Tag Archives: Durham parkrun

Parkrun Strider takeover & DKMS Blood Cancer registration event is a resounding success, Durham, Saturday, March 24, 2018


Anita Wright

When the shout went out from the Club Chairman, Jonathan Hamill, for volunteers to turn the Durham parkrun purple, in support of DKMS, it was with all the customary enthusiasm Elvet Striders are known for, that folk stepped-forward to give up their Saturday morning to take over all the scanning, marshalling and run-directing.

Shaun Roberts, a popular, respected and long-standing member of Elvet Striders running club, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia earlier this year after a routine blood test and was placed on the register for a stem cell donation.

DKMS is a blood cancer charity founded in Germany in 1991 by Dr Peter Harf, in honour of his wife, Mechtild.

Within one year of the founding, DKMS (Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei -German Marrow Donor Program), had increased it volunteer donors 23 times, to 68,000 people. This gave even more inspiration to Peter and reinforced his motivation to expand internationally.

Since launching in the UK, in 2013, DKMS have been receiving great support, registering more than 300,000 people as potential blood stem cell donors. Some of these amazing people have gone on to donate blood stem cells, giving more than 330 second chances of life to blood cancer patients in the UK alone.

Fast forward to 24 March 2018, a lovely Spring morning at Maiden Castle.

By 08:30 the car park was buzzing with a 35 strong team of Strider volunteers and some co-opted Strider children, excitedly awaiting instructions from Jill Young.

An enthusiastic cheer went up when Shaun arrived and was warmly welcomed by all his friends.

Shaun joined the merry band of volunteer Strider marshals, time-keepers, starters, photographers and supporters as they headed off to their various check-points.

The runners started to arrive.

It was impressive to see such a big splash of Strider purple on the starting line for the pre-race briefing.

During Jonathan Hamill’s briefing, he paid tribute to Shaun (a huge parkrun cheer) and the selfless generosity of a young person in the South of England who is helping Shaun by donating his stem cells.

Dogs’ leads were then checked, children under 11 were gathered up to ‘arms-length’, timers were readied… then they were all off!

321 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 18 were first timers and 51 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

Gareth Pritchard was the first of 45 Striders running, finishing in second place overall.
Sally Hughes put in an impressive performance as the first lady with a PB of 19:57.


The words of David Shipman, Club President, perhaps sum up the day best of all:

‘I have been involved with the Striders for over 30 years and today was one of the most uplifting and reassuring about the positive aspects of the club and the overall running community. 

The atmosphere from the outset was warm and supportive, with applause and cheers for Shaun when the purpose of the Parkrun takeover was explained.

At the finish around a hundred folk streamed into the Rowing Club to swab and apply to go onto the stem cell register. Of those 80 were successful, which is brilliant. A significant number of runners also said that they had already registered. Many others took leaflets to consider registration or to pass onto friends and family.

So a massive thanks is due to all,Rowers, Striders,Parkrunners, Waldridge Warriors, Neville’s Cross Battlers,Shadforth Shufflers,Couch to 5 Kers and a few passing strangers. I hope that we will see many of you again when we do a fundraising 24 hour relay in June. Keep an eye out for details from Chairman Jonathan soon.’


80 parkrun finishers registered with DKMS and provided samples in just over an hour, at Durham Amateur Rowing Club. The parkrun takeover has inspired 80 people to sign up as stem cell donors and potentially save lives.

An incredible success for all involved. We certainly did wear Purple with Pride on Saturday!


Position  Gender Position  parkrunner  Run Time  
11Robin LINTEN
Durham City Harriers
22Gareth PRITCHARD00.17.24
33Michael MASON00.17.41
55Mark WARNER00.18.18
1212Matt CLAYDON00.19.30
1717Mike BARLOW00.19.50
181Sally HUGHES00.19.57
2524Paul SWINBURNE00.20.38
3230Geoff DAVIS00.21.11
3835Andrew DAVIES00.21.35
524Anna BASU00.22.21
565Rachelle MASON00.22.49
6761Peter MATTHEWS00.23.27
7265Stephen SOULSBY00.23.36
10819Laura JENNINGS00.24.57
11191Chris SHEARSMITH00.25.01
11493Martin WELSH00.25.09
13827Jill RUDKIN00.26.20
142113Paul Andrew BEAL00.26.29
14633Stacey BRANNAN00.26.52
14734Claire HUNT00.26.55
15237Rebecca BLACKWOOD00.27.14
171126Jim NICHOLSON00.28.12
172127John ADAMS00.28.14
19356Maria DIMOVA-COOKSON00.29.15
19658Lynne WAUGH00.29.17
218150Malcolm Robert SYGROVE00.30.04
22070Sue WALKER00.30.16
22574Gillian GREEN00.30.22
23077Karen Anne CHALKLEY00.31.09
23981Victoria Esther DOWNES00.32.11
24584Claire HODSON00.32.40
25087Carol HOLGATE00.33.10
26599Katharine BARTLETT00.34.29
266100Alison SIMMS00.34.30
272105Lesley HAMILL00.34.56
273106Karen BYNG00.34.58
277169David ARNOTT00.35.14
294118Sue GARDHAM00.37.51
297178Mike ELLIOTT00.38.30
298120Joanne PORTER00.38.31
299121Joanne RICHARDSON00.38.31
303124Diane SOULSBY00.39.34
305126Jenny SEARCH00.39.50
306127Kate TALBOT00.40.27
321185John ROBSON00.49.40
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Durham parkrun, Saturday, June 13, 2015

Conrad White

20:20:100 – A personal parkrun challenge

We all have aspirations and goals and I am sure Striders have many of these. Goals as you know should be “SMART” – the S being “specific” and the A being “achievable”. I have three running goals – some of you may already know them. Other people – goals may involve foreign countries or long events – one of mine was much nearer to home. Having run at the inaugural Durham parkrun in August 2011 I had felt that maybe with a bit of luck and some training a sub 20 at Durham might be possible. Age is working against me, but training seems to be working for me. Last year I was tantalisingly close with a number of runs below 20:10 – but the sub 20 Durham did not materialise. I did manage it at Riverside and again at York earlier in the year but could not find the extra oomph needed to get round those tight corners and over the bridge fast enough. I have had lots of encouragement mind for which I am exceedingly thankful. Loads of people knew of my goal. I was regularly asked if “today was the day”.

The parkruns were counting up and Saturday was to be my 100th parkrun – a mention at the start much appreciated. Could it be a double celebration? Leaving home for my usual jog down the Garmin ominously said “low battery”!!!!!! Thank you Katy for lending me what must be a much lighter version – saved my bacon. I had also invested in new, more padded shoes – would they have anything to offer. Many, many thanks for all the encouragement from too many to mention – I would hate to miss anyone out.

I set off (fairly) sensibly. I tried hard. I pushed along the back field. I attacked the railway turn, the bridge and the “Horsley turn” (if it is still known as that). The watch was looking good but perilously close. My legs were sore and I had tried as hard as I could. Stopping the watch I was hopeful, but I have been caught out before with a slight difference in my time and the officially recorded time – we all know something for £19.99 seems a better bargain than something for £20 – so a 20:00 would not have fitted the bill. Andy behind knew how much I wanted it and was encouraging with his time being close (I knew my time could not be corrected up and not be a Durham PB) and Graeme when he finished had clocked me across the line, also just sub 20. The wait for the official results seemed never ending. I’m not sure if there were issues but they did not arrive until Sunday. Huge thanks to all the volunteers who work with the run behind the scene getting the results out.

As for the title – 20:20:100 – 20th position, in sub 20, on my 100th parkrun. A memorable day. Again thank you all. Have your goals, make them SMART and one day you will hopefully achieve them. If I achieve another goal – you will all be first to know about it.

Very Tidy!

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Durham Anniversary parkrun, Saturday, August 10, 2013

Katy Walton

At the parkrun again, Graeme and I had passed the kids over to volunteer so we could both run this Grand Prix race.

I find Durham parkrun very hard so wasn’t expecting miracle times but with fewer Striders turning up than I thought and Striders running slow as racing Darlington the following day things looked in my favour … until Fiona Fast Shenton appeared.

Race plan was to keep Fiona in my sights. And we were off, you all know the course along the river over the bridge, around the hard field and back onto the river path, over the hill, over the bridge, back up the river and onto the track.

I was behind Fiona up until we joined the river path and Fiona seemed to pull away making running look easy and effortless. I went around the hill and back along the river – I like this point because you can see who is following (Susan Davies: very closely) – I picked up my pace a little bit to try and close in on Fiona and lose Susan. As I hit the track Fiona was going down the last hundred metres. I passed the finish line with my watch reading 22.35. A few hours later my text message confirmed a new PB by 2 seconds, thank you Fiona and the Grand Prix event, it took 10 months of trying.

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Christmas Eve Durham parkrun, Maiden Castle, Saturday, December 24, 2011

Alister Robson

An amazing 220 runners turned out for this one in various Christmas themed fancy dress and were rewarded with a lovely morning. Michael Grimes of Durham City Harriers was the runaway winner in a cracking 16:16, only just over half a minute off his own course record and the joint third fastest so far.

We know who you are!Runner with a big wand. Do not give this bloke an invitation to join the club!

Newcomer Amy Etherington of Shildon Railway AC was first lady in 19.49, one of quite a few runners from Shildon joining us for the first time. Our own Roz Layton and Fiona Shenton both topped 80% WAVA age graded scores too.

There were 44 were first timers in all and 43 runners recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different athletics clubs took part. 32 Elvet Striders took part.

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Durham parkrun, Maiden Castle, Saturday, October 22, 2011

Alister Robson

Hi everyone and thank you so much for making Durham parkrun #11 our biggest and best so far. Way back in February when David Ardill and I first decided that we’d like to have a parkrun in Durham we never dared to dream that we would have an attendance of 100, never mind the frankly mind boggling 240+ we had this week. We (the volunteer organising team) are so proud of everything you’ve helped us to achieve in such a short period of time. Special thanks to all of our volunteers, without which there wouldn’t be a Durham parkrun.

At the finish. It was great and inspiring to see so many 50 and 100 club T shirts and to meet Andy Fisher, the guy who kicked off parkrun in the North East, with the first event in Middlesbrough over three years ago. Also Sharon Caddell, who was so encouraging and helpful when we set up our own event earlier this year. Some of you may also have seen the van in the car park that belongs to Sharon Gayter. This truly inspiring lady is a regular at Middlesbrough parkrun but also an internationally recognised ultra and and endurance runner. She’s very kindly offered to host a book signing for her autobiography ‘The Clock Keeps Ticking’ after one of our events and we’ll arrange that hopefully once the building works are complete at Maiden Castle.

Next Saturday, run #12 on 29th October will be our first Halloween themed parkrun. Please dress up appropriately. Although this is not compulsory, it would be amazing to see as many of you as possible dressed as Ghosts, Vampires, Witches and Wizards etc. How great are the photos going to be and how puzzled are innocent onlookers going to be? This is a fantastic opportunity for us to publicise Durham parkrun as a great, fun event. We will also have some prizes for the best costumes as judged by the organising team.

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The 10th Durham parkrun, Maiden Castle, Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shaun Roberts

… and they said it’d never last!

A turnout of 189 runners on a cool autumn morning, 59 of whom were first-timers, shows how good a start the Durham Parkrun has gotten off to. The trackside seemed packed at 9 o’clock, as the sun started to take the cold edge off the air. There was quite a sprinkling of Striders in the field once you got your eye in – a few running incognito – and also several marshalling, but also offering support on the way round the course, for which many thanks!

On your marks ... I thought I’d give this run another go, as last time I finished 14 seconds over the 20-minute mark, and thought if I pushed it a bit harder there was a chance of losing those seconds. I started pretty sharply, as is my custom, but was overtaken by Matt whilst still on the track. Onto the grass, which was a bit on the slippy side this time … kept up a good speed, though … but I started to slow down a bit towards Baths Bridge, into a bit of a breeze. Managed to sneak a quick look at the watch, though, and there was still a chance, so got my head down, and got under 20 minutes with four seconds to spare, so was well-chuffed.

Matt had come in a second over 19 minutes, also a new PB. Andrew Thompson followed me in, then a steady stream of Striders came home – 17 in all. New Parkrun PBs for Debs, Jean and Jayne as well. Dave Robson came in in last place in 58 minutes … ‘cos he was sweeping! I’d wondered why he was in a yellow bib, after telling me he was running this one …

SO: Congratulations and many thanks to Alister and his team for continuing to organise this splendid event, which is clearly going from strength to strength … and also, once again, thanks to all the marshalls out on the course.

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Durham parkrun goes Live!, Maiden Castle, Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shaun Roberts

Congratulations to Alister and the team for getting Durham parkruns off to a great start! Over 150 runners turned up for the launch event on a bright sunny morning, and it all went off without a hitch. This event is going to be a great boost for running in Durham.

Many thanks to all the volunteers and supporters.

Jo finishes the run with the castle in the background.Alister and Jan after the event.

Results for the 26 Striders who took part are in the link, below, Dougie’s taken some great photos, and George has created a great video … well worth a look.

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Durham parkrun: 1st Trial Run, Saturday, July 23, 2011

Alister Robson

On a bright if slightly chilly morning, volunteers, spectators, 27 adult runners, 1 junior and 1 greyhound gathered at Maiden Castle for the 1st trial run of what will soon become the new Durham parkrun. The course and surroundings were appreciated by all those who I spoke to and Dougie took some great photo’s to mark the occasion.

The course starts on the running track and consists of an almost full lap of the track, before crossing over to the cricket pitch for a clockwise loop and then crossing the wooden bridge over to the football and rugby pitches for one long loop, then following the riverside path all the way along to Baths bridge, crossing and finishing at the Durham Ox statue just before the bandstand.

Alister makes the Parkrun announcements Although it’s a slight shame that the course doesn’t start and finish at the same point, it’s only a 10 minute walk or a 5 minute warm up or down run from start to finish and nobody seemed to mind. The results below were taken using a free app on my phone so I hope they’re OK!

We’ll be running another trial run this Saturday, 30th July hopefully with the official parkrun kit but if not then we’ll just run the same fully unofficial trial once again. This will give marshalls and volunteers practise and get other 9am riverbank users used to us being there regularly. Please also don’t forget to register first at www.parkrun.com – this is free and only needs to be done once. Durham parkrun will be barcode only from day 1. If you do want to come, to volunteer or run, please let me know so that I know how many people to expect. We don’t want to be inundated just yet! I should also point out that Sunderland parkrun still had 83 runners, and at least one Strider ran there for the first time, even with all the Striders who ran at Durham so it doesn’t look like we’re affecting that too badly thank goodness. As for the official Durham parkrun start date, we hope to start officially in the middle of August assuming we can get all the necessary paperwork etc signed off. Watch this space!

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