It’s a parkrun, not a marathon…

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

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

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

“Just a parkrun to go!”

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

It is inclusive to a range of abilities

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

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

It wouldn’t happen without a lot of volunteers

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

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

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

Landmarks - and me! Continue reading


Basingstoke parkrun #583

Basingstoke parkrun #583, 13th April 2019, Run Report by Mark NORRIS

During the pre-run briefing this morning Frankie Wellings said a few words to announce the sad news that one of our parkrunners Clive Stacey passed away last week.
These words are from Clive's sister Ros. "Clive was a very humble family man who had never let his epilepsy that he had since his teens stop him from leading a normal life. After suffering another illness caused by his epilepsy, he was finding life more difficult, He was so pleased he got started with Park run and it gave him such a sense of achievement each week, and made him feel part of society."

Clive was a valued member of our parkrun community and had volunteered as a Marshal at Basingstoke parkrun. He had completed 30 parkruns, all at Basingstoke.
Rest in peace Clive.


At parkrun this morning

A HUGE thank you to the 40 amazing volunteers lead by our Run Director Cami CAMERON filling 45 different volunteer roles making it possible for 527 runners to get their parkrun fix.

Well done to the 90 parkrunners who got a PB in excellent conditions.

22 parkrunners completed their first ever parkrun with us and we were joined by 18 parkrun tourists who were with us for the first time. We hope they enjoyed it and will be back again soon.

39 parkrunners did not have their barcodes scanned so please don't forget your printed barcode next time.

Representatives from 33 different clubs took part.

In addition to the photos on our Flickr page of the parkrun today taken by Peter Chiverton, Paul Moulton also made a video while he ran the course and a speeded up version of it can be viewed here


Your Hi-Viz volunteer heroes were:



Congratulations to these parkrunners on achieving their parkrun milestones:

Junior 10 parkruns:

  • Maisie COX
  • Etienne COX

50 parkruns:

  • Pete HILLMAN
  • Emily GARRATT
  • Nick POSKITT

100 parkruns:

  • Martin LOCOCK
  • Gemma MOSELEY
  • Louise GARRATT

250 parkruns:

  • Caroline PARTNER

While not official parkrun milestones these are still worth celebrating:

200 parkruns:


300 parkruns:

  • Martin RUTTER

There was a double celebration in the park this morning for two of these parkrunners who are also some of our most prolific volunteers...
Regular volunteer, core team member and acting event director Caroline Partner joined the 250 club this morning and Mike Hedderly who can often be found helping with the set up and barcode scanning completed his 200th run.

Basingstoke parkrun #583 13-04-2019

Results highlights

Male placings:
1st goes to Alexander HAMILTON (VM40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC with a time of 16:43.
2nd goes to Martin RUTTER (VM35-39) of Clapham Chasers RC with a time of 16:53.
3rd goes to Tom HARDING (SM25-29) (Unattached) with a time of 17:06.

Female placings:
1st goes to Alison JAMES (VW50-54) (Unattached) with a time of 21:00.
2nd goes to Lisa GOTTWALD (VW40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC with a time of 21:20.
3rd goes to Shell SMITH (SW30-34) (Unattached) with a time of 22:38.

The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Margaret MOODY (VW70-74) - 93.82% for the time of 23:44.
Alexander HAMILTON (VM40-44) - 84.15% for the time of 16:43.
James ENNIS (JM10) - 82.66% for the time of 21:32.


and finally...

Our next parkrun will be on Saturday morning at 9am in the War Memorial Park so we hope to see you there. #DFYB

Basingstoke parkrun #583 13042019


A sunny Saturday saunter

Basingstoke parkrun #475, 8 April 2017, Run Report by Avi Govind

Glorious sunshine bathed War Memorial Park on Saturday, which meant that after last week’s temporary blip where we went below 500 runners, we were back well above that mark this week. Indeed, Helen Cameron was inundated with people listening to her New Runners’ briefing, including many of the 45 people who were running a parkrun for the very first time as well as the 19 tourists – there were a number of compliments for her thorough explanation of the course and the parkrun ethos.


Run Director Grant Hodgson, aided by his step, looked out over the gathered crowds and gave his run briefing. This included special mentions for this week’s milestone runners, of whom we had 7. Ben Leiper ran his 10th parkrun as a junior, Graham Wallace, Poonum Gurung, Ken Steel, Paul Neale and Nigel Bridgeman (known to many as the guy who runs in a Spider-Man outfit!) did their 50th runs, and Karen van Gramberg reached a century of runs. The higher official milestones are then 250 and 500 runs, but special mention must go to Louise Smith who reached 300 runs and Andrew Wyeth who got to 450. We also had a milestone for a volunteer, with Bryony Henshall doing her 25th stint of volunteering.


A presentation was also made to Pasha Cobbett, who won the junior female under-10 points competition last year – testament to her ability and consistent participation. Perhaps the biggest cheer was reserved, though, for regulars Tim and Clare Ellis. The couple have done nearly 600 parkruns between them, all but one at Basingstoke, and got married on Friday. Eagle-eyed parkrunners could spot some of their confetti on the course near the bandstand. Congratulations to both of you – Tim has obviously learnt already that the secret of a long and happy marriage is running with your wife and finishing one place behind her…!


Onto the run itself, and our 559 participants meant that we were only 9 away from the record attendance. The kind conditions obviously helped the 100 people who got personal bests - personally I can't wait to get back to racing again after four months of marathon training - with Tom Ferguson proving that even if you are doing your 186th run, it’s still possible to lower your time.


Our first finisher this week was James Wootton, who took 17:46 and also lowered his personal best – he’s finished first here twice before. First female finisher was Linda van der Wel, whose 21:01 was not far off her own personal best, but who has finished first on 11 other occasions. The highest age grade was achieved by Joanna Curtis, who finished in 23:43 for a grade of 80.67% - for those who are not sure what the grade is, it compares your time to that of the world record for your category, giving you a way to compare performances by people of different ages and genders. The highest male age grade went to Tony Watkins with 78.06%.

Finally, Saturday was also a special day for some members of the Sherfield Park Runners – their “Walk 2 Runners” group has been training for a number of weeks and had their graduation this week, with everyone finishing successfully and some great times achieved – we hope you will all continue to take part in future weeks.


Talking of future weeks, we will have some Easter festivities in our run on 15 April, so look out for some surprises and spot prizes, and we also expect to be going back onto our summer course (including Tennis Court Hill) the week after, on 22 April. We will announce this well in advance, as well as the dates for our Crabtree runs this year which we know everyone can’t wait to hear about...!


A view from (near) the back…

Basingstoke parkrun #465, 28th January 2017, Run Report by Sarah Govind

The wonderful thing about parkrun is that no matter who you are, there will be someone like you taking part, whether you are a serious club runner, a parent with a buggy or child or simply someone trying to improve your level of fitness.


You may, like myself, be using exercise as a way back to health after illness. Many of us come along to enjoy the feeling of community that comes from participating in a sporting event with friends and other like minded people. This sense of community could be felt at today's event, where a huge total of 536 people braved the damp conditions in order to participate.

If you are thinking of taking part in our event at a future date and feel nervous or unsure about taking part, then rest assured you will receive a warm welcome from both participants and volunteers. It doesn't matter if you're fast or slow.


Each time I have taken part in parkrun, I have finished towards the back of the field. The first time I came to our event, I was pleasantly surprised by the encouragement given to those of us moving more slowly round the course. Marshals and other volunteers cheered me on and faster runners coming through from behind gave shouts of encouragement.

It gave me a real feeling of belonging and a sense that runners and indeed walkers of all speeds were welcome. I felt encouraged to return to our event as often as I could, enjoying the challenge to improve on my time and achieve a new personal best. 62 of these were recorded at our event today. 


54 first timers arrived at War Memorial Park to start their first ever Basingstoke parkrun, 40 of them running a parkrun event for the very first time. Amongst these participants were visitors from Basingstoke's Neighbourhood Policing team who as well as taking part, were here to promote safer running and engage with the local community.


Although it is wonderful to see such large numbers flocking to War Memorial Park on a Saturday morning, it's more important than ever to be considerate of each other. This applies not just on the narrower parts of the course such as where the route winds through the woods, but also the wider sections of pathway. If we all try to keep to the right (on the winter course) to let faster runners or those who need to overtake pass, keep our children at arms length and dogs on leads, we can all have a pleasant and safe experience.


For statistics and results from today's run, please see below. Well done to all runners and walkers who took part, and see you next week when we have our monthly milestone t-shirt photo!

Male placings:
Matthew BENNETT (SM25-29) of Southampton AC, was first over the line in 16:45 - first appearance.
Barnaby WALKER (SM20-24) of Highgate Harriers, was second over the line in 17:06 - has been first to finish on 4 previous occasions.
Mat SHAYLOR (VM40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was third over the line in 18:21 - has been first to finish on 15 previous occasions..

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Chris FURNESS (Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC) 5801 pts.
Tony WATKINS (Unattached) 5323 pts.
Chris WHITE (Unattached) 5063 pts..


Female placings:
Maddie DEADMAN (JW15-17) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was first (6th overall) over the line in 18:51 - 12th time in 17 appearances.
Megan WILSON (SW20-24) of Cambridge University Hare and Hounds, was second (14th overall) over the line in 19:43.
Linda VAN DER WEL (VW40-44) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, was third (38th overall) over the line in 20:56 - has been first to finish on 10 previous occasions..

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Tracy WYETH (Unattached) 6312 pts.
Lynn BRASTOCK (Hatch Warren Runners) 5310 pts.
Caroline PARTNER (Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC) 5309 pts..

The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Maddie DEADMAN (JW15-17) was graded 80.19% for the time 18:51 (6th overall).
Matthew BENNETT (SM25-29) was graded 77.01% for the time 16:45 (first overall).
Mat SHAYLOR (VM40-44) was graded 76.11% for the time 18:21 (third overall).

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

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