Latest News from Marlborough Common parkrun

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Coming up

This coming Saturday there will be parkrun as usual.

Future cancellations...

    • 31st August and 7th September so we can join the circus!

And remember we're running in reverse until 21st September.

What's been happening

You can find the latest run report here.

Ian Cook, a visually impaired runner, came to run our course.

Other things

All the photos are here.

We have several items of lost property. So if you think you may have left something behind, please ask one of the volunteers next Saturday, or email


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 43 – 17th August 2019

It was two very reluctant Beers (Mum, Gilly and Son, Morgan) who ventured out this morning to take part in the weekly Marlborough parkrun. We are definitely not ‘runners’ but enjoy joining in each week, mainly because of the amazingly supportive atmosphere provided by other runners/walkers, along with the enthusiastic and dedicated team of volunteers. What a difference it makes to see those cheerful faces as we are bravely putting one foot in front of the other to get to the finish line! My son in particular has benefited from their huge support with shouts of, ‘Come on Morgan, you can do it!!’ cheering him on from the sidelines. It’s a challenge in itself to get a 15 year old out of his bedroom at 8am on a Saturday morning, to brave the elements and run for 5km, but it’s the support of this amazing team that has helped to get him there each week. Thank you!

The ‘reverse’ run is still in place for the summer, which is popular with me but not Morgan. This week 106 people ran, jogged and walked the course with us, of whom 25 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different clubs took part. Conditions were nearly perfect for us, as it was not too hot, not too windy and soft underfoot but not muddy! However, Morgan was a tad rusty today, having missed a few parkruns, so progress was slow. Our PBs stubbornly remain at 33.58 (Gilly) and 34.18 (Morgan) but we are on a mission to get our times down to 30 mins. This is primarily due to the fact that Mr Beer (Ian) wishes all of us to reach this target by the time he reaches his 50th birthday in September. This gives us 5 weeks in which to get our times down (ouch!). Not helped by the fact that two Marlborough parkruns are cancelled (31st August and 7th September) due to the circus coming to town (well worth a visit by the way

Maybe time to try some parkrun tourism me thinks…

Today’s event was made possible by 27 amazing volunteers:

Alice SAINSBURY  •  Alison LEIGHFIELD  •  Amanda GILES  •  Andrew WEEKS  •  Angela FRY  •  Arthur RAMSDEN  •  Cameron FRASER  •  Cathryn RAMSDEN  •  Charlie FRY  •  Cheryl MOORE  •  Clare KELLAR  •  Colin SAINSBURY  •  Deborah CLARKE  •  Fiona CHINNECK  •  Fiona HADDRELL  •  Gemma LAWTON  •  Gillian BEER  •  Guy SAINSBURY  •  Jeremy FOOT  •  Kate PHILP  •  Kim SEWARD  •  Mary HEATH  •  Michael REYNOLDS  •  Pete MOODY  •  Rachel WATSON  •  Wendy JACKSON  •  William SANDISON

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Marlborough Common parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Holly RUSH who recorded a time of 19:45 on 25th May 2019 (event number 32).
The male record is held by Simon NOTT who recorded a time of 16:03 on 1st June 2019 (event number 33).
The Age Grade course record is held by Cath WHEELER who recorded 83.35% (22:19) on 13th April 2019 (event number 26).

Marlborough Common parkrun started on 22nd September 2018. Since then 1,959 participants have completed 5,943 parkruns covering a total distance of 29,715 km, including 1,347 new Personal Bests. A total of 173 individuals have volunteered 1,004 times.

Gilly Beer


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 42 – 10th August 2019

On a day when 70 other parkruns were cancelled for various reasons but mostly due to the weather, the Marlborough Common team gamely turned out. Conditions were overcast with the odd sunny moment and there was significantly more air movement than on recent Saturdays. 114 brave participants readied themselves for the event. Young and young at heart, novice and experienced, walker, jogger or runner, first timers (22) and regulars, all came to test themselves against the Common’s rising flat section, running the reverse or should that be CONTRA-direction.

First home was regular Doug Wilkie in a time of 18:24 and first female was Amber Eden in 23:06, also a Marlborough regular. We had one visitor on his 86th run, all of them at different courses, and another from Tring on the way to completing his parkrun name alphabet challenge twice over. Whilst most clearly found the conditions trying, eight people went home with a nice, shiny, new PB to their name. Congratulations to all of them, but I am immensely proud of Alice who knocked 12 seconds off her previous best.

“It was very hard today, with the wind really hurting up the long diagonal hill. I was hoping that the wind might be a help at points, but I never felt it pushing me along.”

Guy found it much harder than normal – “I felt like the wind was really fighting me and I struggled particularly on the uphill section and along the bottom over the humps and back to the swings.”

My children love to see the dogs at parkrun and often show their appreciation for the fluffiest. They have asked me whether dogs get their own times – would that make it Don’t Forget Your Bark-code?

On the way to parkrun, we often listen to the Free Weekly Timed podcast. In this week’s episode, the hosts were talking about the milestone t-shirts and what comes after 500. The runner with the most runs is closing in on 750 and the team were discussing whether the milestone should be 750 or 1,000. The current progression is 10 (juniors only), 50, 100, 250, 500. Whilst I cannot imagine the level of dedication that 500 takes, the free t-shirts are great way to recognise and encourage people’s sustained participation. The most desirable is clearly the purple 25 volunteering shirt though.

A massive thank you to all the volunteers who give up their time to put the event on for us. The fact that you are willing to get out of bed and stand on the Common on a day when many others would simply pull the duvet over their heads, is a wonderful display of your public spirit.

Colin Sainsbury – with help from Alice and Guy.


Thank you to the Sainsburys for this week's run report! And please do note that Marlborough Common parkrun is CANCELLED on 31 August and 7 September to make way for the circus. A chance to try some parkrun tourism perhaps, before coming back for our last two anticlockwise summer runs.


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 41 – 3 August 2019

Event 41 for us at Marlborough Common, and we were delighted to welcome Roderick Hoffman, parkrunning tourist from west London, and self-confessed stats geek. Roderick was last in touch with us back in September when he offered us some intriguing statistical predictions. Almost a year on, as we approach our first birthday, we can see how spookily accurate he was.

Roderick suggested that, once established, we could expect 130-140 regular runners per week. And in the event, numbers have settled at an average of 140.8. So aside from the pesky 0.8 of a runner he was spot on. We did peak at a heady 202 back in April, but on the whole we are happy with our more manageable average – enough to give us a proper sense of occasion every week, but not so many that the poor car park marshals are overwhelmed. Roderick also pointed out that we had an impressively large number of ‘new locals’ back on our very first run – 75 in total who, he suggested, would be our future core runners and volunteers. This has also proved to be true, and we are very grateful for it. So we owe a thank you to Roderick for his interest, and are glad we could help him with his Wilson Index today. For those not in the know (and I had to look this up), it’s the challenge of running a series of parkruns with consecutive event numbers, starting from 1. We are pleased to be able to supply him with an event number 41, and wish him luck with his ongoing quest.

parkrun does seem to lend itself naturally to number crunching and so, for the geek in all of us, some more stats: since that day back in September we have welcomed 1,912 runners, who have completed 5,723 parkruns, covering a total distance of 28,615km. We have been grateful for the efforts of 170 volunteers who have between them taken on an amazing 951 different roles to make sure our events happen. And we were happy to welcome 93 parkrunners today (including tourists from Australia, London, Poole, Stratford and south Wales), including 24 first timers, and 12 going home with the satisfying glow of a PB.

As we all know, however, numbers tell only a part of the story. In fact (to possibly misquote founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt) the run is arguably the least important aspect of parkrun. Statistics alone don’t tell us of the friendships formed, healthy habits instilled, and the rather less healthy coffees and chips in the Golf Club afterwards. In these small and not so small ways lifestyles have been changed by our weekly date on a Saturday morning. Going into our second year we can all look forward to more of the same – and in the meantime, for Wilson Index fans, event number 42 next week.

Clare Kellar


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 40 – 20 July 2019

Well, Marlborough Common parkrun has made the big 4-0! It’s not a parkrun milestone of course, but feels significant nonetheless.

But this news is, naturally, overshadowed today by the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. It’s not widely known that to get to the moon, the astronauts covered the distance of 77,250 parkruns. That’s just under 14 times the total distance we’ve now all run round Marlborough Common. And while parkrun, like your author, didn’t exist back in 1969, it’s tempting to wonder whether Buzz, Mike and Neil would have enjoyed a free weekly timed 5k walk, run or jog to ease their limbs back from zero gravity.

While we’re on the numbers - you did ask, didn’t you? - 168 of you have now volunteered a total of 929 times. That’s just brilliant, and the only reason we made it to 40. But you all know that, and we know you know it, so thank you. It’s also lovely when a visitor offers to help. Today it was Malcolm Vaughan from Frimley who smashed his age category record for the course, and then gallantly tamed our unsorted finish tokens.

Anyway. Back to today. It was lovely to see 109 of you ignore the ominous grey clouds and come for a run, walk or jog round the common. Someone said it did actually rain for a bit, but I don’t recall. Fifteen of you were at Marlborough Common for the first time, and six came for your first ever parkrun. I hope you enjoyed the morning and we will be able to welcome you again soon. Twelve PBs today too, and special mention to Kevin Hicks for running his 50th parkrun. Plus visitors from Bristol and, of course, Frimley,

Don't forget we're cancelled next week. Back on the 3rd August. See you then!

Jeremy Foot

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