***Important Announcement*** 20 January 2018

Firstly, a big thank you for all the messages of support this week following the last-minute cancellation of Burgess parkrun on Saturday. We've been really touched, and are very grateful to have such an awesome community! Last week's freedom run certainly stay in the memory for a while!

Following discussions with Southwark Council, we're delighted to announce that we are going to be able to go ahead as normal this Saturday. We have also evaluated our emergency plans, and have a back up route lined up in case of any unforeseen issues.

Apologies again for the confusion last week. Southwark Council had not been informed by the contractor that they planned to work on Saturday, so couldn't let us know about any potential disruption. They remain incredibly supportive of parkrun, and we're looking forward to an ever better Burgess Park when the works have been completed. There may well be some disruption during this time, but we will always update our social media channels and News page with all the information concerning this.

We could do with a couple more pairs of hands, if anyone would be able to volunteer! Please do get in touch - burgessoffice@parkrun.com

Looking forward to a (hopefully) stress-free run on Saturday and seeing you all there! Keep up those New Year goals! Please do share and let other people know we're back!


Defib Fundraising Appeal

parkrun UK is passionate about providing simple, free and safe events. Last year, parkun pledged to have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available at all 5k parkruns. We have built a fantastic running community at Burgess parkrun and we want to preserve what we have and protect you, the runners, who are at the heart of it.

Since our first run in September 2012, we are pleased (and relieved) that we have had no major incidents. However, as more people join our parkrun family, the risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest at our parkrun will increase. In such a situation, the chances of a positive outcome for the sufferer can be dramatically increased if an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available and deployed quickly.

Currently, we have access to an AED located at the BMX track. It would, however, be ideal if we had our own one, that we can get immediate access to in the event of an emergency. Hopefully we will never need to use it, but it could save one of our parkrunners lives.

This week, we have received an incredibly generous donation from one of our regular runners to mark their upcoming 250th parkrun, in order to enable us to do this. We do, however, need a bit more money in order to purchase the most suitable option (as well as additional pads for children), and, as a not-for-profit organisation, we need your help to achieve this.

What we hope to purchase

We hope to raise sufficient funds to purchase a Samaritan 500P Defibrillator with CPR Advisor. It is designed with an untrained rescuer in mind. It is simple to use and talks the rescuer through the process of saving a life.

How you can help

Please make a donation on the about ussection of the Burgess parkrun website. Click the "donate to parkrun" button in the middle of the screen.

Important: On the confirmation screen (the screen after you enter your payment details) please add a special instruction saying "For Burgess parkrun". 

All donations, however small, will help us reach our target. Donations can take up to 48 hours before they appear on our website.

We can not accept any cash donations, but if you would prefer to make a donation by cheque then please email accounts@parkrun.com to arrange that directly with parkrun UK (again, please make it clear that the donation is for the Burgess parkrun AED).

Many, many thanks in advance,

The Burgess parkrun Team


Run 221 – Birthday and Ciao

For only the second time in 221 runs, Burgess parkrunners were greeted with actual snowfall at last Saturday's parkrun making for brutal conditions, particularly for the incredibly hardy volunteers. According to our resident Burgess historian, John, that's the first time since 2013 that we suffered snowfall during a run. Although a lot has changed since then, not least the fact that only 35 runners completed the course that day, compared to the 191 who took it on and won last time out, rather coincidentally, on both days a birthday of a regular was being celebrated. On that day in 2013, local Ironman legend and SilverFit organiser Eddie Brocklesby was celebrating her 70th birthday (drinking prosecco in the snow remains a Burgess highlight), while last weekend saw the evergreen Aqasa Nu moving up an age category - more on this later.


Huge congratulations to everyone who came along and ran, jogged or walked. 41 people ran at Burgess for the first time in their parkrun careers, with 13 very brave souls completing their first ever parkrun. It doesn't always snow, we promise! There were also a staggering 21 PBs - just think what you'll be able to achieve when it's perfect conditions! An extra shout out to Dee Lye who ran her 100th Burgess parkrun - the epitomy of giving everything each week.

As mentioned earlier, it was a special day for Aqasa - and he was, quite rightly, rewarded with cake, breaking his 12 o'clock no cake rule. He also received a special hoodie to commemorate his banana trips to East Street Market, every week, to provide the field with fruite at the end of the run. Aqasa is a huge part of Burgess, and his enthusiasm, positivity, not to mention words per email, are second to none. Happy Birthday - enjoy the benefits of age grading! Big shout out to Fowlds cafe's little brother, Louie Louie, who provided such an awesome cake, thanks to ED Laura Whelpton's generous donation to their kickstarter.


We also had to say a sad ciao to Michael Caldera, who is going back to his native Italy for a while. Although he only ran for the first time at Burgess last year, since then he racked up 20 volunteer credits, with only 3 runs - one of the best volunteer to run credits that we've ever seen. He'll be greatly missed, particularly for his excellent sense of humour, always on display at Fowlds after the run, and for his dedication to help whenever possible, over the past 8 months. Best of luck for the future, Michael, and we hope you'll come and visit us soon.


Burgess parkrun Stat: Only 13 people have run 100 parkruns or more at Burgess - Neville King leads the way on 152, with Helen Ung (151) and Aqasa Nu (149) next on the list. There'll be a new member this weekend.


Run 220 – It’s like rain, on a parkrun day

Week three of the temporary course, and, with 14 hardy volunteers gathered in Addington Square at 8:30 on Saturday, the rain continued to lash down bringing fears of a rare, rainy parkrun. It certainly didn't dampen enthusiasm for people to get their parkrun fix as a staggering 215 athletes lined up at the start to take on the conditions.

Somewhat fortuitously, the rain actually stopped pretty much as soon as the Run Briefing had finished, and the stampede of runners headed out to the Bridge to Nowhere. We're not quite sure how, but, amazingly, 45 people attained PBs, beating the Burgess Breeze to achieve their best ever time on the course. And, even more kudos to the 18 hardy souls who ran their first ever parkrun. Well done to you - hope you'll back again this week in drier conditions! The runners were brought home by tail runner Darren Fazackerley, who completed his 94th different parkrun, and been tail runner at many of these. Thanks very much Darren!


Regulars at Burgess parkrunn will know that, at the end of the run, there is often a selection of fruit on offer to runners, displayed so beautifully by Alice Aniello, a volunteer this weekend. Far from the parkrun fairy bringing them each week, they're actually donations, usually provided by Aqasa "Banana Man" Nu and Josephine "Orange Lady" Ocaka, at their own expense.So, I'm sure everyone would like to say a huge thank you to them for what they bring to the parkrun party each week.


If anyone else is interested in donating, you can either follow their lead and bring fruit/treats for the end, or, if you prefer, you can do so online here: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/burgess/aboutus/  parkrun is completely free to take part in, but occasionally we need to replace broken equipment or buy other things to improve Burgess parkrun. For example, last weekend saw the deployment of the new volunteer whiteboard, and this weekend, you'll see the new megaphone, or the Mumbyphone in action - items we've only been able to purchase thanks to a very generous donation from Hannah Mumby.

It's been a busy week behind the scenes at Burgess, with some extra-curricular marshalling at the Winter Run in London, as well as the first discussion about bringing Junior parkrun to Southwark (more on this next week). Throw in some time trying to figure out potential routes when the lake path reopens, and it's been highly productive. We're estimating another three weeks of the temporary course, and then after that, we'll be looking at plans for the future course. We'd love to hear what you think, so do drop us an email at burgessoffice@parkrun.com to let us know.


Burgess Stat: The most common first finisher times for males is 17:03 (7 times) and for females is 19:46 (5 times).


Run 219 – The Third Biggest Ever

After the successful launch and deployment of the temporary course last week, the Arctic temperatures had relented somewhat, but murky skies Burgess parkrunners on Saturday monring. Led by Burgess parkrun's most flexible and yoga-rific RD Alison, the largest team of volunteers ever seen at a Burgess parkrun rapidly set up the finish funnel, dispersed onto the course to marshal, gave briefings and started the stopwatches, hoping the rain would hold off.


Gloomy skies over Burgess

Spoiler alert - it didn't. But, fortunately, it was neither especially heavy or prolonged, and a lucky few may even have beaten it to the finish. A jam-packed start indicated a large field, and eyes didn't deceive as 251 runners completed the course, ranging in age from 11 to 73, and in times from 17:08 to 55:26. This made Saturday's run the third largest in Burgess parkrun history, including 50 first timers and 30 PBs (congratulations to all). And, a big welcome the 19 people who completed their very first parkrun - we hope you're all back again next week!

Joining milestone clubs this week were Jerusha Tonge and Matthew White, who both completed their 50th runs, while Alex Akom joined the 100 Club, 99 of which have been done at Burgess. The historians have got together and are pretty confident that nobody has completed a higher percentage of their first 100 runs at Burgess than Alex, so a massive well done to him, and extra kudos for the loyalty! It was also fantastic to welcome a small party of local GoodGym-ers - and their red t-shirts fitted in well the Chinese New Year theme. Back in September, parkrun joined forces with GoodGym, a running community that combine exercise and helping in local communities, and the shared goals will only continue to make communities stronger, better and healthier.


Team GoodGym

The run, this week, was brought home by our fabulous regular Josephine Ocaka, who fulfilled the role of tail runner for the third time. Since the turn of the year, it has become compulsory for all parkrun events to have one, so we're definitely on the look out for volunteers to take on this role in the future. Having a tail runner is extemely important, not just from a safety point of view making it easy to identify the last runner, but also from a social/engagement aspect, as you can really support the person who probably needs it most. Throw in the fact that it means nobody ever finishes last, other than by choice, and it really does help break down so many barriers to exercise.

Chatting with Felicia Adjarho at the weekend, who finished 250th, the importance of this encouragement was incredibly apparent. In the 4 weeks she has been coming to Burgess, she has got faster and fitter each week, taking off 2 minutes from her first time, not to mention attaining a huge reduction in her BMI. The personification of parkrun.

Huge, huge thanks to all the volunteers that helped out this weekend. They're all runners who have wanted to give something back, and without volunteers, none of this would be possible. It would be a massive help if as many people as possible could opt in to receive volunteer appeals - it's really easy to do and can be done by clicking the link to your profile from a Results email. And, after the run, everybody is welcome to come along and to Fowlds and help with results processing, token sorting and chatting!


Coffee and Token Sorting @Fowlds

Burgess Stat: Only twice has the number of finishers matched the number of the run taking place - 97 finishers on Run 97 and 163 finishers at Run 163.

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