Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #137 13 October 2018

By Mark O'Neill
Photos by Alan Clarke

Saturday began, as it does now, with an alarm call, a light breakfast and the anticipation of tackling my 4th parkrun.


I have to admit, not since completing the 2005 Dublin marathon had I even bothered breaking out of a walk. No idea why. I just stopped running. (Well, there was that one time in Kingston, but that involved the number 57 bus!) But parkrun has rekindled my enjoyment of running.

On route this morning, I remembered the weather last week being drab and overcast. We had luckily beaten the rain by half an hour, but today we were gifted with a beautiful sunny morning. The overnight wind had died down offering us perfect weather for parkrunning, which allowed the running shoes to survive for at least another week.


Taking notice of the work involved to ensure the success of parkrun, I decided to make myself available for volunteering so here I am, hiding, where I can’t be seen, behind the text of the run report! But, as this shows, you can volunteer without missing a run!

Arriving at the starting point a bit earlier than usual, taking in the sights and sounds and witnessing the athletes converge from all directions, I noticed that my preferred warm up location under a particular tree had already been taken - by a bicycle! So after a quick scout around for the next available tree, preparations began.


A short time later, the first timers are called in. There seems to be an increase in numbers today as they listen intently and take on board the course lay out and requirements.

Following the information and instructions from Run Director Cal, I took up my position towards the back of the field awaiting the off. A nod and a hi to a few faces that are already becoming familiar, and we’re away!


A field of 648 pairs of running shoes took to the Tooting triangle today so once again it took a while for ‘us at the back’ to get going. Nevertheless, the reason we are there is to tackle the 5k ahead of us.

I guess improvement can be measured in various ways but, for me, although passed by one buggy and a couple of dogs, there were no nervous glances over the shoulder for the tail walker.


A topic of conversation amongst the runners on the triangle can be of great amusement. Today’s discussions ranged from appropriate wedding attire, a possible additional TV in the house, to a couple trying to decide on a name for their new cat. Priceless!

Elsewhere on the course we were receiving some awesome encouragement from the marshals, ‘’C’mon Tooting, you’ve got this’’ ‘’Leave nothing on the track’’ ‘’Keep it going’’ ‘’C’mon, big finish’’ however, it didn’t prevent me from once again being lapped by the elite runners of whom first home was Nick BESTER (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers in a time of 17:22. Nick was followed home by Matt KAUFMAN (VM35-39) of Ealing Eagles Running Club in 17:45 with Alex LUETCHFORD (SM20-24) of Hunters Bog Trotters taking 3rd in a time of 17:55. For both Matt and Alex it was their first time running the Tooting triangle.


Alistair HEATHCOTE finished his first ever parkrun overall in 12th in a time of 19:18, while milestone shout outs are due to Gerry KERINS and Huw WATERS, who both ran their 50th parkrun today. Well done also to Stephen DARLINGTON, who went under 27 minutes for the first time at parkrun in a time of 26:50.

The ladies did superbly too, with Shamiso SISIMAYI (VW35-39) of Harrogate Harriers & AC first home with a time of 20:20 in her first appearance at Tooting parkrun. Shamiso was followed home by Esme FILLINGHAM (SW25-29) of Newquay Road Runners in 21:12 also her first appearance at Tooting and Ruth Jean CHALMERS (SW30-34) of Herne Hill Harriers taking 3rd with a time of 21:17.


Other notable achievements among the ladies saw Holly MCCARTHY arrive home with a new PB time of 22:10 while Victoria SHAW and Jessica STOCKS finished their first ever parkrun with times of 24:16 and 24:22 respectively.

Once again the juniors also displayed some fantastic athleticism, with Dylan SWEET arriving home in a time of 20:12. George MACKLIN in his first time on the triangle came home in 23:19, Hugo WARD in his first ever parkrun clocked a time of 24:06, and Julian SAKROUGE in his 2nd ever parkrun clocked a PB time of 24:31.


Even more awesome running from our junior stars saw personal best times set by Omari Montague with a time of 36:25, Tess KEARNEY clocked 31:17, Sofia GIRONI got home in 33:06 while Marta STEEDMAN and Matilda MARKS bagged their current PBs at 34:28 and 34:52 respectively. Finally, another impressive run from Esme FREEMAN saw her clock a time of 24:45. Epic running from all the juniors. The future is bright!

Of the 648 athletes that ran, jogged or walked the course, 108 were first timers with 49 running their first ever parkrun. 68 recorded new Personal Bests and representatives of 37 different clubs took part.


Of all the volunteers that make these events possible, some we see at front of house, on each turn, controlling the funnel, clocking times and scanning barcodes, we get to say hi and thank you. To the volunteers most of us don’t get to see or interact with, a big thank you goes out to you too from all of us.

Today’s event was made possible by 37 volunteers: Edith ADEJOBI, Tom BAKER, Richard BALLAM, Isobel BEINT, Cecilia BOGLE, Alan CLARKE, Emily COOPER, Catherine DA GRACA, Jaspal DHALLEY, Matthew EASTALL, Emily FOY, Simon FULLER, Catherine GOODALL, Jen HALL, Holly HAMILTON, Sarah HILTON, Bessie JIBUNOH, Paul JONES, Cal JONES, Nicola LYTTLE, Carol MCCALL, Alessandra MCCONVILLE, Michael MCGETTIGAN, Anna METCALFE, Carolina MOUNTFORD, Sarah O'CARROLL, Edward O'NEILL, Nandor ORBAN, Jonathan PEARSON, Andy PUSEY, Ben ROBACK, Victoria SPOONER, Dickon THOMPSON, Claire WALLS, Ken WILLIS, Nicola WORTON. Thank you all.

Roll on next week……


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 #136 6 October 2018

Back to where it all began

By Mark Shotton
Photos by Mark Shotton and Holly Hamilton

For this week’s parkrun we marked the 14th International parkrunday, which celebrates what was then an informal 5k time trial taking place in Bushy Park in South West London on 2 October 2004. It has now has grown into a global phenomenon, with more than half a million runners running, jogging or walking around their local park each Saturday morning in twenty different countries around the globe. And this week I decided it would be fitting to make my fourth trip back to the place where it all began!

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The Bushy parkrun start line in 2004 (left) and in 2018 (right)

Needless to say, things have changed considerably at Bushy parkrun since the first event. In 2004 there were only 13 people together on the start line, but for 2018 1540 people did so - their third biggest attendance ever. Before the run itself the annual awards were handed out, with Vassos Alexander of BBC Radio 2 (and one of the hosts of the parkrun “Free Weekly Timed” podcast) doing the honours. A film crew from Sky News came along to record proceedings too.

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Pre-run photos featuring current Bushy parkrun ED Rob Phillips and radio presenter Vassos Alexander

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Bushy Park. The course itself has changed over the years but has always been a flat one lap route around the eastern section of the park. The current route resembles a butterfly in shape, and as such has lots of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Organisation at the finish by the big oak tree is quite superb too. The event team have developed a “double funnel” to manage the number of finishers they have now, and the team of 10 funnel managers do a great job of keeping runners in order until they have received their finish token.

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The big oak tree at the finish (left), the current course map (centre) and the finish funnel (right)

Bushy parkrun is also a great place to go for a milestone run or a catch-up with other parkrunners. Quite by chance, regular Tooting Run Director Mike Morfey had chosen today as the date to complete his Bushy pilgrimage, and he had opted to do so to meet up with the people he met on the organised parkrun holiday to Sicily earlier this year (a write-up of which is available here).

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Finally, another thing to note about Bushy Park (and another great reason to visit) is that it is a deer park. There are about 320 roaming freely, and you are likely to spot stags and does on your pre-run warm-up.

But what happened at Tooting?


This week 640 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 105 were first timers and 40 were running their first ever parkrun. 113 recorded new Personal Bests, and representatives of 41 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers: Sai-Yee LAM • Liam O'HARE • Sandhya DREW • Ken WILLIS • Tina For Gary TUNSTALL • Rebecca AITCHISON • Roy NASSE • Mark SHOTTON • Maureen KENNY • Paul DODOUNOU • Helen DAVIES • Kevin PICKERING • Rob WOODWARD • Man-Yee LAM • Emma HAINSWORTH • Tom BAKER • Victoria WHITTAKER • Brian WIGGINS • Robert STREET • Mavis ORBAN • Holly HAMILTON • Kat HARDY-KING • Carolina MOUNTFORD • Victoria BATES • Libby HUNT • Laura DE ROOY • Kris CHADWICK • Suzanne BROOKS • Dana ELFRING • Simon GALLACHER • Stephen DARLINGTON • Rosy ALEXANDER • Anna METCALFE

Male placings


Jon HARRISON (SM25-29) of Chorlton Runners was first over the line in a new PB of 17:10 – an improvement of just over 1 minute on the time he set last month.
Matthew ROBERTSON (SM30-34) of Herne Hill Harriers was second over the line in a new PB of 17:15.
Nick BESTER (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers was third over the line in 17:33.

Female placings


Ruth DERVAN (SW30-34) (VW35-39) of Clapham PiONEERs was first over the line in a new PB of 20:21 – her third successive PB in as many Tooting Common parkruns.
Lyndall ALSTON (VW35-39) of Clapham Chasers RC was second over the line in a new PB of 20:58 – an improvement of 7 seconds on the time she recorded this time last year.
Ghiselle GREEN (SW25-29) was third over the line in 21:08 in her first ever parkrun.


Milestone shout outs are due to Jade MOUNTAIN, who ran her 100th parkrun with us today, and Tristan KAY and Hannah TANKARD who both ran their 50th parkruns. Hannah also marked the occasion with a new PB. Finally, Ned KLASENER ran his 10th parkrun as a junior.



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

- Our junior boys did very well this week, with Ashton MARTIN, William POTTER and Tom SWAFFIELD recording new PBs of 24:01, 25:38 and 21:12 respectively
- Our junior girls were not to be outdone, however, with Marta BABIKER, Esme FREEMAN, Amelia WALKER, Charlotte LAM and Georgina WAIGHT posting new records of 33:35, 23:43, 33:18, 26:00 and 24:26 respectively
- Rupert ROBINSON, Rachael LOGUE and Fiona WHITE smashed the 20, 25 and 30 minute barriers respectively with new bests of 19:35, 24:59 and 29:44
- Clapham Chaser Michael MCGETTIGAN knocked 22 seconds off his previous best to get 23:36
- Ros HOUSDEN ran with us for the first time since June and made an improvement of 1 minute and 5 seconds on the time she set then and has a new course best of 30:52. Welcome back, Ros!


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 #135 29 September 2018

By Rizwan Hafiz
Photos by Michael Ryan

So on Saturday morning I was thinking 'shall I go for a parkrun?', stumbled out of bed and before you know it had completed the run having had no breakfast or a cup of tea but feeling set up for the day.


You may have stayed up till 2am on the Friday night after Sams chicken or be training for a marathon or a half, but whatever your preparation and goals parkrun is the all inclusive, all encompassing event. All ages are there; you even get runners with kids in buggies. There were also kids geeing us on from the side. And our junior runners of the week were Owen CLOKE, Benjamin BOURNE, William POTTER, Esme FREEMAN and Amelia WALKER with new PBs of 32:44, 32:43, 26:46, 24:34 and 33:48 respectively.


It was my 30th parkrun but a parkrun congratulations go to Kristin BAINBRIDGE, Andrew NETHERCOTT, Scott PATTERSON and Duncan Alastair Richmond TURNBULL, who all ran their 50th. IMG_1223

The sound of the crowd was amazing; the parkrunners were thanking the marshals for the vociferous support which really does help and makes the experience unique. When one gets their barcode scanned they say well done for running and have a nice day. We had 34 volunteers today - Liam O'HARE • Lucie CUSTANCE • Michael RYAN • Ken WILLIS • Mark SHOTTON • Luke PIKETT • Carol MCCALL • Sergio ROPES • Richard STANSFIELD • Ailsa FLINDERS • Rob LEAY • Jay SIMMONDS • Sarah HILTON • Claire POWELL • Rizwan HAFIZ • Amy DILKS • Cecilia BOGLE • Stuart HAMILTON • Holly HAMILTON • Kat HARDY-KING • Bessie JIBUNOH • David HEPWORTH • Nicola WORTON • Morgan PHILLIPS • Richard ROSENBERG • Catherine LAW • Cedar-Xuesong LUO • Kirsten OLSON • Kristin BAINBRIDGE • Carlo NIC • Isobel BEINT • Oli GRIFFITHS • Simon GALLACHER • Emily COOPER


525 took part of whom 81 were first timers and 41 were running their first ever parkrun. 114 recorded personal bests and 26 running clubs were represented.

Male placings


Matthew CARTWRIGHT (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers was first over the line in 17:33.
Ellis WOOLLEY (SM30-34) was second over the line in of 17:39 in his first appearance at Tooting Common parkrun. Thomas CAIRNES (VM40-44) was third with a new PB of 17:42 - an improvement of 21 seconds on the time he set last November.

Female placings


Lucie CUSTANCE (VW35-39) of Clapham Chasers RC was first over the line in 17:46.
Charlotte HEALY (SW30-34) of Clapham Chasers RC was second over the line in 21:05.
Alexandra RIDOUT (SW30-34) was third over the line in 21:19.


In terms of PBs, Richard ROSENBERG, Richard STANSFIELD and Ken WILLIS made it a volunteer and PB double today, both helping out and recording new course bests of 23:20, 21:00 and 23:38 respectively. Kevin HUGHES and Keith SUDBURY continued their recent excellent form; knocking 23 seconds and 16 seconds off their previous bests with 20:23 and 20:10 respectively. Well done, guys!


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 #134 22 September 2018

By Rob Woodward
Photos by Sergio Ramos

The 134th Tooting Triangle Test took place on a bright autumnal morning spinning round the flat track of the common to cover the 5k distance. Regular attendees will have noticed that the finishing funnel was moved – this was because the cricket pitch had been booked. While Tooting clearly is not the home of cricket (that's six stops up the Northern Line at The Oval), for this umpire that's no reason for "run stops play".


631 runs (and jogs and walks) were scored with Gareth Tombleson and Alex Johnson reaching their half-centuries and centuries respectively. Oscar Tudor got a ten-for by running his 10th parkrun as a junior.

136 made their Tooting Common debut and of those 40 were bowling up to parkrun for the very first time. Meanwhile Peter and Paula SPEECHLEY were the most experienced parkrunners with 387 runs each to their names, breaking their TC ducks resplendent in their impressive 250 shirts and showing no signs of declaring their innings over.


Marking the boundaries, keeping score, manning the gloves and generally ensuring the right line and length were our volunteers Sai-Yee LAM, Inga BELLAHN, Alessandra MCCONVILLE, Tina (coming on as substitute fielder for Gary TUNSTALL), Amy SERGEANT, Roy NASSE, Mark SHOTTON, Abigail HERMON, Charlotte THEEDOM, Andrew THEEDOM, Paul DODOUNOU, Carol MCCALL, Sergio ROPES, Rob WOODWARD, Richard BALLAM, Emma HAINSWORTH, Sarah HILTON, Keith SUDBURY, Cecilia BOGLE, Stuart HAMILTON, Mavis ORBAN, Holly HAMILTON, Bessie JIBUNOH, Marian KELLY, Catherine LAW, Gay LEE, Gary LAVERY, E ADEJOBI, Isobel BEINT, Anna HART, April MARRETTA LORD, Simon GALLACHER, Emily COOPER, Branwyn DARLINGTON and Rosy ALEXANDER.


As for the run itself, the scoreboard shows Joshua Pewter (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers blazed a trail out front to finish in 17:08. From the Ashes emerged Max Taylor (SM25-29) of Hastings AC to urn (sic) second place (with a PB, improving by over T20 seconds) in 17:21 with Matthew Cartwright (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers the third man with 17:24 (another PB, nicking off 5 from his previous best). The first maiden back in the metaphorical pavilion was Felicity Hannon (SW25-29) of Clapham Chasers in 19:20 followed on by Ruth Jean Chalmers (SW30-34) of Herne Hill Harriers in a time of 20 point 34 and Sophie Roanna KIRK (SW25-29) of Fulham RC in 21 point 03.


Out in the field were also some note-worthy achievements as 98 batted above their averages by setting new PBs. From the junior girls Tess KEARNEY, Orla COSTELLO, Asisse UBHI and Isobel PERRY all had a ball to set PBs of 32:35, 32:13, 35:05 and 22:08 respectively and for the junior boys Ashton MARTIN, Leo MANOLSON and Tom SWAFFIELD delivered new records of 24:42, 39:18 and 21:33 respectively. An all-out good effort!

Moving from short leg to long leg, a number of adults were also clearly not stumped or caught out by the course to de-crease their PBs. These included Kevin HUGHES who cut exactly 1 minute off the time he recorded in April last year, clearing the rope in 20:46, Aghogho ATEH who scored a brace of PBs, sweeping an amazing 1 min 11 secs off her time from last week to cross the line in 37 minutes exactly and Stuart DENYER who had bailed out of Tooting in December but returned to get off the mark in 2018 and knock his PB for six by finishing not out on 21:24. Welcome back, Stuart!

For the all-rounders Paul DODOUNOU made it a volunteer and PB double today, helping set up the finish funnel and scored a hat-trick of PBs with 20:51 while our regular photographer John LININGTON nurdled a new overall parkrun PB of 19:34 in his last parkrun before heading off to run the Chicago marathon in a few weeks' time. All the best, John! Notable extras are Northala Fields regular David GOODENOUGH came to run his 197th parkrun with us today to record a very impressive 19:38 and a 78.27% age-grading and former Tooting Event Director Gemma BRIERLEY, who was back to run out with us for the first time since the birth of her daughter Georgia and seamed (sic) to enjoy the occasion. Welcome back, Gemma!

The final mention should go to the South African family who following in the footsteps of compatriots Dean Elgar, Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee and Morne Morkel were in south London this year for some sport. Finding out that Clapham Common was cancelled for the week, they made the long hop to Tooting and despite pitching up late finished ahead of the tail-enders. Howzat for commitment?


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 #133 15 September 2018

By Velma Williams
Photos by Stuart Leeds and Dickon Thompson

Hello parkrunners. My name is Velma Williams. Those of you who participate in the Tooting Common parkrun may have seen me walking/jogging round with my fantastic guide runner Emma. I am visually impaired – registered blind, with some useful vision. Last Saturday 15 September was my 20th parkrun. My time was 42.10. Yeah, I know I’m slow but I am a VW!! I’m still coming to terms with being a veteran.

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I have been participating at Tooting Common parkrun since September 2017. Wow, I can’t believe that it’s almost a year since I first began! On my first run my time was 57.36. I had a break from parkrun in February 2018 and returned at the beginning of June. I recently achieved a PB of 39:57 – thanks, Mark!!

I first heard about parkrun from my friend Jess who is also visually impaired and a parkrunner. I was inspired to take up running when I was asked to sponsor Jess who was running her first half marathon. Although I attend a dance aerobics class and have recently once again begun attending my local gym, I had no experience of running. I gave up running for the bus a long time ago – trust me, running for the bus when you are visually impaired is a risky business for me and the general public! My initial goal was to undertake a fun run or perhaps to do a 5k for charity. However, now my goal is to improve my health, fitness and stamina. I believe that I am doing this, albeit slowly.


I really like running at Tooting Common – it’s nice and flat which helps me as a novice runner. The triangle shape of the course is particularly helpful to me being visually impaired. It’s great running in the shade when it’s really hot, especially after running along the part of the course which I call the Gobi desert! My guide runner helps me to access the course by describing it, ensuring that I do not bump into obstacles and encouraging me to reach my potential. Thanks once again, Emma!

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I really love the way parkrun is open to people of all ages and abilities. I am always very impressed with the junior runners and what some of them achieve. This week our junior boys did very well today, with Owen CLOKE, George FREEMAN and Ned KLASENER getting new PBs of 34:28, 25:13 and 25:19 respectively. And our junior girls were very impressive, with Milla RUSLING, Esme FREEMAN, Eden TURNER and Kamalina LONG posting new records of 29:01, 25:01, 30:09 and 35:23 respectively.


This week 564 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 74 were first timers and 40 were running their first ever parkrun. 89 recorded new Personal Bests, and representatives of 30 different clubs took part.


I’d like to thank all the people who encourage me by cheering me on. I also wish to say a big THANK YOU to the 35 volunteers who made parkrun possible this week:
Liam O'HARE • Alessandra MCCONVILLE • Michael John MORFEY • John KAZANTZIS • Abigail HERMON • Charlotte THEEDOM • Andrew THEEDOM • Carol MCCALL • Helen DAVIES • Emma HAINSWORTH • Richard BOGLE • Tom BAKER • Tim KEAST • Claire POWELL • Cal JONES • Cecilia BOGLE • Iain BARRETT • Nandor ORBAN • Holly HAMILTON • Mairi WILSON • Catherine LAW • Laura DE ROOY • Kirsten OLSON • Suzanne BROOKS • Stuart LEEDS • Anthea GORDON • Howard COAN • Edward O'NEILL • Amy GORMAN • Isobel BEINT • Oli GRIFFITHS • Simon GALLACHER • Emily COOPER • Rosy ALEXANDER.

Here are the results for the speedy runners:

Male Placings

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Luke PIKETT (VM35-39) of Clapham Chasers RC was first over the line in 17:19.
Marc GERAGHTY (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers was second over the line in 17:35 in his first appearance at Tooting Common parkrun.
Matthew CARTWRIGHT (SM25-29) of Herne Hill Harriers was third over the line in 17:43.

Female placings

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Ruth Jean CHALMERS (SW30-34) of Herne Hill Harriers was first over the line in 21:02.
Lucy HURN (VW40-44) of Windrush Triathlon Club was second over the line in 21:23 in her first appearance at Tooting Common parkrun.
Anaelle STENMAN (SW20-24) was third over the line in a new PB of 21:50 - an improvement of 14 seconds on the time she set in July.


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Big shout out and congratulation to the following milestone runners:

Chris EVANS, David SACHS and Aaron WILSON, who all ran their 50th parkrun today, and Genevieve KEARNEY, who ran her 10th 5k parkrun as a junior runner – you go girl! :)


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Apart from those mentioned above, other picks from today’s PBs are as follows:

- Cathryn NASSE took 23 seconds off the time she set last week to get 30:20
- David HEPWORTH and Aghogho ATEH improved on their PBs last month by 38 seconds and 1 minute 34 seconds to cross the line in 34:16 and 38:11 respectively.
- Finally, kudos to Michelle DZUMBUNU who recorded her seventh successive PB in her eighth Tooting Common parkrun and went under the 28 minute barrier for the first time with 27:29. Fantastic work, Michelle!

See you next Saturday at Tooting Common parkrun.


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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.

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