Milestones Ahoy!

James (the band) once said “Ring the bells” and so it was that sound heralded Sarah Michelson’s final lap of Horsham park to claim her 250th parkrun! From our 1st Horsham parkrun where Sarah did her first parkrun to now Sarah has completed 239 of her 250 at Horsham and i would say is our first true Horsham 250 club parkrunners (Raff, Andy, Harry, Ian, Dereck and Geoff all stared their parkrun journeys at other parkruns!).

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It was great to see so many of you out even though conditions are starting to get a little soft under foot. We have come close to having to cancel the last couple of weeks and are working very hard together with HDC to ensure the needs of the park are balanced with the desire for our lovely parkrun! It is a difficult balancing act so please help us to keep everyone happy by running on the paths where possible on the course and being considerate to pedestrians who probably don’t want to walk in the mud!

RD Laine started proceedings with a fab run brief which included us presenting Lydia Graham with the award for parkrunner of the month for September, well done Lydia your times have been falling consistently and you have even made time to volunteer, a worthy winner indeed.

We also had a fair few milestones to celebrate…… obviously the big 250 for Sarah and also a Junior 10 for Josh Cunningham, 50's for Martin Humphreys, Natasha Hayes, Martin Leake, Ian Nicholson and Louise Powling and 100's for Nick Coysh, Tracey Edwards and Nicky Holder. Also most notably to Mick Duplock who ran his 50th, Mick has some of you may know is blind and runs for Horsham Joggers, he set a target of getting to his 50 this year after a few years of sporadic parkrunning and has achieved that milestone 3 months early, fantastic! It was great too that our Twitter man Tim Jones guided him this Saturday but I am sure that Mick would like to thank all the people who have guided him on his 50 parkruns so far. Don’t wait so long for your 100th Mick!

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So as the run neared its end the aforementioned bell tolled, Sarah had wanted to ring this to denote her last lap where she wanted as many of us as possible to join her to walk her final mile. I was lucky enough to do just this and it was a beautiful lap, reminiscing about all those parkruns and Sarah’s journey, where she has walked every step! She was also our first parkrunner of the year.

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All in all, a lovely lovely day and all ended up with, what else, CAKE and more…….. Jan’s amazing blondies, brownies and Laine’s sausage meat plait! I got to admit I indulged and even shared half a teacake with Claire! Calories in, calories out certainly did not match this Saturday……………...

So who will be next to join the 250 club at Horsham……….well James Boniface is not far away but there will (hopefully) be one before that………ahem………… it’s always a fun fab day with milestones and I know there will be many many more to come for us all! Horsham parkrun truly does rock!

Keep your eyes peeled for course changes and potential venue changes in the next few weeks and whatever happens we will be having a Halloween run on 2nd November so get that in your diaries!

See you all very soon

Phil & Team.

 

Forever Autumn!

This week, on a beautiful autumnal morning, Horsham Parkrun welcomed 417 runners. Given the weather forecast, I was pleasantly surprised that so many of you still came along; it must be the tremendous parkrun community spirit and the warm, friendly welcome extended to all who come! Or could it be that you’ve heard of our Marshals? Feedback from the field is that we have the nicest and friendliest marshals but I’m sure other friendly and nice marshals are available!

This week we also welcomed 26 ‘First Timers’ to Horsham parkrun, 18 of whom were running their very first parkrun.  Afterwards, Erum and Alaina Qureshi first timers and locals, said how much they had enjoyed the experience and friendly atmosphere. It’s those marshals again! parkrun tourists also came from near and far: Richmond, Hereford and Down Under (no not ‘Men at Work’ and I know I’m showing my age), Australia. A very warm welcome to you all; we hope you had a great run and enjoyed the Horsham experience, as much as we enjoyed having you. We hope to see you again.

We also saw William Meech (Junior) complete his 10th Parkrun,  Paul Watts his 50th and Colin Shaw achieved the highest age grading this week of 79.46%. Congratulations to you all.

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

Peter BANKS, Coralie BEAMISH, Beatrix BEVERNAGE, Claire BUTLER, Samantha EDWARDS, Karen ENGLAND, Daniel ENGLAND, Charles FOOTER, Henry FOOTER, Jane FOOTER, Malcolm FOOTER, Jackie GARNER, Lydia GRAHAM, Rachel HAMSON, Allison HARTLEY, Michael HIBBERD, Olive HOBBS, Nicki HOLDER, David LAWTON, Mark LEACH, Claire MILLER, Caroline OLEARY, Nigel PHILLIPS, Debby SCULL, Richard SHERGOLD, Adam TWEED, Clive WALKER, Gary WALLIS, Mark WEBB, Zoe WELCHMAN, 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.

Once again, my job as Run Director has been painless and fun, entirely owing of course to the wonderful people that make parkrun Horsham happen and make it the inclusive and wonderful experience that it is. Any errors or omissions are entirely my fault and I apologise if I’ve inadvertently missed anything.

See you all soon,

Michael, Your Run Director and Team.

 

 

Good times…….

A phrase used by Charlatans front man Tim Burgess whenever things are……well…….good………!

Birthdays always are very “good” at Horsham parkrun and that is down to our fantastic community and Saturday was no different on our 5th birthday. The forecast all week had been good and so it was a little disconcerting as just after 8.30am I felt a few spots of rain in the air, thankfully it did not amount to anything and 607 of you still turned out and it was a fabulous sight to see.

Birthdays are also a great time for re connecting with people and this day was no different, seeing people from our early days coming to visit and especially my constant companion on set up in those early months Duncan Partridge paying me a surprise visit!

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The Hawaii Five-0 theme was observed by some and some great pictures were taken and we all had some great coconut & pineapple cake made by yours truly.

The yearly awards were handed out as Claire gave Karen England the Female parkrunner of the year, Karen has done 178 Horsham parkruns and has achieved 5 pb’s in the last year as well as volunteering too, she has also ran round many times encouraging her whole family to get fitter and faster and has been a shining light in our parkrun community.

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I had the pleasure of awarding our Male parkrunner of the year to Charlie Footer, although there have been no pb’s this year for Charlie he has run Horsham 118 times and has run fast, run with family, run with partners and even ran/carried his dog! He can be regularly seen encouraging runners as they approach the finish with Dad Malcolm. Charlie's enthusiasm for parkrun is boundless and really understands what parkrun is all about and this was reflected in his contribution to our award winning film earlier this year. A truly touching statement from the heart when talking about a tough period his Mum Jane had been through, he said “it has bought our family closer together and genuinely increased the numbers in our family” and I think a lot of us feel that, even if we don’t feel closer to our actual family, the people we have met and have become friends with through this amazing thing called parkrun will hopefully stay with us a lifetime.

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So we finally got started (a bit late!) and Richard Lee-Wright blasted round finishing in 17.09 followed by Luke Triccas (on his 50th run) in 17.44 and Simon Perkins 18.02. For the ladies, Emily Muzio on her first visit to Horsham crossed the line in 21.30 followed by Niamh Donnelly (21.36) and Zoe Welchman (21.41).

We 41 first timers and 103 PB’s.

Retiring to the café afterwards to process the results, which have been a little tricky in the last few weeks to say the least, It was nice and straight forward and it was great to again catch up and reconnect with old friends.

It has been an amazing five years and as we start our 6th year it is hard to imagine how we can top what has happened so far…….. but I know with the team we now have looking after Horsham parkrun it is in safe hands and as new faces come through the future is nothing but shining bright……..here to stay……..

See you all very soon, I hope!

Phil and Team.

 

Sunny days and shenanigans!

Well, what a way to start the Bank Holiday weekend!

The set-up team met nice and early to make sure we had everything ready for your arrival.  This included setting up the zig zag finish area and making sure the course was as clear as it could be from the previous evening’s shenanigans.

Its always fun to take a guess at how many runners and walkers we have once the masses have set off.  I guessed at 445 and was 100 people out.  545 of you turned up on this sunny Saturday morning.

We welcomed 17 newbies to parkrun and 29 tourists who travelled far and wide to run in our pretty park.

A whopping 68 of you achieved a new personal best time!

Krystal Bowbrick ran her 10th parkrun (junior).

Roger Taylor, Kevin Sawyer, Rebecca Tweed and Sue Hitchings all made it to their 50th parkrun.

Penny Sanders ran into her 100th parkrun.

Congratulations all of you!

I don’t get the opportunity to run or volunteer often on Saturdays but whenever I do it so great to see old friends and new.  The community at parkrun is such a beautiful thing and I look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

Until next time……

Mel & team

 

 

Home…..

First time back at Horsham parkrun for 4 weeks, Claire and I took a moment as we entered the park at 7.30am on Saturday to admire how beautiful our lovely park is. Green and lush it was a beautiful start to the day! They say travel is nice but it is even better coming home and the same can be said in parkrun world too. After a week touring on Ambassador duties and then a 2 week holiday which took in parkruns in the Lake District and on the last mile of the Great North run to be home was great!

It had been a stressful run up to the day though as we had been wondering if we would have to reroute due to travellers in the park and how much of a clean-up would still be going on, but all was good and we set up a normal course.

It was a very special morning of milestones and visitors…….. James Beckett did his 10th, Fred Ruffe, Tim Harris, Peter Williams (well done on your PB!), Paul Morley (on his 50th Birthday!) and the legendary John Booker all did their 50th, while Angel Bryant and Tina Lord did their 100th.

Also we had Ian and Harry Wilcox becoming the 6th and 7th entrants into Horsham parkruns 250 club! It was a real honour for me to announce this as Harry and Ian have been with us right from the start, Horsham parkrun pioneers at the test run event we celebrated in May. Harry was also a former parkrunner of the month and Ian and his wife, Sue regularly run the parkrun with their doggies, though we cannot confirm how many parkruns the dogs have done as they never remember their bark-codes…………… Harry has done 212 of his runs at Horsham while Ian has done 215, well done guys!

Ian & Harry 250

We were also visited by our Sussex parkrun Ambassadors, these guys support events with any problems they may have and are a vital part of the parkrun family, they also come to check we are keeping to the parkrun ethos. I am proud to number myself alongside them as much as I am proud to be Event Director at Horsham.

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505 of you lined the park this week, 42 first timers to either Horsham park or parkrun and 52 PB’s! Oliver Crossley was first over the line in 16.41 followed by Gary Tomlinson and Simon Perkins and for the ladies, Tracey Woodyard (21.43) followed by Samantha Ridley and Cat Avenell. We are having a bit of a push now after the run to try to recruit volunteers for upcoming weeks, so if you see our Volunteer Coordinator wandering around with a big orange sign please go and have a word with them and give back to your weekly run! It simply doesn’t happen without our Hi Viz Hero’s, thank you. So another week rolls by and in 3 weeks’ time we will be 5!!! Unbelievable I know and we will be having our usual annual awards, a special theme day (TBA) and of course lots of cake!

Till next Saturday

Phil and Team.

 

It Wasn’t Me!

Now the name might suggest some wrongdoing or even the title of a millennial hit record by Shaggy but neither is true. You see, I wasn’t supposed to be RD today. The lovely Lorraine was on the roster for this role with me as her VC wingman but, car troubles prevented her from being here today and so I stepped in as RD at 10pm yesterday and Simon took my place as VC. Teamwork makes the dream work as they say!

Anyway, it was my pleasure to talk to you today and to watch you walk, jog and run around our rather soggy and slippery park. Now I don’t know about you, but I found today’s weather quite refreshing after the heat of the past few days. I think even the most hardcore runners may have taken the right decision to stay indoors had the heatwave continued into this weekend!

There was an epic battle at the front of the pack between Bradley and Richard and some superb performances within the top 2 ladies too. So for the stats: This week 469 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 46 were first timers and 54 recorded new personal bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part and we had tourists from as far as South Africa and China! Our highest age grading today was and incredible 80.83%!

The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:

James MUNDEN • Erik SHOPLAND • Michael SAUNDERS • Joanne BULL • Jason MCLAUGHLIN • David MACLEAN • Sarah MACLEAN • Rachel MACLEAN • Paul CHANTLER • Paul AYLETT • Claudine MOODLEY • Yan YIP • Kevin WEST • Simon PERKINS • Ali BOULTON • Maurizia ASCANI • Sandrine YEATES • Sok Wah LEE • Tina KNIGHT • Ruth M • Debby SCULL • Martyn NEWTON • Gary WALLIS • Andy STRANG • Pamela DEXTER • Chris OLEARY • Faye HEAD • Annie NEARY • Graham JOHNSON • James DUNNINGHAM

We also congratulated the following milestones: Junior 10’s for– Kendra Bowbrick and Farah Moodley. 50 for Carl & Eileen Nicholas and Stacie Pook. 100 for Christopher Dunn and Piers Pollard.

Finally, some of you offered to volunteer for the coming weeks via our clipboard system which was located near the scanning station. We are hoping to continue this in the coming weeks to see if we can find new volunteers and fill our roster in advance.

I then went home and dried out the hi-viz’s on the washing line! Living the dream eh?

Washing line

Keep up the good work everyone and we look forward to seeing you volunteering really soon.

Paul and the team

 

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – SAFE Project

The 258th Horsham parkrun initially had grey skies following the heavy overnight rain fall but it did not stop 472 parkrunners turning out to grab that well-being tonic to start the weekend.  There were a number of tourists to Horsham this parkrunday from Bognor Regis to Hong Kong!  It is inspiring to see how this global community enjoy sharing Saturday morning at a parkrun no matter where you are in the county, country or globally.  What a better way to up lift ones mood than by participating in parkrun, it really does have so many health benefits keeping ourselves mentally and physically healthy.  Tell your friends, family & work mates it is free and a fantastic social community to connect with.  The parkrun community is all about personal goals, whether you walk, jog, run, or volunteer there is something for everyone and you will all have your reasons for participating.  It may be about chasing that PB, however it is not all about who can get over the finish line in the fastest time.  It was nice to see a lot of Run Horsham tee shirts, so a special shout out to them and well done.  It was also really pleasing to welcome our local NHS Sussex Partnership in Yellow tee-shirts who came along to shine the light on mental health, and share important information around suicide prevention.Sussex Partnership is the NHS mental health provider across Sussex and provides services locally out of New Park House and through their SAFE campaign (Suicide Awareness is For Everyone) and their aim is to raise awareness and put a human face on this important subject by breaking the taboo on talking about mental health issues through opening up a conversation and encouraging people to talk.  Suicide is a very sensitive subject and like no other bereavement, and has a huge impact on families.  Did you know that currently it is the biggest killer in young men under 50 throughout the UK?  So through connecting with our parkrun community sharing the SAFE message we hope this will help save lives.  Please look at the suicide prevention training video via the link www.zerosuicidealliance.com. A lot of us know how to do CPR; so let’s know how to support someone at risk of suicide.  This may be the first step you can take to help others or maybe even yourself.

A special thanks to those who shared their personal stories today, as it absolutely demonstrates that this is a real live issue for many of our local community. Some shared how parkrun helps with their stresses, or helps them to cope with the challenges of caring for loved ones with mental health needs.  This is all about connecting with other people whether you are running or volunteering so let’s continue to ensure our parkrun encourages all our diverse community to join in.  We will always welcome first timers and ensure it is accessible for all people with disabilities, or long term health conditions, Chrissie Wellington, Global Head of Health and Wellbeing at parkrun, said to Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust:

“Whether you want to walk, run, volunteer or simply come down and watch, parkrun events give people the opportunity to be active, in the open air and feel part of a welcoming, non-judgemental community. Time and time again we hear stories of how parkrun has helped people from all walks of life cope with mental health issues, and we are pleased to team up with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide, and the resources that are available within the community.” The Yellow tee-shirts carried the message Say Hello See it Say it and Sign post, so a very special thank you running community for collectively helping our community stay SAFE and keep on running.

A final message, it is always important to thank the 34 wonderful volunteers this morning. As Simon the run director this morning said, carrying out the volunteer tasks helps make our parkrun possible, so please consider if you can to sign up one week to help volunteer.

Karen Hoskin and the Horsham parkrun Team

 

An RD’s Return!

It’s been quite a while since I undertook the role of Run Director, but it never ceases to amaze me the commitment, effort and tenacity all of you put in, irrespective how quickly you run or walk.

This week, on a beautiful summer morning, Horsham Parkrun welcomed 588 runners.  42 were first timers and Parkrun tourists came from near and far: Reigate, Newhaven, Ross-on-Wye, Copenhagen and Michigan. A very warm welcome to you all; we hope you had a great run and enjoyed the Horsham experience, as much as we enjoyed having you. We hope to see you again.

We also saw some notable milestones: Tracy Martin and Junior runner Leon Crayford reached their 50th Parkrun and Leon also achieved a PB. Dereck Warwick ran his 300th Parkrun and Gavin Philps, after several months, completed Parkrun without walking. You’ve definitely set the bar high now Gavin! Well done to all of you on your achievements.

A couple of personal items were found after Saturday’s run; a ‘bikehut’ key, and a barcode belonging to John Cooper. Please let us know if they belong to you and they can be collected at Parkrun on Saturday.

As always, Parkrun would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers who give their time to avoid running (just kidding). A huge thank you to this week’s volunteers:

Kath BARNES, Neil BARNES, Coralie BEAMISH, Diane Margaret BERRY, John BERRY, Ali BOULTON, Sharon BURCHETT, Sue CHAPMAN, James DUNNINGHAM, Samantha EDWARDS, Geoff FISHER, Jane FOOTER, Lesley GREGORY, Coral KENNEDY, Sok Wah LEE, Christian LIBERMAN, Luka MCHARDY, Claire MILLER, James MUNDEN, Annie NEARY, Simon PERKINS, Debby SCULL, Michael SILVESTRI, Kathryn SLATER, Nicola SMITH, Adam TWEED, Mark WEBB, Adam WICKS, Mark WILMOT and Yan YIP.

If you would like to know more about volunteering or the various volunteer roles, please ask.

Finally, as this week’s Run Director, I would like to thank you all for making my job painless and fun and to Phil Liberman and Coralie Beamish for taking me through the results. Parkrun wouldn’t be the same without such wonderful volunteers, runners, supporters and the fantastic community spirit that epitomises Horsham Parkrun. Well done to you all!

Mike and Team

 

Horsham parkrun rocks!

…..a phrase coined by our very own Horsham parkrun pioneer, Andy Mitchelson, who I was honoured and privileged to congratulate on his 250th parkrun today. Andy is only the 5th Horsham parkrunner to reach this amazing milestone and in true Andy style, he invited his friends to run I their favourite band t-shirt, so Horsham was very much rocking out today. Congratulations Andy and looking forward to seeing you reach your 500th!

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Other milestones celebrated today were Matthew Hogben, one of our juniors, who celebrated his 10th parkrun and then Alex Martin and Simon Hillier, who both celebrated their 50th parkruns. Congratulations to you all!

We had a lot to celebrate today, as there was also the Runner of the month (ROM) for June. The core team agreed unanimously that this should be Gary Wallis, as he had volunteered 3 times in June as well as running twice. But more than that, he has a constantly positive attitude and really ‘gets’ parkrun, becoming quite an asset to Horsham parkrun. Unfortunately Gary wasn’t in attendance, so we hope to present this to him next week, but in the meantime, congratulations Gary!

Due to the fair being in town, we had to move the start, for the second time this year. This also meant that I had to ‘funnel’ you for the start for safety reasons, being that over 500 of you have to make a sharp left hand turn onto a narrow path, 100meters after you start. I’d like to thank you all for your patience and understanding with this. Hopefully, we’ll be back to our usual start next week, but here is a photo of what over 500 runners look like running up our first hill and then round the outcrop…..a view that I will never tire of!!

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We welcomed 24 of your to your first ever parkrun this week. We really hope you enjoyed yourselves and will be back again next week. We also welcomed 31 tourists from Banstead Woods, Cranleigh, North & South Yorkshire, and Durham, but the furthest tourist came all the way from New Zealand. Andrew & Alexandra Nash both grew up originally in West Sussex, before moving to Surrey and then Devon, before emigrating to New Zealand, where their local parkrun, Tauranga Bay of Plenty has just celebrated their 1st Anniversary. It was lovely to meet you and hope you had a great parkrun morning.

It was yet another very hot and humid morning, which makes the fact that 43 of you achieved PB’s an amazing feat! Well done to you all.

Lastly, the 549 of you who ran a beautiful timed 5k today, for free, would not have been able to do so without the wonderful 38 volunteers, whom you are, I’m sure, very grateful to. We are very fortunate here at Horsham to have a core of around 30 regular volunteers, but we do feel strongly that this shouldn’t fall to the same few each week. We’d like to suggest to those of you have not volunteered yet, that you consider challenging yourself to give volunteering a go before the end of the year. Believe me, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. It is the most rewarding way to spend a Saturday morning.

Claire and Team.

 

Hot Legs!

As I arrived at the lock up at 7.40am to meet the set-up volunteers, beads of sweat were already running down my face from the short cycle ride to the park. The thermometer was nudging 20 degrees C at that early hour and predictions were for 30 degrees C by 4pm. It was going to be a hot one! We split into pairs with two going off around the park with the trolley to set out the course and check for hazards while Martyn and Andy set up the finish area. I love this time of the day as the park is quiet with only a few dog walkers and the Military Fitness crew for company. As we returned to the finish area, we were joined by ED Phil and Core Team member Claire who had set themselves a tough challenge of completing the 5k course as a three-legged pair. I don’t think they had banked on the weather being quite so challenging! All in aid of Cancer Research and with anyone guessing closest to their finish time winning a pop-up tent! The cake looked fabulous and the decision to stay away from chocolate proved to be a wise one!

P&C        P&C2

It was so nice to see everyone paying attention to the run brief and I started by thanking our volunteers and offering a suggestion that if every one of the 500+ runners volunteered just twice a year at Horsham then we wouldn’t struggle to fill our roster each week. So why not give it a go. Who knows, you might get to like it! Park surgery very kindly offered to supply extra water to those who needed it and we gave a big shout out to our 34 first timers and tourists from Reigate, Brixton and Australia! Milestones this week included: J10 for Harry Ageros and Aathavan Nithianantharajah. 50 for Stuart Carruthers, David Lees and Stuart Littler. 100 for Colin Jones and Steve Wilson. So the stats - 500 of you walked, jogged and ran around our very hot course today. We had 34 unknown park runners (DFYB!), a highest age grading of 91.52%, our three oldest park runners were in the 80-84 year bracket and 26 of you achieved new PB’s! Awesome!! Keep up the good work everyone and we look forward to seeing you volunteering really soon. Paul and the team

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