308th Alice Holt parkrun run report

The Life of a Tourist

The days of a lie-in on a Saturday are a distant memory. You know you’ve become a true parkrun tourist addict when your Saturday morning alarm clock is set earlier than your alarm clock for getting up for work in the week – though let’s be honest, it’s far easier to get up for a parkrun than it is for the daily grind! This week, it was Alice Holt to obtain an A for the Alphabet challenge (complete one parkrun starting with every letter of the alphabet).

A 5am alarm clock, throw on the running gear, a quick breakfast, run for the bus and before you know it you’re on the 06:53 train from Waterloo darting its way to the middle of Hampshire, a mere 75km journey this week. We’re due to arrive in Bentley, a small Hampshire village, at 08:02, but there is still a 3km walk to get to the start as well so the schedule is another tight one, but we’ve been here many times before!

Eventually pulling into Bentley Station at 08:08 means we’re already a little behind so the key at this point is to take the correct turn out of the station. What looks like a road on Google Maps, turns out to be a path over the train tracks itself. Thankfully, a reassuring sign on the other side of the tracks points us on our way.

Alice Holt signpost the path to Alice Holt

We follow some trails and the “Yellow road” and, finally, relief, as we arrive at the starting point with 15 mins to spare. Overall, it’s a good 35 minute walk from the train but is certainly possible to visit Alice Holt by train.

The crowd is building and the conversations are already following. Regulars busy catching up with each other for perhaps the first time this year, uber-tourists in their distinctive cowls introducing themselves to each other and swapping tales of their madcap parkrun adventures and the amazing volunteers busily preparing for the event ahead.

In total, there are an aesthetically pleasing 333 runners this week, ably supported by the 27 volunteers. A fair sized chunk of us head over to the first timers run briefing. There are a very impressive 22 runners completing their first ever parkrun today (welcome to you all) and another 29 First Timers at Alice Holt. There are a few groans when we’re warned about Dragon Hill (so named as it drags on for ages) but we’re all keen to get started if only to keep the chilly morning at bay.

run briefing

On to the Run Briefing and there are some impressive Milestones this week. I can’t remember them all but two really stood out. Ben DAKIN running his 200th parkrun today. Hugely impressive given he’s in the JM11-14 category, he must’ve been born running!

Huge congratulations to Alice Holt regulars Ian CARLEY and Cyra PARKES who recently visited Zandvlei parkrun in South Africa for their Z and got engaged. The power of parkrun knows no bounds! Very many congratulations to you both!

On to the run itself. Alice Holt consists of a shorter first loop, followed by a longer loop. It’s a tough course with an elevation of 277ft. The surroundings are stunning, but it’s hard to enjoy the forest at its finest with all the hills to contend with.

running through the woods dragon hill

Not only that, the hills seem to get harder as the run progresses. This course really does require you to leave something in reserve for the final stages. Also in the closing stages are a few figures appearing randomly in the forest. The Gruffalo, Gruffalo’s Child, Stick Man, Owl and Rat were all spotted whilst gasping for breath.

running through the woods stick man

Fortunately though there are some flat sections too and a few opportunities to take photos on the way around. I’m not sure I’d want to wander to far of course on this run, you could easily get lost in these trees whilst whistling “Robin Hood, Robin Hood”.

the trees at Alice Holt

Finishing the run is always the goal, and it feels great to complete this one, especially after completing a few flatter courses recently. As always, the fantastic and supportive volunteers really do help you get to the finish!

The Life of a Tourist means you get to see some great parts of the country you would never otherwise visit. I’m certainly glad we visited Alice Holt today and hope one day to return here and explore the area again. Until the next time, keep on running!

Some statistics from this week:

This week 333 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 51 were first timers and an incredible 91 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 34 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:
Andrew CALDWELL • Andy CLEGG • Ben O'CONNOR • Carmen MCTERNAN • Cheryl SACKS • Cyra PARKES • Douglas BLYTH • Folusho OLUSANYA • Gary JAMES • Geoff BROWN • Harvey WICKHAM • Helen WALTERS • Hugo WERNHAM • Isabel JAMES • Jess WYATT • Jo JAMES • Kate MARSHALL • Katie SNELSON • Kerry SCOTT • Libby MALLETT • Lisa BLAYDEN • Mary HEARN • Michael CROFT • Robert CLARK • Rupert HOLLOM • Sam WICKHAM • Stephen LAVERY

This week's results can be found at latest results

Robert Clark & Folusho Olusanya
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Alice Holt parkrun - Facebook - Twitter - Flickr - Strava
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Your Core Team:- Craig - Andy - Geoff - Kathy - Sarah - Mark - Dan - Lisa - Rupert - Charlie - Paula
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In the Diary

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parkrunner Discount Did you know if you show your athlete barcode in the Alice Holt cafe you can get a 10% discount? Why not stay after your run and have a chat with your fellow parkrunners or volunteers!
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Groovy wristbands/plastic barcodes Are you a frequent parkrunner, or does your barcode regularly fail to scan or you're having problems with your printer? If so, you should consider getting some wristbands or barcodes. Make our scanners lives easier and be the envy of all of your parkrunner chums!

 

307th Alice Holt parkrun run report

Alice Holt parkrun #307, 5 January 2019

A great day of running, jogging and walking was enjoyed by 366 Alice Holt parkrunners in the venue’s 307th event. This was the 14th highest, helped in a very small part by me and 10 other Finch Coasters descending on this lovely venue to do a bit of mass running club parkrun tourism. This was my first run here and I loved it! Alice Holt was one of 581 UK parkruns this weekend, which saw a new record of 168,413 parkrunners participating alongside 13,248 vital volunteers. Talking of high-viz heroes, we had 25 of them this week to ensure that the event can take place. Thank you all! If you would like to help make Alice Holt parkrun happen, the team would really appreciate your help. You can get involved using this email address - aliceholthelpers@parkrun.com.

Today was the 307th Alice Holt parkrun. Some famous, rather random and perhaps useless facts about other 307 include:

  • 33 parkrunners have run exactly 307 parkruns
  • Charlotte MARIOSA finished in 307th place today in a time of 35:01
  • The Peugeot 307 was awarded the European Car of the Year title in 2002
  • The 307th ever parkrun to start was Doncaster parkrun in September 2013
  • Francesco Totti scored 307 goals for his only team, Roma

Welcome to the 67 parkrunners who ran their first ever Alice Holt parkrun today. Of those, 30 were brand new to the parkrun family participating in their first (of hopefully many more) parkruns. James HUMPHREY, Geoff LOWRY, Daniel DAWSON, Rebecca HURLOCK, Rachel Eleanor MURRELL, Mike PINK, Claire ASTON, Suzanne ECKFORD, Amy SORRELL, Ella AYLING, Matthew GREGORY, Caitlin SMITH, Andrew PAPWORTH. Ian WILKES, Kerri WILKES, Toby ARROWSMITH, Matt ARROWSMITH, Katie AMBROSE, George CLACK, Peter CLACK, Thomas FRANCIS, Gary CRESSWELL, Lucy HANBURY, Elizabeth HANBURY, Graham KING, Wayne FORSTER, Caleb KING, Linda DICKER, Tegan DOBBS, Catherine IRVING join 43,685 people who became parkrunners somewhere in the world this weekend.

At the other end of the spectrum we were joined by six runners who have completed more than 250 parkruns. Timothy CUMMINS (360), Darko CALINA (346), Victoria DICK (338), Terry COPELAND (330), Neil BAUSOR (311), Geoff BROWN (274) and Ben O'CONNOR (258). Amazing and thank you for joining us.

Jon FAIRS was first finisher today in his 13th Alice Holt parkrun. This was the ninth time Jon had finished in this position on this course. Sarah Hill was first female finisher in 2nd place overall and also earning her the highest age grade of the day with 81.87%. Thomas TAYLOR was first junior home with a time of 21:14 and a shiny new PB.

75 very clever Alice Holt parkrunners managed to set a new PB today. Well done to you all! Howard INNS can now order his 100 t-shirt after Saturday’s run. Well done Howard. Four juniors got their 10 landmark. Well done Edward NICHOLLS, Anabel FICHARDT, Arun MENDUM and Oliver RUSSELL. Lots of running clubs were represented today including 35 Farnham Runners, 16 Haslemere Border and 11 Finch Coasters.

This week's results can be found at latest results

Paul Jenkins
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Alice Holt parkrun - Facebook - Twitter - Flickr - Strava
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Your Core Team:- Craig - Andy - Geoff - Kathy - Sarah - Mark - Dan - Lisa - Rupert - Charlie - Paula
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In the Diary

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parkrunner Discount Did you know if you show your athlete barcode in the Alice Holt cafe you can get a 10% discount? Why not stay after your run and have a chat with your fellow parkrunners or volunteers!
------------------------------------
Groovy wristbands/plastic barcodes Are you a frequent parkrunner, or does your barcode regularly fail to scan or you're having problems with your printer? If so, you should consider getting some wristbands or barcodes. Make our scanners lives easier and be the envy of all of your parkrunner chums!

 

306th Alice Holt parkrun run report

Alice Holt parkrun #306, New Year’s Day, 1 January 2019

It wasn’t that many years ago, if you’d told me I would happily get up early on a brisk Saturday morning in January, and go for a 5km run before breakfast, and that there might be a few hills involved, I’d have laughed in your face. And then gone back to sleep. These days, however, I seem to be a changed person. Something has happened to me. Well, parkrun has happened to me.

So there I was this lovely New Year’s Day 2019, along with hundreds of other similarly enthused people, clearly not too many sore heads among us from New Year’s Eve revelling (or at least extremely well disguised, if there were any!), at Alice Holt Forest. For some, this was their second parkrun of the New Year already, as this is that most hallowed of days in the parkrun calendar, the only day when you can complete TWO parkruns in one day. Runners and volunteers alike had hot-footed it from nearby parkruns that started at 9am, for the Alice Holt parkrun at 10:30. For me, we’d come straight from visiting friends for New Year’s Eve, and couldn’t make a 9am event, but 10:30 was the perfect time to get my 2019 running habit underway. Meeting up with a fellow parkrun tourist Lesley (we enjoy visiting as many different parkrun events as we can, having met on the UK parkrun tourists’ Facebook page) who had just completed Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun at 9am, we listened attentively to the First Timers Briefing (déjà vu for Lesley, as the lady giving the briefing had just done the same duty at Hogmoor Inclosure as well - that’s a dedicated volunteer!) to learn of the course route and usual parkrun protocol notices. Many yellow ‘cow cowls’ and ‘cow bob’ hats were to be seen among the field, the universal symbol of membership of the unofficial UK parkrun tourists’ group – it’s a great way of introducing yourself to fellow runners who have completed at least 20 different parkrun events.

Then on to the main pre-run briefing by the Run Director. He acknowledged many visiting runners, including some from Australia, and there were rounds of applause for many with birthdays or doing milestone runs (Ginette EMMONDS and Joanna O'CONNOR did their 100th run, Millie SAKER, Matt SAKER, Daniel HARE and Michael LOVEGROVE ran their 50th and Michelle RIVETT was running at her 200th different parkrun location).

New Years' Day Run Briefing

This is exactly the kind of warm-up motivation that a field of a few hundred runners need to fire them up for the next 5km. And then off we ran, in to the forest paths of Alice Holt Forest. The park itself is beautiful, and the sun came out as we got underway. The course takes you along a mixture of stony trail paths and dirt trails through the forest, with some stunning wooden sculptures that form a Gruffalo trail which kids love to explore, and there were many families out enjoying the park too on this fine day.

The first lap is slightly shorter, and just before we reached 2km the familiar sight of the visitor centre and volunteer team in their glorious hi-vis appeared through the trees as we reached the clearing. On to the second (longer lap) we take an extended route through the forest this time. We had been warned – there is a fairly substantial hill on the second lap of the course. They weren’t wrong! That hill, though, was somewhat gracefully masked by the course taking a turn into the bright sunlight as we approached it, meaning you couldn’t quite see how long it was, and the feel of warm sunshine on our faces was lovely. The undulating paths provide a great balance of gentle downhill sections, where you can get a good running rhythm going, and some challenging uphill sections. Those taking part in their second parkrun of the day are to be particularly admired, to be tackling those hills after about 7km of running already that morning! And so to the finish… a relief to come out of the trees into the clearing to the encouragement of the volunteer team and getting to the finish funnel… and no surprise that the café in the Visitor Centre was full to the brim of happy parkrunners, refuelling with some delicious breakfast fayre – from pastries or porridge to full English breakfasts (New Year’s parkrunners’ breakfast of champions), comparing parkrunning notes and discussing different events.

I’m always delighted by the atmosphere and camaraderie of parkrun wherever I go. Alice Holt on New Year’s Day is no exception and was made even more enjoyable I think by the numbers of people there, the atmosphere of the event, the friendships being made and extended on this celebratory day, and by the enthusiasm and support of all the volunteers. I thoroughly enjoyed Alice Holt and will definitely visit again sometime.

I have been filming some of my recent parkruns on a GoPro, with time-lapse footage, so that potential parkrun participants can see the various courses and terrains before they visit and get some idea of the variety of events. Here’s my GoPro time-lapse from Alice Holt this morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_71wB2OHHDA (and all the others I have uploaded are on the same playlist).

Stats:

A new attendance record of 523 at Alice Holt beating the previous record of 464.

268 People ran at Alice Holt after completing a parkrun earlier in the day. Runners came from the following locations:

Hogmoor Inclosure (151)
Rushmoor (84)
Guildford (17)
Basingstoke (14)
Dinton Pastures (1)
Winchester (1)

There were 150 first timers and 41 runners recorded new personal bests at Alice Holt, of whom 14 were running their second run of the day. A special mention goes out to the following runners who recorded PBs at both of their events on NYD!

Tessa HABBERLEY
Ian GREGORY
Dave ROBBINS
Katie SIMMONDS
David JARRETT

Special mention also goes to the following runners:
Victoria DICK – Most consistent time for both runs on NYD - 3 second difference!
Jack HOUGHTON - Biggest improvement in time - 14:47 faster at Alice Holt than Guildford
Richard HAMMER & James WHITE - Furthest Travelled (Dinton Pastures and Winchester respectively)

This week's results can be found at latest results

Helen Rees
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Alice Holt parkrun - Facebook - Twitter - Flickr - Strava
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Your Core Team:- Craig - Andy - Geoff - Kathy - Sarah - Mark - Dan - Lisa - Rupert - Charlie - Paula
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In the Diary

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parkrunner Discount Did you know if you show your athlete barcode in the Alice Holt cafe you can get a 10% discount? Why not stay after your run and have a chat with your fellow parkrunners or volunteers!
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Groovy wristbands/plastic barcodes Are you a frequent parkrunner, or does your barcode regularly fail to scan or you're having problems with your printer? If so, you should consider getting some wristbands or barcodes. Make our scanners lives easier and be the envy of all of your parkrunner chums!

 

New Co-Event Directors for Alice Holt parkrun

From the 30th December 2018 Alice Holt parkrun will have 2 new co-Event Directors, Craig Tate-Grimes and Andy Clegg, to replace the outgoing Event Director, Paula Patterson.

 

303rd Alice Holt parkrun run report

Tourism at Alice Holt

This weekend I was visiting my brother in Alton. I didn't want to miss my weekly parkrun fix so he suggested I have a go at the Alice Holt parkrun, I believe he has done it once himself and my nephew had done it 3 times. My 2 local parkruns at home, one is a flattish there and back and the other is a double looper with few inclines in it. So I was interested to see what Alice Holt was like, last time I came down in summer it was cancelled and I tried Hogmoor Inclosure, an undulated sand track parkrun, not my favourite.

I arrived at the forest in time to introduce myself to run director, and listen to all the briefings. Started off enjoying the pleasant surroundings. Then after mile 1 discovered Dragon Hill, steeper hill than I'm used to, took my time up the hill and continued on around rest of course, wasn't bothered about time was enjoying the experience of trying different parkrun. Everyone was really friendly and helpful and route was scenic but challenging will definitely do it next time I'm down now I know what to expect. Loved the added bonus of 10% off at cafe so I enjoyed hot chocolate and toast after run.

This week's results can be found at latest results

Claire Johnson
Hanley parkrun
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Alice Holt parkrun - Facebook - Twitter - Flickr - Strava
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Your Core Team:- Paula - Geoff - Kathy - Sarah - Mark - Craig - Dan - Lisa - Rupert - Andy
Charlie
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In the Diary

------------------------------------
parkrunner Discount Did you know if you show your athlete barcode in the Alice Holt cafe you can get a 10% discount? Why not stay after your run and have a chat with your fellow parkrunners or volunteers!
------------------------------------
Groovy wristbands/plastic barcodes Are you a frequent parkrunner, or does your barcode regularly fail to scan or you're having problems with your printer? If so, you should consider getting some wristbands or barcodes. Make our scanners lives easier and be the envy of all of your parkrunner chums!

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