DAN Thompson visited Taunton on Saturday as part of his remarkable 'Run the World' challenge.

To date, Thompson has completed 10k runs in 160 countries and seven UK cities and he was at Longrun Meadow to tick off another one as part of his fundraising for Cancer Research UK.

The plan is to run in all 206 countries of the world, including a further 44 UK runs, to take him to 250 runs in all. The 2.5 million metres run equates to a metre for every cancer sufferer in the UK.

Thompson, who has raised over £37,000 so far and aims to take the total beyond £50,000 in all, is writing a blog recording his runs across the globe and was full of praise for those who flock to Longrun Meadow every Saturday morning to take part in Parkrun.

He wrote: "One reason parkruns are so popular is that they’re very welcoming and supremely well organised, and a large part of that is due to the volunteers.

"To save my breath, I talked to as many people as possible including Sharron [Kington], the remarkable ‘just out of hospital’ Taunton AC runner, and Jane, who works for the police and oversees their fitness testing.

"Having done the 5km parkrun, I was then joined by a number of parkrunners from Taunton AC, the Hydro Harriers, the Taunton Hash House Harriers and the Running Forever Running Club, as well as by staff from Albert Goodman, for a further 10km run.

"There were about 25 of us at the start of the run and, much like the earlier parkrun, there was plenty of mud and good chat with the runners including Harriet Hash House Harrier and various members of the Albert Goodman team.

"I wish to say a huge thank you to Jamie and all the runners and volunteers at parkrun; to Mike Cahill and everyone at Albert Goodman; to Sharron and Taunton AC; to Tom and the Hydro Harriers; to Linda and the Running Forever Club; and to Harriet and the Taunton Hash."

Thompson aims to complete his challenge by the start of the 2020 Olympics in Rio - to donate, visit Dan's Just Giving page by clicking here.


AN impressive 23 Running Forever members turned up at the pier in Weston-super-Mare to take on the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k on Sunday.

Organised by Weston Athletics Club, this festive spectacle of speedy Santas and sprightly elves was a lot of fun, despite the tricky seaside conditions.

The race takes place mostly on the beach, which was very squelchy underfoot, and the final half-mile saw competitors running straight into a very strong headwind, with discarded tinsel flying everywhere!

First across the finish line was Trevor Stow (52:40), followed by Richard Staunton (54:12), Louise Lowry (55:23), Ann-Marie Crampton (56:20), Goff Welchman (57:23), Jamie Hill (1:00:21), Peter Stretton (1:00:55), Craig Moore (1:05:27), Cathie Welchman (1:09:04), Cat Gullick (1:09:10), Bev Collins (1:07:27), Philip Kirkpatrick (1:10:07), Shelley Clothier (1:10:36), Lisa Windsor (1:13:46), Rachel Reid (1:16:32), Sarah Reed (1:16:38), Sarah Holloway (1:18:45), Pat Pike (1:23:54), Karen Chapman (1:24:30), Kerry Chapman (1:24:30), Paula Bisatt (1:28:12), Kate Mackenzie (1:28:14) and Cherry Harris (1:30:41).

Elsewhere, Lisa and Simon Denson completed the Midwinternachtrun 10k in Ghent, Belgium.

Simon finished in a very respectable 40:10 and Lisa was not far behind, finishing in 52:08.

The club had parkrunners scattered all over the place this week - at Burnham-on-Sea, Henstridge, Minehead, Torbay Velopark, Guildford, Aylesbury and Peter Pan, which is near Hull.

Longrun Meadow attracted 24 Running Forever members, including Hannah Taunton, who was not only first over the line but also the eighth fastest female in the UK this week.


FOUL weather and poor underfoot conditions contributed to slow Longrun Meadow Parkrun times for the Hydro Harriers last Saturday.

Andy White managed 21mins 47sec, with Rowland Lyons trudging round in 25.38.


DECEMBER started with runners from the Just Run group heading off to race three, of a series of six, in the Burnham Esplanade Winter Road Run 5km series.

Conditions were chilly but dry and with the course being three flat loops; it was an ideal opportunity to keep the speed work going through the dark winter months.

On his way back from injury was Ross Brayley who strolled around the 5km in an impressive time of 20:36.

Pushing himself to go sub -2 was Chris Melley. With consistent mile splits, he pushed himself to a PB of 21:36.

Three seconds behind, in a time of 21:39, was Mike Watkins.

With the speedsters in there was a two-minute break before Ade Marchment crossed the line in a time of 23:37, closely followed by Julie Gilbert in 23:43.

Last weekend, the M5 was again in use as two runners headed north to the Weston Christmas Cracker 10km event.

Everything Christmas could be seen as runners gathered on the start line to head off on road and on sand.

Jon Rayner and Tracy Sumner found their festive spirit and the right footwear to finish the course in 58:17 and 1:00:32, respectively.

The Just Run group would like to wish all runners and readers a wonderful Christmas and an injury-free 2019!!

Just Run meet at Enfield car park every Tuesday at 6.30pm. Sessions are also held on a Thursday and Sunday, please see the Just Run Facebook page for more information.