Event #97 – Bananas about parkrun

The sixth event of 2021 was a glorious one for the 525 of us who walked, ran or jogged 5km this morning, and the 44 volunteers who made it all possible. The parkrun weather fairies came up trumps with a refreshing 15 (ish) degrees and hints of sunshine just in time for the post event parkfaff involving a coffee at The Pear Tree by the band stand.


One bonus for those at Clapham this morning was Brooks who had come en masse with their run happy crew (thanks for the on-course music and cheers) and four types of trainers for parkrunners to test out. Personally, I’d opted for the Hyperion Tempo and they were a fabulous choice for the conditions underfoot. Lightweight, responsive and perhaps most importantly, they had gloriously bright laces. The dust tried it’s best to damp the fluorescent yellow, but after 5km I felt I was handing back a pair that would live to fight another day, and I now know what trainers I am going to get next.


Then there was some running, walking and jogging. Cat Prowse our Run Director set everyone off after we finally realised what a funnel should be and organised ourselves accordingly so we could get through the narrow start unscathed. The new course design provides a great opportunity to practice your best gazelle impression as you leap through the grass before you settle into the course as we know it. Today Brooks provided an added bit of energy to the heady mix of parkrun excitement with a number of bananas running, and two boom boxes. After the boxers training on the redgra had given us a boost with a few ELO tracks whilst we limbered up (aka found our friends and compared trial trainers) it felt like a mass participation event (which I know it is, but you know what I mean) and I strongly suspect it boosted some performances today.  Two laps later including the comedy conversation of “This is a bit quick”, “I’m just trying to keep up with you”, “how can that be when I’m trying to keep up with you” and we were treated to the chicane (had to check that spelling) lead up to the finish. Mastering that without slowing down is going to prove great practice for cross country later this year.


Somewhat ahead of me were our first finishers, Cameron Hutton of London Front Runners with a time of 16:41 and Jemima Grant with a time of 19:16. They both achieved a new Clapham Common PB today along with 104 other parkrunners including myself. Go us!  An extra cheer does go to Jemima however as she has finished every Clapham Common parkrun quicker than the one she did before – quite extraordinary. The event was rounded off with Jennifer Grist our tail walker who came in at 53:06 and we had parkrunners in age categories ranging from J10 to the V75-79.


We also welcomed 155 people to Clapham this morning for the first time, and for 57 of those it was their first ever parkrun. Welcome to the best way to start your weekend!
I am so excited for what lies ahead for you newbies, including hitting your first milestone. Today we had two milestones and the cheer for that goes to Bradley Bosman who completed his 50th parkrun and can now access the glorious red t-shirt and James Giannopoulos (junior) who completed his 10th parkrun and can wear white. Congratulations Bradley and James.

The running clubs were out today and we had representation from a staggering 46 different clubs, with Clapham Chasers RC turning out 27 people. The award to the best club name however goes to Pevensey Pirates. I had to look up where Pevensey is (poor geography I know), and for those who are not sure, it’s just north of Eastbourne and has a castle and a bay where the Norman forces landed in 1066 if you too would like to become a pirate.


If you fancy wearing bright pink next week there are 52 different opportunities to volunteer and get to know the locals a little better. There won’t always be free coffee and bananas (thank you again Brooks), but there will always be the opportunity to help put the event on, learn something new and have a golly good time. Until next week.  #runhappy?  Yes, I think so.



The lure of a compulsive Saturday morning fitness fix. Run Report Event #96


More grey than wet at today’s event. As part of the pre-event setup routine, the organisers had managed to cast a spell over the clouds to fend off the rain and keep us all dry. One participant appeared to have been run off the track early on and may have retired hurt. We haven’t seen anything like that since the last F1 grand prix. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go to the participant concerned.

The first runners choosing to collect a completion token were Shane Donlon in an impressive time of 17 minutes 37 seconds and Ellie Cookson in an equally impressive time of 18 minutes 07 seconds.

The lure of a compulsive Saturday morning fitness fix encouraged 492 runners and some buggies and doggies to take to the course. There were an unusually high 129 first timers to Clapham Common of whom 48 were running their inaugural parkrun; a staggering 107 personal bests were set (21.7% of all runners) and 39 running clubs were represented. The inspiring list of running clubs included participants from well-known and highly respected clubs such as 26.2 RRC, SHAEF Shifters and Shropshire Shufflers.


Official milestones recorded this week included Karen Steyn who notched up 50 runs and Chiara Du Plessis who clocked up 100 runs. Well done to the milestone runners!

A note to touring runners, do please consider volunteering at a touring event. There are plenty of roles that a tourist could easily do in addition to their own run. This is a useful way to advance one’s personal volunteer ratio and helps to sustain the support structure for all events. It is also quite rewarding to be part of the team.


Run Director E Adejobi reminded all participants that there will not be an event next week due to another event taking place on the common. Similarly, there will be no run 2 Oct. One idea to fill the void on those two Saturday mornings, suggested by the RD, is to use the time to plan for future dates to participate as a volunteer! Home runners and tourists alike can sign up by emailing: claphamcommon@parkrun.comor just ask any of the other volunteers on a Saturday morning. It’s a well-known fact that volunteering doubles the quality of your smile on run days!

Lastly, well done to all those who took part; runners, amblers, volunteers, cheerleaders, future parkrunners in prams and especially the organisers.


A special mention goes to tail limper Lucie Rycott who gracefully ‘bullied’ yours truly into scratching round in a semi-respectable time. In fact, all the volunteers enthusiastically cheered on the final two participants, it was great to be involved!


Thanks to the volunteers

We are very grateful to the 41 volunteers who made this event happen:



Welcome back parkrun – how we’ve missed you!! Run report Event #92

Welcome back parkrun - how we’ve missed you!!

ReadyForTheOffHad you asked me on Saturday 14th March whether I would be about to embark on a 16 month parkrun hiatus I would have laughed at you… parkrun, especially Clapham Common, played a big part in my life. There would be general chatter with Frank and the rest of core team during the week about various course obstacles and whether we would have enough volunteers to put on a safe event. Saturday would often start with me planning a relaxed jog to the common, which turned into a progression run as I realised I was once again much later leaving home than planned; a whirlwind 2 hours of seeing familiar faces, helping quietly funnel manage and wrestling with the (quite frankly ridiculous) pop up sign; we’d then head for coffee, chat, reflect on the morning and start processing the results or token sorting before heading home buoyed by the general joy that had been spread.

51338796968_7a9c9775a5_cThen life and the world as we knew it changed.

51339309809_ab23ece053_cThere was an attempt to bring back parkrun last autumn, but sadly we didn’t quite make it, so it’s fair to say I was cautious about the restart, would it be the same as before? Could it be better?

51338576736_fb983d87eb_cHaving just got home after one of the most joyous Saturday mornings for a long time, I think we can say yes to both of those questions!

Yes, it was a little grey and drizzly at times.

Yes, there were a few key people missing due to dreaded pings.

Yes, there were some changes to meet the parkrun Covid-19 framework.

BUT… led by the wonderful Run Director Cat, 55 volunteers ensured the event 92 went off without a hitch.

We'reBackVolunteers (2)Congratulations the 466 people who braved the inclement weather (what thunder & lightening?!) and walked, ran or jogged their way around the common including 48 people taking part in the first ever parkrun!

Special mentions to the following on achieving milestones:

10 Events (juniors): Halkett CORCORAN & Finn CORCORAN

50 Events: Sam Edwards, Ben Davison, Holly Fisher & Larry Lazarides

Cat Prowse - 50 days of volunteering

Personally, today came with a rollercoaster of emotions. After 2.5 years as Co Event Director, a move out of London and a new addition to the family meant I stepped down from the role during the parkrun pause. Today not only had the joy of the return of parkrun, but was also a fond farewell to weekly trips to the event I’ve been involved with since it’s inception and the friendly faces I’ve got to know over this time.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to the wonderful team who supported me while I was co-ED. But, especially to Frank, who each week generally saved my bacon and is quite frankly the reason we’re able to put on this marvellous event each week.

Clapham you’re in safe hands with Frank and Dana and I’m looking forward to coming back as a volunteer tourist in the coming months and years!

Ed: Thank YOU Jen for making Clapham Common such a great event - We'll see you soon.


TailwalkerWe're back



CCparkrunCourse7Aug21revIt's like we have never been away as we make a minor revision to start and finish from 7th August 2021




parkrun at home

Parkrun at Home Event #009

We’re on week 9 of no parkrun and for someone who went to parkrun every week for 92 weeks in a row until 14th March (except two: one I was running a half marathon in Lithuania and one I was running a 10k in Battersea Park), it’s feels a little odd.


parkrun HQ are keen to that parkrunners should not exercise at 9am on parkrun courses. This helps reduce gatherings and shows support for the communities we serve. Instead, have you tried tuning in to the Great Big parkrun Quiz on Saturday mornings? It's hosted by the lovely Vassos Alexander, on the parkrun YouTube channel. He also hosts the free weekly timed parkrun podcast – very much worth a listen to during the parkrun pause with excellent guests!

This morning I had a go at being Run Director in Lockdown (RDiL as I’m going to call it). I had my hi vis, my apricot T-shirt, my barcode, a cup of tea and some pancakes – an ideal morning if you ask me.


My RDiL was documented through our Instagram stories and started with a little intro, followed by course set-up. This involved taking my laptop into my back garden and making my tea & pancakes. A little different to usual.

I gave a First Timers briefing and an RDiL briefing (I stood on a chair for that one – it wouldn’t be right otherwise). I even did a little warm up around my garden. It takes 7 steps to get from one end to the other, which by my maths, if we assume one stride is 1m, I would need to do 714 lengths in order to do a 5k*. Thoughts so far: no desire to try it. Thoughts in the future: it might be fun. NB course conditions were pretty safe, under 11s don’t need to be within arm’s reach of an adult and dogs don’t need to be on a short leash. (Ed's note: shall we call that 6,000 for a marathon.) 


Armed with my pancakes, I was ready to start the quiz. Vassos welcomed us at 9am, and we crossed the start line at 9:06am. There were 3 laps: parkrun statistics, parkrun general knowledge, and parkrun true or false. I recorded a PB with a score of 7/15 with which I was pretty chuffed. (Ed's note this was a few weeks ago doubtless PBs each week since.)


Well done to everyone who participated this morning. Please do tag us on social media – we’re @claphamparkrun on Instagram and Twitter – we love to see what you’re up to on your Saturday mornings instead of running laps around the common with us. CCprEvent#57A-9

Please all stay safe, we look forward to seeing you as soon as we can. 

Ed's note: We'll be back when it's safe to host parkrun not until after June 30th at least.


The latest blog post from parkrun HQ is here https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2020/05/12/covid-19-coronavirus-update-12-may/


Event#91Keeping your left hand free

Once upon a time Saturday was parkrun day. To stop that memory from fading. Event#91 report has a nostalgic look at Clapham Common's with pictures of the rise to toddlerhood from our wintry test run two years ago.


In spite of the sad news of London Marathon being postponed, 432 of you ran, jogged and walked today’s Clapham Common Parkrun. In fact, today we met 90 first timers – if you like maths, that’s just over 20% of the runners today were trying out Parkrun for the first time. Hats off to you all for not letting a bit of rain stop you from joining the Parkrun community. Welcome!


It was great to be back on the Common after last week’s cancellation. Whilst the mud was still rearing its slippy head, a whopping 55 of you managed to get new PBs!
Thank you to everyone who listened to our Run Director, Cat Prowse, and kept their left hands out when receiving their tokens.

Did you spot the camera at the end of the funnel? Today’s Photographer, Becky Mursell, created a wonderful time-lapse of today’s event. (We cannot post it here check out our social media if we manage to post it there. Ed)
You can also follow Becky on Instagram (@beckymursellphotography) for more lovely running photography.


Top Age-Grade:
1. Craig WILLIAMSON (VM55-59) Beckenham RC - 19:58
2. Christopher PECK (VM35-39) Waverley Harriers - 17:26
3. Richard OLLINGTON (SM25-29) Thames Hare & Hounds - 17:12

Top Female Finishers:
1. Alice SINCLAIR (SW30-34) - 20:08
2. Francesca STOCCO (SW25-29) Clapham Chasers RC - 20:56
3. Jess BROWN (SW18-19) - City of Salisbury A & RC - 21:03

Top Male Finishers:
1. Richard OLLINGTON (SM25-29) Thames Hare & Hounds - 17:12
2. Christopher PECK (VM35-39) Waverley Harriers - 17:26
3. Charlie MASON (SM25-29) Clapham Chasers RC - 18:26

Random fact of the week:
Congratulations to Avi Giandi who ran a PB today of 21.05. Avi also has an impressive 272 Parkruns under his running belt and has volunteered over 200 times.


On that note, thank you to the 32 wonderful hi-vis heroes without whom Parkrun wouldn’t have happened today
Hi-vis heroes:
Stephen VEY • Avi GOVIND • Ian THOMPSON • Sarah DODDS • Frank ELSTON • Helen MCGURRIN • Andrew ARCHER • Jennifer WOOLGAR • Rebecca SPENCER • Ian BRANNEN • Elena CHAPMAN • Imogen JOHNSON • Daniel SCHRAMM • Cat PROWSE • E ADEJOBI • Ian RYCOTT • Susan BEWLEY • Dana ELFRING • Kate LOSOWSKY • Seb HENEY • Marco HARPER • Phoebe TAYLOR • Patrick SHARP • Richard TAYLOR • Dominic O'RIORDAN • Ines SUCHOMEL • Chris HILDEBRAND • Stefan PARRY • Amy GEALL • Chris HODGE • Phil CAREY • Lily BROOKE


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Clapham Common parkrun Results Page.

⇐ Newer Posts