Happy 6th Birthday!

6 years! Where has the time gone?

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Even the most hard of heart would have struggled not to feel a little bit emotional this morning as Event Director Stephen said a few words to mark the occasion. The big take-home message was not so much about the running (although that does have an important place in all of our hearts!), but about the wonderful local community that has built up over those six years. The fact that lots of us can’t go out for a run during the week without crossing paths with someone we know from parkrun. And the friends. Some of those friends from the early days have since moved away, so it was very special to see some old faces return today - in particular Caz Manning all the way from Stockholm, former Hilly Fields RD Emma Malcolm visiting from Hampshire and junior parkrun RD Natalie Aldham visiting from Wanstead.

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There was much buzz on social media during the week about the photos from the very first Hilly Fields parkrun back in 2012 - here are some of those people today who were at the very first event:

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[Full disclosure, this dog did not actually run the first event at Hilly Fields parkrun]

So as has become traditional, the course was run in reverse today. Much debate about which is the easier - the “right” way or the “wrong” way. Perhaps some of the statisticians amongst our runners can give us some insight. Basic maths calculations on today’s results gives us a PB rating of 13% - 40 PBs out of the 300 runners today. 34 PBs out of the 273 runners last week equals a PB rating of 12%. So perhaps the reverse course is easier. Or perhaps people just tried harder for the birthday event!

Congratulations to Bill Schomberg doing his 100th run today, to James Armstrong doing his 50th run today and to juniors Madalena Fernandez & Gabriela Fernandez who qualified for their 10 t-shirt today.

And it’s always lovely to hang out in the cafe for that post-parkrun chat, taking it full circle back to the impact that Hilly Fields parkrun has had on the community and the groups of friends that have grown from a run around the park on a Saturday morning. (And incredible to think that 6478 people have benefited from a 5km timed run around Hilly Fields on a Saturday morning over the past 6 years.)

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The phrase said by so many about Hilly Fields parkrun today was "life-changing". Enough said…

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Extra runs when it gets festive

As in previous years we will be holding extra parkruns at Hilly Fields on Christmas and New Year's Days - 9am on Christmas Day and 10am on New Year, giving you an extra lie in or the option of a double parkrun if you would like to run a neighbouring parkrun which is going at 9.


Hilly Fields parkrun – Run report for 12th August 2017

Well done to all 249 finishers on a warm and sunny August morning.
8 people ran their very first parkrun, and an amazing 25 visited from events in all corners of the UK and beyond. This included Charlotte, Rebecca, Nick and Douglas Woodward from Chipping Sodbury, Paul and Claire Johnson from Lanhydrock parkrun in Cornwall (Claire also volunteered) Mary Senior from Victoria parkrun in Glasgow, Glen Shaw from Hamilton Lake parkrun in New Zealand and Jean Withington who ran the first of her 263 parkruns away from Gorleston Cliffs near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

27 people ran a pb including first finisher Dame Dibaba who finished in an inpressive time of 16:35. Well done to Adam Christopher, Adam Kelly and Southwalk parkrun regular Tom Carnell on their 100th run.

Huge thanks to Adele Prince, Bonnie Whang, Charlie Guille, Claire Johnson, Clare Griffiths, Darryl Chamberlain, Glenn Hancock, Jake Hancock, Leanne Meredith, Lily Hancock, Ray Morgan, Spenser Lane, Sally Drayton, Simon Riley, Stephen Galligan and Steve Ollier who made the event posible. Please let us know if you're available to don the hi-vis jacket in the coming weeks.

Glenn Hancock
Run Director


Run Report, Event #258

We had a feeling it was going to be an exciting event, with visitors gathering by the cafe in various shades of apricot, red and black. We set up the course with a few extras, such as bunting and some motivational chalk messages ('The chalk really helps!' was heard from one runner) and made our way to the start just before 9am. So, why all the fuss? You might have seen the milestone t-shirts around our course: white 10 for juniors, red 50, black 100 and, my personal favourite, purple 25 (volunteers). We occasionally have a visitor in a green 250 t-shirt and this week were delighted to mark our very first 250th parkrun at Hilly Fields.

Regular runners and volunteers will know Siggy, who has been with us from the start, with her first parkruns being over at Bromley (where she has run 90 times!). 130 of Siggy's runs have been here with us at Hilly Fields and she has been on tour to 20 other events, amazing! During her time as a parkrun addict fan, Siggy has also volunteered around 75 times, with some of those times being whilst injured - she is always happy and willing to encourage others, even when she is unable to run herself (she has been known to march around at the back, supporting fellow runners, who are making the step up from walk to run). As I mentioned in the briefing, what sets Siggy apart is her strength, determination and resilience; she really is a valued member of our parkrun 'family'.

Siggy's posse

The atmosphere was, of course, one of celebration, with marshals around the course, hi-fiving and encouraging our participants up The Hill. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, timing, scanning, handing out tokens, marshalling and tail-walking (and, of course, helping to set up the course and sorting through the tokens, the bits you don't see!). This week's volunteers were Sally, Adele, Brian, Steve, Maria, Gila, Anne, Aidan, Laura, Bill, Janette, Carrie, Helen, Monica, Sasha and Stephen. If you thought it looked like fun (it is), let us know and we'll let you help make the magic happen (opt in on your profile, or email hillyfieldshelpers@parkrun.com).

Oh yes, some people ran too! 273 people! An amazing 47 were first-timers (Siggy has a big fan club!) and an impressive 33 recorded a new personal best time. Well done! It was particularly exciting to watch the action up at the front this week, with one of our junior runners, representing Kent AC, taking the front position throughout. Pipped to the post in the last few meters, Isaac Maxwell (who is under 14!) made first finisher, Edmund Adigwe, work hard for his place, with our first two finishers crossing the line in 17.34 and 17.37, outstanding! Our regular women were kept on their toes by visitors from Siggy's club, Petts Wood Runners. Crossing the line first for the women was Hannah Roberts in 20.34, followed by club-mate Geraldine Schaer, with regular first woman, Jen Smith, close behind for Kent AC. We were delighted also to see visitor Neil Cole bagging himself a PB by going under 24 minutes, well done Neil.

Nearly there!

Through the finish!

So, with the running done, Siggy was very happy to get her barcode scanned, 'It's official!' and share prosecco and a beautiful cake with our runners. Thank you Siggy and we look forward to seeing you again soon for your 251st run :)

Scanning the barcode

Cutting the cake


Hilly Fields parkrun at VMLM: Fintan Culwin

Fintan's a regular runner at Hilly Fields, coming up to his 50th parkrun. He shared his story with us.

Ten years ago, in 2007, Fintan was running his sixth London marathon. He stopped at the mile 8 drinks station and took a bottle of water from his younger daughter Seana, who was staffing the station. What was not known in April was that the mysterious illness that was occasionally troubling Seana was lupus. In July it suddenly became very acute and Seana was rushed into intensive care where, 3 weeks later, she died aged 26. The last bench on the left before the parkrun finish funnel is her memorial. With the inscription "I sit and watch the children play", it recognises her contribution to early years education in Brockley.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's defense mechanisms start to attack the body. It is usually chronic but can be acute. It affects mainly women, mainly of child-bearing age, and disproportionately women with African or Asian heritage. Despite its relative prevalence it, and the dangers of it, are little known.

Since 2007 Fintan has been running marathons as a fluorescent yellow Lupus butterfly (definitely NOT a fairy!) and will be running his 22nd marathon and 12th London marathon this year.


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