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


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 39 – 13 July 2019

With lots of running events in the local area yesterday, it was good to see that 103 runners and walkers still made it to the Common to take part in yesterday's event. The conditions were good, cooler than expected and a little overcast.

I arrived early, around 7:50am to help with the set-up of the southern section of the course. With a bit of shuffling, we managed to get it all set out ready for everyone to bound off at 9am. I would encourage anyone who regularly participates to have a go at volunteering. Not only is it a rewarding experience but it's also eye-opening to see just how much work goes in to running these events and how much time people willingly put aside to make sure everyone can participate on a Saturday morning. A big thank you to all the volunteers for the time they put into running this event, without this it just wouldn't be possible. The core team here at Marlborough Common are a very friendly bunch so will make you feel welcome and put you at ease when volunteering, you just need to send an email to, or speak to one of the volunteers on a Saturday morning and they will sort you a role.​

Being a semi-regular visitor to Marlborough Common parkrun, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to run the course in reverse. It may be a controversial opinion but I thought it felt much less hilly and really enjoyed the long down hill section past the rugby pitches.​

Two people agreed that yesterday's conditions were good and took the leap to complete their first parkrun. Once you are hooked in, there is no going back! We welcomed a number of tourists from near and far yesterday - the closest being Swindon and furthest Manchester and Yorkshire. We also had other visitors from Witney and Verwood who added to the total number of 19 visitors. I hope you all enjoyed the course and will consider returning to Marlborough Common parkrun again in the future.​

Whilst on the subject of tourism, there will be no Marlborough Common parkrun on 27th July, so it might be a good opportunity to take in the sights of other local parkruns and be a tourist yourself! We will be back to normal the week after, but always check the website and Facebook page for the latest updates. ​

A brilliant 29 people enjoyed that new course personal best glow yesterday. The first finishers were Andrew Ind of Newbury AC for the men in 18:35, picking up a PB in the process and Amy Clewley for the women in 22:56.​

Thanks again to all the volunteers who gave up their time yesterday and who continually work behind the scenes through the week. I hope many of you return next week to have another crack at the reverse course.​

Liz Sandell, Harrogate.

20190713_082740 20190713_090232Photo 13-07-2019, 09 13 58


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 38 – 6 July 2019

What better way to start a July Saturday than a run on Marlborough common through the long grass, the flitting butterflies, and listening to the crickets singing just out of sight.

And what a glorious day it was for the 38th parkrun on Marlborough common. Although the mercury was a little lower than last week it still reached a scorching 20 degrees meaning the cooling breeze was gratefully received.

The sun was out, and so were 150 runners and walkers who had laced up their shoes and were raring to go. The heat never dampens the enthusiasm.

Things were a little bit different today as it was the first of the summer runs where the course is reversed. The course will be run this way until September 21.

Running the course this way clearly worked for some, as there were 21 new PBs. Well done all!

Of the 150 runners there were parkrun tourists from Bracknell, Bristol, Southampton and Windermere.

The only milestone being celebrated was Catherine Murphy, who reached the milestone of 25 volunteering roles. Good work Catherine!!

Our first men's finisher was Simon Rawlins in a spectacular 19:20 and the first women's finisher, Amber Eden completed in 22:12.

Another first at Marlborough today was the visually impaired runner, Ian Cooke who finished in 27:44. He was tethered to Will Sandison, one of the core Marlborough team.

Thanks to all the runners who chose to start their weekend at parkrun, and to the 27 wonderful volunteers, without whom parkrun wouldn’t be possible.

Hope to see everyone again next week, to smash more PBs, and reach new milestones.

The results are up, you can find them here.

Charlotte Booth


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 37 – 29 June 2019

Whew, what a scorcher!! The hottest day of the year so far meant that sensible Marlborough parkrunners took it pretty steady with their pacing! Good call. Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous morning on the common - those winter mornings in our ski jackets felt like a world away!


We were an international bunch today with visitors from Wales, Sweden, New Zealand and Malmesbury! We had a group of people from Pizza Express in Marlborough and Devizes, team-building as part of their fundraising efforts for MacMillan Cancer Support. Our first men's finisher was Michael Stone and our first women's finisher, Amber Eden, managed a new PB despite the heat. Nice work!


We are grateful as ever to the 21 hi-viz heroes who got up early to set the course out, help you park your car, cheer you round or work at the finish line. We couldn't do it without you. We love new volunteers - if you've not volunteered before, do have a go. It's a great way to become part of the parkrun community.


And week is the first week of our reverse-direction summer runs! We'll be running the course 'in reverse' for July and August so you might be able to snag a new PB! Do come along next week and enjoy that downhill run.


Cat Ramsden




Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 36 – 22 June 2019

I was under the impression that, no matter the month, Saturday mornings on Marlborough Common were, by law, grey, cold and miserable. There were rumours of sunny Saturdays but I was always away on those days so I assumed they were urban myths. But yesterday the sun DID shine and the birds DID sing and it was gorgeous!


110 lovely people walked, jogged and ran 5k yesterday morning. We welcomed visitors from local parkruns and some from Southampton. The Marlborough team ended up chatting to our Southampton visitors in the golf club - they are Run Directors at their local event and regaled us with tales of Saturdays with over a thousand runners and two finish tunnels. Quite a contrast from our smaller, cosier event.


Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers - we had three junior volunteers today who handed out tokens, scanned your barcodes and checked your numbers. Thanks to Guy, Alice and Arthur (along with everyone else who gave their time) for helping make this event happen.


Cat Ramsden


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 35 – 15 June 2019

After raining every day this week it was with a sense of trepidation that I set off from Taunton to Marlborough Common. Will there be a torrential downpour resulting in the event being cancelled, should I stay at home and batten down the hatches or start building an Ark? Thankfully the volunteer team are made of sterner stuff and the anticipated rain never materialised. I was greeted by a ray of sunshine in the form of the Run Director Jackie Snell and made to feel most welcome. It was a great feeling to be cheered on by both runners and volunteers alike, parkrun spirit at its best.

The course at Marlborough Common is on a mixture of trail paths and grass. Starting close to the south corner of the Common, you head north-west on a short section of track. It consists of two clockwise laps of the Common followed by a short leg to the finish.

Now for the statistics, there were 107 who ran jogged or walked at Marlborough Common and there were representatives from 20 clubs; Gade Valley Harriers, Marlborough & District Junior AC, Islwyn RC, Slinn Allstars, Highworth RC, Avon Valley Runners, Andover AC, North Wiltshire Orienteers, Kintbury Joggers, Defence Sports & Recreation, Running Forever Running Club, Christian Runners UK, Charles Derby Vitality Club, Wroughton Whippets, BADAS.SS, Hook Runners, Pewsey Vale RC, Newbury AC, Swindon Harriers and Vegan Runners.

The first finisher was Michael STONE with a time of 18:30 having run 92 times with Andover AC. Second was Alex SMITH with a time of 18:43 having run 32 times with Slinn Allstars. Third was Ed KNUDSEN with a time of 19:39 having run 91 times with Avon Valley Runners. The first female was Zelda ACKERMAN with a time of 24:25 having run 129 times. Second was Erica STUART with a time of 26:32 having run 9 times. Third was Sarah HALL with a time of 26:54 and a first timer to parkrun!
Superb running all round.

Congratulations to the spectacular 18 new Personal Bests; Paul STEEN, Darren NEWMAN, Michael PREST, Crispian GARTH, James MAYNEORD, Richard MAYNEORD, Andy MEAD, Melissa PARRY, Jenny GARTH, Louise GRIFFITHS, James COUPLAND, Harriet ROCHESTER, Emma Maureen WHEELER, Emma SAUNDERS, Jackie CHITTY, Debbie SOUTHERTON, Jan DE JONGE and Jo COWLEY.

A warm welcome to the 6 first timers to the parkrun family, Gary STEWART, Sarah HALL, Jessica EAVES, Terry EAVES, Eloise TAYLOR and Lucy DARBY. May this be the start of your parkrun journey.

A special shout out to Max GRAINGER who has volunteered for three months for his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Special mention goes to Zelda ACKERMAN, a Run Director from parkrun South Africa who was the first female finisher.

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

This event would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of the following 27 Hi Vis Hero’s: Rachael BOONHAM, Fiona CHINNECK, Deborah CLARKE, Amy CLEWLEY, Jeremy FOOT, Charlie FRY, Angela FRY, Max GRAINGER, Deborah HARDOON, Mary HEATH, Heather HOWELLS, Poppy HOWELLS, Kieran HUGHES, Wendy JACKSON, Clare KELLAR, Alison LEIGHFIELD, Pete MOODY, Kate PHILP, Cathryn RAMSDEN, Arthur RAMSDEN, Michael REYNOLDS, William SANDISON, Jackie SNELL, Michael STONE, Sue TULLOH, Rachel WATSON, Alan YEADON

If you would like to volunteer simply email

Thank you Marlborough Common parkrun for making me so welcome.

Kieran Hughes, Longrun Meadow parkrun (Taunton)


Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 34 – 8 June 2019

Whaaaat… we seriously want people to run in this??? Such was my first thought at 7 in the a.m. when peaceful sleep was rudely curtailed by an alarm clock. Newbury racecourse looked wind beaten and rainy – stormy, even – while making tea and I wondered who would be mad enough to brave these conditions. Such thoughts were endorsed via Instant Messages from our wonderful core team. You Marlborough Common parkrunners, though, are made of much sterner stuff; the weather will not beat you and the show always goes on (MOP, fun-fairs, and circuses permitting, obvs).

Further thoughts followed while marking out the top section of the course: would any of the stakes survive the windy conditions? Would the domes that mark the precise apex of the turns (for those that follow them!) stay in place unless impaled into the common or stood on by our long suffering marshals?

As 9am drew inexorably closer, we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of 98 budding parkrunners to make the 25 volunteers’ efforts fully worthwhile. Once our Jackie had expertly briefed the 24 parkrunners new to Marlborough, 8 of whom were doing their first parkrun, RD Jeremy set us all on our way with aplomb.

Today saw visitors join us from Cornwall, Nonsuch (near Cheam/Tony Hancock), Oxford, and our parkrun HQ ambassador paying us a visit and giving us a guiding hand from Chippenham.

Despite the weather, which was happily dry for the best part of the run, 16 of you achieved a PB for the Marlborough Common course. While maybe not a PB for parkruns run elsewhere, this is still an achievement on our course and in such conditions; congratulations to all of you. While handing out the plaudits, well done to Mila Trusson on her 10th parkrun, a parkrun junior T Shirt email will be on its way to you shortly. Similar congratulations to Ian Banks from Calne on your 10th but no T Shirt as you’re a little over the junior age.

This week we decided to forgo marshalling at “steps” between the swings and the tree left turn. This was fine from a safety perspective but I did notice the odd bit of corner cutting while running with you. Please remember that the red flags and domes signify that you pass them on your left and the greens on your right – one for the nautical minded. And where there are stakes with arrows in the middle of the course, remember to keep to their left.

Lastly we were notified of 2 potholes on the Southern part of the course. Please be careful while running, Marlborough Common can be very bumpy and uneven, and watch out for those wascally wabbits who burrow into our course of a Friday evening. We would hate to have to call the emergency services: our safety record is no accident. Should the unthinkable happen, though, please ensure your ICE (In Case of Emergency) details are up to date on your wristbands and the parkrun website.

See you all next week where we positively guarantee much sunnier weather (somewhere in the world!).

Have a good week