An extra special run – 25th December 2016

Christmas day is fast approaching and that means Merry ... parkrun!!!

We're delighted to tell you that Hampstead Heath parkrun will be going ahead on Sunday 25th December 2016, with the usual 9am start. So you can run on Saturday 24th Dec as well as on Sunday 25th Dec (oooh).

Why not bring the family along and start the day off on a high? ... they can always volunteer if they're not runners!


Route B this Saturday 4 July – Independence Day

George III went mad, apparently, and we are probably driving you mad by moving routes every week for the past month or so.

Independence Day brings out Route B, due to a clash with another event that is starting at South End Green tomorrow morning.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.


HHpr Santa Run

Santa Run

Saturday 15th December

* * * Ho Ho Ho ***

'Tis the season to run round Hampstead Heath in a red bobble hat...


Come dressed in red and make a donation to a fantastic cause: the North London Hospice

For a suggested donation of £5 we will even throw in a "free" Santa hat and you'll be treated to a wee tipple at the end of your run

Friends and family very welcome, as always.

HHpr Santa Run


Event 79

A glorious autumnal glow hangs in the air as the end of the day drifts closer, a day of sunshine and perfect running conditions; the complete opposite to the drizzle, gray and sogginess that greeted the 113 parkrunners on Hampstead Heath yesterday morning. Mizzle as we set off but, as we ran beside the playing field, it definitely turned to rain. Oh British weather, don’t you just love it?

Although there are Saturdays when it’s hard to get in touch with the inner-runner and make it to the Heath I can honestly say, even if feeling a little below par and the weather is less than inviting, it is always worth the effort. And, after 10 minutes of running, I rarely notice whether or not it is raining.

As we lined up at the start, I wonder how many of the 19 of you who achieved a pb actually planned to do so? For Alon Caspi it was his 50th parkrun and a massive pb reached too; I like to think this was planned! It is such a magical feeling when everything comes together and you cross the finishing line knowing that you managed something special; that you ran HH parkrun faster than you’ve ever done before. Brilliant, congratulations! Of course the chance of running a pb every week is not very high, except perhaps for new runners, and for many, it isn’t the goal.

Of the 24 people new to Hampstead Heath, 12 were new to parkrun – you are all very welcome and we hope you’ll continue to run our very special, challenging, course.

I am confident just about all other 5Ks feel easy after Hampstead Heath!

There is a reason, after all, why the Heath is a favoured competitive cross country route. In fact as we skipped around our two laps, youngsters from across the capital prepared for CC races later in the morning with seniors competing in the afternoon. 

A huge thank you to our 10 volunteers this weekend, headed up by our wonderful race director for the week, Kayleigh, your help is so very much appreciated! Without people volunteering, parkrun wouldn’t happen so if you run regularly please do volunteer occasionally too – thank you!

Fast people:

It was good to see Damien Lane back at HH parkrun and in winning form too in a time of 18:57, Damien is one or our original runners; in second place was Jim Morris 19:26 and third, Daniel Rowling 19:40. For the women and girls, Emma Abele continued her winning form with a new pb 20:23 (not long before she achieves the sub 20, I’m sure) for first place; Dianne Aynsley 21:44 was second and third Emily Bliss 21:58. Avril Riddell, gradually working her way back to form following a very long time out for injury, topped the age-grading at 77.5%.


HHpr running ROUTE B Saturday 6 October

Hampstead Heath parkrun will be running ROUTE B this Saturday 6 October.  

The Circus is in town this weekend on the Heath, hence the move to Route B. Note that the East Heath Road car park will also be closed.  Route B start is at the top of Lime Avenue opposite Well Walk - see course page of website. 

Please spread the word to others coming along. 

And take care on the nice long downhill start! 

Route B, Route B, Route B this Saturday 6 October


Event 66

By Andrea Sanders-Reece

On such a glorious, sunny, warm morning Hampstead Heath parkrun proved irresistible to 111 runners and a team of smiling volunteers – thank you! 26 people were new to our parkrun and 20 of those first timers at any parkrun, a very warm, sunny welcome to you all!

As our regulars know, and the first timers now too, Hampstead Heath is the most beautiful run and also, arguably, the most challenging. The huge plus side of this is that you can just about guarantee that any other 5K you run is paced at around a minute or so faster. The hills and heat provided a winning combination for 15 people who achieved personal best (pb) times today – really impressive, many congratulations.

Bon voyage James

Sadly too we bid ‘bon voyage’ to James Parker who is leaving these shores to work in the USA (we look forward to visiting a parkrun in Washington DC soon (over to you James). Being a London venue we obviously experience a lot of churn in our runners but James deserves a special mention. He was there and ran the first HH parkrun, his time 18:30 and he came third. At the third event, he was first and went on to achieve 11 wins in total – I’m sure there would have been more had he not relocated to Scotland for a while. His pb time at HH was 17:27. James also volunteered on several occasions and was a popular member of our community. parkrun helped to fuel his enthusiasm for running; he joined Highgate Harriers, ran cross country races and his first 10K a couple of weeks ago. His fastest 5K time was achieved in Hyde Park, 16:26. Good luck from us all at HH parkrun.

 Like many sports, running is a fantastic passport into new communities just about anywhere in the world and parkrun is helping to blaze a trail.

Fair in town

Next week we move to the ‘B’ route as the fair is in town, map and details on our webpage.

This week’s fastest


1st Matthew Chataway 17:38 (Mornington Chasers)

2nd James Parker 17:39 (Highgate Harriers)

3rd unknown (reminder to bring barcodes!)


1st Siana Jones 21:34 (Thames Valley Harriers)

2nd Andrea Sanders-Reece 21:56 (Mornington Chasers)

3rd Cathy Collins 22:22 London Heathside and a new pb time!

Something special - swimming

We are extra lucky on the Heath to have swimming ponds and many parkrunners take a dip in the mixed pond after their run. If you plan to run HH parkrun, please do bring your swimming kit and take the plunge; a perfectly lovely thing to do, especially on a deliciously hot day!



Event 54

By Andrea Sanders-Reece


A glorious summers day and wonderful to be running on Hampstead Heath with everything shimmering and sparkling in the sunshine – including the smiles! I was too busy gossiping, but I think a group disappeared into the pond after the run, hopefully emerging safely after a cooling swim. With the ponds now open, for some this is the perfect way to warm-up or cool-down after parkrun and you are all welcome to join the fun. 


111 runners today, including 17 people new to Hampstead Heath 11 of whom were new to parkrun and as always a warm welcome to you all. Thank you too to the volunteers – Eliza Kaczynska-Nay, Jessica Mathur (race director), Michael Carberry, Nina Wessels, Rachel Whitford, Tarun Mathur and Rowena Harding  who, as well as handing out numbers today, was discovering more about us ready for setting up a new parkrun in Gladstone Park (Dollis Hill).


Not surprisingly the Heath was incredibly busy today with many tail-wagging dogs playing tag with their furry friends and owners. I’m sure I was not the only one who screeched to a cartoon style skidding stop to avoid a somersault over a very soft golden Labrador (well maybe not the same dog). And talking of tumbles, I think a few of the younger (and very small sized) parkrunners were lucky not to be flattened at the start as a pack of fast bigger runners surged past.


There were 18 new pbs today, ah it is such a warm feeling to achieve one of these! Alas for me a pb on Hampstead Heath seems incredibly elusive; it’s July 2011 since I did my best time but it doesn’t stop me from trying – not every week, of course, but every now and then.  Today I purposely ran without my watch, following a bad race performance yesterday, and just went with how I felt.


B Route for the next two weeks – 2nd and 9th June

Next week the fair is in town and the following week is the Race for Life so for both these parkruns we’ll be running the B route which starts next to Well Lane and the carpark will not be open.


Today’s Fastest

Jonathan Poole, 1st with a new pb 17:06, clearly recovered from his brilliant performance at the Paris Marathon; it was good to see James Parker back today this time in 2nd place 17:58 and with his imminent permanent return to London due soon expect to see him challenging to regain his top winning position; in 3rd place was Glen Turner, a parkrun tourist, first time on the Heath and due to help Rowena set up the new parkrun in Gladstone Park – good luck with that.

Congratulations Ellie Doolan, 1st female with a new pb 22:08, being in the ‘under 14’ age group expect to see further pbs over the summer; 2nd Andrea Sanders-Reece, 22:16 (and highest age-grade); 3rd  Jane Nodder, also in a pb time.


If you have not already done so, please do befriend us on Facebook!







Route B Dates


Sat 2nd June (due to the Fair)

Sat 9th June (due to Race for Life)


Please also note we will be starting from Route A on Saturday 26th May but there will be no carpark available



Event 50

By Andrea Sanders-Reece

Oh there is something so magical about HH parkrun - it seems it is even able to prevent rain. The dampness this morning at 0900 is classified as drizzle so doesn’t count! Anyway, by the time the 5K ‘go’ was called any wet stuff in the air became irrelevant and it was time to concentrate, breathe deeply and run!  The soggy ground was more apparent than the air, particularly sloshing up through the muddy puddles of Lime Avenue and even causing the finish to be moved to prevent ploughing through more slime – it was the sort of day designed for black rather than white shoes. Extraordinary really how quickly things change, only a couple of weeks ago the ground, if anything, felt too firm and the long path to the ponds more like sprinting on dry concrete than splashing through puddles and loose shale.
Next Week – 1st Birthday!
Fingers crossed then that our weather fortune continues and next week, for our first birthday celebrations, we can bask in sunshine and warmth. This promises to be a splendid affair including a different twist to the route, cakes and plenty of good company and so much more!
And back to today
Despite the weather (sorry it seems so very difficult to avoid this at the moment) 89 people ran, each chasing their own goals, each with their own reasons. And maybe because of the cool condition, threatening skies and the desire to return home quickly, 21 people achieved pb times – brilliant – and three of them are aged under 14: Alex Beard, Noa Yavnor and Natalie Ohana-Cole, so I feel sure we will be seeing more pbs from them soon!
Kayleigh (today’s race director) extended an especially warm welcome to the 16 first timers to the Heath out of whom 12 were new to parkrun and our wonderful volunteers and essential sponsors – all so very much appreciated.
Other bits of news
Spring marathon season is currently in full swing with several of our regulars competing across the country and indeed Europe and further afield – our Facebook page includes regular updates about who is running, amongst many other things, so please do add comments if this is you and good luck!
Congratulations to Pamela Gold who I think must be a parkrun tourist as she has now completed 51 runs and topped the age-grading in her first run on the Heath today at 75.77%. Please do check out the link to age-grading on the home page if you have yet to grasp its meaning and are interested.
Nick Gold came sprinting through the field from I assume a late start to take first place in a time of 18:15; in 2nd place was Tim Nicholson in 18:28 and 3rd Damien Lane 19:02. For the females, Rosie Pitt achieved her 6th win in 20:34; 2nd Becky Kingdon  21:57 and 3rd Emma Abele 22:38.
I was delighted to enjoy my 50th parkrun today; run in a controlled way to ensure recovery following last week’s London marathon and with time to talk with people I knew along the route (very sorry to anyone I slowed down with my chatter). 


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