How it all works!

A little bit about behind the scenes each Saturday, you may wonder why you get shouted at to stay in order, take a token, don't cross the line twice, and please do not duck out of the funnel before taking a token!! With many new people joining us at Lee, I hope this gives a little insight into how it all works.

 Well here's how the parkrun magic works.

You'll notice at the start line and at the finish line that there will be two people with stopwatches.

The stopwatches start when the Run Director shouts GO at the beginning of the run and every time someone crosses the finish line our timekeeping volunteers click a button to record a time and a finish position.  This is why we ask people not to cross the line twice, or we end up with more finish times/positions than we should have.

We have recently extended our funnel, but it is important that you keep moving down it, holding your left hand out, palm up to receive your token, this also helps keep the funnel moving.

Next you make your way along to the finish token volunteers who will hand you a token with a position number on it.  This number *should* correspond to the position on the stopwatch when you crossed the line.  This only works if you stay in your finish order until you have collected your token, and if everyone that crosses the line takes a token.  

If someone refuses to take a token (it happens!) then it can cause a problem.  Let's say someone finishes in position 30 with a time of 24:15.  They don't take their token.  The next person finishes in position 31 with a time of 24:20 but because the last person didn't take their token they get token 30.  This means that later on they will be assigned the time that goes with position 30, not with their correct time in position 31.

 So please, even if you know you have forgotten your personal barcode, take a token and just hand it back to the scanners further down the line.  It's really important.

 Occasionally someone with a clipboard might ask your name at this point.  We try to write down a finish time and a name for every 20th or so runner - this allows us to check that the tokens and finish times haven't got out of sync.  We can adjust the results later where we find a discrepancy, but we don't always know exactly where the problem is.

 After you have collected your finish token you head off to the barcode scanners.  Here you will be asked to produce your personal barcode and your finish token.  Both of these are scanned and it is this process that ties you to your finish position.  It is really important that BOTH barcodes are scanned - don't give your token back until it has been scanned as the scanners get very upset if they only have half the data they need.

 Once everyone has finished, the stopwatches and scanners are handed over to the core team and we start processing results. We plug in the scanners and the stopwatches and upload the data to the parkrun website where it matches the times to the runners.  So if you see a bunch of people huddled round a laptop mumbling swear words and possibly crying softly while you are eating your post run bacon butty you will know that somebody somewhere didn't take a token or threw it back in the tub before it was scanned and now the results have gone haywire!

 Firstly we add in the ones whose barcodes didn't scan.  Each of these has to be typed in manually. That is why we have the 'no barcode, no result' rule.  Even if you know your barcode number, it takes time to type it in and search for the correct runner - the parkrun website is pretty busy around 10am on a Saturday and it can be a tad slow! If everyone did that we'd be there all day.  The manual entries are strictly for people who did bring a printed barcode but for whatever reason the scanners were unable to read it.

Next we go through and check the spot times, making sure that the people whose names we wrote down match the finish time we wrote down for them.  If they don't, we can add / remove blanks until they do match up, though we won't know exactly where the problem occurred.  Using the example above, if we had written down spot times for the runners in position 20 and in position 40 but there was a problem at position 30, we would only know that the error had occurred somewhere between 20 and 40 and would make the adjustment at position 40, the first one we know for sure is wrong.  Which means that everyone in positions 30-39 would have the wrong times.

Once we are happy that everyone is more or less where they should be in the results we click the button to send them off and the whizzy parkrun UK computers send out your text messages which, hopefully, has the correct time on it.

 Please remember that parkrun is run by volunteers who give up their time each Saturday to provide this event.  There are little things you can do to make life easier for the volunteers and help make sure the results are as accurate as possible:

  • Don't cross the line twice - duck out to the side if you have already finished and you've gone back to support someone else
  • Stay in your finish order until you have got your token.
  • Please take the tokens even if you don't want a result - just hand them back to the scanners
  • Make sure you get both your own barcode and your finish token scanned before you throw your token in the tub.
  • Please don't ask our volunteers to take your name if you have forgotten your barcode - no barcode, no result.

Thank you for reading :)


Saturday 6th January

In the week when parkruns are aplenty, runners were treated to a chilly, but not completely unpleasant morning weather wise, certainly not in comparison to some of the treats the December weather threw at the prom anyway!

Following a record breaking start to the year, initially the morning looked quiet, but slowly people started to emerge from their cars, holding on to the warmth for as long as they possibly could before braving the cold!

Glancing around the start there were lots of people that I didn't recognise, those new to parkrun, or perhaps tourists. Who knew? But at that point I realised we all had something in common, motivation.

The New Years Day run report looked at resolutions, (parkrun based, obviously) but once the decorations are down and the routine returns it is the motivation that keeps us coming back.

No doubt today there were many, many motivations for coming along. Be it a chance to meet old friends, a chance to meet people that you don't yet know will be friends, a push for a PB or part of some wider training. Maybe the motivation is a coveted red, black, green or blue t-shirt or maybe it's cake!

Maybe you're there because this is your year, the year you make a change, and if that was you this morning you've made exactly the right start. You won't find a more supportive place to begin your journey. Well done for coming along.

You could be one of those incredible people motivated to give up their Saturday mornings so that others can run, some of you perhaps can't run, won't run and don't run but choose to give something back and some people are even motivated to forfeit their own runs so others can enjoy theirs. All heroes!

Perhaps, like me, a 5k on a Saturday morning, with a group of like minded people is just how you start your weekend, as much part of your routine as the early morning cuppa or fish and chip Friday. Somehow, come rain or shine, parkrun has become an integral part of what you do, the motivation to come back burns brightly and you feel lucky to be part of something so special. If 2018 was anything to go by, 2019 will be an even bigger and better year for parkrun, both at Lee-On-The-Solent and more widely.

So moving the slightly mushy stuff aside. This morning's report is brought to you by MOTIVATION and, although I suspect it's been done before, a summary of the run as an acrostic.

Milestones - congratulations to Richard Holmes, Simon Adamson, Jackie Brady and June Lenachan for completing their 50th parkruns this morning.

One hundred and one was the magic number for four people this morning. Well done! (We had no 100 club members)

Twenty-Seven different clubs represented at the run this morning, some local and some further afield.

Instructions - the new funnel system worked a treat, thanks to the guidance of the ED and their team.  Please make sure you listen to the RD giving the speech,  they want you to stay safe.

Volunteers - 40 Hi-Viz heroes today. Motivate yourself to join them, they're a really nice bunch!

An amazing 72 PB's recorded this morning in near perfect conditions.

Twenty Seven people didn't have or forgot their barcodes #dfyb

Inclusivity- parkrun is for everyone, and always will be.

One - The total number of people that ran their very first parkrun today was 46. Seriously, well done! Amazing stuff.

Never give up, you will never finish last (unless you volunteer as tail walker) and your super friendly volunteers are with you all the way as are all the other participants.

See you all next week!


It must be New Year when you turn up to Lee-on-the-Solent to run and it's only 3 degrees.

At number 189 at Lee, with a massive 544 runners, joggers and walkers it was a cracking turn out. Obviously not as awesome as the record breaking New Years Day numbers that attended but still a wonderful amount to keep the atmosphere electric.

New timers brief saw a few new comers to the beach but no tourists. So Jacky Brady got to celebrate her 50th Parkrun with locals only.

With pacers from 25 minutes right through to run/walk all ready and everyone ready, 3, 2, 1 and we're off.

A very crowded start but everyone seemed to be considerate to others which is always pleasing early on a Saturday morning.

Up the promenade, with a slight wind against us but not stopping us today.

All the marshals were out with a big grin as usual.

The turn point came and went in a flash today, and all of a sudden we were coming back.

Quick poo stop for Perry the dog (as usual) then we were passing all the lovely marshals and supporters by the finishers funnel. Then it was the push up the slope before enjoying the downward slope the other side. Who doesn't enjoy that bit right?!

Then along the path towards the pebbles on the slipway. No body likes that but but still we battled on through and before we knew it we were out the other side safe and concrete plodding once more.

The final turnaround point and nothing could be better than seeing a big smiling face cheering you on at that point.

Now the final long slog all the way to the finish.

Back across the pebbles, past all the beach huts and the park, then the challenge of the slope one last time. At the top of the slope it's there in the distance ... the glorious finishers funnel.

Down the slope and we're off. Using the little bit of speed we'd gained going down so keep it going. Can we overtake that one? Ooo, maybe we could overtake that one too? Push, push, push and WE'RE DONE!

Whether it took you 17 minutes and 47 seconds or 1 hour, 5 minutes and 41 seconds, everyone started and finished with a smile.

Another successful Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun done. Here's to the next.

Sophie and Perry the whippet.


New Year’s Resolution: Do More parkruns

Well a very happy new year to you all (or more, happy double parkrun day!) Congratulations everyone, you've made it through the Christmas period, the weird timeless limbo that follows and the likely hangover that you pretended you didn't have this morning or perhaps, more impressively, the lack of alcohol consumed last night! Kudus and a Strava Kudos to you all.
So, let's talk 2019...
New Year's Resolution: A tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behaviour, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.
I ask you all to join me in the resolution, 'Do more parkruns', and you know what? We're already off to a good start. Well done for maintaining your resolution thus far!
As I take the opportunity to self-indulgently reflect on my own 2018 on this public platform, I hope, and I'm sure it will, resonate with a lot of you. I want to say how much I appreciate and love the parkrun group of friends have. They really are the ones that keep you going, metaphorically when your bed seems dramatically more appealing, and physically, when you've worn the wrong sports bra, forgotten your gloves, forgotten how to run and can't breathe for the last mile (and the first come to that). Cliché as it sounds, they are family and I intend never to take them for granted. Saturday morning is an integral part of my week, as I'm sure it is for lots of you and, goodness knows, it's the constant when life's tough - that really can't be underestimated.
So, if you feel so inclined to take on one of the top 10 New Year's resolutions as, naturally, we all do, feel free to add the below parkrun slants to each of them to help you along:
1. Exercise more (by doing more parkruns)
2. Lose weight (by smashing your PBs at parkruns)
3. Get organized (by washing your best socks for parkruns)
4. Learn a new skill or hobby (by volunteering at parkruns)
5. Live life to the fullest (by being a parkrun tourist)
6. Save more money / spend less money (by taking advantage of a cheap post-parkrun coffee)
7. Quit smoking (it'll help you run better at parkruns)
8. Spend more time with family and friends (invite them to parkrun)
9. Travel more (by doing the A-Z challenge of parkruns)
10. Read more (parkrun reports)
Take care Lee-on-the-Solent parkrunners on what, for most of you, will be your scary first day back at work tomorrow, but it's okay, parkrun is only 4 sleeps away.


Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun
Event number 188
1st January 2019

This week 777 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 175 were first timers and 64 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 58 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 34 volunteers:

Joanne SINTON-HEWITT • Steven RICHARDSON • Paul ATKINSON • Eleanor NEWMAN • Derek WATSON • Duane KELLY • Sian KELLY • Tracy SLADE • Sam UNDERWOOD • Maggie ATKINSON • Cliff SHAW • Pearson ATKINSON • Andy WHITE • Martin PEGLER • Elizabeth LLEWELLYN • Lewis BEVAN • Honor READER • Henry PRICE • Celia MARTIN • Christine RUSS • David NEWMAN • Richard MACKAY • Thomas PARRY • Becky GARNETT • Jacqui TORRENS • Lee TORRENS • Collin FRENCH • Peter STEWARD • Tina MACKAY • Paul HAILWOOD • Brian WOODHALL • Dean POLLARD • Hayden YOUNG • Christine LAIDLAW

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

The female record is held by Jen ELKINS who recorded a time of 17:46 on 1st January 2017 (event number 81).
The male record is held by James BAKER who recorded a time of 15:54 on 28th April 2018 (event number 151).
The Age Grade course record is held by Penny FORSE who recorded 96.26% (22:45) on 7th July 2018 (event number 161).

Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun started on 4th July 2015. Since then 8,871 participants have completed 64,688 parkruns covering a total distance of 323,440 km, including 12,478 new Personal Bests. A total of 811 individuals have volunteered 6,178 times.


What a difference a year makes….

I'm writing this to let you know my parkrun story. Running Christmas Day made me think about how the last year has changed me, and parkrun is a big part.

Last Christmas Day I was home alone for the morning. I had signed up to parkrun a few weeks before, and printed my barcode hoping I would be brave enough to go on my own Christmas Day. I worked Saturday mornings then so I wasn't able to do it at any other time.

I left my home at 8.30 and arrived at about 8.45, a grey, dreary day if I remember correctly. I sat in the car for what seemed like ages trying to decide whether to run or just drive home. I did brave it, listened to the first timers briefing and joined everyone else for the start. Nervously I ran the course in 39.28! I wouldn't say I enjoyed it but it made me feel good! Fast forward 12 months and I have changed my work hours so I can do parkrun on Saturday mornings and I have persuaded  a couple of friends to take part too!!! This Christmas Day I did my 40th run, 38 at Lee, 1 at Netley and 1 in Ludlow, Shropshire (that was hilly!!) and managed to get a pb, 31.16, over 8 minutes faster than last year!!! I feel fitter, and healthier and look forward to Saturday mornings!!!

A huge thank you to you all for organising this event, and to all your volunteers. I'm one who doesn't often say thank you, not because I don't appreciate it but because I'm concentrating on breathing and staying alive!!! But believe me I really do appreciate everyone who's there, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Hears to maybe breaking the 30mins in the next 12 months!!

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