The morning of Saturday 15th January 2022 saw a number of Newport & District Running Club members celebrate milestones in their parkrun journeys. This was despite the icy weather conditions causing last-minute changes to plans, as a number of local parkruns, including Telford and Wolverhampton, had to cancel due to the dangerous conditions underfoot.

Despite planning to go to Telford parkrun for his milestone, Harry Stokes, who runs in the Junior Male 11-14 age category, was able to make the trip to Shrewsbury to run his 50th parkrun, where his milestone was celebrated with a red “50 t-shirt” cake, to celebrate the specific t-shirt that Harry is now able to claim upon entering the 50 club. This was Harry’s second parkrun at Shrewsbury, and he has also run 22 times at Telford, 8 at Isabel Trail, twice at Beacon and Cannock Chase, as well as once each at Alderford Lake, Rutland Water, Hanley, Wolverhampton, Wyre Forest, Perry Hall, Upton Court, Walsall Arboretum, Dudley, East Park, Dolgellau, Aberystwyth, Congleton and Minehead. Harry has also completed 143 junior parkruns, which take place on Sunday mornings. 

Harry Stokes with his 50 club cake!

A number of NDRC runners were in attendance to celebrate with Harry, including his dad (Oliver), sister (Fae), and grandad (John), all of whom are regular parkrunners in their own right! Also in attendance from NDRC was Martin Murdoch, who was running his 200th parkrun, which puts him within 50 events of claiming his green “250 t-shirt” and entry to the 250 club, as well as Donna & Darren Hesbrook-Edwards, and Neil Jones.

L-R: Darren Hesbrook-Edwards, Neil Jones, Fae Stokes, John Stokes, Harry Stokes, Donna Hesbrook-Edwards, Oliver Stokes, Martin Murdoch

Meanwhile, a bit further north, up the A49, NDRC’s Ellen Deighton was running her 100th parkrun at Alderford Lake in the company of club mates Wendy Tonge and Toni Ireland. This was Ellen’s 10th run at Alderford Lake, and the other 90 are made up of 79 at Telford, 2 at each of Isabel Trail, Cannock Chase and Bibra Lake, and 1 each at St. Peters, Havant, Gunpowder, Shrewsbury and Roosevelt Island DC parkruns. Entry to the 100 club allows parkrunners to claim a black “100 t-shirt”.

L-R: Ellen Deighton, Wendy Tonge, Toni Irelend

The milestones reached by club members this weekend are all the more impressive when the “parkrun pause” is taken into account; the free, weekly timed events were all postponed from March 2020 until July 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.