Horsham parkrun is cancelled on 11 July 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

‘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.



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.


 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.


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.


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!


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


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.


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