Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #151 12 January 2019

By Colin Harris
Photos by Louise Robinson

This time last year, there were 817 finishers at Tooting Common parkrun, which was the highest ever until last week when 953 people ran. This week wasn’t quite so many at a mere 939 but it’s good to see that the New Year Resolutions are still going strong. This was why a few of us came over from Wimbledon Windmilers to encourage those who want to do more running than just parkrun to consider joining a local running club, in particular Wimbledon Windmilers. It’s a lot cheaper than a gym and more sociable (like parkrun).


If anyone is interested in finding out more about Wimbledon Windmilers, look at our website , or drop an email to Mention that you heard about us at Tooting Common parkrun.

From the Windmilers, I was pacing 30 minutes and was joined by Norman (24 mins) and Chiara (26 mins). Louise took the photographs while Lindsay was Mrs Motivator on the first corner and James kept us moving down the funnel. It was his first experience of a double funnel – needed with such vast numbers. The crush at the start made it difficult to gauge how well we were setting the required pace and it was only at the end of the first lap that I could tell that I needed to go a fraction quicker, so apologies to anyone that started with me then couldn’t raise their pace to stay with me. I found myself moving through the field, but enjoyed encouraging those I passed to “Run Relaxed” and chatting with a dad and his two young lads, plus someone wearing his 100 shirt who will be competing in the Masters Championships in Glasgow, but wanted to run a parkrun there too (they start at 9.30 in Scotland). Towards the end, I caught up with a couple of my club members, including a junior who has recently started volunteering at Wimbledon Park juniors as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. She took great pleasure in sprinting past me in the closing straight with Mum struggling to keep up.


Some people wondered why it took me such a long time to make the short journey from Wimbledon to Tooting. Jas and Mark had often been working on me when I see them at Wimbledon Park juniors where we regularly volunteer on Sunday mornings, but as I have run over 90% of my parkruns at Wimbledon and it’s only a mile walk from home it needs something special to drag me away, and today was one of those occasions. It was my brother who pointed out that I officially became a UK parkrun tourist today, running my 20th different event in the UK – I have also run in Australia, France, Poland and South Africa. What they say about a particular credit card, I say about my barcode: Don’t leave home without it!

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parkrun is more than the results of the people at the front, so many congratulations to those achieving landmarks: 10 runs by juniors Curtis Hines and Hugo Scott, and 50 runs by Ashley Gray, Sandrine Molina, Susan Venner and Sarah Hymas (today’s tail walker). A little birdie told me that congratulations are also due to two regular token sorters, Mattie Alleston and Victoria Smith, who recently got engaged.

This week 939 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 175 were first timers and 151 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 40 different clubs took part.


The event could not take place without the fantastic work of the 45 volunteers, so step forward Rosy ALEXANDER, Mattie ALLESTON, Isobel BEINT, Inga BELLAHN, Cecilia BOGLE, Richard BOGLE, Gareth BRIGGS, Christina BURMAN, Malcolm CAMMACK, Andrew CHEUNG, Frances COLLIER-WRIGHT, Emily COOPER, Gillian DEANE, Jaspal DHALLEY, Lindsay DOY, Dana ELFRING, Ninette FERNANDES, Simon GALLACHER, Rizwan HAFIZ, Holly HAMILTON, Stuart HAMILTON, Janice HARDMAN, Colin HARRIS, Mike HAYDEN, Sarah HILTON, Sarah HYMAS, George JACKSON, Sai-Yee LAM, April MARRETTA LORD, Orla MCLARNON, Anna METCALFE, Michael John MORFEY, Louise ROBINSON, Francis ROSENBERG, Chiara SAMELE, Mark SHOTTON, Jay SIMMONDS, Michael SLATER, Victoria SMITH, James SPINKS, Andy STRINGER, Andrew THEEDOM, Norman URQUIA, Oliver WELLS and Dale WOODS to take a bow.

Thank you Tooting Common for today’s run, and I promise I won’t leave it so long to return.

Colin Harris


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.


Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #150 5 January 2019

“We’re going to need a bigger funnel”

By Richard Stansfield
Photos by Holly Hamilton

Congratulations to all 953 people who ran, jogged and walked three laps of the Tooting Triangle on Saturday, you’re all record breakers! Just a few days ago Jasmine wondered, in the last run report of 2018, whether 2019 would see Tooting’s attendance record of 817 broken. Well it didn’t take long. With the help of 166 first timers at Tooting, 97 of whom were possibly putting New Year resolutions into action and running their first ever parkrun. It meant Tooting was the third biggest parkrun in the UK on Saturday, with only Southampton (1,062) and Bushy Park (1,505) seeing a larger turnout. All of whom were part of parkrun’s highest ever total turnout, over 340,000 participants. So you’re not just record breakers, you’re double record breakers! We hope you all enjoyed it and will come back soon.


It’s amazing to think that it all started less than 15 years ago with just 13 people in Bushy Park, and even five years ago the total turnout at the start of 2014 was 40,000 parkrunners. And it wasn’t just Tooting that broke attendance records on the first Saturday of 2019. Over 70 new attendance records were set around the country. Our near neighbours Clapham Common were almost as busy, with 871 people taking part, making them the sixth busiest in the UK. Still a little way to go before we match the world’s biggest parkrun, North Beach, Durban, South Africa, with a record attendance of 2,527 set in January 2018. They must have a really big funnel.

Of course not all parkruns are that busy. If you want to get away from the crowds then Bickershaw parkrun, near Wigan, had just two participants on Saturday, who were outnumbered by the three volunteers. It may be the smallest parkrun in the country, but then you need an invitation from Her Majesty to be able to take part, as the course is completely within the grounds of a closed prison.


One person who didn’t need to queue to pick up their finish token was Jeff Cunningham of Herne Hill Harriers, who was the first finisher in 17:05. The last time he was first across the line at Tooting was run number 75 back in 2017. The second man in didn’t have his barcode, so will remain anonymous, whilst the third finisher was Luke Pikett in 17:50, who must enjoy starting the year with a few laps of the Tooting Triangle, as he was the first finisher twelve months ago on the first Saturday of 2018.

Jordan Foster of Nene Valley Harriers, completing her 54th parkrun, and her fourth at Tooting, in 18:21, was the first woman to finish. Her time was a new Tooting PB for her, and with an age grading of 80.65% meant she also topped the age grade table ahead of Jeff Cunningham (77.66%) and Stefan Klasener (77.36%). Phoebe Heinrich of Clapham Runners, was the second woman in 21:17, in her first ever parkrun, and third woman was Sophie Wiles of Epsom Oddballs (a running club for all ages, shapes and sizes – now that’s a club I’d fit right in), finishing her 65th parkrun, and her first at Tooting, in 21:42.

Amongst the Juniors, Esme Freeman was the first Junior Woman in 24:50, just three seconds in front of the second Junior Woman, Georgina Waight, who’s well on her way to claiming her 50 milestone shirt in 2019, have already completed 41 parkruns. There were also some amazing Junior PBs. Isobel Burghes was over three and a half minutes faster than her last parkrun back in 2017, with a new PB of 25:10, Mabel McCarthy improved her PB from last November by over four minutes, finishing in 26:40, and Ella Pal set a new Tooting PB of 26:44 on her 110th full parkrun (she’s also done 118 junior parkruns!).


Dylan Sweet was the first Junior Male to finish, once again dipping under 20 minutes, with a time of 19:58, on his 80th parkrun, whilst JM10 Freddie Hake exactly matched his time from before Christmas, with another 21:38, putting him sixth on the overall age gradings with 72.96%. Jacob Dilley improved his PB by over two minutes, finishing in 25:27, as he completed his 10th parkrun. Which means Jacob can now claim his white junior milestone shirt, along with Julian Sakrouge, who also finished his 10th parkrun on Saturday.

There’s also a black 100th parkrun top waiting for Orla McLarnon who reached that milestone on Saturday, and just missed out on a new PB at the same time, running her second fastest ever time at Tooting. Whilst Adam Walker completed his 200th parkrun, in a new Tooting PB of 18:36. Just 50 to go for his 250 milestone top.

If round numbers are your thing (and they are mine), then it was good to see some parkrunners breaking through 20, 25 and 30 minutes for the first time. Thomas Costin, who completed his first Tooting parkrun back in October in 26:11 and has gone on to set a new PB every time he’s run since, this time knocking another 72 seconds off his previous best, breaking 20 minutes with a magnificent 19:29. (What’s the secret of your training Thomas?) Neil Sutton broke through 25 minutes, with a new Tooting PB of 24:55 on his 267th parkrun, and Jennifer Denitto went under 30 for the first time with a new PB of 29:49. Amongst 112 PBs, regular Tooting Run Director Laura De Rooy knocked 15 seconds off her previous best from last May with a time of 27:07, and Sheen Montague continued his recent fine form, knocking another 49 seconds of his PB set just before Christmas, with 33:04. Well done, Sheen! And Sophie Cole made it a PB and volunteering double, after knocking almost two minutes off her previous Tooting PB with 31:02 she then helped sort all those 953 tokens in the café afterwards. (I wonder which was quicker.)


A big thank you to Sophie and all of the 37 volunteers who made this event possible:

Lucie CUSTANCE • Joshua PEWTER • Janice HARDMAN • Celia DAWSON • Andrew SIMMS • Mark SHOTTON • Maureen KENNY • Craig BARNEY • Carol MCCALL • Sarah HYMAS • Richard STANSFIELD • Jordan FOSTER • Richard BALLAM • Richard BOGLE • Tom BAKER • Michael MCGETTIGAN • Jo CIELUCH • Cecilia BOGLE • Stuart HAMILTON • Mavis ORBAN • Holly HAMILTON • Sophie COLE • Kat HARDY-KING • Helen GOWER • Nicola WORTON • Simon FULLER • Kim BOYD • Madeleine GASCOIGNE • Gillian DEANE • April MARRETTA LORD • Dana ELFRING • Francesco MARRETTA LORD • Simon GALLACHER • Anna METCALFE • Francis ROSENBERG • Thomas WILLIAMSON • Christina BURMAN

See you next weekend!


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.


Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #148 29 December 2018

By Jasmine Sandalli
Photos by John Linington

What a year it’s been!

2018 has seen 51 parkrun events at Tooting Common, with 27,007 finishers racking up over 135,000 km. That many spins around the Trioundabout would take you three times around the world! Oo er, I’m a bit dizzy just thinking about that…


Unsurprisingly, the highest turnouts came in January when 817 people upheld their New Year’s resolutions at event number 100, beating the previous record (set only a week before) by 5 people! Let’s see if we can do better in 2019 ;)

Nick Bester from Herne Hill Harriers took the highest number of first finishers for the men – an impressive 9 altogether – while Clapham Chaser Lucie Custance edged it for the ladies with a total of 6 in 2018, including the fastest ladies’ run of the year in 17:40 at event 115. The fastest men’s time of the year however goes to Jack Hallas of Wakefield and District, when his only appearance at Tooting three weeks ago finished in a blistering 15:50!

2018 also saw a number of age category records tumble: notable among those are Mavis Orban taking the fastest time for the VW75-79 category in 33:43 (AG 71.92%) and Joseph Aspinall the fastest VM80-84 in 28:50 (AG 72.89%). The juniors have also put on an amazing show this year, as Johanna Nicholson ran the fastest time for the JW11-14 category in – wait for it – 19:54 (!) bagging an 83.58% age grading score in the process. And speaking of age-grading – if my maths is on the ball – Austin Soane achieved the highest score of 2018 with 86.25%.

So once we’d reflected on all those amazing achievements, we had just one more thing to do – the final parkrun of the year! :) And looking at some of the stats, it seems as though perseverance was the key to many of our successes - a very appropriate sentiment for the New Year!


Event number 148 saw 319 finishers, of whom 17 were tackling Tooting for the first time and a further 6 brave souls were completing their first ever parkrun. Watford Joggers’ Nana Agyei, who has never finished outside the top ten, turned his consistently fast performances into a first place finish today, finishing 1 second ahead of Aaron Wilson in 18:20. It would be a full minute before Liverpool University’s Ryan Willmott took the third place finish, 7 seconds clear of the rest of the pack. Nana’s efforts also earned him the top AG score for the day with 75.07% - what a brilliant effort for the end of the year.


Meanwhile Kathryn Evans was the first lady home for what looks like her first time at Tooting, in a time of 22:30 – after 66 runs here what a fantastic payoff for the Roadhogg from Leicester! Linda Wain came in second in 23:04 and Gateshead Harriers’ Caroline Hudson took third place just 17 seconds later on her first time at Tooting. And representing the JM11-14 category another visitor, Alfie Reynolds, took the fastest time for the under-20s with an incredible time of 19:53 and eighth place overall – a result that also nabbed him the second highest age graded score of the day.


The juniors led the charge for personal bests today, with Ruby Abbasian, Marla Babiker and Matilda Cockburn from the JW10 category and Jacob Dilley from JM11-14 all recording their fastest times at Tooting. Also among Team PB was Trioundabout regular and visually impaired runner Velma Williams, who took a whole minute off her previous best time – go Velma! And finally, a special shout out goes to April Marretta Lord, who coolly clocked a PB of 27:39 and still had time to turn in a volunteering stint. Not all heroes wear capes, people.


First lady and multitasker supreme Kathryn Evans also took the accolade of most parkruns today on her 227th outing overall – getting pretty close to that 250 shirt – while picking up a volunteering credit as well! David Brown meanwhile celebrated his 50th parkrun today, while Abigail Hermon is just one away from a 100 – a target she’ll hit on New Year’s Day. For those of you that are struggling to run that elusive fastest time, it’s worth remembering that it’s not all about speed – the important thing is getting out there week after week, rain or shine.


And finally, my favourite bit – the geeky stats…

There were runners from 25 different clubs, with the highest representation coming from Clapham Chasers. Even with a relatively small field (30% fewer runners than the weekly average) the first and last finishers were still separated by 30 minutes and 12 seconds, which goes to show the range of parkrunners that come to Tooting every week! 181 parkrunners (or 56.7% of the total) snuck inside the average finish time of 27:09, while Anna Hunscott came in exactly halfway through the field, clocking 26:30 in the median position (160th). The average time for the day however was 33:25, which would have landed you in 285th place.

Of course, you know the most important stat of all – the volunteers. 31 people gave their time up today – as you can see some of them were able to run as well! – and as parkrun simply doesn’t happen without them I’d like to give a MASSIVE shoutout to our parkrun angels. We wouldn’t be 148 events in if not for the support we get every week, so if you’d like to get involved please contact or speak to one of the marshals at the next event.

Happy parkrunning everyone and Happy New Year!

Love and cake

Jaz x


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.


Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #147 22 December 2018

By Graham Sutherland
Photos by Stuart Leeds

Saturday saw a fantastic crowd of 375 hit the Tooting Triangle for the last run before Christmas. Conditions were surprisingly warm and so most runners ditched their Fleece Navidad and ran in just a t-shirt and shorts.


Festive fancy dress was plentiful, including Santa Claus and Rudolf who were responsible for keeping you cheeky little elves in the correct funnel order. They were due to be joined by The Snowman but he had accidentally swallowed some Christmas decorations the previous evening and so was forced to give it a miss due to a bad case of tinselitis. We also tried to persuade Dancer and Prancer to make guest appearances as barcode scanners but they wanted £500 each for doing so, and in the end we decided against it as they were just two deer...

But a huge thanks to all volunteers who did make it and elflessly pitched in to make our event happen - all of you have earned your Christmas excesses. Please e-mail if you are willing to volunteer in the coming weeks.


We had 30 Tooting first timers this weekend, 12 of you were brand new to parkrun, the colours of 30 different running clubs were on show, and 64 of you earned a superb new PB. I've chosen a few of the PB achievers at random to give a special mention to:

A new PB proved simple for Simon as HEMSLEY defied a hangover to finish in 23:24

Avone, one of our regular photographers, had been KEENE to get a new best for a while and he duly delivered in a time of 26:32

This performance by DUCK was a Christmas quacker as Stephen smashed his previous best, crossing the line in a rapid 19:34


We also saw some milestones! Regular Tooting Run Director Rob WOODWARD notched his 100th, as did Clapham Chaser Joe Dean. Laura BOYLE celebrated her 50th, and I am delighted that we saw a 10th run for junior Sid STEEDMAN - a noble effort.

Male placings

Rutter left all of his rivals sMartin' with a rapid 17:03
Matt showed that he has the engine of a LamBORGHIni with a speedy 17:31
Tobias ALLENiated himself from the rest of the chasing pack to be next best in a new PB of 17:32


Martin RUTTER (SM35-39) of Clapham Chasers was first over the line in 17:03
Matt BORGHI (SM20-24) (unattached) was second to finish in 17:31
Tobias Allen (JM15-17) of Newbury AC was the third quickest in 17:32

Female placings

Despite it not being a PB, Foster was not certainly not bitter at her excellent clocking of 18:44
Felicityations go to the Clapham Chaser as she posted yet HANNONother superb time of 19:19
Rachel made friends with the top 3 placings yet again, as Allen finished in a speedy 20:50


Jordan FOSTER (SW25-29) of Nene Valley Harriers was first (8th overall) over the line in 18:44
Felicity HANNON (SW25-29) of Clapham Chasers was second to finish (15th overall) in 19:19
Rachel ALLEN (SW45-49) of Newbury AC was the third quickest (36th overall) in 20:50

Well done all! See you all again next Saturday, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.


Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #146 15 December 2018

By Nick Bester
Photos by Nick Bester and Dickon Thompson

It’s been two years since I visited my motherland, South Africa, and WOW did I forget how difficult a parkrun is on this side of the world. The parkrun I did is called Ebotse parkrun and is situated on the east side of Johannesburg and is a beast from the east.

Ebotse 2

There has recently been some seriously hot weather in South Africa and this morning was no different. parkrun starts an hour earlier in South Africa and just as well as it was a soaring 31 degrees at 8am. There were 467 runners that participated in the event. I managed to come second which was a very distant second as the winner managed to do 16:31 which was almost two minutes faster than me. He came past me at such a speed, it made me look like I was looking for parking. To give an idea of how tough this parkrun is, I did Dulwich parkrun three weeks prior in 16:30. My time for this parkrun was 18:22 with a very similar effort level. It must have been the heat, running on uneven grass and dodging the Springboks. Bester was clearly not at his best this week.

Ebotse 3

The vibe was very festive with all the marshals wearing Christmas hats. The main reason why we do Ebotse parkrun is for the killer breakfast we get afterwards and it was definitely worth it. It was actually my bachelors later that day so decided to have a shot and cocktail with my breakfast to get into the swing of things.

Ebotse 1

But what happened at Tooting?


This week 414 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 49 were first timers and 18 were running their first ever parkrun. 64 recorded new Personal Bests and representatives of 30 different clubs took part.


The event was made possible by our fabulous first time Run Director Nicola LYTTLE and 34 other volunteers:

Sai-Yee LAM • Sandhya DREW • Alessandra MCCONVILLE • Emily FOY • John KAZANTZIS • Kathryn EVANS • Nick BESTER • Mark SHOTTON • Maureen KENNY • Edward REES • Stuart MORRISON • Carol MCCALL • Richard BOGLE • Matthew EASTALL • Tom BAKER • Laura SWAN • Cecilia BOGLE • Stuart HAMILTON • Holly HAMILTON • Kat HARDY-KING • Marian KELLY • Kris CHADWICK • Alice HORNE • Howard COAN • Andy STRINGER • April MARRETTA LORD • Dana ELFRING • Oli GRIFFITHS • Simon GALLACHER • Dickon THOMPSON • Rosy ALEXANDER • Anna METCALFE • Francis ROSENBERG • Thomas WILLIAMSON

Male placings


Matthew CARTWRIGHT (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers was first over the line in 17:53.
Matthew DUCKETT (SM25-29) was second over the line in a new PB of 18:14.
Tomas O’HANLON (SM25-29) was third over the line in 18:48.

Female placings


Sophie JOHNSON (SW20-24) of Guildford and Godalming AC was first over the line in 20:52.
Ruth Jean CHALMERS (SW30-34) of Herne Hill Harriers was second over the line in 20:53.
Claire PARKER (SW30-34) was third over the line in 20:57 in her first ever appearance at Tooting Common parkrun.


Milestone shout outs are due to Scarlett WATTS and Lisa PICKERING, who both ran their 100th parkruns with us today, and Paul CANE, Stephen WORTLEY, Rupert NAYLOR, Sophie JOHNSON and Piers MASON who all ran their 50th parkruns. Piers also marked the occasion with a new PB. Finally, George GOWLAND, Sam MYCROFT and Jarvis HINES ran their 10th parkruns as juniors.


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Aside from those mentioned above, other PBs from today worthy of mention are as follows:

- Our junior stars of the week were Julian SAKROUGE, Alex GUEST, Lydia MYCROFT and Caitlin CHILTON, who recorded new PBs of 23:38, 24:57, 36:40 and 24:03 respectively.

- April MARRETTA LORD made it a volunteer and PB double, helping set up the finish funnel and recording a new best of 27:41.

- Rachel VICKERS recorded her best ever parkrun time with 22:58.

- Matthew EASTALL, Harriet NORTH and Jane TINGLE smashed the 20, 25 and 30 minute barriers with times of 19:50, 24:58 and 29:58 respectively.

- Lucinda HIGGIE ran with us for the second time and improved on the time she set a fortnight ago by an astonishing 5 minutes and 8 seconds to cross the line in 36:19! Well done, Lucinda!


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.

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