Run Report for Event #214 Saturday 20th July


"I run because it's so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can't. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you're capable of so much more than you thought." - Arthur Blank (American businessman and Philanthropist.)


Why start today with this quote?

I love landmarks - and I'm not talking about Big Ben, or Stonehenge; but those sporting landmarks.  How many times have we sat and thought, I'd love to run under xx:xx for a certain distance; then have you ever thought; but I don't think I can?

Within reason, so many of these barriers to landmarks are in our minds.  When I first ever ran a 10km distance it took me nearly 80 minutes.  Very quickly the times came down, but having got 'stuck' around 62 minutes, I started wondering whether I would ever get below the 1 hour mark.  Suddenly, and unexpectedly, I ran 59:56, after which, the times tumbled again.  There was no actual physical barrier which was stopping me going quicker, I just needed to believe.  This year, I ran the Staines 10k in 46:44.  Mind you, I don't suppose I'll ever go sub 45 minutes. :)


Even in professional athletics, it happens. For a long time people were close to the 4 minute mile, but started to believe it wasn't possible.  Then Roger Bannister broke that landmark in 1954 and many more followed quite quickly.

American athlete Jim Hines is the first person to now be recognised as going under 10 seconds for 100 metres (under current IAAF regulations) in winning gold at the 1968 Olympics.  Now, it's commonplace.


Even when not writing the run report, I like to have a quick browse through the results and often notice people breaking certain barriers and wonder whether it's something they've been aiming to do, or even whether it's something they thought they couldn't.


Anyway, onto today's event.  I guess it's no coincidence to see the start of the school holidays produce a smaller turnout; but there were still 87 of us at Bedfont Lakes this week, 12 of whom were first-timers (6 new to Parkrun and 6 visitors.)

One of our visitors Steven Stockwell has written a great blog about his morning, if you haven't already seen it, you can find it here  many thanks for your time and your kind words, Steven - we hope to see you back sometime.


First across the line  was Daniel Harris in a time of 17:51, which was 4 seconds ahead of Matt Reed.  Edmund Hunter was third home in a time of 19:20.  Well run gentlemen.

For the ladies, Toni Callen, was again first to finish in 21:17, with Merilyn Davis second in 23:02 and Sibongile Dube third in 25:26.


We did have 18 Pbs set, which is fantastic - and the ones I've picked out for special mention today follow-on from my preamble above, people who broke barriers or set new landmarks.


  • Rachel Chapman's time of 29:11 was over 90 seconds faster than she had run before and took her below the magical 30 minute mark.
  • Vanessa Bowdrey was another to break that barrier for the first time, taking almost 3 minutes off of her best time to record 28:46
  • Kevin Dargue has been nudging away at his PB for a few weeks now, and a further 10 seconds this week took him to the 23 minute mark.
  • Jimmy Mollagen took over a minute off of his best to record a time of 21:27, smashing the 22 minute barrier.
  • Toni Callen's winning time today was a also a big PB, taking almost 30 seconds off of her previous best -  in her landmark 200th Parkrun


On the day that the 100th Tour de France draws to a close, it seems appropriate to say "Chapeau" to you all. :)


A special big thanks to all our wonderful volunteers today - during this holiday period, it's extra-hard to find enough people to make Parkrun happen every week.  Please remember, that we are always looking for people to help out, with some of the roles still enabling you to run as well.  If you have a free week coming up soon, check out for more information.  Many thanks.

As Steven says in his blog, we have a great event here each week, but, to do my Lord Kitchener bit, "Your Parkrun needs You!"

On a personal note, it was great to chat to a few new faces today - thanks to Maria and David for their kind words on my reports :) and to those I chatted to briefly before the run whose names I either didn't catch or can't remember!!


It looks like the temperatures will be a bit more comfortable for running (and anything else for that matter) this week.  So stick with it and push through those barriers with a new sense of vigour and belief.

Remember, as Henry Ford once said "Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right."

Have a great week.


Clive Dechant