Wimbledon Common parkrun Event number 544, 2nd April 2017

The Big D!

01 Event 544 HeaderThe notes for the event report read like a fairly typical Wimbledon Common Parkrun. “10 degrees and grey overhead, but dry. Good running conditions. Uncle Bulgaria in attendance – a reminder always to pick up litter - although he’s unable to rouse Parkrun to a rendition of Wombling Free. He's from the Jesuit Missions charity, running his 21st London Marathon.” (‘Marathon XXI’ sounds much more portentous. The Romans were onto something…)

He wasn’t the only distance runner looking nervously to Sunday, and big cheers went up for the other London Marathon runners warming up with a brisk 5k. Applause, too, for Colin Price running his 300th Parkrun (‘Parkrun CCC’ looks pretty nice – you do have to love those Roman numerals…). Sarah Goodwin was hitting 150 (sorry, CL) and there were the usual cheers for the first-timers, tourists, volunteers (more on them in a moment) and Claire and Daniel Hall, celebrating their wedding anniversary.
IMG_0051The run itself was quick (see below). The dry, cool conditions that gave the course some zip but also threw up a rather large dust cloud to give the opening straight that "wacky races" feel to it. But for dry feet? Who's complaining. IMG_0107
It was only after the event ended that we realised this was no typical event; we’d hit another, perhaps more important, milestone: THE BIG D.

Yes, event 544 (sorry, ‘DXLIV’) notched up a record field at Wimbledon Common: 505 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 66 were first timers and 91 (XCI) recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 35 different clubs took part.
(OK, so technically this was "the big DV", but either way it’s a huge milestone for the event – so well done everyone who came along.)

The event was made possible by 23 volunteers – a reminder that we only need about 4.5% of the field to help out each Saturday to ensure all those people get their weekend workout.

PLEASE VOLUNTEER IF YOU CAN! There are gaps available in forthcoming weeks, and it’s so important to offer your time, even if it’s only once every 10 or 20 runs. So, onto the…


First timers were advised in the pre-event briefing – you won’t get lost, just follow Benjamin Toomer. And sure enough he was the day’s fastest in a brilliant 15:54 (age graded to 81.13% - and only 13 seconds off his PB). Joe Phillips positive trailed home in 17:24; and James Adams recorded 17:41, matching his PB for the event.

Maria Halley of Clapham Chasers RC was first woman over the line in 19:46. Claire Anna Hall was 29th overall and second female over the line in 20:08. Tara Ryan was third in 20:14. Congrats, though to Lucy Woolhouse, fourth of the VWs, whose 87.08% age-graded 20:31 was a stunning time – her fastest since June 2015 – and puts her PB of 19:52 in sight.

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



It's always worth mentioning the terrible traffic coming into the Windmill car-park on a Saturday morning. Parkrunners are always advised to park the other side of Parkside; there are parking bays on The Causeway; and even with the new double-yellows, there's some parking in Westside Common. A kilometre or two warm-up is ideal for your 5k, remember, and the cool-down after Parkrun will do your recovery a world of good...

But this weekend we had a very visual reminder that car is not always the star - and goodness knows how this person managed to wrap their Mini around the gate into the Common! Perhaps there was a little too much merriment at the Windmill's Bicentennial Celebrations the weekend before! Fortunately no-one was hurt...


Wimbledon Common parkrun – event 543, 15th April 2017

Easter run-day

Communities Secretary Said Javid clearly realised that Easter Saturday a week before the London Marathon was going to be a slow news day for parkrun reporters everywhere, kindly choosing this morning to announce an impending consultation to literally make it illegal to charge for parkruns. Stoke Gifford Parish Council's concerns over “increased wear on the park" has apparently received short shrift in Whitehall where parkrun is rightly seen as a community and volunteer led opportunity for people to get involved in healthy exercise.

Good news aside, politicians were not on the agenda at Wimbledon Common where, despite the Easter tranquility on the local roads, 428 runners pitched up on day two of the long weekend for a 5km run, jog or walk on a beautiful spring morning. A few weeks ago we were hosting some refugees from Little Stoke, but today Race Director Nicola El Kadiri was trying to adjudicate between Australian, South African and Indian visitors for winner of the most touristy-tourist prize. The consensus allowed her to call it a draw, and we were off.
IMG_6464India? Australia? South Africa? All three!

Podium positions...

On a fast day, Danny Russell (SM30-34, Highgate Harriers) joined 81 others in setting a new personal best, making his extra special by crossing the line first, with a time of 15:57 on his second appearance. His blistering time was nearly two and a half minutes ahead of a slightly tighter squabble for second, which Nick Wright (SM25-29) took in 18:21 ahead of eleven time previous winner Keith MacIntosh (VM40-44, Wimbledon Windmilers), at 18:42.

For the ladies, talented youngster Tola Pearse (JW11-14, Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, 36th overall), made it three wins from six parkruns just two seconds ahead of Lucy Woolhouse (VW55-59, 38th overall) at 20:46. Alice McCormack (JW15-17, 50th overall) completed the podium, over the line in 21:41.

Tola told me she was taking it easy, as she was saving herself for the Mini Marathon next Sunday, but she needs to watch out with Lucy not only being the first to finish on 33 previous occasions, but also destroying all comers in terms of age graded scores, with an excellent 85.90%.
IMG_6577Taking it easy!

Milestones and points of note...

Beyond the podium, Imogen Lewis was quiet about claiming her junior 10 run t-shirt, but congratulations to her anyway. It was a quiet week for other milestones, with just Michael Vlachos claiming his black 100-run t-shirt.

As well as Lucy's superb age graded score, winner Danny clocked 81.82%, with Andrew Lenon (VM60-64) notching up 79.57%.

Finally, with 72 very welcome first timers setting their fastest two and a bit lap times, 36% of runners set personal bests. With an unrecorded, but undoubtedly very high, number of year bests, the barcode scanning queues were lines of happiness in the spring sunshine!


Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007, and since then 16,605 different runners have completed 127,320 parkruns, covering a total distance of 636,600km, and setting 21,250 new Personal Bests.

The women's record is held by Justina Heslop who ran in a time of 00:16:33 on 17th March 2012 (event number 271).
The men's 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.

Making it happen

parkrun relies on its volunteers each week, and event 531 was brought to you by Gemma Brennan, Jenny Brookes, Alastair Brown, James Chappell, Simon Cheetham, Nicola El Kadiri, Lewis Fletcher, David Ford, Gary Forde, Charles Hampden-Smith, Colin Harris, Charles Lawrie, Charles Robert Leonard, Bernadette Maher Allan, Peter Mulholland, Harsha Arunkumar Naik, Liz Ostrowski, Dominic Ostrowski, Louise Robinson, Steven Rudland, John Sabourin, Charlie Snow, James Spinks, And Karen Walsh. We always need volunteers, please check out the future roster to see how you can make future events happen!

Alastair Brown


Wimbledon Common Parkrun Weekly Report – Event no. 542 – 8th April 2017

A rather more run of the Mill affair (sorry about that!!) this week.

Your reception committee on completion

Last week there were some serious achievements (Charles and Nicola completing 400 runs)  and less serious achievements (Julia, the Run Director for the day, being April fooled).

This week there was less that was news worthy. Nevertheless, 488 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 71 were first timers. 100 (yes, 100!) recorded new Personal Bests. One could put that down to the fine weather - best weekend of the year so far - or people coming into form after winter hibernation.

There was an interesting competition (I realise that it is out of order to use such a word in a Parkrun report) between 3 of the local churches, Emmanuel, Dundonald and St. Marys. Many of the participants already do Parkrun on a regular basis and so to set up such a "competition" was relatively simple. There were some interesting rules and ways of winning points for your team, for example, running as a family, not turning up by car (perhaps the powers that be at Wimbledon Parkrun could introduce such a rule to reduce parking problems) or walking to the run itself. I do not know who won. It would be invidious to say so and outside the spirit of Parkrun. It is an interesting way of encouraging people to engage in running.


The above series of photos seems to me to underline everything that is good about Parkrun, and Wimbledon Parkrun in particular. Children taking their parents for a run, making sure that they maintain a good pace, do not lose their way, and get a bit of exercise despite their inexorably advancing years. There is a rule about adults accompanying children under 11. Now you know why; it is to keep the adults on track. It is truly wonderful to see so many families coming to Parkrun and long may it continue.

Now for the stats:

Male placings:
Blair Laird (SM25-29) of Moray Road Runners, was first over the line in 17:05 - second time in 6 appearances. Do I detect a Scotsman infiltrating the ranks? Anyway, well done!!
Joe Phillips (SM25-29) of Newport & District RC, was a close second, to finish in 17:07. He has finished first once before.
George Ravenhall (SM20-24) of Hillingdon Triathletes, was third over the line in 17:26.

Female placings:
Claire Anna Hall (SW30-34) of Army AA, was first (25th overall) over the line in 19:54 - first time in 2 appearances.
Poppy Craig-Mcfeely (JW11-14) of Herne Hill Harriers, was second (27th overall) to finish in 19:58.
Lucy Woolhouse (VW55-59) (Unattached) was third (40th overall) over the line in 20:41. She has finished first on 33 previous occasions.

Grade Scores.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Tom Conlon (VM55-59) – 86.43% for the time 17:56 (5th overall).
Lucy Woolhouse (VW55-59) – 86.38% for the time 20:41 (40th overall).
Poppy Craig-Mcfeely (JW11-14) – 81.55% for the time 19:58 (27th overall).

The female record is held by Justina Heslop who recorded a time of 00:16:33 on 17th March 2012 (event number 271).
The male record is held by Chris Parr who recorded 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 92.99% (21:24) on 29th January 2011 (event number 212).

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers.
Annette BARRETT • Charles LAWRIE • Colin EDWARDS • David FORD • Harsha Arunkumar NAIK • James CHAPPELL • Mark Philip William ROBSON • Mark PRINCE • Matthew SALISBURY • Nick HUDSON • Nicola EL KADIRI • Pete MULHOLLAND • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Rachel ROBSON • Robert FORTES • Sandy PFEIFER • Simon CHEETHAM • Simon HIX • Sophie TOOMEY • Stephen WILLERTON • Trevor INGRAM

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 16,533 participants have completed 126,892 parkruns covering a total distance of 634,460 km, including 21,167 new Personal Bests.

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

Robert Fortes.


Wimbledon Common parkrun Event number 541, 1st April 2017


Around The Course In 800 Ways – Passepartout


On Saturday we celebrated with genuine joy, the unswerving determination of two very special individuals who each completed their 400th parkrun, in case you missed it they are Nicola El Kadiri and Charles Hampden-Smith. This is a fantastic achievement, massive congratulations to you both.


parkrun 541-313


Make no mistake, undoubtedly this is an ACHIEVEMENT.  Somebody recently sent me a rather shouty email and written among other negative comments in this missive was the following sentence “Doing 100 or 200 etc Park Runs is not a REAL Achievement, you ONLY HAVE TO TURN UP AND GO ROUND THE COURSE.”

That sentence demonstrates a woeful misunderstanding of what parkrun is about, turning up and going around the course week in week out does take commitment and resilience but there is also so much more to parkrunners than that. We are a supportive community, we nurture all kinds of runners, we welcome all aspirations, most of us volunteer our time, energy and skill sets, we revel in each other’s successes and we help each other through our disappointments. Nicola El Kadiri and Charles Hampden- Smith are perfect examples of our very special parkrun and if getting to hang out with them and people like them on a Saturday morning isn’t a worthwhile achievement then I don’t know what is!!


Her Name Is Julia, She’s Pretty Coolia For An April Foolia!


Julia Donovan was our run director on Saturday and we couldn’t resist playing an April Fools' Day trick on her. As she took to the bench to make the pre run announcements she had to take a very urgent phone call. A cheeky prankster then advised poor Julia that the dreaded hornets had returned to our course and that she must take immediate action!  After much crowd giggling and shouts of Happy April Fools' Day our delightful run director joined in the joke and took the trick in her stride in a very sporting manner. Indeed, she had a prank up her own sleeve when she informed us all that the following weekend's run would be a nude one – all a joke of course but it did make me wonder about the consequences of a nude parkrun coinciding with the return of the hornets, now there’s a sting in the tail just waiting to happen!!  Julia also delivered her run instructions in the form of a poem which I have included at the end of this report, Pam Ayres, eat your heart out.


parkrun 541-14

A Hornets Nest You Say!



Marvellous Milestones


10 Club

Alexander Rumfitt smiles and takes in some well deserved applause.
parkrun 541-18


50 Club

Andy Robinson

John Sasportas

Ben Toomer

Stewart Bond

Gillian Jukes

100 Club

Ariana Watkins

Ariana is 14 years old and unfortunately had to take a 6 month break from parkrun due to spinal surgery. A huge congratulations to you Ariana on completing your 100th parkrun after this setback, keep on keeping on!

200 Club

Steve Shaw

400 Club – Respect!

Nicola El Kadiri

Charles Hampden-Smith


Wombles Of Wimbledon Common


Rumour has it that a few Wombles will be running at the weekend, well why wouldn’t they, they are locals after all. Not sure which ones are coming yet but Tomsk is thought to be the most sporty among their ranks. Either way, give them a shout out and “Remember member member what a Womble Womble Womble you are….”.

Wimbledon Common on a Sunny Sunday Afternoon



Julia’s Poem


Welcome to Wimbledon Common parkrun.

Number five forty one, you know!

The aim of today is to have lots of fun,

Whether you're fast or you're slow!


We've a two lap course which starts up there,

About 400 metres away.

There's tree roots & pot-holes so please take care.

I want nobody injured today.


You won't get lost as the route's so clear,

Marked on the ground with flour.

Keep your dogs on leads and your children near.

Try to finish in under the hour!


One lap, keep running and go round again;

Maybe try and go faster this time!

Then you'll end up back here in the finish pen,

Make sure you all stay in line.


You'll be given a token thrust into your hand,

Be sure to give Pete a big smile!

Bring your barcode and token back here to be scanned,

After waiting in single file.


You've done it! You've all completed the run,

Now it's time for some champagne and beer!

Let's thank volunteers for all they have done,

Without them, we wouldn't be here.


So get out there and have a good time,

It's the best way to start the day.

Thank you for listening, the pleasure's all mine.

I'll now send you all on your way!


The Stats:


This week 465 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 52 were first timers and 93 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 31 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers.

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

Male placings: Benjamin Toomer of Hercules Wimbledon AC, was first over the line in 15:41 - 27th time in 30 appearances, Thomas Greenwood was second over the line in 17:13 and in third place was Oliver Greaves in 17:28.

Female placings: Ali Campbell of Clapham Chasers RC, was first (31st overall) over the line in 19:57 on her first appearance at Wimbledon, Claire Anna Hall of Army AA, was second (33rd overall) over the line in 20:02 with Eileen Brandley of Hercules Wimbledon AC, in third place (54th overall) in 21:27.

The three highest age grades were recorded by: Tom Conlon (VM55-59) – 85.95% for the time 18:02 (7th overall). Richard Evans (VM55-59) – 84.05% for the time 18:17 (8th overall). Benjamin Toomer (SM25-29) – 82.25% for the time 15:41 (first overall).

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).

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 16,462 participants have completed 126,404 parkruns covering a total distance of 632,020 km, including 21,067 new Personal Bests.


Report Writer Annie Tosh (part time writer full time Womble spotter)


Run Photographer Bob Walsh (part time photographer full time Womble snapper)





Wimbledon Common parkrun, event number 540, 25 March 2017


Everything changes, carefully

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and
changing everything carefully


The signs of spring are there, almost certainly different for everyone depending on their outlook, their mood, their state of mind (as ee cummings was suggesting; his spacing in the poem, not mine!). For us runners, it’s not having to wrap up against the cold, a chance to put away the heavy trail shoes and wear lighter footwear and maybe the potential for a PB as the ground gets harder and faster.

EVENT 540 CS(72)Not Usain Bolt

Well, I’m assured the course was less muddy this week, though I gained no personal experience, for a pesky knee injury has kept your correspondent from running for several weeks. The lack of mud-spattered legs and backs suggested my information was correct – and maybe that’s why there were 64 PBs.


Please support Jayne and CRUK

A plug in passing: our own Jayne Hurrell is running the London Marathon on 23 April (St George’s Day, my brother’s birthday – thanks for the reminder), having been one of the ‘lucky’ ones to get a place in the public ballot (her ‘first and only marathon’). Not content with doing the 26.2 miles for its own sake, Jayne is raising money for Cancer Research UK and would welcome any donations (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jayne-Pooley). She’s also set up a text number for donations, making giving even easier: You can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 by texting JLDN73 £5 (or whatever figure) to 70070.

parkrun 532-150

Jayne in training earlier this year

A couple of years ago, both Jayne’s mum and her cousin were diagnosed with breast cancer within weeks of each other. Happily, both were treated successfully but, as Jayne says, ‘having seen my mum undergo the triply whammy of chemo, surgery and radiotherapy, fundraising for Cancer Research UK seemed the obvious choice to support research into more patient-friendly treatments’. A great many of us will have had similar experiences, either ourselves or concerning relatives or friends. There’s no compulsion to give, obviously, and Jayne does not have to make a minimum amount, but it’s a self-evidently good cause, and fair play to Jayne, who had a place anyway but still decided to raise money. Jayne thanks anyone who gives in advance.


Down to the brass tacks

This week 418 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 48 were first-timers. Representatives of 25 different clubs took part. The event was made possible by 22 volunteers. Thanks to them. Please volunteer if you haven’t.

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


Hooray for Harwood

On the male side of things, there was a Wimbledon one-two-three. Adam Harwood (SM30-34) of Hercules Wimbledon, was first over the line in 17:36, the third time he’s done this in 141 appearances. Nick McKay (VM35-39) of Wimbledon Windmilers was second in 17:50, having been first to finish on eight previous occasions. And David William Scrimshaw (SM30-34) of Hercules Wimbledon, was third in 18:36.


Hello, Tara

For the women, Tara Ryan (SW30-34, unattached) was first (eighth overall) in 19:06. This was Tara’s first appearance here, though she appears to have an interesting back story, having run two of the three parkruns in the Washington DC area, plus Tilgate parkrun near Crawley, and no other parkruns – yet. Gina Galbraith (VW40-44) of Hercules Wimbledon was second (22nd overall) in 20:32. Gina has been first to finish on 16 previous occasions. And Caitlin Lloyd (SW25-29) of Lewes AC, was third (49th overall) in 21:46.


Here's one for father and eldest child only...

In the field of milestones, Robert Robinson (didn’t he once present Call My Bluff and Ask the Family? One for older runners there) completed his 150th parkrun, 82 of them at Wimbledon Common, the rest at 16 other events. Three people ran for the 50th time: Johan Blom (37 at Wimbledon), Colin Edwards (40 at Wimbledon) and Gabriel Durand (also 40 at Wimbledon), the last in a new PB of 21:31. Both Bethany Wynter (with a PB!) and Evan Roberts secured their 10-run t-shirts, made especially for our younger runners – well done to both.

As for notable PBs, today’s first-placer, Adam Harwood, secured his first best for the year with 17:36 – still improving after 142 parkruns, all but one on our hallowed mud. In third, David William Scrimshaw did his first PB here, 18:36, since August 2015. A big shout out to Tariq Bugaighis, relatively new to this event, who ran a PB and thought he might have sneaked under 20 minutes, only to be given 20 dead. Tough break, but you’ll get there sooner or later Tariq.

The three highest age grades were recorded by: Peter Lee (VM50-54) – 78.46% for the time 18:48 (fifth overall); Tara Ryan (SW30-34) – 77.49% for the time 19:06 (eighth overall); and Andrew Lenon (VM55-59) – 76.75% for the time 20:43 (30th overall).

The female record is held by Justina Heslop, with her 16:33 of 17 March 2012 (event number 271). The male record is held by Chris Parr, who ran 15:04 on 23 April 2011 (event number 224). The age grade course record is held by Jane Davies, who recorded 92.99% for the time 21:24 on 29 January 2011 (event number 212).

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6 January 2007. Since then 16,410 participants have completed 125,939 parkruns covering a total distance of 629,695 km, including 20,974 new personal bests.

Peter AF Collins

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