Run Report – January 12 2019

This weeks run report is from James White.

I last visited Netley Abbey 5 years ago for the 100th event. In the time since I last visited I have gotten married, had two kids and run 216 more parkruns at another 97 different venues!!

Despite the time that has lapsed, I remember the day clearly. It was bitterly cold, there was a freezing cold wind coming off the water and there were a number of large, unavoidable puddles as you headed up into the woods. The start of the course was run the other way, dropping down to the waterside at the start, before heading up into the woods, but other than that it felt very familiar. What was also familiar was the warm welcome that visitors were given, we were all made to feel like part of the family and were cheered on the whole way by the superb volunteers!

Unlike my first visit, this time I was pushing my 2 year old, Elsie, in the running buggy. We arrived early and met the core team before attending the run brief...well we hoped to attend the run brief but Elsie ran off to see a big ship going past! We caught the end and fortunately fellow tourists Kerry and Dave talked me through the course.

As I had Stubbington 10km in the morning I had decided to take it easy so lined up with the running buggy at the back of the pack. It was lovely conditions for running and everyone seemed in good spirits. I started chatting to a local runner (sorry I didn't catch his name) and we stayed together for most of the run. I was nice to be made so welcome and be able to talk about running and parkrunning.

It wasn't long before we were heading up the hill the final time, once more round the woods and back to the waterside and in to the finish. After getting scanned we headed to the play park where Elsie had a good run around, before going to the excellent café. It was a shame that we couldn't have stuck around for longer, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time. We will definitely not leave it another 5 years before visiting again!

Thank you to everyone who made today's run possible, especially the wonderful core team and volunteers.


Run Report 28/08/18

This bank holiday weekend Netley Abbey welcomed 253 runners and 38 first timers to Royal Victoria Country Park. The heatwave may have gone, but luckily, so did the rainfall from the Friday evening, making the route dry for most of the route.​

A whopping 54 runners recorded a personal best excluding first timers, meaning 92 runners were eligible to ring the PB/First Timer bell at the end. Congratulations go out to Sarah Furniss who hit the 100 milestone this morning. We also had a further 2 unofficial milestones, with Rosie Mackay reaching her 150th parkrun and Melanie Ford reaching her 200th. Congratulations to all!​

With lots going on in the area; Pride festival in Southampton, Victorious festival in Portsmouth and Southampton vs Leicester at St. Mary's, there's much to look forward to and with a parkrun under the belt, it's a great start to the weekend for everyone today.​

A huge thanks to the volunteers who came out in the rain and made parkrun possible this week; Isaac ANDREWS, Aurelio BELLO, Vicki BRUNINK, Heather BUDDEN, Michael BUTCHER, Steve CARR, Mark CUNNINGHAM, Hazel CURTIS, Kyle CUTHBERTSON, John DUCKWORTH, Jon FARRINGTON, Lyn FROUD, Nicholas HAWKINS, Jonathan Edward HAWKINS, David Hugh HAWKINS, Michael HEAD, Sandra HOOK, Peter INGASON, Beth INGASON, Ruth JOHNSON, Chris LEWIS, Claire LOCKYER, John MCKENZIE, Pauline NICHOLSON, Eddie OLIVER, Kenny OLORO, Henry PENFOLD, Tracy PUTTOCK, Anna SMITH-JAMES, Gordon SYMONS, Susan WILTON​

Always remember:  no volunteers, no parkrun. If you haven't yet emailed in to help out please consider doing so – the team can always use another pair of hands and it really is enjoyable for an hour or so.​

This week's first finishers were Steven Furness with a time of 18:23 and Amanda Fisher with a time of 22:15. Robert Thompson hit the highest age grading at 81.09%. Tim Rolfe wins the most aesthetically pleasing time with 22:33​.

Thank You​



Run Report – 04/08/18

This morning we set off for our first visit to Netley Abbey - a short trip along the M27 to a parkrun course we had planned to visit for sometime which promised much: sea views, a country park, woodland and heritage architecture and all on a sunny day.

Approaching the country park, we could see the streams of brightly clad runners and walkers making their way towards the assembly point in front of the imposing Victorian chapel.  We were warmly welcomed by today's run director Claire Browne, and pointed in the direction of James Dunlop who delivered the first timer's briefing. James described the course and noted that marshal Gordon Symon's was celebrating a special birthday. Gordon was also marshalling for the 260th time.  A remarkable achievement indeed. Congratulations and happy birthday!

First timer's briefing completed, we gathered near the start line. "3..2..1.." and we were off!  The course lived up to its promise, and I really enjoyed the different landscapes and landmarks along the way. The path up to the wood with a gentle incline (less gentle third time around), the coolness of the wooded area, the nice slope downwards, the view of the chapel, the grassy paths, Florence Nightingale corner, the view of the sea, and repeat twice more.  I struggled a bit today. Heat and a couple of over enthusiastic gym classes to blame I suspect, but the views and support of the marshals and fellow parkrunners more than made up it!

202 of us ran or walked today.  First man home was first timer Paul Keating with a time of 18.01. First female finisher, was Southampton AC member, Anna Rebecca Walklate who returned home in 21:21.  Top age graded scorer was Frances Lord with an age graded time of 80.74. Amazing!

37 people recorded a new personal best - well done to you all, particularly given the heat of today.  Netley Abbey also welcomed 17 first timers of which 5 took part in their very first parkrun.  Alistair Garmendia celebrated his 50th parkrun. Congratulations to you too!

Post parkrun, we joined a number of fellow parkrunners for tea and cake at the cafe, enjoying the sun and wondering why we'd not visited this gem of a parkrun before. One thing's for sure though, we'll be back for more, and not in the too distant future.


Run Report 21/01/17 by David Hawkins

The 21st January 2017 saw my 250th parkrun and my 216th at Netley. Thank you to all those who shared my day - great fun. A special thanks to those who undertook some parkrun tourism to support me. It was great to celebrate landmark runs with my running buddies - Tracey Corker (100) Gerry Robson (100) and Pete Costley (200) - the latter two normally run at Southampton, so thanks for sharing guys.

Despite the novelty, I dont necessarily recommend wearing 3 balloons, especially if its windy. I had visions of a late January day being bleak and blustery - starting my run at Netley and finishing in Fawley. Fortunately, we were clear and calm. There must be a market for 250 balloons somewhere?

You may be surprised to hear that I didnt get parkrun when I first started. I didnt see the point, running round in circles each week and to what ends? I started at Lakeside in Eastleigh and ran 3 in 2010 and stopped because I got bored and then ran one, not sure why, in Nov 2011. Then, with Olympic excitement building, I decided to turn over a new leaf and commit to losing weight and getting a bit fitter. Start date - 1st January 2012. 264 weeks later, 246 parkruns and 750 miles on, I am stilling running around in circles trying to understand why I do it. In that time, I lost nearly 5 stone (put some back on though - love my biscuits), lobbed minutes off my time, became a qualified coach and enjoy being part of various local events, large and small. But, most importantly, I have made numerous friends. None of this would have happened without that first step at Lakeside.

So, if you are new to parkrun and are beginning to wobble, keep persevering, it is worth it in the end. If its any consolation, the running, the reason for joining parkrun, becomes secondary and it is the chance to meet up with friends that drives your attendance, and oh yes, to beat the person who was in front of you last week.

Happy running.



Run Report 21/01/17 by Karen Andrews

324 runners braved the sub zero temperatures this morning for Netley Abbey's 263rd parkrun. This probably equated to 648 gloves, at least 900 layers, and a handful of very chilly, but ever cheerful marshals!

This morning saw significant milestones for some Netley Abbey regulars. Obviously the most important element of such occasions is post run treats, and they didn't disappoint! Rebekah Collins and Jonathon Brothers celebrated turning 50 (in parkrun terms) today, while Gerry Robson and Tracey Corker earned their 100 Tshirt today. Eclipsing them all, however, was David Hawkins who, with the assistance/ hindrance of celebratory balloons, completed his 250th parkrun today.

Joining him and boosting today's numbers were lots of his running friends, many of whom were visiting from Southampton parkrun. 250 is a massive achievement, and is well deserved for a man who volunteers nearly every week with set up and close down, constantly encourages others and is always a friendly face at parkrun. David's parkrun journey has seen him run Netley 216 times, and taken him as far north as Glasgow. David's first parkrun was at neighbouring Eastleigh on 15/5/2010, and he was at Royal Victoria Country Park for the very first Netley Abbey parkrun.

Well done to all those who have reached a milestone this week, and the many who already wear their milestone Tshirts with pride.

Also worth a mention today are those with another very important milestone: their first parkrun. Well done to the 24 first timers today and welcome to the parkrun family!


Run Report 17/12/16 by Josh Buckle

The Netley Abbey Parkrun today was a huge success as 195 runners from all walks of life and clubs such as the Hedge End Running Club and the Southampton running clubs took part in the event in the wake for the Christmas holidays.

People came to spectate the runners and the runners wore festive jumpers and shirt's today in addition to one of the volunteers was playing Christmas music on this occasion who is one of the regular volunteers as the energetic runners crossed the finish line.

In addition, there was festive food like brownies and traditional cakes for everyone to grab a bite at by also one of the volunteers, in addition to the many people went to the café afterwards located in the park to gain energy from the run.

Everybody enjoyed themselves today seeing in the happy faces of people and accomplishing their set goals completing them using their watches.

The volunteer group and the Parkrun wants to wish you a very happy Christmas and a happy new year from the whole Netley Abbey Parkrun team and will be looking forward for seeing you next week.'


Run Report 10/12/16 by David Hawkins

I always have mixed feelings about missing a parkrun. I feel guilty. Today was one on those days, but I did have a good excuse. Over the last year, or so, I have struggled with a developing cataract, that has made life very lop sided and has made running more challenging than it should be. Perception of distance has become difficult. I can only describe a cataract as looking through a window with a blob of vaseline smeared across it - everything is blurry. Anyway, today was op day. So come 9.00 am whilst you were having your pre brief, I was being prepared for surgery. I know where I would rather have been!

What did I miss? Nothing out of my left eye, but my right tells me the ever popular Mr Unknown was first (DFYB) in an unknown time, so I guess technically Tim Doran was the first park runner who conformed to the rules to cross the line. Well Done Tim. Karen Andrews was first lady with Tracey Corker topping Age Rated - well done both. Beyond that, there were some notable landmarks. Whilst it is always good to see and welcome first timers and visitors to Netley, today I will applaud the regulars.

So, congratulations to Jessica Collins (JW11-14) on reaching 50 parkruns. At the other end of the spectrum, my old mate Rob Thompson (VM50-54) chose Netley for his 100th - well done Rob, along side Beth Nice (JW15-17) - great running. Weighing in with 150 parkruns, Isaac Andrews (JM15-17) has now committed three years of early starts (and volunteering) to parkrun - fabulous, but this week Isaac is pipped by Bethan Davis on 200 (JW50-54) - superb. Sorry I wasnt there to celebrate with you and I bet I missed cake.

These achievements confirm what parkrun is all about - inclusivity. With two over 50's and three under 18's achieving landmarks this week, where else would you find an event that will allow men, women and children to run together and against one another, in the same place, at the same time, on the same course, where equal support is offered and given? I cant think of anywhere else.

Next week, I hope to be back with HD vision and looking at the world in glorious technicolour.

Happy Running

Cyclops Hawkins.


Run Report 26/11/16 by Karen Andrews

Netley parkrun number 253 saw 201 runners descend on Royal Victoria Country Park for the weekly 5k run.

Today Netley welcomed five parkrun first timers, and a few tourists visiting our parkrun for the first time. Welcome to all!

PBs were the reward waiting at the finish line for 16 of this mornings runners - nice work!
This morning saw six new members of the 50 club, who will be wearing their nice red t-shirts in the near future. Well done to Tony Easterby, Hannah Collins, William Gill, Steven Brown, Celia Brabazon and Simon Avery for reaching that milestone.

Our most experienced parkrunner this morning was John Tussler, who has notched up 259 parkruns. John did his 175th Netley parkrun this morning.

This morning it's super-duper event director Geoff Collins' turn to let our parkrunners get to know him a bit better. So Geoff, pom poms at the ready for a spot of cheerleading...!

"Give me a P P is for participating in a weekly parkrun.
"Give me an A?" A is for all the wonderful directors and volunteers.
"Give me an R?" R is for running a weekly friendly 5k event.
"Give me a K?" K is for Karen Andrews' great run reports. (Why, thank you Geoff!)
"Give me an R?" R is for recognising first timers and improvements.
"Give me a U?" U is for Unbelievable dedication of everyone involved.
"Give me an N?" N is for never give up.

And on that note, we will see you all next week! Don't forget your barcode!


Run Report 19/11/16 by Karen Andrews

What a lovely crisp winter morning for a parkrun! And how lucky we are to have such a beautiful country park to enjoy while we enjoy/endure 5k every Saturday morning. You will have noticed the work going on at the Chapel in the centre of the park. The restoration of the building is a long term project funded by Hampshire County Council and Heritage Lottery funding, which should be finished in 2018.

The Chapel was part of the Military Hospital, which was once the longest building in the world. As well as restoring the Chapel to as close to its former state as possible, the restoration will also involve production of an exhibition and installations about the Hospital.
Now, from the park to the parkrun... Only a few of last week's puddles remained this morning, and the sun shone on the 223 barcode-bearing runners.

This morning saw three parkrun first timers. We hope you were made to feel welcome and enjoyed the parkrun experience. PBs on the winter course are hard to come by, so well done to the 10 runners who secured their best times at Netley this morning. Milestones this morning were celebrated by Lee Huxtable who joined the 100 club, while Alyson Rook, Maria Hill and Benjamin Collins all completed their 50th parkrun. Get those t-shirt orders in!

Remember, parkrun relies on volunteers, and all roles are pretty straight forward and well-supported. If you fancy helping out one weekend, visit the Volunteer section of the Netley Abbey parkrun website. I marshalled today, ably assisted by my 5 year old daughter Grace. It was chilly but fun, and we loved cheering on and high-fiving the runners on the way round. Grace was particularly fond of the runners accompanied by dogs! If you haven't done before, then give marshalling a go and see parkrun from the other side.

With the aim of getting to get to know some of the regular parkrun volunteer team, today we hear from Sandra Hook. Sandra is often seen setting up and closing down, sometimes marshalling, sometimes time keeping, and always smiling!

Over to Sandra...

Favourite volunteer role? Timer

Long run or short run? Long (although short for you marathon runners!)

Running gear: bright or black? Black

Headphones in or hear the cheers? Hear the cheers

Treadmill or dreadmill? Dreadmill

Warm up run or extra ten minutes in bed? Warm up

Refreshing rain or scorching sun? Refreshing rain

Winter course: love or loathe? Love


Run Report 12/11/16 by Karen Andrews

Netley Abbey parkrun number 251 saw a very special "first timer" today in the form of a new winter course. The weather had obviously received the memo about the course change and was suitably wintery for the occasion.

Today was less about beating PBs and more about beating the elements. Rain, wind, mud and a double dose of hills greeted the 141 hardy runners who turned out, impressively cheered on by water-proofed, welly-wearing marshals. Thank you to everyone who braved the rain to support the runners today.

A big well done to the three runners who did their first ever parkrun today: Chris Illston, Catherine Carey and James Carey. Getting out for your first parkrun on a morning like today should definitely be applauded!

Technically it was PB day for everyone on the new course, but impressively getting an overall Netley parkrun PB was Emily Jerrim - nice work!

A big shout out to the set-up team who laid out the new course while the rest of us were still warm and dry, pondering whether we really wanted to go and run in the rain. On that note, let's get to know one of the regular volunteer team at Netley: Michael Head. He can usually be found setting up, running around, then closing down come rain or shine, along with other willing volunteers.

So, Mike...
Puddles: jump over or splash through? Splash through!
Main course or cricket pitch? Cricket pitch
Parkrun or marathon? Parkrun
Summer course or winter course? Summer
Gordon or Gary?! Gordon (sorry Gary, you'd have got my vote!!)
PB or plod with friends? Plod with friends
Post run: cake or no cake? Cake!
Hi tech or naked running? Hi tech
Warm up or catch up with friends? Warm-up (very sensible Mike!)

The team at Netley would like to take this opportunity to send our sincere condolences to the family, friends and team mates of Stacey Burrows and Lucy Pygott. Two young, promising local runners who were tragically killed this week. Thank you to all runners for observing the two minutes silence this morning in memory of the girls, and in respect of Remembrance Day.

See you next week (better weather has been ordered)...

⇐ Newer Posts in Category