Run Report Event no. 513 – 12th April 2014

 Run Report Event No. 513 – 12th April 2014

Another Saturday morning + another bright and dry start to the day + another 900+ runners gathered by the start tree listening to Ray’s announcements = business as usual at Bushy parkrun!

Runners toe the line for Bushy parkrun #513

969 runners set off on Bushy parkrun #513

969 runners set off on Bushy parkrun #513

In total 969 of us enjoyed another beautiful run in our lovely Royal Park, and we were joined this week by parkrun tourists from Havant who were in London for the Marathon.  At the start of the run one lady very kindly handed in to Event Director Ray some contact lenses that had been lost... only to approach him at the end of the run to ask for them back because she had realised they were hers!

Marathon fever

I always think that there’s an additional buzz in the air for runners on London Marathon weekend – I hope anyone running this year had a great day... it was a hot one!  It is well and truly Spring marathon season at the moment and a couple of Bushy regulars ran amazing races at the Brighton Marathon last week: well done to the current leader of the female points table, Polly Adams, on her amazing 3:11:55 time and first place in her age group! And also well done to Liz Zass who finished an amazing 6th in her age group with a Good for Age time! 

We are lucky to be surrounded by so many class runners here at Bushy and it is such a great hotbed of knowledge, information and sharing experiences - I, for one, really enjoy the hour (or two!) in the Pheasantry after parkrun listening to and quizzing fellow runners about events / distances they have competed in that I may one day be tempted to sign up for.  Maybe because parkrun is a run not a race, I find everyone to be incredibly supportive and proud of each others’ achievements, which is a wonderful thing.  

One such inspiring event is the Thames Path 100 mile race in 3 weeks time which sees around 300 runners attempt to run from Richmond to Oxford.  My husband, Michael, is running it and I am therefore writing this report on Saturday afternoon from a noisy, busy coffee shop in deepest darkest Oxfordshire, having dropped him off somewhere on the Thames Path in Berkshire for a training run -  I am awaiting his arrival 24 miles upstream!  It’s a great opportunity for me to have a good look at this week’s Bushy parkrun results...

The results bit

This week I ran with friend Sharon Rowe and enjoyed, in her words, a really lovely ‘sedate’ run as I was running the marathon the next day.  Needless to say, we missed Jermaine King Mays coming home as first finisher in 15:11 which is a new PB for him on his 5th parkrun – well done Jermaine!  Jed Leicester, volunteering on the last tree, was too in awe of Jermaine’s speed that he missed taking a photo of him!  Luckily Rodney McCulloch was on the ball and supplied this great action shot of Jermain...

First finisher Jermaine  King Mays

Jed did, however, capture Paul Lowe coming in second in a time of 16:08. 

RR Paul Lowe [1]

Third finisher was Samuel Robinson in 16:30 also with a shiny new PB!

First female to the tree was Ruth Haynes in 18:58, followed by Joanna Rodriguez in 19:46 and then Florence Taylor in 19:59... speedy ladies!

Amongst our junior runners was Myles Kemp, first on the imaginary junior male podium, in a time of 19:13.  Joining him on the second step was Edward Charles Gerald Soane in 19:51 on his first visit to Bushy parkrun, and on the third step with a time of 19:54 was Goldie Luzolo.  On the top step of the junior female podium was Gemma Lucy Watts in a new PB of 21:58.  Joining her was Danielle Thompson with a time of 22:47 in her first visit to Bushy parkrun and Jessica Lillywhite with her time of 23:11.

Maybe due to good conditions underfoot and warm, still air there were incredibly 165 new PBs this week which is 17% of the field... well done if that was you!  Members of the 100 Club achieving a new PB this week were: Paul Boddey, Chris Brimacombe, Graham Shaw, Neil Hankey, Rebecca Lunn, Joseph Lahlou, Jennifer Kissane, Jacquie Robinson, Wendy Robertson, Jackie Dunkley and Rose O’Neil – well done!  There are many interesting and differing ways that people set about aiming for a new PB on a Saturday morning – some follow a specific training plan to improve their 5K speed, others tuck in secretly behind someone they know can run that speed, others get a friend to pace them round and others simply GO FOR IT!!!  Andy Wingate employed a novel technique last weekend in a 10K race as he wore for the first time a pair of trainers he bought a few months ago from a salesman who told him they were a ‘guaranteed PB in a box’... guess what?... new 10K PB! 

One of the beauties of parkrun is that you don’t have to be a fast runner or attempt to get a new PB... you are rewarded with membership of the clubs through attendance.  This week Carol and Emma Dickinson were on t-shirt duty under the gazebo giving away t-shirts to those parkrunners who have achieved milestones in the last month or two.  This week there were no new members of the 250 Club, but we welcome Simon Neil to the 100 Club, and Phil Torode, Tracy Thompson, Chris Meara, Daniel Wren and Charles A Clifford to the 50 Club.  Joseph Brown and Alex Moran were the 2 juniors to join the 10 Club this week.  Look out for your emails, guys, and be sure to reply requesting your size...!

Thank you as ever to the volunteers this week that ensured Bushy parkrun could go ahead: Alex Fergusson, Alison Todd, Andrew John Wingate, Ann Coward, Anne Woods, Ayan Hyderi, Ayoub Benzerroun, Carol Margaret Dickinson, Carolyn Lovegrove, David Klein, Emma Dickinson, Florence Corvi, Fran Kendon, Graham Mortimer, Hayden Matthews, Janice Franks, Jed Leicester, Jim Holder, John A Stephens, Julie Melotte, Justine Albert, Lou Coaker, Michael Trott, Nick Wright, Pat McGrath, Peter Christian, Polly Adams, Ray Bairstow, Ray Coward, Ray Franks, Robert Lovegrove, Rodney Howard McCulloch, Romit Basu and Steve Smith.  You don’t need to be called Ray to volunteer – although from the list above it looks as if it might help! – it is open to all runners and members of their family too.  There are many roles to try and every parkrun depends on a certain number of volunteers each week in order to go ahead so, if you haven’t tried it before, please consider putting your name down by emailing  It is fun and really interesting to see parkrun from the other side...

Happy running this week, and see you next Saturday... same time, same place!

Rachel Lonergan

Don't forget you can now follow us on Twitter at
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Still want more? . . . then listen to ‘the parkrun show’ podcast – out every Tuesday, with Danny Norman and Nicola Forwood


Bushy parkrun No. 512 – 5th April 2014

We need to think about the future – a request for help!


I think it is reasonably fair to say that Bushy parkrun largely runs itself. We have a really strong community and are thankfully rarely short of volunteers. Even then there are a bunch of people we can ask for help on the day. Every week we get something like 25 people to give up their time for the benefit of others, which is amazing. This is mostly on the Saturday, but there are also a few people who do things behind the scenes during the week and this shouldn’t go unnoticed. People like…

Pat McGrath, who organises the volunteers roster and ensures all the positions are covered.

Jan and Ray Franks, who check all the finished tokens and make replacement for any when they are swiped by either that dastardly ‘Unknown Runner’ or Brigid Hibberd.

The kit team who store all our stuff and obviously Ray C has a few things to do each week in terms of fixing any issues with the results and liaising with parkrun HQ or the Royal Parks.

However, we also have a core team who meet up once every six months or so to plan a few bits and pieces. This is generally pretty simple stuff – working out who we can ask to give out the trophies on Anniversary weekend, have a think about any new kit we could do with or discuss any problems that come up. It’s not exactly onerous and there is usually a glass of wine involved.

This week, we had one such meeting and agenda items included some planning for the 10th Anniversary, a discussion about message of condolence sent after the tragic death of a runner at Ashton Court parkrun and a review of how much money has been spent over the last six month – very little actually, mostly going on AA batteries for the timer!

However, there was one item which caused much discussion and it was suggested that we throw it out to the wider parkrun community - if you have any ideas please drop Ray a note at

What happens when…

Bushy parkrun continues to grow and we generally continue to cope with that growth pretty well. We have always believed that environmental factors would eventually be the limiting factor on our numbers such as how busy the carpark gets, how long the queues are at registration or the brilliance of others local runs at Crane, Richmond, Old Deer or wherever – however the lure of Bushy Park and the buzz that 1,000 amazing runners bring with them is too strong and we continue to grow! Please don’t get me wrong – we love every one of our amazing runners and do not want to discourage anyone from coming!

Rodney – cue growth chart!!!


However, we had a discussion to work out what the plan would be if we ever get to a number which is felt needs addressing from either a logistical point of view or one of health and safety. Hopefully, we will never reach this number and our current processes will suffice, but we do need a plan in place.

If we did ever get to a field of 1,500 or 2,000 or something - what should we do to cope? If you have any ideas, please let us know!


Have a think about where the pinch points would be with a field that size…

The startline – we already fill the natural bowl by the big tree and Ray’s announcements are tough to hear from the back. How do you fix this?

Around the course – 2,000 runners tearing down Chestnut Avenue would be a sight to behold, but a trip near the front would be a concern!

The finish – our double funnel is already pretty full and sometimes manic. How do you cope with 50% more runners?

Pretty much everything is in scope! However,

  1. We won’t be moving to chip timing – it requires power, techonology and lots of money. That is not sustainable for a run which is free to the end user like parkrun and it is also against the idea of print barcode, turn up, run!
  2. There is no second course in Bushy Park. The Royal Parks Authority are largely content with Bushy parkrun, but wouldn’t be impressed at the idea of Bushy parkrun version 2.0.
  3. All runners are equal. Whether you only get 15 minutes of value out of your weekly Bushy parkrun or an hour, we love you all! No-one is excluded or disadvantaged!

So get your thinking caps on and let us know your ideas

Thanks guys and we’ll let you know the ideas that were generated sometime over the summer!


The 512th Bushy parkrun


Well, we woke up to good decent weather again this week and I was expecting another big field. To describe 967 as small is missing the point, but it was some way below our recent run of four 1,000+ attendances. It was nice in many ways as it takes a bit of the stress off the volunteers and everyone can take it a little bit easier. Although one volunteer not taking it easy this week was George Longstaff…

Biting off more than he could chew

George is a regular at Bushy parkrun with 138 laps of the park to his name and an impressive 23:37 PB. He has twin daughters who he is very proud of and this week he decided to take the volunteering role of Lead Bike with the kids strapped into a tag-along buggy! We asked before the run if he was going to be okay and he said he was confident, but just to be sure he got a good lead by starting part way down Chestnut Avenue.

Lead Bike is a tough job – you cycle ahead of the field and to some degree show the runners the route, but the primary task is to warn other park users that a load of runners will be coming past shortly.

Please note – This is best done from a position in front of the runner!

George miscalculated how much extra resistance dragging a buggy adds, especially over the uneven ground of the first and last kilometres and quite simply how fast the guys at the front run. At around 2km, the leader Anthony Jackson edged past the speeding cyclist and jokingly suggested ‘You need to push on a bit’. For the next two kilometres, George raced round the course somewhere near 5 or 6th place – before sneakily cutting out the grass round Lion Gate and going straight along the path. He rejoined the course just behind Anthony at the Fountain roundabout and managed to hold second place into the finish.

Possibly not the best lead bike duties ever conducted, but he certainly gave the rest of the volunteer team a chuckle and maybe made a few of them re-evaluate any plans to take on that role!

Anthony sprinting for the line with George in hot pursuit

After he caught his breath he suggested ‘that was a bit harder than I thought!’

Brilliant job, George! You weren’t the first Lead Bike to be overtaken and I am confident you won’t be the last. Thank you for your work this weekend – nothing went wrong and we all had a smile about it!


See you at the finish line

This week saw something pretty humdrum at Bushy parkrun, but also something quite special.

That Anthony Jackson was the first finisher is nothing new – he has accomplished that feat on 45 occasions prior to this week meaning he has come home first in 34% of his outings in our parkrun. He leads the table of first finishers by quite some way – 24 ahead of Mike Trees. However, this week was the first time he has come home first five times in a row. Only Dermot Cummins has achieved the same at Bushy parkrun when from February 2005 to early March, Dermot was first back to the big tree each time.

Tragically for the streak, Anthony has bigger fish to fry next weekend with an early train to Greenwich on the Sunday for the Virgin Money London Marathon, so I would imagine he won’t be parkrunning the day before.

He is one of the nicest guys at Bushy Park and should do an amazing time at the London Marathon. But even if something doesn’t go to plan on Sunday it won’t change one thing - in our particular corner of South West London he is very special. Well done Anthony – you’re a Bushy parkrun legend!

Another first finish in the bag!


The results

As mentioned there were 967 runers who completed a lap of Bushy park. Anthony Jackson was first back to the big tree in a time of 15:47, with Olly Laws (15:57) and Andrew Lawrence (16:27) following him home. The juniors saw Harry Mathews finish first in 17@12 ahead of Max Wilkinson (18:04) and James Sothcott (18:09).


The ladies event saw a new age category record for first finisher Michelle Dillion in 17:34 with Florence Taylor (19:47) and junior runner Hanna Lidbetter (19:57) making up the rest of the podium.

After breaking her own Age Group record, Michelle Dillon was a bit tired

Hanna was obviously the fastest in the junior event with Beatrice Williams (21:23) and Louise Mills (21:57) following her home.

Great running all of you!


Special Achievements and Milestones

Eight runners achieved over the magic 80% threshold for their WAVA Age Grading, but the new Age Group Record from Michelle Dillon means she takes home the spoils with a score of 87.1%! Well done also goes to Anthony Jackson, Olly Laws, Craig Halsey, Bernie Mulvany, Steve Smith, Polly Adams and Dee Smale

There were 152 new PBs recorded with an amazing 16 of them having 50 or more parkruns to their name! Top of the list is Jennifer Kissane who recorded 25:52 for a 10 second Personal Best on her 148th lap pf Bushy Park. Well done should also go to Max Wilkinson, Andrew Melbourne, Chris Brimacombe, Florence Taylor, Julian Diamond, Chris Ford, Graham Shaw, Jonathan Harris, Hardev Bal, Pat Price, Mark Murphy, Samuel Kintoff, Joseph Lahlou, Alex Fergusson and Jane Davidson.

And celebrating dedication I would like to congratulate George Greenhill, Roly Lucas, Harry Mann, Meredith Kendall and Mike Hilborne on reaching the 100 Club and especially Chris Ford who did it in style with a new PB. While Polly Bignall will be being fitted for her new 50 Club T-Shirt after her run this week.


Special congratulations to some very special juniors

A couple of months ago three of our junior runners completed their first parkrun and politely asked one of our T-Shirt team, Suzan Baker, how they qualified for a parkrun T-Shirt. Suzan obviously explained they need to be dedicated and run the event 10 times.

Well, now Ayoub, Bilal and Hiba Benzerroun have all qualified for their white parkrun tops and appear to have made it a real family affair with a whole bunch of parents, aunts and uncles making the trip to Bushy Park each week! Brilliant job guys and wear those shirts with pride!



At the back of the pack

Most weeks the brilliant Sally Willis is the last runner to cross the finish line, but this week we had to wait a few moments after Sally had been cheered home. Whilst Andrew Melbourne was scorching round to 25th place and a new PB, his wife Jennifer was moving at a somewhat more sensible pace! She was running round with a friend, Ruth Lewis and their two 4 year old daughters. So amazing congratulations goes to Isabel Melbourne and Florrie Hunt on their first lap of the park!

Isabel and Florrie making a break
Please note good heel lift on both the girls, although Florrie could do with working on her arm action a little! ;O)


Anyway, that’ll do for this week.

Take care and see you on Saturday

Andy W

PS. Thanks to Rodney McCulloch and Suzan Baker for the photos

Don't forget you can now follow us on Twitter at
and for Bushy parkrun on facebook

and for parkrun UK on facebook at

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Bushy parkrun No. 511 29th March 2014

‘Blessed with beautiful weather’


Quite a magical moment cycling through Bushy Park, passing by the beautiful deer relaxing in the early morning sunshine, what a lovely way to start the day.

The Deer enjoying the early morning sunshine
The weather in March has been fantastic especially on Saturday mornings at Bushy Park parkrun as for four consecutive weekends we have had over a thousand runners completing the 5 km course – the first time this has happened. Will we make it five in a row for the first run in April?

Myself turning up to register with Ann Coward (Volunteer Co-ordinator), it was nice to see the runners and volunteers catching up on news, warming up, or even having physio treatment from the trainee physio therapists from St Mary’s College.


Before the 9am start, Ray Coward was making his announcements to the 1044 runners lining up, as well as his welcoming, ‘good morning’ to all the runners. His announcements always include giving a gentle reminder, ‘please give consideration especially to the public and other runners’.

The atmosphere was buzzing, the sun was shining and the runners were getting ready to go.






The runners head off towards Teddington gate

I was part of the scanning team which, I always enjoy. Ray Coward the Event Director assembled the team to go through the procedure of scanning each runner and taking their token off them so they didn’t go missing.

Ray was superb, giving me tips on scanning the barcode, and placing the bucket in front of me on the stool, in this way I was able to place the tokens given to me by the runners straight into the bucket, so they didn’t go missing; it might sound simple but when you have a queue, there is no time to think.

The system worked brilliantly well, and… drum roll… this Saturday no TOKENS went missing. Well done to all the scanners and to the finish token support team and also to the kind people sorting out the tokens in the Pheasantry.


Funnel Management

As the 1,044 runners were completing the course the funnel management team were preparing the final touches to the Double  Funnel, it was business as normal.


Rodney kindly told me to hurry up to take the picture of the Funnel Management Team, and rightly so, as just a few minutes later the leading runner, Anthony Jackson was closing in on the finishing line ahead of the field. Rodney was given just enough time to position his team along the Double Funnel.


Double Funnel Stats

The number of runners passing through the finish line between minute 20 and 29, were as follows:

Minute        No of runners

20              31

21              62

22              73

23              77

24              86

25              84

26              74

27              89

28              64

29              62


Rodney said the whole team were brilliant, so congratulations to all of the funnel team, and also to Kirsty Bangham (The Timer).


The results

Out of the 1044 runners there were 33 New Timers, of which 23 completed their first parkrun at Bushy Park, and 123 runners achieved a new Personal Best (New PB), 12% of the field. The first man over the finish line was…

Anthony Jackson in a time of 15:34, just two seconds outside his PB, finishing ahead of Paul Lowe, in 16:23, and Jonny Muir, in 16.30.

The ladies were led home by Mollie O’Sullivan, in 18.50, ahead of Katherine Philp in 19:02, and Sarah Kinsella in 19:05



Meredith Kendall will be completing her 100th run next Saturday. Many congratulations.


50 parkruns

Completing 50 runs and earning their well-deserved 50 t shirts were:

Nicola Jenkins, Linda Grover & Celia Holmes

Nicola Jenkins made a lovely comment on facebook, saying ‘what a beautiful day’. Nicola also said she received her result whilst having a massage, after achieving a new PB knocking 32 seconds off her time.


Age Gradings over 80% this week were

Pamela Whitter 83.05%, and Mollie O’Sullivan 83.45%, congratulations to both of you.



Both myself and Jo Newstead, entered the Swimathon at the Hampton Pool for Sport Relief last Saturday evening starting at 7.30pm. The challenge was 2.5 km, 72 lengths of the pool. We were both thrilled to complete the challenge, Jo in 1 hour 17 mins, and myself in 1 hour 14 minutes.

It was an amazing achievement. I wish I had taken a picture of us after the event at the Hampton Pool, but we wanted to head for Carluccio’s as soon as possible in Kingston to celebrate, so I decided to have the picture taken of us holding our medals in the beautiful gardens outside the Pheasantry.


The Pheasantry

After a lovely cup of tea and a chat with friends, it was time to head home.


Enjoy running, be safe, see you all next week and please DFYB (Don’t forget your barcode).


Simon Lane


Don't forget you can now follow us on Twitter at

 and for Bushy parkrun on facebook at

Still want more? . . . then listen to ‘the parkrun show’ podcast – out every Tuesday

Want to give feedback? Have anything to say or want anyone mentioned in future run reports? Please e-mail


Run Report Event 510 – 22nd March 2014

parkrun is a phenomenon!

I pondered this as I stood, camera in hand, close to the 4km point and marvelled at the dense herd of runners which just kept coming and coming and coming.

I've often wondered about similarities between parkrun and religion. (Teachers and philosophers - discuss!) I have an eulogy to write, urgent work-chores, urgent home-chores, and other time pressures too. But, here I am, roving parkrun-reporter again; parkrun devotion is right at the top of the priorities list; indeed, it must be a phenomenon. In the words of David ROWE, "parkrun is a staple of our weekends".

If you need more proof, check out this cheery good-looking bunch who travelled all the way from Teeside. They are Iain Gordon HALL, Rachael Louise HALL, Ann JEFFERY, and Unknown of "The Swift-tees".


And, they were not the furthest travelled! For example, a party of 8 travelled from St. Andrews parkrun in Scotland. Check out David's blog for the full details of the lovely story about 10 year-old Anna HEDLEY who has age-grade pro-rata times that are olympic pace! (I wonder where the 2024 games will be held? My bet is Paris France. Can you see why? ;) If I can, I'll look out for you Anna. )

Screen shot 2014-03-23 at 11.36.59

Thank you David :-

So many firsts!

There were so many firsts today! Congratulations to Carmen and Jeremy PALMER, and Dave James GRIFFITHS on attaining 250 runs. Surely, it must be a record to get 3 on the same day!?

The photo's bit…

1031 started. Thanks Stefan KRUEGER for being expert lead safety bike again and not running me over.


Stampede! They are bearing down on me. Time to go.


Anthony JACKSON lead at 4km and was first over the line with a blistering 15:53 time. I got an unexpected coaching tip : at 4 km, the front runners' breathing sounds like furnace bellows at full-welly. I must try to copy?


The first lady was Lucy HASELL (17:23). I marvel at how good she looks at 4km.


First 4-paws is Sam with alternative handler Alex HANKEY. (I'm starting to worry that he has been stolen from me!?) The anticipated battle-royale with usual top-dog Stanley did not happen. Stanley's human, Mark COOP, finished behind at 21:30 but without his 4-legged friend today. Interestingly, this shows that Mark is "the brakes" of the partnership but not as much as previously speculated : the difference is probably only 10 to 15 seconds. I hope Stanley is well. (Please Mark, if you read this, get in touch via Come back soon matey. Get well soon? We miss you.




New dog on the block Flame would have claimed Silver if human Matt SHEARS had remembered his bar-code. 25:05 is usually well outside the doggie-podium and highlights how much we are missing Stanley, Missy, Boris, Bella, Figgy, and Bertie et. al. 9 year old Battersea rescued Flame loves the parkrun and caring Matt is sensitive to not over-stress her pace-wise. We need more like you Matt! That is definitely "C" for consideration.


This lady in the smart rowing top is probably the human of the bronze doggie podium. Sorry! "journo' failure" leaves me clueless for names and stat's


Flame shows a keen finish as the humans stop their watches.


Just behind is rightful silver medallist Inca with her human Mark T B WILLIAMS at 25:08


The doggie part...

Today saw a massive performance by Sam and Alex HANKEY; they were first 4-paws home in 21:11 ; ordinarily, this would generate a sprint for the line with Stanley in a photo-finish; only once has he achieved a faster time than this - which was 20:57 10 weeks ago. Handler Alex HANKEY kindly gave an interview :-

Yeah, I was really on it. I needed to be. Yeah, I feel amazing. I smashed it! PB! PB! PB!.

Last week, I thought I'd had him licked at 4k. But Sam just blew-up. He had nothing left. He lost all strength, and Stan passed us like an express train. He's so strong.

But we're back, we put in the work during the week. Sam's preparation was good. At the end of the day, we put down a time that will let Stan know we're here.

I kept on wondering when he'd pass. I thought "he must be on my shoulder by now?"  I don't think he ran? I hope he's okay.

The all important doggie podium is :-
gold => Sam (Alex HANKEY) 21:11
silver => Inca (Mark T B WILLIAMS) 25:08
bronze => unknown (sorry)

Dog controversy

Controversially, today was also a first for slightly unsavoury reasons, and the incident has already been dubbed "dog-poo-gate". Our funnel management experts are well versed to deal with "the duckers and the chuckers" but it seems that poop-scoopers should to be added to the manual too.

Funnel manager Rodney McCULLOCH (who has over 100 funnels-worth of experience - which comes in handy when dealing with today's 7th largest ever field) recounted the incident :-
I have to hold my hands up and say I didn't see it happen, only the aftermath! It was already getting busy up to 24 minutes, one side of the funnel was queuing while the other side was starting to get full.
It was when I turned around that I noticed this woman just standing still in the funnel literally in front of the front gate and she was fumbling around in her pockets and I asked her to move on as she'd lose her position in the funnel (I wrongly assumed she was looking for keys/phone/barcode) but she refused to move!
I didn't look down so I didn't even realise why she'd stopped. I must have been so focused I didn't even notice a dog - but others have told me for definite that's why she stopped, to do a poop-a-scoop for her dog! I have to say though she must have done a tidy job clearing it as there was no sight of it on the ground afterwards thank goodness!
Unfortunately we couldn't switch the funnel at this particularly busy time because she was standing in the way of the front gate, but I'm very glad she cleaned up after her dog!


I'm glad to see she was equipped and did her duty well and with consideration. (Woe betide all those who are not equipped.) It's just plain unlucky that the pooch picked that crucial spot. We don't think it's ever happened before in all parkrun history. But now that we are aware, we can deal with it.

It's a doggie fact-of-life; they will do this. Their humans must always carry poop-bags (and, thankfully, almost all of them do). Also they must consider the effects on other runners. I find you can quickly notice the signs in time to safely steer to the side, and out of the traffic, before the brakes go on. Some elect to use the track-side at all times. The smart ones, with an eye on the glory of the doggie-podium, include a poop-routine into their warm up ;)



I'm Neil Hankey ( I'm a recent VM50-55. I started parkrunning because (a) parkrunner Ann Hagell recommended it most highly - she said I'd love tracking my progress with the stat's, and (b) to get fit enough to enter canix events with my daughter's collie dog Sam ('Bam') Hankey. Now aged 2 years, Sam "Bam" and I are official running partners and are hoping to regularly finish among or ahead of the doggy elite runners of Bushy. I'll use this platform to highlight and inform on the man's-best-friend-aspect of the parkrun. Watch this space in future weeks (when it's my turn) to read all about the fascinating run that's within the parkrun; there will be info' on runners and their humans, equipment, training, techniques, etiquette, safety, and much much more!
I'm quite new to run-reporting; the following notes will apply to this and future reports :-
(1) I have no journalistic training; and, even worse, my school english 'o' level result grades were "C" and "U" from a "bog-standard" comprehensive school, up t'north, with 1800 pupils. Please adjust your expectations accordingly!
(2) Generally, I prefer dogs to people.
(3) Whilst I promise to do my best not to offend nor omit important news, I recognise I'm very far from perfect and almost certainly likely to do both! People having serious issue with my reporting should contact the run director to demand a full refund.

Don't forget you can now follow us on Twitter at

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and for Bushy parkrun on facebook

Still want more? . . . then listen to ‘the parkrun show’ podcast – out every Monday

And the link for the JustGiving site for the Royal Parks Foundation is:
Want to give feedback? Have anything to say or want anyone mentioned in future race reports? Please


Run Report Event 509 – 15th March 2014

 Run Report Event No. 509 – 15th March 2014

Running in the Family

As the fine weather thankfully remained throughout this week, it got me thinking of those of us with friends and family who have been talking all through the wet and dark winter about taking up running “when the weather improves.”  Does this sound like someone you know...?!  As it is getting progressively warmer, lighter and drier maybe now is a good time to give these people a few extra words of encouragement to don their trainers and sports bras (ladies only!) and get out there and give it a go – come running!  If they are uncertain of local routes and feel they have nowhere to run, I am sure you could let them know of a possible option for their Saturday mornings at 9:00am...!

My husband Michael is a classic example of someone who got into running again due to parkrun... he ran the London Marathon in 2005, hated it and vowed never to run again.  And he didn’t run / jog / shuffle a step further until 2010 when we moved to the area and I discovered parkrun.  Michael came along a couple of weeks after me and is now similarly hooked... so much so that last Sunday he ran the Bushy parkrun loop 16 times (yes, over 50 miles!) as training for a 100 mile Ultra marathon he is doing in May!

Our fair-weather friends and family may not get quite as addicted to the parkrun route as Michael, but it is always nice to see lots of hands go up when Event Director Ray Coward asks his weekly question, “Are there any new people here today?”  At the pre-run briefing this week there were 1055 of us in total ready to run, of which 64 were First Timers at parkrun who may have been inspired by the arrival of Spring – hopefully they have been bitten by the parkrun bug and will be back many more times.  Some of these first timers were from Tiffin School, and they were running in their pyjamas to raise money for a leprosy charity called Lepra – good luck with the running and the fundraising!

 1055 runners make their way down Chestnut Avenue

Metronomic timing...?

As it was the third Saturday of an odd month, it was even pacers this week... easy to remember, right?!   Andy Pillidge rounded up an intrepid bunch of runners who have been in a secret military training camp all week, in order for you to run for your life and bag yourself a shiny new PB.


From left to right: Rob Phillips 20 minutes, Ian Fullen & buggy 22 minutes, Nick Wright & buggy 24 minutes, Andy Pillidge                         26 minutes, Steve Todd 28 minutes, Chris Tyrell 30 minutes and Emma Dickinson 32 minutes.


Two of our pacers – Nick Wright and Emma Dickinson – bring in their respective gangs of PB chasers

Even the relocation of the cafe didn’t slow people down this week - remarkably 212 runners got a new PB, which is 20% of the total field!  And amazingly, 5 of the first 8 finishers got New PBs which shows what a fast week it was.  Runners with over 100 runs to their name with new PBs this week were Julian Diamond (on his 100th run – double celebration!), David Gannon, Harry Matthews, Rebecca Bevan, Lucas Roberts, Anthony Jackson (PB for the first finisher!), Zoe Alison Riding (with her ‘go fast’ middle name recently added!), Barry King, and Erin Johnson Caddell.   WELL DONE if that was you!!


The relocated cafe didn’t pose any problems for PB chasers this week

It is always interesting to follow the Twitter activity after each parkrun – this week there were many ‘thank you’s to the above pacers and to the volunteer team who, this week, were: Ann Coward, Ayan Hyderi, Breda McGree, Carmen Palmer, David Worth, Florence Corvi, George Dixon, Ian Cunningham, Jack Kennedy, Jed Leicester, John A Stephens, John Hanscomb, Katrin Kroschinski, Lauren Dawber, Lou Coaker, Pat McGrath, Peter Almond, Rachel Gough, Ray Coward, Ray Franks, Rodney Howard McCulloch, Rosie Rendall, Ross Green, Sandra Worth, Stefan Krueger and Stephen Marfleet – we salute you!  If you would like to be on the receiving end of the warm glow of appreciation please email Roles are really varied from standing at the concrete post on Chestnut Avenue as 1000+ runners run to you, to managing the runners in the funnel, to handing out or scanning the finishing tokens – whatever role you do, it is fun and much appreciated!


Stefan Krueger showing just how much fun being lead bike is!


Whilst some people may prefer the ‘carrot’ approach to encouragement, John Hanscomb advocates the ‘stick’ at the last tree!

The results part

There was no runaway first place this week as there was just 1 second between the first and second finishers!  Anthony Jackson finished first with a New PB of 15:32, followed so closely by Tim Haughian in 15:33, also with a New PB!  Third finisher this week was Jonathan Stead on his first outing at Bushy parkrun in 15:54.


Anthony Jackson early on in the run but on his way to a New PB!

And amongst the ladies the first finisher was Tracey Hardcastle in 19:33, followed home by Polly Adams just 1 second outside her PB in 19:57 and Marilyn Anne Horne in 20:28.  Marilyn also recorded the day’s highest WAVA age grading with an amazing 87.30%!

Young hearts run free and fast at Bushy parkrun, and the first junior to the tree this week was aforementioned Harry Matthews in 7th place overall with a New PB of 16:59, followed in by Ash Ould-Dada in 8th place in 17:19 and Jamie Millbank in 9th place in 17:20. Amongst the junior ladies, the first to the tree was Kathryn Bartle in 21:41, then Louise Mills in 22:08 and Laura Howley in 22:39. Well done!

New Club members

There were no new members to the 250 Club this week, although 23 existing members were running!  Carmen and Jeremy Palmer, and Dave James Griffiths are bubbling under on 249 runs so will soon be seen sporting a new piece of kit... good luck next week!


Jon Fayle and Julian Diamond joined the 100 Club this week, Julian running a New PB as mentioned! Five runners are nearly there having completed their 99th run this week – enjoy next Saturday Tom Hunt, Christopher Morgan, Malcolm Nicholls, Tim Godfray and Joby Thomas!



New members to the 50 Club this week were Peter Jackson, Charlotte Axbey (with a New PB too!) and Andrew Mayall – well done! Next week could see a plethora of new members to this club as there were 10 runners bubbling under on 49 runs this week!


Proving they were born to run from an early age was Hiba Benzerroun who was the only junior runner joining the 10 Club this week – well done! Please all new club members make sure you reply to the email that will be sent to you to request your size...

Music to my ears

Whether to run with music or not is an individual decision – people are divided on this topic.  I have recently started playing it again to get me through some of my VERY long Ultra marathon training runs.  Randomly one day last week ‘The Closest Thing to Crazy’ came on which felt strangely apt at the time – luckily there was nobody near me as I burst out laughing in Home Park!  If you do run with earphones at parkrun, please make sure you are able to hear the Run Director’s briefing at the start of the event and please also consider removing the earpieces in the funnel so you can hear the instructions being given out by the volunteers, and maybe make new friends in the funnel too!

And if you like running to music you might like to add some new tracks to your playlist – I have sneaked 12 song titles with the words ‘running’ or ‘run’ into this run report... can you find them all?!

Same time same place next week?  As Nell McAndrew often tweets, keep on running!!

Rachel Lonergan

PS Thanks to Jed Leicester for the good photos in this report – the other one is my own work of art!

(Answers: Running in the family – Level 42, Running – Jason Mraz / No Doubt, Come running – Van Morrison, Nowhere to run – Martha and the Vandellas, Run – Snow Patrol / Leona Lewis, Ready to run – Dixie Chicks, Run for your life – Matt Cardle, Run to you – Bryan Adams, Runaway – Del Shannon / Bon Jovi, Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen, Young hearts run free – Candi Staton, Keep on Running – Spencer David Group)

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