Exercise, Mental Health and Lockdown – By Ellie Griffin


At a time when we are facing a global crisis, it is important not to forget our mental health. There is a focus at the moment on physical wellbeing, how the virus affects physical health and keeping physically fit during lockdown.

But it’s just as important to focus on mental health and the impacts the pandemic is having on mental and psychological wellbeing. Many people right now are going through some of the toughest times in their lives, for a variety of reasons, and it is important to recognise the mental impact this can have. Mental health is just as important as physical health and the two have a direct impact on each other. It is important to acknowledge that many people are struggling, in many different ways and for a wide variety of reasons.


In this article I’m going to specifically talk about my experience with anxiety - which is just one of many mental health conditions - and exercise, especially during lockdown.

I was diagnosed with anxiety about five years ago. At the start of this year things were finally starting to come together. After graduating from university last July and struggling to find a job I was doing work experience at a great company, I became a Run Director at parkrun, I was part way through a recruitment process for a graduate job…. And then lockdown hit. Recruitment stopped, no one was hiring, the economy went into freefall and life changed for everyone.

At first, I found it quite hard to deal with as my future was on hold indefinitely. I really felt like I had no purpose. I had a few bad days at the beginning when everything would seem really overwhelming, and I felt like I couldn’t cope. I struggled to see the point of everything, having nothing to do and my future plans being uncertain. I felt like I was in limbo, missing my university days that were filled with fun and friends and routine.

Slowly I started to do things to make my days more productive. I made a list of things I’d been meaning to do for a while, such as finishing off a scrapbook. I also started volunteering – pre-lockdown I had really enjoyed volunteering at parkrun, the camaraderie and good feelings it brought. I have been a volunteer with GoodGym for a few years now but during lockdown they have switched their focus to providing shopping ‘missions’ and prescription deliveries to people self-isolating. The feeling I had after completing my first shopping mission was amazing. The sense of purpose I felt helped to reduce my anxiety. I have been doing a similar thing with another charity called Move the Masses, who mainly focus on prescription deliveries. The ability to sign up as and when you’re available means there’s no pressure to do a certain amount or do it every week.


By throwing myself into volunteering I have managed to get a sense of purpose back, helping others, even in a really small way, has helped me to help myself.

Sport has also been a big thing for me during lockdown. I have been a competitive swimmer for many years now, training up to 7 times a week. Swimming is my main tool for combatting my anxiety and generally looking after my mental health. With lockdown swimming hasn’t been possible, so I have had to look elsewhere for my sporting fix. I have always been a bit of a runner and an occasional cyclist so doing more running and cycling wasn’t too much of an issue for me. I have also been participating in a virtual running race league which has helped me more than expected. It has helped to replace the competitive drive I got from swimming and motivated me to push myself and get out and exercise regularly, as well as giving me some structure to my training, like I used to have in the pool. It also provides a connection to other, like-minded people and is a positive and encouraging group.


In these uncertain times it’s important to find routine where you can, stay connected and talk to others. I try to take everything one day at a time and talk to friends and family about how I feel: chances are they feel the same way, as everyone is going through the same situation right now.

I find I can put too much pressure on myself to be productive. But it’s okay to watch Netflix, have a lazy lie-in or read a book. It’s okay not to participate in every single zoom call with family and friends. (I find I feel under pressure to always do these sorts of things as I can no longer say ‘I’m busy’) It’s okay, and in fact, healthy to take time to yourself, especially if you are isolating with others and working from home etc. We all need our own space and I’ve found it can sometimes be difficult to remember that. It’s nice sometimes to take a walk on your own, or a read a book in your room and just generally have some ‘you’ time.

Anxiety isn’t something that is curable. It does reoccur and there are bad days. You don’t have to let it control what you do, and you don’t have to be afraid of it. I’ve come to accept it as something that makes me who I am. Yes, it makes me over-worry about the simplest of things that others may not even think about, and it makes me stressed and nervous in certain situations. But it also makes me very empathetic and caring and attentive. There are two sides to every coin.


It is important in times like these that we all look out for each other and check in. You never know what someone is going through right now and even the simplest “Hi, how are you doing?” message could help someone hugely. We all deal with things in different ways and having our own way of processing the changes that have been happening lately.

In the words of Henry James: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”


York parkrun #369 – By Varrie Wardrope

Since we have a leap year, it’s possible to do 5 parkrun’s in February 2020. Therefore it seemed only right to do an epic parkrun journey.  So....as English fans headed north and flocked across the border to Edinburgh for the six nations rugby tournament, a group of hardy runners left their stable in Dunfermline Fife, at the ungodly hour of 4.00am to travel in the opposite direction. It’s now possible  to catch a Trans Pennine Express train from  Edinburgh Waverley station at 5.14am to arrive in York at 8.02. All in the name of parkrun and to add a Y to their alphabet challenge.


Nicola, Laurie and Varrie were joined by Hazel and an anticipated short trot to York racecourse turned into a taxi journey as the train arrived late, however they arrived just in time to warm up.

WOW, the sight of a magnificent racecourse and a welcoming crowd did nothing to settle their pre parkrun nerves. The sun crept out, the sky was blue, the wind subsided, the odds looked good - a perfect morning for their own grand national day.

RD Ellie gave the welcome briefing and the going was good, there were no handicaps,  614 athletes, buggies and four legged friends lined up at the start, they were counted down, 3, 2, 1 and then off along the flat furlongs.

The Fife fillies enjoyed their flat 1.66 gallop round the Knavesmire - compared to the steeplechase of their local course Dunfermline, the fillies were on top form!!  Their coaches, Christine and Dyanne at Jogscotland would be proud.

There were no rucks, scrums or mauls as they were cheered and encouraged all the way by a group of enthusiastic supporters and friendly volunteers.

Rob Byers and Chris Poulton dominated early on as the front runners, the pace and conditions were good, there was even a sprint finish. The fillies were joined by the glamorously dressed Elswick runners who travelled from Newcastle for a hen weekend, where the bride-to-be was also celebrating her 50th parkrun. Dave and Catherine who are new to parkrun ran the course for the first time without walking by following a pacer which is great news.

At the finish funnel the Fife maidens were panting and sweaty but they had all remembered their bar code, tokens scanned, and cosy blankets on, they trotted off to the Knavesmire paddock for a full fry up - what no haggis or tattie scones??? A great wee pub at the heart of the community, served with a friendly smile by Rachel. Much banter was had, results were processed and Red Rum, Seabiscuit, and even Black Beauty were spotted downing a rewarding post run beverage ... or was that just sleep deprivation kicking in?


Thank you team York. What a great start to the rest of the day.

Then with a few hours to enjoy the peels of York Minster, some retail therapy in The Shambles then coffee and biscuits at The Grand Old Duke - elated but tired,  they boarded the train north just in time to hear the skirl of the bagpipes as another great sporting event kicked off - The Calcutta Cup, Scotland v England at Murrayfield.  You are either a winner or loser at rugby, but with parkrun everyone is a winner, and no one gets the wooden spoon!


  • Today’s parkrun was number 369.
  • 614 people ran/jogged/walked the course.
  • 112 first timers - look forward to seeing you all return next week.
  • The milder conditions gave 108 runners personal bests.
  • Representatives from 57 different clubs took part.
  • Including visitors who came from Newcastle, Dunfermline, Chichester, Harrogate, Leeds, Cockermouth and Reading to name a few.
  • The Fife fillies travelled a total distance of 470 miles - not quite 500!!
  • FEMALE record: Laura WEIGHTMAN - 16:12, 12th March 2016 (event 190).
  • MALE record: Graham RUSH - 14:37, 19th August 2017 (event 253).
  • AGE GRADE course record: Angela OLDHAM - recorded 97.59% (21:25) on 17th November 2018 (event 308).
  • York parkrun started on 14 January 2012.
  • Since then 22,121 participants have completed 140,004 parkruns.
  • With a total distance of 700,020 km being run, jogged or walked.
  • That includes 22,560 new Personal Bests.
  • A total of 1,045 individuals have volunteered 8,570 times.

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

York parkrun is entirely run by volunteers and a great core team. Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - the event survives only because of volunteers. Please visit the volunteer page for more information.

This week could only go ahead because of volunteers:

Neil LAWSON • Jane LAWSON • Jane Victoria MARSHALL • Mark HARNEY • David BANNISTER • Nick GRIFFIN • Adrian STIPETIC • Deirdre SOUCH • Stuart LESLIE • Barbara GRIFFIN • Ellie GRIFFIN • Tim GIBSON • Adam SEFTON • Caitlin CLARK • Julia GAVIN • Anna MARSHALL • Ian JENKINSON • Jeannie E. SNELLING • Rachel GILLESPIE • Alan WILKINSON • Ellie PAGE • Robert MCDERMOTT • Terry BROMFIELD • Angela NORTON • Peter NORTON • Andrew CLARK • Matt BROWN • Louise STRINGER • Diane HARNEY • Judi WATSON • Sally MINSKIP • Toni JENKINSON • Varrie WARDROPE • Ruth MALONE • Stuart MASHEDER • Danny EVANS • Ruth BUCKLEY

If you would like to help at future parkrun’s please email york@parkrun.com

Thanks for reading and see you all next week.


York parkrun #366 – By Liz Piper

Where hast tha been since I saw thee?    images

And the correct answer of course is:  On York Knavesmire bar t’hat.  Although as the sun rose in a beautiful, golden glow over the Knavesmire on Saturday 18th of January, it was certainly not a hat-less morning!  With all shades and styles of bobble hats and snoods,
most people (apart from the fearless few) were wrapped up warm in view of the weather forecast.  All?  Well, all except for one runner who was heard remarking that he needed to ‘Strip off another layer soon’ - either a sign of a very hardy Yorkshire man or a sign of one eager to show us his tattoos.  ‘On York Knavesmire Bar Tatts perhaps’??

This week, 718 runners were gathered on this frosty but clear morning to run, walk or jog the 366th parkrun at York Knavesmire.

There is always an atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie at parkruns, but a mention must be made of all those running the RED January initiative from MIND.  Known by their red T shirts, red snoods and warm smiles, they have been out in force for the last couple of weeks doing their best to Run Every Day (RED - got it?) in January, raising funds for a worthwhile cause and exuding welcome and comradeship.

Runners came from far and wide this week, including Knaresborough, Scarborough, Northumberland and the States among other places.  Parkrun is a friendly and chatty place where there is time to meet up with old friends and to make new ones.  It was great to meet up in particular with some Hash House Harriers from Tibworth and share fond memories of running abroad.

Mention must also be made of a very special tail walker this week - a tail walker with a tail (and wagging it all the way round the route) accompanied by his ‘Responsible adult’ who also had a tale ....... to tell.  Our tail walker’s human was gearing up to take part in the Pantomime Run after parkrun finished, (Oh no she wasn’t!  Oh yes she was!!).  She had planned to take part as Dick Whittington’s Cat.  So imagine her disappointment when the costume arrived and was discovered to be just the right size .... for a three year old.  Never mind, may be it will fit the dog.  ‘On York Knavesmire Bar t’Cat anyone’?

After due celebrations for those achieving milestone runs (more about that later), and after a round of applause for all our amazing volunteers and the usual safety messages, we were off.  (Memo to Hash House Harriers: that translates as ‘On on!’).


  • Cheers today were in order for Keith Hamer of Knavesmire Harriers celebrating his 250th run, for Mick Kershaw celebrating his 100th, for Cormac Malone celebrating his 50th run and for Nina Wilkinson celebrating her 10th run.
  • Cheers also to the 96 runners who gained a new PB.  Congratulations and well done!
  • A round of applause too to the 99 people celebrating their very first parkrun, you know who you are and should be proud of your achievement.  Hope to see you all again next week!
  • And one final mention for the runner who managed to run all the way around the course this week without stopping once!  A personal best in itself.

A huge vote of thanks is due to all of the volunteers who worked this week in the cold to set up the course, marshal, cheer us on, scan bar codes and all the other jobs that ensure that we are able to run.  Without your help, runs would not take place.  We really do appreciate what you do for us!

This week our volunteers included the following 39 amazing people:


If you would like to join our band of happy volunteers - there are plenty of opportunities to help out and we are always pleased to see new recruits.  Just take a look at our park run web page and send us an email at yorkhelpers@parkrun.com if you would like to take part as a volunteer.  See you next Saturday!

And now for the results.

Male placings:

First past the post in a time of 16mins 39 was Laurence Griffin from York Knavesmire Harriers.  He was followed by Chris Poulton of York Acorn AC in 16mins 41 and Jake Stephens of Vegan Runners who came in third place with a time of 16mins 50 which is a new PB for him.

Female placings:

Madeline Reynolds came in first woman in a time of 20mins 32.  She was followed by Sue Crabtree of Crossgate Harriers AC in a time of 20mins 52 and Kate Osborn from York Kavesmire Harriers came in third with a new PB in a time of 21mins.

Well done to all of you.  #Three Cheers!

A word of encouragement - please don’t think you have to be another Mo Farah or Kelly Holmes to join us.  This week we had pacers for all paces and, whatever your speed or ability, you are welcome to join us.  You will never be the last person in - we have a tail walker who takes that position - and there is usually the coffee van at the end for a warming drink.

Whether you walk, run or jog, you deserve a round of applause for taking part and finishing this 5k course.  Because for mast of us Parkrun is not so much about racing and winning, but a warm and welcoming social event with a run or walk thrown in for good measure.  So come along and try us out!  We look forward to seeing you again next Saturday.


New Years Day parkrun

York parkrun
Event number 363
1st January 2020

This week 729 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 103 were first timers and 89 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 81 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 43 volunteers:

Clare MOFFATT • Jerry BARNES • Danny SAMPSON • Chris POULTON • Mark HARNEY • Stephen WILSON • Jennifer DAVIS • Ste ROBSON • Nick GRIFFIN • David LEESE • Laurence GRIFFIN • Holly LEESE • Kirsty HENDERSON • Barbara GRIFFIN • Ellie GRIFFIN • Liz PIPER • Simon MIDDLETON • Karin FOTHERGILL • Jane MORBY • Ian FAIRLAMB • Maria Anne WATSON • Graham ROBERTSON • Jonathan SMITH • Nick BOYD • Robert MCDERMOTT • Catherine GREAVES • Allyson BUCKTON • Nick SHIPLEY • James TUCKER • Paul LISTER • Louise STRINGER • Jordan HOWE • Abbie SPENCE • Abigail BROOKS • Yvonne ORTON • Carl WAIN • Amy IREDALE-MITCHELL • Sally MINSKIP • Jack SLOCOMBE • Jill MOGER • Mary JENKINS • Laura WALKER • Michelle ATKINS

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

The female record is held by Laura WEIGHTMAN who recorded a time of 16:12 on 12th March 2016 (event number 190).
The male record is held by Graham RUSH who recorded a time of 14:37 on 19th August 2017 (event number 253).
The Age Grade course record is held by Angela OLDHAM who recorded 97.59% (21:25) on 17th November 2018 (event number 308).

York parkrun started on 14th January 2012. Since then 21,527 participants have completed 136,117 parkruns covering a total distance of 680,585 km, including 22,083 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,026 individuals have volunteered 8,352 times.

1st January 2020, the one where 729 ran York parkrun at 9am and 756 people ran Heslington parkrun at 10.30am. Today’s run/walk/volunteer on the ‘Mire was something special; there was a great buzz, with new faces of first timers and tourists along with seeing familiar folk from all three of our wonderful city’s parkruns. Hats off to those of you that ran the ‘parkrun double’, extra kudos to those that ran between the two!

New Year’s Day is a time to reflect on the year gone by, so please indulge me. Nelson Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it's done” and I can clearly recall feeling like that at my first parkrun back in May 2017. I had started couch to 5k in the January as part of a new year’s resolution to get fit again after having two kids. I was stood on the Knavesmire with no idea what to do with my barcode let alone which direction to run. It was the first time I had run 5k non-stop and it felt like a mammoth task to get round. Now I am 63 parkruns down, several PBs attained, many volunteering credits accrued and I feel like part of the parkrun furniture! I love the warm acknowledging ‘Hi Abbie’ that I get from time to time, or when Rob shouts ‘go Abbie’ when crossing the finish on the first lap. It can be a daunting task starting parkrun, encourage your friends and family to take it up – it really can be life changing, whether you run, walk, spectate or volunteer.

So that’s the past, what about the year ahead? What joy can 2020 bring us? Will you be aiming for a milestone tee, want to try out a new volunteering role or have an annual mileage total in mind? I hope to introduce at least one more person to parkrun; they may be a friend, family member or even a patient…(I can’t do a run report without mentioning #parkrunpractice). If you work at a GP practice and unsure if you’re practice is signed up, give them a prod and signpost them to the excellent parkrun/RCGP toolkit.

So that’s all from me. Happy New Year to all York parkrunners, I wish you all the best for 2020.

Abbie Brooks

Photo courtesy of Rob Wiles

Photo courtesy of Rob Wiles





York parkrun Christmas Day 2019 – by Dave Piper

Santa Claus Is Running To Town
(Christmas Day, 2019 - York parkrun #361)

The Christmas holidays are ticking away, towards the drear of “back to school” and
January-itis. In a few short days, it’ll be 2020 - New Year - All The Best - Back To
Work. But, as the days gradually lengthen into spring and we face that cold, sharp
bite of February-March, we’ve got our memories. Memories of smiles, laughter,
bemused dogs in antlers, joggers dressed as Christmas presents, others dressed as
Santa, many with bells or tinsel or new, clean road shoes.
Memories of a misspent Christmas parkrun.

803 of York’s maddest (Bravest, shurely? Ed.) turned out of bed in the pitch black of
Christmas morning, shivering and sleepy-eyed, ready to brave it all for the glory of
the parkrun. Everyone was there - from the hardy group of heroes checking out the
course (“Look, no ice, hoorah!”), to the pace-setters and tail-walkers half an hour (and
a patch of freezing fog) later (“Woooooah, it’s all icy!”), to the
parkrunners/joggers/walkers themselves (“He’s wearing a present on his head!
Aaaaah! Ice!”). We got off to a fine start, Santa chasing an Elf, chasing a Christmas
Tree, chasing Santa, chasing a Christmas Present, being photographed by another
Santa, being watched by a dog in the festive finery. The cream of York (and
surrounding towns, counties & countries) was off. Not giving a figgie pudding for
lie-ins, relaxed starts to the day - or even opening presents! Dedicated instead, heart
and soul, to enjoying the blue sky and sunshine (the mist had cleared), chatting
nineteen to the dozen and avoiding the mudageddon next to the tarmac.
The atmosphere and sense of accomplishment, being out parkrunning on Christmas,
can probably be best summed up with a simple fact. Schools, town light switch-ons
and shopping centres are visited by Santa. We had at least 8, if not more! Do the

As always at Christmas, there were plenty of folk worrying about getting their brand
new running shoes wet. Someone should offer a pre-muddying service. Up &
Running, if you’re reading this, you can have the suggestion as a late Christmas
present! The rest of the talk round the track seemed to be a mix of surprise at the
weather (“No hailstones! No gale-force wind! No rain!”), plans for just what everyone
was going to do to that roast turkey later and cheers and cries as the 3 Christmas
Presents came in almost neck and neck on the last-but-one straight.
Some talk of their family parties, or holidays off in the sun. But give us a Christmas
parkrun - it’s a million times all the fun.

The Volunteers
(Without the Elves, Santa would be put out of business by Amazon Prime.
Without volunteers, this parkrun wouldn’t happen.)
A more-than-usually warm thank you to all our volunteers - who crawled out of bed
Christmas morning, earlier than most of us, to make sure we had a course to run and
people to time and cheer us all on! You guys are heroes - if you’ve never volunteered
at parkrun before, give it a go. Just chat to a hi-vis volunteer next time you’re down,
to find out more. The following parkrun people get themselves onto this week’s
honour roll:

Michael GREWER, Linda GREWER, Laurence GRIFFIN, Nick GRIFFIN, Ellie
Myles SMITH, Steve SMOWTON, Graham TODD, Janet TODD, Robert WARD,

The Results
(You know, Scrooge was keen on numbers? Just saying...).
A cheery Christmas Welcome to the 24 brand-new parkrunners - hope you had a
thoroughly festive time, and see you again soon. Of course, everyone who crossed
that finish line has recorded their fastest time this year, for a Christmas Day parkrun,
so well done! And a huge congratulations to the many parkrunners who notched up a
new all-time PB.

The following blokes were, overall, the most keen to get back to their presents:
Tim Stratton, from City of York AC who nipped round in a time of 16:08,
Tom Charlton, down from Tyne Bridge Harriers, who popped over the line at 16:11,
Alex Dickinson, with a new PB, who was hot on his heels in a time of 16:12.

The following ladies were fully focussed on notching up new PBs (or maybe on
opening that intriguing present under the tree!):
Charlotte Mason, from City of York AC (sounds familiar!) in a new fastest-time of
Becky Hair, of Cambridge and Coleridge AC fame, jetting through in 17:59 (again, a
new PB!),
Ellie Fothergill with (guess what?!) a new PB of 19:59!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and see you down the Knavesmire again!


York parkrun #346 run report 2 – Dave Lingwood

Here's the second of our run reports this week, written by Dave Lingwood:

The Knavesmire was the slightly gloomy, slightly chilly and slightly sunny venue on Saturday morning, as 546 parkrunners made their way to get their park run fix for the week.

Gathering at the start for the usual briefing, temperatures did seem a little on the colder side and the clouds did look ominous. Ellie, taking on Run Director responsibilities this week, announced a number of impressive milestones. Congratulations to Joe Edwards and Michael Payne for completing their 50th parkruns respectively, and to Chris Rundle, Ashley Marks and Linda Ethell for each joining the 100 Club. Lastly huge congratulations to parkrun regular and multiple first finisher at the Knavesmire – Chris Poulton – who was celebrating his 300th parkrun. With this, there was the usual shout out for tourists and visitors from far and wide. Our Australian visitors quite comfortably won the award for travelling the furthest! 

Once the formalities were completed, Ellie counted us down and we were off. There was the usual jostling for position at the front and the usual congestion as the masses followed, each runner darting around the few puddles and sandy stretches of the course. Of course this is all part of the fun at York and there was a good-natured buzz as we set off. As the congestion quickly eased, York then threw everything it had at us all in terms of weather over the next one and a half laps. First we experienced a quite brutal headwind, then it stopped, and then it started again. It then looked like it was going to rain, but it didn’t. The wind then re-appeared and then the sun came out. Crossing the line, in slightly warmer conditions, there was a sense of relief that the rain had stayed away.

Many congratulations to all the participants including the following: 

Laurence Griffin– First Male Finisher after an unknown athlete in first (16:35)

Clare Rowntree – First Female Finisher

Adam Moger – Most Experienced parkrunner, amazingly completing his 440th parkrun!

Mary Farmery – Best Age Grading (83.09%).

For the statistically inclined we welcomed a whopping 62 first time visitors from different parkruns, and runners from clubs in Stilton, Harwich, Peterborough, Bingley, Prestwich, Sheffield, Lincolnshire, Rotherham, Stevenage, Stratford, Bramhall, Stowmarket, Selby, Highgate, Bristol and Lowestoft. An amazing 70 runners smashed their PBs, an amazing achievement when the weather conditions were so unpredictable.

Lastly, but certainly not least, we welcomed 19 first ever parkrunners. Congratulations to Rhi Scotchbrook, Carolyn Frank, Bethany Kelly, Veronica Foots, Katherine Claxton, Peter Craze, Lucy Walshaw, Samuel Coulson, Conor Ruane, Zoe Young, Ben Hobbs, Hilary Norris, Joe Copley, James Mandefield, Ian Millins, Rebecca Houston, James Bonsels, Ruth Laird and David Mallen for starting your park run journey! 

Today’s parkrun wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to ensuring the event went as smoothly as ever. Thank you to the following 23 awesome volunteers:


The full results and a complete event history can be found on the York parkrun Results Page.


York parkrun #346 run report 1 – Mark Pinney

The first of two wonderful reports from this week's parkrun written by tourist and 37 minute pacer Mark Pinney:

Now that is a flat course!

Just a short 3 hour and 20 minute drive from home, took me to York parkrun for my 107th different parkrun location. Setting off at 5am is never much fun, but once we got there and got chatting to locals, volunteers and other tourists we felt right at home. I had volunteered to be a 37 minute pacer and had made my own sign to put on my back. Having attached this to the pacer bib I was kindly given, I headed to the start.

After the first timers brief and run brief we were ready, and off we went. One lady asked me how I knew what pace I was running at, so I told her it's a combination of what my Garmin watch says and a bit of common sense. Thankfully York parkrun has kilometre markers written on the tarmac path, so I could easily adjust my pace accordingly, but I was pleasingly steady paced.

I was thrilled to receive such positive comments from other runners about having a slower pacer, and quite a few thank yous in the last few hundred meters as I had helped them get round the course faster than expected (including Helen Plant, who managed to beat her all-time parkrun PB by 10 seconds, two years after she last set it!).

For those who are reading this without having yet been to York parkrun, it is a wonderful event. The volunteers are superb and the course is perfect for running fast times (if that's your thing!).

I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers for running such a great event and ensuring it went smoothly and safely:


Some of you may have noticed me with a GoPro on my head as I like to video all of my parkruns and put them on YouTube for other parkrunners, so please have a look and see if you can spot yourself. Some photos of the volunteers can be seen at the end of the FAST version of the video.

The FAST version can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnHRV2ciIEc

The FULL version can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=876Qhysn4Ag

On to the stats....

This week we had 546 runners, joggers and walkers. There were 44 UNKNOWNSs (don't forget your barcode next week), 206 Females and 296 Males.

First 3 Males to finish were Laurence GRIFFIN in a new PB of 16:35, Kieran BATTY in 16:51 and Chris POULTON in 16:53. First 3 Female finishers were Clare ROWNTREE in 20:36, Rowena LEARY in 21:25 and Melanie ELLWOOD in 22:30.

There were 92 parkrunners who were new to York parkrun of whom 19 were doing their first ever parkrun, and an amazing 70 PB's. So well done to everyone and we hope to see you back next week.

The "most runniest runner" was Adam MOGER on 440 parkruns, but there were 13 other members of the 250, 111 members of the 100 Club, 100 members of the 50 Club and 16 members of the 10 Club present. The only official milestones achieved today were Ashley MARKS, Linda ETHELL and Chris RUNDLE who all joined the 100 Club, Joe EDWARDS and Michael PAYNE who joined the 50 Club and Harry KING who joined the 10 Club, great work!

Highest Age Grading on the day was Mary FARMERY with 83.09%, with an astonishing time of 25:32 in the VW65-69 category!!

The person who has run at York parkrun more often than anyone else is Lynn STANNARD who has run here at 305 of the 346 events. Well done Lynn, that's commitment!!

Other news....

We now have two excellent parkrun podcasts available each week. "Free Weekly Timed" is the official parkrun podcast with Vassos Alexander and Louise Ayling. We also have "With Me Now" with Danny Norman and Nicola Forwood which is an independent parkrun-based podcast (some of you may remember Danny and Nicola from the much loved "The parkrun Show"). I thoroughly recommend them both.


Run Report – event 345

This run report is dedicated to my pal Shona and all the runners who ran a milestone today - whether it be your 1st parkrun or your 250th.

Today marks one of my dear friend’s 100th parkrun. Shona Gilleghan encouraged me to my first parkrun (which was on the ‘Mire) over 2 years ago. We have run over 35 parkruns together, mainly on the Knavesmire and at our sister parkrun in Heslington but we’ve also ventured to several Yorkshire tourism spots. We have a little parkrun gang (shout out to Trev and Alena here) and often encourage friends and colleagues to come and join us too. We are very proud to fly the flag for parkrun and are keen advocates of the parkrun practice initiative.

I met Shona about 5 years ago when I started working with her, we are both GPs and she helped me navigate the path from being a GP trainee to a fully fledged GP. We worked for about a year together before I moved to a different site but we remained good friends. At one of our colleagues leaving parties she encouraged me to sign up for parkrun, I had just completed couch to 5k and was gearing up for my first ever race the York 10k in 2017. I nervously did my first parkrun on 13th May 2017 and the rest is history, i got the bug and we started a new Saturday routine; parkrun, chat and coffee along with our pal Trev...and then we indoctrinated Alena to the parkrun way of life.

Some would say we are unlikely pals, different generations, different hobbies, but parkrun (and the occasional gin) has brought us together and I really treasure our friendship. I did my 50th parkrun a few weeks ago and she handmade me a bright pink tutu to wear all the way round - I think we were kind providing her with a tasteful black sash and sweatband to don on Saturday!

Congratulations to everyone who ran this week and thank you to all the volunteers who made it possible.

We go again next Saturday. See you at 9am.


Event # 344 17/08/2019

By Katherine Parker

This week 559 people galloped, cantered and trotted around the 28.85 furlong course, of whom 114 were first timers at York, and 22 attending their first ever parkrun!

This week was full of celebrations with 66 runners recording PB's, thank you to this weeks Pacers for helping!

We had 3 official and 1 unofficial milestone runners this week: 
Congratulations to Georgina Howard and Alistair Craven who celebrated their 50th runs, Mike Kendall for his 100th run and Fiona Sefton for her unofficial 200th.

York was also host to a hen party, congratulations to our upcoming bride!

And last but not least wishing a very happy birthday to Dorothy Holmes-Mockridge.

This was my first time at York, as a devoted parkrun tourist I made the 230 mile trip up north to get my Y. I was so impressed with how organised the event was. Parking was so easy, and I loved seeing the km markers painted onto the track. Starting at 9am exactly is something of a rare phenomenon across the events I've participated at, so kudos to our volunteers this morning to keeping to impeccable timings....the rain may have also helped to get everyone going on time too!

This has to be one of the most interesting parkruns I've attended, and being able to see the full course the whole way round made time fly by! I love how fast and flat it is, and have managed to record one of my fastest times this year, I will most definitely be back!!

Thank you to the 28 volunteers that made this week possible!

Neil LAWSON • Jane LAWSON • Mark HARNEY • Robert WARD • David BANNISTER • Stephen WILSON • Stephen RUDDOCK • Anita RUDDOCK • Liz PIPER • Linda GREWER • Luke OSBORN • Debbie PENDLE • Michael GREWER • Roger HORBERRY • Julia GAVIN • Ethan ARNOLD • Graham ROBERTSON • Joanne GARDINER • Paul FOSTER • Kate PARKER • Silvia BRATLEY • Yvonne ORTON • Hannah SWIERSTRA • Claire WILSON • Sally MINSKIP • Simon MOFFATT • Yakov BOANI • Victoria GARDINER

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

The female record is held by Laura WEIGHTMAN who recorded a time of 16:12 on 12th March 2016 (event number 190).
The male record is held by Graham RUSH who recorded a time of 14:37 on 19th August 2017 (event number 253).
The Age Grade course record is held by Angela OLDHAM who recorded 97.59% (21:25) on 17th November 2018 (event number 308).

York parkrun started on 14th January 2012. Since then 19,764 participants have completed 126,268 parkruns covering a total distance of 631,340 km, including 21,027 new Personal Bests. A total of 949 individuals have volunteered 7,768 times.


York parkrun #342 – by Linda-Claire Smith

York parkrun #342 - by Linda-Claire Smith

York was resplendent in the sunshine on Saturday as we gathered to hurl ourselves around the parkrun course with gazelle-like grace and speed. Or like a lump of Yorkshire Pudding in my case. Like us, many people were there, not only for the ‘Y’, but because they were visiting for the Run For All 10km the next day. After Sally’s multiple first timers’ briefing (people kept turning up just as she’d finished telling the previous lot), we steadied ourselves for the off, some of us remembering RD Rob’s sage advice to not run tomorrow’s 10km today.
It’s an impressive sight to behold almost 500 people prepare to run – because you can see everyone clearly all the way round the course, it’s rather inspiring to be a part of it, no matter how quickly you run, jog or walk. The course is super flat (and ties with my home run of Long Eaton with 9 feet of elevation – I felt quite at home plodding along at sea level) and there’s plenty of room for everyone as we spread out from the start.
One of the nice aspects of a course like this is that you get to put on your best race face as you puff past the cheering volunteers at the mid point. Their encouragement and enthusiasm is always great to see and is a very welcome sight for everyone.
There were plenty of visiting runners from across Yorkshire and surrounding counties, many of whom were also around for the 10km the next day, as well as an entire squad from the Kesgrave Kruisers and Walney Wind Cheetahs. The furthest flung tourist hailed from Singapore. We were also joined by another hen do (seems to be a theme at York parkrun), with the hen rather bravely running in a chicken suit.
Mark Bennett and Darren Felton both ran their 50th parkrun – congratulations to them! And there were 38 people embarking on their first ever parkrun – welcome to the family and just remember, your Saturdays will never be the same again…..come back next weekend and do it all again!
This week 495 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 155 were first timers and 53 recorded new Personal bests – well done, especially in the warm and muggy conditions. Representatives of 61 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 38 fabulous volunteers, special thanks to them for their help and good support on the course:
Chris POULTON • Sarah HARVEY • Clare ROWNTREE • Darren Glen BAKER • Mark HARNEY • Robert WARD • Catherine WARD • Nick GRIFFIN • Laurence GRIFFIN • Kate OSBORN • Ellie GRIFFIN • Liz PIPER • Tim GIBSON • John FOTHERGILL • Fiona SEFTON • Luke OSBORN • Adam SEFTON • Caitlin CLARK • Rachel MCMAHON • Michael LEADBETTER • Julia GAVIN • Jane MORBY • Jet Jon SHEPHERD • Peter GRAYLEY • Alan WILKINSON • Ellie PAGE • Ethan ARNOLD • Emma BINNERSLEY • Marcus SMITH • Linda-Claire SMITH • Andrew CLARK • Louise STRINGER • Kevin ARMSTRONG • Emma FOTHERGILL • Yvonne ORTON • Carl WAIN • Amy IREDALE-MITCHELL • Sally MINSKIP
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the York parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Laura WEIGHTMAN who recorded a time of 16:12 on 12th March 2016 (event number 190).
The male record is held by Graham RUSH who recorded a time of 14:37 on 19th August 2017 (event number 253).
The Age Grade course record is held by Angela OLDHAM who recorded 97.59% (21:25) on 17th November 2018 (event number 308).
York parkrun started on 14th January 2012. Since then 19,544 participants have completed 125,197 parkruns covering a total distance of 625,985 km, including 20,913 new Personal Bests. A total of 942 individuals have volunteered 7,711 times.
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