Guildford parkrun run report 29/12/12

This was the last parkrun of 2013 and the last one in the run of 6 for Lucozade’s #chasetheplace competition. Very best of luck to anyone who is still in with a chance of a VLM place.

Finally the weather was more on our side than it has been. In fact the grass sections of the course were positively dry, relative to recent runs! 80 runners were gathered for Run Director Ian Durrant’s briefing, including 19 first timers at Guildford – 10 of whom were brand new to parkrun. 5 runners improved on their personal bests, so very well done to them. I did the opposite, and ran my slowest ever time but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it may even be one of my favourite parkruns ever. At the top of the tarmac hill with the sound of the wind gusting around me (my MP3 player had just conked out so I had no music), I was suddenly aware of a real sense of freedom and enjoying being out in the fresh air. Fingers crossed for more runs like that in 2013 and thank you to Stefan Klincewicz (SM40-44, 30:17) who was close behind me and spurred me on over the last quarter of the course.

Ian announced in the run briefing that in January the start and finish will move from the current locations to the top of the grass hill that is the first straight at the moment. This is on firmer ground, and has the added benefit of toilets at the rear of the buildings. We will also be able to scan barcodes undercover in bad weather. We’ll announce the date that this change will be effective in due course so please listen out at future run briefings and keep an eye on our news page.

I was struck this week by how many families we had running parkrun together, which I think is lovely. We had lots of students home from university for Christmas, people engaging in parkrun tourism while visiting relatives, and a large number of brilliant junior runners (8 x JM14, 3 x JM15-19, 4 x JW14 and 2 x JW15-19), some of whom run with older siblings or parents.

I was speaking to Edward West (SM20-24, 25:49) as he waited with his sister to cheer their mum Ann West (VW55-59, 40:02) to the finish. Edward was running his second parkrun but told me he has signed up for the Cambridge half marathon next March so he will probably be doing more parkruns as part of his training. Ann was the final person to cross the line but did so, as she always does, with the biggest smile. Well done Ann!

One of the other families running together this week (there were 10 altogether), was the Aldreds. Tom Aldred (SM30-34) was back at Guildford for the first time since setting the course record in April, and finished first again in a time of 17:41 ahead of Toby Aldred (SM35-39, 18:53). Dad Anthony Aldred (VM65-69) finished 26th, in 24:38.

The third finisher was Mark Hadley (SM30-34) who crossed the line in 19:16.

In the women’s results, Claudia Lance Jones (JW14) was first over the line (8th overall) in 21:43 in her first ever full parkrun having previously run Junior parkruns at Bushy.

Susanna Harrison (VW45-49) was second (16th overall) over the line in 23:35, ahead of Claire Thornhill (SW30-34) who was third (24th overall) over the line in 24:10. Looking at the info on the results table, I think Claire was with Tom Aldred and his family.

As usual, I’d like to say huge thanks to this week’s volunteers – especially since they stepped up at the last moment when we had a real shortage. While we were chatting by the finish, one runner (sorry, I didn’t catch your name) asked whether volunteering is very onerous. This week’s scanner Nicky Hack, who was volunteering for the second time, reassured her that it isn’t at all, and in fact Nicky said it is fun! Honestly, none of the jobs are difficult and everything will be explained, so if you’d like to take a turn to keep the event going please get in touch. If you have any questions about what’s involved in any of the roles please feel free to email or just ask either before a run, at the finish, or in Costa when we’re having coffee afterwards. We’d love to hear from you.

I hope to see you for a freedom run* at 9am on Tuesday, but if you are partying too hard the night before then Happy New Year and I’ll see you 5th Jan for the first parkrun of 2013 when juniors Douglas Craig and Edward Hellyar could both join the 10 Club.
Best wishes

*Freedom runs are not timed, or marshalled, and don’t count towards total runs but you can record your own time on the parkrun website by following the personalised link from one of your results emails.


New start and finish in Stoke Park!

During the month of January, we will be moving the start and finish to the Burchetts farm end of Stoke park. This is a better area with firm ground as well as toilets and shelter for those doing bar code scanning in bad weather. Watch this space for an exact date!


Guildford parkrun run report 22/12/12

78 hardy souls ignored the rain and the challenging conditions and took part in a special parkrun this weekend to raise some money for local charity Disability Challengers. When marking the course we tried to find the best path through the puddles, but to be honest the only choice was muddy or boggy and the parkrun weather fairies had failed to stop the rain at 9am so I had huge admiration for all the runners, and for our amazing volunteers - Julia and Dan Bonilla, Simon Craig and Keith Harrison. At least 50% of them were ill and 25% did not recall volunteering, but they turned up to help anyway and put on another fantastic event. Thank you as ever.

There were 16 first timers this week, including 11 people who had never run a parkrun before. It was great to see you all and I hope you'll be back.

Matthew Tolefree (JM14, 21:07) and Isabel Thomas (JW14, 37:56) somehow managed to achieve new personal bests this week so very well done to them! Tom Butcher (JM15-19, 20:13) ran his 10th parkrun and as a junior is now Guildford's newest member of the 10 Club, with a shiny new Club Tee winging its way to him in the new year. Congratulations Tom!

Among the runners this week were several Santas, some elves, a full nativity courtesy of Woking AC, some reindeer, a fairy, and a gentleman athlete from the 1924 Olympics. Chariots of Fire is one of my favourite films and I always liked Eric Liddell, but Anthony Jacques (VM60-64, 31:58) could just have easily have been paying homage to Harold Abrahams. Anthony made me chuckle part way round the first lap when he passed us and mimed swimming front crawl. Yes folks, it was that wet. Still, there were plenty of smiles and we raised £91.50 for Disability Challengers. If you weren't able to make a donation this time, but would like to, there will be more opportunities on Christmas Day, 29th December and 1st January. They are a fantastic support to families of disabled children and young adults, offering short term breaks which are so essential.

This week we were visited by James Munden of Horsham Joggers (SM30-34, 27:11) who usually runs at Tilgate parkrun in Crawley, a single lap event which started in June 2012. We also had Catherine Gaskell (SW30-34, 31:10) and Douglas Josham (SM30-34, 33:24) from Collingwood AC, who usually run at Roundshaw Downs. I was able to run at Roundshaw on their birthday run this year, having met another Roundshaw Downs regular, Nicola Tarrant, when she ran at Guildford in July. Nicola is currently engaging in some international parkrun tourism in Australia. I bet it's a bit drier there! Roundshaw Downs parkrunners like fancy dress so I'm sure Catherine and Douglas would have enjoyed the efforts made at Guildford this week.

Men's placings:
Matthew Rees (JM15-19) of Aldershot, Farnham & District AC, was first over the line in 19:20 for the second time in 4 appearances. Matthew was running his 10th parkrun and will be presented his t-shirt at his home run at Frimley Lodge. Well done Matthew! An unknown runner was second and James Adams (SM30-34) of Guildford & Godalming AC, was the third finisher in 20:04.

Women's placings:
Katie Bingle (JW15-19) was first (9th overall) over the line in 21:22 for the first time in two appearances at Guildford, having previously been the first female finisher at Frimey Lodge as well. Eleanor Harrison (JW15-19) was the second (10th overall) over the line in 21:35 (having ditched her antlers but struggled on with the reindeer nose), ahead of parkrun debutant Beatrix Lafreniere (VW35-39) who was third (12th overall) in a time of 21:53. All three are from Guildford & Godalming AC so it was certainly a good morning for members of that club.

I hope you'll be able to join in the Christmas Day parkrun to kick off the big day in the best way possible. We have enough volunteers for timing and scanning, but it is likely we won't mark the course - except for the finish funnel. We'll do a quick run down of the route if anyone isn't a regular, and I'm sure everyone will check those around them are ok. I'm really looking forward to it, and can't wait to get the Christmas outfit on again! If you can't make it, I hope you have a very happy Christmas. May Santa bring plenty of gifts from Sweatshop.
See you soon


Guildford parkrun run report 15/12/12

I apologise for the delay in writing this week’s news. My usual Sunday writing time was spent at the Sports Personality of The Year awards. I was one of the 500 Games Makers invited to attend, so I travelled up to London and spent the afternoon reminiscing with other Games Makers before going into the arena for the show, which was amazing. Did you know Mo Farah, one of the 12 SPOTY nominees, used to work for our sponsor Sweatshop?

94 runners enjoyed a slight variation on our usual course this week. Run Director William Blair had adjusted the start so that we missed the muddiest area, and I think it had the desired effect as no shoes were lost this week, as far as I noticed. There was a nice buzz around the park as in addition to the British Military Fitness group who we see every Saturday, there were also lots of lacrosse players and their supporters. It’s great to see Stoke Park being so well used. I wonder what changes there will be next year when Craggy Island Ltd open an aerial adventure park in Peacock Wood.

27 of this week’s field were first timers, including 15 parkrun debutants. Joanna Klaptocz ran for the first time and as well as being the first female and fifth finisher overall, she set a new female course record of 19:28 – 2 seconds quicker than the previous record set by Eleanor Harrison. Well done Joanna, that’s a brilliant achievement. We’ll look forward to seeing you again soon.

15 runners recorded new Personal Bests this week, including Hannah Turner (SW25-29, 26:15) who made it 3 PBs in a row, and is now nearly 5 minutes quicker than she was on her first outing. Well done Hannah, and everyone else who ran their fastest times this week.

In other stats news, I notice we’ve now had exactly 1200 different registered runners take part since Guildford parkrun started in March 2012. Imagine if we all ran on the same week!

Jamie Rest (JM15-19, 23:07) ran his 10th parkrun this week and is now part of the 10 Club. Well done Jamie. You’ll receive your t-shirt in the New Year, so I hope you’ll enjoy wearing it and showing off your achievement.

Richard Hammer (VW45-49, 30:19) had arranged for 9 members of Chineham Park Running Club to visit this week. Richard had visited on 28/4/12 so it was great to see him back, and with others this time. Among the 9 visitors were men and women, with ages ranging from J14 to VM 70-74, and their times were from 22:18 to 37:23 so Chineham Park Running Club certainly seems to have a diverse membership, which is just brilliant. Richard has completed 147 parkruns across 14 locations, but he is a regular at Basingstoke parkrun and is keen to welcome any of us who are in the area to take part in that event, at the War Memorial Park. It sounds a little like our course since it is 2.5 laps with a mixture of grass and tarmac, but they also have a woodland stretch for even more variety, and no hills.

As usual we headed to Costa for coffee after parkrun and Bill Wild (SM45-49, 23:22) pointed out that we spend twice as long over coffee as we do running. I think that’s just as it should be. Grace Bradley told me she’d even rearranged an appointment with a friend so she wouldn’t have to miss out on this very important part of parkrunday.

The results:

Men's placings:
Ben Evans (SM30-34) of Guildford & Godalming AC, was first over the line for the third time in his 5 appearances, in a time of 17:54.
Nathan Martin (SM25-29) of Holmfirth Harriers AC finished second in 18:32, ahead of Mark Hadley (SM30-34) in 18:40.

Women's placings:
Joanna Klaptocz (JW15-19) of Guildford & Godalming AC, was first (5th overall) over the line in 19:28.
Rose Nicholson (SW25-29) of Woking AC, was second (8th overall) in 20:04 and Eleanor Harrison (JW15-19) of Guildford & Godalming AC, was third (14th overall) over the line in 20:32. Both have previously been the first female finisher.

The highest three age gradings this week were all achieved by women. Joanna Klaptocz was graded 76.28%, Susanna Harrison (VW45-49) was graded 75.99% for the time 21:48 and her daughter Eleanor Harrison (JW15-19) was graded 74.51%. Congratulations ladies!

Thank you to this week’s volunteers, Abbey Jarman, Anthony Jacques, Daniel Peter Heffernan, Kim-Louise Warner, Martyn Thomas, Mike Saunders, Victoria Bingham, and William Blair. You were brilliant as ever.

If there was a buzz this week, Saturday 22nd promises even more in the way of atmosphere. There will be fancy dress, mince pies, and a photographer from the Surrey Ad for our special Santa Run raising money for Disability Challengers. I hope you can make it. Don’t forget as well that we have a parkrun on Christmas Day as well – volunteers and weather permitting. Keep an eye on our news page for any last minute changes.

Best wishes, Debbie

P.S If you lost a blue 'Great Run' jacket please let me know.

P.P.S Since my initial problems with our new system, I have now learned how to add links (using my brand new learning of HTML by the way!), so I think we must only be a matter of weeks away from me learning how to add pictures :-)


Guildford parkrun Run Report 8/12/12

We had another dry morning for parkrun this week, and it was a little bit warmer than it has been. 89 runners assembled at the start, and were set off by William Blair with words of encouragement and instructions about a diversion to avoid the worst of the puddles. 12 were brand new to parkrun and 9 more were new to Guildford. At the opposite end of the spectrum we had a visit from Alan Davidson (VM65-69, 25:03) who has run 120 times at 8 different parkruns, including one previous run at Guildford in April 2012.

23 runners achieved new Personal Bests this week – including all of the first four men to finish. Congratulations to you all for proving us wrong as we volunteers clapped and cheered and said to each other ‘looks a bit slower this week’. What do we know, eh?! I particularly noticed Emma Craig (VW40-44) who achieved her 3rd PB in a row, with a time of 33:14. Well done Emma.

Stoke Park was hungry for footwear again this week, and this time it was first timer Cat Wallman (VW40-44) who had her shoe eaten by the mud before the finish straight. Amazingly Cat carried on without her shoe, and when she finished (33:00) she simply took of her soggy sock and came for a coffee anyway. A brilliant effort Cat!

The results:

Ben Evans (SM30-34) of Guildford & Godalming AC, finished first in 17:47, ahead of Ash Ould-Dada (JM15-19) of Woking AC in 18:06 and Daniel Peter Heffernan (SM30-34) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:42. The positions were the same as last week, but the times were quicker and all three beat their previous personal bests. Well done!

There was a change in the men’s points table this week for the first time in months. Ben Friend overtook Mike Saunders to take the lead because sadly Mike has had emergency knee surgery and will be out of running action for some months. It was good to see Mike back at Stoke Park to volunteer though – handing out numbers with a crutch for support. Thanks Mike, and get better soon. Thanks also to the other volunteers this week, and to those who have responded so quickly to our plea for 15th December.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Ben Friend (Unattached) 2212 pts.
Mike Saunders (Unattached) 2185 pts.
David Andrews (Unattached) 2123 pts.

Susanna Harrison (VW45-49) of Woking AC, was first woman (15th overall) over the line in 21:44. Once again Susanna still found the energy to collect cones afterwards and to offer some words of encouragement to two ladies who are currently running one lap and hoping to complete 5k soon. Thanks Susanna! Louise Mills (JW15-19) also of Woking AC, was second (19th overall) in 22:28, ahead of first timer Corinne Davies (VW40-44) in third (21st overall) who finished in 22:39.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Susanna Harrison (Woking AC) 2469 pts.
Julia Bonilla (Unattached) 2147 pts.
Caroline Wendy Todman (Unattached) 1653 pts.

There was lots of talk this week about athletics clubs and running groups, either for training or just for motivation and encouragement to run between parkruns. Since Guildford parkrun started, representatives of 116 athletics clubs have taken part and there were 13 represented this week. The nearest are Guildford & Godalming AC and Woking AC. There are also running groups from our sponsor Sweatshop’s Woking store on Monday and Thursday evenings, and from Fitstuff in Guildford on Wednesday evenings. In addition, there are Run England Groups nearby at a number of different times and places, including three which are led by parkrun Run Directors.

One of the things I love about parkrun is how people are so willing to encourage others and to share ‘Top Tips’. This week’s from Andy Flanagan to Philippa Kiely was to power round corners rather than slowing down as we naturally tend to do. I’m definitely game for trying to do that to see if I can boost my time a bit. What ‘Top Tip’ can you give others? Why not tell everyone on our Facebook page?

Another thing we’d like to hear is how you feel when you’re out on the course. What do you think if the person in front of you stops? Do you think ‘Great! I can catch them up!’ or ‘Great! I can walk a bit too!’ or even ‘Oh no! Don’t stop now. It’s only following you that’s keeping me going!’ We had some fun discussing that in Costa. Perhaps you’ll join us next time and let us know what you think?

Until then, have a great week


PS - Apologies. I am working on creating links to the groups mentioned, but I'm still working out how to use our brand new system. Did you notice the website looks a bit different? Hopefully it will mean the systems can continue to cope with extra capacity as new runners and events join the parkrun 'family'.


Sweatshop Monthly Prize November 2012

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the Sweatshop Monthly Prize for November is James Bradbury.

Congratulations to James!

We'd like to thank Sweatshop for their generosity and to congratulate James on his achievement. His prize is a new pair of running shoes from Sweatshop.

The winner is chosen by the event director or members of the committee designated by him. The successful candidates are often chosen for their perseverance, number of PBs in one month, total number of runs and improvement overall. However, we can award the prize for other reasons at our discretion. If you know someone who has overcome adversity, personal illness or is deserving in any other way, please let us know by emailing and we promise to consider your nomination.



Guildford parkrun run report 1/12/12

There were 76 runners assembled for Run Director Linda Cairns’ briefing this week. It was very cold and frosty and as I cycled from home in Woking it certainly felt like December! The course was described as a crème brulee – crispy on top but soft underneath. I rather liked that, and I for one hope these culinary descriptions catch on!

There were 18 PBs this week, so well done everyone who improved on their times. 3 runners were parkrun debutants and 7 were tourists from other areas running for the first time at Guildford, including Kathryn Thomson (VW35-39, 25:00) who has run 42 parkruns across 12 different locations. Sara Georgiadis (VW45-49, 32:53) and Steven Georgiadis (VM45-49, 21:05) were visiting from Orpington as their son was playing in a football match near Guildford later on. I hope it was a good match, and look forward to seeing you again next time he’s playing nearby.

I enjoyed standing by the finish line this week and seeing some battles going on. Of course parkrun is a run, not a race, but that doesn’t stop some individual races going on along the final stretch! I saw Mike Pini (VM44-44, 21:14), Graham Digby-Jones (SM30-34, 21:14) and Andrew Flanagan (SM35-39, 21:15) battling to the finish, and was amused to hear Andrew say he always finishes in 11th but Graham took that spot this week. I had to check, and indeed Andrew has finished in 11th  position 6 times out of 18. He’s volunteering next time, but I’ll have my fingers crossed that he might come in 10th in a fortnight. 

The results:
Ben Evans (SM30-34) of Guildford & Godalming AC, was first over the line in 18:11. Ben then went on to come second in the Hogs Back Road Race on Sunday. Well done Ben!
Ash Ould-Dada (JM15-19) of Woking AC, was second over the line in 18:57, just ahead of Daniel Peter Heffernan (SM30-34) who finished in 19:02.

Alice Gibbs (JW15-19) of Guildford & Godalming AC, was first female (27th overall) over the line in 23:31 in her 4th run at Guildford.
Leila Rose (VW40-44) of Purple Patch Runners, was second (39th overall), in a new PB of 24:57, just pipping Kathryn Thomson (VW35-39, 25:00).

It was good to see Ash wearing his 10 club t-shirt (apparently it’s too cold for a running vest now!), and I notice that Daniel Farley, Alice Gibbs, Douglas Craig, Edward Hellyar and Jamie Rest could all join the 10 club by Christmas (although some will need to run on the day itself to manage it). I chatted to David Gannon this week, who is 11 years old has and already got his 50 t-shirt which is a fantastic achievement. I’ll admit to being a little envious as I can’t wait to get mine!

Thank you very much to this week’s volunteers, who were yet another brilliant team. We haven’t had many volunteers yet for the rest of the year, so please do get in touch if you are able to help.

Timing and numbers and scanning and cheering,
there's fun to be had when you go volunteering

You'll get to know people throughout the whole field,
The runners and joggers and babes being wheeled

People will thank you, and flash you a smile,
And a nice hi-viz jacket will give you some style

 Whatever the weather, come rain, sleet or snow,
Donating your time means you'll feel a warm glow

All that is needed is three turns each year
And no job is tricky - there's nothing to fear!

So please get in touch if you can help out
and a big 'thank you Marshal', the runners will shout

We’re well and truly gearing up for the festive season now, and as mentioned in previous weeks we have some special runs coming up. I’ll keep mentioning them in the run up, and I hope you can make it.
22nd December – fundraising for Disability Challengers. Have you planned your fancy dress? I shall be Mrs Claus.
25th December – Christmas Day parkrun so we can feel smug later as we tuck into a big dinner!
29th December – normal parkrun
1st January – freedom run to blow the cobwebs away and start 2013 in style.

See you next parkrunday

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