Wythenshawe parkrun no.403 10th August 2019 – Back To Normality

First of all, I have to start this run report by making an apology in overlooking Ron Carter’s 200th parkrun last week. As was mentioned in the run briefing, Ron week in week out arrives early and helps to check the course and set out the bollards and markers. Many Thanks for your work in doing this Ron, and congratulations on your 200th parkrun last week.

Worryingly for the 2nd time in the last month or so the Run Director had to announce that there were no milestones and therefore no cake. However by the time I had finished some brownies had appeared so many thanks to who brought these. There were also a couple of milestones that appeared to sneak under the radar so well done to Cecilia Fenerty on her 50th run and to Steve Dunn on his 150th.

After running 2 different courses over the last couple of weeks, it was back to our usual course in the normal direction this week.  The one thing that may have curtailed our activities was the weather however luckily for ourselves, we were able to compete the event before it started to rain heavily. Apparently when the rain came, the team were processing the results and the mobile signal wobbled but all was sorted, with Ben being a great help to the team.

The effects of the week’s rain could be seen in the park as there were a number of puddles in the Cromwell Loop that I for one did not spot, and just before the football fields, muddy passage is definitely trying to make a comeback.

However, that did not stop the 253 of us who ran/jogged/walked our around the park, and in this number we had 35 first timers to our event with 15 of you making their first ever parkrun. We welcome you all and hoped you enjoyed the Wythenshawe parkrun experience and look forwards to welcoming you back soon.

In terms of parkrun tourists this week, we had runners from Warrington to Worsley Woods, and from Whitley Bay to Burnage, however they all pale in distance to the lady from Peru who was with us on Saturday.

In terms of Personal Bests this week, congratulations to the 20 of you who managed to achieve this feat. My highlights go to Philip Keeley (51 runs) on his 3rd PB in his last 5 events and to Richard Travena (29 runs) on getting under 27 mins for the first time.

I do not normally mention the top event finishers as parkrun is a run and not a race, however a big well done to our first female finisher this week, Isobel Hall who is in the JW10 Age Category.

Now we are well and truly in Holiday Season, we can run short of volunteers so if you have always meant to volunteer but have yet to do so, then this is an ideal time to volunteer and save next week’s  Run Director from having to make an appeal.

This week's Run Director Alan Lamb was ably assisted by Sheila Parker, Tristan Pocock, Katie Reece, Linda Edmondson, Andy Holloway, Kate Holloway, Barbara Wright, Beth Evens, Ron Carter, Scarlett Pocock,  John Gavin, Sam Mcgrath, Ashley Lindsey, David Wathey, Jane Gavin, Yoko Shelley,  Ben Crouch, Hayley Gavin, Maggi Gmerek, Annie Barrow, Pauline Lorford & Zeyeem Mohammed, so many thanks to you all from all who took part in the event you made possible.

After last week’s group of statistics went down so well, I have tried to find some more statistics of note, and have looked at the first names of parkunners this week.

The most popular first name this was Andrew (8 runners) with 3 Andy’s as well.

Personally speaking I am disappointed that the 3 Jonathan’s were beaten by the 5 Johns. 

In terms of the female participants I am not sure if the 3 Jennifer’s + 2 Jenny’s beat the 4 Sarah’s + 1 Sara.

However the one name that beats all of the above is the 17 unknowns, so please can you remember your barcode next week as no barcode = no result.

See you on Saturday.




Wythenshawe parkrun no.402 3rd August 2019 – Happy 8th Birthday!!!

So what were you doing on the 6th August 2011 at 9am? Being Honest I can not remember at all, I guess it may have involved having a lie in,  however on that day 54 runners and 9 Volunteers set up and ran/walked/jogged their way around Wythenshawe Park for the inaugural Wythenshawe parkrun.

And out of those original runners, it was great to see that Peter Walters, Paul Barber, Jon Shaw, Caroline Baba and Margaret Carleton (plus unknown runner!) were all still running on Saturday and Jeanette Barber and Alan Lamb were volunteering.  Paul Muldoon who was RD for that first run was also there.

Everyone who participates in our successful event must say thank you to these original runners and whilst we are not at the 800 events that Bushy park celebrated this weekend, we are achieving so much together.

So how did we celebrate our birthday? Well first of all we said Happy Birthday to this week’s Run Director Charley, so Happy Birthday Charley, hope you had a fab birthday J

 Then we celebrated with fruit and cakes, with Ken Smith running his 100th parkrun however I apologise if I missed any other celebrations.

And then 347 walked/ran/jogged our way around the course in a reverse direction after the Cromwell loop. I have to be honest that out of all the different courses we do, this is my favourite.

It was strange to see the usual landmarks from a different angle but I enjoyed it. The one thing that I tried to remember not to do, was to start a finishing sprint too early, however that long final straight was so tempting!!!

For the 43 of you who were first timers at our event and especially the 25 who had their first ever experience of parkrun , then I hope that you enjoyed our birthday festivities and hope to see you again soon.

In terms of parkrun tourists this week, we had a runner all the way from Saudi Arabia, with other very welcome tourists from the Wirral & Congleton

So I am guessing that a number of you managed to time your final sprint really well as 28 of you managed to get a Personal Best this week. My highlight must go to Ken Smith who not only ran his 100th parkrun he also got a Personal best of 24:59, dipping under 25 minutes for the first time, excellent running Ken J

However none of this would have happened without our volunteers who donned their high viz jackets and ensured our event ran smoothly, so a massive thanks to Birthday Girl, Charlotte Dean and her team who this week were Emily Acomb, Jeanette Barber, Ron Carter, Hayley Gavin, John Gavin, Jane Gavin, Nick Hamlin, Jane Herdman, Kate Holloway, Andy Holloway, Rebecca Jackson, Rick Jones, Philip Keeley, Alan Lamb, Pauline Lorford, Sam Mcgrath, Sheila Parker, Yoko Shelley, Paul Taylor, Kieron Walsh & Jason Wood.

My final thought for this week was to look at the statistics for our event over the last 8 years, as being a guy who spends a lot of his working time in spreadsheets, I do love a good statistic and a couple stood out for me

There have been  10496 different runners, who have made their way 79654 times around the park in a  total time of 4Years 142Days 6Hrs 22Min 58Secs, a total distance of 398,270km

The best age graded time (in simple terms this means the best time based on a runners sex and age) was by a female in the 65-69 age group, and we have had 12995 PB'S,with an average event consisting of 198.1 participants.

Our Total Average Time is 28 mins 57 seconds, however pleasingly our average time this week was 30 mins 17 seconds. The reason this pleases me is that this shows that we are becoming more and more a community event and not just an event for faster runners.

So I hope to see you on Saturday, when who knows, after the last two weeks, we may end up doing our usual course in the usual direction.

I am typing this run report on Monday evening and a quick perusal of the volunteer roster shows that we currently only have 2 volunteers, a run director and a tail walker.

If you can volunteer, that would be great, as otherwise we may have to sadly cancel the event, as without our volunteers, we can not guarantee the safety of the event.

Don't forget your barcode



What no cake!?

Wythenshawe parkrun no.400 20th July 2019 – 400 events and stronger than ever (But No Cake!!!)


It was with some trepidation that I looked out of the window on Saturday morning and whilst I could see a bit of sun, sadly there was also wind and rain. And whilst we hoped for the parkrun weather fairy to make the rain stay away unfortunately this week we were disappointed.


However we could all have been disappointed as this week we were struggling for volunteers to marshal the event and needed a Thursday appeal by this week’s run director Dan Martell, for this to go ahead. His High Viz heroes who came to our rescue were Amanda Navin, Andy Mottershead,  Angela Bamford, Ben Crouch, Harrison Sykes, Hayley Gavin,  Jane Gavin,  Jarrod Sykes, Jenny Allwright, John Gavin ,Katie Reece, Kieron Walsh, Martin Banfield, Norma Burgess, Owen Allwright, Pauline Lorford, Sam Mcgrath, Steve Thurston, Stuart Whittle, Victoria Birrane & Yoko Shelley.

Now that we are in Holiday Season we can sometimes struggle to get the required number of volunteers that are required, so please can you volunteer if possible.


And out of the 311 who ran/walked/jogged our way around the park on Saturday we welcomed 46 first timers to our event, with 20 making their parkrun debut.

If this was your debut, and you were inspired by the excellent Dame Kelly Holmes documentary then welcome to our friendly community run, everything that was on the programme is true and parkrun is such a positive life enhancing movement, you will be so glad that you have joined. For those who have not watched the programme I recommend catching it on the BBC IPlayer, it is well worth it.


However one of our usual staples that make our Saturday morning go with a smile was missing as we had no cake!!!! Yes as a clearly upset Dan mentioned in the briefing, there were no milestones and no cake. However whilst I am not mentioning any names, I have been assured that next week, we will be seeing some cakes so let’s hope this is just a one off and cakes will be back on the table.


In terms of parkrun tourists this week, the award for furthest distance travelled must surely go to those from Lake Joondalup in Western Australia.  We also welcomed tourists from Sligo, Fulham Palace, Preston, Coldhams Common and Perth (Scotland)


With the wet and windy weather conditions, 22 of you still managed to record PB’s so well done to you all, my highlight must go to Philip Keeley for his 2nd PB in 3 weeks on his 49th run at Wythenshawe, but well done all.


And just a couple of final points, and please remember to bring your barcode so that you can get scanned, sadly 30 parkrunners forgot their code and were marked unknown. parkrun have very few rules however they do operate a no barcode no time policy, so please do not ask our volunteers to make exceptions to this rule.

The Wythenshawe Games will also be on next weekend, so this may mean that we have to use an alternative course, so please can you keep an eye out on social media for any updates.

But onto a bit more of a fun request and Wythenshawe’s first parkrun was on the 6thAugust 2011, so  in two weeks time it will be our 8th Birthday,  I know the team would welcome any special ideas to celebrate our birthday so if you can get your thinking caps on and come up with a fun request that would be great. Over the last couple of years we have had back to school and holiday themes so let's come up with some great ideas.


See you on Saturday :)




Wythenshawe parkrun
Event number 398
6th July 2019

Sometimes we get reminders that the things which are important in life are not our 5k PBs or even the number of times we've turned up somewhere on a Saturday morning to run those 5ks.  For me, as Event Director of Wythenshawe parkrun, last Saturday was one of those days when I realised that it is our health and that of and our families, friends, colleagues and acquaintances plus our community and the support which comes from that community which matter so much more than arbitrary numbers.

Many of you will be unaware that during Saturday's run one of our runners suffered a serious heart problem.  Without going into full details here I am pleased to report that he was taken by ambulance to MRI and is recovering now after emergency treatment and will hopefully be allowed home in the coming days.

The actions of several people directly contributed to this successful outcome and many others helped indirectly and I thank all who played even a small part by mucking in and making sure that things which needed doing were done.

Our emergency planning does include the possibility of a runner having a serious health problem and as a core team we have discussed how such a situation might play out and how we could ensure that everything possible is done in the shortest time.

However no amount of planning truly prepares you for a real situation when people are reacting instinctively, and so I ask that you all be aware of how you can help should we have another similar situation.  You never know, you might be the first person to arrive at the scene or you might be the emergency itself.

  • Firstly make sure that your In Case of Emergency (ICE) details are updated in your parkrun profile.  Just follow the link in your results email.  Imagine nobody being able to contact your family in the event it was needed.
  • If you are running on your own and don't have any other family or friends with you then please have your barcode somewhere easily accessible.
  • If you feel unwell then head to the nearest marshal and please don't take what you think might be a shortcut to the finish. We have a defib at the finish.  Prompt action will be needed to get it to the scene with minimal delay and being off the course potentially adds time.
  • All the marshals have the phone number of the Run Director for the day.
  • If someone collapses near you then stop and try to help. Flag other runners down and make sure someone heads as quickly as possible to the nearest marshal.  Phone 999 if it is a clear heart attack-type situation.

Hopefully we will never have another incident but I know that if we do our community will play its part in getting assistance there as quickly as possible and supporting each other afterwards.

In other less important news 344 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 44 were first timers and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 31 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Tristan POCOCK • Paul Thomas MULDOON • Ken BURGESS • Katharine LAY • Richard EVANS • Nayana MOORE • Andy HOLLOWAY • Kate HOLLOWAY • Barbara WRIGHT • Andy WRIGHT • Margaret MORRIS • Luke KELLY • Jane DAMERUM • John GAVIN • Sam MCGRATH • Graham HORSMAN • Jane GAVIN • Norma BURGESS • Paul SHELLEY • Vincent SHELLEY • Yoko SHELLEY • Ben CROUCH • Mark DAY • Phil RICHARDSON • Ann JOHN • Zeyeem MOHAMMED

Two of these (Nayana and Ann) were completing the volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh award after 13 weeks.

Wythenshawe parkrun started on 6th August 2011, which means that it will be our 8th birthday in a few weeks. Aren't we getting old!

Don't forget that parkrun is a wonderful thing and has probably done more to change people's life for the better than any public health initiative ever has. Please don't let any of the above ever put you off.

Thanks everyone.



Wythenshawe parkrun no.396 22nd June 2019 – A first for Yoko

After the excitement of making it to the moon 2 weeks ago, it was back to earth for the 344 of us who walked jogged or ran around Wythenshawe park on Saturday morning.

Out of the 344, 46 were first timers to our course  and they were welcomed by the loudest call for first timers that I have heard in a long time, and so a big thank you to one of our youngest volunteers for alerting everybody to the pre-event briefing.

Not only were 26 making their parkrun debuts, we also had a number of tourists to our event as well, with parkrunners coming from Anglesey, Birkenhead, Whitstable, Seaton on the south coast and also from LLyn Leich Owain parkrun. Our Welsh runner was Sian Evans who is up here visiting a relative currently convalescing at Wythenshawe Hospital, and we all hope that he continues his recovery, and whilst you are always welcome here at Wythenshawe we also hope you will all return soon to South Wales in good health.

I do not know if many of you  listen to the parkrun podcast called Free Weekly Timed, but if you have not it is well worth a listen as they talk about various aspects of parkrun and the niche statistics that parkrun can offer as well as the positive effect that parkrun has on many of the runners/walkers/joggers. One niche is for runners to attend as many different parkrun events as possible and this week we welcomed Egg Cameron on his 216th different event, so well done Egg, I am reliably informed that this is not a record for Wythenshawe, but still a great achievement.

With the Sunny Weather back, conditions were set up for Personal Bests and 43 of you managed this achievement this week.  From looking at parkrunners who have run more than 30 times at Wythenshawe I want to congratulate Lindsay Haston (33) on her PB well done.

I do not normally highlight the quicker runners but two things caught my attention this week so first of well done Adam Hindmarch on being our first finisher. Adam does not often run here, but the only previous time he was the first finisher was on the corresponding weekend last year, will he next be 1st on 20th June 2020?

The other first finisher really made me smile for it was Yoko Shelley, who has one of the biggest and most contagious smiles at Wythenshawe, and this was her first time being the first female finisher. So well done Yoko (also well done on 2 PB’s in the previous 4 weeks) and keep on smiling. J

In terms of cakes and biscuits this week, they were a bit scarce on the table, however Edyta Burgess brought in some treats in order to celebrate her 100th run at our parkrun, so thank you very much Edyta.

This week our high viz heroes were led by Alan Lamb, and comprised of Alfie Mcgrath, Andy Mottershead, Ann John, Helen Morris, Ian Mcgeough, Jan Williams, Jane Gavin, Jenny Allwright, John Gavin, Jojo Rickart, Ken Burgess, Lisa Cushworth, Nayana Moore, Norma Burgess, Paul Barber (fresh from his moon landing),Paul Thomas Muldoon, Ron Carter, Sam Mcgrath, Scarlett Pocock, Tristan Pocock, Victoria Fletcher & Zeyeem Mohammed.

And so onto next week, as I am typing this report on a Tuesday lunchtime, there is heavy rain, however I am also seeing a weather forecast of 26C and sun for Saturday so who knows what the day will bring.

Will the mud on muddy passage make a summer comeback? What I do know is that there is a Charity Run planned for St Anne’s Hospice. The Run is actually a Bubble Rush & is a 2 lap course (sound familiar) and starts in a sea of bubbles and features four bubble stations along the route where cannons pump out coloured foam to create a 4ft deep bubble bath. It is also pushchair and wheelchair friendly, so it sounds fun and is raising money for an excellent cause if you wish to stay behind and support this event.

It may also mean that we may have to change our normal route, so please can you keep an eye out on social media.



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