Richmond Park parkrun 556 – 14 April 2018

Eye Sea

It is said that London is the most surveyed city in the world just with the number of public cameras alone.  This does not include the many more in commercial premises, where they are required by law, or private properties or cyclists or mobile phones. We literally bristle with them.  It can be argued that they keep us safe and deter crime OR that they are Big Brother invading our privacy and liberty.  Who would have thought ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ would so under-predict so soon after?!.

No wonder then that a recent survey (possibly by the drugs companies) said that antidepressants work (when compared with a placebo) and that we should all be taking more of them.  What a depressing thought.  Pass me a glass of wine instead.  Oops – no!  There was an article about more than a glass of wine a day exceeding the recommendations, shortens your life expectancy drastically.  I’ll tell that to my 94 year old mother who lives in Italy!

Of course, here at Richmond Park parkrun we have no such problems, other than at the car parks where the cameras are trained on our cars.  There go those romantic rendezvous to upset the Winston Smiths and Julias of this world!  However, we can meet up at our briefing area in the safe knowledge that the nearest visible camera is 500m away at Pembroke Lodge.

WE of course, for the duration of our meetings and a long while after, have NO DEPRESSION!

People arrive and happily talk to fellow runners and even ‘first timer’ strangers, of which there were 86 today.  There were also representatives from 42 different clubs.  Can this really be a London suburb, where people have difficulty talking to each other?  The odd post-run celebratory cake or sip of mead has been known to pass people’s lips purely in celebration and this contributes to the fact that no one needs to take antidepressants before or after.  The very few that may feel a little depressed are those that, for various unfortunate reasons, have been unable to join us as usual.  We are all aware that parkrun becomes our weekly antidepressant, in the nicest possible way.

At the end of our parkrun we all queue up in various stages of exhaustion, our barcodes in our hands, waiting to be scanned by those that have volunteered to make our day even happier.  Most runners eventually recover enough to put a big smile on their face and thank the generosity of the volunteers.  First, last, PB or not we have all spent an hour or so in one of the most beautiful parks in the world.  A large percentage will be back next week to participate again – because we loved it.  Depression – what depression?  Maybe the NHS should prescribe more parkrunning.

Today we arrived with nature’s free antidepressant – the sunshine!  Forgotten - the horizontal snow from 4 weeks ago.  Even as I left the car there was the wonderful aroma from a flowering bush nearby, shaming any Parisian scent.  Spring has at last arrived!  Warming up, off piste, near the start line before the briefing, there were many muddy and boggy bits in the rough grass and paths to remind us of the recent rains.  One great thing about the rain has been that the mud in the pond adjacent the start line has sunk underneath a layer of clear water and again resembles the pond we remember.  Welcome back.  And, as if to prepare us for the celebration of spring, the sycamores leading down from the start line formed an arch of yellow flowering branches, though I suspect most of us were looking down at the heels of the person in front, not at the splendid canopy above.

Today’s run director, Andy Caie, announced that we had been given 20 places for some of us to run in next month’s 10 mile race in the park.  There would be no entry fee for those of us participating.  HOWEVER, each runner is expected to raise a minimum of £200 to support the building of a new Visitor and Heritage pavilion adjacent to Pembroke Lodge.  Anyone taking place will get a customised t-shirt and a voucher for lunch for 2 at the Pantry, Pembroke Lodge.  Additionally, from Richmond Park parkrun's perspective, this is a great way for us to be seen to “give something back” to our beautiful park.  The race is in Richmond Park on Sunday 13 May and details are

This week 492 people ran, jogged and walked the course and 41 recorded new PBs.  Richard McChesney, our fast walker, with his best time for many months, overtook me and many others, to beat me back in 31:32.  He told me he was training for a race next week.
Gordon Barnes, in 37:06, was beaten by his 2 girls by 3 seconds, who achieved their PBs.  They were chauffeured home, as reward, in the front box of their Dutch Bike.

Today’s male leaders were Dan Higgins in 16:34, closely followed by Martin Shore in 16:47 and Dan Afshar in 18:03.  They all had tremendous age grade ratings of 81.79%, 82.52% and 78.58%, respectively.
For the ladies, Adrienne Baddeley led the way in 19:44, followed close behind by Charlotte Matthews in 19:51 and Amy Wilkinson in 20.25.

Jacqueline Millet achieved the highest ladies age grade with 82.5%.  Close behind, and building back up after a small ‘break’, was Patricia Ainley with79.37% and then Alex Barr with 77.91%.

Osian Jones and Margaret Lord will be on their 100th, on the next run.  Ross Langtree, a visitor, chose Richmond to complete his 50th and Hanna Davidson also achieved her 50th.  Larry Woods and Alfred Taylor will also reach their 50th on the next run.

This week there were 23 volunteers giving their time so the rest of us could enjoy our run/walk.  At least this week they had the sun shining on them too.  As usual, a great thanks goes to them all.  Their names are at the bottom of the results page.  Well done to all of us!

Elio Zentilin


Richmond Park parkrun 555 – 7 April 2018

Why do you run?  Who or what inspires you?

In her book ‘The Pants of Perspective’, Anna McNuff wrote: ‘When I ran, it was for pleasure.  Not for times, not to win, not to impress: I ran for me. I ran to eat cake. I ran to be free.  I ran to freely eat cake.  I ran to remind myself what it was like to be a kid – exhilarated and entirely immersed in the moment’.

She never regarded herself to be a ‘real runner’ but went on to run 3,000 kilometres alone through the wilds of New Zealand!

We’ve been inspired this week by the skill and dedication of the Commonwealth Games athletes – it’s great to see the medals coming in.  At the time of writing, England is 2nd in the Medal Table, with Scotland in 6th place and Wales in 8th.  Each athlete has their own incredible story of their journey to the top, overcoming self-doubt and injury, showing tremendous commitment and determination.

Whether it’s for the exercise, the fresh air, the community spirit or a combination of all three, we set aside Saturday morning for parkrun.  We come together for the common good.  We come away from a busy work schedule, from politics and news of awful violence, to take part in a positive activity. With a spring in their step, 412 runners turned out this morning for the Richmond Park parkrun.  65 of them were First Timers, welcomed and briefed today by Sonia KOHOL: Margie pics 7Apr18 1

I think we can safely say that ‘Spring has sprung’ – and after the prolonged cold temperatures recently, I hope no-one dared to say it was too warm today!  It’s been fantastic this week, seeing the blossom and leaves bursting out, as if trying to catch up after the cold spell.  It may not have been glorious sunshine today, but we had perfect running conditions, with 13⁰ and a very light breeze - spot on for the 43 runners who achieved a PB – well done!  Michael GLAZEBROOK, today’s Run Director, stepped up onto the podium with style for the pre-run briefing:

Richmond Parkrun 7/4/18            Richmond Parkrun 7/4/18

He thanked the 27 essential volunteers, without whom the event can’t happen: Franz WERNDLE • Michael GLAZEBROOK • Euan LEES • Suzanne GILL • Sonia KOHOL • Stewart ANDERSON • Tim CURRY • Martin LANGLANDS • Veronica MORRIS • Marguerite POULTER • Kate O'DOHERTY • Harrison CAIE • Tim COLLINS • Richard WILSON • Malek SHARIF • Jasmine GOULD • Christine PANDOLE • Christopher COOPER • Margie MARSHALL • Mabel CROSSLEY • Elisabeth GORES • Hadi KHATAMIZADEH • Clare HEBBES • Anna HEBBES • Robert HILLHOUSE • Jarryd HILLHOUSE • Max BURROWS

Amongst the names here are this month’s Pacers and it was great seeing Harrison CAIE (JM11-14) and Jasmine GOULD (JW10) having a go at being a Pacer.

One of the great things about parkrun is the way that young and old (including push-chairs and dogs!) come together, supporting each other in countless ways. Pat Hewlett (VW80-84) was our oldest runner today, while there were 43 aged 15-and-under (6 gaining PBs), with 20 being 10 or under; 16 in the 11-14 bracket; and 9 in the 15-17 age group.

Congratulations to Andy WILLIAMS (VM50-54) who joined the 100 Club today.

Six runners joined the 50 Club: Manju PATWARI (VW55-59), Sandra ROEBUCK (VW50-54), Helen LANCASTER (VW40-44), Christopher HIRSCH (VM55-59), Martin KENNEDY (VM35-39), Ele HEYS (SW30-34).

Last but not least, Joshua LUFF (JM10) joined the 10 Club. Great stuff folks – keep it up!

Congratulations also to the following runners for some excellent finishing times today:
Male placings:
Dan HIGGINS (VM35-39) was first over the line in 16:46
Simon BARRETT (SM40-44) was second over the line in 16:59
Female placings:
Isabelle FRANCO (JW15-17) was first (12 overall) over the line in 19:09 (with a new PB!)
Stephanie AINLEY (SW25-29) was second (16 overall) over the line in 19:28
Adrienne BADDELEY (VW35-39) was third (20 overall) over the line in 19:41 (with a new PB!)

Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

Richmond Parkrun 7/4/18

Here’s a young volunteer Anna HEBBES, giving out tokens at the finish: Margie pics 7Apr18 5

And finally a cheery smile from Tim CURRY and Robert HILLHOUSE, our essential timekeepers: Margie pics 7Apr18 6

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

The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203). The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).
Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007.  Since then 19,019 participants have completed 142,756 parkruns covering a total distance of 713,780 km, including 22,597 new Personal Bests.


Margie Harrison (Marshall)


Richmond parkrun 554 – 31st March 2018


Easter Saturday run. No Easter hats or bunny costumes but a really appalling cheese joke from our MC, Michael Glazebrook.


It is now Easter Monday and I am struggling to remember what the weather was like which means it was probably a bit ‘meh’. We had a smaller field than usual but running at the back with a rather unfit dog revealed no less a bottle neck until we reached the junction with Holly Lodge. We did, however, attract 32 first timers and 28 pbs, most of whom were women. Hurrah.


Given I didn’t achieve a PB, in fact it was closer to a PW, I didn’t spend long at the end of the run and didn’t really hear of any news so scanning the results list here are a few things to consider.


Connor Patterson continues to impress finishing first today in a time of 18.00 on the dot.


We had a newcomer Deborah Anne Niccol SW30-34 come in first for the women in 19.37. She was 5th overall. Her other runs have been at Albert parkrun, Melbourne where she is used to coming first and has a pb of 17.36. Richmond is her slowest finish to date. There was a time when I would use a fact such as this as an excuse to talk about how tough Richmond parkrun is - but I now know it is a walk in the park in comparison with others. Andrew ‘Kew’ Brown tells me that there is very lively debate about which parkrun is the toughest, muddiest, hilliest, hottest. Richmond Park doesn’t feature.


Warming to the theme of it being a good day for the women, Isobel Rea VW40 - 44 finished in a time of 19.55 and Suzy Whatmough SW25-29 finished in 19.57 - 9th and 10th overall.


There were also some fabulously speedy youngsters. JM10 Oskar Fredrik Brimacombe finished in 21.43 and Ruben Bouwmeester-Reid 21.44. Cecily Day SW18-19 is back on form and 1 second off her pb at 21.45.


Stalking the results I also spotted that Bill Neeley is back. I don’t call 20.57 ‘taking it easy’.

Notable anniversaries today where two x 250s.


Pete Butler VM45-49 finished today in a time of 26.45. He started his parkrun adventure on 22nd October 2011 with a time of 28.39. A series of pbs followed taking him up to 25.29, it then took him over a year for the next, 24.38. Almost out of nowhere he then found a 24.18 and then 14 months later 23.34. He is a brilliant pacer and encourager of other runners.


Serge Lourie, VM70-74, came in today in a time of 33.09. He started parkrun on 22nd December 2007 (the 10th official Richmond Park parkrun). On 12th January 2008 he recorded a pb of 28.05; 24 March 2012 27.19. His glory period, however, was after his 2013 Marathon where he chalked up 5 pbs in a row: 26.12, 25.59, 24.44, 24.42, 24.22. Hasn’t scaled those dizzying heights since then but he is still highly competitive. Serge has run a marathon for every decade of his life (not sure about the first one) and can keep a shaggy dog story going for as long as an 18 mile training run.m


Congratulations to them and congratulations to all runners for continued faith in the joy that parkrun gives and that must include the grey skies, muddy paths, bottlenecks, slow dogs, rubbish cheese jokes.


Here are the other stats:


The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:


Franz WERNDLE • Martin CLARK • Michael GLAZEBROOK • Neil CHESTERTON • Kyoko MURAKAMI • Mark LANSLEY • Sally WOODWARD GENTLE • Sonia KOHOL • Stewart ANDERSON • Kate O'DOHERTY • David PENNELL • Mathew CALABRIA • Jessica HARBERT • Stacey TASKER • Tom BRADLEY • Yusuf ALI • George RUTLEY • Sue GRAY • Elisabeth GORES • Alison CLUBLEY • Hadi KHATAMIZADEH • Katie LANG • Alex BARR • Cleo YANG

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

The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).

The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).

The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).

Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 18,954 participants have completed 142,344 parkruns covering a total distance of 711,720 km, including 22,554 new Personal Bests.



Sally Woodward Gentle


Richmond parkrun 553 – 24th March 2018

Those of us who ran in the hail and wind last week were relieved that the Beast from the East was replaced by a run in the sun! Sadly, we drove a heron away from the pond. Some of us saw her/him catching a fish!



But it was cold and 423 of us finished the run. There were 12 first timers and 24 parkrun tourists making their first appearance at Richmond Park. Of these, three had run over 100 times and five over 50 times.


There were 48 pbs most notably Epsom Oddball, Lee GODDARD VM55-59, who got a PB on his 167th appearance and an excellent age weighted 71.03% in 22:23. 21 of the runners have completed over 250 parkruns with Franz Werndle VM65-69 on his 466th run!!



Important milestones were reached by Tim Langton VM60-64 who completed his 250th and Elio ZENTILIN VM70-74 in his 350th.



The best age related percentage of 82.22% was achieved by first man home, Simon SHAW VM45-49 in 17:15; second was Margie MARSHALL VW60-64 in 24:25 and an age weighted 81.77%; in third place was John SANDHU WM50-54 on 79.87% in 18:28.



Thames Valley’s Kosana WEIR SW18-19 was first woman home in 19:14 (77.82%); second was Holly MCGUIGAN VW35-39 in 19:45 and an age related 75.70%; in third place was Adrienne BADDELEY VW35-39 in 20:10 (74.13%).



First over the line was Simon SHAW mentioned above in his 74th run. Neil HENDERSON VM40-44, first timer to Richmond Park, was second in 17:42 and an age relate 78.25%. Third in his first Richmond run was Marl POLLOCK SM18-19 in 18:05 and 72.90:

There were 15 females aged over 60 and 30 males (including me!) of whom the most senior was Pat HEWLETT VW80-84 in her 340th outing. There were 16females under 17 and 30 males…so we cover a wide spread of ages.



…and a big thank you to our volunteers without whom this event could not take place: Wonderbrawn BROWN • Susy BEAN • Ally PICKARD • Steve THOMAS • Lesley Helen FOOTE • Lloyd Temple CAMP • David PENNELL • Thalia BOWDEN STONE • Elliott SIVITER • Yusuf ALI • George RUTLEY • Sue GRAY • Andrew WOOD • Mabel CROSSLEY • Serge LOURIE • Elisabeth GORES • Katie LEE • Jacqui SUTHERLAND • Harriet WATSON • Jazz DALE • Cleo YANG • Martin COPE

…and FINALLY IN RICHMOND PARK. Between 18,922 of us, we have run 709,980 km, including 22,526 new Personal Bests. And now some mind blowing statistics.
…and in the WORLD. 1,587,662 people have run 20,175,174Km covering over 100million Km in an average time of 28:18 in 515 localtions.





Serge Lourie on run 249 VM70-74


Richmond parkrun 552 – 17th March 2018 – What a difference a day makes!

During the week, it had started to feel as if spring had sprung. The days are lengthening, we had sunshine and mild temperatures, and on Friday the daffodils were nodding in the sun. Come Saturday morning they were shivering in the icy blast nick-named the “mini Beast from the East”. The snow showers had started before I left home, and by the time I reached the park the grass was turning white as the snow started to settle in the freezing temperatures.

Much like two weeks previously, most people waited until the last minute to arrive, but shortly before 9 o’clock we mustered, the runners wondering whether it was wise to cast off one of the extra layers donned for the journey. Would we really begin to feel warm once we started walking/ running/ jogging? The volunteers, meanwhile, were wondering if they had put on enough clothes to keep out the cold while they stood around in the wind waiting for us all to finish.

I know from my recent volunteering that standing around in freezing temperatures for over one hour is not the first choice of activity for 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning, but somehow the feeling of being part of the Parkrun community, and hearing the words of thanks from the grateful runners/ joggers/ walkers, makes it worthwhile. So a well-deserved big thank you is due to the valiant volunteers who made the event possible for the rest of us. Take a bow Wonderbrawn BROWN • Ally PICKARD • Steve THOMAS • Veronica MORRIS • Thalia BOWDEN STONE • Tim LANGTON • Jackie BRADMAN • Claire Louise FRENCH • James RITCHIE • Francesca CREASY • Yusuf ALI • Elisabeth GORES • Rene VON SOLMS • Stefan VON SOLMS • Max BURROWS • Patricia AINLEY • Lucy WESTENBERGER • Luna HELLEDIE • Olivia COWDRY • Harriet WATSON • Jazz DALE • Cleo YANG

First-timers briefing over, Run Director Ally Pickard wasted no time in getting us down to the stump for the race brief, which was brief! We congratulated Peter Bowker on reaching his 150th run, all but 5 of which have been at Richmond Park. Another notable landmark today was David Pennell reaching his 200th run, which went unnoticed/unmarked because he did not know his total (he claims). As many will know, David also acts as Run Director, averaging approximately once a month, and also volunteer co-ordinator, and occasional other roles such as timekeeper, token support etc, etc. Without people like him, the rest of us would not have a parkrun, so many thanks from us all.

Ally did a fantastic job in not keeping us hanging around, but she did remind us that the Tail Walker (Jackie Bradman) would have a heat blanket (and probably be wearing it!). Thanks to Ally, we started extremely promptly and 280 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part. Conditions were as bad as some Richmond Park stalwarts can remember: the combination of biting wind, cold, and snow in our faces on the stretch between Richmond Gate and Sheen Cross roundabout was truly daunting. The grassy stretch between the crossroads and Sheen Gate was muddy and slippery underfoot. Those of us further down the field were cheered by Andrew Kew Brown overtaking us with the comment that we would have a tail wind on the second half, and so it proved. From then on conditions were much more bearable, with a degree of shelter from the wind. But a great relief was felt by all when we reached the finish funnel. The conditions seemed to suit some, however, with 12 people recording new Personal Bests. Special congratulations to two Sebastians who achieved PBs this week: Sebastian Wright (JM 10) on his time of 27.04 in only his 4th Parkrun, and Sebastian Harker (JM 11-14) on his 23.51.

Lead bike this week was a first-timer in this role (I think Claire French?) who was somewhat surprised to be overtaken by the first finisher, Andy Greenleaf from Serpentine RC, in his first run at Richmond Park with a time of 16.16 and an age grade of 81.05%. Despite this, Claire will be back again she assures us. Second man home was last week’s first finisher Euan Lees in 18.05 (age grade 77.79%), followed by Jordan Mungovan in 18.30. First female finisher was Carla Molinaro in 19.53 and 8th position overall. Adrienne Baddeley was second female in 21.08, and another first timer at Richmond, Anna Henderson, was third female in 22.07. The highest age grade positions were Andy Greenleaf, Euan Lees, and Margie Marshall (77.74%).

In recent weeks I have been experiencing a different view of parkrun. A skiing accident and badly broken wrist and hand meant that I have either volunteered or walked the course. After a 6 week break I am now working back to running, but rather more slowly than previously. This means that I now start near the back, and run in a different part of the field, away from the familiar faces whom I recognise as fellow 26 minute finishers. This week I found myself, on the first inhospitable stretch along Sawyers Hill, behind a tiny boy sporting a red “50” T-shirt as the outer of his many layers. I then realised that there were other older boys running with him, giving him words of encouragement and advice in coping with the horrendous conditions, and even running immediately in front of him to shelter him from the fierce wind. I found out later that these were the Rushby brothers, the older ones helping young Ben all along the way. And Ben was running his 85th parkrun! I know that I would have really welcomed someone sheltering me from the wind at that point, so all I can say is that you are very lucky Ben, and well done to your brothers for looking out for you. Which is, after all, one of the elements of parkrun: we truly are part of a community and we look out for each other along the way.

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

The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).

Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 18,886 participants have completed 141,573 parkruns covering a total distance of 707,865 km, including 22,478 new Personal Bests.

Happy running, and looking forward to warmer temperatures next week!

Patricia Ainley

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