Cranleigh Parkrun #251 – The back story

Parkrun ? Don't make me laugh !

I have a good friend called Mo who is very fit and had run for many years on the track.

Mo said to me one day "come and join me in a parkrun, It's quite short just 5k"

"Oh no," I replied, I have never run or even walked that far.

"I will be your personal trainer", Mo said, You’ll be a superstar.

I did not know how to take that but was inspired by his words of encouragement.

So, I bought a tracksuit, just zipping it made me sweat and groan.

My expensive trainers looked outlandish, could they do the parkrun on their own?

I even bought a fitbit watch and sun glasses hoping it would make me go faster and look good.

We started with simple stretching, well simple for Mo but not for me.

I couldn't lift one leg off the ground and was already feeling stiff and tired.

Mo touched his toes with ease whilst I managed to reach my knees with some difficulty but getting back up was another matter.

I pleaded, could we break for some tea and chocolate biscuits.

My friend Mo was quietly persistent and said "We'll take it carefully and slow".

Mo bent me into a starting position, I fell over when he said "go".

Despite of all Mo's help, I worried.

My spirit was willing but my body was weak.

My nipples were sore, I had backache and both my knees started to creak.

I wondered if WD40 would help my aches and pains but Mo said that was not a good idea.

On parkrun day, herded together, we walked to the start, Mo was at the front as usual and I was at the back with a lady in a Hi-Viz jacket called tail walker.

All the runners, except me, seemed excited and talking about something called personal bests.

Why did I agree to take part but it was too late and we were underway.

Quite soon I hit "the wall" and that was not even before John Green hill, it was painful.

I had a stitch in my side like a knife.

I wondered if I would be stretchered off for some treatment and end my agony.

Mo, my super fit friend went by to finish before I had completed my first lap.

I wondered if things could get any worse but pleased to say kept shuffling along with lady tail walker who I had made good friends with by now.

I somehow managed to finished my first ever parkrun with pride and exhilaration.

I was directed to be scanned which I thought was for my heath check but alas it was for my barcode.

I came back next Saturday to try to do a little better.

Time soon goes by and Mo has now made a name for himself running marathons.

As for myself I am still keeping that antique body moving along and feel privileged to be part of the parkrun family.

I hope that bought a smile to your face and whilst I must have read back that story to myself dozens of times this week it never fails to give me amusement.

I would firstly like to bring to the forefront in thanking all the volunteers in making the event possible today. Our appreciation to Ian Helm, Graham Finlay, Ellis and Karen McKenzie, Helen Bryce, Mark Tabor, Jason Hurndall, Chris and Kate Mason, Geraldine Williams, Debbie Sampson, Peter Crummett John Green, Harry Charlton, Sara Burge, Steve Browning and Sam Allwood.

If you are able to help in any role that you would like to do for the coming Saturdays please let Helen know to make things so much more easier in completing the rota. The e mail address is if you prefer can leave a message on Facebook.

Congratulations to all finishers and I hope that you were pleased with your run and may have even achieved a personal best.

I feel on certain occasions that one can be presented with so many facts and figures, no matter what the subject matter is, that sometimes it is difficult to take it all in and appreciate it. If I may will leave it at your leisure to study all the information you would like to see on the results and race history by going to the Cranleigh parkrun results page.

Look forward to seeing everybody for the next run and the week ahead will be a good one.

Cranleigh parkrun 9 o'clock every Saturday and junior parkrun same time on Sundays.


The 250th Cranleigh parkrun!

250 abi

Cranleigh Parkrun, 8th June 2019. Cold. Breezy. Preceded by overnight rain. Going, fair to middling but not much mud ... 100 runners set out, 100 returned, 17 volunteers were in attendance. Sounds like just another Parkrun, but not so. This was Cranleigh’s 250th! A fantastic achievement, but, before we reflect on that milestone, let’s rewind to Cranleigh's first - the 4th of October 2014. Some 111 runners finished that day and all, bar the three unknown runners, were First Timers (of course they were!) coming from all over Britain. Chris Finill, having set up the course on that day, finished in his now customary second place (top tip Chris – if you are going to set up a parkrun course, lay it out to maximise your chances of winning… oh… you did?).

Some 4 years, 8 months and 6 days later, 3,475 participants have completed 19,253 parkruns covering a total distance of 96,265 km (that’s over twice round the earth… or in Standard British Newspaper units:7,130,741 double decker buses, 916,809 times the length of the Wembley pitch or quite a few times up and down Wales – but don’t quote me on that), including 3,136 new Personal Bests (there were only 117 new world records at the London Olympics, so come on Cranleigh!). A total of 273 individuals have volunteered 3,431 times (ok so London 2012 did beat that by around 66,000, but still mighty impressive).

So who were the kindly volunteers this week? Thank you to: Nick Sirs, David Andrews, Caroline Todman, Kate Mason, Martyn Greaves, Chris Mason, Helen Bryce, Hannah Rodger, Mackie Ringrose, Andrew Harris, Harry Charlton, Alison Mckenzie, Neil Fletcher, Stephanie Lawson, Steve Browning, Bridget Slater, David Andrews and Jason Hurndall. Which reminds me, who were those pioneers of Cranleigh back in 2014? According to a short (by today’s standards) run report Martin Bamford listed the key players as David Andrews, Andrea Bamford, Nick Bamford, Martin Bamford, Jo Crisp, Chris Finill, Heather Hadfield, Becky Johnston, Louise Mcintosh, Chris Mercer, Ben Osborn, Caroline Todman, Andy Webb, Nigel West, and Geoff Whitman. There are literally hundreds of people who are so grateful for what you have set up – and testament to their work is the durability of Cranleigh.

So what about the 250th run itself, well it all started with the arrival of cakes – yes of course, the expectation of cakes at any milestone in Cranleigh is high. With no less than two lemon drizzles (and earlier mutterings of a lemon-drizzle bake-off between Tina Jones and myself, I concede to Tina as the winner because there was some of my cake left when I finished and all the Jones’s contribution was long gone and looked far more evenly baked – Pru Leith would have approved) and not forgetting nutty-seedy flapjack, expectations were wholly met. Now, thanks to Martin marking history with his run report, Cranleigh parkrun #1 was also blessed with cake. I detect a tradition that makes me think this event is about more than just running. And on that, there were no official milestones this week, but getting close are Tim Dowdall and David Brinck on 49, while Lynne Harris and Chris Mason may want to don their aprons in the next few weeks as they approach (non-T shirt) milestones. Although not quite a milestone, I was over overjoyed to complete my 150th and this time pushing my youngest daughter around in a very small-wheeled, unsuitable pram. Funnily enough my first ever run at Cranleigh was its 100th – where cake was also served. And talking of First Timers – welcome to Fiona Cattermole who ran her first Parkrun ever. Also tourists Andy, Michael, Adrian, Sarah, Kate, Iain, Jyoti and Kristie – we hope you can join us again very soon!

As for personal bests, rich pickings this week with 15 in total! Knowing just how much harder it is to pin down a PB as you rack up the parkruns, special mention goes to Paula Elms and Kevin Brown who had recorded these having completed 110 and 287 parkruns respectively – well done both. And a kindly word of advice to Lorraine Goddard and Nadine Holohan who both recorded PBs on their second visit to Cranleigh - do bask in your future PB glories and every subsequent one you achieve over the next few weeks and months! Congratulations to Ry, Paul, Brandon, Matthew, Anna, Mary, Dawn and Nick for marking down their own PBs too.

So what else can we say about Cranleigh. We are small in number. Our largest ever attendance was 168 just two weeks ago (Guildford was shut) and it’s clear that the mud and the hill keep numbers down. Which probably makes us a little slower. And dare I say it, our limited numbers make things a little friendlier - after all, about 20% of our runners go for coffee afterwards. Now that must be a record!

On a personal note, having moved to the area around 4 years ago, I have met some truly lovely people at Cranleigh. All with their own stories and all on their own journeys in life. I felt welcome right from the off. Like so many of us it has become a mainstay of my weekend and I can’t imagine going without. It’s kept me lighter (despite the cake), close to being tee-total, somewhat fitter and given me aspirations to run a marathon. And reading Sara Burge’s run report from a couple of weeks ago, I had never really thought of myself as a cheerleader, but seemingly even that’s possible for me - I was moved by her achievement and just a smidge tearful at being a part of that. And there must be so many stories just like hers. Let’s face it, Parkrun is great, Cranleigh Parkrun is great. We are here and we are here for each other. Here’s to the next 250. Come on Cranleigh!


Event 248 – It was all about the milestones today!

On a fine sunny Saturday morning a record breaking 168 people decided to turn up to Cranleigh parkrun for their weekly 5km walk, jog or run. I’d like to think we broke the previous attendance record of 163 from New Years Day 2019, as everyone was coming to celebrate Rupert and Mine (Sara’s) milestone runs, but I think it was more than Guildford parkrun was cancelled this week!

It has very much become part of my weekly routine to come down to Bruce McKenzie Memorial Field for 8:45am to join in with this wonderful event, so much so as today marks my 100th parkrun. Not to forget a certain young man who also ran his 50th parkrun today at the age of 7 years old - fantastic achievement Rupert De Vos. Rupert did his first parkrun back in August 2017, and was very consistent for his first 3 runs as his times were; 35:52, 35:53 and 35:52! He has run 49 of his parkruns here at Cranleigh and visited Horsham for his other one. He has gained 9PBs whilst running at Cranleigh, with his latest one being last week, recording a time of 27:57. That is an improvement of 7 minutes and 55 seconds from his first ever time. Brilliant work for a 7 year old!! You will be getting to your 100th, 250th and 500th, before most people get to their 50th at the rate you are going!!! Well done Rupert!

I’d like to welcome the people who were first timers to parkrun today, and they were: Oli NEAL, Lorraine GODDARD, Catriona ELLIS, Kate BELL and John QUINLAN. We hope you all had fun, and that we will see you back here in future weeks. We also clearly had lots of visitors from other parkruns too, as there were 33 people visiting Cranleigh for their first time - we hope you enjoyed our course in its dry condition, and welcome you back soon.

Before I delve into a recount of my parkrun story so far, I want to firstly thank the volunteers, as without them we wouldn’t be fortunate enough to have this weekly event, and they ensure one way or another we all get round in one piece (even if we don’t feel like that by the end!!) So a big round of applause goes to - David ANDREWS, Steve BROWNING, Sara BURGE, Harry CHARLTON, Peter CRUMMETT, Martyn GREAVES, John GREEN, Andrew HARRIS, Jason HURNDALL, Jenny LANSDOWNE, Kate MASON, Chris MASON, Mackie RINGROSE, Bridget SLATER, Abi TRUELOVE and Dan WOOD.

I say to people nowadays that parkrun is addictive, and it certainly can have a positive impact on your life too. It brings you together with new friends and people to help encourage and aspire you in many different ways, even though they might not realise that themselves. I certainly have a few people to thank for having an impact on my achievements throughout my last 100 parkruns. I started parkrun back in August 2016 when there was an ‘I am Team GB’ event happening. I had previously run 5km, but not since having both my children. I decided I could easily still run 5km without a problem (it is funny how your mind tricks you over certain things!!) My plan was to see what the course was like on this particular occasion and to decide whether I could run it pushing my daughter (15 months old) in a running buggy. Having not died at the finish line, I decided it was doable.

On 17th September 2016 I turned up for my first parkrun with my daughter in the buggy. Cue, lots of people looking at me as if I was mad!!! Several people asked me if I had run the course before, and if I knew about the ‘HILL!’ Obviously my answer to both were ‘yes’. I had a chat that day with Julia Finill, and I said to her that I would be more than happy to just complete one lap of the course. She said to me, complete both and then you will get a time, even if you have to walk it. Best bit of advice I was given that day! I completed both laps, and I was only 3 minutes and 1 second slower than when I had completed it my first time without the buggy. I kept coming back each week I could with the buggy, the looks of madness started to change (I’m not sure why, as I think I was very much mad!) I found getting round each week easier, as I was building my fitness back up again. It’s funny, but buggy runners don’t seem to get that mad look when they turn up for the first time now!

In 2017, I set myself some running targets, as I wanted to be able to achieve something now that I was at home with children, rather than being out at work all the time (don’t get me wrong, bringing up children is a great achievement, but a personal achievement was needed). My parkrun goal was to beat that first time I had set without the buggy, but running with the buggy. That day finally came in April 2017 taking off 1minute 50 seconds from my previous PB (30:43) - I was over the moon. As I was so close to a sub 30, I then decided to aim for that. Knowing that my daughter was now 22 months old, and only getting heavier each week, I wanted to get it sooner rather than later.

On a day in July when I woke up feeling totally naff, having had very little sleep, I told a friend in the morning that if I got round in one piece it would be a miracle! I was making my way round the course in a reasonable time, still trying for that sub 30, even though I didn’t think I had it in me to get it. Cue Harry Charlton passing me on the second lap of the diagonal in the zigzag field. As he passed, he said ‘Come on Sara, you’re doing really well’ I told him I was desperate for a sub 30. He said ‘Well I’m going for a sub 30, so stick with me’. Well that is all I needed to hear, and that is what I then attempted to do for the rest of the course. As we started to go down the fence just before the end Harry started to pull away from me, and I couldn’t keep up with him. I looked down at my watch and decided I would get a PB, so I would be happy with that. But then, as I started to come up the fence for the finish line, I realised that the sub 30 was in sight so went for it. I have never felt so pleased to one get across that finish line, and (I apologise for screaming at the timekeepers that day), but finding out that I had done it, and completed by first parkrun with the buggy in a time of 29:47. I was on a total high for the rest of the weekend!!!

Whilst running the 46 parkruns at Cranleigh with the buggy, I have to confess that I always had a bit of help on that HILL the second time around. John Green would see me coming, and always walked half way down the hill to help me up to the top. It was always a very welcome sight and just gave me that little bit of a pick up I needed to keep me going for that final lap. My daughter liked her chats with him too.

I hit my personal 50th run, and my 50th run with the buggy on New Years Day 2018 when I did the double at Guildford and Cranleigh. I decided at this point, having competed 50 parkruns with her in the buggy (now 2.5 years old), and not needing to bring her any more (as it was for childcare purposes why she came, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to run), she could finally stay at home on a Saturday morning!! This also meant, nobody realised who I was now!! Having gained a place for the London Marathon, so I was training for that, and not having a buggy now I was flying!! In 10 events I competed I managed to get 8 PBs! The final PB being my best achievement so far at parkrun.

Being 2018, I had set myself more running targets, one being a sub 25 minute 5km. Now, I really thought this would never happen at parkrun, because of that HILL! However, I went out this week deciding to pace off Lynne Harris, as she is a far more consistent pacer compared to myself, as I always go off too fast, and have everyone over take me on the 2nd lap. I managed to keep up with her for the whole of the first lap, and the majority of the second lap. I felt really good, and could see that I was on for a good time. I dug in deep, and managed to pull off a sprint finish from along the fence around the sharp bend to the finish line. I stopped my watch (no screaming at the time keepers this time!), and realised I had done it - 24:58!! Whilst feeling totally dead, I was absolutely over the moon again. This time I feel will stand as my PB for a while now!!

More recently I have been helping Shane Lucas get round the course, as he has a visual impairment. Now that is some running, putting your trust into someone else to explain what the course is like whilst you are running together, and knowing that they will guide you to one side or the other, to avoid a mole hill, rabbit hole, really uneven ground or any other hazard that may be out there. It’s been great to run with Shane now on several occasions, and help him get one of his more recent PBs, as he managed another one today with Abi Truelove.

It was lovely to see another buggy runner today in Tristan GREAVES, and funny enough he was just behind me. He gave me a great sprint finish to the end. Total respect to you running with the buggy, and the thought that you plan to do it with a double buggy once your little baby is old enough to be in a running buggy is absolutely amazing!! Today, bubba enjoyed a lovely walk round with Mummy, Debbie GREAVES in the sling instead. These kiddies are the future of parkrun.

So, my final thoughts having run 100 parkruns now is; it is totally addictive (I’ve been banned from driving a 6 hour round trip to my nearest parkrun in France for where I go on holiday though), people help you out in the most unknowing ways sometimes and it’s good to say ‘Thank You’ to them, you end up with your own parkrun family, whether it be at your home parkrun meeting new people, or friends that live further away that run parkrun near them that you have something in common with to chat about, and volunteering to help these events happen, makes you feel just as good as gaining that PB, and missing a run once every so often to put on that hi-vis jacket helps everybody out. Also, adults as well as children, like their name mentioned in the run report (Andy Harris and Martyn Greaves do a great job of this on a weekly basis when they do the report), it gives you an extra special feeling.

In a final bid to squeeze some more names into the run report, it is great to congratulate those that have achieved a PB today, and clearly it was great conditions for getting one, as there was a staggering 50 PBs gained today. Well done to the following people: Mark ROWLAND, Paul QUINNELL, Oliver LAMBOLL, Charlie PAYNE, Christina KIRKBY, Stephen DEASLEY, William WALLER, Harry JUPP, Chris CHAPMAN, Diego PEREZ LOPEZ, Thomas WOOD, Oliver BARLOW, Monty NEVE, Tim DOWDALL, Thomas FULLER, Michael WAYNE, Arthur FULLER, Charlie FULLER, Anthony STOVOLD, Brandon ENGSTROM, Nicholas DONOGHUE, Tim FEARN, Amelie STEVENS, Luke MILNER, Hannah FRENCH, Rebecca HOY, Gillian NEAL, James PITCHFORTH, Clare G COX CUNNINGHAM, Mary JONES, Kathryn NEVE, Nicholas BOUND, Susan E SAUNDERS, Steven SIMMONS, Emma WALLIS, Amy WALLER, Sue WILTSHIRE, Ashleigh REED, Alison ROGERS, Anna HARDING, Hamish ELLIS, Lisa QUINLAN, Samantha EDWARDS, Rachael FULLER, Victoria MILNER, Shane LUCAS, John SIMPER, Leanna QUINLAN and Coreena BRINCK. Well done to you all!

We hope you all had fun today, and look forward to seeing you again for another fabulous and free Cranleigh parkrun. #loveparkrun #lovecranleighparkrun #lovevolunteering #milestoneruns #dfyb


Cranleigh parkrun report – Saturday May 18th

Parkrun is now a very established event taking place in Cranleigh every week and I am sure many
regular attenders would agree, that although it always seems a bit of an effort to get up for a 9 am
start on a Saturday morning after a busy week, that once the run/volunteering is done and dusted
then we all tend to feel a sense of well-being and thankful to be very much part of something that is
good for us and the community.

The social benefits of parkrun are something that cannot be underestimated as it brings together
people across the age groups from 4-year olds (well done to Imogen de Vos – just 4 years old- who
enthusiastically did 2 laps the other week) to those who are well into their 7 th decade. It is so lovely
to hear the buzz of conversation of various groups of runners/volunteers before, during and after
the event – the smart phones only make an appearance for photos but mostly it is good old-
fashioned face to face communication. This sense of camaraderie does not end there, as park
runners and volunteers tend to acknowledge each other at other times and places during the week
and so the feeling of belonging burgeons. Social interaction is good for our mental health and, for
those who run, physical health is also boosted. What is there not to like about parkrun?

Cranleigh parkrun can only keep flourishing if we continue to get a good number of volunteers and
people who want to take part. On the volunteer side, we are especially indebted to Martyn Greaves
who often cheerfully takes on 3 volunteer roles per park run. We wish him luck as he works his way
towards being the next regular Cranleigh park runner to earn his 250 th t-shirt sometime in July. A big
thank you to all the other volunteers today. Do please look at the future roster and let the
coordinator know if you can help out. It is the time of year when there are more likely to be gaps
due to regular volunteers being away on holiday etc, so we really do need your support.

This week there were 122 runners and no less than 37 PBs – that is nearly a third of those running
today. Amazing! Well done to all of you. A special mention to Hannah Rodger who was helped to
achieve her PB by someone who appeared perhaps to be her grandfather.

I thought this week I would highlight the achievements of some of our younger runners. It is very
encouraging that we have so many of the younger generation embracing the park run ethos. There
were 25 runners running this week who were 17 and under.

In the under 10s boys age category Isaac Jones came first (24.30), second was Jack Creak (25.00) and
third was Seth Thomas (26.01). These were all PBs. The only girl running who was under 10 was
Daisy Langford who was running for the first time at Cranleigh. Well done to all 4 of you.

In the 11-14 boys category, first was Scott Llewelyn (21.35), second was Alex Smith (22.00) and third
was Thomas Waller (24.32). These were all PBs. For the girls in the same age category, the first 3
places were taken by Jessica Jones, Aimee Voogd and Amy Creak who all finished virtually at the
same time. These three girls are wonderful role models, keeping together all the way round,
encouraging each other and making sure they have fun as they run.

In the 14- 17 boys age group the first was Oliver Lamboll in a time of 19.38 which was not only a new
PB for him but meant that he also finished 5 th overall. What an impressive run Oliver. Second was
Owain Lansdowne (21.41) and third was Freddie Jupp (23.45). Excellent running from all 3 of you.
There were no girls running in this age group.

Finally, congratulations to Andy Rees who was unaware that he actually completed his 50th parkrun
today. Next week we are celebrating Sara Burge reaching her 100th milestone and Rupert de Vos
completing his 50th, so please do come along and support them.


Cranleigh parkrun #246

Well verily t'was a blissful overcast day upon Knowle park as did'st gather for our weekly constitutional.

A most comely gaggle of maids and men, some in truth, did don the day-glo uniforms to battle friendly foes and John Green hill and sweat the very poxes of the weekly drudge away.

Fie !Fie! to sirens of the comfy sofa and the distant roars of lions, for we are made of strength and do battle with ourselves to reach the higher goal to finish the parkrun.

For sooth our retinue of volunteer angels were all ready for Oliver Gosden did flit and skip across the ground with wings upon his heals to be first across the line and did Abi Truelove did touch for womankind as she did scorch the very earth and lead the ladies home.

The lions roared like the Liverpool Kop with pride and hunger to acclaim Dan Williams 50th parkrun and with Cranleigh 250th parkrun only 4 weeks away the lions retired in peace and anticipation of the enjoyment to come.

There were amazing 30 lions that did achieve the glory that is known as personal bests and furthermore two doing their first ever parkrun.

We all achieved the glory and acclaim that is known as fun and well done to all 110 today.

This nearly is the end and with another constitutional over for a time, but wait, do not forget to join the retinae of yellow bibbed angels for they are God's chosen few.

The full results and past run history can be found on the Cranleigh parkrun results page.

Our gratitude to the volunteers that made the event possible namely Lynne and Andy Harris,Caroline George, Steven Hextall,Sara Burge, Matthew Jones, John Green,Alex and Zoe Jacobs,Graham Finlay,Helen Bryce,Tina Jones,Steve Browning,Peter Crummett,Alison McKenzie,Louise and Andy Bryant

Cranleigh parkrun come rain or shine on Saturday mornings at 9 o'clock.

There is also junior parkrun on Sundays at the same for children aged between 4 and 14 to walk, jog or run unaccompanied 2km.

Both events are grateful for volunteers to come forward to assist in any role they would like and will be pleased to hear from you by mailing or for the juniors

Everyone is welcome.

Parkrun forever free thanks to the support of our partners

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