Fareham parkrun is cancelled on 11 April 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Fareham parkrun #forever# by Lauren Fowler

Runless Report

Saturday 28th March 2020

How strange to sit and try to report something that didn’t happen? Really, this report should say, ‘Saturday 28th March 2020 – Fareham parkrun didn’t happen due to Covid-19.’ And who would want to read something about something that didn’t happen?

When I saw the Fareham parkrun ask for a ‘Runless Report’ I thought I could write one. My mind has been whizzing with what I could include, how deep to go. I’ve decided to keep it exercise focused, but that is not to ignore those who are unwell at this time, fearful of becoming unwell, self- isolating or working super hard to keep essentials going. I’m sure I’m not alone in sending you love and thanks.

So I’ll give writing the runless report a go…

The first parkrun took place on 2nd October 2004. If I’m correct, Saturday 28th March 2020 was the first Saturday that there hasn’t been a parkrun since. Each week, thousands of people take part in these events all around the world. They come together. Volunteering, walking, jogging, running. Some in buggies. Some aren’t even people and take part on leads! For many people it’s social. For my family park run can mean many things and happen in different places - my husband or I run, I might volunteer, my husband might take our older girls to the park, our baby might have a nap as she travels round in her buggy. It usually means coffee and a cake after. Sometimes, it’s a bit of time out for me and straight home. I’ve celebrated my birthday with a parkrun and cooked breakfast with friends and family after. I’ve chatted my way around with a friend from running club. I’ve done a ‘parkrun sandwich’ as part of a longer run. I’ve chased a pacer for that 25 minute PB (I was 33 seconds out). I’ve dressed as an elf. I’ve walked it after the birth of our 3rd baby. I’ve forgotten my barcode!!! I wonder what parkrun has meant for you? One thing I’m sure of, there is nothing socially distant about park run.

What did we all do this Saturday at 9am? We’ve all been strongly encouraged to not do our usually parkrun time and route and this totally makes sense. We need to follow the advice from the government and practice social distancing. We all need to do our bit to protect ourselves, each other and the wonderful NHS. I did some housework. I pulled out beds and had a proper clean. It wasn’t timed and I don’t think I got PB. I had planned to get out for a run. I find it harder to go for a run when running alone or not having a set plan. Although, in saying that, the once a day permitted exercise outside of home has become really important to lots of us – and is something that I’m sure we are not taking for granted. In the midst of anxiety created by constant news (which I am now keeping up to date with but not on a constant feed) and the busy-ness of creating a bit of a home school for 2 children, caring for a baby and doing all the other normal household bits, 30 minutes outside to run is massively helpful in giving me patience and energy. My metaphorical hat goes off to those doing all this and working from home too.

I’ve been for a few 5k runs this week and seen quite a few people out and about walking, running or cycling. Most of the time, we’ve all gone out of our way to keep the 2 metres. Most people have smiled or said thank you. I have crossed the road numerous times. My sister in law (in Forest Hill) and I went on a socially distant run together – setting off at the same time and video calling as we set off and when we finished. In the running club I belong to we have been sharing our daily activity with one another. Having that contact has been great…and motivating! I’ve also developed a new love for my exercise bike. I had made it no secret how boring I found it but now I’m thankful that I can do some exercise at home. I’ve also run 5k in my garden – 5 laps is 100m so it became dull but that isn’t a complaint; I know not everyone has access to private outdoor space. Joe Wicks has also kick started our mornings with his P.E lessons – spiderman, kangaroo jumps (complete with joey) and the plank have kept us going - and made me realise my strength could do with some work!

I think we’ve managed to keep active this week but I am certainly looking forward to parkrunning again. Until then, keep safe, keep well.


Fareham parkrun #forever# by Rachael Hughes

So this week the usual volunteer e mail dropped into my in box but more unusually the ONLY role open to anyone was to write a Not parkrun Run Report!

I think it is fair to say that the last few weeks have changed the world for the large majority of people. Things that we would usually take for granted, like parkrun or popping to the shops at any time of day or night, are a seemingly distant memory.  There is a new "normal" with working from home, schools closed, and changing working conditions / patterns for those classed as key workers.
Arguably a positive of the situation that we find ourselves in is that given the option of only leaving the house once a day for exercise some people are actually exercising more than they usually would! Others are trying to keep their fitness levels up by partaking in online exercise classes or creating fitness regimes for themselves at home/in their garden.
We, myself and Dave, appreciate that we are very lucky in that we both run and therefore still have company without breaking social distancing rules when we go out running.  We run from home and try to choose routes/roads where we think there will be fewest people and wide pavements.
Today, we waited until 9.45 to go out so as to avoid any other local runners who were missing parkrun and took in Portchester Castle as part of our route. It was strangely eerie how few people and cars there were around.  We found people keen to comply with the 2m rule which was very helpful.
In this new way of life it would be easy to wallow in what is no longer the same, but actually the most important thing to remember is that this will not last forever. The storm will pass and hopefully in the not too distant future we will be able to return to our beloved parkrun once more.
In the meantime parkrun UK are running a weekly quiz for adults and from Monday will be posting daily school / family challenges. So you can still have some parkrun related fun.  These are available via the usual social media channels so do get involved if you are able.
As parkrun is a community we can all help. Here are 2 local groups on Facebook who are looking for volunteers:-
1) Fareham and Gosport Coronavirus Volunteers
2) Acts of Kindness Community (Solent)
Please do take care, we look forward to seeing everyone again when parkrun reopens.
Hope you are keeping well

Fareham parkrun #212 by Lauren Fowler

Fareham parkrun is an out and back course with the marina on one side and the golf course on the other. I arrived just before 8.50am. It was grey and damp but not too bad on the weather front; I’ve definitely run wetter parkruns! There were lots of people (and quite a few dogs) milling around the car park. I spotted some Fareham Crusaders, a Vegan Runner and a lady wearing a ‘5k My Way’ t-shirt. I love this! parkrun is about getting out there, be it walking, jogging, running. It means something to everyone doing it – chasing that PB, getting that PB, time with friends, some ‘me time’, doing the distance or just being outside.

I noticed quite a few people go over for the First Timers Briefing and I think at least one of those was totally new to parkrun – welcome! Tourists were welcomed from Southsea and I spoke to lady from Luton on the way around who was visiting family. I love that you can parkrun even if you’re not at home. I’ve been a tourist at Banstead, Carlisle and Dulwich parkruns – there is something quite exciting about being a parkrun tourist! There was information about the puddles (including a demo)! There weren’t any official milestones this week although I hear you get to wear a sash! Unsurprisingly there was information regarding parkrun and coronavirus – check the website.

And we’re off! I made my way to the back where there were a couple of very excited dogs raring to go! There was also a dog wearing a ink jacket similar to my own. It was a little muddy at first and it got muddier (and puddle-ier)! I was a bit cautious and Bambi-like going through those puddles – part run, part tiptoe. Some runners were braver and after I got splattered by a more enthusiastic puddle-runner I felt more relaxed about the whole mud-puddle situation! I didn’t spot any babies in buggies on the course today. I had thought about bringing my baby in her buggy but on this occasion (she’s done a few parkruns now) I’m glad I didn’t – I think she would’ve got as muddy as me!

I haven’t run at Fareham for a while but it really is great. It’s a narrow course but that didn’t matter today; there was plenty of room for everyone. It is great to run with the water and boats on one side and the green of the golf course on the other. You even get a couple of stretches through little wooded section. It doesn’t feel like you’re running on the edge of a busy town.

There were lots of marshals around the course, encouraging everyone. They are such an important part of parkrun – the eyes and ears of course too. In fact, all the volunteers in all the different roles are so important and there wouldn’t be a parkrun without them. There were 2 tail walkers (tail feathers as my older children call them). I love that there is a designated person to come at the back. If it’s your first time or perhaps you’re not going super speedy, you never have to worry about coming last. That’s a big thing. I can highly recommend helping out – you are given all the information you need and there is something special about helping out.

Just before 2km, the faster runners passed me on their way home. Some called out their encouragement to us. If you listen around the course, you’ll hear lots of encouragement from fellow walkers, joggers and runners. You’ll probably see some high fives too – although today it was the elbow bump that stood out! At 2km there was music and I wasn’t expecting this! ‘George Ezra’ on my way out and ‘The Clash’ on my way home! Thank you Marshal!

Out on the course I saw other groups represented by different t-shirts – Highlands Medical Practice, Fareham Outdoor Fitness and milestone t-shirts. Well done all. I love how many different people there are at parkrun, all doing it for their own reason.

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-15 at 12.52.48

When I finished there were lots of people at the finish line, more volunteers ready to get your time, give you your token and scan your bar code (don’t forget your barcode)!

I love parkrun. I love that it’s free and every week. In my opinion, it’s the best way to start a Saturday morning – getting out there, getting some exercise, getting some fresh air. If you’re thinking about getting involved in parkrun, I really encourage you to give it a go! Thank you Fareham; I look forward to seeing you again soon. Happy Saturday all!

Fareham parkrun

Event number 212
14th March 2020
This week 231 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers and 36 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part. The event was made possible by 34 volunteers: Julie SALT • Angus MCGILP • David MACSWAYNE • Alison MACSWAYNE • Slavena JENSEN • Peter ADAMS • Kirsten BROADLEY • Ian WRIGHT • Deborah CASPER • Richard STEWART • David MALLARD • Cathy GLENDINNING • Sue BADDELEY • Rachael HUGHES • Louise STEWART • Jane BASCOMBE • Chris REES • Paul RAYNER • Alexandra BRANNIGAN • Benjamin GIBBARD • Georgina HUTBER • David MORRIS • Lauren FOWLER • Phil BRIEN • Andy BATES • Susan FELTHAM • Denise PERRETT • Victoria ROWE-SHAWYER • John LOWDELL • Jacqueline SYSON • Charlie OULTON • Alan IVISON • Patrick SLEE • Norman D GRAHAM. Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Fareham parkrun Results Page. The male record is held by Lachlan WELLINGTON who recorded a time of 15:47 on 31st December 2016 (event number 40). The female record is held by Jen GRANGER who recorded a time of 17:31 on 29th April 2017 (event number 58). The Age Grade course record is held by Penny FORSE who recorded 95.49% (22:34) on 15th July 2017 (event number 69). Fareham parkrun started on 9th April 2016. Since then 7,247 participants have completed 48,127 parkruns covering a total distance of 240,635 km, including 8,400 new Personal Bests. A total of 637 individuals have volunteered 5,606 times.


Fareham parkrun #210 by Rachael Hughes

I think it’s fair to say that today’s parkrun will go down as the “splashiest” one to date! Thankfully the worst of the rain held off with just a few drizzles to contend with. The same cannot be said for the conditions underfoot! We were warned in the run briefing that there were 120 puddles to contend with, but I think that was an underestimation!


As we arrived this morning there was a mass warm up being led by Run Verity as they had 23 runners graduating their couch to 5k programme today. As always, many of their more experienced runners were on hand to offer support, including some who are training for spring marathons who got up at 5am to get the majority of their long run in so they could be at parkrun as the finale!


Soon it was time for the briefing from Wendy Barker who was completing her first morning as run director earning her a hearty cheer.

WendyThere was the usual applause for volunteers, a welcome to first timers and tourists and then it was time for the milestones. So many people had chosen this special leap year parkrun to gain their next target. They were



Understandably we were a little late off the mark with so many sashes to present. A special mention must be given to Louise who kindly makes all milestone sashes for Fareham parkrun as well as being a regular volunteer. It’s really great to be able to spot people as you are running and give them a cheer.


A total of 381 people decided to make Fareham their parkrun of choice this morning. It’s always so lovely to hear the chatting, greetings and general hubbub of noise during the first half a km as parkrun gets underway and everyone gets into their stride. As previously mentioned the puddles were EPIC and I think it’s fair to say that some were more keen to embrace the splash than others!


As always with the out and back course it was great to see each participant on the way round and exchange words of encouragement. The volunteers out on course were amazing offering a lot of support to everyone as they passed and it was great to see Jo at the all important turn around point!


Once back towards the finish funnel I realised that Ben was sprinting back towards PJ’s corner to run down to the finish with whoever looked like they need some company for a sprint finish. This is something he does repeatedly most weeks and is really appreciated by those on the receiving end of his kindness.


After I’d been scanned I realised that a friend who belongs to Vegan runners was in attendance this morning. It transpired that there were 20 people from Hampshire Vegan Runners touristing at Fareham today. He said that they do this regularly and he was really impressed with how welcoming and friendly Fareham was, not to mention our excellent facilities.


Well done to everyone who finished or volunteered today – the next time you can do this on a leap day is 29th February 2048.

I wonder if I’ll still be parkrunning at 70?

These 3 park runners will be


A special thanks to friends of Geoff Collins who arrived early to help the pre-event team Sue Baddeley, John Lowdell & Vicki Rowe-Shawyer


parkrun is for eveyone, but it would not be possible without our fantastic volunteer team.


And there is always 1 park runner you can rely on to help close down the event


Fareham parkrun

Event number 210
29th February 2020
This week 381 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 75 were first timers and 23 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 37 different clubs took part. The event was made possible by 39 volunteers: Andrew SMITH • Margaret MCGILP • Angus MCGILP • Denyse KING • Dawn COX • Jane MACSWAYNE • Heather BLAKE • Ray GUNNER • Kathy O'LOUGHLIN • Trina READINGS • Ian WRIGHT • David MALLARD • Sue BADDELEY • Rachael HUGHES • Louise STEWART • George HARRISON • Jane BASCOMBE • Peter BASCOMBE • Chris REES • Paul RAYNER • Alexandra BRANNIGAN • John FAIRHURST • Benjamin GIBBARD • Finlay BAKER • Martin PARSONS • Anne FAIRHURST • David MORRIS • Phil BRIEN • Alison HUNT • Karen GUNNER • Joanne SMITH • Kay WALKER • Victoria ROWE-SHAWYER • John LOWDELL • Wendy BARKER • Marie WILKES • Charlie OULTON • Alan IVISON • Patrick SLEE. Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Fareham parkrun Results Page. The male record is held by Lachlan WELLINGTON who recorded a time of 15:47 on 31st December 2016 (event number 40). The female record is held by Jen GRANGER who recorded a time of 17:31 on 29th April 2017 (event number 58). The Age Grade course record is held by Penny FORSE who recorded 95.49% (22:34) on 15th July 2017 (event number 69). Fareham parkrun started on 9th April 2016. Since then 7,208 participants have completed 47,631 parkruns covering a total distance of 238,155 km, including 8,326 new Personal Bests. A total of 635 individuals have volunteered 5,546 times.

There are always people in life who will inspire others to take up splashing through muddy puddles


Photographs courtesy of Martin Parsons

See You Next Week and don't forget it will be....International Women's Day parkrun We will be celebrating female participation and we would love to welcome as many women and girls as possible to parkrun on Saturday 7th March https://www.parkrun.org.uk/iwdparkrun/#geo=4.92/52.82/-1.98



Fareham parkrun #209 by Katie Reynolds

Fareham parkrun is probably at its most beautiful when the sun is sparkling on the creek... but for me it's most fun on days like today when you're buffeted by a busy of wind at every corner and the rain is horizontal.
For the first time today I ran rather than drove to the start, through fields knee deep in flood water, so I was happy to be one the 249 hardy parkrunners in ploughing through the multiple whole-path puddles to see how much wetter I could get.
James Mulready from Exeter Harriers was first to finish, with a PB on this course of 17.56, and the first female was Eleanor Purdue of City of Portsmouth AC in 22.32.
Congratulations to Ben Fletcher and Andy Mayes for running their 50th and Matt Davis for completing his 100th parkrun today – Trina Readings is on 99, one more to go for another T-shirt! Despite the conditions, an impressive 31 runners picked up a PB, and there were 13 first timers to this course.
The volunteers deserve particular thanks today for braving the weather in order to support us runners - if you haven't volunteered in the past, I can recommend it - its more fun than it looks, and how else would you get hundreds of people to shout 'thankyou' at you?
Well done to everyone who ran, jogged, jeffed or walked today, you have earned a nice big slice of cake and a hot bath.
Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed.

Fareham parkrun

Event number 209
22nd February 2020
This week 249 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 13 were first timers and 31 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part. The event was made possible by 32 volunteers: Margaret MCGILP • Angus MCGILP • David MACSWAYNE • Alison MACSWAYNE • Peter ADAMS • Katie REYNOLDS • Heather BLAKE • Kirsten BROADLEY • Rebecca DIMBLEBEE • Ian WRIGHT • Carol WRIGHT • Gwen GREEN • Richard STEWART • David MALLARD • Peter STODDARD • Louise STEWART • Chris REES • Paul RAYNER • Alexandra BRANNIGAN • John FAIRHURST • Benjamin GIBBARD • Alison IRWIN • Anne FAIRHURST • Phil BRIEN • Nicola EARLE • Dave EARLE • Victoria ROWE-SHAWYER • John LOWDELL • Alan IVISON • Wendy-Anne APPLEBY • Andy APPLEBY • Patrick SLEE. Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Fareham parkrun Results Page. The male record is held by Lachlan WELLINGTON who recorded a time of 15:47 on 31st December 2016 (event number 40). The female record is held by Jen GRANGER who recorded a time of 17:31 on 29th April 2017 (event number 58). The Age Grade course record is held by Penny FORSE who recorded 95.49% (22:34) on 15th July 2017 (event number 69). Fareham parkrun started on 9th April 2016. Since then 7,133 participants have completed 47,250 parkruns covering a total distance of 236,250 km, including 8,303 new Personal Bests. A total of 632 individuals have volunteered 5,507 times.

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