Happy New Year and congratulations to our photo challenge winners!

Happy New Year and congratulations to our seven winners of the 12 Days of Christmas photo challenge:

  • Liz NASH, Aqasa NU and Maggie OWEN, who guessed 8 out of 9 pictures correctly;
  • Rebecca HIGGINS and Josna PATEL, who guessed 7 out of 9 pictures correctly;
  • Eli GRIMSON, whose picture was guessed correctly 85% of the time; and
  • Stephanie LO, whose picture was the second most liked!

Thank you very much to everyone who submitted their entries and those who guessed which days the entries relate to and voted for your favourite picture.

Below, we present all nine entries to you. We also give those a chance who have not taken part in the online voting to see if they can guess as well as our challenge winners (answers at the bottom).

A. Eli’s day had 85% right guesses


B. Andrew’s day had 75% right guesses


C. Josna’s day had 75% right guesses

processed (1)

D. Aqasa’s day had 70% right guesses


E. James’s day had 95% right guesses


F. Madeleine’s day had 95% right guesses


G. Sophia’s day had 100% right guesses

image0 - small

H. Stefanie’s day had 30% right guesses

Parkrun Stef 2-small

I. Graham’s day had 100% right guesses


Favourite entry

We also asked everyone to pick their favourite picture – well done Sophia for wowing three quarters of our voters, as the following pie chart illustrates.


Figure 1 : Online voters' favourite entry

Pie chart - challenge

Answer key for guessing game: A: 7; B: 3; C: 1; D:5; E: 4; F: 5; G: 3; H: 11; I: 1.

Thank you all for taking part! We will be in touch shortly with the challenge winners to organise your prizes!

Until then, we hope everyone is staying well and warm!

Your Burgess parkrun Event Team


Let the guessing start!

We hope everyone had a good Christmas and is keeping well.

Entries are now closed for our 12 Days of Christmas photo challenge.

We invite you to both (i) guess which of the 12 Days of Christmas the different entries relate to; and (ii) pick your favourite entry until 5 January 2021.

You can cast your votes here.

The entries that get the most right guesses and the most popular ones will win a community entry for the Vitality Big Half on 25 April 2021, as will the people who have guessed most correct images! Winners will be announced on the 12th Day of Christmas – 6 January 2021.

Happy guessing y'all!

Your Burgess parkrun Event Team


Guess which of the 12 days of Christmas?

To spread some festive cheer, we’re launching Burgess parkrun's very own 12 days of Christmas photo challenge.

We’re asking our parkrunners to get creative on their runs, walks, home work-outs, whatever it is you’re getting up to in these times. For this challenge, we’re looking for photos or images that represent one of the 12 days of Christmas.

For example, imagine you happen to be running around the lake and see six geese laying eggs and manage to capture that moment. Email in your photo/image to burgess@parkrun.com by Christmas Eve (24 December 2020). We’ll put together a gallery and the Burgess community will guess and vote for their favourite, with prizes up for grabs.

Burgess geese a-laying

(Hopefully, you’ll also have better photography/paint editing/counting skills than one of our RDs...)

We’re putting no boundaries on what you can do. You could get your kids to draw something for you, create a Strava route that represents one of the days or get creative with photo editing – anything that can be captured in an image/screenshot goes.

Throughout the actual 12 days of Christmas, a Google Form will be online for you all to guess which of the 12 days of Christmas the various pictures relate to. The entries that get the most right guesses and the most popular ones will win a community entry for the Vitality Big Half on 25 April 2021, as will the people who have guessed most correct images! Winners will be announced on the 12th day of Christmas – 6 January 2021.

If you already have a place in the Vitality Big Half, but still wish to participate, please do let us know when you submit your entry, so we can make sure your entry still gets voted on, but not entered into the prize draw. Please only submit one entry per parkrunner and do let us know which of the 12 days your image is representing when you send it to us. Also, it goes without saying that you’d need to be happy for us to share your image on social media, etc.

Finally, given that there are multiple versions of this beloved Christmas carol, and to avoid confusion, we will be sticking to the following festive order.

  • a partridge in a pear tree;
  • two turtle doves;
  • three French hens;
  • four calling birds;
  • five gold rings;
  • six geese a-laying;
  • seven swans a-swimming;
  • eight maids a-milking;
  • nine ladies dancing;
  • ten lords a-leaping;
  • eleven pipers piping;
  • twelve drummers drumming.

12 days christmas

We look forward to receiving your entries and ho-ho-hope you are all keeping well and warm!

Your Burgess parkrun Event Team


Burgess Newsletter 26

Here in England, we’re half-way into #Lockdown2, and we’re back to those strange days from earlier this year of staying at home and minimising social interactions. Zoom fatigue may be starting to get to you again (hey, we’ve all been there), but not all virtual events need be a drag. This week, Burgess Run Director Madeleine MATOS looks back on her experiences of running together with the Burgess family, whilst still staying physically apart. It turns out, you can take the parkrunner out of Burgess, but you can’t take Burgess out of the parkrunner.

What is the ‘virtual’ Southwark Slam?

Some of you may have heard of, even partaken in, some of the previous editions of the Southwark Slam - an unofficial parkrun challenge organised by some Burgess regulars. It’s a simple concept - there are four different parkruns in the London borough of Southwark, namely in Southwark Park, Peckham Rye, Dulwich Park, and Burgess Park. You become an official ‘slammer’ if you complete all of them in September - be this running or volunteering (in BC - before COVID - times).

It all started in 2015, but there have already been some deviations. For example, last year the Southwark Slam took place in November rather than September due to lots of people being away and the volunteer roster looking a bit too thin. Surely then parkrun being on pause would not be able to thwart the 2020 Southwark Slam!

Lo and behold, parkrun having launched (not)parkrun, Aqasa NU was quick to adapt the Southwark Slam to this (not)parkrun world. To complete the 2020 Southwark Slam, you had to change your parkrun profile home event to:

  • Southwark parkrun in week one (05/09/20);
  • Peckham Rye parkrun in week two (12/09/20);
  • Dulwich parkrun in week three (19/09/20); and lastly
  • Burgess parkrun in week four (25/09/20).

This would give you a full virtual Southwark Slam!

How it took a pandemic for me to become a ‘slammer’

I had never managed to complete a Southwark Slam, as I had never been in London for all weekends in September (or November last year, for that matter). This year, I thought I would finally be able to make it, especially given all the travel restrictions. However, life had some different plans, and due to some unforeseen circumstances, I found myself in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg from August. My aspirations of finally becoming a ‘slammer’ seemed scuppered - yet the Southwark Slam going virtual actually enabled me to do it! (There’s almost always a silver lining...!)

I set myself the target of running a different 5km route each week and submitting it as a (not)parkrun for the relevant parkrun that week. Things were looking a bit dire at the start of September, though. I was nursing an injury and unable to run - but that’s where the brilliance of parkrun comes in, as I was able to walk the 5km instead! And so, I completed the first leg of the 2020 virtual Southwark Slam in a time of 53:45 with a Southwark (not)parkrun logged that Sunday. I did have the company of my dad throughout, even though I’m not sure he’s aware he completed a (not)parkrun. (He’s not registered with parkrun, something I’ve been trying to correct for a while, but to no avail!) Perhaps it has something to do with there being no parkruns in Luxembourg or Portugal... at least, not yet!

Now, for the Peckham Rye (not)parkrun, my injury was improving and I managed to complete it in 29:39, this time unaccompanied. However, I hadn’t quite perfected my 5km loop planning. As my (not)parkruns took me into some unchartered territory up some hills and into some forests, so I just stopped the watch when I reached 5km. For your enjoyment, here’s definitely (not)Peckham...


For Dulwich (not)parkrun, I had pretty much recovered from the injury, was breaking in some new shoes and managed to perfect a 5km loop in 30:24, again unaccompanied. Moreover, I did it on a Saturday, so a bit closer to the BC parkrun…! Here’s what my (not)Dulwich looked like...


For the grand finale, Burgess (not)parkrun, I was running out of 5km loops around my parents’ house, so I just used my mum’s 6km route and stopped the watch at 5km (again). I managed to get round in 26:13 and on a Saturday, too. There seems to be something about running your ‘home’ parkrun, even when away and nowhere near the course, that just makes you go that little bit faster than for all the previous ones.

It has been pretty amazing that this strange set of circumstances has led to me finally becoming a ‘slammer’. It’s also shown how we can still be connected to our community - even when far apart. I must confess, I was always a bit nervous about changing my home parkrun away from Burgess to take part in the challenge - what if I forgot to set it back? But it was all worth it, for the chance to feel a bit of the Burgess magic in Luxembourg!

Who else was ‘slamming’ it?

Every year, many people accidentally complete at least one leg of the Southwark Slam, by being in the right place at the right time. A grand total of 76 parkrunners completed at least one leg this year. How many of them were intentional slammers and how many of them just happened to be running at their home event in any given week, we’ll leave to your interpretation…

Sean O’SULLIVAN and Jo MEEHAN both completed a half-Slam, joining in all the fun with a Southwark (not)parkrun and Peckham Rye (not)parkrun.

Petra EGAN and Carol HUSTLER went one further, with both racking up three out of the four weeks. Petra ran at Southwark, Dulwich and Burgess, and Carol ran at Southwark, Peckham and Burgess.

Another four people completed the entire Slam! Now, you already know that I was one of the four who made it to the end. It will come as no surprise that Burgess legends Aqasa NU and Josephine OCAKA also completed all four weeks. It wouldn’t be a Burgess endeavour without at least one Andrew turning up, and it was great to have Andrew BROWNLEE representing the very many Burgess Andrews.

After several months away, I’m back in London, albeit all locked down. As good as I may have made virtual parkrunning sound, I do still really miss Burgess - and all the other parks in Southwark too! When this latest lockdown is over, I’m really looking forward to seeing you all again.

Until then, take care,
Madeleine MATOS

#SouthwarkSlam #TogetherApart #BurgessFamily #loveparkrun #virtualrun


Burgess Newsletter 25

Everyone has a parkrun origin story and well, here's mine. I first joined Burgess parkrun as an antidote to the work hard, play harder lifestyle of my twenties. Agreeing to meet a friend in the park at 8.55am on a Saturday meant I had to drag myself out of bed. It stopped me from wasting the day, no matter how long the working hours that week were or how epic the party was the night before!

Looking back, that was five years ago, and my big nights out are much less frequent these days. However, the significance of parkrun in my life has just continued to grow at an exponential rate since then.

Fiona running

Through volunteering, I have made a brilliant group of friends who have been there for me through all sorts of ups and downs. From reaching for that elusive PB, to overcoming periods of injury, finding a like-minded group to have fun mid-week training sessions with, to having a close local network that looked out for each other during lockdown, parkrun has really given me so much. I've even had physio massages, assistance building furniture, help with my local charity events, career advice and celebrations for England’s (short-lived) wins during the 2018 World Cup. My parkrun journey has been so much more than just a run in the park.

Fiona volunteering at parkrun

What I really love about parkrun is how it is there for you in all stages of life, no matter who you are or what life is throwing at you. As a young child, you can get involved in junior parkrun, then as a teen, parkrun is an excellent opportunity for getting fit, training for school cross country or having your first taste of community volunteering. As an adult, it can be whatever you want or need it to be - an excellent hangover cure in your twenties, a PB-builder in your thirties, a fun power walk during pregnancy and post-partum, or a bonding activity for young families. It can be a sociable way to stay involved in the community during illness or injury through volunteering, a way to keep healthy in older age, an opportunity to meet new people and make friends when you move to a new area. There really is something for everyone!

Alice and Fiona

Whilst I've missed parkrun a lot during the pandemic, I've been very grateful for the Burgess segment competition, where a group of us individually run a different segment in the park each week and compete on Strava to see who gets the best time. It's given me something to focus on, got me out of the house (again), this time exploring new areas of the park, and it's meant we've kept that strong sense of community, which has always been so great at Burgess. It was also wonderful bumping into members of the parkrun family on daily exercise runs during lockdown - that really lifted my spirits during such a strange, unsettling time.

I can't wait to get back to it when parkrun unpauses, which I hear may be sooner than many of us dared to hope! In the meantime, do stay safe, everyone.

Until the next time,

#loveparkrun #BurgessFamily #parkrunfamily

⇐ Newer Posts