Run Report #159

I usually like to get a run report written the day of the run. When the days events are still fresh in my mind, and I so I don't feel guilty getting a volunteer credit for something I have not yet completed. My husband did the First Timers Brief, so his volunteer stint was over before he even started running. However, this weekend was my parents golden wedding anniversary, so we knew we wouldn't have long to sit in the café after parkrun, before we rushed off to join family for lunch, and hosted a barbecue into the evening, so I thought the run report could be fitted round the madness of the weekend. It was also our wedding anniversary on the Friday, so anniversaries are somewhat on my mind.


Each year each parkrun celebrates its anniversary. This year Lee-on -the- Solent will be celebrating its 3rd birthday on 7th July, with pacers, rio carnival fancy dress and cakes. Sadly we'll miss it due to an annual naval band contest, with an unfortunately early start. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos.


I've loved seeing the influx of new t-shirts celebrating 50, 100, 250 and 500 parkruns, as parkrun has caught up with the outstanding milestones t-shirts earned.  If you, or someone you know,  has a milestone run coming up, let the volunteer office know so they can give you a shout out. Nigel Bailey and Ian Ross reached 50 parkruns this week, and Thomas Harrison reached 10 parkruns. 23 people ran their first run at Lee on Saturday, and 44 people recorded a new PB.


For anyone interested in tracking their parkrun anniversaries, and stats in general, this recent extension for Chrome gives all kinds of information. I was interested to find that the average geographical coordinates of my parkruns was calculated, along with the furthest parkrun location from that, and the nearest parkrun that I've not yet done. I also like the map showing locations of the parkruns I've completed.


And will we get to celebrate Dame Kelly Holmes coming to visit? For anyone who missed this week, we started with a call out to see if she'd like to come visit.


Saturday 16th June Event number 158

This week's parkrun saw a breezy overcast morning. It was cooler than recent weeks too. We ran/walked and jogged Route C again due to the pesky works on the beach.

The first parkrunner past the line was Peter Costly in 17:59. Well Done that man. The first female parkrunner past the line was April Brown in 23:16. April also achieved a PB. Well Done!

There were 9 people completing their first parkrun on Saturday and 13 people completing their 2nd. On the opposite end of the spectrum Stuart Nicholson of Stubbington Green Runners completed his 254th parkrun. We also had 5 people complete their 50th parkrun which means we'll soon be seeing them sporting their snazzy red t-shirts.

We had 23 people join us for the first time at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun but not for their first parkrun. There were also 23 running clubs represented with us on Saturday.

11 unknown runners leave us wondering if they forgot their barcodes or if they simply aren't registered. And finally, there were 142 females and 194 males took part.


Run # 155

Those who like to indulge in regular 'parkrun tourism' - when runners and walkers visit parkruns other than their usual course - must love coming to Lee-on-the-Solent!
The course is mainly flat, apart from the 'Lee Tower Hills' (more on those later!), and the surface is firm, mud-free and smooth, save for a short stretch of shingle at the bottom of the hovercraft slipway.  True, there are benches, rubbish bins and the odd vertical pole to negotiate plus a few early morning dog walkers but the views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and the fresh sea air surely make up for this.  In fact, many competitive runners achieve their fastest times on the Lee course.
Last Saturday's Lee parkrun was a tad on the warm side - the outside temperature recorded in my parked car was 18 deg C at 8.50am - and participants were unable to get relief from any seafront breeze as the prevailing wind was largely from the north instead of the usual south-westerly.  Despite this, 66 of the 388 participants recorded Personal Bests and hopefully the 38 'First Timers' enjoyed the experience and will become frequent races, runners, joggers and walkers at Lee.
Five of the first six runners home were locals from Stubbington Green Runners and Gosport Road Runners.  Congratulations go to the first male and female finishers, Rob Greenwood (SGR) and Nikki Moxham (GRR), who have regularly led their category down the finishing tunnel.  Special mention here for Nikki and Bob Beldon (GRR), who both recorded impressive PBs.
Now, back to those 'Lee Tower Hills' so dreaded by us strugglers and stragglers. Having participated in my first parkrun tourism event at Macclesfield the week before while staying with relatives, I will never again regard those slopes marking the old Lee Tower site as hills.  The Macclesfield parkrun, which only started last month, has a massive hill in the middle over which you are required to run (or walk) twice - a Macclesfield Mound to some but a Macclesfield Mountain to me.  Having achieved this, a few of us misunderstood the directions (or maybe it was just me?) and ended up at the finish line in an amazing time.  I dipped out unrecorded and resolved never again to regard the Lee slopes as hills ... they are mere 'pimples'!  Surely, after this experience, a new PB at Lee was on the cards for Saturday?  Wrong, failed dismally, but there's always next week .... Note to self: Don't go out on Friday night if you're committed to doing  parkrun the following morning!


Run #152

“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...”. OK, it’s not the most original way to start today’s run report, but what a fabulous day to walk or run beside the sea at Lee- on- the- Solent parkrun this morning!

Today I was not just a parkrunner, but also Mrs Run Report Writer, so reported in to Volunteer Coordinator Maggie as soon as I arrived.  Parkrun events rely solely on volunteers and if you’ve not yet had the opportunity to do so, consider giving it a go. There are plenty of roles to choose from, all are straightforward to do, and some (such as run report writer) give you the chance to volunteer and run at the same event.

After the announcements from today’s Run Director, Honor Reader, 507 of us set off along the promenade at a very prompt 09.02. Blue, blue skies and clear views across the Solent, it was a glorious way to start the bank holiday weekend.

Today I was running with my husband, Mr Run Report Writer. He’s relatively new to parkrun, and in practice much faster than me, but we tend to stick together for the first couple of kilometres until he finds his pace.  Despite my initial concerns, we were fairly well positioned at the start and were able to get into a nice even running rhythm from the go. I love the community spirit of parkrun and, although I’m an infrequent visitor to Lee on the Solent, felt that in spades today hearing the ‘hellos’, chatting and friendly banter around me as we ran the first kilometre or so.  Before too long we’d reached the first turning point, and we turned back on ourselves taking the opportunity to admire the views across the Solent as we started the longest stretch of this sea side event.

It’s not just the location and the friendly welcome I enjoy at this parkrun.  Being a circular(ish) route, you get to see every runner and walker taking part - a reminder of the truly inclusive community this remarkable event has created.  This point in the route also presents one of my favourite views: a steady, near endless stream of runners and walkers, clad in their colourful clothes, stretching out along the prom as far as the eye can see. Against the backdrop of a cloudless sky, and stunning sea views, it really is a sight to behold.

At a steady pace, we ran back past the start line and up over the ramp.  Approaching Leon’s, I started to slow a little. Not so Mr Run Report Writer - he was off like the wind!  A well timed high five from a mini supporter, and I was back into my running pace. Across the shingle, I spotted Mr Run Report Writer who was now on the return leg. A quick wave and a thumbs up, and I too reached the second turning point..... turn..... shingle..... beach huts..... Leon’s..... ramp..... and finish!  Well done to the volunteers at the finish line, whether you were timing, scanning, funnel managing or otherwise organising, you did an amazing job for us today.

Congratulations to Brian Harris for his 50th parkrun this morning, and to junior parkrunner Kate, who joined the 10 parkrun club.


Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun
Event number 152
5th May 2018

This week 507 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 61 were first timers and 83 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 33 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 37 volunteers:

Brian FISHER • Austin GRAY • Susan BARRETT • Eleanor NEWMAN • Thomas GRIFFIN • Louise BRIDGES • Kaarina MAY • Maggie ATKINSON • Michael BOWERS • Marie BOWERS • Cliff SHAW • Janet SHAW • Phillip SHILLING • Henry GILL • Julia MARWOOD • Jacob BARCA • Lei COLLINS • Honor READER • Tom READER • Callum READER • Henry PRICE • Sophie PRICE • Tracie PRICE • Christine RUSS • Katy BRADLEY • Kirstin WESTOVER • Amelia DOWLER • Janet SMITH • Ian ROSS • Caroline RICHARDS • Jacqui TORRENS • Nikki BARNARD • Collin FRENCH • Peter STEWARD • Gavin BRIDGES • Ann OWEN • Nigel OWEN

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 92.89% (22:30) on 3rd October 2015 (event number 14).

Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun started on 4th July 2015. Since then 7,397 participants have completed 50,460 parkruns covering a total distance of 252,300 km, including 10,393 new Personal Bests.


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!!

 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.

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 throw your finish token back in the tub 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 :)

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