Watch Out For “Normal” People

Basingstoke parkrun #617, 7th December 2019, Run Report by Frankie Wellings

Strange title I know but during today’s briefing, Run Director Lisa Hedderly told us that we need to be cautious of other park users as there are “normal” people in the park as well as us. We were all a bit bemused to hear there are “normal” people! It got a good laugh though which is great as it shows people were listening to the brief. But seriously, please be very aware of other park users.

Maybe the first Saturday in December is when people start their Christmas shopping as numbers were down to 445 today. We were joined by 16 first timers including tourists from Southampton and Australia. That’s the second week running we’ve had someone from Australia. Shiny new PBs went to 44 people which is very impressive given the gooey mud and slippery corners.

Basingstoke parkrun - 617 - 2019-12-07 (579 of 579)

There were 4 official milestone runs today – Hannah Erskine and Louise Poulter will soon be wearing their red t-shirts for completing their 50th runs, Jacqui Townley will be wearing black for completing her 100th run and Ken Thake will be wearing his green t-shirt for doing his 250th run. Unofficial milestones went to Ryan Partner, Netta Howard and Frankie Wellings for doing their 200th runs and Tracy Wyeth completed her 350th run. Congratulations to you all. Basingstoke parkrun - 617 - 2019-12-07 (163 of 579)
Here is Ryan celebrating his 200th parkrun

Some people might think 13 is an unlucky number. Not so for Tom Harding who was first male home for the 13th time on the trot in 17:29. All but one of Tom’s last 13 wins have been sub 18 minutes. Second male home was Kieran Ruffle in 18:16 and Hari Bakhem was third home in 18:25.

For the ladies, Isobel Mannion (JW15-17) came home first in 20:55, closely followed by Alison James in 21:08 and Louise Apsey in 21:13. Alison was the highest age grade with 80.28%. Tony Watkins was the highest males age grade with 80.52%. To put some perspective on age grading, I ran my fastest parkrun for 2 years and achieved age grade of 56.98%. My PB is age grade 60.45% and I can’t imagine ever going faster than that so huge congratulations to today’s top age graders.

Basingstoke parkrun is putting on additional runs on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and we simply cannot do this without volunteers coming forward. Please, please make the core team’s Christmas more merry by volunteering early for these two additional days. Simply email and let them know which role you’d like to do, we really appreciate your help.

Finally, you may have noticed our Event Director, Avi Govind, was not at parkrun today. That's because he has been in Barbados doing the "marathon week end". Massive congrats to Avi for completing the mile, the 10k and the marathon in very speedy times. It is about 30 degrees every day which makes Avi's achievements even more amazing.

Just 7 more sleeps to go until we'll be back in War Memorial Park doing it all again. See you there!!


Age? It’s no barrier!

Basingstoke parkrun #616, 30th November 2019, Run Report by Sarah Govind

As I made my way to parkrun on Saturday morning, I wondered how many people would be joining me on such a cold and frosty morning. It seemed quite an achievement to be out of bed. Leaves covered the pathways and although it was dry, the park was shrouded in mist.

Once in the middle of the park, from my viewpoint outside Totally Tennis, it appeared that only the team of committed volunteers, plus a few hardy souls, had made it to the football pitches. But by 9am, seemingly out of nowhere, 483 parkrunners had arrived to take part in the last parkrun of November. Numbers had dropped somewhat over the month, but considering the weather conditions, this was a good turnout and a significantly larger one than this time last year. I wondered what had inspired them all to get out of house on such a chilly morning.

As it was the last Saturday of the month, Basingstoke 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer were back again. As well as volunteering as run report writer, I was at parkrun as an ambassador for the group, wearing my distinctive blue top. There were an impressive 20 of us participating plus two canine friends. We made our way down to the field and joined our fellow parkrunners. Standing next to me at the run briefing was Izzie Pound, another group member, who was raring to go, and had this to say about the initiative, which could definitely apply o parkrun itself:

“It’s there for anyone who wants to join in and it doesn’t matter how fit you are. Whether you walk or run, it doesn’t matter. Everybody is so supportive and it’s really inclusive”.

5k Your Way received a warm welcome for their third ever outing from run director Grant Hodgson as did the 8 first timers and 11 parkrun tourists who were ready to discover our Basingstoke course. The run briefing also celebrated the parkrunners achieving milestones. James Hancock and Sharon Evans were about to start their 50th runs and Jane Hope was there for her 250th. Unofficial milestones were on the cards for Chris Clifton, Neil Hollingshead and Kamal Gurung, all about to set off on their 150th runs and also for Colin Jenkins, ready to complete his 200th. An amazing achievement for all of them, I’m sure you’ll agree.

In my role as ambassador for 5k Your Way, I was walking with one of our new recruits, Angela Bennett, 76, who is the founder of the Basingstoke Breast Cancer Self Help Group and was taking part for the first time. As we walked the two laps round War Memorial Park, we chatted about parkrun and how it can be so beneficial to those who have received a cancer diagnosis. She had this to say to anyone in that position.

“I would really stress that people who are recovering from cancer, no matter how long ago it was, should put on their tracksuit bottoms and their trainers and come out. It’s such fun! You will make new friends and it will open up your life”.

Angela is not one to let the cold weather hold her back and would advise people with doubts about exercising at this time of year to turn the central heating off and get out!

“It’s going to do you more good getting out, filling your lungs with fresh air and exercising your body. Really, you will go back home and feel better. Its been thoroughly enjoyable and the day has been frosty, but it’s been lovely and dry.”

By the time Angela and I had completed our two circuits, the majority of the 483 runners and walkers had finished. Tom Harding had finished first place for the men in a time of 17:34. Alison James led the women in 33rd place overall with a time of 21:31. She also had the highest female age grading, with 78.85%. The runner with the highest male age grading was Tim Ellis with 82.08% and a time of 19:23. By the time the last walker had passed through the finish funnel, 44 personal bests had been achieved.

Angela and I completed our two laps in a time of 1:03:41, a few minutes ahead of the tailwalker and several minutes behind Luxmi Govind, also known as Lucy, who finished in a time of 56:30. Lucy, like Angela, is 76 years old. She will be familiar to many of you as she has been taking part in our event for over 4 years now and earlier in the year, completed an impressive 100 parkruns. She told me what inspires her to turn up on War Memorial Park week after week, despite the weather conditions and the way she is feeling.

“Well, every Saturday, I normally go to the park to walk or to run. When I get up in the morning, I am motivated by looking out of the window and seeing the weather. And if it’s raining or frosty, I decide against going, but once I’m dressed, I make up my mind and just go, and once I get to the park, I see so many people there and that inspires me to carry on, whether I’m tired, achy or lazy. Because I’ve been doing it for so many months, my mind is conditioned on a Saturday. It becomes part of my routine for the whole year, I think”.

Speaking to these ladies made me wonder how many of our parkrunners today were in the 75-79 age bracket. Looking at the results, the answer is 14, with Angela who came without a barcode as an unofficial number 15. Dave Hope led the men in a time of 24:18 and Elizabeth Hopkins was first for the ladies with 37:44. Well done to all of them, whether they were walking, running or a combination of the two.

As the remaining volunteers, 5k Your Way group members were gathering as a community in Totally Tennis, enjoying a hot drink and some delicious healthy cake and taking the chance to get to know each other and share stories. Carla Woolnough, 75, was amongst them and had her own inspirational story to tell. Carla has lung cancer and had come to parkrun after a tough week which included a session of chemotherapy. She feels that neither age nor cancer are barriers to her and have not stopped her from doing anything, including coming along to parkrun.

“I’m a regular walker, but I like to jog. I just believe that we should keep fit really, especially through cancer. It’s so important!”

She feels exhilarated when she takes part in parkrun and so much better for it physically. It’s a brilliant experience for her to be surrounded by supportive and encouraging people.

"I think 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer is lovely. I wonder it hasn’t been thought of much before because you sort of tag onto the end of a 5k run and it’s just the camaraderie. It helps, doesn’t it!"

Well done to her for joining us this week - an amazing achievement! The Basingstoke 5K Your Way community will return to parkrun on 28 December for our next event. We welcome anyone affected by cancer whether they are awaiting diagnosis, undergoing treatment or in remission. Relatives and medical professionals are also a vital part of the group and are invited to come along. If you are interested in participating, please contact the group via ourr Facebook page.

And it goes without saying that Basingstoke parkrun will be back in War Memorial Park on Saturday 7 December come rain or shine. Hope to see you there! My last few words go to our wonderful volunteers who came out in the frost and cold to help our event run smoothly and safely. Thank you so much to them!


You can go your own way…

Basingstoke parkrun #607, 28th September 2019, Run Report by Sarah Govind

Saturday 28 September saw the first autumn parkrun of 2019. The leaves on the trees lining the course in War Memorial Park were gradually turning from green to yellow and orange. We were lucky to enjoy a pause in the wet weather and could enjoy two rain free circuits of the park, despite it being a little muddy underfoot.

IMG_6361 (3)

A crowd of 588, no doubt encouraged by these weather conditions, had gathered to hear Run Director Frankie Wellings’ briefing. Of that number, 25 first timers were there to take part, 18 of them new to our course. From where I was standing, Basingstoke parkrun appeared to be a sea of colour, with the distinctive red shirts of Chineham Park Running Club noticeable in the crowd. Many of their runners were in the park today for their volunteer takeover, scanning, marshalling and handing out tokens to help our event run smoothly.

IMG_6296 (2)

Also gathered on the football fields were representatives from 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer, here for our first ever event in Basingstoke and noticeable in their bright blue t shirts. Run Director Frankie explained the purpose behind this initiative, which is taking place on the last Saturday of each month at parkruns up and down the country. It aims to encourage those affected by cancer, including family members and medical professionals, to come together to enjoy the benefits of taking physical exercise in a supportive atmosphere.

The three ambassadors for the newly created Basingstoke group, Alex Conboy, Sue Bowen and me, were present to support and guide participants. The group of 9 joining us was comprised of cancer survivors and family members of those affected by cancer. The team split up to make their way round the course at different speeds, accompanying participants at a pace comfortable to them, whether that was running, jogging, walking or a mixture of all three!


By the time the tailwalkers had reached the finish funnel, 65 participants had achieved personal bests, including Ben Leiper, who was our only milestone runner of the morning, achieving his 50th run. Well done to them and to him!


The female first finisher was Alison James who crossed the finish line in 21:06. She was followed by Overton Harrier Cath Wheeler who achieved a time of 21:52. In third was Netley Abbey runner Holly Matthews finishing in a new PB of 22:05.

IMG_6323 (2)

Moving onto the top three male finishers, there was another first place finish overall for Tom Harding, with a time of 17:10. Not far behind him were Basingstoke and North Hants juniors Joshua Kemp and Alexander Lakeland in second and third place with times of 17:25 and 17:30 respectively, Alexander’s time being a new PB.

IMG_6327 (2)

As the close down of the event was taking place, there was still plenty of activity in War Memorial Park. While some of the runners and walkers were making their way home, others were heading for Cafe Giardino to revive themselves after their exercise. The 5k Your Way Move Against Cancer ambassadors were celebrating the successful launch of their event with a hot drink and slice of delicious cake in Totally Tennis. It was also a chance for our group members to chat, share their experiences of parkrun and provide each other with support.

I spoke to Andrea and Alastair, both cancer survivors, about their impressions of parkrun and what they thought of the 5k your way initiative. They had a lot to say about the benefits of coming together to exercise in a supportive group like this.

Andrea was fresh from completing her first ever 5k run and had felt a huge sense of achievement as she made her way into the finish funnel in a brilliant first time of 39:15. For her, crossing that finish line was almost like an emotional release. She greatly appreciated the support and encouragement she had been given on the course and was spurred on by the spirit of those around her to complete the course. She echoed a sentiment that many first time parkrunners have expressed; it’s easy to believe that an event like this is just for confident runners, whereas actually it’s perfectly possible to come along and walk!

“Everyone is friendly here and it’s not about being able to run. It’s the fact you can walk it”.


She touched upon one of the main purposes behind 5K Your Way when she said:

“I just think it’s a great initiative because it’s all about getting people moving.”

Andrea’s husband Alistair, a scientist who studies ageing, was in agreement and confirmed how important lifestyle and exercise are.

“Lifestyle makes a big difference and so exercise is one of the most powerful medicines out there. We’ve known this in the scientific world for a long time and it’s actually now that people are saying this is quite important. And it’s one of the reasons that I keep as fit as I can. The evidence is very strong. Getting fit and healthy is one of the best things you can do.”


He stated that exercising in a group like this can have great health benefits for those who have been through a cancer experience.

“It’s the spirit of everyone doing it which is the main thing. It pushes the general population who have had these conditions because if you exercise, actually there’s a lot more benefit to be had. Actually everyone should be doing it, not just because you had it but to stop you from getting it. The science is very very clear.”

If anyone is interested in joining the Basingstoke 5k Your Way Move Against Cancer group or learning more about the initiative, visit the Facebook page and get in touch with an ambassador or take a look at the website. The group meets on the last Saturday of every month and the next event will be on 26 October at parkrun. All ages and abilities are welcome!

And for those of you planning to come along to our next parkrun on 5 October, don’t forget that we will be Crabtree, due to preparations for the Basingstoke Half Marathon taking place in War Memorial Park.

Hope to see you there!


Autumn sunshine

Basingstoke parkrun #605, 14th September 2019, Run Report by Cerys Byrne

Saturday was a beautiful morning for running, and I clearly wasn't the only person who thought so, as 619 people joined me to run, jog or walk around Memorial Park.  This was our 8th largest turn-out ever!

Basingstoke parkrun 605 2019-09-14-42

Run Director, Naomi Holborough, kept us all under control and, with her team of 42 volunteers, ensured that the run went smoothly.  Basingstoke parkrun relies on volunteers to ensure that the run goes ahead every week and that all the participants have a safe run.  If you've never volunteered give it a go, take a look at the volunteer roster at and email to add your name to the list.

Basingstoke parkrun 605 2019-09-14-19   

Out of the 620 runners this week, 27 were running their first ever parkrun and 20 more were running their first Basingstoke parkrun.  Hopefully they all enjoyed it and will be returning soon.   At the other end of the spectrum, Walter Thorpe ran the unofficial milestone of 450 parkruns, Matthew Watson also gained an unofficial milestone of 150 and the official milestones this week were 100 runs for Pemba Lama, 50 runs for Claire Gardner, Maria Sewell, Mark Deadman, Sarah Govind and Steph Clark.  They were joined by two new junior run club members, Ian Amadio and Rebecca Ferizolla who both ran their 10th parkruns.

Basingstoke parkrun 605 2019-09-14-34

This was our 605th parkrun in Basingstoke and the 605th finisher was Linda Clement, who was one of 97 runners to achieve a PB this week. This week's first male finishers were Tom Harding, Cameron Coveney and Luke Willis and the first female finishers were Alison James, Rebecca Pearson and Lisa Gottwald.  Congratulations to them and all our runners.  Even this squirrel, who, along with 40 runners didn't have a barcode.  Squirrels can't register for parkrun barcodes, but if you have one #dontforgetyourbarcode or you won't get an official time and your run won't count towards your milestones.

Basingstoke parkrun 605 2019-09-14-77


The morning after the night before

Basingstoke parkrun 591, 8th June 2019, Run Report by Cerys Byrne

Friday night was a horrible blustery, rainy affair which resulted in our lowest attendance since New Year's Day and was only the third time this year that numbers have been below 500.  However, 462 runners and 46 volunteers gathered in the park for the weekly 5K run.  Although the weather had been horrible overnight, and there was a biting wind on the field at the start, the sun came out and made for very pleasant running conditions.


Run Director Paul Moulton did an excellent job, despite having thought he was supposed to be undertaking this role next week and only being told half an hour before the start that he was actually on the roster for this week!

Noteable this week were PBs for 62 runners, including the first finisher Mike Wheeler, who took 50 seconds off his previous PB from March 2017.  Mike achieved his first first-finisher place at Basingstoke and, on past performance, we look forward to seeing him back in Basingstoke in 2021 with another PB ending with the number 7


There were 19 first time parkrunners today, including graduates from the Basingstoke & Mid Hants Athletic Club's C25K course, congratulations to them and we hope to see them back in the park soon.  There were also 14 first time tourists.


Celebrating milestones this week were Marti McCallum, Stuart Freeman and Veeramoni Sankar, who completed their 50th runs, Philip Norris, Paul Streeter and Andrew Toal ran their 100th runs and Richard Pickard reached the dizzy heights of 250 runs.  There was also an unofficial milestone for Dee Barrett who ran her 150th parkrun.


parkrun really is for everybody, this week there were 9 runners were aged 10 or under, and that doesn't count those in pushchairs or slings; 23 were aged between 11 & 19;  60 were in their 20s; 80 in their 30s; the largest age group is those in their 40s, of which there were 129; 105 runners were aged 50 - 59; 22 were in their 60s and there were 11 runners in their 70s.   There were 306 registered male runners and 152 registered female runners and 25 runners without barcodes who will hopefully remember to bring them with them next time.


Finally, thanks as always to our volunteers, without whom parkrun could not go ahead.  If you've done a few runs and fancy seeing parkrun from a different angle please do contact the volunteer coordinator at, if every runner volunteered twice a year we would always have a full roster and don't forget that we meet for coffee every week after the run in Cafe Giardino in Festival Place.



Flabby Tabby and the Basingstoke Folk

Poem by Nyree Kilgour

Everyone knows that a cat likes to eat,
But Toots filled his belly with far too much meat;
And so very shortly became rather portly;
His appetite growing with each tasty treat.

He gobbled it down not wanting to stop,
Developing habits he needed to drop;
For when in the mood he ate the wrong food,
Not knowing that one day perhaps he’d go ‘pop’!

All day and night in his bed he just slept,
His energy gone for the lifestyle he kept.
The fact that this cat had become very fat,
Was something he never would truly accept.

But sadly for Toots, one morning he found,
That due to his being enormously round,
He just could not budge (must have been all that fudge);
Folk struggled to lift the great lump off the ground!

At length he was taken by truck to the vet,
Who not much impressed with the sight that he met,
Exclaimed: “This young tabby should not be so flabby!
A very strict diet must surely be set!”

“A very strict what?” shrieked Toots with a start;
“So does this mean no more treacle tart?”
But he knew what to do for the vet’s words were true,
That unhealthy eating is bad for the heart!

A message for us humans (and this isn’t funny);
The obesity rate could cost tax payers money;
Just looking at folk here within Basingstoke,
It’s easy to see that the future’s not sunny.

In Festival Place, the Malls, Top of Town,
Many are struggling to keep the weight down;
If we’d only eat less, then our great NHS
Would not have the need to work into the ground.

Improving one’s diet is only the start;
There’s more can be done to protect precious hearts;
You need not be wealthy to stay fit and healthy,
Just put on your trainers and head for the park.

The Saturday parkrun’s what I recommend
For running (or walking) and making new friends;
A 9am start - War Memorial Park,
Say ‘goodbye’ to the flab; you’ll be glad in the end.


Mud, sweat and tears

Basingstoke parkrun #518, 20th January 2018, Run Report by Mike Pini

It's said that the 11th day of January is the day when many people give up their New Year's resolutions. But Basingstoke's parkrunners must be made of stronger stuff. Despite the cold and wet, 504 people set their alarm clocks, donned their hi-vis t-shirts and jackets, laced up their trainers and clocked up 5 kilometres, or 3.1 miles for those still using old money, on the 20th day of the year.


Stats lovers will be pleased to know that 29 first timers - 14 of whom experienced their first parkrun anywhere - ran, jogged or walked alongside 49 people who recorded new Personal Bests. Every Saturday many club runners attend parkrun as an excellent training session and a great chance to meet up, and today members from no fewer than 40 different clubs took part.

It was a special day for Lucy Harlow who ran her tenth parkrun; Andrew TOAL, Joe MCAULAY and Nathan PITSCH who completed their half-century of runs; Andrew MOUNTFORD, Nick BOYD-MARSHALL and Simon PARKER who join the prestigious 100 club; Neil WRIGHT and Mark APPLEBEE who have 150 and 200 runs respectively under their feet; and Peter BAULCH who now proudly has 250 by his name.


There were plenty of emotions behind all the numbers too. One lady was so overjoyed on crossing the finish line after jogging round the whole three and a bit laps without stopping for her first time that she broke into tears.

As always, the event wouldn't have been possible without the 39 hi-vis heroes who made sure all manner of jobs were professionally and cheerfully done on the day. A big round of applause to everyone who dedicated their morning at War Memorial Park.


Fancy trying your hand at writing a few run reports? Our volunteering team is setting up a fresh roster of writers from the beginning of March, so if you're interested in joining the team - either to write a single one-off report or one report every four months - then email the Basingstoke parkrun office ( or talk to one of the current report writing team to find out more. Being the event reporter allows you to run the course or volunteer in another role on the day, if you wish.


Better late than never

Basingstoke parkrun event #510, 9 December 2017, Run Report by Avi Govind

It was never destined to be a ‘normal’ parkrun - and so it proved.

A couple of months ago, when my work Christmas party date was confirmed as Friday 8 December, I opted to volunteer as a tail walker the next morning given that the party would be in London and involve getting back home to Basingstoke very late.  But the party wasn’t the event that had the biggest effect on my experience on Saturday.

On Wednesday, given the recent rain and mud, the core team had made the decision to move parkrun to the winter course, our three-lap anti-clockwise course that is entirely on paths. We are lucky to have the option to do this, but after some sterling effort from John Bigg with a measuring wheel, we also modified the course to start further back, thereby avoiding the 135 degree corner right before the finish straight.

On Thursday, we had to make a late change to the Run Director, with John again stepping in to fill the role when the person on the roster realised they would not be able to make it.

So on Friday, with a full roster of volunteers already lined up, I got on the train to London to make my way to the party. Sadly, the journey to London was not the fun one I had imagined it would be, as news of Mark Sherwood’s untimely death filtered through, first from John, then from a variety of other sources.

Mark Sherwood

I had met Mark a couple of times while he was volunteering, but hadn’t realised the depth of his love for running, Basingstoke parkrun or the wider parkrun community. Some (mainly parkrun-related) statistics may help get this across:

- Mark was one of 37 people who took part in the first ever parkrun at Basingstoke, on 5 July 2007, finishing in 24:18
- He went on to do 142 runs at Basingstoke, and 331 parkruns in total - including Basingstoke, he ran at 103 different courses, 100 of which were in the UK
- His 100th UK course was at Wilmslow on 2 December
- He also visited parkrun de Montsouris, parkrun du Bois de Boulogne (both Paris), and parkrun Milano Nord
- Mark volunteered on 35 occasions, mainly as photographer or run report writer, and ran the photography roster for Basingstoke parkrun for a couple of years
- He was a member of Chineham Park Running Club and a regular participant in training and races with them
- He was also a regular triathlete and Ironman - a number of people have cited how selfless Mark was in giving his own time to help them run and achieve their own goals.

As my train journey went on, some more information emerged. Mark had been taken ill later in the day after running at Wilmslow. He had suffered a stroke, and was looked after in the Stroke Unit and Critical Care Unit of the Royal Salford Hospital. He had then passed away on Thursday after a short illness. And so while the party was enjoyable enough, there was more to do during it - primarily ensuring that we could arrange for a fitting tribute to Mark the next day and also in responding to the number of people who wanted to check that we had heard the news.

Sunrise in the park

Saturday morning came round, and there was a slightly sombre mood in the park as John’s pre-run briefing started. After John told the 411 runners who had assembled the news about Mark, it was left to Phil Norris to provide a sincere and thought-provoking tribute to Mark and the wide contribution he made during his life. We had a minute’s silence that was impeccably observed - particularly resonant to me was that Mark had run in the same age category as I did.

Impeccably observed

After that it was almost as though the parkrun itself should be an afterthought, but there were still tail walking duties to perform. Normally, you would expect to be with Tommy Millar, Basingstoke parkrun’s serial tail walker who does this role about nine weeks out of ten, but he was acting as a guide runner this week so was otherwise occupied. Instead, I had the pleasure of the company of Isabel Buchanan. Isabel is a student at Bishop Challoner School, and has been volunteering at Basingstoke parkrun in recent weeks as she works towards her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

Basingstoke parkrun #510 09/12/17
Tail walkers

We currently have a number of students using parkrun for either their bronze or silver awards, and for both volunteering and physical aspects - Basingstoke parkrun is an Approved Activity Provider for the award, and anyone keen on taking part is welcome to contact us at or find more details here:

Anyway, as I found out during a fascinating and informative 55 minutes with her, Isabel is a runner of some merit (in the top echelons of her age group at Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC), a keen traveller (she was missing the next parkrun as she would be in Dubai), interested in painting (although a bit of a perfectionist) and a regular cook (again for the Duke of Edinburgh award - signature dish: pizza).

View from the back

Talking wasn’t all we did - tail walkers also act as mobile marshals on the course and have to keep alert for any problems that they see or that runners are encountering. Unlike some occasions last year, it seems that the winter course did not lead to any problems with congestion, especially through the woods, and we appreciated our participants being considerate in this regard.

Because of the three laps rather than the usual two on the summer course, we were lapped by probably two-thirds of the 411 runners, although not lapped twice by anyone as has happened in the past. First finisher was Alistair Bridgeman in 18:28 (his second time in 11 runs) and first female finisher was Kate Robson in 21:20 (her 21st time in 70 runs). Our highest age grade came from Tony Watkins with 78.25%.

Basingstoke parkrun #510 09/12/17
A fast finish

We only had two milestone runners - Deji Adewola ran for the 50th time, and Wendy Hewitt was joined by a number of fellow club members for her 100th run. We also had a milestone achieved by a volunteer as Matthew Bailey did his 25th stint, while Izzy Ruth, Liz Halley and Ali Gladdish volunteered for the first time.

Thank you to all of our volunteers for their help before, during and after the event on what certainly wasn’t a normal day at Basingstoke parkrun.


Running Up That Hill

Basingstoke parkrun #486, 24th June 2017, Run Report by Cerys Byrne

It was a humid morning on Saturday, but thankfully not as hot as earlier in the week, and 393 runners gathered at Crabtree for their 5K run, two laps of the park with a slight incline near the end of each lap, just to keep us on our toes.


Despite the hill, and the muggy conditions there were 33 PBs, well done everyone who managed their fastest runs.


There were 37 people running Basingstoke parkrun for the first time today, 15 tourists and 22 running their first ever parkrun.


There were 5 official milestone runs this week, Brett Cooper, Izzy Ruth and Matthew Mason joined the 50 club, while Kevin Province and Peter Jenkins ran their 100th runs.  There were also two unofficial milestones, Malcolm Brown ran his 300th parkrun and Carl Heaps ran his 400th.


And so to the results:

Male placings:
Alexander Hamilton (VM40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was first over the line in 16:36 - 11th time in 19 appearances, narrowly missing out on a Crabtree record (16:21 set in July 2014)
Jonathan Laney (SM20-24) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:56.
Mat Shaylor (VM40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was third over the line in 18:20 - has been first to finish on 16 previous occasions.

Female placings:
Cath Wheeler (VW55-59) of Overton Harriers & AC, was first (17th overall) over the line in 20:35 - 44th time in 72 appearances.
Maureen Laney (VW60-64) of Red Rose Road Runners, was second (27th overall) over the line in 21:20.
Alison James (VW45-49) (Unattached) was third (31st overall) over the line in 21:34 - has been first to finish on 13 previous occasions.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Maureen Laney (VW60-64) – 93.59% for the time 21:20
Cath Wheeler (VW55-59) – 87.94% for the time 20:35
Alexander Hamilton (VM40-44) – 83.43% for the time 16:36


Thanks to all our volunteers this week.  It takes around 35 volunteers each week to ensure that Basingstoke parkrun happens and is safe, if you'd like to help out please take a look at our future roster at and email to let them know what you'd like to do.


Next week is Basingstoke parkrun's 9th Birthday, back at War Memorial Park, do come along and help us celebrate, there will be cake!


View from a volunteer

Basingstoke parkrun event #471, 11th March 2017, Run Report by Cerys Byrne

I've written run reports from the viewpoint of a runner before, but never as a volunteer. In the middle of last week, deciding that running a parkrun the day before a 22 mile training run wasn't a good idea, I emailed asking them to add me to the roster and was allocated the role of number checker.  Arriving at memorial park at 8.40 I collected my high-viz jacket and was briefed as to what my role entailed.  As the 528 runners made their way to the start I watched the multicoloured mass moving towards the birdcage.


Moments later the signal was given and the runners were off, it was wonderful to watch the stream of bodies growing until it filled the path from the bandstand to the top of tennis court hill.

When the timekeepers returned from the start we had a quick chat so we all knew what we were doing and then there was nothing to do but watch the runners making their way around the park, until the first finishers came over the line.


This week's first three male finishers were as follows:

James DONALD (SM30-34) of Team Bath AC, was first over the line in 17:42,  in his first appearance at Basingstoke.
Andy GODDARD (VM35-39) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was second over the line in 18:04, Andy has been first to finish on 4 previous occasions.
Richard GOWEN (VM45-49) of Hook Runners, was third over the line in 18:11, Richard has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.


The female placings were:

Helen WALLINGTON (VW45-49) of Totton Running club, was first (9th overall) over the line in 18:45 in her first appearance at Basingstoke.
Hannah BLISS (SW20-24) of Overton Harriers & AC, was second (27th overall) over the line in 20:10, Helen has been first to finish on 5 previous occasions.
Linda VAN DER WEL (VW40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was third (47th overall) over the line in 21:19, Linda has been first to finish on 11 previous occasions.


After the first few finishers the runners were coming in thick and fast and I was running up and down the finish funnel checking numbers to ensure that the timings stayed in sync.  Apologies to all the out of breath runners I asked to tell me their name and finish number.

Out of the 528 runners 31 were first timers and 16 first time visitors from other parkruns,   75 runners recorded new Personal Bests and there were representatives of 28 different clubs.


The three highest age grades were recorded by:

Helen WALLINGTON (VW45-49) – 87.29% for the time 18:45 (9th overall).
Tim ELLIS (VM55-59) – 84.58% for the time 18:29 (7th overall).
Janet HARDCASTLE (VW60-64) – 79.84% for the time 24:18 (117th overall)

There were four milestone runs this week, Harry Lewis joined the junior 10 club, Graham Cook and Vanessa Wright joined the 50 club and Fiona Robertson joined the 100 club.  Congratulations to you all and we'll see you in your club T-shirts soon.

This week's parkrun was brought to you by 36 volunteers, without whom it could not have taken place.  Volunteering is great fun and will give you a different perspective on the event.  If you're interested in volunteering, take a look at the roster for the next few weeks pick a date and a role and email to put yourself forward.


⇐ Newer Posts in Category