Fareham parkrun #forever# by Adam Shaul

Fareham parkrun – event number 232

Saturday 4th December 2021

“You must be mad Sir!” By Adam Shaul

“You must be mad Sir!” This was the light-hearted response I had from one of my students when he found out that I had completed the milestone of 250 parkruns. I explained that it took place every ‘parkrunday’ (previously known as Saturday) and participants set off at 9 am attempting to walk/jog or run 5km. He didn’t respond but gave me a look that suggested I was crazy.

“So, you’re telling me Sir that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, people do this all over the country at the same time every week for enjoyment?” Obviously, I went on to explain that the most incredulous part is that some people regularly volunteer too! Standing out in all weathers to support and encourage the participants, ensuring parkrun takes place. It was at this point he walked away, shaking his head as he went off to his first lesson of the day.

 I must admit conversations like this have happened several times over the past eight years but how do you explain to someone how unique and special parkrun is to you? In particular, Fareham parkrun.

Is it the course? Different terrains, paths undulating through the woods, alongside the golf course and curving around the creek with glorious puddles in winter – yes it is! 

Is it the venue? Meeting outside the Cams Mill pub for the pre-run briefings and then returning afterwards for the obligatory coffee and catch-up chat with fellow parkrunners. Occasionally, with cakes from milestone heroes! Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have the Cams Mill available as a post-event facility with its ever-welcoming staff. It’s definitely this too! 

Is it the people? Friendly faces (even if you don’t know everyone’s name) with warm greetings; words of encouragement and support offered; applauding everyone’s efforts at the finish tunnel; thanking all the volunteers and marshals around the course; congratulating fellow participants on their exertions as they’re completing the course or being inspired by all the different age groups taking part. It’s certainly this! 

All of these things give me that warm fuzzy feeling after parkrun and keep me looking forward to the next parkrunday when I can experience it all again! So, a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to you all at Fareham parkrun who contribute to this fantastic event and make it so important to our lives. As we say to many of the students who ask, parkrun isn’t just about keeping physically healthy and fit, more importantly parkrun is hugely beneficial to our mental and emotional health, vital in this modern world we find ourselves in!

“Today, the weather is again grey, cold and wet with 196 puddles throughout the course” stated Nick, the Run Director (also one of our former students I’m proud to say!) We parkrunners braced ourselves for the obligatory damp and muddy feet at the end. How 16 of you managed PB’s in these conditions I’ll never know but congratulations to those of you that did! Special mention to Nicholas Deacon participating in the JM10 age group setting a PB of 23 minutes and 30 seconds – super running young man!

David Morris took some fantastic photos of event number 232 by one of the massive puddles and the ‘buzzy pylon’ as I call it! These record the event for posterity beautifully – thank you David!

Milestone heroes this week were Simon Haswell and Andy Bramley – completing their 50th parkruns – well done chaps!

First home was Thomas Wallace in a rapid 18 minutes and 14 seconds and first female home was Melissa Gray in 23 minutes and 32 seconds.

There were 13 first timers to Fareham, we hope you enjoyed it and return sometime soon! I know I will be again!!

 

 

Fareham parkrun #forever# by Heather Reid

With the forecast saying the temperature was going to be 1 o but feel like -4o I was struggling to decide how many layers to wear.

Asking my other half for advice wasn’t as much help as I’d hoped.

“What are you going to wear?”  I asked

“The quilt” he replied.

Looked like I was on my own.

Driving into the car park I couldn’t help but notice a lack of people jogging in, and getting out of the car it looked as though there were more volunteers than runners.

Then I realised everyone was sitting in their cars until the last minute. So, some sign of sense then!

Numbers were definitely down on previous weeks – but there were still 167 of us (including the one who hadn’t wanted to leave his quilt) ready to brave the elements.

Having decided on so many layers I looked like the Michelin Man, I’d anticipated being a parkrun stripper. There was a fleeting moment when I thought I might take one of my many outer layers off, then as I turned at the half way mark I was greeted by the full force of the freezing wind off the creek. No, nothing was coming off.

I’d like to blame the cold for my poor time, but as 17 other runners got PBs I can’t get away with that one. Congratulations everybody who beat the cold to do so well.

Thanks, as always, go to the volunteers who definitely got the worst of it as they couldn’t run to keep warm. I’d say hat’s off to them, but as I said, I wasn’t taking anything off. Special thanks to the Run Director for keeping the briefing brief so we didn’t have to stand around in the cold, thank you to the marshals – including the monkey (?) - for cheering us on, thanks to the Cams Mill for the much-needed hot drinks after the run, and thank you to everyone else who played their part in making the Fareham parkrun as friendly and well run as usual.

Landmark Congratulations go to:

Adam Shaul on his 250th parkrun

Helen Lockyer and Karen Crooks on their 50th parkrun

Nev Dednum, Alison Ivison and Angela Soto who completed their 25th parkrun

Peggysue Taylor and Justin Taylor who completed their first parkrun

 

Fareham parkrun #forever# by Mike Taylor

It is always great to return to our “home” parkrun at Fareham after a couple of weeks on the tourist trail. After last week’s terrible conditions with hard rain and puddles, it was good to have a dry and reasonably mild Saturday for the runners, joggers and walkers to enjoy the 5k route from Cams Mill alongside the Fareham Creek and Cams Mill Golf Course on a very straight forward “out and back” course.

 This was my 60th run with both my wife and I managing 43 different events, both in Europe and here in UK. Fareham always comes out as one of the friendliest we have done. From the cheerful way that the volunteers do the newcomers’ briefing, to the Run Director giving the safety briefing just before the “3-2-1 Go”, it is always a happy event, and this week was no exception. 

As  always, the faster runners speed off and the rest of us gradually cross the start line, carefully avoiding the coned off section of slightly rougher ground. We all head alongside the short road section listening as the marshals encourage us on our way and advise us to keep to the path before we turn off and make our way along the footpath between the Golf club and the Creek. I always think the views look so much nicer on a full tide and blue skies but today the tide was out so there were lots of mudflats and grey skies reflected in what water there was in the creek.

Marshals continue to encourage us and ask us to keep left as the path is quite narrow in places, then suddenly, we see why: the fast front runners appear heading towards us. Before long the turn point is reached and back we go. The course is certainly not flat. but it is not really hilly either. On the last kilometre we reach the biggest “hill”, the aptly named “Camsmanjaro” on Strava, with a massive 7m climb in just about 550 metres. Once over the top it is downhill (ok a small downhill gradient) to the finish funnel. 

That’s the end of the course but not the end of the parkrun as many people meet up at Cams Mill Pub for coffee, breakfast or a chat with other parkrunners and volunteers.

Just a few stats to go on with

This week there were 238 entrants representing 20 different named clubs.

Thomas Wallace came in 1st with a time of 18.10

The first lady was Daisy McClements in 21.04

23 people ran for the first time at Fareham of which 9 people started their parkrun journey with event #1

25 people managed a brilliant PB

As far as I am aware there were no milestones this week but next week could see a handful  with 3 Fareham Parkrun stalwarts of Elena Newell and Pamela Irving both on 99 this week and Chris Hastings on 49.

 

 

Fareham parkrun # forever by Rachael Hughes

Fareham Parkrun – #227

dave Hughes1

It’s fair to say that Saturday dawned with a fair amount of trepidation in our house.  Dave had a virtual marathon planned and the weather was awful (howling wind and rain).  He had purposely planned his route to complete some miles before parkrun so that he could arrive in time for the start and run with people for some of his 26.2 miles as if it was a race.  We should have been in Washington DC for the Marine Corps Marathon but with the borders closed and the continuing covid situation the race was changed to virtual.

When I arrived at parkrun it was clear to see that a lot of people had been put off by the weather; only 144 brave souls took on the challenge this weekend, it’s rare to get less that 200 and there hasn’t been so few parkrunners at Fareham since December 2018!  We must, as always, thank every volunteer who still turned up, cheered, scanned, directed and made it possible……..it is really appreciated every week but especially on ones where it is such terrible weather!

Dave arrived on schedule and Kirsten, the run director, had everyone on their way promptly so he did not have to circle the carpark too many times.  Apart from being his support crew for the day my main aim was to attempt to stay with him for as long as possible and I was on track until my shoelace came undone just before mile 1.  ARGH!  So for the rest of parkrun I had him in my sights but I was never going to make up the difference.

Special mention must go to Mike Deller and Francis Pakes who both reached their 100 milestone this weekend.  There were also 13 people who managed a PB, maybe they can come back on a sunnier day and get another?  Paul Turner was the only runner to manage a sub 20 minute parkrun and came in first place, with Tina Al-Romaithi being the first female home a couple of minutes later.  Matthew Deacon was the first place under 18 in a PB time of 24:20 – congratulations to you all.

Many friends from Fareham Running club came along to support Dave and some ran much further than a parkrun with him.  He managed to complete the marathon via Cosham, Fratton Park, Southsea seafront and finished for a well earned pint at The Seagull Pub in Portchester!  We both really appreciated all the support from our parkrun and FRC family.

davehughes3

dave hughes2

Thanks
Rachael

 

Fareham parkrun #forever# by Jessica Smith

What is it about parkrun that gets us going out week after week? Today was my fourth parkrun and it's already started to get under my skin. A definite routine is emerging - checking the weather forecast, getting my running kit out, finding my barcode, running or cycling down to the start, finding my regular bush near the finish to leave some water (and a warm top today!), chatting with volunteers and fellow runners as we get warmed up.
That said, the routine is often broken up by something unexpected. I confess I wasn't expecting our Run Director to start off the safety briefing with a weather-defying rendition of Pennies from Heaven – nor to have the safety briefing in the form of a quiz! Luckily we all seemed to get the right answers and before long it was 9am and 216 runners poured down the hill to start.

As people spread out, it was strange to go from being part of a pack to being mostly on my own, runners ahead and behind, but all a bit in our own worlds, just the sound of my breathing and the scrunch of gravel underfoot. Lots of encouragement from the marshals though, keeping us motivated as ever.

Before it seemed possible, we were into my favourite part of the race as the first finishers dashed past on their return leg and suddenly the run came alive with people waving and cheering each other on, with smiles and determined faces everywhere. Then it was my turn to head back, with more friendly faces and smiles to pass on the way back towards Cams. (I don't know quite how it managed it but there seemed to be a headwind in both directions.) It was a nice temperature for a run though, not as muggy as in recent weeks without being cold. Thankfully the rain held off for almost all of the race, though there were a few puddles which I saw a few dogs (and runners) splashing through with vigour!

Coming towards the end of the fourth kilometre, I felt a bit in my own world again, having that strange dialogue between the mind and body where the mind wants to stop but the body keeps finding the energy for another step, and another. The twists and turns of the course are becoming familiar now, and the last little downhill gave me a bit more impetus turning into the final dash for the line. I was pleased to find I was doing better at pacing myself, another perk of familiarity, so I had a little bit left in the tank to push on into the finish funnel, job done for another week!

Lots of friendly faces again at the finish, good both to catch up with old friends and sit making new ones as we all get our breath back, breaking off to cheer when the PB bell rings. Congratulations to all 20 people who managed a PB today, to first finishers Christopher Pierce and Tina Al-Romaithi, and to Sarah Loudon and Nicola Mickelwright who completed their 50th parkruns. And as ever huge thanks to all the volunteers who make parkrun possible.

We all have our own reason to come back for one parkrun after another. And for me it's that, while we all have to run our own runs, and push our own bodies to achieve whatever our own goal is, it's made easier by knowing that we're not really alone. Nothing lifts the heart and feet like a smile of encouragement from someone else who knows what it's like to push your limits and challenge yourself to be that little bit better than last week. And then to come back again the following week, to see if you can push just that little bit more...

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