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.



…and anticipation!

Basingstoke parkrun #635, 31st July 2021. Run Report by Sarah GOVIND.

There was a great deal of anticipation in my house prior to the start of this week’s parkrun, number 635 in the history of our Basingstoke event. My 6 year old son Jay was beyond excited to be taking part on his own two feet for the very first time in his life, so much so that he woke the whole house up at 6am ready to get going. Although I did not relish the prospect of getting out of bed at such an early hour, I did share his eagerness to get over to War Memorial Park.

It was my first parkrun since lockdown and a double volunteering opportunity for me, first of all writing this run report for you all to read and secondly in my role as Ambassador for support group 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer. At 5k Your Way, we encourage those affected by cancer to take part in parkrun in whatever way feels good to them, whether that be running, walking or a mixture of the two. There are enormous physical and psychological benefits to exercising for those living with and beyond cancer (and of course for us all!). We meet at parkrun on the last Saturday of every month and so as this parkrun took place on the 31st July, we could be found congregating at our meeting place outside Totally Tennis.

From this point, we had a great view of a group of what would soon become 464 runners and walkers making their way over to the meeting point to hear Run Director Grant Hodgson give his briefing. Jay had already been to Peter Chiverton's first-timer briefing and was in the midst of the crowd, raring to go, along with 23 other participants new to parkrun. Added to this were 33 tourists keen to try out our Basingstoke course and two people, Catherine Eggleton and Susan Elliot, about to embark on their 50th parkrun and become eligible for a shiny new red milestong t-shirt.

We made our way down the grassy slope to join them all and as the majority of my group were planning to walk, we slotted ourselves in somewhere at the back. I chatted to the familiar faces around me and we shared our feelings about what it was like to be back together again bright and early in the buzz of the crowd on a Saturday morning. Some were anxious about coming back after a long absence or as a first timer not knowing what to expect. Others felt that it was strange to back to something so familiar after so long. And others were experiencing feelings of excitement and exhilaration.

Close to me in the crowd was Andrea Nunn, a fellow 5k Your Wayer and here at parkrun for the first time after 16 months. She had kept her running going with regular not parkruns throughout lockdown and was very happy to be back.

“It was great actually because I realised how much I’d missed being in a crowd of people and it’s what I’ve always talked about in lockdown. We’re all sociable animals and I don’t think we really appreciated it and when we set off just all running together it was fabulous!”

It certainly was and in some ways it felt as if I’d never been away. It was great to be out on the course surrounded by friendly people I had run and walked with so many times before. There’s nothing that can beat this feeling of community!

Not having exercised much over lockdown and having only recently got back into running, I was planning to walk/run my way round the course. But I had forgotten the difference that running in a large group of people makes to your motivation levels. I chatted as we circled the field and went up onto the pathway that takes us through the woods. To my surprise, buoyed by the people around me, I was able to continue without stopping to walk.

As I was almost at the end of my first lap of the course, the first finisher was making his way towards the finish funnel. Hari Bakhem of Let’s Run Club completed the 5k distance in a time of 17.40, a new PB for him. A few minutes after this, Alison James crossed the line in a time of 21.20 to become the fastest finishing female of the day.

On my second lap, like many other parkrunners around me, I really appreciated the support of the volunteers marshalling on the course. Denise Hope was in her usual spot at the foot of Tennis Court Hill with friendly words for all who should pass by, onwards and upwards towards the avenue of trees. At the bandstand, the marshal stationed there, Sam Purnell, was pumping out upbeat and motivating music to spur us on towards the woods and the last hill of the course. On the other side of the trees, just by the pathway that leads down to Totally Tennis, Sophie Moseley was adding to the atmosphere with a ring of a bell and some words of support. And for the final cherry on the cake, Ross Pollard was waiting on the field at his usual spot on the bend with his encouraging cries of “120 metres to go!”

I was glad to get to the end of those 120 metres. I had achieved what I couldn’t in lockdown and had run a whole 5k without stopping! After passing through the finish funnel and having my barcode scanned by a friendly volunteer, I took myself off to the patio outside Totally Tennis where my fellow 5k Your Way members were gathering for healthy cake, fruit and tea (parkrunners affected by cancer, if this sounds good, do join us sometime!).

It was a great vantage point to watch the remaining parkrunners and walkers finish off their second lap. Jay came proudly by, off to complete his first ever parkrun in a time of 49:44. Our Tailwalkers for today, Tammy Willis and Catherine Monaghan, brought up the rear with a time of 1.06.27. With them were a contingent of 5k Your Way walkers including Caroline Baker, also a first timer who had come along with friends to give the experience a try.

Caroline was diagnosed with breast cancer last September and after working out with personal trainer and 5k Your Way Ambassador Alex Conboy, was encouraged to come along to parkrun and meet some like-minded people.

“I really enjoyed it. I was a bit anxious about coming along at first, just being a brand newbie but I came along with friends who ran it and I walked with another lady who’s also Scottish and that was great. It’s just so welcoming and friendly and everyone’s so encouraging. Even with the last people coming round, the marshals were still there saying, ‘come on, you’re nearly there, well done’. It’s just a great atmosphere.”

When asked if she would recommend coming along to others who were new to parkrun, perhaps those who had never run before or were unable to, she was encouraging.

Definitely, I mean I think you can be put off by everyone running. But it’s just good to be out getting your steps up and it really doesn’t matter what you can do. Just do it, just walk. It’s good for your mental health! I felt great and I felt one day I’m going to run this. It might be a while off but I thought one day I’m going to be one of those runners but I really just enjoyed walking it and yes, it feels good.

And as for her impressions of 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer, she had nothing but positive things to say.

And everyone was just so encouraging but it’s nice to be with a group where you don’t have to talk about what you’ve been through but they know, so definitely sign me up for the next one!

If any of you reading this have never taken part in parkrun before and would like to ‘sign up’, visit to register and print out a barcode. Our next event is Saturday 7th August at 9am in War Memorial Park. And if you fancy joining in with 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer, email or come and visit us after parkrun on the last Saturday of the month at Totally Tennis.

I’ll leave you with some final words from Andrea, who passed on to me her final impressions on being back at parkrun after so long an absence. Like Caroline, she was impressed by how friendly and supportive the volunteers were on the course.

“I’d forgotten when we ran round the parkrun how friendly everybody is and they cheer you on. The marshals are fabulous and everybody is just so supportive.”

A huge thanks from me on behalf of the parkrun team to everyone who supported our event today and to all of our fabulous volunteers - I wish I could have mentioned all of you in this report. It’s hard to run a safe event without a certain number of people helping. If you’d like to get involved, be part of a lovely group of people and really feel that community spirit, contact


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.



What a Christmas Cracker!

Basingstoke parkruns #458 & #459 (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), Bumper Combined Run Report by Frankie Wellings

I have been thinking about a theme for this run report for a few weeks and it suddenly dawned on me what I could write about………Christmas!!


What a fantastic week end of park running we had. It is always great to see people making the effort to get out and do something healthy in between the turkey, mince pies, chocolates, sherry and other goodies we often feel obliged to consume over Christmas!


Thank you to Christmas Eve’s Run Director Avi for a poetic briefing.  Just in case you didn’t catch it, here it is:

'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the park
People were gathering, for this parkrun lark
They had come from all over, on this special date
For Basingstoke parkrun, number 458

In their number were tourists, as it was Christmas Eve
From as far as west Wales, would you believe?
And also deserving, of note in this rhyme
Are the 25 runners, here for the first time

If you weren't here last week, take note - our winter course
Means Tennis Court Hill, which is often the source
of frequent annoyance, when we all reach its crown
Now makes people happy, we don't run up, but down

Yes our winter course is a different size
So we run round it three times, anti-clockwise
Now if you have a dog here, we beg and we plead
It's just one per runner, and on a short lead

For those with their children, it's almost the same
One child with one adult, is the name of the game
But before I can send you, on your merry way
We have milestone runners, among us today

First up there's two juniors, doing their tenth run
It is Albie Kenward and Abi Robinson
It's fifty for Lilly Willis, who is only nine
And also Charlotte Bailey, both achievements are fine

But one person here, is topping them all
With his 250th run, to Richard Barker, we're in thrall
And an unofficial milestone, not 50 or a ton
It's Caroline Partner 150th, very well done!

Caroline's a key part, of a team needing cheers
We wouldn't be running, without our volunteers
She's one of the regulars, with John, Mark, Ryan and Grant
Lisa, Mike, Matt and many others I can't

Mention - so thank them, when you see them today
Or even tomorrow, yes we're here Christmas Day
We will start at 9am, in just one day's time
Now my poem is over, let's go to the start line!

There were many people already getting into the spirit on Christmas Eve with an assortment of hats - a turkey, Rudolph and Christmas pudding to name just a few. 


There were Christmas leggings and I saw a couple of elves too.  I just hope they’d already finished making all the toys and weren’t bunking off!


Christmas Eve broke our attendance record with a massive 505 runners completing the course.  Taking top spot on the podium was Jonathan Bradford in 16:53 which is just one second outside his PB. Second place went to Toby Brimecome in 17:08 which is just 4 seconds outside his PB and third place on the podium went to Barnaby Walker in 17:22. Congratulations to you all.

Charlotte Chalwin came home first for the ladies (11th overall) in 18:42 which is a new PB. Maddie Deadman was the second lady across the line in 19:11 and third place was taken by Claire Spencer in 20:36.  Great work ladies, well done!

A total of 44 runners bagged themselves a shiny new PB on Christmas Eve.  Well done to all of you, you’ve earned an extra mince pie!


There were lots of milestone runs on Christmas Eve. For the juniors, the following people clocked up 10 runs – Albie Kenward, Charlie Coveney and Abi Robinson.  Earning themselves lovely new red t-shirts by clocking up 50 runs were Charlotte Bailey, Roger Cridge and Lilly Willis.  Zanda Jansone completed her 100th run today and will soon be sporting her new black t-shirt.  No t-shirt for this one but one of the core volunteers, Caroline Partner, completed her 150th run today.  Finally, earning himself a green t-shirt was Richard Barker who did his 250th run.  Well done to all of you.

Thank you as always to our wonderful volunteers.  Without these heroes, parkrun simply couldn’t happen.  We even had a singing marshal!

Bske Pr 25 12 16 # Evt 459 262

And now onto news of the Christmas Day parkrun……

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. As well as run report writer, it was my absolute pleasure to be your Christmas Day Run Director. Special thanks has to go to Malclom for the sloe gin and Tony & Caroline Moore for the glass of bubbles – it was a slightly squiffy Christmas Day after all of that!

Not every parkrun has a Christmas Day run so we are very fortunate at Basingstoke. We had 30 visitors including several first timers. We hope you all enjoyed your Basingstoke run and come back soon. New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day maybe? As well as breaking our attendance record on Christmas Eve, we broke our Christmas Day attendance record too with close to 400 runners. These are the figures for Christmas Day runs since Basingstoke has held Christmas Day runs:

2008 – no run

2009 – 52

2010 – 95

2011 – 132

2012 – 118

2013 – 221

2014 – 347

2015 – 343

2016 – 396

Red, black and green t-shirts were earned by the following people who achieved festive milestones: Linda Van Den Ordel (50 runs), Luke Onslow, Merv Davison and Karen Gladman (100 runs), Nick Walshe (250 runs).  Not official milestones so no t-shirts but still achieving fantastic milestones were Nick Onslow (200 runs) and Darren Rolfe (300 runs). On the subject of great achievements, I must mention our ex event director Lynn Brastock.  On Christmas Day, Lynn clocked up her 1,000th mile of 2016.  Well done Lynn, brilliant achievement! (loved the sweaty hug afterwards!)


Congratulations to our event director Avi Govind who earned his purple t-shirt on Christmas Day. Just in case you’re not aware, you get a lovely purple t-shirt once you have volunteered on 25 separate occasions. As you know, parkrun simply couldn’t happen if it weren’t for the people who volunteer each week.  If you haven’t volunteered in a while or if you have never volunteered, please, please consider giving something back and volunteering from time to time. All you need to do is send an email to

Our Christmas Day parkrun saw many fancy dress costumes including festive pants with baubles (Tim!), inflatable Santas, Santas with bells, snowmen (well snowwoman really – Lisa!), Rudolphs and turkeys. In amongst the fancy dress was George Onslow who completed the Rubik’s Cube during his run. His little brother came and spoke to me after the run to tell me about his brother’s achievement and I asked George if he had actually completed the puzzle and his reply was “yeah, 31 times”.  I don’t know about you but I was (am still am) completely astounded by this! Well done George, I think this must be a parkrun first!

Bske Pr 25 12 16 # Evt 459 159

Top spot on the Christmas Day podium was taken by an unknown runner but I do know he was wearing a green t-shirt! Second place was taken by Matt King with a time of 17:12 and third place was also unknown. #DFYBC!  In 10th place was regular visitor to Basingstoke, Sam Larcombe, who is off travelling abroad in the next few weeks so we wish him all the best and hope he keeps his running shoes close at hand, or more appropriately, feet!

Rebecca Bullock was first home for the ladies in a time of 19:45 which is a PB at Basingstoke. In second place was Charlotte Earl in a time of 20:18, and taking the final podium spot was Hannah Bliss in 20:28. Well done to all of you.

Bske Pr 25 12 16 # Evt 459 063

Santa’s sack was full of presents, mainly consisting of a medal for every finisher and 32 PBs.

Bske Pr 25 12 16 # Evt 459 065

I’d just like to finish with a few Christmas facts – did you know:

The poinsettia originates from……..Mexico.

The concept of exchanging gifts comes from……Italy.

The country credited with starting the tradition of the Christmas tree is…….Germany.

And finally, he probably never did parkrun but I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say we lost yet another legend on Christmas Day – RIP George Michael.

I’m now handing the pen over to Matt (the Stat) for the next run report so I’d just like to wish you all a very Happy New Year with plenty of running miles.

⇐ Newer Posts in Category