Friends of Markeaton Park

maintaining the open space of Darley Park

22 GoodGymers have supported Friends of Markeaton Park with 2 tasks.

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LaurenClare AndersonNaomi HopeAshleyHelenDani

Sqautters go on a treasure hunt in the dark

Tuesday 28th January 2020

Written by Dani


We had the pleasure on last nights group run of heading to one of Derby's wonderful green spaces for a litter pick (AKA treasure hunt) on a local Parkrun route.

In the gloom of the evening, donning headtorches & carrying our trusty portable lights we hit the trails, starting at the one & only climb of the Parkrun circuit. In the darkness, the hill - which usually fills the Parkrunners with dread, especially on the 2nd & final lap - somehow seemed less intense. We breeeezed up it, litter-pickers in hand.

As we 'plogged' our way around the route, as well as admiring how clean & litter free Markeaton is, we noticed things about the Parkrun route that when racing over the course, runners often miss; the wooden steps offering different routes through the woods & the large lake glimmering in the street lights.

After completing one full lap & returning back to the main car park, we had a final hunt there, collecting discarded parking tickets & sweet wrappers. It's impressive how clean Markeaton Park is & excluding a few bottles of the alcoholic variety left lying around & some lost property (which we placed safely in the carpark), the park was almost litter-free - well done Derby Parks & Parkrun!


And before our plog, a warm-up, which isn't complete without making ourselves look absolutely silly outside the Jurys Inn & yesterday was no exception. Half of us squatted our butts low whilst the other half used the railing as a supported press-up zone.

Warmed up & feeling daft, it was time to run! The run out to Markeaton was a just over 2km, with another 2km steady 'plog' around the park before regrouping... And what is a large, empty carpark good for? Actually don't answer that!

Speed work, of course!

Getting into pairs, with a route laid out & illuminated, the first runners were off, putting in best efforts, evidenced in the photos of the 'blurs'! Once back, their partners sprinted around the track, putting in their best efforts too.

After 3 laps per runner, with hearts thumping & sweaty brows, it was time for a steady downhill run back to the Jurys Inn... perfect!


A short run next week, well for the GG Derby clan anyway! We're heading to Darley Abbey to support the Broadway Baptist Church with a garden tidy-up, with a total mileage of 4km.*

  • Maybe. I'm always a bit off!

Many thanks for another cracking group run & Big Loves x

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RhianHelenAshleyRosie StevensonRemoved UserDani

Getting our Rock-ery Balboa on for GG turning 10!

Tuesday 17th September 2019

Written by Dani


18 runners from around the UK (GG Sheffiled's Kat, Andrew, Ash & Celine & GG Norwich's lone ranger, Brad, as well as 13 Derby runners) headed to a green space to support the Friends of Markeaton Park (FoMP) give a new lease of life to the rockery. On arrival, we were greeted by the wonderful volunteers who showed us the somewhat secret walled garden before we made our way, wheel-barrows & gloves in hand, to the rockery. So overgrown with no rocks in sight, some of us wondered where this illusive name had originally came from...

Alas! After 40 minutes of weeding, removing unwanted plants, clearing dead leaves & trimming (not forgetting the shaping!) of the hedge, the rocks were revealed & the rockery transformed from an abandoned, overgrown hidden-rockery for accumulating park litter, to a beautiful feature of Markeaton Park once more.

Mission achievements

  1. The equivalent of 12 hours of volunteering (wowza!)
  2. 1 extremely happy Friends of Markeaton Park volunteer group
  3. 1 rockery restored to its full & former glory
  4. 18 heroes in Derby (who's favourite colour is red, especially on t-shirts)


The location of Markeaton Park from our base at the Jurys Inn meant that we got opportunity to do a circular route to show our GoodGym tourists a little more of the city. We headed from the Jurys Inn towards the University of Derby on Kedleston Road, then cutting into Markeaton Park, admiring the huge play area (including the climbing wall & pondering a possible fitness session there) before looking for our lady-in-hi-viz near the illusive walled garden.

After our task & because we were at the rockery (this is key to the pun...) there was a Rockery-Balboa themed fitness session with Eye of the Tiger - for those 91% of you that couldn't hear it, that's what was playing on my phone! - blasting across Markeaton Park. With lots of high knees, butt kicks, planking & some air punching... because you have to, its Rock-ery!... We were ready to run back to base. Through the park, down Ashbourne Road, across the Bouncy-Bridge & to the Jurys Inn!

Fitness Achievements

  1. Total collective distance of 90km powered by foot
  2. Well over 400 high knees during the Eye of the Tiger saga
  3. 100 weeds pulled out & biceps worked


It was brilliant to be part of the celebrations flying the GoodGym flag in Derby last night & I think you'll agree we got some pretty snazzy photos on the Bouncy-Bridge! A huge thank you to the Derby tribe as well as the touring GoodGym'ers (especially Andrew for back-marking) for making the evening so splendid. Now one more time...

It's the eye of the tiger, its the thrill of the fight (weeding), rising up to the challenge of our rival (weeds)....

Have a super week everyone & see you next Tuesday for some more gettin' grubby fun & puns at Osmaston Allotments!

Dani x

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