Wimbledon Common Parkrun Event 512, 24th September 2016

I was nervous as I approached parkrun on Saturday – not only was there the ever-daunting prospect of the five kilometre run ahead, but I was also due to write the report for that week as Wimbledon Common parkrun’s first junior reporter, and inspiration was yet to strike.

I needn’t have worried, for I learnt on arrival that there would be plenty to write about. The resurgence of a hornet’s nest, which had led to several people being stung two years ago, meant that a new route had been devised in the interest of safety. Fortunately, the rangers helped out in creating a safe route, with a warning about the possibility of crossing paths with horses, and parkrun could continue as normal.

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The change in venue was definitely the cause of a great deal of excitement and activity, from trekking past the windmill to find the new start line, to having to reorganise where people were standing in order to ensure that everyone began behind the start line. Despite the numerous ways in which things still could have gone wrong, even with the possibility of stings from the hornets eliminated, the event ran smoothly. It is a testament to the parkrun community, and the volunteers who rose to the challenge they were presented with, that even when a tricky situation was at hand, there was minimal disturbance to the event.

And the change in route wasn’t all bad; perhaps many felt particularly motivated that Saturday – or maybe it was just a flatter course – but the whopping 94 personal bests achieved is definitely noteworthy.

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This week, the first to finish was Andrew Mitchell of Thames Valley Harriers, a first timer at Wimbledon Common parkrun, with a time of 17:31. He was followed 19 seconds later by Knut Hegvold of Hercules Wimbledon AC, who has been the first to finish on 5 occasions previously. Sean Ryan of Belgrave Harriers, was third over the line in 17:55. With regards to the women, Megan de Silva of Ranelagh Harriers came in as the fastest woman and placed 6th overall, coming in at 18:22 - she has been the first female for all of the 3 times she has run at Wimbledon Common parkrun. Marie Synnott-Wells, also of Ranelagh Harriers, was the second woman at 22nd overall with a time of 20:15, and she has been a first finisher 6 times before. 30 seconds later, Julia Donovan of Wimbledon Windmilers came in as the 3rd woman and 33rd overall, and she has come first on an impressive 17 events!

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Currently in the men’s points competition, Nick McKay is first with 9575, followed by Peter Collins with 9551, and Hugh Woolhouse with 8784. Liz Ostrowski has a strong lead for the women with 10036, Jasmine Paradinas coming in second with 8539, and Danuta Grabda close behind with 8456.

The best age graded runners for the week were Knut Hegvold at 86.17%, Marie Synnott-Wells at 84.86%, and Andrew Mitchell 82.21%.

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

Congratulations to Tristan Gessell on completing his 10th parkrun, Adam Carey on his 50th, and Lisa Margaret Thomas on her 250th – a staggering number of runs!

Thank you to this week’s volunteers, Bob Walsh, Carmen Gessell, Catherine Wilson, Charles Lawrie, Christopher Cull, David Hall, Edward Nelson, Graham White, Isabel Nelson, Jessica Searle, Jo Manley, Kylie Corso, Libby Hipkins, Matt Earl, Megan Hipkins, Nicola Battey, Nicola El Kadiri, Nina Van Gessel, Pete Mulholland, Philip Tosh, Richard Mellor, Sandy Pfeifer, Soo Yau, Sophie Toomey, Stephen Willerton, Steven Cull and Thomas Greenwood.

Writer: Jessica Searle

Photographer: Bob Walsh


Wimbledon Common Parkrun Event 511, 17th September 2016

The Volunteering family



Just as important as the volunteers for the Paralympic and Olympic games, are those volunteers that enable Parkruns to occur all over the world every Saturday morning. There are now 978 Parkrun venues in 14 countries, with Sweden and Canada starting their first ones this summer. The total number of runs to date is 18,204,917 and the total worldwide distance run is 89,399,177KM. Throughout the world, 213,141 Volunteers have made this possible.

This is only my second time volunteering for Parkrun, but it feels so good to be able to give something back to the volunteering family at Wimbledon Common, because if it wasn’t for them the events wouldn’t go ahead for any of us.

Driving into the event, we passed Peter Mulholland walking down Windmill Road, which put a smile on my face as I know the run is really over when I get some kind words and my token from him at the end of the 5K.

Personally, I couldn’t even participate in Parkrun if it wasn’t for the sighted guides who ensure I complete the two laps without slipping or tripping. Colin Harris (on his 454th Parkrun) ran with me this week and supported me to get close to my PB. Colin even came out the day before to remove water from the puddles at the far end of Parkside just before the turn. Now that is going beyond the call of duty!




Colin told me that “Little Ben McKay regularly assists his dad Nick to remove the cones after the race”. And he isn’t the only child or youngster that assist, although I suspect he’s the youngest.

Another of the younger volunteers achieved his third PB in a row, when Christopher Cull finished in 42nd place with his newest PB of 21.56.

Nine of the top twenty registered new PB’s including the category winners, Henry Silverstein and Gina Galbraith.


This Weeks Results

Male placings:
Henry SILVERSTEIN (JM15-17) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first over the line in 17:38 - first time in 28 appearances.
Nick MCKAY (VM35-39) of Wimbledon Windmilers, was second over the line in 17:48 - has been first to finish on 7 previous occasions.
James ADAMS (VM35-39) of Guildford & Godalming AC, was third over the line in 17:53.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Nick MCKAY (Wimbledon Windmilers) 9575 pts.
Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS (Wimbledon Windmilers) 9272 pts.
Hugh WOOLHOUSE (Unattached) 8784 pts.

Female placings:
Gina GALBRAITH (VW40-44) of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first (13th overall) over the line in 19:29 - 12th time in 54 appearances.
Ruth WALLACE (SW30-34) of Thames Hare & Hounds, was second (24th overall) over the line in 20:58 - has been first to finish on 29 previous occasions.
Lucy WOOLHOUSE (VW50-54) (Unattached) was third (26th overall) over the line in 20:59 - has been first to finish on 26 previous occasions.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Liz OSTROWSKI (Unattached) 9758 pts.
Jasmine PARADINAS (Unattached) 8282 pts.
Danuta K GRABDA (Unattached) 8276 pts.

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Lucy WOOLHOUSE (VW50-54) was graded 84.03% for the time 20:59 (26th overall).
Volker VOGLER (VM50-54) was graded 79.16% for the time 18:38 (6th overall).
Henry SILVERSTEIN (JM15-17) was graded 78.92% for the time 17:38 (first overall).

This week there were 362 runners, of whom 46 were first timers and 60 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different athletics clubs took part.

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 15,213 different runners, including participants from 651 athletics clubs, have completed 115,198 runs covering a total distance of 575,990 km, and there have been 19,609 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:16:33 on 17th March 2012 (event number 271).
The male record is held by Chris PARR who ran in a time of 00:15:04 on 23rd April 2011 (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.


Writer: Lynn Cox

Photographer: Louise Robinson


Wimbledon Common Parkrun Event 510, 10th September 2016

Some Parkruns are full of drama – intense weather, say, or a flurry of new holders of the “200 runs” trophy. Others are damp and dull. Event 510 at Wimbledon Common seemed to hit a Goldilocks moment.

An almost imperceptible dusting of rain was gone before the pre-race briefing, but left the ground both mud- and dust-free – a perfect happy medium. Given the weather of late, Saturday morning was remarkable for being not too hot, nor cold.

There were no milestones called, despite our event director’s best efforts to bid up the runners from junior 10s all the way to 250s and above. (In fact, Laura O’Connell did her tenth run – so belated congrats to the JW11-14.) There were no special announcements to speak of.

In other words, the conditions were perfect and the distractions few. No wonder there were 76 new Personal Bests, and hopefully the 60 first-timers won’t be put off when the rains return. Wimbledon Common Parkrun is always fun – but it’s not always this sure under foot. (As I type, it’s still unseasonably warm, so we might have some life in the summer yet…)

DSC04051We did, however, have a reminder of the perils of purchasing a cheap phone armband whose “secure pocket for cards” is anything but. Hence an Oyster card was reported lost before the event. The interesting thing? Dropping the Oyster was a pain, but not as agonising as losing the Parkrun barcode taped to the back. You can’t put a value on a lost scan when you’re so close to 100 runs…   DSC04245DSC04173   

Onto the results

This week there were 418 runners, and representatives of 27 different athletics clubs took part – including Wolverhampton & Bilston AC. In her first Wimbledon Common run, Alex Binley joined us all the way from the Black Country to be the first female over the line in 19:58.

Second fastest was Sune Du Toit (as a Windmiler, she was a little closer to home) 26 seconds later; and third was Emilie Bokor-Ingram in 21:08. Liz Ostrowski remains well clear in the annual points standing on 9,477 after her 26:07.

In the male field, Frederick Slemeck finished in 16:39, 14 seconds head of Richard McDowell. Six-time quickest male Jonny Earl was third fastest man on this occasion, in 17:03. The first three over the line didn’t affect the points standing for the men. But Peter Collins’s 18:11 has brought him within four points of Nick McKay (in the lead with 9,276 points for the year) who finished unusually near the back of the field. (Injury? Supporting tail-runners? Let us know if you know…)

Special mention to the best age-graded runners, where we recorded four above 80%. (For those that don’t know the system, the world record time for a runner’s sex and age group is that percentage of their Parkrun time.) Lucy Woolhouse topped the table with 83.37%, Tom Conlon 82.54%, JW10 Alba Ferrin Pereda hit 80.76% with a new PB, and Richard Evans 80.11%. Outstanding efforts all.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page. DSC04329


Wimbledon Common parkrun Event number 509 3rd September 2016


PB Open Season

This parkrunday, saw a whopping turnout of 446 runners - Wimbledon Common’s 6th largest ever parkrun. Of those, one week after ITV switched off itself off, there were 47 First Timers.

A PB at Wimbledon Common takes planning. You have to peak at just the right time of the year. And then, you only get a handful of Saturdays before the rain sets in and the mud begins to flow. Last Saturday was one of the good days - in all, we had 75 PBs. Of these, well done to our extremely prolific JM10, Christopher Cull; a PB despite your impressive tally of 103 parkruns. Again, I apologise again on behalf of Mr. Sabourin for the notable lack of hot ribena.


And yet, let’s not forget that a B of 1 is still a B. Thus we add the first timers count to the PB count and get a hugely impressive 122 PBs for the day. Great stuff.

On PB day (I’m calling it PB day), we also celebrated the birthdays of Ian Higgins, many times winner of the men’s points table (probably the most wins overall but I can’t find out how to verify that statistic) and Nick McKay, the current year's leader. Coincidence? Probably. When is Mo’s birthday?


Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness

In 2008, research was done to measure the effect of spending on happiness. As part of this, researchers gave people money to spend either on themselves or others in a single day. The groups were chosen at random. (Dunn)

In brief, researchers found that, participants in the prosocial spending group (let’s just call them “parkrun volunteers” for simplicity) reported higher levels happiness at the end of the day than those in the personal spending group (simplicity aside, let’s call these “non-volunteers who run lots of parkruns”). My point is, don’t be afraid to join the volunteer club - they’re grinning because they’re happy, not because they’re idiots.




Of the men, first was Thomas Greenwood of Clapham Chasers RC in 17:18, followed by Adam Harwood of Hercules Wimbledon AC in 18:21 and Nick Mckay of Wimbledon Windmilers in 18:23 (1 piece of birthday cake = -2 seconds, tut tut tut).

Julia Donovan of Wimbledon Windmilers lead the ladies home in 20:27, followed by Tola Pearse (JW11-14!) of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC in 20:39 and Karen Fenner of Wimbledon Windmilers in 20:55.

In the men’s points we have Nick Mckay with 9224 pts, Peter (Alasdair Fergus) Collins with 9023 pts and Hugh Woolhouse with 8284 pts.

For the ladies, we have Liz Ostrowski with 9214 pts, Danuta Grabda with 7951 pts and Jasmine Paradinas with 7770 pts.

Lucy Woolhouse was age-graded 82.27%, Karen Fenner at 81.12% and Tola Pearse at 77.32%. Junior Christopher Hull’s new PB of 22:03 gives him a 77.17% grade.


This Week’s Happy Volunteers

Andrew Fickling, Charles Hampden-smith, Charles Lawrie, David Hall, Doug Laidler, Francesca Carter, Gabriel Stone, Guy Gibbons, James Little, James Spinks, Jaspal Dhalley, John Carter, Katrina Osborne, Nick Hudson, Orianna Vottre, Patrick Booth, Peter Collins, Peter Metcalf, Philip Tosh, Sarah Jones, Sarah Moran and Sophie Mckay.



Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness, Elizabeth W. Dunn, Lara B. Aknin, Michael I. Norton, Science 319, 1687 (2008); DOI: 10.1126/science.1150952

Words: Pete Metcalf, Pics: Guy Gibbons


Wimbledon Common parkrun : #508 : 27th August 2016



This parkrunday coincided with the ‘I am Team GB’ initiative (or #iamteamgb if so inclined) backed by ITV who switched off their TV channels for an hour to encourage people to go and play outside. As is usual in the competitive world of TV scheduling the other channels had to react. On BBC’s Saturday Kitchen (some of you may remember this show before becoming addicted to parkrun) they responded by making and eating a massive trifle. Make of that what you will...    

40 first-timers responded to the call, and although some way off a record attendance, a respectable 341 runners turned out. The first three first-timers were enticed with the promise of a T-shirt, which unless some of the Unknown runners claimed them, should have gone to Harry Everest, Tola Pearse and Alexander Mafi. I stand to be corrected as I had to dash off at the end…

One thing that has stuck with me is that #IamdefinitelynotteamGBmaterial. I don’t mean to take away from the fact that we are all with them in spirit and rooting for them, and the drive for wider involvement should be applauded and this is what was intended by the initiative. Rather, that Mo and his contemporaries can and do run 5k in something around 13 minutes is incredible, and wheezing around Wimbledon Common in twenty-something minutes just increases my respect for them. As I have seen recently mooted on social media is that all of the Olympic Events should have had an average Joe competing alongside the athletes to show just how incredible these people are. I’m not sure I could get on a pommel horse at all, let alone do all those handstands once you’re up there.    



Just so any newcomers knew what they’ve been missing we had a handful of milestones to celebrate. Ciara Healy ran her 10th run, Max Barley and Jessie Whichelow ran their 50th. David Ford joined Robbie & Matthew Searle in completing their ton.

There were 38 new PBs, and (although your writer struggled) the conditions seem particularly good at the moment, even if the temperature was a bit high. However amongst them was Jessica Searle not missing out on the double ton celebration by setting a new mark after 85 runs at Wimbledon (90 total).

This week there were 341 runners, of whom 40 were first timers and 38 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different athletics clubs took part.      




Remember that parkrun is free and relies on the hard work of a group of volunteers to keep going. Thanks this week to Adam Harwood, Alethea Tabor, Andrew Rice, Charles Hampden-Smith, Charles Lawrie, Charlie Snow, Colin Harris, Colin Price, David Reeves, Francesca Carter, George Trimm, Harriet Chappell, James Chappell, Jenny Small, John Philip Carter, Louise Robinson, Paul Willatts, Pete Mulholland, Sean Jones, Simon Cheetham, Sophie Toomey and Tessa Kelly.

This year's target is 300 different volunteers! By my count we are at 247 so just a final push required. Still a few months to get involved so take a look at the volunteer page.


First Finishers


Benjamin Toomer of Hercules Wimbledon AC was once again first over the line in 16:46 - his 21st first finish in 23 appearances. Would you believe it, but unknown runners came in second and third. #DFYB people!

First Lady was Tola Pearse of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers in 20:50 (32nd overall) on her first appearance on the Common. Julia Donovan finished second in 21:12 (39th overall) and Lucy Woolhouse third in 21:34 - both of Wimbledon Windmilers and with 42 previous first finishes between them.


Men's Standings

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:

Nick MCKAY (Wimbledon Windmilers) 8926 pts.
Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS (Wimbledon Windmilers) 8751 pts.
Hugh WOOLHOUSE (Unattached) 8033 pts.

A two horse race, with Nick McKay maintaining the advantage.

Women's Standings

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:

Liz OSTROWSKI (Unattached) 8947 pts.
Danuta K GRABDA (Unattached) 7731 pts.
Nicola EL KADIRI (Unattached) 7607 pts.

There’s a close race behind, but there’s no catching Liz Ostrowski.


Age Gradings

Tom Conlon headed the Age Gradings with 82.25% for his time of 18:41 in 9th place. Stuart Fraser took 5th place in 18:02 for 81.79% and third placed ladyLucy Woolhouse rounds out the top three with 81.76% in 21:34.



Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 15,060 different runners, including participants from 648 athletics clubs, have completed 113,972 runs covering a total distance of 569,860 km, and there have been 19,398 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who ran in a time of 00:16:33 on 2012-03-17 (event number 271).
The male 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).

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

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