Chichester parkrun #252

This week we were very pleased to welcome the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust who introduced us to their SAFE (Suicide Awareness For Everyone) Campaign. Their thought provoking presentation was very well received by our 16 vital hi-vis volunteers and 207 runners/walkers.

I think it would be fair to suggest that we need our society to accept that mental health issues are not uncommon, not something to hide nor something that makes someone "a lesser person". If someone gets appendicitis, for example, we do not think badly of them so why should it not be the same with mental health ?

Many of us tend to be reluctant to open up about concerns or anxieties. It is now well established that problems can be successfully dealt with if they are addressed at an early stage but for this to happen individuals need to be encouraged to become more open and to know where they can get help.

I guess we all have a little "headspace" reserved for things we are reluctant to expose, sometimes even to ourselves. This is also probably quite an "English Thing" so we have often become conditioned to holding back on concerns or worries. It is now recognised that opening up our communication with each other can be very beneficial. Our guests today from the SAFE Campaign made this point eloquently and with conviction. How lucky we are in this country to have people and organisations dedicated to helping people through the difficulties, pressures and hazards of life in the 21st Century. So, thank you to our local health professionals who joined us today.

Sussex Mental Heathline Call: 0300 5000 101

Hope Line UK Call: 0800 068 41 41

The Samaritans Call: 116 123 or email

Many thanks also to our volunteers without whom today's event would not have been possible. They were.....Mike HOUSTON • Mike MOORCROFT • Jane TAYLOR • Geoff SUMNER • Liz WINGHAM • Peter ANDERSON • Jeremy HARRISON • Joely WHARTON • Steve WHITMEE • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Kik DEACON • Colin HANCOCK • Tony HACK • Terry FALASCHI • Elizabeth ROBINSON & Jan IRELAND

Excitement is reaching fever pitch since participants at Chichester parkrun have now covered a total distance of 199,190 kms so next week I estimate that finisher 162 should take us past the 200,000 kms mark.

Extensive in depth analysis revealed lots of aesthetically pleasing times this week but since it was his debut parkrun the award goes to Elliott Wadley with 32:32. Commiserations to all the other contestants in this most challenging of contests.

Geoff Sumner

#251 never straightforward

Life is never a straight line, and nor is Chichester parkrun; twists and turns, stretches of flat carefree cruising, steep inclines and sharp descents are very typical of the beautiful Oaklands Park and this week's parkrun was no exception, with our Run Director almost losing his voice, a "faller" on the start line (who was gallantly supported with back up by fellow parkrunners - as always) and the icing on the cake when the then, potentially third to finish parkrunner - who on approaching the final turning was abruptly stopped in his tracks by his companion dog (Ralph), who decided this was a good time to perform his morning constitution. Classic move.

This week we saw almost 200 participants (199 to be precise- minus the disgraced Ralph) to include 20 first timers, representatives from 17 different clubs and visitors from London, Isle of Wight, Southsea and a mysterious couple from the Royal Borough of Windsor.

As always, parkrun would not be possible without the highly appreciated and valued contribution of the Chichester parkrun Volunteers, who this week included: Michael SHELDON • Jill RENSON • Paul STALLARD • Aaron BAKER • Jonathan GARDAM • Robert MALLETT • Chris ARMSTEAD • Jeremy HARRISON • Eleanor HARRISON • Emma WICKENS • Jane BUCKLEY • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • James STANBRIDGE • John ODDE • Ivan GARDNER • George STANBRIDGE • Guy BLACKMORE • Felicity NOWELL and Sandra L YOUNG - so thank you!

In terms of the results, local (unrelated) Chichester parkrun heroes James Baker and James Gardam sped round the course in super quick time ahead of the pack- with James B clocking an impressive age related 81.47% and James G achieving a PB of 17.40 and our first female finisher was Emily Moore in a very pleasing time of 21.12 (more of the pleasing times later). However, the taking part is the important factor and with 1 in 8 parkrunners getting Personal Bests this week and almost half of the field now exceeding more than 50 parkruns each- the event goes from strength to strength.

Aesthetically pleasing times include:

Emily Moore 21.12
John Orden 22.22
Philip Carr 23.23
Chris Haramis 24.24
Newman Andrew(?) 32.32
Jenny Gumbrell 44.33 (and Personal Best as well)


#250 – The one where we earn our Green T-Shirt!

Saturday 1 June 2019 dawned bright and sunny – it was going to be a hot one!!!  Chichester parkrun was turning 250 – if only an event could earn a milestone T-Shirt – and I had new shoes to try out!

As always, we arrived a bit earlier than normal as Lizzie volunteers quite a bit.  This morning Lynette WOODWARD, our Run Director, was preparing our dedicated band of helpers by running through their duties – all volunteer posts are super easy and full training is given each week. I think I’ve undertaken pretty much every role – some more than others as it’s evident that timekeeping is not my forté!  Without our Run Directors having this invaluable help and their complete focus on our Health and Safety, parkrun just wouldn’t happen.  However, Lynette had also been tasked with two extra jobs yesterday:  one was Wardrobe Mistress – it’s amazing how much clothing is abandoned during our weekly run and whilst most is collected after runners have been scanned, there is an increasing amount of warm-up wear being left behind. Chichester parkrun cannot be responsible for your clothes…so please try to remember them before leaving – we’d like to try to avoid it looking like The Chippendales have been in town! (Who’s old enough to remember them, hey???)

The second extra job was Buddy Finder – Lynette had been asked to find someone to run at about 19min pace with a touristing runner. This job was a bit harder to fulfil: normally, this type of request can be taken care of during the brief which will yield a willing pacer, however, there was a safe-guarding issue here as the chap was under 11 and, whilst we would hate to exclude someone from taking part, Chichester parkrun feels that it should be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to arrange a companion before arriving at an event you are touristing at. If you’re a member of a running club, perhaps send an email to the local running club earlier in the week to ask if they have someone running that wouldn’t mind taking on the role. It’s added pressure for the Run Director that can take their focus of their primary role!

OK – slight moan over! Chichester parkrun was able to welcome 231 runners to our 250th event (it’s a shame we couldn’t quite get 250...but if you include our volunteers, we hit the magic number!) – this included new friends from Alice Holt, Basingstoke (please say Hi to Charlotte Rennie from us when you go home!), Gosport, Bristol and lots of visitors from Midhurst taking part in their first parkrun after completing their Couch 25K – all in all we had 55 people completely new to parkrun yesterday, let’s hope you return soon – you’re going to find it addictive!!!  We love a good ‘shout out’ at Chichester – so the personal Milestones were acknowledged for Jack O’CONNOR who completed his 50th run, Geoff SUMNER completed his 100th volunteer stint and David MCCLEAN who completed his 300th run – naughty Leo STALLARD ‘forgot’ to mention it was his 50th run but nothing gets past us…so he’ll get his shout out next week.  Well done to all!

First finishers were Leo STALLARD, Samuel SNELL and Ollie SHERGOLD for the chaps and Emily MOORE, Hannah CROAD and (the gorgeous) Nadia ANDERSON for the ladies.  We had 35 Personal Bests – random shout outs to Rob MOORE (20:15) and Caroline MCKELLAR (38:31)!  My aesthetically pleasing time of the week goes to Justin GERI (who was closest to the magic number) for his 25:01 on our 250th run!

Finally – I have to thank our band of merry Volunteers:  Michael SHELDON • Mike MOORCROFT • Peter SHAW • Greg JAMES • Lynette WOODWARD • Geoff SUMNER • Chris ARMSTEAD • Jeremy HARRISON • Louise FLUDE • Colin ANCKORN • Peppy ANCKORN • Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Trevor BAKER • Warrell HARRIES • Tony HACK • Johanna HARRISON • Bertie PARADISE • Sandra L YOUNG • Debbie BUCKLEY

So until next week, happy running to you all!


PS my new shoes did get  me to within 10 seconds of a PB!  I must try harder next week…



Chichester parkrun #249: Welcoming summer back to Oaklands Park

What a wonderful day for a parkrun! People arrived bright and early for the 249th parkrun and the sun was shining. We welcomed 254 people to the course today, of whom 33 were first timers and 31 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part.

We also hosted a number of canine runners, who did well in the heat. Two of our runners were under 10 and completed the course with aplomb (James Loy and Sam Sullivan, take a bow). A huge number of first timers joined us: some new to the course and new to parkrun entirely. Hope you enjoyed it! People visited from Brazil, Auckland, Tunbridge Wells, Cornwall, Stansted, Linca, Bristol, Guildford. Two parkrunners completed their 50th runs today (Mary Campbell and Mark Wheeler).

The event was made possible by 17 volunteers: Susan BARTY • Dave BARTY • Lynette WOODWARD • Geoff SUMNER • Stephen TEE • Jeremy HARRISON • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Marcia KNIGHT • James STANBRIDGE • Philippa NEATHEY • Trevor BAKER • Kik DEACON • Philip FAULKNER • George STANBRIDGE • Carly SOFFE • Guy BLACKMORE • Justine-Elizabeth STAMP

If you want to be involved on next week's volunteer team, please email in at



Chichester parkrun #248

Avid Chichester parkrun readers may of spotted that there was no report last week and perhaps even came across the following item on BBC news about a Parkrun volunteer who booked himself onto a  wrong   Parkrun event  -but then made heroic amends by turning up, despite having to travel over 60Km by train to get there (see ). The 2 items are vaguely related (I was down to write last week's report, so perhaps there is a Parable somewhere in this !) and demonstrates the dedication of the parkrun Volunteers to making each event special - so many thanks to Brian J SULLIVAN • Ian STEVENS • Leon PERRY • Ellen PERRY • John BETTS • Lynette WOODWARD • Lis PESKETT  (Run Director) • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Nicola PHIZACKERLEY • James STANBRIDGE • George STANBRIDGE • Gary DICKER • Jane MOODIE • Lee MOODIE • Johanna HARRISON • Rebecca HARTLEY  and  François JARJAT. We salute you!

Chichester parkrun goes from strength to strength and this week was no exception with 210 parkrunners,  of whom 37 recorded new personal bests and we welcomed parkrunners from 16 different running clubs and 34 First Timers. Local running hero James Baker cruised first  over finishing line with an impressive age related  ranking of 83.27%  closely followed by Leo Stallard (with an equally highly impressive age related ranking of 79.10%), and Alice Wright from Vale of Alyesbury was our first female finisher -  in an also impressive 5th overall. However, the parkrun is not  really about the  position but rather the taking part - and looking at this weeks results page it is noted that 33 parkrunners have clocked up over 100 parkruns each and overall since the start of the Chichester parkrun back in August 2014, there has been 6,567 parkrunners  covering 194,735 km (the same distance, by my calculations as parkrunning, or perhaps parkwalking  five times round the world), which is not bad for a Saturday morning run round Oaklands Park.

Within the Chichester parkrun Hall of Fame, we welcome Rick West in completing his 50th Parkrun and Jane Moodie and Leon Perry for there 25th stints  of  Volunteering (and suggest we start introducing special High Vis Vests to mark such important occasions). In terms of pleasing times, there are several options so I leave it to the Chichester parkrun readers to make their own choice from;

Callum Overton  20.20, Ben Pulpett 24:42, Richard Hutchinson 25.25, Peter Cordiner 29.29, Abigail Taylor 34.56 and Caroline McKellar 40.04

and some close shaves;

Adam McCulloch 23.44, Abby Hadley 24.23, Trevor Baker 26.25, Sarah Long 29.28 and Claire Tewkesbury 32.33

Happy Voting!

Many thanks to Jonathon Gardam for this report






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