Ifield Mill Pond parkrun is cancelled on 31 October 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Run Report #25: Wellbeing

A drizzly morning at Ifield Mill Pond parkrun had a field of 96 park runners of which 28 were first timers this morning and a very well done to the 26 runners achieved a PB.  It was also lovely to welcome our visitors to our Park run this morning from South Africa, Surrey, Eastbourne, and Brighton to name a few. Our NHS staff from local NHS Sussex Partnership NHS FT, who provide mental health services across Sussex were in Yellow tee-shirts and came along to shine the light on mental health, and share important information around suicide prevention. Did you know 1:4 people in general population experience mental health needs.  Karen asked you all to SAY HELLO to each other a simple act of human connection which is the start of getting to know someone and reminded us about the importance of the humble act of saying hello can make such a difference to someone’s day.  We are so often go through our busy weeks seeing faces that we recognise that cross our paths in our life but don’t necessary know the person whether it be on our commute to work or at park run each week.  It is inspiring to see how this global community enjoy sharing Saturday morning at a parkrun community no matter where you are in the county, country or globally.  What a better way to up lift ones mood by participating in park run, it really does have so many health benefits keeping our self mentally and physically healthy.  In fact I spoke to a fellow park runner as we embraced the course and talked about how exercise releases natural body chemicals to make us feel good.  I know you may not feel it at the time as you feel breathless but doesn’t it feel good when you finish. Park run community is inclusive of everyone.  What a great place to share this health message, raise awareness around mental health which is as important as our physical health and stamp out stigma.  Tell your friends, family & work mates it is free and a fantastic social community to connect with and let our Ifield Mill Pond Park run grow.  The Parkrun community is all about personal goals whether you walk jog run or volunteer there is something for everyone and you all will have your reasons for participating.  Hats off to George Jones, he was first over the line in 20:58 mins and our first lady Alissa Walker ran in 23:09 this morning.  We come to park run for many reasons.  It may be about chasing that PB or maintaining it, however it is not all about who can get over the finish line in the fastest time as it is relative to our goal and parkrun’s philosophy is to help the community support their health and wellbeing. Sussex Partnership through their SAFE campaign (Suicide Awareness is For Everyone), aim is to raise awareness and put a human face on this important subject; break the taboo on talking about mental health issues through opening up a conversation and encouraging people to talk.  We all CAN potentially save lives. People that are affected by mental health issues are just like you and I, our neighbour, brother, sister, work colleague, shop assistant and so on.  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 and you may be able to change this statistic. It was helpful to have our NHS staff to share knowledge of what to do if you are concerned about someone’s mental health.  So through connecting with our Park Run 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. Let’s as a community share and use the details we heard today with friend’s family and work colleagues.  They information may also help you. A lot of us know how to do CPR; so let’s know how to support someone at risk of suicide.  This maybe the first step you can take to help yourself, or someone else in need so collectively we can help our community stay SAFE. A special thanks to those that shared their personal stories today as it absolutely demonstrates that this is a real live issue for many of our local community. A simple pledge of looking at the 20 min video may help to signpost someone feeling distressed to seek support.  Mental Health can have a big impact on families not just on the person experiencing an illness but their loved ones too.  Some shared how parkrun helps with their stresses and to cope with the challenges of caring for loved ones and thanked our visitors in yellow tee-shirts for supporting this very important agenda and helping to stamp out stigma.  This is all about connecting with the person whether you are running or volunteering 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 from run director today reminded us of Crawley buses will give you a free ride if you show your park code how great is that for our environment and opportunity for parkrun touring. Also, a big thank you for our wonderful volunteers this morning, what a great idea to have wellies on. Without them park run will not happen and it was amazing to have their commitment despite the weather. Carrying out the volunteer tasks help make our park run possible so please consider if you can to sign up one week to help volunteer.

Karen Hoskin


Run Report #24: 12 Party time

There was an excellent turn out for IMP run number 24 on the first rain free Saturday for a while. This was mainly due to quite a few parkrunners celebrating milestones who in turn were supported in numbers by friends, family and their local running clubs. All this contributed to a party style atmosphere as the field of runners assembled at the start line. This continued throughout the event and many of the faster runners stayed behind to applaud and support the later runners and of course have a slice of cake. It was all great fun and really lovely to see so much support for these milestone achievers which was fully deserved as it is no mean feat to run 50 let alone 100 or 150 park runs.

In amongst all the fun was Linda who volunteers here on a regular basis and celebrated her 50th birthday this week as well running her 50th park run on Saturday and just to put icing on the cake, she did a PB as well.

At the other end of the scale, for me, this is one of the best times of the year to make that effort and start running. Spring - bring it on! There are some fantastic local running clubs who are very welcoming and run starter programmes. Or if you prefer to begin with a mate, that works as well as you are much less likely to find an excuse not to train and let them down. There are lots of very good "from couch to 5k programmes and apps". I would go for the longer 9 week programme and it does not matter how old you are or how unfit you are, all you need is commitment and a decent pair of shoes.

Encourage your family and friends to make the effort, you know they will not regret it and we will look forward to the day they celebrate their first park run. Give it a go and remember the first foot out of the door is the hardest!


Looks like 154 was our third best turn out and we had tourists visit from all over Sussex including Chichester and Lancing. There were an excellent 24 PB's.

The course was in good condition and mainly dry with the odd slippery mud patch and of course the large puddle 50 metres before the finish. There was a very quick EGM yesterday where it was decided not to let the puddle dry up even in the height of summer as it is very much part and parcel of Ifield Mill Pond parkrun and we will be discussing ways of making sure it stays all year round!  Bring a full bucket day was one suggestion!

I will leave you with this

The World Health Organization has declared that dogs cannot transmit Coronavirus, and there is no reason to quarantine dogs any more. W.H.O. let the dogs out!

See you soon

Stash Heinrich


Run Report #23: 12 Pairs of Gloves

Congratulations to all 90 of you hardy runners that turned out yesterday for a what is probably the first park run taking place on the 29th of Feb. And you deserve it as it was freezing cold, rained continuously and had a swirling wind to deal with as well. I understand you will have to wait until 2048 to take part in the next park run taking please on the 29th Feb. Bring it on!

So tradition has it, that this is the one day that ladies are allowed to propose to their men and in the unlikely the event the man refuses, then he is supposed to provide her with 12 pairs of gloves for the coming year to cover her embarrassment of not having a ring. Given the weather yesterday, the value of 12 pairs of gloves increased dramatically. Thankfully I did not have to concern myself with such matters as the only proposal I got was from my electricity company for a new smart meter!

Big shout out to all the volunteers yesterday as it was a tough one and especially to the youngsters who did brilliantly in such awful conditions.

For the first time I am volunteer co-ordinator for March. I believe that means, amongst other things, making sure we have enough volunteers to put the event on. This time last year I had not volunteered once but had completed 60 odd park runs. My daughter saw a Facebook post about this new parkrun and said "Dad it is about time you gave something back", so I took the plunge and here I am having now volunteered over 20 times!!! This has surprised me more than anyone as I thought I would struggle with not wanting to be in the run itself, like when I gave up rugby, I could not bear to go and watch.

Actually volunteering is really rewarding and enjoyable, all the volunteers here are very laid back and friendly and as you know, the runners are really appreciative and supportive. I would encourage all of you to give it a go as not only do we need you but I really think you will get something out of it. None of the roles are that difficult or demanding, one or two need a bit of concentration but are now much more user friendly as both timekeeping and barcode scanning are now done on a smart phone. Believe me there is no way you need an A level in sport science for these roles. Please ask any of us for more information on the day or email in to Ifieldmillpondhelpers@parkrun.com


The run (and paddle) was mainly notable for 15 personal bests - very impressive considering the elements.

So I will leave you with this

I am in the travel business and I was asked recently what the best thing about Switzerland is?

No idea I replied, but their flag is a Big Plus.

See you soon

Stash Heinrich


Run Report #19: a little short

We arrived at the Mill Pond knowing that we were short on volunteers. We don't have huge requirements but to run the event each week we need:

  • 2x timekeepers
  • 6x marshals
  • 1x number checker
  • 1x finish tokens
  • 2x barcode scanner

This week we were short of a barcode scanner and 2 marshals. Our route features 2 turn around points and one sharp turn that if you miss you'll end up in the road. We also have a very busy cross road with runners coming from 3 directions. There are also a couple of points on the course where runners can go wrong and we like to marshal to keep runners on route and to make sure members of the public don't end up appearing from behind a hidden corner.

When short on volunteers for safety we should move our timekeepers and number checker out on course and everyone gets 59:59. Fortunately for everyone we decided to try the run with 4 marshals at the key points and thanks to some experienced marshaling at the cross-roads no one went wrong, thanks David!

We were also short of a barcode scanner so there will have been a bit of a queue. Again fortunately one of our regular runners got their phone old and helped scan keeping the queue going.

We often get inquiries from tourists about helping to put signs out or clear up and the end which is always welcome. With a few more pairs of hands it only takes a couple of minutes to get everything packed away.

All said and done, the run went smoothly with no issues.

Unusually we had 2 pacers today. Jeremy Benson was pacing sub-25 and went whole hog and finished in 23:58 (probably a bit too quick!). We also had Lucy Marriot pacing sub-40 mins but either forgot to scan or didn't have her barcode (no barcode, no time) who finished in 39:43, great pacing.

Down to Cheals for results processing and we had a message from our ambassador to say that results processing could go ahead but there were system problems that meant the results wouldn't be published until Monday. This turned out to be fixed in extra quick time and results were out at the usual time.

Geoff Tondeur was celebrating his 150th parkrun (an unofficial milestone but a milestone nonetheless) and brought cake for the occasion which went down very well by our results processing team.

Keeping their mouth quiet at the start was Rupert Mcleod. Although his milestone is also unofficial it's also a big occasion, he ran his 400th parkrun with us. A year and a half of parkruns behind the most runniest-parkrunner Declan Flynn with 479 parkruns under his belt.

We had 3 people new to parkrun. Welcome David Edwards, Toni Sheppard and Steve Miller. We hope to see you back soon.

A big thank you to the hi-vis heroes who had to do the jobs of two people to help today happen. If you want to help please email ifieldmillpondhelpers@parkrun.com You'll be given help in whatever role you'd like to do. It's a great way to give back to parkrun


Run Report #18: “a dark grey morning”

It was a dark grey morning on Saturday when I parked up at Waterfield Gardens.

Unfortunately I’m not on one of the bus routes that you can use for free travel between 7:30 am and 11:00am - Metrobus 1, 23 & 200 routes.  However one advantage of parking this side is that I get to chat to tourists who have arrived and are looking for directions to the start! Today I spoke to some lovely people from the Burgess Hill area and walked with them towards the start area before I got ready to do the first timer briefing.

One of the things I often hear people talking about is that they are visiting Ifield Mill Pond to ‘get their I’. Google is your friend here for more detail, but to summarise, there are lots of unofficial parkrun challenges you can complete.  One of them is the popular Alphabet Challenge - visiting an event that starts with each letter of the alphabet (except X as there is no event beginning with this letter!).  As there aren’t many starting with an I, we have become popular with tourists as well as locals. Every week we look forward to hearing where everyone has traveled from, whether that be from down the road or more further afield. Today we welcomed visitors from New Zealand. Thank you to everyone who joined us today!

If you are reading this via Facebook, let us know in the comments what challenges you are doing as we’d love to know!

Today we had 21 volunteers and 109 finishers who ran, jogged and walked the course! Of those 109, we welcomed 47 first timers.

Congratulations to Ashley Middlewick and Abby Ross who were our first male and female finishers. Both got PBs, along with another 24 of you.

Finally, we are missing token number 80 from Saturday - if you find you have it at home, please can you return it to us (no questions asked!) or contact us to find a way to do so if you are from further afield!

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you at IMP again soon.

Janice Phelan

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