by Gareth Jones
A milestone used to mean a roadside boulder with a distance painted on it. Few of these have survived into the age of GPS, and the word now usually indicates a significant achievement, perhaps involving an anniversary or a large round number of something or other. For example, as Run Director Kate BUDD told us in her briefing, today we celebrated International parkrun Day, the 14th anniversary of that day when Paul Sinton-Hewitt put on a 5K time-trial for 13 of his friends in Bushy Park. A few days earlier, six nines rolled over to noughts on the parkrunometer at HQ, as the five millionth parkrunner signed up for a weekly dose of fresh air and fun.
Not to be outdone, we at Southampton parkrun passed our own milestone today (though almost unnoticed, and without the benefit of a write-up in the Guardian): we have now been running for just over ten years! If you find this statement incompatible with the fact that our inaugural event was in 2012, then think again more carefully: according to the statistics at the bottom of our home page, the total time we have spent parkrunning on the Common has just passed ten years. Having recently achieved my own milestone (or should it be kilometre marker?) of 250 Southampton parkruns, I estimate my contribution at about five days. Rob Kelly holds the record with 280, but he doesn't take as long over them as I do.
At parkrun there are usually plenty of personal milestones to celebrate, often involving coloured T-shirts, and event 327 was no exception. James CROZIER, Frazer HART, Samuel POWELL and Camilla WAKEFIELD are all to be congratulated on joining the 10 Club, while Scott AUGUR, Tony HEY, Paul MABEY and Helen MCGILL joined the 50 Club, Andrew POWELL and Perri SEYMOUR joined the 100 Club, and David CAPPS and Paul NEWSON completed their 150th and 200th parkruns. Jo ROLFE, a regular member of the set-up team, volunteered for the 100th time, while Keith HARRIS celebrated his 40th birthday with some very accurate pacing in the 40 minute vest, accompanied by a pair of gold balloons, and by sharing out some very nice cookies at the finish. As well as being a regular parkrunner on the Common, Keith is also Event Director for Southampton junior parkrun, a 2K run for those aged 4-14 which takes place every Sunday morning at Riverside Park. It started nearly five years ago, and next weekend it celebrates its own milestone, its 250th event.
A final word of advice: don't let an imminent milestone become a millstone. I've lost count of the number of times I've run when I should really have rested, just because I was approaching some milestone. I have great admiration for those who can resist the temptation to run, and can wait patiently to reach a milestone when they are ready for it. Of course parkrun is addictive, but there will be times when your body tells you not to run. On these occasions, you can satisfy your addiction, and get your dose of fresh air and fun by volunteering! And if you do it 25 times, there is a nice purple parkrun T-shirt to help you celebrate that particular milestone.
This week 885 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 90 were first timers and 137 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 51 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 66 volunteers:
Gareth JONES • Rob KELLY • Kim Diane KELLY • Trevor Alan ELLERY • John GRANT • Gerry ROBSON • Eddie BULPITT • Peter LEWIS • Kate BUDD • Amanda HARRIS • David KEATES • Gillam MCCLURE • Shell SMITH • Elaine June WINTER • Lynne NEWSON • Paul NEWSON • Sue WILSON • Caro GARRETT • Nic WOOLLARD • Angela CORRIE • Neil PHILLIPS • Peter ROE • Sam RADFORD • Paul TONGS • Robert AGAR • Niall SIMMONDS • Paul Henry ARMSTRONG • Charles Edward ARNOLD • Sarah GOODWIN • Dan RIDOUT • Kali BANDA • Steve TAYLOR • Katalin SEBESTENY-GYORE • Zillah LEACH • Phoebe SHELLY • Emma BRADSHAW • Julian RATHKE • Barbara COGMAN • Sarah SHERMAN • Michael COLLETT • Alan SHERMAN • Keith HARRIS • Neil WILSON • Lucy FRASER • Phil BLAKE • Dominic WILLIAMS • Mark HANDFORD • Julian WALLER • Jo ROLFE • Emily BROCKEN • Glenn MEDCALF • George GILBERT • Elena CERDAN • Frazer BAILEY • Alexander JOHNSTON • Joanne CRAIG • Melodie WALTER • Nick JOHNSON • Michael SWANN • Sarah WEBB • Michael DODD • Ruth MURPHY • Dominic MANN • David BALL • Lesley HUNTER • Lauren FAIRBAIRN
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the
Southampton parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Lorna RUSSELL who recorded a time of 16:40 on 18th May 2013 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Mahamed MAHAMED who recorded a time of 14:56 on 17th September 2016 (event number 221) and by Unknown ATHLETE who also recorded a time of 14:56 on 8th September 2018 (event number 323).
The Age Grade course record is held by Austin SOANE who recorded 91.55% (18:09) on 11th August 2018 (event number 319).
Southampton parkrun started on 7th July 2012. Since then 19,784 participants have completed 189,630 parkruns covering a total distance of 948,150 km, including 33,135 new Personal Bests.