Event #45 – Tales of a tailwind, heads down for the headwind

Event number 45 16th March 2019

Last week breezy was topped by this week's blustery. It was touch and go whether parkrun would happen. Friday afternoon's course conditions included many small branches on the course and near continuous puddles along Northside. Saturday's forecast had wind gusts over 40 mph by 11 a.m. but no more rain, a drying wind, some draining led to a dramatic improvement. The wind took a little while longer to wake up and provided a window to dash round the still muddy course

Nobody notices tail winds propelling runners along mid-stride, but everyone complains about headwinds and rightly so when you have to fight your way through. Heads up! or rather heads down - parkrun's 'a run not a race' so you can readily draft behind other runners and catch a little respite from the westerly as you pass white horses on Long Pond and turn close to mud club toward the bandstand.

Two weeks in a row exactly the same number (623) people ran, jogged and walked the two laps, via a very slippery blind corner - one or two mud slides there - dodging puddles and tree roots of Northside to the chicane of daffodil alley - all the while oblivious a tailwind to turn at Long Pond to fight the headwind.


Well done to all. Each week the sweepstake bets are placed on how many runners will show - the last minute surge from a desultory 300 at 8:55 to 600+ by the start has punters tearing their hair out. Poor weather doesn't tend to deter the committed visitors and tourists, as much as locals with the chance of a fair weather run in the future and the invitation of an extra hour in bed.


Almost a year on Clapham Common parkrun is registering more new parkrunners to Clapham Common 75% of whom live inside a mile of the bandstand; last week added 133 to the tally of 1677 for 2019 so far. As our first anniversary event approaches next week over 6,000 have registered for their first tentative steps with Clapham Common parkrun, setting out to join the growing parkrun family.


Welcome first timers to the free weekly timed 5km run. Congratulations for those 48 (8%) who ventured out to take their very first parkrun outing at event #45. To all those 41 running a 2nd parkrun - brilliant effort. You rose to meet a personal challenge; yes, the difficult bit is getting out of bed - it wasn't that bad, was it?  Meanwhile for the 32 running their 3rd parkrun. How's that for a fresh start to the weekend? Well done to 73 runners recording new Personal Bests - a fantastic achievement.


75 (13%) visitors were first timers to Clapham Common - from as far afield as Tooting. Cosmopolitan London means that the French or Italian heard around the course could just as easily come from residents as visitors and this week's included a large Spanish contingent - with several youngsters keen to take on the 5k challenge and demonstrate their athletic prowess. (By the way we'd love to know how you got on.)


To all you unknowns: "You have to be in it to win it" - each run you scan counts toward your milestone running club and a free milestone shirt.  19% (118) of runners did not scan their barcode. DFYB - don't forget your barcode - bring and scan your printed barcode and position.

Milestone tee shirts are: 10 for juniors in white, dashing red for adults running 50 or black for 100. You too can earn one just like Thomas Snell earning his 100 milestone as a tourist this weekend at the home of parkrun- Bushy Park. Congratulations Thomas we'll be seeing you at Clapham soon no doubt. The 250 colour is a surprise but by the time you are close you'll know what colour it is.


Most important as well as most fetching of the tee shirts is the purple volunteer's club tee shirt. It's fastest to earn with just 25 volunteering occasions to join. Please join the volunteers - the more volunteers the merrier and the more occasions volunteers get to run.

A special trumpet fanfare with thanks to welcome Sarah Dodds into the volunteers club on her 25th event yesterday - all at Clapham Common. Time to put your order in Sarah ready for next week.

Last but most definitely not least thank you to all the 31 hi-vis heroes below making this and all parkruns events possible.

Michael CARNEY • Craig WILLIAMSON • Zoe WREN • Sarah DODDS • Frank ELSTON • Chris JONES • Bevis MAN • David SAUNDERS • Andy WILKINSON • Evie NOSWORTHY • Andrew ARCHER • Richard MUSCAT • Hannah BEHRENDT • Rebecca SPENCER • Charlie MASON • Ed KEEVIL • Kathryn STEPHENSON • Frazer BAILEY • James JOHNSON • Alexander JOHNSON • Cat PROWSE • E ADEJOBI • Kathryn KEEN • Dana ELFRING • Kate LOSOWSKY • Nigel HENEY • Seb HENEY • Louise JONES • Manny PASTOR • Jeremy SIMMONS • Jesse KORNBLUM


See you next week for our 1st anniversary … 

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

The female record is held by Lucy REID who recorded a time of 17:49 on 21st April 2018 (event number 5).
The male record is held by Luke CALDWELL who recorded a time of 15:15 on 22nd December 2018 (event number 33).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ros TABOR who recorded 92.62% (23:16) on 21st April 2018 (event number 5).


Clapham Common parkrun started on 24th March 2018. Since then 7,781 participants have completed 23,231 parkruns covering a total distance of 116,155 km, including 4,304 new Personal Bests. A total of 483 individuals have volunteered 1,393 times.


Event #44 – Bright and breezy – headwinds all the way round !

We are going to start off this week with the best of the best. I am of course talking about our volunteers. These happy, considerate souls get out of bed early on a Saturday morning just to help keep our parkrun going. We at Clapham Parkrun are incredibly lucky to have a smooth set up with willing volunteers making the event run without a hitch, regardless of how many turn up or what the weather throws at us. The start area is great, the funnel keeps moving and the scanners are the fastest in all the land. Additionally, all the way around the track, the marshals provide each runner with the determination to keep going – we all know how much difference that extra “keep going” makes when you're tired and near the end.


So a huge thank you to this weeks volunteers:

To get in on the action, simply email the volunteer co-ordinator at ClaphamCommonHelpers@parkrun.com. Over 160 different people have volunteered in 2019 so far. Come join us soon so you too can say, “parkrun only happens because of me.”

Now to the run, on what would turn out to be a very windy weekend. Luckily, the wind stayed away for Saturday morning meaning conditions were optimal for setting a good time. Clearly, 114 of you would agree as over 18% of our runners beat their previous Clapham Common PB – well done to all of you and to all of the 623 runners today. I think it is time for a reminder run: get reminding all those friends who came as part of a new years resolution.

We fielded a healthy number of new runners, as usual. 148 runners were new to Clapham, of which 70 were competing in their first ever parkrun. 269 runners added one more to their tally on the way to their 10th run, while 17 runners accomplished that feat. Congratulations Nicholas HUNTER, Matthew TAYLOR, Frank DUCOMBLE, Spencer JAMES, David COSTELLO, Joe CARTON, Kate BROSNAN, Edward WATKISS, Andre PARKER-LAING, Emma HEALEY, Lizzie AHERN, Emily JAMES, Eamonn MEEHAN, Jennifer SNAPE, Richard HOWELLS, Daniel TANG, Cameron MCDONALD on your 10th runs.
We had eight runners with us today in the 250 club, with Justin PARRIS joining us today for his 440th run and first at Clapham, welcome… and… wow.

As our first runner is nameless (DFYB – over 110 people had no barcode today), we congratulate the top three like this:

Female top three
Gabriella Williamson 20:44

Stephanie DAVIES 20:48

Olivia Howe 21:19

Cool, what a close run race that was.
Male top three
Joe Carton 17:10

Louis WRIGHT 17:28

Myles PRESTON 18:01
Well done to all of you!

Four under elevens beat the course today, well done Jed MARTIN, George MACKLIN, Gracie MILLER and Daisy LARKIN.


If we look at the Age Grade results there are some real superstars in our field. Deborah Lloyd smashed in a 74.75% run, Matthew TAYLOR knocked a 72.94% out of the ball park and George (for under elevens) hit an Age Grade of 72.77% - see you in the Olympics in a few years George. Indeed, 15 runners hit higher than 70%, with many, many more hitting above 60%.


Congratulations to Suzie ALWAY on her fantastic achievement of 50 runs. Your times have dropped year by year and it was another great showing on Saturday with a 26:14. Well done Suzie!

We must also congratulate Fiona LOFTS who hit the big 100 this week. I love a good fraction and 33 of your runs have been here at Clapham – think we can call that a third. Well done on this landmark run!
Now for a segment I like to call Random Runners (it’ll catch on). This is where I pick some random people for a shout out… Well done to:
Jivan JASPAL – In your second parkrun, you smashed your time from last week by 25 seconds! Awesome stuff.
Andrew Lowson – Eighth run today, and brought home a 20:12 – the Mayans would be proud.
Anna GREGOROWSKI – Your fastest Clapham parkrun this year and a time of exactly 30 mins. That time is just nice to look at.
Nick MITCHELL – Your fourth parkrun and landed exactly on 23 minutes – beautiful planning there.
Paul ROBERTSON – Nice! Beat the 25 minute mark by one second. A PB on your fourth run.
Sarah SCHUTTE – Your 20th parkrun at Clapham. In the last five runs you have run 26:51, 26:52 and 26:53. Talk about consistency.
Oliver MILLER – Clapham PB for you too! Your times this year are falling consistently. Keep it up.
Right, that’s me. Hope you enjoyed your run, hope to see you all next time, hope you get on board the volunteering wagon and hope the wind disappears before this Saturday.


6 more runs until Clapham hits the big five-0....

Run report by Steven Waters Photos by Jen Hanrahan & Jarred Friars


Run report Event #43

So despite the departure of fools' spring and return to chilly, slightly damp conditions, Clapham Common parkrun had another strong turnout with 709 participants. Not quite at the 1000 plus we got in early January, but still well in excess of the peak of 640 from November last year.


It's great to see that newcomers are still being drawn to this parkrun, with 137 participants making their Clapham Common debut. Having moved to the area last January I was stoked to have a parkrun start up a mile from home in March, and it's been amazing to see the number of participants increase so significantly as it approaches its 50th running.


One thing that might not be obvious to participants is that running an event of this size requires significantly more volunteers than a smaller run, so if you've come along and enjoyed the run a few times, please have a go at volunteering.

All of the roles I've taken on have been fun and interesting in different ways. I'd recommend token sorting as having a similarly meditative effect as jigsaw puzzles, and a great way to have a chat with fellow parkrunners over a coffee. As tail-walker I got to get to know the ladies I was walking with, and join them in walking a continuous 5km for the first time in recent memory. Number checking provided unexpected cardio benefits, jogging between the stopwatches and the tokens at the end of the tunnel. And writing the Run report is something else new and fun!


On that note, big thanks to the 33 volunteers from this weekend:   G. Louise AYLING • Sarah DODDS • Frank ELSTON • Laurent KSSIS • Evie NOSWORTHY • Jennifer WOOLGAR • Adam WOOLGAR • Jennifer HANRAHAN • Rebecca SPENCER • Bronwyn GARRETT • Katharine HANSFORD • James JOHNSON • Alexander JOHNSON • Jackie LANGTRY • Chris WICKS • Justine CHERRY-MACKLIN • James GOODWIN • Cat PROWSE • E ADEJOBI • Hannah WILLIAMS • Susan BEWLEY • Dana ELFRING • Kate LOSOWSKY • Helen ROACH • Nigel HENEY • Seb HENEY • Laura SEARS • Claire HOWELLS • Lois HADLEY • Elaine HARRIS • Manny PASTOR • Jeremy SIMMONS • Nicola REVELL

Despite the slightly damp underfoot conditions (not quite trail runner required conditions), 157 of the participants on the day got a new PB. What a great way to start the weekend - it always makes me feel a bit more justified in post-parkrun brunch.

The PBs included Hugh Tibbs who finished first in 16:54 on his second run at Clapham Common, and Alice Duncan was the first lady to finish in 19:13 at her second parkrun ever.   Surprisingly out of over 700 participants we had no milestones. But Hannah Billet is just two runs off her 50th and Cath Hunt is 2 runs off her 200th! Hopefully they'll be celebrating those in a couple of weeks at Clapham Common.

We also had 23 runners hitting double digits for the first time.



Soon I won't be calling Clapham Common parkrun my "home" parkrun, but given it's close proximity to my new local of Tooting Common (I'm a bit uncomfortable about moving to a 3-lapper) I'm planning to get back to celebrate it's 50th running.

Happy parkrunning!

Bronwyn Garrett


Clapham Common #42 – an overdue trot around a semi local park

Illustrated with scenes not seen on the course for 100 years (or so).


Saturday was a pretty big day for me as it marked my 50th different parkrun (165 in total). I work in the City, run along the Thames to get midweek miles in, live somewhere on the Northern Line Monday to Friday yet had only actually completed one parkrun in Greater London of that 165 in 4.5 years. I decided to visit Clapham Common for several reasons. Firstly, I am a Brownie leader of a Clapham brownie group, secondly, it’s a ‘C’ and I’m busy trying to achieve my pirates challenge and this is my 6 th C – did you see the information about this in the newsletter?


Check it out here: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2019/02/20/the-pirate-club/ Finally, it was an opportunity to meet up with friends, both runners and volunteers. I tend to hunt out smaller, hillier events so this was a huge crowd of people. However, within the clatter of the voices, the comfortable themes of a parkrun. A huddle of new or first timers early to listen to the First Timers Brief, followed by shout outs and clubs! Well done to David AISA MILLER for joining the most exclusive Junior 10 club. Big red congratulations to Simon CARD, Joanna PECK, Imogen DIXON, Dan JONES and Edward MALCOLM for achieving 50 and big cheers to Andy WILKINSON who completed 100.




Some stats. Like many parkrunners, I keep an eye on the biggest and smallest parkruns via Elliot LINE’s awesome site – check it out here: http://www.elliottline.com/parkrun Clapham was just outside the top 10 – at #11. It was the second biggest in Greater London after Bushy. It had the 5 th highest number of first timers in the UK with 183 and was #1 in the UK for new registrations with 129 signing up for their barcode and putting Clapham as home. This parkrun was top for PBs achieved with 202! Indeed, Clapham was the parkrun with the 5th highest number of PBs in the world.

Celebration cake for Pippa's 50th different parkrun

Celebration cake for Pippa's 50th different parkrun

That’s pretty special for a ‘baby’ of a run. If you want to have a look at these numbers in slower time go here: https://wiki.parkrun.com/index.php/Summary_Statistics_By_Event It’s all a bit of an explosion. To put this in context, it took Bushy almost 6 years to get to more runners than there were in Clapham this week. And as Jen WOOLGAR said in her brief, Clapham Common parkrun could do with a few more occasional volunteers… fitting in a V stint before a big race (or small race) or when injured. It’s a lovely way to meet more people and make friends. I arrived with my daughter who probably gave you your token: I ran, I helped sort tokens and I’m now appreciating the time and effort of those who didn’t also run and volunteer in this report. Thank you Louise MALONE, Tom MALLION, Sarah DODDS, Mark SHOTTON, Richard MUSCAT, Jennifer WOOLGAR, Freya VELZEBOER, Karina BOX, Harriet WHITE, Rebecca SPENCER, Andrew WALLACE, Bronwyn GARRETT, Chris WICKS, Justine CHERRY-MACKLIN, Aaron WILSON, E ADEJOBI, Laurel LEFKOW, Kathryn KEEN, Dana ELFRING, Simon HARPER, Jessica ROSE, Sarah SHANNON, John CASTLE, George PAINTER, Rael TREMEER, David KEEN, Richard TREMEER and Jeremy SIMMONS.


I ended up talking to a number of people who I wouldn’t have usually met and it made my Saturday good. For those who are just starting out, there are a couple of really great parkrun podcasts to listen to. Try the official one http://www.freeweeklytimed.com/ and the independent one https://withmenow.libsyn.com/ and there are just a few more days to a new parkrunday and a new adventure. Thanks for celebrating with me, Pippa WHITE (Queen Elizabeth)



Lucky 7s – 777 runners finish the 7th parkrun of 2019

Well, the running gods were looking down and smiling this Saturday. One of the warmer mornings of the week meant we could get back to running without too much concern for fingers and ears.

On the 7th weekend of the year, we celebrated Londoner Susannah Gill's world record time completing 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days with a healthy field of 777 runners.

As a result, I think it would be appropriate to celebrate some 7s.





A huge kudos to Alex Milne who travelled to Clapham for the first time today. He smashed in a time of 15:16.... one second away from the male record time at Clapham - champion effort as well as an all time personal best of 68 parkruns so far.

Congratulations for Chloe Bird too, who in her second parkrun (well done) ran home in a great 18:54 to lead the female field (double well done).

Alongside our first place finishers, John Castle, Jon Key and Jack McLennan ran home with age grades of over 75%!




Well done to Joe Lewis too, bringing it home for the juniors in a time of 19:42 – coming in under 20:00 for the fourth time out of all 12 runs at Clapham.


However, we at parkrun embrace everyone: runners, joggers, walkers; two legs or four and babies rocking wheels. I was super impressed to see Veronica Hendricks smashing it in with a time of 59:21 today. Her first sub 1h - super PB! Keep it up.


But who came 7th?


Congratulations go to Thomas Barnes and Karrie Hill-Hughes - 7th place wizards.


In amongst the runners today were 60 first timers and Roger Brocklesby who completed his 290th! 10 more for 300, Roger! Andy Wilkinson ran his 99th - good luck next weekend.


This morning also saw David Lane, Emma Stocks and Cameron Lund hit the 50 milestone! What a great achievement. We'll see you rocking red shirts soon. Alongside these, were 183 other superstars setting their Clapham PBs.


Well done to everyone completing their 1st ever (60), 2nd (65) 3rd (48) and 4th (32) parkruns - but yes.... We care about those completing their 7th parkrun!



Superhuman efforts from these seveners: Karina Salmon, Mia Duane, Ellena Kapoor, Jo Eames, Emma King, Dani Brown, Stephanie Moore, Rebecca Fairhead, Claire Guitton, Elizabeth Porter, Tom Threllfall, Richard Howells, Charles Longridge, Paul Wakerley, Alice Robertson, Katie Hill, Jackie Langtry, Geraldine Hiller, Matthew Lewis, Spencer James, Nick Rymer, Andrew Mackie, Catherine Walker, Anna James, Ben Dezutter and Jamie Curtis! Can you go the whole year for a perfect 52? And not forgetting Andy  Saxton clocking up a 77th parkrun.


43 different running clubs were represented today, with healthy showings from Herne Hill Harriers, Clapham Chasers and Clapham Pioneers.


Now for the real stars:


We are so grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: E ADEJOBI, Susan BEWLEY, Joe BOND, Kenneth BOSTON, Kate BROSNAN, Sorrel BYWATER, Oliver BYWATER, Dana ELFRING, Frank ELSTON, Hannah EVANS, Ciara FLOCK, Jennifer HANRAHAN, Elaine HARRIS, Emily HARRISON, Veronica HENDRICKS, Gareth HILL, Karrie HILL-HUGHES, Niamh HULL, Emily HUTCHINSON, Jack JERVOISE, Rhys JONES, Kate LOSOWSKY, Thea MACDONALD, Alistair MAIR, Harriet NORTH, Sarah O'CARROLL, Manny PASTOR, Cat PROWSE, Nicola REVELL, Jeremy SIMMONS, Rebecca SPENCER, Richard TAYLOR, Steven WATERS, Henry WILSON - Good work team!


It was my first time seeing things from a volunteering point of view and it was great fun. Why not join us some point in the future? Clapham is clearly one of the best parkruns around and it is the volunteers who make it that way. To get in on the action, simply email the volunteer co-ordinator at ClaphamCommonHelpers@parkrun.com


See you all next weekend - don't forget your barcode (DFYB). No bar code, no time, no exception. Disappointingly 182 did forget today with 182 unknowns failing to get their time.


Run report thanks to Steven Waters

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