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?)

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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.


Wimbledon Common parkrun Weekly Report – Event No.377 – 22 March 2014

Why do we do it?

One of the questions that is often posed after a parkrun is “why do we do this every week?” For the fastest runners among us there’s the glory of being first across the line. In the men's race, an unknown runner was first this week. If you know who this mystery man is, please remind him to bring his barcode next time.

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Matt Gallagher (SM30-34; unattached) was second in 17:56, while Tom Oliphant (SM30-34) of Heaton Harriers & AC, was third in 18:21. Best age grade scores in the men’s category went to Dieter Schlegel (VM55-59), graded 78.00% for the time 20:23 (29th overall) and Richard Pitt (VM60-64), graded 77.71% for the time 20:38 (34th overall).

Lucy Woolhouse (VW50-54; unattached) was first in the women's event (38th overall) in 20:48 – her 19th win in 153 appearances. Lucy also notched up the best age grade score with 82.61%.

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A brace of Windmilers took second and third: Julia Donovan (SW30-34) in 21:00 and Sophie McKay (VW35-39) hot on her heels in 21:04. Julia will soon be swapping the mud of Wimbledon Common for the sand of the Sahara Desert when she tackles the Marathon Des Sables. Now, what motivates someone to take on a 156-mile challenge like that (that’s just over 50 parkruns!!), I will never know.

But it’s not all about being first across the line. One of the things I really like about parkrun is the personal challenges that make each of us get out of bed on a Saturday morning and head for the Common. For me, it’s a way to clear my head after a busy week in the office. I have the added motivation of only allowing myself a slab of the cafe’s wonderful chocolate fudge cake if I run a season’s best.

Some parkrunners have taken pursuit of a season’s best to a whole new level. This is the second year running that Phil Tosh and Robert Beeby have battled it out (with a not inconsiderable sum of money up for grabs) to run the fastest time of the year. Phil won last year’s competition, with a time of 25:25, much to Robert’s annoyance as he was a mere 2 seconds behind. Robert thought he was safe for a few weeks at least, running 26:18 last week – his fastest time this year. But all he could do was stand by and watch (volunteering to conserve energy ahead of his first half marathon on Sunday) as Phil smashed it with a 25:32. Phil later went on to demonstrate that a carefully balanced healthy diet is behind this athletic prowess (photo below). No, your eyes do not deceive you – that really is a Cadbury’s flake and a bag of scampi fries. Those of you training for the London marathon should take note.


The motivation for other parkrunners is working towards a milestone run. Congratulations to Ingrid Southorn who achieved the big 5-0. Jasmine Paradinas is on track to run her 50th this weekend and Gerard Harkin is just two away from 100. If she doesn’t pick up any more injuries to add to the bionic shoulder, broken elbow and wonky thumb, Francesca Carter will be running her 200th parkrun on Saturday. And this young runner wins the biggest-grin-of-the-week award after being presented with his 10-club t-shirt.

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A few more t-shirts were presented this week and there’s a load that remain unclaimed. If you are expecting a t-shirt and would like it to be presented to you, please see if it’s hanging on the line and speak to the race director or any of the volunteers before the run. Charles announced that if anyone was waiting for small ladies they should check the washing line. I think that he was talking about 50-club t-shirts, but I can’t be totally sure. And on the topic of clothes, if anyone picked up a black Ely’s bag from the bench with a purple Nike zip-up hoodie and a pair of black and pink running gloves in it, it’s Francesca Carter’s and she’d love to be reunited with it.

And finally, I couldn't finish a parkrun report about motivations without mentioning the elusive PB. Not quite as many as last week, but still an impressive 44 runners out of a field of 344 recorded new PBs this week. Conditions underfoot are definitely improving. Well done all PBers.

This brings current standing in the men's annual points competition to:

  • Charles Hampden-Smith (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 3415 pts.
  • Peter AF COLLINS (Wimbledon Windmilers) 3334 pts.
  • Nick McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers) 3274 pts.

Equivalent rankings for the ladies:

  • Lisa Margaret Thomas (Hercules Wimbledon AC) 3293 pts.
  • Lucy Woolhouse (unattached) 3289 pts.
  • Nicola El Kadiri (unattached) 3246 pts.

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


Wimbledon Common parkrun weekly report: event number 376, 15 March 2014

Ode to Carlos, a Mac attack and Lisa legs it

Pausing momentarily to revisit the sad passing of Carlos, more or less the mascot of Wimbledon Common parkrun, the news reminded this writer of Lord Byron’s words on the death of his own beloved canine friend...

“Near this spot/Are deposited the Remains of one/Who possessed Beauty/Without Vanity/Strength without Insolence/Courage without Ferocity/And all the Virtues of Man/Without his Vices”

RIP Carlos.

History does not recall if the poet was a runner, though he apparently played in the first Eton v Harrow cricket match at Lord’s in 1805. Like Byron, though, many parkrunners are “mad, bad and dangerous to know”. One such is this week’s male winner, Wimbledon Windmiler Keith Macintosh (pictured, below), who followed up a PB of 16:47 at Fulham Palace parkrun last Saturday and a PB in the first Surrey Half Marathon last Sunday (finishing 19th overall) with a Wimbledon Common parkrun PB of 17:12.

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That’s someone in form, and a rare example of a Macintosh being useful in dry weather. It was Keith’s sixth triumph at this event. Unattached Matt Gallagher came in second, 19 seconds down and a hair-tearing single second outside his PB here; James Moorcroft (any relation?) of Hercules Wimbledon was third a further 20 seconds back.


Someone else in astonishing form is Lisa M Thomas (pictured, having evidently taken advice on socks from Paula Radcliffe - so that's her secret).

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Before September last year Lisa hadn’t improved her PB since July 2011. This week, as the first female across the white powder (relax, it’s flour – except when it’s polenta), she ran a PB for the third parkrun in a row and the fourth time this year – and this week she not only went under 20 minutes for the first time, but blew that barrier to smithereens, finishing in 19:47. It just goes to show what determination, training and simply hours of yoga can do for you after 167 parkruns. Lisa, finishing first for the 12th time, was jousting all the way with Hercules clubmate Gina Galbraith, who in running a second slower than Lisa also smashed her previous best, in her case by 39 seconds – this was also her first run here under 20 minutes. Those two certainly brought out the best in each other. Third lady to finish was Lucy Woolhouse in 20:27.


As the weather has improved and training shoe-stealing bog has begun to turn into rock hard, ankle-turning ridges (be careful out there!), so numbers have improved and the PB has ceased to be an endangered species: there were a massive 89 personal bests this week from 322 finishers, which only goes to prove that you lot need to (wo)man up when the rains come.


Tom Conlon of Herne Hill Harriers, in fourth overall, came within a whisker of a sub-18 minute run, in 18:01; Wimbledon Windmiler Sophie McKay improved her best for the first time since September 2012, to 20:43, within site of her 200th parkrun; Jason Macintyre ran under 22 minutes here for the first time – at 21:40 he improved his record by almost 40 seconds; youngster Jozef Ostrowski, in only his fourth parkrun, improved from 24:34 to dead on 22 minutes (leaving his parents puffing way back in his wake); and Peter Lythe (by name and nature?) has clearly been away at training camp with Mo (from The Simpsons), improving on his last parkrun in August by 68 seconds and posting 19:40. Congratulations to all those who improved their bests.


A note on T-shirts – there are garments for 100 runs waiting for Chris Tinning, Norman Driskell, Norman Urquia (you wait years for a Norman to turn up and two come along at once), Stephen Vey and Soo Yau – all of you will get jackets too, apparently. Those lucky folk with 50 runs under their belts and whose red T-shirts have finally been located in a warehouse in Seoul are Max Dinning, Natasha Pattison and Sheila Skinner. Those of you who want to be presented with your world famous textiles during the pre-run briefing should mention it to Charles Lawrie (or whoever is that week’s run director) before things get going.


The best age grades this week were: Lucy Woolhouse, 84.03% for the time 20:27 (26th overall); Tom Conlon, 83.90% for the time 18:01 (4th overall); and Lisa Margaret Thomas, 82.73% for the time 19:47 (19th overall).


The podium positions for the men’s annual points competition are currently: Charles Hampden-Smith (Hercules Wimbledon), 3,145 points; Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins (Wimbledon Windmilers), 3,071 points; Nick McKay (Wimbledon Windmilers), 2,977 points.


For the women's annual points competition: Nicola El Kadiri (unattached), 3,008 points; Lisa Margaret Thomas (Hercules Wimbledon), 2,997 points; Lucy Woolhouse (unattached, except to husband Hugh), 2,989 points.


Thanks as ever to this week’s volunteers: Angela Kikugawa, Carol McCormack, Caroline Highet, Charles Hampden-Smith, Imogen Busa, Kylie Korso (arigatou), Lily Snow, Lisa Margaret Thomas, Nicola El Kadiri, Paul Busa, Pete Mulholland, Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins, Ralph Cunningham (why does that remind me of Happy Days?), Rob Crane, Sandy Pfeifer, Sebastian Vons and Viz Patel.


This week there were 322 runners, of whom 36 were first-timers and 89 recorded new personal bests. Representatives of 17 different athletics clubs took part. Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6 January 2007, and since then 10,061 different runners, including participants from 430 athletics clubs, have completed 70,463 runs covering a total distance of 352,315 km, and there have been 13,294 new personal bests.


The women's record is held by Justina Heslop, who posted 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. Other parkruns are available.

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