Alice Holt parkrun 359

1 February 2020

Firstly – a thank you and a confession. A huge thank you to Rachel ADAMS for providing the core information for this report; owing to a diary mix-up I wasn’t actually there/here this week. However, I have it on good authority that ‘it was a glorious run through the forest today - conditions were very good’. Which is a relief after the recent rain (again!) and apparently more due soon….

It’s exciting – and I’m sure gratifying - for our tireless ‘Core Team’ who make sure that Alice Holt parkrun runs, week after week, with the help of scores of lovely marshals and other volunteers – to see that the jump up to more than 400 runners, joggers, walkers (and their buggies and dogs) has been sustained following the crazy 756 of us on New Year’s Day.

Of our 411 runners this week – we had four people with milestones. Congratulations, respect and awe to Helen WALTERS who clocked up her 100 (or maybe it was 101?) – and all of that squared (or at least multiplied by 2.5) for the trio who joined the 250 Club (sounds quite simple when you just type it!) Helen CARPENTER, Vicky HAMBLIN and John WHITEHALL. Amazing stuff!

It was lovely that John and Vicky, both Chineham Park runners, chose Alice Holt for their big 2-5-0 – and that they brought lots of supporters from the club with them too. They crossed the line together in 38 minutes 21 seconds, and in fact five of the club’s 13-strong contingent joined them in a triumphant finish separated by just four seconds.

When someone has clocked up such a milestone it’s interesting to take a little look at their run history – not so much for their times (after all who know if they were pushing a buggy, encouraging a friend or perhaps nursing a hangover (perish the thought!)) - but to see where they have put in the miles. And how different were all of our milestone achievers this week. John is a Basingstoke regular – his first and only other time at Alice Holt was more than 18 months ago. As for Vicky – we’ve been privileged to see her five times – we share that honour with Newbury. Other than Basingstoke (63 runs), she’s been to no other single parkrun more than five times. Vicky has parkrun all over the place – 166 different places to be precise – that takes some planning! Helen CARPENTER, who ran her 250th in 35:41, crossed the line with family Steve, Isla and Phoebe (who also clocked a PB giving them another reason to celebrate!).   Helen is a Bushey Park regular (234), but has toured a little. This was her eighth visit to Alice Holt. Helen WALTERS (27:48) is an Alice Holt regular (96 runs here).

We salute you all – as we do absolutely everyone who turns up and gets going – whether that’s crossing the start and finish lines, setting out the course, marshalling the route, timekeeping or administering the funnel and finishing process – or bar code scanning, token sorting and packing the whole lot down again.

And whilst were on saluting….Matt SAKER was first male home and Helen RUTT first female (19:10 and 23:00 respectively) and just in case you were wondering – four of our 411 runners this week were called Helen!

Dylan CLARKE is definitely one to watch. He was the first junior male home (he is in the 11-14 category), in seventh place overall with a PB today of 20.32!Amelie FREWER was the first junior woman across the line (also in the 11-14 category) with time of 26:26. We should also keep an eye on Tommy RIPAMONTI in the boys 10 year old category. Tommy has only been parkrunning since the beginning of the year – but he’s been here every week and has three PB times from five runs, including an impressive 7:41 today!

Parkrun 359  BVS Lucy with Bailey and Natalie with OliverPArkrun 359 BVS Natalie, (with son Oliver), Fran, Mandy and Lucy (left to right)

But, as I mentioned above, it’s not all about the running, jogging or walking. Volunteering is an equally important way to take part in parkrun. And increasingly, parkrun participation in the widest sense is something you might hear doctors recommending (prescribing, almost), for people with a wider range of conditions – from high blood pressure and potential diabetes to low mood or self-esteem.

BENTLEY VILLAGE SURGERY is the latest local practice to ‘sign up’ as a ‘parkrun Practice’. Some of its staff were out on the course today and together with colleagues from THE WILSON PRACTICE in Alton – and Hogmoor-affiliated CHAWTON PARK SURGERY (also Alton) and BOUNDARIES SURGERY in Four Marks they hope to field a volunteer crew sometime in the spring, It’s great to see the value of exercise for physical and mental health and well-being being supported so directly by the NHS through this simple link-up. ‘Free at the point of use’ was the proud (and enduring) claim when the NHS was created in 1948; ‘free for everyone, forever’ is the parkrun mantra, so maybe it’s not so surprising that we should find common ground with our local surgeries.

Well done to everyone who took part or volunteered at Alice Holt today. If you are interested in volunteering, simply check out the website or make yourself known to the Volunteer Co-ordinator or Run Director next time you are at Alice Holt.

Rosie Lewis


358th Alice Holt parkrun

25th January 202

Hi to everyone at Alice Holt parkrun - the hilliest and friendliest parkrun I’ve done so far!  Actually I always come away from EVERY parkrun thinking “what a friendly bunch!”, however comradery going up that hill was strong and much appreciated!  That hill by the way, it might get a few mentions in this report!  And apologies now that your report is coming slightly late this week….

I must say I feel extremely lucky to have finally completed Alice Holt parkrun at all this week!  It’s been on my list for a while; my New Year’s resolutions are to continue “Alphabeteering” and volunteering – and I haven’t had an “A” so it seemed like a good one to do in January!  My parkrun mad cousin in the Midlands knows of Alice Holt and loves a good forest run, so you guys are known far and wide!  2 weeks ago I was rostered to do the run report and came down with a horrible 24 hour sickness bug & sent apologies to the volunteer crew at about 4am on the Saturday morning.  I was also gutted that I wasn’t going to make 6 PR’s in Jan since doing the double on NYD.  Nevermind, I begged the volunteer crew to have me back this week.  I sent photo’s of Gruffalo’s and forest trails on the family FB group – “I’m finally going to Alice Holt”.  Not only that, I’d finally managed to convince my ‘non-outdoorsy’ best mate to print her bar codes and join me for her first parkrun – ‘she’s going to love it like me’ I thought, and headed off from Surbiton to Godalming at 7.15am to pick her up.  Traffic on the A3 and a best mate in bed 10 mins after the allotted pickup time, I was stressed but determined not to miss the first timers briefing, so I left her in her pit and sped off following the Sat Nav from Godalming to Alice Holt.  2 wrong directions and the Sat Nav ADDING minute to my ETA at every turn, I was SO pleased to find a massive car park with plenty of spaces AND fully working barriers (that I had been warned about) and even managed to have time to use the excellent facilities before jogging over to find my fellow first timers – of which there were many!!


As my heart rate settled down a bit from my journey, it started to pick up a bit with all the warnings of “this is a very big forest” and the importance of keeping children on a leash and dogs within arms length – or something like that, I was trying to concentrate on which way I needed to go at the cross roads each of the 3 times I was going to cross them.  I did not want to get lost!  I needn’t have worried though, as I’m usually a 33 minute runner so I had people around me at all times and wonderful volunteers at well thought out places – and a massive THANK YOU  to all those well positioned volunteers – you didn’t forget the individual battle that each and every one of us had with that hill and cheered us ALL on and congratulated us accordingly.  It was really noticed that you weren’t just pointing directions but encouraging as well.  I did also manage to record Stephen’s briefing although seem to have missed the names of the 50’s this week – I know Carmen McTernan did her 150 this week – AMAZING – well done!  How many of those are at Alice Holt I’d like to know!?  Seriously you regulars must have thighs of steel, I’m struggling to walk down the stairs today and I’ve done a bit of hill running recently!!!  Stephen I loved your briefing by the way, have just listened to the recording again on my phone – no beating around the bush: “Go on then, lets start the race….Run!”

I have to give a special mention to a few people that really helped me out.  Gus chatted to me briefly going up the hill the first time (as he passed by!).  “Do we have to do this more than once?” I asked, trying to remember the warnings from the briefing about how Dragon Hill ‘drag’s on and on’… “No just the once he replied”, then a few seconds later called over his shoulder “actually no, sorry, we do it again”.  I think I decided at that point that if I could do it once running, that would be my achievement for the day and I might have to walk it the second time, which I did with a few other’s, breathlessly saying a few words to each other (“big”, “steep”, “nearly there” kind of things).  Second mention goes to Ave and her dog Archie who recognised that I was having some sort of asthma attack (not on the hill!) and made me lean over and breathe correctly.  This hasn’t happened since I was about 12, so it came as a bit of a shock and was pretty terrifying.  Great words of advice from Ave “you can walk it to the end, you’re not going to win now”!  I took this advice on board and mainly walked and jogged a bit.  Third mention goes to Tim – he had finished in around 23 mins and had taken himself to the bottom of the final hill to give encouragement to his fellow runners – such a nice gesture!  When the asthma thing started happening again, I walked back to Tim pointing at my chest and trying to do some sort of thumbs up / down code that I was in difficulty.  Again luckily he recognised the horrible breathing sound as being asthma and explained the importance of staying calm while it passed!  Tim kindly walked me up the hill and I did a little jog to the finish and more encouragement and clapping from the team at the funnel.  That HILL!!!!


I got my bar code scanned and noticed the very efficient token sorting set up in the pergola.  Like a well oiled machine, the volunteers at Alice Holt have really perfected their roles!


I bumped into Gus and his wife Marike from Dulwich parkrun who kindly listened to me offload about my experience and gave me some good suggestions for flatter runs to continue with my Alphabet. I forgot to ask you guys if you did any parkrunning on your South African holiday!?  I’ll hopefully bump into you at Dulwich or Peckham Rye soon!  I looked for Ave to thank her but couldn’t find her – although did bump into her later among the Gruffalo’s and took on some more advice about inhalers and breathing.  Thank you again.  Also want to wish Douglas all the best for his half marathon today.  Douglas was the first person in a yellow high viz that I found on arrival and gave me some great tips about other local runs.  Thanks for doing the tokens this week, I was so happy to see you at the end of the funnel!


Stephen told me that there were 390 of us in total and thought that about 40 of us were newby’s – I hope you all enjoyed being at Alice Holt as much as I did – despite my difficulties, the scenery is just stunning and the fact that we run past various Gruffalo characters is just the icing on the cake for me!  I went back for a final lap of the Gruffalo trail with my friend on speaker phone telling me the story and what to say to the characters to prevent them from eating me.  Anyone that doesn’t know the story I would recommend reading so you know what to say to them in your head the next time you go past!  I will definitely be back, with my mate in tow!


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

Rachel Davis


Run Report Jan 4th 2020

Alice Holt parkrun 355

4 January 2020

Another wonderful day at Alice Holt – with last week’s report writer, Kerrianne Cartwright Forbes’ wish to see many New Year’s Day parkrunners back on the start line well and truly granted. Numbers were down from the record- and token-busting 756 on Wednesday – but with 452 finishers, today looks like the fourth highest since Alice Holt records began. It seems as if there is a ‘carry-over effect’ (or should that be a ‘guilty-of-too-many-mince-pies effect’?) of the New Year, that has certainly ramped up over the years.

And just to share a few historic stats, since I was rummaging to find that one – the three largest turnouts for Alice Holt parkrun have all been on New Year’s Days – perhaps not surprisingly – although this year was a very big increase. 1st January 2019 saw 523 finishers and 2018, 463; so today’s turnout was a very close fourth place. I haven’t been forensic enough to check the weather reports, which I guess might have some impact, but I think it is a mark of the increased awareness of the phenomenon that is parkrun over the last three years that, in deeper history, the New Year’s Day totals were 295 (2017), 229 (2016), 141 (2015), and just 55 in 2014. There wasn’t a parkrun at Alice Holt on New Year’s Day 2013 – but there were 69 finishers on 29 December 2012 (Alice Holt parkrun number 7) – including many who were out today. The volunteer list (all 12 of them) also included some familiar names.

So, enough of the history – what about today?

Of our 452 parkrunners who ran, jogged and walked the course, there were 57 first timers here at Alice Holt and 53 turned in a PB (that’s more than 10% of us) – very impressive everyone! 30 different clubs were represented. Our first finisher today, Matt SAKER, covered the course in exactly 19 minutes, just a shade over the PB he posted in October last year. There is also a special mention for Robin PYPER, whose stats indicate he is an occasional at parkrun, with six very consistent runs at Alice Holt over the past two years, but who today achieved the 20:20! And keeping with the :20 theme, our first lady home was Philomel BENNETT, who clocked 22:20. Another very impressive time. But it’s not all about the time, it’s about being out there and doing it. There were six other ‘and 20 seconds’ times spread across the results list – well done all for hitting that virtual target - Andrew BEDWELL, Simon BARKER, Rachel ADAMS, Simon SHEPPHERD and our two Tailwalkers Lucy and Patrick TUITE who wrapped the whole thing up in one hour and twenty seconds  :)

And while we’re talking of volunteers, the 27 people who helped make today happen are:
Gabriella TILL • Kathy BROWN • Geoff BROWN • Shirley PERRETT • Dan DAVIES • Jasper HENDERSON • Carys DAVIES • Neil AMBROSE • Lisa BLAYDEN • Rupert HOLLOM • Rosie LEWIS • Joshua KEMP • Tom DELLAR • Linda TYLER • Patrick TUITE • Rachel ADAMS • Stephen LAVERY • Paul SMART • Lucy TUITE • Ben SHEPHERD • Libby MALLETT • Ben SMITH • Jake LOWRY • Geraldine MCLEOD • Kathleen DIGBY • Penny SCHNABEL and Ewan MCLEOD. Thank you all!

The numbers attending today were perhaps a little more than we’re used to, but the Core Team’s (and some of us ‘last minuters’!) big problem was the entrance barrier to the forest, which decided to call time on one unfortunate car passing under it – and which was promptly taken out of action. So for the second time in a week, Alice Holt parkrun started somewhat behind the other parkruns up and down the country – to ensure that everyone who was queuing to get through the one remaining barrier was able to get to the start. Thank you Run Director and team – and everyone for their patience. Personally I’m used to be overtaken by other parkrunners, but not usually when I’m still in my car and others are walking! Here’s hoping that numbers and car park tech get back to normal for next week.

There were just three milestones recorded today: Freya JENNINGS, in the 11 – 14 age group, joined the 10 club, having been putting in a couple of solid appearances every month since last summer; and Louisa BRISTOW and Rob REYNOLDS who both made their 50th parkrun today. Amazingly, although Rob was a first timer at Alice Holt and Louisa has done 47 of hers here, they have both also got parkrun miles overseas; Louisa in Cabinteely and Poolbeg, Dublin, and Rob, according to his recent run history, when he hasn’t been at Queen Elizabeth parkrun down the A3, Hogmoor, Southsea, South Manchester, Brockenhurst, Severn Bridge or Forest of Dean, was parkrunning in Mbabane. Yes, that’s right, Mbabane. He certainly gets about! Shamefully, I had to look it up. It’s the capital of Eswatani. Sadly, I had to look that up too. As I’m sure most of you know, Swaziland, in southern Africa, changed its name in 2018. So congratulations, Freya, Louisa and Rob, and thank you Louisa and Rob for making me stretch the power of Google.

A drier few days brought better conditions underfoot today than for some while and the crisp morning air with the promise of a bright day ahead saw everyone enjoying the best of the route. For me, it’s not a ‘proper parkrun’ unless I’m overtaken (often on Dragon Hill) by what I have always thought of in my head as a ‘pushing parent’, one of those impressively fit people who can not only run quite fast, but can do so even whilst pushing a child (sometimes two!) in a buggy. Today was indeed a ‘proper parkrun’, although I was overtaken long before Dragon Hill. However, I learned at Hogmoor on Wednesday, that these super-people (or possibly their precious passengers) can also be referred to as ‘Fast Babies’, as in ‘Fast Baby coming through...’ I like that.

I also really like the friendliness, the caring and the camaraderie that is part of the parkrun DNA. That the whole thing is free and is run by volunteers is awesome enough, but over the relatively small number of parkruns that I have done, I have overheard many encouraging and informative conversations between total strangers both as we line up for the start and en route.

The marshals, today as always, were all very encouraging. Everyone who makes parkrun things happen – from course set-up and breakdown, through the marshals, the funnel to timekeeping, finishing tokens, scanning and token sorting, and all of the admin and liaison that goes on behind the scenes (someone has to upload the scanned barcodes and stopwatch times and had to have had the foresight to order 700 finish tokens at some point) – does so because they feel it’s important: they want Alice Holt parkrun to thrive and they want to give a bit (sometimes a big bit) back. It’s simple, but without volunteers it wouldn’t happen. If you, too, believe in Alice Holt parkrun, and you want some of that warm, fuzzy feeling that Kerrianne mentioned last week – think about signing up to volunteer soon.   The team needs nearly 30 people every week to ensure we are all safe and happy out on the course and that we get our all-important times, delivered to our phone or inbox, sometimes before we’ve finished our coffee and got home.

Every volunteer is valued hugely, and every new volunteer is fully briefed and supported in doing whatever role they have chosen. The logistics don’t work for everyone and the incentive of free parking isn’t the reason people do it; it’s just a GOOD THING TO DO. Some younger people add it to their portfolio or consider it part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s community activity. There are some roles you can do and still run and there are people who volunteer when they are sidelined through illness or injury but still want to share in the parkrun buzz. The opportunities are endless – or 30 x 53 (1590) for 2020 alone. What are you waiting for?

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

Rosie Lewis


354th Alice Holt parkrun run report

New Years Day at Alice Holt parkrun.


It was a special day in the world of parkrun because on New Years Day two parkruns can be run, walked, skipped, jogged and people travel far and wide for the New Years Day Double (NYDD). I highly recommended it next year if you are considering it.

We had many visitors to the course this morning, the little crochet bear from Lancaster also turned up at Alice Holt for the double! 235 had already run at Hogmoor, and many others elsewhere including Guildford and Rushmoor.

The carpark, was overflowing (thank you to our extra car park volunteers for helping this run smoothly), people were queuing to get in, the ED of the day kindly allowed the event to start a few mins late to allow people to get to the start line in time. And boy what a packed start line it was!!

A record breaking 756 people turned out for what was for many the second parkrun of the day! We only have 700 finish tokens at Alice Holt, so 56 people had a special ‘Sharpie Finishing Tattoo’. The start line was packed and the finish funnel crazy, but very well executed by the core team, who managed to keep everything running smoothly to ensure people got there all important, position token! Everyone appeared to enjoy 5 beautiful kilometres around Alice Holt Forest, dodging puddles, climbing hills and spotting Gruffalos!

There were families, friends, buggies and dogs (on short leads of course) out in force blowing away the cobwebs and starting 2020 in the best way possible. It is always nice to see so many people with one common interest out there together.

73 clubs were represented this morning, with Farnham Runners  dominating the field with a whopping 34 runners on the start line. Haslemere Border AC were only just behind with a turn out of 27.  And John/Jonathon (other spellings included) was the most popular name turn out with a field of 23 Johns. Closely followed by 17 Dave’s/David’s and 13 Helen’s.

Of the massive 756 attendees, 36 ran the same time as someone else at either Hogmoor or Alice Holt, I was planning to list them here, but there were so many, people many nod off whilst reading this. Worth highlighting though Liss RC Runner Steve ARMSTRONG managed to run the exact same time at both Hogmoor and Alice Holt events! Now that’s what you call a NYDD! 34 people decided to choose New Years Day to join the parkrun family at Alice Holt, well done and we hope to see you again next week.

I was hoping to report that we had a finisher in 20:20 but alas that was not the case. Consider this a challenge for 2021 people!

Mile stones were reached: Sadie LAWRENCE and Theodore EASTON joined the 10 Club. Roland RUTT, Nick DIGBY, Helen COLLETT. Ceci MUSGRAVE, Phillip VACHER & Kathryn DREYER joined the 50 Club. Rupert HOLLOM the 250 Club. Adrian SUTTON & Phil COPSEY reached 100 runs , Elliot WEBBER 150, Mary FLANAGAN 200, Rupert HOLLOM 250. WELL DONE EVERYONE!

We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen and an extended thank you to those that had already volunteered at other parkruns: Colin ADDISON, Philomel BENNETT, Lisa BLAYDEN, Marjory BLUER, Charles BRAKE, Kathy BROWN, Geoff BROWN, Kym BURGESS, Kerrieanne CARTWRIGHT FORBES, Helen CHAPMAN, Andy CLEGG, Elaine DAKIN, Ben DAKIN, Emma DAKIN, Carys DAVIES, Dan DAVIES, Oscar GUTIERREZ, Rupert HOLLOM, Jo JAMES, Fran LIGHT, Steven LUCKETT, Peter MALLETT, Luke MANHIRE, Claire MILLARD, Linda RADFORD, Alexander John RADFORD, Roger RAYMOND, Paul SMART, Ben SMITH, Mike SMITH, Craig TATE-GRIMES, Steve TILL, Linda TYLER, Ann VARNES, Sam WICKHAM, Carolyn WICKHAMNow as we move into 2020 we have 53 parkruns ahead of us, including a special treat, a rare parkrun on 29th Feb (I hear Alice Holt might have something up their sleeve for this event) and a ‘two-days in a row parkrun’ as Christmas day this year falls on a Friday!

Thank you to everyone for joining us in the last 12 months and we look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday for Alice Holt parkrun event 355!

And remember without volunteers we wouldn’t be able to hold our FREE weekly, timed event. Why not make it a New Years Resolution to join the team and volunteer every now and again. I promise it is as much fun as running and the warm fuzzy feeling you get from giving back gives you a warm glow lasting the whole weekend!

This week's results can be found at latest results

Kerrianne Cartwright Forbes
Alice Holt parkrun - Facebook - Twitter - Flickr - Strava
Your Core Team:- Craig - Andy - Geoff - Kathy - Dan - Lisa - Rupert - Charlie - Linda - Steve - Rachel

parkrunner Discount Did you know if you show your athlete barcode in the Alice Holt cafe you can get a 10% discount? Why not stay after your run and have a chat with your fellow parkrunners or volunteers!
Groovy wristbands/plastic barcodes Are you a frequent parkrunner, or does your barcode regularly fail to scan or you're having problems with your printer? If so, you should consider getting some wristbands or barcodes. Make our scanners lives easier and be the envy of all of your parkrunner chums!


“It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year” (ding, dong)

REMINDERS - This is your most important List of the festive period :)

barcode santa hat

** 21st Dec - it’s our fancy dress ‘Santa Special
** Christmas Day - no parkrun at Alice Holt, but other parkruns are on. Check this link for the details
** 28th Dec - a regular parkrun but with a trick up our sleeve
The course might be a bit different......
* 1st January 2020 - extra parkrun at Alice Holt and it’s a 10.30am start.

Check your diary. Don’t miss the fun