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:

#notaparkrun

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

 

 

12th April 2020 “Not a parkrun” run report x 2

Happy Easter Sunday. What a fabulous few days of sunshine we have had!

We are just loving everyone’s creativity so this week we have two “non” run reports for you…it is a holiday weekend after all!

Our first #notaparkrun run report is by our very own RD Dan Wymer who successfully held the inaugural Zwift Constitution Hill parkrun yesterday morning:

“The weather at the start was terrible with the rain so heavy you could hardly make out Buckingham Palace! After the briefest of briefings the crowd of 3 set off up The Mall - well 2 of the 3 did. Jonathan had volunteered to be Tail-walker at the last moment and took his role very seriously!

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Fortunately the rain stopped by the time we got onto Birdcage Walk and the sun was shining as we neared Big Ben. Jenny and Dan kept taking it in turns for the lead throughout the course.

The turn at the bottom of The Strand meant only 800m to go and Jenny took and kept the lead to be first finisher under Admiralty Arch and the beaming sunshine”

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Next week Dan will touristing at Zwift Onassis Reservoir parkrun! We look forward to hearing all about it!

Our second #nonrunreport is by Beth Soanes, one of our junior parkrunners. We shared some of her Logo creations yesterday and here they all are combined, just brilliant!

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Can you spot the "ditch dancers" and John "mind the wire" ?

first runner finsihing Barcodes please! Cakes being bought from UE Coffee Roaster. Tail walker just coming down Deer Park Road

First finisher finishing, barcodes please!

D entering results. Footballers still playing

RD entering results and footballers playing!

Well done Beth, this was a wonderful depiction of Witney parkrun and thank you to RD Dan too for sharing another way to keep active.

We would love to keep sharing your "non" run reports, so please let us know what you have been up to.

In the meantime, we wish you a great rest of the weekend,

Stay safe, stay home.

#loveparkrun

 

 

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 ❤️

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

#loveparkrun

Run Report: Liam Walsh

Photos: Derek Hall, Trish Davies

 

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

 

 

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.

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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

#loveparkrun

Author: Tracy Lawrence

Photography: 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

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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#loveparkrun

Run report: Rachel Pollard

Photography: Cereta Drewett

 

 

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