This is the most difficult (not)run report I’ve had to write so far. For the most part, these have been a useful way to try and keep our community together: a chance to look back on the week’s (not)parkrun results, celebrate the only thing we can at the moment, your parkrunniversaries, and look back on the 5 years of history and memories that we’ve created at Witton Park. It’s also provided me an opportunity to fill you in on the latest local and national news regarding the pandemic, living, as we currently are, in a coronavirus hotspot and also giving you the latest updates from parkrun HQ as they too try to keep in touch with us during this unprecedented shutdown in parkrun activities worldwide. Up until now, there has been a strong sense of unity and of community spirit as we try to come through these difficult times with bonds as strong, if not stronger, than before.
We can’t wait to have you back at Witton like this
It was always going to be difficult the longer this went on. From lockdown in mid-March, we’re now 6 months on from our last parkruns and still face a whole host of restrictions to our daily lives. There is currently a contrast between attempts at returning life to something vaguely resembling normality, as businesses, educational establishments and sporting activities return, but with a continuing, indeed an increased, vigilance to prevent a resurgence of the virus. These opposing but intrinsically linked positions both have vocal supporters and there is a lot of ignorance and uncertainty from most people trying to deal with this difficult time in the best way for themselves and their families. It feels that as we head into autumn and winter, these differences threaten to divide us more than they ever have so far and it is important that we do not lose sight of the reasons for the actions being taken, both positively and negatively. For my part, in this report, I want to spend a little bit of time summarising the pandemic picture and the parkrun picture, and my thoughts on what it all means.
Life in Britain still looks very different at the moment
First, the pandemic. Although the summer months have been thankfully calmer, this virus is still out there and it is starting to regain a foothold across Europe and, more recently, within the United Kingdom. This week, the national R rate (the number of people infected by each infected person), in the UK, passed 1 again for the first time in several months, with the rate in the North West one of the highest in the country. Cases of the virus in communities have reached over 2,000 a day, the same figures seen in mid-March when lockdown measures really started to take hold (although, it should of course be noted that at that time, testing was much lower and therefore the rate of infection was probably much higher). Nevertheless, we are clearly at a dangerous moment and as the winter months draw in and it becomes too cold or inhospitable to go outside, the temptation will be to return to gatherings indoors, conditions under which the virus can thrive.
The latest figures show the number of cases clearly ticking up again and the seven-day average increasing day by day
In response to this, the government have introduced the new ‘Rule of Six’, where both indoor and outdoor meetings of multiple households can be no larger than 6 people, including children, with a minimum social distance of 1m. Exceptions exist for workplaces, educational settings, and other things, importantly from our perspective playing sport. Religious services, like weddings and funerals can consist of 30 guests, in groups of no more than 6. Yes, I know these rules seem a little nonsensical, and that not being able to see your parents when you can sit in the same restaurant as them is absurd, but the rules are there as an attempt to let the economy recover and keep some level of social interaction while minimising the risk of us passing the virus on to those we love, as they are the ones we would likely want to be in closest proximity to. The keywords are ‘Hands, Face, Space’: remembering to wash our HANDS regularly, cover our FACE with a mask in public places to prevent us transmitting the virus and giving each other SPACE (at least a metre) to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
The new rules affect all our social interactions, outside of agreed upon exemptions, and replace all existing government advice
As for parkrun, many of you will no doubt have seen the news early last week through official parkrun channels that parkrun HQ intends to restart ALL parkruns in England by the end of October. This is a somewhat sudden announcement, although the groundwork has been laid over a number of weeks, with the publication of the COVID-19 Framework and the investigation of transmission risks in outdoor settings by Professor Mike Weed of Canterbury Christ Church University (all available to view in previous (not)run reports), while last week saw the announcement of the restart of parkruns in the Falkland Islands and the Northern Territory of Australia this coming Saturday, September 19th. This latest news comes following extensive discussions between parkrun HQ and the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which has approved parkrun’s COVID-19 Framework for a safe return to parkrunning in England. Discussions between parkrun HQ and the other devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are ongoing, with no parkruns in those countries currently scheduled to restart, though the aim is to reach acceptable agreements within a similar timeframe to England. It should be noted that although parkrun HQ has shared this ambition of the end of October and is committed to it as far as chatter this week has been, no date has yet been revealed and no event teams have yet received any concrete proposals, with discussions ongoing over a number of issues.
How exciting this day will be…when it happens
So those are the headlines, but I am aware that within those two paragraphs, there will be some of you rolling your eyes, others concerned and some of you bouncing in your seats with excitement. Some of you will have heard the news that parkrun is returning with delight, some of you with shock and horror, while some of you will believe that the risks of the pandemic are in some way being overblown or there are more pressing concerns to the economy and mental health, while some of you will believe that the reopening of society is an unacceptable risk and people are not taking things seriously enough. These positions are both understandable and valid and everyone right now, from the government to schools to cinemas to parkrun are all trying to traverse a course through the middle, mindful of the risks involved but also aware of the dangers of doing nothing. The return of parkrun is something we all long for. Discussions regularly take place among the Witton Run Directors regarding how much we are missing parkrun, while remote conversations I’ve had with Wittoners, and the comments on these (not)run reports, tells me that you value and appreciate the continued link to Witton that these reports provide. Yet despite parkrun’s sterling work in trying to facilitate a return, there remain significant operational challenges to a return for parkrun, particularly locally. It is almost certain that should a return date be announced, areas subject to local lockdowns, such as Blackburn, will remain shut to avoid contravening local restrictions. Regarding the aforementioned Rule of Six, I should make it clear to you that parkrun has been placed on the government’s exemption list meaning that its return is not subject to that law due to its implementation of the Covid-secure framework to mitigate external risks. I understand that some of you will still feel concerned about this and I assure you that the Witton core team share your concerns but, equally, I am aware that this is an official parkrun communication as it is delivered via an official parkrun channel, and as such I am also required to take a balanced and considered opinion on these things and provide you with the information to make you own decision. To that end, I would like to give you some extra reading if you are so inclined:
Here is parkrun Global CEO Nick Pearson’s statement announcing the intention to restart parkrun in England: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2020/09/07/return-of-parkrun-announcement/
Here is parkrun Global’s Head of Health and Wellbeing, former professional triathlete Chrissie Wellington’s statement on the reasons why parkrun’s return is particularly important at this time: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2020/09/07/the-time-to-act-is-now/
Here is the latest parkrun blog from parkrun Global COO Tom Williams, written after the government’s announcements last week: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2020/09/15/covid-19-coronavirus-update-15-september/
And finally, following the announcement of the potential imminent return of parkrun, the Guardian newspaper wrote a two-page feature on why parkrun is such a valuable initiative, which you can view here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/13/parkrun-saved-my-life-how-the-weekly-runs-became-a-phenomenon-and-are-now-coming-back?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
The next few weeks may be divisive and uncertain, but we will cross each bridge as it comes and we must remember that whatever our different thoughts and opinions, we all care about what’s best for each other and want to return to parkrun, as soon as is safe and practicable. In the meantime, serious stuff over, onto the fun stuff!
(not)parkrun – Week 13
Unlucky for some, week 13 of (not)parkrun was another well-attended affair, with the weather improving as the week wore on. This week, we had the joint-4th highest number of (not)parkrunners (16), and the outright 4th highest number of (not)parkruns (22). First finisher this week was a return to top spot for Blackburn Road Runner Andrew WISDOM! Witton 50 Club member Andrew ran 24:08 this week, his 11th (not)parkrun and the fourth time he has been Witton first finisher, a record on his own – well done, Andrew! Second this week, for an incredible 6th time in 10 (not)parkrun participating weeks was Witton 50 Club member Peter NICHOLSON. Peter finished in 24:11, just 3 seconds behind Andrew and has been second for the past 3 weeks, twice to Andrew and once to Dan Hamilton – that week he was faster than Andrew, but it still wasn’t enough! Next time, Peter. Completing the podium was our first female this week, Blackburn Road Runner Karen RISHTON in 25:52! Karen ran two (not)parkruns this week, taking her total to 19, and on Monday ran her new (not)parkrun PB, knocking half a minute off her time from Week 6 – well done, Karen! It also made her first female for the 5th time, matching fellow Road Runner Miriam Hamilton.
Andrew was flying just like this this week to earn his 4th (not)parkrun first finish!
Next up was Darwen Dasher Chris COOPER in 26:56. This was 16 seconds outside the PB he set last week, and this run on Monday was the fastest of 3 (not)parkruns Chris completed this week, the most of anyone at Witton. He was followed by Witton 50 Club member Robert CROMPTON, who ran 27:58 this week. Robert has now run 13 (not)parkruns across 9 (not)parkrun weeks, the 5th highest total of any Wittoner. Another Blackburn Road Runner now, and it’s Witton 100 Club member Kate POMFRET in 29:16! Kate has now run 20 (not)parkruns, the first Wittoner to reach this total, and at the weekend was one of the Wittoners taking part in the Virtual Great North Run – well done, Kate!
Witton 50 Club member Robert has run the 5th-most (not)parkruns of any Wittoner!
Last week’s superman now, Cameron ASHTON, who this week recorded a time of 29:52. Cameron, you may recall, ran a (not)parkrun every day last week, 35km in total and, unsurprisingly, took a well-earned rest this week, recording just one (not)parkrun on Sunday! Next is a relative of Cameron’s, Isobel HOLLINGS in 32:52. This was Isobel’s 6th (not)parkrun, and first for three weeks – welcome back, Isobel! A flying Witton (not)parkrunner next, yes, it’s South East Lancs Orienteering Club’s Paul BOOTH, who ran a symmetrical 33:33, his 9th (not)parkrun overall. This was Paul’s third consecutive personal best, knocking a whopping 39 seconds off his time from last week – superb work, Paul, it’s great seeing your progress!
Isobel looks focused on this early Witton photo of her – a first (not)parkrun for three weeks this week for her!
A trio of Blackburn Road Runners now, starting with Kathryn KINNEY, who ran 34:19 this week. This was Kathryn’s third straight week of (not)parkrunning and she improved again, knocking nearly a minute off her time from last week – nice one Mrs K! Where Kathryn is found, it’s a good bet that Witton 100 Club member Irene SLATER won’t be far behind, and so it was again, with Irene running 35:28 this week, for her own (not)parkrun PB, a third successive faster time for Irene too! Just a few seconds further back was Cathy HATCH, who ran 35:31 this week. Cathy was running her 7th (not)parkrun, having made her debut in Week 8.
Witton 100 Club member Irene earned a third straight (not)parkrun PB this week – doesn’t she look pleased with it?!
Last few now, starting with the return of the two Ians! Witton 50 Club member Ian BRODRICK also ran last week and this week recorded 36:40, around half a minute slower, while good friend and Witton 100 Club member Ian GOODLIFFE was just 3 seconds slower in 36:43, despite running almost a week earlier. This was Papa G’s (not)parkrun return after missing the past 3 weeks – nice to see you, Ian! Recent (not)parkrunner Tracy STAFFA is next. She ran 39:34 on Friday, the fastest of 2 (not)parkruns this week, the first time she has recorded more than one in a week – well done, Tracy! And finally, we have a second successive submission from Janice PARKER, who ran 58:27 on Sunday, her 5th (not)parkrun overall after 3 early on. Well done, Janice!
Witton 50 Club member Ian Brodrick recorded his 6th (not)parkrun this week!
This week, Chris ran 3 times, while Karen, Kate, Ian G and Tracy ran twice. Chris, Ian G and Karen’s fastest runs came on Monday, the same day Kathryn and Irene ran, while Kate’s fastest came on Tuesday, the same day as Andrew, Cathy and Paul ran, Robert and Peter ran on Wednesday, Isobel ran on Friday, the same day Tracy ran her fastest time, with only Ian recording a best time on Saturday and Cameron and Janice running on Sunday. With many Wittoners taking part in virtual races in this and the next few weeks, I should point out that there is no requirement that your (not)parkrun is only recorded from a 5k run. You could record the time you set on the first or last 5k of a longer run if you’d still like to submit a time, so something to think about! Well done to this week’s (not)parkrunners!
An eclectic mix of parkrunniversaries this week, ranging from 1 to 5 years, just like Witton! First up is someone celebrating their first parkrunniversary, although of course it has been on hiatus for nearly half that time. On September 7th, 2019, Andrea COTTAM ran her first parkrun! A friend of Witton regular Christine Duckworth, Andrea made her debut at Event #185, finishing in 54:33, tailwalking alongside Christine. She returned a week later, running rather than tail walking and ran 45:53, her first of 9 PBs so far at Witton, reducing her time to 41:01 on her most recent visit, for our final parkrun before lockdown, Event #211. In total, Andrea has run 15 parkruns so far, including 13 at Witton (with 2 more at Hyndburn) and when you consider that since our birthday, there were only 28 Witton parkruns, that’s still half the possible total! Hopefully, we can get you back soon Andrea, and you can continue the fine start to your parkrun career – happy first parkrunniversary!
No pictures were taken the week Andrea (r) debuted, but here she is in action a week later at Event #186, closely followed by friend and Witton regular Christine Duckworth!
Next up is a Witton 50 Club member, who made her debut at Event #97 on September 9th, 2017, nervously joining husband Dan, who was a little more seasoned at parkrun, yes, it’s Blackburn Road Runner and regular (not)parkrunner, Miriam HAMILTON! Miriam was a very unsure parkrunner in her early days, and ran 36:03 alongside Dan on her debut. After another run together, around a minute quicker, Miriam struck out on her own, knocking nearly another minute off in setting a second consecutive PB. For a long time, she kept a very low profile at Witton – she’s since openly admitted to stalking Witton 100 Club member Irene Slater, just trying to keep her in view and get closer to her, as her mode of focusing her improvements but for ages didn’t say a word to her! Slowly, but surely, though, her confidence grew, she joined the Blackburn Road Runners, which gave her some familiar faces at Witton (including Irene!) and she’s become a valued member of the Witton community. Usually accompanying Dan to parkrun, I expressed dismay that, with Miriam on 49 parkruns, she would be missing their final parkrun before a trip to America as he’d be working. Not only did this mean she couldn’t earn her t-shirt for a month, but also that, whilst away, she wouldn’t be able to parkrun as it would be her 50th! So, what did she do? The following week, at Event #164, she drove Dan to work, then drove down to Witton for the parkrun – her 50th, earning her red milestone t-shirt from parkrun HQ and leaving herself free to parkrun on holiday, which she then didn’t do anyway! Sigh…what a missed opportunity! At Event #192 in October last year, Miriam joined the Witton 50 Club and she’s volunteered with us 7 times since May last year, while over the past year she’s been instrumental in encouraging members of her local church, Blackburn Community Church, to sign up for parkrun and accompanied a number of them on parkruns to encourage and support them. In total, Miriam has run 60 parkruns at Witton, and 85 in total, across 12 different venues (often when visiting her family in Derby or Dan’s family in Penrith!), putting her just 15 short of her black milestone t-shirt, which she would surely have earned by now in normal circumstances. Oh, and on our most recent parkrun, Event #211, she earned her 14th Witton PB, a 27:47, over 8 minutes faster than her initial outing, further underlining the progress she’s made not just on a social level but on a physical level – happy 3rd parkrunniversary, Miriam, here’s to many more to come.
The only photograph of Miriam from her first event is this blurry shot (l) on a horrible wet day: this didn’t seem fair, so here’s also a much clearer photo of her from a week later, both alongside husband Dan – she smiles more now, I assure you!
Next is another person who made their parkrun debut at Event #97, although their parkrun roots go back much further: Darwen Dasher Gemma SEDDON, who also first ran on September 9th, 2017! Gemma is the daughter of friend of Witton Viki Walsh, and granddaughter of Witton legend Norman Walsh but despite this pedigree, her parkrun debut didn’t arrive until just after Witton’s second birthday. She ran at 8 of the next 20 Witton parkruns, through to February 2018, plus another 4 parkruns at other venues (once each at Haigh Woodland, Bolton, Blackpool and Hyndburn respectively) but then, after an outing at Southport parkrun in May 2018, her next appearance at a parkrun came at our emotional Event #131, where we celebrated her grandad’s life and parkrunning in our first Run for Norman. It wasn’t until November that year that she ran another parkrun, at Burnley, and her only other parkruns have been at Witton, on Christmas Day 2018 and Christmas Day 2019 respectively, a Walsh family tradition. In total, Gemma has run 17 parkruns, with 11 coming at Witton, with her Witton PB being 29:41, from her second parkrun in September 2017 – happy third parkrunniversary, Gemma, will you be earning your red t-shirt any time soon, I wonder?!
Gemma made her debut at a wet Event #97 – she’s pictured here (l) with mum and friend of Witton Viki Walsh!
Next is a person who hasn’t been seen at Witton in over 18 months, but is still in the top 20% for most Witton parkruns, including visiting us 38 times in under 2 years between 2016 and 2018: Elizabeth SULLIVAN, who ran her first parkrun on September 10th, 2016 at Witton’s 50th event! She was quite swift from the off, running 28:40 on her debut, and improving on her next three visits over the following month, for a best of 27:02 at Event #53. She ran 8 times at Witton during 2016, including on Christmas Day, plus a further 3 parkruns elsewhere and 18 times the following year, including 3 further PBs, the latter two leading to Witton first female placings, albeit in admittedly slower weeks, with her Witton best standing at 26:40 from Event #83 in June 2017. She ran 12 more times at Witton in the first half of 2017, including at our first Run for Norman, and including 3 more PBs, to finish on 25:54. That summer, she earned her red milestone t-shirt, not at Witton, but at Ormskirk parkrun in May: there was still great meaning behind this, however. First, it was a Witton on Tour event, as we went to visit the home parkrun of our parkrun inspector Robbie Kiger and, having lined things up, Elizabeth thus ran her 50th parkrun at her place of work: Edge Hill University, in the grounds of which Ormskirk parkrun takes place! Her parkrunning has continued since, but not at the same rate, and sadly not really at Witton, last visiting us in December 2018 for Event #154. At that event, she told me that part of the reason for her absence had been her attempts to get her son more active, a task that was easier on courses perceived as less challenging than Witton’s Beast. Mostly seen at Preston in recent times, she ran there 10 times in the last 6 months of 2018, and a further 6 times in the last 6 months of 2019, a year where she only ran 8 parkruns in total. She has yet to run a parkrun in 2020 (and who knows if any of us will get another chance?!). Elizabeth has run 78 parkruns in total, with exactly half that total (39) coming at Witton, with Preston not far behind on 28 and a further 8 venues making up the remainder. Happy 4th parkrunniversary, Elizabeth, it would be lovely to see you back at Witton once this is all done and dusted!
Not the clearest picture in the world, but Elizabeth completes her first parkrun with us at Witton, in September 2016!
A member of the Witton core team now, who I am slightly puzzled to see this week, for reasons which will become clear: at our third event on September 12th, 2015, Diane HARRISON-LEEMING made her official parkrun bow! The reason I am puzzled is because there’s photographic evidence of Diane not just at the previous week’s Event #2 (see last week’s report!) but at Event #1 too! You’re two parkruns down, Diane! Officially, she ran only 6 of our first 24 parkruns, but made up for this in the second half of the year, running 21 of the remaining 24 before our first birthday! The latter 12 of these formed part of a streak of 18 consecutive Witton events run, still the joint-8th longest streak ever seen at Witton. And it’s not as though the end of her streak was due to a lack of commitment – the following week, at Event #55, she marshalled, her 12th volunteering credit at Witton! At Event #71, Diane earned her purple milestone t-shirt for 25 volunteering days, two events after being Witton Run Director for the first time. She has become a dependable and valuable part of the core team over the past 3 and a half years, run directing on 16 occasions and volunteering in a non-running role on an incredible 62 occasions! Diane has successfully managed to combine a prodigious amount of volunteering with lots of parkrunning too, earning her red 50 t-shirt at Event #74, just three events after her purple, and after some impressive coordination, earning her black 100 t-shirt alongside good friend Suzanne Ferrandino at Event #148, taking exactly the same number of events to get from 50 to 100 as she took to get from 0-50! Diane has received a volunteering credit at exactly 150 Witton parkruns and has run at 120 Witton parkruns, the 9th highest total of anyone, with a further 21 parkruns at 7 further venues contributing to a grand total of 141 parkruns (or is that 143?) – happy 5th parkrunniversary, Diane!
Diane (l) completes her first official parkrun, alongside fellow Witton 100 Club member Suzanne Ferrandino and friend of Witton Heather Shah, on our old course!
Lastly for this week, another former member of the Witton core team and someone who was involved at Witton from the very start: Blackburn Road Runner Annika HALSALL, who also made her running debut at Event #3 on September 12th, 2015! Neeka ran 9 parkruns in a row from that first outing and ran 16 parkruns in total in that first year, including our first Christmas Day event. A frequent traveller, and not beyond the odd late Friday night, Annika hasn’t always been able to get to Witton, running just 12 times with us during our second and third years, but volunteering on 35 occasions, having joined our Run Directing team at the same time as Diane, a role she performed 5 times in that same period. During this time, she’d been quietly accumulating parkrun credits though, running regularly on her travels such that her parkrun history contains such disparate locations as Eden Project parkrun in Cornwall, Ashton Court and Eastville parkruns in Bristol, Ipswich parkrun and Rother Valley and Graves parkruns in Sheffield! This meant that just 3 Witton runs later, at Event #176, she ran her 50th parkrun at her parkrun home to earn her red t-shirt. She’s run 3 more times with us since, including on Leap Day and our final parkrun before lockdown for a grand total of 66 parkruns, with 33 of those coming at Witton. She’s volunteered 84 times at Witton and been Run Director on 12 occasions, a role she opted to give up after our fourth birthday a year ago, but she’ll always be welcome at Witton, whatever her role – happy 5th parkrunniversary, Annika!
Annika’s (blue) in good spirits on her first parkrun, Witton’s Event #3!
This Week in Witton parkrun…
Witton’s third event took place on September 12th, 2015 and was in many ways the first quiet Witton parkrun, after the celebration of getting it up and running and the massive attendances of the first two weeks, our only two events to date with over 250 runners taking part. Event #3 saw a reduction of 100 to 162 participants, still a sizable number by any measure, and still the joint-13th highest attendance ever seen at Witton. Witton 50 Club member Chris Chadwick was first finisher, while Accrington Road Runner Sarah Ridehalgh was first female. There were no milestone t-shirts awarded, ending that particular streak, while 18 people had run all of the first 3 Witton parkruns, keeping their streaks alive.
An atmospheric black-and-white shot of Event #3 first finisher Chris Chadwick, with the course to himself!
September 10th, 2016 was the date for Witton’s 50th event! A notable parkrun, albeit just two events on from our first birthday, when most of the celebrations had already taken place. No one had managed to run all of the first 50 parkruns, so the Witton 50 Club was not yet inaugurated, while the only milestone t-shirt awarded was to one of our junior parkrunners, Thomas Robinson, who ran his 10th parkrun that day, earning the junior-exclusive white 10 parkruns t-shirt. Thomas was the fourth person in Witton history to earn his white t-shirt exclusively at Witton, after Sufyan Khan, Ellie-Mae Fallon and Joe Gebbie, while in total Thomas has now run 18 parkruns, with 17 of those coming at Witton.
Young Thomas Robinson finishes his 10th parkrun to earn his white milestone t-shirt!
Event #97 took place on September 9th, 2017 and was a wet and muddy affair. Witton 50 Club member Justin Collighan was first named finisher, in the 8th-slowest first male time ever (and 3rd-slowest at the time!), while Isabel Chadwick was first female in the 6th-slowest first female time ever (also the 3rd-slowest at the time!), giving an indication of the difficult conditions, while it was also the day before the Great North Run and several other races, which may have contributed to the absence of the speed merchants at the front. No running t-shirts were awarded, but we did hand out another purple volunteering t-shirt, to Blackburn Road Runner Nicola Halsall, who volunteered for the 25th time that day!
A rather wet Justin Collighan was first named finisher behind an unknown at Event #97, his third recognised time as first one home at Witton!
Unusually for September, Witton was cancelled on the weekend of September 8th, 2018, due to a music festival in the Witton Woods. This gave Wittoners an late summer (or early autumnal if you prefer) chance to engage in a bit of parkrun tourism! The unofficial Witton on Tour went to Heaton Park in Manchester, where the Searbys and my dad, Alan joined the enormous Heaton volunteering operation, while the Cockers, the Shackletons, Irene Slater, mum and myself tackled the course. And elsewhere, Sue Duckworth, daughter Hayley and Witton 50 Club member Ian Gaskell were found at Haigh Woodland near Wigan, Dashers Fran Bury, Viki Walsh and Lisa Moran and Witton 50 Club member Justin Collighan were at Burnley, Andy Haworth went to Clitheroe Castle, the two Ians, Brodrick and Goodliffe and the Thompsons, Paul and son Oliver were at Cuerden Valley, while further afield the Elliotts were in Halifax! Hyndburn, as ever, was popular, visited by Witton 50 Club members James McLeod, Jane Magee, Tim Keely, Aimie Wormald, Peter Toogood and Vicky Spencer, as was Preston, visited by 50 Club members Jon Carberry, Sandra Snape, Julie Price, Suzanne Ferrandino and Diane Harrison-Leeming and by the Gardas, Dustgeer and Asif. Last, but certainly not least, Blackburn Road Runners Gary Blackburn and Kate Pomfret and my mate, Witton 150 Club member Scott Smith were missing in action from parkrun that weekend as they were taking part in the 2018 Great North Run, where all achieved superb times.
Witton 50 Club member Sandra Snape was one of those in action at Preston parkrun during our September cancellation in 2018!
Event #185 was our first event after our fourth birthday and took place on September 7th, 2019. A week after I inaugurated the Witton 150 Club, I was predictably joined by Anwar Khan, who became its second member, having inaugurated the Witton 50 and 100 Clubs himself. In other news from a quiet event, it was announced that Ian Gaskell, Annika Halsall and Sean Procter were stepping down from the Run Director rota and we were advertising for replacements, with Blackburn Road Runner Dan Hamilton immediately having the conversation with Michelle and joining the team. Meanwhile, Bernie Johnson returned for his first parkrun in a while after injury, though his issues would sadly return later on.
Anwar Khan, shown here a week later, became the second member of the Witton 150 Club a year ago this week!
And that’s another week done! I hope you’re all well and if you ever have any news you want to tell us about, remember you can always get in touch with us at email@example.com – we’re always checking in with that account!
Until next week, we’re getting through this together,
Matthew Vernon #loveparkrun #loveWittonparkrun
A tourist shot this week, from our visit to Heaton in 2018!