Event 426; April 21st 2018

I wasn't going to write the run report this weekend. It's a very busy one in the Bate household and so I thought I'd just turn up, plod my injured leg plod, and then head off. Why there was a dog to walk, a daughter to dispatch back to uni, a son to call and remind not to get totally off his head at his final uni history ball tonight, another daughter to collect from a nasty GCSE revision day and of course, somewhere in all this, I needed to nag Mr Bate to, for goodness sake, PLEASE power hose the patio. You get the picture.
But I'm afraid RD Jacqueline Chang (once again rocking the superwoman RD with a new born baby and two other children role), asked me to pen today's report, as she wants to make a formal public apology to the runner who was apparently beasted around the course in blistering heat, by a trio of selfish parkrunners who thought they were helping her. In fact she nearly pegged it in the finish funnel. If I could explain. You may have noticed lots of runners today - indeed more than normal. In fact we had 320 come along to the tow path today, and very welcome they were too. Lots of them (at least 20) were graduates from a "zero to hero" 13 week training plan. These hardy souls had arrived back in January not very sure they could run to the end of the road. Today they covered 5km, some faster than others, some slow and steady. The point is, they had trained for this "graduation day" under the expert guidance of 'Lord Kevin Stone of Runningshire' and his merry band of helpers from 26.2 RRC. Their build up to today was gradual, consistent and under supervision. In short - a total and professional success.
However, I'm sorry to report that three runners from the club mistook a lone runner minding her own business for one of these graduates, and decided to adopt her for the run, bellowing instructions, never allowing her to walk and even forcing her into a sprint finish, at which point it was all the poor woman could do not to hurl, as Jacqueline (oblivious to the back story of what she was witnessing) barked at her to keep in position and not throw up there, but somewhere else. As it was, Alison Watkins took an incredible five minutes off a previous parkrun, in just her fourth appearance at Kingston and parkrun, EVER. As the hapless, neigh incompetent, 'helpers' screamed at her to keep going and not to give up on all the effort she had put in, Alison was too breathless to tell them to leave her alone and mind their own business. On behalf of Kingston parkrun, please accept our apologies Alison. Come back next week, we'll even give you free membership to parkrun forever. I can't guarantee the three amigos won't be there. But do feel free to tell them, that's Becky Stopford, Carol Ferrari and that complete idiot Josie Bate, to leave you alone. That said, what a fab effort you put in girl! 
Alison wasn't the only person who put her all into parkrun today. Of course she wasn't. Many thanks to the lovely volunteers who arrived in the heat and gave up their runs to allow us to have ours. A special thanks to parkrunner Sue McGuirk who volunteered to look after the gorgeous retired guide dog Winnie, on behalf of runner Andy Shipley (one half of the crazy running duo 'Jandy', the other being Jonathan Hughes). A request on the Kingston FB page for someone to chill with Winnie was quickly answered by Sue and Terri Harris. Sue, who is running the VLM tomorrow, was resting today, but looked after Winnie so that Andy could run. We really are one lucky family at Kingston.
Anyway, I need to get a move on, so you'll be glad to hear I will try and keep this short. Top headlines are as follows:
320 runners -  yes, if it seemed extra busy today, that's because it was.
14 unknowns - What are you lot on? I'm shaking my head here......I mean, why, why, why would you run and not record it. I really am beginning to think we have a lot of people at Kingston who are leading very complicated double lives. 'Just putting it out there.  #DFYB
37 first timers - what the devil took you so long to find us? Isn't our setting fab? Sun, the river, a lovely bit of new tarmac, toilets, parking, coffee and loads and loads of cake, and chat, and babies galore and banter. 
Of the 37 above, 16 did their first parkrun EVER. Well hello there. Come back, we know you will. It's flipping addictive and, we're told, good for you, both physically and mentally. 
In astonishing progress there were 57 PBs. FIFTY FLIPPING SEVEN! Let's get the rest of that path tarmacked - we'll all be lapping ourselves before we know it. There are way too many PBs to highlight, but highlight two I must. Our very own newest RD Fiona Pugh (Ranelagh Harriers) bounced right back from behind the megaphone and high viz jacket posse to storm home in a PB of 25:32. How brilliant.  Way to go oh most fabulous one. And Eddie Brocklesby (VW 75-79) from Serpentine RC proved it's never too late to get a PB on a parkrun course. With some 125 runs under her belt, Eddie's been parkrunning for eight years and returned to Kingston today to record a new PB for this particular route. 
In terms of milestones, we had three juniors who are this evening are running around their homes and shouting "well will you just look at me?". Junior men Miles Robinson (21:01) and Harry Hardman (20:03) will be running the London marathon one of these days. You mark my words. Get those 10 parkrun t-shirts lads - only juniors qualify for the white t-shirt. So wear yours with pride. And in a touching moment, the young and brilliant Gemma Watters  (junior women 10) put in her tenth appearance at Kingston, on the eve of her gorgeous mummy Fiona taking part in the VLM. What a family. What an achievement. Gemma was joined on the route by family doggy Monty, her mum, and tail walker Steve Stopford (another participant in the VLM tomorrow). See what parkrun leads to people - marathons. Alison, I'm looking forward to cheering you on in your first......
And we also had two grown ups (who, nevertheless may be running around their kitchens, also begging to be looked at). They too reached milestones today - congrats to Matt Stiles (VM 45-49) from The Stragglers and David Jeary (VM60-64)  who both clocked up 50 parkruns in 26:25 and 21:14 respectively. Respect gents. Maybe running around their kitchens has helped with the training, who knows? 
Anyway, most lovely parkrun family, for more in depth info on who came where and in how many minutes, pop over to the Kingston parkrun page, and click on "latest results". There you can pore over stats to your heart's content. Me, I'm off to inspect Mr Bate's patio cleaning progress. He touristed at Denbies Vineyard today, and reported it was hot and hilly. You should have stayed closer to home Richy! You know there is no better route than the one that leads back to the Hawker Centre.
Seven more sleeps until we roll it all out again.
Love life? #loveparkrun.
Journalist report is now available for Kingston parkrun, Event number 426
You can find the journalist report for Kingston parkrun, event 426 on 2018-04-21 here. Please note that this service only displays the journalist report for your most recent run - so if you want to save a copy make sure you do so before your next run.
Happy parkrunning!The Kingston parkrun team kingstonoffice@parkrun.com

The one in which the sun came out to play – 14th April 2018

It's back! Yes folks, the sun made a most welcome appearance at Kingston parkrun this week, along with some of the new tarmac path. It was certainly all change this week, that's for sure. To be honest, I'm not at all sure I like the new path - it made me feel that our muddy and wet route is going to lose some of its unique gloopy aura.  But I suppose it's progress, and will inevitably make our run more accessible to more of the parkrun community, and I'm all for that.

So, 291 joggers, sprinters, fun runners and tortoises, the young, the not so young, the fit and the getting fitter, we all lined up to see the welcome return of RD Jacqueline Chang, who just eight weeks ago gave birth to the cute-as-a-button Amy. Is this woman completely bonkers? She's on maternity leave, with two little boys and now Amy to look after, and that's forgetting her biggest child (husband Joe) who was to be found out on the course. Yet here she was, running through the parkrun drill whilst Amy slumbered peacefully beside her in her pram. Don't ANYONE dare moan about ANYTHING to do with this week's event. If you don't like it, drop us a line at kingstonhelpers@parkrun.com and you can come and help.

Anyway, peace was restored with the calm presence of Tom Minney  , who with 34 parkruns under his belt has already volunteered twice. If you were expecting that mad old bat with the dog at the turn point, I know Tom will have been a welcome surprise instead. He's a regular at Southwark, but also pops up to Durham when visiting family and has done Bushy too. As Tom and I walked back, with sick note parkrunner Sarah Doyle and my dog Ned , Tom told us what a lovely route he thought Kingston was. Why of course it is Tom, tell us something we don't know, and remember to come back and visit us again soon.

Whilst we all know it's a run not a race, an extra special mention must go to first person home Daniel Cheeseman who appeared not even to be in a sweat when Sarah and I passed him on our way out at Teddington Lock. He clocked in at 17:50, and as a first timer to Kingston I am also super impressed at people who find their way through The Ham Lands with no-one to follow. Lucky then that Bev Gow did such a good job of marking the course. However you need to know two things about Daniel (SM20-24) - his parkrun record is at Bushy, when he ran the course in 15:35 back in October 2016. Yep, you read that right reader. And, in another astonishing feat, this week's parkrun was Daniel's first, following surgery for a ??? which kept him out for a bit. Kudos to you Mr Cheeseman.

In a very different scenario, runner Richard Kirk came a cropper when he tried to avoid the mud by careering wildly around a tree in a failed mission to keep his buggy moving.  . Richard rolled spectacularly onto his back, whilst fellow runner Kate Hancock dived in to save Richard's son Alex who was oblivious to the near death experience he was involved in. OK, so it wasn't near death, but Richard sustained a nasty leg injury (I know, because I poked it when I got back and he yelped like a baby). Talking of babies, congrats to Richard and his wife Vicki, who welcomed their gorgeous baby Teddy into the world, and of course the parkrun community, just a few days before. Maybe Richard's sleep-deprived state contributed to his poor navigation and estimation of space skills.

And if all this drama wasn't enough, why there's still plenty more. We had 43 first timers and tourists to our beautiful Kingston route. Fourteen of these runners were on their first ever parkrun. How good did you feel when all was done and dusted and you were clutching that all important finish token? Come back and see us again. we love first timers who morph into second, third and eventually 100th timers. And talking of tokens, we had an astonishing 23 of you today who turned up, ran your head off, and then disappeared into the ether, perhaps never to be seen again. You recorded no official time and to all intents and purposes do not exist. #DFYBC.

Someone who does indeed exist is Lizzie Wilson, who stormed home way ahead of Reyadh Mallam-Hassam. Lizzie was heard to proclaim that her goal - neigh - life long ambition of beating Reyadh (who was once again running on a full tank of beer) had been fulfilled. Lizzie, it doesn't get much better than that. Enjoy the glory. We all know that occasionally it's very much a race, not a run, no matter what that Paul Sinton-Hewitt bloke maintains.

In other important news we had two junior milestones - very big well done to Jessica Lyon (JW10) and Sam Nesbitt (JM11-14) who both completed their tenth parkrun. Flipping awesome. In addition we had an absolutely whopping 26 PBs. Twenty six! Well done EVERYONE.

As usual, we end with a big cheer to the volunteers , who all made this week's run possible and fabulous. An extra special big cheer to Terri Harris, who realised at the start she was on her 300th volunteering stint. Terri, we salute you (although your incredible shrinking act is making it harder to find you with each week!).

Have a good week most wonderful runners

Looking forward to next week's run already.




Kingston parkrun No. 424 07/04/18

The one with the canine assistant marshal...

I've said it before and I'm not afraid to say it again. Running at Kingston is simply the BEST place to get your parkrun fix. Yes you can tour all over the place, and sample the delights of other parkrun families and routes (as I did last week, more on that later), but we all know that the happiest parkrun in the world is to be found along the tow path from Kingston towards Richmond, and back again.

I make this geographic point because none of you know how near you came this week to running on past the Ham Lands and into Richmond, before stopping to scratch your head and thinking "where the dickens is that finish funnel, I could have sworn parkrun is only 5k?"

As your Ham Lands turn point marshal yesterday, my job was to leg it down there in plenty of time to be ready to remind you all to bear right and for Pete's sake, be careful, because it's slippy. Why, fantastic Fiona had even texted me the night before to politely remind me to remind all runners to be careful. She takes her RD slot very seriously. But of course I'm a lot slower than others, and I under-estimated how long it would take me to walk there (especially since I have a dodgy leg and there's no way I can run at the moment). Strolling down with canine assistant marshal Ned, we bumped into that running rogue Kevin Stone, who had run out to mark the course. "You'll be fine Josie, they won't be setting off for another ten minutes," he said. But Kevin forgets what a slow coach I am, and looking at my watch at Teddington Lock I told Ned we'd better get a move on.

I started imaging the first runner would be a first timer, and if they weren't paying enough attention to the ground, they may run past Kevin's big arrow saw dust into the Ham Lands and keep going. Before we knew it, we'd have a breakaway contingent, causing mass confusion and mayhem and leading runners on a merry dance into Middlesex and beyond.

Picking up my pace, wishing I'd not donned my thermal vest, I realised Ned had stopped for what we'll call a comfort break. Poo bagged, we carried on, me at a slight crazy canter, my leg starting to niggle, and Ned at his usual break next speed. The sense of urgency I was obviously giving off was picked up by my silly dog, who stopped for another poo. It wasn't what I needed. In my haste to bag the offending item before the first parkrunners caught up with me I fumbled the job and - disaster - the operation was not a smooth one. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. But I now needed to wash my hands. Have you ever tried to wash your hands in a puddle along the tow path whilst also trying to explain to the two German cyclists on hire bikes who are bearing down on you and heading towards Kingston that any second now they are going to be cycling into some 200 runners coming in the opposite direction? I don't recommend it. I'm not sure they understood. Indeed I wonder if we should alert the local constabulary to send out a quick search party and make sure they're not clinging to the rushes and quaking in their cycle helmets wondering if you've all run past by now...

Anyway, still clinging onto the offending doggy bags, Ned and I got to our station with minutes to spare. Sweaty hair stuck to my very hot and bothered head, I took off my fleece and put my glasses back on, only for them to instantaneously steam up so I was momentarily rendered blind. And then lo and behold, the first parkrunners appeared ahead of me, and all was well with the world. Ned and I had made it and guided you down that slippy path, bellowing at you to keep safe because neither Ned or I are first aid trained and would be in no position to administer medical help. And you think you're in safe hands with a parkrun marshal?

But of course you are, because Fiona was holding the fort back at base, and of the 217 people who set off yesterday, 217 came back safe and sound. Of those 217, we had two runners doing their 250th runs. Wowza gents - huge congrats. And in a clearly scientific experiment it has been proved that running at Kingston makes you faster. Richard Sullivan, who has completed 246 of his 250 runs at Kingston, came in at 23:01. Dan Crisan, on the other hand, who is in the same age category as Richard (both youngsters aged between 50 and 54), came in at 29:15. But Dan has completed 'only' 122 runs at Kingston. You can't argue with the data. Dan mate, you know what you need to do.

In other running news, tourist Benedict Holmes (SM 25-29, Kent AC) stormed home in 18:01, with a new PB to boot and first female was Laura Suggitt (SW 20 - 24), another tourist who was handed her finish barcode just 21 minutes and nine seconds after setting off. Well done to you both, you fantastic athletes. Other fantastic athletes included the 25 first timers to Kingston, including eight who chose us to bring them their first parkrun experience EVER. I hope you loved it. I hope you come back next week. Hopefully we made you feel as happy as the 27 people who got a PB. See, Kingston makes you fast - unless you're 40-something hung over Reyadh Mallam-Hassam who dragged his 'eight pints last night' body out of bed and was paced around by a 15 year old. Well done pacer Emma, who it was reported was seen doubling back for the old soak four times. That's the spirit - pun intended.

That said, we all know parkrun is a run, not a race. And so it was my very great pleasure to come back in yesterday in the cheerful company of tail walker Terri Harris, runners Bulewa Mfakadolo and her delightful ten-year-old daughter Sibulele. Our merry band was further swelled by the addition of Teddington Lock marshal Jonathan Ford, who reluctantly agreed to be in our riverside selfie. You loved it Jon!

All that remains for me to say is thank you to the volunteers who made it all happen and big congratulations to Fiona who has completed a hat trick of RD duties with great aplomb and who got those results out yesterday in super quick time. As someone remarked on the Kingston parkrun FB page, she got those results out faster than some people run it!

Until we meet again you lovely people,




Kingston parkrun No. 423 31/03/18

If Josie were writing today’s run report I’m sure she’d include lots of egg-cellent Easter related puns, but with her touring at Crystal Palace you’ll have to put up with me, a shorter report and fewer puns.

We had 173 finishers today, including 18 first timers, who ran, jogged or walked the extremely muddy Kingston parkrun course. I need to start by apologising to our first finisher, I know you scanned but your barcode didn’t register, and I don’t know who you are. If you are our mystery first finisher, please email kingstonoffice@parkrun.com I'll add you to the results.

Hanging around the finish area I heard that some of you were distracted by the seal that appears to have taken up residence around Teddington Lock. He obviously didn’t distract the six people who recorded personal bests today, I’m very impressed with your performances given the conditions!

It was a slightly sad morning for me as my good friend and Kingston parkrun regular, Hannah Doyle, did her last parkrun with us as a local. Hannah shared this photo on Instagram and I think captured the ethos of parkrun perfectly when she said she’d miss the local running community and the friends for life she’s made. Good luck with your move to West Sussex Hannah, I’ll really miss you but will be down to visit for some parkrun tourism soon!

I’d also like to thank the 11 volunteers who made today’s event possible:

Joanna Watson • Warren Hardcastle • Lizzie Ruth Wilson • Sally Boulton • Terri Harris • Nicola Jones • Fiona Pugh • Declan Costello • Morag Slater • Tom Curtis • Alison Culnane

If you would like to volunteer please do have a look at the volunteer roster or email me on kingstonoffice@parkrun.com. None of the volunteer roles are too stressful. But we’ll never ask anybody to do anything they're not comfortable with. If you don't want a particular task, please let us know and we will happily give you an alternative job.


Kingston parkrun No. 422 24/03/18

Ladies Day!

You've heard of Ladies Day at the races - well today was certainly Ladies Day at Kingston parkrun, because first person home today was Isabel Clark - a FEMALE! Ya hoo. It's not often we have a female first finisher. Indeed the lovely Daisy Street and I, who tail walked together today, saw her coming back and clapped and cheered her on. Then to our shame we decided she couldn't actually be doing parkrun, and was probably just out on a solo run, since she was running with no sign of any parkrunners around her. What disgraceful doubting tail walkers we were. I then came home and checked the results, and lo and behold, there was Isabel's name in lights.

So a very big well done Isabel (SW30-34, Serpentine RC), who came home first in 17:46 and who was on her first trip to Kingston parkrun. That's surely the way to do it. For all other results, feel free to pop back to the Kingston parkrun results page, where you can spend as much time as you like poring over the results and making sure those glorious parkrun volunteers have got your time right.

Talking of volunteers, huge congrats to new kid on the block, Fiona Pugh, who completed her first outing as RD (in line with Kingston parkrun Ladies Day) with the most astonishing aplomb. Why, I had my finish time by 11.04am. That's scarily efficient for the new girl. Regular Kingston parkrunner Fiona has clocked up 135 parkruns and volunteered 53 times. But now she's entered a whole new level. Why, she gets to use the megaphone at the run briefing. To be honest, that's the only reason I volunteered this week. I knew Fiona would be so busy being RD that she wouldn't notice me delving into the parkrun shopping trolley at the end and getting out the megaphone, which I expertly used to beg a coffee from parkrunner Julie Norris. It worked. Thanks Julie. In my defence, I was definitely egged on by volunteer marshall Warren Hardcastle, who should also be made to stand in the naughty corner with me if I'm in trouble.

In other exciting news (trust me, there is no better way to start your weekend), Michael Street (26.2 RRC) completed his 250th parkrun. He graciously brought the most delicious chocolate brownies and fruit cake to celebrate with. Thank you Michael. That's the beauty of parkrun - there's ALWAYS cake, coffee, celebration and chat at the end. And kudos to Nancy Bucke (junior women 11-14) who celebrated her 10th parkun with a PB of 29:57. You go girl.

On this much warmer Saturday than last week, 226 of us lined up, along with 30 tourists, of whom eight were first time ever, beautiful new additions to the parkrun family. Where on EARTH have you been? Come back to us, or another parkrun, next Saturday. In addition we had 32 PBs - or as the results page says 'PB!'

Finally, thanks must go to the wonderful volunteers, without whom parkrun just would not happen. Indeed, you may find this hard to believe, but last night while most of us were doing whatever we do on a Friday night, Fiona was at home practising parkrun tasks, checking the scanners were working and generally doing all the things that need to be done, behind the scenes, to make the whole shebang happen. It doesn't just pop up at 9am and fold when the tail walker crosses the finish. What I want to know is, did she wear the obligatory high-viz jacket as she did so?

Anyway, thank you to all the volunteers, we salute you:

Ian Boulton, Sally Boulton, Thomas Change, Jacob Chang, Nicole Figlin, Warren Hardcastle, Terri Harris, Lauren Hawkins, Paul Keddie, Andrew Kenward, Zoe Mason, Fiona Pugh, Daisy Street, Mike Wheeler.

Until next week, when hopefully our parkrun paths will cross again,


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