Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #159 9 March 2019

The View from the Back

By Finola Williams
Photos by Alan Wilkinson

Local Nordic Walking Group Tooting Polers recently decided to push the envelope so to speak and have a go at parkrun. We are already based on Tooting Bec Common and have a regular morning walk once a week so it made sense to up our game and join all those keen runners on a Saturday. Naturally we were expecting to come in towards the back of the field as we are essentially walkers not runners and we didn’t disappoint! Five of us initially did the walk on January 11th and this Saturday’s walk was the 6th I have done personally.


As always there was a huge turnout, and what we have come to appreciate is the variety of people taking part – serious runners, casual runners, runners with prams, with dogs, oldies, children and us walkers with sticks. As a group we have been made to feel very welcome, and the encouragement of all the volunteers dotted along the course has been crucial in getting us to the finish.

This week there were 636 taking part of whom 82 were first timers and 35 were doing their first ever parkrun. There were 83 PBs (including 5 from junior participants Meg Batty, Olivia Burman, Henry Doherty, Redmond Gurney and Bailey Turner), an impressive number making their 50th or even 100th run and an outstanding trio making this their 250th parkrun!! The weather was typical for an early spring morning – bright and sunny but with a chill in the air. Although dark clouds threatened towards the end of the run it stayed dry - perfect weather for a bit of outdoor exercise.


Nordic Walking is increasing in popularity in the UK as the benefits are recognised. It is different from trekking or hill walking as the poles are planted in a specific way that increases the use of the upper body. The poles also help to propel the walker along which means a more concerted effort. Physically, Nordic walkers will use 90% of the skeletal muscles, burn up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking and reduce the pressure on knees and joints. The technique needs to be taught by a qualified teacher but once you’ve passed the course it can be a free and easy way to keep fit. Our local group is part of an NHS initiative to help keep those at risk of bone problems fit and on the move. Bone density decreases as we age and our group has its share of replacement knees, hips and those at risk of osteoporosis. We walk every Wednesday morning from 9.30-10.30 meeting at the car park on Dr Johnson Avenue and we always have at least one trained leader to make sure our technique is up to scratch. To make it a more social event we reward ourselves with a post walk coffee on the second Wednesday of the month. So, if you’re local, know how to Nordic walk and want to join us we would be delighted to see you. And if you want to come on the parkrun with us that would be marvellous.


We hope to continue to join in with parkrun and even get some of our other walkers to join us. As always, these events would not be possible without the hard work of a great number of volunteers, so thanks to all who help organise the event and to this week’s volunteers -



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 #158 2 March 2019

By Rob Woodward
Photos by Alex Geach

Spring is my favourite season and one of the highlights of the season is Pancake Day (I flipping love it). In recognition of Shrove Tuesday falling on 5th March, parkrun partner the Happy Egg Company laid on some treats at Tooting Common which were well received.


There is an old saying that you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. Another truism is that I can’t write a run report without adding puns. So to mark the Happy Egg Company eggs-travaganza and with free range to launch into a battery of unfunny yolk jokes, I have eggs-pertly s-egg-ued some hard boiled eggs-hibits into this week’s runny report. Don’t be a chicken and good (c)luck getting ova these egg-regious egg-erts without cracking up…

On a dry (but not frying) morning with the sunny side up, eggs-actly 617 scrambled their way round the Tooting Triangle. 25 hatched their fledgling parkrun career by making their debut today while a further 48 had their first eggs-perience of Tooting Common. Of the r-egg-ular runners Emil Harkness, Jenny Clements, Miles Holway and George Dunn all ran their 50th while Martha Steedman ran her 10th as a junior.


In fitting with the event and answering the question who came first (chicken or egg?) it was someone with an avian name: Dave Finch of Victoria Park Harriers in an eggs-tremely quick 17 minutes 20 seconds. The second and third (albu)men also continued the bird theme: a brace of (Ealing) Eagles in the form of Thomas Glasock in 17:38 and Matt Kaufman in 17:50.

Lois Bond of Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC was the fastest female in 19:23 followed by Tara Phillips in 20:54 and Stacy Wheat of Herne Hill Harriers in 21:17. Dave and Tara were two of those making their maiden appearance at Tooting this week but they may be hatching plans to be TC bound again to maintain their eggs-emplary record so far on this run.

Elsewhere in the field, an eggs-traordinary 117 set new PBs: a cracking effort that I hope all shell be pleased with their eggs-ertions.


Of course parkrun cannot take place without those going the eggs-tra mile by volunteering their time and feathers in caps should go to this week’s team of Emily BARR, Isobel BEINT, Cecilia BOGLE, Richard BOGLE, Christina BURMAN, Howard COAN, Sophie COLE, Emily COOPER, Catherine DA GRACA, Tamara DAVIES, Jaspal DHALLEY, Kathryn EVANS, Simon GALLACHER, Alex GEACH, Holly HAMILTON, Oliver HARTLEY, Sai-Yee LAM, Catherine LAW, Iona MARNEY, Saba NAYAB, Sarah O'CARROLL, Liam O'HARE, Helen OLDFIELD, Mavis ORBAN, Grace PLASTOW, Andy PUSEY, Ruth SLATER, Imogen SWALES, Tina For Gary TUNSTALL, Brigid WALTERS, Andrew WARDEN, David WHITE, Ken WILLIS, Marie-Anne WONG, Charlene WONG MIN and Rob WOODWARD.

The final mention must go to John Butcher, a spring chicken at 87 years young. John made the trip from Ware in Hertfordshire to Tooting Common for the first time and has clocked up nearly 250 parkruns in total. While his time this week of 32:33 is noteworthy in itself, he has run at almost 100 different parkruns and has poached the age record at most of them. Eggs-cellent stuff. Not one to take things over-easy, he has also volunteered over 50 times: an inspiring eggs-ample for us all.


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 #157 23 February 2019

By Simon Gallacher
Photos by Stuart Leeds


There’s an old film called ‘Brigadoon’, where a couple of tourists stumble over a misty magical village in the Scottish highlands that only appears once every 100 years. As I head towards the set-up area each Saturday, I often feel that parkrun is a little like this: from the teeniest four-wheeled trolley, a whole run magically appears (and is tidily packed away again). In 100 minutes it is all done and dusted and the Common returns to the usual day-to-day collection of walkers, dogs, bikes and so on, and the apparition of hundreds of variably ‘glowing’ lycra-clad stars...well, did that all really happen? Where has it all gone to? This Saturday was no different.

From around 08:15, the happy band of volunteers are wrestling with funnel barriers, placing the cones to guide you home, handing out barcodes and briefing marshals to make sure you get a good balance of encouragement (‘you really are doing something fantastic runners’), cajoling (‘keep left, make space for other park users, no, really keep left, that's your left...’) and top tips to help you manage the course safely.


This week, we began in eerie mist and ended in something approximating sunshine. 691 pacey people participated, negotiating all the tricky little corners and muddy pathways with ease and delight. Well, mostly.

83 of the Tooting Common parkrun posse were first timers and - a big hat-tip to you all. Previous times were smashed and 169 (that’s almost 25% of you all!) recorded new Personal Bests whilst representatives of 40 different clubs cruised smoothly round the Tooting Triangle. There were 122 ‘unknowns’ (no barcode) - you know who you are (we don’t): well done! Now, onto the fine and personal details...

Male placings

The first male to startle the crew at the finishing line was Joe Elliott (Clapham Chasers RC - SM20-24) in 17:07, separated by a blade of grass from Juan David Casasbuenas (SM30-34) in 17:08. Matt Sharma, a first-timer, was chasing hard in third place with a time of 17:40 (SM30-34).


Female placings

The first female to tear across the finish line was Ghiselle Green (SW25-29) in 19:45 - a new PB! Second up was Sophie Johnson (Guildford & Godalming AC - SW20-24) in 20:53 and Helen Oldfield (Herne Hill Harriers - VW50-54) swept in at 21:44.



A quintet of quick runners reached their ‘50 events’ milestone today - Phil Beckett, Derek Breslin, Brendan Foley, Steve Parker and Liz A Smith, with Derek marking the occasion with a new PB. Well done all!

It was really encouraging to see so many junior runners out there today - 23 all told, with Dylan Sweet (JM15-17) clocking in at under 20 minutes (18:59) - a new PB. Olivia Jerman was the first junior female home, with a super sub-30 effort (28:35).



parkrun would not be possible without our lovely high-viz volunteers. This week 36 people made the event happen: Richard Bogle * Steve Bosley * Adrian Brammer * Gareth Briggs * Howard Coan * Sophie Cole * Helen Gemma Cook * Catherine Da Graca * Kathryn Evans * Simon Gallacher * Holly Hamilton * Oliver Hartley * David Hepworth * George Jackson * Lorna John * Marian Kelly * Catherine Law * Rob Leay * Gay Lee * Stuart Leeds * Nicola Lyttle * Alessandra Mcconville * Ethan Mclaughlin * Louisa Mclellan * Michael John Morfey * Saba Nayab * Liam O'Hare * Nandor Orban * Morgan Phillips * Michael Ryan * Richard Stansfield * Claire Walls * Andrew Warden * David White * Brian Wiggins * Rob Woodward

See you all again next week (and the next…) when for those magical 100 minutes, parkrun comes to life on the Common. I’ll be there at Track Corner yelling like mad and always, always, coming away feeling that it’s a real privilege to support you all.


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 #156 16 February 2019

By Jasmine Sandalli
Photos by Alan Wilkinson

I’ve barely got through the leftover mince pies and it seems it’s spring already!


You’ve be forgiven for thinking that the laws of time no longer apply if you were here at the first ever Tooting Common parkrun back in January of 2016 – in what seems like moments here we are three years on and 156 events in. Our weekly participation is growing ever stronger; this week we saw 655 finishers across the line with 39 tireless volunteers on hand to help them reach their goal, whether that be finishing faster, finishing first or finishing full stop.


Speaking of fast and first, Jon Harrison of Chorlton Runners broke the metaphorical tape in 17:12 with junior runner Tobias Allen of Newbury an incredible 25 seconds behind him in third. Tobias led home the 18 under-18s, a fantastic turnout for our potential future Olympians (no pressure). Meanwhile his clubmate Rachel Allen was third among the ladies in 20:29, chasing down Sinead Egan who finished 15 seconds ahead, and first lady Rachel Badham of West 4 Harriers, who ran a speedy 19:49 on her first outing at Tooting.


Rachel B and Sinead were all among the 132 parkrunners who recorded personal bests today; that’s 20% of the field! A huge shout out also goes to the 7 junior stars who joined Team PB: Curtis Hines, Hugo Scott, Jarvis Hines, Alex Guest, Poppy Rolfe, Eva Hagen and Stella Rodriguez Kanoti. Richard Rosenberg put his speedy feet to good use today; after storming home in a personal best time of 23:03 he left himself plenty of time to help ensure the funnel stayed in sync and clock a PB and volunteering double. (For those of you who ever thought you’d like to help out but you don’t want to miss a run… ;) ) Special PB mentions go to Richard Stansfield and his first sub-21, Deborah Tarrant who sliced 53 seconds off her time from last month, and regulars Hannah Quick and Jennifer Slater – great work everyone!


Despite going for three years we are still regularly welcoming new parkrunners to the fold here, with 41 people – more than 6% of the field – registering their first ever parkrun. To see so many newcomers braving the Trioundabout every week is so inspiring, and reminds me to take advantage of the opportunity that parkrun offers as much as I can. On the other end of the scale Kathryn Evans of Roadhoggs Leicester finished her 232nd parkrun to become our most experienced finisher of the day - only 18 away from the 250 shirt! Speaking of milestones, congratulations go to Dan Abbott and Alice Williams who finished their 50th parkruns today and can look forward to picking up their red shirts. We’ll be keeping an eye on Phil Beckett, Derek Breslin, Steve Parker, Beth Francis and Liz A Smith next week, all on run number 49!

Now, my treat to myself… of the 655 finishers Harvey von Biel was our median position runner, finishing exactly halfway through the field in 26:48, while first time parkrunner Peter Ward came in closest to our median time in 556th place. 356 runners or 54% of the field finished inside the course’s current average finish time of 27:13. I’m not sure who reads this paragraph but I like to keep track of how Tooting parkrun continues to grow and grow.


The final word, as always, goes to the people who helped out today, and as parkrun can’t go ahead without the support of its volunteers I’d like to say a huge thank you to them all. If you’d like to get involved please contact or speak to one of the marshals at the next event, and if not that’s fine – just remember always thank your marshals on the way round and spread a little joy! :)

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 #155 9 February 2019

By Rizwan Hafiz
Photos by Alan Wilkinson

651 took part today, which shows that this is not a seasonal skew post New Years but an informed lifestyle choice, adding balance.


It may have been muddy (that's our climate), but they ran under a blue sky and to a lovely backdrop. The photos of this week show an inspiring collective energy, and you can see in their eyes that they are up for this. It makes me want to run right now instead of being in the library.


You can start running at any age. Your first parkrun starts with the first step and 85 were first timers and 48 were running their first ever parkrun. 75 recorded new Personal Bests, and representatives of 24 different clubs took part.

Male placings


The first male to cross the finishing line is unknown in a ninja style.
Aaron WILSON (SM25-29) was second over the line in 17:58.
Myles PRESTON (SM30-34) of Mornington Chasers was third over the line in 18:00.

Female placings


Megan DE SILVA (VW35-39) of Ranelagh Harriers was first over the line in 19:23.
Philippa COLVILLE (SW30-34) was second over the line in a new PB of 20:33.
Ally SINYARD (SW25-29) was third over the line in a new PB of 21:05.



Alex JENKINS, Siobhan MUNNELLY and Jason WRIGHT ran their 50th parkrun, and Siobhan tapped into the sense of occasion with a new PB. Well done all!

PB Highlights


- Our junior stars were Hugo TURNER, Curtis HINES, Jacob DILLEY, Oscar DELZOPPO and Leo WYNNE-WILLIAMS, who all recorded new course bests
- Rachel VICKERS notched up her second successive course PB, beating the time she set in December by 11 seconds to get 22:48; well done.
- Sabina RUTA improved on her first run with us last week by an impressive minute and 47 seconds to cross the line in 31:53.


parkrun would not be possible without our lovely volunteers. This week 40 people made the event happen: Sai-Yee LAM • Liam O'HARE • Alessandra MCCONVILLE • Michael John MORFEY • Kathryn EVANS • Mark SHOTTON • Matt SEMPLE • Carol MCCALL • Alan WILKINSON • Christopher PILBIN • Rob WOODWARD • Richard BALLAM • Jay SIMMONDS • Claire POWELL • George JACKSON • Rizwan HAFIZ • Robert STREET • Oliver HARTLEY • Cal JONES • Cecilia BOGLE • Stuart HAMILTON • Holly HAMILTON • Sophie COLE • Richard ROSENBERG • Marian KELLY • Catherine LAW • David WHITE • Gay LEE • Ciro NICOLETTI • Kirsten OLSON • Louisa MCLELLAN • Isobel BEINT • Simon GALLACHER • Emily COOPER • Alexandra PORTEOUS • Rosy ALEXANDER • Francis ROSENBERG • Grace PLASTOW • Emily BARR • Saba NAYAB

The dust has settled on Saturday's run; hope to see you at a future one! #letsrun


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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