Wimbledon Common parkrun weekly report, event number 381, 19 April 2014

In which some potentially bad news became some very good news

Without wishing to make light of a very serious incident, if ever there was a time for a resurrection to occur on a parkrun course, it had to be the Easter weekend.

Thankfully, miracles do happen, with the help of very attentive fellow parkrunners, staff from the Ranger’s office and the medics who arrived in good time.

To explain: Rob Howe was on course this Saturday to finish only his second parkrun when he collapsed on the home straight, victim of a cardiac arrest. Fortunately, a doctor, two nurses and a physiotherapist with CPR training were among the parkrunners. An ambulance was called (five turned up in the end!) and long-time parkrunner Andrew Fickling sprinted to the Ranger’s office to get some assistance; that arrived quickly in the form of a defibrilator – in the meantime, the doctor and her three assistants were giving Rob CPR and keeping his airways open. The defibrilator was used twice and, after the medics arrived, a third time, bringing Rob around. With his friend Iain Corbett, Rob was taken to St George’s in Tooting; Iain was told that had it not been for the first aid he was given on the spot, Rob would not have lived.

The fantastic news is that Rob was stable by Saturday evening, having had a stent put into a blocked artery. By Sunday he was able to move around and have a shower. By Monday he was looking and feeling normal and hoping for a Tuesday discharge – he says he’ll be back on Saturday, but not to run, and he certainly won’t complete the final 200 metres of what would surely have been the slowest parkrun ever. Rumours that the timer is still standing there by the horse trough have proved unfounded.

Plaudits must go to the four people who immediately attended Rob: Collette Frittelli, Anne Walker, Martina Jones and Jo Ward – suffice to say, they did a wonderful job. Great work too from the rangers and the medics; and you would never believe Mr Fickling had run a marathon the week before, the way he legged it to the Ranger’s office.

It seems almost insulting to talk about mere running after Rob’s narrow escape, but that’s what we were there for, after all, on a course that was slightly damper than the past few weeks but still constituted good going.

First male finisher

In a reasonably close finish, Jorge Raso of Herne Hill Harriers (SM25-29, pictured) finished first in 16:32, his seventh pole position out of seven appearances on this course. In his only other parkrun, at Richmond last September, Jorge also won. Ten seconds behind, with a PB of 16:42 was the unattached Neil Riley (SM25-29), a winner here on two previous occasions. And in his 99th parkrun, 80 of them at Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon Windmiler Keith Macintosh (VM40-44) was third in a PB of 16:48 – this a week after running a best-ever time of 2:40:22 in the London Marathon.

The ladies event is becoming ever more competitive as some familiar names who’ve been running here for a while find hitherto unexplored realms of form.

First woman finisher

In her 199th parkrun, all but four round our strangely quadrilateral course, Windmiler Sophie McKay (VW35-39, pictured, in the pink top if you're wondering) took the honours with a fantastic PB of 20:10 – it was her seventh first place and no doubt her best yet, and she was 34th overall. The similarly familiar Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54) was second in 20:23, 40th overall; and first-timer Julia Chen (SW20-24 – sounds like a postcode!) was third in 21:24, 57th place in the whole run. A mention must go to Scarlett Walker of Surbiton High School (JW11-14), four seconds behind Julia, who set a PB of 21:38 in her 37th appearance – her fourth PB of the year.

There were 87 PBs from the 346 finishers, which this writer works out at more than 25 per cent of the runners. Incroyable.

Peter Justin Collins (VM40-44) of Hercules Wimbledon set a new PB for the second week in a row, clocking 17:37 and his highest-ever age grade, 79.28%. Volunteer coordinator Charles Hampden-Smith (VM50-54) of Hercules, also just a week after completing the London Marathon, ran a PB for the first time in nearly two years in his 266th run (255 of them at Wimbledon Common); he shaved seven seconds from his best to record 19:11.

Further down the field, in his 81st parkrun, his 77th here, Stephen Johnson (VM50-54) took 19 seconds off his PB, set almost a year ago, by stopping the clock at 23:18. And, yes, at last: three and a half years and 181 Wimbledon Common parkruns have come and gone since Windmiler Phil ‘Tosh Spice’ Tosh (VM45-49) last beat his best, and how easily that barrier eventually came tumbling down as a man who did his first parkrun back in September 2008 ran eight seconds faster than ever before to record 24:18. Well done, Phil, a shining light on our times.

There was also a second PB in two weeks for Serpentine’s Robert Fortes (VM65-69), who finished this week in 26:16; and we pay tribute to Wimbledon Windmiler Soo Yau (VW45-49), who last recorded a PB in her third run at Wimbledon Common in April 2011. This week she beat her previous best by 14 seconds in running 29:04 – and all this in her 84th run here, her 108th parkrun. Sooper.

Last but not least, it was a Holly Holly day for Holly Betteley (JW10), who took almost two minutes off her best to post 31:34.

It was great to see 44 first-timers, too – you are very welcome and we want you back for a second run.

The top age grades this week were: Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54), 84.3%; Keith Macintosh (VM40-44), 81.25%; and the remarkable Keith Spacie (VM75-79), 81.09% (for a time of 24:46).

The podium positions in the men’s points table are filled quite tightly by Nick McKay (VM35-39), 4,459 points; Charles Hampden-Smith (VM50-54), 4,429 points; and Peter AF Collins (VM50-54), 4,423 points.

In the ladies’ points table, the top three positions are also nicely poised: Lisa Margaret Thomas (VW45-49), 4,193 points; Lucy Woolhouse (we won’t mention her age group for a third time!), 4,185 points; and Sophie McKay (VW35-39), 4,162 points.

Thanks as ever to this week’s volunteers: Adam Harwood, Andrew Fickling, Carol McCormack, Charles Hampden-Smith, Charles Lawrie, Emily Keller, Frances Le Grys, Frank Pacifico, Liam O’Hare, Lily Snow, Norman Urquia, Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins, Phil Tosh, Rob Crane, Sandy Pfeifer and Stephen Vey. Representatives of 17 different athletics clubs took part this week.

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6 January 2007; since then, 10,270 different runners, including participants from 442 athletics clubs, have completed 72,189 runs covering a total distance of 360,945 km, and there have been 13,633 new personal bests.

The women’s record is held by Justina Heslop, who ran in a time of 16:33 on 17 March 2012 (event number 271).
The men's record is held by Chris Parr, who ran in a time of 15:04 on 23 April 2011 (event number 224).
The age grade course record is held by Jane Davies, who recorded 92.99% (21:24) on 29 January 2011 (event number 212).

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


Wimbledon Common Parkrun – Event no.380 – 12 April 2014

Wimbledon Common parkrun
Event number 380
12th April 2014

A big running week

The good weather continued and the parkrun course was pretty benign with a highish turnout and many good times as a result. Other running matters deserve a bit of airtime before getting furhter into the detail of last week's run.

The day following parkrun this week was, of course, London Marathon day. The fairytale did not happen for Mo, although he produced a very good time. Many parkrunners took part as competitors - and others as supporters - in what was a fantastic day blessed with good weather, but not too hot. Congratulations to all parkrunners who competed and completed; as particularly any runner appreciates, it is a pretty awesome achievement to run a marathon; and there were some very good performances from parkrunners.
A few runners here, with apologies to many others for non-mention: Nick Mckay:2:59:24 (PB), Charles Hampden-Smith 3:06:49, John Hudspith 3:08:31, Andrew Fickling 3:28:47, Geraldine Hellings 3:33:32, Annie Tosh 3:59:47, John Carter 4:22:12, Sue Rothwell 6:01:30.

Special mention must be given to one parkrun regular, John Krause. John, who as Charles H-S said before the run on Saturday, recently confessed (in front of witnesses!) that he "does not really like running that much" (!) and whose first love is 5 a-side football, completed his 100th marathon at London this year. What's more he did it in his second fastest time ever, a very good 3:15:59. A truly remarkable effort to complete so many.

Claire Grima, who has often won at Wimbledon, also turned in a pretty remarkable pb performance of 2:45:51, making her fourth ranked UK over 35 lady for the marathon distance this year. To put that in perspective, it is roughly 8 and a half parkruns in a row at 6 minute 20 second mile pace or just over 19 and a half minutes pace for each parkrun. Her husband Dave, also a parkrun regular, also recorded an impressive PB of 2:48:35.

But it was not just the London Marathon. Julia Donovan, a Wimbledon Windmiler and parkrunner completed the Marathon Des Sables last weekend. Many will know that this race has a deserved reputation as the most extreme of all ultra races. This is because it is run in the Sahara over consecutive days. There are five competitive stages, four involve a marathon distance or thereabouts, but day 4 has a double marathon thrown in. The temperatures are very high and this year were consistently in the very high 90s fahrenheit, sometimes over 100. Some running is over dunes, some on harder surfaces.There are also some fiercesome hills. Competitors have to carry their own food and kit. To complete it is a great achievement; there is always a high drop out rate. Julia, however, not only completed it, but, as a first timer, finished as fifth lady out of about 130 women finishers, a performance so astounding it makes any superlatives seem inadequate.

Turning back to last Saturday's parkrun, there were good performances to match the conditions, with many pbs. Showing that it is still possible to get a pb after well over 100 runs were Peter Justin Collins (131 runs) Lisa Thomas (171) Sophie Mckay (198). Peter ran very well to come in as fourth man and third highest age grade; Lisa continued her incredible pb every week streak and topped the age grade table. Sophie, setting the standard for husband Nick the following day, knocked an incredible 25 seconds off her pb on nearly her 200th run. There were some PBs too from the 50 or more club: Ian Riley (80) Florence King (75) Robert Fortes (75) Edward Nelson (72) Dylan Rice (65) - very well done to all. Suzanne Carr (126) also got a PB, in her third run at Wimbledon. Suzanne has run at over 20 different parkruns.

A plea from race director Charles Lawrie whose house is beginning to resemble a clothes warehouse. There are a large number of T-shirts available, please come and collect when you can, otherwise Charles will be trapped in his house for the summer buried under the increasing mound ! The well-deserved recipients are:

Wimbledon parkrun t-shirts 16/04/14

100 Club

David Pennell (running jacket to follow)
Joby Thomas (running jacket to follow)

50 Club

Giorgio Deiana
Gabriel Stone
Ingrid Southorn
Jasmine Paradinas

10 Club

Laila Shah-Grant
Alexandra Shaw
Hannah Charles

We will put these shirts up on the ‘washing line'. If you would like your t-shirt presented please put it on the bench before this week's event briefing.

Next a big thank you as always to this week's volunteers without whom parkrun would not be possible. They are :

Adam Fenton • Carol McCormack • Charles Hampden-Smith • Clare Gibbons • Clive Scammell • John Hudspith • John Krause • John Philip Carter • Liam O'Hare • Lisa Margaret THOMAS • Natasha Hampden-Smith • Nick Mckay • Patricia Peever • Pete Mulholland • Philip Tosh • Sue Rothwell

And now for the stats:

Men's Podium placings:
Neil Riley (SM25-29) (Unattached) was first over the line in 17:16 - the second time in 3 appearances.
Stuart Fraser (VM45-49) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was second over the line in 17:26 - Neil has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Tom Wade (SM20-24) (Unattached) was third over the line in 17:34.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Nick McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers) 4165 pts.
Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins (Wimbledon Windmilers) 4165 pts.
Charles Hampden-Smith (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 4147 pts.

Women's podium placings:
Lisa Margaret Thomas (VW45-49) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first (20th overall) over the line in 19:33 - the 15th time in 143 appearances.
Sophie McKay (VW35-39) of Wimbledon Windmilers, was second (30th overall) over the line in 20:18 - she has been first to finish on 6 previous occasions.
Stephanie Simpson (SW25-29) of Leigh on Sea Striders, was third (36th overall) over the line in 20:47.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Lisa Margaret Thomas (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 4193 pts.
Lucy Woolhouse (Unattached) 3886 pts.
Sophie McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers) 3862 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Lisa Margaret Thomas (VW45-49) was graded 84.74% for the time 19:33 (20th overall).
Stuart Fraser (VM45-49) was graded 82.60% for the time 17:26 (second overall).
Peter Justin Collins (VM40-44) was graded 78.91% for the time 17:42 (4th overall).

This week there were 322 runners, of whom 47 were first timers and 78 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different athletics clubs took part.

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 10,226 different runners, including participants from 443 athletics clubs, have completed 71,843 runs covering a total distance of 359,215 km, and there have been 13,546 new Personal Bests.

The women's record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:16:33 on 2012-03-17 (event number 271).
The men's record is held by Chris PARR who ran in a time of 00:15:04 on 2011-04-23 (event number 224).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded a 92.99% run (21:24) on 29th January 2011 (event number 212).

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


Wimbledon Common parkrun report for event 379 April 5 2014


And they're off!


The runners were chomping at the bit, the going was good, Sue yelled ‘go’, and the good got going. While those at the rear of the field set off at a measured trot, the front runners took off at a mighty gallop. Hot favourite Steven Bayton, a promising 25-29 yearling wearing the distinctive light-green racing colours of the Sheffield University AC stable, was first past the post in a time of 16.23 in his first appearance at this classic event - coincidentally held on the same day as that other well-known race at Aintree.

There was jockeying for position throughout the field but as the leading trio sped past the nine-furlong tree approaching the finish, Steven Bayton, Neil Riley and Tom Conlon were separated by a few lengths, but behind them the dust was being well and truly kicked up. Nick McKay was holding on to fourth by a short head from Milan Misak and Peter Justin Collins. However, there was no stopping Peter as he galloped through at full speed to be ahead of Nick by three seconds at the horse trough. (OK that’s enough equestrian allusions, just to add that legendary trainer P. Mulholland fielded five Hercules’ fillies, including the first two home.)

Pre-race announcements from the bench included this month’s Sweatshop prize awarded to a popular and well-deserved winner Jayne Pooley following nearly five years of running and volunteering at Wimbledon – well done, Jayne!

In the café conversation turned to the important issues of the day: why Barney’s dinosaur has only three legs, would Mr Moonshine win the National (no) and would Hamilton beat Rosberg (yes). Then we got talking about who’s doing the London Marathon, and training injuries; the most serious turned out to be a fall down the stairs by a lady Windmiler who is now off games thanks to a haematoma in her glutes - ouch! Moral: do plenty of running, live in a bungalow.

Our parkrun stats are normally buried down among the small print but it’s worth reflecting on the wonder that is Saturday mornings on Wimbledon Common. We were the second event to be established after Bushy Park, on 6th January 2007. Since then, over 10,000 different runners, including those from 440 athletics clubs, have completed 71,521 runs, a total distance of 357,605 km, and 13,468 new PBs.

And he's off... Bon voyage, Richard Evans

parkrun 5.4.14 018

You can follow Richard’s cycle around the world on his blog @ laidbackaroundtheworld.blogspot.co.uk 

Runners, riders and records 

This week’s top podiums: Steven Bayton (SM25-29) of Sheffield University Cross Country & AC was first over the line in 16:23 in his first appearance. A previous winner Neil Riley (SM25-29) (unattached) was second in 16:49, and Tom Conlon (VM50-54) of Herne Hill Harriers was third in 17:43. Both Neil and Tom recorded  PBs. Lisa Margaret Thomas (VW45-49) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first lady (28th overall) in 19:45, Gina Galbraith (VW35-39) of Hercules Wimbledon AC was second (37th overall) in 20:10 and Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54) (unattached)  was third (38th overall) in 20:13. Congratulations to Lisa on her fourth PB in six weeks. 

This week’s best age grading: Tom Conlon 85.32%, Lucy Woolhouse 85.00%, Lisa Margaret Thomas 83.88%. 

This week’s age category winners: George Roberts (JM10), Martha Davidson (JW10), Benjamin Sumrie (JM11-14), Scarlett Walker (JW11-14), Rory Fraser (JM15-17), Natasha Hampden-Smith (JW15-17), James Ball (SM18-19), Steven Bayton (SM20-24), Emily Eastland (SW20-24), Neil Riley (SM25-29), Stephanie Simpson (SW25-29), Andrew Clare (SM30-34), Eimear Toomey (SW30-34), Nick McKay (SM35-39), Gina Galbraith (SW35-39), Peter Justin Collins (VM40-44), Susan Hutchinson (VW40-44), Seamus Tucker (VM45-49), Lisa Margaret Thomas (VW45-49), Tom Conlon (VM50-54), Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-55), James Wallace (VM55-59), Anne Walker (VW55-59), Charles Lawrie (VM60-64), Tessa Kelly (VW60-64), Gary Anthony Lloyd (VM65-69), Francesca Carter (VW65-69) Colin Price (VM70-74) 

Current standing in the annual points competition:
Charles Hampden-Smith (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 3950
Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins (Wimbledon Windmilers) 3896
Nick McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers) 3865

Lisa Margaret Thomas (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 3893
Lucy Woolhouse (unattached) 3886

Nicola El Kadiri (unattached) 3794  

Wimbledon Common parkrun course records
Fastest time: Chris Parr 15:04 (event 224 on 23.4.11)
Fastest lady: Justina Heslop 16:33 (event 271 on 17.3.12)
Highest age grade: Jane Davies 92.99% with a time of 21:24 (event 212 on 29.1.11) 

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.




Unclaimed parkrun Club T-Shirts

We still have numerous parkrun t-shirts hanging on the washing line, awaiting their owners.

100 Club

Dominic Bird
Andy Del Nevo

50 Club

Agnes Harmati
Sheila Skinner
Natasha Pattison
Lindsay Williams
Catherine McKeever
Clive Davies

10 Club

Helena Mogg
Neil Arora
Joshua Williams
Bryn Davies
Bridget Langford
Emma O’Callaghan
Joe Benjamin
Alex Dodd
Niall Soloman

It would be good to lose some of these before the next batch arrives in a week's time.


Wimbledon Common parkrun weekly report No. 378, 29 March 2014

Reasons To Be Cheerful - Part 3

There are some weekends when parkrun is just mega good and it has nothing to do with how you ran or what time you managed, it is all about the vibe of that particular weekend – and this was definitely a “feel good” event. So, reasons to be cheerful 1-2-3.  (Ian Dury & The Blockheads anyone?)

378 GG  (23)

1. It didn't hurt that the sun was beaming and that British Summer time was officially imminent but what really got the party started was a certain Mrs C's 200th run. Francesca Carter is now the proud holder of the Lawrie Cup and in spite of the odd broken bone here or there, she has always maintained that the legs work just fine thank you and she proved exactly that on Saturday. Francesca is one of the great ladies at Wimbledon Common parkrun who is always very vocal and animated when encouraging her fellow runners, so it was great to see her take to the bench with Charles for some well deserved and heart felt applause. For the stato geeks among you, she ran with husband John, Nicola El Kadiri and Ian Higgins and if you tot up their combined parkruns it takes you to 975, a truly vintage quartet!

2. Now to something or someone completely different but still mega good. His name is Richard Evans (of recent ITV News pothole fame) and he is a regular runner at our event. Now Richard is a bloke who clearly likes a challenge and so it would seem that he feels the need to take on a little bit more then most of us would dare. He has decided to cycle on his recumbent bicycle around the world, yes that's right, around the whole big wide world, I think he is crackers but I salute him anyway and wish him the very best of luck. If you want to know more about Richard's challenge, just check out his blog @ laidbackaroundtheworld.blogspot.co.uk and remember to give him a big shout out on Saturday as I believe he will be at parkrun with his bike getting ready to embark upon his journey which will commence that afternoon.

3. Finally, I very much approve when a girl gets what she wants for her birthday so well done to Lisa Thomas who is running in the form of her life and racked up yet another victory (her 13th to date) on Saturday, now that is a stylish way to celebrate!

A huge thanks to Sophie Toomey for her amazing cake complete with photo of Francesca, and to Lisa Thomas for her delicious Brownie cake. Oh and if anyone left parkrun a little light on “bling” after their run on Saturday, a gold chain bracelet was found out on the course near Nicola's corner. If it is yours, just let our race director know and we will get it back to you.

In the men's race Benjamin Toomer (SM25-29) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first over the line in 17:06 in his first appearance, second was Doug Morton (SM25-29) in 17:43 in third place was Keith MacIntosh (VM40-44) of Wimbledon Windmilers, in 17:57.

Charles Hampden-Smith leads the Men's annual points competition with 3693 points, followed by Peter Collins on 3634 with Nick McKay in third place on 3569.

In the women's race, as mentioned above, Lisa Thomas (VW45-49) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first (26th overall) over the line in 20:02, Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54) was second (38th overall) in 20:33, (Lucy also recorded the best Age Grade Score with 83.62%) and in third place was Sophie McKay (VW35-39) of Wimbledon Windmilers, in 20:43 equalling her PB.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition could hardly be closer with Lisa Thomas on 3593 points, only 5 points ahead of Lucy Woolhouse on 3588, with Nicola El Kadiri a further 42 points behind on 3546.

This week there were 377 runners, the highest turnout of 2014, of whom 43 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests. Notable PBs included Natasha Southorn on her 48th run and Benjamin Sumrie on his 38th outing. Alexander Hall and Gerard Harkin both completed their 99th runs, we look forward to them reaching their centuries in the near future. Representatives of 26 different athletics clubs took part.

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.

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