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


2020 vision


Not long after the new year started, we were gathering in War Memorial Park for parkrun.

There were doubtless some tired eyes and achy heads among first the volunteers setting up the course and organising themselves, and then the streams of people making their way into the park - rumour has it that some people were awake until after 2am...

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An appropriate top for the new year!

But what better way to brush out any cobwebs and start the year off on the right foot than by doing a parkrun? The new year to many represents a clean slate, and an opportune time to start afresh with new resolution and commitment, and doubtless that was in the mind of many people in the park this morning, especially those who were there when they would rather have been in bed!

Also in the minds of many of this morning’s parkrunners would have been the need to take the only opportunity of the year to do two parkruns in one day. Basingstoke parkrun starting at 9am gives people a chance of doing one of the later-starting parkruns in the surrounding area - with Alice Holt and Newbury parkruns (both starting at 10:30am) being favourite destinations.

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A busy first-timer briefing

So more eyes than usual were focused on watches, and there was more nervousness about what time we started. Run Director Grant Hodgson had to make sure we briefed all the first-timers and tourists (thanks to Michael Hickey for fulfilling that role) and ultimately we started a couple of minutes after 9am but hopefully not too late to scupper any second parkrun plans.

And it was an impressive number of newcomers - we had 11 people doing their first-ever parkrun (welcome to the parkrun family!) and another 25 who had never done Basingstoke parkrun before (welcome to Basingstoke - come back again soon!). I expect that there will be an even higher number of people at the first-timers briefing on Saturday - Tony Wright, who is doing the briefing that day, was a keen observer today.

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Hi-5er ready for high fives...

We did have some gaps in our volunteer roster this morning, which brings added stress for the Run Director and Volunteer Co-ordinator - please get in touch with us if you can help over the next few weeks as we expect some large attendances and would appreciate having the rosters filled as early as possible.

One volunteer today was doing her 25th stint and will therefore soon be the recipient of a purple t-shirt is Gemma Moseley - thank you Gemma for your help, and indeed thank you to all today’s volunteers without whom we couldn’t have held this event.

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25th volunteer stint today for Gemma!

As well as a volunteer milestone, we also had a number of running milestones today:

50 parkruns: Joseph Brownen, Jim Jarman and Tracy Bremner
100 parkruns: Peter Vincent

These are the official milestones, but we had a few people reaching higher unofficial milestones / multiples of 50 parkruns today too:

150 parkruns: Marcus Johansson
200 parkruns: Dianne Cartwright and Tony Watkins

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200th parkrun today for Tony!

Some of our participants today went on to achieve milestones at their second parkrun, namely Maria Tennant (50 runs), Claire Louise Spencer (150 runs), Steve Fleck and Debbie Dawes (300 runs) and Lynn Brastock (an amazing 550 runs).

The final word on milestones must go to Andrew Mason, though. There are around 6.5 million parkrunners in the world, so to be one of only 14 people from that group is pretty special - taking a massive amount of dedication and commitment. Andrew did his 600th (yes, 600th!) parkrun at Basingstoke this morning, an astounding achievement, becoming only the 14th person in the world to reach that number. You will not be surprised to hear that Andrew was one of the people who took the opportunity to do a second parkrun this morning, at California Country, so he’s now already on 601 parkruns...

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Andrew Mason - now on 601 parkruns

Onto the run itself, and after not being first-finisher for the last two events, normal order was restored today with Tom Harding leading the field home. He was over a minute clear of Cameron Coveney in second place. I’d love to tell you who was third, but I can’t as they didn’t scan in - remember to bring your barcode in future!

Our first female finisher was Claire Louise Spencer, accompanied by a canine companion, and she was followed home by Rebecca Willis and Mitch Lloyd.

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Claire and canine companion

Sian James got the highest age-grade, with 79.47%, with Claire getting the second highest (78.41%) and Mark Slaney the third (78.25%).

As for me? Well, I did see the new year in, and was awake for a little bit after that, so it was never going to be a really fast time, especially as I’d also run in club relay races yesterday. So I spent the second half of parkrun having an enjoyable catch-up with Gemma Bigg, who ended up as fourth female finisher. Among other things, we chatted about the benefits of having Dads who are / were well known in Basingstoke, and John McElroy’s unusual but effective racing style, which involves occasional stops for chats with marshals coupled with what seems like sprints at blinding speed.

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Mid catch-up

John had said to me earlier that he was taking things a bit easier for a while, having had a number of personal bests at the end of 2019, so he didn’t have a major target for 2020.

But what about other parkrunners? Just like I did for the run report on the final 2019 parkrun, I asked a sample of our participants and volunteers to tell me what their New Year’s running resolution was. Here’s a selection of their answers - and note that I did commit to anonymity...

• Sub-40 at the Stubbington 10k
• Coming out of half-marathon retirement
• Becoming world triathle champion
• Staying injury free
• Running 120 miles at Endure
• Finishing Race to the Stones
• Doing the London and Boston marathons
• Doing an ultramarathon
• Running the Basingstoke half-marathon
• Getting fitter
• Enjoying running again
• Doing a sub-3 hour marathon
• Doing a sub-1:50 half-marathon
• Completing the parkrun alphabet

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There's a tree on our course...!

• Running with my dog
• Getting better and better at running
• Doing half-marathons
• Carrying on with 5k Your Way
• Getting round the Snowdon Marathon
• Going under 45 minutes for parkrun and losing 8 stone
• Sub-2:52 marathon
• Running less (a very sensible aim!)
• Doing one parkrun per month
• Finishing a half-marathon
• Running in the Great South Run
• Getting back to fitness
• Maintaining my pace
• Doing the Reading half-marathon in under 1:40.

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Surely using a bike is cheating? ;-)

For me, I’ll need to answer the question about aims for 2020 in two parts.

As Basingstoke Event Director, I would still echo the same aims I had at the start of last year - to work with the core team to ensure that parkrun is always open, inclusive and welcoming to all, whether they are participants, volunteers or supporters. We want to do our best to make our parkrun a place that people enjoy coming to while also keeping it sustainable and simple - so expect more events like our birthday and the Hall of Fame awards as well as the one-offs we have from time-to-time such as volunteer takeovers or pacer weeks.

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I'm sure Mr McIntyre didn't appear in the results!

I, and the team, welcome any feedback and suggestions about Basingstoke parkrun - obviously we can’t promise to implement all of them, but we will do our best to help where we can. For example, we have received a number of questions about whether the toilets outside the Totally Tennis building can be opened, but that is a council matter rather than something we control. Similarly we are constrained in terms of parking given the need to keep some bays empty for permit holders and not parking on the grass areas. We do encourage people to contribute to council initiatives to improve the park, too, such as the consultation on the play area ( which closes soon.

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New parkrun apricot

As a participant and runner, the goal is always to do better than last year, where I didn’t achieve as much as I had previously in terms of times. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of the runs I did, in particular the frequent and varied company, being out in the fresh (sometimes very fresh!) air and being part of the parkrun and wider running communities. So from that point of view 2019 was a resounding success, and I hope for more of the same in 2020.

What about your aims for 2020?


That was the year that was – 2019

Basingstoke parkrun #621, 28th December 2019
Run Report by Avi GOVIND


The year is coming to an end, so this report takes a look back at what has been going on in the last 12 months.

But before you start thinking that is going to be about things like Brexit, England winning and losing in two World Cup finals, climate change and another General Election – think again: this is going to be from a parkrun perspective – far more interesting…!

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When the red, red Robbins...

I asked a, hopefully representative, sample of people to tell me their main running memory of 2019 – and their responses are below. But first, here’s a retrospective of what happened at Basingstoke parkrun this year:

We started the year strongly, with our second highest ever attendance on the first Saturday of January as 678 people took part. The next Saturday saw tokens 694 and 695 used for the first gtime by Tail Walkers Tommy Millar and Luxmi Govind as our record attendance was beaten by two. The week after also saw a momentous occasion, with Lynn Brastock’s 500th parkrun – former Basingstoke Event Director Lynn became the 40th person and 8th woman to reach the 500-run milestone.

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Thumbs up!

As snow descended on Basingstoke during the morning of 1 February, we were hopeful of being able to put on parkrun on our “snow course” the next day. But further heavy snow later that day and overnight led to only our second-ever cancellation, as it was too dangerous to go ahead. The first cancellation was in February 2009 for the same reason. That led to a delay in the implementation of the new, and current, course until the next week – I hope you agree it was worth the wait.

The names Paul Brandreth and Scott McNeice may not be familiar to you – but they visited Basingstoke in February, with Scott becoming our first ever wheelchair participant and Paul (who I know from an online cricket game…) going on since then to complete a remarkable world record of 15 parkruns in 15 different countries on consecutive Saturdays.

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Hold your tongue...

One of our run reports made it big - Natasha Minto penned some prose on the ‘power of parkrun’, piquing parkrun HQ’s attention with an inspiring tale of how parkrun, running in general and her club Hook Runners have made such a difference to her life. Well worth a read:

We were saddened to hear of the death of Basingstoke parkrunner, and latterly volunteer, Clive Stacey, who had taken part in 30 parkruns here. An emotional tribute from his sister Ros was read out during the run briefing by core team member Frankie Wellings, who along with her husband Richard had helped Clive volunteer for the first few times. On a lighter note, Lynn Brastock organised a gathering of 10 out of the (then) 11 women who had done 500 parkruns – never have so many blue t-shirts been seen in the same place…!

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Now a blue t-shirt owner!

Your pace or mine? Not an offer, but for the first time we held a pacer week, with volunteers from Hook Runners pacing 20-38 minutes. It’s fair to say that some of the pacing was slightly suspect (there was some overtaking going on!) and that it probably helps to wear a watch when you are pacing, but it was a great success and there was a second pacer week later in the year. Erstwhile marshal Ross Pollard was also seen wearing a “34” pacer bib, as opposed to official hi-vis, for weeks afterwards…

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Those lanyards can be complicated, even for a Hall of Fame winner

We welcomed a number of GPs, practice staff and patients from the Acorn Health Partnership and Chineham Medical Centre as part of the #GPparkrunPledge. This was a nationwide event to raise awareness of the important contributions they make, and to try and get 1,000 GPs to take part across the country.

Basingstoke parkrun turned 11! We celebrated our 11th birthday at our alternative site, Crabtree, on the “skylark” course that never seems to have a flat section, possibly why I was glad to be Run Director that day! The event also saw the second annual “Hall of Fame’ awards, which this year were won by Denise Hope and shared by Mark Norris and Wally Thorpe for their contributions to parkrun. They were popular winners, and the celebrations went on for some time…

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Hall of Fame winner

We celebrated our own milestone with our 600th event this month, and saw the first of our regular sign language support person Paloma Dyer, who has been signing the first-timer briefing and also main run briefing most weekends since. She did some thorough preparation to avoid being caught out by phrases like “Tennis Court Hill” and “No barcode, no time”.

More celebrations were in the offing as we had a parkrun wedding to celebrate - Penny Metcalf and Alastair Bridgman ran parkrun in the morning and got married in the afternoon. Penny then wrote a run report on how parkrun helped their romance blossom – unsurprisingly it’s the most-liked (in Facebook terms) run report we’ve had.

Chineham Medical Practice were also back for more – this month doing a partial volunteer takeover as well as encouraging their patients to take part having recently become Basingstoke’s second parrkun practice – as with the Acorn Health Partnership, who were first, the intention is to create stronger links between GPs and parkrun, allowing the former to ‘prescribe’ parkrun to their patients where they feel it would be beneficial.

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Sign language support

We saw our third “Club Day” this month, where eight of our local running clubs attended to showcase themselves to prospective members and allow parkrunners to find out more about them.

We also saw the launch of the Basingstoke group of 5k Your Way Move Against Cancer, which has a monthly event alongside parkrun, and provides support for anyone affected by cancer who would like to participate or volunteer at parkrun.

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A new group

Another name that you will probably be unfamiliar with is Kemuel Dean Solomon – but he did his 100th different parkrun location when he ran at Basingstoke this month. He’s now in the process of returning to the other locations where he didn’t get a sub-20 time.

Once more we broke the Christmas Day attendance record, with 535 participants making it our first time above 500 people. What better way is there to get your Christmas under way than by listening to the dulcet tones of the run briefing in song from the now traditional parkrun choir, and then doing 5k? No need for presents…!

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We said no need for presents!

Here are the personal memories and achievements – they’re anonymous, and written as they were said, but you can probably pick out one or two people you know:

- Getting a parkrun PB
- Competing in the South Downs relay
- Breaking 1:20 for a half-marathon
- Running 1,300 miles in a year
- Taking 30 seconds off my parkrun PB
- Running 31:22 at the Victory 5
- Finishing my first ever 10k
- Supporting new running friends
- Learning to run properly with a wheelchair
- Doing two marathons
- Finishing my first parkrun
- Doing parkrun in the mud
- Breaking 3 hours for the marathon
- Still running and loving it
- Completing 100 miles at Endure 24

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A memory contributor

- Finishing Race to the Tower
- Doing my first parkrun
- An 800m PB
- Finishing Race to the Stones
- Doing the Disneyland half marathon with friends from Sherfield Park Runners
- Doing my first three ultras
- Not giving in and buying Vaporflys
- Doing my first ultra-marathon at the Salisbury 54321
- Getting close to last year’s PBs despite getting older
- Being able to run after coming off cancer meditation
- Becoming European triathle champion
- Not swearing at the rabbit at the end of the Hampshire Hoppit

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Another memory contributor

- Running a half-marathon distance at the Greenham Arundelle event
- Running around the rim of the Santorini volcano
- Finishing Race to the Stones with no training
- Running my longest distance of 18 miles at the Greenham Arundelle event
- Getting 50 minutes off my marathon PB
- Starting to run
- Running 100km a week on average all year
- Surviving Endure 24
- Doing the Great South Run
- Getting a PB at the Gosport half-marathon
- Not dying during the Hampshire Hoppit
- Getting a PB at the Seville marathon
- Doing the first Basingstoke 10k
- Getting under 2:52 for the marathon
- Feeling the freedom of running across moorland in Devon
- Doing the Basingstoke half
- Making new running friends
- Finishing 8th in the county athletics championships for the 300m

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Yes, it's two laps

I should probably add my own personal experiences of parkrun this year, from a number of different perspectives.

As Event Director, my highlight was how smoothly we were able to move onto the new course, and the positive impact that it had had on the number of issues and complaints that we had been facing before we started to use it. As you may have read in Matt Pillinger’s run report at the time, actually putting together the course is not a straightforward exercise, and involves a combination of innovation in formulation and design, forward-thinking in identifying potential issues, no small amount of measuring and remeasuring, and finally administration in identifying new signage and lanyard requirements, among others.

Another highlight, therefore, is the way that I have been supported by the core team of Caroline, Mark, Frankie, Grant, Michal and Ryan, each of which has contributed far more to Basingstoke parkrun this year than can be recognised by mere volunteer credits, and all of whom do an enormous amount of work behind the scenes. Thank you in particular to Caroline, who stepped into my shoes (not literally!) as Event Director when I took some time away from both work and parkrun early in the year.

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Thank you for looking after my shoes!

I also get a sense of pride from what Basingstoke parkrun has done at a wider parkrun level - for example hosting the gathering of the ladies in the 500 club, partnering with health bodies such as our parkrun practices and 5k Your Way and getting exposure from Natasha’s run report mentioned above. We also had exposure on parkrun UK’s site of a photo of my Mum Luxmi completing her 100th parkrun at the tender age of 76. As a son, that also made me incredibly proud, and we worked out on Christmas Day that my Mum actually did more parkruns than me this year...!

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43 parkruns in the year for my Mum

As a runner, I’ve managed to do 37 out of the 53 Basingstoke parkruns this year, missing 4 due to visits to other parkruns, 6 due to volunteering, 2 through illness, 2 due to being in other countries and 2 because of my son Jay (once when he was asleep and unrousable while my wife Sarah went to parkrun instead, and once due to his birthday party which, inconsiderately in my opinion, started at 10am on a Saturday – that was also thanks to my wife, and as husband I’m pleased and amazed that Sarah did her first-ever half-marathon in 2019 despite maintaining for years that she’d never do one).

My times have varied between a personal best of 19:55 and a ‘personal worst’ of 58:24 when tail walking. I’ve also had a span of 655 positions between a highest finish of 11th and lowest of 666th, and did my 250th parkrun in August, 10 years and 2 days after my first. Once more, I have been accompanied and supported during parkruns by a whole host of people during the year - relatives, friends, neighbours - and occasionally complete strangers!

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A complete stranger, I think. Don't be a what?!

As a volunteer, apart from the short break I mentioned, I’ve been communications person nearly every week, and tried to add another role to that each week. This year I did 15 different roles (including Event Day Course Check for the first time) compared to 16 last year.

Anyway, there is a whole host of additional statistics for the year further down the report – they’re not from me but from our resident stats gurus Mark Norris and Matt Pillinger – thank you both for your help.

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Stats guru and Hall of Fame winner

Onto the event, and we had 545 people taking to our course for the last parkrun of the year. They included 16 people who have never done parkrun before (welcome – and we hope you will be back again soon!) and 22 who were new to Basingstoke (ditto!). They were led home by Jonathan Bradford of Burchfield Harriers in 17:04, his sixth first-finish in his seven runs at Basingstoke. Our first female finisher was Rebecca Reid of Hatch Warren Runners in 22:21 (and Rebecca got a PB in the process).

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Perhaps we need to do the first-time briefing better if people are going the wrong way!

Completing the podium positions for the women were Basingstoke debutant Ami Nash, and Sara Robinson who also got a new PB, and for the men we had Tom Harding in an unusual second place (after his fourth on Christmas Day and fifteen first finishes in a row before that) and Tony Watkins in third, equalling his highest ever finish.

Tony also got the highest overall age-grade, with 81.79%, with the second highest going to Tilbikram Sambahangphe and third-highest to Jonathan Bradford. For the women, Tracy Wyeth was highest, with 70.71%.

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Top age grade for Tracy

We had a total of 39 people achieving personal bests, including Rebecca and Sara already mentioned, with our most ‘experienced’ PB achiever being Gunther Schwob in his 68th run.

Well done also to the four people who reached parkrun milestones during the event:

• Izzabelle Trimmer (junior 10) – soon to get a white t-shirt for reaching the milestone
• Mikey Brucciani and Maria Lock (50) – red t-shirt
• Iona Strachan (100) – black t-shirt
We also had two people reaching unofficial milestones – well, multiples of 50 at any rate - Rebecca Willis (150) and Peter Baulch (350).

Finally for milestones, Eleanor Eason will soon be the proud recipient of a purple t-shirt having done her 25th volunteer stint this week. Thank you Eleanor, and indeed all of the volunteers today, for all your help – in particular Run Director Matt Pillinger.

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Stats guru and Run Director

Total attendance – 28,440 (2018: 25,800),
Distance run – 142,200km, or 3.53 times around the equator (2018: 129,000km)
Total PBs - 2,998 / 6.74% (2018: 2,947 / 11.42%)
Total female runners – 10,450 (2018: 9,107)
Total male runners – 16,107 (2018: 15,144)
Female runner percentage – 39.3% (2018: 37.6%)

Nearly double-digit growth!

First timers – 1,904
Unknown runners – 1,668
Most first finishes - Male - Tom Harding (33) (2018: Tom Harding (15))
Most first finishes - Female - Alison James (27) (2018: Alison James (27) – yes, that’s the same as last year!)
Fastest run (M) Dave Ragan (31 August) 15:36
Fastest run (F) Lesley Locks (29 June) 18:37 (also won overall that day)
Fastest average time – 12 October (26:52)
Total running time (known runners) 544.27 days (2018: 500.21 days)
Most PBs – 30 March (101)
Highest PB % - 1 January (12%)
Highest attendance – 12 January - 695
Lowest attendance – 2 November – 272 (blame the Rugby World Cup Final and the bad weather!)
Average attendance – 537 (2018: 478)
Highest monthly average – January (605)

Will we beat 2019's attendance in November 2020?

And here are some statistics on our wonderful volunteers:
Number of different volunteers: 469 (2018: 457)
Number of different volunteer roles filled: 2,704 – 5.76 per volunteer, or 51 per parkrun) (2018: 2,089 - 4.57 per volunteer, or 39 per parkrun)

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Some of our wonderful volunteers

Volunteers who have helped at 20 or more events - a big shout-out and thank you to them: Mike Athroll, Tamzin Blagbrough, Peter Chiverton, Hannah Erskine, Avi Govind, Mike Hedderly, Jack Hedderly, George Hedderly, Lisa Hedderly, Michael Hickey, Grant Hodgson, Denise Hope, Jane Lowe, Tommy Millar, Mark Norris, Michael Parker, Ryan Partner, Caroline Partner, Matt Pillinger, Peter Railton, Duncan Rounding, Mike Stanford, Frankie Wellings and Brian Worth.

A special thank you to Mike Athroll here, who has volunteered at every one of our 53 events this year and also to the 54 people who have volunteered but not taken part at any event.

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Every one of our events this year!

Finally, I’d like to wish all of you a Happy New Year from me, and also on behalf of everyone at Basingstoke parkrun - see you in 2020!


Blow, blow thou winter wind

Basingstoke parkrun #565, 15th December 2018, Run Report by Cerys Byrne

The forecast for 9.00am on Saturday morning was, depending on where you looked, for either snow or hail, but still 356 intrepid runners braved the cold and windy conditions in Memorial Park for their weekly 5K run. This number included 3 first time parkrunners and 7 tourists who were running Basingstoke for the first time. It always amazes me in the winter months that someone would look out of the window on a day like Saturday and decide it is the perfect time to run their first parkrun, but congratulations to all three of you and we hope to see you back very soon. Our furthest travelled tourist was Glen Lazarus, who came all the way from South Africa, where the weather is a lot nicer at this time of year!

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Despite the cold and wind, the rain (mostly) held off for the duration of the run and 31 runners achieved personal best times this week, maybe the weather provided an incentive to get their run done as quickly as possible.

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Congratulations to Caroline Modle, Chris Townley, Gary Owen, Nii Lante Holm and Paul Crudge, who all completed their 50th runs this week and special congratulations to Jim Howard, who celebrated his birthday by running his 250th parkrun, which is as many as all the other milestone runners put together.  Congratulations also go to Toby Lampard who completed his 25th volunteer stint this week and will be receiving a lovely purple volunteer T-shirt.

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I have 3 parkrun T-shirts and the purple one is definitely my favourite, not only for the colour, but for what it represents - a thank you from parkrun for helping ensure that the event can go ahead for the runners.  If you've never volunteered before, why not give it a try?  The volunteer team is very friendly and will make you feel welcome, you'll get a lovely warm glow from the thanks you get from all the runners and, if you volunteer 25 times, a fetching purple T-shirt to add to your collection.

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We're especially in need of volunteers over the Christmas period when we have our extra parkruns on Christmas Day and New Year's Day (see  Do take a look at the roster at to see what roles are available and email to let us know what you'd like to do.

We'll see you back in the park next Saturday for our last run before Christmas.

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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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