A range of matters

By Tony Gallagher

The 493rd running of this Roundshaw Downs event saw the usual impressive range of statistics. We had 14 folk participating in their first RD activity, 7 of who had never done a parkrun anywhere previously. A warm parkrun welcome to one and all. We established two of the 7 tourists came from Edinburgh and Leicester.

While we had several doing their first ever we had Maria Lawrence at the end of the range doing her 419th. A big milestone for parkrunnners is to reach their 100 event and we had two worthy participants this week so big congratulations to both Peter Searle and Mark Fleming. Age wise we had a span from under 10 year olds to over 70 year olds.  There was a time range of 28 mins from first back to last back - excluding the volunteer tail walker.

Speaking of volunteers we had 14 volunteers on Saturday, without whom the event simply could not take place. Thanks to Richard Carter for taking, and uploading photos from Saturday which can be found by clicking on the photos link which is on top of the Roundshaw parkrun homepage.  At the time of writing this report on Sunday we still need some marshals, a run report writer , and a pre-event set up person to volunteer for next Saturday.

We had some celebrate their 16th birthday yesterday: happy birthday to Tommy Payne who managed a PB on his special day.

We also had our usual span of people with dogs today but I don't know the range of breed :).

We had one finishing position number go missing at the end of the run: if you have do try and get it back to us as we need it. The number 95 is the  AWOL offender. We did have a few late starters today but they managed to finish before the tail walker so got a time.

Report below

Roundshaw Downs parkrun
Event number 493
8th September 2018

This week 149 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 27 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:

Richard N CARTER • Tony GALLAGHER • Annette HELLIWELL • Noel AITCHISON • Sean QUIRKE • Paul David COOPER • Mark CONSTANTINOU • Sarah MCCARTHY • Andrew MCGOVERN • Max STILLMAN • Sheila DAILY • Toby SHEARLOCK • Ellie WHITE • Nicholas TANNER

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

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:41 on 13th August 2011 (event number 110).
The female record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a time of 18:28 on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).
The Age Grade course record is held by Zechariah JOHNSON who recorded 94.07% (21:05) on 7th October 2017 (event number 443).

Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009. Since then 5,440 participants have completed 49,204 parkruns covering a total distance of 246,020 km, including 7,363 new Personal Bests.

 

Not any ordinary tourists

By Tony Gallagher

One of my favourite things about parkrun is observing how people interact and 'use' it as it were. Over the years, in my parkrun journey, I have gone through different ways at different times. Initially, when there was only Bushy and parkrun was all very new and unknown, I made the effort because it was fun and simply felt right. My family joined me at Bushy sometimes mainly because it just felt right too. Soon after Banstead started it felt only right to do some volunteering and the camaraderie there introduced me to the community aspect that regular interaction provides. When Roundshaw came along it was my 'local' and, given that Banstead was well established with volunteers it seemed a natural step to run and volunteer here. When Neil Reissland departed as RD I was ( to put it very loosely ) 'volunteered' to be a RD.

Despite having run 114 different parkrun locations I never consider myself a parkrun tourist in the sense it is used today. Once Wimbledon parkrun started it seemed only natural to run in that event. When the next London parkrun started I tried that and so on.... This Saturday we had a special lot of tourists visit us. They are a tourist group and have sent in a picture of themselves and a wee report too which can be found below. Among the group are two Guinness Book of Record holders.  The are not any ordinary tourists.

First some local bits and pieces. This week we had no fewer than eight participants who had never run ANY pakrun previously: a very warm welcome to Stephanie Garlick, Nicola Humphries (Chiltern Church Runners), Ryan Saunders, Shazza Mckn, Claire Foley, Daniel Saunders,Noel Nicholson and Monica Soleto Reyes. Dominique Corradi, who runs in the 15-17 age group was 1st lady back and second person overall. First back was Daniel Gaffney with a new PB. Thanks to all the lovely volunteers without whom there would be no Roundshaw parkrun.

Speaking of volunteers a little birdie informs me in two weeks time our co- founder with Mick, Nicola Stephenson, will be doing her 50th parkrun. Saturday afternoon I popped along to the Roundsahw Estate 50th year celebrations. I handed out some parkrun flyers and spoke to some folk. One lady, who has been living in the area for many years about a quarter of a miles from the start, didn't event know what parkrun was. Perhaps we need to spread the word a bit better. I didn't learn too much abut the history of the roundshaw estate unfortunately and as there was no reference to it at all in the celebrations !

Stats are at the bottom of this report after the "TOURISTS' REPORT here.

---

" We are a group of parkrun friends / tourists that all belong to the same Tube Challenge forum and meet in London around six times a year for parkrun and orienteering on the underground in the afternoon (Known as the random 15 championship we meet several other people at a designated starting station and there are 14 other stations in a sealed envelope normally within Zones 1 & 2 that you have to visit in the fastest possible time...

Although everyone was not in attendance yesterday we do have people that come sometimes from as fa away as Penzance and often our numbers park running are in double figures....

So there was myself;

Kevin Brown home run Bedfont Lakes and that was run 198 and different event 96, I am also 2  x former Guinness World Record holder for visiting ALL of the London Underground stations in the fastest time...

Andrew Chilcraft ED at Linford Wood and has 202 runs at 92 events

Andy James home run Bournemouth and has 89 runs at 82 events, The current and 5 times Guinness World Record holder for visiting ALL of the London Underground stations and twice former Guinness World Record holder for visiting ALL of the stations on the New York metro

Nick Gardner home run Southsea and has 110 runs at 42 events

Ian MacNaughton 8 runs at 5 events...

We all thought Roundshaw was a really lovely and friendly course and if we get the chance is definitely on the list for a re-visit.. "

Here is a photo and left to right Andy, Kevin, Ian, Nick, Andrew    ---

Roundshaw Downs parkrun Event number 440 16th September 2017

This week 124 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 18 were first timers and 26 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 13 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:

Richard N CARTER • Tony GALLAGHER • Finn GALLAGHER-MUNDY • Mark EDWARDS • Pat WALSH • David ALDERSON • Helen ELDERFIELD • Eileen LEONARD • Sarah MCCARTHY • Yasin IQBAL • Sheila DAILY • Claire SAUNDERS • Kathrine HAND • James LEWIS

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

Male placings: Daniel GAFFNEY (SM30-34) (Unattached) was first over the line in 17:19 - 4th time in 5 appearances. Luke FOWKES-SMITH (SM25-29) (Unattached) was second (third overall) over the line in 20:12. Paul MCGARRY (SM25-29) (Unattached) was third (4th overall) over the line in 20:35 - was first to finish once before.

Female placings: Dominique CORRADI (JW15-17) of Sutton & District AC, was first (second overall) over the line in 19:55 - 5th time in 7 appearances. Louise ARPINO (VW35-39) of Collingwood AC, was second (36th overall) over the line in 24:59. Bianca JOHNSON (VW40-44) (Unattached) was third (41st overall) over the line in 25:20.

The three highest age grades were recorded by: Dominique CORRADI (JW15-17) – 76.82% for the time 19:55 (second overall). Daniel GAFFNEY (SM30-34) – 75.75% for the time 17:19 (first overall). Patrick O'BRIEN (VM55-59) – 72.05% for the time 22:04 (12th overall).

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:41 on 13th August 2011 (event number 110). The female record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a time of 18:28 on 18th April 2015 (event number 310). The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 92.15% (18:54) on 15th April 2017 (event number 418).

Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009. Since then 4,676 participants have completed 41,675 parkruns covering a total distance of 208,375 km, including 6,544 new Personal Bests.

 

10 for 4 not out

Fog!!!

By Ian Cotton

Course Conditions:

The course conditions weren’t the best due to the rain this week though still very good for December.  The second hill, especially through the gap, was quite slippery. Fog descended over Roundshaw Downs parkrun making glasses steam up and it was fairly disorientating for some athletes because they couldn’t see very far in front of them!

PBs, Positions and 10s, 50s, 100s etc…

On a happier note Duncan Mallison, Jon Dean, Sarah McCarthy, Fred Bastello, Nga Sze Leung, Tim Gilkinson, Bernadette Goldrick and David Farodoye, all ran PBs, well done! Fred Bastello knocked 44 seconds of his PB, Bernadette Goldrick just got three PBs in a row and David Farodoye smashed his old PB by taking 87 seconds off it. Alphi James Backers England ran his first ever parkrun. Congratulations to Oliver Campion for running his 10th parkrun and Yasin Iqbal for finishing his 100th parkrun. Thank you for the delicious chocolates and cakes.

Ed's note: as mentioned by Ian in his report Oliver Campion reached his 10 milestone on Saturday. Question will the t shirt fit him as he is only 4 years old !!!! Amazing or awesome as the folk from down under say.

Roundshaw Downs parkrun
Event number 399
17th December 2016

Male placings:
Gavin ENGLEFIELD (VM35-39) of South London Harriers, was first over the line in 19:31 - third time in 36 appearances.
Duncan MALLISON (VM40-44) of Ranelagh Harriers, was second over the line in 19:40.
Glen SMITH (SM30-34) of Collingwood AC, was third over the line in 20:02.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Gavin ENGLEFIELD (South London Harriers) 2143 pts.
Glen SMITH (Collingwood AC) 1627 pts.
Patrick O'BRIEN (South London Harriers) 1477 pts.

Female placings:
Ally WHITLOCK (VW35-39) of Striders of Croydon AC, was first (19th overall) over the line in 23:35 - second time in 8 appearances.
Sophia LORKE (JW11-14) of Emmanuel Runners, was second (30th overall) over the line in 24:18.
Patroulla LORKE (VW40-44) of Emmanuel Runners, was third (31st overall) over the line in 24:32.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Kirsty COTTON (St Patrick's Tigers) 1876 pts.
Helen ELDERFIELD (Unattached) 1714 pts.
Karen CHART (Collingwood AC) 1710 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Jon DEAN (VM55-59) was graded 76.79% for the time 20:32 (5th overall).
David WILLIAMSON (VM45-49) was graded 71.79% for the time 20:23 (4th overall).
Christopher CURTIS (VM50-54) was graded 70.63% for the time 21:03 (7th overall).

This week there were 91 runners, of whom 1 were first timers and 8 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different athletics clubs took part.

Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009, and since then 3,973 different runners, including participants from 244 athletics clubs, have completed 35,318 runs covering a total distance of 176,590 km, and there have been 5,518 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Clare ELMS who ran in a time of 00:18:28 on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).
The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who ran in a time of 00:15:41 on 13th August 2011 (event number 110).
The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a 91.88% run (18:28) on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).

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

 

The Roundshaw parkrun Family by Ric Adams

I knew I should have written this report sooner…getting round to it on a Thursday isn’t the best way to do things, especially when you’ve got a memory like mine….so these are the headlines from event number 397.

Having been freezing cold for the few days before, the day itself was pleasantly mild and rather sunny, and those who started in layers of clothing quickly handed them over to the marshalls as they finished the first lap.

Again I was struck by the inclusiveness of parkrun…watching those who are definitely out to win the event carefully doing their stretches by the trees on the way to the start…and those who are merely happy to get around perhaps a little faster than last time. It was Sutton & District AC’s Ricky Lutakome who came in first place, in a fantastic time of 15.56….a new PB for Ricky on his 8th parkrun….and a full two minutes and 36 seconds ahead of second placed Justin Macenhill from Striders of Croydon.

There were 11 new PBs  on the day from a field of 115….well done everybody.

A big parkrun welcome to Alex Demetri and Rosalyn Townsend, both of whom achieved respectable times…and a welcome to Roundshaw for the first time to parkrun veterans Richard Hook and Mark Baker. We hope to see you all visiting again in the coming weeks. For Stephen Hewett it was his 284th Roundshaw parkrun (having now completed 347 parkruns overall).

I know (because I heard him say it!) that it was a big disappointment to Tony Gallagher that nobody was celebrating any significant milestones today….which meant NO CAKES! I’ve discovered that one of the perks of being a volunteer…particularly a barcode scanner…is that you do get to ‘test’ the cakes on offer before the athletes.

Talking of barcode scanning, I couldn’t be more happy about the way that It has been made possible for my wheelchair using daughter, Abigail, to become a part of the ‘Roundshaw Family’. She is just a few ‘volunteers’ away from getting her 25 shirt….and she can’t wait to bring cakes to celebrate that. Thank you all for being so patient with her, and for including her. I must give special mention here to Chris Curtis, who almost without fail gives Abigail a High Five as he finishes his first lap. She wants me, when the weather is warmer, to push her round the course in her chair….I think I need to get into serious training for that!

For me, it was a significant event because it was the first time I had officially completed the course in over a year….since October 3rd 2015. I’d stopped running as I’d got a bit of pain in my right knee…and to make a long story short, had been told earlier this year that I’ve got arthritis in that knee. In the meantime I’ve seen the physio and have been doing exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles….and although my time was a good few minutes from my PB, I was glad to finish….and to finish without any extra discomfort too!

But I must say that the highlight of my morning was watching two members of the same family complete the course….Matthew Campion and his young son Oliver. Oliver is just 4 years old but completed the two laps without breaking into a sweat, as his mum cheered him to the finish. Well done Oliver….and Matthew too, of course!

Roundshaw Downs parkrun
Event number 397
3rd December 2016

Male placings:
Ricky LUTAKOME (JM15-17) of Sutton & District AC, was first over the line in 15:56 - 5th time in 6 appearances.
Justin MACENHILL (VM40-44) of Striders of Croydon AC, was second over the line in 18:30 - has been first to finish on 6 previous occasions.
Darren EKINS (VM40-44) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:49 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Gavin ENGLEFIELD (South London Harriers) 1945 pts.
Glen SMITH (Collingwood AC) 1529 pts.
Patrick O'BRIEN (South London Harriers) 1477 pts.

Female placings:
Virginia KENNEDY (VW40-44) (Unattached) was first (25th overall) over the line in 22:22 - 7th time in 20 appearances.
Maeve TOMLINSON (VW40-44) (Unattached) was second (45th overall) over the line in 24:31 - has been first to finish on 10 previous occasions.
Roberta Ann GILKINSON (VW50-54) (Unattached) was third (53rd overall) over the line in 26:07.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Kirsty COTTON (St Patrick's Tigers) 1698 pts.
Karen CHART (Collingwood AC) 1547 pts.
Helen ELDERFIELD (Unattached) 1522 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Ricky LUTAKOME (JM15-17) was graded 84.73% for the time 15:56 (first overall).
Simon PANNELL (VM55-59) was graded 76.42% for the time 20:17 (9th overall).
Justin MACENHILL (VM40-44) was graded 76.04% for the time 18:30 (second overall).

This week there were 115 runners, of whom 5 were first timers and 11 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different athletics clubs took part.

Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009, and since then 3,960 different runners, including participants from 241 athletics clubs, have completed 35,111 runs covering a total distance of 175,555 km, and there have been 5,499 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Clare ELMS who ran in a time of 00:18:28 on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).
The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who ran in a time of 00:15:41 on 13th August 2011 (event number 110).
The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a 91.88% run (18:28) on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).

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

 

News From The Downs

Report on Roundshaw parkrun 342 by Tony Gallagher

We had a double ‘first’ of sorts at Roundshaw parkrun this week. Victoria Stammars was completing her first ever parkrun. James Heather was completing his first ever parkrun.

Victoria is a new Mum to four and half months old Scarlett and she had a nice parkrun walk, as it were, around Roundshaw with Scarlett strapped to her in front. Scarlett was unfazed by it all but didn’t comment about the event post run as she was busy snoozing after a long, hard carry-around: tail runner volunteer this week, Sarah Mustoe, kept them company. Welcome all to the parkrun family.

In only his second parkrun ever Polish runner Pawel Staszynski ran Roundshaw for the first time. His Polish parkrunning friends told him, because he lived in London, it was the perfect opportunity to sample some parkruns. Sarah Allen, Steve Knight, Suzanne Swaine from Herne Hill Harriers and Ashley Bradbury were also running Roundshaw for the first time this week.

First past the post was Tom Higgs after which time he did scanner duties – thanks Tom. For the ladies the aforementioned Suzanne Swaine was first finisher.

As always we are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Jonathan ALAWO, David ALDERSON, Neil DAWSON, Steve FOSTER, Tony GALLAGHER, Tim GRAY, Tom HIGGS, Martin LLOYD and, aforementioned, Sarah MUSTOE.

A further reminder that there will be a Xmas day parkrun on Friday 25th along with the usual Saturday parkrun on boxing day. Start time is 09:00. On new years’ day, Friday 01st January, there will be a later start time of roughly between 10:00 – 10:05. This will allow some leeway for those hoping to do a ‘double’ parkrun – the only day of the year when this is permitted. There will be the usual Saturday parkrun on 2nd January.

Some parkrun snippets follows:

Last week, at the Inter-Church Mob Match at Nonsuch parkrun  St Patrick’s Tigers took the honours when they roared around the course.... poor pun I know. Congratulations to the tigers.

Jean and Rupert are off on their travels again and we will not see them until February. Have a great time.

Alex Parris, if you are reading this news section, you left your 100 parkrun jacket behind along with barcode in the pocket..... it will save you looking for it next time.

Just wanted to say good luck to long time supporter Michael with his knee op. later this week: hope to see you back participating on the Downs soon but not too soon Michael.

Finally we had no “unknown” runners this week – it is so nice when we know you all. Thanks for remembering your barcode. Stats below are for your perusal.

 

Roundshaw Downs parkrun
Event number 342
28th November 2015

Male placings:
Tom HIGGS (SM18-19) of South London Harriers, was first over the line in 18:16 - 25th time in 165 appearances.
Mark CONSTANTINOU (VM50-54) of Chiltern Church Runners, was second over the line in 19:05 - has been first to finish on 12 previous occasions.
David R E WILLIAMS (VM40-44) of Sutton Runners, was third over the line in 19:24 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
David ALDERSON (Wilson's School) 1672 pts.
Tom HIGGS (South London Harriers) 1496 pts.
Christopher CURTIS (Collingwood AC) 1493 pts.

Female placings:
Suzanne SWAINE (SW30-34) of Herne Hill Harriers, was first (12th overall) over the line in 22:34 - first appearance.
Sylvie GREEN (VW50-54) of Oxted Runners, was second (27th overall) over the line in 24:29.
Maeve TOMLINSON (VW35-39) of Collingwood AC, was third (28th overall) over the line in 24:34 - has been first to finish on 10 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Amanda CURTIS (Collingwood AC) 1518 pts.
Laura FOSTER (Unattached) 1494 pts.
Helen ELDERFIELD (Unattached) 1371 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Mark CONSTANTINOU (VM50-54) was graded 77.90% for the time 19:05 (second overall).
David R E WILLIAMS (VM40-44) was graded 72.51% for the time 19:24 (third overall).
Tom HIGGS (SM18-19) was graded 72.17% for the time 18:16 (first overall).

This week there were 95 runners, of whom 7 were first timers and 5 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 13 different athletics clubs took part.

Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009, and since then 3,370 different runners, including participants from 195 athletics clubs, have completed 29,100 runs covering a total distance of 145,500 km, and there have been 4,693 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Clare ELMS who ran in a time of 00:18:28 on 2015-04-18 (event number 310).
The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who ran in a time of 00:15:41 on 2011-08-13 (event number 110).
The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a 91.88% run (18:28) on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave’s 200th post parkrun breakfast

Hi folks,

 

I will be running (jogging!) my 200th parkrun on Saturday 30th May at Roundshaw Downs parkrun (9am start), and celebrating afterwards at Purley Sports Club, The Ridge, Purley CR8 3PF for bacon/sausage butties etc. (same place as Pat in December).

 

You may want to park at the club beforehand (it opens at 8:30 if ladies need to sneak in to the loos it may just be open).  If parking there you will want to trot down The Ridge, along Great Woodcote Park (you may want to park here) then do a right and a left to go down the dead-end bit of Plough Lane, then across the Downs to the start. 

 

Obviously you can always use the parking as detailed on the Roundshaw Downs site which is nearer the start, but a bit circuitous to get back to the club afterwards. 

 

Please forward to anyone I have missed. Spectators / other halves etc. very welcome.

 

Please let me know if you will be coming along so that we can arrange a suitable quantity of food/drink.

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

 

9th May – Walkers Welcome

Walkers Welcome

A date for your diaries - 9th May we are having a Walkers Welcome Week. Tim Gray will be hosting and we're encouraging people to give us a try. It's a perfect opportunity to show friends and colleagues how non-threatening parkrun is. There will be a few pacers from 45 mins onwards and we have a tail walker, so you wont be last.  Don't be scared come and give us a go. Bring the dog (must be on a lead) bring the kids.

parkrun is free all you need is a barcode which you can register at: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/ parkrun is 5k (3.1 miles), here at Roundshaw it is 2 lap course so you can just complete one lap. You just wont be able to register for a time and you don't have to run the whole way. Run/Jog/Walk your way round, it more about getting out and giving it a go and making new friends.  Then over the weeks you can add more running or picking up your walking pace.

We are friendly and who knows, this could be start of an amazing life changing adventure.  Here is a link to the parkrun UK newsletter with some examples of how life changing parkrun is: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/news/

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at roundshawhelpers@parkrun.com

See you on 9th May at 9am, don't forget your barcode!!

 

Suggest you bring a drink with you.

Please help spread the word.

 

Poland parkrun Double – “Z kim sie zadajesz, takim sie stajesz”

Poland parkrun Double – “Z kim sie zadajesz, takim sie stajesz”

For those who have not read a report by Nikki and I (Nikki Tarrant –Collingwood AC, and Tim Gray – Chiltern Church Runners) there has sometimes been some confusion about who writes what – so just to be clear I write in this font “Tim Gray” and Nikki writes in this font “Nicola Tarrant”. Italics are from the itenarary. Good luck.

Friday 9th May

“Depart Stanstead at 06.10 on Ryanair flight to Gdansk, arriving Gdansk 09.15.”

That all sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it? That was the first line of our itinerary, but it really doesn’t do justice to our efforts (and occasional confusion). Some of us booked hotels near Stanstead, and had a leisurely start (between 3 and 4).  I did opt with the hotel sleepover option and meet some of the others for dinner a beer. This did mean I could get up at 4:15am and as I don’t do morning this was the best option.  Others were up at 2 or even earlier. Some came from other airports – sometimes this was expected, sometimes not – Mystery Matt from Manchester (Stoke in reality, just using Manchester airport) was one source of confusion – Luton airport another, but least said about that the better! One really quite key member of the group arrived after the check in gate had closed – but Ryanair were all smiles and helpful, what could have been a tricky start (mainly) went well.

 “A parkrun Poland team member will meet us for the transfer to the 3*Hotel Blick in Gdynia.

#parkrun Poland

After settling in and lunch, Jakub, the parkrun Director for Poland and his team have then offered a choice of a visit to the Old City of Gdansk and the Solidarity Museum others can visit the attractive coastal resort of Sopot . We then plan to have an early supper in Sopot.”

Czesc (Hi) from Poland – we made it in two small coaches after Peter did his best to count heads and we milled about to make that as hard as possible. This was funny watching us all be rounded up as we did our best to not stand still as we compared parkrun stories.

We nearly all got access to our rooms despite being 2 hours ahead of check in, but one or two did need to hang on a little, which they did very stoically. This wasn’t really an issue as we only had a short turn around.  I was more bothered about food so headed up the high street with a few others in search of a strong coffee and something to eat.  This is when we discovered the love of cake shops in Poland.  Back to the hotel for a short walk to the train station.

Jakub arrived as promised, and was the consummate guide as we embarked on our day by train to Gdansk – “Please keep your train tickets, you will need them tomorrow” we are told.

#parkrun Poland

I think perhaps Peter Fordham (trip organiser) is a chap who likes to set challenging goals for himself, and so we set off for some whistle stop tourism – the museum and then the Monument to Solidarity, the piece of shipyard and Berlin wall, an armoured car, the old town, coffee stop – which by then I was desperate for, Lech Walesa’s office, tourist shops, the largest brick built church in Europe, pirate galleon(?), the docks, stop for a beer, pictures of Gdansk flattened in the war now painstakingly rebuilt – to be honest I get tired just writing about it – and I’m sure I missed stuff in the whirl.  

DSC05658

This was a brief tour but we covered loads and kept us all awake.  You really can feel the history in Gdansk and a realisation of how recent a lot of the history was.  More cake shops all over the place.

DSC05613

We travelled back via Sopot and were reminded to keep our train tickets for the next morning. In Sopot we had a lovely meal (more beer, more coffee) at a restaurant owned by a parkrunner. Like all the restaurants we went to individual bills meant the whole ‘who had what’ calculation nightmare we suffer from in the UK was neatly avoided. This was so helpful for paying bills and was done seamlessly – England really could learn from this.  One table (mine) held everyone else up because we had not heard the ‘ten minute warning’ and had ordered dessert  (Also Dave (Wimbledon) and I were putting the world to rights)– never mind, it was very tasty! And by the time we had all got out the restaurant and finished chatting we were all together again.

Back to the hotel, evening briefing including a reminder to hang on to our train tickets and instructions to leave” just after 8”, “the parkruns at 8”, someone shouts, “sorry, just after 7” – towards the end “so please be prompt for 8, I mean 7” – everyone is tired by now.  Not sure if some people went for drinks, not sure if I went for drinks, by this point knackered.  Certainly James was busily interviewing for the parkrun show, as he did throughout the weekend.

Saturday 10th parkruns day!

I was really excited to try another parkrun in another country.  So far every parkrun I have been to abroad they might as well be somewhere in England as its all the same, except for the odd sponsorship flag.  The hotel put on an early breakfast (6am – 5am UK). Splendid, but can’t do it justice as parkruns ahoy! Yes more cake on the buffet!!  More people have mysteriously arrived late at night – was there a plane I missed that did not go so early you could hear the first sparrow of the day farting?

We gather to go to our first parkrun, then on to Gdansk,” ready to go, does everyone have their train ticket?” – one person has forgotten (Tony) and scurries to get it.  The parkrun is a short walk up the road and we stopped to check out where the evening restaurant was.  We leave at around 7/8/7/8/7 – we finally settle on 7 and get there early for some pre run chat, and photos.

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The 1st parkrun is Gdynia parkrun at 8.00 a.m. – and it is along the beautiful promenade – pancake flat on concrete and tarmac this is a fast fast course – with the sea to our left, and cannons to our right we set off. Becky is particularly impressive with crutch and moon boot to keep her splinter fracture under control she parkruns in under 41 minutes – the ‘tourist results’ are at the end of the report for both documents. We come from over 20 different parkruns (Roundshaw have 4 parkrunners the biggest contingent) and over 20 clubs (Chiltern Church Runners have 3 – we are also the slowest club! Ranelagh Harriers, Stragglers and Reading Roadrunners field 2 apiece).

There were PB’s for some runners returning to Gdynia; David Allison, Ian Giggs, and Ingrid Wagner (achieving her goal as she had said before the start she was hunting for one). Hannah Oldroyd almost equalled her, and the courses record as she achieved a first female finish. Whilst Peter Mannion achieved 2nd place (by age grade) behind Mary Humphries – with a very impressive 80.73%.

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We also had support from Teresa who was under the weather and unable to run, but did cheer us on.  Thanks for your support, hopefully next time you will be able to run it.

“Around 9 am transport will be provided to take us to the Gdansk parkrun for 10 a.m.”

A small fleet of taxi’s arrive and we whizz off to Gdansk. Some of us use the portable toilet (except for Dave [Bromley] who finds a ‘luxury’ toilet at the local garage – I think maybe some bling, a television, minibar etcetera. There is a camera man who briefly speaks to Steve and Pam – later to come out in one of the two very cool videos that are quickly produced after the weekend. The course is a mixture of one winter and one summer lap through a gorgeous park, with brief but lovely sea views, the two laps differing does claim some casualties as a small group of tourists over shoot on a corner that would normally be signed but has been overlooked, slowing them up a bit – yes that would be me (Nikki) and Ken. Most of us are fortunate enough to be on the tail of a local when we come to it, as otherwise I for one might well have done the same, I’ve got previous for getting lost though! David Allison is the only one of us to PB. Hannah again is the first female finisher – peter mannion is again 2nd place by age grade, with Steve Darby 3rd by age grade as well.

”We then return to Gdynia to freshen up”

Time is not on our side and Peter and Jakub flag down yet more taxi’s to get us back to the train, but they can’t be everywhere at once and our taxi starts of in the run direction – “Gdansk station” we say in flawless English, “Which one?” says the taxi driver equally clearly. “We don’t know we say”, but thinking fast and indeed clichéd “but they do, follow that taxi!” – we all make it to the right station, our taxi driver seems as relieved as we do.

Most of us settle for a quick change but Dave (Bromley) runs from the station to the hotel to fit in a quick shower – nice to see a man with priorities Dave. Panic – we need ID to pick up our race numbers, people look for passports, driving licenses, or credit cards. Fifteen of us scramble for the race start. We make it with 10 minutes to spare before number collection is due to close.

“ and for those not running the 10k at 1pm it is suggested that you spend the rest of the day exploring the Gdynia coastline or town”

Which I think many did, though I know one went to Gdansk, and another may have had just a little nap.

For those running the 10k we had a little rain, a brief dramatic hailstorm – and lots of fun, with tremendous support for the nearly 6000 runners from the Polish crowd. Speaking for myself I had a nice time, chatting away and a long downhill around 10k led us back to a chunk of the Gdynia parkrun we had done first thing.

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Thanks Tim for running with me.  Really fun – and topped off with a large hot dog and beer after the finish (anyone who says they saw me having this whilst going round is a liar – though I did nearly ask for a sip of someone’s beer at one point in the run as we ran past a bar) We were very close to grabbing the beers from the locals.  Some people also got PB’s whilst there which shows the course has potential.  The downhill stretch back to the sea was my favourite part.

Jonathan and Tony have to leave us, the first to go back, it has only been from late Friday to Saturday afternoon we have all been together.

“ before meeting up with the parkrun team for supper and drinks.”

More glorious Polish (Italian) food, more beer, then off to the bar for more beer (Lemon, pink grapefruit, and banana for me before I retire) – I hear the flavoured vodkas come out later. Yes, and I finally found Polish cider J

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Sunday 11th May

“Pre- breakfast run for some, then weather permitting, by ferry or rail to Hel Peninsula, for lunch and afternoon.”

The Happiest parkrun in Poland!  Polish volunteering in Gdynia “the town made of dreams and the sea” – Isabella Cigert (Gdynia parkrun – been volunteering for 5 weeks).The best Gdynia parkrunpedia, great interview with one of the volunteers about parkrunning in Poland, history of Gdynia. Interview done on a boat in the Baltic Sea, travelling to Hel. – Nikki you heard this bit, can you add more?  Properly best to listen to the parkrun show as this summed it up nicely.

http://www.marathontalk.com/parkrun_podcast/episode_140_swans_flapper.php

Some of us travel round Hel on little electric golf carts, others walk – apparently athletes don’t use golf carts, regardless I smile and wave, smile and wave as we sweep past those on foot.  I did enjoy that too.

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There’s loads of history to take in, the peninsula (briefly an island at one point during WWII) has had a town since 1198, it was one of the last Polish army strongholds to fall in the last war, and the last german occupied area of Poland to fall. Also some beautiful countryside and beaches. 

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Some of us even saw the seals.

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The boat leaves at 3 sharp – shortly after Jakub checks in with Peter by text

“How’s it going? J”

“4 missed boat, 3 overboard – other than that all well. P”

“Shall I order a smaller coach for the morning? J”

In fact we all made it, but some with less time to spare than others.

Poor Steve and Ken (both Roundshaw) were both having a little nap on the ferry home from Hel, when suddenly they found themselves doing a slot for the parkrun show, which they handled well despite their rude awakening.

Evening: Supper

Meals out for some in swish conditions, beer and pizza in a takeaway with 4 tables for the self named ‘grumpy old men’s group’ – then the hotel bar for one (or two) more beers.  We also found the bar we were meant to be in on Saturday night which was laid out like a boat.  Lots of vodka flavour options – I loved the black cherry vodka the best.

Then back for some more parkrun show recording.

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Then an early night - well we were in bed just before midnight.

Monday 12th May

We depart Gdynia at around 07.45 by coach for the flight departing at 10.15, arriving in Stansted at 11.30

More breakfast, though Matt and Dave (Wimbledon) have already been out for a run, Steve (Bedford) times it perfectly to walk in after them, giving the appearance of having run, without needing to have done so.

We say our goodbyes, sometimes more than once as the airport processing arrangements split us and reunite us in unpredictable groups. We head home.

Overall I had wonderful parkrun tour and would not hesitate to recommend the trip to any parkrunner.  I know we talk a lot about drinking, but not everyone was.  You also don’t have to do it all if you wish to do it at a slower pace and miss bits out.  Although I do think you benefit from just going with it as it is well organised.  The Polish parkrunners were very welcoming and both courses offer a PB potential time.  The 10k was an added bonus, although you may want to do more training than me.  It was a nice way to see more of the town and a good course.  Thanks Tim for getting me round and listening to me go on.  I have met some amazing parkrunners who I look forward to meeting again in the UK.  Also a massive thank you to Peter and Jakub for all the organisation and look forward to the next one.

Postscript

"Hi All! On behalf of our parkrun communities and mine I would like to thank you all for joining our parkrun events in Gdynia and Gdańsk at the weekend. It was the great pleasure for us to have you over there! Thanks to your presence we had an opportunity to witness the true parkrun nature of an initiative coming beyond the borders (I still wonder how many parkrun events were represented). I hope that you enjoyed your time despite the weather that was not perfect. Congratulations on your results in particular new PBs at Gdynia and Gdańsk! Hopefully, you can set new ones next year! I would also like to thanks for your donations that will support event resources in Poznań.

Some of you have already seen photos taken at the events. Those who haven't please go to our FB pages at https://www.facebook.com/ParkrunGdansk?ref=hl (Gdańsk) andhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/parkrun-Gdynia/138077303012134?ref=hl (Gdynia) where there are tons of photos as well as nice videos of the two events. Enjoy!

Finally, a big thank you to Peter who have started it and spent a lot of time to make it happen! Very much appreciated!

Jakub"

 

 

 

 

The parkrun Book

This book will be a "biography" of and celebration of parkrun from the  first event in Bushy Park to the hundreds of events now available and  attended by tens of thousands of people each week.

Got a parkrun story or tale of what parkrun means to you that you'd be willing to share for a celebratory book on parkrun, to help us inspire others? Please use this form to share your story with me.

I would be particularly interested to hear :

  • what parkrun means to you and/or your family;
  • how parkrunning and/or volunteering has affected your life and/or health (hopefully for the better!);
  • where you have gone in your running due to parkrun (whether e.g. races over longer distances, or parkrun tourism);
  • running with a buggy or with your dog;
  • what you think is important about parkrun

Debra Bourne

http://www.parkrun.com/book/

 

 

New Year’s Day parkrun 10:15am

New Year's Day parkrun 10:15am

We hope you have had a nice Christmas. Just a reminder we have an extra parkrun on New Year’s Day at 10:15am not 10am as advised on the parkrun Christmas Compendium. Hopefully see you there. Don’t forget your barcode.

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