I really liked this parkrun , it was just about the complete package. The day starts well when it’s easy to find, when there’s masses of parking at a reasonable price and there are toilet facilities in the car park, which was as close to the start line as you could hope for.
I travel about quite a bit for parkruns and the constant for me has been the efficient organisation, the relaxed atmosphere, and the friendliness and helpfulness of the volunteers and runners alike; no exceptions so far. But I couldn’t help noticing something at Chichester that was done exceptionally well, and that was communication and information sharing. If you don’t volunteer, you may not appreciate this aspect quite so much, but Liz and Peter who are core team volunteers, were so quick to respond and I have never before had such precise instruction and timing for the various volunteering roles. Very few even mention the Run Report Writer and none have had any written instruction at all, so if you are thinking of having a go, this is definitely the one to start with! There are plenty of roles you can choose from if you want to run as well, both before the event and after, so you needn’t miss out.
With many parkruns you will have to queue at the start in the order you expect to finish, but not this one. There’s plenty of room for a mass start and things just sort themselves out without undue elbow barging. Then something else I noticed that was a first for me was when I encountered permanent course markers. I’m not saying no-where else has them, but certainly not within 50 miles of where I live and a few places beyond. They even have the parkruns logo beautifully carved into the tops of the square wooden posts and you can tell how popular they are by the number of people who use them to stop themselves slipping as they take the sharp turns around them. You can’t do that with the plastic ones!
Okay, so there were some slippery bits. Well, we’ve had an extraordinary amount of rain, but mud was in relatively short supply, considering. Mostly it could be found at those sharp bends with the marker posts, but wherever it was, it could be easily dodged if you had a mind to.
The course was mostly grass, there was a shortish but wide pathway of compacted sand and a truly wonderful, long gentle downhill slope on tarmac almost to the finish. I think we all like finishing like that! But what goes down, must go up. Or so it goes in the parkrun world. The up bit is probably about half the way round the course, of which there are three laps, and is steeper but quite short. Being on the hard sand section, however, makes it that little bit easier. My son and I both took part, we both enjoyed it immensely and in case you’re wondering, he just pipped me, by 212 places.
All in all, I’d say this is a very good all-seasons course, with variation in levels, in surface, and in scenery from parkland to roadside which all conspire to make the laps go by quickly – for some people quicker than others, I might add! Okay, but my excuse was that I was recovering from a gammy leg and I could otherwise easily have come inside the top two (hundred!).
But the icing on the cake was the après race. What we also like to do when we travel away from our ‘home’ venue for the first time, as it was today, is to explore and Chichester is just the most delightful city in which to do that. With the historic city centre within five minutes walking distance of the car park, it has plenty of shops, parks, cafés and restaurants, and pedestrian precincts. We took full advantage and bought a breakfast and a coffee, and did a little shopping. It was a great morning out and it’s one that I shall most certainly repeat. I’m not sure how the team managed to organise the rain to hold off until we got in the car to go home, so as well as it all started out, so did it finish. More of that next time please!
This week at Chichester, among the 228 runners, assorted pushchairs and dogs, there were landmarks for Andrew Carmichael and Caroline McKellar for their 50th parkrun and Marcia Knight for her 100th, so a very well done to them. And finally, I could not let this opportunity pass without a sincere thank you to all the volunteers, and especially to those who turn up week in, week out, just to volunteer and nothing else.
Thank you Dennis Spencer for this excellent report, and his kind words about our parkrun and city. Dennis modesty omitted to mention that he was celebrating double milestones of 50 runs and 25 volunteers.
This weeks Chichester parkrun was brought you courtesy of:
Carly SOFFE • Dennis SPENCER • Eleanor HARRISON • Ellen PERRY • Ieuan WORGAN • Jeremy HARRISON • Johanna HARRISON • Leon PERRY • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Lucy HOUSTON • Mike HOUSTON • Nadia ANDERSON • Neil WORGAN • Peter ANDERSON • Peter CARVER • Peter DUNNE • Philippa NEATHEY • Thomas HOUSTON • Tom BLAYLOCK
Peppy ANCKORN, Tom BLAYLOCK, Jeremy HARRISON, Greg JAMES, Jane MOODIE, Lee MOODIE, Ben RITCHIE, Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER, Ian STEVENS, Geoff SUMNER, Theo WEST, Richard WEST, Joely WHARTON, Wendy WHELAN, Emma WICKENS, Lynette WOODWARD, Rebecca WORGAN
It was another very warm morning on Saturday, and with the Festival of Speed taking place, it's always hard to judge how many people will turn up (the traffic can be a nightmare!), but the first few parkrunners arrived very early, having run down from the Goodwood camp site.
When I first attended Chichester parkrun in September 2014 (as a volunteer marshal, I still hadn't run 5k at that time), I was greeted cheerfully by Sam Houston who was Run Directing and very much enjoyed my first marshal spot down at the archery club U-turn (for those who remember our original route!).
I obviously enjoyed the experience, as I returned to regularly volunteer and then in 2015 had my first stint as Run Director under the excellent tutorage of Mike Houston. Four years later, and after 113 volunteer stints at 97 different events, I've decided that it's time for me to hang up my RD high viz vest, and to hand over the role of Event Director to some new blood. I'm sure you will all join me in congratulating Peter Anderson and Lynette Woodward who will be taking on this role together.
Being a run director is a little bit more involved than standing up on the picnic tables looking and feeling like a burk and cracking a few jokes. Here is a rundown of the activities of the role.
Sunday – The official handover of RD responsibilities from last week’s run director. We monitor the mail box for messages about missing times, and volunteers signing up for future weeks.
Monday –As we usually have gaps, we put out a request on Facebook for more volunteers often using the seemingly obligatory tactic of using sad looking animals.
Wednesday – New appeal on Facebook, and a volunteer appeal email to those who have registered to receive the volunteer emails (if you haven't done so, please do log onto your account and opt in to the emails).
Thursday – Write some notes for run briefing and send a reminder email to those who have signed up to volunteer.
Friday – Final check, ensure everything is ready, Finish tokens in right order, stopwatches and scanners cleared down and charged. Check laptop for windows updates. Often a last minute appeal for volunteers
Saturday – parkrun day. Arrive early at the park (usually before 08:00 for me so that Alice can have a run about whilst we get ready). Get all our kit from the store and wheel it round to the start area. Set up the finish funnel whilst the set up crew pick up the trolley and head round the course setting up the cones and the arrows. Greet the volunteers as they arrive, hand out the high viz, give some guidance and training as required, check with the set up crew for any issues out on course, get the first timer brief started, get up on the picnic table to do the run brief (after shutting Alice in the car to try and drown out her somewhat exuberant barking), then gather everyone at the start line ready for the 09:00 start.
Once the runners start running home, we try and keep everyone in order through the finish funnel, write down the numbers of any unscannable barcodes (NOT the numbers for anyone who has forgotten their barcode!) and then collect back all the equipment, lock up the store, head home to fire up the laptop, download the stopwatches and barcode scanners, process the results (hoping there are not any issues), add any manual times, update names from the volunteer board, liaise with the run report writer to get the report, update this, check the email boxes for any queries, and then try and relax!
It's a lot of work that people don't see, and can be made much more difficult if people don't help us out by following the simple requests of only crossing the finish funnel once, staying in order through the finish funnel, taking a finish token (even if you have forgotten your barcode or do not want a time), going through the scanners with your barcode ready and handing over the finish token and then moving away from the scanning area to leave space for those runners behind you. I think all of the RDs have had Saturdays where we have been working through to the evening on a Saturday because people have crossed the line twice or who have ducked out of the finish funnel without taking a position token.
I've enjoyed almost every minute of it(!) and I know that we have such a great core team at Chichester that you won't notice any difference (other than the ba. I'll still be running regularly with you guys, so it's goodbye, but not goodbye!
My aesthetically pleasing time of the week goes to Ben RITCHIE for achieving a very impressive 20:14 (being the year I first attended Chichester parkrun).
As always, we are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Peppy ANCKORN, Trevor BAKER, Jo BRINING, Marieann DICKER, Martin EMMETT, Vanessa FRANKLIN, Tony HACK, Jeremy HARRISON, Matt IRWIN, Lee MOODIE, Jane MOODIE, Jo PROSSER, Ian ROBERTSON, Justine-Elizabeth STAMP, George STANBRIDGE, James STANBRIDGE, Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER, Geoff SUMNER
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.
Hope Line UK Call: 0800 068 41 41
The Samaritans Call: 116 123 or email Jo@samaritans.org
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.
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
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-48280412 ). 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
Many thanks to Jonathon Gardam for this report
Words by Jane Moody
A long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away……(well Saturday morning in Oaklands Park), 253 walkers,
joggers and runners attended Chichester parkrun Episode 246. 36 of these were First Timers.
Once we were welcomed by our Rebel Commander Chris Armstead and sternly reminded not to be
Funnel Duckers (try saying that really fast 5 times!!!), we then assembled at the start and were
swiftly sent on our way.
Our Chichester Rebel Fighters were joined from others in the Alliance from places such as Tyne and
Wear, Winchester, Worthing and Portsmouth, sorry if I missed any others but welcome.
There were lots of signs around the park for some motivation, my personal favourite being ‘No, do
or do not, there is no try’. I have to admit, I say this to myself a lot when running (because I’m
secretly a bit of a geek) and it helps a lot. Thank you Master Yoda for your wisdom.
Our 1 st finishers this week were James Gardam (18.01), Andy McMillan (18.14) & Barney Reed - at his
1 st parkrun (18.57) for the men and Fay Cripps (20.21), Lucie West (22.12) and Megan Goring (22.36)
for the ladies. 41 of you recorded Personal Bests – well done all of you! The award for the
aesthetically pleasing time of the week goes to Anna Camp (33.44). Congratulations to Victoria
Buckle on her 50 th parkrun and shiny new PB as well. Congratulations also to Louise West on her 50 th
This week’s parkrun was brought to you by the following members of the Rebel Alliance, sorry Hi-Viz
Heroes. Lynette WOODWARD • Margaret ENSTONE • Sue CARMICHAEL • Alex MEDHURST • Chris
ARMSTEAD • Eleanor HARRISON • Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Laura
HOLDER • Trevor BAKER • John ODDE • Jane MOODIE • Amy GAUNT • Johanna HARRISON • Carly
SOFFE • Nick TAYLOR • Carolyn KNIGHT • Jo BRINING • Clare MCNAIR • Debbie BUCKLEY
Why not think about volunteering one week, it really is worthwhile.
Finally, there is only one thing left to say. Remember, The Force will be with you, Always.
Looks can be deceptive and the view from inside the house was pleasant until one stepped outside and realised Hannah had bought us strong winds.
On a personal note, today marks a special day, having started parkrun in 2014 its time to say goodbye to my current age category and move up another.
Thank you for the various balloons, cards and general applause!
Anyways enough about me. Congratulations must go the wedding party who chose our parkrun to run prior to their ceremony at 2.30 today. Here’s hoping they made it in time to get ready for the event and for the very best wishes for the future
This week, 227 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 23 were first timers and 37 recorded new Personal Bests, despite the best efforts of storm Hannah.
Best wishes to any one taking part in tomorrow’s London Marathon.
We were pleased to see many people had travelled far and wide to run on Saturday with representatives from
Avon Valley, Coopervision RC, CSSC sports and leisure, Dooneen AC, Fareham Crusaders, Fetch Everyone RC, Hamwic Harriers Community Running Group, Midhurst Milers, NHS Couch to 5k, Petersfield Tri Club, Plumstead Runners, Redway Runners, Tone Zone, University of Bath Squash Club, Winchester and District AC and not forgetting Chi Runners!
Most pleasing times today were Rose POTTER with a time of 25.25, Pete LEGGETT with a time of 28.28, Robert KEENE with a time of 29.29, Lynette WOODWARD with a time of 30.30, Hayley KHARSA with a time of 39.39 and last but not least, Johanna HARRISON with a time of 53.53
Congratulations also go to Leo STALLARD with an age grade of 78.56%
First male and female finishers were Ned POTTER and Sarah LOY.
Three runners had also achieved the dizzy heights of over 300 runs!
The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:
Jane TAYLOR • Eric WOOD • Paul STALLARD • Lis PESKETT • Robert DE LACY • Neil DAVIES • Jeremy HARRISON • Eleanor HARRISON • Matt IRWIN • Martin EMMETT • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Trevor BAKER • Ivan GARDNER • Jane MOODIE • Lee MOODIE • Johanna HARRISON • Nick TAYLOR • Guy BLACKMORE • Rob GOLDSMITH • Justine-Elizabeth STAMP
As always, a massive thank you to all those who answered the call out for volunteers this week. Parkrun depends on volunteers, so if you haven’t done it before and would like to, please contact Chichester parkrun at email@example.com or check the future volunteer board next week. They are all easy to learn roles, some of which can be done whilst still getting a parkrun in.
The male record is held by Steven NAYLOR who recorded a time of 15:39 on 1st November 2014 (event number 14).
The female record is held by Rebecca MOORE who recorded a time of 17:20 on 13th August 2016 (event number 106).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen DEAN who recorded 88.28% (22:37) on 5th January 2019 (event number 229).
Chichester parkrun started on 2nd August 2014. Since then 6,466 participants have completed 38,264 parkruns covering a total distance of 191,320 km, including 6,572 new Personal Bests. A total of 524 individuals have volunteered 4,173 times
A bright, breezy and most importantly dry morning greeted our cheerful bunch of parkrunners this morning. Lis was in charge of proceedings, and as Run Director welcomed us all, including 15 tourists from as far afield as Hertfordshire, Gunnersbury, Reading, Galway and Istanbul. Wow! Hope you enjoyed the best 5km parkrun Chichester has to offer. We welcomed 2 brand-new First Timers – as Lis said, we hope you get the bug and come back again.
The course was dry, pretty firm underfoot, and our runners ran and chatted their way around the course with the support of our volunteer marshals encouraging us all. How do people find the spare puff to have a chat – I barely find air to thank the marshals!
Of course, parkrun wouldn’t be parkrun without our fabulous high-vis heroes – please give an enormous round of applause to our team today Alex MEDHURST • Amelia BROMELL • Brian J SULLIVAN • Catherine CANNON • Claudia MILBURN • Elizabeth ROBINSON • Felicity NOWELL • Henry MAGRILL • Ian STEVENS • Jeremy HARRISON • Jo BRINING • Joely WHARTON • Johanna HARRISON • Justine-Elizabeth STAMP • Lis PESKETT • Neil DAVIES • Stephanie SIMMONDS • Trevor BAKER
If you’d like to see your name in lights, earn credit towards a parkrun T-shirt, or simply see how much difference a volunteer role makes to parkrun each week, please do get in touch.
Congratulations to all our runners, 185 crossed the finish line today to record a time. There was quite a squash at the finish line when I crossed, thanks to Jill and Lis for some firm marshalling and organising to ensure we all had an accurate time recorded and that the finish funnel team (timers, token hander-outer and scanners) could do their roles effectively.
If you’re a statistic guru, here are the numbers for you:
First male finisher was James BAKER in a time of 16:44. Second male over the line was Bertie PARADISE in 18:46 and third was Ben MARCHANT in 19:30 (new PB – well done). Nice to see three decades of age categories represented in those runners. For our female runners, first finisher Lucie WEST in a time of 22:19 (a new PB – well done). Second female over the line was Serena PORTER in a time of 23:38 (well done on your PB) with Clare MOORE in 24:24 third.
I was quite impressed (ok, very) with James BAKER’s age grading of 82.77%. Then I looked harder and noted Diana BEALE’s even more astonishing age grading of 85.02%. And a PB to boot – well done Diana.
I did a double take when I saw this – that Adam MCCULLOCH was fourth male finisher, and Nicola MCCULLOCH was fourth female finisher. A nice pairing, and I’m assuming there’s a connection with the same surnames (but never like to assume!).
Well done to Abigail TAYLOR on her 10th parkrun as a Junior – and securing a Personal Best – congratulations.
As for the most aesthetically pleasing time of the week (which is often more brain taxing than it should be – and there were so many possibilities today), I’ve gone for Isabella BLYTHE in a time of 32:23 because it’s a neat palindrome (and because it’s a PB – well done Isabella).
We noted 34 Personal Bests – gold stars all around.
Well done to everyone who made parkrun happen today. I’ll miss you next week as we’re off touristing to Norwich (there are two parkruns in this fine city).
Thanks to Catherine Cannon for this and do let us know how you get on at your Norwich parkrun.
OK I admit it, I’m a sucker for a nice parkrun t-shirt. I’m sure that many reading this can relate to the feeling when that first milestone 50-shirt is drawing near. Nothing else matters; your running blinkers are on and nothing will stop you getting there in as few Saturday mornings as possible. Then finally, you’ve earned that famous red top and you feel great, you’re more a part of the parkrun community than ever now. But then, and it doesn’t take long, maybe your 60th parkrun, your mind starts turning to the next milestone. The black t-shirt. Red just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, and before long the blinkers are back on. You even try to talk your kids out of Saturday morning clubs so that you don’t have to miss too many parkruns. Like others, I caught myself doing this and in the process my volunteering started to drop off a little. But of course, there are many roles that you can do without having to sacrifice your parkrun tally. Report writing like this is just one of them. You can also get involved with the pre-event set up, so long as you don't mind setting your alarm an hour earlier than most Saturdays. Then there’s the First Timers briefing which takes place just before the Run Director’s welcome and provides a brief introduction to tourists and first timers to the wonders and perils of Oaklands Park. Or you could just have a pleasant stroll at the back of the pack as the tail-walker and take in those little details of the course that you just don’t see when you're straining every muscle for that ever more elusive PB. It isn’t all about the numbers though and sometimes it’s good to take a break from running and just bask in the joy of being a high-vis hero for a week whether you’re marshalling, time-keeping, barcode scanning, managing the funnel, being a sports photographer or handing out those precious finish tokens (see esp. Liz S-T!).
Having said all that, and with my own ‘250’ t-shirt still 90 parkruns and a good 2 years away, I’m already thinking about taking those blinkers out of my running drawer again. I really do have a problem; someone please help me.
This week it felt more like early summer than spring, and many had shed their running tights for the first time this year to reveal their pale legs to their fellow parkrunners. The course was dry and fast so no excuses for a slow time this week proved by the fact that more one in five of us (42) had a shiny new PB to show off. Of the 201 running this week, we had 23 first timers to Chichester, 5 of whom were completely new to parkrun – welcome to you all! First over the line for the chaps this week was Rob PAYNE in a time of 16:16 followed by Chichester parkrun’s founding run director, Mike HOUSTON in 17:18. Sarah LOY was the first lady over the line in 21:11 and not far behind was Abby ROSS in 21:32. You speedy people, how do you do it? Choosing the most aesthetically pleasing time of the week was a tough one. I considered Whitney BOSWELL’s 29:29 as well as our first finisher’s 16:16 but in the end I decided that, for their obvious love of zeros, to give joint first prize to Sandra BALCOMBE and Lee MOODIE finishing in their dead heat time of 30:00. This was also Sandra’s new PB so double congratulations to you – from zeros to aesthetically pleasing heroes in half an hour exactly!
Finally, a huge thanks to this week’s volunteers without whom our parkrun wouldn’t be possible: Nadia ANDERSON • Peter ANDERSON • Robert DE LACY • Tony HACK • Jane MOODIE • Rob MOORE • Ashley PLEDGER • Ben RITCHIE • Justine-Elizabeth STAMP • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Sanchia STANLEIGH-TURNER • Brian J SULLIVAN • Geoff SUMNER • Nick TAYLOR • Margot TURNER • John WAITES • Hedda WELLS • Sandra L YOUNG
Thank you Nick Taylor for this week’s report.