A perfect storm?

Basingstoke parkrun #652, 27th November 2021, Run Report by Avi Govind

Preparations for this morning’s parkrun took an unusual turn yesterday, when news of the potential seriousness of Storm Arwen became known.

A number of other parkruns around the country were starting to cancel as they were in areas with red or amber weather warnings. Locally, Alice Holt parkrun also cancelled as their location is in woods and there is heightened risk there. And on our Friday morning Facebook post, people warned of wind, snow and even blizzards.

But we are a hardy bunch in Basingstoke - while we would of course cancel parkrun if we believed it was not safe, we have fortunately only had to do that once in the last ten years (except due to Covid) - and this morning we were able to put on our 652nd Basingstoke parkrun although it was cold and it was certainly windy!

Basingstoke Parkrun 652 2021_11_27 (133)

That must have been the main factor behind the reduced attendance of 265 people - the lowest at War Memorial Park since our restart in July. Only our October visit to Crabtree saw fewer people take part (222).

Nevertheless, there were a lot of reasons to be positive to be found in the park and in the results:

The weather didn’t prevent us from having four people take part who had never done a parkrun before - so welcome to Hayley McCall, Nicky Young, Sophie George and Paul Smart. We hope you will be back again next week and are sure that the conditions will be better.

There were also 18 participants who had done parkruns before, just never at Basingstoke - so we hope that Ryan Marais, Elise Brockhurst, Sam Hawley, Lucy Cooper, Edward O’Boyle, Lindsay Lloyd, Emma Broughton, Peter Walters, Elana Shelley, Martin Attwood, Lola Powell, Jill Attfield, Zara Field, Charlotte New, Richard Jackson, Susanna MacDonald, Tim Giles and Georgina Fraser enjoyed your visits and will also return soon.

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Well done also to the eight parkrunners who got new personal bests this morning - Matthew Hewlett, Thea Ledington, Mr Drake, Finlay Brace, Kieran Maynard, Russell Butcher, Adam Lewis and Melissa Pinder.

My journey to parkrun included a brief stop at the Totally Tennis pavilion, where the Basingstoke 5k Your Way Move Against Cancer group had their monthly meet-up both before and after parkrun. It appears that they had one of their highest turnouts ever today - although maybe one or two of them decided to stay in the warmth of the pavilion!

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If anyone has been affected by cancer, or knows someone who has, then this supportive and welcoming group meets on the last Saturday of every month at Totally Tennis, then walk, jog or run parkrun - adjourning back to Totally Tennis for tea and cake afterwards.

I would say that they will be meeting on the last Saturday of next month, but as most people know, the last Saturday of next month coincides with Christmas Day - so their meeting is actually going to be on 18 December instead.

But that’s not because we won’t be having Basingstoke parkrun on Christmas Day - oh no it isn’t! Earlier this week we confirmed to parkrun HQ that our traditional Christmas Day event will go ahead, as well as a parkrun on New Year’s Day. Sadly for parkrun aficionados we won’t have any additional events this festive season due to these parkruns being on Saturdays - and also all England events will start at 9am, so there won’t be an opportunity to do a ‘New Year Double’ as has happened in previous years.

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A final reason to be positive was the warm (sorry!) smiles of the team of 36 volunteers, led by Grant Hodgson, who were around the course and in the start / finish area - we owe all of them huge gratitude for having to stand in the cold, wind and drizzle for up to two hours.

If anyone is keen to volunteer in future weeks (including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day), then drop us a line at basingstoke@parkrun.com - we can’t guarantee brilliant weather but we can guarantee that we will always be able to find you a role!

And a final piece of positivity - after a long wait, and many negotiations with various authorities, our near neighbour Newbury parkrun made its much-awaited return this morning. It’s great to see it back.

Today's Basingstoke parkrun had 265 finishers, including four first-timers and another 18 people who had never run at Basingstoke parkrun before.

Well done to the eight people who got personal bests today, and congratulations to this week's milestone runners:

10 parkruns runs as a junior: Alfy Jones
25 parkruns: Rob Miller
100 parkruns: Phil Rogers

And to one person reaching an unofficial milestone:

150 parkruns: Peter Railton

Our top three age-gradings this week were from:

Tim Ellis (75.95%)
Melissa Pinder (75.10%)
Philip Norris (72.32%).

Basingstoke Parkrun 652 2021_11_27 (91)

Our first three female finishers were:

Melissa Pinder (21:21 - 2nd first-finish in 104 parkruns at Basingstoke and new PB)
Angela Goodwin (23:13)
Elise Brockhurst (24:27 - first-timer)

Our first three male finishers were:

Tom Mount (18:49 - 1st first-finish in 7 parkruns at Basingstoke)
Alex Douglas (19:52)
Rufus Flack (19:58)

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Finally, thank you very much to Run Director Grant Hodgson and this week's volunteers:



Greetings, fellow tribe members

Basingstoke parkrun #651, 20th November 2021, Run Report by James Bate

Whilst I don't have any regrets in life (so far...) I can often be heard saying I wish I'd started running earlier. And that's the truth! When I think of what I've gained and how it's transformed my life - the community and new friends I've met, the better physical and mental state I now find myself in.

This isn't just something I've found of course, I hope you, dear reader, have found time to reflect and appreciate what regular exercise may have given you too. Anyway, rather than wishing I'd found it earlier, I like to reframe those thoughts and think how glad I am I found it at all! In fact I can't imagine now what my life would be like if I wasn't a runner. I'd be walking (literally) around unbeknownst that a better quality path exists, a completely untapped resource of happiness and fulfilment just waiting to be unlocked. Jeez, I wonder if that's true of anything else in my life. Do I have a secret inner bass player in me waiting to be found? ...I doubt it, but anyway, I digress. None of this would be possible at all without parkrun.

Now we have this wonderful drug it's tempting to walk around all smug. Knowing that we have this secret well we can go to for inspiration, enjoyment, company, self-reflection, pride through helping others, and a general feeling of a better well-being... how lots of other people are oblivious to the potential treasures that await them. If only they gave it a go. But then it got me thinking... others have their own church. It might be music, cooking, cycling, writing, or literally church. There must be something about us, a trait we all share, that makes parkrun appeal to us. We are a tribe. That's why parkrun is so welcoming and inclusive. We all share that distinguishing characteristic, and deep inside must know this, and we therefore instantly welcome our fellow kin. For example, I attended Basingstoke parkrun number 651 this morning not knowing who I'd see or who I'd talk to, but I soon found myself running the course chatting to others throughout.

The damp conditions today saw this week's attendance drop by 75 from last week's 469. But it didn't deter the 8 people who participated in their first ever parkrun this morning. Well done to you all and extra kudos to Adam BIALOGONSKI who was the fastest newbie with a time of 22:56. One to watch out for.

There were 14 parkrunners who were new to Basingstoke today. Chief among these was serial "tourist" Gary DAVIES. Basingstoke was Gary's 125th different event! In fact today was Gary's 77th consecutive different event, a streak dating back to December 2018. I accept that we might not see your return (for a while at least), Gary, but hopefully you'll take back fond memories of Basingstoke and our lovely course.

It was Matt Pillinger who Gary, and 394 others, were thankful for today for giving up his Saturday morning to volunteer as run director for the 33rd time. Setting off at 9am sharp and returning just 17 minutes and 31 seconds later was Tom HARDING. The 69th occasion Tom has finished first at Basingstoke.

Leading home the ladies today was:

Gemma BIGG 21:01
Samantha BROWN 21:47
Angela GOODWIN 23:02

And the top three men were:

Tom HARDING 17:31
Tom MOUNT 17:52
Edward BUCKLEY 18:10

Special mention to Tom (Mount) for achieving his 5th personal best in a row at Basingstoke!

The top 3 junior boys this week were:

Edward BUCKLEY 18:10 JM15-17
Kian MAYOH 20:14 JM11-14
Tom ALLAWAY 21:18 JM11-14

Whilst top for the junior girls were:

Elise WILLIAMS 28:35 JW11-14
Beatrice LOVICK 29:41 JW11-14
Emma MELVILLE 31:33 JW10

Impressively it was Beatrice's 210th parkrun today!

The top 3 age grade times this week were:

Mark SLANEY 81.39% 19:42 VM60-64
Tim ELLIS 75:02% 21:45 VM60-64
Edward BUCKLEY 74.31% 18:10 JM15-17

Today was in fact the 20th time Mark has acheived an age grade of at least 80%.

Meanwhile 22 people (5.5% of finishers) didn't scan a barcode resulting in a "unknown".


As regulars know, if you keep attending, and remember your barcode, you will soon be eligible for an official milestone t-shirt. Congratulations to junior Jessica LAWRENCE who is now the proud owner of a white tee for her 10 parkruns.

Oliver NICHOLLS can now sport one of the new purple t-shirts for his 25th run. And special congratulations to Naomi HOLBOROUGH for joining the 100 club!

Despite the damp weather, 37 parkrunners achieved a new personal best today! Very well done in particular to Prabin LIMBU for doing so on his 40th visit to Basingstoke and dipping under the magical 20 minutes for the first time!

As a runner I really am grateful for all the volunteers. I always try and thank the marshals - without them our event simply couldn't take place! This week our event was made possible by 40 hi-vis heroes:

Adam GOODWIN, Alex CONBOY, Alice MODLE, Andy V CULLEN, Avi GOVIND, Barbara WEST, Brian WORTH, Chloe TOWNLEY, Chris FURNESS, Darren ROLFE, Dave HOPE, Denise HOPE, Duncan ROUNDING , Evelyn MASON, Guy MCINTYRE, Harrison YOUNG, Jack HEDDERLY, James BATE, Jessica BATE, John MANNION, Lisa HEDDERLY, Marcus SIMPSON, Mark NORRIS, Matt PILLINGER, Michael HICKEY, Michael PARKER, Nicola DALE, Oliver HUNT, Rob LUCAS, Robin HOPE, Ryan PARTNER, Samuel VAUGHAN, Shreya SINGH, Steven STUBBINGS, Tammy WILLIS, Toby LAMPARD, Tony WRIGHT, Vicky HAMBLIN, William BATE and Yvonne DAVIES.

If you'd like to volunteer please email basingstokehelpers@parkrun.com or check out the upcoming roster.


World Kindness Day, and welcome to all the new runners

Basingstoke parkrun #650, 13th November 2021, Run Report by Penny Metcalf

Today is World Kindness Day and also the graduation of the ABC group of Hook Runners. The ABC is the Couch to 5k group for the club. The course starts with only a few minutes of running and walking and slowly it increases until people can maintain their running over 5k, more or less. Today we welcomed the new Hook Runners and several other people who were new to parkrun or just new to Basingstoke parkrun. Welcome to all of you, we hope you come back again soon.


Claire Barnes says, “I am an ABC. I used to run previously up until I had my daughter almost 10 years ago. Since then I’ve struggled to get back in the groove or to allow myself time to run. Over the past 10 weeks I have realised how much better it is to run with others, how nice it is to make new running friends and actually that I am a better parent for having my own hobby and time. Also a huge thank you to Simon and Jonathan. They have encouraged us every step of the way and pushed us even when we didn’t think we could do it. Looking forward to continuing my running adventures from here and also a bit sad this part is over”.


I think this message is really important for everyone. It can be difficult finding ourselves time to run. That is the first hurdle for all of us. We all have conflicting priorities and a hundred other things that we should be doing. We need to allow ourselves the time to do what is good for us, whether that is running or any other sort of exercise or self care. We need to look after ourselves before we can look after others. On World Kindness Day it is especially important to recognise that we need to be kind to ourselves, in order to be kind to others. The better we feel, the more able we are to be kind to others and that can make a big difference to our lives, and to those around us, and indeed to society as a whole.

I love that Claire recognises that finding time to run makes her feel happier and that that makes her be a better parent. This could be a good time for us all to think for a moment about what we need to do to be kind to ourselves and to feel happier. We can all start by talking more kindly to ourselves and by recognising when we need a break. Sometimes it might just be allowing ourselves half an hour to run or to take some time out to recover.


The key to success of the Couch to 5k courses is that the running increases in very small increments and regular practice is encouraged. To help with this, Hook Runners have led the course on a Monday night and provided support for an extra practice session on a Wednesday. There have also been meet ups for weekend running, mindful running and a talk on injury prevention. But the magic seems to come from the personal connections made between the participants. Each time we run this course, the most heart warming aspect of it is seeing new friendships made and new groups who support each other not only through the tricky business of running and fitting it in around work and family and everything else, but also seeing true friendships formed between people who go on to support each other through thick and thin.


Karen Wynne says, “10 weeks ago, I was convinced it would be totally impossible for me to run more than 10 minutes without stopping .... now I can do 5k in around 35 minutes without stopping! How did it happen...the support of both coaches, Simon and Jonathan, attending both training sessions... but also the support of the others in the ABC group. We started a WhatsApp group and if anyone wanted to train, someone would always join them..although we were total strangers 10 weeks ago, we have supported each other and have had fun along the way. I am extremely proud and a lot fitter!”

This really reflects the experience of many new runners who complete the Couch to 5 k with any of the local running clubs. It always seems impossible at the start but the course schedule and the camaraderie bring about the magic to make it possible.

Teri Viney said, “The ABC course has been great. I’ve met a great group of people who have made it fun and held me accountable to running regularly. The support from the coaches Simon and Jonathan has been brilliant. The other members of the club have been great too, such a friendly and supportive group. I’m pleased that we are all running 5k now and planning to keep it up.”


469 people ran the 650th Basingstoke parkrun this morning. There were another 19 people who had never done Basingstoke parkrun before, and also 48 people who got new personal bests today.


Congratulations to all our milestone runners today. Jessica Nash did her 25th parkrun, Dave Daniels, Toni Shaw and first male and female finishers Hari Bakhem and Hannah Bliss got to the 50 milestone, and David Parrott has now done 100. Core volunteer team members Michal Bursak (150) and Caroline Partner (300) both reached unofficial milestones, as did Terry Clarke (200).


Run Director Naomi Rachel Holborough and her team of 43 other volunteers welcomed them to the park - thank you to everyone who took time to volunteer this morning! Well done to everyone who ran this Saturday whether it was your first time, your fastest time, or whether you just came to talk to your friends like I did! Remember it is World Kindness day and remember to be kind to yourselves and each other.


Thank you parkrun (and Chineham Park Running Club!)

Basingstoke parkrun #649, 6th November 2021, Run Report by Gwen Moore

Welcome to Basingstoke parkrun report #649. My name is Gwen and I am a member of the Chineham Park Running Club, one of many in red that volunteered to support today’s parkrun. I was thrilled at the opportunity to write this report, because it gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts on what was a truly wonderful morning but also, so I can say a heartfelt and sincere thank you to both parkrun and CPRC for what they do.

This morning I saw incredibly fast runners, I saw runners working their absolute socks off to cross that finish line, I saw sheer determination to complete the two and a bit laps, I saw families run together and families supporting from the sideline, I saw many gorgeous dogs keeping their runners company, I saw friends and running buddies run together, I even saw a mini Pudsey and a bride to be!



I saw many colourful t-shirts showing amazing running accomplishments, Cardiff 5k, Great South Run, Edinburgh Marathon Festival, Endure 24, London Marathon to name a few - meaning we had all distance runners present. I also saw many different running club t-shirts showing representation from across Basingstoke and further afield. I met new park runners, new to Basingstoke park runners, experienced parkrunners.


What am I trying to say? You couldn't find a more diverse and inclusive environment where everyone shares one thing, their passion for running. parkrun creates that safe space, for any runner (I'll repeat that, any runner - and that includes any of you that jogged, walked, crawled your way round, you are still a runner) to come and do their thing, including our four legged friends!


And that's why I thought it was absolutely perfect that Chineham Park Running Club, were able to help with parkrun this week, it's the perfect pairing. CPRC shares the same philosophy as parkrun, anyone can do it. Whether you're a sub-20 minute parkrunner or a 14 minute mile on average runner. And I'm not just saying it, I witness it week in week out. I rejoined CPRC earlier this year having put on an extraordinary amount of weight from having children, and subsequently the global pandemic didn't help my health and fitness (and lack thereof).

I was hesitant to go back to running club for fear of being "too slow" and I couldn't have been proved more wrong. After reaching out, I was welcomed back into the Club with open arms, they coached me and some others through Couch to 5k and we recently just did Basingstoke 10k as a team. Our coached sessions cater for the super speedy AND the ones like me who like to take their time, and I have never felt like I don't belong. This inclusivity and encouragement, has rekindled my love for running and I saw that same inclusivity and encouragement at parkrun this morning.


Whether it's Chineham Park Running Club, or Sherfield Park Runners or Hatch Warren Runners, there are many local clubs to choose from, do reach out if you want to take your running beyond parkrun on a Saturday morning.

Congratulations to Oliver Jno-Lewis, Stephan Kilgannon and Jason Braganza on their 25th parkrun milestones and Steven Stubbings on his 50th. Congratulations to the unofficial milestones of Richard White and Chris Collins with their 150th parkruns and Matthew Mason and Mariusz Bennet with an their incredible 200th parkrun. Topping them all was Tony Wright with his 400th parkrun! Huge congratulations to the 32 parkrunners who got their PB, I know how rewarding and satisfying that feeling is, to get a new PB.

But the biggest congratulations goes to each and every one of the 400 who got out of bed and decided to run this morning. You'll have heard me shout it out this morning as you ran past, you are all amazing, you ran beautifully and you absolutely rocked parkrun today! Safe travels home to all our parkrun tourists today and hope to see the new parkrunners come back again in the future.

Thank you for letting Chineham Park Running Club help support the event today, if you want to learn more, please do check out our website and you can also find us on Facebook.


Anyone can write a run report

Basingstoke parkrun #648, 30th October 2021, Run Report by Jay Govind

I am Jay Govind. I wanted to make this report because usually adults do the report and I wanted to do it so other children can do it in the future.

I like parkrun because it helps people get fit and healthy and to fight off colds. Today I enjoyed seeing my friends Zara, Myles and Blake and barcode scanning because I am really quick at it. I asked my friends some questions and my Dad recorded them. You can hear the answers if you listen to the recordings.




I also like junior parkrun because it helps children fight off colds, I like doing the warm-up and seeing what time and position I get, and I like seeing my friends there. Some of my friends at junior parkrun have done an adult parkrun and so have I.

Today the weather was not very good but me and my friends got through all of the wetness and muddiness and still helped by scanning.


I will barcode scan in the future as well and I will keep volunteering until I get my 25 volunteering t-shirt and keep volunteering to get new t-shirts like my Dad.

For me, barcode scanning is easy and I would recommend it to other people who want to volunteer. If you ever want to try barcode scanning then I will help you - and sometimes I even scan my friends!


Tomorrow I will be at junior parkrun, and if you are there I will see you there. I have enjoyed writing this run report and will do another one in the future.


Today's Basingstoke parkrun had 266 finishers, including 3 first-timers and another 12 people who had never run at Basingstoke parkrun before.

Well done to the 14 people who got personal bests today, and congratulations to this week's milestone runners:

10 parkruns runs as a junior: Kian Mayoh
25 parkruns: Stuart Taylor, Henry Waithaka and Pete Jeffreys
250 parkruns: Mike Hedderly

And to people reaching unofficial milestones:

150 parkruns: Tom Harding
200 parkruns: Rich Green


Our top three age-gradings this week were from:

Mark Slaney (76.47%), Tilbikram Sambahangphe (75.24%), Juli Wood (74.94%).

Our first three female finishers were:

Pranjali Shahane (23:53 - 1st first-finish in 32 parkruns at Basingstoke and new PB)
Clemency White (24:06 - new PB)
Tracy Bremner (24:28)

Our first three male finishers were:

Tom Harding (17:53 - 68th first-finish in 136 parkruns at Basingstoke)
Dave Rawlins (19:11)
Michal Bursak (19:42)


Finally, thank you very much to Run Director Peter Chiverton and this week's volunteers:

Mark BANCROFT, Hannah BEAVEN, Pam BOND, Louise BOWLES, Kirsty BROOKS, Michal BURSAK, Zara BURSAK, Simon CAVILL, Peter CHIVERTON, Gillian COX, Gary DUCE, David DUNFORD, Chris ENGLAND, Peter EVANS, Andy GODDARD, Blake GODDARD, Myles GODDARD, Avi GOVIND, Jay GOVIND, Angie GREENLEES, Ben HASTINGS, Lisa HEDDERLY, Michael HICKEY, Dave HOPE, Denise HOPE, Robin HOPE, Alison Rachel JONES, Mandy LANCASHIRE, Anthony LANE, John MANNION, Evelyn MASON, Mark NORRIS, Michael PARKER, Darren ROLFE, Lauren ROSE, Praveen SINGH, Shreya SINGH, Douglas VAUGHAN, Samuel VAUGHAN, Teri VINEY, Barbara WEST, Brian WORTH.



The joy of guide running…it’s as easy as 3-2-1

Basingstoke parkrun #647, 23rd October 2021, Run Report by Richard Pickard

Last week was Matt Pillinger’s 37th run report. This is my first one and much like parkrun it’s just as enjoyable as running (well almost, it did take me longer to write this than to run parkrun!).

I think one of the great things about parkrun is its variety. It doesn’t matter whether you are at the front, in the middle, walking or volunteering; there are so many ways to get involved, Visually Impaired (VI) guide running is one of them.

In 2015 a few of us got together and worked out how we could support the local VI community a little further. As a result, we set to work in creating the Basingstoke Guide Runners.
Our team help guide a couple of our VI runners around the course each week. It’s hard to miss us! We usually wear luminous running tops and are frequently talking to our runners, helping with some directions and above all trying to prevent any comedic falls or incidents (of which they have been a few!)

Much like parkrun we all have our different approaches to guiding. I tend to talk frequently (perhaps a bit too much) and describe where we are on the course, what’s coming up and any change in terrain. The difficult moments are in the first lap, when understandably the course is very busy with other runners, and when we change surface from grass to path, and especially over any tree roots.

Our fellow parkrunners are always brilliant and give words of encouragement and allow a little extra space. I’ve always found counting down when you are approaching a corner, or change in surface, works well, e.g. “corner coming up...we’ll be turning right in 3-2-1". Over time it becomes easier to guide, and you and the VI runner gain ever more confidence. It’s amazing to see how much we all get as group from doing this. It’s given our VI runners the confidence to run at other events, including the Great South Run, Bristol 10k and Basingstoke half marathon.
Our two regular VI runners have now completed over 300 parkruns between them, mostly at Basingstoke, which is incredible.

Basingstoke parkrun #647 20211023

If you’re interested in becoming a guide (it counts towards volunteering), or know of any visually impaired runners/ joggers/ walkers who might like to come along please do reach out to the team, via basingstoke@parkrun.com, or speak to one of the guides before or after parkrun. We’re always looking for support.And you don't need to be a fast runner - one of our regular VI participants walks the course.

You can shadow one of the guiding running team and in due course consider doing one of the England Athletics courses, which provide additional information, accreditation, and DBS clearance.

A big thank you to Kerry Monaghan too for being today’s VI guide runner.

Basingstoke parkrun #647 20211023

This week 446 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 41 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests. There were 15 first time parkrunners. Representatives of 40 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 44 volunteers:

Darren ROLFE • Mark WHITELAW • Jenny FROUD • Caroline PARTNER • Avi GOVIND • Peter CHIVERTON • Nicola LAWRENCE • Kerry MONAGHAN • Andrew LINEHAN-HILL • Phil HALE • John MANNION • Michele LINEHAN-HILL • Tony MOORE • Richard PICKARD • Brian WORTH • Darren PRATT • Tilbikram SAMBAHANGPHE • Jane HOPE • Ryan PARTNER • Rich EBURNE • Ben HASTINGS • Mark NORRIS • Robin HOPE • Samuel VAUGHAN • Mariusz BENNETT • Shreya SINGH • Denise HOPE • Louise BOWLES • Craig GILBERT • Jonathan MAIN • Laura LINEHAN-HILL • Davina LUTHRA • Ambrose SCOTT-MONCRIEFF • Ruth FROGGATT • Louise MCCARTHY • Ivy EBURNE • Richard MOORE • David DUNFORD • Dave OXLADE • Anthony LANE • Michael PARKER • Peter EVANS • Alex CONBOY • Dave EDWARDS
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Basingstoke parkrun Results Page.

Congratulations to all the volunteers, without which parkrun couldn’t take place. Also great to see the volunteering contingent from Hooks Runners (my running club!) who are busy working on completing their ABC course in November.

50 people achieved a PB and congratulations to the following for reaching various official and unofficial milestones:

Jon Powell for completing 200 parkruns,
Sarah Gambrill for completing 100 parkruns,
Dave Turner for completing 50 parkruns,
Jack Gibson (Junior) for completing 50 parkruns and for having the best balloon on course! Well done.

Today’s first finishers were as follows:

Jessica Brackenbury (first timer at Basingstoke!) 22:14
Rebecca Reid 22:34
Ruth Hayward 23:30

David Fry (first timer!) 17:59
Edward Buckley (new PB!) 18:10
Nick Onslow (new PB!) 18:34

Age Grades:
Andrew Le Roux 78.72%
Nick Onslow 77.56%
John McElroy 76.97%

The female course record is held by Sophie MORRIS who recorded a time of 16:56 on 29th November 2008 (event number 21).
The male course record is held by Dave RAGAN who recorded a time of 15:29 on 29th July 2017 (event number 491).
The Age Grade course record is held by Margaret MOODY who recorded 94.06% (21:53) on 21st March 2015 (event number 364).

Basingstoke parkrun started on 5th July 2008. Since then 16,960 participants have completed 199,703 parkruns covering a total distance of 998,515 km, including 28,601 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,355 individuals have volunteered 15,064 times.


It’s a parkrun, not a marathon…

Basingstoke parkrun #645, 9th October 2021
Run Report by Avi Govind

A number of you reading this report will know that, last Sunday, I was lucky enough to take part in the London marathon.

As I reached the 23 mile point, I heard a couple of people make the iconic shout that I often hear towards the end of a long run or race:

“Just a parkrun to go!”

Immediately, a guy running next to me remarked that a marathon was nothing like a parkrun. I was too tired at this point to disagree with him (and he was also running faster than me!), but, in the vague possibility that he is reading this run report, I’d like to argue that, in many ways, a marathon is very much like a parkrun:

It is inclusive to a range of abilities

While a marathon is obviously more than eight times longer than a parkrun, there is still a massive range of people taking part. The London marathon was won by Sisay Lemma in 2:04, which equates to a 15:30 parkrun, nearly equal to the course record at Basingstoke. And, in a new innovation this year, the London marathon had tail walkers who helped accompany people who took over seven hours.

In fact, there were a number of people who took over eight hours, equivalent to the typical pace of our tail walkers at Basingstoke - and I have walked two marathons in that sort of time before.

It wouldn’t happen without a lot of volunteers

The tail walkers at the marathon perform just one of a multitude of roles - many of which we don’t need at parkrun (for example we don’t give out drinks on the course or space blankets after we finish - although sometimes they would be appreciated - and conversely there’s no barcode scanning or finish tokens in a marathon).

But the course still needs to be set-up, everything has to be checked for safety, there’s a lot of communication with participants and effort at the finish to make sure everything has gone smoothly.

As I thanked the baggage volunteer on Sunday for opening my drop bag (my fingers had temporarily gone a bit numb due to dehydration), she said that she loved volunteering and being appreciated by the runners made her proud to help. Hopefully that’s the same for volunteers at Basingstoke parkrun, and you can help make sure that it is by thanking our volunteers when you see them around War Memorial Park.

Landmarks - and me! Continue reading


Basingstoke parkrun goes on tour

Basingstoke parkrun #644 – 2nd October 2021 – Run report by Peter Chiverton.

Because of Covid, Basingstoke parkrun has missed out on celebrating TWO birthdays – we should have been celebrating our twelfth birthday parkrun on 4th July 2020 and our thirteenth on 3rd July this year. So Basingstoke parkrun is now a teenager. But parkrun as a whole is well into its teenage years. And 2nd October is a special day of the year for parkrun because it was on 2nd October 2004, SEVENTEEN years ago that thirteen runners lined up at Bushy Park, for the first Bushy Park Time Trial, the event that started off parkrun.

parkrun #1 Bushy
The first thirteen parkrunners at Bushy Park Time Trial

It means that today around 200,000 people will be out this Saturday to run, jog, walk or volunteer at their local free timed 5k parkrun, not just in the UK, but in many other countries around the world. To mark the anniversary of the start of parkrun, the first Saturday in October is known as International parkrun Day (IpD).

So how to celebrate the birthday of parkrun? Some may have decided to visit a different parkrun to their own – in 2019 I visited the birthplace of parkrun, Bushy Park, to celebrate its (then) fifteenth birthday. Some may decide to parkrun at their home event, for me being Basingstoke. But Basingstoke parkrun itself celebrated IpD by going on tour! As Sunday 3rd October is the day of the Basingstoke Half Marathon and 10k, our normal home of War Memorial Park was in the process of being turned into race HQ, so Basingstoke parkrun took a trip of about a mile and a half across to its second home of Crabtree Plantation. We are very privileged to have this alternative home to use when War Memorial Park is not available – including today’s parkrun, on fifty one occasions out of our six hundred and forty four events we have come to Crabtree.


The attendance at Crabtree tends to be lower – it seems that some people avoid running parkrun there. Sometimes this is because they are running the Basingstoke Half Marathon or 10k (or this year the London Marathon) the next day and have decided not to overdo things. Sometimes they decide That Hill is just too much to contemplate. Some therefore decide to volunteer instead. If you are one of those hallowed volunteers, whatever the reason for you volunteering today, thank you for giving your time to allow your fellow runners/ joggers/ walkers to complete their parkrun today. Special thanks to Grant Hodgson our “remote marshal” today who was in War Memorial Park to reroute parkrunners who hadn’t realised about today's course change.


Tales of the unexpected

For those of you who are fairly new to parkrun, you may be able to remember specific different things about all the events you have attended. For those (like me) who have attended a few more, it can become harder to differentiate the parkruns you attend each week. But two things happened for me this week that I have never experienced at parkrun before.
The first was while I was car park marshal in the A30 car park and a car pulled in, but the car park was full. A couple got out and we told them there was no room but they said they just needed to stop for a few minutes – upon which they opened the boot of their car, which contained a basket. They opened the basket and it contained a dozen white pigeons which flew around as a group above the trees before heading away. The couple told me the pigeons were doing a training flight back to Reading. I know we say parkrun is “a run not a race” but presumably they were doing “a flight not a race”.

The second thing happened while I was completing my second lap of the park, and was when I discovered that I was running with the High Sheriff of Hampshire, Phillip Sykes. We didn’t have time or the breath for me to find out what a High Sheriff of Hampshire does while panting our way up Crabtree Hill for the second time, but he did tell me he had started parkrunning following encouragement from his children, and has done 38 so far, all of which have been at Basingstoke. I have since found out that the High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year and the role normally focuses on supporting crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector (which of course includes parkrun).


So what happened in today’s parkrun?

(I’ve waited a long time to write those words – my last run report at Basingstoke parkrun was in February 2020 :-)).

The weather conditions were grey and gloomy, eventually just starting to rain, and presumably that together with the upcoming events of Sunday and our move to Crabtree, meant a greatly reduced total of 222 people completed a parkrun at Crabtree today. That is the lowest number of attendees since the first run in March 2018 when there was significant snow due to the Beast from the East. Kudos to the 8 who were completing their first parkrun anywhere today – I think if you come to War Memorial Park next time you should find things easier, perhaps giving you a great chance of a PB. Huge congratulations then to the 24 who managed a Basingstoke parkrun PB today on what in my opinion is our tougher course. Unfortunately the website does not differentiate between which course was run each week, but fear not – events 53, 56, 102, 107, 111, 124, 156, 158, 161, 173, 178, 211, 214, 217, 218, 220, 230, 266, 272, 284, 318, 320, 326, 338, 342, 375, 378, 380, 382, 392, 429, 430, 433, 434, 435, 436, 442, 446, 483, 486, 488, 496, 500, 537, 538, 539, 542, 555, 595 and 608 (as well as today’s) were run at Crabtree so you can work out your Crabtree PB if you wish.
We welcomed 11 first time visitors to Basingstoke parkrun also; we hope you enjoyed your time with us and we hope to see you parkrunning with us again soon.


First finisher for the men was Tom Harding in 17m19s, while first finisher for the women was Sarah Dawson (17th overall on parkrun’s 17th birthday, and with a PB too!). Best age grade of the day went to Cath Wheeler at 88.58%.

Well done to the two T shirt milestone achievers today - Will Coles and Dean Turner both completed their 50th parkruns today and will be able to wear a red 50 shirt soon. Also congratulations to the following who reached unofficial milestones today: Graham Arnott did his 150th parkrun, Dave Hope ran his 300th and Nicholas Mitchell completed his 350th.


A huge thank you to today’s volunteer contingent for making our only Crabtree parkrun of 2021 happen: take a bow James BATE, Jessica BATE, Sally BLANC, Andrew BRACE, Finlay BRACE, Harrison BRACE, Michal BURSAK, Cami CAMERON, Joanna CHIVERTON, Peter CHIVERTON, Nicola DALE, Lynda DAY, Chris ENGLAND, Peter EVANS, Louise GIRLE, Avi GOVIND, Luxmi GOVIND, Lisa HEDDERLY, Tony HEELEY, Geoff HERRON, Stella HERRON, Dave HOPE, Denise HOPE, Alison Rachel JONES, Pemba LAMA, Sara LEE, Ben LONDESBROUGH, Rob LUCAS, Katy MACKLIN, John MANNION, Bruce NEWLANDS, Amanda OXLADE, Richard PICKARD, Nathan PITSCH, Sam PURNELL, Lauren ROSE, Tilbikram SAMBAHANGPHE, Shreya SINGH, Tom STECKIW, Steven STUBBINGS, Chris TOWNLEY, Jacqui TOWNLEY, Douglas VAUGHAN, Samuel VAUGHAN, Vivianne WALTERS, Rebecca WILLIS and Brian WORTH.

To join them in a future week go to http://www.parkrun.org.uk/basingstoke/futureroster/ to see the vacancies, and email your choice to basingstoke@parkrun.com. You can do this either for the next week, or for some weeks ahead so you can choose the role you want to try. There will always be assistance available from the team on the day to help you know what to do, and lots of thanks on the day from your fellow parkrunners.



One volunteer role you might consider having a go at is writing a run report! For some years there has been a rota in place of regular writers but we’re always looking for different viewpoints – I love the variety of styles and content choices of our writers – so do let us know either if you would be interested to find out more about joining the rota or if you fancy having a one off go at writing a report. There is lots of information easily available to help put a report together without too much effort. You can also volunteer in this way while still completing a run/ jog/ walk if you wish. And you can provide enjoyment to people who (like you) make time to read our run reports. So if you enjoy writing and would like to be involved in the team, even to write one report, drop an email to basingstoke@parkrun.com – we are just putting together the rota for the next few months so now would be a great time to let us know if you would like to have a go.

And finally:
Best wishes to everyone doing Basingstoke Half Marathon or 10k, London Marathon or other race tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you in your race T shirts at next week's parkrun.

And finally finally:
Don’t forget for next week's parkrun we are back in War Memorial Park!


Basingstoke’s first octogenarian enters the 500 club and the Post Pandemic PB is launched

Basingstoke parkrun #643, 25th September 2021, Run Report by Penny Metcalf

When I first met Malcolm Brown he sounded so much like the father that I had recently lost, that I resolved to try not to talk to him again. It seemed like a simple solution to avoid some hurt, which is the sort of irrational thinking that grief gives to us. That was 2010 and during these 11 years he has become the fatherly, and grandfatherly, figure that our lives were missing. Despite that, it is by complete accident that I am writing the report on the day that Malcolm becomes the first of our Basingstoke members over 80 to make it to 500 parkruns. It is also somewhat by accident that Malcolm has made it to 500, having declared that he would give it all up after 5!


When Malcolm sadly lost his beloved wife he felt that there was no reason to go on. Somehow parkrun became that reason. A long time friend and colleague of Lynn Brastock, when she found him in the depths of despair, she dragged him along to the newly formed Basingstoke parkrun thinking it might do him some good. He told me once that he enjoyed the outing but thought, “What’s the point in doing it more than once? I can run 5K near my house whenever I want”. He resolved to give it another 4 chances, and it is just as well that he did.

Some time later he thought he might give it up at 200. And since then there have been many Saturday mornings that he has grumbled, “I’m too old for this / If I were a horse they would put me down” etc. There is a chance that he might give it up at 500 but many of us hope to see his lovable face in the team of volunteers even if not on the startline. When I see Malcolm, and Wally Thorpe and our other older members running, I always say to myself, and anyone around me, “I want to be like them when I grow up”. And I truly do. Our older runners are an inspiration to us all, showing us how keeping active as we age enables us to be more active as we age.

So what was it about parkrun that made Malcolm stick with it? Sometimes it was the running and the results and wanting to beat a time. For 3 years it was his role in assisting Lynn as Event Director and keeping the whole show on the road. Once he told me that it was the people who he met along the way and the connections that he made. He has told me, and many others, how grateful he is to have found parkrun, and its people, at a time when he felt he had nothing else to live for. He has often expressed his gratitude to his parkrun friends for the role that they have played in his life. And we in turn attempt to express to him our gratitude for the role that he has played in ours.

And one attempt to do this is the following poem from Andy Wyeth:

A genial gent called Malcolm Brown
On his first parkrun he wore a frown
Several years have now passed
500 runs done at last
In history Malcolm will go down
Another park legend to wear the crown.

Poetry aside, Malcolm’s story is very moving. He is very open about how parkrun has saved his life. He is a self declared Grumpy Old Man who continually shows his appreciation for the community of parkrun. parkrun is not a race. It is a timed run / jog/ walk. We all have ups and downs and good running times and hard running times, and indeed good patches in life and times when things are hard. It is the people who we find around us who make life meaningful and being part of parkrun, whether running or volunteering, can offer everyone a special Saturday morning community.

Post Pandemic PB!

In other news today Tony Nicholls made it to 200 parkruns which is very impressive seeing as he only started coming along in 2015. Due to a visual impairment Tony runs with a guide. Today his guide was Michael Hickey.


Michael says that Tony is great company and they have fun chatting away together. Michael is touched by the amount of trust that Tony has in him and his ability to guide. Tony, a member of Hatch Warren running club, does some parkrun tourism and travels around to 10ks and even longer races, even having completed Basingstoke Half Marathon twice. Today Tony and Michael told me that they managed a "post pandemic PB"! Well done to them. This is something that I think all of us can relate to and is maybe a term that needs to be officially adopted?! Forty two people achieved a conventional PB today but hopefully many others achieved a Post Pandemic PB.


425 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 34 were first timers and 42 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 33 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 40 volunteers:
Mark WHITELAW • Michael HICKEY • Avi GOVIND • Penny METCALF • Grant HODGSON • Peter CHIVERTON • John MCELROY • Matt PILLINGER • John MANNION • Cerys BYRNE • Douglas VAUGHAN • Brian WORTH • Ken THAKE • Jane HOPE • Nathann THORNTON • Ryan PARTNER • Rich EBURNE • Katherine PHILLIPS • Robin HOPE • Samuel VAUGHAN • Mariusz BENNETT • Praveen SINGH • Shreya SINGH • Lisa HEDDERLY • Denise HOPE • Tony NICHOLLS • Geoff HERRON • Gary JONES • James HANCOCK • Ivy EBURNE • Ethan JONES • Holly JONES • Bob MONK • Samuel LOMAX • Michael PARKER • Nicola LEDINGTON • Jay GOVIND • Peter EVANS • Scott MALCOLMSON • Sebastian PHILLIPS

Basingstoke Parkrun 641 (334)

14 people completed their very first parkrun and 20 people completed their first parkrun at Basingstoke. Welcome to you all and hope to see you back with us very soon.

The following milestones were achieved:

parkruns completed: firstly T shirt earning:
10 (as a junior) - Boyd Jno-Lewis
50 - Jane Vickers, Laura Coxden
100 - Chris Mouton
500 - Malcolm Edwin Brown

Unofficial (no T shirts earned):
150 - Jodie Gibson
200 - Tony Nicholls, Frederik Eason
300 - Rob Eustace

Volunteer at 25 events: Amy Jones and Penny Metcalf.

Big congratulations to all!

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

See you all again next week at our CRABTREE course, NOT War Memorial Park. If you are running the Basingstoke Half Marathon or London Marathon on the Sunday, please consider volunteering at parkrun on the Saturday. Thank you.


A day to remember. Was it a day to remember for you?

Basingstoke parkrun #642, 18th September 2021, Run Report by Lynn Brastock

Maybe you will remember the misty start to the morning and then the sun breaking through reminding us that autumn has begun. Maybe it was your birthday? It was for Chris Furness whose birthday present was the men’s highest age grading (78.04%)! Well done, Chris! Maybe you got a shiny new PB? If so, that makes you one of 58 who did! Congratulations to you all.

Maybe you were one of the 26 people who ran Basingstoke parkrun for the first time or indeed one of the 19 first timers who ran their first ever parkrun. Well done to all of you for getting out there and making memories.

Congratulations to Jane Bradbury with today’s highest age grading for women 70.30%. First over the line for men was Tom Harding his 65th first finish in 17:16. Melissa Pinder was first lady, both she and her dog, Enzo, got parkrun PBs with a time of 22:41. No doubt Enzo will get some (memorable) treats with his supper tonight!

I will now tell you why memories have induced me to write this particular piece. Whilst I was running I was listening to two young dads talking about their little ones, one of these dads was Matilda’s Dad. Matilda is too young to run, too young even to be pushed around the course in a buggy. Matilda’s Dad was telling his friend that every time he walks into the room Matilda gives him a broad smile and how much this means to him. These simple things are the start of memories which we all hold so precious in our lives, and with the sadness and fear that we have all experienced throughout the past 18 plus months, I thought it would be a good time to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be able to make memories; parkrun is so much about meeting up with friends and family, embracing the outdoors, being grateful that we are healthy enough to be able to take part as runners or as volunteers (without one there wouldn’t be the other) and to be able to make memories that will last for a lifetime and for some to be passed on forever.

Thomas Malin (50 Club) and Yasmin Love (10 Club) will remember today as they achieved significant milestone runs, as did Tony Kingham (300) and Graham Cook (200), albeit theirs were unofficial. Congratulations to you all - and Thomas and Yasmin, remember to wear your new T-shirts with pride.

Jane Hope will remember today as the day that she beat me fair and square!

And a very big “Thank you!” to all our volunteers today. As always, you did a sterling job making sure that our parkrun was conducted swiftly and safely.

When parkrun first started we were asked to volunteer just three times a year. If we each volunteered those three times, we would never again get a 59:59 “not enough volunteers” type finish!

It has been a long time since I have written a run report but some of you will remember that I like to include a table showing the Basingstoke registered runners with most runs under their belts. Accordingly, please see the latest leaderboard below:

Basingstoke parkrun Home Runners - Most Runs Leaderboard.

(Top 25 as at 18th September 2021)
Here is the latest update on the Basingstoke parkrun leaderboard. These 25 parkrunners have a combined total of 11,432 runs completed at many different events across the UK and abroad.


See you all next week at War Memorial park for another memorable parkrun.

And finally, don’t forget that on Saturday 2nd October we will be running at Crabtree Plantation and not War Memorial Park. Look out for the forthcoming instructions on the news page and on social media.

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