Richmond parkrun 503 – 22nd April 2017

503 is a magic number 


The 503rd running of Richmond parkrun saw a record but rather uncanny number of participants taking part - 503 to be precise! I am not a statistician but I wonder what the odds are of that happening.


We had a high number of first timers with 79 joining us to sample our beautiful course. Perhaps a certain iconic race on Sunday had inspired people to come along and try out a parkrun, with several completely new to the event. There must have been a certain marathon magic in the air. Indeed, we were fortunate to welcome two visiting runners from Warsaw who were reporting on Sunday's London Marathon and previous participants themselves. Saturday saw finishers from both Paris and Brighton putting on their running shoes again - fantastic after such a short space of time. We also had two pacers from the London race no doubt loosening limbs before undertaking their wonderful task of helping others to their target times. Even one or two runners of London had ventured out for a final parkrun before the big day. As we ran I heard one of the cyclists asking if people ran the day before the marathon!


The London marathon is a truly great event and Brendan Foster who was commentating for the final time summed up its unique appeal. Whilst he reported enjoying seeing the great world record from Paula and male course record from Kipchoge, he said for him the marathon was about the 'people, participation and London.'  For one day London comes together in this great festival of sport. There is a buzz among runners prior to the race as stories are shared of completed or missed training, no doubt fuelled by jangling nerves. A real sense of camaraderie exists, this year most overtly dramatized by the man who sacrificed his time to help one runner in the final finishing straight. Spectators come out in their thousands to lend vocal support and turn the streets into a celebration of running. Many hold motivational or witty banners to spur on runners. One apparently read ‘I don’t know you, you don’t know me but I am proud of you all’…. Brings a tear to the eye even if you are not running.


I see parallels here with parkrun, the ethos of which is based on participation and a shared spirit of endeavour. Parkrun brings people of all backgrounds together whether sporting or not, and transcends all ages and geographies. Whether you are a spectator or a runner there is a real sense of achievement, empathy and goodwill. Every runner their own ‘reason to run’, which was used by the marathon as a motivational tool this year, whether it be about sporting performance, getting fit, overcoming ill health or just wanting to make friends and share in a collective experience.


Motivated perhaps by the magic of the marathon our parkrun saw the excellent number of 89 PBs this week.  There were also milestones from Samuel CALABRIA, Florence HUTCHINGS, and Ben RUSHBY who marked his with a new personal best.


First across the line this week was Simon J BARRETT in 17:19 closely pursued by Tom BUCKLEY in 17:22. Hugo GARLAND followed in a highly creditable the line in 17:52.


Stephanie AINLEY lead in the Ladies in a shade over 20 minutes. Claire ALTMANN was second over the line in 20:24 with Sarah BAILEY in third in just over 21 minutes.


Three runners achieved age grading of almost 80% - the run first finisher alongside Mitch PHILLIPS and Colette HEWITT.


Thanks go to the wonderful team of volunteers and finally congratulations to anyone who ran in London or took part or plans to in one of the major spring marathons.


Lindsey Annable


Richmond parkrun 502 – 15th April 2017 Easter Saturday



Happy Easter! Perfect bunny hopping pb conditions. Numbers were slightly down (allowing a slightly easier first kilometer), it was slightly over-cast, there was no noticeable headwind with the promise of chocolate excess on the Sunday.


David Pennell, this week’s run director, congratulated all who ran the Brighton and Paris marathons last weekend. The hot sun had slightly got the better of some of them and at least one run director had an uncharacteristic heat induced wobble. Conditions for the coming week’s London Marathon look more favourable. Rumour has it, temperatures of around 14 degrees and over-cast. Perfect. Anyone running the VLM next Sunday might consider volunteering next Saturday at Richmond. A festive way to taper.


So this week was a week of personal bests, families and juniors. Out of 401 runners there were at least 73 personal bests. That’s around 20%. You can look them up on the results page but to highlight a few: Himani Gupta (SW30 - 34) got her second in the space of a same number of weeks. This week she finished in 25.28; Sonia Kohol (VW45 - 49) come in at 23.39 which was her fastest since June ’16; Maeve Quigley (SW30 - 34) knocked nearly a minute off her pb coming in at 25.21; and in her 149th run Propella Woodward Gentle (SW25 - 29) finished in 22.04, her first pb since November 2016 and before that September 2015.


We had a whole slew of speedy juniors too. All of the following are in the Junior 11-14 category: George Rees 19.32; Tom Armstrong with a new pb of 19.51; Basil Rock 20.07; Georgina Clarke first woman, in a time of 19.51 and Lydia Louw, second woman, in a time of 20.15. Ned Pepper finished in 20.54 and Alistair Brendon in 20.57. It was also great to see Eric Bowker back. What a delight to be so young and springy.


Unless Richmond is just full of unrelated Louws, there was a lot of family Louw runners today including Arthur Louw of Barefoot Runners UK and a JM12 who finished in a time of 23.25. Along with Louws, there were Icarts, Waterhouses, Chestertons, Kaplans and Goulds. It felt an even greater family weekend than usual.


I had planned to write a report around Spring/Easter related runner names but to my disappointment they were thin on the ground. The highlights, however and with apologies, were Talia Burrows (bunny rabbit) SW20 - 24 who also ran a pb this week and for the Humanists among us Claire Godfree SW20 - 24 of Richmond and Bushy Park.


Here’s the official stuff:
This week 401 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 42 were first timers and 73 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 36 different clubs took part.


The event was made possible by 25 volunteers.


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

Male placings:

Dan HIGGINS (VM35-39) of Highgate Harriers, was first over the line in 17:06 - second time in 16 appearances.
Tim PRENDERGAST (VM35-39) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:08.
Simon J BARRETT (VM40-44) of Serpentine RC, was third over the line in 17:24 - has been first to finish on 8 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Georgina CLARKE (JW11-14) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first (25th overall) over the line in 19:51 - second time in 2 appearances.
Lydia LOUW (JW11-14) of Ranelagh Harriers, was second (33rd overall) over the line in 20:15 - has been first to finish on 9 previous occasions.
Propella WOODWARD GENTLE (SW25-29) (Unattached) was third (62nd overall) over the line in 22:04 - was first to finish once before.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Georgina CLARKE (JW11-14) – 80.44% for the time 19:51 (25th overall).
Lydia LOUW (JW11-14) – 80.41% for the time 20:15 (33rd overall).
Simon J BARRETT (VM40-44) – 79.60% for the time 17:24 (third overall).

The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 00:17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 00:14:58 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 16,342 participants have completed 121,002 parkruns covering a total distance of 605,010 km, including 19,894 new Personal Bests.


This week was brought to you by the Easter Bunny and


Alastair RITCHIE • Annabel WESTMAN • Camille DE LAURENS CASTELET • Chrissie STEPHENSON • David PENNELL • Evan JONES • Felix ADAMS • Gareth Vaughan JONES • Hadi KHATAMIZADEH • Jessica LOWIT • John LOWIT • Juliette COOPER • Kate TURNBULL • Lesley Helen FOOTE • Lucy WESTENBERGER • Monty KEOGH • Nell M V JONES • Nicola GRINDLE • Osian JONES • Sally WOODWARD GENTLE • Seren JONES • Serge LOURIE • Suzanne WISE • Timothy HUGGINS • Zoha RAFIQUE



Sally Woodward Gentle



Richmond parkrun 501 – 8th April 2017


I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they would give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me — Unknown

Aren’t we lucky? We can run. We meet up each week in the wonderful Richmond Park and we run together. Because of this shared exercise, we chat, make friends and support each other. A huge welcome to our 49 first timers (of which 27 have now done their first ever Parkrun, with 10 of them being in the Junior age category). I hope you all had a good time and felt proud of yourselves for making a start on an amazing journey.

What seems hard now will one day be your warm-up —Unknown

It’s true. I remember thinking I wouldn’t be able to run 5k. I was even afraid of the distance. Now after just 3 years it really has become a ‘warm-up’ distance. If we keep at it day by day, week by week, then we will get stronger and faster. It’s the middle of marathon-season right now, with Manchester last week, Paris and Brighton tomorrow and London on April 23rd. We have well-seasoned runners like Jacqueline MILLETT who seem to be running a marathon every week (!) and then there are those embarking on their first ever marathon (like me!). If it wasn’t for Parkrun I may not have ever begun the marathon journey. After a year or so of working at the 5k distance I gradually gained enough confidence to enter for 10k events … then half marathons …

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go — T.S. Elliot

And that’s not just one of those quotes that applies to someone else. Take the risk. Try the impossible. Sure, it takes a lot of effort and time, but the best things in life are never down Easy Street. I’ve been overwhelmed recently with the caring and encouraging comments given to me by so many runners. There’s such a good, positive, supportive spirit in the air!

Here are a few more inspiring quotes to ponder:

There are no short cuts to any place worth going – Beverly Sills

Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be – George Sheehan

Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go – Unknown

The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race – Seen on a marathon spectator sign

Serge LOURIE welcomed our 49 first timers and Alistair RITCHIE, the Run Director, gave the full briefing. At least our 20 wonderful volunteers didn’t have to brave cold, wet and windy conditions today and the tail runner, Fred CROFT looked as happy as ever bringing up the rear.

Today’s parkrun was on the sunniest of mornings, with a slight chill in the air to begin with. In fact, the conditions were so dry that we kicked up a cloud of dust in the first stretch! With no driving wind to slow us down there were 64 recorded Personal Bests out of the 428 people who ran, jogged and walked the course.

A good number of runners reached a club milestone today (and some are very close):
Julian ABBOTT (VM60-64) reached 300 runs today
Pat HEWLETT (VW80-84) will reach 300 next time
Fred CROFT (VM65-69) is 2 runs away from 300
Tomas STERNER (VM55-59) reached 200 runs today
Peter MCCLOSKEY (VM65-69) needs just 2 runs to get to 200
Ronan MCGINN (VM40-44) joined the 100 club today
Nicholas CECIL (VM45-49) and Philip ALLAN (VM55-59) both joined the 50 club today\


The following Junior members joined the 10 club today:
Edward SLACK (JM10), Robert COLT (JM11-14) and Lucinda SLACK (JW11-14)


Yet again we had an excellent set of results from our younger runners:
The first JM10 was James MABY in 24:16.
The first JW10 was Matilda HARRISON in 25:42 (a new PB – well done Matilda!)
The first JM 11-14 was Ned PEPPER in 19:34 (a new PB – well done Ned – and the highest age-graded score of all the younger runners!)
The first JW 11-14 was Millie FOSTER in 24:02 (a new PB – well done Millie!)
The first JM 15-17 was Matthew PHILLIPS in 20:43.
The first JW 15-17 was Jessica HARBERT in 22:41.
The first SM 18-19 was Tom BRADLEY in 18:31


This week, representatives of 27 different clubs took part. Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Richmond parkrun Results Page.

Male placings:


Eirin MC DAID (SM30-34) of Ranelagh Harriers, was first over the line in 16:33 - 10th time in 13 appearances.
  Richard BERRY (VM40-44) of West 4 Harriers, was second over the line in 17:09 - has been first to finish on 6 previous occasions.  
Dan HIGGINS (VM35-39) of Highgate Harriers, was third over the line in 17:23 - was first to finish once before.

Female placings:


Isobel REA (VW40-44) of West 4 Harriers, was first (27th overall) over the line in 20:30 - 28th time in 59 appearances.
  Jessica HARBERT (JW15-17) (Unattached) was second (61st overall) over the line in 22:41 - has been first to finish on 5 previous occasions.  
Olivia MCCULLA (SW25-29) (Unattached) was third (65th overall) over the line in 22:53.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:


Jacqueline MILLETT (VW60-64) – 81.61% for the time 24:50 (121st overall).
Margie MARSHALL (VW60-64) – 81.28% for the time 24:13 (109th overall).
Richard BERRY (VM40-44) – 80.76% for the time 17:09 (second overall).

The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 00:17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
  The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 00:14:58 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 16,298 participants have completed 120,601 parkruns covering a total distance of 603,005 km, including 19,821 new Personal Bests.



Margie Marshall


Richmond parkrun 500! – 1st April 2017. No joke.

The Greatest!

With the start of a new month and definitely into Spring, with today’s weather being perfect; just a reminder to you all that you should have planted your spaghetti seeds by now, squash not trees. If any would like some, I have some to spare. May I also quash the rumour that bees are getting a little behind with their honey production. I had to give mine another floor to fill today, in their hive.

Someone who used to dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee; with no doubt that he was a great athlete, Mohamed Ali, said, “If you don’t tell people you’re the greatest, no one else is going to do it for you”.

I disagree! Elvis did very well too, though I didn’t personally think he was the greatest, but he had a good manager in Colonel Tom Parker, who later changed his name to Saunders and became more famous for his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe. Elvis pretended to die, to slip out of the limelight, but still makes guest appearances around many pubs and restaurants in my area. Mark Twain is also still alive, saying that news of his death was an exaggeration, as, apparently, so is a lot of the news on the internet.

Someone who doesn’t shout about being the greatest is Ed Whitlock. Wearing his 30-year-old shorts and 15-year-old shoes, he ran in gentle wind and rain on Sunday15 October 2016, at the Toronto Marathon. I don’t suppose he’s very popular with the sports gear manufacturers. He broke the men’s 85–89 age grade world record by more than 30 minutes. He was 86 last month. His 3:56:33 shattered the previous time of 4:34:55, set in 2004. He was also the first 70 year old to go sub 3h. I think it might be a target too far for me; my shorts and shoes are only 6 years old.

They say; as you get older you revert towards your youth. There’s hope for me yet and just to prove it, I beat several sub 40 year olds this week. Of course, to do it I had to take a leaf out of Duncan Goodhew’s book by shaving. He was our 1980 breast stroke gold medallist and he had shaved all the hair off his body to reduce water drag to a minimum. I managed to shave a few seconds off my last week’s time, when I was beaten by a six year old. This week it took a nine year old, as my granddaughter sprinted the last 100m, achieving a PB, to pip me at the post. Richard McChesney who speed walks the course, was only seconds behind.

Most important of all this week, our beloved Richmond parkrun achieved its 500th run, without having a manager or telling people how great it is. WE KNOW IT’S GREAT! A BIG FANFARE!

This was achieved by the unselfish donation of time and effort of all the volunteers over the preceding years and again, today, as we were reminded by Alistair’s statistics at the pre run briefing. Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 16,249 participants have completed 120,173 parkruns covering a total distance of 600,865 km, including 19,758 new Personal Bests. Today there were another 25 volunteers, the list is at the bottom of the results page and again, many thanks.

Sean Egan ran his 400th parkrun today. Michael Sikora and Elio Zentilin ran their 300th, with our inimitable Pat Hewlet and Fred Croft almost there too, on 298 and 297 respectively. Pippa Harrison and Graeme Munro ran their 50th. Well done to all. Also this week, just short of the record number; 470 people ran, jogged and walked the course. I think we could have made a little more effort and if 30 of our front runners had run the course again as unknowns, we would have had 500 on our 500th. There were 58 first timers, 69 recorded new PBs and were representatives of 42 different clubs. Many more don’t belong to any clubs and choose to run independently.

This week’s male front runners were closely packed with Reil Carol in 17:44, Patrick Retallick in 17:56 and Jack Congdon in 18:01.

The females were Carla Molinaro, with her fourth first place in 5 visits, in a time of 19:06. Helen Taranowaski was second in 20:44 and third was Jo Ross in 21:48.

The three highest age grades today were recorded by: Mitch Phillips – 80.18%,
 Riel Carol – 78.10% and Carla Molinaro – 77.66%.

And, for those of us wishing to aspire to GREAT things during the next 500 Richmond parkruns:

The female record is held by Lucy Hasell who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The male record is held by Paul Martelletti who recorded a time of 14:58 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).

I look forward to running with you all in the future 500 runs.



Elio Zentilin


Richmond parkrun 499 – 25th March 2017


Next week is our 500th parkrun in Richmond Park, the best in the world!


It was dry and warm for the time of year as the sun shone brightly. Of the 426 finishers, 23 were first timers and 27 parkrun tourists made their first appearance at Richmond Park. There were 54 PBs. 14 of the runners have completed over 250 parkruns of whom the leader was our own Franz WERNDLE VM65-69 on 414.


There were 12 runners over 65 of whom the most senior was Pat HEWLETT VW 80-84. At the other end of the spectrum, there were 66 under 17 of whom 20 were under 10.


First home was Callum MILLER SM25-29 in 17:14 in his first appearance in Richmond. His age weighted percentage was 74.85%. Euan LEES (VM40-44) of Ful-On Tri, was second over the line in 17:34 (79.51%) having been first to finish on 4 previous occasions. He also had the best age weighted percentage of the day in his 50th run. Simon CLARK (VM40-44) of Kingston Wheelers CC, was third over the line in 18:07 (76.45%)


Of the women, Justine ALBERT (VW40-44) was first (38th overall) over the line in 21:23 (72.49%); Jo ROSS (SW30-34)) was second over the line in 21:36 (68.98%) and Jessica HARBERT JW15-17 was third 9 seconds behind. The best female runner in terms of her age weighted percentage was Patricia AINLEY VW65-69) whose 26:38 equates to 77.28% and put her into third place.


Six runners achieved important milestones. Andy CAIE VM40-44 and Greig CATTO VM55-59 have completed 200 runs; Daniel RUSHBY JM11-14 has finishes 150 times; and Matthew HUGGETT VM50-54, Paul MURPHY VM50-54 gained their red 50 run tops whilst second placed Euan LEES also completed his 50th parkrun.


Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 16,191 participants have completed 119,703 parkruns covering a total distance of 598,515 km, including 19,689 new Personal Bests


…and a big thank to the team of volunteers in Richmond Park.


We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: : Nick ALTMANN, Matthew BAKER, Charlotte BEARCROFT, Andrew Kew BROWN, Clare DAY, Jeremy DAY, Cecily DAY, Camille DE LAURENS CASTELET, Lesley Helen FOOTE, Nicola GRINDLE, Rob KITCHEN, Alan LLORENTE, Serge LOURIE, Jessica LOWIT, Ronan MCGINN, Penny MERRETT, Simon MORSE, Ally PICKARD, Zoha RAFIQUE, Jain REID, Alastair RITCHIE, Suzanne WISE


Serge Lourie VM70-74

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