(Not) parkrun week one – and my not (not) parkrun at War Memorial Park.

Basingstoke (not) parkrun #1, 20th June 2020. (Not) parkrun Run Report by Peter Chiverton

It's been FOURTEEN weeks since we were last able to run, jog or walk together at Basingstoke parkrun (14th March) and since then we have all had to endure the difficulties of lockdown, the uncertainties of different work situations, trying to help our children learn while unable to attend school, keeping vulnerable family members safe perversely by not going near them, and many other things. We're not at the end of things yet although gradually we are emerging from lockdown. Hopefully you have been out running, jogging or walking at other places and times while parkrun is not happening.

Well, parkrun is planning for its return. Not just yet in the UK obviously, but you may have seen that parkrun will restart in New Zealand on 4th July (https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2020/06/16/covid-19-coronavirus-update-16-june/). Hopefully it won't be too long before this extends to other parts of the parkrun world, once it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, have you done a (not) parkrun? I don't just mean a run anywhere that isn't a parkrun, but parkrun this week have allowed us to record our own 5k run, jog or walk anywhere (even on a treadmill if you like?) and at any time during the week (just please don't meet at Basingstoke parkrun's course at 9am to run - we've been asked not to). You can record this against your parkrun profile (you don't need to re-register); to do so click the "manage my profile" link in any email you have received from parkrun (eg for completing a parkrun or for volunteering), and then select the (not) parkrun option. The fastest result you enter for a week will then be displayed on your home run's weekly page - for Basingstoke that's at https://www.parkrun.org.uk/basingstoke/results/notparkrun/. Unfortunately your (not) parkruns don't count toward your milestone T shirt run count for parkrun, but having just had a look it's great to see some familiar names recording times for this week.

I noticed on the Basingstoke parkrun page this week that Event Director Avi Govind posted this picture of War Memorial Park.

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The patterns in the grass show that the park bandstand (here in the background) used to instead be in the middle of the park. I suggest you look at the Basingstoke parkrun Facebook page for the interesting ensuing discussion about the history of the park. It reminded me that whereas a lot of us visited War Memorial Park regularly until mid March for parkrunning or volunteering, and those living close may have continued to do so, many of us (like me) will have visited rarely or even not at all. It therefore encouraged me to go to the park on Saturday for a walk - not for a (not) parkrun as I wasn't planning to do 5k - just to relax after a busy week.

I arrived with Maggie just after 1130am, parking without difficulty at Crossborough Hill car park (finding it considerably easier than normally is the case for parkrun!) and we were pleased the park didn't seem too busy, making it easy to keep distanced from the other groups making use of it. Certainly the area we gather normally before the start was nowhere near as populated with people.

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We were upset that the grass area had quite a lot of litter - thankfully something we don't normally see as a result of our parkruns - and were pleased we had a sparecarrier bag to try to clear up a bit as we walked. There are lots of bins in the park so it's beyond me why people can't use them.

Near to where we normally start to parkrun, we spent some time walking around the Community Orchard (which I knew about but had forgotten was there - details at http://basingstoketransition.org/community-orchard-war-memorial-park/) - this is an area of fruit trees that were planted by volunteers and the nearby notice says people are welcome to pick a few fruit once they are ripe.

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It's a bit early yet for picking but fruit is already growing.

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Maybe parkrunners can munch an apple waiting for the start later in the year?

We enjoyed our stroll under the trees and up Tennis Court Hill (so much easier when you aren't trying to complete it in a hurry) in the shaded sunshine, saying hello to a few people walking the opposite way and keeping our distance from each other. Part of the park has been allowed to grow wild flowers at this point, and poppies and Marguerite daisies are doing particularly well here.

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At the top of the hill the widening path under the trees

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passes the children's playground, sadly still closed,

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and we walked on past the aforementioned bandstand, the very noisy aviary (does everyone else think the birds everywhere seem much louder than in previous years? I'm sure it's not just the lack of traffic during lockdown!)

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and we stopped at the Peace Garden (which as a parkrunner I must confess hardly noticing as I'm normally focussing on getting round the park) to look at the statue of Sir Harold Gillies there, who I discovered was a pioneer of plastic surgery during WWII at Park Prewett Hospital, Rooksdown.

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There are also a number of plaques on the ground with messages and images around the theme of peace. I liked this one which seemed to speak to me during these turbulent times.

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Not missing another area of wild flowers near the Council Offices which we enjoyed too.

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We wandered through the wooded area back to the car park. Far enough for us today, and we'd enjoyed our walk in our lovely park - the sights on offer there change so much through the seasons and it was great to see it in its summer guise. Indeed, at this time of year the park is normally preparing for summer events - dog shows, food festivals and of course the Basingstoke Festival, meaning we normally have to travel across to Crabtree Plantation for a parkrun or two. I visit that more often in my runs from home - I'm sure we've all missed our trips up this infamous hill.

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Here's hoping it won't be too long until we can meet again as a parkrun community, but I'd encourage you to find time to visit our fantastic park in the meantime, perhaps for a distanced walk with friends.

And hope to see your names at least on the Basingstoke (not) parkrun table in the weeks to come?

 

International Women’s Day special parkrun – Saturday 7 March 2020

parkrun is celebrating International Women’s Day and Basingstoke parkrun is joining in by organising a special parkrun the day before, on Saturday 7 March 2020.

We will release more details nearer the time but, for now:

  • Put the date in your diary!
  • We are aiming for a record participation of girls and women both as runners and volunteers on the day.  You can already share your interest in helping on the day by e-mailing us at basingstoke@parkrun.com with the role you would like to do (please include your parkrunID / barcode number - in the form of A12345678). A list of roles can be found here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/basingstoke/futureroster/ (nearly all roles require no prior experience)
  • Keep a look out on this page for more details, as well as our Twitter (https://twitter.com/bstokeparkrun) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/basingstokeparkrun). And, if you're not already signed-up, why not opt-in to our Basingstoke parkrun volunteer email list where you can hear about other opportunities?

In England, #IWDparkrun will also be supported by "This Girl Can", a campaign created by parkrun partner Sport England.

Thank you in advance - your Basingstoke parkrun core team

 

Important – Basingstoke parkrun 18th January 2020

We have been to the park this evening 17th January and inspected the course. There are some areas of standing water and mud, but as it stands we are NOT cancelling the event.

We will conduct a further risk assessment in the morning, allowing for potential ice due to tonight’s weather - note that we may need to cancel at short notice.

If this is the case, we will give as much warning as possible.

Should we, as is likely, go ahead, please note that there will be muddy / wet areas.

We urge you to use suitable footwear, watch out for slippery areas and, above all, TAKE IT SLOWLY rather than trying to get a PB.

You may also want to bring a spare pair of shoes for the journey home...

Thank you for your understanding.

Basingstoke parkrun core team

 

Parking for Basingstoke parkrun

At Basingstoke parkrun we have got very limited parking at the War Memorial Park.  And as you may have heard during last week's parkrun run briefing, we will be visited by a warden this week Saturday who will issue tickets to anyone parking in the numbered bays in the War Memorial Park car park, which are for permit holders only.

As we move into 2020, it is likely that parkrun numbers will rise and numbers of cars trying to park in the park will also increase, meaning parkrunners arriving by car are likely to need to arrive very early to get a space there.  If you must come by car then please share lifts to reduce the number of cars needing to park.

Some parkrunners have ignored the signs that are clearly displayed, and have been parking in the private car park on Crossborough Hill on the opposite side of the road to Costello School, by their sports hall. The car park belongs to the school and they hire out this sports hall and car park at weekends. The users of the sports hall have not been able to use their own car park because of parkrunners parking there. Please do not park in this car park.

If you do park on Crossborough Hill then please do it safely, considerately and in line with the Highway Code. Note that some areas of Crossborough Hill have yellow lines, particularly around Costello School. This road can become very busy at times and access must always be maintained for emergency vehicles.

We are very fortunate in that we have got a large amount of parking in easy reach of our park. The town centre car parks are just a short walk away. Below are some details about the parking options and more information can be found at https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/content/doclib/2118.pdf

The future of our parkrun depends on good relationships with our neighbours so please do follow this guidance - and above all remember that the driver is in all cases responsible for parking legally and safely, and if parking rules are persistently flouted then the Council may reconsider the permission given to parkrun to use this car park.
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Special arrangements for extra parkruns over the Christmas and New Year period

Christmas Day parkrun.

We will be hosting a Christmas Day parkrun at Basingstoke War Memorial Park starting at 9am as usual, on Wednesday 25th December.

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Please feel free to come in fancy dress and join in the fun.

New Year's Day parkrun.

We will be hosting a parkrun at Basingstoke War Memorial Park at the usual 9am start time on New Year's Day (Wednesday 1st January).

What about Saturday 28th December?

parkrun will happen at the usual 9am start time on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year at Basingstoke War Memorial Park.

Note that volunteers will be needed for all of these parkruns so if you can help out at any of them please contact the Basingstoke parkrun office.

What if I am not in Basingstoke this Christmas?

There is a special page of Christmas and New Year parkrun arrangements at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/special-events/. Some parkruns are happening on Christmas Day and New Year's Day and some are not, and in some cases times will be changed. The Special Events page will tell you which parkruns are happening and if they have changed their start time on either date. So if you are away from Basingstoke for Christmas or New Year, there may still be a parkrun you can experience.

Please note that any of these parkruns may cancel at short notice due to poor or dangerous weather conditions, so you are advised to check with individual parkruns that you plan to visit closer to the time, and think carefully before travelling long distances in winter for parkrun.

Note also on New Year's Day only, that because of varied start times of individual parkruns, it may be possible to run (a maximum of) two parkruns at different locations - if so, both will count in the table of completed runs. This is not the case on Christmas Day, even if logistically possible - only one run will be recorded.

 

Basingstoke parkrun at Crabtree this Saturday 5th October

Because of the Basingstoke Half Marathon site build at War Memorial Park this weekend, Basingstoke parkrun will be held at its alternative venue at Crabtree Plantation this Saturday 5th October, usual time 9am.

Please pass this message on to your fellow parkrunners to avoid panic jogs from War Memorial Park to Crabtree as the start time approaches (it happens every time!).

Please if at all possible walk or cycle to the event, and arrive allowing plenty of time to reach the start.

Crabtree car parking arrangements.

The parking arrangements below have been devised to help us to be allowed continued use of Crabtree Plantation for parkrun and remain good neighbours with those who live nearby. You are urged to follow them, otherwise we may lose permission to use the course, and be forced to cancel some summer parkruns.

Please see the map below for advice of where to park. Your choices are:

i. Free parking available at:

  • A30 Crabtree car park (but DO NOT park on the A30 outside of the car park)
  • Lime Pits (closest car park to the start and there is a crossing island on the A30)
  • Rucstall Community Centre (access from Holbein Close)
  • The usual War Memorial Park car park at Crossborough Hill.

ii. Plenty of pay and display car parks in Basingstoke Town Centre, which are a warm-up run away from the Crabtree start.

We strongly encourage you NOT to park at Black Dam Ponds car park (not shown on the map) as this gets very busy and there is then no space for regulars. Please do NOT park on Black Dam Way, as this can cause issues for public transport using the road. It may mean we can't use Crabtree for parkrun at all in future if these requests are not followed.

In summary - please park responsibly and safely.

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Previous times at Crabtree.

Previous Crabtree visits (so you can check your "Crabtree" PB if you have one) were for these event numbers: 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(s), 538(s), 539(s), 542(s), 555 and 595(s). The (s) suffix means the parkrun was run on the special course avoiding skylark nesting areas. This week's parkrun will not use the skylark course.

This will be the last Basingstoke parkrun at Crabtree in 2019.

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Reminder: Basingstoke parkrun relocates to Crabtree 5th October

Due to the Basingstoke Half Marathon site build taking place at our usual War Memorial Park on Saturday 5th October, Basingstoke parkrun will be relocating for the day to Crabtree Plantation.

A map showing the location and places you can park will be published here in the week leading up to 5th October.

Please pass the message on, and avoid parkrunner disappointment or need for panic jog from War Memorial Park to Crabtree on Saturday 5th October.

This will be the last parkrun at Crabtree in 2019.

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Advance Notice: Basingstoke parkrun at Crabtree 5th October

Due to the Basingstoke Half Marathon site build taking place at our usual War Memorial Park on Saturday 5th October, Basingstoke parkrun will be relocating for the day to Crabtree Plantation.

A map showing the location and places you can park will be published here in the week leading up to 5th October.

Please pass the message on, and avoid parkrunner disappointment or need for panic jog from War Memorial Park to Crabtree on Saturday 5th October.

This will be the last parkrun at Crabtree in 2019.

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11th birthday parkrun at Crabtree Plantation this Saturday 6th July – PARKING INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDED

Because of the B Love Festival at War Memorial Park this weekend, Basingstoke parkrun will be held at its alternative venue at Crabtree Plantation this Saturday 6th July. It is also Basingstoke parkrun's ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY and we would encourage everyone to get there early - the first timer briefing will take place at 8:45am and the main briefing will start at 8:50am to allow for birthday presentations and the result of the Hall of Fame vote. We will return to War Memorial Park next week 13th July. As it's our birthday we'd love people to bring cake to share if you would like to.

Please pass this message on to your fellow parkrunners to avoid panic jogs from War Memorial Park to Crabtree as the start time approaches and later (it happens every time!).

Please if at all possible walk or cycle to the event, and given the earlier start to proceedings arrive allowing plenty of time to reach the briefing place.

Crabtree car parking arrangements.

The parking arrangements below have been devised to help us to be allowed continued use of Crabtree Plantation for parkrun and remain good neighbours with those who live nearby. You are urged to follow them, otherwise we may lose permission to use the course, and be forced to cancel some summer parkruns.

Please see the map below for advice of where to park. Your choices are:

i. Free parking available at:

  • A30 Crabtree car park (but DO NOT park on the A30 outside of the car park)
  • Lime Pits (closest car park to the start and there is a crossing island on the A30)
  • Rucstall Community Centre (access from Holbein Close)
  • The usual War Memorial Park car park at Crossborough Hill.

ii. Plenty of pay and display car parks in Basingstoke Town Centre, which are a warm-up run away from the Crabtree start.

We strongly encourage you NOT to park at Black Dam Ponds car park (not shown on the map) as this gets very busy and there is then no space for regulars. Please do NOT park on Black Dam Way, as this can cause issues for public transport using the road. It may mean we can't use Crabtree for parkrun at all in future if these requests are not followed.

In summary - please park responsibly and safely.

Crabtreemap20092017

Skylarks nesting at Crabtree.

There are signs on parts of Crabtree Plantation warning visitors to keep clear as there is a nesting area for skylarks (they nest on the ground). We have changed the course this year at the request of the Council to avoid the nesting site. Please take heed of these signs and keep animals and children that you are responsible for away from this area. Please ensure you follow the directions of the marshals on the course.

Previous parkruns at Crabtree.

Previous Crabtree visits (so you can check your "Crabtree" PB if you have one) were for these event numbers: 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(s), 538(s), 539(s), 542(s) and 555. (s) means the event was run on the "Skylark" course, as it will be at today's event.

Basingstoke parkrun will also be at Crabtree on the following additional date in 2019:

Date Reason
5th October Basingstoke Half Marathon site build

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Milestone T shirt photo this Saturday.

If you have any parkrun milestone T-shirt (whether for running or volunteering) we'd like to take a photo of people wearing them for our birthday, so please wear them when you come along. This is not just for new milestone achievers but for anyone who has a milestone shirt, as part of our celebrations.

 

Reminder: 6th July – Basingstoke parkrun relocates to Crabtree

Due to the B Love Festival taking place at our usual War Memorial Park on Saturday 6th July, Basingstoke parkrun will be relocating for the day to Crabtree Plantation.

A map showing the location and places you can park will be published here in the week leading up to 6th July.

Please pass the message on, and avoid parkrunner disappointment or need for panic jog from War Memorial Park to Crabtree on Saturday 6th July.

Future Diary Dates

Basingstoke parkrun will also be at Crabtree on one more additional date in 2019:

Date Reason
5th October Basingstoke Half Marathon site build

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