Burgess Newsletter 67

After starting the week with a very empty-looking roster, we ended up with 39 hi-viz heroes at Event 420. With numbers going over 500 for the first time since February 2022, we definitely appreciated each and every person. It was a fantastic turnout, with 54 people visiting Burgess parkrun for the first time (hello, tourists!) and 22 first-timers (welcome to the family). We couldn't have done it without all the help!

Geoffrey token sorting in the field

And speaking of making the magic happen, we promised this week's Burgess Newsletter would have something special in it... and it does! For the first time since 2017, we are looking to expand the core team by asking some of you lovely people to consider becoming Run Directors. If you weren't signed up to our email list, you'll have missed the initial appeal that went out (volunteer appeal sign up instructions are here) but it's not too late to throw your hat into the ring.

This week, we demystify what it is we actually do...

So, what is a Run Director?

Run Directors (RDs) are the people who make parkrun happen each week. They're usually found milling around at the finish area, organising the volunteer team, standing on a bench shouting a briefing or huddled over a computer uploading the weekly results with a coffee. Their main role is to ensure a safe, smooth event takes place on any given Saturday. We’re very keen to get more people involved in the organisation of Burgess parkrun and build a larger team of RDs.

Josie run directing

What are the time commitments of being an RD?

We aim for RDs to direct events every six to eight weeks, although there is no set-in-stone rule about this. RDs are also responsible for coordinating volunteers during the week they're in charge, as well as processing the results after the run. Don't worry, full training and guidance will be provided!

Graham and Tommy

What makes a good Run Director?

The most important thing is being passionate about parkrun! If you'd love to be part of a team that puts on a fun, friendly and inclusive community event each Saturday, then it might be for you. We've also found that strong organisational skills and being a good communicator are valuable assets when being an RD.

Being a little bit magical doesn't hurt either...

Alice or the Wicked Witch?

Why would I want to sign up?

We thought you might ask that! Well, in our own words, here's what a few of us had to say about run directing.

Chris

Becoming a Run Director at Burgess parkrun in 2013 is one of the decisions in my life that I'm most grateful to have made. Having random people come up to you and tell you how much of a positive impact the event has had on their life is something that constantly inspires me. The benefits of being in RD (and subsequently ED) in my own life have been immeasurable.

Manny and Chris

As a natural introvert, the idea of standing up on a bench and shouting a briefing to over 800 people, or leading a team to put on a weekly event, would have been impossible 9 years ago. But thanks to the, quite simply, incredible people I've met on the way - many of whom I'm now lucky enough to call some of my closest friends - it became just another thing to do to keep the event running. It's by far the most inclusive, positive community I've ever been a part of.

As a complete and utter, self-confessed stats nerd, by far my favourite task as an RD is the results processing. There's nothing quite like a perfectly complete, in sync set of results. And, when things do go slightly awry, the sleuthing to identify how and where is very satisfying. Throw in a coffee and a chat with your mates, and I can't think of many better ways to spend a Saturday morning.

Hannah

As a Run Director, I absolutely love seeing people complete the course who weren't sure if they could run or walk the entire 5K. I run pretty often myself, and you can take for granted just how big an achievement it is for someone to complete that distance for the first time.

It's also great to see people come back time and time again and achieve their own parkrun goals, which, of course, are always uniquely personal to them. No matter what time they are chasing down, every single PB is special, and volunteering mainly at the finish line means I often get to see some spectacular finishes and lots of smiles!

Hannah and Shveta

We have such a brilliant community at Burgess parkrun. It means a lot to me that I get to celebrate so many other people's milestones and be a part of organising a free run that is genuinely as inclusive as possible.

Shona

I grew up hating running, and a mate dragged me along to parkrun under protest, so it's always felt surreal to end up as a part of the Burgess core team. However, that's the whole point - Burgess parkrun has genuinely created an inclusive community where anyone is accepted. Even people like me, who blatantly only get up on Saturdays for the post-parkrun coffee!

Run directing (and volunteering, more generally) gives me the perfect excuse to not run, walk or jog and still be involved in the community. I often meet lots of new parkrunners who are scared that the volunteers will resent waiting for them or that we'll pack up and go home before they finish, and it's always a delight to be able to quash those fears instantly.

Shona RDing

I don't look like your typical track athlete, but I'm a parkrunner too, and it's so lovely to see the relief on their faces when I explain how it all works. I also often try to spot new parkrunners when they finish, so I can ask them how their first parkrun went. They might be worried when they set off, but trust me, everyone is always grinning at the end!

Organising parkrun involves some behind-the-scenes work each week, but we have such a supportive core team that it never feels like a burden. It's such a gift to volunteer so closely with some of the best humans I know and play a small part in keeping Burgess parkrun such a fantastic event. You definitely get out far more than you put in!

Next steps

If you're interested in becoming a Run Director, please come have a chat with one of the existing core team next team you're at Burgess. The main Run Director for any given Saturday is pretty easy to spot as they're wearing the special black and white vest, but there's always a second RD somewhere in the field, and often, there's at least another one of us hiding somewhere... Come say hello, ask all your questions, and if you're still interested, we'll take it from there!

Madeleine RDing at the start

Milestones

It wouldn't be a Burgess Newsletter without giving a shout out to all of our incredible milestone runners. Quite apt, therefore, that we start the roll call by congratulating Robert CRAGG for completing his 100th parkrun. You may recognise Robert for frequently delivering our first timers' welcome, a role that definitely requires some volume so that new parkrunners can hear all the explanations. Well done on your 100th parkrun, Robert, and thanks so much for all the volunteering you've done as part of that journey to get there!

Next up, congratulations are due to Hannah CHENEY LOWE from Fulham Palace, who marked her 100th parkrun with us. Hannah is a dedicated tourist, having run at 44 different events so far. Great work on your 100th parkrun, and good luck with your next parkrun challenge (which we suspect will be racking up another six different events)!

The incredible Zoe LEE and Imran KHAN completed their 50th parkrun, another truly fabulous achievement. Zoe is a local legend, having volunteered far more times than she's run, supporting parkrunners at Burgess parkrun, Burgess juniors and Kennington juniors. Well done on your milestone, Zoe, and we're so grateful for how much you've done for your community along the way.

Imran has only recently started visiting us, but we're really grateful to him for highlighting how Burgess is such a great course to run with a guide. Truly honoured you decided to do your 50th with us, Imran - don't be a stranger, we'd love to see you visit more often!

Finally, Nico TAYLOR, Lauren GAMBLE, Nina HEMMINGS, and David GLOVER celebrated their 25th parkrun, the first running milestone that adults can achieve. Very proud of all of you, and here's to the next 25.

As always, thank so much to everyone for being a part of Burgess parkrun, whether you're a regular or a tourist. There's something quite magical about spending time together in our gorgeous park, and we can't wait to do it all again on Saturday.

Until the next time,
Shona C BARKER, Chris RAVENEY and Hannah MUMBY

#volunteering #milestones #rundirecting

 

Burgess Newsletter 66

Getting the party started for the long weekend, Run Director Madeleine MATOS was thrilled to welcome 469 parkrunners to Burgess, including 58 first-time tourists and 18 parkrun newbies completing their first-ever 5km. The sun was out, making it lovely weather for volunteers and slightly too warm for runners. Still, 70 people bagged a PB anyway, perhaps motivated by the idea of collapsing in the shade afterwards!

600 Vernons

Burgess legends Chris VERNON and Susan VERNON celebrated an incredible joint milestone, with Chris completing 350 parkruns and Susan completing 250 parkruns. They claim they didn't plan it, but there's something very parkrun-y about lining up milestones like that... Either way, we love it.

Susan, Chris and friends

If it's difficult to imagine how far 600 parkruns will get you, that's about twice the length of the UK and another 37 laps of Burgess Park to finish. Not only has Susan spent 24% of her parkruns encouraging parkrunners at the back of the pack, but she's also racked up a bonus 46km tail-walking at junior parkrun. (As you keen beans will know, that's even further than a marathon.)

Susan running her 250th

Chris and Susan are both Burgess Originals - they ran at our first event back in 2012. If you've ever wondered whether parkrun is addictive, pick a Vernon, any Vernon, and they'll gladly share some stories with you.

Other milestones

Susan wasn't the only person to join the 250 club! Our very own Ben NEWBERY and Anjum MISBAHUDDIN also completed their 250th parkruns. Three is absolutely a magic number - yes, it is! A special thank you goes to Anjum for choosing to mark her milestone by volunteering and tail walking for her 250th.

Sticking with a trio of celebrations, Jerónimo LOPES, Matthew DARK and Angela HUDSON joined the 100 club, followed by Emma SEYMOUR, Melissa DAVEY and Isaac AKINOLA, who joined the 50 club. Very well done, all of you!

We still had more running milestones to applaud - yes, really, there were even more - with four people joining the 25 club. Well done to Madeline ROLFE, Mehreteab MEDHANIE, Katie TWOMEY and Michael POTTS for completing your 25th parkrun.

Lee YORK joined a different 25 club - the V25 club for volunteering at parkrun 25 times! Lee has fast become a regular fixture at the start and finish line this year, and all of his help has been greatly appreciated.

Claire, Mads, Lee and Josie

All in all, there were more milestones than you could shake a stick at, but they were all very dear to us. Thank you to everyone for choosing to mark the occasion at Burgess - you're inspirational human beings and we're so proud of you!

Celebrity spotting at the Vitality 10,000

Congratulations to the Burgess family for representing at the Vitality 10,000 on the bank holiday Monday. There were lots of familiar faces - we're sure we missed some - including the following 10K legends:

  • Sean O'SULLIVAN
  • Jayne OGOL
  • Josephine OCAKA
  • Andrew FIRTH
  • Geoffrey OCHIENG
  • Alex AKOM
  • Robert CROWSTON
  • Michael WELSH
  • Andrew BROWNLEE
  • Dan McVEIGH
  • Rhiannon NEEDHAM
  • Martin HIDER
  • James SCREEN

Of course, running is also about the support crew, and we were proud to spot Aqasa NU heading up the unofficial cheer squad, Sylvie BESSE helping out with baggage, and Petra EGAN handing out medals. As for me, I was busy causing trouble in pink at the start line and collecting hugs from runners. You can take the girl out of Burgess Park, but...

Sean and Petra

If we missed you in the crowd over the bank holiday weekend, don't worry, there will be plenty of opportunities to show off your orange finisher t-shirts and pink volunteer jackets on Saturday and in the coming weeks. We love a bit of race stash and the stories that inevitably accompany it!

Volunteer update

We shared a very special volunteer update this week - if you didn't catch it, remember, to stay in the loop with all things Burgess volunteer related, you will need to opt into the mailing list yourself. Full instructions of how to sign up can be found here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/burgess/news/2022/03/18/opting-into-volunteer-emails/

For those of you who didn't sign up in time to receive the last email, don't worry, there will be more details to follow in next week's newsletter.

Happy parkrunning,

Shona C BARKER

#loveparkrun #milestones #localraces #250club #100club #50club #25club #V25

 

Burgess Newsletter 65

We had nearly a 50% spike in numbers from the previous week, with 474 people turning up to run, walk or jog at Burgess parkrun. It was amazing to see so many people return to enjoy the park together.

Katy

Tourists, first-timers and PBs

We welcomed 20 first-timers, who just about covered half the parkrun alphabet between them. From Adam SMITH to Ziyi YANG, we were thrilled to meet you! We also welcomed 68 tourists, including 12 of the Clapham Pioneers doing a spot of local tourism.

There were a whopping 66 PBs, representing 14% of the field.

Milestones

Burgess regular Nick ANDROULIDAKIS joined the 100 club, having begun his parkrun journey back in 2013 at Burgess Park. Congratulations, Nick.

Onur REFET joined the 50 club as a Burgess passionista, having never run anywhere else. Although Rose WOOLHOUSE also joined the 50 club, she did it a different way, having ticked off three different parkrun countries. Excellent accomplishments, both of you!

Finally, we saw four people join the 25 club. Well done to Ben HAMBIDGE, Alfie DUNN, Charlotte KIRKMAN and Richard LANCASTER!

A long weekend of running

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, ahead of the Vitality Westminster Mile on Saturday and Vitality 10,000 on Monday. There's a special parkrun wave at the race on Sunday, with participants setting off at 11.30. If you're not already planning to run or volunteer, feel free to head to St James' Park to support what is likely to be a veritable sea of apricot.

(We're also still accepting last-minute volunteers for parkrun on Saturday, especially if you have a smartphone and want to give barcode scanning a go...)

Best of luck to everyone taking part in any of the events this long weekend - and if you'd like to share your stories with us, there's a future Burgess Newsletter with your name on it!

Until the next time,

Shona C BARKER

#milestones #localraces #parkrunwave

 

Burgess Newsletter 64

With another week of perfect weather, I can only assume most of our regulars had cracked open the Easter eggs early and were busy sleeping off a chocolate coma because numbers were down yet again. A small but perfectly formed field of 323 parkrunners turned up to run, walk and jog with us, of whom one looked suspiciously like the Easter bunny, and seven were doubling up with a run and volunteer credit.

We only had 18 non-running volunteers, so we simply wouldn't have been able to go ahead without the doubling up. It's always harder to find people to help out at this time of year (we know we're not the only parkrun near you asking for help each week!), so if you've been mulling over the idea of volunteering, now is absolutely the time to give it a go!

After the run

Tourists

We welcomed 45 people to Burgess for the first time. The majority, 60%, were from London and elsewhere in England, keeping their parkrun tourism relatively local. However, Jason WARRIOR also joined us from Amanzimtoti parkrun in South Africa, Imogen BLANCH from Wagraratta parkrun in Australia and Ole-Alexander OPDALSHEI from Tøyen parkrun in Norway. Together, they represented half of the parkrun continents. **

(** To the best of our knowledge, there are no current or proposed events in Antarctica. Can you imagine the risk assessment? We're not quite sure what HQ would think of all the ice, but penguins marshalling would be all kinds of awesome!)

Milestones

Burgess legends Alex AKOM and George TORACH-WATOKEE celebrated their 250th and 100th parkruns. Well done, gents! Alex managed to sneak in a few other courses with a 99% Burgess hit rate, and George ran all of his events on home turf. They clearly have a favourite parkrun... and we very much approve.

Our two 50-club entrants were both tourists, although with Cat AVENELL hailing from Peckham Rye and Peta MASTERS from Castlemaine in Australia, one had arguably travelled further to get to us! Congratulations to both of you, and thank you for choosing to mark your milestone at Burgess. We always love a tourist milestone!

As if that wasn't enough to celebrate running-wise, we had five new members of the 25 club. A big cheer for Michael LONGLEY, Oliver DAVIES, Charlie MANNIX BEALE, Sofya GORELOVA and Florence FILOSE!

Talking of cheering, one of the volunteers supporting you on the course was the incredible Stephanie SIU, volunteering for the 50th time! Save for one trip to a nearby junior parkrun, all of Stephanie's volunteering has been with us at Burgess parkrun.

Stephanie drumming in the New Year!

You may know Stephanie from bringing giant boxes of fortune cookies to the park in pre-pandemic years, being a part of the fruit gang or cheering you on with a Chinese drum. Stephanie has contributed so much to Burgess on top of those official 50 volunteer credits - she's definitely one of those special people who make our community what it is.

PBs

Nearly 13% of the field achieved a PB. Some of the people celebrating a new record are as follows:

  • Mahir HAGI picked up his fifth 5K parkrun PB this year with a new record of 41:24. Great job, Mahir!
  • Yujing WANG returned for her second parkrun with a new best time of 38:35, taking nearly 9 minutes off her previous record. What an improvement!
  • Jasmin CHAHAL bagged yet another consecutive Burgess PB with a new record of 29:05.
  • Lucy MORDAUNT set a new all-time PB of 19:48 on her second trip to Burgess, marking her first-ever sub-20 parkrun. Well done, Lucy!
  • Greg LAMBADIARIS also ran his first sub-20 parkrun with a new PB of 19:31.
  • Greg CROOKS broke the 18-minute barrier for the first time with a new PB of 17:40 and a top ten finish.

The field setting out

A convenient update

We know for some of you, getting to the public toilets by the top of the lake is a bit of a stretch, given they're right at the other end of the course. Well, our lovely friends at the tennis club have agreed to let parkrunners use their toilets before the run, as long as there is a parkrun volunteer supervising access.

It's really kind of them to let us use the facilities, so please be respectful of their rules and understand there may have to be some distanced queuing outside. We know some parkrunners have to choose their courses very carefully based on access to pre-parkrun toilet facilities, so let's be mindful of the massive favour. We want everyone to feel welcome at Burgess, and for some, that does hinge on toilet access!

Finally, speaking of being welcome at Burgess, we can't wait to see you all on Saturday.

See you soon,

Shona C BARKER

#loveparkrun #milestones #volunteering #parktourism

 

Burgess Newsletter 63

I arrived at Burgess parkrun to see Run Director, Josephine HART, briefing the other volunteers on their duties. There were 30 hi-viz heroes volunteering throughout, and a further five of us doubled up with a morning spent both completing the 5K course and volunteering.

In total, 371 people ran, walked and jogged at Burgess. About 10% of the field volunteered, so if you can, please do consider offering a similar percentage of your available parkruns to volunteer by emailing burgess@parkrun.comNot everyone can volunteer on a Saturday morning. However, if you're able to help out every so often, it would be immensely appreciated!

Lee and Josie

First-timers

It was a crisp, chilly Saturday morning with Aqasa NU kicking off with a high-energy and entertaining briefing to new visitors to Burgess. He then completed the event with a cracking 71.95% age grade.

Aqasa delivering the first timers welcome

There were 14 first-timers to parkrun, so welcome to Lowri BETZ-VAIS, Oliver BOWLING, Mei CHAN, Karely Paola CORREA MAMANI, Gui CUNHA, Lawrence and Sarah KAO, Lars MARTINEZ RIDLEY, Joe MERRIWEATHER, Neema RAI, Will SMITH, James STANLEY, Micheline URQUHART and Georgina WELLER. We look forward to seeing you back soon!

We also welcomed 44 tourists, who weren't new to parkrun, but were new to Burgess. We hope you enjoyed your visit.

Josie started the day's event after giving us an essential update on the nearest toilets, and then we thundered towards the underpass. 

Josie run directing

Top age grades

Aqasa reminded us in his welcome that parkrun is not a race, so I wanted to look instead at the age gradings to see who came first in their categories.

Congratulations to Alex DAVIDSON (VM55-59 88.33%) and Madeleine ARMSTRONG PLIETH (VW40-44 79.84%) for finishing with the highest gender percentages. Top work!

All parkrun events use age grading to help parkrunners compare results by producing a score (a percentage) that allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances, even though they might be of different ages and gender. Of course, no matter your age grading, you're definitely a champion as long as you had fun!

 The other top age/gender category finishers were as follows:

  •  Peta MASTERS (VW65-69, 70.85%)
  • Cathy BLAND (VW60-64, 67.53%)
  • Helen LUCAS (VW55-59, 61.27%)
  • Teresa PRICE (VW50-54, 67.3%)
  • Layla ATKINSON (VW45-49, 68.94%)
  • Dana SHOCKMAN (VW35-39, 65.33%)
  • Amy COOK (SW30-34, 77.87%)
  • Micheline URQUHART (SW25-29, 63.61%)
  • Verity EVANS (SW20-24, 69.65%)
  • Karely Paola CORREA MAMANI (JW15-17, 55.57%)
  • Eva PRICE (JW11-14, 55.31%)
  • Amira HAGI (JW10 30.35%).

The finish

  • James MACKINTOSH (VM70-74, 61.80%)
  • Mark ELLIS (VM65-69, 75.85%)
  • Martin KELSEN (VM60-64, 76.96%)
  • Stewart HALL (VM50-54, 74.75%)
  • Dan GRITTON (VM45-49, 80.11%)
  • James GILLANDERS (VM40-44, 80.50%)
  • Ben MCCONNELL (VM35-39, 74.48%)
  • Michael LONGLEY ( SM30-34, 75.97%)
  • Alastair STANLEY (SM25-29, 74.78%)
  • James STANLEY (SM20-24, 72.95%)
  • Kleone GAYYA (JM15-17, 56.49%)
  • Alexander JAFFEY (JM11-14, 62.16%)
  • Malik HAGI (JM10, 37.73%)

Milestone clubs

Congratulations to Tom BROMWICH on his 100th parkrun! He's run at five other events, but his fastest course remains on home turf at Burgess. Well done also to Burgess regular Jack SCRIVEN on his 50th event - that red shirt is a lovely colour!

We also saw four parkrunners join the 25 club:

  • Burgess parkrunner Andrew FALLOW has aleady racked up a total of 7 different events - could his next 25 parkruns involve some more tourism?
  • James CLARK has been running at Burgess since 2018. (Time to update your home parkrun?)
  • Leon TARBOTTON joined us from St Peters parkrun in Australia. What a way to make your first visit to Burgess even more special!
  • Six and half years and six PBs later... we're thrilled to see Veronica DAVIES join the 25 club. It doesn't matter how long it takes, parkrun is always there for you.

Well done to Alexander JAFFEY for finishing his first 10 parkruns, and all at Burgess, too! He becomes a member of the Junior 10 run club.

Scanning the results, I spotted that Sylvie BESSE, Andrew BROWNLEE, Neville KING, Jonathan LITCHFIELD and Norman URQUIA were members of the V100 club. I didn't see their milestone tees, but it's undoubtedly another remarkable parkrun milestone!

PBs

It's a buzz and hard work to get a new personal best; congratulations to the 48 parkrunners who achieved a PBs in the springtime sun. Amongst those 48 superstars include the following:

  • Well done to Hannah BURNS for a shiny new PB of exactly 43:00. Not only is it her first Burgess PB, but it's her fastest time this year.
  • Congratulations to Olivia MUNK and Hannah CLYNCH and Lucy LARBALESTIER for edging under 30 minutes for the first time, with times of 29:46 and 29:21 respectively.
  • It was good to spot Geoff MARSHALL of train fame in the crowd chasing a PB. He took home a fab new PB of 23:39, setting himself not just a Burgess PB, but an all-time PB.
  • Ben HARRIES just edged below 18 minutes for the first time with a new PB of 17:58 on what was only his fourth parkrun. Amazing effort, Ben!

Post-parkrun cool down

One of the traditions at Burgess parkrun is a post-event stretching group that starts in sight of the finish funnel. It's a short activity to round off your morning and set you up for the rest of the day and weekend.

The cool down

Volunteers

All of the amazing things described here only happen when you and others share your passion and support for parkrun by volunteering.

Tesco Turn

 Today's volunteers were:

  • Linda ALLCOCK
  • Courtney ANDRUSZKO
  • Fanny CHOPARD
  • Paul COOK
  • Jan COOPER
  • Barry EVANS
  • Josephine HART
  • Andrew HAY
  • James KILAMA-OCENG
  • Ben KUMAR
  • Rebecca LAINES AGUILAR
  • Florencia LARA CANAVIRI
  • Gearoid LAVERY
  • Kate LEDIN
  • Stefan LEDIN
  • Laura LOPEZ LOPEZ
  • Leonardo LOPEZ RAMIREZ
  • Aislin MAGEEAN
  • Dan McVEIGH
  • Will MESHER
  • Hannah MUMBY
  • Aqasa NU
  • Declan O'DEMPSEY
  • Pete OAKLEY
  • Lucy PEACOCK
  • Leo PEMBERTON
  • Gladys Bertha PILATASIG CANDO
  • Patricia Elizabeth PILATASIG CANDO
  • Toby PRICE
  • Chris RAVENEY
  • Pip REEVE
  • Stephanie SIU
  • Bryony SMITH
  • Elliot WOODRUFF
  • Lee YORK

Stephanie marshalling

If you joined me for Event 416 to run, walk, jog, volunteer, spectate, or any combination of those things, I'm sure you'll agree that we're making a healthier and happier planet together.

Until the next time,

Paul COOK

 #milestones #agegradings #PBs #milestoneclubs

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