Guildford parkrun #396 (Part 1)

Today was the seventh week back of parkrun fun, today's run was made possible by 31 fantastic volunteers.
Before lockdown, we always loved to read out the names of all of the volunteers in the Run Director's briefing to recognise all of our volunteers individually.  Unfortunately at the moment we need to keep the brief as short as possible to reduce the time that people are gathered at the start, but I can assure you as soon as we can, the Run Directors will be testing their lung capacity again by reading out every volunteer name to the raucous cheering and applause from the waiting runners.
Until then, I would like to use this run report to appreciate this week's superstar volunteers and let you know a little about what the volunteers do.
Let's start with PRE-EVENT SET UP, this week executed spectacularly by Eddie B, Jim Perrin, and Rob Pitt (Rob is also one of our Co-Event Directors & RDs), who arrived a bit earlier than our other volunteers to assemble the finish funnel, set out cones, flags, the speaker, essentially getting things ready for the runners and other volunteers before the start, this is a role that allows you to volunteer and run on the same day!
Another role that you can do and still run after is the FIRST TIMERS BRIEFING, you are given an outline of the points you need to include, and the microphone so our ever growing numbers of new runners know how it all works. Thank you Anna Maclean for briefing the 9 brand new runners and 30 tourist runners.
Anna giving the First Timers Briefing

Anna giving the First Timers Briefing

The next person you will probably meet on parkrun day is the RUN DIRECTOR. The RD oversees everything about the event on the day, from arriving early to mark out the course, through to the very end when the kit is all locked in the cupboard and processing the results later after the event, Julie Bryant (who is one of our Co-Event Directors, and was this week’s VOLUNTEER CO-ORDINATOR) did everything needed for the smooth and safe event we all we able to enjoy!
Julie giving the main briefing

Julie giving the main briefing

At the start of the run RD Julie, was joined by our TIMEKEEPERS, Simon Cox and Rob Pitt, and NUMBER CHECKER Sam Conlan, all starting their app stopwatches on 'GO!' When our runners cross the finish line the timekeepers click a time for everyone, this requires a fair bit of concentration so please don't stop and ask them for your time! Our Number Checker picks random finishers, clocking their time and finding out their name and finish position, so if there's a hiccup with the timekeeper's stopwatches or the finish tokens, the number checker's log gives the RD points of reference to try to unscramble the results.

Timekeepers Simon and Rob starting to click runners times at the finish line, and Eddie cheering people on.

But before you reach the timekeepers you will pass our lovely MARSHALS who are spread around the course to guide you in the right direction, warn you of obstacles and cheer and clap you on your two laps around the park, please cheer back as you pass them because they are amazing! Marshals provide a key safety role being the RD's eyes and ears on the course so if an incident ever happened they can call the RD who will send help. If we don't have enough marshals to cover the course, parkrun will be cancelled because the safety of our participants is crucial. You were clapped around our course by Belinda Barratt, Neil Boosey,  Nicholas Goldman, Dawn Heaven, Charlotte Hitchin, Stuart Johnson, James Ross,  Sarah Warr and Morgan Wills.
Marshals and Tailwalkers being briefed by RD Julie

Marshals and Tailwalkers being briefed by RD Julie

The other volunteers you might have seen out on the course were Matthew Bennett and Chloe Cox, our TAILWALKERS, they stay at the back of the field to make sure everyone is accounted for from the course, crossing the finish line after everyone else, gaining a volunteer and run credit.
Once you cross the finish line you will meet some FUNNEL MANAGERS some very important people for keeping things in line so the results don't get in a jumble. Anne Connell and Alastair Heslop (Alastair is one of the Guildford RDs) were in charge of keeping everyone moving down the line today and staying in their finishing order, while watching with eagle eyes for dreaded funnel duckers!
Funnel managers Alastair and Anne waiting for the finishers

Funnel managers Alastair and Anne waiting for the finishers


Guildford parkrun #396 (Part 2)

What a lot of people don't realise is that when they duck out of the funnel because they aren't fussed about getting a result, but ducking has the potential to mess up the results of every person who finished after them so please don't duck! If you do see someone duck out, please alert a funnel manager or tell the people giving out FINISH TOKENS. William Blair and Stephen Osborne handed out the finish position tokens to our 395 finishers so that they could head over to be scanned.

Finish tokens being handed out by William and Stephen, with Number Checker Sam heading over to find out the name and finish position of this runner.

Finish tokens being handed out by William and Stephen, with Number Checker Sam heading over to find out the name and finish position of this runner.

BARCODE SCANNING is now using the parkrun virtual volunteer app exclusively, today your barcode and token were scanned by Andy Bishop (Andy is also a Guildford RD), Wendy Brandse, Nathan Cassidy, Susanna Harrison, Jeff Hemmings, Judith McKnight, Sam Poulter and Dashzeveg Tserenbat, and backed up by Maddie Heslop (Another Guildford RD!) on OTHER which at Guildford parkrun is our back-up scanner/scribe so if your printed barcode/wristband or finish token won't scan, we have a volunteer with a clipboard who will write down the information from your disintegrating paper barcode so you still get a result. If you're a speedy runner and expect to finish in 24 minutes or less you could run first and then hop in as a scanner as Susanna did today.

Scanners eagerly waiting for the finishers to arrive.

Scanners eagerly waiting for the finishers to arrive.

The final volunteering task today was RUN REPORT WRITER, another option if you want to volunteer and run. The run report can be what you would like to make it, your take on that days event or sharing your story of what parkrun means to you.

I volunteered to write the run report this week in honour of my 100th volunteering at Guildford parkrun, it is safe to say I enjoy volunteering! The atmosphere is amazing, and the feeling I get after volunteering really sets me up for the weekend, there aren't many things you can do and say I contributed to 400 odd people achieving something that makes life better by 10am on a Saturday morning!

Since we have been back post-lockdown, it has been a struggle to get enough volunteers to safely hold our event so please consider volunteering at Guildford parkrun the coming weeks, email to volunteer. If you've never volunteered before I can really recommend it- I wouldn't have done it 100 times if it wasn't fun! You will be briefed and trained for whichever role you do, so don’t be scared, or if it's been a while since you've volunteered come back and be reminded of the good feelings!

It's said regularly in the Run briefings and volunteer appeal emails, but without the wonderful volunteers parkrun can't happen, and it really is true, if we don't have the basic volunteer numbers to hold a safe event we would be forced to cancel so please get in touch!

As well being unable to read out our volunteers in the briefing, we miss congratulating people on reaching their milestone runs, well done today to Phill Hatton on 100 and Emma Davies on 50!

I'd like to end my report with a big cheer to everyone who volunteered today and who has in the last 6 weeks, you rock!

By Maddie Heslop

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



Guildford parkrun #394

Disappearing from the startIt was another busy morning for our fifth week back, with 433 runners, joggers and walkers crossing the finish line.

This week we welcomed 62 first timers to Stoke Park, with 18 of them completing their first ever parkrun. 81 of our fantastic participants hit new PBs this week- a huge well done to them, and adding to the list of achievements was Mark Livingstone reaching the 50th milestone, and Julian Fletcher now up to 100 runs. Congratulations Mark and Julian!




We were also happy to welcome Paul Fairclough, who was running Guildford parkrun before getting married later in the day! Paul was joined by friends Leanne and Henry who travelled from Cardiff for the special occasion. Congratulations Paul, we hope you had a wonderful wedding!

Paul Fairclough, running on his wedding day

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Simon BRYAN • Grace BRADLEY • Anthony ALDRED • Matthew LYTHELL • Simon RITCHIE • Francesca MCPHEE • Trevor WOOD • Alastair HESLOP • Annette LEE • Joce DARCH • Anna MACLEAN • Maggie PATMORE • Jim PERRIN • Chris And Dave The Dog MILLYARD • Sam CONLAN • Maddie HESLOP • Philippa SMYTH • Rachel WILLIAMS • Jason GARDNER • Judith MCKNIGHT • Wendy BRANDSE • Sofia FERNANDEZ RODRIGUEZ • Nicholas GOLDMAN • Paul MITSCHKE • Rob LUGT • Jeff HEMMINGS • Matilda ELLIS • Charlotte HITCHIN

Scanners waiting for the finishers


Unfortunately we aren't on next week, but we will be back on September 4th - see you then!

Maddie ☺

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


Guildford Parkrun #393 – Sunshine and Showers

Guildford parkrun number 4 since lockdown lifted, and it is clear to see everyone’s still buzzing to be back.

Unlike the week before, we were today treated to glorious sunshine for 9 o’clock, and thankfully it lasted more or less for the duration of the run (even though it had disappeared by the end and was replaced by some drizzle ☹).

As we all stood at the start, waiting for the honk of the airhorn (whoever’s idea that was – you deserve a medal!), it was fantastic to look around and see hundreds of people chatting and
laughing… it has been too long since we’ve seen those scenes.

A slightly slippery first leg across the field gave way to blissfully dry concrete and near-perfect conditions underfoot. Once this sun gets going, it doesn’t take long to dry things out… including runners! I for one realised just how warm it was in the second lap, and even started hoping for a bit of rain to cool things down!

A massive thank you to all the volunteers who made this parkrun possible. From tail-walkers to
barcode scanners, you are the priceless gems in the parkrun crown… thank you!  And huge congratulations to anyone running a milestone run - which included Richard Rowe, pictured here with his son, daughter, and son-in-law, who ran his 50th (though we think the '0' of his balloons was the one seen disappearing skywards shortly before we started......)


To summarise, today was a good day for new parkrunners – it’s fair to say the first-timers’ briefing was busy, and congratulations to all who got a new PB and to everyone who achieved a milestone.

Roll on next week!
By Carter Coles.


Guildford parkrun #392 – hang on, it’s my 250th parkrun!

As I lay awake at 5:30am on Saturday 7 August my initial thought as the rain battered my windows, was, this is not good, this is really not good - this was my long awaited for 250th parkun. My thoughts then went to, oh goodness, poor, poor Maddie the Run Director she had to set the course and organise everything in this monsoon – THANK YOU, THANK YOU Maddie.

Nicky's 250 (1)

On the 14 March 2020 I ran my 248th parkrun at Sandhurst; little did any of us know it was going to be the last parkrun for a very long time.  

During those very hideous months, and indeed years (well it felt like that) I, like so many others, struggled to even comprehend how to be motivated.  For me, running solo on a Saturday was a painful reminder of what had been taken away, and no one could do anything about it.  Virtual Runs, again, for many, were motivational, for me they didn’t work, I think they actually compounded my feeling of ‘loneliness’.  Not seeing friends, not being able to moan about ‘how it never got easier running 5K,’ not having an after run coffee and planning the next week’s adventure made me realise (and without being dramatic) how parkrun is a very intrinsic part of me.  I have missed it so very much.

Coming back on the return date, 24 July, was the best feeling ever, my 249th parkrun.  Walking across Stoke Park, seeing the orange cones, seeing the volunteers, seeing the finish funnel made me want to leap in the air (I didn’t as wasn’t too sure if the toilets were open) and I knew 5km lay ahead.  But, finishing that morning was just an emotional joy, seeing familiar faces, the chatter, the sweat, the pain but most importantly the laughter, hearing the laughter, my goodness, you cannot put a price on that sound.

So here we are, today, Saturday 7 August 2021, my long awaited 250th parkrun.  Running in the rain with friends, having complete admiration for ALL the volunteers whose job was so tough today, thank you all.  Being wetter and muddier than I can actually remember and yet you know what, there was so much laughter, my heart wanted to burst.

If you achieved a PB today (Naomi Parke for one) just how?.  If you ran your first parkrun you rock, if you slid, walked or skidded round, you did it, 5km ticked off before 10:00am! 

Guildford Core Team, Volunteers, my long suffering friends, fellow runners and walkers – thank you for making my 250th parkrun one to remember….and yes enough of the rain now.

Nicky's 250 (2)

Nicky's 250 (3)

Nicky's 250 (4)

Love Nicky (Hack) 


For all results and the stats please click here.

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