Guildford parkrun #376

So Guildford it was. The pattern for some months now has been to choose a different Parkrun location every week. I usually go with my son if I can and this week it was his choice, and he decided on Guildford – because it was one of only two in the South-East beginning with G! We could have gone to Kent of course, where the other G is, but living in Hampshire that didn’t seem very sensible! The closest in the South-West were both in Gloucester so, as I said, Guildford it was.

As it turned out I couldn’t have been more pleased. The Spectrum Leisure Centre where we are advised to park was easy to find, there was plenty of free parking, good toilet facilities and the Parkrun was only just across the road - two or three minutes’ walk from the car. But it got better, because the Parkrun was in a lovely park setting on a combination of grass and tarmac paths.

It’s not the flattest course by a long way – a total elevation gain of 191 feet over two laps, and that’s 419th on the list of registered flattest UK Parkrun locations – but it’s all quite gentle, as are the descents, and I found it easier than on many flatter courses with short ‘killer’ hills. But this is one of the bigger Parkruns and although today 490 of us set off, the great thing was that whereas with many events you will have to queue at the start roughly in the order you expect to finish, not with this one. There’s plenty of room for a mass start and things just sort themselves out without undue elbow barging. And there are no bottlenecks.

Okay, so there were some slippery bits. Well, we’ve had an extraordinary amount of rain, so mud was in plentiful supply and there were places it wasn’t easy to dodge, so some of the runners finished the run in quite a state, especially the fast ones. Which is why I finished in pretty much pristine condition by comparison!

My son and I both ran today and we thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’re wondering, and I don’t suppose you are, he just managed to get to the finish before I did. Only just. By 3 or 400 metres. Except I still had one more lap to complete after that. Just 461 places ahead of me. So close…

All things considered, I’d say this is an excellent venue, with variation in levels and in surface, and a picturesque parkland, making the laps seem to go by quickly – for some people quicker than others, I might add! Okay, but my excuse was that for the second week I was recovering from a leg injury and I could otherwise easily have come inside the top four (hundred!).

But for me, part of the fun travelling to Parkruns is after the run, and in Guildford you are spoiled for choice if you want a decent breakfast and a coffee in really nice surroundings.

I travel about quite a bit for Parkruns and the constant for me wherever I’ve been has been the efficient organisation, the relaxed atmosphere, and the friendliness and helpfulness of the volunteers and runners alike, and Guildford was no exception. The marshals were a great bunch, with their encouragement and enthusiasm, and they really give you a lift. And so I could not let this opportunity pass without a sincere thank you to Maddie the Run Director, to all the volunteers, and especially to the core team and to those who turn up week in, week out, just to volunteer without the chance or the ability to run. So if you are thinking of having a go, this is definitely one to start with! There are plenty of roles you can choose from if you want to run as well, both before the event and after, so you needn’t miss out. It really is fun, the instructions are simple and you’ll be back for more!

This week, among the 490 runners, assorted pushchairs and dogs, there were landmarks for Carolyn Baxter, Simon McCrohan, Matthew Duncan, Annie Williams, Rob Stokes and Cecile Boylett for their 50th Parkruns. Congratulations also to juniors Grace Farmer, William Channing and Juliette Stell for their 10th, and a special mention to Juliette for highest age grade performance of the day with a remarkable 81.34%. Other notable performances were by David Owen Williams in the VM55-59 category with a personal best of 19:07, which earned him an age grade of 78.75%. Andrea Thomas and Henk Innemee both chalked up their 150th Parkruns and Susanna Harrison (who did a fantastic job as the 24 minute pacer today finishing at 23.57) joined the 250 club, but top of the tree was Annette Shrimpton with an impressive 375! There were 21 first-ever Parkrunners today, also many who were new to Guildford and countless PBs, so a very well done to you all!

By Dennis Spencer

This week we had a 'volunteer takeover' by a group of ladies from Back on Track Running and Fitness who took on marshaling, barcode scanning, and handing out finish tokens. A huge thank you to them along with all of our other wonderful volunteers without whom parkrun couldn't happen!



Guildford parkrun #375 – Where celebrations were sparkling fairy lights!

This weeks run report by Nicky Hack!

Oliver Jones – 250 parkruns and celebrating in style!

Saturday dawned cold but sunny and we headed to Stoke Park to celebrate Oliver Jones' 250th parkrun - this had been delayed by several weeks due to England's rugby success (and then disappointment) in Japan!


After the new runners' briefing, and at nearly 8:55am we were wondering where he was? Should we slink back into the changing rooms with our gift, we shouldn’t have worried, Oliver appeared like a gazelle at the meeting point, and we lovingly handed him 3 celebratory green balloons. Oliver was so excited he set off for his 250th parkrun with myself and Jane trailing in his wake…Luckily we found each other at the end and celebrated in style with Prosecco on the ever muddy Stoke Park. Paninis and tea cakes at the Daisy Chain Café (Wey Valley Bowls club) followed; what an absolutely wonderful morning.

It’s a considerable achievement to get to 250 park runs and Oliver wasn’t the only one to achieve this. A massive congratulations to Richard Duddy also – only another 250 more runs you two until the 500 t-shirt comes your way – LOLs!

Prab celebrating his 100th parkrun – with Eddie his friend!

Prab Satya was celebrating his 100th parkrun. Prab’s had a wonderful run of PBs and is one of Guildford’s regular pacers helping runners achieve PBs with times only myself and Jane can dream of. If you look closely at the photos of Prab you’ll see Eddie – helping Prab finish! Congratulations Prab on your 100th parkrun!



Waverley Harriers = C25K and supporters

Run Director Alistair also thanked the volunteers, who without their time and efforts this Run Report would just be blank! He then welcomed the Waverley Harriers Couch to 5Kers. It was great to see them all celebrating at the end of their run with their fellow club members for a ‘graduation’ ceremony. I tried to capture everyone in their ‘team plus supporters’ for a photo but their happiness was so infectious I was jumping about with them, so apologies to anyone not featured. It really is a fantastic achievement and so wonderful to see so many happy, smiley faces.


Please do offer to volunteer at parkrun, believe us you really do feel a wonderful sense of being part of a team of greatness and best of all you have a laugh. Thank you to the Core Team at Guildford and all the volunteers this week, you really are appreciated.

Have a great week everyone.

Nicky Hack & Jane Rostant.

This week 589 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 64 were first timers and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 42 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 31 volunteers:

Jacqueline MERLINI • Brian O'KANE • Gavin MEGAW • Jane ROSTANT • Nicky HACK • Andrew FLANAGAN • Alastair DAY • Alastair HESLOP • Christopher KENNEDY • Katerina ROSE • Clare WILLS • Isaac WILLS • Kiera JONES • Harry CONLAN • Clara CONQUEST • Alison CURTIS • Joshua CURTIS • Paul TATLER • Neil BOOSEY • Bridget BAGNALL • Leah COX • Keith RHODES • Benjamin CURTIS • Helen ASKEW • George LUDLOW • Judith MCKNIGHT • Elaine FAGAN • Sarah ALEXANDER • Philip INGOE • Ryan BOWDLER • Leonie DAGRIPPINO


Guildford parkrun #374 – a smashing pumpkin Halloween themed event

By Caroline Sams, Guildford parkrun Run Director 


Wow – what a morning.  You know exactly of what I speak, but I will recap anyway, because it is simply such fun to relive Saturdays throughout the week!  I was totally blown away yesterday - quite literally - by both the strong winds, and the amazing efforts of our dedicated volunteers and parkrunners.  We took our Halloween theme to the next level this year, with the launch of ‘bring your own’ parkrun-themed pumpkins.  They were everywhere; out on the course, lining our very first pumpkin finish funnel, and decorating our scanning tables.  There were bats, cats, rockets, “I love parkrun,” and parkrun logo inscriptions, friendly faces, and ghosts!  Inspired.

Pumpkin finish funnel at Guildford parkrun
Pumpkin finish funnel, Guildford parkrun 26 October 2019



Whilst England were busy finding their way into the Rugby World Cup Final, a loyal 432 runners ran, jogged and walked the course, some of whom braved the gales with witches’ hats, face paints, ghoulish masks, zombie and pumpkin costumes.  There were 63 first timers and 33 new Personal Bests.  A magnificent team of 36 volunteers took to the field with pumpkin cones and spooky surprises – I believe there was a tall wolf lurking in the football field, treats on Nightingale Road and a giant hairy spider on the corner of London Road!


Halloween fancy dress run, Guildford parkrun 26 October 2019


The Running 

Back to the running.  No brainer to congratulate all of YOU who achieved the 5K distance, including Caroline Cross who joined the 100-milestone club and our very cool, calm and collected Brandon Acres, who this week qualified for a 25 volunteer T-shirt.  I must also draw attention to some frankly super-human times from a couple of local legends.  Our resident course record holder, Phil Wicks, finished first, with an impressive time of 16:21; closely followed by Paul Pollock, who is a former Irish Olympic marathon runner.  Ben Evans - wearing a Halloween mask - and a regular first finisher at Guildford (despite cancer treatment a few years ago), still came in third. Our first lady was Carolyn Baxter, who came in well under 20 minutes, with Jacqueline Penn in second and an under 10 incredibly the third female!

The Barcode 

Week on week, we hear again and again that ‘parkrun is a brilliant and wonderful community event,’ etc, etc; but I won't avoid underlining this cliché, because the intrinsic spirit of the parkrun "movement" is - really and truly - precisely what I want to applaud.  It is without reasonable doubt, the epitome of the hashtag (bear with me) “winning at life.”  We will see you in two weeks’ time at Guildford on the 9th November.  Wherever you end up going next week, please (for the sake of the volunteers and Run Directors), do not forget your barcode.  I will leave you with this brilliant image of a perfect pumpkin symbolising this mantra, by Simon Ritchie, one of our junior parkrun Run Directors.  Make it break the internet!  Have a good fortnight all.

"Don't forget your barcode" pumpkin, by Simon Ritchie

"Don't forget your barcode" pumpkin, by Simon Ritchie, 26 October 2019




Guildford parkrun #373: “Super Saturday”

Well it had been dubbed “Super Saturday” by the press and down at Stoke Park it certainly was as we gathered for parkrun and pacer week! 436 people came along to enjoy the Brexit and rugby free zone! After all the rain we have had recently it was lovely to see the sun shining and a bright blue rep 1

You could feel the excitement of pacer week in the air and there was a big round of applause for all the pacers as well as the usual name check for all of the volunteers. A massive 42 volunteers were involved in making this event happen – so a big ‘Thank You’ to all.
Here are 2 of the pacers ready to go:run rep 2

The pacers obviously worked their magic because 44 people recorded new personal bests. This was particularly impressive taking into account the muddy conditions and the added ‘dog-leg’ on the final approach to the finish funnel. It was great to see additional marshal posts out on the muddy sections of the course to make sure everyone got around safely. The additional encouragement was fantastic!
Congratulations to Barry on his 50th parkrun and Laurie on his 100th. Laurie celebrated his milestone run by volunteering as a pacer. Brandon did his 25th volunteering stint so thank you and well done.
Runners ready to face the mud:run rep 3

A reminder that next week is our Halloween special so please feel free to dress up if you would like to.
See you all next week

Sarah Warr

The event was made possible by 42 volunteers:

Bill WILD • Jo MERLINI • Neill EBERS • Brian O'KANE • Anne CONNELL • Mary NIXON • Mike HARROLD • Prab SATYA • Paul STEADMAN • Ian KENYON • Laurie BANTIN • Alastair DAY • Alastair HESLOP • Emma HAWKINS • Helen PRONGER • Matthew BAYLIS • Rennie CHADWICK • Alan INCE • Clare WILLS • Isaac WILLS • Kiera JONES • Harry CONLAN • Joshua CURTIS • Maddie HESLOP • Richard TOTTY • Emily RASTRICK • Alexandra OLIVER • Katherine PORTMAN • Wayne SMITH • Julian FLETCHER • Sarah WARR • Benjamin CURTIS • Alena STEADMAN • Hyder ROOHANI • Judith MCKNIGHT • Nicholas GOLDMAN • Brandon ACRES • Maria STRONG • Sarah ALEXANDER • Ben GREEN • Ryan BOWDLER • Leonie DAGRIPPINO


Guildford parkrun #372 : slippery when wet

Saturday is a day beginning with 'p', like every other Saturday, 'p' for parkrun.

The day didn't awake very joyful and the little showers were the antechamber of an unwilling rain at Stoke Park, but thankfully these were only a few drops that allowed us, volunteers, to open another event for our runners. It was going to be the 372th event, and curiously, adding them together you will get 12, as today was the 12th day in the month!


By half past eight, runners were showing up, more than expected with a day like today but parkrun is contagious, it's great, a community gatherer and, overall, a social event were locals and visitors from Alice Holt, Queen Elizabeth and Medina I O.W. made their way to the meeting point, even a couple that wanted to run before getting married later on. Best wishes from all the volunteers at Guildford parkrun!

There were no pacers today and the surface was quite muddy and slippery so the initial thought was that the numbers were going to be low, both in number of runners and in finish times.
After the first timers briefing was delivered, it was time for the run director to make his speech. Today we had a junior 10, two 50s and a 100 milestones and 19 first timers, which is always wonderful. Welcome to the parkrun family!


Three, two, one... Go! and the crowd of runners - from children to adults, on their own or with a dog or a pushchair - made their start, two full laps around the beautiful and open wide Stoke Park.


The time keeper was telling aloud the runners timings as they passed by the beginning of the second lap.


Even when the clouds hold, the humidity from yesterday's showers made the course a bit slippery and by the time the runners passed through the finish line, more than one runner found themselves having to stand up from the wet ground. Luckily nothing else of importance other than some mud in their skin and clothing.


Runners and volunteers reunited as a whole by the end: runners looking to scan their barcodes, runners talking with others, volunteers and finishers cheering up those close to go through the finish line where the time keepers registered their times before been given the token by the end of the funnel under the strict supervision of the funnel manager.

At the end, some runners made their way to the cafe located at the bowls club for far from the park whilst others took their way.

A wonderful event, as always.


Extra parkruns on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day!

It seems very early to be discussing Christmas, but we couldn't wait to tell you the good news! Not one, not two, but three possible extra parkruns! Who could want anything more in their Christmas stocking?

As well as our usual Saturday 5k events at 9am we will once again be hosting extra events on Christmas Day (Wednesday 25th December) and New Year's Day (Wednesday 1st January). Both these events will start at 9am. We will of course need volunteers on these days too! A chance for any non-parkrunning friends and relatives to get involved!

For the really keen amongst you, don't forget that you can get two, yes two, run credits on New Year's Day - Cranleigh will be hosting a parkrun at 10.30am which should provide plenty of time to finish Guildford parkrun, get your barcode scanned and get to Cranleigh ready to do it all again! We really are spoiling you!


Guildford parkrun #371 – the one that was never supposed to happen!

By Sarah Kearsley

465 people got the memo that Guildford parkrun was ‘un-cancelled’ and that we were running as usual. Thank you to all the volunteers who stepped up at short notice to make sure that the event could go ahead.

Saturday was extra special as we were also celebrating parkrun turning 15 years old. Although we were tempted to celebrate like true 15 year-olds with an authorised house party at mum & dad’s – we instead decided to celebrate by running, jogging or walking the 5km course!

There were a lot of milestones with Daniel, Alan, Jim, Emily and Francesca running their 50th and Christian, Damian, James and Rich clocking up their 100th runs. Here is Alan celebrating what he was keen to tell me was his 50th parkrun and NOT his 50th birthday…


We welcomed 59 first timers and it was great to see so many people at the first timers briefing.


Conditions were starting to turn a little autumnal with a bit of mud from all the recent rain but that didn’t stop 59 people from achieving new Personal Bests. Well done to all.

Here are a few action shots from the morning.



As always a big thank you to the volunteers and everyone for coming along and making Guildford parkrun so much fun.


Guildford parkrun #370 – feeling more Autumnal!

Guildford parkrun Event Number 370 - 28th September 2019

By Madeleine Charbine

It was a sunny but blowy start to “parkrunday,” with 520 parkrunners kicking off their weekend at Stoke Park.  We welcomed 20 first timers into the parkrun family and 31 Guildford newbies! Despite the gusts (or perhaps because of them?), 56 parkrunners gained new Personal Bests today!

It was great to return to parkrun this week, having personally been off last week swimming two miles at Swim Serpentine in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK, parkrun’s official charity partner. It was a tough but enjoyable challenge.  It had the camaraderie of a parkrun, but swimming makes it difficult to chit chat around the course and eat cake!

I was not deprived of cake this week as Bill Fordham brought the most amazing chocolate cake (baked by his talented wife Heather) in celebration of his 100th parkrun.  As a friend from my running club (Waverley Harriers, in my view the best running club in the Waverley borough), it was great to celebrate his 100th parkrun milestone with a large club turnout.

The 100th milestone achievement was exclusively held by people named Bill today, as we had another Bill also celebrating 100 parkruns; Bill Bailey!  We had even more amazing milestones achieved today, with junior Andrew Nicolaou reaching his 10th, and Ben Schauerman, Yunpeng Li, Paul Steadman, Llyris Berry and Andy Milner all reaching their 50th parkrun.  Congratulations everyone and I hope you all enjoy your new parkrun t-shirts.

Our first finisher today was Mark Higgs with a remarkable time of 17:36, and our fastest lady was Lauren Hall with an inspiring time of 18:02 which was a PB for her.  Lauren also achieved an impressive age grade rating of 82.07%.

The event was made possible by 29 amazing volunteers: Brandon Acres, Sarah Alexander, William Bolter, Ryan Bowdler, Madeleine Charbine, Harry Conlan, Alison Curtis, Joshua Curtis, Alastair Day, Paul Edwards, Nicholas Goldman, Ben Green, Pauline Hastings, Maddie Heslop, Alastair Heslop, Kiera Jones, George Lyle, Judith Mcknight, Chris And Dave The Dog Millyard, Kenny Mura, Chris Nugent, Brian O'kane, Stephen Osborne, Emily Rastrick, Caroline Sams, Wayne Smith, Francesca Stern, Jane Vessey, Ben Willett

If you have never volunteered before, I urge you to have a go.  It really is great fun and a way to meet new people.  There is a role for everybody, and this is a personal promise as someone who has done 12 different volunteering roles.  Just drop a message and see how much your weekly “parkrunday” can be enhanced by volunteering.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Guildford parkrun results page.   We will see you next time!  Remember, don’t forget to bring your registered parkrun barcode (registration page here)! A tip from someone as forgetful as me – I have my wristband on the bedside table as the first thing I put on, but if I forget that, I keep one in my phone case, one in my car, and one in my purse…you get the idea!

Lastly, October is almost upon us: it is our Halloween themed fancy-dress parkrun on the 26th October, so get your spooky thinking caps on!

Thanks,  Madeleine

100th parkrun

Bill Fordham's 100th


Guildford parkrun #369: Summers Last Hurrah!!

Guildford parkrun #369 – Pacer week


Me (Beth O'Connell - this weeks Run Report Writer - on the right) with Annalees Lim and Becky Clack just before the run. So innocent. So clean. So without a calf that won’t stop cramping up because of not stretching it properly.

Oh September, the awkward void between ice cream season and mulled wine season, when the mornings get darker, and getting out of bed becomes more of a resurrecting the dead type situation. It’s not even Halloween yet. There is clearly only one solution to that (somewhat pretty and pleasant) scourge known as early autumn: do the successful scraping out of bed-type thing, squeeze yourself into your running gear of choice – any excuse for a bum bag – and jolly on over to Stoke park for a session of sweating, crying, and loud mouth-breathing. (I confess, I have never been able to manage ‘in through the nose, out through the mouth’; just breathing at all is a massive success story.)

Saturday was my first time back running in a couple of weeks, having shouted my head off as a marshal two weeks ago, and been held hostage by love (my friend’s beautiful wedding) last weekend. What can I say, a wedding is all well and good, but parkrun has more sweat! More endorphins! Less cake, admittedly, but more dogs! And this week, an even bigger treat; not only was the day sunny, beautiful and perfect for running, but shining on the horizon was a line of periwinkle blue-clad heroes. Their superpower? Running well at a regular speed for a prolonged period of time (admittedly, this is a somewhat niche superpower). That’s right; this week was pacer week.


Our beautiful squad of pacers, showing us how it’s done.

And then, sporting the neons like 1980s superstars, providing both literal and figurative highlights throughout the run, were our fine marshals and trail-runners, filling us with the will to keep running, jogging, walking, limping, buggying and dog-chasing to the very end, and keeping everything going safely and smoothly. Thank you for making bright orange and yellow look so good and for drowning out the evil “can I please stop now and eat chocolate instead” voices in our heads with your words of encouragement.


Heroes in a high-vis – Marshall power!

Overall, we had 42 volunteers who made Saturday happen, giving up their valuable time on a Saturday morning. The race was started off by our run director, Paul Tatler, who, as ever, inspired us all with his infectious enthusiasm and words of positivity. There was a huge group of us - 562 runners, in fact – out to push ourselves against the pacers on this beautiful blue-skied day (because blue skies and red faces do go so very well together in a sweaty chic sort of a way). This included sixty first-timers, who were given a sterling welcome with a briefing by Harry Conlan, one of our DofE volunteers.

Harry Conlan prepping the first-timers.

Harry Conlan prepping the first-timers.

Along with these happy, shiny new faces, there were some important milestones this week. As well as being Matthew Cassie’s tenth run (from our juniors), it was all about the golden boys, with Richard Walker, Paul Steadman, Simon Claridge, Joe Breuer and his dad John Breuer all celebrating their fiftieth runs. Wonderful work, guys!

And we’re off!

And we’re off!

Our pacers helped us achieve some amazing times this week, with 114 new PBs, not including our first-timers (that’s a new PB for more than 20% of our runners, you go, you speedy people)! Alex Mogford finished first overall with an extremely impressive time of 17:40, while Laura Addie was our fastest female runner, rocking in with an incredible new PB of 20:27. Juliette Stell’s new PB of 22.43 was a – frankly quite spectacular – 90.98% age grade in the JW10 category. I hope the victorious fire raging from the bottom of your trainers didn’t hurt too much.

Jasper taking a well-deserved post-run drink. Majestic.

Jasper taking a well-deserved post-run drink. Majestic.


Parkrunners Tom and Debbie Jones


Charlie and Ling (who completed the course for the first time!)


Runners Johanna, Kate, Daisy and Sophie


Jen and Henry from Challengers (letting people know about the 10th Anniversary Kelly’s Cross Country which includes the family friendly 10 Miles for Smiles Sunrise Walk coming up on 20th October at Loseley Park. A perennial favourite and all for the Challengers charity) :-)

So what a way to celebrate what might be summer’s last hurrah! That leaves me to just thank everyone again – the volunteers, participants, one and all – for helping to make the event such a success!

Some additional pictures courtesy of Mark Sandom. Many thanks Mark.

Timekeeper Alastair Heslop

Timekeeper Alastair Heslop



This week 562 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 60 were first timers and 114 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 38 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 42 volunteers:

Gavin MEGAW • Ian MCCARTHY • Anne CONNELL • Prab SATYA • Ian KENYON • Wendy FITZPATRICK • Laurie BANTIN • Alastair DAY • Robert HARRISON • Richard OVERTON • Alastair HESLOP • Helen PRONGER • Nathan JANMOHAMED • Aditya BHASKAR • Rennie CHADWICK • William BOLTER • Martin FRYER • Harry CONLAN • Rich CLIST • David NEWMAN • Alison CURTIS • Joshua CURTIS • Maddie HESLOP • Emily RASTRICK • Katherine PORTMAN • Paul TATLER • Ben BALDWIN • Wayne SMITH • Rosie KILLICK • Benjamin CURTIS • Hyder ROOHANI • Peter TURNER • Beth O'CONNELL • Annabel BOYLE • Judith MCKNIGHT • Carolyn TURNER • Brandon ACRES • Ben GREEN • William IZZARD • Philip INGOE • Jackie WILLIAMS • Ryan BOWDLER

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 Juliette STELL who recorded 90.98% (22:43) on 21st September 2019 (event number 369).

Guildford parkrun started on 10th March 2012. Since then 14,788 participants have completed 112,815 parkruns covering a total distance of 564,075 km, including 19,202 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,132 individuals have volunteered 7,281 times.


Guildford parkrun number 368: a beautiful sunny morning

Our run report this week is written by Nick Sirs.

I’m pleased to have this opportunity to write the parkrun report as I have a long association with Guildford, with running and with Stoke Park. The story begins around 45 years ago in the mid 1970s when I was a pupil at the local grammar school. This was a turbulent time for Guildford and the country generally. We were in the middle of an energy crisis which led to frequent power cuts. I remember walking home from school down a darkened High Street with the shopkeepers scrabbling for candles. At about this time we were all shocked by the Guildford pub bombings in which five young people lost their lives and many more were injured. The TV and newspapers at the time were all filled with animated discussion about the upcoming referendum as to whether we should stay in the EU. Thank goodness that matter was amicably settled back in 1975 ...

In the midst of all this my running career had tentatively begun when I joined the school cross country team. On Monday evenings we would do a training session heading out from the school then down into Stoke Park. I remember doing repetitions around the clump of trees in the middle. We would have been a bit of an oddity back then - a group of schoolboys in shorts and vests, trotting along the path. Back then you rarely saw anybody out running. Certainly you would never see a woman running - it was widely understood that women were unsuited to endurance events. The thought of a woman being a long distance runner was as unlikely as there being a female Prime Minister! If we schoolboys, circling round Stoke Park in the mid seventies, had been gifted with foresight, we might have been startled by an image of hundreds of runners gathering at the far end of the park. Not only that - many of the runners were women! Indeed there seemed to be all sorts there - serious athletes, middle-aged men in lycra, grannies and grandads, teenagers, schoolkids, small kids, babies in buggies and dogs on leads - parkrun is truly for everyone.

My first experience of Guildford parkrun was on a frosty morning in December 2012. There were 76 runners there that day and seven volunteers. I’ve run several more times since finishing as high as seventh and as low as 550th (as tailwalker). I’ve done most of the volunteer roles at one time or another and I’ve marshalled at most points on the course, discovering some unfamiliar corners of Stoke Park along the way. Today I was on finish tokens which is usually a good gig as you get to say hello to everybody in the run.


A sunny Stoke Park waiting for the runners

It was a lovely day for running, one of those days when late summer runs into early autumn. One of the nice things about Guildford parkrun is that you can see all your runners arriving as they all walk across the fields from the direction of the Spectrum car park. Even into its 368th running, Guildford parkrun attracts plenty of new visitors. There were sixty-three first timers this morning and thirty-two of them were running their first parkrun ever. We had a few milestones this morning. Congratulations to Christopher Kennedy, Nikki Storrar, Suzanne Perrin and Katerina Rose for completing their fiftieth parkrun and to Sam Bell and Phil Butler for making it to their hundredth!


The start

Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly this morning. The 533 runners set off and quickly formed a long multi coloured column snaking around the park. The first finisher today was Josh Carter, one of those first timers to Guildford. Josh more normally runs at Woking but today was first placer here in a very respectable 17:30. The first female finisher was perhaps the youngest person to achieve this honour. Katie Wealden has run many times here, both in the senior and junior parkruns, and today achieved a new PB of 21:04 - a brilliant performance for someone in the JW10 category. Katie’s performance also gave her the best age graded score today at 81.01%.


Josh Carter

It seemed to be the day for PBs. Apart from the sixty-three first timers who achieved a PB by default, a total of 103 runners set a new PB for this course. I shall throw in a word at this point for John Collins who has been our backmarker in recent weeks but today managed to break the hour for the first time! If you missed a PB this week, you can have another go next Saturday when we shall have pacers.

I shall finish by thanking RD Julie Bryant and her magnificent team of volunteers, without whom this event would not have been possible! I thought the guy who gave out the tokens was especially brilliant!


RD Julie Bryant delivering her briefing

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 14,728 participants have completed 112,253 parkruns covering a total distance of 561,265 km, including 19,088 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,127 individuals have volunteered 7,239 times.

⇐ Newer Posts From Author