Back, back in the HPR………!

So finally, Jane Footer’s run report (lovely as it was!) is now not the most recent run report on our webpage!

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We were back, yes back in our lovely park and as we imagined as the crowds built (and give or take 6 runners at Worthing, we were the largest attendance in West Sussex) the atmosphere was electric and emotional in equal amounts.

We made it an extra early start for our set up team this week as we would all be a bit rusty and we also had to set up our new start area. But by 8am we were set and ready for our Volunteers and runners to arrive. Seeing all the old faces, some which I had not seen for 16 months, was so good!

My Partner Claire says “preparation is key” and we certainly did a lot of prep leading into parkruns restart, kit was washed and checked, volunteers and core team briefed, test run done, defib and first aid checked and so the list goes on and on………so it was with a degree of trepidation that I took the loudhailer out of the trunk realising I had not checked the batteries…………..as I say (and Claire will vouch for this) “it’ll be fine” …….but….it wasn’t…..batteries completely dead, my heart sunk. Thankfully my Son Christian was on hand to give it a thump and lo! It worked! Crisis averted!

There were lots of first timers to brief, so good to see, did you all take up running during lockdown?

So the main pre run brief, I had thought a lot of what or whether to say anything about the pandemic and came to the conclusion that 70 seconds (1 for every week of parkrun missed) of applause would fit the bill, I hope you all approved. It was so emotional seeing everyone there and then walking round to the start and saying the words I sometimes though I would never hear again in Horsham park (go!).

I hope you all found the new start ok. It is important to ensure we do not swamp the first corner and conflict with pedestrians. Also please ensure you “seed” yourselves appropriately in the funnel as his will also help this, we know it may mean some of you lose a few seconds which is frustrating if you are going for that big post lockdown PB but your time will come (or you could just press the button on the line, that way it will at least be on Strava and you know what they say about Strava…..!).

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So it came to pass that Horsham parkrun restart #1 went off without a hitch! A huge thank you to all the volunteers who dismantled our start funnel and reset it as the finish funnel in less than 10 minutes, which was useful as Jacob Cann was only 20 seconds off the course record in a winning time of 15.25! Our 2 very experienced timekeepers (Christian & Kat) were spot on, as were our funnel managers, token givers and barcode scanners who had to get to grips with the new app. Our super marshals out on the course were super cheery and my core team all shone like stars, thank you to them all and to you all for turning up and running.

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The Rec Stop café looked nice and busy after, I am just sorry Claire and I could not stay but we had another event to get to.

So there we have it, back back back and back to stay we hope above everything else.

See you back at the park next week!

Phil (Event Director)

 

Horsham parkrun returns – part 3

And so to the final set of info on our return this Saturday, the finish and afterwards.

When you come to the finish line things will look very much the same, obviously if you wish to wear a mask once you finish and walk the funnel you are perfectly welcome to do this and keep as socially distanced as is possible.

We will try to get you through as quickly as possible, as in the past though, it is down to you guys to not stop and crumple into a heap as you cross the line! Keep moving and listen to the Funnel Managers. Also, if the funnel is backing up past the finish line and on to the finish straight please please stay in line and listen to the instructions of the volunteers. Running past the queue to get over the finish line will just cause problems with the results and the core team will have to spend extra time after the run sorting this out if you do.

When you get to the end the finish token volunteers will pass you a finish position token as before, they are being offered plastic gloves to work in, but this will be a personal choice and not mandatory. Take you token to the scanners and hold your token and your barcode up for the scanners to process, they are being briefed NOT to touch anything you can then drop your token into the bowls that will be on the ground. We will have hand sanitizer available to anyone who needs to use it.

So the run is over and it is time for a social!

One change that has happened since we were last at the park is that the Conservatory café has closed. They have been replaced by Kaya but sadly, though we tried numerous times to engage in conversation with them over a new deal for parkrun, they showed no interest in our business so we are officially promoting The Rec Stop at the Rec Rooms adjacent to Jubilee car park. They are offering a 10% discount on production of your parkrun barcode and a couple of special deals on a Saturday so keep your eyes peeled for these.

We hope you found these articles informative and things are now a bit clearer as to how parkrun will look from Saturday. After so long it is going to be emotional but the team are really bursting with excitement to welcome you all back.

Till then……..HORSHAM PARKRUN ROCKS!

 

Horsham parkrun restart part 2

OK, a shorter but no less important one today……..our beloved course!

A few things to remember when you are running round our lovely park……

  1. Ensure you socially distance from other runners as much as is possible, please do not swoop by people as you overtake. Give people a gentle warning as you pass but we will not tolerate people shouting.
  2. As we said yesterday, respect the other users of the park. Despite the signage we have put up, it will be a bit of a culture shock from Saturday when we all are suddenly in the park again after our 16 month absence! On the path between the Rec Rooms and the playground try to keep in single file and step off the path on to the grass if necessary.
  3. Please no spitting and only high five people from your household.
  4. Be aware of the course condition, we will mention it in the run briefing but areas around the skate park and the far corner of the park have become very rutted in the dry weather and have raised tree roots.

We will post our final info on Thursday which will cover the finish and post run arrangements, until then dig out your barcodes (remember we will still operate a strict no barcode, no result, no exceptions policy and will only accept barcodes in the official way, which does not include mobile devices) and get limbered up! 4 days to go!!!!!!!!

 

Horsham parkrun return – part 1

As promised, here is the first part of our information posts on the things that may look slightly different as we return to parkrun this coming Saturday, please read them as it will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect! So part 1 of 3 is on….

ASSEMBLY, BRIEFINGS & THE START

Firstly, if you have been unwell in the preceding week please do not come down, also if you are self-isolating.  Check the symptoms for fully, partly and non-vaccinated people and react accordingly, there will always be other weeks to re-join the parkrun family.

When you arrive please continue to practise social distancing where possible and most importantly RESPECT OTHERS. While some of us will be desperate for a big hug, there will be others feeling nervous, unsure, or maybe have had covid or lost loved ones to it, who may not be ready for a bear hug!

The first timer and pre run briefings have been shortened to avoid us standing in close proximity for too long. We will not be making individual announcements on milestones (though we hope to put out a social media post after each event to celebrate these) and we will also not be making special mentions of first time parkrunners or tourists. We are sorry but these are just the times we are in. We will however be encouraging you all to be extra respectful of park users during these times and step off the path onto the grass when approaching pedestrians. HDC have been very supportive of our return and we do not want to undo that support by getting lots of complaints about runners being inconsiderate.

We will make our way briskly to the start, where if you want to wear a facemask you may. The start will look slightly different in that it will be a narrower funnel, we ask all our runners to “seed” themselves with the faster ones at the front. When we say go we will usher all runners through the funnel which will means the start will be slower, please be patient and obey the marshals instructions. The reasoning for this is to slow the stream of people going into the first bend and also to create social distancing on the course. We understand it will mean you will take longer to cross the start line but there will be other days to get that parkrun PB and we hope this arrangement will not be in place for too long.

So that is part 1! Part 2 will be along tomorrow (Tuesday) with part 3 appearing on Thursday. Not long now……!

 

Here’s to brighter days……..

Well this will possibly be the first and last run report we are asked to do.  Not only is it incredibly late it also marked the close down of parkrun.


That said, the usual group of happy and hopeful people gathered to run round beautiful Southwater Park on 14th March.   The 329 runners were joined by a band of particularly cheery volunteers that helped us on our way and a handful of supporters shouting from their vantage points around the course.


Amongst the runners were Oliver Partridge running his 10th, Christian Fortin and Amanda Ward running their 50th. Andy Strang and Helen Gallacher  who were running their 100th.  It was good to see some helium balloons bobbing around in celebration. 
There were a total of 10 runners for whom it was their first visit to Horsham (Southwater) and of these 7 were running their first ever parkrun.  We all hope it won't be long before you get another chance.
This was our 292 Horsham parkrun and it was won by the ever speedy Gary Tomlinson with Niamh Donnelly being the first woman.  Special position of the day goes to Angela Minogue who was 292nd.


Though at the time we did not know this would be our last parkrun I think that many of us could see this would be the case.
And now you are left without parkrun ... Well not quite.  If you look on You tube there are some lovely recordings of parkruns that you can watch while on the treadmill or just having a cup of tea.  One of my favourites is highlights from New Years Day at Southwater by Simon Perkins.  You will see many of our friendly parkrun family and of course you end up with a great time . 

The Footers.

P.S Thanks to Jane and Family for a great report!

While i have you here, i just wanted to update you on a couple of bits of parkrun news.

Firstly, HQ have announced that all parkruns are now cancelled till the end of May.

Also, that core team member Paul Aylett has stepped down due to Family commitments. Paul was due to do his last RD stint on the 21st March but sadly due to the current situation this was not possible. I just wanted to say thank you to Paul for his work and energy in the last couple of years, all the best with the house project!

See you all soon, I hope.

Phil.

 

 

 

Horsham parkrun CCXC (290)

It really wasn’t the weather that Romans would enjoy at all, pouring down with rain and blowing a gale. Whilst waiting on the set up crew to arrive, I thought I would just go and check that we didn’t have any flooded areas of the course, which thankfully we didn’t. However, we did have a tree down across our course, well a sapling actually, but still attached at the roots, that I was completely unable to manoeuvre. Thankfully, I was able to call on my wonderful Centurion, ED Phil, to come to the rescue! Phew, we were able to go ahead, so off to set up the course, ably assisted by volunteer Rob Eggers….thank you.

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So “Why the Roman Theme?” I hear you ask. Well it was a particular Roman, Julius Caeser, who invented the ‘leap year’, which contains one extra day on this year, which happens every four years, namely the 29th February. This was the first time in parkrun’s history that it has fallen on the 29th February, so the core team felt we had to acknowledge this somehow, thus the Roman theme and the spot prizes for the ‘XXIX’ 29th; ‘CXXIX’ 129th and ‘CCXXIX’….. (I think you get the picture now) finisher today. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t make this easy and numbers were well down. However, we did have a few hardy souls who came dressed for the occasion…….. not the weather! Well done to all of you.

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We had a few milestones to celebrate today, namely Gary Wallis finally completing his ‘L’ (50th) parkrun and Amanda Sullivan and Sharon Burchett completing their ‘C’ (100th) parkruns. Congratulations to you all!  I should also mention that Sharon is also celebrating her ‘L’ birthday this week, so Happy Birthday to you and what a way to start your celebrations, running round your local park in the wind and rain, with fellow ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen’!!

GARY WALLIS

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AMANDA SULLIVAN

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SHARON BURCHETT

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We had ‘XX’ first timers to Horsham, ‘XVI’ of whom were tourists. ‘IV’ of you started your parkrun journeys with us today and we all applaud you for turning out in such horrible weather. Believe me when I say, “it can only get better and easier!”. Well done and we hope to see you all again next week! Amazingly, we also saw ‘XV’of you achieve PB’s today. Well done to all of you!

On a final note, I want to say the biggest THANK YOU to all our volunteers today and especially Matthew England for stepping in, last minute, to fill the vacant Finish Token role. You are all AMAZING for coming out in that weather, to allow others to enjoy their free run!

Claire & Horsham parkrun team.

 

So many stories……..

We all know that Horsham parkrun has produced loads of great stories of friendship, achievement and so much more over its five and a half years and on a week where our fabulous “Award Winning” film was shown at The Capitol again, this Saturday just gone, we celebrated all that was great and good about our beloved parkrun!

The biggest one of course for me as Run Director on the day was my Son Christian and my Step Daughter Danielle doing their 50th and 100th respectively on the same day! I had dreamed so many times as I racked up my 50th then my 100th as well as my Volunteer 25 that one day I might see Christian reach a parkrun running milestone but with him never being big on running I thought that would never come. But it did and with Danielle walking her way to her 100th it was one hell of a day finished off with so many of you waiting (and waiting!) by the finish line with poppers galore!

But that was far from the end of it……. We also had Simon Collins doing his 50th. Simon has quietly got on with his running but I will never forget that it was him who bought our former parkrunner of the month Barnaby Smith down to parkrun and walked round encouraging him every week in his early days! That sort of comradery and selflessness is truly a beautiful quality and you have really earnt that 50 shirt! Especially as he looked like he was beasted round by his brother Jonathan on Saturday!

We also had Gary Burchett who seems to have waited forever just to get to 50! Gary has had some awful luck with injuries in the last couple of years and has had to work very hard to get back to his running, but in the meantime rather than just stay away from parkrun feeling glum he has got on down to volunteer over 50 times and was then cruelly denied his run 2 weeks ago when we had to cancel. So it was a delight to see him finally complete it with a posse of mates in tow!

And of course then we had Mikey Saunders, what can you say! Doing his 100th (finally!) he is the most encouraging and friendly chap I know! Always welcoming to new runners, one of our part time Run Directors, a blind runner guide and a volunteer of over 100 times! He even waited till I was Run Director to do it as he did my 250th! He was also denied his day on the cancellation!

Of course, as I said on Saturday, ALL our milestones are special, so a huge well done also to Steve Entecott, Jackie Mather, Ian Mitchell and Samantha Edwards who all completed their 50th runs!

So what of the rest of the day may you ask? Well it was a bit of a damp dark start as we set up but it soon brightened up to a very pleasant morning. 398 of you walked and ran round and we hope you had a lovely morning. The big course news for the regulars among you was that the rather prickly bush just past the portaloos on the hill, had gone (now posthumously known as Paul’s bush! See last weeks run report!).

Also, the first thing I had the pleasure of awarding, was parkrunner of the month for January to Joe Minogue. Another fantastic story of perseverance and achievement! Joe started parkrunning in October 2019 and in his 13 parkruns so far has bought his time down from 53 to 39 minutes! Much more to come and I am sure that his brother Luke’s post last week touched a lot of us. It was also fantastic to see the whole Minogue family down to see this special moment and have a run too. As I said in my run briefing, if any of you have a lovely story, however big or small, please, please let us know and maybe that special person could end up being a future parkrunner of the month!

As to the run itself, occasional Horsham parkrunner, Barnaby Cheadle-Hunt, was first past the post in 18.53 followed by an unknown (#dfyb) and then Tim Taylor in 19.15 and for the ladies it was Martha Wightman in a new PB of 21.51 followed by Louise Ragless (21.55) and Zoe Welchmann (22.36).

A lovely morning was capped off by some great cake and coffee!

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Horsham parkrun rocked, as usual!

Till the next time……

Phil and Team.

 

Everything turned out rosy!

After last week’s icy conditions lead to a cancellation, it was nice to have some more favourable conditions for our parkrun this week. But when using public paths, you never really know what to expect each week, which is why we walk to course before you arrive and announce any additional hazards during the run briefing. This is an essential way for the team to keep you safe, so it was nice to see everyone paying close attention today.

My early walk with volunteer Richard identified a large rose bush which had collapsed into the path just before the beach. With the loppers back at our spiritual home in Horsham Park, we had no choice but to cone it off and let everyone know. Thankfully, nobody crashed into it or needed first aid!

This week 390 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 27 were first timers and 35 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 25 different clubs took part. We welcomed tourists from Guildford, Hove, Tilgate and Gibraltar!

We also welcomed a large group running in aid of “Move For Australia”, a virtual run dedicated to helping injured wildlife as a result of the devastating bush fires. Darren Lillywhite and Nolan Spratt joined the 50 milestone club and Kirsty Howson achieved her century! Finally we all wished happy birthday to a special Horsham parkrunner, Barnaby Smith.

Today’s event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Jacqui WILLIAMSON • Margaret WADMAN • Amanda REILLY • Rob EGGERS • Christian LIBERMAN • Susan WILCOX • Ian WILCOX • Paul AYLETT • Nigel PHILLIPS • Yan YIP • Allison HARTLEY • Lois MCGILLIGAN • Arun COOKE • Richard SHERGOLD • Roger JOHNSON • Nara SULLIVAN • Gary WALLIS • Louise POWLING • Nicki HOLDER • Samantha EDWARDS • Stephanie ROBERTS-BIBBY • Mark WEBB • Lee MCGEEAN • Murrae ROSS-ESKELL • Kirsty HEAD • Rebecca HAMSON • Beverley MILLER • Finn DOYLE

So if you fancy helping us one week, just take a look at our future roster and email us with your choices.

Paul and the team

 

With all the rain, its no surprise a mermaid turned up!

They say as one door closes, another one opens, and that very much set the scene for my first solo(ish) stint as Run Director.  So I pulled my big girl pants (mermaid leggings) on and walked into Southwater Country Park ready to ensure that there was a parkrun to be enjoyed by everyone.  The weather had been kind, meaning I wasn’t going to have to navigate a reroute as we had seen over previous weeks. Walking around the course with Phil felt cathartic, even if we did forget the marshal point cones and ended up having to run back round!

The volunteers started to arrive, these really are the people that make the day happen, all beautifully co-ordinated by Claire in her jazzy new VC vest. Things were starting to get real.

As runners began to walk in, it dawned on me that I was going to have to speak to all of them very soon. Our First Timers’ briefing felt unusually large but our inimitable Horsham parkrunner of the Month, Andy Mitchelson, managed to communicate the essentials to the 16 First Timers and Tourists from as far afield as the Shetland Islands, Wales, South Shields, North London and the more local visitors from Tilgate and East Grinstead.
And that was it, I was on. ED Phil handed me a megaphone… with my biggest fear of falling off the bench firmly at the front of my mind, and I welcomed the First Timers and Tourists. Well done, first bit done and I was still on the bench… Milestones, I’d checked that I could pronounce all of them, well done Ian Hines on your 50th Parkrun and Tom Balfour and Pauline Jepps on your 100th! And then I looked up from my notes… there were 100s of people all listening to me. I can’t get my two children to listen to me and here were 424 (no I didn’t count, I checked the results) all looking at me, in silence. *wobble* DON’T FALL OFF THE BENCH!! With the rest of the briefing completed, we walked up to the start line and I set the runners off on their way. Outside of the results processing, I’d done the hard bit – side note, don’t duck out of the funnel!
I know the run report is normally a general report about the run on that day, but I wanted to add a personal note of what parkrun means to me. I’ve not even been at Horsham parkrun for a year but I couldn’t imagine my life without it. If you’re reading this and you have never volunteered I urge you to do so, it’s genuinely life changing and if I hadn’t had it on Saturday, I would have probably sat in bed and wallowed, it’s got me through some really tough times.  Ok, it’s also ruined going out on a Friday night, but I’ll take that for what I get back in return. If you’ve never done a parkrun because you’re “not a runner”, “too unfit”, “don’t like running with people”, just give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it. I have met some utterly wonderful and supportive people of all running abilities through it. I love parkrun and on Saturday, it very much loved me back.
Debby and Team
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‘Twas the parkrun before Christmas!

 I’d like to say it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas when I arrived at Southwater Country Park this morning but the only thing remotely resembling a winter wonderland were the 7 swans-a-swimming over the path of the route.

Today was my first time out, flying solo, as Run Director.  Except, as with all volunteer roles at parkrun, you’re never really on your own.  I had a team of Volunteers, a team put together by the Volunteer Coordinator who would also let them know their roles on the day, and I had the support and guidance of the other Run Directors and Core Team.  Today I also had Phil setting up the course with me and putting in place the slight detour to avoid the flooded path, ensuring runners wouldn’t plunge into the lake!  As we walked, I made a note on my phone to mention the detour in my briefing.

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I’d written the briefing the night before, slightly dismayed when I logged on to look for upcoming milestones to see they had all vanished from the new look results page!  (When did that happen?  It’s been so long since I’ve run!)  Some clicking of buttons and I found them.  My briefing notes had all the bullet points I had to mention:  First Timers; Tourists; Conditions; Rules etc.  And a note in BOLD:  DO NOT SAY “GO” BEFORE CHECKING THE TIMEKEEPERS ARE READY.  I’d had nightmares about that one.

The briefing went well – “Congratulations” to Janet Callaghan for completing your 50th parkrun, and to Christopher Wood and Matthew Cumber on completing 100. “Hello” to the 3 First Timers and the tourists from Guildford, Petworth, Dorking, Rushmore, Epsom and Marlow.  I mentioned the Rules and thanked the wonderful Volunteers.  Check.  Check.  Check.  Check.  Phew.

I realised, once the runners were all on the way round the course, that I’d forgotten to wish everyone Merry Christmas – it wasn’t in my notes!  I did remember about the Timekeepers though!

We had 318 runners and walkers this morning.  Thank you all for turning up, so many of you in your festive garb.  Thank you to the lovely Volunteers who made my role so much easier.  Thank you to everyone for an uneventful, incident free run (the closest we came was a mulled wine accident on, until that point, a remarkably white snowman suit). A fabulous morning, full of good cheer. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Saturdays are definitely the best day of the week.

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 All I want for Christmas is you, to volunteer.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Jo and Team .

 

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