parkrun before the snow

I'm writing this on Sunday evening, we were really lucky to miss the snow yesterday as I think if we'd been running today we would have been slipping around a bit.  I'm not sure how the junior parkrun got on this morning but those children are a sturdy lot.  Just as well we were walking/running/hopping as 221 people turned up in various colours and in some cases multiple layers. Quite a few people were nursing slightly fragile heads and so decided to go for the therapeutic effects of a brisk 5K around the park.

I was a bit disappointed as after last week's reasonably successful run I only managed a mile yesterday and then limped the rest slowly.  And my usual family stalwart (Alex) was tailwalking with Louisa Lally.  Louisa was tailwalking because she is six months pregnant and Alex was walking as he had his appendix out last week (another long story) and running is off the agenda at the moment; much to his disappointment as he is inching towards his 50th parkrun.  Obviously, that meant Mike wasn't the official tailperson - something he snuggled to get his head around.  So, once I realised I couldn't run he decided to go back and find the last person in front of Louisa and Alex and ran with them.  So huge thanks to Pauline Small (one of our brand new out of the wrapper first timers) who provided Mike with company and saved innocent people who were just in the park for a gentle walk by themselves!

Welcome to the 20 tourists who ran with us for the first time yesterday.  Krysia Smith ran her 146th parkrun yesterday, her first at Crystal Palace as did Martin Smith (who maybe her husband).  They usually run at Bushy so I would have loved to have spoken to them to see what they thought of our rather more hilly route!  We had a new record yesterday - only 11 people turned up without their barcodes.  This is the lowest number of barcode refusniks we've ever had so I am now of the belief that my constant refrain of Don't Forget Your Barcode is beginning to resonate! #DFYB

So, to PBs.  Most weeks people turn up trying to see if they can better their previous times. Not all of them/us/you but there are often people on a bit of a mission.  Yesterday an amazing 41 people did just that. Far too many to mention but, as ever, I will take editors prerogative and name one or two.  Lin Skinner got a PB taking three seconds off the PB she achieved in June of this year. This is particularly disappointing for Alex as he is keen to catch her and his appendicitis will make him a bit slower.  But, as I said to him yesterday, it's not all about him! Lin was first woman so a double celebration.  Peter Guy, our first male finisher, also got a PB, a very fast young man indeed.

And we also had some milestone runners: Mark Drinkwater ran his 100th parkrun. Given that a couple of weeks ago Mark turned up in time for breakfast it is great that he managed to turn up before 09:00! Nelson McLennan not only ran his 10th parkrun but a PB to boot. And Steve Ferrar also ran his 100th. Congratulations to all three of you.

As ever Fred Hayes took our photos.  And, as ever, they were great. I do have a bit of an issue with Erica Harris - she had a huge amount of energy when she was on the home stretch and did a fabulous jump. Now, Erica, if you have enough energy to leap skywards on the home straight then you really weren't working hard enough in the previous three miles.

As ever we can only run/walk/hop/crawl or (in the case of Tom Wilson) be dragged round by a huskie because we have volunteers.  So, thanks to the volunteers.

Now on 23rd December we're having a festive parkrun. So the order of the day will be fancy dress (you'll be glad to know I spoke to Tom and his rather convoluted rules have been abandoned!) and we'll be having mulled wine, prosecco and of course mince pies.  But before that we have a business as usual parkrun next week, so see you then.


Yet another sunny parkrun

I was so excited yesterday at doing my first parkrun for six weeks I woke up early! And I was away the last two weekends so haven't even managed my volunteering fix.  Or had my breakfast at Pride of Venice while we sort out the finish tokens.

So, yesterday was back to business as normal.  255 people lined up at the beginning and we had the usual round of announcements.  We're trying to find a one route winter lap that doesn't go off road - most weeks we've made it a bit longer than 5K so yesterday Tom suggested we start a bit further up the avenue which made for a slightly better start in my opinion as there wasn't so much of a climb at the beginning.  Saying that the first mile is still a pretty unrelenting uphill.  The only thing I don't like about that is Tom now stands on a bench to do his starting spiel and not on Jurassic Rock - quite dispiriting really given the time it came for me to come up with the highly original name.

We had a few milestones yesterday: Louise Ungapakron did her 100th parkrun and her 12th in our beautiful, sunny park. She usually runs at Brockwell Park but if I was doing a milestone I'd chose ours too!  Amy Curtis also did her 100th parkrun yesterday, she's done 91 of those at parkrun and flew around like a whippet in 25:43.  HUGE respect to Ouve Grey-Areben who also did his 100th parkrun yesterday, all of them at Crystal Palace.  He gives me a lot of hope as we are in the same age category and he achieved a PB this year.

But, I do have to give a BIG BIG mention to Susannah Simpson who, yesterday, joined 1998 other people to have run 250 parkruns!  Susannah was one of 49 people who took part in the very first Crystal Palace parkrun and yesterday she ran three seconds faster than she did on that first day! And she was first in her age category.  Well done Susannah - you really are an inspiration.

So, how did I get on, I'm sure you're all desperate to find out!  About 2/3 of a mile in I caught up with Penny D'Arcy-Graham.  You may know her better by my nickname of The Goddess. I used to run a bit with Penny when she was suffering awful morning sickness and still leaving me for dust. She's 31 weeks pregnant and so running is quite difficult for her right now.  So we did a bit of slow running and speed walking and caught up with each others news which was lovely.  And, once again, you get the beauty of parkrun: I was just happy to be there and Penny was happy to just be moving around a 5K course at a time of her pregnancy when many women would have succumbed to the couch.   And we kept talking to the 'bump' telling him/her that we had high hopes of their athletic prowess and are looking forward to their first junior parkrun.

Ten of our 25 first timers were fresh out of the wrapper - welcome. This parkrun malarkey really does improve your life. If only because it gives you more people to socialise with and you get cake and chocolate sometimes! We had 15 tourists including Lucy Ross who had previously run parkrun 93 times, most of them in Dulwich park. Really Lucy - it wasn't exactly a long trip, what took you that long??!

Thirty three people achieved their fastest ever time yesterday (Penny and I weren't among them!).  Sorry to all of you but I really can't mention you all but I MUST mention Calvin Stovell who last ran our course in August in 42.40 and who yesterday steamed round in 34:32.  What can I say?! Well done Calvin.

And we had 32 people who turned up without a barcode. As ever Mike was our tail person so they may have been the unwilling few dragged away from their pleasant walk in the park and forced to go on his route but I think some of them were people who had turned up to do parkrun, walked, ran, hopped the course and then didn't have their barcode so couldn't have their time recorded.  How absolutely awful, next week #DFYB.

Right, if you want to see the results look on the website or Facebook where I shall also be posting the video of our lovely run done by Andrew Bull. Thanks Andrew.

Crystal Palace parkrun
Event number 365
25th November 2017

This week 255 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers and 33 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:

Susannah SIMPSON • Michael WOODWARD • Tom WILSON • George WILLIAMS • Clarice Yvie WAMBA • Michele GOLDEN • Sidney Ansell MCINTOSH • Chris BALMER • Charlotte SANDERSON • Andrew WITHERS • Sebastian WITHERS • Julia ANDERSON • Alex PHILIP • Piers BROMLEY • Julie LETTS • Mark DRINKWATER • Lisa PEACHEY • Clare DAVIS • Philippa RYAN • Fiona MOORE • Lyndsey MORLEY • Pete OFFORD • Michele GOLDEN • Leslie MALCOLM

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

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 17:23 on 14th January 2012 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who recorded a time of 15:26 on 1st July 2017 (event number 344).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ros TABOR who recorded 90.93% (23:20) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 334).

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010. Since then 7,686 participants have completed 51,460 parkruns covering a total distance of 257,300 km, including 9,064 new Personal Bests.




Who gives you extra? We do!

Report and corny title by Sam Oliver!

Numbers swelled back up at Crystal Palace this week despite the drizzly precipitation on show. 277 of us took part, with lots of the Fun Runners back from their Beachy Head exploits last week and a large chunk of visitors popping up due to local firework-related cancellations.

I was back after two weeks of touring at the opposite ends of the parkrun spectrum- first at the fledgling and very friendly Hoblingwell event where I was one of just forty-four runners, and then last week at the bulging Cannon Hill run in Birmingham, where amongst 700 runners I bumped into Palace stalwart Michael Dodds- our apricot Crystal Palace parkrun shirts allowing us to notice each other in the throng!

Of the runners and riders at the Palace today, thirty-two were at the course for the first time, including eight people at least who were in their very first parkrun, ever. Welcome to you- come back when it's dry and you'll find it even more fun! Of our visiting first-timers with the highest number of parkruns, several were Bromley regulars but others came from further afield such as Margaret Gamble from Dundee, Ben Payne who runs mostly in Hull, and Richard Craig-McFeely, who has most of his 119 runs chalked up at Fulham Palace yet coincidentally enough was also at Cannon Hill last week! He obviously saw Michael and my shirts and thought that a visit to the Palace was needed.

Run Director Simon gathered us under the trees for our briefing, where we celebrated 50 run milestones for Jake Burr, Susan Cooper, Barry Valentine and Nova Mattias, who has run forty-seven of these at CP. It was then time to listen attentively, as we had a route change!

After the success of the one-lap "Summer route", it was sensibly back onto a two-lap tarmac and paths affair today, but with the use of an extra loop up at the top of the hill. This allows the finish line to remain in the main avenue where we start- something I think is good for atmosphere as well as being much easier for the setup and vounteer team to manage. The psychology of doing 'two laps' rather than 'two laps then don't forget the extra uphill slog to the finish line when you're knackered' is also something I like. Might be a keeper.

Only issue was- the revision might have made the course a little long...! Finish line speculation was that we were probably given an extra freebie couple of hundred metres this morning. It's definitely value for money, this parkrun thing! Even our first finisher Che, whose times in recent months have been so consistent that they're considering replacing the atomic clock with his running pace, was a minute or so long.

In these circumstances, PBs were a little thin on the ground today- in fact there were only six which means I can name all of them for a moment of glory! So well done firstly to Tom Carnall, Alex O'Byrne, Elias Michael and Pascal Jasserand who achieved a PB in their second or third time at the Palace. It was Aurelia Osborne's fourteenth, although her last visit was two and a half years ago- see you for another PB in 2020! Lastly, amongst the junior runners a shout out for Lucy and Amelie, normally our cheerleaders-in-chief whose 'get ready for the parkrun!' bellows from the megaphone cause hurried panic in the toilets and car park each week, who sped round today for Amelie's first recorded finish and a PB for Lucy!

No report is ever complete without thanking the brilliant volunteer team for giving up their time to stand out in the rain for an hour at least to allow parkrun to take place. Heroes, one and all!

Same time next week? Of course!  


Crystal Palace parkrun
Event number 362
4th November 2017


This week 277 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 6 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.


The event was made possible by 15 volunteers:

Garry EDWARDS • Brian CLEMENTS • Barry GRAHAM • Marijana URBANY • Michele GOLDEN • Chris BALMER • David HAMILTON • Simon LANG • Julia ANDERSON • Samuel WILCOCK • Piers BROMLEY • Julie LETTS • Sam OLIVER • Louise WOOD • Fred HAYES


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


The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 17:23 on 14th January 2012 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who recorded a time of 15:26 on 1st July 2017 (event number 344).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ros TABOR who recorded 90.93% (23:20) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 334).


Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010. Since then 7,609 participants have completed 50,732 parkruns covering a total distance of 253,660 km, including 8,983 new Personal Bests.




No photos but plenty of volunteers

This is the weekend when we traditionally worry we won't have enough volunteers. It's the weekend of the Beachy Head Marathon and 10K and a lot of the core team go off to the south coast to drag themselves around what has been termed the Friendliest Marathon in the UK. Every year we worry and every year we don't need to as loads of volunteers turn up; bright eyed and bushy tailed......or maybe that's just the squirrels in the park.  Anyway, we had plenty of high-vis vests and so off we went.   In fact we had bigger things to worry about than the possible lack of volunteers.  There was another 5K run yesterday in the park.  It was an untimed (spell check is panicking a bit at the very idea of an untimed event) 5K run which was starting at 11:00.  It cost £16/£14 to enter. Once we'd heard about it we were just relieved to find out it was starting at 11:00 and not 09:00 as our routes had a bit of an overlap.  That might have been OK as their signs were red and blue and ours were yellow.  Luckily, at about 8:30 Alex Philip went to do a final check of the route to find the organisers of the other run removing our signs!  No malice intended, they just didn't know we existed and so thought our signs might be from a previous event!!! Alex put them right, peace was restored and off he went. As usual the weather was perfect for running, bright and sunny and just the right temperature.  We had a slight hitch at the beginning as Simon decided it would be a really good idea to actually start the event at 09:00, unheard of in our part of the world. It did mean some people ended up arriving at the start line to see a crowd of people disappearing into the distance! 232 people lined up at the start and luckily all finished, always a relief.  We were using the one lap multi terrain route but it was a bit muddy and slippery in parts so we will need  to think if we can find a variation which will make it a bit less muddy. Watch this space. Although the stats will say we had 39 first timers; 13 of them were tourists.  Now, I do like a bit of tourism so I like to see where our touring parkrunners come from.  None seemed to come from the other side of the world, Julia Hill and Robert Bentham are hard to pin down as they usually seem to run at either Brockwell Park or Finsbury Park (two large parks separated by the Victoria Line!) but they chose yesterday to run with us in the mountains of Crystal Palace for the first time. And I'm not sure if Sam Router was a tourist as he only ran his first parkrun last weekend and dd that at Tooting Common so maybe he's trying all the local parkruns before settling on his favourite! Of the 16 brand new, out of the wrapper, parkrunners we had a variety of ages: Jacob Francis was ding his first ever parkrun in a very respectable 35.06 and he was in the JM10 age category. His brother Harry was one second faster. And Mum Alison brought up the rear in 35:07. Congratulations to all of you and welcome to parkrun! Do come back next week. There are 26 people who we've listed as unknown.  We do know one of them was David Cook because he told me he'd forgotten his barcode.  Given that he managed to get lost last week I'm just relieved he managed to find his way back to the start line! The rest of you may have been tourists, first timers, or people just picked up and forced to walk the route by Mike Woodward because that's what he does every Saturday morning! #DFYB Thirty-seven peole achieved a PB yesterday. Anny Chui went sub 30 minutes in her 12th parkrun at CP. David Gent went sub 23 for the first time, and Helena Williams in her fifth PB in nine parkruns went sub 27 for the first time!  Well done to all of you and to all you managed to run their fastest ever parkrun yesterday. And a huge thanks to those of you who turned out to volunteer to make sure we could run.

As ever stats follow:

Crystal Palace parkrun
Event number 361
28th October 2017

This week 232 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers and 37 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:

Michael WOODWARD • Laura TOUGH • Michele GOLDEN • Andrew CHONG • Simon LANG • Julia ANDERSON • Alex PHILIP • Paul HILTON • Matt COLLINS • Nathan PETRIE • James WICKHAM • Leslie MALCOLM • Pascal JASSERAND

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

Male placings:
Jake ENGLISH (SM20-24) of Croydon Harriers, was first over the line in 17:47 - 51st time in 66 appearances.
Thomas MOUNTFORD (SM30-34) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:38 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Michael KAMPS (SM25-29) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:56.

Female placings:
Madeleine ARMSTRONG (VW35-39) (Unattached) was first (17th overall) over the line in 21:17 - first time in 9 appearances.
Hattie SHERWOOD (SW25-29) (Unattached) was second (31st overall) over the line in 21:55.
Stephanie EVANS (SW25-29) of South Leeds Lakers, was third (39th overall) over the line in 22:37 - was first to finish once before.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Roger BEARDSWORTH (VM55-59) – 75.98% for the time 20:24 (9th overall).
Neil JEFFRIES (VM55-59) – 75.28% for the time 20:46 (11th overall).
John FENWICK (VM70-74) – 73.99% for the time 23:50 (66th overall).

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 17:23 on 14th January 2012 (event number 77).
The male record is held by Nicholas TORRY who recorded a time of 15:26 on 1st July 2017 (event number 344).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ros TABOR who recorded 90.93% (23:20) on 22nd April 2017 (event number 334).

Crystal Palace parkrun started on 29th May 2010. Since then 7,577 participants have completed 50,455 parkruns covering a total distance of 252,275 km, including 8,977 new Personal Bests.


A run report with photos!

We were one down on last week's turn out but it was great to see a number of faces that had turned out for the first time last week. As I said last week I think the second parkrun is actually harder than the first one.  The parkrun fairy had done her stuff and apart from a light sprinkle of rain to set us off the sun shone and the wind stayed away.  We even had a rainbow although as I was on marshalling duty I didn't get to see it.  I seem to have found my spot - just at the top of the avenue of trees where we are just coming to the end of the 5K.

Image may contain: tree, plant, grass, sky, outdoor and nature

It's a funny place to stand as it's quite a sharp corner and people seem to instinctively want to run onto the road but they're all learning and I'm losing fewer people to the main road though the park. Which is nice.

So of our 277 participants we had a few tourists. Twenty-seven people had never run at our beautiful undulating park before. Jonathan Jenkyn was running his 197th parkrun.  He usually runs at Ipswich but was doing a spot of touring yesterday. What is particularly impressive about Jonathan (apart from his time of 28:45) was the fact that it was his 100th parkrun since his cardiac arrest. Yes, you read that right - Jonathan clinically died and then recovered and has run 100 parkruns in a time I can only dream of. AM AZ ING!  Huge congratulations Jonathan and thank you for coming to run with us.

Pat Gravell was another tourist who was at her 146th parkrun but the first at Crystal Palace.  Pat was with Blue, Bam and Buddy Chuaibamrung who were all at their first parkrun and carrying a full water gun, which due to extreme discipline was still full at the end!  Pat - I do hope we'll see you all again.  Another person who was with us for her first official parkrun was Lily Clifford.  Lily has been at parkrun a few times before and is usually pace person with her grandad Mike Woodward.  But yesterday she was equipped with her own barcode and so got her own time as well.

There were 37 people who achieved their fastest ever time at parkrun. First mention must go to my son Alex Singhgolden who went sub 22 for the first time with a blistering 45 second PB. He did it in style coming in at 21:15.  He clearly could have done it before - slacker as his auntie Josie (Kingston parkrun and she's MUCH tougher than me) would say!

Daniel Tough got a PB, it was a bit of a Tough celebratory day as Mum, Laura, was running her 200th parkrun!  I know it's not an official milestone run but we always celebrate it anyway!  Dad, Andy had got a PB last week and I'm sure it won't be long before Cameron is charging round the park instead of being pushed by Dad in the buggy!

Another family who were in PB mode were the Daly-Gourdialsings with both Romain and mum, Eliette, running their fastest ever parkrun.

Finally, yesterday we said goodbye (although we didn't know it) to Jez Phillips. Jez has run 22 parkruns, all at Crystal Palace and was really trying to get sub 26. He managed to get 26 dead last week though. So, Jez, you'll have to come back!  Good luck in your new home, our mountains will have trained you well!

As usual the stats are below.  Jake was obviously first finisher with Sean Fitzpatrick and Peter Lighting hot on his heels.  It's not a race you know gentlemen! Abigail Rose, Helen Lister and Ola Balme were our first women home.

A quick mention of milestone runs: in addition to laura's 200th, Jake Cassels ran his 50th and I must apologise to Dan Humble - I omitted to mention Dan's 100th last week.

Now, you'll see I've added photos this week. I clearly (as you'll see from the captions!) have some learning to do but be warned, I'm learning, so keep an eye out for Fred lurking in the bushes and make sure your form is good!

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Daniel with Cameron in the buggy and Andy working hard.

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Alex on his way to a PB

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Laura on her 200th parkrun!

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