for many it’s Deer Park Road, for me it’s leaving the field for the third time.

But this is where the parkrun magic kicks in. Running on your own you could give up and go home. But the marshals cheer louder, the bells and the bubbles make you smile, and the shouts of other parkrunners keep you going. And the next time you see the finish it’s for real, with the cheery “well done” as you hand over your finish token and barcode.


So well done to the 56 first timers and tourists, the 18 who set pbs and the 4 who ran milestones - 10, 50 & 100.

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Well done to the volunteers and unofficial support crews. Well done to the runners, joggers and walkers. Well done to everyone who got up, saw the temperature was subzero but decided the sun was shining and there was adventure to be had. And after adventure, breakfast.



Run report: Rachel Pollard

Photography: Cereta Drewett




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 #80, It was a muddy one! Run Report by Julia Lawley.

Firstly, congratulations to the 194 of you who ran, jogged or walked the course today. 24 were first timers, and 12 new Personal Bests were recorded. (Editors note: it was very damp and a lot of mud. Most of you loved it! Well done for turning out.)


I’m not sporty at all, so I sometimes feel a bit fraudulent about volunteering at parkrun! But on my 65th volunteering day, I thought it was about time I wrote a run report! (Editors note: Well done Julia, that is a terrific milestone)

You may have seen the results of the parkrun survey where one of the findings was that volunteering at parkrun has a bigger impact on health and wellbeing than just running or walking. That’s fitted in nicely with my report which is written from a truly volunteer perspective – what I think of you runners, joggers and walkers. In a nutshell, you are amazing!

(Here is the link in case you missed it: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2019/10/05/not-just-run-park/)

Normally to be found in the barcode scanning area, I did venture out once as tail walker (with my much fitter co-walker Ally!), and it was great to see the full course and understand the hazards and conditions you may experience – today being a good example!

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Many of you thank us for volunteering so I’d like to return the compliment. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! We love to hear that it’s your first run, or you’ve got a new PB, or that you beat Mum, or Mum beat Dad! And if dogs could talk, I’m sure they would say they would have beaten their owner if it wasn’t for that short leash rule!

One of our first timers today was Maria who was inspired to join parkrun after reading Ally’s brilliant run report two weeks ago. Maria tried to find Ally before the run started but unfortunately she was looking for a man with a beard, so just to clarify – this is Ally!


If anyone is uncertain about volunteering, I myself was very dubious until I tried it. It’s such a lovely community spirit and I was so surprised at how rewarding it was, right from the first day. So thank you Punam and parkrun for persuading me to do something I didn’t want to do – Saturday mornings changed forever!


Come and join us, it’s contagious!


Run Report: Julia Lawley

Photography: Cereta Drewett & Trish Davies

Editors note: Thank you to Cllr. Andrew Coles for joining us for event 80 and for his ongoing support of the event.


And last but not least, a big welcome to UE Coffee Roasters who have joined us as our parkrun cafe for pre and post event refreshments.




Event 79 Run report by Martin Crabb: #parkrun15, #pacerweek and #cake

Witney parkrun
Event number 79
5th October 2019

Happy 15th Birthday parkrun and another pacer week for Witney parkrun.


This week 300 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 37 were first timers and 25 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 22 different clubs took part.

Also congratulations to the following four who completed their 50 parkrun milestones today: Kate Hudson, Caroline Stevenson, Charlotte Sugden, Andy Jepson, Tegid Jones


Joshua CALCUTT and Theo BULLOCK also completed their 10th parkrun milestone

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The event was made possible by 52 volunteers:

Fraser HOWARD • Ian FOWLER • Sally HOWARD • Emily HOWARD • Dan WYMER • Allison MAYBREY • Catherine SOMERVILLE TYLER • Dean MILLER • Tamsyn WYMER • Tegid JONES • James FIELD • Jen UPTON • Sam UPTON • Linda FIELD • Chris CONWAY • Emily CALCUTT • Matthew LOCK • Laura GREAVES • Claire SOANES • Mark FLORY • Jonathan FLORY • Lee VANSTONE • Punam OWENS • Kirsty WEBB • Martin CRABB • Gill SHERWOOD • Lily SHERWOOD • Martha SHERWOOD • Trish DAVIES • Jacqueline HATHAWAY • Liam WALSH • Jane COLBECK-MCKINNON • Skye MCKINNON • Stephen ROBERTS • Julia LAWLEY • John HONOUR • Peter ROSE • Ruth TROUT • Ally JONES • Benjamin DAVIES • Allan JENKINS • Anna FLORY • Simon ARNOLD • Oliver KLOTT • William ROSE • Di MOORE • Sandra ROSE • Harry EDNEY • Deborah JACKSON • Rachel POLLARD • Callum MCKEOWN • Zoe HENSTRIDGE

I’m so pleased to be given the opportunity to write this weeks run report, as I’ve reached a personal milestone. Friday was my hip replacements first birthday. After 40 years of competitive running I’m now a steady walker. I want to formally thank the Witney parkrun family for the love, support and encouragement during my recovery journey.


Every Saturday morning, my weekly tonic, in the knowledge that for the next 90 minutes it’s going to be fun. This morning had the added bonus of birthday cakes, thanks to the hi-vis hero bakers.


On arrival to the sports club area everyone was busy chatting and preparing for the start. RD Bertie gave a warm welcome to everyone including our tourists from a few places including Cumbria. With the wet weather this week,  the course was slippery in the woods, also a reminder to stay in single file and be considerate to others.


As this was pacer week there were blue bib numbered volunteers ready to help others to achieve their PB targets.


I enjoyed walking the 3 lap course as fast as possible. I’m always amazed as the fast runners come past they take the time to encourage me often reminding me to not run. The hi-viz heroes were ringing bells, waving pom-poms and telling us how well we were doing. I love Deer Park Road as you can hear the “ditch dancers” from 100 metres away. So surprised the neighbours haven’t complained ;)

Jaqueline on her familiar marshal corner was wearing her traffic bollard hat, and the woods were safely marshalled. I can report I didn’t experience any problems today. I finished in a respectable time and only got lapped twice!


I get the opportunity to see others improve week in week out and wish to give a special mention to Gregory Braithwaite, whom I’ve watched improve his time by 7 minutes since July this year. I will never forget the happiness on his face the first time he lapped me.  PB again today.


Finally well done to 1st place finisher today Ian Thomas 19.12. Redhill Road Runners. First Time Witney.



Run Report: Martin Crabb

Photography: Trish Davies


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


Event 76 run report, Milestones and more…

Event 76 is done and dusted. Well done to everyone who joined us.

Here is this weeks run report, we think you will enjoy it. #loveparkrun

It is with great pleasure that I am writing today’s run report, on my 50th park run at Witney, and on my 25th time volunteering.

The sun really does seem to shine at West Witney Sports ground on a disproportionate basis, and this morning was no exception – it was a truly glorious start to the weekend.

Since our fantastic team introduced park run to our lovely town, my Saturday mornings have been transformed for the better.  I wonder now what I used to do!?!  Over the last 18 months, I have enjoyed comradery that has grown week on week, and feel privileged to be part of this special community of runners, joggers and walkers.  I have made new friends, reconnected with old friends and enjoyed watching so many people achieve so much, whatever their goal.

This week 301 people completed the course, which was in super condition, with a massive 44 personal bests - 15% of all those taking part!  An astounding 62 first timers completed the Witney course today, accounting for 20% of today’s park runners.  Of this special crowd, 32 (10%) were doing their first ever park run - big congratulations to you all.  Hopefully all our newcomers had a great time and will come back again soon.

As always, it is fantastic to celebrate milestones, and this week was no exception.

It was a great week for Liam Walsh (who provided the fantastic ‘50’ cakes), celebrating his 50th park run with a PB.  He stopped his steady (but remarkably small and consistent) decline of recent weeks (20:13, 20:14, 20:15 and 20:16), and smashed it today in 5th place with a time of 20:09.


Celebrating her 50th (that’s park run, not birthday ) was Louise Rhodes, and celebrating his 100th was Chris Jones.


Thank you also to Graham LeGood, as he reached his 25th volunteer milestone.

Huge thanks go to run director Fraser and his team of hi-vis heroes, for giving up their time and supporting the runners and walkers with their cheerful encouragement and enthusiasm.   Without you there is no park run.

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See you all next week for more of the same


Run Report: Gill Sherwood

Photography: Peter Rose


Event #75 run report, milestones, community spirt and a whole lot of fun.

The 75thparkrun was graced with the usual West Witney breeze which we’ve all come to know and love (or should that be hate?!). 342 attended nonetheless, an impressive turnout given that many of our regular runners were involved at a local race, the Cotswold Classic.  The run director yesterday was Fraser, standing in at short notice after the original director had misplaced her appendix recently – we wish Jody all the best with her recovery.

Fraser is seen here presenting a certificate to our Duke of Edinburgh student, Timothy Marshall, who has completed his volunteer section. Congratulations Timothy,


For the statistically-minded amongst you, of the 342 runners, 76 were first timers and 62 recorded personal best times.  There were representatives from 30 clubs and two young runners were marking their 10thparkruns, Charlotte Johnson and Cameron Crawford - well done both.

10th 1 10th 2

The turnout was also the fifth highest in the event history and the third consecutive week where there have been over 300 runners.


Yesterday I asked a few runners what they thought was the best thing about parkrun.  They all agreed that it’s the sense of community which is created.  One remarked, “it doesn’t matter whether you run it in 16 minutes or 1 hour 6 minutes, everyone gets the same encouragement, right to the end.”  Another told me, “it’s a great way to feel a connection with your community and I just love seeing the range of people taking part.”


The wonderful, friendly atmosphere at Witney parkrun is always mentioned by parkrun tourists and reviewers, and this is all due to the great set of volunteers who help run the show. Some of the regulars include the ditch dancers, John ‘the Wire”, Jacqueline with her bubble machine and hooter at the turn into the woods, and Julia, who runs a tight ship at the barcode scanning, making sure none of the results go awry, and none of the finish tokens go missing. The joy parkrun brings can easily be seen in the fantastic photos taken each week, usually by Trish and Cereta, represented here by our tail-walkers this week :)


To all the volunteers, we say a big thank you for making Witney parkrun what it is.  To all runners, I can highly recommend getting involved on the volunteer side if you haven’t already.  Marshalling on a Saturday morning gives me the same buzz as running the 5km – it’s just such a lovely way to start the weekend.  Please take a look at the Volunteer page of the Witney parkrun website if you’d like to get involved.


The event was made possible by 43 volunteers:

Sarah HAYTON • Fraser HOWARD • Helen GRAY • Ulen NEALE • Sarah WHATMAN • Kim MARSHALL • Timothy MARSHALL • Bethany JONES • James FIELD • Paul JACKSON • Hayden NEALE-BATES • Rita SMITH • Jo COOK • Caroline STEVENSON • Lily SHERWOOD • Thea CROSBY • Isla CROSBY • Lisa ROLEFSON • Trish DAVIES • Jacqueline HATHAWAY • Liam WALSH • Benedict RAISTRICK • Julia LAWLEY • John HONOUR • Ruth TROUT • Ally JONES • Janny BROCKLEBANK • Rose STEVENSON • Hannah STEVENSON • Allan JENKINS • Amy CROCKFORD • Harriet CROCKFORD • Scarlett CROCKFORD • Matilda PEARCE • Louise GRIFFITHS • Isabel COOMBES • Dylan LANGSTAFF • Sophie GRIFFITHS • Harry COOMBES • Harry EDNEY • Deborah JACKSON • Peter SUDDABY • Callum MCKEOWN

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Witney parkrun Results Page.

With all our finish tokens present and correct, see you all again next week! #loveparkrun


Run Report: Sarah Whatman

Photography: Trish Davies

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