Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 30 – 11 May 2019

Marlborough Common parkrun’s 30th event was a lovely morning, high on smiles and low on drama, which is exactly how your Run Director wants it!

143 people walked, jogged or ran their way around the route, now back in the usual direction after last week’s backwards shenanigans! 39 people were running here for the first time and 27 people somehow eked out personal bests! 11 people did their first EVER parkrun, so it was particularly lovely to welcome them.

This morning's excitement was due to visiting parkrunners from London, who got up at 4.30am to be here with us. They’re doing a challenge to run parkruns celebrating their 30th parkrun and today, they chose us! One of them, Rosemary, is the joint female world record holder for unique parkruns, with today being her 336th unique parkrun out of 445 in total! It was lovely to have her big smile with us today! Other visitors came from around the south of England.

It was good to see regulars and visitors alike tucking into good food in the Golf Club cafe - please do feel free to join us after parkrun every week. May I just (very politely) remind all runners to leave their shoes at the bottom of the stairs.

We will be back for parkrun next Saturday. A few of our regular volunteers are away next weekend, so if you’ve ever thought you might like to volunteer, your help would be particularly welcome next week! Email marlboroughcommon@parkrun.com if you can help.

See you all then.

Don’t forget we are cancelled for the 25th as the fun-fair is in town! That’s no fun!

James was busy again with his camera and his pictures from today can be found here.

Cat Ramsden

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 29 – 4 May 2019

Firstly a huge well done to Clare Kellar, Jeremy Foot and Kate Philp who did a great job organising our first anti clockwise run which was a great success and nobody went wrong!

Congratulations to the 34 runners who managed a new PB will have to come back again next week and do the same again when we revert back to the normal course, however we can't guarantee the additional excitement and distraction of Pigeon racing next week!

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers. Thanks to you all, we really can't do it without you.

Michael REYNOLDS • Cathryn RAMSDEN • Mary HEATH • Wendy JACKSON • Deborah HARDOON • John BLUNDEN • Nicola JOHNSON • Clare KELLAR • Alison LEIGHFIELD • Pete MOODY • Fiona CHINNECK • T CHRISTENSEN • Jeremy FOOT • James KELLAR • Catherine MURPHY • Fiona WYCHERLEY • William SANDISON • Cameron FRASER • Angela FRY • Rachel WATSON • Fiona HADDRELL • Kate PHILP • Charlie FRY • Henry FRY • Holly FRY • Max GRAINGER • Rachael BOONHAM • Bradley DICKIN

If you can and would like to volunteer, please just email us at marlboroughcommonhelpers@parkrun.com. We do have volunteering roles that also allow you to run as well like - set up and car parking.

We also had the pleasure of 50 first timers some of whom were tourists coming from Swindon,London, Leeds and others came from a little further away, this time not from Australia where we regularly have visitors from, but the beautiful city of San Francisco.

On the 25th May there is a Fun Fair on the common, so sadly we have had to cancel. Be a tourist on that day and visit Andover, Newbury, Swindon, Chippenham or Melksham, but please come back!

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

James' brilliant photos from today can be found here.

Have a great Bank Holiday and look forward to seeing you again next week.

Will Sandison

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 28 – 27 April 2019

It was rather a blustery day on the common this morning for our 28th event as First Timer Storm Hannah visited us from Ireland – thanks for coming Hannah! The strongest gust recorded today in Marlborough was 42MPH at 09:09, just after we had started, well timed Hannah. Did anyone else notice that no matter in which direction one ran, 42MPH of it was seemingly head on all the way around?

16 of you managed to somehow harness such groans of roaring wind and rain to achieve PBs, a Herculean effort on a day like today, congratulations. We also welcomed 20 first timers which is always lovely to see. In addition to the breezy Irish lady, we had visitors from Darlington and Harrogate.

Some notable milestones today were our own exuberant and animated Charlie Fry reaching 25 volunteer occasions (the much coveted purple T-Shirt will be on its way very soon, Charlie), plus Kevin Robinson and our own Will Sandison both notching up their 10th parkrun.

Thank you to all 105 people that braved Hannah to run, jog, or walk today. It is interesting to note that we have collectively chalked up a total of 20,555km since we started back in September, more than enough to reach any point in the world from Marlborough Common.

Please note that next week’s event is our first anti-clockwise course, just to keep us all on our toes (marshals and course setup volunteers mainly!). Please pay specific attention to the Run Director’s briefing next week for more details; it should be a lot of fun.

Have a great week

Pete Moody

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 27 – 20 April 2019

We could not have asked for more - a glorious sunny morning with just a gentle breeze, our scenic course all carefully marked out with the new arrow signs,  a record 202 parkrunnners (14 higher than our previous record),  11 doing their very first parkrun,  another 46 visiting Marlborough Common parkrun for the first time (including someone from Australia – indeed it seems to be almost every Saturday that there’s someone from Australia!), 25 enthusiastic volunteers including eight marshals to encourage us on our way, and a happy buzz at the finish as parkrunners swapped their experiences (including the 47 PBs!).   And a special mention for Jeremy Foot who very capably took on the role of Run Director for the first time today.

So many thanks to all our volunteers and to all our parkrunners who made it such an enjoyable event!

In two weeks’ time, on 4th May, we’re going to do something different - we’re going to run the course in an anti-clockwise direction.   We thought this would be fun to do as a one-off, but we are open to the possibility of doing it on a regular basis if parkrunners enjoy it - please let us know.    We are still thinking about the implications for marking and marshalling, but it should not be too complicated.  The Finish will be in a different place to avoid the need to cross the path of runners coming in the opposite direction - on completing two laps you will turn right almost immediately after the swing (you will be on the inside at this point, with runners in the opposite direction on your left), and head up to a new Finish in the direction of the parkrun banner.  Hopefully all will be clear on the day!

Special thanks today to our car park marshals who do a great job every week ensuring that the parking runs smoothly, and also, most importantly, that we optimise our use of the space - we really want to avoid a situation this coming summer where we have to declare the car park full and ask latecomers to park elsewhere.

We look forward to seeing many of you again next week!

Michael Reynolds

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 26 – 13 April 2019

It’s just after 9 am and a trail of runners snake across the common, silhouetted against a bright blue sky. It’s nippy but sunny. Thankfully the stronger winds of the last few weeks have gone. It felt like great conditions for a good run.

This week we welcomed 155 parkrunners, including 8 doing their first event. Congratulations to the 48 runners who achieved a personal best today and we had one person who completed their 300th event (fantastic!). 19 finishers were classed as ‘unknown’ – please remember your barcode so that we can help you to record your achievements.

As always, a huge thank you to the 26 volunteers who supported the run today with a special mention to Jeremy who volunteered for the 25th time. If you ever fancy helping out, do get in touch.

As a marshal out on the course, the winding train of runners is always an inspiring sight to see. Our primary role is to keep everyone safe, on track (no detours onto the golf course) and encouraged. You don’t often get the opportunity to greet and support such a large and positive group of people at one time! With the exception of one instance a few weeks ago where I enthusiastically wished a chap a happy 50th birthday (yes, you guessed it, it was in fact his parkrun half century …) I hope any words of encouragement do the trick.

I can think of few better examples of events that combine the opportunity to meet personal challenges whilst being part of a broader community.

Cameron Fraser

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 25 – 6 April 2019

'This is the happiest, friendliest parkrun I've ever been to'.

These were the words that a visitor shared with the Run Director, Pete, today. They struck me not only because they might be the greatest compliment Marlborough Common parkrun has yet been paid, but also because they reflect my own feelings on today's event.

At face value, this morning's parkrun was fairly uneventful. The weather was a little depressing for early April and, maybe as a result, numbers were lower than in recent weeks. There was no course record, there were no incidents (thank goodness) and it seemed like it would be an unremarkable Saturday morning.

But as I glanced up from my timekeeper duties, I just felt a buzz around the common. I noticed that we are starting to form a real community every Saturday morning.

parkrunners were lingering in the cold to chat and cheer friends across the line. We saw familiar faces who have been missing for a few weeks. We had lovely new volunteers who were enthusiastic for runners and energising for the organising team. When we suddenly realised we didn't have a tail walker, one of our regular walkers and his gorgeous dog immediately offered to put on the orange vest and take on that role.

We used our new PA system, purchased using money that our parkrunners recently donated. The PA system was greeted by cheers, which really moved me because it shows that Marlborough Common parkrunners value the event so much they are willing to give a bit of money and are thrilled to see it spent wisely to improve everyone's experience.

Great Bedwyn Medical Practice out in force; their doctors, nurses and staff were all walking, jogging or running the 5k to model healthy living to their patients. We had visitors from near and far (Australia). We had babies, children, teenagers and adults of all stages of life participating in different ways.

The golf club cafe at the end was full of defrosting parkrunners eating bacon rolls or chips with smiles on their faces and ice-packs on their knees.

The whole thing was really special.

As someone fairly new to Marlborough, this forming of community is really important. We will never be the biggest event (and trust me, the organising team do NOT worry about numbers). But what IS important is that people feel welcome and that they notice the friendliness of volunteers and fellow parkrunners. So, on the basis of the visitor's comment, I would say that this morning's parkrun was an epic success.

Thank you for being part of it.

Cat Ramsden

 

Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 24 – 30 March 2019

What a beautiful morning for our 24th event at Marlborough. Hardly a breath of wind and warm Spring sunshine made it a perfect morning for a run, jog or walk around the Common. Perhaps that was what spurred on the 67 parkrunners who achieved PBs today. And we had the excitement of a new course record! Many congratulations to Joe Ballard who completed it in an impressive time of 17:03. We hope our tourist visitors from Birmingham, Winchester, Chippenham, Bristol and Stevenage enjoyed seeing the Common at its best, and will make a return visit at some point. If they do they can experience all over again the amazing support and enthusiasm offered by our volunteers each week - our hi-viz heroes, 20 of whom helped to put on our event this morning.

It seems wrong in a way to single out any of our wonderful and loyal helpers - however I’m about to do just that, inspired by parkrunner Pauline, who wanted to thank one particular marshal today. Charlie, together with his wife Angela, has been one of our most regular (and vocal!) marshals ever since parkrun came to Marlborough. He can be relied on to keep runners in line at the tricky ‘First’ corner, or wherever a nice shouty marshal is required. More importantly, week in week out he offers the encouragement that is so very much needed on some more difficult mornings. He has been known to help injured runners over the line, and has generally been the most cheerful, welcome face at every run he’s been to.

Charlie, Angela and all our fantastic volunteers are the very best thing about parkrun. We are incredibly lucky to be able to rely on their/your support each week, and so we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has ever put on the hi-viz and helped us out. If you’ve never done it before do please consider it - check out http://www.parkrun.org.uk/marlboroughcommon/futureroster/ and let us know if there’s anything you’d like to try. Email us at marlboroughcommon@parkrun.com or just find one of us next week if there’s anything more you’d like to know.

Finally, we have 2 items of lost property - a navy fleece and a navy hoodie, which we will hold for a couple of weeks. And we’ve lost a handful of our finish tokens, so please check pockets in case they’ve accidentally gone home with you, and return if possible!

We look forward to seeing you again, volunteering or running, next Saturday morning at 9.

Clare Kellar

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 23 – 23 March 2019

“Can you tell me where the course goes?” said Mr. Dog Man, an early arrival runner. I explained as best I could, but finished with my usual “Just follow the person in front of you”. “Mmm. But just in case?” he replied. So I explained again in more detail, adding “unless you’re going to run it in 19 minutes, ha ha, you’ll be fine”. “Mmm. But just in case?” he asked again.

Hi, I’m Simon from Hungerford Hares running club and among the great things about this morning’s Volunteer Takeover was the fact that many of the regular Marlborough Common volunteers actually got to run their own course. Presumably they didn’t need directions.

Weather was sunnyish and a bit chilly but probably not for the runners. There were 184 runners taking part, just a few short of the 188 record attendance. There were an incredible 72 PBs, which is possibly itself a Personal Best for Marlborough Common parkrun? I don’t know. Among the runners was a large visiting contingent from Slinn Allstars in Swindon, accompanying Mike WAKEFIELD who chose Marlborough Common to run his 250th parkrun event. Thanks for the chocolate biscuits Mike, they went down well. More shout-outs to Richard PALMER, completing his 50th event here today, and the nineteen, yes nineteen, runners taking part in parkrun for the very first time. I’m sure I only saw one or two hands go up when we asked at the run briefing.

Talking of which - many thanks to everyone who has donated to the Marlborough Common parkrun mini PA system which has now reached the magic £200.

If you’ve any money left, you could invest just £13 and race the forthcoming Hungerford Hares Harey 8 race on June 23rd at Hungerford. As I said at the briefing I’m afraid that it’s miles not kilometres but it’s only two-and-a-bit parkruns and it’s not as hilly as the course you ran today! Full details here.

Does Marlborough Common have the best post-event café in the country, at the Golf Club? Possibly. Does it have the best bacon rolls in the country? Absolutely.

Oh yes. Mr. Dog Man ran today’s event in a lot less than 19 minutes and was first home. Well done James THOMAS. It was also great to see some of the young children from Hungerford Primary School running today, must be all that quality training at the weekly after-school club you attend. Last big shout-out is to the lady runner who crossed the line at around 32 minutes but kept running her race all the way to the end of the finish tunnel until we thrust a finish token at her. Great effort!

Simon Hodkin
Hungerford Hares Running Club

 

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 22 – 16 March 2019

History doesn’t record whether St Patrick ever walked, ran or jogged round a windy common on a Saturday morning. But it is a fact that 162 of you did exactly that on Marlborough Common today. It was great to see lots of new faces, 16 of you doing parkrun for the first time ever, and 34 here for the first time. We had visitors from as far afield as Singapore and even Andover. And 33 of you managed PBs, which was awesome given the weather. Well done!

If the venerable saint wasn't up for a weekly walk/run/jog, I feel certain he would have been a volunteer, had parkrun only started 1500 years sooner. As you’re all more than aware by now, parkrun doesn’t happen without the hi-viz heroes who turn up whenever they can. So it was lovely to see so many - 24 of you - volunteering on the common this week. Thank you!

We’re always looking for more volunteers however, so if bright yellow is your thing, take a look at our volunteering page or email marlboroughcommonhelpers@parkrun.com.

And while we’re on volunteering, special mention this week for our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers Rachael Boonham and Max Grainger, who today handed out finish tokens and generally kept the rest of us in the finish funnel in order. They’re around for a while so stop and say hello!

Finally, an appeal. Regulars may have noticed that in recent weeks our Run Directors have had to resort to shouting the briefing. This isn’t ideal. While we do worry about their voices, it's really important for everyone’s safety that you can all hear the briefing. To fix this, we'd like to buy a mini PA system, which will cost about £200. We rely completely on local donations to buy equipment. So if you feel you can spare something to contribute towards this purchase, please do so via this page on the website. The page also shows you all the donations we've received and how we’ve spent the money.

Results are up, you can find them here.

Jeremy Foot

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Marlborough Common parkrun – Event 21 – 9 March 2019

Once again thank you to all 18 of our wonderful volunteers who as always were spectacular and encouraged all 141 runners who braved the windy conditions on the Common this morning.

Today we had 28 first timers who will have seen parkrun at its best and 25 runners who managed to run a PB in such challenging conditions, just wait and see how much better they will be when the wind isn't blowing!  We were also pleased to have tourists from some interesting and far away locations such as Swindon!

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 Marianna SAWYER who recorded a time of 20:50 on 29th December 2018 (event number 12).  The male record is held by Doug WILKIE who recorded a time of 17:37 on 26th January 2019 (event number 16).  The Age Grade course record is held by Kevin SMITH who recorded 78.89% (18:33) on 29th September 2018 (event number 2).

Marlborough Common parkrun started on 22nd September 2018. Since then 1,232 participants have completed 3,015 parkruns covering a total distance of 15,075 km, including 708 new Personal Bests. A total of 113 individuals have volunteered 451 times.

Will Sandison

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