Winter Woonderland #343 9th December 2017

It’s probably fair to say that we can’t even begin to imagine the headache that the weather caused the core team on Saturday as they laboured over the decision whether parkrun should go ahead or not.

 

The paths and areas outside the Countryside Centre were just too icy to be a safe option, as evidenced by a few tumbles. It looked like all was lost, until a slight change to the course was found. And what a change!

 

So team Worcester Woods – we know it was hard work for you this week, but we want to give you a huge thank you for the alternative course with an extra inner loop. It was truly stunning to run in parts of the woods that we don’t usually get to see on a crisp, frosty winter morning.

 

Welcome if you were a visiting us today! Good to see tourists with us for the first time from Arrow Valley, Ashton Court, Bramley, Cardiff, Little Stoke, Shrewsbury, St. Albans, Swindon and Wyre Forest. We hope you come back for another visit.

Even though it was a cold one, there were still plenty of mini parkrunners enjoying themselves this week. We caught up with a few of them, and love their unique take on parkrun! Thanks to Ruby, Nicole, Emma, Noah (8), Eddie (8), Arthur (10), Shannon (8), Alasdair (10), Izzy (7), Harry (5), Arthur S. (9) and Edward (12) for your amusing and insightful answers! Here they are..

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What’s the best thing about parkrun?

Ruby, Nicole & Emma: Meeting people!

Noah: It’s really nice and enjoyable – it wakes me up!

Eddie: It’s free and it’s fun!

Arthur: Keeping fit!

Alasdair: Getting a new PB!

Izzy: It warms you up!

Arthur and Edward: The community spirit – because it’s not a race or a competition.

 

Can you describe Worcester Woods parkrun in just one word?

Here’s the collective list: Friendly, fun, enjoyable, fast, hard, exciting, fun (again), happy, awesome, slippery, better than Pitchcroft (sorry guys!) and….woody (of course)!

We know it’s not a race, but is there anyone you really want to beat?

Noah: I really want to beat Oliver Lloyd from my school, but my dad is slowing me down!

Alasdair: I really want to beat my sister Shannon. Shannon is the fastest in our family.

Eddie and Arthur: Our teacher at school, Mr. Clarke (watch out Mr. Clarke, they’re coming for you!)

Finally, although parkrun is already great, can you think of anything that would make it even better?

Ruby, Nicole and Emma: Start it later. And maybe free hot drink at the end would be good – the week the Co-op came was awesome! (spot the teenagers!)

Noah: Even more people doing it!

Eddie: More laps!

Arthur: Cake and sweets at the end!

Alasdair: An escalator!

Izzy and Harry: Sweets when you finish!

Edward: Maybe a young people’s pacer or group so that you can stay together and encourage each other.

That’s a great shopping list kids, hopefully the team will be able to do something with your ideas (especially the escalator) very soon…in the meantime, if you’ve got a great parkrun story about how parkrun has helped or changed things for you, we would love to hear about it. Email worcesteroffice@parkrun.com and we can arrange to catch up with you on a Saturday morning.

Congratulations if you celebrated hitting a milestone this week!

50: Samuel ELSDON

100: Rachel MATHIAS (visiting from Cardiff)

150: Helen BURTON

200: Caz KIBBLE

250: Chris GARRATT

Next week will be Vonnie Ralphs's amazing 250th parkrun, with a sparkly theme, so feel free to wear something appropriate to support her.

Due to conditions today, only a few PB’s, so an extra special congratulations if you got onto the...

Wall of Pride (≥10 parkruns and PB Today):

Amanda HYETT (15) 23:43
Greg DOBBINS (23) 24:07
Harry DOWNING (14) 30:25
Lindsey GOODRUM (14) 25:18
Malachi CASHMORE (60) 19:09 *** Boom ***
Mark TEAGUE (12) 18:21
Paul SMITH (28) 23:53

*** Boom = 50+ parkruns and PB today
Figure in () = parkruns compeleted

Finally, as always, a huge thank you to the volunteers who look after us and work so hard, especially this week. Don’t forget, if you can lend a hand, especially over the next few weeks (and on Christmas Day), please email worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com, and make yourself a high viz hero!

 

Couch to 5k “Well Done” Event 341 25th November 2017

A chilly start to parkrun this morning, and a more noticeable ‘’what on earth are we doing look’’ on many faces. But of course, we were there to walk, jog, run, enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the challenge. So, was a bit of cold weather to stop us? Unlikely!

Thank you to all of the 41 volunteers who helped out and braved the cold today; it’s one thing to run in the cold but it takes an awesome person to stand in it and do all those jobs that make it possible for us to get our parkrun fix. We salute you.
Hats and happy faces on those of you that celebrated a birthday this week too (Steve Longley, Jeremy Jones and Emma Pound to name a few), and we hope that the great start to your special day ensured the rest of it was just as good.

It was ‘B’ day too for our parkrun tourists – Bedford, Buckingham and Burnage – we hope you loved the woods as much as we do!
Congratulations if you got a PB today (58 of you), or you hit one of those special, magical milestone moments today:

50 parkruns for Rebecca FARNSWORTH
100 parkruns for Angie RIDGE, Mark TOMLINSON and Adrian PRICE
200 parkruns (just for fun and because…why not?) for Alan SOUTHWICK

Also joining us today were some of the Couch to 5K completers from the Black Pears Tuesday Riverside group, and Happy Feet Fitness.
#342 C25K

C25K runners getting ready for their debut parkrun

It was great to hear the big cheer you got, and to hear about the encouragement you received as you went around. Well done for completing the course and parkrun today. I caught up with some of the the Black Pear Couch to 5K group (Sarah Broadbent, Jo Oakenshaw, Pam Ryan, Grania Flynn and Clare Diment) as they were enjoying a well-deserved slice of cake post-parkrun to find out about how they found it.

So why did you start Couch to 5K?:

Grania: I have signed up for the London Marathon, but I have never run for more than 5 minutes! Couch to 5K has set me on the right course, and it’s amazing what you can achieve.

Clare: I am a secretary at the hospital, and I sit down for most of the day, with no chance to exercise. A colleague goes along to Black Pear Joggers group and told me about the Couch to 5K. I thought that running would be out of the question because of problems with my knees and hips, but it hasn’t been a problem. Doing Couch to 5K has also helped me as I’ve been going along to Slimming World – I’ve lost weight and inches due to running. I’ve definitely got the bug now!

Pam: I’ve got a fitness test in January at work, and I couldn’t run at all, so I needed help! Jo: I just wanted to get fitter, and it was the same for me – I couldn’t run. I also have 3 children, so finding the time for fitness has been difficult.

Sarah: I’ve run before, but a back injury in January has meant that I’ve had to go back to the start, and Couch to 5K has been great for that. #342 C25K 1

All the training has paid off, finishing straight. How did you find parkrun today?

The groups answer was "it was tough and cold, but great!" The supportive atmosphere was fantastic. At this point, a heated discussion broke out about Badger Hill, and there was mild outrage that it had to be tackled TWICE!

But the ladies all agreed that they could not have done it without the support of their coaches, Sarah and Amanda (‘’even if we do think you were evil for making us run sometimes, Sarah!’’). Sarah was clearly proud of the group, and at how much they have achieved over the weeks.

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Time to Celebrate!!

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Running Well to the Finish

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High 5's!!!

What would you say to someone contemplating doing a Couch to 5K for the first time?
Again, without hesitation, they all said do it! Give it a go, we’re so glad we tried it. We have made new friends, gained confidence, and we would have given up if we had tried on our own. We have met up every week to do our homework together, and plan to come along on a Tuesday night now to join a transition group.

It’s clear that strong friendships have been formed in the group, and we really wish you well as you continue on your running journey, and hope to see you again at Worcester parkrun soon. Who knows, you might even start to enjoy Badger Hill…

We are blessed with lots of opportunities to join a Couch to 5K course in Worcester, whether work, club or fitness group based.

Running still not your thing? Don’t forget, you can still join the band of merry volunteers that keep parkrun going! Just drop and email to worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com. They would be delighted to hear from you!

Next week, it is the Worcester Victorian Fair, so make sure you leave enough time to negotiate the cars and coaches, especially as the park and ride will be busy. We look forward to seeing you next week.

 

“I Didn’t Laugh for Long” #340 18th November 2017

With a beautiful sunrise promising lovely weather for parkrun today for the 514 eager participants, it didn’t materialise and we slowly got soggier as the morning went on.

But spirits were not dampened, especially with some fantastic milestones being celebrated, and, as ever, our amazingly cheery 59 volunteers to keep us going. There were also a good number of PB’s today, proving that a bit of inclement weather didn’t stop you.

We welcomed tourists from Cheltenham, Cannon Hill, Telford, Shrewsbury, Braunstone, Roundhay and Woking – great to have you with us! Finally, Rich and the funnel team watched some impressive sprinting across the field, and were wondering where do you sprint from, assuming you have something left? Answers on a postcard please!

So it’s a huge high five if you hit a milestone today:

50 parkruns:

Sam LUCE

100 parkruns:

Mark WITHEY

Helen FORD

Kevin PICKESS

Holly FOX – we love your determination Holly!

150 (just for fun) parkruns:

Carol JONES

Gerry TAGGART

Jonathan SUGDEN

One of our marvellous milestoners, Kevin, agreed to be interviewed today, and it’s great to hear his parkrun story. Kevin is a regular at Worcester Woods, along with his wife Wendy, and children Sam and Abigail. Hope you enjoy his story!

#340 Kevin Pickess

Name: Kevin Pickess

Number of parkruns: 100 (78 at Worcester)

PB: 24:19

Number of times volunteering: 13

Congratulations on your 100th parkrun! How did it all start for you?

Sam started to come along to parkrun first, as he was a member of Worcester Tri club. Wendy used to take him, and I used to laugh from the comfort and warmth of my Saturday morning lie-in in bed, especially when it was cold and rainy. Wendy started running it too, and then Abigail asked if she could run it. Wendy wanted to get a good time that day, so I offered to go round with Abi and do one lap, reassured by the fact that the course is right next to the A & E department – no joke as I had not run before! However, I got round and completed it, and realised I could probably do it a bit faster. The rest is history!

What is the best thing about parkrun for you?

I think it’s the friendship and camaraderie – the shared sense of experience, which can be quite personal and moving in many ways. I like being a parkrun tourist too, and visiting other places – Burnham and Highbridge is a lovely parkrun along the estuary. Volunteering is also great – I really enjoyed doing the first timers briefing last week, much less pressure than timekeeper!

Do you have a funniest moment?

Probably today, on my 100th, because my watch decided not to work on the start line, so I had to run back and get another one from Wendy. That meant I had to play catch up from the back.

What has changed for you since you started parkrun?

I’m much fitter now. Plus, I enjoy it – I didn’t think I would at first. It really clears my head and helps me to think. I would say to anyone thinking of having a go, just try it! It really doesn’t matter what time you do it in, as it’s not a race, but it is all about you as an individual.

So if there was one person that you could persuade to do parkrun, who would it be?

I would say my friend Stuart Plant. Stuart, it’s only a matter of time now, as this is the second person who has mentioned you!

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Kevin, family and friends enjoying a well earned Milestone Cake

Thanks to Kevin for sharing his parkrun story. Please let us know if you have a story that you would like to share – maybe you will inspire and help someone. Likewise, if Kevin has inspired you to give volunteering a go, drop an email to the team at worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com . Your parkrun needs you!

Don’t forget that if you use the bypass to get to parkrun, coming from the west Worcester/Malvern direction that it will be closed next Saturday, so you may need to leave earlier to use the alternative route through the city, or you could visit the other parkrun. Don’t forget also to check out the updates for the special Christmas and New Year parkruns in Worcester which can be found on both websites and Facebook pages.

Enjoy your week and see you next Saturday!

 

Celebrations, Cakes and… Balloon Swords? #326 12th August 2017

What a great day for it in the woods today! Lots of us out enjoying our lovely parkrun (I’m being sentimental here after a few weeks away – but Worcester Woods is definitely the best!). Lots of visitors too from so many different places – it was great to have you with us, whether you were visiting from Aberdeen, Durham, Devon, Spalding, Frimley Lodge or anywhere else, and we hope you enjoyed your visit.

Congratulations to everyone who celebrated a milestone this week and/or got a PB. Congratulations if you struggled to get out of bed, but you made it! Here’s a special mention for the marvellous milestoners:

Fantastic 50: Mick Corlett and Martha Worthington
Humongous 100: Donna Rushton and Katie Downing
Totally Terrific 200: James Matheson

Next week is another special celebration, when parkrun events all over Britain will be joining forces with UK Sport and the National Lottery to follow on from the success of last year's "I Am Team GB" event, which saw around 60 GB athletes take part in their local parkruns after the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

This year, under the banner of #teamparkrun, Lottery funded athletes will be joining parkruns as volunteer Tail Walkers to highlight how inclusive our events are. No ideas as to who might turn up at Worcester, but as there is a rumour that Gerry R. may dress up as Hero the Hedgehog, it has to be one NOT to miss!

This week, our parkrunner under the 5 minute spotlight is Gerry Taggart, a familiar face and regular at Worcester Woods. If you have been coming for more than a few weeks, you will have probably heard his warm and encouraging voice echoing in the woods, with a cheery hello for those he passes.

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Gerry Taggart at parkrun this weekend

How many parkruns so far, and what is your PB?
I think somewhere around 136 parkruns, and my PB is 28:10, although I haven’t got near that for a while after an operation; my wife says I have to take it easy. NB: Gerry was 1st in his age category (75-79) today with a time of 30:04 – not bad going!

How did you start doing parkrun?
I have always been a sportsman, and enjoyed recreational running as a soldier. I also enjoy cycling, and for a number of years was part of ‘Team Sapper’, a group which raised £250,000 for the Help for Heroes charity. 2 years ago, during a charity event cycling from Berlin to Britain, I suffered from vertigo, so now running is my main focus. Whilst I was working in Oman, I ran with Muscat Road Runners club for 6 months. Someone said that when I came back to the UK I should try parkrun, so in August 2013 I did. Since then I have taken part in 3 Worcester half marathons, 3 Worcester 10Ks, 2 Beacon runs, the Mull of Kintyre Ultra and lots of other local 10Ks

So what is it about parkrun that you enjoy?
Two really important things. First, it’s so good for fitness, and it drives you to improve. Second, and most important I think is the sportsmanship and the team spirit that you get at parkrun, even if you are slow. It really is for everyone. I have run with thousands of runners since I started at parkrun, and have only ever seen one example of bad sportsmanship, and that was a man in his 50’s who should have known better!

What would you say to someone who hasn’t done parkrun before but might be tempted?
Just give it a go! Maybe start with a couch to 5K course and gradually build up. That’s what my daughter has done, and she’s recently done a 10k in a time of 1:10.
Do you have any funny or memorable parkrun moments?

I think my most memorable parkrun would be my first – I was so surprised by the spirit of it. Funniest, that’s more difficult – I’d probably use the word ‘jolly’ to describe it rather than funny - probably the last Christmas Eve parkrun when the numbers passed 700, the mayor was here, and there were runners dressed as elves, reindeer, Father Christmas and other things. A great atmosphere.

And finally, who would you love to see doing parkrun that hasn’t done it yet?
I would say all seven of my grandchildren. Three of them have run with me, but for the others, maybe it’s the fear of not knowing anyone…I would love it if they could all do it.

Thanks so much to Gerry for the interview – it was fantastic to find out a bit about your parkrun story – a true gentleman!

Thanks also to all the volunteers who gave their time to help out this week – you were amazing, as always!

Please do consider volunteering, especially over the summer holidays as many regulars are away.

Not volunteered before? You will love it (guaranteed), there are lots of different roles, and everyone will love you for it…payment often in cake!

Simply drop an email to worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com – the team will be delighted to hear from you.

One final thought from this week. Where else but parkrun would you be politely offered the choice of a piece of cake or a balloon sword as a post-run celebration? Surely it’s a no brainer?!

Kirsten Beard

 

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them…#320 1st July 2017

With a nod to J.K. Rowling, there were some strange and magical goings on in the woods this week. Not a reference to Roodie’s shouts of “I’m coming for ya!”, but more the blessingof unicorns (I’ve looked it up – that’s actually the correct collective noun!) joining us to Celebrate Lucie’s 100th parkrun. Did you spot one of these mythical beasts? Congratulations to Lucie, and all of our other marvellous milestoners this week:

Junior 10 parkruns: Adam Bourke

50 parkruns: Adrian Guida-Jones, Holly Ross, Peter Yeomans, Sarah McCathie and the awesome Laura Kibble

100 parkruns: Lucie White and Sue Klein

200 parkruns: Jeremy Winwood and Mark Lovelock

#320 30.06.17 Lucie

Here’s some of the Lucies and Unicorns in a pre-parkrun gathering!

Congratulations to you also if you were one of the 79 people who got a PB today – a great number considering there were (just) 411 of us out running, walking and enjoying our wonderful parkrun. And as always, thank you to all the volunteers, who make it so special for us, week in, week out. They will tell you that volunteering at parkrun is a great experience, with many different opportunities for helping out. But don’t take their word for it – try it out for yourself! Just email worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com; the team will be delighted to hear from you.

Also at parkrun this week were Helen and Mike Burton and their son Aled (18), who have been a part of Worcester parkrun for a fair few years. Helen and Aled were happy to be interviewed for their parkrun story (Mike was busy sorting out his Lucie mask!).

#320 30.6.17 Burtons (1)

Helen, Mike and Aled Burton

How long have you been coming along, and how many parkruns?

Helen: we’ve been coming along for about 3 years, and I’m on 140 parkruns.

Aled: about 15

So what got you started at parkrun?

Helen: I’m a keen runner, so I was interested when a friend told me about it, but I didn’t like the sound of a 9am start on a Saturday! However, I came along and was hooked from the start.

Aled: I came along originally with my parents, who encouraged me to run it, and it was something we did as a family. Now that I’m a bit older, I really enjoy it in my own right!

What is it for you that you love about parkrun?

Helen: It’s just such a brilliant concept! There were so many government initiatives as part of the Olympic legacy, and parkrun wasn’t even one of them, yet I think it’s been the most successful thing to get people out and active, because it’s something that everyone can do – it allows people who are a bit scared to try out being active in a totally non-threatening atmosphere.

Aled: I agree, and for me it’s the community aspect of parkrun that is brilliant.

Both: It’s the friends that you make that keep you coming, and the fact that on special occasions we might stay and have a coffee to catch up with others.

Do you have any crazy/funny or memorable moments that you’d like to share?

Aled: Doing parkrun on Christmas Day with all the family was great!

Helen: I loved my 100th parkrun with all of the family escorting me round. We also did parkrun on the morning of my other son’s wedding, while all the girls were having their hair done! That was a special one, but I also really enjoy the times when I can help other runners out if they are struggling, or helping them to improve their times – I take real pleasure in that.

Have you visited any other parkruns?

Both: We’ve been to Bristol, Bodmin and Sheffield, but most of our parkuns have been here at Worcester.

Do you have a favourite volunteering role?

Helen: I like standing as a marshall at the top of the path by the athletics track. You can see everyone coming up the path from there, so you can give people a good cheer, or call out their name if you know them.

Aled: I like standing at Eddie’s Corner. It’d great to shout out encouragements to people passing

(Note to Gerry: No need to wonder where to pop them on the roster next time!)

And finally…if there was anyone you could get to do parkrun who would it be?

Aled: My girlfriend, Adeola, although she doesn’t live in Worcester so that might be a bit tricky.

Helen: a colleague of mine, who used to be a runner, and who keeps saying he will do it when he has got back in to shape. He is moving away, but has promised to let me know when he does it.

Thanks Helen and Aled for sharing some of your parkrun highlights with us this week. Parkrunners! Please drop us a line if there is someone you know that you think we should interview – it’s always good to get pointed in the right direction!

 

Close Shave – Nick Smith #319

Nice and breezy in the woods today, and thankfully a bit cooler, although we’re not complaining about the sunshine, honestly! Well done to Darren on his first briefing and stint as Run Director, setting the bar…somewhere… for comic value!

Thanks as always to our wonderful volunteers who are always cheerful and well placed to get us round the woods or give a smile as we finish.

There were 448 runners today and a massive 71 of you got PB’s – brilliant! A big welcome if you visited from elsewhere (Hong Kong, Chichester or Malvern) and a big well done to everyone who got a milestone today:
50 parkruns: Chloe Richardson, Eliott Beard, Kevin Price and Olivia Willams
Junior 10 parkrun: Ben Crouch

Now on to the funny stuff, explaining the cryptic title to the report. This week’s interviewee is Nick Smith, a regular Worcester parkrunner and often seen in a pacer bib. He loves getting people round the course to a PB, but what is his parkrun story?

Nick Smith #319
How many parkruns so far?
103, with 102 done at Worcester.

Favourite volunteering role?
Definitely pacer – I love helping other people to improve their times. I even got a parkrun pacer cheer when I was recognised running the Worcester 10K – someone shouted “well done, 30 minute man!” That was a lovely moment.

So when did it all start?
I did a run for Macmillan Cancer charity, in memory of someone, and then a friend said that I should go along to the running club at Droitwich. This led to the suggestion of going along to parkrun in October 2014, which I did, and I loved it from that moment!

So what is it that you love about parkrun?
The social atmosphere – I don’t know anything else like it. The only thing I can compare it to is when I was a kid and we used to play on the streets and everyone was friendly to each other. You can get chatting to almost everyone and it’s a great atmosphere and a cracking start to the weekend. I love the fact that my nephew Harvey comes along with me usually, too. He helps me when I’m pacer and he’s even had a go at pacing himself.
Running and parkrun has also been brilliant for me, health-wise. Before running, I suffered from chronic sleep apnoea and had to have a machine to help me at night. Running has practically cured me, and I haven’t needed the machine for 2 years – so I can’t stop now!

Do you have a most memorable or funniest moment?
Nick laughs loudly at this point then says “not sure you can print this!”
Definitely a funniest moment. I was a pacer a while back for around 28 minutes, I think. As I was running down through the woods on the first lap I felt a strange sensation. Then I realised that I’d had a ‘minor’ clothing failure. The elastic had snapped in my shorts and they started to descend to the ground. This caused much hilarity to the people around me. Still kept up the pace though!

Thank goodness for lined shorts, the only thing that kept my dignity
intact! I’ve bought new shorts since then.

And what would you say to persuade someone who has never done parkrun before?
Just come along, it’s such a great atmosphere – where would you get this anywhere else. It’s so friendly and welcoming.

Is there someone in particular that you would like to encourage to do parkrun?
My 18 year old son Max. He has done it once before. He says he is not sporty, but I know he can do it!

Thanks Nick, great to hear your parkrun story. And please folks, let us know if there is anyone you think would be great to interview. Well done to everyone who took part today.

Kirsten Beard

Worcester parkrun, Event number 319, 24th June 2017

This week 448 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 33 were first timers and 71 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 44 volunteers:

Richard RALPHS • David RYDER • James GOLDBY • Derek HOBBY • Richard DREWETT • Steve ROODE • Darren SALISBURY • Mark Roy LOVELOCK • Margaret WILKES • Gerry RUDOLF • Carole RUDOLF • Jeremy WINWOOD • Joy SALT • David POUND • Fiona WALL • Emily SEYLER • Clara SALT • Karen HINKS • Leanne DEAN • Robin JASINSKI • Natalie SEYLER • Chris DENT • Anya HEWSTON • Mark SEYLER • Nicholas SMITH • Julie JONES • Meghan JONES • Owen JARMAN • Brian HEWLETT • Jill HEWLETT • Nicole SIMMONDS • Geoff GINIFER • Stephen BROOK • Lee RUSSELL • Julian LOCKYEAR • Lynsey HALL • Lorna FELLOWS • Kirsten BEARD • Jacob BEARD • Emily PASCOE • Lewis KENNARD • Lois PROTHEROE • Bethany SPENCER • Joseph YOUNG

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Worcester parkrun Results Page.

Male placings:
William RICHARDSON (SM18-19) of Birchfield Harriers, was first over the line in 16:10 - 5th time in 5 appearances.
Marc TURNER (VM40-44) of Halesowen A & CC, was second over the line in 17:47 - has been first to finish on 7 previous occasions.
David PRICE (SM30-34) of Worcester AC, was third over the line in 18:02 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Chloe RICHARDSON (SW20-24) of Birchfield Harriers, was first (5th overall) over the line in 18:39 - 6th time in 6 appearances.
Lauren KENNARD (JW11-14) of Worcester AC, was second (24th overall) over the line in 21:01 - has been first to finish on 8 previous occasions.
Lucie WHITE (VW35-39) of Black Pear Joggers, was third (36th overall) over the line in 22:04.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
William RICHARDSON (SM18-19) – 81.55% for the time 16:10 (first overall).
Chloe RICHARDSON (SW20-24) – 79.36% for the time 18:39 (5th overall).
Marc TURNER (VM40-44) – 79.10% for the time 17:47 (second overall).

The female record is held by Jenny NESBITT who recorded a time of 00:16:58 on 9th May 2015 (event number 205).
The male record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded a time of 00:14:52 on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).
The Age Grade course record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded 91.82% (14:52) on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).

Worcester parkrun started on 18th June 2011. Since then 10,744 participants have completed 107,970 parkruns covering a total distance of 539,850 km, including 19,342 new Personal Bests.

 

 

We are Family #317, 10th June 2017

A little bit quieter at the ‘original’ Worcester parkrun this Saturday, as we say hello and welcome to the new Worcester Pitchcroft, which started today. How great that Worcester now has two parkruns, and double the opportunity for Worcester folks to keep active on a Saturday morning. And with over 800 people attending, it certainly looks as if the opportunity is being taken up!

The mud was a bit sticky in the woods this morning, but nothing too serious, and the bit of a breeze didn’t seem to deter. At the finish line there was lots of excitement about possible PB’s, so well done if you were one of the 87 who achieved that. Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who made it happen, and well done too to our marvellous milestoners this week, with 50 parkruns for:
Bryony Haines
Nick Adams
Darren Leverett
Jo Williams
Alex Day
Hayley Biggerstaff

Plus, a big whoop for Christopher Barker, who completed his 100th parkrun today.

A quick reminder about next week, if you didn’t catch David’s announcement today. It’s Worcester parkrun’s 6th anniversary, so if you are planning on coming along, the big theme is ‘naked beach party’. Before you get too excited, here’s what that means:

Naked: come and run without your watch or any other sort of timing device. You can predict your time and send it in beforehand to worcesteroffice@parkrun.com, or write your time at the desk on the day. Closest to their actual time may win a prize!

Beach party: Dig out that tasteful Hawaiian shirt that has been lurking at the bottom of your wardrobe and wear it with pride at parkrun next Saturday, or any costume that helps make us feel like it’s a day at the beach. We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Time to celebrate one of our fantastic volunteers now, and find out what being a part of parkrun means to them.

Seylers 2

Meet Emily Seyler, who you will definitely have seen as a tailrunner, or as a cheerful face willing you on at the top of Badger Hill. Parkrun wouldn’t be the same without her and her family, so let’s hear a bit about her.
To date, how many parkruns have you done?
83 runs, 108 times volunteering

That is a lot of volunteering! What's your favourite volunteering job, and what's so special for you about it?
I've only ever been a marshal and a tail runner, but love them both as I get to see everyone - either grimacing at the top of the hill, or lapping me round the woods!

You clearly enjoy coming along – what is it that you love about parkrun?
I love the community. It's great to come each week as a family and see the children go and play with friends they've met in the past few years. And of course the cake. Who doesn't love the cake?!

What is your best or funniest moment so far?
Funniest for me was a tail running day when I was looking after a friend's dog. We made it into the woods a bit and then he had other ideas and stopped in his tracks. I couldn't turn back as I was tail runner, so had to pick him up and carry him, which amused those who saw me doing it. Thankfully he started running again once we were over Plumpton Bridge, my arms wouldn't have managed any further!

Best moment so far was getting the 750th token on Christmas Eve!

Could you explain what is it like to be a tailrunner?
I'd encourage anyone who hasn't been tail runner before to give it a go as it's a fantastic volunteer role. Any ideas of racing, pacing, and a pb go out the window, and it becomes about getting round and helping others to do the same.

First a steady start round the paddock, a stop for a hug from Eddie before you go into the woods, and then see who you're going to run with. It changes from week to week, as we get new runners, children trying it for the first time, visitors, injured runners who just want an easy week... keeps it interesting!

I always hope to get to Plumpton Bridge before we get lapped, but once the first runners start coming, we get lots of encouragement from everyone who passes us. I'm getting good at recognising people from the back as they fly by and the shouts of well done, good morning, and hello are most welcome.

Another hug from Eddie before starting the second lap, and then you get the peace of the woods on lap 2. That's always fun with children as they have space to jump in puddles, stomp on bridges to wake up the trolls, hit the tape hanging from the trees.... and finally we get to see the lovely timers and funnel managers who clap us in. It's always great to see people at the finish line!

I’m guessing you could persuade anyone to do parkun! What would you say to someone to encourage them to give it a go?
I tend to say they won't be last as that's my job and to come along and have a go. There is no 'too slow'. One of the things I remember most when Ryan (my son) was trying to get round 2 laps for the first time, and a volunteer saying to me that he didn't care if it took 4 hours, he'd be there at the finish line cheering him in and he'd make sure everyone else was too. That meant a lot.

So if you could persuade one person to do it who would it be?
I'd love all of those people who say to me “oh, I'd like to do parkrun,” or “I keep meaning to do that!” to actually come along and see what it's like.

And finally, your perspective on this parkrun (this was 2 weeks ago, as Emily has been away)
It was so muggy in the woods this week. I was dog sitting (again) and it was his first parkrun, he was rather excited and determined to pull me the whole way round. It was great to run with Leanne as she's been too fast for me for ages now!! So all in all a good run, and I'm looking forward to next week.

Seylers 3

Seylers 1

Thanks Emily – a great interview, and thanks for encouraging us all as we head around the course.

Don’t forget, volunteers are needed every week, you are guaranteed to enjoy giving a little back, and there are lots of different rôles that can be done, even some that allow you to run too! Please email worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com and they will happily pop your name on the roster.

Kirtsen Beard

This week 489 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 33 were first timers and 87 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 25 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 44 volunteers:

David RYDER • James GOLDBY • Eddie FREEMANTLE • Derek HOBBY • Mark Roy LOVELOCK • Julie Mary HERBERT • Dawn RYDER • Mike WILSON • Charles SCOTT • Margaret WILKES • Jacqui SMITH • Gerry RUDOLF • Carole RUDOLF • Jeremy WINWOOD • Melanie EDINGTON • Joy SALT • David POUND • Gail Michelle BERRY • Fiona WALL • Jessica ADAMS • Paula BRASS • Steve MURRAY • Clara SALT • Karen HINKS • Steve MOLLAND • David SALT • Robin JASINSKI • William HEWSTON • Chris DENT • Anya HEWSTON • Dawn POUND • Julie JONES • Meghan JONES • Owen JARMAN • Geoff GINIFER • Stephen BROOK • Mason THOMPSON • James WYATT • Emily PASCOE • Huw JONES • Jessica HASSELL • James BRASS • Lorna BEARD • Scarlett Alice ROBINSON

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Worcester parkrun Results Page.

Male placings:
Richard WALSH (SM30-34) of Black Pear Joggers, was first over the line in 17:29 - 15th time in 80 appearances.
Toby WHITFIELD (SM20-24) of Black Pear Joggers, was second over the line in 17:58.
Ahcène BENGRICHE (SM30-34) (Unattached) was third (4th overall) over the line in 18:33.

Female placings:
Bryony HAINES (SW18-19) of Birchfield Harriers, was first (third overall) over the line in 18:15 - 10th time in 11 appearances.
Sarah DAVIES (SW30-34) (Unattached) was second (46th overall) over the line in 22:24.
Emma POUND (JW11-14) of Worcester AC, was third (60th overall) over the line in 23:10.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Bryony HAINES (SW18-19) – 81.37% for the time 18:15 (third overall).
Jonathan HOLLAND (VM50-54) – 78.86% for the time 19:19 (10th overall).
Joan CLARKE (VW60-64) – 78.17% for the time 24:49 (112th overall).

The female record is held by Jenny NESBITT who recorded a time of 00:16:58 on 9th May 2015 (event number 205).
The male record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded a time of 00:14:52 on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).
The Age Grade course record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded 91.82% (14:52) on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).

Worcester parkrun started on 18th June 2011. Since then 10,668 participants have completed 107,005 parkruns covering a total distance of 535,025 km, including 19,215 new Personal Bests.

 

First Timers 29th May 2017

This week’s run report comes to you via our newbies…

There was a large crowd of first timers gathered around Lee this Saturday, so we decided to find out why they had come along to brave the woods and the weather this weekend!

#314 1 First Timers

So who’s new this week?

Bronwen

#314 Bronwen]

I’m feeling ok today! I’m training for a 10K race, but I started by doing a Couch to 5K course with Malvern Splash. It went really well today and it was lot of fun – the other people keep you going. I’m definitely going to come back – every week if I can!

Will
#314 Will

I’m here with my dad, who is running with me, and my mum, who is watching. I’ve come along because I’m doing the PixLEDGE challenge at school. I have had to do different challenges in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Resilience, Organisation and Initiative, and one of the challenges was to run a 5K event. I’ve done it now, and this was my final challenge, so I’ve completed it! Parkrun was good today, and I will do it again I think.

Bella and Ade

#314 Belle and Ade

We’ve come along because friends recommended Worcester parkrun – there seems to be a big buzz about it! We really enjoyed it today – it was a lovely route through the trees, there was a nice atmosphere and the encouragement from the marshals around the course was fantastic!

We’re really glad you all enjoyed it, and we’re looking forward to seeing you again soon. If you are reading this and you’ve yet to dip your toe into parkrun, do it! You won’t regret it.

A change in the weather this week didn’t put 587 of you off, and the rain held off long enough for most people to finish. A fantastic 61 volunteers helped to get everyone round, thank you! There 87 PB’s this week, so well done if that included you. As always, big congratulations to those who achieved a milestone this week, including:

50 parkruns for Thomas Reed, James Marshall and Verinia Thomas, and a wonderful double milestone of
100 parkruns plus 25 volunteering occasions for Rebecca Dib.

Thanks,
Kirsten Beard

Statistics
Worcester parkrun, Event number 315, 27th May 2017

This week 527 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 35 were first timers and 52 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 51 volunteers.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Worcester parkrun Results Page.

Male placings:
Dave TURVEY (VM35-39) of Halesowen A & CC, was first over the line in 17:38 - first appearance.
James DALE (JM15-17) of Worcester AC, was second over the line in 17:47 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Marc TURNER (VM40-44) of Halesowen A & CC, was third over the line in 17:51 - has been first to finish on 7 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Chloe RICHARDSON (SW20-24) of Birchfield Harriers, was first (9th overall) over the line in 18:20 - 4th time in 4 appearances.
Lauren KENNARD (JW11-14) of Worcester AC, was second (26th overall) over the line in 20:39 - has been first to finish on 8 previous occasions.
Katherine SMITH (VW35-39) of Pershore Plum Plodders, was third (31st overall) over the line in 21:12 - has been first to finish on 33 previous occasions.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Chloe RICHARDSON (SW20-24) – 80.73% for the time 18:20 (9th overall).
Alison CARR (VW50-54) – 80.05% for the time 21:28 (38th overall).
Carol JONES (VW50-54) – 79.79% for the time 22:06 (52nd overall).

The female record is held by Jenny NESBITT who recorded a time of 00:16:58 on 9th May 2015 (event number 205).
The male record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded a time of 00:14:52 on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).
The Age Grade course record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded 91.82% (14:52) on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).

 

Flying Paul Fisher Fighting Back, parkrun #313 13th May 2017

We all come along to parkrun for different reasons. This week’s spotlight is on Paul Fisher, who has been coming along for just over a year now.

#313 Paul Fisher #50

Everyone has a story about why they started parkrun. What’s yours?

I was on some medication for a chronic condition that caused me to gain weight, with symptoms that made me feel ill quite often.

I'd been ill for a while and put on a lot of weight, but when I started to lose a bit, I thought about getting fit. A work colleague sent me a link about parkrun, and a few months later I came down to the Worcester parkrun on a freezing cold January morning with my daughter Maddie.  

To be honest, I never thought I'd get back to doing any exercise or sport, but I made myself come along. That first run was great, even though it took 33 minutes and I had to keep stopping!

Has parkrun changed anything for you regarding your illness? Has it helped at all?

It is still a bit of a struggle to get to get out on a Saturday morning occasionally, but I find that when I get there and get going, I'm fine. It definitely helps with my condition - I genuinely feel better, post-parkrun, and have more energy than at any other time of week.

I think being a bit fitter helps in general. In fact, chasing those PBs (next target is to get below 21 minutes, which I'm finding a bit tough...) is great motivation to try to get the running shoes on 4 or 5 times a week, if I can! I'm even thinking of joining a running club, having not done any sport at all for the best part of 10 years before my first parkrun.

How many parkruns are you up to now?

49 so far, and my first big milestone today!

What is the best thing about parkrun for you?

I think it's the good-natured atmosphere at each event. Whatever you're doing Parkrun for, whether you're chasing a PB, volunteering or just running for fun, the supportive atmosphere is just great.

Best moment so far?

Too many to mention! I was particular happy to get under 22 minutes for the first time, and now I'm close to going under 21, which would be nice on a milestone!

Parkrun tourism at Tamar Lakes in Devon was lovely too. Volunteering is great, and barcode scanning was fun last week. I need to do more volunteering, and I'd definitely recommend it to see a different side of Parkrun.

So what would you say to someone who might want to try parkrun?

Just give it a go! There are people of all abilities, you'll get plenty of support if you need it and you can take it as seriously or as lightly as you want.

Is there someone that you’d like to see at parkrun?

I'd like to see my son Joe down there a bit more often - he's approaching his 10th run, and especially I'd like to get my wife Suzanne to give it a go!

 

Thanks for giving an interview Paul, and hope to see you get below that 21 minute time soon!

If you know someone else who you think we should interview, please let us know!

 

In other news, we regularly see the British Military Fitness crew training in the park, but did you spot our very own homage to the military, with Ewelina Skolimovska running the course in full combat gear?

A few others joined her to celebrate her 150th milestone. I spotted Wonderwoman – who did you see?

    #313 Ewlina 150th

Here’s Ewelina - apologies Megz, for failing to warn you about the photo!

Congratulations to all of our marvellous milestoners again this week:

Junior 10:

Bethany SPENCER

50 Milestone:
Paul FISHER
Matt SWATTON
Katrina BENNETT
Phil ELSDON
Mary WATHES
Warwick TAYLOR

100 Milestone:
Liz HOWELL
Sue CHURCH

150th parkrun:
Ewelina SKOLIMOWSKA

Lots of visitors from all over the country – it was great to have you with us, even Robin Hood, visiting with his band of merry men all the way from the Forest of…Malvern.

Well done if you are one of the 83 people who got a PB this week, and a huge thank you as always to the volunteers who make it happen.

Don’t forget to drop a line to the team at worcesterhelpers@parkrun.com if you think you could spare some time next week. You will love it!

 Kirsten Beard

Worcester parkrun, Event number 313, 13th May 2017

This week 634 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 59 were first timers and 84 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 59 volunteers.

*** PB Wall of Pride (≥10 parkruns and PB Today) ***
Alex LEES (10) 33:02
Alison DICKS (134) 26:28 ***Sonic Boom***
Andrew FORSTER (10) 57:12
Anthony CHESHER (25) 20:18
Bev HAMILTON (10) 29:40
Elizabeth CARTER (12) 33:28
Ellis OLIVER (69) 21:32 *** Boom***
Emilie BENSON-STELLING (64) 27:00 *** Boom***
Gavin NOONE (29) 20:20
Harry CHURCH (60) 27:29 *** Boom***
Harry DOWNING (12) 30:50
Heath MYERS (11) 32:25
James PRICE (10) 28:40
Jason PROTHEROE (42) 23:13
John HUDSON (60) 25:00 *** Boom***
Jonathan PHILLIPS (11) 24:40
Jordan BARNES (12) 18:44
Karen POLLARD (27) 22:17
Kieran SMITH (10) 23:12
Lindsey GOODRUM (10) 25:46
Louise MARSHALL (13) 36:02
Lucy CAPEL (15) 26:46
Mervyn DAVIS (25) 26:25
Nicolle RUDD (18) 33:32
Oliver MARSHALL (15) 31:15
Paula BRASS (60) 24:20 *** Boom***
Rebekah DIB (99) 29:31 *** Boom***
Rhys JONES (73) 26:55
Rich GREEN (105) 25:36 *** Sonic Boom***
Richard CUNDY (11) 26:51
Richard MORRIS (26) 24:58
Rob PLUMPTON (162) 23:33 *** Sonic Boom***
Steven HUDSON (20) 28:47
Suzannah BENNETT (15) 29:02
Tom BARTER (46) 22:14

Figure in ()=parkruns completed
*** Boom*** = PB and 50+ parkruns
*** Sonic Boom*** for PB and 100+ parkruns

Male placings:
David HALL (VM40-44) of Worcester AC, was first over the line in 17:37 - third time in 6 appearances.
Matthew FAIRLAMB (VM35-39) of Worcester AC, was second over the line in 17:52.
Marc TURNER (VM40-44) of Halesowen A & CC, was third over the line in 18:06 - has been first to finish on 7 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Ceris STYLER (VW35-39) (Unattached) was first (21st overall) over the line in 20:39 - first time in 6 appearances.
Natasha DENT (SW30-34) of Black Pear Joggers, was second (35th overall) over the line in 21:40 - has been first to finish on 6 previous occasions.
Jessica HASSELL (SW20-24) (Unattached) was third (43rd overall) over the line in 22:02.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Ann GRAY (VW70-74) – 79.11% for the time 29:36 (352nd overall).
David HALL (VM40-44) – 78.05% for the time 17:37 (first overall).
Marc TURNER (VM40-44) – 77.72% for the time 18:06 (third overall).

The female record is held by Jenny NESBITT who recorded a time of 00:16:58 on 9th May 2015 (event number 205).
The male record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded a time of 00:14:52 on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).
The Age Grade course record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded 91.82% (14:52) on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).

 

 

Friends, Family and Fun – Matt and George, 6th May 2017 #312

Another dry one for parkrun today, even though it was a bit chilly. The woods were still swathed with bluebells and there was lots of lovely chatter and encouragement going on. 621 of us donned our trainers and got out there. Thanks again to all our volunteers, who make it all happen and were in fine voice today.

Well done to the 107 people who got a PB in that chilly wind, and congratulations to our marvellous milestoners:

Junior 10: Edward Lawson, Elly Cope and Olivia Gilbert

50th parkrun: Jacob Broad and Mark Perkins

200th parkrun: (just because it’s fantastic!): Denise Morrison

We all love our junior parkrunners, don’t we? Especially as they effortlessly breeze past as we’re slogging through the woods. Or maybe it’s that final sprint across the field that they seem to just pull out of the bag.

Whatever it is, junior parkrunners are a great part of our Worcester parkrun family. Meet two of them who joined in today, and who willingly agreed to be interviewed!

Here’s Matt on the left and George, right, who have clocked up quite a few parkruns between them.

matt and George

How many parkruns?

Matt: I’m on 96 I think.

George: I think it’s 211 (I’ve checked George, and it’s an amazing 213 + 17 Junior parkruns, but I guess it’s hard to keep count with so many!)

What’s your PB?

Matt: 20:21

George: What? No! It’s 20:28. Same as mine!

Matt: Oh yes, we’ve got the same! 20:28!

That’s brilliant – friends and matching PB’s….for the moment.

What is the best thing about parkrun for you?

Both: It’s being able to do it with family and friends, and having everyone here – it’s a great social meet up!  

George: Also, you can use parkrun as part of your training runs for other races.

So what got you into parkrun in the first place?

George: My family. My dad came along first, then my sister and me, my nan, my mum, and my other sister. It’s definitely a family thing. It’s my Mum’s 200th today! Well done Denise Morrison!

Matt: The Pickess family started doing it and told us about it. It sounded good so I started doing it, and then I brought my mum.

Best/funniest parkrun moment so far?

Matt: When we both dressed up as fairies at Christmas. Or getting a PB. That’s always a brilliant feeling.

George: Yes, getting a PB is always good. Do you remember Matt, when I dressed as Santa, riding an inflatable horse?!

What would you say to another young person who was thinking about doing parkrun?

Both: You have to put your mind to it and just do it. Once you get into it, it becomes fun. Nothing is much fun on your own, but doing something with family and friends makes it fun.

And finally…if there was anyone you could persuade to come along and do parkrun, who would it be?

Matt: My dad, Stuart. Sometimes he comes along to watch, but I really want him to start doing parkrun.

George: I don’t know. Everyone that I know already does it!

Thanks boys, it was good fun to interview you! What came across strongly in your interview was how much it means to you to have your family and friends with you at parkrun. For any parents out there with teenage children – this is actually proof that parkrun is one of the only places where it’s cool to hang out with your kids, even when you’re clad in Lycra.

Don’t forget to drop a line or comment below the article on Facebook if you have a story that you’d like to share. It’s a fairly painless experience!

Kirsten Beard

Worcester parkrun, Event number 312, 6th May 2017

This week 621 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 59 were first timers and 107 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 31 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 53 volunteers.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Worcester parkrun Results Page.

Male placings:
Neil LAURENSON (VM35-39) of Black Pear Joggers, was first over the line in 17:50 - second time in 97 appearances.
Rob JONES (SM30-34) of Worcester AC, was second over the line in 18:01.
Nathan POOLTON (SM30-34) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:08 - has been first to finish on 4 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Katherine SMITH (VW35-39) of Pershore Plum Plodders, was first (38th overall) over the line in 20:55 - 33rd time in 166 appearances.
Sarah DAVIES (SW30-34) (Unattached) was second (55th overall) over the line in 21:58.
Jennifer CASHMORE (VW45-49) (Unattached) was third (64th overall) over the line in 22:18 - has been first to finish on 6 previous occasions.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Bryony SILCOTT (VW60-64) – 87.86% for the time 23:04 (87th overall).
Michael MORLEY (VM50-54) – 80.70% for the time 18:34 (6th overall).
Andrew JEAVONS (JM11-14) – 78.87% for the time 18:51 (10th overall).

The female record is held by Jenny NESBITT who recorded a time of 00:16:58 on 9th May 2015 (event number 205).
The male record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded a time of 00:14:52 on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).
The Age Grade course record is held by Anthony WHITEMAN who recorded 91.82% (14:52) on 31st March 2012 (event number 42).

Worcester parkrun started on 18th June 2011. Since then 10,462 participants have completed 104,150 parkruns covering a total distance of 520,750 km, including 18,830 new Personal Bests.