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


Year End Run Report

We are all a little out of sync over this holiday period – what day is it and all that!
As we head to our second parkrun event this week, here is a short run report:
Event #39 on 29th December was our last one of 2018 and RD Fraser was at the helm with 30 hi-vis heroes and 214 of you who walked, jogged or ran the event.
We also completed our year-end summary and thanks to RD Dan, our very own stats expert, we were able to see just what a phenomenal community event Witney parkrun has become. We are so excited to see what 2019 will bring.
We then headed to Event #40, which was our first NYD event. What a lot of fun this was. Such a great atmosphere with 266 of you who joined us of whom 100 were first timers and 33 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 37 different clubs took part and 31 volunteers made this event possible. Thank you to everyone who made it such a special day and a great way to kick off 2019.
The NYD event allows many to do the #NYDD (New years day double). We had Banbury, Swindon and Bicester as options from Witney. Looking at the numbers, it looks like 62 people completed the double. 61 of you opted for Witney and Bicester and 1 of you completed Witney and Swindon. Well done to you all – what a great achievement.
So, as we pack away the festive season for another year and head back into our normal routines, we look forward to 2019 and to supporting your #parkrun goals whatever they may be, whether its your first parkrun, a milestone achievement, walking, running, jogging or volunteering.
Happy New Year and we’ll hand over to RD Fraser who will be taking the reins again on Saturday morning for Event #41. #loveparkrun


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