The BPJ Takeover and Celebration of Worcester parkrun – 30th March 2019

We all love a good celebration at Worcester parkrun and there is always plenty to celebrate. Today was certainly no exception, we arrived as the mist had lifted and the sun was shining across thepaddock.

Signing in for volunteering was very busy due to the boost in volunteers from Black Pear Joggers. There was ample enthusiasm as the woods were lovely and dry and there were lots of pacers so this meant PB potential for some or just a nice dry run for a change for others.

The Run Director today was Pete Darwen from Black Pear Joggers. Pete is an avid parkrun tourist having notched up 66 different parkruns, but I am sure Pete will still tell you Worcester parkrun is the best!

As usual we had some parkrun milestones to celebrate, there were some big milestones including Rob Plumpton celebrating his 250th parkrun.

Despite the dry conditions, the park warden had requested we keep to the Winter course this week, so we all started at the bottom of the driveway. So, a hill start it was, the Winter course is like marmite for the regulars of Worcester parkrun, you either love it or you’re not too keen.

There were over 672 runners/walkers to come up the hill towards the woods, amongst them were the various pacers, there were also some new/returning runners who were satisfied with a single lap, to ease themselves in slowly. The fast runners shot off effortlessly up the hill and disappeared very quickly into the woods. At the rear was parkrun regular, octogenarian David Pearce who recently celebrated his 150th parkrun followed by tail walkers Jo Evans, who has only recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl called Poppy, accompanied by Shaun Paskin.

30th March up the hill we go.

30th March up the hill we go.

At the entry to the woods there was a warning sign about bluebells. The woods were lovely and dry but unfortunately, there was no sign of bluebells apart from the warning sign of course! The course was busy but soon thinned out on the down-hill stretch. The support along the way from marshals was as usual fantastic and there were plenty of greetings and chatter between runners.

Towards Badger’s Hill on the right a tinge of blue was spotted perhaps that’s those bluebells starting to make an appearance. Close to the top of Badger’s Hill we were greeted to plenty of birdsong, perhaps they were cheering the runners along with a little tune.

Great Pacing!!!

Great Pacing!!!

At the end of the second lap some of the pacers, including myself had to slow a little being slightly ahead of pace. The runners following the pacers sprinted into the finish at the rear of the café and what a lot of PB’s there were and many other got their best time for a few months! A special mention to Andy Gandon, with a PB of 20:35 on his 150th parkrun and an age grade of 80.73% and Paul Townsend, who got a PB on his 100th with an age grade of 63.18%!!

There was a buzzing atmosphere around the café afterwards with the runners, volunteers, family and friends soaking up the lovely morning sunshine. Roll on next parkrun day!

Ann Hewlett

Thanks Ann for that run report, its great to have new perspective on the parkrun, if you ever want to share your run story just let us know at



Havant parkrun, Oh Yes we Have #386 6/10/2018

The Coles visited us from Havant parkrun, and have kindly writen us a Run Report to share.

if you weren't aware Havant is a town in Hampshire of around 125,000 people, so slightly larger than Worcester at 100,800 folks. (ONS 2014).  Havant parkrun started 6th June 2012 and has around 220 runners most weeks and is also run at a Country park namely Staunton. There average run time is 30:11 so I think there must be some hills as ours is 28:59, anyway enough stats, here is the report of their visit.......

On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning.

However, the parkrun fairies were kind to us today and provided cooler conditions,so this was in the Orchard Cafe as it was raining, which provided the perfect opportunity to talk to others before we started. It certainly took awhile for us all to venture out for the runner’s briefing as temperatures had plummeted too. Now where did I put my gloves?


Perry Hall First Timer Views – 380th Worcester parkrun

Imogen Gunson visited our Worcester parkrun this week and kindly wrote us a great run report. Imogen is an experienced parkrun and after 2 years parkrunning has run 89 parkruns, her parkrun birthday is Saturday, 23 April 2016 and has run at 26 different parkrun events, and completed 43 volunteer roles, so really helping out from week to week. Thanks again and enjoy the read everyone.....


The morning started with our first timer and tourist briefing by Carl it sounded a fairly straightforward course with the woods being clearly signposted so as not to get lost, and possibly more downhill than up - which is rare and slightly confusing for a course starting and ending in the same place. We then had the run directors welcome, with Emily highlighting a key point of encouragement for our range of participants and that parkrun welcomes all – it’s a timed run not a race (except against yourself maybe?!)

First lap started interestingly with the forewarned narrow patches so we could briefly queue in an orderly fashion before really being able to set off on the trail paths through the woods. Under cover of the trees with breaks of sunlight made for a comfortable and atmospheric running location. Working my around the course it’s certainly supported by local running groups in force with many team tops on show, all offering tips to teammates and others throughout, evidence that everyone can participate in parkrun whatever their experience stage is. Fellow runners offering support and camaraderie to each other all the way round is one of the reasons that makes parkrun great and reflects so well on events which have this!

As we pass over tree roots and woodland bridges I am reminiscent of Wolf Runs this being almost a flatter and obstacle free version, so definitely preferable on a Saturday morning that bodes to being warm. Whilst having this musing meeting a second timer was a lovely running companion for a while – to come on your first time is nerve racking, but to return is a bigger step into biting the parkrun bug, it also shows a warm event for someone to return which I can see the appeal of Worcester. I enjoy meeting new people, learning their stores and so chatting about starting with couch to 5k and then being able to run with family highlights to me the value and joy parkrun can facilitate, especially as you reach the lovely downhill pavement before turning the corner for a sprint finish across the field!

Worcester was a lovely addition to my regional tourism, and excellently organised particularly given the numbers of participants so thank you to the core team and volunteers for a wonderful morning.

In total 577 parkrunners walked, jogged or ran of whom 77 achieved new PBs so a massive well done all!

Milestones was achieved by 4 into the ’100 club’, 1 for the ’50 club’ – I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to proudly wearing their black and red shirts before long. There were also celebrations for one couple who will enjoy their pearl wedding anniversary next week, congratulations on an amazing landmark!

One of the difficult steps for many is coming to their first event so first timers are brilliant, but possibly a harder step is coming back and then having the drive to improve your time so second timers are great to meet and chat to!! Today we were joined by 24 first timers who hopefully enjoyed themselves so much they’ll return and maybe even catch the tourist bug, as I was one of 24 tourists venturing away from home seeing the regions delights.

Final note has to be a thank you to the hi-vis heroes of which we had 42 volunteers today, we really couldn’t enjoy our run without you!


Tourist’s Diary by Cat Lane (Gloucester City parkrun)

A posse of core volunteers from the newly fledged Gloucester City parkrun, which is on a 3 week hiatus due to the local fair, decided to go touring and settled on Worcester for today’s run.

There were 5 of us in total, 2 of them had previously run this course but the rest of us were new to it.

The drive to the course was pretty straightforward and parking was easy – good instructions on the Worcester home page. First stop, toilets. As we were fairly early arriving these were empty. Within 5 minutes though, the queues were snaking around the outside of the cafe facilities. We had made it just in time!

The sun was breaking through and the crowds started rolling in. Our record in Gloucester City is 170. Today’s event was far and away the biggest parkrun turnout I have ever witnessed and as Andy told me after the run, this was a fairly modest turnout!! Only 548 finishers.


In a fine Tutu, Vonnie Briefing us all

The briefing included many milestones and every name was clapped warmly by the enthusiastic crowd. Then to the start line. Didn’t know where to start from as there were so many keen runners. Not a criticism but perhaps future starts could have markers for expected finish times dotted back from the start line so that runners aren’t initially jostling for positions?

Paddock Start on the Scorched Grass

The run started and we were straight into the wood. Lovely and shaded. No trouble of getting lost on this run. As usual I thanked each and every one of the marshal’s as we passed them. Without these fantastic volunteers parkrun would not exist.

As it was my first time I did not push myself as I am guaranteed a course PB. Consequently I felt more able to enjoy a leisurely pace and speak with the locals. And a pleasant lot they were too. The woodland trail made for an extremely enjoyable run out.

Well I managed a pleasing sprint finish and met up with all my colleagues from Gloucester and we all agreed this was one super run.

Cheering Everyone In

As I am a bit geeky I have compiled some stats from today’s run. 548 competing of which 24 were absolute first timers. What a super course to begin your parkrun journey. Long may you run. 29 other established parkrunners ran this

course for the first time including my 5 from Gloucester City. Incidentally there was a runner(s) from Australia. That is keen. 63 PB.s plus the 53 First timers mean that 116 people created a PB. Always good to have a target to challenge. There were also many milestones. No names here but you will know who you are. 1 x50 runs, 3 x100 runs, 2 x 150 runs, 1 x 200 runs, 1 x 250 runs. The highest was 349 runs – 7 years of parkrunning.

Well done to each and every runner who turned out today.

I would also like to thank all of the hi-viz heroes without whom these runs all over the world now, would not be possible. Not meaning to demean the roles of marshals who do get thanks from many of the runners, I would like to give a massive thank you to the time keepers, the barcode scanners and funnel team who do not seem to get the thanks they deserve for doing a sterling job. Well done to each and every one of you.

If any runners would like to volunteer their services please opt in via the webpage. Any training needed will be offered and I guarantee that you will enjoy it.

All in all it was a wonderful run and a wonderful day out. Definitely in my calendar for a repeat visit soon.

Cat Lane



It’s a Takeover – 24th March 2018

What? No snow? No freezing temperatures? Could this be the start of Spring at Worcester Woods parkrun? Spring or no Spring quite yet, there was definitely something in the air today, as Black Pear Joggers staged a ‘takeover’ at Worcester parkrun, or perhaps more accurately, a ‘support the volunteers’ event. That meant a record 83 volunteers helping out today, from cake makers, warm-up leaders, marshals, pacers and many other roles being supported.

But why do it? As Paul Evans, Chair of BPJ said in his briefing, it was all about the club celebrating everything that parkrun means to us. Nearly 500 members of the club have completed over 16,500 runs at Worcester Woods, plus being involved regularly in volunteering. It’s definitely the ‘home’ parkrun of many BPJ runners, and so today was a great opportunity be able to give something back.

Peter Darwen, dedicated parkrun tourist and BPJ member organised the takeover celebration, so we asked him a few questions to find out about his motivation for getting more of us enthused about volunteering.


How did you get started with parkrun?

I ran my first parkrun was here in September 2012 when I had only just started running 5K distance. It was a shock moment! I ran it in 25:14. Shock because of the aches and pains afterwards, so much so that it put me off running it again! I didn’t run parkrun again until January 2014, when I was persuaded to try it again by fellow runners at BPJ.

I have now run 190 events at 37 different locations, with 118 of them here at Worcester…to be continued! Of all the parkruns that I have participated in, Worcester Woods remains my favourite. The combination of running through the woods, the varied terrain and the friendly atmosphere generated by the volunteers and fellow runners which makes it special.

What is your proudest/funniest parkrun moment?

Definitely the proudest is running sub 20 for the first time at Worcester Pitchcroft in July last year, because I thought it was beyond me at my age. Funniest? That could be seeing Ian Wild dressed up as an elderly lady pushing a pushchair when it was fancy dress at Halloween. I may have a photo somewhere. Another time is a pre-parkrun photo shoot in the woods for a BPJ calendar a few years ago, and the funny looks we got from dog walkers. Rumour is there may still be a few of these calendars knocking about, but maybe the less said about it the better!

Why did you organise the BPJ takeover?

I’d rather call it a celebration of Worcester Woods Celebration! I wanted to give something back as a thank you. I had seen other clubs doing the same thing at other parkruns and thought BPJ could do this too. I knew that people from the club would be happy to get involved, and that we would be able to provide pacers to help runners especially. I think people really appreciated this aspect today, as well as the cheering marshalls!

What is your favourite volunteering role?

I love being a pacer. It makes it all worthwhile when fellow runners thank you at the end because you have helped them to get a quick time or a PB.


Setting the Pace the band of BPJ Pacers!!

Is there anyone you wish you could persuade to do parkrun with you?

My youngest daughter, who thinks that running is boring! But the atmosphere at Worcester Woods is so wonderful ad friendly, I am sure she would catch the bug after a few weeks!

Thanks Peter, and thanks to all the BPJ club members who got involved today, not forgetting all out regular volunteers who help us out week in, week out, and make our parkrun what it is – we really do appreciate you! Don’t forget, volunteering is a great experience, and if you feel inspired to get involved, just email; the team will be delighted to hear from you.


Big CONGRATULATIONS today to Graham Plumpton who ran his 250th parkrun today, great running over those 5 years of parkrunning. Should have a 250 shirt for you soon to order.


50th parkrun today for Joe ADAMS
Junior 10 parkruns for Max HEPPENSTALL, Martha JOHNSON
& Liam WITHEY.


We had Tourists from far afield today Southampton, Newcastle, Tonbridge, Braunstone, Cheltenham, Shrewsbury, South Manchester, Milton Keynes. Hope you had fun in our mucky trails.


There were precisely 500 runners today which is aesthetically pleasing and 57 PB's. We hope you enjoyed your run and will be back for more now its warming up.


Here is the just for fun Wall, do give your friends and family a mention if they made it...and well done to you....


*** PB Wall of Pride (≥10 parkruns and PB Today) ***
Adam BOURNE (10) 23:14
Carys DEELEY (25) 35:34
Chris GOODERHAM (53) 25:25 *** Boom ***
Clara SALT (16) 32:55
Craig BOOTH (29) 27:25
Dom COWLES (11) 24:16
Edward DUFFY (60) 21:24 *** Boom ***
Freddie ADAMS (21) 18:40
Gareth ROBERTS (54) 25:01*** Boom ***
Gavin TREVELYAN (69) 29:48 *** Boom ***
Irene SHAW (10) 35:18
Isla CHATTERTON (13) 29:32
Lezley MORAN (11) 34:32
Nathan CHATTERTON (13) 29:33
Phil HAVERFIELD (25) 24:06
Rachel WILMOT (26) 31:00
Rich BENTLEY (92) 25:30 *** Boom ***
Richard James EVERS (78) 21:07 *** Boom ***
Ruth SCANLON (12) 26:04
Sarah LAWRENCE (19) 36:25
Thomas REED (72) 21:09 *** Boom ***
Veena ALLISON (21) 29:15


Figure in () = parkruns completed
*** Boom *** for 50+ parkruns and a PB today


Send us your photos vial links and we'll share them, and as always if you can volunteer let us know.

Have a great week and see you again soon.


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