Richmond parkrun 597 – 12th January 2019

Our third Richmond parkrun of 2019 took place on a dull, grey January morning with a hint of rain, the sort that can easily make you turn over in bed and go back to sleep, forgetting your New Year’s Resolutions. But so far, so good for Richmond parkrun. 548 runners, the third highest Richmond turnout yesterday. And we were not alone out of parkruns. 113 out of 585 UK parkruns had record turnouts, 3 more joining the 1000 club with Southampton achieving 1295, Poole 1039 and Clapham Common 1019. There was a first for the Baird family too, with all 5 of us there (plus Ellie’s partner, Tom) with barcodes, with the prospect of a Pembroke Lodge cooked breakfast finally getting them over the line.

January is named after the Roman God, Janus, who presided over the gateway to the New Year. S/he was revered as the ‘God of Gateways’ and ‘of the Journey’, and was always shown with two heads, one looking back at the old year, and the other forward to the new. S/he encourages us to cast out the old and welcome in the new, to ‘reflect on events of the previous year and resolve to redress or improve some aspect of daily life or personal philosophy’. In among those 548 runners, we saw 72 First Timers (to add to the many who started on New Year’s Day and last Saturday) and 76 new PBs, surely evidence of personal resolutions! Our fastest male was Paulino Macias with 17:22, and our fastest female, Kate Brown, in a hugely impressive 18:46. Nick Ward, as so often, was our fastest over 50, and Oscar Luck, our fastest Junior, with 20:35, a PB. So close to 20 mins, I am sure you will beat that soon, Oscar! A number of others achieved, or got close to, milestones: Tom Bradley and Edmund Fetherstone-Dilke 150, Ben Bricker 100, Sammy Rebello 50, Sally Woodward Gentle 448 (Go, Sally!), Amrut Sharma 299, Juliette Cooper 149, Joshua Smith and Stephen Finch 98, Patricia Ainley 97, Alec Dyer 49 and Maeve Quigley 48 ( only 15 more before the London Marathon, Maeve!).

And for those of you who like your New Year’s Resolutions a bit quirky, how about these I found on the web: randomly sew a sequin on to every item of clothing I own; ‘to be more assertive if that’s ok with you guys?’; not to go to the gym on days ending with y; and to hug more! 

See you next week!

Nick Baird


Richmond parkrun 596 – 5th January 2019

New Year Resolutions?

It couldn’t continue!  The Richmond parkrun attendance of 546 people on Christmas Day 2018 beat the previous Christmas Day turnout by a long way.  New Years Day saw the highest ever attendance, with an astounding total of 575 people completing the course.  Both totals were boosted by local parkruns (most notably Wimbledon Common) not operating, with a large overspill to Richmond.  The first Saturday of the New Year traditionally attracts large numbers, with a hefty dose of New Year Resolutions coming into play.  This year “only” 525 people embarked on the 5k course. To put that in context, the 500 threshold was first exceeded in 2017, and only on three occasions, followed by 6 times in 2018, with three of those 6 in January.  Both our 2019 parkruns so far have attracted over 500 participants and that number starts to put pressure on resources.

This week Run Director Andy Caie introduced two innovations.  The first was a start whistle, which was very favourably received by those who like to set their watches and often have difficulty hearing a shouted “go” over the excited barking dogs.

But much more importantly, Andy started the pre-run briefing by asking us all to raise our left hand into the air.  No, this was not the start of a mass hokey-cokey to get us all warmed-up on a slightly grey and chilly January morning.  It was an introduction to a Richmond parkrun innovation, called “left hand out please for the finish token”.

The biggest pinch point at parkrun comes at the finish funnel, at the point of handing out the finish tokens.  Applying “lean” methodology, it is obvious that making the finish token stage more efficient will speed up the whole process through the funnel.  If we all hold out our left hand to receive our finish token we can help to speed up the funnel and avoid bottlenecks.  Many of us managed our task quite well as illustrated below!
Richmond parkrun 5 Jan 2019 1

The other strain on resources is of course the number of volunteers needed, which increases as the number of participants swells.  We are lucky at Richmond as we do not need to have marshals positioned along the course.  It is difficult to get lost on a simple one lap course, with a lead bike, large number of participants, and a tail walker.  But the more people who take part, the more volunteers are required for other tasks: token sorting for one.  So if the numbers continue to increase, the number of people who volunteer must also increase.  Have you volunteered yet? If not, why not? 

So a big thank you to this week’s volunteers:  Andrew RAE  •  Andy CAIE  •  Carol AIKIN  •  Christopher COOPER  •  Edward FRANCIS  •  Ela SLONINA  •  Esther BLURTON  •  Euan LEES  •  Gordon BARNES  •  Hadi KHATAMIZADEH  •  Jackie BRADMAN  •  John CHEAL  •  John GRAHAM  •  Juliette COOPER  •  Lucy WESTENBERGER  •  Mabel CROSSLEY  •  Nicky ALLISON  •  Patricia AINLEY  •  Peter LOWMAN  •  Peter MCCLOSKEY  •  Phillip DAVIES  •  Rosie LEYDEN  •  Serge LOURIE  •  Simon CLARKSON  •  Simon MORSE  •  Sonia KOHOL  •  Steve THOMAS  •  Suzanne BAKER  •  Suzie RYLATT  •  Val LOWMAN  •  Wonderbrawn BROWN.

Here are our volunteer token sorters busy at work:

Richmond parkrun 5 Jan 2019 2

Now for the statistics:

First male finishers: Dan Higgins (VM40-44) in 17.01, with Paulino Macias (VM45-49) in 17.29 and Hamish Waring (SM30-34) in 17.43. 

First female finishers: Celia Waring (SW30-34) in 21.12, closely followed by Alison Waters (SW30-34) in 21.23 and Propella Woodward Gentle (SW25-29) in 21.44.

Best age grades: bucking the usual trend, three of the top four age grades this week, all over 80%, were males: Paulino Macias on 81.70%, Martin Owen (WM55-59) on 80.44%, and Dan Higgins on 80.22%.

Number of participants:  a lot: 525 to be precise.

Number of first timers at Richmond: 91

Number of people completely new to parkrun: 45. Well done for joining us and please come back.

Number of PBs: 48, including Simon West with a PB on parkrun number 135 (5 at Richmond) and Jennifer Koontz on run number 131 (40 at Richmond), right down to many (too numerous to pick out) running their second or third parkrun. In what looks like a family PB, we had Martha Ground (JW10), Alex Ground (VW40-44), and Matthew Ground (JM11-14) all achieving a PB on run number 6 or 7.  Well done the Grounds!  As for age, there were several more PBs for 11-14 year olds, many 50-55 year olds, and Wilma Roest (VW55-59) on run number 36.

Landmark runs: three people joined the 50 club this week: Sarah Bruce, Samuel Ratzer with a new PB, and Jim Lorimer.  Jim actually ran his 50th on New Year’s Day, but forgot his athlete bar code.  He is one of many grateful to parkrun for getting him off the couch, and also encouraging his son to start running.  And a big shout for two tremendous achievements: Tim Collins on run number 300 (216 at Richmond) and Lesley Helen Foote on run number 100 on foot (!). Many will know that Lesley regularly volunteers as lead bike; she has 153 credits on wheels, including one already in 2019.  Thank you from us all.

It being the first Saturday of the month, we had pacers.  This is one area where there seemed to be plenty of willing volunteers, and the number of PBs may have reflected the invaluable help the pacers provided to their fellow participants.  What is the preferred pacing technique?  Should pacers target finishing exactly in their pacing time, or aim to be a little faster,on the theory that this helps those targeting the magic figure to get a time inside their target?  This week’s pacers did a great job, and some were scarily close to their magic number.  So thank you to all.  Sadly for me, the only time I saw the 26 minute pacer was in the queue for barcode scanning!

Richmond parkrun 5 Jan 2019 3

Finally for this report, a plea from our Run Director: please note that is against park regulations to secure bicycles to park furniture: the wooden frames around trees included.  Bicycles must be left against the railings close to Richmond Gate.  Visitors will often not be aware, so please do pass this on if you see any before the start.

Richmond parkrun began on 20th October 2007.  Since then, 21,458 runners have completed 160,217 runs, from 970 different clubs, with an average of 7.5 runs per participant.  Between us, we have completed 801,085km and we have run for 8 years, 119 days, 31 mins and 16 secs.  That is a lot of running.

So let us look forward to a healthy 2019, and adding to the totals next week.  See you then.

Patricia Ainley



Richmond parkrun 595 – New Year’s Day – 1st January 2019

Winter Nights

First of all, a “Happy New Year!”.  It is now 19 years since we entered the millennium, where we had fears of our computers crashing and planes falling out of the sky on the stroke of midnight. Today – so far so good. 

You will have heard that in the last few days many people have been given night hoods. If you were here during our recent festive runs you will have seen many running with their new ones, rimmed with a stripe of white and a little white bobble at the peak. Obviously a copy of Noddy and Big Ears’s blue ones, who are known to frequent our parkrun, as many regular readers will recall. I’ve also heard that some people run in nighties, though, with my hearing, it could have been something else. The good news is that since the winter solstice, the nighties are getting shorter. 

Also, today, being the New Year, it gave some of us parkrun nuts the chance to run and get accredited for 2 parkruns on the same day, with a tiny breather between them. Today’s run director, Andy Caie, got us started punctually with that thought in mind. The run started on the dot of 9:02. I had intended running the Kingston one too, which runs near the Hawker Centre YMCA and alongside the river. 

Our finish funnel was heavily congested when I arrived. This was due to a record turnout 575 runners, 11 more than the previous record set 6th Jan 2018. 156 of them were first timers to Richmond parkrun and 11 of them had started the year with their first ever parkrun – at Richmond. There were only 33 unknowns and the system counts them all as men. This is not really a problem other than it gives an inaccurate male:female ratio should you be interested. Very approximately; it was 3:2 today. 

There were many achievement T-shirts being worn today though not all wear them every week: 3x500, 66x250, loads more 100 and equally loads more 50. And no I didn’t count them for you all. Eddie ROLLS, Sara FABIEN, Chris HOGG and Natalie WEAVERS all got a 50 T-shirt today. Andrew DIGGER and Coralie DAVISON both got their 100 T-shirt. Jacqueline MILLETT, one of our parkrun legends got her 250th. Congratulations to all of you. What a memorable way to start your New Year. 

The first 3 males, starting in position 2, as 1st was unknown, were Oliver GARNER and Eddie ROLLS, who were within a stride of each other, both at17:00. They were followed by Christopher Edward WILSON on 17:43. Highest male age grade went to Richard EVANS with 78.82%, Dan AFSHAR with 78.29% and Mark HODSON with 77.73%.

The first 3 females were: Isobel REA on 19:37, Laura BLAZEY on 19:55 and Lizzie BROUGHTON on 20:25. Highest female age grade went to Jane ROWDEN with 84.53%, Louise HUTCHINSON with 79.61% and Isobel REA with 79.01%.

Great achievements - both male and female. As always the full results are on the Richmond parkrun website. Also, these remarkable events could not happen without the many volunteers sacrificing their time. If you haven’t volunteered yet, then please do so this year. Just a reminder that this Saturday is pacer day – which is a volunteering option.

My personal thanks go to Clive Lester, who often volunteers but today volunteered to get my barcode scanned for me. Thanks. This saved me 5 min of queuing and I was on the start line at Kingston parkrun exactly at 10:00, in time for the briefing and start. I have run with them there on previous New Years and they are just as welcoming as all the other parkruns I’ve ever been too. There was a good turnout there with 502 runners. I know that many other of our regulars went for a second nearby parkrun today, of which there were several choices. 

Wherever you all ran, I hope it was a good start to your New Year.

Elio Zentilin


Richmond parkrun 594 – 29th December 2018

Those days between Christmas and New Year, especially 28th 29th and 30th of December are the dark days which remain as the vestiges of our hibernating instinct. We spend Christmas eating turkey, stuffing, hams, sides of salmon, Christmas pudding and mince pies to make sure that we survive the few remaining days of 2018. It is surprising then that 40 out of 422 runners managed PBs helped on by an un-seasonally warm day where the weather was ideal for running. A mild day with grey skies to match the bare trees and dead bracken; with no westerly wind that has made the plod up Tamsin trail a tough end to parkrun recently. 

There were 83 Richmond first timers, those ranks swelled by the athletes from the Deaf Running Society. The first timers briefing and the main briefing were accompanied by signers, though the signer checked before she relayed run director Michael Glazebrook’s admonition that all those 560 who had run #593 - 25/12/2018 were mad.

Only 20 of those new to Richmond were also parkrun first timers. The fastest of these was Lachlan Stewart (JM15-17) who managed to complete his first ever parkrun in 21:01. An earlier Lachie Stewart won the 10,000m Gold at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games in 1970, to much Scottish pride.

Apart from the “unknown” who was first through the funnel, the fastest times were Ben Huggett (SM20-24) in 18:18. 5 seconds slower was Josh Daly (SM25-29) a first timer at Richmond followed by Thomas Ziegel (SM18-19) in 18:30. The fastest three women were Stephanie Ainley (SW25-29) in 19:16 (who went on to volunteer), she was followed by two (JW11-14)s Ella Fryer in 21:11 and Imogen Parker-Elms in 21.37. Incredible running at that age, Ella on her 108th parkrun and Imogen on a PB.

The age grade performance of the day was Patricia Ainley (VM65-69) on 79.71% for her 26:37. The best 4 age grades were all women, Robin Vaygelt, Margie Harrison and Alex Barr. The best male age grade was Malcolm Davies (VM50-54) 76.83% for his 19:21. 

Anyway that was the last run of 2018. A  huge thanks to all who have volunteered this year. Today’s stalwarts were Stephanie AINLEY, Patricia AINLEY, Yusuf ALI, Nicky ALLISON, Alex BARR, John BATEY, Stephan BUDASZ, Mathew CALABRIA, Judith CLARKSON, Simon CLARKSON, Juliette COOPER, Francesca CREASY, Gail FARAHANI, Michael GLAZEBROOK, John GRAHAM, Aspen IRONSIDE, Katie LEE, Ewan LORIMER, John LOWIT, Freddie METCALF, Kyoko MURAKAMI, Mark ORMISTON, David PENNELL, Wendy SCOTT, Imaan SHEIKH, Hikaru SUZUKI, Sama THEYAB, Jenny WILLETTS

The next run will be on January 1st 2019. We have been warned that it will start sharp at 9:00 am to allow the only opportunity in the year to tackle two in one day. Some local parkruns are starting at 10:00, the one that has caught my eye is Kingston on the towpath behind the Hawker building. I will leave the actual decision till January 1st, when things may look very different.


Best wishes 

John Graham 


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 21,550 participants have completed 158,696 parkruns covering a total distance of 793,480 km, including 24,603 new Personal Bests. 



Richmond Park parkrun 593 – 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

A huge Christmas Day attendance at our very own Richmond parkrun and very nearly an overall record, with 546 running, jogging and walking around the best parkrun course in the World!  Our numbers would have been swollen by other local parkruns choosing not to have a run and hence we got close to our attendance record of 564, which was in last January.

If we look at some of the previous Christmas Day attendances, this may be a way of gauging how popular parkrun has become across the last few years as it has exploded into public consciousness:
2012 136
2013 244
2014 265
2015 312
2016 306
2017 407
2018 546

At Bushy Park parkrun, they had over 2,000 participants at their Christmas Day run; a huge record for the UK and maybe even globally.

Christmas is a time for people to connect with their families and friends and many people see parkrun as an extension of their family and a big part of the Community.  We had 109 First Timers who either ran their first ever parkrun on Christmas Day as they were visiting families and encouraged to participate or made the effort to visit Richmond parkrun for the very first time as parkrun is already part of their weekend ritual.

David Pennell, our very own Run Director, welcomed all our visitors to parkrun and managed to crack a few festive gags to set ourselves on our way.  There were a few milestones this week:
Gavin Hillhouse 100
Ellie Luxmore 100
Ryan Sutton 150
Raven-Marie Cooper 150
Ian Lavarack 200
Kyoko Murakami 250

Kyoko joins a very small number of parkrunners who have joined the 250 club, of which there are 4279 at present.  We have quite a few at Richmond who have achieved this landmark, which is still a huge commitment as it is 5 years worth of parkrunning.

Top 3 Males:
1) Jon Harrison
2) Unknown !!
3) Thomas Stuttor

Top 3 Females:
1) Suzy Whatmough
2) Stepahnie Ainley
3) Adrienne Baddeley

As always this event could not happen without our wonderful volunteers who many of them gave up a part of their Christmas morning to ensure we could go ahead and parkrun:
Kyoko MURAKAMI • Andy CAIE • Lesley Helen FOOTE • Carol AIKIN • Lynda CHASE • Nick CATTO • Henriette KRUIMEL • Sue CAMP • Fiona WHATLEY • David PENNELL • Malek SHARIF • Gareth Vaughan JONES • Evan JONES • Osian JONES • Seren JONES • Nell M V JONES • Mirella GENZIANI • Ronelle FRYLINCK • Imaan SHEIKH • Stephanie AINLEY • Patricia AINLEY • Neil JONES • Gail FARAHANI • Hikaru SUZUKI

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 21,128 participants have completed 158,695 parkruns covering a total distance of 793,475 km, including 24,563 new Personal Bests. A total of 980 individuals have volunteered 9,373 times.

Merry Christmas

Gareth Jones

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