Wimbledon Common parkrun Event number 631 8th December 2018



parkrun Dynasties, David Attenborough Stylie Not Aaron Spelling Stylie

(for guidance, the Attenborough series has less cat fights and better power dressing)


A busy bench week saw Peter Collins, Kylie Corso, Colin Harris and our run director Nick George all taking a turn on this cold and frosty morning. Throughout these announcements I observed a splendid array of funky toe tapping and foot stomping moves as people attempted to keep that biting, buff defeating, wind at bay. You've got to go a long way to see dance moves like the ones I spotted... perhaps check out David Attenborough's Paradise Birds on YouTube if you wish to view something similar, I can highly recommend the Carola's Parotia shaking a tail feather to Michael Jackson's Thriller.





I am sure that like me, many of you have been watching BBC1's fantastic Dynasties series in which Attenborough gives us a rare glimpse into the lives of Chimpanzees, Emperor Penguins, Lions of the Masai Mara, Painted Wolves and most recently magnificent Tigers. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to hear David's whispering voice describing the scene at your average parkrun?  How would he perceive our "running" species and what traits and attributes would he note? Check out this footage from Saturday's run and imagine that great natural historian's fascinating dialogue.


The Great Migration



The Magnificent Herd Move In Unison



Reflections From The Water Hole



Our Human Side (Ruth Hayes turned her ankle on the course but finished with a little help from the pack)




Finally, it is our Christmas Run next Saturday where there will be a collection, all the proceeds will go to the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Charity which helps with the upkeep of the Common. DONT embrace your inner Scrooge, DONT bring your Bah Humbug, DO remember notes are lighter to carry than coins, DO wear one of these and bring lots of this!

Lonely oneMoney


Congratulations to James Saville on reaching 150 parkruns, 87 have been completed at Wimbledon, more mince pies for you James, mighty work.

This week 345 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 33 were first timers and 24 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Simon CHEETHAM • Charles HAMPDEN-SMITH • Emilia FREEGARD • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Annie TOSH • David HALL • Joe BUSA • Stephen WILLERTON • Oscar SMITH • Nick GEORGE • Luigi ATHERTON • Manon MOREL • India TRAINOR • Nick HUDSON • Matthias HEGER • Libby HIPKINS • Sally WINDLE • Ella HEGER • Sophie BRUNT • Becca SHUTE • Oliver GIRDHAM • Emily GLEESON • Caroline BARNARD • Charlie TAYLOR • Caroline LEE • Laura CRAY

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 21,205 participants have completed 166,291 parkruns covering a total distance of 831,455 km, including 26,149 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,066 individuals have volunteered 9,552 times.

Wildlife Photographer: Stephen Willerton

Jungle Journo: Annie Tosh



Wimbledon Common parkrun Weekly Report event #630 – 1st December 2018

Let's start with the weather report. Normally we hardened parkrunners would not bother about this sort of thing but last Saturday was seriously unpleasant with rain, wind and cold. It is a tribute to the 226 runners that completed the course. I kept asking myself "why do we do it?". Are we completely mad? I don't think so. Are we fitness obsessed? Some maybe. Do we want to meet our friends and have the after-run coffee? Undoubtedly. Is it just a good start to the weekend? Probably. I believe that to turn out on a day like last Saturday one has to have got into a routine or a mindset that on Saturday morning at 9.00am you have to be on Wimbledon Common for Parkrun. Nothing else comes into your mind. In fact the hardest bit is the first 5 minutes after leaving the house. Once you are on your way you are hardly going to turn back - that would be shameful.

Jo, as Race Director for the day, "welcomed" us and gave the usual briefing in her inimitable, upbeat (it needed to be given the weather!) style.


And then we were off to the start.  No hanging about there. The Common and the weather provided some interesting opportunities for our photographer, Stephen:


You can turn the page upside down and still enjoy the photos!


Congratulations to James on completing 200 runs. Thanks for letting us know the secret of your training regime!

Now for the stats.

Alex Milne was first over the line in a time of 16'11" which was only 5 seconds outside his PB which was excellent in the conditions. Second and third to finish amongst the men were Martin Rutter with a time of 18'05" and Matt Gallagher in 18'11".

As regards the women Gina Galbraith was the first to finish and was 6th overall in 19'46". Second and third finishers were Denise Barnett in 21'57" and Anna Schusser in 23'52" respectively.

No-one managed to break 80% on the age-graded score (a favourite statistic of mine) which really reflects the slower conditions, although Alex Milne was very close.

It is worth mentioning that the number of runners today was less than half the number who took part in Parkrun last week. That surely says something about the weather!


A big hand must go to the Volunteers for their presence on Saturday. Maybe some of them were secretly thinking that they were glad they were not running! It cannot have been fun standing in the cold windy weather ensuring cars parked properly, or waiting for runners to appear and have their bar codes registered, or sorting out the tokens for next week. Thanks to the following.

Simon CHEETHAM • Charles HAMPDEN-SMITH • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Joe BUSA • Robert FORTES • Anirban GUPTA • Stephen MACNAMARA • Stephen WILLERTON • Oscar SMITH • Roy NASSE • Manon MOREL • Dominic OSTROWSKI • India TRAINOR • Jo MANLEY • Nick HUDSON • David HOPWOOD • Terrie Anne COWLEY • Sally WINDLE • Sally SCOON • Emily GLEESON • Caroline LEE • Grace CALDWELL • Ruby AMES • Laura CRAY


Reporter:  Robert Fortes
Photographer: Stephen Willerton.



Santa Run, 15 December

Just a quick note to remind you that this year's Wimbledon Common parkrun Santa Run will take place at the usual start time on 15 December, so please dress appropriately. As in previous years, we will be collecting money for charity. This year's cause is very close to home: the Wimbledon and Putney Commons charity, which helps with the upkeep of the place we all love so much. Please give generously. Thank you.


Calling electricians/handypersons

Wimbledon Common parkrun has just taken delivery of a new cabinet for our defibrillator, replacing the partially broken one with a nice new heated cabinet (apparently, defibrillators can stop working in cold weather - who knew?). Before we pay a packet to someone to install the cabinet, we were wondering if anyone among our parkrunners is an electrician or handyperson (preferably both) and could install the thing for us either free or cheaply. The device is a crucial part of our health and safety coverage for the event, as well as being available to the public at all times, and everyone here would appreciate some help. Please get in touch with me at wimbledonoffice@parkrun.com. Thanks for your attention.

Peter Collins

Event director


Wimbledon Common Parkrun 629

You know how people sometimes talk about “wet rain”? Obviously, all rain is wet, but some types of precipitation just feel like they soak through you that little bit more. Saturday’s Wimbledon Common Parkrun was the opposite: it was raining, but it felt oddly dry under foot.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 629-147Not actually dry dry, of course, and for the 428 hardly souls who braved the drizzle after one of the coldest weeks of the autumn so far, there were still puddles to be dodged and even a little mud to scrub off in the shower afterwards. But compared to recent weeks it was remarkably firm going, conditions that must have contributed to the 47 new personal bests – including a first sub-25 from Alex Muller and Catherine Porter smashing the 68% age-grading barrier with her new best of 25:22. Heck, if you can drive a double buggy round, it can't exactly be waterlogged...Wimbledon Common parkrun 629-186
Other milestones this week included Will Nicklin’s 200th (he shared the trophy presentation with Andrew Lenon, belatedly celebrating last week’s double-ton, below) and a 100th Parkrun for occasional Wimbledon visitor Chelsea Freckleton, who splits her time between us and Parkruns in Buckinghamshire. Well done Chelsea!
Wimbledon Common parkrun 629-10In terms of overall turn out, 428 is a great number given the unpromising skies when we all woke up. A quick analysis of runner numbers (see chart below) over time shows that the 13-week moving average for the size of the field (the red line) has now surpassed 500 for the first time.In previous years, we’d be hitting a winter trough about now. While that’s still on the cards, it seems a little late coming and the upward trend is clear: we’re seeing great resilience from runners this year. Number of runners with 13 week moving average
So the data shows the good news: more people loving the Parkrun vibe and getting their weekend off to a flying start with a community 5k. But we should guard against euphoria.

The car park is back to overflowing on Saturday mornings, and it’s easy to see why this is frustrating both to the Rangers and to other Common users. If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to be reminded – but it’s also important to spread the word, as diplomatically but firmly as possible: don’t drive to Parkrun. Running, cycling and public transport are all ideal. And if you do have to drive, park the other side of the woods over on West Side Common – there are free parking bays there, and the 1km jog to the Windmill is the perfect warm-up and cool-down.

Worse, this weekend’s run director Malcolm Brookes had to deal with people parking on the lane to the car park. This is a nightmare for the Rangers and for Parkrun organisers. Again, please politely urge anyone you see doing this not to – it seriously jeopardises Parkrun. If people don’t like the guidelines (or never volunteer, for that matter) that’s fine – but they might be happier running in their neighbourhood park with Strava or Runkeeper to do their timekeeping, because you can’t really be said to be part of the Parkrun family if you do things that risk it having to end. (Lecture over.)

And we finish on a more upbeat note with a hearty ‘well done’ to all this week’s volunteers. If you’d like to join them and be part of making Parkrun possible, the details are all at the web site:

Alan GREENE • Bob WALSH • Charles HAMPDEN-SMITH • Colin HARRIS • Ella HEGER • Emily GLEESON • Erinna DIXIE • Grace CAL DWELL • Graham TRAINOR • India TRAINOR • Jo MANLEY • Joe BUSA • Laura CRAY • Liz OSTROWSKI • Malcolm BROOKES • Manon MOREL • Oscar SMITH • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Richard YOUNG • Ruby AMES • Sally WINDLE • Simon BODLE • Stephen HARLAND • Stephen WILLERTON
Wimbledon Common parkrun 629-241

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