The Pavilion Project and parkrun

The cricket pavilion and scoring huts at North Walls could be considered part of the furniture at Winchester parkrun. Although primarily designed for use by the many cricket teams that play on the pitches there, the facilities are also used by many other sports clubs year-round. Several parkrun courses have been designed around the building, for the last couple of years we've stored all the kit there, and lately it's been used as a place to get together over a cup of tea once parkrun is done, something that is an important part of the culture for many parkruns. The entrance has long been the place to put jackets, bags and valuables while you're stretching your legs. You could consider it to be our HQ on a Saturday, and we're very grateful to be able to use it.

It doesn't take a keen eye to notice that the pavilion has seen better days though and without a refurbishment it could soon fall into disrepair. If that happened the impact on those groups that use it would be significant. Fortunately, a better long term solution has been found and rather than sprucing up the current building The Pavilion Project aims to replace it completely. Regular parkrunners might remember when Mike Caldwell from the project visited to show off the plans for the new building earlier this year. It looks fantastic and will be a huge asset not just for Winchester parkrun, but for the other sports teams who play matches at River Park and the community as a whole. Having a warm, dry place to get changed, store valuables and kit, as well being somewhere attractive to meet for a post parkrun natter will only enhance everyone's enjoyment of parkrun on a Saturday morning, particularly in the winter months.

So, why are we telling you all of this? The Pavilion Project is now looking for funding with a view to building the new pavilion in time for start of the 2019 cricket season, now less than a year away. Winchester City Council have agreed to fund a significant proportion of the project and there are other commercial backers, but Mike and the team would really like the community to get involved too. We are more than happy to help. Last week saw the launch of the Project's crowdfunding campaign to raise £5,000 by the end of July. If you've never made a pledge to a crowdfunding campaign before, or are not sure what it is, then think of it as like making a donation to charity but with one key difference: you get rewarded for pledging. For a donation of just £10 you will get a Pavilion Project wristband, for £15 a children's t-shirt designed by local artist Lucy McLoughlin or the adult version for £20. If you are feeling more generous, there are limited edition prints of North Walls, VIP tickets to this year's Bonfire Night, or your chance to be recorded on the Pavilion's Century Board in recognition of your support. If none of the rewards tickle your fancy, you can simply donate a sum of your choosing instead. The link to the crowdfunding page is here, where all the details are explained. Some of the core parkrun team have already made pledges and it couldn't be easier to do.

We, as your core team at Winchester parkrun, are very excited by the project. Yes, it will be a more pleasant place from which to put on an event each week, but also we believe it will help open up access for even more people in Winchester to come together and get active in the fresh air, which is what parkrun is really all about. It would be fantastic to see lots of our wonderful parkrunners show their support for the project, in however small a way. Please do share the links to your family, friends and colleagues.

Thank you from the core team, and see you next Saturday as usual!


parkrun #262 Run Report 9th June

#NHS70 and the Clarendon Takeover

It was my privilege to be the Run Director at parkrun yesterday, as we joined in with the national celebrations for the 70th birthday of the NHS. It was our chance to show our appreciation for the work the NHS do and strengthen the links between parkrun and the NHS. I'm sure all of us have used the service at some point in our lives, and I know there are many Winchester parkrunners who either work for them or use parkrun as a means of staying healthy, whether through the Couch to 5k programme or otherwise. There are lots of stories on the parkrun website and social media pages if you'd like to read more. In particular it was fantastic to welcome a group from the Acute Stroke Unit at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

It was a great day all round as the sun shone and we topped 400 parkrunners again; young and old, from near and far, some with 4 legs or 4 wheels, running or walking, but all with smiling faces! There were a couple of milestones; 100th parkrun for core team member Laura Cowen, and a 10th birthday parkrun for Ruben Price. As ever, we couldn't do it without our fantastic volunteers, which this week were supplemented by a group from Winchester Rotary to promote the Clarendon Marathon. The man behind the local race, JJ Heath-Caldwell, organised a volunteer takeover providing marshals and barcode scanners. A mention too for Megan Grant, one of our DofE students, who gave an excellent first-timers briefing before the start. Here is this week's roll call, thank you everyone.


Once we got underway, the good conditions and firm ground proved ideal for some good times. When I started running at parkrun around 5 years ago I had a slightly silly personal aim each week of "not being beaten by any children" as I trotted round. I quickly realised what a futile hope that was as week after week, I'd hear a swoosh as a pair of smaller legs would zoom past me, usually approaching the finish. Yesterday, I wouldn't have been alone as one of our younger parkrunners zoomed passed everyone to be our first finisher in an amazing time of 17:42, an age grade of over 86%. Take a bow James Lewis! James is 11 years old... Congratulations too to Martin Wilson, who being in his eighth decade has a few years on James(!), running a very impressive 20:48, an age grade of 84%. If you're wondering what age grades are all about, you can read the explanation here.

James's great run was one of a huge total of 75 PBs, meaning that slightly better than 1 in 6 of you ran faster at parkrun than ever before! A mention too for Sarah Shedden, who sneaked under the 20 min mark for the first time by one second. It's not all about going quickly of course and it was great to see no fewer than 65 people at River Park for the first time. Tourists from many parts of the country came to pay us a visit and it was lovely to meet Sharon and Dawn from Rother Valley in Yorkshire and Brockenhurst parkruns, who are now somewhere on the South Downs Way. They are walking to Eastbourne - some 100 miles - in time to run at Eastbourne parkrun next Saturday. Good luck ladies!

Finally, a reminder that due to Winchestival there will be no parkrun next week. Why not visit one of our many near neighbours instead? We'll see you all in 2 weeks time!

Paul (RD)


The parkrun Pavilion Cafe is Open

 The Pavilion Cafe Makes a Welcome Return 

Tomorrow is going to lovely weather for a parkrun followed by a cuppa and a chat with your fellow parkrunners.

So if you fancy a tea or a coffee then *bring a mug* and stay for a natter.


This was such a success last week that we really want to make it a habit. To do that we will need your support and generosity.


Things we will need on a weekly basis:

- milk (OK this week - thank you generous parkrunner)
- cofee (OK this week)
- tea (OK this week)
- hot chocolate (need)
- juice (need)
- fruit (need)
- cakes (need)
- teaspoons (need)


If you are happy to contribute something then bring it along. You can also let us know by sending a quick email to


Just to reiterate, you need to bring a mug as we a) dont fancy dong all the washing up and b) want to be as environmentally sound as possible.


#loveparkrun #DFYBarcode #DFYMug


Winchester parkrun’s fifth birthday

Run Report for Winchester parkrun #256, 28 April 2018

Balloons, the Deputy Mayor, some parkrun stats and more cake than you can shake a stick at - it could only be Winchester parkrun's fifth birthday. The skies were grey and the ground a little damp after the previous night’s rain, but this didn’t deter the 347 runners, 27 volunteers, and plenty of spectators who came to celebrate.

Event Director David Watson kicked off the proceedings by introducing the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Frank Pearson. Patrick Warburton then revealed what the Winchester parkrun community’s donations had bought as a fifth birthday present: an AED (automated external defibrillator). This means that we will be able to provide help to runners who need it much faster than at present. The model that has been chosen guides the user through what to do next, based on the response from the patient. Also, Winchester City Council have agreed to fund an external AED housing cabinet so that the defibrillator is available for anyone who might need to use it - great news for all the park users. Thank you to everyone who has contributed towards the AED purchase!

Tim Glover-Poultney then shared some Winchester parkrun stats - did you know that Matt Grote has run at 87% of Winchester parkrun events in the last five years, with the rest of his family not far behind? And Ann Stanhope, our volunteer coordinator, is our number one volunteer stalwart, having helped out at 60% of the events.

Run Director Adrian delivered the pre-run briefing and the runners started their 5k. Pom-pom corner was looking particularly sparkly this week with some birthday decorations - thank you Su. Janice Harmer (sporting a tutu), Josh Horner, Lara Allured, and Francisca Navarro ran their 50th parkruns, with Josh getting a PB as well. Well done to Chris Helyar who joined the 100 club today, and to Ava Key, who earned her white junior T-shirt for completing 10 runs.

We were also delighted to have John Kipps running at Winchester for the first time today. John (seen in orange below) is a parkrun pioneer - one of the 13 runners at the first ever parkrun at Bushy Park back in 2004.

First male finisher today was Jamie Cornuaud in a time of 17:46, and first female finisher was Jasmine Jones in 22:19, a junior runner. Both Jamie and Jasmine set new Winchester parkrun PBs today - well done!

After the hard work of the run, there was plenty of cake to enjoy: thanks to everyone that contributed. We were also able to offer tea and coffee for the first time from the pavilion. This will also be happening in future weeks - just bring along your own mug and enjoy a hot drink and a chat with other runners and volunteers.


Twyford Fun 2k, 5k and 10k

At Winchester parkrun we love to promote local commmunity events that involve physical activity.

So how do you fancy signing up to a great local event for a worthy cause?

Twyford St Mary’s PTA are organising a fun community 2k, 5k and the 10k through beautiful South Downs National Park countryside. This is on Saturday 28th April at Hunter's Park, Twyford. Registration opens at 1pm for a 2pm start.

The 2k Kids Run is flat and great for children any age. They can run on their own as it’s safe or parents or carers can run with them. The 2k Kids Run will start after the 5k and 10k so parents can do both.

The 5k Run is a little more challenging but it’s still an enjoyable run over lovely fields. This is one to take your time to run for yourself.

The 10k Run is for those that want to challenge themselves more but again it’s not a race and we guarantee a beautiful run over South Downs countryside.


Sign up here:


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