Huge attendances at Dulwich parkrun – What we are doing and how you can help

If you've joined us this month you'll know that we've had record-breaking attendances at our parkrun throughout January, an experience repeated across the country. Whilst this is great for parkrun, inevitably it has created new pressures and we are not alone in having challenges managing the larger numbers.

We want to update you on further changes we are making to help keep our parkrun safe and successful for all. This is 'work in progress' and we will continue to review arrangements and make further adjustments as needed.

- We have introduced a longer double finish funnel to ensure everyone can get across the finish line before queueing for their position tokens. Tomorrow (25/1) we'll have extra posts and tape to provide more distinct lanes.

- We are increasing the number of volunteers helping us each week to provide extra help marshalling the event (subject to sufficient offers of help obviously)

- We are moving the weekly pre-event briefing to the start area in the hope that more people will be able to hear it properly and will also listen to it...

- We will be encouraging runners to line up roughly in order of their likely finishing time so as to reduce congestion at the start of our event

We're very grateful for the support and feedback we've had from our community in recent weeks. The ongoing success of our event depends on all our participants remembering these simple messages and your help in spreading these further would be appreciated:

#Remember it's a 'run not a race'
#Bring your printed barcode - we can't give you a time without it
#Keep quiet during our pre-run briefing
#Give way to other park users on the course, showing respect for them and fellow runners
#Stay in order in the finish funnel and return your position token once scanned
#Join our volunteer team when you can - we need more help now to manage bigger events successfully.

 

Run Report for event #407 7th December 2019 – with thanks to Steve Waters :)

Happy December everybody! The parkrun festive period is always that bit extra-special due to the bonus Christmas and New Year events (more about those later) and the final month of 2019 got underway in style today.

Apart from the slight chill that descended on Dulwich, the conditions were great out there for the 519 people (and dogs!) who completed our course this morning. The proof is in the Christmas pudding however, as 91 runners lit up the timing system with a new Dulwich PB - nearly a quarter of them being returning runners - including Simon Bold, who set a new PB at his 221st event. Alongside those who have frequented the park on many Saturdays were 97 first timers - no doubt hunting PBs on the course which has become renowned for its speed. We also welcomed 19 participants who ran, jogged or walked their first parkrun today - getting a head start on their new years resolutions? One of whom only went and took the number 1 finish token: not a bad start for Elliott McGaughran. Amelia Pettitt led the female field home, also with a PB time, and she along with Liam Collins, Vicky Almey, Helen Couchman and Fazlur Rahman can now claim the red milestone T-shirt for completing 50 parkruns. Rachel Cheek and Emma Holmes earned the black milestone T-shirt with their 100th runs. Gary Slater and Ken Wright were also amongst us today, both on over 400 parkruns and both having volunteered on over 40 occasions. Nice segway...

The volunteers were fantastic today, as they always are, with Pete adding the usual sense of humour to his briefing. These events don't happen without the high-vis heroes, so make sure to thank them over the holiday season. Why not volunteer and do your bit towards keeping parkrun going? A massive thank you goes to today’s team of 20 Gillian CAVELL • Trevor Anthony MOORE • Derek HODGSON • Victoria WIDDOWS • Robert BRUSHFIELD-HODGES • Ann COLEY • Peter SANDERS • Dominic HERRINGTON • Anthony WYNN-RUFFHEAD • Andy BLADON • Catherine BARBER • Nick GIBBONS • Filippa SONNE-RUDD • Barnaby ELLIS • Oliver MUNN • Emily WILLIAMS • Isaac MIELL • Leo KESSARIS • Elena ROSTAN. Steven WATERS

But now's time for an exciting reminder! We are set to run to the sound of sleigh bells on Christmas morning at 9am and will host our New Years' event at 10am. This either gives you the option to roll out of bed in time to get all the glitter and party poppers out of your hair before running - or make a mad dash from either Burgess park or Peckham Rye who are hosting 9am NYD parkruns. Why not make the most of the annual Double-parkrun day? Could there be a better way to see in 2020?

Either way, every Saturday over December we will be parkrunning as normal.

Congratulations to all our finishers today and see you all next week. Only 7 sleeps till parkrun!

 

Run Report for event #404 on 16th November 2019

Thanks to Aqasa Nu, one of a group of 'tourists' from Burgess parkrun, for sending us this write-up of Saturday's event:

Rewind to 1890 when this park was created from farmland and meadows, known as the 'five fields'. Could the designers have known what a feast for the eyes they were creating for the first parkrun in the London Borough of Southwark? At Dulwich parkrun participants are treated to a wide concrete, three lap, anti-clockwise, bean shaped course, with very little elevation. The event has a great start area which allows people to find their preferred stride rate. With such a wide running path it seemed ideal for people running with buggies; single or double.

Go too fast and you could miss the striking bloomage all around. The vivid yellow leaved Indian Beans and evergreen Blue Atlas Cedars are gorgeous to look at. There are lawns housing bronze knot sculptures and you go around a boating lake too. This parkrun is set in a park which is a treat for the eyes.

Of the 517 participants on the day there were some notable highlights;
- 20 people completing their first ever parkrun
- Paul Croasdale joined the 50 club and Joanne Vinall joined the 100 club.
- a whooping 105 people securing personal bests!
- 73 first timers to Dulwich (perhaps to get a personal best?)
- 25 runners completed the third part of the 2019 Southwark Slam (all the parkruns in the London Borough of Southwark in one calendar month).

Parkruners are often brightly dressed, however there needs to be a special mention to the chap who ran in the psychedelic two-piece combo and the lady with the matching pink trainers, leggings and headband; both unforgettable.

Of course parkrun can not happen without the volunteers, therefore a huge thank you to the 19-strong team who put on the event this week. Please do get in touch with the Dulwich parkrun team at: dulwichhelpers@parkrun.com or approach someone in a hi-viz on the day who can put your name down for a following week, there are lots of different roles people can do.

 

Extra events on Christmas Day (9am) and New Year’s Day (10am)

We are pleased to confirm that as well as our usual Saturday 5ks at 9am we will once again be hosting extra events on Christmas Day (Wednesday 25th December) and New Year's Day (Wednesday 1st January). The Christmas Day event will start at 9am this year (as will all parkruns this year). Our NYD event will start at the later time of 10am allowing you a lie-in or (if so inclined) the opportunity to ‘do the double’ by joining our friends at Peckham Rye parkrun for their 9am event beforehand.

 

Run Report for Event #378 on 18th May 2019 (with thanks to Simon Grigor)

Saturday mornings don’t get much better for running. An ideal temperature, maybe just a little cool for standing about but not too hot for those on the go. Summer definitely in the air with the first swifts to arrive from Africa wheeling overhead, while on the pond the coot parents were proudly showing off their offspring.

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425 participants lined up for Dulwich parkrun Number 378. But before the starting whistle was blown, there was a special Runners’ Briefing, delivered on Eurovision Day, in Eurovision theme, by today’s Run Director Hayden Judd, dressed in Euro-flag shirt, who wished everyone ‘Bienvenu a la parc de Dulwich’, before proceeding with gems such as 'There’s no need to Russia, you can go as Slovenia as you like, or run like Greece lightning'; ‘Remember to keep the Sandy Shaw on your left’; 'When you've Finnished, if you're Hungary, you can go the café and have a Bucks Fizz while You're Making Your Mind Up what to eat'; and ‘Czech Republic our Facebook page and TwItaly-er site’. There were more along the same lines: great stuff, Hayden – were we supposed to laugh or groan? (!)

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Completing the Euro theme, Gillian Cavell, who gave me a friendly welcome when I arrived, had brought along some Euro-flag bunting which was stretched across the finish area. Loved your jacket, Gillian!

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James Bentley got a well-deserved round of applause for doing his 50th parkrun: get that red tee-shirt ordered, James! And there was applause too for the first-timers and visitors, one of whom had come all the way from Australia: cue another Eurovision remark ‘you are allowed to take part, whatever others might think’. And most importantly, there was applause for the wonderful volunteers, 20 of them today, without whom parkrun couldn’t happen: do have a look at the rota and consider helping in the coming weeks.

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On to the results. First home today was Edward Chuck 16:18, and first female was Teresa Murphy in 18:36. Well done to them and to everyone who clocked up personal bests, one being second man home, Nick Twin-Buggy – oh, I’d love it if that really is your name, Nick!

Finally, what am I, a visitor from Harrow parkrun, doing writing this report? Well, I was in Zielona Gora, western Poland, last Saturday, completing my parkrun alphabet with the letter "Z". There were at least a dozen like-minded souls from the UK there, among them a minibus load from Dulwich: Hayden, Philip and Jenny (all of whom I saw again today), plus Dan, Becky and Karen. I was told about today’s ‘Eurovision special’ and thought it would be fun to come along. It certainly was! Good wishes to everyone at Dulwich parkrun, and special wishes to Hayden who I understand celebrates his 50th birthday soon.

Simon Grigor