Wimbledon Common parkrun Event number 623 13th October 2018



 Hornets And Wheelie Bins - These Are A Few Of My Unfavourite Things



Running In The Family - Watch Out For These Two, Father & Son Double Act Guy & Keith Robbins

Wimbledon Common parkrun 623-181


Saturday morning saw us all bathed in warm October sunshine with rather clammy running conditions despite the ever present balmy wind. While this rather odd weather pattern is all very pleasant, I find it a tad unnerving, seems unnatural for the time of year. I'm not knocking it... just don't trust it... I have an untrusting nature, what can I say.

I also wonder if the hornets may decide to linger longer and enjoy the late Summer or perhaps they'll just head off somewhere exotic to "Winter Well"?  Personally, I find the hornets to be a bit needy and attention seeking, all "Look at me with my bright yellow and black stripes", just droning around the place - well FYI hornets, stripes are soooo last season, everyone knows that the Autum/Winter collections are loaded with tweedy checks so just jog on with your stripes, they're passé. This will be my last mention of these busy buzzers and I would encourage my fellow reporters to give them some tough love too with a total media blackout, put a stop once and for all to their headline grabbing ways!


The Stars Of The Show

Here are just a few of our volunteer team, some are more elusive than others and have avoided the eagle eye of Bob Walsh (the man behind the lens) but they are all given a shout out below the photo, thank you to everyone.

Wimbledon Common parkrun 623-34

The event was made possible by 23 volunteers: Charles HAMPDEN-SMITH • Nicola WHITFORD • Sophie MCKAY • Philip TOSH • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Annette BARRETT • Annie TOSH • Brian GOLDEN • Lynne LLOYD • Kylie CORSO • Oscar SMITH • Bob WALSH • Nick WRIGHT • Margaret LORD • Talita ZAVRSNIK DE CAMPOS • Gary FORDE • Graham TRAINOR • Jo MANLEY • Tamsin ABBEY • Grace CALDWELL • Catherine SMALLBONE • Ruby AMES • Laura CRAY


Graham and beautiful little Adeline are putting in the hard yards in blissful silence, yup that's silence Graham, Kylie's preferred method of styling out her parkrun, just saying...

Wimbledon Common parkrun 623-78


Finally, some of you may have noticed the invasion of the Wheelie bins locally, if you missed them then one question. How??? Just thought you may enjoy a topical stat: Each WB (yes that's a WB folks, not a much more welcome PB) measures 1.07 metres in height so if you tip one of these bad boys on it's side and lay it down on our course it would take 2,336 and a half of these to make up one lap and a litter busting 4,673 bins for the full 5K.  So there you have it, more Tosh than you could have hoped for in this week's report!

This week 543 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 75 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Chris PARR who recorded a time of 15:04 on 23rd April 2011 (event number 224). The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 16:33 on 17th March 2012 (event number 271). The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 92.99% (21:24) on 29th January 2011 (event number 212).

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 20,808 participants have completed 162,668 parkruns covering a total distance of 813,340 km, including 25,702 new Personal Bests.

Your Run Photographer was Bob Walsh

Your Run Report Writer was Annie Tosh



Wimbledon Common parkrun Weekly Report – Event #622 – 6th Oct 2018


This was a historic day in the life of Parkrun as it was International Parkrun Day - not that you would think so looking at the photo above. Everyone seems pretty relaxed.  I am sure most of you know that it started at Bushey Park on 2nd October 2004 with 13 runners and 3 volunteers.  It took some time to get going as it were - 2 years to be precise - and the second began here on Wimbledon Common.  Now there are 1600 events in the UK and other events in 20 countries around the world.  I can assure you from my own experience in Australia that the format is exactly the same around the world including the email after the run.


With this weight of history on his shoulders Malcolm Brookes, race Director for the day, introduced the event with the usual briefing including an instruction not to take home the tokens one receives at the finish.  It is perhaps worth mentioning  that at the early parkruns the finish tokens were washers from the local hardware store!  The briefing also included a strong recommendation to people not to bring their cars - you have heard this before - but also - and this is more serious - that people park their cars either in the car park or on the other side of Wimbledon Parkside in the side roads and then jog or walk to the event.  This Saturday apparently people were parking on the grass on the roundabout just before the car park.  I am sure that none of the readers of this column would do such a thing.



The weight of history has been too much....!

Now to the results. The first three past the post were, in order, Andy Weir, Adam Harwood and Hector Revill who had a new personal best. What was particularly interesting and commendable about Andy's performance is that he was first on an Age Grade basis with a score of 86.43%.   It does not often occur that the first past the post also has the highest Age Grade score.  There were 7 people with Age Grade scores of over 80% which is remarkable. Amongst those seven was the first lady finisher, Gina Galbraith. with an Age Grade score of 81.29%. 2nd and 3rd ladies were Julia Donovan and Denise Barnett respectively.

The total number of runners today was 487.  There were 46 First Timers (9.65%) to Wimbledon Common parkrun.  59 people (12.1%) achieved new Personal Best times.    Parkrun continues to thrive in Wimbledon from all points of view even if we are not yet big on the international stage. Nevertheless, we still have quite a number of regular international runners including several from Down Under.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

Colin HARRIS • Lindsay DOY • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Malcolm BROOKES • Isabel GWYTHER • Sarah ROBBINS • Jaspal DHALLEY • Robert FORTES • Gary FORDE • Chris JONES • Kylie CORSO • Oscar SMITH • Graham WHITE • James SPINKS • Talita ZAVRSNIK DE CAMPOS • James SISWICK • Dominic OSTROWSKI • Tamsin ABBEY • Grace CALDWELL • Ruby AMES • Laura CRAY • Paul WILKINSON

Report writer: Robert Fortes
Photographer: James Spinks


Christmas and New Year (and driving)

Yes, it's very early, but we have tentatively agreed to stage parkruns on both days here on the common, as is traditional. We will of course need some volunteers if we are to be viable, but with numbers down we should be able to operate on a skeleton crew. If you are available to do non-running roles such as run directing, timekeeping, handing out finish tokens and barcode scanning, please get in touch with us at wimbledonhelpers@parkrun.com. Please remember that New Year's day is the only day in the whole year on which you can register two runs (and no more), so if you want to do more than the one please check other nearby events for their holiday plans (not all of them will be staging events, of course).


Please don't drive to the common unless you have to...

And just a reminder that due to pressure on the car park we would prefer it if you found other ways to get here on 'normal' parkrun days (you might find public transport difficult to catch on Xmas and NYD, but you're welcome to try).




Wimbledon Common parkrun – #620 – 22nd September 2018




Our Enchanted Woodland

Krun ran the hem of his new velvet tunic through his fingers. This really was a quality garment - the tailor elves had surpassed themselves this time, although the colour was not quite to his taste. ‘Peach?’, he thought to himself, ‘No, it’s brighter than that…’. He allowed his fingers to return to stroking the tip of his long, lustrous beard as he pondered the hue.

The Elves of Upper Wimbledon Common had eked out a rudimentary existence for years, somewhere north of the Windmill. Constantly repelling the legendary Hornets of Temporary Diversion, and living alongside the particularly pesky Pixies of Putney had taken its toll over the years, bringing the tribe to its knees. Salvation had come in an unlikely form - once a week the Big People had begun to gather in their neck of the woods. At first there were just a handful; they came, they ran around in circles for a bit, and left just as suddenly as they had arrived.

Krun knew he owed so much to the Big People, but lately they had become a burden. Their four wheeled chariots were the latest nuisance, and top of the agenda at the Great Forest Council. ‘By Kingsmere’, he thought, ‘I’ve enough on my plate without appeasing that lot’. But things were about to get a whole lot worse, he could see the Rep from the General Union of Barcode Readers approaching… ‘That is a lovely new tunic’, came the loaded compliment, dripping with smarm, ‘Nectarine does suit you’...

Krun was a young, ambitious elf when the influx came. Initially the elves had tried to defend their heartlands from this weekly invasion, but Krun quickly saw the opportunity to safeguard their future on the Common. One momentous night, by the moonlight, a deal was struck to assist the Big People in their weekly endeavour. Logistics? ‘As many elves as you need sir’. Official timing partner? ‘No problems, leave it to us’. And in return, the Big People would leave their payment. That most valuable amongst valuables, treasure amongst treasures - particularly to a rudimentary forest-dwelling, non-agricultural society - Flour! Precious flour was to be left at key locations. On the back of this ground-breaking deal Krun quickly rose to be Father of the tribe.

‘What do you want?’, demanded Krun wearily. There was still a lot of flour to collect from that morning’s Big People Double Circle ritual. ‘Oh PA Krun, you must hear our demands. There is great unrest amongst the workers’, the Rep announced. Krun could only sigh, the increase in numbers of Big People was a great strain on his resources. He now had dedicated teams of scanner elves, barcode elves, timing elves, and somewhere along the line wooden spoon elves - even Krun himself wasn’t quite sure what they did except cause a stir. With well over five hundred Big People now attending the ritual regularly the workload had increased dramatically, and the elves were not happy. Although Krun had been able to increase wages by supplementing the flour ration with technically advanced yarn retrieved from the constant supply of abandoned training tops, a vocal minority was convinced that this was not keeping up with the general rate of Woodland Inflation. ‘Basically sir, the elves are on strike. They have left and taken this morning’s barcodes with them’. The shade of vermilion rising in Krun’s cheeks clashed horribly with his tunic.

‘What are we going to do?’, lamented Krun. It’s not as if us elves have the information infrastructure to electronically message all of the attendants at the Big Double Circle Ritual, and then collate any of the barcodes and times we might be able to recover in some kind of programme and piece together this mess. ‘What we need is an extra large sheet that we can spread out and write down everything that we can remember.’ He called his assistant Junior over - after all he had to do it all again tomorrow. ‘Do you have an XL spread-out sheet we can use?’

Many hours later Pa Krun reflected on a trying day. The spread-out sheet had worked a treat, and some of his elves had greatly distinguished themselves collecting rogue barcodes and times. How it had all come together he did not know, but he was immensely grateful. Contented he idly brushed his tunic and smiled as he finally solved his tonal mystery - Apricot. Befitting of Pa Krun.

As imagined, with apologies to amateur fantasy writers everywhere, and not least to the Core Team past and present whose time, great efforts and all round heroics keep this show on the road week after week. We especially appreciate them when things go wrong, the equipment doesn’t cooperate, and these legends spend their weekends collating the results by hand, and we still get an email and an official result before the weekend is up.  



There was a mammoth list of various shout-outs at the briefing, leaving me cursing my appalling memory and lack of attendance at the Guild of parkrun reporters’ shorthand course. The results pages come to the rescue and I can report that Henry Heard and Eli Hipkins reached the Junior 10, whilst Daniel Sullivan, Thomas Creedy, Gary Sheahan, Tim Edwards and Nicole Mollon all joined the 50 club. Stephanie Chong reached her century and can don the black, stock depending. Peter J Collins (Middle initials are important at WCp) reaches the grand milestone of 250. We also celebrated the unofficial milestones of some local stalwarts with 300 for Norman Urquia, 350 for Matthew Salisbury and an impressive 450 for Nick McKay.

Some wet weather hadn’t left too many puddles, which allowed for some strong performances for those who managed to avoid not getting too caught up at the narrow start of the Hornet track. There were notable PBs for James Little and Junior Gabriel Stone knocking time off after 121 and 120 runs respectively.

Amongst a crowd of more than 500 there were bound to be some tourists, and we weren’t left disappointed. A strong contingent from South Africa was supported by some other tourists form Abingdon, and the usual comedians who had made it all the way from those far-flung corners of Fulham or Kingston. Jokes.

This week 506 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 58 were first timers and 87 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.



 Peach? Tangelo? Nectarine?



Parkrun is committed to remaining free and relies on the hard work of a group of volunteers to keep going. Thanks to this week’s 26 volunteers: Andrew Rice, Anne Walker, Charlie Snow, Clive Scammell, Colin Harris, Duncan Watkins, Edward Nelson, Fiona Hamilton, Gemma Brennan, Grace Caldwell, Graham White, James Siswick, Jennifer Brookes, Jo Manley, Kylie Corso, Laura Cray, Matthew Salisbury, Mudit Jaju, Nick George, Nick Hudson, Paul Wilkinson, Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins, Ruby Ames, Simon Cheetham, Talita Zavrsnik de Campos and Tamsin Abbey.



 Don't stand in our flour!!


First Finishers

Andy Weir of Thames Hare & Hounds was first over the line in 17:11. Joe Phillips of Newport & District RC finished a close second in 17:14 and Adam Harwood of Hercules Wimbledon AC was third in 17:38.

Alex Binley of Hercules Wimbledon AC was first lady in 19:21 (15th overall). Amy Aronson of Thames Hare & Hounds finished second in 19:29 (17th overall) and Jemma Zakariyyau was third in 20:20 (30th overall).


Age Gradings

This week’s best Age Grading was attained by our first finisher Andy Weir with 86.52% for his time of 17:11.



Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 20,624 participants have completed 161,135 parkruns covering a total distance of 805,675 km, including 25,491 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina Heslop who recorded a time of 16:33 on 17th March 2012 (event number 271).
The male record is held by Chris Parr who recorded a time of 15:04 on 23rd April 2011 (event number 224).

The Age Grade course record is held by Jane Davies who recorded 92.99% (21:24) on 29th January 2011 (event number 212).

This week’s full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.

Your parkrun reporter - Andy Rice


Be ready to start at 9am on 29 September

Hello parkrunners. We have a bit of a clash of events next week, with the local Windmilers club organising a quarter marathon at 10.30am and a number of runners either volunteering at parkrun, then rushing off - or running at both events. So we intend to start the pre-run briefing at 8.50 and actually start at 9am, possibly for the first time ever. So please come early (but don't drive!) and please pass this message on.
Thanks. Peter Collins, event director.

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