Medina IOW parkrun – 18 September 2021

After last week’s tour-de-force from Jo Randall, I’ll content myself with a fairly mundane account of this week’s results plus a few early stats pertaining to the latest course at Appley, or should it be Upley since there seems to be more up than down in the route – yes I know it’s not logical, given that the course starts and finishes in the same place, but logic goes out of the window when you hit the big hill. The course showed its positive and negative faces today. Some of the terrain is a bit uneven and care is needed when navigating it, especially going down the big hill, where we had a faller today. Fortunately, there was no serious injury, but please be extra careful. On the positive side, Kate Kelly, a visitor whose home parkrun is Cannon Hill, Birmingham, and whose journey here was something of an adventure, was heard to remark ‘what a lovely course’ shortly after finishing. I had my own magic moment as a squirrel dashed past, going faster than any of the runners.

There was another minor event at our Seaclose home this weekend, but it did not distract 199 discerning runners who turned up at for their weekly seaside jaunt. First across the finish line was Liam Busby of Wycombe Phoenix Harriers and AC in a time of 18.47, followed by Mark Walkey, who has run in 34 different parkruns, many not in the UK (20.02), and Thomas Thain of Kent AC (20.18). Liam was also one of only three runners to achieve a pb today. The other two, Chris Hooper and Filip Anszckak are new to parkrun with only 3 finishes each under their belt, although Filip is in the JM10 age group and has also completed some junior parkruns. I’m sure he will continue to keep improving. Leading home the ladies were Kathryn Holliday (22.41) on her first visit to Medina, Leela Dilkes-Hoffman (22.59) who has a very similar collection of parkruns to Mark Walkey and Charlotte Everard (23.32) from Spa Striders RC. The best age-grade performance (73.33%) was achieved by our very own Peter Sexton, followed by Ralph Dadswell of Ealing Eagles Running Club (71.99%) and Roger Merry (70.21%) in only his 7th parkrun, all at Medina.

Since we returned from our 16 month break, three age category records have been broken: Ellen Weir, JW15-17, 18.11; Alex Morrice, SW20-24, 19.10; Nick Bowker, VM35-39, 16.08. Unsurprisingly, all these times were set before we moved to Upley, but it still merits massive congratulations to have run faster than anyone else in your age group over the course of 461 parkruns. I hope, though, that you were running and not racing.

Over 50 finishers are listed as first timers this week, but the great majority are visitors. Only two were doing their first ever parkrun at any venue. Welcome to Michael Yates and Paul Elliot –we hope to see you many more times.

There was only one t-shirt earned today. Congratulations to junior Mary-Rose Fleming on completing 10 parkruns. A few years older, but still in the SM20-24 age group, Harry Furmidge became the second Furmidge to reach the 350 milestone, though there are 3 more of them at 295 or more.

Here are the stats that I threatened you with. I was interested to know how much slower is the Upley course than the 2021 Seaclose one, or indeed is it slower at all? There are very few data to play with – five Seaclose runs and four Upley, but here are some thoughts. I will compare the times of the median runner for each run (the person who has the same number of finishers ahead as behind). The median is representative of the middle of the field where finishing times are generally most tightly clustered and is unaffected by any extremely fast or slow finishers. For the five Seaclose runs it ranges from 27.47 to 29.26, averaging 28.25 and for the four Upley runs 29.32 to 31.20, averaging 30.24. You can see that there is no overlap – the slowest Seaclose time is faster (just) than the fastest Seaclose time. With simple(!) probability calculations, which I hope I’ve done correctly, the chances of no overlap if both courses produced the same distribution of finishing times is 1/126 (0.008), suggesting pretty strongly that the courses have different time distributions. The number of runs is too small to give the magnitude of the difference with any certainly, but until more data are available the best guess is that the Upley course is about two minutes slower than Seaclose. It would be nice to give an update when we have more data, but it is likely to be months before can next run (and collect data) at Seaclose, by which time conditions underfoot and possibly the courses themselves may change.

One other stat pertinent to the move between the two courses is that the number of finishers at the five Seaclose runs ranged from 331 to 385. The first week after the move, 336 finished, but dropped substantially to 242, 267 and 199 after that. At first sight you might suspect that having seen the new Upley course for the first time, a sizeable minority decided not to repeat the experience. However, parkrunners are a hardy bunch and it seems more likely to me that the drop was due to the end of school holidays and fewer parkrun tourists.

Finally, let’s say another big thank-you to this week’s 37 volunteers. Following our co-Event Director’s strong nudge (to put it politely) last week regarding the near cancellation of the run due to the lack of volunteers, the spaces seemed to fill a wee bit quicker this week, though there are still a lot of familiar faces from previous weeks.. But such nudges should not be necessary. I understand that many of you own these new-fangled smartphone thingys that supposedly do all sorts of clever things. They make it easier to volunteer for scanning or timing, but surely they must also be capable of persistently reminding you when you haven’t volunteered for several weeks or you could ‘ask Alexa’ when you last volunteered and act appropriately.



We are running at our alternative course on Saturday 18 September 2021

This is just a reminder that we will be running at our alternative venue on Saturday 18 September 2021. The IW Festival needs our usual home, so we are running at Appley Park, Ryde. We meet on the green above the promenade, at the top of the hill. The car park is out of action so please park on the sea front and around the boating lake. See you all there!


Medina parkrun Report – 11th Sep 2021 (on tour!)

EDITOR’S PROLOGUE: Parkrun very nearly got cancelled today due to lack of volunteers. PLEASE help us to stop this happening again, folks. Offer to help when you can, and please encourage your friends and family members to help too. We cannot do this on the small core team of regular volunteers alone, and nor should we have to. Sometimes THEY would like to run too, don’t forget, something NONE of them have the heart to do when they see the roster in dire straits every week! Thank you.


Happy Isle of Wight Day! This is our annual Island celebration of all thing “Oilawoight”, so I thought it would be fun to use this report to shine a light on local dialect, terminology and history. Without further quiddle (fuss) grab your nammit (lunch) and a cuppa, and let me educate you, and I promise there’ll be no ballyragging (bad language)!

Let’s start by welcoming all the grockles (holidaymakers!) who managed to find us even though we have been turfed off our home course at Nippert (Newport) because of the impending Festival. The rest of the 267 strong field of runners and walkers was made up of Caulkheads (born and bred Oilawoighters!) and Overners (non-natives who live here!).

As always there was a full gamut of ages running, so let’s hear it for all the nippers – our very youngest runners today: Filip Anszczak, Isaac Maart, Patience Fleming and Theodore Bishop, and for all the truly inspiring and amazing “not-so-young-but-young-at-heart” 70 somethings, Sue Clerkin, Davids Burton & Brodie, Peters Baulch & Jolliffe, Katharine Roberts, Ian Jolliffe, Eric & Lesley Brown, Bruce Mayo, Jenny Mitchell, Chris Amy and Roger Merry – who is actually only one day into this age group!

A special hats-off to our one and only 80+ runner today, the irrepressible Mr John “JV” Langley. Zoonderkins, he be a bonnygoo lad, that’un! (my word, he’s a lively fellow!). Whether you consider yourself bonnygoo or slouchun (slightly less lively!), you are ALL welcome here!

The one thing we ALL had in common today was mutual flustration (fear) of them there girt drusses (those rather hilly areas), especially the one we have all nicknamed “Tourettes Hill” (I’m sure you found out why!). You have to admit though, it might be hilly, but this course really is stunning (despite the current road repairs being carried out!). It has grassy parkland, twisty paths, woodland, gristy (sandy) sea-walls, beach-huts, a moat, cracking sea views and even a mini-castle for goodness’ sake!

I thought it would be interesting to pepper this report with some interesting facts about things you will have seen on the run today, so let’s start with our venue itself; APPLEY PARK.

The site was once private landscaped grounds (known as the St John’s Estate), above which St John’s House stood from the late 1700s. Lots of the beautiful old oak trees you’ve run past today have been there since that time (and even earlier), and it is not uncommon to see Red Squirrels playing in them. Part of the southern grounds were then sold off and became “Appley Towers Estate” in the 1800s, and Appley Tower itself was built in 1875 (more about that shortly). Whilst the old mansion was demolished and developed for housing in the 1950s, two of the three lodge houses still survive on the West approach to the Park; one of which you ran past a few times today but probably didn’t even realise! The third used to be down on the corner now occupied by the Three Buoys cafe.

A small aside for a moment; we are so sorry about the parking issues today due to the Classic Car rally. We had NO idea such a thing was taking place or we would have warned you all in the week. Very well done to the runners who turned up late (after desperately searching for a parking space) but still wanted to run!

Starting the run in this beautiful park is already pretty special, but then the course takes you onto the sea-front where you can spy – over to the West - RYDE PIER. Some of you grockles may actually have been on the pier today, but did you all know that it is actually the world's oldest seaside pleasure pier? The Victorians loved it and there used to be all kinds of attractions and entertainments at the pier head!

Ryde Pier

The sea-front is too lovely to dash along, so I wouldn’t blame anyone for being a bit swaailen or swotchel (moving in a lazy manner!) along this bit! In the distance you can spy Spinnaker Tower across the Solent, but closer to home we have our own very lovely and Maggotty (whimsical) seaside folly: APPLEY TOWER.

*Putting on my mortar board, pince-nez and cape for this next bit!*

Appley Tower was built as a miniature castle in 1875 by Hutt family. It therefore features a circular tower, battlements, a turret and an external staircase, and I also have it on good authority that is has Gothic Revival tracery windows, and an oriel window facing the sea. Quiet at the back of the class! Appley Tower

If you prefer things less rackety (extravagant) the simple but colourful beach-huts are always a happy sight, and then we move quickly into the cool shade of the Puckpool Park moat. PUCKPOOL PARK is actually the site of a Palmerston Fort built in 1865, and eventually turned into a holiday camp in the 1930s. Some of the fortifications are still intact, so do go and explore if you get the chance. You can also have a round of mini golf, a game of tennis and a cuppa or an ice-cream at the tea-room whilst you are there!


Away from the sea-views and we are back into the Park again, and it is fair to say the two hills left some of us Crumpbacked and Skitterways (words which speak for themselves beautifully!), but somehow they didn’t stop 10 people getting a PB – including one of our youngest runners, the aforementioned Filip Anszczak, and the first runner over the line Isaac Andrews. I bet they be all twickered now (one assumes they will all be rather weary now!).

The top age-graded score of the day always deserves a mention, and this week that honour falls to Alan Graham from Lordshill (restraining myself from pointing you out as a grockel here, Alan!) with 75.62%. I also noticed that the next highest age-scores were achieved by 60-somethings Alison and Chris Hughes, and without knowing for sure I like to imagine these two are married. If I’m wrong and you two don’t actually know each other, can I just say that clearly you are ideally matched and we can set you up a parkrun date next Saturday if you’d like to meet up!!

 Cri-me-gemminy (gosh!), all that running around and fresh air has given me an appetite, so let’s nip off for some nunchen (AKA “brunch”) and reflect on what a lovely place we find ourselves today. Whether your bag is dinosaurs, smugglers, cider, ice-cream, crazy-golf, pub lunches, cliff-walks, gardens, theme parks or beaches... wurrit not (don’t stress!) because we’ve got it all, Nipper!

Happy Oilawoight Day!

Caulkhead Jo




We are running at our alternative course on 11 September 2021

Hi all, this is just a reminder that we will be running at our alternative course on Saturday 11 September 2021. The Isle of Wight Festival needs our home course so we will be running at the seaside, at Appley Park in Ryde. Don't go to Medina - we won't be there!


Medina parkrun report – 4th September 2021

Medina IoW parkrun #459 was on tour again this morning back at Appley with a somewhat overcast start. I also had an overcast start trying to submit this report with no pesky broadband! (Please note, ‘pesky’ is absolutely not a word in my vocabulary but when I wrote in the expression I really wanted to use, Word put a big red line under it. I was expecting a ‘See me!!’ in red pen in the margin too.) In a nutshell, if you’re reading this well after the event and have already lost interest, apologies. Blame technology.

242 of you uber fit runners turned out today with Chris de Mouilpied the first to get his token scanned! Chris also achieved a parkrun PB today so off to the pub to celebrate that one later, well done Chris.

Joining Chris in the PB Hall of Fame were another 4 runners today so I can only assume that the school holidays nearing an end means parents, grandparents, childminders and anyone who has associated with a small person for the last 6 weeks just wants to lie down. It’s like getting to the 26 mile point of a marathon with absolutely nothing in the tank and realising there’s still 0.2 miles to go. Officially the longest distance on earth.

Warm welcomes to 33 of you joining the only Isle of Wight parkrun ever to exist, your RD today was Mr Grenville Tuck (if you’ve never heard of the Tucks are you even a runner?!) who is most definitely not to be confused with your First Timers Briefer Kevin Fry. Thank you to you both and all the other volunteers today for making the magic happen!

Patience Fleming achieved her 10th milestone, Mark Knowles achieved his 50th, whilst not an official milestone Bridget Lewis hit 300 and a special mention to Paul Killick with a whopping 693 parkruns under his belt (a very small belt I imagine after running well over 2000 parkrun miles).

Don’t forget, if you’re feeling pretty smug after your performances today you can still sign up for the Ryde Harriers Isle of Wight Marathon on 10th October, closing date for entries is the weekend before so you may as well as you’ve just had payday! Not much of a jump from a parkrun to a marathon and this one is a particularly easy one, not undulating at all, promise! (I made that bit up btw) It’s also an opportunity to run it in its phenomenal 65th year making it the UK’s longest running marathon. Pretty impressive to add your running CV, yes?

That wraps up my tenth anniversary of parkrun reports (I know, it seems longer, right?), so if you’ll excuse me, today’s bad decisions aren’t going to make themselves! Happy weekend!

Sarah xx

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