Bexley parkrun #336

This week 438 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 34 were first timers (23 on their first parkrun outing) and 38 recorded new Personal Bests - that's a great achievement in this heat. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part. With the attendance of the County Fair, it was great to see people managing admirably and without fuss when the start width was very restricted. Please do all remember though that attendance and listening to the run brief is strongly advised, please do NOT head to the start early as you may miss an important announcement.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers, making Brian's job as Run Director easy: Jon HUNTER • Trevor WILMOT • John HAMPTON • Richard FURZE • Corinne CRANE • Brian CRANE • Graham BAKER • Darren RICKARD • Steve FOX • Steve JACKAMAN • Larissa O'HALLORAN • Rob O'HALLORAN • Maggie MCQUAID • Peter INGRAMS • Louise DRAYTON • Greg GUTHRIE • Ian TYRRELL • Ilona MORGAN • Phillip MORGAN • Jane STEPHENSON • Cathy MORGAN • Michael CATTERALL.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Bexley parkrun Results Page HERE.

Some notable runs today for our participants;

Trade Page & Thomas Walwyn both juniors hitting their 10th parkrun.
Sarah Warne & Matthew Anderson hitting their 50th parkrun.
Julie Anderson hitting her 100th parkrun.
Neal Welton hitting his 300th parkrun.

Well Done and huge congratulations to you all.

With no end in sight for the heat, please do bear in mind how, where and when you exercise. The below is an extract from runners world magazine, and maybe 1 or 2 of this top 10 tips might be useful to some of you?

1. Make adjustments: Don’t do long or higher-intensity workouts during the heat of the day. If you must run at midday, pick routes with shade. As a general rule, start your workout slower than you usually do. If you’re feeling good halfway through, it’s okay to speed up a little bit.

2. Wear as little as possible: Wear apparel that’s light in color, lightweight, and has vents or mesh. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good fabric choices. Also, be sure to wear a hat, shades, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. 

3. Watch your alcohol and meds: Alcohol, antihistamines, and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect. Using them just before a run can make you have to pee, compounding your risk of dehydration.

4. Drink early and often: Top off your fluid stores with 16 ounces of sports drink an hour before you head out. Then toss down five to eight ounces of sports drink about every 20 minutes while working out. Sports drinks beat water because they contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate, replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, and taste good, making it easy to drink more.

5. Be patient: Give yourself eight to 14 days to acclimatize to hot weather, gradually increasing the length and intensity of your training. In that time, your body will learn to decrease your heart rate, decrease your core body temperature, and increase your sweat rate.

6. Seek grass and shade: It’s always hotter in cities than in surrounding areas because asphalt and concrete retain heat. If you must run in an urban or even a suburban area, look for shade—any park will do—and try to go in the early morning or late evening. 

7. Check the breeze: If possible, start your run going with the wind and then run back with a headwind. Running into the wind has a cooling effect, and you’ll need that in the second half of a run.

8. Head out early or late: Even in the worst heat wave, it cools off significantly by dawn. Get your run done then, and you’ll feel good about it all day. Can’t fit it in? Wait until evening, when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong—just don’t do it so late that it keeps you from getting to sleep.

9. Slow down: Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile. So don’t fight it—just slow down.

10. Run in water: Substitute one weekly outdoor walk or run with a pool-running session of the same duration. If you’re new to pool running, use a flotation device and simply move your legs as if you were running on land, with a slightly exaggerated forward lean and vigorous arm pump.

One additional suggestion - Volunteer! We always suffer with volunteer numbers dropping during the summer months and at a time where you might decide that running is not on the cards, why don't you slap on some sun-cream, grab a bottle of water and come to help out? This is a great way to give a little back to your local parkrun - it works towards your volunteer tshirt - and it reduces the stress levels of the run directors when they see the roster filling up! You can sign up for any role and you'll find the roster HERE - just drop us an email and we'll pop you in.

Coming up in a couple of weeks we may need to make a course amendment due to another event in the park - please stay tuned to our social media (and that all important pre-run briefing of course) over the coming weeks for more information.

Bexley parkrun started on 4th February 2012. Since then 8,671 participants have completed 80,925 parkruns covering a total distance of 404,625 km, including 14,112 new Personal Bests.

The male record is held by Berihu HADERA who recorded a time of 15:39 on 1st September 2012 (event number 30).
The female record is held by Chloe SHARP who recorded a time of 18:23 on 17th October 2015 (event number 192).
The Age Grade course record is held by Holly PAGE who recorded 86.31% (18:52) on 29th June 2013 (event number 73).


30th June – Mel Gordon memorial run

What a busy day we had - this Saturday will go down as one of the most memorable parkruns that I have been involved in! It had everything, and 522 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 54 were first timers and 68 recorded new Personal Bests.

TC parkrun
(photo from Tony Colver)

I can't go into the people who were not on our "official" volunteer list that stepped up and helped us out - but they do it because that's who they are, and thats what gives us that family feeling to this community event. Thanks to you all, and my hi-vis team: Tony COLVER • James WILLIAMS • Karen WARRENER • Tony JOHNSON • Claire DALLISON-HAWKINS • Brian PAGE • Kathy LEAF • Michelle S MARSH • Stephanie HAM • Phil PARKER • Andy WHITNELL • Darren RAMSEY • Emma KILLICK • David KILLICK • Daniel CUNNINGHAM • Jackie MUSSETT • Keeley WICKS • Keith GEORGE • Jan LAKE • David LAKE • Amanda FLORENCE

Special congratulations to Keeley who had stepped up for a first Run Director role - and didn't she do amazing!

So where do I start. This week we took the chance to pay our respects to the founder of Bexley parkrun. I'd like to thank everyone for their respect and the little things I noticed around the run. The milestone tshirts, the pictures, hearing stories and even those that never knew him I'm sure understood what he meant to so many of us. We were really pleased to see some of Mel's family participate too, and in the words of Teresa, his wife "Thank you all so so much Mel would have loved this and laughing saying I finally got Teresa to a parkrun. Keep running".

Group 1
(photo from Darren Ramsey)

We show 54 participants attending Bexley for the first time this week, that includes 31 making their first ever parkrun outing, 23 who have completed a parkrun elsewhere - but it doesn't include those who maybe never registered, brought a barcode or were just down to support a friend and had never heard of this parkrun thing before! We are really part of something bing here and you're all so very welcome to stick around and see where parkrun can take you.

Those who are new - and some that may not be - are probably in awe of the professional team that are there to put on a safe and fun event each week. Did you know that they're just the same as you? Regular people who've offered their time to volunteer and give a little back, perhaps through injury or resting for an event so they can't run, or just because they like the feel of a hi-vis! There are roles for everyone, and once you sign up we'll give you full support, training, a shiny hi-vis to wear and even a mention in the run report (see above). The roster is often looking sparse until we start sending out appeals - so please have a think about helping out and taking that pressure off of our support team trying to arrange numbers as we near each Saturday. You'll find it HERE with details of how to contact us also.

(photo from Darren Ramsey)

Wasn't it a hot day too? Some would even dare to say "too hot for running". Well 68 of you managed to overcome that heat and got a new PB this week. That's a real moment to be proud of. Please do take care out there though, bring a bottle of water for you at the finish, or maybe reassess your efforts if you start to feel unwell on your run - there's always another week to come back and try again, so please take care of yourself as the priority.

We were fortunate to have water and CAKE (it's amazing how peoples ears prick up when we announce cake) this week put on by 2 ladies from the local Danson Runners club. As they look to raise funds for their chosen charities for whom they'll be taking part in next years London Marathon. Karen and Melissa wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone for helping make it such a huge success. With donations of cakes and contributions they were able to raise £500 for thier charities, so that’s £250 going to WellChild and £250 going to Mencap. Well Done ladies and thanks from everyone for putting it on.

cake sale
(photo from John Green)

2 photographers were out there as well - check out our facebook and flickr pages for the snaps.

As I mentioned above, it seriously is sometimes just not your day for that PB. We did have an incident with one of our runners today which was thankfully managed by the quick thinking and response of a few of our team. A number of you have asked for feedback and I am pleased to say that the lady in question is now being looked after at Kings and will be slowly recovering back to full strength - with hopes of getting back to parkrun in the near future. I would personally like to pass on thanks also to everyone involved in wrapping up the event too whilst I was away due to this, to my team and friends for their professionalism and calmness and to the ambulance staff who attended.

During this incident we were able to contact someone on her behalf to pass on important information - this was only possible because she had run with her barcode - and her ICE (In Case of Emergency) details were up-to-date. We do not insist that people run with their printed barcode, or payout for the wristbands or tags - however they do allow for us to identify you and notify someone on your behalf should there ever be a need. These issues are ever present in all walks of life and it's important to keep them up-to-date also.

(some barcode options to purchase HERE)

With over 500 attendees every week I do need to ask that you pay attention to any special announcements at the beginning of each event in case of changes to the course, or other requests.
Be mindful of your surroundings too, the path is not an ideal place to stand - allow room for other park users, and that should follow through to anywhere both on the course.
When you finish, please use the ample space on the grass to sit down, catch your breath, for chatting or if you're queue for scanning.

Also when you are arriving or leaving. We are at a point where parking is at a premium and the overflow car park has not been available some weeks due to events or time of the gates being opened - try and arrive early, car share, plan alternative parking or arrive via public transport. Also with leaving, as the car park is busy you have to pay attention to other cars and pedestrians. Recent issues reported to the council may result in problems for us hosting the parkrun here. There have been complaints made now concerning runners attitudes and damage to vehicles in the car park - can you try and help us out by taking preventative measures in your actions - then we can all enjoy what parkrun brings.

Back to Saturday, still some things to mention!

Sydney Smith and Dave Ham became the newest members of the 50 club, whilst Yomi Alli completed his 100th parkrun.
Anthony McGinty, Steve Law, Kevin Ringer and Laura Williams all hit the 150 and Geoff Currell took time out of his parkrun tourism to return to Bexley to pay his respects to Mel and to complete his 200th parkrun.

(Photo from Darren Ramsey)

A few of you more veteran parkrunners may remember that we used to put on pacing events - this is something we're keen to reintroduce to your Saturday morning. The pacer bibs have been redesigned over at parkrun towers and we will be purchasing a set in order to bring back these monthly events. Look out for further details to come including dates and a request for you to wear a vest and help others reach their goal. In the meantime if you want to help donate towards these, or other costs that we encounter at Bexley parkrun you can do so HERE .

We all come to parkrun for different reasons. Some turn up at 8:55 and are gone as soon as they're scanned, some are there from 8:20 and don't leave till the tail walker finishes and the kit's all packed away. Some come with family, some with friends, some come alone. Some run in their club colours, some in event tshirts, flashy labels or just an old cotton tshirt. Some come to volunteer - never running at all. Some have the newest GPS watch and all the gadgets, some have a crumpled barcode and never get a suntan line on their wrists.

But we are all parkrunners. That's what makes us special in our own right. Every finisher covers the same distance and every volunteer equally share the thank yous with their hi-vis partners.

Thank you all for being who you are.

Mel wreath
(Photo from Darren Ramsey)

Bexley parkrun started on 4th February 2012. Since then 8,636 participants have completed 80,487 parkruns covering a total distance of 402,435 km, including 14,074 new Personal Bests.

Have a great week, and we'll see you Saturday

Paul and the team.


Looking back to the NHS 70 run

When we had the above run from 2 weeks ago, one of our runners John Gan wrote to his local NHS trust in East London with a little introduction to parkrun. They produced the below extract including a picture of John and one of our other runners, Eileen Nobel with her medal for being the eldest female completing this years London Marathon aged over 80 years. Looking good guys!

"The NHS 70 Parkrun took place on Saturday 9 June. This is the first every NHS parkrun and it is to be continued next year.

Over 300 parkruns took part. The sunny weather brought out over 80,000 people to take part. It has been a great NHS initiative to introduce exercise to counter the serious obesity issue facing the country.

Newham's John Gan joined friends in the Bexley Parkrun. John is a fan of Parkruns. He said, "Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around park in the UK, on Saturday morning at 9am. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe, easy to take part in.

nhs run

It is for all abilities, from Olympian e.g. Dame Kelly Homes (who supported the NHS 70) and a not very fit person like myself! We have “Parkrunners” who run with their children, dogs or some not so fit, who can walk the distance or even half the distance. But there is always a volunteer who will be walking/running at the back of the pack.

If you register at the Parkrun website, print out your own barcode and get it scanned at the end of the run/walk. You will receive a text or email regarding your run time for that week. Parkrun is all inclusive and is for absolutely everyone – walk, jog, or run. And if people can’t do that, then they would be really welcomed to come and help out as a volunteer.

Do give it a try, I believe once you tried it, you will get hooked. Not only you will improve your physical health but also your mental health."

This week 466 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 49 were first timers and 76 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers:

Tony COLVER • Zoe KINGSMELL • Richard FURZE • Andrew KINGSMELL • James WILLIAMS • Judith MITLIN • Phillippa-Jane COLLINS • Claire DALLISON-HAWKINS • David MITCHELL • Jenny SPICELEY • Karen HOGAN • Elizabeth NEWITT • Frederick JOHNSON • Keeley WICKS • Philip WILSON • Jan LAKE • David LAKE • Pat SIMS

Next Saturday we are running in memory of Mel Gordon, who was one of the team who created Bexley parkrun, and the teams original Event Director. Participants are asked to attend in their milestone or tourist apricot tshirts where possible - but attendance in itself is the main thing to remember the life and work of Mel.

We are also pleased to welcome Melissa and Karen from Danson Runners and who are hosting our very first cake sale - which is a perfect partnership to parkrun participation, I'm sure you'll all agree! Dont forget to bring along some change, as well as the all important barcode!

See you Saturday.

Paul and the Team


Bexley parkrun – 16th June 2018

Saturday 16th June was Bexley parkrun's 333rd run - and my 255th (not really a milestone) and 230th at Danson. I had planned to write a run report for my 250th run but was too late in volunteering, and beaten to this by Jonathan, who ran his 250th on the same day.

Taking part in parkrun has become very much part of my Saturday and I look forward to my Saturday morning at Danson, dragging my husband Fred along with me. I love taking part in the run every week, and watching the wildlife in the park. This week there were young coots and mallards on the lake as well as a heron, a pair of Egyptian Geese, and large numbers of Canada Geese.

I enjoy taking part in parkruns in different parts of the country, when I am visiting friends and family or away on holiday. A couple of weeks ago we ran at Bryn Bach parkrun in the Brecon Beacons - another parkrun around a lake - although rather flatter - and it was great to get a faster time, for a change. Worthing parkrun, where my daughter lives, is another faster course I enjoy.

This year I have signed up for Running Down Dementia and am slowly clocking up the kilometres - Alzheimer's Research UK is a great charity to support - Bexley parkrun is currently 9th on the Leader Board - and those of us who have signed up have raised £1,254 to date. Please donate if you can HERE, and if you have signed up for ‘running down dementia’ it would be great to meet you.

This morning we heard the sad news of the deaths of Jane Adamson and Mel Gordon, both will be sadly missed. If you would like further details regarding funeral arrangements for Jane or Mel, please contact us at We are holding a memorial run on the 30th June and would really encourage anyone who has a milestone or tourist t-shirt to wear it on the day. Obviously your attendance is what really counts, we hope you can join us.

It was another fabulous Saturday morning in the park this week. There was little breeze, light cloud, the temperature was warm and the ground was good. There were 535 participants, with 59 first timers and 67 new PBs.
Ian Ellwood was first over the line in 17.47, a new PB , followed by Richard Keep who was second in 18.22 and Euan Williams and Lewis Baker both came in at 18.29, also with new PBs. I would have liked to see the dash for the line!

Jessica Lowe was the first female to finish (22nd overall) in 21.26 which was a new PB , followed by Rose Baker (35th overall) in 21.51 and third was Nicola Bonnet (42nd overall) in 22.12. Well done to all of you with PBs and many thanks to all of the volunteers; Tony COLVER • Richard FURZE • Lynne MALLERY • Judith MITLIN • Tracy HUNT • Keith HIGGINS • Grant GRIFFIN • Phil PARKER • Andy WHITNELL • Sheila BARNS • Melissa STEER • Fiona MORRIS • Ilona MORGAN • Phillip MORGAN • Keith BISHOP • Keith GEORGE • Jan LAKE • David LAKE • Leisa WOODBRIDGE • Sarah COOK • Steve BROWN • Andrea KNIGHT • Jane WHITEFIELD

If you haven't volunteered yet, please have a think about it. There is a range of opportunities, none of them are difficult and full training is provided. As we approach the summer months and many of our regulars take a holiday, the roster can be very thin - please step up if you can.

Thank you to Judith Mitlin for her report above – we now have a few words from 2 of our other regular runners Melissa Steer (59 runs) & Karen Best (65 runs) who are hoping to entice you with cake and goodies (for another good cause).

We're thrilled to announce that we're hosting Bexley parkrun's first ever charity cake sale in aid of our chosen charities, WellChild and Mencap. We are both regular Bexley parkrunners and members of Danson Runners and have been offered the chance to run in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 on behalf of our charities. Our love of running began relatively recently at Bexley parkrun, and from that first 5k we've gone on to run races, covering distances we once thought impossible! This is why running the London Marathon means so much to us and why it would be absolutely amazing if we could have the support of fellow parkrunners as we embark on this journey!

We therefore ask that on Saturday 30th June, you try and bring a bit of spare change with you (although a text donation option is available if you really don't have anywhere for loose change!) and do what parkrunners do best, eat cake!! Free water will also be available to quench that post parkrun thirst!

Let's make Bexley parkrun's first ever cake sale, in its 6 year history, a huge success, we look forward to seeing you on the day and thank you in advance for your support.
And if there are any budding bakers out there, cake contributions would also be warmly welcomed!

So thank you to everyone for their contributions and attendances this week – see you back at Danson on Saturday.


The passing of a legend.

Thank you to Steph for organising what could have been a chaotic parkrun on Saturday morning with a ton of runners and volunteers - and then she goes and writes the run report too! Epic!

This was the second time for me a run director and what a roller coaster ride it was. There was a fantastic turnout of over 550 runners and walkers, some in fancy dress to support the NHS birthday and Oxleas NHS trust, plus many Plumstead runner volunteers, all helpful and vociferous! Virtual round of applause please for Suzie MACKENZIE • Stephanie DUNGATE • Keith Stephen DUNGATE • Paul HILES • Deborah COX • Jim ANDERSON • David WARREN • Pat GRAVELL • Danielle MCTAGGART • Jacqueline AILEY • Tricia HULSE • Robert LENIHAN • Louise TARSKY • Darren CULVERWELL • Emma KILLICK • David KILLICK • Katie WOODWARD • Daniel CUNNINGHAM • Chris WAIT • Natalia PESKAREVA • Graham LEE • Helen MAY • David LAKE • Vanessa ROBINSON • Lawrence ROBINSON • David STICKLAND

Sadly it fell to me to announce the passing, this week, of Mel Gordon, our founding Event Director and fellow parkrunner. Mel was key in setting up our parkrun and later Abbey Wood junior parkrun. Such a lovely, kind and thoughtful man always encouraging and supportive.


Since announcing this news we've had a huge amount of feedback, kind words and offers of donations towards Mel and his family. In light of this his wife has set up a just giving page (link below photo) for any donations towards a charity close to the Gordon family, MACS. As a parkrun family we would also like to send a wreath to the funeral so should you wish to donate to this, there will be a pot at Bexley and Dartford parkrun on 16th June. Any funds over will go straight into the charity donation pot on behalf of us all. Our deepest condolences go out to Teresa and the Gordon family.

Just giving page for Mel

We had quite a few milestone runs this week..........well done

Karen Norton 50
Yemi Oniludi 50
Douglas Osbourne 50
Stephen Talbot 200
Edward Boyling 250

Welcome too to 53 first timers. Can I just remind everyone that Bexley is two lap course, if you don’t want to do both laps that’s fine but please do not go through the funnel. When anyone passes the finish line at the funnel, they will be ‘timed’ so must take a token, if you don’t want to be scanned just hand in the token to a volunteer. Also if you see anyone jump out of the funnel let us know so we can try and keep results on track! (Event Directors addition here - anyone reported for giving abuse to the Funnel Manager keeping you in line, or to any volunteer or other runner on that note, will have their time removed. It's not on and it goes completely against what parkrun stands for)

I would like to say a big thank you to everybody who helped and participated today, running a parkrun is ‘easy’, you just turn up and put in the effort you want to, being RD is rewarding but nerve racking so thanks to all who supported me today.

If you fancy a change one week than give volunteering a go. The most common remark I hear after someone volunteers is “I really enjoyed that”. Easliy done, just check the roster HERE and drop us an email.

Thanks to you all, and it's over to Richard for next weeks event.

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