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!!


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.


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 - 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.


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


David was feeling hungry!!

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


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!)


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.


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 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.


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:

  • 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


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 :-)


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 :-)