Eastleigh parkrun #439 – The First Saturday in January

After a mild Christmas and New Year more familiar cold temperatures returned to put a seasonal chill in the air. It was a grey day but no frost, no rain and so the ground was reasonably firm and conducive to running without churning up. It was noticeable that the motivated and speedier runners wore traditional running gear while at the more leisurely end of the pack there was an abundance of jackets, scarves and portable heaters (ok no portable heaters).

Run Director Robert opened the proceedings with some New Year messages of encouragement, key announcements and two pleas for assistance. Firstly, tribute was paid to Michael Lee who reached the rare, but extremely welcome, milestone of 250 volunteering stints on New Year’s Day. Everyone attending showed their appreciation to Michael with an enthusiastic round of applause.

The two pleas for help were in respect of financial support for Eastleigh parkrun and for volunteering support throughout 2019:

a)    Robert reminded us that parkrun is, and always will be, a free event in which to participate. However, in order to keep the event running smoothly funds are needed for equipment and materials. These costs have to be met from local sources. Please see the donation tab on the website (it’s the furthest to the right after the ‘results’ tab) and support the event if you can. One idea for consideration is to convert savings from ‘dry January’ and donate the value of a bottle of wine to the cause. That way you can improve your health by abstaining for a month and get fit doing parkrun at the same time!

b)    Alternatively, please consider volunteering to support your local parkrun. Looking at today’s stats the ratio of volunteers to runners was 11%. Let us each consider the number of runs we have completed and see if we have volunteered for 11% times that number. If not then perhaps it is time join the volunteer roster. Volunteering is a rewarding experience. January is a typical month for looking at the calendar and thinking about holiday dates. This is also an excellent time to plan volunteering pledges for the year ahead!

Robert also reminded runners about the Post-Christmas/New Year party. This takes place Saturday 12 January at the Eastleigh Bowl’s Club – though you’ll have to be very quick of the mark to snap up any remaining tickets.

An opportunity to make good on all those New Year’s pledges encouraged 334 runners plus buggies and doggies to take to the course. There were 53 first timers to Eastleigh of whom 29 were running their inaugural parkrun; an impressive 30 personal bests were set and a remarkable 32 running clubs were represented. One park runner from Queensland, Australia was in the field today winning the imperceptible award for furthest tourist traveller.

As for milestones congratulations to Thomas TILYARD (a junior) on completing his 10th, Sue TRUE on completing her 50th and Iain CROSS his 100th parkrun today.  Again Michael LEE gets a special mention for completing 250 volunteer credits: upon being asked to recount his stand-out moment from attending so many parkruns Michael said there were too many to mention, however, top of mind was a young lady who did cartwheels across the finishing line. Now that is how to complete a park run in style. Beat that if you can!

Finally, well done to all those who took part; runners, amblers, volunteers, cheerleaders and especially the organisers.

H John Duckworth


We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Rob BENTLEY, Karen BOLTON, Nickie BOWEN, Robert BRYAN, Susan BUNYAN, Claire DEACON, Harold DUCKWORTH, Lottie DYER, Kerry FOLGER, Kim FOLGER, Christine FULLER, Yvonne GRANDON, George HAMS, Emma HAWKINS, Russell HAWKINS, Lauren HEADS, Pauline HERD, Paul KEMP, Michael LEE, Jenny LEE, Brett LYONS, William MARRITT, Katie RAWLINSON, Peter ROBBINS, Ian ROBINSON, Amanda SAYERS, Paul SIDAWAY, Matthew SPRACK, Lucy SPRACK, Sarah SPRACK, Ron TRODD, Linda Mary WEBB, Ray WEBB, Laurence WILKS, Jacob WILKS, Sandy WRIGHT


Christmas & New Year parkruns

Dear Father Christmas,

This year Mummy & Daddy [delete/amend as appropriate] have been very encouraging to me and I would like to repay that.

Please could you arrange that on Christmas morning I can go to parkrun? it's at the usual time as you would know (0900). I will forego opening some or all of my presents until afterwards. I just want the adults in my life to ensure that they get some exercise on Christmas Day.

Oh, and before I forget please could you also sort it that they take me to the New Year's Day parkrun. I've heard that adults tend to stay up the night before and sometimes have a headache afterwards - so it would be a really good way to start 2019 with a parkrun. In fact Santa, as that nice parkrun at Eastleigh is being forgiving the year and running at 1030 could I please go to another at 0900 too - you see I can run 2 on New Year's Day, that's allowed.

I've worked it out that this all means I can run 6 times in 14 days (22/12, 25/12, 29/12, 1/1 x2 & 5/1) and I would really like it if Mummy & Daddy [delete/amend as appropriate] did so too.  I'm sure it would do them a world of good and stop them paying for that ridiculous gym membership in the New Year, when as we know all they need to do is pull on some shoes and walk or run with me around a lovely park.

[Insert name]

P.S. as the run on 22/12 is always a Fancy Dress run this year I've decided to dress up as [insert detail] I'm hoping that Mummy & Daddy [delete/amend as appropriate] will join in this year and not be such humbugs.



Eastleigh parkrun #430 – 17th November 2018

This is the fifth anniversary of my first ever parkrun – at Eastleigh – and a when I started out (after being cajoled into it by Christopher Stocks,) I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, by the end of my first run, I was hooked and I only had one vision – to run more parkruns. To date, I have run 171 and at 19 different venues. If you read Mark’s excellent report last week, you know that you need 20 to get the tourist cow buff and I plan to do mine on December 8th at Eastville in Bristol.

So today’s run was introduced by a couple of great youngsters, who certainly made the briefing quicker than normal and not the long bicycle race that it can sometimes be.

Following the usual notices, it was off to show who we are. The champions today were not necessarily those who topped the finishing spots but the 25 first timers (including 8 newbies to parkrun and Liz Snook – who took part in Eastleigh for the first time, despite it being her 303rd parkrun. Liz, what took you so long to find us? It also went to the 60 parkrun PBers – probably unheard of for a mid-November parkrun. A special well done to Sarah Richards, who broke her parkrun PB (which was set in July 2017), by over 70 seconds, and on the occasion of her 50th parkrun. Not a bad way to celebrate this milestone run. Finally, the 40+ volunteers who make parkrun what it is, and the volunteers we have always produce a kind of magic for us and give us a cheer, or a high 5, or a flash of a smile, or even a musical interlude, that keep us going to the end as another one bites the dust – a parkrun that is.

Well this is almost the end of the run report from me and I am sure it has been a bit of waffle. However, there has been a theme running through this and it is to do with Queen. Not the person – the band. There are seven killer Queen song titles hidden throughout this run report. The first person who can identify them all and put it on the Eastleigh parkrun facebook page (and tag me in will probably help your cause) will win a prize. Nothing spectacular. Just a little something.


Martin G Davies

This week 307 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers and 60 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 42 volunteers:

Karen BOLTON • Pauline HERD • Claire DEACON • Paul KEMP • David CLOTHIER • Kaz CEENEY • Ron TRODD • Linda Mary WEBB • Amanda SAYERS • Katie GODDARD • Robert BRYAN • Ray WEBB • Yvonne GRANDON • Paul MEARMAN • Adrian DEARY • Martin Gareth DAVIES • Nickie BOWEN • Colin Paul BROWN • Jenny LEE • Michael SELBY • Chris GOODHEAD • Harry KEMP • Michael LEE • Rob BENTLEY • Matthew SPRACK • Kerry FOLGER • Kim FOLGER • Keisha ROBERTS-PENN • Martine SADIE • Herman SADIE • James HOLMAN • Susan BUNYAN • Danielle FRIEDMAN-BROWN • Lauren HEADS • John LEARY • George PARKES • Harry PARKES • Kate PARKES • Steve PENN • Tim PADLEY • Mike MOORES • Sam FOSTER

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

The male record is held by Tom ANDERSON who recorded a time of 15:18 on 19th November 2011 (event number 80).
The female record is held by Josie CZURA who recorded a time of 18:02 on 20th December 2014 (event number 235).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lucy ELLIOTT who recorded 89.23% (18:34) on 20th June 2015 (event number 262).

Eastleigh parkrun started on 8th May 2010. Since then 10,338 participants have completed 78,815 parkruns covering a total distance of 394,075 km, including 13,537 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,104 individuals have volunteered 11,205 times.


Eastleigh parkrun #429 – 10/11/2018

The Journey to 250

What a great morning at Eastleigh parkrun #429 with not one but two of the core RD team reaching the 250 milestone. In addition to Alison and myself (Mark) reaching 250, we also had Keith Mack and Neal Penn getting to 100, and Stephen Wills and Sarah-Jane Osben getting to 50. Keisha Roberts-Penn, her grandfather Steve Penn and Marc Holmes showed their dedication to helping out at Eastleigh parkrun by completing their 25 volunteers.


The journey to 250 has been a long one. Despite being at parkrun most weeks it has still taken 8 years to reach that milestone. I started way back at run number 15 in August 2010. That event had only 125 runners and included fellow RDs Alison and Angus, not that I knew either of them at the time. They both got PBs that day though (a good sign for the future?). parkrun didn’t initially become a part of my regular week. As someone who ran a fair amount, I didn’t need parkrun for the 5k run. I could go out and run 5k any time I wanted to. I ended up only doing another 5 parkruns that year before taking a big break between November 2010 and May 2011.


One of the main reasons for returning to parkrun was the running club takeovers that used to happen in the early days. This was where each of the local running clubs provided a full set of volunteers for a week. It was the volunteering aspect and increased sense of community that helped make parkrun a regular part of my week. I ran and volunteered more during 2011, but still only 15 runs and 7 non-running volunteer roles. 2012 proved to be the catalyst for change. Eastleigh parkrun took a 4 week break to set up Netley Abbey in March (I ran 2 and volunteered 2 of those). In September I was chosen as the Sweatshop parkrunner of the month for August. Back then every parkrun could select one parkrunner each month to be “parkrunner of the month”. That person then got a voucher for a free pair of trainers. I used my voucher for a pair of Adidas Adizero shoes which I used for shorter road races. I still have them around now as they have only been used for 400km. Obviously a free pair of trainers per parkrun per month would not be viable now, but it was a very nice extra recognition to receive from your local event and the voucher did not have a price limit.


Shortly afterwards, I was approached by the core team and asked if I was interested in being an RD. I said yes and 2013 saw me added to the RD rota. parkrun was now firmly part of my weekly routine, and here to stay. Since that time I have been a regular RD at Eastleigh. I have also helped out new RDs at Southampton and Brockenhurst and am a backup RD for Whiteley.


Over the past couple of years the number of parkrun events has grown dramatically, especially in our local area. Many are very easy to get to from here and the temptation has grown to go and try them out. We also get many more visitors to Eastleigh. You then find out parkrun tourism is a serious thing, I set out to get on the official parkrun table (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/results/mostevents/) which requires 20 different parkruns to be completed. That also allows you to buy a special buff (yellow with cow prints on it) from the parkrun tourist group so you can easily spot other tourists. With 20 completed I then decided to try and get to all the other parkruns available in Hampshire and managed to complete those. I found the parkrun tourist tool (​https://touristtool.mybluemix.net/) really helpful for working out which parkrun to do next. The tool can even remove the events you have completed so you can easily find your NENDY (nearest event not done yet). The other big benefit of the tool is finding your closest parkrun when you go on holiday, but don’t forget to also pack your barcode!


Another great addition I have found recently is a set of challenges to make your parkrun experience more exciting. These are displayed using a browser extension when looking at your full list of parkrun results. The challenges cover normal attendance and volunteering but also add others like completing the alphabet and getting finishing times with all the different second values. If you’ve ever wondered what your p-index is, then it will tell you that too. Mine is 5 :-) You can get hold of the challenge extension here (​https://running-challenges.co.uk/).


Everyone’s parkrun journey is different and that is part of the beauty of the event, You can do whatever works for you and makes you happy.


After 250 parkruns across 25 different events, it is always good to be back home at Eastleigh. It was great to be able to share the morning with Alison, parkrun friends and an excellent turnout from my fellow Vegan Runners.

Mark Pocock


Post-script message from the Event Director.

Two things to add from this week:

(i)  Yet another plea about U11s.  Two U11s running away from their responsible adults.  How difficult is this rule?

(ii)  We do realise that every runner is extremely keen to have their result recorded as accurately as possible, and we do strive for that.  Occasionally Gremlins do sneak in and we do our best to fix these, usually as the results are processed in the cafe as we tend to be aware of issues very early on.  Any runner is welcome to join us to see what we have to do on a weekly basis.  If things are wrong remain calm; what we really need are runner's name, athlete number, runner's recorded finishing time for the run and who was near you as you crossed the line. Position is helpful, but less important as positions often change due to runs or positions having to be deleted.  Otherwise it can be several hours trying to piece things together from Strava!


And so to the stats

This week 258 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers and 23 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers:

Karen BOLTON • Pauline HERD • Claire DEACON • Paul KEMP • David CLOTHIER • Mark POCOCK • Ron TRODD • Linda Mary WEBB • Amanda SAYERS • Katie GODDARD • Robert BRYAN • Ray WEBB • Brian DRAYTON • Mark ANDERSON • John HORTON • Nickie BOWEN • Jeff DEACON • Brett LYONS • Michael SELBY • Michael LEE • Cheryl GOSLING • Matthew SPRACK • Kerry FOLGER • Kim FOLGER • Keisha ROBERTS-PENN • Sarah BEER • Rita DRAYTON • Susan BUNYAN • Lauren HEADS • Annette WEDGBROW • Steve PENN • Tim PADLEY • Peter TURNER

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

The male record is held by Tom ANDERSON who recorded a time of 15:18 on 19th November 2011 (event number 80).
The female record is held by Josie CZURA who recorded a time of 18:02 on 20th December 2014 (event number 235).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lucy ELLIOTT who recorded 89.23% (18:34) on 20th June 2015 (event number 262).

Eastleigh parkrun started on 8th May 2010. Since then 10,313 participants have completed 78,508 parkruns covering a total distance of 392,540 km, including 13,477 new Personal Bests.


Eastleigh parkrun #427 – 27/10/2018

Just a squid, taking a dog for a walk… and a hi-fiving spider on the Hill

by Helen Rees

You know you’re in for a treat at parkrun when it’s Halloween. And today’s run at Beastly-Eastleigh was no different. A bright, sunny morning – a hideous prospect for vampires but good news for parkrunners – greeted us, although the frosty temperatures did send chills down our spines. Having an excuse to wrap up warm in fancy dress, therefore, is a bonus. Lots of witches, ghouls, ghosts, skeletons, devils, pumpkins, lobster  (yep that well-known traditional Halloween character, like the squid, walking his dog to the start) and Frankensteins gathered for the briefing, huddled together for warmth, cheering the milestones and hi-vis horror heroes the volunteers. The biggest cheer of the morning went to Keith Whitaker who was running his 400th parkrun (he's run at 52 different runs too). It was lovely to welcome some visiting tourists, including some fiendish friends of mine from Wooooooo-dley (in Berkshire) who have nearly completed their parkrun Alphabeteer challenge,) and spooky Scotland.

So off to the start, like a band of 300 zombies with the fresh smell of flesh in our nostrils… we set off for our 5k run in the sun, with some excellent scream-tastic cheering and support around the course from the marshals. Particular monster mention to the musical efforts of the Top of the Hill crew, shaking their terrifying tambourines to get us all up to the top on each and every lap. And I’m sure it’s not normal anywhere other than parkrun to be encouraged to ‘hi-five the spider!!’ by an enthusiastic magical marshal (in a particularly impressive pointy hat), but we all took that opportunity willingly, giving us a brilliant power-up to get us up that hill three times. Maybe the spider and his magical powers should be there every week!

As always, it’s lovely to see families and friends running together, all smiles, and lots of encouragement among the fiendish field – it really is one of the friendliest ways you can spend a Saturday morning. Much of this joy is clearly visible in the fabulous ghostly imagescaptured by phantom photographer Phil Male, who moved through the early morning mist to capture his unsuspecting subjects on film with the stealth of a witch’s black cat. (Proof, though, that none of us are actually vampires, as we are all clearly visible on camera…)

So it was with the spooky sound of ‘The bells, the bells…!’ – no, not Quasimodo, but the last lap bell of course, rung as always by Reliable Ron – ringing in our ears, that we all made a final spooky sprint to the frightening finish line to claim our Trick or Treat Tokens, and have our Beelzebub Barcodes scanned to complete the challenge.

Big thanks to the RD and team, all the volunteers, the ever-lovely staff at the Blackbird Café for replenishing our energy levels with delicious treats and all the runners for yet another spook-tacular parkrun. See you all next time!


This week 283 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 23 were first timers and 39 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 37 volunteers:

John MACINNES • Karen BOLTON • Pauline HERD • Claire DEACON • Paul KEMP • Larry COOLEY • Yvonne COOLEY • Astrid MANGEL • George HAMS • Ron TRODD • Amanda SAYERS • Katie GODDARD • Malcolm Stuart PRICE • Robert BRYAN • Donna RODGER • Yvonne GRANDON • Nickie BOWEN • Colin Paul BROWN • Jenny LEE • Helen REES • Jeff DEACON • David SAUNDERS • Michael SELBY • Isobel DEANE • Michael LEE • Amelia MILLS • Reuben HILLYER • Susan BUNYAN • Gareth REES • Charlotte KEATING • Adriana BENTLEY • Eileen FITZGERALD • Bethany KEATING • Sophia KEATING • Samuel KEATING • Jon TAYLOR • Philip MALE

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

The male record is held by Tom ANDERSON who recorded a time of 15:18 on 19th November 2011 (event number 80).
The female record is held by Josie CZURA who recorded a time of 18:02 on 20th December 2014 (event number 235).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lucy ELLIOTT who recorded 89.23% (18:34) on 20th June 2015 (event number 262).

Eastleigh parkrun started on 8th May 2010. Since then 10,235 participants have completed 77,883 parkruns covering a total distance of 389,415 km, including 13,401 new Personal Bests.

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