Christmas Day Southsea parkrun Run Report

In the three and a half years I've been parkrunning, this is the second time I've joined in with the festivities down at Southsea parkrun on Christmas Day. Today, I'd arranged to go and pick up one of my parkrun buddies, Neil GODDARD, since he'd also been issued a parkrun Christmas Day pass.

Living on the south coast of East Hampshire opens a selection box of parkruns to choose from, even on Christmas Day, with local ones including Chichester (9:00), Fareham (9:00), Lee-on-the-Solent (9:00), Queen Elizabeth (10:00), Southsea (9:00) and Whiteley (9:00). Since I'd only completed the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon just two days before, Southsea, being flat and fast, seemed by far the better option, plus it was probably the closest of the six events I listed above, so off we went to event number 275 down at the popular seaside resort.

Neil and I arrived there in good time, so chose to have a warm-up on part of the course, spotting many running friends making their way to the start; it was great to see so many familiar faces, most of whom were wearing something festive to celebrate the fact it was Christmas Day. I already knew Steve HOLDER and Suzanne CONNOLLY were going to be there, and the same can be said for fellow running club buddies, Donna SHEPPARD and Robert LANGLEY (more about those two later).

After the usual announcements, Run Director, Grant DAY, asked whether there were any first timers to Southsea... out of the 356 participants, there were 48 who were new to Southsea, of which 12 were taking part in their first ever parkrun, what a fantastic turnout, especially on Christmas Day. We also saw three people celebrating their 50 milestone runs today, Aimee CHAMBERS, Sam MIDGLEY and Lisa CROSS, along with Spencer HAGEDORN who was celebrating his 100th parkrun, so a huge well done to each and every one of you. Massive thanks to each and every volunteer too for giving up such valuable time on Christmas Day so that all of us could have some fun on Christmas Day.

For those of you who have been regular readers of my run reports, you'll know that it's now time to share some interesting facts about where today's parkrun is held. If there are chasers of the various parkrun Google Chrome challenges, Southsea is great for your Compass challenge, however, had it been held here before the 19th century, it may well have been called Croxton Town parkrun, since that was the name of the Southsea area prior to it being developed as a fashionable Victorian seaside resort, so it would have been a great one for the Pirates challenge back then... the name Southsea actually originates from Southsea Castle.

Southsea parkrun follows the Esplanade in an easterly direction from Speakers Corner and passes several tourist attractions and landmarks along the 2.5km stretch before you head back in the opposite direction to where the course started. The first landmark is South Parade Pier, which first opened on the 26th July 1879 and its history has been incredibly eventful ever since then... several fires, for one, and it was also partly dismantled during the Second World War in an attempt to hinder any invasion. In 1974, it famously caught fire during the shooting of the film 'Tommy' and the pier also appeared in an episode of Mr Bean, entitled, 'Mind the baby, Mr Bean'.

After South Parade Pier, the course then passes Canoe Lake, an open space containing Canoe Lake and the Rose Gardens. The Rose Gardens are found within the remains of Lumps Fort, which were once part of Portsmouth's defences, the lake on the other hand was constructed from a remnant of the Great Morass, a large area of marshland, the majority of which was drained during the early 19th Century and opened as Canoe Lake on the 17th June 1886. There are lots of other very interesting facts about the route Southsea parkrun takes, however, this is a run report, not a history lesson!

First male over the line was Neil KEVERN in a very impressive 16:58, while first female finisher was Jennifer MILLETT in an equally impressive 19:40. There were 31 finishers today who recorded PBs, one of which was my mate Neil GODDARD, who I'd travelled down here with, well done to you and everyone else.
Other notable finish times, just because they're aesthetically pleasing, were Jonathan RACHWAL in 19:19, Naouele MCHUGH 21:12, Ian NICHOLSON 24:42, James RODLIFF 25:25, Georgina LEECH 25:52, Clare WELCH 29:29, Dave GILLARD 31:13, Vanessa WARREN-WEST 41:41, Jen HURLEY DUGDALE 48:48 and finally Kate WILBY in 52:52.

Think that's it, apart from one incredible piece of news... fellow running mate, Robert LANGLEY must have had a bit of a tumble once he'd finished his parkrun today, for he ended up on one knee and proposed to his long-term girlfriend, Donna SHEPPARD... I'm delighted to announce that she said, "Yes!" Congratulations to you both!

 

Southsea parkrun #273

Southsea parkrun #273 15/12/18

Well, what a day to do parkrun, it was absolutely pouring with rain and the wind was whipping it into everyone's faces. You couldn't even see the Isle of Wight for the mist. On turning up at the start line, we still found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning.

Kev, our RD for the day gave a big thank you to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of Marshalls out on the extremely well marked out course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Southsea parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?

There were lots of milestones this morning, George and Daniel were celebrating their 100 and Dan his 200th. He was very brave (and red with cold!) at the start line as he was wearing a blond wig and a very short wedding dress, which he had tried to attach to himself with Sellotape

 

Christmas Day & New Years’ Day Southsea parkruns

Howdy,

A quick note to let you all know Southsea parkrun will be going ahead for Christmas Day and New Year Day parkrun's both at our usual times of 9.00am!

We can't wait to share some festive cheer with you lovely people!

 

Southsea parkrun # 260 – 15/09/2018

This week's run report comes from visitor Karen Cole, Thank you for your report Karen


Southsea parkrun #260
15th September 2018

On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning.  The parkrun fairies were kind to us today and provided beautiful blue skies and sunshine which was a welcome sight after the grey gifts of late.

Thank you to Elliot for the new runner's briefing where new runners were warmly welcomed and introduced to the course layout.  We were warned about other events also using the seafront today and indeed got some cheers of support from the massing Pride rally that was taking place after parkrun. Southsea also provided our younger members of our parkrun community or indeed the young at heart somewhere to burn some energy off before our run started as they were running along the beach and throwing stones into the water. Your course is a very pleasant one being in and out along the seafront and were warned about the street furniture as with the volume of users can make it a challenge to spot them. This type of course provides lots of opportunities for the faster runners to overtake and to receive and indeed give encouragement as they whipped past us slower mortals.

Today, tourists from Havant, Portsmouth Lakeside and Malden Prom were using Southsea as their tourist venue.

Grant, our RD for the day gave a big thank you to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of Marshalls out on the course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Southsea parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?

First timers, as mentioned above, are always warmly welcomed and are on the start of their parkrun journey and working towards their first milestones. The trick is when working towards your milestones is #DFYB- Don't Forget Your Barcode! many of you were listed as unknown runners this morning. That's one run less to count towards those milestone tees. That's the great thing about parkrun isn't it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk and share about. Especially pertinent though to also remember to hand in your finish token, parkrun needs them for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!

There were teas and coffee and very delicious looking cakes available in the Rocksby cafe for our apres parkrun, which allowed perfect opportunity to catch up on how all of our runs had gone and what we thought of the course.

Thank you again Southsea parkrun for starting our weekend off on a positive note. Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Karen Cole Havant (Portsmouth) parkrun

 

NO PARKRUN 21st July 2018

Just a wee note to remind all that there is no parkrun on the 21st July 2018 as our course options are limited due to the regatta and the Thai festival. Take a break and enjoy all that Southsea has to offer.  If you can't cope without a parkrun fix don't forget there is Havant, Lakeside, Lee-on-Solent and so many more in our local area.

Southsea parkrun team ;-)

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