Marlborough Common parkrun is cancelled on 8 August 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

(not) Marlborough Common parkrun

Three months of (not)running on the Common, (not)dodging the puddles and (not)eating chips or cake in the golf club. Three months of (not)seeing all those friendly faces on a Saturday morning. Sadly, it seems it will be a while until we can be back to normal.

So it’s brilliant that (not)parkrun started this week. And it’s lovely to see familiar names appearing on our (not)results page.

If you haven’t already seen it, to (not)parkrun you just walk, run or jog any 5k whenever and wherever you like! (Taking care of yourself and others, of course, please). Then record your time online - on your parkrun profile page. And if you can, it would be great if you post a pic on Facebook too!

You can find more details about (not)parkrun here.

One thing to ask - please be creative with your time and place. We’d rather you didn’t turn up on the common at 9am on Saturday just at the moment. But do try pretending everyone you meet is a (not)marshal, and shout a breathless ‘thank you marshal’ at them. Let us know how that goes.

So if you can, go out, walk, run or jog 5k and share your time and photos! We’ll see you online!


Latest News from Marlborough Common parkrun

Save a link to our news page so you're always up to date.

parkrun is cancelled until further notice

All events in the UK remain cancelled. You can find out more and get the latest position on their COVID-19 page.

But... (not)parkrun has started! Walk, run or jog 5k and record your own results. Read about it here.

Other things

Like us on Facebook here.

All the old photos are here.


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 68 – 14 March 2020

Well, it was an odd one this morning. After two weeks of cancellations, due to endless rain and a water-logged course, we were all super-excited to be back on the Common this morning. It was lovely to see familiar faces and to once again be sticking stakes in soft ground in the surprisingly warm fresh air. Yet there was undeniably an undercurrent of uneasiness at parkrun this morning. Volunteers exchanged elbow bumps instead of hugs. People chatted a few feet apart instead of huddled together. Conversations were sobering, laced with British gallows humour. But personally, I was glad for some normality in a very abnormal week.

It was a smaller bunch than usual this morning - 89 walkers, joggers and runners took on the course including some visitors from Cardiff. The ground was soft and muddy in places, but remarkably recovered from last week's deluge.

7 people made their parkrun debuts this morning - we hope you enjoyed it and had a blast. An honourable mention goes to the brave little boy doing his first-ever parkrun - his Mum said there was zero moaning, which was almost the bigger achievement. We really hope to see you all back next time.

14 people stuck their noses up at Coronavirus and got themselves a shiny new course PB (including meeeee).

Heath Bampton crushed it as first male in 19.10 and Hannah Hare led it home for the women in 23.57.

We are hoping and planning to hold parkrun next weekend as usual. We will follow guidance from parkrun HQ, who are doing a remarkable job at being calm, thoughtful and wise in these bonkers days. Please keep an eye on our latest news page and Facebook page for updates.

Stay well, people. Elbow bumps to you all

Cathryn Ramsden


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 67 – 22 February 2020

Wow wasn’t it cold and rainy today for event 67. The Met Office reliably informs me it was rainy, 10 degrees, with a 25MPH wind blowing up the wazoo (I’m paraphrasing them somewhat). Setting up just after 8am this morning, it felt colder, wetter, with a much stronger wind to my morning head. While running around the North part of our course, carefully placing stakes and tape in exacting locations and avoiding all the mud, we were wondering who would turn up in weather like this? Guess what… you did! To be precise: 122 of you did. One has to feel a little sorry for the 6 first time parkrunners who chose today to start their parkrun careers. It’s not always like this – honest - please come back and see us.

Incredible though it sounds, of the 122 run, jog, and walkers, 6 of you recorded personal bests. How did you manage that? You may feel uber-smug about it all weekend, possibly all week.

Today we had visitors from Chippenham, Didcot, Livingstone, and Osterley which was nice to see and, unusually, nobody from Australia.

At roughly 09:25 the sun came out, driving the rain away and warming us all a little. Anyone before Hannah Hare would have run entirely in the rain, those after had the advantage of a dry/drier finish.

This morning I was scanning and will take a leaf out of Jeremy’s book to give a view of that role by way of a short volunteering advert. After setting up the North section of the course, I headed to the start to hear Catherine’s brief RD announcement. After the mandatory things an RD has to say, Catherine set you all off, driving headlong into the wind and rain. For scanners there’s not much to do from the start until first finisher, Doug Wilkie, crossed the line 19 minutes later. We use a combination of compact laser and mobile phone app scanners. This morning I was using the mobile app and was surprised how quick and easy it was. The majority of barcodes I saw scanned immediately except for some paper versions that were soaking wet from the rain… at least I hope they were wet from the rain; some of you store your barcodes in rather odd places. When a barcode doesn't scan we send the runner to "unscannables" where Alison was waiting to capture your details on rain proofed paper. One nice thing about scanning is you get to meet people as they finish and can have a short chat about course conditions and how soggy everyone’s feeling.

We were aware of some issues with the car park this morning. After the run the core team discussed the best way(s) to ensure safety. Please look on our website news page or our Facebook page for announcements about next week’s car parking or the state of the course in general.

Have a good week



Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 66 – 15 February 2020

Never has there been so much uncertainty. Never has so much time been spent checking BBC weather reports, looking for updates on a parkrun FB page, refreshing the parkrun cancellations site, debating whether there was another parkrun close enough to be a plan B. And then, in black and white there it was. Late last night. “Dennis, the Menace can’t stop Marlborough Common parkrun”. Not entirely out of the woods yet but looking more hopeful, as across the country other parkruns continued to post their cancellations. Fortunately we were aiming for a parkrun with just one tree! And not a very big one at that.

In the event, our one hour drive through the beautiful Wiltshire countryside to the old market town of Marlborough was more than worth it. Not one single Dennis turned up, not to run, not to volunteer or even to drench us. Perhaps more breezy than usual on the Common (I’d been reliably informed that the Common attracts a refreshing breeze in all seasons) but other than a brief threat at 9am, nothing. Dennis didn’t show up.

Thankfully 28 volunteers did. And we couldn’t be more grateful. Greeted at the edge of the Common by a car park marshal (that’s so cool) we were directed to the grassed area in the middle of the course (completely novel and rather fun) and just a few steps to the start (oh dear, I should have done a warm up). Will, Run Director, gave a very brief briefing as, for a moment there, it seemed the rain may have arrived, (though nothing came of it) and in 3, 2, 1, an intimate crowd of 112 (including the car park marshal who had managed to remove the ‘standing still’ layers and was ready with the ‘run’ layers but still laughing) were keen to get started.

I was immediately curious as to how many dogs there were (a noticeably large number) and I had to ask the question. However, no volunteer dog counter! There were dogs of every make, colour, size and shape. And we had Sky, an adorable Border Terrier, a very experienced parkdog with an impressive 22 tourist parkruns already to her name. She loves them. She loves the travelling, she loves her neck scarf, she loves the excitement, she is happy to run in the winter, summer, autumn or spring. But, it turns out she doesn’t like running in the wind. Half way round she looked longingly at a marshal in the hope she could just stay sheltered there until the finish.

Somehow the forecast of impending doom did not deter the 14 genuine first timers to parkrun (though why anyone would pick this weekend to try their first run can only be described as impressive). So an enormous well done to you all and we really hope you come back for your second.

There were also a fair number of first timers who were tourists; Catterick, Poole, Ashton Court, Salisbury. Part way round I chatted to a lady from Abingdon. Most of the Oxfordshire parkruns had fallen victim to Dennis. I think we all agreed that, Marlborough Common is pretty awesome even in this weather so we all want to come back when there isn’t an imminent storm.

The course is lovely. I sense there were quite a few upward turns. There must have been some downs but I firmly believed the ups came with the headwind. There were moments that were seriously hard work, there were corners with a serious amount of mud, but there were views and a vast expanse of sky, a feeling of space and a lot of fresh air. There were wonderfully stoic and enthusiastic marshals at points variously known as Flag, Rugby, Tree, Golf, Beacon. The flags on the golf course were almost blown sideways, we ran around the football pitch where young children were being coached and rather uniquely, we ran around our cars, parked neatly in the centre.

Since we also, variously passed runners going in the other direction, I got to see the front runners moving decidedly faster than I was, towards the finish. Simon Rawlins was first finisher in a very respectable 20.40. It was also his 154th run and his 54th birthday. Great statistics there. And Happy Birthday.

I’m guessing it was an exciting finish too as Sam Wigan was only 7 seconds behind. 3rd finisher was Matthew Wragg in 21.32.

First lady home was Lisa O’Neill in 22.45, followed by Vicky Henderson in a new course pb of 24.06. Amy Clewley was the third lady home in 24.37.

For anyone reading this who has just completed their first parkrun please don’t think this is a race or all about those at the front. Parkrun is full of statistics and you can explore the results page for all sorts of surprising facts. Lesley Green did a personal best this morning on her second ever parkrun, knocking more than 2 minutes off her time from last week. That’s seriously awesome. Lesley was one of only 3 pbs this morning (not surprising in this weather). 2 have already been mentioned, Judith Hine was the third, also doing her second run and also nearly taking 2 minutes off her time. There were other awesome stats. So, for instance, I was second in my age group. Absolutely thrilled. (Apparently there were only 2 of us in my age group). Anna (one of my travelling companions) did her 18th different location and her 147th parkrun, Sky, our parkdog did her 23rd tourist location and Jo Finch our driver and most experienced tourist of us all, earned herself a ‘top of the table’ place as the parkrunner with the most parkruns, today, making her total 280. She wasn’t wearing her wonderful green 250 milestone T-shirt, she was wearing her Southwick Country parkrun apricot Tee, but like the rest of us, all these hard earned treasures were hidden under neon running jackets to fend off the gentle gale.

This morning, many chose the opportune moment once their barcode was scanned, to get home before Dennis arrived. We however, took our chances and joined the events team at the Golf Club for hot drinks and a bit of parkrun faffing. The Golf Club did not allow dogs or muddy shoes, but did have the most amazing ladies toilets furnished with showers, an alarming number of books in a bookcase, comfortable chairs, flowers, mirrors and even pink hairdryers. What more could you want after parkrun. A day out in Marlborough that’s what.

To Will and Clare and all the amazing volunteer team, thank you. You went above and beyond to ensure we could all run. We really look forward to seeing you again soon.

IMG_8443IMG_8444Alison Bremner

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