Guildford parkrun no. 359: Phew What a Scorcher!

9am and well into the 20’s already, and very humid; Flaming June finally arrived at Guildford parkrun. Despite the hot and sticky conditions, 462 of us were undeterred. We sprinted, cantered, jogged, pushed, pulled, walked and staggered our way around beautiful Stoke Park, sweat pouring off us. “I hate Saturdays!” said one of my near competitors at the halfway mark, but he didn’t mean it. We all loved it.

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Milestones this week included a magnificent 100 parkruns for David Cox, a fabulous 50 for Hyder Roohani and Aditya Bhaskar and triumphant 10 for junior Finn Marcus; congratulations to them!

We were efficiently supported by the generous volunteers, some foregoing the chance to run in order to help out, some doing it for their DofE Volunteering element, some doing just because they could. If you are a bystander who would like to be part of parkrun, why not offer your services? There are also roles which mean you can both run and volunteer. Information here https://www.parkrun.org.uk/guildford/volunteer/ or email guildfordhelpers@parkrun.com

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I love parkrun. How amazing that five hundred odd people turn up every Saturday morning at Stoke Park to go for a run together. Beginners, improvers, old-hands, club-runners, keep-fitters, couch-to-5k-ers, youngsters, golden oldies, fattipuffs and skinnifers, pushchair pushers, dog-draggers, parents, mates, spouses, PB-ers, PW-ers, balloon-carriers, dragged-out-of-bedsters…. We all turned up and were better for it. Thank you parkrun for being part of my weekend.

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By Jacqui Merlini

 

Guildford parkrun #358: Sunshine, Runners, 1st Timers, Milestones and cake!

The sun definitely had its hat on this weekend and 581 of you ran, jogged and walked the course, including 69 who were first timers and 60 Personal Bests.

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Congratulations to all the milestone achievers including Ben, Toby and Jack Houghton who completed their 50th, 100th and 250th runs all together as a family supported by Charlotte running and Viv volunteering.

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The Houghton's also very generously brought us all some cake, thank you!

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Also a congratulations to the Waverley Harriers and their C25K group on their first parkrun! It was great to have you and hope to see you again soon.

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Finally a quick apology for the delay with the results yesterday. Sadly there were a number of complications that caused our timer and runner positions data to get out of sync ... we had to perform some minor surgery on the data to stitch it together and make it match up with the our number checker's notes.

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If you want to know more about the timer/token mechanics why not volunteer for a role in our funnel or finish area!

More info at:
https://www.parkrun.org.uk/guildford/volunteer/

Happy running !

Rob (co-Event Director)

 

GP Pledge Day at Guildford parkrun #355

On June 1st 2019 one thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight GPs, practice staff and patients pledged to run, jog, walk or volunteer at parkruns across the country; we were very glad some of that number joined us at Guildford parkrun. We had volunteers and run/jog/walkers from Binscombe Medical Centre, Dapdune House Surgery, Merrow Park Surgery and St. Luke's Surgery on a beautiful morning for parkrunning. 

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 A few of our parkrun practice participants!

It was a smashing morning to run/jog/walk 5K in Stoke Park and all of the 582 finishers did a brilliant job- in fact there were 75 PBs! We welcomed 70 first timers to Guildford yesterday who we hope to see again soon for more sunny Saturday shenanigans!

Then we have some people who were definitely not first timers, Sam CARTER completed his Junior 10, Gordon HAMILTONFinlay MCMANUSMonica PINO,and Graham SAMPSON hit their 50th parkrun and Paddy PAYNE and Neil RAINE joined the 100 club, massive congratulations on those milestones!

Of course none of these things could have happened without the efforts of the fantastic volunteers so to finish off thank you to Anthony ALDRED, Brian O'KANE, Richard HODGSON,James ROSS, Christopher PECK, Alastair DAY, Richard OVERTON, Alastair HESLOP, Flori MACKINNON, Gemma KING, William BOLTER, Nikki SIMPSON, Katerina ROSE, Abigail MATTIN, Sian WILLIAMS, Lucy TAYLOR, Mark TAYLOR, Peter DREW, Maddie HESLOP, Jennie MACLEAN, Ben BALDWIN, Calvin WILLIAMS, Lucy CLARK, Carolyn TURNER, Nicholas GOLDMAN, Elaine FAGAN, Brandon ACRES, Eddie B, William IZZARD, Philip INGOE and Henry PARKER.

 

A Bride to-be, an Australian Tourist and a Plethora of Milestones: Guildford parkrun #354

Welcome Everyone :-)

That's right you lovely folks, we had a little bit of everthing this Saturday, including lots of smiles and lots of sunshine. For the 4th week this year Guildford parkrun had more than 600 runners - by gosh where do they all come from (apart from Australia of course :-)).

First & foremost:THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to ALL our VOLUTEERS. You make Guildford parkrun the wonderful event that it is - because you're wonderful. Thank you.

This weeks Run Report has very kindly been written by the delightful Madeleine Charbine (huge thanks to you) with additional pictures by our very own wonderful Tamara Pedgrift with a few bits thrown in by the editor, aka the Run Director.

We had a super smashing time on Saturday, as we hope you all did. So relive those happy memories and dive right in...

Guildford parkrun, 18th May 2019, Event #354

Stoke park was bathed in beautiful warm sunshine as 628 runners, joggers and walkers turned up to Guildford parkrun.  There were 35 first timers to parkrun, and we welcome you to the parkrun family, and 33 people who were visiting Guildford for the first time.  It was pacer week and this certainly helped 110 people to a new Personal Best.

parkrun pacers

parkrun pacers

There was an air of celebration as lots of balloons were to be seen celebrating all different milestones.  To start with, we congratulate two juniors celebrating their 10thmilestone parkrun, Beth Breen and Oscar Ferenczy.  Joining the 50 Club this week were Dawn Heaven, Ben Perry, Elliot Richards and Michelle Collins.

Dawn Heaven and Dale Millership celebrating their 50th and 100th parkrun milestone respectively

Dawn Heaven and Dale Millership celebrating their 50th and 100th parkrun milestone respectively

 

Ben Perry and his family celebrating Ben’s 50th run

Ben Perry and his family celebrating Ben’s 50th run

 

Michelle Collins celebrates her 50 milestone with elegance

Michelle Collins celebrates her 50 milestone with elegance

We also inducted four people into the 100 Club, Dale Millership, Hannah Cook, Ian Kenyon (who was also pacing today) and Rob Bate.  Congratulations everyone! :-) :-) :-)

Rob Bate celebrating his 100th run. With Champagne!!!

Rob Bate celebrating his 100th run. With Champagne!!!

 

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Whilst Ian Kenyon celebrated his 100th run by being a pacer

 

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What...MORE celebration juice? Good lad :-)

There was also a different kind of celebration as, some of you may have seen a pink bride running around Stoke park or a few well-dressed page-boys.  Yes, it was Anna Maclean’s last parkrun celebration as a Maclean as she is getting married next Saturday and we wish her and her future husband all the best!

Anna and her parkrun wedding party

Anna and her parkrun wedding party

(I still think Mrs Chalk is the absolute best name EVER for a teacher!! :-) Ed).

So How Did It Go?

As mentioned, this week was pacer week, a personal favourite, especially when we had great conditions like today.  I have always watched the pacer and thought, ‘I’ve love to have a go’ so this week, as well as writing the run report, I sent off an email to guildfordhelpers@parkrun.com and asked if I could have a go at pacing 30 minutes.  I had warned them that I’d never done it before and was pretty nervous about it, but they reassured me that there was nothing to worry about, and I’d probably end up enjoying it.  They were certainly correct!

I was slightly nervous on the start line, especially as people came up to me saying “I’m going to follow you and break that 30 minute barrier for the first time” – pressure!  I started steadily, but having a check at my Garmin, I could tell I was going too fast, a typical issue I’m sure many of you have done before.  After dodging a few tent poles (thanks to the marshals there for helping parkrunners navigate the temporary obstacles), I managed to find my pace in the second kilometre and was really enjoying my run.  I started chatting and giving support to those people around me - we could all do this!

The jovial chit chat with runners as they passed me by carried on until the 500 meters mark, just after the very last short sharp section, when I could see it was game face time and I had a group of parkrunners fly by me.  It was also here that a pacer’s second job of cheerleader really comes into its own, as one lady talked about how disappointed she wasn’t going to break 30, but with less than 300 meters to go (and knowing I was slightly ahead of a 30min finish), I knew she could do this and shouted all my words of encouragement that I too have heard when I am so close to breaking a PB.  Next thing she was off, sprinting into the distance.  Others around me promised that they would sprint finish and true to their word, as we hit the grass for the finishing straight off they went to break their PBs too.  I looked over my shoulder at the last 50m to see a kid chasing me down, I challenged him to the finish line and off we went, over the line, and what was to be a PB for him.

Honestly it was the best feeling in the world to pace and I would strongly recommend people give it a go.  I wanted to do it, just to see if I could, but I certainly didn’t expect the countless number of thanks I got.  What a brilliant start to the weekend! Next pacing week will be the 15th June, but in the meantime, if you are feeling inspired to give any of the volunteering roles a go, contact guildfordhelpers@parkrun.com. (HERE HERE -  Ed)

A Fond Goodbye, A Fond Hello

We say bon voyage (okay it's only to the Isle of Wight) to Nick Thornton, who completed his 137th Guildford parkrun this Saturday. He has delighted many at Guildford parkrun over the years and his presence has added immeasurably to the family of Guildford parkrun. We wish him well - and YES - he has promised to do some tourism with us some day :-)

Nick Thornton & fabulous friend :-)

Nick Thornton & fabulous friend :-)

We said a very happy hello to Marty Bowen, who came all the way over from Australia (his home parkrun is a placed called Bowral. Just for us. We're touched :-)

We even had some new (and in training but incredibly enthusiastic) finish token sorters. Thanks guys :-)

Jane Foster, Jason Mott, Nicholas Goldman & Daniel Marven. Don’t they look happy. Thanks guys  :-)

Jane Foster, Jason Mott, Nicholas Goldman & Daniel Marven. Don’t they look happy. Thanks guys :-)

Don't Forget Your Tourism Next Week

Next week you have an opportunity to lace up your tourist shoes, as the Surrey County Show is taking over Stoke Park so Guildford parkrun are taking the week off. Don't panic - just go and visit one of our many, very friendly, neighbouring parkruns were you'll be made to feel very welcome.

Final Words & Volunteer Thanks

Thanks once more to Madeleine Charbine for writing this weeks Run Report. Thank you for reading me.

The event was made possible by 46 volunteers: Brandon Acres, Sarah Alexander, Geraldine Allen, Laurie Bantin, Matthew Baylis, Julie Bryant, Irene Carrasco Ruiz, Rennie Chadwick, Madeleine Charbine, Rich Clist, Harry Conlan, Katie Corrie, Lesley Cully, Alastair Day, Parag Deolia, John Duckworth, Neill Ebers, Jane Foster, Nicholas Goldman, Fran Handrick, Mike Harrold, Jonathon Harwood, Maddie Heslop, Alastair Heslop, William Izzard, Nathan Janmohamed, Michael Jones, Ian Kenyon, Rosie Killick, Flori Mackinnon, Daniel Marven, Jason Mott, Sarah Nixon, Chris Nugent, Robert Pitt, Dawn Ridgers, Katerina Rose, James Ross, Prab Satya, Wendy Scott, Paul Tatler, Nick Tearle, Carolyn Turner, Vikki West, Liz Willans, Calvin Williams. Thank you all - our volunteers are AMAZING.

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

The female record is held by Emily WICKS who recorded a time of 17:31 on 8th October 2016 (event number 227).
The male record is held by Phil WICKS who recorded a time of 15:14 on 23rd September 2017 (event number 274).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 90.41% (22:25) on 27th April 2013 (event number 57).

Guildford parkrun started on 10th March 2012. Since then 13,838 participants have completed 105,265 parkruns covering a total distance of 526,325 km, including 18,160 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,074 individuals have volunteered 6,793 times.

 

Guildford parkrun #352: celebrating Star Wars Day .. and another record attendance!

This year parkrun landed on May 4th Star Wars Day! May the Fourth (be with you). And some of our lovely runners seized the opportunity to come in fancy dress! We had a  Stormtrooper, Rey & some hooded Jedi’s running around the course! There was even a few lightsaber battles during the actual run, which made for some brilliant parkrun photo action shots, much to the delight of the other park users.

 

Star Wars – May the Fourth (be with you)

Star Wars – May the Fourth (be with you)

 

With a sunny start to the morning, lots of runners were tempted out into Stoke Park. Leading us to yet another record breaking turnout with 670 runners taking to the course, including 48 people doing their first ever parkrun. What a way to start off the bank holiday weekend!

 

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A record turn out of 670!

For the pre-run briefing, our lovely Run Director Julie, welcomed us all to Guildford parkrun and thanked the many volunteers (by name) who got up early to set up, to  marshal and all those wonderful people who helped to make today’s event possible.

Next came the recognition for runners who were celebrating parkrun Milestones. The  loud applause and cheers that followed this announcement, was a clear sign that the friends & family of those celebrating their milestone runs were definitely in attendance & in very high spirits!!

Congratulations to Andrew Schauerman a local Fitstuff runner, who ran his 250th  parkrun! An awesome achievement Andrew!

Andrew Schauerman

Andrew Schauerman

Well done to Joanna Pearce & Zoe Boulter who ran their 50th parkrun and to our Juniors Mia Rose & Emily Jarman who both reached their 10th parkrun milestone! Jane Foster & Carol Dunnett, both celebrated unofficial milestones for their 150th parkrun as well! Great work ladies!!

Jane Foster & Jason Mott

Jane Foster & Jason Mott

Stoke park was certainly looking its best with lots of beautiful flowers bordering the field & looking picturesque in the sun. The two laps were filled with fun, a lot of laughs and of course the aforementioned Star Wars battles mid run. All the while, we could see  marshals clapping & shouting out words of encouragement to all of us running, walking or skipping.

Star Wars battle mid-run

Star Wars battle mid-run

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After the run, we all headed off to the Daisy Chain Café for a well deserved tea/coffee and a cheeky slice of post-run cake. Jane Foster brought along a fabulous Llama cake to celebrate her milestone run. So thank you to Jane for the yummy treat!

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Tea & Coffee at The Daisy Chain with Llama Cake

Tea & Coffee at The Daisy Chain with Llama Cake

 

All  in all, you could definitely feel just how amazing the atmosphere was! The Guildford parkrun community really came together to put on a brilliant parkrun & I hope that many more people will feel inspired to come along to run, walk or volunteer at future events.

This event was made possible by the help & support of volunteers. So, a big THANK YOU to our incredible volunteers:

Brandon ACRES • Geraldine ALLEN • Matthew BAYLIS • Julie BRYANT • Irene CARRASCO RUIZ • Harry CONLAN • Alastair DAY • Nicholas GOLDMAN • Susanna HARRISON • Maddie HESLOP • Ben HOUGHTON • Charlotte HOUGHTON • Ian KENYON • Jyoti LOPES • Flori MACKINNON • Jennie MACLEAN • Stephen OSBORNE • Richard OVERTON • Thomas PINNEGAR • Robert PITT • Katherine PORTMAN • Liz PRICE • Katerina ROSE • James ROSS • Cecilia SIRUFFO • Dashzeveg TSERENBAT • Carolyn TURNER • Calvin WILLIAMS • Nick WRIGHT

By Jyoti Lopes

 

Guildford parkrun #350: Sunny Easter parkrun with record turnout!!

Wow!!  What a beautiful Easter weekend we are having!!  And the beautiful weather tempted an amazing 650 people to run, jog or walk Guildford parkrun yesterday - our highest ever turnout!!  We also had a fabulous 124 Guildford first timers of which 57 were doing their first ever parkrun - we hope you enjoyed our parkrun and will be back!!

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650 parkrunners raring to go

It happened to be my 100th time completing Guildford parkrun.  On hearing of this achievement one of my friends kindly commented that I have run the hills 200 times!!  Unfortunately that is not the case and there has been a fair bit of walking, but yesterday it was all running, helped by the lovely course conditions that we are currently enjoying.

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And they're off!!

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers.  We were actually a bit short on volunteers this week, despite our record turnout.  The combination of a large jump in participants with a light volunteer roster created some challenges, so if you think your results aren't 100% accurate, you may be right, but we did our best, as ever.  If you haven't tried volunteering, please do consider giving it a go.  It is good fun and you will have a lovely warm feeling for the rest of the weekend!!  If you would like to help, please email us at guildfordhelpers@parkrun.com - you can also sign up to our volunteer email list via the "manage my profile" link on your results email, so that you will receive emails letting you know about volunteering opportunities.

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Anthony testing out his London Marathon costume - good luck!!

Our volunteer ranks are bolstered each week by a number of young people working towards their Duke of Edinburgh ("DofE") awards.  This has been possible due to the dedication and hard work over many years of Teresa Male, as our DofE coordinator.  Teresa has decided to step down from her role, and we would like to thank her for her huge contribution to Guildford parkrun.  Maddie Heslop, who many of you will know as one of our Run Directors and a regular volunteer, will be taking over and we wish her all the best in her new role.

Thanks also to parkrun's official grocer - @coopukfood - for handing out free food boxes to all parkrunners and volunteers yesterday.  The Co-op would like to recruit one parkrunner from our parkrun to take part in and represent their #HealthySwaps campaign, the selected parkrunner will get some great vouchers and kit in return.  Interested and want to find our more?  Email healthyswapschampion@isg.media

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David was feeling hungry!!

Happy Easter to you all and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Julie

Co-Event Director

 

A tourist eye view of Guildford parkrun

A huge thank you to Fran Light from Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun for this week's run report (with photos added in by us!)

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From my pre-run conversations today I know that quite a few visitors were in Guildford to tick ‘G’ on their parkrun A-Z. I managed to do that today too, but more importantly, I also ticked off my first G in the Stayin’ Alive Challenge (3 ‘B’s and 3 ‘G’s). I love a park run challenge!

I parked in the Guildford College car park which turned out to be quite a bit further from the start than the Spectrum car park. It took me 10 minutes to get to the start; those with a better sense of direction could probably walk it in 5 minutes! Luckily a fellow runner pointed me in roughly the right direction and when I came across a row of conspicuous orange cones I just followed them to the start.

As the meeting point came into sight over the crest of a hill, I was struck by the number of people streaming across the grass from the Spectrum car park and realised there was going to be a very big turn-out. I introduced myself to the Run Director, Tamara and offered to do the run report that you are now reading. It was a big day for Tamara as it was her first time as run director, but she obviously had everything in hand and seemed very relaxed.

There are toilets at the start (which is always a relief, sometimes quite literally!) and the pre-run briefing is done via a P.A system to ensure that nobody misses important safety information. During the briefing Tamara gave shout-outs to Keith who was doing his 250th parkrun and to ex-Event Director Linda, who is leaving Guildford and heading off on a new adventure in the Peak District. Linda was the driving force behind setting up Guildford parkrun in 2012, and Tamara pointed out that without her, there might not be a Guildford parkrun. Linda, very fittingly, was wearing a special gold ‘parkrun queen’ sash. We were told to look out for her on the course and give her a wave. I was there when she came across the finish - to the biggest round of applause of the day!

The starting format was a new one on me. Everyone lined up 60 to 70 people abreast and charged across the grass like a lycra-clad army launching an attack! After about 300 metres everyone filtered, very tidily, back on to the path and from there-on, we were six abreast, at most and it was all very ordered and civilised. The scenery was a typical city park mix of wild and urban. Turning one corner we were greeted by a blanket of yellow flowers under some trees, around another corner we looked down on the busy skate park. The scenery may have been pretty, but it was the many marshals who smiled, cheered, hollered and gave much needed words of encouragement and praise who made the event really memorable.

I’ve done lots of parkruns with laps, but Guildford definitely takes my award for ‘best end of first lap applause’. As we passed the start, the run director and many of the supporters were lined up watching and cheering, and they didn’t just cheer their loved ones, they cheered everyone. I rounded the big tree that signalled the start of lap 2 with their applause still ringing in my ears and a huge grin on my face!

I was very impressed by Guildford parkrun, and in particular by the ‘extra touches’ that the core team had obviously introduced to ensure the event runs extra smoothly and is as inclusive and welcoming as possible, The first such touch, was the presence of a sign language interpreter during the first-timers briefing. The second was the fact that when the volunteers were thanked during the pre-run briefing, all their names were read out. This was mentioned in a Guildford run report a few weeks ago, but I think it warrants a fresh mention as it is something I have never seen done before, and it is such an awesome thing to do!  The third was the sign in the finish funnel that read (something along the lines of) ‘hold out right hand, palm up, to receive finish token’ – a simple but effective way to keep the funnel queue moving!

Thanks Guildford parkrun team; I had a great parkrun and really loved the course and the camaraderie. I’m only sorry that I couldn’t stay for a post-run coffee and snack at the Wey Valley Bowls Club, but I definitely will next time!

By Fran Light

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Guildford parkrun event #347

Just a mini run report today followed by a rather less exciting lost property report.

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Oh what a beautiful morning!

 

 

Well, what a glorious morning for a 5k! A huge well done to the all of the 545 people who walked, jogged or ran around Stoke Park today with 52 first timers at Guildford and a smashing 133 people achieving PBs.

Congratulations to:

Katie BLACKMAN, Violet ISSACS, Jack MILNER and Juliet TURNBULL on achieving their Junior 10 Milestones

 to Andres PALANTES and Peter TURNER on hitting their 50th

 and to David NEWTON and Libby RALPH on their 100th parkrun. 

Now onto the lost property- we're getting quite a collection and hoping to reunite some people with their belongings so if you recognise something you've lost please e-mail guildford@parkrun.com or speak to the run director next week and we can hopefully get your things back to you.

Lost property which has gathered over the last few months

Lost property which has gathered over the last few months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guildford parkrun #346: In memory of Bernard Parke and a visitor’s view

This week we have contributions from two writers for you:


On my 200th run, I dedicate it to the memory of Bernard Parke - by Nicky Hack

6 years ago myself and Jane Rostant had the pleasure of meeting Bernard Parke.  It was always an absolute joy when he was on the volunteer rota.  You knew you had a great volunteer, you knew you would laugh and you would always get a hug.  Bernard was our friend, the conversations we would have in the cafe after the morning run were wonderful.  Jane and Bernard put the world to rights, but always with a laugh.  Bernard would always ask after my family, he was a kind, lovely man.  He volunteered 58 times at Guildford, he said he'd be down today for my 200th run.  Sadly, you couldn't make it today Bernard, but you were with me for the 33:14 minutes it took myself and Jane to run, and we both remembered the wonderful man that we are proud to call our friend. Bernard Parke, you'll be missed but never forgotten.
In memory of Bernard


 

A visitor's view - by Eileen Fitzgerald

G is for Guildford…and gorgeous…

You know how winter goes on and on and on and on and then suddenly, it's spring… that’s how I felt this morning running my letter G in my alphabet challenge in Guildford, quite simply, it was gorgeous! With faith in my sat-nav, I arrived at a car park that didn’t typically look like a parkrun car park, (that is, there wasn’t loads of the usual parkrun runner types) so I was wondering if I was in the right place. A lady that had parked up next to me was putting on trainers, so I asked her. Fortunately, I was and so together we made our way to the parkrun start. It turned out that I had parked very close to the after run café car park (which was given amazing reviews on their home-made goodies and welcoming staff).

I made my way over to the very friendly parkrun RD Alastair HESLOP who greeted me warmly and I instantly felt welcomed. I then joined a huge crowd of 1st timers and newcomers. There were 52 people running Guildford for the 1st time today, 38 of which, it was their first ever parkrun! That number I think is amazing, as to me, it means in Guildford alone today, 38 people’s lives were changed for the better as they have started their parkrun journeys. Their Saturdays may never be the same, making new friends and being in the most fantastic fellowship of friendly and supporting runners. I also bumped into a lady that I had met only a couple of weeks before at Rushmoor, (hello again Charlotte).

At the main brief, I was thrilled that all of the volunteers were given a round of applause, the whole list of today’s volunteers was read out, I’ve never seen that done before but knowing that the event could not happen without those guys, I think it’s a great idea and each person deserved their hi-vis hero recognition. Milestones were congratulated, today Guildford had two runners running their 50th Claire CHAPPELL and Daniel ORBELL (who also smashed his PB!) A couple of unofficial milestones, Nicky HACK and Bronwyn MAYO ran their 200th today (incidentally Bronwyn was the lovely lady that looked after me when I had arrived in the faraway carpark). There were no 100 milestones this week but Monica-Gabriela TUDOR ran her 99th and Jonathan PAGDIN ran his 249th parkrun today, so it looks like I picked the wrong week for Guildford as next week sounds like cake week!

Off to the start for two anti-clockwise laps of Stoke Park. The first undulating straight took us past a fitness trail, then past Stoke Park gardens which were bordered by spring blooming hedges, then towards some very scenic rolling hills of English countryside. We ran past a meadow of very pretty, very sweet-smelling flowers, then it’s along an undulating foot/cycle path, past daffodils and trees beginning to bud in vernal bloom, through the middle of the park then along the side of the undulating footpath next to the road before rejoining the park to run a second undulating lap. (Have I used the word undulating too much? Hahaha.) The grass parts were not too muddy, and the paths were wide enough for dogs and buggies. The marshals were extremely encouraging, and running into the funnel at the end, the faster parkrunners were especially supportive, clapping everyone as they finished.

The whole event was extremely well organised, plenty of cones for directional use, the finish funnel was long so there was no congestion and I especially liked the barcode scanners who each had a table with numbered boxes which meant the token sorters' jobs were made easier. Never knowing what to expect I was delighted with such a lovely parkrun. Thank you to all involved.

 

Guildford parkrun #345: A Most Significant Milestone & Lots of Wind!!

A Most Significant Milestone and Lots of Wind!

Well hello there and a very warm welcome to the run report for Guildford parkrun event #354, at which we, Guildford parkrun, celebrated a rather significant milestone ourselves and battled with the winds. Intrigued, well read on....

Volunteer Thanks

Firstly, and most importantly, I wish to give our thanks to the 42 amazing volunteers involved this Saturday who, through their generous endeavours ensured Guildford parkrun was able to host a safe, friendly, welcoming & inclusive parkrun event for our 473 runners. Not only for this week, but for the previous 344 weeks and the 99,672 runners for whom we have been able to host Guildford parkrun. It is only made possible because of these 1,047 wonderful individuals who collectively have given up 6,508 Saturday mornings of their own time for a greater good; in the past, now and long into the future. We all owe these dedicated, happy, very capable people our great gratitude.

So, all together now...THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS, YOU ARE AWESOME, YOU ARE WONDERFUL.

The Set-up

So clearly before any parkrun event can actually take place the course has to be set-up in the morning. No easy task with strong winds I can tell you! As the course was being marked our with cones, every time the Run Director turned around to ensure good placement of cones, in relation to each, to form a clear course route that is safe & intuitive for our runners to follow (oh yes - we take great pride and joy in our course), the cones had of course been whipped about & buffeted by the winds leaving not a one in their original position. On realising it was a pushing a big rock up a steep hill covered in ice while wearing ice skates type task and bearing in mind that it wouldn't be ideal to still be setting-up the course at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the Run Director accepted being in the lap of the gods, and smiled sagely!!

Despite papers, pens, finish token collection boxes, water bottles and pretty much anything and everything else being flung around by the wind - but hey there's a real energy there that's exciting and energising - amazingly we actually found ourselves ready. Not a moment too soon as the excited runners were now descending on us and there was a buzz in the air an almost electric buzz - but why...? Because this Saturday we were going to celebrate our 100,000th finisher at Guildford parkrun and perhaps each one wanted the kudos, the glory or simply the sheer joy of being Guildford parkrun finisher number 100,000. Who can blame them!! :-)

FitStuffers preparing for the off...

Some fabulous team Fitstuffers preparing for the off...

Milestone Congratulations!!

As always at every Guildford parkrun there are individual stories of courage, endeavour and of achievement and this Saturday was no exception, so please join us in celebrating and congratulating the following folks in their very own story where they are the hero;

From our junior contingent each of the following successfully scaled the 10 milestone:

  • Jake PATERSON
  • William ROESER
  • Ollie NIXON
  • Miles NORWOOD
  • Eloise ALLEN

For the adults the success just keeps rolling on for the following:

  • Simon ELSBURY
  • Adam NEWNHAM
  • Philip GRAINGER
  • Gordon RANDALL
  • James HANCOX
  • Angela RHYDDERCH
  • Ella RAE

All of whom obtained their 50 milestone. Brilliant effort and well done to you all, wear your t-shirts with great pride & joy :-)

Angela RHYDDERCH looking very happy and very Irish to celebrate her 50th milestone on St. Patricks Day :-).

Angela RHYDDERCH looking very happy and very Irish to celebrate her 50th milestone on St. Patricks Day :-).

Oh and of course - Guildford parkrun joined the 100,000 club!!! How impressive is that.

100,000 runners each completing 5 km, why that's 500,000 kilometres and you know, it's only 384,400 kilometres to the moon!!! If each runner burns on average 500 kilocalories (or 2,092 kilojoules if you prefer) for each 5 km they've run then that's roughly the same amount of energy, over the 100,000 runs, required to heat approximately 555,555 litres of water to boiling point. That's roughly 2.2 million cups of tea!!! So not only does Guildford parkrun take you to the moon (we need a few more years to get you back mind you), we can more than supply the tea to go with such an incredible journey. :-).

Fun facts aside, all of those 100,000 runs represents a personal story of human triumph, of courage & commitment - of believing that a better quality of life is possible - and of striving for it. We salute you all and thank you for making Guildford parkrun the fabulous joy that it is for so many people.

The Run

The most fabulous of sights at 09:00 on a Saturday in Stoke Park. A tsunami of colour and human endeavour. Go guys go, you look wonderful.

And they're off!!

And they're off!!

Each run is filled with action, suspense, human grit, fantastic timekeeping, selfless encouragement, personal determination, the highs and joys of being alive, of being human, of being part of a tremendous community, of giving it all you have. Of life.

Keith HARRISON looking humble and pretty happy with himeself

Keith HARRISON looking humble and pretty pleased with himself

Of the fierceness of giving everything.

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Of timekeeping fun & accuracy.

Alastair HESLOP on the clock

Alastair HESLOP on the clock

But who will gain the coveted position 328 and become Guildford parkruns 100,000th runner? The tension & excitement builds & builds....

THe sought after position 328

The much sought after position 328

Who will it be....

The 100,000th Finisher & Presentation

Come in number 100,000 - yes it's Gethin JONES and our congratulations to him. On only Gethin's 2nd parkrun he became Guildford parkruns' 100,000th finisher. Much, I'm sure, to Gethins' surprise, delight & slight bewilderment we made a huge fuss of him - and rightly so because it's always good to spread happiness & joy.

Gethin JONES becomes Guildford parkrun 100,000 finisher. See the massive finish token he earned!!

Gethin JONES becomes Guildford parkruns' 100,000th finisher. See the massive finish token he earned!!

Don't be fooled by those glum faces, they where all very happy for Gethin!!

They're just pretending to be glum

They're just pretending to be glum

See!

We're all very happy

A bunch of very happy people

To much fanfare Gethin JONES was awarded a 100,000th finisher sash, a 100,000 finisher medallion, a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates, lots of balloons and a giant 100,000 finish token. Awards were very generously donated by members of Fitstuff running club (thanks Bill WILD) and individual members of Guildford parkrun core team. I'm not sure if Gethin really understood why we where all so happy for him but we were all totally delighted for him and he was such a great sport. Let's hope he doesn't get too used to all this champagne & chocolate mind you as it'll do nothing for his run times!!!

All that then remained was for our little 100,000th Guildford parkrun presentation ceremony to Gethin JONES - yes we continued to make a fuss - and up-stepped the fantastic Robert PITT, one of our brilliant Co-Event Directors and Paul TATLER, who was our Run Director for the day, to present the awards.

Gethin JONES, Guildford parkruns' 100,000th finisher!

Gethin JONES, Guildford parkruns' 100,000th finisher, being congratulated by Paul TATLER

As you can clearly see - we had much fun and made much fuss :-)

The presentation :-)

The presentation with Robert PITT in the very warm looking blue hat :-)

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At The End...

Off we all went to celebrate at the Daisy Chain Café, exchange stories of running heroics, enjoy hot coffee and perhaps hotter gossip, renew & make new friendships and wonder what colour our next pair of running shoes should be! :-)

We thank everyone who came down and celebrated with us for this rather significant milestone - a milestone that we're pretty chuffed and pleased with. But you know what - we're just getting warmed up!!! Until then dear people, take care of yourselves & your loved ones, remember there is always another run and I wish you as much joy and love as your hearts can hold. Adios. Or until next Saturday at least :-)

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