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 .

 

 

Brambles 1 Lydia 2!

It was a beautiful calm morning, chilly, but not frosty, as I set off around the course to set up. The moon was still up and the swans were just waking on the pond. This is one of the reasons I love setting up parkrun, as you get to be out with nature, before everyone else gets up.

It’s been a wet and windy few weeks again and there were a couple of small trees that had fallen lying on the side of the paths, that needed to be moved further to the side, but there was one hanging over the path, just before you head down the hill to the beach, covered in brambles and I just couldn’t move it on my own. So I finished setting up the course and then the lovely Lydia Graham (recent parkrunner of the month), came back with me to help me move it. We pushed and pulled, getting tangled up with the brambles and hawthorn, before it finally came lose and we were able to move it off the course. However, this still left some rather vicious brambles hanging over the side of the path. I decided to run back to get some cones to cordon off this side of the path, whilst Lydia determinedly continued to try and bend and pull the brambles clear of the path, taking a vicious swipe round the face for her troubles. Brambles 1 v Lydia 2…… She also went on to do pre event set up, car park marshal and help with close down, as well as run! I am sure you will agree that she did the most amazing job! Thank you Lydia.

Thank you all too for listening to the run briefing and largely moving over into single file, when required, allowing for a fun, incident free parkrun.

We had 25 tourist first timers to Horsham, from as far away as Dorset, Woking, Tilgate and Worthing, to name a few. We really hope you enjoyed your visit and that we see you here again one day.

I’m finding that there are more and more people celebrating their parkrun milestones each week now and this week was no exception, with husband and wife team, Ben and Denise Ageros celebrating their 50th parkruns together. Those of you who were with us in the early days will remember ‘Postman Ben’ as he was, and will know that the turn at the top of the first hill in Horsham parkrun, is affectionately known as Postman Ben’s corner, as he used to come and support us all whilst out on his round. We also had Paul Chantler and Rosie Buckingham celebrating their 100th parkruns today. Congratulations to you all and we look forward to seeing you all in your milestone t-shirts very soon.

Just a reminder to you all that next week is our Christmas run and we invite you to come in your best Christmas outfits and feel free to bring any spare mince pies, cakes or biscuits.

Xmas

Claire & Horsham parkrun team.

 

A Big Day in the South(water)!

This week’s parkrun falls on the last autumnal day in 2019. Being up early, in frosty conditions always reminds me how fantastic nature is, and I never cease to be reminded and amazed of the delicate balancing act nature does. I was also surprised that 367 hardy and dedicated runners attended despite the very cold weather. I was particularly pleased that despite a few tweaks to the route, you were all considerate and sensible runners and made my Run Director’s (RD) role fun as always.

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Like all of the Horsham parkrun community, I love the social, family and community feel on Saturday mornings. Even when on the odd occasion I wimp out when it’s cold, wet or I can’t be bothered, afterwards I wish I hadn’t. Today though, even if I weren’t RD, there was absolutely no way I would have missed it. Although each week we recognise the many milestones and achievements reached with courage and determination by parkrun colleagues, one rarely has the opportunity to acknowledge particular individuals who have influenced and impacted our lives so much. I’ll park that for now (no pun intended).

This week welcomed 28 ‘First Timers’ to Horsham parkrun, 9 of whom were running their very first parkrun (Fergus Feaver, Michael Midgley, Katie Saunders, Joshua Taylor, Chloe Thornback, Matt Laker, Rebeca Mendez-Prada, Keith Kirkcaldy and Bruce Baker), and visitors from York; a very warm Horsham welcome to you all. There were also 24 PBs – before you ask, I have no idea how they achieved it given the weather, but I have my suspicions that it might have been the tea and ‘Mr parkrun’s’ (Horsham) homemade cake at the end! I can personally confirm it was delicious.

There were 8 official milestones this week, Hilding Kallman, Nicola Mason and Nick Ashby completed their 50th parkrun, and Chris Mason, Yuko Casey, Hari Brogan and David Goodwin their 100th parkrun. I would also like to mention Claire Miller and Geoff Fisher, who although didn’t reach official parkrun milestones ran their 200th and 400th parkrun respectively. In addition Claire also completed her 200th volunteer role. Well done to you all.

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Now some of you ‘eagle-eyed’ park runners will have counted the names and are saying there are only 7 official milestones mentioned but I said there were eight. You would be quite correct but just like eating a good meal, I’ve saved the best until last. I must stress that this in no way detracts from the achievements of the others but this week’s final milestone has been reached by a very special Horsham parkrunner. Friend of many and a thoroughly nice guy, Phil Liberman, completed his 250th parkrun and his 250th volunteer role.

More importantly, if it wasn’t for Phil, or as he has been affectionately called, ‘Mr parkrun (Horsham), we probably wouldn’t have Horsham parkrun today. Phil founded Horsham parkrun and it was through his selflessness, sheer hard work, tenacity and belief in parkrun and the benefit it would bring to the local community, that the first event took place on the 6th September 2014. We certainly owe him a great debt of gratitude. On behalf of Horsham parkrun, I’d like to thank Phil for in effect, bringing the community together, irrespective of their background or how they complete the course, or even if they just come to support. Thank you Phil, you’ve done us proud and it was my pleasure to have been RD on such an auspicious occasion. Incidentally there were 366 runners on the inaugural run, one less than today!

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As always, parkrun would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers. A huge thank you to this week’s volunteers:

Paul AYLETT, Ray AYLMORE, Kath BARNES, Malins DAVID, Rebecca HAMSON, Christina HARRISON, Allison HARTLEY, Jan HATWELL, Faye HEAD, Nicki HOLDER, Gary HOLDER, Roger JOHNSON, James KNIGHT, Philip LIBERMAN, Alan MACLACHLAN, David MACLEAN, Isabelle MALINS, Claire MILLER, James MUNDEN, Marc NEARY, Eileen NICHOLAS, Carl NICHOLAS, Murrae ROSS-ESKELL, Caroline ROUSE, Michael SAUNDERS, Angela SCOTT, Debby SCULL, Richard SPELLER, Jane SPELLER, Margaret WADMAN, Yan YIP

If you would like to know more about volunteering or the various volunteer roles, please ask or login to your parkrun homepage, where information on volunteering can be found.

Well I guess that’s enough from me and apologies for any errors or omissions which are entirely my fault.

Until next time, take care,

Mike, Your Run Director and Team.

 

Christmas & New Year Arrangements

Dear Horsham parkrun

Yes it is nearly here......... so we thought it was about time to let you all know are plans for Horsham parkrun over the festive period.

We will be have our traditional Christmas run on Saturday 21st December, so wear your Christmas outfits and bring mince pies and cakes and we will have some mulled wine for you  too!

Sadly, there will be no parkrun on Christmas day this year.

On New Years Day though we will have an extra run that will start at Southwater Country park at 9am. The important thing to note about this is that our neighbours at Tilgate will also be starting at 9am so unfortunately it will not be possible, as in previous years, to do the "double".

Along with the Tilgate team we made this decision deliberately to avoid the problems we had with car parking at Southwater last NYD. We understand it may be an unpopular one but it caused our team a lot of stress and also nearly involved us losing the good will we have to use this park during the Winter months, so we hope you all understand.

It will be possible to go from us to another run, so please check out the link here and also if you want to run on Christmas day.

https://www.parkrun.org.uk/special-events/

We all hope you have a great parkrunning Christmas and New Year!

Phil and the Horsham parkrun team.

 

 

Missing in Action!

As we returned to our winter wonderland in Southwater Country Park, it became clear that it wasn’t going to be an average parkrun! The course was set out and the volunteers arrived in good time and Andy had found a dog on his way. Numerous photos and social media posts ensued, and Andy took the dog to his marshal point to wait to be reunited with its owner. Most of you heeded the request to park in the dino land car park (thank you!) and we assembled for the run brief.

In the meantime, the weather deteriorated to what can only be described as “moist” while we welcomed 18 first timers, tourists from Brighton, Worthing, Bushy and Leeds, and I tried to describe the course as straight/loop/straight/loop/straight, which fell a bit flat when repeated by the curious crowd in from of me! The request to jog or fast walk to the start also fell a bit flat but, by ten past nine, we had found the correct starting tree and got everyone safely underway.

304 of you took to the slippery course with luckily no incidents. There were 19 new PB’s and we had representatives of 22 different clubs! We welcomed new milestones for Joe Acres (J10), Jack Glennie (50) and Owen Pigott (100) and the event was made possible by 27 volunteers:

Lorraine BULBECK • James MUNDEN • Christina HARRISON • Paul AYLETT • Yan YIP • Arun COOKE • Simon PERKINS • Rachel HAMSON • Malcolm FOOTER • Jane FOOTER • Jan HATWELL • Elizabeth O'CONNOR • Debby SCULL • Nicki HOLDER • Gary HOLDER • Andy STRANG • Daniela PEREIRA • Mark WEBB • Léa QUENTIN • Faye HEAD • Marc NEARY • Annie NEARY • Elaine GORTON • Esmé FIELD • Tom CHAFFIN • James KNIGHT • Rebecca HAMSON

While we watched the runners safely crossing the finish line, out of the gloom appeared a very concerned dog owner and friend, here to retrieve the missing dog. I pointed them in the direction of Andy and they returned with a relieved look and the most grateful thanks to our team.

Then, as the tail walker crossed the line, our excellent close down team took to work and put all the damp kit back in the store. We retired to the café to start processing the results and noticed a lonely “Please don’t take our token home” sign hanging on the trees behind the café which was promptly collected in. But the theme of “missing in action” continued as we couldn’t find the barcode problem sheet (which manually records your details if your barcode or token can’t be scanned) so have a lot of unknowns within the results.

Finally done and with all the soggy hi-viz in my car, I collected the car park signs on the way home and thought that was that. But “missing” was a word to be repeated throughout the weekend when a few runners emailed in about missing times, a helpful parkrunner messaged to say that they had found another sign and then the ED messaged to say that a direction arrow had also been found on the course on Sunday!

Clearly our slightly eventful return to Southwater shows that we need to brush up our procedures but it does highlight one enduring fact; Horsham Parkrunners Rock! We look out for each other. We are kind a helpful. We go the extra mile. For that, we are truly grateful!

Paul and the team

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