Banstead Woods parkrun is cancelled on 6 June 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

parkrun UK – events cancelled – COVID-19

Hello all,

parkrun hq have cancelled all events across the UK. parkrun's message to all is:

“All parkrun events in the United Kingdom have been suspended with immediate effect due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. At this stage we have cancelled events up to the end of March. Please follow our communications channels for ongoing updates. parkrun’s global position is published and will be updated here.”

Take care everyone and we'll look forward to seeing you on the other side of this.

Chris
BWp Event Director
18 March 2020

 

Until we meet again

Banstead Woods Report for Event 670 - 14th March 2020

Report by Elliott Burton              Photos by Andy Taylor

Link to this week's photos:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157713482060402

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The world we live in is a crazy one. On the one hand it creates growth within communities, parkrun is but one example of this, people banding together for the good of themselves and for the good of each other. But in one split second it could all be taken away just like that. Enter Covid-19.

Anyone that has even vaguely been keeping up with the news will know all about it. The new virus sweeping the globe, outbreaks all around the world. The warnings are clear, the virus can be fatal, with more and more cases happening every day. The precautions made clear, avoid direct contact where you can, wash your hands regularly (though let’s be honest, any reasonable human being should do that anyway and not need a virus to remind them to do so!).

Places around the world are closing, schools, restaurants, clubs, other commonly crowded areas. The UK has seen nearly 2000 cases already. Sporting events around the world have also been hit, with the euros competition in football pushed back, the grand national suspended, as well as the start of the formula 1 season affected. The virus is a pandemic, where does it end? And what does this have to do with parkrun as a whole?

The answer to that can be summed up as mass gatherings. Mass gatherings as a whole can be an easy hotspot for disease to spread, and such gatherings are disappearing by the day by order of governments worldwide. It’s only a matter of time until such events as parkrun are hit, and thus ties into the title of this report, until we meet again. I certainly hope we are not called off, but to my own mind it seems to only be a matter of time. So, in many ways this report is a plea to you all, take all precautions you can, follow health advice, stay clean, and I wish you all the best if indeed parkrun is suspended in the near future.

Since we’re on parkrun, lets delve into this weeks event, 208 hardy finishers completed the course today, still covered in mud from all the recent downpours, and while today’s event was dry, it was overcast and the heavens did threaten to give us another spring shower. Todays master of ceremonies, Kevin Lewis, got us underway promptly. There were milestones announced, though it seems Kevin has gained my curse of the milestone runners not being there! One milestone in particular who was there was Maria Lawrence, today completing her 500th! Congratulations Maria.

We welcomed 18 first timers today, still a healthy number considering the recent news stories, welcome to you all, always nice to see fresh faces taking on our course for the first time. Conditions this week were not akin to PB running but 14 people still managed to do so, including a near 3 minute improvement for Nathan Taylor, finishing in 4th this morning, and Paul Jackson heading under 24 minutes for the first time, congratulations to you all, proof that PB’s can be attained from even the most treacherous of conditions! The event as a whole saw a smooth running today, with no incidents as far as I was aware. The parkrun clock at Banstead is truly a well put together timepiece.

And so, to next week. One can only hope that the event goes ahead as normal, but should it not, then I hope you all remain safe, remain healthy, and help out others who may be in need however you can. We live in difficult times and in times like this, the parkrun camaraderie can and needs to be spread into the outside world as much as possible. Together, we can move through this, together, we can make things right again. The pandemic will spread, but in time, it can be contained. All we need to do is work together and each do our own part, until we meet again… 

Statistics

This week 208 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 18 were first timers and 14 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 19 volunteers:

Chris PHELAN • Therese PANETTA • Andy DAVIS • Kate KNIGHT • Waller PAUL • Gill STALLEY • Phil FENTON • Kevin LEWIS • Nicholas FOSTER • Kerena IVENS • Akshay KUMAR • Elliott BURTON • David GOODMAN • Mark OLIVER • Alison CATTERMOLE • Natalie LAING • Andrew TAYLOR • Jo MOON • Hannah BELSHAW

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

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).
The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).
The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 11,662 participants have completed 109,900 parkruns covering a total distance of 549,500 km, including 16,767 new Personal Bests. A total of 500 individuals have volunteered 12,005 times.

Event Reporter: Elliott Burton

 

International Women’s Day

Banstead Woods Report for Event 669 - 7th March 2020

Report by Ian Johnson              Photos by Hannah Belshaw

Link to this week's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157713397355268

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As this was the parkrun closest to International Women's Day, which is tomorrow, I thought it only appropriate that my report concentrate on our female runners.

The parkrun tweeter feed had urged us to bring a female friend or relative. I had hoped to be able to base my report on a female relative or friend of mine, but my wife doesn’t like running even when the weather is warm and it is dry underfoot (is that ever going to happen again) so wouldn’t come and my daughter does 3 hours of dance on a Saturday morning and is excused. Some of my fellow AJ’s run school attendees, 2 sisters and their mum, were meant to be attending but chicken pox has struck and they also couldn’t make it. Others were more successful with 4 women taking part in their first ever parkrun and a further 8 joining us in the woods for the first time today.

Therefore I am going to have to take a different tack and look at the history of female participation at the woods. I had hoped to be able to say that today had seen greatest number of women ever but my inability to use the results search function has foiled my attempts at finding that out, however I can report that at event 669 79 participants were female, quite an increase on the 21 who took part in event 1.

In these 669 events there have been 171 different female first finishers with Lisa Rooney this weeks first finisher having taken that spot an amazing 130 times a full 63 more first finishers than her closest challenger Mary James. As a comparison the man with the highest number of first finishers is Kevin Lewis with a measly 48 first finishes (I can talk my highest finish is 79). I know parkrun isn’t a race but Lisa has finished as the first female 2/3rds of her 197 runs in the wood.

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Finally of the 20 PB’s achieved today 11 of them were by women, that’s 14% of all female participants today getting a PB, pretty impressive in my eyes

This week 223 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 22 were first timers and 20 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:

Sue MCINTYRE • Tim MCINTYRE • Therese PANETTA • Waller PAUL • Gill STALLEY • David MORRIS • Phil FENTON • Nicholas FOSTER • Ian JOHNSON • Nick CAREW-GIBBS • Elliott BURTON • Tony SAILL • Encsi NADAS • Lindsay PRITCHARD • David GOODMAN • Nick BILLING • Alison CATTERMOLE • Moray LAING • Cameron HALE • Oliver CRENOL • Hannah BELSHAW

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

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).
The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).
The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 11,644 participants have completed 109,692 parkruns covering a total distance of 548,460 km, including 16,753 new Personal Bests. A total of 500 individuals have volunteered 11,986 times.

Event Reporter: Ian Johnson

 

 

Thank Heavens there were no proposals

Banstead Woods Report for Event 668 – 29th February 2020

Report by Trevor Meadowcroft         Photos by Hannah Belshaw

Link to this week’s photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157713305909843

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Today was a special day - in fact it was so special that the last time it happened, 28 years ago, parkrun did not exist and I still had some hair. This is, of course, a reference to 29th February falling on a Saturday. I did hear some mutterings about it also being the last time Steve O’Sullivan telling a funny joke but the evidence has never been produced to verify this fight of fancy. This is also the day when women can propose to men and I know that Chris, our Run Director, was concerned that someone might pursue this course of action and turn in his direction expecting him to have the same powers as a Captain at Sea.

Storm Jorges was blowing through the Woods as Chris called the runners to order. It was generally accepted that the conditions were probably as wet as anyone could remember. In some places you were following not a path but a brook and as the finishers streamed across the finish it was clear that many washing machines would be doing overtime during the weekend.

Although there a reasonable number of pb’s not one of them was for a runner who had visited BWp more than four times. Only two of our first timers were actually parkrun virgins, Elizabeth Thompson and Neil Warman who was shown the ropes by young Liberty Warman. Welcome to you both - we need to point out that we sometimes do parkrun when it’s not raining. Many of the other first timers were refugees from nearby parkruns that had fallen foul of the weather. I was really impressed when I discovered that one of our visitors was a visitor from California Country Park. I imagined tales of Hollywood legends and The Golden Gate Bridge. This illusion dissipated when I discovered that it is fact located on the outskirts of Wokingham, Berkshire. Not quite as glamorous. Hope you all enjoyed the visit.

A further indicator was that no one achieved a WAV of 80% or greater. It was not for the lack of people you would normally expect to achieve this milestone and in fact only 12 people go 70%+. As Chris said during the briefing this was not a day for pb’s or fast times but for enjoying the mud and soaking up the atmosphere. I must admit a pang of jealousy as the runners were set on their way. This was not before Chris had greeted the visitors, noted the milestones, Joanna Wootten on her 50th and Peter Ellis and Abigail Brown on their 150th and thanked the volunteers. This included a well deserved mention of Steve O’Sullivan who is stepping down from the core team. Although I am justifiably merciless of his “joke” telling ability he is a great advocate of parkrun and embodies many of the good things that Banstead Woods parkrun is.

One thing I noticed as the runners was sent on their way was that as soon as Chris said “Go” there was an involuntary twitch as many of the runners automatically looked down to start their wrist timers. Thankfully this caused no issues and everybody got on their way without incident. It was great to see Mike Bryant finishing a parkrun for the first time in well over a year although many of us will miss his calls of encouragement as we go storming down the slope before the final bend.

Mind you it seemed that Alex Penfold needed little encouragement being first man crossing the finish line followed in by Luke Bangerter and soon afterwards by Richard Mander. Lisa Rooney was first woman to get the chance to dry off followed in by Laura James and Rhona Cloherty. Peoples memories seem to be improving as we only had three unknowns I am sure driven by the desire to ensure that having braved the elements that evidence was required to prove that this was indeed the case.

I know that we always thank the volunteers but it is especially important to do so on days like this when you don’t even get the chance to run round to keep warm.

Statistics 

This week 225 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 44 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 35 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

Chris PHELAN • Therese PANETTA • Sue ESSLEMONT • Andy ZONFRILLO • Waller PAUL • Gill STALLEY • Oliver ZONFRILLO • Steve O'SULLIVAN • Linda O'SULLIVAN • Judith WHEELER • Carol Ann HOARE • Trevor MEADOWCROFT • Amy VAN WYK • Elliott BURTON • Lorraine GARROD • Lindsay PRITCHARD • Nick BILLING • Stuart ANDERSON • Natalie LAING • Charlotte MACLEOD • Rachelle NUNES • Hannah BELSHAW

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

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).

The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).

The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 11,622 participants have completed 109,469 parkruns covering a total distance of 547,345 km, including 16,733 new Personal Bests. A total of 500 individuals have volunteered 11,965 times.

Event Reporter: Trevor Meadowcroft

 

“Thinking Day!”

Banstead Woods Report for Event 667 – 22nd February 2020

Report by Alison Cattermole         Photos by Kelly Marie Mason

Link to this week’s photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwp_photographs/albums/72157713209594567

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Compared with some of the weather we’ve had recently, today was a rather bland day at BWp. The ground under foot was muddy and in some places free water splashed our legs. But otherwise, the temperature was relatively mild for the time of year and there was no precipitation of note, at least not during the event (I did get rained on walking home). It was good to be joined by many participants from Nonsuch, whose course couldn’t be used. It made for a large BWp of 317!

But whilst the weather might not have been particularly memorable, there were two milestones that most definitely are. First, one of our regular octogenarians, Colin Sutherland, reached his 50 runs – a fantastic achievement at any age, but especially when you are over 85! And then George Frogley, celebrated his 85th birthday by running his 466th parkrun and moving into a new age category. He also provided participants and volunteers with some sweets at the finish. Thanks George and congratulations to you both!

But, back to the weather, we are SO lucky at Banstead parkrun. I have written before about how seldom it rains between 9 and 10am on a Saturday morning, a bit of light drizzle; some mega-drips from the branches of overhead trees; a brief shower on the walk over. In over 6 years I have never got completely drenched in all my 151 parkrun and 91 volunteer experiences.  But this last month has made me wonder whether we have some guardian angel looking out for us. Two mega storms, Ciara and Denis, over two consecutive weekends, with torrential rain and howling gale force winds creating rivers of water flowing down the various paths we use at BWp and localised flooding. And did it impact parkrun? No, it did not, save for some rather muddy conditions. On each occasion, the rain and winds held off until parkrunners were safely home. We must be doing something right!

Unless you were a girl guide, you probably won’t know that today is Thinking Day or rather World Thinking Day as its been known since 1999. I was a girl guide in the 1960s, I was in the Kingfisher Patrol and loved my time in the 2nd Crownhill Guide Company which was based in Plymouth where I grew up. Thinking Day is a day when girl guides think about their fellow guides in all the countries of the world, the meaning of Guiding, and its global impact. Of course, we didn’t use the word ‘global’ 50 years ago, that seems to be a relatively new word, but we did use the time to think about friendship and what we had in common with those from other lands. We also raised money for the cause. The original idea when the concept of Thinking Day was initiated was that each guide would save a penny (that’s an old penny!). By the time I was a guide, we were still saving pennies but for some reason, we would always shine the pennies by soaking them overnight in vinegar. The pennies would start off dark brown and dull and by morning they would be bright and golden. It seemed like a miracle to me back then; alchemy at work!

And why am I mentioning this in a parkrun report? Well, partly because I can, there are no rules about what I have to write about, but mainly because the concept of Thinking Day is such a good one. These days, the Girl Guides Association provides a topic to focus the thinking and this year, 2020, the theme is: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

And here is the link with parkrun (thanks for staying with me), because parkrun is in its concept one of the most diverse, equal and inclusive sporting events ever established. Everyone can come to parkrun and take part. There is no entrance fee and our founder, Paul Sinton-Hewett, has made it a life time promise that it will always be free.

One aspect of parkrun which contributes to its inclusivity is that everyone arrives in running gear, which is a great leveller. You cannot tell from their attire a person’s social class, how educated they are, what sort of job they have or even if they have a job. All these things are invisible and irrelevant. When it comes to running 5k, it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have or how many 0s there are on your salary. Whether you own a 5-bedroomed home, rent a flat or sofa-surf; drive a Ferrari (I did actually spot a rather smart Aston Martin with DB5 in the number plate this morning), arrive on a bike; or shanks pony as we do. Everyone is welcome.

parkrun’s equality is demonstrated by the fact that it doesn’t even matter whether you are any good at running (thank goodness), aspire to be Mo Farah or the lovely Dina Asher Smith, belong to a running club or just want to walk the route. Everyone runs the same distance at the same time. It’s just that someone crosses the finish line first and someone last. And you don’t even have to take part in the actual running. If you want, as many people do, you can volunteer to ensure that the event takes place.

Turning up each week is a diverse mass of humanity of all shapes and sizes, ages ranging from under 11 to well over 80 years old with around 30% identifying as women at BWp (I believe worldwide it is higher).

If there is an area where we do not score as highly for diversity as we should it is in the area of ethnic diversity. 20% of the UK population comes from black and ethnic minority groups and in London it is an amazing 44%. Just looking around at parkun, you realise we are clearly still not reaching some groups and that is a tragedy for everyone. It is an observation you can see in other areas of life. I sing in a large London choir which is almost entirely white as is my community orchestra. My father-in-law is involved in the University of the 3rd Age and he says that ethnic diversity is a problem for that organisation too. So diversity remains a work in progress for many activities in the UK, not just parkrun.

And to finish, here is a quote from Lord Baden Powell who started the scouting movement of which the Girl Guides are a part.

“The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.” 

I think he was right. And I think parkrun does just that – even more reason to be involved.

Have a good week!

Statistics 

This week 317 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 47 were first timers and 45 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 46 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 18 volunteers: Chris PHELAN • Sue ESSLEMONT • Don ESSLEMONT • Waller PAUL • Kelly Marie MASON • Kevin LEWIS • Nicholas FOSTER • Carol Ann HOARE • Lorraine GARROD • Usha STEVENS • Kieran LEWIS • David GOODMAN • Mark OLIVER • Alison CATTERMOLE • Natalie LAING • Charlotte MACLEOD • Rachelle NUNES • Hannah BELSHAW

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

The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:25 on 7th June 2008 (event number 54).

The female record is held by Natalie HARVEY who recorded a time of 17:01 on 30th July 2011 (event number 216).

The Age Grade course record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded 89.66% (18:42) on 26th April 2014 (event number 361).

Banstead Woods parkrun started on 16th June 2007. Since then 11,578 participants have completed 109,244 parkruns covering a total distance of 546,220 km, including 16,721 new Personal Bests. A total of 500 individuals have volunteered 11,943 times.

Event Reporter - Alison Cattermole

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