Good parkrun blogs.

Good parkrun reviewers. I’ve taken this list of really good blogs off ‘The parkrun journey’ Facebook site.

Robert Skedgell the moderator wrote:

“There are quite a few excellent blogs by parkrun tourists. As there are so many that it’s hard to keep track of them, I’ll keep a list in this post. Where the author is a member of this group, I’ll tag them next to the entry.”

I’ll try to update this site as well.

parkruns by Steve Stockwell

Get Down, Shep! by Ali Sheppard

Monday running by Gail Seal by Paul Jeffrey

parkrun reviews by Chis Jeanes

Running to stand still by Toria Richards

Running Scared by Lucy Marris.

The buggy runners diary by Jessica Sanderson

allscottishparkruns (allba) by Scott MacMichael

Parkrun Poet by Tim Gardiner


The use of a Psychologist in managing eating behaviours and weight loss: A case study

Coming up to Christmas and New Year with so much food around I though this might be helpful if you want to manage your own eating behaviour. Some people have a good relationship with food, some people only eat when they are hungry and eat a healthy diet, butI I would guess they are in the minority.
So often when people try to lose weight they put most of it back on because they don’t tackle the psychological aspect of eating. Emotional eating is a particular problem. There are so many reasons why we eat and it’s not just that we are hungry, usually they go back to childhood e..g., nice food like sweets and cakes are given to us to make us feel better or loved by our family and friends and so when we a sad, or angry maybe we binge on cakes and chocolate. There are also reasons why people turn to restricting their diet when very depressed.
  • A psychologist can use a short questionnaire (e.g.The Exercisers Eating Scale, TEES) to examine ‘eating behaviour’ (i.e., what we eat), ‘weight management techniques’, ‘dietary responses to emotions’, ‘emotional responses to diet’, & ‘body image’ has been developed (see Lane, 2007). The Psychologist then monitors progress with reassessment being done at regular intervals. Intervention are designed to change diet habits and improve self-regulatory behaviour around food. This client was a 39-year old male who previously competed at national level in his sport, but more recently exercised for health and fitness related reasons. (We screened the athlete for possible indicators of eating disorders first).
  • It is normal for many people, including exercisers to engage in dieting behaviours, but only a few are preoccupied by food or show bulimic tendencies. Our client reported similar scores to the average other than he engaged more in dieting behaviours. and experienced unpleasant emotions after eating, and tended to eat when experiencing unpleasant emotions such as depression and anxiety. He also had a poor body image believing himself to be overweight. Our intervention focused on the diet-emotion link.
  • First we asked him to keep a diary of when he was eating, what he was eating, and what emotions were being experienced. It is important for the individual to be aware of the factors associated with binge eating, particularly if they wish to curtail these behaviours. The process of recording a diary is important as it not only provides the consultant with valuable information, but also helps raise self-awareness of factors that lead to binge eating for the client. E.g., he recalled coming home from work after a bad day, went to gym then binged on a huge amount of food. The reason he binged was because he was unhappy over the incident at work. Now he had named the feelings and expressed where they came from strategies could be identified to help him.
  • We then asked the client to challenge, or question the belief that exercise allows an individual to eat as much as they like. Secondly, we sought to explore the strategies the client was using to regulate pleasant and unpleasant emotions. In this case, his exercise was a strategy to enhance emotions, as was eating unhealthy food. By using a food diary, it was possible to see the type of self-talk that the client was engaging in when deciding what to eat and how much to eat. Information in the diary helped develop self-talk scripts to help the client facing similar situations in the future. It is important for clients to realise that they are active in the decision-making process on whether to binge eat, and self-talk should be targeted at enhancing self-confidence and enabling the use of a different strategy.
  • We asked our client to think back to situations in which he made a decision to eat chocolate, and to explore what he said to himself. He then replayed the scenario and sought to remove the link between eating chocolate and improved mood choosing aa different strategy. e are a number of different strategies that could be used. For example, one method would be to tell someone (partner, friend, mother etc) what your day was like, and develop social support networks. It also helps if you can collate a list of things that work for you and which will help you deal with these emotions and prevent you from binge eating. For example, plan something to keep yourself busy; read a book, go on the computer, go for a walk, go to the movies, phone a friend and organise to meet etc. If you know you have a problem with your diet in the evening then plan to use these strategies at this time. However, it is important to recognise that the strategies people used to control their emotions are highly individualised – there’s no single strategy that can be universally applied. The second key aspect of the use of a diary is to recognise the process through which an individual can be confident enough to take control of decisions around food changes during the intervention.
  • It is important that success is positively reinforced and individuals should seek to reward themselves when they have made a good decision around food. However, this reward should not be linked with food. It is important for the consultant to closely monitor the food diary in the initial stages of the intervention, and encourage the individual to congratulate themselves on their achievements.
  • Over time confidence increases in their ability to make correct decisions around food, they also think less about weight management issues and engaging in dieting behaviours. Furthermore, once food is no longer seen as a primary strategy for emotional regulation, individuals tend to eat a far healthier diet. This trend is evidenced in our case study as depicted.
If you want further help from a Psychologist to help you.
You can contact or
See our website;
Consultancy Sessions are £50 per hour on Skype.

Interesting Person of the Week: Mike Edwards

We all meet so many interesting people through our running and other activities and sometimes don’t share their stories, so in this section there will be stories and an an “Interesting Person of the Week”. Mike Edwards is the first, with many more to come.

Mike is now in the 70-74 age group. Mike has been a good club runner for over 30 years. He has a fast P.B., for a marathon of 3.01 which also must be frustrating as it’s so close to sub 3 hours. It did make me laugh as I read this because he is another runner with dodgy knee’s who took up cycling. It seems that most cyclists are ex runners with running injuries. Anyway here’s his story,

“I gave up running for a while about twelve years ago because of a dodgy knee and after an arthroscopy got into mountain biking which strengthened my leg muscles supporting the knee thus enabled me to start running again. I actually suffered a heart attack in 2011 whilst mountain biking, but had a procedure called angioplasty(stents fitted) at Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital. The consultant who carried out the angioplasty, Nick Palmer cleared me to return to whatever I was doing previously. I got fit again at Lion Quays Leisure Club under the guidance of Michelle Bowen who was cardio rehab trained which involved gym work and swimming. In 2012 I went to watch my eldest son complete a Sprint Triathlon in Nantwich, became inspired and the following year took part myself.

I found triathlon very satisfying doing the three disciplines, although I am not the best of swimmers(self taught front crawl or freestyle as they now call it). I have completed about a dozen Sprints since then, the last on the 24th September 2017 at Ludlow. I swim at Chirk Leisure Centre two or three times a week and also ride road, cycle-cross and mountain bike and have recently introduced a gym programme to strengthen my upper body and core which has improved my running, although I am a great deal slower than I used to be. What I find is that entering a Triathlon gives me incentive to train and I am already entered for Chirk Sprint Tri next April.

Over the last eighteen months or so I have been going to the Park Run at Erddig Hall, Wrexham(NT) and am enjoying running one week and volunteering the alternate week. I also run on a Thursday morning with my long time running buddy, Les Leech and have been to Park Runs at Delamere, Congeleton and Braunstone Leicester as a PR tourist.

I completed my second Braunstone, Leicester Park Run on Saturday and recorded a PB of 29:41 and was third in my age group 70-74. I run, cycle(road, cyclo-cross and mountain bike) and swim. Entered Chirk Sprint Triathlon 2018 last night to motivate myself to train across the winter.”

Jonny Mellor Misses Out on Commonwealth Games Place

English marathon runner Jonny Mellor has called the decision not to pick him for the 2018 Commonwealth Games “very short sighted” after he ran 63 seconds inside the qualifying standard.

England Athletics announced their 75-person team on Tuesday, but did not select a male marathon runner.

The body told Mellor he was not considered to be a medal contender.

His time of two hours 12 minutes 57 seconds in Berlin would have won Commonwealth gold in 1998 and 2010.

“I never take anything for granted – but I did expect to be on the team, to be honest. So when I found out it was a little bit of a shock,” Mellor told BBC Sport.

Mellor was told he had not been selected for the Gold Coast event in a phone call from England Athletics earlier this month.

The 30-year-old submitted an appeal but England Athletics lawyers contacted him on 6 October and said that it had been unsuccessful.

“They basically explained that just running the qualifying time does not justify your selection and they didn’t really go into any details about any points I’d raised in my appeal,” Mellor said.

“It just felt like a copy and pasted email.

“We dedicate our lives to it and work so hard for it and to get it taken away from you like this is really, really upsetting.”

Race Report: Hardmoors 26.2 Series – Osmotherley Half Marathon Sunday 22 October 2017.

By Sam Blease.

I originally signed up for this race during the spring – the weather was warming up, I had started to develop a passion for trail running, and someone had told me that the Yorkshire Moors was a beautiful place to run. Fast-forward to a wet, windy, wild and chilly October weekend and suddenly an off road run in a rather exposed and hilly environment didn’t seem quite so appealing!

After an incredibly early start to get to the event, and having passed the kit inspection (waterproofs, hat, gloves, route description, 500ml minimum fluid, emergency food – check…) and picked up our race numbers, we saw the hardy marathoners set off & awaited our starting time of 10am with a little trepidation. At least storm Brian had mostly disappeared overnight and the winds and rain had abated a little bit. The half marathon race briefing gleefully announced to us that it was a little bit breezy at the trig point just before half way, the stones on parts of the course were wet and slippery, there was quite a bit of mud on the course due to the recent rainfall, and oh… we did mention that the half marathon route is about 16.5 miles long, right?

Just before our starting time we trekked up the hill from Osmotherley village hall and assembled in the start area. At exactly 10am on the dot, the race commenced! It was everything I thought it would be – challenging terrain, difficult weather – being blown sideways at the top of a mountain is certainly interesting – but absolutely stunning views (“I can see the sea from here!”), wonderful friendly marshals, the checkpoints were well stocked with jaffa cakes, sweets, salted nuts, water & pepsi, and the other runners were chatty, supportive and thoroughly enjoying themselves – this was an adventure, not a race!

At just after 11 miles, I started suffering quite badly with a foot injury that had been niggling away for a couple of weeks beforehand and had somewhat hampered my training. I struggled on for a couple more miles (I had actually run a half marathon by this point) but the pain was just getting worse. I thought I would get to the next checkpoint and maybe that would be race over for me. However, a group of ladies caught up with me and stopped to check I was ok. After offering me painkillers, to get a marshal for me, or to walk with me the last mile or two with me – less than a parkrun to go now!! – I managed to pull myself together, grit my teeth and plough on. Fortunately the last part of the race was not too technical or overly hilly so I did manage to hobble my way to the end where my hard earned t-shirt, medal and a veritable banquet of food awaited.

So in summary, this is an excellently organised race in a stunning location & I would recommend anyone who enjoys trail running to give it a go, but… don’t try this with an injury – it’s tough, that’s why it’s called “Hardmoors”, don’t expect the weather to be perfect, enjoy the scenery on the way round and, most importantly, relish the bonus free mileage that a Hardmoors race invariably gives you. Oh, and don’t worry about how long it takes you, the cut off for the half marathon was 5 hours & I managed to do it in 3 hours and 50 minutes – which apparently is perfectly acceptable and I was a long way from being last. A really memorable experience and I’m sure I’ll be back next year!

Great Birmingham Marathon 15th October 2017: A first time Marathoner’s Experience

by Helen Brookes

I’d like to run a marathon……’

I have said this to Pete several times during our marriage. The idea of completing one, knowing that he has completed 7, seemed a reasonable wish. His (perfectly reasonable) reply was always to point out the commitment of training and how it becomes all consuming. With a family and work I guess he was thinking that it was probably not practical. Three years ago we joined KHRC and that was to be the turning point. After last years half marathon where I knocked 20 minutes off my PB I knew that I could consider entering the Birmingham International Marathon. I continued with my usual training/running/races up until May and then joined Greg’s LSR (Long Sunday Runs) These runs gave me such a massive boost of confidence. Running with the group was just fantastic and such fun as well as teaching me so many things. I learnt about rehydrating and refuelling. I bought a Camelbak and learnt to run with it. After a few weeks I did my long runs on my own. My reasoning was that on the day I probably would be on my own. I needed to know that I could spend 5 plus hours with myself and my thoughts. I needed to know that I could fight those demons.I trained up to 20 miles. The last month of training was dogged by illness and a horrible virus the week before.Sunday October 15th loomed large and I was very nervous.This is the background to what happened over the next 12 hours.
4:30am Alarm. Snooze until 4:45am
4:45am Breakfast. Porridge.Banana. Bagal. Coffee.
6:10am Get ready and leave home at to drive Joss to the 7am shuttle bus.
7:30am Found a portaloo.#1 toilet trip.My bus was at 8am. Got to shuttle bus and it left at 7:35! I was on my way sitting next to a lovely lady from Devon called Sam. We had a lovely chat.
8am Arrived at Alexander Stadium. Met up with other KHRC peeps and we made our way towards the baggage points.
8:30am Cheered Joss out of the stadium as he started his race. Went to queue for the toilet. #2 toilet trip. Then went down to the track to start the long wait.
9:00am Sat with a chap in the stands….we both looked as if we were about to go to the gallows. I was shaking so much.
9:15am Met up with lots of KHRC folk.Lined up with Liz and Trudie. Enjoyed some photos and realised I need to improve my wearing of lipstick to look even half as glamorous as Trudie. I also felt a little under dressed in the hair department compared to Liz!! We waved and called to other KHRC folk as they made their way to their particular time section. Hugs and best wishes all round.
9:30am We were off.
I settled into a steady pace. Pete had drilled me about not going off too fast and paying for it later on.
I felt good all the way into Digbeth and out to Cannon Hill. It felt comfortable. No problems. The refuelling went well. The Camelbak was working well too. Thankfully the hot weather did not really materialise during those early miles. Cannon Hill was amazing. Seeing friends and family and the cheer station. Just incredible. I bounced out of the park and found the next section equally fine. Seeing friends and family at Maryvale, Linden Rd and Bournville. A huge lift. But I felt really good. And then back out for the loop. Still feeling fine. A gel every hour as well as a small Mars and some Malt Loaf. Cannon Hill the second time. Lovely to run with Alison and to see my family again and KHRC cheerers. At 18.5 I started to feel a little tired. Nothing major but I knew that I was approaching the 20 mile point where my training had stopped. Seeing Jenni and Kevin on Maryvale was very emotional. They were brilliant and ran with me until the corner of Linden. I turned into the hill and saw Sarah and Benn I I actually heard Benn first!) The emotion overcame me again and we had a hug. I couldn’t really say very much. Halfway down Bournville Lane my right leg started to cause some discomfort. The area behind my knee was so painful and I couldn’t relieve the pain. From there until 22 miles I started to struggle. I had my final gel. Made myself eat some malt loaf. Rebecca ran with for a bit. But my moment of darkness was very close. At about 22.5 miles my body just seemed to stop. I tried every strategy…thinking of Pete and the boys…my charities…..all the people who had sponsored me….but nothing seemed to make my legs do anything differently. In the end I had to say out loud ‘one step, one step’ over and over again. It was at this point that Trudie and Sam (?) arrived behind me. Quite simply they were my marathon angels. They would not let me stop…they talked to me and tried to distract me. I urged them to continue without me but they wouldn’t leave me. Sam produced some Ibruprofen Gel and I applied it to my leg. We continued to try to keep the pace. Trudie shouted out miles 24 and 25 and then we were into the finish. The crowds were amazing. We crossed the finish line hands held – 3 lionesses together. 5 hours 49mins.Despite the dark 4 miles I loved every minute of my first marathon. I have learnt alot about myself . the challenge is definitely more mental than physical.But most importantly the love that I felt from my supporters will stay with me forever. Thank you to you all. Helen Brooke’s
The photo at the top of the page is Helen Brooke’s with her two friends.